Parkside Center Patio Home Hits The Market, Don’t Delay!

If you’ve been looking for a home in the Parkside neighborhood of San Francisco, I have just the one for you, 2186 33rd Ave @ Rivera ($795,000).

This home has been elegantly remodeled and meticulously maintained throughout. There is a large Living Room and Formal Dining Room, which opens into a wonderful center patio with skylights that seal off completely enabling you to enjoy the tranquility even on a rainy day. The living room has a corner fireplace and oak floors. The Beautiful kitchen has been wonderfully remodeled with Carrara Marble counters, cherry floor, stainless appliances and skylight. There are two spacious bedrooms and a full bath upstairs and large Master Suite with Full Bath downstairs. Whether you use the downstairs room as a master suite or office or media room, you can easily step outside into the lovely garden, or simply open the doors and let fresh air in. It is truly a wonderful home in an excellent location, that could be yours.

The home will be open for viewing every Sunday from 2-4pm until it is sold, and is available for private showings by appointment.

What are you waiting for! It’s not everyday a center patio home like this hits the market.

-2186 33rd Ave: 3bed, 2 bath, 1 parking, $795,000 [MLS]

An apples to apples in Sunnyside? It looks that way.

519 Foerster sold for over asking and 75K more than it last sold for in 2005.

(Here’s the link, 519 Foerster not [editor is back in town] cleaned up):

It looks like there was a paint job, and maybe a new floor in the kitchen, maybe not. The 2005 listing advertises a “new home.”

This would seem to go along with the theory I and a number of others subscribe to. The “pockets” theory that there are neighborhoods throughout the city that continue to see appreciation. One of the most surprising and most glaring is the Inner Richmond more parkside properties. But I think Sunnyside/Miraloma Park is another. This one fetched 616 a foot.

– Kenneth (KJ) Kohlmyer a k a der fluj

Reader Reports: Parkside home for $1.4M? (2560 22nd Ave)

From our reader:

Is any house in the central sunset worth 1.4 million? The average price in the central sunset 800k -900k.

Please take a look at 2960 22nd Ave, San Francisco which just came on the market.

2560 22nd Ave (before)

…and the kitchen:

Kitchen before

We must first say that this home is technically located in the Parkside, near Stern Grove and that area is quite nice. Having not actually been in the home, we can’t speak to the price, but if the pictures are any indication….oh wait, those are the before shots from the last sale in December 2007 at $900,000.

Read on for the after…. Continue reading

Crime on the rise in Bernal Heights?

It seems to be the week of getting edumucated on theFrontSteps. First chickens, now rising crime in Bernal Heights? We have no factual evidence to support what we’re saying, but the information has come to us from a very reliable and trustworthy source. We’re hoping you (the reader) can shed some light on the matter. We know some of you in particular might have better knowledge on the matter than we, so please share.

It also begs the question, could this make Bernal go bust? (And it reminds us, we’re about due for another Battle Royale.)

Isolated Panic amongst some San Francisco Realtors, or something larger?

Recently, we’ve been contacted by more than a dozen Realtors asking if we could “plug” their listings. Typically, this is not something we do as it defeats the purpose, honesty, and transparency of this blog, but we got to thinking…why not? We could make a little $$ from it, and help get the word out about some pretty cool properties that happen to still be available. Truth be told, a lot of “tips” from “tipsters” are essentially “plugs” anyway. Right?

Well, don’t worry, we’re not going to start whoring ourselves out…yet. But what has us thinking is the increase in requests to do so for properties that have only been on the market 2-6 weeks. In any other part of the country having a listing for 4 months is normal, and panic usually sets in around the 6th month that it is not sold, so why such alarm after 2-6 weeks? San Francisco Realtors are so accustomed to homes flying off the shelf, and when they don’t…they PANIC! Remember, a listing isn’t a “Stalefish” until 100 days have passed, so why all the panic?

We still say it all comes down to pricing, pricing, pricing, and location, location, location, and there is no need for panic across the board. We’re still hearing many more reports of multiple offers and properties flying off the shelf than we are of properties sitting, but is the national trend finally starting to hit San Francisco on a broader level, not just the southern districts? We’ve heard reports of homes in the Inner Richmond, Cole Valley, Westwood Park, Bernal Heights, Inner Sunset, Noe Valley (Gasp!), Parkside, Potrero Hill, and a few other nabes getting a bit stale. Properties that previously would have sold in the blink of an eye. So what gives?

We want your thoughts, especially you Realtors. Go ahead and comment anonymously, we won’t tell. And we certainly hope to hear from the Fluj, who, in case you missed it, we caught.

[If you'd like to check out what we've written about other neighborhoods in San Francisco, look to the right hand column and "Browse Site by Category".]

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.

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

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

2330bay.jpg

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

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

-2330 Bay [MLS]

Comment du Jour: “Highest stakes table in Vegas”

I chose this comment for the “Comment du Jour”, as it is a very good, brief description of the mindset of many buyers currently in the market. Thanks “Ah Boom”, and thanks to all the others that have responded and shared their thoughts on that thread.

You put your life savings down [on a home in SF] and pray to [G]od you didn’t buy at the top and your family doesn’t have any life issues such as illness, injury, divorce, death, unemployment, or downswing in business, which results in you losing 60% or more of your down payment after even a 2% depreciation due to closing costs, commissions, taxes and penalties. A modest 6% depreciation could result in you losing everything.

Its an easy decision to make when an upmarket is just beginning and salaries are rising, but when all indicators are trending down it is difficult to escape the feeling that you are playing a game of craps at the highest stakes table in las vegas.

“Da bulls” (not Ditka’s) have been responding a bit more than “da bears” (also not Ditka’s), and there has been some question of “all indicators are trending down”, but a good comment nonetheless and one that really gets you thinking.

To add my two cents. There is absolutely nothing wrong with renting. If you want to buy real estate, there is a whole world of markets for you to invest in. Buy elsewhere, and rent here. Nothing wrong with that.

As an investor, now could be a good time to snatch up some property in markets that are hurting. Buy low, rent high, think long term.

-Done Deal in the Outer Parkside [theFrontSteps]

Done Deal in Outer Parkside (2342 42nd)

What feels like ages ago on April 11th, I wrote about 2342 42nd Avenue:

…in August of 2006 this property was listed at $1,095,000, then in March of 2007 listed at $899,000, now it is listed at $1,295,000. If it sells at $1,295,000, I’m packing up and moving to Mexico, because that would be just plain wrong. It should sell around $775,000 or less. That is a fair price. It has no ocean views, is hardly high-end, literally shares a fence with a school, and could definitely use some “modernizing”. Other than that, it is a great house…

That was then. I’m packing my bags, but not boarding the plane. It just sold for $990,000!!!! This is truly amazing. I can’t even believe it. Not at all. Comps and price per square foot support it (I guess), but it is NOT a “$10,000 shy of $1M” house. WOW! That’s all I can say…wow.

234242ndsold.jpg

-2342 42nd [MLS]

Battle Royale: Hayes Valley or Haight Ashbury, if you had to choose

We’ve been having lots of fun with the other Battles: Outer Richmond v. Outer Sunset and Pacific Heights v. Marina, so today we give you Hayes Valley or Haight Ashbury. The choice is yours. As always, we provide the data, and hope you provide the insight. Have fun. Sorry for the tech difficulties, it’s not us.

Correction on the Outer Richmond/Outer Sunset post. The charts we posted from Altos research were actually median prices for condos, not sfr’s. It is now fixed.

haighthayes.jpg

Hayes Valley Stats (source: SFAR MLS)

hayesstats.jpg

Haight Ashbury Stats (source: SFAR MLS)

haightstats.jpg

Haight Ashbury zip 94117 (Median: source Altos Research)

Single Family

condo

Hayes Valley zip 94102

Single Family

condo

When looking at these charts, keep in mind that they are based off of zip code, not property type and exact street delineations as in the San Francisco Association of Realtors District Map.

Bernal Heights strikes again (145 Coso…$309,000 over)

We’re not making this up, but it might help answer the question, “is Bernal on Fuego or Hielo?” All pricing issues aside, this is a pretty damn good find. Thanks Garrett:

145 Coso, a 3-bed, 2-bath, 13 days on the market and $309,000 above asking, which brings the sales price to $1,408,000 in Bernal. No kidding.

145coso.jpg

On a different note. You see that tall building in the background? That is One Rincon Hill. It seems so close, but is yet so far…especially when talking SF real estate.  For those that say the increased inventory in buildings like that, and all the other new developments popping up in SOMA, will have an effect on homes like this…think again.

-Bernal on Fuego or Hielo? [theFrontSteps]

-Battle Royale: Outer Richmond or Outer Sunset/Parkside…if you had to choose [theFrontSteps]

-One Rincon Hill Topping Off Event, with lots of photos [theFrontSteps]

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]

“Seems outrageous to me” (2566 23rd Ave.)

I’m going to keep quiet on this and do as this reader suggests…”let the readers decide”.

This listing [2566 23rd Ave.] in SF’s Parkside caught my eye.

Bought in March for $1.04M (expensive for Parkside), this home was flipped and is now back on the market for $1.6M!

Seems outrageous to me, but let the readers decide.

256623rdave.jpg

Okay…I can’t keep quiet. This area of Parkside is not like what you’d expect of the “Parkside”. The homes are much different, and much nicer than most. Many have great views, which add a good bit of value (in the fall ;-) ) Looking at comps it’s actually priced spot on for average price per square foot, but in my opinion that’s too high. It’s the most expensive home in any recent comp and the market is in a dicey phase. I’d expect a sales price in the $1.3M’s, but I’d like to get inside before I’m held to that prediction. I’m going strictly off comps and pictures…not good medicine.

-2566 23rd [redfin]

-Parkside [sfnewsletter's Tour de San Francisco (real estate)]

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

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

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

marinapac

marinavpacheights

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

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

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

On deck: Haight Ashbury vs. Hayes Valley

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

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

Stats & Numbers

Ask nicely and you shall receive. We did the Single Family Stats and Numbers last week, and a kind email request came for the same thing for condos. Thank you for reading, commenting on, and contacting the sfnewsletter BLOG.   Here are the graphs representing Median Price for CONDOS in San Francisco by zip code:

Inner Richmond/Presidio Heights

Richmond

Marina/Cow Hollow

Parkside

Pacific Heights

Mission

Noe Valley

Mission Bay/Potrero Hill/SOMA

South Beach

Stats & Numbers

Thanks to “Boom”, who commented on one of our posts, and provided us with this link to the latest Bay Area Home Sale Activity for April 2007, which we copied below to show you just how San Francisco stacked up to the same month last year.
countypercentages.jpg

Our problem with relying on zip code data for median prices and market trends in San Francisco is the fact that the zip code doesn’t necessarily jive with the neighborhood and common type of property being purchased in those areas.  Examples: 94115 is Pacific Heights, but it also includes Lower Pacific Heights and the Western Addition; 94110 is the Mission, but also Bernal Heights; 94121 is Central and Outer Richmond, but also Sea Cliff.  See where we’re going with this?  

Regardless, here are some cool “real time” graphs you might find interesting as well. (Graphs are only for Single Family Residences.)

Innner Richmond, Laurel/Presidio Heights

Central/Outer Richmond, Sea Cliff

Marina/Cow Hollow

Parkside

Pacific Heights, Lower Pacific Heights, Western Addition

Mission, Bernal Heights,

Noe Valley, Corona Heights, Duboce Triangle

Mission Bay/Potrero Hill/SOMA, South Beach

South Beach, SOMA, Financial District

If you’d like your zip charted, contact us.

-Your chance at fame…or missed fortune [sfn BLOG]
-More Stats & Numbers [sfn BLOG]
[image sources: Data Quick; and Altos Research]

Tuesday Tour: Didn’t Like

2342 42nd Ave., a 3 bed, 3 bath single family in the Outer Parkside.
234242nd.jpg
What I don’t like is the fact that in August of 2006 this property was listed at $1,095,000, then in March of 2007 listed at $899,000, now it is listed at $1,295,000. If it sells at $1,295,000, I’m packing up and moving to Mexico, because that would be just plain wrong. It should sell around $775,000 or less. That is a fair price. It has no ocean views, is hardly high-end, literally shares a fence with a school, and could definitely use some “modernizing”. Other than that, it is a great house…seriously. This is one of the hottest markets in the city right now, and this house is just going to get Stale.
I know the price has been set by the seller, so I can’t hold it against the Realtors, but if that’s the price they want, they might as well put it on Zillow as their “Make Me Move” price, save the agents some time, and never plan on moving.

-2342 42nd Ave. [MLS]
-What I liked [sfn BLOG]

Ask an Expert (Sven Lavine), Inner Parkside Weather and height restrictions

“I enjoy reading your newsletter and your blog. Thanks for all the helpful info. Would you mind helping me better understand Inner Parkside w/respect with the weather? We’re looking at a home on the west side of 16th; does that mean we’re doomed to being shrouded in fog? Also, more importantly, is it virtually impossible to build upward (one story) in this neighborhood? Or will we have to go back, essentially eliminating the home’s small backyard?
Thanks,
Pete”
———————————-
As answered by Sven Lavine, of Sven Lavine Architecture

Hi,

I won’t get into the weather, but regarding the expansion, technically, you probably would have a 40 foot height limit in Inner Parkside. But what would actually be allowed by planning would depend on the predominant character of the neighborhood. If there are other adjacent houses which are taller than your potential home, you stand a better chance. If not, you may be able to build something that is set back from the front of the house in a way that the perceived mass is reduced. As is always the case in San Francisco, neighborhood opposition can stop the project, so get your neighbors and architect involved in the beginning.

Good Luck,
Sven Lavine, AIA

Ask an Expert, Inner Parkside Weather (Jane Ivory)

“I enjoy reading your newsletter and your blog. Thanks for all the helpful info. Would you mind helping me better understand Inner Parkside w/respect with the weather? We’re looking at a home on the west side of 16th; does that mean we’re doomed to being shrouded in fog? Also, more importantly, is it virtually impossible to build upward (one story) in this neighborhood? Or will we have to go back, essentially eliminating the home’s small backyard?
Thanks,
Pete”
————————–

As answered by Jane Ivory of Hill & Co. Real Estate, www.janeivory.com

I lived on 16th and Pacheco for a few years and the fog is not bad there at all. I successfully grew roses in my back yard and sunbathed regularly! The fog seems to stop at 19th Ave. most of the time. It is difficult to build up or back generally in the city because (1) you have to be cognizant of blocking neighbor’s views and (2) there is a rule in the city about leaving 1/3 of the lot free of construction. It’s best to check with the building department before getting your hopes up.
Best,
Jane

Ask an Expert, Inner Parkside Weather (Todd Wiley)

“I enjoy reading your newsletter and your blog.  Thanks for all the helpful info.  Would you mind helping me better understand Inner Parkside w/respect with the weather?  We’re looking at a home on the west side of 16th; does that mean we’re doomed to being shrouded in fog?  Also, more importantly, is it virtually impossible to build upward (one story) in this neighborhood?  Or will we have to go back, essentially eliminating the home’s small backyard? 
Thanks, 
Pete”

————————
As answered by Todd Wiley of Zephyr Real Estate

Pete,

As a long time resident of the Sunset and Parkside and having just added 1200 Sq. Ft. to my own home last year while acting as the contractor, I can say that I am qualified to answer your questions about the area and the challenges that lay ahead of you.

The easy answer is regarding your question about the fog. There is no perfect answer only perfect optimism. You must be optimistic about the weather, or at a minimum work outside of the avenues so that each night when you return from work in the summer you are greeted with a cool layer of fog. Sometimes it is not bad at all to be greeted by fog when you just suffered a 100+ degree day in the valley somewhere. Each year we have a mixed bag of weather in the avenues and the fog cannot be predicted. Some years are wonderful and some years you cannot believe you have not seen the sun for four weeks straight. Just last year we had a wonderful summer and the year prior made me absolutely wonder why I live out here. When the weather is nice we have it all. The beach is right there and the parks in this area cannot be beat. In my opinion, I love it out here. It is a great place to live as long as you are not stuck working from home every single day between the months of June-August, which tend to be the most plagued by fog. In the fall, fog is an on-and-off occurrence, but the winter is almost always clear. We did have two foggy days just last week on Saturday and part of Sunday, so you never know.

Additions and adding on to your home. Since I recently added on to my house I can tell you that the only real issue you face when making such an addition is your neighbors. If you plan on adding a floor and going up you may have some challenges ahead of you. First is City Planning, and the other is Building. You must pass planning before you can move on to building. It “always” helps in the eyes of City Planning if others on your block have already done so. You can bet that you will have complaints that will hinder or squash your dreams if you are planning on going up high enough to block someone’s view. If you are on the west side of an avenue and perched well above the lower avenue you will likely have no issues whatsoever. You must submit your plans and engineered drawings to Planning. Planning will then assist you in circulating the information to your neighbors and give them an opportunity to resist your plans. After the mailer goes out I believe they have ten days to do so. If nothing comes up, you will then be granted a permit and you can begin work and then a whole new challenge will begin. I went out and not up. Going up is very expensive, while excavation (if needed) and lengthening your property is much less so. Consult an architect and have them draw you a few scenarios. Submit them to Planning and start from there.

Further information can be attained by searching the website at www.sfgov.org/dbi.

Good luck!

Todd Wiley

Ask an Expert, Inner Parkside Weather (Eddie O’Sullivan)

“I enjoy reading your newsletter and your blog. Thanks for all the helpful info. Would you mind helping me better understand Inner Parkside w/respect with the weather? We’re looking at a home on the west side of 16th; does that mean we’re doomed to being shrouded in fog? Also, more importantly, is it virtually impossible to build upward (one story) in this neighborhood? Or will we have to go back, essentially eliminating the home’s small backyard?
Thanks,
Pete”

—————————-
As answered by Eddie O’Sullivan, of Hill & Co. Real Estate, www.buysellmySFHome.com

It’s foggy but I have friends who live there and they don’t seem to mind. SF has a 40ft height limit so you will be able to build up but there are restrictions. Your neighbors need to be ok with it first of all and then the city does not want the second story to be visible from the street so they will require a set back. They also limit its size. I have a friend who is doing this type of project right now near parkside and they were only able to build 500sqft. As for building out, if it only has a small yard the city will probably not let you cover anymore of your lot because full or almost full lot coverage is a big no no for them.

Good luck,
Eddie O’

Ask an Expert, Inner Parkside Weather (Alexander Clark)

“I enjoy reading your newsletter and your blog. Thanks for all the helpful info. Would you mind helping me better understand Inner Parkside w/respect with the weather? We’re looking at a home on the west side of 16th; does that mean we’re doomed to being shrouded in fog? Also, more importantly, is it virtually impossible to build upward (one story) in this neighborhood? Or will we have to go back, essentially eliminating the home’s small backyard?
Thanks,
Pete”

————————-
As answered by Alexander Clark, of Hill & Co. Real Estate and sfnewsletter

Inner Parkside can have some pretty dodgy weather, indeed. Foggy in the summer, windy in the spring, but beautiful in the fall. Regardless of whether you’re on the west or east side of the street, it will be foggy. It’s the wind that will get you, both in summer and spring. That is why, in my opinion, the east side of the street is better. You may not get ocean views from there, but at least your backyard is blocked by your house from the wind. You can be back there on the windiest day, and if it is sunny, you’ll think you’re in SoCal. Plus, the morning sun in SF feels much warmer than the afternoon sun, thanks to the wind. But being on the west is not the end of the world either. It’s all how you play with the wind. If you build a nice deck, just make sure you build it to block some wind. Don’t think fog, think wind, and think positive. It could be worse, you could live in Sacramento where it frequently hits 100+, without West Portal out your back door.

With respect to building up, check out Sven Lavine’s comments from the last “Ask an Expert” response, Building up in Outer Sunset.
For more of our take on the Inner Parkside check out our Tour de San Francisco.
Perhaps the best person to consult on the weather is Bill Martin of KTVU Channel 2 Weather. He surfs at Ocean Beach all the time and tends to be pretty good with the micro-climates.
Lastly, you might want to rent “An Inconvenient Truth” by Al Gore…the Inner Parkside could soon have the best weather around. ;-)
Thanks for reading, and thanks for asking.
alex

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

———————-
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

Ask an Expert, Is it worth the money in Inner Parkside?

Because of the length of this question, we are not going to do individual posts for each reply.  We will list the question above and each experts answer below.  Thanks, sfnewsletter

“What do you think of a property like this? We checked out the open house on Sunday:

MLS Listing #320874

Listing #320874
$898,000 (LP)Price/SqFt:  589.24
2518  15th Ave,  San Francisco, CA  94127     Active 
Beds: 3 Baths: 1.50 Sq Ft: 1524* Lot Sz:
District: 2-G Yr: 1948*

There’s no picture. But it looks something like this listing picture below (MLS #320769):

3207691.jpg

Here’s the question:

  • House appears to be in move in condition. Area is good. In Inner Parkside, on border of West Portal, just half a block from the Muni L line.
  • It is in need of much updating, however, kitchen, bathroom, etc.
  • The second bathroom is in a closet in one of the bedrooms!
  • The basement/garage is huge and the same footprint as the house. Plus it has one of those ridiculous tunnel entrances which is a huge waste of space.
  • So, it seems that the basement could be recaptured for a master suite, office, family room at a minimum, particularly if you get rid of the tunnel entrance and add that to basement space.
  • I have no idea if the permits would allow it and such work would cost at least $200K
  • Also, the north foundation wall of the house is also a retaining wall as there is a hill on that side.
  • So, is it worth to pay $900K, and add $200K to house like this in a neighborhood?”-David

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As answered by Mary Laughlin Fenton, www.marylaughlinfenton.com, Sothebys International Realty

If your intent is to move in, renovate it to your family’s needs and remain for 5 years, I would say, it appears to be in the ballpark of recent closed sales.  I would advise you to get a good agent to work with you to walk you through all of the nuances that might be involved since this  1. is a probate sale. 2.  will require proper inspections  3.  your decision will be based on the cost of remodel, so you’ll want accurate estimates of the cost to do so.

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As answered by Shanendoah Forbes, sforbes@a-c.com, Arroyo & Coates

David,

My answer is no.  From what you have described the property has too many questionable characteristics.  The neighborhood is OK at best.  I think you would be better served by staying patient and finding something with better “bones”.  Good luck.

PS. If the weather was better, then you might reconsider.

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As answered by Alexander Clark, info@sfnewsletter, Hill & Co. Real Estate

David,

Here are the comps.  Make sure you take a close look at them.  I would even suggest taking a look at this home on the Fastrack to Staledom ™.  It’s been on the market a lot longer, has more square footage, price reduced, and the beez buzzing to the listing you’re talking about have already forgotten about the sweet nectar to be found in this alternative. 

If you are planning on flipping, forget it.  You’re right at the mark of where you will either break even, or lose money.  Probably lose money.  If you are planning on purchasing to live in the home for a while, then yes…go for it.  Gut it, do it right, see our posts from yesterday for great examples of how, live in it, enjoy it, and barring any major disaster, you should do just fine.   The weather in that area in the summer is less than ideal if you hate fog, but is great if you love fog.  I believe the home you are asking about is on the east side of the street.  If so, that is a HUGE plus as even in Spring when the prevailing North Westerlies start howling, your backyard will be sunny and warm.  For a look at what we had to say about the Inner Parkside, check out our Tour de San Francisco.

So the answer.  Yes, if you plan on living in it for a while.  No if you plan on flipping it.