Category Archives: Inner Parkside

Reduction Redux, in which I pick up the Gauntlet

When I posted Reduction Ad Nauseum,  I really just wanted a read on how the educated real estate populace explains and/or reacts to listings that have suffered not one, not two, but three or more price cuts. Still, one commenter Noe Guy said:

“Interesting observations but I wouldn’t put too much stock in them. First, you      picked all TICs. TICs were always more of a speculative area of the market–get financing as a group, hold everything together via legal contract, hope for condo lottery, refinance. Everything about it is more speculative, hence the standard discount of TICs to condos… In this market, that discount should be steeper due to higher risk.

In addition to the more speculative aspect of the TIC market, I’ve always believed that it’s very difficult to accurately price a TIC. It’s not just the property that’s for sale. It’s the property, the actual contract, and the partnership with other owners. Those other two intangibles (from an economic standpoint) make the market less transparent, less liquid, and more difficult to price.

The evidence you’ve sited above clearly makes this case, but keep it in context and look outside of TICs if you want a clearer picture…”
 
Well, geez, what observations? I just observed 3 properties with 3 or more cuts, and opined that buyers (like me, someday, Obama willing) tend to look at reduced properties as Tijuana specials, as in: $500K now? No, no, I don’t think so. Here’s $300K and a pity hug. My final offer.
 
But okay, Noe Guy. See, I love a challenge (else why would I be so sure I can buy a house on an English teacher’s salary, eh?). So here you go, 3 more properties, decidedly not TICs, that have come down more thrice or more in their careers on the market.

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Ask an Expert (Sven Lavine), Inner Parkside Weather and height restrictions

“I enjoy reading your newsletter and your blog. Thanks for all the helpful info. Would you mind helping me better understand Inner Parkside w/respect with the weather? We’re looking at a home on the west side of 16th; does that mean we’re doomed to being shrouded in fog? Also, more importantly, is it virtually impossible to build upward (one story) in this neighborhood? Or will we have to go back, essentially eliminating the home’s small backyard?
Thanks,
Pete”
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As answered by Sven Lavine, of Sven Lavine Architecture

Hi,

I won’t get into the weather, but regarding the expansion, technically, you probably would have a 40 foot height limit in Inner Parkside. But what would actually be allowed by planning would depend on the predominant character of the neighborhood. If there are other adjacent houses which are taller than your potential home, you stand a better chance. If not, you may be able to build something that is set back from the front of the house in a way that the perceived mass is reduced. As is always the case in San Francisco, neighborhood opposition can stop the project, so get your neighbors and architect involved in the beginning.

Good Luck,
Sven Lavine, AIA

Ask an Expert, Inner Parkside Weather (Jane Ivory)

“I enjoy reading your newsletter and your blog. Thanks for all the helpful info. Would you mind helping me better understand Inner Parkside w/respect with the weather? We’re looking at a home on the west side of 16th; does that mean we’re doomed to being shrouded in fog? Also, more importantly, is it virtually impossible to build upward (one story) in this neighborhood? Or will we have to go back, essentially eliminating the home’s small backyard?
Thanks,
Pete”
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As answered by Jane Ivory of Hill & Co. Real Estate, www.janeivory.com

I lived on 16th and Pacheco for a few years and the fog is not bad there at all. I successfully grew roses in my back yard and sunbathed regularly! The fog seems to stop at 19th Ave. most of the time. It is difficult to build up or back generally in the city because (1) you have to be cognizant of blocking neighbor’s views and (2) there is a rule in the city about leaving 1/3 of the lot free of construction. It’s best to check with the building department before getting your hopes up.
Best,
Jane

Ask an Expert, Inner Parkside Weather (Todd Wiley)

“I enjoy reading your newsletter and your blog.  Thanks for all the helpful info.  Would you mind helping me better understand Inner Parkside w/respect with the weather?  We’re looking at a home on the west side of 16th; does that mean we’re doomed to being shrouded in fog?  Also, more importantly, is it virtually impossible to build upward (one story) in this neighborhood?  Or will we have to go back, essentially eliminating the home’s small backyard? 
Thanks, 
Pete”

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As answered by Todd Wiley of Zephyr Real Estate

Pete,

As a long time resident of the Sunset and Parkside and having just added 1200 Sq. Ft. to my own home last year while acting as the contractor, I can say that I am qualified to answer your questions about the area and the challenges that lay ahead of you.

The easy answer is regarding your question about the fog. There is no perfect answer only perfect optimism. You must be optimistic about the weather, or at a minimum work outside of the avenues so that each night when you return from work in the summer you are greeted with a cool layer of fog. Sometimes it is not bad at all to be greeted by fog when you just suffered a 100+ degree day in the valley somewhere. Each year we have a mixed bag of weather in the avenues and the fog cannot be predicted. Some years are wonderful and some years you cannot believe you have not seen the sun for four weeks straight. Just last year we had a wonderful summer and the year prior made me absolutely wonder why I live out here. When the weather is nice we have it all. The beach is right there and the parks in this area cannot be beat. In my opinion, I love it out here. It is a great place to live as long as you are not stuck working from home every single day between the months of June-August, which tend to be the most plagued by fog. In the fall, fog is an on-and-off occurrence, but the winter is almost always clear. We did have two foggy days just last week on Saturday and part of Sunday, so you never know.

Additions and adding on to your home. Since I recently added on to my house I can tell you that the only real issue you face when making such an addition is your neighbors. If you plan on adding a floor and going up you may have some challenges ahead of you. First is City Planning, and the other is Building. You must pass planning before you can move on to building. It “always” helps in the eyes of City Planning if others on your block have already done so. You can bet that you will have complaints that will hinder or squash your dreams if you are planning on going up high enough to block someone’s view. If you are on the west side of an avenue and perched well above the lower avenue you will likely have no issues whatsoever. You must submit your plans and engineered drawings to Planning. Planning will then assist you in circulating the information to your neighbors and give them an opportunity to resist your plans. After the mailer goes out I believe they have ten days to do so. If nothing comes up, you will then be granted a permit and you can begin work and then a whole new challenge will begin. I went out and not up. Going up is very expensive, while excavation (if needed) and lengthening your property is much less so. Consult an architect and have them draw you a few scenarios. Submit them to Planning and start from there.

Further information can be attained by searching the website at www.sfgov.org/dbi.

Good luck!

Todd Wiley

Ask an Expert, Inner Parkside Weather (Eddie O’Sullivan)

“I enjoy reading your newsletter and your blog. Thanks for all the helpful info. Would you mind helping me better understand Inner Parkside w/respect with the weather? We’re looking at a home on the west side of 16th; does that mean we’re doomed to being shrouded in fog? Also, more importantly, is it virtually impossible to build upward (one story) in this neighborhood? Or will we have to go back, essentially eliminating the home’s small backyard?
Thanks,
Pete”

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As answered by Eddie O’Sullivan, of Hill & Co. Real Estate, www.buysellmySFHome.com

It’s foggy but I have friends who live there and they don’t seem to mind. SF has a 40ft height limit so you will be able to build up but there are restrictions. Your neighbors need to be ok with it first of all and then the city does not want the second story to be visible from the street so they will require a set back. They also limit its size. I have a friend who is doing this type of project right now near parkside and they were only able to build 500sqft. As for building out, if it only has a small yard the city will probably not let you cover anymore of your lot because full or almost full lot coverage is a big no no for them.

Good luck,
Eddie O’