4552 19th Street
It’s a plugged-in agent who suggests $500,000 cuts seem to be all the rage at the upper end of the market. And 4552 19th Street recently embraced the new new thing.
4552 19th Street: Dining
Completely redesigned by architect Chris McMahon and rebuilt with a few traditional touches (think new bay windows), but modern baths and solar panels “for six” up top.
4552 19th Street: Garden
A couple of big city views and a sweet little backyard retreat. Reduced from $4,299,000 after three weeks on the market, but still seeking $935 per square.
∙ Listing: 4552 19th Street (6/4.5) – $3,749,000 [4552-19thst.com] [MLS]

80 thoughts on “4552 19th Street Joins The High-End Half-Million Dollar Cut Club”
  1. After the $500K cut… they’re still asking for almost 4X what it sold for three years ago ($1,075,000 in Nov 05). I’m sure it’s since had radical reconstructive surgery but still – wowsers!

  2. I’ve been inside, really beautiful home, really terrible time for them to bring a $$ home to market in Eureka Valley. High end inventory in 94114 is sitting…

  3. After all that stuff with fluj and Satchel, didn’t we discover that the average psf sales price around these parts has been around $750 over the last year or two, and trending lower?
    Looks nice. Big, and on the corner. Seems like around $2.8M would make more sense in this market. Good luck to them!

  4. It shows quality materials and work, but i wouldn’t call it “Wow”.
    nice place for a conservative family. on the other hand a conservative family next to Castro?

  5. High end inventory in 94114 is sitting. High end inventory in 94115 is sitting. High end inventory in San Francisco is sitting.

  6. They redid parts of the foundation and added on the back. They moved a fair number of walls. Total rehab of the facade, you can’t even tell it’s the same house. (It’s REALLY the green house in this photo – you can see the same house next door in this mapjack photo and the top photo above. Looks like everything inside is brand new, even the woodwork.
    It was sold in 2005, 2006 and 2007, most recently for 1.575M. Seems like a big jump in price, but to get that much square footage in 2007 for that price, it must have practically been falling down, and probably several people tried and failed to rehab it. Great job, and I suspect they are pretty close on the price.
    If you figure $400 psf (as a high side estimate) for a gut remodel/facade/foundation/addition/move walls job, carrying costs and selling fees of maybe 12% of the sell price, they are into it for 3.625. They get $125K for a year’s work. They probably did it for less than $400 psf, but an average person isn’t going to be able to beat that by much.

  7. Really nice home. It looks like whoever designed this made the best use of the lot and put the garage at the end of the garden. There’s a lawn on the top of it! (we won’t blame them if it’s Astro-turf). Really smart to use the side alley for that and probably much cheaper than lifting the house.
    Love the views. Love the area. Best of luck on the sale.

  8. Stunning. But almost 4MM for this part of town would have to set some pretty big comps for 2008.
    I agree with above; high 2’s seems more realistic.
    If I had the money I’d live there in a heartbeat! PS, interesting power room. Love the red mosaic, but that sink, not so sure…

  9. This is the problem with owning, and trying to sell, the nicest house in the neighborhood during a bear market.
    Place looks amazing and I the clearly did a lot of top notch work, unfortunately the market is unlikely to support the price they are asking for.

  10. 3.8 million! I could live north of Santa Monica Blvd. in Beverly Hills (although a fixer upper), or ON Malibu Beach, or in a upper east side condo near Park Avenue, but I know those hoods don’t even compare to Eureka Valley which is a true world class destination sought eagerly by foreign investors from Dubai, Paris, Kuwait and Singapore.
    There is a 4bd 79th floor penthouse in Chicago for sale by a Hedge Fund bigshot for 3.5m btw, to put this price into perspective. Is Eureka Valley ready to play ball with such locations and properties?

  11. Saw this place over the weekend. Miu-Miu sums it up nicely. It looked very well done, but a bit boring, much more like a big house in the peninsula with very conservative finishes.
    As far as renovation costs, I wouldn’t go as high as 400psf, but certainly well over $1M. They put $20K worth of solar panels, control4 units in many rooms, etc..
    A block down the hill another property is priced up there (4432 19th St). Interestingly enough ProperyShark suggest that the owner is the agent of this house.

  12. I’m looking forward to seeing this one on craigslist soon. Can’t wait to rent it!

  13. Interesting link between 4432 and 4552. 3M+ is a lot of money and we’ll see if bold moves like these will be rewarded.
    If this works, expect more $1M-1.5M fixers to fly off the shelves and get a pricey redo by smart and well-heeled investors.
    If this doesn’t work, then fixers will be sold for what people want to pay to live in it: market price minus cost of a regular renovation minus some discount for low curb appeal. That would be me, for instance.

  14. quick flip days are over. There is a house on 23rd street came on the market past weekend also nicely done with a purchase price of 1.4-ish. Asking now $1m more, so after expenses developer would be lucky not to lose money
    313 Duncan is pretty but really tiny collection of spaces, not a real house IMHO. Better profit potential if they get near asking

  15. I heard that if this place doesn’t sell, the owner will just rent it out for $19,791.00 per month (a 6.25% cap rate on $3.8mil). That’ll teach all those high-earning renters who are sitting on their 30% downpayments invested in Treasuries and not buying real estate!!

  16. I heard that if I don’t enter a bidding war and buy this place for $4M+, I am destined to forever spend my days wandering around Concord.
    Where’s my checkbook?

  17. “If this doesn’t work, then fixers will be sold for what people want to pay to live in it: market price minus cost of a regular renovation minus some discount for low curb appeal. That would be me, for instance.”
    Where are those? Or, when are those? That is the question.

  18. So for the original asking price, you could also choose between this and 27 raycliff which is 1/2 block above “the gold coast” of outer Broadway, perhaps three blocks of the most expensive psf residential mansions on the west coast home to some of San Francisco’s most famous billionaires? Raycliff was designed by an architect who in the past has enjoyed a retrospective show at the SFMoma, and who the UCBerkeley School of Architecture named their building after. Since this is the era of “flight to quality”, I would choose living next to Ellison, Getty, & Haas and be the “poorest” person in the neighborhood instead of the “richest”. Now Raycliff could sell above asking, and 19th has been reduced, but 3.8m is a lot of money for this neighborhood, even if the finishes are nice. If a buyer could afford this, why not look near outer Broadway for only 400K more?

  19. why would anyone want to live near ellison… there is a reason his house in atherton (the 25 then 16mil home, not his village in woodside) sat on the market forever before it sold, and it wasn’t just because of the price of the home…

  20. Agreed regarding Ellison, but his “Village” is magnificent. (See it in the new “Zen Architecture” book) My point was I have always tried to buy in areas where I was the least expensive property in the neighborhood instead of the most expensive. When you get above 3.5m, you can choose almost any neighborhood in the city.

  21. Jimmy (BR), the $19,791 per month would yield a 6.25% cap rate only if all operating costs = $0. So the actual cap rate for that rental stream would probably only be about 4%. Which is pretty incredible – if you could actually realize rent of nearly $20K per month, you’re still earning only 4% on your $3.8M investment.
    Good illustration though – it shows how out of whack ownership prices still are. Nothing should cost $935 psf.

  22. I think the price for the location is pushing it even if major structural and foundation work was done– this part of town just is not there yet (And the listing doesn’t mention any steel frame which would by what you would look for in a remodel at that price). While some of the renovation is very neutral there are other things that are very particular like that sink in the powder room (I’m sure some people really like it, but I am guessing as many or more people . A lot of buyers are turned off by spiral staircases too– always banging your shins, not good for the aged, pregnant, and very young (or those who drink). Choosing to use a spiral staircase is very bad for resale.
    I am very skeptical that it would let for $19.8G/month unless it was as a furnished executive rental.

  23. Joe Shmoe, now that you mention those spiral stairs, am I not looking at them right or is it an Escher drawing? Also, I think that Jimmy (BR) was kidding about the $20K rent. Yes, it would be a terrific rental, but it would probably only fetch $10K per month (for a 2% cap rate).

  24. No place like home…. No place like home… No place like home….
    Sweet house and all but I just don’t see this selling in this market for that price. Lot’s of fools with lots of money so I’ve learned to never say never.
    The good news is that they are almost certainly looking at another 500 – 800k of wiggle room before this starts to get really uncomfortable for the developer. Maybe a bit more if the developer was paying contractor rates and got some deals.
    Bottom line is that this is a nice house in the wrong hood for that price.

  25. anon94123, I understood your point and totally agree with it as far as that area being more attractive, but I have to object anytime someone mention’s living next to ellison in a positive light. He is the most unpleasant neighbor in the world. Fortunately for billionaire’s row, that’s just his party house and he is barely ever there.

  26. What is interesting to someone like me who owns both in San Francisco and Chicago is what people with great wealth would spend on a residence in another city vs. buyers in San Francisco. 3.8 million is still a lot of money, and I think any buyer in San Francisco needs to take a step back and be reminded that this was the cost of a two story penthouse in one of the premier buildings on Michigan Avenue that someone worth OVER 500 million in Chicago ended up buying.
    Is the Bay Area more affluent than most of the U.S.? Of course. But, does this justify 3.8m in Eureka Valley? Of course not.

  27. sparky-the-bear says:
    Where are those? Or, when are those? That is the question.
    The market takes time to unwind.
    If these fixers are sold for a loss or a too tiny profit, then high-end house flippers will stay clear of this market.
    Some Bayview fixers are sitting unsold at 200K, and the reason is that nobody wants to spend 200K to fix them up properly and resell them. The demand is just not there.
    The reason Noe fixers would sell at 1.4M+ is professionals (contractors, realtors) would see a potential. Wait for them to start and smell the coffee (or be burnt: Caselli?) and fixer prices will start to go down.

  28. There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few that learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.
    SFS is right. Awareness comes slowly and is resisted furiously.

  29. Wise words Mr Rogers – but the MythBusters proved that the typical urine stream is a poor conductor of electricity.

  30. Even if I could afford it, the house fails the full grocery bag test. As in how far is it from the garage to the refrigerator? In this case, up three flights of stairs.

  31. SFS,
    I agree with you, I’m just wondering when that will be, as the Noe Fixers still are getting $1M-$1.1M+. Most developers have followed the dropping finish number, so they are not getting back in, only people who were committed because they bought in 2005+ are doing projects. The finished house is unwinding fast right now, yet the fixer is not. It’s holding up.

  32. so many of these “remodels” are just unimaginitive. Geeeez, if you didn’t know you were in SF in this what used to be Queen Ann you would think you were in , some sub-division of tract homes, that are labeled “custom”. However their “custom” is all about choosing your finishes, countertops, flooring, tile etc. so much the same, same, same, boring, boring, boring
    And then that staging which is the same stuff everywhere you go. You might as well just hang up pictures from the West Elm, Restoration Hardware, PB, CB2 catalogs. Boring on top of boring and then they wonder why it didn’t sell for the $4.2mil, or now the $3.7 mil???? People with money don’t spend that kind of money without some kind of “wow factor”. Step it up guys! you’re slacking off, maybe you need to take a sabatical

  33. sparky,
    A few horror stories of people’s fortune wiped out in a failed flip would help redefine the true value of these fixers.

  34. There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few that learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.
    LOL. But this crazy bubble has converted most of the first 2 kinds into the third one.

  35. Yes, that would be a perfect candidate for a “let’s gut it out, redo it all high end and sell it for 3M+” flip.
    I know this neighborhood pretty well (lived there for 2 years) and there are still quite a few houses in need of serious repair. A block higher on Alvarado: I don’t recall the # but there’s a house that looks abandoned from the front: broken staircase and windows although it looks OK from the garden. A great candidate for the anti-blight penalty.
    The potential for fixers is high there. Some of the neighbors in their 60s are either moving out or staying put, and they all bought 30+ years ago at prices that look ridiculous for today. And few really re-structured the inside to today’s tastes. These houses will come on the market and I hope mere mortals can buy them and call them their homes.

  36. They are willing to give it away for what they paid in 2003.
    Give it away would be $0.
    Zillow estimates the houses on this block in the range of 500s-700s, and let’s not forget the freeway a stone’s throw away.
    Building a new home on this lot will make it a very risky investment for an investor today, even if the land were free. Just like no one will touch a 150K tear down in the Bayview, I think the chances of a sale at this price are pretty slim.

  37. While I appreciate beautifully-designed homes, I’m looking forward to the day that not ALL remodels are absolute ultra high end. Let’s face it, does everyone really NEED a $15,000 viking range to make pot roast dinners for their families?

  38. “I’m looking forward to the day that not ALL remodels are absolute ultra high end.”
    A city with a healthy ecosystem will have a range of buildings from very new to very old to provide a full range of economic opportunities. The 70’s, when SF was “decaying”, was a high point in the city for culture and art and counter-culture exactly because there were lot’s of cheap options for space for living, working and retail.
    It’s normal when people renovate to put in something nice. As long as prices are normal and haven’t been inflated by a bubble you’ll only get as much of this as is economically useful and you won’t eliminate all the other ecological niches. Mispricing of space sends a signal that causes space to be misallocated among it’s various uses. Thus during the bubble distorted market forces disfavored all uses of SF space except as a bedroom community. This will change as the bubble goes away. Look for up and coming areas to become down and going.
    A tree standing in the forest may be beautiful to look at but it’s the dead tree that has fallen over that provides a maximally diverse habitat for other life.

  39. waiting2nest,
    You can make pot roast dinners in the viking range, if you want, but it’s really a money making machine. In SF, it appreciates about 6-8% per year in perpetuity. Oh wait, I hear change is coming…
    You’re right… all I see is the highway. I did find this 3/3 next door at 8 Costa, just completed and move in ready, going cheaply for $1,145,000.
    14 Costa seems like a better location… still think expensive at $380K? They paid that in 2003 and prabably have sunk another $100K in carrying costs.

  40. @ chuckie and sparky: sorry to further the tangent on fixers, but what’s your take on 118 Cuvier in Glen Park? Went contingent at $398K after selling for $850K in ’05.

  41. I think this place has an excellent floor plan, is elegant, classy and timeless – nice departure from the “DWELL” that builders have been ramming down our throats lately.

  42. Dude,Glen Park is all over the map. I’ve only ever considered north slope/Noe Edge stuff. So I don’t know.

  43. Dude,
    Looks an ok deal to me… could be fixed up for $150K to $200K. Similar places in the area seem to be going for $600 to $650K. For someone willing and able to deal with it, they could come $50K to $100K ahead IMO.

  44. Unless they wanted to sell. Then the closing etc. costs $100K and your $400K purchase + $200K investment + $100K sales costs you $700 on a $650K sale. I do think that there are good buys right now for the homeowner to buy a fixer and remodel vs. the cost of a finished product. But remember the cost of construction doesn’t really change between nieghborhoods so just because you buy in GP doesn’t mean the work costs less than in Noe Valley.

  45. Thanks guys. I’ve driven past it but have not been inside, so I have no idea how much it’d cost to redo or make livable.
    But at $400K, you put 20% down and your monthly payment is around $2,500 with taxes. About equivalent to rent on a 2-bedroom in that area, but you get a 4/2 within walking distance of BART. Seems like a great deal on paper, so no surprise that it went contingent so quickly. It is 50% off of bubble pricing. I guess renovation costs would be the wildcard.

  46. I did find this 3/3 next door at 8 Costa, just completed and move in ready, going cheaply for $1,145,000.
    Cheaply? That’s One-Million-One-Hundred-and-Forty Five-Thousand-Dollars-For-A-Wonderful-Freeway-Pad, not 50K or 100K.
    Cheap is when you can buy your house and then still have cash for the house next door and your next vacation.
    Cheap is buying with a 10 or 15 mortgage and still be OK.
    Cheap is not living with freeway noises 24/7 day in day out for the $6000-$7000 of real ownership expenses you just signed up for.
    The market prices could only be sustained only through appreciation and the bigger fools bailing you out before you had to repay your debt. This house is right in the middle of the crumbling house of cards: Bad location. Sizable investment. Outrageous price.

  47. Folks, Folks, Folks!
    Please, there has been a lot of properties in the last 12 months that have sold over $900 psf in the Eureka Valley hood. Case in point is the Duncan St. prop that is featured in SocketSite that sold for $5m+. Yikes! I’ve got a friend looking in this price range & he’s got very little to look at from what she tells me. This house went from a wreck of a house around 1800 sf to just over 4000 sf. I thought the place looked outstanding too. My agent tells me that this price range is soft but he shows me properties throughout the city that are selling over $3m even though they are taking a lot more time to sell. There’s a lot of cool features in this place which seems to set it apart from “flip” style homes.
    Best of luck to the owners…!

  48. You have your neighborhoods mixed up, Dapper. Duncan is in Noe Valley, not Eureka Valley. I actually prefer Eureka as a neighborhood over Noe but there haven’t been that many ultra expensive home sales in Eureka Valley.

  49. the Noe Fixers still are getting $1M-$1.1M+
    and the ever-interesting 469 clipper appears to have been pulled from the market…after being reduced to $939k…

  50. Sparky and I viewed the 24th street property three times. Did you see it in person? “Not anymore” huh? What about that property makes it particularly good or bad, fronzi? Do tell.
    The 19th street property here is a white elephant in my opinion. Because what is it, exactly? And where is it located? It’s a big family house located in one of the country’s premier gay, and DINK, neighborhoods.

  51. Geo,
    $900K to be on clipper is still a $1M almost anywhere else in Noe as you will lose more than that on the sale.
    As noted above I looked at that pretty hard. I actually think someone did well there at $849K. I was hoping to see one more price drop. That place has no yard, and is dark. But, all told I am happy to see that sale price. It would have gone for a $1M in 2006-07.

  52. Well, 4452 is now down to 2.59.. big chunky drops along the way.
    and Sparky, not sure what you mean about lose more than that on the sale, but the acquisition of 469 for $1 million in ’08, and then failing to resell for $939 is a bit telling of the current weakness imho.
    I certainly agree that location on clipper deserves a discount given the noise etc.
    [Editor’s Note: The list price for 4552 19th Street was reduced to $2,595,000 ($1,704,000 or 39.6% under its original asking) on February 27th.]

  53. sparky,
    Thanks for your input. Seen anything else that would work for you lately?
    About the “white elephant” comment, agreed 100%.

  54. Geo,
    What I mean a nice finished house on Clipper vs. a finished house on say 24th street will sell for at least $100K less. So the $1M to $900K discount should already be factored in, and the market can go down from there.

  55. I also looked at the fixer on 24th. It needed too much work for an amateur like me. I’m happy to see that fixers are dropping down to slightly more reasonable levels, though. Sparky, did you consider putting in a low-ball bid?

  56. 4552-19th St. received 6 offers & closes on Friday, Finally!
    Geo & Sparky, you both sound like typical renters or should I say wantabe owners. Guys, get a life & quite second guessing the market. You’re never, ever going to guess it right. And when you think you have, it’ll be too late. Seen so many like you over the years. So typical…

  57. Who ever owns this house is very, very lucky. Rare to find such a supurb home. I wish my D7 Buyers would have cross the psychic boundary line and bought here. This is one great home.

  58. auden – at the SF DBI website you can find permits associated with an address. Look for the permit tracking link. Then look at the Authorized Agent link – you can usually tell who did what. There are a bunch of building (and other) permits for 4552 19th Street. It looks like Occidental Express did a lot of the construction work.

  59. As info, 4552 19th closed (with a date of 3/20) for $2.550M ($636 psf). In the comment section, it was stated that the seller accepted the lower price of 6 offers for an all cash sale. (The exact word was lower – not lowest.)

  60. auden – the builder/co-owner is Alan Burradell with McMahon Architects – Mr. Burradell also rebuilt and sold 4400 24th Street before this 19th Street project – he did a Bernal project before that and others in Castro too – he does A+ work

  61. dapper,
    Sorry to have missed your comment (3/16) until now. I appreciate your totally factless descripton of me. Very enjoyable.

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