San Francisco News and Events, San Francisco Real Estate, San Francisco Real Estate Info for Buyers, San Francisco Real Estate Info for Sellers, San Francisco Real Estate Market Conditions

San Francisco Real Estate Update – March 2011

Comments Off 12 April 2011


Yet again, Luba’s San Francisco Real Estate Blog brings you latest San Francisco Real Estate market report here. (You can also view previous market updates by selecting the archives on the upper right portion of the screen). Heres’s a little glimpse of the report:

Median Home Price Continues Rising

Trends at a Glance
(Single-family Homes)
Mar 11 Feb 11 Mar 10
Home Sales: 203 116 220
Median Price: $765,000 $645,000 $789,500
Average Price: $1,054,979 $812,615 $1,097,489
Sale/List Price Ratio: 99.6% 98.1% 99.8%
Days on Market: 67 81 54
Mar 11 Feb 11 Mar 10
Condo Sales: 206 160 222
Median Price: $636,000 $565,000 $655,000
Average Price: $720,802 $672,836 $741,291
Sale/List Price Ratio: 97.4% 97.8% 97.7%
Days on Market: 69 84 70

After hitting a two year low in January, the median price for single-family re-sale homes rose 18.6% in March from February. Year-over-year, the median price was off for the seventh month in a row, falling 3.1%.

After falling to their lowest level since January 2009 in February, home sales bounced back last month, which is normal for this time of year, and rose 75% from February. The 203 home sales last month were 7.7% lower than last March.


San Francisco Local Resources, San Francisco Neighborhoods, San Francisco News and Events, San Francisco Places

San Francisco Sunday Streets Schedule Announced for 2011!

Comments Off 14 March 2011


Sunday Streets is back for 2011!  The kick off event is coming up THIS weekend and runs along the Embarcadero.  As of now, the outlook looks to be a little rainy, but really, if all you got it a little sprinkle, I know you’ll still have a good time!

And the events usually run till just about 2pm, so you still have plenty of time to visit all of those Open Houses in SF too! ;-)

Visit Sunday Streets for more info!

Sunday Streets 2011 Season Schedule (subject to change):

  • March 20: kick off event along the Embarcadero from Fisherman’s Wharf to Mission Bay;
  • April 10: Great Highway and Golden Gate Park; ‘Penguins to Penguins’:
  • May 8: Mission route, including the popular route along 24th and Valencia Streets;
  • June 12: Bayview route, 3rd Street from Mission Bay, Dogpatch to the Bayview Opera House;
  • July 10: Great Highway route #2;
  • August 14: Civic Center/Tenderloin route;
  • September 11: Western Addition route, including North of Panhandle, Alamo Square and Fillmore and Japantown neighborhoods;
  • October TBD; Mission route #2

This year’s event calendar features monthly events from March 20 through October of 2011, with events occurring on the 2nd Sunday of each month starting in April.

Sunday Streets 2011 Season continues the tradition of visiting diverse communities throughout the City with a variety of routes in different neighborhoods. While returning to popular areas along established routes, 2011 events will extend into new neighborhoods and include more diverse program elements that highlight each neighborhood’s unique character and often overlooked community attractions and institutions.

Returning activities include the ever-popular bike programming: free bike rentals offered by Bike & Roll, Bay City Bike Rentals and Tours and Blazing Saddles, bike safety courses presented by the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and Presidio YMCA’s Y Bike Program, as well as bike maintenance programs and adult bike education. The CA Outdoor Rollersports Assoc and David Miles, aka ‘The Godfather of Skate’ will bring out a mobile roller disco with free skate rentals, and the YMCA of San Francisco will coordinate activities for children and families through local YMCA branches near each route.


San Francisco Local Resources, San Francisco News and Events, San Francisco Real Estate Resources

Reminder that San Francisco is Earthquake Territory Too….

Comments Off 11 March 2011

As we all know by now, a giant earthquake hit Japan and has causes some intense devastation, including Tsunami waves that made it all the way out to our very own coast (albeit it they were a foot and a half tall when they got here.)

So, now’s as good a time as any to take a quick look at whether or not you’re prepared for the next big one here. has all the deets, as well as info on where to get more info on being prepared, but a quick summary of what you’ll need in your earthquake preparedness kit can be found below.  And if you feel like you might want to go above and beyong the basic survival preparedness (think “how to cook a rat”), you might want to check out this post. And in the meantime, print out the list below and get your earthquake kit in order.

Your basic emergency kit should include:

Water – one gallon per person per day
Food – ready to eat or requiring minimal water
* Manual can opener and other cooking supplies
* Plates, utensils and other feeding supplies
First Aid kit & instructions
* A copy of important documents & phone numbers
* Warm clothes and rain gear for each family member.
* Heavy work gloves
* Disposable/digital camera
* Unscented liquid household bleach and an eyedropper for water purification
* Personal hygiene items including toilet paper, feminine supplies, hand sanitizer and soap
* Plastic sheeting, duct tape and utility knife for covering broken windows
* Tools such as a crowbar, hammer & nails, staple gun, adjustable wrench and bungee cords.
* Blanket or sleeping bag
* Large heavy duty plastic bags and a plastic bucket for waste and sanitation
* Any special-needs items for children, seniors or people with disabilities. Don’t forget water and supplies for your pets.

A component of your disaster kit is your Go-bag. Put the following items together in a backpack or another easy to carry container in case you must evacuate quickly. Prepare one Go-bag for each family member and make sure each has an I.D. tag. You may not be at home when an emergency strikes so keep some additional supplies in your car and at work, considering what you would need for your immediate safety.

* Flashlight
* Radio – battery operated
* Batteries
* Whistle
* Dust mask
* Pocket knife
* Emergency cash in small denominations and quarters for phone calls
* Sturdy shoes, a change of clothes, and a warm hat
* Local map
* Some water and food
* Permanent marker, paper and tape
* Photos of family members and pets for re-identification purposes
* List of emergency point-of -contact phone numbers
* List of allergies to any drug (especially antibiotics) or food
* Copy of health insurance and identification cards
* Extra prescription eye glasses, hearing aid or other vital personal items
* Prescription medications and first aid supplies
* Toothbrush and toothpaste
* Extra keys to your house and vehicle
* Any special-needs items for childrenseniors or people with disabilitiesDon’t forget to make a Go-bag for your pets.

And while you’re getting prepared, you might also want to help those struck by the tragedy in Japan, but if you do so, Mission Mission blog reminds you to do so responsibly.

Stay safe, San Francisco.


San Francisco News and Events, San Francisco Real Estate, San Francisco Real Estate Info for Buyers, San Francisco Real Estate Info for Sellers, San Francisco Real Estate Market Conditions

San Francisco Real Estate Update – February 2011

Comments Off 10 March 2011


Yet again, Luba’s San Francisco Real Estate Blog brings you latest San Francisco Real Estate market report here. (You can also view previous market updates by selecting the archives on the upper right portion of the screen). Heres’s a little glimpse of the report:

The median home price bounced back in February, gaining 4.9% from January. Year-over-year, the median price was down 7.2%.

The graph below shows the sales price to list price ratio as reported at sale compared to the sales price to original list price ratio.

The following chart shows the median price difference compared to the year before.

Days on market for homes rose six days to 65 days. For condos/lofts, days on market soared sixteen days to 95 days.

San Francisco Local Resources, San Francisco Neighborhoods, San Francisco News and Events, San Francisco Places

It’s Fun to Stay at the YMCA! (And to Help Raise $$$!)

Comments Off 09 March 2011


Click to expand

Well – it’s not so much at staying at the YMCA as it is raising money for the sake of the YMCA!

It’s that time of year again, when the Richmond District YMCA throws their annual silent auction/fundraiser event!

In case you didn’t know, I was a Richmond YMCA kid!  I spent my summers at YMCA Day Camp at Star of the Sea.   In fact, I knocked a front tooth out there while playing a game of cat and mouse (always check to make sure your shoes are tied, kids!)  I made my first homemade pizza there, and it was the YMCA that took me to my first Giants game at Candlestick Park.  I don’t remember the game, but I do remember the Carnation Chocolate Malts they used to sell.  (I guess you can see where my priorities were and frankly, still are.)

And speaking of priorities, this silent auction will feature food, drinks and lots of goodies for you to bid on!  I’ve gone home in the past with chocolate covered strawberries, Go-Kart Racing certificates and a certificate for a Facial from the Blue Turtle Spa.  And that’s just what I could carry out of there in one trip! ;-)

The event invite:

You are cordially invited to the YMCA Richmond District 5th Annual Silent Auction!
Join us for amazing auction prizes, a raffle, live music, and of course delicious food and wine!

When: Thursday, April 7
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Where: Congregation Beth Sholom,
301 14th Ave., San Francisco 94118

Tickets are $25 presale and $30 at the door

Please purchase tickets online at Brown Paper Tickets!

Feel free to invite your friends, co-workers, family, clients, your significant other, whomever!

Buy tickets and then give them away at the door if you want! (It’ll earn you good kharma! :-))

Hope to see you there! And I’ll be there so stop by and say “hi!” if you come!

Get ready to spend some money and win some fun stuff for a good cause!  (Just don’t try to outbid me – I take my silent auctions seriously!) ;-)

San Francisco Luxury Real Estate, San Francisco News and Events, San Francisco Real Estate, San Francisco Real Estate Info for Buyers, San Francisco Real Estate Info for Sellers, San Francisco Real Estate Market Conditions

Is San Francisco Luxury Real Estate on the Rebound?

Comments Off 07 March 2011

According to a CNN Money article, “After four straight years of declines, sales of million-dollar homes and condos rose last year in all 20 major metro areas, according to DataQuick Information Systems. On average, these cities saw an 18.6% jump in high-end home sales.

The article goes on to state that “”It hasn’t been a good six months for all people, but it was a good six months for rich people,” said Glenn Kelman, CEO of Seattle-based real estate brokerage Redfin. “When Wall Street goes up, rich people buy homes.””

And Wall Street has been going up!  Not to mention, the higher end of the job market seems to be on the rebound.  A friend that works for a tech recruiting company has mentioned that she’s busier than ever looking for job candidates in the well over six-figure incomes.

So IS luxury real estate in SF on the rebound?

In San Francisco, in 2010 there were 1,083 homes sold over the $1M price range.

So far, in the first 66 days of  2011, 111homes over the $1M price range have sold and another 146 are already in contract, meaning that so far, 257 luxury homes have sold in San Francisco.  At that rate, 1421 homes over the $1M will sell in 2011.  That’s a projected 31% increase in high end real estate sales in San Francisco.

OK, so the numbers are rough, they’re based on a period of increased activity that we have experienced since the beginning of this year, and they don’t take into account the fact that I have no crystal ball to tell you what the future holds.  But … there’s no denying that the outlook for 2011 is fairing better than years past, and if I had to place bets on how the luxury market will fair in SF, I’d say we’ll have a pretty good year ahead.

Where are you going to place your bets?

San Francisco Local Resources, San Francisco Neighborhoods, San Francisco News and Events, San Francisco Places

Second Annual “Tastes of Taraval” Coming to the Outer Sunset

Comments Off 06 March 2011

Want more proof that there is life in the Western half of San Francisco?  Well, the restaurants in SF’s Parkside district are here to show you we KNOW how to eat.  From classic delicious Italian (waiters in tuxedos!) at Gold Mirror and Ristorante Marcello, fresh sushi at Ninki to Shepherd’s Pie and karaoke (Friday nights!) at Parkside Tavern – we Sunset/Parkside dwellers are never at a loss for yummy treats.

The Second Annual “Tastes of Taraval” will take place March 11 through 17. This is a wonderful opportunity to check out our neighborhood restaurants, many who will be offering discounts and raffle prizes to patrons who mention “Tastes of Taraval”.

Last year’s first “Tastes of Taraval” event was a surprising success, with over 200 new customers trying out restaurants on Taraval Street. This year there are eight participating restaurants, each offering a special deal. Not only do the customers get a discount offered by the restaurant, they also are given a raffle ticket to fill out for a grand prize given at the end of the week by each restaurant.

Participating restaurants include:

Gold Mirror
Parkside Tavern
Shimo II
Ninki Sushi
Tennessee Grill
Brown Owl Coffee
Eagle Pizzeria
Kingdom of Dumpling
Ristorante Marcello

“Tastes of Taraval” is sponsored by the Taraval Parkside Merchants Association. For more information, visit

Misc Musings from Your San Francisco Realtor, San Francisco Neighborhoods, San Francisco News and Events

Coyotes in San Francisco – Not a Figment of Your Imagination

2 Comments 03 March 2011

San Francisco has it’s fair share of Wildlife.  From foxes, to hawks to feral cats and more, one often overlooked, but in my eyes, majestic, species, is the coyote.

The good folks at Baghdad by the Bay have an awesome blog, and it just happened to take a little look at the primitive dogs recently.

From Glen Park Canyon, to Golden Gate Park, to Park Presidio and beyond – SF’s coyotes are making a comeback.

Here’s a clip from the blog post:

I had one walk by my car when I was driving through the Presidio and I stopped thinking it might be a lost dog. Luckily I realized when it was a couple feet from my window that it wasn’t a dog. We stopped and looked at it safely from inside the car until it got bored with us and started to walk away. Coyotes are seen by the Native Americans as tricksters and I wanted him to leave first. If I decided to drive he might have done something stupid like jump in front of my car since they’re fast and having to explain to my friends in SF that I hit a coyote with my car in San Francisco is just something that might be a little difficult for some people to understand.

If you know me, you know I’m just as likely to have stopped for that coyote, and before realizing it was wild, probably would have gone out and tried to rescue it.  Luckily, it was these folks and not me that ran across the K-9.

Meanwhile – check out Baghdad by the Bay’s blog to check out all sorts of other San Francisco awesomeness.

San Francisco Mortgage & Financing Info, San Francisco News and Events, San Francisco Real Estate, San Francisco Real Estate Info for Buyers, San Francisco Real Estate Info for Sellers

You Listening, San Francisco? Higher Fees, Lower Loan Limits = More Expensive Mortgages

Comments Off 02 March 2011

Today’s news from the mortgage world sucks, especially for San Francisco Real Estate.

From the SF Realtor’s Association:

Higher Fees, Lower Loan Limits = More Expensive Mortgages

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are raising the risk-based fees they charge on mortgages.

Beginning today, lenders will be required to pay the new fees on loans they sell to Freddie Mac, and starting on April 1 they will be required to pay the new fees on loans they sell to Fannie Mae.

Currently, the fees range from 0.25 to 3 percent of the loan amount. It is expected that the new fee will be one-quarter or one-half a percentage point higher.

In addition, the maximum loan that can be insured by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or FHA in high-cost areas will drop on October 1 from $729,750 to $625,500.

According to the California Association of REALTORS®, the likelihood of the maximum loan limit staying the same, given the composition of the House, is virtually nonexistent.

So, in coming months, expect more expensive mortgages.

So what does this mean to you if you’re looking to buy a home in San Francisco soon?  To put it nicely, get off of your butt and do it.

Now, if you’re not in the market for a piece of SF real estate, you can stop reading now.  This isn’t a sales pitch to convince you to buy when the time isn’t right for you.  If you’re not in the financial position to buy, or if you’re in an unstable situation where you might be moving out of the City in less than 5 years, or if you’re living in a rent controlled 5 bedroom apartment paying $500 a month rent, then stay put, do not pass go, do not get a mortgage.

But, if you’re looking for a home in SF – there’s a good chance that even if prices stay the same, loans will cost you a bit more in April, and quite a bit more if you wait until October since the rates for jumbo loans are higher and with many SF homes falling WELL above the point where a $625,500 loan limit will suffice unless you got a giant chunk of cash to put down, you’ll be paying way more for the same price.  (Unless you are looking for a home that allows you to get in under the $625,500 loan limit, then you won’t be affected nearly as much, though buying before April might not be a bad idea.)

So….. long story short, if you’re on the fence about buying an SF home, you need to decide which side of that fence you want to land on, and you need to decide FAST!

And sellers?  Yeah, you might want to list that home pretty quickly too while buyers can still afford to buy it.

And of course, if you need a San Francisco Realtor to help you climb that fence to see which side will be greener for you, or to help you list your property for sale, give me a shout – giving overly blunt advise in the most tactful way possible is my specialty. ;-)

San Francisco Local Resources, San Francisco News and Events, San Francisco Real Estate, San Francisco Real Estate Info for Buyers, San Francisco Real Estate Info for Sellers, San Francisco Real Estate Resources

San Francisco Natural Hazard Maps

Comments Off 24 February 2011

In light of the recent earthquake in New Zealand and the fact that in any given week, California land is shaking dozens of times, I thought this would be a good time to share these natural hazard maps with you again.  Looking at the USGS Map, just in the last day, the Cloverdale area, about an hour and a half north of San Francisco, has had dozens on little shakers.

And in case you don’t already know – San Francisco is kinda known as prime earthquake country.  But where you live has an impact on how an earthquake might affect you (and how much shaking your home will do.)

So I thought I’d throw a few maps up here for readers that are curious about the location of natural hazards in San Francisco.

Click on the map for a bigger view, and to be taken to the source of the map.

San Francisco Liquefaction Map
San Francisco Liquefaction Map

San Francisco Natural Hazards Map

San Francisco Natural Hazards Map

My personal favorite, which is sort of a hazard because building a house on water is never a good idea, is a map of all of the creeks, marshes and landfill throughout historical San Francisco. This map is from the 1890’s. As with the others, click to see the map full size, and to see the source.

San Francisco Historical Creek Map

San Francisco Historical Underground Water Location

And finally – if you’re curious about the last little rumble you felt – check out this map which will show you the size and magnitude of the most recent earthquake.

San Francisco Recent Earthquakes

San Francisco Weather

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About the Blog

Luba’s San Francisco Real Estate Blog was created to share insights about San Francisco Real Estate and about San Francisco living. Written by Luba Muzichenko, an "almost-native" San Franciscan and a local Realtor® with Zephyr Real Estate, Luba’s San Francisco Real Estate Blog is meant to inform you about a variety of good things and happenings around SF and its unique neighborhoods, about buying and selling homes in the City and about the real estate market in general. If you like what you see, please tell a friend.

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Luba Muzichenko
Top Producer
Certified Residential Specialist®
Zephyr Real Estate
415-307-1392 (cell)
DRE License #01768716
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