715 Cole
We’d at least redo the kitchen and repaint the façade. And based on the lack of bathroom photos we’d probably budget for them as well. But we do like a lot of its original woodwork and bones (if not meat) of 715 Cole.
715 Cole: Interior
On the market for $1,349,000, purchased in July of 2005 for $1,326,000 (hopefully not with “buy, sell, repeat, retire” in mind).
∙ Listing: 715 Cole Street (3/2) – $1,349,000 [MLS]

42 thoughts on “715 Cole: A Crispy Cole Valley Apple With Potential On The Tree”
  1. I like it. I had just actually posted an update on the “Fall” house (see name link)that was just reduced to about 50k below it’s 2005 sale price. I’ll be interested to see how this home fares in this market, but I think it’s a nice home and a lot of house for the money in SF. $800 per sq foot seems high though so unless there is a lot of easy potential for attic expansion than this could see a little drop.

  2. Small and 2 blocks off of Haight for $800+/sq ft? I didn’t realize runaway tweakers on your stoop cost extra.

  3. Was the title a reference to Crisp & Cole, the criminal Realtors from Bakersfield?
    Thank GOODNESS the bubble years are over.

  4. Quick, here is an easy flip! Plant some palms and cactus, paint the house BLACK, and hang some skateboards on the wall next to an Eames lounge chair!

  5. Hmm, I like it, but only if you can prove to me that young “cool” people didn’t buy it originally. If so, then I am truly appalled.

  6. I’m not a huge fan of the location but as far as the house itself goes, it’s nice.
    The kitchen can have its 1990’s problem easily mitigated and the rest of it (at least that we can see here) is refreshingly unspoiled. Love the floors.
    I am interested to see how this one goes.

  7. Neither Crisp nor Cole are in the slammer yet. Unfortunately the commercial they ran isn’t on youtube any more. It was a great video, full of jets and fancy cars.

  8. I realize that neighborhood borders have become elastic during the Big Bubble due to real estate marketing tactics, but this apple is squarely in the (Upper) Haight.
    Frederick Street is the border between the Haight and Cole Valley (and also the border between the Haight and Ashbury Heights east of Clayton). In the summer, you can usually tell which neighborhood you’re in by the amount of fog.

  9. Those of you who like to diss kitchens with granite countertops, buy this place and actually cook in it for a year, you’ll reach a new understanding.
    Take a look at photo six of sixteen.
    Yes, you’ll be spending lots of your Friday nights with a toothbrush and bottle of soft scrub, cleaning the grout lines between all of that tile.
    If you think Merry Maids is going to get in there and scrub all of that out, you’ve got another thought coming, Mr. and Mrs. Six Figure Household Income.

  10. Nice backyard. What is most important is that whether it’s Cole Valley or Upper Haight the neighbors would [not] mind when I run around that nice backyard naked and worked on my tan.
    Come to think of it…. Nor would I raise eyebrows if I run around naked on the sidewalk in front of the house, either. 🙂

  11. Those of you who like to diss kitchens with granite countertops, buy this place and actually cook in it for a year, you’ll reach a new understanding.
    I tend not to be a granite countertop disser, although I do find the granite fad old. I find stainless steel fad more dated (and I own SS) but I especially find the “commercial” appliances the worst.
    I have a fluorescent green tile countertop from 1982. when I bought my place I hated the green. over the years I’ve become fond of it actually. it’s slightly difficult to clean, not as bad as I imagined. especially as the grout color is black. i’d guess white grout would be a major pain.
    in the next 4-5 years we’ll replace it (we have no choice, our white laminate cabinets are falling apart, and taking out the cabinets will break the countertop).
    I actually have mixed feelings about it interestingly. I may not go granite (especially given the radioactivity concerns), but i’ll probably choose solid surface, Silestone is high in running for us due to ease of use. I also like the idea of recycled glass countertops but not necessarily the look.
    regardless, I’ll miss my unique tile counters!

  12. The tile would not be hard to keep clean. I have similar and it’s pretty easy to care for. All that wood, on the other hand, yikes. That would take lots of work to keep gleaming. I have a wooden front door and know how much work it takes. Can’t imagine a whole house full of it.

  13. Looking at 1333 Waller St, listed at $1,795,000 ($675 / sqft) which is bigger, updated but also closer to the “tweakers” 715 Cole looks priced pretty aggressively (ie, too high).
    Of course, there aren’t exactly a ton of SFRs for sale in these parts. But with the likes of 411 Shrader going for $572 / sqft in Feb (updated, much bigger but closer to Kezar) $800 / sqft for a house that needs some work looks a bit rich.

  14. While you might expect that “tweakers” from Haight would spend a lot of time on Waller, you really don’t see much of that. There is always a little bit of action going on between Haight and Waller on Cole and Ashbury, the reality is the troubles of Haight Street and the entrance to GGP pretty much stay on Haight and in GGP because the foot traffic in those areas provides better panhandling and access to drugs and alcohol.
    Some of the pricing we have seen in this neighborhood suggests that people want to be close to the shops and restaurants of Haight Street even if there are a lot of homeless people around. If you want an urban feel with soft walls, it works pretty well. If you look at the neighborhood crime blotter, it is not too bad. Once you eliminate the crimes that are actually committed against homeless people by other homeless people it looks even better. Don’t fear the tweaker.
    As to the borders between the various neighborhoods, who knows and who cares? It is not like they are hiding the address or you can’t check where it is by looking at the map on MLS. nnona would have us believe that those who live on the northeast corner of Frederick and Cole live in the Haight while those who live on the southeast corner live in Cole Valley. Get a life. And by the way nnona, where is the border between Pacific Heights and Lower Pacific Heights? Readers want to know.

  15. “As to the borders between the various neighborhoods, who knows and who cares?”
    Obviously a Slimy Realtor like yourself wouldn’t know or care. Because there are no subtle “marketing” benefits from calling a neighborhood one thing or another, right?
    “Readers want to know.”
    It seems like “reader” wants to know.

  16. Wow, nnona, ocd-ish about the borders again and coming back to make sure you lay them down. I am not a realtor at all, just happen to live in the area and think your borders are kind of stupid and your fog measure untrue. It is all kind of Haight-Ashbury… “Cole Valley” is just a name realtors made up so people like you would feel comfortable buying in Haight-Ashbury.

  17. Hey joe shmoe, you still completely miss the point about the neighborhoods around here. I’m sure you’ve read the responses to your post on this same topic in the recent maps and neighborhood thread. But maybe it takes a little longer for you for things to sink in. So, I’ll try again……
    You act as if I “invented” these distinct neighborhoods and their names. In your above post, you yet again referred to the borders as mine, like I just arbitrarily thought them up last week or something.
    So once again, I invite you to do the following……
    1) Go to the UCSF (Parnassus Heights) campus and ask UCSF personnel (doctors, nurses, admins, security, etc..) what neighborhood you are standing in.
    2) Next, walk east on Parnassus until you arrive at Cole St. Walk into any store in the two block shopping district on Cole St and ask what neighborhood you are standing in.
    3) Finally, go down to Frederick, cut across to Ashbury, pop into Ashbury Market and ask them what neighborhood you are standing in.
    Similarly, you can go to Edgewood, Grattan, and Piedmont Sts., respectively. Knock on a few doors and ask the residents what neighborhood you are standing in.
    To be fair, you do seem to have come around about the whole issue of why borders matter. Maybe having several different posters explain the fairly obvious reasons ($$$$) helped. This is reflected in the last sentence of your above post, where you basically agree with my original premise that Realtors have expanded “Cole Valley” into the Haight for marketing purposes.
    However, I do sense some seething class resentment in your post. How do you know what “people like me” feel about the Haight? Where have I ever said anything negative about the Haight? The fact that you fancifully and erroneously imagine that I point out these (long existent) neighborhoods for snobbish reasons reveals more about your feelings on the “snob appeal” distinctions in this area than it does mine.
    In sum, where you completely lack perspective is obsessing on the erroneous idea that these neighborhood distinctions were invented by me in the year 2009. If you were to have done the little stroll I suggest above in the year 1989 (long before the twin housing booms), you would have received the exact same answers as to what neighborhood you were standing in. What has changed, and here you seem to agree with me, is that Cole Valley, like several other neighborhoods in SF, has “expanded” (in this case, northwards) in recent years due to “marketing” reasons.

  18. Hey, nnona, we actually know all of those areas pretty well; for Joe it’s been about a decade here.
    For me, I was here pre-dot-com (actually, since you mention it, at UCSF). I’m still here now. I remember when we, med students at that point, would find nice flats to live down the hill to the east of campus, along Cole Street in the Upper Haight. But once the dot-commers came to town, we were kind of embarrassed to find it newly christened “Cole Valley” as a marketing enticement. Maybe we were indulging in reverse snobbism. Maybe we were bitter because it felt like a lot of the best parts of the city, and the best people, failed to survive that time, for multiple reasons (the health crisis and then the economic boom, as they were priced out), and we felt like the coming of another “Valley” tag to the area was a threat.
    I’m more than a bit older now but am still here, walking up the hill to work every day. If you were here then too, you will remember that Ashbury Market is no longer what it was! By now, I have fully accepted the Cole Valley designation and have a pretty good feel for CV vs Upper Haight vs Parnassus Heights vs Ashbury Heights vs… but it’s hard to make the distinction using the map alone, I think. Wouldn’t you agree?
    For example, I know the house that is the subject of your post, and I do agree with you that it feels like it is in the Upper Haight and not Cole Valley. However, I can’t agree that Frederick is a hard and fast border — it’s just too hard to make that case across the board for any length of time. Boundaries change by slow creep, and maps take a while to catch up. Buyers have to go feel things out.
    My point (and I do have one, somewhere!) is, it is silly to joust too much over these imaginary and arbitrary lines that the real estate industry has handed down. They do evolve (witness the recent redrawing of certain borders), sometimes later than they should have. I think your hostile and accusatory tone (and accusing him of what — Being a realtor? He sure isn’t, “not that there’s anything wrong with that”) was what set Joe off. I suspect you are really on the same page here!

  19. well, nnona, my point is it doesn’t matter whether you call it Haight-Ashbury or Cole Valley, it is what it is. The borders seem drawn so tight as to be completely artificial– we are reducing neighborhoods to way less than a mile square– if we keep doing that, this city of not even three quarters of a million people is going to have 500 neighborhoods. Nnona, I don’t think you are pointing them out because of snob appeal, others certainly do. Nnona, I think you are just the sort who cares too much about a trivial thing and take it too literally and then feel a need to correct people.
    I live around here and I don’t feel any difference in the sense of place from Waller up to Carmel and Belmont to Buena Vista West– that seems like the cohesive whole of the place where I live.
    As for class resentment, a long time ago Satchel and I discussed my background, I think he can vouch for me if he’s around. I own a couple of houses in what I call Haight-Ashbury and have a background in finance. No class resentment, just a disdain for the pretense of labels and brand– put some chrome on the packaging of almost anything and you can double the price.

  20. Friend of Joe, I enjoyed reading your perspective on this. I do know, however, that the christening of Cole Valley preceded the dotcommers by some years. As to when Cole Valley started to be used widely, maybe you are confusing the dotcom era with the 80s housing boom and that is when the use of “Cole Valley” took off. I can’t pinpoint it myself, as when I reached the age when I had more of a sense of what neighborhood was what (as opposed to descriptions like “up the hill from Kezar” or “next to the med school”, for example), Cole Valley was already starting to be used.
    As far as the “reverse snobbism”, it seems that what is now widely considered Cole Valley actually took a lot of territory from what is known as “Parnassus/Ashbury Heights” on certain maps. I’m not so sure that Cole Valley is a step up on the snob meter from either of those neighborhoods. I do understand your contention about Cole Valley vis-a-vis parts of the Haight during recent years. But, I would also suggest that significant parts of this district haven’t ever been considered the Haight (I believe Ashbury Park and Mt Olympus were previous names for parts of the Ashbury Heights area).
    It’s funny that you bring up Ashbury Market in that context. It’s been years since I’ve been in there, but over the years I do hear the “it isn’t what it used to be” comments quite often when the store is mentioned, especially given the number of years that have passed since its purported golden era. If I didn’t know the reputation that the Wongs have built up in their subsequent endeavors, I’d think that it was an urban legend. Truth is, I was at an age during that time when I had different tastes and purchasing needs from a corner store than a medical student/doctor (or even myself ten or fifteen years later). Combine that with the fact that there were other corner stores closer to where I lived, then I guess I didn’t take advantage of the “good years”.
    You are correct, the location of the house was the main point of my initial post. I was a bit surprised by the dismissive and provocative reaction to the Frederick border issue as that wasn’t really the point of the post on this thread. Any hostile and accusatory response was a reaction to that tone. If joe schmoe was offended by my mistake in calling him a Realtor, then my apologies to him.
    However, if one reads the recent thread about Real Estate Districts: Maps and Neighborhoods, one would see clearly that my post, including what I feel would be (and I quote) “the most logical layout” for this district fit pretty clearly into a thread where such topics were discussed. Sure this is a trivial topic given the issues facing the world, but I wasn’t posting by myself in a vacuum, nor is commenting on the floorplans, decor, and the like of million dollar houses precisely nontrivial.
    As you bring it up, we can disagree about Frederick being the border, but if you now accept the existence of a “Cole Valley” (whatever and whenever the name’s origins), and if you agree that this apple feels like it’s in the Haight, where exactly would you put a border (hypothetically, of course)? One block north (Waller) would be out if this apple is in the Haight, and one block south would cut the Cole Valley commercial district in half.
    I do absolutely agree that the borders can be arbitrary and that they do evolve. In fact, the emergence of Cole Valley has obviously affected borders around it. I keep getting accused of “drawing borders tight” or that I “definitively know what these borders are”. Again, keep in mind that I offered what I felt was “the most logical layout” (given how the neighborhoods have evolved to this point in time). There are certainly other opinions of what the most logical layout might be, and the layout may look different in the future. But, the idea that a shift hasn’t happened is untenable.
    joe shmoe, the fact is, like it or not, fair or not, neighborhoods have borders and pretenses often depend on these borders. Yes, it is incongruous to think that a house on one side of the street is in a different neighborhood than a house on the other side. But, the reality is that the situation exists all over the city, not just in this part of town. In fact, in an area like Northern California, many cities are divided this way. Even if we take your opinion that the whole district is “Haight-Ashbury”, common sense would dictate that it would have to have borders somewhere, resulting in the exact same issues brought up regarding “feel”, catty corners, and evolving borders, etc..
    It is extremely far-fetched to insinuate that I am advocating reducing all of San Francisco into neighborhoods this small. It should be noted, by the way, that there already is an area where there are several adjoining neighborhoods this size (Balboa Terrace, Mt Davidson Manor, Monterey Heights, Sherwood Forest). I don’t hear much questioning of the legitimacy of these neighborhoods due to their small size, and their very names suggest some sort of initial “marketing” effort.
    joe, if you look closely, I get literal and tend to correct people when they bring out a straw man or otherwise try to muddle my points and not because I care too much about a particular issue. Sometimes I have a long memory in this regard. If you want to psychoanalyze my blog persona, that’s where you should look.

  21. nnona, maybe I’m a haight-ashbury guy because I would like a world without borders– there’s really no reason why there have to be borders. Calling 715 Cole part of Cole Valley is not misleading or some sort of straw man (Those people who’ve been back three times and your realtor says are very interested could be straw men, but disclosing an address is just the truth). It is not like they are hiding the address, so your agent is taking you out to ninth or something and calling it Cole Valley. Does it feel like the Haight, well to me, what you call Cole Valley feels like Haight-Ashbury, so this place feels like Cole Valley to me.
    Who is trying to muddle your points, nnona? I am saying your points are the straw men.
    As to those other neighborhoods you mention, ah the great suburban hinterland to the South, I don’t know the names of any of those. But I have occasionally perused listings further south and it seems to me that there is a lot of branding and pretense there– Mt. Davidson Manor and Sherwood Forest are not so much neighborhoods as the names of real estate developments of an earlier era… subdivisions?
    By the way, I went to UCSF and asked where we were and got directed to Langley-Porter. On Cole Street people looked at me funny. At Ashbury Market there was nobody at the register. And nobody would answer when I knocked on doors, though some clearly locked their doors in response. On Haight Street, I got responses ranging from “Earth” to “Mars”.
    I’ll feel free to psychoanalyze posters who resort to calling me a “slimy realtor”. Again, who is making the straw men, nnona? You just can’t stand that somebody or many bodies don’t agree with you and say so.

  22. joe, actually I wasn’t referring specifically to you, but if you want to take it that way…. You may also notice that I acknowledged my mistake and offered an apology. But whatever….
    As you mentioned your conversation with Satchel, I decided to look back. What struck me was that someone who disdains branding and pretense so much could let it be known, in one post, that he has inherited wealth, that his mother lives on (and we’ll assume he grew up on) “P” Avenue on the Upper East Side, and that he went to the arch rival of the Ivy League school “Y”.
    If I didn’t know any better, I’d think that you brought up your exchange with Satchel just to namedrop. But nah, you disdain brands and pretense. Even though you sneer at the “great suburban hinterland to the South” (I do notice that you don’t include Satchel’s old neighborhood in your little list there). Hilarious that someone with your background could think that those neighborhoods down there have a lot of pretense.
    Wow, you really fit the stereotype of the East Coast trustfunder who moves to “Haight Ashbury” searching for some utopian world (in this case without borders apparently). You just seem to be a bit older than the normal representative of the species. In any case, that Haight Ashbury came and went in the 1960s and even the living museum that developed in its aftermath has been slowly slowly fading away.
    I also see that you refer to “Cole Valley” and “Ashbury Heights” several times in past posts. Where exactly are these neighborhoods, then?
    “It may amaze people, but when you come to SF from east coast markets, real estate in this city is still dirt cheap!” joe shmoe, Dec 15, 2007

  23. nnona, you’ve really proved you care too much, have too much time on your hands, and a need to assert control.
    Really, is there anything but pretense in names like “Sherwood Forest” and “Mt. Davidson Manor”… where are the stables, squire? Oh they’re on King’s Row, Bonzo. Again, developer’s names that stuck… Developers always come up with names of circumstance. Only a politician or a boxer would actually call his neighborhood or home hardscrabble.
    The reality does remain that urban real estate markets on the west coast appear to be undervalued relative to comparable urban real estate on the east coast, in Europe, or in India. I still think it is cheap and that anybody with a ten year time horizon can safely buy today and could safely buy at the height of the credit bubble, but I am not a certified financial planner or a realtor, so don’t consider that advice.
    As for worlds without borders, I was mocking your literal mindedness… apparently you are so literal minded you didn’t get the joke. I am not surprised.
    Satchel isn’t name dropping– a man who claims to be a super investor, dispenses questionable advise without license or disclaimer, and refuses to step up to the plate and take opm… if he said this stuff in his own blog or a forum for investing, the SEC would be giving him a long, hard look… That’s name dropping like saying you know Madoff. You took things out of context, but it was fitting with the general frame of the dialog Satchel and I were having not to quite say what we were saying. I can’t help it if I grew up in an apartment with french impressionist paintings on the wall instead of french impressionist posters–actually, that’s how I figured out we were rich, but what was that you said about class resentment, nnona? Seems to me you’re the one with class resentment when we get down to it. What I can tell you is everybody who visits me from Park Ave. thinks Haight-Ashbury is absolutely charming, the housing stock superb, and the shopping and mass transit in the area really let you live an urban lifestyle. (Whereas there is usually a reaction that Pacific Heights is isolated, dead, and requires a car).
    I moved here because my wife’s career took her here. We came to the neighborhood because there is a lot of ground shaking zone D and E here, good access to public transportation, and good facilities for having a family. That sounds more like counter-revolutionary than utopian thinking to me, nnona.
    nnona, quite literally my father didn’t leave me even a penny. All I inherited was knowledge and some introductions. I make my own money, that’s how I know putting some chrome on a package lets you double the price. That is literal advice you can take to the bank. I am disgusted by how easy it is for brand to turn a piece of s— into a pearl. It makes me afraid because if people fall for it that easily at the cash register, they might fall for it at the ballot box too.
    So nnona, now I understand that you are a bitter person who couldn’t still live here were it not for prop 13 and you are so concerned about those little neighborhood names because you are worried that house you considered your bank account might end up in Haight-Ashbury. Which wouldn’t be so bad for you really because re-lo buyers have heard of Haight-Ashbury and will pay dearly for it because it seems cheap compared to the east coast or Europe or India.

  24. lol eddy
    Actually, we did at the Red Vic. I guess that hippie dippie peace center shit didn’t work. 😉

  25. Location gets more desirable as you move south from here, and away from Haight St (IMO). A roughly comparable 3/2 SFH south of 17th St was for rent ~1 year ago, asking the same, and sat for months. My guesstimate is ~$3700, but proximity to Haight is a deal breaker for me, and I suspect for others in that price range.

  26. “Cole valley is now down to year 2000 pricing.”
    A couple things, that’s one property, not “Cole Valley.” IMO the editor shoulc probably reel in this flaming that you and your accomplices are doing. It’s annoying and intentionally inaccurate. Secondly, that 1/1/ went for its 2000 price, but they also paid ~690 psqft back in 2000. The average for 1/1’s that year was $582 psqft.

  27. It’s true. As we realtors all “know,” every property is a unique market in isolation from all other properties, and therefore the selling price of one property is relevant to no other. The concept of comps is only useful when we are trying to get you to buy something.
    The 2000 buyer “overpaid,” it happens. That is a more helpful (to us realtors) way of describing this situation than comprehending that this property was worth more than the average $/sf in 2000 and therefore likely is still worth more than the average now. So, you see, the “real” price of this place was actually much lower in 2000, so the 2010 selling price is “really” higher than the 2000 price. See, this proves again our mantra that real estate in SF only goes up!
    Also, war is peace, freedom is slavery, and ignorance is strength. And I demand that the editor censor any posts that do not reflect my points of view.

  28. Parody is a technique in which the initial subject or work is implicit, and then mocked. If you tweak the initial point too much, what are you mocking? Your own thoughts. “F”

  29. It’s not cole valley? From the listing entered by the Realtor:
    “Delightful 1BR Edwardian condo in 4-unit bldg on one of Cole Valley’s most tranquil blocks.”
    I’m sorry, fluj, but who’s fault was the inacuracy in my post and who should be reeled in? Can you answer that again because I posted factually according to the facts the realtor gave me.

  30. Oh, you meant to point out that the silly realtors don’t even know the new SFAR map designations all along. OK then.

  31. Apology accepted.
    When I say something like that, it’s an intentional inaccuracy. When a fellow realtor does it, why it’s an honest mistake. I’m sure the Realtor who listed it in Cole Valley was as pure as the driven snow. That’s why, AFTER it went contingent, he or she lowered the asking price to make sure the stats reflected a better price to list ratio.
    Wherever it is, we’re starting to see some 2000 pricing in the better hoods (e.g. outside of the Bayview/HP area).
    The good news is that if buyers play extreme hardball, you can get down to this level of pricing. The seller originally listed it for 20% more, and then bled cash for 6 months before he was completely tapped out and unloaded it for a year 2000 price (paid by a prior owner), losing money from even a “relatively early”, 2004 buy.

  32. ^ I can’t decipher all the motivations of the various realtors and commentators on here. My motivation is pre schadenfreude: I’m just glad that some 2004 buyer had to suck down a cash loss and then had to cut a check to a realtor to boot. Don’t think me a bad person – it was only about $50k they flushed on a 1/1, which sum every realtor will tell you is chump change in SF. The former owner is probably laughing about it already.

  33. I always liked 715 Cole. One of my favorite little homes and one that I think was a pretty good deal. Neighboring 717 sold for 1.6ish in 2005 and was considerably larger and in beter condition. I’d venture to guess that based on the 715 Comp that it would fare very well versus its 2005 sale price.
    The 600 sqft condo w/ leased parking @ y2k pricing is a valid comp for similar condos in cole valley I would think. It’s certainly not wholesale applicable to all of CV and certainly not the bulk of CV SFH inventory. I don’t really think condo vs SFH comps are super relevant; but I would agree that they serve as some sort of tea leave depending on how one choose to interpret the data.
    I’m surprised that the trolling that is going on here is so effective at baiting the other side. I find it best to just deal with facts and ‘stated’ opinion. Everything else is just troll bait.

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