Near the corner of Geary and Broderick, 88 Garden Street #3 is an attractive full floor condo in short walking distance from Clement Street, Divisadero, and Pac Heights. Apartment #3 is a 1,179 square foot 2 bed 2 bath listed at $899,000 which looks like a typo especially when you see the photos of a modern and move-in ready home with a smart open layout, plenty of sunlight, designated parking, an in-unit washer dryer, and solid location.
If you’re looking for cons I saw three – the first is that it’s a 4th floor walkup and those stairs will dissuade some buyers. The second is that the living space is a little small – a larger group would probably migrate to the dining area where the geometry of the space makes it easier for 4+ people to all see and talk to each other. The third is that the micro-location, while excellent from a walk score standpoint, has a near-the-freeway vibe due to its proximity to Geary and lack of neighboring residences.
This unit is clearly going to sell for more than 900k, but how much more? For my first estimate, I’m going to start with a small tweak to the most simple and well understood model.
A mainstay for analyzing home sales is to look at the square footage of the unit and build an estimate based on average neighborhood $ / square foot costs. It’s a pretty good estimator but it is still a bit like comparing foods by counting calories. Not all calories are nutritionally equal, and just like there are empty calories in certain foods, there are empty square feet in certain homes that you should not pay a full $ / square foot for.
For this first estimate we’re going to add one term, a coefficient for the usable square footage of the home. It’s a way of describing the quality of the layout and how much space is lost through suboptimal aspect ratios, excessive hallway, useless nooks, etc.
88 Garden St. is listed at 1,179 square feet and after my walkthrough I’m going to give it a usable square footage score of 0.9. I think the home plays a little small and the living space is more suitable for a 1 bedroom than a true 2 bedroom house. If I could rearrange the home I would either move the living area to be on the other side of the dining area (in line with the kitchen) or move 30 square feet from the bedrooms to make the living room wider.
I am making a qualitative translation from that spatial analysis into a 0.9 usable square footage score and I’m going to similarly use intuition for one more term in the equation, which is to set a baseline $ / square foot cost of $1000 for this neighborhood.
So we have:
Estimated sale price = $ / square foot * square feet * usable square footage score Estimated sale price = ($1000 / square foot) * 1179 square feet * 0.9 Estimated sale price = $1,061,100
By the eye test, I think this is on the low end and I would expect this home to sell between $1,050,000 and $1,150,000. I would be surprised to see it go for more than $1,150,000.
Again, we hand-waved a little to get to $1000 / square foot and a 0.9 usable square footage score, but we’ll refine that as we analyze more homes, as well as add some badly needed terms to the calculation. And we’ll check back on this home when it closes!