Our Blog

Hatchbeat: September’s Full House of San Francisco Real Estate: Kevin’s Hatchbeat Column

SEPTEMBER 2015

Suddenly It’s September 

September is the time when SF real estate picks up. This one may be different than others as global forces impact what happens in our neighborhoods

Full House of Dollars

Would the Full House family be able to live in Alamo Square these days?

SF Median Sale Prices from July 15-August 30, 2015

Source: SFAR MLS

By: Kevin K. Ho, ESQ., Vanguard Properties

Originally appearing in the September 2015 edition of the Hatchbeat, a San Francisco neighborhood newsletter serving Alamo Square, NoPa, Hayes Valley, the Haight and more.

In many other parts of the country summer is the busy time for real estate. By the time fall comes, real estate quiets down. Not so in San Francisco. Real estate transactions pick up in the fall here; we suppose it’s because everyone is back from vacation or because the weather is nicer. Anyway, recent global and financial events may make the upcoming autumn more eventful than in years past.

  • An ode to a Chinese-made Greek urn… erm, will financial market swings impact SF home prices?

Not really/Maybe. A few of our buyers asked us if recent stock market corrections would allow them to get a discount on homes they each wanted. We said we doubted it. Nevertheless, these buyers thought they were being tactical when they chose to discount their offer bid amounts. Both those buyers lost out to higher (multiple) offers. Each would have won the property in question if they made a correctly priced offer. In other words, there shouldn’t be any price relief for buyers.

  • You cannot live in a stock, bond or mutual fund

More people may see real estate as a useful hedge against market risk… again. We said this a lot during the Great Recession, but it bears repeating: real estate is a great hedge against market turbulence as everyone needs a place to live and there are not only financial benefits from home ownership but you could also potentially earn rent off of your property. This may have the impact of increasing demand for real estate, which could drive prices up somewhat.

  • Interest rates will go up, but probably later than September

Act now… while you still have the chance. Everyone expects interest rates for mortgages to rise before too long. Recent market fluctuations may push that increase off until December which gives buyers a chance to lock-in extremely low mortgage rates for the next 30 years. This has the impact of potentially locking down a property for years to come. But in the short term, this may mean there will be more activity this fall with buyers pushing their budgets higher. Why? Here’s the logic: buyer purchase power is still strong today so financing a larger purchase price at a lower interest rate is viewed as being better than financing a lower-priced offer at a higher interest rate in the future as you’ll be paying more principal with a lower interest rate than a higher one.

  • Realtors matter and good ones will save you money and heartache

Every property is different, which makes having a professional more vital than ever. As alluded to above us realtors really take our clients’ interests to heart. Many of our clients benefit from our advice about property value. One couple closed on a downtown condominium recently and we found out that the backup offer behind us (which came in too late) was $100,000 above ours and was all-cash. Needless to say, our buyers were happy as they have instant equity. On the other hand, we had potential sellers ignore our specific prep and marketing plan by entrusting vital design choices to their contractor. That property now has four shades of clashing white paint in just one room. There’s also clashing crown molding painted sea-foam green and white kitchen countertops with embedded reflective confetti bits. These poor choices have harmed the property’s value by $200,000-$400,000 we believe. The property now presents a good opportunity for a buyer to get a steal of a deal.

  • What will $700,000 buy you at 555 Fulton?

How far does a dollar go these days? If you’re looking for new construction these days the most obvious choice is the big new development at 555 Fulton Street where 1-bedroom condo units without parking are selling for about $700,000 a piece depending on views. But if new construction isn’t your cup of tea, take a look at what’s selling in the neighborhood and in the City generally.

8 Octavia breaks price records in Hayes Valley — On The Block — but value remains

The first few condos from the Stanley Saitowitz-designed 8 Octavia started coming to market in July, and are already breaking pricing records for Hayes Valley, according to a recent post from SocketSite. The developer told the local real-estate blog that the condos have been selling for over $1,300 per square foot for the top-end units on the upper floors of the 47-unit development, with about one-third of the brand-new building’s 40 market-rate units now in contract. The other seven will be sold through the city’s below-market lottery system.But as above, not so below. While the upper-floor units have been breaking records, a lower-floor unit has actually been adjusted downward to “target a more value conscious buyer.”

via 8 Octavia breaks price records in Hayes Valley – On The Block.

Kevin’s Open House Picks of the Weekend: March 21-23, 2014, 1st Weekend of Spring Edition

There are just 92 new listings new to the MLS from Thursday into Friday with 10 listings coming back on the market during that time and 366 scheduled open houses in San Francisco this weekend.

There are A LOT of single family homes that have caught my eye this week. Yes, many of them are at the high end, but others are in the middle and there are fixers among them too.

There a fixer with a potential in Eureka Valley at 4540 19th Street listed for $1.495M, a cute, drop-dead views of SF home near Dolores Park at 293 Cumberland that could use a garage installation listed at $1.7M and there’s also an interesting Victorian/Cottage project-building at 3 Laussat Street listed for just $875,000.  In the theme of large homes: there’s a chic, large Noe Valley, eco-friendly, 2012-renovated home with 2 car garage, radiant heat, solar panels, yard, open floor plan, and extra deep 114’ lot at 257 29th Street listed for a modest $2.995M. A pair of smaller Noe Valley houses, one at 369 Valley and another seemingly small-looking-but-larger home is located at 1515 Noe. A little to the west is a nice 4 bedroom home at 265 Kensington with 4 parking spaces near West Portal and St. Francis Wood for $1.2M. For a large stunner nearer the coast, take a look at 160 San Marcos, a Forest Knolls 3500+sqft new 2014-built 3 bed, 3.5 bath, den, elevator and 2-car garage with high-end finishes. And for you Liberty Hill fans, there’s a Victorian fixer that’s been used as a 2-unit building with more than 13 rooms and a 1-car garage located at 4121 20th Street listed for $1.7M between Noe and Castro Streets that will be delivered vacant at close of escrow that has scores of possibilities. For an updated craftsman in Glen Park take a look at another chic renovation at 264 Surrey. There’s a vacant 2-unit building over at 27th and Dolores at 171 27th Street that also offers a lot of possibilities too that’s being sold as a 2-unit building or separate TICs.  And over in the eastern parts of San Francisco, there’s that ‘perfect’ air-conditioned 1 story Victorian at 878 Hampshire listed for just $1.2M, a stunner of a 2800-sqft newly renovated home at 1164 De Haro in Potrero listed at $2.25M.

For condos, I really like 1070 Guerrero, which is a modern 2-level LEED condo built recently with 3 bedrooms that has that chic white-wall, broad plank, tall-ceiling feel of a modern and urban home located among historic houses near the Mission Dolores corridor, listed at $1.5M. In the vicinity sits 942 South Van Ness Avenue, a 2009-built 3 Bed, 3.5 Bath, condo with nearly 1900 sqft of living area listed for $1.359M. The Onyx SF over at De Haro and 17th Street new condos are now open. Other condos that look interesting are a clutch in the South Beach area (200 Brannan, the Brannan across the street). There is a cute condo on Dehon Street, right near 16th Street and Sanchez that comes with parking, character and light at 14 Dehon that is worth a look as are the listings at the Arterra, 175  Bluxome and 177 Townsend for smaller condos/lofts as are the ones at 1310 Minnesota and 1800 Bryant.

And as for 2+ unit buildings, the three-unit building at 357 Sanchez at 16th Street in the Castro near Duboce Park is finally open to the public and is being sold as an entire building or individual TICs. In the Inner Mission area, a three-unit building at 2331 Bryant is open as is the stunningly huge Queen Anne home at 955 S. Van Ness is open as is the lovely 2-unit building at 728 Clayton near Cole Valley.

For the complete list of the 31 pages of open houses I flagged for San Francisco, click here. And to search all open houses in the City, click here.

 

Kevin’s Picks and Updates of the Week for San Francisco Real Estate 2/2/13 Ed.

Go Niners (next week)! Go See Your Next House on Saturday or Early Sunday

GO NINERS! (Bet of the Week: Niners, by 6)

Hello! Happy Weekend!. Welcome to Kevin’s Open House Picks of the Week — although this week I’m picking our 49ers. 

Just a year ago interest rates for 30-year fixed mortgages averaged 4.18% This year they are averaging 3.5% while the median price for San Francisco residential properties has shot up 39% since then. While that median price is a hard number to rely upon because inventory has changed — fewer foreclosures, lower inventory generally — one certainty is that interest rates will float down like a feather but will shoot up like a rocket and fast. And with the recovery starting nationally the risks of inflation will almost certainly lead to interest rate hikes. So while prices are higher, your overall cost and tradeoff between having more money today on hand versus money tomorrow or a decade from now can be measured by whether or not you get to make that assessment from your home.

Today’s market demands decisive action. Bidding $20,000 or $30,000 over an asking price — itself an inaccurate almost irrelevant value — is almost pointless and expected. In fact, we’ve started to see what they do in New York: the “suggested price.” Remember, market value only equals what someone (hopefully not someone else) is willing to pay for a property, which explains price flexibility especially if a property is not listed on the MLS. In fact, there is thinking that a third of property that will change hands in 2013 will be done off-market; all the more reason to have someone plugged in like me working for you.

Listing Sneak Peeks

(as overheard/shared by my colleagues)
I’ve been pounding the pavement, making calls and carefully listening to learn about new opportunities for you all before others do so you can get a head start.

  1. 24th and Dolores – Stunning renovation of two condominiums from a former single-family house. Won’t last long. Stunning views, high-end finishes, solid and quality construction. 1101 Dolores St. Lower unit 1.5 million upper at $1.995 million. Upper has four bedrooms, two and half-bath and 2300 ft.² (sold at +15% to an exclusive appointment client. Lower home has three bedrooms two baths with Cornerview at 1800 ft.² each comes with a parking space and it essentially new construction. Exclusive appointments only.
  2. 160A Linda Street @19th Street, 2-Bed/2 Bath 1 Bed/1Bath, TIC home in lottery, expected in January, February, pre-sale possible, middle unit, recently remodeled and sold (2010), expected list price range: $479k–$525k
  3. 486 Chestnut, Three new condos, 2 or 3 bedrooms with 1 to 2 parking spaces each, at least 1600 sq ft each expected, priced from $1.6M to $2.1M are coming on the market in January [construction delay]. It’s a rare to find something new in this area at all. See more: https://1456chestnut.com
  4. 2069 Green Street @ Webster, 3-Bed/3 Bath Pacific Heights Condo with parking and 3000+ sq ft., good light & garden access, expected list price range: $1.695M
  5. 1610 Sacramento at Polk, Nob Hill condos, eight recently renovated condos, each with independent parking spaces, 2 beds, 2 baths each either at 1150 sq ft or 1500 sq ft, prices range from $900k – $1.3M on within a week. [Staged this week, one already in contract].
  6. 96 6th Ave at Lake, 1 Bed, 1 Bath, + den, 6 unit bldg, Edwardian, great period details. Leased parking $150/month, Fireplace, wood floor, $400/month HOAs, wood floors, west facing, off market as sellers will deliver at the end of the year. Expected price: $675,000.
  7. 1653 Golden Gate, tic converting into 3 Bed/ 1.50 bath, 1800 sq ft, restored and upgraded top-of-the line, 7 rooms south-facing garden view.; price TBD, prob $800k – $900k+ (on this weekend or next)
  8. 1880 Steiner, 2 Bed/2Bath, 1 pkg second floor, at Post, nice layout with nice light, comfortable, fireplace, wood floors, built in 2002, 39 units altogether, around 1000 sq ft expected 1st week of Feb. Anticipated list price: $779,000 on next week
  9. 601 Van Ness #1132 1bd condo, opera plaza, $439k
  10. 627 Castro, top-floor TIC unit, 3 Beds, 2 Bath (1 is en suite) 2 parking spaces (!) recently renovated Edwardian flat, with 1600 sq ft. approx.
  11. top-shelf remodel, 2 fireplace, open kitchen, speakers in ceiling, new overhead light fixtures, small patio, restoration hardware finishes, garage parking, great location. List price $1.25M. Open to the public shortly thereafter and who knows what it will sell for and how long it will last. Seller is willing to take an offer now.
  12. 355 Buena Vista Ave, #301, 1 bed, 1 bath, extra storage, TWO parking space, condo, 774 sq ft, HOA dues around $400/month, expected list price $599k
  13. 352 Richland at Andover, Bernal Heights single family home fixer with APPROVED, shovel-ready plans for a 2300 sq ft expansion/addition to an otherwise large 1 Bedroom, 1 Bath, deep lot with yard, listed at $795k. Listed this week generally on MLS.
  14. 86 Wool St, Single Family Home at Eugenia Ave — 3 bed, 2.5 bath, 2 car, 1800 sq ft, was on the market last summer as a fixer, now it’s just about complete with high-end finishes and remodel. Expected list price $1.5M
  15. Noe Valley, Single-family House on Jersey St, between Noe & Sanchez, 290 Jersey, with AMAZING finishes; Previously 2 unit-probate at Jersey and Sanchez – now a stunning single-family home – 4 bedrooms (3 on same level); 3.5 bathrooms; formal living & dining; gourmet kitchen with family room / eat-in area; media room with wet-bar and adjacent outdoor living space with fire pit, garden and parking. Suggested list price in the $2.8’s. Shown by appointment only this Sunday, seller would love for Vanguard to sell the property and willing to take advance offers before going to open market.
  16. 994 Corbett near Market/Portola, it’s improved (perhaps over-improved, which means more value for you). Single family with 4 levels, w/ elevator, 3000 sq ft, master suite level with deck overlooking the city, fire place, steam sauna, infinity tub with views, master walk-in with chandelier, then three other levels with another 2-4 bedrooms depending on how you configure each floor. Decks on each. Excellent finishes and remodel. Radiant heat. Wood floors throughout. The kitchen is, well, wow, viking, gas range, custom wine fridge in addition to full-length refrigerator and freezer, two dining rooms, two sitting rooms, family rooms, workout room. Each person gets their own level. There’s a place to plugin your electric vehicle, the views are stunning, Anyway, it’s off market for a while and the list price now is $2.9M. Sellers are willing to negotiate.
  17. 537 Natoma @ Russ, 13 new construction condos, 9 2Bd/2Ba, 4 1Bd/1Ba, 850 sq ft–1100 sq ft, elevator building, all with parking, ready soon with exclusive for Vanguard agents and their clients. Expected price range $525k–$799k
  18. Oak & Baker, 5-unit building, with one renovated owner’s unit with 3-4 units some delivered vacant, excellent redevelopment opportunity, expected $1.8M–$2.0M
  19. Bryant & 1st Street, 3 Bed, 3 Bath, penthouse suite that combined two units into a space with more than 2500 sq ft with 2 parking spaces, 2 fireplaces decks, bridge and water views, expected list price: $2.7M
  20. 25th St & Castro, 2002-built 2 level, 3 bedroom, 3.5 Baths, upper unit that’s big and spacious with decks, sauna in a luxe building, tenant-occupied until Aug 1, expected list price $2M.
  21. 14th and Valencia, 411 Valencia, 1 bedroom, 4th floor, new construction condo, no parking, expected at $550,000.

In addition to my Picks of the Week, Advances and Exclusives, I thought you’d be interested to see how things ended up with previously listed properties. So without further ado:

 

Stories of the Week:

  1. 310 Townsend, a big one bedroom loft in that historic restoration building next to CalTrain, that was listed at $799,000 went in to the $800,000s — for a one bedroom!
  2. 2776 Golden Gate, a 2 unit building with one unit being tenant-occupied was listed at $999,000, received 6 offers and will close nearly 20% over the asking price.
  3. 1015 Florida, the single family home in need of some TLC in the hot Inner Mission area, listed at $665,000, received at least 14 offers and entered escrow at a “substantial” amount over the asking price.
  4. 1610 Sacramento, 3 bedroom Nob Hill condos with more than 1200 sq ft, which was exclusively previewed last weekend to Vanguard agents and their clients, already has the top-floor unit in contract at more than $1,000 a sq ft.
  5. 411 Valencia, the last 2-bedroom condo available went into contract over its asking price of $759,000 with multiple offers.

Extras: Access various reference resources — including my exclusive 60-page User Guide on how to navigate real estate successfully in San Francisco for buyers and sellers at www.kevinho.org Ask me for reference materials via Dropbox. And see pictures of many the homes I preview for you at Photobucket or on iCloud or YouTube.

This week there seems to be a lot of single-family homes and larger condos at the $2M price point. I’ve always said that the $2.3M – $2.9M price point is the perfect price in SF as you’ll get the most ideal home, or amenity-filled condo in areas like Pac Heights/Marina, South Beach (condo), Noe Valley/Eureka Valley, Haight (single family homes) Also we’re seeing more fixers pop on to the market too. So, take a look here and also be sure to go to www.kevinho.org to see the upcoming broker tour sheet for Tuesday.

My business comes from you and yours, so please feel free to pass this along to your friends, colleagues, pet walkers, etc. Thanks! Kevin Ho

Picks of the Week

 TAKE NOTE: Many of the open houses this weekend are on Saturday or are EARLIER on SUNDAY.

(a .pdf version will appear when clicked)

Kevin’s Open Picks of the Week: Open Houses & News You Can Use: Golden 49ers Ed., Jan 19-20, 2013

Inaugurate This: Go 49ers! Go See Homes Saturday (or Sunday if You’re Not Into that Kind of Thing)

Lots of targeted opportunities have come on the market this week that have universal appeal nonetheless. A pair of fixers in Bernal a Victorian in Anza Vista and the offer date for curb-appeal-with-great location on 19th Street is Monday, the 21st. Take a look at the Sneak Peeks and the Where are they Now Section below to see that the market wave here in SF is starting off strongly:

Listing Sneak Peeks & Noteworthy

(as overheard/shared by my colleagues)

  • 627 Castro at 19th St, Castro, top-floor TIC of a 3-unit building, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths (one, en suite), 2 parking spaces (!) recently renovated Edwardian flat, with 1600 sq ft. approx.  2 fireplaces, killer location, amazing yard and surrounding neighbor yards that look like a forest. Seller will pre-sell, fantastic Restoration Hardware finishes, coffer/tray ceilings, new lighting, garage .  Expected list price is $1.250M. Call me to arrange showing with the listing agents.
  • 352 Richland at Andover, Bernal Heights single family home fixer with APPROVED, shovel-ready plans for a 2300 sq ft expansion/addition to an otherwise large 1 Bedroom, 1 Bath, deep lot with yard, listed at $795k. Listed next week generally on MLS.
  • 355 Buena Vista Ave, #301, 1 bed, 1 bath, extra storage, TWO parking space, condo, 774 sq ft, HOA dues around $400/month, expected list price $599k
  • 1610 Sacramento, Nob Hill condos, eight recently renovated condos, each with independent parking spaces, 2 beds, 2 baths each either at 1150 sq ft or 1500 sq ft, prices range from $900k – $1.3M on within a week.
  • 4077 17th Street, top-floor condo, great location, 2 or 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, top-floor, price range $1.0M+, within 2-3 weeks.
  • 24th and Dolores – Stunning renovation of two condominiums from a former single-family house. Won’t last long. Stunning views, high-end finishes, solid and quality construction. 1101 Dolores St. Lower unit 1.5 million upreared at $1.995 million. Upper has four bedrooms, two and half-bath and 2300 ft.² lower home has three bedrooms two baths with Cornerview at 1800 ft.² each comes with a parking space and it essentially new construction. Coming Soon.
  • NEW Construction on Natoma Street Btwen 6th and 7th Street at 537 Natoma  13 new construction condos, 9 2Bd/2Ba, 4 1Bd/1Ba, 850 sq ft–1100 sq ft, elevator building, all with parking, ready next week exclusively for Vanguard agents and their clients. Expected price range $525k–$799k
  • NEW Construction at Broderick and Hayes. Three NEW Construction condos with LUXE finishes, huge parking, roof deck/patio deck, marble bathrooms, marble and miele kitchens, wide and open spaces, Cat-5, audio, one full-floor flat, two 2-story town homes, 2/3 beds, 2 baths each. Expected prices $1.2M & $1.35M, on within 2 weeks. Check out some sneak snaps here in my iCloud album.
  •  160A Linda Street @19th Street, 2-Bed/2 Bath 1 Bed/1Bath, TIC home in lottery, expected in January, February, pre-sale possible, middle unit, recently remodeled and sold (2010), expected list price range: $479k–$525k
  • 486 Chestnut, Three new condos, 2 or 3 bedrooms with 1 to 2 parking spaces each, at least 1600 sq ft each expected, priced from $1.6M to $2.1M are coming on the market in January. It’s a rare to find something new in this area at all. See more: https://1456chestnut.com
  •  2069 Green Street @ Webster, 3-Bed/3 Bath Pacific Heights Condo with parking and 3000+ sq ft., good light & garden access, expected list price range: $1.695M
  • Oak & Baker, 5-unit building, with one renovated owner’s unit with 3-4 units some delivered vacant, excellent redevelopment opportunity, expected $1.8M–$2.0M

My business comes from you and yours, so please feel free to pass this along to your friends, colleagues, pet walkers, etc. 

Thanks! 

Kevin Ho

Don’t Miss Early gifts for you to give thanks:  Access various reference resources — including my exclusive 60-page User Guide on how to navigate real estate successfully in San Francisco  for buyers and sellers at www.kevinho.org Ask me for reference materials via Dropbox.  And see pictures of many the homes I preview for you at Photobucket or on iCloud or YouTube.

Picks of the Week

Open House Sunday 1/20/13 – 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm
New Listing!
Bright, southwest orientation for this handsom Manhattan style high-rise in the heart of Yerba Buena living. Kitchen opens into the dining and living room. Large one bedroom. Hardwood floors, 9 fth high ceilings, crown molding, kitchen w/ granite counters & stainless steel appliances, washer/dryer, private patio & one deed parking space. Close to great restaurants, SFMOMA, AT&T Park, Ferry Plaza, the Financial District and Union Square. Wonderful investment and GREAT place to call home!!
  • Type: Condominium
  • Beds/Bath: 1/1.0
  • Parking: 1
  • Approx. Sq. Ft.: 670 (Per Tax Records)
  • MLS: 404087 
Open House Sunday 1/20/13 – 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
New Listing!
Duboce Triangle
$1,750,000 – 2295 15th St, San Francisco, CA 94114
This fabulous extensively remodeled Vict. is in one of the most desirable locations in San Francisco. High ceilings give this home a loft like feel. Light & airy living room has bay windows and a gas fireplace. Formal dining room, 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths w/ hardwood floors throughout. Remodeled kitchen has wood cabinets, 2 skylights w/ stainless steel appliances & opens onto a deck overlooking the lovely garden. The master suite has a full bath & a door that opens onto the deck & garden. Upper bedroom has a private 1/2 bath & deck. Lower level includes a bonus room, large closet & separate entrance. There is also a laundry room. The 1 car garage has additional storage. Walk to shops & restaurants. Minutes to hwy 101 & 280! WalkScore 100!
  • Type: Single-Family Homes
  • Beds/Bath: 4/2.5
  • Parking: 1
  • Approx. Sq. Ft.: 1634 (Per Appraiser)
  • MLS: 404122
Open House Sunday 1/20/13 – 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
New Listing!
South of Market
$599,000 – 281 Clara St #6, San Francisco, CA 94107
The epitome of urban living: sexy contemporary top floor corner loft with style & convenience in the heart of Soma. Large inviting open living space with abundant natural light, gas fireplace, skylights, & City views make this home ideal for entertaining and relaxing. Create culinary delights in your gourmet kitchen with island, SS appliances, Caesarstone counters, & plenty of cabinets for storage. There’s 1 bedroom, a full-bath, & wardrobe on the mezzanine with an additional half bath on the main level. Complimented by designer colors & window treatments to complete the home & make this urban oasis move-in ready. One car deeded parking with designated storage also included. Walk Score of 92, Bike Score of 97, and transit score of 100!
  • Type: Loft Condominium
  • Beds/Bath: 1/1.5
  • Parking: 1
  • Approx. Sq. Ft.: 992 (Per Tax Records)
  • MLS: 404162
Open House Sunday 1/20/13 – 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Lower Pacific Height
$980,000 – 1383 Baker St, San Francisco, CA 94115
Stunning down to the studs renovation/remodel! All new systems; foundation/garage/plumbing/electric. Elegant, contemporary SOMA style living with finely detailed Victorian facade. Open concept kitchen, dining and living room with direct access to serene patio and garden through wood-framed sliding glass doors. Private loft style master suite plus additional bedroom and bathroom. Mahogany floors throughout; high ceilings, laundry room, 1 car deeded garage space plus additional storage.
  • Type: Condominium
  • Beds/Bath: 2/2.0
  • Parking: 1
  • Approx. Sq. Ft.: 1497 (Condo Map)
  • MLS: 403926
Open House Sunday 1/20/13 – 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Noe Valley
$1,595,000 – 565 Jersey St, San Francisco, CA 94114
1900’s Modernized Victorian with wonderfully open floor plan. Wood floors with radiant heat throughout the main floor. Hi-end kitchen with poured cement counters & casual eating area, spa-like bathroom, large bedroom & office area (legally a bedroom). Built-in sound. Lower level just completed with additional master suite with en suite bathroom & walk-in closet, library/den used as a bedroom, 2nd full hi-end bathroom & laundry closet. Painted cement floors with radiant heat throughout. Direct access to patio & awesome south facing yard from this level as well as interior access to the garage. Just over a block to 24th St. & some of SF’s best dining & shopping. GOOGLE bus stop close by. Easy access to HWY’s 280/101, public trans. Terrific.
  • Type: Single-Family Homes
  • Beds/Bath: 3/3.0
  • Parking: 1
  • Approx. Sq. Ft.: 0 (Not Available)
  • MLS: 403835

How a Google/Apple/Genetech/EBay/Yahoo shuttle stop impacts home prices

Another Silicon Valley perk — free shuttle service | from Marketplace.org

By now you’ve heard about the perks that come with working in Silicon Valley. Free lunch, 20 percent time — that’s the work time you can use to pursue independent projects.

Well, another perk? A private bus that picks you up in your neighborhood in San Francisco and shuttles you down to your corporate campus about an hour south in the suburbs of Silicon Valley.

During rush hour in San Francisco, you see them everywhere, said Eric Rodenbeck, the creative director of Stamen Design in the Mission District of San Francisco.

“They’re just so big,” Rodenbeck says. “These buses are two stories high and they’re barrelling down residential streets, and no one knows where they’re going except the people who are on them.”

Rodenbeck is talking about the private shuttle buses that run up and down the Peninsula. They look like fancy tour buses. Google’s buses are white. Facebook’s are a sleek blue. But beyond that, they’re sort of a mystery to most San Franciscans.

“You know it’s almost like this masonic ritual,” Rodenbeck says. “If you’ve got the key, this whole other city layer unlocks itself to you. And that’s the kind of urban puzzle we like to solve.”

So, Stamen decided to map the private shuttle buses connecting San Francisco to Silicon Valley.

Click to enlarge

But getting the data wasn’t easy. The tech companies don’t comment on the buses. They don’t tell you where they stop or how many people ride on them. But in the era of big data, the information was easy enough to find.

“Even though the companies might not have wanted their locations public, we started looking around and we realized on Foursquare — if you typed in “shuttle” and “google” or “shuttle” and “apple” all these locations came up because their employees were checking in at those bus stops,” Rodenbeck says.

Stamen also hired bike messengers to follow the buses. And then they had people just sit at a cafe on the corner of 18th and Dolores and count the people getting on and off the buses.

I checked out the Google bus stop a little after 7 a.m. one rainy morning and the “G-bus,” as the display on its windshield reads, was already picking of Googlers. For the next few hours, the buses would arrive in 15-20 minute intervals and a steady stream of 20-30 somethings, holding coffee cups and wearing sneakers and backpacks, would get on board.

It might have been the early morning hour or the rain but few people were willing to talk. When I approached a group of 20-somethings and asked them about the bus, they said they couldn’t talk because Google was in “a quiet period.” A quiet period is when a company can’t say anything that might affect its stock price, and that was the nicest response I got until I met 35-year-old Tanya Birch, who works on the Google Earth outreach team. I asked her what it’s like on the bus.

“It’s pretty sweet,” Birch said. “They let us choose the type of seats and decor inside. And it’s got dim lighting with the Google colors.”

There’s also free Wi-Fi on the shuttles, and Birch said it’s basically another hour of work.

The tech world is driven by young, educated largely urban workers. But companies like Facebook, Google and Apple are located in the suburbs of Silicon Valley, which is about an hour south of the San Francisco.

“I think a lot of young people who work at the tech companies they want the city life they want something that’s fun and entertaining, and you don’t get that in the suburbs,” Birch said.

So, to compete for that talent pool, big tech companies have to provide transportation. Rodenbeck says he expected to find the shuttles in the city’s hip, young neighborhoods.

“What we were surprised to learn is that the network is much more extensive than that,” says Rodenbeck.

When the map was finished, Stamen counted busses from Apple, eBay, Electronic Arts, Facebook, Google and Yahoo, and they found the buses ran through almost every neighborhood in San Francisco. Stamen estimates that about 14,000 people ride the private shuttle buses every day.

Rodenbeck says he thinks the locations are secret because the companies are “sensitive to this idea that they are funding a change in the infrastructure in San Francisco without it being regulated.”

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is in the midst of studying what’s essentially emerging as a private mass-transportation system, says Jerry Robbins, a transportation planner for the agency.

“The increase in employer buses has sparked some reaction from residents,” Robbins says.

He says that since tech companies contract out the work to private bus companies, which are regulated by the state, the city has little say in what they do.

But Robbins says the agency has fielded complaints that the the private shuttle buses, which often stop at public bus stops, are causing delays and traffic.

Another impact is rising real estate prices, says Amanda Jones, a realtor in San Francisco for nearly a decade. Today, about half her clients work in the tech industry.

“Unquestionably the shuttle stops are transforming real estate values,” Jones says. “When I interview new clients, we get out the real estate map and they want to show me where their corporate shuttles are. I recently sold a house. He does trading for Google and gets in early in the morning. Literally, if it wasn’t five blocks from a shuttle stop, we didn’t look at it.”

Jones says even fixers-uppers and homes with shaky foundations are selling for a premium if they’re located near a private shuttle bus stop.

“They have so little time to have with family and their friends they want to go home and be able to walk to the restaurant and not be stuck in their car for two hours,” says Jones.

Jones says she gets it because until someone comes up with an app that can beam you to work, the private shuttle bus is as close as you get.

Trio of homes on SF’s 20th & 21st streets sell for way over asking | On The Block | an SFGate.com blog

The market continues to roll on.  You see the result of no inventory now?

Trio of homes on SF’s 20th & 21st streets sell for way over asking | On The Block | an SFGate.com blog

Trio of homes on SF’s 20th & 21st streets sell for way over asking | From “On The Block” a SFGate.com blog.

Tuesday’s Tour for May 15, 2012 – Lots of New?

Congratulations to my clients Carrie and Aaron for getting into contract in the exclusive, almost sold-out Millwheel!

Carrie and Aaron got in on the ground floor in this about-to-pop building before most anyone in SF did because they worked with me and were willing to go for it! It’s exciting, it’s the right timing and about being in the right place at, of course, the right time! This opportunity was not even on the MLS yet (and may never end up there) and I found out about it by being curious, courteous and tenacious. It paid off!

So, will you find your new home like Carrie and Aaron did? Take a look below at our Tuesday Broker Tour sheet to get a start by learning what we’re seeing this upcoming week…. MLS Broker Tour for 5:15:12

Open House Picks of the Week: May 6, 2012 Edition: The Full House House is On!

Here are this week’s picks of the weeks from San Francisco’s open houses. This past week has seen multiple offers again and slackening inventory for the upcoming week. But rumor has it that the number of 3R permit historyapplications (required for all sales) are up. Three new developments, 299 Valencia, the Millwheel and the Madrone are pre-selling fast – before construction has finished.  Navigate to KevinHo.org to see my in-depth reports, pictures and videos from my visits to each.  Apart from that, there’s a lot to look at, check out this week’s open houses below.

Where I will be today:

Inner Mission $649,000 – 601 Alabama St #306, San Francisco, CA 94110

Where I'll be Today

Open House Sunday 5/6/12 – 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm, I’ll be there from 1 – 3 p.m.

Second unit for resale since 2009! Two blocks from Flour + Water Restaurant in vibrant Mission, this upscale unit features 1038 sf of spacious living space, 2BR/2BA, pkg, in-unit W/D hook-ups, gas stove, stainless steel appliances & more. Designed by award winning architect Daniel Solomon & built in ’09, pet & family-friendly 601 Alabama radiates pride of ownership & great sense of community! Split-bedroom plan (1-master suite) is ideal for roommates! Walk-score of 94 in Walker’s Paradise & known for best weather in the city, ground zero for foodies is near all great Mission dining & nite life, transportation & easy freeway access. Absolutely a fantastic place for fun & relaxation! HOA also pays PG&E gas & broadband. FHA approved.

 

  • Type: Condominium Beds/Bath: 2/2.0 Parking: 1 Approx. Sq. Ft.: 1038 (Per Tax Records) MLS: 395819

The Great Egg Edition: Easter 2012 in SF Real Estate

The Egg-strodinary State of SF Real Estate This Week:

Inventory is low, buyers are eager, plentiful and qualified and offers are a plenty.

In sum, it’s rolling and moving:

For example: 1225 Quintara, the restored single family home in the Parkside, list at $788,000, owners would have accepted $800,000 before the first open house – when nobody acted, it went into contract well-above that $800k pre-sale price closer to the $900k region.

The 2 unit, 1 commercial, corner lot building at 18th Street and Clover in Eureka Valley, listed at $599,000 received 22 offers – yes – 22!
The 2 bedroom, double loft at 701 Minnesota listed at $849,000 received two offers and went into contract above the list price.

The last of the Penthouse Units at Esprit Park in Dogpatch went into contract and the sales office is no longer negotiating on price at the development.
The single family home in Miraloma listed at $679,000 that I offered a sneak peak preview of a couple of weeks ago received 7 offers with the parties ratifying above the asking price. And just think people said that no house in Miraloma would be worth more than $700,000. Who has egg on their face now?

The 2 bedroom condo in Bernal Heights at 611 Peralta went well over its $545,000 asking price. Consider this: a nearly identical unit there sold at $515,000 a year ago while this unit was listed at $545,000, ratified closer to $600,0000 and did so with less than 10 days on the market.
Even in the Bayview a home that was listed on Palou for $320,000 went over over the asking with multiple offers.

How can you unscramble this egg-strodinary market?

1Buyers need to be able to perform right away: We are in a for-profit world now and the ‘list price’ is only the price of admission to the bidding process in many cases. Therefore, buyers must be well-qualified and ready to go to table. Analysis paralysis and indecision will lead you to having egg all over your face.

2This market changes every week – there’s no rhyme or reason why. It’s just how the egg rolls.

3The only thing that is certain: Us real estate types can handle it for you. Yes, we’re going to work our tails off for you, but the blossom in the bloom is out there!

About to Hatch: Sneak Peaks & Advances

My sources have told me the following homes are coming on the market – if you want to act on the, then hop into action right away!

Mission Dolores – 100 block of Landers Street, off of 15th St, between Church and Dolores, 2 bedroom, 2 level, bright, sky light, patio condo with parking in a strong association that has private out door space with common amenities. The home is a perfect gallery-style house with chic white interiors. Expected list price $799,000, on the market within 2 weeks.

Mission/Media Gulch 600 block of Alabama St., newer large condo development unit on the third floor with courtyard views, 2 bedroom, 2 bath, 1 parking condo with modern kitchen with fantastic location and HOA dues that are expected to come down by the time escrow closes. Expected list price $649,000+, on the market within 2 weeks.

SoMa the Palms, 555 4th St., third-floor 2 bed, 2 bath condo with parking in the iconic SoMa building, corner unit facing Fourth Street, expected list price $720,000, on the market within the next 2 to 3 weeks.

North Beach 1 bedroom TIC no parking in 8-unit building coming for $299k

Pac Heights 1+ bedroom with possible 2 car parking at 1856 Franklin St., $499k with 1 car $550k with 2 spaces

Buena Vista Heights 2 vacant flats on Buena Vista Terrace, remodeled 2 bedroom 1 baths with fireplaces and separate garages. Around $1.6M

What’s on Tour on Sunday and Tuesday

Take a look at the two-bedroom homes I’ve handpicked for my clients. And, after that, take a look at what’s on tour on Tuesday. Not too much I’m sad to say. Time to list!

Suggested Sunday Open House Agenda for 2 BR 4-1-12

Tuesday Broker Tour, April 3, 2012

Tuesday Broker Tour, April 3, 2012

 

What was new out there today?

it was a busy day today on tour

Several condominiums in the $700-$900,000 price point, a $4.995 million mansion on Liberty Hill, a PacHeights $7.1 million mansion, bank-owned homes in the Sunset, fixers and polished alike – it was a long day indeed! Take a look below:

20120320-190310.jpg

20120320-190429.jpg

20120320-190534.jpg

20120320-190649.jpg

20120320-190735.jpg

20120320-190826.jpg

20120320-190908.jpg

20120320-190948.jpg

20120320-191035.jpg

20120320-191142.jpg

20120320-191222.jpg

20120320-191301.jpg

%d bloggers like this: