San Francisco Is The Best City, Has The Most College Educated People, Oldest Women, And Most Homeless People, And Lots Of Fog…What Else?

By the numbers: San Francisco has an estimated population of 837,442 (per U.S. Census), we live within 47 square miles, our calves are bursting out of our jeans, and who needs squats (we have hills…apparently 43 – 50 “named” hills). We have a ton of billionaires, and even more homeless. We have old ladies, and lots of lawyers. But really, have a look at the rest.

San Francisco is:

  • America’s best city, per Bloomberg Businessweek
  • 2nd best metro area in the country for resident “well-being” (after San Jose-Santa Clara), per 2014 Gallup/Healthways survey
  • America’s most pretentious city (followed by NYC, Boston & Minneapolis), per Travel + Leisure reader survey
  • 1st in college degrees per square mile: 7031, per U.S. Census; 3rd in graduate degrees per capita (after DC and Seattle), per Forbes
  • 3rd worst metro area commute (after DC and LA): average of 61 hours of delay in traffic per year, per Texas A&M Transportation Institute
  • 5th best city for dogs, per PawNation; est. 120,000 dogs live in SF, per City Govt.
  • Last in children per capita (14%); approx. 113,000 children under 18, per U.S. Census
  • 3rd in lawyers per capita by metro area (after DC & NYC); 2nd highest mean wage for lawyers, $169,000 (after San Jose), per Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • 3rd in number of billionaires (i.e. the Bay Area, after Moscow and New York): 65 billionaires (25 in SF), though it fluctuates depending on stock prices, per SFLuxe
  • 1st in homeless residents per capita, per Philanthropedia; percentage living below poverty level, 13.2%, per U.S. Census
  • 14th largest city in the U.S.; 2nd most densely populated city in the U.S. (after NYC)
  • Misc. Fact – Estimated change in population since 2010: 32,000, per U.S. Census; new housing units added since 2010: approx. 4200, per SF Planning Dept.
  • Highest median asking residential rent in U.S.: $3256/month, per livelovely.com; 4th least affordable city by median-rent-to-median-income ratio – 40.7%, per Zillow
  • 186th on Best Drivers List, per Allstate
  • 11th most gay friendly city, per The Advocate 2014 ranking; 1st in LGBT percentage of residents, 15.4%, and 4th by total population, per Census Bureau
  • 6th highest rate of vehicle theft, per Natl. Insurance Crime Bureau; 5400/year stolen in SF & 28,500 in Bay Area, with 85-90% recovered, per Bay Area News Group
  • Misc. Fact – Every year, approx. 70,000 cars are towed ($500+ fee) & 1,529,000 tickets issued in San Francisco, per Towing & Recovery & SFMTA
  • 2nd in “walkability” (after NYC), per WalkScore
  • 8th most bike-friendly city (Portland is 1st), per Bicycling Magazine
  • 3rd best city to visit in the U.S. (after NYC and Chicago), per Traveler’s Choice Destination Awards and Condé Nast Readers’ Choice
  • Greenest city in North America, per The Economist; 2nd greenest city in the world (after Reykjavik), per Green Uptown
  • Bay Area is 1st in hybrid and electric car sales: 9.4% of all sales are hybrid; .52% of sales are electric, per R.L. Polk & Co.
  • 2nd fittest city in the U.S. (after Portland), per Men’s Fitness
  • 1st in women’s life expectancy: 84.5 years; 2nd in women’s well-being (after DC), per Measure of America
  • 2nd smartest city in the U.S. (after Seattle; tied with Boston), per Co.Exist; approx. 35 Nobel Prize winners live in the Bay Area, per SF Business Times
  • 4th most liberal major city in the U.S. (Oakland is #3), per Center for Voting Research. If smaller cities are included, Berkeley comes in 3rd, Oakland 5th and SF 9th
  • Best city for dining out, per Bon Appétit readers’ poll; best for ethnic food dining, per Travel + Leisure; most restaurants per capita, per Frommer’s
  • 10th on the Global Financial Centres Index; 3rd in U.S. (after NYC and Boston)
  • 15th best city for hippies (Eugene is #1 and Berkeley is #8), per Estately Blog
  • 2nd in Fortune 500 companies: 31, with recent addition of Facebook (ranking refers to Bay Area; NYC metro area is 1st with 66), per Fortune
  • 194th in cost of doing business, per Forbes
  • Misc. Fact – Avg. SF internet download speed: 22.2 Mbps vs. U.S. average of 22.9; Kansas City is at 86.3 Mbps; Provo at 84.9; NYC at 31; Austin at 27.2, per Ookla
  • SF population breakdown: 42% non-Hispanic white (vs. 64% U.S.), 34% Asian (vs. 5% U.S.), 15% Hispanic/Latino (vs. 16%), 6% black (vs. 13%), 1% Native American (n/c), .5% Pacific Islander (.2%), per U.S. Census
  • 4th in percentage of foreign-born residents: 30% for SF-Oakland metro area; 36% for SF alone (behind Miami, San Jose-Santa Clara and LA), per U.S. Census
  • Misc. Fact – Highest minimum wage in the country: $10.74/hour as of January 2014 (with a ballot measure to raise it to $15 expected in November)
  • 21st highest office rent in the world & 4th highest in U.S. (after NY Midtown, DC East End, Boston Back Bay): SF Financial District, $70/sq.ft./year, per Cushman Wakefield
  • 8th best city for drinking, per Forbes
  • 13th highest rate of consumer cell phone loss or theft (35%), per Symantec; more than 50% of SF robberies involve the theft of a mobile device, per SF Police Dept.
  • 3rd most inventive city in the world by patent applications per capita (after Eindhoven in the Netherlands and San Diego), per the OECD
  • 3rd best city for parks in U.S. (after Minneapolis and NYC), 5384 acres equaling 18% of the city’s area, per Trust for Public Land
  • 3rd in U.S. for number of “ultra-high-net-worth” individuals worth $30m+ (after NYC and LA), per Wealth-X; 10% of wealthiest Americans live in Bay Area, per SFLuxe
  • Highest median home price, per National Association of Realtors: $960,000, 1st quarter 2014, per SFARMLS; homeownership rate is 37% vs. 65% for U.S., per Census Bureau
  • 33rd most visited city in the world, per Euromonitor Intl.; 16.9 million visitors in 2013 (or 20 visitors per resident)
  • Misc. Fact – the Bay Area has 2 universities in the top-ranked 6 of the world: Stanford, UC Berkeley; 3 in the top 31 (add UCSF), per Times Higher Education Ranking report
  • 1st in the U.S. for real estate investment/development opportunity, per Urban Land Inst.
  • 2nd most charitable city (after Seattle), per Daily Beast; 8th most generous in online giving, per Convio; as a multi-county metro area, 310th in percentage of adjusted gross income donated (2.8%), per National Center for Charitable Statistics
  • 9th “coolest” city in the U.S., per Forbes (Houston, DC and LA were 1, 2 & 3)
  • Misc. Fact – Average number of foggy days per year: 108, per Current Results
  • Best city for Halloween trick or treating, per Zillow
  • That ought to keep you all discussing for a while.

    SF vs. NY – The Debate Continues

    Way back on October 15th, 2007 I wrote a post: Battle Royale: San Francisco or New York City, If You Had To Chose. It was, and still is, an extremely popular article that has garnered over 100 comments, and still ranks incredibly high on search engine queries of the like. For a small shop like mine, that’s pretty impressive. Our readers shared some incredibly good points about both cities, and it is a debate that will likely go on well after I have physically left this Earth, and well after my kin have parted. There will never be a correct answer.

    Like I said back then, San Francisco has a ton of things to offer that New York simply doesn’t (immediate access to outdoor recreation probably falling top of my list), and there are things New York has that San Francisco simply never will (snowstorms and brutally cold weather come to mind). But it is what it is, and it will always be.

    That said, there were a couple articles written recently that I wanted to share with all of you that take a different approach to the topic, because I frequently get clients from out of town wondering what the heck San Francisco is all about. These two articles are not a question of whether one is better than the other, more a question of whether one has BECOME the other. In the end, they can certainly help you draw a conclusion about the city you’re buying into, and the city you might be leaving.

    In my humble opinion, San Francisco will never be New York, and New York will never be eclipsed by San Francisco. New York conjures up the image of power to me, it is the EMPIRE STATE after all. It moves fast. It never sleeps. It’s gritty. It’s tough. San Francisco (and I’ve lived here a while) brings to mind freedom, outdoor living, really smart people changing the world, getting rich, having fun, and living life to the fullest, but they will never have the power and image of the EMPIRE STATE. San Franciscans can puff their chests, but deep down they are fragile. We’re golden boys and girls living in the GOLDEN STATE, and that’s just fine.

    I could go on and on, but I digress. Both cities are amazing in their own right. Both cities have pluses and minuses. But if I’m not mistaken, Tony Bennett did not make famous a song about losing his heart in New York City.

    Just sayin’…

    -Is San Francisco New York [New York Times, Kevin Rose]
    -Why San Francisco Is Not New York [New York Times, Nick Bilton]
    -Battle Royale: San Francisco or New York City, If You Had To Chose [theFrontSteps, Alexander Clark]

    Bay Area Ski Season Is Here! But Wait, Do You Need Tahoe?

    The entire Bay Area is teeming with ski fever. More ski racks are showing up on cars, fleece and Gore-tex wear is on the rise, and non-stop chatter about ski leases is everywhere. But wait! Perhaps you should think more along the lines of an Ocean Beach ski lease.

    With a new swell on the way, and increased crowds out at Ocean Beach here in San Francisco, perhaps this will get your ski fix on, and wave count up?

    The “Islands of San Francisco”. We Can Just Call Them Neighborhoods

    I get a lot of questions along the lines of “where exactly is NOPA?”  Or “We were thinking of selling our home in Noe Valley, and moving to Pacific Heights…where exactly is Pacific Heights’ border?”  

    That kind of stuff.  
    Wonder no more, thanks to Burrito Justice

     

    This cool picture assumes the main streets have all vanished and we are a city of islands. So you can either do your own map mashing to see what streets go where, or just wait til next year when the 9.0 quake that’s coming hits, and the trailing tsunami turns our hills into islands, dust off your gondola (the Italian kind), and take to the streets for your tour…err the canals.

    Maximum Overbid Monday!

    Well now that we have the government shutdown (temporarily) behind us, let’s get back to the market at hand. It would appear there is a bit of a calm washing over our waters, but open house activity is still through the roof, so we might indeed be stuck in this craziness for a while. Case in point, San Francisco’s most recent Top 10 Overbids.

    Rank| Address | Property Type | Bed/Bath | DOM | Asking Price | Sale Price | % Over

    #1-709 York St: Single-Family; 2/2.00; 10 DOM; $799,000; $1,150,000; 43.93%
    #2-152 Hancock St: 2-4 Units; 26 DOM; $1,100,000; $1,557,000; 41.55%
    #3-82 Peralta Ave: Single-Family; 3/2.00; 28 DOM; $998,000, $1,380,000; 38.28%
    #4-514 Precita Ave: Single-Family; 2/1.00; 11 DOM; $925,000; $1,255,000, 35.68%
    #5-130 Randall St: Single-Family; 3/1.50; 7 DOM; $1,195,000; $1,575,000; 31.80%
    #6-3901 17th St: 5+ Units; 28 DOM; $2,300,000; $3,025,000; 31.52%
    #7-327 Richland Ave: Single-Family; 3/1.00; 35 DOM; $749,000; $980,000; 30.84%
    #8-515 Powhattan St: Single-Family; 2/1.00; 13 DOM; $708,000; $925,000; 30.65%
    #9-4430 Cabrillo St: 2-4 Units; 14 DOM; $925,000; $1,200,000; 29.73%
    #10- 1108 Cabrillo St: Single-Family; 3/1.50; 11 DOM; $1,295,000; $1,677,000; 29.50%

    [Copyright ©2013 TheGoods-SF.com. Visit www.thegoods-sf.com for more information. Data feed from SFAR MLS deemed accurate but not guaranteed.]

    This data set reflects properties that got into contract on average 30+ days ago, so it will be interesting to see how this continues. We look forward to providing this information to you every Monday, now that the Goods has made it easy for us to share it, so come on back!

    From San Francisco’s Sunnydale Projects To The Waves Of Marin: Escaping Violence In Search Of Fun

    “Me and my friend, we just started to have hecka fun…”
    “The last wave that I caught…it was SO huge…it was like, like 10-15 feet!”

    Hats off to the San Francisco locals that made this happen. Good stuff to warm your soul, and remind ourselves of the great people that live in our area. Chasing waves is certainly better for our youth than being chased by gang violence.

    -Rally.org/Rippleeffect [Vimeo]

    The Tiniest Living Spaces in San Francisco

    Do you like The Bold Italic? Excellent! So do we. You’ll be pleased to know we’ve given them Carte Blanche to share some of their content directly on theFrontSteps for you to enjoy. This is the first effort, and a damn good one to boot. [Modified from the original version to fit here, but we did the best we could. Hope you like.]

    hero

    Whether it’s a closet-esque studio or the short-straw bedroom in an apartment, San Franciscans have evolved to forgo sofas and square footage for some of the “coziest” living spaces in the country. I talked to the inhabitants of seven spaces registering toward the “speck of dust” end of the size spectrum to learn about the good and the bad of micro living.

    —–

    Bi-small_info-beau_071113-7Bi-bestf_photos-beau_071013
    Have you always lived in small spaces? 
    No, but this was a very deliberate choice to attempt minimalism, and I love it. SF is so expensive so I’m glad to be saving money on rent.

    What’s the most frustrating part of living with little space? 

    Frustrating? You’re always on the border of insanity! I find packing a suitcase is the thing that makes me go crazy. But I’ve learned to pack in the hall.

    What’s the best part?
    I have some very hoard-y tendencies in my family, so this room keeps me in check. And of course climbing up into my loft
    bed always kinda feels like a tree house adventure.

    How have you adapted to the space? 
    I worked with two Task Rabbit carpenters to plan out three zones in my 49 square feet: chilling, working, and sleeping. Unfortunately, I mostly do one
    of those!
    How do people react to your place when they first see it? 
    People enter the room at normal room-entering speed and then are surprised to find so little.

     

     

     

     

    —–

    Bi-small_info-jackie_071013-4Bi-bestf_photos-jackie_071013

    What’s the most frustrating part of living with little space?
    Keeping it organized. It’s easy to just throw things when I come and go. You have to get creative – good thing I had Tetris training as a kid.

    What’s the best part? 

    No roommates.

    How have you adapted to the space? 
    Shelves and bins and just not being too serious.
    What did you have to sacrifice when you moved in? 
    Not having to fold up my bed when I have company.

    Is storage an issue? 

    I make it work. Example: I keep my mannequins (photography props) in my bathroom.

    Do you think one day it will get to you? 
    Yup. And then I’ll move.

    Do people ever remark about the place when they first see it? 
    All the time. They think I’m a hoarder until they enter all they way, then they realize it is just really fucking small.

     

     

     

     

     

    —–

    Bi-small_info-jacobarianne_071013-2Bi-bestf_photos-jacobarianne_071013

    Have you always lived in small spaces?Jacob – I lived in one other really small place in Venice Beach with my then-girlfriend and it killed our relationship after about a month. This space is just right, though. We make it work quite well.Ari – My smallest apartments have always been my favorite. You can live in every corner and make it your own. I hate wasted space.
    Do you like it? 
    We love it! Even if we could afford a giant SF apartment, we would keep this little place.
    What’s the most frustrating part of living with little space?
    Bulging closets – we both have a lot of clothing. And not having room for dinner parties or out-of-town guests. On the other hand, the small apartment gets us out around town more. We spend a lot of time stretching our legs in Golden Gate Park.

    Do you ever fantasize about having a larger space?
    We’re scheming to take over our neighbor’s apartment for a huge closet and a library.
    Is storage an issue? 
    Always. Our closets are compressed bricks of fabric. Ari’s shoes rove around the studio in a big bag.

     

     

     

     

     

    —–

    Bi-small_info-helenjoshzoe_071113-4Bi-bestf_photos-helenjoshzoe_071013

    Have you lived in small spaces before? 

    Josh and I lived in a small (but very space-efficient) studio in Japan in a small town south of Kyoto for about a year. We lived on a sailboat for a month (never slept on land, though of course went on land
    to shop).

    How did the decision to turn the closet into a nursery come about? 

    We turned a closet into a nursery out of necessity. We would have loved to move into a two-bedroom apartment before Zoe was born but because rents are so high right now, it didn’t make financial sense. So we decided to make it work.
    I was still skeptical that we could do it but Josh kept reminding me that if we lived in Japan, we’d probably do with even less space.

    What’s the best and most difficult part of the situation?

    I think the most difficult part was finding the time and energy to sort through all our stuff to make room. It’s amazing what you can accumulate in 10 years. The best part is that it’s made us really think about what we want to buy. There are so many things you can get for babies but we need to buy smart and only things we absolutely need.

    Anything else noteworthy? 

    This isn’t tiny-space related, but when Josh and I were writing a book on San Francisco, we found out that Robert Crumb used to hang out here a lot. It turns out his brother lived in our apartment for years and Robert Crumb would give our landlord some of his drawings. Josh wrote him to ask about his time in SF and in our place, and Robert Crumb sent us a handwritten letter back that we
    still have on the wall.

    —–

    Bi-small_info-sophie_071013-2Bi-bestf_photos-sophie_071013

    What’s the most frustrating part of living with little space? 

    What has been most frustrating is that I currently don’t have room for a desk. I am used to having a space where I can spread out, do projects, read, etc. Right now that space is my bed, which you might imagine, is not the favorable place to get work done. As for keeping it clean, by nature, I am a pretty organized person, but in the past I would have my “off” days – because the space would allow for it. But now that my room is so small, I can’t spare the space for any messes. Literally, there is place for everything, and everything is in its place, otherwise I’d go nuts. It’s actually almost easier to clean because there isn’t enough room for a broom; I just wipe a rag on where the floor is exposed and voilà.

    What’s the best part?

    I don’t ever lose anything. I can
    see every corner of my room so there is nowhere I could possibly misplace anything.

    Do you ever fantasize about having a larger space?

    All the time, but mostly because I’ll get bored with the layout of the room and want to change it up.Unfortunately, with the size, there is only really one way the furniture can be arranged.

    Do people ever remark about the place when they first see it?

    I think every person that has stepped foot in here has made some comment about how tiny the space is, even after several warnings. I once dated a guy who refused to stay here because the room was too small. To his credit, he was a giant, so I guess I get it.

     

    —–

    Bi-small_info-wesamanda_071013-2Bi-bestf_photos-wesamanda_071013

    What’s the most frustrating part of living with little space?

    Balancing work and living space is probably the most difficult aspect of our apartment. Amanda runs her makeup business from home and I’m often up late working on freelance projects. Having your desk across from your bed can be the nemesis of productivity.

    Do you ever fantasize about having a larger space? 

    Honestly, not really. We find a lot of satisfaction in working within our constraints and slowly upgrading furniture, foliage, and other pieces as our tight budget allows.

    Do you think one day it will get to you?

    I guess most of our complaints are pretty typical of a 90-year-old apartment building: a smoke detector that’s located just feet from the kitchen stove (and can’t tell the difference between dinner and a four-alarm fire), closets that are just a tiny bit narrower than the average clothes hanger, and enough electrical outlets to invest in an impressive number of extension cords. On most days the square footage we have to work with is the least of our worries.

     

     

    —–

    Bi-small_info-alyona_071013-2Bi-bestf_photos-alyona_071013

    What’s the best part of living with such little space? 

    It’s just so cozy. That’s the best part. People naturally like things that are small and cute, and that perfectly describes my apartment. All my furniture is small too, so it’s like living in this miniature world that’s all mine.

    What’s the most frustrating?

    Counter space is definitely a problem. I am already missing the cooking gene, and learning to cook while trying to balance the cutting board on the teeny tiny space between the sink and dish rack – not ideal.

    How have you adapted to the space? 

    My closet is so small that I switch the clothes out seasonally and store the rest at my parents’ house. Also, I use the microwave as a
    plant stand.

    Do you ever fantasize about having a larger space? 

    I fantasize about it a lot. Closets, couches, and counter space.

    What did you have to sacrifice when you moved in?

    Being able to host out-of-town guests, and also having a couch that’s not also my bed.

    Is storage an issue?

    Definitely. Like Carrie in Sex and the City, there have been times when I’ve stored sweaters in my oven. Good thing I can’t bake if my life depends on it!

    Do you think one day it will get to you? 

    There are only so many times in your life you want to push the clothes in the closet with all your might just to be able to extract that one dress you wanted to wear. I think fairly soon, I will be ready for a bigger place, where I can host out-of-town guests, store all my shoes and clothes at once, and not have to pick between a toaster and a juicer.

     

    —–

    Bi-small_info-lindsay_071013-2Bi-bestf_photos-lindsay_071013

    Have you ever lived in a smaller space than this one?

    The smallest space I’ve ever lived
    in was where I lived before this studio; it was the tiniest studio I had ever seen. It was in a building at the top of Nob Hill, which afforded the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge,but I literally had a foot wide path to walk through in my living area because everything was so jammed into the space.

    Do you like it?

    I love my studio now- compared to my last place this is a mansion!

    What’s the most  frustrating part of living with little space?

    STORAGE. I have a walk in closet, but it is stuffed to the gills with all of my stuff. I walk in there to get something and walk right back out because sometimes I just can’t deal with having to find stuff in there. Also, entertaining is next to impossible. I hosted a birthday brunch for myself a few months back, and twenty-something people were scattered all over the floor; my cat was getting into everyone’s plates and I’m sure at least 5 glasses of champagne were spilled. It was a mess.

    Do you ever fantasize about having a larger space?

    My boyfriend and I are moving to NYC in August and we will be finding a place together. NYC is the wrong city to move to if you’re looking for larger spaces! But, as cheesy as it sounds, it’s not really the size that matters but the energy you create within a space that makes it “home.” Mostly, I just want to have a garden someday! The closest I have to a garden now is some dying plants on a fire escape.

    Anything else interesting or noteworthy?

    Well as I’m writing this, the only thing I can think of is how loud it is outside my window. Living on Geary is a mistake! It is the LOUDEST street in SF!

     

    —–

    Bi-small_info-jennifer_071013-2Bi-bestf_photos-jennifer_071013

    Have you always lived in small spaces?

    Only in San Francisco…

    What’s the most frustrating part of living  with little space?

    Clutter builds quickly and easily. I’m always trying to find creative ways to create storage.

    What’s the best part? 

    It’s easier to clean, and makes me restrict any impulse shopping.

    How have you accommodated/adjusted  to the space?

    My place didn’t come with a closet, so I had a custom loft-bed built so I could use the space underneath as storage. I also modified a butcher-block table by chopping off the legs and putting wheels on them, so I could use it as my combination desk/dining/coffee table just by rolling it around the space as I
    need it.

    What did you have to sacrifice when you moved in?

    I had a pretty big book collection since college, along with a pretty big video collection (both VHS & DVD). I didn’t have enough room for both collections, so I donated all my books to the SF Library…but kept all my videos.

    —–

    (Written by Jessica Saia. Photography by Abby Wilcox. Design by Ryan Raphael. Originally published on The Bold Italic.)

    Battle Royale: San Francisco Or London, If You Had To Choose…

    The reader comment that sparked the idea for this post, and hopefully fun debate to follow: “I’m an American living in London for the last 3 years and there is no doubt that London is more civilised and cultured than either New York or SF. My children have benefited greatly from the vastly superior free education here. The average Londoner is far, far better educated and has vacationed widely in Europe and the world. This means that the creative and cultural scene in London is geared to a much higher cultural level than in the US. Much of NY culture is geared to a low to medium level to reflect this. Just watch BBC news compared to the US news networks. London simply feels that it is centre of world culture today and more multicultural than New York or SF. We Americans can learn a lot from this city as it definately holds the crown.”

    To add a little history to these “Battle Royales“…We’ve done a few over the years that have varied from topic to topic: New York City or San Francisco; LA or SF; Cole Valley or Noe Valley; Realtor or Politician; and the list goes on. They’ve been read thousands of times over, and it’s your comments that make them so great and the reason people keep coming back to read more.

    The way we see it…

    London has an iconic Bridge:
    london-city520
    San Francisco has an iconic Bridge:
    GoldenGateBridgeSanFrancisco520
    London has English Premier League Football and plays host to such teams as Arsenal, Tottenham, West Ham United, Chelsea, and Fulham:
    footballengland
    San Francisco has just one team, the “World” (perhaps National would be a better word?) Champion San Francisco Giants (can’t count the 49ers, as they’re moving to Santa Clara, but watch out for those Golden State Warriors looking to plant their roots on San Francisco soil):
    giants
    London has tea:
    Afternoon-tea
    San Francisco has great coffee now around every corner:
    coffeesf
    London has the Double Decker Bus:
    doubledeck
    San Francisco has the Cable Car:
    cablecar
    London is the home of Her Majesty the Queen of England:
    queen
    San Francisco has its share of “Queens” too:
    gaypride
    London is proud of their Fish and Chips:
    fishchips
    San Francisco is proud of their Dungeness Crab:

    London has COLD surf nearby:
    winter_surfing_03
    San Francisco has COLD and BIG surf nearby:
    IMG_0810
    So you see, both places have their pluses and minuses, and that’s our two cents, but we really want to hear from all of you readers, you readers on both sides of the Pond.

    Please share your comments and perspectives in the comment section below, click that “share” button, or “Like” this on your Facebook page, Tweet it on Twitter, don’t forget to take the poll at the top of the page, and ask your friends and family to chime in.

    Believe it or not, people from around the world often refer to these “Battles” when researching this wonderful city we call home, and whether or not they’d like to live here, and if they do move here, which area would be the best place for them.

    Go Giants..and Tottenham Hotspurs!

    “I Bet It Sold For…” There’s An App (In San Francisco) For That

    Just Sold (the app) wants you to put your money where your mouth is (assuming you’re betting people like ourselves), and guess the sales price of homes in San Francisco and our oh-so hyperlocal neighborhoods, and they’ve made a game of it (because isn’t that what all this crazy overbidding is anyway? A Game.)

    justsoldtheo

    The concept is simple, pull up your desired ‘hood, find a property, guess what it sold for. Get it right, or get it wrong, and move on to the next. It’s another great way for you to get to know your neighborhood sales as they happen, and another great way for you to claim ultimate real estate knowledge from the comfort of that big fat armchair you’re sitting in. Call out your neighbors, call out your friends. You know you’re the expert, and don’t let any Realtor tell you otherwise.

    theosold

    After you download this app, you might ask yourself, “Why can’t I see ALL of the recent sales in San Francisco?” Well now, that’s a long murky story, but ultimately, the MLS holds that data, and they don’t want you to have access to it, unless it’s coming from your real estate agent, and you’ve established a “relationship” with said agent. We’ll leave it at that.

    Currently two brokerages allow their listings to display on the app (Zephyr Real Estate, and Hill & Co.), so until MLS either loosens its grip, or other brokerages opt in to sharing on this service too, that’s all you’re gonna get.

    Anyhow, check out the app. It’s kinda fun…

    -Just Sold in iTunes Store [Apple]
    -Just Listed, Just Sold San Francisco [sfnewsletter/MarketTracker]
    -Some insight on how to bid in this market [theFrontSteps]

    Comment Du Jour: From San Francisco Shack To Seattle Mid Century For Under $650,000

    When readers comment, we listen…

    Abuseintake writes in reaction to the $401,000 Overbid at 235 28th Street in Noe Valley:

    …moved from a $750,000 2 bed, 1 bath shack in Dogpatch and bought a 2,800 sq.ft, 3 bed, 2 3/4 bath mid-century split-level with a stunning view, for $645,000…in Seattle. You can keep SFO.

    Abuseintake took it one step further to share some comparable properties in his/her area of Seattle, should you be so inclined to peruse them.

    Sounds like a good time to sell and wander for you San Francisco residents pondering a move to greener pastures.

    Just sayin’…

    -<a href="“Maximum Overbid Of the Week: 235 28th Street, Noe Valley [theFrontSteps]

    The Ultimate Agent Photo Fail X 6…Actually X 7

    If you saw our recent post about the house with all that fabulous ($302,000 worth of) furniture for sale, none of which you got to see in the marketing, you might have been just as curious as us about said furniture.

    Lucky for all of us (lest curiosity killed this cat), we dug a little deeper and found that the previous listing holds all the answers. The furniture is there, and….well, it’s furniture, so whatevs. But what’s really awesome is how many times you get to see the agent’s photo ghost. Six times! (Seven if you count the double mirror shot.)

    We can hear the conversation now, “It’s such a hot market all you gotta do is slap a sign out front and throw it on MLS.” Not true. So not true. There is an art to multiple offers and Maximum Overbids. And there is clearly a new art of agent marketing and self promotion we have yet to discover.

    -$302,000 Worth Of Furniture Comes With This House…Sort Of [theFrontSteps]
    -San Francisco’s Sexiest Realtor 2009 [theFrontSteps]

    $302,000 Worth Of Furniture Comes With This House…Sort Of

    Originally listed for sale in the Fall of 2012 for $1,850,000, price chopped, relisted a mere 11 days ago, now asking $1,798,000, this property apparently has an “expansive, unobstructed view of the City and the bay”, but that’s not all.

    From the “agent only” remarks we occasionally can’t help but to share with you. It’s a “beautifully remodeled home in Diamond Heights, with the option to buy the house furnished for $2,100,000.00. Show this house blind.”

    21ora

    Are we the only ones that are confused by the marketing of a home that apparently has a fabulous remodel, great views, and great furniture ($302,000 worth), none of which we get to see?

    Oh…hold on, hold on, hold on. It’s there…”Show this house blind“. Now we get it.

    -21 Ora, San Francisco [MLS]

    The Classic Ocean Beach, San Francisco Moment…

    There are so many things happening in this sunset pic I just had to share…

    I snapped this while I was sitting on the trunk of my car having just changed out of my wetsuit on Tuesday afternoon/evening down at Ocean Beach. What is so great is that the crew in the foreground was straight out of a movie. They rolled up in a beat up van with the fan on the dashboard, foam dice hanging from the rear view mirror, and smoke (of the cannabis kind) spilling from the van. They staggered out (check out the one dude’s frizzy fro), hauled their bongo drums to the bench, and set up shop. Cerveza Modelo was flowing, the one guy with the flame shirt claims to have been in Santana (the band), drums were being played, Espanish and Spanglish (say that with a South American accent) was being spoken, girls were being whistled at, and “Viva Fidel Castro” was being shouted loud after every song. The tunes they played were very Cubana and they engaged every person around. They got two girls to join in and share in the dance (and smoke), and their their universe seemed complete. The sun was setting, the waves were pumping, and the music was loud…so my universe was rotating perfectly too.

    Take a minute to check out this photo and all that is going on…classic Ocean Beach, San Francisco moment to take you to your weekend.

    San Francisco: Best City In The Nation To Trick Or Treat!

    As if you didn’t have enough reasons to live here…

    San Francisco is number one for many things, but this recent honor is by far the sweetest…

    Top 10 Ranking of best cities in the United States to Trick or Treat:
    1. San Francisco
    2. Boston
    3. Honolulu
    4. Seattle
    5. San Jose
    6. Chicago
    7. Los Angeles
    8. Portland
    9. Philadelphia
    10.Washington

    -Zillow Ranks Best places to Trick or Treat in the U.S. [Zillow Blog]

    “In San Fran We Don’t Judge No One!!!!”

    Sometimes you just need someone else to remind you why San Francisco is just THAT great [edited slightly for syntax]:

    San Francisco all day everyday!!! First of all in San Fran we dont jugde no one!!!!!!! Gays, poor, it don’t matter. San Fran is soooo much prettier than LA. LA is sooo much traffic, ugly nasty yuck no thanks, and San Francisco isn’t even that cold. What does LA have??? Nothing important. San Francisco Cable Cars
    Coit Tower
    Alcatraz
    Giants
    The Wharf
    Come on norcal all dayy baby

    Well said…well said.

    -Battle Royale: San Francisco or Los Angeles, If You Had To Chose and Why… [theFrontSteps]

    Facebook Friday Open House? Really? Come On!

    It took exactly less than one full day for the real estate industry to latch on to yet more of the Facebook effect hype, and send off a bit of spam that caught my eye: Facebook Friday Open House? Really?

    How about just “Come see this amazing house on Friday”. Why Facebook Friday?

    Any reports of a “Facebook Frappuccino” at Starbucks today? Or how about an order of “Facebook Fries” at McDonalds? Just sayin’….

    Looks like a cool house though.

    -5626 Vine Hill Road, Sebastapol, California: $5,100,000 [Redfin]

    Sorry Smith, Nguyen Wins. Lee A Close Second. Garcia In Third.

    Top 10 California Home Buyer Surnames:

    Excellent and relevant data C.A.R! I’m gonna go get me a mailing list of Nguyens, Lees, and Chens, and sell me some houses!

    The complete report is below (in PowerPoint). Have a ball with the data. I did.

    Buyers be warned. Instead of being asked for proof of funds, agents are going to start asking you for your “first and surname” LOL!

    -California Home Buyer and Seller Profile Report (PowerPoint)