Comment Du Jour: Sub $650,000 Market Is Smokin’ Hot

Every so often we get comments that make us laugh, or just need to be noticed as a Comment Du Jour on our front page. As always, we encourage you to take part in the comments as there is a lot of fun stuff going on in there.

From “Hangemhi” on “How’s the Market…”:

i didn’t know they allowed you to curse on the internet. holy shit

anyone notice the $650k and under market is smoking hot… i have a buyer who is afraid prices are going to go up. i guess she doesn’t read socketsite.

Anyone else care to comment on the sub $650k market?

Yes, we did say we’d see you on Monday, but sometimes we just can’t resist a good post (or poke).

“How’s The Market?” Common Replies You Might Hear Over Cocktails

“How’s the market?” This has to be the number one most common question we’re asked these days by principals and Realtors alike. So we thought we’d give you some answers you’ll likely hear at your next cocktail party (stocked with Keystone Light, and Jose Cuervo, because Lord knows Negra Modelo and Patron Silver ain’t flowin’ like it used to!):

Question: “How’s the market?”

Reply #1:

How the fuck do I know! I’m a financial analyst with an MBA and Ph.D. in Economics. Graduated from Wharton, top of my class. Summa cum fuckin’ laude bitch! What do I care about real estate? I’m making my fortune in the stock market. Oh…by the way, I just created a website… It’s gonna be huge.

Reply #2:

It’s great! Never been a better time to be a buyer than now. Interest rates are insanely low, sellers are willing to negotiate, prices are dropping and volume is pretty much in the toilet, so if you’re looking for opportunity, now is the time to buy, that’s for sure. Here’s my card. You can reach me at the office, fax, email (any of the five), cell, on Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, my blog, at the supermarket checkout, my kids swim practice, hell anywhere! Wait…don’t leave!

Reply #3:

It’s horrible. Our house has been sitting on the market for 100+ days and we’re afraid that asshole over at theFrontSteps is gonna feature it as a Stalefish. Wanna buy it? I’ll make you a smoking deal and I’ll even throw in my husband and kids…Gratis!

Reply #4:

Dude! The market is awesome. Buy a foreclosure dude. Don’t buy anything else. Everybody selling right now is in foreclosure. No need to make offers bro. Just wait. Foreclosures are the only way to go. Dude, we just bought this one and the basement was full of plants! Such a score bro. Whoever lent money to those owners were idiots, but they were good at growing plants. Wanna puff?

Reply #5:

I don’t know. Does my ass look good in these jeans, cuz I just bought them half off at Gap and they’re like totally having sales everywhere. I was thinking of buying some new Gucci sunglasses, but my husband like totally told me money is tight, but I totally bought this handbag at Prada and the credit card worked, so we can’t be that broke. Right? I think my ass looks good in these…you?

There you go. Have a good weekend, we’ll be back on Monday.

Tuesday In The Avenues (442 41st Avenue Open 11-12:30)

It’s another fine Tuesday upon us. Yesterday’s stock market rally may put a glimmer of hope in everyone’s eyes, and what better way to celebrate than with a tour of a great house we just put on the market. It is officially a “broker tour” open house today, but we’re inviting all of our readers to come have a look at 442 41st Ave anytime between 11am and 12:30pm.


This is a great single family home in the Outer Richmond with 4 bedrooms and 2 baths (1 bed, 1 bath unwarranted), hardwood floors, fireplace, formal living room, formal dining room, landscaped back yard, new redwood deck, ocean views (from the roof), 2 car tandem parking, washer & dryer, and an excellent location close to Lincoln Park golf course, the Cliff House, Land’s End, Ocean Beach, the Balboa Theatre, Chino’s Taqueria, Sea Cliff, China Beach, Sutro Baths, Louie’s Restaurant, and so much more! The house is also on the east side of the street so you can hang out in your back yard and be warm even when the wind is blowing.

This is a great house and you really should come take a look. Open today from 11-12:30 and Sunday we’ll be there from 2-4pm. Please come take a look. Tell your friends, forward this post, and spread the good word. Mama needs a new dress, so let’s get this home sold.

Ask Us: Remaining TIC Fractional Lenders

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

Hi, just come across your site, very informative.

I’m trying to find TIC Fractional Lenders for a 3 unit + 1 unwarranted [unit] building in SF. We purchased it last October, have completed our renovations, 2 units will be owner occupied. We’re planning to go to Andy Sirkin to draw up a TIC agreement, and refinance hopefully with cash out. We now have a group loan @ 6.75%, no pre-pay penalty.

I heard Bank of Marin is out of the TIC market. How about Sterling and Circle, any other lenders available? Appreciate any info and recommendation. Thanks!


Thanks for your email and question. At this time we only know of Sterling Bank, and Ron Whitney at Zephyr real estate says that a “7×7 Group” also does Fractional TIC loans. Maybe the readers can provide further insight. Regardless, good luck and thanks for reading theFrontSteps.

Walkabout: Homes Along California’s Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway)

Those of you that have been reading theFrontSteps for a while know that we often get a case of Wanderlust and must cure the ailment by getting out of San Francisco and going Walkabout. Today, we take a little trip down Highway 1 (the most beautiful highway in the world) and discover some masterpieces fit for kings and surfers alike. Enjoying a taste for modern homes, mixed with a bit of old and natural charm is all you need.

Just a short drive down the coast over Devil’s Slide (soon to be through the tunnel) and you come to this great little one bedroom (do you really need more than that) house at 100 14th Street, Montara CA, $1,985,000 [Editor’s Note: If you saw this post an hour ago we actually had a picture of the Montara lighthouse, leading you to believe that was the house. Not the case…whoops!]:



Head on down the coast a bit further, climb into the hills, see the giant Redwoods, notice the increase of poison oak along the road and you get to one of the most beautiful stretches of coast in the world, Big Sur, and for $6,000,000 you could have this “Treadwell House”. This home was featured in Dwell Magazine, and it is oh so nice. (We can put you in touch with the agent, just drop us a line.):



If one of these homes is not enough for you, or you feel you need to be where there is more “action”, how about a trip way down to sunny Los Angeles and buying a home in the Hollywood Hills, right smack dab next to Ellen Degeneres. It will only set you back $3,295,000 and don’t forget it comes with a famous neighbor:



Phew! We made it all the way from San Francisco to Los Angeles in one day down the coast. Lots of great things to do and see on the way, but lots of great property porn to distract even the best driver. Either way, our Wanderlust is temporarily satisfied, and now it’s back to reality…

Got Walkabout tips: Send them to

“Unexpected Jump In Home Sales in February”

Unexpected Jump in Home Sales in February:

-Sales of existing homes rose from January to February in an unexpected lift for the slumping housing market as buyers took advantage of deep discounts on foreclosures.

The National Association of Realtors said Monday that sales of existing homes increased 5.1 percent to an annual rate of 4.72 million last month, from 4.49 million units in January. It was the largest sales jump since July 2003.

-That was great news for buyers, who are paying the most attractive prices in years. Plus, interest rates have sunk to historic lows.

You’ll have to click through to the article to read the fine print. ;-) Regardless, it’s good to see a positive spin in the national media instead of the oh so beaten dead horse that is the negative.

Best Real Estate Blog, theFrontSteps Advances To Sweet 16!

Well looky there, theFrontSteps made it to the sweet 16 of the National Real Estate Blog Brawl. Looks like we narrowly beat out other local favorites, so now that we are advancing, we’re feeling that competitive spirit.

You’re help would again be appreciated to advance this little old blog to the national stage.
Head on over to this link:
Copy it and send it to friends, spam your office colleagues, tell Gavin, vote, and basically put a San Francisco Real Estate blog on the National map.

We are in round 2B at the bottom of that post against some Miami blog! You gotta vote in all zones for your one important vote for to count. Come on, you really going to let us get beat by some Miami blog!? Help spread the love, and thanks in advance.

Real Estate Blog Brawl [Vote!]

Condominium Lending Gets Tougher And Tougher

We stand by our claim that it is a great time to be a buyer and a great time to buy (there is a difference), but we did also say “there are a multitude of hurdles you will face with regards to financing”, and this change in Fannie’s Condominium lending is surely one of them, will definitely not bode well for our SOMA condo market, and is totally unfortunate. One day we’re up, the other we’re down. What’s a market supposed to do!? Good thing San Francisco is not just high rise condos…

Just as a flood of new condominiums are scheduled to hit the housing market this year, Fannie Mae has added restrictions making it more difficult for developers to sell their units.

The government-backed mortgage-finance company stopped guaranteeing mortgages in condo buildings where fewer than 70% of the units have been sold, up from 51%. In addition, the company won’t back loans for sales in buildings where 15% of current owners are delinquent on association fees or where more than 10% of units are owned by a single-entity.

The new policy became effective March 1, and most lenders have started to implement Fannie’s guidelines….

Still, condo developers say the rules may hasten the failure of countless buildings across the country and seem to be at odds with federal efforts designed to speed along a housing-market recovery. “These buildings are just in purgatory. This new requirement is the straw that’s going to break the back of a lot of projects,” says Norman Radow, an Atlanta real-estate investor who works with lenders to rescue distressed condo complexes. “It’s a weight being tied to a drowning industry.”

Moreover, Fannie and Freddie are both set to increase fees on condo buyers next month. Buyers without at least a 25% down payment will have to pay closing-cost fees equal to 0.75% of their loan, regardless of the borrower’s credit score. The companies say these fees are necessary to protect against higher default rates.

The changes come as cities brace for a new flood of condo supply. Reis Inc., a New York-based real-estate firm, estimates that 93,000 new condo units will be completed this year, a 28% increase in new inventory from last year. More than 12,000 units will be completed in New York and northern New Jersey by year’s end. Chicago will add 5,500 units, Seattle has 3,000 units coming online, and Los Angeles is readying 2,600 units, according to estimates provided by Reis.

Fannie Tightens Its Conditions for Backing Condo Mortgages [Wall Street Journal]