861 Alvarado
Of the five photos in the $1,495,000 listing for 861 Alvarado Street in Noe Valley, one is of the façade (which is rather charming), one is of the brush covered rear (we think), and the other three are of the “mature fruit trees” in the “huge south garden.” The actual interior, floor plans or even a shot of those “water views?” You’ll have to use your imagination.
∙ Listing: 861 Alvarado Street (3/2) – $1,495,000 [MLS]

21 thoughts on “Apparently They’re Selling Expensive Lemon Trees At 861 Alvarado”
  1. Case in point of why anyone who’s not in the sport of RE is picking up and moving to Portland for the good life. Incredible liveable period architecture without the exhausting hype here which ultimately is creating precious disconnected communities (with well hidden children whisked in and out of their homes to their private schools) and leaving SF as a financial playpen for investment and look-at-me design. Are we becoming nothing more than a hollow corporate marketing machine w/$1.5 shacks? (I realize the Alvarado bungalow is a tear-down, but).

  2. If it’s a “tear down,” it won’t get $1.5M. Looks more like a fixer. And that would still be too high of a pricepoint.
    Is there really a mass exodus to Portland? Maine or Oregon?

  3. OK, now I see where they get the seemingly whacked out pricepoint. It must be a house or two east of 869 Alvarado, which was a gut check for SF realtors about two and a half years ago. Eight sixty nine Alvarado was a total fixer court probate sale, initially listed for $679K, that ultimately went for $1.5M!
    However, that one was 1920 sq ft, not counting the basement or the attic, if I remember. It was basically a large scale cosmetic fixer, and not a tear down, on a massive lot. So that’s where these guys are coming from. But it seems wrong, still, becuase it’s smaller.
    This side of this block of Alvarado does have massive south facing lots. They are probably the largest lots in Noe Valley. But June of ’05, in probate court, is not apples to apples with right Thanksgiving ’07 on the open market.

  4. fluj,
    I don’t know if there’s a mass exodus specifically to Portland East or West, but I don’t think anybody will deny there is a large chunk of people who leave the city once they decide they want to buy a house and have a family. I personally know 3 people who moved to Portland, Oregon recently and countless that have moved to the peninsula/sili valley. All of them are techie types with good paying jobs who simply can’t fathom paying such high prices for so little.
    I love SF and very much want to buy here, but I must admit I’m quite disillusioned at the prospects. I don’t think I’m willing to make the appropriate sacrafices to stay in range I’m willing to pay.
    In regards to this place, obviously you’re paying for the lot. I’m not really surprised they expect $1k/sf for it, though if it’s really a teardown that’s mighty generous. This place is too far “out of town” for my taste and Alvarado is kind of a wind tunnel in those parts.

  5. I honestly don’t know. I haven’t been inside it yet. But if it has a big attic space and undeveloped rooms down I wouldn’t be surprised if it goes for ~$1.2M. Again, sight unseen, its neighoring property is much larger.

  6. We also don’t even know it’s a fixer, do we? The lack of interior photos is what makes us think that. But the paint job is decent. So who knows? If it’s a cute little house inside all bets are off.

  7. This is a great looking place. The pix are lame. Did someone wake up this morning and decide to list the place? The interior is a wild card, especially if it served hard time as a rental. Unless there is something really wrong, I’d say 1.35 easy. Look at the state of the front fence, and the potted plants. Something is messed up with the marketing here. Maybe these pix are just placeholders.

  8. Invented – yes, portland is less expensive than SF, but is this news? I know when you moved here to start a funk band and support yourself as a barista you had no problem living with 7 people in a converted mission victorian and now you are just realizing that this is an expensive city?
    This just in, Manhattan is also expensive.

  9. “This just in, Manhattan is also expensive.”
    And your point is? Hate to burst your real estate bubble but this is not Manhattan west. We really need to stop using cities such as NYC, Hong Kong, and London to prop up our own costs. It is a dangerous game for a city that is not nearly as important on the world stage as it wants to believe it is. And we won’t even mention the urban area about 450 miles south of here with about 15 million people and 3 times the economic output of the bay area.

  10. anon2: no point, other than you’re as out of touch with the west coast. You must be from some place like chicago.
    you need to understand that if you don’t want to or can’t afford to live in SF; San Mateo, Marin, Walnut Creek, etc. are also pricey. If you work in NY, you can find a great place nearby at a reasonable price if you don’t mind LI, NJ or a burough. In London, a 45 min. train ride will get you a great place at a reasonable cost.
    SF is unique, sorry you can’t afford it. Go back to the midwest.

  11. Uh, actually I am from Newport Beach originally. I live on Prado street in the 94123, but bought in 92. When I bought then, S.F. was cheaper than many parts of Southern California. San Francisco is not as unique as you claim because the majority of the jobs and economic muscle of the Bay Area are down on the Peninsula and South Bay. San Francisco is important and unique, but it is not ready to compare to London, New York, and since you brought it up, Chicago.

  12. I will happily take over the payments for a Noe “teardown shack” such as this. I’ll even pay for the seller’s move. BTW, the pix have been updated on MLS.

    The steps and ‘improvements’ in the back look a tad 70’s groovy, so I will stick with my estimate of 1.35.

    Anon2 – beautiful timing on the 92 purchase. Curious, where were you during the 89 quake?

    Some city has to be the most expensive. Looking outside today, I vote for San Francisco.

  13. “Anon2 – beautiful timing on the 92 purchase. Curious, where were you during the 89 quake?”
    I was living at the corner of Pierce and Green in Cow Hollow (Renting). I purchased in the Marina when nobody wanted to even think of living there after what that neighborhood went through in the quake. It was the only neighborhood on the north side of town that I could afford and still like at the same time. I know I am lucky to have bought where and when I did and do not look down my nose at others who were not so fortunate. I am really tired of all the “renter bashing” as well as the comments that people should be happy to pay obscene housing costs just so they can have the priviledge of living in San Francisco.

  14. sorry anon2
    You have that OC mentality. growing up in a suburb, Newport Beach, of a suburb, Anaheim of a suburb, Long Beach, of a city, LA. SF is a city, SJ, Walnut Creeek, etc. are all suburbs of suburbs regardless of how many more people they have.
    SF is unique around the world. You bought a place at the absolute low in 92, so you should be happy, but it sounds like you understand that you wouldn’t be able to buy today and are therefore bitter.. TS… move to Fresno, which is more of a city than SJ or Newport Beach, at least it’s not a suburb.

  15. Just move away from San Francisco for a few years – like we did – thinking we could do better – have a bigger, better house for less money – etc, etc. – then you will realize how much you might take for granted living in this crazy, dirty, beautiful, wonderful city. We could not wait to get back. I would gladly pay anything to live in San Francisco – we could not imagine living anywhere else. And we won’t venture away ever again. For those of us that get it, and love it, there is no better place.

  16. Jimmy, the argument was not that San Francisco is not unique, but whether it should compare itself to London or New York. We don’t have the wealth or the economies of those two HUGE cities, and therefore it is not an appropriate comparison. You would have to live in New York for a couple of years to understand how tiny “the city” really is on the global scale. San Francisco is desirable, and expensive, but partly also because of an artificial housing economy created by rent control, NIMBY no growth, and ONLY NOW a population growth of almost 0.3% a year. The population over the last decade in the city went down by about 3% so tell me again why real estate should have gone up almost 300% during that period?

  17. anon2 – just curious to see if you knew what you were buying and it sounds like you were very informed. You’ve more guts than I, that’s for sure! And the obscene prices? They will correct. They always do.

    MovingBack – I always strongly suggest to anyone leaving California to hold onto one property as a rental. Otherwise you run the risk of making a one-way move. Good luck with the hunt. Maybe you can find something that has quietly gone stale, while others are busy with the holidays?

    AnonBiCoastal – agree with your comments but doesn’t it seem like there is more growth than ever right now?

  18. According to the California Department of Finance estimates (used to determine state appropriations), the population of San Francisco grew by 0.82% in the fiscal year from 7/1/05-6/30/06 (the last year in the excel file on the State of CA website comparing growth rates in the various CA counties).
    In that last fiscal year listed, the population of San Francisco county grew at a faster rate than the population of LA County (which grew by 0.62%).
    The federal (US Census Bureau) estimates released in non-Census years are not actual census counts but mathematical estimates, which the state believes undercounts the number of San Franciscans. In terms of a hard count, only comparing the 2000 census with the 2010 census is comparing apples to apples.

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