August 13, 2008
There’s Green (And Perhaps Even Platinum) Up In Them Thar Hills
The Margarido House (5950 Margarido Drive) is slated to become the first LEED certified Platinum home in Northern California. And while it wasn’t built in San Francisco (nor is it on the market), it was built right across the bay in Oakland (and there will be tours).
∙ The Margarido House (5950 Margarido Drive, Oakland) [margaridohouse.com]
∙ Green In The Hills [SFGate]
First Published: August 13, 2008 3:30 PM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
Vetrazzo countertops. Nice to see these appearing in more homes !
Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at August 13, 2008 3:43 PM
4635 sq feet times about 900/sq foot (per the article) - wow!
There is an empty lot on manchester (if i recall) in upper rockridge sort of near this house -- does anyone know what is planned for that?
Posted by: dub dub at August 13, 2008 3:46 PM
I wanted that Sofa from Room and Board. It looks amazing, but not sure how it would work long term
Posted by: BDB at August 13, 2008 3:57 PM
In fact the whole house is Room and Board furniture. Of course, with Room and Board being an official sponsor of the home, I can see why they are living in the 2008 catalogue. Could I get De La Espada to sponsor my home if I put in green countertops?
Posted by: Morgan at August 13, 2008 4:06 PM
Check out the comments in the Chronicle article.
Posted by: Dude at August 13, 2008 4:25 PM
green is expensive.
Posted by: lolcat_94123 at August 13, 2008 4:32 PM
Thank you SS for featuring this gratuitous, green East Bay home. The neighborhood is great except for that house down the road which went to the auction block on August 8. Anybody want a 7 br/5 ba 4,953 sqft Single-Family Home for $1,822,545 ?
Posted by: EBGuy at August 13, 2008 4:35 PM
@Dude -- I forgot to read the comments, thanks!
Some commenters there are confused: this place is walkable (easy but a bit hilly) to rockridge bart. It is actually closer to bart than my old place in Noe Valley was to 24th+mission, and is walkable to a few bus lines.
Of course, none of that really matters - like the green mansion on the peninsula featured here recently, it is clearly designed as a lifestyle house, not to be green in any absolute sense. Like I said on that thread, nobody wants to know how to raise a family of four in 850 sq feet -- it's too sad, even though they probably do it in Europe.
Posted by: dub dub at August 13, 2008 4:44 PM
The, uhhh, bad neighbor who seems to be having trouble making mortgage payments is located at 6001 Margarido (bought for $2.15 million in 2005). They have 75/15/10 financing (variable, or course) courtesy of Countrywide. There they go, clutching their 10% downpayment, over the cliff. Hard to tear your eyes away... Hope this doesn't affect property values.
Posted by: EBGuy at August 13, 2008 5:08 PM
From the Homer Simpson theological burrito Department:
"Can God create a house so large that not even LEED will certify it?"
Posted by: Debtpocalypse at August 13, 2008 5:15 PM
"(bought for $2.15 million in 2005). They have 75/15/10 financing (variable, or course) courtesy of Countrywide. There they go, clutching their 10% downpayment, over the cliff. Hard to tear your eyes away... "
Nothing to see here, EBGuy. Only $215,000 imploded. Since everyone has so much money in the Bay Area, I'm sure no one will notice the impact crater, least of all the soon to be former "homemoaners".
I do have to laugh a little here. I have a friend/acquaintance who used to always rib me saying I would get "priced out" if I didn't buy a house. As soon as he had enough money saved for a downpayment, he plunked it down on a $1M+ home not too far from here in Upper Rockridge at the very end of 2004. Haven't heard from him in a while....
Posted by: Satchel at August 13, 2008 5:27 PM
Have values in Rockridge really dropped much? Rockridge is incredibly popular (justifiably so, in my opinion), and my impression was that it had a Noe-style insulation from the turmoil in the broader real estate market.
Posted by: zzzzzzz at August 13, 2008 5:44 PM
GREENWASH! Sure missed those LEED points for greater than 7 units per acre (1) and home size less than the national average (10).
Posted by: Shark at August 13, 2008 5:45 PM
"Have values in Rockridge really dropped much? Rockridge is incredibly popular (justifiably so, in my opinion)"
Someone else could comment with more expertise, but my impression is that the part of "Rockridge" that you are thinking of is more along College, and certainly below Broadway. Some of those Arts & Crafts craftsmen built in the 1910s and early 20s are beautiful, as are the leafy well laid out flat streets. I think the upper part dates from a later period, and large parts burnt down anyway in the fires. Not as desirable IMO.
Posted by: Satchel at August 13, 2008 5:50 PM
Regarding Rockridge... if you go to Trulia and click on Foreclosures, the area bordered by Claremont, Broadway, and 51st (College cuts through the center) has been almost impervious to the evil, green pushpins. So yeah, I'd call that Noe-style insulation (for now)...
Posted by: EBGuy at August 13, 2008 6:06 PM
Noe Valley wishes it was Rockridge. The flat streets Satchel mentions are magical. Sometimes I go over there just to walk around, buy food at Market Hall, and sit in my friend's backyard smelling the flowers and enjoying warmer sunshine. If any area outside the city is calling me to move, it is Rockridge.
Posted by: anon94123 at August 13, 2008 6:09 PM
@EBGuy -- re noe-style insulation: I'm almost certain you can get from this area to downtown on BART (say, Montgomery) faster than you can from many parts of Noe. I've tried both before (years apart), but have never expertly timed it.
@Satchel -- yes, upper rockridge burned away in the fire, which is one reason the houses are so magnificent up there (I guess building codes were relaxed after the fire?). But it lacks trees as a result. Aesthetically, I think some of the Broadway terrace houses are simply too big for their lots.
Lower rockridge can get very "collegiate" which isn't my cup of tea anymore, but it's (way) more affordable than upper. You see "real families" there. It's great!
Of interest is an image of the fire in progress easily found on google which you can try to map to present day (scary!):
Posted by: dub dub at August 13, 2008 6:26 PM
Any house in SF is greener than this. Oakland requires driving, AC transit is even more sparse than MUNI, and the plots of land and massive sprawl is environmentally damaging. The only green mansion would have to be on a 20' x 50' plot of land, built 5 stories up. This is ridiculous, nobody is buying it.
Posted by: sf at August 13, 2008 6:28 PM
Rockridge BART is busy, has parking, and some of the best shopping in the area is right there. It is also a nexus for AC Transit lines all over the area. There may be some truth for what you are saying about much of Oaksterdam being car bounded, sf, but that is not true in this case. The size and lack of trees are probably bigger issues.
Posted by: Mole Man at August 13, 2008 7:44 PM
"Any house in SF is greener than this. Oakland requires driving"
0.7 mile walk to Rockridge BART - 10 min
Rockridge BART to Montgomery Station - 21 min.
Posted by: beast ay at August 13, 2008 8:02 PM
I'm SO pathetic! I couldn't resist, and just drove the family by this place after dinner.
Turns out the tree thing is not an issue IMO (there are trees, it's just that lower rock has more) -- one advantage is the magnificent views are therefore not obstructed as happens in Montclair, and parts of Piedmont. But this area is on a different planet than lower rock (or Montclair).
Green? I had almost forgotten: they could be burning tires in the driveway primed with jet fuel for all I care :)
Okay, thanks for all the excitement SS (and commenters)!
Posted by: dub dub at August 13, 2008 9:31 PM
Rockridge is great. Warmer than Noe, but you have Oakland shools.
According to maps.google.com that is a 22 minute walk, which seems about right, almost a mile over a hill. Then a 20 minute BART ride, so 42 minutes to Montgomery. Pretty close.
I like a block from the J and it is 25 minutes downtown if nothing bad happens, but something bad happens about one day in ten, so I usually walk 15 minutes to BART and take the 10 minute trip downtown.
Your link says a 14 minute walk beast and that is not all the way to BART. You could probably do it in 15 minutes downhill to work, but it would take longer coming back.
Posted by: NoeValleyJim at August 13, 2008 10:03 PM
Have to disagree with you sf...There are a number of areas in Oakland that are commuter friendly including Rockridge, Lake Merritt, Jack London Square, Downtown and Temescal. Additionally while AC Transit is not perfect, I'd take it over Muni any day.
Also agree that Noe has a way to go before it can get close to Rockridge. Some of those leafy streets off College are just beautiful.
Posted by: Willow at August 13, 2008 10:08 PM
Have values in Rockridge really dropped much?
Rockridge is about 15-20% down from peak. Surely still higher than it was in 2004, but perhaps not by much.
Posted by: NoeValleyJim at August 13, 2008 10:09 PM
"...but you have Oakland shools."
The public schools that service the upper Rockridge area are actually quite good up until high school.
How are the public schools in SF?
Posted by: js at August 14, 2008 9:26 AM
@js - the public schools in SFUSD pretty much suck. There's a few decent schools but the system itself is pretty bad. We're doing the charter school thing now.
@dub sub - I'm raising a family of FIVE in 850 sq ft and it's not depressing. But then again, I was born in Europe.
Posted by: kthnxybe at August 14, 2008 10:03 AM
As js mentions, there is a K–8 school in upper Rockridge that has the best test scores in Oakland Unified. I'm sure there's a premium for buying within the boundaries for that school. Schools serving lower Rockridge are more of a mixed bag.
I'm curious about the numbers you cite, NoeValleyJim. I've heard from friends in Oakland that nice places in Rockridge are still hot. And by nice places, I mean fixed up bungalows, not the monster homes in the fire zone, or the magazine homes like this one. The places that are sitting are places with a major flaw, like no parking, or bad location. But that's just anecdotal. Anyone with better data?
Posted by: RenterAgain at August 14, 2008 10:09 AM
@js -- I think upper gets thornhill or chabot ( both of which are great), but I'm not sure if all of lower (esp west of college) escapes scott-free. Anyone know?
But you are correct, the foothill public elementary schools are fine -- we are definately sending our son to start off at one in a 2 years, and we are not worried yet.
I will guess that most upper rockridge residents are probably opting for Head Royce tho :)
The nice thing about the foothills is you won't have to compete with peninsula commuters (it's not a practical commute, tho a neighbor of mine does so to genentech).
Unfortunately, you will definitely need a car, but I think you *generally* need one in SF too (of course less-so, esp. if your time has no value).
@thxbye -- I'm very happy you are not depressed raising a family of 5 in your 850 sq foot home: Long live the Continental Way! :)
Posted by: dub dub at August 14, 2008 10:20 AM
Of interest is an image of the fire in progress easily found on google which you can try to map to present day (scary!):
What's truly frightening is overlaying the Trulia map of foreclosures on top of this region. High concentration of new construction -> more recent buyers using "questionable" loans -> begins to look like Antioch.
Posted by: EBGuy at August 14, 2008 10:40 AM
SF schools are a mixed bag - we have some great schools and some really bad ones, too. Everyone I know who sends their kids to public schools is really happy with the choice. The process for getting in is a nightmare, but if you are persistent, you can usually get a good one, a friend of mine who lives across the street put up a good blog about her experiences:
San Francisco has the best test scores of any urban district in California and recently won an award for being an improving school district. It is probably about average for California, but there is great variability in the district, as you might expect in a big urban district.
I did not realize that the Jr. High schools were good in Rockridge, too, when I was shopping there in 2000, the K-5 was great, but it dropped off pretty steeply after that. Maybe this is the uppper/lower Rockridge thing.
I have been tracking ppsqft for the 94718 and it is down from the peak about 15%. Look on Redfin and you can see the home prices for recently sold homes are down a bit:
5302 LAWTON Ave listed at $1,295,000, sold for $1,400,000 (08/03/2007)
321 Hudson listed at $699k, sold for $700,000 (12/03/2004)
5329 Broadway listed at $1,095,000, sold for $1,149,000 (06/16/2005)
5218 Shafter Ave listed at $879,000, sold for $765,000 (07/14/2006)
5230 COCHRANE Ave listed at $1,725,000, sold for $1,714,000 (05/20/2005)
It looks like they are priced at 2005 prices and that was not quite the peak. Maybe someone else has some better data.
Posted by: NoeValleyJim at August 14, 2008 12:26 PM
I think that for me at least, not owning a car saves time, because I can use the money I would have spent on car ownership plus parking to live closer to work. Plus you don't have to deal with the hassles of parking, registration, maintenance, etc. You certainly do lose the freedom of moving about much, but that is sort of the whole point for me. You have to be able to live in an area where there is enough stuff for you to do within walking distance for this to really work though. ZipCar helps a lot, too.
In the long run, you are going to be much better off financially, because instead of having to keep buying a depreciating asset, you are putting you money into paying down your mortgage.
But for me is primarily about living lightly on the earth and being environmental. Three (soon to be four) living in 1200 sq feet car free and loving it.
Posted by: NoeValleyJim at August 14, 2008 12:51 PM
I thought "La Casa Verde" was he first LEED cert. Platinum house in northern CA......did they loose their certification?
Also, can anyone explain to me WHY we need such gigantic houses? Green or not?
Posted by: Tripper at August 17, 2008 9:57 AM
SFGate's "On The Block" RE Blog is reporting that the Margarido House will hit the market reputedly for around $6 million. That would make it the most expensive house for sale in Oakland, Berkeley, or, for that matter, Piedmont. Good luck with that...
Its neighbor across the street, 6001 Margarido, still teeters on the foreclosure precipice. Another NOTS was filed in March of this year.
And just up the street from there is another foreclosure on the brink at 6025 Margarido (6/5.5 3568 sq.ft.). A NOTS was filed in March 2008, again in Dec. 2008, and then again in March 2009, with the latest NOTS filed on 9/18/2009. With all the various liens on the property, I'm guessing this one will eventually happen.
And above it all at 6276 Acacia (3/3.5 3997 sq.ft.), it looks like someone is behind on the home ATM payments (NOD filed on July 15, 2009).
Posted by: EBGuy at October 6, 2009 11:05 AM
Officially on the market and asking $5,500,000: It’s March Margarita Margarido Madness As 5950 Goes Live At $5.5M.
Posted by: SocketSite at October 30, 2009 10:19 AM