Category Archives: Nob Hill

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]

Hey San Francisco! Do You Know How Much Opportunity Is Not On MLS

We were asked a while ago to tone down our promoting of the newest, best, and fastest growing network for “off market” or more precisely termed “not on MLS” real estate opportunities, but we can only hold back so long. If you are a real estate professional, if you are a home owner on the fence about selling, if you are a buyer that can’t find what you’re looking for “on” the market, or if you simply like to see what else is out there, you should absolutely be a part of the growing site that is PocketListings.net.

We launched on July 4, 2010, quickly realized we were on to something, but also quickly realized we needed to completely overhaul the site, which is exactly what we’re doing. As a result, we stopped marketing and just let word spread, and spread it did. Here is a quick rundown of San Francisco properties and buyer needs that have recently showed up on PocketListings.net.

Russian Hill TIC for $1,275,000:


South Beach Condo at the Lansing for $575,000:


Sunnyside Multi-Unit for $1,475,000:


Liberty Hill Single Family for $2,285,000:


Should you decide on moving to Palo Alto, check out this Palo Alto Pocket Listing for $6,500,000…you could be neighbors with Zuckerberg:

…and all of those are just opportunities with photos (clarity of photos is a theFrontSteps issue)! There are so many more pocket listings than you can possibly imagine. Oh, and we forgot to mention the buyers out there looking for homes:
-Buyer looking for Art Deco in Pacific Heights, Russian Hill, or Telegraph Hill (We’re working on the price bug).
-1031 Exchange buyers looking for 3-4 units anywhere in San Francisco.
-Buyer looking for Condo in Pacific Heights for $900,000…only criteria…large exclusive use patio.
-Two Million Dollar buyer looking for doorman building in Nob Hill, Pacific Heights.

…and the list goes on and on.

What does this mean to you? If you’re a buyer, it means there is a now a place for your agent to post your buyer need, and there is a place for you to look for “not on MLS” property to purchase.

If you’re a seller, there is a place to “list” your home for sale without all the hoopla of MLS (no Days on Market, and no price history), but as much (or more) exposure. You can also browse buyers, and if you see one that might want your home…contact your agent to do the deal.

If you’re an agent, you can now market your pocket listings across brokerages without spamming email inboxes, your post is searchable on our site by a myriad of criteria, we put your post on our Twitter Page, we’ll happily spread the word about your post on our Facebook Profile, you control the transaction, information, showings, and price of that property, AND you can still list it on MLS if it doesn’t sell on our site first.

There are so many more benefits to using PocketListings.net, we’ll spare you the details. Just note, our next version is already under construction, and if the success of our beta launch is any indication of how things will go in the future, you’ll definitely want to get in before we go live with our next version (think free account for life).

If San Francisco is not your thing, don’t worry, we’re steadily growing in markets like Los Angeles, Marin County, Albuquerque, Portola Valley, and so many more. Wherever it is you drink your cup of tee, we encourage you to be a part. It’s a good thing, and getting better.

-PocketListings.net [Off Market (Not on MLS) Real Estate Network]

(Potential) America’s Cup Race Route For San Francisco Revealed: Realtors Frothing

Well…it’s official (sort of). There is a route sketched out for the 2013 America’s Cup planned for San Francisco and every Realtor in the city wants you to get front row seats (living rooms, balconies, and even bathrooms). While many agents have always been touting their listings as marvelous places to live and own a piece of San Francisco real estate, now they’re claiming views of the course, and One Rincon Hill is first out of the gate today Tweeting that, “Americas Cup draft route released! Many at One Rincon Hill to enjoy spectacular views of the race from home.” Let’s just hope they don’t decide to build Tower #2 all of a sudden.

Every agent in the city that has ever sold a home in or near SOMA, Nob Hill, Russian Hill, Telegraph Hill, Pacific Heights, and/or South Beach (to name a few) is already on the hunt, sales centers are ramping up their marketing, and the real estate community is buzzing. There are big bucks in sailing, and what agent wouldn’t want a piece of that action.

But the fact remains, watching a sailboat race is free, and if you can find a view of the water, you’ll likely have a good view of the race. We find it hilarious that the map above shows only one “Public Viewing Area”, as San Francisco is full of hills with amazing (FREE) water views. However, should you happen to desire protection from the elements (think howling San Francisco wind), we happen to know a good Realtor or two who’d be happy to help you find that room with a view. ;-)

-2013 America’s Cup Race Route [SF Gate}

BFD Price Reductions

A post wherin I look at price reductions that seem to be pointless.

1. Courtesy of SF Schtuff, 1001 California St., #3 is a super lux condo in the old Hitchcockian San Francisco splendor. (MLS gallery offers house porn to die for, here.)

The original price here was $7,250,000. Now it’s $6,950,000. Indeed, one could argue a $300K price break is nothing to sneeze at. But really, the person who can afford the new price could also afford the old price, especially since this home includes an HOA of $5886 per month. So, $300,000? Big  ****ing deal. The monthly payments are still going to top the GNP of certain third world countries.

Here’s another reduction I don’t think makes any difference. 2421 Clement St. This is a 10 unit building, “fully rented,” originally priced at $1,435,888. More than 50 days later, it’s reduced to $1,398,000.

In this case,  it’s not so much the amount of the reduction. I just wonder who would ever want to buy a 10-unit building in SF when every other day a law here makes being a landlord a bigger headache than it already was. In fact, this Examiner article highlights the dubious joys of landlords who are currently suing the city to block such laws. Good luck.

So I wonder, in the world of real estate, if price reductions aren’t sometimes just not that much of an incentive after all.

—————

Photo of 1001 California, #3 via listing agent Betty Brachman, Brachman Group.

Lembis Unloading Properties, Buyers Quickly Snatching Them Up

Had you been reading theFrontSteps for a while, you’d already have known the Lembis were hinting at unloading some property, but we don’t even scratch the surface of the kind of excellent real estate information that is available in the San Francisco Business Times. (As always, we HIGHLY suggest a subscription should you want to be plugged in to San Francisco new development and big time real estate news.) The latest issue is no exception.

We’d like to bring your attention to the recent article, “Lembi’s buying binge turns to selling spree”, “the latest indication that the city’s largest owner of apartment buildings is under pressure to unload properties to reduce short-term debt.”

As always, we tend to focus on the positive, rather than the negative (unlike some), and would like to point out a few things:

The Lembi Group, which controls 300 buildings and 8,000 units through subsidiaries Skyline Realty and CitiApartments, had put all but one of the 19 buildings up for sale early in the year. It recently sold 72-unit Nob Hill Tower to the Prado Group and Felson Cos. for $37.2 million. The company also sold 1850 Clay St. for $7.9 million and 1801 Pacific St. for $4.2 million.

Seth Siegel and Zach Siegel, senior directors at Cushman & Wakefield, have the listing.

Seth Siegel said 210 parties have completed confidentiality agreements, about twice the number expected. He said “nothing like this has ever sold before.”

This has been the strongest response we have ever had to any single offering,” he said. The time it takes to accumulate a portfolio of buildings like this is enormous. Here you have an opportunity to immediately make a foothold in one of the best residential markets in the world.”

Those interested include real estate investment trusts, large multi-family owners and institutions. Fifteen percent of prospective buyers are foreign, Siegel said.

“We’ve heard from people in Dubai, London, Switzerland, Germany and Amsterdam,” said Siegel.

Last year, San Francisco was the top metro area for apartment rental growth, according to Marcus & Millichap, and rental rates are projected to grow another 7 percent in 2008. Siegel said the weakness in the condo market has bolstered the demand for apartments.

Just goes to show, one man’s loss, is another man’s gain, and all of the focus on the downturn of one market, could mean the uptick of another. As we’ve said before, the savvy buyers are licking their chops in this “down” market looking for some solid long term investments in San Francisco residential real estate.

[Since we know it's coming, here is your counterpoint: Bosa Development suspends Mission Bay condo Project. And here is a counter to that: Shorenstein to start Oakland office tower...and so you see, we could go back and forth, or we could bury our heads in the sand.]

-Lembi’s buying binge turns to selling spree [San Francisco Business Times]

Penthouse views at Pre-Foreclosure pricing! (1254 Washington)

Perhaps the marketing remarks say it all:

“Amazing opportunity. Pre-foreclosure sale of a European style Nob Hill penthouse with spectacular views of the city & bay. This is a 6 room Edwardian flat in need of some serious TLC, but is a one of a kind unit and must be sold now!

Is that pre-foreclosure pricing or not? And how ’bout that “needs serious TLC, but is one of a kind…”?

1254Washington.com [Woodruff-Miller]

“Pending” on Nob Hill at $7,500,000

The upper tier, well they just don’t care about national housing trends do they? Twelve thirty (1230) Sacramento goes pending (means it’s almost a done deal) at $7,500,000 asking.

Yes, that is 3 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, 4600 square feet of “palatial residence reminiscent of the grandeur associated with European elegance”.

-Twelve thirty (1230) Sacramento [details, details, details]

Tis the season of giving…from sfnewsletter

We stole the sfnewsletter code for their last “cocktail” issue, because they apparently kill old issues each week. Since we just linked to it and now learn it won’t be there, we pasted it here. Make sense? Happy Holidays.

MARKET UPDATE

Charts, Data, Trends

In a nutshell, our market has definitely been hit by all the doom and gloom. Not nearly to the extent you’re reading in the papers, but there is a lot of hesitation for a lot of people. On the other hand, there are some that have been on the sidelines for so long, they’ve found now the perfect time to get in the mix. A+ properties are still selling quickly, the south end of town (district 10) has been hit hardest by the foreclosures, and the gazillionaires really don’t care what the rest of the country thinks…they’re snatching up multi-million dollar trophy homes like they’re candy canes. The new developments are still selling very well, and general interest in San Francisco as a place to live and own property is still healthy. We’re anxious to see what 2008 will bring, more cold wind, or a sea of change? We’ll let you know.

MAXIMUM OVERBID OF THE WEEK

You thought these were dead? So did we…to an extent. But they still exist and this one quite frankly blew our mind.

4924 17th St, a beautifully remodeled 3 bed, 3.5 bath home was asking $3,600,000 and sold for $3,900,000 on 12/10/07. The marketing remarks say it all, and give us an indication of what may have happened, “Attention Pacific Heights Buyers this is the home you have been waiting for.” Don’t get us wrong, 17th Street is a great area, but the traffic is through the roof and this was a significant sale for Parnassus/Ashbury Heights. We’ll take a gin and tonic thanks, and on to the next discussion…365 Richland a nice 4 bed, 2 bath Craftsman in Bernal Heights…asking $899,000 and selling for $955,000.

STOP! Look closer. This property was originally listed at $999,000 and didn’t sell. They dropped the price to $899,000 and look where it ended up…$955,000. This is what you need to know about our market…it’s still ticking along, and once the price gets to that “competitive” range, you can expect multiple offers and often an above asking sales price. The most important thing in this market is pricing, and we used to say staging, but apparently pink is no bother to some. ;-) Whiskey sour will do just fine.

CALLING B.S. ON YOUR HOOD!

You’ve been there before, as have we, and it goes something like this, “You don’t live in SOMA, you’re in South Beach!” Or, “I live in Russian Hill.” “No you don’t, you live on Nob Hill.” Print this out, take it to the party, throw some darts at it, and bet some egg nog on your knowledge.

Available at ORK Posters, found via Curbed SF.

STALEFISH TANK

Readers love it, Realtors hate it…our monthly list of Stalefish. What’s a Stalefish you ask? It’s simply a property that has been on the market 100+ days. Deals, deals, deals!

But what’s a Stalefish Tank without pointing out some big fish? We’ve already told you about 300 Sea Cliff.

But there are so many more Stalefish to note…we’ll take four shots of tequila please, and move on…Are you fortunate enough to have your inlaws joining you for the holidays (ahem!)? Well, when you’re walking off all that holiday gluttony, you might take them on a nice walk up to Coit Tower. When they pause to catch their breath, and take in the breathtaking views from 115 Telegraph Hill Blvd, you’ll sound so in the know when you point out that this lot could be theirs for a mere $4,000,000.

Earn extra points when you inform them it’s quite stale at somewhere around 900 days on market, and has only seen one price reduction from $4.5M in the life of the listing. Something tells us there are either some skeletons hiding in that closet, or a seller that really doesn’t care to sell. We’ll need to chase those tequila shots with four Coronas, lime and salt please.

COMPARISON SHOPPING

There is a lot of talk these days about a jolly white bearded man who lives in the North Pole, and so we thought we’d try to find you a home next to him that you can discuss over a tasty mojito. Well… we couldn’t find anything that said, “Be neighbors with Santa”, but we did find a home that, once there, tells you where to go: 3563 Go Thatta Way, North Pole, AK. We kid you not. It exists and it’s for sale for $119,900.

Since we’re on the subject of the northernmost points, we thought we’d add that upon hours of searching for the perfect North Pole home to run in this week’s sfnewsletter, we also learned that Barrow, Alaska is about as desolate as they get, and way further north than North Pole, AK. However, we’ll still take an overpriced home in San Francisco over anything in either of those towns any day. But…it’s still fun to look, and it makes an Irish Coffee that much more appealing.

SKIP ACROSS THE POND

This one just came to us from Marin (Belvedere to be exact), so we’re hastily throwing it up, but stuck pondering the possibilities of back flips we could perform into that pool. Apparently, this home is now in contract for the asking price of $65M after three years on the market. Stocking stuffer perhaps?

-Mining Magnate sets $65M Sale [Wall Street Journal]

Ask Us: “Who’s the Sexiest Realtor in San Francisco?”

[Nominees have been submitted, GO VOTE by following this link.]

Where readers ask, and we try to answer (something tells us this could be the beginning of something fun).

underwear3

After seeing your latest post on the Nob Hill Gazette thing [The Art of the Deal or the Art of Photoshop?], I got to wondering. Since it appears so many Realtors are very concerned with looks, and there are some very good looking agents (I’m looking at the ladies, and my agent’s looks definitely made it easier to work with her), I have to wonder…who’s the sexiest Realtor in San Francisco?-AJB

Well that’s a damn good question and one we certainly hope to answer, but first, we must thank you for sending us your question, as well as nominee, which we removed to avoid a flood of votes for that one person (she is hot, that is for sure).

We can’t do this one alone. We’ll need a little help from our blogging brethren, readers, and colleagues. Word will have to travel. So…..start talking, and send us your nominees (strictly in confidence) for your pick as to who is the hottest/sexiest Realtor in San Francisco. Male, female, gay, straight, it doesn’t matter. This is San Francisco after all.

We’ll post the nominees to our site for you to vote. It will be kind of like high school all over again.

Don’t be shy, and let’s have a little fun!

-Submit your pick for hottest/sexiest Realtor in SF by clicking here

- or email: thefrontsteps@gmail.com

p.s. Yes, you can nominate yourself. It’s anonymous.

The Art of the Deal, or the Art of Photoshop?

How the hell did they get all those power brokers in the same room, at the same time?

From Greg:

Nob Hill Gazettebrokers.jpg

We can only imagine the sound of all those ringing cell phones. No wonder our calls weren’t returned.

-Art of the Deal [Nob Hill Gazette]

p.s. To all in the photo, we’re just poking fun. And if you didn’t make the cut…better luck next year.