Monthly Archives: February 2012

San Franciscos’ One Hawthorne, a Luxury Highrise in the Middle of the Action – Affordable and Stylish

One HawthorneWorld-Class View from a Junior 1 Bedroom

Downtown San Francisco is host to many new and newish high rise luxury buildings offering homeownership opportunities to the most discerning urban dwellers.  Experience life with all of the amenities, like exercise rooms, valets, roof top gardens with outstanding world-class views and some buildings include concierge service.

Tonite I attended an invitational cocktail fete hosted by the sales team of One Hawthorne.  Catty-corner to our new Vangaurd Office at 199 New Montgomery.  One Hawthorne’s sales office is at the corner of Hawthorne and Howard with the building entrance around the corner on the quiet Hawthorne Street, not a thoroughfare, a calm street in the midst of the action.

Our Hosts, Sales TeamJessica Keenan & Carrie Barrett, with their wonderful caterer!

Greeted by the sales team who offered wine and beautifully prepared nibbles,  I was given the inside scoop on the upcoming offerings in this building.  Sales have picked up, are brisk with available homes moving quickly.

Sold in phases, the first phase has only 8 units left before the anticipated release of the upper floors 21 to 25 in the next several months.  As the floors go up, so does the pricing. Jessica gave us the grand tour of the sleek, modern, impressive models of a junior one bedroom, the perfect pied a terre, a 1 bedroom at 800+ Square Feet and the 2 bedroom/2bath of over 1200 Square Feet.  Continue reading

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Academy Awards 2012 Quick Review

Billy Crystal was impeccable tonite as presenter of the 84th Academy Awards. This is one red carpet and awards show I make sure to watch! This year, Nine Films were nominated for Best Picture.

Billy’s opening number delivered and some of his one liners hit home! I think it’s true, a lot of the actors are smaller and shorter than we realize, though they surely look good on the big screen. The French do have cause for celebration winning the Academy’s Best Actors and Best Film awards, though my French friends DO exhibit joy, contrary to Billy’s contrary joking!

Missing from the audience were Jack Nicholson, though I did see Tony Bennett. The camera as usual loves Brad and Angelina plus this years “most panned to”, George Clooney and Stacey Keibler, so beautifully dressed in a gold Marchesa gown. Tina Fey surprised us in an elegant eggplant colored gown with peplum and delivered her funny lines as presenter having me laugh out loud as usual.

Octavia Spencer won the Best Supporting Actress for “The Help” and was so grateful in her teary heartfelt acceptance speech. 20120227-094038.jpg

It was humbling and well deserved though I say, “Don’t miss the book”, as with most films it captures nuance the film doesn’t convey. My pick for Best supporting actress was Jessica Chastain from the same film. I hadn’t realized it was her when watching the film until the credits rolled. She is one to watch.

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Pinterest – The newest Social Networking Platform!

Attending a webinar this morning on Pinterest, which is the fastest growing social networking site.  I’m learning that it’s all about the topics and how creative you can be in naming your topic.  You can put links back to your Blog and site which is key.

Pic from a Bora Bora Pinboard

Their method of reaching out is through pinboards that house photos of your choosing that you can caption and therefore form an outline of whatever it is you have to say or are promoting.  Since it is so easy these days to take pics and upload them right away -this should be an easy fit for most of us. 

It’s a little addicting to browse their pinboards and entertaining as there are endless categories. Continue reading

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World-Class Luxury Home Shopping in San Francisco

Surrounding Union Square are some of the Cities best offerings for those looking for that exclusive luxury home vase, work of art, custom upholstered furniture or unique, one of a kind accessory to add to your homes elegance?  San Francisco hosts a myriad of luxury home stores for you to fulfill your decorating itch. 

Try Gumps, a harbinger of elegance and sophistication,  at 135 Post St. in San Francisco.  ‘Ohh and ahh’ through their beautifully dressed retail store.  Contact their concierge to host your private event, cocktail reception or dinner, bridal event or arrange a private seminar with one of their designers or artists. 

Nearby find Neiman Marcus at 150 Stockton Street, now showing Spring Home Trends like their “Global Perspective, New Preppy, Nouveau Cottage, Coastal Charm and the traditional Country Estates”.  Designer’s like Lily Pulitzer, Calvin Klein Home, Mac-Kenzie Childs, and Jonathan Adler contribute to the homes collections.  For Baccarat and Lalique, this is your destination. 

This Friday you can catch Barton Perrerias’ Sunglass Trunk show at another luxe shopping “go to”, at Barney’s New York’s San Francisco store at 77 O’Farrell Street at 11am. Barney’s sets itself appart with  its’ selection of sophisticated urban decor, tech and travel, desk, gourmet and even the dog department.

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February Issue of Market Focus Report Released

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Pockets of Movement in the San Francisco Housing Market, Despite Lessening Inventory

The nice spring-like weather we have been experiencing has had some positive effects on the home buying public, as it has brought more buyers into the market. And with interest rates continuing to stand at a 60-year low, this has made homes more affordable and led to a wave of refinances that has increased disposable income for property owners. But despite these encouraging trends, the city’s inventory has tightened.

Single-Family Homes

As inventory levels dropped in January by 32.9 percent, compared to January 2011, the number of homes under contract rose by 8.7 percent. But the low inventory seemed to also contribute to fewer completed sales, which is fairly normal market behavior for this time of year.

For homes that were priced below $700,000, the months of supply inventory fell by 47.3 percent to 1.6 months. For higher priced homes between $700,000 and $1.2 million, the months of supply inventory fell by 38.9 percent to 2.4 months. These short time frames continue to indicate a seller’s market, where sellers have more leveraging power over buyers who are competing against a limited pool of properties.
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4706 25th Street – Noe Valley

Stunning Remodel – Like New
4 Bedroom, 3.5 Bathroom on 3 levels
Penthouse Master Suite with Sweeping SF Views
Cat 5, Garage, Yard with View
SOLD $1,850,000

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Housing Starts, Builder Confidence on the Upswing

With new construction on the rise and the current affordability of homes for the median income earner, consumer confidence is returning to the real estate market.

National Housing starts rose 1.5 percent in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 699,000 from the revised December estimate of 689,000, and they were 9.9 percent above the January 2011 rate of 636,000, according to the latest figures released by the U.S. Commerce Department. Housing starts for single-family homes fell 1 percent in January to 508,000, down from 513,000 in December.

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Permits for new construction edged 0.7 percent higher to 676,000 in January from the revised December rate of 671,000, and they were 19 percent higher than the January 2011 estimate of 568,000.

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San Franciscos’ Americas Cup Yacht Race

San Francisco has been positioning itself for the America’s Cup race to be held here, with the hope that it brings scores of visitors to make this a tour de force event a cash cow for our economy. The City has been negotiating a deal to fix old worn out piers in exchange for development rights. The question is the draw of the event and whether it will deliver as the City expects.

Over the next 2 years, 58 days of racing will take place. The City would benefit by the influx of attendees’ to restaurants and hotels. Slow fundraising has been a concern for county supervisors who know that $52m is earmarked to spend on prepping for the event.

Analysis of the anticipated 8,800 jobs creation, and $1.4Billion in revenue were made from other America’s cup events held worldwide. As of now, only 3 of the 9 expected teams have signed on for the 2013 finals.

The America’s Cup organization stands behind its forecast, while some supervisors believe the projection is grossly overestimated. San Francisco has a world renown sailing tradition, multiple yacht clubs, visible weekly Regatta’s on the bay which will have us looking forward to seeing if this event brings the funds, crowds and participation anticipated or is a complicated way to repair a waterfront badly in need of attention….and it looks like, possible development.
www.Americascup.com

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San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition at Fort Mason

Today I sipped wine on a dock of the Bay!  The San Francisco Chronicle sponsors the largest American Wine Competition in America, held on Feb. 6th with the VIP reception, which I attended, and public wine tasting that followed, on Feb. 18th in the Festival Pavilion of Fort Mason.  Hic!  While sampling the Best in Class and Gold Medal Winners in the VIP reception this afternoon, an attendee warned me, “You better go down to the tasting floor before the public arrives, as it will be 5000 strong”.  He wasn’t kidding.  So we did.  Sampling wines from multiple AVA’s, (American Viticulture Areas) from Lodi, Sonoma, Russian River, Napa, Glen Ellen, Santa Maria, Petaluma, Temecula, to name a few. Continue reading

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This is Obama’s kind of Town

President Obama has come to town, to visit, raise his campaign profile and to raise funds.  We haven’t heard much from his camp, aside from today’s visit, about his campaign for the next term.  Though I enjoyed Michelle’s’ (yes, we are on a first name basis, at least in my book),  public announcements and TV appearances touting the humanity of our current present, his devotion to family and dog and his character as first and foremost, a man of ethics. She spoke clearly about the sacrifices that wife and children make to stand behind their man in the white house, and having said that – endorses him for another term out of her conviction that he will continue to be the right leader for our country or she and the kids would not be making this sacrifice again!  Continue reading

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Touring San Francisco Luxury Property

Today I took out a client who wanted to tour luxury property in all neighborhoods of the City!  That was a big bill to fill as luxury means something different to each person.  In this case, it was in the form of at least a 3 Bedroom, 3 Bath home of over 1800 SqFt, with a price point of $1m-$2.3m and up.

Luckily that is easily achievable in our town.  Though we are a great city, buyers often note, its’ diverse neighborhoods make it feel like a town.  We began our tour in St. Francis Woods.  Known as District 4, this neighborhood sports detached mansion like homes on larger parcels of property.  I would call this “the country in the middle of the city”.  Some of our oldest and most beautiful Mediterranean and Spanish style homes are in this neighborhood that exudes a charming elegance.  They loved West Portal, the 3 block shopping district at the base of St. Francis woods and its’ boutiques, pubs, cafe’s and art cinema.

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Take a walk on the wild side

There is a special natural fabric of the city that is made by its’ open preserved space.  Golden Gate Park, The Presidio, Fort Funston, Fort Mason, Stern Grove, Mountain Lake Park, and Lands’ End. These spaces provide leisure activity in the form of hiking, walking, biking, picnicking and more. 

Take a approx. 3 mile round trip hike from near the Cliff House and Sutro Baths’ on a bay ridge trail with outstanding views to reach Lands end outlook bordering Sea Cliff neighborhood.  Travel to the base of Presidio to find Crissy field, an old airstrip on the former Army base that serves as a greenbelt for a lengthy bayside trail that leads from the Marina District to the Golden Gate Bridge.  The Presidio itself has multiple hiking trails where you can be among the trees and get away from it all, stretching from Crissy field all the way to Laurel Heights and the Richmond District.

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San Francisco boot camps are all the rage

San Francisco boot camps are all the rage.  I don’t mean the military kind, but rather the sunrise exercise classes taking place outside, in all neighborhoods throughout the City.  Anywhere from 4 large groups of fitness devotees will be taken on a series of high intensity exercises using the environment for props and as a backdrop.  Ever see a group stretching at the big magnolias in Delores Park.  Or doing push-ups against a bike rack?

Thinking my Yoga routine had qualified me, I decided to join a boot camp recently and I’m embarrassed to report that I made it through the warm-up and not much more.  I realized that I have to ramp up my routine just to join these dedicated athletes. Continue reading

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