3567 21st Street
It’s a restored classic façade with a newly constructed interior and plan on 21st Street.
3567 21st Street: Floor Plans
Close to Muni would be an understatement as the developers traded a new J-Church sidewalk stop, fence and retaining wall in exchange for a new easement agreement to allow access to a parking garage.
21st and Chattanooga under construction (
And for once it really is a condo that would live like a house with the other three totally new construction units in the association next door.
3561-3567 21st Street
∙ Listing: 3567 21 Street (3/2.5) – $1,895,000 [MLS] []

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by snider

    i am just a regular joe & not in the real estate industry. i look at this site daily though.
    one of the most important things for me is to be able to step outside the kitchen and tend the BBQ. if i wanted to BBQ in the backyard or even go to the backyard, i would have to go downstairs and through the second bedroom to get outside to the BBQ. that’s pretty unrealistic.
    something that simple would kill the deal for me.

  2. Posted by Mark

    Is the galvanized steel railing headed to the home an ADA and/or other government code requirement?

  3. Posted by Ryan

    me too, snider. my wife and i looked at a house on roosevelt in 2005 and the only access to the backyard was through a bedroom in the back of the house. HUGE deal-breaker for me.

  4. Posted by redseca2

    ADA doesn’t apply to a private home and that is good because that new railing doesn’t comply with ADA.
    (A basis ADA requirement is for the railing to continue beyond the stair at the top and bottom.)

  5. Posted by Poor in PacHeights

    Is there a pic of where the finished garage is? it looks from the construction pic, you’d have to drive down the tracks to get to the opening…I like the house though. The Condo’s are very close to the J. I wonder if they would feel the train go by, not just hear it….

  6. Posted by Mark D.

    I’m also a regular joe & not in the real estate industry. The deal-killer for me with this place isn’t the placement of the BBQ, but rather the $1.895m asking price. I agree that it’s a nice place – but $1.895m nice? For a condo? C’mon. Give us regular joe’s in SF a break.

  7. Posted by 94114

    The driveway is a little tricky to maneuver. It’s to the left of the building next door (where the do not enter sign is) but I believe you can go directly from the garage to the rear yard and into the house. I didn’t feel any shaking when the J went by but then again, I wasn’t trying to sleep.

  8. Posted by Willow

    “The Condo’s are very close to the J. I wonder if they would feel the train go by, not just hear it….”
    I live a block away from the J Church and I feel it in early the morning sometimes go by so I’m pretty sure given that this development is virtually on the J Church line that you will feel it…If I was a prospective buyer I would just hang out until one goes by to get a sense for the volume/vibration. Of course you make be waiting a while given the J Church’s terrible record for being on time!

  9. Posted by ex SF-er

    I wonder if they would feel the train go by, not just hear it….
    I used to live on the N-Judah line, but my unit was on the back of the building and the N Judah in the front. I could feel the vibrations every time it went by, but got used to it. visiting friends from out of state once thought it was an earthquake!
    My brother-in-law used to live on Church right off of 24th in a townhome. You could also feel the J church go by, but just barely.
    one of the important issues is whether or not the Muni train is turning or not. I lived where it turned, hence it made tons of noise/vibrations. My BIL lived where it was straight, thus mainly just heard it but there were only minimal vibration.
    I would hate to pay nearly $2M for a place if you could feel the vibrations!

  10. Posted by Eric in SF

    I spend a fair amount of time hanging out with friends in a ground-floor unit at 15th/Church. The trains are empty at the end of the day and the drivers tend to speed down Church heading back to Balboa Park. The first few visits we all laughed at the loud trains but now we barely notice them unless they’re going REALLY fast.
    If you understand you live in a dense noisy city, I don’t think the J-Church will bother anyone.
    If you insist upon isolating yourself from every single aspect of the outside world when you are home, the train is the least of your worries.
    Snider – I’m totally with you – who hates having to tromp up and down 2 flights of stairs to get to the meaty grilling goodness, but guess what? Grilling in a dense urban city where no one has A/C and everyone keeps all their windows open is really rude. The days when it’s hot enough to make a BBQ sound good are the days when your neighbors 4 feet away are trying to enjoy their home and must to open their windows to do so.

  11. Posted by WIllow

    “If you understand you live in a dense noisy city, I don’t think the J-Church will bother anyone.”
    Eric: I realize that we are living in a city environment but if you’re going to put down 1 plus million on one of these units is it not only prudent to give the noise / vibration factor serious consideration? (Even if you are personally not bothered by the J Church I would have to think this is going to be a substantial negative for buyers, and something to think about in terms of resale.)

  12. Posted by Jon

    I live a half a block down from these condos on 21st Street. It’s actually a quiet street without much car traffic. Where I live, I do not feel any vibration from the train but there is some noise as it turns the corner, depending on where the wind is blowing.

  13. Posted by dub dub

    You will have no trouble affording the 1.895M price tag if you forgo a car, BBQ, and air conditioning.
    And you don’t even need to cook your own food — you can always “dine” out for that. Plus, I doubt the urban professionals living here are ever home anyway, and ear plugs can easily be purchased in bulk with an iphone app.
    The new normal sure is hard getting used to, but I have a feeling it’s still got a way to go 🙂

  14. Posted by Mr T

    C’mon people, I really don’t think there should be a discussion here. $1.8 to live on top of the J-Church? You could get a killer SFH for that.

  15. Posted by Eric in SF

    Willow – yes, and people for whom that is an issue hopefully already know it and self-select out of properties with those deficiencies. I promise there are just as many people willing to pay big $$ who don’t care about the train or even see the train as a positive. My friends at 15th/Church certainly didn’t care and they are both high earning technology professionals who value living an urban lifestyle. I can imagine this 21st Street location to be even more choice given the proximity to Dolores Park.

  16. Posted by garrett

    good lord that is close to the tracks. too close for my comfort.

  17. Posted by snider

    thanks everyone for your entertaining comments! who knew that a BBQ comment would open up this debate.
    pretty soon those pesky BBQers are going to go the way of tobacco smokers… second hand steak odors invading neighbors home…
    as far as the price: let’s see what the market bears. Remember that two homes in Noe recently sold for over 2 million. This property is nowhere close to those two, is a condo, lacks the BBQ factor, and (evidently) vibrates.
    My vote: 1.9 mil NAY

  18. Posted by curmudgeon

    aw Eric that was a little curmudgeonly of you. I generally don’t mind neighbors grilling. It makes me wish they’d invite me over more, though.
    Given how unusable outdoor space in SF often is, I find it refreshing when folks actually get out and grill, or hot tub, or garden, or whatever.
    Re: the original bbq comment though..I totally agree. When I bought the #1 requirement was a walk out, south facing yard, so that we could actually have an indoor/outdoor lifestyle. Because of the topography, too many SF houses have outdoor space three stories below the main living area, which means it never gets used..for grilling or anything else.
    Finally, since there is a Muni stop here, I think the vibration will be pretty minimal, because Muni will actually be going pretty slow. Could be a little metal on metal braking noise, but I think you’d get used to it pretty quickly. Also, it’s not as if it runs all night…

  19. Posted by Eric in SF

    curmudgeon – I’ve had to leave for a hot afternoon when neighbors started grilling below our bedroom and living room windows. The overpowering choking smell of charcoal lighter fluid burning was a little much for me. I don’t think sending clouds of petroleum distillate smoke followed by mesquite smoke *into* the building next door is very neighborly.
    I did mean to point out that the trains will be going slowly through here – a couple blind intersections and curvy tracks means 3 mph tops. More worry about that metal-on-metal screeching than vibrations.

  20. Posted by ex SF-er

    “If you understand you live in a dense noisy city, I don’t think the J-Church will bother anyone.”
    but then:
    The days when it’s hot enough to make a BBQ sound good are the days when your neighbors 4 feet away are trying to enjoy their home and must to open their windows to do so.
    aren’t these two statement somewhat incongruous? I would think that someone who understands that they live in a dense noisy city would also understand that their neighbors might grill 4 feet away.
    I’ve lived right on N-Judah and I’ve also had my neighbors grill out next to me, but I’ve never had a big problem with either. That said, most people I know use gas grills, so it’s not so stinky like charcoal ones would be.
    when I cook out the grill is LITERALLY 4 feet from my outdoor dining table and I’ve never smelled a thing except for delicious dinner. I cook out probably 100-150 or more days a year. I love it.

  21. Posted by crispy

    You can get to the back yard going out the den to the deck, so it’s not as terrible as having to tromp through the bedroom. Having to walk a flight of steps away to grill either in an alleyway deck or right outside a bedroom is either way not something that’s going to get me out on the grill.

  22. Posted by redseca2

    I have to say we have been gassed out of our home in San Francisco by neighbors, critically upwind neighbors, who decided to grill. The overpowering smell of the lighter fluid was in every room, and it was honestly stronger than the smell of old fashioned Varathane floor varnish drying.
    I really complained to them very loudly, and they thought I was nuts, until I brought them into my home and they could see the smoking hanging in the air and the smell the incredible smell.

  23. Posted by Eric in SF

    Yeah, I realized that would sound incongruous but the inability to edit an entry after I hit “POST” is frustrating on blogs.
    Mass Transit is a public resource, used by all and essential to the functioning of the city. If it’s malfunctioning then complain, but those people who insist that they shouldn’t EVER hear the train while living 6 feet away from the tracks is disingenuous.
    The sound of your neighbors enjoying their lives while you enjoy yours should not be actionable, either. That’s why I never complain to my neighbors about kids or music or even a loud argument.
    But then we have charcoal grilling. Grilling in such a way that not only do you create a delicious meal for your own enjoyment but you also fill your neighbor’s home with smoke is not a public resource nor is it something you should tolerate because you live in crowded conditions. How is smoking out your neighbors with your charcoal grill different from, say, blowing cigarette smoke into your neighbor’s face while you chat over the fence?
    If all I got from a neighbor’s grill was yummy food smells I would be happy, but not everyone thinks about how their actions affect those around them. They grill over charcoal, use starter fluid, and for that extra smoky goodness use soaked mesquite chips.
    This is not a problem unique to myself – it’s been an infrequent watercooler topic since moving to SF, usually when someone gets a house full of smoke as described above.

  24. Posted by Rex

    How in the heck would you live on the Muni line. It would be like 200 earthquakes per day???????

  25. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    Use one of those steel chimneys to start the BBQ charcoal. Those things work great and need no starter fluid.
    If the charcoal smoke is still an issue, get a gas fired grill.
    If I knew that burning charcoal was annoying a neighbor I’d switch to gas even though I prefer charcoal.

  26. Posted by location

    My neighbor used to use the steel chimney to light his coals. That was the worst, because of all the smoke generated by the burning paper that lights the coals. Things have been much better since he got a gas grill. Now I just smell cooking meat. If you are grilling in a small area, it’s good manners to pay attention to whether all your smoke is blowing directly into your neighbors windows.

  27. Posted by SocketSite

    Is there a pic of where the finished garage is?
    Image updated above.

  28. Posted by snider

    i wonder if HOA fees will cover graffiti abatement. that wall along the muni tracks looks like primo tagging material.
    thanks for the updated photo showing parking.

  29. Posted by RenterAgain

    I walked through this place at least a month ago, but Redfin shows it as a brand new listing. (I didn’t see DOM on the MLS, but perhaps I just missed it.) What gives?
    I agree that 1.8 and change is a bit steep for living right on the tracks. But I do think 21st is a lovely street.
    @Curmudgeon: I also have decided that I will not buy a house that doesn’t have a south-facing or east-facing backyard. But this is just my way of keeping myself from jumping the gun and buying too early. If I eliminate half of all possible homes from consideration, then maybe I can hold out for another year.

  30. Posted by enid

    How in the heck would you live on the Muni line. It would be like 200 earthquakes per day???????
    I live in the front of my building right on the N-Judah between the East Portal and the Church tunnels… and it really doesn’t bother me. You get used to it (or, rather, some people can get used to it). The cat doesn’t even pry open an eye anymore when it rumbles by during his catnaps.
    Occasionally, during evening commute hours (there are WAAAY more than 20/day, BTW, going each direction) the trains back up and there’s one idling outside my apartment for a bit too long, but other than that, it’s almost become such a familiar sound it’s comforting.
    I’m not a morning person, but one morning I woke up before my alarm, feeling inexplicably a little unsettled. I just laid in bed awake until the alarm went off; then I heard on the traffic report that the N-Judah wasn’t running that morning – I woke up because I didn’t hear it.

  31. Posted by enid

    Just saw I misread 20 for your 200, Rex. Yes, 200 seems closer to the right number!

  32. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    A worse muni adjacency is to be on a diesel bus line that climbs a hill. There you get a loud grrrr Grrrr GRRRRR THUMP every time a bus climbs the hill. Descending buses going the other direction are silent in comparison.

  33. Posted by San FronziScheme

    Very true. Ask people who live on the 39 line up Union. Last block is exactly that. Plus is does a tricky U turn at Montgomery as it meets 3 dead-ends. Soot, noise, the works.

  34. Posted by 45yo hipster

    Yes noise is a strange thing to quantify in an urban living environment, as there are alot of variables, some non intuitive, and some luck based. When we brought our 2 units in the mish, we only looked at ‘quiet’ streets. But depending on the rear yard configurations near yours, it could be deadly quiet or grand central station! Big trees also help dampen noise. The mornings are so quiet most days (once the neighbors dog got used to us and doesn’t bark) I hear birds all the time now. Also there is very little wind in the mornings, so it’s as quiet as a low density suburb back there, which I rather like.
    But the weird thing is that on some nights I actually hear some random freeway noise. We live 3 blocks away and normally you hear zip. But I think the humidity on some late nights effects things, especially if the windows are open. The weird thing is once you focus on it, it seems like the only thing you hear! The exact oposite of the muni experience some describe, whereby they get used to it. The psychological aspect is in play here as well. And in funny ways too. I once lived in a 2 unit condo bldg, and hated the new upstairs owner. So their random noise annoyed me. So now I own both units in our new place, and will only rent to people I like personally. Funny, but now extraneous noise bothers me less!

  35. Posted by El-D

    But the weird thing is that on some nights I actually hear some random freeway noise.
    Welcome to a temperature inversion! It’s one of the more interesting (very large scale) acoustical effects out there…

  36. Posted by Oceangoer

    I am like ex-SFer in the extent of my grilling … I grill at least 150 days a year, on a gas grill, and yes I have to walk through a bedroom to the garden to grill. On a Weber you grill with the top down and there is no smoke, an occasional delicious smell and I have never heard a peep from my Cow Hollow neighbors about it. A few of them grill too, and oh my those delicious scents of salmon and figs on the grill. Come on folks, enjoy living, and stop thinking that life should only be lived your way.

  37. Posted by kthnxybe

    BBQ smell is a terrible imposition no one should ever have to be subjected to, but you if consider the drawbacks of a rumbling streetcar under your window when spending nearly two million on a home then you don’t understand what it means to live in a dense environment?
    I think we have radically different ideas of what gracious urban living is all about.

  38. Posted by Fishchum

    Gheez, you’d think the smell of a neighbor’s grill is something akin to being waterboarded. What a bunch of whiners.

  39. Posted by John

    I don’t understand how the garage for this house is under the condos next door. How do you get to the garage from the house – the street? Is it a shared garage with the condos?

  40. Posted by Sb

    Fishchum, if you’re still smelling the neighbor’s grill in your bedroom the following day, that’s probably something worth whining about right?

  41. Posted by redseca2

    45yo hipster wrote: “Yes noise is a strange thing to quantify in an urban living environment, as there are alot of variables, some non intuitive, and some luck based.”
    You bet! I live on Ashbury a block above Haight Street. From my bedroom I can see the “Haight Street Produce Store” about 100 yards away and can hear conversations on the sidewalk in front of it perfectly. But I can’t hear a thing from the downstairs level of my own home.

  42. Posted by 45yo hipster

    El-D: thanks for the link, that’s exactly what happends! It is only noticeable on hot SF days, and the ground temp does drop quickly (although the air temp on our 2nd floor stays high). Learned something new 🙂

  43. Posted by location

    If you haven’t heard any complaints from your neighbors then you are probably not filling their homes with smoke such that it smells like they’ve been camping the next day. Good on you. That doesn’t mean that other people’s complaints here are not valid. Burning paper/charcoal/etc.. in a small area where the smoke has nowhere to go but into neighbors’ windows is lame.

  44. Posted by Troy

    But I think the humidity on some late nights effects things, especially if the windows are open. The weird thing is once you focus on it, it seems like the only thing you hear!
    Living in Santa Cruz about a mile from the beach we’d get loud ocean noises on many nights, enough to keep me awake. Sounded just like a freeway if you ask me . . .

  45. Posted by SocketSite

    3567 21st Street has returned to the MLS with a reduced asking price of $1,795,000.

  46. Posted by EBGuy

    It appears in the MLS twice, actually, as both a condo and Single Family Home listing. Since I actually own a SFR which is a condo, I can appreciate their need to market broadly; however, not showing HOA’s under the SFH listing, seems, well, a bit weaselly.

  47. Posted by SocketSite

    3567 21st Street has once again returned to the MLS with a new new asking price of $1,669,000. It’s the eighth time the property has been listed as new and with just “1” day on the market according to industry stats over the past two years.

  48. Posted by 94114

    This finally sold for 1,659,000 (2 years later).

  49. Posted by 94114

    Or was it 3 years later?

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