Realtor-Blogger Takes Yosemite Break

I’ll be hanging out in Yosemite for the next week, communing with nature and being completely disconnected from San Francisco real estate, my iPhone, email, texts and any other forms of electronic communication. If you need anything, contact my colleague, Tanja Beck at 415.377.8756/tanja@myteamsf.com. I’ll be back online on September 26th.

Happy trails!

Walk Score Winners: Eureka & Cole Valleys, Lower Pac Heights

It’s been a while since I’ve rounded up a trio of homes with high Walk Scores. Today we take a look at a two condos and one single-family home that have 90+ Walk Scores—meaning you’re in proximity to restaurants, services, shops and public transportation. 

82 Liberty, Eureka Valley
$1,150,000
94 Walk Score

82 Liberty is a top-floor condo in a two-unit building. The home has 2BRs/1.5BAs and one-car tandem parking; at approximately 1700 square feet, it’s very spacious. There’s an additional room that’s usable as an office or guest space, as well as a lovely shared garden. HOA dues are a low $80 per month. The bedroom above gives you a sense for the period detail and finishes—there’s a lot of wood. The kitchen has been updated, as have the bathrooms. 82 Liberty last sold in 2005 for $1,004,000, so let’s see if this baby has appreciated since the go-go real estate market died off. At $1,150,000, I’ll venture to say that the price is on the high side—even if you can walk around the block to Delfina and Bi Rite.

49 Alma, Cole Valley
$1,350,000
92 Walk Score

49 Alma has changed hands a few times over the past decade. The 3BR/2BA single-family home with two-car parking sold in 2002 for $1,050,000, and then again in 2006 for $1,325,000. The Edwardian home features a remodeled kitchen with soapstone countertops (above) and a newly added family room with direct access to a south-facing deck. The seller completed these and other substantial renovations subsequent to their 2006 purchase, so the current $1,350,000 list price doesn’t seem too off base to me. They also did a test run in late 2010, putting the property on the market for $1,475,000 and ultimately withdrawing it earlier this year. But maybe the current market will do the trick for this well-located home.

1961 Pine, Lower Pacific Heights
$1,200,000
98 Walk Score

1961 Pine is a pre-Victorian era condo with 4BRs/1.5BAs and one-car parking. There’s a formal dining room, spacious kitchen and southern views from the rear of the unit. HOA dues are $380.75, and there are three units in the building. 1961 Pine is the middle unit. The location is phenomenal (though Pine is a busy street), as you’re in proximity to Lafayette Park, the upper Fillmore, Japantown and Van Ness corridor. The property also has our highest Walk Score of the bunch!

Luxury Inner Richmond Condos Seek Buyers

I toured the four new construction condos at 2900 Fulton recently and was more impressed than I thought I would be. Purchased for $1,125,000 in 2009 with full entitlement to build the current units, 2900 Fulton was transformed into four two-level luxury condos with 3BRs and 3-3.5BAs each. 

They all have one-car parking (except unit 1, which has deeded parking for two spaces). Finishes are high end (see above kitchen), and feature outdoor spaces and nice park or Presidio views.

My favorite main-level floor plan was in unit 1, which has this great private patio:

Units range from 1,587-1,836 square feet, and HOA dues from $532.36-$546.05. Though the corner of Fulton and 5th can be busy, the floorplans are designed to minimize exposure to the traffic along Fulton. And you can literally fall out your door and be in Golden Gate Park.

The condos came on the market in May 2011 or so, and pricing has come down a bit since. For example, Unit 2 was originally listed at $1,099,000 (now $999,999) and Unit 1 at $1,350,000 (now $1,249,000).

Part of the developer’s challenge may be that buyers are aware of the fact that 3BR condos in the neighborhood have sold this year ranging from $735,000 – $905,000. Granted, none were as modern and high-end as that of 2900 Fulton. But many were just as spacious, situated in what would be considered superior locations, or had the period detail that many buyers appreciate.

The pricing at 2900 Fulton is more similar to that of the single-family home market. (However, it’s important to note that the most expensive 3BR house sold in the Inner Richmond this year was $1.3M for a 2400-square foot property on Funston.) 

I personally think that the units are an excellent fit for buyers who want the space a house can provide, along with terrific finishes and a convenient location. But given that none of the units are in contract yet after several months, I’m betting there’s probably still room for negotiation on price.

Sales Rise for Big Units in Hip ‘Hoods

One trend I’m seeing this year is an increase in sales for large condos and TICs in hot neighborhoods like the Haight, Hayes Valley, Mission Dolores, and NoPa. What I think is happening—and which I’ve also heard from some of my colleagues—is that buyers are snapping up these properties due to their need for more space to accommodate existing or growing family needs. It’s also likely that these buyers have been priced out of the single-family home market in these areas, which offer proximity to restaurants, shops and easy access to public transportation.

Indeed, I’ve seen my share of 3BR/2BA condos and TICs in the aforementioned areas on broker tours this year. There are currently eleven such condos and TICs on the market at a list price average of $933,717, with a 1,688 square feet average. And there are nine such units in contract, at a list price average of $828,389. The average size of these units has been about 1800 square feet.

Recent sales have been brisk. A total of 47 three-bedroom+ condos and TICs have sold year-to-date at an average of $874,015. With an average sales price for a single-family house in these neighborhoods clocking in year to date at $2,180,222, you can see why some buyers are settling for well-located, spacious condos instead.

SF Property Tax Update, Park Projects Progress

MarketTracker is ready to read! Get the latest news on San Francisco property taxes and why they’ll be increasing later this year. Plus, an update on the Dolores Park and Stow Lake projects, as well as an in-depth look at the Glen Park neighborhood (where our current mayor resides).

It’s all here in the September Zephyr MarketTracker.

Announcing The TIC Workshop

Tenancy-in-commons (TICs) aren’t always the most straightforward of property types. I get regular inquiries from confused home seekers who’ve come across a large remodeled flat in, say, NoPa, that seems like a good deal. And it might be. But it’s not a condo, it’s a TIC. And there are big differences between condos and TICs.

TICs are very unique to San Francisco, and many home buyers new to San Francisco–as well as locals who are tired of paying rent–could always use a quick refresher on the basics. In conjunction with Sterling Bank & Trust, I’ll be hosting The TIC Workshop next month. We’ll cover the pros and cons of TIC ownership, what fractional loans are all about, and what you can expect in today’s TIC market. And yes, we’ll definitely be discussing the value difference between TICs and condos.

By the time you leave our workshop, you’ll have a good idea as to whether a TIC is truly an option for you.

Here are the deets:

DATE    Tuesday, October 18

TIME     7:00-8:30PM

PLACE   Sterling Bank & Trust, 2122 Market Street at Church

We’ll serve light refreshments, too.

Please email me at ebermingham@zephyrsf.com or call me at 415.823.4656 if you’d like to attend, and we’ll reserve a space for you. We honestly have a limited amount of chairs, so if you’re interested in being there, please call sooner rather than later.

And if you can’t attend but would like to hash out TIC details on a one-on-one basis, give me a shout and I’d be happy to schedule a meeting at my office with you.

Just Listed: Classic Russian Hill TIC

My new listing at 1145 Green #5 has been teeming with activity ever since we officially put it on the market at the end of last week. Offered at $439,000, the top-floor 1BR/1BA unit is situated in a prime Russian Hill location. Yes, the unit is a tenancy-in-common (TIC) at the moment. But the six-unit building won the right to condo convert earlier this year (after 17 years in the condo lottery). So condo conversion will most likely take place in the next few months.

#5 has lovely views of the city and surrounding hills, and gets great natural light. There’s a formal dining room, sunroom and roomy entrance hall. The unit comes with a large deeded storage room, too. Here’s the view from the living and sun rooms:

If you know of anyone who might be interested in this home, do give me a shout at 415.823.4656 / ebermingham@zephyrsf.com.

What You Can Buy: $1M, 1BR Edition

 San Francisco is one of the few cities where one-bedroom condos can actually sell for $1M or more.  In most cases, such properties will be located in the north end of the city. I thought I’d highlight two units currently on the market in this range.

1150 Lombard #16 / Russian Hill
List Price: $899,000

This 1BR/1BA condo at the well-regarded Lombardia in Russian Hill has an updated kitchen, remodeled bath with soaking tub and separate shower, as well as a king-sized bedroom with walk-in closet. There’s also a separate laundry room with side-by-side washer/dryer and a covered outdoor terrace. The Lombardia was constructed in 1989 and has 42 units. HOA dues are $1234.77 per month. Amenities include 24-hour lobby attendance and guest parking.

2169 Green #3 / Pacific Heights
List Price: $969,000

The 1BR/1BA in 2169 Green is the top-floor unit, which means you’re kind of in the attic. You do get exceptional Bay views and a modern, open floor plan within this Queen Anne Victorian building. There’s a private balcony off the bedroom and a home office in the turret. Amenities in this three-unit building include in-unit laundry, one-car parking and separate storage. HOA dues are $400/month.

A total of seven 1BR units have sold in 2011 from $800,000+. The most expensive? A condo at 1070 Green, which changed hands for $1,207,500.