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:

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.

Lombard St: Cow Hollow or Marina?

Boundaries are arbitrary, but does it make sense for two different sides of the same street to belong to different neighborhoods?

District 7 SFAR Map
District 7 SFAR Map

For example, in District 7 of San Francisco, there are four neighborhoods (according to SFAR):

The north/south diving line between The Marina and Cow Hollow is Lombard St., which makes perfect sense. Does it make sense, though, that homes on the north side of Lombard are in the Marina while homes on the south side are in Cow Hollow? Given what a busy street Lombard is, I kind of have to agree with the boundary.

What about the north/south dividing line between Cow Hollow and Pacific Heights, though? The north/south boundary between the two neighborhoods is Green St., which means that homes on the north side of Green St. have a Cow Hollow MLS designation, while homes on the south side of the street have a Pacific Heights designation in the MLS. This one seems a little less obvious to me, since Green St. isn’t a particularly busy or commercial St. (that would belong to Union St., one to the north).

California St.
California St. serves as the north/south boundary between Pacific Heights (District 7) and Lower Pacific Heights (District 6). However, when the boundary line was drawn they (they being SFAR) put both sides of California St. in Pacific Heights, which means on the south side of the street the boundary runs along the fences in the backyard, not the street out front.

However, as soon as we get west of Presidio St., the north/south boundary goes back to the front side of California St., with homes on the north side belonging to Presidio Heights and homes on the south side belonging to Laurel Village/Jordan Park.

Clear as mud, right?

What are your thoughts about the SFAR map boundaries? I’ve only highlighted a few neighborhoods, but the list could go on and on…

Baltimore Vs. San Francisco, the Real Estate Super Bowl

Congratulations 49ers. I love hockey and I’m so glad we’ve made it to the Stanley Cup. Or, er, the Super Bowl. Yeah, that’s it. Don’t get me wrong – I absolutely love playing sports. But even overly-muscled men in skin-tight pants can’t keep my attention when it comes to watching sports. But since our football team has made it to the championship game and completely messed up this Sunday’s open house schedule, let’s take a moment to compare Baltimore real estate (because we’re playing the Ravens, and they’re from there… GO me!) and San Francisco real estate:

High End Home:

Baltimore offers up 622 Ponte Villas N, listed by Karen Hubble Bisbee, a waterfront double townhome with 6 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, and over 9,000 square feet of living space.
Asking price: $8,500,000.

622 Ponte Villa N, listed by the HubbleBisbee team of Coldwell Banker
622 Ponte Villa N, listed by the HubbleBisbee team of Coldwell Banker


Looking for something in San Francisco that has over 9,000 square feet of living space? Then might I suggest 3800 Washington St. in Presidio Heights listed by Steven Mavromihalis of Pacific Union. 3800 Washington offers 8 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, and crushes the competition with more than 17,000 square feet of living space. On almost an acre of land. In Presidio Heights. This one is ready for your dreams, just be sure to bring additional cash to turn those dreams into reality!
Asking price: $25,000,000. Bonus: Comes with two additional lots – 3810 Washington (2,869 square foot guest house) and 125 Maple (empty lot).

3800 Washington St. listed by Steven Mavromihalis of Pacific Union.
3800 Washington St. listed by Steven Mavromihalis of Pacific Union.

And the winner is… San Francisco!

Downtown Condo:

Looking for a luxury condo near the core of Baltimore? Look no farther than 801 Key Highway #155, listed by Bill Caspari of Long & Foster. This condo offers three bedrooms, four full baths and one half bath in a luxury condominium development at the Ritz Carlton Residences. It also includes four (!) heated (!) parking spaces, with monthly HOA dues of $2,843.
Asking price: $2,499,000

801 Key Hwy #155 listed by Bill Caspari of Long and Foster Real Estate.

For San Francisco condo buyers, I’d suggest residence 49C at The Millennium Tower. Residence 49C is listed by Denise Paulson of Alain Pinel, and offers two bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms and 2,489 square feet of living space on the 49th floor of the Grand Residences. Monthly HOA dues are $1,489.
Asking Price: $6,600,000

301 Mission #49C listed by Denise Paulson of Alain Pinel
301 Mission #49C listed by Denise Paulson of Alain Pinel


And the winner is… San Francisco (although I almost had to give this one to Baltimore based on parking spaces alone)!

Starter Home:

In Baltimore, you could pick up 6722 Boston Ave., a 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom home listed by Dina Chao of Century 21 Downtown. No word on square footage in the listing, but tax records put it at about 1,170 square feet. Which comes out to $113/square foot.
Asking Price $138,500

6722 Boston Ave. in Baltimore, MD listed by Dina Chao of Century 21.
6722 Boston Ave. in Baltimore, MD listed by Dina Chao of Century 21.

Our San Francisco starter home is 122 Bertita St in the Mission Terrace neighborhood. It features 4 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, and is approximately 1,500 square feet. The home is listed by Jeff Peargin of Pacific Union.
Asking Prce: $369,000

122 Bertita St. listed by Jeff Peargin of Pacific Union.
122 Bertita St. listed by Jeff Peargin of Pacific Union.

And the winner is… San Francisco!

Happy Super Bowl weekend everyone! Enjoy the commercials, the parties, and even the football game. But celebrate responsibly!

George Adrian Applegarth

George Applegarth was one of the most influential architects in post-earthquake San Franicsco. He was born to English parents in Oakland, CA in 1875 and trained in Paris at the École des Beaux-ArtsUpon graduation, he went to work in the workshop of Victor Laloux, and arrived back in San Francisco in 1907. Upon his return to San Francisco, he partnered with fellow school-mate Kenneth MacDonald, Jr. to design numerous commercial and residential properties in San Francisco, including the Presidio Terrace home of prolific San Francisco builder Fernando Nelson. He lived a long and hearty life, dying at the age of 96 in January of 1972.

His work in San Francisco was often of the Beaux-Arts style known for elegant proportions, grand columned entries, coffered ceilings, and symmetry.

2080 Washington

He collaborated with Alma de Bretteville Spreckels for several of his most famous projects, including the design of the California Palace of the Legion of Honor. He also designed the Spreckels mansion, which is located at 2080 Washington (pictured above). While the mansion was famous in its own day, it continues to receive plenty of press as the desperately-in-need-of-a-facelift home of Danielle Steele (the home, folks, not her face. I’m pretty sure that work has been done already).

2775 Vallejo

2775 Vallejo in Pacific Heights was his personal residence, which he designed as a wedding gift for his wife, Gwendolyn Powers. 2775 Vallejo was built in the Italian Renaissance style, and is much more subtle than some of his other Beaux Arts buildings. Developed on a wide lot (almost 50 feet, about double the normal lot width), the home features views of the Golden Gate bridge and San Francisco bay and has a lovely garden on the south side of the home. 2775 Vallejo only recently left the Applegarth family, being sold in an off-market transaction to a private individual in March of 2011. According to tax records, 2775 Vallejo has over 4,000 square feet of living space. He also designed the neighboring residence at 2875 Vallejo St.

He also designed numerous homes in the Presidio Heights neighborhood, a few of which are pictured below:

201 Locust

201 Locust is a private residence on a corner lot at Locust & Washington. According to public tax records, the home has over 6,200 feet of living space and last traded hands in 1997.

3730 Washington

3730 Washington is about a block and half to the west of 201 Locust, also in the Presidio Heights neighborhood. 3730 Washington is an enormous home, with over 9,000 square feet of living space. It was last sold in 2007 and underwent extensive renovations after being acquired by a private individual.

Gallery of George Adrian Applegarth properties (click on any image for a larger version and slideshow):

Other George Applegarth properties in San Francisco include:

  • 2206-12 Vallejo (Schilling Place)
  • 1900 Broadway
  • 2160 Pacific
  • 1-11 3rd Avenue
  • 3 Presidio Terrace
  • 4 Presidio Terrace
  • 5 Presidio Terrace
  • 27 Presidio Terrace
  • 30 Presidio Terrace
  • 34 Presidio Terrace

Applegarth is also famous for his work on Clyde, California. Clyde, California was a company town built by the Pacific Coast Shipbuilding Company with a government loan from the US Shipping Board in 1917. Bernard Maybeck was hired as the Supervising Architect, and he designed the hotel and about 200 of the initial homes. George Applegarth was an Acting Architect for the project, drawing many of the town plans.

I’m sure I’ve failed to mention all the Applegarth homes in San Francisco, and I know I’ve left out the parking garages he designed. Feel free to leave other comments!

2011 Most Expensive homes in SF

What were the most expensive homes sold in San Francisco during the 2011 calendar year? I always have to wait for the tax records to catch up with December recordings, but now that they have, the results are in. It was a blockbuster year for luxury real estate in 2011!

To refresh your memory, here is our 2010 list of the most expensive homes in San Francisco. As you can see from the list below, Pacific Heights dominated the top 10 sales list, with 6 out of the most expensive homes sold in 2011 located in that neighborhood. Presidio Heights comes in second place with two sales, and Yerba Buena and Russian Hill each have one sale.

Rank       Address                         Sales Price              Source
1 2840 Broadway $ 33,000,000 Tax
2 2950 Broadway $ 29,500,00 Tax/MLS
3 188 Minna St. – PHA $ 28,000,000 Tax
4 2920 Broadway $ 23,473,000 Tax
5 3070 Pacific Ave. $ 20,000,000 Tax
6 3701 Washington $ 12,100,000 Tax/MLS
7 2550 Green St. $ 9,500,000 Tax/MLS
8 3362 Jackson $ 9,250,000 Tax
9 2323 Hyde St. $ 9,000,000 MLS
10 60 Normandie Ter. $ 8,800,000 Tax/MLS


2840 Broadway was an off-market deal, while 188 Minna St. (the only condo to make the list this year, with all of the other sales being single family homes) was the foreclosure sale at The St. Regis that received plenty of press during the year.

It was clearly a good year to be among the 1%, with the 2011 most expensive sale coming in more than twice as high as the top 2010 sale (2600 Pacific Ave). Five of this year’s most expensive real estate deals were valued at $ 20,000,000 or more, while not one of the 2010 sales broke the twenty million dollar mark. Broadway Avenue kept it’s ranking as the most expensive street to live on, with three of this year’s sales located in the Pacific Heights stretch of Broadway, which was the same as last year.

So there you have it – the top 10 most expensive San Francisco home sales in 2011. Talk amongst yourselves about these homes and their respective sales prices. Good investment for the years to come, or outrageous and unjustifiable at any price? Keep your comments friendly but interesting :-)


Discover Presidio Heights Homes for Sale

Our homes for sale in Presidio Heights IDX search page went live this morning, including our neighborhood video of Presidio Heights. If you are looking for a home for sale in Presidio Heights, then please check out our page. We think it is pretty useful and hope you will too.

Presidio Heights homes for sale IDX neighborhood page

For those of you that aren’t familiar with the area, it is on the western side of District 7, and is a small but affluent area that is primarily home to magnificent single family homes. Don’t sweat it if your stock options haven’t fully vested yet, there are also condominiums in smaller buildings sprinkled throughout the neighborhood. Most homes offer garage parking, or at least off-street parking of some kind.

It’s a very walkable neighborhood, with Laurel Village along California street just several blocks away, and numerous other shops and exclusive boutiques located along Sacramento street.

If you are looking for San Francisco royalty, Dianne Feinstein once lived in the Presidio Terraces area of the neighborhood, but sold that home several years ago for something larger on Broadway in Pacific Heights. Another neighborhood “fun fact” is that the last confirmed killing by the Zodiac killer took place in Presidio Heights in 1969, on the night of October 11 at the intersection of Washington and Maple streets.

As always, if we can be of service in this San Francisco neighborhood (or any other), don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.