Although Earth Day has come and gone, that doesn’t mean we get to forget about the planet until next year. Shopping with reusable bags and recycling is a great start, but if you’re feeling like there’s more you can do (and for most of us, there likely is much more we could be doing) there are plenty of organizations that can always use our help. We’re not saying you have to announce a climate plan aiming to drastically reduce an entire city’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 like Mayor Breed just did, but everyone has to start somewhere!
Keep it outside
Last week Senate Bill 314 and 793, two bills seeking to streamline the permitting process for restaurants, both passed unanimously through the state senate committee last week and now just need to be voted on by state legislature. Essential outdoor changes that restaurants had to make to operate during the pandemic like outdoor drinking areas, to-go cocktails, and parklets will become legal for longer with proper permits, and the bills make it faster and easier for bars and restaurants to obtain the required permits.
Along with being pivotal in the survival of countless bars and restaurants, outdoor seating has been met with wild popularity. So even after emergency protocols are lifted, places currently offering outdoor seating will hopefully be able to continue to do so for at least a year after.
If you’re ever cautious about using hazardous cleaning materials in your home, luckily for you there are plenty of alternatives in your kitchen cabinet that work just as well. In this case, we’re talking about regular ol’ table salt. From stains to copper pots to clogged drains, salt can be your simple, natural best alternative to store-bought cleaning solutions. Check out this list of 15 surprising things you can clean with salt for other examples of the powers of our friend sodium chloride.
Just another reason why we love it here…
Korean-American supermarket chain H Mart just opened its first SF location last Wednesday and San Franciscans are psyched. The country’s largest Asian American supermarket chain, the new 42,000-square-foot location at Oceanview Village Plaza in Ingleside Heights will house a food hall with five stalls selling prepared food, an unbelievable assortment of snack foods, beauty products and housewares, and much more. If you’ve never been to an H Mart, prepare to be slightly overwhelmed in the best way ever. But if you’re up for a flavorful adventure, check out this article on what to expect on your first visit.
And now, this month’s crunching of numbers is, as always, courtesy of the San Francisco Association of Realtors.
Normal spring increases in sales activity, coupled with relaxing COVID-19 policies, created a very busy March real estate market as buyer demand continued largely unabated in the face of rising home prices and mortgage rates. Existing home seller and new construction activity continue to remain below levels necessary to bring the market back into balance, pointing to a busy and competitive buyer market in the coming months.
New Listings were up 33.9% for single-family homes and 68.8% for Condo/TIC/Coop properties. Pending Sales increased 61% for single-family homes and 146.7% for Condo/TIC/Coop properties.
The Median Sales Price was up 10.6% to $1,742,500 for single-family homes but decreased 2.4% to $1,220,000 for Condo/TIC/Coop properties. Months Supply of Inventory decreased 32.1% for single-family units but was up 4.8% for Condo/TIC/Coop units.
While many homebuilders are working to increase their activity, the cost of lumber and other materials and a backlogged supply chain continue to limit new home construction and have increased costs substantially. New methods of construction, including 3D printed homes, could speed construction and reduce costs in the future, but realistically are several years away from making a measurable impact in the market.
Stories of how our clients scored deals in this difficult market
10 Linares –Single Family Home, Forest Hill
Original List Price: $2,998,000
Purchase Price: $2,853,000
How they did it: After battling with other buyers over homes that were staged to the nines and priced to incite bidding wars, our clients turned their attention to this under-the-radar beauty. It was substantially renovated, with electrical, plumbing, structural, and many stunning cosmetic upgrades. But the higher price and sellers’ traditional furnishings resulted in lukewarm buyer activity. Our clients, able to look past the superficial, negotiated the price down to $848/sq ft, much lower than the neighborhood average, and moved into their “forever home”.
Their Pacific Edge Partner: Cynthia Pagán
1694 York – Single Family Home, Bernal Heights
Original List Price: $2,595,000
Purchase Price: $2,065,000
Sales Price in 2018: $2,295,000
How they did it:“Something must be wrong with it.” That’s the conclusion most buyers draw when a home has high days on market or has failed to sell in the past. Instead of examining the opportunity for themselves, they allow this one indicator to determine that it’s not the right home for them, often before they’ve even seen it. Our clients used this dynamic to their advantage, making an aggressive offer on a chronically overpriced home that had been withdrawn from the market multiple times without selling. Even though the single-family home market is up, they paid a whopping 10% less than the seller purchased for 3 years ago.
Their Pacific Edge Partner: Alec Mironov
788 Minna – Condo, SOMA
Original List Price: $699k
Purchase Price: $665k
Approx. Top-Of-Market Value: $800k
How they did it: In the words of Warren Buffet: “Whether we’re talking about socks or stocks, I like buying quality merchandise when it is marked down.” It takes a bold attitude to buy when/where nobody else is buying…. but that’s always where the best deals are found. With WFH still in effect, the SOMA market is suffering. Prices on small condos have slid back to 2015 values. By moving against the trend and betting on a more normal future when every inch of our 7×7 is again in high demand, our clients negotiated a fantastic price on their own sunny and modern city pad.
Their Pacific Edge Partner: Cleveland Motley
1800 Washington #317 – Condo, Pacific Heights
Original List Price: $825k
Purchase Price: $830k
Approx. Top-of-Market Value: $900k
How they did it:“Fortune favors the prepared.” When this Pac Heights gem came on the market, our client was one of the first people through the door. With swift and decisive action, she presented an offer before the listing agent could set an offer date, eliminating most of the competition. When another speedy buyer showed up and created a bidding war, our client prevailed with strong terms rather than a high price. By working with her lender to get her loan 100% underwritten prior to shopping, she was able to offer a short closing timeline and contingency-free financing, sealing the deal in one of SF’s best neighborhoods.
Their Pacific Edge Partner: Sean Komarmy
865 Corbett #2 – Condo, Twin Peaks
Original List Price: $659k
Sales Price: $800k
Approx. Value After Renovation: $950k
How they did it: “There are no such thing as ugly ducklings. Only swans in disguise.” Features of this townhouse-style condo included a mustard yellow 1970s kitchen, worn out carpet, and popcorn ceilings. But instead of focusing on the dingy and drab, our intrepid client saw the things that can’t be changed: Downtown views and a central location. Not to mention the opportunity to create a totally customized long-term home. Despite the condition, the home received more than 10 offers. Although he wasn’t the highest in price, our client prevailed with clean terms and a great loan agent that went to bat for him. Thanks to sweat equity and vision, he’ll soon own a renovated 2BR view home for the price of a basic 1BR condo.
Their Pacific Edge Partner: Amy Clemens
High conforming, 0 points
30 year = 3.125%
10/6 SOFR ARM =
5/6 SOFR ARM = 3.500%
Jumbo, 0 points
30 year = 2.750%
10/6 SOFR ARM = 2.625%
5/6 SOFR ARM = 2.250%
Forget the “Top 10 Neighborhoods in SF” lists. Try these more affordable alternatives.
Priced Out Of: OUTER SUNSET
Median Price SFR: $1,400,000
Median Price SFR: $1,120,000
Everyone knows the Sunset is on *fire*, with 30+ offers on just about every home, and prices spiking from one week to the next. Ingleside, just south of Ocean Ave, offers its own scrappy, locals-only community vibe that reminds us a lot of the Outer Aves. There are smaller-scale homes, much like the blocks west of Sunset, that offer some more affordable entry points to single-family home ownership. Plus (ding ding!) there is a Muni rail line, a Whole Foods, and tons of great ramen shops and yoga studios on Ocean Ave.
Priced Out Of: NOE, CASTRO, and COLE VALLEY (Condos)
Median Price Condo: $1.4m and $1.5m, respectively
Try: TWIN PEAKS
Median Price Condo: around $1m
Twin Peaks is an oft-overlooked neighborhood; surprising considering its central location. The trek up the hill and the foggier climate are the main contributors to prices that are downright cheap compared to anywhere else in District 5 (which includes Duboce Triangle, Mission Dolores, Noe, Castro, Cole Valley, etc.), but it’s closer than you think! Did you know that there’s a secret footbridge that connects Corbett with the top of Noe Valley? Take the stroll one day – you may be surprised. Plus, Twin Peaks offers jaw-dropping views of the city skyline and access to one of the best urban hikes in the US.
Priced Out Of: PACIFIC HEIGHTS (condos)
Media Price Condo: $1,450,000 but has been as high as $2.1m in the past 12 months
Try: JORDAN PARK/LAUREL HEIGHTS
Median Price Condo: hovers right around $1.3m
If Pacific Heights is feeling out of reach, try looking just south of California Street. Jordan Park and Laurel Heights are fantastic alternatives that still offer access to that north side, old SF feel. Jordan Park has some wide streets populated by grand-scale single-family homes, but condos in smaller classic buildings can also be found. There’s a lot of beautiful architecture to enjoy, the gourmet shopping experience at Laurel Village is excellent, and you can still stroll Sacramento Street.
Priced Out Of: ST. FRANCIS WOOD
Median Price SFR: $3,400,000
Try: FOREST HILL
Median Price Condo: $2,500,000
Tree-lined streets, stately facades, expansive lots… these are the hallmarks of St. Francis Wood, and they can all be found in nearby Forest Hill. Forest Hill also offers many blocks that are a comfortable stroll away from West Portal Ave; a convenience that drives prices and desirability in both neighborhoods. Like St. Francis Wood, Forest Hill has a neighborhood association. There is more architectural diversity in Forest Hill; red-roofed Mediterraneans, Mid-Century moderns, and California craftsmans can all be found there. The gem of Forest Hill is the clubhouse, designed by famed architect Bernard Maybeck and used for community events.
With more than 90 distinct neighborhoods in San Francisco, there really is something for everyone! Keep an open mind during the home buying process, and you might get pleasantly surprised.
*median prices listed above are prices from March 2021. Email us anytime for updated info on home prices in San Francisco.
Just another reason why we love it here…
It’s not unusual to see something, well, unusual on the streets of San Francisco, but Sunday morning a 5,000-square-foot Victorian home started moving slowly down Franklin Street. Moving a house isn’t a new concept, but this particular one built in 1880 is the first Victorian home to be moved in over 45 years. Moving to its new resting place on Fulton, the house is being moved to make room for a 47-unit apartment complex.
The Victorian was moved by a remote-control hydraulic dolly, and a crew to remove the occasional parking meter, street light, or trim a tree branch. Passersby gathered in the streets and followed along as if it were part of a parade. No doubt, any bit of excitement is welcomed these days. If you happened to see this in person and snapped some photos, we’d love to see them! We’re just happy to see a beautiful piece of history given a new lease on life.
Last week Mayor Breed’s office announced a new program to make it as convenient as possible for people to get vaccinated once they’re eligible. Starting today, February 23, the SFMTA is offering free roundtrip transportation to people traveling to receive their vaccine. Riders can travel for free to any vaccination site (including BART and AC Transit to the Oakland Coliseum), as long as they present an appointment confirmation or vaccine card. So if there’s anyone you know who could benefit from this program, pass the info along and let’s put this pandemic behind us.