4338 Cesar Chavez
Nothing too fancy, simply a bit of classic Noe elegance (at least on the surface). And views.
∙ Listing: 4338 Cesar Chavez (4/3.5) – $2,195,000 [MLS]

73 thoughts on “A Bit Of Classic Noe Elegance (Just The Facade Ma’am) And Views”
  1. NVJ – I think you could get $6K in rent – maybe more. There is a lot of rental inventory out there though. Purchase price is still over 300X rent.

  2. I like the way they added a boat to the back of the house (photo 22), but worry that there may be layout and flow problems as a result.

  3. ok everybody, don’t get too caught up in the staging. it can make a dog house look like a mansion.
    It certainly has a “classic” NV facade and layout.
    however! here’s what I would look closely at, for that price:
    1. updated means? are the foundations solid and reinforced? seismic bracing done?
    2. new heating system? updated or new electrical and plumbing? how bout the roof: how old? what about wall and ceiling insulation in the older rooms?
    3. baths are mediocre and need complete remodeling.
    4. some of the bedrooms probably have headroom issues due to being “attic” style rooms. it may be charming, but can become a real negative in using the spaces.
    5. views are nice, but note that the rear yard and decks are north facing, meaning shady and damp much of the year. south facing yards are worth more and enjoyable for longer months.
    Again, for this price point buyers need to ask a lot of the hard questions. ignore the staging, the colors. focus on the structure, layout and functionality of the whole house.

  4. So the bears keep telling us that San Francisco homes should go for 60-100 times rent. That means that the “fair” value for this home should be $360k, right?
    Does anyone really believe that Noe prices are going to fall 85%?

  5. This went for $699,000 in 1994, a good time to buy. I’ve been wrong about Noe before, but with the flood of new listings citywide (about 100 more just in the last day) I see this one with some big reductions. If it sells at all, my bet is about $1.6 million. It is a fairly big place, but nothing spectacular. Even that is more than it will fetch two years from now, and it is a good time for the owners to sell.

  6. Good question, NVJ. I’d like to know how people come up with these kinds of multipliers – actually, any multiplier – for a fair price relative to rent. In particular the available financing terms vary significantly over time, but they have a huge impact on your ownership cost. There are other variables as well.
    I guess I’m saying Missionite’s (or the NYT’s) spreadsheet is the way to go. If anyone’s filled one out recently, please post what ratio you came up with!

  7. With 20% down ($440k), I wonder what the monthly payment (before property taxes, insurance, maintenance costs, etc.) with a 30-year fixed would be on this place?

  8. Breakeven buy v rent after 10 years at $1.5M assuming 20% down, 7% mortgage and $6K per month rent. $1.4M if only holding for 5 years. 30-35% discount from asking.

  9. @nvj
    not sure on the 60-100x… coulda sworn the -informed- opinions here were a 150-200x multiplier, which is (roughly) in line with michael’s (1109am) numbers above

  10. The range of monthly rent multiples (60X – 200X) covers a range of discount rates, property types, and investment goals. Michael’s conclusions look pretty sound – about $1.4M to 1.5M for this place ($500 psf) seems reasonable. But that’s a big drop from the current asking price.

  11. Really. 60% more. Which puts this place at $880,000. I guess then that all of district 2 is free, and you are paid to take a house is 3 and 10.

  12. Michael, thanks for doing the math. Did you factor in any appreciation? I think that can have a huge impact on the results (given it’s a leveraged investment…)

  13. “Did you factor in any appreciation?”
    A very optimistic 4%/year. In a flat market purchase price of $850K for 5 year hold/$900K for 10 year hold to break even. Down market?

  14. wow. so many bears here today. I’m still bullish on NV real estate. just walk over to 24th St on a saturday morning near the farmers market. it’s CROWDED with young couples, straight and gay, lots of kids..mostly well to do people.
    guess who wants to live in Noe Valley, raise their little monkeys and buy a house?
    I do think this house is overpriced however. I see it more in the 1.6-1.8m range.

  15. Noearch, I’m bearish on Noe for the same reasons you cite. What do SF couples with little kids do when their kids reach school-age? Move! SF schools are lousy and they’ll move to better school districts. And Noe has been propped up by its proximity to silicon valley, which is now starting to crash hard. There will be lots of turnover and much lower prices. The recent uptick was unexpected, but it’s over now.

  16. Yes, but the smallest population of kids proportional to the population of any U.S. city. But you got me. They don’t ALL move, so I’m sure you do see kid occasionally.

  17. But if it’s the smallest population of kids, then a lot of the Noe population doesn’t have kids. So the above move does not apply.

  18. ok, boys:
    I disagree with you somewhat. I have a number of friends right here in NV with school age kids. They LOVE the idea of raising them in a diverse, urban environment. Some of the kids go to Fairmount School. Some kids go to private schools. These are not the kind of parents who are going to move to Walnut Creek. never! they believe in urban living, for themselves and the little ones.
    I agree that NV prices may soften, somewhat. see my last post on this house price. But no, it’s not going to collapse.
    by the way, last Halloween we had around 100 little kids at our doorstep for candy. they all lived in the neighborhood or nearby.
    the sky is not falling.

  19. Job cuts in tech have not really started yet, and until (if) they do, Noe will hold up better than most areas (peninsula, SOMA access).
    What’s interesting is that many web 2.0 technology jobs are (arguably) as frivolous as the “quant” finance jobs some celebrate vanishing.
    It’s been awhile since I lived in Noe — will this house *really* rent for 6k (tho I note someone else said 5k)?

  20. forget it sparkbear:
    I dont give out candy to anybody over 42″ tall.
    and I never give out anything to realtors.:)

  21. Speaking of frivolous web 2.0 jobs, bebo.com is hiring in San Francisco. Have you guys created your bebo profiles yet?

  22. 42″ come on now, you have to go up to 60″. 1st graders are over 42″.
    If I go as Satchel will you give me some candy?

  23. Thanks jim — but those are “asking prices”. Is anyone here renting a house in Noe actually paying these prices?

  24. @NVJ: Using asking rents on Craigslist as proof of what people actually pay? LOL. Your second strawman of the thread.

  25. People seem to qoute Craigslist a lot on here (satchel for one), why is it so wrong for Jim this time. He doesn’t rent units in Noe, so where else would he get the information that was asked?

  26. Craigslist gets quoted alot because it’s what we’ve got, but like all numbers it has to be interpreted. One point is that you’re seeing the asking price and have no idea what it really rented for. The other is that units with wishing prices tend to linger while reasonably priced units disappear quickly. That tends to bias the numbers for “average rents” to the high side.

  27. I agree, but that doesn’t make Jim comment “strawman”, when most of the listings are for $8500, the rest $6500. All he said was $6000 is conservative.
    And, what was the first “strawman”

  28. I don’t know, does anyone have a better source for rental info? Zilpy says it should be $4250 and rentometer says that there are six SFH rentals higher than $6k/mo and seven lower in Noe. I am curious what their data source is.
    “Straw Man” does not mean an inconvenient bit of evidence that you don’t like.
    [Editor’s Note: You might want to read My Rent Is Too High, My Rent Is Too Low, My Rent Is Just Right (especially the update).]

  29. I think that you could get about $6K for this house. It looks nicer than some of the $8K properties on Craigslist. Craigslist prices are asking prices and there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that actual rents are negotiated downward – particularly in this price range. If you think that rents may be softening, use $5K in the rent v buy analysis. I know that you could get $5K for this place (at least this week).

  30. @STB (fluj?):
    First strawman was 60x rent.
    And “most” listings when one followed NVJ’s link was like 3. Hardly a representative sample, when you consider diemos’s lingering effect argument.

  31. foolio,
    I have been posting on here while fl*j was. How could I be fl*j? Are you Satchel?
    Jim’s link had 11 listings over $6000. You say 3, who’s the strawman now.

  32. Realtor District 5 consists of Noe Balley, Eureka Vally (includes Castro) Mission Dolores, Haight Ashbury/Parnassas Heights (including Cole Valley), Clarendon Heights, Corona Heights (one of my favorite views in the city), Buena Vista Park, Glen Park and Duboce Triangle.
    3 bedroom single family homes comparing 1.1.2007 to 8.31.2007 and 1.1.2007 through 8.31.2008.
    2007 # of homes sold: 107
    2008 # of homes sold: 113
    2007 Median Sales Price: $1,395,000
    2008 Median Sales Price: $1,450,000
    2007 Average Sq Ft: $733
    2008 Average Sq Ft: $790
    2007 Days on the market: 30
    2008 Days on the market: 35
    2007 High Sale: $2,430,000
    2008 High Sale: $3,400,000
    2007 Low Sale: $615,000
    2008 Low Sale: $726,000
    2007 Percent of Sales which went pending in 30 days: 70% at an average of 109% of list price
    2008 Percent of Sales which went pending in 30 days: 57% at an average of 105.5% of list price
    This research was done a couple weeks ago. I suspect we will see a different picture for properties closing in September.

  33. No way is the 2007 high sale only $2.4M; I know that 2 schrader places went at $3M and 17th street went at $3.9M or something.
    Also I don’t think that 2008 is $3.4M either. Didn’t Duncan sell over $6M??

  34. Sparky – 625 Duncan shows as pending since June 6. List price is $6.25M. I wonder what they are waiting for?

  35. Hello,
    Sorry to disagree, but there is no way this place would rent out at 6k a month in today’s rental market. Maybe last year, 7k. But today-I have been looking for a place like this to rent in Noe, and a home of this quality/size goes for more. The closest example currently on the market is going for $8750.

  36. Well, you can add me to the list. We decided that we don’t want to raise our son in San Francisco. I am relocating at the end of this month to an area where housing is very affordable right now. My son will now have a back yard to play in. I have enjoyed this blog enormously and I will probably check in now and then. This was a very difficult decision and I will miss San Francisco tremendously.

  37. Thanks NVJ. I enjoyed your contribution as well.
    Going to Sacramento where I have family ties. Also making the change from Big Law to small law. I am tired of working 12 hours a day and two weekends a month.
    It is a big life style change, but I am looking forward to it.

  38. Best of luck in Sacramento Publius. Let us know how the market is there and the pros/cons v SF. All the best to you and your family.

  39. Thank you FSBO.
    Regarding the market, I am in the process of buying a house. I should close escrow by the end of the month on a 3000 sqare foot house built in 2005. Price in the high $200K range.
    After living in SF for almost five years, it is strange with all of the three lane streets and wide open space. The biggest con is that I have not used my car on weekends (absent travel outside SF) for years. Now I won’t be able to go anywhere without driving. It will be a big adjustment. Closest grocery store is five miles away.

  40. Good luck Publius. But, my god, I’ve been in Big Law my whole career and have never worked close to an average of 12 hour days or 2 weekends a month (and I have access to every lawyer’s time records in the firm, and not one of our 900 lawyers works such hours). So if you’re used to that, you are really going to enjoy the far lighter load. Enjoy it!

  41. Thank you Trip. I don’t bill that many hours. That was the total time I am there. On the weekends I work, I normally put in five to ten hours.
    Based on your previous posts I assume you are a transactional attorney. Yes? I am a patent litigator (mostly). We have been very busy over the last five years. Also, the firm I worked at tends to staff cases very lightly. I averaged about 2300 hours a year, but a couple years it was higher.
    So, yes, I am looking forward to a lighter load and spending more time with my son. I should be home in time for dinner on occasion!

  42. You’ll like Sacramento. I have two good friends there who are both public defenders. They make less than half my income between the two of them but they just bought a nice 2000 sf place (2 kids) and kept their old 2 BR as a rental. It is a much easier existence than SF (but I still prefer it here, and I’m just glad I can afford SF).
    I’m also a patent litigator (Chem. E undergrad), although I only spend about 1/3 of my time on IP work and the rest on antitrust and general commercial litigation. 2300 billables is still a heavy load and it’s insane that firms work their attorneys that hard (we’ve got plenty here at those levels). Enjoy the more reasonable pace!

  43. We have a lot in common then Trip (Chem. undergrad). My practice will change to more real estate law, including construction law. I hope to retain a small amount of IP work, but there is not much of a market in Sac for IP work. My new minimum billable requirement will be 1600. I past that in August this year.
    I’m not sure about the easier existence in Sac. As adults we would like to stay in SF, but we believe the move will be better for our son. In fact, we had a very difficult time coming up with an advantage to living in the city from his perspective (as opposed to making weekend trips here).

  44. @Publius: Good luck, and enjoy your new home! Under $300k is just awesome! 🙂
    @STB: If you had actually read the 11 listings at NVJ’s link, you’d have seen that 3 or 4 of them were for condos (I assume NVJ was excluding those) and for the same few SFHs, including (IIRC) 3 listings for the same place with an asking rent of $8750.

  45. Why exclude the condos in a “is this house worth this rent” comparison. Houses aren’t as good as condos? Even with that 11-2(repeats)-3 or 4(condos)=5 or 6 not 3. I don’t really care, other than if say me or paco or fl*j was off by at least 50% on any little thing we would never hear the end of it.

  46. yea, good luck in sac.
    if you wanna live in one of the most depressed housing markets in the country. sure it’s cheap. you gotta drive everywhere.
    but, yes, it may be a good place for some families to raise kids,no doubt.

  47. “one of the most depressed housing markets in the country.”
    Buy assets when no one else wants them.
    Sell assets when everyone else wants them.

  48. @STB: This is in danger of becoming pedantic (or perhaps we’re already there), but since you continue to challenge me:
    1. I am not the one who excluded condos, NVJ did in his original post. To wit: “6k is conservative. As you can see the cheapest 4+ BR SFH listed is 6500, and most are more.” I’m happy to include the condos (that would mean including data points like the $3650 and $5000 listings), but that wasn’t NVJ’s original premise. That takes the 11 listings down to 7.
    2. 3 of those listings are for the same place, the $8750 asking rent. That takes the listings down to 5. (And, as a side note, makes one wonder if the fact that the same place was posted 3 times in a 7 day period offers us any indication of the market’s opinion of the property’s asking rent.)
    3. You said: “I agree, but that doesn’t make Jim comment ‘strawman’, when most of the listings are for $8500, the rest $6500. All he said was $6000 is conservative.”
    Of the remaining 5 listings, one is for $6500, and the other 4 are around $8500. I pointed out that the “most” in your comment was “like 3,” For me, that is shorthand for “I think it’s 3 but that’s just an estimate since I didn’t bother to count up every single one.” I think most people adopt similar usage. Sorry it was actually 4 and I was off by one (33%!!!), but the overall point still stands, which is that there’s (to me) very little predictive value in posting a link to a handful of SFH asking rents on Craigslist.

  49. I’m wasn’t continuing to challenge you, just responding to your post that was directed at me. Otherwise your right it’s pedantic, so we’ll drop it.

  50. I used to rent directly across the street from this house. The house I rented was a decent bit smaller than this one (3/2 vs. 4/3.5), in a bit worse shape, and had slightly worse views (out the living/dining room and over the street, rather than out all three floors on the back).
    My rent was about $4k a year for a few years. Eventually the landlords refinanced into a ~$1M mortgage and tried to raise the rent to $7500 to compensate, so we bailed. It appraised for $1.4M at the time (Jan 2008). I think they may have since moved into it.
    The street is really nice, quiet with lots of parking, well above the shopping cart line, and killer views.
    $2.2 feels pretty steep, though. The much bigger place at the corner of Cesar Chavez and Diamond went for $2.2 less than two years ago, and there was a vastly bigger place around the corner at Douglass and 26th that stayed on the market for a few months at $3-ish but isn’t in recent sale records.

  51. $6k rent is very reasonable for this place. $7k might be achievable. Not sure about $9k.
    I’m also waiting to see what the stock market fuckage does to Noe Valley real estate prices. Google is off 50% from its peak, other companies are similar. The number of Google millionaires is way, way down, and I can’t help but think that they were propping up prices.

  52. 60″ tall. Too bad I am a Realtor(R).
    Sparky-the-Bear, yYou are right, the 2007 high sale in district five was $3.9m – in November. After the time frame were were comparing.
    In 2008 75 Mountain Springs sold for $5.2m and 100 Palo Alto sold for $5.625m. Both homes had more than three bedrooms.
    I did not have four + bedrooms stats readily available. I apologize for confusing you.

  53. There was a lot of talk in this thread about what this place would rent for now. Do people still think it could garner over $6K/mo in rent? Based on the multiples I usually see in the rental market, I’d guess even $5K might be a stretch (assuming that the $1.8M listing price is now more in line with what it would sell for).
    4545 25th (featured on SS) apparently couldn’t sell either. It was last for sale at $2.7M (actually sold for $2.7M two years ago), and it has been for rent for a while at $8500 wishing rent:

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