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)

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

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

The doldrums

Not a whole lot of inventory has hit the market this week. A quick glance at the MLS today shows 43 new SFR (single family residence) listings. Of them, two are in the Sunset, three in the Excelsior, two in Crocker Amazon, two in Portola, and one in Bayview.  All of the other new SFR listings are in other counties.

It makes sense. This is a big travel weekend and all. On the other hand, some people do make a point of getting out to look at properties during holiday weekends. 

To round it out, there are 58 solds, 34 pendings, and 14 contingents. The end/beginning of this month always sees a “solds dump.” 

 

– 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

Weekly Fluj: Inventory, is there a lot of it?

Lots of people yapping on and on about how San Francisco listing inventory is through the roof, sales volume is in the toilet, and both median and average home prices have plummeted, but the Fluj says:

Seemingly the perception is that there is a lot of inventory, but is there, really? And as for prices, come on now!

Discuss, debate, have fun.

…and kicking it off, we’ll go ahead and show you Fluj’s first comment in the thread to get you going:

Right, so, “Inventory.”

Seemingly the conventional wisdom is that there is a lot of it. Why the disparity between what buyers in the field are actually excperiencing and the media/blogs then?

I did a search for available properties. I used a metric that I believe to be extremely common for San Franciscans. This is a search for a couple or a small family who hope to buy something with room to grow into.

The parameters are: 750K to $1.205M, 3 brs, 2 bas, 1 car parking. I limited the search zones to only generally safe(r) areas. Essentially I included everthing except Ingleside, Ingleside Heights, and Oceanview, all of 9 save Bernal and Potrero Hill, and all of 10.

I turned up 82 properties.

1. Of the 8 Richmond properties, only one was east of Funston, and it is a cosmetic fixer on 7th Ave for 899K. (On the market for 7 days, offers Tuesday, you best to hurry if interested IMO)

2. Twenty-seven are in the central or outer Sunset.

3. For areas 3, the Arch st. listing appears to be a nice little Merced Heights home for 559 a foot. Many searchers will not entertain areas 3.

4. For areas 4, if they are not on a very busy street or a fixer, only Forest Knoll, and Miraloma Park areas 4-D and 4-H have properties for 550-600 a foot. Like 3, many buyers will not entertain areas 4 as it is not particularly central.

5. Surprisingly, for areas 5, there are only two Glen Park listings. In Noe, there is only 4120 22nd, a permitted fixer in need of at least 600K in capital. In Ashbury Terrace, only one cosmetic fixer I know to have received two offers already. And there is one large fixer property up on Grand View — and it doesn’t have any views.

6. There was nothing in 6. This was surprising.

7-8. Nothing here. Not surprising.

9. Eleven are in Bernal Heights and will not appear in the search perameters of many groups. Two in Potrero Hill. The Wisconsin listing is a total fixer on a corner with very little southern exposure and an entrenched tenant. The Rhode Island property at $1.195M and 663 a foot appears to be a decent deal for North Slope.

So is that a lot of inventory? I really don’t think it is.

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.)

Eff theFrontSteps!

It’s too damn hot and nice outside to blog about San Francisco real estate today. Maybe when we come in for a lemonade we’ll get to some posts, but for now, the sun is blazing and we say, Eff theFrontSteps! Get outside and enjoy the weather, because you know it won’t last!

If you absolutely must get your fix, try starting up a conversation or posting some videos or photos to our social network. And of course, you could always go head to head with “the Fluj” about our Redheaded Stepchild, the Sunset.

Back soon……..

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.

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".]

Your First Look inside 1575 20th Ave

Not your typical Central Sunset home to say the least. Enjoy being the first to get a look inside this 3 bed, 3 bath, custom built, view home at 1575 20th Ave (website and more pics will be up soon). Asking $1,285,000. This house is SWEET! (yes caps)

The front:

1575front.jpg

The courtyard:

1575court.jpg

The back:

1575back.jpg

The living room:

1575insideliv.jpg

The Kitchen:

1575kit.jpg

The Hallway:

1575hall.jpg

The Master Bedroom:

1575master.jpg

The Master Bath (great views from that tub!)

1575masterbath.jpg

One Guest room:

1575guest.jpg

Our contact info: should you like to go take a look.

[Update: Website is now up, www.1575-20thave.com.]

What costs how much where, and a complete wrap-up of 2007

Hats off to Katy Dinner, or whoever it was that put this information together, and thanks for sending it our way.

katydinner.jpg

Some examples of what else you’ll find by following the link below:

A two bedroom condo in the Marina will set you back a cool $1,237,000, but in Hayes Valley it will only set you back $780,000.

A three bedroom house in Lower Pacific Heights will set you back $1,837,500, whereas a three bedroom house in the Central and Outer Sunset will only run your tab up to $810,000.

[prices are "Median Sales Price"]

Good stuff on that link. Take a look at it.

What costs how much where in San Francisco [863Katy.com]

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]

Comment du Jour: Six Fewer Sales…Higher Median

As we start to get back in the groove of this blog thing, we’re going to be relying on you, so don’t hold back.

Today, we grab “kenny’s” comment. Forget about the stab at the other site, and focus on the message…we’ll make it bold for you, so you don’t miss it:

[The bears on the other site ramble] on about the Sunset [district] getting hit and what not. It hasn’t. I just searched the Outer Sunset. There were six fewer [Single Family Residence] sales in 2007 than 2006, and guess what? Higher median.

Ahhh, we have the best readers in the land!

Real Estate, Sex, our Top Posts and Last Thoughts of 2007

No surprise here…sex sells…very well, and it even helps sell real estate, or at least Realtors. Our most popular post of 2007 was …and the Nominees for Sexiest Realtor in San Francisco are….

Second up was obviously the the results of said contest.

Third up was our Battle Royale: San Francisco or New York City…if you had to choose.

Fourth place was Nothing Special, just $421,000 Over Asking, That’s All.

Fifth were some of our Picture Medley posts.

This year (2007) was a very good year for theFrontSteps, and we thank you all for it. We’ve seen average monthly “unique readers” go from less than 200/month when we started (February 2007) to over 21,000/month currently. Not bad for a hobby. We hope to continue growing and bringing the real estate insight in 2008.

If you feel like passing the time until we ramp up again in 2008, feel free to join “James” and “Resort at Squaw Creek” in a totally off-topic discussion on whether Sugar Bowl is a better ski resort than Squaw Valley USA (we pick Squaw).  Since it’s so off topic, you might as well just discuss all things Lake Tahoe.

If you absolutely must see some real estate porn, check out this $3,000,000 House for sale in the Central Sunset. Yes, that is Central Sunset on Lincoln, and that is $3,000,000.

lincoln.jpg

“John” sent us his take along with the link:

I went to the open house. Well, I was expecting a completely remodeled mansion. Don’t be fooled by the new exterior paint job. Instead, it is a fixer. Yes, it is large (4000+ sqft on main and upper floors). However, the kitchen and bathrooms are from the 50′s, floors are crappy and have water damage (maybe the roof has problems too?), windows are original single pane, next to a busy street (Lincoln), The in-law apartment in the basement is useless. The agent said the in-law had the permit, but I really doubt it.

What do I want to say? Well, it will be interesting to see how much this one sells for at the end of the day. Personally, I wouldn’t pay 1.5M for it, but who knows.

I love its colorful roof tiles though. It has some nice wood panels inside too.

If that isn’t enough to pass the time until your NYE celebrations, you could always send us a tip or letter.

Pray for snow, go buy a Tahoe house (it’s a great time for that), save up for a San Francisco home (our market is balancing out), and have a Happy New Year!

-2645 Lincoln Way [Redfin Listing Detail page...not a Redfin listing]

-Send us a tip [theFrontSteps]

-We Live in a Bubble Here in San Francisco (This is where you’ll find the Tahoe discussion.) [theFrontSteps]

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.

Coastal Estate on Auction

While you’re down in Half Moon Bay picking out your favorite pumpkin, or maybe watching the nut cases pick off waves at Mavericks, why not throw a few hundred thousand extra dollars in your pocket and pick up a trophy property at auction.

100ranchroad.jpg

This one comes with 26 acres, and a nice big deck for fresh lime margaritas at sunset. Invitations welcomed.

-100 Ranch Road West, Half Moon Bay [nationalauctiongroup.com]

A drop, a loss, and a few flips in Inner Sunset

by Anon8Mizer [with pictures and links added by theFrontSteps]:

Hi Alex — I like Inner Sunset because it’s one of the few neighborhoods in SF that haven’t sold out. So here are some observations:

innersunsetmedley.jpg

The drop:

1416 18th ave (condo) in a duplex – Originally asking $699K a month ago, now back on market at $649K — a 7.2% drop. At approx 936 sq ft, kitchen & bathroom still needing remodel/update, I don’t think we have seen the last of the reductions… About the only thing going for it is the side by side parking…

The loss:

1362 8th ave (condo) in a duplex — Purchased Nov 9, 2006 for $840K, now listed at $849K. It needs new cabinets in the kitchen. A loss when you count commissions…[It's not over yet, but it is in contract.]

A few flips:

1275-1277 14th Ave (duplex). Originally offered with both units tenant occupied at $998k, the original owner then got rid of the tenants and sold it in March ’07 for $1,170k (17% increase when it’s sold with both units vacant and no eviction penalty). The new owner fixed it up, and now lists at $1,499k. Saw it Sunday. At 2300 sqft, the rooms are rather small. Top unit has the smaller of the 2 bedrooms connected to a bathroom to make it a master suite, which is weird. I didn’t see any shower, either. Just the bathtubs — the new owner will have to put in a shower. Kind of baffling. What were they thinking? I would be surprised if it sold over asking…

1327-1329 17th ave (duplex). This one is on an extra wide lot and the rooms are huge. A developer bought it a few months back at $1,515k, completely remodeled it, and now is listed at $2,320,000 and in contract after one showing. I liked the quality of the remodel work there. The master bathrooms are huge, but single sink only — no double sinks. Again, what were they thinking??? What a pity.

1324 11th ave (TIC in duplex). Originally the whole building was purchased in March ’04 for $1,115k by two TIC partners. Now 3 and half years later the bottom unit is listed for $795k alone after remodel… If you split the building 46/54, that’s an increase of $282k, or 53% in 3.5 years if sold at that price…[Now in contract.]

The Moral:

Moral of the story seems to be — In this day and age when busy professionals are only looking at ‘spanking new, move in ready’ places, profit is still here if you are willing to put some elbow grease into a building…

Battle Royale: San Francisco or New York City, if you had to choose

Just back from my trip to New York City, I couldn’t help but constantly do as so many San Franciscans surely do while there…that is compare our city to theirs.

nycsf

To be clear, for the most part, this is an apples to oranges comparison. Their population (8.2 Million) is roughly 11 times our 750,000. In order to make it close we’d have to come up with five boroughs to match NYC’s Manhattan, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island. So let’s give ourselves San Francisco, Marin, Oakland, Berkeley, and Daly City. That’s hardly fair, because Daly City is well…Daly City. Other suggestions? Moving on…

As far as real estate is concerned, there is way more to choose from in NYC, and from what I could tell, you get equally as little for your money there as you do here. For example, a $425,000, 400 square foot cooperative in Greenwich Village on Bleecker or a 410 square foot, $425,000 condo at 201 Harrison in South Beach. At least in Greenwich Village you’d be neighbors with Gwyneth Paltrow, Sarah Jessica Parker, Hilary Swank, and Isaac Mizrahi (among other notables). Who’s in South Beach? Anyone?

Let’s not get the impression I’m saying NYC is better, especially when it comes to Coffee. I was staying in the Upper West side on 79th at Amsterdam and I couldn’t for the life of me find any place that did a good coffee anywhere near as good as Blue Bottle Coffee, Ritual Coffee, Caffe Trieste, Philz, and so many more you stumble upon just by walking around San Francisco. That’s not to say we don’t have our share of sh*tty places to get coffee either, in fact they’re on just about every corner as they are in NYC (Thinking Starbucks here and the Baristas that can’t steam milk to save their lives. At least the espresso pour is automatic, so they can’t f*ck that up.)

Moving on to recreation… NYC has Central Park, Long Island, thousands of miles of pavement, and what else? Stair climbing up the fire escapes? We have the Bay, which you can actually swim in, sail on, windsurf over, and dive under without exposure to deadly levels of toxic waste (most of the time). We also have Ocean Beach for surfing, and Marin for cycling, mt. biking, hiking, and chasing BMWs down from Pantoll Station. We have the wine country out our back door, Tahoe a short 3 hours away, and I could go on for hours.

What about the weather? If you enjoy blistering hot, muggy summers and waiting for your subway train in the “dog breath” air down there (my cousin actually compares it to that), freezing cold winters where your snot freezes to the inside of your nose, then NYC is the place you should be. On the other hand if you enjoy a nice temperate climate, beautiful “Indian Summers”, rainy winters, and pleasant springs, then you might consider San Francisco. BUT if you choose to live in the Outer Avenues, you might want to try a winter in NYC, because that is what your summers in the Avenues will be like.

Lastly, what about the food. I always hear NYC has “the best restaurants”. “I go to New York for the food.” And on and on. I got news for all you New Yorkers, your food was average at best. We ate out every morning noon and night and didn’t eat at the same place twice. True, you have way more choices than we do and it costs twice as much, but quantity does not necessarily equal quality, and I’m seriously doubting the Zagat Survey, as it seems every restaurant we went into was Zagat rated, and “recommended by the New York Times”, and really not that great. For example, we went to Grimaldi’s Pizzeria at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge, and yes, it was good, but not “to die for”, like we were told. It was pizza cooked in a brick oven, and it ain’t that unique. In case you thought you could only get that taste under the Brooklyn Bridge, there is a Grimaldi’s in New Jersey, Long Island, Scottsdale, Las Vegas, Chandler (AZ), and soon Dallas…hmmm.

I think NYC is a totally cool city and the vibe is extraordinary. I’d love to spend some more time there and really get it dialed, but from my short visits, I can honestly say San Francisco definitely holds its own against your world class city. If there are any of you readers that would care to shed some light on all the matters for me, I am all ears. And if you’d care to elaborate that is cool too, because I left some huge ones out…like shopping, and entertainment!

Maybe Curbed SF, Curbed (NY), Urban Digs (NY), True Gotham, Grow a Brain and the Real Estalker can help us out.

My vote, for now, is San Francisco, but like I said already, I’d love to be enlightened.

Bringing it to the ‘hoods:

-Hayes or Haight, if you had to choose [theFrontSteps]

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

new space challenge, and reason we live here #8

Guess what this space is going to be, and where it is, and forever feel like a bad ass. Feel free to pass this on, and spread the love. There might be something in it for the correct answer.

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Here’s a hint…it might leave you feeling BLŪ, could help a hangover, can be addictive, and will definitely draw a crowd. I’m making it too easy for you. I’m off to NYC until 10/13/2007. Answer, and more posts when I return!

-More Reasons we live here [theFrontSteps]

-In case you didn’t know, reply in the “comments”.

Sunset Idea House a.k.a. 1303 Alabama

by Tiffany Elston:

sunset In the spirit of keeping tabs on San Francisco’s green housing inventory, it seems only logical to draw attention to a green 2 unit TIC in the Mission: 1303 Alabama. The main unit is being retained by the owners. The second unit is a 1,200 SqFt home. The project is the result of a collaboration between Sunset Magazine and Meridian Builders and Developers Inc. and was designed to “take the magazine’s Idea House Program into a dense urban area for the first time, and demonstrate how to maximize construction on a compact site.” Interesting.

I got to preview the 2 bedroom 2.5 bath two Sundays ago during the Build It Green San Francisco Home Tour.

In terms of green building features, the house gets a high score: solar PV, recycled glass tiles, reclaimed wood floors, double insulated windows, dual flush toilets, rooftop garden, and the first residential windmill in the city (On a 1-year variance to see how the birdies fair with spinning blades.)

The unit is on the market for $1,089,000.

How long will it be before someone swoops in on this green baby? Wagers, anyone?

[Editor's notes: It'd be fun to see what "A" and "M" think it will sell for. I know "A" is reading, but what about "M". And WTF is up with the MLS photos of this place! You'd think better quality would be demanded of the agent.]

-Info on the Sunset Idea House

-1303 Alabama [MLS]

Noe Valley wins, Pacific Heights loses … BIG!

Way back when on July 3rd one of our readers, “Eddy”, sent in a post pitting two districts against each other titled “A tale of two districts”.

We showcased two properties:

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689 Douglass, which absolutely flew off the shelf, and ultimately sold for $2,050,000 from the $1,895,000 asking price (Close of escrow was 8/15/07).

The other property being 2679 Sacramento, was withdrawn from the market at $1,550,000, and is now back on with a new price ($1,515,000), and a new lease on life, as it is only 2 Days on the Market (We guess, they’re not counting the 48 days on the market from the last go-round).

Let’s cross our fingers that it sells this time, but honestly our hope is fading.

And as Eddy pointed out, “Still no parking or back yard.” Not easy to put those two items in either. ;-)

For more of these types of neighborhood battles, we now have something similar that we call the Battle Royale, which you should check out and chime in on. We’re working on our next, Inner Sunset vs. West Portal. Stay tuned!

-“A tale of two districts” [theFrontSteps]

-689 Douglass [listing detail from sfnewsletter]

-2679 Sacramento [listing detail from sfnewsletter]

-Battle Royale [theFrontSteps]

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:

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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]

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.

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Hayes Valley Stats (source: SFAR MLS)

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Haight Ashbury Stats (source: SFAR MLS)

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Haight Ashbury zip 94117 (Median: source Altos Research)

Single Family

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Hayes Valley zip 94102

Single Family

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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.