CFAH

924 Grove
It’s a to the studs (and systems) renovation of the 1903 Colgate Mansion at 924 Grove.
924 Grove: Living
And yes, as in the toothpaste.
UPDATE: “[L]isted at 4400 square feet when the property was last on the market in ’05…”
UPDATE: A plugged-in reader connects the dots. From the Chronicle this past November:

The 4,800-square-foot house, which also has a carriage house in back, had been converted into apartments. [Maryam Monsef and her husband, Alan Sagatelyan] have spent the past two years restoring it into a single-family home for themselves and their three children. They hope to move in soon.

∙ Listing: 924 Grove (6/5.5) – $3,390,000 [MLS]

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by resp

    anyone know district 6E well? this looks like a classic bubble market remodel with every possible bell & whistle. someone’s really gotta want to live hear alamo square to pay this much for the most tricked out property in the hood.
    see you all tonight. i’ll be the one wrecked on scotch with no intention of buying this house……”04/02/09 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm Luxury gala event featuring music, self-guided art show, interior design, scotch & chocolate tasting tradeshow booths of related vendors. Bring your best clients.”

  2. Posted by Tweety

    What’s up with the staged poker game?

  3. Posted by CameronRex

    Any thoughts on just how bad this specific block might be? This is not exactly in the middle of the ‘hood’…the place looks huge (6 bedrooms – all appear large in the photos) but perhaps its just a trick of photography?

  4. Posted by auden

    It was listed at 4400 square feet when the property was last on the market in ’05, so that would provide ample room for decent sized bedrooms.

  5. Posted by eddy

    This is only a block away from the painted ladies; but that doesn’t say anything really as neighborhoods can change dramatically in only a block. I wont comment on this speciifc street, but I don’t see how this is getting anywhere near it’s current asking price. For the same price or less you could buy 3352 Washington in PresHeights with similar finishes and a GG View. So there is simply no way that this home is even close to reality. It is an awesome house, and I love the finishes, but if this sells for anything over $3M the buyers are truly fools. I wouldn’t pay $2.5. I’d rather have 2546 Chestnut and put some work into fixing it up.
    What was the sale price in 2005?

  6. Posted by tipster

    A+ finishes and condition, B- location, $770psft. Can it hit that? Doesn’t hurt to try.

  7. Posted by kthnxybe

    eddy – I was thinking of 3352 Washington as well. I know there are a lot of people who would rather live somewhere livelier than Presidio Heights, but I don’t see how this house is “worth” the same.
    And while I don’t really like a lot of the Washington street house, I think the interior is more interesting than this one.

  8. Posted by justme

    Nice enough renovation, but…
    Triple the ’05 selling price? ($1,150,000, from redfin)
    Really?
    I don’t think so, Quickstraw. That’s some mighty strong glue somebody’s huffing.
    I’ve seen a few places up asking simply absurd price jumps from their top-o-the-market sales a few years back. I can only guess that it’s a strategy to get somebody to think they’re getting a deal when the price comes tumbling back to reality. Good luck with that.

  9. Posted by tony

    Edwardian? Where?! There’s no character left (at least in the interior shots shown); it might as well be any other renovation from the past 5 years.
    The living space also seems awkward. Not like I buy mansions on a regular basis, but where’s the FDR? FLR? Guest house (or at least wing) for the M-I-L?
    The use of space seems awkwardly conceived, to put it nicely.

  10. Posted by Dude

    I heard the Aquafresh mansion had a better layout. Plus it strengthens enamel while whitening.

  11. Posted by invented

    Let’s put garages in all historic buildings then flip for the SUV crowd. (Because we MUST have our cars [and parking IN our house]). Think what Amsterdam would look like if (even small) cars were king and this attitude prevailed. At least the garage isn’t as ugly as others.
    2006.0606A (T.FRYE 415/575-6822)
    924 GROVE STREET, between Fillmore and Steiner Streets, Assessor’s Block 0798; Lot 008. Request for a Certificate of Appropriateness to convert ground floor to a garage, add dormers, rear extension, roof decks, and skylights. The subject property is a 1903 Greek Revival-Richardsonian Romanesque single-family dwelling and a contributory structure to the Alamo Square Historic District. It is located in an RH-3 (Residential, House, Three-Family) district and a 50-X Height and Bulk District.
    Preliminary Recommendation: Approval with conditions

  12. Posted by anonn

    Triple the ’05 selling price? ($1,150,000, from redfin)
    Really?
    I don’t think so, Quickstraw. That’s some mighty strong glue somebody’s huffing.

    Redfin never tells a backstory. Pretty sure it was chopped up into illegal units. But it was definitely chock full o’ tenants, possibly as many as seven. With brick foundations and funky layout galore.

  13. Posted by justme

    Redfin never tells a backstory.
    True enough, but still…
    Is that really 2 Mil worth of work?

  14. Posted by anonn

    Is that really 2 Mil worth of work?
    I don’t think that’s a relevant question. Do you expect developers not to profit?
    It’s four years of work at any rate. So certainly a premium should be expected. Whether it’s worth 3.39M in this market is the question. That’s a big pricetag for Alamo Square. It’s huge and totally done though, unlike anything near there. This is the “one special buyer” house if ever I’ve seen one.

  15. Posted by auden

    The owner of the building is also the designer mentioned in the listing. Drove by it on my way to a meeting today. Drive two and half blocks east on Grove and you are in the middle of the projects.
    Unusual location for a million dollar high end renovation, but a nice looking property nonetheless.

  16. Posted by Conifer

    Remember what PT Barnum said. They only need one.

  17. Posted by redseca2

    This seems to be too much house in the wrong location.
    Sort of like this one: https://socketsite.com/archives/2007/01/a_little_off_the_top_of_the_witches_hat_21_buena_vista.html
    In what might be one of the most popular places to live in the USA, IF you are in your ’20’s, but a somewhat ridiculous place to decide to raise a family needing 6 bedrooms, I have to wonder why both of these were not developed as multi-unit projects.

  18. Posted by Rillion

    Ah the joys of renting and being forced to move every few years, yet another house that I used to live near. I lived on Fell St when I first moved to the city. I’m back in the western addition now and for the western addition this is a pretty decent location. The blocks adjacent to Alamo Square a nice biggest drawback in my mind is the tourist and tour bus traffic coming to see the painted ladies.
    The neighborhood falls off dramatically on the eastern side of Fillmore Street and a couple blocks north, but there isn’t much you would walk to over there anyway, although someone could bus it to Hayes Valley. But more likely if you walking to a neighborhood location you would one of the local places right at Fillmore (Alamo Square Grill or whatever its name is) or go through the park to Divisadero. But more realistically at this price range you are hoping in the car and driving somewhere.
    But I agree with other that think $3.3 million is a pretty big price tag for the neighborhood.

  19. Posted by lolcat_94123

    That price is ridiculous. I say it sells for $2.2 if at all.

  20. Posted by Conifer

    In what might be one of the most popular places to live in the USA, IF you are in your ’20’s, but a somewhat ridiculous place to decide to raise a family needing 6 bedrooms, I have to wonder why both of these were not developed as multi-unit projects.
    Posted by: redseca2
    Not multi-unit projects because single-family houses are better, and usually more profitable, and it respects the architectural integrity. I am not a wild preservationist, and there is little left of the interior of this one, but houses planned as houses should stay houses. There is no shortage of apartments planned as apartments if the city needs more condos.

  21. Posted by Jimmy

    tax shows 3519 sf, so $963/ft. will not fly in that neighborhood. Likely $675/ft.
    Bonnie Spindler marketing 101; bullet proof vests for prospective buyers?

  22. Posted by anonn

    Look at the permit somebody posted. It called for a rear extension and dormers. If the whole lower level was not lost to a garage, and it appears as if it wasn’t, square footage was added.

  23. Posted by Trip

    If I were interested in spending a few million in this neighborhood (and it is OK — a bit rough — this price price point is way out of line), I think I’d take this place:
    http://www.redfin.com/CA/San-Francisco/940-Grove-St-94117/home/18986272

  24. Posted by bayjoens

    To the idiot that says they are going to come for the vodka and chocolate … bring some ID, and your 14 year old girlfriend.
    The people on this site sure do offer a lot of “insight” based on an incredibly limited amount of valid information. Have you ever taken the time to check out SF city records? They are amazingly inaccurte. Redfin? Give me a break. This is San Francisco. You have to actually go out and do some real research to get valid information.
    Maybe this site ought to be renamed “sucket-site,” your source for uneducated and ignorant opinions. Yikes!

  25. Posted by jessep

    ^^^^bitter bitter bitter

  26. Posted by sf THE CITY

    As a USF alumnus, I have to say that the USF/ Panhandle/ West Western Addition area has to be one of the most underrated neighborhoods in the city. D Street has everything- Ethiopian, Vegan, Soul Food, Ghetto BBQ, Trendy Bars, Cafes, Organic Markets, Discount Stores, and not very many homeless people at all.

  27. Posted by Trip

    Normally I give people a break on typos, but when you are going to ask someone to consider ponying up $3.4 million, one would think the listing would at least be proofread carefully. “foundations” (it has more than one? Maybe). CaeserStone is misspelled. And a couple missing conjunctions. Sorry, I just proofread a brief we filed today about 10 times so as not to make these kinds of mistakes (and the client did not pay $3.4 million for it).

  28. Posted by diemos

    my favorite is still the place that advertised “Korean” countertops.
    Hee, hee.

  29. Posted by Trip

    diemos, that is an excellent mondegreen.

  30. Posted by someone

    propertyshark + google => http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/11/16/REQ314472R.DTL
    Read the last paragraph.

  31. Posted by justme

    Do you expect developers not to profit?
    I suppose I should be more clear.
    Is that really 2 Mil worth of work, including the developer’s take, and fumigating the former tennants?
    Also, yeah, 940 is going to put a bit of pressure on that as well.
    3+ is asking a bit much. Worth a try, I suppose, but they’d better be willing to hold it for a while.

  32. Posted by resp

    great article someone. thanks. so the last 2 paragraphs clearly refer to this property – the sellers intended to keep the house for themselves as of November? a change of strategy or financial circumstances since then?
    oh and bayjoens your post is factually incorrect, grammatically incorrect, self contradicting and intolerant of my desire to drink for free.

  33. Posted by [Dude2]

    Yet another clueless, tasteless owner who ripped out a handsome period interior for the usual contemporary interior that will look dated in a few years. Too bad that the Certificate of Appropriateness doesn’t concern itself with interior architecture. This guy has all the taste and sensitivity of Donald Trump. So thanks for helping wreck our architectural heritage.

  34. Posted by Conifer

    [Dude2], you are right. Tasteless and clueless.
    The opposite is now happening all over SF. People are restoring original features and taking paint off dark-wood finishes. One of the advantages of buying in SF is that you can have a real, great old house and still be in California. After 35 years, that is still a good bargain. Whoever buys this house will not have that option.

  35. Posted by resp

    god my 14 year old girlfriend is so hung over

  36. Posted by Original Dude

    Hey…somebody stole my posting name! I couldn’t have written that since I really don’t care about architectural heritage or old houses. Guess I have to find a new handle now….is anyone using “anon”?
    [Editor’s Note: We were wondering about that, have made a little edit, and don’t you dare…]

  37. Posted by Trip

    Ah, resp, you made me laugh!
    Sure hope the “tradeshow booths” generated a lot of buzz in the realtor community — that’s all that’s needed to get people to push their clients to overpay, right?.

  38. Posted by anonarch

    Does anyone understand that you can refurbish a period home without turning it into a 2006 Bubble Interior Cliche? People need to stop using San Francisco’s architectural heritage as blank canvas for a flipper project product. If you want modern (which I like myself), why not buy a modern home? I chose to restore an Eichler in Lucas Valley which was a project that was very successful both financially and as a honest design.

  39. Posted by anonn

    “realtor community — that’s all that’s needed to get people to push their clients to overpay, right?.”
    Do tell us, Trip. How much is the refurbished 4400+ foot mansion of a famous manufacturer worth in your estimation? I mean, they’re such a common commodity. LOL at the realtor community, eh? But tell us why you’re so derisive? Surely a smart guy like you has a platform from which you spray your barbs.

  40. Posted by johnboy

    I would not consider 4400 a mansion

  41. Posted by alamo

    The Alamo Square Park area is a truly wonderful place to live and large homes are being refurbished to accomodate the people who require alot of square footage, but cannot afford Pacific Heights. The last remodeled big sale was at 818 Steiner about 2 years ago which sold for $3.4 million. 925 Fulton is a great example of a wonderfully restored home that incorporated modern conveniences while keeping the integrity of the house. It is currently on the market and listed for $2,845,000. 924 & 940 Grove are their neighbors. The neighborhood is definitely coming back to the way it was when these homes were first built. Great Park for children too. People should take a look if not a second one.

  42. Posted by John Chambers

    I’ve targetted the Alamo Square neighborhood specifically for the same reasons that Alamo mentioned above…more house for the money than pac heights. I visited 924 Grove and 925 Fulton this past weekend and was blown away not only by the differences in renovations but also by the lot size/back yards as well. 924 Grove took an old house and removed everything original and put up a contemporary weirdly organized set of rooms. 925 Fulton brought back all the original charm with modern renovations that seemed to show off the history of the house. while both had ample garages it was the backyard of 925 that really got me excited. It’s easily the largest lot on the city block with beautiful matured landscaping. A few weeks ago I visited 818 Grove and wouldn’t consider that in league with these two finished homes. Dollar for Dollar and charm for charm, I’d put my money into 925 Fulton.

  43. Posted by John Chambers

    Just a quick correction to my previous post – I referred to 818 grove instead of 908 Steiner which was a house I saw a month or so ago. A complete fixer in my opinion.

  44. Posted by df

    925 Fulton – I would take a good look at the whole house heating and ventilation system before falling in love with it, then the basement. And just for good measure check out the wiring (grounded everywhere?!). Then I would figure out what its really going to take to finish the job…

  45. Posted by melanie

    I took at look at 924 Grove this past weekend and was not impressed with the floorplan at all. What are they calling the formal dining room? They put a dumbwaiter in? That is clearly DUMB. What about a regular elevator? They gutted the whole place, what were they thinking? Clearly this is not a remodel, but more on the lines of new construction. Does anyone know anything about the contractor? And i am still not clear on why they would show a totally redone house that still has punch list items that were not taken care of. Not impressed!

  46. Posted by Dudette

    Agreed that this is a lot of house for this neighborhood and it’s been stripped of a lot of its original character, but a number of the other comments are off. This isn’t just a neighborhood for 20 somethings. There are plenty of families and 30-40 something professionals who are drawn here by the ability to buy a larger house for less than some other neighborhoods. There are also many great restaurants and shops within easy walking distance. The comment that you could “bus it to Hayes Valley” is hilarious. HV is four blocks away; I can’t imagin anyone waiting for Muni to bus it to HV.

  47. Posted by fate

    For all of you heritage and history lovers,
    I remember this house when I went there to rent a room. There was no original detail, there were a bunch of small rooms being rented. The previous owner was renting out rooms and it had five kitchens. I remember the four dogs and a bunch of cats living among all. I decided against it because it smelled awful and I was disgusted. Although the rent price was so cheap.

  48. Posted by anonn

    In contract

  49. Posted by eddy

    I did take a detour one day to drive past these homes for sale near alamo square and I was surprised how clean the area was given its proximity. Very interested to see the final sale price here. There is no doubt that the return of the stock market is very much helping the real estate market. A surprising number of properties going into Escrow. I think it speaks of the pent up demand. I fear we’ve not see the end of the stock market / broad economy issues. So we’ll see how things turn out….

  50. Posted by SocketSite

    The MLS status for 924 Grove has gone from “In Escrow – Firm” to “Withdrawn.” While having fallen out of contract after all contingencies have been waived is a possibility, so is being withdrawn prior to closing in order to avoid reporting the contract price.

  51. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    Wouldn’t it have been easier simply mark the contract price “confidential” ? I don’t understand this maneuver.

  52. Posted by diemos

    “I don’t understand this maneuver.”
    Since the price has to be reported to the state for property tax purposes anyway I don’t know what the buyers and/or sellers think they’re accomplishing with this manuever.

  53. Posted by San FronziScheme

    Well, for once it delays the burning off of the cloud on the true condition of the market. Any delayed bad news can help other local sellers. And behind the delay lies the hope of a V-shaped bounce that will save everyone…
    For the industry, this is a war where each and every battle has to be fought.
    This is how this bubble was inflated after all: if you leave no room for the chance of a decrease in prices, then you can sell a “sure thing” asset inflation market which then leads to reckless borrowing/lending that fueled the bubble you intended to inflate.
    A pretty nice and profitable self-fulfilling prophecy.
    Whoever controls the information has a chance of controlling the market.

  54. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    Yes, I understand the rationale for delaying the report of bad news. What confuses me is that there is already a tried and true method of an agent marking the sales price as confidential.
    Either way, the truth eventually comes out when the transfer is recorded and the new tax bill generated. It just seems as if going from escrow-firm to withdrawn seems like a more difficult way to hide the sales price. It also implies a chance that the sale really did fall through : bad news.
    Seems like there’s a lot of pent-up bad news accumulating.

  55. Posted by San FronziScheme

    There is maybe market psychology or something similar at play. That would be a bit twisted. A confidential sales price would provoke questions on the sale price (is it that bad?). Whereas a withdrawn listing might suggest something else happened like an actual failure to sell. Or simply the place has sold for a good price want to attract people’s attention to it when the numbers come out. Then someone can parade claiming how all the nuts had it all wrong;)
    In any case, we’ll know soon enough I guess.

  56. Posted by eddy

    Pulled from MLS can also be an indication that there was some real estate commission shenanigans. These are difficult to impact due to contractually agreed upon terms that go-away once a listing is ‘pulled’ from the market.

  57. Posted by SocketSite

    The sale of 924 Grove Street closed escrow on 6/25/09 with a “confidential” sale price. Note comment(s) above.

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