Spotlight on Mission Dolores Park, SF Conserves Water

The latest Zephyr MarketTracker gives you the scoop on Mission Dolores Park’s renovations, and also takes a look at a couple properties on the market in this very popular neighborhood.

We also congratulate San Franciscans for leading the way where water conservation is concerned!

You’ll also see recent sales and a market overview. It’s all here in the current edition of the Zephyr MarketTracker!

Wanted: Cash Buyer for Mission Dolores Units

I walked through the three-unit building at 3883-3885 20th Street yesterday on broker tour. This is a vacant, 3,280-square foot building with two main units and one housekeeping unit that fronts the south end of Dolores Park. Listed at $1.3M, the sale will include approved plans and permits to remodel and legalize the property as a two-unit building with yard, roof deck, and parking.

The lower unit has a dead-on view of Dolores Park, but no real kitchen to speak of. And the upper unit faces the leaves from the tree outside, so you don’t get much of a view. The upper unit is also pretty much down to the studs in most of the rooms. So a regular loan requiring an appraisal won’t fly. But for someone with cash or access to a construction lor rehab oan, this is a cool project. The J Muni line runs behind the house, so that may put off a few buyers. And you’d have to be okay with having Dolores Park in your front yard, which means 24/7 activity. But for the size and scope of the building, this property will definitely work for more than one buyer (as long as the funds are available).

What You Can Buy for $650,000

The $650,000 price range is a pretty popular one. And this being San Francisco, there’s a variety of options. We’ll take a look at three properties in different neighborhoods to give you a sense for what type of purchase is possible.

First up is 1880 Vallejo #1 in Pacific Heights:

1880 Vallejo is a 1BR/1.5BA condo in a four-unit building. There’s a formal dining room, fireplace, granite counters in the kitchen, high ceilings and hardwood floors. HOA dues are a low $295/mo. One-car parking is also included. Locationwise, you’re two blocks from Union Street.

We next head west to 2720 Ulloa in the Parkside:

2720 Ulloa has the classic 2BR plus sunroom floor plan. This one’s been in the same family for a long time, and the home is now being sold in a trust sale (with no court confirmation). And for those of you who care about such details, someone did pass away on the property about a year ago. Kitchen and bath are original, and there are recently refinished floors in which you can now see your reflection. The house has lovely 1920s details still intact, such as built-ins and picture rails. They already have an offer in hand, but it’s apparently going to be sealed until November 15th. So get over to Ulloa soon if you want to be in the running. The average 2BR house in the Parkside over the past year has been approximately $675,000.

Finally, there’s 45 Landers, in the decidedly more hip Mission Dolores area:

45 Landers is a 2BR/1BA tenancy-in-common (TIC) in a newly formed,  four-unit building. As such, there will be fractional financing in place so no group loan will be necessary. This particular unit features five rooms and is spacious in comparison to condos at this price in the neighborhood. The seller has made seismic upgrades recently, which should count for something in San Francisco. One-car parking comes with this unit.

Mission Dolores Mega Home Returns to Market

The last time I tried to get in to see 48 Linda on broker tour in July 2008, the home had already been sold (for $2,205,000) before there was time to cancel the tour. There was nothing to do except walk back up the narrow street to my car and move to the next property.

Flash forward to April 2010, and 48 Linda is again on the market—this time for $2,249,000. Billed as a “4BR family home,” the property has 3,000 square feet, two-car parking, a minimalist fireplace, and nice finishes throughout:

For those doubters who think a family wouldn’t choose to take up residence in the heart of the Mission, I beg to differ. There is a contingent of young, wealthy and hip parents out there that would love to tote their kids to Tartine, appear at 5:00 to eat a family dinner at Farina, or quiet down a crying child with sea salt caramel ice cream at BiRite. Sure, it’s an urban area, but the house does have four bedrooms upstairs, a playroom downstairs, and I’m guessing it has a pretty kick-ass security system.

Silicon Valley Commuter Alert: 283 Dorland #302

It’s the perfect storm for a hip, Silicon Valley-commuting home buyer: A 2BR/2BA condo with one-car parking (plus guest parking); Liberty Hill views; two master suites; and in-unit laundry, coupled with a location where Mission Dolores, Duboce Triangle, and the Castro meet. And where you’re about ten minutes from the freeway and multiple Peninsula employer shuttle stops.

Listed at $799,000, 283 Dorland #302 is a top-floor unit of around 1,073 square feet that’s situated in a six-unit building. HOA dues are $460/month. The building was constructed in 1992, so it’s not going to give you charming period detail. But you will get good space and can fall out the door and into Tartine, Samovar, Delfina, Frances, BiRite or Mission Dolores Park. In other words, all the types of places that make a commute worth it. Not to mention that you’re within a block’s walk to the J Church, in the event you want to catch a train downtown. (Downtown commuters, this one’s for you, too.)

The unit last sold in 1993 for $300,000. Here’s a parting shot of one of the bedrooms:

What You Can Buy for $700,000-$750,000

A slew of new two-bedroom condos in popular neighborhoods in San Francisco came on the market this week, so we’re taking a look at three of them.


38 Yukon
Eureka Valley
List Price: $749,000
2BR/1BA, 1125 sq ft
1-car pkg
HOA dues: $225/mo
This mid-century, first-floor condo in a two-unit building has an updated kitchen, private deeded deck, and living room with fireplace. It’s also across the street from Kite Hill, which is great if you have a dog. I’m a fan of mid-century floorplans, and this one has more square footage than some of the condos I’ve seen in the mid-century category.


735 Guerrero
Mission Dolores
List Price: $699,000
2BR/1.5BA, 1200 sq ft
Leased parking
HOA dues: $300/mo
Located smack dab in the middle of the hot Mission Dolores area, this first-floor flat has an office in addition to the two bedrooms. There’s also a remodeled kitchen. The leased parking is $200 per month. My guess is that the list price will attract a lot of attention.


16 Levant
Corona Heights
List Price: $729,000
2BR/2BA
1-car pkg
HOA dues: $375/mo
This is yet another first-floor condo in a two-unit building, and another mid-century property. The master bedroom opens to a deeded patio and terraced garden, and there’s a remodeled kitchen. The building was recently condo converted.

Condo Prices Hold Steady

Condo sales volumes were minimal in comparison to past first quarters, but again, prices held up. Areas such as Potrero Hill were given a boost by new construction buildings aimed at first-time home buyers. Once again, the mid-market selling range was king. Here’s a look at how some neighborhoods fared that cater to condo buyers:

Inner Richmond
# Sold: 1
Avge Price: $899,000

Inner Sunset
# Sold: 2
Avge Price: $750,000

Noe Valley
# Sold: 14
Avge Price: $794,071

Eureka Valley
# Sold: 7
Avge Price: $747,286

Mission Dolores
# Sold: 7
Avge Price: $787,143

Duboce Triangle
# Sold: 6
Avge Price: $862,333

The Haight
# Sold: 2
Avge Price: $835,000

Cole Valley
# Sold: 1
Avge Price: $760,000

Hayes Valley
# Sold: 1
Avge Price: $840,000

North Panhandle
# Sold: 6
Avge Price: $717,833

Pacific Heights
# Sold: 7
Avge Price: $763,667

Lower Pacific Heights
# Sold: 5
Avge Price: $669,200

Potrero Hill
# Sold: 13
Avge Price: $505,558

*South of Market
# Sold: 14
Avge Price: $693,343

*South Beach
# Sold: 17
Avge Price: $869,781

*Mission Bay
# Sold: 5
Avge Price: $611,700

*Limited to data provided in MLS; does not include data from sales offices in new development properties.

$10M for Your Own Castle

One of the most interesting listings out there right now is over at 601 Dolores, opposite Dolores Park. This 9,690-square foot historic church was purchased in October 2007 for $2,210,000 with the full disclosure that the building involved unreinforced masonry, an order of abatement, and a pending lawsuit.

It’s now a pocket listing of sorts, and can’t be found on the Multiple Listing Service just yet. With an asking price of $9,950,000, I’m not sure what the prospects are in the current economy. For that price, far better locations can prevail. But you just know there’s a buyer out there somewhere (probably from overseas) who will think 601 Dolores is da bomb.

A Touch of England in Mission Dolores

I stopped in to see how things are panning out at Chelsea Park, the development in Mission Dolores on 19th Street, between Guerrero and Dolores. It’s a somewhat suburban-type development, more like something you’d see in southern California. Walking around the courtyard, I felt like I was in a Universal Studio set for a movie set in a tidy English village.

But if you’re looking for a townhouse, or a basic one- to three-bedroom condo, Chelsea Park’s developer is ready to make a deal. There are two one-bedroom units in the $600,000s, and a couple 2+ or 3-bedroom townhomes listed at $900,000. I’m betting the prices could go lower. There are currently eight residents living in the complex, and 14 units are in escrow.

The parking garage features stacked parking, which involves automatic lifts. But if the alternative is having no parking in this neighborhood, stacked is better than nothing.

On the downside, the units feel a bit cramped, and don’t have a ton of light. But the finishes are quite nice, and the location is central to everything you’d want in Mission Dolores. The park is half a block away, and who can argue with having Tartine around the block? You can beat the crowds and get on line early for your baguette.