Gentrification Of San Francisco | One Perspective

I think it’s important everybody living in and around, moving to and moving from San Francisco watch, and listen to this one point of view as to what is going on in our city.

The implications of the insane real estate market that is upon us are real, on all levels. Everybody (not just the buyer and seller) is being impacted by the pros and cons of absurd real estate prices. Be kind, respect your neighbors, and consider everyone’s situation independently, not as a whole. Put yourselves in the shoes of the tenant, the buyer, the property owner, the developer, the parents, the children, the tech pioneers, and the city’s workers…This is a slippery slope, proceed with kindness, and a respect for human decency and all will not be lost.

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.

Recently, some clients of mine cashed in their chips on the San Francisco tables, bought a farm (no loan / no joke) in Portland, Oregon, and couldn’t be happier. As it turns out, their Realtor used to live here in San Francisco, taught English at SF State, wrote for Curbed, SF Gate, and occasionally theFrontSteps. She too cashed in her chips four years ago to discover how great life is outside of this city we all think we love so much, and she’s going to be writing a column about it here, for all of us to ponder. So, without further adieu, please welcome the first of many good blogs by Anna…

Hello San Francisco! Welcome to my personal blog series: The grass is greener in Portland, OR. You know, it really is- because it, like, rains here. And not as much as you may have heard, either. Weather reports of gloomy, moldy winters are exaggerated, probably by Portlanders themselves who wish to keep new people away and property values manageable. This of course is a pipe dream (we just legalized marijuana, by the way, so such dreams are more intense than ever); CNN Money projects Oregon as one of the most moved-to locations in the country—and it has been in the number 2 spot for the last 4 years. And Portland itself is on fire : as one of our biggest metro areas (for jobs, education, and population in general), new residents are arriving in droves here, pushing rents and home values higher.

So what does this mean to you, SF? I used to be you, so let me speak as one who knows. Portland now is a lot like SF then. You know the “then” I mean: pre-Twitter, Google bus, and Yelp, pre-median rents for a 1 BR at over $3000. San Francisco has become more expensive and crowded than ever, and many people I know who still live in the city complain of pricey new construction abounding, commuter traffic worse than ever, and a feeling of culture slipping away.

As a Realtor in Portland, I have had 6 clients in the past year from San Francisco, relocating to Portland for: more kid friendly environment, easier school system negotiations, less expensive real estate, better support for artists, less traffic, easier parking, more land available for gardening, and a “slower lifestyle.”

Portland can provide all that, along with the cool, educated, arty, intelligent, fairly liberal and certainly eco-minded sensibilities I associate with the San Francisco I fell in love with two decades ago. And check this out: your home in San Francisco is likely worth $900K or better. Lots better. Perhaps you read the recent SFGate article about the city’s dearth of listings leading to over-bidding madness? Here, the median home price for Dec of 2014 to mid-March, 2015 is $304K. Do you see the difference? It’s kinda ginormous. Believe me: You can go up to something uber-luxurious and spend less than $700K; or go modest and enjoy a big, beautiful home with a yard and parking, spending less than $500K. The below 4 bed, 2 bath is listed at $390,999 in inner SE Portland.

Check out this one, listing at $347,500- a sweet, well-located 2/1 with garage and separate quarters in back.

See? You can spend less than $350K and have an actual house. With a yard. And a garage! What will you do with the cash you save? How about save it? Or spend it: on anything other than your mortgage.

This blog will highlight then the pros and (to be fair) cons of selling your place in SF and moving to where the grass truly is greener. I’ll highlight properties I think might appeal to you, clients I help make the transition, and answer any questions any of you might have about making the move. And on the other end, Alex can help with anything you might wonder about the SF side of things: what your home is worth (lots); how long it will take to sell (a couple of days); what you need to do to get your place ready for market (varies).

Please feel free to post comments or questions- or story ideas even. From PDX to SF, with love.

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Anna Erwert

Comment Du Jour: From San Francisco Shack To Seattle Mid Century For Under $650,000

When readers comment, we listen…

Abuseintake writes in reaction to the $401,000 Overbid at 235 28th Street in Noe Valley:

…moved from a $750,000 2 bed, 1 bath shack in Dogpatch and bought a 2,800 sq.ft, 3 bed, 2 3/4 bath mid-century split-level with a stunning view, for $645,000…in Seattle. You can keep SFO.

Abuseintake took it one step further to share some comparable properties in his/her area of Seattle, should you be so inclined to peruse them.

Sounds like a good time to sell and wander for you San Francisco residents pondering a move to greener pastures.

Just sayin’…

-<a href="“Maximum Overbid Of the Week: 235 28th Street, Noe Valley [theFrontSteps]

John Muir Would Be Proud & Your Hipster Friends Would Be Envious

Nestled among old growth Redwoods practically smack dab in the middle of Napa and Sonoma, this property is your ticket out of the city, and into serenity.

Picture yourself walking among old growth Redwoods, coffee in hand, the sound of a creek rustling by, deer crossing your path, sun shining through the towering trees, a warm breeze blowing by, and nobody around…for miles. No taxis, no buses, no trash, no fog, no nothing…just nature. Sounds great, right? Here’s the catch.

4520 Redwood Road, Napa, CA (45)

It needs work…quite a bit of work. BUT! With a little creativity, vision, and patience, 4520 Redwood Road, Napa could be made into your very own, unique, escape, different from all of your friends’ typical Napa or Sonoma Vineyard homes.

For $275,000 you could practically steal the property, tear down the structure, go minimal by throwing up a pre-fab,

or shipping container made mostly of glass, put your bathroom in the woods (surround it in glass too, nobody will see you), put a “Beware of Dog” sign on your very own bridge (even if you don’t have a dog), and live the life you simply can’t do here in San Francisco. Secluded. Away. Off the grid.

John Muir would be proud of you for escaping the city and living in the woods. Your friends would envy you. AirBNB or VRBO could fund you. And your hipster status would be off the charts!

And when you get tired of it…it’s only an hour’s drive to come back.

Ahh…serenity now…

4520 Redwood Rd, Napa, CA $275,000 [MLS]

Happy Holidays From My $75,000,000 Weekend Retreat At Lake Tahoe!

Make no mistake, it’s been a crazy busy market for me and a lot of my colleagues. It’s okay…as it has afforded me the luxury to spend Christmas and likely the New Year enjoying all that Tahoe has to offer from the comfort of my new weekend retreat. It’s not all that I wanted, but it will do until I can find something a little more grand:

Happy Holidays! Thanks again for your continued support and all of you wonderful people that have taken the steps to work with me. See you in 2013!!

Wanderlust: Big Sur 20 Acre Estate Edition


It’s easy to get lost in thought from this description. Especially coming from the urban jungle we call home here in San Francisco.

Located on Clear Ridge in the heart of Big Sur, this stunning redwood and glass, 3,100 sq. ft. private residence is perfect for family getaways and romantic get-togethers. A peaceful retreat home with vaulted ceilings and skylights, overlooking its own 20-acre meadow, valley and ocean view. No visible neighbors but the deer, a seasonal pond, mature redwoods, oaks, sycamore and other native trees. Private walking trail, ancient redwood-lined stream, large octagonal deck with centerpiece fire pit and natural seating…

You can meet me there. Looks like there is room for all of us. ‘Tis the season of giving and sharing after all…

Big Sur 20 Acre Estate Vacation Rental []

So You Wanna Post A Picture Of You Skiing Powder On Your Facebook…How ‘Bout We Just Tell Them All The Truth

So how is the snow up in Tahoe…I mean really?

As many of you know, I fancy myself a bit of a skier. I watch the weather like a hawk, I have multiple websites and friends I refer to for snow reports, radar imagery, forecasts, and après ski hangouts. If I can, I play hooky from San Francisco real estate any time there is even a hint of a storm. It’s why we live here, and it keeps me sane after countless hours of negotiating, touring property, and talking about real estate.

There is a lot of hype in the San Francisco Bay Area right now about the storm that just blew threw, and the one that is rolling in as we speak, so I thought I’d give you the honest to goodness (don’t post this on Facebook, because it isn’t gloat worthy) truth. It is bony!!! So many rocks! All over the place. Even with the 20″ Mt. Rose just received, it is essentially on top of nothing. If you think Squaw and Alpine have it any better, you’re wrong. Reports I received today from friends that skied there today can be summed up in two words, “It sucked.” There is no base.

If you come up for this round of snow, do not expect to be able to rip pow like you see in the movies or may have done last year. Expect to see a nice line of freshies, point it, and ski it as hard, but tender as you possibly can for fear of what is lurking below. Rocks, stumps, trees, you name it. It’s all just barely under the snow and ready to grab you.

These are what the bases of my skis look like after today. You’ll notice a few core shots.

Anything under two feet of fresh, and you might as well stay home in San Francisco and call this year a bust. If they get three or more feet, it will be a different ball-game, and I will owe all of you that read this and stayed home a beer, because that will mean more cold smoke pow for me!

Hah hah!

In all seriousness, if you find yourself up this way, give me a shout and we’ll take some turns and discuss real estate on da lift!

Woohoo! It’s snowing!

…but it is rocky, very rocky, and insanely windy, so don’t be surprised if a lot of resorts are on wind lockdown tomorrow (Wednesday).

…but…Woohoo! It’s Snowing!

[Update 2/29 @ 21:30 hrs: Snow at Alpine Meadows is really, really good. Go there!]

More Reasons We Live Here [theFrontSteps]
I’m Gonna Have To Call You Back The Next Coupla Days…I’ll Be In Meetings [theFrontSteps]

Wanderlust: $369,000, 3 Beds, 30 Minutes To Skiing In Salt Lake City

It should come as no surprise to those of you that read theFrontSteps on a regular basis, but to those that don’t, I often get stricken with a heavy case of wanderlust. My mind starts to wander, my heart starts to race, and my imagination goes heavy into “what if” mode. Today is no exception.

Although we all like to imagine the “what if” of being the buyer throwing down $28,000,000 for this one of a kind St. Regis Penthouse, the fact is, most of us think about the “what if” of buying a reasonably priced home in San Francisco. The reality is, reasonably priced doesn’t really exist here, because everything is crazy expensive. So as I sit and search places around the country where it just might be snowing, because Tahoe is bone dry, I came across this killer little house in Salt Lake City, Utah with 3 bedrooms, a nice modern kitchen, yard, location smack dab in Salt Lake’s hip 9th and 9th area, and a price tag of only $369,000.

So it’s with a link to that property, and an imagination to days of bluebird skies and 10 feet of fresh snow that I leave you and this computer (or mobile device), and head on up to Alta to score some epic hard pack under bright grey skies.

Happy New Year to all of you! Let your imagination run wild in 2012!

Salt Lake City Home For Sale, $369,000