CFAH

21 Fountain

Taken down to the studs, expanded and re-built in 2010, with open rooms and modern finishes behind a Craftsman façade, the four-bedroom Noe Valley home at 21 Fountain Street sold for $2.78 million that November.

21 Fountain Living

All three levels of the home now feature walls of sliding glass doors, with decks overlooking the city and across the bay.

21 Fountain View

And with 3,100 square feet per its listing the first time around, 21 Fountain has just returned to the market listed for $3.5 million today.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by noemom

    I think this use to be 2 units. It was a red building too, in its other life, but I am pretty sure it was 2 units, but I am willing to be corrected.

  2. Posted by Adam

    Ok, admit it- you have just been using pictures of the same interior for all of these posts for the last several months! No way all of these properties look so identically bland and interchangeable!

    Surely not.

    • Posted by James C

      The photos don’t look bad, but that style of architecture lacks the detail that makes it stand out.

      I’m sure when they are finished remodeling Pincus’ Pac Heights home it will look much the same but cost 3X.

      • Posted by Serge

        That’s what I’m sad about. Pincus’ house is going to be gutted and replaced with something cookie-cutter like this.

    • Posted by mercury613

      I live in the neighborhood and have seen a lot of open houses in the area. Many of them are being bought by developers who gut them and use the same generic, cookie-cutter design inside. Your eyes don’t deceive you.

  3. Posted by Real Person

    @noemom I don’t think they’d get a permit to combine two units. The city is quite strict about this.

  4. Posted by Conifer

    So are you implying that the owners did the crime of “dwelling unit merger”?
    What can the city do about it? Can they force them to put it back?

    • Posted by noemom

      No, I just asked a question. I thought I remembered 2 units on that street for sale in a building that looked like this several years ago. The City can’t do anything about it, because people do it all the time on the sly. If you try to do it legally, the staff never allows it (meaning unit merger) and it is a Mandatory DR hearing. It is one of the few things that the Planning Commission does not approve, because they believe by preventing unit merger they are preserving affordable housing! But it can slip by the Building Department quite readily. It is like all those remodels that are really demos. It is just done a piece here and another piece there. My problem with it is the fees that the City is loosing, (never mind the issue of fairness), but I guess enforcement isn’t worth the money and it is really hard to prove because it can be done so easily in a sneaky manner. Sorry for the rant.

      • Posted by Conifer

        There is a great High Victorian house on California street that was on the market about ten years ago that was immediately changed to a single family after sale. The brokers openly stated that it was originally and easily a large house for a family or couple. Because of its grandeur, the choppers had respected its architectural integrity. Removing appliances and some locks and other cosmetic changes were all done legally. No one will ever rent a part of it as an apartment. It still has two kitchens, and an unrented in-law, but so do many of the large houses in PacHts.

  5. Posted by MDG399

    It was easy

  6. Posted by eddy

    They made a lot of smart design / build decisions. Starting to really appreciate the thought behind some of these remodels rather than the quick home depot flips. Nice iron work on the staircases, good use of space; decent trade offs on open space, maximized the yard given the slope conditions. Only complaint is the lack of detail around the fireplace and the opening size above the main fireplace is way too small for what most people would want in there. Almost would have been better off without the fireplace. Also like the site they used. Good luck to all.

  7. Posted by brid

    The adjacent house, similar size – maybe a couple hundred sq ft larger – was listed in the mid/hi-3’s and closed at 5.15M less than two months ago. It too was effectively a rebuild but sneaked thru as a remodel in the usual manner.

    Today’s list versus the purchase price exactly three years ago represents an increase of 25% in that period, with nothing done to it. That in itself seems a decent gain but I have to believe when they saw the new building next door – an essentially identical build – go for 5.15 it probably nudged them towards a “let’s make hay while the sun shines” decision.

    NoeMum: pretty certain this was always a single residence. I’m a near neighbor and knew the “old” owner on a casual basis – never went in to the house but I think I would have been aware of a second unit. Could be wrong though…

    • Posted by brid

      Just took a closer look at the #’s.
      15 Fountain (on left in photo): listed $3,998,000; just closed 5.15M; 3,889 sq ft
      21 Fountain: now listed 3.5M; 3,124 sq ft.
      On an even $/sq ft basis 21F might be expected to close around 4.1M. Given recent sales of similar houses in Noe I feel that’s attainable – personally feel it’s a nicer house than its larger neighbor.

  8. Posted by Anon

    “Sneaked through” = unfair terminology. Going to the maximum of what is “remodel” is simply dealing with the existing nomenclature. Everything inspected, at every stage, etc. so let’s dispense with the incorrect snark.

  9. Posted by Techie Tweaker

    Pretty soon I may have the last original, unremodeled interior in San Francisco. Why do all of you techie lemmings like this bland, white, Walnut Creek condo look. Uck. Poor Edwardian interiors.

    • Posted by ess

      To the degree that buyers “like” it, it probably has more to do with it being most of what’s available as developers insert themselves as interim purchasers making changes in between occupancies by real buyers.

    • Posted by noodle

      You blame techies. Well, I’m a techie, and I lost out on 15 Fountain the first time around to a developer. Some of the things I most liked about the plans included with the house were details like a porch, a vestibule with pocket doors, and separate living and dining rooms. The developer threw out all those details and reconfigured a number of aspects of the project.

      There’s an all cash purchase and renovation being done down the street by me by another hated techie who is restoring an Victorian, putting BACK in rooms that had been opened and painted white. These types of projects don’t end up on SocketSite, because generally speaking the people who do them rarely sell them.

      At the end of the day the time and the expense of doing a custom build likely drives a lot of people to chose from limited turn-key inventory. It takes a special kind of crazy, patience, and bank account to do otherwise.

      But keep on hating, it’s what the Internet is for.

      • Posted by ess

        I’ll probably be called a commie for this, but it would be interesting if non-developer offers had to be prioritized.

      • Posted by Conifer

        Bravo!
        Let us hope intelligent people like this guy, respectful and appreciative of history, get the houses! Please send your friends to the northern neighborhoods too. Pacific Heights wants you!

  10. Posted by John Fagundes

    Isn’t this an Edwardian with a trestle porch and an 80s stairwell added on?–more than a Craftsman.

    Agree, rather mediocre, but I suppose the advantage that it’s turn key dwell and looks just like all the other ones lived in bythe rest of the noveau IPO babies

    • Posted by formidable doer of the nasty

      I love how they left the sour grapes intact, though. Don’t you?

  11. Posted by mercury613

    Hideous.

  12. Posted by SocketSite

    The sale of 21 Fountain Street has just closed escrow with a reported contract price of $3,800,000. Call it one million (36 percent) more than four years ago next month for the remodeled Noe Valley home.

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