March 29, 2010
860 De Haro: An Orwellian Reference In More Ways Than One
Built in 1984 and last sold for $1,700,000 in March 2007, 860 De Haro has been extensively remodeled since. A new kitchen now opens to the dining room (for which a new beam was installed to accommodate), all the bathrooms were redone, all the windows and doors were replaced, new flooring was installed, and the yard was landscaped.
The Potrero Hill home is back on the market and asking $2,190,000. And while its sale is likely to set a new "peak" for the property, at least plugged-in people will understand why.
∙ Listing: 860 De Haro (2/2.5) - $2,190,000 [MLS]
First Published: March 29, 2010 10:30 AM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
From the pic, that facade is really dull looking. Massing to me is just not pleasant, but worse is the apparent poor stucco work that appears all wavy in the pic. Perhaps it's just the pic and I'm being a hater, but it looks a lot cheaper than 2 mill from the outside.
Posted by: curmudgeon at March 29, 2010 10:58 AM
Why is San Francisco MLS always leave out the square footage ? I live in the suburb and that usually means there is something to hide such as the house is actually smaller than the wide angle lens suggests.
Posted by: Outsider at March 29, 2010 12:10 PM
REGARDING SQUARE FOOTAGE..........This question keeps popping up all the time and what I know to be true is this: Many real estate firms will NOT allow the square footage to be posted anywhere. Not in the MLS, not in the property description and not on the statements that are handed out in the open houses.
It's all about liability. If you have had your own home appraised a couple of times like I have, you will note that the square footage is not the same from the previous appraisal. Nor is it probably the same in the tax records that the city has. It's all in the measuring and who does it.
If an agent puts in writing a specific square footage amount and the appraisal comes back something different ( less )......than the buyer could go back to the seller and say that they want a price reduction for the difference. I have heard it has happened and the buyer usually wins and that has set precedence in certain courts of law.
I agree that it would help to have the square footage posted but that is not going to happen until it is not ground for law suits.
Posted by: radar at March 29, 2010 12:42 PM
outsider - the generally stated reason is lawsuit exposure to the listing agent if the real size is different from reported. One would think that a third party could be employed to avoid that legal issue.
But I've noticed that the missing square footage seems to occur more often in homes that would show a high price/sqft. metric. By eliminating the basic floorplan size potential buyers need not be troubled with ugly numbers.
Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at March 29, 2010 12:48 PM
@radar: I've understood that to be the reason as well. Square footage can also be tricky in that my appraisal does include my 2 car side-by-side garage, sub-basement, staircases and every interior closet space.
Posted by: Solis at March 29, 2010 12:55 PM
Solis: Exactly ! I have never had my garage or any other non-living space included in my appraisals but that may differ county to county and of course, by appraiser.
My experience is that appraisers use only the 'living area' square feet and if they do include the garage or other storage areas, they note that on the appraisal as a separate area from the living space.......confusing eh ?
Posted by: radar at March 29, 2010 1:02 PM
What you'll find is that the fears of "legal liability" are proportional to the price per square foot. If the price per square footage is outrageous for the area, Realtors suddenly become scared of "legal liability" and don't post it, and if it is in line or even below the average, that "fear" goes right out the window and it's plastered everywhere.
Here, propertyshark.com shows a square footage of about 2300. This makes it over 950 per square foot, pushing the boundaries for this area, and so it isn't listed. Her listing for 557 Sawyer Street on her out of date web site http://www.margelkaufman.com proudly lists the square footage for 557 Sawyer Street, where the price per square foot is $379. Yup, "legal liability"! That's the reason -- NOT!
As far as the "wide angle" or "fish eye" lense, no one uses them any longer because the deception is there for anyone to see because everything is so distorted. A realtor who wants to deceive you will, of course, want to do so without your knowledge.
The Realtors' attempts to deceive you have gotten far more sophisticated than just a wide angle lense. Their photographers now use a program called Photoshop to "stretch" all or some of a photo. Thus, they can stretch in one dimension, but not another. They do this to make the purposeful distortion less noticeable to you.
In photo 3 of this listing, the room is stretched back to front, but not side to side, to make it less noticeable. Thus, the chairs appear to be in proportion. However, this makes the chair in the corner appear slightly wider than the chair at the head of the table, which appears longer, even though they are the same size, as is evident in photo 4. In photo 8, the once long, narrow table is nearly square. So they've taken what is really just a landing at the top of the stairs and, viola! it's a dining area! when in fact, this $2.1M home actually doesn't appear to really have one. D'oh! Photo 9 shows you the real size of this "dining area", which is positively diminutive. The toilet in photo 9 has been clipped so that you can't tell it's been stretched wide, which the bowl would reveal.
Or one dimension may be stretched more than another, even though both are stretched. They can even stretch just a part of a photo, if doing so misleads you more. Look at the "bathtub" in photo 21. Is that a bathtub or a lap pool? Hard to tell. But one thing is for certain, the bathroom is nowhere near that large.
They can also compress in any dimension. A large set of stairs can be made to look shorter. A looming house next door can be made to look shorter.
They can change the pitch of the street, making a steep block appear flatter.
The Realtors are out to screw you any way they can. Unlike the square footage, where it is left out when it is unfavorable, photos are not omitted, but are actively and deliberately changed for no other reason than to mislead potential buyers.
I've seen very few Realtors not do this, though I believe Paul Hwang is a notable exception. What you see in his listings are usually what you get. I suspect you'll find him to be the same way - an honest guy, if perhaps a bit self promotional, and there's much less harm to anyone in that. I don't know the guy at all, so...grain of salt.
People who think their Realtor is a great guy for deliberately misleading potential purchasers of their home should be reminded of the saying, "If a man steals FOR you, he'll steal FROM you."
Posted by: tipster at March 29, 2010 1:32 PM
Funny how nobody wants to talk about 2br 2.5ba for 2.1M on Potrero Hill. Is this really as blase as all that? If it gets anywhere close to that figure it will be an incredible comp for the area.
Posted by: anonn at March 29, 2010 2:00 PM
I couldn't even begin to pass judgement until I figure out the size of the property. For all I know, this house may be only 1300 square feet which makes it very expensive but obviously less so for 2300 square feet. The liability issue I don't buy as MLS in the suburb frequently use the term "approximately." Unless you are way off, I think that should cover the listing agent. I suppose in San Francisco one commonly encounters illegal added on spaces that can post an issue.
I thought appraisal method is pretty standardized. We onlu measure living space which automatically excludes garages, attics and basement unless they are legally converted.
Posted by: Outsider at March 29, 2010 3:03 PM
Another butt ugly modernist facade. In that it fits in on this section of DeHaro - sad, ugly street.
Personally I think this house needs an invisibility cloak.
Posted by: lark at March 29, 2010 3:13 PM
If it gets anywhere close to that figure
That's a mighty big if.
I don't see much in the way of comps very near that. 719 Carolina went for 2.1, and is back on the market again, but it's nearly time and a half the size even if it doesn't have the view. 713 R.I. topped $900psf, but five to seven seems much more common for the area.
It could happen, but it's a stretch. They want half a million more than they paid for it, which, given the renovations might or might not be out of hand under "normal" circumstances. If you take the bubble into account, which they bought at the peak of, they're way off. If we've dropped to about where prices were in '04, as data suggests, they're waaay off.
Yeah, could happen. I wouldn't bet anything I'm terribly attached to on it though.
Posted by: justme at March 29, 2010 3:46 PM
I can't believe this property at eight hundred and sixty de haro st. is two million one hundred and ninety thousand dollars and zero cents, is four stories tall, and there are only two bedrooms.
Posted by: newsomgavin at March 29, 2010 3:49 PM
We're seeing appraisers refusing to quote directly attributable sq ft in this market. So if the appraisers won't do it, you think a broker is going to do it? No way.
Posted by: anonn at March 29, 2010 4:15 PM
Price seems like a wish.
Posted by: mortgage analyst at March 29, 2010 4:29 PM
@outsider: You're buying a house, not square footage. There's a lot more that goes into what a house is worth than just that number, one which can be endlessly manipulated. Does the house have hardwood or lino? Bulthaupt or Home Depot? Is the unpermitted bed and bath in the cellar part of the number?
Besides, wouldn't you be happier in a 1300 Sq ft house with twelve-foot ceilings than a 2300 Sq foot house with eight-foot ceilings?
Posted by: Rocco at March 29, 2010 5:18 PM
Rocco - I agree that higher ceilings are more valuable though that value is a lot more subjective. You make a great case for quoting cubic feet along with square feet though I will not hold my breath for the cu.ft. metric to appear on the MLS any time soon.
Until then sellers can still tout their high ceilings with listing verbage ("Great room has twelve foot ceilings !!!!"). That's not an excuse for omitting the sq.ft. metric though.
Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at March 29, 2010 6:11 PM
Back to this property : a bit of photo trivia. Notice that the photographer chose an unfortunate time of the day to shoot the facade. The light is coming in from the upper left and just grazing the stucco surface which causes the most minor bump to cast a long shadow. This highlights the imperfections in the stucco.
I'm sure that most of the time the facade looks a lot better than in this photo. So much for portraying the property in the "best light".
Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at March 29, 2010 6:21 PM
Maple floors and cabinets, black granit, travertine in the baths the remodel looks like it was done between 1998 and 2002 not after 2007. So this is bazaar pricing, and the first offer should be about half and be happy at 65 to 70% of the asking?
Posted by: GetOffTheIvy at March 29, 2010 9:31 PM
According to the tax records, the property is 2,361 sq. ft.
Posted by: Maureen Byrne at March 30, 2010 8:56 AM
wow - always so much hatin' on these boards. Jeez, get a life. Go check out the house. It is beautiful. I saw it when it was on the market in 2006/2007 and what was done with it now. It was on the Potrero Hill home tour in the Spring for the library fund raiser. The house is large inside, airy and very well done. It doesn't look like it was done in the 90's. The Master Bath and Bedroom are spectacular. I am not the owner, but met them on the tour in the Spring. I'm just a neighbor. Nice neighborhood.
Posted by: MikeH at March 31, 2010 3:12 PM
Whats up with the outside stucco, it looks "wavy"?
Posted by: Mr. Jones at March 31, 2010 3:17 PM
^^^ See my comment above on March 29, 2010 6:21 PM regarding the sun angle.
Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at March 31, 2010 3:34 PM
I'm not sure if it has to do with the angle of the sun. Checkout Google Street View and MapJack, and even the house next door. My bet is bad stucco job.
Posted by: Mr. Jones at March 31, 2010 3:41 PM
The mapjack view is backlit and looks fine : http://www.mapjack.com/?GVzmWCNBcF5EnCxA
The google street view image looks to have been taken at the same unfortunate time of day.
Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at March 31, 2010 4:44 PM
Actually in MapJack its the old wood facade and not stucco. My guess is they used the stucco right over the old wood, causing the problems.
Posted by: Mr. Jones at March 31, 2010 4:47 PM
In Mapjack it appears to be siding, not stucco...
Posted by: R at March 31, 2010 4:49 PM
Man I sure hope that the stucco wasn't put right on top of the wood siding, but you never know sometimes. My least favorite stucco retrofit abomination is stucco right on top of "shingled" clapboard. That looks terrible when new and then it starts cracking along the clapboard seams as it ages.
Still, the stucco would definitely look less wavy when the sun isn't glancing it from a noontime sideways angle.
Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at March 31, 2010 5:36 PM
Milkshake, I generally take you to be our photographic expert, but you think it's just coincidence that both the MLS photo and the Google Maps photo have the waviness going on?
Posted by: Anon E. Mouse at March 31, 2010 6:04 PM
It would be prohibitively expensive to tear down the wood siding, and retrofit with stucco. I am willing to be they just used stucco over the existing exterior wood siding. There is no way to prove it, but the "waviness" doesn't help, even if its partially due to lighting.
Posted by: Mr. Jones at March 31, 2010 6:15 PM
Wow, I like the wood siding much more. To me that is a strange choice to stucco...
Posted by: curmudgeon at March 31, 2010 7:22 PM
Maybe there was problem with the wood underneath so they just stuccoed over. In my experience, when someone stuccos over something like that nice wood exterior something is wrong. Stucco can be nice if its part of the original design/construction
Posted by: Mr. Jones at March 31, 2010 7:31 PM
those vertical slits in the facade somehow make more sense with the vertical wood siding. But in stucco it looks very strange to me. Maybe the owners thought it was dated, or didn't want to repair/replace some of the wood. But now it's just wrong.
Posted by: curmudgeon at March 31, 2010 11:37 PM
Anon E. Mouse - Yes, I'd assume that this a coincidence. You can look at the other shadows in the google streetview and this photo to compere.
This facade faces west so when the sun is at a noontime position it grazes across the stucco. The "moment of ugliness" lasts about 15-20 minutes. So while it is improbable that both photos were shot during the moment of ugliness, it isn't really surprising that this happened.
If I had the time I'd head out to De Haro street and report back about how long the moment of ugliness lasts for this facade. But then I'd just get distracted and end up at Anchor's tasting room.
Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at April 1, 2010 9:51 AM
MOD, how do you explain the stucco on the buildings next door look fine?
Posted by: Mr. Jones at April 1, 2010 9:53 AM
I didn't say that this was an inferior stucco job, only that it doesn't look this bad all the time.
Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at April 1, 2010 10:15 AM
For 2M in a less than prime neighborhood, you'd expect your house to look perfect 24/7. Ridiculous.
Posted by: lol at April 1, 2010 10:44 AM
A few corrections - I was in the house for the Library fundraiser: 1)it is spacious and very well done with a remarkable attention to detail; 2) The facade faces East, not West, as can easily be seen by looking at the pictures looking out from the Living Room and Master Bedroom; 3) The area for Dining is not merely a 'landing', the table easily seats 8, with a spacious area to one side for coming and going to/from the kitchen to livingroom.
While not my style, I found the home to be very gracious and inviting despite the modern architecture.
Some folks just like to b*tch, I guess.
Posted by: XLS at April 8, 2010 2:37 PM