Category Archives: Telegraph Hill

Telegraph Hill Neighbors: “Our Opposition Is Unconditional”

Ahhh….neighbors. You love ‘em. You hate ‘em. You can’t live in San Francisco without ‘em, and you certainly can’t easily remodel a home to today’s standards without opposition from them. Check out what just hit our inbox:
telhill1small1
If, for some reason, you can’t see the letter, which we uploaded as an image, we’ll go ahead and tell ya what it says:

Dear Mr. [deleted]:
We are neighbors on Telegraph Hill who will oppose any changes to the building envelope at [deleted] owned by [deleted] in this historic district of Telegraph Hill. While the Hill has suffered through renovations in the past, projects such as yours have occurred with extreme environmental changes. Water drainage issues on Telegraph Hill regarding a nearby project created unfavorable slope instability–buildings have been lost and a large boulder ended up on Sansome Street. Additionally, neighbors on [deleted] and surrounds are tired of construction noise and delays in completion caused by projects such as yours. A recent project took 10 years and is still incomplete.

Telegraph Hill is a historic district whose character depends upon building ownership which understands the value of building enhancement not as building expansion, but building enhancement as careful care in keeping up properties in their historic dimension. We find your application to be sadly ignorant of the need to abide by the common elements vital to the neighborhood and its character.

Your proposal to enhance the property needs to be cognizant of the historic preservation without additional elevation or facade changes in all directions. Projects like yours have been attempted in the past and have turned out badly.

While we many of us may be away during your pre-application meeting time, please understand that our opposition is unconditional.

Sincerely,
Your neighbors and friends on Telegraph Hill
[Thirteen names deleted]

Just another bump in the road for a developer out there trying to bring a home that has sat vacant since WWII (yes, that long) into our housing stock…before it falls off the hill or gets consumed by the pests and rodents feasting on its rotting self. But Hey! It’s “historic”.

[Update: We're told none of the authors of this letter took the time to actually visit the property at the open house outreach, and none have contacted the developer, or the architect (aside from this letter) to begin a dialogue of constructive or courteous negotiations.]

You gotta love San Francisco and all the righteousness it preserves…

-Telegraph Hill Landslide forces 120 from homes… [SFGate]
-San Francisco Neighborhoods prone to liquefaction…[theFrontSteps]

When Someone Hands You Lemons….

Do you, my dear readers, remember this property I mentioned back in July?

I showed it to a couple of buyers that came forward after that post. It didn’t work for them for various reasons, but at least they came forward and saw the opportunities I’ve been presenting you. The rest of you will now have to fight it out with the masses as the property is now on the MLS and asking $2,150,000.

Do you, my dear readers, remember this post I did back in May?

That was an opportunity to snag 2975 Lake before the rest.

I had four buyers come forward for the opportunity on that property, but it too didn’t work out for them for various reasons. It soon hit MLS for $2,980,000, and was in contract a mere seven days later.

Do you, my dear readers, remember this Fixer of Epic Proportions I featured, and Yahoo! picked up?

I showed it to a couple of developers that came forward, but it too didn’t work out for them for various reasons.

Four days ago I posted about this opportunity in Liberty Heights, and have showed one buyer through the property, as a result. I have this condo for sale at 88 King Street, this one at 200 Townsend, I brought you this fabulous Marina Blvd home, as well as this amazing unit at 200 Brannan, this home in Tiburon, and an entirely new website dedicated to getting you, the buyer and seller, more real estate opportunities to fall in your lap. Is your Realtor working that hard for you?

I have multiple opportunities always on the back burner for multiple buyers and sellers. If you’re ready to work with me, I’m ready to work with you. I would encourage you and your friends/family to contact me before you miss out on another great San Francisco real estate opportunity.

…end shameless self-promotion here.

-Completely Remodeled Noe Valley Home With High Definition Views For Sale [theFrontSteps]
-471 Duncan, Noe Valley [Property Website]
-2975 Lake [MLS]
-Mid Century Modern With An Emphasis On Modern [theFrontSteps]
-88 King Street #206, $849,000 [theFrontSteps]
-200 Townsend #47, $499,000 [theFrontSteps]
-Marina Blvd For The America’s Cup [theFrontSteps]
-200 Brannan [theFrontSteps]
-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

A Fixer Of Epic Proportions “Not On MLS”: 30-32 Prescott, Telegraph Hill

[Update: Property is now on MLS. Keep your eyes on PocketListings.net for your chance at many other off market opportunities, as this one was first posted there several weeks ago.]

This is one of those properties where every step you take inside the building you wonder if you’ll end up one floor below, like in a Looney Tunes Cartoon. To say the property is in utter disrepair (and recently vacated) is an understatement.
The exterior photos actually don’t do this property justice. The floors are rotted, the windows are molded and cracked, the roof is…well….it’s still there, the bathrooms are disgusting, and the potential is tremendous!
This is, after all, a “fully entitled development project with approved plans and permits in hand to build TWO, 2 story units with 2 car parking, yard, roof deck, with sweeping views of San Francisco Bay, Bay Bridge, Downtown San Francisco, and Telegraph Hill.” It’s opportunity knocking.
Full disclosure, there is a school right smack dab next door, and that could quite possibly be the only downside. However, the buyers of the finished product are likely not going to be people that are home Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm anyway, so it is almost a non-issue.
This is a chance for a developer to pick up an extraordinary project off market, develop it, and unload it. Or it is a chance for a person that wants a brand new property, to come in, take over, hire your crew, and build your Telegraph Hill dream residence.
Make no mistake, this is a “fixer” of epic proportions, but a lot of the “work” has been done for you. The hardest part of most battles to build in San Francisco is usually getting permission from the city, and that’s all been done for you. You can show up, make an offer with hammer in hand and get to work. Okay, maybe you’ll need more than a hammer and nails…like maybe a wrecking ball?

I’ll be out at the property today showing some clients, and I’ll attempt to get a couple interior pictures, but no promises. The inside is a total and complete wreck and that is what makes it so damn attractive.

Don’t go looking for this on MLS, because it ain’t there. It’s currently “off market” or “not on MLS”, but definitely very much for sale.

However, before you get to enjoy what we see in those renderings above, you gotta get through what exists in the photos below. And since so many homes are judged by the quality of their kitchens and baths…ask and thou shalt receive:


P.S. Keep in mind it was apparently recently inhabited.

-Prescott Fixer Details, San Francisco, $850,000 [PocketListings.net]
-“It’s Not Listed. But It’s Definitely For Sale.” [New York Times]
-Not on MLS Real Estate Network [PocketListings.net]

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vultures, Commence Your Circling

 

Well, all, few and far between are homes we can look at and positively say: That’d be a good investment. Yet here is one, that frankly, given the size and location, has to be just that. The downside– yes, sorry, these days there simply has to be one- is that this could be a lonnnnng term investment indeed. It could also bring out the evil in a person that he or she didn’t even know existed; but the latter, I suspect, is often the result of becoming a landlord in this city.

Welcome to 1847 Stockton, 2/1 TIC on Telegraph Hill, listed at just $250K. At issue is the tenant currently occupying the property. This tenant is “protected,” and “is not moving.” Now, if we know our tenant/landlord laws in SF as well as we should, we know protected tenants are either:

  • Ill, too ill to move, or that moving may make them worse
  • Disabled: Again, the burden and expense of moving has been deemed unacceptable to these persons
  • Elderly: Same logic as above, given the large number of very fixed incomes allotted to those no longer working
  • Long term resident: 10 years or more in the residency= you cannot get rid of this person legally.

Andy Sirkin, oft credited as the pre-eminent font of knowledge on all things eviction and TIC related (which incidentally, this property is both) puts it this way:

Protected Tenants: Certain tenants are “protected” and cannot be evicted for owner-occupancy except in very limited circumstances. Protected tenants are those 60 or over or disabled who have occupied for 10 years, and those catastrophically ill who have occupied for 5 years. Also remember that no tenant with an unexpired lease can be evicted, and that tenants who occupy a unit during conversion to a condominium are entitled to remain for one year after conversion, or for life if they are over 62 or disabled.

We have no way of telling from this listing alone what group this tenant belongs too, but it could easily be any of the above, including the long term residency, since the current rent being collected on a 2 unit in North Beach several years beyond what this tenant pays: $795 a month. (Um, no wonder the tenant is “not moving!”)

So how then is this a good investment? Well, I already said: It’s a 2 bedroom TIC in a highly desirable area, also in a building that looks well cared for. We don’t know how the unit itself looks (no pics: bad sign), but we can find out by attending the open house on 11/22 or 12/6 from 9am to 10am. In fact, if anyone goes, email some details to The Frontsteps as I’d love to do a follow-up. And hey: if we find the tenant to be ill or elderly, maybe we can project that lifespan he or she has left and plan our investment accordingly. Or, perhaps if you know a good hit man? Ha, ha. Calm down, people! Of course, I’m kidding; but you can see how the tenancy laws might bring out the worst in landlords, or landlords to be.

In any case, this property does offer some potential if you can wait it out. The rent collected now won’t cover the mortgage, so it’s a good bet for someone who can pay cash for the whole shebang. And, kismet: The listing says “all cash sale.” That means then in 333 months (27 years) or so, you’d have your principal investment back and could commence profiting. Or, you get lucky, and the tenant would …disappear first.

Hotel Luxury Condo’s Hold Their Value

by Janet Krahling

Take a look at this comparison:

Downtown Hotel Luxury Condos (St. Regis and Four Seasons Residences

re-sales) vs. Pacific Heights Condos ($1m+ sales).

hotelcondovcondo.jpg

This chart compares average price per square foot in 2006 vs. average price per square foot YTD in 2007, according to MLS data. The average price per square foot has increased for $1m+ properties in Districts 7 and 8 as well as the hotel luxury condo market. In 2006, the average price per square foot for $1,000,000 plus condominiums was $841 and for luxury hotel condominiums was $1,298 psf. Year-to-date, price per square foot increased to $875 and jumped to $1,530 for those respective property

categories. That’s an increase of more than 17%, on average, for luxury

hotel condos.

Exceptional services, such as Private Residences Concierge, state-of-the-art fitness facilities, world-class reputation, fine dining and amenities contribute to the increasing value of these homes.

Additionally, demand for new luxury homes, especially as development of

the Downtown/SoMA district flourishes, continues to rise.

[Editor's note: Not sure about your districts? Here's the map.]

High on Grass

Bringing new meaning to the term “roof-top terrace”:

267-271 Filbert Sold $2,700,000

267filbert.jpg

1277 Arguello Sold $1,750,000

1277arguellograss.jpg

2500 Lyon (Statement said 2550) Asking $9,800,000

2550lyon.jpg

And the grand-daddy of them all the California Academy of Sciences photo credit to Inhabitat, found through Curbed.

caacsci.jpg

I’m thinking sunrise coffee on Filbert. Practice putting on Arguello. Deep rough shots on Lyon. Long game on the Academy roof. Then blow off the stress of golf with some Fun in the half-pipe. Care to join me? You see…real estate in San Francisco CAN be fun!

So which of the grasses is the schwag, and which are da kine?  Yes, I’ve been in all of the homes, and no, obviously not the Academy…yet.

733 Front Street, A Walkthrough, Details, and Opinion

733front.jpg

733frontzumllc.jpg

Generally, I don’t like to post about properties I haven’t visited in person. Now that I finally have been to 733 Front, I’m happy to share what I know and thought.

In a nutshell, 733 Front goes down as one of my favorite new developments for many reasons.  The biggest being the use of the European cabinetry in a bold burgundy color.  So nice! (Sorry, I forgot my camera.) The cabinets also open like a “garage door”, meaning you pull and they go up, not to the side.  The drawers don’t slam, and the microwave is in a drawer. Very cool.  The cabinetry makes the kitchen look smooth, sleak, and very modern.  I also really liked the two bedroom corner unit on the 3rd floor with south east views to the square.  The wood floors were great, as were the nice glass tiles in the bathrooms. The sales staff was friendly and answered pretty much anything I asked, but I promised not to divulge some information.

What I didn’t like was the use of electric cooktops, but the Thermador ranges 733 Front has chosen would be just fine for most, myself included, and you can’t do gas in a conversion building like this. I also didn’t like the parking situation. You’d think for $600,000 you’d get a parking spot, but I guess that is what is becoming of our city. If it encourages people to use public transit and/or (Gasp!) walk, then more power to them. I wasn’t terribly impressed with some of the Junior 1, and 1 bedroom units. They felt cramped. But they did have nice natural light and large windows. 

Now for some bullets and details: click “keep reading”

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