Lolspeak step aside, “Realspeak” is here to stay!

It’s been around for a while, and seems to be creeping in more often, so we’re now officially declaring Realspeak a new language.


Huge reduced! Elegant column front gate & stepping stones lead to this gorgeous&quality rmdled Merced Manor hme. Hugh Gourmet chefʼs ktchn w/island,hi-end stnless steel applnces,granite cntr,chrry cbnts & blt-in wineculr.3bd/2.5ba upstairs w/jaccz & shwr. Downstairs hugh&bright fmly rm w/deck plus 2br/2ba&lndry rm. All 5 br are M suites,2 jaccz. All nu windws,2 S/S pkg grages. Near great schools,Stonestown Galleria,YMCA,MUNI,EZ access to Freeway. This great detched home almost has it all!

We literally cut and pasted those marketing remarks directly from the listing. Not one editor’s change has been made.

485 Eucalyptus Dr. [listing detail]

Wondering about the recently signed Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008?

So are we, but we found some answers:

H.R. 3221, the “Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008,” passed the House on July 23, 2008, by a vote of 272-152. On Saturday, July 26, 2008, the Senate passed the bill by a vote of 72-13. The President signed the bill on July 30, 2008. The bill includes the following provisions:

* GSE Reform – including a strong independent regulator, and permanent conforming loan limits up to the greater of $417,000 or 115% local area median home price, capped at $625,500. The effective date for reforms is immediate upon enactment, but the loan limits will not go into effect until the expiration of the Economic Stimulus limits (December 31, 2008).

* FHA Reform – including permanent FHA loan limits at the greater of $271,050 or 115% of local area median home price, capped at $625,500; streamlined processing for FHA condos; reforms to the HECM program, and reforms to the FHA manufactured housing program. The downpayment requirement on FHA loans will go up to 3.5% (from 3%). The effective date for reforms is immediate upon enactment, but the loan limits will not go into effect until the expiration of the Economic Stimulus limits (December 31, 2008).

* Homebuyer Tax Credit – a $7500 tax credit that would be would be available for any qualified purchase between April 8, 2008 and June 30, 2009. The credit is repayable over 15 years (making it, in effect, an interest free loan).

* FHA foreclosure rescue – development of a refinance program for homebuyers with problematic subprime loans. Lenders would write down qualified mortgages to 85% of the current appraised value and qualified borrowers would get a new FHA 30-year fixed mortgage at 90% of appraised value. Borrowers would have to share 50% of all future appreciation with FHA. The loan limit for this program is $550,440 nationwide. Program is effective on October 1, 2008.

* Seller-funded downpayment assistance programs – codifies existing FHA proposal to prohibit the use of downpayment assistance programs funded by those who have a financial interest in the sale; does not prohibit other assistance programs provided by nonprofits funded by other sources, churches, employers, or family members. This prohibition does not go into effect until October 1, 2008.

* VA loan limits – temporarily increases the VA home loan guarantee loan limits to the same level as the Economic Stimulus limits through December 31, 2008.

* Risk-based pricing – puts a moratorium on FHA using risk-based pricing for one year. This provision is effective from October 1, 2008 through September 30, 2009.

* GSE Stabilization – includes language proposed by the Treasury Department to authorize Treasury to make loans to and buy stock from the GSEs to make sure that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae could not fail.

* Mortgage Revenue Bond Authority – authorizes $10 billion in mortgage revenue bonds for refinancing subprime mortgages.

* National Affordable Housing Trust Fund – Develops a Trust Fund funded by a percentage of profits from the GSEs. In its first years, the Trust Fund would cover costs of any defaulted loans in FHA foreclosure program. In out years, the Trust Fund would be used for the development of affordable housing.

* CDBG Funding – Provides $4 billion in neighborhood revitalization funds for communities to purchase foreclosed homes.

* LIHTC – Modernizes the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program to make it more efficient.

* Loan Originator Requirements – Strengthens the existing state-run nationwide mortgage originator licensing and registration system (and requires a parallel HUD system for states that fail to participate). Federal bank regulators will establish a parallel registration system for FDIC-insured banks. The purpose is to prevent fraud and require minimum licensing and education requirements. The bill exempts those who only perform real estate brokerage activities and are licensed or registered by a state, unless they are compensated by a lender, mortgage broker, or other loan originator.

National Association of REALTORS® Summary of Key Provisions of H.R. 3221 – The Housing Stimulus Bill (as of 7/30/08 ) []

Installing ultra low-flow toilets at point of sale

We recently caught wind (through Realtor Advantage Online) that

As reported almost two years ago, San Francisco’s Public Utilities Commission is planning to propose an ordinance that would mandate the installation of ultra low-flow toilets in residential properties at point of sale (i.e., before properties are sold).

[A] former aide to soon-to-be Senator Leno, is working with the PUC to resurrect the ultra low-flow toilet point of sale ordinance. The Board of Supervisors is expected to take up the subject in the coming months.

Are you shitting us!?

Changing the SFAR district map, speak now or forever hold your peace

We love to share the inner workings of our real estate system with you, and especially love to give you a voice, so we’ll consider YOUR comments on this thread as OUR voice and forward the entire link to the San Francisco Association of Realtors for review.

The District/Subdistrict Map published by the San Francisco Association of REALTORS® needs to be reprinted… [M]arkets are elastic and can change over time for a variety of reasons. As such, it would be appreciated if, in the next few days, readers of this publication will review the existing map, particularly the boundary lines of the districts and subdistricts, and advise [us in the comments] of any changes [you] might wish to suggest.–SF Realtor Advantage

NOPA and other ‘hoodies, speak now or forever hold your peace.

Quote du jour: “…as the gas prices go up…”

Every so often we have to take from email conversations and post to the site. This from a recent email exchange we had with a client that just recently purchased an A+ unit in an A+ location right about when the market started to turn (south).

Despite the gloom and doom, we friggin’ love where we live, wouldn’t change a thing. We just laugh as the gas prices go up and make our location that much more valuable!

You see, some people just get it.

You like dags? “Sexy, dog-friendly” condo awaits (1944 Green St.)

Ahhhh…San Francisco real estate is so much fun isn’t it? Our market is inundated with agents (4000+ at last count), there’s a growing number of real estate bloggers out there trying to separate themselves from the pack, and the amount of Realtor “marketing” hitting our Inbox is out of control. We like to call this RealSpam, and today’s little nugget reminded us of a line in one of our favorite movies…“Snatch” (The line isn’t actually on any clip we’ve found, but it’s where Brad Pitt turns and asks “you like dags” in the heavy pikey accent.)

“Sexy, Dog-friendly Condo one block off Union Street”


[You gotta love that peak-a-boo Golden Gate Bridge view.]

The moral of this story, 1944 Green was just reduced in price to $1,695,000 and the marketing has turned to the canine loving crowd. (Whether or not a building accepts dogs is actually a very common question when selling condos, but we’re not sure it needs to be the focal point. Of course, if it’s not selling, why not try.)

Hold on….this listing has more story. It is the first we’ve seen where we will learn (without getting into contract) what the sellers will miss most about their home…


Our favorite line…”Practically no stairs or drama coming in and out of home with my belongings”.

And for you to debate…”Green Street is like living in the palm of the hand of Pacific Heights-flat, gentle, yet still spectacular”.

Finally, this goes to show that if you select and track homes that were previously out of reach or just a pipe dream, every dog has its day, and yours might be just around the corner.

1944 Green [listing detail]

An apples to apples in Sunnyside? It looks that way.

519 Foerster sold for over asking and 75K more than it last sold for in 2005.

(Here’s the link, 519 Foerster not [editor is back in town] cleaned up):

It looks like there was a paint job, and maybe a new floor in the kitchen, maybe not. The 2005 listing advertises a “new home.”

This would seem to go along with the theory I and a number of others subscribe to. The “pockets” theory that there are neighborhoods throughout the city that continue to see appreciation. One of the most surprising and most glaring is the Inner Richmond more parkside properties. But I think Sunnyside/Miraloma Park is another. This one fetched 616 a foot.

— Kenneth (KJ) Kohlmyer a k a der fluj

“The MLS is an unfair monopoly” — but is it?

I posted this yesterday but it really should have gone in its own thread:


The MLS isn’t just “what sold and when.”

If you think about it, all the information is available to anybody. It’s just that the MLS stores and categorizes the information in a particularly useful way. Now, since the information is available, why should the database that categorizes the free information be free to everyone?

I don’t think it should. This is a private trade group’s search tool and publishing tool. It now works pretty well, and only after years of trial and error, input, quarterly fees, etc.

Like, if the public wants to know what sold, then OK. Let them be able to see what sold. (Even though other databases also will share this information, such as cleanoffer.) But the radius search or polygonal search — why should a trade group have to share technology?

It’s pretty weird. People don’t really get it, I think.

Or, and I hear this argument frequently too, “But you can use the MLS to view sales by districts and we can’t.”

“Districts” — districts are nomenclature created by the SFAR. In reality they are neighborhoods. Yet it’s an unfair monopoly that a private trade group categorizes free information with nomenclature it created?

I don’t see people clamoring for unlimited access to Yahoo or Google’s publishing tools, nomenclature, or statistics. Aren’t they basically the only games around these days? Isn’t that unfair?

Capitalism is unfair. And these aren’t even monopolies. The MLS is no monopoly. Cooperating assocations can access one another’s data. So can any individual who joins and pays for it. True monopolies don’t let anyone in.

I dunno. I think people just like looking at stuff on the ‘net.

It isn’t as if agents are privy to how much a particular property is going to sell for while it’s in contract very often. And that’s what people really want to know!


— Kenneth Kohlmyer a k a der fluj

New data coming soon…

Click for larger image
Click for larger image

Check it out! As Realtors, we get a nifty little report (Advantage Online) sent to us from the very San Francisco Association of Realtors we sometimes criticize. (Hey! We’re allowed to vent.) And like countless other real estate blogs in SF, we bring some of the data to you.

Well, SFAR has teamed up with Terradatum and will be modifying the “fast facts”, and we’ll be bringing the new version to you.

Follow the break to read the details on the new “fast facts”…