2136 18th Street: Living Room
A plugged-in reader is confident that she’s found a listing to rival that ‘lived in’ look that we pointed out earlier this year. But hey, it is “Location Location Location!”
UPDATE: And as is quickly noted by a reader, “Possession: Subject to Tenant Rights.”
∙ Listing: 2136 18th Street (1/1) – $750,000 [MLS]
No Staging Or Photoshopping Happening Here (We Hope) [SocketSite]

40 thoughts on “Why Get All Gussied Up When It’s “Location, Location, Location!””
  1. over $1000 per sq ft for this?
    If they drop the price down to about $600/sq ft (potrero hill going rate), they may get a hit.
    Dear homeowner,
    Clean up, repair and paint the place and then put it back on the MLS for $450,000. Remember, this is a small (740sq ft) 1 bedroom dump in Potrero Hill.

  2. “If they drop the price down to about $600/sq ft (potrero hill going rate), they may get a hit.”
    This is North Slope. Prices are higher here than PH South, though I don’t know why someone would pay a premium to live next to a freeway (see MLS map of this place). See also 477 Vermont St. for an example of a recent 1/1 SFH close by that sold for $1,050,000 recently. >$1000/sq ft (If I remember right).

  3. Socketsite, you don’t know how much good you’re doing in the world. I’m wi-fi’ing in from the jury waiting room at the Hall of Justice. I didn’t think I would smile at all today, but this item has me giggling uncontrollably. Now I’ll get kicked off the panel for sure. Thanks ever so much.

  4. I’m confused. Usually when someone says, “location, location, location” it’s because the property is in a GOOD location, no?

  5. “I’m confused. Usually when someone says, “location, location, location” it’s because the property is in a GOOD location, no?”
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! now we’re paying a premium to live in bad locations in SF! We are so counterculture

  6. Looks like this place was bought about 100 years ago for maybe $20,000. You’ll have to evict the tenant, which process will cost more than the owner paid for the place. If anyone wants to own in SF, offer this guy $250,000 and I’ll bet he’d take it.

  7. Over $1K psf in North Slope? Maybe, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Not anymore. This agent is doing her client a major disservice listing at this price. Lost all credibility. She needs to get more supply for her crack pipe.

  8. “My coworker (his wife is a realtor) just told me this was a great investment and I should buy up. I am not kidding.”
    He must be smoking medical grade stuff

  9. “over $1000 per sq ft for this?”
    $/sqft isn’t meaningful on this one. they’re basically selling the lot and RH-2 zoning which makes this an expensive tear down with a tenant to boot.

  10. The “comp” at 477 Vermont was 1,365 sq ft for $1.050M (a ridiculous $121K over list price). Not sure if square footage includes the unwarranted attic space (which didn’t look too bad), but it works out to “only” $760 per sq ft. I agree that this tear-down is way, way overpriced. (And I have to think that winning bidder at 477 Vermont is regretting his/her bid.)

  11. Okay. I’ve been reading this site since ’05 and this is by far the most hilarious post on Socketsite – ever !!
    You made my day !! ROTFL !

  12. Get rid of the computer & halogen lamp, replace the sneakers with platform heels, and you have my dorm room circa 1979.

  13. For those of you shaking your head, it’s on a lot that would support a 2000+ square foot SFH. A 2500 square foot house could be built for under $1M, and would sell for at least $2M ($800 psf), so a 750K price for the land is not out of the question. Why they bothered posting a photo of the inside is the real question.
    Property shark reports 2116 18th Street, a 2000 square foot property, sold for 1.5M in Nov 2000, $750 psf. So a slightly larger building, at least as of last month, could support a 750K price for the land.
    The PSF price for the listing is irrelevant. You can see from the neighboring homes that the structure takes up a tiny portion of the lot.
    “Good bones” must be some sort of euphemism for “tear down”. Like rating a stock “hold”. I’ve never seen the term used on any property that wasn’t scraped after it sold.

  14. This is a serious question and I am surely imagination challenged. Please can someone explain without violating this blogsite’s rules of propriety, what the acronym ROTFL means.
    I did figure out LMAO so I’m not a complete idiot!

  15. Rolling On The Floor Laughing. Sometimes the two acronyms are combined: ROTFLMAO
    Hope that helps…And I predict we’ll be using all of these expressions a lot more in the future while discussing the SF market.
    [Editor’s Note: And not to be confused with IINIE (as in ‘It Is Now In Escrow”). Seriously.]

  16. Tipster, I think you solved the puzzle. The other possibility is the existing structure might be up against the back of the lot – can’t tell from the pictures – and another structure could be built in front.
    Regardless, with a seller agent/broker commission of 3%, they would get $45,000. For that much money, they couldn’t hire a cleaning person for a couple of hours?
    And you have to go to Redfin to find out the story on tenants?
    I’m struggling to see the value of a “full service” real estate agents here.

  17. I guess with all of our laughing, Caldwell Banker’s Melinda Lee (the ace listing agent) woke up as all of the steller interior photos have disappeared. Melinda, if you never get another listing as a result of this fumble…just know you made 27 posters and multiple others LAUGH!!!
    A scary note…it is in ESCROW.

  18. In escrow – after just one day – are you kidding me? I understand the potential land value, but it’s still a very steep price. There are still a lot of irrational buyers out there. And this lunatic fringe will keep prices high for a while longer. Enjoy your commission Melinda – you earned. [Removed by Editor]

  19. Not suprising at all. As a previous post mentioned most of these properties are highly sought after by contractors / developers. My wife and I were outbid on over a dozen fixer uppers in District 5 and Portrero Hill this past year on similar type properties.
    Small North Slope homes with potential views command premium. Ex: 823 Carolina Street, sold $920,000 sq ft = 800 The house needed plenty of work, partial views, but we were told ‘good bones’. After our bid got blown away, we gave up on the whole idea.

  20. Say all you want, but with a tenant in place there is only so much a realtor can do. They can’t just go in with a cleaning crew & stagers and clean up the tenant’s belongings – it doesn’t work like that. Most tenants don’t care one bit how the unit looks like as they’re not the owner(s). Granted, interior photos could have been avoided here. Given the fact that this property is in escrow, it seems like someonw thought a $750k value range is reasonable. Let’s see what it actually sells for…

  21. Question on the economics of developer renovation:
    – property purchase: $750K
    – build 2,500 sq ft new structure: Tipster said under $1M. What would a contractor’s wholesale cost be – $625K at $250/sq ft? Higher? Demo, architect fees, permits: $X. Say the whole thing is $800K.
    – Selling costs: $100K
    – Interest expense on purchase and construction for 1 year +/-: $100K+
    So, the developer would probably have about $1.8M sunk in the property. If it would sell for $2M ($800 / sq ft) in late 2008, he would make a couple hundred K profit – or about a 10% margin. Is that about right? There is also a tenant in there that could cause problems and expense. Seems kinda risky – but I guess all development is in flat and declining markets.
    $750K still seems like a really high price – and it looks like it might go over list price. But, as PH Resident said, developers are bidding up these types of properties. Are they still making money?

  22. when I see a place that messy looking I can only imagine how stuffy and smelly it must be as well.
    I also wonder how much it would cost to do an evict on the tenant, either as an owner move in or whatever….a landlord once told me it’s easier to shoot someone in SF than evict them….what do you all think?

  23. A savvy and stubborn tenant can be costly to evict. I’d factor in about $50K, even more if there are multiple tenants – plus it will impact the timetable. Even if you can sell the finished product for $1000/sqft next year, it still seems like a risky deal. You’d probably have $500/sqft invested or committed before starting the demo.

  24. Anyone have actual experience (and willing to share time and cost info) on evictions?
    If this is a developer or fix-n-flip, then is an Owner Move In (OMI) possible?
    Or are they limited to an Ellis act eviction, which means the place cannot be rented for 5 years?
    Or, if paying off the tenant, can you have a contract with the tenant that will keep him/her from successfully suing you in the future?
    How does a “protected tenant” affect the above scenarios?
    Any info or links would be appreciated. Don’t need a link to DVD “Pacific Heights”, though. Thank you!
    wait a sec…, wasn’t that movie actually filmed on Potrero Hill…

  25. Thanks for the link. Here’s a comment from AndySirkin site regarding tenant buyout. Sobering:
    “Can you pay a tenant to move (a tenant buyout)?
    Paying a tenant to move is generally risky in a rent-controlled community and should be approached with extreme caution. Even discussing a buyout with a tenant can create legal liability for wrongful eviction, and tenants can generally refuse to comply with buyout agreements even if they are written and even if the tenant has accepted payment.”
    If I had to pay 50k or whatever the eviction cost is, I’d rather give that to a good tenant than lawyers. But what his site says matches what I’ve heard from friends-of-friends-of-friends.
    That said, I know friends (directly) that got 80k buyouts during the DotCom bubble.

  26. Tenants are still getting payments – and well above the amounts set out by the Rent Board. But to Sirkin’s advice, you still probably need a lawyer to execute your payoff properly. The whole process is riduculous and contributes significantly to the ultimate cost of housing. The tenant’s real leverage is that – despite all of the rules and laws governing the eviction process – he can still force the owner to go to a jury trial.
    Back to the developer economics, I would want a really solid expected rate of return to cover all of these contingencies – particularly trying to gauge where the market will be in 2008-09. I just don’t see paying $750K+ for this tenant-occupied dump.

  27. This was bugging me. Yes, the house from the film “Pacific Heights” was actually Portrero Hill. Not sure what this site means by “south of the city”. No comment on “decidedly downmarket Portrero Hill”…
    Pacific Heights is one of San Francisco’s top-notch neighbourhoods, in the north of the city up towards the Marina district.
    But that’s not where you’ll find the couple’s pleasant wood-frame house. Although the address is given as 275 Pacific Street, the house seen in the movie isnít on Pacific Heights at all, but way across the other side of the city.
    It’s 1243 19th Street at Texas Street in the decidedly downmarket Potrero Hill District, south of the city.


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