CFAH

111 Liberty Living
As we first wrote about 111 Liberty in March:

Purchased as a 2,350 square foot two-unit building for $1,335,000 in September 2010 with permits in place to add a new ground and third floor and expand a bit in-between, 111 Liberty Street has quietly (so far) returned as a 4,700 square foot Liberty Hill home.

With high ceilings and contemporary finishes throughout, and a legal one-bedroom below (click floor plan above to enlarge), 111 Liberty is soon to be listed seeking $4,995,000.

Having been reduced to $4,495,000 last month, the sale of 111 Liberty closed escrow with a bang on the day before Independence Day and a reported contract price of $4,750,000, just over $1,000 per listed square foot (click floor plans to enlarge).

We Give You (111) Liberty [SocketSite]

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by eddy

    Nothing short of an amazing outcome. And “over asking” too 😉 But seriously, there seems to be no stopping the flow of cash into these top end homes. These buyers are certainly paying a huge premium for “new construction” and I fear that these homes will have trouble commanding these premiums when they inevitably come up for resale. Nevertheless, some of these homes, even at a 20% discount would still be eye popping prices.
    I’m reminded of 2542 Fillmore that sold for a huge price in 2008 and then resold just a few years later (2010) for -20% or something like that; and the bears were rejoicing at the Fallen Apple; when in fact the sale was a sign of strength/resilience at the top end shaded by the 2008 peak peak pricing. Let’s remember that when these homes resale for less in a few years. 🙂 FWIW, I think that 2542 would sell north of its 2010 price right now.

  2. Posted by bernalkid

    Just my opinion, but seems like an insane price.
    Those cowhide rugs are kind of gauche, too.

  3. Posted by Boris

    Who are the buyers of all these over-asking all-cash no-contingency sales? Newly minted internet millionaires is my guess. Facebook, Twitter, Zynga, Yelp, etc…

  4. Posted by someone

    I agree with Eddy here on the pricing. I’m not a fan of the location unless you are young and single or empty nesters and if so, why do you need such a big house, especially the kind with relatively tiny entertainment space and plenty of stairs and narrowish rooms?
    The thing that makes me most confused is why did anyone felt compelled to over bid? It was on the market for 3 months, so no serious offers at previous asking, you drop it and now there is bidding wars?
    Clearly someone new (l rich) could’ve come just after the drop thinking they “must have” it, but really?

  5. Posted by Big V

    @someone really? That is one of the best locations in the city! close to dolores park, valencia, etc. warm and sunny, just up enough to avoid some of the troubles of the flat lands, and low enough to be easy to bike too/from.
    If money were no objective, I, and many others, would live on liberty hill in a heartbeat.

  6. Posted by lol

    Two other big attractions of this specific block:
    1 – It’s quiet thanks to the Guerrero divider (funny we were talking about that just 2 days ago). It’s a curse that became a huge blessing as it simply blocks cross-traffic
    2 – If you need to go TO the 280, simply take Guerrero. Then if you come FROM the 280, take Dolores. It’s extremely convenient yet not very well known.
    A hidden gem of a block.
    “Pour vivre heureux vivons cachés”

  7. Posted by REpornaddict

    After re-reading the original post, it seems, to paraphrase recent thread,
    “The Price was right, the readers too bearish”.
    Although it seems not as disasterous as the readers being too bullish, under Price is Right rules…
    No one seemed to think it would go for this price, and many though much, much, less.
    INteresting.

  8. Posted by steve

    how much per month did the 2010 buyer send to money heaven?
    oh, it sold for what? nevermind…

  9. Posted by grumpy

    Looks like they made a good profit

  10. Posted by soccermom

    Great work by the developer. Nicely done.

  11. Posted by someone

    BigV, I live in the general area for 15 years and know first hand the advantages, just saying it’s not a great location for a family with young kids. That general area of liberty hill has a bunch of really amazing historic properties, often on double lots. This one is a converted 2u on a slightly larger lot with an OK-ish size family room and a tiny living room. Love the master suite, but that’s not a reason to drop nearly $5M
    You can get incredible homes in Presidio or pac hts for that kind of money.

  12. Posted by conifer

    For anyone who has lived in SF for a few decades, it is hard to understand this price in this neighborhood. But rich people choosing to spend money in what used to be rough neighborhoods is happening elsewhere too.
    Look at the 9e arrondissement in Paris, for example. Look at so-called Fitzrovia in London.
    We have a friend well into middle age, whose family has lived in NY for centuries; there is a street named after them. He lives not on the Upper East Side, where his parents and grandparents and great grandparents did, but downtown.
    However, almost $5m is extreme for what this is, no matter the city. I agree with eddy that this will sell at a loss some day.

  13. Posted by curmudgeon

    I agree with Conifer and Eddy. According to Redfin, there has only been two sales north of $4 million in the general hood in the last three years. One was the firehouse on 22nd at just over $4 M, and one was the converted church on Dolores (although it was bought to be converted into a school) at $6 M. (The house on Cumberland and Church is pending and is sure to go in this range as well). I really cannot comprehend this price for this house at this location, nice as it is. Stupid money is my only explanation. But congrats to the developer, they pulled it off.

  14. Posted by Big V

    @someone
    “You can get incredible homes in Presidio or pac hts for that kind of money. ”
    yah, but then you are living in the presidio or pac heights, neither of which are very fun places to live. “suburban safe” maybe, but boring.

  15. Posted by mcarter

    plenty of $4mm+ houses in this area, they just don’t come up for sale that often

  16. Posted by curmudgeon

    Mcarter…define “plenty”, and how you reach that conclusion if they don’t come up for sale that often. Three years is a long time, and two or three sales (out of 500 or so single-family home sales) is pretty insignificant, by a long shot.

  17. Posted by mcarter

    plenty means an abundance of them…??? take a look at 159 Liberty and 1070 Delores, both within a 1 block radius. “plenty” more up the hill.

  18. Posted by NoeNeighbor

    I am surprised that anyone would complain about the location — particular for families. That is a very nice block; Dolores Park is nearby; a number of excellent private schools are nearby. Valencia Street (and its restaurants) is an easy walk, but none of the troubles of the Mission are going to reach your doorstep. Plus there is excellent access to the freeway and many parts of the City. I don’t know whether I would pay $4.75 MM for the house, but the Liberty-Hill area is clearly a positive not a negative.

  19. Posted by steve

    ever hear of 2 buyers?…..man you guys are savvy lol!!!!!!

  20. Posted by someone

    159 Liberty *is* a $5M building, I saw it before the current owner bought it and it had amazing bones on a double lot, surely the person who bought it made it spectacular.
    Around the corner on Dolores street there is another double lot that was renovated by a CEO of a big tech company that was acquired and he left, and that’s also +$4M house.
    The Church/20th street house that just sold, not officially closed is certainly a $5M house.
    111 liberty is not, that simple.

  21. Posted by lol

    NoeNeighbor is correct. This area is great for families especially since the playground in Dolores Park was added. In this house you’re a 2 minute stroll from there.

  22. Posted by curmudgeon

    People keep talking about 159 Liberty, but it doesn’t show up on redfin or in a google search as a recent sale…the most recent reference is 1.75 million sale in 2002. I’m assuming the assertion that it is a $5 million house is based on the presumed value? And the same is true for 1070-72 Dolores? I’m not discounting that there are some beautiful homes in the neighborhood, and call me old fashioned, but I want to see comps. Until then…111 is an outlier.

  23. Posted by someone

    Curmudgeon, 740 church will give you a comp shortly. As much as I’m bearish on 111 Liberty, to say the area doesn’t support $5M that’s not true. This area and some parts of buena vista park are the only areas that support this price range in dist 5. The 2 homes on Duncan street were outliers. There were also couple of sales on the Sanchez/21st corner in this price range.
    Going back to 159 Liberty, you can look up the owner and understand why I think it was finished to be worth as much. I saw it in 2002 and It had the grandest staircase, ever seen south of market street.

  24. Posted by BobN

    In this house you’re a 2 minute stroll from there.

  25. Posted by curmudgeon

    For the record, I’m one of the biggest cheerleaders for 740 Church. when I look at the pics of 111 Liberty (never saw it in person) I just can’t put it in the same category. I’m not saying $5 million is impossible, just exceedingly rare and (should) need to be a lot more special than this property.

  26. Posted by mcarter

    curmudgeon – i saw it in person and agree with you. 111 ain’t got no soul

  27. Posted by Chris McMahon

    This is Chris McMahon, the architect of the remodel of 111 Liberty St.
    Thanks to all those who had (mostly) nice things to say. I am also amazed at the prices that houses are selling for in San Francisco. It was a very complex and difficult project to design, even though it sits on a extra wide lot.
    Now, The SF Planning Dept. has added more restrictions on design. The garage as built would now have to be set back to the facade of the house. So effectively, it increases construction costs even more. We wonder why high quality housing is so expensive. Lets all celebrate that $53,000 in property taxes will be added to the City’s treasury each year.

  28. Posted by curmudgeon

    ^ Chris, I hope you got a percentage of the sales price. 🙂 Congrats.

  29. Posted by futurist

    As another fellow architect, I applaud Chris for the outstanding design of this home. Very nice and well done. Classic, elegant, beautifully detailed.
    And yes, I would like to see legislation where the Architect of record for a renovation does, in fact, get a percentage of the sales price when a project sells.
    Why should realtors benefit completely, just for selling the project and handling the paperwork. That’s pretty much all they do.
    The architect’s talent on a quality re-design should be rewarded with the increase in sales price.

  30. Posted by steve

    >I would like to see legislation where the Architect of record for a renovation does, in fact, get a percentage of the sales price when a project sells
    seriously? legistlation? there are many, many areas appropriate for government regulation, but this is not one them. if an architect wants a cut, he should negotiate that up front. simple, problem solved.

  31. Posted by apropos

    ^ I have to agree with steve above. And I’m an Architect! I appreciate the admiration expressed by futurist, but when we Architect’s are done with projects, we are done. If anyone wants a stake in a project as such, they should be bank rolling some part of the project. No legislation, please, just free markets. They are the true path to prosperity!

  32. Posted by lol

    Well, some architects see themselves as artists. It makes sense for them to feel they “own” some of what they conceive. But in the end, their fee is already mostly proportional to the value of the work and therefore also partly proportional to the value of the property. Case closed.

  33. Posted by Educated Guesser

    The bottom line is these sales happen supported by metrics cherry picked from northern neighborhoods where many of these buyers and their agents are accustomed to working and living… as the demand washes south with the tech wave, and Noe/Mission becomes more desirable due to access to work and play, those metrics get applied in markets that have never seen anything like them previously… when you are conditioned to thinking that 1100-1200.00 per sqft is where you are for renovations along these lines, then 1,000.00 a sqft seems totally “reasonable”… even though similar high end renovations from this neighborhood actually trade at 700-900.00 per sqft… that’s why any sort of value based on local data winds up in the 3.5M range while the property closes at 4.750M… its the Golden Age for property development in SF while it lasts!

  34. Posted by Fishchum

    “those metrics get applied in markets that have never seen anything like them previously”
    Uh, no they don’t. No agent would be able to justify prices in the Mission/Noe area using comps from Pacific Heights/Russian Hill. They’re two completely separate areas.

  35. Posted by Educated Guesser

    “Uh, no they don’t. No agent would be able to justify prices in the Mission/Noe area using comps from Pacific Heights/Russian Hill. They’re two completely separate areas.”
    Indeed, they are… but demand overflow from one neighborhood or market segment to another is almost always the reason for huge spikes in prices… when you see properties like this one go into contract prior to being finished, fall out, go back into contract, fall out again, sit around for months and then have two offers over asking you have a pretty good idea that you’ve got demand sloshing from one segment to another…

  36. Posted by Fishchum

    Overflow and demand from one neighborhood spilling into another is one thing. Using comps from one part of town to justify prices in a totally different neighborhood is another.

  37. Posted by Educated Guesser

    “Overflow and demand from one neighborhood spilling into another is one thing. Using comps from one part of town to justify prices in a totally different neighborhood is another.”
    Whew, I’m relieved to know that it doesn’t happen… otherwise we’d be seeing some REALLY crazy prices 😉

  38. Posted by dave

    i feel like i should get a fee. i live across the street, and both my wife and i work at home. it was a living hell for a *very* long time.
    and this after another garage got sledge hammered out of bedrock a couple houses up a few years ago. it’s been non-stop construction.

  39. Posted by sparky-b

    At first I didn’t know what the fee was you were referring to so I read the older posts above. Futurist take that the architect should get a legislated percentage of the sale is hilarious.

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