Green Real Estate

Green Solar Panel

Green Solar Panel

Here is some great news! The renewable energy industry grew 3 times as fast as the US economy according to a recent article in Living Green Magazine.  This translates to an estimated 37M green collar jobs by 2030 with the hot sectors being solar thermal, photovoltaic, biodiesel, and ethanol.

Interesting to note, Germany is way ahead of the US in terms of its renewable energy jobs. It also produces more….half of the wind rotors and one-thrid of the solar panels in the world.  The US runs the risk of losing valuable ground if it does not invest in renewable energy. Take a read through the article…form your own opinion!

San Francisco Ferry Building

San Francisco Ferry Building

There is so much about banks and businesses going under, layoffs, foreclosures…the list continues.

What about the businesses that are thriving or have the opportunity to thrive in this environment? There are local eateries that are doing well.

Stay tuned for more thriving businesses..

2005 Buchanan - Two Unit Bldg $995K

2005 Buchanan - Two Unit Bldg $995K

There has been an uptick in open house traffic the past few weeks in San Francisco. I’m hearing from a number of agents that they have been quite busy. They are even ‘running out of property statements’ which is an occurrence that happened frequently in the heated market (that is when so many buyers tour the property that there were not enough statements to go around). What’s going on? Buyers are more curious and perhaps more optimistic that they have a real buying opportunity.

My listing at 2005 Buchanan at Pine in lower Pacific Heights is a 2 unit building that came on the market over the holidays for $1.1M. I recently reduced it $105K to $995K. This Sunday, we had over 40 people through the property. That is a record for this listing! Many buyers were simply checking to see what is out there, the others felt that they need to buy now before everyone catches on that now is the time to buy.

Tell me what you are experiencing out there!

Thank you Front Steps for linking back to my site about San Francisco Single Family Home Real Estate Cycles! That was a great boost today! Thank you!!!


I couldn’t have said it better myself – my company McGuire Real Estate came out with this recent post on the San Francisco, Marin, and Peninsula real estate market. We need more data specific to the area…the newspapers cover the Bay Area region and don’t have the bandwidth to get specific to our local city.  You would never know that several properties are selling quickly and over the asking price. Read on…

McGuire Assets Newlsetter…April 2008…

Everyday we see articles chronicling the collapse of the housing market and simultaneously hear anecdotal stories of multiple offers and properties selling for over the asking price. So which scenario is correct? Is it a buyers’ market? Is it a sellers market? Are home values declining or increasing? The short answer is yes. The Bay Area real estate market is a highly segmented marketplace; some areas are struggling while others continue to thrive. In some sub-markets there is very little inventory, which continues to push prices higher; while others are flooded with available homes and not enough buyers.

In San Francisco, the median price for single-family homes increased 23.74% to $1,237,000 in the 1st quarter of 2008 versus the same period in 2007, while the average days on market decreased 9.78% to 35 days. However, these strong gains can be deceptive due to a number of factors. For example, several neighborhoods reported extremely strong gains, but because of the small number of transactions they are not statistically relevant and skew the results for the overall market. These neighborhoods include Golden Gate Heights, Lower Pacific Heights, Haight/Ashbury, and Russian Hill. With that in mind many neighborhoods reported strong gains and a significant number of sales with Glen Park (42%; $1,250,000), Noe Valley (31.90%; $1,625,000), and Marina (21.63%; $2,382,500) leading the list. These gains were balanced by decreased median prices in Ingleside (-28.54; $566,000), Oceanview (-28.06; $502,500), and Potrero Hill (-23.60; $955,000).

In the condominium category in San Francisco, the median sales price increased a modest 2.68% to $729,000 and the average days on market decreased 3.93% to 41 days.  Cow Hollow (82.04%), Western Addition (74.65%), Noe Valley (51.84%), and Telegraph Hill (44.09%) showed the largest increases. However, these gains were primarily buoyed by restricted inventory and a reduction in the number of sales, e.g. Noe Valley and Telegraph Hill reported a 66% and 73% drop in the number of sales, respectively. Just to keep things interesting, however, the Western Addition reported a 50% increase in the number of sales, further demonstrating that there is no single answer to explain the growth within San Francisco’s housing market.   

In Marin County, the median sales price for single family dwellings remained flat, decreasing a modest 0.98% to $959,000. The strongest areas of appreciation were San Geronimo (56.37%; $797,500), Ross (44.33%; $2,800,000), and Larkspur (40.35%; $1,824,000). Greenbrae increased 41.76%, but with an 82.61% decline in the number of sales to just 4, it is not statistically relevant. The only decreases in median price were in areas with too few sales to be statistically relevant. All of Southern Marin reported increases in the median sales price with Tiburon (34.50%; $2,690,000) and Belvedere (26.32%; $3,300,000) leading the list. Southern Marin also saw a decline in the average days a home is on the market, decreasing 29.68% to 72 days. For the county as a whole, the average number of days on market decreased 4.3% to 79 days.

In the condominium category in Marin, the median sales price decreased just 2.63% to $550,125 during the 1st quarter of 2008. The strongest areas of appreciation were Mill Valley (8.79%; $715,000) and Greenbrae (7.42%; $517,750). It is important to note that the number of condominium sales decreased 43.75% to just 72 sales in the entire county, making the majority of the intercity analysis statistically irrelevant. The average number of days on market also increased dramatically, rising 11% to 84 days.   

San Mateo County saw similar trends with the median price for single-family homes increasing 1.12% to $900,000 in the 1st quarter of 2008 versus the same period last year, while the average days on market increased 23.18% to 60 days. In the condominium category, the median sales price decreased 9.48% to $525,000 and the average days on market increased 22.29% to 65 days.

Aldo Congi, vice president for McGuire Downtown said, “Inventory has been very limited during the 1st quarter of 2008, which is reflected in the relatively low days on market and the increasing median sales price. Well-priced listings continue to receive multiple offers—indicating that buyers are out there. However, inventory is beginning to increase these past few weeks, which given the number of buyers currently in the market, should lead to a spike in the number of sales and in the median prices in the 2nd quarter.”

If you would like information on a specific district or category, please contact me. I’m happy to assist you and help you to better understand this fast-paced, ever changing market.

All information deemed reliable, but not guaranteed. All data subject to errors, omissions, or revisions and is not warranted. Data provided by San Francisco Association of Realtors, BAREIS MLS, and REInfo Link.

Earth Day and Eco Tuesday came together last week (4/22) at the W Hotel. The Keynote speaker was Brian Gitt, the CEO of Build It Green (, a non profit dedicated to promoting healthy, energy, and resource-efficient buildings in California.

Brian is a charismatic speaker and simply captivated the room of green enthusiasts. Brian is an example of starting with an idea of how to ‘green California buildings’ and running with it to become something larger than originally thought possible. What began as Build It Green’s ‘voluntary guidelines’ for developers and architects building green real estate soon morphed into these same groups *clamoring* for more information.  Today, he is beseiged with requests for his knowledge, training, guidance and personal presentations to educate this rapidly growing community.  I think we’ve just scratched the surface. Thanks to people like Brian Gitt and organizations such as we can really make some positive change in our communities.




San Francisco\'s Ferry Building Farmer\'s MarketI just finished Michael Pollan’s ‘In Defense of Food’ and ‘Omnivore’s Dilemna’.  As I write a lot about how to green your San Francisco home it is natural that I am looking for ways to green my own self, if there is such a thing. The premise in Michael Pollan’s book is simple, ‘Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.’ Food that is ‘enriched’ is not food. Food with ingredients that have more than 5 syllables, is not food. Look at bread labels – last time I checked bread was made with flour, yeast, water, and butter. Peruse some of the labels on ‘enriched breads’ and you will find ingredients that are unpronounceable.  Is that food?

Visit San Francisco’s farmers markets.  Get back to basics, whole foods, whole grains, local (and seasonal) organic fruits and vegetables, and get educated about organic meats. For example, free range chicken many times means the chicken has a tiny dirt area to run around in for a very limited time. This is a big subject that could be written about at length but hopefully this will spur one to research further.

Pollan’s recommendations:

Pay more, eat less. Buy the higher quality organic foods (which cost more) but overall you will be more satieted and eat less.

Eat meals. Not at your desk. Eat meals with others.

Buy a standalone freezer. It holds more food than a traditional refrigerator freezer so that you can buy in bulk at farmer’s markets and preserve the food. Studies show you can freeze food and not lose as many nutrients as previously believed.

Bless your food. You’ll eat less (so they say). A preschooler shared this saying with me recently. ‘We love our bread, we love our butter. But most of all, we love each other!’

Green your San Francisco home and while you are at it, green your body! If you choose to live in a green, healthy environment, why stop there? Look at the quality of your food intake. You will be more satieted, possibly eat less and who knows, lose a few pounds while you’re at it. I would bet there is a connection to healthy eating and better quality sleep too.  That’s my guess and my hope as well.


Presdio 10 Miler/10KI ran the Guardsmen Presidio 10 Miler/10K this morning in San Francisco’s Presidio.  We ran over the Golden Gate Bridge and back (I just ran the 10K) and finished in Crissy Field. I’ve run many races in my time but never have I seen such an array of quality post party food and product giveaways such as breakfast burritos from Asquew, coffee from Peet’s, giveaways of Accelerade drink and San Francisco Magazine, oh and even a free Bloody Mary drink if you felt so inclined. But what really caught my attention was the complimentary bottle of a hand sanitizer from Method and the brochure on how to ‘Detox Your Home’.  If you are unfamiliar with Method, please pay attention! Method develops non toxic, planet friendly cleaning products that smell fantastic. And now, they have a handy ‘Detox your Home’ brochure that I will summarize for all you San Francisco and Marin homeowners.

Cleaning can be gentle on your eyes. Do you ever clean and get stinging eyes or burning lungs from the smell of the cleaning product? That’s your body reacting badly to the chemicals. Method’s products are friendly to the body.

You are naked under your clothes. Hmm….so it makes sense you may want a non toxic laundry detergent cleaning your clothes. Method deveops a detergent with products you wouldn’t mind wearing.

Your kid knows what your tile tastes like. Method believes cleaners should be safe for your bare hands (or your bare kids). And that goes for your floors too. Kids are down on the floor all the time. Just think what they must be sampling…At least with Method products you know you are cleaning with toxic free cleansers.

If you own a San Francisco property, a condo, single family home, commercial property or if you are a Marin homeowner, you will be pleased to know the Method founders live right here in our own backyard.

A consistent question I pose…Do we live in paradise or what?



There are very simple steps you can take to green your home. The benefits are unlimited, saving on energy bills, conserving our resources, and it even can make your home more marketable if you are thinking of selling your home in San Francisco.

A few simple steps:

Use low ‘VOC’ paints – (paints with low volatile organic compounds)

Install low flow water fixtures

Put in low water plants

Install a programmable thermostat

Upgrade to Energy Star appliances

And when you shower, reduce your shower temperature. You’d be surprised the impact that has on your heating bill. For example, reducing your shower temperature from 140 degrees to 120 degrees could shave 6-10% off your heating bill!

 Stay tuned for more ways to green your San Francisco home!

250px-pepperseggplants.jpgCan green be luxurious? I attended a panel this evening presented by The Luxury Marketing Council in San Francisco. The panelists consisted of Eric Corey Freed principal of organic Architect, Mike Freed co-owner of Passport Resorts (resorts such as Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur), Kimberley Gardiner, Hybrid Marketing Manager with Lexus, and Helge Hellberg, Executive Director of Marin Organic. A touching answer to the question whether green can be luxurious came from Eric Corey Freed. He explained to the roomful of San Francisco and Marin realtors that being green (nature) is naturally luxurious and abundant. Think about it, leaves fall off trees and are recycled into the earth to prepare for the next cycle of trees.  The concept is that our environment is naturally abundant if left alone. How luxurious! This applies to almost every consumer product. Unused clothing can be recycled into new hip, trendy clothes. Discarded wood can be recycled into beautiful tables, chairs, and hardwood floors. Recycled materials can be used by developers of green buildings. Green hybrid cars have come to be a very comfortable, stylish ride (luxurious) all while conserving on fuel (good for the environment).

 The overall recommendation from the panelists to live a green life was to pick one green mission and do it well. Do it with authenticity. Recycle, eat organic foods, buy green products, learn how to green your San Francisco or Marin home. The green movement is not perfect and there is still a lot of ground ahead of us. However, there are several experts willing to share their knowledge.  Many were in the room this evening. You may find ‘living green’ is luxurious, tasty, and satisfying.

Jenn – your San Francisco EcoBroker


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