Friday, November 16, 2007

Stage 40, Westwood Park (4r)

My goodness it's been a while since our last Stage. Sorry. It appears the market is not as bad as you'd think. ;-)

Continuing our Tour this week, we sneak past the gates of Westwood Park, get a neighbor's take, and of course throw some photos in to give you the visual. To kick it off, you owe it to yourself to read up on the history ( It's a very short read and packed with pertinent information. Next, since we are a real estate site, we thought you'd like to see a quick snap of the latest sales stats:

For the most part, as with the rest of the city, the turnkey homes in the "good" parts of this area that are priced right will sell quickly. If the home has a ding on it's record, it might take a bit longer to sell. There is actually a home that is not listed on MLS, but is definitely for sale. Its address is 143? Plymouth (neighbor didn't have the exact number). The tenants have just been evicted, the place needs a new roof, and it is ready for your personal touches.

From an outsider looking in perspective, the "upper" areas of Westwood Park (North of Wildwood) are definitely less dense, have fewer cars parked on the streets, and are much quieter. These homes tend to sell a bit quicker than the ones to the southern border, simply because they seem a bit more "Monterey Heightsy". The homes around Miramar tend to be a bit bigger, as are the homes closer to Monterey. The area is very quiet, has tons of trees, nice front yards, and feels very suburban. It is a short walk to any of the commercial areas on Ocean Blvd. (to the south) or Monterey (to the north and east), as well as all the great shops in West Portal (not toured yet). As it is a hilly area, there are some decent views from many of the homes. If you don't like hills and absolutely must have a flat street to live on, Southwood or Greenwood are the ideal choices. Of course when you get down in that area (the south east corner of the district) you get a lot of San Francisco City College over-flow parking and activity.

Overall, this area is yet another solid choice in neighborhoods, has a great vibe, is very much "San Francisco", and is an ideal choice for those with kids and pets. The weather is a bit foggy in the summer, but access to all points north and south (I-280) is a breeze.

So how about a few photos to give you the visual. (More than a few actually ;-) )

Home on Faxon

Home at corner of Westwood and Pizarro

Home on Miramar (loving the statues)

Home on Miramar @ Northwood

Eastwood Street

Home under remodel on Southwood

Its neighbor on SouthwoodMiramar
Home on North side of Miramar

The home literally across the street from the above home on Miramar

Lots of tequila consumed in this house ;-) on Plymouth

Home on corner of Greenwood and Valdez
ValdezHome on ValdezGreenwood
Plymouth and Montecito and Northwood cornerNorthwood

So you get the picture of what the area looks like...we hope.

Here's what a resident of Westwood Park has to say:

Westwood Park is one of those places in the city that nobody seems to know about. Not so different than other places around here... like Sunnyside [touring that next week], Westwood Highlands & Miraloma Park. People who live in other parts of the city don't have any reason to know about them. It's a bit of the burbs in the city, for sure.

I love the history of the place (be sure to take a look at the great advertisements of the period -- they are entertaining.) If a buyer is interested in the Arts & Crafts period, this is definitely a place to take a look. The houses have a lot of Gumwood or other wood detailing, tile fireplaces, front porches & green areas. Most of the houses are different from one another, but together, are cohesive.

There are all types of people here ... many families, gay couples, blue collar, white collar, old & young. For the most part, there is a neighborhood pride ... but, I think a lot of this area is in transition. One block will be nice...the next one might look neglected.

The area is managed by an association. There will be grief provided to anyone trying to add on w/o permits. The associations concern w/your business can be annoying, but overall, I think it is a good thing for the benefit of of the homes & neighbors. There is a yearly bbq/meeting put on by the association that makes you feel like you are in a small town back in the 50's. The fire trucks and mounted police come, kids running around, association members & city supervisors getting to know the people. It's a potluck. Neighbors meet & greet.

It's also a great location if you travel South a lot .. easy freeway access .. and fast to get into town or out. Many of the lots are bigger than average S.F. size .. ours is over 5000 sq ft. Not a far (just under a mile I think) walk to West Portal and quick access by car to the coast.

[removed to protect privacy]

There is a cute 2 br house for sale up the street that's been sitting. Not sure if it is just priced a little too high for this market or things really are bad [they're not that bad]. There seem to be a lot of people who bought at the peak or close to it now trying to sell and make that $100k + they keep hearing they should make on their "investment" - probably not going to happen right now. One person I know on this street decided to rent their house out rather than sell because they were not going to get the $1m+ for their 2 br they had planned to get. It will be very interesting to see whether things pick up a bit next year or whether they continue to fall some. What is your guess??? :-) [You surely know us by now...we never predict, because we don't know.]

I've become a bit of real estate junkie after all of our searching, buying and selling. I don't really have a good reason to read your newsletter at this point [please retract that statement] .. but I do. It's like my version of a soap opera waiting to find out what happens next. I still check the comps every week. [And you should.]

[removed because....] just rambling now, while drinking a glass of wine and having a one-sided conversation ... :-)

It's never one-sided if it's on our site. We happen to have a couple thousand people that read this, so don't feel lonely. Enjoy your home, Westwood Park, and all the fun that goes with home ownership. And for all you folks living in Sunnyside or West Portal, time to send us your take on your areas as we'll be coming there next.

With that, we bid you adieu. Until the next tour....