August 17, 2007
QuickLinks: 1234 Howard: A Few List Prices (And A Reader’s Review)
∙ Listing: 1234 Howard Street #2B (2/2) 1,279 sqft - $809,000 [MLS]
∙ Listing: 1234 Howard Street #2D (1/1) 880 sqft - $619,000 [MLS]
∙ Listing: 1234 Howard Street #2E (0/1) 436 sqft - $429,000 [MLS]
∙ A Plugged-In Reader's Review of 1234 Howard (in the form of a comment) [SocketSite]
First Published: August 17, 2007 9:45 AM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
Since my dad's name is Howard I feel compelled to acknowledge that it's not every day that a cool address winds up in a cheap part of town.
Posted by: EH at August 17, 2007 2:13 PM
436sqft? At nearly 1k each square foot? Turning Japanese I think I'm turning Japanese I really think so!
Posted by: Mole Man at August 17, 2007 9:41 PM
While I LOVE this building and believe that it's construction is better than/worth far more than most everything in SOMA, I was also a bit shocked by how high the price/s.f. is, especially since the location is dicey. What is even more shocking is the difference in price/s.f. of the two units - $280/s.f.!!! How do they justify that difference when the units have identical construction, finishes, fixtures, etc.?
This is another example of sellers thinking, "well, to make a profit, we need to sell these units at $703/s.f." Then, they come upon this tiny 436sf unit they built, which would result in a sales price of $306,508 at that rate! "OMG, we can't sell this unit for ONLY $300k! Nothing in SF sells for ONLY that!" So they tack on another $100k - cuz what's another $100k, right?
Posted by: rg at August 18, 2007 3:26 PM
"Then, they come upon this tiny 436sf unit they built, which would result in a sales price of $306,508 at that rate! "OMG, we can't sell this unit for ONLY $300k! Nothing in SF sells for ONLY that!" So they tack on another $100k - cuz what's another $100k, right?"
No, rg, they tacked on almost $122,500, overpricing it by maybe $20k. $409,000 would have been a predictable list for a new construction studio of this level of design quality in a much less than optimal location. But you're right about the "Nothing in SF sells for ONLY that!" part. It's partly the cost of bringing new product to market -- that unit has the fixtures and most of the functionality of the 1Br unit, just less square feet. And partly it's the market. Studios at The Hayes for example are comparably priced. Then too, new construction has historically commanded a price premium. Not going to be surprised to see the studio go for list but given the developments of the last couple of weeks I wouldn't be surprised to see it sit unsold for some length of time either.
Posted by: AnonN at August 18, 2007 4:03 PM
Just returned from the open house.
The two bedroom units have two bathrooms directly next to each other. Seemed like a waste of space. I don't know why you would need or want two bathrooms in such a small condo. There are no doors on the bedrooms, or anywhere else. So if someone is watching TV or listening to music, or even having a conversation, whoever is in the other bedroom can forget about sleeping.
The one bedroom has one tiny closet, half of which (or more) would be occupied by a washer and dryer, since that's where the hookups are. I don't know where you would put your clothes.
The floor plan for the studio is not depicted on the web site, MLS listing, or in the very expensive looking brochure (which smells terrible). The studio is tiny and has no closet and no storage space other than the kitchen cabinets. I don't think there is a full size refrigerator in the kitchen (I could be wrong).
The studio is also directly above the garage door, which could be hell when one neighbor comes home late at night and another leaves early in the morning.
The unit next door to the studio has floor to ceiling glass walls that look directly into those of the studio, including into the glass shower, which is also visible from the across the street. The developers didn't even attempt to provide any privacy.
The studio has no washer/dryer hookups. You would have to hope to make a really good friend in the building.
One good thing about the studio: from what I can tell, no upstairs neighbors.
There is no fire escape from any of the units. I don't know how you would get out if there was a fire in the hallway or if the door out of your unit was blocked or damaged (such as in an earthquake). I am surprised that this is legal.
The French balconies are far too low for my comfort level. I assume they are the legal height, but it felt like it would be very easy for someone to fall over one and out the window.
Posted by: bgelldawg at August 19, 2007 3:51 PM
But other than that, you loved the unit.
I went to the open house today as well. I think it's an incredibly cool building but totally impractical. I have to say I loved many things about the units but I think white kitchens would have been way more cool than black but these kitchens didn't seem like they were designed for cooking.
Posted by: 94114 at August 19, 2007 4:23 PM
"The studio has no washer/dryer hookups. You would have to hope to make a really good friend in the building."
If that is in fact, the case, I'll have to retract my prior comments re pricing. I'm not an appraiser, so what's the deduction? W/D connections are worth at least $50K to me but I'm a clean freak and wash clothes almost every day.
Very surprised that they would include a unit without W/D connections. You can probably count on one hand the number of studios that have been built in South Beach and SOMA in the last 10 years that don't have washers and dryers. Baycrest is full of studios with W/D and it dates from the early 90's. Portside is mid-90's and every unit has W/D. These new "designer digs" are functionality obsolete before being sold.
Posted by: AnonN at August 20, 2007 12:42 PM
now that the building's open, it would be nice if they updated the renderings on the MLS with some photos.
Posted by: holmes at August 20, 2007 3:04 PM
Yes, AnonN, there really aren't any laundry hookups in the studio. Not only did I not see any, but I confirmed this with the agent. The reason is as clear as the walls. There simply isn't anyplace to put a washer and dryer in this shoebox.
I asked the agent why the price per square foot was so much higher for the studio than the other units. She said this was standard for studios and if I looked at comps I would see similar prices. I asked her where I could find comps for a studio that had no closet and no laundry hookups and we both laughed.
Every studio I have seen in San Francisco, from Victorian to modern, rental to condo, has at least one huge walk in closet and usually a walk in plus a coat closet. This place has literally no closet space. I can't imagine it working for anything other than a pied a terre where the owner would live out of a suitcase for each visit.
The hell of it is that there is unused space right in front of this unit (facing the street) that could have been used for bay windows or a balcony. Come to think of it, they could have made a nice closet out of it! The agent said that it was designated as "void space" by the architect. It does not belong to the studio and the HOA rules do not even allow for plants to be put out there.
Posted by: bgelldawg at August 20, 2007 7:49 PM
Re: the price/sf comparison for the large vs the small units... The small units will almost always sell for higher unit prices. On a cost basis, the unit construction cost is higher for the smaller units. Much of the cost is in the bathrooms and kitchens. Wide open spaces that characterize the larger units are just floors and painted sheetrock, and not really all that costly to build, relatively speaking. On the sales side, there is a larger pool of prospective buyers who can qualify to buy smaller units, so the effective demand is higher. Case in point, there's a lot of talk about conforming (<$417K) vs jumbo loans these days. The studio unit is small enough that a buyer could finance it with a much easier to obtain conforming loan. As for who would be crazy enough to pay $1,000/sqft to live on Howard at 8th, that's another question entirely. And it would be nice if they'd throw in some doors and closets for the price.
Posted by: Johnny Boy at August 21, 2007 7:09 PM