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 on San Francisco Real Estate Update – February 2011 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 on It’s Fun to Stay at the YMCA! (And to Help Raise $$$!) 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 on Is San Francisco Luxury Real Estate on the Rebound? 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 on Second Annual “Tastes of Taraval” Coming to the Outer Sunset 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 Historical Photos, San Francisco Photos, San Francisco Places

San Francisco Photos: Golden Gate Bridge During Passing Storm

Comments Off on San Francisco Photos: Golden Gate Bridge During Passing Storm 04 March 2011



Click to Expand

I’ve had a few rough days.  First, it was a sinus headache that (still) makes me feel like I’m being continuously punched in the forehead.  And then, it was the passing of a matriach, my step-grandmother, a 91 year old woman with the spirit of a twenty-something, the memory of an elephant and a heart of gold.  I always knew her as “Babushka Luba” (yes, there are more Lubas out there than just me) and was amazed to discover that she had a life long before she was a Babushka and in fact, she was one of a few female soldiers with the Soviet Army in WWII.  Her platoon made it all the way to Berlin before the war ended.  And, well, her collections of medals was truly impressive.  She’ll be missed by her kids, her grandkids, her great-grandkids, and by anyone whose life she touched.

So when Bennett Hall sent over the above picture of the Golden Gate Bridge, it brought a happy moment to a few otherwise stressful days.  Here he described the photo:

This photograph of the bridge was made in 1980 between passing storms with an 8×10″ view camera.  Waves from the heavy surf hit the sea wall causing these spectacular curtains of water, shooting up to 20′ into the air.

The motion effect is created using a slow shutter speed, about 1/4 second.

Available as a limited edition giclee from the artist studio Studio printed archival 12-color pigment print on premium photo paper Signed and numbered by artist

The original photograph is available.

And as a bonus, readers of Luba’s SF real estate blog get 40% off.

A little bit about the guy kind enough to provide us with such an awesome pic:

Bennett Hall, San Francisco native, photographer and design, operates a San Francisco studio dedicated to sustainable U.S. forested custom picture framing at lower prices for everyone.  Currently, Hall is selling his 30-year collection of framed and unframed San Francisco, and world historical photography, personal art photography and other collectible pieces at clearance prices.  Services for businesses are emphazed through Hall’s company Business Image Group, creating graphical environments that express the culture, history and marketing messages of his clients.

Misc Musings from Your San Francisco Realtor, Mobile Post from Your San Francisco Realtor, San Francisco Neighborhoods, San Francisco Photos, San Francisco Places

Surrendering in the Outer Sunset

Comments Off on Surrendering in the Outer Sunset 03 March 2011

This, seen on a telephone pole in the Outer Sunset today.

$10 Java Beach coffee card to the first person that can REALLY tell me to what or to whom I should be surrendering.  Another $10 Java Beach coffee card to the first person that can tell me if there’s more of these around, and where.  (And yes, I’ll be confirming their location.)

For now, I’ll take it to mean “surrender to the sunshine.”

And you people think that the Mission is the only place where “interesting” things happen.  Hmph. 😉

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.

Misc Musings from Your San Francisco Realtor, San Francisco Neighborhoods

San Francisco Girl Scouts Attack!!!

Comments Off on San Francisco Girl Scouts Attack!!! 02 March 2011

I was minding my own business.  I was.  Walking down 24th Street at Castro in Stroller Noe Valley.  By myself.  On my way to an appointment.

And out of NOWHERE!  On the corner, with her mother, is the cutest little Girl Scout I’ve seen!

“Would you like some cookies?” she says.

“They’re BERRY good!” she says, smiling.

I try to resist.  There’s so much good food in SF, why would I get Girl Scout cookies?

I mean, Noe Valley Bakery is right there if I really wanted a sweet treat, right?

Oh, wait!  What’s THAT?  Is that a box of SAMOAS?  You mean they got rid of those horrific Carmel De-Lites and brought back the SAMOAS?

Hmmmm….. I guess I could take one box of those, right?

But oh wait, that Berry Munch box, are those new?

“Um, yes…. they are new.  They’re made with, um, berries!”  She smiles.

Um, ok, I guess I’ll take a box of those too.

Yes, I was attacked by a 6 year old Girl Scout cookie peddler.  Be on the lookout for them at a corner near you.  I’m warning you, you’ll be weak against the power of the SAMOAS!!!!

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

Misc Musings from Your San Francisco Realtor

Realtors Under Attack, But Fighting Back

Comments Off on Realtors Under Attack, But Fighting Back 28 February 2011


We’ve all heard stories of REALTORS getting attacked by weirdos. Folks in our business have been robbed, raped, beaten and even killed.

And while the worst things I’ve heard recently in San Francisco involved an iPhone stolen from a fellow SF Realtor’s open house, and scams involving Craigslist, it seems agents in other parts of the country have a lot more to worry about than a stolen phone.

In other parts of the country, especially where foreclosures are high, agents have taken to wearing bullet proof vests, carrying Tasers and even guns, YUP, guns.  Just Google “Realtor Attacked” and you’ll see why!

I can’t say I haven’t thought about my own personal safety from time to time when I’ve shown up at a creepy looking house with a creepier looking seller on a listing appointment that doesn’t feel quite right. Unfortunately, it’s still illegal for us to pack heat to our listing appointments, but don’t think I still don’t take precautions when I get out there and risk my life in the pursuit of doing my part of helping those that need San Francisco real estate assistance. I still got a trick or two up my sleeve. 😉

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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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