3928 20th Street
From a plugged-in reader yesterday:

One of my buddies who works at [Facebook] told me today that he bid on a place on 20th Street that went for 65% over asking and had 52 offers. That must mean that there are 51 more people out there looking in the neighborhood. Anyone know which place he was talking about?

That would be 3928 20th Street, the sale of which has been mentioned before.
There are a couple of interesting similarities between the sale of 3928 20th Street which generated over fifty (50) offers and the sale of 4379 Cesar Chavez which generated over twenty (20).
Both properties were listed at roughly $600 per square foot in neighborhoods where the average sale price has been running over $800 per square. Both homes were well suited for expansion. And both properties just so happened to be priced by the same agent.
It Would Have Been 50 Percent Over Had They Priced At A Million… [SocketSite]
∙ Listing: 3928 20th Street (3/1) 1,416 sqft – $849,000 [Redfin]
It’s Not This Mid-Century Modern Noe Valley Home That Was Flawed [SocketSite]

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by tipster

    It means there are 51 people unwilling to pay the market price.
    And are we still pretending the number of offers is meaningful? A similar house a block away is listed for 1.575 and this one sold for 1.4. They listed for 849, which was clearly a ridiculous price. Doesn’t look like anyone fell for it: it went for about the going rate. It just meant a lot of people wasted a lot of time. I never understood why people bother.
    But leave it to the booster NVJ to make something out of this that it isn’t.

  2. Posted by RenterAgain

    I think the number of offers *is* meaningful––there are 51 people who are probably looking to spend between $849k and 1.39M on a house. The folks who have a budget on the lower end will be competing with the folks on the upper end and losing until they figure out that they need to look at houses priced at 600K. (Going out on a limb, I’d guess none of the offers were for under asking. But only the realtor and seller can say for sure.)
    The asking price is *not* meaningful, and the super low asking price wasted a lot of people’s time. The selling price seems steep because the house needs a lot of work to turn it into a trophy house. For example, its only bathroom is right off the kitchen. But the location is fantastic, and it has great views and a big open basement for expansion.
    NVJ, what ever happened to the FB policy that enouraged employees to live near work? I think it’s time to re-institute that one ;)

  3. Posted by tipster

    Oh please. There were 51 people who saw something underpriced and tried to buy and flip it.
    Go stand next to your local ATM and offer to take $20s out for $10. See how many people you get who try to take you up on it. If there are only 51, I’d be surprised.
    Does that mean that suddenly there are all these people who are about to bid the price of $20 bills up? Hardly. It tells you people are willing to bid them down. To $10.
    Does that mean the ones who didn’t win will pay $10 for $5 bills? I don’t think it tells you that either.
    All it tells you is that there are a lot of people who will buy when they see a good deal, whether they are in the market or not.
    It’s the same thing here. But that won’t stop the usual cheerleaders from making this into something it isn’t.
    And shame on the 45 bidders who bid $100,000 or more under market. Losers! You just wasted your time so you could participate in the realtor’s next set of postcards: “sold for over asking with 51 offers!”
    That’s all you accomplished.

  4. Posted by Fishchum

    Wow, Tipster – what keen insight into the San Francisco real estate market.
    The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle, although I’d reckon most of those offers are from people who are actively looking for a place to buy.
    You don’t just wake up one morning, find an undervalued listing and think “Golly! I’m going to write me an offer on this place right away!”
    Doesn’t work like that.

  5. Posted by curmudgeon

    Yes, Tipster has a keen eye on real estate. Not. The property was a total fixer. So even though 800K was perhaps on the low side for the location, that range of value (sub 1 mill) is about what experience people would expect. When you get up around $1.4 the economics of gutting and rehabbing become suspect. (We had this same discussion about a property on Valley street).
    That so many people bid, and the end result was bid so far up, tells me this market is a little bit on the crazy side.

  6. Posted by Rillion

    Tipster: “All it tells you is that there are a lot of people who will buy when they see a good deal, whether they are in the market or not.”
    Even if that is all it tells us, that is a postive sign for the market. Last year when I bought a place up in the mountains even the flippers weren’t interested in buying. In the darkest hours of this market, even good deals weren’t bringing people into the market because people were afraid the good deals then would be next years “the buyer overpaid” cautionary tale.

  7. Posted by curmudgeon

    And the Cesar Chavez one was a lot more livable, in my opinion. So I think that’s not the whole story, but it’s part of it.

  8. Posted by momonthego

    “And both properties just so happened to be listed by the same agent.”
    HA!!!

  9. Posted by 94114

    My question to realtors who opt for this sort of pricing strategies: how do we know if it had been more realistically priced the outcome wouldn’t have been similar or identical? You have to figure that except for a handful of close offers, there were a lot of people making offers in a different price range. It seems like a colossal waste of time for buyers, agents and lenders preparing pre-qual letters. Or is this a new form of San Francisco entertainment?

  10. Posted by Greg

    Location, location, location!!
    Walk to Dolores Park, check.
    Walk to Valencia, check.
    Walk to Castro, check.
    Walk to the muni, check.
    For those of you comparing this to the house on Cesar Chavez, that is not nearly as good a location as this house.
    In Jan 2011, I bid on a home on 19th St. on the other side of the park (no views) … listed for $875, I bid $1.22M and still didn’t get it. Bottom line, there are a lot of us out there who will pay through the nose for this location.
    Even the less desirable parts of the Mission are heating up these days — look at 1285 York — listed for $775K, sold for $911K.

  11. Posted by Eddy

    Don’t confuse median with mix.

  12. Posted by futurist

    This property sold for a great price, and 51 people wanted it. What does that say about our real estate market and DESIRABILITY of our great city?
    A lot.
    And I’m definitely a Noe Valley Booster as well!

  13. Posted by 94114

    Actually being that close to Dolores Park on weekends is a drag. Crowded, noisy, cars double parked everywhere.

  14. Posted by sparky-b

    33 Fountain should be part of the same discussion on the fixer market. Not the same agent and priced at $1M, but the same overbids result.

  15. Posted by knowe

    this place is going to need a lot of work to make it worth what was paid for it.

  16. Posted by DataDude

    The number of offers means the listing agent is a resolute jerk of the highest order who has no qualms about wasting 51 buyers and their agents time.
    Let’s say it takes 4 hours to tour the house, bring the spouse/SO back, read the small print and fill out the offer forms, line up bank statements, get pre-approval letter from lender and present offer for buyer and agent, each.
    That’s 6 x 51 x 2 = 612 hours of wasted time.
    Let’s say these are professional people who could command an average salary of $150 per hour, probably better, and we’re talking about $91,800 of value wasted. Minimum.
    Great job wasting people’s valuable time, listing agent!

  17. Posted by R

    If someone wasted all that time thinking they were going to buy this place for $850k, that’s their fault, not the listing agent’s.

  18. Posted by observant neighbor

    If selling homes by de facto auction gets one the best possible price (does it?), what is the point in hiring a “full service” real estate broker? Why not hire a good stager, a good photographer, and save $$$ on the commission by listing the property with redfin? I’m not a shill for redfin; I’ve never used them, I don’t know anyone who works for them, and I don’t own stock in the company. But I’m puzzled about why experience sellers–like “sparky-b” and others who flip properties for a living–continue to pay for full-service brokers. Please explain!

  19. Posted by Dont get it

    How many houses are even in Noe Valley? 150? Seems like every single one of them has had its own post(s) on here the last few years. Maybe change the name to NoeSite.
    When’s the last time a Richmond property was featured on here? Or something in Parkside/Sunset? Perhaps if they were, every single thread would not devolve into the same back-and-forth from the same 5 posters. No, who am I kidding, it probably would…

  20. Posted by no_ vally

    ^^^ Noe is what, about 21,500 residents based on last census? On average 3 per home (sure some households with more kids, but many young families and singleton renters too). So 7000 homes? It probably just seems like 150 houses since few of the longtimers ever choose to move.

  21. Posted by sparky-b

    observant neighbor,
    What we are seeing with this place and Fountain is selling a fixer and that may work for a de facto auction, but when you are selling the finished product it is not the same thing. Also, you can list your place on redfin or somewhere cheap, but you are still going to be paying the 2.5% for the buyer agent on top of what redfin charges. So how much are you saving if your agent is paying for the website, photos, stager, etc. out of their 2.5%. Not to mention meeting lots of people a lot of times on weekends and evenings.

  22. Posted by 94114

    I know this has been said before but this is definitely not Noe Valley. It’s Dolores Heights. Noe Valley begins around 22nd Street and the entire character and housing stock are different on this side of the hill.

  23. Posted by nancydrew99

    I agree with Don’tgetit – why can’t we see listings/conversations about homes in other neighborhoods? This site leans heavily toward Noe Valley (residential properties).
    Why no interest in DeYoung Terrace aka Inner Richmond or any other neighborhoods?
    (Still – love the site and am amused by the constant bickering.)

  24. Posted by sparky-b

    I don’t blame the editor for that. Two things are going on that drive the Noecentric post. I these kind of things ($1.4M for a fixer with 52 offers) is going on in Noe and not the inner richmond, and also the amount of responses to Noe posts is always the highest. Nancydrew, I didn’t notice you posting on the 9th avenue units or the Mt. Sutro project.
    Also, I think there is a fair amount of downtown, SOMA stuff put up on here.
    Merced Manor and Parkside don’t move the needle.

  25. Posted by NJ

    I think we do see listings from other neighborhoods. I recall seeing several from the Cole Valley area over the course of the last year.
    Also, maybe the usual “Avenues” fare is simply too boring/cookie cutter, wherein why pick out some random house? Also, Noe Valley seems to generate the most polarized debate on this site, so I think those posts tend to stand out.

  26. Posted by djt

    Wait, what? If I do a FSBO, why do I pay the buyer’s agent? If the buyer wants an agent, they can pay for that person’s services. That person has absolutely nothing to do with me. The buyer might ask to split a real estate lawyer’s fee for drawing up the papers, and given the auction type situation, I would just say no.
    2.5% to the buyer’s agent? No.

  27. Posted by nancydrew99

    I don’t post much because I am not a realtor or a builder or even tangentially involved in real estate, unless you count home ownership. But, I do read the site and sometimes wish there was a greater variety in terms of the neighborhoods discussed. I’m not knocking the site and understand that exceptions and not the rule are what make for interesting and lively debate, especially for those who are more involved/”in the know”.
    If I thought there was interest in my perspective (31 year old female paralegal homeowner living in the Inner Richmond)I would post more. For example: Personally, I think Noe Valley is overrated. I know firsthand that my friends who are in the market to buy SFHs right now (all professionals in good jobs – some at FB) are more interested in Cole Valley and Bernal Heights. They are putting down multiple offers and getting outbid by all-cash buyers.

  28. Posted by around1905

    As far as the 51 offers goes…
    There are a lot of folks in SF who have been in the market to buy for *years*, and make an offer every year or two while continuing to live in rent controlled apartments. If they get the place, great; if not, they keep renting. Super-low priced houses bring them out.

  29. Posted by futurist

    @Nancydrew99: I’d love to see more of your thoughts and comments posted here.
    BTW: care to share with us why you, personally, think Noe Valley is overrated? In what sense?
    This is a serious question.

  30. Posted by NJ

    I’ll bite. Reasons why Noe Valley is overrated:
    1) Unattractive streetscape (e.g., lots of pavement, not a lot of trees)
    2) Super-annoying mom types
    3) High proportion of ugly homes that have not been kept up well over the decades
    4) The architecture largely reflects an originally low-income, working class community
    5) Boring street after street (in some areas)
    6) Limited views
    That said, Noe has plenty going for it, including SFRs, proximity to the freeway and Peninsula, ability to get a nice renovation, good access to public transit and downtown (from many areas of Noe), a lot of families around (if you have kids), and some of the better weather in the City.
    On balance, we fell in the “overrated” camp last year, and bought in Cole Valley instead. However, since that time, we have enrolled our daughter in a school in Hillsborough for next year, so we will definitely be missing that Peninsula proximity.

  31. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    “If someone wasted all that time thinking they were going to buy this place for $850k, that’s their fault, not the listing agent’s.”
    Well the fault probably lies somewhere in between. But who do you think is best capable of evaluating the value of a property: a retail home shopper or a professional real estate agent?
    Whoever priced this property is either incompetent or manipulative.

  32. Posted by curmudgeon

    At the risk of repeating…this location is SO not Noe Valley.

  33. Posted by EH

    Inner Richmond? You mean this site is missing writeups on $700K Doelgers? Not very meaty in the blog department, I must say. One neighborhood I am curious about is that cut up couple of blocks at the top of 37th/Geary.

  34. Posted by futurist

    Ok, NJ..I’ll bite back.
    1. All of our neighborhoods could use more trees.More sidewalk landscaping. Agreed.
    2. Broad generalization; weak argument.
    3. The word “ugly” is relative. Even Pacific Heights has some “ugly” houses.
    4. Not following you on that one. So, because it was once a working class community that makes it “overrated”?
    5. Views depend on each street and orientation of the house. Noe has some spectacular views of the bay, downtown, Mt. Diablo and beyond.
    BTW: what does the “ability to get a nice renovation” mean? Don’t get that one.

  35. Posted by Joshua

    He simply gives readers what they want. Much of this site consists of Noe, high-rises and luxury properties. Posts about other neighborhoods, the Case-Shiller index, etc. get fewer comments and pageviews — otherwise we’d see a lot more.
    p.s. Noe *is* boring. It attracts attention b/c a lot of younger and tech people (who read and post on blogs) are interested in the neighborhood so they can commute down 101.

  36. Posted by futurist

    Boring: Translation: Jealous because you can’t buy into Noe?
    Otherwise, why is Noe “boring” apparently to some people. I think you should say what you really mean.
    Just a thought.

  37. Posted by [anon.ed]

    Noe has been transforming for years. As some of us predicted, it didn’t really take much of a hit and it’s now commonplace to see $2M – 3M sales, brokerages opening biger presences in the area, title companies setting up shop, various lenders as well, shops + reastaurants improving, etc etc. But lots of Socketsite’s posters didn’t want to see what was obvious. So they argue and argue while the writing continues to go up on the wall.
    As far as Redfin, please, point to a single sale where Redfin brokered something for top dollar. Or a FSBON for that matter. Saying things on blogs is one thing. Nobody who wants top dollar in practice would ever consider either of those maneuvers.
    The listing agent on the 20th st property lucked into a great result with his misprice of the Cesar Chavez property. But oit worked out great, so he repeated it, this time intentionally, with an even greater tease price. IMO they would have achieved a similar result, and wasted far less people’s time, with a 1.195M or so list price in keeping with current values.

  38. Posted by anon1

    Futurist, just because you bought into an area long ago that luckily for you gentrified around you doesn’t make you its poet laureate. Don’t confuse activity with achievement there, chief.

  39. Posted by around1905

    The thing about Noe: you don’t find yourself going there unless its to visit folks who already live there. Downtown is a destination. The Marina is a destination. Mission Dolores is a destination. Even Cole Valley/Haight is a destination because of GG park. But Noe? Double-wide strollers, annoying yuppies idling their hybrids waiting to get into the whole foods parking lot, and yes, a boring streetscape (although I’m sure Futurist is doing his bit to sex it up, house by house…)

  40. Posted by futurist

    The Marina?? talk about annoying yuppies. Destination? I haven’t been to the Marina in probably 10 years, well except for fabulous Fort Mason.
    Aside from whether it is my neighborhood or not, NV does seem to get a lot of press here. That’s certainly worth a question to the editors. That’s hardly my call.
    But yes, it is fascinating as to how this little neighborhood can generate so much buzz, perhaps pro and con. And what exactly is a “boring street-scape”?
    Have you been out to the avenues in the Richmond and Sunset? Have you seen the paved front yards? The cars blocking the sidewalks? The wind?

  41. Posted by Craig

    Agreed around1905: Noe is pretty much a place for people that live in Noe. There are pluses and minuses to that.
    The only time I have gone there is to visit people who live there.

  42. Posted by NJ

    futurist:
    “1. All of our neighborhoods could use more trees.More sidewalk landscaping. Agreed.”
    Yeah, and Noe is a bad case.
    “2. Broad generalization; weak argument.”
    No. There’s a certain type of S.F. parent that is highly annoying, and I have met many who share my view. In my experience, Noe has a higher proportion of these types of parents. Just my opinion, of course, as obviously those parents I find annoying probably view themselves as perfectly fine.
    “3. The word “ugly” is relative. Even Pacific Heights has some “ugly” houses.”
    Sorry, Noe has a much higher proportion of ugly than Pac Heights.
    “4. Not following you on that one. So, because it was once a working class community that makes it “overrated”?”
    No, it’s because the Noe’s architecture is largely uninteresting. The point was that a working class neighborhood could not afford to build a nice set of homes at the time. Not rocket science there.
    “5. Views depend on each street and orientation of the house. Noe has some spectacular views of the bay, downtown, Mt. Diablo and beyond.”
    Thanks for stating the obvious. Point was that Noe largely lacks views compared to most other sought-after areas of the City, and many of these bid-up homes have no view.
    “BTW: what does the “ability to get a nice renovation” mean? Don’t get that one.”
    Lots of spec development seems to be going on in Noe, which means ample opportunity to buy a renovated home. Or maybe that’s just this site’s frequent Noe postings biasing my view. Anyway, I was just trying to say something nice about the place.
    “Boring: Translation: Jealous because you can’t buy into Noe?”
    LOL. Nope, not jealous at all. And I can.

  43. Posted by jerry

    I am also seeing sign of overbidding in Inner Sunset and South Beach. I think many people have been on the sidelines and ready to spend. I think 2010 was the low time for prices. Good luck trying to find a good deal now.

  44. Posted by inmycountry

    NJ: Not that your comments aren’t true, but you make me laugh.
    4) The architecture largely reflects an originally low-income, working class community
    With the exception of Pacific Heights, Sea Cliff, St. Francis Wood and a few other pockets here and there, your comment describes the whole city! Hard to believe, but once upon a time people here “worked”
    2) Super-annoying mom types
    You wrote: However, since that time, we have enrolled our daughter in a school in HILLSBOROUGH for next year
    Good one!

  45. Posted by VancouverJones

    I’m gonna stop using the term “dumb money” to explain how situations like this can occur. I think the term “predictably irrational” is a better term (just finished reading the book with the same title). Back the old days, we were protected from such nonsense by the fact that you didn’t have a lot of people with enough money to act on their irrational desires. Now, all that’s changed. Well, the only upside is that other social forces (not typically described by behavorial economics) have kept these folks from “distorting” the markets in downtown oakland and alameda

  46. Posted by NJ

    “4) The architecture largely reflects an originally low-income, working class community
    With the exception of Pacific Heights, Sea Cliff, St. Francis Wood and a few other pockets here and there, your comment describes the whole city! Hard to believe, but once upon a time people here “worked””
    First off, people “working” is different from a “low-income, working class community.” Obviously, most of the city was not built to be a Pac Heights. My point was simply that one reason I consider Noe to be “overrated” is that its home prices are so high relative to what I believe is a general lack of curb appeal of the housing stock. Just my opinion.
    “2) Super-annoying mom types
    You wrote: However, since that time, we have enrolled our daughter in a school in HILLSBOROUGH for next year
    Good one!”
    I can’t say I follow. Do you mean Hillsborough moms tend to be even worse? If so, please note that I said the school is in Hillsborough, not that it is a school full of Hillsborough kids.

  47. Posted by tuneinto

    I agree largely with NJ. As for the Marina… proximity to water vs. proximity to highways?? Where do you go jogging in Noe? I run to the GG Bridge every day and take my daughter to the beach at least once a month – on a bike. We have both Fort Mason, Chrissy Field, the Presidio, etc. Noe has what? If I had a job on the Peninsula, and was married with 2 or 3 kids, fine. Well, maybe not, I’d be in Palo Alto or somewhere with better schools and weather and the same boring restaurant and bar life. zzzzzzzzz

  48. Posted by meep

    futurist-that the original homes in noe valley don’t have the curb appeal and architectural detailing of most of the other high end neighborhoods is obvious.
    the impression is you were being intentionally obtuse

  49. Posted by NoeValleyJim

    I love my neighborhood and don’t intend to move anywhere else, but I too think that homes here are over priced. Why are Noe homes 50% more per square foot than homes in someplace like West Portal or Forest Hill?
    Mission Dolores and Dolores Heights are even hotter than Noe right now. People really want the walkable urban experience and the market really does not know how to build more of it, so the available stock is getting bid up.
    Places like San Francisco, with relatively good infrastructure, good schools, near high paying jobs and with urban amenities like restaurants and nightclubs but without urban problems like smog and high crime are likely to continue to outperform economically.
    This trend is only going to continue as oil and high paying jobs become more scarce.

  50. Posted by anonfedup

    Wow, the Noe Boosters are spewing at full force. (NVJ, this is directed at other posts above yours) What is becoming REALLY boring is Noe Boosters (And you know who YOU are) constantly needing to trash other neighborhoods. Is it really helping your Noe Valley spin machine to invent stupid attacks against Pacific Heights, Cole Valley, the Marina or other parts of the city? What did someone living on Russian Hill ever do to warrant attacks being sent from Chattanooga street? Why is it wrong to want to live near the waterfront instead of near a freeway?
    I also find it interesting that many on this site feel the need to always go after Cow Hollow and the Marina in particular , which are two of the most walkable neighborhoods in the entire city, and have the celebrated “density” that so many crave. Not everyone has to crawl on to a shutle van/bus or drive down 280/101 to jobs 30 miles away. If you work in the city, there are MANY great options as to where to live besides the precious Noe Valley. I can get to my office at 101 California on the Marina Express in 15 minutes. As was mentioned above, I am also a jogger and my evening run along the waterfront adjacent to Crissy Field beaches to Golden Gate bridge are what keeps me centered and keeps me living on the north side of the city.

  51. Posted by anon

    Noe valley is awesome, man! You can go to some shops on 24th St and there are about 6 restaurants on Church Street. And then you can get in your car and drive to other neighborhoods where there is more and better stuff to do!

  52. Posted by steve

    I lived in NV for over 20 years and quite liked it. The weather’s nice, it’s walkable, there are some OK restaurants. (My big complaint is it has too many cute little dress shops, but that’s just me.)
    I live in the Haight now (a long story) close upon the lauded Inner Richmond. Both areas have their upsides, but NV gets my nod over the Haight. My new neighborhood is crawling with bums, junkies, drunks, lunatics, and tourists. NV is blessedly free of them.
    I don’t get the snarky comments about NV baby carriages & moms, unless it’s just some generic hipster sneering. If people didn’t have kids, none of us would be here.
    Also, calling something boring is just name calling. That is a description of your mental state. Perhaps you could say what it is that is so boring. Maybe you’re not bored, but jaded. If NV has a shortcoming, it is that it is too homogeneous and insular. But you could say the same about many parts of town.

  53. Posted by sparky-b

    “Haight now (a long story) close upon the lauded Inner Richmond.”
    Inner Sunset? Haight isn’t at the Richmond.

  54. Posted by PPC

    “Have you been out to the avenues in the Richmond and Sunset? Have you seen the paved front yards? The cars blocking the sidewalks? The wind?”
    ——————————————————
    Futurist, we live in a home off of Lake St., 1/2 a block from Mountain Lake Park, which provides miles of well maintained trails throughout the Presidio and is extremely clean. There are quite a few trees in the front of these homes (all the way to 35th Ave.), the DPT will ticket cars in driveways, I have seen only 1 homeless person who is a “regular” (3x), and the wind is hardly an issue (come on man.). I looked specifically for a SFH only in the NW part of town – from California St. North and from Park Presidio Blvd South to Telegraph Hill – for the fresh ocean air, proximity to downtown, shopping, and countless other reasons. I’m glad you found Noe Valley, which is nice, before the price hike.

  55. Posted by WestSider

    RE: “Why are Noe homes 50% more per square foot than homes in someplace like West Portal or Forest Hill?”
    The weather. It’s not that bad in WP and FH, but there is a huge perception that it’s foggy 99% of the time. It’s almost better this way, b/c if people knew the sun does shine on the west side, the prices would go even higher in those hoods.

  56. Posted by steve

    My bad. Inner sunset.

  57. Posted by PPC

    “SFH only in the NW part of town – from California St. North and from Park Presidio Blvd South to Telegraph Hill” – I meant East to Telegraph Hill – my bad.

  58. Posted by NoeValleyJim

    If you want more posts on a topic, then contribute more on those topics, or even better create something worth talking about on your own and pass it on to the editor. He is busy like everyone else and is more than happy to have the help.
    That has been my experience anyway.

  59. Posted by nancydrew99

    Wow. There are a lot of pro/anti Noe Valley people on these boards. I didn’t mean to kick up a neighborhood flame war. To me Noe Valley is overrated (see my original post) because I don’t understand why people insist on paying so much money for houses that aren’t that much better than houses in other neighborhoods. To me the cost isn’t worth it. I love visiting Noe Valley and I have many friends who live there (paying ridiculous rents – but that’s another debate) but I just don’t see it as being the ne plus ultra of SF. Granted, I understand that where I live (Inner Richmond)isn’t attractive to some, or that some people really LOVE SoMa. To each his own.
    I am on an active quest to help my friends in the market to buy to get out and discover other areas in the City. For example, my friend(s) insisted that the only family-friendly neighborhood was Noe Valley. They just bought in Forest Hill/Golden Gate Heights – an area that they had NEVER heard of before. There is a park, access to great restaurants, transportation to downtown and access to GGP and their child is (suprise!) closer to his school (previously bused across town to the Inner Sunset from the Mission).
    I would just like to read more about other neighborhoods besides Noe Valley, but that’s just me.

  60. Posted by sparky-b

    WestSider,
    Totally agree with you. The weather is better a total of about 12 days a year in Noe vs. SFW. The driving south commute is better, the downtown commute and so on. Yet it is not even considered by almost anyone looking at Noe Valley. I always find that strange. Maybe it is the shuttles as well. Don’t mind it either for my plans, but I do think it is odd.

  61. Posted by AnonArch

    @PPC, you have explained very well why I have suggested your neighborhood to clients. I am especially fond of the Arts and Crafts style homes in your district, as well as the trees and general well kept condition of the homes.
    The broad brush negative comments by some towards the world outside of Noe is stupid.

  62. Posted by NJ

    Just to be clear, my posts above weren’t meant to “Noe bash.” I think Noe is a great neighborhood, and we came close to buying there. We just saw better value elsewhere, at least for our needs at the time. (And I was really just giving reasons why one might find Noe to be overrated, per futurist’s query.) If we were commuting South on a daily basis, I think Noe would have looked a lot more attractive to us.
    Actually, now we kind of wonder if we should cash out of our CV place (given what appears to be a very hot market there) and head over to, say, SFW or elsewhere.
    Can anyone here opine on SFW who has direct experience? The streets and homes look beautiful, but is there a significant number of young families there? My lay impression is that it is full of seniors — which would make for a relatively boring neighborhood for us, IMHO. But I could be wrong.

  63. Posted by sparky-b

    NJ,
    Seems to me there has been more turnover than there was for a long time, and young families are moving in. I went to the open house for 45 Yerba Buena and there were lots of young families looking. West Portal Ave., which is the heart of the hood, is full of kids all the time. West Portal and Inner Parkside have already seen a big turnover of houses and so the general feel of the neighborhood is much younger. I don’t think you would find it boring.

  64. Posted by jenofla

    Noe posts generate lots of commentary because it’s got built-in controversy (overpriced or no?). I too enjoy reading about other neighborhoods, but there’s less to argue/comment about them; I don’t think it’s because there’s any less (or much less) interest in them. That said, perhaps I’ll start commenting more on them (“What a nice Parkside home. Close to a nice playground. Average price, but no street parking around there, because of that inexplicably popular burrito place at the corner.”). Perhaps we’ll dig up some dirt in those neighborhoods yet!
    I do think the editor puts up a fairly well-rounded set of posts from various neighborhoods and various types of housing stock.

  65. Posted by someone

    1308-1310 Valencia was a similar story. Listed for $1.05M on a very busy block but with a lot of potential. A friend bid closer to $1.2M and came in 9th out of ~25 offers, winner is likely in the $1.4M-$1.5M

  66. Posted by modernedwardian

    a third soon to be sale in this vein…36-38 camp. from what i hear also had MANY offers and went for all cash and north of $1.2MM on a list of $799K.
    this is about location, lifestyle, and weather.
    we lived on potrero hill before we bought in outer noe valley in late 2009. our search neighborhoods stretched from duboce triangle to glen park and from noe valley to the dogpatch along commuter lines. (yes we are professionals that currently commute to silicon valley but also to the financial district at times).
    we had zero interest in extending our commute further, driving across the city twice daily, or returning home to fog after a day in the sun (attributes too often linked with view properties, and the bay and the ocean sides of the city). while a view would have been nice, we were priced out of the listed homes on the north side of potrero and liberty hill that we could remodel and couldn’t afford a post remodel home. (lost one multiple bid home on liberty and one on carolina to all cash bids).
    we also didn’t want to drive AT ALL in the city. look at a city map; guess what neighborhood is in the middle of sf?
    we ended up in noe valley because we found the right house (a large neglected duplex with a south facing yard) at the right price.
    neighbors (“super annoying mom types”) didn’t factor into our decision; we don’t know any – but then we’re DINKs and gay and enjoy our time with other people’s children and families. as for the “boring seniors” in sfw, our potrero neighbors in their late 70’s threw great dinner parties for all ages and shared wine freely. look for the good in your neighbors and you’ll likely find it.
    the lack of upkeep and the unfortunate asbestos siding on our home weren’t negatives (NJ’s points 3 and 4), they were assets. basically after my one year remodel i’ve got a home i probably couldn’t afford if sold as finished and tenants paying most of my mortgage. when i uncover the intact redwood siding under the asbestos and repaint and restore my building’s neglected facade i’ll likely have a nicer and more unaffordable home.
    i think we got lucky – but i also think any of the neighborhoods we searched in could have gotten us a happy outcome. these sales show that a lot of people no longer strive for historically fashionable san francisco neighborhoods once they factor in commute, weather, and the need to get in a car to buy a quart of milk.

  67. Posted by anon1

    The 20th street block in question isn’t Noe, true. But Google Map it. It’s got the same mix of ugly multi-units, rundown single families, amð nice single families as a typical Noe block.
    The fact is Gen X and Y will pay more for the south side of town more than previous generations of San fraÑciscans. Plenty of Socketsiters didn’t see that fact for the past several years. But now it’s become impossible to ignore.

  68. Posted by DataDude

    Noe = steep hills + ugly telephone wires and poles + (3 million renovation/fire-hazard-rat-infested tear down on both sides)
    No thanks

  69. Posted by futurist

    Some great comments by modernedwardian: they echo much of my same feelings; we may even be neighbors, since we also live in Outer (or Upper) Noe Valley, depending on your definition. Also, double income, gay here as well.
    We ended up in Noe for similar reasons: finding an affordable, but dilapidated single family home, south yard, garage, views,etc.; and walkable to the J-church, lots of retail and restaurants, Valencia St, The Castro, Dolores Park. And yes, check the map out: NV is pretty much smack in the center of the City proper.
    As for the “annoying stroller moms” I have not met any. Some of our neighbors, with young kids (and strollers) are super friendly, stopping to say hi, talking about our landscaping, trees, the new paint job on the house, etc.
    And we’re not saying that Noe is “the best” nor perfect. We just like it here. Home is where you make it, and for a lot of us this is a great neighborhood to call home.

  70. Posted by tuneinto

    i don’t hate Noe, just don’t love it. my issue with this thread is largely with futurist who pretends to ask a “serious” question and than bashes the person after lulling her in. and smearing the Marina in the way that most people do is the pot calling the kettle black – you hate the stereotype person you think lives here (despite admitting not setting foot in the Marina in 10 years in futurist’s case) and yet are being the person you seem to despise with your snooty holier than thou stereotyping, name calling and bashing. Noe has nice weather and is walkable “if” you live in the walkable sections. The restaurants are slowly improving, the nightlife is not. The Marina is walkable no matter where you live, and the access to parks and water, the superior nightlife, the street fairs here and in Cow Hollow, the destination that your friends and family want to come to…. it all just destroys any weather argument.
    now if i had to commute down south every day, i’d have something long and hard to think about because the extra 30 minutes would be unbearable (heck, the Noe commute down south is unbearable)… so again, I’d be looking in a pennisula neighborhood instead of Noe.

  71. Posted by lol

    Is this Liberty Hill, Dolores Heights or Noe Valley?
    NV is a steep downhill away. I think the crowd that looks in this area is more urban Dolores Park hipster than NV socker mom.

  72. Posted by potrero

    Potrero Hill seems to be winning

  73. Posted by futurist

    When did this become a contest? and what’s the prize?

  74. Posted by eddy

    Did you hear the one about 1219 Cole? Sold for +26% over asking in 33 days. $1,382,000

  75. Posted by RenterAgain

    Hee hee. This was a fun thread to catch up on.
    I don’t think many commenters actually saw the house on 20th. I did. It is a fixer, but it is not even close to the fixer level of Fountain. I could have comfortably lived in the 20th St house and slowly fixed it up over time. It’s not missing its insides like the one on Fountain. (That is, comfortably lived in it after paying the original ridiculously low asking price ;)
    I love living in Noe, but I live in the north-east corner, so we tend to spend evenings out in the Mission. I’m exactly one of those that Around1905 describes, we’re in a rent-controlled apartment in a good location, so only a seemingly good deal can motivate us to make a bid. I only wasted about 20 minutes on the 20th St house because it was so obviously under-priced. I did speak to the agent about his pricing strategy, and I’m sure he knew what he was doing. His duty was to get the best price for the sellers, not waste the least number of people’s time. But agree with [anon.ed] that a higher low asking price probably could have gotten the same result and not annoyed as many people.
    I agree with several of the criticisms of Noe––especially the lack of trees. The moms don’t bother me, nor do the strollers or the dogs (except for the poop). I think NJ is being intentionally obtuse, but congrats anyhow on your kid getting into Nueva Day, if that’s the school you’re referring to. Cole Valley is very pretty and has a more upscale and somewhat snooty feel. Noe still has some grit (less every day, though), and I guess that makes it more lovable to me. But I can’t see paying the current premium to buy here.
    I’d welcome more posts about other neighborhoods as I’ll probably be breaking up with Noe in the next year or so. SFW is beautiful but not very walkable, and that takes it out of the running for me. West Portal is lovely but I commute to the East Bay so it’s not a good location for my current job. I love the Inner Sunset and I think we will look there and the Inner Richmond if I end up getting a job in SF. The Marina is beautiful but I always feel like a nerd at a sorority party when I go there, plus the earthquake risk is ridiculous. Anyhow, thanks for the chuckles!

  76. Posted by WestSider

    I know six families with young kids that recently bought in WP / FH / SFW area. They all bought from seniors who had lived in the house about 50+ years.

  77. Posted by NJ

    Just to clarify: I did not intend “annoying mom type” to refer to every mother, child, and stroller on the street.
    I was referring to specific types of moms, who seem to exist in high concentrations in this town. For example, the super-judgmental mom, who lets you know when she disagrees with your parenting style. Or the super-hardcore mom (often seen in the older, first-time parent crowd), who has to take everything about their kid to the millionth degree, and let everyone around know about it.
    While SF unfortunately has too many of these moms, I feel like Noe has more than its fair share. I could be wrong.

  78. Posted by tada

    Regarding other hoods, Forest Hill, West Portal, St Francis Wood, Miraloma Park, Glen Park, Parkside, Westwood Highlands, Sunnyside and others – lots of of west side places to check out that could fit the bill for many house hunters. Coverage of other hoods would certainly broaden perspectives on this site.

  79. Posted by NoeLocal

    When I was born, parents lived on Valley St., moved to 29th St. years later, Sis still lives on 27th, I’ve lived on 1/2 NV streets. Majority of homes are boring. I’m convinced the buyers for 20th St. are as boring as the home. As much as someone buys in NV for location to other things (freeways, shopping), they still live in the home they bought. Still enclosed by the 2 homes on each side of them, and across the street from the home they look at everyday.
    I’m thinking buyers in NV don’t see it that way — they probably see like-minded people.
    The home I grew up in on 29th is still the same small, ugly home today it was back in the 60s — probably sell for $800-$900 sq/ft.
    Value is subjective, spending this amount of money is subjective too. While there are NV home’s selling for $2k sq/ft, with great views, many don’t have views. If a buyer doesn’t mind boring, this is not a bad area to live.

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