March 12, 2013

Circa 2001 In The Sunset But With Tenants Currently In Place

1822 33rd Avenue

Purchased for $550,000 in 2001, in 2006 the single-family home at 1822 33rd Avenue was refinanced with a first mortgage for $776,000.

In foreclosure since late 2009, 1822 33rd Avenue was taken back by the bank in March of 2011 with no bidders on the courthouse steps when offered for $638,100 in cash.

Listed and relisted a few times since with tenants in place ("please do not disturb"), the three-bedroom Sunset home has just been relisted anew for $599,900.

∙ Listing: 1822 33rd Avenue (3/1) 1,682 sqft - $599,900 [Redfin]

First Published: March 12, 2013 9:00 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

This is my hood. I can't tell you how many of these Sunset properties haven't been touched since the day they were built.

Posted by: Mark at March 12, 2013 9:30 AM

Are tenants in a SFH problematic for a sale? Just wondering why their presence is mentioned. I hear there is no rent control on a SFH, and you can just raise the rent if you want them to move. Am I missing something?

If it's a 3-bedroom, it may have been "touched" since it was built (most of the original Sunset homes are 2 bed/1 ba). Usually these touchups are not very impressive and need to be redone anyways. Unless, of course, you want to wait for the 70's carpet and wood paneling to come back in style.

Curious what this goes for. It seems a bit low. The market froth hasn't touched the non-Inner Sunset as much, but I'm still surprised by some of the recent prices commanded.

Some people being priced out of the hotter hoods find themselves here. It's not for everyone, but I, for one, found much to like (great Asian food, quiet nights, surprisingly walkable, for example). In the end, decided the tradeoff of looking for parking/taking Muni to the hotter neighborhoods was worth the 300K-1 mil price difference in a home of comparable size and comfort. Decided to spend that difference on retiring earlier and taking vacations to sunny places. Of course, seeing how high prices have gone up in the other neighborhoods, I wonder whether as an investment decision that was stupid.

Posted by: jenofla at March 12, 2013 9:50 AM

"I can't tell you how many of these Sunset properties haven't been touched since the day they were built."

Having seen way too many agent/contractor-turned-flipper designed remuddles in SF, I think that's a good thing.

Posted by: Michael at March 12, 2013 9:55 AM

My point isn't related to aesthetic changes, but basics, like plumbing, electrical, HVAC, not to mention roof replacements, wood siding, windows, rot, etc. I'd rather buy a home with its original kitchen than some Home Depot contractor remodel because it's going to get gutted regardless.

Many homes in the Sunset that have been remodeled (like the one we rent) have added a bonus room at the back of the ground floor garage. Yes, ours has wood paneling and carpet. Others, though, are illegal inlaw units filled with families from the homeland.

Posted by: Mark at March 12, 2013 10:06 AM

I agree in that it is tiresome to see how property after property has already been "touched" by flippers and contractors who feel they are design "professionals" and leave little opportunity for those of us that may want to create our own individual style in our residence.

Not everyone wants the Dwell circa 2004 look which seems popular at the moment.

I think the Sunset allows people to still create a home instead of making a statement. I want to select my own floors, lighting, windows, doors, and landscaping thank you very much. I do not need the built in Italian Espresso machine and silly rear yard firepit that will never be turned on.

Posted by: AntiFlipper at March 12, 2013 10:08 AM

Oooh, I'll take the fire pit. With my own two hands and a $1,000 budget, I put in a 2-level patio a couple years ago with retaining walls and some nice landscaping. Sure, it's fog city come summer time, but I'm out there in my fleece at the grill regardless.

What I like about the homes in the area is that there are dozens of different styles and architectural adornments, albeit set up in a rowhouse fashion. You can't say the same for a lot of the tract homes being built today in the burbs.

Posted by: Mark at March 12, 2013 10:30 AM

"I think the Sunset allows people to still create a home instead of making a statement. I want to select my own floors, lighting, windows, doors, and landscaping thank you very much. I do not need the built in Italian Espresso machine and silly rear yard firepit that will never be turned on."

Then go get one and create your home insteanof talking on the internet. The fact is, just as many end users are buying fixers as flippers right now.

Posted by: Anonchiban at March 12, 2013 11:08 AM

For rent control, it depends when the tenant moved in. If it was before 1/1/96 they would be under rent control.

"Single Family Homes/Condos—You do not have full rent control protection if you live in a single family home (note that a single family home with an illegal in-law unit counts as a 2 unit building) or a condominium and you (and your roommates) moved in on or after January 1, 1996. While these units do not have limits on rent increases, they do have "just cause" eviction protection, meaning you can only be evicted for one of 14 just causes. "

Posted by: anon at March 12, 2013 11:08 AM

@anon: you're right. When I moved to SF in 2000 I lived with a guy on 17th/Ord in a 2BD home that was under rent control (he had been living there since 1991). $1150, 2BD, 1 bath flat with laundry, garage and private yard. It needed some TLC (blue carpet throughout), but at that price point who cares. Of course, when he moved out in 2002 the landlord was quick to double the rent since I was not on the original lease. He said that because I worked at a top management consulting firm $2300 was reasonable. What he didn't know was what my job was at the firm. I laughed and moved out.

@anonchiban: the whole point of this site is to discuss issues and express points of view. Such negativity.

Posted by: Mark at March 12, 2013 11:16 AM

Owner move-in being one of those "just causes". However, there are rules about how soon after the eviction you need to move in and you have to stay there for at least 36 months or something (don't take me up on the specifics). And of course in San Francisco you're powerless to do anything about an "unlawful detainer" anyway so if your tenants are scum you're out of luck.

Posted by: formidable doer of the nasty at March 12, 2013 11:22 AM

Having done a remodel or two out here, as well as toured many of the homes and currently living in the Sunset, I will second the comment that a lot of the 2/1s and 3/1s need significant mechanical upgrades: old gravity heaters, not the bet duct work, insufficient electrical, old plumbing. Often the so called "bonus room" is a poorly constructed cold dungeon that is tacked onto the garage rather than being fully integrated into the living space. Still, you can have fun with these, I took a 3/2 and turned it into a 4/2.5, original building envelop, for the wife and my 2 kids, and we are loving Sunset.

If you want to put your stamp on a home its a good opportunity to buy and build to your tastes as opposed to whatever off the shelf

Posted by: Helmut at March 12, 2013 11:27 AM

Oh, so the post I responded to wasn't negative against "professionals" ? Sure it was. The thing is, it's funny because the Sunset is the area for now where end users are still able to buy older houses that are unimproved, or else just painted and broom swept as opposed to flipped, without needing to bid against a developer who wants to keep his or her crew busy for the next right months. No, I think Anti-Flipper has a none to pick and isn't really in the market. One mans candor is another man's negativity.-

Posted by: Anonchiban at March 12, 2013 11:30 AM

It's only a matter of time before the sunset becomes more desirable. I guess people will have to decide if they would rather live in bayview / south san francisco, or move to the sunset and still live in the "city". No one wanted to live in the lower east side, or alphabet city, or soho, the financial district, or brooklyn. Increasing population results in increasing levels of gentrification. It may take a long while (10-15 years) but the the 6th street corridor, tenderloin, and all parts of the richmond and sunset east of ~32nd are going to turn around and surprise people. This is my loose guess. We're already seeing Lake St and Inner Richmond get very hot. And Clement St east of 19th ave is brimming with life these days.

Posted by: eddy at March 12, 2013 11:38 AM

agree with eddy

Posted by: Helmut at March 12, 2013 12:02 PM

How's the possibility of adding a third floor with terrace and views toward the ocean? Considering the steep slope of the block, it probably wouldn't block uphill neighbor's views, but I don't see vertical additions often in the Sunset.

Posted by: Marten at March 12, 2013 12:36 PM

You can add a third floor with a setback.

To this comment, "If it's a 3-bedroom, it may have been "touched" since it was built (most of the original Sunset homes are 2 bed/1 ba)." that isn't true of tunnel entry houses. Lots of those are 3 bedrooom/ 2bath up to begin with.

Posted by: sparky*b at March 12, 2013 12:44 PM

"One mans candor is another man's negativity"

Nope, I am an architect, and am just tired of seeing the same design ideas again and again from flippers.

Example: Turn of the century wood trim? They just paint it white!

There is a lot of good work out there and excellent contractors, but for the most part these professionals are not involved in flips.

Posted by: Anti at March 12, 2013 12:48 PM

What would be interesting is to know if there are 2 leases to deal with or just 1. There's no info on rent amount(s) on the public MLS.

Posted by: lol at March 12, 2013 1:00 PM

"It's only a matter of time before the sunset becomes more desirable. I guess people will have to decide if they would rather live in bayview / south san francisco, or move to the sunset and still live in the "city". No one wanted to live in the lower east side, or alphabet city, or soho, the financial district, or brooklyn."

eddy: Following your own hypothesis I would equate Brooklyn to Oakland in the Bay Area. (Look no further than the huge genetrification along Telegraph Ave and the Uptown District.) Sunset is going to be a non-starter for lots of buyers who end up choosing a place outside of San Francisco whether that be Peninsula, Marin or East Bay.

Posted by: Willow at March 12, 2013 1:16 PM

I see a lot of these 3rd floor setbacks, most of which are hideous, like the pop-ups you see on rowhouses throughout Washington, DC. No thought to design or integration with the existing structure. However, there is a great remodel on 29th Ave between Noriega and Ortega (west side of the street)...modern, yet classy.

I don't see the sunset as a fair comparision to sections of NYC mentioned earlier. The areas in question all had distinct origins and purposes, unlike the sunset which is basically suburban-style tract homes. It's always been what it's been...mostly single-family homes...and has been cheaper for the most part because of the weather and poor transit options. The demographics have changed over the past 30 years..that's true and can be said about the Bay Area in general...but the sunset will never become a "hot and trendy" hood. And there's nothing wrong with that.

Posted by: Mark at March 12, 2013 1:17 PM

the problems are the SROs and accumulation of social services in the tenderloin, unless the city rezones the area, it's impossible to fully gentrify. The sunset will become more attractive over the years to homebuyers, but I think Downtown Oakland is more likely to become a hip spot in the future (more mixed use space, vacant property available for new development)

Posted by: frshmn at March 12, 2013 1:37 PM

@willow, I said somewhere else here recently (name link) that I think the real estate along the bart lines will be impacted positively as well over time. Population is growing. San Francisco is 7x7. I'd suggest that there is more upside in gentrifying areas in SF than there is in the Gold Coast / Prime SF areas of the city which are already near peak pricing (or higher) in many cases.

@Mark, I think you're being short sighted. These homes will increase in value over time, IMO. Many families leave the city due to poor schools. But as more wealthy families choose to stay (Noe, Cole, Bernal, etc) there is the hope that city schools will improve beyond their woeful state today. Not sure if property taxes are factored into the school budget, but the increased tax basis of these homes will help the cause. If the city ever gets around to improving their k-8 and high school systems there will be a massive demand for housing. And does anyone expect the Sunset to become hot and trendy, who knows, but neither is Forrest Hill, Twin Peaks or Sea Cliff for that matter. But they do have a nice setting for single family homes and all those areas are pretty desirable. There are parts of Brooklyn that I dont' think anyone would have ever predicted would be as popular as it is now. And make no mistake about it, it's popular for no other reason that Manhattan has simply become unattainable for anyone but the top 5%. Maybe I'll coin a new phrase "Brooklynization". :)

I'll concede that I have no real facts and that I'm stating my opinion here, and its very possible that sunset, outer richmond, etc... will never gentrify; but I'd say "never" is a pretty long shot bet. I'd rather debate the 'when' rather than the 'if'. As I said, Lake St between Arguello and 10th is one of the sleeper areas doing very well right now. The thing about gentrification is that by the time you 'spot it', it's too late.

Posted by: eddy at March 12, 2013 1:50 PM

I'm being evicted for OMI in Pac Heights after 8 years in the building. Been offered $8k above statutory buyout amounts and will have to leave SF after 20 years. Anyone got any firsthand knowledge about what is a current market offer to accept under the circumstances?

[Editor's Note: Discussion moved to The Price For Being Evicted In Pacific Heights.]

Posted by: SooLinSF at March 12, 2013 2:06 PM

I have often wondered if there was a huge investment by the city to underground the utilities in the Sunset, as well as a massive investment in improving the landscaping along neighborhood streets with more attractive lighting, hardscapes, and most importantly TREES, if this neighborhood would then not become more desirable? The 1989 quake caused the Marina utilities to be put underground and to install new trees and sidewalks, and the neighborhood values took off after that.

Posted by: anon94123 at March 12, 2013 2:25 PM

Marina had underground utilities for many years prior to the 1989 earthquake. After quake some new work was down on sewer or gas lines, I believe, but that's all.

Posted by: Yellap at March 12, 2013 2:38 PM

@eddy: we all welcome your opinions and analysis. However, just because the sunset isn't filled with au pair units and wealthy owners, doesn't mean it isn't gentrified. It's doing fine with more mom and pop stores than other areas of the city because the rents are more affordable for independents to set up shop.

As for SF public schools...it doesn't matter where you live because it's a unified school district. Lincoln HS is 4 blocks from our house, but our daughter who is an A student at the best K-8 public school couldn't go there because she lost out in the lottery and was "assigned" to Mission HS. Her parents are both SF Unified schoolteachers and their petitions to change her to a better school were useless. Fortunately, she got into Gateway. In addition, the only way she was able to get into the K-8 school where my partner teaches is through its Korean Immersion Program. Sadly, the city will never get around to making the city attractive to middle/working class families so the available affordable housing will continue to shrink pushing families even further out in the burbs or simply pushing them out of the Bay Area and CA completely.

Posted by: Mark at March 12, 2013 2:42 PM

eddy: I think my larger point is that San Francisco neighborhoods are not ranked in a linear fashion for prospective buyers above the broader Bay Area. I think there are a lot of buyers who will determine if they can't get into neighborhood x, y or z, (for example, Noe, Glen Park or Bernal) that they are going to buy outside the city. For this type of buyer Sunset is simply not on their radar and therefore it will not benefit as much from the run up in prices of the surrounding areas.

Posted by: Willow at March 12, 2013 3:16 PM

Regarding making the Sunset more appealing to the eyes, the city should first crackdown on people paving over their front yards to make room for extra parking, most of which are for their illegal units. Landscaping is tough, but doable. Many owners don't plant large trees along sidewalks because they are responsible for damages caused by roots kicking up pavement. You also have to factor in the harsh wind and fog that hits the area much of the year. However, there are other attractive ways to landscape with native plants that can tolerate the weather. The problem goes back to owners who prefer cement over plantlife. When I ripped out the dead evergreen shrubs in the front between our driveway and walkway our landlord wanted to install astroturf. I spent my own money and put in raised planters filled with an assortment of grasses that thrive in the weather conditions. So, it can be done, but it's the responsibility of the owner, not the city.

[Editor's Note: Simply Lip Service For Green Landscaping In San Francisco?]

Posted by: Mark at March 12, 2013 3:23 PM

Mark: the lottery policy is just a policy, and it seems to me that its days may be numbered.

Posted by: Alai at March 12, 2013 3:31 PM

@Mark, perhaps gentrification is not the right word; and I didn't mean for it to come across that way. Sorry 'bout that. I happen to love certain parts of the Sunset and Richmond and feel strongly about the future of real estate values in those areas over the long term. I was equating gentrification with increase in real estate value and those two things are entirely different. My bad. But your point about mom and pop shops doing well, and the other micro-local flavor and cultural aspect that make an area desirable, are already percolating across areas of the city that have long been perceived as less desirable, at worst, and lower cost, at best. Do I think $1000/psf is out of the realm of possibility in some of these areas in the long term? We're seeing that for gut renovation fixers in D7. This was the benchmark for a long time for well done prime properties. Those homes are now going for well above those prices. Anyway, I'm just putting it out there and going on record. Always happy to be challenged.

On the subject of schools, this is a blight on the city and an issue that is hard to fix due to politics, and not something that is fixed over night. But I do think that it is a problem the city will eventually get around to addressing and it will be driven by families who have the resources to direct funding and attention to the issue.

I'm supportive of unified school district concept and believe strongly that all children in our country, and the city, should receive a quality education. We need people and advocates who have better vision and more motivation than those who are addressing the issues today. This is one area where my manhattanization analogy really doesn't hold true as public schools in NYC are still pretty terrible. But I believe the dynamics are different there as many people leave the city for real estate space & yard / quality of life. SF has plenty of SFHs and the quality of life is superb if you can afford it.

OK, I'm way off topic. Cheers.

Posted by: eddy at March 12, 2013 3:39 PM

I agree with Willow that neighborhoods in San Francisco are ranked intermixed with other neighborhoods in the Peninsula and East Bay...but I disagree that the Sunset does not fit in there. We chose the Sunset, well, because we couldn't afford to live in the parts of the Peninsula with good schools (Menlo Park, Millbrae, Burlingame, I'm not even going to mention Palo Alto). The ones in our price range were a good 30% smaller in size and were built in the 60's, which somehow just felt less sturdy than the homes in SF built in the 30's. Sure, they had a larger lot, but having a big yard was actually not appealing to those who work 60 hours/wk. East Bay is appealing, but we work in the Peninsula. San Francisco's schools are hit or miss, but we decided to take a chance on the lottery...maybe we'll get a hit, and be able to enjoy our square footage, our ocean views, and single-Muni-ride-to-downtown neighborhood with a decent education, but if not, then yes, we'll probably move to somewhere tinier within the suburbs with good schools. The Sunset, in our (personalized) calculations, was about on par with Belmont and San Mateo (though I think San Mateo has improved in schools and home prices since our purchase) and ranked above parts of Redwood City and East Palo Alto, etc.

So the Sunset fits in there. As Mark said, it'll probably never be hot and trendy. But our neighbors appear to have made it work for them and their families. And who knows, maybe the SFUSD will finally give into the push for neighborhood-priority schools. THEN the Sunset will have its day. Of course, haha, that'll never happen.

Posted by: jenofla at March 12, 2013 3:46 PM

Jenofla: Completely agree. Sorry if I came across as hating on Sunset! It definitely has it's appeal to lots of buyers.

Posted by: Willow at March 12, 2013 5:18 PM

@ eddy: ." As I said, Lake St between Arguello and 10th is one of the sleeper areas doing very well right now" Eddy, my friend, this is not the sunset, and it isn't even the richmond, it is it's own "lake' district between sea cliff and presidio heights ... so, um DUH, yes, this area is doing well! It has been for years!

Posted by: knock at March 13, 2013 12:33 AM

FYI, the SFUSD changed the lottery 2 years ago to give priority to your neighborhood or 'attendance area' school for K-5. If you want your neighborhood elementary (lots of people on the East side don't) it's more likely now than ever that you will get it. Schools in the Sunset and West side are all very good. SFUSD also changed the middle school system so each elementary feeds to a middle school. High schools are still all 'choice' and city wide. SFUSD is making huge improvements for an urban district with many, many poor kids and English learners. It's not really fair to compare it to districts in the suburbs full of middle class kids (who get breakfast, read to at night, have stable housing, etc).

Posted by: SFBuyer at March 13, 2013 9:06 AM

The most interesting part of this thread is that these were the conversations being had about neighborhoods like the Sunset back in 2004. Not a coincidence IMHO.

Posted by: hangemhi at March 13, 2013 6:16 PM

@knock, i'm not going to run any numbers but my informal meter / radar would indicate to me that this area (lake) is trending up up up even more so than in years past. And its creeping further out west. Only a matter of time before it bleeds south. Same thing happening over in Cole Valley.

I'm not talking about next year here for inner richmond / sunset. I'm just saying that I'm already see some of the price creep in some boarder areas. 1 really nice house sells for a premium. Fixer goes for an eye popping high. Lots of contractors in the area. Flips start to emerge and sell fast.... and so on....

Posted by: eddy at March 13, 2013 7:00 PM

@hangemhi: I wasn't here in 2004 so would love to know which threads those were. The only things I can find is a thread in 2009 in which one poster said West Portal would drop 35% and Sunset 50% and "homes could be had for 400K."

http://www.socketsite.com/archives/2009/01/a_sign_of_the_times_and_a_comp_in_2005_so_how_about_200.html

While that didn't happen (too bad for me, I was shopping at that time), I'm always fascinated when a little bit of Sunset talk creeps in this site!

Posted by: jenofla at March 14, 2013 8:33 AM

Same here re: the interest in Sunset, as well as the "next" areas to creep up in prices. I do have a feeling, though, that @hangemhi's observation about Sunset being talked about in 2004 implies that there's a bubble a-brewing?

On the other hand, I thought the above question of "which one first" between SouthEast Quadrant (Bayview, Silver Terrace, Portola, etc.) vs. NorthWest Quadrant (Central to Outer Richmond/SUnset) is an interesting one, especially mixing in the options of homes outside of the City with comparable quality of living (school, space, and commute).

Personally, I think jobs (more in Peninsula v City) win out, then school, and finally quality of purchasers' life (safety, space, and commute).

Posted by: jack at March 14, 2013 11:57 AM

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