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 reader spies…more copper siding porn! (4588 17th Street)

From a reader, with “love”, another view of the much talked about development on the corner of 17th & Clayton:

Ahhh shucks…I can’t resist:

Dear Alex,

I took your advice from your recent tour and checked out Cole Valley and went up to Tank Hill and took this photo for you, because I noticed in the pictures on your tour this property in the distance. I hope you like it.

BTW, I LOVE all the information you provide with SF newsletter, Front Steps (.com and .org) and especially the tour. The tour is WAY more fun to do after reading you talk about it, and way more fun to get in the car than using Google or Mapjack. I highly recommend buyers get out and drive their prospective neighborhoods like you suggest. Keep up the good work!


If you keep sending emails like that, with referral included like you did (and photos nonetheless), how can I not “keep up the good work” by publishing your photo?

For the record and all to remember, this site is nothing without you, or the “the” in theFrontSteps. ;-)


p.s. Please send the updated photo when all that copper turns green.

Ask Us: Cole Valley in general

Where readers ask and we try to answer:

Can I ask your professional opinion on Cole Valley in general?

I am concerned about the SF market even though it hasn’t been that bad. Not sure if another shoe will be dropping. I am not interested in selling, but am looking to buy out the other 50% share of a house in Cole Valley from a family member.

Since we already own half, it seems like we would be ahead of the game. I just wanted to ask you as a real estate professional. I noticed that an old bungalow house in the 1500 block of Shrader with 2 bedrooms went for 1.2 million. I think I must be missing something on this because that is out of this world.

I’m not quite sure exactly which bungalow house you are referring to, but here are two comps in the 1500 block that might fit the bill. Like I said in the email to you privately, it’s hard to give accurate assessments and professional opinions without seeing the property, but generally speaking Cole Valley is a very solid investment and someplace I wouldn’t be too concerned about a catastrophic decline in that area.

I’m hoping the readers can shed some more light on the matter for you. Anyone?

Thanks for reading and thanks for your email.

Cole Valley [Tour de San Francisco (real estate)]

San Francisco Real Estate watch: SF Chronicle’s recipe for fear [theFrontSteps]

Tis the season of giving…from sfnewsletter

We stole the sfnewsletter code for their last “cocktail” issue, because they apparently kill old issues each week. Since we just linked to it and now learn it won’t be there, we pasted it here. Make sense? Happy Holidays.


Charts, Data, Trends

In a nutshell, our market has definitely been hit by all the doom and gloom. Not nearly to the extent you’re reading in the papers, but there is a lot of hesitation for a lot of people. On the other hand, there are some that have been on the sidelines for so long, they’ve found now the perfect time to get in the mix. A+ properties are still selling quickly, the south end of town (district 10) has been hit hardest by the foreclosures, and the gazillionaires really don’t care what the rest of the country thinks…they’re snatching up multi-million dollar trophy homes like they’re candy canes. The new developments are still selling very well, and general interest in San Francisco as a place to live and own property is still healthy. We’re anxious to see what 2008 will bring, more cold wind, or a sea of change? We’ll let you know.


You thought these were dead? So did we…to an extent. But they still exist and this one quite frankly blew our mind.

4924 17th St, a beautifully remodeled 3 bed, 3.5 bath home was asking $3,600,000 and sold for $3,900,000 on 12/10/07. The marketing remarks say it all, and give us an indication of what may have happened, “Attention Pacific Heights Buyers this is the home you have been waiting for.” Don’t get us wrong, 17th Street is a great area, but the traffic is through the roof and this was a significant sale for Parnassus/Ashbury Heights. We’ll take a gin and tonic thanks, and on to the next discussion…365 Richland a nice 4 bed, 2 bath Craftsman in Bernal Heights…asking $899,000 and selling for $955,000.

STOP! Look closer. This property was originally listed at $999,000 and didn’t sell. They dropped the price to $899,000 and look where it ended up…$955,000. This is what you need to know about our market…it’s still ticking along, and once the price gets to that “competitive” range, you can expect multiple offers and often an above asking sales price. The most important thing in this market is pricing, and we used to say staging, but apparently pink is no bother to some. ;-) Whiskey sour will do just fine.


You’ve been there before, as have we, and it goes something like this, “You don’t live in SOMA, you’re in South Beach!” Or, “I live in Russian Hill.” “No you don’t, you live on Nob Hill.” Print this out, take it to the party, throw some darts at it, and bet some egg nog on your knowledge.

Available at ORK Posters, found via Curbed SF.


Readers love it, Realtors hate it…our monthly list of Stalefish. What’s a Stalefish you ask? It’s simply a property that has been on the market 100+ days. Deals, deals, deals!

But what’s a Stalefish Tank without pointing out some big fish? We’ve already told you about 300 Sea Cliff.

But there are so many more Stalefish to note…we’ll take four shots of tequila please, and move on…Are you fortunate enough to have your inlaws joining you for the holidays (ahem!)? Well, when you’re walking off all that holiday gluttony, you might take them on a nice walk up to Coit Tower. When they pause to catch their breath, and take in the breathtaking views from 115 Telegraph Hill Blvd, you’ll sound so in the know when you point out that this lot could be theirs for a mere $4,000,000.

Earn extra points when you inform them it’s quite stale at somewhere around 900 days on market, and has only seen one price reduction from $4.5M in the life of the listing. Something tells us there are either some skeletons hiding in that closet, or a seller that really doesn’t care to sell. We’ll need to chase those tequila shots with four Coronas, lime and salt please.


There is a lot of talk these days about a jolly white bearded man who lives in the North Pole, and so we thought we’d try to find you a home next to him that you can discuss over a tasty mojito. Well… we couldn’t find anything that said, “Be neighbors with Santa”, but we did find a home that, once there, tells you where to go: 3563 Go Thatta Way, North Pole, AK. We kid you not. It exists and it’s for sale for $119,900.

Since we’re on the subject of the northernmost points, we thought we’d add that upon hours of searching for the perfect North Pole home to run in this week’s sfnewsletter, we also learned that Barrow, Alaska is about as desolate as they get, and way further north than North Pole, AK. However, we’ll still take an overpriced home in San Francisco over anything in either of those towns any day. But…it’s still fun to look, and it makes an Irish Coffee that much more appealing.


This one just came to us from Marin (Belvedere to be exact), so we’re hastily throwing it up, but stuck pondering the possibilities of back flips we could perform into that pool. Apparently, this home is now in contract for the asking price of $65M after three years on the market. Stocking stuffer perhaps?

Mining Magnate sets $65M Sale [Wall Street Journal]

What’s the square footage on that, and why’s it missing?

by Kenny, verbatim:

This post is to question a common practice in the SF market. That is the practice of intentionally leaving the lot and block numbers (apn) information out of the MLS listing, entering instead 9999999 or else intentionally running the numbers into one another so that the hyperlink won’t load. I understand why listing agents do it. They don’t want people to see the tax information’s recorded square footage. Often the real square footage has been increased and the tax records don’t show it. Whether it was legally done or not, whether the permits have been signed off on yet, etc., all these factors probably play into the listing agent not including the information. Nobody wants to see lawsuits fly over mistaken square footage advertisements. But is that all there is to it? I don’t think so.

I think this is something that needs to stop, immediately. Can’t people communicate what the real story is in a safe manner? Seems like people don’t give other people enough credit sometimes. Also, I find it particularly shameful when listing agents intentionally leave out the apn numbers just because the house is small. Hey, don’t list it for so much money if it’s a tiny place!

Here’s one: 23 Belmont in Parnassus/Ashbury Heights

I looked it up. The tax info actually reads 1750 square feet. That would put this property at $1485 a foot for area 5-E [Parnassus/Ashbury Heights]. That’s way more than the average 5-E property. Even the best stuff in 5-E goes for around $1000 a foot. And smaller properties usually can trend higher in dollars per square foot, but not $485 higher. So I see why they did it. But come on.

Can consumers see the apn info on the public access MLS page? Do you guys all know what I’m talking about?