Crocker Highlands is now a $2M Neighborhood!
I remember when we purchased our home at 971 Grosvenor Place in 1990. Crocker Highlands Median Sales price was $350,000. An amazing jump in home values, but nothing compares to the rise in the median sales price in 2020 of $1,670,000 to $2,000,050 in 2021. I remember how excited we were to learn in the late 1990’s that a grand home on Longridge broke $900,000 for the first time in Crocker Highlands. It would be an understatement to say that Crocker Highlands has been discovered by San Franciscans who represent 70% of the buyers in our neighborhood.
Crocker Highlands Home Sales
Number of Homes Sold
Avg. Days on Market
Median Sales Price
Avg. Sales Price
Avg. Sold Price per sq.ft.
Sale Price/List Price
Lower Rockridge used to be the first neighborhood to search for a home in Oakland
Lower Rockridge used to be the number one neighborhood San Franciscans searched when I started my real estate career in 2003. After nine months of bidding in Lower Rockridge, I would see a new group of buyers in the Fall Markets in Crocker Highlands. The first question they always asked was “Where is the nearest BART station?” I used to cringe at this question. On the upside, the San Francisco buyers would follow up after being in one of my Crocker Highlands listings and say:
“This is Piedmont, right? I would say: no, you are in Oakland.”
Once it sank in they were in Oakland and they loved our neighborhood, they seemed to migrate away from the BART issue, especially with their discovery of the efficient, clean Bus Service to San Francisco.
Factors that evolved to unseat Lower Rockridge as the buyers’ first stop in their home search:
- The Millennials migrated from San Francisco after the financial crisis from 2008 up to the Fall of 2012. These new buyers wanted light, bright and varied architecture homes versus all Craftsman homes with lots of original and dark wood on the interior and extremely small yards. There was an attraction to walk to the new shops and restaurants and the Saturday Farmer’s Market on Lakeshore and Grand Avenues.
- Crocker Highlands offered more of a neighborhood feel without all of the cars parked in front of their homes. With almost no garages in Lower Rockridge, buyers felt like they were in San Francisco again competing for off-street parking.
- Finally, and unfortunately for commuters, BART became known as having dirty cars, issues with crime and they would be greeted in San Francisco at their BART exit to homeless encampments and people shooting up drugs. A sad story indeed. Pre-COVID buyers come to Sunday Open Houses and they knew where every B Bus stop was and how long it took to commute on a clean bus with Wi-Fi. Coming out of the financial crisis beginning with my Open Houses in January of 2013, not one buyer has ever asked me the question: “Where is the closest BART station?”
Why the astronomical rise in our home prices during the COVID pandemic?
With low inventory and a strong set of buyers rethinking their living spaces, San Francisco buyers need larger homes than they have in San Francisco to accommodate working from home. This is the number one driving factor for the increase in our home values during COVID. Here are other important qualities that drive home sales to high top dollar amounts:
- Yards. Outdoor Space. One can actually give a value to a yard just like you can for a view house with magnificent City and Bridge Views. A home in Crocker Highlands with easy access to a large grassy lawn will increase the final sales price by $150,000 – $300,000. (FYI, that value is $500,000 in Piedmont)
- Updated kitchen and baths. A remodeled/updated kitchen to today’s buyers taste will always give you a great return on your investment followed by the primary bedroom suite and main bathroom.
- A fresh coat of decorator/stager chosen paint just before going on the market.
- STAGE YOUR HOME! Buyers begin their home search online and if they do not see themselves in the
house, they may bypass your home and drive to the next Open House.
- Light gardening work to complete the curb appeal.
- Professional Photography. Yes, it’s true that some listing agents use their iPhone.
- Video Tour.
How does Anthony Riggins reach the buying pool of the 70% of San Franciscans
Our neighborhood is highly sought after by San Franciscans, as outlined earlier in this newsletter. I work with outside services and have compiled an email database for San Franciscans who live in Noe Valley, Potrero Hill, Eureka Valley, The Castro, Hayes Valley and all South of Market condos, where the owners have lived for 3 or more years. Life changing events happen, like a marriage or birth, and it is time to move to our neighborhood. For every listing, we design an announcement email that goes out immediately to these neighborhoods in San Francisco. It includes professionally written marketing copy, photos and a video tour.
“We never shut the door at 4:30 pm for my open houses.”
Some of our best buyers come in around 4:40 pm and we make them feel at home letting them know
to take their time to tour a listing. Many Sunday nights I do not leave the open house to head home until 6 pm. It is my job to sell your home, especially after spending money to get the house show-ready. I say this every Sunday to the arrival of buyers after 4:30 pm: “We do not take dinner invitations on a Sunday night, so enjoy your tour!” This is true. In my nearly 19-year career, I won’t even walk down the street for a cheeseburger or a barbeque after an open house. I still have to update my sellers and send out disclosure packets of my listings to buyers’ agents whose clients saw and liked my listing.
My full-time marketing manager left her high level position at Vanguard Properties in San Francisco to join me to market my listings, she is a godsend. She is well-versed in online marketing and she loves to design my many venues to find your buyer. We do our best to leave no stone unturned in reaching buyers for my listings. It is a professional and collaborative work relationship that I enjoy so much. I am not sure how many agents have a full-time marketing manager, so please keep this in mind when choosing an agent!
Sellers with four-bedroom homes – where are you?
Of course, all my listings sell handsomely over the list price no matter the size of the home. I received about ten desperate agent calls in October and November of last year asking if I had any 4-bedroom homes for sale by end of 2021. This year the request is the same from San Francisco, Marin County, Lafayette and local Oakland, Piedmont and Berkeley agents calling for 4-bedroom homes. So, if you are on the fence in selling your 4-bedroom home this year versus next year, I am here to tell you: this is your year to sell!
In 2013, as the Real Estate market rebounded…
My number one inquiry from neighbors was “where do these people get their money or where do they work… technology?” In 2013, I could see that many of the buyers had some parental help in purchasing their homes and very few were in technology. Now there are a lot of technology executives living in Crocker Highlands. Some of our neighbors are from Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Airbnb and Door Dash Food delivery. We are diverse in many ways in Crocker Highlands, but we all share our love for our historic homes, built by some of San Francisco’s greatest architects in the 1910’s-1920’s, and the thoughtful layout of our neighborhood by the Olmstead brothers, whose father was the landscape architect for Central Park in New York, and for our famous Mountain View Cemetery off Piedmont Avenue. We are thankful for our sidewalks and cut-throughs for faster walk to Crocker Highlands Elementary School, for the old-fashioned street lamps, and for most utilities underground, unlike the surrounding neighborhoods. This is truly a wonderful place to call home!
“About 25% of the buyers for our larger listings are move up buyers already living in Crocker Highlands.”
Call to action if you are selling in 2022
Get ahead of preparing your home for sale. It’s never too early for us to have a consult to decide what updates need to be made to maximize your home’s final sales price. If you plan on making any major changes or upgrades before listing your home, you’ll want to get that process started as soon as possible. You’re going to need some lead time. You may have a hard time buying the materials and scheduling someone to work for you. Most trade professionals such as carpenters, plumbers, and electricians have long backlogs of work. With low inventory and a strong set of buyers rethinking their living spaces, demand in 2022 will still be greater than the inventory.
It’s really the severe shortage of homes for sale relative to demand that will be the primary driver of continued positive house price growth. A large contingent of millennials are hitting their prime homebuying years.
Meet our Concierge Staging Service
Warm welcome to our new staging company Design Milagros! They offer outstanding Concierge Services that allow you to pay for all the costs of staging and upgrading at the close of escrow. Design Milagros bring their own licensed contrac- tors and trades, such as plumbers and painters to update your home to look it’s best and maximize the final sales price of your home. We are excited to partner with such a reputable and established brand to support our marketing program and smooth flow of escrow. You can see their showcase at DesignMilagros.com.