May 29, 2008

Built In 1904 (But "Reconstructed" A Century Later): 2542 Fillmore

2542 Fillmore: Hall

While built in 1904, 2542 Fillmore was completely “reconstructed” in 2008. It shows (or in the case of the new “smart home” technology, it’s hidden). And if you’re itching to see it in person, the first official open house is this evening (from 4-6pm). Feel free to report.

∙ Listing: 2542 Fillmore (5/4.5) - $4,995,000 [] [MLS] [Features]

First Published: May 29, 2008 11:30 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

Hmmmm?? Interesting. Where is Sleepiguy -- he's always got good insight on these type of listings.

Posted by: eddy at May 29, 2008 1:29 PM

he's napping, natch.

Posted by: paco at May 29, 2008 1:42 PM

#1 benefit: next to jackson Fillmore restaurant. ummm

Posted by: Spencer at May 29, 2008 1:45 PM

Terrific improvement but tough block for a $5M SFR in Pacific Heights and I don't think the setback helps.

Au pair suite is great as is the skylight but compromised views could be a problem.

Posted by: Michael at May 29, 2008 2:12 PM

Open house cocktail party tonight from 4pm to 6pm.
This home is what the 21st century is all about!

Posted by: janeknowsbest at May 29, 2008 2:47 PM

michael is correct. nice reno, but for the neighborhood it is an avg vic on the exterior, pretty good block, but somewhat noisy, setback cuts the appeal, its a bus route on fillmore.

i dont think it will close over $4 MIL.

beginning 1/2 block west would change things.

Posted by: Louis at May 29, 2008 3:24 PM

Louis, care to make a wager on the close price?
$5 million is the starting point! Please go check it out today...your opinion on price will change. It is open Sunday 1pm to 4pm per MLS.

Posted by: janeknowsbest at May 29, 2008 3:33 PM

haven't seen it yet, but I'll bet you one of those free cocktails at the open house that it for sure sells over $4M...and it could go over $5M. That segment of the San Francisco market has been strong and there is not much else out there.

Posted by: ok at May 29, 2008 3:35 PM

Ok, my jaw dropped when I saw the price on this thing. It could be a tough sell for a couple of reasons. The house is sandwiched in between two multi-unit buildings and that section of Fillmore has few single family homes. Also, it sold as two units a couple of years ago and the owners didn't risk a unit merger. So, based on the floor plans, it looks like the contractors stuck an apartment on the lower floor. I really don't have an issue with this, usually, but it could make for a weird floor plan. I think the house would sell easily at 4.2-4.5, but over that is VERY ambitious.

Posted by: Sleepiguy at May 29, 2008 5:20 PM

I just got back from the open house - my friend's son bought the place, gutted and rebuilt it over the past year+ so I got to speak to him, the stager, and the architect at the open house.

It's a stunning blend of traditional exterior with a fabulous, hi-tech, sleek, modern interior done in a palette of warm grays. The central staircase/skylight add immense drama to the house as do the dark wood floors/cabinetry throughout.

I can't comment on whether or not it's overpriced for the neighborhood but what I will say is that it is a truly fantastic renovation.

Posted by: Baraka at May 29, 2008 6:41 PM

Beautifully done renovation, but I'm agreeing with Sleepiguy re the price.

Posted by: inthemarket at May 29, 2008 8:11 PM

Beautiful house, no doubt about it.

Is it common to have open houses at this price point? I wouldn't think that it would be.

Posted by: gmlight at May 29, 2008 8:20 PM

Make that $6 Million. And for 100K worth of staging, a dog on the sofa ought to be included. Great entertainment. Keep it up people!

Posted by: anon at May 29, 2008 8:57 PM

buyer better love grey and more grey.

Posted by: resp at May 29, 2008 9:51 PM

uh 2 recent ss topics that rear their heads here again.

1. did you all notice that this is (yet another) 2 unit building disguised as a SFH? This time I didn't see any reference to that on the MLS listing. We can argue again about how far agents should go with "truth in marketing" but if this really is a 2unit, the buyer needs to be aware of the ramifications. yes i know anyone that buys this will live in it as if it was a SFH.

2. another example of why rent control is counterproductive for renters - yet another legal unit that will never be rented out.

Posted by: resp at May 29, 2008 10:22 PM

sorry for 3 posts in a row. just found one more pet friggin peeve. can someone that saw it confirm that's it's really comfortably 2 car parking? looking at the drawing it appears that car on the left has to be a mini to get out around the other car. moving a second unit to the garage level = too small of a garage.

Posted by: resp at May 29, 2008 10:58 PM

Yeah, I pointed out in my earlier post that it's clearly two units being sold as a single family home. I see this constantly in Pacific Heights. Sometimes it works and sometimes it makes for a rather odd home. One high profile home that sold last year had four functioning units even though it was marketed as a single family residence.

Posted by: Sleepiguy at May 29, 2008 11:08 PM

@ resp: is that formerly flats? that explains the layout. it's a unit taken off the rental market, but what can you do? that neighborhood is so expensive now. We're dead center of a second gilded age, with huge amounts of wealth concentrated here, and there's only so much pacific heights to go around. How does rent control figure into this? are you assuming that the building was Ellis-ed / converted to a $5mil residence in order to get out the 25 year renter paying $1200 a month? and if not for rent control, it would be two reasonably-priced rentals? I don't quite get the point you're making.

Posted by: hugh at May 30, 2008 12:19 AM

@hugh -
Yes it appears that it used to be 2 flats and the current owners relocated the lower unit to the garage level and then combined the top two floors. This is a very profitable strategy and I'd love to find a building to do the same thing.

There are many examples of owners using multi unit buildings for their own living space instead of separately rented units. In many cases this is the "highest and best use" of a property because of rent control - leaving them as individual units under rent control is too risky and not as potentially profitable as selling it to one rich family.

Secondly what if the buyers want to rent out the lower unit for extra income or before they start a family? Ain't gonna happen with rent control since the risk of someone squatting there for ever just isn't worth it. Remove rent control and I would argue that many of these purposely-vacant units would come back to the market.

Posted by: resp at May 30, 2008 6:27 AM

"...modern interior done in a palette of warm grays."

I'm baffled. How can any tone of gray be warm (or cool for that matter). Gray by definition lacks any hue whatsoever.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at May 30, 2008 9:21 AM

not sure its the case here but i think if the "rehabilitation" was "substantial" enough the building can fall under the aegis of new construction and therefore be exempt from RC.

maybe the listing broker can fill us in?

Posted by: paco at May 30, 2008 9:56 AM

ahh Milkshake,

Whose definition? Grays shade toward many different hues. Take a look at the Benjamin Moore site for the palette this property uses, a variation on Modern Tranquility.

Posted by: michiko at May 30, 2008 10:50 AM

I stand corrected. Even the the Wikipedia page discusses warm and cool grays. I guess this is an interior design idiom. I was sticking too close to the absolute definition.

Amazing that the paint companies don't take the opportunity to name these warm and cool grays with something like "August smog" or "government desktop".

Psychological connotations from the Wiki page : — "Commonly represents — boredom, reality, seriousness, neutrality, and mediocrity"

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at May 30, 2008 11:21 AM

Someone really should correct that Wiki page - a gray palette can be really beautiful, especially if you contrast it with splashes of bright color.

Posted by: michiko at May 30, 2008 11:50 AM

I like the grays, but i am a fan of modern design. I agree that the outside of the house could be a little more appealing, but i LOVE the reno...

Posted by: stamps at May 30, 2008 1:08 PM

resp: "highest and best use" ... i remember that from economics. yes... it looks like two flats have been converted to a house with an in-law. but with or without rent control, someone managed to clear the place of renters already (maybe 6-8 in two big flats), and even if the in-law does get rented (with rent control, to a single person), that's a net loss of about half, population-wise.

it's hard for me to think of this as having bearing on the overall rental market. whoever buys this is in a stratospheric income range, and can probably afford not to consider the utility of an income unit... even if it were to stay at market rate, the rental income would only cover a small fraction of the cost of the place. the separate basement unit will more likely be used for a guest room no matter what.

Posted by: hugh at May 30, 2008 1:45 PM

can someone that saw it confirm that's it's really comfortably 2 car parking?

Not comfortable, more of a tight squeeze for the second (and, hopefully, smaller) car.

Posted by: Baraka at May 30, 2008 4:53 PM

Parking is legit for 2 plus 1 in the driveway. Bottom floor done well and doesn't feel like a second unit at all. Bedrooms are small, even the master suite is small considering the price tag. Staging is tweaked to make place look bigger for sure. But the place is fabulous if you only consider the positives -- slick design, brand new construction, great neighborhood, bold statements throughout and very modern. But.....

I don't see how they can get $5M for this place with no yard, no view, busy street w/ major bus-lines, set-back with multi-unit buildings on all 3 sides (all of which are taller that this home, 'frosted' windows on the north side of the home to block out direct view of a wall. This place is priced well over 1200 per sq ft and I think that this is $900 to 1000 psf at best. Put the same house on a nice street in PacH and is sells for $5M overnight.

It seems they went for a bachelor-pad design/finish worthy of a killer Soma condo in a classic Single family Home. This is a tough call as there isn't anything like this on the market in any price except maybe the firehouse in Noe.

Someone could buy this at list price if they get caught up in the uniqueness of this place, but there has to be a limited set of buyers that are willing to make the sacrifices that this place requires in order to get this type of contemporary living in PH that is otherwise unavailable. This will be a hard sell IMO.

Anything over $4M and the developer is making a significant return is my guess as I don't think they have more than $1.2M into the build + $2.3 on the original buy. Some of the cabinates and finishes are a bit cheap and its missing some of the luxe finishes I'd expect to see like a steam shower, sauna, but I do like the wine storage units - nice.

Posted by: eddy at June 1, 2008 5:18 PM

Must Love the color grey for sure. Rhe finishes are very sleek. There was a gorgeous tree outside this building that must have been over a century old. The Builder and Architect are serious tree killers! Make note tree lovers. The tree, or extremely tall plant, was stunning.
I would walk by all the time and call the guys working on the house tree killers.

Must own small cars to fit two of them in there.

I dont udnerstand the discussion about rental with this home. This is priced as an "SFR".
Who at this price point, would compromise their uber lux and modern home with a downstairs tenant?

Posted by: Kathleen at June 4, 2008 11:22 PM

Um.. I just looked on the MLS and the price for this thing just went up! lol.. It must be a mistake. Anyway, it's now listed at 5.25 million. Why? How?

Posted by: Sleepiguy at June 9, 2008 11:53 AM

Clearly this price hike is a signal from the sellers that if you're interested then get off of the couch and into your brokers office now. The price hikes will continue at 250K a pop until it sells. You'll be sorry if you wait !

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at June 9, 2008 2:28 PM

Wow... It's not a mistake.

Posted by: Sleepiguy at June 9, 2008 3:50 PM

Sending that type of signal is likely to turn prospective buyers off... and if the seller doesn't have any offers at the current price, I don't think they are in a position to increase...

Posted by: Bonbon at June 9, 2008 8:21 PM

I'm totally slipping!! So this is in contract, presumably at 5.25 million. I'm obviously losing my touch. I missed out on 2828 Divisadero, 2504 Scott and now this one. I've lived in this area for awhile now, and I'm legitimately stunned at some of the prices we are seeing especially on streets that I don't really consider "prime."

Posted by: Sleepiguy at June 11, 2008 5:24 PM

So what is the point of changing the asking price after they have gone into contract?

Posted by: Bonbon at June 12, 2008 3:25 PM

Hmmm.. it's not listed in contract anymore...

I'm so confused!

Posted by: Sleepiguy at June 12, 2008 4:14 PM

Did you ever get inside 2828 Divis? Talk about gone in 60 seconds. That place looked sweet and priced well. Never got a chance to see it though.

Posted by: eddy at June 12, 2008 5:15 PM

Hummm... I wonder if they are regretting the price increase. This place seems to be sitting.

Posted by: Bonbon at June 26, 2008 7:28 AM

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