Monthly Archives: June 2009

Pick Your Dream on Day Street

There’s something for everyone over on Day Street, in Upper Noe Valley—depending upon your budget, and your dream.

For the inner contractor in you, consider 324 Day, a renovation project stopped dead in its tracks:

Unfortunately, construction was halted and the property is being foreclosed upon. This is a Victorian single-family home with permits issued for adding a bedroom, bathroom and office on the ground floor; remodeling a bathroom and adding a bathroom; converting a bedroom to a living room, living room to dining room; adding rear deck and stairs to yard. List price: $760,000 (but “bring your best offer, don’t worry about the list price,” says the listing agent).

For those looking for an actual finished property with expansion and/or cosmetic remodel potential, 385 Day may do the trick. This is a two-bedroom, one-bath home that’s been in the same family for more than 50 years. The latter phrase is code for “will need an extensive bathroom and kitchen remodel.” The seller of this home is 102 and will be involved in the sale, so don’t think you can just skate by. List price: $829,000:


And the last one in our lineup is what the other two Day Street properties can someday become. 493 Day will provide you with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and 1591 square feet. List price is $1,095,000:


Buyers Taking Action in SF

A good way to gauge the health of the real estate market in any city is to take a look at how many properties are actually going into contract and, of course, selling.

As of Friday June 19th, there were 183 single-family homes in contract, with contingencies to be removed. And 276 more are pending, meaning the contractual conditions have been removed, and the loans just need to fund. 751 single-family homes have sold since January 1st, at an average sales price of $944,040.

The condo segment of the market is also moving briskly. There are 223 condos in contract, and 143 such sales pending. 520 units have sold since January 1st, at an average price of $788,190.

TIC sales are slower, with 86 in contract and 29 pending. 128 TICs have sold at an average of $645,058.

A Visit to Arden Estates

construction_frontI checked out two of the model homes on my broker tour at the new Arden Estates development, located on 15th Avenue in West Portal.

This is a collection of seven single-family homes, five of which are still in the process of being finished. The homes feature three bedrooms; a fourth bedroom/family room; three bathrooms and one powder room. They all have about 3,000 square feet spread across three levels.

Here’s 2763 15th Avenue, listed at $2,195,000:

The homes are adjacent to the Arden Wood nursing facility, which trains nurses and cares for patients through Christian Science practices. You can look out your rear windows on the top two floors and see the Christian Science practices in action on the grounds:

And here’s a look at the homes’ yards, still being constructed:

Prices are all in the $2-2.2M range. The properties are located between West Portal and Wawona, so they are pretty strategically situated. I thought the two homes I saw were nice, but the development definitely has a cookie cutter feel, like a development you’d see in the suburbs. I question whether a buyer with the purchasing power of $2M in San Francisco will be drawn to Arden Estates, though the home sizes and new-construction quality are probably going to be big selling points.

Dominos on Dolores

1583_87 doloresThe first of the condos in the three-unit building at 1583-1585-1587 Dolores at 29th Street in Upper Noe Valley went on the market in April—the 3BR/1BA top unit at 1583 Dolores. It was listed at $869,000, but has since been reduced to $799,000. There isn’t parking in the building, but the seller has secured leased parking at $200 per month.

The lower unit at 1587 Dolores tossed up its For Sale sign a month later, offering the sidewalk-level, 1BR/1BA unit with no parking prospects for $549,000, only to be reduced later to $479,000.

The latest neighbors to get on the selling bandwagon are the folks in middle unit at 1585 Dolores. This 2BR/1BA unit with no parking options is being offered at $649,000. Listed on June 12th, there’s still time for a price reduction, based on the activity of the other two units. No word yet on why everyone’s bolting from the building. My guess is that the domino effect has hit the building, but it should be interesting seeing how all the sales prices play out.

Luxury Market Stays Alive

Properties in the $1.5M+ range are indeed changing hands in the current economy. A look at single-family home and condo estate sales activity reveals a fairly busy market.

There are currently 145 single-family homes available for $1.5M or more, with an average list price of $4,199,252. And there are 29 such homes in contract—three are priced above $5M—as well as 23 pending (one of which is a six-bedroom home on Jackson listed at $8M). Since January, 76 homes have sold, with six selling for above $5M.

On the condo side of things, there are 88 such properties available, with an average list price of $2,500,913. The number in contract is much smaller—two—and there are only five pending. Since January, 31 condos in this price range have sold.

SF's First Family Holes up in Ashbury Heights

masonicThough I’ve known about Mayor Newsom’s purchase of 1581 Masonic for several weeks, I’ve held back from blogging about it for discretionary reasons. But now that SF Chronicle’s Leah Garcik has stepped forward with the info, it’s fair game.

First on the market in February at a $3.3M asking price, this 4BR/3.5BA home technically located in Ashbury Heights was subsequently pulled off the market and relisted with a different brokerage. The list price prior to Newsom’s offer being accepted was $2,980,000.

The home is owned and designed by Candace Barnes, who specializes in renovating and selling homes. She’s most known for her high-end furniture and design business.

Word has it that Newsom and his very pregnant wife also looked at homes in Noe Valley, but Ashbury Heights seems more appropriate, don’t you think?

State of the Market: June 10, 2009

We’re heading into the summer months of real estate in this new economy, and it’s a good time to take stock of current market activity.

Word on the street is that buyers are moving with a renewed sense of urgency—probably due to the fear of interest rates rising in the near future.

There are 584 houses and 751 condos on the market.

258 single-family homes and 165 condos/TICs are pending, at an average list price of $763,039. (“Pending” means that all conditions have been removed, and the loan needs to fund in order to close the sale.)

And there are 186 single-family homes, as well as 300 condos/TICs that are currently in contract, with financing and inspection contingencies due to be removed.

38 houses have sold since June 1st, at an average price of $972,803; 17 condos have sold at an average price of $865,559.

Luxury TICs Pray For Buyers

1669churchConstructed in the shadow of St. Paul’s Church in Noe Valley, 1667-1669 Church is a two-unit TIC offering in search of buyers looking to spend $1,289,000 and $1,479,000 for either of the 3BR/2.5BA units, which offer 1750 square feet each.

The usual trappings are here—radiant heat, Energy Star appliances, CaesarStone counters. I’m not sure what to think of the little drink shelf around the island in the kitchen:

But here’s my quick and dirty evaluation: The building is on Church Street, which is notorious for noisy, rumbling street cars. There are only two units, so I’m thinking the building will fare better than its modern, three-unit TIC counterpart up at 1278-1282 Church Street. (The most recent sale took place in the latter property in late April: a 3BR/3BA, 1650-square foot middle unit that sold for $950,000.) The asking prices could be a bit ambitious, particularly since the TIC world is on shaky ground these days. I’d advice putting that statue of St. Joseph in the backyard.

3BR Outer Parkside Home for $668,000

2074 45thAve ExtAllow me to direct your attention to one of the better values in the market: My new listing at 2074 45th Avenue at Quintara.

This 3BR/1BA home has 1214 square feet, and the third, legal bedroom is accessed internally (you don’t have to go through the garage to get to it). There’s also a fabulous garden that my clients have lovingly maintained in the seven years they’ve lived here. I think this home is a great place for those with active lifestyles who need reasonable commute access to downtown, and proximity to beach trails and Golden Gate Park.

We’ll be open this Sunday from 1:00-4:00, so stop in. I’ll be there!

3961 25th St. Lands in Lap of Luxury

396125thWhen I listed and sold 3961 25th Street in Noe Valley back in the summer of 2006, there were multiple offers and the lucky buyer purchased the property for $1,050,000. About a year later, the owners—a Google employee and Noe resident who’d bought the house as a guest quarters of sorts for visiting parents—resold the property for $1,250,000.

The home has now morphed into a three-story, 4BR/3.5BA “house with a conscience,” listed at $2,850,000. I have to say that I really like the upstairs bathroom. Not everyone can take a bath and then step out on the deck to dry off:


I’m nostalgic for the smaller and charming Victorian that my client lovingly took care of, but the real estate beat goes on, I suppose.

3BRs for Under $800k in NoPa, Cole Valley

Two condos I saw this week struck me as being good values for their asking prices:

452017th4520 17th Street is a 1352-square foot 3BR/2BA top-floor unit on two levels. It features two patios, a common fitness area, and low $152 HOA dues. There’s parking and storage, and views from the front patio. Located almost at the top of 17th Street, the property is not far from the Castro and Cole Valley’s retail area. List price: $789,000.

941 Broderick in the North Panhandle is a generously proportioned 3BR/2BA condo with an exclusive patio and yard. The unit is located within a three-unit building, and is in good proximity to the NoPa restaurants and retail areas. List price: $759,000.

There was a time when finding a three-bedroom condo for under $800,000 was rare. Now, the opportunities are out there for buyers.

SF Realtor Map On Track for Update

It’s time for a San Francisco Realtor Association district map update, a move that will surely make homeowners sit up and take notice.

Last updated in 2005, the Realtor map presents neighborhood boundaries according to numerical code. (For example, Noe Valley is 5C, and so on.) Where the boundaries are drawn has everything to do with where a property ends up being technically located when it is put on the market.

Neighborhoods have shifted a bit, and a few have come more into focus over the past few years. This summer, the Realtor Association will launch the new map.

A few highlights:
“Little Hollywood” gets its own area–it’s no longer casually part of Visitaction Valley.

The Financial District becomes “Barbary Coast.”

The North Panhandle becomes “NoPa,” now a distinct neighborhood from Western Addition.

Yerba Buena will now be distinct from South of Market.

Part of Bayview and Bayview Heights becomes Candlestick Point.

I’m always down for some hip new zoning, so these changes get a thumbs up from Inside SF Real Estate.

Get in touch:

Eileen Bermingham

Zephyr Real Estate


BRE# 01352627

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