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110 15th Avenue

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This home should serve as a caution to anyone considering radically modernizing a period home. While updating a home to a “au courant” style can be fun at first, over time I find that the home is served better with a less is more approach. This home has stunning floors (under the wall-to-wall), great space, floorplan and location going for it. But the 1960s demanded tribute of all other period details – moldings, fireplace, built-ins are all gone.

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August 2016 – The Shift Has Started

At last week’s Keller Williams Mega Camp in Austin, Texas, Co-Founder and Chairman Gary Keller focused heavily on the Shift that is beginning in the real estate market and how sellers, buyers and agents must be preparing for it.

What’s the Shift? It’s the inevitable cyclicality of the real estate sales market. It is the constant tide flowing from a sellers market to a balanced market to a buyers market to a balanced market and back to a sellers market.

In San Francisco and the Bay Area, we have been in a strong sellers market for the past three years. This year in San Francisco, single family home median prices peaked in February at $1,390,000 and have been trending down since then, currently at $1,335,000 in July. In a normal buying season, median price peaks in June or July (as it did in the past three years).

198 single family homes sold in July, down sharply from June’s 245, and also the lowest number of July sales in four years.

In the Condo/Loft market, median price has been bouncing around $1.1M for the past 16 months. This June’s $1,162,500 was the top so far (a fraction above last June’s $1,150,000), but it dropped sharply ($100,000!) in July to $1,062,500. Count on June being the top of the market for this cycle.

Mimicking the falling number of single family home sales, the 220 condo/lofts sold in July was also the lowest number of July sales for the past four years.

How to prepare? When pricing property, sellers and agents should be looking at three sets of data:

  • Past Sales
  • Current Competition
  • Forecasted Trending

Once the market has started shifting, the critical action is to get out ahead of a falling curve. A great question to ask is “How much of the gain from the last three years do you want to give up? Because in a down-trending market, that’s the cost of incorrect pricing – the longer the property is on the market, the more of that gain is lost.

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As in June, year-on-year Median Days on Market are up considerably for Resale Condos-Lofts clocking in this month at a 50% increase over July 2015. Likewise, Single Family Homes also continued the upwards trend , at 37% ahead of last July’s number. We still have a strong sellers market, but buyers are shopping more and standing on the sidelines more.

Months Supply of Inventory dropped slightly from June to July for Resale Condos-Lofts and was level for Single Family Homes. It is up, however, year-on-year (see next page for details)

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Single Family Homes New Listings dropped by 18 from June to July, 2016 and is also down 124 year-to-date from 2015.

Resale Condos/Lofts is also down year-to-date, with 76, or 4.4%, fewer new listings in 2016 than 2015.

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Why Months of Inventory is Rising:

Single Family homes have had 115 fewer sales in 2016 than 2015, while the number of new homes on the market has also fallen, but only by 124. Likewise, Resale Condo/Lofts have had 92 fewer sales year-to-date than 2015, while the number of new listings has also fallen, but only by 76.

So, we have a less active sales market, coupled with a slight inventory build up, which leads to a larger months-of-inventory calculation. read more →

Enhancing San Francisco Street Trees Through Friends of the Urban Forest!

San Francisco looks and feels drastically different in many neighborhoods due to the efforts of a single, amazing organization: Friends of the Urban Forest.

I remember in the early 90’s, street trees were few and far between, isolated to the very posh neighborhoods. At that time Noe Valley was not one of them! I will never forget the transformation that took place on my block in Noe Valley, just in one single day. We helped plant a Chinese Elm on Elizabeth Street and later a Plum Tree in front of our home on Fulton.

Now out on 47th Avenue, we are again planting a tree because the tree there has become so old it is at the end of its life and needs to be removed. If the tree had been better maintained, its 25 foot canopy might have been able to survive years longer. This is a very costly endeavor and many property owners might not be able to afford to plant and maintain trees in their neighborhoods. This is where the Friends of the Urban Forest can step in and help keep the trees alive in our city.

You may be asking, who is Friends of the Urban Forest. This is a group that believes in the “green infrastructure” that improves and adds beauty to each of our neighborhoods. Along with all of the benefits that trees add to our ecosystem. Still asking questions, please click here for their full mission statement and available programs.

This fall the Friends of the Urban Forest are spearheading a ballot initiative due to an unanimous vote by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. The best part is, this will not include a tax to the parcel homeowners AND because of that, passing this amazing program will only require a simple majority vote by all our friends and neighbors in the city. This measure will require that the City and County of San Francisco take responsibility for the maintenance of all street trees in the city, the repair of all tree-related sidewalk damages, liability for all trip-and-fall lawsuits due to tree-related sidewalk damage, the maintenance of trees in public schoolyards, AND it will also cover the cost of caring for an additional 50,000 new trees in the coming decades. Due to the hard work and creativity among the members of the Board of Supervisors, all the funding will now be acquired from a set-aside budget. The set-aside budget is a requirement that a specific amount of revenue be spent for a specific purpose each year, and ensures the funds will be used for our urban forest mission.

How can you help to get the word out and pass this along? You can join a committee that is sponsored by the Friends of the Urban Forest called the Coalition for Healthy Trees and Safe Sidewalks. Or, check out their website to learn more about volunteering, adopting a tree and support efforts of this great community program.

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Painting by friend and client, Myriam Mardinian

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I’m at the building department this morning pulling a permit for my mini-remodel at the new house and I saw this.

Ever wonder what is happening or likely to happen with surrounding properties? The answers are all here! Perfect for data junkies and busybodies and people who wonder what’s possible. Check it out!
Other news from the building department. Our house on Fulton has been reclassified as a Class A historic resource because it is part of the NOPA Historic District. You can look up your house here: http://propertymap.sfplanning.org
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Film Night in the Park

I think you might find us watching the *old* Nemo this Saturday at Union Square. This is always great fun.

6X4 FNP postcard 2013

2016 Film Night in the Park Schedule Presented by Wells Fargo.

All films begin at dusk. 

PITCH PERFECT (2012), Saturday, June 11th, Dolores Park

FINDING NEMO (2003), Saturday, July 23rd, Union Square

THE GOONIES (1985), Saturday, August 13th, Dolores Park

LOST IN TRANSLATION (2003), Saturday, August 27th, Wash.Sq. Park

THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA (2006), Saturday, Sept. 10th, Union Square

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (2015), Saturday, Sept. 24th, Dolores Park

About Film night in the Park:

Film Night in the Park is San Francisco’s premiere outdoor film series.  Over 125,000 people have attended Film Night in San Francisco since 2003. Films are presented free of charge on a giant outdoor screen in beautiful park settings. Attendees are encouraged to picnic before screenings and are discouraged from bringing chairs.

Become a Sponsor of Film Night in the Park!

Sponsorships are still available for Film Night in the Park 2016. Join the generous family of corporate and neighborhood sponsors who make Film Night possible. For more information click here or call (415)465-3456.

Getting to Film Night:

Guests are encouraged to walk, bicycle or take public transportation to all Film Night in the Park screenings.

Dolores Park
Dolores Park is bounded by Dolores, Church, 18th and 20th Streets and the film will be screened in the park at Dolores and 19th Streets. Dolores Park is served by the MUNI Metro J-Line and by MUNI’s 33-Ashbury. The 16th Street BART/MUNI station on Mission Street is a 15-minute walk from Dolores Park.

Washington Square Park
Washington Square is located at the intersection of Columbus and Union Streets in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood. The Park is served by MUNI bus lines 30, 45 and 39. The Powell/Mason Cable Car line stops one block from the Park (at Union).

Union Square                                                                                                                                Union Square is bounded by Powell, Post, Stockton and Geary Streets in San Francisco. It is served by all MUNI Metro lines (Powell Street Station), by BART (Powell Street Station), and by multiple MUNI bus and cable car lines. read more →

Renovation Angel Gives Luxury Kitchens A Second Life

I remember seeing a kitchen in a $17 million dollar home in the Gold Coast area (last two blocks of Broadway – across the street2 from the Getty’s and Larry Ellison). I was really quite obsessed with it. Among the home’s features are the view, a car spinner (like a cake plate for cars so you don’t have to turn around) and the center kitchen island, which was custom fabricated of a kind of french ceramic called Enameled Lava Stone. Just a patio table can be $10,000. I estimated the cost of the island must have been $40,000-50,000. The colors was so vivid and striking and I remember hoping that whoever was buying the house was very lucky and I hoped they appreciated this feature. They didn’t. I heard through the grapevine that they immediately tore it out. I was upset and horrified at the waste (and, of course, that I missed this dumpster diving opportunity).

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