401 Cambridge Street 2016

Purchased for $750,000 in August 2005, the three-bedroom Portola District home at 401 Cambridge Street was foreclosed upon in early 2008 and fetched $499,878 in cash on the courthouse steps.

Flipped for $691,000 in December 2008, the 1,400-square-foot home was “rebuilt in 2014” and resold for $1.08 million that November.

Having returned to the market three weeks ago listed for $999,000, a sale at which would represent a 7.5 percent drop in value over the past 14 months on an apples-to-apples basis, 401 Cambridge Street remains active and available.

24 thoughts on “A Remodeled San Francisco Home for Less than in 2014”
  1. I think they need to stage it. People sometimes overpay when they fantasize a professionally decorated life in a place. This looks too real.

    1. I think they just need to blindfold the (prospective) buyers: with something this butt-ug…er, lacking in wow!!ness they need to make it a tactile experience rather than a visual one.

    2. jola is right. You can’t leave the Ethan Allen-ish dining room set when the house is aspiring to Hong Kong hotel modern. They may have overpaid, but more importantly they are making marketing errors here.

      It’s kind of a lot of money for T1-11 siding and Jeld Wen windows. I would suggest they would have been better served buying in the Westlake district.

      1. Not sure about that, according to Trulia, Portola home values are up 20% y-o-y, DC is only 12%. Several much lesser homes in the Portola have recently sold for around 1 million, I’d be surprised if these owners didn’t make money on this despite the questionable exterior.

  2. No. It’s an overpriced house in an undesirable neighborhood. Buyers are finally realizing that the SF real estate emperor has no clothes.

    1. Here, here. If I hear one more agent tell me how Visitacion Valley, The Bayview, Portola, and Oceanside are the next great neighborhoods and I have to get on now at some over inflated rate, for s tear down that hasn’t been touched in forty years, and not in a good way, I’m going to scream and then pay $1.2m for a condo off sixth street! This is beyond ridiculous.even with a 20% correction, which may never happen, I’ll rent in a desirable neighborhood, and buy a little place up North or in Tahoe, for the rest of my life!

    2. Say what you like, we bought in Portola 1.5 years ago and we couldn’t be happier. Yes, the neighborhood is in transition and needs some work but we love the diversity, the neighborly community, the sun and the vibe of an up and coming neighborhood.

      Things are visibly changing already, we got a Four Barrel last year, our first gallery opened last week, a brewery is building out now and Bayview, which is a short walk away, is seeing much of the same new kinds of businesses. There is an excitement in the community about the positive change happening here and it seems like more and more new people are coming to the ‘hood.

      It’s going to take some time before these neighborhoods are commonly seen as “desirable” but for a growing number of us, this is a pretty cool place to live and participate in real change. Besides, by the time most people realize this area of the city has gotten nice, it will be too late.

      1. Hear! Hear!

        Alex nailed it. Same thing with the rental pool in these nabes; I’m seeing a higher and higher quality of tenants on a continuous basis.

        1. Very true, the demographic shift is noticeable in just the past year, our neighbors who have lived in ‘hood for decades are all commenting on it.

          We have had 3 houses on our block change hands since moving in. One was sold to a tech family that moved to the Portola because their kids go to one of the several private schools. The other two are rented to professionals, both of which chose the area so they could still be in the city while having easier commuting access to the South & East Bays as well as downtown. SE/SF is perfect for those working outside the city or split (city & outside) commuting households. As the area gets more congested I think more will realize the convenience of this area.

      2. Say Tom, do you like being walking distance to the Bayview?
        “Like it? Well, I don’t see why I oughtn’t to like it. Does a boy get a chance to whitewash a fence, errr walk to the Bayview every day?”
        “Say, Tom, let me whitewash a little.”
        “No, No. I reckon it wouldn’t hardly do. I reckon there ain’t one boy in a thousand, maybe two thousand, that can get to walk to the glorious Bayview.”
        “Oh, shucks Tom, What’f I go and give you a million dollars. Then would’ya let me walk to the Bayview”
        “Aw, well shucks I guess I could take your million just this once”

      1. I see an over-application of trendy horizontal wood cladding and a clunky application of contrasting paint colors. There’s a hodgepodge of windows made worse by also having chunky frames -and the question to mullion or not to mullion apparently resulted in a draw. Last, the roof deck is naked of greenery leaving the trendy wood cladding to make way too much of an impression. If they had to completely re-clad that LSD inspired mansard roof -why did they even bother keeping it? So for me the exterior is a complete disaster.

  3. Chill out back seat drivers, it hasn’t sold yet. Good chance it will sell over 1,080k, and it won’t be a technical lower sale, even if the owner looses some due to sales cost. The market hasn’t crashed yet. And it may not for a long while.

  4. Lots of buyers and builders now focusing in the excelsior. Up the hill at the top of the hill is a larger remodel project and a couple of sites along silver ave have now been purchased and are being built up.

    Empty lots are getting snagged, and remodels are heavy in the excelsior.

    1. Yep, the jump over 280 seems to be gaining steam, Excelsior seems to be the hottest at the moment as people spill over from Glen Park.

      The Bernal spillover is already starting in Portola/Excelsior and as Bayview continues to improve and become the next hip spot in the city, I think this neighborhood is gong to continue it’s upward climb as well. I’m guessing there will be plenty of people who will want to be close to the Bayview action as Third and the warehouses develop, while still living in quieter and more family friendly neighborhood that has the same sunny weather. Much like how Bernal compliments the Mission.

      1. I generally agree, but keep in mind that there are always many more homes for sale in excelsior than Bayview. Owner occupancy is higher, effecting turnover, which is low in BV so they almost always sell quite quickly, and get a major renovation. The flips are selling to end users fast as well. Like the rest of the city, each neighborhood in D10 is different. In that sense it continues the tradition of unique neighborhoods in this city, which is great.

        1. Completely agree, the hype has been about Bayview but I think the reality is that Excelsior/Portola are in some ways the hotter neighborhoods as prices are rising at a faster pace than BV despite already being higher. Bayview was 18% and Portola was 20% y-o-y. I think the fading stigma of Bayview is going to rise all ships surrounding it but it’s also going to take a bit more time than people realize to turn over. For the reason you mention plus a variety of others as Bayview’s challenges are going to be harder to overcome than Excelsior/Portola’s. In time though, the whole area will be very different as I’m sure you would agree but much like the Mission I think BV will always have some grit that some will love and others won’t touch.

  5. also, keep in mind the the various developments that are planned for the Southeast corner of the city. I wouldn’t be surprised If Portola was seen as the next Bernal in 5-10 years.

  6. Portola is improving more than the Excelsior. Comparing San Bruno Ave, which is hopping, to dreary Mission Street in the Excelsior. Well, the latter does have its after hours gambling shacks.

  7. UPDATE: In a change of strategy after a month on the market without an accepted offer, the list price for 401 Cambridge Avenue has just been raised to $1.135 million.

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