300 Sea Cliff: New and Improved?
The Captain’s Castle (300 Sea Cliff) was in the local news last night. And according to a tipster that caught the segment, all that stuccoing and remodeling reportedly didn’t come cheap ($8,000,000). Also noted on the segment, the house has been in the possession of the current owners for six years (but they never moved in).
We note that the virtual tour has been updated with plenty of actual post-remodel photos. And once again, we only wish they would have left the outside alone (pre-stucco and landscaping).
UPDATE: Some great background (“Joan Waitt—whose husband, Ted, co-founded Gateway Computer—bought this house and an adjacent one in 2000 and planned to turn the properties into a compound.”), insight (“She says she later decided she “didn’t really want another house”) and more by way of the RealEstateJournal.
∙ Listing: 300 Sea Cliff Avenue (5/5.5) – $25,900,000 [Alain Pinel]
Curbed Shoots…And Scores? [SocketSite]
$26M San Francisco Seacliff Mansion For Sale [CBS5]
Another Chance At (For?) The Captain’s House (300 Sea Cliff Ave) [SocketSite]
Can’t Sell? Then Stucco! [SocketSite]
Checking In On 300 Sea Cliff Ave [SocketSite]
RealEstateJournal House of the Week: February 23 [realestatejournal.com]

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Pac Heights Renter

    Has anyone seen the breakdown of the $8mm “renovation”? Unless they got ripped off or used a lot of gold you can not spend $8mm on a renovation of a home this size…

  2. Pac Heights Renter,
    MAJOR Electrical, Plumbing, Heating, Structural, Roofing, etc. Runs up the tab. Things like: New 400 Amp Service; 120/240 wiring; High Efficiency Boiler (heating); new concrete foundation and walls, bolting clad steel frame structure…It goes on and on. I have the list of repairs sitting in my lap, which I was going to post on our blog, but I have to go check out some property. I’ve been through that property 3 times, before, during and after renovation. It was a MAJOR project, and it is now very sweet. Of course, the only person that TRULY knows the renovation price tag is the owner.

  3. Posted by Anonymous

    Too bad. I loved the brick. But I’m sure someone out there prefers the new look. Maybe. At least the owners do and they must’ve bounced the idea of some people who presumably agreed.

  4. Posted by Anonymous

    I’m glad they kept the portholes. The house is so close to the water it makes me seasick. Great view.

  5. Posted by Anonymous

    Wasn’t it originally listing a year or two ago for $23,500,000? Now after spending $8,000,000 on renovation it’s listing for $25,900,000.
    Isn’t the owner taking a $5,600,000 hit??
    [Editor’s Note: Not quite. Originally listed four years ago (1/13/03) for $23,500,000, but that’s not the cost basis.]

  6. Posted by Michael

    The Journal’s “estimate of a reasonable starting point for negotiations to buy the property, based on past sales, prevailing market conditions and interviews with local real-estate experts”: $20 million.

  7. Posted by Sleepiguy

    Alex is right… If it’s a “down to the studs” remodel, then using a high-end contractor on a 10,000 sqft property is going to cost anywhere from 500-1000 psqft. It’s pricey, but justifiable if it’s your home. But putting 8 mil into a home you’ve never lived in and will never live in is questionable, so is asking $2600 psqft.
    I’m sure the property is lovely, but it’s only going to be lovely a couple of weeks out of the year. The house sticks out a point over the Pacific, which sounds nice in theory, but you’re going to have horrific winds beating down on you and at night all those picture windows are going to be pitch black.

  8. Posted by Anonymous

    I am curious as to what goes into marketing a property of this magnitude . . . anyone know?

  9. Posted by Anonymous

    A lot of ass kissing.

  10. Posted by GreggLynn@Sothebys

    Depends upon which broker you hire to market your property. Some agents will take photos with their phone-cams while driving by at slow speeds and rush upload to the MLS. Some agents will spend $10-25,000 (no typo) on professional photography, high-end sales materials and a global print & online advertising campaign. The buyer for this home likely doesn’t live in this timezone and will see it for the first time online. I expect this property may be on the market for years but will eventually sell.

  11. Posted by Anonymous

    Wow, who knew that five hundred gallons of beige paint could be so expensive?

  12. Posted by Anonymous

    in response to post anonymous 4:38pm . . . then would you say that the photography does any justice to the property? Based on the price alone, I assume it must be significant but the imagery offers nothing – no enchantment and at this precipice of the world I would imagine that enchantment is the key selling point – not practicality (It is simply absurd and absurdity is not necessarily a negative). What are the best “methods” for marketing online to reach the prospective buyers?

  13. Posted by Anonymous

    I think the best comp for this house is the Hill Bros. mansion on Broadway which sold for around 30 million. The listing agents created some very expensive and elaborate mailings for that property… Rick Weil of Hill-Co represented the buyer (he also sold that $27 million house on Pacific!)
    Another strategy would be to use the home as the Decorator’s Showcase. That worked for 1 Cherry and 3701 Washington St.

  14. Posted by Morgan

    Since I believe this house was designed by Julia Morgan I wanted to mention that it was my respect for her work that caused me to take the name “Morgan” when posting on this site (Although I am a guy). I am very sorry they chose to cover the brick as I always thought this home was charming. My other question regarding the image above would be is that the FINISHED LANDSCAPING? (I don’t think clay dirt walkways work at $25 mil. myself.) As for how the interior rooms have been finished, what ever Morganesque qualities may have been present in this residence seem to have been stripped clean and we are left with some very very plain rooms. I was part of the design team that worked on 2692 Bayshore Dr. in Newport Beach that sold to Nicholas Cage about a year ago for over 25 million, and with that house the mature trees brought in alone were worth over 400,000 and dirt pathways would have never flown.

  15. Posted by Anonymous

    The entryhall/staircase, living room and “game room” look beautiful – I’m always a sucker for beamed ceilings. And of course the views are stunning (not a huge fan of Sea Cliff overall, but the most dramatic views in the city, in my humble opinion….).
    But the rest of the house looks like some unfortunate mutant spawn of a Four Seasons hotel and a Sunset row house. What a waste of building resources….
    And aren’t realtors supposed to camouflage flaws (like the absence of architectural detail, and well, style) rather than amplify them with crappy photography?

  16. Posted by Denise Miller

    The scenery alone can not sel a house. The interioe has so many “styles”. The bathroom with the subway tiles, the gothic lighting…It should be simplified and charming.
    The owner is so “rich” why not stage the place?

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