Robin Williams & The Mrs. Doubtfire House

The surprising and saddening news of Robin Williams’ suicide earlier this week has reverberated through the bay area. Robin Williams lived in the north bay, and was often spotted in San Francisco. SFGate had an article yesterday about the Mrs. Doubtfire home and how it has become a sort of shrine over the past several days.

As you can see in the video above, a normally non-remarkable intersection in Pacific Heights has become a rather sad and sedate but bustling corner of activity. The owner of the home, Douglas Ousterhout, is a Robin Williams fan and has a great attitude toward his home becoming a memorial site to Robin Williams. But what if the owner didn’t have such a good attitude about it all?

Mrs. Doubtfire was a 1993 movie, and Douglas Ousterhout has owned the property since 1997. There are two previous MLS listings from 1993 and 1994, both of which were withdrawn/expired without a sale. One listing notes that the property was the home of “Sophie Julien for 50 years” and the other notes that it was a “‘location’ Shoot For Fox Film, ‘mrs. Doubtfire’ Starring Robin Williams!” 

What if the owner hadn’t been informed of the home’s use in a famous movie? Does the current owner have a duty to disclose this to future residents, particularly since  fans may now show up on a regular basis to remember or pay tribute to an incredible comedian?

Robin Williams’ suicide has brought depression and mental health into the spotlight, and there have been many conversations this week about how we can support those struggling with depression or a mental illness. Most of them, fortunately, are much more thoughtful than the stupid and thoughtless lines spewed by Rush Limbaugh. While they are a minor footnote to the bigger questions being raised, his death also points out some interesting questions for property owners as well.

Good BBQ in NOPA

I love BBQ – and finding good BBQ in San Francisco is a surprising challenge. The latest contender is 4505 BBQ & Burgers (or Burgers and BBQ, depending on your priorities) which is along the Divisadero Corridor @ Grove, an area that is becoming the Divisadero Dining Destination (NOPA & Bi-Rite are both nearby,  not to mention Popeye’s Fried Foods!). Living in either Alamo Square or NOPA would put you within a very short walk of the 4505 BBQ joint.

I managed to snag lunch there last week – even at 11:30am there was a line (nothing like Ike’s). I had a lovely little spot to myself at one of the wooden picnic tables outside (they don’t have any inside seating except for a few bar stools – this definitely isn’t the place to come and eat when it’s raining, but since we are in a drought….) where I enjoyed an excellent pulled pork BBQ sandwich and fries.

The fries are fried in tallow, which definitely doesn’t taste like fries fried in canola oil. :-) They were excellent, freshly crisped up and not soggy at all.

The BBQ pork sandwich was also a keeper – it appears to have arrived with a mustard-based sauce, but I slathered it in their sweet BBQ sauce and the crisis was averted (I have a strong and completely irrational dislike for most condiments, including mustard, ketchup and mayo). The pork was flavorful and tender and moist – well cooked and seasoned!

Of all the BBQ I’ve had over the years in SF, I’d definitely have to put 4505 in the top 3, and I’d probably even have to give it the gold medal. So head on out to NOPA. Even if you don’t want to buy a house, you should treat yourself to an excellent burger or bite of BBQ.

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.

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!

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.

Noe Valley Condo or Noe Valley Single Family Home?

Our San Francisco Real Estate Report is a statistical extravaganza – and also really useful! But don’t just take our word for it – here’s an example of the types of questions it can answer. Noe Valley in District 5 has been one of San Francisco’s hottest neighborhoods for quite a while. It’s excellent weather and easy access to the peninsula for Silicon Valley commuters has made it a destination neighborhood

Median Sales Price for Noe Valley condos

Median Sales Price for Noe Valley condos, 2009 to 2013

The chart to the left shows the median sale price for condo homes in Noe Valley over the past five years. Data is from the SFAR MLS, and we do not include tenancy-in-common properties in the condo category.

In 2009, the median sale price for a condo in Noe Valley was $765,000. The price has gone up for each of the past five years, and in 2013 the median sale price for a condo broke the $1,000,000 mark, with the median sale price being $1,002,000.

The average Noe Valley condo has appreciated 5.55% a year for each of the past five years.

Median Sale Price for Noe Valley Single Family Home

Median Sale Price for Noe Valley Single Family Home, 2009 – 2013

 

 

The chart to the right shows the median sale price for single family homes in Noe Valley over the past five years.

As you can see, in 2009 the median sale price was $1,117,500 and in 2013 that value had dramatically appreciated to $1,700,000.

If you calculate out the annual appreciation rate, it comes out to almost 9% – 8.75% – for each of the past five years!

Single Family homes have appreciated an average of 9% per year for each of the past five years.

 

 

Noe Valley property values have been on the rise, and both condos and single family homes have done incredibly well. What are your thoughts about property values in Noe Valley, or any other part of San Francisco? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

 

How’s the market in St. Francis Wood?

St. Francis Wood is a part of District 4, and is known for its large lots and elegant, stately homes. One local survey (not us) named it the most kid-friendly neighborhood in San Francisco. It is perhaps the most elegant example in San Francisco of the “Residential Park” neighborhood concept that gained favor in the early 20th century. All of the information in this blog post can be found in our San Francisco Residential Real Estate Report, a free download with statistics on every SF neighborhood.

Days on Market in St. Francis Wood

St. Francis Wood Days on Market

Days on Market – 2009 to 2013

As you can see, the luxury market has made a dramatic recovery since 2009. In this particular neighborhood, days on market has dropped from 72 days in 2009 to 21 days in 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sales in St. Francis Wood

Home sales in St. Francis Wood

Home sales in St. Francis Wood

What makes the decrease in days on market so remarkable is that the average time a property was on the market decreased at the same time as the number of sales increased. In other words, supply couldn’t keep up with demand. Sales were abnormally low at 13 homes selling in 2009, while 25 exchanged hands in 2013 – a number much more in line with the prior three years when 22, 19, and 23 homes were sold.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Median Sale Price and Price per Square Foot in St. Francis Wood

Median Sale Price St. Francis Wood

Median Sale Price in St. Francis Wood

Both median sale price and price per square foot tell the same story – values have been rising in St. Francis wood over the past five years. Homes in 2013 sold for – on average – $250,000 more than they did in 2009.

 

 

 

 

Median Price per Square Foot - St. Francis Wood

Median Price per Square Foot – St. Francis Wood

 

When we look at Median price per Square Foot, the low was (again) in 2009, with a noticeable jump in 2010 (most likely we had some smaller homes changing hands in the neighborhood, which skewed this number higher in 2010). While the 2013 value of $776/sq.ft. isn’t as high as the value in 2010, it has shown a strong upward trend for the last three years.

 

 

 

 

 

Are homes in St. Francis Wood selling over or under asking?

Are homes in St. Francis Wood selling over or under asking price?

St. Francis Wood homes – final median sales price compared to median list price

From 2009 to 2011, homes in St. Francis Wood – on average – sold for less than their asking price. 2010 was the year in which homes went the most under the asking price, at almost 6%. That trend has been reversed for the past two years, with homes selling barely above the asking price in 2012 and homes selling for about 8% over asking in 2013.

 

 

 

What are your questions about the St. Francis Wood neighborhood? We’d love to hear them in the comments below.

 

What $2,000,000 buys you in The Mission

Since 2000 there have been six sales of single-family homes and condominiums in the Mission neighborhood that have closed for over $2 million. Half of those sales have happened this year (2013). Let’s take a quick look at how the Mission district is becoming The Multi-Million-Dollar Mission District.

507 Capp

507Capp
Listed by Zephyr Agent Lily Remoundos and sold by Zephyr Agent Ron Whitney, this is the most expensive MLS-listed sale in the Mission district, located on Capp at 20th St. The home boasts over 4,000 square feet of living space and is absolutely beautiful, with precise attention to detail, beautiful historic touches and clean, modern open living spaces and high-end kitchens and bathrooms. It came to market at the end of September and closed slightly below the asking price of $3,600,000.

879 Florida
Listed by incoming SFAR Board of Directors President Betty Taisch with Coldwell Banker, this home came to market about the same time as 507 Capp and closed a day before 507 Capp. It was listed for $2,195,000 and sold for over $2,500,000. The 800 block of Florida has never been known as the place people start looking for $2,000,000+ homes, but this unique home above a studio used for photography was both beautiful and a rare find for the incredibly creative and wealthy.

2533 Folsom
Listed by D Paul Brown with Paragon Real Estate, this home came to market in May and closed in June. Listed as having 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and about 2,400 square feet of living space – and a water tower – for $1,955,000. It closed for $2,200,000 making it the cheapest home you can find in the Mission for more than $2,000,000.

Here’s our list of the homes in the Mission District that have sold for more than $2,000,000.00, listed from most expensive to least expensive:

507 Capp St. (sold in October of 2013 for $3,525,000)
1419 15th St.
879 Florida St.
266 14th St.
1348 S. Van Ness
2533 Folsom St. (sold in June of 2013 for $2,200,000)

PS – And soon to join the list will be 3120 23rd St. listed by Paul Garvey of Coldwell Banker. It came to the market last week for $3,290,000 and already has an accepted offer.