1487 McKinnon and 2340 Larkin
At one end of the spectrum there’s 1487 McKinnon Avenue, a two bedroom single-family home in Bayview which is currently listed as “below market value!!” and “wont last!” It’s been on the market for 46 days. Now listed at $559,000, it was reduced by $20,000 (3.4%) after two weeks.
Near the other end is 2340 Larkin #2, a two bedroom condominium in “Prime Russian Hill.” The sfnewsletter was betting it wouldn’t last a month at $2,295,000. So far it’s been on the market for 53 days. And two weeks ago it was reduced by $296,000 (12.9%).
∙ Listing: 2340 Larkin #2 (2/2) – $1,999,000 [MLS]
Bettin’ Fools [sfnewsletter]

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by cameron

    Question for all the experts from a SF market newbie.
    The HOA on the Larkin property says cats only. How iron clad to these tend to be in small 3 – 6 unit condo buildings?

  2. Posted by anono

    I would say pretty iron clad. The CC&R’s likely specify the restriction. All new condos in the city must allow pets, and any older buildings that update their CC&Rs also must revise them to allow pets. Many older buildings do not allow dogs and I would expect that the people who already live there want to keep it that way.

  3. Posted by eddy

    I saw that cat limitation as well, which is pretty crazy for a $2M listing with a deeded garden.
    I’d read the CCRs and see what penalties exist for bringing in a dog or violating the CCRs. Seems pretty ridiculous and I’m sure its hurting the value of this place; and the other units in the building.

  4. Posted by JoeTZ

    What a bargain at 1487 McKinnon – it’s listed at only 60% more than it sold for in ’04. I know that Bayview is part of San Francisco, but somehow I just can’t see paying over $4,000 per month to live there in that house.
    Just for kicks, take a look at what you buy for $559,000 in most other states. Unbelievable!

  5. Posted by D_INC

    This is the house I used in my piece about how the market determines value not Realtors:
    As for the re-sale maybe they were encouraged by what I was calling the flip of the century, that was before the $300,000 price reduction.

  6. Posted by anon

    JoeTZ – Certainly you can buy more house in Iowa, but then you have to live in Iowa!

  7. Posted by David

    I love that the world is divided into “San Francisco” and “Iowa”. When I lived in Manhattan, I absorbed some of NYC’s Center of the Universe feeling, partly as a protective mechanism to deal with the huge sacrifices that you have to make to live there if you’re not rich. Sure, I lived in a 300 square foot one bedroom on 9th Avenue, but I lived in The City, not Iowa (or worse, Jersey). Glad to know that those defense mechanisms are universal.

  8. Posted by anon

    Well, in the US it is pretty much SF/NYC or slave to the car. To me – Iowa is New Jersey is LA is Vegas is Montana. The weather may be different in each place, but every one of those I would need a car. I don’t here. I wouldn’t in Manhattan. I wouldn’t in Vancouver. I wouldn’t in most European cities. That is the difference. So, call it whatever you want, but there are only two cities where you can live car-free and maintain a nice lifestyle in the US. There are a few others that might be close (Seattle, Portland, Boston, Philly, DC, Chicago), but only two where you can REALLY do it comfortably.

  9. Posted by JoeTZ

    I understand the huge premium to live in many areas of SF compared to the rest of the US. I just don’t see Bayview as being one of them. Given a choice between Bayview/HP and Iowa, I’d get myself a John Deere cap and take the $559K and buy a new 4,000+ sq ft house on 5 acres and plant some corn.

  10. Posted by anon

    I agree JoeTZ! I would take that 559k and buy a condo on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago and invest the rest of the money so that during the Winters I could do weekends Kiawah or some other warm spot. I did not know San Francisco had a resort climate btw. IF I wanted perfect weather, I would move to Palo Alto or Santa Monica. I find it funny that someone would live in S.F. for the climate.

  11. Posted by anon

    Who said SF had a resort climate?

  12. Posted by Willow

    “So, call it whatever you want, but there are only two cities where you can live car-free and maintain a nice lifestyle in the US.”
    I live in SF and I don’t buy into the fact that you need a car any less here than what you would in Boston, Chicago, DC etc. For example, if I live in Noe Valley and had to get to a party in the Marina, how would I get there? You have two choices: catch a cab or drive your car. Something you would do in most cities around the country. I would not even consider Muni as a feasible option. Hmmm…where is the major employment hub located in the Bay Area? It’s the Peninsula and South Bay; not the city. Unless your home/job is conveniently located next to a BART/CalTrain station more than likely you end up driving like the thousands of people taking the 101/280 each day.
    The NY/SF comparison just doesn’t stand up in so many ways. Not to get personal but people need to let it go…
    One other point, the few friends I know who don’t have a car in the city end up asking me for a ride everywhere! LOL

  13. Posted by david

    “Iowa is New Jersey is LA is Vegas is Montana”.
    Pure comedy gold. Keep it coming!

  14. Posted by anom

    Hey wait a minute. I am a Chicago boy by birth and it was easier for me in that town to get around without a car than S.F. I could go to concerts, museums and the ballparks, as well as airport, beaches etc. on the CTA Trains. San Francisco is a nice town, but having one subway line under Market Street does not make it London or NYC. Do I need to post the subway maps for Chicago, NYC and London? I did not own a car until I moved to San Francisco, and I need it to get to most parts of this city.

  15. Posted by D_INC

    Here’s to JoeTZ moving to Iowa and Anon moving to Chicago. So long and thank you for visiting or should I say passing through.

  16. Posted by anon

    That’s right. If you say anything negative about beloved dear old San Francisco, then you have to move, for critical thinking about urban issues is not allowed in such a perfect place. D inc the response was regarding the person who felt S.F. was the ONLY other city you could not need a car in besides NYC. Give me a break!

  17. Posted by anono

    I have to agree that S.F. is not that easy to get around without a car. If you are on the BART line or near a main muni line, then it’s okay. But try getting North to South or vice versa in this city without a car, and you better plan 90 min. or more in commuting time. Chicago is very easy to get around without a car- I did it. And D.C. is also very easy to get around without a car. The D.C. Metro is far superior to the transit in S.F.
    There has been a lot of great discussion recently on civic issues in S.F.- this can be a very frustrating city to live in if you want clean and safe streets with our $6billion budget.

  18. Posted by anon

    The reason SF is a good city to live car-free is because for most trip you can WALK, people! I don’t own a car, rarely use Muni, and never have a problem. I live in an extremely dense, walkable neighborhood four blocks from where I work.
    And the comment about the South Bay being the center of employment in the Bay is deceptive to say the least – yes, there might be more jobs down there, but that doesn’t take away from the hundreds of thousands of jobs in the city! Most people in NYC don’t work in Midtown, but that doesn’t make it any less important as an employment center!
    And please, if you think you need a car to get from Now Valley to the Marina – wow, why haven’t you moved to LA!?!? You must not be able to do anything without a car!
    Large subway systems do not make cities easy to be car-free in – they help – but walkable neighborhoods close to all needed amenities (and jobs) make living car-free easy.

  19. Posted by blahhh

    I lived in Manhattan for two years and drove everywhere. Cars are needed everywhere.

  20. Posted by David

    Too funny! Since the South Bay has more jobs, the city is no longer an employment center! Hahahahahaha! Good one!
    That’s like saying that City A has 200,000 jobs and is the center of the area. As soon as City B gets 200,001 jobs, City A’s jobs no longer count for anything and all people from City A are commuting to City B. Get real people!
    Even if the South Bay has more jobs, it also has more PEOPLE! SF has 750,000, Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties combined have more than 2 million. Shouldn’t they have more than twice as many jobs!?!? And why would them having more jobs mean that everyone from the City is commuting down south!?!? Your logic kills me…

  21. Posted by dub dub

    I agree with the SF pro-car comments. When I lived in Noe valley, it sometimes took me 45-50 minutes to take the N Judah downtown, when I had to go. That’s ridiculous.

    You can live in SF without a car, but only if you are trying to prove something, are living in an unusually dense part of town, or have a motorcycle. God help you if you have kids. SF nbhds (with a few exceptions) just aren’t as dense and self-contained as NYC nbhds. Plus, NYC is very flat, and very easy to walk. Walking even to the castro from Noe Valley was a real pain.
    Friends in NYC just walked to work during the transit strike 1.5 years ago, and that was during a cold winter snap!

    That said, I don’t have experience with the city car share things. Anyone have feedback on how they work (didn’t see mentions in the comments)?

  22. Posted by anom

    It is now hard to find, as it was published in the early 90’s and I posted about it on this site a while back, but the book EDGE CITY goes into great statistical detail about the Bay Area. No suprise but the author shows that the South Bay and Peninsula leave “the city” in the dust. So what is San Francisco according to the book? S.F. has the greatest concentration of un-earned income earners on the West Coast for one thing. It is the Trustafarian capitol of America! The author predicts it will be a touristic adult playground with second homes (condos) owned be high income earning childless professionals who use the city for dinners, entertainment and shopping, but who work in other parts of the Bay Area or farther away. In other words, S.F. is no longer the center of the Bay Area, but merely a densly populated historic adult fun zone.
    I was without a car for 3 days recently and TRIED walking from the Marina to Peets up on Fillmore and Sacramento to meet friends. I think of myself as being in shape, but let me tell you, THAT hill is STEEP!

  23. Posted by david

    Anyone who response to “sometimes driving in this city is the right choice” is “just walk everywhere or take the bus” is telling you some things about themselves. They are childless, they have a job within a few miles of their apartment, and they have lots of time on their hands. Driving in the city is sometimes justifiable, and should be avoided. But when I’m at work and my wife needs to get three bags of groceries and a six month old home from the market, she should walk or ride a bike? Fuhgedaboutit.
    Right now I ride my bike to work, since it’s more comfortable and twice as fast as Muni. Next year, my job moves to Mission Bay. I live in the Richmond, since that’s where I can afford to rent enough space for my wife and a kid. If I want to take public transit from the Richmond to Mission Bay, it takes an hour. Each way. Driving takes 20 minutes.

  24. Posted by Willow

    “And please, if you think you need a car to get from Noe Valley to the Marina – wow, why haven’t you moved to LA!?!?”
    Maybe we just value our time differently but I calculated how long it would take for a return trip from the Starbucks on 24th St in Noe Valley to the Safeway in the Marina leaving on a Saturday evening @ 7pm / returning @ 10:30pm on
    Using Muni your total travel time is estimated at 2 hours and 2 minutes. Maybe I’m spoiled but that just seems a really long time…
    “Since the South Bay has more jobs, the city is no longer an employment center! Hahahahahaha! Good one!”
    My point with respect to the Peninsula/South Bay being a major employment center is not to discount the fact that many people work in the city but to illustrate that many people who live in the city by necessity need a car simply for employment purposes. It was in response to the statement that “NY/SF are the only two cities where you can live car-free and maintain a nice lifestyle in the US.”

  25. Posted by Chris

    Car sharing services would be an excellent middle ground for many of the posters here. I live car-free in the city because I don’t need one everyday – that saves me several hundred dollars a month in car expenses, as well as parking, etc.
    However, I do agree that sometimes (like going from Noe Valley to the Marina for a party) a car is definitely advantageous – For me, I would take a taxi for that trip, especially if I wanted to drink at the party. You see, since I don’t have the sunk costs of a car to own, a taxi ride across our very small city a couple times a week doesn’t seem expensive at all. If I’m going to Costco or Target or to the North Bay to visit friends, I car share.
    All in all, I spend about $150 a month on taxis, $60-90 on carsharing and $45-70 on transit (Muni pass plus BART or Caltrain trips every now and then). It still costs me waaaaaay less, and in my mind is more convenient and less stressful than having a car.
    All that said, if you have to commute to the South Bay everyday, yes you still need a car. I guess for me, if I had to commute to the South Bay everyday, the advantages of living in the City just wouldn’t be high enough – the stress of driving that distance everyday would kill me 🙂

  26. Posted by Chris

    One more thing – I will strongly disagree with the posters that claim that NYC and SF are the only cities in the US to live car-free in easily. Along with Chicago, they are probably the easiest cities, but Portland is gaining ground, Seattle can sort of be done, Boston can be done, DC can be done, maybe even Philly. Other cities could be done if you had to, but it would only be if you really wanted to live that lifestyle – in SF, NYC, and Chicago you can be a part of the mainstream and be car-free.

  27. Posted by Liz

    Right on, Chris– I moved here from DC and used my car a lot less there than I do here in SF (and I walk to work in SF). In DC there are lots of high density neighborhoods (expensive, yes, but not as expensive as here), so it’s easy to do without a car by walking and taking the subway or buses. And there are lots of carshare places around the city when you need one. But I would say NY is the only US city where most people find an overwhelming advantage to not owning a car unless they are fabulously wealthy.

  28. Posted by John

    People who insist on using cars would use cars no matter where.
    Come on, no matter which city you live in, some trips are not feasible by foot, bike, or public transportation. So, call a taxi!
    If you live and work in the city, you can get around with bike, public transportation, taxi and ZipCar/City CarShare, and probably get to most places faster with lower transportation expense.
    And again, if nothing else works for the trip, call a taxi!

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