Featuring lovely period detailing, a living room with gas fireplace and an open kitchen/dining area, 267A Anderson also has three good-sized bedrooms. There’s a private deck, independent parking and storage. List price was $899,000.
The Bernal Heights market is experiencing a jolt of inventory, and not just in $1M+ dollar single-family houses. There’s something for everyone, and I wanted to point out some of my favorites. Whether you’re looking to spend up to $500,000 or $2M, here are some good choices in prime neighborhood locations:
1BR/1BA, no pkg
515 Eugenia is one TIC interest in a newly renovated, three-unit property at the corner of Bonview and Eugenia. This is a great location because it’s only a block to Cortland, as well as a few short blocks to Mission Street and its public transportation. 515 Eugenia is small, but well appointed. The kitchen is a good size and has reasonable counter and cabinet space, and there’s shared laundry and exclusive storage. The unit is located over the two-car garage, so this may not work if you’re sensitive to the noise of garage doors opening when your fellow building owners are coming and going. But overall, 515 Eugenia is a good package for this price point. (Also available are 199 Bonview #A, the other 1BR unit listed for $495,000, and the two-story main house unit at 199 Bonview for $995,000.)
1-2BR/1BA, 1 pkg
149 Wool has a flexible floor plan, with the option of having one bedroom and a formal living room up front, or two bedrooms and a kitchen/living/dining area at the rear. Either way, it’s good space that leads out to a deck and yard and also has a nicely renovated bathroom. The foundation is newer, and storage is included.
3BR/2BA, 2 pkg
If you love SoMa-style architecture but want to be in more of a neighborhood environment, 308 Anderson is a great bet. Two stacked cubes offer a narrow but spacious interior across two levels. And it’s a house, so there are no HOA dues, CC&Rs or any other restrictions. There’s no yard, but there are a couple outdoor balconies.
98 Anderson is a detached Victorian that features a main living area with excellent flow that leads out to a glass-enclosed deck and protected, private garden. There’s a front room that can be used as a bedroom (though it doesn’t have a closet). Upstairs are two large bedrooms and two bathrooms, and there is a bit of expansion potential on the garage level. This house has a great corner presence and has views from just about every window.
If you’re aiming to buy or sell a single-family home in San Francisco, it’s important to take note of the selling patterns in the city’s various neighborhoods. You’ve probably read my blog post from earlier this week on the hottest condo markets, but when it comes to overbidding on houses, the landscape looks slightly different.
The neighborhoods where buyers are overbidding most intensely are varied, and there are many. Here are the most competitive markets according to the average overbid percentage:
Inner Sunset 26.18%
The Mission 22.47%
Glen Park 21.95%
Inner Parkside 21.61%
Miraloma Park 20.48%
Noe Valley 20.14%
Bernal Heights 19.94%
Ingleside Heights 19.51%
Forest Hill 19.45%
Crocker Amazon/Outer Mission 18.18%
Eureka Valley 17.77
Central Richmond 16.58%
Outer Richmond 15.38%
Potrero Hill 15.15%
Central Sunset/Parkside 14.93%
Outer Sunset/Outer Parkside 14.80%
Portola/Silver Terrace 13.93%
Mission Terrace 12.81%
Many contractors and small-scale developers who snapped up properties with their cash in the last two years in San Francisco have completed high-end renovations and are now listing those homes for sale. They were able to buy at a time when the market wasn’t quite as hot as it is right now. And we all know that the successful flip largely depends on timing.
Here are three flips that recently came on the market, with their before and after renderings:
212 & 212A Chattanooga
3BR/3.5BA (front) / 2BR/2BA (rear)
List Prices: $2,495,000 / $1,595,000
212 Chattanooga is the front house on a lot that holds two renovated houses. The front (above) was purchased in September 2012 for $750,000. It’s now a three-level home with a tiered main level that has direct access to a west-facing yard.
The rear house, 212A Chattanooga, was sold in the same timeframe for $450,000 as a tenant-occupied cottage. This property is accessed via a walkway that runs alongside 212 Chattanooga. There’s no parking for the rear house, but the idea of a “Vespa pad” is cute:
I liked both houses, though the downside to the rear property is that it’s oriented toward a large, unattractive rental building. Getting to and from the property isn’t glamorous via the narrow walkway. But the location is excellent, and I think it’d be ideal to purchase the entire property as a family compound.
4BR/3BA, 3400 sq ft
List Price: $2,649,000
812 Corbett was purchased as a 2BR contractor’s special in May 2013 for $820,000, and has been completely transformed. All the crowd-pleasing elements are there—the open floor plan, chef’s kitchen, three bedrooms on one level, and roof deck. No views, which is a key selling point for Twin Peaks. But the finishes are way cool and there’s plenty of space.
4BR/3.5BA, 2706 sq ft
List Price: $1,950,000
Situated near Precita Park and offering big space for Bernal, 147 Peralta has been de-Victorianized and now has the trappings of any of the generic new-construction condos everyone’s building these days. The property was purchased in July 2013 for $965,000, and is actually a legal two-unit building. The second unit is being presented as guest quarters. There are three bedrooms on the upper level, and no real yard, as they filled up the lot with the house.
The latest Zephyr Market Tracker is showing property prices up around 8% across the board over the past six months. (In most neighborhoods, though, the increase from 2013 to 2014 is much higher.)
We also take a look at Lumina, the upcoming 655-unit condo development at 201 Folsom that’s best known as phase 2 of the Infinity. Plus, a close-up on Bernal Heights and some cool renovations happening there. And let’s not forget the annual Decorator Showcase that will be held in a 9,000-square foot mansion on Jackson Street.
It’s all here in the Zephyr Market Tracker!
The San Francisco market has been somewhat off the hook in 2014, with eye-popping sales happening in full force in seemingly every neighborhood in the city. But even I’m caught off guard by some buyers’ willingness to fork over disarming amounts of money on certain properties.
Case in point: The 3BR/2BA, 1358-square foot home on 315 Coleridge. Sold in January 2012 for $850,000, the house had two bedrooms and one bath on the main level, a remodeled kitchen and a bedroom/bath on the garage level. Outdoor space consisted of a small patio area just outside the main level, with stairs going up to a deck with views.
Fast forward to March 2014, when 315 Coleridge was listed for $1,150,000. The selling price? $1,501,000. I would have liked to been at the table when that winning offer was revealed.
Bernal Heights has many distinct areas within its neighborhood. From the hip enclave of Precita Park to the winding streets on the East Slope, the price of real estate literally varies depending upon which part of Bernal you’re in. So it’s important to lean heavily on sales in your particular part of the neighborhood when you’re accurately trying to determine property values in Bernal.
To help buyers and sellers with that task, I’ve deconstructed Bernal Heights into seven unofficial microhoods, complete with their respective price averages and low/high prices, as well as recent sales volume.
A few ground rules: My geographical boundaries are rough approximations, and there will be some overlap with streets that fall on microhood borders. Also, sales information is for single-family homes sold from September 2013-March 10, 2014.
North West Slope
Average Price: $1,195,589
Low: $699,000 High: $1,688,888
Number Sold: 10
The North West Slope has quaint tree-lined streets, hidden staircases and lots of charm. It’s near Mission Street’s bus lines and not far from the 24th & Mission BART station/30th & Church J Muni, as well as The Front Porch, Emmy’s Spaghetti Shack, Cole Hardware and Safeway. Five homes on the North West Slope sold above $1.3M over the past seven months, including a 2BR/2BA at the top of Bocana listed for $1,095,000 that sold for $1,610,000.
North of Cortland
Avge Price: $1,260,818
Low: $910,000 High: $1.6M
Number Sold: 11
This area just north of popular Cortland Avenue is generally its most expensive. Because who doesn’t want to be in walking distance of restaurants, cafes, shops, a grocery store, and library? North of Cortland’s narrow streets are dotted with architecturally appealing homes and have a village-like feel. There’s also easy access to Bernal Hill’s trails. Notable sales include the renovated Victorian at 228 Ellsworth for $1.6M, and the contemporary home at 77 Anderson, which had a down-to-the-studs renovation and sold for $1,499,000 in an all-cash transaction.
Avge Price: $1,206,125
Low: $934,000 High: $1,605,000
Number Sold: 8
The Precita Park microhood has really blossomed over the past several years, and the high real estate prices here reflect that. From Precita Park Cafe and Hillside Supper Club to Harvest Hills Market and Precita Bark dog wash/shop, there’s a nice selection of retail businesses for locals to enjoy. And the park itself is a great place to relax and unwind, particularly for kids and dog owners. Prices for houses ranged from $934,000 for a modern cottage on Shotwell to $1,605,000 for a 4BR home just up the hill on Folsom.
Avge Price: $1,097,467
Low: $700,000 High: $1,575,000
Number Sold: 15
There was a time when Bernal’s more remote East Slope was home to dirt trails and vacant lots. As the area developed alongside Highway 101, streets were paved and staircases built to help people get around on the hilly, sometimes twisty streets. (In fact, a couple streets are only accessible by stairs.) Prices for homes on the East Slope aren’t stratospheric; the roughly $1.1M average was influenced by three sales for $1.4M+, including the 4BR contemporary view home at 365 Franconia that sold for $1,575,000. East Slope dwellers appreciate their low-key microhood, and even have their own architectural design review board to maintain the character of the area.
South East Slope
Avge Price: $937,500
Low: $750,000 High: $1,375,000
Number Sold: 6
The South East Slope is bordered by 101/Bayshore Boulevard and Alemany/280, and isn’t wildly convenient to the retail portion of Cortland. But the houses offer good space in a neighborhood where it’s a challenge to land a single-family house for less than $1M. For example, a really cool, 3BR/2BA mid-century modern home with east bay and southern views sold for $789,000 at 463 Nevada. And the best part? The Alemany Farmer’s Market is at your doorstep!
South of Cortland
Avge Price: $918,000
Low: $660,000 High: $1.5M
Number Sold: 9
Similar to its North of Cortland counterpart, the South of Cortland microhood is in proximity to the heart of Cortland Avenue. And you can actually find homes in the $700,000-$900,000 range. (Though the recent $1.5M cash sale half a block off Cortland at 330 Banks is the most expensive home ever sold in this microhood.)
Holly Park/St. Mary’s Park
Avge Price: $1,000,556
Low: $750,000 High: $1,255,000
Number Sold: 4
Situated between Cortland and the Excelsior, Holly Park/St. Mary’s Park probably has the highest population of homeowners whose properties have been in their family for years. The homes in St. Mary’s are laid out on streets shaped like a bell, and St. Mary’s Park itself also has a popular, fenced-in dog area. Just to the north is Holly Park, which was renovated about ten years ago and is very popular with locals. It’s also only a few blocks from Cortland’s Avedano Holly Park Market, as well as the heart of the retail area. And nearby Mission Street gives you access to bus lines. Single-family home prices are solidly in the $900,000s, with the high-end topping out at around $1,255,000.
The latest Zephyr MarketTracker shines the spotlight on the Excelsior neighborhood. Recently profiled in The Chronicle for its residents’ desire to build up the retail area along Mission, the Excelsior continues to attract first-time home buyers.
We also take a look at which American cities are considered to be the most dynamic based on a variety of factors. Guess which city tops the list?!
Plus recent sales and stats. It’s all here in the Zephyr MarketTracker!
It’s unusual in the current San Francisco market for buyers to be able to purchase a home for less than the list price. Most of the time, a property has to be on the market for at least a couple months, and even then, there’s no guarantee the seller will be willing to take less. But here are three homes that changed hands for substantially less than asking:
List Price: $3,900,000
Sale Price: $2,650,000
Days on Market (DOM): 99
1966-68 Greenwich was billed as a family compound, and consisted of two condos. There was a 3BR/2BA home with two-car parking at the front of the lot, and a rear 2BR/1.5BA cottage with one-car parking (which the seller was renting on a short-term basis for an income of $100,000/yr). Both buildings were extensively remodeled, and the cottage had its own private entrance. The seller also included plans for enlarging the rear unit by 2500 square feet. Great location near Union Street shops and restaurants, as well as 101.
List Price: $1,950,000
Sale Price: $1,410,000
Days on Market (DOM): 57
This 2BR/3BA, deco-style single-family home on a quirky street in Glen Park had nicely landscaped gardens, a view deck, and an artist studio. It was all about the large lot, and there was no garage. The new owners are now just up the hill from the 30th Street and Church Street corridors, which feature restaurants such as La Ciccia, as well as the J Muni line to downtown.
List Price: $849,999
Sale Price: $750,000
Days on Market (DOM): 55
Though the final selling price of the 3BR/1BA single-family house at 345 Richland didn’t sell for dramatically less than asking, it kind of is dramatic when you consider that buyers have been paying an average of 12% over asking since November 2013 in Bernal Heights (with six homes selling for 25%+ over the list price). 345 Richland wasn’t in a prime Bernal location, as it’s fairly far south of Cortland. And the house is a fixer. But kudos to the buyers for bucking the throw-money-at-Bernal-houses trend.
Is Bernal’s north slope the best neighborhood in the United States? According to Redfin, that’s apparently the case, and you can find out why in this edition of the Zephyr MarketTracker. We also take a look at some of Bernal’s current listings.
And San Francisco is the best place to…have a baby? Yes, as per the folks at What To Expect. No explanation from that group as to why most families seem to move out of San Francisco for the ‘burbs, but I’ll go with it.
Find out what citywide properties sold over the past 21 days, and get the most current sales stats.
It’s all here in the Zephyr MarketTracker!
Though overbidding activity in San Francisco this month has been somewhat run-of-the-mill, a few sales are noteworthy for the trends they represent. These buyers are officially inducted into the SF Overbidders Club for paying 25%+ above the list price:
88 Hoff #109
List Price: $775,000
Sale Price: $975,000
Overbid Amount: 26%
Closed Escrow: 10/4/13
The sale of 88 Hoff #109 shows you just how much buyers are willing to pay for a loft space in what is now considered to be a prime Mission location. Situated on a street bordered by 16th & 17th and Valencia and Mission, this loft has that ginormous private patio (above), as well as a den area. Lofts continue to have their limits with respect to privacy and enclosed space. But with the average price for a 1BR loft in the Mission being $753,333 since August, it’s clear that something really resonated with this loft buyer.
List Price: $995,000
Sale Price: $1,255,000
Overbid Amount: 36%
Closed Escrow: 10/7/13
Bernal Heights’ single-family home market has been off the hook for a while now. So it’s no surprise that this 2BR home with bonus room, nicely done yard, and two-car garage right on Precita Park attracted multiple offers. The cash buyer who purchased this home actually didn’t pay top dollar; that honor goes to the buyers of three other 2BR Bernal houses which sold in 2013 for $1,325,000-$1,525,000.
239 14th Avenue
List Price: $999,000
Sale Price: $1,600,000
Overbid Amount: 60%
Closed Escrow: 10/4/13
What does a big contractor special in the Central Richmond cost these days? If 239 14th Avenue’s sale is any indication, you’re looking at around $1.6M. (And it doesn’t hurt to have cash, which was the case here.) This 2580-square foot home on 14th at California has a huge basement, period detail throughout, and large yard. These all translate into renovation potential, and 14th Avenue’s buyers have already gotten their permits underway for the job.
If you’re aiming to close on a property in 2013, it’s a good idea to size up the competition and hone your strategy at this point in the year. After all, we only have a couple months left before Thanksgiving (I know!), and inventory slows down right after the turkey leaves the table.
In very thick multiple-offer competition, the biggest wild card will be whether a cash buyer steps into the mix who’s willing to pay top dollar to buy a home. As most real estate fans know, cash sales don’t equal discounts, and cash buyers know that they have to offer a competitive price to win.
So if you’re looking at a hot property in a neighborhood that’s prone to attracting cash buyers, you may be out of luck. For buyers with loans, it’s unfortunately the way it goes: Sellers are looking for a sure thing, and a quick path to their proceeds so they can get on with their lives.
Cash buyers picked up 184 condos/TICs and 98 single-family homes from July 1-September 18, 2013. Where did they appear, and which neighborhoods were hit the hardest?
Eureka Valley, Lower Pacific Heights, Bernal Heights, Portola and Ingleside attracted many single-family home cash buyers in that timeframe, with a majority of the sales prices landing in the $600,000-$1M price range. A total of 18 homes sold above $2M.
On the condo front, neighborhoods such as the Haight, Noe/Eureka Valley; Lower Pacific Heights; Western Addition; Pacific Heights; Nob/Russian Hills; Mission, SoMa/South Beach were the most popular ‘hoods for cash buyers. Sales in the $600,000-$1.2M range were the most common, though there were quite a few sales in the $1.3M-$2M range, and six sales were above $2M.
Word of advice? If you’re looking for a home in the aforementioned neighborhoods and price ranges, and the property you like already has 15 disclosure packages out, it might be a good idea to move on to something else if you aren’t willing to pay top, top dollar and waive contingencies. Buyer burnout becomes quite common at this stage of the year, and a change in strategy is one you might want to discuss with your Realtor if you want to be successful in your house hunt by year’s end.
San Francisco inventory is typically snapped up within a week in popular neighborhoods. But it may come as a surprise to find that there are many properties that have been on the market for three or more weeks—and are still available.
For buyers who are tired of competing in multiple-offer situations, it’s time to revisit the listings that are taking offers as they come. Today we take a look at three homes in the hot neighborhoods of Bernal, West Portal and Cow Hollow that have been on the market for 21 days or longer:
Days on market (DOM): 71
4BR/3.5BA, 1890 sq ft
List Price: $1,399,000
Purchased as a 2BR/1BA, 1125 square foot home in April 2012 for $801,000, 86 Wool has since undergone a transformation into a 4BR/3.5BA house. The property was on the market in the Spring for $1.5M; that price didn’t work. (Though the house was briefly in contract in July.) Now asking $1.4M, the sellers are hoping there are buyers out there who will appreciate 86 Wool’s renovation and prime Bernal location. As larger and not necessarily renovated homes in the neighborhood have been selling for well above $1.3M, I think 86 Wool could be an opportunity for someone to buy a “done” house without enduring a bloodbath offer situation. Honestly, had the sellers listed the house for $1.2M, it probably would’ve been sold for $1.4M by now.
2428 14th Avenue
Days on market (DOM): 55
List Price: $1,249,000
For buyers looking for a large single-family home in proximity to the West Portal retail area, 2428 14th Avenue definitely fits the bill. There are three bedrooms on the main level, a large, remodeled kitchen and two more bedrooms and family room on the garden level. You’d be hard pressed to find a house of this caliber for less than the list price, so serious buyers may want to take a first (or second) look at 14th Avenue.
Days on market (DOM): 69
2BR/2BA, 1034 sq ft
List Price: $1,125,000
The main issue with this unit is that the large bedroom is half of the double parlor, and the second bedroom is small. But if you can get past that and utilize the space properly, 1853 Filbert may be a great fit for you. It has a nicely remodeled, eat-in kitchen and a lovely shared patio and landscaped garden. There are six units in the building, and the HOA dues are a reasonable $375/month. First listed for $1,185,000 in June, the price has come down since then. May be time to make a deal, particularly if you’re looking for an excellent Cow Hollow location a block from Union Street.
We have some inaugural entrants into what I am officially calling the San Francisco Overbidders Club. What does it take to make the cut? You need to overbid more than 25% for a property and close the sale.
There are two underlying requirements to make it into the Overbidders Club. The first is wherewithal, meaning you have to have the financial means to pull it off. In most cases, we’re talking half down, or all cash. The second is will. You have to want that property enough to be willing to pay well above what all other buyers may be offering.
And now, here’s a look at the properties that were picked up by our first group of Club members:
4BR/2BA, 2063 sq ft
List Price: $1,095,000
Sale Price: $1,500,000
Overbid Amount: 37%
Closed Escrow: 6/26/13
This tenant-occupied, rambling Victorian on Central at Page was the perfect project house. Sold off market and in a probate transaction, the buyer will undoubtedly be livin’ the dream of renovating a Victorian in a classic San Francisco location. The idea here is that with time and money, the owner will ultimately see a property value of well over $1.5M in the future.
1680 9th Avenue
3BR/2BA, 2032 sq ft
List Price: $1,275,000
Sale Price: $1,650,000
Overbid Amount: 30%
Closed Escrow: 7/18/13
1680 9th Avenue is situated in the Windsor Terrace section of the Inner Sunset, which is in reasonable walking distance of retail areas and public transportation. The three bedrooms are all upstairs on the same level, and there’s a chef’s kitchen with an island. These are always big selling points. The garage access is via an alley behind the property, and there isn’t much outdoor space. But with only about a dozen homes on this level selling this year in the neighborhood, this buyer gave it all he had to make sure he’d own this one.
4BR/3BA, 2725 sq ft
List Price: $1,275,000
Sale Price: $1,600,000
Overbid Amount: 25.5%
Closed Escrow: 7/12/13
Located six blocks south of Cortland and within earshot of 280, this sprawling Victorian at 364 Crescent is unique for a neighborhood with smaller homes. It sits on an oversized, corner lot and didn’t need any work. Excellent period detail, great kitchen, huge garage, and hot tub in the yard. But in the end, this is a big price to pay for this location in Bernal.
Most of the homes that hit the San Francisco market are in contract within a week or two, with multiple offers and an ultimate selling price of well over the list. However, there are actually properties sitting on the market that have somehow slipped through the cracks. If you’re a buyer on a budget and sick of complaining about how there’s no inventory, you may want to consider one of these single-family houses that has been on the market for 21 days or longer:
2BR/1BA, 1100 sq ft
Days on Market: 23
List Price: $759,000
The Scoop: 250 Elsie was built in the mid-1800s but has an open floor plan and a loft above. The yard has mature fruit trees, formal box hedges, and rose bushes. The foundation has been upgraded and there’s a large, undeveloped basement.
The Location: Steps from Bernal’s Cortland Avenue retail strip, and close to the Mission Street corridor.
Background Check: This is a probate sale that’s not subject to court confirmation.
Bottom Line: If you’re all about outdoor space, 250 Elsie will fit the bill. Consider leasing a garage, parking is not that easy in this location. Or contact your favorite garage contractor and see what the possibilities are for creating a one-car garage out of all that basement space.
Days on Market: 29
List Price: $899,000
The Scoop: 740 Foerster is a lovely art deco single-family home with a remodeled kitchen and family room down. Stairs to yard that’s mostly concrete. Low termite report on file.
The Location: A bit of a hike to the downtown Glen Park area and BART, but great freeway access and a peaceful environment.
Background Check: Last sold for $1,010,000 in 2007.
Bottom Line: Solid house in good shape that doesn’t need work.
1766 10th Avenue
3BR/2BA, 1425 sq ft
Days on Market: 37
List Price: $949,000
The Scoop: A spacious home with open beam ceiling, 1766 10th Avenue has a formal dining room, large split bath with separate shower and tub, and two good-sized bedrooms overlooking the large yard. Lower level has two bonus rooms, full bath, laundry and two-car tandem parking.
The Location: Reasonably close to the 9th and Irving retail area, UCSF Medical Center (for all you physicians in the crowd), and Muni lines.
Background Check: Went into contract, but fell back out.
Bottom Line: Nice neighborhood location and overall attractive house with good period detail.