June 25, 2010

Blame It On The Weather (Or Design)

755 Bowhill Kitchen

Perhaps it’s our rough start to summer with respect to weather that has us looking south, or perhaps it’s simply the design. Regardless, 755 Bowhill Road was rebuilt in 2001 with walls of glass and indoor/outdoor living on three-quarters of an acre in Hillsborough.

755 Bowhill Living

Purchased for $2,800,000 in September 2004, back on the market today (although not yet listed) and asking $3,475,000.

∙ Listing: 755 Bowhill Road, Hillsborough (4/3.5) 3,519 sqft - $3,475,000 [geoffreynelson]

First Published: June 25, 2010 10:30 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

It's 55 degrees outside.

This thread is just mean.

Posted by: BobN at June 25, 2010 11:44 AM

perhaps its the socialist school system, rent control, the napoleonic SF board of supervisors, or the 9.5% sales tax that has us both looking south.

Posted by: resp at June 25, 2010 11:55 AM

Summer in SF has just started ;) The McGuire rattan furniture I pulled out in the garden for these last 2 sunny WEs is drenched. Better look at the weather forecast next time.

Posted by: lol at June 25, 2010 11:59 AM

I had to shovel a light dusting of snow off my deck this morning in Noe V...my palm tree is severely bent over from the wind.

I hate this weather.

I'm moving to Palm Springs.

Posted by: noearch at June 25, 2010 12:08 PM

The weather is pretty horrible... but I just got back from a trip to my home state where it was 100+ every day... So honestly it's kind of a relief. Anyway, a lot of SF homes were dumped on the market in late June this year, which is sort of unusual and the sh*tty weather isn't doing anyone any favors. There's a house on Green that just came on and while it (in theory) has GG bridge views, the agent just put a lovely picture of some fog... At least she's being realistic!

Posted by: Denis at June 25, 2010 12:22 PM

And folks ask why I like the Portland area so much. Warm summers with just a litle rain - twice a month or so - just enough water to kep it green.

Short of that, take a ride down to the mid-Peninsula to warm up a bit.

If you want to cheer up (not) take a ride today out to the Sunset district. Bleak homes on cemented in pads with gray wind-blown fog swirling about. The Sunset at it's finest!

Posted by: Gil at June 25, 2010 12:31 PM

The latest Portland weather conditions. Perfect!

http://www.wunderground.com/US/OR/Portland.html

Posted by: Gil at June 25, 2010 12:37 PM

Enjoy the weather (and the schools), but also enjoy the extra $6K in property tax special charges this house brings with it by being in Hillsborough.

Bowhill's a pleasant road, walkable to downtown San Mateo in less than 15 minutes.

Posted by: Scooter at June 25, 2010 1:48 PM

That's fine Gil, but what about the other 9 months a year where it rains incessantly in Portland? Sounds terribly depressing to me.

Posted by: Shza at June 25, 2010 2:03 PM

That's fine Gil, but what about the other 9 months a year where it rains incessantly in Portland? Sounds terribly depressing to me.

Well Shaz, the rain legend is a bit overdone. For good reason - Oregonians don't want those pesky Californians moving north. Little good it's done - there is a huge migration north from California to Portland and even moreso Seattle.

Portland gets 37 inches of rain/year. Petaluma 30 inches. Not a big difference. The average rainfall for most American cities is about 37 inches - SF proper is very dry by US standards in getting a paltry 22 or so inches. San Jose with 13 inches a year is almost "high desert" in terms of rainfall.

Over 60% of the Portland rain comes in a 5 month period. As someone who has lived there I can guarantee it is not rainy 9 months of the year.

May through mid-October sees some rain but not a lot. Like 6 inches or so over a 6 month period.

Posted by: Gil at June 25, 2010 3:44 PM

"Portland gets 37 inches of rain/year. Petaluma 30 inches. Not a big difference. "

Aw c'mon Gil. Either you don't spend much time in western Oregon or you're being deceptive. The annual sum on the rain gauge isn't the only important factor, the distribution and intensity of rainfall is also important to understand how rainfall affects people.

In northern California, rain falls during a fairly short rainy season. It comes down in bursts. In between those bursts of rain are often glorious sunny days with moderate temperatures and crystal clear air. Even on the rainy days it is pretty easy to avoid getting wet by checking the live NEXRAD data. I rarely drive yet on the rainy days with just a little adjustment to my commute timing I can get around without getting soaked because I can tell from the NEXRAD soundings when the next rain front will move through.

In contrast western Oregon rain usually falls in a near continuous drizzle. It is impossible to avoid. It is so unavoidable that it is commonplace to see people jogging or gardening in the drizzle. The glorious sunny clear days are much less frequent and it is common for weeks to pass without seeing the sun. And then the temperatures are markedly colder as well.

That's not to say that Portland is a great city. I think of it as the Soggy San Francisco because they've got many of the positive attributes of the Bay Area, but with less pretension and lower living costs.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at June 25, 2010 4:09 PM

The rain thing is more complicated, as Gil said. As an example, in NY it rains almost 50 inches/year vs. 37 in Seattle and Portland, but it rains on 121 days on average as opposed to more than 150 days in Portland and Seattle.
http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0762183.html

But I digress from this house:

"but also enjoy the extra $6K in property tax special charges this house brings with it by being in Hillsborough. "

Yeah, but your kids are also in Hillsborough schools, as opposed to private school in SF for people in this price range. Sounds like a relative bargain, no?

Isn't the standard lot in Hillsborough around 20K sqft?

Posted by: sfrenegade at June 25, 2010 4:27 PM

@Gil: First of all, a clarification about Portland's weather: it's not that it gets tons of rain, it's that it has a lot of overcast days, many of which have a little rain. But they don't get major downpours every day. It's the cloudy days that get to people. According to the Western Regional Climate Center, Portland gets 222 cloudy days a year. (San Francisco gets about 105 cloudy days per year.)

According to BusinessWeek's February 2009 survey, Portland ranks #1 most "unhappy" city in America. I guess this is based on it's suicide rate and economy.

The upside of the rainy months is it's amazingly green there. And, August and September are usually spectacular weather months - sunny, warm days without a lot of humidity.

Posted by: Solis at June 25, 2010 4:32 PM

"Portland ranks #1 most "unhappy" city in America"

And Forbes just listed San Francisco as the happiest city in America!

Posted by: Dan at June 25, 2010 5:21 PM

perhaps its the socialist school system.

Who runs the public schools in Hillsborough, a private corporation? All public schools are socialist, aren't they?

Weren't you supposed to have moved to Portland already Gil, what happened? Or are you posting from there now?

Posted by: NoeValleyJim at June 25, 2010 10:18 PM

yes,the weather is often damp and chilly in SF in June...surely you knew that already...


But what about this house??

I think it is really cool looking- clean and modern without being cold and pretentious.

If only i had a spare 3.4 million...if only :)

Posted by: CSK at June 26, 2010 9:47 AM

True Solis, Portland gets light rain over a longer period while other areas have more intense storms and more rain dumped in a shorter period.

The overcast days number is mis-leading because it is based on high cloud cover and not fog. If you live in SF proper and factor in the fog - especially in the west end of town- you can add another 50 or more days of "cloud cover" to the SF total.

The advantages to the rain and somewhat colder winters are the spectacular springs, the intimate 4 seasons and Indian summers that would blow you away.

In terms of real estate - I'm talking investment SFRs in particular, you can get great deals with good cash flow in the Portland/Vancouver area.

A worker friend through his self-directed IRA purchased a home for cash in Vancouver - on a hill with a view - for 180K. His rent, it rented w/in weeks of his closing the deal, is 1400/month.This neighborhood is no Hillsboro to be sure but it'd be the equivalent to Forest Hill Extension in SF.

Counting expenses and management fees he is getting between a 7% and 8% return. This w/o the real estate tax advantages of couse as they are moot in an IRA situation. He had too much cash sitting in his IRA and had been burned with stocks so for his situation this was a good alternative investment.

Another Portland and Northwest advantage - if you are looking for real estate investment opportunities it beats California hands down.

Posted by: Gil at June 26, 2010 12:49 PM

sfrenegade wrote:

> Isn't the standard lot in Hillsborough
> around 20K sqft?

There is no "standard" lot in Hillsborough, but the "minumun lot size" is a half acre (21,780 sf).

P.S. I went to Hillsborough public schools and my parents are still in the same house and I don't think that the Hillsborough Schools parcel tax is anywhere near $6K (I don't have time to look it up, but I'm positive that my Dad would be complaining to me about a school tax that was even one 10th of $6K a year)...

Posted by: FormerAptBroker at June 27, 2010 6:36 PM

Posted by: R at June 28, 2010 12:25 PM

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