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Local SF Real Estate News
New SOMA release of 6 stylishly remodeled homes at 181-191 Russ Street. Steps from the best culinary, shopping, arts and recreational destinations in the district. Walking distance to Whole Foods Market, ATT Park, and Draves Park 1/2 block away make this a city dwellers dream location. Each freshly remodeled spacious two-bedroom two-bathroom home at features hardwood floors, high-efficiency lighting, all new kitchens with stainless appliances, modern bathrooms, large bedrooms and stunning open floor plans with Bay Windows. Storage and In Unit Laundry Room included. Low HOA fee. Asking $549,000-$595,000. Walkscore of 98, Transportation score of 100, Great Biking.
Early OPEN Sunday 1-4:30PM. Call Erika, Showing Agent, for private viewing 415-321-7076, Erika Burke, Top Producer DRE#01386234
CONDOMINIUM CONVERSION LOTTERY BYPASS LEGISLATION – HELP US and JUST SAY YES!!!!
At the end of this post find a link to all of the San Francisco City Supervisors, call or email in support of this important legislation to secure their votes and help your fellow homeowners realize their real estate dreams.
The current introduced legislation by Supervisors Mark Farrell and Scott Weiner which would enable tenancy in common owners who qualified for the 2012 condominium lottery to bypass the lottery by paying a per unit fee starting at $4,000 and increasing on a sliding scale basis dependent upon the number of years the building has entered the lottery. The legislation includes tenant protections which provide any tenants in occupancy will receive lifetime leases. In order for the legislation to pass it will require six votes from the Board of Supervisors.
MY STORY: I regularly place new homeowners into TIC’s as an entry level purchase that is affordable in San Francisco. Most cannot afford condominiums, are overqualified for the BMR offerings and MOH programs and hope to convert their TIC to condominium as an equity building perk of their ownership. The current condominium lottery process hinders these property owners from furthering their real estate ownership dreams.
A consensus must occur within a TIC group to persue condominium conversion as well as a % share of cost for the persuit. TIC owners are hard working, middle income earners. It’s not cheap to own a TIC – when the typical down payment is atleast 20% of the sale price. When a 2-6 unit conversion can take upwards of 6+ years to convert it dashes hope and stifles the desire for ownership of the TIC, and passes along an arduous process to the next owner. TIC’s are a frequently transferred type of home, with re-sale typically within 3-5 years, as an owners’ life circumstances, job, finances change. TIC’s are the most basic purchase of 1st Time Home Buyers that stimulate the real estate sales community to trade-up upon re-sale.
Many of these owners purchase with the idea of living in the home as a “starter home” and also an investment. Many want to make a 2nd home purchase in San Francisco within a few years, turning the TIC into rental/income housing which adds to the rental stock. Allowing condo conversion to occur quickly and prudently, further secures the perimeter for these owners to make that transition, and building real estate portfolio health in San Francisco.
Making this small step toward allowing the basic rights and freedom of home owners to improve their asset in San Francisco and stimulate TIC and condominium real estate transfers for move-up purchase and possible use as income property in San Francisco is good for its’ prospective and current TIC owners, the rental market, and just plain good business.
Click, Call or Email with your support as YES! for this important Condo Conversion ByPass Legislation: http://www.plancsf.org/contact-city-hall/
Thank You, Erika Burke, Realtor, Top Producer 415.321.7076 email@example.com
As you know inventory in San Francisco is at its lowest mark in more than seven years. With such a low supply comes steeper competition which can put 1st time homebuyers at a disadvantage. I like to look at it as an opportunity to be informed and prepared. (Tips at the end)
Evaluating property and the market.
With low inventory the first time home buyer may be going up against investors who are also targeting the bargain-priced or lower priced homes that are in the same pool in which you are looking. Investors and contractors come to the table with buying power, large down payments and/or cash, which can edge you out of the deal. One strategy is to prepare to compete.
In a Sellers market, a strategy that is often employed by listing agents, are to list the homes for well under the market, in hopes of attracting a large number of offers. This means each home must be individually evaluated against the market to see if this is the case. If so, the buyer must be prepared to bring their offer in at the regular market price which can be substantially, sometimes $10k-$100k or more over the inappropriately low asking price. Just because a price is listed, it does not reflect the market value or the actual final purchase price range. Conversely, some homes do not require an overbid and your agent will be able to advise you accordingly. Continue reading
John Rahaim, our San Francisco City Planner spoke at Vanguard Properties to provide us with the state of San Francisco City Planning.
Here’s a re-cap of what is ongoing and planned for our City scape, and what you can expect when building or remodelling your home.
The City has the capacity for 70,000 housing units with the current land availability and capital availability. We are approving about 2500 projects per year and he believes that double that amount should be approved annually. To speed up the process he would like to see smaller projects and about 1/2 of new construction units not have to go before the planning commission.
We have 45,000 units currently entitled. About 28,000 are in Park Merced and Hunters Point. 4,000 units are currently under construction with another 2,000 to be completed by the end of this year. This growth is primarily driven by the needs of the Tech Industry. In SOMA (South of Market) our office space vacancy is at 3%, we are nearly fully occupied. Already through planning, the 2nd Rincon Tower is planning to break ground in a Couple of weeks.
High atop a Tiburon hillside ridge, nestled across from Angel Island with a sweeping view of San Francisco and the East Bay is an architectural masterpiece of a home built in 1995.
Vanguard Properties presents this one-of-a-kind home of 4 Bedroom, 4.5 Baths with 2 car parking. Carved out of the hillside is an earthy enclave of natural limestone and granite, carefully orchestrated to blend seamlessly with the California landscape. Most charming is a path that leads around the perimiter of the property and around the house to view from each window where there is a real sense of nature and relaxation.
SF Overlook Development, LLC have completed their environmental review with pending planning approval to build a proposed 34 units on the hillside below Crestmont Dr. in San Franciscos’ Forest Knolls neighborhood.
Crestmont Preservation is an organized group of home owners and community members with the common cause of preserving the quiet and peaceful enjoyment that is their right as homeowners. Their primary concern is the additional 340 person trips, (136-170 car trips…based upon round trips per person for average of 5 residents per 2-3 bedroom unit per day), moving through this quiet, residential neighborhood of narrow, hilly streets along with the increased density this large development will bring to the end of this cul-de-sac, already the city’s longest.
SF Overlook states their 34 unit project is 44% less units than the max allowed by zoning. The mix of units are two and three bedroom family townhomes and one 11 unit building. This project will improve hillside stability through water management, new retaining walls and drainage improvements. They propose to add 51 off-street covered parking spaces and will apply for up to 68 parking spaces Continue reading
As Reported by the San Francisco Association of Realtors (SFAR), April Market Focus Report.
Reporting on Single Family Home and Condominium Sales in San Francisco and the state of our current market plus future projections. Low Inventory, rising prices, lots of buyers, high end is moving. Sellers should feel confident to list during this opportune Seller’s Market.
As Inventory Remains Low and Unchanged,
San Francisco Homes Sell Even Faster
Just as last month, many new home sellers continue to have confidence that the market is on an upswing and that housing prices will soon accelerate. As a result, the vast majority of them have decided to hold off on listing their properties for sale, keeping the city’s inventory low. Making matters worse, the flow of distressed properties from the banks has lessened, making it more difficult for buyers to find properties even though interest rates have remained low. The congruence of all these economic factors occurring at the same time is resulting in the current seller’s market, where sellers have more leveraging power over buyers who are competing against a limited pool of properties.
Single-Family Home Sales
While the city’s inventory of single-family homes for sale dropped by 29.4 percent compared to March 2011, it did not exceed February’s level this year. Still, despite the low inventory, the number of homes under contract continued to improve by as much as 19.9 percent compared to this time last year, while the number of homes sold fell by only a slight margin of 2.8 percent.
For homes that were priced below $700,000, the months of supply inventory fell by 65 percent to one month. For higher-priced homes between $700,000 and $1.2 million, the months of supply inventory fell by 56.1 percent to also one month. It comes as no surprise that a number of real estate web sites currently rank San Francisco high among the nation of cities where homes sell the fastest.
One region of the city which continues to experience healthy sales activity is the area in the mid-western part of town, known as Twin Peaks West. Since March 2011, the number of homes under contract here has risen by 14.7 percent. Twin Peaks West has a total of 16 neighborhoods, with Mt. Davidson, the highest natural point in San Francisco, at its center. With its elegantly landscaped streets and a variety of architectural styles, including Craftsman bungalows, Mediterranean, and Mid-century, homes here are very desirable. The median price for a home in Twin Peaks West is about $837,500.
Yesterday, I toured San Franciscos’ Luxury Tower, The Millenium with my colleague, Uche Nchekwube, M.B.A., Realtor at Vangaurd Properties. We were greeted by the valet as we drove up and met by the buildings’ concierge who escorted us to our private showing appointment.We had the luxury of viewing the gorgeous homes currently offered for sale.
Our showings consisted of a visit to the City View residences, loft like urban dwellings with seamless finishes like marble bath and kitchen, soaking tub, sleek cabinetry, picture windows, and urban views! Very modern, streamlined and sophisticted. The hallways are quiet, plush and serene. Then we were escorted to model homes at the ‘Residences’, 1 and 2 bedroom homes on the lower floors and the slightly larger, Grand Resdiences with stupdendous views, on the upper floors. They have numerous floor plans to choose from, for each Residence group. We saw Floor Plans A, C and F, each featuring something specical, an extra walk-in closet, a guest room/office, a den, more square footage, a commanding view, a new and different lay out! It’s easy to see why the most exclusive buyers are making the Millenium their home. It’s fresh, clean, beautifully designed and luxurious. Everything has been thought of for you in terms of surroundings, service and comfort.
There are enormous views available of the City and the bay and our colorful urban landscape. In our busy lives, the Milleniums’ Owners’ level offers the relaxation, socialization and comfort that one would book a resort stay for. Spanning the entire lower level, you will find a temperature controlled wine storage locker, a wine tasting room shaped like a wine barrell, an owners lounge with the latest magazines & periodicals with a fireplace, private dining room, and a snack/coffee bar. If that’s not enough you can take advantage of the movie theater, the indoor swimming pool, the private spa rooms and lounge by the enormous fireplace on the outdoor terrace. Wanting to exercise, there is a workout room, pilates studio and fully equipped gym, plus a play room for the kids. The concierge on this level can arrange any private party or event in any room on this level for you.
At every turn The Millenium offers an air of luxury and sophistication that is evident from the moment of entry. These homes demonstrate the exclusivity that is sure to appeal to the most discerning city dwellers and home owners. Allow me to fill you in on some of the features and benefits of these homes and schedule your private showing. Reach out at 415.321.7076 to view at your convenience.
Today I previewed a compound Oasis in the heart of San Francisco on Divisadero. I was frankly flabbergasted at the amazing modern meets Storybook Victorian home that was behind the ornate well cared for visage. Not on the market presently, though it will be any moment now, so I’m giving you the first glimpse.
Sitting on a double lot gives it the feeling of being a compound. It’s garden setting and sophistication make it an oasis. The main home on 2 levels have 3 beds and 2.5 baths, with a master suite with an additional office. An elegant spaciousness is made by the open vistas of this fabulous entertainment home. Throughout is the notable gleaming walnut radiant heat hardwood floors, marble fireplaces, ornate pillars, exposed brick and beams, stained glass, high cielings with modern touches and high end finishes. There is a deluxe sound system.
The chef’s kitchen features stainless counters and all of the extras you would expect including a sleek breakfast bar that seats a crowd. The master marble bath has a free standing soaking tub with outdoor deck access to lounge on 1 of the private decks after your bath. One bath features vintagelike beadboard and bath furniture and even of course, there is a modern powder room. All well thought out and impressive, providing class, elegance with modern touches and conveniences. This is truly a San Francisco home at its’ finest and most impressive. Did I mention the turret room…it’s round of course. Continue reading
San Franciscos’ One Hawthorne, a Luxury Highrise in the Middle of the Action – Affordable and Stylish
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Today Vanguard Properties, the well-known San Francisco real estate firm headed by Principal James Nunemacher for nearly 30 years, announced the “21 Club” Top Producers of Vanguard Properties for 2011, including Erika Burke.The achievements of these very hard working Realtors and Broker Associates are recognized yearly by the firm, in alphabetical order, are as follows:
“We are thrilled with all of our agents performance and this past year’s gain in what has been touted as a down national real estate market,” said Mr. Nunemacher.
The 2011 year end numbers for Vanguard Properties posted close to a 30% gain in sales over 2010. “We are thrilled with all of our agents performance and this past year’s gain in what has been touted as a down national real estate market,” said Mr. Nunemacher.
The firm is looking forward to yet another year of growth with the opening their new sales office in downtown San Francisco located at 199 New Montgomery Street.
San Francisco has a tradition of fostering its’ artists and creative’s. Nowhere is this as evident as with the prolific amount of mural art exhibited on the exterior of buildings throughout the city! This art expresses local tradition, cultural expression and adds a dimension to the city that makes us unique.
Precita Eyes Mural Arts and Visual Center at 2981 24th St., in the Inner Mission is home to a non-profit mural arts center, store and awareness program representing local mural art and artists. Visit their locale to purchase posters of the art and find out more about the locations and artists. Continue reading
We all know it is a professional who is licensed to facilitate the sale of purchase of real property, homes, commercial, lots and land in a given area. But what does a realtor do? Just show a few homes and facilitate a contract? Hardly.
A realtor is a devotee to their clientele and their brokerage. They often work 7 days a week, or at least make themselves available to their clientele. They must study and pass a rigorous exam and are remanded to fulfill continuing education requirements. They work from their brokerages and often a home office. They do their own accounting and pay taxes from each commission. They place their own advertising, attend networking events to raise their profile, they learn to brand themselves for their specialty.
Realtor’s are social networkers who have mastered technology and social networking skills to promote themselves, your listings and attract buyers through business building on the internet. They use computers, tablets, smart phones, faxes, electronic documents, copiers. They design and use mailers to connect with the public and their clients. They know about bulk mail, folding machines, types of paper.
As the nation’s economic recovery continues at a slow pace, San Francisco is a bright spot in the region, the state and beyond. Recent indicators are encouraging, showing strong growth in key industries which are in turn creating jobs and moving the economy forward. This is good news, and we can keep the momentum going well into the future.
One critical measure of The City’s economic health is tourism, which generated more than $8.5 billion in spending last year. Thankfully, the 2011 summer tourist season did not disappoint. Activity at San Francisco International Airport hit a spring-high with domestic air travel increasing 5 percent year-over-year. International flights have also seen a 6.5 percent year-to-date increase. This influx of travelers has given a needed boost to local hotels, restaurants, retail and other businesses. According to the city controller, hotel occupancy, room rates and retail activity are all following positive trends. Continue reading
Borrowers without the income required to qualify for the mortgage they need have many possible options. “Income adequacy” is governed by general guidelines that can be adjusted to meet individual circumstances. It is “softer” than the down payment requirement, discussed last week.
The measure of income adequacy most often used is the sum of the monthly payment on the new mortgage, plus property taxes, homeowners insurance and other debt payments, divided by income. The maximum ranges from 40 percent to 43 percent, but underwriters have discretion to accept higher requirements if they believe that circumstances justify them.
Debt payments are those that extend beyond the next six months and are not deferred for a year or longer. This includes HELOCs and other revolving credits, credit card debt that you don’t pay off at month-end, student loans, and alimony and child support payments. Continue reading
Whether you’ve rented your whole life or own a portfolio of properties, you’ve undoubtedly heard the real estate saying, “Location, location, location,” which simply means that a home’s value is highly dependent upon, well, its location!
The timeless truth of this saying is beyond dispute, even in tough times like these for the housing market. The recessionary fates and foreclosure rates of an individual housing market are highly dependent upon the economic and employment prospects of that market, and even the desirability of an individual neighborhood or lot. Continue reading
The Appraisal Institute recently released a form to help appraisers factor in energy-efficient home features when valuing homes. The forms can also be used by real estate agents in describing “green” properties on the MLS, the Appraisal Institute notes.
Everything from a home owners’ energy efficient appliances to solar panels may now get more attention from appraisals with the added form.
The new form allows appraisers to identify and describe a home’s green features. It will serve as an optional addendum to Fannie Mae Form 1004, which is the appraisal industry’s mostly commonly used form for mortgage purposes, used by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Housing Administration. Continue reading
Borrowers qualifying for mortgages today are paying for the excesses of yesterday. During the go-go years leading to the crisis, underwriting rules became incredibly lax, and now they are excessively restrictive. Mortgage underwriting rules have become increasingly detailed and rigid, with much less room for the discretionary judgment of underwriters.
To help borrowers deal with this problem, I am developing a program for my website that will show potential borrowers whether they qualify, the type of mortgage for which they qualify if they do, and exactly where they fall short if they don’t. Continue reading
Robin has a wonderful eye, and always consults at the beginning of our listing process to make sure she has the right vision for the space. She adds custom art (many of the pieces painted by Robin herself). Robin goes the extra mile – making sure her stages remain pristine throughout the showing process. I know that when Robin is called in to stage an Estates Group Listing not only will the job be done with no fuss or issues, but it will exceed our expectations. To see a sample of her work, visit our current listing at 450 San Bruno Ave., San Francisco, CA 94110.
Your credit score, calculated from information in your credit report, is a measure of how good a risk you are to a credit grantor. A large proportion of borrowers who can’t qualify for a mortgage would qualify if their credit score was higher.
The theme of this set of articles, that many borrowers can repair their own qualification credentials, applies as much or more to credit score than to down payment or income. Continue reading
Check out our San Francisco Green Spaces, small tucked away community parks that may even be smaller than a City lot. This is wonderful and necessary in a City as dense as ours. We are 7X7 with lots of living space and now a chance for more open space.
Some quick tips for how to get organized and add some green and sustainable practices to your life.
Invest in a reusable water bottle….saves so many plastic bottles, and space in your kitchen for the palletes of water bottles.
Reduce your paper billing – whenever you get the chance to pay bills online- do so!
Bring your lunch to work and use washable/reuseable containers to cut down on wasteful disposable packaging!!!
When looking to buy or rent San Francisco Real Estate, think and look for GREEN properties, and detail with your Realtor, Landlord and anyone involved on how to make the property more sustainable!
Carbon Monoxide injuries and fatalities occur most often during the winter months. Unlike natural gas, carbon monoxide has no smell and is virtually undetectable. Closed windows limit fresh air circulation so that the danger of carbon monoxide poising is greatest.
Possible sources of that poinsoning are from gas burning appliances such as ranges, ovens, waterheaters, furnaces, etc. Malfunctioning gas burners, defective appliance flues or a damaged furnace are all conditions which can allow carbon monoxide to enter the living space.
Another common source of carbon monoxide entry is from either an improperly lit fireplace or a chimney with inadequate draft. This could be caused from improperly lighting a fire, a partially opened damper or clogged chimney flue.
The symptoms vary from very mild (headaches, drowsiness, joint aches, dizziness) to extreme (flu-like symptoms, severe headaches, difficulty breathing, allergy symptoms, nausea). Depending on the level and length of exposure, carbon monoxide is lethal. Carbon monoxide detectors (similar in design to a standard smoke detector) are readily available (drug stores, hardware stores, home improvement stores) and cost under twenty-five dollars. They are designed to sound a loud alarm when measuring any low level condition of carbon monxide.
In the City of San Francisco an Energy and Water inspection is mandated before the roperty can transfer. During this inspection, the number, placement and effectiveness of smoke detectors are inspected, corrected and/or installed. This is a perfect opportunity to ask for a carbon monoxide detector or the combination smoke and carbon momxide detector to be installed. It may reflect a slightly higher cost for the Buyer or Seller but will be well worth the addition of an important detector that could save lives. OR make sure that you update all of your current smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and go ahead and install them yourself – TODAY!!!