February 25, 2014

$2.4 Million For A Mission Dolores Diamond That's Still In The Rough


Purchased as a "diamond in the rough" for $1,350,000 in November of 2012, plans to add 1,400 square feet of living space to the Mission Dolores home at 29 Dorland have since been approved, the permits have been issued and "the project is ready to go!"


Now on the market and listed for $2,400,000, the project includes a garage for four cars with six bedrooms and three levels over the garage and an elevator connecting every floor.


Not included in that $2.4 million list price, however, is the actual cost of construction. And yes, the first floor is one big great room as envisioned (click to enlarge):

First Published: February 25, 2014 1:45 PM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

Developers smokin some good stuff with this one. Got to be kidding me, looked at this is 2012 and I didn't think it was worth chasing it for much over 1.2. 2.4 is a joke, at that price the new developer is lucky to break even at 3.4

Posted by: mikey woodz at February 25, 2014 1:54 PM


It's all about location, location, location.

Posted by: Futurist at February 25, 2014 2:11 PM

What a clever way to make money in real estate!
Buy a certified slum, almost falling down, uninhabitable, not just a fixer,
then hire an architect, civilized and cultured,
get approval for improvements,
and sell for a large profit without having to deal with a single contractor.
Now that is a gentleman's game!

Posted by: conifer at February 25, 2014 2:26 PM

No one will fall for this.... lame strategy.

Posted by: 4oceans at February 25, 2014 2:33 PM

This location isn't that great, no views, bums peeing on your stoop, unless your a hipster who enjoys sitting in the park and then you don't have 4m to buy this thing. The end result on this won't fetch for more than 3m

Posted by: mikey woodz at February 25, 2014 2:34 PM

So.. this place has picked up 1M in value in 1 year? Even giving them 150K for appreciation, the seller expects the buyer to effectively pay 850K for plans and permits.

Even a fancy architect won't have charged more than 100K for these plans, which leaves.... 750K for the value of the permits?

Posted by: around1905 at February 25, 2014 2:50 PM

Out of curiosity, do any SSers have guesses on how much the construction would actually cost?

Posted by: TJ at February 25, 2014 3:44 PM

I dare the buyer to paint this place canvas white. It will be tagged on a daily basis. I can't blame the seller for wanting to bilk the techie hipsters. The neighborhood is already grossly overvalued, so what's another million?

Posted by: Pierre Gagner at February 25, 2014 4:01 PM

Expect this to get sold

Posted by: Sam at February 25, 2014 4:08 PM

When I see listings like this, just for fun I pick someplace I would love to live and see what 2.4 million can get me instead. I can't decide between Maui, Laguna Beach or a true villa in the south of France. With so many choices out there, I say leave the Pission to Techie Hipsters.

Posted by: Ugh at February 25, 2014 4:15 PM

On top of all the above - an elevator in a small single family is silly. They're hardly useful, have high maintenance costs, and break down frequently.

Posted by: Sierrajeff at February 25, 2014 4:47 PM

I am approaching the age bracket where where you can play that mind experiment about living in SF with these current valuations versus living somewhere very nice (like the south of France) and you suddenly realize you could [do] this + retire tomorrow.

Posted by: redseca2 at February 25, 2014 4:48 PM

They probably spent $150-200K on carrying, architect and permit fees. Exit price must have moved by at least $500k *on paper*, i.e. this used to be low $3M house when they bought it and now it's in the high $3M. Getting permits reduces a lot of risk from neighbors/city objection, so I think that's worth few $100K, a little more in a hot market where there is premium for shovel ready.

SO you can try and justify it but honestly they leave very little profit for a developer and way too much hassle for someone who wants a "dream house".

Given the excavation/shoring work, elevator, fancy finishes to justify the exit price this is a bit more $1.2M job at retail. Maybe some low cost contractor do it for himself for $800k.

Methink you need to be stupid from risk/reward stand point but 621 Alavardo sold for $2.011M to a real estate agent, so what do I know.

Posted by: someone at February 25, 2014 4:50 PM

"guesses on how much the construction would actually cost?"

Estimated cost per the permit is $592,000. Lots of excavation for the garage and foundation work. I think you could double the permitted cost without too much trouble.

Posted by: Michael at February 25, 2014 4:59 PM

592,000$ is a JOKE. Ofcourse, the developer will fill that in the permit form, they want to reduce their permit fee. (the 2 are related).

Assume for SF labor and a site with shoring/ underpinning you are looking at 300$ a sq ft for nice finishes for this remodel.

Posted by: permit cost at February 25, 2014 5:26 PM

Ugh and redseca2,

I have had exactly the same fantasy last year. Then I showed up in the South of France in the spring, shopped my way into a nice enough fixer in the summer and am going to spend the next 6 months making it the way I want it. South facing sea view, decent 1/4 acre lot, room for a pool, real Mediterranean style (not the stucco wannabe we get here), master unit, granny unit downstairs, large pines and cypresses. For the price of a small SF condo!

Now is a good time to get very decent deals down there. Their economy is still depressed, unemployment high, financing hard to get due to a reversal of the money spigot at euro banks. If you are all cash, do not hesitate to low-ball by 15-20%, nobody will be offended, they all know it's bad...

Posted by: lol at February 25, 2014 5:31 PM

I think real construction costs will be about $1.4 m.

The elevator makes a lot of sense in 3 level houses. They are not that complicated anymore, primarily electric traction and maintenance is not much more than a roll-up garage door.

Once again, think location: very close to Valencia St, Dolores Park, walkable to the WF at Market and Dolores, 2-3 blocks to the Castro, short walk to BART or Muni on Market.

This is prime, central SF. It's not going to get cheaper.

Posted by: Futurist at February 25, 2014 5:44 PM

Sell it for 2, still a huge win for sellers.

Buyers spend $1.1 building it. They own 3.1mm basis vs 3,455 *$1,000psf retail value, still come out a couple of Teslas ahead.

Another SF Planning mullet house: "Historic in the front, party in the back."

Posted by: soccermom at February 25, 2014 6:04 PM

Futurist, so 3.8m + lets say 100-150k of carrying costs, this would be a 4m build? wheres the developer profit? whats the out, 5m? no way, not even if it was Dolores Heights with big views

Posted by: mikey woodz at February 25, 2014 6:04 PM

Good for you lol! Nice to optimize other markets when they are soft for something you actually want to live in. As for me I'm just getting back into the RE game after being sidelined by the banking crisis here. I'm days from getting a fat HELOC and I'm ready to play. I'm very close to nabbing a sweet multi-unit in the bayview. Nice 20's bldg that will cashflow like crazy now, and has tic/condo potential written all over it for later. That, and being in the way of the new shipyard development should be a great play a few years from now. Hipsters are moving into the bayview, so once I renovate, I'll seek them out as tenants.

I'm also tempted to cash put of the mission, as all my condos here are at a crazy premium. But I'm not ready to get the vacation home just yet! Being out of the RE game for so long, I'm excited to return, and want to acquire a few more properties during this cycle. Afterwards? I'm also thinking of a Mediterranean hideaway, especially as me and the misses plan on spending 50/50% between there and SF. At that point I could dump my rambling 4br/2ba Victorian here for a mint, and maybe get a nice 1br pied-à-terre in SF. Don't think we'll need more for summer-fall in SF.

As for this post, getting this POS entitled is a big deal, and certainly worth a few hundred $G's IMO. But probably not $1.2 over their initial buy price. But who know, there may be stupid money willing to pay premium to have a guaranteed construction sight. Some folks like that hands on, we built this home experience. Remember, it's a DIY nation now.

Posted by: poor.ass.millionaire at February 25, 2014 6:08 PM

A SFH fixer with no permits sold a week or two ago on Guerrero at 22nd for 2.05M. And that's on a much busier street, with a hill to climb to DP and the 18th St. mecca. I wouldn't but this but neither would I be surprised to see it sell for pretty close to asking.

Posted by: observant neighbor at February 25, 2014 6:12 PM

@ mikey: I have no opinion about carrying costs and profit. that's not my skill. You can call those shots all you want.

I just commented about the construction costs.

as for poor.ass.millionaire: there is so much hot air in what he's saying, so much puffery, so much brag, it's hard to take any of it seriously.

I try to keep it real.

Posted by: Futurist at February 25, 2014 6:23 PM

I just don't think it makes any sense to do SFRs at all if you are putting over 400/ft into the construction costs on a 3k sq/ft+ SFR. Any developers I know, or myself for that matter, wouldn't make any money if they spent that, they need to be in the $250-300 range on these modern, semi-nicely finished places in D5, D6, D9.

Posted by: mikey woodz at February 25, 2014 6:46 PM

Oh, I would agree with you. I didn't say my numbers made any sense, I just proposed what the construction costs might be.

Posted by: Futurist at February 25, 2014 7:01 PM

Crazy as it may seem, it's not out of the question. A house on Beaver St just sold based on plans and a pre-application meeting alone. It's not uninhabitable, but the selling price of $2.3m clearly was based on the architectural plans, not the current house, as it sold for $1.7m or so just over a year ago.


Posted by: Mark V at February 25, 2014 7:17 PM

M woodz- why would a contractor have to spend $400 psf here? I'd think that's retail. Wouldn't flipper be able to do this at maybe $300 psf, even with excavation, etc?

I'm not into high end flips- too much hard work and risk IMO, but that's what a lot of local contractors do, and they seem to make bank...at least early on in the RE cycle. Having said that I don't think flipper's gonna pay 2.4 for this. More likely a DIY wanna be that's going to occupy it anyways.

Posted by: poor.ass.millionaire at February 25, 2014 7:42 PM

I recall just 4 years ago the discussions with Sparky and the overpriced 700K total fixers that someone would try and flip for 2M. My oh my things have changed.

Even if the end result is worth 4M the margin would not be really exciting. A buyer would be expecting a 4.5M+ valuation. Would $1300/sf final product be realistic even in a great location?

Are we in the logic of future appreciation baked into the sale price? I would understand this in 2012, but today?

Posted by: lol at February 25, 2014 10:20 PM

Regarding the estimated costs on the permit, I'm pretty sure there's a standard formula used to generate an estimated cost, and then the permit fees are a percentage of that estimate. IIRC it was something like $97 per SF added, with some modifiers based on what was in that space. At this point the purpose of the process doesn't seem to be to actually estimate construction cost; it's an attempt to have some uniform standard for assessing fees.

Posted by: noodle at February 26, 2014 7:38 AM

Did you coin the term "mullet house" soccermom ? Brilliant!

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at February 26, 2014 9:16 AM

^ I second that ^

A quick Google search shows someone had coined the term late last year. Still many levels of awesome, soccermom.

Posted by: lol at February 26, 2014 9:39 AM

I love how the "local" Realtor spelled Bi-Rite "Buy-Rite."

Posted by: Metroliner at February 26, 2014 10:39 AM

The guy is quite local whether or not you think commenting about typos on blogs is a worthwhile thing to do.

Posted by: anon at February 26, 2014 10:55 AM

Personally I call this store "sell-rite" because of the hefty mark-up and the fact that they are still selling their goods.

Posted by: lol at February 26, 2014 11:03 AM

poor.ass.millionaire wrote:

> More likely a DIY wanna be that's
> going to occupy it anyways.

Have you ever seen a DIY "wanna be" buy a home for over $2 million and move in?

Happens all the time with $200K fixers in Sacramento and Placer county, but not for $2 million in the Bay Area.

Posted by: FormerAptBroker at February 26, 2014 3:19 PM

Yeah, this kind of budget would be usually for people who are not on their first rodeo.

Then again, there's plenty of new money being printed. Money doesn't mean skills or insight.

Posted by: lol at February 26, 2014 3:41 PM

I'm talking about the young tech moneyed guys. They are totally into 'doin' it the hard way'. Wasn't zucki into hunting his own meat for awhile? I'm sure he can afford fillet mignon prepared at the finest 'staurant. This probably isn't for old school yuppies looking for their ideal home.

Oh and btw (for those who care :), looks like I'm about to get my big fat HELOC. SF RE investment market, here I come! (Take that, you futurist!)

Posted by: poor.ass.millionaire at February 26, 2014 4:50 PM

Can you be any cornier or full or yourself, "millionaire" ? Zucki? 'Straurant? Always bragging about how rich and smart you are? Slagging off expensive flips like you have ever done one? Nausea inducing.

Posted by: Young tech guy at February 26, 2014 5:21 PM

^ go spin in your little tech bus, you pretentious "young tech guy" twit. And then you come begging to people like me to rent out one of my awesome mission condos. I'll have the last laugh, and thoroughly enjoy raking you over the coals at optimal/crazy rent. Cha-Ching sucka!

Posted by: poor.ass.millionaire at February 27, 2014 9:19 AM

Wait, is poor.ass.millionaire 40yohipster/47yohipster?

Posted by: shza at February 27, 2014 9:37 AM

p.a.m, remember it takes 2 to tango.

Techies are already getting flack for "ruining it" for more "deserving" people such as artists, minorities, civil servants, teachers, blue collar workers... Techies are often paying crazy rent because the protected class hogs valuable space for cheap and have to work very hard to pay for it.

The last thing they need is landlords also calling them suckers. It can all go away very quickly. San Francisco has a lot going for it but in then end beauty is in the eye of the beholder...

Signed: a Techie and a Landlord

Posted by: lol at February 27, 2014 9:48 AM

Shiza- yep, that's me :)

Lol- well then you tell that tool not to disrespect me like that. Attack me, I bit back. And I don't suffer fools lightly.

Posted by: poor.ass.millionaire at February 27, 2014 9:57 AM

Dear SS editors.

This gets tiresome. why do you selectively remove posts you don't like but keep others that are just as offensive, and having nothing to do with the topic at hand?

[Editor’s Note: In a (failed) attempt to get the conversation back on track, we removed your last comment which had nothing to do with the topic of this post and was simply jumping-in on the bashing above. And we’ve never removed a comment with which we simply disagreed. Now back to the topic(s) at hand…]

Posted by: Futurist at February 27, 2014 10:16 AM

Well, you know what they say about trolls...

I know firsthand it's tough to resist responding to silly insults, but my livelihood partly depends on techies feeling welcome in SF then please treat them with the respect they deserve ;)

Posted by: lol at February 27, 2014 10:16 AM

Oh futurist, we can be friends! Don't take my attitude so seriously. But FYI, I don't exaggerate or lie in my comments.

Lol- I'm with you. I love techies! I'm just a bit stressed about a potential deal in the bayview, so biting back a bit more than I should when annoying comments are thrown my way.

But back to this home, I don't think a contractor will bite, but a DIY* young monied guy may, so they can be part of the building process.

* By DIY I don't mean he will lift a finger, but will enjoy paying his architect to redesign, and getting to do construction walk thoughts during the building process.

Posted by: poor.ass.millionaire at February 27, 2014 11:26 AM

"Pretentious twit" ? You're the only one clinging to annoying pretension day after day. Your pretensious wordings, "zucki, stro, 'straunts, mish" your obviously fake been there done that attitude when you clearly have never worn a developer or architect's hat? Both those things are completely pretentious. Even using the word pretentious based solely upon my identifying as tech is without merit. Then when pressed all of a sudden youza gangsta! Hating on the busses and whatnot. You're a funny sort of pretensious fake i must say.

Posted by: Young tech guy at February 27, 2014 10:38 PM

No buster, you got it wrong. A- You're pretentious because I certainly know more about RE development than you. I have done, and own, several building projects in SF. What exactly do you know about the topic?

B- if I'm occasionally irreverent here it's for several reasons: I'm knowledgeable about many aspects of SF RE, I occasionally enjoy being obnoxious, and I'm independently wealthy enough not to have to report to "the man", so there are zero repercussions for whatever attitude I choose to express at any given moment. Oh, and I think I'm entertaining to boot.

And for the record I don't hate tech people or shuttles. RU kidding me? I love them as tenants; usually nice, quiet respectful engineers, a landlords wet dream. I was just being condescending to you personally; like brushing away one of those annoying flies in the tropics, you know, the ones that never go away.

Posted by: poor.ass.millionaire at February 28, 2014 11:33 AM

I see. Big upping yourself, and backing off your poor word choices, is all you got. "Pretentious" didn't belong there. You betrayed your true thoughts on tech people by usin it, fake baller. i bet you have two crackhouses is all. Real mogul styles. funny + entertaining people don't constantly need to say how funny + entertaining they are btw

Posted by: Young tech guy at February 28, 2014 1:04 PM

Looks like we're back to the bubble days. How do we know? Prestige index, mortgate rates, apples to apples. Nope. The trolls are back with a vengence. I, for one, welcome our troll overlords back to the den. Please know however that your trolling is blatently obvious and transparent. Bazinga! This house in its completed and finalize state would bring 4-5m so you have to give these investors some credit for trying.

Posted by: pamisatroll at February 28, 2014 2:31 PM

Perfect example of PA's Greater Internet F*ckwad Theory at work here.

I personally think going into Oakland is a better place to pick up techies priced out of the Mission as opposed to BayView, especially if they want midMarket access. Oakland is the trendy place to be. Bayview may be, but that's a long term gentrification project.

Posted by: SciLaw at February 28, 2014 2:49 PM

^ why do you think Oakland is going to gentrify faster than bayview? To me, the iffy parts of Oakland are about as iffy as the bayview. Oakland is definitely cheaper to rent than bayview, and if you're close to bart (basically west Oakland or around downtown; but correct me if I'm wrong here) than it's an easy commute in to SF. OTOH bayview has the light rail, has some cultural capital, and the cache of being in SF proper.

Personally I think both Oakland and bayview are attracting new types of people. The question is if one has more gravitas than the other.

Anyone with more thoughts on this, anecdotal or otherwise?

Posted by: poor.ass.millionaire at March 1, 2014 10:37 AM

^Hard to compare a single neighborhood to an entire city, but Bayview has better access to South Bay and Peninsula jobs via the 280 vs. Oakland, and Bayview has equally good access to downtown SF via light rail. Weather is generally good and if you're on the hill there are views. You can buy a mid-century SFH or two-flat building in the Bayview for less that you can buy a single 1 bdr TIC in my current SF neighborhood (castro/duboce.) Hard not to imagine the hipster crowd moving down Third from Dogpatch. You already have Flora Grubb, Ritual Coffee and the organic pizza place across the street at 3rd & Jerrold. All anecdotal, but I'm from SF and it feels like it's already changing. The other area I think will change is Outer Mission / Excelsior. Has the good 280 access but lacks the light rail to downtown. As a renter who wants to stay in my own hometown, I'm saving like crazy and watching these neighborhoods. Spouse works in South Bay, I work downtown. Oakland means we'd both have a commute.

Posted by: Tilly at March 2, 2014 6:06 PM

Post a comment

(required - will be published)

(required - will not be published, sold, or shared)

(optional - your "Posted by" name will link to this URL)

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)

Continue Perusing SocketSite:

« Designs For Mission District Development At 15th And Shotwell | HOME | Bay Area Home Sales Slow, Except In San Francisco »