300 Ivy Welcomes Ground Floor Shops

The commercial/retail spaces at 300 Ivy in Hayes Valley are transforming into bustling bursts of retail activity! Above the 63 homes of 300 Ivy are three retail/commercial spaces. Two of them are already occupied, with the corner location currently empty as of this writing (August 2014).

The restaurant space is home to Monsieur Benjamin by James-Beard-award-winning Chef Corey Lee. The restaurant describes itself as, “a modern restaurant and bar in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley that is inspired by the great Parisian bistro culture and traditions of French cooking.” As noted by Food and Wine, “Monsieur Benjamin will stay open till 1 a.m., serving the kind of food that a chef rigorously trained in the French system, like Lee, might cook for friends on his night off.”

Immediately next door to Monsieur Benjamin is the made-to-measure men’s clothing shop of  Klein, Epstein, & Parker. The menswear boutique offers, “high-quality made-to-measure fashion items like jackets, pants, suits and shirts. Personalized fashion that looks AND feels great.” towards a vision where they “democratize made-to-measure fashion! Liberate men, giving them a chance to wear what they want and look and feel great. Escape the horror of pre-canned, off the rack, over-priced and mass-produced “stuff”.”

What are your thoughts about these two new additions to Hayes Valley? Have you had a chance to eat at Monsieur Benjamin yet or pick yourself up some snazzy threads from Klein, Epstein & Parker (which sounds more like a law firm than a clothing store?!)? We’d love to hear your thoughts, or any scoop you have about the final initial retail tenant. Leave us a comment or get in touch via FaceBook or Twitter.

Say My Name! (with SF Street Signs)

I have to admit that I’ve been burning up with jealously lately. Why? I can sum it up with a quick picture:

brittonjackson

Can you spell your name with San Francisco street signs?

The street sign at the intersection of Visitacion and Britton is located in Visitacion Valley (no surprise there, right?) and the street sign at the intersection of Jackson and Cherry is located in Presidio Heights.

I can’t spell my name with San Francisco streets – as far as I know, there is no Fuller street in San Francisco, nor is there a Matthew or a Matt street either. The Jackson/Cherry sign was the inspiration for my photoshop project from 2011 where I created the Jackson/Fuller street sign by photoshopping out the Cherry (I picked the sign since it had the same number of letters as my last name) and replacing it with my own.

So there’s your Friday morning I’m-not-yet-ready-and-don’t-feel-like-working distraction! Have a great weekend, and if you can spell your name with SF street signs, let us know in the comments what neighborhoods we’d be likely to find your name in.

And for the record, no, we don’t have a new team member named Visitacion Cherry.

Climate Change and SF Housing

A tip of the hat to the fine folks at The Verge for their catch of a Washington Post article about how climate change is affecting homes in Chicago. It finally motivated me to get some thoughts down on paper about climate change in SF.

Climate Change affects housing in Chicago

Climate Change affects housing in Chicago

This summer I’ve been watching the Years of Living Dangerously on Showtime with my family, and in a nutshell the show is about the fact that climate change is happening now and is already impacting the world. The days of climate change being on “the horizon” are gone, and we are now living in a world where human activities have impacted the climate on a global scale.

It isn’t if.

It isn’t when.

It is now.

What can we expect in San Francisco because of climate change? Is the current drought we are in the “new normal” or will more extreme cycles of wet/dry be the norm? After several dry years, if we were to have a wet year how many homes would be ready for the sudden arrival of copious quantities of rain? How many recent home buyers would have flooding they didn’t expect?

Will climate change make SF cooler in the summer (because our marine layer of cool air is driven by hot air rising in the central valley of California)? Or, will our average temperature go up? Will climate change bring new pests that will start to eat our homes or lawns that weren’t previously an issue in San Francisco? When sea level rises, will SF be ready, or will low lying neighborhoods find themselves slowly submerged?

Climate change is real. How do you think it will impact San Francisco homes?

Freeways Ruin Neighborhoods

Once upon a time, urban planning meant destroying neighborhoods and replacing them with freeways. If you don’t believe me, do some googling and you can find the plans for a central freeway in SF that would have gone through Golden Gate Park! I don’t know the story of the 101 or much about the construction of 280, but the residential streets they abut near Bayshore Blvd. feel like a strange island of residential homes isolated by all of these major barriers.

Take a look at Patricia’s Green in Hayes Valley, as well as all of the awesome pop-up businesses (not to mention new condo buildings) in Hayes Valley, and you can see just how alive Hayes Valley is now that it is more than a freeway terminus. While I’m not suggesting tearing anything down (although, to be fair, I’m totally behind tearing down a chunk of I-280, but that’s not my idea. It’s the Mayor’s.) I think these streets are a fascinating (personally speaking - desolate and  a bit depressing) contrast to what life is like in Hayes Valley . So…

A drive to our current listing at 119 Bridgeview took my by a couple of streets that I had always been very curious about. I was early to the showing which meant on the way back I could make a detour to the area. The light was still good on the way back so I took these pictures along both Boutwell and Waterville streets.

On a real estate map, Boutwell and Waterville, as well as Charter Oak Ave., Elimara St., Augusta St. and Conkling St.  would show as being part of the Silver Terrace neighborhood, but to me they feel like a strange island that belongs to no neighborhood other than itself… (and no, I’m not suggesting a new neighborhood name. Someone else wrote that post already.) But how about we crowdsource/discover a more realistic new name – I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments!

I’m sure there’s a story of how this all came to be, either from neighborhood residents or friends of friends of… our readers (that’s you, nudge, nudge)! So if you’ve got the scoop or can connect us to the sctoop on how this particular area of SF came to be the way it is today, we’d love to hear from you. Give us a call, send us an email, catch us on FaceBook or tweet it all out to us!

 

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: