The Grass is Greener in Portland, Oregon | Premier Episode!


Those of you that have read this blog for a while know I always have one foot out the door to greener pastures, and one eye on how much more real estate you can buy around the world. I call it “Walkabout or Wanderlust”, and I’ve had a serious case of it over the years. … Continue reading The Grass is Greener in Portland, Oregon | Premier Episode!

Northstar Ski Resort, Lake Tahoe Courting the High End Market in a Ski in/Ski out Paradise


Being a real estate writer has depressingly few perks. I don’t get free tickets to concerts or desert on the house at Michael Mina. The product I write about, you see, can’t really fit in a gift bag. Mostly, I get accused of being a Realtor (I’m not) or of being “in bed” with the … Continue reading Northstar Ski Resort, Lake Tahoe Courting the High End Market in a Ski in/Ski out Paradise

And So Ends My Tenure…


Alex Clark, the true Frontsteps frontman, shall return from Indonesia tomorrow, barring travel problems. While he’s been among those islands, so have earthquakes and landslides and buried hotels, so let’s wish him a safe and happy return. Thanks, everyone, for the excellent commentary on my visiting editor blogs. It’s been fun hanging with you on … Continue reading And So Ends My Tenure…

Another Reason to Love Living Here: The Heights


Fridays are for less serious real estate topic-age, so here is a meaningless poll and a tribute to another characteristic that makes SF unique. Riding my bike through the Presidio last Saturday, I decided to cruise Presidio Heights. And oh my, the elevation-  in status, I mean. It’s dizzying. The homes are palatial, complete with … Continue reading Another Reason to Love Living Here: The Heights

Success Story: A Buyer Finally Becomes an Owner


  This blog is graciously donated by Missionite, long time reader of and writer for The Frontsteps, as well as writer of his own blog, Submedian. FINALLY GOT ONE Well we finally got one. We just got the keys and haven’t moved in yet. Despite the market conditions we didn’t get a steal, paid over … Continue reading Success Story: A Buyer Finally Becomes an Owner

Inner-Sunset Sprouting Condos


Inner-Sunset, home to much good food, a few good bars, a few bad bars, the prohibitively expensive Andronico’s, and UCSF, will soon be home to new condos. On my block alone (9th Ave., past Moraga St.) there are two sites going up or planned to go up. One is adjacent to my deck, where I … Continue reading Inner-Sunset Sprouting Condos

Another Reason to Love Living Here


The FrontSteps likes to remind us of the reasons why we live in this fine city. Sometimes it is easy to forget: for instance, the third say in a week you find a ticket under your windshield wiper. I overheard a gentleman on the N-Judah the other day who, in response to a friend asking … Continue reading Another Reason to Love Living Here

Disclose or Dissemble?


My recent almost first time buyer identity was shattered by a disturbing disclosure. Or rather, by a failure to to disclose the disclosures. A Realtor, who shall remain nameless (and is in Portland, OR, anyway), had us almost in contract before I ever lay eyes on the disclosures, at which time I discovered 1. Lead … Continue reading Disclose or Dissemble?

Readers Ask: Readers Know (Usually)


The Frontsteps is littered with experts, so when a reader asks a question, seems like the highest form of logic is to simply pose that question to the aforementioned experts. Yesterday I asked if any, any, any reduction in price could make being a landlord for a full occupied, multi-unit property worthwhile. One reader, in response, … Continue reading Readers Ask: Readers Know (Usually)

BFD Price Reductions


A post wherin I look at price reductions that seem to be pointless. 1. Courtesy of SF Schtuff, 1001 California St., #3 is a super lux condo in the old Hitchcockian San Francisco splendor. (MLS gallery offers house porn to die for, here.) The original price here was $7,250,000. Now it’s $6,950,000. Indeed, one could argue … Continue reading BFD Price Reductions

Arden Wood (Mostly) All Grown Up


     Way, way back, we looked at the then just starting Ardenwood luxury home project. We all speculated on price (around $2 mil, was the consensus) and rapidity with which they would sell. Many people also complained that a set of less than ten luxury homes was not the best use of the lot, … Continue reading Arden Wood (Mostly) All Grown Up

Buy Now or Suffer 8,000 Consequences?


Today I got this email from a friendly neighborhood Realtor: Hello everyone, I wanted to send out a friendly reminder about the deadline to take advantage of the first time home buyer tax credit.  The tax credit expires on Novemeber 30th, 2009.  However, assuming a 45 day escrow period from the time you buy to the time you close and get the keys, … Continue reading Buy Now or Suffer 8,000 Consequences?

So It’s Been Awhile, but…


So Alex is leaving town for awhile, chasing the big waves instead of the big buyers, and I’m standing, inadequately and ill fittingly, in his shoes. You may — or just as likely, may not– recall I used to guest write here on these Front Steps some time ago. Alex was nice enough to invite … Continue reading So It’s Been Awhile, but…

Being a Landlord is Such a Drag…


I have to admit, watching the banks, AIG, the automakers, and finally, homeowners get a bail out, I did more than once cry out piteously: “But who the f— will bail out me?” Answer: Chris Daly. I didn’t really ask for this kind of bailout, but Daly’s constituents are largely renters; and hey, so is … Continue reading Being a Landlord is Such a Drag…

Can California Keep Her Bling?


  I used to look at houses in Portland, OR like this 2/2 SFH in one of the most gorgeous neighborhoods, Sellwood, listed at $440K. And then I would look for somthing similar in SF. And then I would need a very large martini. We all know, even after the martini, that a comparable home … Continue reading Can California Keep Her Bling?