So, technically, this is not a home.  And it’s not in San Francisco.  But I thought the property and the way it is presented on it’s Web site was so fascinating that I would make an exception and share this wonderful property with you. 

I learned about this stunning opportunity to own a 99 acre parcel containing a 41 acre premium vineyard, reservoir, and two 4 bedroom homesites while having lunch at La Terrasse in the Presidio on Memorial Day.  Just after a bunch of cannons fired off in the traditional holiday ceremony, I bumped into old friends Kathy McNamara and Dick Keenan, who just happen to be the owners of this exceptional property.  To learn how Dick and Kathy developed the ranch check here.  My favorite part of the Web site, though, is the flyover intro.  Kick Ranch is listed for $6.2MM by Blakeslee and Crain whose motto is “Serving Your Real Estate Needs from the Soil Up.”  Specialization is important in any profession – that’s why I hope you will always rely on me for advice concerning San Francisco Real Estate and know that I will recommend the best resources for you when you need help outside my area of expertise.


In the last 2 week period, a total of 176 residential properties closed in San Francisco. The breakdown:

Single Family: 44 over ask, 23 under ask and 13 at asking price
Condos/TICs: 21 over ask, 35 under ask and 19 at asking price
2 to 4 units: 8 over ask; 13 under ask and zero at asking price.

A word about pricing: The two most important factors in the ultimate sale price of the home are 1) the quality of the property versus the competition; and 2) the pricing strategy. As you can see, above, the the San Francisco market continues to show that our buyers just love to compete especially for their own residential purchases. I have some psycho babble guesses (see below) about why this is the case, but whatever is causing it, it remains a major factor in our market. Sellers who are pricing conservatively (e.g., as low as they can stomach) are ultimately outperforming sellers who price for what they “really want.” Thinking of selling your home now or in the next 12 months? Please let me know so I can work up the numbers for you!

Guess #1: Highly competitive people are drawn to our market and they are more willing to compete in general than people where it doesn’t take as much drive to live.

Guess #2: The feeling that everyone wants what you want and are trying to get provides emotional support that you are really paying the right price.

Guess #3: Everyone loves a bargain. Underpriced homes feel like you are getting more for your money, so they attract more than their share of admirers.

How should I deal with this as a buyer?  Go ahead and make low offers on things that seem over-priced with confidence. Don’t be afraid to make a (reasonable) low offer on something that is sitting around. And when you have a good deal on the table, don’t doubt yourself just because no one else is stepping up and trying to take it away from you.

Upcoming Listings

May 30, 2008

Upcoming Listings: We continue to see activity at the higher prices.  I think one of the pocket listings looks like a steal – 4 br & 2 car parking under 1.5MM?  If this listing or any of the others sound like you or a friend, please let me help you get you the jump on the market by getting you in ahead of time.  Just let me know.

$2,195,000 /South Beach /  BR/BA: 2/3 PKG: 2 Brief Description: Amazing 3,000 square foot NY style loft…Unique Property!

$1,700,000 / Noe Valley/ BR/BA: 3/1.5 PKG: 1 Brief Description: Tastefully updated Edwardian on one of Noe Valley’s most coveted tree-lined blocks; handsome home with excellent floor plan. Two south facing decks and great views over Noe.

$1,495,000 / Noe Valley /  BR/BA: 3/2 PKG 1 Brief Description: Fabulous view home in a wonderful Noe Valley location. Beautifully remodeled, retaining much of the original charm and detail. There is a deck of the master BR, landscaped garden and home office area.

$1,329,000/ Lower Pacific Heights/  BR/BA 3/2.5 PKG 1 Brief Description: Spacious sunny 2-Level Condo built in 1999 with open LR/DR, F/P, H/W, washer/dryer, large terrace and patio close to Fillmore St. Restaurants and Shops.

$1,395,000/ Potrero Hill/  2 Units w/bonus area over garage, 2+ car parking. Brief Description: This is a unique circumstance in that it is being used as a commercial space. Both units have good light, nicely updated, good original detail. Flexible floorplans – 2 bd 1 ba. The entrances to the units have been merged (could be used as a single family?) but can easily be returned. There is an additional space over the garage that is quite large and connects to the house via a walkway (with rooms underneath).

$1,195,000/ Eureka Valley/  BR/BA: 3/1 PKG: 0 /Brief Description: Edwardian on 2 levels. Great details. Small Yard, New kit/ba. Room to expand or add garage.

$1,095,000 /Cole Valley BR/BA: 2/1 PKG: 1 Brief Description: Upper Unit in lovely Edwardian Building with large chef’s kitchen, renovated split bath and French Doors off living room leading out to shared backyard.

$989,000 / North Beach / BR/BA: 2/2 PKG: 1 Brief Description: Perfect Modern Condo with Telegraph Hill Views. Radiant Floor heat and elegant master suite. Built in 2007.

$989,000 / Sunset District/ BR/BA: 5/3 PKG: 1 Brief Description: Huge, completely remodeled and expanded home with beautiful finishes. Granite kitchen opens to LR/DR; 3BR/2BA on main level, plus legal lower level with family room, 2BR/1BA (perfect in-law) opening to patio and yard. Huge space and great quality for this price!

$875,000/ Downtown/ BR/BA: 2/2 PKG: 1 Brief Description: Office area live work loft with private deeded deck one block from Embarcadero. Conversion building with beautiful courtyard

$775,000/ SOMA/ BR/BA: 2/2 PKG: 1 Brief Description: Museum Parc condo with granite/stainless kitchen. Very nice Great location!

$648,000/ Westlake/ BR/BA: 4/2 PKG: 3 Brief Description: Gorgeous, Henry Doelger home, 2 levels, fully detached offering over 1400 sq ft (recent appraisal). The upper level of the home is comprised of all living areas including 3 bedrooms and 2 upgraded bathrooms w/one bed being a master suite (bath en-suite), living area has wood-burning fireplace and separate dining area

Pocket Listings:

$1,495,000/ Sebastopol, CA BR/BA: 3/1 -2/1 PKG: 8.  Brief Description: 8 detached units on 0.5 acre lot within walking distance of downtown Sebastopol; fully occupied at market rate; no rent control; great investment property with lots of charm. GRM: 13.75; Ideal for 1031 exchange into North Bay; Management in place.

$1,448,000 / Lower Pacific Heights / BR/BA: 4/2.5 PKG: 2 Brief Description: Spectacular 2-Level condo, 3400 Sq. Ft., renovated with downtown views from upper deck! Pre-market offers encouraged!!

$950,000+/- /Noe Valley / BR/BA: 2/ 1 PKG: 1 car parking Brief Description: Cute Noe valley tunnel entrance home that has been in the same family for forty years! House is in good shape but needs updating, let us know if you would like to see it before we bring it to market.

$850,000 /Civic Center/BR/BA: 2/2 PKG: 1 Brief Description: Beautifully remodeled, Southeast facing view unit at The Sutterfield

Last week, news was that even San Francisco had been tagged a “declining market” by some institutions and that downpayment requirements were going to go up by at least 5% for loans financed by Wells Fargo and other leading lenders.  This was based on the requirements of the quasi-federal Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for higher downpayments in troubled real estate markets and was not good news for buyers who have seen their minimum downpayment requirement go from 5% to 10% to even more already in the last 6 months. 

One of the objections to this is that high performing sub-markets (such as the northern 2/3 of San Francisco) were being unfairly penalized and actually damaged by this kind of requirement.

This week, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reversed their policy, and will have the same downpayment requirements whether a market is flagged as “declining” or not.  Read the whole article here.

I ran across the San Francisco Planning Department’s excellent Web site about the Eastern Neighborhoods program a few weeks ago, and I wanted to share this information with you for two reasons. First, it’s a chance to observe over the next 10 years or so how the decisions made now will affect the development of a huge swath of the City. Second, there is still an opportunity to become informed and involved and perhaps made real estate investment decisions based on what you learn. A number of you know I am very bullish on the Mission, and this program supports my enthusiasm.


The Mission, Central Waterfront, East South of Market and Showplace Square/Potrero Hill neighborhoods are home to much of the city’s industrially-zoned land and are the subject of the Eastern Neighborhoods program. As these neighborhoods have changed over the last 10-15 years from industrial use to more residential use, the City has seen a number of land use conflicts and is seeking to improve the situation by doing some of the following:

  • Building Heights: Height limits would be adjusted both up and down in various areas. No heights would be raised above 85 feet.
  • Parking: In mixed-use areas, parking requirements would be changed generally to remove minimum parking requirements and establish maximum requirements instead.
  • Open Space: In many areas, the amount of open space required as part of new development would be increased. Additionally, these spaces will be required to be greener and more usable.
  • Unit Mix: Existing density requirements would be replaced with a bedroom-mix requirement to ensure a diversity of housing units.
  • Zoning Mix:  Transitioning about half of the existing industrial areas in these four neighborhoods to mixed use zones that encourage new housing. The other remaining half would be reserved for “Production, Distribution and Repair” districts, where a wide variety of functions such as Muni vehicle yards, caterers, and performance spaces can continue to exist.

The City is, of course, having public hearings on this important topic.  The next meeting is on June 2 in front of the Board of Supervisors Land Use Committee.  For a complete schedule, check here.






I saw this wonderful Two+ unit at 43-45 Sanchez out on tour with a client. It’s listed by Jacqueline A NeJaime at Hill & Company and it is really something special. Although it’s far from up-to-current-date, it has been improved and loved over the years. And the 1 bedroom in-law on the lower level is cool enough in a retro kind of way that you can imagine Chevy Chase and Goldie Hawn flirting around in there Circa 1978. For more info, take a look at the MLS listing here.

Upcoming Listings

May 17, 2008

Upcoming Listings:  Paragon’s upcoming listings for this week certainly show how robust the mid-high end is.  Whew!  As always, if you see something you want to know more about, please let me know and I’ll get you the scoop ASAP!  For those of you who missed the fabulous party friday night at the Engine 44 Firehouse, be assured I will let you know when it will be open for you to see it.  It is truly not to be missed.

$2,495,000/Ingleside Terrace/ BR/BA: 4+/5.5  PKG:1  Fabulous renovation w/ all BD’s having own bath + media/game room, FDR & Huge LR – coming 5/21!

$1,695,000 /Corona Heights /  BR/BA: 3/2+ PKG:  2    Brief Description:  Spectacular 2 level view townhouse. Open plan LR, DR, chef’s Kit. Den/ Solarium opens to huge Deck. 2 decks, rear garden, laundry rm. Views Downtown, bridge.  

$1.4m /Haight Ashbury/ Building Type: 2 Units  BR/BA1/1a 2 car parking ($599k) 2 bd 1 ba + Lower level + 2 car parking ($699k) Single family potential   Brief Description:  Remodeled – ready for fast track conversion 

 $525,000 /Western Addition/Fillmore/   BR/BA: 2/1  PKG:1  Brief Description:Top floor skylit condo w/ in-unit laundry, small deck.  Walk to Fillmore Jazz district.  Ellis@ Scott. Armancia Ergina complex.

Pocket Listings:

$1,950,000 /Lake/Inner Richmond/ BR/BA: 6/4     PKG:   2     Brief Description:  Fixer “lite”.  Very spacious rooms on 3 levels, lush, deep, level lot directly off kitchen/dining.  Offered as pocket lisitng until 21MAY08

$1,450,000/ Richmond Dist./ Two huge beautifully upgraded flats on east side of street, ea. With parking and huge, pretty backyard. Buyer as TICs or whole bldg.

 $1,448,000 / Lower Pacific Heights / BR/BA: 4/2.5  PKG: 2    Spectacular 2-Level condo, 3400 Sq. Ft., renovated with downtown views from upper deck!  Pre-market offers encouraged!!

$1.249m/Diamond Heights /  BR/BA: 3/2.5   PKG:  2   Brief Description: View home with 3 bd 2ba on one level. Remodeled Kitchen and public areas. Decks, Corner Lot, Fully Detached – steps from public transportation and Safeway.