I was showing properties to an awesome client a few days ago, and one of the homes we viewed had this great view of the Caltrain station at 4th and King.

Trains! At a train station…

I thought it was a cool picture, so I wanted to share it. I have no deep or profound knowledge about new things happening at the 4th and King station.

Happy Friday, everyone!

PS – Anyone want to guess what building this photo was taken from? Leave a note in the comments…

Congratulations to Zephyr

What’s more obnoxious and indulgent than publishing a self-congratulatory post? We aren’t sure… but since we’re giving some kudos to our brokerage, Zephyr, instead of ourselves we hope we’re allowed a little lee-way.

Congratulations to Zephyr

Pictured above is Zephyr’s latest brag-ad, in which we subtly point out that:

  • We’ve been around for 34 years. Which is a little younger than me, and that’s the only hint I’m giving you about my age.
  • We sell a lot of homes each year – over one billion dollars in sales volume… and even with SF prices, that’s a lot of house (and paperwork, but I digress)
  • We have 6 offices. One of the critiques of Zephyr was always that we were a “district 5” company, but I think the success of our Pacific Heights office proves that Zephyr can compete (and win) in any neighborhood and any price point!
  • We’re a part of San Francisco, and we give back. Over the years we’ve supported hundreds of charities, and one of the things that I love about Zephyr is that because we are a local independent brokerage, we can afford to invest and build relationships with great local charities. I think it’s a lot better than sending franchise fees back to the flyover states!

And then there’s the final point… which I agree with, but it is worded in a very specific way for a reason.

Coldwell Banker has two brands in San Francisco – the “run of the mill” Coldwell Banker listings and then TRI/Coldwell Banker, which is (technically) Coldwell Banker but markets itself as the “TRI” brand. Ask any TRI agent if they are a TRI agent or a Coldwell Banker agent, and I’m willing to bet you a dozen of the most expensive donuts you can find that they’ll say they are TRI agents. TRI has its own signage and distinct brand identity.

So that’s why we are San Francisco’s #1 brand. But hey, we’re all in marketing, this can’t surprise you, right?

Real Estate Times… Anorexic and ready for an Intervention?

It’s nothing personal, but long time readers of this blog should know by now that I’m not a big fan of The Real Estate Times (or any print glossy real estate publication). I’ve been chronicling the shrinking publication for the past couple of years, but the most recent issue is so skinny that I’m beginning to think the magazine is anorexic and it’s time to schedule an intervention.

Real Estate Times, Under 40 Pages

The last few times I checked out a real estate times (which begs the question – who reads the Real Estate Times more, consumers or industry professionals?) magazine it was about 50 some-odd pages. Which is far, far, far thinner than they were back when I first started in real estate (when an email address was cool and if you wanted to send a document quickly you used the fax machine) I can remember editions of the Real Estate Times that were 200+ pages.

Those days are (thankfully) long gone. The most recent edition of our local print glossy dedicated to all things glamorous in real estate comes in – cover to cover – at either 32 or 36 pages. Which makes you wonder… at what point does the magazine become so anorexic that it is no longer a viable and self-sustaining life form?

Print isn’t cheap to produce, and I imagine they have enough fixed costs that they’ve got to be approaching the threshold for losing money on each issue they print. Which doesn’t seem like a business that can last for much longer… but who knows, for all I know they’ve got a magical free printer (operated by unicorns) in a magic closet somewhere, and they’ll continue to be able to churn out print editions with 10 pages at a profit.

I’ve been predicting the end of The Real Estate Times for a while… what are your thoughts?

No Tall Cars Allowed… But Why?

I was recently previewing a property in Noe Valley and saw the rather curious photo that you see below. It’s located on a residential street, on a hill, but not a particularly steep hill. So I’m hoping someone can explain to me why parking a vehicle over 6 feet high is prohibited on this particular block?

No SUVs need apply?

Did the neighbors rally city hall for a street sign so that the view from their front windows wouldn’t be blocked? Was there once an industrial company or business in the neighborhood that had really big vehicles parked on the street? Was it once a popular spot for tourist buses to park?

I’ve seen plenty of goofy street signs in San Francisco, including the current changes to street sign lettering in San Francisco. But I don’t think I’ve ever seen a street sign that prohibits the parking of a moderately tall vehicle on a residential street.

In case you’re curious – or it helps us to track down an answer –  the block in question is the 900 block of Sanchez Street in Noe Valley.

And as long as I’m asking, does this mean that the little go-carts of parking-ticket doom carry tape measures with them? And what’s the fine for parking a 6’1″ vehicle in a no parking 6′ 0″ vehicles zone? If you take some air out of your tires can you get away with it?

It’s a completely random and strange street sign… so what are your thoughts? What could possibly lead the city to decide that within a one block area tall vehicles can’t be parked. And not just not parked temporarily – it’s a permanent 24/7 ban on any vehicle that is over six feet high…

So what are your thoughts? Suggestions about how I could track down the origin of this street sign? And tips or leads that you leave in the comments would be greatly appreciated!


Friday Neighborhood blog roundup

These are Things SF Map

What’s up in San Francisco? Let’s take a tour of the neighborhood blogs to see what’s happening from bay to breakers:

And I’m sure I’ve missed lots more, feel free to remind me of all that I have overlooked in the comments!


A Little Bit of Marin… in San Francisco

A San Francisco street – believe it or not!

I’ve been a Realtor in San Francisco for almost ten years, and there are (believe it or not) still streets I haven’t yet visited. While we have plenty of world-famous streets – Lombard, for example – we also have some rather shy and retiring streets that don’t get the attention of our more famous streets…

This past week on broker’s tour, I had the chance to visit once such street – Edgehill Way – perched at the top of Forest Hill Extension.


As you can see from the above video of Edgehill Way (which has been edited for motion stabilization), the “street” really isn’t much more than some forgotten asphalt that is in the process of being taken-back by nature, with branches hanging down and tree roots bubbling back up through the asphalt.

Fortunately (or not, depending on your perspective) there aren’t very many homes along Edgehill Way, so it isn’t a heavily trafficked street – but it definitely wouldn’t be someplace you’d want to live if your car was a Hummer, SUV, Cadillac, or any other large vehicle! I was in a Prius, and could barely squeeze past a construction vehicle, and even after that the street was incredibly narrow with no shoulder and really not much room for maneuvering.

Curious about how to get to Edgehill Way? It starts off of Garcia Ave. in Forest Hill Extension. From there, it winds and curves around, with a short off-shoot known as “Shangri-La Way” until it loops back on itself and comes back down to Garcia Ave.

What are some of the streets in San Francisco that you’ve stumbled upon and been very happily surprised with? What streets have you lived on that the delivery people were never able to find? Share your favorite (or least-favorite) streets in the comments below!