October 29, 2012

Back In The Day And "Over" On Day For A Million Dollars More

324 Day

As we wrote about the gutted home at 324 Day Street back in 2009:

Purchased for $1,053,000 in 2007, the single-family [home at] 324 Day was subsequently gutted, foreclosed upon and returned to the market mid-renovation last month over in Noe.
Asking $760,000 ("Seller/lender anxious to sell, very motivated. Bring your best offer, don't worry about the listing price."), the sale of 324 Day closed escrow on 7/17/09 with a reported contract price of $675,000.
Yes, the price of "fixers" is falling.

Having subsequently been "fixed" and listed for $1,799,000 this past May, the fully rebuilt Noe Valley home was withdrawn from the MLS this past July only to be relisted anew for $1,495,000 in September at $677 per square foot, well below the going rate in the 'hood.

324 Day 2012

Last week, the sale of 324 Day Street closed escrow with a reported contract price of $1,650,000 ($747 per square foot). The sale will be recorded as $155,000 "over asking" versus $149,000 under its original list price according to industry stats and reports.

324 Day Kitchen: 2012

And yes, the now 2,209 square foot property just sold for a million dollars more than in 2009! Never mind that back in 2009 it was a gutted 1,345 square foot shell.

Calling All Contractors That Still Have Cash... [SocketSite]
The Best Offer: 36 Percent Under Its 2007 Un-Gutted Purchase Price [SocketSite]

First Published: October 29, 2012 3:15 PM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

I went to the open house and I can say that this home is incredibly well done. I am really surprised it did not close closer to 2 million. I am sure the sellers are somewhat disappointed with this outcome. My only two negatives were that the living room was on the smallish side at this price point and the kitchen had two wine refrigerators, the second of which was restaurant grade, which I think to most buyers would be considered unnecessary. The buyers here did really well…congratulations!

Posted by: Willow at October 29, 2012 3:58 PM

Can anyone confirm if this was owner occupied? They got the final sign off over two years ago (10/05/10). Cha-ching ... $500k tax free?
sparky-b, any comments?

Posted by: EBGuy at October 29, 2012 4:58 PM

I didn't see this one in person and frankly surprised it took so long to get listed. It was worked on in 2010 and it should be a pretty straight forward job. Maybe the seller was living there to get the 2yr/500K capital gain tax break.
Looking at the photos, I see a real pattern of a quick job w/o a credible architect, the finishes look good but are screaming made in China, especially the baths. The front of the house just looks weird in the pics.
Overall the market of those victorian starter homes where you add couple of rooms behind the garage was always weird. Perception and few high end touches takes a house from 1.6 to 2.2, adding a crappy 3rd floor (set back from the street, hence tiny) like 1566 Sanchez makes a huge (unjustified) premium.
Overall I think these homes have tiny rooms, improper floor plans, and a developer is betting on a clueless buyer to show up, sometimes they are just not around that weekend.

Posted by: someone at October 29, 2012 5:13 PM

for the 250k/500k tax break, can you occupy while your in the construction phase or is it only after final signoff the two years begins?

Posted by: mikey woodz at October 29, 2012 5:45 PM

@ Willow: sorry, but I completely disagree: this is one very amateurish remodel. Here's why:

The living room is very small and there is no sense of entry when you open the front door. You slam smack into the living area. The fireplace on the wall is ridiculous.
You walk in and see the refrigerator and appliances in full view. Dining area is remote from kitchen. There is no dining "room". There is no breakfast room. There is no coat closet. The front door design is cheesy and not in character with the front (Victorian) elevation.

The ONLY access to the rear yard and deck is thru one of the bedrooms. The relationship between kitchen/living space and outdoor space is terrible.

The lower level bedrooms are dark with low ceilings.

Overall: terrible floor plan designed by someone, an architect I presume who knows nothing about residential design; zero character inside, cheap finishes.

Posted by: futurist at October 29, 2012 5:54 PM

Just paint the exterior black or dark "greige" and some trustafarian will buy it.

Posted by: anonandon at October 30, 2012 6:42 AM

"sparky-b, any comments"

There have been better projects done on this block recently.

Posted by: sparky*b at October 30, 2012 8:31 AM


Futurist: I agree with you on the small living room. The rest of the flow however I really liked. (Even the restricted rear yard access.) I thought the finishes/fixtures weren't cheap but everything I guess everything is relative.

Posted by: Willow at October 30, 2012 9:52 AM

Those little center entry victorians are always awkward, IMO. Either you have two little bedrooms in front, or a tiny living room, or you step straight into living space.

Posted by: curmudgeon at October 30, 2012 10:23 AM

@ Willow: You actually "liked" the flow? Seriously?

Back yard access thru a bedroom? Really? Share with us why you like.

And did you get a look at that insanely stupid rock fountain in the corner of the back yard?

Total amateur design.

Posted by: futurist at October 30, 2012 11:18 AM

Futurist: I agree that having yard access only through a bedroom can be problematic. However, I am personally not someone who does a lot of outside entertaining so it would not be a huge issue for me. Just having the bedroom flow out to the yard seemed right. (I have the same configuration in my current home so that probably influenced my perspective.) I understand for others it may be a deal breaker! Overall though I was impressed with the house. I searched for the floor plans online just to make sure I wasn’t missing anything awkward or odd… Sans the small living room, I think this is a clean design.

Posted by: Willow at October 30, 2012 12:55 PM

BTW, here's the floorplan.

Posted by: Willow at October 30, 2012 1:09 PM

Thanks for the floor plan. I've been thru the property twice, and yes, it's pretty amateurish.

Here's what you might have missed that is truly awkward or odd:
+ you could try calling that little ratty closet next to the fireplace a coat closet. Tucked in the corner, awkward and mostly useless.
+the long wasted "hallway space" along the kitchen. useless. No breakfast room as I said.
Two of the bedrooms on the main floor ONLY have windows on a tiny light court. Awkward.
+ So called "family room" on lower level is mostly a large hallway from garage up or to the front small bedroom. Again, awkward.
+walking thru the master to the rear yard is just bad bad design.

My point is this: This plan may work for a few people who don't understand function, flow and indoor/outdoor relationship. They aren't looking at true "value". They are wowed by the overdone kitchen.( 2 wine refr really?)

For this price point in Noe, one should expect and get a well designed floor plan. And this just doesn't deliver.

Posted by: futurist at October 30, 2012 3:12 PM

I see a door to the outside right next to the stairs on the floor plan. So I don't think you have to go into the master. But I haven't been in the house so maybe that didn't get built.

Posted by: sparky*b at October 30, 2012 3:35 PM

Sparky: That is correct, but you do have to walk up a few stairs to get to the yard level.

Futurist: The closet in the corner of the living room is for electronics not for coats... I will agree the rock formation in the back is hideous but that can be easily fixed.

Anyway, I liked it...

Posted by: Willow at October 30, 2012 3:50 PM

But you don't really analyze it in more detail and say why "you like it".

I wish more people here would take time to distill the real reasons why they like or dislike a project.

Posted by: futurist at October 30, 2012 8:23 PM

For around similar asking price, 1821 Church seems much better. Church will go for higher though.

Posted by: formerly%whatever at October 30, 2012 8:29 PM

Futurist: 3 things -

1. From the outside the house is visually appealing to me. It keeps the integrity of the original home while adding a modern aesthetic.

2. The master bedroom / bathroom / walk in closet was well proportioned and tastefully finished. Again, I really liked how it opened up to the rear yard. (Not for everyone I know...)

3. The downstairs living space (i.e. family room and fourth bedroom) I found to be very usable. (It didn't feel to me like it was a large hallway at all!)

Anyway, its OK that I liked it and you didn't. It's really a matter of personal taste.

Posted by: Willow at October 31, 2012 9:37 AM

We looked at 324 Day but ultimately did not bid (our agent told us that they got 6-7 offers).

Our biggest challenge with the place was the flow of the house. Walking directly into the living/dining room without a buffer of any kind simply felt awkward to us, and we believed that having two bedrooms (presumably children's bedrooms) right in the kitchen would ultimately end up creating problems with noise, traffic, etc.

On the positive side, though, the exit to the backyard/patio off of the kitchen felt sufficient to us, even if we prefer direct access from a kitchen or living room, and, in general, the patio (minus the fountain) was very pleasant. In addition, the downstairs family room and bedroom, while perhaps a bit narrow in proportion, were also very liveable. Lastly, we thought the finishes were at least as nice (maybe with the exception of the odd cabinet and fireplace in the living room -- not sure what they were thinking there) as most of the other properties that we've seen for sale recently in Noe.

We also looked at Church Street. That suffers from the same abrupt flow when you enter the house since there is no proper entryway. It does, however, have a nice, level backyard and 3 bedrooms upstairs (family-friendly!). But, the activity at the open houses was absolutely nuts, so I suspect that this will end up at least $100K over asking (which was raised by $100K from the original asking to begin with). I think you have to think long and hard about paying $1.8M or more for a +/- 2,200 square foot house in Glen Park, even if it is right on the Noe border and it's flat to 24th. But, that's just my opinion. It's pending now, so we'll see shortly where it ends up.

Posted by: CSInvestor at October 31, 2012 11:18 AM

Actually, Willow, it really is NOT just about personal taste. In fact, "personal taste" has nothing to do with it.

It's about truly understanding what makes a good floor plan, relationship between spaces and adjacencies and circulation flow. It is NOT about glam materials, glass fireplaces stuck high up on a wall, bedrooms with extremely inadequate natural lighting (looking onto an absolute minimal light court) a rear yard that is concerned more about a crappy, cheesy fountain than good access to the living spaces.

I am aware now that this project (apparently) void of any design talent/architect; and it shows.

My only hope from this discussion is that more potential buyers will begin to look at properties with a critical eye to functionality and not "taste".

Posted by: futurist at November 1, 2012 1:06 PM

futurist: I beg to differ. Functionality is important too but its not the only factor to consider. (BTW, I think this place is plenty functional.)

Despite whatever shortcomings the house may have, as I mentioned in my earlier posts, I really liked it. I understand others may not, but that's where the personal taste comes into it.

Posted by: Willow at November 1, 2012 3:16 PM

The flip side of that is if this house had everything on Futurists list extra breakfast room, better bedrooms, bigger lower bedroom, separate hallway from the family room, etc. it would have sold for a lot more money. So to some buyers those things are nice but unaffordable in Noe Valley.

Posted by: sparky*b at November 1, 2012 4:58 PM

Oh my. I beg to differ Spark: Those items I mentioned SHOULD be part of a buyers list of requirements...

At this price point.

If not, this house is overpriced, already, IMO.

I hear what others are saying pro and con. I respect their opinions. I guess what I'm really railing against is this:

The utterly unprofessional, un-designed spaces slapped together by a mediocre contractor and owner in a hurry to make a few bucks. I feel so bad for all the well meaning, but uneducated buyers who still fall for this crap.

Posted by: futurist at November 1, 2012 6:50 PM

Yeah but they aren't, not at this price point.

Posted by: Anew at November 1, 2012 7:07 PM

futurist,

The list is probably on buyer lists, but not as requirements but as desires. You say that all those things should be requirements at this price point, but that is not how the market works. At least you ended with an "IMO". That boils down to 'Noe Valley is Overpriced', becuase you can't get all those things for that price in Noe.

Posted by: sparky*b at November 2, 2012 9:50 AM

NO. Noe Valley is not overpriced. But yes, many houses are, including this one.

Posted by: futurist at November 2, 2012 9:54 AM

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