Prices Jumping – Yet Again – Across San Francisco

The San Francisco real estate market grew increasingly frenzied as the first quarter of 2014 progressed, leading to another surge in home prices in virtually every neighborhood in the city. The high-demand/ extremely-low-inventory/ competitive-bidding situation is similar to what occurred first in spring 2012 and then, to an even higher degree, in spring 2013. After the market seemed to stabilize in the second half of last year, we didn’t expect to see it turn this fierce in early 2014, but right now it appears to be every bit as ferocious as last spring’s.

Of major metro areas, the new Gallup-Healthways survey ranked SF-Oakland second in the nation (behind San Jose-Santa Clara) on their index for “well-being.” Though already the second most densely populated city in the country (after NYC), San Francisco simply has many more people wanting to live here than there are homes available to rent or buy.

Sales over Asking Price
The heated competition for new listings coming on market has resulted in an astounding percentage of sales occurring above, and often far above, list price.

This chart below breaks down, by neighborhood, the average sales price to list price percentage for the 90% of homes selling without price reductions. Of the areas assessed, Bernal Heights came out on top with sales prices averaging an incredible 21% over list prices over the past 2 months.



Median Sales Price Spikes
Typically, the first quarter of the year does not show a dramatic increase in median sales prices over the previous quarter – in fact, a decline is not unusual due to holiday market dynamics. But the first quarter of 2014 saw large spikes in median prices for both single family homes (houses) and, especially, condos in San Francisco.
This next chart is a look at quarterly median price appreciation over the past 3 years.



Longer-term trends: While virtually the whole country has been experiencing a large market rebound, San Francisco, because of our particular economic circumstances, is generally outperforming almost every other market area. The big exception is Silicon Valley, whose high appreciation rate is being driven by many of the same employment and demographic causes.



Far Too Little Inventory
When the market recovery began in earnest in early 2012, there were complaints of a shortage in inventory. In 2013, the market grew even more heated and supply declined further to what felt like desperately low levels. Now in 2014, amid no lessening of demand that we perceive, the supply of SF homes available to purchase has dropped again.

There are increasing numbers of new-construction housing units coming on market – and many more being planned and built – but so far they’re being snapped up, at very high prices, without noticeably altering the supply and demand dynamic.



Listings Selling Faster than Ever



San Francisco Neighborhood Snapshots
We updated analyses for a number of city neighborhoods with enough sales for quarterly data to be meaningful. In every district we looked at, there were significant spikes in median sales prices and/or average dollar per square foot values in the quarter just ended.
Below are two samples, but our full collection of long-term neighborhood analyses can be found here (some updated through the first quarter, others through the end of 2013):San Francisco Neighborhood Values







Affordability by Neighborhood
We broke the city down by neighborhood according to the number of house and condo sales in each price segment. Of course, in a generally appreciating market, these prices continue to move upward en masse. Below are 3 analyses from our 11-chart report, which can be found in its entirety here:Where Can I Afford to Buy in San Francisco






Please call or email if you have any questions or comments regarding these analyses.

Fluctuations in median and average sales prices and average dollar per square foot values are not unusual and these fluctuations can occur for other reasons besides changes in value, such as seasonality, inventory available to purchase, buyer profile and new condo development projects coming on market. How these statistics apply to any particular property is unknown without a specific comparative market analysis. All data from sources deemed reliable, but may contain errors and is subject to revision.

How Much Is My Home Worth?

“How much is my property worth?” “How much could we get for our place?” “How much do you think my condo would sell for?”

San Francisco Median Home Price Graph, What Is My Home Worth

I get asked different variations of this question every single day, everywhere I go. It doesn’t matter if I’m at a dinner party, bbq, school event, or even on a field trip with my 7 year old. It’s okay. It’s totally normal. Everybody wants to chat real estate. It’s why I started this blog, and it’s a go-to if conversation about Blue Bottle versus Ritual Roasters gets so heated it’d be better left settled in the Octagon. Everybody wants to know if their home value has gone up, and everybody wants free information about the market and their property. So how does a real estate professional accurately answer this question in a market where (currently) home values seem to be going nowhere but up every week, and every new sale sets a new high water mark in your area?

The answer is this, nobody REALLY knows. A couple things I do know are Zillow Zestimates do you no good in San Francisco, your property is worth more than your cousin’s in Kansas, and your property could be worth more than it ever was. I know what comparable properties have recently sold for, and I know how I can help you market, show, and price your property to get the maximum number of people through the door in an effort to let the market dictate what is the maximum value your property is worth.
Continue reading

Ghosts of Sunset Past: The Moss Flats

Imagine an Outer Sunset made up entirely of sand dunes, streetcars repurposed as oceanfront homes and clubhouses, bohemians having all-night parties that include midnight swims in the icy Pacific and this:

Charles Depew, late of Saginaw, Michigan, built 1626 Great Highway in 1908, minus an architect but likely inspired by Bernard Maybeck. The three-flat building, known as “The Moss Flats,” has survived long enough to join the National Register of Historic Places, decades after the last of its colorful, ramshackle neighbors dissolved into dust. It’s on the market, listed for $1.349 by similarly old San Francisco school agency Barbagelata.

Outside are the maybe-Maybeck-inspired shingles; inside are three two-bedroom tenant-occupied flats decorated in surfer chic:

1626_GH_2_100913

Plus ocean views from the top-most unit. Longtime owners, plus longtime rental units, plus longtime exposure to salty ocean air may be a caveat in this case, but assuming the owner of the last standing evidence of Carville has no immediate plans to sell, this is your best chance to get into a pre-Doelger Outer Sunset historic property, steps from the beach and with a steady, proven income flow.

-Article by Larry Rosen: Contributing writer and San Francisco local sharing his thoughts with theFrontSteps.

 

San Francisco Real Recent Real Estate Sales And Listings

A look at the past couple of weeks of sales and listing activity for San Francisco, as well as some other real estate tid-bits to tie you over until the next issue…

To be added to the list and receive this in your inbox bi-weekly, just drop me a line.

I should point out, this is the most real time information you’ll get for most recent sales unless you have access to MLS yourself. :-)

-sfnewsletter/MarketTracker

333 Grant Avenue #501: Simply Union Square, Simply a Shopper’s Paradise, Simply A Perfect Pied-A-Terre, Simply $629,000

If you like coming to, or living in, San Francisco, and shopping is your thing, 333 Grant is quite possibly your nirvana. A chip shot away from Prada, Banana Republic, North Face, Nike, Neiman Marcus, Levi’s, Macy’s, Salvatore Ferragamo, Louis Vuitton, Apple, Burberry, Chanel, Maiden Lane, American Apparel…you name it…it’s all here, it’s all around San Francisco’s Union Square, and 333 Grant is in the heart center.

If a San Francisco shopping experience is secondary to your exploits as a dining connoisseur, the location of this Landmark Building is sure to delight! Walk out your door and across the street to Cafe de la Presse, round the corner to Le Central, have a pint (perhaps this weekend) at the Irish Bank, stumble over to Belden Place and take your pick of cuisine, enjoy a stroll on over to Bix for an elegant cocktail and mellow jazz, perhaps try some oysters and fresh seafood at Farallon, get some dim sum in China Town, or simply sit at Starbucks on the corner and watch the people go by (I would recommend Cafe de la Presse over Starbucks any day, but that’s me.)

Built in 1908 and declared a landmark in 1981, the Historic Landmark Building (333 Grant) is in the Union Square section of San Francisco’s Financial District. Converted in 2004, The Landmark Building contains 39 condominium homes & lofts designed with preservation of history and architecture in mind, while paying attention to details suited to modern day living. These homes are designed to accentuate urban elements, while providing a tranquil and inviting city retreat.

Visitors to your home will be greeted by the impressive neo-Renaissance façade with towering 40 ft columns. Unit #501 contains one bedroom, bonus room, one bath, has one (leased) parking space, beautiful brick accents, wood floors, mahogany kitchen cabinets, contemporary features, modern kitchen with Bosch appliances and Amana refrigerator, stackable washer & dryer, extra deeded storage, and a location to die for. Entertaining is easy with the bright, open and spacious layout of the living, dining, and kitchen areas, and guests can easily park in the Sutter-Stockton garage just around the corner.

Almost directly across the street from the Famous Chinatown Gate, The Landmark Building is truly a wonderful property, in an excellent location, right smack dab in the middle of the nation’s best city, San Francisco.

It has a perfect 100 Walkscore, is a short walk to FiDi, SOMA, and BART. The area has excellent gyms (Sports Club LA, Equinox), and did I fail to mention is a stone’s throw away from Rick House? Well…

Asking price is $629,000, it’s easy to show, and if you don’t love it, I’ll buy you an espresso across the street at Cafe de la Presse.

HOA fee: $753/mo.
Parking: $309/mo.
Contact Alex Clark (the owner/editor of this site) for details.

-333 Grant #501, 1+bed, 1 bath, 1 park, $629,000 [MLS listing]

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]

Another Russian Hill Sale And Testimonial

Another happy client has been so kind as to share a testimonial of the service I can provide to you and your friends and family.

I’m a commercial real estate professional – a few years back I chaired the commercial RE side of our trade association. My wife used to buy retail centers for a REIT. We know the value of having an experienced professional on our side. When we decided to buy a place in SF we chose Alex to represent us. We’re delighted with our new home and would recommend him highly.
-Ed & Susan



Thanks guys!

If you’re in the market to buy/sell San Francisco, Marin, or Peninsula real estate, please don’t hesitate to give me a shout.

-More Testimonials

Battle Royale: San Francisco Or Palo Alto, If You Had To Choose

We’ve had a lot of battles over the years here on theFrontSteps. Some have been rather quiet (Tokyo versus San Francisco), while others like New York City versus San Francisco, San Francisco versus East Bay, and Cole Valley versus Noe Valley continue to rage on.

The comparison of places one might set up shop, lay down roots, call home, or start a business is never going to end. It has always been, and always will be, a popular topic, and a debate sure to spark any conversation. It’s an important discussion point, and one that would certainly need to be hashed out for any future residents or visitors alike to San Francisco or other places. Therefore, it’s time for another Battle Royale that we somehow failed to do previously…

San Francisco or Palo Alto, if you had to choose, and why?

The argument has to begin something along the lines of “to each his own”, but in all fairness San Francisco clearly has a lot more to offer any hip young person that might be working at a hip young startup. Our nightlife is better, our bars are better, our restaurants are better, our access to recreation is better (this could easily be debated), our coffee is better, our surf is better (no…Santa Cruz is NOT part of “greater” Palo Alto), our hipsters are hairier, our marijuana is more legal, and our gays are gayer (because we’re free man…we’re free).

On the other hand, Palo Alto clearly beats San Francisco’s ass in regards to summertime weather, cleanliness of streets, college vibe, shear brain power concentrated in one place (Stanford), and being a great place to raise a family. But that’s just what we think.

What do you think?

Your comments are appreciated, will be read by thousands, and could quite possibly make or break a buyer’s decision on whether to buy a home in San Francisco or Palo Alto. No pressure…

-Battle Royales [theFrontSteps]
-Tokyo Or San Francisco, If You Had To Choose [theFrontSteps]
-San Francisco Or New York City, If You Had To Choose [theFrontSteps]
-San Francisco Or East Bay, If You Had To Choose [theFrontSteps]
-Shit Real Estate Agents Say [theFrontSteps]
-“San Francisco or Palo Alto” [Uncrunched].

[Full disclosure...I represent clients in both San Francisco and Palo Alto, so of course I only have good things to say about both locations.]

Buying San Francisco Real Estate Is As Easy As…Not Giving Up Before You Start!

I’ve been getting a few phone calls and emails from potential buyers looking to get into the San Francisco market, and their general mood is that of despair…mostly because of my latest posts about how hot the market (particularly Cole Valley) is right now. I’ll just come right out and apologize for giving the impression that we are back to the days of boom. We are not.

As is the case with our weather here in San Francisco on any given day, there are pockets of sunshine, and clouds of rain. While nicely presented (staged) homes, in great locations, marketed at competitive prices (whether $400,000 or $4,000,000) are practically flying off the shelf with all cash/zero contingency offers, there are certainly countless numbers of not so lucky homes and sellers that either missed the mark with pricing, timing, or presentation, and those homes are getting stale, dropping prices, and selling for much less than asking…if they sell at all. Depending on when the seller purchased it, often many homes are selling for much less than what the seller paid! So it’s definitely not all roses all across the board.

With that said, what can you do to increase your chances of buying a piece of San Francisco real estate. The most important thing for you to do as a buyer is get pre-approved with a good, reputable, local lender or mortgage broker (I can recommend a few). Getting pre-approved doesn’t cost you a dime. Don’t even look at homes until you know without a shadow of a doubt what you can afford. That includes browsing online on Trulia or Zillow.

Once you have taken the pre-approval step, there are tools available to get you searching for the most accurate, up to the minute listings both on MLS, and “off market“.

Once you have an idea of what it is you can both afford, and what it is you desire, you should absolutely get in touch with a licensed real estate professional to help you find and secure your property. You can certainly try to go it alone, but when it comes time to write an offer, 99% of the listing agents out there are going to prefer to work with someone that is represented by a Realtor, rather than someone that thinks they can do it alone. Put two identical offers on the table. One from a buyer that has an agent who knows the game, and the other from a buyer wanting to represent themselves to “save” some money and nine out of 10 agents will go with the Realtor represented buyer all day long. If you want to go discount, go Redfin. At least you’ll have an agent representing you.

Once you’ve selected your agent (It’s like dating, so don’t just go “top producer” or “market specialist”…find someone you can spend hours hanging out with. Someone that might share similar interests.), work with them using all of the tools available to both of you, and be in touch frequently. Understand the market fluctuates day to day. Know that while some properties will receive multiple offers, some won’t, and gauging at what price a home will sell in such a market is often difficult and not as easy as 1+1=2. Running and analyzing comparable sales is only half of the story (our market now is much more robust than only a few short months ago in what should have been a busy October). Be ready to act quickly, and be flexible with regards to what times you are available to tour homes. See any, and as many homes as you can that might be a match.

When you find the home you like…don’t hesitate. It could be gone the next day. Make an offer, consider shortening any and all contingencies, and be prepared to go back and forth on price and terms. Don’t take it personally! Every buyer wants a good deal, and every seller wants top dollar. It will get heated.

If you don’t get the property, don’t dwell on it. There will be more opportunity…I promise. Move on. If you do get the property…well that’s another blog post altogether.

Don’t get discouraged by my stories of multiple offers, cash buyers, and an ultra-competitive market. As much as those stories are happening, there are also many more stories of Stalefish homes finally being sold after many, many months on the market. There are foreclosures (good luck with those), short sales, and many off market opportunities. You just gotta know where to look, have patience, money, and determination. Your property is out there. Don’t give up based on a few blog posts about a hot, hot market. And definitely don’t give up before you start.

-Four buyers in four days, and 121 Beulah. How did it end. [theFrontSteps]
-Factoring weather when buying a home in San Francisco is anything but simple. [theFrontSteps]
-Search MLS
-Search Not on MLS

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

Tenth Avenue Opulence For $277,000 Less. Who Wants To Has It?


[Editor's Note: It is recommended you watch the video first.]

There is a lot to love about this listing at 261 10th Ave, especially “savings the money”, but I’m not quite sure what’s to love more:

Is it the insanely awesome gold coverlet accented by leopard print throw pillows and zebra print chair?

Is it the built in ballet studio that screams tutus and Baryshnikov? However, the ceiling looks a little low to soar like a Swan…

Is it the animal paintings in the foyer that look to be horses, or maybe at least one Giraffe?

Or could it simply be the recent price reduction to start off the new year? A price reduction from an original asking of $1,675,000 to the New Year’s price of $1,398,000…more than a QUARTER MILLION DOLLARS.

It’s at a juncture like this when (proper) staging comes in handy, as does realistic pricing and shelving any visions of grandeur and opulence. Personal tastes aside, this is a great house, in an excellent location.

Who wants to has it?

-261 10th Ave, 4 bed, 3.5 bath, $1,398,000 (MLS)
-Find me on the Facingbook

Would You Like Your Property Listed On theFrontSteps.com?

I get at least one email each week from a different person or reader asking me to give their property that is currently for sale some exposure on theFrontSteps.com. I’m flattered. But unless your property is of utter and complete jaw dropping significance, if you would like your property featured on my blog, it’s simple, don’t list with the other agent, list your property for sale with me. Not only will you get exposure here, but I’ll expose the hell out of it on the other networks of which I am a part. It will also be on Trulia, Zillow, Realtor.com, and likely show up in more online searches for your address, as a result of the keyword post I can do for it here.

So before you sign that listing agreement with another agent who is selling you on the glossy brochures that end up in recycling (often in landfill), or a fancy website that simply floats out in cyberspace, remember that print advertising is pretty much dead, and Google, Trulia, Zillow, and keyword search are king. More than 80% of home buyers begin and end their home search online, so you have every reason to want to be on theFrontSteps.com, and I’d be happy to help get you here.

I am an industry leader in San Francisco blogging and web traffic, and my brokerage, Zephyr Real Estate, is also number one when it comes to internet, search engine optimization, and generally capturing buyers where it matters most…on the internet.

If you still decide to list your property for sale with another San Francisco agent (it’s cool, I won’t take it personally), that agent is free to contact me directly and request that I advertise your property here (for a fee). If you’d still like to try to get me to blog about your property, send it as a “tip”, and you’ll likely have better luck getting featured on this site.

As always, thanks to all of the loyal readers I have, and the many clients that have chosen to work with me already. At some point, I won’t be as busy as I am now, and will pick up blogging where I left off. With that, I end the gloating and will go back to being my humble old self.

Cheers!

Alex

Contact Me…

88 King Street #106 Hits MLS…I’m Claiming Best Unit Currently For Sale At The Towers At Embarcadero South

[Update: Sold for $790,000]





You all had your chance to nab this amazing condo in the heart of South Beach when I first signed the listing and shared it as a pocket listing. Now it’s on the MLS, and I’m claiming it’s the nicest unit currently for sale in the building (Towers at Embarcadero South). True, that is my opinion, and this is my listing, but I consider myself to have good taste.



The unit itself is loft style, 1293 square feet, updated (modern) kitchen, two bedrooms, two baths (both updated), bonus room perfect for office or extra storage, street entrance with southeast facing patio, BBQ Area, Club Room, Exercise Course, Gym, Roof Deck, Spa/Hot Tub, and so much more. It is truly a unique property in arguably one of the city’s best locations.

Price is set at $799,000. HOA dues are $839/month, and include: High Speed Wireless Internet, 24 Hour Doorman, Garbage, Grounds Maintenance, Homeowners Insurance, Outside Management, Security Service, Water, BBQ Area, Club Room, Exercise Course, Gym, Roof Deck, Spa/Hot Tub use.















Don’t miss your chance to get yourself or your friends into this property and live the South Beach life!
[UPDATE: Property is in contract.]

-88 King Street, Unit 106, 2 bed, 2 bath, 1 pk, $799,000 [MLS]

200 Brannan #328 Hitting MLS for $2,495,000, My Jaw Hits The Floor


Would that be considered industrial chic, modern, or just plain awesome? Perhaps all three.

It’s nearly 2400 square feet, with 17 ft floor-to-ceiling windows, is light filled and has a top of the line remodeled gourmet kitchen, bay & bridge views, 3 large bedrooms, 3 remodeled luxurious bathrooms, 2 car deeded secured parking, 24 hr security, concierge services, lush landscaped garden courtyard, and full fitness center. Oh, and it is steps to AT&T park, Cal-Train, world class restaurants, the farmers market, and did I mention it will be ideal for the coming America’s Cup?

Two Hundred Brannan #328 is on the MLS asking $2,495,000. Is that a fair price you ask? Well, considering a very similar unit directly above hit the market about one year ago at $2,800,000, and found itself in contract shortly after and closed for $2,700,000, I’d have to say yes, and I’d love to come to your house warming party.

As always, if you’d like more information about this or any San Francisco property, you know what to do.

-As soon as it hits MLS, I’ll put the link right here. Deal? Poof! Here it is.

Price Squares Gives You The Price Per Square Foot Data You Crave

I can’t begin to tell you how many clients, friends, family, and co-workers base their entire real estate purchase or sale on price per square foot, and for good reason…it is the benchmark. Thank goodness a colleague at Zephyr Real Estate came up with this brilliant website, PriceSquares, so that all of you can check it out on your own. The concept is as simple as they come. The site strives to show you what is the average price per square foot of property listed and sold in a certain area, whether the average is going up, down, and whether a certain property represents a good buy or not.

Or as they say, “Price Squares is a new and easy way to see how San Francisco real estate is trending. Price Squares takes recent sales and shows you instantly whether the average price per square foot is increasing or decreasing giving you a real view of how the real estate market is fairing…”

If you have enough time to check out this post, you have enough time to check out this great new tool.

-PriceSquares.com

St. Regis Penthouse Was $70,000,000, Now $35,000,000. Yes, That’s Correct – $35,000,000 Less.

The original “asking” price for the 20,000 square foot St. Regis Penthouse (188 Minna), was $70,000,000, and at that price it was only slightly ambitious. Now at 50% less or $35,000,000 and still not officially “listed” on MLS, I expect all but one of the buyers in San Francisco to be able to qualify for this property.
According to the Wall Street Journal, this penthouse is “likely the most expensive bank-owned, single-family residential real estate listing in the country.” If that doesn’t get all of you first time buyers looking for a deal and to purchase foreclosed property to jump at this opportunity, perhaps the description will: Six bedrooms, 12 bathrooms, four fireplaces, a library and a home theater. The living room has 22-foot-high ceilings and an entrance foyer with a two-story waterfall feature. There’s also a 2,500-square-foot master suite with a gym, sauna and steam room and 3,000 square feet of terraces with views of the city and the bay.
Because you always ask…and I’m always happy to share, “The apartment was built by real-estate investment manager and developer Victor MacFarlane, who purchased three apartment shells then combined them into one large finished unit. He sold it back to the bank in a deed in lieu of foreclosure after it failed to sell after several price cuts. The unit is now owned by Second Step Asset Management, a subsidiary of Bank of America.”

And it could be yours for $35,000,000…chump change.

-Schedule a Private Showing
-Deluxe San Francisco Penthouse to Relist for 50% off [Wall Street Journal]
-On Top Of The World At The St. Regis San Francisco [theFrontSteps]
-St. Regis Penthouse Marketing Details [Sotheby's]
-Both Millennium Tower’s Grand Penthomes Are Sold, Thanks To A Yacht [theFrontSteps.com]

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

Battle Royale: San Francisco Or East Bay, If You Had To Choose

Coming off the heels of my post about a modern, Swedish home currently for sale by some clients contemplating their move here to San Francisco or the East Bay, it inspired a long overdue Battle Royale (perhaps on par with SF v. NYC):
San Francisco versus East Bay (I leave the “what exactly is East Bay” interpretation up to you). If you had to choose and why. Please share in the comments below.

On the map it hardly seems fair with the East Bay being so much larger than San Francisco, but we all know size doesn’t matter right? At least “that’s what she said.”

-More Battle Royales [theFrontSteps]

137 Buelah Apple: Don’t Haight the Game….

[Written by "Eddy":]

One thirty seven Buelah is one of those homes that just screams San Francisco charm and it has all the makings for what many families are looking for in a home here in the city (e.g., curb appeal, close to shopping, parking, etc.)
It’s no wonder that this property closed escrow back in 2006 in only 26 days and over asking at $1.59M.   It’s a little more surprising, however, to see that this same home just closed escrow in 2011, again for over asking, and in only 33 days for $1.61M.  It goes without saying that buying a good property with highly desirable features is a good strategy. This is a classic example of a well appointed home, commanding tons of interest, and getting a good price in two different real estate markets (2006 & 2011).

A few more pics after the jump:

Continue reading

~3800 Square Foot Sea Cliff Home (Fixer) For You

If you have it in you to get an A+ Sea Cliff property with views like this
…. give me shout, because have I got the roughly 3800 square foot home on a roughly 5600 square foot lot on the end of Lake Street just for you.

Principals only please. I am NOT representing the seller, but I’ve known about it for a while. I’ve tried to get it for a couple developers already, but to no avail. It looks like the asking price will cut the developers out of the picture, thus only making sense for a family looking to buy a Sea Cliff fixer, sink $500,000+ into it, and end up with their dream $3.5MM to $4MM property in one of San Francisco’s best neighborhoods. So if you fit that description, give me a shout and we can talk about the property and how I can help you get it.

If There Is “S&M” And “Leather Sex” One Unit Below, You Might Want To Let Buyers Know

“Hi Alex-

Have I got a story for you…

When I closed the deal last Friday for [removed], my new condo in a 2-unit building, I had no idea my downstairs co-owner was a self-described “sex enthusiast” who engages in loud S&M “leather sex” on a regular basis. I learned this not from the seller or his agent, but via an email from the co-owner himself, which I received last Sunday night, after close.

The mere fact of the co-owner’s sexual preference doesn’t bother me in the least. But the possibility of it coming to the attention of my 10 year old son, whose bedroom was to be directly over the downstairs bedroom, enrages me.

By what measure does this not require disclosure? All parties to the sale knew I had a young boy who would be living with me. And I had expressed to my agent directly my concern over the possibility of an S&M dungeon in the common garage area, as that would be an inappropriate feature in a child’s environment.

Neither the seller or his agent told me about the use and type of noise coming from the lower unit, though the co-owner writes that this was a topic of conversation several times between the seller and him.

The level of noise transmitted between the units has been an ongoing issue. In fact, renovation of the seller’s unit was undertaken as recently as this year to help abate the noise: new sound proof padding and carpeting were added.

Despite the possibility that my 10 year old would be negatively affected by this noise type and unit use, this fact was kept from me during a full 6 weeks while I decided whether to purchase the condo.

I implored both realty companies to rescind the sale. They both said get a lawyer, we can’t help.

I now have a brand new condo I cannot move into because of the risk it poses to my son.
I have 50% custody of my son. If I were to move in to the condo, my ex-wife would immediately sue for full custody.
I have very little cash reserve because I paid nearly 50% down.
I have to move out of my current temporary residence on May 3. I have nowhere to go.
I have thousands of dollars of furniture and rugs piled up in my living room, purchased specifically for the unit at [removed].
I cannot afford rent because of my new useless mortgage.
I literally don’t know what to do or where to go.

For this I paid $27,000 in commissions?

All of this is due is to a lack of disclosure, and the lack of will to properly investigate my clear and communicated concerns. I was the only person who bid on the condo. I suspect there may be a financial motive for the non-disclosure, as the seller was eager to get out early, and requested early close via his agent.

The only people that can act quickly enough, and that have the necessary resources to fix this, as well as a moral and ethical obligation to do so, are the real estate agencies. And they are ignoring me or dragging their feet.

I am hoping to generate enough public awareness that they will take a more responsible approach for a situation that they have created by their lack of due diligence to discover all possible pertinent disclosures.

I specifically instructed my realtor to ask the sellers agents for access to a locked room in the common access area to determine if it was possibly an “S&M dungeon.” I felt a little silly asking, but also felt I needed to know with certainty that that usage was not the case where my son and I would live for years to come.

Apparently, [my agent] did not communicate my clear concern to the other realtor, or [the selling broker] did nothing about it except ask for the inspection of the room. I have 2 emails from the realtors on this topic. My concerns in this area were clear to my agent, and the conversations on this topic with her were witnessed.

I am willing to forward the pertinent emails for your verification, if you are interested, from the co-owner, [and both brokerages]. You may call me with questions at the number below.

Please help me spread this story far and wide. Public opinion is the only leverage I have at this point to enact a solution, other than litigation, which will take years and thousands of dollars to come to a probable unsatisfactory conclusion.

The responsibility of disclosure is one that these realtors took far too lightly, apparently preferring to deliberately not know, despite my concern, rather than to threaten the sale with the full disclosure that was their legal, moral and ethical responsibility.

I appreciate any help you can offer.

Thank you very much.

Jack”

Glad to be a messenger, but clearly there are some privacy concerns and legal issues I decided to avoid by eliminating address and names, but a little bit of internet digging and you’ll get the unedited version.

Good luck to you Jack!

3843 22nd Street (Noe Valley) Has A Nice Kitchen And A Pool…In The Same Room!

Thirty eight forty three (3843) 22nd Street in Noe Valley is hitting the market* any minute, and you’re getting your first look inside, right here. Unassuming from the front, but dramatic on the inside, you know you want this property.





If you happen to work at Facebook, Google, Salesforce, Twitter, Zynga, or any of the countless other companies that are booming in our area, adding thousands of jobs, and helping to sustain our real estate market, this might just be the home for you, and I want to get you in there. Just make sure if you do purchase this home, your guests bring adequate bathing attire (or not), and remove mobile devices from their pockets at the front door (along with car keys and MUNI passes).

I’ll make the margs….

-3843 22nd Street, 3 beds, 2.5 baths, $1,799,000 [For more details.]

*”On the market” has long been associated with “on MLS”, as opposed to the thousands of “off market”, or “not on MLS” opportunities that abound.

What Your Realtor Is Thinking…

“Alex,
You really need to post this one on your blog. I haven’t laughed this hard in sometime…

Hope you’re well.
Cheers
[Previous Client]“

Be careful, there are quite a few F-bombs and vulgarities in this video, so if you’re at work, put the volume on low, and remember, as much as you know about the market and your home’s value by browsing Zillow’s incredibly inaccurate Zestimates, your Realtor (likely) knows more. Listen to them!

Escape The San Francisco Fog, Buy This Home In Sausalito

The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco,” said Mark Twain, who didn’t have the luxury of hopping in his car, heading over the Golden Gate Bridge and parking in Sausalito.

Indeed, it’s that time of year when the fog starts creeping back in, the mercury drops, the cold wind picks up off the beautiful blue ocean (now gray from the fog), and ushers in the most dreaded season in San Francisco…summer. That means, it’s time to see what else is out there, and how far you have to go to find some sun.

Today, we take a trip 10, maybe 15 minutes north of the Golden Gate Bridge Toll Plaza, and find this wonderful Sausalito home tucked into the hillside just out of reach of said fog.

Back on the market as of today, four bedrooms, two and one half baths, roughly 3400 square feet, and asking $2,350,000, who’s going to be the next to attempt to snag this Old Town Sausalito Craftsman?

To those of you readers that are reading this post anywhere east of Oakland, you might be shocked to learn that although we are, in fact, in “sunny” California, we San Franciscans suffer the wrath of the fog all summer long. (Just as our nano-markets differ by the block, so does our weather.) So when you come here on your summer vacation looking for a home or just hoping to see the sights, pack your winter coats, scarves, and ear muffs. And if summer to you means lemonade stands, shorts, bright sun and dinners on your deck, you’re gonna have to go North, South, or East, because it just doesn’t happen but maybe 10 days all summer long in San Francisco (Mission, SOMA districts excepted).

-219 West Street, Sausalito, CA-$2,350,000 [agent website]
-Focus on the Volume On Your Block, Not the Median In Your City [theFrontSteps]