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Many Top 40 Under 40 Wine Enthusiast Tastemakers in Bay Area

Wine Enthusiast is a magazine known for its hip, cool, sexy celebration of wine and other imbibing beverages. It has a pretty big following in San Francisco. And every year it spends a good deal of editorial talent, time and money to discover and tout its Top 40 Tastemakers who are Under 40. These are trailblazers burning new paths in the future of wine, beer, cider and spirits in the U.S.

Tastemakers can include winemakers, grape growers, retailers, bartenders, educators and other eclectic movers and shakers. Thus, such words as “Gulpability” are born—from 35-year-old tastemaker Sam Bilbro from our local Healdsburg wine town.

So, the top 40 list this year of the under 40 crowd includes, not really surprisingly, quite a few men and women from the wine country of the North Bay and right here in the city, and one in Oakland.

Over in Oakland Stevie Stacionis is 34, and the co-owner of Bay Grape Wine. Check her out for insights.

And in the city we have Ashley Teplin, 37, co founder of a public relations firm in San Francisco.

Your neighborhood options are broader in San Francisco if you can settle on a three-bedroom instead of a four-bedroom.

Many of these districts are West of Twin Peaks, in neighborhoods that were developed in the 1950s and 60s. Districts like Midtown TerraceParkside and Lake Shore are popular with families because of their conventional layouts, back yards and quiet streets.
If I were a betting gal, I’d head for the Bayview with its good weather, light rail transit and burgeoning Third Street retail corridor. I’ve been spending more and more time there and love discovering its hidden blocks of tree-lined architecture. Bayview homes can also get a bit more free-form with fun facades and colorful paint jobs.

SF’s Golden Gate Heights 2nd Hottest Neighborhood in the US

According to the national real estate site Redfin the second hottest neighborhood in home sales in the entire country for the second half of 2017 will be the Golden Gate Heights area in our own San Francisco. The prediction of hotness is based on Redfin’s home value estimate calculator tool—and this measure did turn out correct for Redfin’s prediction that Oakland’s Bushrod neighborhood would be the hottest in the country in the first half of 2017.

Golden Gate Heights is a rolling hill, eclectic architecture enclave of the Inner Sunset district of SF—defined by Larsen Peak on the south end, and Grandview Park on the north edge. It boasts some colorful features, such as the artful mosaic stairway (mosaics laid into the face of the steps to make a coherent art piece). The homes are among the more affordable in the city, and many have inspiring views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Marin Headlands. The walking distance to local shopping and dining is a bit more than other neighborhoods, but buyers are apparently good walkers.

Travel Channel’s Foodie Andrew Zimmern Filming in SF

If you’ve ever watched or channel surfed across the Travel Channel, then you’ve probably seen Andrea Zimmern—food host, personality and writer—in one of the many shows he has on TC. He’s best known for his series Bizarre Foods, a global on-location celebration of eating excitingly bizarre foods and meeting their chefs or preparers. He made his reputation and TV success with a chatty enjoyment of the odd, squeamish cuisine items.

Zimmern was just in SF last week shooting an episode for his new TC show The Zimmern List—18 episodes of half-hour exploring mainstream foods he really likes. Though it could be said he really likes the bizarre stuff too. A few days ago he was in the Ferry Building hunting down mushrooms at Far West Fungi, a marketer of mushrooms from their farm at Moss Landing in Monterey. He bought king trumpet and porcini mushrooms.

Local SF filming for the new show took place at a ramen shop. The last time he was here for a show was in 2013.

San Francisco Luxury Homes Sales by Month since 2014

This chart covers the expensive stuff and the REALLY expensive stuff. Each bar represents the number of sales that month; the higher the number, the more robust the market. Sales of luxury condos surged dramatically this spring to hit their highest number ever in June on a monthly basis, and in Q2 on a quarterly basis.

Luxury house sales of $3m+ are slower, and have been that way for some time – we think it’s because wealthy buyers are more conservative these days, and more picky. We will likely not see a rise in the number of sales for this segment before the fall market begins. (Note that condo figures do not include new luxury condo sales unreported to MLS.)

If you are shopping for a big (4/5 BR) house in San Francisco, here is what you can expect to pay in different neighborhoods.

Our 4BR floor plans vary dramatically by neighborhood. A1920s house in St. Francis Wood, for instance, will often have two stories with all the bedrooms upstairs. In the Sunset, the bedrooms can be split among two levels, with three of them on the main floor and the fourth one downstairs behind the garage. In hillier neighborhoods, like Bernal and Noe, the bedrooms can be spread out among three or four levels if the home is on an upslope or downslope.

The hidden buy here might be in Golden Gate Heights with its eclectic mix of architecture on winding streets and sweeping views. The neighborhood is relatively central, yet peaceful and highly scenic.

Home Price Appreciation since 2012

This first chart shows the rising trend in houses and condos over the last five years. The gray bar is houses. The green line is condos.

There are two interesting phenomenon to observe here. The first is (obviously) the continued rise in our median home price, which topped $1M all the way back in 2015, but then continued to climb all the way to $1.45M by the middle of this year. The median condo price is also pretty spectacular at $1.16M.

The second is the abrupt lag in appreciation condos saw compared to houses beginning in 2015. That slowing can be directly attributed to the influx of new construction that began hitting the market just about that time.

Battle of the Luxury Rental Towers For Amenities

We live in a beautiful, culturally rich, and, yes, expensive city. Case in point: a single bedroom unit at the Lumina Tower will ding you $4,850 a month. The question is: what bling do you get for all that change? Well, a lot.

Luxury rental towers are doing the budget analysis on ROI for top drawer amenities and are really dialing them up these days to attract in and keep renters. And these towers are in a “battle of the bands” to get you, the renter, into their building.

The aforementioned Lumina rolls out all these luxuries: city view, club lounge (bi-level) with private dining and full-on chef’s kitchen, ample sized theater with super plush theater seats, fitness center with a climbing wall, spa replete with private treatment rooms, 70-foot lap pool, rooftop outdoor terrace with BBQ, fire pit and outdoor screening to watch those big football battles on, day care. And, oh yeah, a pretty cool music studio room for all the aspiring music artists.

Or, take the 399 Fremont tower where a 2-bed, 2.5 bath apartment runs you $6,550 a month. There’s a private dog park (pet care is getting really big in these towers), private dining, workout center with yoga and TRX classes, heated lap pool, outdoor terrace with fire pit for outdoor dining and wine storage.