3961 25th Street
From the the listing for 3961 25th Street:

A house with a conscience. Everything about this house is centered on a simple, yet noble premise: minimize waste for maximum grace. Now you can do what is right for your environment without sacrificing the pleasures of your everyday living.

From a reader who couldn’t resist the lob:

What happens when your house-with-a-conscience starts to feel guilty about the $2.85M you paid for it?

3961 25th Street: Living
Regardless, we will note some sweet Noe Valley indoor/outdoor living and deck action with floor plans and a full list of green features online.
∙ Listing: 3961 25th Street (4/3.5) – $2,850,000 [3961-25thstreet.com] [Floor Plans] [MLS]

78 thoughts on “A Noe “House With A Conscience” (And Listing Lob): 3961 25th Street”
  1. This is a nice house. For my money I’d rather have 2949 Sacramento. These two houses sort of present a nice ying/yang comparison of similar homes in D5/D7.

  2. – Plasma over fireplace: Check
    – Mega wide angle lens: Check
    – Photoshopped sky: Check
    – Chopped pillows…
    Chopped pillows?…
    Noooooo! They forgot to chop the pillows!

  3. dont get me wrong, i love the house…but am i the only one going tired of these BS “green” marketing ploys? just sell me the house and spare me the rest of the story. thanks.

  4. but am i the only one going tired of these BS “green” marketing ploys?
    I don’t know if you’re the only one, but I think you’re in the minority on that these days. Other properties have set off my BS meter, but not this one. Seems like the real deal. They even mentioned trying to recylcle the demo’d materials when possible.

  5. $2.8 m for this very nice house seems steep in this market. That’s a lot of “green.”
    Purchased for $1.275 in 2007, the owners obviously have renovated and expanded the property dramatically. What exactly is it about the house that is supposed to make it such a godsend to the environment? Should I feel conscience-stricken because I live in an old, unreconstructed Noe valley cottage with a gravity furnace? Do I need to spend $1million renovating to not feel guilty? Like my house, I’m sure I’m not up-to-date, and I don’t know what all an “environmentally-friendly” home is supposed to imply these days.

  6. I think that with these green remodels you have to look at them against comparable remodels; doing the remodel, adding the square footage etc. as green as possible vs. not making any attempt. You can’t look at it vs. not remodeling. Someone is going to buy a nice new house green or not, it’s nice to spend some extra money and give people that option.

  7. well if you do a google map of the house you can see the neighborhood probably can’t make the 2.85 number stick. Some of the surrounding dwellings are slightly run down.

  8. Green is good, and it looks like a sweet house but THREE MILLION??
    I think they might be smoking something green. But hopefully organic, so it is easier on the conscience.

  9. What exactly makes this house “green”? Did they slap a solar panel on the roof?
    I do like the house in general, and am apreciative that the house is not OverDwelled.

  10. I think the subtle subtext of the marketing premise is, if your house has a conscience, then you don’t need to exercise one. I’m intrigued.

  11. What exactly makes this house “green”? Did they slap a solar panel on the roof?
    You didn’t read the listing? Yes, solar panels and a lot of other features.
    google map of the house you can see the neighborhood probably can’t make the 2.85 number stick.
    Well, a house across the street, #3976, went pending after four days on the market about three weeks ago with a 2.895M list price.
    The house right across the street
    [Editor’s Note: Said (much larger and newish construction) house across the street: If You Think You Know Noe, Now’s The Time To Tell (3976 25th Street).]

  12. This is directly across the street from the $2.9M place that just got 2 offer and didn’t even have an open house. So I think the # is possible.
    The website 3961-25thstreet.com has the green features.

  13. Noooooo! They forgot to chop the pillows!
    It’s a green house. Those are free-range pillows, silly.

  14. Step one: add a tank water heater. This is California. Having 40 gallons of constantly refreshed water always stored on your property is worth the “added” energy cost of a traditional water heater. Think earthquakes.
    Also, tank-less water heaters often don’t end up saving that much energy. It’s very specific to the house in question.

  15. [Editor’s Note: Said (much larger and newish construction) house across the street: If You Think You Know Noe, Now’s The Time To Tell (3976 25th Street).]
    Editor’s Editor’s note: you forgot to tell the Google Map guy that it wasn’t a “run down” 2.895M house.

  16. sparky b- I am not surprised that there was buyer enthusiasm for 3976 25th or that there will be for this place. They are both very nice – green features and all. I will be (pleasantly) surprised if either place goes for at or over asking.

  17. Everyone is looking for a hook to add value that doesn’t cost as much as a buyer will pay for it.
    In 1999 it was cat5 wiring, now obsolete of course. In 2005 it was about 15K in kitchen appliances. Put them into a bad location, call it luxury, and people ate it up.
    I’m sure the developers see the Priuses, which don’t get gas mileage as good as some econoboxes, cost WAY more, but appeal to trendy econo-conscious people, and figure there is a market to exploit. Buy a smaller house than what sold across the street, slap a few solar panels on the roof, and maybe a few other features, and call it ‘green’. If some prius-driving idiot with more money than brains wants to pay a huge premium for it, and the developer makes more money than the purported energy savings, well then, god bless america.

  18. But 2 offers and no showings, so 3976 must have got close to asking. This place lays out better (even though it’s a little smaller), the green is way greenier, and the constuction quality is higher. So, for a little less money I think it will do well. I mean it’s not in Glen Park so it won’t get $3.3M but it’s really cool.
    I changed my link, check the lounge.

  19. 3976 is an SFR with an au pair unit. I don’t know how large this one is. It’s also priced 50K less, and it’s green. This will be interesting to watch.
    But really, editor on down to Tipster, everyone who otherwise would never for a second think that 3976 could possibly sell for anywhere near its list price jump in and seize on it at once. LOL.
    [Editor’s Note: It’s funny, but we didn’t see a single comment from “anonn” with respect to 3976 25th Street until after it went into contract. And now back to 3961…]

  20. Did ya? I happened to notice something too. I noticed where you zoomed in with laser-like focus to point out how 3976 was larger (yet didn’t mention less green — why? is that not a premium worthy of editorial comment?) It was an odd move I thought. How was that editorial supposed to be read? The larger size is a fact which would have revealed itself by your astute readership in a matter of moments.
    [Editor’s Note: Well, we’d read it as “3976 is a much larger and newish construction home and here’s a link so you can compare for yourself.”]

  21. Who are the builders behind this [bad] boy? It looks like an architect from Group 41 did the drawings.

  22. i had a post up their that spelled it bad boy over bay boy. but now, alas, it is gone.
    BTW, This is a very nice house– wonderful floorplan. I bet that it is in contract within 10 days (*unless the agent advises the seller not to accept an offer until it has been on the market for X number of weeks).

  23. For that amount of green, I’d want a really mansion-y San Francisco place, like the Queen Anne Victorian that recently sold for $2.895M (1037 Church). This house is nice, but for $2.85M I’d want something grander.
    But then again, I can’t afford anything close to @2.85M, so I’m obviously not their target demographic.

  24. “[…] it is going to be gone quick. One Sunday open, maybe.” Unless, the other offering party of the across-the-street house has just purchased that 2M+ house up on Noe, in which case it may be around for a while…

  25. And according to the MLS, 3961 25th Street is now in contract without any contingencies (which might suggest a conscientious buyer had already been lined up). We’ll keep you posted.

  26. this sort of home is pretty typical of run of the mill ‘green’ construction with a bunch of greenwashing thrown in: spend a million or three, use a bunch of green materials, buy some fancy water filtration system when we have one of the highest quality tap water supplies in the world which needs zero further treatment, & call it energy efficient merely because you put in the minimum current building code-specified amount of insulation & bought a few solar panels. it meets no quantitative efficiency standard, & given the widespread use of incandescent light bulbs/fixtures which have readily available alternatives that are an order of magnitude more efficient, 2 plasma tv’s which are huge energy hogs, 2 fireplaces which provide little useful heat & hemmorhage warm air up the chimney when not in use (imagine putting a giant hole vented to the outside in the roof of your freezer) i highly doubt that the solar panels are accounting for more than a tiny fraction of the home’s overall energy consumption. of course if they really cared they’d actually put in an energy monitoring system so they could back up their claims of efficiency with data. for $2.8 million no doubt many intelligent people had a hand in its design & beyond chosing sustainable materials in places i don’t see any sign of true forward thinking.
    the fact that this sort of house is touted as ‘emphasizing sustainable living & energy efficiency’, having ‘a conscience’ & allowing its owners to ‘live responsibly’ exhibits why i think it’s important to put homes built to a highly rigorous energy efficiency standard for a much more affordable cost on the map—raise the awareness of architects, builders, agents & buyers to stop patting themselves on the back & get to work!
    one alternative:
    my 2 cents..

  27. Beat my ten days estimate. It was a gorgeous house. Very well executed, nice finishes. Thoughtful floor plan. Much nicer than you usually see in Noe.

  28. I think the subtle subtext of the marketing premise is, if your house has a conscience, then you don’t need to exercise one. I’m intrigued
    Late again to the thread, but I have to say, self-righteousness has gotten really expensive. When I was growing up, forty bucks for an adopt-a-child program was more than enough.
    If this really takes off, I expect even more colorful “backstories”. For example, “fair trade” houses, in which the wood is purchased at above market prices, blessed by Shamans, and milled in a co-op run by under-privileged political economists. For every ton of kitchen granite purchased, a sea turtle is rescued. And for every Bosch double oven, a Guatemalan runaway is given a free abortion.
    The narrative opportunities for price-raising ephemera are endless.

  29. You mean for almost $3 million you don’t even get a view? I mean, it’s nice and all, eco-weenie discussions aside… I just don’t get it.
    2500 sf tops… if you include the garage.

  30. Oh nvm… I see there’s a nice view of the utilities with twin peaks in the background. I thought 25th was supposed to be undergrounded?

  31. Well it looks like someone was seriously into this house… it’s only been listed for 24 hours and it’s in contract. From the pictures it looks beautiful.
    I think when a house offers a few of those green items its nice, but when you combine them all, including the solar, fiberglass-free insulation, non toxic paints/carpets, hardwoods, etc, it’s a noteworthy story. It’s amazing how many new construction homes still use chemical materials.
    Also, most solar companies offer an energy monitoring system as part of their service.

  32. Don’t worry about being late Robert, your comments made me laugh. Same to BobN and Fronzi.
    The irony is that any home in the SF bay area (or any coastal location south of Ft. Bragg for that matter) is green by virtue of being located in a such a mild climate. There’s no need for air conditioning and little need for heat. That eliminates the largest non-transportation consumption of energy. Compare how much it costs to maintain a livable year-round temperature in St. Louis. You could live in a yurt here and spend less to keep it comfortable compared to a fully insulated similar sized shack in the Wisconsin melt-belt.
    All this eco-bling is great though just icing on the bay area climate cake.

  33. Green house? How about taking a Victorian and completely gutting it, then rebuilding almost everything in the house from the ground up using a lot of natural resources – new floors, marble, etc. It seems to me that green building would somehow include more use of existing features of a building rather than everything new even if everything new was somehow more “green”. The green features that they list include mahogany, rift cut oak, walnut, flagstone, marble – these are natural resources that have been harvested new to build this house. Being green should include minimal consumption of natural resources. Not to mention that $3M seems excessively expensive for this house. You could buy a rundown Victorian and remodel it in this “green” fashion for way less…..

  34. Two houses on 25th between Church and Sanchez, spring of 2009, are selling for ~3M 2006 type peak prices. I’m surprised. It’s encouraging, but I thought both listings sort of high. Now to see what happens with the Hoffman street property, and Laidley.

  35. Annon, What’s going on with 350 Hill? How come no offers on that one? Is the street too steep?

  36. 94114,
    I haven’t seen it in person. Since you asked though, I’ll happily don my Socketsite Internet Kibbitzer Hat TM.
    It’s an incredibly steep block. There are surprisingly no downtown views. It’s 100, 140K more than these 25th street ones. Its backyard is terraced and perhaps not as family friendly as these others’ yards.
    All that said it has not even been a month yet. After seeing some of this other activity, don’t you think it’s too nice not to sell fairly soon? Maybe a price adjustment is in order.

  37. I’m just surprised when a “wow” house like that takes longer than some other “wow” house. The views are pretty incredible even though they’re not downtown views. The block is very steep but it’s a more interesting looking block than 25th Street but I guess it’s not an easy walk to 24th Street.

  38. I genuinely wonder if the people who are purchasing these large new construction “green” houses are buying them first and foremost because they are “green”. As everyone has pointed out–these houses may not qualify as a truly “green” approach to life. The construction of this house did leave a carbon footprint far larger than if no construction or minimal remodeling on the house had occurred.
    New construction “Green” homes such as these are merely a new way of building homes that are less toxic and more material conscious (environment wise) than other new construction homes being built.
    I wonder how far the new owners are buying into the marketing shtick, or if the response to the house’s ‘greeness’ was “that’s nice”. I guess we’ll know if they pull two new Priuses into the garage when they move in.

  39. anon,
    The materials that you mentioned were used sparingly. The main floors are bamboo, cork and natural wool. The walnut is on the style of the cabinet only, the inside panels are “eco”; and a natural finish. The flagstone on the steps only, trex on the decks. The facade is original, sistered joists where possible. There are separate furnaces for the floors to save energy, as well as 2 on demands with re-circ. lines to save water/energy as well.
    Like I said earlier, you need to start with the fact this is going to get built and after that how green was the build. Not, if they didn’t do the work it would be greener. The empty rundown place kept someone from living near the J and 24th, and it was a one bedroom. Now hopefully a family of 4 moves in and parks the cars more often. That’s green.
    Oh, and I was the builder.

  40. re: 350 Hill – a hill that steep is a major turn off to a TON of people. the reason the other 2 homes went into contract so quickly is likely that you had buyers who had been house hunting for quite a while, knew exactly what they wanted, and when they saw it they pounced. no one says “gee, i’d love to live on the steepest hill i can find”. i bet 50+% of the prospects for this home don’t even bother to show up
    in this slower market i bet the lack of walkability accounts for a HUGE discount…. look for a sale btwn $2.2 and $2.5 million

  41. hangemhi, I think you’re way off on your estimate of what 350 Hill will sell for. I think it will be closer to 2.75.

  42. As far as I can tell the house in “pending”, i.e. no contingency offer accepted before open house!!!
    More on this http://mdmhomes.blogspot.com/ and http://insidesfre.wordpress.com/2009/06/04/3961-25th-lands-in-lap-of-luxury/
    I agree with Sparky there buyers for this kind of house, 3br/2bath upstairs in the most convenient location in Noe.
    I didn’t see the house, but 3976 has a much better floor plan. 3961 suffer from the usual 2nd story addition problem, where you need to set back from the street and you get a fairly small-ish top level.
    The kind of stuff 313 Duncan was hurt by.
    I remember 2 years ago we had a similar situation with 4061 .vs. 4065 25th (a block uphill), where the former is real house (IMO) and the latter suffer from the same problem.
    Buyers discount this difference to a much smaller extent than they should.

  43. Looks like sparky hit a home run here. Congrats !
    And anonn, at least you could have advised that the pillows be properly chopped 🙂

  44. I always found it a little strange how quickly sparky would “go to bat” to support “anonn”. (For instance, back on that ridiculous thread on 76 Caselli when “anonn”.) Now I guess I understand.

  45. Yea, congratulations to everyone associated with this project. Lovely, smart build-out. Impressive greenishness. Quick sale.
    But – call me a knave – I’m still gonna hold on to my old gravity furnace until it finally croaks. It’s so quiet.

  46. There’s nothing odd about it Tipster. Numerous builders presented bids to an existing group who had a realtor in place, and sparky was chosen.
    And LMRIM, why do you not ever admit that the Mono street property proved me correct about what “could” happen on Caselli and surrounding? Let it go already man. Sheesh. Tell you what. You let it go and I’ll forget about how you don’t live in SF, seemingly hate everything about its politics and real estate market, yet continually post on a real estate website about the city.
    Hey Tipster, LMRiM, what are your real names? I don’t think you ever mentioned that. It might be helpful as far as holding you accountable for some of the stuff you say. Just a thought.

  47. Oh, got it. Well, it’s too bad Sparky got outed by a very perceptive “Lucy!”. Gotta give credit where credit is due.
    So I guess Sparky just built what he was told to build, and the credit for the design belongs with the existing group. He did a great job, but they did an outstanding job of reading the market.
    My real name? Not gonna happen, but I’ll give you a hint: I’m the guy who owns this business, and I’m pretty sure that LMRiM was formerly the last named partner in this firm.

  48. I’ll tell you what is interesting…. the number of high end 2.5 – 6M homes going into contract. There seems to be a lot of pent up demand being released on the market. Hope these buyers all have strong stomachs.

  49. LOL, tipster, that was good.
    I’ll tell you what, anonn. I will reveal my name the very moment I start shilling for SF real estate, trying to shill for my dad’s flip, trying to sell another family member’s house in Bernal Heights, and generally deriving commssion dollars from the idea that SF real estate is “not going to take a hit”.
    I’ll even leave out the incessant personal and nasty attacks that some realtors on commission seem to engage in 🙂
    But that’s in the future. For now, I’ll just be held accountable by economics and pricing trends as they unfold.
    I do hope that when I do grow up and become a valued member of the realtor “profession”, I won’t get a review like this one on incredibleagents.com:
    “Never followed a single request I gave him and always tried to upsell me. Extremely shady guy that could never answer a straight question. Keep far away from this “professional”.”

  50. Well if it’s on the internet it must be true. But if memory serves the only Nico I’ve ever spent time with is the one on the first Velvet Underground album. I submitted one shill, ever, in this space. And that was when I suggested to JesseP that I could show him a Church st. property. No. It is you guys who go out of your way to google me and to draw conclusions, the accuracy of which you don’t care to confirm before posting. Anyway, enough negativity acknowledgment for today. I gotta say. I didn’t know that Tipster was my uncle Pete all this time. Small world.

  51. Well, at least you’ve got some good humor about it, anonn.
    Seriously, you’ve gone out of your way – so many times it’s not even funny – to get personal and nasty with numerous posters. I’m not saying I’ve always been above that, and after all this is just a fun blog, but if you look fairly at how these things usually go, you’ll see you typically play a pretty large role in it.
    That’s cool, it’s your business and you have a personal stake in trying to discredit people who express bearish views or analysis. But let’s not get all high and mighty about what it’s about. Read through the postings that you’ve made on this thread, for instance, in the light than has now come out that you had personal knowledge of the house, have a specific relationship with sparky-b, and clearly knew that this house was presold (as did sparky-b). Pretty instructive I’d think for people trying to figure out the motivations of some regular posters I’d think.

  52. I don’t know anything about when this house was sold, and I think Sparky found out Thursday night like a lot of other people. Here we have a nice, honest job well done and you’re trying to paint it in some sort of conspiratorial light. No. It is common to have private showings prior to the actual first public showings. There’s nothing wrong with that in my opinion. In point of fact, other realtors will bombard you with phone calls once they get wind of something good in the works. It’s hard NOT to have a few private showings. Anyway, I wasn’t privy to any information whatsoever. I haven’t even seen the house in person. I’m hoping that it will at least be open this Sunday so that I can check it out.
    You know I never told anybody on here who I am, right? Nor posted anything about any specific property I’ve had anything to do with? Others who I rubbed the wrong way for being a bull did that. And then there’s you. Making assumptions and posting them, again.
    I don’t like your web persona. You’re very smug, very arch and quite mean spirited, and you’re mean spirited without a decent accompanying sense of humor. So it comes off even worse. Your SF r.e. knowledge is limited to one area where you used to live, yet you’re always weighing in with one derisive comment after another. You take glee in breaking down people’s capital losses too, and frequently call them “suckers.” That’s hardly endearing. I don’t care for your politics either. I also don’t care for your incessant SF and California bashing. It truly, constantly begs the question that know I can push your buttons with. When I go to the “What are you doing on this website” card. But sorry for that.
    I don’t know where you got that goofy website about super agents or whatever. I haven’t even worked for that company in five years. And I’m pretty sure I’d remember a person with such an Italian name, from late March of this year. So, thanks for googling me and posting a bogus review written by a bogus person I apparently tried to “upsell” this spring while magically working for a company I left five years ago.
    The funny thing is that there are dozens of folks I’ve actually worked with who read this site. I don’t have to defend myself against the likes of your dilettante brand of nothing. It’s quite lame that you guys think the internet = reality and don’t bother to be correct about anything before you post your real estate musings. But hey, different strokes …

  53. I find it funny that no-one has figured out LMRiM is. Its not like he hasn’t dropped enough clues over the last year of where he worked, where he lived, went to school, age, interests, etc.
    An industrious 13 year old with good map and internet skills and some time on their hands (school’s out !) should be able to figure out this logic problem in no time. For starters, you could triangulate both home locations from statements like “I know this place well, it’s a block and a half away from my house and I walk my dog by there every day”.
    Or you could just post a false Craigslist forsale ad listing some gourmet guitar as bait 🙂
    Ah, to be a bored 13 year old again with nothing to do all summer.

  54. I always found it a little strange how quickly sparky would “go to bat” to support “anonn”.
    Wow, I wasn’t quite expecting the reveal, but at the same time, I was going to jokingly suggest the connection after this thread a couple of weeks ago. Contrats to spark-b for being involved with a house that literally flew off the shelf into the arms of an awaiting buyer — not the mention the flip whose buyers I won’t bring up.
    No pressure anonn, but all eyes are on the apple in the making. Good luck to the Three Musketeers (I hope a spandex clad mountain biker carrying an expensive guitar never shows up at an open house yodeling tunes from the Great Depression 🙂 Sparky and anonn, I’ve appreciated the differing points of view and expertise you bring to this forum and hope you continue to participate so SS can avoid becoming an echo chamber.

  55. Fun to read all of your comments
    I bought the house and am very happy.
    For me it was the location (flat and close to 24th street, the gynm shopping) and the family friendly part that was the appeal.
    The Green part was nice but did not really register as all that significant.
    I think the quality is beautiful and obviously love the lay out
    Children can access the yard from the main floor of the house & that is very appealing
    I have seen all of the houses mentioned on the blog but was really taken by this one.
    I hope I will be very happy there
    thanks all
    [Editor’s Note: Cheers. And as always, thanks for plugging in. Now as sanfrantim notes below…]

  56. There are separate furnaces for the floors to save energy, as well as 2 on demands with re-circ.
    Do you ever use in-floor radiant heat? Was the issue cost? I’m mildly annoyed for Gary…

  57. I gotta ask – what is the $/sqft build cost for something like this? – exclusive of land/tear-down?

  58. EBguy,
    Radiant is great for concrete floors, it’s a major expense to do in joist bays. You have to drill them out in a lot of spots the add clips and run the thick tube through. You also need a separate boiler anyway and tons of plumbing. In the concrete you just lay it in and pour, so it’s way easier. I have also found that people like to pump the heat on a cold foggy day, and you can’t do that with radiant. It takes a day or so to notice the temp. change.
    And again on this place, I was just the builder, not the developer or the architect or the green guru, and I honestly found out it was in contract when I read it on socketsite.

  59. Sorry, Editor. Was a bit late to the game.
    Gary, Congrats on your purchase. The place is gorgeous!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *