270 Castenada
As we wrote in March with respect to 270 Castenada:

Asking $3,890,000 and briefly in contract before being withdrawn last April [2008], listed at $2,995,000 today. Still touting “too beautiful to describe” despite Maybeck’s (and the Vernacular Language North) attempt.

As we added in August:

Reduced to $2,595,000 in May [2009] before being withdrawn from the market without a sale, 270 Castenada is now seeking a tenant at ten thousand a month.

As a observant tipster adds today, it’s three months later and they’re still seeking a tenant, only now at $7,500 a month. And as previously noted by a plugged-in reader:

The house is owned by Kent Nagano, long time conductor of the Berkeley Symphony, and his wife the international pianist Mari Kodama. In 2007 he announced he was leaving the Berkeley Symphony in 2009 and taking appointments conducting the Bavarian State Opera and the Symphonic Orchestra of Montreal. They were still living in the house when it was on sale in the spring of 2008. Then a couple of months ago the SF Business Times reported they bought a property on [Divisadero].

And with respect to being but a renter of this Maybeck, it’s not like you were going to paint those walls anyway.
A Maybeck On The Market (And Display) Once Again: 270 Castenada [SocketSite]
Too Beautiful To Describe (Except By The Architect): 270 Castenada [SocketSite]
Past Post And Property Update: Listing For 270 Castenada Withdrawn [SocketSite]
Vernacular Language North: S. Erlanger house [VLN]
A Maybeck For Rent On Castenada (And A Related Neighborhood Sale) [SocketSite]
$7500 / 4br Absolutely Stunning 4 Bdrm Maybeck Designed Home [Craigslsit]

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by kthnxybe

    I wonder if they’d take a short term rental. It would almost be worth 7,500 just to live in this for a few weeks.

  2. Posted by TrippKnightly

    I’d like to rent it for just a couple hours.
    Assuming the bedrooms are furnished.

  3. Posted by EBGuy

    A couple of points:
    1. I can find no deeds of trust on this property, so it looks like this Naganos own this free and clear. Long term landlords determine market rates; their property taxes are less than $20k on this place.
    2. That said (I know, I’m not supposed to say that), the Naganos current Ess Eff pad was $8million+ and there is a “relationship” with BofA on that one. I don’t think celebrity conductors come out of this downturn unscathed, so it could be interesting to watch what happens.

  4. Posted by Alexei

    Re: Long term landlords determine market rates
    How do you figure? I’d imagine market rates are determined by the vacancy rate and by what people are willing to pay.

  5. Posted by meep!

    The economic theory is that markets are made between sellers with a low elasticity curve and buyers with a high elasticity curve. Thus, the landlords with low carrying costs are most flexible and can drive rents lower, and the dot com worker that throws around lots of money that raises rents.
    As with every economic theory, it’s only partly true.

  6. Posted by Rocco

    Did they sell the buildable lot next door?
    That living room may be lovely, but this is a tough house to live in. It may be one of the few with a kitchen designed for caterers and a service bar

  7. Posted by West Portal

    Now reduced another 296k to 2,299,000, and still for rent at $7500.

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