Four Bed, Two Bath Central Richmond Home, Auction Price… $625,000!

Four Sixty Three 16th Ave in the Central Richmond is a “fixer upper with 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, 3 car garage with additional sunroom, attic & huge area in garage for storage / rooms. Great potential in million dollar neighborhood!”, and it’s not just on MLS, but on the auction block for $625,000.

The house looks pretty decent from the exterior, but we all know you can’t judge a book by its cover:

Auction was supposed to have happened yesterday, and for $625,000 we have to hope it went significantly above that. If not, we’re all in trouble. We’ll let you know the outcome as soon as we know. For now, we’re left wondering if it was an Outside Lands reveler that made the highest bid.

[Update: From a reader, SFB: the winning bid was $791,000.]

463 16th Ave [MLS]

Comment Du Jour: “Easily outbid by USF”

This quote comes from reader “Disconsolate“, on “Stories Of Despair In San Francisco Real Estate“:

I was in probate court that day to observe the overbidding on Juanita Way as preparation to overbid on a house in University Terrace. Our court date was last week. We showed up and went to our max ($100k over the original accepted offer), but we were easily outbid by USF. We didn’t stand a chance.

You are not alone, our friend. Not alone. Thanks for the comment!

Map of Retrofit Projects Completed in the Bay Area since the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake

Living in earthquake country, we get asked all the time, “Is this home on bedrock or landfill.”

The next question, “Do you know if this building has been retrofitted?” Usually, we don’t, but that might be changing. Check out this new user-generated mashup where you, the visitor, can add a project that has been retrofitted. We’re guessing it’s an honor system type thing and thinking it could be pretty useful. What about you?

Click to find out what buildings have been retrofitted in the bay area

Cool idea, cool map, but we’re thinking when the users start adding all the retrofitted projects to the map, those bubbles (pinpoints) might get a bit cluttered. No big….Along comes the 9.0 shaker, we clear the map, and start all over….if we’re still around.
Map of Bedrock Vs Landfill (San Francisco

Homes For Less Than $60,000! Stocks Edge Higher After Jump In Home Sales? What’s This Mean!?

So who’s got the REAL scoop on real estate?


“The housing market has decisively turned for the better. We are bouncing back,” NAR’s chief economist Lawrence Yun told reporters. (Source: SFAR Advantage Online)

“Bay Area home prices spiked in the three months ending June 30, part of a national upswing that suggests to many economists that the housing market’s long downdraft is coming to an end.” [Biz Times]

“But Robert Shiller, a Yale economist and principle author of the report, said in published reports that the downturn isn’t necessarily over, pointing to an stabilization in his house-price index early last year that quickly evaporated.” [Biz Times]

Truth be told, nobody knows wtf is going to happen, just like nobody could put their finger on when the bubble would burst.

More Bay Area homes sell for less than $60,000 [SFGate]
Stocks edge higher after jump in home sales [Associated Press via SFGate]
Sharp Rise in SF house prices [SF Business Times]

Stories Of Despair In San Francisco Real Estate (source: sfnewsletter)

I published this exact thing on sfnewsletter today, but since it is a newsletter there is no room for discussion. Hopefully, we’ll get some here.

I recently submitted an offer for $425k on a Short Sale in SOMA (175 Bluxome #119). The “lender approved price” was $450k, but the sellers accepted our offer for $425k and we were waiting to hear back on the lender approval. Alas! Not to be. Another offer came in after ours for $450k and take a wild guess which one the lender accepted.

On another occasion, some other clients and I found a $725,000 probate sale (I actually uncovered it prior to it hitting MLS, but the sellers were not willing to accept any “pre-emptive” offers) in Miraloma Park at 305 Juanita. We were one of seven, yes seven, orginal offers. I believe our offer price was $745k or so. The winning offer was at $780k and they could not perform on their deal, so the seller’s agent called us and asked if we’d like to be in contract at their price of $780,000 and hope to scare away any overbids in court. We said yes. The next minimum overbid price in probate court goes at increments of 5% of highest accepted price ($780k) plus $500, which put it to $819,500 and we all thought that price was not realistic for this house. Wrong again! There were three of us in court, and the property got bid up to $835,000 (After the initial overbid is met, the judge decides on increments and in this case went in increments of $5000.) So not only did my clients lose out, so too did six other buyers!

The third story is a rather unique single family home at 195 Beacon, asking $1,650,000 (sold in 2007 for $1,650,000 not updated at all…ouch!) One week on the market, my client called, said he was interested, two days later it was in contract. We are in contract as “backup”, and there are four other parties behind us hoping buyer #1 falls out, and should buyer #1 fall out, they’re hoping we fall out. I’ll keep you posted how that one plays out.

I have so many more stories of despair to tell it is not even funny, so don’t go thinking the market is all THAT bad. It’s bad compared to recent years, but it’s certainly not awful. I do, of course have good stories to tell too, but we’ll save those for when they close escrow and keys change hands. ;-)

Real Estate Agents…Spare Us The Mugshot

Zillow provides us with raw data to back up the fact that your image does nothing to sell you, or the home. But it does make for a damn good Sexiest Realtor contest.

From Zillow’s Blog:

Zillow makes money by selling ads on the site. But, to be a successful media company, we need to make sure our customers are realizing success with their ads. To help our customers do this, it is important to look at what the best-performing ads look like, and the lowest performing, because ad content is crucial to performance. Actually, these findings can apply broadly to any advertising campaign, not just those on Zillow.

The #1 takeaway:


Observations from the Top 50 ads on Zillow:

-100% were ads for listings
-45 of 50 ads were an exterior home shot, 3 were interior, 2 were aerials
-42 of the ads mentioned a specific area (neighborhood, city or address)
-8 central messages revolved around Short Sale, Foreclosure or price reduction
-2 were Open House ads
-0 photos were renderings (illustrations), all were actual photos
-0 ads promoted a specific person, business or brand
-22 of the ads had a specific price visible
-7 had a phone number visible
-50 had photos that were taken on a sunny day

Observations from the Bottom 20 ads on Zillow:

18 of the ads promoted an agent/broker/brand
1 did not have a photo (and no clicks)
1 had some type of call-to-action on the ad

There you have it. The mugshot does nothing, the public wants details about the real estate, not how you look or whether you’re a “Top Producer”. We vote to remove agent mugshots from all marketing in the future on all media. You with us?

Why are Realtors so arrogant and such assholes [theFrontSteps]

HGTV Casting Call For New Series “Uprooted”!

Does this image take you to a place you’d rather be? Or is it a place you’d love to leave? Feel like trading in the concrete jungle and dog crap filled parks for a life on endless acres of fields filled with manure and hay? Is your 1300 square foot condo in the sky closing in on you and you need more space? HGTV wants you!



I’m casting a new show for HGTV and was wondering if you would mind mentioning it on your blog. We are documenting drastic relocations (city to farm, cross country, etc). We especially want to find couples or families that just moved to or from San Francisco. I’ve included more info about the show below. Let me know if you have any questions at all.

Casting – Departure Films

HGTV’s new series Uprooted is looking for high-energy people who are saying goodbye to their hometowns, totally picking-up, and moving to a new place where everything is different. Whether you’re moving from the mountains to the ocean, a major city to the country, or making a move overseas, HGTV wants to hear your story.

Candidates who are chosen for the show will receive compensation. Looking for people who are close to moving into their new home.

If you are interested in participating in the show, send us an email at – Please include your name, phone number, story and any photos of you and your family.”

Glad to help you out Rachel. Good luck. Pretty soon you might fund us on that show. ;-) That is if this fog doesn’t go away anytime soon.

Average Property Rental Rates In San Francisco

Being heavily focused on selling real estate in San Francisco, and not renting it, we’re always on the lookout for a quick and easy tool to help answer that question, “What do you think this place would rent for?” Aside from actually contacting a true expert in the field of rentals and having them go in and take a look at the property, our hands have been tied. Not any more. There is a new website out there tackling this very problem,, “a free national rental search engine that also offers free rental rates pages for over 4,000 cities in the United States. Using data from over 7,000,000 rental houses, condos and apartments, the service gives renters, property managers and leasing agents key information on average rental rates in their city.”


The above screenshot is from their San Francisco page (obviously we only care about San Francisco), and you can get to that page by following this link. Have a look around. We find it pretty informative, but then again we only have a few minutes to check things out these days and put them out there for you to pore over in detail.

“San Francisco Home Sales At Highest Level Since 2006”

Notice that title…it’s a quote. Don’t hate on us for being Realtors and wanting to help get out of this recession. Here is the most recent RE-Report verbatim:

Sales of single-family, re-sale homes and condos rose 15.5% in July compared to June. Home sales were also up 10.1% year-over-year. This is the first month home sales have been higher than the year before since last September. Year-to-date, home sales are down 12.3%.

Condo sales were up 17% month-over-month, but off 18.4% compared to July 2008. Year-to-date, condo sales are down 30.9%.

The median price for single-family homes rose for the fourth month in a row. The median price rose 0.6% from June, but was down 7.6% year-over-year. The average price dropped 5.7% month-over-month, and was down 10.8% compared to last July.

The median price for loft/condos in San Francisco fell 5.7% from June, and was down 20.3% year-over-year. The average price fell 3.1% month-over-month, and was off 19.8% year-over-year.

Click here for a detailed pdf report
Click here for a snapshot report

How To Find Open Homes In San Francisco (


It used to be you had to pick up the San Francisco Chronicle (T-minus 10,9,8,7…before they’re totally gone) in order to find out what Open Houses were there for you to take a look at on your glorious San Francisco Sundays. There is still of course Craigslist, but what a headache going through that! Alas! The San Francisco Association of Realtors is FINALLY getting into the public space of sharing valuable information (online) and trying to make it easier for you to plan your open house tours (and it even works on a Mac…amazing!)

The site has been live for a while, we may have even mentioned it at some point in the past, but now it’s worthy of a little plug… is a pretty good way to check out, and prepare your open home tours for the weekend. As long as us agents have updated our listings in MLS with accurate Open House information, you will be assured of having the most accurate list of Open Homes at your (online) fingertips. [San Francisco Association of Realtors]

[Note: Although we are members of the SFAR, there was no compensation for, or knowledge of this post…are you kidding!]