That Awkward Moment When The Cops Show Up To…

Yesterday’s SFgate had an article about a cold-case search for a boy that disappeared from the Haight Ashbury neighborhood in 1984. The story itself, about the disappearance of Kevin Collins, a 10 year old boy, is heartbreaking to read, particularly from the perspective of a parent. I don’t want to minimize that aspect of it in anyway…

Kevin Collin, undated photo. Source: SFGate

Kevin Collin, undated photo. Source: SFGate

I bring the story up, though, because yesterday police jack-hammered the concrete garage floor in a home at 1106 – 1108 Masonic Ave. in a search for his remains. Apparently there was once an individual who lived at that address that was a person of interest in his disappearance. That person was never charged with a crime and is long since gone. The current building occupants are in no way associated with the case or suspected of involvement.

California law requires sellers to disclose any material fact about a home to potential buyers, and when it comes to deaths or murders, any crime that was “notorious” is pretty much a permanent property disclosure. But this particular property doesn’t fall neatly into that category. The building was never identified as the site of a crime scene, and until this week no one had taken the house apart in a search for remains.

How would it feel to wake up one morning and have the police knocking at your door with a search warrant to jack-hammer out your garage floor to search for the remains of a 10 year old boy that has been missing since 1984? I have to say I think it would feel absolutely bizarre, but I also don’t see how you can blame anyone for not telling you that along time ago a strange person lived in the building… If “a long time ago an odd individual lived here” was to become a disclosure item, there probably isn’t a house in SF that wouldn’t have that box checked “Yes!”

All of that said, it is a heartbreaking story and while I have sympathy for the current building owners and building occupants, my heart truly goes out to the family of Kevin.

What you need to know about District 5 Single Family Home Sales in 2012

The parade of 2012 real estate market statistics continues. Last week we started off with an overview of the 2012 San Francisco market, and last week we looked at home sales in northwest San Francisco, and Zephyr 2012 market share. Today I’m going to skip ahead a few neighborhoods from District 1 to District 5, which is the central part of San Francisco and includes the following neighborhoods/mls-subdistricts:

  • Glen Park
  • Haight Ashbury
  • Noe Valley
  • Twin Peaks
  • Cole Valley/Parnassus Heights
  • Buena Vista/Ashbury Heights
  • Corona Heights
  • Clarendon Heights
  • Duboce Triangle
  • Eureka Valley/Dolores Heights (aka Liberty Hill)
  • Mission Dolores

chart_5 (7)
The chart above shows the median days on market for single family homes in District 5, broken out by neighborhood. As you can see, median days on market was down, sometimes substantially so… with Mission Dolores, Clarendon Heights, and Eureka Valley (Castro) being exceptional examples of how competitive 2012 was if you were a buyer.chart_4 (3)
The chart above looks at the number of single family homes sold by neighborhood in 2012. It is interesting for a couple reasons – it does a pretty good job of showing what neighborhoods in district 5 have single family homes (when we compare this with condos in the coming days it will give you a good idea of the types of housing that predominate any given neighborhood). Even though the number of sales was either up or slightly down year over year, we still saw a decrease in days on market, which is exactly what we would expect when demand exceeds supply.
chart_5 (6)

Finally, the chart above shows the median sales price of a single family home in each of the district 5 neighborhoods. It’s no surprise that Clarendon Heights led the way with the most expensive median sales price, with the 2012 price being up both year over year and compared to 2009. Another thing to note is that some neighborhoods (like Twin Peaks) have very few single family homes, so small sample sets can lead to some erroneous conclusions… for example, that Twin Peaks prices are plummeting. I may try and get a post in this week that compares 2011 and 2012 single family home sales in Twin Peaks, to give you an idea of how small data sets lead to graphs like the above.

Happy Tuesday, I’m out the door for broker’s tour. I hope you have a great day!

Upper Haight Farmer’s Market

San Francisco is filled with farmers’ markets, with the world-renowned Saturday morning at the Ferry Building being perhaps the most well known.  There are, however, plenty of other farmers’ markets located throughout the city, some seasonally and others year round. We’ve written about the Alemany farmers’ market before, but I wanted to take a moment and spotlight some other markets that might be closer or more convenient to your neighborhood.

The Upper Haight Farmers’ Market is a seasonal market that runs from April through October. It is located on a quirky little stretch of Waller Street that once carried vehicular traffic from Kezar/Lincoln ino to the Haight Ashbury neighborhood. The street was remodeled and closed to traffic a while back, and now in addition to being a hangout for skaters, punks, homeless people, and dogs of varying friendliness it also hosts the Upper Haight Farmers’ Market on Wednesdays from 3pm to 7pm, and Off the Grid food trucks on Thursday evenings.


Above and below are pictures from the market that I took yesterday afternoon as setup was starting. The vendors vary by the week, but just like every other farmers’ market in the city, the produce and fruit are excellent and the people are a pleasure to get to know. A few years back I embarked upon a major tomato-sauce-making venture and got a very good deal on crates of heirloom tomatoes from a vendor at this location, although for the life of me I can’t remember the name of the farm.

If you happen to find yourself in The Haight on a Wednesday afternoon, I definitely recommend taking a stroll through the market. You’ll undoubtedly find something delicious to enjoy.

And while asking a person to pick their favorite farmers’ market is a bit like asking someone to pick their favorite holiday, I’ll do it anyway – leave a comment and let me know your favorite spot to pick up awesome seasonal produce from the local foodshed.