CFAH

1420 Douglass: Exterior

Six months ago it was on the market for $1,695,000 and caught our attention for two reasons: 1. the design of the central staircase/fireplace, and 2. it had changed hands 17 months prior for what we assume was a pre-remodel price of $1,300,000.

1420 Douglass: Living

And while 1420 Douglass ended up closing escrow on 8/09/2007 for $1,945,000, it’s back on the market today for $2,095,000. Seeing as how we never received our invitations to the last housewarming, here’s you chance to make things right.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by SmugCloud

    Who are these people in SF who buy multi-million dollar houses only to sell them again in six months? Don’t they put any longer term thought into these decisions?

  2. Posted by anonny

    Nice place. The realtor is the winner again.

  3. Posted by tipster

    C’mon SmugCloud, people’s circumstances do change.
    Perhaps they worked for Google, Apple or Yahoo and lost almost all of their net worth in the market or are now facing the prospects of layoffs.
    Perhaps they were Haas MBAs and are getting laid off from their Finance Jobs.
    Maybe they were mysterious foreigners who lost a ton in the market over the past few weeks.
    Circumstances do change, you know.
    All I can say is that I hope I never make the list of people who are supposedly going to bail out bay area real estate. That seems to be the bad luck omen 6 months into the future. 😛

  4. Posted by movingback

    Or perhaps something else came up? Relocation? Divorce? Or simply the fact that they know Noe Valley is hot right now and that their house will most likely sell quickly and with multiple offers, and they will make some money?

  5. Posted by Tom

    The realtor is the winner, the question is why? Who knows. But, that will be tough on someone’s pocket book.

  6. Posted by [movingback]

    It sold for almost $300,000 above asking price a few months ago – who is to say it won’t do so again? I don’t see how that could be tough on the seller’s pocketbook.

  7. Posted by Oceangoer

    Am I the only person here who thinks this is way overpriced? Around $1.6 might make sense to me, but $2.095????? I’d have to spend a lot of time in the Zen garden calming myself to make up for that. Incidentally, judging by the playpen in one of the pictures, I suspect the reason for the sale (apart from making a nice profit) might be because of a new addition to the family.

  8. Posted by anonarch

    Even with all of the new grantie and marble, halogen lights and trendy garage door, I wonder if buyers in the end realize that it is JUST an old house of moderate construction quality. Doors and windows can be changed, but what about the plumbing? I am not saying this house has any problems, but this is another example of a place that tries so hard to look like “new construction” when in fact you are buying a 50 (?) year old house. Was as much care was taken rebuilding the roof and waterproofing as was done playing with the “cool” fireplace design? Was the roofing even rebuilt? Now the house could be of great quality with no problems at all including all new building systems and roofing. It will be interesting to find out what the real reason this is back on the market.
    I was asked to do design drawings for some “professional” house refurbishers who as a couple have been buying and selling homes in the city for about eight years and making very good money doing it. (They were not involved in this one btw). I walked through a property they were in escrow on and mentioned potential problems with the roof, foundation, site drainage, etc. but this was of NO CONCERN to them. They wanted to talk about landsape lighting around a fountain, kitchen cabinets, and tile choices in the bathrooms. I told them they had to find someone else to work with, the house finished and sold at a great profit, and I feel sorry for the buyer.

  9. Posted by anonarch

    Grantie? It should be granite. Never post before having coffee. I apologize.

  10. Posted by Tipster

    Great point anonarch, especially with this place, where you can see the roof line sagging down in the middle in the very first photo from the outside.

  11. Posted by timkell

    Looks they calculated an approximate break even price (adding a little over 7% to their original purchase price) and tossed it on the market.
    Good luck to them.

  12. Posted by [movingback]

    You guys do so much speculating on this site, it’s amazing to the point of being funny. Without really knowing anything about the property. I happened to see this place when it was on the market 6 months ago – it’s actually very nice, and it looks even nicer this time around. I plan on going to the open house. Don’t you think that any major outstanding issues (if there are any, at all) will be in the disclosures for the house? That is what they are for.

  13. Posted by anonarch

    I am not saying there are any outstanding issues. My point is that in the end, even with all the new cabinets and tile, it is still and old house. I cannot tell you how many times people are so in love with the interior “show” that they forget to really examine the critical issues when buying a used home, the roofing and waterproofing being of particular importance. This is a beautiful USED home.
    I remind my clients of this constantly when they consider whether to do a remodel or just start over with new construction. I think the interior of this house is rather well done, and I wish happiness to whoever ends up living there.

  14. Posted by Foolio

    Ah, Noe Valley. Where concepts like “winner’s curse” have no value. Gotta love it.

  15. Posted by arlo

    Property Shark shows square footage at 1,725. They are pricing at nearly $1,200 psf – seems high, even for Noe Valley. This location is not exactly the heart of Noe Valley – it’s about 100′ away from being in District 4.
    movingback – let us know what you think after the open house. Do you really think that this might go for over $400K (+25%) above its Aug 07 list price?

  16. Posted by Annony

    Yes, the market is strong in Noe and the north end of SF, but how can this sell for even more so soon?

  17. Posted by matt

    C’mon anonarch-although I see your point, for those who want to live in a san francisco SFR the option of new construction is extremely remote for so many reasons.

  18. Posted by anonarch

    I agree that new construction is not for an option for every buyer, but when you get above 1.6m it should be a consideration. My point really is not to build new, but to look carefully into many of the slick remodels that have been showing up in this city in the last 5 years. This is NOT in any way to put down this particular property, but rather to caution buyers to be careful with ANY used home that they may consider buying. The fact is, despite the sleek cabinets and granite, you are buying an older structure with all of the problems it might hide.
    As a note, I just finished a 3,750 sq.ft. home in the Montclair-Oakland Hills area that, for the client, ended up being about 1.8m total cost for land and construction. They were originally looking in the city, but chose to build new after thinking through the pros and cons.

  19. Posted by Mike

    73 Miguel appeared on Socketsite on two occassions:
    https://socketsite.com/archives/2007/11/a_peek_inside_and_prices_for_the_modern_duo_on_miguel.html
    https://socketsite.com/archives/2008/01/the_backside_view_and_rather_big_right_pricing_up_on_mi.html
    Following were two posted comments on 73 Miguel:
    (1) Seems pricey. So we saw it in December, one part of me is surprised that its still on the market, another part of me is totally not surprised. Still nice, but probably overpriced by at least 500k if not close to 1mil over what someone in that area would pay. Posted by: RS at December 16, 2007 9:01 PM
    (2) Buyer beware! Just a block away going West are blocks and blocks of HUD public housing. Starting with Addison St., Diamond Hts. Blvd., Gold Mine Drive and many other streets. It’s been there for over 30 years and those areas are a haven for gangs, robberies, car theft and violent crime. Earlier this year, just a block away (near 100 Addison St., there was a drive-by gang shooting where 2 people go shot. Who could ever imagine Diamond Hts and Glen Park neighborhoods having this kind of housing? Go see for yourself. Posted by: Daniel at November 17, 2007 1:58 AM
    73 Miguel is currently listed on MLS at $2.875 mil or $882 psf.
    http://sfarmls.rapmls.com/scripts/mgrqispi.dll?APPNAME=Sanfrancisco&PRGNAME=MLSPropertyDetail&ARGUMENTS=-N545080672,-N215063,-N,-A,-N11855854
    With 1420 Douglass listed at $2.095 mil or $1,200 psf do readers believe that this property is severely overprice in relationship to 73 Miguel?
    It appears that Douglass is not far from Miguel. Do readers believe that 1420 Douglass is located in a much better neighborhood or is it also located near a questionable area?

  20. Posted by arlo

    Mike – To me, they are both overpriced. I thought the teardown on 26th Street that recently sold for $935K was ridiculously overpriced too. But, as fluj and others continually point out, there is a huge demand for Noe Valley. I’d prefer the Douglass location over Miguel – but I personally wouldn’t pay such a premium to live there.

  21. Posted by charliemarlow

    for what its worth the place on Miguel is in Glen Park – albeit a nice area of Glen Park. Miguel can have
    The places arent very far apart, so I am wondering if the views (if any) are drastically different.
    Regardless, both seemed priced for perfection (or delusion).

  22. Posted by roger rainey

    Saw both today. Miguel has absolutely knockout views, and a very high end redo. The Douglas house was nice but no views. Nicer yard than Miguel, but otherwise Miguel in a totally different ballpark – needs an elevator though.

  23. Posted by movingback

    Loved it – very nice house and wonderful yard. Honestly I don’t think it will be on the market for very long. There were a lot of people out looking today. Considering the weather I was really shocked.

  24. Posted by ghost of fluj

    True “new construction” is not an option very often at all. And often “remodels” actually are new construction, down to the studs, new plumbing, new foundations, etc. Anonarch surely knows this.

  25. Posted by noearchSF

    I agree with anonarch completely. Clients are constantly only focused on looks and getting trendy materials. As architects we look at the big picture, and have an obligation to be concerned with fit, finish, assembly, waterproofing, structural integrity, etc.
    What I really hate is how many realtors during open houses totally focus on the looks, or a paint color, or “fabulous” cabinets..or some other bullshit. They are doing the industry and clients a disservice.

  26. Posted by view lover

    I have new construction and leaking windows anyway. New construction is no guarantee that you won’t have structural issues even with all of the permits.

  27. Posted by Satchel

    I noticed that the price on this listing has been reduced to $1.995M. Does anyone know if this is a “real” reduction, or is it just another realtor game, whereby there is an offer already around there, but the agent wants to send out his year-end summary showing x% of his listings sold “over asking”?
    In any event, I’ve got a morbid curiosity about this place, as there were a number of strong comments on this thread opining that this would sell quickly, “Noe is hot”, seller wanted to “make some money”, etc. If this reduction is real, the seller is assured now of eating at least a $100K capital loss, after commission, closing costs, transfer tax, etc. Add that to the carrying costs on this albatross, and that “sexy sophisticated” two-sided fireplace has found its highest and best use: burning Benjamins!
    Relevant: 1420 Douglass originally sold 8/09/07. GOOG: $514.73
    Today – Not sold, (perhaps) languishing. GOOG: $433.35.
    Maybe dub dub is on to something with his “lazy indicator”!

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