1420 Douglass Facade
As we wrote in March 2008:

Another plugged-in reader already stole our thunder (and pretty much all our lines), but to sum it all up: 1. Eight months ago 1420 Douglass was purchased for $1,945,000 ($250,000 over asking); 2. Two months ago it returned to the market with a list price of $2,095,000 (and a few “I don’t think it will be on the market for very long” type comments); and 3. Last night the list price was reduced $100,000 (5%).

As we added this past July:

The property failed to sell in 2008, and as a plugged-in reader noted last month, 1420 Douglass was foreclosed upon on June 7, 2010. Back on the market today and listed for $1,595,500 (18 percent under its 2007 comp setting price).

And as we reported yesterday, the resale of 1420 Douglass has closed escrow with a reported contract price of $1,440,000. That’s 26 percent under the 2007 sale price for the remodeled Noe Valley home, a sale which was used as a “comp” to support the sale prices of other single-family homes at the time.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by EH

    are those actually sliding glass doors to an 18″ balcony?

  2. Posted by Catherine

    You just want to be able to open the doors all the way to let the street dirt in.

  3. Posted by lol

    2M SFHs was becoming the new paradigm in Noe in 2008.
    I guess not anymore.

  4. Posted by sanfrantim

    Someone from the earlier thread mentioned this was in foreclosure. Can anyone confirm? Also, what was the square footage/psf? I think someone reported about 1800 sf. If so, that represents a data point of about $800 psf, which still seems high for this part of the hood.

  5. Posted by sparky-b

    It wasn’t even 1800, and it got 834/ft.

  6. Posted by A.T.

    $834/sf is high. No doubt about it. But it is 26% lower than the 2007 price. I suspect the 2013 value will be lower still given that all seem to agree that the 2010 $/sf is still high.

  7. Posted by anonee

    ugly houses getting only $834/sq.ft? omg..the sky IS falling…

  8. Posted by ex SF-er

    “ugly houses getting only $834/sq.ft? omg..the sky IS falling…”
    on the one hand true.
    on the other hand, that’s a $500,000 loss in 3 years. the sky might not be falling, but I’d certainly feel like Atlas if I were facing that!
    probably just goes to show what we know
    -pristine homes in pristine condition that are priced excellently will sell
    -homes with issues will either sell at a huge discount or not sell at all.

  9. Posted by anonee

    i think we can agree that the previous buyers got way ahead of the market and overpaid. paying more than $900/sq.ft was not the norm no matter how ss spins it.

  10. Posted by Mole Man

    Buyers don’t get ahead of the market. Buyers are the market. The only spin here is the claim that this backsliding of price is uninteresting because the sellers paid too much.

  11. Posted by calhousingbear

    This makes it official
    Noe is no longer the Real SF

  12. Posted by sfrenegade

    “paying more than $900/sq.ft was not the norm no matter how ss spins it”
    Wasn’t 3730 26th for more than $900/sqft? That was a 2004 sale:
    1610 Sanchez was, and that was in 2005:
    You could argue that 1610 Sanchez was that high per sqft because it was under 1000 sqft, but 3730 26th was 1365 sqft. Whether the price point was “the norm” is certainly debatable, but it’s not in a universe by itself. People occasionally do go nuts for modern, and a market price is a market price.
    3 buyers with different last names on this one, btw. I wonder if they were “investors” or if they needed the co-signer to get the loan that ultimately got foreclosed on.

  13. Posted by anon.ed

    I think the buyers and other bidders on this 2007 sale probably “lost out” on a superior, larger, and ultimately cheaper psqft 27th st street property from a few weeks earlier. That one went for 1050 psqft. This one went for 1130. The facades are similar. The timing would seem to segue. Unfortunagely both sales look like outliers in hindsight as 3/2s in Noe averaged 831 psqft in 2007.

  14. Posted by tipster

    What was the norm in that time period was overbidding, losing repeatedly to someone who bid a then unheard of price and then trying again, with a million cheerleaders posting on every web site that prices would only continue to go higher, and that people who paid what seemed at the time outrageous prices the year before were now in the black.
    Your mortgage broker called back and said you could double the amount you qualified for if you went no doc, for only 1/4 of a percent higher interest rate and your wife was screaming at you that she was due in 3 months and you’d better find her a goddamed house because her mother told her not to marry you in the first place.
    That was the norm.
    This place went for a very expected price then, and there are no surprises now in a falling market that it sold for lower because NONE of those pressures above exist any longer.

  15. Posted by noearch

    Sometimes those narrow balconies are called French balconies, or Juliette balconies. Not necessarily to walk out on, but rather to just open sliding doors to the outside..the room has the feeling of being part of the balcony.

  16. Posted by Here

    I went to the wine and cheese party for this house when it was listed in 2007. It was packed – well over 100 people. Psychologically it felt like it was THE height of the market here. This house is a poster child for the crash – a ’50s box with a trendy remodel in a cold, remote part of Noe for $1.95 M. Anyway, the wine was good.

  17. Posted by anonee

    “with a million cheerleaders posting on every web site that prices would only continue to go higher”
    any examples? with a million or so to pick from you should be able to find a link or two, no?

  18. Posted by givemeabreak

    thank you Noearch good info from the “resident arch”

  19. Posted by Kurt Brown

    “…because NONE of those pressures above exist any longer.”
    Wow. I was assuming people were still getting pregnant. This really is worse than I thought.

  20. Posted by sanfrantim

    Yea, I am more interested in where the market is; not where it was. $834 psf for this house in this hood (and a foreclosure sale?) is damn good news for Noe homeowners (except maybe those few who paid $1000+ psf in 2007).

  21. Posted by tipster

    If 26 percent off every couple of years is good news, I wish you much, much more such “good news” in the next few years.

  22. Posted by lol

    The spin machine is baaack!
    Reasons why it might have fetched high $$$:
    – side by side parking – very very rare in Noe
    – open floor plan
    – Panic at the “entry level” spreading up. 1.4M was the minimum for livable kind-of-outdated family vics. Anything more contemporary would fetch 100s more.
    Sure it was probably an emotional buy. Nice salesmanship job that put someone in a bind.

  23. Posted by sfrenegade

    “$834 psf for this house in this hood (and a foreclosure sale?) is damn good news for Noe homeowners (except maybe those few who paid $1000+ psf in 2007).”
    Well, it would be good news if most of the houses in Noe that have square-footage listed that are within range of the square-footage of this house weren’t listed for $600-800/sqft for the most part, with most of them $750/sqft or below, and several between $600-700/sqft.
    1116 Diamond is listed at $816/sqft but is quite a bit smaller at 1408 sqft. 4214 26th is listed at just a shade under $800/sqft and is 1883 sqft.

  24. Posted by sanfrantim

    My point exactly. This sale is quite high on psf basis compared to where other Noe listings are. How is this not then good news? Perhaps lol’s predictable spin attempting to dismiss the $834psf price explains it; perhaps not. I’d be more inclined to believe that this property’s location on flat, somewhat sequestered block at the top of Noe would explain the high price.
    I do agree that psf prices tend to skew higher for these smaller SFH properties.

  25. Posted by sfrenegade

    Yeah, I guess it’s a question of whether this house starts a trend or if it’s an outlier, and I’m sure we could debate for hours on that.
    What’s interesting is that someone disparaged its location in Noe on a prior thread, and called its location a “challenge.”
    It seems like moderns tend to get good prices, probably because they’re more likely pre-remodeled. I also wonder whether the anchoring effect of the prior sale price made a difference here.

  26. Posted by sanfrantim

    Agree re: likely “anchoring” effect. Even to the educated readers of this site, $500k off the 2007 price seemed like a shockingly low price. When, in truth, it is not.
    If I am correct from memory about the location (too lazy to check), this is a very nice block (though really more a part of Diamond Heights than Noe).

  27. Posted by A.T.

    C’mon, just say it — the 2007 buyers “overpaid.”
    And I’ll say my piece again too. All 2007 buyers (actually 2003-2010 buyers) overpaid. “The market” in 2007 was inflated. It was a bubble. The bubble is deflating but has a ways to go, as evidenced by the still ridiculous — but 26% less ridiculous — selling price of this place.

  28. Posted by [anon.ed]

    It was pretty well laid out for you precisely how and why they did overpay, Dr. Repeat-o-Flame. No need to play Allen to your navel’s Burns.

  29. Posted by A.T.

    It wasn’t well laid out at all, fluj. Just some desperate attempts to pretend this 26% price drop in Noe in 3 years does not reflect anything.

  30. Posted by [anon.ed]

    It obviously reflects a significant market shift, AT. That doesn’t exclude that it was the biggest overbid of its kind in ’07. I’m not fluj, once again, but i’m also not the only one calling you out on your act these days.

  31. Posted by alazyman

    I could have sworn you were fluj. In any case, you advance the same arguments and weigh in on the same neighborhoods the he did. Walks like a duck, quacks like a duck…

  32. Posted by V

    All – this hilarious to read how folks in San Francisco continue to view real estate the way that the philosophers of the 16th century debated “how many angels fit on the head of a pin”. I owned SF real estate buying in 1999, leveraged up in 2006, and cut my losses ny selling w/o being underwater but still taking a loss (not net) in 2009. Move on and get over it. Real Estate is no longer the raod to wealth. Nor a status symbol. PS – I happily live in New York now…where everything is a bit more sober and real.

  33. Posted by noearch

    Seriously? everything is more sober and real in NY real estate? It’s not a status symbol in Manhattan?
    As for the road to wealth..well, we’ve owned in Noe Valley since the mid-80’s…and have actually done very well, thank you. I believe it is still possible today with a careful choice of property, location, cost of renovation and maintenance, one can still do very well.

  34. Posted by V

    @ Noearch – what are you a RE broker?; seriously – HELLO – yes, everything is in fact more sober in NYC and , “NO”, RE is not as much a status symbol here in Manhattan as it is in SF where TALENT be it design, fashion, finance, ad-men, media, etc, are the great equalizers. Give me a freakin’ break; having lived both worlds, believe me – perhaps if you hadn’t live there since the “mid-80’s” you’d have have a clue…wine and granite counter tops don’t “make the wo-man or man, whichever the case in your case mighte be”.

  35. Posted by noearch

    LOL. who the hell is this V character? he or she is suddenly popping up with totally wild commentary. Never seen before here on least under that moniker. And def seems to be on a major rant.
    How did you get “wine and granite countertops” out of my commentary? Seriously, I’d love to know.
    Nope, not a broker. But I do think, seriously, that real estate here is more sober and much less of a status symbol than in NY..
    It’s ok. You can breath out now.

  36. Posted by NoeValleyJim

    V doesn’t exactly seem down to earth and sober to me. Neither does Manhattan, come to think of it.
    Nebraska, that place is down to earth. Utah is exceedingly sober. No place on either coast is much of either. Perhaps Maine, I have never been there.

  37. Posted by El Bombero

    The 2007 bubbletopper buyers of 1420 douglass lost every cent they put down and got a credit ding (foreclosure) to boot, just as they were always meant to.
    A 26% decline for 1420 douglass is large, but not inconsistent with what is going on with values in that part of NV – and really NV overall. Some are down 10%, others 30% – depends when and what you bought – but they are all sucking wind, again as it was always meant to be.
    It’s hilarious to read the realtors’ comments today on this house (“overpaid”, “ugly little house”) and contrast them with the equally hilarious shill comments from the 2008 ss post, when 1420 douglass was for sale for $2.1m:
    “Or simply the fact that they know Noe Valley is hot right now and that their house will most likely sell quickly and with multiple offers [at $2.1m!!!], and they will make some money?”
    “You guys do so much speculating on this site, it’s amazing to the point of being funny. Without really knowing anything about the property. I happened to see this place when it was on the market 6 months ago – it’s actually very nice, and it looks even nicer this time around. I plan on going to the open house.”
    “Loved it – very nice house and wonderful yard. Honestly I don’t think it will be on the market for very long [at $2.1m!!]. There were a lot of people out looking today. Considering the weather I was really shocked.”
    And what do the realtors say today? “Overpaid”. “Ugly” – no “loved it” that’s for sure. “But look how strong the market is – $800+ a foot is amazing!”. And in 3 years’ time when the 2010 buyers lose their shirts as well, they’ll just say “overpaid” again and change the $ a foot figure to $600. Silly shill realtors.
    And anon.ed is definitely fluj. 100% certain.

  38. Posted by R

    “Perhaps Maine, I have never been there.”
    Sober? heck no.
    Down to earth? arguably.

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