Category archive - News

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Eight Tax Breaks for Homeowners – Don’t Forget These!


Taxes are due April 15, which means it’s time to start gathering your W2s, 1099s, child care receipts and bank statements.

But before you sit down with your accountant, it’s important for you to know that merely owning a home could mean you qualify for tax breaks. In most cases, you need to itemize your taxes in order to take advantage of these deductions. Yes, it makes the tax-filing process seem impenetrable, but the benefits may outweigh the complications.

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Tech Hiring Expected to Soar in 2012

“Technology companies in San Francisco say they will hire in excess of 8,000 people in the city this year, according to a survey done by a new industry group called San Francisco Citizens Initiative for Technology & Innovation (”

Click here to read the article.

Appraisals: Why You Must Now Sell Your House Twice

by THE KCM CREW on MAY 24, 2011

Banks have become very conservative when lending mortgage money today. With the current foreclosure challenges in the country, we can’t really blame them. The requirements now necessary to qualify for mortgages have gotten much more stringent and it seems will get even more stringent as we move forward. The banks want to make sure the prospective buyer has the ability to repay the loan. However, this does not just involve the borrower buying the property. Read more

SF Tech Jobs Climb Near Level of Dot-Com Peak

“As technology companies’ soaring valuations draw comparisons to the dot-com days, a new analysis highlights another similarity: The number of tech workers in San Francisco today is nearing its peak in 2000.

The city had an estimated 32,180 tech jobs last year, compared with 34,116 in 2000, according to an analysis of state employment data by real estate consultant Jones Lang LaSalle. In 2004, the number of tech jobs had fallen to 18,210.”

Click here to read the rest of the article.

Want to buy a house, but too much credit card debt? New StartUp helps…

“Name: ReadyForZero

Quick Pitch: ReadyForZero is a free online financial tool that lets you track credit card debt, explore options, and make and follow a plan to eliminate it.

Genius Idea: Public, anonymous snapshots that help issuers verify users’ credit card balances.

ReadyForZero co-founder and CEO Rod Ebrahimi had a light bulb moment when his girlfriend, who recently earned a doctorate and racked up $24,000 in debt, turned to him for help with paying down her credit card debt. At the time, the couple used a makeshift solution — just your run-of-the-mill spreadsheet — but Ebrahimi realized that her challenge was a universal one.”

Click here to read the rest of the article.

Tenancy In Common Dispute Resolution

“Over the past 20 years, residential Tenancies In Common (TICs) established themselves as an affordable pathway to home ownership in an otherwise unaffordable San Francisco marketplace. TIC ownership offered a solution to the City’s vexing condominium conversion rules, which allow for easy and affordable conversions, but require a waiting period before conversion can begin. As a short-term bridge to condo ownership, problems inherent in TIC ownership were tolerable, often even invisible and thousands of 2-6 unit buildings were transformed from tenant-occupied investment properties to owner-occupied homestead. However as the waiting time for condo conversion has lengthened from 3-5 years to over 20 years, the challenges of long-term TIC home ownership have become more apparent, heightening the need for a clearer understand of how TIC disputes are resolved.”

Read the rest of the article here:
2011 TIC Disputes Brochure

150th Anniversary of Market Street Rail Line

Great article to share from SFGate.

150th anniversary of first Market St. rail line (Carl Nolte, Chronicle Staff Writer)

The Fourth of July is famous for other reasons, but today also is the 150th anniversary of the first run of the first street railway on the Pacific Coast – a two-car steam train that ran up San Francisco’s Market Street.

The Market Street Railroad, which ran from Third and Market out to Valencia Street and then to 16th Street, was dirty, noisy and ultimately a financial flop, but it was the start of something big.

Rail cars have run on or under Market Street ever since, and the first rail line turned Market Street from an unpaved and undeveloped cow path through towering sand dunes into the city’s main stem.

Surveyor Jasper O’Farrell had laid out Market as a grand boulevard in the 1850s, but the infant San Francisco grew up around Portsmouth Square not far from Telegraph Hill. If San Francisco had a main street it was Montgomery, where all the best businesses were located.

Emiliano Echeverria, who has co-written eight books on San Francisco transit, said that in 1860 Market Street had nothing but potential.

It was “off the beaten path,” he said. It petered out around Third Street, and west of Third there were only a few houses, and a number of sand hills, some 50 to 60 feet high.

The only public transportation conveyances in the city were horse-drawn omnibuses, which could seat 10 or 12 passengers, jolting along potholed and muddy streets. The omnibuses charged what the traffic would bear – at first the fare was $1 a ride, which was a fortune in those days.

The route of the pioneering Market Street rail line went through “wild country, the middle of nowhere,” Echeverria said.

The rail line changed all that. “It set the wheels in motion, if you’ll pardon the expression,” Echeverria said.

The Market Street train wasn’t much – a steam engine that was part locomotive and part passenger car, and a trailer car. If the cars were crowded, passengers could ride on the roof. There was a single track down the middle of Market and up Valencia.

In a couple of years, there were new houses rising on Market Street extending west out to about 12th Street, and the Mission District started to build up. By then, the city had outgrown the two-car steam trains, which were noisy and dirty and took three men to operate.

By 1867, the steam trains were replaced with a new invention: rail cars drawn by horses. Then came a building boom and horse-car lines were built out Valencia, out Hayes, Haight, McAllister and Castro streets. All lines fed into Market.

By 1883, the horse-car lines were converted to cable cars, with a cable slot down the middle. Old-timers used to call everything on the other side of Market Street “South of the Slot.”

The cables ran on tight headways; by the turn of the 20th century, a cable car was at the Ferry Building at rush hour every 15 seconds, transit historians say.

The 1906 earthquake and fire finished the Market Street cables, replaced by electric streetcars – on four tracks. The cars made so much noise that “The Roar of the Four” could be heard for miles.

BART built a subway later, and then came the Municipal Railway’s Muni Metro system. On a weekday, there are close to 290,000 boardings on the Market Street subway, bus and streetcar systems, the equivalent of the entire population of Buffalo, N.Y.

“Market Street has had rail transit on its surface longer than any other main street in America,” says Rick Laubscher, president of the nonprofit Market Street Railway, a partner of the Muni system that operates a streetcar museum at Mission Street and the Embarcadero. It will offer a free exhibit on the old steam railroad starting July 15.

Another Homebuyer Tax Credit?

Not quite. On Tuesday, The House of Representatives voted to extend the tax credit for three more months for those who had a contract in place prior to April 30th, 2010. The extension is to allow them enough time to close on their purchases in order to receive the $8,000 federal income tax credit.

According to

“But the Senate had better act fast – the deadline [for closing under the current extension] is currently Wednesday.

The bill doesn’t help anyone currently shopping for a home. Buyers must have signed a contract by April 30 to qualify for the tax break. At issue is when the deal must be finalized.

The House voted 409 to 5 to delay the closing deadline to Sept. 30 in a stand-alone measure.”

Total deficit increase over a decade? $9 million.

Read the full article here.