651 27th Street
A single-family home over in Noe Valley, 651 27th Street was purchased for $1,200,000 in February of 2004, was extensively remodeled in 2005 (“Design award-winner of Calif Home and Design in 2006! New kitchen, bath, and master-suite.”), and sold for $1,500,000 in November of 2007.
651 27th Street: Kitchen
As a plugged-in reader notes, it’s back on the market and asking $1,195,000. And while you currently won’t find it by searching the public facing MLS, it’s been listed for 53 days.
∙ Listing: 651 27th Street (3/2) – $1,195,000 [Sue Bowie] [Prudential via Pacunion]
Not Exactly A Slam Duncan: 1005 Duncan Returns (This Time Reduced) [SocketSite]

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by diemos

    I smell a flip gone horribly wrong.
    Perhaps, or perhaps a pied-a-terre that doesn’t seem quite so necessary in today’s economic climate. Perhaps today someone needs cash more than they need a place to stay. $1.2M can buy 16 years in a hotel room at $200 bucks a night.

  2. Posted by san FronziScheme

    perhaps a pied-a-terre that doesn’t seem quite so necessary in today’s economic climate. Perhaps today someone needs cash more than they need a place to stay.
    Yeah, I’d vote for an ill-timed flip. Someone yanked half the chairs when the music stopped and the unlucky are still running around the dance floor looking for a safe place.
    About the primo location: It’s not soo bad. At least you’ll share your post office with the 94131 Noe people.

  3. Posted by anon

    Pied a terre? It’s 4br 2 1/2 ba and 1873 sq ft

  4. Posted by ex SF-er

    Pied a terre? It’s 4br 2 1/2 ba and 1873 sq ft
    big feet. everything’s bigger in Texas, ya know?
    :)

  5. Posted by LMRiM

    So, if my math is at least in the ballpark, these guys spent around $35K/mo on this place, if it sells here.
    Noteworthy, too, that it is now below its 2004 price (before it was remodeled), and the entire value of the remodel is being given away.
    I bet Noe falls as hard as anywhere in the city after all is said and done. (well, maybe not as bad as Ingleside and Bayview) Way too much hype.

  6. Posted by anono

    I hope you’re right LMRiM. I would like a house in Noe but something like this needs to be available for less than $1M. Maybe we’re on the way?

  7. Posted by tipster

    Ouch.
    Not an ideal layout for a family, but it’s kind of tough to justify buying a condo when this remodeled SFR is sitting here and will probably be had for something under its asking.

  8. Posted by waiting2nest

    They did a nice job remodeling the interior. The exterior is hideous though. Absolutely no curb appeal.

  9. Posted by dub dub

    Interesting! Anybody know why this is not on the MLS?

  10. Posted by noseeum

    Yeah, this is mildly interesting, but it’s not a 2009 Outlook!
    Socketsite, I love coming here, but never over promise and under deliver. If that outlook does not come out today, that will be your THIRD delay.
    If I never knew it was coming, I wouldn’t be frustrated. For all of our sakes, keep the lips zipped in the future until you’re SURE it’s coming. Thank you!
    [Editor's Note: Agreed (and we feel your pain).]

  11. Posted by ugly

    Man that is one ugly, somewhat depressing house. The boxy rooms and low ceilings give this a very claustrophobic feel. Definitely not family friendly.
    My predication: it end sup selling for $885K

  12. Posted by Satchelfan

    I noticed that there are at least 2 SFR in my neighborhood that have not been listed on the public MLS. Why would you not want it listed? Is it just to keep the homes for sale no. (stats) artificially low? How common a practice is this?

  13. Posted by RenterAgain

    Zillow and PropertyShark say this place is 1175 sq ft. Are some of the rooms on the lower level and unwarranted? Perhaps the bedroom with the carpet?

  14. Posted by anon

    Well, unfortunately this beauty is not in Miraloma Park where the big boys are playing….

  15. Posted by FSBO

    The property is on the MLS – it just doesn’t show when you do a public access search. I’m not sure why (but I agree that the seller should want as wide exposure as possible). To Satchelfan’s question, the property shows as active in the MLS – so it will be included in the active inventory and other related counts.

  16. Posted by anon

    I love the garage. Sue Bowie strikes me as lazy. Why is this property not staged?

  17. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    The facade would be even more homely if the listing photo wasn’t doctored to remove the overhead power lines. It’s odd though that the power line (black wire on the left) was only partially ‘shopped away : the portion overlapping the stucco remains. There’s also a telephone wire cloned out on the right though you can actually still see its ghost in the sky.
    If you look at this block you will see an ugly web of wires along the sidewalk in front of this house. It looks like the photographer took a perspective close enough to keep those wires out of the field of view. To compensate s/he used a crude perspective correction to make the house look “square” again yet it still looks distorted. I thought that someone dosed me with the blue blotter when I first saw that photo.
    Using perspective to keep unsightly stuff out of the frame is fair. Cloning out wires is not.
    I’d really like to know if any SFAR members here have heard this issue of doctoring photos ever comes up. It seems like this deceptive practice should be discouraged. If it isn’t discouraged then how ’bout sending some business to the Milkshake : I could do a 5x better job :-)
    (PS to listing agent : if you’re going to clone stuff out, take care of that ugly vertical power conduit on the left too )
    [Editor's Note: Where Do You Draw The Line(s)?]

  18. Posted by DanRH

    is it me, or is the garage the best picture / best looking of all the shots?

  19. Posted by Foolio

    This should easily command multiple offers. With the Innovation Mecca merely an easy, hour-long train ride away, there will be flocks of highly-paid tech workers fighting over this beauty.
    Either that, or the 2007 buyer overpaid.

  20. Posted by LMRiM

    but it’s kind of tough to justify buying a condo when this remodeled SFR is sitting here and will probably be had for something under its asking.
    There is a 3/3 view condo right on the next block from this SFR that is following the market down. Purchased for $1.349M in 2006, after 4 price cuts it’s now for sale at the same price as 651 27th:
    http://www.redfin.com/CA/San-Francisco/525-27th-St-94131/unit-2/home/1986968
    That condo sold for $1.1M in 2000, and IMO we are likely to see that 2000 price again very soon.

  21. Posted by Sparks

    “Garden borders unique landlocked open space shared with adjacent properties.” – it does have that going for it!

  22. Posted by Willow

    “…Sue Bowie strikes me as lazy. Why is this property not staged?”
    That’s a tough call. Maybe the seller does not have the dollars, or is not willing to spend more on staging. It does not necessarily mean Sue is lazy.

  23. Posted by ex SF-er

    this place is cute enough especially once you rip out those white lacquered cabinet doors and reface them with something else. what is it with San Francisco and white lacquered cabinets???? is it a “fresh” version of the black lacquered look that we had when I was a kid in the hood?
    you can all talk about downturn all you want, but if this place is really 1100 sq ft then this place is asking for more than $1000/sq ft.
    what were people thinking in November 2007?
    (note, I’m not using the “they overpaid” argument… I’m just astonished as to the insanity of the prices).
    as always Foolio, you make me shoot stuff out my nose every day. bravo.
    [Editor's Note: Listed as 1,602 square feet (remember the remodel).]

  24. Posted by zig

    “I hope you’re right LMRiM. I would like a house in Noe but something like this needs to be available for less than $1M. Maybe we’re on the way?”
    See, I am hoping this also. I am sure there are many of us. Noe Valley may be overhyped but for starting a family and staying in the city it the best neighborhood IMO. For this reason I doubt it will fall as much as BayView in percentage terms.

  25. Posted by Jimmy C in 94131

    I’m confused by the 94131 post office comment…
    Is that sarcasm? ignorance? I can’t tell.
    Nothing wrong with a post office that is in a shopping center with lots of parking rather than on 24th street where all the spots are taken from 11 AM to 7 PM.

  26. Posted by 44yo hipster

    Lmrim- i appreciate your enthusiam for price drops in noe, but to get to y2000 prices we will need to drop 35-40%.
    My data point: my partner sold a 2/1 w/o pkg victorian condo for about $450k in 2000. I sold my similiar unit in 05 for $705k. Some claim it wpuld have sold for more in 07, but i have my doubts. (we had 3 offers in the 650 range and the loan ranger at 705). Tanto apparently was not there to advise lone ranger that he overpaid. (i believe lone ranger was a phd genentech wanted enough to assist with housing). Hence i think 705 was top price for that unit, and for it to come down to 450 is a 35-40% drop.
    And im just curious, if prices do go that low ru really serious about buying in sf/marin? Or is it more a anti homebuying stance that u take for this area.
    Personally im A ok with a price drop, as that is the smartest way to invest- buying assets when prices are down and the SS bears are rejoicing. The question is will some of those bears have the chutzpa or balls to buy or if they are merely RE permabears.
    Personally i have my doubts abot some who post here, and have more respect for those who are invested in RE or are seriously interested in doing so. This is a RE site afterall. If i’m an anti commodoties kinda guy i dont hop on those sites and just blast away any negative position i can fathom. But i suppose RE, especially in SF (remember it is different!) elicits alot of emotions from people. Iys harder to get excited about copper futures :)

  27. Posted by diemos

    “The question is will some of those bears have the chutzpa or balls to buy or if they are merely RE permabears.”
    Plan A is to trade some of my cash pile for a dwelling in 2011. Just as it has been since I first saw the credit suisse reset chart.

  28. Posted by Jorge

    44yo hipster,
    Werd up G! Loved dA po5t. Iph0n3s rock!
    Wit respekt to ya post, do ya Re@lize that ur compa4ative home salez of u and ur homeboyz show a 1ncr3ase more dan 2X th3 n0rma1 hom3y apprec1ation during da tim3 p3ri0d, y0?
    Nob0di3s sayi4g buy comm0d1t13s, a1ght? Y0, do th3y us c0mmod1ti3s fo houses, Y0? M@ybe not so gud an 1ndic8t0r for h0mes, holm3z.
    Fershizzl3.

  29. Posted by LMRiM

    i appreciate your enthusiam for price drops in noe, but to get to y2000 prices we will need to drop 35-40%.
    That sounds about right, and it shouldn’t be too much longer. The property we are looking at right here, for instance, is already down 20% from its apparent peak, and is already well below its 2004 price (on an apples-to-apples basis – it has since been remodeled with pretty high end doodads).
    And im just curious, if prices do go that low ru really serious about buying in sf/marin? Or is it more a anti homebuying stance that u take for this area.
    Perhaps I’ll buy. It depends on our living situation at the time I guess. There’s nothing “anti homebuying” about my stance. The assets are mispriced, so they make more sense to rent right now than to buy, and they have for some time. I only first posted on SS in November 2007. Since then, prices have fallen, in some cases dramatically, others not so much. Again, the guy who bought the house that is the subject of this thread bought it in November 2007, and demonstrates the high stakes at work here. He will have imploded a minimum of $400K in nondeductible capital loss (and agent commission) by the time this sells. So far, I have been right in my view that the assets were mispriced. When I think they are fairly priced, I’ll say so.
    The question is will some of those bears have the chutzpa or balls to buy or if they are merely RE permabears.
    I do intend to do some real estate investing in the future. Posting on this site, and reading the responses and looking at the arguments back and forth, I am beginning to realize that the average homebuyer and real estate “investor” is likely to be even more unsophisticated than I had thought. It should give me the opportunity to earn some outsize profits. I have to balance any real estate interests with my invesments/trades in more traditional trading markets for securities. So far, it’s been more valuable for me to spend time on those markets than real estate, but I sense that will change in the next year or so. As I’ve posted, I am looking at income producing properties where the taxpayer is the tenant (Section 8) in a few depressed areas on the East Coast.
    PS – if you don’t think traditional trading markets are “exciting”, then you have truly missed some wonderful trading opportunities these past 10-15 years. These have been extraordinary times.

  30. Posted by Jorge

    Regarding the 44yo optimist,
    Based on home prices appreciating at inflation + 0.5 (a good historical basis for the past 50 years), $450K in 2000 would be $521K in 2005. Your timing may not have been perfect, but it certainly netted 30%+ more than it would have compared to traditional times with sober financing and properly monitored credit markets. 2007 probably would have seen that net increase to 40% more than traditional home price appreciation from 2000. Given that the bubble started before 2000 and the fact that downward corrections generally overshoot mean, hitting -30% from peak is a no brainer.

  31. Posted by waiting2nest

    “The question is will some of those bears have the chutzpa or balls to buy or if they are merely RE permabears”
    I don’t know why all the bulls on this site assume all bears are “permabears”. Based on my previous posts, it’s no secret that I’m a bear, yet I’ve bought and sold a condo in Cow Hollow (pre-bubble). And although I’ve been renting (and savng a LOT of money as a result) the past few years, I plan to buy again over the next year or two when it makes financially sense to do so. I’m pretty certain that many here are doing the same.

  32. Posted by 44yo hipster

    diemos- sounds like it could work out well for you.
    lmrim- i respect your position, but the jury is still out on how much of a drop SF will ultimately take, and how long it will last. generally the longer the recession/economic probs, the stickier the lower prices will be. fyi- although i don’t invest much in the trading mkts, i agree that there were alot of interesting times. my comment was specific to commodities- i dutifully check copper futures once in awhile so my plumber can’t always give me the ‘copper is up’ line on why he has to raise his prices.
    i can understand people were frustrated in the last few years w/SF prices being what they were, and their rejoice at the downward trend. and as i said before, we don’t know how sticky the lower prices will be. one of the reasons i choose to invest in SF is because it was one of the last areas to (finally) drop in price; i believe it will drop less than many other areas; and that it will be one of the first areas to rise again.
    if you look at long time SF investors, they all made their killings on appreciation…SF proper has averaged way more than +0.5% above inflation, and the leverage magnifies the return by a 4x to5x factor. i’m a buy and hold investor, and as long as i have stablizied properties cashflowing to what i need for my lifestyle, i’m cool with riding out the down market. matter of fact it’s ideal when markets go up and down, as they provide good opportunities to get in.
    what people need to realize with RE is that besides the general mkt conditions, the specific property and deal you make is critical to your success. i brought my first property in 94. sure i did well w/it, but i could have brought literally anything in SF in 94 and have done well. and then i brought again in 03 and two in 05. and all are still good buys because my strategy is to buy properties where i can change the use/add substancial value w/development.
    even w/my last purchase, it went from being a great deal to one w/a minor upside in this down mkt, but it cashflows and is a good property to manage (i.e. nicely renovated; market rate tenants.) so i don’t mind keeping it in portfolio. it’s the flip and tic renovators that are in real trouble in this mkt, oh yeah, and people like the lembis that overpaid for rent controlled properties.
    glad to see that there are some people here who are serious about RE, and not just permabears stroking their egos.

  33. Posted by sfrob

    i think the “permabear” assumptions are based on some really outrageous guesses at how far prices will fall. some commenters seem to throw out numbers that are only designed to create controversy and more comments.
    but IMO some will be permabears in SF because most people don’t think of their home as an “asset class” or a pure investment…. if that is your assumption you are in the minority and you will over estimate price drops and the bottom.
    I am bearish on SOMA/SB/MB for now…. but i don’t think it will reach “fundamental” levels ever. whether the bears want to believe it or not, many people do put a lot of value into owning a home vs. being a renter… maybe it’s the “american dream” or maybe it’s the mind-control realtors practicing hypnosis… or maybe it’s citiapartments posting thugs in the lobby intimidating old ladies vs. concierge helping you with your groceries… whatever it is… it exists.
    meanwhile SS will continue to find examples, like the above, of those who went to the extreme and lost a huge amount of money by over paying a year or two ago and are now trying to sell… these aren’t the majority of listings in SF otherwise SS would become the MLS. and these losses are concentrated where recent sales happened… like the Palms, a recent new building.

  34. Posted by Jorge

    44yo short term memory guy….
    Thanks for your limited perspective on purchasing RE during an elongated bull market. I’d love to have this discussion with you in 2-3 years when you really see how hard the bear bites. 9.3% unemployment and rising in CA. A 40 billion dollar deficit for the state. Wage deflation has already started showing its fangs. SF is begging for 1.1B in stimulus which it will never receive. This aint no normal correction, yo. If it were, I doubt you’d waste the words trying to make your case for RE as an investment on this site considering that your audience at thefrontsteps.com abandoned most of your premises about a month ago.
    I’ll happily stroke my ego while this ship sinks. Meanwhile, you can stroke your leveraged losses Japanese style as your assets quantitatively ease.
    C ya l8t3r,
    El Jorge

  35. Posted by 143 DOM


    I’m confused by the 94131 post office comment…

    Jimmy C,
    Yes you are.
    If you want to have a PO Box and want to pick up your registered mail, no 24th street P.O. for you. I lived 3 blocks from the 24th Post Office, btw.

  36. Posted by 143 DOM

    Jimmy C. Strike that out.
    I added this comment on the Duncan thread. It looks like my post was cut/pasted by the SS editor when they created the thread on 27th. It’s out of context.

  37. Posted by auden

    I’m with zig. I’d like to live in Noe one day as well. People still like Noe. NV is going down with the rest of them, I agree, but apparently, despite some apples that show a loss, overall price per sq footage was up in Noe in November.
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/object/article?f=/n/a/2009/01/27/financial/f060156S62.DTL&o=0

  38. Posted by auden

    actually, I can’t tell if its price per square foot or average home price that is up. It may be the latter.

  39. Posted by FSBO

    auden – the trend may be your friend (although the small number of sales may not be statistically significant). Here are the recent sales of single-family homes in Noe (5C) per MLS:
    Nov 08: 7 sales (4 w/sf), $863 psf
    Dec 08: 6 sales (3 w/sf), $712 psf
    Jan 09: 2 sales (2 w/sf), $599 psf
    Note that the MLS computes mean psf only if the square footage is listed. Here are the mean psf for the past 6 years in Noe:
    2003: $549 psf
    2004: $695 psf
    2005: $763 psf
    2006: $749 psf
    2007: $826 psf
    2008: $815 psf
    So, based on 2 sales so far this month in Noe, you could say that we are back at 2003 pricing and that Noe has finally cracked. Well, maybe not yet. Both of these sales were on Dolores Street – and that’s not the real Noe, right?

  40. Posted by auden

    2 sales aren’t statistically significant enough to determine a price per square foot trend. Lets wait for Febraury’s sales.

  41. Posted by anon

    2 sales as dataset. “Real Noe.”
    Wow, FSBO. Have you gone over to the dark side?

  42. Posted by FSBO

    auden & anon: I was trying to interject some levity with my last paragraph. Yes, 2 sales are just 2 data points. But having just 4 data points for November didn’t stop the Chronicle reporter from making the claim that Noe prices were up. You can do an appraisal with just 3 comps.

  43. Posted by ex SF-er

    Wow, FSBO. Have you gone over to the dark side?
    not to speak for FSBO, but s/he did highlight several times that it’s only 2 sales.
    of FSBO’s data, the sales VOLUMES are more interesting than the $/sq ft. such low volumes. Don’t want to make too much about the sales in the dead of winter but still… that is low low volume.

  44. Posted by mow

    That is one FUGLY exterior. That exterior does not look like a million dollar house.

  45. Posted by Foolio

    @mow:
    Well, you know what they say. Don’t be fooled by the humble exterior…

  46. Posted by LMRiM (Honorary 144 DOM for the day)

    That’s “Do not be fooled…”, Foolio. That really cracked me up.

  47. Posted by Foolio

    Ah, nuts. I knew I screwed it up. Look for more fun in the coming days.

  48. Posted by "Dave"

    Using commentary on here as investment advice is about a smart as using the Yahoo finance boards to guide your equity portfolio… The site itself offers little in the way of analysis (other than inventory tracking). The bulk of content is eye candy. [See current post and glossy kitchen photo.] This has great entertainment value but it’s not an investor site.

  49. Posted by nonanon

    noe valley not selling for 20% off. nope, nothing to see here people it’s just entertainment. so pay no attention to the numbers in the post above and focus on that glossy photo and chronicle article. investors trying to sell their flips and realtors trying to sell them have done the analysis and know that noe valley is still going strong!

  50. Posted by Kathleen

    The DOM meter no longer corresponds with the day a listing is launched into the MLS, which most agent will post before the tour sheet deadline, the Friday morning before the first Sunday open or Tuesday Broker tour date.
    It wasn’t in some “agents only facing” database for 53 days.
    The DOM meter starts running from the listing date noted in the listing agreement.
    If the agent is honest, that date is well before the listing appears in the MLS.
    Agents generally sign a listing agreement weeks before a home hits the open market, (I generally like 6-7 weeks to prepare a lsting for marketplace. To launch a listing, we prepare disclosures, get reports, hire photographers, build a website, de-clutter, help clients do minor repairs based upon inspections and reports, bring in an interior designer and or a stager as a consultant to fine tune the home, spruce up, possibly move the clients out, out and stage.
    Staging is seller cost. It should not be a negative reflection on an agent if a home is not staged.
    It is the seller’s decision to spend the money for staging, times are tight, and good staging is not cheap.
    I think Sue is one of the hardest working women in show business.
    Lazy agents do not produce her volume of business year in and year out.

  51. Posted by Jimmy C

    real estate is not show business. It’s a job with almost no barrier to entry. harder to get a cosmetology license than a real estate licence.
    while it’s uncalled for to call an agent lazy based on the lack of staging, it’s also outrageous for them to charge what they do for placing an ad and facilitating paperwork.
    wait a minute… no barrier to entry and overpaid based on the amount of work done… maybe real esate agents are in show business.

  52. Posted by anoan

    “hardest working … in show business” yeah, that’s a fairly common expression. what is the barrier to working in show business? being born rich in los angeles? OK. point taken

  53. Posted by SocketSite

    And two days later…it’s in contract. Don’t forget those invitations to the housewarming.

  54. Posted by sanfrantim

    … which goes to show that price really is king these days.

  55. Posted by Foolio

    “Don’t forget those invitations to the housewarming.”
    A little premature, if you ask me. I’ve seen plenty of places fall out of contract in the past 3 months to know we shouldn’t consider this apple plucked just yet.
    Although perhaps it’s an all-cash Sino-French buyer…
    [Editor’s Note: Were it simply "In Escrow" we would agree (and wouldn’t have pointed it out), but it’s "In Escrow – Firm" which means contingencies have been waived and we're willing to bet it closes.]

  56. Posted by textilewhim

    Zero curb appeal is right. But for the record, utterly fantastic inside, with only a few adjustments needed.
    Photos don’t do it justice. Space is all open, skylights everywhere, master suite & garden are stunning. 1600 SF. We were told escrow had closed so I don’t mind sharing all of this. We looked and thought it was among the best of what we’ve seen. We’re kicking ourselves.
    Can’t believe they didn’t trouble to get it staged, or paint the exterior! Hoping we’ll find another one like it soon

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