Footnote on Potrero Hill: 473 Pennsylvania

I first saw this house, advertised as a fully remodelled 4 BR, 2BA, Potrero Hill View Home,”  back in October 2009.  With its Spanish Mediterranean, sunny yellow exterior, it had curb appeal, together with terrific if industrial views over the working end of the Central Waterfront and I-280.  The main floor showed started off well, with an open layout, great sun and expansive views.  I don’t recall the exact layout any more, but I do recall that a lot of the home’s square footage, including “an expansive fourth bedroom/media room” and “informal office space” were located on  a lower floor basement conversion that still felt like a basement.

I like to try to guess what things will sell for when I see them on Broker’s Tour.  Listed at $1,198,000, this one seemed high, even though the “stats” seemed pretty good.   130 days later, they dropped the price by $50,000.  Thirty days after that, they dropped it by another $50,000.  It finally sold last month, 223 days after it was first listed.  Price?  $1,040,000 — 13%  off the original asking price.

With space so tight in SF, basement conversions are an obvious place to shoe-horn in extra space.  But they have to be done right or they’ll feel cramped and dark.   Most of the time, I’ll take an attic instead.

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587 Jersey One Year Later

I came across this beautiful wreck during a walk in my ‘hood last autumn and snapped this photo to catch the eerie light through the windows.

Purchased a year ago for $700,000, the 1300 sf house has grown to 4BR, 3 BA and 2462 square feet.  Voila, the new 587 Jersey, just listed at a slender $1,749,000.  That’s $710 a foot.

I toured the property last Tuesday and to be honest I was underwhelmed.    The developers squeezed the extra square footage into the original building envelope by building out the attic and the basement.  Certainly a good way to avoid all the hassle of neighborhood 311 hearings, notifications, and controversy.  But at the end of the day, you’re still buying a built out basement and a built out attic.  And it shows.

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