171 Valley

Purchased for $1,100,000 in late 2008 as a 1,250 square foot 1900’s home, 171 Valley has returned to the market modernized, expanded, and boasting 3,220 square feet.

171 Valley Floor Plan

In addition to expanding and converting half the lower level to legal living space, and renovating the main level, the entire upper level is new as is the rear façade.

171 Valley Rear

UDPATE: By request, as the front façade looked before (and its current environs):

171 Valley Before

∙ Listing: 171 Valley (5/4.5) 3,220 sqft – $2,995,000 [171valley.com] [Floor Plans] [MLS]

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by eddy

    Was waiting for this to get posted. I thought you’re were out for the long weekend, which is well deserved I’m sure. Me, I like this place a lot. Curious to see what happens here. I was hoping the cropped out house would get a cameo! Quite a few colorful homes on that block.

  2. Posted by Alamo Square Dweller

    I love that the remodel/addition did not substantially change the front of the house and it still blends with the others at street level.

  3. Posted by EH

    I agree that the street view is nice, and i love the rear. I want to start calling these “mullet houses” for their “business in the front, party in the back” design.

  4. Posted by wrath

    Nice. But for that much money check out Pacheco in Forest Hill.

  5. Posted by Footie

    This is an incredible remodel but it seems over-built for the neighborhood (that street/area is a little shabby).

  6. Posted by EH

    Shabby? Maybe, but there’s a park, schools, groceries and restaurants withing a few blocks.
    What’s up with the bizarro addition hanging off the back of the purple place next door?

  7. Posted by Lori

    I love this place. Beautifully done. The website needs some work as it doesn’t load well and doesn’t size correctly … for 3 million bucks my site from a seller standpoint had better be perfect.

  8. Posted by bubblesurfer

    very long hold – over three years – looks like a neighbor problem went to the Board of Appeals – I agree nice work, but the hood is a tad ratty for this price point…..but it can definitely happen – one similar to this recently sold in the mid to high 2’s on Sanchez near 18th

  9. Posted by around1905

    It has all right ‘high-end modern’ checklist features, and I think that the upscale family who buys this home will be pleased with it, but it seems like the contractor just gathered random ideas from the last few years of AIA home tours and pieced them together to build this place. The architect was either absent, or underpaid….
    Unfortunately, unlike traditional details and floorplans that fit themselves together without much leeway for going wrong (and were routinely used without an architect’s help), modern details need skill and training to handle.

  10. Posted by Upper Noe

    That was no ordinary neighbor problem. That was the head of the Upper Noe Neighbors.

  11. Posted by Modernqueen

    Yes, the so called “neighbor problem” was indeed triggered by the head of the Upper Noe Neighbors.Their house, the ugly purple one, with the wood butcher front stair, is immediately to the left of this new remodel.
    She is known to fight every single project in the area, very arbitrary, and complains constantly about any changes to Noe.
    I’m very please the contractor was able to develop his property to its’ nice potential, despite the queen of Nimby’s protests.
    Nice project.

  12. Posted by NoeValleyJim

    I like this area and live nearby, but $3M is definitely pushing it.
    Maybe I need to start going to the Upper Noe Neighbors meetings.

  13. Posted by ryan

    @around1905 – As a developer who sometimes pieces together spec houses as you say this developer did, I can tell you that the style is quite a few levels beyond. The architect spec’d every detail. I was humbled when I walked through. Of course they spent a lot to make it look that way…
    Disclosure: The developer is a friend / colleague.

  14. Posted by around1905

    This house appears to be well built and I think that this house will appeal to a lot of people. The builder has clearly done a great job with his end of the project and the money shows. All that said, I think that the design is still weak. For example:
    1. Exterior rear. The arrangement of windows is random. The projecting bay, which becomes heavier at the bottom due to the siding, lacks visual support (just a long window underneath). The opening for the row of folding doors on the basement level doesn’t relate to the house above. The folding doors themselves are not protected when open (tops can get rained on).
    2. Doorways could have been aligned with windows, and with hallways, windows with the stairs, etc.. — standard architect stuff, but instead things are jogged around here and there. A nice exception is the view through the front door out the back.
    3. The kitchen is more show than function; the only sink, on the island, is cut off from the stove and the fridge and a drying rack, when inevitably stuck next to it, will look junky but there is no other place to put it.
    There is more….. but I am starting to feel terrible since the builder spent a lot of money on this place, and its probably well-built, and he deserves to come out well….

  15. Posted by sparky-b

    around1905,
    So because you think there are architectural missteps, that must mean that the achitect was “either absent or underpaid.” Couldn’t it be that you just don’t agree with the architects choices?
    There are no bad architects only cheap builders, is that what you are saying? (Not speaking directly about this property myself, I haven’t even looked at the pictures let alone gone to see it)

  16. Posted by EBGuy

    $2.2 million

  17. Posted by LikeOne

    This is a nice house with high-end features. Does anyone know the name of the architect and contractor. I would also like to know if they used a nano wall system (folding glass wall) and fleetwood aluminum windows. Also, does anyone know who makes the kitchen cabinets? I would like to incorporate some of these elements the house I am planning to have designed and built. Thanks.

  18. Posted by anonarch

    The roof construction is well detailed, especially considering all of the skylights and solar panels. Even the flashing is of good quality. Beautiful home. Well done!

  19. Posted by sparky-b

    LikeOne,
    Those look like Nana doors. The windows are probably Bonelli. Don’t know any of the other questions.

  20. Posted by Mark F.

    Very nice job, but $3 million is pushing it.

  21. Posted by JerryJ

    Only sink is in the kitchen island. Lot of money for a tiny kitchen that is not user friendly. Front “living room” and front “bedroom” both look tiny.

  22. Posted by Wheresnoearch

    How is noearch not commenting on this thread? Come back buddy!! This is your wheelhouse

  23. Posted by huh

    Only bathroom on main level is in the tiny bedroom? My kitchen in my 1 bedroom is larger – how is this kitchen going to support a 5 bedroom house? The powder room on the garden level is a waste as a real bathroom is right next to this. Should have spent that money and space on a wet bar or kitchen. Maybe even a real kitchen as the one on the main level is very small. Master bedroom barely has any closet space to support someone who has the money to spend on this house.

  24. Posted by Mark F.

    Kitchen seems intended for people who don’t cook much, like Google people who mostly eat at work. 🙂

  25. Posted by R

    Apparently no money in the budget to paint the front, all they could afford was primer.

  26. Posted by Another Architect

    I agree with around 1905, it’s a hodgepodge of design details. And I agree with the others as well, the floor plan (configuration and proportions) is lacking. I can’t see this house at that price for a variety of reasons. The buyer pool is very limited for this one, in my opinion.

  27. Posted by around1905

    So…. if there was an architect or designer, I’m curious about why they aren’t featured in the on-line marketing material for this house. Other high-end-top-to-bottom reno’d places like this one also often seem to omit open mention of the architect. Are these people worried about liability?
    I have to stick up for the monochromatic exterior paint job — its a great way of calming down the facade without stripping all that stick-Victorian trim from the building. Its a nice way to make the place look simultaneously modern and yet true to the classical origins of this kind of trimwork.
    Also, the way-set-back second floor addition with the hidden deck, used in nearly the same way at the 18th and Sanchez place, is a wonderful way to preserve the facade and at the same time create enough interior space to justify all the money being spent.
    At the same time, I think that the ultimate problem here is that the developer has crammed too many bedrooms and bathrooms into this place. A smaller number of larger rooms, better aligned, would have made a nicer house. This could still be done by the new owners, as I would guess this place is framed with a lot of steel so that most of the interior walls are probably discretionary.

  28. Posted by sparky-b

    There is always an architect on anything with an addition. It will be stamped on the plans and in the DBI file.
    I think the front of the house could be one large living room instead of 2 small roooms, and you could free up some space for the kitchen as well. I also think it is a miss to have the 2 kids beds have a deck and the master not to get a deck. But somebody will like this place, I think it goes for $2.7M

  29. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    “I would guess this place is framed with a lot of steel so that most of the interior walls are probably discretionary.”
    I think your guess is correct. None of the interior walls align with the adjacent floor(s).
    I don’t mind the small bedrooms. Most people spend few of their waking hours there anyways.
    In general I like this house though the location isn’t in line with the size, workmanship, and price.

  30. Posted by sparky-b

    I finally looked at a map, wrong side of Church, I was thinking the 100block was west of Church. My estimate is too high. I wonder how much that 1 block will cost them?

  31. Posted by inmycountry

    Per DBI website, the architects are DUMICAN MOSEY ARCHITECTS

  32. Posted by Mark F.

    I predict a sale at $2.45 M

  33. Posted by ryan

    The sales agent probably runs the show as far as the online marketing. Cal-CADE Construction is the builder.

  34. Posted by ryan

    Sorry, mistyped.. “Listing Agent”, not sales agent.

  35. Posted by Jim

    from above: “Apparently no money in the budget to paint the front, all they could afford was primer.”
    I think not. I presume the architect and the developer had the good taste to paint it as it would have been originally – a solid white, or sometimes light gray – as Victorians were painted prior to the 1960s when the oh so tired riotous painting of every gingerbread gee gaw came in.

  36. Posted by R

    What? Victorians were not originally painted white or gray. Generally multi-colored earth tones where yes, the ‘gingerbread gee gaw’ would have been painted a different color.

  37. Posted by Mark F.

    Toured this today. I like it, it’s very nice, but it’s pretty hard to justify 3 million for a very modest sized house in a good, but not great, area.

  38. Posted by BobN

    I’m flummoxed by the complaints about the architecture. Give a center front door, I can’t imagine what else could have been done. Sure, the two front rooms are small, but the alternative — a long room with center entrance — or a long bedroom on the 2nd floor — would be … weird and a huge waste of space. The small living room is perfect for a quite library or formal sitting/greeting area. Nobody lives formally anymore, so there’s little need for a “parlor” to entertain your boss or the local parish priest.
    As for the window/door alignment from the outside, this house seems built for the inhabitants, not the backyard viewers. I found the windows great, lots of light, lots of wall space for art, and very, very little wasted space in hallways, etc. (except for around the powder-room pod).

  39. Posted by sf builder

    Wow, that is ugly. Very sad that the old building was sacrificed for this monstrosity.
    And @R, sorry but you’re wrong. Victorians were generally painted white, and the thin double hung windows were a dark color. About the only thing that rings true is that they painted the facade white in true Victorian tradition.
    Lucky to get anything over $2 million. I don’t think there will be a line of people for this one….

  40. Posted by Modernqueen

    I think we will look back on these very unfortunate remodels where tons of money was thrown at the project without real regard for how one lives, or how a “family” lives.
    This kind of architecture represents, IMO, the worst of modern design, with little regard for function or layout, or even appropriateness for the neighborhood and future occupants. This was built merely on spec and greed. It shows.
    Example: you must walk thru the the entire main level to the rear to get to the stair leading up to the bedrooms. Flawed. A centrally located switch-back stair is a much better solution.
    Example 2: The wide open rear expanse at the lower level media room, using the Nana door system, implies a Southern California style of living and warm climate. This is neither our climate nor how we live in SF. Again, inappropriate and all for show. Glam.
    Fail.

  41. Posted by Mark F.

    One can always nitpick any design, but I disagree that this is a FAIL. I love the indoor/outdoor aspects of the design, even if it is often too cold here to take advantage of them.
    $2.95 M still seems too expensive for this place, however.

  42. Posted by sparky-b

    I agree with you Mark, it’s not a fail. I have put in 3 Nana or comparable doors for clients recently and they are all happy with them, plus early in this thread someone was asking about them for their personal remodel. The weather in San Francisco is great by the way and you don’t have bugs. You can use these all the time.
    A more centrally located stair would be nice. Not so much because of the front door, but for when you come through the garage with groceries it will be annoying to go get to the lower stairs.

  43. Posted by NoeValleyJim

    This house reminds me a bit of the one here at 313 Duncan:
    http://socketsite.com/archives/2009/10/while_a_bird_tweets_the_shark_sings.html
    And that one started out at $2.85M before dropping a few times and selling for $2.4M. As sparky-b notes, this one is on the “wrong” side of Church, so will probably go for a bit less. Say $2.3M.
    I personally like the doors, in sunny Noe and with the protection from the wind that recessed space affords, it will be usable most of the year. The new owner will probably want heat lamps though.

  44. Posted by Mark F.

    I’d be quite delighted with this place with a lower price and a few minor changes. Heat lamps and a hot tub in the back would be essential.
    The location is actually pretty decent, if not prime. Good weather, and away from the worst parts of the Mission. A number of restaurants are in walking distance, as well as Safeway and Mitchell’s Ice Cream. The J line is very close, and you are just a quick cab ride away from much of the city if you don’t wish to drive.

  45. Posted by BobN

    switch-back stairs vs. wide, open feeling
    winner: wide, open feeling
    When the Nana walls are closed, as they will be for much of the year, you get a wall of light and a view onto the garden. On those few days when it’s really warm outside, you get indoor-outdoor living.
    I fail to see a problem with that.

  46. Posted by Modernqueen

    What you don’t seem to understand BobN is that switch-back stairs, as I mentioned, have to do with function, not “wide open plan”. Typically, a well designed house would utilize a stairway in the central area of the house, concentrating the circulation in a more accessible, central location.
    And a switch back stair still could be wonderfully, lit, open steel rails, etc, and a skylite at the top allowing natural light to flood the interior. The kitchen is essentially windowless now. A central stair, where the bath is now would bring in natural light to the kitchen.
    The Nana doors, certainly do let tons of light in. I feel they are simply designed for a much more benign climate such as in Southern Ca, or Palm Springs or Hawaii. Sliding glass doors would serve the purpose better here.

  47. Posted by Simca

    Saw this yesterday, and had to scratch my head. The bedrooms are very small, including the “master.” In fact, I am fairly certain they have a double bed in the master. Put a Cal King in that puppy and you won’t be able to walk around the bed. Also, the built-ins in the master look like they came straight from Ikea. (I use the same Ikeas in my garage for storage.) Privacy also will be a huge issue with this house. All the south-facing windows and decks are great-looking but there are about 25 neighbors in the back with primo views into your house and life. Some of the finishes are gorgeous but the design basics do not seem well considered.

  48. Posted by Eddy

    Is mq an architect?

  49. Posted by sfrenegade

    I was trying to figure out if Modernqueen was noearch at some point, since noearch seems to have disappeared for the most part.

  50. Posted by [anon.ed]

    Of course they are one and the same. Look at the topics weighed in on/things said/wording/attitude. And I for one respect MQ’s right to pick a new name, even if he’s a stark hypocrite about same.

  51. Posted by EBGuy

    I still have this fantasy that MQ is working on on sparky-b’s latest project. And BTW sparky-b, I’m glad to hear you guys don’t have bugs over there (perhaps that explains the home price premiums). I just put in some screens last week in the East Bay and can now ventilate my home without being invaded. And they were the right size (which, as you know, its no small feat for a layman to measure correctly!)

  52. Posted by sparky-b

    Congratulation, and you didn’t have to pay any overpriced contractor to do it for you.
    I was thinking MQ was noearch too. I like the new name. I am still waiting for his call to work together, we haven’t work together yet. He doesn’t even call me for to bid on anything. I think he holds my anon.ed association against me.

  53. Posted by notMQ

    How would one get in touch with you s-b if they did want to contact you for a bid.

  54. Posted by sparky-b

    I am not anonymous on here. If you want me email I will happily give it to you.

  55. Posted by eddy

    In Escrow. That was fast.

  56. Posted by potratter

    All cash, over asking, multiple offers. Insane.

  57. Posted by NoeValleyJim

    Wow.

  58. Posted by Eddy

    -firm. Think mix, not median

  59. Posted by eddy

    MLS shows this as sold for $3 dollars. The bears finally have their day!

  60. Posted by 94114

    $3,010,000. They’ve corrected it.

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