Rent or Buy: The Best Calculator

A belated Happy New Year everyone.  One of my new year’s resolutions is to blog more frequently.  I love blogging about real estate!  I just need to get faster at it.  This can be a challenge if you care about getting the facts right.  For example, I just spent about 4 hours over 2 days unearthing a discrepancy between my 2010 data on San Francisco home sales and the data provided by my generally excellent real estate feed, which you can find under the Market Trends tab.  Turns out they’d incorrectly included sales from the northern part of San Mateo County, which resulted in a much lower median home sales price for 2010 and a very inaccurate read on what had happened in the SF Market over the last year. My next blog will cover those results. ...  Additional Details

Size Doesn’t Matter

Say you want to spend around a million bucks to buy a house.  Wouldn’t it be useful to know how much houses typically go for per square foot in that price range?  Then you could take the square footage of the house you’re looking at, multiply it by the price per square foot and come up with a rough idea of value.

Now say you’re in the happy position of having $2 million dollars to spend.  Could be that $2 million dollar houses cost that much just because they’re bigger than $1 million houses, in which case their price per square foot would be the same.  Or they might cost more because of the area they’re in, or their finishes and amenities.  Whatever the reason, it would be useful to know how much they go for on a per square foot basis. ...  Additional Details

New Year’s Greetings

new years 2010

Another glorious winter’s day in San Francisco.  My family and I biked over the GG Bridge to Sausalito and then took the ferry back to Fisherman’s Wharf. Thirty-five years in this town and I’ve only done that ride twice.   The previous time was a week ago, to celebrate my 10 year old son’s new birthday bike.

2009 was not a kind year.  I feel very grateful that my family has come through in reasonable shape.  It makes it easy to appreciate the fine views and the fine weather.

Exactly a year ago, I officially launched this blog. It’s been enormously gratifying writing it.  First, it’s made me feel plugged into the market in ways both large and small.  Secondly, because I’m a visual kinda guy, those charts that I’ve tried to make a central part of  this blog have helped me understand and retain what’s going on in ways that columns of numbers just don’t.   Plus, I’ve learned a heck of a lot more about Excel — and, alas, its limitations as a database —  than I ever knew before.) ...  Additional Details

“Misha’s Musings” Becomes “Real Data SF”

And now a brief announcement from your sponsor….  I managed to snag a few months ago in what, if I recall correctly, was a brief moment of late-night single-malt-scotch-induced inspiration.  Though I cannot deny the allure of the alliterative, “Misha’s Musings” was always meant as a place-holder till something better came along.  For those of you who are sorry to see the old name go, keep in mind that the new one has 33.33% less characters to type.

Went Fishing


For the three-and-a-half readers who may have wondered what happened to me, I’ve been up in the Sierras near Yosemite with my family at the wonderful San Francisco treasure, Camp Mather, a 9 mile bike-ride from Hetch-Hetchy reservoir, where San Francisco gets its world-class water from, and about a 45 minute drive from Yosemite.

No cell-phone service, no wi-fi.  Just lots of trees, sun, rock, and river.

Spent about 7 hours fly-fishing over two days and caught 3 fry and 1 bona-fide fish, probably not bigger than 9″.  (All were released.) ...  Additional Details