January 29, 2007
A Little Off The Top Of The Witches Hat (21 Buena Vista Ave)
First Published: January 29, 2007 9:56 AM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
Socketsite....I'm liking your recent trend of opening Mondays with real estate that belongs in a naughty magazine foldout. It's a nice way to start the week.
Just curious, but given all of the amenities and the utter size of this home, doesn't a just under $5MM asking price seem a little low? I'm guessing that the location is not absolutely premo and that's the reason for the lower than expected price. What am I missing?
[Editor’s Note: We aim to please.]
Posted by: Anonymous at January 29, 2007 10:58 AM
This location has a complete mix of adjacent housing types: very substantial mansions with condo/TIC's and protected rental stock. So you have "The Parker House" across Haight to your north, and Jim Hormel's pink palace to your south, and rent controlled $600 studios in the Marina style building in-between. I do not know if that explains how difficult this property seems to have been to sell. Someone has put an extreme amount of time and money into this effort and I want to know why they didn't create three merely humongous luxury flats unstead of a house fit for "Cheaper by the Dozen".
Posted by: redseca2 at January 29, 2007 11:35 AM
I looked at a place in this same neighborhood priced around 2 mil about 2 years ago. Very, very pretty place, and a bargain. It was huge and very well restored and well under my price range at the time.
But the problem is there really isn't much to do within walking distance, so my gf and I decided we'd pass. The place I was looking at had no garage, so that would have been an even bigger problem for a neighborhood you'd have to drive out of to do anything. This home doesn't have that same problem, but not having much nearby is sort of a downer: may as well live in the burbs.
The place I looked at it was very, very pretty and large and not expensive for what you got. It was being used as an interior design office, so it was really fixed up well. But the owners didn't live there, and in the end, we decided we couldn't either. So I suspect that people may be doing what we did: driving around and realizing there just isn't that much to do. But wow! what a home.
Posted by: tipster at January 29, 2007 1:19 PM
This house had a very nice facade restoration. As I recall, the front was just bare stucco without any ornament whatsoever. It was restored based on an historic photo, which was posted onsite during the construction. It never ceases to amaze me how Victorians were brutalized in the not so distant past.
Posted by: zzzzzzz at January 29, 2007 1:27 PM
I disagree that there's nothing to do near this home. The house is an easy walk to both the lower and upper Haight. The NOPA/Little Star stretch of Divis, Duboce Park, the Castro, and Cole Valley are all a somewhat longer walk away. There is more to do around this house than around Seacliff or Presidio Heights. However, the attractions near this house may skew more diverse and younger than the typical $5 million home buyer-- who might be more at home in, say, Pac Heights.
Posted by: Dan at January 29, 2007 2:17 PM
I don't quite understand the nothing to do and nothing nearby comments. This house is right on Buena Vista Park, is located a couple blocks from the Panhandle & GG park, the new Falleti's/DeLessio market, upper & lower Haight, and Divisadero/NOPA area. Not to mention several muni bus lines located just around the corner. Seems like a pretty good location and easily manageable without a car.
Posted by: rut at January 29, 2007 2:18 PM
"We loved it at $4,950,000. And now six months later (and for $500,000 less) we can't help but love it even more."
This is kind of off topic, although I certainly agree with substance of the above-quoted comment, but I sense a little Wall Street influence here (the movie, that is).
"I loved it at $40; it's an insult at $50. Their analysts don't know preferred stock from livestock."
Posted by: Anonymous at January 29, 2007 2:46 PM
I just went by to see it and the owners have opened the walls in the lower part of the house. It looks fantastic. What a difference. I highly recommend seeing it now as it has a complete different feel to it!
Posted by: Payton Stiewe at January 29, 2007 3:01 PM
This house is realy a piece of crap inside. Used to be a rooming house so it's very choppy inside. Master bath is former bedroom. Very odd. At this price point byers expect a yard.Some of the square fottage is basement rooms like the "wine cellar"
Posted by: Anonymous at January 29, 2007 5:30 PM
Yes, there's nothing to do around there. There's no yacht club, no polo field, no gazelle hunting. The neighborhood is absolutely devoid of anything you nouveaus (think baby Bentley, not Blower Bentley) like to call entertainment. Take thy sweater and drape it over your shoulders in some hole in Orange County. Euch! Wreched little toady!
Posted by: fizzandpop at January 29, 2007 6:26 PM
I don't like they way they've opened up the space. I don't like the way the complex ornamented Victorian doorways and arches are chopped out and replaced with severe right angles. Icky.
I grew up with modernism. Icky. The problem for family life - duh - is no privacy and lots of noise. Those opened up spaces are good for dreamers in their 20's who don't have real lives yet. They like floating in their chronic aching loneliness through 'open floor plans'. Wait till the kids come!
What I love about my railroad Victorian house is the many doors and small rooms. Quiet! Privacy!
Posted by: dissent at January 29, 2007 11:23 PM
Exsqueeze me but people without kids do have "real lives," and are not lonely, leading to a love of open floor plans. Yeesh, talk about narrow minded. Live and let live without judgment.
Posted by: Anonymous at January 30, 2007 11:00 AM
people without kids do have "real lives," and are not lonely, leading to a love of open floor plans
What a wonderful idea! Market a ginormous 7bd/7ba home to people without kids!
Posted by: tipster at January 30, 2007 11:09 AM
Modernism is "icky"?
People in their 20's don't have real lives yet?
This is what I love about the internets.
dissent is a crazy hippy lady with lots of cats.
Posted by: amused at January 30, 2007 11:10 AM
I did not mention what to market to whom because that had nothing to do with the point, which was simply a response to the personal judgment about a certain "type" of person. Guess that was not clear.
Posted by: Anonymous at January 30, 2007 11:37 AM
From what I've seen in the world of modern McMansion design, families WANT to have huge open floorplans. They have these giant kitchen/living room/family room spaces where every inch is visible from the stove. Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but it seems to be a post Columbine thing. There's absolutely no privacy for the kids, everything they do in the house (TV/internets, etc) can be constantly monitored by the parents. The kids' rooms are usually minute, and get this, don't have closets (nowhere to stash the weapons). It's really quite creepy.
Posted by: fizzandpop at January 30, 2007 11:54 AM
"Exsqueeze me but people without kids do have "real lives," and are not lonely, leading to a love of open floor plans. Yeesh, talk about narrow minded. Live and let live without judgment."
I don't mean to stray too far from the topic of what I think about this home, but some would argue that, unfortunately, once people have kids they cease being able to live "real lives", but that said, I'm in absolutely agreement with the notion of "live and let live without judgment", kids or no kids.
Posted by: Anonymous at January 30, 2007 1:20 PM
Has anyone driven by this place lately?
It's covered in scaffolding, looks like it's getting a major face lift.
Can't wait to see when it's finished from what I can tell my the colors that have been painted so far they are really going to make it look restored it's former elegance.
Posted by: craig at November 19, 2012 10:58 AM