Ask an Expert (Alexander Clark), Comparing Condo to SFR in NOPA

“My wife and I live in NOPA and I look forward to hearing your take on the area in your Tour de SF. One question – when comps are listed for condos v. single family homes, do you think it’s fair to ascribe additional value to condos that are housed in a former single family home (e.g. ours, with just one other condo above us)? At 1300 sf, our $810,000 flat with parking is definitely above the average condo price per sf in the area…”
A.W.-San Francisco, North Panhandle

As answered by Alexander Clark, sfnewsletter
A two unit building that has two condos is typically more desirable than a multi-unit condo building, but it’s really hard to judge without seeing the units that are being compared. As far as adding value to a property that was previously a single family, that could actually play against you as the floorplan might be pretty cut up. Now if you were able to sell your entire building (both units) at the same time, with permits to convert BACK to a single family, that could play heavily in your advantage. Again, I’d have to get inside. Don’t take offense to this, but if your condo is a dump compared to a condo that is a gem in a large building, the larger building condo will be more valuable (obviously), and vice-versa. That is where computers, zillow, Property Shark, Clean Offer, and all these new programs fail…actually going into the building. It works in tract home developments in Sacramento, not here.

It is a tough question to answer because there is no cut and dry. Basically, to answer your very question you wrote, no. There are way too many unique properties here, and that is too difficult a calculation to make simple. Compare your condo to other condos, not single family.

Thanks for writing in.


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