Buying A Home In San Francisco – Step 3: Go See Some Property!

You starting to feel ready to buy a home in San Francisco? By now, hopefully, you’ve made it through Step 1, and are now either pre-approved, or can provide Proof of Funds, and are getting dialed into this thing called the internet and how well it can help you instantaneously see what is new on the market, because you’ve completed Step 2, by having listings sent to your inbox automagically.

That makes you ready for…

Step 3 – Go See Some Property

You’ll want to go see the ones you might even remotely like. Even if you think it’s not a perfect match, you should go take a look anyway. It will help you get a feel for the market, and if you see something that is an “almost” you can track the sale of it to educate yourself on actual sales prices versus list prices.
So how can you know what properties to tour and when? There are a number of ways to do it.
a. Schedule private showings with your Realtor. Schedule them as soon as you can. It’s the best way to see property, without the hundreds of other people, and it gives you a jump on the competition.
b. Still not ready to wed yourself to a frothy real estate agent? Hit the Sunday Open Houses. You can pretty much bet that 99% of the listings you’re getting fed via email will have an open house on Sunday from 2-4pm (in San Francisco). If you show up at a house and it’s not open, oh well…use the opportunity to check out the ‘hood.
c. Tuesday “Broker” Tour. You can also bet that new listings will be open on Tuesday Broker Tour in their designated time slot. Tour rotates around the city beginning at 9am in Telegraph Hill area, and ending in SOMA/Mission/Potrero Hill areas in the late afternoon around 4pm. Times are in increments of 1.5 hours. For example: Pacific Heights new listings are open 10-11:30 on Tuesdays, and the Mission will be from 2-3:30pm.) Technically Broker Tour is meant for Brokers only, but any Realtor that refuses entry to you (a buyer) should be asked to leave the industry. It’s easy to get the Broker Tour schedule, just ask your Realtor, or theFrontSteps.
d. SFOpenHomes.com – Fed directly from MLS, and including any property in the system that has been added as having an open house. You can search by all sorts of criteria, so you can pretty much find anything you like, and whether or not it will be open.
e. Craigslist – Check Craigslist for properties that may or may not be on MLS and whether they’ll have an open house, or when they’ll be available for viewing.

If your schedule does not permit a private tour set up by your agent, or if you prefer to visit property in your own car, on your own time, you can count on options c,d,e to get you where you need to be. Just get out there and get educated! Be warned, almost every real estate agent you come across at an open house will ask you if you’re currently being represented. If you don’t want to be bothered, just say “Yes, I have an agent”, and feel free to drop our name if you panic, and they’ll probably leave you alone. Oh, one more thing…there is no need to fill out the “Open House Sign Up” sheet, unless you like to be spammed. It is simply a tool for agents to get your contact info and add you to their marketing.

So get out and tour, and if you see a property you like, and you think it’s “the one”, don’t pass it up because it is the first property you may have seen. There is a really good chance something like it won’t come around anytime soon, so you gotta jump on the ones you (sort of) love.

Godspeed!

-Step 1- Get Pre Approved, Provide Proof of Funds [theFrontSteps]
-Step 2- Get Listings Fed to you Automatically [theFrontSteps]

Coming Soon! 2191 32nd Ave, San Francisco – $785,000

It’s not everyday you come across a home like this in the Parkside (many simply generalize it at “The Sunset”) District of San Francisco. This home at 2191 32nd Ave has been meticulously maintained by its owner and will be coming on the market very soon. We’re in the final stages of touching it up, and it will soon hit MLS and be available for showings, so get your finances in check and get ready for a home like none you have seen in recent memory in this part of town.

This unique home built in 1933 has hints of Rousseau and Tudor styles all wrapped up in one. From the soaring dark wood beamed ceilings with original art details, the rounded (and functional) wood burning fireplace in the formal living room, to the crown moldings in the formal dining room, this is truly a home not typical of this location. All throughout the residence you will find tremendously detailed, and pristine hardwood floors. Upstairs is a formal dining room, remodeled kitchen, breakfast area with built in cabinets. Skylights and a center patio bring in natural light and fresh air providing a tranquil outdoor setting quite literally in the comfort of your own home. Also upstairs are two bedrooms, one original detailed bathroom with separate tub and shower (wait til you see the purple tile), large closets, and OCEAN VIEWS from the bedrooms that will keep you checking the surf all day long.

Downstairs is a large bonus room with beautiful hardwood floors, access to backyard and deck, full bathroom, a small kitchenette, and – hold on – a wood burning fireplace! This room would be perfect as either a master suite or family/entertainment room. There is also a laundry room on this level and access to the large two car garage.

Asking price is going to be $785,000 and we’re aiming to be on the market officially in two weeks time. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask. If you’ve been looking for a home anywhere in the Avenues around Sunset Blvd, this is going to be the home for you.

-2191 32nd Ave, San Francisco, CA – asking $785,000 and on the market soon.

Ditch Your Realtor, Get Ahead Of The Pack By Working With Me

Are you, or any of your friends, looking for a single family home in Noe or Cole Valleys (or anywhere in San Francisco for that matter)? Are you getting beat out by multiple offers in the over million dollar price range ($1.5M+), and showing up late to the party? Is your Realtor telling you they’re doing all they can (simply checking MLS everyday, which you can do too), but really not delivering? If so, you’re not alone, and I can help.

Within the past couple of months my buyers and readers have known about dozens of properties prior to them going to MLS. To think I share all of them online with everyone is simply silly. For example, my circle of clients knew about 707 Cole, 1027 Cole, 313 Parnassus, 785 Cole, 1340 Cole, 121 Beulah, 471 Duncan, 2975 Lake, and many more. There are also a dozen or so homes that never even made it to MLS and were shown without a hint of market activity, such as a mid-century home in Noe Valley, a grand, modern home on Sanchez, an AIA tour home in Golden Gate Heights, a penthouse stunner in SOMA, and a few others that I can’t recall the address off the top of my head.

Today, I present to you two more opportunities in Cole Valley, one in Nob Hill, and another on Lake Street not on MLS. Nowhere near MLS in fact. Not on PocketListings.net, not in my pocket, and not even on anybody’s radar. They are all single family homes, and they are all at least 2 bedrooms, and close to or over $1,500,000. They are not fixers, they are done, done, done…or turnkey as we like to say.

If you are interested, or know somebody that might be, you gotta contact me directly (alexclark@gmail.com), you gotta be unrepresented, and I’m going to ask you to work with me going forward and sign a written agreement confirming exactly that. No co-agents, no “I’ll work with you if you find me the property”, no “let’s try it out on this deal”…none of that. You either marry me as your agent or you don’t. Not sure if you should? Have a look at some recent testimonials I’ve been gathering and come take the plunge.

Like I’ve said, working with and finding a Realtor you like is like dating. If it’s not working out with one, you are free to leave to find another.

I’m also beginning to dabble in Lake Tahoe real estate, so if you’re interested in a second home, ski pad, lake front property, my finger is finding the pulse of that market too (and I know where all the good powder is).

So feel free to give me a shout, and let’s work on getting you ahead of the pack and into the home of your dreams. I’m also happy to help any of you sellers out there sitting on the fence in these markets. It’s a good time to sell in certain areas and certain price-points. I am at your service and available for consultation.

-Prior off market opportunities I presented [theFrontSteps]
-Testimonials
-Lake Tahoe Ski Cabin [theFrontSteps]

2701 Broadway, On San Francisco’s Billionaire Row, Finds Its Billionaire Buyer

It’s big news for the Billionaires on Broadway. We have it on good intel that 2701 Broadway, a little house on the hill just down the street from the likes of the Gettys, Trainas, and Ellisons of the world (and let’s not forget a Monster of Rock), has found a buyer ponying up an undisclosed amount of cash (originally asking $32,000,000 then reduced to $28,500,000 and no longer listed on MLS) for this one of a kind, meticulously remodeled home, last sold in 1998 for $5,500,000.

Break out the bubbly, and call it all cash (pocket change really), some new billionaires are moving to Broadway’s Billionaire Row.











To the gentleman that said to me when visiting this home at 3577 Pacific (before it came on the market) “Zephyr Real Estate doesn’t have clients for this…” You’re right, Zephyr has clients for this instead. Congratulations to Anna and Dennis of Zephyr Real Estate for bringing the buyer to 2701 Broadway.

Just need that invitation to the housewarming party, and we’ll bring the Cazadores for fresh lime margaritas on the deck overlooking San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the beautiful Bay!

-2701 Broadway, 7 bed, 7 bath, 16,400 sqft, asking $28,500,000 [MLS]
-Kirk Hammett Finds Buyer For His Pacific Heights Monster Den [theFrontSteps]

So You’re Wondering What The Property Across The Street Sold For? I Gotcha Covered.

Recent sales…it’s what everybody wants to know. It’s what I get asked when I go to dinner. It’s what I get asked when I’m out surfing. It’s what I get asked when I’m sitting on the ski lift. “What did X property sell for?”

Because of this very question that continues to perplex even the most tuned-in San Francisco real estate agent, I started a newsletter about 9 years ago. That newsletter was called sfnewsletter. The whole point was to provide a weekly snapshot of everything in San Francisco that just came on the market, and everything in San Francisco that just sold. The newsletter was sent to tens of thousands of people, and was a screaming success. It’s only natural that it was plagiarized.

Hill & Co. now has a newsletter that is almost a spitting image, and the company where I hang my license (Zephyr Real Estate) has it’s own carbon copy. So I decided I didn’t need to write the content any more, and I’d just let Zephyr do it for me, because it’s really not the content all of the readers want, it’s the data. What listed, what sold…sortable by district, and property type. However, because the Multiple Listing Service has “real time” sold data under strict lock and key, you can’t just access it from anywhere. You gotta be connected to a Realtor.

Therefore, I extend an invitation to all of you to begin receiving these sold updates in your inbox every other week. There are two catches: 1) I need your email. 2) If you receive the data from me, and then choose to buy or sell a home with a different agent that doesn’t provide you valuable information like this, I will send my cousin Guido out to your house, and he will bust your knees. Deal?

If you’d like to be added to the distribution list, just shoot me an email, and state in the subject “Please add me to your real estate newsletter“. Trust in the fact that I will simply add you to the newsletter and not email you to constantly solicit your business, and I certainly will not sell or re-distribute your email to anyone. In return, I will trust that you contact me when you are ready to buy or sell San Francisco real estate. It’s a win-win.

-Just sold data. This link expires with each newsletter, so you gotta get on the list. ;-)
-Sign up for real estate newsletter

Buying San Francisco Real Estate Is As Easy As…Not Giving Up Before You Start!

I’ve been getting a few phone calls and emails from potential buyers looking to get into the San Francisco market, and their general mood is that of despair…mostly because of my latest posts about how hot the market (particularly Cole Valley) is right now. I’ll just come right out and apologize for giving the impression that we are back to the days of boom. We are not.

As is the case with our weather here in San Francisco on any given day, there are pockets of sunshine, and clouds of rain. While nicely presented (staged) homes, in great locations, marketed at competitive prices (whether $400,000 or $4,000,000) are practically flying off the shelf with all cash/zero contingency offers, there are certainly countless numbers of not so lucky homes and sellers that either missed the mark with pricing, timing, or presentation, and those homes are getting stale, dropping prices, and selling for much less than asking…if they sell at all. Depending on when the seller purchased it, often many homes are selling for much less than what the seller paid! So it’s definitely not all roses all across the board.

With that said, what can you do to increase your chances of buying a piece of San Francisco real estate. The most important thing for you to do as a buyer is get pre-approved with a good, reputable, local lender or mortgage broker (I can recommend a few). Getting pre-approved doesn’t cost you a dime. Don’t even look at homes until you know without a shadow of a doubt what you can afford. That includes browsing online on Trulia or Zillow.

Once you have taken the pre-approval step, there are tools available to get you searching for the most accurate, up to the minute listings both on MLS, and “off market“.

Once you have an idea of what it is you can both afford, and what it is you desire, you should absolutely get in touch with a licensed real estate professional to help you find and secure your property. You can certainly try to go it alone, but when it comes time to write an offer, 99% of the listing agents out there are going to prefer to work with someone that is represented by a Realtor, rather than someone that thinks they can do it alone. Put two identical offers on the table. One from a buyer that has an agent who knows the game, and the other from a buyer wanting to represent themselves to “save” some money and nine out of 10 agents will go with the Realtor represented buyer all day long. If you want to go discount, go Redfin. At least you’ll have an agent representing you.

Once you’ve selected your agent (It’s like dating, so don’t just go “top producer” or “market specialist”…find someone you can spend hours hanging out with. Someone that might share similar interests.), work with them using all of the tools available to both of you, and be in touch frequently. Understand the market fluctuates day to day. Know that while some properties will receive multiple offers, some won’t, and gauging at what price a home will sell in such a market is often difficult and not as easy as 1+1=2. Running and analyzing comparable sales is only half of the story (our market now is much more robust than only a few short months ago in what should have been a busy October). Be ready to act quickly, and be flexible with regards to what times you are available to tour homes. See any, and as many homes as you can that might be a match.

When you find the home you like…don’t hesitate. It could be gone the next day. Make an offer, consider shortening any and all contingencies, and be prepared to go back and forth on price and terms. Don’t take it personally! Every buyer wants a good deal, and every seller wants top dollar. It will get heated.

If you don’t get the property, don’t dwell on it. There will be more opportunity…I promise. Move on. If you do get the property…well that’s another blog post altogether.

Don’t get discouraged by my stories of multiple offers, cash buyers, and an ultra-competitive market. As much as those stories are happening, there are also many more stories of Stalefish homes finally being sold after many, many months on the market. There are foreclosures (good luck with those), short sales, and many off market opportunities. You just gotta know where to look, have patience, money, and determination. Your property is out there. Don’t give up based on a few blog posts about a hot, hot market. And definitely don’t give up before you start.

-Four buyers in four days, and 121 Beulah. How did it end. [theFrontSteps]
-Factoring weather when buying a home in San Francisco is anything but simple. [theFrontSteps]
-Search MLS
-Search Not on MLS

Four Buyers In Four Days…And 121 Beulah, How Did It End?

Hi all! I just wanted to give a little update to you from my world of San Francisco real estate.

In my humble opinion, the market is extremely hot for the right properties. On Friday I wrote four separate offers (five if you count that one property is two condos), in four entirely different neighborhoods, and have been in a multiple offer situation on every single one of them. My buyers lost out on a house near West Portal (by roughly $25-35k), and my buyer on a Outer Avenues house is still in the thick of a six offer situation.

My clients for a Cole Valley property accepted a counter offer from the seller, knowing that other offers were lurking. And thankfully, the sellers of a Russian Hill property that my client offered on realized cash truly is king in this lending environment, and wisely accepted our offer on their property, rather than the others with financing.

I would love to share details and specifics about all of these, but as you can imagine, I can’t. I am very busy representing a ton of people throughout the city at this very moment, and all of it is helping me gain that much more knowledge to help you.

As always, other agents are talking to me and sharing stories, potential buyers they may have for homes, and properties some of their sellers may sell. Why they don’t just post all of it for free on PocketListings.net is beyond me, but I’m happy they feel comfortable sharing with me.

If you, or any of your friends/family, need help with San Francisco real estate, please don’t hesitate to contact me. My head is FULL of real estate opportunity!

Oh…and that luxury remodel on Beulah I mentioned two weeks ago….SOLD IN FIVE DAYS for $2,600,000 (asking $2,495,000). We can only assume CASH, and multiple circling.

Happy Monday! It snowed!

Happy New Year From Me To You…And The Scoop On Both A Cole Valley And Noe Valley Single Family Home

My dear readers,

I continue to give you opportunity after opportunity and you have been great. You have been loyal, you have been kind, you have been my source of income (and food and clothing for my two shining young pains in the ass…I mean sons who I love dearly…but sometimes want to wring their necks.) You have referred friends, you have referred family, you have given me tips on hot (and cold) property, and I greatly appreciate it.

I hope you continue to do so in 2012, as you have done since I started this thing back in 2007, and I hope to continue to give you the goods as I have done since before I launched this blog. (Can you believe I’ve been reporting on real estate since 2004!) I want to continue to give you the inside scoop, with a twist and some flavor, because Lord knows our market is a complete mind thrash, so we might as well have a good laugh along the way.

With that said, I have the scoop on a property in Cole Valley for some of you Cole Valley buyers:

and I also have a scoop on 471 Duncan for all of you Noe Valley buyers.

So if you, or anybody you know, was/is interested in a Single Family in Cole Valley, or took a look at 471 Duncan (or any other Noe Valley Single Family recently), give me a call. Principals only please. (If your agent isn’t digging up this kind of dirt for you, why are you paying them!?)

Happy New Year to all of you wonderful people. I hope to kick it up a notch this year on theFrontSteps, and continue to see PocketListings.net to become the successful site it deserves to be.

I look forward to helping you, and everyone you know, buy and sell tons of San Francisco real estate in 2012.

Sincerely,

Alex Clark

But It’s A Buyer’s Market

Any of you see this article on Yahoo! about US Cities Where Homes Sell The Fastest?

Gather ’round…I have a story for you.

Yesterday, on behalf of my clients, I presented a full asking price, ALL CASH (that’s $1,350,000 George Washingtons), two week to close, sellers may “rent-back” ’til November offer on 49 Alma Street in Cole Valley. This is a home that was listed late 2010 for $1,475,000 and withdrawn in January of 2011.


…and our offer was not enough! We were one of FIVE offers!

We expected multiple offers, but here is the kicker – four of the five offers were also all cash! Are you kidding me!? Hang on…it gets better. Our offer was almost the lowest in price. One other offer below us. The winning offer had zero contingencies. That’s all cash, significantly over asking, no contingencies, two weeks til the seller gets their coin…Is it 2003-2005 all over again? WTF!

I know the details of the other offers, but for the sake of the lucky and thrilled seller, and the lucky and thrilled buyer, some things in a transaction are better not to publish until it closes and cash and keys are transferred. Job well done by listing and selling agent combined, and the buyer for blowing our minds.

Okay, I have another anecdotal bit of story for you.

Seven Divisadero hit the market a couple of weeks ago. Barely two or three days on the market…Bam! In contract, all showings canceled.

You cancel showings when you have an extremely good offer that you’re not afraid is going to fall apart. My guess is another all cash offer over asking with one simple inspection contingency.

That leaves several all cash buyers with over $1,000,000 to burn still out there looking.

But it’s supposed to be a buyer’s market…right?

-US Cities Where Homes Sell The Fastest
-Battle Royale: Cole Valley Versus Noe Valley [theFrontSteps]
-Multi Millions On A Monday [theFrontSteps]
-49 Alma Street [Property Website and Photo Credit]
-7 Divisadero [Property Website and Photo Credit]

When Someone Hands You Lemons….

Do you, my dear readers, remember this property I mentioned back in July?

I showed it to a couple of buyers that came forward after that post. It didn’t work for them for various reasons, but at least they came forward and saw the opportunities I’ve been presenting you. The rest of you will now have to fight it out with the masses as the property is now on the MLS and asking $2,150,000.

Do you, my dear readers, remember this post I did back in May?

That was an opportunity to snag 2975 Lake before the rest.

I had four buyers come forward for the opportunity on that property, but it too didn’t work out for them for various reasons. It soon hit MLS for $2,980,000, and was in contract a mere seven days later.

Do you, my dear readers, remember this Fixer of Epic Proportions I featured, and Yahoo! picked up?

I showed it to a couple of developers that came forward, but it too didn’t work out for them for various reasons.

Four days ago I posted about this opportunity in Liberty Heights, and have showed one buyer through the property, as a result. I have this condo for sale at 88 King Street, this one at 200 Townsend, I brought you this fabulous Marina Blvd home, as well as this amazing unit at 200 Brannan, this home in Tiburon, and an entirely new website dedicated to getting you, the buyer and seller, more real estate opportunities to fall in your lap. Is your Realtor working that hard for you?

I have multiple opportunities always on the back burner for multiple buyers and sellers. If you’re ready to work with me, I’m ready to work with you. I would encourage you and your friends/family to contact me before you miss out on another great San Francisco real estate opportunity.

…end shameless self-promotion here.

-Completely Remodeled Noe Valley Home With High Definition Views For Sale [theFrontSteps]
-471 Duncan, Noe Valley [Property Website]
-2975 Lake [MLS]
-Mid Century Modern With An Emphasis On Modern [theFrontSteps]
-88 King Street #206, $849,000 [theFrontSteps]
-200 Townsend #47, $499,000 [theFrontSteps]
-Marina Blvd For The America’s Cup [theFrontSteps]
-200 Brannan [theFrontSteps]
-PocketListings.net

Mid Century Modern With An Emphasis On Modern

Are you a lover of Modern (particularly Mid-Century) like me? Are you looking for a home that you just can’t seem to find anywhere else? Do you have a budget up to $2,200,000? If so, I have found the home for you. I have been asked not to share any photos of this particular home online, because it is not listed on the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and is a pocket listing, but it is on par with something like these:





The home is 3 beds, 2 baths, 2 car side by side parking, in an A+ Noe/Castro/Liberty Heights area. It is up on the hill, has tremendous views, is totally open, bright, minimal, and amazing. Re-designed by Ogrydziak Prillinger Architects, it also has custom designer wall finishes throughout, SubZero, 6-burner Thermador range, Limestone, Calacatta marble & Thassos stone finishes, integrated sound with built in speakers, outdoor built-in Viking grill with granite counter, and did I mention views, views, views!

It’s one of a kind, and it could be yours.

I do not hold the listing, but can definitely bring a buyer. Principals Only Please. Contact me for details.

-PocketListings.net
-Completely remodeled Noe Valley Home with High Definition Views (More on this one later) [theFrontSteps.com]
-Contact For Details

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]

~3800 Square Foot Sea Cliff Home (Fixer) For You

If you have it in you to get an A+ Sea Cliff property with views like this
…. give me shout, because have I got the roughly 3800 square foot home on a roughly 5600 square foot lot on the end of Lake Street just for you.

Principals only please. I am NOT representing the seller, but I’ve known about it for a while. I’ve tried to get it for a couple developers already, but to no avail. It looks like the asking price will cut the developers out of the picture, thus only making sense for a family looking to buy a Sea Cliff fixer, sink $500,000+ into it, and end up with their dream $3.5MM to $4MM property in one of San Francisco’s best neighborhoods. So if you fit that description, give me a shout and we can talk about the property and how I can help you get it.

A Fixer Of Epic Proportions “Not On MLS”: 30-32 Prescott, Telegraph Hill

[Update: Property is now on MLS. Keep your eyes on PocketListings.net for your chance at many other off market opportunities, as this one was first posted there several weeks ago.]

This is one of those properties where every step you take inside the building you wonder if you’ll end up one floor below, like in a Looney Tunes Cartoon. To say the property is in utter disrepair (and recently vacated) is an understatement.
The exterior photos actually don’t do this property justice. The floors are rotted, the windows are molded and cracked, the roof is…well….it’s still there, the bathrooms are disgusting, and the potential is tremendous!
This is, after all, a “fully entitled development project with approved plans and permits in hand to build TWO, 2 story units with 2 car parking, yard, roof deck, with sweeping views of San Francisco Bay, Bay Bridge, Downtown San Francisco, and Telegraph Hill.” It’s opportunity knocking.
Full disclosure, there is a school right smack dab next door, and that could quite possibly be the only downside. However, the buyers of the finished product are likely not going to be people that are home Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm anyway, so it is almost a non-issue.
This is a chance for a developer to pick up an extraordinary project off market, develop it, and unload it. Or it is a chance for a person that wants a brand new property, to come in, take over, hire your crew, and build your Telegraph Hill dream residence.
Make no mistake, this is a “fixer” of epic proportions, but a lot of the “work” has been done for you. The hardest part of most battles to build in San Francisco is usually getting permission from the city, and that’s all been done for you. You can show up, make an offer with hammer in hand and get to work. Okay, maybe you’ll need more than a hammer and nails…like maybe a wrecking ball?

I’ll be out at the property today showing some clients, and I’ll attempt to get a couple interior pictures, but no promises. The inside is a total and complete wreck and that is what makes it so damn attractive.

Don’t go looking for this on MLS, because it ain’t there. It’s currently “off market” or “not on MLS”, but definitely very much for sale.

However, before you get to enjoy what we see in those renderings above, you gotta get through what exists in the photos below. And since so many homes are judged by the quality of their kitchens and baths…ask and thou shalt receive:


P.S. Keep in mind it was apparently recently inhabited.

-Prescott Fixer Details, San Francisco, $850,000 [PocketListings.net]
-“It’s Not Listed. But It’s Definitely For Sale.” [New York Times]
-Not on MLS Real Estate Network [PocketListings.net]

Buy Now or Suffer 8,000 Consequences?

Today I got this email from a friendly neighborhood Realtor:

Hello everyone,

I wanted to send out a friendly reminder about the deadline to take advantage of the first time home buyer tax credit.  The tax credit expires on Novemeber 30th, 2009.  However, assuming a 45 day escrow period from the time you buy to the time you close and get the keys, you would need to find a house, negotiate a purchase price, and have mutual acceptance by October 15th to take advantage. There are some income restrictions, it must be for your primary residence, and you must not have owned a home in the last 3 years.  If you or anyone you know would like more information about the tax credit, please email me and I will follow up.

Arg! Less than a month to find a house and close escrow?

On the other hand, I heard a rumor that this tax credit may be extended. Hard to imagine we have the money to do so in this country, but still, that’s the gossip from my broker. Nick Timiraos of the WSJ blog writes:

Not only are some legislators (and real-estate industry lobbyists) already pushing hard for an extension of the tax credit, which will expire Nov. 30, but they’re also arguing that it should be increased, to $15,000, and expanded to all buyers, and not just those who are first-timers. The current $8,000 tax credit emerged in the stimulus legislation that Congress passed in February, replacing an existing $7,500 credit that had to be repaid over 15 years.

The questions are not just whether the country has this money available, but whether other issues, such as health care, will push the homebuyer’s plight to the back burner.

In the meantime, we first-time buyers have about a week to buy our homes, people. No pressure.

Generous Uncle Sam, Via Coldwell Banker

Who Is Tom Perkins And WTF Does He Have To Do With Us

Our recent scoop on the sale of both Grand Penthomes at the Millennium Tower (one that sold to mega millionaire venture capitalist Tom Perkins) has been getting quite a bit of press lately, and oddly enough we received this email today:

This is all great [referring to the sale of a ~$9,000,000 condo] I suppose, but who is Tom Perkins?

Apparently, theFrontSteps is more responsive and accurate than a quick and easy Google search on “who is Tom Perkins”, so, since you asked, we thought this video would give you some idea about the man, and his (former) yacht:

Don’t get us wrong, we love your emails and especially your tips (keep them coming to thefrontsteps@gmail.com), but sometimes we worry about some of you readers….in a good way, of course.

Ignorance Is Bliss When Buying At The Ritz

Live below the big red curvy arrow!We know there are many of you out there sad at the fact you may have missed out on Ritz-Carlton Residence #2203 when it came on the market at $2,600,000 over two Stalecades ago. You may have been sad then when you missed out on the price reduction after price reduction down to the most recent list price of $1,998,000. We know, we know…more than $1300 per square foot to live in the same building as a YouTube founder, or Crocs founder just sounds so cheap and you missed your opportunity. The two bedroom (we’re calling it one bedroom with a sliding wall to make two), two and one half bath luxury residence in the sky is something to behold, but it’s gone. Off the market.

Psyche! It’s coming back! It’s gonna be back on the market and you, dear luxury buyer, best do your homework, because we’re told it is coming back on the market around $2,225,000 (give or take a couple thousand bucks)! Yes, that’s right. Your chance is here to buy it for more than the previous list price in a down market where high end luxury is getting hammered. Home Owners dues are low, only $2400/month, and the price is climbing on this listing to be, so give us a shout and we’ll get you in there before the rest of the masses clambering for an over-priced slice of pie in the sky.

For the record, it is a beautiful unit in a great building and there are other great units for sale (and motivated sellers), we’re just not so sure bringing Unit #2203 back on the market at a price higher than the previous list price that didn’t sell is such a good idea. (Good way to get a listing though.) Of course, if someone is not doing their homework and they don’t check the property history (think Shady Agent tactics), there will be no harm done (ignorance is bliss, really). Otherwise, consider yourself educated, and tell your friends we almost always have the inside track to San Francisco real estate, and we’ll make sure your ass is covered.

-[Editor's Note: One Stalecade is equal to one property that has been on the market 100 days or more. Stalefish + Decade = Stalecade. Therefore, a property on the market over 200 days has survived two Stalecades...a stretch in terms, but we're running with it.]

Off Market Ocean Views

If it is ocean views that you covet (the views below actually do exist in San Francisco), or you’re searching for that perfect San Francisco surf pad, but have thus far come up empty, give us a shout. We know of a couple off market homes/condos that might be of interest to you.

San Francisco Ocean Views

As for help finding the perfect surf spot in San Francisco, you’re on your own.

The Truth About Inspection Bids, A Letter To Buyers

If we could speak to you, Mr & Mrs Buyer, in the middle of your tense negotiations about repairs to the home you’d like to buy, we would say this:

The bids you received from your agent and her inspectors/experts are great. We’re glad you’re doing your due diligence and we’re happy to credit you some money to get repairs done. However, there are many, many ways to repair all kinds of different items, and usually bids come in high. There are contractors, plumbers, engineers, inspector, and so many more tradesmen out there who are out of work and looking for ways to make money. Just because you have a bid from one expert (who’s certainly chums with your agent), it doesn’t mean you have to use that expert to repair the damage, and it certainly doesn’t mean you can’t go bid the job out and get that one expert to compete with five others to drop the price down to a reasonable level. If you feel the urge to bid the job out, ask for an extension on your contingency timeline. We, on the seller’s end, often speak with the very same contractors hired to do the inspections and ultimately the work, and over the phone we’ve always been able to talk them down from “I won’t do the job for less than $4250″ to “I won’t do the job for less than $2000.” (For example.) Your agent has some great skills at beating us down, please ask her to use those same skills to beat those contractors down on their bids and you’ll see the money we’re offering will be more than enough. You’re going to love this house. Let’s move on already.

Sincerely,

The people on the other side.

Up For Auction Or On MLS: 1351 41st Ave Coming Soon

We’ve been told that this four bedroom, two and one half bath, one car parking remodeled center patio home at 1351 41st Ave @ Judah in the Outer Sunset will be either coming on the market in the next day or two, or going to auction. List price: ~$699,000.
135141stave1
We’ve been told it might be listed with a agent out of the East Bay, should the judge decide today that is the correct course of action. Apparently it’s been remodeled with the finest high-end granite (we’ll believe it when we see it), has a large back yard (we’re guessing standard Sunset size), a deck, and is being “listed low so the family can buy it out from under the current owner”. Word on the street is anything over $700,000 will be accepted, so either contact your agent, or us (thefrontsteps@gmail.com), if you’re interested in a home like this. Otherwise, keep your eyes on MLS or the auction block and see what happens.

Coming Soon! And, Coming Later!

Realtor Kevin Gueco writes a very sunny review for the coming soon Mosiaica 601 condo project (pictured above) in his SFNewDevelopments blog. There’s definitely some room for pleasant surprise in the announced price  (pleasant to me, anyway, since I selfishly find all condos I cannot afford to be unpleasant):

“Mosaica 601 announced last week that it plans to start pricing of its 3 bedroom / 2 bath condos in the low $600s!  This is an incredible value considering each home is around 1400 square feet.”

Of course, putting aside Gueco’s near-by  restaurant list, the area (where Mission meets Potrero) is a little rough, but the price still seems all right to me. Perhaps the developers see the price cuts so many other condo developers have had to make recently, and are starting lower to begin with?  

Also coming soon (but not as soon) are a more mysterious set of housing units. Just off West Portal and 16th Ave., in front of Arden Wood, you can see the pushed-up dirt, huge bulldozers, and thin wood skeletons that signal housing to come, and their sectioning looks multi-unit. Thus I suspect these are the long awaited condos that were subject of news and speculation in 2006. In fact, that’s still the only information I can find on this construction: 2 years old, via SFHomeBlog and J.K. Dineen. Someone has to have a more updated scoop here. Anyone?
 
Meanwhile, still a pipe-dream (ha ha! Really, Haight Street, how many pipe stores can one street support?), but with the supervisorial green light is the Whole Foods/condo complex, slated to replace long-dead Cala Foods at the corner of Stanyan and Haight. The Chronicle outlines the plan here:

 “The large, four-story project, which also includes some 60 high-end, market-rate housing units, was expected to be controversial, but the commission voted 6-0 to approve the conditional use permit – a result supporters think had a lot to do with their organized turnout.”

Right, agreed: Haight could use a face-lift and perhaps a gentle reminder that THE 60′S ARE OVER. Also, I like Whole Foods, but I’m saving for one of those condos, so I’ll stick to Trader Joe’s (with a new one also coming soon!). I’m curious what “market rate” will be when those units go up, since so many new developments are struggling to sell out units already. The Frontstep’s own banker/blogger, aptly known as “The Banker,” says: “We are overbuilt. . .and it is next to near impossible to get financing!”

What do you say?

—-

Construction photo via SFNewDevelopments

If you want $1.2M, then why (the f-bomb) don’t you ask $1.2M!?

As you know, I was a bit out of the loop lately in regards to San Francisco real estate, and forced to get my updates from a few other sources out there, like the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Business Times, and sooooo many other “sources”. My God, I thought the world had ended and Michael Phelps had won the Democratic Presidential Nomination! (Oh no wait…he took the place of GOD!…according to the media.) So you could imagine my shock and awe when I called the agents listing 505-507 44th Ave (an Outer Richmond two unit building asking $930,000) and they told me (within the first sentence mind you), and I kid you not, “Don’t even bother asking us to make an appointment if your client can’t pay $1.2M.”

Wait? Come again. (That’s what she said.) It’s listed on MLS as $930,000, the offer date came and went and you’re telling me you want $1.2M?

It was actually a bit worse of a conversation than all that I’ve shared (I can get a bit annoyed), but I cooled it down a bit in the end and got the agent to commit to “trying” to make an appointment. Turns out they had four offers previously and the client decided they want $1.2M.

Shitty market we’re in when you have four offers on the same Outer Richmond two unit building, isn’t it?

-505-507 44th Ave [sfnewsletter.com listing detail page]

St. Regis, 188 Minna #33D, Back on Market!

So you heard me complain, and cry, and moan that my clients missed out on unit 33D at the St. Regis. Well, now it’s back on the market, still $3,695,000, still spectacular, and still available. The buyer, which just so happened to be represented by the seller’s agent as well, has walked (the wife claiming the space just didn’t work).

My clients have determined that they aren’t quite sure South of Market is happening enough to purchase at the St. Regis, claiming it to be a bit “dead”, and now 33D awaits the next person looking for an A+ unit with spectacular views, floor to ceiling windows, an outdoor terrace, and a great floorplan. Comps will quickly point to unit 23D selling at $3.3M, but I’d like to point out that was an off-market deal and the buyer and seller were represented by the same agent (think not necessarily market price). So now that the dust has settled, 27D (at $3,475,000) and 33D (at $3,695,000) are both available, things could get interesting.

There is still one other unit “available”, but not yet on the market in the “F” stack, should you be interested.

-188 Minna #33D [Pacific Union Listing, $3,695,000]

-188 Minna #27D [listing detail $3,475,000]

Developer Special (not on market) in Haight Ashbury

We hesitate to provide the address of this property (as always to preserve privacy), but at the same time we feel it our obligation to put out to a larger audience some potential deals that might be right up your alley. Should you, or your friends, be interested in taking this property off the hands of the current owner (around $1.8-2M) feel free to contact us.

facade
(We can see you MapJack O’holics cruising now.)

It’s got some potential for the right person, and “permits and plans for redoing the entire house and expanding the garage to a two car garage. [The owners] have gotten as far as completing a total demolition of the interior space. The house is about 4000 square feet, 6bd/4ba”, it’s located in a great area of the Haight Ashbury district, and we want you to have it.

If you recognize this kitchen, you know the home.

demokit

…and of course that facade will let you know if it’s something you desire. We also tend to think this better for an owner-occupier rather than developer, so if you’re looking to remodel a home, need this kind of space, and don’t plan on flipping, opportunity knocks.