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Architectural Drive by on Pacific

As I was driving on Steiner St last week on Tuesday Tour, I saw this home which I had never seen before.  It’s not on the market, but something about it spoke to me.  I made a quick left turn on Pacific, sat in front for a bit and went back to take these pictures.

2475 Pacific, San Francisco

Amongst all the Pacific Heights Mega mansions, this elegant small Victorian stands proud on a wide lot, set back prominently from the road.  Beautifully maintained.  Looks like it has stood the test of time well and in a stately manor.

It made me think about one of the reasons I get such a kick out of SF Real Estate.  Every once in awhile, a property stands out enough to make you take notice.  I plan on posting such properties here from time to time.  Enjoy.

2475 Pacific, San Francisco

Old San Francisco Telegraph Hill Victorian for sale

You don’t see many of these homes for sale.  Located near Coit Tower, 15 Napier Lane is on a wooden sidewalk accessed only by the Filbert Street Steps.  Very ‘Tales of the City’ location, and beautifully remodeled. For character, you can hear (and see) the wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill right outside your door.

Accessing the property, you can imagine how it must have been in old San Francisco, coming home from a Barbary Coast Saloon.  The listing states that the home was built in 1884.

Two bedrooms, two baths and a wonderful garden accessed from both floors.  There is a wonderful sun room that would make a terrific office.  Listed at $1,295,000.  Given it’s location, obviously, no parking.  The good news, is that you can give up your gym membership.  Available by appointment.

15 Napier Lane-Front Exterior
Wooden sidewalk to 15 Napier

Listed by Paragon Real Estate Group


April update:

After four months on the market, the home was reduced to $1,230,000.  It’s been a month since that change and still no takers.  Could it be the stairs?

Cole Valley Victorian with a cottage

The holidays are making the real estate pickings pretty slim, but there are still some good ones out there if you look enough.

I saw this Cole Valley home at 121 Beulah on Tuesday tour and there’s a lot of potential here.  Situated on a deep lot, this Edwardian home has very generous rooms, which is unusual for a Victorian.  It really seems like the home is wider than 25 feet, but the tax record shows a standard 25 foot wide lot.  Must have been a custom home when built and has not been on the market in 40+ years.

The kitchen is dated (which doesn’t bother me) and is very Sea Ranch’y’.  The bath is also dated, but charming.  A separate cottage in the back garden with a bath and kitchen would make a fantastic home office.  A large garage at the lower floor and a fabulous location near Golden Gate Park.  Available by appointment.

Two bedrooms, double parlor, dining room, one bathroom.  Listed for $1,399,000 and there may be a little more room in the price.  It came on the market at $1,499,000.

121 Beulah exterior
121 Beulah cottage

Listed by Lena Emmery Real Estate Broker.

January 2011 update: The property is pending.  Sources tell me under asking.

Second January 2011 update: The property closed at $1,250,000 on 1/14/11.  Someone got a great deal.

Holiday lights and decorations-West of Twin Peaks

Here is the second of two installments on the Holiday decorations and lights we found on Christmas Eve Eve.  There were lots more homes, but my photos weren’t too great.  Here’s all the best ones.

Merry Christmas!

St. Francis Woods-one of many great ones!
Taraval near Forest Hill-they do this one every year
2500 block of 16th Ave. West Portal

Holiday lights and decorations-Noe, Castro, Corona Heights

Spent Christmas Eve Eve in search of holiday lights and decorations.  Here are some great ones.  Merry Christmas!

There weren’t many homes with lights, but in general, the ones that were decorated, were pretty over the top. The west side of town seemed to have more.  Another installment on West of Twin Peaks findings.

Castro St across from Davis Hospital-over the top
45 Upper Terrace-a little ginger bread by day
45 Upper Terrace-a little ginger bread at night
3600 block 21st St.-day time
3600 block 21st St at night-this photo doesn’t do it any justice!

Transbay Terminal Demolition underway

This is a little bittersweet, probably from a romantic perspective.  The old transbay terminal is under demolition.  The area has been tightly scheduled for the demo planning to make way for the new transit hub, which is quite exciting.  I saw a presentation on it a few months ago and it will be fantastic.  I’m not excited about the HUGE tower, but the concept of bringing the various public transit authorities together (which the old TB terminal did in it’s time) is the right thing to do.

The Old Transbay Terminal in it’s time-From

The Wrecking Ball goes to Work on San Francisco’s Transbay Terminal-Socketsite

Proposed Transbay Terminal-from

Here’s the proposed terminal

Wondering what’s going in at 14th and Valencia?

I saw this on Socketsite.  I think this is going to be great for the neighborhood.  36 condos over a commercial space.  One of the comments on the blog said it was like Mission Bay-I agree with that comment, but I think Mission Bay is pretty great.  Not architecturally mind you, but from an urban planning and activity perspective.

Here’s the rendering from Socketsite.

proposed 299 Valencia

Socketsite article

How SF ranks in price reductions nationwide

Here’s an interesting article I found on my google reader from the SF Chronicle.  They are reporting on the top 15 cities that have price reductions in excess of historic levels.  OK, that’s a mouth-full.

To simplify it, it’s the top 50 list of cities, the percentage of active listings (not including foreclosures) that have experienced price reductions and the average percentage reduction.  Measured over the last year.  I’m usually a little hesitant to totally rely on media for this sort of thing, as it’s usually sensationalized.  One of the reasons I hate median price.

I like visuals and the map gives a stark snapshot of the hardest hit areas.  Of course, working in San Francisco, I wondered how we ranked.  As it turns out, we’re 42nd out of 50.  Better than the top 15 for sure.  In looking through the list, the average price reduction, on the whole, seems to range from 9-13%; that certainly seems in line with what I’m seeing locally.  Those reductions, according to the article, are on 25 percent of our listings.  That means that 75 percent of listings are not seeing that reduction.  That’s pretty encouraging in my opinion.  In a balanced market, I would expect those sorts of numbers.  Speaking for the SF market, that 25 percent probably represents poor locations, condition and overpricing for market conditions.

That means to me that there are still opportunities out there for buyers; that in conjunction with extremely low interest rates means great opportunities abound!

On the Block-SFGate

There’s still time for government rebates-but not much!

Sorry, this is a little late and perhaps you already heard.  The Federal (as well as state and local) Government are offering rebates for qualifying home improvements for energy efficiency.  Here we are at Dec. 13th, so there isn’t too much time, but if you were thinking of taking on some improvements, such as a new furnace, appliances, or a tankless water heater, there may be time to get part of it paid for.

I’m guessing there will be more in the new year, but if this is the carrot that gets you moving-here it is!

Last month for government sponsored home improvement-SFGate

Holiday gift ideas-how about your time?

It’s very easy to get jaded during the holidays with the commercialism, pressure to buy the perfect gifts, constant (and few) Christmas songs, crowds, shorter days, rain and the cold.  I became liberated when the need for buying a lot of presents and making sure that they were equal in someway was no longer important.  I began to pick up random things throughout the year for people when I would see something interesting-it may not cost much, but it is personal.  Isn’t that really what giving is about anyway?  Giving of yourself and your time is the best gift of all.

There are many people out there who could use a helping hand; particularly at the holidays.  Non-profits are in extreme need right now; donations are down and the need for services has exploded.  Here are a few ideas-pick your passion no matter how small or large.  These ideas will cost you nothing but your time.  It could be a good way for a family to do something together and a great way to teach kids to give back to their communities.

Practice the Golden Rule. Do unto others as you would have done unto you.  We should all do this everyday; let’s use this month to get in the habit.  Let someone with fewer items than you at the grocery store cut in front of you. Pick up trash whenever you see it. Let someone merge into traffic.

Make a donation of unneeded items. Clean out your closets and let someone else get use out of your unneeded clutter.  Community Thrift has a long list of benefiting agencies that you can specify for your donation.  625 Valencia or call(415)861-4910.

Volunteer for an organization / share a skill. This could be as easy as stuffing donation envelopes, or as challenging as answering questions on the San Francisco AIDS Hotline For other ideas, there is a terrific online volunteer organization where you can search based on your location and what you are interested in doing

Serve meals or pack and hand out bags of groceries Glide Memorial Church has a list of events, so if you are busy on Christmas day, there are plenty of other opportunities. or call (415)674-6000

Deliver meals for Project Openhand; they have meal delivery everyday to homebound critically ill people, or call (415)447-2300  FYI in 2009, 3300 critically ill people received daily meals, 4,100 seniors received lunches and 70,000 bags of groceries were given out.


Sort food for packaging and delivery San Francisco Food Bank (415)282-1900 FYI, they serve on average 147,000 people a year.  Volunteering here is really easy; no training necessary and available pretty much every day in blocks of time.

If you’d like to stay a little closer to home, St. Cecilia’s Church has plenty of activities to get involved with. or call (415)664-8481


Of course, these organizations will accept donations too, if time is short.  Please enjoy a happy and safe holiday season!

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