As we outlined at the end of last year:

Purchased for $675,000 in January of 2014, the light-filled, one-bedroom cottage at 4353 17th Street, which sits above the Castro in Corona Heights, returned to the market priced at $995,000 in August of 2016 and sold for $915,000, or roughly $1,336 per square foot, that November, representing total appreciation of 35.6 percent over those 34 months for the 685-square-foot, free-standing home despite its various imperfections and the “short term hold.”

And having returned to the market this past October priced at $998,000, positioned as a “great alternative to cookie cutter condos in this price range – with easy street parking and opportunities for future expansion,” the list price for 4353 17th Street was just reduced to $899,000 with an interim reduction to $930,000 last month (a sale at which would have represented net appreciation of just 1.6 percent for the cottage since the fourth quarter of 2016 on an apples-to-apples basis).

Removed from the MLS in January, the 4353 17th Street has been relisted anew with an “original” list price of $899,000, a sale at which would now be considered to be “at asking,” and with “only 6 days on the market” as of this morning, according to all industry stats and aggregate market reports.

And once again, if you think you know the market for “condo alternative” cottages in San Francisco, now’s the time to tell.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Zugamenzio Farnsworth

    By today’s standards the kitchen’s nightmarish. Would it really be so hard for them to put in a counter under the widows, fit all in, etc? I’ve seen better, more functional kitchens in low rent rendezvous’s. Decent kitchen might have been cheaper than the staging, but no I’m not in real estate so perhaps I’m missing something.

    • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

      If I’m reading the floorplan correctly, that kitchen is long and skinny with the windows on the long side. Adding a countertop under the windows would make the kitchen even skinnier. It would overlap the left side of the range and make for a cramped workspace. There’s photo trickery in that first kitchen photo (facing the windows) making the space look significantly larger than it really is.

    • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

      That said I agree that the kitchen as-is would be hard to work in. I find having countertop adjacent to the stove’s rangetop essential. The best fix I can think of is the move the fridge to the other side. Though creates countertop space next to the range, it also reduces the countertop adjacent to the sink. Maybe the most workable solution is to move the fridge elsewhere: into the dining room? While that is unconventional it might be worth creating enough countertop in the wiork area.

      • Posted by Zugamenzio Farnsworth

        I think 5′ would be the code minimum for a galley style kitchen with counter on one wall only. I was thinking more along the lines of gutting this kitchen and started anew. Could have frig one side, stove other, sink middle; I’ve oft thought it’d be nice to have the a stove under a big window…..downdraft, I think it’d be code compliant but not certain. I think visually the windows would reconcile the perception of a crowded space, could make them bigger even. Maybe peeps are viewing this place as a tear down overall…

      • Posted by iiii

        I’m thinking
        – widen the opening between the kitchen and main living space as much as possible
        – hang curtain across the kitchen opening to mirror what they’ve got in front of the bedroom
        – put a counter-height butcher block table in the middle of the kitchen/dining area (on casters, so you can shove it against the wall under the windows and close the curtains on it if you want)

        or, alternately, gut the place and move all the rooms around so there’s room for a bathtub as well as counterspace in the kitchen.

        • Posted by Notcom

          Methinks your approach makes the most sense – if you’re going to try to turn a closet into a kitchen, then recognize that – but the bigger problem is simply the absurdity of the layout…or really the lack of any: it’s just one giant room.

          We’ve often heard praise for ‘open’ floor plans, and criticism of walls, but this shows exactly why walls exist: what kind of pairing is a dining- with a bedroom ?? Why does it need such a large dining area anyway?? What kind of person would live here ( President Macron goes into exile, buys this and needs a large area for entertaining heads of state )??

      • Posted by Twin Peaks

        I toured this home and the kitchen is no more than 30 sq ft at most. The “basement” is also just covered with plastic shingling and the floor is dirt.

        • Posted by Zugamenzio Farnsworth

          Pretty sure one could still do a decent kitchen: U in plan, U opening facing door, U filled with either appliances or counter,,,,,but it’d be walk in, cook, leave. I keep thinking maybe many will see this as a tear down….great place for a monster house if one has that kind of money. Just sayin.

          • Posted by Ohlone Californio

            The term “monster house” is a propaganda tool of the failed so called “progressive” leadership here in SF. Instead of making it easier to build smaller, or medium size, they seek to make it impossible to build 2500+ sq ft on large lots, something perfectly in keeping with Planning code. But this particular small home sits on an 1123 sq ft lot and there is no chance to build a large structure.

      • Posted by c_q

        pretty sure you need at least 1 foot (15 inches?) of countertop on 1 side of the stove per code, which clearly isn’t happening in the picture. but they do make skinny stoves and that’s probably what should have been done here, that stove looks like a standard 30 inch width, but hard to tell with those distorted perspective pictures.

        interestingly on street view the S-parking sign out front has arrows on it, so this place must be literally right on the edge of qualifying for a car permit.

        • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

          Yes, that is a standard width oven/range unit.

  2. Posted by Alan Foden

    INSANE !

    • Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

      Agreed. This place reminds me of those posts you see on websites syndicated from newspapers in The South where the picture shows an absurdly tiny SFH and headline screams: This is what $1 Million buys you in San Francisco!

  3. Posted by UnlivableCity

    Is this a protected “earthquake cottage” thingy? Its my favorite part of the city, the hills right above the Castro, bit sheesh. Do we know the lot size?

    • Posted by c_q

      in the listing the lot size is all of 1123 sqft (not house size, that’s only 685 sqft).

      sure looks like an earthquake cottage though with a couple modifications done to it – the listing says built 1909, which is about the right time for such a thing.

      • Posted by Notcom

        The cottages were all built in the year or so after the Fire; so if it’s literally 1909, then no, it’s not.

        If the date is only proximate then I guess it could be. Or not.

        But I think many people underestimate just how small they were: looking at the floor plan I’m not sure exactly where would have been the starting point that would have expanded into this.

  4. Posted by ST

    Inflation is coming, and at some point in the future, this listing will look attractive again, after everything else gone up 25%. My friends that relocated to TX and ID all saw their property prices up 75% in less than a year. At some point, SF will look cheap, thanks to all the free money.

  5. Posted by soccermom

    $899 vs $915 is listing 1.75% below the last sale.

    I predict a sale within 3% of the list price, could be up or down. It’s really nice to own your own place, and not a condo space within a larger unit.

    It’s a very small lot, but presumably one could add a second story or even a third if pushing the ADU/JADU rules. I don’t know that street, but I think a second story would produce some wicked nice views. The buildable dirt is worth at least 750K.

    Good value at $900k I say.

  6. Posted by haighter

    Sub-par kitchen aside, I think this place is a lot of fun. I’d get a Vespa and park it behind the front gate, skip the car parking hassles.

  7. Posted by Theojo

    Based on the adjacent prop east, 4351, which has a garage on Corbett, it appears this was subdivided at one time which turned the garage into 154 Corbett.

    Problem is it appears the rear buildings on each property abut [the property], thus allowing no means of rear egress from the back baked open-windowless sunroom.

    The width of which appearing identical to the kitchen would mean the newly installed kitchen window boxes go over the rear property line.

    Not to mention the west dining room and bedroom windows being right on the property line of the garage and backyard of 156 Corbett. Isn’t it 5’ now. 3’ going way back. When was it ever 0’ without an aerial easement?

    How was this ever approved for habitability?

  8. Posted by jimbo

    $869K

  9. Posted by marcia tampoon

    Everything is too tight. It’s a house that would make you constantly feel fat.

  10. Posted by Curious

    I think this place is super cute, but still not quite alternative enough to be in my price range.

  11. Posted by Ohlone Californio

    It needs a foundation. The contractors markets are pretty different, ’16 to ’21.

  12. Posted by tipster

    This is a great example of a place that people “made do” with because they had to locate in SF for a job. Now that the world has changed, and you can move outside of the area and get something actually nice for this price, no one makes any excuses for living in such a tiny, unlivable [place] any more.

    See my name link for an equivalent priced place outside of Dallas. You really have to have your head examined for living in a place like this.

    • Posted by shza

      I would pay this much money simply to not have to live in Texas. Just a pure fee. You don’t even have to throw in a shack in the Castro hills to go with it (which I agree is absurd and unlivable).

      • Posted by Ohlone Californio

        There are some great parts of Texas but I don’t count Dallas among them.

    • Posted by Fishchum

      I think you’d have to have your head examined for living in Dallas, but to each there own.

    • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

      More evidence that everything is bigger in Texas :-). That Colleyville place is huge and sits on a half acre. But compare walk scores: 13 vs. 93 for this tiny place on 17th. And then there’s the weather.

  13. Posted by Bluntcard

    Someone really wants to live in San Francisco. On a busy street. Sleeping with their head next to a window three feet from a busy sidewalk and street.

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