CFAH

19 Alta Living
19 Alta is a contemporary home within a historic Telegraph Hill district (“Exterior modifications require approval from Telegraph Hill Dwellers Association”). Built in 1988, remodeled a bit in 2003 (having been purchased for $1,990,000 in 2002), and back on the market today asking $2,550,000.
∙ Listing: 19 Alta (3/2.5) 2,041 sqft – $2,550,000 [MLS]

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by SeriusBuyer

    Saw it yesterday. Small claustrophobic rooms, puny dining room and kitchen, and next to a fixer that looks like it was halfway through something and then forgotten about. Exterior is unfortunate. It is a great location given the view and “hip” factor next to that part of Montgomery but the remodel is disappointing.

  2. Posted by SanJoseRenter

    SS: I’d appreciate if you used “house” or “condo”, not the BS NAR term “home”.
    I had to click through to the listing to find out what it is.

  3. Posted by Interested Neighbor

    I attended the same Open House and would like to share my perspective. It is not a large house but it is by no means “claustrophobic” with either or both stunning North Bay & Southerly City Skyline Views from all rooms except for the powder room. I wish my Master Suite was as spacious and bright with such heavenly vistas and a fireplace to boot. In my opinion,the commentor is either very spoiled and has led a “pampered life”, is rich and lives in a large home or just perhaps is interested in purchasing this property and is making an attempt at devaluing it for personal gain. Or, maybe just very difficult to please. Other Readers, I invite you to judge for yourselves. Visit http://www.SFEstates.com or http://www.19Alta.com and weigh in.

  4. Posted by Muddy

    Okay, “Interested Neighbor”, I visited 19Alta.com, so here goes (opinions based only on the web site):
    The dining room looks like it’s in a passageway, and several of the rooms look tight. The vanity in one of the bathrooms sticks out over the window ledge, which makes the room look crowded.
    Only the living room and master bedroom look spacious enough to relax. And the exterior is very unfortunate.
    These would be forgivable in a (much) less expensive house.

  5. Posted by Interested Neighbor

    “Muddy”, To each her or his own. There is a larger home available two blocks away, closer to Broadway, down the hill. It was recently reduced to $11,000,000. Perhaps you and the reader with claustrophobia could join forces, so to speak and go in on it. Have a good evening.

  6. Posted by sfrenegade

    I’m with Muddy and SeriusBuyer on this one when responding to Interest Neighborthe realtor. The house doesn’t feel like it’s over 2000 sqft from the pictures, and in fact feels smaller than smaller 3/2.5’s I’ve lived in. As Serius mentioned, it doesn’t have any curb appeal. I expect more for $2.55M than the design here. For example, why is there a door to the outside next to a toilet?
    The ’03 “remodel” doesn’t appear to be particularly substantial. They added 6×15 in the sideyard and lightly remodeled the kitchen with a $20K permit. If there was more work than that done by the current seller, it was unpermitted.
    There is a cancelled permit for $60K from the previous owner in 2000 where it says enclose deck on 1st floor, add deck on 2nd floor. Was that work cancelled or done?
    I tend to think views are overrated, but they are nice enough here, even if not the views that get the highest premiums in SF. Maybe the right buyer will like the views and take a bite. Inflation from the 2002 price would be $2.42M.
    One of the owners is apparently a historian of Telegraph Hill, and it appears the owners were shareholders in KMV, which was sold to Moody’s several months before they purchased this place.

  7. Posted by tipster

    I always try to assign an “Expected disappointment index” to the listing photos based on signs of photoshop stretching to make smaller rooms look larger.
    You don’t have to go very far to see that here. Look at the group of 4 upper windows in the photo above. The room doesn’t look very large, and yet even that small living room is going to be smaller than that when you see it in person.
    How can you tell? Simple, those 4 windows are likely the same size in real life, and they will all be the size of the smallest one. You can see them getting progressively larger as you move right to left. Now your eye accepts that because if you were viewing the windows from a very steep angle, a bit of that would occur. However, here, the angle isn’t that steep and what is occurring is much greater than would ever occur naturally no matter how steep the angle. The larger windows underneath them have the same effect. When you go to the web site, the view of the windows from the outside shows them to be identically sized, as one would have expected even without the outside view.
    So my expected disappointment index tells me not to bother showing up. If they stretched that one, they probably stretched them all. It’s not going to look like anything I’d want, which is why they stretched the photos in the first place.
    Kudos to the realtor for tipping me off that the place is so small, the photos need to be distorted. Otherwise, you might actually bother showing up.

  8. Posted by GetOffTheIvy

    Pricing is ambitious, The 2002/3 remodel looks like it was planned in 96. I don’t know what an “unfortunate” exterior is but I will say it is plain. And based on some comments here I am not sure about the neighborhood.

  9. Posted by nanon

    Serious Buyer sounds much less like someone “interested in purchasing this property and is making an attempt at devaluing it for personal gain” than Interested Neighbor sounds like a realtor or seller trying to pump up interest in the place. Can you send some marketing materials along?
    Seriously, who talks like this: “I wish my Master Suite was as spacious and bright with such heavenly vistas and a fireplace to boot”

  10. Posted by sfrenegade

    “The 2002/3 remodel looks like it was planned in 96.”
    As I mentioned, the 2003 remodel was fairly minimal and mostly limited to the kitchen. According to the permits, the rest of the house was remodeled in the mid-90s, so it’s no surprise you think it looks like 1996.

  11. Posted by consumer

    I wonder what the verdict would have been here had the Realtor not tried to anonymously promote the place. I think it looks pretty nice (just based on the pics, I haven’t seen it in person). While the dining room is a joke and some of the rooms look narrow, the views are good enough to make up for it in my mind.
    Too bad there isn’t a huge roof deck…I guess the Dwellers Association would probably fight adding one.

  12. Posted by Pica1986

    I’m a little confused by the first master bath photo. Are the toilet & bidet encased in glass? And is that another toilet under the dressing station or is it just an odd shaped hamper?

  13. Posted by Kurt Brown

    Re room sizes: Can we agree that room sizes just might be a personal preference, like paint color and other design elements? Some people directly correlate price with room size. Others like big spaces or more cozy spaces, independent of price. For me, personally, the room sizes here are fine (except I’d ditch the “dining area” which seems unfortunately shoehorned into an inappropriate space). On SS, it seems that when your price hits $1000/sqft, everyone expects cavernous Hollywood-Mogul-sized rooms, with wall tapestries, candelabras, and gold-trimmed antique grand piano.
    Re the value of views: Also, very personal, no? I’ve lived with views and not in SF, and they have their advantages and disadvantages. Some will pay dearly for them, others won’t.
    Re the exterior: It’s very 1990, but I think some creative paint colors could bring it closer to the current century.
    But I agree that the price seems very, er… “aspirational”
    PS Don’t know about you folks, but when I’m an “Interested Neighbor”, I always make sure to include the property URL and invite people to visit it, and its… heavenly vistas.”
    * snort *
    Gosh I love Interwebz Noobs.

  14. Posted by jlasf

    I looked at this house when it was last on the market. It’s not big, but the location is very cool. There are great views out of both the front and rear windows. The lack of a dining room is a problem. But it’s not a family house; it’s a bachelor pad.
    The stopping point for me was the land across the street. It’s the site of the house that slid down the hill many years ago. And it’s still a buildable site. In fact, there were plans for a house. While it might be very expensive to build there, it’s not impossible.
    And then the million-dollar views in the front would be gone.

  15. Posted by Kathleen

    When the Italians showed up to kill off the the indians and steal their land, they camped here first. [irony for the deaf]
    Telegraph Hill is the 1st neighborhood in SF because it is the best neighborhood, for air, protection from fog, access to the bay.
    If you don’t understand the hill, you don’t understand the pricing.
    Buildings round here are small square footage and
    room size wise, nestled up to the neighbors, often with party walls. Sometimes no streets – so no parking, and it is the best real estate on the planet.
    If you want a $ per Ft McMansion, there are screaming deals in Redwood City. I would trade a kidney for the chance to live in this neighborhood. Kidney, anyone? Anyone at all?

  16. Posted by Fishchum

    I love it when real estate agents come onto this site and deride critics who “just don’t understand”.

  17. Posted by sparky-b

    Kathleen,
    What are the screaming deals in Redwood City?

  18. Posted by sfrenegade

    “Kathleen,
    What are the screaming deals in Redwood City?”
    Ditto that request.

  19. Posted by sparky-b

    Hands off my screamin’ deals, dude. My kids want a pool!

  20. Posted by SocketSite

    The sale of 19 Alta closed escrow on Friday with a reported contract price of Sold Price of $2,375,000 (7 percent under asking).

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