Zephyr Announces new Flagship Office

Hopefully by now it’s no secret that Zephyr is our brokerage of record. Both Britton and I have been there since Day 1 of our respective real estate careers, and we have no intentions of going anywhere in the near future. We started at at our SOMA office (which is no more, don’t blame us) and when the recession ate that office up we moved to Zephyr’s founding location at 4200 17th St.

I won’t tell you why we picked the founding office when we moved almost six or seven years ago, but I will say it wasn’t for the facilities. And it probably had something to do with convenience. Victorians often don’t make ideal layouts for living, and the layout for an office space can be even crueler. The meeting rooms often felt closer to interrogation facilities, and the furniture and color scheme, well… let’s just say WE ARE SO EXCITED ABOUT THE NEW ZEPHYR FLAGSHIP OFFICE SPACE.

The new Zephyr flagship office will combine Zephyr’s current two upper market offices (2500 Market St. and 43200 17th St.) into one space. The offices will be in the former Tower Records space, and will have a street level lobby as well as elevator access for clients and agents.

While we have no intention of actually paying for desk space at the new Zephyr flagship office, we look forward to meeting our clients in what promises to be incredible space. We think Zephyr has the best agents and sales managers in the business, not to mention the best clients! We are thrilled to see Zephyr finally find new office space in the upper market area for a facility upgrade that will be as beautiful as our clients are smart!

We’d love to hear your thoughts here on our blog, on our facebook page, or on the twitter!

San Francisco Street Signs: Before and After

Years ago we wrote about the new font for San Francisco street signs. Since that time, I’ve been looking for an intersection where there were street signs with identical street names but one set of signs used our older font (THE ONE THAT YELLS AT YOU) and the other set of signs used the newer font (which has its own issues, IMHO).

The old font for San Francisco street signs

Old above, new below

The new font for San Francisco street signs

Over the weekend, when I was in Silver Terrace, I managed to find a set of signs that met this incredibly challenging set of criteria! As you can see from the two pictures above, the intersection of Thornton and Mercury (which is a non-contiguous intersection, if you are wondering why there are two sets of signs) has the San Francisco street signs with both the old font and the new font.

I’ll confess: when the signs rolled out in 2012-ish, I wasn’t super thrilled at all with the new font, but I did appreciate that the letters were no longer all in uppercase. In the age of texting, IM’ing, and emailing, all caps suggests that you are YELLING, and who wants to live and drive around in a town where the signs are always yelling at you. This is NorCal, and we try to be a little bit more chill than that (at least, I do).

So, now that I can finally show you two sets of signs, what are your thoughts about the old sign and the new sign? Has the new font gotten less objectionable to you as the years go on? Or are you so occupied with texting and changing musical playlists that you haven’t even noticed the change in San Francisco street signs?

We’d love to hear your thoughts here on our blog, on our facebook page, or on the twitter!

Listings we Love: 785 Oak St.

Our colleagues, Matthew Goulden and Leah Tracy, just recently listed this beautiful Victorian home in Hayes Valley at 785 Oak St. @ Steiner. You can find additional information at the property specific website for 785 Oak St. as well. If you are a buyer currently looking for your Realtor as well as your next home, please take advantage of the “Learn More” form at the bottom of this page and we will get back to you as quickly as possible!

One of the many great rooms at 785 Oak St.

One of the many great rooms at 785 Oak St.

What we love about 785 Oak St:

It is a beautiful combination of elegant and well-preserved Victorian details with a modern floor plan. The main level has two bedrooms at the front with a very large living/dining/kitchen great-room open space at the rear. While it is located on a busy street, the living area at the rear of the main level is very quiet. The main level also has a full bathroom.

The top level is staged as a bedroom and has high ceilings with a center cut-out that overlooks the main level. It is really unique and nicely done. The top level has a very grand feel to it, and that is before you get to the bathroom!

If you go down from the main level to the lowest level, there are additional bedrooms, laundry, another full bathroom, and direct access to the garage. Speaking of the garage, you can park two reasonably sized cars at 785 Oak – one inside the garage and the other in the driveway (which appears to have enough clearance to allow a normal sized car to fit without blocking the sidewalk for pedestrians – and you should bring your own tape measure to verify that statement).

785 Oak St. is listed for $2,149,000. If you’d like more information about this home and aren’t currently working with a Realtor, please get in touch with us and we’d be happy to provide additional information.

Learn More:


  • If you'd like to tell us a little about what you are looking for, it will help us cut down on extra emails:

Food, Food, Food Poverty, McDonald’s

This last week found us talking about food a lot during broker’s tour. Which probably isn’t that different from most broker’s tours we go on, but this time we caught a few of our thoughts on video:

We saw a condo in the Bayview for some clients, and our trip to and from the Bayview got us thinking about grocery shopping and food poverty in the Bayview neighborhood of San Francisco:

We found ourselves back in the Bayview today for another viewing of a completely different (but also very cool) home for another client, and today’s conversations headed in a completely different direction!

It turns out, there are a lot more McDonald’s in San Francisco….

Here’s a link to the post Britton references in the video about grocery stores in the Bayview where I write about food poverty.

The SF Neighborhood Blog Roundup

Bay to Breakers was yesterday, which means that thousands of San Franciscans are just finally waking up, or have been spending the past few hours at the office with one hell of a sunburn and/or a hangover… What else has been happening across San Francisco? Let’s jump to the SF neighborhood blog roundup:

I didn’t read it… but I would like to know why.

 

  • Over on the Richmond SF blog there’s a post from last week’s police newsletter. If you’ve ever wondered which SF police district has responsibility for patrolling Golden Gate Park, you’ll find your answer right here.
  • Over at Bernalwood, there’s a look at some empty lots that the owner has been attempting to develop since… 1979. Which gives an entirely new meaning to Not In My Back Yard – and I’m not sure what’s more impressive: the neighborhood resistance for for 30+ years, or the developer’s tenacity for 30+ years. But regardless of who impresses you the most, this is why homes are more expensive in San Francisco than almost any place else.
  • D10 Watch gives a shout out to the Newcomb Model Block project. Which makes us want to immediately hop in the hybrid and go take pictures. But before we do, here’s what it is, “As one of the City’s first green street projects, the Newcomb Model Block project was designed by neighbors and the city working together to make the streets and sidewalks safer and cleaner while improving the environment. The project was funded by a grant from the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Since construction was completed in 2011, the EPA has funded a study to better understand how the Newcomb Model Block project is improving the environment by reducing storm water runoff. This study has helped the City better understand how to design storm water infrastructure that beautifies the streetscape.”
  • Courtesy of the Noe Valley watch blog, 456 27th St. goes before the planning commission. The neighbors in a 6-unit building aren’t too happy with the proposed development because they will be losing views or losing light and views, depending on who you ask… The existing house sold in 2012 and it was… quirky… to say the least. Hopefully we won’t still be debating this development 30 years from now….

Happy Monday everyone, get back to work (or at least, get back to pretending to work while you nurse that hungover sun-burn).

What you should know about Agency Disclosure

A disclosure package in San Francisco almost always starts with a “Disclosure Regarding Real Estate Agency Relationship” form like the one pictured in this article. It’s a document that is filled with small type and lots of legal language – in other words, it is a document that tends to make the eyes immediately gloss over, which is unfortunate because of the importance of the agency relationship.

A typical agency relationship in the purchase or sale of a home in San Francisco (or California) follows the three following steps:

  1. Disclosure – this consists of presenting a buyer or seller with information about the three types of agency relationships in California Real Estate – Seller Agency, Buyer Agency, and Dual Agency. It is important to note that disclosure does not create an agency relationship. When a buyer or seller signs this form, they aren’t agreeing to any particular type of agency relationship – they are simply acknowledging that they have been provided with the information about the various types of agency relationships and the differences in each of the three types of agency.
  2. Election – There isn’t usually a form for this, but I’m sure one exists somewhere. Election of agency is typically created through the actions of the parties. In other words, if I tell you I’m going to write an offer with you after you’ve disclosed the various types of agency to me, my actions demonstrate that I have elected to work with you as a (fill in the blank with the appropriate form of agency).
  3. Confirmation – In San Francisco, this final step typically happens in the purchase contract where there is a paragraph that spells out who the brokerages are that are involved in a transaction, and in what capacity they represent the buyer and seller.
Agency Disclosure Picture

A typical Agency Disclosure form in San Francisco

Agency is one of the most important topics in real estate that gets far less attention than it deserves. That said, we’ve written about agency in the past, including the following three articles:

 

Fewer All Cash Sales for Single Family Homes

Are cash sales in SF on the rise, on the decrease, or holding steady?

While we were out on tour last week, this discussion item popped up based on some observations at a recent sales meeting:

Which led us to do some digging in the MLS (but not that kind of digging) to see what the stats would say about cash sales over the past several months here in San Francisco. Last week over at SF Modern Condos, we wrote about how cash is holding steady in the SF condo market.

SF single family homes - All Cash sales in late 2013 and early 2014

SF single family homes – All Cash sales in late 2013 and early 2014

As you can see below, after spiking at close to 30% of the market earlier this year, the number of all cash deals does seem to be down more for single family homes when compared to condo sales.

Percentage of all cash sales - Single family homes

What percentage of sales for single family homes in SF are being bought in all cash purchases?

While there could be (and probably are) a variety of explanations for this phenomena, one of the things I’m curious about is if overseas buyers actually have a preference for condo buildings? While this flies in the face of the “conventional thinking” that says single family homes are a more valuable property type than condos, it makes sense if you think about it: If you aren’t going to be living in the residence on a daily basis, it is preferable to have a home in a building where there are people around to keep an eye on it for you.

Another possibility has to do with location – since single families aren’t really built in SF anymore, will people go for location preference over property type preference?

We’d love to hear your comments below, on twitter, or on our Facebook page (give us a like if you haven’t already!).

Where’s the Inventory?

We aren’t the first (or the last) Realtors to wonder how this year will shape up in terms of inventory. Here are a few random thoughts about the current market and our lack of inventory we had while touring homes yesterday.