Category Archives: West Portal

15thkit

$1.6 to $2.2 – $1.2 to $1.6 – $1.6 to $2.3…San Francisco Overbids Continue With No End In Sight

Although I’ve been out and about and trying to enjoy summer, clearly the Overbid factory didn’t get the memo. Check out the most recent craziness, including one architect/owner designed house on 15th Ave that sold almost 40% over asking! To all of those that think things slow down in Summer…think again.

Top 10 Overbids for San Francisco:

Address BR/BA/Units DOM List Price Sold Price Overbid
414 Missouri St 4/3.00/N/A 6 $950,000 $1,410,000 48.42%
671 Alvarado St 2/1.00/ 12 $899,000 $1,305,000 45.16%
1426 6th Ave 3/3.00/N/A 13 $1,595,000 $2,300,000 44.20%
609 Precita Ave 2/2.00/N/A 42 $825,000 $1,175,000 42.42%
531 Sanchez St 2/1.00/N/A 8 $995,000 $1,400,000 40.70%
2570 Folsom St 4/3.00/N/A 14 $1,595,000 $2,210,000 38.56%
45 Richland Ave 3/1.50/N/A 10 $650,000 $900,500 38.54%
2628 15th Ave 3/1.50/N/A 12 $849,000 $1,175,000 38.40%
656 Arguello Blvd 2/2.00/3 21 $799,000 $1,104,713 38.26%
80 Jersey St 3/2.00/ 14 $1,195,000 $1,650,000 38.08%

Want the top 20, sign up for sfnewsletter @ sfnewsletter.com.

[Update: Business Insider Just Shared 13 Properties all Selling For $1M or more over...]

Have a great weekend!

San Francisco Housing Market Continues to Strengthen

The San Francisco housing market continues to heat up, as evidenced by the increasing sale prices of homes in the city. Compared to one year ago, the median price for a single-family home rose by 10.6 percent to $785,000. And, with a limited supply of homes for sale, the city has remained a seller’s market, with aggressive bidding and multiple offers occurring regularly.

Single-Family Home Sales

Compared to May 2011, the city’s inventory of single-family homes for sale fell by 10.8 percent, while the number of homes under contract rose by 13.9 percent. During the same period, the number of homes sold increased by 23.3 percent.

For homes that were priced below $700,000, the months of supply inventory fell by 70.6 percent to a reading of 0.9. For higher-priced homes between $700,000 and $1.2 million, the months of supply inventory also dropped, by 52.7 percent to 1.1 months.

One area of the city which continues to experience healthy sales activity is Twin Peaks West, located in the mid-western part of town. Since May of last year, the number of homes under contract here has increased by 13.9 percent, while the number of homes sold has jumped by 23.3 percent, with 37 transactions closed. Twin Peaks West offers a variety of neighborhood communities, from the upscale and exclusive St. Francis Wood, to the charming mom and pop shops of the West Portal. Homes for sale here typically receive multiple offers and do not last on the market for very long. The median price for a home in Twin Peaks West is $918,000.

Another area of the city which experienced high sales activity is the northernmost district, which includes classic San Francisco neighborhoods such as the Marina and Pacific Heights. Compared to one year ago, the number of homes for sale in this region rose by 24.4 percent, being one of only three districts in the last month which experienced an increase in for-sale inventory. At the same time, the number of homes under contract increased by 18.8 percent, while the number of homes sold rose by 22.2 percent. Here you will find some of the most impressive views and properties in the city, and whose close proximity to Presidio Park and the waters of the San Francisco Bay, provide an endless array of outdoor recreational activities. The median price for a home here is $2,875,000.

Condominium Sales

In the same fashion as single-family homes, the inventory of condominiums for sale in the city dropped by 38.1 percent compared to May 2011. As a result, the number of condominiums under contract increased by 38.7 percent, while the number of condominiums sold rose by 9.1 percent.

For condominiums that were priced between $500,000 and $900,000, the months of supply inventory contracted by 72.5 percent to a reading of 0.9. For luxury condominiums priced above $900,000, the months of supply inventory also fell by 57.2 percent to 1.4 months.

One area of the city which experienced positive condominium sales activity is Downtown San Francisco, in the northeast section of town. Since May 2011, the number of condominiums under contract here increased by 4 percent to a total of 52 properties, making it the second highest district in the city with the greatest number of condominiums under contract. The number of condominiums sold also rose by 8.5 percent, with 51 units sold. Downtown San Francisco not only includes the center of the city’s commerce, it also features quintessential and historic San Francisco neighborhoods such as North Beach, or “Little Italy” as it is also commonly known, and Nob Hill, home to not only some of the city’s most luxurious condominiums, but also to a number of famous landmark hotels such as the Fairmont and Mark Hopkins. The median price for a condominium here is $734,333.

Outlook

The National Association of REALTORS® reports that, “Pending home sales retrenched in April following three consecutive monthly gains, but are notably higher than a year ago.” Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said a one-month setback against a background of many months of gains does not change the fundamentally improving housing market conditions. “Home contract activity has been above year-ago levels now for 12 consecutive months. The housing recovery momentum continues,” he said.

The consumer confidence index, which had declined slightly in April, fell further in May. The index now stands at 64.9, down from a reading of 68.7 in April. Regarding the short-term outlook, Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board Consumer Research Center, says that, “Consumers were less positive about current business and labor market conditions, and they were pessimistic about the short-term outlook. However, consumers were more upbeat about their income prospects, which should help sustain spending.”

According to the California Employment Development Department, California’s unemployment rate decreased to 10.8 percent in May, and nonfarm payrolls increased by 33,900 during the month for a total gain of 425,000 jobs since the recovery began in September 2009.

As reported earlier this month in the San Francisco Chronicle, “U.S. mortgage rates dropped to record lows for a sixth straight week as concerns over slowing job growth pushed investors into the safety of government bonds that guide interest costs. The average rate for a 30-year mortgage dropped to 3.67 percent from 3.75 percent in the week ended Thursday, Freddie Mac reported. It was the lowest rate in the mortgage-finance company’s records dating to 1971. The average 15-year rate declined to 2.94 percent, also a record, from 2.97 percent.”

West Portal Buyers Find Happiness With Me On Their Side

I’m keeping up with my New Year’s resolution to ask clients for testimonials, and I’m thrilled at how willing you all are to share! I really, really appreciate it, and I enjoy working with all of you.

We were relatively new to the Bay Area and had been conducting a very haphazard and ineffective home search until we were introduced to Alex. He came highly recommended and we quickly found out why. He introduced us to different neighborhoods and new pockets of the city, opening our eyes to possibilities that we had neglected on our own. Alex helped us to be aggressive (but smart) in our negotiations. He was our ally and a trusted advisor from our very first meeting and we couldn’t be more pleased with the results. Alex is without a doubt an extremely important (and fun) person to have on your side during any home search.
-Annie and Morgan

Thanks guys! You rule! Enjoy your home and don’t be shy with invites to some barbecues in that awesome east facing (we talked wind) backyard…

-More Testimonials

Four Buyers In Four Days…And 121 Beulah, How Did It End?

Hi all! I just wanted to give a little update to you from my world of San Francisco real estate.

In my humble opinion, the market is extremely hot for the right properties. On Friday I wrote four separate offers (five if you count that one property is two condos), in four entirely different neighborhoods, and have been in a multiple offer situation on every single one of them. My buyers lost out on a house near West Portal (by roughly $25-35k), and my buyer on a Outer Avenues house is still in the thick of a six offer situation.

My clients for a Cole Valley property accepted a counter offer from the seller, knowing that other offers were lurking. And thankfully, the sellers of a Russian Hill property that my client offered on realized cash truly is king in this lending environment, and wisely accepted our offer on their property, rather than the others with financing.

I would love to share details and specifics about all of these, but as you can imagine, I can’t. I am very busy representing a ton of people throughout the city at this very moment, and all of it is helping me gain that much more knowledge to help you.

As always, other agents are talking to me and sharing stories, potential buyers they may have for homes, and properties some of their sellers may sell. Why they don’t just post all of it for free on PocketListings.net is beyond me, but I’m happy they feel comfortable sharing with me.

If you, or any of your friends/family, need help with San Francisco real estate, please don’t hesitate to contact me. My head is FULL of real estate opportunity!

Oh…and that luxury remodel on Beulah I mentioned two weeks ago….SOLD IN FIVE DAYS for $2,600,000 (asking $2,495,000). We can only assume CASH, and multiple circling.

Happy Monday! It snowed!

What Makes A Room A Bedroom?

What is it exactly that makes that room a bedroom? The question has come across my email enough, and actually I think I even posted on it at some point. Well, it’s resurfaced and maybe time to hash it out, as the opinions on what makes a room a bedroom are anything but concrete.

The initial question:

A few months ago an email was circulated as to what defines a bedroom. There were several responses, but if I remember correctly a bedroom does not have to have a closet to be a bedroom…

And the varying replies from various real estate agents:

-My understanding is it technically must have a window – ideally with a means of egress
-My understanding is two methods of egress. A door, and another door or a window or some way to get out in the case of an emergency. No closet necessary.
-Operable window, that a person can fit through AND the minimum size is 70 square feet, where the minimum for one of the dimensions is 7 feet.
-I believe that HUD requires a closet in order to count it as a bedroom for financing purposes. A lender could probably clarify that.
-I’d suggest using the International Uniform Building code that refers to a specific size of window based on square footage of BR. It needs to have a door and a window and the window has to be the right proportion. Read More.
-The Building Code requires an operable egress window with minimum size requirements as [the other agent] indicated. In addition the window needs to be sized for light and air requirements. If I remember correctly it is 10% of the floor area. A closet is not a requirement to satisfy the building code, but it may be a HUD requirement for financing, as [another agent] mentioned.

Perhaps the most accurate answer?

1. The first bedroom must be at least 120 square feet.
2. If your first bedroom is at least 120 square feet, you get to call your second bedroom a bedroom if it’s at least 70 square feet with 7’ on a side.
3. Required natural light and air: 8% of floor area of natural light, and 4% of floor area of air (operable window). A traditional double-hung window can cover both bases, because when it is open, it provides half the air as natural light.
4. Minimum clear headroom of 7’-6”
5. You need two means of egress. One may be a window. If the second is the window, fire department requires minimum area for personnel access of width 20”, minimum height 24” with net clear opening minimum of 5.7 square feet.
6. A closet is required.

And the first comment from that thread:

What you’ve written here is not entirely correct – I believe you may be conflating Realtor’s rules-of-thumb with actual Code requirements.

1) Sort of. Any habitable room (Living Rm, Dining Rm, etc) can be larger than 120 SF (2007 CBC SEC 1208.3)
2) Correct. Minimum Habitable room size (includes bedrooms) is 70 SF, 7′ minimum width (2007 CBC SEC 1208.3 & 1208.1)
3) These are correct window areas for required natural light (8% floor area) and ventilation (4% floor area), but neither is required if sufficient artificial light and mechanical ventilation are supplied (2007 CBC 1203.4.1 & 1205.3).
4) Correct – Minimum ceiling height for Habitable rooms is 7′-6″, however it is 7′-0″ for bathrooms, storage, kitchen, laundry (2007 CBC 1208.2).
5) Sort of. Only one exit (Means of Egress) is required, the other is an Emergency Escape & Rescue requirement. This is not a Fire Department requirement, it is a California Building Code requirement (SEC 1026.1)
6) Wrong. No closet is required by any State or Local code (Building, Housing, Health or otherwise).

So there you have it…the jury is clearly still out on this one. My advice, get used to living in closets if you’re living in San Francisco.

Arden Wood (Mostly) All Grown Up

 

 

 Way, way back, we looked at the then just starting Ardenwood luxury home project. We all speculated on price (around $2 mil, was the consensus) and rapidity with which they would sell. Many people also complained that a set of less than ten luxury homes was not the best use of the lot, given our housing scarcity, but that last complaint falls on deaf ears given that the homes are now for the most part complete.

And they’re all for sale. Still. As far as I can tell, and I beg you to set me straight (kindly though, please?) if I am incorrect, but these homes have yet to find their owners. There are seven of them, ranging at the “new” prices of $1,699,000 to $1,950,000, with two homes not yet priced. Looks then like the $2 mill estimate was not far off. (See prices, etc. at the Ardenwood website.)

Personally, that price seems steep to me. The homes are really lovely on the inside and I do love the West Portal village life, but the exteriors make me think of office buildings. They are also awfully close together and for that price, I would like the option of thinking I was all alone in the world. But what do I know? Surely someone is now dying to tell me how ignorant I am.

Bring it.

Photo, of the estate still under construction, via nativesf. Current photos abound at Ardenwood’s website, already linked above.

The Scoop: Seven Arden Estates Have Risen from the Earth

Some time ago, I noted the construction in West Portal and asked around the Front Steps for the scoop. Those folks on the steps always know a lot, and more importantly, they like to argue. We had ideas that the construction would yield five- no, six- no, seven- no,  eight homes. They were to be made of the cheapest- no, the most luxuriant materials. They were to be a blessing to- no, a curse, on San Francisco housing.

 
One thing we all seemed to agree on was that a stand of less than ten single-family homes was not the way to maximize that open space in West Portal. A larger building  project, sized to maximize density, would have been a better call.
 
Still, the call was made; and without much of the NIMBY drama that normally plagues construction, Arden Estates are here.
 
Well, almost. The now live website’s photo gallery so far boasts one photo (seen above). Such dearth is logical since the homes aren’t done yet; however, the location is awesome for families, and the units back up onto a thick mass of trees that completely belie an urban setting. Plus,  their plans look pretty sweet (see below: Click to enlarge).

click to enlarge
click to enlarge
And to the Front Steppers who argued over units, there are to be seven stand alone homes here. Each will have three bed rooms + a bonus room, three baths, high end finishes, attics, 2-car garages, fireplaces…. and geez, more, more, and more. Frankly, I’m getting light headed. You can see the list yourself by visiting the amenities link on the website.  
 
Price is, unsurprisingly, not advertised on the website. However, rumor has it these homes will run in the $2 million range.
 
So that’s me out of the running for one of these beauties, unless you’ve all been fooling me and there really is a Santa. If so, Santa, if you’re reading, I’ve been a very good girl.

West Portal Wreck, What’s It Gonna Take? (145 Madrone)

Just curious to see how up on your real estate all y’all are.

Take a look at 145 Madrone, a 3 bed, 1 bath, 1920’s home in prime West Portal, asking $849,000 (offer date next Monday). By all accounts, the one single photo doesn’t do this property justice. (Come on fellow Realtors! Even if it’s a wreck, you gotta put more photos up.) It needs a lot. We wouldn’t go so far as to say it “needs everything” like a certain Clipper wreck you may have heard about, but it needs a lot (new kitchen, new bathrooms, blow a wall out here and there, redo the floors, dry wall, ceilings…).

So what’s it gonna take to be the lucky owner of this diamond in the rough? We’re giving away a trip to Hawaii for the reader that nails the sales price in the comments below. (Not really, but we can dream, and we do appreciate all of your comments.)

-145 Madrone, 3bed, 1 bath, $849,000 [listing details]

Coming Soon! And, Coming Later!

Realtor Kevin Gueco writes a very sunny review for the coming soon Mosiaica 601 condo project (pictured above) in his SFNewDevelopments blog. There’s definitely some room for pleasant surprise in the announced price  (pleasant to me, anyway, since I selfishly find all condos I cannot afford to be unpleasant):

“Mosaica 601 announced last week that it plans to start pricing of its 3 bedroom / 2 bath condos in the low $600s!  This is an incredible value considering each home is around 1400 square feet.”

Of course, putting aside Gueco’s near-by  restaurant list, the area (where Mission meets Potrero) is a little rough, but the price still seems all right to me. Perhaps the developers see the price cuts so many other condo developers have had to make recently, and are starting lower to begin with?  

Also coming soon (but not as soon) are a more mysterious set of housing units. Just off West Portal and 16th Ave., in front of Arden Wood, you can see the pushed-up dirt, huge bulldozers, and thin wood skeletons that signal housing to come, and their sectioning looks multi-unit. Thus I suspect these are the long awaited condos that were subject of news and speculation in 2006. In fact, that’s still the only information I can find on this construction: 2 years old, via SFHomeBlog and J.K. Dineen. Someone has to have a more updated scoop here. Anyone?
 
Meanwhile, still a pipe-dream (ha ha! Really, Haight Street, how many pipe stores can one street support?), but with the supervisorial green light is the Whole Foods/condo complex, slated to replace long-dead Cala Foods at the corner of Stanyan and Haight. The Chronicle outlines the plan here:

 “The large, four-story project, which also includes some 60 high-end, market-rate housing units, was expected to be controversial, but the commission voted 6-0 to approve the conditional use permit – a result supporters think had a lot to do with their organized turnout.”

Right, agreed: Haight could use a face-lift and perhaps a gentle reminder that THE 60’S ARE OVER. Also, I like Whole Foods, but I’m saving for one of those condos, so I’ll stick to Trader Joe’s (with a new one also coming soon!). I’m curious what “market rate” will be when those units go up, since so many new developments are struggling to sell out units already. The Frontstep’s own banker/blogger, aptly known as “The Banker,” says: “We are overbuilt. . .and it is next to near impossible to get financing!”

What do you say?

—-

Construction photo via SFNewDevelopments

West Portal Mid Century (130 Granville)

We spotted this listing at 130 Granville in West Portal while doing the tour de San Francisco (real estate) for sfnewsletter, and thought we’d dedicate a post to it here (being that we’re fans of mid-century modern).

130granvilletfs.jpg

A mid-century home (built in 1955), and the only active listing in West Portal at the moment, it must have been butchered by a poor remodel given the amount of time it is spending on the market…+/- 70 days. The fact there are no pictures of the interior, and they’re claiming “custom built”, could be the giveaway. Sign of the times, or just bad pricing?

West Portal is an extremely desirable part of town. What gives?

Don’t forget to check out the last recorded sale at $350,000 in 2006. Ahhh…maybe it’s the other sure killer of a sale…greed! As a wise man once said, “In markets, bulls make money, bears make money. Pigs get slaughtered.

-130 Granville [Redfin listing detail]

-mid-century modern [theFrontSteps]