1817 California Street (Image Source: MapJack.com)
If you happen to be the tenant(s) of 1817 California Street #2E and you’re not yet aware, your days are likely numbered. Two bedrooms, one and one-half baths, 787 square feet, one parking space, and listed at $498,000. Only one showing (this Sunday 4/13 from one to three) and offers thereafter.
UPDATE: Make that circles (plural). From a plugged-in reader:

11/18/05: property listed at $750,000
1/11/06: listing expires
2/08/06: listing comes back on, now up to $799,000
7/08/06: listing expires
7/11/06: listing comes back on, still $799,000
9/05/06: price reduced (back) to $750,000
9/28/06: listing is withdrawn by agent (owner)
7/27/07: property listed at $710,000
8/27/07: price reduced to $699,950
1/01/08: property withdrawn by agent (owner)
2/13/08: property listed at $675,000
3/10/08: price reduced to $665,000
4/08/08: property withdrawn by agent (owner)
4/07/08(huh?): new listing! new agent! new price! $498,000.

UPDATE: And as another plugged-in reader ads, purchased for $650,000 on 9/23/05.
∙ Listing: 1817 California #2E (2/1.5) – $498,000 [Century 21 via Pacific Union] [Map]

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by scurvy

    That’s gotta be one loud place to live. California is a fairly busy street on that side of Van Ness and it’s right on the uphill. I know my motorcycle isn’t the quietest thing going up hills.

  2. Posted by Craig

    “If you happen to be the tenant(s) of 1817 California Street #2E and you’re not yet aware, your days are likely numbered.”

  3. Posted by tdc

    The agent who has tried (unsuccessfully) to sell this property since 2005 also happens to be the owner.
    11/18/05: property listed at $750,000
    1/11/06: listing expires
    2/08/06: listing comes back on, now up to $799,000
    7/08/06: listing expires
    7/11/06: listing comes back on, still $799,000
    9/05/06: price reduced (back) to $750,000
    9/28/06: listing is withdrawn by agent (owner)
    7/27/07: property listed at $710,000
    8/27/07: price reduced to $699,950
    1/01/08: property withdrawn by agent (owner)
    2/13/08: property listed at $675,000
    3/10/08: price reduced to $665,000
    4/08/08: property withdrawn by agent (owner)
    4/07/08(huh?): new listing! new agent! new price! $498,000.

  4. Posted by phatty

    tdc, where do you get that information if you don’t mind me asking? Is it public, or do you have to be an agent and get it off the MLS?

  5. Posted by j

    Purposely under pricing the unit in hopes for a bidding war?

  6. Posted by Spencer

    how do you fit 2bdrooms ina 787sq ft apt.?
    that would even be small for a 1bdr

  7. Posted by Dude

    This doesn’t register as a foreclosure, but sure seems to be priced like one. Originally purchased for $650K in 9/05.

  8. Posted by tipster

    Sold for $650K in 2005.
    It *DIDN’T* sell for $665K on 3/10/08.
    So me thinks we have now dropped in to 2005 territory for pricing!
    Or, put another way, some people who bought as early as 2005 are now losing money!

  9. Posted by view lover

    Bought for 650 in 9/05 and on the market two months later for $100K more. That reminds me of the unit below mine that sold for $699 in January of 2005 and was back on the market at $899K a month later. I remember the realtor calling me and congratulating me on the increased value of my unit. Of course nobody was stupid enough to fall for it, but it did sell for $789K roughly a year after. Now that unit may be worth $699K on a good day.

  10. Posted by ex SF-er

    what odd pricing “strategy”
    classic person chasing the market down.
    that said, I’m surprised it dropped from $665k asking to $498k asking.
    -seller is desperate and very near foreclosure
    -or desperate and bank will allow a short sale,
    -or perhaps looking for a bidding war?

  11. Posted by Foolio

    Absolutely fascinating. After having obviously tired of chasing the market down, now an classic lowball asking price to generate interest and hopefully a bidding war.
    Classic post-bubble pricing…let’s see what happens here. I bet it closes quick with both sides happy at $549k.

  12. Posted by sfarmls

    My agent steered me away from this building about 4-5 years ago, lots of issues with the overall construction. And yes, 787 for a 2 bed? Thanks very, very, small, most likely reads as a very small one bedroom with an “office” i.e. closet. As a result, I would not take this single listing as indication of any kind of trend for the larger pac heights area.

  13. Posted by Miles

    787 SF is on the smaller side for a two bedroom unit, but would be large for a one bedroom unit which typically run about 500-750 SF.

  14. Posted by Spencer

    my idea of a typical 1 bdr would be 700-950sq ft and 950 to 1200sq ft for a typical 2 bdroom. i wouls consider 787 to be small even for a 1 bdr

  15. Posted by Dude

    On the topic of Pac Heights foreclosures, 2200 Pacific, 4A seems to be going to the courthouse steps. Purchased in June of ’06 for $1.1 million, unpaid balance of ~$940K. 2 bedroom, 2 bath, nearly 1,900 square feet. It’s on PropertyShark for those interested.

  16. Posted by Lori

    Ugh, evicting a tenant can be a huge PITA. Then the only option you have is to occupy it youself with the owner move in scenario.

  17. Posted by Jimmy (Bitter Renter)

    This is actually pretty well priced at $500k — within reach for an average professional (+ it includes parking!) and the extra guest bedroom is handy in case people stop by for a visit.
    My GF owns a house which is only 800 sq. ft. — it is very liveable when its just her and her dog (no cats!). You just don’t have a lot of stuff (which is good anyway).

  18. Posted by Rillion

    I once rented a 625sf 2/1. Bedrooms were small but it was everything else that was tiny (living room, bathroom, kitchen). I’m currently in a 815sf 2/1 and it is small but habitable. As for this unit, I think the price they are asking now is about right, I don’t think it will sell for much over asking. If there wasn’t a tenant in it, I think it would for get a little more.

  19. Posted by bgelldawg

    Very odd phrasing in the listing: “A rare opportunity to try your bargain.”
    Not sure what that is supposed to mean. High HOA fees.
    The drop in price could be motivated by the seller trying to get out before s/he has to pay a special assessment for the building renovation that is mentioned in the listing.

  20. Posted by Shocked

    …Showing from 1-3pm….THEN MAKE OFFER!

  21. Posted by lies...damn lies...statistics

    Strange that nobody mentions that this property most likely has some serious issues and has for years. It didn’t sell in late 2005, anytime in 2006 or 2007, when the market was still-by varying degrees-raging along. Another example of a property with serious issues that no longer gets to benefit from an overall lack of supply in SF.

  22. Posted by Michael L

    What a dive.

  23. Posted by Usually Named

    South side of California? Not sure I would call that Pacific Heights….

  24. Posted by ExSFOer

    it still lookes overpriced to me at $498,000.
    [Removed by Editor]

  25. Posted by San FronziScheme

    This would rent for 2500-2700 in the overpriced rental market. I’d say fair value is $370K. Attractive for a landlord at less than $300K. Anything higher is just economically ridiculous.

  26. Posted by San FronziScheme

    “Usually” is right. I’d call this area “Western Additionesque”.

  27. Posted by Russian Hill Dweller

    A real estate agent told me about 15 years ago that this building was famous in the 70’s for it’s swinging sex parties and in her opinion still had a sleazy feel to it. Before anyone runs out and bid’s up the property because it is “only” $498K they should remember it is miniscule for a 2 bedroom, probably has vintage paper thin walls and is on a noisy street with what appear to be dismal views. So there you have it – that’s what 1/2 million buys in the down market.

  28. Posted by Jeffrey W. Baker

    People are crazy if they think this is in the Western Addition. This building faces two enormous, historically significant mansions. That said, it’s not a nice building.

  29. Posted by Lori

    Get a district map, people. The north side of California street in this neighborhood is Pacific Heights and the south side of the street is Lower Pac Heights. It’s nowhere near the Western Addition.

  30. Posted by Spencer

    “This would rent for 2500-2700 in the overpriced rental market.” ughh. I don’t think this tiny apt would rent for more than $1800/mo
    Lori is right. This is lower pacific heights, but def not pacific heights. the western addition starts at post, so it is 4 blks away

  31. Posted by LittleJohn

    Does anyone know the current monthly rent? Thanks.

  32. Posted by redseca2

    FYI – The Chronicle Sunday “Pink Sheet” this weekend included an old article reprinted from the late forties where everything west of Van Ness was called the “Western Addition”, including Cow Hollow and Pacific Heights.

  33. Posted by view lover

    Just read an article about rents across the nation. SF has the distinction of having the highest median rent at $1,810, up from 5th place last year at $1,579. New York was $1,606 up to $1,751.
    This might just go for $1,800+.

  34. Posted by sf

    any updates on this???

  35. Posted by what happened

    what happened to this? does anyone know? please update!

  36. Posted by From the inside

    It was kind of funny reading this chain of blogs. Some of you are really off. This complex is unique in SF, not the typical old building…either you like it or you don’t. I bought a 1 bedroom in 2003 and had planned it to be a “starter” home, but fell in love with gardens/pool and the neighborhood (according to City records, Pacific Heights ends at California Street). Most of the units face the interior courtyard and are extremely quiet. The homeowners completed a $2.2M renovation in 2006, upgrading the windows and water-proofing, making the street facing units much more quiet, too. The gardens are mature and have a Japanese quality. Each unit has a garage parking space, and the complex has a heated pool and sauna. The homeowners are now almost complete with a structural upgrade to the pool. Major projects should be expected for a property that is almost 50 years old. The important thing is that the HOA has worked to make good decisions in maintaining the property. If you are the type of buyer that is looking to crunch numbers as a rental property, or easily intimidated by building maintenance projects…please look elsewhere! The reason that #2E has been on the market so long is that, quite frankly, the owner is an idiot. He bought it at an inflated price ($650K) in hopes to flip it. The price had been based on the recent sale of another unit with more square footage, updated kitchen, and a huge south-facing deck. The unit had filthy pink carpeting and pink tiled countertops, and the owner wasn’t smart enough to put a cent into it before putting it on the market. He didn’t market it at all, and had a cheap cardboard hand-written “for sale” sign out front. The first year the unit sat empty during the huge construction project. He is currently on the verge of forecloser, and has huge debt and liens agains the property…which is making perspective buyers more cautious about buying. The $498K price was a short sale in an attempt to get out from under the debt of his mistakes. He recently filed bankrupcy. By the way, I’ve heard the swinging stewardess stories, too, and as far as I know it’s true, but it’s far from the current community. We have a great mix of young professionals and retired homeowners.

  37. Posted by Satchel

    I remember googling around on this listing when it first showed up on SS. From what I could glean, the owner is a realtor. He’s also a fine upstanding member of the Bar….of the Philippines.
    I know that US lawyers can get a FULL broker’s license in California basically by taking their crayons with them and spending 20 minutes or so taking the insultingly stupid, 8th grade level test (after having spent maybe 1 hour memorizing the answers provided in Minnie Lush’s great book (California Real Estate Exam Guide). No specific real estate, finance or sales experience OR academic credentials is required (at least they weren’t a few years ago – not sure now).
    Does anyone know if a lawyer from the Phillipines can similarly get a full license?

  38. Posted by $.02

    I sense a lot of this griping over the property is done by those who are still bitter about not being able to afford a place in SF. I’ve lived at 1817 California for over six years now and I love it! It’s about 100 feet away from the Whole Foods, and two blocks in either direction to a million bars and restaurants. It’s also only a 15-20 minute WALK from downtown to the east, the Marina to the north, Fillmore to the west, or Hayes Valley to the south. A lot of you lowballing this place are doing it out of a vain hopefulness that you could still get a 2 bedroom in this area for under $600K. You can’t.

  39. Posted by SocketSite

    After 124 days on the market at $498,000, the listing for 1817 California Street #2E has been withdrawn.

  40. Posted by DaveinSF

    2E is up for sale again, this time by Deutsche Bank, the bank that picked up the defaulted mortgage after the original owner filed bankruptcy. The listing price is only $454,900, but potential buyers should be informed by their realtor that the property is encumbered by at least one significant lien (and probably more). That would explain why it is listing for much lower than its probably market value:

  41. Posted by eddy

    2200 Pacific #4D on the market for $860k for 1512 square feet. $568/psf.

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