Category Archives: Mission District

whiskey

Top 10 Whiskey Bars In San Francisco

Because talking about real estate ad nauseam gets boring, and we can all use a good Bourbon from time to time, I decided to do a top 10 Favorite locales to enjoy Whiskey/Bourbon in San Francisco. Get at it!

Whiskey, the brown liquid brimming with magical properties, is one of the best liquors around. If you agree and happen to be moving to the Bay Area then you’re in for a treat, because the city has some excellent whiskey-heavy haunts that should please even the snottiest of liquor snobs. If you’re in the mood for chatting with somebody over a smooth glass of single malt, then consider checking out the following 10 places.

Bourbon and Branch

Bourbon and Branch is one of the more unique venues in Tenderloin. It’s easy to fall in love with this place because of its prohibition theme, secret passwords, hidden rooms, costumed mixologists and an exclusive, speakeasy atmosphere. Plus, they have a modest collection of uncommon and rare liquors, and some of the best mixed drinks around.

Hours: Mon-Sat 6 pm – 2 am
Neighborhood: Civic Center / Tenderloin
Website: bourbonandbranch.com

Nihon Whiskey Lounge

If you’re looking for an intimate encounter with your glass of whiskey, then Nihon is the place to go. This Japanese-style whiskey haunt has one of the largest selections of single malt on the West Coast, and some good food to go alongside it. Plus, if you feel like one glass of special liquor isn’t enough, you can buy an entire bottle which gets put in a private locker until you return.

Hours: Tue-Sat 5:30 pm – 1:30 am
Neighborhood: Mission
Website: dajanigroup.net/establishments/nihon-whisky-lounge

Rickhouse

There is a reason GQ put Rickhouse on its best whiskey bars in the country 2013 list: it’s amazing. It’s the go-to haunt for an after work drink, particularly if you’re lucky enough to snag a seat at the bar. This place breathes whiskey, from its 300 Kentucky-imported barrels that make up the ceiling staves, to the walls in the back which are inspired by prohibition era distilleries.

Hours: Mon-Sat 6 pm – 2 am
Neighborhood: FiDi
Website: rickhousebar.com

Tradition

Another Bourbon and Branch whiskey house, this place is a wonderful stop, if for nothing more than they age their own barrels on the second floor. Plus, the place boasts more than 80 different cocktails, a knowledgeable staff and a traditional drinking atmosphere.

Hours: Mon-Sat 6 pm – 2 am
Neighborhood: Tenderloin
Website: tradbar.com

83 Proof

The signless 83 Proof is a wonderful bar, if you can find it. This hidden gem is quite literally hidden. It has no signage and it’s rather hard to find unless you know where you’re looking, which means the lounge is not nearly as crowded as its other popular counterparts.

Hours: Tue-Sat 2 pm – 2 am
Neighborhood: SOMA
Website: 83proof.com

Hard Water

If you’re craving rare bourbon and don’t mind being squished in this tiny hole-in-the-wall haunt, the Hard Water is where you want to be. This NOLA-themed place has the best options for rare bourbon by the flight in the city.

Hours: Mon-Sat 5 pm – 12 am
Neighborhood: Embarcadero
Website: hardwaterbar.com

Whiskey Thieves

If you’re looking for a more casual environment to enjoy your whiskey in, then Whiskey Thieves is the place to be. It boasts a relaxed, but substantial option of liquors, pool tables, jukeboxes, and affordable prices.

Hours: Mon-Fri 1 pm – 2 am; Sat-Sun 12 pm – 2 am
Neighborhood: Civic Center / Tenderloin
Website: Yelp Profile

Bloodhound

If you need a reprieve from the average yuppie San Francisco bar, then Bloodhound is your best bet. It’s themed as a country western lodge with leather sets, exposed wooden beams, hunting apparel decorating the walls and Edison light bulbs. The liquor selection is massive, and the pool table and old school jukebox finish off the rugged touch.

Hours: Mon-Sun 4 pm – 2 am
Neighborhood: SOMA
Website: bloodhoundsf.com

Swig

If you’re in the mood for a classy atmosphere to enjoy your glass of whiskey, then look no further than Swig. In the colder seasons the bar offers a pleasant fire to cozy up to, and an impressive selection of more than 150 whiskeys that span 80 years. The prices are not cheap, but it’s worth the splurge now and then.

Hours: Mon-Thu 4 pm – 1:30 pm; Fri-Sat 2 pm – 1:30 pm; Sun 5 pm – 1:30 pm
Neighborhood: Civic Center / Tenderloin
Website: swigbar.com

The Alembic

The Alembic is a small, tucked away narrow room that has an overwhelming list of excellent liquor choices. The bar specializes in getting you the perfect glass of bourbon, single malt scotch, American whiskey and Irish whiskey. If you’re feeling for something a little less straight forward, then try the new school and old school mixed options to liven things up.

Hours: Mon-Sun 12 pm – 2 am
Neighborhood: Haight Ashbury
Website: alembicbar.com

And of course, if you need a comrade, I’m a quick text message away.

Cheers!

203guerrero

That Crooked House On The Corner Of Guerrero And 14th Is For Sale – 203 Guerrero

In case you’ve driven/ridden by this place and thought you’d like to have a look inside, it’s your lucky day – 203 Guerrero just hit the market, and it’s pretty damn sweet.
203guerrero

203guerrerobath

203guerreroroof

Modern to the core, and a perfect place to see and be seen (if you’re into that type of thing), this stunner of a 3 bed, 3 bath condo (not a single family) could be yours for the very low, never sell at this price in a million years, price of $1,699,000. Don’t walk, run. It’s awesome. It has a rooftop deck with hot tub smack dab in the heart of the Mission (the heart is known to wander) for Chrissakes! Oh yeah, and Four Barrel is just down the street.

-203 Guerrero Listing Details [The Goods]

Possible Shift In San Francisco Real Estate Market? Should You Sell Your Home Now?

February 2014 San Francisco Market Report

It is far too early in the year to reach definitive conclusions regarding substantive changes in the market, but there are indications of a number of shifts. From the hurly burly on the street, the word is that the quantity of offers coming in on new listings is declining. Where a new listing might have attracted 10 or 12 offers last spring, 3 or 4 are coming in now; where 3 or 4 offers would have arrived, the seller is getting 1. And, according to Broker Metrics, for every 2 listings that offers in December and January, another listing expired or was withdrawn without selling.

The amount of competition deeply affects home price increases.

There are still a very large number of buyers looking at listings online and at open houses. But more of them appear to be first-time buyers and they are proceeding more cautiously. Some buyers are burned out on the multiple-offer bidding frenzies of last year and are reluctant to participate in them. Though the market remains hot by any reasonable standard, by some statistical measures it is cooling. This may reflect a transition or only a lull before the spring sales season begins.

Recently, the investment-property analysis firm Reis speculated that SF apartment-rent growth — which has been extraordinary by any measure, especially in a period of low inflation — will slow despite intense demand and very low vacancy rates, simply because people can’t pay any more. It’s an idea which may or may not be correct or apply to other types of housing costs. Rent rates do play a role in purchase prices as buyers often compare the net housing costs of the two options.

Median Sales Price Appreciation by Neighborhood

In San Francisco, some of the most affluent neighborhoods — such as the Pacific Heights-Marina district and the Noe, Eureka and Cole Valleys district — started their recoveries in the second half of 2011, well before virtually every place else in the city or country. When 2012 began, prices in these districts soared, while other areas played catch up. In 2013, that dynamic flipped: Appreciation rates in comparatively less expensive neighborhoods surged, while slowing in the most affluent areas.

A big part of this is simple affordability: Priced out in one neighborhood (or city), buyers focused on others, similar in ambiance but less costly. Home prices there looked so good in comparison that buyers were willing to bid them up. The huge decline of distressed sales in areas severely affected, such as in Bayview, has had an outsized effect on median sales prices there. Continuing gentrification, as in the Mission, and increasing “luxury” condo construction in less affluent areas have also played parts in this trend. It’s not as if demand plunged in the Pacific Heights-Marina district (or Noe Valley, for that matter). Quite the contrary: its 9% appreciation rate in 2013 translated into the city’s largest median price increase in dollar terms ($300,000). However, in the previous year, this district saw year over year median price appreciation of 25%.

Note that median price appreciation does not perfectly correlate to changes in home values, as it can be affected by a variety of market factors. It does give an approximate sense of market trends.
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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 Data, Focus On The Volume On Your Block, Not The Median In Your City

“After hitting a two year low in January, the median price for single-family re-sale homes rose 18.6% in March from February. Year-over-year, the median price was off for the seventh month in a row, falling 3.1%.

After falling to their lowest level since January 2009 in February, home sales bounced back last month, which is normal for this time of year, and rose 75% from February. The 203 home sales last month were 7.7% lower than last March.”

Single Family Stats:

Condominium Stats:

One can argue the merits of medians, averages, days on market and generally just about anything in this data, and one can certainly spin it however they like. Read any number of Realtor blogs/sites and the market is gravy. Read any number of market bashing blogs and it’s all still doom and gloom. Because of this market spin that makes my head spin, I like to focus on one thing…sales volume…more specifically sales volume by district, even nano-district.

We’re coming off of a historical market thrashing. Naturally, prices are going all over the map. So what I really want to know is, if there is sales activity where my client either needs to buy or sell property. If property is moving, that is a good thing. If they’re getting stale, that is bad.

For San Francisco single family homes, we can see year over year (YoY) sales volume is down 7.7%, but up 75% compared to the month prior. Pick District 7 North (roughly Pacific Heights, Presidio Heights, Marina, Cow Hollow) and you’ll see that not only is volume up YoY (8.3%), but also up 225% on the month, whereas District 1 (roughly Richmond, Sea Cliff, Lake, Lone Mountain) is down 25% YoY, but up 50% on the month. (The fact home values in the Richmond are grouped with Sea Cliff is an entirely different nano breakdown that could further skew the numbers…ever seen a $15,000,000 home sell in the Richmond? Anyway….) In any given neighborhood, it is good that volume is up on the month (but also expected given the season), but bad that it is down on the year, because last year was a brutal year, so how could it go anywhere but up? That makes me cautiously optimistic.

For Condos we see YoY sales volume is down 7.2%, but up 28.8% on the month. That is a much more modest gain as compared to single families, and another indication that single family homes are still, and likely always will be, in more demand in San Francisco (because there are so few of them.) But look at District 5 Central (Noe Valley, Haight, Cole Valley, Glen Park…all together? Seriously?) volume is up 2.6% from last year, and 81.8% from the month prior.

The verdict? The San Francisco real estate market is both showing signs of strength, but also still many signs of weakness. You need to really take a close look at the data being presented in any articles you read (as opposed to just reading the headline and story), and you really need to figure out what the market is doing in your neighborhood, and specifically, on your block. Sales volume is (to me) most important, because it is your indication of whether properties are selling, or not. Average and median prices got pummeled, so don’t lose sleep over them. If you have to move and sell now, focus on pricing, get the highest and best price you can, and don’t stress over whether the seller 20 blocks away got more, because it could just be a result of the weather.

I’ve always said “San Francisco” data is way too generic for all of our little nano-markets, so if you have any questions about my thoughts on your ‘hood, you know where to find me.

Today, I’ll be golfing (or maybe surfing).

-San Francisco Real Estate Market Trends [ReReports.com]
-Why The Fuss About Noe Valley [theFrontSteps]
-What’s the Real Estate Forecast For Bernal Heights [theFrontSteps]
-Tour De San Francisco: Clarendon Heights [theFrontSteps]
-Factoring Weather When Buying A Home In San Francisco Is Anything But Easy [theFrontSteps]