Follow The PocketListings.net BLOG And Support Our Endeavor

It’s no secret I wear many hats. I am a Realtor here in San Francisco, I run this here blog, I’m a dad, and now I have a new project, PocketListings.net. I’ve been scolded by some of you readers for not posting here enough, and I’ve been scolded for posting too much about all the great opportunities popping up on PocketListings.net. What is a guy supposed to do!? Damned if I do, damned if I don’t.

I will do my best to continue to post here about all things San Francisco, particularly San Francisco real estate. But our new version of PocketListings.net is just around the corner and when it goes live, I’m all in. So rather than hearing from you all about how little I’m doing on theFrontSteps, I’d appreciate support and your help spreading the word about how much we’re doing with PocketListings.net, and how much more information and opportunities will present themselves for you…the buyer and seller.

The first step to supporting this endeavor would be to follow the PocketListings.net BLOG. Add it to your readers, subscribe to receive updates via email, and bookmark it. Other bloggers, feel free to grab any posts we do there and share with your readers. Please link to it, Tweet about it, and share it on Facebook.

We have gained considerable traction already on PocketListings.net. We expect the site to grow much more rapidly and steadily with the release of our next version, and the BLOG is our sounding board. So get to know the BLOG, tell your friends about it, and better yet…keep an eye on the mother ship: PocketListings.net.

Thank you,
alex

-PocketListings.net
-Facebook.com/pocketlistings
-Twitter.com/pocketlistings
-PocketListings BLOG

200 Brannan #328 Hitting MLS for $2,495,000, My Jaw Hits The Floor


Would that be considered industrial chic, modern, or just plain awesome? Perhaps all three.

It’s nearly 2400 square feet, with 17 ft floor-to-ceiling windows, is light filled and has a top of the line remodeled gourmet kitchen, bay & bridge views, 3 large bedrooms, 3 remodeled luxurious bathrooms, 2 car deeded secured parking, 24 hr security, concierge services, lush landscaped garden courtyard, and full fitness center. Oh, and it is steps to AT&T park, Cal-Train, world class restaurants, the farmers market, and did I mention it will be ideal for the coming America’s Cup?

Two Hundred Brannan #328 is on the MLS asking $2,495,000. Is that a fair price you ask? Well, considering a very similar unit directly above hit the market about one year ago at $2,800,000, and found itself in contract shortly after and closed for $2,700,000, I’d have to say yes, and I’d love to come to your house warming party.

As always, if you’d like more information about this or any San Francisco property, you know what to do.

-As soon as it hits MLS, I’ll put the link right here. Deal? Poof! Here it is.

SOMA – South Beach Loft Condominium Steps From AT&T Park


Previously listed on MLS at $659,000, times have changed, but this A+ unit at 200 Townsend has not. Currently not listed on MLS due to reasons I’m happy to share if you’re a serious buyer or buyer’s agent, this loft is available for immediate purchase and now asking $499,000! Talk about a hair cut. Two hundred Townsend has one of the best locations in SOMA/South Beach, and this unit has hardwood floors, one loft bedroom, two baths, parking, granite counters, stainless appliances, gas burning fireplace and is located in a quiet portion of the building off street.

Please do your editor a favor and tell your friends. Use any number of “sharing” features below to email, Facebook, Tweet, or Digg this property. It is currently tenant occupied, but will be delivered vacant and is easy to show, and ready to be sold. If you’ve wanted to live in this building for a while, or anywhere in the area, this is the one.

-200 Townsend #47, 1bd, 2ba, 1pk, $499,000 [PocketListings.net]

The Economy Is So Bad….


I pulled this from a friend’s Facebook Status update, and he got it from a friend of his, so who knows where it came from originally. The fact is, it’s funnier than sh*t, so have a laugh:

The economy is so bad that I got a pre-declined credit card in the mail. CEO’s are now playing miniature golf. Exxon-Mobil laid off 25 Congressmen. Angelina Jolie adopted a child from America. Motel Six won’t leave the light on anymore. A picture is now only worth 200 words.They renamed Wall Street ” Wal-Mart Street…”Finally, I called the Suicide Hotline. I got a call center in Pakistan and when I told them I was suicidal, they got all excited, and asked if I could drive a truck!

If you don’t get a laugh from that, we need to talk.

Luxury Marina Blvd. Home Hits The Market (Not On MLS), You Get Front Row Seats To The America’s Cup


How would you like to have front row seats to the America’s Cup Sailing Race that is headed to San Francisco?

And I’m not talking about lawn chairs unfolded on the rocky, cold shores of the Bay. I’m talking luxury, better than VIP, seats…like rolling over in bed, looking out your window, and seeing the action.





You might be saying to yourself, “That’s a great view, and I’d love to be that close, but how can I get it?” The answer my friends is right here, where for $4,750,000 you can have a luxury four level, four bedroom, five and one half bath, remodeled waterfront VIP entertaining palace for the America’s Cup. It comes complete with a gourmet kitchen containing a Thermador 6-burner gas professional cooktop with built-in grill and a one-of-a-kind Abbaka pure copper and brass hood, a full-sized Sub-Zero refrigerator with two additional refrigerator drawers and a completely separate full-sized Sub-Zero freezer with additional drawers, two Miele dishwashers, and two refrigerated beverage storage drawers…because you know your kitchen will be serving up some cold beverages and tasty meals.

It also has two master suites and baths, a landscaped back yard (to escape the commotion out front), AND 2 car parking (because you know it will be a nightmare) for yourself, and extra parking in the driveway for your friends (I’m not talking the “friends” that will suddenly be knocking on your door to take advantage of your good fortune, I’m talking true friends.)

Friendship debates aside, the fact is, a Marina Blvd home is up for grabs whether you’re a fan of sailboat racing or not, and your chance to snag a slice of prime San Francisco waterfront property is here…it’s just not on MLS.

-Marina Blvd Luxury Waterfront Home: $4,750,000 details [Principals contact me for details, agents just create an account.]
-(Potential) America’s Cup Race Route Revealed, Realtors Frothing [theFrontSteps]

San Francisco Real Estate Summer Doldrums Ending, Lake Merced Homes More Popular, Surfing Ocean Beach Still Off Limits To Most

Below is an excerpt from the San Francisco Market Focus Report published by the San Francisco Association of Realtors.

Despite Seasonal Summer Slowdown, SF Housing Market Continues to Show Strength as Pending Sales Rise

With many buyers, sellers, and agents away on vacation at this time of the year, the San Francisco housing market is experiencing normal patterns of slowing down, resulting in lower inventory and less activity throughout the city.

Regardless, there have been pockets of movement and market conditions are expected to pick up in late August and throughout September as many people return from their holiday. In addition, it is likely that more distressed properties will come onto the market as banks sort out and finalize their paperwork.

Single-Family Homes
Year-over-year, the number of single-family home sales under contract in July rose by 29.6 percent citywide. Since the start of 2011, it has soared by 73 percent throughout the city. For properties priced below $700,000, the months of supply inventory dropped by 54.6 percent to a reading of 1.8 months. For properties priced between $700,000 and $1.2 million, the months of supply inventory fell by 22.6 percent to 2.5 months.

One area of the city which has seen a spike in home sales activity is the southwest neighborhoods of Lake Merced. Since July 2010, the number of pending sales has increased from 13 to 27 properties and the number of completed transactions has jumped by 28.6 percent to a total of 18 units sold. The landscape of Lake Merced offers an abundance of recreational activities for outdoors enthusiasts, from hiking, jogging, and biking to fishing and golfing. [Surfing is not recommended.] Real estate here ranges from upscale properties in the Pine Lake Park neighborhood to more mid-priced homes in Merced Heights…Read More.

Market Focus Report August 2011 [San Francisco Association of Realtors]

Ich Bin Camping!


I know, I know, I know….it should be “Ich gehe Camping”, or “Ich bin Camping gegangen”, but “Ich bin ein Berliner” so wtf…
theFrontSteps.com is shut down for the week. I’m camping. I’m getting dirty. I’m soaking up the sun. I’m riding my bike. I’m eating and drinking like a king. I’m not working. But, if you need real estate help immediately (the standard Realtor dilemma), send an email, and I’ll make sure someone can help you.

Price Squares Gives You The Price Per Square Foot Data You Crave

I can’t begin to tell you how many clients, friends, family, and co-workers base their entire real estate purchase or sale on price per square foot, and for good reason…it is the benchmark. Thank goodness a colleague at Zephyr Real Estate came up with this brilliant website, PriceSquares, so that all of you can check it out on your own. The concept is as simple as they come. The site strives to show you what is the average price per square foot of property listed and sold in a certain area, whether the average is going up, down, and whether a certain property represents a good buy or not.

Or as they say, “Price Squares is a new and easy way to see how San Francisco real estate is trending. Price Squares takes recent sales and shows you instantly whether the average price per square foot is increasing or decreasing giving you a real view of how the real estate market is fairing…”

If you have enough time to check out this post, you have enough time to check out this great new tool.

-PriceSquares.com

Nominate theFrontSteps (Alexander Clark) As “San Francisco’s Most Valuable Blogger”…Thanks!

A little recognition is always nice. Dear readers, please take a second to nominate theFrontSteps for Most Valuable Blog in San Francisco. After all these years of providing all of this real estate and San Francisco insight, I’d really appreciate it. I suppose theFrontSteps fits under the categories, Lifestyle, Local Affairs, and Everything Else.

Thank You!

Nominate theFrontSteps and Alexander Clark as Most Valuable Blogger

Coffee Fiends Get Your Mojo On, And Get Free Coffee

Those of you that have read this blog for a while know that I have a thing or two for good coffee. In fact, I took it upon myself to definitively settle the debate as to where is the best coffee (house) in San Francisco and hundreds of thousands of people joined in the decision. That was great, but this could be even better…free coffee.

It’s the newest in new startups (I believe they launched two weeks ago), and if you ask me, it’s a great idea, simple in concept, and simple in execution, but oh so delightful in reward. Buy four coffees in San Francisco and get one free.
Step One, Join:
Step Two: Find Participating Coffee Houses:
Step Three, Buy Coffee, Get Free Coffee:
Step Four, Invite Your Friends. Get More Free Coffee:
Step Five, Share Free Coffee With Me.

Simply brilliant if you ask me, and even more brilliant if/when they work the purchase of beans into the equation. I happen to be enjoying some Sweet Tooth at this very moment.

-Mojofiend.com
-@Mojofiend on Twitter
-<a href="The Best Coffee (House) In San Francisco [theFrontSteps]

Get Ready For “Social Buying” And The Arrival Of The “Echo Boomer”-An Interview With Sherry Chris, CEO Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate

Recently I had the pleasure of sitting down with Sherry Chris, CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate (BHGRE) and Advisory Board Member of Zillow.com. I had every intention of grilling her on the state of the market locally, more specifically hyper-locally, and concluding that just like Zillow, the CEO at Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate is more concerned about the national picture than the hyper-local reality that is San Francisco real estate. I was wrong. Chris knows a lot about San Francisco real estate. The conversation then quickly turned out to be like all of the others I have with so many people regardless of where they rank in the world of real estate knowledge and forecasting…the market is going to do what it does, San Francisco is stronger than the rest, and we, as agents, possess nothing in our bag of tricks that can change the way the market ups and downs are going to play out. We have to adapt, roll with the punches, embrace technology, listen to the consumer, and become “collaborators of information” rather than the “gatekeepers we have been for so long.”

Chris agrees with me that, the “real estate industry missed the boat by not creating a central place for MLS listings”, and she congratulates Zillow and Trulia for doing so. She’s quick to point to their success in aggregating data the National Association of Realtors failed to aggregate themselves. As a result of our own missed opportunity in that regard, “we need to look long and hard at what is happening with the next generation of buyers”, who Chris calls the “echo-boomers” (80 million strong or roughly 1/3 of the buying population). “They are buying property based on recommendations from their friends and circles, and turning less and less to those in the industry for advice and knowledge about when and where to purchase. Echo-boomers have been raised with social networking and if the real estate industry doesn’t get into the game of creating a social platform that will engage these buyers and sellers, MLS and industry gatekeepers are going to continue to be left behind while the boat full of buyers and sellers sails off to sea without them.”

Thinking along these lines, Chris has championed a new kind of iPhone App for Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate…one that doesn’t feed MLS listings! Gasp! Yes, they have come out with an app that allows users to take photos while they are at properties, arrange them into albums, share them with friends via Facebook or email, and easily refer to them later. The app allows users to search schools in the area, sites of interest, and refer to BHGRE website for more general information about buying and selling a home. And of course, you’ll be able to easily “contact an agent” and get in touch with a BHGRE real estate agent to put pen to paper (virtually of course) on that deal. Chris sees the process of buying and selling a home becoming a much more “social” process. Much less about receiving data (listings), hopping in a Realtors car, and making a decision based on this complete strangers recommendation, and more about searching property on their own, getting recommendations from their friends and family, collaborating with trusted “inner circle” friends on price and photos, and pulling the trigger based on social recommendations, not pushy Realtors looking to earn a commission. (Sounds a bit like where a certain company of mine is heading.) She went on to talk even further about a potential world of buying/selling real estate where price is less important than location, amenities nearby, WalkScores, and ultimately their friends’/family’s recommendation on whether to purchase a property or not, but we both agreed that although that is great, it’s a long ways off.

Sherry Chris has been in the real estate world for about 30 years, and so I was expecting to sit down with someone that is like so many other agents/brokers that have been in this industry for so long and still think farming, mailers (yes, actually through the post office), and cold-calling are the way to do business these days, but boy was I wrong. I’d even go so far as to say Chris is thinking further ahead than I am, and she happens to be at the helm of the third ranked well-established franchise in J.D. Power and Associates’ recent fourth annual Home Buyer/Seller Study. So she’s big-time, and she’s thinking ahead. This is refreshing.

I thank Sherry for inviting me to have a conversation with her, and I’m excited to see the direction the industry heads, because as many of you readers have known for a very, very long time I’ve considered the system marginal at best with TONS of room for improvement. Baby steps…baby steps.

For more information:
-BHGRealEstate.com
-The rise of consumer-centrid real estate [Inman News]
-J.D. Power and Associates’ recent fourth annual Home Buyer/Seller Study [J.D. Power & Associates]