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according to Broker Metrics, for every 2 listings that offers in December and January, another listing expired or was withdrawn without selling.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.
Continue reading

REALLY Expensive Real Estate…Like $35,000,000

Twenty-nine fifty Broadway sold “off market” last month for $35,000,000.

2950BroadwayFacade
[Photo Source: SocketSite]

As reported on SocketSite today:
“Hidden behind non-disclosure agreements and tax records stamped “DO NOT FILM,” you’re not supposed to know about the sale of 2950 Broadway which was purchased for $29,500,000 in 2011, remodeled a little last year, and very quietly sold off the market last month. But now you know. And you’re about to know the record setting sale price as well.

With a sale price of $35,000,000 (roughly $3,182 per square foot) and $875,000 in transfer tax confidentially paid, 2950 Broadway has just displaced 2840 Broadway to become the most expensive single-family home ever sold in San Francisco.”

Wow…and some people will wonder and cry foul that it never hit the MLS.

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.

Outlook

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.”

One Million Dollars Over Asking. Market “Crazier Now Than In ’05 And ’06″

Where on Earth!? Right here, 2821-2823 Broderick, San Francisco, CA 94123.

As if $1,000,000 over asking wasn’t enough, how about a two (yes 2) day close of escrow. Still shows Pending in MLS, so look for it to close on Tuesday.

How do I know?

A legit friend of mine offered $3.515 and didn’t get it. I don’t know exact price, heard from another friend the seller accepted $3.56 but not confirmed. Asking price was $2.495. I also tried to buy 2740 Lake St a few weeks ago, it went to an all cash buyer, 5 day close for $620k over asking. There was another house on El Camino in Sea Cliff that went like $1.2MM over asking recently. Market feels crazier now than it did in ’05 and ’06.“–A Trusted Developer Here in San Francisco

-2821-2823 Broderick, Cow Hollow 2 Unit Asking $2,495,000 [MLS]
-Google Earth Fun with 2821-2823 Broderick [Google]

It Is Certainly Brisk Out, And We’re Not Talking Weather

Somebody has certainly turned the tap on with regards to San Francisco real estate. Case in point (like we need to see more), 1998 Broadway #1007.

I just called on this Pacific Heights property to get an appointment for a client to take a look at it next Tuesday. How foolish of me to think it’d still be available! They accepted offers yesterday, received five, and will certainly not be looking for another by next Tuesday.

That’s a two bedroom, one and one half bath, 1030 square foot condominium asking $750,000, gone in seven days.

-1998 Broadway #1007, $750,000 [MLS]

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]

Zynga Co-Founder Mark Pincus Sells Presidio Heights Pad For $8,200,000

[Editor's note: I just realized I misspoke. The home is not in Pacific Heights, it is in Presidio Heights. Locals will know the difference, visitors might claim six of one half dozen of another. Regardless, the mistake has been acknowledged and changed.]

In other news to take us to the weekend, Mark Pincus, co-founder of Zynga, has sold his home at 3855 Washington. It just closed escrow for a mere $8,200,000 (originally asking $8,900,000).

Real estate haters will be quick to point out it spent a “long” time on the market (126 days), and was sold under asking, but I’d like to remind people that might be getting a little bit jaded…we’re talking eight million two hundred thousand dollars here folks! You think they’re trading that kind of property in Kansas!

Happy Aloha Friday. Enjoy the weekend. I’m out…and playing “Words With Friends”.

p.s. The buyer of this home, just like 2701 Broadway, came from a Zephyr Real Estate agent. Just sayin’….

2701 Broadway, On San Francisco’s Billionaire Row, Finds Its Billionaire Buyer

It’s big news for the Billionaires on Broadway. We have it on good intel that 2701 Broadway, a little house on the hill just down the street from the likes of the Gettys, Trainas, and Ellisons of the world (and let’s not forget a Monster of Rock), has found a buyer ponying up an undisclosed amount of cash (originally asking $32,000,000 then reduced to $28,500,000 and no longer listed on MLS) for this one of a kind, meticulously remodeled home, last sold in 1998 for $5,500,000.

Break out the bubbly, and call it all cash (pocket change really), some new billionaires are moving to Broadway’s Billionaire Row.











To the gentleman that said to me when visiting this home at 3577 Pacific (before it came on the market) “Zephyr Real Estate doesn’t have clients for this…” You’re right, Zephyr has clients for this instead. Congratulations to Anna and Dennis of Zephyr Real Estate for bringing the buyer to 2701 Broadway.

Just need that invitation to the housewarming party, and we’ll bring the Cazadores for fresh lime margaritas on the deck overlooking San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the beautiful Bay!

-2701 Broadway, 7 bed, 7 bath, 16,400 sqft, asking $28,500,000 [MLS]
-Kirk Hammett Finds Buyer For His Pacific Heights Monster Den [theFrontSteps]

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

Multi Millions On A Monday

Now that we got the Guns N’ Roses out of the way and coursing through the veins, let’s start this Monday with a few multi-million dollar listings here in this fabulous city of San Francisco.
Kicking things off with 2500 Broadway on the corner of Steiner asking a meager $9,500,000.

The description is full of keywords and qualifiers…”2500 Broadway is a home of elegance, grandeur and history located in Pacific Heights on a premier corner lot at Broadway and Pierce. 2500 Broadway dominates this location not only in terms of its size and architecture but also its prominent placement on the hill. Commissioned in 1894 by a prominent lawyer and San Francisco Mayoral candidate this Free Classic” Victorian style home is impressive in scale, luxurious in structure and refined in finish. One of the most wonderful features of the home is the extensive use of oak, walnut and mahogany hardwoods. A full-relief box-work design oak entry hall, mahogany wainscoting in the sitting room and a grand staircase rich with detail are stunning and irreplaceable.”

It is truly a beautiful property and the keywords are justified, but what I know you all really want to know is…it sold in 1994 for $2,800,000. Yep, it’s true.

Moving on down the roads a bit toward the city center, we stumble across this little home recently listed on MLS at 2020 Jackson asking $20,000,000.

“The distinguished & historical Hellman Mansion is located in a prominent Pac Hts location, nr Lafayette Park. The Classical Revival estate, designed circa 1902 by Julius Krafft, was thoughtfully restored maintaining the architect’s original masterpiece, a harmonious blend of grand design, elegant appointments, modern comfort and impeccable renovation. On four impressive levels, accessible by elevator, this 8BR/7+BA home is a rare jewel. Magnificently proportioned living & dining rooms, grand terraces, sumptuous master suite wing, double winding stair, 7 frplcs, au pair suite, main and catering kitchens, media room, family room, family dining, wine cellar, salon and library. Solar. Stunning north & east bay views w/Alcatraz, Angel Is & Marin.”

That’s a lot of 20′s no matter how you slice it, but I gotta wonder if their vision is 20/20 on this one. Last sold 2004 for $15,000,000, it will be interesting to see if this magnificent slice of prime San Francisco real estate on Jackson will see one million Jacksons or one million Hamiltons alongside another million Lincolns.

Speaking of price reductions and a lesson in (price) history…remember 2845 Broadway?

“A legend in the making…a Gold Coast Masterpiece. Clad in French limestone an exquisite Neoclassical style villa with stunning Golden Gate and Bay views, garden and a guest house with 19th Century Italian tile roof comprise this unique compound spanning two lots from Broadway to Pacific. One of the world’s finest residential addresses. Currently under construction, this property presents a unique opportunity to complete an architectural masterpiece in one of the City’s most prestigious locations.”

(Previously) under construction indeed, and originally listed on the MLS in March of 2006 for $65,000,000, we see that history is telling us there really isn’t any property in San Francisco selling for that kind of cash. A+ location or not, we’re talking an unfinished multi-million dollar mansion…and you don’t even get a pool! Maybe a MASSIVE diving board on the patio could afford several mile high flips into the bay. Just wear a helmet.

Finally, moving ever so much closer to downtown, we come to 2323 Hyde on the corner of Hyde and Lombard right at the crest…you know where all the tourists stand in the street, take photos, play Frogger, hop on and off the cable car, and generally get in the way? Yeah, it’s right there.

“This beautiful home was commissioned by Fanny Osborn-Stevenson, the widow of author Robert Louis Stevenson. It is a Willis Polk design and it was built in 1900. It has been meticulously renovated. Complete with mature Landscaped Garden, Roof Terrace & Patio. 4 Car Parking and Elevator to all floors. A true San Francisco Masterpiece.”

Look beyond the (fill in the blank) interior decorations and focus on the property. It’s a beauty in a great location, and it’s also been recently reduced in price from $15,000,000 to a much more reasonable and potentially bidding war price of $14,900,000. Hurry! It’s only been on the market 345 days!

Happy multi million dollar and Metal Monday! I wonder if Axl would want one of these…

-2500 Broadway [MLS]
-2020 Jackson [MLS]
-2845 Broadway [MLS]
-2323 Hyde [MLS]
-Multi-Million Dollar Properties Of Note
-St. Regis Penthouse Was $70,000,000 Now $35,000,000 [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? PocketListings.net 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. PocketListings.net has a couple of those multi-million dollar buyers too.

Are you a buyer looking for a two unit building in the Marina? PocketListings.net 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
[PocketListings.net]
-Pacific Heights, Presidio Heights, Cow Hollow, Sea Cliff Buyer [PocketListings.net]
-Marina Two Unit Building “Not On MLS”, $2,800,000 [PocketListings.net]

San Francisco Pocket Listings, Not On MLS Opportunities, And Buyers Looking!

I’ve been resisting the urge to continually share the opportunities popping up in San Francisco on my new venture, PocketListings.net, but I can’t hold back. Here is a summary of what is going on “behind the scenes” in San Francisco real estate that we’re gradually bringing to center stage.

-Thirty-three hundred square feet in Pacific Heights for $2,875,000:

-A “creative buyer looking for development opportunities…flexible on property type and price.

-Three bedroom Potrero Hill Condominium For Sale, but not on MLS.

-Telegraph Hill Buyer looking to be on the East Slope, and desiring views. Price up to $2,000,000.

-One bedroom condo in Dolores Heights, very much for sale, but also “not on MLS”.

-Should you find yourself itching to move to Marin, here is a nice 4 bedroom, 4 bath home with 4 Car Parking, also “not on MLS”.

-If you want to get way the hell out of dodge, perhaps this Daytona Beach, Florida “family compound” is for you.

I could go on and on, but I’ll stop there. The moral to the story is that what you see on MLS is not close to the entire picture, AND PocketListings.net is pioneering a platform to give the buyer a voice. We plan on completing the real estate circle, if you will. Think of the countless properties that could be marketed before MLS, thousands that get withdrawn or expired from MLS, bank foreclosure inventory, and so much more. If you’re an agent, I’d encourage you to use it, and if you’re a principal, I’d encourage you to browse it, then tell your agent to join!

-PocketListings.net

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]

“One Of Only 9 Cooperative Apartments [In San Francisco]” With A Lot Of 3′s, But Missing 3 Letters (MLS)

It might not be on MLS, but this $3,395,000, 3 bed, 3 bath, 3000 square foot, Co-Op on Broadway is surely worth a nod, perhaps even a gander:

Elevator service directly into unit, three bedrooms (all with their own full bathroom), library, three remodeled bathrooms, vestibule with marble floor and arched etched glass window, formal entry, formal living room with woodburning fireplace, formal dining room, remodeled eat-in chef’s kitchen with pantry, deeded maid’s room with window and sink (there is a bathroom that services this maid’s room), service elevator, custom draperies and plantation shutters, intercom, cable ready, wired for sound in the library, living room and dining room, laundry room, resident manager, common landscaped lush garden, deeded storage room, 1-car secure garage parking, additional exterior parking in rear area of the lower garage, building security cameras, elegant marble lobby with coffered ceilings, vintage wall sconces and arched stained glass windows.

-Pocket Listing on Broadway.

An Off Market Match (Could Be) Made In Heaven…Or Pacific Heights

This is how it works in the world of “off market” real estate:

Here we have a pocket listing in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights neighborhood:

Wonderful Pacific Heights Home on a tree lined street. Old World Details. Sunny back yard. Easy Walk to Union Street. 2 car garage

Here we have one buyer looking for just that:

Presidio Heights, Cow Hollow – Sqft: 3,500; My clients need a large family home with a space for a live in nanny.

…and yet another buyer looking in Pacific Heights:

Pacific Heights or Cow Hollow – Sqft: 2,500: Need a SFD in Cow Hollow or Pac. Hts. with some view. 3 BR 2.5 BA with Gdn & Pkg.
Buyer is ready to go.

…and look at that, yet another buyer looking in Pacific Heights:

Pac Heights, Lwr pacheights, Cole Valley – Sqft: 3,500: This buyer wants either newly done or remodelled, but well maintained might also work out.

Our plan is coming together perfectly. Just wait until the next version of our site, which is already in the works!

The Grinch Who Stole Our [Reader's] Christmas Wreath (Caught On Tape)

From our reader:

Greetings,

I’m looking to enlist your support in some public shaming. You can also point-out the utility of installing a video camera system during a renovation :)

This Grinch stole the Christmas wreath from the front door of my house early Friday morning. She looks like a fairly put-together person, why is she out stealing in the middle of the night? Pacific Heights of course…

The Grinch comes then goes, and returns (cloaked/disguised) at 2:07.

Poor Pacific Heights. It gets such a bad rap…Maybe we need to put a little “Chopper” in Pacific Heights.

[Update: Some questions answered...

[Update #2: From the reader when we informed him/her of the # of links coming to our site for this post, "Good stuff indeed. Channel 7 wants to run a story on it tonight. And it seems the mystery lady has a name..." Guess you'll have to check Channel 7 (anybody got the link to a report) for the name, and apparently a friend of the owner has placed a new wreath on their door, with a lock hopefully. ;-) ]

More Fun Posts:
-Sexy, Sexy Realtors [theFrontSteps.com]
-Metallica’s Kirk Hammett Finds A Buyer For His Pacific Heights Monster Den [theFrontSteps.com]
-San Francisco Needs To Harden The F**k Up! [theFrontSteps.com]

Metallica’s Kirk Hammett Finds Buyer For His Pacific Heights Monster Den

After what must seem like an eternity (we lost track of the days on market), we’re told the metal lair on top of Pacific Heights at 2505 Divisadero (originally asking $12,500,000 now just $8,995,000…it is on top of Pacific Heights and does include a sound studio and party room built for, and occupied by, Metallica for chrissakes!) has found a buyer.

Hammet

Was “The Black Album” conceived in this room…their worst album if you ask us, and all down hill from there. Give us “Master of Puppets” again!

hammetsound1

“Is that…Is that James? Is that James in the mixing room?”-Bonus points if you know which PUNK band has that quote. And no, it does not refer to James Hetfield (of Metallica).

hammetstudio1
Picture “Garage Days” and picture the parties…Metallica did party didn’t they? ;-)

hammettparty1

Who is the lucky buyer catapulting themselves into the home of one of the largest rock bands ever? Enquiring minds want to know….

If you want to see the party room pre staging and fancy photos, this is what we snapped back in 2007 upon first taking a look at the property.

Congrats to all involved in this one, especially Kirk Hammett.

[Update: We asked our source about the price and got this (no surprise) reply: "It's a "confidential" sale... although we all know who sold it [Nina Hatvany], just no one is saying who bought. Word on the street is that Ronnie Garfield rep’d the buyer, but I don’t know for sure.”]

-2505 Divasadero [Property Website and Details]
-Fly On the Wall, 2505 Divisadero hits the market [sfn BLOG]

What To Do With Your $45,000,000 San Francisco Backyard

We’ve always said a skatepark or velodrome in the backyard of 2901 Broadway (last check it was still listed for $45,000,000) would be a most excellent idea (see red arrow).

Maybe we should have Tony Hawk and crew come teach the Pacific Heights crowd a thing or two about what to do with all of that space:

Or maybe Bob Burnquist’s backyard is a better example:

The skiers/snowboarders had the right idea, but getting snow in San Francisco proved a bit problematic:

But with the naturally steep hills here, maybe a skateboard megaramp is the answer? They could launch over the Getty compound.

Those are a few things you’ll see on our Christmas list to Santa this year….

Another Reason to Love Living Here: The Heights

Seacliff in San Francisco

Fridays are for less serious real estate topic-age, so here is a meaningless poll and a tribute to another characteristic that makes SF unique.

Riding my bike through the Presidio last Saturday, I decided to cruise Presidio Heights. And oh my, the elevation-  in status, I mean. It’s dizzying. The homes are palatial, complete with giant grand pianos, harps, chandeliers,  all of which one can glimpse through elaborate stained glass windows. This got me wondering: why did I pick “teacher” as a career path?

But I digress. From a real estate standpoint, which Heights are really the highest (as in, highest class)? Where would you most desire to spend your halcyon days?

For my money, the top four are Presidio Heights, Pacific Heights, Telegraph Hill, and Sea Cliff.

No offense to any other Heights or Hills. Let’s be honest: SF is chock full of breath taking views from almost every corner (and I’d be thrilled to own a house in any of them), but if we include proximity to open space (like the Presidio or the ocean), the size of the homes and their lots, yards (front, back, side) and those cool carriage houses in back that are bigger than most people’s primary residences, then really, these four take the cake.

But I’m a sucker for parks and beaches, and if I have to pick from there, it’s sand and surf forever. My vote then is Sea Cliff.

Here are four ridiculously lush listings, one in each of my hypothetical contender’s neighborhoods. Study them, perhaps shedding a tear for your own career choice. From your own city explorer insight, which height is really the tops? Are certain areas more steady as investments? Are these places really worth all this dough? And are there really still enough buyers for places like this? After all, the four below are just four of myriad listings on the MLS for well over 3 million dollars, when the the San Francisco Census put the median income in our fair city at less than $70k.

2901 Broadway (Pacific Heights) (7 Bedroom mansion for $45 million.)

37 Presidio Ave (Presidio Heights)  (7 Bedroom single family for or $5, 395,000)

632 El Camino Del Mar (Sea Cliff) (5 Bedroom single family for $9,000,000)

 1454 Kearny St. (Telegraph Hill) (3 Bedroom single family for $3,500,000)

 

Sea Cliff shot via Panoramio

Update: Pool Party On Broadway! Marco….Polo….Fish Outta Water! (And Now On The Market)

[Update: Our original tip ran in May of this year, and now as "Curbed SF" reports, it's on the market (in MLS)...with photos.]

From a connected reader:

Designed in 1922 by Frederick Meyer (think Bill Graham Auditorium) [2950 Broadway] is a serious presence on outer Broadway’s Gold Coast and I think the only one with a pool.

2950broadwaypool1

2950broadway1

…and not yet on MLS, but we’d be glad to get you in early. ;-)

broadway2950_01

Asking $39,500,000.00.

Lifeguard not on duty, and Toyotas parked out front not included.

-2950 Broadway [website]

Stolen Thunder: 2712 Broadway In Contract, What To Do?

You gotta love when you pick up some clients in the “price is not an issue” category (thanks to this blog mind you), a good opportunity like 2712 Broadway (7 bed, 5 bath, Gold Coast Single Family Home originally asking $9,495,000, immediately reduced to $7,750,000) comes along while your clients are on vacation and unreachable, and they come back and ask, “What happened?”

2712broadway

We know what we’re doing, what would you suggest?

Do you tell them:
( polls)

-2712 Broadway [sfnewsletter.com listing detail]

What Awaits Behind Those Doors? (2219 Pacific)

While everyone else is talking about the end of the world, we’re talking about opportunities (pricing aside)! (Edited for syntax.)

Permits issued and complete plans available to finish this spectacular three story home in AAA Pacific Heights location. Down to studs, completely reframed, needs electrical, plumbing, floors, mechanical etc. & will be a 4900 sq ft home with elevator & private alley entrance off Webster St. Three quarters of foundation is brand new with all current seismic upgrades.

2219pacific

This dream opportunity could be yours for the bargain basement price of….$3,495,000.

-2219 Pacific Avenue, $3,495,000 [sfnewsletter listing detail]

East Bay: How Piedmont Brings Out the Worst in Me

By Home Girl, aka real-estate blogger Tracey Taylor).

Go to Piedmont and you feel you have entered another world. That’s if you live in Berkeley or Oakland or anywhere else where you are a mere mortal.

I suppose Piedmont is the East Bay’s equivalent to Pacific Heights. Rarefied, privileged, cocooned. The median list price here for a SFH is $1,236,000 (admittedly a tad lower than Pac Height’s $3,357,000, but you get the picture).

I saw a couple of Piedmont listings this weekend. The first was a pink chateau (above) priced at $3,295,000; the second, a 1950s one-level given a complete contemporary overhaul (below), was $745,000 less expensive, but by far the more interesting proposition in my humble opinion.

If you are the old-school type who favors traditional interiors and bourgeois accommodations, the chateau is for you. If, however, you like something a little more risque — a splash of California indoor-outdoor living, a few floor-to-ceiling windows and a handful of sumptuous bathrooms thrown in — then opt for the newer model (below).

Both homes have been on the market for 64+ days, and I would want to know why the second one, at 43 Farragut Avenue, has changed hands no less than four times in the past 11 years (beginning in 1997 — a snip at $1,250,000). But if you’re after more bang for you buck than in the Heights, these are both worth investigating.

Oh, I did visit a third open house on my tour of Piedmont:  224 Ricardo Avenue is a perfectly nice house in a perfectly nice area, but it costs $1,275,000 and, to be honest, I felt like I was slumming it. That’s the effect Piedmont has on you if you spend more than enough time there.

Above: your new neighbors should you choose to buy 43 Farragut Avenue in Piedmont.

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

Pacific Heights in the Spotlight

As always, theFrontSteps is open to new contributors and writers joining us, so if you think you have what it takes to blog (doesn’t take much), give us a shout and let us know. This comes to us from Arrian Binnings, via his new blog Inside SF Real Estate. We found it quite good (void of most Realtor spin, and generally informative) and have asked him to write a column for us (hence the full content version, rather than just a link). What say you, the readers? Good stuff?

Pacific Heights. Mmmmm, what an incredible part of our City. Just imagining it conjures up images of huge mansions, gloriously landscaped yards, jaw-dropping views, and:

Standard Pac Heights TP Roll
Standard Pac Heights TP Roll

Seriously though, we wanted to take out our San Francisco micro-market magnifying glass and see what condo prices are doing in the area. Are they up? Down? Major bubble burst (aka, Bubblicious)??

Well that’s exactly what we set out to do, and here’s how we did it.

First, we looked at Median Sales Prices for condos in Pacific Heights, dating back to the year 1995. All sales are per MLS. We capped each year at October 20th, so we could include 2008 and get an even comparison (something about saying apples to apples just drives me crazy). As you might expect, we left out Single Family Homes, TICs, Lofts, and Stock Co-Ops.

 

Here’s the tale of the tape: Continue reading