The Hamilton (631 O'Farrell) Entrance

Listed for $379,000 last July then reduced to $369,000 and threatening “last chance before being withdrawn,” 631 O’Farrell #504 was in fact withdrawn from the MLS.

Now back on the market in March asking $349,000. There were six studio condos in the Hamilton listed from $369,000 to $399,000 late last year, there are eight condos in the building priced from $289,900 to $399,000 listed today.

Purchased for $285,000 in January of 2005 (no word on improvements since). And the most recent sale in the building appears to be #1410: purchased for $360,000 in October of 2005, closed escrow on March 3, 2009 for a reported $270,000.

UPDATE: A sad bit of color on the recent sale of #1410:

#1410 was destroyed by someone who had a drug problem. The person owned the property, it was taken back by the bank, and then the person ended up squatting there. The person sold some of the items in the unit to pay for drugs. So, the unit was trashed, and it should not be used as a comparison for other units.

∙ Listing: 631 O’Farrell #504 (0/1) – $349,000 [MLS]
Pay For 520, But Live Like 800 (With Bonus Points For “Trendyloin”) [SocketSite]

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Russ

    Why would anyone pay a combined $2,300 a month for mortgage, HOA and parking fees when you could rent a jr one bedroom in the same area for under $1,500? Is this where we get to hear about building equity?
    Prices clearly have a long way to drop for rent to come close to parity.

  2. Posted by Jake

    If they bought it as recently as January ’05 for 285k, and recent sales are 270k, asking 349k seems kind of retarded. This is a less than desirable location and such areas are always affected more in price downturns.

  3. Posted by Dave

    Well, I beg to differ. Aside from the two penthouse units in that building — which I have lusted after for years — the units are small, and the building is not in a great area. The apartments in it have not appreciated on parr with other condo’s in the city, for the above reasons.

  4. Posted by alps

    #1410 was destroyed by someone who had a drug problem. The person owned the property, it was taken back by the bank, and then the person ended up squatting there. The person sold some of the items in the unit to pay for drugs. So, the unit was trashed, and it should not be used as a comparison for other units.

  5. Posted by San FronziScheme

    “last chance before being withdrawn”
    :Seller:
    – You’d better buy this place, or else…
    :Fence sitter:
    – Or else what?
    :Seller:
    – Or else, … or else we lower the price!

  6. Posted by seehsee

    My first SF home purchase was an 11th floor studio in the Hamilton. I paid $67k in the mid-90s for it and sold it about 18 months later for $115k. It was the property that started me on a path that ended in SF with a gorgeous condo at the top of Nob Hill, and now I own a nice place on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. There were definitely some clunker and not-so-wise purchases and sales along the way. But it was a start, and I don’t think I’ve ever quite loved a place as much as that studio. To me, it was the example of one’s first home purchase being about sacrifice and making do, knowing that it’s an initial step to acquiring what you really want. That said, sometimes I still miss that place!

  7. Posted by Team Hamilton

    Sweet shot of the entrance! Where did it come from?

  8. Posted by hamilton owner

    I am a female 5yr+ Hamilton owner and have no regrets. The studio units are very efficient and feel bigger than 500sf. The most of units above the ninth floor have incredible views with the south corner units having the best views. The people who live here are outstanding – I have met a lot of great friends here. This is a mini SF neighborhood with lots of socializing.
    The parking costs are not an issue as most people living here do not own cars and walk/bus/bart to work. Every major car rental place is within walking distance, tons of zipcar and citycarshare nearby too. Plus the building has a flex/guest parking space you can book when needed.
    I know everyone is thinking: the neighborhood is bad. Well it will always be bad if you only look at the bad things. Walking from Powell street, the corner of jones/o’farrell is the worst corner. But even that corner has gotten better in the last year with the SF police walking the beat each day. I have never had my safety threatened or been mugged and I walk by that corner everyday! Somedays the Hilton door people can be even more annoying than the crack dealers.
    The positives about the Tenderloin: I like almost everything is within walking distance. All the nearby stores selling almost everything, cheap restaurants and bars are great. The tenderloin is noisy at night. I have new double glazed windows and have learned to tune out the noise. This area feels like a real neighborhood to me and what I think NYC is like.
    [Editor’s Note: Cheers. And for the record (and as previously noted), we’ve always have a thing for the Hamilton.]

  9. Posted by realist

    “My first SF home purchase was an 11th floor studio in the Hamilton. I paid $67k in the mid-90s for it and sold it about 18 months later for $115k. It was the property that started me on a path that ended in SF with a gorgeous condo at the top of Nob Hill”
    This is the kind of ridiculous “advice” that got half the country in trouble and is what has brought down our entire economy. The idea that property values always go up in the short-medium term and that you can and should turn around and sell your house in two years for a profit is ponzi-scheme-type rubbish. This sort of bubble-mentality faux-bootstrapping is not the kind of advice anyone should heed. Those who lucked out to catch a boom or uptick in the short term are just that — lucky (and we’re all suffering for their get-rich-quick schemes). You can just as easily get screwed, and we’ve all gotten screwed by this “can’t lose” money-for-nothing mentality that has infected the housing market for the past decade.

  10. Posted by Dude

    So….you’re saying it’s not normal for Tenderloin studios to double in value every 18 months? Assuming this person paid $67K on 6/30/95 (mid 90s) and sold for $115K on 12/31/96 (18 months later), the annualized appreciation rate is about 43.3% by my math. So that same Tenderloin studio should be worth $10.3 million today, nearly 14 years later. WOW…too bad they sold!

  11. Posted by location

    I think the advice to buy one of those studios for $67k is pretty solid.

  12. Posted by datafunk

    I purchased in this building on the 14th floor in 2001, for $209K, closing escrow during 911! I expected the price to drop. I sold about six months ago at $399K. I loved living in this building, I loved the 14th floor – still have great friends there – and I love this neighborhood. The building has an amazing community. If you’re scared of the TL around this area, stay out. The 1410 is a big anomoly. Renters, keep renting. Buyers, keep buying. Move on everyone.

  13. Posted by datafunk

    (Oh, sorry about posting that thing three times.)By the way, with the money I made on that unit on the 14th floor, I purchased a successful business in Napa and had money left over for a down on a nice home in Vallejo. Oh, now you’re going to put down Vallejo, I suppose? How very unique! Again, if you don’t want to buy – don’t. Renting is perfectly fine. Glad I didn’t, though. -Peace.

  14. Posted by redseca2

    “#1410 was destroyed by someone who had a drug problem.”
    Imagine, real estate in SF you can buy and still afford a drug problem – sweet!

  15. Posted by jon jameson

    So, how’s prices on the upper west side. I was born on west 76th and remember the 60’s and 70’s. I guess that was the time to buy. Trouble was there was about 20 years of rough sailing to get to the boom years.
    A rising tide lifts all the boats and a bull market creats a lot of experts.

  16. Posted by seehsee

    Realist and Dude: Not giving advice, and not implying that values will always go up. Just relaying experiences. You’ll notice that my post included mention of some “clunker” transactions. My points were simply that the Hamilton is a nice place to live, and sacrificing on some preferences with a first purchase doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t have what you want later on. It’s a journey. You have to arm yourself with the best information available and use your own best judgment. There are no guarantees, and I have been lucky for the most part.
    Jon Jameson: The UWS is great. The higher you go, the rougher the edges are. But, it’s a nice area with great transit options, quick access the Central and Riverside parks, and an overall nice atmosphere.

  17. Posted by dkzody

    I certainly wouldn’t mind renting in this building, especially for

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