587 Jersey
Speaking of over in Noe Valley, 587 Jersey has just returned to the market following a soup to nuts remodeling and expansion of its living space.
Purchased for $700,0000 a year ago as a one-bedroom, one-bath with 1,360 square feet, the single-family home is back on the market with four bedrooms, three and one-half baths, and 2,462 square feet across three floors.
587 Jersey Floor Plan
Now asking $1,749,000, a sale at which represents year-over-year appreciation of 150 percent! Or at least it will in terms of its impact on simple neighborhood averages (and industry market and sales reports).
∙ Listing: 587 Jersey (4/3.5) 2,462 sqft – $1,749,000 [587jersey.com] [MLS]

72 thoughts on “Before And After (And “Year-Over-Year”) For 587 Jersey”
  1. Why would you do that?
    It looks like they dropped the ceiling down to get more head height in the new upstairs, so the windows had to come down as well.

  2. It does look like those windows are smaller. If you look at the interior shot you can see the reverse perspective and there is very nice and appropriate moldings above the windows.
    I wonder if the wires were buried on that street, or if they we’re ‘buried’ in the marketing picture?

  3. I think this place is really nice. The countertops are ugly, but they could be replaced easily. Is this the “real” Noe Valley? It seems so reasonable compared to what places were getting in Noe Valley a few years ago. I also wonder if the yard is a putting green. The grass is so short! Nice job and seems like the price is fair considering they probably spent quite a bit for the finish work throughout the house plus holdign costs, permits, etc.

  4. Hey what do you know, they also removed the power lines over the sidewalk as part of this project too.
    I’m amazed that it would make sense to drop the attic floor. This decreases the value of the main living level (I love 10’+ ceilings !) only to provide marginally valuable attic space. It also seems like a huge effort to rearrange that part of the framing just to reallocate a few inches. But maybe this is not such a big deal when the whole house is gutted.

  5. Aha. Good call all.
    Kinda lame, but if your gonna do that, I’d at least change the decoration on the front so it doesn’t look all screwy.

  6. Lowering the ceiling is a very creative solution. I have to see it in person but you can’t fault the developer. I’m almost 100% certain they managed to avoid the section 311 neighbor notification by not changing the exterior envelope, which made it possible to be 1yr project.
    It’s priced accordingly at $700/ft, so this seems fair, though I’d like to see it in person to make sure it works.
    the 26th street property just sold for 2.6M and it had serious ceiling height issues for that price range.
    On a related note, did anyone notice 3958 23rd st?
    It went into pending w/o being on the market. Seems like an off market deal just reported for comp purposes. Another flip by an agent, with a much different numbers (purchased for 1.25M 2.5 years ago and probably gaining a lot of sqft to sell for an extra $2m)

  7. The Master is rather grim – stuck in the middle, no outlook, etc. Could have swapped the stair w/ the bath at 1st floor so the master would be at the back.
    Or maybe Joe Public likes a buried MBR with the 2nd BR as a study/hang-out room? Any realtors out there with a perspective on this?

  8. Prior owner died in this house – I think it was several days (maybe close to a week?) before her body was discovered. She was a chronic hoarder and the place was packed floor to ceiling with junk and trash. It took a cleaning/hauling company nearly an entire week to get the property cleaned out. Many also believe this property had a lot to do with contributing to rodents in the neighborhood, many of which were supposedly living and nesting in the house.

  9. Terrible solution to lower the ceilings to accommodate bedrooms upstairs. Main living floor now as typical condo height ceilings. Talk about losing value.
    Upstairs bedrooms still feel like living in an attic. Master bedroom has only a light court window.
    Better solution would have been to put in dormers (allowed by planning code) to create real added value and decent bedrooms. But, like a lot of amateur projects, they chose to cut costs and do the mediocre approach.

  10. I’m with NoeArch on this one; seems like a terrible compromise. Does anyone know if they lowered the floor throughout? I was wondering if maybe they bumped up the second floor roofline halfway back…it wouldn’t read in the street photo. I’ve seen several dollhouse victorians transformed that way into much larger homes without sacrificing a lot of the historic curb appeal.

  11. Re dormers: As long as the dormers aren’t too big, they don’t even trigger a 311 notice. It was a mistake not to put them in.

  12. noearch – any thought on what the ceiling lowering would cost? seems like it would be a boatload. is that a trex deck and astroturf or real? i might go to the open house if the agent is single.

  13. Drop Ceilings:
    1) Often these old vics have 12ft. ceilings and you can drop them to 10ft. and they still look good.
    2) If you want rooms up you need to beef up the joist, since the old 2×4’s won’t support living. You need to demo them out, block the balloon framing and add a rim joist. So at that point you have dropped the ceiling 6 inches anyway and you might as well drop some more for better rooms up.
    3) You should always add the dormers when you do this. 3 at 8 ft. wide or so and 10 feet from the front and you can avoid 311.
    4) There are lots of other cost involved in creating the rooms up; Stairs, demo, plumbing to name a few. But the framing should be about $12-15K.

  14. At least they *increased* the height of the garage by digging out the floor. Gotta make sure the SUV fits.

  15. Thanks sparky-b: We’ll be sure to hire you when we want a cheap, but insensitive remodel to a classic Victorian.
    But, you’re probably right: they will still “look good”…hell, why not put in some 2×4 lay in ceiling tiles, bring the ceiling down to 8′-0”? Saves on painting those tall walls.
    Doing it the right way is like this:
    1. Leave ceilings at original height.
    2. Add proper floor joists, at least 2×10, preferably 2×12 for the longer spans.
    3. Make sure you carry the new floor loading down to the new foundations.
    4. New shear walls will be required to support the lateral forces of the new 3rd floor.
    5. Do appropriate sized dormers to make the rooms really work. Yes, that means larger dormers which will trigger 311 Notification. Not the end of the world and is not difficult to achieve.
    6. True cost of new floor framing, shear walls, foundation upgrades: realistically: $75-100k.
    Result: true usable new 3rd floor bedrooms, retaining original high ceilings at main living floor, and real added value to the property.

  16. So your just coming at me like that. Whatever. You are saying you can’t make a 10 foot ceiling look good, fine I can.
    Are you just trying to make yourself look good and me look bad with your laundry list of things that everyone knows you have to do (shear walls, loads down to foundation, etc.) as if I was trying to skip that when I said “there are lots of other costs involved”.
    Tell me more about all the engineering you know. I’m sure you know way more than me about it..hardy, har, har.

  17. Oh, I’m glad that we can still have snark fests now that anonn is on hiatus/vacation/permanent exile. It wouldn’t be socketsite without that!

  18. Just callin’ is like I see it, dude.
    We each have different standards of quality, that’s all.
    Don’t like my comments? then don’t read ’em.

  19. “Don’t like my comments? then don’t read ’em.”
    He says after responding to me by name???
    “Different standards of quality”, so dropping a floor is automatically of some lower quality. Adding cost and time with a 311 process is always the right thing for your client no matter their situation.
    “We’ll be sure to hire”, thanks but no thanks.

  20. hey sparko-quick-fix: lighten up.
    You can do what you want. You’re being argumentative now. You know perfectly well what I mean when I talk about “quality”.
    Lowering a ceiling in a classic Victorian cottage, to save some money, does, in my mind “lower the quality” of the space. Most would agree.
    Like I said, we each have different levels of quality.
    You know, if you comment here, it helps to have a pretty thick skin.

  21. I doubt the frame was altered.
    Pay attention to the upstair. It is a bathtub now. The ceiling is probably lowered (without lowering the floor) to add the additional plumbing for water and sewage (there is an added toilet). The pipes probably run under the frames.

  22. Was I not light light? was I thin skinned? I’m not being argumentative at all, I think it’s funny that you would say to not read what you have to say when you have my name in the first sentence. You called me cheap and insensitive, and come with your drop ceiling (joke?). I didn’t call you anything, I won’t, it could care less.
    I’m thick skinned, I keep it light, and I know when somebody is joking about plumbing toilets too.

  23. Many years ago, in the early 1980’s, I was involved with the remodel of a victorian I believe was on Alabama Street. It had decently high ceilings, easily 10 feet. It had a stainles glass panel in the ceiling of the entry foyer under a skylight on the roof.
    We had actually been at the site for a couple days before we decided to lift out the stained glass panel. To our complete amazement, behind that glass panel the walls continued another 5 or more feet with wallpaper, elaborate crown moldings and ceiling pendants all still in place. The errie thing was that everything was covered in soot.
    The building was very near the great earthquake fire line and must have been remodeled shortly thereafter. I did not understand the rationale for lowering the ceilings. Perhaps 15 feet was considered too high. 20th century standards, like built-in closets in bedrooms had been added, but they only went to the new drop ceiling.

  24. To be clear on this. You cannot change out the 2×4’s to 2×10’s (or 12’s) without dropping the ceiling on most these old vics. The 2×4 ceiling joist is cut to the angle of the rafter as it sits on the top plate. This is where the weight goes, and it’s all of 3″ thick. If you stick a 2×10 there you have to cut it down to that same 3″ thickness and totally weaken it. It won’t engineer out. It doesn’t matter that it’s thick in the middle if it’s thin on the bearing.
    You want rooms up you drop the ceiling, or you run them full thickness and full bearing, changing the look of the facage and good luck with that.

  25. Talk about cheap work – this place looks to be missing a glass floor and a no-rail staircase. What were they thinking?

  26. The ceiling was lowered in our Victorian as well. The remodel was done in the 50s and they lowered the ceilings because it was very expensive to heat the place with such high ceilings. They basically put boards across the ceiling and then ceiling tiles across the boards so we were able to remove the lowered ceiling without too much work.

  27. 5. Do appropriate sized dormers to make the rooms really work. Yes, that means larger dormers which will trigger 311 Notification. Not the end of the world and is not difficult to achieve.
    I hate to interrupt your polemic, but I really don’t think dormers would work with the ceiling height in the original attic. Or am I missing something as I sit here in my armchair…

  28. snark-fest is back!!!!
    everybody relax: to be fair, sparky-b, unless you have actually been up inside that original attic space, and for the record I have not; neither of us knows the exact original framing system.
    We are both postulating several ideas as to how we might frame that area for floor loads. You have an approach, and I have an approach.
    But, clearly I would NOT lower the ceilings to make it work. Aesthetically, that destroys the rooms below. That’s simply my approach.
    and,no: mac: I’m not prissy-pissy. I’m just an architect and that’s how we talk.

  29. @ebguy: larger dormers, meaning larger in foot-print, not height. Dormers up to 8′ square, set back 10′ from the front facade do not trigger 311.
    However, 8′ square dormers are not terribly useful, that’s why I would recommend going with larger dormers to make the plan really work well. Add larger dormers on each side of the ridge, extending all the way to the rear wall, effectively creating full height rooms, without sloped ceilings.

  30. I popped in during framing, and it looked like I said, and like most of these old vics are framed.
    You have to admit that when the the ceiling joist comes in at the rafter you can’t just build up with a 2×10, and that it is often the case. Sure sometimes they were built for rooms up and the joists are true 6’s with a knee wall in the upstairs room of 5 feet or so, but that’s a diffent type of house. Plus most of those don’t have the high ceiling anyway. The one I’m working on now only has 8′-6″ ceiling.
    You are basically saying you wouldn’t do what I would do, and that’s fine. But I don’t think you would be allowed to do what your describing, at the front of the house anyway. In the back you can do an addition and wait out planning and 311, but if your client was looking to get in sooner than later that might not be an option. Then what, what would you do if they want 2 beds upstairs within a year?

  31. Don’t be snarky to Sparky. He was just being helpful. Elitism is annoying. People can have different opinions on what makes sense and what can/does look good. You don’t have to be an architect to appreciate purity, etc.

  32. Surprised at the tone of your reply to Sparky’s comment, NoeArch, usually you are kinder — did the 2nd (or is it 3rd) retreating of fluj bring out your inner snark? Frankly, for what a mess this place was, the approach taken, in this market, was a better business proposition. The biggest mistake (aside from the ridiculously tiny first floor bedroom) is not putting a compliant dormer or two in the master bedroom. I suppose one could be added still.

  33. well, ok…it’s all cool.
    But if I offer my opinion here, backed by my singular experience and background, it really shouldn’t be taken as “snarky” or demeaning. Well..maybe snarky sometimes. After all this is part entertainment and part info. I’m just one architect offering an opinion, written in my style.
    I do think that going thru 311, the full dormers would work, certainly set back 10′ from the front. Again, speculation, but that would be my approach.
    Sometimes my clients “want” the project done in a year, similar house to this one. All I can tell them is “let’s work thru the process to get you want you want.” That’s my role. I offer no guarantees as to length of time for planning reviews. I hold their hand and work hard to keep them happy.
    They results usually exceed their expectations, and I feel I’ve done my job. End of story.

  34. It is absolutley amazing the guessing that goes on around here. This site is good only for one thing – ENTERTAINMENT LOL!!!! sparky-b is right on the money as to ceiling height and floor joisting.
    Take it from someone who knows this one inside out. This was one POS to start with. As a neighbor I would be SO glad someone did anything, let alone a what turned out to be a wonderful revamping of a dump.
    Full disclosure – I am not the owner or builder or contractor or RE agent or architect or engineer or…… But I got to walk through at least a dozen times during construction.

  35. Nice. Seems like a good price. The location is terrific (that close to the park, and I think this street, due to how it cuts off there, is not too busy). It can get a little windy / cooler at this point but not by much.

  36. Thanks sparky-b for the explanation the rationale for this sort of job. I had no idea that some houses were built with 2×4 attic joists. I thought that 2×4 joists were only for kid’s treehouses. Every attic I’ve looked at had at least 2x6s.
    Still if this were my home then I’d be inclined to explore noearch’s suggestion : try for larger dormers. I don’t know what is involved in a 311 but if the issue is getting neighbor approval then it is worth discussing the project with the neighbors. You can approach this as “We’re going to at least add these under-the-radar smaller dormers which you have no say at all in, but we would really rather have a smaller number of larger dormers. What do you think ? Lets open that other bottle of Bordeaux and look at the sketches.”

  37. A big thing with the 311 isn’t the project at all, it’s the time it takes. The 30 day notice process ends up taking about 3 1/2 months to get through planning review if there are NO issues with the plans or the neighbors.
    This is all after the mandated neighborhood meeting of your direct nieghbors and nieghborhood groups. At submittal you already know what they think and have worked with them on the plans (with our without Bordeaux).
    The 311 is for everyone else. Everyone in a 300 foot radius of your house.

  38. I thought that 2×4 joists were only for kid’s treehouses. Every attic I’ve looked at had at least 2x6s.
    It does make me want to have a second look at my attic; I know my roof rafters are 2×4’s (augmented later by collar ties). Bear in mind, these are ‘old school’ true 2×4’s, not the dimensional lumber we use for construction today. I have to admit, this thread makes me want to find an old Vic (beyond worth saving) and try the ceiling trick. Now off to look at my localities ‘311 equivalent’ requirements for dormers… Sparky-b, thanks for your comments.

  39. so in 2009 this SFH (ableit 1/1) sold for only $700k? that is surprising – I must have missed that one go by. It must have been really torn up inside to get that good of a price?

  40. OK, so it looks like the main reason to avoid 311 issues is to avoid additional holding costs while waiting the 3 1/2+ months for approval. I wonder how much of that delay can be mitigated by starting the 311 process the day after COE. On day 1 you file the drawings and other necessary docs while simultaneously schmoozing the neighbors. You could also start the detailed architectural and engineering planning for the parts of the project, especially those parts that are the same for both alternatives (a. big 311 triggering dormers, b. smaller under the radar roofline modifications). You could also start the actual construction of those invariant aspects of the project, deferring the details that would diverge depending on the outcome of the 311 application until the very latest.
    I’m guessing that the actual work on the invariant aspects of the project would exceed 3 1/2 months. I could be very wrong here though. Yes, my “dual path” proposal takes more planning work and maybe that’s the gotcha.

  41. Milkshake,
    The numbers I just gave you are for doing just what you say. Finish all the drawings for planning while you are in escrow. For most people you are not going to start paying for drawings before you own the house. You need to have drawings that the neighbors can look at for the pre-app. meeting. Also, I didn’t mean to say it’s only a 3 1/2 month process only that 311 takes that long. Before that you have to get the drawings and have the pre-app. meeting, after 311 you still need to go through the building, mechanical, actual planning review, engineering, etc.
    You can do the dual path method but it has it’s own problems. One example would be if you agreed to a setback somewhere for a neighbor in the process. If you started work with a foundation only permit you will now have the foundation wrong, maybe a shear wall moved so the holddowns is off or undersized. Maybe now there’s a hardi-frame. Anyway you get the point.

  42. It is always fun to speculate on these projects. But of course with out all the facts on economics, motivation of the owner, etc. we are all just speculating. As a developer, dropping the ceiling seems like a very reasonable and creative solution for this home. 10′ or even 9’6″ ceilings are still quite spacious in my opinion, especially if you are picking up lots of valuable square footage. I personally like modern homes and not so much a fan of “historic Victorians”, but that is just what I like. However, I would have continued the detail they have above the door across the new shortened bay window like this.

  43. Skirunman — it’s amazing what the simple adjustment you suggested would have done to make this property look even nicer. That gray blank patch does look out of place in an otherwise ornamented facade.

  44. Sparky,
    Avoiding 311 isn’t really about saving 3-4 months, it’s about *reducing* the risk of waiting 1-2 yrs of fighting with neighbors.

  45. My guess – multiple offers on this and closes 7-10% OA, Ugly counters, lowered ceilings, and all. This place was very tastefully done and has great appeal.

  46. Someone,
    I agree with that, and tried to make the point that the time constraint was only for a project that was going to be free of neighbor issues. Of course that is not always the case and you don’t know it for sure going in, so 311 avoidance has that benifit as well.

  47. Ah, so there you have it. SF planning ordinances discourage developers from pursuing the best architectural solution. I really cannot blame developers here as they do have a business to run.

  48. Since we’re all armchair contracting this one (thumbs up on the photoshop), what about keeping the ceiling at the original height in the bay (or back a little further even with the front door). Obviously it cuts into space for the the bathing temple above, but it doesn’t screw up the facade — and it gives a hint of the homes former glory.

  49. “Ah, so there you have it. SF planning ordinances discourage developers from pursuing the best architectural solution.”
    Not always. I was just talking about this particular place. I have a my own project going on and I went through the 311 process for a vertical and horizontal addition. I don’t avoid it if it’s the best solution, but it’s not always the best solution.

  50. This property did go through 311, but I don’t see a permit for the window modification. Perhaps they “forgot” to indicate that the remodel would end up like this.

  51. It’s a shame that this place had original doors, hardware, and light fixtures that were removed. Doesn’t anyone restore Victorians anymore?

  52. Toured this place over the weekend. The agent said they already had a cash offer, but are waiting for more. The place is very well-done overall and the main floor’s ceilings still appear tall despite being lowered.

  53. Ha ha, the old “we have a cash offer, but we’re waiting for more” story.
    Translation: the offer is a lowball offer.
    When you hear “we already have an offer”, bid low.

  54. I give up. What’s the difference?
    BTW, both seem to have wires removed, but it looks like there are still there in the reflection on the window.

  55. Saw this place on brokers’ tour on Tuesday. Have to say I was underwhelmed. Built out basement and built out attic does not a $1.75 million home make. Plus a postage stamp sized yard with…astro-turf. The new green? LOL.

  56. Wow. Sold for 1.75 million according to Redfin. And 4015 26th sold for 200K over asking @ $1.7. What’s going on in Noe Valley? Wish Anonn were still around…honestly. He had his ear to the ground, and we’re missing that these days.

  57. $710 psft for a new construction SFR in noe seems like it is right in line with the current market for this place.
    700 buy
    260 rehab existing interior@200
    450 add new@400 psft, permits
    050 exterior and garage
    070 carry
    075 commissions, staging, taxes
    1605 total
    That left 135K for a year’s work.

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