“That dog should be taco”

You’re probably wondering what the hell that quote has to do with San Francisco real estate. In this case, a lot. I’ll try to be as simple as possible.

If you own a unit in a condominium and happen to pass by when potential buyers are milling around enjoying the garden setting in the common area, and marveling at how quiet it is, do not come by and say, “Just wait for the parties from that blond girl (nodding head toward unit directly next door). And that dog (blond girl’s pet), oh!………..that dog should be taco.”

As much as you might hate one of your neighbors, it serves no purpose to vent your frustrations to complete strangers (buyers) that might become your neighbors. Their tolerance for noise is likely different than yours, and you never know, they might even love to party with blond girls (they do have more fun after all).

If anything, it is the worst thing you could do, because if the sale doesn’t go through based on what you just said, not only will I come break your knees with my cousin Vincenzo (a.k.a. Vinni), all of your neighbors might do the same, for you just might have caused a longer listing period and subsequent price reductions, which could, in theory, lower the price of your own personal unit when it comes time for you to sell…[insert choice explicative here]!

Comment du Jour: “…my demolition contractor ripped out the one tree I was supposed to save”

For the new readers, the comment du jour is our way of saying thanks to those that participate in commenting, and a way to show all of you that don’t comment just what kind of good stuff you’re missing. Today’s comment du jour comes from Sparky in “Should I even Start a Blog” after we suggested he, the Fluj, and Alex sit down and have a little chat about the future of blogging real estate in SF:

I am not savvy about the blogosphere, but funny, interesting or horrible things happen to me at work every day. So I can write about that.

Since I wrote the above, my demolition contractor ripped out the one tree I was supposed to save at a house, and now me and the home owner have to pull it out of the dumpster and have a ceremony and tell it “we are sorry it was a mistake”. Dead Serious.

We can’t wait to get you up and running!

Stats & Numbers: Condos May ’07 versus May ’08

District Map

District 1 May-07 May-08
Number of Sales 17 15
Median Selling Price 905,000 850,000
Average DOM 30 62
District 2 May-07 May-08
Number of Sales 1 3
Median Selling Price 790,000 937,000
Average DOM 2 33
District 3 May-07 May-08
Number of Sales 4 3
Median Selling Price 440,000 380,000
Average DOM 50 86
District 4 May-07 May-08
Number of Sales 7 5
Median Selling Price 585,000 606,000
Average DOM 37 40
District 5 May-07 May-08
Number of Sales 42 32
Median Selling Price 911,000 938,500
Average DOM 29 52

District 6 May-07 May-08
Number of Sales 15 8
Median Selling Price 842,000 831,500
Average DOM 26 35
District 7 May-07 May-08
Number of Sales 31 32
Median Selling Price 1,295,000 1,075,000
Average DOM 36 50
District 8 May-07 May-08
Number of Sales 51 45
Median Selling Price 699,000 775,000
Average DOM 36 47
District 9 May-07 May-08
Number of Sales 59 42
Median Selling Price 750,000 795,000
Average DOM 46 77
District 10 May-07 May-08
Number of Sales 8 4
Median Selling Price 509,500 349,475
Average DOM 64 34

Source: San Francisco Schtuff

Como Se Dice… Gonzo? 1080 Chestnut #14A, one day on and gone!

One day on, one day off…1080 Chestnut #14A, a 3 bed, 3.5 bath, 2600 square foot co-op sells in contract in a heart beat, somewhere around $4,500,000 (something says off-market deal, which is totally okay by us.)

1080 Chestnut #14A

1080 Chestnut #14A living room views

Sale is pending board approval.

1080 Chestnut #14A [MLS]

Ask Us: What’s the going rate for a garage in San Francisco

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

stacked parking

I am considering buying a condo in the Noe Valley/Mission Dolores (around 21st and Church) area and I am trying to understand what the going rate for a garage is in this area. I have the option to purchase a space with the condo. I’ve heard between $75-100k. Is this accurate?

Thanks, C

C, It depends largely on what type of space you get. Something like the above stacked parking might drop the cost a little, but as we know these brilliant uses of space are few and far between in San Francisco (we’re ahead of the curve, but still a couple hundred years behind Europe), we’ll assume it’s a space with either tandem or individual parking. Our estimate is that it would be closer to the $75k range rather than the $100k, but wonder if some readers might be able to shed some light on the matter as well.


[Editor’s note and update: The cost for a garage is entirely different than the cost to purchase a single parking space. Our estimate is assuming you’re talking about one space, not an entire garage.]

Plunging Home Sales in the San Francisco Bay Area

More doom and gloom data for you to ponder. We won’t even point out the silver lining to the always dark cloud of real estate reporting, but it’s in there…rest assured.

From sfgate:

The price of a typical single-family home in the San Francisco area plunged 22.1 percent compared with a year earlier, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price index. The study, published by New York credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s, defines the region as Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo counties.

The 10-City Composite index, tracking major U.S. markets, decreased 16.3 percent, also the largest decline in more than 20 years of data. Among the 20 regions tracked by S&P/Case-Shiller, 13 posted record annual lows and, for the first time at least in this market cycle, all stood in negative territory. Las Vegas and Miami were the worst off, down 26.8 percent and 26.7 percent, respectively.

Bay Area home prices declined 20.2 percent year-over-year in March, 17.2 percent in February and 13.2 percent in January. April prices were off 2.2 percent from the prior month.

The indexes show the overall price trend in specific metropolitan areas. Many of the cities or neighborhoods within these regions performed better or worse. Areas like San Francisco and much of the Peninsula have held up relatively well, for instance, but the net figure has been dragged down by steep drops in outlying areas like eastern Contra Costa County.

Many real estate experts consider the S&P/Case-Shiller indexes and others like them more accurate gauges of real estate trends than the median price approach used by other groups. Because they track the value only of homes that have traded hands at least twice, the indexes chart the actual increase or decrease in specific homes.

Median surveys compare prices for homes sold in one month to an entirely different set sold in the next, meaning they can be artificially distorted when a higher proportion of homes sell in the lower- or higher-priced tier in a given period.

Bay Area home prices continue steep fall [sfgate]

Reader Reports: Parkside home for $1.4M? (2560 22nd Ave)

From our reader:

Is any house in the central sunset worth 1.4 million? The average price in the central sunset 800k -900k.

Please take a look at 2960 22nd Ave, San Francisco which just came on the market.

2560 22nd Ave (before)

…and the kitchen:

Kitchen before

We must first say that this home is technically located in the Parkside, near Stern Grove and that area is quite nice. Having not actually been in the home, we can’t speak to the price, but if the pictures are any indication….oh wait, those are the before shots from the last sale in December 2007 at $900,000.

Read on for the after….

Verbatim: “Is this the time to invest in land?”

From the recent New York Times article Sure, Land Is Cheaper. So Is It Time to Buy?:

THE real estate market may have cooled, but investor demand may soon be heating up for at least one type of property: land.

“The time is ripe to start looking; I haven’t seen this market in 20 years,” said Jaime Raskulinecz, a real estate investor and property manager from Verona, N.J., who wants to buy land in the hard-hit market of Cape Coral, Fla. During a recent visit there, she found lots for sale on or near the water at about a third to half below their peak prices of two years ago.

Before you go thinking it’s all gravy, read further:

“Because everyone’s running away, some people think it’s time to invest, but it’s not for the faint of heart,” said C. Joseph Blackbourn, the president and chief executive of Everest Holdings in Scottsdale, Ariz., an active buyer of home-building lots in the Southwest since late last year. “There are a lot of expenses in holding land.”

Land investors will need to have cash on hand to cover most of those expenses. “Lending has all but disappeared,” said Joel B. Shapiro, the chief executive of Timbervest, an Atlanta investment company that manages about 900,000 acres of timberland nationwide. Just as the credit crisis has made terms on home mortgages more stringent, land loans, already deemed riskier by lenders, are harder to get and typically carry even higher down payments and interest rates.

So what are some of the other costs associated with land ownership, besides high borrowing expenses? There are property taxes, of course, and there may be liability insurance (in case someone is injured on the property) and maintenance expenses (to cut the grass or provide other upkeep).

Owners will also need to ensure that the land is environmentally safe. Sometimes toxic trash may be dumped on the property “unbeknownst to you, and you’ll be responsible for the cleanup,” said John T. Reed, the publisher of Real Estate Investor’s Monthly, a newsletter. “At 2 o’clock in the morning on a moonless night, who’s to say what’s being put there?”

The point being (and reason we posted this), there are always opportunities in real estate out there (even in down markets), and many, many people get very rich dealing in real estate, many also go bankrupt. With a little education, a bit of timing, and a lot of discipline, now might be the time for you to pull the trigger on some real estate investments. Key to the equation…it doesn’t have to be in San Francisco, and it doesn’t have to be millions of dollars.

Sure, Land Is Cheaper. So Is It Time to Buy? [New York Times]

Hop, skip, and jump to the Mid-Century (Fremont)

Every now and then we’ve been known to skip across the pond or even ferry to the north to get our fix of real estate porn, and a good way to get us to bite has always been with a tip to some Mid-Century Modern gems and today is no exception.

Built in 1962 and designed by architect John Canavan, 4992 Valpey Park Avenue (Fremont) is 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, asking $668,000 (God bless East Bay prices) and has been “extremely well preserved (and tastefully upgraded) by its design-savvy owners.”

Unfortunately, we left our passport in Mexico and weren’t able to travel over to Fremont this weekend to check it out, but must admit, the home (and front yard) is right up our alley.

[Update: “Just wanted to note that the FIRST open houses are being held this week, not last week. Brokers open on Thursday, June 26; first public open house on Sunday, June 29. Thanks!”-Renee]

4992 Valpey Park Avenue [Virtual Tour]

Weekly Fluj: “I don’t know that they’re trippin’ either!” (2145 18th Street @ Kansas)

As stated numerous times, we can’t do all of this without you, and appreciate your tips, suggestions, and rants, so keep them coming. One person who is particularly helpful and deserving of praise is our friend the Fluj, who this week sends us this:

To my mind, the western portion of North Slope Potrero has not seen anything like this. It’s very far out in front of the curve, but I don’t know that they’re trippin’ either!

Perhaps the marketing remarks can shed some light as to whether they’re “trippin!”:

This spectacular remodeled view home has 3 levels of living w/3 bd, 2 ba all on upper level (toto dual flush toilets). The main level has an open floor plan-great for entertaining. It consists of lr (w/frplc), dr, kit w/GE monogram 42′ fridge, Thermador oven & micro, Viking 6 burner cook top, Bosch dw, great rm overlooking rear gar & powder rm. Lower level has office & media rm wired for surround sound. Systems, roofs, windows, flooring, walls were all replaced in 2008. 2 decks, garden & garage.

“Toto toilet”, is not to be confused with this Toto (even though the cross street is @ Kansas), rather is more like this Toto.

On that note, if you close your eyes and tap your heels long enough, red glass slipper optional (this is San Francisco after all), you too can someday have a $2,145,000 home in Potrero Hill. Tap them longer and maybe that price will come down a tad.

2145 18th Street [MLS]