Reconfiguring on 1st

Posted by Dave Fratello on Thursday, March 10th, 2011 at 10:55pm.

Late last year, someone picked up a South End cottage at 516 1st for $1.140m.

516 1st when it was up for sale
Here at MBC, we had called the home a "groovy old beach cottage that's got all the bare essentials for life near the beach."

But it was on the small side (3br/2ba, 1175 sq. ft.), with little common area, smallish bedrooms and an unusual, gated entry courtyard that was one of the home's several quirks.

The new owners have decided to claim that front space for the interior in the course of a remodel.

516 1st with the remodel under way
As this work-in-progress snapshot shows, in recent weeks, the entry courtyard was removed, the front of the house opened up and now some extra living space is being tacked on. That work could bring the interior near 1500 sq. ft. – not a huge bump, but that could revive the home and make it more livable for a long time to come.

From the look of the beams mocked up as roof supports, we'd guess they're looking at a Craftsmanesque style in the remodel. However this winds up, we love to see alternatives to the scraping of older homes.


Since we're looking at a third South End home in just about a week, we thought we'd quickly take note of location and lot size here again for comparison's sake.

The little 50s cottage on 1st has an unusual 4000 sq. ft. lot. We hadn't noticed this before, but the dozen or so homes on the south side of 1st, east of Ingleside and west of Valley, all seem to sport 1-1/2-size lots like this. Another bonus for the lot is that it backs up directly to the large grass fields at the neighborhood school – bonus, we say, assuming you have kids who want to open up the rear gate from time to time and run wild on the grass. The fields could be a liability if you can't stand the sounds of kids playing, soccer practices, and the like.

In "South End Options Diverge" last Friday, we discussed 424 3rd and 204 Morningside, each of which has a home of about 2200 sq. ft., each with its own beautiful aspects and liabilities. For those homes, the lots are 2700 sq. ft. at 3rd, and 3300 at Morningside. Those homes are now listed between $1.7m-$1.9m.

Despite boasting more dirt, 516 1st is on a busy street, unlike the other two, an obvious blow to the lot value, contributing to its low-$1m-ish price last year with a livable structure.

So there's a quick look at a remodel under way. We did this once before with a Hill Section home (see "Checking in on 822 John") and got some positive reactions. The John house is nearly finished and very nice, probably worth another update. Maybe we should do more of these sorts of updates around town? Let us know.

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UPDATE: Per a couple of comments on this story, we've added a snapshot of the current work at 3121 Alma, the REO that sold earlier this year. The old "Tudor" style seems to be on the way out.

See "Bid-Up Alma REO Closes" for more.
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