Just Listed: View Condo at Arterra in Mission Bay

300Berry1010 2br1
Just down the street from all the World Series action at AT&T Park is my new two-bedroom condo listing at Arterra (300 Berry Street). This corner unit has fabulous views of Twin Peaks, The Bay, Mission Creek and more. And it has all the amenities—parking, storage, in-unit laundry, as well as 24/7 lobby attendance, a gym, guest suite, and view roof deck.

Arterra is LEED Silver certified and also has reasonable HOA dues in comparison to other buildings in the neighborhood. List price is $979,000. For more details, photos and showing schedule, please visit 300berry1010.com

Next open will be Sunday, 10/26 from 12:00-2:00. Stop in and see me. Go, Giants!

Mission Bay is Where It’s At In October

300Berry Ext5
Just in time for the Giants and their National League playoff series comes my listing at Arterra—one block from the ball park!

My clients are selling their 2BR/1BA condo on the tenth floor, overlooking Mission Bay. This is a corner unit, so it gets great natural light. One-car parking and storage are included, and Arterra boasts amenities like a fitness room, roof deck, 24/7 concierge and more.

We’re currently painting and staging, but contact me if you’d like more details!

And Go, Giants!!

What You Can Buy for Under $1M with Bay & Bridge Views

If your budget is under $1M and you want a condo with views, your best bets will be neighborhoods like South Beach and Mission Bay. Real estate is roughly around $1,000/sq foot there, so if you manage to snag a property with Bay views, you’ll really be getting the best bang for your buck.

Here’s a look at three condos with views in popular buildings that are near 280, Caltrain, BART, Muni, AT&T Park, and renowned restaurants:

260 King #1515
The Beacon (Mission Bay)

1BR/1BA, 903 sq ft
HOA dues: $762/mo + $140.40 parking/mo
List price: $799,000
260King_1515
260 King #1515 in The Beacon has dead-on Bay views from every window, and that’s no exaggeration. This is the type of home where you walk in and immediately realize that the online photos don’t do the views justice. The unit features hardwood floors, a kitchen with granite counters and stainless-steel appliances, and an in-unit washer/dryer. There’s also a separate alcove if you need an office area. Constructed in 2004, The Beacon spans two buildings (250 and 260 King) and has 595 units. It’s got excellent amenities like a 24-hour doorperson, concierge services, lap pool, spa, fitness center, club house and dog park. There are currently eight condos available in the Beacon for under $1M, but #1515 offers the best views and position in the building for the money. [Read more...]

The Most Competitive Condo Markets in San Francisco Right Now

One of the keys to success in the current San Francisco market is knowing which neighborhoods are the most competitive. Armed with that intel, you can more easily gauge how much to offer on a property, or what list price will work to your advantage.

As many of my regular readers know, I’ve been running a feature highlighting extreme overbidding for several months, regularly inducting new members into the SF Overbidders Club. The reality is that we have many neighborhoods in San Francisco that are showing double-digit overbid percentages, and it’s important to know what the selling patterns are when you’re determining values.

When it comes to the San Francisco market, these patterns can change pretty quickly. My sales data is based on reported MLS sales in the time period April 1 – May 12, 2014, so it’s the most current info available. [Read more...]

1BR Prices Soar in SoMa


It’s not news that the South of Market, South Beach and Mission Bay markets have improved dramatically over the past year. The fury with which buyers are snapping up 1BR condos is whipping through these neighborhoods. This is somewhat atypical, in that 1BR units tend to have a narrower buyer pool. But for first-time home buyers looking for proximity to downtown and hip neighborhoods, 1BR condos are a great bet.

Even buildings hard hit by foreclosure and short sale activity in recent years are on the upswing. Take The Palms, for example, at 555 4th Street. You couldn’t give away a unit there at one time, and prices for units plummeted. But welcome to 2013: You’ll be competing with 15 other buyers for that 1BR listed in the high $500,000s. And you can expect to see a few cash buyers in the mix, too.

One buyer recently made a nice play for a brick and timber warehouse conversion unit at 310 Townsend (above). Technically located in SoMa, the building is on the border of Mission Bay and South Beach. So it’s central, has great style, and unit #202 was a 945-square foot 1BR/1BA listed for $799,000. The buyer came in with all cash and paid the transfer tax (approx $5562), and the unit was sold this week for $818,000.

No, this wasn’t way over the asking price. But $800,000+ in cash for a SoMa condo (with transfer tax thrown in) is getting up there where values are concerned. The average price for a 1BR unit in these neighborhoods in 2013 thus far is about $674,022; five 1BRs in buildings such as Madrone, 340 Ritch, 75 Folsom, and 650 Delancey sold in the $839,000-$998,000 range.

The bottom line? If you’re looking for a 1BR condo in a premium building in these neighborhoods, expect to pay in this range—whether you have cash or not.

Which Neighborhoods Have the Best Weather?

If you’re new to San Francisco, then it’s important to be aware that our city has a variety of microclimates. One minute you can be driving around with the top down, sweating, and the next you’re turning on the seat warmers. If you’re considering purchasing a home here and are particularly weather sensitive, it’s important to know which neighborhoods tend to have the most favorable climates.

Of course, San Francisco has citywide fog and wind no matter where you go. But some areas have longer periods of time during a given day when the sun shines and the wind is at a minimum. So here’s a quick rundown:

Bernal Heights. Make a good garden space a priority in Bernal, because you’ll be able to spend a lot of time enjoying it. And the Cortland retail strip is usually pretty hoppin’ because you can wander in and out of the shops and restaurants and not have to keep zipping and unzipping your jacket.

The Mission. Bernal’s neighbor is the Mission, which also shares in the weather fun. The nice part about the Mission is that the dining scene has exploded, so there are tons of restaurant options, as well as unique shops along Valencia and throughout the neighborhood. If your commute involves walking to BART at either 16th/24th and Mission, your morning and evening strolls won’t force you to confront driving winds.

Noe Valley. I live in the part of Noe that’s defined as “Upper Noe”—the area bordered by Guerrero, Cesar Chavez, 30th Street, and up as far as Diamond. For the most part, you can avoid the high winds in Noe, but it does depend on how into the “valley” part you are. Most days when I walk my dogs in the late afternoon, I’m wearing sunglasses and have a light jacket on. However, up there in Diamond Heights, the fog hangs thick. And when I drive down, say, Clipper, from Portola in the Twin Peaks area, I typically experience a transition from no sun and heavy fog to sun. There’s a notable difference every time.

South Beach. Located right off The Bay, South Beach is blessed with lots of sun most of the time. This is conducive to a very desirable, urban lifestyle that involves walks to the Ferry Building, runs along the Embarcadero, and Giants games.

South of Market. The blocks are long in SoMa, but that’s okay because if you’re running, biking or walking, you’re not being blown into traffic. The neighborhood is always developing, and it’s definitely the most urban area in this list. But having good weather is key to enjoying those shared rooftop decks that pervade SoMa living.

Mission Bay. Constantly in development, Mission Bay has amenities like Mission Creek Park, the ballpark, and outdoor dining. Developers have taken advantage of the on-the-Bay setting by incorporating as many deeded outdoor spaces as they can in condo complexes.

Potrero Hill/Dogpatch. Potrero is a well-established neighborhood offering a mix of residential and industrial properties, and Dogpatch (a.k.a. the Central Waterfront) has truly been transformed over the past decade into a hub for local businesses, restaurants, wine bars and the like. The T Muni line connects Dogpatch to downtown, and the freeways are extremely convenient to access.

Condo Spotlight: 300 Berry #904 in Mission Bay’s Arterra

Mission Bay is a great option for buyers seeking sun, easy access to 280 and Caltrain, and proximity to stores, restaurants, and services. One of the premier buildings in the neighborhood is Arterra at 300 Berry. Completed in 2009, Arterra is LEED-Silver certified and offers one-, two- and three-bedroom condos and townhomes with style and cool amenities. The development encompasses three buildings of varying heights that surround a landscaped courtyard.

300 Berry #904 just hit the market for $675,000. This 856-square foot 1BR with den features eco-friendly design finishes, in-unit laundry, and one-car parking. HOA dues are $458.51, and cover water, trash, exterior maintenance, doorperson, insurance and property management. List price is $675,000.

Arterra’s amenities include a view roof deck and bbq, fitness center, community room, private guest suite and 24/7 attended lobby.

The most recent comparative sale for #904 is #804, which was one floor down and in the same stack. That sold for $660,000 in March 2012.

What You Can Buy: Condos for Easy South Bay Commuting

I have quite a few buyer clients right now who work at tech companies like Facebook, eBay, Google and Yahoo and who also want to live in San Francisco. Because let’s face it, there’s not a lot to do in the suburbs after dark (unless you enjoy happy hour at Chevy’s). I thought I’d showcase a few condos in neighborhoods that work well for Peninsula commuting, whether by tech shuttle, car, or Caltrain.

First up is 1370 Valencia #1 in The Mission:

Located about three blocks from the popular tech shuttle stop at 24th & Guerrero, 1370 Valencia is all about being in the thick of the Mission scene—with a huge private patio where you can soak up all that hot Mission weather. The 1980s building itself won’t win any prizes for curb appeal, but this first-floor unit has 2BRs/2BAs with 1130 square feet. There’s a wood-burning fireplace in the living room for those non-spare-the-air days, and the kitchen has granite counters and stainless-steel appliances. This is a five-unit HOA with a commercial space, so it’s important to alert your lender to this fact. One-car parking is included, and HOA dues are $454/month. List price: $749,000.

Next up is 325 China Basin #105 in Mission Bay:

325 China Basin #105 is a 2BR/2BA unit with 1316-square foot at the ground-floor level. It’s located in The Radiance, a 99-unit development built in 2008. (Its sister building next door, The Madrone, is in the midst of construction now.) I’m a fan of The Radiance, having toured many of the units during the initial selling phases. The unit has an open floor plan with a private entrance, maple flooring, and kitchen with CaesarStone countertops and stainless-steel appliances. One-car parking and storage are included. Amenities include a common courtyard deck, fire pit, barbeques, club lounge and fitness center. HOA dues are $744.32/month. The Caltrain station is a straight shot up 4th Street, which is about a ten-minute walk from The Radiance. List price: $749,000.

156 Duncan
, Noe Valley

156 Duncan is a spacious, top-floor condo in a four-unit Spanish-Mediterrean-style building. Though the unit is technically a 1BR/1BA, the living room can easily double for a quick, enclosed guest space, and three walk-in closets offer opportunities for an office or nursery. The 1107-square foot condo has lovely period detail, a decorative fireplace in the living room, and updated kitchen and bath with skylights. The bedroom is huge, with plenty of space for a sitting area and closet with organizer system. There’s a shared garden, and a prime parking space in the building that easily allows for guest parking outside your own driveway. HOA dues are a low $325/month. Yes, this is my listing, but I’d be remiss in omitting 156 Duncan from this trio due to its proximity to both 280 and 101, as well as the 30th & Dolores tech shuttle stop. List price: $739,000.

MarketTracker: Latest Sales & SF Parking Deets

The SF Park Program is up and running, so get hip to the deets so you know how much to expect to pay for a spot. And some spaces have been bounced in favor of the ever-popular parklets. Check out some of the newest additions. Plus, Mission Bay’s Madrone previews units at its sales office opening and a roundup of latest city sales.

It’s all here in this issue of MarketTracker.

Mission Bay’s Madrone Moves Ahead

Remember Mission Bay’s Radiance development? The first building was constructed and sold, but then work on the sidekick ceased due to the faltering economy. Construction is moving ahead on The Madrone, which will be a lower-story property adjacent to Radiance.

Read the latest about San Francisco’s upcoming new development, as well as check out the latest sales in the current issue of MarketTracker.

Neighborhoods in San Francisco with the Best Weather

If you’re new to San Francisco, then it’s important to be aware that our city has a variety of microclimates. One minute you can be driving around with the top down, sweating, and the next you’re turning on the seat warmers. If you’re considering purchasing a home here and are particularly weather sensitive, it’s important to know which neighborhoods tend to have the most favorable climates.

Of course, San Francisco has citywide fog and wind no matter where you go. But some areas have longer periods of time during a given day when the sun shines and the wind is at a minimum. So here’s a quick rundown:

Bernal Heights. Make a good garden space a priority in Bernal, because you’ll be able to spend a lot of time enjoying it. And the Cortland retail strip is usually pretty hoppin’ because you can wander in and out of the shops and restaurants and not have to keep zipping and unzipping your jacket.

The Mission and Mission Dolores. Bernal’s neighbor is the Mission, which also shares in the weather fun. The nice part about the Mission is that there are scattered restaurant and shops throughout the neighborhood, and you can bike or walk pretty easily. If your commute involves walking to BART at either 16th/24th and Mission, your morning and evening strolls will probably not find you confronting driving winds.

Noe Valley. I live in the part of Noe that’s defined as “Upper Noe”—the area bordered by Guerrero, Cesar Chavez, 30th Street, and up as far as Diamond. For the most part, you can avoid the high winds in Noe, but it does depend on how into the “valley” part you are. Most days when I walk my dogs in the late afternoon, I’m wearing sunglasses and have a light jacket on. However, up there in Diamond Heights, the fog hangs thick. And when I drive down, say, Clipper, from Portola in the Twin Peaks area, I typically experience a transition from no sun and heavy fog to sun. There’s a notable difference every time.

South Beach. Located right off The Bay, South Beach is blessed with lots of sun most of the time. This is conducive to a very desirable, urban lifestyle that involves walks to the Ferry Building, runs along the Embarcadero, and Giants games.

South of Market. The blocks are long in SoMa, but that’s okay because if you’re running, biking or walking, you’re not being blown into traffic. The neighborhood is always developing, and it’s definitely the most urban area in this list. But having good weather is key to enjoying those shared rooftop decks that pervade SoMa living.

Mission Bay. This is the newest area in San Francisco, and it’s still developing. Amenities like Mission Creek Park, the ballpark, and outdoor dining at places like Kelly’s Mission Rock are all available. What I like about Mission Bay is that developers are making sure to take advantage of the on-the-Bay setting by incorporating as many deeded outdoor spaces as they can—and roof decks.

Potrero Hill and Dogpatch. Potrero is a well-established neighborhood offering a mix of residential and industrial properties, and Dogpatch (a.k.a. the Central Waterfront) has truly been transformed over the past decade into a hub for local businesses, restaurants, wine bars and the like. The new T Muni line connects Dogpatch to downtown, and the freeways are extremely convenient to access.

Mission Bay Making a Comeback

It’s been a while since I’ve come across a sale worth talking about in Mission Bay. Sales have generally been flat there since the economic downturn hit. But things seem to be changing. Case in point: The recent sale at 255 Berry #515.

The 2BR/2BA, 1225-sq foot unit fronting Mission Creek was listed on May 20th at $799,950. Five buyers competed for the property, an offer was accepted, and the sale just closed on Wednesday for $870,000.

This is good news for Mission Bay residents, who’d flocked to the assessor’s office over the past two years in bids to readjust their property tax bases due to falling values.

Buyer Target: Mission Bay Much More Affordable

The always-developing Mission Bay neighborhood has had its share of suffering in the housing recession over the past two or three years. It’s been said that a good chunk of homeowners in the area have been keeping the Assessor’s office busy, applying for reductions in property taxes due to fallen property values. All told, Mission Bay condos have lost anywhere of up to 20% of their value, depending on the unit size, outlook, building/amenities, and other relevant details.

Indeed, the average reported 2BR condo sale in Mission Bay was $1,084,973 in 2008, but that number declined to $846,787 in 2009. Of course, these numbers aren’t solidly representative of actual sales activity, as the many new developments in the area never reported sales via the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). What this all means is that Mission Bay provides buyers with a great opportunity right now.

There are currently 16 condos on the market in Mission Bay, with a bulk of them in The Beacon (250-260 King). However, there’s an 1175-square foot 2BR/2BA in one of my favorite buildings, The Radiance, listed at $749,000, as well as a 1268-sq foot 2BR/2BA at 255 Berry #606 listed at $869,000 (the latter likely a tad high in today’s market). And there are 23 Mission Bay condos currently in contract, at an average price of $545,405/$572 per sq foot. So it’s quite possible for all those first-time home buyers in the $500,000 ranges to find a decent property in what I believe is a very vibrant part of San Francisco.

Empty Nesters Get Tax Benefits

Empty nesters and retirees take note: There could be some very nice tax advantages in your next home purchase.

If you’re ready to downsize and move into a smaller, more centrally located property like San Francisco’s Mission Bay or South Beach, for example, don’t forget about Prop 90.

This proposition allows counties to elect to accept transfers of property tax bases for moves from other counties when a primary residence is replaced with a home that is equal to or less expensive than one’s current home.

The key is knowing which counties participate in Prop 90. Here’s a rundown: Alameda, Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Ventura. (Contra Costa, Inyo, Kern, Riverside, Modoc, Monterey, and Marin have dropped out of the Prop 90 program.)