So what do you do when you can’t sell something for $900,000 in San Francisco? You should know this by now. You reduce the price. In this case, by half. Get out there and make an offer! Ah, but wait. You thought you were in luck, didn’t you? Not so fast…don’t forget where we all live…
If you want to pay half, you only get to use half…this is a 50% fractional ownership of the whole unit. That’s right, for $449,500 you can “Own your own bed & bath, common areas and part of yard”…now you just gotta find someone else to make up the whole, hope they are clean, don’t stink, don’t flake on their loan payments, and aren’t up at all hours of the night – unless you’re into those sorts of things.
Go on then, find that roommate who has $450,000 lying around and go buy yourselves half a pad for the Holidays. Sharing is caring, after all.
It’s not everyday you get to sell a property where history was made (no, I haven’t posted this listing on Craigslist), and it’s definitely not everyday that you open up a wall for a remodel and find a San Francisco Examiner from August 18, 1908…and it’s totally legible!
The information contained on the pages of this newspaper will truly transport you back in time:
“Dead man returns to life under injection of Strychnia”
…the birth and progress of the Independence Party led by William Randolph Hearst “was only defeated by the treason and the knife…”
“…bathers who appear in the surf so scant of cloth as to shock public decency to be arrested and fined.”
“Our country cousins [Santa Cruz residents] who are unused and unaccustomed to the fashions of city life are seriously shocked when they come to see us and go to spend an hour at the seashore…”
And since this is primarily a real estate blog, and I’m selling 1010 Cole, take a look at some of the rental listings, particularly 1039 Cole:
Some things don’t change…the importance of the sun in SF (where has it been!?), having gas to your home, an easy way to wash your clothes, and proximity to public transportation…and luckily others do.
The images are massive, so if you can’t read it, click and zoom.
San Francisco Examiner, August 1908
Priceless reading, for sure.
Although this newspaper is tucked away in a safe and totally not able to be viewed, the property where it was found, and Craigslist was founded, is for sale, and available for purchase, 1010 Cole St, Cole Valley.
Come on by, have a look, or better yet…buy the home, and maybe (if you’re lucky) the newspaper will be part of the deal.
I had the pleasure of representing some repeat clients on their purchase of this well located and highly sought after two unit property at 1143-45 Jackson for $2,150,000. We had to go to battle, for sure, but in the end we beat out 11 other buyers (including one higher) to seal the deal. The story on this is very interesting…
My clients really wanted this property, despite having just recently (2 weeks prior) purchased another property in the neighborhood. Listed for $1,688,000, it was anybody’s guess where 1143-45 Jackson would go, so we guessed $1,850,000 as our original offer (cash, 7 day close, no contingencies) would “get us a seat at the table”. Well…it almost got us kicked out of the club as we were the LOWEST of 11! Laughable, but not laughable. Many agents would stop there. Not me.
I practically begged to be involved in a multiple counter, and advised the listing agents we could go higher, but simply didn’t know where to begin. So we got the counter from sellers at $2,150,000…and it was ours, because we had excellent terms and a well put together offer package. BUT! We countered at $2,125,000, which was a risky move and could backfire. It backfired. The sellers said they were accepting a higher offer than ours, because we didn’t go where we needed to go. We were devastated.
Then we got the call…the other buyer was M.I.A., and so we could again have the property at $2,150,000 if we could get it signed within 30 minutes. While cooking Salmon on the barbecue, and managing my starving children, I was able to sit down to Docusign (our electronic signature system) between grill checks, some flames, and occasional shouts of “the fish is on fire dad!” to get the counter sent to my buyer, signed, and back to the seller within 10 minutes. Fish off the grill. White wine and milk poured. Napkins in laps. Mahlzeit.
They put the other buyer in “backup” position, in case we faltered. We closed 7 days later.
That’s probably more story than you needed to hear, but that’s how you get it done for your buyers in this market.
Sometimes, it’s not just money that gets a seller’s attention.
I’ve been party to many, many a transaction in the last 15 years, and this year has been particularly busy for me (definitely not complaining). I know all the tricks to get an offer accepted when I represent buyers, and how to weed through the pros and cons of multiple offers when representing a seller. I have seen it all…at least I thought I did.
You see, in our incredibly heated market, it’s totally customary for buyers to pretty much offer everything they can to a seller (wine, concert tickets, VIP access to restaurants) with their offer, and writing a personal letter to the seller about how much the buyer loves the home is standard. (If you’re not doing that with every competitive offer you write, get another Realtor, because it works.)
But I was recently part of a transaction on the seller side where we literally had 15 offers on the table, at some ridiculously high prices with amazing terms, and it was this letter (and of course the hand drawn pictures of the cat…or maybe that’s a dog…dinosaur…?) that pulled at the heart strings of the sellers and ultimately got them the house…at a price less than the top offer, and less favorable.
In case you can’t read that:
First letter from the big sister:
I really hope you pick us for the house because I currently share a room with my brother and it is really cramped. Also, my Mom says that if we get a house we can get a dog, and I really want to get a dog. I really like the house and I think my cat will like the yard (and the dog if and when we get one) so I really hope you will pick us for the house.
[the cutest, nicest, most thoughtful child on the planet]
Second Letter from the little brother:
I hope you choose us because I think our cat will like the yard and our mom says we can get a dog if we get a house!
[the second cutest, nicest, most thoughtful child on the planet]
These are not the only letters from children lately that I’ve heard have put sellers over the top. I tried it as well with a buyer on 1238 Stanyan, but ultimately we weren’t even in the ballpark so it didn’t help us.
Anyway…take note, add it to your arsenal, and if you should be working with another agent, and try this new technique and win…you owe me a bottle of wine…at the very least.
A city known for its moderate weather, steep hills, and sweeping bay views, San Francisco is a small city (by land size…only 7X7 miles and flanked by water on three sides) jam packed with culture and coolness. If you’ve ever played tourist in SF, you’re likely aware of the city’s Victorian architecture, trademark fog (named Karl), cable cars, and awesome landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Prison, Fisherman’s Wharf, and Chinatown. Almost any visitor to San Francisco will tell you it’s an awesome place to visit, and even more awesome to call home.
If you are planning a move to San Francisco, it is important to familiarize yourself not only with its geography, attractions, and culture, but also with the cost of living, job opportunities, and other realities. To help you get acquainted with your new hometown, our friends at Great Guys have compiled the data you need to know in the super cool infographic below.
What does the data show? For starters, San Francisco proper is the fourth biggest city in the state of California, and the 14th largest in the U.S. with just over 840,000 residents. The larger metro area, which includes the areas of San Jose, Oakland, and Silicon Valley, has over 7.6 million inhabitants (another reason to live IN the city, and not have to commute). Though it seems job competition in such a populous area would be stiff, unemployment rates are surprisingly far below the national average. Several large corporations including GAP, Twitter, Levi’s, Mozilla, Dropbox, Uber, and Wells Fargo are all headquartered in SF proper, as well as a myriad of tech companies like Facebook, Apple, Intel, Tesla, and Google (to name a few), just a stone’s throw away in Silicon Valley. Not only do these companies employ many San Francisco residents, they also pay pretty well too. In fact, the median household income here is 46.6% higher than the median nationwide.
That said, living in San Francisco is pricey. Normal household costs such as foodstuffs, energy bills, gas, a visit to a doctor, movie tickets and a six-pack of beer are all above the national averages. And home prices? Jaw-dropping. The average price of real estate is over $1 million (If you want the nitty-gritty, read our March Market Report), and that $1 million dollar mark won’t get you much. The outrageous real estate prices could explain why over 60% of the population is still renting. Yet despite the expense, people just can’t resist living here.
Whether it’s the incredible weather, the cutting-edge tech scene, proximity to wine country, or the beautiful scenery around every corner, there are many reasons to love calling San Francisco home.
I was in the process of compiling this week’s list of top 10 Overbids, but couldn’t help to just share this one nutty overbid with you instead…350 Jersey, in the heart-center of Noe Valley, is a “Spacious fixer-upper single-family home, circa 1941”
Only in San Francisco do those words get you damn near $1500 per square foot, and over $2,000,000 for a FIXER!
As you can see from the marketing remarks, not only did they get 17 offers (let that sink in), but this place went from a $1,295,000 list price to a $2,005,000 sales price. In case you need more numbers, that’s 54.83% over asking or $710,000 cherries on top. Cash, no less. I’m gonna say it again…for a fixer.
Well, it is San Francisco after all, and it’s pretty effing awesome living here, so get used to it.
Thinking the tide will turn? It will, at some point, but have a look at this “Maximum Overbid of the week” I shared on sfnewsletter (the precedent of theFrontSteps) September 24, 2004…yes I’ve been doing Overbids THAT long (let that sink in too).
64 Prentiss St. in Bernal Heights (Bud, pay attention!). 3 bed, 1 bath, 1 car parking fixer that apparently came with the adjacent lot. Probate sale as well. Asking $599,000, sold for $855,000. Here’s a link to the property description