437 Hoffman circa 1905

Who could resist a historic look at 437 Hoffman atop Noe Valley circa 1905, versus as it looks today after all those damn density hounds had their way with the neighborhood.

437 Hoffman

The three-bedroom home is now on the market for $1,495,000.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Rincon Hill Billy

    that’s a beautiful shot…rolling hills, trees, fresh air…sigh…i miss the good ol days

  2. Posted by SFer

    Beautiful. I love repeat photography, especially when it shows the City in it’s early stages.

  3. Posted by Chad

    Stunning ! Life seems far more simple(r) back then !!

  4. Posted by kaya

    OMG! Renovated! Laundry Room! Planning Commission!! Hooray for exclamation points!!!!
    Too bad the listing agent can’t dot his i’s with happy faces!!!

  5. Posted by Sb

    That picture is super cool. Wish we could see it less tightly cropped.
    The lack of windows on the sides of the house implies that people were thinking density even back then.

  6. Posted by dub dub

    The front of the house looks better in the before picture (disregarding the construction). It seems to have sunk into the ground since then.
    Appears it last sold in 2006 $1.23M, currently 15k/year in property taxes. I like the marketing tactic — this certainly is a historical opportunity 🙂

  7. Posted by Flunkster Dude

    Very cool house. I snuck in before it went on the market since my buddy lives around the corner. Nice neighborhood, park down the block and close to 24th restaurants.
    Outside doesn’t look like much but the interior, views are really nice. I especially like the huge backyard.
    Does anyone know if you can condo these units?

  8. Posted by OneEyedMan

    I can’t believe there isn’t someone jumping in with an in depth financial analysis of this property’s value compared to 1905 with comparitive graphs for stocks, commodities, precious metals, etc.

  9. Posted by eddy

    ^Give it more time. Someone will oblige.

  10. Posted by jeff2

    Proof that many of the structures that some want to preserve are really only simple wood boxes of moderate construction and little design, built as cheaply and quickly as possible to provide housing to what WAS a fast growing city. I have never understood San Francisco’s love affair with homes such as this. In most world class cities this would be called a wood shed.

  11. Posted by Eric in SF

    I’m pretty sure the street was raised, not the house sinking. Upper Market is similar – main entrances on some houses were raised a whole floor when Market was expanded at some point.

  12. Posted by sanfrantim

    Nice place and nice neighborhood, but $1.5m and no parking may be a tough sell right now.

  13. Posted by Jeremy

    Does anybody know what the costs and complications are of turning something like this back into a single-family residence? What I mean is eliminating or repurposing the separate entrance, cutting doors or staircases or whatever to get to a reasonable “flow”…

  14. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    Doggone photoshoppers removed the pickups, dumpsters, and porta potties from that vintage photo. We all know that it is impossible to construct anything without pickups or green porta-johns.
    The photoshop trend continues to the present day. The MLS photo has the power line on the upper right removed. You can tell because who ever did it removed the wires from the sky but was too lazy to remove the wires as they pass over the shingled upper story.
    I wonder what else was manipulated in the MLS images ?
    And yeah, Hoffman St. is nice but not 1.5M nice.

  15. Posted by StockBoySF

    @The Milkshake, “Doggone photoshoppers removed the pickups, dumpsters, and porta potties from that vintage photo.” (From 1905)…
    Well for one thing they removed the outhouse. And that’s where the renovation came in- indoor plumbing and bathrooms! 😉

  16. Posted by diemos

    I’m appalled that even back in 1905 it was impossible to get anything past the planning commission unless it had bay windows.

  17. Posted by Ryan

    That puts new perspective to living “in the sticks” back then which I am sure Noe Valley was.

  18. Posted by BobbyS

    Overpriced shack. Whoever bought it needs a lobotomy.

  19. Posted by DanRH

    “The lack of windows on the sides of the house implies that people were thinking density even back then.”
    or maybe not enough money to warrant another window?
    or maybe less windows was good then in order to keep the house warmer?

  20. Posted by eddy

    1.5 would have been a stretch for this property even at the mythical and elusive peak.

  21. Posted by Jeff

    It seems that so many of these listings are forgetting to state that they’re looking for *Canadian* dollars. Everyone assumes that the ask is for USD, making the price seem outrageous 🙂
    Just a little communication problem!

  22. Posted by asad

    An interesting photography from back in the day, you guys should run more of these. I wonder how much the inside has changed.

  23. Posted by Noe Valley, SF

    Data point: 437 Hoffman went in front of the Planning Commission in September to remove a dwelling unit and was denied. Is it possible this is for sale again just because the project wasn’t possible?

  24. Posted by Mike L

    The city was very differant “back in the day”
    My family owned a farm downtown – imagine that; a farm downtown….
    Great photograph….

  25. Posted by sanfrantim

    @ Noe Valley: But maybe it has since been approved. The listing states: “*SF Planning approved transition to SFH.”
    In any event, priced a bit too high. But that may be the new pricing strategy for generally-desirable Noe listings: Set a price expecting that interested buyers are going to want to pay a bit below list, at least. That seems to have been what was going on with the 25th street listings much discussed here recently. Both were quick sales of good properties a few points below list.

  26. Posted by eddy

    Price reduced to $1.395

  27. Posted by SocketSite

    The list price for 437 Hoffman has been reduced to $1,330,000.

  28. Posted by SocketSite

    The list price for 437 Hoffman has been reduced to $1,295,000. Purchased for $1,229,000 in May of 2006.

  29. Posted by SocketSite

    Despite a “Motivated!” seller, the MLS listing for 437 Hoffman has been withdrawn without a sale.

  30. Posted by curmudgeon

    at 1.295 (again)

  31. Posted by A.T.

    I see this place finally sold for $1,160,000 ($504/sf). 6% below the May 2006 sale price. Et tu Noe?

  32. Posted by anon

    This is a manifestation of the 5 to 10% down for SFRs in nicer areas refrain that bears hotly dispute. Mockin it both coming and going is not even having an opinion.

  33. Posted by A.T.

    5-10% down from Spring ’06 for Noe? Sure. Down 10-15% from the mid-2007 Noe peak. But fluj, surely you accept that Noe has held up better than anywhere else in SF — that is, it has fallen less than other areas (so it’s the least bad — faint praise for bubble buyers). D3, D9, D10 — down probably 30% and more for condos and SFRs in the ‘hood. Nice areas besides Noe, such as D7, the rest of D5, down about 20% from peak is a good benchmark. And this is with inconceivable amounts of prop-up money. Look for those declines to accelerate moving forward, given the increasing inventory and declining sales. We’re already seeing it.

  34. Posted by sanfrantim

    thanks for the update, A.T. IMHO, this is actually a pretty good result for Noe. By Spring ’06, prices there already had run up a whole lot. Also, peculiarities of 437 hoffman discussed in the thread, e.g. no parking and planning commission issues, probably make this not a typical apple for the hood. In light of all this, $1.16, or 6$ off 2006, is a pretty strong result.

  35. Posted by anon

    I don’t wish to argue with a sloganeer. Just pointed out that you can’t have it both ways. I’m not fluj, actually. Thirty percent down from peak for D9 SFRs is it? I think folks searching for housing might just disagree you missed the mark by about oh 20 % or so.

  36. Posted by eddy

    and fluj, anonn, sachtel, lrimm or whatever are all gone now. I’m sure they read, but somehow resist the temptation to post.

  37. Posted by A.T.

    fluj, I agree with the point that D9 SFRs have not fallen as far as condos — in fact, I expressly stated as much. There are way, way more condo sales in D9 than SFR sales, so SFR “apples” are few and far between. Here is one:
    OK, so it’s only down 20% since 2007 instead of 30%. With respect to this tiny segment of the market, you win.

  38. Posted by anon

    Again you’re talking about one property like it’s the market, and then resting your “case.”

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