This week's episode of Million Dollar Listing San Francisco was the most entertaining of the series so far, but possibly only because it was so completely, utterly filled with plot lines that bear no resemblance to the real world. Unlike last week's show, there were plenty of new houses to gawk at this time around, and the realtors themselves seemed to fade into the background a bit. The best story line of all was one in which Bernal Heights—the same Bernal named the hottest neighborhood in the whole country by Redfin last year, the Bernal where houses are snatched from the market for hundreds of thousands over asking in mere days—was made out to be a quasi-ghetto where buyers were so turned off that they didn't even bother to show up for open houses.
The Bernal plot line kicks off when Andrew gets a listing at 535 Gates Street. It's a classic Bernal flip, and developer Anders Kang has spent $500,000 renovating the property. He wants $2 million, but Andrew talks him down to listing for $1.8 million. "This is not Pacific Heights," he explains. "This is Bernal Heights, meaning this is going to be a challenge." Is he living in the 1990s or something? His only challenge should be how to fit prospective buyers into the place for an open house.
Andrew sets up several private showings, only to be blown off by nearly all of the buyers. "Hey Andrew, couldn't find a buyer for Bernal Heights," one agent texts. "Let me know if you have something in Noe Valley." We concede that there are some less-than-ideal things about the property's location. It sits on the south side of Bernal, which is less sought after than the north side. Neighbors have chickens and curtains for windows, and an adjacent house is covered in peeling paint. "We've got a great house in a crap neighborhood," Andrew explains to a colleague. "What have you seen there?" she asks. "A couple of drug deals?" he answers flippantly. Enough already! This is Bernal! And the house is two blocks from the heart of Cortland Avenue and about a five-minute walk to Holly Park.
There's a whole bit where Andrew realizes that maybe there are some local tech shuttle stops but cannot find any. Then, the segment wraps up with Justin appearing at Andrew's open house to say that he couldn't bring any of his tech buyers over because the listing is on the wrong side of Bernal. By this point, we were laughing so hard at the depiction of Bernal as a wasteland that we didn't even catch whatever the drama between Andrew and Justin was.
Justin's part of the episode was fairly abbreviated. Last week, he was trying to sell an unfinished flip on San Carlos Street. This week, he shows the house—now complete with a Tesla charger—and gets a $3.5 million cash offer, but it turns out that the driveway was poured wrong and the place won't actually be ready for a few months. On the show, the buyers says that this is no problem and the sale goes through. In real life, the house went onto the MLS back in June and delisted just this week without selling. We're not sure quite what to make of this one.
Roh spends most of the episode stalking architect Stanley Saitowitz. Roh, you see, has been given a $2.685 million penthouse listing at the new 8 Octavia development designed by Stanley, and his tactic is to throw a party with Stanley himself in attendance. The problem, at least according to the show, is that Stanley is nearly impossible to track down and almost definitely won't come to the party. This seems a little far-fetched given that Stanley was happily present at the media preview for the development last year and has never been too tough to get in touch with. We're also pretty sure that Roh's well-connected boss Joel Goodrich could have made the introduction, but regardless, having Stanley on the show is fun. Of course he shows up at the very last minute for the party and everything is a success.
· Recapping 'Million Dollar Listing San Francisco' Episode Two [Curbed SF]
· 535 Gates Street [Official Site]
· Previous Coverage of 8 Octavia [Curbed SF]
· First Look Inside Stanley Saitowitz's Long-Awaited 8 Octavia [Curbed SF]