Discover Presidio Heights Homes for Sale

Our homes for sale in Presidio Heights IDX search page went live this morning, including our neighborhood video of Presidio Heights. If you are looking for a home for sale in Presidio Heights, then please check out our page. We think it is pretty useful and hope you will too.

Presidio Heights homes for sale IDX neighborhood page

For those of you that aren’t familiar with the area, it is on the western side of District 7, and is a small but affluent area that is primarily home to magnificent single family homes. Don’t sweat it if your stock options haven’t fully vested yet, there are also condominiums in smaller buildings sprinkled throughout the neighborhood. Most homes offer garage parking, or at least off-street parking of some kind.

It’s a very walkable neighborhood, with Laurel Village along California street just several blocks away, and numerous other shops and exclusive boutiques located along Sacramento street.

If you are looking for San Francisco royalty, Dianne Feinstein once lived in the Presidio Terraces area of the neighborhood, but sold that home several years ago for something larger on Broadway in Pacific Heights. Another neighborhood “fun fact” is that the last confirmed killing by the Zodiac killer took place in Presidio Heights in 1969, on the night of October 11 at the intersection of Washington and Maple streets.

As always, if we can be of service in this San Francisco neighborhood (or any other), don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.




Chutes and Ladders – Zephyr 2012 Calendar

Each year the Zephyr marketing department goes to great lengths to come up with a creative San Francisco themed calendar. Each month features a great mashup of a neighborhood house and a neighborhood slide or stairway. The 2012 calendar takes a look at some of San Francisco’s slickest stairways and slides. On second thought, maybe slickest isn’t the best adjective. Snazziest? Coolest? Most Awesome? Below is the 2012 calendar cover, an homage to a certain board game from everyone’s childhood.

Chutes and Ladders

We send these calendars out to our clients each year as a friendly reminder that 1) San Francisco is a great town to live in and 2) We still exist. For those of you that don’t need or want to be reminded of either of those things, it also functions as a calendar.

We’d be happy to include you in our annual calendar mailing at no cost. All you have to do is use the sign up form below, and when the calendars have been printed and are fresh off the presses, we’ll mail them out to you. In past years we have usually gotten them mailed out in the early part of December. Because these calendars aren’t free to us, we can’t extend this offer infinitely. First 50 people that sign up, a calendar will be yours! I’ll remove the sign up form when we’ve reached our maximum, but if you the sign up form below then go ahead and fill it out to get yours before the opportunity for an awesome (free) calendar disappears.

Sorry folks, we’ve gone through our inventory of free calendars! (update 10/24/2011)

Disclaimer: Offer valid only for addresses within the United States. Postage on these babies isn’t cheap, our apologies to all of our international readers and fans.

One Hawthorne Pricing and Sales Report

New development pricing information in San Francisco can be a challenge to come by. There are a variety of reasons that getting the data is a challenge. Developers don’t usually enter all of the homes for sales in the building in the MLS, and often times even those listed in the MLS show up as expired or withdrawn. In addition, with new construction it takes the tax records that are most easily available quite some time to update with the new property usage code and new assessor’s parcel numbers (APN). For all those reasons, we are excited to announce our first One Hawthorne pricing and sales report.

 It is available over at our sister site, New Construction SF where we’ve combed through the tax records to come up with an incredible amount of information about sales and pricing at the One Hawthorne development. For example – through the end of July there have been 60 home sales at One Hawthorne, with about 75% of those going to owner occupiers.

In addition, we’ve got the scoop on sales prices and price per square foot metrics that we can create by matching tax records against the building floor plan (because the tax data does not yet contain square footage information, so it is a manual process at this time). If you are thinking about purchasing in any San Francisco new construction project or the One Hawthorne building in particular, be sure to check out our sales and pricing report. Then get in touch if you are interested in the benefits of independent representation.

Neither Matt Fuller, GRI, Britton Jackson, CRS, nor Zephyr Real Estate is the listing agent for the One Hawthorne development. Matt and Britton offer buyers independent representation in new construction across the city of San Francisco. The Mark Co. is the listing agent for the development. All data presented in believed to be reliable but is not warranted an is subject to errors and omissions. Our primary data source is the San Francisco tax records.

New Dorland Homes in Castro – Mission Dolores Area

Yesterday we previewed the five-residence Dorland Homes development in the 200 block of Dorland, which is about a block from Dolores Park. Some folks will think of the area as Mission Dolores, although it actually falls in the Castro (Eureka Valley) MLS sub-district.

Kitchen, Dorland Homes

Tastefully done, with high end finishes and a great location, we’ve got a full rundown of the development at our site dedicated to all things new construction in San Francisco: New Construction SF.

Below is a pictures from one of the kitchens in the Dorland homes development, this particular kitchen is in one of the rear townhome style condominiums, with 2bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms, expected to be priced in the high 800′s. We’ve also got floor plans available by request.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with the 200 block of Dorland street, it is a little one-way street that runs from Church street to Sanchez. It is located between 17th street and 18th street. It is a quiet, residential street, with a mix of single family homes and small condominium buildings.

Disclaimer: We aren’t the listing agents for the development. The development is exclusively represented by the Polaris Group – which does have Zephyr ties – but is a completely separate company.


When a regular old vacation rental just won’t do

Hats off to, which asked to send over the wackiest rentals listed on their site. For those of you who haven’t heard of Airbnb, it’s a website that matches property owners who want to rent out their places with vacationing (or business-ing) visitors.

And what an entertaining slide show of wacky rentals this request produced. Interested in sleeping in a two-bedroom 727? Yes, a Boeing 727 has been mounted on a 50-foot pedestal and converted into a two-bedroom apartment. You can find this zany use of fuselage in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. It’ll set you back $400/night. I wonder if jokes about joining the mile-high club convert well to the 50-feet-off-the ground club. Probably not.

727 Fuselage Rental (source: airbnb)

Moving on to Thailand. How about a rafthouse on the River Kwai with electricity, hot water, and a view of the mountains? I’m slightly amused by what appears to be a roll of toilet paper left artfully at the foot of the bed. But for $30 a night, perhaps it would be wise to throw a roll or two in the ol’ backpack before heading to the floating accommodations.

Or perhaps you’re in a medieval mood and a castle in Umbria, Italy, sounds appealing. It has 14 bedrooms, a billiards room (sounds so much fancier than saying a pool table, no?), a swimming pool, and tennis courts. For $61,058 a month or $2,057 a night, I hope there’s a unicorn to deliver room service each day. If this isn’t the castle for you, have no fear. There are all kinds of castles in Umbria, so if all you want is a room and you’ll share the castle with other travelers, options abound.

When you’re done sharing a castle in Umbria, you might need to get away from it all and rent an island in Fiji. For $400 a night you get an island and a private chef. I’ll take two, thanks.


Soft-Story Wood Framed Buildings & Seismic Upgrades

While we’ve written about a variety of earthquake readiness preparations you can take, one of the most important steps a homeowner can take is to seismically upgrade their building. There are a variety of seismic upgrades that are available/possible, but this article will focus on one particular type of building: the soft story wood framed building.

Soft story wood framed buliding collapse. Source: CAPPS Report

What is a soft-story wood framed building? As you may have guessed, the framing is wood (as opposed to steel, for example). The soft-story refers to the ground floor configuration of the building, and it is one where at least 50% of the ground floor is open and used for things like assembly, commercial storefronts, or storage (including garages). The basic design flaw is a large open space on the ground floor below additional floors with numerous rooms (and interior walls) above.

As part of the CAPPS program (Community Action Plan for Seismic Safety), the city has implemented a voluntary seismic retrofitting ordinance that applies to soft-story buildings built prior to May 21, 1973. Currently the voluntary seismic upgrade program offers the following incentives to a building owner:

  • Waiver of the “plan review” portion of the building permit fees
  • Expedited processing
  • 15-year exemption from seismic upgrades that are a part of any mandatory ordinance

If you’d like more information about the program, the department of building inspection has an FAQ available, as well as a page dedicated to the issue of soft-story wood framed buildings.

When this voluntary program was announced, it was with the expectation that mandatory retrofitting legislation would pass. As of this writing, no legislation has been passed that mandates a building upgrade. The biggest hurdle has been around trying to find ways to provide financing options for homeowners, and until that dilemma is solved I wouldn’t expect to see any legislation pass.

And why all the emphasis on this? Studies have shown that it would cost about $300 million to retrofit these buildings, which sounds expensive until you compare it to the $1.6 billion in property damage it is expected to prevent (not to mention the lives saved).

1 Bedroom Investments in SOMA/South Beach/Mission Bay

While, as a whole, San Francisco hasn’t been dramatically impacted by short sales, there are a few neighborhoods where you are more likely to see them. South Beach, SOMA, and Mission Bay happen to be three of those neighborhoods.

At the height of the market (2006 – 2007), a one bedroom condominium in these neighborhoods would easily fetch in the $500,000 range, with prices climbing into the $600,000 and $700,000 range depending on size, amenities, location, and other features of the property. In fact, the median sales price of one bedroom condos in these south of market neighborhoods for the years 2005 – 2007 was $615,000 while the maximum sales price was $1,200,000 (residence 22B at the Four Seasons, selling for just shy of $1,500 per square foot – it has resold since then for $1,750,000).

The Four Seasons Building

To say that there has been a “market correction” in the neighborhood is a bit of an understatement, though. In the past 6 months, there have been just shy of 100 sales of one bedroom homes in South Beach, SOMA, and Mission Bay. Of these sales, the median sales price is just over $500,000, showing a neighborhood decrease of about 20%.

While the range of sales price is pretty broad, there have been a significant number of resales that have been for under $400,000. Given that the rental market is booming right now, if you are an investor these one bedroom homes can represent a phenomenal investment opportunity, particularly given that interest rates are at historic lows right now. Given the uncertainty in the stock market and other investments and the lack of new housing being built in San Francisco, I think one bedroom homes can make a really smart investment right now.

If you’d like a list of what’s available, or just to talk further about investment opportunities in San Francisco, don’t hesitate to leave a comment or get in touch. I’d be happy to walk you through the numbers at your convenience.


Data geeks, start your engines

Have you heard of San Francisco’s “Health Development Measurement Tool“? Me neither, until today. What, you ask, is the Health Development Measurement Tool? The HDMT is a “comprehensive evaluation metric to consider health needs in urban development plans and projects.” And what does it do? “The HDMT explicitly connects public health to urban development planning in efforts to achieve a higher quality social and physical environment that advances health.”

Um, OK. So what does this mean? The introduction to the study says:

* Housing quality, air pollution, noise, traffic safety, and access to parks are some examples of factors related to land use and development that also affect population health and well-being.
ƒ * Public health agencies do not routinely evaluate land use and development plans and projects to ensure that they create a healthy “built environment.â€
ƒ * The SF Department of Public Health created the “Healthy Development Measurement Tool†(HDMT) a comprehensive evaluation metric to consider health needs in urban development plans and projects.

In other words, what we build, how we build it, how we get from home to work to other places we need to go, and leaving open space for recreation are all really important parts of keeping people healthy. To that end, the report slices and dices San Francisco along neighborhood lines and provides statistics — on a citywide as well as a neighborhood level — relating to dozens of different factors ranging from population density to the proportion of residents living below the poverty level to residential per capita natural gas use. It also looks at water use; proximity to parks, libraries, supermarkets and community centers; voting rates; and a host of health outcomes such as asthma hospitalization and emergency department visit rates per 10,000 residents and the diabetes hospitalization rate per 1,000 residents.

I live in the Inner Sunset, so I was curious about how my beloved ‘hood compares to the cityas a whole. We have more people per square mile than the rest of SF (18,068 vs. 15,948), higher median household income ($78,878 vs. $73,528), more married people (39% vs. 34%), and we hit the jackpot with 100% of our residents within 1/4 mile of a park (SF rate: 88%).

If you want a jarring look at the differences between some of San Francisco’s most affluent areas and some of our most economically challenged areas, check out the list of neighborhoods, select a few and see how much income disparity exists in San Francisco, how much more crime occurs in lower-income areas, and the difference in unemployment rates across the city (10% in the Bayview, for example, vs. 2% in Presidio Heights).

The HDMT’s stated goal is “to support comprehensive and health-responsive planning using a systematic and objective method.” Here’s to hoping that this report leads to healthy, productive development in San Francisco.

Urban pocket gardens: a little patch of green in a sea of grey

Quick, tell me what can beautify the urban landscape, help control runoff into the San Francisco Bay, and bring neighbors together for a neighborhood improvement project?

They’re called “pocket gardens,” and they’re popping up all over the city. This year, the city has started a new program called Grey2Green, described like this in an article at SFGate today:

San Francisco’s Department of Public Works and the San Francisco Botanical Garden are making it easier for residents like Carlson to transform lifeless sidewalks into vibrant pocket gardens. The new Grey2Green program offers free workshops for hopeful gardeners, and it guides applicants through a streamlined permit process with price breaks for collaborating neighbors.

In San Francisco, the city owns the sidewalks, but property owners are responsible for maintaining them. So when the city puts some of those tell-tale white dots on your cracked, uneven sidewalk squares and notifies you that you must correct the problem, why not replace concrete (grey) with some California native plants (green)?

Grey 2 Green

It not only beautifies the area; it helps with rainwater runoff.

It’s a way both to make the city more pleasant and to control urban runoff into San Francisco Bay by spreading, slowing and percolating storm water. “The storm-water management function of pocket gardens is a huge benefit to the city,” said [Carla] Short [the Department of Public Works' urban forester].

How do you get started? Attend a workshop: Grey2Green workshops: 9 to 10 a.m. the second Saturday of the month at the County Fair Building, San Francisco Botanical Garden, Golden Gate Park. The next dates are Oct. 8 and Nov. 12. Call Mike Gonzalez at (415) 336-1119 or go to

How much does it cost? “Property owners are responsible for paying for sidewalk removal; some San Francisco contractors offer group discounts for neighborhood projects. The conversion permit itself costs $215 for a single property, $185 each for two to four neighbors and $160 each for five or more – an incentive for cooperative neighborhood ventures.”

Let’s get planting!