I was wowwed!  LEED Certified Platinum construction meticulously designed by Handel Architects.  The development is called NOVE and it contains nine homes, each with outdoor space, direct connect parking (not a common garage), bright white modern finishes, private outdoor spaces and views and lots of bright sunlight.

My favorite features were the shiny orange epoxy garage floors and the completely real looking artificial grass in the “backyards.”  That and the fact the solar panels are cleverly integrated into the curved roof design to catch more of that south sun.

These 3 and 4 bedroom homes are all designed on two levels and are well located on Guerrero between 21st and 22nd (where the Palm Broker used to be).  Just the right place for a low-carbon footprint pedestrian lifestyle.  Bargain priced at between 1.1MM and 1.6MM, but they seem to be going fast.  the two top corner townhomes are already sold.

Please let me know if you want to take a look!


In a quick survey of adults I have taken, it appears that most of you have forgotten all about the 1938 Shirley Temple classic “Little Miss Broadway.”  In this fine film, Miss Temple plays an orphan (of course) who is adopted by the manager of a hotel populated by show business people.  She lives on the top floor (or is it the wealthy villian who does?).  In any event, drama and tap dancing ensue before the predictable happy ending.  While I never wanted to be an orphan, I did covet the real estate.

The Hamilton reminds me of this film because it is a 1930, 21 story, Art-Deco hotel that now houses 185 gracious studio condos and one gigantic, fabulous, full-floor penthouse.  While showing a studio last summer, I was told by one of the residents that the penthouse had a lap pool on the east end.  Naturally, when it came on the market, I needed to go check!  As you can see from the picture of the atrium at right, there is no pool, but there is one heck of a 360-degree view.  Add to this original marble and parquet floors, tromp o’lei backdrops and “wallpaper,” his and hers master baths (with matching view bathtubs carved of a single piece of Carrera marble), antique fireplace mantles, an outdoor space with fountain, two car parking, and a wonderful gourmet kitchen and you have over 3,800 square feet of sophisticated urban living.  Any takers?

The first house is done to the “9s” in dwell-magazine perfection and presented with professional panache.  The 2nd house is smaller and in somewhat dated condition and presented with underlit photos and so-so marketing.  They are a block apart and both 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms.

Guess which one sells for more?  The smaller, less polished one.  In fact it sold in 8 days on the market, while the other home took nearly six months before garnering an acceptable offer.  Why? I’ll get to that.  But first, so you can be even more amazed, take a look at the houses (click on the pictures to view more photos):

House #1 – 701 3rd Avenue:  Larger and Stylish House #2 – 726 4th Avenue:  Smaller and Dated

In this case, it all came down to pricing strategy and a realistic attitude on the part of the sellers.  The first home was priced 17.25% higher than the price it actually sold for. The 2nd home was also over-priced, but by just about 5%. The first home was marketed for a full 2 months at a whopping $1,885,000 before it was reduced by 90k to $1,795,000. Then 2 months later it was reduced by another 100k to $1695,000 before finally selling 2 months after that for about 135k less ($1,560,000). By the time it finally sold, the phrase “motivated seller” was on all the marketing materials. This is a tragic story of a seller’s failure to listen to what the market is telling them and potentially, the failure of their agent to forcefully tell them. They likely would have gotten one of their intermediary prices if they had only started there in the first place. In any event, anyone who’se ever had their house on the market knows how hard it is to live always at the ready for a showing.

The story of the 2nd home is much happier. It was initially priced at $1,649,000 and accepted an offer six days later for $1,566,000. This shows that the seller was accepting market facts, like the fact that the average sale price for a 3br home in the neighborhood was $1,430,857 in that time frame. And the fact that if you get an offer or two in your first two weeks of marketing, these are likely to be as good as it gets.

Although our example doesn’t perfectly fit, houses that sell quickly are closing, on average, for a little over asking price. (Quick-selling Condos & TICs average 98% of asking.) As time on market increases, the discount off original list price grows dramatically. Interestingly, whatever the time on market, homes sell on average within about 4% of final list price (after price reductions) – indicating that buyers generally won’t make offers on homes they consider significantly overpriced.

If you would like an estimate of your home’s value and my analysis of how to price it to get it sold for the highest possible price, please just let me know. Paragon has the highest performance statistics for original list price to sale price of any major brokerage in San Francisco, and I am proud to be part of that team.

As you might have noticed, due to the fanfare around The Big Rumble, last Saturday was the 20th Anniversary of the Loma Prieta Earthquake. Not to get to preachy about the whole thing, but are you prepared?

If anyone reading this does not know how to shut off their gas, please let me know and I will come show you or at least explain it on the phone.  But in addition to that, you might want to think about getting an earthquake preparedness kit together.  These can be assembled or purchased.  Here’s a great source for one stop shopping:  Disaster Survival Solutions.  They make a kit in a weather proof box you can keep outside your home (which is really important if your house falls down…).  If you want to assemble your own, just take a look at what’s in the kit do it yourself.

After you have your tent, sleeping bags and 3,600 calorie food bars, and WATER, you might want to consider making sure you know what to do and how to best help if the big one hits.  The San Francisco fire department offers fantastic free Neighborhood Earthquake Readiness Traning or “NERT.”  Elvis wants me to take the traning to get the free hard hat.  But fashion options aside, it’s probably a good idea, which I hope you will consider.  To find out more click here.

1617 FultonI was talking to my friend James Dixon, who you may remember likes to teach us about architectural styles and learned that this building (where Stefan, Elvis and I live in the upper flat) is a Queen Anne Edwardian. I had thought that the terms Queen Anne and Edwardian were mutually exclusive, but it turns out that whether something is an Edwardian or a Victorian is based on the date of construction. Since 1615-1617 Fulton was built in 1901, that makes it an Edwardian.

The reason I am featuring my own building as the Home of the Week is that the lower flat 1617 is for sale. The price is $799,000 for a spacious 3 bedroom/2 bath unit with parking and it will be open today from 1 to 4. Stop by and take a look!

Inner Sunset Edwardian Condo

640JudahExt 640 Judah is a 2 bedroom 1 bath condo located in the vibrant Inner Sunset neighborhood in San Francisco.  I hope you will take a moment to stop by to see me this weekend on Sunday from 2 to 4 if you are in the area.
This is the “greenest” home I’ve ever listed and I’m excited to see how the market reacts.  I think it will be very positive and will help me evaluate in the future the resale value of green features.  These features include a a “zero bill” solar energy system, tankless water heater, and energy star appliances.
In addition, the home has been thoughtfully upgraded in almost every way including new electrical and plumbing, new back deck with deeded dining area, freshly landscaped yard, remodeled stainless/granite kitchen, secure storage in the garage, a homey gas stove for heat and a separate laundry room.  Move-in ready and priced at $599,000.  Could this be the new home of someone you know?  Check it out!

High-Style North Beach Condo

520Chestnut404 View3Sleek, modern and exciting are all words that I think of when I’m visiting this 2 bedroom 2 bath condo.

It has views of four San Francisco landmarks (Coit Tower, TA Pyramid, Sts. Peter Paul Cathedral and the B of A building) in an ultra-high style design building completed in January of 2007. Luxury finishes include a custom Corian soaking tub, radiant heated concrete floors, a gas fireplace, architect designed built-in cabinetry, Bosch cooktop, oven and dishwasher and a Miele range hood. The attention to detail in this building was so intense that even the doorframes are custom designed and fabricated. It is truly an unusual and special property.

520 Chestnut # 404 is priced at $899,000 and will be open Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. For more photos, click here.