How To Successfully Reduce Your Property Tax Basis In San Francisco?

From one agent, to their company, and we’re bringing it to you.

I have some clients who applied to the Tax Board to have their property tax basis reduced and the city rejected it, even though they presented valid comps indicating their property value has decreased (they live in Pacific Heights). I’m wondering if [any Realtors] or their clients have had a successful experience appealing this type of decision, and if they have any suggestions for the appeal.

We have no suggestions, but can tell you our Inbox currently has four “unread” emails asking us for assistance running comps to help some owners fight this very same battle. You are certainly not alone.

So…who has won, and what helped get you there? Who has lost, and why?

Any insight is appreciated. Please share your experiences (good or bad) in the comments below.

Palm Springs We Are Not, Shocking Information This Is

From a reader who’s email says, “The housing crisis summed up in one house in Palm Springs”:

Check this out – from NPR’s Plante Money exercises:
Twitter Tweet 1 for this info on one Palm Springs House:

Date           Event           Price            Appreciation            Source

Apr 30, 2009   Sold      $32,500    -87.1%/yr       Public Records
Feb 08, 2008    Sold      $399,479    -8.3%/yr        Public Records
Sep 22, 2006   Sold       $450,000    28.4%/yr     Public Records
Sep 20, 2005  Sold      $350,000    63.3%/yr      Public Records
Jul 30, 2004   Sold       $200,000     89.0%/yr     Public Records
Oct 06, 2003   Sold      $119,000     24.3%/yr      Public Records
Oct 11, 2002   Sold       $96,000    114.3%/yr      Public Records
Jun 28, 2001   Sold      $36,000    -26.2%/yr      Public Records
Apr 16, 2001   Sold      $38,250      —                        Public Records

and then this

Twitter Tweet 2 for this info on the house across the street:

Date          Event                 Price               Appreciation         Source

May 19, 2009    Sold      $47,500        -68.6%/yr       Public Records
Jan 15, 2008    Sold       $225,000       7.4%/yr         Public Records
Jan 31, 2005    Sold       $182,000       22.8%/yr        Public Records
Jul 09, 2003    Sold       $132,000       96.3%/yr        Public Records
May 08, 2002    Sold     $60,000        -12.3%/yr       Public Records
Oct 24, 2001    Sold       $64,392          -8.4%/yr       Public Records
Feb 01, 2000   Sold      $75,000         112.1%/yr       Public Records
Nov 13, 1998   Sold      $30,000         -79.0%/yr      Public Records
Apr 14, 1998   Sold       $74,598         -0.1%/yr         Public Records
Mar 03, 1992   Sold      $75,000          271.3%/yr   Public Records
Jun 01, 1990    Sold      $7,500             —                       Public Records

Apologies for the horrible formatting on the columns (working remotely), but the information is there nonetheless.  Thanks to the reader, and (raising glass of wine in the air), “Here’s to the end of the Recession, please!”

Google Goes Real Estate Search

To the untrained eye it might look as if our lovely city by the bay has the Chickenpox. Alas! ‘Tis not the case. It’s just Google getting into the game of real estate, and leave it up to them to do it right (maps.google.com/realestate).

[Note: These below maps are embedded on this site and you can play around all you want right here…how cool is that!?]

Not a fan of the Satellite image search, and need to know your streets? Go for the basic street map:

Wondering if your future home is on a hill and whether you can sell your Thigh Master? Zoom in and go Terrain:

[Note: You can even go Street View]

Wondering if you’re future home is close to public transportation and how the traffic in the area is? They have that too.

In fact, you can get photos, webcams, wikipedia and all sorts of information about the area you want to put down roots all by clicking around the maps.

Proximity to good coffee? It’s probably on there too.

It makes searching for a home by area so unbelievably simple (not as simple and effective as actually getting in the car or walking your future ‘hood…assuming you’re not relocating cross continent), but simple nonetheless. Contacting those with the listings and not getting shuffled to some third party site that is essentially rebroadcasting MLS data on their site (which Google is then able to “crawl” and display…we’re guessing) is a bit tricky. The information certainly has a time delay as to what is displayed, when you click on properties there is enough error that we’ve discovered to make us not entirely certain about the price or details of a property and whether it is, in fact, still available, and price reductions aren’t showing up all too real time either, but the data is there, and it’s cool. Really cool. It just needs to find its wings, and we have no doubt it will.

Check it out, if you haven’t done so already.

Condominium Versus Single Family Homes (The Data)

Misha Weidman is back and he brings us this little nugget (also posted on his site):

Condos vs. SFDs All Districts Chart

…and this quote to go along with it:

Until June 2008, condo and home prices were in lock-step in terms of price appreciation and decline. Thereafter, homes fell first and further. In March 2009, the delta between condos and home prices was a whopping 13%. Since then, however, home prices have recovered smartly: as of June, homes are about 4.5% further off their all-time highs than condos.

What does this all mean? First of all, I wouldn’t take too much consolation just yet in the upward spike in both condo and home prices since the beginning of the year. If you take a look at the chart, this happens every Jan/Feb when people start buying out of the winter doldrums. I wouldn’t predict a bottom until we see what happens this winter.
Still, the current delta of only $100,000 between median condo and median home prices seems rather small. If people are just begging to know what the historical average is, let me know and I’ll find out.

Thank you! And we’d bet there are a few that would love a little historical average.

-Misha’s Blog and place for more data crunching

2185 Bush #307 At The Amelia Price Reduced (almost) $100,000!

Shameless plug is the name of the game here. Moments ago we chopped the price of 2185 Bush #307 from $869,000 (previously $899,000) down to $799,999. Are you kidding! This is a 3 bed, 2 bath, 1290 square foot condo with high ceilings, wood burning fireplace, patio, and so much more in one of the best locations around (we could almost call this Pacific Heights, but it is technically in Lower Pacific Heights), so please spread the word.

2185 Bush #307:
2185bush307

If you, or anybody you know, are interested in a great condo in a superb location, drop us a line or come visit the property Sunday 7/26 from 2-4pm for an Open House. This is a great unit and it (hopefully) won’t last long on the market at this new price.

-2185 Bush #307, $799,999 [listing detail]