Green Living in San Francisco, San Francisco Local Resources, San Francisco Videos

Meet Curbie, San Francisco’s Newest Survivor Champion!

Comments Off on Meet Curbie, San Francisco’s Newest Survivor Champion! 15 March 2011

Just so you know, it’s not that I’ve been avoiding the topic of San Francisco real estate – in fact, there’s all sorts of action happening.  But I’ve been too swamped juggling offers, upcoming listings and escrows to effectively write about it.  I, and just about any other SF Realtor, can tell you things are picking up here in the SF market, but I’ll save that for another day.

Today, I wanted to share a little video with you and ask for your help.

We all know that rodents can be a nuisance.  They are destructive, cause property damage, and have inspired more than one cartoon where a woman jumps up on a table and screams.

And while you don’t want the little (or big) critters in your homes, rat poison is not the answer!!!!

Meet Curbie.  Curbie was found on the Curb (thus the name) after street sweeper one day.  Curbie didn’t look well.  He was docile.  Not like your average wild rat.  My boyfriend chased him across the street to some bushes so he’d at least have some cover – we live down in the Outer Sunset by Ocean Beach and there’s a hawk on just about every block down here, and they’re all competing for food with the neighborhood kitties.

A few days went by, and Curbie still wasn’t doing very well. He was still in the same spot where my boyfriend had left him.  And he wasn’t acting very wild.  He looked sick.

So, my boyfriend captured him, put him in a box and started to feed him hoping he’d get better.  After doing some research, it began to look pretty obvious that Curbie was poisoned.  Feeling bad for the critter, and not wanting to watch him suffer, we began looking for help, and found it at Wildcare an organization that works “to make sure all species can coexist– not just by treating sick or injured animals (over 3,000 of them a year), but also by teaching people how to live peacefully with wildlife and by advocating for better protection of wildlife and our remaining open spaces”.

Curbie, thanks to the friends at Wildcare, made it out ok. His release video is above, and if you don’t pay attention, you’ll miss him – he’s THAT fast, THAT fiesty, and THAT much better.

But there are other Curbies out there and the rat poison problem doesn’t lie so much with the rodents themselves (though, really, if you think it’s an acceptable to leave an animal to die slowly by internally bleeding for a week or more, you’re pretty much an A**hole), but lies in an even bigger problem – the fact that prey feed on the rodents and then they, too, get sick and die.

Information from Wildcare‘s site:

Every year WildCare admits predatory animals like hawks, owls and foxes that have eaten rodents poisoned with anti-coagulant rodenticides (rat poisons).

The rodenticides currently on the market are advertised as “strong enough to kill in one dose,” and they do kill rats (slowly and painfully of internal bleeding), but it can take up to seven days for the rodents to die.

In that time, a desperate rodent can enter the food chain and carry the deadly poison to any animal that picks him up as an easy meal.

That hawk or owl dies too unless proper treatment can be administered immediately.

So what can YOU do?

You can help in two ways.

First – STOP USING RAT POISON!  There are many humane options for removing rodents.  I prefer the humane trap and release traps.

And second – donate to Wildcare.  They do a lot more than just rescue wild animals like Curbie.  They offer an interactive experience where people can truly understand what it means to co-exist with wildlife around us, even here in San Francisco.

And Curbie?  Well, as you can see, he’s got a second chance at life.  And the singing at the end of the video?  Yeah, that’s me.  Let me know if you know anyone ready to cut me a record deal. 😉


Misc Musings from Your San Francisco Realtor, San Francisco Local Resources, San Francisco Neighborhoods, San Francisco Photos, 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 Videos

What’s the Right San Francisco Neighborhood for You?

Comments Off on What’s the Right San Francisco Neighborhood for You? 21 February 2011

There are just under 100 unique and distinct districts in San Francisco according the the San Francisco Realtors Association.

Other sources will list just over 100.  But no matter how you count them, there’s no denying that there’s A LOT of variety when it comes to what neighborhood you ultimately choose to call “home!”

Whether you like your neighborhoods full of nightlife vs. life on the quiet side, completely urban vs. bordering nature, or if you prefer your shopping high-end vs. funky and thrifty, there’s a neighborhood for you here in SF.

You want views? Hills? Public schools? Walkability? Something trendy? Something polished? Something family oriented? A single person’s dream? San Francisco has it all.

But how do you decide which San Francisco “Nabe” is right for you?

Well – I suggest using BOTH of these sites to find out.

1)  Visit Zephyr Real Estate’s neighborhood guide. Zephyr has 89 districts in San Francisco and has broken them up into little blurbs of digestible information.  Neighborhoods have a description, photos, links to available homes for sale, real estate market statistics, demographic info, and in many cases, even a  short video highlighting the neighborhood in greater detail.  It’s polished, easy to read and the SF real estate stats and available listings are constantly updated.

2) Visit NabeWise. This site splits SF into 104 districts (frankly, more accurate than our SF real estate board if you ask me – Lower Haight gets its own home here, whereas our board lumps it into Hayes Valley.)  The only way I can really accurately describe this site is the Yelp! of local neighborhoods.  It features a neighborhood summary, highlights, lowlights, maps, trends and most importantly, in my opinion, reader reviews.  People can post photos, videos and review their own neighborhoods and those which they frequent.  You get a glimpse of the neighborhoods both through the eyes of locals and those that step foot there along their travels.  You can see who lives there (hipsters, beautiful people, students, liberals) and so much more.  I personally just started playing with the site and managed to squeeze out one review of the Outer Sunset. But so far, I’ve really enjoyed reading other people’s opinions of the various San Francisco hoods.

So, Zephyr Real Estate’s neighborhood guide will give you the polished presentation that markets each neighborhood, while NabeWise will give you an insider’s scoop and actual people’s perceptions of every nook and cranny in San Francisco that you’d want to call “home.”

And of course, if you’re considering buying or selling a home in any of these awesome neighborhoods, well, you know who you can call! 😉

Misc Musings from Your San Francisco Realtor, San Francisco History, San Francisco News and Events, San Francisco Property Profile, San Francisco Videos

San Francisco Fire Engine Tour Business – Now 50% Off!!!

1 Comment 14 February 2011

Many of you remember the historic Firehouse 33 at 117 Broad.  This unique San Francisco property had a long history on the market while the search for new owners, ready to respect the building’s history and integrity, were sought out.  In 2010, when I took over the listing of this unusual San Francisco home, the property was featured on in their real estate and finance sections, NY Times , Zillow, Curbed SF, CNN Money, and SFGate, JUST to name a FEW!

And after 3 years (and 5 agents before me), I can proudly say that I helped sell Firehouse 33 for $875,000 in December!  The new owners, also in love with the integrity of the Firehouse, have promised to cherish and preserve its history!

But, the story of the Firehouse and its place in San Francisco history isn’t completely over!

Robert and Marilyn Katzman, the sellers of Firehouse 33 after living there for 33 years, had hoped to find someone that was ready to slide into their entire fiery lifestyle, which included the Firehouse, the memorabilia and their amazing World Famous San Francisco Fire Engine Tour Business. However, the new owners of Firehouse 33 already had careers they loved and they had their own furnishings.

And so, once the Firehouse sold, it was time to finish the rest of this chapter for the Katzmans.  They had an estate sale so mind-blowing that it was even covered by the California Home & Design Blog, and this took care of the memorabilia.  But San Francisco Fire Engine Tours & Adventures still has not found the right owner.

They started the business in 1998 and in a short time the business’ popularity had spread like a wildfire all over the world.

Featured in guide books worldwide in a variety of languages and featured on The Travel Channel, regional travel shows, on airline arrival films, news & magazine travel articles and web sites, create an ongoing demand for this tour.  But it is the AMAZING word of mouth advertising that REALLY separates this tour business from the rest!  And now, it’ll be much more affordable for the right person(s) to step into the Katzman’s fireboots… and make it their own!

So now, with two big parts of this chapter of the Katzman’s firelife complete, they have decided that the best way to sell a fire related business is, well, to have a FIRE SALE! 🙂

The business (when it was listed together with the Firehouse) was listed at $249,000.  But as of today, the Katzman’s will entertain offers starting at $125,000!!! Yes folks, that’s 50% off!

To further entice you, here’s a little note from the Katzmans to give you a glimpse into the life they’ve enjoyed while running the San Francisco Fire Engine Tour Business:

“It was our dream to become part of the fabric of San Francisco. We Love This Beautiful City and we had always loved taking friends and visitors on adventures. When The Big Red Shiny ’55 Mack Fire Engine came into our lives, our entrepreneurial spirit kicked into high gear.  We knew there was something magical about this Fire Engine and we were right .  Everyday is filled with smiles and happiness and to be able to make a living having so much fun has been a dream come true”.

So, if you have always dreamed of making a living entertaining people in your own unique show on wheels (or maybe just got bit by the bug while reading this post) please give me a shout! Whether you have lots of personality, energy and desire OR just have the talent to hire the right people to work for you, this may very well be the opportunity of a lifetime for you!

It’s the perfect time of the year to get up to speed before “the season”.     And at 50% off, you can now afford to get behind the wheel of the amazing San Francisco Fire Engine Tour Business yourself!

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

Brrrrr….. It’s Cold in San Francisco (NOT!)

Comments Off on Brrrrr….. It’s Cold in San Francisco (NOT!) 09 February 2011

I almost caught myself complaining today that our February weather had dropped from last weeks high 70’s to today’s (brrrrr) mid 60’s.  I mean, I had to wear a jacket, in SF, in February.  How inconvenient!

But then I saw this post while browsing Laughing Squid’s blog.

And then I had to laugh at the superiority of San Francisco!  HA!  Snow Day?  We don’t need no stinking Snow Days!

And then, I caught this post on Uptown Almanac’s site featuring the video below.  Which made me stop laughing and feel bad for the rest of the country.

And then I got over my feelings of sympathy and started laughing again!

Hey, they could live in SF if they wanted to! 😉

Hmmm….. do you think that our near perfect San Francisco weather has anything to do with the overall resilience of SF’s real estate market?  I’d say so!  Cheers to not having any snow days!!! 😉

(And yes, I’ve lived here in SF since I was 2 years old, so I’m well aware that our winter months aren’t usually THIS mild, but I’m relishing in it while it lasts!!!  You should too!!! 🙂 )

San Francisco Historical Photos, San Francisco Local Resources, San Francisco Neighborhoods, San Francisco Places, 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 Videos

1896 San Francisco Firehouse For Sale!!! (And a Tour Business and Memorabilia to Boot!)

2 Comments 08 February 2010


We’ve determined pricing for the Firehouse and the Tour Business!!!! 

The Firehouse is $975,000

The Tour Business is $249,000

And if you are interested in grabbing the torch and taking over the complete lifestyle, then make a reasonable offer for both!!!  For once, the sellers are not JUST interested in the price (though money DOES talk), but more than anything, they would really love to see someone carry on the legacy they created.  And frankly, I’d like to see the dream kept alive as well! 

(And ideally, I’d like to reserve the right to slide down the firepole from time to time, but that’s not a deal breaker. 😉 )

I’m giving you a fair warning – this video is addictive, amazing and has a jingle you may not be able to get out of your head for days!!!  It is NOT your typical property listing video.  TRUST me. 

And thanks to the video, I’ve been singing the “The Big Shiny Mack Truck Fire Engine!” for DAYS now!  I haven’t had anyone complain yet, and may have been the cause of people all over San Francisco singing that jingle now too! 😀

But the video and the song are just bonuses…. along with the song, you get over 4000 square feet where you can whirl around the firehouse 🙂 which, to my knowledge, is one of the last San Francisco firehouses (if not THE last one) that has still maintained it’s historical integrity. 

The couple that owned it lovingly restored it (a before & after pic are below), and fell so much in love with the place and the lifestyle that they added a “Big Shiny Mack Truck Fire Engine” to their collection and used it to create a profitable tour business that had made kids (of all ages) from ALL over the world smile!!! 

But as many stories go, it’s time for the current owners to move on.  Which means you can pick up this HOT (badumpum) piece of real estate for yourself.  🙂  As a fellow colleague joked, it would make an especially “HOT” Valentine’s present. LOL!

Though the price is still not yet determined, numbers are being crunched and the list price will be announced in the next few weeks.  The building, business and historic collection will all be for sale – together, or separately. 

In the meantime, email me at [email protected] or call me at 415-307-1392 for more information. 




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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)
[email protected]
DRE License #01768716
Top Agent Network 

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