815 Alvarado

One legal apartment; two (point nine six five) million dollars; three stories, balconies, and parking spaces; three point five bathrooms; four bedrooms; and fifty-one listing photos.

815 Alvarado: Kitchen

UPDATE (8/18): A reader asks and a reader responds, 815 Alvarado in 1997 when listed as a 688 square foot one-bedroom with one car parking and sold for $325,000:

815 Alvarado in 1997

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by nottimhawko

    needs more ovens.

  2. Posted by ex SF-er

    beautiful home, I’d live here in a second.
    and 51 pictures! wow, that’s fantastic
    the main living area is very odd shaped, not sure what to do with that. and it has a terrible kitchen layout. The work triangle is tolerable, but there is no room on either side of the stove. they should have turned the island 90 degrees.
    it’s amazing how bad these kitchens are designed.

  3. Posted by diemos

    LOL. I’d love to see what the developer bought on this lot back in 97 for $325K. That’s quite a pretty, pretty remodel.

  4. Posted by whatever

    The picture from the 1997 listing shows a smaller structure, one story over garage with maybe a small attic under the peaked roof. Described as 1 BR with 1 car parking, 688 sq ft.
    Interestingly, asking price back then $279,000 and sold for $325,000, 116% of asking.

  5. Posted by kthnxybe

    It’s a beautiful house but oh boy, do I ever agree with our ex-SFer on the kitchen.
    I keep wanting to pluck the island out of the picture and and turn in the other way. Also, with that big and expensive of a remodel, couldn’t they have done one of those downdraft vents rather than the overhead thing?
    (Can someone who knows about such things explain the pros and cons of those to me? Because the vent just seems very obtrusive here.)

  6. Posted by fred

    kthnxybe, my experience is that the downdraft vents don’t work as well as the overhead ones (at least they didn’t with my prior range, a Jenn Air pro-style model). Caveat: that was about 10 years ago so maybe things have changed. But my perception hasn’t changed and I’d still opt for an overhead hood rather than down draft.

  7. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    Nice remodel, but why did they have to manipulate the photos ? They’ve at least edited out the wires from the facade photo and I also see a lot of “space expanding” work in some of the others. With 51 photos, there’s no excuse for needing a fisheye view to capture everything.
    And I agree with Ex-SFer about counter space adjacent to the stove top. It makes me wonder whether the kitchen designer had cooking in mind. A four burner stove top with more counter space would be far more usable. I guess you could just use the spare 2 burners as extra counter space though that seems like a waste. Dieses Küche ist nicht für die Meister Chef aber nur für eine Erste Schwester.
    A nice reno and an example of why average price increases in SF are in part due to massive investment.

  8. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    fred is right that the traditional hood vents are more efficient at pulling fumes away. Fumes are hot and naturally rise, so it is easier to pull them up than suck them downwards. Plus the path to the outdoors is probably shorter by simply going up.
    But I don’t think that the designer had that in mind. Here the goal was to maximize stainless and granite acreage. This is a kitchen for eliciting “Wow, what an awesome place” comments, not a place to enjoy cooking.

  9. Posted by kthnxybe

    Makes sense, thanks Fred and Milkshake.
    There are people out there who are serious suckers for the wood and granite, so I can’t really blame them even if I’d personally rather have a more efficient kitchen. And even if it was a show kitchen maybe they wanted the big vent so it would *look* like a kitchen you could cook in. People are weird.
    I think I might have put a regular old stove where the wall ovens are and a prep sink with usable counterspace on the island, but hey, not my house and out of my price range!

  10. Posted by Topher

    When you see a woman’s profile on a dating site with 50+ photos, what do you do ? I run as fast as possible !
    The seller is desperate. And the price is excessive to say the least.

  11. Posted by Fishchum

    kthnxybe, why exactly do you find the kitchen “inefficient”? I guess I’m having trouble “getting it” as my wife and I cook in a “galley” style kitchen in our 1BDR apartment. Is it the fact that there is so little counter space immediately adjacent to the stovetop? Or is it just that a six burner stove is kind of overkill? I’d love to hear some reasons, as posters on SS will often label a kitchen inefficient without ever explaining why.
    That being said, I find the photos gorgeous. I’d love to do a walk-through and see how the floor plans lay out but as far as style, whoever did this nailed it. Everything from teh wood to the wrought iron touches (especially the staircase) to the stone inlay surrounding the fireplaces. Plenty of color without over doing it, I love the colors in the tile in the bathroom.
    If my lottery numbers come through I’d love this place. Heck, I’d love to find out what the aparment is going to rent for!

  12. Posted by bornnraised

    Nice stairs. My favorite part of the house.

  13. Posted by PPC

    No offense, but for 3 million – I’ll pass.

  14. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    Fishchum – I’ll take a swag at what is wrong with this layout. As Ex-SFer points out the lack of counter space adjacent to the stove top is a real problem. That’s because often when you’re juggling a few (or six as this stove would imply!) pots and pans you need to have your raw ingredients, spoons, tongs, spices, etc. ready at hand. You’re constantly stirring, flipping, and adding ingredients, especially right before serving. Then when everything comes ready, you’ll want more counter space to plate up the finished product.
    Now look at that wall-o-ovens. When you unload something that takes two hands what do you do ? I usually open oven, reach in and grab the food, then turn to set it down on the counter. Turn around from these ovens and what do you see ? An awesome field of open granite, but you’ve got to get around that stove top first. I prefer to take as few steps as possible when moving something hot and heavy. Those extra stove burners might find use as expensive built-in trivets though.
    My favorite layout has a linear flow from fridge -> counter -> sink -> counter -> stove -> ccunter. That flow can be accomplished in a galley kitchen. It could have been done doubly good in this huge kitchen. But then there would be no dramatic space facing the dining area for that orchid and bowl of bananas.
    The stagers have correctly read the future use of this kitchen, placing nice carpets on the floors.

  15. Posted by kthnxybe

    Fischum, what Milkshake said. :-)

  16. Posted by kthnxybe

    Also, they have all this counter space, and none of that is right next to the fridge, so you can’t put your bags on the counter and organize your groceries when you’re putting them away.
    It really is a nice house though.
    And the kitchen in that in-law apartment looks pretty sweet, actually!

  17. Posted by CameronRex

    Could never justify having that much space but if I had a wife/partner and kids I’d go for this in a minute. Great location and its just beautifully done. As I learned from my mother – who hates to cook – in this price range you just want the kitchen to look good for when the cleaners come once a week to clean it. (imho)

  18. Posted by justme

    needs more ovens.

    Seriously. Did the developer not get enough pie as a child?
    All in all, nice. Will it sell for asking? Strikes me as “peak”ish pricing, but who knows. There are more than a couple of, erm, ambitiously priced properties out there that don’t seem to want to give even in the face of the obvious.

  19. Posted by tipster

    Regarding the kitchen layout mistakes, did anyone notice:
    1. From the listing:
    “re-built by designer, Joseph Pugliese, owner of Design Solutions”
    From the web:
    Design Solutions
    San Francisco Interior Design & Remodeling for Kitchens, Bathrooms and More. Specializing in kitchen and bathroom remodeling, interior design and whole house remodeling and additions in San Francisco, we also provide residential and commercial general contracting, construction services and complete design/build project management from the initial concept to the final detail. For inspiration in form and function, visit our Showroom and Design Studio in the heart of San Francisco.
    Whoopsie! Who said there is no such thing as bad publicity. It certainly is beautiful, if not perfectly functional. I’d be willing to bet the owner (who isn’t the design solutions owner) was the one who insisted that the stove get turned 90 degrees. My decorator and I fight like cats and dogs. She’s always right, btw.

  20. Posted by Conifer

    Never buy the best or most expensive house on the block.

  21. Posted by eddy

    Can we please stop having all of this critical comments on the kitchen design, and get back to thrashing the price on these homes?
    As I watch SF home values starting to take the long needed corrections they’ve deserved I’m starting to really questions whether these new, but slightly above average ~$3M homes are sustainable here in SF. I mean, don’t get me wrong, this is a great house, and many like it that are selling for $3M are, in fact, great. But what exactly makes this a $3M home in the long run? Location, views, odd kitchen layout. Beats me. Sure it’s SF and they aren’t building more land, but aside from being “in Noe” and not that close to the 24th street, this home just doesn’t scream, “I’m a freaking $3M home”! I’ve never thought Sutro Tower was a worth view, and that shot of the bay is the worst.
    All that said, it’s a great house and I’m sure it will sell at prevailing market rates to someone who can today afford such premiums.

  22. Posted by BobN

    Kitchen, schmitchen. Who cares? I would never leave that master suite.

  23. Posted by justme

    I would never leave that master suite.
    You would if you wanted some pie.

  24. Posted by Trip

    I agree with kthnxybe that the kitchen in the in-law looks pretty great for actually cooking dinner! I’d use that and enlist my kids to shuttle the dishes up to the island in the main kitchen. I couldn’t tell from the photos — does that big kitchen only have one dishwasher to go with those four ovens and six burners? If so, big mistake!
    Very nice place. But just shy of $3 million? Not a chance.
    Plus it’s only a block off that terrible stretch of Grand View ;)

  25. Posted by livinintheloin

    This is considered Noe? I’m re-branding my digs as “Nob Hill”.

  26. Posted by CameronRex

    eddy – you are asking a question only a seer can know! I think in this case, we may be looking at a house that could justify the price in many markets, not just SF. This is key. The downtown condos that would be half (or 2/3) the price in Seattle or LA or Chicago are a problem. But when you see a place and think – hmmm, not a bad price, and then add in location and apparent build quality this could be a decent value for someone in the market for a $3 million home.

  27. Posted by San FronziScheme

    Of course this is Noe. You’re 2 corners away from the infamous 23rd street repo auction.
    This is one of the best locations in Noe. 3 minutes walk to Castro/24th and a very quiet street. Great backyards with mature trees. You’re often at the edge of the fog plumes coming down from Twin Peaks but still some decent sun overall.

  28. Posted by anonn

    Yeah, and Sutter and Pierce is only one block away from some expensive r.e. So what? Grand View has massive concrete retaining walls all along its course, and cars whizzing by 40 feet overhead all day and night. Location, location, location, Trip. Not sarcasm, sarcasm, sarcasm.

  29. Posted by Trip

    anonn, relax. That was completely tongue in cheek and poking fun at your debating partners, not at you. Yes, I agree that being a block away from Grand View is quite different from being on Grand View.

  30. Posted by curmudgeon

    Only one extraneous comment. A two car (that is two entrance) garage is tacky and wasteful in SF, and IMHO should not be allowed. I’m assuming they also put that much curb-cut in, and thus blew out the opportunity for adjoining neighbors to park on the street.
    I’m not opposed to parking as many cars as you want to in your garage, but curb cuts and front garage door openings should be limited to one car, max, in the standard 25′ lot width

  31. Posted by anonn

    Relaxed, Trip. I saw the smiley.
    As for the two car garage and the curb cut/ driveway, I’m pretty sure those are wide lots and parking is very easy already. Like it or not philosophically, the two car garage + the wide driveway is a SF rarity and a value premium. Plus I like the looks of that garage door a lot.

  32. Posted by San FronziScheme

    Having lived literally a stone’s throw away from 815 Alvarado, I ‘ll say Grand View is not an issue there. You do not hear the overpass much and you really have to twist your head up to notice it. Actually, GV is great feature to have since it helps when you need to go to Market or Portola. It is still 2 blocks away, enough buffer imho.
    Access to the 280 is less than 10 minutes. Ocean Beach 15 minutes. FD 15 minutes. divisadero brings you to the Marina in 15 minutes. You’re almost at the geographical center of SF.
    Not trying to sell the location, just a former neighbor’s take on this great block.
    One thing about traffic around Alvarado is the school. If you are commuting by car towards downtown, better avoid the morning drop-offs that clog Douglass and 22nd.

  33. Posted by anonn

    The Alvarado school? It’s between Diamond and Eureka on 22nd. Alvarado actually discontinues for that span. But yeah I developed a property directly across the street. Too many parents get into this mode of thought that is, “My children are superior to other humans and I can therefore park my car in any driveway I see fit while I am dealing with my children.” I’m no kid hater. I adore kids, but man. I never saw anything like it till I moved to this town.

  34. Posted by BobN

    It looks like a standard curb cut on Google maps.

  35. Posted by San FronziScheme

    Got my Ds mixed up. I have left this area one year ago. Time flies…
    I went down 22nd at the wrong time a few times and almost shouted WTF at the ridiculous ballet of parents who don’t seem to understand their kids have functional legs. I get it that there’s not enough street parking around available for clean drop offs and that time is precious but still…
    Street parking in general otherwise is fine. The higher you go the easier. Next to the fire station is the most available on those late Sunday nights where everything’s taken. Parking must be a pain for contractors though they tend to also try and own the street. I went past the redo on 23rd at Eureka every day and it was pick-up truck galore during daytime. That lasted quite a while. Too bad it ended up on the auction block.

  36. Posted by NoeValleyJim

    I really like this place. Heck, if I had $3M lying around, I would probably buy it. So I am guessing this one sells without too much fuss, even at this rarefied price.
    Why the heck did they add an in-law though? It looks like this used to be one unit, I don’t get the additional unit. Maybe it really is the “au pair” unit for on-site household help. At this price range, I guess it makes sense.

  37. Posted by anonn

    The good things about living on a school block are every night there’s parking, and every weekend, during holiday breaks, and pretty much all summer long. It’s a tradeoff.

  38. Posted by John smith

    Went to the twilight open house….
    looked all around..out the windows…
    couldn’t find that 360 view as in the
    site info…WTF????

  39. Posted by diemos

    “looked all around..out the windows…”
    Well there’s the problem. You didn’t go up on the roof.

  40. Posted by john Smith

    Silly me….TRUTH in Advertising….Not a house with 4 bedrooms….
    Upstairs bedroom can be divided…walk thru one to get to other….
    and unit with its own entry…sounds like a multi-unit to me…not
    house! Parking for 3…..outside deleted. What other surprises lurk?
    Want this White Elephant next to a tacky apartment with cement
    lawn. Doggy Day Care next door in the works????

  41. Posted by Franky

    Hmm… Step right-up and own this overbuilt piggish Monster Home in Noe Valley. Be part of the movement to tear down and destroy the very reason people want to live there. Whatever happened to remodeling with thoughtfull design in-tune with the neighborhood? If you want a giant suburban home, move to Vallejo!

  42. Posted by Sophie

    “it’s amazing how bad these kitchens are designed.”
    why are you surprised, the designer is a NKBA !!! OF COURSE THE DISIGN HAS TO BE BAD!

  43. Posted by Sophie

    “As for the two car garage and the curb cut/ driveway, …”
    it’s a ONE car garage with double door. See disclosure, description, plans etc.

  44. Posted by anon

    De-listed on Dec 18. Apparently they used to rent the in-law for $500/month at the time of the previous listing?

  45. Posted by remy

    i gotta say–compared to the first raffle house in sonoma, there’s no way i’d want to have to pay taxes on “income settled from a raffle” at 3 million to the feds, not to mention the 30k per year in property tax (at 10 bucks per 1000 multiplied by 3000).
    but the cash prize softened 300k? that’s CHEAP and messed up! what the hell? i would have bought a ticket, taken the cash prize, exempted myself on the “required w-2″ so that my accountant could manage that part of it.
    at least i’d walk away with roughly 1,375,000, which even at 5% would be 68k income a year.
    think about it: closing costs, property tax and a questionably valued steroid house that you may never sell for the price you’re being taxed on vs 68k a year (of interest on the cash won).
    i’ll take the latter any day.
    btw, i SO agree with the previous poster re the views: i don’t want to pay 3mil to look at sutro tower and that bay view makes the dry docks at oakland look like modern art.
    harrumph!

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