June 18, 2008
The Scoop: "Sunny Jim’s" Mansion Atop Liberty Hill (3690 21st Street)
It’s a French Chateau inspired home (at least on the outside) atop Liberty Hill (3690 21st Street) which was built in 1908 by banker and entrepreneur James “Sunny Jim” Rolph
for his mistress, silent-film actress Anita Page. Three years later, “Sunny Jim” became mayor of San Francisco, after twenty years in office he became governor (of California), and in 1934 he passed away (at which point Page sold the home). [Editor's Note: Or not with respect to Anita. See UPDATE below.]
Having been held by the same family since 1949, and most recently renovated by Jan and Jay Salaman, the home will officially hit the market by the end of July with a whisper price around $3,500,000. Of course that's assuming it doesn’t unofficially sell first (contact Payton Stiewe).
Three bedrooms and three baths with a studio above the one car garage; panoramic city views (from which “Sunny Jim” could see his office); and an eclectic interior ranging from a living room decked out with ostrich flooring, exposed redwood rafters, and a fireplace built with stones from Yosemite’s Hetch Hetchy Valley, to an Arabian Nights guest suite with steam shower and sauna.
Additional photography soon (interior shots above poached from California Home+Design).
UPDATE (6/19): Houston, we have a serious problem. From a plugged-in reader: "The house may have been built in 1908, but not for Anita Page. She was born in 1910." Damn that California Home+Design, but bless the readers. And mea culpa to "Sunny Jim."
First Published: June 18, 2008 2:00 PM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
For what people are paying in noe this house seems like a great deal at 3.5. Just walking by it is amazing. The gardens in front are beautiful. One of the best lots in the city in my opinion.
Posted by: what at June 18, 2008 2:34 PM
This is where my imagined lotto winnings would go. Part to buy this place and a little more to remodel. Awesome location, huge lot. This is my #1 favorite corner in the city.
I too am surprised that it is "only" $3.5M. Surely there isn't a big flaw to this property ?
Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at June 18, 2008 2:50 PM
To Die For!!!!!
Posted by: sf_housedude at June 18, 2008 3:17 PM
Here is the car to go in that one car garage with your Lotto money:
Posted by: redseca2 at June 18, 2008 3:25 PM
Not feeling it at all. The wallpaper is making my eyes bleed.
Posted by: NotsoMuch at June 18, 2008 3:28 PM
That car ... classy, but my fantasy car is more of a restored 1962 Citroen DS. Or no car at all.
Yeah, the wallpaper would be the first to go when I moved in. In fact the wallpaper has been the first thing to go in every place I have moved into. So far I've removed at least two houses worth of wallpaper. I hate that stuff and would like to find a sponsor in Sacramento to draw up a new wallpaper law : "Any new wallpaper installed in the state must be matched by an equal square footage of wallpaper removed somewhere else". Kinda like those environmental mitigation laws where you can pave a wetland so long as a new wetland is created elsewhere.
Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at June 18, 2008 3:40 PM
I love wallpaper.
Posted by: amused at June 18, 2008 5:22 PM
Some here seem surprised that it's rumored to be only $3.5 million. What do you think someone should pay? Maybe $6 million? Maybe $20 million?
Why? Why is it worth that?
Yes, this is truly a site for real estate agents. No number is too absurd, nor too high, as long as they get 6% of it.
Posted by: Anonymous at June 18, 2008 5:50 PM
"Yes, this is truly a site for real estate agents. No number is too absurd, nor too high, as long as they get 6% of it."
Blatant flaming aside, do you even know where this property is situated? What this property is? What you're talking about?
When compared with a number of run of the mill $3M properties within six blocks of this one, it is no wonder people who follow the market closely are surprised at this pricepoint, yeah.
Posted by: fluj at June 18, 2008 6:01 PM
One car garage is no problem up on that hill. Plenty of street parking. Just pull right in front and walk through the garden gate, But don't park under the tree that is one storm away from falling in the street, roots and all.
Posted by: what at June 18, 2008 6:02 PM
This location is to die for, a lovely house on one of the most perfect lots in SF. I know it well..... wish I had the cash, so I could buy it and live in it for 60 years like the last family.
Posted by: crockergal at June 18, 2008 6:10 PM
This place looks awesome. That wallpaper is AMAZING. I so hope the buyer does not end up doing a Dwell job on the interior.
Posted by: location at June 18, 2008 6:13 PM
When somebody dares to question the consensus, it's not called flaming, it's called common sense. Since when is $3.5 million a "steal" price for a single family home on this planet?
You think it's underpriced? I believe we're beyond that time when a simple comparison to other homes (often overpriced) is good enough reason to hike an asking price.
Posted by: Anonymous at June 18, 2008 6:18 PM
This is not exactly your typical SFR.
1 - Location. If I had to build my dream home in SF, it would be around this lot. I walk past this home once in a while (when I feel like getting that heart pumping) and the view is always a reward. This the next best thing to having your home on the SW corner of Dolores Park.
2 - The lot is big by SF standards. 5,985 sqft or double the size of a typical 25X120.
3 - The house is big enough and full of history. And you'll have to admit, it is unique in many ways.
All the recipies for a very high price. I'd buy this one instead of 4226 25th if I had to hunt for a house in this price segment. The 25th street is over-priced imho. This one is not.
Posted by: San FronziScheme at June 18, 2008 6:39 PM
Flaming/not flaming aside, this is a lovely house from the outside. I can't stand the little of the interior space I've seen... I wouldn't be surprised if the City had an interior easement on this property to preserve it until the martians take over. I'm not a dwell fan, but I find this interior kitsch.
Posted by: kaya at June 18, 2008 6:42 PM
It's total kitsch, but in a 'Sunset Blvd.' kind of way. Also, it's remarkable and unique, and has insanely good views. It looks a lot like houses of that era in Beverly Hills and Hancock Park. It's nice to see that there are dream homes in the price range of 4226 25th, which is my new benchmark for SF McMansion. But when the real mansions cost roughly the same, maybe that means the McMansions ultimately won't be that successful (and metastasize to neighboring row houses)
Trivia: Anita Page is the last living attendee of the first Oscars.
Posted by: hugh at June 18, 2008 7:15 PM
Isn't it also mostly brick? At least those chimneys are. And don't brick structures fall down during earthquakes? At least those chimneys will.
I walked by this house about 6 months or so ago, and recall thinking "lovely house, too bad it won't be here much longer."
I'm speculating, but there may be a reason why this house was built in 1908 - namely, the structure that used to be on this lot **fell down** 2 years earlier on April 18, 1906.
Some may be willing to pay $3.5m (or more) for what could become a pile of rubble and broken brick, but I think I'll take a pass, thank you.
Posted by: Mark D. at June 18, 2008 8:05 PM
Well, in the unlikely event that happened, it still would be a San Francisco pile of rubble and brick, and that's still very special, isn't it? That's got to be worth at least 10 times the value of a Detroit pile of rubble and bricks. Besides, you'd still have the land--and don't forget the fabulous view from atop the San Francisco pile of rubble and brick.
Posted by: Anonymous at June 18, 2008 8:18 PM
" somebody dares to question the consensus, it's not called flaming"
Hey, $3.5M is a lot of money, agreed.
But that wasn't the flaming aspect of what you said, now was it?
"Yes, this is truly a site for real estate agents. No number is too absurd, nor too high, as long as they get 6% of it."
Posted by: fluj at June 18, 2008 8:34 PM
Fluj, if you want to dispute my assertion, then please cite a few specific instances where, in your opinion, the price is absurd or too high, and if so, how much of the 6% sales fee you would decline in that case (assuming you're a real estate agent) because of pangs of conscience.
In other words, please give us a few examples of what properties you're seen which are absurdly priced. It sounds like you're the professional, right? What have you seen that is or was "too high?" Anything?
Posted by: Anonymous at June 18, 2008 8:53 PM
If you want to see a list of homes that are priceded too high..you can begin by searching for for homes that have been on the market for 200 days or more.
Some of these may be priced too high.
In the trade it is sometimes referred to as seller assisted pricing. (SAP)
When an agent suggests a lower list price, but the buyer insists on a higher list price because of buyers needs, regardless of market realities, once in while, a property may hit the market overpriced.
Real Estate Agents do not have a monopoly on greed.
Posted by: kathleen at June 18, 2008 10:13 PM
I wish the editor would clarify what they mean when they say the house was recently "renovated"..does that mean just decorated and fussed up? i walk by there a lot and have never seen construction activity.
if they didn't upgrade the foundations and add seismic shear walls or moment frames, the whole thing is gonna collapse when..and yes when not if we have the big one...
but you will be left with a fabulous lot with awesome views.
Posted by: noearch at June 18, 2008 10:18 PM
yes, real estate agents do have a monopoly on greed.
they caused the ridiculous price bubble..cause they wanted big fat commissions.
so flame me all ya want..it's my opinion.
Posted by: noearch at June 18, 2008 10:21 PM
Oh- I have STALKED this house.... just driven there and parked and sat outside and looked.... you can sort of see through some of the windows to the view beyond.....
.... no, I am not too obsessed. I would pay the 3.5mil in a heartbeat and feel lucky to be buried in the rubble if an earthquake took it down.
Posted by: Katherine at June 18, 2008 11:20 PM
then please cite a few specific instances where, in your opinion, the price is absurd or too high
to support fluj:
I have occasionally seen him state that a property is overpriced on Socketsite prior to the subsequent reduction in price.
in general, he tends to be on the cheerleader side of things, but that is not unexpected given that his experience (i.e. job) is mainly centered on the more desireable neighborhoods and he has stated before something to the effect that he doesn't really think macroeconomic trends are paramount for SF RE. (this is a paraphrase and I know he hates when people put things in his mouth, but I believe that to be quite accurate... and I chose the word paramount for a reason)
he can be a royal PITA, but so can I so I guess I won't throw rocks. usually because he can't separate the uber bear argument (those that claim yoy 50% drops) from the rational bear argument (those of us who feel that SF RE values will fall significant amounts in real terms over a very long period of time). on some days he's pretty grumpy and attacks/lashes out, but I'm sure some of the reason for this is that he's a lightning rod for the bears, so he takes a lot of crap.
Posted by: ex SF-er at June 19, 2008 5:28 AM
back to the house:
this is not my style at all. it is too gaudy and fussy and over the top for me. however, despite it not being my style I just love what this property is and represents. if I bought it I could never rip out all that stuff, not even the wallpaper. it's just so 1930's ornate and glam I guess. it's odd for me when this happens: every individual piece in those rooms I hate... but I LOVE the ensemble.
that would be the stickler for me. I love the site, and I love the soul of that house, but the house itself doesn't work for me... and I could never bring myself to make changes.
The same thing happened for me with my current house. It has the original wood from 1909. A lot of it is stained "American Century" (they don't make that stain anymore). the woodwork was faithfully restored after being painted white in the 1980's. I love the crisp look of white baseboards/moulding, but I'll never paint them because the house is what it is... so I had to spend big-bucks getting custom hand made "american century" stain when I had to replace the 16 inch floor boards and the 12-16 inch crown moulding in the kitchen... sigh.
I'm hoping this house goes to some old codger-at-heart who will maintain but not overly alter the property. Obviously, whoever buys it has the right to do whatever they want with it, Dwell and chopped aquaturd pillows or not...
Posted by: ex SF-er at June 19, 2008 5:39 AM
"What have you seen that is or was "too high?" Anything"
People who read this site a lot know that I say this frequently. Oddly enough, it is often actually viewed as a cop-out for why stuff doesn't sell. Can't win for losing!
And remember, I didn't question your view that this is absurdly high. I questioned how you presented it. You took it as a chance to broadly insult realtors. Most of the people who commented on the price being low aren't even realtors themselves.
This lot is amazing. Many, lesser properties nearby have sold for ~$3M or more. These are facts.
Posted by: fluj at June 19, 2008 7:38 AM
"they caused the ridiculous price bubble..cause they wanted big fat commissions.
so flame me all ya want..it's my opinion."
You're just another one who takes every chance possible to bash realtors, but that's absurd.
Posted by: fluj at June 19, 2008 7:41 AM
By the way, I recently responded to an entire list of like 15 District 5 properties by the poster Dude in which I showed that each of them is above 900 a foot. That is in my opinion "too high." One of them was the 25th street property. But I guess I was wrong about that.
Posted by: fluj at June 19, 2008 7:45 AM
I have used fluj and he only charges 5%, so work that into your greed observation. The Valley and 25th places are already both in contract with multiple offers. So, is $3.5M off for this place.
Real estate agents didn't drive up the costs of houses here, come on. 6% of the costs doesn't drive it up, multiple offers on $1.6M teardowns in Noe does.
Posted by: sparky at June 19, 2008 7:55 AM
"how much of the 6% sales fee you would decline in that case (assuming you're a real estate agent) because of pangs of conscience."
You're the same turkey who called me a bigot before for using the term "the ranks of the poor," right?
Yeah. You're awesome.
Posted by: fluj at June 19, 2008 8:08 AM
No, wrong! I'm not that guy, Fluj. Take it easy.
By the way, I've never used the term "realtor"
on this site.
I also never said that this was absurdly high. Please read carefully! However, I was surprised at the sentiment expressed by someone that it might be too low at $3.5 million.
Posted by: Anonymous at June 19, 2008 8:51 AM
Not really a surprise if fluj mixed you up with a handle like Anonymous.
Posted by: michiko at June 19, 2008 9:15 AM
FYI - In SF the majority of listings are at 5% commission, not 6%
Posted by: bigidea at June 19, 2008 9:52 AM
FYI - In SF the majority of listings are at 5% commission, not 6%
I still think this is vastly too high. 5% of $3.5 Million????
RE agents should be paid as a fee-for-service, like in the UK model. It is rediculous to spend that much to sell your house. I don't care if it's split 4 ways (between the 2 agents and their agencies)
5% might make sense when the home is selling at $200k, but certainly not $3.5M
Posted by: ex SF-er at June 19, 2008 9:58 AM
I am not in any way, shape, or form invoved in real estate (other than to be at its mercy) and i was also surprised this property was priced this low. there is a distinction - i don't necessarily think it's WORTH more than that, but i was surprised it was not PRICED for more than that. And it is, indeed, a beautiful spot - one that i also covet every time i've ever walked by. totally idyllic.
Posted by: holmes at June 19, 2008 9:59 AM
And I THINK that you should be paid the following way, ex-SFer .... um, what is it that you do again?
Posted by: fluj at June 19, 2008 10:04 AM
I understand that services given in the UK are vastly different than in the US.
but it's not necessarily 10x harder to sell a $3.5M house than a $350k house... thus I doubt compensation should just automatically be 10x higher just because sales price is 10x higher. (which is the case in our system)
and yes, many UK firms have a % commission as well but it is quite low. The rest of the "services" usually come a la carte.
and obviously, there is a lot of abuse in their system as well as in ours.
Posted by: ex SF-er at June 19, 2008 10:05 AM
Regarding pricing, I think that the listing agent is following the lead of the property on 17th street. The agent was also a Sotheby's agent. That one was also priced for around $3.5M, and went well over. This is 3300+ feet on the very best Liberty Hill block. I don't want to guess, really, but I think -- if the pricing remains 3.5M -- it will go for more than that.
Posted by: fluj at June 19, 2008 10:10 AM
And I THINK that you should be paid the following way, ex-SFer .... um, what is it that you do again?
I'm a doctor. I am paid based on what I do. Everything I do (physical, procedure, sick visit) has a predetermined price that is pre-negotiated, usually with insurance carriers. Most of the reimbursements are very similar since they flow off of what CMS (Medicare) decides.
Some of what I do is "free". (phone calls, patient emails, paperwork, forms, etc). but all patient contact hours are billable at a rate based on what I'm doing.
They call it the "RVU" or "relative value unit" system.
there are huge downfalls to the system. for instance it mainly flows from what CMS decides... for example, this year I will take a 15% pay cut doing the exact same work as last year because CMS decided to revalue what various things are worth... but there it is.
I could envision a system as well where RE salespeople were paid the same way. Perhaps have like a 1% or maybe 2% commission (so their interests are aligned with the seller) and then the rest would be a la carte.
one could pay as example for billable hours (like a lawyer) and for supplies (pamphlets, internet exposure, MLS exposure, etc).
so the fees would be 1% plus billable hours plus office fees as example.
Posted by: ex SF-er at June 19, 2008 10:13 AM
Fluj, which 17th st property?
While I agree that this is in theory the best view lot in the district. In reality there are some issues, let's see the interiors and the limited ability to modify this structure and actual size before we make pricing predictions. As a trophy property psf goes out the window, but also the buyer pool is very limited.
A well known agent just overbid 500K on 414 Liberty, which is a very modest home on a std lot, however I see much more expansion potential there.
the house down the street (775 Sanchez) was owned by the family of the seller, and it sat on the market for few months in '05, finally selling for $3.7M. It's the same size lot with very similar views, much less historical building, which is good an bad. Interiors were obviously much more like move in condition at this price range (at it has a pool at the basement).
I stopped making predictions.
The 25th & Valley pending sells in this sea of +2M properties shows that unique/done stuff sells.
Posted by: someone at June 19, 2008 10:22 AM
You're a doctor? Have you ever heard of this device?
Apparently it is an amazing point of sale charge capture service. (full disclosure, two of my friends invented it and my brother and I are ground floor investors, but Leahy clinic and NYU are using it, to great effect apparently)
You better hurry before socketsite pulls this down!
Posted by: fluj at June 19, 2008 10:24 AM
4924 17th st, it was priced at 3.6 and went for 3.9. Yeah, someone, all bets are off really I suppose. I feel as if high 3's or even into the 4's would feel too out of place for any District 5 and hence the 3.5 pricepoint. (I could be very wrong.)
Posted by: fluj at June 19, 2008 10:28 AM
The house may have been built in 1908, but not for Anita Page. She was born in 1910.
Posted by: Paul at June 19, 2008 10:30 AM
thanks, I'll look into it!
anyway: my point isn't that RE agents are overpaid overall. it is that the method of compensation does not always make. price of house does not necessarily = difficulty of selling or time of selling.
you may have a $3.5M house that flies off the shelf by itself, while you work all year to sell a $650k unit. yet you get paid way more for the former. if you market a $5M home for 2 years and it doesn't sell you get nothing.
I think fee-for-service would work better for ALL involved. in big time bull markets the agent would get paid less per sale, but would make more sales as each sale is easier. In big time bust markets the agent would get paid for each listing so wouldn't be so lean. You wouldn't have the big payoffs (like agents had in 2000-2007) but also would avoid the big busts (present)
it would also improve the conflict of interest with buyers agents who are paid based on selling price commission as well... (so perverse incentive for higher sales price)
my typical disclosure: I have the most awesome RE agent on Earth so I'm not anti-agent, rather I feel the system doesn't make sense.
Posted by: ex SF-er at June 19, 2008 10:32 AM
But by that logic keeping the commission the same also works. It's 2.5% in lean times (famine) and 2.5% in bull markets (feast.) Let's not forget that this system was in place prior to the big runup.
And honestly, when things aren't selling it's because they're flawed and or overpriced. Things will eventually sell if priced correctly in a free market. The $3.5M house could very well be THE MOST difficult thing to sell. How often is the overpricing waaay more than 5 % ? Just a thought. But the agent who is selling 4226 25th street (coincidentally the same agent who sold 4924 17th) is worth every penny for getting way more than one would think possible. It's all relative.
Posted by: fluj at June 19, 2008 10:39 AM
just for the record, you can see that I am NOT the only one here saying that real estate commissions are too high..and no, I dont bash realtors. i criticize the fees they charge. so, put that in your pipe and smoke it.
for those who don't know, by now: I'm a licensed architect and I DON'T charge a percentage based fee for my services. I charge a fixed fee, based on tasks required to perform the services: site investigation, conceptual design, construction documents, permit submittals, specs, and construction observation. I charge hourly for the services needed, regardless if a construction budget is $100k or $1m.
The real estate profession should begin to think like that.
Posted by: noearch at June 19, 2008 10:52 AM
You point blank said that realtors are responsible for the bubble.
And that is laughable.
Posted by: fluj at June 19, 2008 10:58 AM
I have never argued that RE commissions had anything to do with the runup. that was some anon. person.
again, I'd rather pay someone for the work they do, not for what the market is doing on their behalf.
so if they're working their butts off then I will pay them more. If they just throw crappy pics up and my house sells itself then they get less.
is worth every penny for getting way more than one would think possible. It's all relative.
and this RE agent could charge more in terms of price per billable hours. again, similar to lawyers. the star agents would still make a killing... the inexperienced/lessor agents would have cheaper billable hours.
I'm just recalling that my agent spent maybe 1-2 hours TOTAL selling me my house. I bought it before it went on the market. He brought me to 0 houses (I went to hundreds of open houses all by myself. I have the internet so don't need him to drive me to places). and so he ended up making like $20k/hour or something. that wasn't his skill... it was the market going gangbusters. (he is very honest and good networker though). He is still doing well... but he has annoying clients that make him take them to 100's of houses and they may/may not buy... (high gas costs) he has sellers who won't drop the price... (high marketing costs) it's eating into his margins... but he has to continue cause he'll only make $$ if he makes the sale. (he's still doing well though, but most agents are not for this reason)
I just think it would have been better for him and his agency (he owns) had he simply been paid by billable hours and also a smaller commission. he still would have done very well in 2003... but not crazy good like he did. And now he would be doing worse than 2003 but not as bad as he's doing now because he'd only get serious lookers and serious sellers
Posted by: ex SF-er at June 19, 2008 11:00 AM
Some sources say the house was built in 1930 which would make sense given the architectural style and allow for the Anita Page angle if it's true.
Posted by: Paul at June 19, 2008 11:31 AM
exSF-er, for your comments about "the soul of a house" I love you so much. I could never change a thing about this one either, and I *hate* wallpaper.
Posted by: kthnxbye at June 19, 2008 12:04 PM
Did someone say their agent drives them around to look at houses? How often does that happen?
Posted by: fred at June 19, 2008 12:31 PM
@fred: My agent offered to do that, but we did not take her up on it, because we are only in the "build or upgrade?" phase, and didn't want to waste her time. She had local knowledge in the nbhds we were interested in.
We've also seen how she stages and markets houses (yes, I think staging is important), and we are impressed with that too. If we ever sell, I'm almost certain we will give her business. Maybe I'm stupid, but I see value in good salespeople, even though I know I'm being worked ;)
If your agent doesn't do any of this, I'd find someone else -- these folks must add value somehow. If you are going to use one, you need to research them like you would business partners.
Posted by: dub dub at June 19, 2008 1:01 PM
Back to the house...my first impression from looking at the pics/decoration: reminds me of the guest quarters at Hearst Castle. Creepy.
Posted by: Dude at June 19, 2008 1:43 PM
Oh yeah...I also agree that realtors are grossly overpaid for the amount of skill and education that their profession requires. They basically make the most money of any party involved in the real estate transaction, for taking little to no risk whatsoever. Back when they had an information monopoly (pre-internet MLS), they could at least try to justify the exorbitant commissions they charged and pretend that they were adding some value. But as pointed out, today people go to open houses themselves, find their own homes, arrange their own financing, etc.
Posted by: Dude at June 19, 2008 2:03 PM
If I may defend realtors for a moment, for every multi-million dollar house they sell, they show many properties that they don't sell and work with clients who never buy anything, write up offers that go nowhere. They don't get paid until they close a deal. They work entirely on commission. For every agent who makes high six figures, there are countless ones that barely make a living.
Not ever realtor is hardworking and honest but you can say the same for every other profession and they didn't create the commission structure. That's something that they have to work with.
Posted by: 94114 at June 19, 2008 3:10 PM
I've said it all along. Some people are fully equipped to hold it all down sans a realtor. Many, or most, are not. Judging by the sheer volume of things people get very, very wrong on here I'd say most of the serial posters on this site are not equipped. That is if they really were ever going to buy something. Which they're not.
Posted by: fluj at June 19, 2008 3:19 PM
I'd say Realtors are not grossly overpaid most of the time. They are salesmen after all and you need someone good to do that job to sell your place when you do not have the necessary skills/time.
But there is a conflict of interest that goes against the buyer. They do have a vested interest of seeing local prices go as high as well as having as many sales as possible.
Therefore, increasing prices and sense of urgency in bubble times are their best environment.
I wouldn't want to be a Realtor in Modesto or Miami right now.
Posted by: San FronziScheme at June 19, 2008 3:44 PM
. . . still laughing (again) about the "chopped aquaturd pillows"
Posted by: as at June 19, 2008 4:03 PM
whats wrong with having a realtor show you 100 homes, mine did before I finally bought, and it took over 4 months.
Posted by: view lover at June 19, 2008 4:04 PM
i live a block away from this house and walk by it all the time. and 21st and sanchez, like others on this site, is my favorite corner is sf. and thanks all for posting the history of the house. when i walked by this evening there was a sotheby's for sale sign on the front gate. i do not know if its going for 3.5 million, for what other houses in the neighborhood have gone for -- that house is a bargain at that price - i would have guessed 5.5 million considering the location and size of the lot. i understand that since mr. salaman passed away the misses hasn't been upstairs. it is a fantastic property, with tremendous gardens.
Posted by: pjm at June 19, 2008 9:22 PM
There's nothing wrong with having a realtor show you 100 homes.
Posted by: fluj at June 20, 2008 8:27 AM
This is the kind of property SocketSite exists for. I loved the posting from the woman who has 'stalked' this house. I've also had an emotional relationship with this place for more than 2 decades. Before anyone else mouths off about it being overpriced, you simply m-u-s-t go by the property and see it from the outside.
Three more 'emotional' homes (at least for me) sit on the 1000 Block of Broderick-- flat-front Italianates East side, set back from the street. Anyone know them? They are not nearly as sexy as this one is, but a treat and surprise to find if you stumble across them.
Posted by: anonyme at June 21, 2008 9:39 PM
Broderick-- flat-front Italianates East side, set back from the street. Anyone know them?
Oh yeah. Love those too. Wasn't there a fire in one of them a few years ago?
Posted by: fluj at June 22, 2008 10:33 AM
Toured the house today. It is beautiful, unique, with an amazing location and a history rich in details.
The house is also a total disaster inside. Whomever buys will be spending well over a million to bring it up to where it needs to be. There are numerous special features that should probably be saved, which will cost a lot to do, and sadly there is not a single room that shouldn't be taken to the studs. The guest quarter over the garage is uninhabitable, and I would think there may well be unseen structural issues with the foundation that will require serious and costly expertise.
I want to buy it, just not sure if the dollars are worth the risk for me.
Posted by: Eoral at June 23, 2008 2:28 PM
This home is a unique San Francisco property with an amazing close up downtown vista. The interior has no wall paper at all but does have 3 or 4 rooms that have beautifully upholstered walls. $3.5 million seems like a great price, even if some renovations are required. I agree with Katherine who said, " I would pay the 3.5mil in a heartbeat and feel lucky to be buried in the rubble if an earthquake took it down."
Posted by: Donald at June 28, 2008 9:27 PM
I have been obsessed with information about this house for the past 10 years. My husband and I take walks past it often, and love the wood bench kitty corner to this house. Thank you so much for this little bit of information.
I have always thought this place was haunted, due to the creepy statues in the front garden combined with total darkness at all times. I have never seen anyone coming or going, no sign of activity. It is such a unique and cool lot/house. I don't have $3.5, or $4.5, or any other amount near to what this will sell for- but I would pay $10 for a brief tour before someone comes in to Dwell it up! I agree 100% with the poster that said she would have to live with the unique personality, even if it wasn't her style. Can't we leave ANY properties in SF with some personality rather than turn them all into "2008 Vanilla Dwell"? I should set up a remodeling business now- there will be tons of work in Noe/Eureka Valley in 5 years when all of these house turn over and Dwell style is the equivalent of green marble bathrooms with gold fixtures today.
PS- To the person worried about parking under the leaning tree- last time I walked by the tree was tagged for removal.
Posted by: REaddict at June 29, 2008 10:33 AM
Just to clarify, when people say "Dwell style" they mean Southern California pre-fab post-post modern, right? Not abundant use of concrete, and spartan? I see more of the latter than the former within the pages of the magazine.
Posted by: fluj at June 29, 2008 10:48 AM
Regarding Dwell style, I don't think it is about Southern California, but it is about trying hard to erase any history a home may have. What makes it worse to me, is the heavy use of furniture from two stores in particular, Room and Board and DWR. Can't anyone who is flipping properties in this city think outside the box? Must everything look the same? How many Noguchi coffee tables, Eames chairs and Aquaturd chopped pillows must every home in this city contain?
The funny thing about this Liberty Hill house is that it reminds me so much of Los Angeles! This home is very similar to homes throughout the Hollywood Hills, Silver Lake, Los Feliz and other neighborhoods. Let's hope whoever the fortunate buyer is, they furnish and restore the house to be a HOME to live in instead of another modern cliche.
Posted by: antiflip at June 29, 2008 1:10 PM
It's not just SoCal style - Dwell started here in sunny San Francisco. When Allison Arieff was the editor, the magazine championed contemporary design and architecture, including green building. IMO it was a breath of fresh air and connected us to a more radical past and future.
Now it's about cloning a look, and people - including me - are getting tired of it. What's needed is more adventuresome contemporary design. Slam it if you want, but LA has got plenty of that.
Posted by: michiko at June 29, 2008 1:48 PM
I agree 100% with "antiflip" (and michiko), and couldn't have said it better myself:
"It is about trying hard to erase any history a home may have."
If you are going to rip everything out, add something fresh and original, make the place a little unique! I live in Noe and have an A-frame with freestanding 60's wood burning stoves...I am not going to rip it all out to make it look just like the house next door. You've got to embrace some of a home's original, or at least previous, architectural details. Going down to the studs isn't always the best approach to a remodel.
Every time I go to an open house these days I am struck with a horrible case of deja vu! I'm even sick of seeing Fisher Paykel double drawer dishwashers!!!! ;-)
Posted by: REadict at June 30, 2008 9:59 PM
Let's talk about the house not realtor commissions. All services are negotiable. If you paid a good real estate agent by the hour,and compensated for expenses, sellers would miss the 6% in a hurry.
This house is a dream. A fantasy location. It is s a feminine house. It's an aging princess of house, all the regal proof is there, just gently faded.
The location is sublime. The views unreproducable.
This is a princess palace and I hope there is a pricenss out ther who will revel in its unique beauty will buy it.
Congratulations to Payton for obtaining a unique piece of San Francisco for sale.
Posted by: kathleen at August 7, 2008 10:16 AM
I adore the wall treatment!
Posted by: Qamile Stema at September 7, 2008 7:37 PM