Dropping Knowledge: San Francisco Property Pie Chart

I know you’re all like me, you drive around town looking at all the wonderful, insanely expensive property we have here in San Francisco. I know you wish you knew how many of the properties you see were single family homes, how many are condominiums, how many are big ol’ properties of which you’d love to be the landlord (or maybe you already are). My company came up with this nice little pie chart for all y’all. Enjoy:

sf_housing_units

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)

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

Great Highway Remodel, Not On MLS, And Certainly A San Francisco Surfer’s Dream Home

I have word of a house, on the Great Highway at Noriega (the best sandbar on the beach right now), that is very much for sale, and very much not on MLS radar. Price hovering around $1,050,000 and $1,100,000. That is the view above, and here are the details below. As always, I am here to help get you in.

3 Story SFR taken to the studs and beyond in 2008
2BR 2.5 BA + Office
3 car tandem parking
LOTS of storage
Dog wash station
Hot/Cold water hookups for outdoor shower in the backyard
Ipe flooring throughout
Open layout with 8′ wide sliding birch pocket doors separating living/dining/kitchen
8′x15′ Blomberg window in living room
Custom cabinetry throughout
Spark brand fireplace in living room with flat screen TV mounted above
Half bath on living level
Huge dining room
Gourmet kitchen
Wenge cabinets
Subzero fridge
6 burner Wolf Stove with a grill and 2 ovens
Stainless sinks
Island with prep sink
Ceasarstone counters
Bosch dishwasher
Walk-in pantry
2 person office with built in Wenge desk and cabinetry
Baths all feature custom bamboo cabinets, modern Italian tile and Italian fixtures
Laundry room
Rear bedroom with attached bath has shower over tub
Master bathroom has walk-in 2 person shower with seat
Soaking tub with river rock surround
2 sinks
Separate room for toilet and bidet
Master bedroom has his/hers closets + walk-in closet for shoes (most closets in the house have storage by california closets)
Also has Spark brand fireplace with flat screen TV mounted above, cathedral ceiling, built in Wenge headboard with nightstands, plus built-in bed (plus a platform for a dog bed)
Expansive deck overlooking the surf
Ocean views from living and sleeping levels

From what I know, this is a home built for entertaining, hanging out, and enjoying all that Ocean Beach has to offer.

Contact me to go take a look. Principals Only.

Just Say Eichler…

Following on the heals heels (thanks for catching the spelling fail “word bitch“) of a post I did earlier today about some homes I know are available for sale, but not yet “on the market”, I present to you 76 Amber Drive, an original Eichler, in the Eichler rich zone of San Francisco’s Diamond Heights neighborhood, that had been “quietly” marketed for a good couple of weeks before finally hitting MLS today.







Sexy it is not. Eichler it is, and sometimes that all you have to say…

-76 Amber Drive, 4 bed, 2.5 bath, $819,000 [MLS]
-Ditch Your Realtor, Get Ahead Of The Pack By Working With Me [theFrontSteps]
-Mid Century Modern With An Emphasis On Modern [theFrontSteps]
-More Off Market Real Estate [PocketListings.net]

Ditch Your Realtor, Get Ahead Of The Pack By Working With Me

Are you, or any of your friends, looking for a single family home in Noe or Cole Valleys (or anywhere in San Francisco for that matter)? Are you getting beat out by multiple offers in the over million dollar price range ($1.5M+), and showing up late to the party? Is your Realtor telling you they’re doing all they can (simply checking MLS everyday, which you can do too), but really not delivering? If so, you’re not alone, and I can help.

Within the past couple of months my buyers and readers have known about dozens of properties prior to them going to MLS. To think I share all of them online with everyone is simply silly. For example, my circle of clients knew about 707 Cole, 1027 Cole, 313 Parnassus, 785 Cole, 1340 Cole, 121 Beulah, 471 Duncan, 2975 Lake, and many more. There are also a dozen or so homes that never even made it to MLS and were shown without a hint of market activity, such as a mid-century home in Noe Valley, a grand, modern home on Sanchez, an AIA tour home in Golden Gate Heights, a penthouse stunner in SOMA, and a few others that I can’t recall the address off the top of my head.

Today, I present to you two more opportunities in Cole Valley, one in Nob Hill, and another on Lake Street not on MLS. Nowhere near MLS in fact. Not on PocketListings.net, not in my pocket, and not even on anybody’s radar. They are all single family homes, and they are all at least 2 bedrooms, and close to or over $1,500,000. They are not fixers, they are done, done, done…or turnkey as we like to say.

If you are interested, or know somebody that might be, you gotta contact me directly (alexclark@gmail.com), you gotta be unrepresented, and I’m going to ask you to work with me going forward and sign a written agreement confirming exactly that. No co-agents, no “I’ll work with you if you find me the property”, no “let’s try it out on this deal”…none of that. You either marry me as your agent or you don’t. Not sure if you should? Have a look at some recent testimonials I’ve been gathering and come take the plunge.

Like I’ve said, working with and finding a Realtor you like is like dating. If it’s not working out with one, you are free to leave to find another.

I’m also beginning to dabble in Lake Tahoe real estate, so if you’re interested in a second home, ski pad, lake front property, my finger is finding the pulse of that market too (and I know where all the good powder is).

So feel free to give me a shout, and let’s work on getting you ahead of the pack and into the home of your dreams. I’m also happy to help any of you sellers out there sitting on the fence in these markets. It’s a good time to sell in certain areas and certain price-points. I am at your service and available for consultation.

-Prior off market opportunities I presented [theFrontSteps]
-Testimonials
-Lake Tahoe Ski Cabin [theFrontSteps]

Do You Like To Golf, Surf, And Ski? So Do I…Let’s Work Together

Keeping with my motivation to provide the best service ever, I present you another testimonial.

Alex Clark did a fantastic job as my agent. He was incredibly responsive. It was rare that a communication would go more than 5 minutes without being answered. He listened to what I wanted and helped me find it, despite some difficult multi-bid situations. Alex worked tirelessly to look for what I wanted and also to make sure I saw other comparable options on the market so I could make an informed choice and know that I was paying a reasonable price. Alex’s knowledge of the local market is impressive. He was friendly but firm with the agents on the other side and was instrumental in getting me a large credit on the purchase price after we were already in contract. I will absolutely use him again the next time I buy or sell real estate and would refer him to anyone else looking to do so.

Thanks Rick!

Rick and I enjoyed a great celebratory round of golf at the Olympic Club, followed it up with fresh tracks at Squaw Valley last week, and plan on surfing together today. (You gotta love Northern California). Remember, it’s not only important that your real estate agent know their sh*t, but also important that you get along, because no transaction is easy, and most sales/purchases take time…lots of it. Don’t choose an agent simply because they’re claiming “top producer” and want to cycle you through their sales system. Choose somebody you wouldn’t mind hanging out with for a few hundred hours.

-More Testimonials

Happy New Year From Me To You…And The Scoop On Both A Cole Valley And Noe Valley Single Family Home

My dear readers,

I continue to give you opportunity after opportunity and you have been great. You have been loyal, you have been kind, you have been my source of income (and food and clothing for my two shining young pains in the ass…I mean sons who I love dearly…but sometimes want to wring their necks.) You have referred friends, you have referred family, you have given me tips on hot (and cold) property, and I greatly appreciate it.

I hope you continue to do so in 2012, as you have done since I started this thing back in 2007, and I hope to continue to give you the goods as I have done since before I launched this blog. (Can you believe I’ve been reporting on real estate since 2004!) I want to continue to give you the inside scoop, with a twist and some flavor, because Lord knows our market is a complete mind thrash, so we might as well have a good laugh along the way.

With that said, I have the scoop on a property in Cole Valley for some of you Cole Valley buyers:

and I also have a scoop on 471 Duncan for all of you Noe Valley buyers.

So if you, or anybody you know, was/is interested in a Single Family in Cole Valley, or took a look at 471 Duncan (or any other Noe Valley Single Family recently), give me a call. Principals only please. (If your agent isn’t digging up this kind of dirt for you, why are you paying them!?)

Happy New Year to all of you wonderful people. I hope to kick it up a notch this year on theFrontSteps, and continue to see PocketListings.net to become the successful site it deserves to be.

I look forward to helping you, and everyone you know, buy and sell tons of San Francisco real estate in 2012.

Sincerely,

Alex Clark

Luxury Marina Blvd. Home Hits The Market (Not On MLS), You Get Front Row Seats To The America’s Cup


How would you like to have front row seats to the America’s Cup Sailing Race that is headed to San Francisco?

And I’m not talking about lawn chairs unfolded on the rocky, cold shores of the Bay. I’m talking luxury, better than VIP, seats…like rolling over in bed, looking out your window, and seeing the action.





You might be saying to yourself, “That’s a great view, and I’d love to be that close, but how can I get it?” The answer my friends is right here, where for $4,750,000 you can have a luxury four level, four bedroom, five and one half bath, remodeled waterfront VIP entertaining palace for the America’s Cup. It comes complete with a gourmet kitchen containing a Thermador 6-burner gas professional cooktop with built-in grill and a one-of-a-kind Abbaka pure copper and brass hood, a full-sized Sub-Zero refrigerator with two additional refrigerator drawers and a completely separate full-sized Sub-Zero freezer with additional drawers, two Miele dishwashers, and two refrigerated beverage storage drawers…because you know your kitchen will be serving up some cold beverages and tasty meals.

It also has two master suites and baths, a landscaped back yard (to escape the commotion out front), AND 2 car parking (because you know it will be a nightmare) for yourself, and extra parking in the driveway for your friends (I’m not talking the “friends” that will suddenly be knocking on your door to take advantage of your good fortune, I’m talking true friends.)

Friendship debates aside, the fact is, a Marina Blvd home is up for grabs whether you’re a fan of sailboat racing or not, and your chance to snag a slice of prime San Francisco waterfront property is here…it’s just not on MLS.

-Marina Blvd Luxury Waterfront Home: $4,750,000 details [Principals contact me for details, agents just create an account.]
-(Potential) America’s Cup Race Route Revealed, Realtors Frothing [theFrontSteps]

Completely Remodeled Noe Valley Home With High Definition Views For Sale

If it’s a high style three bedroom, three bath 2300 +/- square foot completely remodeled Noe Valley home with Hi-Def views you crave, yours truly has the one for you. This home is not on MLS, and it’s not even on PocketListings.net. It’s so not even “ON” that there is only one way to get to it right now…through me.
That’s not to say if a buyer doesn’t come along and take advantage of this opportunity right now it’s not going to hit the MLS, but it is guaranteed you will have to compete with multiple buyers for this property. So if you feel like beating out the other buyers and getting your Noe Valley dream home with incredible views, a beautiful south facing back yard with two decks, one car parking, high end finishes, new plumbing, heating, and appliances, and an incredibly open floorplan perfect for entertaining, then contact me.
As you can see from the photos, the home is not yet finished, but I can assure you there is a deal to be had. Principals only please, as I will be representing you as buyer’s agent. Or you can wait and hope it hits MLS so you can compete with a few other well qualified buyers. Price around $2,000,000.

-Contact For Details
-~3800 Square Foot Sea Cliff Home (Fixer) For You [theFrontSteps]

Opportunity For Fence Sitting Sellers And Desperate Buyers

Are you somebody that lives in San Francisco, has a home that is either on one level or contains an elevator, and you’ve been on the fence about selling your home? PocketListings.net has a buyer for you, they aren’t picky about their neighborhood, and they have $2,000,000 to spend.

Maybe you are a resident living in Pacific Heights, Sea Cliff, Cow Hollow, or Presidio Heights and you don’t want all the hullabaloo of listing on MLS, but you’d love for a buyer to come take a look at your home. PocketListings.net has a couple of those multi-million dollar buyers too.

Are you a buyer looking for a two unit building in the Marina? PocketListings.net has that too!

The moral of this story is if you are a buyer or seller anywhere in the United States, and especially in San Francisco (our hottest market), you should not only be visiting the site yourselves, but telling your real estate agent to do the same. There are opportunities galore, and it’s getting better every day!

-Single Family Home Buyer Needing One Level Or Elevator Home
[PocketListings.net]
-Pacific Heights, Presidio Heights, Cow Hollow, Sea Cliff Buyer [PocketListings.net]
-Marina Two Unit Building “Not On MLS”, $2,800,000 [PocketListings.net]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-PocketListings.net

A Dream Buyer Carrying $2,500,000 Cash, Looking For A Good Home

Are you a San Francisco Realtor with a Lake District or Sea Cliff home one of your clients would be willing to sell? Well…we just found your dream buyer:

Very motivated all cash buyers looking for a SFR that meets the following requirements:

-$2.5M or less
-3 Beds/2 Baths+
-Around 3000 sq. ft.
-Large bedrooms
-Good condition w / some original detail
- Lake Dist., Laurel Heights, Jordan Lake, Inner/Central Richmond, or Sea Cliff

We keep telling you, there is opportunity galore showing up on PocketListings.net all across the country. If you’re not on there yet, you’re missing out, and you’re going to miss the boat. Mark our words on that.

-Lake District Buyer Need around $2.5M [PocketListings.net]

Willis Polk, Joseph Esherick, Julia Morgan, Horatio Livermore, Hal Riney, Karl G. Smith, And The 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition All Rolled Into One Extraordinary Property Description

Regardless of the fact that some of you might feel we’re simply promoting PocketListings.net as the best and only place the nation will soon share “not on MLS” real estate opportunities, there is some pretty damn good real estate porn popping up on there these days, and we’d bet you’d be upset with us if we didn’t share this eye candy…(Damned if we do, damned if we don’t kind of thing.)

This detached home sits on a private gated lot surrounded by lush greenery, mature Monterey pines, brick pathways and offers a tranquil setting. This amazing cul-de-sac features some of San Francisco’s most talked about treasures including many homes designed by Willis Polk and one by famed architect Joseph Esherick. Showcased throughout this home are new ebony stained hardwood floors, restored redwood paneled walls, restored arched French paned windows that were salvaged from the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition, high ceilings, moldings, recessed lighting and spa-style remodeled limestone bathrooms with Lefroy Brooks fixtures from England.

We could just cut and paste the entire description of this truly extraordinary property right here in this blog post, but that would take away from getting you to click through to the new site now wouldn’t it. ;-)

Oh wait, we forgot to mention this home was “designed by architect Julia Morgan in 1917 for Mrs. Horatio Livermore, and its second owner, the late advertising icon Hal Riney completely renovated the home with the help of architect Karl G. Smith in 2005.”

We love our dear readers, and we try never to annoy, but we have an obligation to report all the good real estate we find, and this property in Russian Hill is no exception.

How could you say no to three bedrooms, five bathrooms, four car parking, a price tag of $4,900,000, and views that are, well, priceless?

-Russian Hill pocket listing on PocketListings.net

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

Success Story: A Buyer Finally Becomes an Owner

 

This blog is graciously donated by Missionite, long time reader of and writer for The Frontsteps, as well as writer of his own blog, Submedian.

FINALLY GOT ONE

Well we finally got one. We just got the keys and haven’t moved in yet. Despite the market conditions we didn’t get a steal, paid over asking, and in fact the home didn’t appraise so we had to bring some extra money to close as well as convince the sellers to come down a little. On the other hand the home needs only a paint job and a chimney sweep, is big enough for our family of four, is close to things that are important (school, shopping, park, friends, backyard), far from things we don’t like (noise, crime) and is as good a fit for our needs as we could hope for. Most of our new neighbors have lived in the neighborhood for ten years or more so we have a nice stable piece of San Francisco to call home.
With two little ones in desparate need of a yard we weren’t in a position to wait anymore and frankly we were just out of patience. Our criteria was what can we afford right now that we can bear to live in for the next ten years. And on that front we are satisfied. The big lesson I have walked away with here (which will make the realtors happy) is that what you pay for a house has no correlation to it’s actual value. As some of you probably know we have spent literally years bidding on foreclosures, fixers, probates, stale fish, etc trying to get a bargain and have come up empty handed every time (I haven’t blogged about the last couple misadventures but there have been a few and one in particular just about broke our heart). But the times we were denied did give us more time and eventually our savings caught up to the point that we could actually compete and in the end we wound up buying in a normal deal with normal sellers putting our well-over-asking offer in the day it listed and even then apparently not having the highest offer, but winning because we offered a damn fast close.
The asking price, the comps, everything you think you know about a property is meaningless when it comes to the final price. It all boils down to whether you are in a class that has a lot of other buyers. As a family looking for a family home in a city that isn’t exactly loaded with quality inventory for families, we eventually learned we were going to have to either pay more than we would like, or not have anything at all. If you are in the market for a condo, or something on the top end of the market I think it’s a different experience, but reasonably priced homes appropiate for a family with young children are tough nuts to crack.
Anyway, I’m happy to start worrying about lawn care now. Home depot has new meaning to me and I can’t wait to make my first visit there with serious intent.

_________________________________________________________

Congrats to you, and thanks to you, for sharing your win, Missionite. Your advice will be of help to buyers, as will your fabulous rent vs.buy calculator, a resource so good it’s been co-opted by Apple and will soon appear as an app for the I-phone! Check it out here.

Photo: homeownershipu.com

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.

Tuesday In The Avenues (442 41st Avenue Open 11-12:30)

It’s another fine Tuesday upon us. Yesterday’s stock market rally may put a glimmer of hope in everyone’s eyes, and what better way to celebrate than with a tour of a great house we just put on the market. It is officially a “broker tour” open house today, but we’re inviting all of our readers to come have a look at 442 41st Ave anytime between 11am and 12:30pm.

44241st500

This is a great single family home in the Outer Richmond with 4 bedrooms and 2 baths (1 bed, 1 bath unwarranted), hardwood floors, fireplace, formal living room, formal dining room, landscaped back yard, new redwood deck, ocean views (from the roof), 2 car tandem parking, washer & dryer, and an excellent location close to Lincoln Park golf course, the Cliff House, Land’s End, Ocean Beach, the Balboa Theatre, Chino’s Taqueria, Sea Cliff, China Beach, Sutro Baths, Louie’s Restaurant, and so much more! The house is also on the east side of the street so you can hang out in your back yard and be warm even when the wind is blowing.

This is a great house and you really should come take a look. Open today from 11-12:30 and Sunday we’ll be there from 2-4pm. Please come take a look. Tell your friends, forward this post, and spread the good word. Mama needs a new dress, so let’s get this home sold.

241 7th Ave…Make An Offer!

Signs of a real estate rebound? We’re getting various tips to confirm the reports and it is definitely good news. So why the hell have you not told your friends about this great single family home at 241 7th Ave in the Inner Richmond? (NOTE: Tax records are not accurate on square footage…Curbed. ;-) )

2417thfront

We have been told to encourage buyers to “bring a reasonable offer”. That means, tell your friends. This is a chance to have a single family home at a condo price and the seller is extremely motivated. What you might be reading on tax records is pretty much useless. There are two large bedrooms and a sunroom that can be a third small bedroom or office. There is a formal dining room, formal living room, Edwardian details galore, and the entire lower level could either be a large media room, office, playroom or anything really. There is tons of storage space, a huge front yard, the home is detached on all sides and full of light, and it is a wonder this house is still available. The lot is zoned RH-2. We have reduced the price 5% already, and we’re encouraging any reasonable offer.

You know we rarely plug listings on this site, but this is truly an opportunity that will pass someone by if they don’t make a move. Make an offer on this home, or tell your friends about it!

-241 7th Ave, SFR, 2+ bed, 1.5 bath, 2pk, $1,129,550 [listing details]

Reader Reports: 85 Beaumont Gone Fast (Like In Six Days)

From a reader:

[Eighty-five Beaumont] went for a little under asking.
Lone mountain location.

85beau

Good deal?
Lots of pictures.

Maybe you will want to feature it!

Thanks!

PS: I am not an agent.

It’s a good thing you’re not an agent. ;-) Can’t tell you if it is a good deal until you tell us what it’s selling for. Some people’s definition of “a little under asking” is different than others. It looks like a good deal, but maybe it’s actually a great deal.

For those that are wondering, this is a 3 bed, 2 bath home in the very desirable Lone Mountain district of San Francisco. The last recorded sale was in 2001 for $725,000 and today’s asking price is $1,198,000. It has not actually closed escrow as of today, but the status is “pending”, which means things are looking good. It went into contract after six days on the market. That’s not too shabby.

[Update: Sold at asking with $4000 credit to buyer.]

-85 Beaumont, 3 bed, 2 bath, $1,198,000 [Listing detail page]

East Bay: How Piedmont Brings Out the Worst in Me

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reduction Redux, in which I pick up the Gauntlet

When I posted Reduction Ad Nauseum,  I really just wanted a read on how the educated real estate populace explains and/or reacts to listings that have suffered not one, not two, but three or more price cuts. Still, one commenter Noe Guy said:

“Interesting observations but I wouldn’t put too much stock in them. First, you      picked all TICs. TICs were always more of a speculative area of the market–get financing as a group, hold everything together via legal contract, hope for condo lottery, refinance. Everything about it is more speculative, hence the standard discount of TICs to condos… In this market, that discount should be steeper due to higher risk.

In addition to the more speculative aspect of the TIC market, I’ve always believed that it’s very difficult to accurately price a TIC. It’s not just the property that’s for sale. It’s the property, the actual contract, and the partnership with other owners. Those other two intangibles (from an economic standpoint) make the market less transparent, less liquid, and more difficult to price.

The evidence you’ve sited above clearly makes this case, but keep it in context and look outside of TICs if you want a clearer picture…”
 
Well, geez, what observations? I just observed 3 properties with 3 or more cuts, and opined that buyers (like me, someday, Obama willing) tend to look at reduced properties as Tijuana specials, as in: $500K now? No, no, I don’t think so. Here’s $300K and a pity hug. My final offer.
 
But okay, Noe Guy. See, I love a challenge (else why would I be so sure I can buy a house on an English teacher’s salary, eh?). So here you go, 3 more properties, decidedly not TICs, that have come down more thrice or more in their careers on the market.

Continue reading

A Good Deal for Everyone: 727 Grafton ($369,900)

It’s not often a deal like this comes around and everybody shares in the goods, but 727 Grafton promises not to disappoint.

Here’s the deal:

1. The seller gets to walk away (its a REO)…DEAL!

2. The contractors didn’t have to pull permits (“permit status if any is unknown”), or put in a kitchen, “The home has no kitchen or bathrooms…” DEAL!

3. Buyer gets “Ocean View Location” and a 3% (of selling price) credit towards closing costs (not to mention a $369,900 asking price)…DEAL!

4. The selling agent (represents buyer) will get a $3000 bonus…DEAL!

5. We get to talk about the downstairs “partial basement with framework of a room and potentially a bathroom”…DEAL!

Did we forget anyone who gets a good deal on this deal?

-727 Grafton [sfnewsletter listing detail page]