Spotlight on Bernal Heights with Provender's Austin Ferrari

My background is food, so I naturally love connecting with San Francisco’s food innovators, leaders and influencers to hear about where they eat and live in San Francisco. Recently, while at one of my favorite cafes in SF, Provender, I had the chance to learn more about co-owner Austin Ferrari and why he loves the neighborhood he calls home, Bernal Heights.

Bernal Heights has exploded in popularity over the last several years, and Bernal’s north slope was named the “hottest neighborhood in the country” by Redfin in 2014. With breathtaking views of downtown, easy access to the Peninsula, and some of the city’s best weather, it’s easy to see why. Cortland Avenue, the main drag, offers great dining, shopping, a local library and more. A community-based neighborhood, Bernal boasts three parks: Bernal (one of the largest in all of SF), Holly, and Precita Parks, and is actually home to the “steepest” street in the world (41% grade) Bradford Street. Some of my favorite spots in Bernal include: Emmy’s Spaghetti Shack, Precita Park Cafe, The Epicurean Trader, and Succulence.

Instagram’s @the415guy favorite Bernal Heights shots

Austin Ferrari of the Ferrari Brothers, hails from Cincinnati, Ohio and grew up in the food & wine biz. He’s worked at the award-winning Chez Panisse and led the beverage program at Hillside Supper Club in SF before opening up Provender Coffee and Food.

Neighborhood: Bernal Heights

How Long Have you Lived There? Since 2015

What Do you Love About It? Bernal is nice because it is so quaint. Quiet, but filled with families and awesome neighborhood folks. It’s nice to be away from all the hustle and bustle of other neighborhoods.

Where Do You Eat In Your Neighborhood? Hillside Supper Club is one of my favorite spots in all of San Francisco.

What Do Most People NOT know about Your Neighborhood? Most people forget about the north slope of Bernal. Everything thinks of Bernal at Cortland avenue which is great, but along Folsom and Precita there is a lot of cool stuff.

Would you want to Live Anywhere Else in the City? Potrero Hill. Thats where my coffee shop Provender is at, and the locals and neighbors there rock. It’s a really tight community.

What do you typically cook at home? My lady and I love vegetables, however I always need my meat or some type of good protein. For us or myself the go to is usually roasted chicken and roasted vegetables. Lately however I have been cooking a ton of squid with chickpeas or butter beans and breadcrumbs. Simple, rustic bistro style food I would say. I am not a huge fan of all the molecular gastronomy and sous vide stuff. I think it takes away from the integrity of real soul cooking.

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Real Estate in Bernal Heights

In the last 6 months, 65 single family homes sold at a median price of $1.484M about $1,050 a square foot; slightly below SF’s overall median home price of $1.6M. 18 condos/TIC sold at a median price of $1.060M or $966 a square foot.

CLICK HERE to see my favorite homes currently for sale in Bernal Heights.

276 Ripley St.  , Frank Castaldini, Compass.   4 bed 3.5 bath $4.2M - comes with plans to build a second property on the extra large lot.

276 Ripley St., Frank Castaldini, Compass.

4 bed 3.5 bath $4.2M - comes with plans to build a second property on the extra large lot.

Closing Costs in San Francisco

Who Pays What?

A breakdown for buyers & sellers


Updated 2019

The below illustrates the current customary breakdown in San Francisco County, but costs can be negotiable in the contract.

Buyers can generally expect their closing costs to range from 1 – 3% of the purchase price. The biggest costs being escrow fees, title insurance, home inspections (although more and more sellers pay for this), the first year of hazard insurance and property tax proration (if any).

Sellers can anticipate to spend 6% to 8% of the sales price, not including loan pay-off and any home preparation or repair costs. Typically, the largest seller costs are brokerage commissions and transfer taxes.

Sellers Typically Pay

  • Brokerage Commissions

  • Real Property Transfer Tax - The transfer tax rate is variable, depending on the purchase price OR the fair market value, as shown in the chart below: Under Proposition 13, Property Taxes are determined when ownership changes (or new construction). The FY 2018-2019 Property Tax Rate = 1.1630%. The the rate is capped at a 2% annual increase. For more information click here.

More than $100 but less than or equal to $250,000.....$2.50 for each $500 or portion thereof

More than $100 but less than or equal to $1,000,000…..$3.40 for each $500 or portion thereof

$1,000,000 or more but less than $5,000,000…..$3.75 for each $500 or portion thereof

$5,000,000 or more but less than $10,000,000…..$3.75 for each $500 or portion thereof 

$10,000,000 or more but less than $25,000,000…..$13.75 for each $500 or portion thereof

$25,000,000 or more…..$15.000 for each $500 or portion thereof

  • Payoff of Existing Property Loans

  • Statement & Reconveyance Fees; any loan prepayment penalties

  • Pre-sale Inspection Reports

  • Natural Hazard Zone Disclosure Statement

  • City Report of Residential Record (3R)

  • Energy & Water Conservation and other statutory compliance work

  • Any judgments, tax liens, and delinquent taxes recorded against property or seller

  • Property Tax Proration (up to time of transfer of title)

  • Any unpaid Homeowner’s Dues (condo)

  • Homeowner’s Association Document Fee (condo)

  • Any bond or assessments (according to contract)

  • HOA move-out fees (for condos)

  • Notary & Courier fees and recording charges

Buyers Typically Pay

  • Title Insurance Premiums

  • Escrow Fees

  • Inspection Reports: pest, contractor (although we actually sellers providing this more and more in San Francisco)

  • Pro-rated Property Taxes (from date of acquisition)

  • Appraisal cost, loan points and fees

  • Interest on New Loan from funding to 30 days prior to first payment

  • Home Warranty (optional)

  • Homeowners Insurance for first year

  • Earthquake Insurance (optional)

  • Homeowners Association Transfer and move-in fees (condos)

  • Pro-rated Homeowners Association fees (for condos)

  • Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI), if required by lender

  • Notary & Courier fees and recording charges for all documents in buyer’s name

New Listing 156 12th Avenue

3 bedroom | 3 bath Condo in Lake Street

Offered at $2.295M

This three bedroom, three bathroom condominium in the heart of the Lake Street corridor balances modern design with traditional charm. An open floor plan with extensive natural light and tasteful finishes creates serenity across two living levels accessible via elevator from the shared garage. At the core of the home is a free-flowing living and dining area laid out for ease of entertaining, centered around a fireplace and custom cabinetry. The newly remodeled kitchen offers plenty of counter space and has been updated with high-end appliances, including Viking range and hood. A bedroom with access to the view roof deck, expansive private deck and full bath complete this level. The second living level is organized around a spacious foyer with skylight overhead. A grand master bedroom includes walk-in closet as well as another spacious private balcony and is warmed by a second fireplace. The master bathroom includes a double vanity, separate shower and bath and a water closet with an additional skylight. A third spacious bedroom with roof deck access and a Juliet balcony overlooks the landscaped rear garden. Complete with laundry, generous storage and one car independent parking, this home grants sweeping views of The Presidio and is located steps from Mountain Lake Park.

Showing Schedule or by appointment (call Emily 415-730-9759)

Tuesday, January 15, 11:00am - 12:30pm

Wednesday, January 16, 5:00 - 6:00 pm

Sunday, January 20, 1:00-4:00pm


SF's Female Food Influencers & Where They Live: The Writers from the Western Addition & Haight Ashbury

Meet the writers and influencers behind the scenes - reporting on everything from new restaurant openings, the best cocktails in town, travel, and much, much more. Interestingly enough, all these ladies live within very close proximity of one another in the Western Addition and Haight-Ashbury. 

Today, the term "Western Addition" is commonly used today to describe the area from Van Ness Avenue on the east, Masonic on the west, California Street on the north, and Fell or Oak Street on the south. From there, it's divided into smaller micro neighborhoods such as Lower Pacific Heights, Cathedral Hill, Japantown, the Fillmore, Hayes Valley, Alamo Square, Anza Vista, and North Panhandle. The Western Addition has an interesting history, specifically the Fillmore district which has gone through significant changes, development, gentrification. If you're interested to learn more, I highly recommend reading Cool Gray City of Love: 49 Views of San Francisco by SF Magazine's Gary Kamiya, specifically the chapter titled "The Haunted House."

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Marcia Gagliardi a.k.a the "culinary concierge" is the creator of the popular bi-weekly e-newsletter tablehopper--the quintessential guide to all things dining in SF. She gets the first scoop on openings, closings, special events, and even celebrity sightings. Marcia has been featured in countless publications and media. She wrote the restaurant section for the SF Louis Vuitton Guide (2013 and 2017) and is author of: the tablehopper's guide to dining and drinking in san francisco: find the right spot for every occasion. Gagliardi's latest venture is a cannabis media brand called: 

Neighborhood: Western Addition

How long have you lived there? 23 years 


What do you love about it? So much has changed over the past couple decades (for better and for worse) but I do love seeing Divisadero so vibrant and lively—it always has something going on. (I just hope Eddie’s hangs on forever.) All our pre-1906 quake Edwardians and Queen Annes are pretty magnificent. I walk through the Panhandle and Golden Gate Park for exercise, and can’t believe I’m so close to that beautiful park—and Alamo Square! I also love my access to three great markets and the people who work there (Bi-Rite Market, Falletti’s, and our Sunday farmers’ market), a bunch of cafés (I’ll go to Matching Half when I’m not making an espresso at home), and I’m incredibly lucky to have my sister living down the street. Seriously, that is gold.

Would you want to live anywhere else in the city? I always wish I lived in North Beach for a bit in my twenties, but I’ll probably live longer since I didn’t. My liver would have had a workout.

Where do you eat in your neighborhood? Green Chile Kitchen and Nopalito see a fair amount of me, same with 4505 Burgers & BBQ; happy to welcome Namu Stonepot and Bar Vale to the ’hood, love the salads and Amatriciana pizza at Ragazza, Indian brunch at Indian Paradox, and a shout out to Little Star Pizza, Nopa, and Bar Crudo for holding it down so long, so well!

What do most people NOT know about your neighborhood? It offers a good balance of city life with nature because of the access to the park—I sometimes hear owls, and there’s a coyote roaming the neighborhood right now!

What’s your go to weeknight meal? I’m such a pasta queen. I love perfecting my bucatini all’amatriciana or cacio e pepe. Big on soups over here too.

What’s in your dream kitchen? I wish I had room for a bar and large, round dining table so I could gather my friends. I live in the tiniest top- floor studio, so I can’t entertain like I’d like to.

Check out the best of what's for sale in the broader Western Addition and the Haight Ashbury HERE in Emily's curated Compass Collectionand reach out to Emily to view any of these homes. 
Check out these neighborhoods through the eyes of Instagram's @the415guy

Over her career, Virginia Miller has dined at over 10,000 restaurants & bars and counting - so you could say she knows a thing or two about good eats (and drinks).

Miller is a former editor for Zagat, Table8, and food critic for the Bay Area Guardian, and has judged countless cocktail, spirits, dining and cooking competitions. In her free time she consults, teaches classes, and travels the world. Currently you can find her at Time Out, and The Perfect Spot.

Neighborhood: Haight-Ashbury

How Long Have you Lived There? 9 years

What do you love about it? As a lifelong vintage dresser and music lover, even in my SoCal/LA days, I would drive up to SF to shop for vintage clothing in the Haight and buy records and CDs at Amoeba (this was before Hollywood finally got a location). Back then, I never imagined I’d live around the corner from the best record store in the world. The rich musical and revolutionary history of my ‘hood' is legend: Summer of Love, the density of musicians living within a few blocks of each other, the likes of Hendrix playing free shows in the Panhandle behind my house. Such a heritage inspires a passionate music lover like myself. Upper Haight is unexpectedly a live music gem, namely because of SF’s best jazz bar since the 1980s, Club Deluxe, a low-key, retro gem of a bar that always somehow has a seat for you even when packed. They bring in top-notch local musicians every night playing everything from blues to bossa nova. It’s intimate and similar to my favorite bars in New Orleans where killer music rarely costs more than a drink and impromptu dancing is known to break out.

There are an array of shows at tiny Milk Bar, and famous musicians doing free shows at Amoeba — I’ll never forget seeing the great soul singer Solomon Burke soulfully bellow from his wheelchair not long before he passed away. To further up the music game, Golden Gate Park often hosts an array of free concerts, from the Symphony to the Opera, just blocks from my house, as well as major festivals like Outside Lands and Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, which have allowed me to see everyone from Paul McCartney to Kanye, and the likes of Dolly Parton, Indigo Girls, Bonnie Raitt and Elvis Costello for free, essentially in my backyard.

Then there are the parks. Upper Haight/Cole Valley is a beautiful mix of nature and city with the Panhandle just behind my house and Golden Gate Park at my doorstep, rolling on to the Pacific Ocean. Another big benefit? Upper Haight is right in the center of the city, making it an easy, quick trek to almost anywhere. Whether downtown, Golden Gate Bridge, the ocean or the Mission, nothing takes much more than 10-15 minutes to drive to.

Would you want to live anywhere else in the city?

I lived in Noe Valley and the Mission my first eight years in the city and at times I really miss those neighborhoods. For years, I thought I wouldn’t live anywhere else but that central part of SF. It still feels like home when I am back on cozy 24th and Noe, where my last home was, cradled by Twin Peaks. But the longer I am in the Haight-Ashbury, the more I can’t imagine living without the mix of city and nature.

The Haight’s older 1800’s architecture is a treasure, as is the proximity of the Panhandle and stunning Golden Gate Park, both one block from my house on Page St. Alternately, I can round the corner to Haight St. for food, drink, shopping, hustle, live music, or I can picnic on a lush green meadow, rowboat on Stow Lake, take in world class art the De Young Museum or get lost in a redwood grove in Golden Gate Park.

Where do you eat in your neighborhood?


Alembic, always, for cocktails and food since it opened over a decade ago. It was one of the plusses for me in moving to the neighborhood. Same with beers and the underrated brunch at Magnolia Brewing.

I live right on the edge of cozy Cole Valley, where I get coffee and irresistible salted tahini dark chocolate chip cookies at Wooden Cafe. I stock up on Morello cherry and coconut milk-dark chocolate-salted almond ice creams at Ice Cream Bar — their old world (late 1800s- 1940s-inspired) soda fountain is a rarity anywhere. Padrecito is my modern Mexican food favorite — one of the best in the city, with a great agave spirits/cocktail bar to boot.

For takeout, I frequently get Middle Eastern wraps from Taboun, fantastic Iraqi dips and perdaplow from Jannah, Parada 22 for Puerto Rican food, Ginza for sushi or slices from Escape to New York Pizza and Tony’s Slice House.

What do most people NOT know about your neighborhood?

The aforementioned Club Deluxe still seems to be a jazz club those outside the neighborhood often aren’t aware of, a destination-worthy live music spot for sure.

I am a 1940s-1960s girl all the way and the Haight has long been known for its vintage shopping. But not everyone seems to know that Upper Haight is also the SF neighborhood for urban streetwear clothing and shoe shopping, with a slew of minimalist hip hop and urban fashion shops along Haight St. that often draw lines down the block when a designer is there for a new release.

How do you cook and entertain at home?

Sans dining room, my husband and I tend to entertain more with appetizers and cocktails, although we have been known to do fondue or sushi feasts, or even “fancy” casseroles. Since I am out dining/feasting and eating all manner of foods for work typically 4-5 nights a week when home and every day when traveling for work, I tend to focus on healthy cooking — fish, grains and vegetables — with popcorn paired with sparkling wine or sherry for “dessert.”

My kitchen is lined with a couple hundred + bottles and I am constantly making different cocktails for friends and family. I always like to try out or create new recipes though some of my regular go-to's are an aquavit martini or sherry or vermouth cocktails.

What can’t you live without in your kitchen?

I can’t live without my extensive collection of cookbooks, where I always find inspiration, even when I don’t follow a recipe exactly. And my glassware: I have glassware for just about every circumstance, from absinthe to sake glasses (and plenty of vintage glassware besides).

What’s in your dream kitchen?

A big island to work from in the middle, a vintage Italian espresso machine and a vintage bar (ideally from the 1930’s or 40’s) from which to make my cocktails.


Sarah Chorey is a Bay Area native, creator of and the popular Instagram account Eat This SF. She's always on the hunt for the next best meal and thinks pugs are the perfect animal. Check out her work at 7x7.

Neighborhood: NoPa (North of the Panhandle)

How long have you lived there? 2 years 

What do you love about it? My favorite thing about NoPa is the bustling food scene and energetic, yet low-key neighborhood vibes. I specifically knew I wanted to move to NoPa for the sense of community you feel when you're there and the explosion of delicious eats it has had in recent years -- 4505 Meats & BBQ, Sightglass, The Mill, NOPA, Ragazza, Nopalito, Souvla, Horsefeather, Little Star and Brenda's are just a few of my favorites! It's also completely walkable to some of my other favorite neighborhoods -- Lower and Upper Haight, even Hayes Valley if you're willing to brave the hill up to Alamo Square and over.

Would you want to live anywhere else in the city?

I think it would be interesting to live in North Beach, there's tons of great restaurants, night life, parks, and culture there. Plus, I always love popping over for a visit to Chinatown or a day at the Ferry Building.

What do most people NOT know about your neighborhood?

The Mill has delicious pizza nights (crazy good + delicious deal)! We also have great under-the-radar ice cream I feel like most people forget about -- shaved sno at Powder, BiRite ice cream at the market (you don't just have to go to the Mission to get it!), and amazing soft serve at Souvla (I always get the baklava chunks added in!). We also have an awesome farmer's market every Sunday that adds to our amazing neighborhood.

What do you cook at home?

I'm not a huge cook, but one of my favorite meals is a homemade burger -- I'm always requesting my boyfriend to whip them up for me! If I'm on my own, I keep it simple with avocado toast made with ACME olive bread and a heavy sprinkling of Trader Joe's Everything Seasoning.

What’s in your dream kitchen?

I would love a wine cellar/built-in giant floor-to-ceiling wine refrigerator, white marble countertops and a nice big center island.

Hot in The Haight & Western Addition

Check out what's for sale in the broader Western Addition area and the Haight Ashbury HERE, and reach out to Emily to view any of these homes. 

SF's Female Food Influencers and Where They Live: The Restaurateur from Nob Hill

I grabbed some time with the very busy Anna Weinberg, co-owner of Marlowe, Petit MarlowePark Tavern, The Cavalier, Marianne's and Leo's Oyster Bar (and if that's not enough - look for another Marlowe outpost in Cow Hollow come fall). Anna has been named Restaurateur of The Year by SF Magazine, Top 40 Under 40 by the SF Business Times and has been nicknamed "Empress of the SF Restaurant Scene" by 7x7. 


Neighborhood: Nob Hill / Sonoma

Rent/Own?: Rent in Nob Hill and we own in Sonoma

How long have you lived there? Two years. 

What do you love about it? The Old San Francisco vibe and charm. 

Would you want to Live Anywhere Else in the City? Nope!

Where Do You Eat In Your Neighborhood? The Big 4, located in the Scarlett Huntington Hotel. 

What’s Your Go To Weeknight Meal?: I mostly eat at my restaurants so at home our go-to is grilled cheese.

What do you love most about your kitchen at home?: It’s bright turquoise! My son picked out the color.


Check out Nob Hill through the eyes of Instagram's @the415Guy. 

Top Ten Collection in Nob Hill

Nob Hill is home to exquisite condos and co-ops in some of the city's most iconic buildings. Perched above the financial district, this neighborhood extends from north to south from Broadway to Bush St. and east to west from Powell St. to Van Ness Ave. Check out the Top Ten Homes for sale in the neighborhood by clicking HERE

Nob Hill Neighborhood Guide

Click HERE to learn more about Nob Hill. 

If you're interested in buying or selling a home in the Nob Hill, contact Emily.