Monthly Archives: March 2009

Search San Francisco OPEN HOMES Right Now!!!

OPEN Homes Website!!!

OPEN Homes Website!!!

You can click right here and search for any type of property that is being shown as an OPEN HOUSE in San Francisco.  Call me, Erika Burke, Realtor, GREEN TODAY! at 415-279-1135, for more details about the properties, disclosure packages, Buyers Packages, Sellers Market Analysis,  and to strategize to make sure your sale or home purchase is a complete success.
This application has been created and promoted by the San Francisco Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and is the official place to search for available properties to view in the City.
When you are looking for GREEN homes, keep checking here for blog posts under GREEN Homes for Sale-San Francisco.
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Environmentally-friendly Glen Park

I SOLD this lot with plans and permits included to the developers of this property.  They have completed their build and chose to make it a GREEN build which is so impressive.  This is a cutting edge home of a beautiful design that has been expertly crafted with great attention to detail and concern for the environment.  I am proud to promote a colleagues listing for a GREEN home of this nature.  Call me, Erika Burke, Realtor, GREEN, 415-279-1135, Today for a viewing and to purchase this one of a kind custom, environmentally friendly home.

538 Laidley St., San Francisco, CA
REDUCED! New Construction! FOR SALE!

Listed by John Farnham at Brown & Co. Real Estate, San Francisco, Ca

3BR/3.5BA Single Family House offered at $2,279,000
Year Built 1907
Sq Footage 2,800
Bedrooms 3
Bathrooms 3 full, 2 partial
Floors 4
Parking 2 Car garage
Lot Size 2,495 sqft

New “Green” construction, featured on Discovery Channels Renovation Nation. This custom environmentally-friendly single family home in the heart of Glen Park is set atop a bay view lot. The inviting three bedroom, three and two half bath home is designed for the family that loves to entertain. Situated on four-levels the home boasts a formal dining room with box beam ceiling & French doors, gourmet kitchen, two bonus rooms, a wine cellar and media room. Conveniently located, walk to Glen Park Village and BART.

• Family room with box beam ceiling, fireplace and 8-foot French doors leading to a beautifully landscaped rear yard with slate patio
• Three spacious bedrooms with custom built-in closets
• Master suite features a sitting area, luxurious spa-like bath with steam shower and Huntington brass fixtures and custom walk-in wardrobe closet
• Formal dining room with barn style doors, box beam ceiling and 8-foot French doors to walk- out balcony
• Chef’s kitchen with custom walnut cabinetry, CaesarStone counters, Bertazzoni gas stove, Viking refrigerator, built-in Thermador coffee center and designer back splash
• Downstairs media room
• Whole house sound system, including amplifiers, speakers & remote control inputs
• Solar hot water system
• Top floor retreat with luxe bath, French doors overlooking landscaped rear yard, skylights and front room with Bay views
• Integrated security system
• Wine cellar
• Custom crown molding throughout
• Reclaimed wood floors with radiant floor heating
• 5000 gallon rain water catchment system for landscaping and toilet use
• Double insulated glass windows
• Hardie fiber cement siding
• Low VOC paints & caulks
• High volume Fly Ash concrete
• Xantrex solar electric
• Laundry center with Washer/Dryer hookups
• Two car parking

Visit for complete listing of San Francisco open homes

Call Erika burke, Realtor, GREEN at 415-279-1135 to view this propertyTODAY!

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The San Francisco MLS Goes Green

SFAR MLS Goes Green
SFAR MLS is excited to announce the addition of “Green Features” to our property descriptions. You will now find the following amenities in the Single Family Home, Condo/Coop/TIC/Loft and 2-4 Units property types:
1) Bamboo Floors
2) Cork Floors
3) Recycled Carpet
4) Natural Fiber Carpet
5) Energy Star Appliance(s)
6) Dual Flush Toilet
Stay tuned for more Green
Features as Rapattoni builds the platform.
SFAR MLS Goes Green

Also exciting news.  In Northern California we are generally known to be environmentally sensitive and proactive in making the sustainable living movement come to the forefront and grow.  Keep an eye on San Francisco to continue their GREEN growth model.  Bringing it to the MLS and all of the San Francisco Association of Realtors member Brokers and agents who subscribe will certainly assist in moving these measures forward and making a huge and powerful population fo real estate professionals allies in this important cause.

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Jurlique – Natural Beauty


I ventured into the Jurlique store today on Fillmore in San Francisco. Years ago I was in the beauty business and I spent many hours getting ‘Jurlique’ facials. What you may not know is that it is an organic, alternative skincare brand and line that’s been around for over 20 years. I particularly remember the natural elements in the creams, they smelled so good, you felt like you could eat them, and they had texture too, like oatmeal in one of the face washes. Now, I don’t know if this is a contributing factor, but people tell me I look young all the time, and often I wonder if it’s from those lovely facials I received for so many consecutive years back then.

Any hoo – these days, I make sure to use up every little bit of cream and product I have before re-investing in another…waste not want not (I am my mother).  I am so excited to have found Jurlique again and to know that they tend the earth on their certified organic and bio dynamic farms, by growing the herbs and flowers used in their products. I’ll definitely head in there to purchase the regimen that’s right for my skin and feel darn good about it, knowing that I’m supporting a truly organic organization. Also, they give free mini facials, though you have to call to schedule. The San Francisco store is at 2136 Fillmore St., PH: 415-346-7881. Jurlique is hot, you’ve got to smell it and try it to believe it…this is a vital and vibrant product line, that’s been around for a while and has worked out all the wrinkles “Get it?”, kinda like me…

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United States Green Building Council Update

On Monday, President Obama introduced Paul Holland, Vice-Chair of Serious Materials at the “Investing in the Clean Energy Economy” event in Washington, DC. Mr. Holland is a venture capitalist with Foundation Capital and an investor in Serious Materials, a prominent Northern California green building materials start up.

USGBC-NCC is especially proud of this occasion as Brandon Tinianov, Chief Technology Officer of Serious Materials, is the Chair of the Chapter’s Silicon Valley Branch.

President Obama and Mr. Holland were joined by MIT President Susan Hockfield to talk about the Administration’s commitment to clean energy and a green economy. Emphasizing Serious Materials’ recent re-opening of a windows plant in Pennsylvania, the President commended Serious Materials on creating jobs that will fuel the America’s recovery and long-term prosperity.

This is good news for all of us, when GREEN building makes headlines and President Obama realizes how this sector of the economy will be seriously infused within the next 2-10 years and will create an entire new job sector. 

Something you will hear me say alot, “I’m encouraged.”

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Tips to Save Energy Today

Easy Low-Cost and No-Cost ways to save energy

1) Install a programmable thermostat to keep your house comfortably warm in the winter and comfortably cool in the summer.
2) Use compact flourescent light bulbs with the ENERGY STAR label.
3) Air dry dishes instead of using your diswasher’s drying cycle.
4) Turn off your computer and monitor when not in use.
5) Plug home electronics, such as TVs and DVD players, into power strips; turn the power strips off when the equipment is not in use (TVs and DVDs in standby mode still use several watts of power.)
6) Lower the themostat on your hot water heater to 120F.
7) Take short showers instead of baths.
8) Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes.
9) Drive sensibly. Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) wastes gasoline.
10) Look for the ENERGY STAR label on home appliances and products. ENERGY STAR products meet strict efficiency guidelines set by the US Department of Energy and the Envirnomental Protection Agency.

Visit for more energy-saving ideas.

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CRG San Francisco Coalition for Responsible Growth

San Francisco Coalition for responsible GrowthThis morning I met with two of the board Members, John Keogan, Chairman of the board of Directors and Luke O’Brien;  of  The San Francisco Coalition for Responsible Growth, an organization that interests me greatly.  I saw their advertisment in the San Francisco Irish Herald Newspaper, became inspired, and gave them a ring and they set-up a meeting with me post haste!
I agree with the spirit of their mission statement. This is about San Francisco planned growth having become a polarizing issue and the need for planned city development reflecting the needs of the people as needing bolstering and promotion. They represent the ideas of many of the working class pillars of the community who actually make development happen in real time. The sectors represented are architects, business owners, community stakeholders, labor, planners, property developers/owners, and real estate related professionals.  It’s about time the common mans voice is heard in this town, in terms of making our actual City in San Francisco comfortable, well developed and reflective of all of its’ citizens.  Let’s have real dialogue with the City offices and become re-involved with our towns workings, right now and in the future. Their website is:   I am becoming a member and I’ll attend their general meeting to see where I can best make myself useful!  Keep checking in for updates about this grass roots organization to watch how they grow and how I grow with them.

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Erika Gives Back – Greening San Francisco

Planting a Tree

Just me and the Tree


The Whole Planting Group

Erika was a planting leader for Friends of the Urban Forest, and by a happy accident, she led the crew and we planted a tree in front of one of the 6 Zephyr Offices on Brannan St.

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Market Analysis San Francisco Multi-Units 3Q ’08

Four-Unit Market Gathers Steam – Republished from the San Francisco Apartment Association Magazine                                                                                      

by Erika Burke

During the third quarter of 2008, 120 multiunit properties transferred, for a total dollar volume of $156,899,485. This number is 7.5% less than the prior quarter’s overall dollar volume of $163,923,750, with only one less property transferred. We did see a dip in volume, and in the average sales price of $1,307,496, which was down by 6.5% from the second quarter’s average sales price of $1,398,656. The list vs. sale price dropped less than .5% to 99.43%, meaning multiunit owners have seemingly appropriately priced property in this tentative market. As a whole, property is staying on the market for 67 days until sale, 8 days longer than the last quarter.

Notable Sales
Coldwell Banker led sales with 37 listings representing buyers and sellers for a total market share of 14.13% and dollar volume of $44,341,000, with an average sales price per sale of $1,198,405. Zephyr was close behind with a dollar volume of $43,037,998 and a 13.72% market share, though it sported a higher average sale of $1,229,657 for its 35 listings. Following behind them were Vanguard with 16 sales and Pacific Union/GMAC Real Estate with 13 sales.

This quarter awards Scott Flaxman of Scott Flaxman Real Estate the “Extreme Patience Award” for his sale of 68 Cayuga Ave. in Mission Terrace, a 2-unit with four-car parking that stayed on the market for 332 days. It had an initial asking price of $979,000 and a final sales price of $860,000.

Barbara Callan of McGuire Real Estate took the “Curb Appeal Award” for 472-474 Euclid Ave., a gorgeous Mediterranean-style property. The units sold in a swift 23 days for $1.695 million and $1.7 million each, despite two protected tenants in residence. It goes to show that a coveted and beautiful property can sell quickly, despite its circumstances.

The Honorable Mention in this category goes to Angela Lam of Pacific Union/GMAC who brought 140 Arguello Blvd. to market for $2.695 million. This large and unusual 1967 property stood out architecturally from the rest of the sales pack.
On the other side of the aesthetic spectrum, the “Lack of Curb Appeal Award” goes to David Cattich of Coldwell Banker for the 3-unit building at 2070-2072 McAllister St. The property, though unremarkable and apparently hand painted, sold for $1.1 million, only 8% below asking.

In a breakdown of marketing remarks, 17 tenant-occupied properties were mentioned and positioned as income properties, 37 properties were listed as vacant, 7 were probates, 22 have been remodeled, 6 were to be sold “as is,” 8 had reduced asking prices and 6 listed protected tenants. There were two bank-owned sales and one short sale. Though the market in general may have been reported as slowing, in fact, all types of property across the board have been moving and there appears to have been a rise in the sale of income properties, rather than units positioned exclusively for TIC purchase.

2 Units
During the third quarter, 79 2-unit properties transferred, 8 less than the prior quarter. The dollar volume of $99,384,487 was down by 14% from the last quarter and the days on market were 62 days (3 days more than last quarter). List vs. sales price is down to 98.72%, showing that 2-unit properties may require sellers to adjust their asking prices down. The median sales price has dropped to $1,258,031, which is a drop of $72,413 or approximately $36,000 per unit. A unit in a 2-unit property is currently worth an average of $629,015. This reflects the lowest average sales price for this quarter in comparison to the same quarter over the last four years (though in 2006 the median average came close). This average is down 7% from this quarter last year and has dropped 11% from the first quarter of this year. It appears we are no longer looking at fluctuation, but rather a steady drop in average sales price in the 2-unit market sector. The value of the 2-unit building may be following in the footsteps of the decrease in value of single-family homes in the Bay Area and nationwide.

The district that shows the most 2-unit sales activity is the Richmond, with 10 sales, and is followed by the Parkside/Sunset with 8 sales. There were 6 sales each in Bernal Heights and Noe Valley, 5 in Potrero Hill, 4 in Hayes Valley and 3 each in Russian Hill and Pacific Heights.

3 Units
In the third quarter, 24 3-unit properties transferred, which is happily 8 more than the previous quarter and 10 more than the first quarter. Unfortunately, the median sales price has dropped from the prior quarter by a significant 20% to $1,405,962 or $468,654 per unit. We’re seeing these units stay an extra month on the market for an average DOM of 93 days. The dollar volume was up to $33,743,086, which is merely reflective of the increase in the number of transactions. The list. vs. sales price stayed about the same at 98.37%.

Four 3-unit properties sold in the Inner Mission and three sold in Hayes Valley, with two each in NOPA, Russian Hill, Noe Valley and Nob Hill. This sales segment has slowed down in 2008, but the number of transactions is only five less than this quarter last year and the median sales price only $9,000 less.

4 Units
During the third quarter, 18 4-unit buildings transferred, 3 more than the prior quarter. The median sales price has risen by $46,000 from the prior quarter. The dollar volume at $25,972,000 was higher than the previous quarter and a remarkable 100% increase from the first quarter of 2008. The DOM was 68 and the list vs. sales price was 103.18%.

For about two years, the 4-unit market has been gathering steam as a multiunit purchase with value. At $360,722 per unit, this is a value for the TIC purchaser, the investor or even the developer with an eye on improving property for resale. Even during these uncertain times, the 4-unit property is holding its value, perhaps because we do not have as many 4-unit properties as 2- or 3-unit buildings. Presidio Heights showed two 4-unit transfers, along with two each in the Inner Mission and Hayes Valley. The 4 unit is still a residential purchase and will not fall under the state’s subdivision rules for the sale of individual units.

The Big Picture
We are not seeing the across-the-board price reductions, foreclosures and short sales that are becoming more commonplace in the single-family home sector. Despite that, price reductions have become commonplace as prospective purchasers are being handed a stiffer list of qualifications in order to qualify for loans. The word on the street is that the appraisers are becoming more conservative when using the comparison method. We’re still seeing multiunits transfer as they were before the market turned, if not for slightly less and with a little more time on the market. Likewise, the 2-4-unit buildings remains a solid income property and owner/user investment.

Of the 120 2-4-unit properties transferred, 75 were priced between $1 million and $2 million, 31 were under $1 million and 18 sold for between $2 million and $3.5 million. That means 77% of all properties transferred in this segment were for over $1 million. It appears the higher end properties are moving faster and appealing to well-qualified buyers who are able to secure mortgage money during the current climate.

I had thought I would come to this quarter’s market survey and find horrific numbers, yet this has not been the case. We have seen the 2-unit sector decline steadily since the start of 2008, though the public’s desire for homeownership via the 2-unit property choice seems to have remained intact. It’s nice to see income property continuing to transfer. Remember the 200% rule when divesting your larger apartments so that perhaps you can move toward the purchase of several 2-4-unit properties with an eye on the varying ways you may hold and divest at a later date. One thing is for sure: let’s keep our San Francisco real-estate multiunit economy flowing. Don’t tread water; continue to dive in and take the kinds of calculated risks like you did when you began your investment portfolios.


The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the SFAA or the SF Apartment Magazine. Erika Burke is a realtor with a 25-year background in sales and marketing. She specializes in the sale of San Francisco multiunit properties with Zephyr Real Estate and can be contacted at 415-279-1135 or
[email protected] Copyright © 2008 by Black Point Press. All rights reserved.

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erikas-professional-photos-fullMarch 2009

March 12, 2009 San Francisco, CA –Erika Burke with Zephyr Real Estate has been awarded the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR”s) Green Designation, the only green real estate professional designation recognized by NAR.

Erika achieved this prestigious designation after completing 18 hours of course work designed specifically for REALTORS®. The courses were created in collaboration with a multidisciplinary team of industry experts from across the country; ensuring designees gain comprehensive knowledge of green homes and buildings and issues of sustainability in relation to real estate,

More specifically, Erika was trained in understanding what makes a property green, helping clients evaluate the cost/benefits of green building features and practices, distinguishing between industry rating and classification systems, listing and marketing green homes and buildings, discussing the financial grants and incentives available to homeowners, and helping consumers see a property’s green potential.

“As energy costs rise along with concern for the environment, homeowners are looking for innovative ways to save money and live responsibly,” said Dick Gaylord, NAR’s immediate past president. NAR’s Green Designation was developed in response to growing consumer awareness of the benefits of resource-efficient homes and buildings. The designation helps consumers who care about energy efficiency and sustainable building practices identify REALTORS® who can help them realize their green real estate and lifestyle goals.

As an NAR Green Designee, Erika has gained the knowledge and the tools necessary to become a trusted green resource for San Francisco. For more information about Erika Burke AT Zephyr Real Estate please visit or by E-mail [email protected]. Welcome to my GREEN blog at .

Call me Today at 415-279-1135, for your FREE Real Estate consultation.

For more information about NAR’s newest designation, visit

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