April 29, 2009
A Completely Renovated And Then Remodeled 2525 Webster Returns
Closing escrow in January 2007 with a recorded contract price of $6,300,000, the home is back on the market asking $6,750,000 with a few changes in-between. For example, plugged-in people might recall that the kitchen wasn’t open to the dining room in 2006.
First Published: April 29, 2009 3:30 AM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
Gorgeous! I love the 5 parking spots, the outdoor space, the natural light throughout, and the openness of the kitchen/dining room. I have never been inside, but if I had a few million, I would offer a low-ball offer for this place. This is a prime spot in-between alta plaza and lafayette parks.
Posted by: MarinaRenter at April 29, 2009 8:01 AM
Where do they store the cannons in that fortress? And no drawbridge? Disappointing!
Posted by: huh? at April 29, 2009 9:15 AM
I like the openness and hate the rest. Cold, boring, charmless, looks like some generic high rise condo kitchen. Bleh.
Posted by: kthnxybe at April 29, 2009 9:28 AM
What surprises me most here is that someone bought it with the rather cheap interior finishes and then dumped a bunch of money in it to fix some cosmetic and flow issues but left in the cheap cabinets and changed the floor coloring. I'd like to see the disclosures on this place to see what the current owners are reporting. Also that location is a bit of nightmare with the nearby schools causing a literal traffic jam mornings and mid-day pickup. And it's across the street from perhaps the biggest albatross in PH. I wasked past this place on a rainy day last year and there were some major issues out front with the gutter drainage.
All that said, I actually like the home for the most part. But I wouldn't want to be selling it in this market and it should be interested to see how this place fares in comparison to some of the homes in the price range in D7. I'm not sure they can get this closed with a $6 in the first digit given the law of diminishing sqft returns. Considering the Outter Broadway home (now for rent) that sold for just around 1k per sq ft with to-die-for views and neighbors, I think this place is looking like 775psf.
Some of the previous comments on the prior threads are hysterical in retrospect.
Sleepiguy -- why do you think this was one of "THE" worst buys? I still think the $5M Fillmore house holds that title IMO. Also, that house looks like it might be being staged again! :-0
Posted by: eddy at April 29, 2009 10:06 AM
^ I agree with all of that...
Did you go to the open house back in 06? I was shocked someone bought it even then. To their credit, the current owners spent some time and money on this place (hopefully fixing some of the egregious design flaws). Anyway, I don't want to totally trash the house without having seen its present incarnation, but no matter. There's simply no hope of actually selling this right now. At least the Fillmore St. home was well built - I think! (You know, I don't think the buyers ever moved in there. I walked by that house every day and never saw any signs of life)
And seriously, how scary is Grey Gardens - I mean the Bourn Mansion across the street!
Posted by: sleepiguy at April 29, 2009 10:35 AM
Yep, the Sisters of the Sacred SUV Chauffeur make Webster from California to Broadway a total disaster on school days.
Posted by: Jeffrey W. Baker at April 29, 2009 11:20 AM
The question is why the original, realSF, interiors have been completely removed. Why do people believe that everyone wants an interior that looks like an apartment south of Market? What is wrong with updating without destroying?
I would rather have the Bourne Mansion across the street. While Ms van Upp may have neglected it, still it has the magnificence of its time.
Posted by: Conifer at April 29, 2009 11:31 AM
I did go to the 06 open house. From what I can tell from the pics here they opened up a wall and re-did the floors. Added some built-ins. It doesn't look as if any of the other issues with this home were sorted. I wouldn't under estimate the issues of living accross from the Bourn Mansion. At some point that thing is either coming down and condos going up; or it will be massively rehab'd. This might be the only Wilis Polk home that could be approved for demolition. One of the schools would probaly have first dibs on it anyway.
As for 2542 Fillmore -- I have no idea if they ever moved in there. But there have been workers there non-stop. What could they possbily be doing to a place that was done?????
Posted by: eddy at April 29, 2009 11:47 AM
Never. The Bourn Mansion will never be torn down. It is far too important to the architectural history of San Francisco. Then entire world of preservation, and virtually every neighbor for a mile around, would oppose demolition. Whoever buys it, if Arden decides to sell, will restore it. It is one of the greatest urban houses in California.
Posted by: Conifer at April 29, 2009 11:56 AM
Conifer.. I agree with you about the original interiors. The problem I see is that usually, the original interiors have been stripped out over the years so that so little remains of the original that it's not worth salvaging. Sadly, when the original finishings are intact, they've often been neglected and it's insanely expensive to restore them to their original luster (trust me I've done it). I think now that the flipping craze is over, you'll see less of these type of projects, i.e. where you have this interesting Tudor exterior and a SOMA interior.
The Bourn mansion is also a life estate. Ms. van Upp will have to die before it's sold off. I do hope one of the schools buys it, because it will be astronomically expensive to fix. I'm sure it's a UMB and the structural upgrades alone will cost millions.
Posted by: sleepiguy at April 29, 2009 12:07 PM
Well, it could be a long time, if she is in good health, because she must now be in her early 60s. I have not seen her in years, probably not since the days of her PartyFax service.
Are UMB upgrades required for a single family house?
Posted by: Conifer at April 29, 2009 12:13 PM
Interesting article on Bourn House and Van Upp from 1998 SF Weekly article...
Posted by: r at April 29, 2009 12:35 PM
I vaguely remember reading that SFWeekly article when it came out.
I also looked up the story, and found myself wading through a morass of Sam Sloan's old website and his version of events: http://www.anusha.com/fortress.htm Yikes.
PS - Sleepiguy - that's a good point about the interiors of San Francisco, but it's still tragic. These down-to-the-studs things would be better off demo'd and replaced with a building designed to be modern and new, in my opinion. And I like preservation!
Posted by: kthnxybe at April 29, 2009 12:55 PM
Not sure I agree. I am somewhat schizophrenic in that I love the materials and detailing and pedestrian friendliness of "traditional" exteriors but prefer the much maligned SOMA?Dwell interiors. I hate dark wood "tudor" interiors. So...keep the beautiful exteriors but don't obsess about saving every small roomed traditional interior.
I know that makes me a phillistine, but....
Posted by: bk at April 29, 2009 2:35 PM
My feeling is that historical renovations can be sensitive to traditional interiors without the need to replicate the dank, dark Victorian atmosphere. There's definitely a happy medium. It's entirely possible to restore and preserve while opening up spaces, adding windows, and (dare I say) lightening up rooms through creative choices in paint, etc. It entirely possible to create a fresh, modern interior in some of these older home. It's just expensive to do so.
I can't remember, but I think this house was totally trashed before it sold in 05. The subsequent remodel was so fast and cheaply done that not a great deal of thought and care went into it - and that's my real issue. Those days, however, are over... and there are still some dark days to come for high-end realty in D7. Are you ready for some foreclosures?
Conifer: I don't know the new planning code. I'll take a wild guess and say the amount of structural upgrades required is contingent on the percentage of "restorative" work done to the house. Normally, I could ask someone about this, but I'm not in SF these days. Anyone know the answer?
Posted by: sleepiguy at April 29, 2009 2:53 PM
Does anyone know the story of the old house on Webster between Sacramento and California, on the west side of the street between the temple and the medical library? As far as I can tell nobody has lived there for years, and considering its location in "real sf" you'd think someone would renovate it.
Posted by: Jeffrey W. Baker at April 29, 2009 3:10 PM
hehe, I know what you mean about the dark Tudor and don't really love it either, even thought I like a lot of wood in general.
If the house really *wants* to be dark and Tudory, tough, to me it looks silly with a bunch of pre-fab looking white trim, sludge colored walls and recessed cans in the ceiling. I'd rather see a good contemporary building that was actually built to be light and airy instead, you know?
Posted by: kthnxybe at April 29, 2009 3:10 PM
I meant to say on the east side of the street.
Posted by: Jeffrey W. Baker at April 29, 2009 3:14 PM
But I agree with you both, BK and Sleepiguy - there's no need to live in a museum.
I think opening up a floor plan a bit, for instance, is a natural progression from the Edwardian and Arts and Crafts aesthetics so it can be done very nicely while still retaining that ever-elusive "original charm."
I'm not in love with everything they did (in fact a lot of my pet peeves are included), but 16 Commonwealth is a good example of an update and floor plan that makes an older house fit for a modern family but that still looks like itself, if you know what I mean.
Posted by: kthnxybe at April 29, 2009 3:27 PM
With respect to the Bourn Mansion (2550 Webster): Bourn To Party: A San Francisco Mansion Of Ex-Glory And Dreams. And now back to 2525...
Posted by: SocketSite at April 29, 2009 7:33 PM
the "gutter drainage" issue mentioned in eddy's post may be remedied by the big pipes being installed under Webster. The real granite curbs (not poured concrete) are torn up and you can see that they're giant slabs of granite. They're all over the city and I'm told that they're rubble from the '06 quake.
the school traffic jams are really annoying. It's ok on Broadway b/c two lanes, but Webster is at a standstill.
re that Fillmore house, I also used to walk by every day on my way to Shabby Chic and it never really looked lived in to me either. (yeah, and my other favs, that overpriced crystal lamp place and that place that puts big swans and crashed porsches in the window, and the place that sells lostsa old teacups)
re those schools, did they buy those properties or were they donated? I think one is the old Hills Bros. Coffe manse?
Posted by: Rubicon at April 29, 2009 9:25 PM
Actually I was talking gutters on the house not providing proper drainage. Also, found this: www.2525websterst.com
Posted by: eddy at April 30, 2009 11:41 AM
What ever happened to someone buying a house and actually living in it for a few years? Who would buy a six million dollar place and turn around and sell it again in two years? Even if it sold for the same price you bought it for, you're still out 120k in realtor's fees.
Posted by: albtrssp at April 30, 2009 3:14 PM
Does anyone remember the Avila Street house that went for over 3M? It had a chef's kitchen and that was about it. I think that has to be up there as a 'worst buy'.
[Editor's Note: That would be slightly under $3M (but close): We Provide The Photo, Address And Floor Plan, You Provide The 'Teur.]
Posted by: MarinaLocal at April 30, 2009 5:29 PM
This house is being flipped and the sellers are desperate; but you think they'd list it at $5mm and have a chance of selling; who do they think they are kidding with something in the $6's ... with that pile of crap across the street, the crazy traffic out front, no view except for the back of an ugly apartment complex in back, poorly done renovation, horrible location and ... well, I don't want to mention THAT!
Posted by: awwwmannn at April 30, 2009 9:56 PM
incredibly stylish family home. Wow. Photos do not do it justice. Neigh sayers do not know what they are talking about. Great deal for $900/sq foot. Cannot find anything else in Pac Heights or Presidio heights for that...
Posted by: sftrendspotter at May 3, 2009 9:16 PM
I spy a listing agent comment! Buy now or be priced out forever! LOL!!!!!
Posted by: eddy at May 4, 2009 9:49 AM
sorry, Eddy...just a regular joe checking out the latest gossip on real estate and noticing that alot of the posts are obviously biased. I saw this house and it's one of the coolest large family homes out there...I've looked in SF for over a decade and seen very few like this. There is always a trade off in SF, even in good times. You either get size, view or neighborhood. This house has size for sure. Some people care about that. Especially the few big families trying to manage life in the city. Just trying to keep this site worthy of the peeps who check it out.
Posted by: sftrendspotter at May 5, 2009 8:15 PM
heard the seller worked for Pequot, which just went bankrupt (search google) ... and we live on the same block and saw a U-Haul ... could be trouble in paradise city
Posted by: yoyoma at May 29, 2009 8:02 AM
Pequot's not bankrupt. They are facing SEC inquiries, and they've had losses in their cutomer funds. Thus, they won't earn a performance fee until they get back above their "high water" mark, and with the SEC sniffing around, that makes it tougher. In these circumstances, hedge funds often shut down (they don't usually go bankrupt), and of course they don't give back all the billions (literally, in the case of Pequot) that they siphoned out in performace fees in the past. Then, when it all blows over, they just reopen in a year or two with a new fund, and they can start earning performance fees again without having to make up the losses.
This happens all the time - it is practically standard operating procedure in the hedge fund world. Soros did it in the early 2000s, for instance, Niederhoffer, the principals of LTCM, individual funds at places like Tiger back then, etc., etc. Investors never learn of course - greedy sheep in the end I guess, easy marks for the smart and ruthless.
Posted by: LMRiM at May 29, 2009 8:35 AM
same thing ... insider trading and all that can't be good ...
Posted by: avidreguy at June 1, 2009 8:17 PM
the real trouble is in the American myth of paradise...the smart ones got out already or are moving rapidly to get out...
Posted by: 555california at June 19, 2009 10:31 AM
Question for the editor: If you list at $6.7 and sell at $5.6, do you become a member of the $1M cut club?
Posted by: eddy at July 10, 2009 6:53 PM
Man you guys are such dicks. The sellers did not go bankrupt...they chose to get out of a bankrupt state. Period. You wish you had $1m to lose. Stop wishing ill on others. Stop spreading stupid lies. Grow up.
Also, the Bourne mansion has been listed for sale and you guys are snoozing at the wheel...whose gonna buy it and what are they going to do with it...now THAT would be news.
[Editor’s Note Old news actually: Landmark Bourn Mansion (2550 Webster) Listed And Your Peek Inside.]
Posted by: freedom at September 4, 2009 1:15 PM