Bernal Heights Market Activity

We’ve got a sweet new single family home for sale at 26 St. Mary’s in Bernal Heights / Glen Park, so I thought it was only appropriate to take a look at some neighborhood trends and numbers.

Since the beginning of the year, there have been 30 homes with two bedrooms and one bathroom that have sold in the Bernal Heights neighborhood mls-subdistrict.

Two Bedroom, One Bath home sales in Bernal Heights
Two Bedroom, One Bath home sales in Bernal Heights

The most expensive two-bedroom home was in the 1683 block of Alabama St. It listed for $895,000 and closed for $1,180,000.  Nipping right at it’s heels is 79 Wool St., which listed for $879,000 and closed for $1,171,500.

At the other end of the spectrum, the least expensive home with two bedroom and one bathroom was a foreclosure (REO) property that had been illegally subdivided into several units and was fully tenant occupied, being sold subject to tenant rights. That property listed for $300,000 and sold for $360,000.

The median list price for two bedroom, one bath homes listed and sold in the MLS is $699,000, with homes selling for an average of about 6% over asking. That said, there is obviously some extremely wide variation in what homes sell for in relation to their listing price.

I’d also like to give you a report on how things shake out on a price per square foot basis, but as I’ve written before, price per square foot pricing brings up a host of issues in San Francisco homes. In this case, the challenge is even greater because about 1/3 of the homes listed in Bernal this year don’t have a square footage attached to them. In some cases, brokerage policy prohibits the advertising of square footage in the MLS (it’s San Francisco’s #1 real estate lawsuit). In other cases, the agent may not have listed the square footage because they felt the numbers they had were not reliable.

Disclaimer: All data is from the San Francisco Multiple Listing Service (SFAR MLS). Data is believed to be reliable and accurate but is not warranted. Your mileage may vary!

So that’s a quick overview of market activity for two bedroom, one bathroom homes in Bernal Heights. What are your thoughts about the market?

A Tale of Two Markets in Bernal Heights

505 Anderson in Bernal Heights is a single family home that has been on the market and off the market for the past several years. It provides a great perspective on how the San Francisco real estate market has changed in the past few months.

505 Anderson in Bernal Heights
505 Anderson in Bernal Heights

The home is small – about 750 square feet, doesn’t have parking, but does have two bedrooms, one bathroom, and is a single family home. So, in other words, it has some upsides – single family home. And some downsides – on the small side, no parking.

It was listed in 2010 for $489,000 and then withdrawn after about a month on the market. 2010 = No Sale!

The home was listed for sale again in 2011 for $489,000 and sat on the market for about 3 months before being withdrawn. 2011 = No Sale! 

The Bernal heights home was listed again in the spring of 2013 for $499,000. It was the same house, with only minor changes made since the last two sale attempts (new windows and siding in 2012), and plans had been drawn up showing how you could make a larger bedroom and add one car parking.

In 2013 the home was on the market for about 3 weeks, and after listing for $499,000 it closed for almost 125% of the asking price, closing just over $620,000. 2013 = Over Asking Sale! 

In a nutshell, I think 505 Anderson is a great indication of how the market has changed in San Francisco. Homes that languished on the market in 2010 and 2011 are now being snapped over for substantially over their previous listing prices. And the only substantial difference is that the market has changed – not the house.

What are your experiences with the San Francisco market this year? Can you think of other homes you saw for sale in the past few years that didn’t sell but ended up doing phenomenally well in 2013? Leave a comment below, I’m happy to do some more research and share what I can about the sales.


Yesterday was broker’s tour, and by the 2:00pm tour block I was famished. So I (very quickly) darted into Precita Park Cafe to grab a healthy snack (you know, like a cookie). While I was there, I stumbled across an advertisement for curbtxt – a service that describes itself as “Neighbors helping neighbors avoid the pitfalls of city parking.”

The premise is pretty simple – register your car with the service by texting from license plate from your cell phone. Then, if someone sees your car when it is in a hazardous situation (during street cleaning, for example), they can notify you through the service that your car is about to be ticketed. And then you can run out and move your car, avoiding an expensive ticket!

CurbTxt advertises itself as both anonymous and free, and also as being only for Bernal Heights residents. And while I know Bernal is special, I’m sure it’s just starting out in Bernal and that there is nothing unique to the geography or inhabitants of the neighborhood that would require you to live in the neighborhood… For it to be effective, you obviously need a critical mass in one geographic area, so it makes sense to roll it out on a neighborhood by neighborhood basis.

The only downside that I see to it is that when you’ve left your car in a situation that will result in a parking ticket (rush-hour tow-away zone, street cleaning, etc.), how frustrating is it to get a text message telling you that you’re about to get a ticket, and you are in a situation (say, working at your job on the other side of the city) where you can do absolutely nothing about it. Is it better to know you’re about to get a ticket, or is it better to just be unhappily surprised when you get home from work/play/vacation, etc?

If you’ve had experience with curbtxt, either good or bad, I’d love to hear about your experience

Stop Reading This and go Outside

Here’s the weekly neighborhood news wrap in a nutshell:

  • The weather is perfect – sunny, forecast for the 70’s through the weekend. Not even Siri would argue with me about how gorgeous our weather is.  So stop reading this blog and go outside and enjoy our weather. Unless, of course, you are reading this at the park on your favorite gadget. In which case you should put said gadget away and enjoy the weather. I promise it won’t hurt my feelings.

However, if that isn’t enough news for you, then consider this:

  • Antibiotics for everyone after lab researcher dies, lab shutdown.  (Ocean Beach Bulletin)
  • The de Young has cooler stuff in their basement than you or I ever will. In particular, they found a bunch of old glass negatives. The photos are absolutely awesome and amazing. I only wish the crap I can’t bring myself to throw away was so cool. So thanks, packrat from approximately 100 years ago, for not throwing these out. (deYoung via Richmond SF blog)
The Cliff House, image from deYoung museum blog
  • For those of you with school age children that haven’t already left the city or sent your children to private school, SFUSD announces their new Superintendent, Richard Carranza. Budget cuts apparently require that his photo on the website be taken with a blurry cam. But hey, at least we get a picture. (via Rachel Norton’s blog)
  • They’d normally be the coolest pictures of the week, but the deYoung beats out the awesome historic photos of Midtown Terrace/Forest Knolls, including one which seems to refer to a NIKE weapons site that actually was or was planned to be situated in the middle of San Francisco. (via Forest Knolls)
  • And finally, Bernalwood has cooler pictures on it’s blog of Bernal Heights than you ever will. So don’t even bother trying. (via Bernalwood)

I’m sure I’ve missed 1,000 more cool and interesting things, because that’s just how awesome a city San Francisco is. Have a great weekend!

Neighborhood Blog Roundup – April 23, 2012

Happy Monday morning everyone! What better way to start the week than to take a look at what the hot topics have been across the San Francisco neighborhood blogosphere.

I don’t doubt I’ve overlooked something phenomentally interesting, entertaining, or otherwise blog-worthy (but come on, Supervisor Mar in a hottub is pretty awesome). Leave a comment or shoot me an email with your favorite neighborhood blog!