May 28, 2008

Noise, Dust, Or Design In Noe Valley? Or Could It Be Something Else?

1217 Dolores

While 326 Valley will most likely benefit from the past tense construction next door, the rather beautiful 1217 Dolores might be suffering a bit from the future tense construction next to it (the list price was recently reduced $225,000 or 8.7%). From our tipster:

[1217 Dolores] was well received but no offers….All agree the house is great but the construction scheduled for the lot next door has scared away potential buyers. Surprising it hasn’t sold.

So is it noise, dust, or neighboring design? Who’s got the drawings? And is it possible that the surprise could actually be symptomatic of something else?

UPDATE: Still no drawings, but from a plugged-in reader: "I did some research on the next door development. It appears that someone (not me...) bought 1225 Dolors for $1.05M in Aug '06 and filed two permits: one to demolish the garage, which was approved and another one to erect 4 story building with 3 condos. The 2nd permit is still pending approval."

∙ Listing: 1217 Dolores (5/3.5) - $2,375,000 [1217dolores.com] [MLS]
A Neighbor Notices Another Noe Valley Apple On The Tree: 326 Valley [SocketSite]

First Published: May 28, 2008 7:30 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

can I take "busy street and less that perfect location" for $100 please, Alex?

Posted by: steve at May 28, 2008 9:26 AM

Where's the heated towel rack? Are dogs now part of SF RE staging? Amazing what a bit of fresh paint and a new kitchen can to do a 1905 shack. Know yourself out people. LooooooooooooooooooL

Posted by: anon at May 28, 2008 9:35 AM

First thought, do we know how large the property actually is?

Second thought, best and highest usage on Dolores street is a large condo. It seems like lots of folks will pay $1.5M for a condo but hesitate at anything $2M or above for SFRs.

Posted by: fluj at May 28, 2008 9:35 AM

i love this house. granted, i can't tell how big it is, but i love dolores street and i love the area between 24th and 30th, so this house is perfectly situated for me. i think the kitchen and bathrooms are nice but not over done. the deck looks nice (although we can't see much of the yard). i love that it has 5 bedrooms and 3.5 baths. i am not buying another place for about 4 years though, but if something like this was on the market then i'd likely bid.

Posted by: e at May 28, 2008 10:03 AM

To me the biggest issue is that the house didn't age that well. The interior feels very dated, especially floors, kitchen and baths. Most of it is relatively easy to fix, but certainly few extra hundred grands and a lot of hassle, not something popular with those who has those $2M to spare.

I think the agent over priced it a-la the BJ Droubi place on 24th st. People want new with old charm, just old charm requires a very specific buyer.

Posted by: Someone at May 28, 2008 10:49 AM

I wish DPW would do a better job of maintaining the median on Dolores - it should be an absolute showpiece for the city. Instead, the grass is mostly dead and where it isn't it hasn't been mowed in ages. Not to mention several dead palm trees near the south end of the median as it approaches Guerrero. John McClaren must be rolling over in his grave.

Posted by: zzzzzzz at May 28, 2008 11:46 AM

The Droubi house is a good comparison.

I wonder about the actual square footage too. I couldn't find any info on PropertyShark.com.

Zillow lists the last sale in 2004 at 1.385M but I always take Zillow's data with a grain of salt.

Posted by: San FronziScheme at May 28, 2008 11:50 AM

The Droubi house was huge, in a commercial corridor, viewless, and it needed quite a lot of work such as converting office space back into living space. This house is the same color, true.

Posted by: fluj at May 28, 2008 12:05 PM

This house looks huge. Large Parking (2 side-by-side + storage) + 2 living floors + attic(?). I wouldn't be surprised if it came out as 3000sf+

The lot looks wide too but that could be the camera angle.

Posted by: San FronziScheme at May 28, 2008 12:14 PM

"People want new with old charm, just old charm requires a very specific buyer."

Someone, please tell me you're joking! I want old, with the old charm intact. If I see one more hundred-year old house with an over-renovated, bland, 2000s interior I'll scream. The kitchen and one bath in this place are a bit generic (but I love the black and white bath), but it's fantastic that the rest of the house has maintained so much character.

Posted by: kc at May 28, 2008 12:21 PM

No. The Droubi house was ~3000 feet not including the attic. This one was 1114 feet the last time it sold. Since then the attic was developed, at least. Figure that that they doubled that. But did they triple it? Did they add more than 1500 square feet of legal space? Doubtful. No, SIGHT UNSEEN and yes I'm going out on a limb here, this home probably ran into a difficult scenario in which they were asking north of 900 a foot on Dolores street. That's quite high.

Posted by: fluj at May 28, 2008 12:23 PM

i'm with kc. you can take away the old easily, but you cannot get it back.

Posted by: paco at May 28, 2008 12:26 PM

Nice to have more precise measurements.

The lots on this street show as 3120-odd sf. If this property is in this standard, this place is just a plain victorian. The Droubi house has 4560 sf and no need for a basement garage.

Posted by: San FronziScheme at May 28, 2008 12:37 PM

Plain victorian 25-ft

Posted by: San FronziScheme at May 28, 2008 12:38 PM

Per the agent the size is ~3200. I have seen this house...it was never 1114 sqft. Don't know where that came from. The two main floors (which must be original) are both individually more than that. The build out in the attic is very small.

Posted by: joe at May 28, 2008 12:39 PM

Do the 3200sf include the garage?

Posted by: San FronziScheme at May 28, 2008 12:42 PM

it's an Edwardian..not Victorian. mls listing states that..and architecturally it in fact is Edwardian.

Posted by: noearch at May 28, 2008 1:11 PM

My bad. 1905. Edwardian.

Posted by: San fronziScheme at May 28, 2008 1:24 PM

The house is spacious, over 3K sqft of legal stuff. Kitchen and baths are dated and small IMO.

@KC

I wasn't joking, and I beleive you are in minority. I didn't mean modern interior, open floor plan and vict/Edwardian facade, but rather grand rooms, nice molding and *modern* kitchen/bath. Good examples would be 3774 22nd st or 3969 23rd

Personally I think that folks who like to spend $2.5M for a foot claw tub with a black and white tiles are weird, but that's just my opinion. Though I'm certain that they are a rare buyer. Fluj & Paco can probably comment on that.

Posted by: Someone at May 28, 2008 4:07 PM

Another potential data point to resolve the dispute whether I or KC are "weird" would be Noearch, who keeps commenting about "right" renovations.

I'm curious how many people with 7 digits burning their pockets awaiting to be spent on renovations would opt for "old" baths/kitchens.

Posted by: someone at May 28, 2008 4:15 PM

I may be biased (I grew up in an Eichler, and a *renovated* Eichler at that), but I prefer modern heat-retaining tubs, garbage disposals, and clean modern light fixtures to claw foot tubs, ancient clog-prone sinks, and lights that look straight out of grandma's attic. Yes, I like the black-and-white tile look, but if I can afford it I would buy the renovated bath and kitchen every time.

I lived in an apartment with a claw foot tub and a 1950s stove, and it was *cute* but not practical.

Posted by: jeccat at May 28, 2008 4:50 PM

Same color yes, but I think the Droubi house is a different buyer. A.) Different type of busy street (24th vs Dolores) B.)Great commercial space (not everyone wants that) C.)Droubi house needed a lot more updating. D.)Bigger total but not as functional for a family. Dolores Street house is unique, seems like their price was a bit high and the lot next door scared off buyers. Shame, its a beautiful home with a great floor plan. Rumor is the seller is taking it off the market till the lot next door is built.

Posted by: Randy at May 28, 2008 5:00 PM

I think you are all crazy. We love that house, classic SF and would buy it if I could. The price reduction is were they should have started but that house is AWESOME. Did you say its coming off the market?

Posted by: James at May 28, 2008 5:10 PM

@Randy,

I agree with your comments, except for (c), the Dolores place is dated. It's move-in condition but rather depressing to deal with this "apartment" quality after spending 2.5M.

My point about comparison is that both properties look great on paper and have this old world attraction about them, which caused the respective agents to over price and overlook the potential pitfalls.

Having said that, I wasn't aware of the nearby development and was wondering about this frivolous garage :)

Posted by: someone at May 28, 2008 5:13 PM

Oh, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying old houses should have oil lamps and outhouses. I owned a house built in 1899, and you can be sure I had a garbage disposal and other modern amenities. I'm just saying that too many renovators around here mar the charms of old construction with bland, modern interiors. For that much money, I'd expect well-planned, unique renovations that provide modern conveniences in non-anachronistic formats.

Posted by: kc at May 28, 2008 5:17 PM

@James

I *really* like the house, it has excellent bones. I would just redo the kitchen/baths and make sure front windows are sound proof to deal with the street noise.

All I was saying is that those issues require at least 300K-400K discount on the comparable 2.7/2.8.

Posted by: someone at May 28, 2008 5:19 PM

I hear you, it's definitely a nice house.
A small drawback for a 3000sf place is the standard 25ft (or is it still a 10-vara?) lot which means your side walls are right at the edge of the next property. Once the unit next door will be built, that could mean less light from the northern side.

Posted by: San FronziScheme at May 28, 2008 5:20 PM

someone,

I will grant you its not perfect condition, but "apartment" quality? Far from it! Compared to the junk cheap renovations and cheap details I have seen on the market, this place is a gem. Great bones!

I can live with construction next door for a couple months. On my wish list: Refinished floors and upgraded baths. Easy enough to do.

Posted by: Randy at May 28, 2008 5:36 PM

someone: appears they have finally discounted even more than that amount. I think people are short sight looking at the lot next door.

Posted by: James at May 28, 2008 5:42 PM

I did some research on the next door development. It appears that someone (not me...) bought 1225 Dolors for $1.05M in Aug '06 and filed two permits: one to demolish the garage, which was approved and another one to erect 4 story building with 3 condos. The 2nd permit is still pending approval.

I think the biggest issue with such proposal is the removal of the great natural light from the dinning room and the 4th bdrm above it. Those windows on the property line aren't protected but 1217 has a strong case against the 1225 development.

That's a tough one and overshadow all my previous relatively minor comments.

Posted by: Someone at May 28, 2008 7:34 PM

fronzzzz,

A small drawback for a 3000sf place is the standard 25ft (or is it still a 10-vara?)

kudos for citing varas...
demerits for not knowing what they are..

consistancy of inaccuracy...priceless fronzzz

Posted by: paco at May 28, 2008 10:00 PM

someone said

"Personally I think that folks who like to spend $2.5M for a foot claw tub with a black and white tiles are weird, but that's just my opinion. Though I'm certain that they are a rare buyer. Fluj & Paco can probably comment on that."

i would not call them weird (its not nice..)
but if pressed i would suggest that people better really like this if they are paying this kind of dough.

Posted by: paco at May 28, 2008 10:06 PM

Posted by: San FronziScheme at May 29, 2008 7:47 AM

I think the house is absolutely beautiful - the classic style those of us from the East expect to see in San Francisco. Like some of the other comments, I am also sick of seeing the 100 year old houses that maintain their outside facade, but are turned into stainless steel traps inside. If I could afford this home, I would buy it in a heartbeat!

Posted by: ALJones at May 29, 2008 9:06 AM

i like the explanation given in the book.


Posted by: paco at May 29, 2008 9:15 AM

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