CATEGORY ARCHIVE: Tech
December 13, 2013
A Sugar Free Holiday Tweet For Staying Plugged-In
If you’re looking for another way to stay plugged-in to a selection of our featured stories, highlights and breaking news, our twitter feed is now up and running @socketsite.
August 19, 2013
Now Trending In Noe Valley
Speaking of Noe Valley and Duncan Street, the sale of 313 Duncan which Twitter's co-founder Evan Williams and his wife purchased for $2,400,000 in April of 2009 has closed escrow with a reported contract price of $3,200,000.
Having been remodeled a bit since its purchase in 2009 the pair of sales for 313 Duncan isn't perfectly "apples-to-apples," but it is 33 percent more expensive than it was four years ago.
August 1, 2013
Yahoo! Inks Lease For Chronicle Space And San Francisco Team
Yahoo! has officially inked a lease for the Chronicle building space at Fifth and Mission which Square will be vacating in September and to which Yahoo! plans to move their San Francisco team later this year.
In the process of "designing a cool, fun and beautiful space to inspire collaboration and innovation," Yahoo’s office will include the requisite onsite food service and game room.
Technically within the old Examiner Building at 110 Fifth Street which is connected to the Chronicle Building by a pedestrian bridge over Minna, the space into which Yahoo! is moving is slated to demolished in 2018 as part of Forrest City’s massive 5M Project.
With over a million new square feet of office space, 750 new dwelling units, and 150,000 square feet of ground floor retail planned as part of the 5M Project, there will be plenty of options for Yahoo! to move and expand, a discussion that's already in the works.
July 17, 2013
Revised Project Appeal Process And Tracking System Approved
Established in 1970, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is a State statue which requires local public agencies to provide analysis and disclosure of possible environmental impacts prior to the approval of building permits for a project.
Exemptions from analysis can be granted for minor projects, saving much time and money, but those exemptions can be appealed as can any findings of no environmental impact (a "negative declaration"), an appeal process which is ill-defined and costly and a favorite tool of both concerned citizens and NIMBYs alike.
Yesterday, following eight months of back and forth and the threat of a competing bill, Supervisor Wiener’s proposed legislation to revise and clarify the city’s process and procedures for appealing project exemptions and negative declarations was unanimously approved by San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors.
While increasing the procedures for notifying the public as to projects in the works, including a new online system for electronically tracking project notifications and exemptions, the approved amendment will require appeals to be filed within 30 days of a project's approval.
Assuming final passage, the amendment will take effect no earlier than September 1, 2013 and not until the new online notification system is up and running. All CEQA based appeals will continue to be heard before the full Board of Supervisors.
March 9, 2012
While purchased by the Pincus family in 2009 for $8,100,000, despite a number of (mis)reports suggesting otherwise, the family never called 3855 Washington Street home.
In fact, we don’t believe they ever spent a night in the Presidio Heights pad which has returned to the market listed for $8,900,000 having been significantly remodeled (including an all new master suite, seismic work and security) over the past two years.
As plugged-in people know, it was 1572 Shrader Street from which the Pincus family most recently moved. And no, they weren’t the buyers of 2950 Broadway, the sale of which we first reported yesterday.
The sale of the remodeled 3855 Washington Street closed escrow today with a reported contract price of $8,200,000. As plugged-in people know, the sale of the Pincus’ previous home at 1572 Shrader closed escrow this past January.
And no, they weren’t the buyers of 2701 Broadway either.
∙ A Pincus House (But Never A Pincus Home) [SocketSite]
∙ The Shrader Street Home From Which Mark Pincus Was Driven [SocketSite]
∙ 2950 Broadway Sells For $29,500,000 (And No, That's Not A Typo) [SocketSite]
∙ Ba-Zynga! [SocketSite]
∙ 2701 Broadway: Despite The SFPD A Plugged-In Reader Reports [SocketSite]
April 12, 2011
San Francisco Property Information Map Preview For The Plugged-In
While it hasn’t officially been announced or unveiled, San Francisco’s Planning department is preparing to launch the San Francisco Property Information Map, an "innovative, user-friendly property information tool provides a single access point for a variety of useful property data, zoning and project information."
Amongst the information the San Francisco Property Information Map will yield for each property in San Francisco with a single search:
• Property Information (including Assessor's Reports and Maps)
• Zoning Information of the Property (including Districts and Regulations)
• Historic Preservation Records of the Property
• Project History of the Property
• Building Permit & Other Permit History of the Property
• Enforcement Complaint Record of the Property
Don't blame us if the development site crashes today, or perhaps do.
∙ San Francisco Property Information Map [sfplanning.org]
September 29, 2009
Now Bill Gross (And PIMCO) Does Deflation
"There has been significant flattening on the long end of the curve...This reflects the re- emergence of deflationary fears. The U.S. is at the center of de-levering as opposed to accelerating growth." - Bill Gross via Bloomberg
∙ Pimco’s Gross Buys Treasuries Amid Deflation Concern [Bloomberg]
∙ Promoted From Comment To Post: Satchel Does Deflation [SocketSite]
June 25, 2008
Here’s A Spot, There’s A Spot, Everywhere’s A Spot, Spot
Following the lead of new zoning plans that are already in place for a few neighborhoods, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors have approved new parking legislation for throughout the city:
“A new ordinance ends a rule requiring parking spaces at residential developments to be available only to tenants and opens the spaces to anyone who lives within one-quarter mile. The law also permits building owners and developers to use stacking machines and valet parking to meet city requirements for parking at housing developments.”
“San Francisco generally requires that existing residential buildings and new developments provide one parking space for every housing unit. Previous rules required that each residential parking space be accessible without the help of a person or a machine.
Tuesday's legislation follows the trend of new neighborhood zoning plans in the downtown area, Rincon Hill and the Market-Octavia neighborhood, which have lowered the required number of parking spaces. To encourage public transit use, the plans have allowed stackers, valets and other measures to reduce space occupied by cars.
Other provisions in the new ordinance could affect the amount of parking available to residents. Parking spaces in new or converted residential buildings of 10 units or more must be sold or leased separately from the housing units so that prospective residents aren't forced to take both a residential unit and a parking spot.”
In related “rent a parking space news,” a new website that allows people to “rent out their driveways on an hourly, daily, weekly or monthly basis” has launched in San Francisco.
Expect GottaPark to quickly expand their offering to include the brokering of individual spaces in new developments (to people living within "one-quarter mile" of course). And if they don’t, consider this your free entrepreneurial idea of the day.
Now about those invitations to the
housewarming launch party…
May 29, 2008
Yes, We’re Suckers For An Interesting Interface: Trulia Snapshot
It's not as efficient as searching, but it is likely to appeal to those who are browsing and visually inclined. And what can we say, we’re suckers for an interesting interface.
∙ Trulia Snapshot: San Francisco [Trulia]
January 31, 2008
Redfin Rolls Out A Few New Features Including Listing Data Downloads
As far as we're concerned it’s a step in the right direction (in terms of freeing the data and enabling custom analyses). And if/when they add a few additional fields to the download (such as sales, pricing, and permit histories), we’ll readily drop our “almost.”
∙ A Safari into Freakish Depth [Redfin Blog]
Full Disclosure: Redfin is a sponsor of SocketSite but provided no compensation for this post.
June 6, 2007
A Plugged-In Reader Recommends: 119 Hancock Street
A longtime reader recommends taking a look, and we have to agree. If not for the Bertazzoni (in the kitchen), custom sound dampening (it is the lower unit), and lighting/green technology (“…the owner is an energy conservation and lighting expert, the remodel has been designed with Green technologies and renewables”), then simply to check out the great use of a blog to cleanly present the property and its details. Now if only there were floor plans...
May 22, 2007
Harbor Lofts Living For Less (If You Can Find It)
Perhaps the photos don’t do it justice (it’s looking a bit cave like), and it is a relatively small one-bedroom (and a loft "one bedroom" to boot), but it’s also Harbor Lofts living for $334,383 (and that includes parking).
∙ Listing: 400 Spear St #114 (1/1) 480 sqft - $334,383
The only problem…we can’t find a public link to it on the MLS (or any other website that doesn’t require registration). An opportunity lost? And if so, for who?
UPDATE: As a couple of "plugged-in" reader's quickly noted, there are actually a few more "problems" with this listing: 1. it's a "100% of Area Median Income" BMR (income limit of $63,850 for one person); 2. neither ZipRealty nor CleanOffer have it designated as such (although both offer pictures); and 3. while the odd price did raise a red flag, the $700/sqft had us convinced otherwise (and now simply leaves us scratching our heads).
UPDATE (5/24): As of this afternoon the listing notes, “BMR Loft 1/1 great! max income 1person $63K 2person $72K” and “Leased PKG.” Funny how that happens. And yes, we're still left scratching our heads.
∙ Harbor Lofts (400 Spear): San Francisco Warehouse Conversion [SocketSite]
April 13, 2007
My Rent Is Too High, My Rent Is Too Low, My Rent Is Just Right
We can’t vouch for its accuracy, but as a “plugged-in” reader notes, rentometer.com might help shed some light on the question of what currently constitutes market rate rents. Potential landlords and junior analysts rejoice.
And as far as annual increases go (again, for what constitutes market rate), we’ve heard expectations of around 10% over the next couple of years in San Francisco. But that’s just one industry forecast.
UPDATE (4/14): If a couple of “plugged-in” reader’s suspicions are correct, the majority of data points used by rentometer are self-reported by previous users (rather than a mash-up of current listings). And if that's the case, then while rentometer might provide a fair measure of what people are currently paying in a particular area of San Francisco it’s not such a great measure of what actually constitutes a market rate rent (on account of rent control).
April 6, 2007
Yahoo Unveils Underwhelming Foreclosure Center
Earlier this week Yahoo unveiled its online “Foreclosure Center.” Or more perhaps more accurately, a marketing center for RealtyTrac (and other Yahoo partners), a subscription to which is required in order to access any detailed property information.
Based on a search in the Yahoo Foreclosure Center we learn that there is a five bedroom, three bath house somewhere on Marina Boulevard that’s headed for public auction at some point with an “estimated bid amount [of] $2353259.” That's compared to a search on PropertyShark which reveals that the property is located at 755 Marina Boulevard, it’s due to be auctioned on 4/11/07 at 2:00PM (on the steps of City Hall), and that $2,353,259 is actually the unpaid balance. Oh, and PropertyShark also notes the contact information for both the trustor and trustee.
Of course if you’re “plugged-in” to SocketSite you also know that 755 Marina Boulevard is currently on the market for $5,597,000 and has been refinanced six times since 1999. We’re just saying.
∙ Yahoo Foreclosure Center [realestate.yahoo.com]
∙ PropertyShark Launches San Francisco Foreclosure Listings [SocketSite]
∙ The $1,500,000 Half Bath On Marina Boulevard [SocketSite]
April 2, 2007
It’s Official: Welcome To SocketSite’s Real Estate Forums
Looking for a rough idea of what it might cost for a down to the studs remodel in San Francisco? Or perhaps you’ve been wondering what’s happening with the condo conversion of Rincon Towers? Well, you're not alone. And thanks to the SocketSite community (and Real Estate Forums), we’re starting to accumulate answers to, and insights into, these topics and more.
The Forums are an opportunity for "plugged in" people across the Bay Area to ask and answer real estate related questions, to share or debate ideas or insights, or to simply start a discussion that's top of mind (without being "off topic" on SocketSite).
We’ll highlight a few of the Forums features and functionality early next week (such as the ability for registered readers to directly exchange private messages). In the meantime, please consider taking a moment to poke around, register a profile, and join in the discussion. Speaking of which, can anbody answer a reader’s question concerning The Infinity’s total construction budget and profit margin?
Welcome to SocketSite's Real Estate Forums. And as always, thank you for "plugging in."
∙ General cost to remodel in San Francisco? [forums.socketsite.com]
∙ Rincon Center [forums.socketsite.com]
∙ SocketSite’s Real Estate Forums [forums.socketsite.com]
∙ Questions about the Infinity's total budget [forums.socketsite.com]
∙ Another Way To “Plug In” (And Never Be Off Topic Again) [SocketSite]
March 30, 2007
Another Way To “Plug In” (And Never Be Off Topic Again)
We still haven’t worked out all the kinks, and we aren’t “officially” launching until Monday, but we wanted our readers to be the first to know: www.forums.socketsite.com
January 15, 2007
PropertyShark Update: More San Francisco Maps
In November, PropertyShark added free access to San Francisco foreclosure listings. Today, PropertyShark enhances their offering of San Francisco based maps and data “mash-ups” (including Recent Sales, Year Built, and Price per Square Foot).
We’re particularly fond of “Recent Sales” in terms of trend spotting, and “Year Built” in terms of context and neighborhood development (i.e., pre-1925 in dark blue).
UPDATE (1/16): PropertyShark responds to a couple of reader questions with regard to data accuracy. Our favorite line, “…SocketSite readers seem to be ahead of the curve on the real estate frontier...” And yes, flattery will get you everywhere.
∙ PropertyShark Launches San Francisco Foreclosure Listings [SocketSite]
∙ PropertyShark: San Francisco Maps [PropertyShark]
January 12, 2007
Redfin: New Maps (Virtual Earth), Areas, And More
Redfin is live with a new mapping platform (Microsoft's Virtual Earth), a new legend (listings in green, viewed listings in light green, and recently sold properties in blue), and expanded Bay Area coverage (“Napa, Sonoma, Santa Cruz &
It’s a great complement to their recent upgrade of property listing details. And it’s a smart move to let Microsoft worry about mapping technology (Redfin’s previous technology was homegrown), and let Redfin focus on real estate.
UPDATE: According to Redfin’s press release, they plan to leverage Microsoft’s Virtual Earth “to offer bird’s-eye views of neighborhoods, driving directions, mobile telephone integration and more neighborhood information about local attractions and retail shops.” And an “online agent chat” feature is live as well.
∙ Going Once, Going Twice, Going Three Times... [SocketSite]
January 8, 2007
Going Once, Going Twice, Going Three Times...
Despite an announced “withdrawal” date of January 1, as of early this morning (1/8/07) direct public access to the San Francisco Multiple Listing Service remains active and available. Any insiders care to re-set our reader’s expectations?
In related MLS search news, Redfin has upgraded their site to display open houses (not including broker’s tours), HOA dues, and anything else they’re “allowed” to show for listings on the SFAR MLS; local brokerages continue to launch their own publicly available search sites (with varying degrees of usability/functionality); and CleanOffer continues to gain momentum with their agent sponsored search tool (which requires an agent-client relationship and “commitment” to access).
UPDATE: A “plugged in” reader gets the scoop: “With the demise of MLS Alliance (which gave MLS users in the Bay Area access to each others’ listings), public web sites are the only vehicles available for listing information to be exchanged between users of different MLSs so, until [SFAR] can find a replacement for MLS Alliance, the [public access] site probably will stay up."
December 7, 2006
Zillow Adds Listings (Zlistings?)
Three days ago we wrote, “Perhaps our real concern should be for the MLS itself. Without some innovative thinking about how to effectively open it up on the front end (i.e., reducing the cost/restrictions of adding/sharing listings), its years could be numbered. (Cue the growing number of alternative listing and non-MLS based real estate search tools.)”
And as if right on cue, last night Zillow announced that they’re joining the fray. And it’s not only real estate agents, brokers, and builders who'll have the opportunity to plant free virtual "For Sale" signs with listing details and contact information.
Zillow maps now include red flags for homes that are "For Sale," yellow flags for homes that have recently sold, and blue flags for homes that aren't actively on the market, but whose owners might entertain an offer they can’t refuse. According to Zillow:
“Make Me Move™”...is [Zillow's] twist on what it means to be "For Sale." Here's the concept: Think about a price that would entice you to hand over the keys to your home and move. We think it's a unique and creative way for homeowners to test the waters and gauge interest in their home, even if it’s not actually on the market. Interested home shoppers can then contact them via an e-mail "anonymizer" to get the conversation started.
While Make Me Move is novel (and sure to drive traffic), we have to wonder how much time and energy serious buyers will invest engaging owners who are perceived to be simply “testing the waters” and haven’t committed themselves to parting with their homes (no matter the price).
We expect to see growing pains with regard to the quality and quantity of listings, and perhaps some seller apprehension with regard to the juxtaposition of list prices and “zestimates.” And in terms of agent/broker adoption, only time will tell if Zillow’s offerings are embraced as complimentary (additional distribution) or shunned as competitive (aiding disintermediation).
Regardless, it's a shot across the bow of the MLS. And it's another catalyst for industry innovation.
December 4, 2006
Geek Out With Google Earth
Speaking of non-MLS based listing/search companies, this morning Trulia joined Propsmart in exporting search results to Google Earth. Once added to Google Earth, results from your query are automatically updated once a day.
The Wrong Reasons (The Right Results?)
Two months ago, a tipster let us – and our “plugged in” readers – know that the San Francisco Multiple Listing Service (San Francisco Association of Realtors MLS) would be eliminating direct public access to listings “sometime soon.” That time is now four weeks away (January 1, 2007).
And while we might not agree with the primary motive of the SFAR (to establish individual brokerages/agents as a consumers first point of contact), we’re not overly concerned with the action. Innovative brokerages will offer publicly available MLS search tools which far exceed the features, functionality and usability of the current SFAR MLS tools. In fact, they already do. And they're just going to get better. (More on this soon)
Perhaps our real concern should be for the MLS itself. Without some innovative thinking about how to effectively open it up on the front end (i.e., reducing the cost/restrictions of adding/sharing listings), its years could be numbered. (Cue the growing number of alternative listing and non-MLS based real estate search tools.)
November 16, 2006
PropertyShark Launches San Francisco Foreclosure Listings
Forget that rogue sea lion, it’s the shark that captures all of our attention today. PropertyShark added free foreclosure listings for San Francisco to its site this afternoon (fourteen currently listed).
For example, according to PropertyShark, 311 Marina Blvd last changed hands on 6/2/2004 for $2,350,000 and the property was refinanced on 6/14/2005 using two variable rate loans (one for $1,950,000 and another for $530,000). The property is currently in foreclosure (with an estimated unpaid balance of $327,573.97) and will be auctioned off on 11/27/2006 at City Hall.
At the other end of the spectrum is 3018 Casto Street which was purchased on 11/09/2005 with a $569,000 variable rate mortgage. A year later, the current unpaid balance on the loan is now $609,014.48 and the property is scheduled to be auctioned off on 12/04/2006 (once again, at City Hall).
If you’re not familiar with PropertyShark you’ll probably be a bit shocked by the depth and breadth of information that’s available for the vast majority of residential and commercial properties in San Francisco (not just foreclosures). Also added to the PropertyShark site today, a number of San Francisco property maps including land use and property outlines.
∙ Rogue sea lion in S.F. menaces swimmers [SFGate]
∙ Circling The Waters [SocketSite]
∙ PropertyShark: San Francisco Foreclosures [propertyshark.com]
∙ PropertyShark: San Francisco Maps [propertyshark.com]
August 31, 2006
Yahoo! Real Estate Is Live
As you might have already heard, Yahoo! Real Estate is live. And while we haven’t had a chance to play around with it too much, we are wondering why Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s new Pacific Heights mansion is now located in Russian Hill. Or perhaps more importantly (especially to the Senator), why Yahoo! Real Estate lists it as still being on the market. Not exactly a great first impression.
July 26, 2006
ZMobile: Zestimates By Email
SocketSite has the inside scoop on getting "Zestimates" via email (Zillow Mobile).
Email (or text message) email@example.com and include a property’s address, city, state (or zip code) in either the subject line or body of the email/text. Within seconds you’ll get a return email that includes a Zestimate, the number of beds/baths, total square feet, and date of construction for the property. (We’re guessing
SMS access is right around the corner Arjun knows better.)
That’s right, you’ll no longer have to wait until you get home to Zillow your dinner party host (or date). And if you haven’t already heard, Zillow is also alpha testing an open API that will allow third-party websites to offer Zillow’s functionality seamlessly on their site.