February 24, 2012
A Remodeled 444-446 Roosevelt Returns As A Single-Family Home
Apples to apples, 444-446 Roosevelt Way was purchased for $2,100,000 in early 2008, relisted for $1,750,000 in early 2011 with permits to excavate, expand, and remodel in place, and sold for $1,300,000 this past July.
Now an orange, it’s a plugged-in reader that notices the since remodeled Corona heights home has just returned to the market as 446 Roosevelt and listed for $2,650,000 as a single-family home.
As the building, and the house next door, looked before:
First Published: February 24, 2012 11:15 AM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
I thought the 2011 sale was "gutted on the inside" (based on previous SS post). How is that apples to apples from the prior sale?
Posted by: R at February 24, 2012 11:48 AM
Uh, oh, here come the ugly kitchen comments...
I think at least one design element matches another. No, wait, actually, I'm wrong...
Posted by: tipster at February 24, 2012 12:05 PM
Wow, I agree with Tippy! That kitchen is extra special ugly.
Posted by: R at February 24, 2012 12:14 PM
yeah, kitchen fail.
The window is overwhelmed by the stone work. It sucks the light out. The island looks as if it were photoshopped there by error (different counter top, different wood finish). The lattice styled tiling is too busy, too distracting and doesn't fit the SS appliances style. You can't even figure what the faucets look like or even where they are.
This kitchen gets natural light from 2 sides but somehow it appears as it it were in a basement! After the man cave, the wife cave.
Posted by: lol at February 24, 2012 12:30 PM
Is this a legit 2 to 1 dwelling unit conversion? I don't see the permits for the dwelling unit merger...
Posted by: ejay at February 24, 2012 2:33 PM
I'd like to see the permits, too. Family in North Beach can't merge, but this place can??? If I ever merge my 2-unit in Inner Richmond, I wonder if you can get away without permits...but I'd live there, not try and sell.
Posted by: nancydrew99 at February 24, 2012 3:03 PM
Warning to buyer: this part of San Francisco has underground springs and the ground is hard rock (i.e. difficult to dig). During escrow, ask about drainage, get copies of drain maps/permits, check disclosures, and get a soil engineer inspection during heavy rain. Also ask about age, performance, waterproofing and drainage of retaining walls.
Posted by: DataDude at February 24, 2012 4:07 PM
Warning to readers of Warnings: People on the internet just like to scare you.
Posted by: sparky-b at February 24, 2012 4:33 PM
Great now I am scared of warnings!
Posted by: Rillion at February 24, 2012 5:09 PM
I think DataDude's warning has merit. Underground seepage can cause serious chronic problems. Flippers have a habit of covering up the evidence rather than fixing the cause because the fix is far more expensive than the band-aid. Even a shoddy coverup can conceal the problem long enough to get the place sold.
Be careful when choosing a soils engineer though. I talked to one who was completely full of BS despite "speaking with authority".
Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at February 24, 2012 5:23 PM
Thank you, Milkshake.
A thermal camera can see cold/damp spots, which can indicate drainage and mold/mildew issues
Unfortunately most general inspectors don't own one. You can always run a hose for several hours against retaining wall, but this will probably really annoy seller and is no substitute for gallon/ minute coming down hillside after days of rain in winter
A good mold inspection is also money well spent but can cost thousands
If the house has new drywall and paint on sub-ground floor interior, that's a possible red flag
Posted by: DataDude at February 24, 2012 5:36 PM
Well part of his warning was this:
"get a soil engineer inspection during heavy rain." So, write an offer contingent to a November sale when you get the engineer out in the rain. To look at what? How the rain hits the patio.
"this part of San Francisco has underground springs and the ground is hard rock (i.e. difficult to dig)." this part of the city has less springs than other parts of the city. What is the problem with the ground being hard rock? You know what's difficult to dig, sand. Sand is difficult to dig, rock is not.
"ask about drainage". Sure do that, or just look at the plans or permits.
"get copies of drain maps/permits". That is a confusing thing to say. Drainage map? they won't have that. But do look at the permitted plans, they will show the drainage.
"ask about age, performance, waterproofing and drainage of retaining walls": They all new everywhere with wrapped perf pipe, drainboard, etc.
I guess what I found annoying about the WARNING, is that it was a warning without any effort put into whether it pertained to this house but was written as if "in the know".
Posted by: sparky-b at February 24, 2012 5:42 PM
If it sounds like I have specific knowledge of this area, it's because I do. I'm not familiar with this house in particular, but I do know there's a very steep hill in the backyard for water to run down. I also know that many houses on Roosevelt and Clifford leak and have drainage problems despite being "remodeled."
What is shown on the house's plans at the Building Dept don't always match what's in the field, so it's best to ask the contractor about the length and depth of drainage. Get things in writing.
I'm not an engineer, but my understanding is that hard rock is a problem if houses are close together. The rock is so hard in this area that jackhammers break and some contractors flat out refuse to do work. If a retaining wall needs to be replaced and it's close to a neighbor, good luck underpinning it. Good luck using that jackhammer, because the vibrations might crack your neighbor's foundation.
Thank you to everyone who maintains civil discourse on SocketSite, which is in keeping with the Editor's mission of exchanging knowledge and enhancing learning.
Posted by: DataDude at February 24, 2012 6:17 PM
Enough bickering about rock. Can't we all be friends and just focus on how ugly that kitchen is?
Posted by: NoeNeighbor at February 24, 2012 7:11 PM
LOVE the last comment. Yes, agreed! The kitchen is ugly and we can all be friends. It's amazing what a paint job and new garage door can do:)!
Posted by: David Anderton at February 24, 2012 7:17 PM
Civil discourse I am all for, starting a comment with "warning" is not civil discourse. But whatever.
Contractors don't refuse to work on hard rock. Charge more maybe.
Good luck telling the building inspector, "it was hard rock so we didn't do the foundation very deep, will you sign off anyway"
This house is 8 feet from the neighbor on either side so your whole underpinning issue is moot.
Also, new Sheetrock and paint on the lower level is not a red flag, especially when the whole house has new rock and paint.
Posted by: sparky-b at February 24, 2012 8:06 PM
looks like the contractor repurposed the hard rock in the kitchen
Posted by: inmycountry at February 24, 2012 8:27 PM
"It's amazing what a paint job and new garage door can do:)!"
Exactly! And new paint that compliments the architecture goes even further. Top if off with professional photography and it's enough to make a prospective buyer want to go check the place out.
But back to the kitchen - it's really the multitude of dissimilar finishes that does it in. Some contrast is important; too much is . . . well, probably not maximizing returns at a minimum.
Posted by: GoodBuyBadTimes at February 25, 2012 9:18 AM
There are springs in the area. One is on the Cole Valley side of this hill and the other is well below Roosevelt Way near the Randall Museum. Drainage problems are another issue altogether- and not limited to steep hillsides or this neighborhood- but are usually solvable. Or soluble.
Posted by: Rocco at February 25, 2012 9:23 AM
You know that an enviromental report is a standard disclosure in any real estate transaction, right? If not then now you do.
Posted by: [anon.ed] at February 25, 2012 1:39 PM
Environmental report doesn't include info on local underground springs. Yes, there is flood hazard zone info, but that's a totally different concept, for areas the flood very infrequently (once every 100 years).
Home owners insurance would provide little if any coverage, because they assume the drainage and waterproofing are to code and do their job.
If this was remodeled recently, there hasn't been enough rain to test whether new drains and waterproofing are functional.
Posted by: DataDude at February 25, 2012 3:47 PM
DBI lists many open permits for the property. None are signed off, and a dwelling unit merger isn't mentioned.
Posted by: PN at February 25, 2012 4:24 PM
Had to see the kitchen. Not so bad in real life as lots of light. However a row of cabinets with lower shelves at least 8-9 feet high - a library
rolling step ladder needed to make them useful.
Entry floor and kitchen floor the same odd dimensional white stone? On entry to the house the floor is a real surprise. Rest of the place good and bad to each person's taste
The house is still officially two units but one would never know it as the lower bedroom and family room flow like an integral part of the home. There is a wet bar and refrigerator on one wall which suffices for an official kitchen. Realtor pointed out where door could be built to shut off the lower unit - unit has own outside access.
Posted by: Bin There at February 26, 2012 4:21 PM
Bin There and anyone else who went,
What did you think of the blue hardwood floors?
Posted by: sparky-b at February 29, 2012 8:07 AM
As a neighbor who lives next door, I know this area well. Most homes have been here for over 50 years. No one has any underground spring issue. Perhaps some nosy busy socketsite readers have nothing better to do.
446 Roosevelt is a beautiful home with beautiful finishes. Don't let jeolous socketsite readers deter you from visiting this home. Most socketsite writers say bad things about properties on Socketsite. Most are volunteers for Tenant's Union.
Posted by: next door neighbor at February 29, 2012 6:11 PM
The list price for 446 Roosevelt Way has been reduced $85,000 (3 percent), now asking $2,565,000.
Posted by: SocketSite at March 30, 2012 6:54 AM
Posted by: sparky-b at April 17, 2012 11:29 AM
Sold for 2,495,000.
Posted by: 94114 at May 4, 2012 12:22 PM