A History of Real Estate in San Francisco

In 1956, the Giants were still two years away from moving to San Francisco, the Republican Convention - taking place at the Cow Palace - nominated Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon for President and Vice President, and Joseph Costello founded a little real estate firm called Hill & Co. Real Estate.

From the beginning, Mr. Costello had big ideas for his real estate company in San Francisco, and in no time it dominated sales on the north side of town, where some of the City's most glamorous homes are located. Real estate in San Francisco in those days involved much less paperwork, and much more vision, as neighborhoods were not yet fully formed.

The decades that followed have left an indelible mark on San Francisco real estate. The sixties were a time of experimentation, and homes were re-invented to fit a greater diversity of lifestyles. The seventies saw 18% interests rates and the passage of Proposition 13, capping real estate taxes. The eighties and nineties saw the rise of TICs, an only-in-San Francisco buying strategy. The first decade of the new century saw an unprecedented run up in home values, followed by a sharp decline in its last two years.

Through it all, Hill & Co. has been there. A steady, composed eye, offering thoughtful, informed council on the ever changing, ever more complicated San Francisco real estate market.

Family Owned Since 1956

Still a family owned business, Hill & Company has maintained offices in Pacific Heights for more than 50 years. Mr. Costello is a native San Franciscan who received his J.D. degree from the University of San Francisco School of Law. He then earned his license as a real estate broker and opened Hill & Co. His son, Jay Costello, is now the president.

Hill & Company has four sales offices; one on Union Street in Pacific Heights, one on Lombard Street in the Marina, one on Lombard Street on the Waterfront and one on 24th Street in Noe Valley. The company also has two property management offices, one on Union Street and one in Marin County.