stow-lake-02

7 Hidden Gems in Golden Gate Park

For San Francisco residents, Golden Gate park is that place you’ve religiously taken out-of-towners and spent countless afternoons strolling around with your SO or kids. But there is probably more than one secret spot you’ve never stumbled across in one of your trips around the 1,017 acre public space. Below, we’ve pulled together a collection of the top overlooked attractions at our city’s crown jewel –  after all, Golden Gate Park was named one of the America’s best public parks just a couple of years ago. Let us know in the comments which ones you think are the best on the list!

    1. Stow Lake: Do you want to recreate a scene from The Notebook? Rent a rowboat or paddle boat and take a peaceful ride on the lake listening to birds chirping as the ducks swim past.
      *The only thing to watch out for here is a possible sighting of the The Ghost of Stow Lake, spotted in the area for more than a hundred years.
    2. San Francisco Botanical Gardens: Have you wanted to see plants from different regions of the world? Come visit the Botanical Gardens; plus, admission is free for all San Francisco residents.
    3. Carousel: Do you have kids or just want to pretend you are a kid again for a day? Hop on the merry go round and pick your favorite animal to go on a ride that is sure to put a smile on your face for the rest of the day.
    4. Bison Paddock: Yes, you read that right. There are bison walking in an area of the park. Stop and take it all in because how many people can say they can see bison in their local park?
    5. Tennis Courts: Grab your racket and hit the courts! Complete a match then take a break and have a picnic on the lawn area nearby.
    6. Conservatory of Flowers: Twist and turn your way through rooms filled with bright flowers set up in pots on the floor, tables, and ceiling. Depending on the month, you might find butterflies or venus fly traps among other special “guests.”
    7. Music Concourse: Located between the California Academy of Sciences and de Young Museum, a stage is set up for multiple different genres of live music. Some days you may stumble upon artists creating new pieces and displaying their available artwork.

Not sure where all these exciting places are located? No problem! Take a look at the map and start your exciting adventure.


[Editor’s Note: As part of my commitment to San Francisco and the greater good of all residents in this wonderful city, I have teamed up with some USF Journalism students to allow them to get their feet wet with writing/blogging/marketing on a larger scale. Written by Kianna Fernandez.]

 

 

 

 

1078yorkfront

Inner Mission Victorian Fixer Sells $320,000 Over List | In Knoxville That Buys You This…

Not to be outdone by any of the fixers clinching the top spot on a few of our previous top 10 Overbids1078-80 York, a two unit in San Francisco’s hot, hotter, hottest Inner Mission District, just closed for only $320,000 over ask.


(People around the world scratching their heads thinking, “Is this guy nuts? I could buy an entire house (maybe in Knoxville) for what this person just paid over asking on this piece o’ hooey property that doesn’t even have a kitchen!?”) Yessir, it’s what many would call a “dump”, but not us, and it actually has two kitchens…granted they don’t work, but this property right here is a diamond in the rough and we’d go so far as to say this buyer scored a great property at a very fair price, in a very hot location, location, location.

As for the rest of the top 10, here you go:

Address BR/BA/Units DOM List Price Sold Price Overbid
1078 York Street 80 2-4 Units 7 $995,000 $1,315,000 32.16%
1751 La Salle Avenue 5/1.50/N/A 60 $625,000 $805,000 28.80%
361 Texas Street 3/2.00/N/A 15 $1,795,000 $2,300,000 28.13%
1015 Ashbury Street 2/2.00/2 8 $1,095,000 $1,350,000 23.29%
1444 17th Avenue 2/2.50/101 5 $1,299,000 $1,600,000 23.17%
149 Shipley Street 3/2.00/ 9 $988,000 $1,180,000 19.43%
3919 17th Street 1/1.00/ 0 $895,000 $1,065,000 18.99%
79 Seward Street 3/2.00/N/A 6 $1,995,000 $2,350,000 17.79%
2919 Pacific Avenue 2/2.00/6 8 $1,249,000 $1,457,000 16.65%
2932 26th Avenue 3/2.00/N/A 14 $1,425,000 $1,650,000 15.79%

To wrap this week up, the market is shifting. All signs point to this being a fantastic time to sell your property, and we are experts at doing just that. Give us a shout and we’ll git ‘er done.

1078-80 York, Inner Mission District [The Goods]
More market data than you could ever want [The Goods]
709 Loop Rd, Knoxville, TN [Redfin]
Information for sellers [theFrontSteps]

sf-decorators-showcase-rob-j-photos53

San Francisco Single Family Real Estate Appreciation since 2011

The information below is provided by Paragon Real Estate Group, enjoy:

In the last 5 years, San Francisco real estate market rebounded and went crazy hot, but how much did it really appreciate? Below is a great analysis from Paragon that shows you the data using median sales price. This post is specific to houses, the next post is specific to condominiums appreciation.

Median sales price is a very general statistic, often concealing an enormous variety of values in the underlying individual sales. It can be and often is affected by other factors besides changes in fair market value, such as changes in the inventory available to purchase, and major changes in the distressed property, luxury home, or new home construction segments. Sometimes median prices fluctuate without any great significance: substantially different groups of homes (larger, smaller, older, newer, etc.) simply sold in different periods. Assessing appreciation by changes in dollar per square foot values, instead of by median sales prices, can sometimes deliver significantly different appreciation rates.

Below the charts is a table with a more comprehensive list of San Francisco neighborhoods, and at the bottom of the page is a neighborhood map.

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The neighborhoods on the table below are grouped by San Francisco Realtor District, some of which contain neighborhoods of relatively similar values and some with highly variable home values.

Generally speaking, the higher the number of sales, the more reliable the statistics: We’ve usually calculated appreciation rates for neighborhoods with at least 24 sales in 2015, but these should still be considered very approximate.

An asterisk signifies a very low a number of annual sales and/or our suspicion that the appreciation calculation would not reflect market reality due to the variety of issues pertaining in the area. In 2011, median sales prices in some areas, especially in the southern border neighborhoods of the city, were badly distorted by distressed property sales (bank and short sales) that didn’t represent fair market values. If this situation applies, the 4-year appreciation rate will jump higher in that neighborhood.

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sfmap

As is always the case, if you have any questions about the market don’t hesitate to ask.

If you, or anyone you know, are looking to buy or sell San Francisco real estate, take a look at my track record, happy clients, and generally awesome listings and let’s get you sorted.

3800washington

Stalefish: You Won’t Believe Your Eyes

There is a little something in our market, of which many buyers are not aware, and many agents overlook. I have long referred to them as “Stalefish“, but others refer to them as “buying opportunity” or “still available property”, or what we named (on theGoods) as the “30+ Club”. What are these, you ask?

They are, quite simply, properties on the market more than 30 days, and darnit if there aren’t quite a few gems out there that I’d love you to buy.

Getting beat up in Noe Valley? Check out 469 Valley:
469valley
This is a 3220 square foot remodeled view home in Noe Valley…and it’s still available! Deck, garden, master suite, it has it all. Listed at $2,989,000.

Not your cup of tea? Check out 27-29 Fountain, also in Noe Valley:
27Fountain
Previously listed at $2,900,000, this detached Victorian with 4 bedrooms, booming views, decks, parking, yard, and a great location is now $2,600,000! You just saved $300,000. Opportunity knocking right here.

Maybe you don’t like Noe, and you’d rather be in Cole Valley – sorry, nada. But keep checking!

You think Pacific Heights never has anything for you? Think again. This absolutely stunning home at 2701 Broadway is still there:
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“Comprised of five levels encompassing over 16,000 square feet the home includes 7 bedrooms, 7 full baths, and 4 half-baths, plus 2 kitchens, 2 family rooms, 2 offices, 3 rooftop terraces, a basketball/sport court, plus a multitude of rooms for today’s active lifestyle. 2 car garage,” and a bargain price of $39,000,000.

Okay, so maybe $39,000,000 is a bit more than you can handle, and you really don’t like basketball anyway. Maybe surfing is more your thing? Well…you’re in luck. It just so happens this little fish at 2307 40th Ave is still there:
230740thAVe
It’s “beautifully remodeled and updated”, close to the beach, and other “neighborhood conveniences like Walgreens” (huh?), and from what I can tell, very ready to be sold.

So if you’re getting beat out by the hordes of buyers all over the hot new listings, and you have possibly overlooked those homes that weren’t exactly perfect, you might like to give this list another glance. And if you’re an agent, you might like to send this invaluable information to your clients (branded to you, or course).

Whether you call ’em Stalefish, or otherwise, no matter how you slice it, there is opportunity out there in many shapes, sizes, and prices. Prices which, at this point, could be very negotiable.

Time to go fishing!

p.s. Wondering about the home with all the marble columns? It’s available too: 3800 Washington, $17,995,000, and it’s frickin amazing!

Stalefish, 30+ Club, Buying Opportunity: Find it all here
Battle Royale: Cole Valley Versus Noe Valley [theFrontSteps]

[Big Ass Disclaimer: Every property in this post and on the Goods 30+Club is listed as “active” on MLS. All information is deemed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.]

overbidnevada

From 32% In NOPA To 65% On Nevada – San Francisco’s Top 10 Overbids

It’s Friday, that means it’s time for the Top 10 Maximum Overbids of the week. As usual, there are some doozies, but nothing I would consider ultimate shockers like a few of the last weekly Top 10’s we’ve seen. The number one spot goes to the “Contractor’s Special” on Nevada in Bernal Heights that fetched 65% over (totally in line with market sales price, and not easy to price this type of property). The number 10 spot goes to my clients that finally won after so many years searching – 538 Baker in NOPA that was “only” 32% over asking and the winner out of 15 other offers, two of which were actually higher than ours and all cash. We had a loan. But we “won”.

Anyhow, on with the show. The Top 10 Overbids for San Francisco this past week:

Address BR/BA/Units DOM List Price Sold Price Overbid
270 Nevada St 1/1.00/N/A 14 $530,000 $876,000 65.28%
866 Cayuga Ave 4/3.00/N/A 20 $928,000 $1,380,000 48.71%
27 Day St 3/1.00/N/A 43 $895,000 $1,310,000 46.37%
1271 15th Ave 1273 4/3.50/ 13 $1,795,000 $2,550,000 42.06%
307 Parker Ave 3/2.00/N/A 13 $1,250,000 $1,710,000 36.80%
25 Miraloma Dr 3/2.00/N/A 10 $1,050,000 $1,420,000 35.24%
1150 Holloway Ave 2/1.00/N/A 35 $889,000 $1,200,000 34.98%
320 Castenada Ave 3/1.50/N/A 26 $1,695,000 $2,250,000 32.74%
471 Hickory St 2/1.00/N/A 5 $1,060,000 $1,400,000 32.08%
538 Baker 2/1.50/N/A 11 $948,000 $1,250,000 31.86%

On a side note, one of my listings will hopefully be closing today, and believe me when I say we knocked it out of the park. Will we make the Top 10? No, but maybe we’ll scratch into the Top 20.

If you’re curious what your property might sell for, give me a shout.

Have a great weekend!

Top 20 Overbids Delivered to Your Door (Inbox) [sfnewsletter.com]
Are Overbids A Result Of Intentional Underpricing? It’s Competitive Pricing [theFrontSteps]
Top 20 Underbids [sfnewsletter.com]

It’s A Good Time To Sell

San Francisco Homes Selling Faster as Inventory Drops

With potential home sellers feeling that the market is on the upswing and that housing prices will soon appreciate, many of them have elected to hold off listing their homes, resulting in a citywide inventory shortage. At the same time, potential home buyers fearing higher prices are rushing to buy, particularly with the low-interest rate mortgages that are available today. These two forces are causing the already low for sale housing inventory in the city to be gobbled up at a faster rate. And, without new homes for sale to replace those that have been sold, the city’s inventory remains low, while home sales are staying high.

Single-Family Home Sales

Although the city’s inventory has dropped by 25.5 percent compared to February 2011, inventory levels also have ticked slightly upwards since January of this year, by 7.7 percent. And, despite the low inventory, homes under contract showed improvement compared to the same time last year, rising by as much as 22.9 percent. Moreover, the number of homes sold has almost doubled, by 40.7 percent, with a tally of 173 properties.

For homes that were priced below $700,000, the months of supply inventory fell by 66.2 percent to 1.2 months. For higher priced homes between $700,000 and $1.2 million, the months of supply inventory fell by 30.4 percent to 1.6 months. These short time frames continue to indicate a seller’s market, where sellers have more leveraging power over buyers who are competing against a limited group of properties.

One part of the city which experienced an above average increase in sale activity is the Sunset district. Since February 2011, the number of homes under contract has risen by 11.4 percent, while the number of homes sold has jumped by 52.4 percent to a total of 32 properties. The Sunset district, a predominately residential area, rests on the central-west side of the city. With good schools and plenty of family-owned businesses, home buyers seeking a more conservative and small town approach to living would find the Sunset district ideal.

Another area of the city which saw notably positive real estate activity is the central-eastern section. Compared to the same time last year, the number of homes under contract in the section increased by 4.8 percent, while the number of homes sold spiked by 157.1 percent, to a total of 18 properties. Although generally associated with the condominium markets of the South of Market (SOMA) and South Beach areas, the central-eastern section also includes neighborhoods such as Bernal Heights and Potrero Hill, which offer an assortment of cottages, bungalows, and single-family homes in a very friendly, community type setting. Home buyers who yearn to be close to the city, but who also desire amenities such as a small garden or yard, would find solace here.

Condominium Sales

Similar to single-family homes, the number of condominiums for sale throughout the city also has lessened by 33.6 percent since February 2011. Still, in spite of the low inventory, the number of condominiums under contract rose by 17 percent this past month, while the number of condominiums sold remained relatively the same, dropping only by 1.2 percent.

For condominiums that were priced between $500,000 and $900,000, the months of supply inventory shrank by 51.9 percent to a reading of 1.4 months. For luxury condominiums priced above $900,000, the months of supply inventory also decreased, by 28.9 percent to 2.5 months.

One region of the city which continues to experience strong condominium sales activity is Downtown San Francisco. Compared to this time last year, the number of condominiums under contract rose by 9.3 percent, while the number of condominiums sold shot up by 50 percent to a total of 42 units. Quintessential San Francisco neighborhoods such as Nob Hill and Russian Hill offer some of the most stunning and luxurious condominiums in the city. Those seeking to take an elevator up to their home and views worthy of magazine covers will find just what they’re looking for in Downtown San Francisco.

Outlook

Nationally, the consumer confidence index, which had decreased in January, increased in February. The index now stands at 70.8, up from 61.5 in January. (A reading of 90 indicates a healthy economy.) Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board Consumer Research Center, says, “Looking ahead, consumers are considerably less pessimistic about current business and labor market conditions than they were in January. And, despite further increases in gas prices, they are more optimistic about the short-term outlook for the economy, job prospects, and their financial situation.”

Based on the preliminary unemployment rates from the California Employment Development Department, the statewide and local job outlook is showing continued improvement, with the State’s unemployment rate dropping in January to 10.0 percent from 11.2 in December. Overall unemployment throughout the Bay Area also was down, with San Francisco seeing its unemployment rate decline from 9.5 percent last year to 8.1 percent this past January.

Earlier this month, the Federal Housing Administration announced that it would slash mortgage insurance premiums for certain home owners who refinance an FHA loan into a new one under its streamlined program. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, “The administration estimates that 2 to 3 million homeowners could be eligible to refinance under the reduced fees. But in the Bay Area, FHA loans were relatively rare until March 2008, when FHA raised its loan limit in high-cost areas to $729,750.

The San Francisco real estate market is likely to experience the same trend of low inventory and high sales in the next few weeks as home prices are expected to go up. When they do, San Francisco should begin to see a greater inventory of homes hitting the market.

In laymen’s terms…it’s a good time to sell!

San Francisco Real Estate Market Focus Report (PDF)

Winner: The Best Coffee (House) In San Francisco, And The Rest

Congratulations to Philz Coffee! You have been voted Best Coffee (House) in San Francisco by the people of the internets. The competition was linked to around the world, and we have to say Philz not only got tons of nods during the first round of nominations, but they also swept the voting when thousands more hit the polls.

It’s all good stuff and we can’t wait to get a cup. We appreciate everyone’s participation and the countless links that sent people this way.

The Rankings:

1. Philz Coffee
2. Bernie’s
3. Blue Bottle Coffee
4. Four Barrel Coffee
5. Martha Bros Coffee
6. Contraband (Coffee Bar)
7. Ritual Coffee Roasters
8. Farley’s Coffee
9. Java Beach
10. Sightglass Coffee
11. Peet’s Coffee & Tea
12. Caffe Roma
13. the Beanery
14. Intelligentsia Bar (In Specialty’s)
15. Caffee Trieste
16. Stumptown (Ma’velous)
17. Henry’s House of Coffee
18. Simple Pleasures
19. Barefoot Coffee (Epicenter Cafe)
20. Café La Taza
21. Starbucks (Really?)
22. Caffe Puccini
23. Trouble Coffee (De La Paz)
24. Velo Rouge Cafe
25. Caffe Greco
26. Verve Coffee Roasters
27. De La Paz Coffee (Trouble)
28. Hearth Coffee Roasters (Brown Owl Cafe)
29. Graffeo
30. Bello Coffee and Tea
31. Quetzal Coffee
32. Jeremiah’s Pick Coffee
33. Coffee to the People
34. Piccino Cafe
35. 7-11 (Humoring you)
36. Progressive Grounds
37. Showplace Caffe
38. Castro Coffee House
39. La Boulange
40. Matching Half
41. Wicked Grounds
42. Farm:Table
43. Blue Danube
44. Cafe Reina
45. Toy Boat
46. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
47. The Summit SF
48. Curbside Coffee
49. Rancho Parnassus (Thanksgiving Coffee)
50. Tully’s
51. Capricorn Coffees
52. Cavalli Cafe
53. Equator Coffees & Teas
54. Muddy’s Coffee House
55. The Coffee Roastery
56. Cup of Blues
57. Cafe Encore
58. Ecco Caffe
59. Stella Pastry & Cafe
60. Coffee Roaster
61. Manning’s
62. Dash Cafe
63. Javalencia Cafe
64. Cafe La Stazione
65. The Grove

We’ll just go ahead and stop there. There were another 25-30 one vote coffee (houses) that came in, but we gotta stop somewhere. Thank you everyone!

San Francisco Giants Win World Series: Bedlam Ensues, Brian Wilson Calls In…

Last night the San Francisco Giants clinched the World Series Title and they did it with authority, routing the Texas Rangers four games to one, in the best of seven series. What made it all the more sweet was continually seeing George W. lean over to his wife and ask her just exactly what was going on. You know she said the same thing to him as she did during his entire presidency, “Honey, we’re getting our asses kicked.” That was sweet. But what about San Francisco?

As expected, the city erupted. Fans and non-fans came out on the streets to partake in the celebration, which (did you have any doubt) quickly escalated into borderline rioting. There were reports of cars being set on fire, overturned, and vandalized. Multiple neighborhoods in the city saw streets blocked and “block parties” erupt. Valencia Street in the Mission was shut down, Chestnut Street in the Marina blocked, 9th & Irving in the Inner Sunset stopped, Market Street downtown packed, King and 2nd/3rd Streets in SOMA/Southbeach flooded, and those are just the areas we saw pictures of on our Facebook page.

As soon as the game was over sirens were blaring on firetrucks and police cars, “bombs” (read: very large fireworks of the M-80 variety) were going off, fireworks shot into the sky, and countless numbers of people driving and honking, and hanging out their windows and sunroofs were waving flags and screaming, “GIANTS!” as they raced through the San Francisco streets in celebration. Surely, many people are waking up today and wondering what hit them, and many more are wondering what is all the fuss…”they’re not ‘World’ Champs after all.”

Phew! It was awesome, it is awesome, but it’s that time. Put your Halloween costumes away (you had an extra day to wear it, you expect two?), go check out the parade tomorrow, high five everyone you know, kiss a stranger, show your support, bask in the glory, but for chrissakes….put your head back on straight will ya! You gotta work, and Brian Wilson called…he wants his f*cking beard back!

GO GIANTS!!!!!!

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 once saw the Bay, and now see the back of someone’s bedroom to be. I have no idea if this very tall building will be apartments for rent or condos for sale, but it will have several units, a garage, and a penthouse. On the other side of the street, where a long defunt Moraga Market has been little more than place to try out graffiti tags and dump unwanted sofas, construction is also in the works. The lot has sold, a hearing has taken place. All that’s left is to break ground.

Finally, quite done are the condos on 7th Ave., near Irving St. The photo above is from before the facades were placed. Now they are gorgeous Art Deco looking things with burnished copper and huge windows. The agent, Gary Small of Zephyr, tells me that the units are luxury one and two bedroom condos with underground parking, and that the two free-standing cottages that stood in a lot behind the building that sits on the street have been revamped. Some lucky millionare can thus own a little house all his or her own!

It’s the most action the Inner-Sunset has seen since a bunch of drunks from the Mucky Duck tried to scale a MUNI train. Sadly for we middle income buyers, the luxury condo lable means these new homes, exciting though they are, will not be ours.

Oh well. Drinking at the Mucky Duck is always an alternative.

PHOTO: Socketsite

A Worse Punishment for Sisyphus: Policing Noise in a Metropolis

Hello out there, theFrontStep Readers! You may (or just as likely, may not) know my name from my blogs for Redfin. I’ve kindly been invited to write also for theFrontSteps, so here I am, on the steps, with my first blog.

So here’s the setting: last night, 2:00am, sultry night, people walking up from the bars, falling down, giggling. That noise doesn’t bother me much. I’d have to be a hypocrite if I tried to pretend I’ve never, after closing time, made too much noise under someone’s window as I staggered home. But another noise does bother me: some a-hole flooring his car and slamming on the breaks as he reaches the stop sign in front of my house. Then, from fully stationary, he floods the car again, tyring to go from zero to sixty instantaneously. Then he screeches off, circles the block, and comes back to do it again.

But we all live in a city. We can’t really expect quiet, can we? We can hope for it, and maybe in some areas, get it most of the time. But in the end, we’re sharing with a lot of people, some of them loud and possibly crazy. That’s why this new law aiming to curb SF noise interests me.