Outside Lands Shines Spotlight on Richmond

The annual Outside Lands festival takes over Golden Gate Park this weekend, and the Richmond is one of the adjacent neighborhoods that’s very much in the mix. For better or worse, neighbors can hear the show from their very own residences, and compete with festival goers for street parking and public transportation.

But during the rest of the year, Richmond dwellers enjoy proximity to the park, various retail strips that pepper the area, and the ocean. Yes, you get fog in the Richmond, but from a real estate perspective, there’s a variety of architecture, and the houses and condos have more square footage. In the end, I believe there’s good value, particularly on a price-per-square-foot basis.

Open house access will be a bit challenging this weekend, but here are some listings worth noting. My advice? Skip the open house circuit and make a showing appointment in the morning, before the festival gets going.

607 7th Avenue
Cross street: Balboa
4BR/4.5BA
1 pkg
$2,795,000
607_7th
With four levels of living space, 607 7th Avenue could have probably hosted part of Outside Lands. Seriously, this is a big, renovated house with large bedrooms, high-end finishes and a cute garden. The house has been on the market a couple weeks with no bites, but I’m thinking it’s worth writing an offer at less than asking and seeing what you can negotiate. [Read more…]

What You Can Buy: 21 Days & Counting

Properties in San Francisco commonly go into contract within a week or two of being on the market. Which means that things move quickly. However, there are many homes that have been on the market for three weeks or more. In my never-ending quest to unearth buyer opportunities, I wanted to profile a trio of properties that are available with no offer date—and potentially, no competition:

424 28th Street
Noe Valley

Days on Market (DOM): 24
3BR/2BA, no parking
List price: $1,595,000
424_28th
Finding a spacious, detached single-family home in a good location in Noe Valley for less than $2M is a bit of a challenge these days. That’s why I’m surprised no one’s snapped up 424 28th Street. Yes, this house is a little quirky, with bedrooms scattered among three levels, and no, there’s not a garage. But you can take it upon yourself to add parking (there’s an estimate on file for $120,000 for a garage installation). The sellers have secured a leased parking space in the interim that’s only half a block away. You also have front and rear backyards, views, and a family room. The house is situated two and a half blocks from the J Church Muni station and the shops/restaurants in the south end of Noe. [Read more…]

The Most Competitive House Markets in San Francisco Right Now

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. [Read more…]

Smackdown: Forest Hill House vs Lake Condo

Welcome to our $1.4M smackdown, pitting one one house in need of updating vs one condo that’s good to go, in two different but equally tony neighborhoods. Which property would you choose?

Contestant #1
30 Santa Rita Avenue
Forest Hill
4BR/2.5BA, 2078 sq ft
$1,395,000
30santarita
This Spanish-Mediterranean “diamond in the rough” on a lovely tree-lined block of Forest Hill is perfect for buyers looking for a house with good bones that would vastly benefit from a sound remodel. One key factor is that all four bedrooms and two bathrooms are upstairs on the same level, including a master with sweeping views of Twin Peaks.

Contestant #2
66 5th Avenue
Lake District
3BR/1.5BA, 1599 sq ft, 1 pkg
$1,399,000
66_5th
Located on a prime north of Lake block, 66 5th Avenue is a large condo that opens directly on to its own private deck and garden. The master bedroom also opens to a deck and has nice yard access; the third bedroom has no closet and is probably best for an office or baby’s room. There’s also a huge private storage room and independent parking. Half a block to the Presidio and about three blocks to the restaurants and shops on Clement. This unit was last sold in…July 2013 for $1,422,000.

So which one would you buy?

SF Overbidders Don’t Disappoint in October

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
The Mission

1BR/1.5BA
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.

514 Precita
Bernal Heights

2BR/1BA
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
Central Richmond

3BR/2BA
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.

New SF Overbidders Club Members for August

We have a few new members of the San Francisco Overbidders Club this month. As some of you may know from past posts, buyers join the Overbidders Club when they pay in excess of 25% of the list price.

August was a big hit for the west end of town, where our newest Overbidders seemed to lurk. Here’s the rundown this month:
254 11th Ave
Inner Richmond

4BR/2BA
List Price: $849,000
Sale Price: $1,275,000
Overbid Amount: 50%
Closed Escrow: 8/21/13

Who doesn’t want a big fixer half a block from California Street? Many buyers vied for 254 11th Avenue, as it was one of those types of properties that appealed to both contractors and “sweat equity” buyers. But one buyer decided that paying 50% over asking and waiving all contingencies would do the trick. And it did! The appeal of this house was that it has four bedrooms on one level upstairs, an attic with expansion potential and a large garage. Having the space already there makes things infinitely easier when it comes to renovations.

18 Quintara
Golden Gate Heights

4BR/2BA, 2053 sq ft
List Price: $975,000
Sale Price: $1,325,000
Overbid Amount: 36%
Closed Escrow: 8/16/13

18 Quintara is basically a house that has it all. It’s detached on three sides, surrounded by landscaped gardens, white picket fence, as well as a remodeled kitchen, large garage and in-law apartment that represents the fourth bedroom but is perfect for an au pair or guests. What does someone pay for a house like that these days in Golden Gate Heights? About $1,325,000. The teaser of a list price was low enough to garner 19 offers, so paying 36% over asking and waiving all contingencies is pretty much what you’re gonna have to do to win in this situation.

762 45th Avenue
Outer Richmond

3BR/2BA, 1826 sq ft
List Price: $849,000
Sale Price: $1,195,000
Overbid Amount: 41%
Closed Escrow: 8/14/13

Featuring an original 1920s kitchen and bathrooms, this basic house at 762 45th Avenue had something unique going for it—a professionally designed garden with a hot tub. And it’s five blocks from the beach. The one, two punch of paying 41% more + waiving contingencies did it again for these new homeowners.

269 Waller
Hayes Valley

2BR/1BA, 1330 sq ft
List Price: $1,195,000
Sale Price: $1,625,000
Overbid Amount: 36%
Closed Escrow: 8/16/13

Purchased by buyers who I suspect had lost out on quite a few homes to maximum overbids over the past few months, 269 Waller is in a more outskirts part of Hayes Valley. But the deep lot, remodeled kitchen apparently make up for the lack of third bedroom, second bath, and presence of a brick foundation. There were contingencies in the contract, but I’m betting an appraisal condition wasn’t one of them.

SF Market Sitters: 21 Days & Counting

In a market where new listings get multiple offers within a week or two, it’s important not to lose sight of the rare homes that are taking offers “as they come.” Maybe the list price started out too high, and buyers are fearing that the sellers are looking for a lot more than their asking price. Or maybe there’s something particularly challenging about the location or floor plan (that you may be able to live with). And of course, we can’t ignore the possibility that the seller is simply not genuinely motivated to sell. In any event, here are my picks for three weeks or longer:

405 Arguello #201
Inner Richmond Condo

1BR/1BA, 716 sq ft
1 pkg
Days on market (DOM): 77
List Price: $599,000

Yes, 405 Arguello #201‘s deck above is deeded and exclusive—and, you’re literally around the block from Clement Street’s restaurants and shops. This well-appointed unit is in a building that was constructed in 1991, and it has an open living/dining/kitchen area. Best of all, the unit faces the rear of the building, so traffic noise from busy Arguello is mitigated. There are six units in the building, and parking/storage are included. There’s also a common laundry area. HOA dues are a low $202/month.

243 Romain
Twin Peaks House

2BR/1BA, 925 sq ft
1 pkg
DOM: 21
List Price: $975,000

243 Romain is situated on the block that has the Market Street bridge, which lets you walk directly from your block to the other side of Market and drops you down either into Noe or Eureka Valleys. The house is on the smaller side, with less than 1,000 square feet. But the kitchen and bathroom finishes are reasonable, and there’s a cute yard. Buyers have probably stayed away because 243 Romain is priced at $1,054/sq ft, which is what new construction is fetching these days. However, at the right price, you can get a house vs condo in a walkable location. This is the third coming of 243 Romain, as the seller started out in May with the first of what has now become three listing agents, pricing the home at $1.2M. So technically speaking, the property has been on the market a lot longer than 21 days.

60 Escondido
Pine Lake Park House

5BR/3.5BA, 2956 sq ft
2 pkg
DOM: 24
List Price: $1,329,000

60 Escondido is a big, lovely house on a block that runs parallel to Sloat Boulevard at 34th Avenue. So you’ll hear Sloat traffic, but you’ll also be across the street from the shopping center that has everything from a grocery store to a post office. The house has been updated with a remodeled kitchen, and there are three bedrooms on the main level. Downstairs are two more bedrooms, a full bath and entertainment area. They started out with a $1,380,000 list price, which didn’t help in a neighborhood where the average house price this year has been $1,250,000.

If you’re interested in any of these homes, feel free to give me a shout at 415-823-4656/ebermingham@zephyrsf.com, and I’d be happy to assist you!

Just Sold: Inner Richmond & NoPa Condos


I just listed and sold two great condos for my clients. 472 12th Avenue (above) is a 2BR/1BA unit in the Inner Richmond with lovely period detail, a remodeled kitchen, formal dining room, one- to two-car parking and shared landscaped garden. List price was $799,000 and we received five offers.

1300 Fell #3 also closed late last week:

1300 Fell #3 is a top-floor, spacious unit with three large bedrooms, two full baths and private garage parking. We received about a dozen offers on the property, and it was also listed for $799,000.

Contact me if you’d like more details on the selling prices!

Underbidding in this Market? Why, Yes!

It’s not news that most properties in San Francisco have been selling for more than their asking prices. However, I managed to find three properties that sold in the past two weeks for substantially less than their list prices:

1070 Green #1501
Russian Hill Condo

3BR/3.5BA, 2456 sq ft
1-car pkg
HOA dues: $2315/mo
List Price: $3,400,000
Sale Price: $3,075,000
Days on Market: 29

Green Hill Tower at 1070 Green is the first condo project built in California. #1501 occupies the entire north side of the building and has stunning views from every room, along with two balconies. This is all about the views, as the finishes in the kitchen and baths are pretty basic. The building offers a door person, security service, and elevator. The unit closed on 6/21 for $325,000 under asking in an all-cash sale.

751 10th Avenue
Inner Richmond House

5BR/2.5BA, 3,000 sq ft
1-car pkg
List Price: $2,349,000
Sale Price: $2,300,000
Days on Market: 40

751 10th Avenue is an award-winning, designer-owned home with four levels on a nice tree-lined block in the Inner Richmond. The home features a chef’s kitchen, three fireplaces, and guest quarters. No big drama here; the property simply sat on the market a bit, priced at the top tier for the neighborhood. But even with the $49,000 knocked off the original list price, 751 10th Ave is the most expensive house to sell in the Inner Richmond over the past year.

1 Clarence Place #9
South Beach Condo

2BR/2BA
1-car pkg
HOA Dues: $630.55
List Price: $1,499,000
Sale Price: $1,410,000
Days on Market: 103

Initially listed in February for $1.6M, 1 Clarence #9 is an end unit with a private attached garage and own entrance. The unit has nice finishes and approximately 1700 square feet, as per tax records. Six weeks after the $1.6M debut, the sellers reduced the price to $1.5M, and ended up accepting $90,000 less. This is a good example of a condo finding its property value in the market.

Inner Richmond, NoPa Condos Open This Sunday

My Inner Richmond and NoPa condos have been popular this past week with buyers. Here’s a quick rundown:

472 12th Avenue
2BR/1BA + sunroom, 1508 sq ft
One- to two-car pkg
HOAs: $240/month
List Price: $799,000

Boasting a remodeled kitchen open to the formal dining room, 472 12th Avenue has excellent 1930s period detail throughout. Coved ceilings, picture rails and parquet floors are just some of the features that make this home very unique. There’s also a wood-burning fireplace, two spacious bedrooms and a bright sunroom overlooking the shared, landscaped garden. Location is wonderful, in walking distance of the Clement retail area, as well as Golden Gate Park and bus lines on Geary.

1300 Fell #3
3BR/2BA, 1730 sq ft
One-car parking, private garage
HOAs: $250/month
List Price: $799,000

1300 Fell #3 is one of those rare units with three large bedrooms, plenty of closet space and amazing natural light. This top-floor condo is conveniently located near multiple transporation lines, the shops and restaurants on the Divisadero corridor, as well as across the street from Falletti Foods and Nopalito. You get your own private garage, additional shared storage, and a washer/dryer that is exclusive to #3.

Stop by and visit us this Sunday 6/9 from 2:00-4:00. We’ll have both properties open during that time.

New Listing: Charming Inner Richmond Condo


For buyers looking for a spacious condo with nice period detail in a convenient Inner Richmond location, my new 2BR/1BA + sunroom listing at 472 12th Avenue is an excellent choice.

The living room features a wood-burning fireplace, and the adjacent formal dining room is open to the spacious, well-appointed kitchen. Recently remodeled, the kitchen has stainless-steel appliances, breakfast bar, and separate laundry room. Two rear bedrooms open to a sunroom that overlooks the landscaped garden. There are hardwood floors and generous closet space throughout, including a large walk-in hallway closet.

Rounding out the amenities are a large deeded parking space that can accommodate one- to two cars in tandem. The deeded storage room currently doubles as an office and offers nice bonus space with a window onto the garden.

Walk out your door to the shops and restaurants on Clement—or head in the other direction and spend your day in Golden Gate Park and its DeYoung Museum, Academy of Sciences and other landmark sites. Excellent public transportation nearby, too!

List price: $799,000
First open is this Sunday, June 2nd from 1:00-3:00!
For more details, please visit 47212thavenue.com

What You Can Buy: SF Houses

There are many neighborhood and property options in San Francisco. Today we take a look at four new single-family homes listings in different price points and areas. For those kicking off a house hunt who aren’t terribly familiar with the many neighborhoods in the city, this is a great way to start getting a sense for what’s out there:

754 Monterey Blvd
Sunnyside

$749,000
2BR/1BA, 1124 sq ft
Built 1924
1 pkg

Featuring an updated kitchen and bath, formal dining room and a lovely garden, 754 Monterey has lovely 1920s period details. Monterey Boulevard has four lanes of traffic, so if you’re very sensitive to noise, this may not be the best choice. But the location is convenient to 280, two bus lines, BART, City College, Safeway and more. The property last sold in 2009 for $633,000.

243 Romain
Twin Peaks

$1,195,000
2BR/1BA, 952 sq ft (as per tax records)
Built 1908
1 pkg

The big selling point for 243 Romain is the floor-to-ceiling windows and deck that overlook the city skyline and homes in the background, as well as the secluded, landscaped yard. The house is definitely on the small side, but having those views really opens things up. At the corner is a footbridge that lets you cross Market Street, and drops you down into the Castro. Weather in Twin Peaks is generally cooler, foggier and windier in the afternoon, but the neighborhood is great for clearing your head and appreciating a more quiet environment. The house last sold in 2008 for $899,000.

770 4th Avenue
Inner Richmond

4BR/2BA, 2652 sq ft
$1,749,000
Built 1914
2 pkg

770 4th Avenue is great for buyers who need a lot of bedrooms and space, as well as those who are looking for a property to update and make their own. All the details are there, from a living room with a fireplace and built-ins to wainscoting and wood molding. The 700 block of 4th Avenue is right off Golden Gate Park, and is one of my favorite streets in the Inner Richmond because it’s tree lined and has a lovely feel to it. 770 4th Avenue has been owned by the same family since 1973, and we’re told that they took great care of the property.

3110 Buchanan
Cow Hollow

$1,195,000
2BR/1BA, 1066 sq ft (as per tax records)
Built 1900
1 pkg

An excellent condo alternative for buyers who are serious about living in Cow Hollow, 3110 Buchanan is s small Victorian house with a lot of charm in the form of bay windows, high ceilings, French doors and crown moldings. One of the bedrooms is half of the double parlor, and there’s a large eat-in kitchen that looks out on to the patio. Decent-size parking space, as well as washer/dryer hookups and storage. 3110 Buchanan is one and a half blocks from the heart of Union Street, and about five blocks to the Chestnut Street retail area. The block itself loses points in the charm department, as you’re adjacent to a motel. But the location is convenient, particularly for North Bay commuters.

Inner Richmond House Sells for Under Asking

A home selling for less than the asking price usually doesn’t make headlines, but in San Francisco’s frenzied real estate market, the occurrence is headline worthy—especially when a single-family home in a good neighborhood is involved.

But that’s what happened at 341 Cornwall, an Edwardian 3BR/2BA house listed in April for $1,349,000. The property had generous living/dining areas and all three bedrooms on the upper level. The kitchen wasn’t huge, but was certainly well appointed. And there was a rear deck with yard, along with two-car garage parking. The block itself isn’t the best possible one in the Inner Richmond, as there’s a smog test center on the corner. But with other homes selling for substantially more in the neighborhood, you end up making your compromises.

The home went into contract, but fell back on the market. And the sale closed recently for $1,232,000.

Open House Spotlight: 2830 Golden Gate Avenue


I’m liking 2830 Golden Gate, the 4BR/3BA Spanish Mediterranean single-family home in the Lone Mountain neighborhood. There’s a chef’s kitchen, fabulous period detail and architectural touches, as well as a two-car garage and lovely yard. List price is $1,298,000.

Not everyone thinks of Lone Mountain when they’re house hunting, but I think it’s a great, lesser-known neighborhood. You’re close to Golden Gate Park, Rossi Playground, USF and the Koret Center. Weather tends to be foggy, but certainly not insurmountable when it comes to getting outdoors.

2830 Golden Gate does not seem wildly underpriced, which is refreshing in what’s become a “list low” market to drive buyer interest.

Open Sat 4/14 and Sun 4/15 from 2:00-4:00!

First SF Market Stats of the Year

Single-family and condo sales are down slightly, but multi-unit sales have increased by 8.2% in the last six months. Yes, the lastest Zephyr MarketTracker sales deets are now available exclusively here. Check out the most recent city activity, plus a special look at hot Richmond properties and the new BART cars!

Plus, some bonus info on the Cal Academy of Sciences.

It’s all here in the Zephyr MarketTracker.