My mention in the Examiner – I was Co-Chair for a successful Fundraising event!

Special Examiner Real Estate Section:  I/We are in the Press. Our “Evening of Art and Fashion” at Vanguard Properties on 7/25 went off swimmingly well, raising $10,000. for Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco.   We exhibited “In-house Resident Agent Art” for exhibit and sale, and had an “In-House Fashion Designer” Show and Silent Auction of Art and other objects of beauty. Check out Page 3 in the Examiners’ Digital Edition for my mention in the Press Release.  Check out my previous blog post for pics.




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Sleek lifestyle at 200 Brannan #506 – Luxury Bay Living in San Francisco’s South Beach.

Today I had the pleasure of viewing a luxury Penthouse at 200 Brannan in the exclusive South Beach neighborhood, steps from the Embarcadero, near the Ferry Building, South Parks’ 2nd St. restaurants and boutique’s, Giants Stadium, only steps from San Franciscos’ quintessential bay views and numerous outdoor activities. Close to the Bay Bridge, 101 and 280 and public transportation.

200 Brannan is one sleek, beautifully kept, luxury condominium building of 191 homes.

As an experienced luxury Realtor, I am the appointed representive for 200 Brannan through our Vanguard Properties website and will keep you informed of the latest offerings.  I will arrange your private showing or provide accurate comparables and comparisons for your home sale at 200 Brannan.

I view every home with the idea in mind of who the buyer might be, and ask, “Would I live there myself”? I can give a definite “Yes”, to the current offering of penthouse Unit 506 and easily picture a sophisticated couple, business bachelor or bachelorette, design or art world professional, luxury pied-a-terre seeker, or a young urban dweller making this prestigious offering their home.

Greeted at the door by the engaging door man, Roberto, one immediately feels secure and that they are entering an exclusive, service oriented, 5 star living experience, from the atrium entry, to the exquisitely chosen neutral palette on the walls of the quiet, plushly carpeted hallways. Dotting those walls are custom art and photographs that are finished with sophisticated lighting; which guide you past the serene green bamboo ground floor courtyard and on to the multiple elevators that bring you closest to your home.


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Outstanding Sea Cliff must see luxury home

This is a “Luxe Fave” of mine that  just came to market… an amazingly majestic Spanish Meditaranean home at 738 El Camino Del Mar Ave. at 30th Street in Seacliff; San Franciscos’ exclusive neighborhood of mansions that take in sweeping views of the Bay and Golden Gate Bridge.   

Originally built in 1927 and remodeled in 2009 by designer Ken Fulk, the finishes are in one word, beautiful and is in keeping with the style of home with a fresh up to date elegance and beauty.  The home has spacious open feeling of largesse for 3 Bedrooms and 3.5 Baths including a view Master Suite, media room, gourmet kitchen, wine cellar, plus front and rear landscaped gardens and 2 garage parking. The living room features the views as well.  There is a 2 car garage!!

Offered for $6,995,000 Contact me to arrange a private showing 415.321.7076

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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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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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Here’s some quick Holiday jokes….family style, good and corny you can share!

Question and Answer Christmas Jokes

Q: What do elves learn in school?
Christmas Present
A: The Elf-abet!

Q: What’s the most popular wine at Christmas?
A: “I don’t like sprouts” !

Q: If athletes get athletes foot, what do astronauts get?
A: Missletoe!

Q: What do you get when you cross a snowman with a vampire?
A: Frostbite.

Q: Why was Santa’s little helper depressed?
A: Because he had low elf esteem.

Q: Why does Santa have 3 gardens?
A: So he can ho-ho-ho.

Q: Where do polar bears vote?
A: The North Poll.

Q: What do you get when you cross an archer with a gift-wrapper?
A: Ribbon hood.

Q: Why do birds fly south for the winter ?
A: Because it’s to far to walk.

Q: What was wrong with the boy’s brand new toy electric train set he received for Christmas?
A: Forty feet of track – all straight!

Q: What kind of bird can write?
A: A PENguin.

Q: How does Al Gore’s household keep Christmas politically correct?
A: On Christmas morning, they give the presents TO the tree.

Q: What do you call a cat on the beach at Christmas time?
A: Sandy Claus!

Q: How do sheep in Mexico say Merry Christmas?
A: Fleece Navidad!

Q: What nationality is Santa Claus?
A: North Polish.

Q: Why does Santa’s sled get such good mileage?
A: Because it has long-distance runners on each side.

Q: What do you call a bunch of grandmasters of chess bragging about their games in a hotel lobby?
A: Chess nuts boasting in an open foyer!

Q: What do you get if you deep fry Santa Claus?
A: Crisp Cringle.

Q: What did the ghosts say to Santa Claus?
A: We’ll have a boo Christmas without you.

Q: What did Santa shout to his toys on Christmas Eve?
A: Okay everyone, sack time!!

Q: What do snowmen eat for breakfast?
A: Snowflakes.

Q: If Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus had a child, what would he be called?
A: A subordinate claus.

Q: Why did the elf push his bed into the fireplace?
A: He wanted to sleep like a log.

Q: Why did Santa spell Christmas N-O-E?
A: Because the angel had said, “No L!”

Q: What goes Ho, Ho, Swoosh, Ho, Ho, Swoosh?
A: Santa caught in a revolving door!

Q: Why does Santa Claus go down the chimney on Christmas Eve?
A: Because it ” soots ” him!

Q: What do you do if Santa gets stuck in your chimney?
A: Pour Santa flush on him.

Q: Did you hear that one of Santa’s reindeer now works for Proctor and Gambel?
A: Its true . . . Comet cleans sinks!

Q: What do you call people who are afraid of Santa Claus?
A: Claustrophobic.

Q: Why does Scrooge love Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer?
A: Because every buck is dear to him.

Q: How come you never hear anything about the 10th reindeer “Olive” ?
A: Yeah, you know, “Olive the other reindeer, used to laugh and call him names”

Q: Why did the little girl change her mind about buying her grandmother a packet of handkerchiefs for Christmas?Q: Olive ?
A: Yeah, you know, “Olive the other reindeer, used to laugh and call him names”

Q: Why is Christmas just like a day at the office?
A: You do all the work and the fat guy with the suit gets all the credit.

Q: Olive?
A: Yeah, you know, “Olive the other reindeer, used to laugh and call him names”

Q: What was so good about he neurotic doll the girl was given for Christmas?
A: It was wound up already.

Q: What’s a good holiday tip?
A: Never catch snowflakes with your tongue until all the birds have gone south for the winter.

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4706 25th St. – All New Remodel!

4 Bed/3.5 Bath Remodeled to the Studs.                                               2 Car Garage. Steam Showers, Cat5,                                                 Hardwood, solar ready. Bedrooms on 1 level.                               Previously on market for over $2M.                                                   An impeccable family home.                                                                 SOLD for $1,850,000.

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Shopping at Stonestown, San Francisco- Nordstrom

This gallery contains 4 photos.

Yesterday was a Saturday and it included some retial therapy at the closest mall to the West side of our City. Although San Francisco Real Estate requires a real devotion of time and energy,  I got lucky and took a moment … Continue reading

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The Estates Group, Erika Burke Meets Zillows’ Tommy Casias

Today I met Zillows’ Tommy Casias for lunch at a favorite spot within walking distance of our office, Osha Thai on Valencia and 18th St. Yummm! On the way I snapped Tommy at one of the Valencia corridor parklets. It’s easy to do business in our wonderful city with inspiring restaurants and representation. Here we are going to work for our buyers and sellers making sure our Zillow information is current and valuable. Thanks Tommy.

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Did you know that Erika is a Painter

Working on this acrylic on canvas painting in progress, from a tucked away corner of the Japanese Tea Garden.  What struck me most was the illuminated light in the background. I’ll make sure to re-post when I’m finished.  Need to finish the trees, leave, branches and depth some more! A Work in ProgressThis canvas is 45″x 36″

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Decadent Luxury

Behind the shingled craftsman facade of this Noe Valley home is a sleek, contemporary three level residence. Wonderfully appointed and open this is a great home for entertaining. The main level consists of a living room, formal dining room and a less formal family/media room adjacent to the open kitchen and deck.

On the upper level there are three bedrooms and two baths- all with decks and a luxurious master bath and bedroom with fireplace and walk in closet. On the garden level is a large room for media or bedroom and a large spa like bathroom. There are many wonderful luxury touches like radiant heat floors and surround sound. Just to name a few!

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San Francisco September 11th Memorial Events

Ceremony honoring Mark Bingham, Father Mychal Judge and others
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee will deliver remarks at an event at Harvey Milk Plaza at 1 p.m. After, there will be an open mic opportunity for people to share their memories.

San Francisco Fire Department September 11th Remembrance Ceremony
Each year, on Sept. 11, the San Francisco Fire Department respectfully holds a remembrance ceremony for the Emergency Responders and civilians who perished in the tragic events of 9/11. The remembrance ceremony takes place at all 43 fire stations.

Members of the public wishing to observe the ceremony and honor the fallen of the World Trade Center, New York City, the Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia and the crash site in Shanksville, Pennsylvania are invited to go to their local Fire Station to do so beginning at 6:45 a.m.

Golden Gate Bridge March for Peace and Justice Calls for End to US Wars
On the tenth anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, hundreds of people affiliated with a coalition of 25 Bay Area peace and justice groups coordinated by CODEPINK Women for Peace will march across the Golden Gate Bridge in commemoration of the tragic loss of lives and will call for an end to the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The march commences at 11:30 a.m. from either side of the bridge and follows with a rally on the Marin side from 1-2 p.m.

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Can’t seem to get enough La Boulange….

…..And we thought it was just us! La Boulange is opening yet another cafe in San Francisco- and we couldn’t be happier, now we can get a greek yogurt bowl or delicious cup of chai no even as we are shopping. That’s right- their newest installation is coming to a shopping mall near you! Under the dome of the Westfield San Francisco.

This well-known and well-loved bakery cafe will tweak its model a bit for the mall location. The newest Boulange, called La Boulange du Dome, will be sleeker and more modern than the familiar rustic French decor of it’s sister locations. The menu will also differ slightly adding exclusive items like ice cream cookie sandwiches and wines by the glass!

We can’t wait, but I guess we will have to as it is not slated to open until 2012.



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A luxurious San Francisco Staycation….

…… Because you deserve it!

Hotel Casa Madrona (http://www.casamadrona.com) nestled in the heart of Sausalito is just the place to get away from it all when you don’t have the time to travel. This historic hotel not only boasts insanely awesome bay views- it’s recent multi-million-dollar overhaul will make you feel like you’re first mate aboard a luxe, modern yacht.

Preserving the 126-year-old Victorian’s charm while incorporating contemporary bayside décor, TruexCullins (the architecture and design team manning the shipshape makeover)  breathed new life into the lobby, guest rooms and a new 3,000-square-foot spa.

To make your cruise over the Golden Gate a staycation to remember- hike, bike or drive through the beautiful Marin Headlands. Muir Woods, Mt. Tam and Stinson Beach are also just a stone’s throw away. After your day of adventure, unwind at the wonderful Bar Bocce… featuring even more bay views.

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I love the Bayview

This past weekend, I held open my listing at 1574 Underwood Ave., www.UnderwoodAve.com. I had the pleasure of meeting many of the neighbors and finding out about the people on that block closer. There are many homeonwers who have been there for more than 30 years. Many are 3rd generation. As a matter of fact a family of women, 4 generations came into the property and impressed me so much> How charming, attractive and eager they were. They loved the home! The neighbors were all so proud of their neighborhood and told me about the floorplans of many of the houses, that they had played in as children. It was so sunny, the bay so clear and the wind fresh on this street! The weather is always sunny there! I enjoy my properties in the
Bayview and it’s personable and friendly residents!

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Top 5 things to look out for in a Small GREEN house Plan

This is a great website for Small GREEN House builders!
Check out hte article on the top 5 things to avoid in small green hosue plans.

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Trampolines in Crissy field

Trampolines bouncing into Crissy Field
A trampoline field the size of a baseball diamond will soon be housed in a gutted airport hangar at Crissy Field. The indoor facility – set to open in August – will consist of 50 conjoined trampolines used for aerial and physical training, as well as trampoline dodgeball, fitness classes and open jump time.

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Parklets in San Francisco

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.


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1st Time Homebuyers Tax Credit AND Tax Credit for Step Up Buyers

In this Article from Realtor Magazine, the IRS has finally told us what documentation will be needed to qualify for, submit and receive the 1st time homebuyers Tax Credit and the Step-up Buyers Tax Credit.  Move through these pages and click on the additional links to go all the way to the IRS website which gives you directions on how to get it all done!

I am not a tax person and you should always consult with your tax professional on all matters concerning your taxes, though I like to keep my clientele informed and make resources available to them.


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Recycle those Halloween Costumes

Here is a Great Link for Goodwill Industries. They propose a wonderful costume recycling idea. You can gather friends and families costumes and pass them along! Click on the link to find a center near you!Captain Recycling

Remember to pass the word along.  I pass along GREEN Tips, recycling information and any other resource I have, every day in mySan Francisco Real Estate practice.

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Mortgage Protection for First Time Home Buyer.

Are you a first time homebuyer? APPLY FOR THE MORTGAGE PROTECTION PROGRAM! This is a FREE program through the California Association of Realtors that provides you, a qualified first-time buyer up to $1,500 a month for up to six months in the event of job loss to help pay the mortgage; a $750 monthly benefit also is available for a qualified co-buyer. There is NO cost to you! To qualify, you must be first time homebuyers – haven’t owned a home for the last three years; and have opened escrow on or after April 2, 2009 and closed escrow before December 31, 2009; use an active California REALTOR® like me; purchase the property in California, and be a W-2 employee (cannot be self-employed). Call me for further information and an application.

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More signs of a housing revival

New home building increased in August, a government report said Thursday, further signaling that home
builders are regaining their confidence in the housing market recovery.

To read the full story, please click here:

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VIDEO Contest at Zephyr Real Estate about San Francisco – Win $$$$

Zephyr is sponsoring a video contest, SF Community Voices, to get the word-on-the-street perspective on the 90+ neighborhoods of our one amazing City. Enter the SF Community Voices video contest and declare your love for your neighborhood: favorite hot spots, hidden treasures and insider scoop. Upload your video for a chance to win $500 or one of 12 other prizes! Get the details, enter your video, or check back later to vote for your favorite video at www.sfcommunityvoices.com.

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Great Local San Francisco Real Estate Resource Website here

The Association’s web site for homeowners, www.sfbaywindow.com, contains more than 130 articles on subjects important to owners. From “Adding a Room” to “Zoning Districts,” it’s all there, making the site the most robust resource guide for San Francisco homeowners on the web.
Want to know more about sidewalk repair? What to do about barking dogs? Confused about who’s responsible for repairing the fence between your backyard and your neighbor’s? Aren’t sure if you need a permit to remodel your bathroom? The answers to all these questions and many more can be found on the Association’s very informative and unique site.
Topics are separated into three easy-to-navigate sub-headings: Your House, Your Neighborhood and Your City.
In addition, the site contains a fourth, separate category—Your Government—which provides descriptions of legislative proposals and ballot measures affecting the interests of property owners at the local, State and federal levels. Sometimes accompanying these descriptions are letters supporting or opposing legislative proposals (as the case might be) that site visitors can send to selected legislators, with their name attached to the letters with a single mouse click. To view the political content, however, the visitor must click on the separate Your Government link. The site was set up this way so that REALTORS® would not feel uncomfortable about referring their clients to the site because the “political point-of-view” expressed may be different than that of site visitors and client alienation would occur.

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Mayor Newsom Announces First Solar Installations at S.F. Public Housing Sites; Creates Green-Collar Jobs

Mayor Gavin Newsom today announced plans to install over 365 kw of solar panels on the San Francisco Housing Authority properties of Hayes Valley North and South and Plaza East through San Francisco’s GoSolarSF Initiative. The solar panels will provide hundreds of thousands of kilowatts of clean, renewable electricity to public housing residents. The project is expected to create 25 jobs and be completed by the end of the year. Newsom also announces 450% increase in San Francisco solar applications since inception of solar rebate program. Read more…

July 07, 2009 in Green | Permalink

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Build new green homes and remodel existing homes in a healthy, environmentally friendly, efficient ways

The Resource & Your Guide:

Green Home Building

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San Francisco City Services Phone Numbers

Police Department                        911 – Emergency

                                                        553-0123 – Non-Emergency

Fire Department                           911 – Emergency

                                                        961-8020 – Non-Emergency

Ambulance                                     911 – Emergency

                                                        1-800-339-1159 – Non-Emergency

Poison Control Center                       1-800-874766

Community Crisis                               885-7290

Neighborhood Parking Permits         554-5000

Tow away/Retrieve Towed Cars       553-1235

Department of Motor Vehicles        1-800-777-0133

PG & E                                                  1-800-743-5000

Water Department (turn on/off)     351-3399

Street & Sewer Repair                        695-2096 (daytime) 

                                                             695-2020 (night & weekends)

Pacific Bell                                          1-800-310-2355

Sunset Scavenger                               330-1300

Golden Gate Disposal                       626-4000

Cable TV                                             1-800-945-2233

Voter Registration                             554-6088

San Francisco Rent Board                  252-4600

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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 www.energysavers.gov for more energy-saving ideas.

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