Category Archives: Cole Valley

Five White-Hot Districts In A Red-Hot San Francisco Real Estate Market

July 2013 Special Report

Virtually every area of San Francisco and the Bay Area has been experiencing dramatic home-value appreciation in the past 12 to 18 months. Some that were hard hit by distressed property sales, which experienced the largest price declines, have surged in price but remain 20% – 30% below previous peak values reached in 2006 – 2008. As a state, California is still about 25% below its 2007 pre-crash median home price. And in San Francisco itself, many if not most neighborhoods now appear to have re-attained or moved slightly beyond previous high points.

But in this past quarter, a handful of neighborhoods and districts in the city have leapt well beyond the highest average home values achieved in the past. Interestingly, comparing these white-hot areas with one another, there are often huge differences in property type, era and style of construction, and neighborhood culture or ambiance. But all of them have been very affected by affluent – often newly affluent – high-tech professionals of one age group and level of affluence or another. Naturally, these neighborhoods are highly desired by other buyers too – often professionals in finance, bio-tech, medicine and law – but the high-tech-buyer dynamic has generally super-charged these markets in particular.

However, please note that the difference we’re talking about between these neighborhoods and the rest of the city is between white hot and red hot: Quite honestly, they’re all very hot markets right now.

The Inner Mission 

Super hot, super hip, generally young: this neighborhood has seen very dramatic changes since the early nineties as a classic process of gentrification occurred — changes which have recently accelerated. Houses here are often large, classic Victorians, while the condos are mostly modern, built within the last decade or so. This area has a large, vibrant and diverse commercial district centered around Mission and Valencia Streets, but is still close to Noe Valley and the Castro. This chart focuses on the condo market, in which values are approximately 15% above the previous peak.

Noe Valley – Eureka Valley (Castro) – Dolores Heights 

These neighborhoods are part of a district that includes Cole Valley, Ashbury Heights, Clarendon & Corona Heights, Duboce Triangle, Mission Dolores and Glen Park, all of which have seen enormous recent appreciation. Housing here is typically older, built in the first 4 decades of the last century; there are many parks for kids and pets; the streets are tree-lined and the ambiance of the neighborhoods is relaxed and family friendly. This district surged in popularity and price in the mid-late nineties, was one of the last to peak in value in 2008, and has been at the forefront of the market rebound which started early here, in 2011. Among other advantages, it has relatively easy access to highways south to Silicon Valley. The district also has a large condo market, but this chart focuses on house values.

South Beach & Yerba Buena 

After the Embarcadero freeway came down in 1991 and then AT&T Park built in 2000, this area changed from a place for B-class offices and car stereo installations to the home of some of the most dramatic and expensive condo and loft buildings in the country. More condos are now sold here than anyplace else in the city and high-floor units with staggering views often sell for millions of dollars – one sold for $28 million. It’s popular with a number of demographics – high-tech and bio-tech workers working in offices nearby in SoMa and Mission Bay, financial district professionals, and empty-nesters who want to enjoy city life and have all the amenities, but without the responsibility of maintaining a house. Affluent foreign buyers are also a significant segment. Its neighborhood ambiance is very urban. This chart is for condos below the price of $1,800,000, but the dynamic for ultra-luxury condos is also white hot, with an average dollar per square foot value of over $1200.

Bernal Heights 

Like Noe Valley and Glen Park, Bernal Heights was originally a blue-collar neighborhood filled with Victorian houses. Noe Valley soared in value first, becoming wildly popular, and now people who want a similar family-friendly neighborhood ambiance, but at a more affordable cost, have increasingly turned to Bernal Heights. It also has easy access to highways south to the peninsula.

 

Hayes Valley-North of Panhandle (NoPa)-Alamo Square

This condo market is made up of two totally different types: Edwardian flats that have been turned into condos and brand new, ultra-modern condo developments. The Hayes Valley commercial district is very hot and hip, similar to, but still different from the Mission’s Valencia Street. Buyers who are priced out of the nearby Cole Valley-Haight Ashbury condo market often look here for a similar neighborhood ambiance at lower cost. Hayes Valley is also close to the Civic Center cultural cluster of museum, opera, symphony, ballet and other performing arts, which appeals to another buyer demographic as well.

To put all of these charts into one simple suggestion: It’s a great time to sell your property in San Francisco, and our market desperately needs the inventory!

If you have questions or would like information regarding a neighborhood not listed above, please contact us.

San Francisco Real Estate Market Update, Recent Sales, And IPO Madness

Another week, another issue of sfnewsletter sent. All kinds of great market info and real estate p*rn for you to peruse. Including many off market opportunities I’ve already mentioned here.

Have a great weekend!

-Latest issue of sfnewsletter/MarketTracker

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]

Cole Valley Single Family Home On Cole Street Coming Soon

I wanted to give my readers a heads up about a Cole Valley Single Family home that is going to hit MLS any day. [Update: It's on the market now. 1340 Cole Street...you had your chance to beat the pack.] I’ve been asked not to share the address or photos (thus the picture of Cole Valley’s new Ice Cream Bar, which is only a par 4 away from said home). If you’re interested in learning more you gotta contact me directly. Principals only.

Given how quickly properties of this caliber in this location have been selling, any jump on the competition is beneficial.

Don’t believe me that Cole Valley single family homes are flying off the shelf (assuming they’re priced right)? Have a look at the recent single family home activity down (or up) in Cole Valley. Pay particular attention to homes directly on Cole Street.

Why is 313 Parnassus not selling? Price for the location. Simple as that (IMO).

-Cole Valley or Noe Valley…If you had to choose [theFrontSteps]
-Cole Valley Alley Blog
-Ice Cream Bar Cole Valley

“Recommend Him Highly”-That Would Be Me :-)

What better way to start the week than with a glowing recommendation from some happy clients.

For about a year we had been reading Alex’s blog and watching Redfin like hawks. Moving to SF from out of state was challenging, and though we had narrowed down our search to four or five neighborhoods, it was all still overwhelming. Contacting Alex was the best move we made. He was super responsive, super helpful, and listened carefully to get a solid idea of what we had in mind. Alex steered us through the (intense) negotiation process, and the (complicated) inspection process, and we couldn’t be happier with the outcome. Recommend him highly.- Matt & El

Thanks guys!

To all the other readers of this blog, I’m happy to put my skills and connections to work for you and your friends or family. Please don’t be shy. Feel free to contact me anytime.

-More Testimonials

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!

From Hero To Zero In Less Than A Week

You know that feeling you get when you’re about to push over the ledge of an 8 foot Ocean Beach bomb? Or the feeling just before you drop an untracked line of cold smoke pow down your favorite chute? Well that’s how I felt for my buyers when I saw this sign post out front of this lovely Cole Valley home at 156 Grattan.

My elation quickly turned from thrill and excitement to the feeling of pearling the nose of your board on said 8 foot bomb, crossing a tip and being sent cartwheeling, full yard sale, down your favorite chute with the entire chairlift above watching.

Alas…the house is not coming on the market, but has been rented. It only took one week to rent it, for a mere $6000/month, and they didn’t even have time to finish putting the sign up out front.

I keep saying, Cole Valley (and San Francisco) real estate is doing just fine…thank you very much.

As for me and my buyers, we’ll continue to lick our wounds until we come out on top.

From Beater To Butter, A Before & After At 121 Beulah (Cole Valley)

[Update: This property is Sold. Was sold in 5 days, CASH, for $2,600,000. Wow...]

The Living Room was:

The Living Room is:

The Kitchen was:

The Kitchen is:

Bathroom was:

Bathroom is:

(Note: There are now 4.5 Baths, this is just one of them.)

Lower Level was:

Lower Level is:

Rear Cottage was:

Rear Cottage is:

And the Piece de Resistance…le Garage was:

Le Garage is:

As is always the case with every property in San Francisco, there are stories, and this little (now big) gem on Beulah is no exception. There are a ton more pictures online, including shots of the previously undeveloped attic, the bedrooms, more bathrooms, elegant stairway, and lovely yard and patio, so please check it out.

And as I mentioned yesterday, Cole Valley is a hot little market right now. This is not the only great property that we’ll see in Cole Valley in the near future. Yesterday, I hinted to another 3 bed, 2.5 bath Single Family ($1,550,000) home that will be coming up for any of you Cole Valley buyers that keep getting beat out. There is also another transformation on par with this 121 Beulah that we should see on MLS shortly (if someone doesn’t snag it off market first.)

Opportunity knocks. Contact me to get in on these opportunities first, because they won’t last.

True to my word, I’ll try to keep you all in the loop. For now, I gotta run. Happy Aloha Friday to all y’all!

-121 Beulah, 4bed, 4.5 bath, 4,141 sqft, asking $2,495,000 Cole Valley [MLS]
-121 Beulah Before when is sold for $1,250,000 almost one year ago…exactly.

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]