Category Archives: Letters to Editor

Telegraph Hill Neighbors: “Our Opposition Is Unconditional”

Ahhh….neighbors. You love ‘em. You hate ‘em. You can’t live in San Francisco without ‘em, and you certainly can’t easily remodel a home to today’s standards without opposition from them. Check out what just hit our inbox:
telhill1small1
If, for some reason, you can’t see the letter, which we uploaded as an image, we’ll go ahead and tell ya what it says:

Dear Mr. [deleted]:
We are neighbors on Telegraph Hill who will oppose any changes to the building envelope at [deleted] owned by [deleted] in this historic district of Telegraph Hill. While the Hill has suffered through renovations in the past, projects such as yours have occurred with extreme environmental changes. Water drainage issues on Telegraph Hill regarding a nearby project created unfavorable slope instability–buildings have been lost and a large boulder ended up on Sansome Street. Additionally, neighbors on [deleted] and surrounds are tired of construction noise and delays in completion caused by projects such as yours. A recent project took 10 years and is still incomplete.

Telegraph Hill is a historic district whose character depends upon building ownership which understands the value of building enhancement not as building expansion, but building enhancement as careful care in keeping up properties in their historic dimension. We find your application to be sadly ignorant of the need to abide by the common elements vital to the neighborhood and its character.

Your proposal to enhance the property needs to be cognizant of the historic preservation without additional elevation or facade changes in all directions. Projects like yours have been attempted in the past and have turned out badly.

While we many of us may be away during your pre-application meeting time, please understand that our opposition is unconditional.

Sincerely,
Your neighbors and friends on Telegraph Hill
[Thirteen names deleted]

Just another bump in the road for a developer out there trying to bring a home that has sat vacant since WWII (yes, that long) into our housing stock…before it falls off the hill or gets consumed by the pests and rodents feasting on its rotting self. But Hey! It’s “historic”.

[Update: We're told none of the authors of this letter took the time to actually visit the property at the open house outreach, and none have contacted the developer, or the architect (aside from this letter) to begin a dialogue of constructive or courteous negotiations.]

You gotta love San Francisco and all the righteousness it preserves…

-Telegraph Hill Landslide forces 120 from homes… [SFGate]
-San Francisco Neighborhoods prone to liquefaction…[theFrontSteps]

Letter To Editor: “Defamation, Slander, Law Suit” Fun!

Life at theFrontSteps is nothing but sunshine and roses. Ummm, maybe not. Today, we give you the most recent friendly email to come our way, with a few things [removed] to protect privacy:

[Editor], It is unfortunate that I have to write you this email. A client of mine [removed] sent me this link to one of your blogs. Please know that if you continue to [post certain things] on-line, I will file a defamation of character and slander law suit in 5 minutes. You did not mention me by name, but have already affected my reputation [removed] with this blog. This is the most desperate and pathetic attempt I have ever seen by an agent to procure business. I could sue you right now based on the sales and records I have made [in the past]. Your implications are quite damaging and it will not be tolerated. Please remove these insulting and malicious comments off this site immediately or [your company] and you will hear from my attorneys before you can write another irresponsible, unresearched, innaccuate and unethical statement. By the way, you are using my photos for commercial use. Please cease and desist from this.

Sincerely,
[One upset agent]

And you thought this blogging stuff is easy, and always fun….

Letter to the Editor: “$2+ million on 22nd between Valencia and Guerrero (3373 22nd St)” and some East Bay insight

Part 1:

We noticed it [3373 22nd Street] hadn’t had a Sunday open in a while, but rather than a pending or sold sign outside – we noticed the sign was just gone yesterday. It isn’t on the public mls as in contract – it just isn’t there. You know the scoop?

We are dying to know the final sales price. It was our perfect house in our perfect location – but a very unperfect price. So it wasn’t just the price – it was the price plus the people who were squatting in the house before the developer bought it, who still like to hang out around the house. For 2 + million – I don’t want to regularly have to ask the neighborhood characters to loiter elsewhere.

Now, we don’t know for certain which property you’re talking about, but imagine you’re talking 3373 22nd St, so we’ll go ahead and assume.

According to MLS it closed on 7/10/08 for a sales price of $1,950,000 (original asking was $2,095,000, originally listed 5/1…love that day!), and we heard the buyer represented himself (mls states the same). Last sale was 11/05 for a sales price of $920,000 and has definitely been fixed up since then.

Part 2:

And while I’m asking – I’ll give you a bit of insight from the east bay. We were supposed to close yesterday on our house in Oakland – only the bank hasn’t delivered loan docs yet. We have a jumbo loan and found the very last bank willing to do a 20% loan. Everyone else wanted 25% down or ridiculous rates. There is no problem with the loan – the bank is just backed up. We likely won’t close until sometime next week and the sellers are rolling with it. I was fully prepared to have to beg and plead for them not to walk – but we are hearing from our agent that a lot of deals are closing late. Is it the same over there?

Deals closing late, or the begging and pleading? We’re seeing a bit more of both. ;-)

Thanks for the insight on the East Bay, thanks for your email, and thanks for reading!

Letters to Editor: “I have been forced to get a day job”-Realtor

From a New York reader:

I was reading an old blog post of yours about starving real estate agents. Boy can I relate. I have been forced to get a “day job” ugh, and do [real estate] at night and weekends. I need to get back on track so I can quit that damn day job!

-J

Expired and FSBO(for sale by owner) Listings my Specialty!

We’re feeling your pain, but likely our reader “Ramen4Realtors” is laughing his/her head off. Regardless, we’re always looking for good writers…(it doesn’t pay, but at least you can vent.)

-Theory of the Starving Real Estate Agent [theFrontSteps]

Letter to Editor: “The buyers are the ones who are panicking…”

We received this email after our post regarding the apparent panic amongst some Realtors in San Francisco:

From a fellow SF Realtor…

I think Realtors looking for plugs for their listings is an attempt to cater to the new mentality of todays Buyers – not a sign of panic. The Buyers are the ones who are panicking as a result of the garbage being published practically daily about the real estate market tanking (thank you SF Chronicle, for one). They are being trained to believe that the only reason to buy in SF is if you can get a deal, be on the inside track, take advantage of something before others do, etc. So having you plug a “special” property works well. Realtors are just smart and know how to target their market :) But as we (Realtors) all know, at the end of the day it still comes down to location & price – not just a tip. The truth is, any serious Buyer is looking at a multitude of sites or has a good agent and can find said property without a lot of trouble, assuming it’s not a pocket listing. But as they say, perception is reality and if the Buyer thinks they’ve found a real jewel, that’s what Realtors are banking on. Literally!

Have a great day,

Thanks for the email…