Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Tuesday Tour

Anja and I hit the streets today for our weekly Tuesday Broker's Tour. It was a beautiful sunny day to look at houses, but about halfway through the day Anja mentioned how quiet it seemed. Thinking about it, I realized we had been the only agents at every house we'd seen so far. As the day went on, we did begin running into other agents, but the general feel of the tour was extremely light.

The amount of traffic on a tour day in any given house is always a good indication of how much interest there will be in that house. You will always hear people say, "If a house is priced right and presented well it will sell quickly". We did see one such house today. It had the most traffic of any house we had seen thus far on the tour. 365 Richland Ave is a four bedroom, two bath, 1800 square foot home in Bernal Heights priced at $999,000. It was full of agents and a few buyers when we arrived. Maybe some showed up because of the listing agent's promise of lottery tickets to all those who attended, but I think the majority were there to preview the house. We have yet to see if the price is right, but the turn out proves that there is a need for this size house in Bernal in this price range. It is vacant and staged nicely; has good curb appeal, and is freshly painted in festive and cheerful colors. These things will certainly help. The listing agent is trying the good old fashioned two week marketing period with a set offer date of October 15th. I will keep you posted.

Another property where the listing agent tried the same short marketing period with a set offer date is 257-259 Lexington Street, a two unit building in the Inner Mission. It was on tour today, but it's offer date was last Wednesday. This is a two unit Victorian on a great little street with original details and two car parking. Both flats will be delivered vacant. Sounds perfect, right? The one not so perfect part may be the price at $1,438,000 which is a bit steep for that neighborhood. Had it been priced right I think it would have sold right away.

Our last stop on today's tour was the Sunset Idea House which I wrote about on 8/30/07 in an entry called "Going Green in San Francisco". I was so excited to see this house as I live close by and have seen in built from the ground up. Also, it is exciting to have one of the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified residential remodeled homes in the nation right in our backyard. The anticipation was killing me.

I have to say that I was extremely disappointed. It's not yet finished, so I'll give them that. Also, only the smaller of the two units is for sale, and that is the only one we were able to see. Maybe the larger unit is amazing. The smaller unit was just a bit confusing. I think the concept of it being an idea house is a great one. I'm all for giving the community ideas on how they can make their homes more energy efficient. 90% of the materials are recycled construction waste. The floors were taken from an old barn, the banisters are recycled steel, the counter tops are recycled glass and cement, and the list goes on. They also have a solar hot water system, a wind energy system, solar panels, energy star appliances, and again the list goes on.

All of that I loved. I also loved the deck right off of the kitchen which was a really wonderful outdoor space overlooking the garden. The rest of the unit was unfortunately dark and uninviting. It didn't seem to have a flow or much warmth. The unfortunate statement that this makes is that to go green you must go cold and modern. Hopefully the community sees past this, takes the ideas, and uses them in their own homes. I recommend waiting to see this house until it is finished. Maybe it will make more sense then. The Sunset magazine tours will happen towards the end of the year. Again, I will keep you posted.

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