Just Sold! 1622-1626 Great Highway: Save The Waves Coalition Gets A Check

I am happy to say I just represented part of the buying group for this wonderful property on the Great Highway. You may remember the post my colleague did about 1622-1626 Great Highway (Ghost of Sunset Past: The Moss Flats)? Originally listed for $1,349,000 our clients got it for LESS THAN ASKING (it can be done). It’s a done deal at $1,265,000, and everyone is happy, including Save The Waves Coalition, a group dedicated to protecting our oceans, beaches, and waves.

In case you haven’t heard, every transaction I will donate a portion of my commission to the charity/nonprofit of my clients’ choosing, and my clients this time chose Save The Waves. If any of you at Save The Waves are reading, the check is in the mail!


Congratulations to our buyers. This is a great property in an awesome location.

I am available to help you, your friends, and your family with all of your real estate needs, and I am feeling really good about now giving a portion of every sale to charity/nonprofit, so help me do more!

-Ghost of Sunset Past: The Moss Flats [theFrontSteps]
-1622-1626 Great Highway Details [theGoods-sf.com]

Ghosts of Sunset Past: The Moss Flats

Imagine an Outer Sunset made up entirely of sand dunes, streetcars repurposed as oceanfront homes and clubhouses, bohemians having all-night parties that include midnight swims in the icy Pacific and this:

Charles Depew, late of Saginaw, Michigan, built 1626 Great Highway in 1908, minus an architect but likely inspired by Bernard Maybeck. The three-flat building, known as “The Moss Flats,” has survived long enough to join the National Register of Historic Places, decades after the last of its colorful, ramshackle neighbors dissolved into dust. It’s on the market, listed for $1.349 by similarly old San Francisco school agency Barbagelata.

Outside are the maybe-Maybeck-inspired shingles; inside are three two-bedroom tenant-occupied flats decorated in surfer chic:

1626_GH_2_100913

Plus ocean views from the top-most unit. Longtime owners, plus longtime rental units, plus longtime exposure to salty ocean air may be a caveat in this case, but assuming the owner of the last standing evidence of Carville has no immediate plans to sell, this is your best chance to get into a pre-Doelger Outer Sunset historic property, steps from the beach and with a steady, proven income flow.

-Article by Larry Rosen: Contributing writer and San Francisco local sharing his thoughts with theFrontSteps.

 

It’s A Good Time To Sell

San Francisco Homes Selling Faster as Inventory Drops

With potential home sellers feeling that the market is on the upswing and that housing prices will soon appreciate, many of them have elected to hold off listing their homes, resulting in a citywide inventory shortage. At the same time, potential home buyers fearing higher prices are rushing to buy, particularly with the low-interest rate mortgages that are available today. These two forces are causing the already low for sale housing inventory in the city to be gobbled up at a faster rate. And, without new homes for sale to replace those that have been sold, the city’s inventory remains low, while home sales are staying high.

Single-Family Home Sales

Although the city’s inventory has dropped by 25.5 percent compared to February 2011, inventory levels also have ticked slightly upwards since January of this year, by 7.7 percent. And, despite the low inventory, homes under contract showed improvement compared to the same time last year, rising by as much as 22.9 percent. Moreover, the number of homes sold has almost doubled, by 40.7 percent, with a tally of 173 properties.

For homes that were priced below $700,000, the months of supply inventory fell by 66.2 percent to 1.2 months. For higher priced homes between $700,000 and $1.2 million, the months of supply inventory fell by 30.4 percent to 1.6 months. These short time frames continue to indicate a seller’s market, where sellers have more leveraging power over buyers who are competing against a limited group of properties.

One part of the city which experienced an above average increase in sale activity is the Sunset district. Since February 2011, the number of homes under contract has risen by 11.4 percent, while the number of homes sold has jumped by 52.4 percent to a total of 32 properties. The Sunset district, a predominately residential area, rests on the central-west side of the city. With good schools and plenty of family-owned businesses, home buyers seeking a more conservative and small town approach to living would find the Sunset district ideal.

Another area of the city which saw notably positive real estate activity is the central-eastern section. Compared to the same time last year, the number of homes under contract in the section increased by 4.8 percent, while the number of homes sold spiked by 157.1 percent, to a total of 18 properties. Although generally associated with the condominium markets of the South of Market (SOMA) and South Beach areas, the central-eastern section also includes neighborhoods such as Bernal Heights and Potrero Hill, which offer an assortment of cottages, bungalows, and single-family homes in a very friendly, community type setting. Home buyers who yearn to be close to the city, but who also desire amenities such as a small garden or yard, would find solace here.

Condominium Sales

Similar to single-family homes, the number of condominiums for sale throughout the city also has lessened by 33.6 percent since February 2011. Still, in spite of the low inventory, the number of condominiums under contract rose by 17 percent this past month, while the number of condominiums sold remained relatively the same, dropping only by 1.2 percent.

For condominiums that were priced between $500,000 and $900,000, the months of supply inventory shrank by 51.9 percent to a reading of 1.4 months. For luxury condominiums priced above $900,000, the months of supply inventory also decreased, by 28.9 percent to 2.5 months.

One region of the city which continues to experience strong condominium sales activity is Downtown San Francisco. Compared to this time last year, the number of condominiums under contract rose by 9.3 percent, while the number of condominiums sold shot up by 50 percent to a total of 42 units. Quintessential San Francisco neighborhoods such as Nob Hill and Russian Hill offer some of the most stunning and luxurious condominiums in the city. Those seeking to take an elevator up to their home and views worthy of magazine covers will find just what they’re looking for in Downtown San Francisco.

Outlook

Nationally, the consumer confidence index, which had decreased in January, increased in February. The index now stands at 70.8, up from 61.5 in January. (A reading of 90 indicates a healthy economy.) Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board Consumer Research Center, says, “Looking ahead, consumers are considerably less pessimistic about current business and labor market conditions than they were in January. And, despite further increases in gas prices, they are more optimistic about the short-term outlook for the economy, job prospects, and their financial situation.”

Based on the preliminary unemployment rates from the California Employment Development Department, the statewide and local job outlook is showing continued improvement, with the State’s unemployment rate dropping in January to 10.0 percent from 11.2 in December. Overall unemployment throughout the Bay Area also was down, with San Francisco seeing its unemployment rate decline from 9.5 percent last year to 8.1 percent this past January.

Earlier this month, the Federal Housing Administration announced that it would slash mortgage insurance premiums for certain home owners who refinance an FHA loan into a new one under its streamlined program. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, “The administration estimates that 2 to 3 million homeowners could be eligible to refinance under the reduced fees. But in the Bay Area, FHA loans were relatively rare until March 2008, when FHA raised its loan limit in high-cost areas to $729,750.

The San Francisco real estate market is likely to experience the same trend of low inventory and high sales in the next few weeks as home prices are expected to go up. When they do, San Francisco should begin to see a greater inventory of homes hitting the market.

In laymen’s terms…it’s a good time to sell!

-San Francisco Real Estate Market Focus Report (PDF)

Great Highway Remodel, Not On MLS, And Certainly A San Francisco Surfer’s Dream Home

I have word of a house, on the Great Highway at Noriega (the best sandbar on the beach right now), that is very much for sale, and very much not on MLS radar. Price hovering around $1,050,000 and $1,100,000. That is the view above, and here are the details below. As always, I am here to help get you in.

3 Story SFR taken to the studs and beyond in 2008
2BR 2.5 BA + Office
3 car tandem parking
LOTS of storage
Dog wash station
Hot/Cold water hookups for outdoor shower in the backyard
Ipe flooring throughout
Open layout with 8′ wide sliding birch pocket doors separating living/dining/kitchen
8′x15′ Blomberg window in living room
Custom cabinetry throughout
Spark brand fireplace in living room with flat screen TV mounted above
Half bath on living level
Huge dining room
Gourmet kitchen
Wenge cabinets
Subzero fridge
6 burner Wolf Stove with a grill and 2 ovens
Stainless sinks
Island with prep sink
Ceasarstone counters
Bosch dishwasher
Walk-in pantry
2 person office with built in Wenge desk and cabinetry
Baths all feature custom bamboo cabinets, modern Italian tile and Italian fixtures
Laundry room
Rear bedroom with attached bath has shower over tub
Master bathroom has walk-in 2 person shower with seat
Soaking tub with river rock surround
2 sinks
Separate room for toilet and bidet
Master bedroom has his/hers closets + walk-in closet for shoes (most closets in the house have storage by california closets)
Also has Spark brand fireplace with flat screen TV mounted above, cathedral ceiling, built in Wenge headboard with nightstands, plus built-in bed (plus a platform for a dog bed)
Expansive deck overlooking the surf
Ocean views from living and sleeping levels

From what I know, this is a home built for entertaining, hanging out, and enjoying all that Ocean Beach has to offer.

Contact me to go take a look. Principals Only.

Do You Like To Golf, Surf, And Ski? So Do I…Let’s Work Together

Keeping with my motivation to provide the best service ever, I present you another testimonial.

Alex Clark did a fantastic job as my agent. He was incredibly responsive. It was rare that a communication would go more than 5 minutes without being answered. He listened to what I wanted and helped me find it, despite some difficult multi-bid situations. Alex worked tirelessly to look for what I wanted and also to make sure I saw other comparable options on the market so I could make an informed choice and know that I was paying a reasonable price. Alex’s knowledge of the local market is impressive. He was friendly but firm with the agents on the other side and was instrumental in getting me a large credit on the purchase price after we were already in contract. I will absolutely use him again the next time I buy or sell real estate and would refer him to anyone else looking to do so.

Thanks Rick!

Rick and I enjoyed a great celebratory round of golf at the Olympic Club, followed it up with fresh tracks at Squaw Valley last week, and plan on surfing together today. (You gotta love Northern California). Remember, it’s not only important that your real estate agent know their sh*t, but also important that you get along, because no transaction is easy, and most sales/purchases take time…lots of it. Don’t choose an agent simply because they’re claiming “top producer” and want to cycle you through their sales system. Choose somebody you wouldn’t mind hanging out with for a few hundred hours.

-More Testimonials

Toast: Trouble Coffee Co.

Make no mistake, this blog is about real estate. But real estate is all about location, location, location, and San Francisco happens to have some pretty damn good restaurants, shops, trails, architecture, museums, and so much more in so many great locations, all of which directly impact the value of real estate. (How many times have you seen in marketing remarks “Close to shops, restaurants, transportation”?) There is a reason people live in a city…to be close to the things they love.

So, I’m going to start sharing some of my favorite places.

It’s no secret anymore, and the cat is so far out of the bag it’s not even funny, but Trouble Coffee on Judah, almost at the beach, is one of my favorites. I’ve long gone in solely to purchase “the Hammer” espresso beans and pour my own cappuccino at home, and never indulged in their toast (guilty of inhaling the occasional surf snack…or whatever the hell it is they call it though). Until yesterday.

I had the “Toast”. All I can say is that it is hands down the best cinnamon toast I have ever had, and you should try it too.


Image Poach

Outer Avenues real estate is pretty damn hot as well, as mentioned in my post the other day. A little update on that, we were beat out. Still not a done deal with buyer #1 though, so anything can still happen in our favor.

There you have it. Trouble Coffee, yet another reason to live in San Francisco.

-Best Coffee in San Francisco

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!

“San Francisco Single-Family Home Prices Surge in March”, “Foreign Buyers” Wielding All Cash To Blame

[Editor's Note: Below is a carbon copy of the San Francisco Association of Realtors Market Focus Report. Remember...read the data, not the headlines. Each block in San Francisco is different.]

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, April 15, 2011 – The median sale price of single-family homes in San Francisco continued to strengthen in March, according to the latest Market Focus report published by the San Francisco Association of REALTORS®.

The report indicates that the median sale price has rebounded by an impressive 25.7 percent to $765,000 since the start of the year, although the year-over-year median price has declined 3 percent. The cause most often cited for the decline is the expiration of federal home purchase tax credits in June of last year and the difficulty experienced by buyers in securing financing for home purchases after the financial crisis of 2008.

Completed sales of single-family homes in March also have declined 3 percent from March of last year, although they have increased by 17.5 percent since the beginning of the year. The recent surge in sales is attributed to seasonal factors.

One area that has consistently seen a high level of sales activity is the Sunset district in the southwestern part of the city. Sales in the district have increased 28.1 percent on a year-over-year basis.

The Sunset district has the highest concentration of single-family homes of any district in the city and is popular with foreign buyers who often pay all cash for properties they purchase.

In March, the months of supply inventory of single-family homes stood at 2.3 months, a decrease from 2.8 months of supply in March 2010. Since August 2010 when the months of supply inventory was at 4.1 months, the months of supply has fallen by 44.3 percent.

Broken down by price segment, the months of supply inventory for single-family homes priced at less than $700,000 fell by a month from 3.4 in March 2010 to 2.4 last month. For homes in the mid-price segment of the market, between $700,000 and $1.2 million, the months of supply remained steady at 2.2 months. Single-family homes priced at more than $1.2 million also saw a decrease in months of supply inventory to 2.5 months from 3 months in March 2010.

Condominium sales (which includes condominiums, lofts, stock cooperatives, and TICs) during March 2011 bolted ahead by 13.1 percent from March 2010. During the same period, the median sale price decreased slightly by 2.7 percent from March 2010 to $632,500.

According to Bruce Lyon, president of the San Francisco Association of REALTORS®, certain districts of the city saw a more dramatic increase in condominium sales than the citywide percentage, specifically, high-end Pacific Heights, the Marina, and Cow Hollow, a popular location with Gen Y-ers. The surge is attributed to incentives offered to buyers of units that have lingered on the market too long.

In March, the condominium market witnessed a surge in buying interest with pending sales rising by a spectacular 69.1 percent, compared to March of 2010. The months of supply inventory of condominiums during the month stood at 2.8 months, down from 4.1 months in March 2010.

Since September 2010, when the months of supply inventory of condominiums priced at less than $500,000 was at its highest at 9.1 months, the months of supply in this price segment has fallen by 6 months to only 3.1 months. The months of supply of condominiums priced between $500,000 and $900,000 shortened to 2.6 months from 3.5 months in March 2010, and for luxury units priced at more than $900,000, the months of supply dropped to 2.7 months from 4 months.

Lyon believes that, given these dramatic improvements in prices and sales since the beginning of the year, the local housing market recovery is underway, although 2011 could be a transition year. He attributes improved market conditions, in part, to the increase in technology jobs in the city and explains that companies like Zynga, a popular social-gaming company, are planning to substantially increase their workforces in 2011. Some analysts, he says, are predicting that tech jobs in the city will soon reach the same levels they hit at the peak of the Internet bubble in 2000.

Also contributing to the strength of the San Francisco housing market, Lyon believes, is the decline in the number of loan delinquencies. The Mortgage Bankers Association backs up his claim. According to the association, “Total delinquencies, which exclude loans in the process of foreclosure, are now at their lowest level since the end of 2008.”

“Americans still regard home ownership as the best long-term investment that a person can make,” Lyon says. In the latest Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll, 73 percent of Americans surveyed believe that owning a home helps to achieve “the American Dream,” and 70 percent would advise a family member or close friend to buy a house to build long-term assets. Home ownership outranked retiring comfortably, graduating from college, and becoming wealthy among the factors that those surveyed believe are definitely part of achieving the American Dream. In a similar survey, conducted nationally by the Pew Research Center in Washington, 81 percent of adults in the U.S. said that buying a home is still the best long-term investment a person can make.

-Focus on Volume on Your Block, Not Median In Your City [theFrontSteps]

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!

Up For Auction Or On MLS: 1351 41st Ave Coming Soon

We’ve been told that this four bedroom, two and one half bath, one car parking remodeled center patio home at 1351 41st Ave @ Judah in the Outer Sunset will be either coming on the market in the next day or two, or going to auction. List price: ~$699,000.
135141stave1
We’ve been told it might be listed with a agent out of the East Bay, should the judge decide today that is the correct course of action. Apparently it’s been remodeled with the finest high-end granite (we’ll believe it when we see it), has a large back yard (we’re guessing standard Sunset size), a deck, and is being “listed low so the family can buy it out from under the current owner”. Word on the street is anything over $700,000 will be accepted, so either contact your agent, or us (thefrontsteps@gmail.com), if you’re interested in a home like this. Otherwise, keep your eyes on MLS or the auction block and see what happens.

A Worse Punishment for Sisyphus: Policing Noise in a Metropolis

Hello out there, theFrontStep Readers! You may (or just as likely, may not) know my name from my blogs for Redfin. I’ve kindly been invited to write also for theFrontSteps, so here I am, on the steps, with my first blog.

So here’s the setting: last night, 2:00am, sultry night, people walking up from the bars, falling down, giggling. That noise doesn’t bother me much. I’d have to be a hypocrite if I tried to pretend I’ve never, after closing time, made too much noise under someone’s window as I staggered home. But another noise does bother me: some a-hole flooring his car and slamming on the breaks as he reaches the stop sign in front of my house. Then, from fully stationary, he floods the car again, tyring to go from zero to sixty instantaneously. Then he screeches off, circles the block, and comes back to do it again.

But we all live in a city. We can’t really expect quiet, can we? We can hope for it, and maybe in some areas, get it most of the time. But in the end, we’re sharing with a lot of people, some of them loud and possibly crazy. That’s why this new law aiming to curb SF noise interests me. Continue reading

Weekly Fluj: “Everybody’s Redheaded Stepchild”…the Sunset

As you know by now, we caught the Fluj, and those of you that are familiar with his opinionated writing about San Francisco real estate know that he is nothing short of extraordinarily gifted at firing people up, not to mention a wizard with MLS and various other stats to support his arguments about San Francisco’s resilience in this time of national doom and gloom.

So let’s see how it goes today:

I would like to show the surprising relative strength of the Sunset market [not the Sunset Super]. It seems to be everybody’s redheaded stepchild, you know? But it isn’t exactly tanking, is it?

-Fluj

We would have to agree with “the Fluj” on this one, but we’ll leave it to y’all to debate.

Sunset Beach? Isn’t that in Hawaii?

We have nothing against any agents (colleagues) in this city, and especially those at Hill & Co. (we heart Hill), but should there be a comma between Sunset and Beach on this Sunset Beach Victorian Cottage at 1545 47th Ave.?

sunsetbeach
Forgive our ignorance, but isn’t Sunset Beach in Hawaii, and the Sunset in San Francisco?

surfsunset
Regardless, interesting place. Not what you’d expect in San Francisco with the front porch and all. Maybe the new buyers can subsidize the cost of their mortgage with a streaming surf cam…if, in fact, they are on the beach.

-Sunset Beach, SF [Hill & Co. listing]

San Francisco Oil Spill…doing our part

This post has absolutely nothing to do with real estate, unless of course you’re looking to buy a home down at Ocean Beach (Outer Sunset/Outer Parkside), because of our pristine beaches and ideal beach weather, but we thought we’d get the word out. Things won’t be the same down there for a long time. We pulled this quote from the local surf report, and figured we’d pass it along:

…there is so much oil on Ocean Beach right now, it is going to take thousands of people, thousands of hours to clean it all up. I just spent 5 hours picking up globs of oil and believe me, the public is needed here. Make no mistake, once you get out here you will realize this an an environmental catastrophe right before our eyes right in our home break. The sooner the oil gets off the beach, the less gets washed back into the ocean and the sooner this will get better. As it is, it’s going to be weeks before anyone can surf out here. So please send a message to surfers to come and help clean up our beloved beach. Here’s how to do it: 1. Wear old clothes and shoes–they will get oil on them and most likely be ruined. 2. Get some latex (i.e., doctor’s) gloves or heavy duty dishwashing rubber gloves. 3. Get a trash bag or, even better, put a trash bag inside of a 5 gallon bucket. 4. Go to the beach and pick up the globs of oil. The globs range in size from smaller than a dime to as big as a jellyfish. The best time to pick them up is when the globs are lying on the wet smooth sand so you can skim the globs together and, because the sand is wet, it doesn’t stick to the oil. So this means the best time is medium high tide dropping through low tide through about medium tide. However, if you can’t make it then, just go any time as the magnitude of this problem is HUGE and there has been a very limited response so far. Thanks for your help in getting out the message. Other activists recommend bringing a kitty litter scooper to pick up the globs of oil. Bring as many kitty litter scoopers as possible! DO NOT PICK UP BIRDS OR OTHER ANIMALS COATED WITH OIL!! BRING A FULLY CHARGED CELL PHONE TO THE BEACH WITH THE FOLLOWING PHONE NUMBER ENTERED : IF ANIMALS IN TROUBLE SPOTTED, CALL 877.823.6926

We have to ask, where do you trash the oil you collect?

As if it isn’t hard enough finding good surf here, and suffering though cold miserable, foggy Summers to arrive at Fall (the best time of year) and we can’t even get in the water.

-Grassroots effort to clean Ocean Beach [Kill the Spill, sfoilspill.blogspot.com]

-SF Gov. Oil Spill Information [sfgov.org, the official stuff]

-Craigslist posting on how to clean up oil [Craigslist]

-Baykeeper.org [website and link from Scott at Redfin...thanks!]

theFrontSteps is not involved in organizing any volunteers and warns that any help you provide is at your own risk. Volunteers at Ocean Beach are reporting health problems: difficulty breathing, burning eyes, sore throats, headaches and dizziness. This is very nasty, toxic stuff that is on the beaches. theFrontSteps is providing this information solely as a service to the community. This type of activity could be illegal, and we do not in any way shape or form take responsibility for your actions.

Battle Royale: Outer Richmond or Outer Sunset/Parkside…if you had to choose

Our last attempt at a healthy discussion as to whether you’d choose Pacific Heights or the Marina kind of took a turn for the worse when comments got a little heated and were taken a bit personally, but that isn’t stopping us from trying again. So…if you had to choose, Outer Richmond or Outer Sunset/Parkside, which would it be and why? We want to hear the good, the bad, and YOUR OPINION as to why you’d choose one over the other. Learning from our last attempt and other discussion on whether Bernal is better than Noe, we’re going to ask that you please keep comments civil, and don’t take anything personally.

We’ll kick things off with a little spin on the old debate and do what we do best…that is make it about real estate, stick to the stats, and give you some averages:

Outer Richmond (source: SFAR MLS)

outerrichstat.jpg

Outer Sunset/Parkside (source: SFAR MLS)

outersunpark.jpg

Richmond (SFR Median: source Altos Research, same for Sunset, Parkside graphs.)

Sunset

Parkside

We leave the rest to you. The weather is equally as shitty in both neighborhoods in the summer, so we know you can’t argue about that. ;-)

Tell all your friends to come on over to theFrontSteps and hash it out in this thread.

Up next: Hayes Valley or Haight Ashbury

On deck: West Portal or St. Francis Wood

If you’re not familiar with your “districts” here is the best, most detailed map we could find online.

- Pacific Heights or Marina…if you had to choose [theFrontSteps]

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

20 on 40

40thfixerHow do you attract hordes of buyers to your home?  Put these words in your marketing, “Bring your vision, and contractor!” In fact, if you have a totally remodeled gem just sitting on the market, you might as well make it look like hell.  Fixers sell better than anything.
This property, a 2 bed, 1 bath, standard Outer Sunset fixer, asking $629,000, at 1642 40th Ave., recently accepted offers, and got 20 of them. If we were betting fools, we’d bet it gets close to, if not a bit over $700,000. [Update: Sold for $692,555, all offers except two were above the original asking price, and the place had a pest report of $40,000.]

What do you mean that bathroom is not updated? 

-1642 40th Ave[MLS]
-Good Bones [sfn BLOG]
-More Overbids [sfn BLOG]

Ask an Expert, Height limits Outer Sunset/Parkside (Sven Lavine)

“hello,

I recently bought a house in the outer sunset district (48th and Ortega ) of San Francisco. I am trying to figure out exactly what are the building/remodeling restrictions for my zone. Specifically I am interested in finding out about height restrictions, such as building a third story for an ocean view or adding a roof deck. Is there a height limit? Is there a story limit? etc. I believe my unit to be zoned rh-1 and I also believe the house to be in a coastal zone, this probably has some bearing on the answer. Please let me know what you think or where to go for this kind of info. Thank you.”-rob

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As answered by Sven Lavine of Sven Lavine Architecture

Rob,
The height limit in your district is 40 feet, which technically means you could add a third story. There are some other factors which may be relevant: Are there other 3 story houses in the vicinity? If your proposed addition would be out of character or scale, your neighbors could oppose the project during planning review. If your building is historically registered, a 3rd story will be difficult to get past planning (unlikely in your location). You also need to be aware of the seismic, and structural ramifications of adding a story. Adding a roof deck is easier with regard to planning, but you may need to add structure to support the added load. Single family homes are exempt from Coastal Zone Permit requirements, so you should be OK there.

Most of this information is available from the city planning and building departments, but I would recommend speaking with an architect as the best starting point. Some architects (myself included) will look at your project and give you this kind of feasibility information at no charge. You will need a licensed architect to apply for permit, but more importantly, a good architect will be your proponent, and facilitate the project from start to finish, making sure that you get the home you really want by considering all your needs and wants, and taking all the factors into consideration. Have a look at my article on additionsfrom the sfnewsletter, for more information.
Good luck,
Sven

Ask an Expert, Height limits in Outer Sunset/Parkside (Alexander Clark)

“hello,

I recently bought a house in the outer sunset district (48th and Ortega ) of San Francisco. I am trying to figure out exactly what are the building/remodeling restrictions for my zone. Specifically I am interested in finding out about height restrictions, such as building a third story for an ocean view or adding a roof deck. Is there a height limit? Is there a story limit? etc. I believe my unit to be zoned rh-1 and I also believe the house to be in a coastal zone, this probably has some bearing on the answer. Please let me know what you think or where to go for this kind of info. Thank you.”-rob

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As answered by Alexander Clark, sfnewsletter

Rob,

I would advise going down to the Planning Department, stating your situation, and discussing with someone behind the counter. If you go down to the Planning Dept. you’ll get a lot further than going through on-line.

Planning Dept. Website. There is almost too much information there, so I’m sticking with my suggestion of going down to the counter.

Planning Dept is located at 1660 Mission, Suite 500. Main # is 558-6378, Zoning is 5th floor, 558-6350, Planning is 558-6377. You might try emailing david.lindsay@sfgov.org, or calling him at the main number. He was involved in a deal I did a while back and memory tells me he is a decision maker down there.

I would also consult with an architect, and/or contractor as they are usually the ones that push your permits through and know about local ordinances as regards to design and planning. I can recommend a couple if need be.

If you build up and may block someone else’s view, you could run into opposition. If not, I’ll be calling for the surf report.

Please let me know if this information is helpful, if not, we’ll get you more.

thanks,
alex