88 King Street #106 Hits MLS…I’m Claiming Best Unit Currently For Sale At The Towers At Embarcadero South

[Update: Sold for $790,000]

You all had your chance to nab this amazing condo in the heart of South Beach when I first signed the listing and shared it as a pocket listing. Now it’s on the MLS, and I’m claiming it’s the nicest unit currently for sale in the building (Towers at Embarcadero South). True, that is my opinion, and this is my listing, but I consider myself to have good taste.

The unit itself is loft style, 1293 square feet, updated (modern) kitchen, two bedrooms, two baths (both updated), bonus room perfect for office or extra storage, street entrance with southeast facing patio, BBQ Area, Club Room, Exercise Course, Gym, Roof Deck, Spa/Hot Tub, and so much more. It is truly a unique property in arguably one of the city’s best locations.

Price is set at $799,000. HOA dues are $839/month, and include: High Speed Wireless Internet, 24 Hour Doorman, Garbage, Grounds Maintenance, Homeowners Insurance, Outside Management, Security Service, Water, BBQ Area, Club Room, Exercise Course, Gym, Roof Deck, Spa/Hot Tub use.

Don’t miss your chance to get yourself or your friends into this property and live the South Beach life!
[UPDATE: Property is in contract.]

88 King Street, Unit 106, 2 bed, 2 bath, 1 pk, $799,000 [MLS]

But It’s A Buyer’s Market

Any of you see this article on Yahoo! about US Cities Where Homes Sell The Fastest?

Gather ’round…I have a story for you.

Yesterday, on behalf of my clients, I presented a full asking price, ALL CASH (that’s $1,350,000 George Washingtons), two week to close, sellers may “rent-back” ’til November offer on 49 Alma Street in Cole Valley. This is a home that was listed late 2010 for $1,475,000 and withdrawn in January of 2011.

…and our offer was not enough! We were one of FIVE offers!

We expected multiple offers, but here is the kicker – four of the five offers were also all cash! Are you kidding me!? Hang on…it gets better. Our offer was almost the lowest in price. One other offer below us. The winning offer had zero contingencies. That’s all cash, significantly over asking, no contingencies, two weeks til the seller gets their coin…Is it 2003-2005 all over again? WTF!

I know the details of the other offers, but for the sake of the lucky and thrilled seller, and the lucky and thrilled buyer, some things in a transaction are better not to publish until it closes and cash and keys are transferred. Job well done by listing and selling agent combined, and the buyer for blowing our minds.

Okay, I have another anecdotal bit of story for you.

Seven Divisadero hit the market a couple of weeks ago. Barely two or three days on the market…Bam! In contract, all showings canceled.

You cancel showings when you have an extremely good offer that you’re not afraid is going to fall apart. My guess is another all cash offer over asking with one simple inspection contingency.

That leaves several all cash buyers with over $1,000,000 to burn still out there looking.

But it’s supposed to be a buyer’s market…right?

US Cities Where Homes Sell The Fastest
Battle Royale: Cole Valley Versus Noe Valley [theFrontSteps]
Multi Millions On A Monday [theFrontSteps]
49 Alma Street [Property Website and Photo Credit]
7 Divisadero [Property Website and Photo Credit]

San Francisco Pending Sales Continue to Improve As Summer Comes to a Close, Loan Limit Reduction Is Going To Hurt You Buyers Shopping $800,000 – $1.2M Range

From the San Francisco Association of Realtors:

“Typically the slowest month in real estate, August witnessed a decrease in the months supply inventory, with fewer and fewer sellers putting their properties on the market.

Regardless, San Francisco’s continued desirability did offer some pockets of movement and activity, even during this slow period in the year.

Single-Family Homes

Although closed sales of single-family homes has dropped 14.8 percent throughout the city since August of last year, the number of homes under contract has increased by 40.1 percent, presaging better sales numbers to come. Since January 2011, homes under contract have increased by 59.6 percent, with sales also increasing by 9.5 percent. Year-over-year, for properties priced below $700,000, the months of supply inventory fell by 55.7 percent to a reading of 2 months, while for properties priced between $700,000 and $1.2 million, the months of supply inventory fell to 1.9 months.

One area of the city which has experienced an increase in sales activity is the central west neighborhoods of the Sunset district. Since August of last year, the number of homes under contract rose by 18.9 percent, while the number of completed transactions grew by 5.3 percent for a total of 40 sold properties. The Sunset, which is predominately residential, offers a small town quality and feel, which complements its conservative and family-oriented character. Homes in the Sunset are mostly mid-century and offer similar floor plans, thanks to well-known developer Henry Doelger, who in the 50s, is said to have been able to construct two houses in a single day.

Another part of the city which has experienced healthy sales activity is the central-eastern neighborhoods of Bernal Heights and Potrero Hill. Since August 2010, the number of homes under contract has grown by 160 percent, while the number of completed transactions increased by 5.6 percent to a total of 19 sold properties. Bernal Heights offers a somewhat progressive neighborhood feel, with quirky shops, restaurants, and annual traditions such as a soapbox derby and neighborhood-wide garage sale. Potrero Hill, with two surrounding freeways and large strips of industrial land at its feet, is relatively cut off from the city, yet still manages to maintain a laid-back and sunny disposition. Both neighborhoods possess an eclectic mix of architecture, which includes row houses, cottages, and Victorian bungalows.

Condominium Sales

Sales of condominiums shot upward throughout the city, rebounding from this time last year by 5.5 percent. Condominiums under contract also increased by 25.7 percent, beating out last year’s numbers, as well. For condominiums priced between $500,000 and $900,000, the months of supply inventory declined by 42.9 percent to a reading of 2.4 months. For luxury condominiums priced above $900,000, the months of supply inventory also contracted, by 26.8 percent to 4.7 months.

The northeastern section of the city, which includes downtown San Francisco, continues to witness strong condominium sales activity. Compared to the same time last year, the number of pending sales has increased by a substantial 78.8 percent, with 59 total units under contract. At the end of the month, the total number of sold condominiums hit 37, a 42.3 percent increase from August 2010. High-rise condominiums can be found in the bustling downtown area, while other luxurious condominiums are located in elegant and historical Russian Hill, as well as North Beach, also known as San Francisco’s “Little Italy.”


Beginning on October 1, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will cut the size of loans they purchase from lenders. This will force many future borrowers into more expensive and harder-to-get jumbo loans. According to USA Today, the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac conforming loan limits were raised in 2008 in some high-cost housing markets to stimulate the economy. In many areas such as San Francisco, the limits rose to $729,750, and next month they will fall to $625,500.

The reduction in the conforming loan limit will hurt buyers shopping in the $800,000 and $1.2 million neighborhood the most, and so a slowdown in that segment of the market is expected. On the other hand, this change has been well publicized and some lenders, even as early as August, have already changed their underwriting guidelines to reflect this new reality. A positive change was that buyers in this segment rushed to purchase property, which in turn, helped to increase sales numbers in the last couple of months.

The Consumer Confidence Index®, which improved slightly in July, worsened in August to a reading of 44.5 (a reading of 90 indicates a healthy economy), in reaction to pessimism about the job market and political wrangling over the debt ceiling. Of note, the decline in confidence in August was underway before the S&P downgrade of the U.S. down one notch to AA. Still, based on these factors, consumers are expected to continue being very vigilant about what they purchase, and spending rather cautiously.”

Rip Curl Pro Search San Francisco Surf Contest

Don’t be fooled by other agents trying to sell you an ocean view home on the Great Highway. That would be a monumental waste of money if your purchase is based on proximity to the contest. The Rip Curl Search San Francisco is supposed to happen at the north end of Ocean Beach often referred to as Kelly’s Cove/VFWs…somewhere around here.

So your best chance at buying a pad with a view to the contest rests in this building right here (855 La Playa), and there happens to be a few (very inexpensive) choices at the moment.

Bring binoculars, if da waves are big, dey gonna be far out in da wata.

Multi Millions On A Monday

Now that we got the Guns N’ Roses out of the way and coursing through the veins, let’s start this Monday with a few multi-million dollar listings here in this fabulous city of San Francisco.
Kicking things off with 2500 Broadway on the corner of Steiner asking a meager $9,500,000.

The description is full of keywords and qualifiers…”2500 Broadway is a home of elegance, grandeur and history located in Pacific Heights on a premier corner lot at Broadway and Pierce. 2500 Broadway dominates this location not only in terms of its size and architecture but also its prominent placement on the hill. Commissioned in 1894 by a prominent lawyer and San Francisco Mayoral candidate this Free Classic” Victorian style home is impressive in scale, luxurious in structure and refined in finish. One of the most wonderful features of the home is the extensive use of oak, walnut and mahogany hardwoods. A full-relief box-work design oak entry hall, mahogany wainscoting in the sitting room and a grand staircase rich with detail are stunning and irreplaceable.”

It is truly a beautiful property and the keywords are justified, but what I know you all really want to know is…it sold in 1994 for $2,800,000. Yep, it’s true.

Moving on down the roads a bit toward the city center, we stumble across this little home recently listed on MLS at 2020 Jackson asking $20,000,000.

“The distinguished & historical Hellman Mansion is located in a prominent Pac Hts location, nr Lafayette Park. The Classical Revival estate, designed circa 1902 by Julius Krafft, was thoughtfully restored maintaining the architect’s original masterpiece, a harmonious blend of grand design, elegant appointments, modern comfort and impeccable renovation. On four impressive levels, accessible by elevator, this 8BR/7+BA home is a rare jewel. Magnificently proportioned living & dining rooms, grand terraces, sumptuous master suite wing, double winding stair, 7 frplcs, au pair suite, main and catering kitchens, media room, family room, family dining, wine cellar, salon and library. Solar. Stunning north & east bay views w/Alcatraz, Angel Is & Marin.”

That’s a lot of 20’s no matter how you slice it, but I gotta wonder if their vision is 20/20 on this one. Last sold 2004 for $15,000,000, it will be interesting to see if this magnificent slice of prime San Francisco real estate on Jackson will see one million Jacksons or one million Hamiltons alongside another million Lincolns.

Speaking of price reductions and a lesson in (price) history…remember 2845 Broadway?

“A legend in the making…a Gold Coast Masterpiece. Clad in French limestone an exquisite Neoclassical style villa with stunning Golden Gate and Bay views, garden and a guest house with 19th Century Italian tile roof comprise this unique compound spanning two lots from Broadway to Pacific. One of the world’s finest residential addresses. Currently under construction, this property presents a unique opportunity to complete an architectural masterpiece in one of the City’s most prestigious locations.”

(Previously) under construction indeed, and originally listed on the MLS in March of 2006 for $65,000,000, we see that history is telling us there really isn’t any property in San Francisco selling for that kind of cash. A+ location or not, we’re talking an unfinished multi-million dollar mansion…and you don’t even get a pool! Maybe a MASSIVE diving board on the patio could afford several mile high flips into the bay. Just wear a helmet.

Finally, moving ever so much closer to downtown, we come to 2323 Hyde on the corner of Hyde and Lombard right at the crest…you know where all the tourists stand in the street, take photos, play Frogger, hop on and off the cable car, and generally get in the way? Yeah, it’s right there.

“This beautiful home was commissioned by Fanny Osborn-Stevenson, the widow of author Robert Louis Stevenson. It is a Willis Polk design and it was built in 1900. It has been meticulously renovated. Complete with mature Landscaped Garden, Roof Terrace & Patio. 4 Car Parking and Elevator to all floors. A true San Francisco Masterpiece.”

Look beyond the (fill in the blank) interior decorations and focus on the property. It’s a beauty in a great location, and it’s also been recently reduced in price from $15,000,000 to a much more reasonable and potentially bidding war price of $14,900,000. Hurry! It’s only been on the market 345 days!

Happy multi million dollar and Metal Monday! I wonder if Axl would want one of these…

2500 Broadway [MLS]
2020 Jackson [MLS]
2845 Broadway [MLS]
2323 Hyde [MLS]
Multi-Million Dollar Properties Of Note
St. Regis Penthouse Was $70,000,000 Now $35,000,000 [theFrontSteps]

They Just Don’t Build Them Like They Used To….

Rock bands that is.

I needed a little Monday morning pick me up, so I figured I’d throw on an all time best. So many good things about this video no longer here: British Airways Concord; World Trade Center; sold out crowds packed in General Admission going nuts; Guns N’ Roses (I know, they’re here, but not any good anymore.)

Happy Monday…get to work!

A Wine Lover’s Paradise. Thirty Two Room St. Helena Luxury Estate Could Be Yours For $16,950,000

Do you love wine? Do you long for weekends, or a life, spent in wine country? Are you thinking, “Gee, it would be nice to have a place I could call my own and invite all of my friends without them having to sleep on the couch with my dog. A place like a completely remodeled 32 room estate with 2 master suites, 4 guest suites, 3 offices, 10 bathrooms, 4 entries, a state-of-the-art gourmet kitchen, breakfast room, sun room, loggia, wine cellar, exercise studio, library, laundry facilities, trunk room, pool, pool house/changing rooms, two bedroom, two bath guest house, three car garage/three car carport, views, and magnificent gardens?”

Do you dream of barrels of wine like this so close you can smell them?

If so, I have found just the place for you not too far from San Francisco up in the hills of St. Helena (Napa Valley) California.

I think you would look good in this home, and I think you’d rather enjoy the Summers there. The only catch…I have carte blanche to do as many cannonballs into the pool as my ass can handle, cuz I will be mixing up some sweet margaritas for you and your guests, and happily assuming the role of weekend pool boy. Deal?

St. Helena, Napa Wine Country Estate For Sale: 6 bedrooms, 10+ bathrooms, $16,950,000 [PocketListings.net]

*Photos in this post are not actual photos of the estate for sale or necessarily anywhere near it. They are stock photos of Napa Valley. For more details, contact me and I’ll happily get you up there for a look.

Get Ready For A Bidding War. Vacant Cole Valley 2 Unit Building Hits MLS (806-808 Cole)

I’ve been riding my bike by this building for better part of four weeks (school started) watching it get prepped and cleaned, and today it’s finally revealed to us on MLS. It certainly doesn’t have that “wow” factor we recently saw on Brokerick, but I expect there to be a bit of buzz around this property. After all, it’s vacant, needs a little TLC, could be occupied by a family upstairs looking for income potential downstairs, and the location doesn’t get much better.

I’m not the only one expecting some activity either. According to the “agent only remarks” hidden from all of you (who luvs ya), “the property has already been appraised for an amount over the asking price.” Which begs the question, why not just ask a price closer to reality and save a bunch of people a bunch of time?

I know the answer, do you?

2 Units on Cole Street, in Cole Valley, $1,150,000 [MLS]
Cole Valley Comparables [MLS]
Got Color? [theFrontSteps]

Opportunity To Be On South Park…No Not The Cartoon

I have come across another great opportunity for all of you one bedroom buyers that would love to be in one of San Francisco’s best locations…South Park.

This unit has been marketed off of MLS for a fair bit, and I’m surprised to hear it still available.

Details are here, the listing agent is here, and I am here to help you make this your new home (or city pied-a-terre) where you can enjoy all the South Park reruns from the comfort of your South Park home.

…and how can you deny yourself such easy access to the American Grilled Cheese Kitchen literally out your door!?

One bedroom, one bath, one car parking at One South Park, $659,000 [PocketListings.net]