84 Anderson
A plugged-in tipster points out 84 Anderson, a “Prime Bernal Heights” apple on the tree, and pretty much writes our post:

Purchased in [June] 2004 for $750,000 with 5% down…on the market for over a month or so at $829,000…now on the market for $787,000.

I’ve seen the house and its pretty small inside. But as far as location, this is prime small family Bernal.

Also noted by our tipster, “plans.” From the 84 Anderson website:

This home has charm and character and you can move right in. However, there are extensive architectural drawings and plans available to the new buyer for a major expansion that includes vertical extension into the large stand-up attic.

No word on whether or not said plans have been vetted by the city (or neighbors).
UPDATE: Perhaps the plans have changed since their application in 2006, but as a plugged-in reader notes: “Not only is the work not permitted, it [was] cancelled and disapproved due to lack of response to the needed variances (yes, plural).” Word.
∙ Listing: 84 Anderson (3/1) -$787,000 [MLS] [84anderson.com]

55 thoughts on “A “Prime” Bernal Heights Apple With “Plans” On the Tree: 84 Anderson”
  1. either it will be withdrawn (and then show up again) or will sell around 650k.
    of course, with onyl 5% down, foreclosure would likely be a financially better outcome for the owner.
    it’s hideous, and not even worth 650k, but someone will try to knifecatch it within 5% of that price is my bet.

  2. Considering that the Arts and Crafts movement began as a direct reaction against the perceived aesthetic excesses of the late Victorian period, I’m lost as to why the person writing the MLS listing copy describes this as a:

    Charming craftsman style Victorian with curb appeal

    I guess that sounds better than “muddled”.

  3. I think it’s a cute place, but it’s the kind of house that’s going to get K-I-L-L-E-D in this market. It’ll sell at the right price, but that price is nowhere NEAR $787,000.

  4. Two important negatives to this place;
    1) “Prime” Bernal is north slope with downtown views, the rest works back from there.
    2) Not only is the work not permitted, it is cancelled and disapproved due to lack of response to the needed variances (yes, plural).

  5. 5% down? I though most people in San Francisco put at least 10% down and the rest paid all cash…
    Prime Bernal at 2004 prices?

  6. “However, there are extensive architectural drawings and plans available to the new buyer for a major expansion that includes vertical extension into the large stand-up attic.”
    I hope those plans involve raising the roof. There’s no way that the “stand-up” attic’s roofline is livable for normal sized adults. I’m guessing the height at the peak is 7 feet tall at most from eyeballing the photos. As it is the attic is suitable for storage or a child’s playroom.
    I swear this is the last time I will harp on this for at least a month, but in my non-expert opinion this sector of Burn-All hill is the most susceptible to a firestorm. Not a place that I’d want a home with highly flammable shake siding. Maybe there is some sort of flame retardant treatment to mitigate the problem. At least it appears to have a fairly safe composite shingle roof.
    Still this house has a wonderful curb appeal and fortunately for the seller pyrophobes are rare.

  7. You call this dump “wonderful curb appeal”?? It looks like a squat A-framed box thing with some stairs stuck on the front. I would say this rates even lower than that Noe Valley house from earlier today. Ick.

  8. Wow, it’s astounding that someone would pay $750K to live in an interior like that. That is much worse than rental stock SFRs I’ve ever considered, perhaps worse than we’ve ever actually looked at (and that includes some $2K/mo 4/2s we looked at in mid-2002). Just amazing. I’d be sick for a week writing out the property tax check of $4700+ every six months, to say nothing of paying a mortgage on that 🙂
    At least the buyer only put $37,500 at risk in the downpayment. 2004 was pretty late in the ponzi scheme (it was blazingly obvious by then that this wasn’t going to end well). I don’t know whether the owner can get out whole here – from the comments it seems like letting it go into fc is the wiser option. Best of luck.

  9. It is a bit astounding. Growing up, my family was solid lower middle class in a crummy midwestern town. Yet even we felt sorry for people who lived in dumpy little ugly houses like this. Maybe they’ll get someone to put down $150,000 — many years of savings — and take on about a $4000/mo mortgage/tax bill on top of that. For only a little more, there are very nice places available in this city.

  10. I would go with $700-725K if it sells quickly; another 10% off in 6 months; Bernal Heights is toast 🙂
    I did notice on Redfin the place is rented for $3300 per month. I would guess that’s about $500 negative cash flow a month. That leads me to predict they keep eating the loss for a while and evetually walk!

  11. I’m usually not in favor of tearing down old houses, but this thing is hopeless. It just has no redeeming features whatsoever. I’m surprised no one ever put it out of its misery.

  12. Another observation from Redfin – At a previous peak in 1989, this house sold for $280K. Six years, sold for $240K. A loss of about 15% in a normal recession.

  13. “extensive architectural drawings”
    I never understand this unless it clearly states “permitted plans on file at the DPW” for something I would want to build.
    As an Architect I have done “extensive architectural drawings” for the fun of it of any place I have ever lived, rentals and owned real estate included. That’s just having goofing off. I think I have at least 25 theme and variation sets for my current kitchen done at one per bottle of red wine.

  14. I wanted to say, oh you guys are just too cruel…then I looked at the pictues.
    I lived in bernal in the late 80’s. full of cheap close little houses like this. Nothing you can do can make them anything more than “cozy”. Cozy doesn’t rate 750K.

  15. I wish houses like this would be 200K so middle class people could actually buy and live in them.
    Even if you don’t consider it the real SF, I wish it were priced at something that made sense.

  16. as for the “extensive arch plan”..they mean very little if they have not been fully approved by both the building and planning department. The permit process can be long and expensive.
    And in reality, existing design plans probably would not be specific enough to meet the new owner’s needs. Most likely they would need to be re studied and designed for the new owner. So, I feel that the existing plans are essentially worthless. Realtors should learn this since they often try to hype existing plans as having true value to the buyer. rarely is that true.

  17. I don’t think the attic is even 7 ft based on the estimated size of that little window.
    Also, I really dislike shakes. I prefer even stucco to shakes.

  18. And in reality, existing design plans probably would not be specific enough to meet the new owner’s needs. Most likely they would need to be re studied and designed for the new owner. So, I feel that the existing plans are essentially worthless.
    I’m hoping this kind of bubble tactic will die a quick death. See 869 Clipper, 4252 22nd, or 1409 Sanchez.

  19. gosh you guys are being awefully mean to this cozy little bernal home 🙂 redo the facade, bag that hideous kitchen, and it’s not such a bad spot for: (your choice) dog loving young lesbian couple, eccentric old lady with lotsa cats, super liberal young family which just luuuvees cortland ave. (granted, this place appeals less to the young republicans or rincon hill fans out there…) this place will move at $699k- you guys are underestimating bernals demographics.
    btw, i am not surprised by the $750k paid in june of 04. that summer the wife and i also looked briefly in bernal, and there must have been some weird bernal fever that summer, cause people were going ape-sh!t with over bids. the mish was pretty quiet comparitavely. i literally mean, that summer specifically was really crazy.
    and i agree w/the arch’s here: plans w/o planning & dbi approval are just ideas in the air

  20. entry level housing should have entry level pricing. I’d guess this isn’t entry level pricing. this place feels like what a college student would live in. I can’t imagine spending a lot of cash to live here.
    the place has little going for it except that it is a SFH.
    who knows what it will go for. San Franciscans are insane.

  21. Hipster’s got it exactly right here. There are a lot of people in town who would love to live in Bernal, especially near the top of the hill (on either side, Sparky, although granted the city views are killer.) Many of my friends who are looking to move out of their small box condos/”lofts” that they bought five or six or more years ago routinely haunt Bernal open houses and are waiting until it appears that prices have stabilized. I think we’re certainly going to go lower re: prices, but I would venture that the median in Bernal will stabilize this year or next in the low to mid $600’s and then we’ll see stability for a long time (5 years+). Bernal’s still the alternative when you can’t afford Noe or Glen Park, but want a certain kind of neighborhood feel and don’t want to be quite as urban as the Mission or who dislike the sterility of Mission Bay.
    As for this place, definitely overpriced with such a drab interior, and I agree it’s a stretch to tout that attic space. I would say this shouldn’t go for more than $625, even accounting for the “charm” draw of the south slope blocks above Cortland that always seem to be a draw. Obviously, milkshake, that demo doesn’t include the pyrophobic!

  22. Visited the place and it is awful (and my standards are not particularly high).
    Cramped, dingy, kitchen in the middle of the plan, bonus attic is 5 feet tall and have to be reached with a ladder, almost no backyard.
    We are looking in that area and at this price range, but this honestly should go for $500K and turned to a rental for students.

  23. The Curious Case of the Horrible, Awful, No-Good, Very-Bad, Ugly, Ugly, Ugly, Crappy, Shitty, Terrible, Tiny, Grotesquely Overpriced House.
    [Editor’s Note: And yet a neighborhood sales comp at just 5% less in 2004.]

  24. @unearthly:
    read my comments again. I have no idea what you mean by “bubble tactic”..I’m an architect not a realtor. from my experience, these so called existing plans are really quite useless to a new owner who wants to remodel to house to fit their living style. for “spec” housing the plans may work, but may not.
    successful architectural plans and design need careful study, a serious program, and mostly a real client to relate to. These are not just lines on paper, but a “blueprint” or set of directions as to how to remodel the house appropriately and spend the budget wisely. That’s what a good architect does.

  25. Not having visited this place I’m wondering if many of the comments come from direct experience. On the face of it it looks like a decent little place with a backyard and good neighborhood.
    At least it gets points for having a fireplace room with space for a flatscreen that isn’t over the fireplace.

  26. Saw it over the week-end. It’s really a tear down and rebuilt place. The floor is definitely not straight, the layout is horrible. Very disappointing.

  27. 84 Anderson just cut its price 1% to $777K. I’m not sure why sellers use this tactic of miniscule price cuts. Perhaps there’s a circling buyer ready to pounce and the seller wants to signal a strong hand.

  28. “I’m not sure why sellers use this tactic of miniscule price cuts.”
    To refresh the listing and get a new cohort of buyers to look at it. Like they say, “You only need one.” Apparently, they found their one.

  29. They do it because they often have a very good sense of what the property will command in the market that they navigate daily.

  30. Yeah, if the sellers get out here with only a small loss (after commission and transaction costs) after buying such an awful place 5 years ago, I’d think that’s a huge win for them. Congrats.
    Let’s see where it closes. It looks like it will be 2004 pricing, which is consistent with the C-S upper tier SF MSA index. Bernal might be another area (in addition to NV) where sellers still have a bit of time to get out before they absorb all the coming losses (well, at least sellers who bought 4 years ago).

  31. Then why did they initially price it at $829K and then lower it to $787K if their “very good sense of what the property will command in the market” told them it would sell at $777K?

  32. I don’t know the backstory. Do you? How about you tell me who was driving the ship to begin with, the realtor or the seller? I wouldn’t price a south slope fixer at 829K with the expectation that it would create a feeding frenzy. Nobody would.

  33. We’ll see the final sales price, but since it went into contract pretty quickly, chances are it will sell for more than those on this thread predicted. Whatever the qualities of the house itself, a lot of people like the idea of an easy walk up the hill to the off leash dog park on Bernal Hill, and down the hill to Cortland Street restaurants and shops.
    I’m looking forward to trying the new Sandbox Bakery on Cortland:

  34. Yay for Sandbox Bakery…sounds great! I’m also hoping for good things at Blue Elephant Thai which is due to open this week in the former Tinderbox space in the 900 block of Cortland. No more trekking down to Mission St. for good Thai food, hopefully!

  35. You know the old adage “A fool and his money . . .”
    So it looks like Bernal is back to 2004 prices — but without the upside potential. For only $775,000 the buyer now gets to live as well as the minimum wage factory workers in the crummy midwestern town where I grew up. I guess that beats renting a top-notch place in a prime neighborhood for the same money or less. Kudos for the excellent result to the seller and agent!

  36. The predictions on this thread were that the house would go for between $500k-$650k, yet the house went for $775k. Clearly there are people out there who really want to live in this neighborhood, and are willing to pay that amount of money, even for a small fixer.

  37. This house sold for $615/sqft or so; according to Redfin the median sale price for SFR’s in Bernal Heights is $567/sqft. If the buyers were looking for a SFR fixer there are better options than overpaying to live in Bernal Heights (IMO).

  38. The lower median price reflects that many Bernal houses are south of Cortland, or on the east slope near 101, both cheaper areas than the top of Anderson Street.

  39. I think it reflects the new owners only having to put $30k of their own money into the house before getting a FHA loan. That’s right, $8k from the Feds, $10k from CA, plus $30k of their own money and they are under the max loan limit in SF county. I expect anything close to the $729k loan limit to go quicker than anything requiring a real (20-25%) down payment. 102 Anderson is a 2/2 asking $749k; looks in better condition as well.
    FHA Limits: Lending limits for FHA loans insured for CALIFORNIA counties.

  40. By any measure this is a remarkably lucky outcome for this seller. After holding the place for 5 years, they will bring a check of only $15-20000 to the closing. (Unless, of course, the sale includes other undisclosed credits to the buyer at closing.) Let’s not forget the place was rented for $3300 per month. So the owner has carried negative cash flow for 5 years.

  41. They put 5% down on the original purchase, so actually they will get a little back at closing, rather than having to bring check.

  42. $750k with 5% down = $712.5k borrowed.
    sale at $775k less 5% commission and 1% transfer = $728.5k.
    net $16k for a minimum -57% return on their $37.5k down payment.
    with taxes of $45k over the past five years they lost $66k for a -176% return on their investment ignoring any maintenance or negative cash flow.

  43. sfsal, forgot to add in their rental income from the property @ 3300 per month. They are probably at break even or a little above.

  44. No he didn’t. He assumed that the monthly mortgage cost was greater than 3300 and decided to ignore that factor.

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