Lots of Love for Bernal + Latest SF Sales

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!

21 Days & Counting: Hot SF ‘Hoods

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:

86 Wool
Bernal Heights

Days on market (DOM): 71
4BR/3.5BA, 1890 sq ft
1 pkg
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
West Portal

Days on market (DOM): 55
2 pkg
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.

1853 Filbert
Cow Hollow

Days on market (DOM): 69
2BR/2BA, 1034 sq ft
1 pkg
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.

Bernal’s High-End Market Holds in 2010

255 Moultrie’s market saga came to an end last week. The “modern masterpiece” featured 4BR/3.5BAs, and had been renovated from the ground up since it last sold in 2006 for $755,000.

The home came on the market in mid August for $1,295,000, went into contract in early September, but then fell out. The sellers put the property back on the market in mid September at $1,335,000, which gives you an indication that a few new insights transpired during the contractual period.

The new owner paid $1,320,000 for 255 Moultrie, which isn’t a sky-high price for Bernal anymore. In fact, 19 homes sold for $1M and above in 2010. But only two sold for more than that of 255 Moultrie. In contrast, 2009 saw 30 homes selling for $1M+, including five for $1.3M+. Next year should be an interesting one for Bernal’s sellers.

How's the Market In: Bernal Heights

I have many clients who live in Bernal, and am often asked how the market is doing in the neighborhood. The Bernal real estate market is usually pretty healthy; buyers like the favorable weather, as well as the close proximity to the Cortland retail strip and freeways. First-time home buyers typically target Bernal because the homes are generally smaller and thus more affordable in comparison to other nearby areas like Noe Valley.

Bernal Heights is divided into a few key areas—the north slope, which is arguably the most desirable; west slope, which is closer to Mission but is also very desirable; the east slope, which is a little more remote and can come a little too close to Bayshore and Hwy 101; and the south slope, which features the appealing Holly Park area (but can get a bit less desirable the closer you get to Hwy 280). Architecture runs the gamut, and includes Victorians, Edwardians, and boxy 1940s offerings.

Many homes change hands in a given year in Bernal, so inventory is not usually a problem. To date, 96 single-family homes have sold at an average price of $753,805, with a 1,370 average square footage. Thirteen of those homes sold for more than a $1M, but this price range is usually in the minority. Your dollars at the higher end in Bernal will get you more house than in nearby Glen Park or Noe Valley.

There are currently more than 40 single-family homes and eight condos on the market in Bernal. Though condo sales aren’t as common in Bernal, they do happen. Condos usually don’t rise above the $700,000 price point; however, Bernal isn’t where most buyers go to purchase condos. (More likely neighborhoods for condos would be the Mission or Noe.) Notable homes currently available include 91 Winfield, a 2BR/1BA with a bonus room, listed at $629,000, as well as a very nice Edwardian listed at $949,500 at 212 Banks that has 3BR/3BA and 2,385 square feet.

I think Bernal is the type of neighborhood that will continue to perform pretty well throughout this economic downturn; its average sales prices are smack dab in the middle of the range where most homes are selling in San Francisco. Add to that the fact that you can own a house for what a condo would cost you in more pricey neighborhoods, and it’s no surprise that many homes on the west/north slopes sell with multiple offers.

Ultra-Modern Bernal Home Sells, Kicking and Screaming

Remember 210 Holladay, on the east slope of Bernal Heights? The 2300-square foot, 3BR/3.5BA contemporary home came on the market in September 2009, listed at $1,395,000. And it was downhill from there on the pricing.

The price was reduced four times until it reached $1,175,000 this month. That number apparently tempted buyers to write an offer, and the sale closed at $1,087,500 last week. Not bad for this level of housing, though Holladay is parallel to Hwy 101, and is probably in one of the least desirable locations in Bernal. And you know what they say about location, location, location. Yeah, it counts for a lot.

What the Median Price Will Buy You in San Francisco: House Edition

I’ve been enjoying the “median price” series of On the Block blog posts, so I thought I’d create a San Francisco version.

The median price for the 273 single-family homes sold since April 1st is $775,000. And there are 281 houses currently listed for up to that price. Here are three of them, ripe for the picking:

The first is a 2BR/1BA with an unwarranted studio in-law at 2122 47th Avenue. I sold a house in this Outer Parkside neighborhood last year that was two blocks from this property, and I can vouch for the excellent beach and park proximity. The home appears to be in nice condition, and is listed at what I believe is a very reasonable $628,000 price. It’s been on the market for about two weeks.

We move on to 1351 Plymouth,a 2BR/1BA 1920s home in Westwood Park listed at $685,000. There’s a sunroom, living room with fireplace, and a bonus room/bath down. You’re very close to Ocean Avenue and BART/Muni stations, and the house has an 88 Walk Score. There have been two price reductions since the property came on the market at $728,000 in mid March.

I blogged about 271 Nevada when it first came on the market back in February:

The one-bedroom cottage is very appealing, but it’s less than 1,000 square feet, which may explain why there is a limited buyer pool. The sellers came on at $749,000 and haven’t moved to reduce the price. But this is probably because they paid $790,000 in 2007 and may not be able to afford to sell for less than their list price. There’s a lot of that going on these days.