It's April, so let's make Halloween plans now

For years I’ve heard from clients and friends who live in the Castro that most neighborhood dwellers have had their fill of the Halloween party that has gotten bigger and more dangerous every year. Bevan Dufty, the supervisor for the district, says the same thing. He and Gavin Newsom have proposed moving the soiree to the waterfront — Piers 30-32, specifically. There’s a big “if” factor, though; they don’t even know if that location is available on Halloween night.

But the point remains that a growing number of people in the neighborhood don’t want the mass gathering in their backyard anymore. The powers that be are saying it might take a few years to convince people not to congregate in the Castro on Halloween, but eventually, it can be done. The Chronicle has the story.

Property taxes are due today

In case you haven’t already paid your property taxes, don’t forget they’re due today. You can pay by mail, over the phone, in person, or online. The treasurer’s office tacks on a surcharge if you pay by credit card. Check out the details here.

311 for San Francisco

I haven’t heard much about this in the press, but on March 29 San Francisco launched the 311 customer service center. Any SF based phone calling 311 will receive assistance from a customer service agent 24/7. The folks on the other end of 311 will connect you with the right number for the city service you are looking for. Given that there are over 2,300 published numbers for city departments, this is pretty awesome. Need a tree removed? Driveway blocked? Dog on the loose? You can fix it all with one simple call to 3-1-1.

Staging: Make it pretty! Sell it faster!

The cover story in this week’s Chronicle real estate section is about staging a property to make it show its best. It works, but it’s not always fun for the sellers. Sue O’Callaghan, one of the sellers interviewed for the story, is a case in point: she and her son were our clients last summer when they listed their duplex on Guerrero with me and Matt. By her own account, Sue moaned and groaned, but the place sold in five days for about $160,000 over the asking price.

Check out the article for the full story, and (shameless plug alert) a quote from me about why staging is important, especially in San Francisco.