September 21, 2009

2849 Pacific: A Million Dollar (Double) "Take"

2849 Pacific

As we wrote in August:

If our plugged-in tipster is correct, 2849 Pacific will be hitting the market in a couple of weeks after a "big money [but no designer] redo" and with an asking price of around $13,000,000 (give or take a million).

As a number of plugged-in reader’s noted last week, 2849 Pacific has been officially listed and is asking $14,000,000. So make that "take."

2849 Pacific: Kitchen

No, it’s not zero bedrooms and three baths as listed. But yes, parking for eight.

∙ Listing: 2849 Pacific - $14,000,000 [MLS]
Cleaned Up And Coming Soon: 2849 Pacific [SocketSite]

First Published: September 21, 2009 5:30 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

Parking for eight? I'm guessing they paved over the back yard, as when I visited the place it had a one car carriage-house garage with a cool turntable so you wouldn't have to back-out up a long tunnel.

Posted by: HappyRenter at September 21, 2009 9:47 AM

Wow, that's really beautiful. I love the woodwork inside (is that original?) and the stained glass window at the top of the stairs is amazing. I think they did a really nice job modernizing while retaining the original character. Looks way better than the 2009 Designer Showcase house located right across the street....

Posted by: cerky at September 21, 2009 10:13 AM

That stupid decorative star is back again (photo 10). Does that signify something specific that I'm missing or is it just the ugly faux americana that it appears to be in the numerous listings in which it oddly appears? It's like where's waldo.

Posted by: Shza at September 21, 2009 10:25 AM

just like last weeks $13 million dollar house, this house won't sale for over $10 million. Looks nice but not enough buyers out there.

Posted by: geoff at September 21, 2009 10:30 AM

I like that kind of range hood, it looks nice.

It looks like a well done house, but I can't tell what's more special about this place than some of the other ones that have been featured here recently. Do you all think it's going to fetch the asking price?

Posted by: kthnxybe at September 21, 2009 10:41 AM

This seems like it was priced to be marked down.

There are too many high-end homes for sale to support anything close to this asking price. Broadway between Fillmore and Presidio has about 10 mega homes for sale both on and off the market.
The cool Gardner Daily designed 2674 Broadway is available, as are some other north view homes on the 2300 block. The former is only 5 million (I'm sure you could get it for less).

Even Pacific Ave has/had what 8 houses in the last few months? The only sales on that street look to be the absurdly under-priced 3098 Pacific and 2421 Pierce (corner lot).

Posted by: sleepiguy at September 21, 2009 11:16 AM

Wow. An amazing job. They really respected the original character of the house and kept some amazing original woodwork. While others may - and certainly will - disagree, I think this is a textbook example of how to renovate a grand old house. It's neither a faux re-creation of the past nor an uber-trendy remodel. To save and restore the original detail must have cost a fortune. Will they get their price? Who knows?

Posted by: jlasf at September 21, 2009 11:24 AM

$3 says the posts by cerky and jlasf were done by the seller/realtor for this place.

Posted by: lolcat_94123 at September 21, 2009 11:32 AM

This place get's...

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Posted by: matt at September 21, 2009 11:51 AM

^^thinking the same thing!

Posted by: eddy at September 21, 2009 11:51 AM

Actually, my comment was referring to the lolcat_94123 post, not Matt's middle finger which is sure to be deleted.

Posted by: eddy at September 21, 2009 11:54 AM

agree with lolcat_94123 -- something about those two posts is fishy. lolcats are probably good at finding fish.

Posted by: corntrollio at September 21, 2009 12:28 PM

Why does it feel like half of prime Pacific Heights is for sale right now? (Especially in the immediate vicinity of this house) This was a neighborhood buyers with cash had to wait years before the "right" home came on the market, and now everything is for sale.

Posted by: anonconfused at September 21, 2009 12:39 PM

Nice place, but I don't think that they can get their price since there is no Temple of Bathing in the floorplan. Three nice baths though two of them could be just as easily sited in a suburban tract home

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at September 21, 2009 12:48 PM

I am wondering if the $14m price is really a message that "we can and we will wait for the market to catch up." However perfectly restored, it seems to be priced far beyond the current market. It reminds me of the 2008 Dec Showcase on Scott, also priced high, and still waiting. There are investors able to wait in this city.

Posted by: Conifer at September 21, 2009 12:48 PM

^ Because now, everything IS for sale... Lol.

If I were in the market for a home here, I'd probably just call up one of the top two or three realtors in SF (you know who they are) pick out my dream house and have them cold-call the owners and make an offer. I bet it would work - especially if that home was purchased in the last 10 years.

Still, I'm not sure if inventory is really THAT high. It's comparable to 1999-01. The problem is that most everything is still for 07 prices.. and not, well, 99-01 prices, so nothing is moving north of 3 million.

Posted by: sleepiguy at September 21, 2009 12:55 PM

I am not a realtor or a seller. I have nothing invested in this house nor do I care whether it is over/underpriced relative to the opinions of the folks anonymously commenting on this site.

I am just a regular person who appreciates older houses and restored one myself. I always like to see people modernizing houses while retaining the old character, and I think it was done nicely here.

Posted by: cerky at September 21, 2009 1:30 PM

For $14M there would be a lot of home owners that would turn sellers in and around this area.

For $14M you could have a view of the bay, unless you bought this home, in which case you would have the most expensive home ever in SF without a view. I actually don't know if this is a true statement, but I would love to be proved me wrong!

This home is priced to return a specific ROI and is not connected to market prices. That said, I will never again be surprised to what a new construction property defy logic / market so you really can't blame anyone for making an effort. I agree with Conifer that there are more than enough people who can hold these types of investments for a long time.

Posted by: eddy at September 21, 2009 2:19 PM

Did I read somewhere that one of the sellers is related to Barbara Callan of SF Real Estate mag fame? Is she the realator who with Robert Callan has the two page upscale listing in each issue of the Real Estate times?

I believe Barbara's son Robert is married to Newsom's sister?

I can't find the source now but I am sure I read this here on SS.

Posted by: Gil at September 21, 2009 4:45 PM

Yes Gil, Mary Toboni is Barbara Callan's sister, she is the seller and the agent of this house.

IMO this house could never justify that price tag, especially with the overflow of D7 properties on the market right now. There is going to be a couple buyers that are going to make lowball offer's on most of the properties that are on the market right now. And a smart seller will take it!!

Posted by: Barbara at September 21, 2009 4:49 PM

"Yes Gil, Mary Toboni is Barbara Callan's sister, she is the seller and the agent of this house."

Thanks. Is the Newsom connection true - Robert Callan Jr. married to Newsom's sister?

Posted by: Gil at September 21, 2009 6:05 PM

This home is priced to return a specific ROI and is not connected to market prices.
I'm not seeing any 'outside investors' on the deeds of trust -- just banks, Mary and Joseph Toboni, and the Toboni Trust. I will note that a financial statement for 135 St. Francis was filed on Feb. 22, 2008, when a Construction Deed of Trust was recorded (First National Bank of NorCal).
On Jan. 25, 2008 a deed of trust was recorded for their home at 135 St. Francis with First Republic and Merrill Lynch Bank. Perhaps some refi activity to finance this property -- pure speculation on my part though...

Posted by: EBGuy at September 21, 2009 6:17 PM

There is going to be a couple buyers that are going to make lowball offer's on most of the properties that are on the market right now. And a smart seller will take it!!

This is a very smart strategy. I suggested that this very thing happened on a high end condo recently. I forget the home, but all the facts seemed to indicate this was the most likely scenario.

Posted by: eddy at September 21, 2009 6:28 PM

Just to be clear. Hilary Newsom Callan is married to Geoff Callan, not Robert.

So do the Tobonis own this place now? On properyshark it looks like the sale was within the trust as socketsite already pointed out.

I'm sure everything is fine, but I'm wondering what complications could arise from buying directly from a contractor/owner. I just hope he paid all his subs..

Posted by: sleepiguy at September 21, 2009 6:55 PM


you get a much longer warranty on the work, so I wouldn't call it complications.

Posted by: sparky-b at September 21, 2009 7:27 PM

According to CleanOffer, this house was purchased on 11/20/2007 for $5,950,000. I went to the open house at that time, and it was wonderful and unique (lots of old world charm) but needed A LOT of work. There was no yard, however--just a garage blended in with a patch of grass. I reckon the owner put 1-2 million of work into it (hopefully for his/her sake no more than that), and now is looking to take a huge profit. He or she should be lucky to break even, because as even dummies now know, real estate times have changed.

Posted by: Smiling Millionaire at September 21, 2009 8:17 PM


I have ABSOLUTELY no connection to the seller, realtor,
or anyone else involved with this house.

Can't someone admire a well-done property without
being accused of self-serving puffery?

And, as I noted, I have no idea what this house is worth
in this odd - and fairly unique - market. Probably much
less than they are asking.

Posted by: jlasf at September 21, 2009 10:18 PM

Beautifully restored house. Love the interiors. Unfortunately it's on the wrong side of the street. I cannot see a house selling for over $10M without a Golden Gate/and or Alcatraz view (I know there are some in the city but personally I would not buy them for this kind of price without "the view"). There are too many properties on the market for less than $14M that have the "good view". But of course most of those are not restored like this one. Still, I think this will probably close around $10M or perhaps $8-9M.

Posted by: jaja at September 21, 2009 10:55 PM

my god that is one ugly facade.

Posted by: Troy at September 22, 2009 1:07 AM

There is going to be a couple buyers that are going to make lowball offer's on most of the properties that are on the market right now.
I remember Randy H talked about writing multiple simultaneous offers on a couple of years ago. The way the contract is written dictates that acceptance of one of the offers rescinds the others (no pressure, seller!). A fairly mercenary approach that, I imagine, would work well in this market. Has anyone ever seen this in practice?

Posted by: EBGuy at September 22, 2009 10:25 AM

Troy - I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but this facade doesn't seem ugly to me at all. It looks somewhat like a 19th century Paris facade so you may want to steer clear of that "ugly" city.

Places like this look ugly to me. But they are amusing at the same time, so more please.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at September 22, 2009 10:32 AM

yeah, with a whiter stone and larger pattern it might look quite nice -- I used to live in central Tokyo and there's some great French neocolonial-style mansions (worth 10x anything in SF) there.

This just to me looks like an angry, haunted house. It's got the eyes and screaming mouth look to it, too.

I don't mind the brick -- UCLA's architecture looks quite nice -- but this is too much brick.

Posted by: Troy at September 22, 2009 12:31 PM

The realtor's website now includes the floor plans, here: . The number of parking spots has been reduced to six.

Posted by: Lee at September 23, 2009 6:22 AM

Only 6 parking spots?
Count me out.

Posted by: lolcat_94123 at September 23, 2009 3:07 PM

OK, I am sick of The Truman Show theme song used for virtual tours. Please stop.

Posted by: eddy at September 24, 2009 2:18 PM

In Contract. Very surprised.

Posted by: eddy at December 3, 2009 4:40 PM

Wow.... I predict....*confidential sale price

Did anyone else go into this place? It was big, I'll say that. The house is an odd blend of cheap and expensive finishes, so there's sort of disjointed feeling to it.

I'm not going to guess on the budget for this one (lol), but I've no doubt the seller is going to make money if it closes. The money was made on the buy here...

Posted by: sleepiguy at December 3, 2009 6:53 PM

I suspect the money is being made on the buy and sell.

Posted by: eddy at December 3, 2009 11:31 PM

Btw, here are the Randy H posts regarding multiple simultaneous offers that EBGuy was referring to above:

Seems like a lot of Randy H's tactics involve cutting out the buying agent and negotiating directly with the listing agent (who would be getting a higher commission since there's no buying agent).

Posted by: sfrenegade at December 4, 2009 8:55 AM

Still so many little peanuts in a gallery full of nonsense.

So many of you have absolutely NO CLUE of what you're talking about. ROI? Area comps?? Economy??

Buy a house for about $7m, fix it up right and sell it in less than 2 yrs for $14m?? That is just plain BRILLIANT!!!!


Posted by: non-peanut-415 at December 31, 2009 6:25 PM

Grant Deed: 2/24/2014

John R.F. Dettner
2849 Pacific Ave.
San Francisco CA 94115

Thank you!

Posted by: John R. F. Dettner at February 24, 2014 2:46 PM

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