CFAH

Purchased for $2.1 million in September of 2018, the 1,900-square-foot, full-floor condo at 1940 Bush Street, which “dazzles with great period details and contemporary finishes” in Lower Pacific Heights, a few blocks from Fillmore Street, Japan Town and Lafayette Park, returned to the market priced at $2.199 million this past July, a sale at which would have represented net appreciation of 4.7 percent for the unit, which also features a “flexible floor plan [with] many rooms [which] is ideal for people who work from home,” over the past two years.

Reduced to $1.999 million in mid-August, to $1.899 million a week later, and then to $1.799 million in October, the list price for “Gorgeous Victorian Condo,” with a parking space and storage in the garage and HOA dues of $267 per month, has just been reduced to $1.699 million (a sale at which would now be considered to be “at asking” according to all industry stats and aggregate reports).

If you think you know the market in Lower Pacific Heights, now’s the time to tell.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by ST

    $1.75M

    • Posted by SocketSite

      A sale at $1.75 million would represent a net 16.6 percent drop in value for the unit on an apples-to-apples basis over the past two years. At the same time, the reported “price per square foot” in the neighborhood is up.

  2. Posted by MyOddCommentHandle

    For a 3rd floor walk up?

    Nicely remodeled but I’d rather just have my own house for that money.

    • Posted by OMN

      Based on the photos, the condo looks to be on the first floor.

      • Posted by SocketSite

        That’s correct. With a private entrance and direct access to the yard.

        • Posted by Zoe L

          Top floor was also for sale for $2.4m late last year but got pulled from market after no takers. Was very nicely remodeled as well and the outdoor area is pretty usable. Building is across from a lot of apartments and Bush St is pretty loud — there have been a lot of properties for sale on these two blocks. Still seems like good value at this price

        • Posted by MyOddCommentHandle

          Ah, I stand 420d. Still feels like a lot. Not like it’s on swanky part of Fillmore or a block off of USF. That’s 40mph traffic going past your front door.

  3. Posted by Dixon Hill

    Outlooks from the bedrooms aren’t great. It has one of those below-grade garages, which might be problematic for larger cars.

    • Posted by sforthright

      Older, narrow buildings like this are tricky, you’re inherently going to have some rooms that only face interior or into lightwells

      • Posted by Sierrajeff

        But that said, they’ve kind of made the worst of a bad situation. Bedrooms only opening onto lightwells (including the main bedroom) … also the main bedroom is apparently directly above the garage for all 3 units, i.e., lots of car noise.

        I think a better layout would be main bedroom where the family room is, family room where the kitchen is, and then kitchen where the adjacent bedroom is – essentially a more linear kitchen/family on one side, and the main bed in the rear with better and more natural light. The current main bed space could then be a home office or dining room opening onto the living room – in either case with fewer steps to the kitchen to address @haighter’s comment below.

        In fact while I usually hate to rip out more period detail, this is a space that calls for opening the living room and [dining / office] into the hallway. That would create a larger space that was brighter (overall), as well as allow more of that light to flow back into the kitchen / family area.

        • Posted by sforthright

          I agree, I’ve definitely seen better floorplan optimizations for this floor plate. Having 0 bedrooms with exterior exposure is not the best.

          As other commenters will oft point out, these deficiencies existed in 2018 when the condo sold for significantly more.

          • Posted by haighter

            Interesting, I like having the interior space for the bedrooms (I like a dark bedroom). I’d rather save the more light-filled ends of the floor plate for the public rooms that you spend the most time in. I like having the hallway separate the entry and living room – I would never pay $2M (or any amount) for a front door that opened right into the living room.

  4. Posted by haighter

    Wow, really nice renovation. The outdoor living area looks great, shame it appears to face north. I bet the kitchen is very dark. Weird that they made the formal living room into the dining room – means you’re carrying dishes up and down the hall from the kitchen every day. If I lived there I’d make the “family room” the dining room, and use the formal living room in the front as the living/family room.

  5. Posted by Wcsf

    Ouch. Sale at new list price, this poor seller is losing about $17k/m on that investment over the 28/29 months of ownership.

    Hindsight 20/20, but if they had rented and put that $420k down payment into Amazon / FANG stocks instead, they’d be up at least $600-700k vs down $500k. (After selling expenses). Accounting for interest and prop tax along the way, that’s a $40k+/m housing situation (accounting for opportunity costs)?

    “Sometimes you eat the bear… sometimes the bear eats you.” – Lebowski

  6. Posted by jenofla

    It’s a nice unit that checks a lot of boxes (size, bedrooms, outdoor space, central location, parking, period detail, nice remodel) but has quite a few, hard to fix flaws (sunless interior, steep driveway, weird layout, fugly exterior, upstairs neighbors, emotionally just does not grab me), so I think it is in the front to middle of the pack in terms of what properties will lose value in a dropping market. I think this is a good apple. I’m going to say 1.8m. I think (without any proof) the market is now comprised of people who are choosing to stay in SF because they want to and will only buy what they fully like, instead of buying what they can because they have to, so flaws are less well-tolerated.

    • Posted by Sierrajeff

      Agreed the exterior is a big knock on this, IMO. If I were looking I’d have a negative spin on the place before I even set foot in it, based on that drab ’90s (?) “update” of the interior. And what’s the point of having some period details on the inside if the outside looks like that.

  7. Posted by Panhandle Pro

    Compartmentalized floor plans like this usually don’t make it to $1K/square foot, whether it’s 2015, 2018 or 2020. They usually land in the $700-$900/square foot range depending on parking etc. This strikes me as a mild overpay by the 2018 buyers. This current price feels more in line with what I’ve been seeing for years.

  8. Posted by Kunal

    I suspect this unit cannot be rented profitably either so must sell at a loss. In general, if the rent of a property is less than mortgage interest + property tax then it is overpriced.

    There are several half vacant properties that are multi-family or semi-commercial and old and still owners are demanding crazy prices in spite of commercial bloodbath. Those will end up very bad.

  9. Posted by Jimmy

    Bush st freeway, noisy, baseboard heat, basement/low level, no natural light, converted back porch to quasi-living, not a true 3br, tiled kitchen?

    Who(m)ever advised a buy at $2.1 – even in ’18, was looking out for their commission check (vs. the client).

    • Posted by jimbo

      agree with most points, but i lived on this bloack about 15 yrs ago. you could only hear traffic in the front room and it was relatively minimal (guess it depends on windows)

    • Posted by Fishchum

      Right, because clients NEVER get emotional about real estate and insist on “wanting it”. It’s always the Realtor’s fault.

  10. Posted by Pablito

    I really like the neighborhood. I like the inside of the unit.

    But going to go with a low bid of $1.5 million. It’s basically street parking with all the hassle of tickets and broken car windows. That garage is useless unless you drive a miata or a moped.

    • Posted by Mike L

      I’ll take Pablito’s bid.

    • Posted by ST

      I have a friend who tried to low ball a $1.4m condo in Russian Hill, and he was going to offer $1.1m. The seller asked his agent to NOT bother writing that offer up. This was just a couple of weeks ago.

  11. Posted by Gil Ruiz

    What income would you need and down payment? Well, let’s make it simple: lets assume you put down 699k. That leaves u with $1M for a loan. Approx 6000/ mo + 1400 tax + 400 ins. That makes it 7800/mo payment. And to qualify, your take home income should be 15600/ mo and your gross 21000/ mo. That’s about 240000 per year.

    So now the big question, what percentage of Californians make that amount? Lets say 20%. And from that 20%, what percentage are willing to live in a condo for that amount? Say 30% of the 20% so that makes it 6% of demand. That is simple common sense. And that is still a high percentage relatively speaking.

    There are people that are filthy rich and would rather throw their money around than share and invest in more profitable things. Since I’m not that rich, it is senseless because the numbers don’t add up.

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