Heat Map Of San Francisco Median Home Price Changes Since Previous ’06-’08 Market Peak

Who doesn’t love a good heat map? Especially us San Francisco residents caught in the grip of one brutally long fog song…
[Click image to enlarge.]
Zipcode_Appreciation-since-Peak

This heat map compares 2013 2nd quarter or 1st half median home sales prices – for houses, condos, co-ops and TICs combined – with those at the peak value time prior to the recent market recovery. Previous peak value times vary by neighborhood: typically, the least affluent neighborhoods hit peak prices in 2006 and also fell the most, percentage-wise, during the crash, falling 25% to 50%. These neighborhoods were most affected by the subprime and distressed-property sales crises. The mid-affluent neighborhoods peaked in 2007, and usually declined in value in the 20% to 25% range. And the most affluent areas reached peak values last, in the first half of 2008 prior to the September 2008 crash: Their fall in value ranged approximately 15% to 20% from 2008 peak to 2010-2011 nadir.

Generally speaking, when the market began to turn around in late 2011/early 2012, the last neighborhoods to fall were the first to recover, followed by the mid-affluent and then the less affluent areas.

Maximum Overbid Of The Week: 235 28th Street, Noe Valley…

This one is hot off the presses. So hot, this property at 235 28th Street in Noe Valley still has dust billowing up around it from the flurry of bidding that just went down.

235noefacade

235noekitchen

235noerear
By all accounts, this is a great, great house. Sure, it needs a little work, but could be really nice and totally livable with ripped up carpet and buffed out floors, new paint (get rid of the wallpaper), and tidy up the yard. It’s actually livable now, but we have champagne tastes like all of you. To take it even further, the house could be expanded down, up and back. Big project for sure, protect that lovely historical facade, dig out the downstairs, add one more parking spot, and go big…and that’s exactly what all of you, dear readers/buyers, can expect to hit the market in or around another year, and expect it to be in the $3,000,000 range.

We just bid on this property, and we lost. Asking $899,000, we bid $1,250,000, we were “in the top four”. Winning bid (hate that word) was $1,300,000, cash, seven day close. That’s $401,000 over asking. Hard to beat. And for our buyers, it’s another one lost. It stings just as bad this time (the 7th) as it did the first.

To all you sellers, we keep saying it’s a great time to sell, are you believing us yet?

-235 28th Street, Noe Valley: 3bd, 1ba, $899,000 [MLS]
-When Someone Else Tells You Our Market Is Hot Will You Listen? [theFrontSteps]
-Telegraph Hill Neighbors: Our Opposition Is Unconditional [theFrontSteps]

Your Noe Valley Dream Home Awaits…Lucky Buyer

Is this your style?

Been searching for the perfect Noe Valley Single Family Home that is LEED certified?

Dreamt about having a say in the final touches of your down to the studs remodeled dream home?

If so, I have the home for you. You, meaning unrepresented buyer.

The home pictured is not what is available, but it will be along those lines, and it is in an A++ Noe Valley location. Feldman Architecture and Scott Lewis landscaping, five bedrooms, three and one half baths, two car garage, 3000 plus square feet, and LEED Platinum Certified baby!

You, lucky buyer, would have the oppportunity to customize the paint colors and tile choices (to some extent- within the allowed budgetary guidelines). You can put the finishing touches on your dream home – all as a part of the sale. Seller is NOT selling an incomplete project, he will stay until the end, working with you, lucky buyer, to choose the finishes.

Price around $3,000,000, and as stated…Principals only.

How nice that luck is on your side, simply because you read theFrontSteps today. If only everything in life was that easy.

-Email alexclark@gmail.com or call 415-254-5351 for more information. Don’t delay.

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.

Reader Reports: We Finally Were Able To Refinance! What A Nightmare! And Some Advice…

From a reader:

Dear theFrontSteps,

After TWO YEARS of intensive search and questioning and hunting ….we closed yesterday on our refinancing! We got a $600,000 loan at 4.5%. (no point, no refinancing costs, except for appraisal and recording fees).

By the way, the appraisal came back at $1,200,000, which made us laugh a good time. Having open walls and contractor tools in the house does help take the price down!!! Note: I followed the “uglyhouse” blog advice on everything else, and all the pics (gov requires all bathrooms, kitchen and living room pictures) came out 100% clean and staged.

Some thoughts:

No bank, nobody wanted to hear from us, still because we have only one income.

I contacted several brokers, including one who was contacted/recommended by our private banking. Brokers just don’t make it. The process throug brokers would drive anybody crazy. We recontacted our original loan issuer (the employee at wells fargo) and she refused to refi us.

We finally got our break when the WF branch at NoeValley opened a full time position in Mortgage consulting. That new guy was eager to add files on his desk and made it easy to refi without trouble. They made the decision to accept to refi based on nothing but our history of our current mortgage with them, and from there, it was just paperwork.

They needed 2 years of tax docs (the release is for 3 years). It’s not them, it’s a federal requirement. However, because WF does everything in house, our file was traced from one desk to another, and there was very little risk of leak /abusive use of information. The Noe Valley guy was very nice and helped us feel comfortable with their privacy practices.
Because it’s WF who has extensive in house info on our accounts, they did not bother us too much about the stuff in our tax doc that we consider both confidential and not relevant for the loan (namely the foreign real estate, but also the adoption stuff, etc). They were super cool and requested only a proof of insurance (checking the existence of the foreign property).

It was still a very painful process of administrative work and I would recommend that you help your readers CLEAN their finances before (as long as possible) they consider applying for a mortgage. Things like NOT changing bank, NOT closing or opening or transferring bank accounts, investing in a (real) accountant to file one tax return to make sure there is a pristine year (thus less questions from the bank and less discrepancies) etc.

There are mortgages to get, but only if you want to fight for each one.

It was worth it. Thanks again for your extensive help and support over the years.

Thanks for the update, congratulations, and good luck!

Tacos And Margaritas For All At 156 Vicksburg…Tonight Ole!

Yes, it’s true. You can skip making dinner tonight, and instead get on over to 156 Vicksburg for tacos, and even Margaritas. Fresh lime Margs? Not sure. But with any luck, they’ll at least be heavy on the Tequila. Go one, go all…[REMOVED] rock stars, and even buyers are all welcome to partake in a night of feasting and drinking courtesy of Paragon Real Estate.

Don’t drag your feet, and don’t be late, the window for feasting is small, 6-7pm.

Ole!!!!

Ask Us: 815 Alvarado Just Doesn’t Jibe

Have a look at the front of 815 Alvarado (4 bed, 3.5 bath, 3 car parking, “Single Family Residence” asking $2,965,000) :

815alvaradofront1

Now have a look at our reader’s question:

So whats the story on 815 Alvarado, SF…..listed as a House…but really has a Legal Inlaw, and only 2 bedrooms upstairs. One can be divided….but you have no hallway in between. Property tax records still have it based on original purchase price with no improvements in the structure base. All work performed under permit???

So what do the tax records say? Well, for starters, 688 square feet! (To further confuse you, we pulled tax records via MLS, which shows the new property photos that clearly don’t jive with the data.)

815alvaradotax1

Sounds a little bit more like this doesn’t it? Record of sale in 1997 for $325,000 from $279,000 asking:

815alvaradoold1

It really doesn’t jibe, and this is all too common and one big reason tax records in San Francisco should be taken with a grain of salt. But to answer your main question, “all work performed under permit”, we’d have to assume yes. If not, that is a monumental oversight on the part of the city…which of course wouldn’t surprise us. As to the the story on 815 Alvarado, we’ll have to defer to some of our other readers to help with that question, as we do not have the answer. There is also a good thread on this house on SocketSite. You might want to lob your question in there too.

[Update: Sophie digs up the permit dirt and adds her "$.02 to the buyers… have EVERYTHING checked and rechecked … so you don’t end up paying top dollars for the house AND top dollars for cleaning/clearing the messed up permits."]

Thanks for reading theFrontSteps!

-815 Alvarado [property website]
-Tax Records 815 Alvarado

Ask Us: Why The Fuss About Noe Valley?

Where readers ask, and we (the community) try to answer:

The Front Steps really concentrates on Noe. I live in Noe and understand the attraction and the desirability of neighborhood but I’m not exactly sure why it is the barometer for everywhere else. Can you shed any light on this?

Good question. It’s not that we set out to focus on Noe, in fact we think focusing on an area that is much more hip (like Mission, Dog Patch, or NoPa) would serve our readers better and certainly be a helluva lot more fun, but looking at the real estate in Noe Valley is a very good barometer for the well being of the entire city’s real estate market, because it is considered an A+ location with generally financially and employment secure residents. Noe Valley is one of the most desirable and popular areas to live in San Francisco, and if the market in Noe Valley crashes, the rest of the city should watch out. SOMA is tanking as we speak, but it has nothing to do with Noe Valley. It is a totally different market.

As you’ve also likely noticed, a lot of the content we post comes in as “tips” from readers and our readers that send tips must be a bit more concerned with Noe. So feel free to tell your friends that live in other nabes to check us out and send in tips about their hood as well. It doesn’t have to be about real estate, but it does have to be about San Francisco (or at least the greater Bay Area.)

Thanks for reading!

Stalefish: San Francisco’s New Delicacy

About once a month, on sfnewsletter, we put out our list of Stalefish Properties for our readers’ delight. Today, we thought we’d share that same list with you, and highlight some of the Stalefish swimming in that Stale Pond.

175 Bright…future not so bright. It is a short sale (possibly the reason it still shows as active) and has spent a meager 291 days on the market. Maybe it’s because it shows “0 bedrooms, 0 baths”. That could be an issue.
175bright

So you’ve heard of the “Little Engine That Could”, but what about the Little $6Million Firehouse That Can’t Sell? We have one of those in our Stale Pond too:
firehouse

Fans of Kirkwood Ski Resort? Well set this Stalefish free and live at 1526 Kirkwood St. in San Francisco…only 322 days on market:
kirkwood

Take your pick at the Ritz, where for a mere $5.4Million you can get an unfinished slice of pie in the sky.
ritz
Not a fan of the raw, un-finished Stalefish swimming in the Ritz pond? Fear not, there are plenty of fully cooked units to choose from.

Remember that ultra slick, sleek, can’t do no wrong building called the Brannan? Well, you can get this Stalefish for $1.4M (down from $1.8M), but beware…we see a ghost (likely just an agent skimping on photographer expenses) in that glass!
brannan

So what’s the moral of this Stalefish story. Although San Francisco’s Stalefish pond is filling up with properties, there are still many tasty treats to be had and buyers have bargaining chips on their side, so don’t be shy…jump in the Stale Pond with both feet and see what you can find swimming on the bottom!

[Editor's Note: What is a Stalefish? A property that has been on the market 100+ days (give or take). Nothing more, nothing less.]

Noe Valley Is Not Immune (Noe Valley Median Slides Along With SF As a Whole)

Woah! Where the hell has theFrontSteps been? A few things…I did, in fact, have a birthday (29 for those wondering) and I’ve been slammed with real estate. Thank goodness for the people behind theFrontSteps. This graph again from Misha Weidman:

noe-valley-vs-sf-all-districts-percent-change

This is median prices, and SINGLE FAMILY HOMES ONLY.

If this isn’t ammo for the haters, we don’t know what is. Thanks Misha for keeping the data coming!

Stunner: 4356 25th Street Sold Within 15 Days*

This little Noe Valley gem (3 bed, 3 bath, “Mid-Century Modern”, single family home asking $2,579,000) had been burning the candle off the market for quite some time (we showed it to some clients well before it hit MLS), and we thought it was quite a nice house (especially the graduated ceiling).

25th

Maybe it’s not a complete stunner since the sales price comes with an asterisk (means sales price not disclosed), but it is a little bit of a silver lining to this incredibly dark cloud we’re under. (Something tells us we’re going to see more and more of that little asterisk.)

[Editor's Note: Our little "*" in the title means it was on MLS 15 days, but certainly quietly marketed for much more than that.]

-4356 25th Street [listing details]

“This Is The One”, 565 Clipper Gets Into Contract

Right on the heels of our recent post a la Sophie, “A walk up the hill”, we learn that one of the little nugs she reported on went into contract as of yesterday, 565 Clipper being that little 4 bed, 3.5 bath, $2,149,000 single family nug (originally listed 10/08 for $2,599,000):

565clipper
The deets, with a little RealSpeak for good measure:

Breathtaking, recently rebuilt home w/ hi ceilings & dramatic dark walnut floors. Enormous living room w/ FP & city vus. Top shelf kit w/ 6-burner Viking & CesarStone + huge bfast bar. Dramatic DR is surrounded by windows & adjacent outdoor living space. 3BD/2BA upper level includes a luxurious master suite w/ FP & vu deck + an add’l south facing deck adjacent to 3rd BD overlooking the garden.Ground level has huge family/media room w/ wet bar + 4th BD, full BA & 2 car sxs gar. This is the one!

565clipperkit

It “is the one” for someone, and is a good comparable for 469 Clipper (future version), which just so happens to still be available.

So what gives? Bad market, busy street, nothing but doom on the horizon, yet somebody pulled the trigger on a $2+Million property on Clipper? Let’s hope it closes.

Stay tuned for reports of multiple offers on multiple properties. No kidding.

[Update: Closed escrow for $2,090,000.]

Reader Reports: A Walk Up The Hill (Clipper)

We love our readers and we love when they report back to the mother ship. This from “Sophie” who decided to take a walk up the hill (slightly edited for flow, and links added to properties mentioned).

“Restless kids, so-so weather: A great day for a walk uphill!

532B Clipper – TIC – $499,999
This is a great unit in need of work: a simple knock down of all the crap (read “added american closets”) and it’s a great unit. tad bit high price (no parking, problematic deck etc) – but still something to look at.

490-492 clipper – RH2 – $1,300,000 (and 3.5% commission to selling agent), inlaw WITH tenant.
Tiny owner unit, but smart and practical. Work with NO permit! (duh! check the stair railing!) With no parking, the price is a bit high.

682 clipper – SHF – $1,475,000
floor plan is very odd. I dont like at all the top floor (master suite above living), but the lower floor 3 bedrooms are ok, with a great additional lowest level (storage, mudroom, position of laundry etc). I HATE the windows, like you pee in the face of the clipper street drivers. All the windows and window coverings and drapes need a rework/updates (soundproofing, light, sun, heat, views etc). However, a MUCH better deal and a sweeter property than 565 Clipper.

481 clipper – RH2 – $1,800,000
I guess I still hate everything about that one as much as before. However, I find not acceptable to keep that property on the market in the current condition of next door house. Many people walking with us were scared by the construction, and it would have needed a lot of courage to dare going in (I would have, but the wind started to pick up, and I didnt want to scare the kids). Property should either be off market for the 2 months to come, OR not have an open house – and be flagged as such in MLS. For once a property could have some legitimate excuse for having a larger DOM – use it (although this property is a recurring stalefish anyway.)

469 clipper – empty lot. $939,000 [Editor's Note: Careful what you say Sophie...;-) ]
The proposed plan being totally ugly, I have to say that the lot is large, garage access is easy because no parking spot in front and above the house.
Alex – nice talking to Mike. Nice guy. (I still think it’s a tiny bit high. price drop should have been to $899,000 to spark some new interest).
Marketing-wise – I would be scared by buying a lemon – ie: the previous owner bought the lot, spend the money in architect – then DROPPED the plan to build its dream house? WHY? neighbors? If the plan is not approved, then it’s not only worth zero, but it has some negative value as being a “doomed” project. Marketing as a empty lot with no string attached should be considered at this point. OR I’d have someone draw 4-5 projective plans for that lot to show the richness and variety of options. If facade is protected by historic crap, state that in marketing, if not, market as empty lot with 2 garage access. Continue reading

You Changed Your DOM But Were Never BOM, 4148 23rd St Returns

You know that feeling you get when you meet someone and you just know you’ve seen them before, but you just can’t figure out where? Well, fortunately for us folks in the biz of real estate, we have this little feature called “property history” that is becoming all too necessary to check religiously. As it turns out, we have seen 4148 23rd St (4 bed, 2.5 bath, Renovated Noe Valley Edwardian) before.

414823rdfront

We saw her first in 1998 when she sold for $435,000. Then we saw her again (with a face-lift) in April of 2008 for $1,799,000 when she was on the market for 140 days and pulled off the market in August. She resurfaced (very briefly) in December of 2008 with the same look, only different price ($1,599,000 or 11% less than before) and a fresh new DOM (days on market) of zero. Come to think of it, we never did see her BOM (back on market).

414823rdbath

Now we see her again in January 2009 with the same price, but new DOM, and still no BOM. This can only mean she never did find a suitor. So why the new DOM? It’s a trick we agents play, and the public is on to us.

We knew we saw her before, and it almost slipped passed us. Now we’re left to wonder what she’ll look like when we see her again…SOLD, BOM, or with yet another new DOM?

-4148 23rd St, $1,599,000 [listing detail page by sfnewsletter]
-Resetting DOM, Buyers Speak Up, ABC News Nightline Is Listening [theFrontSteps]

In The Heart Of Noe, Marina Style (3917 26th St.)

3917noefront

Asking $1,398,000, this 3 bed, 2 bath, 2 car parking Marina style home at 3917 26th St “in the heart of Noe” is certainly one for the masses, so it will be interesting to see how quickly it sells.

3917noekit

We’re fans. The difference this time around (no it wasn’t previously listed as far as we can tell)…offers as they come. Gone are the days of setting an offer date.

[Update: Price reduced to $1,349,000]

[Last sold in 2004 for $986,000.]

-3917 26th St [MLS]

Bay Area Home Prices: a la San Francisco Chronicle

From the Chronicle: Home prices down in 90% of Bay Area Zip codes. A bold statement indeed, and thank God we don’t live in 90% of the Bay Area, but what’s this?

One of the few standouts was the 94114 ZIP in San Francisco, home of Noe Valley, where houses go for well over a million dollars, designer strollers clog the sidewalks, posh shops peddle handmade ethnic tchotchkes, and the Google bus regularly cruises the streets.

But even that ZIP didn’t enjoy the double-digit appreciation that became de rigueur during the real estate boom. Instead Noe Valley prices were up 6.8 percent year over year, from $893 a square foot to $954.

We know full well SF is not entirely immune to the forces of the economy, but the mere fact that we are weathering this storm better than any metropolitan area we can think of, deserves to be noted. The fact that some areas of San Francisco are seeing price appreciation (however small) while other areas of the Bay Area (literally within 50 miles) are seeing price drops upwards of 70% is astonishing.

And apparently, Carolyn hadn’t seen this post, or she’d know a statement like, “Noe Valley, where houses go for well over a million dollars, designer strollers clog the sidewalks, posh shops peddle handmade ethnic tchotchkes, and the Google bus regularly cruises the streets” is sure to cause a stir. We’re prepared to let it slide, are you?

Just noticed something else on that map…does it show most of SF as a “Zip code with fewer than 20 sales”?

-Comment du Jour: The People in Noe Valley Have a Fully Realized Liberal Fantasy [theFrontSteps.com]

Comment Du Jour: “The People in Noe Valley Have a Fully Realized Liberal Fantasy”

This comment du jour comes to us from “James” in our most recent Cole Valley vs. Noe Valley Battle Royale, where he provides his explanation of why Noe Valley is the way it is:

Noe Valley has the feeling of being a small suburban village unto itself and this has been the case for a long while. It feels very similar to places like Mill Valley and Palo Alto (which, i admit, some people consider quite different in themselves).

Having lived here [in Noe Valley] for years, I will admit that there is certainly more of a ‘car culture’ here. Obviously there are an endless number of families who made the very self-conscious decision to move here. The suburban quality is not primarily caused by Noe Valley’s feeling of being physically removed from the city, though. I think it is more caused by the feeling that everyone in Noe Valley is deeply focused on the practical going-ons of their individual every day life. For instance, you are more likely to see young people off on their own in Cole Valley, just sitting in a cafe with a book. In Noe Valley, on the other hand, one is more likely to see a group of women having coffee, with their local jogging group, with their babies, with their jogging strollers, on the way to a play dates, or shopping, and then yoga, etc.

What I mean to say is that while Noe Valley feels removed from city life, that such a feeling may be just a manifestation of this suburban mindset on the neighborhood’s residents’ parts. They may not want to live entirely ‘in the city’ in every sense of the term. They want to be near a lot of things (which Noe Valley certainly is, and not at all far away from great things as some posts here have stated), without sacrificing the feeling that their neighborhood is ‘more home’ in a certain sense than the rest of the city.

So, the people in Noe Valley simply have a fully realized liberal fantasy. The ‘charm’ of a tightly controlled social environment, while being near all of those other parts of the city that they can’t quite bear to give up…

Well said James! Thanks for the comment, and thanks for reading theFrontSteps.

Battle Royale: Cole Valley Versus Noe Valley

There’s been a bit of discussion around this site and some others lately regarding whether Noe Valley or Cole Valley is a better neighborhood. Rather than spreading that conversation around, we thought we’d bring it under one thread for the world to see.

Cole Valley:

Noe Valley:

Please share in the comments below and take us away to a great weekend:

Cole Valley, or Noe Valley. If you had to choose, and why?

-Noe Valley on Tour de San Francisco (real estate) [sfnewsletter]
-Cole Valley on Tour de San Francisco (real estate) [sfnewsletter]

Inside Our New Favorite House: 313 Duncan

It looks like our clients aren’t going to pull the trigger on one of the nicest new homes (soon to be) on the market (313 Duncan), so we’re free to run our mouths.

High resolution pictures coming soon, but for now, here is a glimpse inside the living / dining / eating / entertaining / kitchen area:

The home has gone through a total and complete renovation and seismic retrofit. Essentially, the only thing that remains from the original home is the facade and the cottage out back, which has also been extensively remodeled into a very killer one bedroom / loft cottage with beamed ceilings (tons of sky lights), a studio kitchen and loads of charm. You could probably rent it for close $3,000 month if you needed to.

The large home on the front of the lot that you’d see from the street is now 4 bedrooms, 4 baths, three levels, with a top roof deck and atrium area that would be ideal for an office (women in skirts be warned, the floor is glass that looks all the way down to the living room). Each bedroom has outdoor space directly off the rooms as well as a private bathroom. The kitchen is all Dacor and quite simply awesome (except the glass hood which will certainly meet a few heads when cooking). There is a nice garden and the best part is walking into the home and being able to see all the way through the house to the yard and cottage in the back. Oh, and it has two car parking. Technically, it’s still two units, but more like a large single family with a nice little guest house.

We’ve been in twice now, but would love to take some new clients through before it hits the market (Thursday). Price $2,995,000 (ish). If you’re asking for us to speak to the price, not going to happen. We’ll just say we’re watching this closely.

-313 Duncan.com [coming soon]

Classic Noe Valley Edwardian, Extensively Renovated…and Reduced

Did we just write that? A Classic Noe Valley Edwardian, Renovated, yet reduced? We did indeed.

It turns out $1,495,000 isn’t the best price for 3774 23rd Street. This 3 bed, 2.5 bath 1561 square foot home has a laundry list of new amenities, including “new foundation with steel & full seismic upgrades” (what constitutes “full seismic upgrades” is up for debate), and the price was just reduced to $1,450,000.

Just throwing it out there…

Since you’re probably wondering, last sale 2001 for $675,000 (asking $499,500) as a total fixer.

-3774 23rd Street [sfnewsletter listing detail page]