One Million Dollars Over Asking. Market “Crazier Now Than In ’05 And ’06″

Where on Earth!? Right here, 2821-2823 Broderick, San Francisco, CA 94123.

As if $1,000,000 over asking wasn’t enough, how about a two (yes 2) day close of escrow. Still shows Pending in MLS, so look for it to close on Tuesday.

How do I know?

A legit friend of mine offered $3.515 and didn’t get it. I don’t know exact price, heard from another friend the seller accepted $3.56 but not confirmed. Asking price was $2.495. I also tried to buy 2740 Lake St a few weeks ago, it went to an all cash buyer, 5 day close for $620k over asking. There was another house on El Camino in Sea Cliff that went like $1.2MM over asking recently. Market feels crazier now than it did in ’05 and ’06.“–A Trusted Developer Here in San Francisco

-2821-2823 Broderick, Cow Hollow 2 Unit Asking $2,495,000 [MLS]
-Google Earth Fun with 2821-2823 Broderick [Google]

West Portal Wreck, What’s It Gonna Take? (145 Madrone)

Just curious to see how up on your real estate all y’all are.

Take a look at 145 Madrone, a 3 bed, 1 bath, 1920′s home in prime West Portal, asking $849,000 (offer date next Monday). By all accounts, the one single photo doesn’t do this property justice. (Come on fellow Realtors! Even if it’s a wreck, you gotta put more photos up.) It needs a lot. We wouldn’t go so far as to say it “needs everything” like a certain Clipper wreck you may have heard about, but it needs a lot (new kitchen, new bathrooms, blow a wall out here and there, redo the floors, dry wall, ceilings…).

So what’s it gonna take to be the lucky owner of this diamond in the rough? We’re giving away a trip to Hawaii for the reader that nails the sales price in the comments below. (Not really, but we can dream, and we do appreciate all of your comments.)

-145 Madrone, 3bed, 1 bath, $849,000 [listing details]

Reduction, Ad Nauseum

I’m not a Realtor, so I’ll tell something I’m more qualified to comment on: buyers’ perspectives. For instance, I can tell you how buyers looks at a property that’s been reduced more than twice. We feel sorry for them. They’re like awkward teenage boys at their first dance, pretending to be terribly busy with their shoe laces to avoid eye contact. We all know these boys can’t really be too picky; they have to take what they can get.

This analogy might not totally work for reduced priced properties. I’m just saying that as a buyer, we tend to feel a lot more powerful when we notice a home’s asking has come down not once, but twice– a feeling that multiplies with each subsequent reduction. That’s why, as a seller, I’d really hope my agent were savvy enough to price my home right. Of course, we can’t, unless we are Dione Warwick, know what the future holds, and some of the current meltdown has caught us by surprise. Still, the writing’s been on the wall awhile. Most literate people, I’d think, would have read it.

Case in point the next three properties, whose reduction history goes from bad to worse.

1. Studio TIC at 1059 Leavenworth St #5 San Francisco, CA 94109. Current price: $325,000. In over 120 days on the market, the list price has come down thrice:

Jul 02, 2008 $399,000
Jul 03, 2008 $329,000
Sep 09, 2008 $325,000 

2. 532 Clipper St #B San Francisco, CA 94114, currently at $539,000 is a 2 bed/1 bath TIC flat. In over 170 days on the market, it’s suffered 5 reductions, each one not very big, but the conglomeration of so many price cuts is pretty damning:

May 14, 2008 $679,000
Jun 11, 2008 $659,000
Aug 13, 2008 $639,000
Aug 28, 2008 $599,000
Sep 25, 2008 $570,000
Oct 28, 2008 $539,000

3. 3630 22nd St., San Francisco, CA.  A 2bed/1bath detached cottage TIC, this one I’ve saved for “worst” because though it has not been cut as often as the above property, the overall slash down is quite dramatic. In over 100 days on the market:

Jul 18, 2008 $749,000
Sep 05, 2008 $649,000
Oct 06, 2008 $589,000
Oct 29, 2008 $499,000

In this last case, the current price seems a lot more fair. I went to the open house yesterday and the listing agent informed me the place needed about $250K in repair and pest control. I have to wonder who would have ever, ever, ever paid the original list price.

I also wonder what other SF real estate agents or buyers or sellers think of these reductions overall, so I’m serving this blog up on the Front Steps for commentary. Take it easy on those awkward teen age boys though. Everyone, and everything, is fragile right now.

A long time coming: 235 Broderick hits the MLS, we tried to warn you

Had you been reading theFrontSteps a while ago, June 11th to be exact, you’d have had an opportunity to pick up this developer special at 235 Broderick long before the rest.

235 Broderick

Now the cat is out of the bag, the chatter has begun, it’s on MLS (listed for exactly the same price the seller’s paid in March of 2008, $2M…makes price per square foot a cool $500), and we’re left pondering the future of this (potentially) awesome house.

One thing is for certain, these sellers will likely take a huge hit and that can’t feel good. You know what they say, “One man’s loss, is another man’s gain.”

…and we almost forgot the before shots. Can’t wait to see the after!

-Developer Special not on market in Haight Ashbury [theFrontSteps]

-235 Broderick [listing detail]

-235 Broderick (before) [listing detail]

Baja Noe bites back (141 27th St.)

From “Fluj”:

Have you been following 141 27th St? In the flats of Noe. Formerly known as Baja Noe Valley, between Guerrero and Dolores. Anyway it is a partition sale of a whole scale cosmetic fixer that needs just about everything. It was listed at $637,500 nominally before the offer date. The offers came in, right? $950K. The first court overbid is going to be $998,000.

141 27th St. [listing detail...not an sfnewsletter listing]

Developer Special (not on market) in Haight Ashbury

We hesitate to provide the address of this property (as always to preserve privacy), but at the same time we feel it our obligation to put out to a larger audience some potential deals that might be right up your alley. Should you, or your friends, be interested in taking this property off the hands of the current owner (around $1.8-2M) feel free to contact us.

(We can see you MapJack O’holics cruising now.)

It’s got some potential for the right person, and “permits and plans for redoing the entire house and expanding the garage to a two car garage. [The owners] have gotten as far as completing a total demolition of the interior space. The house is about 4000 square feet, 6bd/4ba”, it’s located in a great area of the Haight Ashbury district, and we want you to have it.

If you recognize this kitchen, you know the home.


…and of course that facade will let you know if it’s something you desire. We also tend to think this better for an owner-occupier rather than developer, so if you’re looking to remodel a home, need this kind of space, and don’t plan on flipping, opportunity knocks.

Ask us: What’s up with 1409 Sanchez?

Where readers ask and we try to answer:

Can you help find out if 1409 Sanchez closed? This was a total tear down and it was listed for $1.1MM.

If this sold anywhere near ask, then Noe [Valley] is still hot…

The status of this property is “pending” and scheduled to close in March. Make no mistake, Noe is indeed still hot.

We’d post a picture, but it must be one of these, as the agents didn’t provide one.

Noe Valley Pocket Listing and “cosmetic fixer”

Since we were recently on the subject of Noe fixers, it’s time to start spreading a little of the insider love. We don’t have pictures, but words. If you’re interested in this place, contact us.

“I have a cute off market single family fixer opportunity in Noe Valley that I wanted to pass on. The two level home is a cosmetic fixer with huge potential. It has a nice two level floorplan, two bedrooms, 1.5 baths, one car garage and a huge garden. There is also potential for adding a third bedroom downstairs (room has high ceilings and a large window) and the seller has schematic plans for renovating the kitchen and adding a second full bath and the asking price is $1.150.000.”

Ask Us: Fixer in Noe for $699,000? (439 Clipper)

Where readers ask and we (everyone reading) try to answer:

Can you guys comment or get readers to comment on 439 Clipper in Noe? Yes, it’s marketed as a fixer but the price is $699k for an Single Family Residence in Noe. I honestly didn’t think you could buy a tear-down or even a lot in Noe for that price. I did a drive-by and it doesn’t look like a tear-down.


I’d be very curious to know if anyone’s seen the inside, knows the rest of the story, has the scoop or whatever. I plan to check out the open house next weekend… Thanks.

Since it is a sunny day, the winds are offshore, and the swell is still here, we are going to defer to the readers on this one, and insert obligatory  “out of office” statement here. Back soon.

-439 Clipper [Redfin detail page]

Nothing’s Changed but the Price, Oh, and the Type

The history of 465 Hoffman looks something like this:


03/08/2007—$1,150,000— 18.2%/yr (appreciation)

07/21/2006 —$1,035,000— 9.7%/yr

04/15/2004 —$840,000

…as a single family.

The plans look something like this:


…as an “Ultra-Modern designed legal 2 unit,also marketable as a magnificent 4 BR/3 bath,VIEW,single family home.”

The views still look like this:


…but now the price looks something like this:

$1,625,000.…as a vacant lot.

We ask, do you think a “status change” (“Single Family Residence” to “Lots & Acreage”) and demolition of this house (below) could add $475,000 in value in nine months?


We’ll have to wait and see, and go check it out.

-Sales History [Redfin]

-listing detail [MLS]

“a total dump inside…” (4017 Folsom)

From our reader:

“Just a FYI if you’re interested or if people want to give their opinions about this house. It should be an interesting one to watch.

A house in our neighborhood [4017 Folsom] was just listed on the MLS yesterday [11/30], no for sale sign, a total dump inside and yet the house has been absolutely FLOODED with prospective buyers in the last two days. The 1st open house isn’t even until tomorrow [12/2] – and the level of hysteria around the house is already in full effect.”

It’s another one of those no photo available problems we have all too often, and if our reader is right, we know why. But how ’bout that hysteria?

4017 Folsom [Redfin Property Detail Page]

29 offers!? (1851 26th Ave.)

We didn’t say it, those loonies over at San Francisco Schtuff did:

I’ve walked into a lot of homes in my day–some of which required hard-hats and safety waivers, but I have yet to see a home as wet and soggy as this one. There was water coming in from every crevice. Leaking through the (probably) 50 year old roof creating holes in the ceiling, mold in the corners and dry-rot throughout…

-Falling Over with 29 offers [San Francisco Schtuff]

It’s back…2201 Baker @ Jackson, read the disclosures!

[Update: 11/5/07: We're putting this back on the top of the front page for one very simple reason, an update. Two offers were received the day it hit MLS.]

Not for the squeemish, 2201 Baker hits the market again, and our reader says, “… may be hazardous in areas. REO, banked owned, sold as-is with no seller disclosures…Is presently on UMB [Unreinforced Masonry Building] and Historically significant (exterior) lists….”

It has also gone from 15 bedrooms and $5M+ asking in 2005, to 0 (zero) bedrooms and $2,490,000 asking in 2007. It’s still 5000+ square feet, but just WHERE did those bedrooms go?


Opportunity knocking for someone, that’s for sure. Last recorded sales price, $2.2M in 2004, and it had 12 bedrooms then. Hmmm….

[Update: We're feeling generous, surf is not good yet, so why not go ahead and spill all the beans, at least that we found.

Last sold $2,200,000 on 8/31/04

Listed for $4,400,000 on 9/18/04 (that would have been a great flip!) and expired.

Re-listed, same agent, for $5,270,000 4/21/05...didn't sell.

Which brings us to where we are now. Fifteen less bedrooms, new agent, half the price, all the same headache, and one helluva 'n opportunity for the right buyer.

One last thing. We've been's a pit! And agree with "sleepiguy"...tear it down.]

-Stump the Stammtisch: UMB take two [theFrontSteps]

-2201 Baker [MLS]

A drop, a loss, and a few flips in Inner Sunset

by Anon8Mizer [with pictures and links added by theFrontSteps]:

Hi Alex — I like Inner Sunset because it’s one of the few neighborhoods in SF that haven’t sold out. So here are some observations:


The drop:

1416 18th ave (condo) in a duplex – Originally asking $699K a month ago, now back on market at $649K — a 7.2% drop. At approx 936 sq ft, kitchen & bathroom still needing remodel/update, I don’t think we have seen the last of the reductions… About the only thing going for it is the side by side parking…

The loss:

1362 8th ave (condo) in a duplex — Purchased Nov 9, 2006 for $840K, now listed at $849K. It needs new cabinets in the kitchen. A loss when you count commissions…[It's not over yet, but it is in contract.]

A few flips:

1275-1277 14th Ave (duplex). Originally offered with both units tenant occupied at $998k, the original owner then got rid of the tenants and sold it in March ’07 for $1,170k (17% increase when it’s sold with both units vacant and no eviction penalty). The new owner fixed it up, and now lists at $1,499k. Saw it Sunday. At 2300 sqft, the rooms are rather small. Top unit has the smaller of the 2 bedrooms connected to a bathroom to make it a master suite, which is weird. I didn’t see any shower, either. Just the bathtubs — the new owner will have to put in a shower. Kind of baffling. What were they thinking? I would be surprised if it sold over asking…

1327-1329 17th ave (duplex). This one is on an extra wide lot and the rooms are huge. A developer bought it a few months back at $1,515k, completely remodeled it, and now is listed at $2,320,000 and in contract after one showing. I liked the quality of the remodel work there. The master bathrooms are huge, but single sink only — no double sinks. Again, what were they thinking??? What a pity.

1324 11th ave (TIC in duplex). Originally the whole building was purchased in March ’04 for $1,115k by two TIC partners. Now 3 and half years later the bottom unit is listed for $795k alone after remodel… If you split the building 46/54, that’s an increase of $282k, or 53% in 3.5 years if sold at that price…[Now in contract.]

The Moral:

Moral of the story seems to be — In this day and age when busy professionals are only looking at ‘spanking new, move in ready’ places, profit is still here if you are willing to put some elbow grease into a building…

The neighbors are “aghast”! (3809 Clay)

“This property [3809 Clay, a 3 bed, 3 bath in Presidio Heights] sold about three years ago (neighborhood rumor) to an agent, who modernized it then flipped [it] for around 1.4… note what it is listed for now. What do you think? We are aghast.”


Well…I don’t like rumors, so I did a little digging, and I’m sure some readers will dig a little more. Especially, the growing number of readers I’m now referring to as the “traders”. They love working the numbers (even if the facts are not all there), and we love reading it.

From what I can tell, it sold in August 2003 for $1,450,000 from a $1.6M asking price. At that time, it was not yet modernized, but it did sell to an agent that is known to be a part of “flipping”. I won’t say anything of the quality of flipping, just that they flip. [Update: And the agents were not part of the remodel/flip...only the clients.]

It was indeed remodeled after that purchase and came back to market in February 2004 at $1,899,000, and sold in 15 days for $2,070,000. (In my humble opinion they could have done better on the remodel.)


It is now back on the market, and to me it looks like whoever lived there did some nice touching up to make the home look like it should. [Update: Going against my cardinal rule, I posted without actually knowing the facts. They did, in fact, not do anything to the property except landscape and put in new shutters. Good photography vs. poor photography is what it comes down to. I'm red with embarrassment.] It is now listed at $2,595,000, and we’ll have to watch and see what happens. It looks much better. Wouldn’t you agree? [Update: I still think it looks better now though.]


I am not aghast, but I am also not a neighbor. Anyone else?

[Last Update: A good comp for this property is 339 Walnut, but since MLS is down, I can't post it.]

-3809 Clay [MLS]

Vallejo home not in MLS up for sale ($6MM), and our lips are sealed.

We know of a property on Vallejo that just came up for sale, but is not in MLS that would appeal to many a contractor. Asking price is $6MM. We have been asked not to post the location at this time, but you are free to contact us if you are a serious buyer, and we’ll gladly give you the details, or get you in to see the property.
We’re sure word will leak to some other blogs, but we won’t be leaking it, and out of respect for our colleagues, we won’t be posting it.
“Sleepiguy”, it is not the property we mentioned in our Property Pipeline on May 14th, but we wouldn’t be surprised if that leaked out soon too. It’s killing us not to be able to announce that one either.
We apologize for not being able to post on these, but think this is a fair solution to those we know read this site for information about purchasing properties of that caliber, and those sources that give us information asking for confidentiality.

1326-28 15th Avenue: an update, and wager

Following up to our previous post about 1326-28 15th Avenue (awesome before shots, so make sure to click that link), we know it received multiple offers, and it is scheduled to close June 4th, 2007.  We thought we’d do another little wager. We’re staying out of this one. We leave it up to you. Here are some photos, and here’s the MLS Fact Sheet, and some Inner Sunset comps to help you make a more educated decision. In case you don’t click those links, they’re asking $1,385,000.  What do you think it will sell for?
Pass this around your office and amongst your friends, post your answers in the comments, and feel free to change your guess as much as you like. Just let us know how much you win. ;-) A sort of March Madness in May.

Update: It might not actually be marked sold in MLS yet, but we know the scoop, and unfortunately we can’t give you all the dirt. What we can tell you is that they were asking $1,385,000, it went for over $1.6MM, received 11 offers and was only on the market 5 days.

-4065 25th Street: a done deal, and our fun spoiled [sfn BLOG]
-Some Makeup…a little… [sfn BLOG]

[Before photos provided by seller to us exclusively, after photos taken from MLS.]

1771 North Point: A First Look ™, Before-After, and Walkthrough of the 2007 Pacific Coast Builders Conference Eco-Friendly Marina Green Showcase Home

It’s not everyday a home comes along that truly makes our jaws drop, but we were given a preview of 1771 North Point , and now you’re getting a preview too. Of course, there is a story to everything, but we’ll just give you a taste.
Purchased in March of 2006 (spent 104 days on the market, zoned RH-2, 1965 sq/ft, built in 1932), this home has been completely, and we mean completely, gutted and renovated. From what we can tell, the only thing that was spared was the facade, the chimney and accompanying arches in the front room.


Now…it is a truly amazing home with every conceivable convenience you could possibly want and all the custom detailing to match…including a 5 car garage. We were only able to take a few “after” shots because they were still setting up furniture and artwork, which will all be auctioned off by the way, but here’s a taste.


This home is amazing! Yes…we’re calling it amazing. The details are incredible! The flow and functionality of the home is awesome! There is so much light coming in, you might as well forget about buying lightbulbs for years. The south facing yard is perfect. The home is NOT on landfill, and frankly there is way too much for us to describe here. You owe it to yourself, and the Northern California Cancer Center to go visit before it hits the market.
(Disclaimer: We have no affiliation with this project at all. We were simply invited to go check it out before it was finished, and we’re glad we did.)
Seriously…go check it out.

-Pacific Coast Builders Conference 2007 [website]
-Start Drooling Now…a before, after and First Look at 4065 25th. St. [sfn BLOG]
-Some make-up (a little), some elbow-grease (a lot), some action (a ton) [sfn BLOG]
-3711 Clay…and Another Heart Broken [sfn BLOG] [new site up!]

3711 Clay…and Another Heart Broken: An Update and Done Deal in Presidio Heights

3711 Clay the 4 bed, 4 bath, 3700 (approx) square foot home in Presidio Heights that was built in 1891, listed at $1,950,000. They handed out 30 disclosure packages, set an offer date of May 1st. They received 10 offers. Turns out the parties involved have decided not to share the final sales price with us via MLS. Thankfully, you’re on the inside, and we can tell you it probably sold for at least $2,775,000, and it sold quickly…19 days on the market.

-3711 Clay…and Another Heart Broken [sfn BLOG]
-More fun with 4065 25th Street…and a Wager? [sfn BLOG]

3711 Clay…and Another Heart Broken

This just hurts, because anytime you have someone with $3MM cash burning a hole in their pocket that they’d like to dump into…well, a dump, you gotta shake your head in disbelief when the property is just not there for the taking.
But then the shining star, 3711 Clay (maybe not totally shining) comes along and you think you’re in there. This is a 4 bed, 4 bath, 3700 (approx) square foot home in Presidio Heights that was built in 1891.
Listed at $1,950,000, they handed out 30 disclosure packages (when someone takes a disclosure package they’re usually pretty interested in making an offer), set an offer date of May 1st. They received 10 offers. Now it gets good.
This buyer’s offer was $2,700,000 (already $750,000 above asking), no contingencies, close in two weeks. They were one of two offers countered by the sellers, and what this buyer saw in their counter was $2,750,000, seven day close. This buyer then went back to the seller even higher to $2,775,000, two day close…obviously all cash…and they didn’t get it!
Under-pricing aside, there are 9 or more buyers out there interested in properties like this “total fixer”. Got one?
[Update:Selling for $2,825, we're told.]

-3711 Clay, Last Update…Since you Asked [sfn BLOG]
-How to Sell a Home in Today’s Market [sfn BLOG]
-“Good Bones” [sfn BLOG]
-20 on 40 [sfn BLOG]

Start drooling now…a before, after, and First Look at 4065 25th Street

-[Updated:5/15/07] More Fun with 4065 25th St…and a Wager? [sfn BLOG]

The address: 4065 25th Street @ Noe
The vitals: 5 bed; 3.5 bath; $2,750,000; 2 car parking; south facing yard (key!); radiant heat; 11 foot ceilings; energy efficient design (green)
The History: Purchased in October of 2003 for $756,000 (under asking we might add.)
The architect: Maura Fernandez Abernethy Design
The dates: Hitting MLS Friday (planned), first open house Sunday (5/6/07) 2-4
The before:

The drool factor (aka the after):

In our humble opinion, this is how you do it right! So right, it’s wrong…that we all can’t have something like this. Go check it out this weekend. You will be impressed.
[Update: on 5/10/07 this property is now pending and received 3 pre-emptive offers.]

-More photos [Caroline Kahn Werboff]
-Some Makeup (a little) Some elbow grease (a lot) some action (a ton) [sfn BLOG]
-4065 25th [MLS]
-More Fun with 4065 25th St…and a Wager? [sfn BLOG]