November 19, 2008
224 Twin Peaks Boulevard: A Study In Rising Prices Yet Falling Values
Purchased for $1,360,000 a year ago (11/2/07), 224 Twin Peaks Boulevard returned to the market in June asking $1,395,000 and was subsequently reduced to $1,249,000.
Unable to find its buyer, the property has since undergone a “fantastic transformation” with the exterior, front & rear decks, landscaping, kitchen, bathrooms and floor plan all having been “beautifully brought up to date for today's lifestyle.”
Listed once again two weeks ago for $1,749,000, reduced yesterday to $1,655,000, and touting a “Motivated seller!” We’ll let you figure out just how much so.
First Published: November 19, 2008 8:30 AM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
I liked the builing when it had more windows in the old version!
Posted by: Marina Boy at November 19, 2008 8:55 AM
Me too! What happened here?
Posted by: chuckie at November 19, 2008 9:20 AM
Me too. The older facade had better curb appeal in my opinion.
Posted by: auden at November 19, 2008 9:21 AM
I agree. I like the old version better. Also, how many steps do you need to walk up to get inside the place? It would suck for young family. Can't imagine dragging a stroller and a baby up those stairs on your own.
Posted by: satchelfan at November 19, 2008 9:21 AM
I hope the loans on this place are nonrecourse, and that no real cash was harmed during the filming of this fiasco!
Posted by: Laughing Millionaire Renter in Marin at November 19, 2008 9:36 AM
Same here, at first glance I thought the "before" was the "after".
Posted by: Rillion at November 19, 2008 9:37 AM
I also liked the cheerful yellow house with lots of windows better.
This just goes to show how difficult it is for a seller to lower price. Especially when under water--after just 6 months!
I hope the seller turns a profit, but with the recent downturn, it's possible (s)he'll lose even more money. I've had to sell a house in a declining market, and it's difficult to accept that you have little control. Your only choice is to lower price. Or spend big $$$ on a "fantastic transformation" and possibly face a worse market and bigger loss!
Posted by: DataDude at November 19, 2008 9:37 AM
I hope the seller turns a profit
why? most of the "improvements" are worse than the original.
the new facade is horrific. there is a new kitchen, but why should a new buyer have to pay a premium to have that kitchen?
with the money they spent, they could have reworked the kitchen, since the "new" kitchen layout is awkward at best.
we need people to start understanding that remodeling is CONSUMPTION, and not investment.
I'm honestly surprised this got through SF's rediculous planning and permit process given how absolutely hideous the "new" building is. were they connected somehow?
Posted by: ex SF-er at November 19, 2008 9:47 AM
I also thought the "before" was the "after". They ruined the facade! What were these people thinking?
Posted by: waiting2nest at November 19, 2008 9:50 AM
These turkeys could've saved themselves the $200k wasted on remodel costs and just cut the price to sell it. Some folks just gotta learn the hard way ... I predict it sells for $1.25M (the original, previous asking price).
Posted by: Jimmy (Bitter Renter) at November 19, 2008 9:59 AM
Read my mind Jimmy. $1.25M is my guess, too. Oh, the irony!
Posted by: Foolio at November 19, 2008 10:01 AM
Were the buyers responsible for this transformation the Addams family????
Posted by: mktwatcher at November 19, 2008 10:01 AM
This is one bizarre, ill-conceived remodel. Note that the primary definition of "fantastic" is "so extreme as to challenge belief: unbelievable." By that definition, I agree the transformation is "fantastic." I'm kind of surprised this did not sell at $1,249,000 in the spring. Now I'd be amazed if it fetched that much.
Posted by: Trip at November 19, 2008 10:02 AM
I also wonder if the seller is somehow connected to the SF powers that be -- doesn't this amount of work usually take years to complete in this city, even if you grease a few palms?
I would argue most remodeling--if executed well--is consumption and investment. Buyers don't always have $70K upfront to pay for a new kitchen, for example, but are willing to pay $100K for same improvements if the cost can be rolled into a 30 year mortgage.
It remains to be seen whether this "fabulous transformation" bet will result in a better payoff in our now decling market. The seller probably would have been better off just lowering price on the cute yellow house back in June before the market fell apart.
How much do you think these improvements cost?
Posted by: DataDude at November 19, 2008 10:05 AM
You guys are thinking small. Put a billboard in the upper-left quadrant of the new facade and recoup 1/3 of your mortgage each month!
Posted by: Sb at November 19, 2008 10:08 AM
Changing a WWI era Spanish-style house into a WWII era German-style bunker. Money well spent.
Why less windows? Why the gray color? Is this some kind of architectural/styling statement?
Hey, think about all the savings in Windex expenses!
And gray doesn't need repainting. Soot will do the job just fine.
Posted by: San FronziScheme at November 19, 2008 10:15 AM
not loving that backsplash in the kitchen
Posted by: irreverent at November 19, 2008 10:17 AM
Put a billboard in the upper-left quadrant of the new facade
Like a "For Sale" sign. It might stay there for a while.
Posted by: San FronziScheme at November 19, 2008 10:27 AM
can we just come up with a new law that states:
"Any realtor, agent, or broker shall not be allowed to describe, verbally or in written communication, any transformation, remodeling, or staging of any property for sale to the public."
and yes, I agree; this is one awful remodel.
Posted by: noearch at November 19, 2008 10:41 AM
Um...you guys know that the yellow version is the remodelled version, right?
That being said, the facade still needs some help.
Posted by: vonT at November 19, 2008 10:56 AM
As long as they can spell "reduction"...
Posted by: San FronziScheme at November 19, 2008 10:57 AM
"Um...you guys know that the yellow version is the remodelled version, right?"
I think you have it backwards.
I hate the new facade, all it needs are bars on the windows to complete the theme. The floors and outdoor deck space are nice though.
Posted by: pica1986 at November 19, 2008 11:08 AM
I agree that the interior looks like a good update. But the facade just kills the curb appeal. All you need is oxcarts to make it look like a suburb of Bucharest.
Posted by: San FronziScheme at November 19, 2008 11:21 AM
whoops, I stand corrected. I like the suburban Bucharest reference. It's an iron curtain remodel.
Posted by: vonT at November 19, 2008 11:39 AM
I agree that yellow was a better color but otherwise I'm not hating this. They replaced vinyl windows with what at least looks like wood. The two lost upstairs windows appear to have been sacrificed for large closet and that new bathroom. I think I'd have to see and experience the actual use of space to decide if the remodel worked. From the pics there is a lot of light into the house and lets face it....interior light, space and use is very important.
Posted by: CameronRex at November 19, 2008 11:39 AM
haven't seen the place inside yet.
I'm probably the only one who likes new facade better than the old one? Not a big fan of pale peach colors and the grid of windows. At least now there is a texture to the front wall and I LOVE asymmetry.
Of course it's all personal preferences :))
Posted by: Miu-Miu at November 19, 2008 12:06 PM
I'm sure this was a first class remodel, and no corners were cut to quickly rehab the place and list it for sale, when the owner realized that it just had to look good, but not necessarily perform.
For example, if you replace a tile roof over the garage with a slate roof, you'd need to reinforce the structure to support the additional weight of the slate, as any competent contractor could tell you. Otherwise, the slate roof over the garage would sag and...
Posted by: tipster at November 19, 2008 12:42 PM
Worst remodel mistake they made was no half-bath on the first floor. Instead the refrigerator is tucked under the staircase and all your guests have to go up (yet another) flight of stairs to use the bathroom...
Posted by: Sparky at November 19, 2008 12:56 PM
...and that's when you lock them in the windowless bathroom and sell their car before it gets crushed by the collapsing garage roof.
Posted by: tipster at November 19, 2008 1:07 PM
"Otherwise, the slate roof over the garage would sag and..."
Now that would be an interesting selling point, a "smiling" garage...
Posted by: pica1986 at November 19, 2008 2:10 PM
Is this really a sag? I'd say it looks like a photo distortion. Like when you use a wide angle that distorts the outside lines and you re-adjust with Photoshop? All other horizontals look fine, though.
Posted by: San FronziScheme at November 19, 2008 2:16 PM
I prefer the yellow, but they are both pretty nice. These photos remind me though of how much I hate garage doors!
Posted by: sf at November 19, 2008 10:49 PM
Haha ! I thought Addams family as well looking at the updated!
Posted by: sf at November 19, 2008 10:51 PM
Actually, checking out the MLS it looks pretty good inside, and the backyard thingy seems OK from what I can see of it. The thing that gets me though, and it may just be from the small resolution of the pictures provided, is that the holes where the old upstairs windows were do seem to have been...patched over. Am I the only one seeing them still there? Optical illusion?
And really, if this whole "zoomed view" picture thing is going to continue, realtors should start telling us whether the telescope is included or not.
Posted by: EH at November 20, 2008 7:12 AM
The list price for 224 Twin Peaks Boulevard has been reduced another $156,000. Now asking $1,499,000. Seller still "motivated!"
Posted by: SocketSite at December 1, 2008 2:17 PM
The new facade looks like the home on 17th that sold for 3.7 million and a home on Pierce. Maybe it is the same owners/contractors. I actually went in the house and it is very comfortable. It is always better to see them in person. The pictures distort your perception. The kitchen has a nice workable arrangement, The bathroom that does not have a window has a sky light making it very bright, All the tile work was top notch in my opinion. The windows are all wood which is the preference of the planning dept now and they look like high quality. The home has all new wood doors/casing and baseboards. Nothing cheap from what I can tell with the Jen-Air stove and oven and Vicking Frig.
Posted by: Brandon at December 18, 2008 5:13 PM
THIS HOME IS AN EXCEPTIONAL VALUE!
I am the owner of 224 Twin Peaks. The reason we put it up for sell back in June 2008 was because we got jobs in LA and bought another home. Homes put on the market in Clarendon Heights where this home is located had been getting over bid. The offer price was simply a bench mark. Our realtor at the time Dan Handel insisted at the time that the home would be overbid. He was wrong. We had paid $1,360,000 for the home in a closed bid in Nov 2007 and hoped to break even. We received one offer at the asking price and decided to take the home off the market and correct the negatives that people saw in the home.
My Partner and I spent the next 6 months working on the home remodeling it with the best we could afford. We have spent over 350 thousand on the home including new wood windows, all new wood casings, molding, baseboards, refinished hardwood floors, re-painted every inch of the home with beautiful Ralph Lauren colors, new high end carpets in master bed room and walk-in closet, re-tiled the baths, new bath fixtures, new lighting, iron fences and Juliet railings, all new solid wood doors throughout the home interior/exterior, beautiful new kitchen cabinets, Caesar stone counter tops, Viking refrigerator, Jen-Air Micro Wave/Convection oven, Jen-Air Stove and oven and Jen-Air Dishwasher, brand new Bosch Washer and Dyer. We resurfaced the deck in back, put in a stone court yard and re-landscaped the front and back yards. The home is an exceptional value for the money in a highly sought after neighborhood of homes ranging between 2 million and some toping 5 million dollars. It has views from the front and back of the Bays and City. There is a full sized side by side 2 car garage, a secured completely fenced front and back yard. There is abundant street parking for guests. Wonderful parks for walking including Clarendon Heights Peak, Twin Peaks and Buena Vista Park. You can walk down to Cole Valley and the Castro within minutes for Sunday brunch.
Posted by: The Owner at January 2, 2009 10:32 AM
We had paid $1,360,000 for the home in a closed bid in Nov 2007 and hoped to break even. We received one offer at the asking price and decided to take the home off the market and correct the negatives that people saw in the home.
Am I reading this right? Are you telling us that you received a full price offer at the original listing price ($1,395,000) but declined it because the listing agent originally led you to believe that there would be overbids?
And then you sunk in $350K more into renovations, so your cost basis in the asset is now $1,710,000, and you face selling costs of approximately $100K now, meaning that your "breakeven" sales price is $1,810,000?
And you bought another house in another collapsing market, LA?
I admire your courage posting this here if you are really the owner. But just wow. There are so many lessons here (including the cost of cosmetic renovations, if true - $350k! are u kidding us?).
Posted by: LMRiM at January 2, 2009 11:37 AM
Sorry for not closing the italics. I'm from the generation just before html :)
Posted by: LMRiM at January 2, 2009 11:39 AM
The one thing I appreciate about the RE market tanking is that it might put a dent in the whole price game of asking for less then you will accept in hopes of getting overbids.
From my experience it doesn't happen in all markets but is something that is much more common in California. I used to work for a trust company and when liquidating real estate in other parts of the country we would get an objective valuation, then add 10-20% to determine an asking price which we would then be willing to negotiate on (since we were asking for more then we thought it was worth). But when selling a place in SF we wouldn't up the price but would hope for a bidding war (but at least we wouldn't list for it less then we would accept).
Posted by: Rillion at January 2, 2009 1:05 PM
"We have spent over 350 thousand on the home ..."
Unfortunately you are about to learn a very expensive lesson about throwing good money after bad.
Posted by: diemos at January 2, 2009 2:15 PM
First, I miss spoke about the offer presented by Dan Hendel our realtor at the time in June. He insisted listing the home at $1,249,000 in June which was below what we had paid for the home. The offer he presented to us at the end of June was at that 1.249 price but was not a clean offer and we could not accept it. We countered but they did not counter back. In June the prices in the Clarendon Heights area were not falling yet. San Francisco was still isolated from the down turn.
I am an architect/designer who specializes in remodeling properties that have deteriorated because the owners have not maintained them. My Partner and I do NOT do cosmetic remodeling. We invest 100 of thousands of dollars in a property with new energy saving features and restoring aspects of the home to make it more desirable for today’s living standards.
We hired over 30 individuals to work on this home of various skill sets of all ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation. It is an enormous capital investment.
I ask that you to physically visit the home to see what we have done. We put our love (sweat and tears) into the Twin Peaks home.
We are very honest hard working guys trying to provide good products for a potential home buyer.
The 224 Twin Peaks home is now very energy efficient with its new windows, insulation, new roof, new appliances, stucco/siding and furnace.
Posted by: The Owner at January 3, 2009 12:27 PM
Thank you. We had never encountered the practice of listing a home below what was hoped for until we bought the home in Clarendon Heights. But, we learned that it was a very common practice in SF. We learned very quickly that the listing price was simply where the bidding would begin. We were told that buyers wanted to set the price. This practice continued until at least October 2008 with properties in Clarendon Heights.
Posted by: The Owner at January 3, 2009 1:32 PM
Unfortunately you are right that we will lose money on this investment. But, more unfortunately we will not be able to continue to hire the carpenters, electricians, plumbers etc that we engage to work on a project. You see we reinvest almost every dime in our projects (the last one in BHPO/LA took 2 ½ years) with skilled labor and local stores. We now get cold calls or knocks on our front door from these crafts people weekly looking for work. We can’t employee them because we now will not have the capital to do so. So, you see we all do not come out a winner.
But, someone will see the exceptional value in our 224 Twin Peaks home and they will love it for a lifetime.
Posted by: The Owner at January 3, 2009 1:49 PM
did you buy this to fix and flip?
Posted by: paco at January 4, 2009 9:28 PM
Hey, I see that 224 Twin Peaks is a NEW listing on the MLS -- one DOM. At $1,475,000 (and they are really pushing the views in the photos -- in fact ONLY pushing the views).
Posted by: Trip at January 7, 2009 8:00 AM
I do feel a little for the guys who that "developed" this property (lol), but it's a necessary part of the bubble unwind, and even desirable. It's a positive outcome that people who have such poor business judgment are deprived of their capital by a market they failed to anticipate. This process in aggregate ensures (if left alone) that capital accrues with those actors in the economy who are able to allocate it wisely. That's the basis of economic growth - smart people being rewarded, foolish ones punished. Highlighting these failures also serves a useful pedagogical function IMO, as observers of the fiasco become aware of the risks and can then make better judgments in their future capital allocation decisions.
If these guys are on the level, and they really spent an additional $350K in renovation after buying this turkey in an overbid for $1,360,000, this will be an epic loss.
Posted by: LMRiM at January 7, 2009 8:12 AM
i agree. its unfortunate but necessary.
Posted by: paco at January 7, 2009 9:43 AM
"It's a positive outcome that people who have such poor business judgment are deprived of their capital by a market they failed to anticipate. This process in aggregate ensures (if left alone) that capital accrues with those actors in the economy who are able to allocate it wisely."
This goes for everyone's 401k as well, I take it.
Posted by: plan C-sparky at January 7, 2009 11:09 AM
This goes for everyone's 401k as well, I take it.
Absolutely. People expecting steady outsize returns (say, more than 2-4% over inflation - in other words, about consistent with long term trend real growth) over very long periods of time from passive investments were mistaken. Rather than scams like 401(k)s (which are a creature of tax regulation of course) or pie-in-the-sky foolishness like the idea that social security will (or even should) provide anyone with a comfortable retirement, how about a simple idea like living within one's means and saving? I don't blame people for chasing outsize returns in stocks, 401(k) structures, SF houses, etc. They are just responding to the stimuli set up by a foolish government.
As stocks wash out, though, people who anticipated it will increase their relative wealth. This allows those smarter individuals to create better businesses (or invest in better businesses) in the future, sowing the seeds for a more sustainable economic structure.
Additionally, the fall in 401(k) values in the aggregate is a good thing, because (among other things) it will restrain people from foolishly throwing their money (which represents their productive labor, for most people) away on consumption items because they think they are an "investment" (this covers stuff like HELOC remodels, granite countertops - formica is just fine, etc.). Also, the fall in 401(k) balances puts the fear of G*d into people and makes them save more (another good thing), thereby reducing the overconsumption problem of the US. And it's done all by the market/people's voluntary preferences - not some miserable bureaucrat deciding that people shouldn't drive big cars or should install funny flourescent light bulbs (for instance). Taking responsibility for one's actions and "letting the chips fall where they may" is the only system I can think of that is consistent with human liberty.
The above ideas hint at why government hates busts so much. Notice how government never tightens its belt? Booms, busts, it's all the same as long as it can keep the sheep pointing fingers at one or the other of Leviathan's political parties.
Don't worry so much, sparky, about individual outcomes. The smart and/or wealthy sail right over all this. And the sheep think Obama will provide anyway :)
Posted by: LMRiM at January 7, 2009 11:52 AM
I'm not worried, I just wanted hear your take on the masses and their 401k's. I had no money in the market, or in house projects when all this went down. I fancy myself fitting into the smart investor part of your description.
Posted by: plan C-sparky at January 7, 2009 11:59 AM
Good for you! Wait it out a few years, and you're going to see some wonderful opportunities in your field, and you'll probably get a good chance to get into stocks even sooner (maybe 2H 2009 if you are a "buy and hold type" - a lot depends on whether the market accurately forecasts how poor the policies are that are being bandied about by "new - same as the old" administration).
Posted by: LMRiM at January 7, 2009 12:12 PM
Isn't buy and hold, at this point, dead (see above). Or do you see buy and hold being going with a good mutual fund manager (as I've seen on TV). Also, the other day I heard you speak highly of Franklin T., which is where I have my money parked. What do you see as good investments there?
Posted by: plan C-sparky at January 7, 2009 12:31 PM
Thank you for asking. We bought the home to live in. As I stated earlier we wanted to return to San Francisco because we missed it so much. We were at the Folsom Street Fair in September 2007 and saw this home just up the street from my very good friends home and decided it was perfect for us. The views were wonderful of the Bay and the Jasmine filled summer air enchanting. The constant drum beats you could hear in the distant Height reminded us of our endless days of fun and friends when we lived on Clayton Street in Cole Valley. There is no place like San Francisco in September. I had moved to San Francisco in the September of 1978 and immediately fell in love with the city and freedom it gave me as a gay man.
There are only view pictures shown today because the photographer was at the home yesterday and there was not enough time to get them up. We are very happy that we have now listed the home with Zephyr Reality. Our contract with Laurie Nierenberg TRI/Coldwell Banker ended(because Laurie went on a 3 week vacation to South Africa).
I am reading your comments regarding 401ks and see that you are very fluent on the subject. So, I am struggling with why you are having a tough time with how much money we spent.
Construction costs in San Francisco are very high and in most cases 2 times or more than that in Los Angeles. Our costs for this home were actually below the many estimate (one was 600 thousand) because we personally managed everyone on a daily basis. We were on site 24/7. We camped out, just the dogs ourselves and the dust.
Let’s sit down and have coffee. I am happy to share with you all my receipts and billing for the home. I will even drive up to meet with you. But, I ask that you please drop by and see our home first. It really looks better in person vs. the pictures.
There will be an Open House this Sunday and I would encourage all of you to come by and see our little home. I just wish it was September and not January so you could enjoy the magic of the sounds and fragrances of a San Francisco summer from the back deck or front court yard.
You will see that it is an exceptional value especially compared to a number of condos and homes being offered or just(last 2 weeks) sold in that price range in District 5.
Posted by: The Owner at January 7, 2009 2:24 PM
It seems that you are confusing how you personally value this house and how the market values the house. They are two different metrics (and a declining market can highlight the differences, while an increasing market can mask the difference), and I think it might be easier for you to understand the situation you're in if you can recognize this.
Clearly you love this home and this city, and I think that most everyone can appreciate that you employed local tradespeople and supported the local economy with this project. But none of this has any bearing on the current market value of this house (or any house for that matter). Not how much you paid (or might owe), not how much you spent to fix it up, not what it was worth a year ago, not how much effort and care you put into it - it is worth what someone will pay for it, as is, today. Period.
At the risk of putting words in LMRiM's mouth, I don't think that he or anyone else is disputing how much money you spent to fix it up. But I do think there is, um, surprise (at least on my part), that you would plow that money into a property you needed to sell in a down market, and expect to recoup your investment.
When it's your home, you can wax philosophical about the smell of jasmine and the fun and friends that you have made in SF. But when you have to sell, you need to become all business. Forget the memories, and your sweat, and how nice you were to your workers. Look at this transaction with a cold eye - and frankly, as much as the brutal honesty of these comments might sting, you should consider them a free focus group session. Remember, your potential buyer might be allergic to jasmine....
Posted by: West Side Story at January 7, 2009 3:09 PM
Somebody correct me if I'm wrong but this is a flip gone bad... plain and simple. No?
Posted by: chuckie at January 7, 2009 3:30 PM
Clarendon Heights is such a wonderful residential neighborhood. The neighborhood is comprised of stand alone homes only and does not have any apartment buildings or condos. The neighbors are very friendly and proud of their homes. Most homes are beautifully maintained. I can count at least three homes on Clarendon Ave currently being remodeled and two new homes planned to be built from the ground up. The home owners obviously think the world of this area and are investing their life savings even in today’s market. Who can blame them, the views are spectacular. They probably have worked most of their adult life to have that special dream home and now they are lucky enough to finally own a piece of something exceptional in a great city like San Francisco..
I am proud of what we have done with our home and know we contributed a small part to the improvement of our neighborhood and the City.
Posted by: The Owner at January 8, 2009 5:45 AM
I didn't see your post until just now, so I didn't respond yesterday:
So, I am struggling with why you are having a tough time with how much money we spent.
Sorry, I know it does look like I was skeptical that you spent that much, but honestly I'm not. I know how expensive any work done in SF almost always is (even though we are often told how inexpensively so much work can be done on SS by contractors who are in the business full time).
I guess what threw me is why you would spend so much after you already decided to sell it!? If I understand the chronology right, you bought it in Fall 07, tried to sell in summer 08 (perhaps after some light updating? or simply after you determined that you wouldn't actually live there) and actually got an offer (albeit a low one). Obviously, in hindsight, you should have just taken that $1.25M offer (even if you had to lower it a little bit more to clear the contingencies).
But even in foresight, why spend so much for what by then had turned into a flip? Most SF buyers are utterly clueless anyway - they're swayed only by surface cosmetics. You should have just gone el cheapo to snare one of them. I've seen it a thousand times....and it usually works!! (perhaps, though, the market has now changed so violently that that strategy no longer works.)
Anyway, though, my sincere best wishes for your current sale plans. I do know that area well, and I have bike ridden by your house 100s of times (I used to live in Monterey Heights for years - and I had a regular riding route from Portola, up and over TP, left on Clarendon at the intersection just past your house!, then left on Laguna Honda back to Portola). It is a nice area with beautiful views. Your views are east, and probably don't take in any of the northern Bay and GG views that the Clarendon Ave houses (and most of the relly expensive houses up on Palo Alto Ave and thereabouts) have, but I'm sure on clear days the views out east to Mt. Diablo with downtown SF in the foreground are wonderful. I remember so many clear fall and late spring mornings flying past your house at about 45 mph (the latter parts falloff on TP Blvd is pretty steep, especially just before your house)! The eastern slopes of TP are even slightly less foggy than west on summer mornings, but it is splitting hairs I guess :) I hope you get some clear weather for the showings. Fall is very reliable IME, but by January the rains make prospects sometimes dicey!
Again, best of luck.
Posted by: LMRiM at January 8, 2009 6:19 AM
I just saw your post too and I'll post a brief response a little later :)
Posted by: LMRiM at January 8, 2009 6:25 AM
"Most SF buyers are utterly clueless anyway - they're swayed only by surface cosmetics. You should have just gone el cheapo to snare one of them. I've seen it a thousand times"
wow, you are sooo smart! you just seem to be able to wrap that huge brain around everything and then subject it to your worldview. you should charge $$ for all this saavy counsel you dish out...
Posted by: paco at January 8, 2009 8:13 AM
I should charge some $$ (g*d knows I've had some exceptionally good trading calls this past year - all verifiable from my posts ex ante), paco, and you're right - I am pretty smart (but then you knew that).
I'm actually surprised that you find this statement controversial (I said "most" purchasers, not "every", after all). You are the one who most often comments on SS at how inexpensive itis to do remodels, and how you returned 40% to your "partners" (lol).
Since we are on the west side here - I'll give you two quick examples where buyers got suckered by cheap remodels and flushed their down payments (and credit rating, in one instance) down the toilet:
3035 25th Avenue (fluj turned me on to this one, when he was touting it as an example of "appreciation" because of the initial $1.429M listing price):
(Note the difference between the 2004 and 2005 sales prices - that was for cosmetic work worth maybe $125K at retail)
(look at the permits, and tell me how much was done in 2002? - the remainder was all cosmetic stuff, other than the few permitted things, cheap kitchen, some wallpaper, etc.)
Honestly, paco, without very unsophisticated buyers (and their conflicted agents, of course), guys like you couldn't make a living. It's not like you failed out of the trading world and took up being a handyman (and realtor) for no reason :)
Posted by: LMRiM at January 8, 2009 9:02 AM
LMRiM, you're not so smart -- you graduate from Yale Law School and go into finance instead of making 1/20 as much practicing law like me . . .
Posted by: Trip at January 8, 2009 9:07 AM
""Most SF buyers are utterly clueless anyway"
riiiight. nice statement. shows the breadth of your 'intelligence'
Posted by: paco at January 8, 2009 9:20 AM
and then this,
" It's not like you failed out of the trading world and took up being a handyman (and realtor) for no reason"
nice conjecture. kinda fits in with your worldview (where everyone is a scammer or stupid).
so tell me again how you made sooo much money yet you schlepp your family around to a rental in the flats. what are you saving all that money for? and if you are not interested in real estate (beyond talking about 'most buyers' being 'utterly clueless') why do you spend so much time on a sfre blog??
Posted by: paco at January 8, 2009 9:27 AM
I've got to agree somewhat with Satchel's evaluation of clueless buyers. I wouldn't say "most" were clueless but there were certainly enough of them with access to loans to severely distort the market. These are the sorts of buyers who lack the ability to make independent evaluation of a property : they were guided mostly by comps and perhaps some emotion.
So many times I've seen places with superficial $20-60K improvements (some of those "improvements" actually degraded the home, certainly done without permits) sell for significantly higher prices than similar homes that had a perfectly serviceable 90s or earlier era interior.
It's what I would call a shoddy superficial flip as opposed to a substantive value creating flip. Its really annoying to pay extra for work that degrades the home, even though it looks trendy for the first year or so.
The home that is the subject of this article seems to be the latter substantive style remodel, at least from e-distance. Not my style tastes do vary.
Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at January 8, 2009 2:01 PM
I would like to invite all interested parties to visit our home in person today Sunday, Jan 10, 2009.
We will have an Open House between 1 and 4.
It should be a beautiful day and the views remarkable
If you can not make it please take a look the home on our new web site.
Posted by: The Owner at January 11, 2009 4:58 AM
The hot link for our home at 224 Twin Peaks new web site is:
Posted by: The Owner at January 11, 2009 7:27 AM
I have a question regarding the trees across the street and what would happen if they were to ever grow large enough to block your fantastic view? In San Francisco could one go to some agency to have the trees cut back so that the view remains, even though they are on the private property of an adjacent residence? I mention this issue because I used to own in Laguna Beach, and the community cable channel was nothing but hearings of people fighting over trees, and how it blocked their views of the ocean. The Laguna Agency would not always side with the owner who had lost his view, since some of the trees also gave their neighbors privacy.
Good Luck with the sale of your home, the photography is excellent, and the place looks very well done.
Posted by: curious at January 11, 2009 5:09 PM
224 Twin Peaks Boulevard
Open House Today
Tuesday January 13th, 12:00 – 1:30
Posted by: 224 Twin Peaks Blvd Owner at January 13, 2009 8:26 AM
Thank you for your good wishes. It is greatly appreciated. The plants across from the home probably will not reach a height to block the view in the Living Room, This garden is an extension of a garden started by Edith Fried of 22 Crown Terrace started in 1992 . It first was just the corner of Twin Peaks and Clarendon but now is being maintained up the street to Mountain Springs. This is a neighborhood endeavor kept going by private donations at the approval of the Urban Forestry Division of the Dept of Public Works. The maintaining of the gardens including trimming has been very consistent and diligent.
Posted by: 224 Twin Peaks Blvd Owner at January 14, 2009 12:41 AM
224 Twin Peaks Boulevard
Twilight Tour Open House Tonight
Wednesday January 14th, 5:300 – 6:30
Please join us………
It should be clear tonight. The views are wonderful from the Master Bed Room and Living Room of the City Lights. The back has views of the Golden Gate San Francisco Bay including the Catholic Church when the lights are shinning. The front has views of the San Francisco, Oakland and the Bay.
Posted by: 224 Twin Peaks Blvd Owner at January 14, 2009 12:50 AM
Open House today Sunday January 18th, 1-4 PM
Some of the notable features of the remodeling recently completed are:
Front Entrance - New all wood Fir front door and hardware/doorbell, all wood casings/baseboards, all wood double pane window, light fixtures, Ralph Lauren paint
Living/Dining Rm - New all wood casings/baseboards, all wood double pane windows, chandelier and recessed lighting fixtures, wood fireplace mantle façade, Ralph Lauren paint
Kitchen/Pantry - New cabinets and island/Caesar Stone and Marble countertops/Jenn-Air – Pro Stove/dishwasher/microwave-convection oven combo/Viking Pro frig/sink-faucet-disposal, linoleum, recessed and under/over mount cabinet light fixtures, all wood casing/baseboards/crown molding, repaired-refinished Red Oak Hardwood floors, all wood double pane glass French backdoor and hardware, Ralph Lauren paint
Bathrooms- New entry all wood Fir doors and hardware/sinks/toilets/bath-shower hardware/light fixtures/vanity/tiles/all wood double pane window, Ralph Lauren paint
Bed rooms - New Ralph Lauren carpet, all wood casings/baseboards/ all wood Fir entry and closet doors-hardware, all wood double pane windows, Ralph Lauren paint, Repaired and refinished Red Oak hardwood floors
Second Flr Hall - New iron rail/all wood casings/all wood baseboards, sconce and recessed light fixtures/all wood Fir closet door-hardware, Ralph Lauren paint
Staircase - New all wood baseboards/iron rails, recessed light fixtures, refinished Red Oak hardwood, Ralph Lauren paint
Laundry Rm- New linoleum/Bosch washer dryer/paint/all wood double pane window/light fixtures, Ralph Lauren paint
Front Exterior - New black slate tiles on stairs, Iron Juliet balconies, Iron fence and gate, light lanterns, landscaping, smoothed out existing rough stucco with gray color, sprinkler system enhanced
Garage - New all wood auto garage door, paint, light fixtures, smoothed out existing rough stucco with grey color
Back Exterior - New paint, Iron Juliet balconies, landscaping, clay pots and plants, light lantern, back lattice fence, sprinkler system enhanced, refinished deck platform
Please join us for the Open House.
Posted by: 224 Twin Peaks Blvd Owner at January 17, 2009 10:09 PM
Owner - You have certainly been getting some spectacular weather, and after looking at the pictures in your link, I think the exterior is actually a much nicer color than the greyish in the editor's lead in to this thread.
Posted by: LMRiM at January 18, 2009 10:16 AM
224 Twin Peaks was just cut to $1,395,000 (5% from last listing price of $1,475,000). It's now at the listing price it used to be in summer 2007, before the $350K renovation.
Posted by: LMRiM at February 2, 2009 2:47 PM
224 Twin Peaks now has a "For Rent" sign in front of it. The sign points to this website http://amsires.com/ but this property does not seem to be on the site yet.
Posted by: gumby at February 18, 2009 7:07 PM
strike that, asking $5900 unfurnished:
Posted by: gumby at February 18, 2009 7:10 PM
$5900/mo rent in this neighborhood, for that house?? ROFL.
These guys need to cut the price and cut fast. Whatever the "true" market price is for this place right now, it will be 15-25% lower in a year. Finding a tenant who will not even cover the carrying costs is just delaying the inevitable.
The house looks pretty nice, and I like the area (although TP Blvd right at the bottom on the hill like this one is probably the least nice part). My advice (unsolicited, of course)is to pull the listing for a month or two, then relist it very low in order to generate an overbid with certainty. Maybe $999K?
The opaque auction process that will ensue will ensure that a foolish knifecatcher will bid more than the "true" market value - it's human nature. The Winner's Curse has haunted SF real estate for years, and a year or so of downturn is not enough to exorcise it IMO. I bet it'd go for $1.3Mish. Forget about recouping any investing - that's gone. Time to minimize losses, and renting it out into the teeth of this monster is not going to cut it.
Posted by: LMRiM at February 20, 2009 1:00 PM
Perhaps they're taking your (unsolicited) advice: today, it no longer has a "For Sale" sign out front. Or else it's been sent out to clean off the cobwebs. The "For Rent" sign remains.
This part of Twin Peaks Blvd is definitely problematic - just after the turn by Clarendon, so that an uphill driver will rev their engine hard (and loudly) right there, to get up the hill. A lot of people like to drive up to the peak for the views, well into the night, esp. on weekends. Mountain Spring above, or Crown Terrace below, have similar views without the noise and traffic. The owners no doubt considered 175 Twin Peaks Blvd ($1.76M in April) to be a comp for this property, though 175 has a lot more curb appeal than 224, and it seems the market has moved a bit since April.
Totally agree that $5,900 rent is wacky. Could be wrong, but I always assume that the initial asking rent for an unsaleable house like this approximates the owners' monthly nut. We've rented similar amenities right nearby since 2006 (for way less, needless to say).
Posted by: gumby at February 21, 2009 2:46 PM
Hope springs eternal. Listed again at $1,399,000.
Posted by: A.T. at May 7, 2010 10:19 AM
And again....again at $1,399,999 but now with new agent and a new exterior paint job...
Posted by: fixthis at May 10, 2010 9:55 AM
Presumably this place got rented for a year?
We need Satchel back. He's probably right on the superficial improvements doing better for price than real improvements. After all, people do fall for staging.
Posted by: sfrenegade at May 10, 2010 11:42 AM