Waller Street Skate Park In San Francisco Is Official

It’s official, “funding for the design of this new park” has been approved:


It will be located on Waller just off of Stanyan (think where Haight hits Golden Gate Park on the westernmost end).

Yeah, yeah, yeah…late posting this, but honest to God the real estate market in our world is really busy. It’s a good thing. You missed the skate party, but at least you know the scoop.

SF Parks and Recreation Website

Is It The Price Or The Mold That Brought You Here?

From $138,900 to $49,900 (the magic number) 880 Ashwood Ave, Vallejo, CA was quite simply too good to pass up.

We’re not sure if it was the price that was so eye-catching ($49,900..oh! Too late, it’s “pending”) or the property description:

REO/bank-owned property. Property has mold. Mold inspection report indicates the need for mold remediation for the entire house. Property may not qualify for coventional financing. Seller will give buyer 3% of purchase price to be applied to closing cost. Repairs credit: 0.

Kinda like, “I’ll practically give you my house, but if you ask me to fix anything, take a hike!”

Go ahead, walk around the corner and see what you find:

Regardless, it’s something to note and certainly something to consider, not to mention it got us out of the city for a little walk.

18 Offers On That!!!?

It might not be your cup of tea, but 18 buyers showed up to the recent tea party at 274 De Long (4 bed, 2 bath, Single Family in the “Outer Mission”…as pertains to the SFAR Districts Map…think more Crocker Amazon/Oceanview), and 17 of them will go home empty handed and hungry.



We know what you’re thinking, “Eighteen offers on that!?”

Yeah, we’re thinking the same thing.

Asking price: $336,600, and since we know you’re going to ask, last recorded sale in MLS, 1996 at $185,000.

274 De Long [sfnewsletter.com listing detail page]

394 Frederick, Before, After, Here And Gone (In Contract After 7 Days): $2,399,000

True, the market tanked. True, average home prices have come down in San Francisco. True, even A+ areas like Noe Valley and Pacific Heights have felt the pinch. False, it is death doom and destruction everywhere. Case in point, 394 Frederick St @ Belvedere in Cole Valley, is an awesome 4 bed, 4 bath, 3173 square foot home that spent a staggering ;-) 7 days on the market (one Sunday Open House, one Broker Tour) and received an offer with non-contingent financing (means they’re getting a loan, but they’re not worried about that loan approval falling apart), the offer is really close to asking, and it’s damn near a done deal.


Call us crazy, but we’ve seen a lot of activity in the market as of late, at all price points.

For those wondering, last sale was in 2005 for $1,755,000 (asking was $1,395,000) but has since undergone a significant remodel, and added roughly 1209 square feet.

Kitchen Before:

Kitchen After:

Living Room Before:

Living Room After:

We’ve long stood by Cole Valley as a better investment than Noe Valley. Is the writing appearing on the wall? Time will tell. Maybe real estate doens’t suck after all.

394 Frederick [MLS]

Eichler Friday

We love it, and it’s only $660,000! Eichler fans delight in the newest gem to hit the block (outside of San Francisco of course), 104 Golden Hinde Blvd, Terra Linda a 4 bed, 2 bath original condition Eichler ready for you to buy for us. Ahhh, nothing like a few Eichler photos to take you to the weekend
[Update: “Eichler-mania is alive and well. 3 offers on this place before the first open house.”-says someone close to the sale:



As always, you can contact us if you’d like more details. What a cool home!

Get Ur Sub-Urban On, Centex Is Slashing Prices

Big city life burning you out? Dream of owning a McMansion in the middle of B.F.E? Head East young man! McMansions in the hills of Sacramento (or somewhere over there) await, and one of America’s largest home builders is blowing out their inventory! Forget about culture, forget about the city “buzz”, and forget about the prospects of having fresh sushi, or chinese takeout delivered to your door. Forget 3 day heat waves…It’s HOT all Summer long! Buy a big HUGE truck, hop in, load up on fast food, guzzle some gas, enjoy your commute, and relish the deal you scored on that 3000 square feet of extra living space you really never needed, but now you gotta go to the Furniture Barn and buy some big fat brown crappy piece of sh*t sofas and Lay Z Boy recliners, and monster TVs to fill the space. Load up on Costco goods to last until you find where you put the previous Costco run (hint: it’s in one of the four refrigerators you now must own), turn on Nascar, gas up the boat and wave-runners and head for the Delta, because you just bought a slice of the American Dream.


We’ll stick it out in San Francisco, but thanks for the Spam Centex.

[Update: Man, our readers are good!

Country life burning you out? Dream of owning a 1/1 tiny condo w/no parking in the middle of SOMA? Head West young man! Shoddy-built condos in the flats of SOMA (or maybe Van Ness Ave or Hayes Valley or somewhere over there) await, and one of America’s largest condo builders is blowing out their inventory! Forget about the country fresh air, forget about the wide vistas, and forget about the prospects of having fresh eggs / cheese / bread / vegetables of the country close to your door. Forget 3 day heat waves…It’s FOGGY/FREEZING all Summer long! Buy a big NEW (old one doesn’t fit) car (and a $74/yr parking pass, avoid $50 tickets, and still don’t find any parking), load up on $12 hamburgers, squeeze into a MUNI bus and enjoy the frequent-delayed commute, and relish the $850/sq ft deal you scored on that tiny living space you really can’t fit in, but now you gotta go buy a new smaller apartment couch and $1,200 Design (just out of) Reach barstools, replace the working-just-fine-Sears-dishwasher with a often-breaking $1,500 Fisher/Pay(kill) to jazz up the space. Load up on $4 apples from Delisso’s to last a day (to store in your new Fisher/Pay(kill) smaller refrigerator because a standard sized-fridge won’t fit), head out to the Union Street Fair (selling the same crappy expensive posters of random shots of Guatemala as the last 5 yrs of street fairs), gas up the truck and strap on the surfboards (oh, the truck costs another $400/mo to park) and head for the Ocean Beach in your 4.5m wetsuit, because you just bought a slice of the American Dream.]

Ah Zillow, You’re Still Getting All Of This Attention

We’re just going to keep our lips sealed on this and quote the email we received:

I’ve come across several properties for sale where the Zillow page was not accurate. [No Way! Seriously…okay, we couldn’t resist.]

I understand if the listing agent doesn’t want to “deal” with Zillow (doesn’t believe in zillow, doesn’t want the zillow liability, doesn’t want/have access etc.), but I don’t understand why a listing agent would mess up the Zillow page by adding one line of information that is not accurate, appropriate, systematic, professional – you name it.

My question to sellers: Do you expect your listing agent to do a good job on the Zillow page? Do you check? Would you specifically request it (written in contract)?

My question to agents: What are your best arguments 1. To stay away from the zillow page of your listing 2. To mess up the page (*) or 3. To update the listing in a thorough and professional manner (with or without the help of the seller).

(*) Mess up= update only part of the information so Zillow will not be able to accuratly record the sale. I’m specifically mad at the description paragraph when using unreadable abbreviations [even though] zillow is free, with unlimited space, and THE place to babble at will about the property (including, but not limited to mentioning the websites related to that listing.)


…holding back all further snarky Zillow comments.

FHA Checklist For Spot Loan Approvals

We get a lot of questions about FHA loans these days, particularly if we know what buildings will qualify for FHA loans in San Francisco. There is a simple answer to that question, “No, we don’t know.” But other people do, and those people are loan experts…mortgage bankers/brokers… and luckily they feed us information to feed to you.

_______ 1. The legal documents of the homeowners association do not contain a right of first refusal or restrictive covenant.
_______ 2. The unit is part of a condominium regime that provides for common and undivided ownership of common areas by unit owners.
_______ 3. The project, including the common elements, and those of any Master Association, are complete, and the project is not subject to additional phasing or annexation.
______ 4. (a) There are no special assessments pending.
______ (b) No legal action is pending against the condominium association, or its officers or directors.
______ 5. The common areas have been under the control of the homeowners association for at least one year.
______ 6. At least 90 percent of the total units in the project have been sold. Verified by _________________________.
______ 7. At least 51 percent of the total units in the project are owner-occupied. Verified by ______________________.
______ 8. There are no adverse environmental factors affecting the project as a whole or individual units .
______ 9. No single entity owns more than 10 percent of the total units in the project. Verified by ______________________.
______ 10. The units in the project are owned in fee simple or the units are held under a leasehold acceptable to FHA. Leasehold in file.
______ 11. The owners association has adequate common area insurance coverage. General liability, replacement coverage, etc. reflects the character, amenities and risks of the
particular development. Flood and other insurances carried, when applicable.
______ 12. General maintenance level of common elements is acceptable and there is no deferred maintenance, based on the comments by the Appraiser and/or the pictures.
______ 13. The owners association has a reserve plan and a reserve fund, separate from the operating account, that is adequate to prevent deferred maintenance. The amount of the fund is $_________ as of __________.
_______14. (a) For projects consisting of over 30 units, no more than 10 percent of the total units are encumbered by FHA insured mortgages. Verified by ___________________.
_______ (b) For projects consisting of 30 units or less, no more than 20 percent of the total units are encumbered by FHA insured mortgages. Verified by _______________.

Simple as that…

FHA Checklist for Spot Loan Approvals-pdf

When The Mercury Breaks 80 In San Francisco, What Do You Like To Do?

Hello residents of San Francisco and fellow readers! We all know there are many, many reasons to live in San Francisco, the weather usually being one that causes people to flee the city in droves (out of towners, it’s foggy and cold here in Summer). But when we get these nice little heat waves (global warming has been good to San Francisco so far), what is it that you like to do?

We know what we like to do:

What do you like to do? Please share in the comments below, and if you have a picture you’d like us to post, send to thefrontsteps@gmail.com.

[Update: Coming to us via email from “bats”:
“Warm days are nice, but warm nights are even more rare, even on the eastern side of the city. Last night was one of the few where we could hang out on the deck and watch our Noe Valley neighbors go about their business in various states of (un)dress.”
Thanks for the email and photo “bats”. More photos from “bats” on Flickr.]

Enjoy another hot day!