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]

Vote Now! Best Coffee (House) In San Francisco

WOW! The “best” coffee (house) in San Francisco nominees streamed in last week, thanks to a nice little link from Yahoo!, and it looks like we may now have the most comprehensive list of San Francisco Coffee (Houses) ever on one ballot. Needless to say, our tiny list was well shy of what is truly out there to enjoy, and it looks like we have some coffees to taste. But for now it’s time to vote.


Which San Francisco Coffee (House) is THE BEST by majority vote?

We leave it to you. Please vote, please tell your friends, Tweet it, “Like” it, share the link (, then print the list and visit each and every one of these places. Whatever you do, don’t let your favorite coffee (house) lose!

Good luck!


If your fav coffee (house) didn’t make the ballot, feel free to mention them in the comments or add them in “other”. As always, thanks for hanging out on theFrontSteps, and thanks for telling your friends.

Once again, the direct link to this post:

[Update: Word is spreading on multiple sites, including SFGate, so we may actually get a "People's Choice" here....and a few thousand votes.]

Other Popular Polls:
-San Francisco or New York City, If You Had To Choose [theFrontSteps]
-San Francisco’s Sexiest Realtors 2009 [theFrontSteps]
-Cole Valley Versus Noe Valley [theFrontSteps]
-San Francisco’s “coolest” Neighborhood, La Mission…Hands Down [theFrontSteps]

In San Francisco It’s Ritual Coffee Roasters Versus Blue Bottle Coffee


Having just purchased our first bag of “Sweet Tooth Espresso” from Ritual Roasters after more than six years of dedicated grinding, tamping, and pouring exclusively of Blue Bottle Coffee, we’re a bit torn as to what to do. We’ve had Ritual on many different occasions, but allowing their beans to enter into the home, and thus the home espresso machine, is akin to having an affair right in front of your one true love.

Well, we’re giving it a go and Blue Bottle is going to have to be patient, but it got us thinking about which is “better” (or perhaps more popular is the real question), and why.

Our argument is for Blue Bottle, for what they have done to transform the landscape of coffee in San Francisco and the way a good espresso drink is poured and consumed. They’ve also transformed otherwise dumpy locales into hotbeds of activity (Linden Alley in Hayes Valley, and Mint Plaza in SOMA), and one could argue had a direct impact on property values (commercial and residential) in those areas. Blue Bottle knew how to draw a crowd at the Ferry Building and somehow keep people interested when the line stretched around the building. They’ve built a following, and continue to crank out excellent coffee in the same manner as when they began. Service at their Linden location is always with a smile (Mint Plaza staffers could use a little help in that regard), and although loaded with hipsters, you don’t get the feeling you’re just not hip enough to visit Blue Bottle Coffee.

We’re still warming up to Ritual, and don’t know enough about their flavors and their store to draw a completely honest opinion (first impressions have all been good), but as stated, they’re in our grinder and in our home now, so we ask…if YOU had to choose, would it be Ritual Roasters or Blue Bottle Coffee? At the very least, you have to admit it is just one of the many reasons we live here.

Oh…as for the logo competition, you gotta love Ritual’s.

[Editor's Note: Or is there someplace we're missing that we need to try? If you say Starbucks, you should be shot, and/or deported to a life in Strip Mall Suburbia Hell, because we got news for you, that ain't coffee, and how Starbucks made it past San Francisco's Anti Chain Store Law is beyond us.]

[Update: We'll definitely be trying De La Paz, and SightGlass soon enough!]

Battle Royale: San Francisco’s Infinity Towers Versus Some Peninsula Townhouse

We haven’t done a Battle Royale in a while, but we thought this recent email could not only shed some light on the steals and deals being thrown out by The Infinity to get their Towers sold, but also a bit of debate as to whether it’s better to put your money in San Francisco, or Peninsula real estate.
From the reader (edited slightly for syntax):


Love your blog!

I would like your opinion…

I’m looking to purchase either a new 2 bedroom townhouse in the peninsula or else a 1-2 bedroom condo at The Infinity. I will be purchasing with 4-6 other people for The Infinity (volume discount, we each get our own place, 3 people will be in the $800K -1.4mil range so i think we will have a lot of bargaining power), or trying to find a good discount for a new townhouse in the peninsula. Which would be the better investment?

I’m [f*cking young!], make $110K a year, first time home buyer, would probably rent out a room at either the condo or the townhouse, and prefer not to do any remodeling.


Go Giants or go home! San Francisco all the way. Way better investment in our eyes (we are biased), way better location, and at your age, you’ll likely have a helluva lot more fun. Just make sure we get an invite to the housewarming party (have you heard about our fresh lime margaritas), and there is no lifeguard on duty when we cause a ruckus in the pool! Marco…Polo…Fish Outta Water!.

Thanks for the email, glad you like the blog. We like you.

Greener than thou: San Francisco is “Green” are you?

Everybody knows it’s hip to be green and San Francisco almost leads the pack (we were edged out by Portland, OR) , but what’s a city without its people, right?

We want to try to do a little thing here on theFrontSteps (by getting your comments) and it goes something like this:

My name is _____ and I’m greener than thou because… recently my wife and I began throwing all of our food waste, paper towels, egg cartons, milk cartons, and pet fish in the green bin and damnit if it doesn’t feel good! We’ve reduced our black bin waste by at least 50% each week, and our breezeway stinks to high heaven (could be the diapers we save for the landfill). We still drive mediocre gas consuming vehicles (Subaru and Volkswagen), but we’re considering a hybrid or something else “green” (although a Porsche GT sure would be nice, and a helluva lot faster than a Prius.) We send our boy to school with reusable containers rather than Zip Lock bags, and try to use “green” detergents and soaps when possible. We no longer shave our legs, face, armpits or privates, and toilet paper is a thing of the past, (Just kidding! Jesus H Christ…did you honestly think….?) and that is what makes me green.

And that’s how it goes. Share with us just how green you are (especially any green things you might have done or are doing to your San Francisco home) and let’s prove to Portland they ain’t got nothing on San Francisco!

p.s. For those of you that are ready to pounce on us for making fun of hippies, or tree-huggers, or Oregon, or whatever…save it. We’re sarcastic. Should you decide to delete the sarcasm, we are actually doing all of those things in an effort to be greener. (It’s the demons within that want the Porsche GT, not us.)

[We'll go ahead and tag this a Battle Royale should you care to forward to your Oregon friends.]

Update: We just noticed Curbed uses the title “Greener than thou” for many of their posts and has done so for quite a while. Some things slip by…sorry Curbed!

San Francisco’s “coolest” neighborhood: La Mission…hands down!

If you want to be flat out, straight, f**king cool, then live in (or at least go to) the Mission. We have been in every nook and cranny of this city and checked out just about every type of property you can imagine, seen every type of living quarters, seen just about every type of person and their living environments, and experienced all the areas this city can throw out. The Mission district in San Francisco is by far the absolute downright coolest, most hip, happening place in the city, and a recent trip around the Mission reminded us just how cool it is. Forget Union St. forget Fillmore or Hayes Valley, forget Union Square, forget the Embarcadero, (which are all really cool) forget it all….the Mission is the sh*t. It just has that vibe.


Not sure where it is? Walk outside your door, ask the first person you see, “How do I get to the Mission District,” make your way there, and experience everything else along the way. If you still can’t find it, use this map and look for where district 9c (Inner Mission) meets 5m (Mission Dolores), and you’ll be close.

Since this is a San Francisco real estate blog you’re probably wondering what the market is like there, so here are the comps for the past year. Enjoy and go check it out.

[Update: Since we're getting a fair bit of link traffic coming in for this post, you should all know we've had a few Battle Royales in the past and this one is quickly becoming one itself, so we've tagged it to go along with the others.]

Battle Royale: Tokyo or San Francisco if you had to choose

Since we’re on the subject…Tokyo or San Francisco if you had to choose and why…please. ;-)

We know nothing about Tokyo, and have never been, so should we decide to take a trip there, what can we expect, and what should we avoid. Of course, since this is a real estate blog, we’d also love to know what our money can(not) buy.

-San Francisco or New York City, if you had to choose [theFrontSteps, Battle Royale]

-San Francisco or Los Angeles, if you had to choose [theFrontSteps, Battle Royale]

-Tokyo Photo Credit

Chart challenge: San Francisco mimics Japanese land value decline (sort of)

Accepting our recent challenge to “show us a legitimate graph of home values for San Francisco, or the Bay Area, or California, or the Nation, hell you might as well make it the world for that matter, that looks like [the declining chart on this post]“, Paul G steps up to the plate with this chart and explanation below:

You did open the chart challenge up to the world so I thought I’d submit this one. I can’t upload images to your web-site so I’m emailing it to you. Feel free to post, if you want.

The green line represents the cost of residential land in six major urban centers in Japan since 1955. The blue line represents San Francisco prices using the Case-Shiller index, but, in order to make the peaks coincide, I’ve moved all SF values back 15 years.

No, I don’t think San Francisco prices are going to follow the same trajectory down for many reasons (inflation, the 30-year run-up in Tokyo compared with the 10-year run-up here) but it’s still an interesting graph.



Thanks for the graph! Very interesting to say the least.

-Chart Fun: Declining Real Estate Values [theFrontSteps]

-San Francisco or New York City, if you had to choose [theFrontSteps, Battle Royale]

Crime on the rise in Bernal Heights?

It seems to be the week of getting edumucated on theFrontSteps. First chickens, now rising crime in Bernal Heights? We have no factual evidence to support what we’re saying, but the information has come to us from a very reliable and trustworthy source. We’re hoping you (the reader) can shed some light on the matter. We know some of you in particular might have better knowledge on the matter than we, so please share.

It also begs the question, could this make Bernal go bust? (And it reminds us, we’re about due for another Battle Royale.)

Battle Royale: Realtors or Politicians, who’s worse?

Yes, we have the right to ask this question, as we are Realtors, and we encounter shady less than professional crooks (yes, crooks) on a weekly basis. At the same time, most of our colleagues are the nicest, most professional people in the world that work their asses off, but seriously…the lying, the cheating, the dishonesty, the back-stabbing, the constant self-promoting, and on and on. You’d think we’re on Capitol Hill, and you’d think the San Francisco Association of Realtors would put a stop to some of these people, but still they’re out there.

So who is worse, a Realtor or a Politician? Debate, discuss, have at it, because this week, we’ve had enough of it.

-Battle Royale [theFrontSteps]

Battle Royale: San Francisco or Los Angeles, if you had to choose

by Alex Clark

Sometimes I get plain bored of talking about San Francisco real estate and I dream of faraway places. I wonder, “What would it be like to live there?” Surely, some of you must wonder the same things.

Luckily, we’re getting to the bottom of NYC vs. SF, so I’m not losing sleep about moving to New York anymore. But what about moving somewhere warm, like Los Angeles?

Is L.A. really the city of angels or are those just “normal” people like you and me enhanced by botox and saline? Is the air really not as polluted as my cough was telling me? Did I really spend most of my time in traffic, or was I just having a bad dream?  Is Kat Von D the best Tattoo artist in L.A. or just the most popular? She’s certainly good looking, that’s for sure.

True, the weather is nicer (read: warmer), as are the beaches and the sites you’ll see at the beaches, but are Manhattan, Hermosa, and Redondo considered L.A.? What about downtown L.A.? Is it a ghost town during non-business hours? Is Hollywood and the movie industry all L.A. really has to offer?

What about recreation? Besides surfing, cycling, rollerblading (ugh!), skateboarding, sailing, kiting, fishing, mt. biking, skiing (if you want to call it that at Big Bear), beaching, partying, and being in movies, what else is there?

Real Esate?  What can you get for your money down there?  Soon, we’ll find out who is sexiest Realtor in L.A., but what’s that Realtor going to show us? (Don’t go there! ;-) ) Actually, while we’re on the subject, you might as well begin sending us your picks for the sexiest Realtor in Los Angeles.

It’s been a long time since I was down there, and I would have moved in a second had my Tante willed me her home in Manhattan Beach, but it was not to be, so I’m stuck wondering…San Francisco or Los Angeles, if you had to choose…and why.

-Battel Royale: San Francisco or New York City, if you had to choose [theFrontSteps]

-…and the Nominees for Sexiest Realtor in San Francisco [theFrontSteps]

-Kat Von D [myspace]

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

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

Second up was obviously the the results of said contest.

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

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

Fifth were some of our Picture Medley posts.

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Send us a tip [theFrontSteps]

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

Battle Royale: North Beach or South Beach, if you had to choose

It’s been a while since our last Battle Royale (SF v. NYC), but that doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten to keep it local. We’ve seen a few of you chime in on whether you’d choose Hayes or Haight, a few more of you duked it out over Pacific Heights or Marina, and let’s not forget the Noe or Bernal thread that started this all. But that’s the past. We’re moving on, and we want to know: North Beach or South Beach…if you had to choose (and preferably why).

North Beach:


North Beach zip 94133 (Median: source Altos Research)

Single Family


South Beach:


South Beach zip 94105

Single Family


South Beach zip 94107

Single Family


Today’s battle could take so many different angles, but we’d have to say what it really comes down to, are you old school, or new school San Francisco?

And as always, got a thought on a good Battle Royale? Send it to us.

-Past Battle Royales [theFrontSteps]

“What Market Slump”-NY Times

A reader recently forwarded us this article from the New York Times, and thought it might paint a comparative picture of what is going on here, or what could come to be. We’d tend to agree, however, on a much smaller scale (so far). Everybody, ourselves included, likes to keep a watch on other markets that might possibly compare to ours, but few topics get as much traction as the San Francisco vs. New York debate.

However, we leave that discussion up to you, and thought we’d print a few quotes from the article to get you started:

Marcia Van Wagner, an economist and deputy city comptroller, said that while economists can forecast trends, they have trouble predicting just when a “turning point” will appear. Nevertheless, she said that her agency was updating its economic forecasts as concerns mount, and that she was expecting a slowdown in the real estate market, perhaps later this year or next year.

Last Wednesday, the developers of the new 58-story W New York-Downtown Hotel and Residences on Washington Street found that Manhattan market was alive and well. Michael Shvo, whose firm Shvo Marketing is selling the properties, invited 3,000 people who had expressed interest to show up on the opening day of the sales office for the sale of 159 one- and two-bedroom condos. (Another 64 furnished hotel-style condos will go on sale later).

At 7 a.m., when the office opened, there was a line on the street, Mr. Shvo said. By the time the office closed at 11 p.m., two hours later than planned, he said, contracts for 72 apartments had been signed. Prices began at $2,000 a square foot, he said, or more than $1 million for a one-bedroom.

Don’t think we can’t get there ($2000 a square foot). It’s just a matter of time. Thanks D.L. for the link.

[Update: Since we're on the topic of NYC again, the other side of the story. Thanks "Balanced Viewpoint" for the link.]

-What Market Slump [New York Times]

-Battle Royale: San Francisco or NYC, if you had to choose [theFrontSteps]

Comment du Jour: Stripping Trim, Shrinking Wood (supply)?

This comment wasn’t necessarily one that makes us fall over in laughter, or one that brings a tear to our eye, but one that might spark some conversation (or debate) nonetheless. (Extra points if you can come up with a catchy phrase using the words stripping, shrinking, old growth, wood, and trim in the same sentence. Then we might get a good laugh, or maybe even shed a tear.) Of course, you could just debate the merits of whether you like your wood covered or not, or if it doesn’t really matter as long as it’s not your house.





From “Zang” on Cole Valley Before and After

Why do people paint over all of the historic woodwork? sigh. It’s cheaper than refinishing it… but it removes so much character and is so short sighted. With shrinking forests and wood prices skyrocketing, I’ll bet old growth wood paneling on walls, trim and ceilings will be coveted in years to come. And, have you ever tried stripping paint off of paneling/trim? Not fun.

Very good points indeed, and an observation everyone must wonder. We think painted white is mo beta! It makes the room look so much brighter, cleaner, and full of life.

Remember: Extra points if you can come up with a catchy phrase using the words stripping, shrinking, old growth, wood, and trim in the same sentence.

-Cole Valley Before and After (1233 Shrader) [theFrontSteps]

-Battle Royale: San Francisco or New York City, if you had to choose [theFrontSteps]

Theory of the Starving Real Estate Agent

When I received my real estate license 5+ years ago, I entered into one of the hottest real estate markets in the country, at the beginning of one of the hottest real estate booms our nation would come to see. Real Estate licenses were flying out of the California Department of Real Estate as fast as they could print them. In San Francisco alone, I think the number of agents hit 5000+. (Keep in mind our population is only around 750,000+.)

Now the market has cooled, but at last check there are still some 4500+ licensed real estate agents in the city of San Francisco, and a lot less deals going around, and still “20% of agents doing 80% of the business”. So what happens to the rest? They need to pay bills, put food on the table, and pay the cost of living in San Francisco, and that leads to my theory.

The “theory of the starving real estate agent”: I think that a good percentage of the astronomical overbids, and market run up we had seen, were a result of agents pushing their clients to a higher offering price in order that they themselves would get paid. This is a theory I’ve had ever since I got my license and represented my first client on their first losing offer, and I thought, “How can you possibly make a living in real estate when you not only have to hustle to get clients, but also compete on every offer you write for them?” Continue reading

Comment du Jour:

SF could use a little NYC“.


Short and sweet. We liked it, we’re running it, and a huge thanks to all the people around the country (noticed NYC, Chicago, SF for sure) who commented on our most popular post ever, Battle Royale: San Francisco or New York City, if you had to choose. We were pleasantly surprised with the number of New Yorkers who chimed in to help my quest for the best coffee in NYC. I’ll have to give them a try.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bringing it to the ‘hoods:

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

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

Noe Valley wins, Pacific Heights loses … BIG!

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

We showcased two properties:


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

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

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

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

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

-“A tale of two districts” [theFrontSteps]

-689 Douglass [listing detail from sfnewsletter]

-2679 Sacramento [listing detail from sfnewsletter]

-Battle Royale [theFrontSteps]

Battle Royale: Hayes Valley or Haight Ashbury, if you had to choose

We’ve been having lots of fun with the other Battles: Outer Richmond v. Outer Sunset and Pacific Heights v. Marina, so today we give you Hayes Valley or Haight Ashbury. The choice is yours. As always, we provide the data, and hope you provide the insight. Have fun. Sorry for the tech difficulties, it’s not us.

Correction on the Outer Richmond/Outer Sunset post. The charts we posted from Altos research were actually median prices for condos, not sfr’s. It is now fixed.


Hayes Valley Stats (source: SFAR MLS)


Haight Ashbury Stats (source: SFAR MLS)


Haight Ashbury zip 94117 (Median: source Altos Research)

Single Family


Hayes Valley zip 94102

Single Family


When looking at these charts, keep in mind that they are based off of zip code, not property type and exact street delineations as in the San Francisco Association of Realtors District Map.

Bernal Heights strikes again (145 Coso…$309,000 over)

We’re not making this up, but it might help answer the question, “is Bernal on Fuego or Hielo?” All pricing issues aside, this is a pretty damn good find. Thanks Garrett:

145 Coso, a 3-bed, 2-bath, 13 days on the market and $309,000 above asking, which brings the sales price to $1,408,000 in Bernal. No kidding.


On a different note. You see that tall building in the background? That is One Rincon Hill. It seems so close, but is yet so far…especially when talking SF real estate.  For those that say the increased inventory in buildings like that, and all the other new developments popping up in SOMA, will have an effect on homes like this…think again.

-Bernal on Fuego or Hielo? [theFrontSteps]

-Battle Royale: Outer Richmond or Outer Sunset/Parkside…if you had to choose [theFrontSteps]

-One Rincon Hill Topping Off Event, with lots of photos [theFrontSteps]

Battle Royale: Outer Richmond or Outer Sunset/Parkside…if you had to choose

Our last attempt at a healthy discussion as to whether you’d choose Pacific Heights or the Marina kind of took a turn for the worse when comments got a little heated and were taken a bit personally, but that isn’t stopping us from trying again. So…if you had to choose, Outer Richmond or Outer Sunset/Parkside, which would it be and why? We want to hear the good, the bad, and YOUR OPINION as to why you’d choose one over the other. Learning from our last attempt and other discussion on whether Bernal is better than Noe, we’re going to ask that you please keep comments civil, and don’t take anything personally.

We’ll kick things off with a little spin on the old debate and do what we do best…that is make it about real estate, stick to the stats, and give you some averages:

Outer Richmond (source: SFAR MLS)


Outer Sunset/Parkside (source: SFAR MLS)


Richmond (SFR Median: source Altos Research, same for Sunset, Parkside graphs.)



We leave the rest to you. The weather is equally as shitty in both neighborhoods in the summer, so we know you can’t argue about that. ;-)

Tell all your friends to come on over to theFrontSteps and hash it out in this thread.

Up next: Hayes Valley or Haight Ashbury

On deck: West Portal or St. Francis Wood

If you’re not familiar with your “districts” here is the best, most detailed map we could find online.

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

-Stump the Stammtisch: Bernal on Fuego or Hielo [theFrontSteps]

Out of office Auto Reply

Today and the rest of this week until Tuesday 8/7, we’re going to be “out of office” with zero new posts and no comment moderation. Unfortunately, we will not be sipping fresh lime margaritas in Mexico, but dreaming of it nonetheless. Please keep comments civil, have fun, keep spreading the word, and keep sending us your questions, post ideas, and feedback. We’ll put it all up when we get back. Upon our return, we hope to see a lot of good debate on whether the “Greek” crowd in the Marina can outwit the “Socialites” of Pacific Heights as to who’s ‘hood is better and why. Just don’t cross the line.


[photo credit]

Now would also be a good time to catch up on past posts and comment on a few “most viewed posts”.

If you happen to comment and it doesn’t show up, it’s the spam filter. Sorry, we’ll release it from comment purgatory on our return Monday night (8/6).


-Battle Royale: Pacific Heights vs. the Marina…if you had to choose. [theFrontSteps]

Battle Royale: Pacific Heights vs. the Marina…if you had to choose.

Since there is a nice little discussion going on about the pros and cons of Noe Valley versus Bernal Heights, we thought we’d try a couple of different posts along the same lines. We want to hear the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Marina vs. Pacific Heights…if you had to choose, and why you feel that way.

We’ll get things started with two similar 2-unit properties for your comparison:1739-41 Northpoint (left) and 2918-20 Jackson (right)



If you’d like to join the thread of Noe Valley vs. Bernal Heights, go here.

If you want us to do any areas in particular, please contact us and we’ll happily throw it up.

The next Battle Royale: Outer Richmond vs. Outer Sunset/Parkside

On deck: Haight Ashbury vs. Hayes Valley

So tell everyone you know to get ready to step up and represent their ‘hood.

-Stump the Stammtisch: Bernal on Fuego or Hielo? [theFrontSteps]