Condominium For Sale, 199 New Montgomery #1105

Yet another listing to note and check out, 199 New Montgomery #1105 just hit the market and let us tell you…it is sweet! (Additional Details)



This chic, contemporary residence is located in one of San Francisco’s most desirable buildings in an excellent centrally located SOMA block (right across the street from San Francisco’s Academy of Art College). It has one bedroom plus a den, one bathroom, a very open and spacious feel, bamboo wood floors, modern kitchen, great natural light, and one car deeded parking! Price is set at $639,000 and there will be an open house this weekend on Sunday (3/1/2009) from 2-4pm, and every Sunday thereafter until it is sold. If you, or anyone you know, is interested in this great condominium at 199 New Montgomery, please do not hesitate to stop by or contact Alex Clark (alexclark at gmail dot com, 415-254-5351) for details.




[Full Disclosure: The editor of this here insanely popular real estate blog is the listing agent on this property. Big time exposure like this is just one of the perks of listing your home, condo, or multi-unit building with him.]

199 New Montgomery #1105, 1 bd, 1 ba, 1pk, $639,000 [Listing detail]
Your editor/agent…what an ugly mug! [Zephyr Real Estate]

Reader Reports: 85 Beaumont Gone Fast (Like In Six Days)

From a reader:

[Eighty-five Beaumont] went for a little under asking.
Lone mountain location.


Good deal?
Lots of pictures.

Maybe you will want to feature it!


PS: I am not an agent.

It’s a good thing you’re not an agent. ;-) Can’t tell you if it is a good deal until you tell us what it’s selling for. Some people’s definition of “a little under asking” is different than others. It looks like a good deal, but maybe it’s actually a great deal.

For those that are wondering, this is a 3 bed, 2 bath home in the very desirable Lone Mountain district of San Francisco. The last recorded sale was in 2001 for $725,000 and today’s asking price is $1,198,000. It has not actually closed escrow as of today, but the status is “pending”, which means things are looking good. It went into contract after six days on the market. That’s not too shabby.

[Update: Sold at asking with $4000 credit to buyer.]

85 Beaumont, 3 bed, 2 bath, $1,198,000 [Listing detail page]

Adjusting Housing Relief Plans For Bay Area Residents

From SFGate:

‘[Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough] drafted an amendment so that rather than being limited to whether the loan was conforming at time of origination, it will be based on (whether it’s conforming at) the time of (modification), which will take the limit up to $729,750 in high-cost areas. This should make more people in the Bay Area eligible.’

Speier’s amendment addresses an aspect of the plan that encourages mortgage services to modify loans to make them more affordable for struggling borrowers. The modifications are supposed to reduce monthly payments to 31 percent of a borrower’s income for five years; they also could include lowering the principal or refinancing the loan.

The amendment says that loan modifications must be available to loans that are “conforming,” meaning those that can be securitized or guaranteed by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. The conforming loan limit was $417,000 until July 1, 2007. About 60 percent of homes purchased in the expensive Bay Area in 2005 and 2006 were bought with higher-cost “jumbo” loans above $417,000; about 30 percent of homes in California were jumbos in those years, according to MDA DataQuick. The limit is now $729,750 in high-cost regions, including most of the Bay Area.

-A central aspect of the bill, called the “Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009,” is a change to bankruptcy law. That controversial proposal, fiercely opposed by the lending industry, would allow judges to “cram down” or reduce the principal owed on mortgages to the home’s actual value.

Wish we would have bought a $1,000,000 house with zero down a few years back. And we wonder if a judge would “cram up” some stock values to be worth what they were when we bought them. Hmmmm…might be on to something there.

To learn more please visit,

Speier plan would aid refinancing in Bay Area [SFGate]

Over Asking In Oceanview!

It’s a great day in the eyes of Realtors everywhere! Overbids are back, multiple offers have returned (stay tuned for 262 Minerva), and the rain is going to stop. Orrrrrr…maybe not.


The story is becoming all too familiar, and 166 Majestic is no different. This 2 bed, 1 bath, 1000 square foot single family home in the Oceanview district of San Francisco was surely “priced to sell quickly” at $399,900, and sell quickly it did (Days On Market show 90 days, but that is time lag for bank approval of the REO.)

Here’s the bad part for the seller, purchased in 2006 for $699,000…and the good part for the buyer, purchased today for $461,000. Indeed that is 15% over asking today, but 34% less ($238,00) than the last recorded sale in 2006. We keep saying, if you’ve got the funds, the good credit and you plan on staying a while, “it’s a great time to be a buyer”.

166 Majestic [sfnewsletter listing detail page]
Oceanview District, San Francisco [

Coming Soon: 613 Peralta (Bernal Heights)

You may have seen this great remodeled, two bedroom, one bath condominium at 613 Peralta in Bernal Heights on the market with another agent recently, well we’re bringing it back…at a lower price.



This is a fantastic condo in an excellent location of Bernal Heights. It is close to Bernal Heights Park, has beautiful East/South East views from the deck, hardwood floors, stainless appliances, remodeled kitchen, one car parking, storage, and great neighbors! It is a small building (4 units), HOAs are low, and reserves are good. As soon as it hits the market we’ll be open every Sunday from 2-4 pm until it sells. It is also available to show by appointment, so tell your friends.

Previously priced at $569,000, we’ll be coming on under that (probably $539,000). We’re wrapping up the marketing efforts, getting photos up, statements ready, and all that good stuff, but if you’d like to get in there sooner, just give us a shout ( Otherwise, look for it to be on MLS the first week of March.

613 Peralta previous listing details [sfnewsletter listing page]

Dear Chronicle, Keep Your Old Union Bags, We Want The Young Guns

From “Hearst seeks changes at Chronicle”:

The Hearst Corp. today announced an effort to reverse the deepening operating losses of its San Francisco Chronicle by seeking near-term cost savings that would include “significant” cuts to both union and non-union staff.

While it may come as no surprise the world of print media is a dying breed, you might not know that theFrontSteps is, and always was, looking for new writers. So if you feel the urge to drop your San Francisco (real estate) knowledge on us all, we’d love to talk to you.

We also have another project up our sleeve, so if you are interested in writing for something new and fresh, drop us a line (

[Editor’s Note: To provide a little tid-bit about your editor, I got laid off from SFGate advertising sales (prior to going into real estate), because I was not union. I’ve believed since that day, the reason the Chronicle will never be as fresh and vibrant as it could be, is because anytime there are jobs to be shed, they get rid of the new talent and keep the old (those protected under the union). Unions are bad for innovation.]

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).


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]

Ask Us: Modifying Condo Insurance Policy For Refinancing

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


I have been looking at your blog, quite a while, very useful. Thanks for all the work.

I have a question regarding refinancing, and hopefully you or your readers can help me.

I am refinancing with Wells Fargo with a locked 30 year fixed for a condo in SOMA. After all the word processing, Wells asked me for the HOA insurance contact, which I provided.

Now, my loan is on hold and cannot be approved because my HOA insurance was unwilling to add a mortgage clause by Wells. In general, the HOA insurance company only issued the certification for proof that the building is fully covered, no [declaration] page would be issued. (Which make sense to me, as HOA insurance policy covered the building, but not individual unit.) I understand, based on the information I found that some HOA will offer, but some don’t.

So now, here is my question, I have no control over the HOA insurance as an individual owner, I cannot make them issue the [declaration] page that Wells asks for, and Wells is unwilling to accept the certification, which worked in 2008 (my next door refinanced with Wells in 2008 with the certificaiton).

I am wondering whether this is a trick from Wells fargo to reject my loan application or if I should seek the property management/ HOA board to revise the HOA insurance policy? Or even if I should seek legal advice, because Wells is requiring some documentation way beyond my controls and making excuses.


Darn fine question! From what I can understand there is a miscommunication regarding the insurance declaration page? If that is the case, I’d simply work on getting that filled out to the satisfaction of Wells Fargo. It shouldn’t be that big of a deal, and you might just be talking to the wrong people at your HOA. If that’s not the case, you’ll have to clarify a bit. Regardless, I do not think you’d have much luck advising the HOA to modify the entire insurance policy for the entire building, and I doubt Wells is playing some kind of trick, but I’ve been known to be wrong.

Maybe “the banker” or another qualified loan expert could shed some light in the comments below.

Thanks for reading and thanks for your email.

[Update: Answer from “the Banker” that works at one of the remaining large banks and is definitely “in the trenches”: “The HOA should not make the decision on adding a mortgagee clause, this should be the responsibility of the Insurance Agent who provides the coverage for the Condo. Part of your HOA fees are paying for the Insurance, so my advice would be to start there, call the insurance company yourself and have them add Wells Fargo as a Mortgagee, this has always been a lender requirement.

Now, perhaps the second part of your post. There have been some radical and rapid changes in regard to condo project guidelines, project requirements, and pricing add-ons. For the sake of simplicity, here are some of the key changes that have implemented, by most, if not all Lenders. One note, these new Rules and Requirements have been issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, so direct from the Government agencies.

-Only 10% ownership by one single entity
-No more than 20% commercial usage
-Up to 70% Presale Requirements, new construction
-Price add on’s for Loan to Values above 75%, usually .75 in price, not rate
-Delinquent HOA’s of more than 30 days cannot be greater than 15%
-Owner occupancy requirements, 51% and above

There are exceptions to the rules, but from what I have seen this year, they are few and far between.

I hope this helps and good luck.”]