May 22, 2008
Perhaps It Wasn’t Just Marketing: 1635 Castro Sheds Another $100K
∙ Listing: 1635 Castro (3/2) - $1,400,000 [MLS]
∙ It Might Just Be Marketing, But What The Heck: 1635 Castro Street [SocketSite]
First Published: May 22, 2008 6:00 AM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
It looks like 1635 Castro last sold for $1,010,000 on 10/17/2003
Posted by: Oytun at May 22, 2008 7:39 AM
The owner will still make a good profit, just not as much as he expected.
Depending on the area, this nabe is worth $750-$1000/sf for this type of home and this one needs too much exterior remodeling to be on the upper range.
Tentative bet: 1.25M and that's still a lot of money.
Posted by: San FronziScheme at May 22, 2008 8:02 AM
Yeah, I bet it's a soft $1.4M. Still seems pretty expensive.
Posted by: Foolio at May 22, 2008 9:24 AM
Unfortunately, as well-done as the interior is, the exterior glass block facade is unattractive and dates the house to the late 80s-early 90s? It really distracts from the character of the architecture. It would be a big concern for me if I were looking at it. I wonder how much it would cost to restore the facade?
Posted by: deshard at May 22, 2008 9:30 AM
Hmmm...our friend Fluj didn't comment on this place the last time it was posted, so he might have missed. Don't worry, as soon as he sees it he'll inform his legion of waiting buyers, and they'll swoop in and bid the place back up to its rightful value. ;-)
Posted by: anon at May 22, 2008 10:09 AM
i'm with Fonzi.
My bet's on $1.25M
Posted by: Spencer at May 22, 2008 10:10 AM
You must also learn to be serene and at peace about that really ugly neighboring sidewall to the right and the nasty mass of amateur cable guy wiring sprouting from it.
Posted by: redseca2 at May 22, 2008 10:11 AM
Yeah. I guess the spin-du-jour will be that the agent is trying to bring even more people to the current bidding war. Those guys are smart.
Posted by: San FronziScheme at May 22, 2008 10:11 AM
I think this is a pretty darn nice house in a pretty darn nice area.
the facade isn't the greatest but it's not like it's horrific either. how much could it possibly cost to get the glass block removed and a new window placed there?
the owner is smart IMO. they started just under $1.6M, 2 weeks later dropped it to $1.5M, then 2 weeks later to $1.4M
as we all know, the homes that are priced right and are sought after sell quickly in SF. since it hasn't sold, it's not priced right. thus this guy is smart to drop.
this guy is likely paying around $6k/month in holding costs... might as well unload the thing and not let it rot for months on end.
Assuming the SFH market for Noe/Noe adjacent is still strong, I personally think it'll take one more drop to $1.3M and then it will go. (that might include a $50k cashback to buyer so they can repair the facade)
Posted by: ex SF-er at May 22, 2008 10:23 AM
I agree. Even when this one does eventually close, I have a feeling the "purchase price" will include some NRCCs/cashback.
Posted by: Foolio at May 22, 2008 10:29 AM
a $50k cashback to buyer so they can repair the facade
You repair what's broken. The facade is not broken, it's just very very outdated.
Glass bricks were a fad but they had a couple of good features:
- Decent light source (duh)
- Privacy - you can dress in whatever attire, nobody can see the details.
- Safety/security - they don't break easily and protect you just like a regular wall. Plus in case of earthquake, they must be pretty solid. No flying 10sf pieces of glass falling on your feet.
Posted by: San FronziScheme at May 22, 2008 10:31 AM
I will go out on a limb and say unless there's something wrong (I haven't seen it) this is a marketing tactic. C'mon, two price reductions in 4 weeks? The public data does not suggest this owner has to sell, and the original "make me move" price was pretty crazy.
This is not a "bidding war" tactic, it's an "I got a steal" tactic, giving the new buyer a face-saving story at his/her housewarming. It's what I would do if I were selling now, unless an *experienced* realtor told me to do otherwise.
Flame away, etc. Why don't one of you make an offer at 1.25m and see what happens? Maybe you can get it!
Posted by: dub dub at May 22, 2008 10:32 AM
Why don't one of you make an offer at 1.25m
And catch a falling knife? No thanks. SF homeownership is still overpriced when compared to rental. Better stay a non-rent-controlled landord out of town and be a rent-controlled tenant in SF!
Posted by: San FronziScheme at May 22, 2008 10:39 AM
"Hmmm...our friend Fluj didn't comment on this place the last time it was posted, so he might have missed. Don't worry, as soon as he sees it he'll inform his legion of waiting buyers, and they'll swoop in and bid the place back up to its rightful value. ;-)"
Why don't you keep my name out your virtual mouth? You don't know how to do anything except to ridicule. And your single beaten to death salvo isn't even applicable.
Why haven't I suggested it's a great deal? Here's why. The last pricepoint had it at 963 a foot. And now? The property is still 902 dollars a foot with partial views only. That part of Castro isn't all that walkable, either. So save it, jerk. You put words in my mouth like you think you know something. But you only know how to be mean, "anon."
Posted by: fluj at May 22, 2008 10:47 AM
I agree this place is not bad and the neighborhood is nice. But there are about a dozen SFRs in this price range on the MLS in district 5 and this place is pretty far down on that list in terms of desirability. And while $/sf is not a great indicator as homes can very tremendously in quality, this one sure seems out of the reasonable range in comparison to other offerings. This certainly does not appear to be "the deal of the year!" as touted.
Posted by: Trip at May 22, 2008 10:48 AM
My take: If they had it at 850 a foot it would get offers very quickly.
Posted by: fluj at May 22, 2008 10:54 AM
I think 850 is close to what I feel for the nabe. Places that are pretty average don't sell for 1000.
I expected a bit of spin today from your part, but you've been pretty reasonable. Kudos for that.
Another post that cracked me up was dub dub's: "This is not a "bidding war" tactic, it's an "I got a steal" tactic, giving the new buyer a face-saving story at his/her housewarming."
That's pure crisis-room-last-ditch-effort-spin, imho
Posted by: San FronziScheme at May 22, 2008 11:05 AM
my my..sounds like fluj got up on the wrong side of the bed...
anyway..as to the facade: they're called glass blocks not "bricks"..not at all good for seismic strength. they will collapse quickly. they dont insulate well. they offer no form of natural ventilation.
The facade needs to be completely renovated. get rid of the stucco and glass block. install appropriate double hung windows, get rid of the cheap metal railings, install a canopy over the door. ignore the wires on the neighbors building.
by the way..this is not that great of a Noe location. the 24 bus goes right by. you're near the middle school and lots of kids stop at the adjacent store, buy junk food and throw the trash on the street. they should be severely punished.
Posted by: noearch at May 22, 2008 11:13 AM
This one guy chases me around the internet saying the same very snide thing over and over again. I have seen your cranky side too, my friend. I doubt you'd be at all pleased if you were in my shoes.
Posted by: fluj at May 22, 2008 11:20 AM
Blocks, bricks, thanks for the correction.
For seismic strength, they'll be stronger than windows which is what they are designed to replace. Insulation wise, I'm sure they conduct heat or cold better than regular walls, but I'd love to see comps between windows and blocks. For ventilation, I agree. You see so much glass on the front of the new condos and little openings. You'd better have air conditioning. Plus the privacy for large windows is minimal. Bricks are a solution to poor design.
Posted by: San FronziScheme at May 22, 2008 11:23 AM
@SFS: Crisis-room/spin? blog commentah, please. I couldn't care less if this place sells.
Has anyone here *actually visited it*? Maybe some insights (besides the facade) as to what the issue is? I thought the 24 turned at clipper (been awhile since I lived in Noe), but mapjack suggests otherwise as noearch says, and that is a problem in my book.
Posted by: dub dub at May 22, 2008 11:29 AM
With exposure comes criticism. If you reply to any negative news/spin on the market by a positive note, expect the negativity to focus on your case, whatever the validity of your arguments.
Posted by: San FronziScheme at May 22, 2008 11:29 AM
I know. I don't want to give this legs so I'm going to stop talkinga bout it after this post. The S.S. editor knows very well that one person crosses the line continually ... and in that light the entertainment value is maybe the only thing the dude has going for him. I can handle harsh differences of opinion, and do so daily.
Posted by: fluj at May 22, 2008 11:34 AM
dub dub, you'll admit that your argument was an overstretch. The straight price didn't work. The lower bidding war price didn't work, then we have the "face-saving" story. I had never heard that one before.
The seller wanted too much. He thought we were still in a 15%+ appreciation a year and tested the waters. Now that he has lowered the price once, the word is out that nobody made a decent enough offer. Then it's downhill from there and he has to lower another time.
Posted by: San FronziScheme at May 22, 2008 11:39 AM
SFS: By "face saving" I meant the buyer can claim it was "reduced", if/when it sells. *The whole price reduction sequence* seems like a clever strategy to me -- you are inserting a bidding-war straw man. Maybe I misunderstand your criticism, and if so, sorry.
Two weeks is not a terribly long time to test waters at any price -- and last weekend was bay to breakers, and I'm sure that interrupted hunting.
Anyway, I've not visited the house, and the 24 going right by is definitely a minus.
Posted by: dub dub at May 22, 2008 12:19 PM
I'll say it goes for $1.35M.
Posted by: Dan at May 22, 2008 12:40 PM
I say 1.25M. 800-odd /sf
Posted by: San FronziScheme at May 22, 2008 12:42 PM
fronzi: sorry, but you're just all wrong regarding seismic strength of glass block OR windows. they offer NO lateral stability whatsoever. the strength of a wall comes from shear panels or steel moment frames. glass block can be a good choice in some locations: where you want natural light but privacy,yes.
but for a front elevation, they are just all wrong in this house. prob put in during the 70's.. the house needs real, operable windows. enuf said. thankyou.
Posted by: noearch at May 22, 2008 12:45 PM
noearch, I agree. They offer poor resistance compared to a plain wall. But they have to be mounted on a frame which makes up for the lateral stability issue. And they are way stronger that a single sheet of glass.
But enough on this debate. Maybe there will be a revival of glass blocks one day but cleaning the joints is just too much of a hassle and time usually did not treat them well which is a good reason people gave up on them.
Posted by: San FronziScheme at May 22, 2008 1:42 PM
whatever...believe what you wanna believe. i disagree, respectfully...and completely.
Posted by: noearch at May 22, 2008 2:13 PM
It's not a question of belief. I'll try and make it simple and fact based. 3 questions. Answer by Y/N
1 - Does a glass brick contain more glass than a window? Like in a 1/2 inch as opposed to a few 1/16th of an inch?
2 - Does a glass brick wall require a frame?
3 - Is the frame weaker than a regular window frame?
Posted by: San FronziScheme at May 22, 2008 2:41 PM
During earthquake shaking, high mass works against the structure. The earth moves but the structure's inertia wants to stay put. This creates strain that leads to structural failure.
This is why the seemingly solid masonry structures that the 3rd little piggy built don't survive quakes as well compared to the 2nd little piggy's wood house.
Glass block behaves like masonry.
Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at May 22, 2008 2:51 PM
thank you VERY much Mr. Milkshake. you said it well. as I said in an earlier post, the lateral forces from an earthquake are ONLY resisted by shear walls or steel moment frames.
1. glass block does not resist. glass does not resist.
2. the frame, of any kind does not resist.
fronzi- here's some advice: you're probably a cool guy..but..ah..don't become an architect.
Posted by: noearch at May 22, 2008 2:57 PM
Sure. But the issue was not glass vs. masonry, but windows vs. glass blocks.
Posted by: San FronziScheme at May 22, 2008 3:17 PM
For the original post that started this pointless back and forth, look for 11:23AM.
And yes, the brick buildings are fragile and wood structures are better for earthquake. No question about that.
Posted by: San FronziScheme at May 22, 2008 3:21 PM
OMG...and I thought only fluj was the argumentative one here.
now I know.
I'll try to keep my comments not to "pointless" in the future. honest, I'll try.
Posted by: noearch at May 22, 2008 3:35 PM
You were not pointless, noearch. This discussion was, because it was based on a misunderstanding.
I just followed my logic on a very precise point, and I think you thought I was defending glass blocks. I am not defending glass blocks in general, just on a case-by-case basis. When the design is wrong (like pedestrians having a direct view into your private life like this house), they are a poor but doable solution.
Better have a good design than having to fix it with this kind of mess.
Posted by: San FronziScheme at May 22, 2008 3:43 PM
San FronziScheme - Sorry, I guess I was not clear but what I was trying to get at was that a wall of glass blocks is way heavier than a picture window, even a double pane window. When the shaking starts the plate glass (probably tempered glass too) has low inertia and will require less force to move along with the house and the earth shifting from beneath.
A wall of glass block on the other hand will try much harder to stay put with the earth, the house, and the frame moving out from beneath it. This creates a great deal more strain between the glass block wall and the frame compared to a much lighter picture window.
A glass window may shatter in a quake too, but it won't rip out the frame along with it. The shattered glass is also a light lighter. I'm not sure how much that glass block wall weighs, but it might create a pile of rubble heavy enough to crash through the garage, causing secondary damage. That sort of damage is common when for example a brick chimney collapses and punches a hole through a roof.
Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at May 22, 2008 4:21 PM
Wow all that structural discussion and this house probably sits on a brick foundation anyway...I can't wait 'til the discussion is about a Marina house.
Posted by: dave k at May 22, 2008 4:25 PM
Posted by: noearch at May 22, 2008 4:56 PM
"Everyone in town who is in R.E. know what the hell happened...I know sales volume is dropping. Something is going on. When it translates to lower prices please do let me know. I have several buyers waiting to pounce....Actually, I know better than many if not all of you. So please stop it if you don't know of which you speak. To the guy who asked me to talk to my buyers, wtf? I talk to them daily. Prices really aren't dropping around town folks. Not yet. Will they? Maybe. But stop acting like you know something. You really don't." (17 Jan)
Posted by: ghost of fluj at May 22, 2008 5:00 PM
Yeah? And I would tell my buyers to pounce on this, um, why? It still isn't even at a median dollars per square foot level. As I said. Three times. In this thread.
You're not funny. You merely hold onto like four or five different catch phrases of things I've said over the last eight months. And you try to work them into any topic you see me in. Try making sense for a change.
Posted by: fluj at May 22, 2008 6:42 PM
I actually checked this place out last weekend. It is pretty nice inside though the location of the downstairs bathroom is kind of funky. I really liked the sun room with all the windows, looking out over the back yard. It has a traditional 3 bedrooms upstairs and one bath, which is nice.
It is on a very small lot. The realtor told me that she didn't know the size of the lot. Hey fluj, is this kind of thing actually true? Do realtors usually go to open houses not knowing such information about the properties they are showing? Anyway, it seemed very small to me, like 80X25. A definite minus. No way can you push the envelope of the house out. It has a huge garage with an eight foot ceiling that you could do something with, though the only access is from the front of the house.
It is actually a very walkable area, about two blocks from Castro and 24th. A bit far from the 24th St. BART, but close to many Muni lines. The 24 runs right by it.
I liked it, but it is honestly out of my price range, unless I sold my current two unit house, and my wife won't hear of that.
I am going to guess that it goes for $1.3M.
Posted by: NoeValleyJim at May 22, 2008 9:01 PM
And oh, fluj.
Don't feed the trolls.
It is the only tactic that actually works. Trust me, I have been doing this "posting on the Internet" thing now for twenty years.
Just ignore them and they will go away. They get some perverse charge out of riling you up.
Posted by: NoeValleyJim at May 22, 2008 9:05 PM
I walked through and the house has some nice features but some real limitations. I have to agree that the neighboring store, the school, the location, the floorplan (and, yes, the facade) make even the new price seem too high, imho.
Posted by: inthemarket at May 22, 2008 9:09 PM
Whoa, Noe Valley Jim, 20 years? I worked in new media in '96. I thought I was an old hand. It's just r.e. bbs's that are new to me.
But as to this, " Do realtors usually go to open houses not knowing such information about the properties they are showing?"
I can say in a word, NO. Not if it is their listing. Now, if it wasn't the listing of the person showing the property, perhaps. But IMO those folks helping to show the property should do their homework or at least have a cheat sheet handy.
Posted by: fluj at May 22, 2008 9:12 PM
Yeah, I starting posting to Usenet News when I was an undergrad at Berkeley in the late 80s. I was actually online for the first time earlier than that, back when it was still called the Arpanet, but I didn't really do any posting then, just looking around.
Posted by: NoeValleyJim at May 22, 2008 9:40 PM
NV jim: You know what? I think I know who you are! Does your last name end with "n"?
You might remember me, but probably not. The nature of your posts, your posting name, and the Berkeley comment above is just too much coincidence if not true.
small world! :)
Posted by: dub dub at May 23, 2008 12:22 AM
You probably do know me as my last name does end with an "n".
You can find me easily enough if you want to send me an email, just by Googling my name.
It is indeed a small world: I bump into former co-workers, old friends, even old girlfriends in SOMA all the time.
Posted by: NoeValleyJim at May 23, 2008 8:26 AM
I was wondering the same about agents showing properties but not knowing the hard facts about lot size and the floorplan square footage. Eventually I gave up on asking under the assumption that agents don't want to state hard facts for fear of lawsuit. Sometime in the past some hair splitter probably sued an agent for verbally quoting a property as 1500 squares when it was really 1498. So I just started learning how to estimate the size by eyeballing the property. Anything that I was serious about making an offer got treated to 30 minutes with a tape measure. Sure, it was a pain but at least I had a consistent methodology of measuring.
And on the internet old timer thread, I sent my first e-mail in 1979. Hacked my first (and last) system in 1978. I would not be surprised if someone else can top that. The internet goes waaay back to DARPAnet.
Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at May 23, 2008 9:29 AM
Everyone knows Noe Valley Jim - He is our own Kevin Bacon :)
Anyomne have an update on this property?
Posted by: bigidea at May 27, 2008 9:46 AM
Five days after the price reduction which still had it at a whopping 900 a foot, it received an offer yesterday.
Posted by: fluj at May 27, 2008 10:12 AM
See? It was all a (well-played!) game :)
Posted by: dub dub at May 27, 2008 11:00 AM
Any idea about the nature of the offer?
I'm pretty sure the agent wouldn't mind announcing this offer, just to give the bidding war more momentum.
Posted by: San FronziScheme at May 27, 2008 12:41 PM
1635 castro sold for $1.35MM. NV Jim was very close.
Posted by: sky at June 25, 2008 11:01 AM
870 a foot
Posted by: fluj at June 25, 2008 11:08 AM
"I'm pretty sure the agent wouldn't mind announcing this offer, just to give the bidding war more momentum."
how can you be so clueless? i thought you said you were a real estate broker?
your suggestion is unethical and illegal.
Posted by: paco at June 25, 2008 12:45 PM
What is unethical or illegal about disclosing an offer unless it was submitted with a condition of confidentiality? I have a number of friends who are realtors who have told me what has been offered on their listings, and when I bought our place several years ago the seller's realtor told me what other offers had been made on it. This practice appears to be widespread.
Posted by: anon at June 25, 2008 1:08 PM
I am none of the above. Just a rental investor trying to figure whether I'll spend in the RE here or in a more welcoming environment. For now, the bragging and bullying from RE agents I have seen in this town make me think there's still a bit of humbling needed before I'll get them to work for me...
For now, rent control looks like the best place to be.
Posted by: San FronziScheme at June 25, 2008 1:21 PM
". For now, the bragging and bullying from RE agents I have seen in this town make me think there's still a bit of humbling needed before I'll get them to work for me..."
Right. And we are to believe that's your mentality. It is not cost that's driving your modus operandi. It's those braggart r.e. agents keeping you on the sidelines. This despite the hundreds of things you have said about cost keeping you on the sidelines.
Posted by: fluj at June 25, 2008 1:28 PM
Darn. We have fluj AND paco. I guess sales must be slow today.
I said "there's still a bit of humbling needed before I'll get them to work for me..."
The humbling will come with decreasing prices!
These 2 things are connected. I went to Miami at the peak (mid 2006) to check out why it was that expensive and salesmen were just out of control, denying any decent math presented to them. It's payback time. I'll probably go buy rentals in Miami in a year or 2 if SF is still the money trap it is now. I've been doing this for 15 years, I have the time.
Posted by: San FronziScheme at June 25, 2008 1:39 PM
Nope, not buying it. You just say whatever and then cover your tracks afterward. I've seen it too many times for it to be anything else.
And I'm not taking offense, either. I don't really feel as if any of these criticisms particularly apply to me, or to the way I conduct myself in person or on the Internet. As I've said too many times, really, I have lots of folks looking to spend 600-800K for an SFR. I'm trying to make it happen for them. A price slide wouldn't be humbling for yours truly. I'd stand to profit.
As for today's sales, well, I have an offer in and am waiting to hear back. There were two offers on the property. We'll see. Thanks for the sarcasm tho!
Posted by: fluj at June 25, 2008 1:45 PM
Shoot, I responded to the bullying from paco and now I have the fluj all over me. I guess that'll teach me from responding to provocation.
Posted by: San FronziScheme at June 25, 2008 2:27 PM
Paco isn't a realtor. I don't know how many times he has to tell you, and others, that.
So are you sorry for going after realtors for no reason, or not?
Posted by: fluj at June 25, 2008 2:34 PM