3208 Pierce Street #403 San Francisco–Price $202,590: Below Market Rate Unit in the Luxurious Marina District!


3208 Pierce, Condos for Sale, San Francisco





San Francisco’s renaissance continues with another major complex nearly ready for market: 3208 Pierce Street. This condominium project is located in the Marina District, a wealthy neighborhood reminiscent of a down scaled version of Rodeo Drive, the site of some of the worst devastation meted out by the quake of 1989.

Before that 7.0 tragedy hit San Francisco, the Marina district was largely comprised of “Old San Francisco.” The demographics were decidely in favor of retirees & 50 somethings who owned or rented, were quite wealthy, and who as a group were never figured to move from their locations. The neighborhood was a reflection of it’s demographics very expensive, clean, and a bit stodgy.

Months after the devastation that leveled a number of buildings in the Marina, many of it’s retired inhabitants either sold their homes or moved out of their rental flats. This mass exodus created an opening for change. Young yuppies and 30 somethings were unconcerned with the “dangers” of living in the Marina. The Marina was built on landfill so it took the brunt of the damage during the violent quake.

Consequently, over the years, the Marina has evolved into one of San Francisco’s most luxurious, upscale neighborhoods which caters to the young entrepreneurial wealthy home owners or renters. A 20, 30, and 40 something crowd with clout.

Which brings us to the property at 3208 Pierce Street #403. What is so special about this condo unit is that it is a Below Market Rate designated unit with a price of $202,590! For those folks that qualify, ie. first time home buyer & under a income cap, you get a fantastic unit filled with great features: 2 bedroom and 2 1/2 bathrooms with over 1,200 sq ft of living space- and the neighborhood too!


Gasoline Tanker Explosion Destroys MacArthur Maze Overpass: Traffic Nightmare to Effect 280,000 vehicles per Day!

The first photo is a typical nightmare commute that we Bay Area natives are all too familiar with in our everyday lives. Now lower your gaze to the second photo of the burnt and twisted wreckage of what was once a very prominent overpass connection in the MacArthur Maze. Now go back to the first photo- get the picture? Here is what happened according to various Bay Area news sources.

A early morning tanker truck explosion destroyed the overpass connecting the 580 and 24 freeways. The explosion, fueled by more than 8,000 gallons of gasoline, was said to have produced 2000 degree heat which virtually melted the steel re-bar and cement structure. According to KRON 4 news, the overpass that fell carried traffic from the Bay Bridge onto Interstates 580 & 980 as well as Highway 24.

The good news is that the driver of the tanker survived the crash and due to the early Sunday morning time of the incident, miraculously nobody was hurt or killed. It was just announced that the Bay Area public transportation systems (Bart,Ferry Boats, Buses) will all welcome passengers for Free in their Monday morning commutes.

Gas Prices in SF Bay Area: What the %&*$ is Going On Here???

Have you ever been in a business deal where you just knew you were getting “spanked”, “hammered”, “hoodwinked”, “Scammed”, “Shammed” or ramma lamma ding donged to death??????????????????? Have you ever felt like you were playing cards at a table full of your Mom’s friends, sweet lil grannies each and everyone, only to find out they were the reason the cops lived in your neighborhood? Finally have you ever been to one of those “Free” seminars on timeshare living only to have to brandish a Beretta 92f just to get out of the room alive?

Well if you said yes to any or all of the above then you know exactly how I felt today when I pulled into my local Chevron station: $3.99 per gallon for Supreme Unleaded. I don’t see anything “supreme” about this gas; ain’t it the same crap I have been filling my car with since my hair was two feet past my shoulders, Ford was president, the PC was neither political nor a computer, and John Travolta was just a sweathog and not a jet flying Scientology maniac?

Did they infuse my “new” supreme unleaded with gold dust emitting gold coins out my finely tuned exhaust pipes? Does this “new” supreme mixture have a California approved additive which grows hair in bald spots and removes it from unwanted areas ie back and teeth? WHAT THE $#@& IS GOING ON HERE?

Well according to my politically corrupt, morally bankrupt misguided friends at my local mass media rag, The San Francisco Chronicle, Chevron is having a big quarter. In fact according to the article “Billions more in Chevron profit” “Earnings jump 18%. . . even as crude oil prices slump in 1st quarter.” Wait a minute back up. Crude oil prices per barrel are down YET prices at the pump have skyrocketed? Huh, where’s the math? Is Enron doing the accounting on this one?

According to the Chronicle’s resident “Jimmy Olson”aka David R. Baker (as opposed to S. Baker or Q. Baker?) “. . . Chevron Corp. profits up 18 percent to $4.7 billion (yes astronomy fans that is “b” for billions) in the year’s first quarter. . . ” The real cool numbers “Chevron’s refining and marketing operations in the United States brought in $350 million in the first quarter, 66.7 percent more than during the same period last year.” Gold dust to coins out the back end or unwanted hair removed. . . either way we was, is, and are being robbed blind.

Why why why? Well here are some of the “excuses”, “ruses”, and Confucius kind of stuff coming out of the industry and points beyond:

Judy Dugan, Research Director for the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights:

“A company that seems barely able to keep it’s refineries running and saw oil prices dip from last year, took advantage of an uncompetitive market to make up it’s losses with spiking gasoline prices.”

Don Campbell, Chevron spokesman: “. . . profit from refining and marketing in the United States accounted for just 7 percent of the company’s overall profit, despite increases.” Campbell went on to whiningly blather that “The company now spends almost as much money ($300 million) every week on finding and pumping more oil.”

How philanthropic of Chevron Mr.Campbell. What concern and love for your fellow man!

The other reasons were blanket excuses, the kind of stuff small business owners call “the cost of doing business”, perpetuated by Campbell and others in their feeble attempt to stifle our jet engine decibel level shrieks of pain.

So if you feel a bit angry or hurt by the Chevron’s of the world join the crowd. My bicycle is tuned up and ready to go. Now if I can only get rid of that sharp pain in my a**!

National Association of Realtors Chief Technology Officer Mark Lesswing: “Prepare for the Shift in Technology”

Technology Conferences are normally akin to following a chess tournament or watching the paint dry on your back fence: the action can be slow. Not Friday! I attended the Business Development and Technology Faire sponsored by Alameda, Oakland, Bay East, Berkeley, West Contra Costa, and Contra Costa Counties Association of Realtors at the Oakland Airport Hilton Hotel. I was very pleasantly surprise.

The action was a non-stop mixture of seminar speakers, trade show demonstrations, panel discussions, and networking opportunities. Add to this, a world class hot buffet and tons of free give away gadgets and you have a very successful event.

Another wonderful surprise was the rock star like recognition, my friend, Pat Kitano received. His blog Transparentre.com was a prominent topic of discussion amongst attendees. This was icing on the cake for Kitano; earlier in the week the Boston Globe contacted Pat requesting his contribution to an article on technology.

The most influential and important segment of this event was Mark Lesswing’s speech. Mark is a Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for the National Association of Realtors. Mark’s presentation was informative, user friendly, and presented from the viewpoint of the Realtor. I introduced myself to Mark prior to his speech; he is a very affable guy more than willing to share information. The subject matter included the following important issues:

*Net Neutrality: An issue where the government treats bandwidth like a commodity; simply put established companies already on the internet would not suffer a slow down in their site’s web traffic speed of movement. On the other hand, any new companies launching a web site would experience much slower web traffic capabilities. Mark is a proponent of “treating all traffic equally.”

*Patent Reform: Mark believes that “Software is Art” and as art it should be “open source” and copyright as a rule. Consequently, these restrictions, litigation concerns, would be restricting invention and innovation at the most basic level. One example of the dangers of patent abuse is an ongoing case; in this case a tech company is suing a mapping company over “licensing” usage rights. The case remains unresolved with attorney’s fees having exceeded the 7 figure plateau!

The most important piece to Mark’s presentation was his message to Realtors: “Prepare for a Shift in Technology.”

*Technology is not new nor difficult ie “It’s not Rocket Science.”

*Realtors must have a Vision for the future. They must understand a technology first before implementation. Do not implement technologies for the sake of “keeping up with the Jones.”

*Embrace change; it is coming so be prepared through education.

Other major networking partners I met at this event include:

Mark Flavin Director of Information Technology for Bay East Association of Realtors; Kym Hough considered a founding pioneer of the Staging business and owner of Staged to Sell; First American’s Linda Moss and Eric Barnes; ANG Newspaper’s Dan Nelson; Charlie Krackeler Television host and seminar business owner; Kathleen Barnett of Gallagher & Lindsey Inc.; Dania Alvarez Harbor Bay Realty; Kurt Schultz Lamorinda Funding Group; and Copney Toler District Sales Manager JCP Property Disclosure Reports.

Cutting Edge Technology for the Real Estate Industry: Where to Find It & How to Preview It!

  Friday April 27, 2007 marks an important event in the evolutionary process of bringing technology into the, tortoise to change, Real Estate field: “The Business Development & Tech Faire for the Real Estate Professional.” This event is being held at the Hilton Oakland Airport Hotel at 1 Hegenberger Rd., Oakland, California. The event runs from 9:30 to 3:30pm; sponsors for this event include the Alameda, East Bay, Berkeley, Contra Costa, Delta, Oakland, & West Contra Costa Associations of Realtors. There are many benefits to attending this event lets start with one basic: it’s F-R-E-E! But what you receive is very valuable.

The most important reason to attend this Fair, besides the new technologies available to the market place, is the excellent panel of experts assembled to speak. This panel includes the following keynote speakers:

*Mark Lesswing: Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President for the National Association of Realtors. “Mark is a graduate of Lehigh University (Industrial Engineering) and a 2006 Inman Innovator Award recipient.

*Gee Dunsten: Owner of Legacy Development Corp., “Gee has exclipsed the $200 million mark in residential sales for his career, teaches CRS classes, and is president of Gee Dunsten Seminars, Inc.”

*Tom Hart: Broker-Partner with Empire Realty Association in Danville, California. “Tom is a Certified ‘Master Negotiator’ by the University of San Francisco; an Instructor of Real Estate Principles at UC Berkeley Extension Schools, and past Director of the California Association of Realtors.”

*Kym Hough: Owner operator of Staged to Sell. “Kim has won many industry awards and was featured on ABC News Magazine Show ’20-20′.”

*Gene Gutierrez: Automated Support Director for First American Title Co. “Gene provides technology support and educational courses for all realtors.”

Technology Panel Participants:

*Charlie Krackeler: Moderator, 2004 California Real Estate Education Association President; Director of Training for one of the largest real estate companies in the nation; and contributor-host to a popular television talk show on real estate.

*Mark Flavin: Director of Information Technology for the Bay East Association of Realtors. “Mark brings extensive field experience to the Association from his work in the anti-spyware community.”

*John Pinto: a 33 year veteran in the Santa Clara County residential real estate community. “John has been a broker/owner since 1977, a featured speaker at the annual conventions for the California Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors.”

*Ira Serkes: A Nobel Prize hopeful working on “United Database Field Theory” in Berkeley, California. “Ira one recent year visited Venioce, Rome, Vancouver, Guanajuato, Santa Fe, Seattle, New York cruised to Alaska and closed over $15 million in real estate.

The Tech Faire will also include the following interesting and important features:

A Tradeshow that will feature the newest technologies and services available to the industry. In addtion, classes like Realigning Self for a Changing MarketA New Path for the Road Ahead & Riding the New Marketing Wave-The Art of Pop are being presented.

No need to worry about food as the sponsors plan an extensive banquet to feed the throngs expected.


Contra Costa Association of Realtors: The Most Powerful Influential Marketing Meetings in California?

Every Tuesday morning (8:30am) the Contra Costa Association of Realtors marketing meeting is held at the Concord Centre in Concord. With over 250 Realtors, Mortgage Professionals, and other affiliates in attendance, CCAR meetings remains the most well attended real estate marketing meeting in the San Francisco Bay Area. Professionals from all over the East Bay, some coming from as far as Palo Alto and San Francisco, gather to trade information on listings, products, services, and upcoming events pertinent to their businesses.

The rules for this meeting are standard operating procedure; yet their is marketing power in this gathering due to the turnout and “buzz” that turnout creates. In order to speak in front of the crowd, your company is required to “sponsor” one facet of the costs of hosting the meeting. You may choose to be a food, coffee, or room sponsor thus paying for in-full or in portion that particular overhead associated with producing the meeting. This sponsorship has a minimum of one month and a maximum of one year.

Two important factors besides the sheer number of attendees, makes this meeting a great place to network and meet like minded professionals. First this meeting has a tone of “family” where most of the people have been friends for years; new attendees are welcomed warmly and encouraged to network. Due to the seating arrangement, large tables for 6+, it is easy to meet new friends and possible business partners. In addition, CCAR allows people to stand in back and conduct, quietly, your own introductions and networking during the meeting itself. Most meetings only allow networking before and after the meeting while maintaining a nuclear submarine like “radio silence” during meeting business.

The second factor is the fantastic tour(s) available to all attendees. Going on tour allows Realtors as well as affiliates the opportunity to meet in a relaxed atmosphere, show off their respective properties, and also share some excellent food. Most tour stops are catered.

Finally a practice that should be standard procedure for all marketing meetings is the “Presentation or Tour” letter. This is a note on CCAR letterhead that verifies your Realtor has presented your house in front of the meeting and that the listing is part of the daily tour after the proceedings. Surprisingly this is a far more valuable asset than most people realize.

With 41 homes on 4 separate tours and over 50 listing presentations, the mood at this week’s meeting was one of real optimism for the market. The following are a sampling of properties listed:

*267 Castle Hill Ranch Rd., Walnut Creek

*2112 Torrington Ct., Martinez

*640 Persimmon Rd., Walnut Creek

*3898 Bayview Circle, Concord

*734 West Boyd Rd., Pleasant Hill

*361 Ridgeview Dr., Pleasant Hill

*540 Adirondack Way, Walnut Creek

*8014 Kelok Way, Clayton

*821 Oakwood Way, Oakley

*5139 Grass Valley Way, Antioch

*354 Shenandoah Dr., Martinez

*1082 Chloe Ct., Concord

If you would like more information about Real Estate Association marketing meetings around the San Francisco Bay Area and if you would like to be introduced into this grassroots method of marketing, please contact Dean.

“Life Lock”: A Vital Resource for Real Estate and Mortgage Professionals

Over 27 million Americans have had their identities stolen over the last 5 years according to the Federal Trade Commission; included in this astronomical number, is an all time high of 9.9 million people victimized last year. There are a number of headaches and heartaches associated with this type of theft; none is more devastating than the effects this theifery has upon a person’s ability to qualify for a mortgage in order to buy a home. The negative effects of personal identity theft have been examined and documented extensively. Yet nobody can accurately estimate the effect this type of theft has upon both the Mortgage and Real Estate industries.

Consumers are constantly bombarded by credit repair companies, identity theft consultants, and consumer advocate agencies willing to safeguard their identities for a substantial fee. Many of these firms are reputable and do fine work. On the other hand, many of these “agencies” are scam artists, internet ripoff schemes, and worse yet identity theft criminals posing as legitimate companies.

What should consumers do to secure their identity? Where should they look if they do not wish to do it themselves, diligently follow all of the credit bureaus, and make all of the adjustments on an on-going basis? One very interesting option is offered by a company called Life Lock.

Life Lock specializes in protecting a consumer or businesses’ identity against theft. What differentiates Life Lock is their candor and their “guarantee.” Life Lock performs the following services while guaranteeing your identity safety:

Life Lock will “set alerts on all of your credit reports (there are more than just the “big three”). These alerts will usually be set within an hour.” The consumer should start receiving letters from the bureaus (Trans Union-Equifax-Experian) about 7 days after enrolling confirming that the alerts have been placed.

Life Lock automatically renews the consumer’s credit report alerts every 90 days; if these alerts are not reset in this time frame, the alerts would be deleted by the bureau.

One benefit the consumer receives is the permanent interruption of “pre-approved” credit offers and junk mail is dramatically reduced. Many people would be interested in this benefit alone.

The first point that lends credibility to Life Lock’s claims is their candor. Life Lock states “You have the right to do everything we listed above yourself for free. It’s the details of actually doing it, then re-doing it, then dealing with any problems that arise, then keeping up on the changes in the procedures of the bureaus, the new databases that are coming online, and the laws that become ponderous for most people and the reason that tens of thousands of people have turned to LifeLock.”

The real compelling piece to Life Lock’s business model is their guarantee. According to Life Lock: “In the unlikely event your lock is picked and you find yourself fighting to regain your good name, we’re going to do the fighting for you. We’re going to pay for the fight. And we’re going to make sure that you get every dollar back, lost wages, attorney’s fees, costs, actual losses, every dollar up to $1 million. Period. No fine print. If your Identity is stolen while you are our client, and your claim is legitimate, we’re going to do whatever it takes, for however long it takes, however much it costs to fix it and you won’t lose a nickel, again, up to $1 million. If anything ever happens, you’re covered and you’ll have the best in the business fighting for you. No one else does that. No one. Anywhere. For any amount of money.”

As of this writing, Life Lock’s fee for an adult consumer is $10.00 per month or $110 per adult per year. And in a new scam, Children’s identities are now being stolen; criminals understand that they can operate unchallenged in this space. Life Lock is the “only company in the world offering identity theft protection for children. Children under age 16 are $25 per year with any adult enrollment.”

I invite Realtors and Mortgage professionals to investigate this service in order to provide valuable advice to their clients, remain knowledgeable on the best services for their clients, and to continue to be considered a one-stop shop resource and expert in their field.