November 26, 2008

New Woodwork (And Price?) To Rival That Of Old: 3960 20th Street

3960 20th Street: Kitchen

The woodwork (“vertical grain fir to complete the turn-of-the century craftsman design”) caught our fancy.

3960 20th Street: Living

Was the recent reduction (from $2,295,000 to $1,995,000) enough to catch yours?

∙ Listing: 3960 20th Street (4/3.5) - $1,995,000 [MLS]

First Published: November 26, 2008 12:30 PM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

Lovely, but still it reads like a reverse floorplan and nearly 1000 a foot, right?

Posted by: fluj at November 26, 2008 12:59 PM

How good exactly is this location and block?

It looks better than a lot of garbage on the market in general noe environs for 2 mil. i could not see any flr plans.

Posted by: Louis at November 26, 2008 2:18 PM

I'll assume the seller owns a lumberyard. Yuck.

Posted by: vapor at November 26, 2008 3:41 PM

Lot's of stuff I don't understand here:

*) New Price to rival old? What does that mean? Last sale was over 10 years ago for less than $500k.

*) What's a reverse floor plan? And, what are you reading in order to determine that?

*) How do you know the sq. footage? It wasn't listed in the MLS.

Seems to be a very nice block.

Posted by: John at November 26, 2008 5:40 PM

BTW, I assume that you mean you are reading the photograph(s). And, that is telling you that something is reversed from usual.

Posted by: John at November 26, 2008 5:43 PM

The subscription mls showed ~2000 sq ft, and the floors read kitchen etc. on top lvl but bedrooms main lvl. That's what it said. Whether or not the building envelope was increased is unknown but it doesn't look it. This property was 2 flats the last time it sold, tho. And ~1000 a foot aint cheap.

Posted by: fluj at November 26, 2008 6:43 PM

I visited this place a couple weeks ago on behalf of an out of town client. Location is primo, IMHO. There is a lot of wood, yes, but you really can't see how beautiful it is until you're there in person. This home is high quality and stylish (in a classic way). Great yard out back and steps to Mission Dolores Park.

I took some pics when I visited and posted on my blog on Nov the 19th.

Posted by: Binnings Team at November 26, 2008 7:03 PM

Looks bigger than 2000 sq ft to me, but without any listing data, it is hard to tell. The yard looks big too, but again, that could just be a trick of the camera. I sure wish they posted this stuff.

That block is nice, as it is a dead end, so it doesn't get much through traffic. "Steps to Mission Dolores Park" has its upside and its downside. It is probably far enough to be insulated from the worst of it, but when there are going to be some events that will spill over a bit.

When I was single, near Mission Dolores was where I wanted to buy, but my wife talked me into our present area, which is probably more kid friendly.

Posted by: NoeValleyJim at November 26, 2008 11:18 PM

Oh, I think the place looks nice, especially the kitchen.

Posted by: NoeValleyJim at November 26, 2008 11:25 PM

As my turkey brines I'll throw in my two cents (worth half that).

This place reminds me of . . . our place! About the same size, similar yard, similar feel. It is perfectly nice, but nothing spectacular at all (although I despise granite counters, so on that front our kitchen is 100% better). This is the kind of place that represents solid middle class housing in most of the country -- the kind of place two teachers could afford. And it is priced at nearly four times what we paid a little less than 10 years ago for our place about 8 blocks north of here.

This price is absurd. The only thing more absurd was the $2.3M they were previously asking. Putting down half a million (oppty cost ~ $2000/mo.) to end up with a $9000 monthly payment and $2000/mo in property taxes just to live in this nice but unremarkable home is certifiably insane (the tax savings do not alter the insanity). In today's market, I'd put the FMV at about $1.4M, and places like this will be available for less than $1 million a year from now. I have a feeling this seller is simply throwing it out there testing to see if there is some fool around willing to be soon parted from his money.

Posted by: Trip at November 27, 2008 9:35 AM

Trip, if places like this will go for about $1M a year from now, then how about you just sell me yours right now for about...$750K or so? Sound fair? Maybe a little more than that considering your kitchen is 100% better?

Posted by: DanRH at November 28, 2008 11:14 AM

Trip, isn't 8 blocks North of here Haight and Fillmore? Do you think that might be part of the lower price?

Posted by: sparky-the-bear at November 28, 2008 4:48 PM

I never understood wood floors in a bathroom?

Posted by: Ryan at November 28, 2008 4:50 PM

I checked. The better 20th street blocks have been getting closer to 2m than 1M for nearly a decade. So things such as this will most definitely not be available for $1M next year. Even pure inflationists would agree. And I'm not sure what the intent was, but Trip's post sure read like "nana nana boo boo" to an extent.

Posted by: fluj at November 28, 2008 9:48 PM

I will be sure to check back with Trip in a year to see if his prediction holds. I am guessing this place goes for a bit below asking, say $1.9M.

Posted by: NoeValleyJim at November 28, 2008 10:38 PM

"Putting down half a million (oppty cost ~ $2000/mo.)"

That is assuming an after-tax income of about 5% a year on that $500,000, which seems quite optimistic. This year one could have lost 1/2 that money, if invested in stocks.

Trip, what investment are you suggesting that will safely earn 5% a year?

Posted by: Dan at November 29, 2008 6:46 AM

Dan -- FDIC-insured CDs, AAA tax-free munis. I'm using round numbers, of course.

No "nana boo" (whatever that means). Just pointing out that this price is ridiculous for a nice, but unspectacular place in a nice but unremarkable neighborhood. Fluj, your "nearly a decade" comment is what I suspect will prove my prediction. SF housing has been in a bubble for nearly a decade. I simply (by dumb luck) happen to have bought our place just before the bubble really got going, and we are now reverting to the mean quickly. I'm putting this place as overpriced by 30% in today's market (based on $/sf asking prices) and guessing at another 30% decline in the next year. Redfin shows 55 places on the market at $1.75M - $2.25M and only one in contract. This price point is not moving and poised for a big fall.

Posted by: Trip at November 29, 2008 8:53 AM

This is not an unremarkable neighborhood at all. This slope of Liberty Heights has amazing views of downtown and the bay bridge, is in a favored microclimate (the hill blocks most of the wind), is right on top of Dolores Park (which arguable is good and bad, but is certainly vibrant and interesting...and you're steeply uphill from it, so not much overflow), and just across the park is the gourmet ghetto of 18th Street.

It's a great location to be slightly above the fray, but within access of everything.

Prices for places with views on this side of liberty hill have gone at a premium for years. I haven't seen this one in person, but it tells me alot that something with a view is going for below 2 million in this location. Either the view is really obscured, or we are in a whole new market. I'm guessing the latter....

Posted by: curmudgeon at November 29, 2008 3:22 PM

A little self deprecation goes a long way when it comes to blogging. Maybe not "nana boo" maybe a little more "The Ice Cream Man Is Coming" from Eddy Murphy "Delirious.". But regardless, your 10 year runup summation is not apt. The point is that the area commanded a premium prior to big runup, and still does. 2004 would be the year when things like this really shot skyward, and 900 a foot is surely post 2004- type pricing.

Posted by: fluj at November 29, 2008 4:26 PM

Curmudgeon,

The view is really obscured. I wondered when I toured the property how hard it would be to convince the neighbors to trim/cut down their multiple trees blocking the views.

Also as you pointed out, yes of course we are in a whole new market, and this would have sold regardless of the view problem/reverse floor plan a year ago.

Posted by: Auden at November 30, 2008 7:17 AM

For 2.3M? Not likely.

Posted by: fluj at November 30, 2008 11:03 AM

I didn't say at asking, but I did say it would have sold a year ago. 2.1 maybe? Who knows. Now, it probably will not even sell at 1.95. 3988 20th (3bed/2bath) went into contract for 1.95 at the beginning of September, but this property (4bed/3bath, arguably nicer finishes) had the misfortune of being listed when all hell broke loose in the financial markets in October and credit became even more difficult to obtain. That, and it was a little overpriced which didn't help anything.

A year ago is the time period when that POS on sanchez (755) went for 1.45 with 10 offers. Not a perfect comp, but shows the difference in the market for lib hill properties pretty clearly, which you already know fluj.

Posted by: Auden at November 30, 2008 6:39 PM

Now in contract

Posted by: fluj at December 5, 2008 11:56 AM

Any idea how much for fluj?

Posted by: NoeValleyJim at December 5, 2008 12:15 PM

No idea, yet

Posted by: fluj at December 5, 2008 1:19 PM

In contract for $1.95m.

Posted by: Herm at December 8, 2008 9:50 PM

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