March 30, 2012
Think You Know Noe? Now’s The Time To Tell
Purchased for $1,560,000 eight months ago, the single-family Noe Valley home at 152 Clipper Street has just returned to the market listed for $1,549,000.
While short-term holds make it difficult to recoup hefty transaction costs, they do provide a nice measure of the market, apples-to-apples style (albeit in this case, with $17,000 of permitted pest work completed in-between sales).
If you think you know Noe, now’s the time to tell. And with respect to the reason for selling, word on the street is that it’s related to work.
∙ Listing: 152 Clipper Street (3/3) 1,723 sqft - $1,560,000 [MLS]
First Published: March 30, 2012 7:00 AM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
MLS listing calls it a "Victorian" and says it was built in 1907. Since that was 6 years after Victoria's death, it is dishonest (or at the very least ignorant) to call this house a "Victorian."
Posted by: BobInSF at March 30, 2012 7:44 AM
"victorian is a style of architecture. It does not mean "built during the period in which queen victoria reigned"
Posted by: anon at March 30, 2012 8:04 AM
victorian or not, the front facade is hella ugly.
Posted by: momonthego at March 30, 2012 8:15 AM
A few thoughts and a guess:
-Did someone really pay $900 psf for this starter home back in August 2011? Seems pretty common these days, but how did the press miss that at the time as nascent evidence that Noe is HOT HOT HOT?
-Never understand when people block the kitchen triangle with a center island. Highly dysfunctional.
-Never understand when people furnish a dining room table with a classic wood bench on one side and recycled storm trooper outfits masquerading as chairs on the other side. Huh??
-Master bed closet seems as big as the other bedrooms...so why no pix?
-Would love to see how someone gets 2 cars side by side in the garage (and no, Smart cars don't count). Is there a horizonal lift? Or maybe it's 2 hovercraft parking?
-I'd probably take down the south facing picture of the back yard showing the external staircase. About the only shot that says "cheap afterthought".
So all things considered, especially given the fact that the seller is actually listing below August 2011 psf levels, perhaps this is a 4378 Cesar Chavez wanna be...list low, look for lots of traffic and 23 bids and try to close 50% over ask. I'll jump in at $1.595mm
Posted by: no_ vally at March 30, 2012 8:24 AM
1,703,900. 10% over asking. All of the relatively nice listings seemed to be priced about 10% under their ultimate selling price. The bidding war seems to be back, at least this year, until inventory catches up with demand.
Posted by: 94114 at March 30, 2012 8:25 AM
"Victorian is a style of architecture." True, but then this Edwardian era house should be called "Victorian style" (which is a stretch if you look at it). I think for most San Franciscans, the term Victorian implies it was built in the late 19th century. Some realtors try to expand the definition because true Victorians can carry a price premium. To call this a "Victorian" is dishonest. Would you call a brand new house in, say, Las Vegas "Victorian" just because it had Bay windows or whatever?
Posted by: BobInSF at March 30, 2012 8:53 AM
Floor plans show no main level closets. Where does one put the guest coats or even their own coats. Where does the vacuum hide along with all the other necessary daily junk that goes in a closet?
Posted by: No Place For It at March 30, 2012 9:18 AM
It's impossible to tell for sure, given the reworking the the facade has suffered, but my guess was that this place started as an Edwardian, both temporally and stylistically.
Posted by: BobN at March 30, 2012 9:23 AM
One of the worst floor plans I've seen in recent times. Garage will never work for two cars. All the above comments are spot on.
The new rear stairs are perhaps the cheapest looking and ugliest and most poorly "designed" I have seen in a long time. And I use the word designed very lightly.
By looking at the front facade, it's pretty much a travesty and completely dishonest to call this a Victorian.
Are you listening real estate agents?
Posted by: futurist at March 30, 2012 9:47 AM
@No Place For It: There's a closet in the entry hall.
Posted by: R at March 30, 2012 9:59 AM
Sorry, but I don't see any closet on the main floor or in the entry hall. I see a stair going up and a stair going down.
So where is it? Maybe I'm missing it.
Posted by: futurist at March 30, 2012 10:04 AM
Yup, my bad. No closet.
Posted by: R at March 30, 2012 10:08 AM
The floor plan in this place is more authentically Victorian than a lot of other houses where the interior walls got removed to create a floor plan to suit contemporary tastes. Too bad the facade was stripped. Still, it's better than the deranged mash up of trim you see on so many renos - even most architects don't get it all right.
Posted by: Around1905 at March 30, 2012 10:25 AM
Haven't seen it in person, but in the plans and photos, sure looks tiny...
Posted by: sf builder at March 30, 2012 10:41 AM
Posted by: Alai at March 30, 2012 11:43 AM
Nice. But not quite $900 psf nice. $1.485.
Posted by: sanfrantim at March 30, 2012 11:47 AM
Asking + 1%
Posted by: Dont get it at March 30, 2012 11:48 AM
RE "starter home" ^^^
1,723 sqft gets tight with kid stuff strewn about
3br/3ba same thing
1 car garage (functionally not a 2 car space...just plenty of extra storage)
and on Clipper...where the through traffic eventually drives all but the heartiest (or hardest of hearing) to quieter streets
Posted by: no_ vally at March 30, 2012 12:42 PM
Wow, must be nice to have more than 3 bathrooms in San Francisco. I don't know of even one family here that lives that opulently.
Posted by: NoeValleyJim at March 30, 2012 1:50 PM
Very quiet cul-de-sac like street. Reminds me of when I played stickball growing up in Brooklyn. I love the East Coast hip money vibe that is pushing SF.
Posted by: wifey at March 30, 2012 1:52 PM
This really isn't an opulent house. Actually pretty small square footage to pack in 3 bedrooms and 3 baths. 3 baths or say 2.5 is pretty normal for many NV renovated houses today.
Not that unusual.
Posted by: futurist at March 30, 2012 1:59 PM
Wifey is correct. This is not the busy, traffic-ey part of Clipper that you encounter heading west of Noe.
Posted by: sanfrantim at March 30, 2012 2:16 PM
That deck/stair thingie will eventually need to be redone. 1.515 mil.
Posted by: jenofLA at March 30, 2012 3:23 PM
Posted by: futurist at March 30, 2012 5:36 PM
Wait, I am confused. Is this "normal" or a "starter home"? Because if it is "starter home" then All Grown Up home must have more then 3 bathrooms, like 4 or something.
I was in the house of a bonafide billionaire in Pac Heights and his house had more than four bathrooms, so I take back my earlier statement. But no one else I know.
Posted by: NoeValleyJim at March 30, 2012 5:47 PM
this solves a frequent problem-- from the MLS listing "Sq Ft Source Per Graphic Artist"
Maybe not exact but a reasonable approximation and it does not include a thingie
Posted by: guest at March 30, 2012 5:50 PM
Oh a guess, I guess. Will reserve the right to change this estimate after I do a tour, which I will try and do this weekend.
But I am going to go with $800/sq ft and therefore $1.4M.
Noe has been surprising me a lot lately, but I still think this one is a bit over priced. The facade is unfortunate, probably the result of a lazy landlord back in the 50s or 60s.
Posted by: NoeValleyJim at March 30, 2012 5:53 PM
You also will need extensive permits, neighborhood notification, full seismic upgrade, historic evaluation, mandatory 1 year enrollment in a certified Yoga class, a Starbucks card, Zipcar membership, and a verifiable degree in organic gardening skills:
in order to build the thingie.
Posted by: futurist at March 30, 2012 5:56 PM
my guess was that this place started as an Edwardian, both temporally and stylistically.
Yeah. I'd think a glance at the fireplaces would say enough about that. The facade doesn't seem like it was ever "Victorian style" either.
This seems to be a trend. There are more than a few post-Victoria "Victorians" for sale in D5 at the moment. Only one of them would I give an unqualified nod to the description. The rest are questionable or outright mislabeled. Oddly, there are a couple listed as Edwardians that have more Victoriana about them than most of the post-Vic Vics. There's also a very much Edwardian Edwardian that was built in 1900.
It's certainly not a black and white line, but this place doesn't seem very "Victorian" to me.
Posted by: justme at March 30, 2012 9:16 PM
Agreed, that kitchen is completely dysfunctional. Good luck getting around the dishwasher and the stove if the doors are open. I'm not going to want to pull things out from the side constantly. Nor do I want a ginormous vent above my head if I'm trying to eat. Complete design fail.
Posted by: Lori at March 30, 2012 9:35 PM
justme is right.
This isn't Victorian. It's Edwardian. One tip off, is the ceiling height; it's only nine feet. SF Victorians typically have eleven foot ceilings and never less than ten feet. Secondly, the double-hung windows are squatty...a function of the lower ceiling.
Posted by: inmycountry at March 30, 2012 9:51 PM
Thingie - (thin' ge) n. - an architectural element, from the Stucco Victoriana school of design, originating in San Francisco, which ensures the direct and most expedient connection between the master bathroom and the rear yard.
Posted by: JenofLA at March 30, 2012 10:45 PM
Like many writers on Socketsite, I am very jealous of buyers who can afford to buy in Noe Valley. I happen to have seen the house and I think it is very nice. Perhaps most Socketsite writers who say bad things about houses are just jealous renters like me.
Posted by: just another renter at March 31, 2012 5:35 PM
I don't think we are saying "bad" things about the house. I think we are commenting critically about some parts of the house that could have been better, or thought out a little better.
Doesn't we are jealous renters either.
SS is a great forum to discuss real estate and architecture pretty openly. And sometimes with humor, sarcasm and plenty of snark.
Posted by: futurist at April 1, 2012 12:29 PM
I never understood the attraction of NV; if you work on the Peninsula, live on the Peninsula; if your spouse has to be in the city, live in Burlingame/Hillsborough; if you make enough to afford these, you can do that;
Posted by: wrath at April 1, 2012 4:26 PM
1. Burlingame/Hillsborough are priced way above Noe V.
2. Suburban vs. urban way of living.
Posted by: futurist at April 1, 2012 5:27 PM
Burlingame is actually pretty comparable in price to Noe. Don't believe me? Go to redfin and click around a bit. Most of the SFH are between $600-800/sq foot, just like Noe. And the lots in Burlingame are much bigger. Plus it is warmer, has universally great schools and a nice little downtown. I can see why people like it.
The smallest and cheapest homes in Hillsborough are in the same general range as bigger Noe homes, though most Hillsborough homes are humungous. Unless you are a celebrity or misanthrope, I just can't see the appeal. How often do people in Hillsborough ever even see their neighbors, much less interact with them?
Posted by: NoeValleyJim at April 1, 2012 6:07 PM
>I just can't see the appeal. How often do people in Hillsborough ever even see their neighbors, much less interact with them
doesn't the second sentence answer the first?
Posted by: steve at April 1, 2012 8:06 PM
Why would I want to live on the peninsula? Living in NV means I am walking distance to hundreds of restaurants , 10 minutes to music and arts at civic center, close to marin head
Ands, taking dog to beach o, etc etc . The only thing it would be good would be commute. The rest is worse as far as I can see it.
Posted by: Coppernob at April 1, 2012 8:28 PM
There is something funny about calling Noe "urban living". The density and single family homes of Noe Valley have more in common with the hills of Silver Lake in Los Angeles than they do with "urban" neighborhoods of NYC, the lakefront districts of Chicago, or inner London. Why do I get the feeling that many San Francisco transplants grew up in Merced and have little expsure to the world's great cities?
Noe Valley homes are built rather close together because of the working class orgins of the original homeowners/builders who could not afford the space of the grander neighborhoods in the northern part of San Francisco. As for the peninsula, the builders of the orignal great estates down there were attracted by the space and climate, and only had to hop on their private rail cars to enjoy the "urban" charms of San Francisco.
Posted by: anonarch at April 2, 2012 4:20 AM
^comparing it to Silver Lake is apt. Not so much the great urban centers of America and the UK. But all area urban. Your post pretty much said that you don't care for Noe Valley. Whoop dee doo.
Posted by: [anon.ed] at April 2, 2012 8:11 AM
There are plenty of multi-unit buildings in Noe, which gives it enough density to support the variety of services it provides. On my block, which is pretty typical, you've got three single family homes, three two-unit buildings (one apartments, one condos), and on the corner of 30th and Noe, a somewhat ramshackle apartment building with 9 studios.
Posted by: OuterNoe at April 2, 2012 9:27 AM
Nothing "funny" at all about calling Noe Valley urban. It's urban. It's part of the City of San Francisco. That's urban. Not suburban.
Pointless to define "urban" neighborhoods only in large cities such as NY, Chi and London. What's the point?
And yes, Noe does have plenty of multi-unit buildings as outernoe points out. That ramshackle piece of junk building at 30th and Noe could use some maintenance and a few street trees. What's with these cheap, lazy landlords who can't keep their building nice and contribute to the neighborhood?
Posted by: futurist at April 2, 2012 10:54 AM
"What's with these cheap, lazy landlords who can't keep their building nice and contribute to the neighborhood?"
Insert rent control argument here.
Posted by: R at April 2, 2012 11:35 AM
Nahhhhhh. don't buy that argument.
There are plenty of rent controlled buildings in SF that are beautifully maintained.
Crying rent control as a landlord is an excuse for being lazy and self-entitled to do nothing to do nothing to your building and for the neighborhood.
Posted by: futurist at April 2, 2012 11:39 AM
You can't compare buildings like that though. The nature of it means one building might have all tenants paying $500 a month, while an identical building had all those tenants move out last year and filled them with people paying $2500 a month. Both buildings still rent controlled.
Posted by: R at April 2, 2012 11:43 AM
Speaking of ramshackle buildings: A once beautiful multi-unit Edwardian building on the corner of 15th and Sharon hasn't been painted in years. It could be a real showplace. Long term renters or not, I don't understand how an owner can let such a beautiful building go to pot.
Posted by: 94114 at April 2, 2012 1:53 PM
Like some others, I'm moved to respond to the comment about Noe not being an urban neighborhood and implying that anyone who thinks that it is grew up in Merced (I don't know where that is exactly, so maybe that makes me sophisticated--more likely just ignorant!). In fact, Noe has a lot in common with some very popular, urban residential areas of London (Hampstead, Clapham, Greenwich) and New York (West Village), in my experience: same yuppies, same modest housing stock repurposed at a high cost for a much different populaton, same "high" street or streets and similar density in some cases. It's not Midtown Manhattan or the City of London but those aren't known as noteworthy residential neighborhoods in either city.
I also think the comments about this being a starter home are a bit off the mark. I live in a 4bed/3bath in Noe and I know how lucky I am/I know this isn't a starter home by any standard measure. My New York and London friends' jaws drop, btw!
Posted by: lived there at April 2, 2012 8:38 PM
On the flip side, the ramshackle rental on the corner of 30th and Church was recently spruced up and updated nicely. They even added some street trees!
Posted by: NoeValleyJim at April 2, 2012 9:24 PM
Here is another interesting apple in Noe:
Look, it even has 3 1/2 baths! They are asking for more than what it went for in 2008, I wish them luck.
Posted by: NoeValleyJim at April 3, 2012 9:16 AM
@lived there, Merced was referenced because of the Socketsite article about California HSR running from Merced to Sylmar. (two of the ugliest places in the state)
Noe Valley residents may think they are living a city lifestyle in a so-called "urban" neighborhood of mostly single family homes, but I am still rather confused by this claim of urbanity. If you are buying a single family home with garage in Noe, driving every day down 101/280 to work in some office park 25 miles south of here, driving or taking a shuttle bus back at night to your single family home with garage and yard, how IS this URBAN? To compare this to a London lifestyle is silly. (And I have lived in London, and Chicago myself)
Posted by: anonarch at April 3, 2012 1:15 PM
Well then, anonarch, I would say you have a very different definition of "urban" than others here.
Just because one buys a house in Noe with a garage and maybe because "some" residents drive down the peninsula to work, somehow makes NV not urban? How so? You are defining it by actions, not by the lay of the land, the density, housing,transit, walk- ability, retail/restaurants. Those qualities are what make Noe or many other SF neighborhoods quite "urban".
I too live in Noe, drive a car sometimes,own a house with a garage, like some of my neighbors. However, most of us, walk a short distance to the J-Church, hop on to head downtown to work, or walk to Bart to travel further.
Seems pretty urban to me.
Posted by: futurist at April 3, 2012 2:59 PM
I suppose it's just your definition of "urban". Having grown up 20 minutes north of Manhattan, most of San Francisco really doesn't fit my definition of "urban". I guess technically it is, but I when I think of urban areas of san Francisco, I think downtown, Mid-Market, eastern SoMa, Nob Hill and Tenderloin.
To me, Noe Valley simply doesn't have the density to be considered "urban". Streets lined with SFH's and the odd 9-unit apartment building doesn't feel "urban" to me.
I suppose having come of age in an era when rap exploded in popularity, the term "urban" also takes on a connotation of having a black or minority edge to it; I'm sure there are parts of Oakland that are probably on par with Noe Valley as far as density - so I wouldn't hesitate to refer to these parts of Oakland as "urban".
But Noe Valley? Nope, just can't seem to do it.
Posted by: Fishchum at April 3, 2012 4:26 PM
Here we go again, the old NY vs. SF comparison.
So, if Noe isn't urban by some opinions, and it's not "suburban" what might we call it?
Posted by: futurist at April 3, 2012 4:32 PM
I wouldn't try to classify Noe as urban or suburban. Just call it a nice neighborhood in the middle of a city and leave it at that. Trying to label it urban or suburban is just a subjective exercise in splitting hairs.
Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at April 3, 2012 5:19 PM
You wouldn't but I would.
Posted by: futurist at April 3, 2012 5:21 PM
I would say that Noe fits any dictionary definition of "Urban", but why quibble. It is what it is.
Those of us that live here tend to like it, while others prefer elsewhere, be it Eureka Valley, Glen Park, Bernal Heights, or the "burbs".
Posted by: brid at April 3, 2012 7:14 PM
Those are all great urban 'hoods as well.
Posted by: futurist at April 3, 2012 7:54 PM
@futurist....Would Beverly Hills fit your definition of "urban"? I would say Beverly Hills is FAR more urban than Noe with walkable shopping districts, hotels, theaters and a mix of mostly single family homes and apartments. For that matter so is Pasadena or Santa Monica. (I am aware that selecting Southern California locations for comparisons will be to many too low a blow for delicate San Francisco boosters)
My issue is not with Noe Valley, which is a fantastic neighborhood with pleasant homes and shops. My problem is people selecting a home in Noe to pretend to be living a city lifestyle when they are truly suburban in daily habits. Single family homes, long commutes and a heavy use of automobiles is not my definition of city life.
As was mentioned above, Noe is "a nice neighborhood in the middle of the city", but million dollar homes, strollers and bumper to bumper Audis and BMW's is not my idea of a "urban hood".
Posted by: anonarch at April 3, 2012 9:12 PM
In NV, most people work in SF though I agree there are quite a few tech commuters going down south. There's an interesting mix of people: techies, people from before gentrification (sometimes latinos), business types going to the City, LGBTs looking for a Castro alternative, etc...
Posted by: lol at April 4, 2012 8:03 AM
Noe is not "a nice neighborhood in the middle of the city" but "a nice neighborhood at the edge of the city"
Posted by: anon at April 4, 2012 8:07 AM
Glen Park, Excelsior, Visitacion Valley: YOUR OUT. Go join Daly City.
Or maybe anon meant to say:
Noe is not a nice neighborhood in the middle of the realSF but a nice neighborhood at the edge of the realSF.
Posted by: sparky-b at April 4, 2012 8:14 AM
@anonarch: Where do you live now and when was the last time you spent any time in Noe Valley? You have the impression that everyone here drives a fancy car to their job in Sunnyvale everyday, leaving Noe a ghost town with fancy boutiques in the daytime. If your entire exposure to the neighborhood is Socketsite you should probably just be quiet.
Whether or not it's "urban" or not is a stupid argument easily solved with a dictionary. It's like arguing the Adirondacks aren't "mountains" after spending time in the Rockies.
Posted by: PN at April 4, 2012 8:20 AM
"It's not [insert thing that has definition] to me "
is the same thing as
"I had the weirdest dream last night"
Which is to say, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Posted by: [anon.ed] at April 4, 2012 9:09 AM
wtf? anoned, you either need to take a basic writing class or take your lithium. half of what you write makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.
fwiw, few cty-dwellers would consider Noe to be "urban," but Clipper is a pretty busy street and that label just might be more apt for this place.
Posted by: anon at April 4, 2012 9:23 AM
"wtf" -- trite vulgar, "plays an angry guy on the internet too much" acronym
"basic writing class" -- trite unoriginal internet chidish cut down
"take your lithium" -- trite unoriginal childish internet cut down
"half of what you write makes absolutely ...." -- uh huh. Real tough to follow what I wrote.
"few city dwellers would ..." -- inserting opinion instead of "urban," which actually means something. Which is worthless.
"Clipper ... apt" -- worthless, parsing opinion
Posted by: [anon.ed] at April 4, 2012 9:39 AM
I have to admit that anonarch makes some points and does describe a lot of commuting NV folks, though not everyone. I'm still on the side of urban and here's one point of additional comparison: after going over the question of whether NV is urban or not for an incredibly nerdy interval with my spouse, spouse asked, "What about the Castro? Is that urban or not?" We're on the border with NV and the Castro.
For some reason, we found it especially hard not to consider the Castro urban, right down to the gunk you see in the gutters that you really don't want to ask about. It very much reminded us of our former urban neighborhood of 20 years in Manhattan. But then if the Castro is urban, it seems hard to distinguish it clearly from Noe Valley in terms of urban-ness; it's not that much denser, it's also walkable, parking is dear and it's perilous to be a pedestrian in both places.
And now the new questions that the last few comments raise for me--is Castro part of the real SF? What about the Mission? Urban? Real SF? Is there a different answer if you're on Valencia vs. Mission St?
Posted by: lived there at April 4, 2012 9:51 AM
I find it funny that the is SF urban, or is it anything really goes straight to "Is it NY or London or Paris?". There are plenty of other urban cities with hoods like Noe and a size of city like SF that it would better compare to: Washington DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia for some examples. They all have neighborhoods like Noe Valley.
Posted by: sparky-b at April 4, 2012 10:03 AM
A final addition-isn't the fact that most of residential San Francisco, including NV, has bad public schools/parents have to send their children to private schools or a few competitive public standouts evidence of urban-ness/urbanity? This is a basic difference between the suburbs and urban areas, in my experience--especially the idea that if you want a more cookie-cutter experience and population in the schools, on average, in cities you need to send your kids to private school to get it. In the suburbs, that more cookie-cutter education and population--again, on average--often comes with the zip code.
Posted by: lived there at April 4, 2012 10:11 AM
Now I see the picture> I honestly don't think anonarch really knows Noe Valley, and perhaps has never been here. Sure seems that way, with all the stereotyping of the neighborhood: but how do "million dollar homes" define it or not define it as "urban"? I don't get your logic.
And why the disdain for "strollers, and bumper to bumper Audis and BMW's", having anything to do with the definition of urban? Do I detect envy? Yea, many of my great neighbors have a stroller, maybe drive a nice Euro import (as do I). So what?
"Heavy" use of a car? really? Ever see how many people hop on the J-Church to get to work, or walk to Bart? ever see how crowded 24th St. is on a Saturday morning or how packed the Farmers market is? moms, dads, tons of kids,strollers, young, old, straight, gay, trans. you name it.
Yea, we're urban and we love it.
anonarch: Stick to what you really know.
Posted by: futurist at April 4, 2012 10:53 AM
152 Clipper sold for 1.68M.
Posted by: [anon.ed] at April 13, 2012 5:50 PM
$978psf for this place? In light of all the comments above, nothing short of stunning, even for a heated Noe. Perhaps the buyer loved the "thingy" on back after all and it sealed the deal...
Posted by: no_ vally at April 14, 2012 7:03 AM
Noe reminds me a lot of Park Slope in Brooklyn, not sure if that helps the discussion any. Or Chevy Chase in DC, though it is a bit denser than the latter. I always thought walkable neighborhoods and high transit availability and use made a place urban, not a high crime rate.
A definition of San Francisco that excludes The Castro as not being part of the Real SF is pretty much worthless, imho.
The price is pretty amazing, the owners made money even with their very short hold.
Posted by: NoeValleyJim at April 15, 2012 10:10 AM
So I am kind of curious anonarch, if you don't own a car or a parking space, live in a multi-unit home, bicycle or ride transit to work and shop at the neighborhood store do you live in the "urban" part of Noe? While your neighbor who has a single family home, drives a car to his job in Mt. View and shops at Costco lives in the suburban?
How do you reconcile that in your mind?
Posted by: NoeValleyJim at April 15, 2012 11:11 AM