Real Estate News
Published Thursday, 09-Sep-2010 in issue 1185
This week’s column comes to you from San Francisco where we are attending the wedding of our good friends Jeffrey Orr (formerly of San Diego) and Paul DiSangro. It’s a gorgeous weekend here in GLBT-HQ with real estate brokers in The City boasting about the Case-Shiller index of residential housing values, bringing Bay Area homeowners the biggest year-over-year quarterly gain (18%) in the country. San Diego came in a very respectable second place with 11.7% followed by Minneapolis. Among the worst performing? Las Vegas, whose declining market still happens and still stays there.
Before every San Diego home seller adds a 12% markup to their listing, just remember indices like Case-Shiller rely on data from sold properties and as is true across the country, the vast bulk of San Diego county home sales are at the lower end of our price ranges. While a rise in the Case-Shiller is welcome news, it by no means hearkens dramatically rising values beyond about $700,000.
Here today, gone if proof of the hot market under $700K is needed, ARG’s Richard Croft, Realtor listed and sold a Rancho Penasquitos home last week in a New York minute. The same bell rang for paisan Anthony Napoli of Premier who no sooner dropped a great Jonathan Segal loft in Little Italy on the market only to have a buyer stroll in during an open house and snap it up.
Speaking of Jonathan Segal he and wonderful wife Wendy are safely back downtown after a stint of several years in La Jolla. They designed and built “The Q”, an absolutely gorgeous structure in Little Italy. Talk about great straight allies. A few years back my husband Michael and I were over at the Segal’s house for dinner. At the time, they were buffing up the plans for another boutique condo project downtown. One floor per unit and they wanted the top two floors for their own place. We were to buy the one underneath, and Jonathan said, “I want ONLY gay neighbors for the remaining units. At least then, I know the building will stay perfect and the neighbors will be the best! No doubt he was kidding, but the thought and support are welcome from San Diego’s most successful and innovative architect.
Brett Schafter of BOSA - the big high-rise developer downtown announced this week that their luxury project Bayside at the Embarcadero hit the 70% SOLD mark recently. Sapphire Tower, a nearby boutique project reports similar successes according to Chuck Sigmon, Sales Director of the 97-unit project. With perhaps the best penthouse floorplans available today, Sapphire is a winner! Do yourself a favor and tour these two stunning projects while a few good homes are available and access is easy through the onsite sales force. (Of course, if you’re serious about buying, bring your own Realtor along. You should always be represented separately by your own broker/agent who should be up to speed on proposed new buildings, view corridors, public projects and other future impacts on your investment. It’s your legal right and in most cases, won’t cost you a cent.)
My old bud, the wonderful broker Anna Marie Barnard of Sand & Sea Realty ( offers four awesome new Bankers Hill town homes at the corner of Brant and Juniper. Gorgeous views and incredible finishes, they’re Developer Rudy Medina’s latest project and definitely worth a visit. The WOW factor lives here.
Lorie Zapf lists herself as “Businesswoman” on her official candidate statement in her run against straight ally Howard Wayne for the San Diego 6th Council District. Someone should tell her business, which according to the California Secretary of State folded months ago.
The rabidly anti-gay Zapf got a bit more bad news as publicly available recording documents from three states uncovered evidence that she and husband Eric engaged in a loan fraud scheme involving multiple properties and at least one other individual. The Zapfs purchased properties using loan applications that promised they would occupy the homes as their primary residences. Instead, the homes were relieved of their equity and dumped at short sale. While no one should fault a homeowner caught upside down in a property that must be sold, the Zapfs have made strategic default into a cottage industry. Perhaps her listing as businesswoman isn’t the charade I earlier thought.
At deadline this week, the San Diego Association of Realtors (SDAR) has yet to act on a recission of their poorly thought-out endorsement of Zapf. That’s not stopping supporters of her opponent Democrat Howard Wayne from reminding Realtors, homeowners, buyers, tenants and the rest of the GLBT community what a consistent and enlightened voice he’s been for all of us over the years. In fact, Wayne was endorsed twice by SDAR while a member of the State Assembly.
If you’re a Realtor or if you’ve ever used a Realtor (or ever plan to) you should contact SDAR CEO Mike Mercurio and voice your concerns. Contact Mike at or SDAR President Mark Marquez at
NOT A SHORT SALE! Just coming to market this week in the Marina District’s Columbia Place. 2/2, first level on quiet interior courtyard. 1040 approx sqft. $340,000. Contact Cameron Abbott
Jim Abbott is the President/Managing Broker of ARG Abbott Realty Group. CA DRE Broker 1843472. He serves on the board of the National Assn of GL Real Estate Professionals and is a past director of both the California and San Diego Assns of Realtors. He has previously served on the board of Equality California and as Library Commissioner for the City of San Diego. Contact Jim at or call 619-234-3995.

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