Listed for $1.995 million in October of 2016, the completely remodeled, four-bedroom Bernal Heights home at 136 Bradford Street ended up selling for $1.85 million, or roughly $1,022 per square foot, that December.

Since repainted and now sporting a Bertazzoni range, but otherwise apples-to-apples, the 1,810-square-foot home returned to the market last month listed for $2.0 million and sold for $2.05 million in three weeks time, representing total appreciation of 10.8 percent since the end of 2016 on an apples-to-apples basis or roughly 2.8 percent per year.

Over the same period of time, however, the Case-Shiller index for Bay Area single-family home values increased 21.1 percent and the “median sale price” in Bernal is up 35 percent (plus).

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Richard

    The market in Bernal seems a little weird to me right now. One trend I have noticed is that there are a few trades recently for around 2017 sale prices, but there are still a good number of old Victorians getting more than $1k per foot. Best of luck to anyone buying or selling in Bernal. It’s unpredictable right now.

  2. Posted by Sassy

    Um, that street tree is going to fall over in a couple of years.

    • Posted by Notcom

      pho·tot·ro·pism /ˌfōdəˈtrōpizəm/
      “the orientation of a plant or other organism in response to light,”
      How plants in SF manage with a concept that they get little experience with is a wonder.

    • Posted by anon2.5

      It can still be saved with proper staking . . . I got a DPW planted slanted tree in front of my house which I painstakingly straightened over a one year period

  3. Posted by Eric

    Whoever bought 563 Andover clearly did well. 580K in 2011 and sold this summer for 1.925. Looks like they did 50K in foundation work and put a bunch of paint on the kitchen cabinets and walls and stuck in some Best Buy low-end appliances. They didn’t get a thousand a foot but no yard and a tiny garage that can’t hold a car.

    • Posted by Josh

      Wow, do you have any thoughts why this property is such a success?

      • Posted by Eric

        good timing and a very good price even in 2011. looks like they added a curb cut. beyond that doesn’t look like they did much more than paint and refinishing hardwood floors underneath carpet.

        • Posted by Doug

          I’d guess the main difference is location—563 Andover is very “Bernally,” while that part of Bradford dips it’s toes into the warehouse-and-fast-food zone that is Bayshore.

          • Posted by Eric

            Did most of Bernal that was “bernally” triple in 8 years? Genuinely curious.

          • Posted by Michael

            This isn’t in the ‘warehouse-and-fast-food zone,’ wrong side of the freeway. 2011 was the bottom of the market and the curb cut legitimized the garage and added a private street parking space. Full stop.

          • Posted by Eric

            Michael, still the house has ZERO yard. Just a small deck. Do you think that all houses tripled that were purchased in 2011 and sold in 2018/19? Just trying to understand if this was an exception or typical of Bernal.

          • Posted by Asdf

            I lived a block north on Bradford and this side of the hill gets a lot of highway noise due to proximity of the 280/101 interchange and the elevated ramps that bring the noise to a much higher elevation (above the hillside that normally shields the homes above)

          • Posted by Doug

            Eric — not sure if there’s a general answer to your original question. I can say that I purchased on the north slope in 2011 (foreclosure, sat empty for 4 months as hard as that is to imagine these days) and, although it’s dipped a bit this year, comps seem to be holding steady at ~2.5x what I paid.

    • Posted by Mutal Kudi

      The 2011 price was an aberration- just over $300/SF when Bernal was generally between $500-600/SF. Look at some of the old posts on this site. There must have been some more problems with 563 Andover then, or maybe it was a foreclosure.

      • Posted by Eric

        It definitely was not a foreclosure. At 2100 square feet at 580K it it comes to $276.20 per square foot. It sold for 1.925 so that is $916.67 per square foot. It looks like they spent 50k on a foundation and just staged and painted it and put in new appliances. They also put a garage door in without permits and got the curb cut with permits to create a space on the street but the garage is too small for a car to fit in. Are you saying that it should have sold for 1.1 back in 2011?

        • Posted by Mutal Kudi

          I don’t know the circumstances of the 2011 sale, but it was clearly out of step with the market at that time. I bought in Bernal in 2005, and sale prices for SFR’s were over $500/sf even then; they certainly didn’t drop to <$300/sf even with the recession. Can't say what it "should" have sold for without knowing a lot more detail, but that was definitely not a typical sale price for Bernal at that time.

    • Posted by SFRealist

      It’s not news that “buy at the bottom” is a good strategy, but this is a perfect illustration.

  4. Posted by Greg on 26th

    The trend I’m seeing is that more than ever, people are willing to pay up for “move-in-ready”. This is ready to go for a family that needs more space and wants to be able to move right in. No one wants to deal with months of contractors right now for kitchen and bath renovations.

    My only pet peeve is why they left that hideous column in the main living space. I had the same issue when renovating my house. It’s only $3-4K for engineering drawings and a glulam beam. When you’re doing a $150K reno, it’s not a big deal to fix.

    • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

      Did your engineers expose the glu-lam beam or conceal it above the ceiling?

      • Posted by Greg on 26th

        It’s concealed in the ceiling. It’s a bit cheaper to leave it exposed, but unless you have high or cathedral ceilings (which I don’t), it doesn’t look right.

  5. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    This is a case where High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography makes the images worse. Here the photographer balanced the bright outdoor lighting with the dimmer indoor lighting. The result is an eerie, claustrophobic look since the views are so short. The first interior photo of the living room gives the impression of the neighbors across the street looming through the window. Plus they pushed HDR so far that instead of producing an image closer to what the eye sees, it has become something weird. A normal photo would have rendered that view “blown out” and over exposed which while also not what the human eye sees in real life, is more in line with what we expect of interior photos. At minimum the HDR should be really toned down or turned off in situations like this.

    HDR can be effectively be used to portray long distance views without the creepy effect seen in the close views of this property. But even with long views the photographer has to be careful to not turn HDR up to 11 to avoid unreal effects. Sometimes it is hard to tell whether you’re looking at a window view or a flat panel TV displaying an image of the Golden Gate Bridge.

  6. Posted by NFSF

    Love to display my dishes on open shelves in the kitchen

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