San Francisco Housing Market Continues to Strengthen

The San Francisco housing market continues to heat up, as evidenced by the increasing sale prices of homes in the city. Compared to one year ago, the median price for a single-family home rose by 10.6 percent to $785,000. And, with a limited supply of homes for sale, the city has remained a seller’s market, with aggressive bidding and multiple offers occurring regularly.

Single-Family Home Sales

Compared to May 2011, the city’s inventory of single-family homes for sale fell by 10.8 percent, while the number of homes under contract rose by 13.9 percent. During the same period, the number of homes sold increased by 23.3 percent.

For homes that were priced below $700,000, the months of supply inventory fell by 70.6 percent to a reading of 0.9. For higher-priced homes between $700,000 and $1.2 million, the months of supply inventory also dropped, by 52.7 percent to 1.1 months.

One area of the city which continues to experience healthy sales activity is Twin Peaks West, located in the mid-western part of town. Since May of last year, the number of homes under contract here has increased by 13.9 percent, while the number of homes sold has jumped by 23.3 percent, with 37 transactions closed. Twin Peaks West offers a variety of neighborhood communities, from the upscale and exclusive St. Francis Wood, to the charming mom and pop shops of the West Portal. Homes for sale here typically receive multiple offers and do not last on the market for very long. The median price for a home in Twin Peaks West is $918,000.

Another area of the city which experienced high sales activity is the northernmost district, which includes classic San Francisco neighborhoods such as the Marina and Pacific Heights. Compared to one year ago, the number of homes for sale in this region rose by 24.4 percent, being one of only three districts in the last month which experienced an increase in for-sale inventory. At the same time, the number of homes under contract increased by 18.8 percent, while the number of homes sold rose by 22.2 percent. Here you will find some of the most impressive views and properties in the city, and whose close proximity to Presidio Park and the waters of the San Francisco Bay, provide an endless array of outdoor recreational activities. The median price for a home here is $2,875,000.

Condominium Sales

In the same fashion as single-family homes, the inventory of condominiums for sale in the city dropped by 38.1 percent compared to May 2011. As a result, the number of condominiums under contract increased by 38.7 percent, while the number of condominiums sold rose by 9.1 percent.

For condominiums that were priced between $500,000 and $900,000, the months of supply inventory contracted by 72.5 percent to a reading of 0.9. For luxury condominiums priced above $900,000, the months of supply inventory also fell by 57.2 percent to 1.4 months.

One area of the city which experienced positive condominium sales activity is Downtown San Francisco, in the northeast section of town. Since May 2011, the number of condominiums under contract here increased by 4 percent to a total of 52 properties, making it the second highest district in the city with the greatest number of condominiums under contract. The number of condominiums sold also rose by 8.5 percent, with 51 units sold. Downtown San Francisco not only includes the center of the city’s commerce, it also features quintessential and historic San Francisco neighborhoods such as North Beach, or “Little Italy” as it is also commonly known, and Nob Hill, home to not only some of the city’s most luxurious condominiums, but also to a number of famous landmark hotels such as the Fairmont and Mark Hopkins. The median price for a condominium here is $734,333.


The National Association of REALTORS® reports that, “Pending home sales retrenched in April following three consecutive monthly gains, but are notably higher than a year ago.” Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said a one-month setback against a background of many months of gains does not change the fundamentally improving housing market conditions. “Home contract activity has been above year-ago levels now for 12 consecutive months. The housing recovery momentum continues,” he said.

The consumer confidence index, which had declined slightly in April, fell further in May. The index now stands at 64.9, down from a reading of 68.7 in April. Regarding the short-term outlook, Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board Consumer Research Center, says that, “Consumers were less positive about current business and labor market conditions, and they were pessimistic about the short-term outlook. However, consumers were more upbeat about their income prospects, which should help sustain spending.”

According to the California Employment Development Department, California’s unemployment rate decreased to 10.8 percent in May, and nonfarm payrolls increased by 33,900 during the month for a total gain of 425,000 jobs since the recovery began in September 2009.

As reported earlier this month in the San Francisco Chronicle, “U.S. mortgage rates dropped to record lows for a sixth straight week as concerns over slowing job growth pushed investors into the safety of government bonds that guide interest costs. The average rate for a 30-year mortgage dropped to 3.67 percent from 3.75 percent in the week ended Thursday, Freddie Mac reported. It was the lowest rate in the mortgage-finance company’s records dating to 1971. The average 15-year rate declined to 2.94 percent, also a record, from 2.97 percent.”

Client Testimonials From Way Back

Bear with me while I reorganize my testimonials into individual posts. These are a few put together from way back.

*Alex was very easy to work with. He was straightforward, gave good advice about how the condominium should look when it was being shown, and managed the negotiations with the buyer perfectly. I always felt he was dealing with me honestly, and he kept me fully informed. I will go to Alex any time I want to sell a house in San Francisco. JOHN BARTON

*I don’t know any Realtors in this city [San Francisco] that have a better grasp of technology as it applies to real estate than Alex. His sfnewsletter is a phenomenal resource and great way to begin your home search, or research home sales should you be selling, and he is a pleasure to work with. He seemed to get along great with the other agents involved in our transaction and we’re sure it helped get us the price we want. He negotiated hard, but made everyone laugh the whole way and it was great. Now we live in the suburbs, but if we ever move back, we’ll use Alex for sure. Not to mention he’s a decent golfer too. -Joe Condy

*Carole and I feel that we were very fortunate to have met you at the open house and I am glad we chose you to work with. Be assured in the future when we are ready to look at the market again we will be calling, as well as referring any house hunting friends to you. Read More-Carole and Bruce Derr

*Alex combines an insider’s knowledge of San Francisco, innovative marketingskills and the honesty and integrity of a down to earth guy.-Rich Singer

*Like a lot of SFNewsletter readers, I figured Alex would be either too busy or simply uninterested in representing a first time buyer with a sub-seven figure budget. Ten months of searching and four offers later, we’re homeowners, and he’s still returning my calls…The cool thing about Alex is he’s new-school enough to embrace technology’s influence over his profession, but old-school enough to hold your sweaty hand through every step of escrow. 

Bottom line, if you’re looking to be escorted from property to property in your agent’s Mercedes while being lavishly praised for your exquisite taste and style, Alex ain’t your guy. But if you’re looking for consummate San Francisco market expertise, every tool you’ll ever need to find and evaluate your properties, and a Tiger Woods-like closing mentality – hell, you’re already reading his newsletter, posting to his blog, and god forbid you’re receiving his twitter banter – seriously, why use anyone else?! -Tim Stevens

*We had our condo at the St. Regis listed for close to 8 months with another agent. We hired Alex and he sold it in two weeks! Amazing! Truly amazing and he was fun to work with the whole time, knew the market, knew we should take the offer we received, and knows where I should buy my next place. He is truly a pleasure to work with and really knows his stuff. His newsletter is great too. -Stephanie Morris

*I had been reading Alex’s “sfnewsletter” for over a year, so I knew when I was ready to sell my house in San Francisco, Alex was my choice. His newsletters were very informative and intelligently written. I know this sounds corny, but I really liked his sign-off at the end of each newsletter — “Happy Aloha Friday”. Alex kept on top of all correspondence and paperwork and kept me apprised every step of the selling process. I am happy to say that we accepted an offer after only 2 weeks on the market. I would recommend Alex to anyone in need of a superior REALTOR.-Debra Comstock

*I can and have enthusiastically recommended you to my friends who are looking at purchasing property here in San Francisco. Specifically, I appreciate your diligent work and follow-through, as well as your integrity in working with the seller’s representative and myself that made it possible to get this deal done. Read More.-Larry Singer

*Wanted to let you know how much I appreciated your assistance and help during the purchase of my new [home] in San Francisco. You did a great job of working with me all Summer long trying to find my dream house on my crazy schedule. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted, but by Fall you had identified my criteria and started showing me homes that suited my needs. The house we found has a great ocean view and is close to the beach with a big yard and potential to add on. Read More. -Ryan Seelbach

*Alex and I worked together for over 3 month searching for the right property. He showed me several properties and advised me on the pros and cons of each property. On [my home] he assisted in compiling a very strong offer on property where multiple bids were accepted. I strongly believe it was due to his assistance that I was able to purchase the proeprty despite the other offers being close to or higher than my own. Read More-David Kaneda

*I had met with several real estate agents before I decided on Alex, and it proved to be an excellent decision. He knew the market, had excellent recommendations based on my specific requirements and goals, and most importantly: he knew how to package and position the offer for quick acceptance once I decided on a property. We quickly closed on a condo at 1998 Broadway that was a great fit for me. And I believe the price and conditions make it an exceptional investment. I’d recommend Alex to anybody. Read More-Drew Sechrist

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]

Opportunity For Fence Sitting Sellers And Desperate Buyers

Are you somebody that lives in San Francisco, has a home that is either on one level or contains an elevator, and you’ve been on the fence about selling your home? has a buyer for you, they aren’t picky about their neighborhood, and they have $2,000,000 to spend.

Maybe you are a resident living in Pacific Heights, Sea Cliff, Cow Hollow, or Presidio Heights and you don’t want all the hullabaloo of listing on MLS, but you’d love for a buyer to come take a look at your home. has a couple of those multi-million dollar buyers too.

Are you a buyer looking for a two unit building in the Marina? has that too!

The moral of this story is if you are a buyer or seller anywhere in the United States, and especially in San Francisco (our hottest market), you should not only be visiting the site yourselves, but telling your real estate agent to do the same. There are opportunities galore, and it’s getting better every day!

-Single Family Home Buyer Needing One Level Or Elevator Home
-Pacific Heights, Presidio Heights, Cow Hollow, Sea Cliff Buyer []
-Marina Two Unit Building “Not On MLS”, $2,800,000 []

Outdoor Shower, And The Only Game In Town (Marina District Town)

Last sold in September of 2009 for $1,550,000, hats off to the agent and sellers bringing 2519 Chestnut onto the MLS in 2011 with a market adjusted price of $1,450,000.

Currently the only game in town (Marina District) priced between $1.1MM and $1.8MM you’d have to think there could be a fair bit of traffic and families itching to get in on this.

Sweet kitchen, sweet back yard, outdoor shower (Can we get a picture of that, preferably with someone in it please?), wood-burning fireplace, and two car parking!

We were sold on the outdoor shower, but two car parking is nice, as is this condo. It’s definitely worth a look.

-2519 Chestnut [MLS]

[Update: The other game in town that hit MLS today (it's a SFR).]

What Makes A Room A Bedroom?

What is it exactly that makes that room a bedroom? The question has come across my email enough, and actually I think I even posted on it at some point. Well, it’s resurfaced and maybe time to hash it out, as the opinions on what makes a room a bedroom are anything but concrete.

The initial question:

A few months ago an email was circulated as to what defines a bedroom. There were several responses, but if I remember correctly a bedroom does not have to have a closet to be a bedroom…

And the varying replies from various real estate agents:

-My understanding is it technically must have a window – ideally with a means of egress
-My understanding is two methods of egress. A door, and another door or a window or some way to get out in the case of an emergency. No closet necessary.
-Operable window, that a person can fit through AND the minimum size is 70 square feet, where the minimum for one of the dimensions is 7 feet.
-I believe that HUD requires a closet in order to count it as a bedroom for financing purposes. A lender could probably clarify that.
-I’d suggest using the International Uniform Building code that refers to a specific size of window based on square footage of BR. It needs to have a door and a window and the window has to be the right proportion. Read More.
-The Building Code requires an operable egress window with minimum size requirements as [the other agent] indicated. In addition the window needs to be sized for light and air requirements. If I remember correctly it is 10% of the floor area. A closet is not a requirement to satisfy the building code, but it may be a HUD requirement for financing, as [another agent] mentioned.

Perhaps the most accurate answer?

1. The first bedroom must be at least 120 square feet.
2. If your first bedroom is at least 120 square feet, you get to call your second bedroom a bedroom if it’s at least 70 square feet with 7’ on a side.
3. Required natural light and air: 8% of floor area of natural light, and 4% of floor area of air (operable window). A traditional double-hung window can cover both bases, because when it is open, it provides half the air as natural light.
4. Minimum clear headroom of 7’-6”
5. You need two means of egress. One may be a window. If the second is the window, fire department requires minimum area for personnel access of width 20”, minimum height 24” with net clear opening minimum of 5.7 square feet.
6. A closet is required.

And the first comment from that thread:

What you’ve written here is not entirely correct – I believe you may be conflating Realtor’s rules-of-thumb with actual Code requirements.

1) Sort of. Any habitable room (Living Rm, Dining Rm, etc) can be larger than 120 SF (2007 CBC SEC 1208.3)
2) Correct. Minimum Habitable room size (includes bedrooms) is 70 SF, 7′ minimum width (2007 CBC SEC 1208.3 & 1208.1)
3) These are correct window areas for required natural light (8% floor area) and ventilation (4% floor area), but neither is required if sufficient artificial light and mechanical ventilation are supplied (2007 CBC 1203.4.1 & 1205.3).
4) Correct – Minimum ceiling height for Habitable rooms is 7′-6″, however it is 7′-0″ for bathrooms, storage, kitchen, laundry (2007 CBC 1208.2).
5) Sort of. Only one exit (Means of Egress) is required, the other is an Emergency Escape & Rescue requirement. This is not a Fire Department requirement, it is a California Building Code requirement (SEC 1026.1)
6) Wrong. No closet is required by any State or Local code (Building, Housing, Health or otherwise).

So there you have it…the jury is clearly still out on this one. My advice, get used to living in closets if you’re living in San Francisco.

Winner: The Best Coffee (House) In San Francisco, And The Rest

Congratulations to Philz Coffee! You have been voted Best Coffee (House) in San Francisco by the people of the internets. The competition was linked to around the world, and we have to say Philz not only got tons of nods during the first round of nominations, but they also swept the voting when thousands more hit the polls.

It’s all good stuff and we can’t wait to get a cup. We appreciate everyone’s participation and the countless links that sent people this way.

The Rankings:

1. Philz Coffee
2. Bernie’s
3. Blue Bottle Coffee
4. Four Barrel Coffee
5. Martha Bros Coffee
6. Contraband (Coffee Bar)
7. Ritual Coffee Roasters
8. Farley’s Coffee
9. Java Beach
10. Sightglass Coffee
11. Peet’s Coffee & Tea
12. Caffe Roma
13. the Beanery
14. Intelligentsia Bar (In Specialty’s)
15. Caffee Trieste
16. Stumptown (Ma’velous)
17. Henry’s House of Coffee
18. Simple Pleasures
19. Barefoot Coffee (Epicenter Cafe)
20. Café La Taza
21. Starbucks (Really?)
22. Caffe Puccini
23. Trouble Coffee (De La Paz)
24. Velo Rouge Cafe
25. Caffe Greco
26. Verve Coffee Roasters
27. De La Paz Coffee (Trouble)
28. Hearth Coffee Roasters (Brown Owl Cafe)
29. Graffeo
30. Bello Coffee and Tea
31. Quetzal Coffee
32. Jeremiah’s Pick Coffee
33. Coffee to the People
34. Piccino Cafe
35. 7-11 (Humoring you)
36. Progressive Grounds
37. Showplace Caffe
38. Castro Coffee House
39. La Boulange
40. Matching Half
41. Wicked Grounds
42. Farm:Table
43. Blue Danube
44. Cafe Reina
45. Toy Boat
46. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
47. The Summit SF
48. Curbside Coffee
49. Rancho Parnassus (Thanksgiving Coffee)
50. Tully’s
51. Capricorn Coffees
52. Cavalli Cafe
53. Equator Coffees & Teas
54. Muddy’s Coffee House
55. The Coffee Roastery
56. Cup of Blues
57. Cafe Encore
58. Ecco Caffe
59. Stella Pastry & Cafe
60. Coffee Roaster
61. Manning’s
62. Dash Cafe
63. Javalencia Cafe
64. Cafe La Stazione
65. The Grove

We’ll just go ahead and stop there. There were another 25-30 one vote coffee (houses) that came in, but we gotta stop somewhere. Thank you everyone!

Marina Has The Hotties, Inner Richmond…Apparently None

I was just clued in to a new startup website that is striving to allow you (people on the move from city to city, ‘hood to ‘hood, house to house) to learn about a neighborhood based on the reviews, comments, and opinions of locals. It’s a simple concept and easy to see the value. Hell, I tried going block by block to clue people in on the different San Francisco Neighborhoods in my Tour De San Francisco (real estate), but I only made it halfway through. Hence, the value I see in

It’s a startup, so the site is pretty lean with content at the moment, but I expect that will change over time. Regardless, how can you resist checking out a site that ranks where San Francisco’s Most Beautiful People hang out. Surprise, surprise! It’s the Marina! Sorry Inner Richmond (no really I am sorry cuz I live here), you are last on the list.

For the record, it is ABSOLUTELY imperative that you take such criteria into consideration when buying or selling a home in San Francisco, but you should not base whether you work with one particular Realtor over another on looks alone.

Speaking of hotties…check out the NabeWise Team. [Website]

San Francisco Giants Win World Series: Bedlam Ensues, Brian Wilson Calls In…

Last night the San Francisco Giants clinched the World Series Title and they did it with authority, routing the Texas Rangers four games to one, in the best of seven series. What made it all the more sweet was continually seeing George W. lean over to his wife and ask her just exactly what was going on. You know she said the same thing to him as she did during his entire presidency, “Honey, we’re getting our asses kicked.” That was sweet. But what about San Francisco?

As expected, the city erupted. Fans and non-fans came out on the streets to partake in the celebration, which (did you have any doubt) quickly escalated into borderline rioting. There were reports of cars being set on fire, overturned, and vandalized. Multiple neighborhoods in the city saw streets blocked and “block parties” erupt. Valencia Street in the Mission was shut down, Chestnut Street in the Marina blocked, 9th & Irving in the Inner Sunset stopped, Market Street downtown packed, King and 2nd/3rd Streets in SOMA/Southbeach flooded, and those are just the areas we saw pictures of on our Facebook page.

As soon as the game was over sirens were blaring on firetrucks and police cars, “bombs” (read: very large fireworks of the M-80 variety) were going off, fireworks shot into the sky, and countless numbers of people driving and honking, and hanging out their windows and sunroofs were waving flags and screaming, “GIANTS!” as they raced through the San Francisco streets in celebration. Surely, many people are waking up today and wondering what hit them, and many more are wondering what is all the fuss…”they’re not ‘World’ Champs after all.”

Phew! It was awesome, it is awesome, but it’s that time. Put your Halloween costumes away (you had an extra day to wear it, you expect two?), go check out the parade tomorrow, high five everyone you know, kiss a stranger, show your support, bask in the glory, but for chrissakes….put your head back on straight will ya! You gotta work, and Brian Wilson called…he wants his f*cking beard back!


153 Avila: A done deal and providing a bit of “color”

Recently we had someone ask if we could “provide a bit of color on 153 Avila”, a contemporary 3 bed, 2.5 bath, single family home in the Marina asking $2,695,000, and as a matter of fact, we can provide some “color”.

It sold after 14 days on the market for $2,975,000 (10.4% over asking) or $1202.51 per square foot. As for who’s house this is, PropertyonFire tells that. Hope that helps and glad to provide some “color”. Tough market down there in the Marina isn’t it?

Update: Here’s some more color…this home was listed by the owner (we call that FSBO) for $2.6M not too long before hitting MLS. A friend of ours wrote and presented an offer for $2.55, and the seller basically laughed them away. Our friends, and everyone who knows about sales on that block for that matter, told the seller he is nuts and “will never get $2.6M”. And look what happened! We might as well call it $3M at this point.

Those folks that bought 451 Avila just made what we like to call instant equity.

-153 Avila [listing detail]

-$600,000 Over Asking on Avila [theFrontSteps]

$600,000 over asking on Avila?

In case you don’t get the sfnewsletter, we’ll bring a tid bit to you:

“Since everybody keeps telling us about it, we might as well print it (albeit a bit premature). This one will certainly blow your mind. Four fifty one (451) Avila hit the market February 29th (the first time in 60 years), asking $2,279,000, received nine offers, three of which were all around the top, and will apparently be closing not 100 or 200, no not 300 or 400, nope not 500 either, but a mere $521,000 above asking (go ahead, do the math).

Something tells us this house hasn’t seen that kind of action in at least 60 years! (Yes, that kind of action.) And what’s this about a cat included in the purchase price? ;-)”

[Update: Ask, and receive, proof of the $2.8M asking price.]

-Friday April 18th, 2008 [sfnewsletter]

It’s a cold market indeed…(130 Retiro Way: an Update)

130retiro.jpgNot too long ago, we featured a friendly wager on 130 Retiro Way in the Marina district, what it will sell for (asking $1,725,000) and what kind of remodel we’ll see.

RentsUP” nailed the sales price at $1,850,000, or $125,000 above asking (7.25%). It closed yesterday. Now about the remodel? And did you buy it too? If so, that’s just plain cheating. ;-)

-Mid Century Betting, 130 Retiro Way [theFrontSteps]

$4,950,000 at 745 Marina, and almost a done deal?

Our market is supposed to be tanking. (So we’re told.) 745 Marina is “pending”. Estimated close of escrow in November. [Update: Sold today (10/22/07) for $3,982,885. Market bashers...begin field day.]

[Update #2: And emailed to us seconds after publishing the first update (how'd you do that?): "Sale price $4,100,000. No commission taken by selling agent".]


We’d be happy to test that “incredible backyard with sauna, large spa pool, outdoor entertainment system & lush landscaping.” You know where to send the invite.

-745 Marina [MLS]

Waiting to see…1751 Beach

From our favorite Marina Pimp, BoomTime, we present: 1751 Beach, a 3 bed, 2 bath condo in the Marina.


Boomtime says,

“Got a postcard. [It was] purchased for $1.4 mil on 9/30/05, asking $1.595 mil. Will check it out Sunday and report back. Purchased near the end of 2005, where supposedly people said the market peaked. Still asking 14% more. 1,450/sqft per tax records and $1000/square foot is becoming common place.”

We’d have to agree with the facts, and wonder how this one goes. Keep us updated. Offers as they come, it is now 17 days on the market. As for 130 Retiro Way and the wagers that haven’t really materialized on our site, offers on that are due 10/3.

[Tangent: How many times will we see that Nelson Platform Bench, and how many are originals? Don't get us wrong, they're very nice and versatile, and we'd be happy to take one off of your hands, but have recently noticed them everywhere.]

-Mid-Century betting (130 Retiro Way) [theFrontSteps]

-1751 Beach [MLS]

2138 Beach…what happened?

“Hi Alex,

Do you mind highlighting what happened to 2138 Beach St., $1.799 mil, 2000sqft? In my notes, i write that i saw it on July 24th and it went in contract already. It’s killing me not knowing what the property was.”


Fear not. It was, actually still is, a “remodeled & spacious 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath condominium flat on a large lot (32′ wide, 137′ long). Kitchen features Wolf stove, Viking hood, Bosch dishwasher, Sub-Zero refrigerator & custom cabinetry. Master suite with walk-in closet & remodeled bath with double sinks. Formal living & dining rooms. Landscaped garden has tall trees creating a private feel. In-unit laundry, 2 car parking, and common recreation room & bath (both permitted).”

It came on the market 6/14 for $1,799,000, went into contract (according to MLS) the day before you saw it, 7/23/07, and sold not too long ago, 8/21/07, for $1,725,000. Square footage shows as 2079, which puts it at $829/square foot, and roughly 4.11% below asking. Oh…and it is in the Marina District.

If you got the sfnewsletter, you would have already known. And if you have an agent, maybe it’s time for a new one. I can think of a couple.

-Mid-century betting in the Marina [theFrontSteps]

Done Deal in the Marina and only $395,000 over (2330 Bay)

Our readers have come up with some good finds this last week, and thankfully I have some time to post them, so you can pick your jaw up off the ground along with the rest of us:


Take a look at this. [2330 Bay] Closed in 21 days for almost $400,000 more [asking $2,495,000 selling $2,890,000]. The market in District 7 [Pacific Heights, Marina, Cow Hollow, Presidio Heights] is unbelievable. I am positive in prime real estate in SF, but this is just blowing my mind how much demand there is.

I’d have to add that it is not that bad in other markets either….Bernal, Noe, Haight, Hayes, West Portal, Forest Hill, Outer Parkside, Inner Sunset, Glen Park, and the list goes on and on.

-2330 Bay [MLS]

1361 Francisco…buh bye!

From a reader who actually sent this a couple days ago, but I haven’t had a chance to post…1361 Francisco, a two bed, one bath condo asking $1,389,000. These things are going fast:


You should definitely post this example. Here is a nice 1,200sqft lower unit Marina flat in ‘The Marina Gold Box’ area where 1330 Chestnut is (bedrock). Yesterday [September 9th] was the FIRST open house, and it is already in contract! [True indeed]

This unit was very well done, but really not that big at 1,200sqft or there abouts. Fantastic yard, and an unconnected bonus room.

My guess is this place will sell for $1.45 million ultimately. And that is unbelievably incredible given the size of the unit.

This example was after all the August pandemonium about the credit crunch, and fake high interest rates.

Granted it is still in contract and not yet closed escrow, so the deal could (in theory) fall apart, but something for the Marina crowd to chew on nonetheless. And maybe “da bears” (not Ditka’s) can chew on this bone too.

1330 Chestnut…a done deal

I can’t believe how many people are asking me about 1330 Chestnut, and I haven’t had time to check (cough…bull shit!)…but it is now sold. Asking $1,495,000 sold $1,550,000 and only spent 15 days (during the mortgage crisis) on the market.


Reminder: If you were to receive the sfnewsletter either from me, or your Realtor/Mortgage Broker, you would know ALL the comps in the city every Friday. No joke.

1330 Chestnut [MLS]

Various Updates (Alhambra, Sea Cliff, 22nd, Sacramento, Douglass, 27th, and more)


Our readers have been asking in various places about some properties we featured as of late. Since so many have asked so nicely here you go:

3280 22nd St @ Valencia, the “green” building that all the blogs were all hot about and many claiming wouldn’t sell. Guess what? Last week, in the middle of all the mortgage market meltdown drama, all three condos had offer dates (very ambitious) and all are now in contract. The two bed, two bath units were priced at $849,000 and $899,000. The top floor, two-level, three bed, two bath condo was asking $1,399,000. Photos.

318 27th St featured in Greg’s “Sittin’ on the deck by the Bay” was indeed apparently a good find. From what we can tell, it went into contract within the first weeks of being on the market, fell out, then went right back in. (Unconfirmed and according to MLS.) Photos.

689 Douglass is still “pending”, but flew into contract. 2679 Sacramento is getting stale withdrawn (possibly to avoid staledom and thanks Pete and Eddy for the tip).

245 Alhambra…no tengo nada! Lo siento “Boomtime”!

In case you missed it, all the properties in this post are as follows: 1330 Chestnut (pending); 2255 Washington (active); 2249 Washington (pending); 2745 Laguna (pending); 3042 Jackson (in contract); 2865 Jackson (sold for $1.7M asking $1.59M); 2130 Beach (pending).

25 Sea Cliff sold $4,550,000, asking $4,095,000.

In summary: 13 of these 15 properties are on track to sell, and sell quickly, if they haven’t sold already.

If we missed any, or you have any questions about our market or real estate, just drop us a line.

Battle Royale: Pacific Heights vs. the Marina…if you had to choose.

Since there is a nice little discussion going on about the pros and cons of Noe Valley versus Bernal Heights, we thought we’d try a couple of different posts along the same lines. We want to hear the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Marina vs. Pacific Heights…if you had to choose, and why you feel that way.

We’ll get things started with two similar 2-unit properties for your comparison:1739-41 Northpoint (left) and 2918-20 Jackson (right)



If you’d like to join the thread of Noe Valley vs. Bernal Heights, go here.

If you want us to do any areas in particular, please contact us and we’ll happily throw it up.

The next Battle Royale: Outer Richmond vs. Outer Sunset/Parkside

On deck: Haight Ashbury vs. Hayes Valley

So tell everyone you know to get ready to step up and represent their ‘hood.

-Stump the Stammtisch: Bernal on Fuego or Hielo? [theFrontSteps]

Incredible “boomtime”?

Pulled from the comments made by “boomtime” on “636 Steiner, an offer and a UFC style beat down”. We edited slightly and added property links so everyone is on the same page.

I call it the way I see it. It is an incredible Boomtime now, and I can’t wait to get my bonus this year. I have never experienced such a tight labor market, and salaries and bonuses are reaching new record highs. Imagine a 23 yr old, 1 yr out of school, clearing $115,000 in total compensation? Now, imagine the legions of more experienced people in my industry, and what they are getting paid. It is not uncommon for a 28 year old to get paid $300,000 and a 32 year old to get paid $500,000+. This is the prime demographic of home buyers in SF. Add a spouse, and you get another $50,000 AT LEAST + income.

1330 Chestnut St. anyone? In contract after one Sunday open house for $1.495 million purchased last year for $1.025 mil with a $200K remodel.

2255 Steiner St.[we think you mean 2255 Washington], a 2/2 asking $1.498 mil at under 1,500sqft with no view. Impressive! I bet it gets into contract by another $500,000/yr couple.

2249 Washington St., a 2/2 in contract for $1.525 mil. Who’s buying this?

2745 Laguna St., a 3/2 in contract for over $1.55 mil, purchased for $1.20 mil a couple yrs ago? Who’s buying this?

3042 Jackson, a 2/2 in contract for $1.595 mil, who’s buying this?

2865 Jackson, a 3/2, 1700sqft place with $775/month HOAs… who’s buying this?

2138 Beach St., a 3/2 in contract for $1.799+ mil. Nice location, lower unit. Who’s buying this?

The list goes on, and on and on. I’ve never seen so much strength in th $1.3 and higher condo market. Personally, I would look to buy a Single Family Home over a condo in this price range, but maybe these buyers just want simplicity?

The key is LOCATION and distinction of the property. Think about the best properties sitting atop a pyramid. The base, which is demand, gets wider and wider due to rising incomes, inflation, population=demand, as the supply remains fixed. Think of fine art appreciating over time. Same thing, and that’s why I’m amazed people are plunking down $1,000sqft+ for new properties in SOMA where there is an endless supply, and NEW becomes NOT NEW in 5 years. People start screaming the market is falling when a SOMA condo gets reduced. I’m just giddy because prices there, in my opinion, should be no more than $600/sqft, yet people are paying $800-1,600sqft.

Finally, I have met an incredible amount of people in SF who have help from Mom & Dad. Even kids in their late 20’s and older are getting help from Bank of Mom & Dad. Heck, on my block there are two 26 yr old kids living at home with Grandma! One underestimates the wealth in SF.

If you have thoughts or ideas you’d like to share, feel free to comment on this post, or you can also email us your thoughts, or submit them anonymously via our contact form. Either way, we appreciate all the participation from our Stammtisch and growing number of readers thus far. Keep spreading the word! And thanks for reading.

[Because we posted this on the front page, doesn't mean we agree or disagree with the statements made. We simply think it provides an open door to all kinds of topics to discuss/debate.]

-1330 Chestnut…How much for the remodel? [theFrontSteps]