San Francisco

Freshly updated map of what’s going up around town

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Interested in what’s happening with new developments in San Francisco? Click the link below to view the interactive map…

http://www.parascopesf.com/development-map/

Source : Parascopesf.com

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Great Dickens Christmas Fair – December 22, 2013

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The Great Dickens Christmas Fair is a one-of-a-kind holiday adventure into Victorian London – an elaborate party with hundreds of costumed players performing and interacting with patrons in over 120,000 square feet of theatrically-lit music halls, pubs, dance floors and Christmas shops.

It’s a twilight evening in Charles Dickens’ London Town; a city of winding lanes filled with colorful characters from both literature and history. Enticing aromas of roasted chestnuts and hearty foods fill the air. Cries of street vendors hawking their wares ring out above the bustling crowd. Dozens of lamplit shops are filled to overflowing with Christmas gifts. The Dickens Christmas Fair is a treasured Bay Area tradition since 1970 and a splendid way to celebrate the holidays.

Four weekends including the Friday after Thanksgiving: November 29th through December 22nd, 2013 from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM PST
Cow Palace Exhibition Halls, 2600 Geneva Avenue, San Francisco
General Admission, $25. Student/Senior/Military, $21. Children 5-11, $12. Children Under 5, Free. Groups of 15 or more, $17. Pickwick Club (Fair season pass), $60.

For more information go to www.dickensfair.com/

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Union Square Tree Lighting

The 24th annual Union Square Tree Lighting on November 22nd, 2013, featuring Macy’s gift to the City of San Francisco and most recognizable Christmas tree. The 83-foot tall, reusable tree will be dressed with 33,000 energy-efficient twinkling LED lights.

One of the prettiest features of winter and Christmas in San Francisco is the lighting – lights on buildings, on trees and in windows, which look even better as the nights get longer and colder. When the light diplays switch on (starting the week before Thanksgiving) you know it’s the onset of the holiday season.

Friday, November 22nd, 2013
Union Square, San Francisco – located between Geary, Powell, Post and Stockton Streets

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For the Competitive Among Us

I am trying to teach my son not to care too much about how he measures up to others.  A little healthy competition is fine.  (I can run faster!)  But wondering who makes more money, who has a better house, who has a better car… not so much.  It’s a process.

But we all wonder, don’t we?  Here’s a chart you can have some fun with.  Some of it will make you feel pretty good (greenest!) and some pretty bad (most homeless)… Have fun and try not to brag too much to your out of town friends and relatives.

2013 sf stats read more →

A Few More Details on 2012 Sales

There are a lot more statistics on the market in general below, but I wanted to take a moment to talk about the KINDS of properties I sold in 2012. Because it is different from what I sold in 2009 and 2010. The take away is that it really is a good time to sell just about any kind of property… If you have been sitting on the fence or think you are still stuck, please reach out and let’s talk!

Five of my 19 sales were TICs. Between 2008 and 2012, TICs were not moving at all. I listed three TICs this year. We sold one at asking in about three weeks, one just below asking in two weeks, and one 30k (5%) over asking price in about 10 days. That was OVER asking price folks. For a TIC. Haven’t heard that one in a few years.

Also, while I am hearing that the “distressed” market is in decline, 2 of the 19 sales were bank owned (REO) and 3 were short sales. (Though I am great at this stuff, it is painful, frustrating and I won’t mind when people are all making money again, so I hope the experts are right and distressed sales are on the way out!)

Three out of 19 were investment properties.

Eight out of 19 were listings. And all but one of my eight listings sold in 2 weeks or less.

Eleven out of 19 were buyer representations; and

Four of the eleven buyer representations were ones we saw prior to them being listed in the MLS. It was a fast paced market and getting the jump on the competition was the name of the game. Two I found out about by networking with other agents, one my buyers found scouring craig’s list, and one I found by knocking on the door of a distressed home because it fit the bill for a buyer I had in mind. This was a significant difference from past years where one or two sales would be pre-market opportunities.

If you want to look at specific closings, they can all be found here: http://jennifer.intersectmg.com/properties/sold/ read more →

Let your supervisor know if you are sick of the pants-free parade

I know I am.  I do not enjoy seeing George Davis’s altogether every time I am near Castro & Market.  It makes my son uncomfortable and, you know what?   Me too.  At an appropriate public event, I don’t mind if people are nude or scantily clad, but this daily parade of the pants-free should be stopped.  It’s bad for the city as a whole and for the health of the generally very inclusive Castro neighborhood specifically.

Natalie Rome of Paragon is quoted in the Chronicle today as saying that George and his band caused a couple to steer clear of the area.  I had the same thing happen this summer as well.  To read the Chron article, click here.

Supervisor Scott Weiner has proposed a ban on public nudity.  While it might be better if a supervisor with a different last name sponsored the legislation, his name may help the whole thing catch on.  My thanks to you Scott for taking a  potentially unpopular stand and talking about what we’ve all been trying to ignore lately.  To contact your supervisor to let them know you support (or do not support) the measure, click here.

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How to Find Things Out (About Your Neighbors)

You often call me with questions about things that are going on with buildings or plans for building next door or around the corner from you.  I’m always happy to help but I thought you might have fun exploring things for yourselves.

For most of your questions, my go to resource is the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection.  On their website you can look up all the permits and COMPLAINTS for a given address or APN (Assessor’s Parcel Number).  You can access the site at http://www.sfdbi.org

Second in line is the San Francisco Assessor’s office, where they now have a video to help you apply for a temporary reduction in property taxes, among other great information.  You can find that website here.

Finally, San Francisco has a interdisciplinary tool called the San Francisco Property Information Map that allows you to look up a site address and find information regarding everything from zoning, to landmark information, to traffic planning zones to assessed values.  You can access the San Francisco Property Information Map here.

Try to use the information you obtain tactfully at all times 🙂 read more →

Jennifer’s Market Perspective

I apologize – it has been a while since you heard from me.  It’s indicative of the kind of real estate market we are in:  stuck in high gear.  It has been the busiest spring in a long time, in large part because buyers want to buy and there is very little on the market.  Buyers are competing at a level I have not seen since 2005 and average sales for the 381 single family homes closed since May 1, 2012 are 109.91% of asking price.*

Which leads to this surprising post Spring 2012 fact:  If you own a home, it might be worth more than you think it is.  Values in a quite a few neighborhoods are up more than 10% in the first half of 2012 (see chart below).  This means you may have options of which you are not aware.  If you need an updated value on your home, I am happy to provide it.  If you decide you want to sell, intensive property preparation and realistic pricing will really pay off.  I have just the right skills to help with both, so please don’t hesitate to ask or recommend me to friends.

Clients are asking what is causing this imbalance between sellers (too few) and buyers (too many).  My best theory is that people who own homes and would normally be trading up don’t have quite enough equity or income to pull it off and so are staying put.  Most of the homes being sold seem to be people moving out of the area, divorces, distressed sales and estates.  So with only that driving listings and with such attractive interest rates and job growth in the area driving purchasers the imbalance seems likely to continue for at least a little while longer.  As home owner’s equity grows (or they realize that it has grown), they might start to trade up in a more normal pattern, which would do a lot to correct the imbalance.

If you have been thinking of buying, you are not alone.  But even though it can be very frustrating right now, it is a good time to buy with super low interest rates and prices just starting what seems like it will be a long-term climb.  As with past up cycles, prices that seem outrageous right now will look genius in the rear view mirror.  Be assured – it isn’t just “Tulip Mania.”  The fundamental value of living in our beautiful city seems at the beginning of a long upward trend so act decisively and with confidence!  (My buyer clients have been particularly successful this spring with pre-emptive offers, which means they are making offers prior to other buyers even getting a peek.  They are able to do this for two reasons:  a good understanding of the market so they know a good value when they see it and my home finding techniques.  I found a home for one family by knocking on the door of a home in foreclosure.  THAT was an adventure I can tell you about sometime.  One I would be happy to repeat on behalf of you or yours so just ask!) read more →

Funny website with somewhat accurate descriptions of SF Neighborhoods

To be taken with a grain of salt but I enjoyed it:

http://www.thebolditalic.com/drewhoolhorst/stories/1958-moving-to-san-francisco read more →

Summer Fun San Francisco Style

It is summer in SF, which sometimes means it is cool and breezy, sometimes baking hot and sometimes all of the above within an hour.  Change keeps life exciting and in San Francisco we are never bored in the summer by stretches of dog days heat.

There is lots to do here, SF Park & Rec has everything from pottery to hiking.  The 75th Annual Stern Grove Festival offers music ranging from Opera to The E Family.  And, my personal favorite, the SF Neighborhood Theater Foundation, (co-sponsored by Paragon Agent Jim Fisher!) offers an amazing selection of movies at Dolores Park, Washington Square Park and Union Square.  To be more specific:

Saturday, 6/16, Dolores Park – SING-ALONG MAMMA MIA! (2008)  see photo at right and note:  Hipsters largely too cool to sing but we were not …

 

Saturday, 7/14, Union Square – THE ARTIST (2011)
Saturday, 8/4, Dolores Park – SIXTEEN CANDLES (1984)
Saturday, 8/25, Union Square – AFTER THE THIN MAN (1936)
Saturday, 9/15, Dolores Park Park – THE GRADUATE (1964)
Saturday, 9/29, Washington Sq. Park – MIDNIGHT IN PARIS (2011)

Hope to see you there!  (Just don’t forget your blanky.) read more →