64 Russell: Living
64 Russell isn’t your typical earthquake cottage any longer. Purchased for $725,000 in July 2003, the 1908 cottage was gutted and then redesigned by interior designer April Sheldon.
64 Russell: Bath
The line of the listing: “Belle Époque Urban Cottage.” And while the address on the MLS might be “undisclosed,” it’s not if you’re plugged-in. Currently asking $1,575,000.
∙ Listing: 64 Russell (2/2) – $1,575,000 [MLS]

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by eddy

    Missing address is a major PetPeeve of mine. Here the mapjack: http://www.mapjack.com/?cjDnWPb5bFvF

  2. Posted by noearch

    ok, but when the owner sells this little closet, what happens then? all the gaudy furnishings and other junk go away…the buyer is left with a dark and gloomy over priced hovel…

  3. Posted by jd

    Oh, it is good to be back at Manderley.

  4. Posted by Oceangoer

    Thanks for the mapjack link eddy. It underlines what noesearch says, take away the interior decoration and you sure don’t have anything worth 1600/sq ft.

  5. Posted by kthnxybe

    Or even with the decorating it’s not worth half that. Dun-colored walls are the most hideous decorating trend to come out of this decade, bar none.

  6. Posted by Roxxie

    Gosh, that is expensive for 1300 sf.

  7. Posted by DanRH

    Love this location though – right in the middle of RH but on a very quiet street. No views but again, love this location.

  8. Posted by SausalitoRes

    At nearly $1.6 million, it does seem overpriced (I’ll have to check the comps in the immediate area). From the MapJack link, I can’t tell which building it is but I’m not sure that 1,300 SF qualifies as a “hovel”.
    Many of the interior design elements aren’t to my tastes and I’m not sure the open-beam ceiling in the bedroom works.
    On the plus-side, the location is first-rate “Real SF” (albeit non-view); I like the looks of the street. And the single-car garage is a benefit.
    Curious enough to do a drive-by. If this one comes up for an open house I hope some tipster will let us know…

  9. Posted by Bonbon

    “Some houses come alive in the daytime, as if animated by the sun’s rays. This 1908 earthquake cottage in San Francisco’s Russian Hill, however, is not one of those places.”
    Okay are they trying to say this place is dark and dreary??? Weird way to market.

  10. Posted by noearch

    You’d never know the interior designer worked for SOM…so much for modernist training…this place looks like a waiting room in an old folks home.

  11. Posted by deshard

    Wow. This decorator seriously suffers from IDADD, “Interior Decorator Attention Deficit Disorder”.
    It’s a hot mess. Okay, a lukewarm mess. No? Alright then, just a regular old mess.

  12. Posted by SF-lover

    I like it, very “Tim Burton-esq” and Victorian Goth. Although I do agree it seems a bit over-priced….

  13. Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

    Bonbon wrote:

    Okay are they trying to say this place is dark and dreary??? Weird way to market.

    What they are trying to convey is that the place won’t force you to get out of bed at 6am on a summer day just because the Sun is up.
    And they are saying that, in their indirect, almost-a-dog-whistle way because the target market buyer for this place is a well-heeled hipster with a large trust fund or other source of income that doesn’t require said buyer to spend large portions of time working during the same daylight hours that “squares” do, enabling him or her to spend lots of time staying out late at clubs or other entertainment establishments until the wee hours of the morning. Which, in turn, necessitates sleeping late. Think people like Elizabeth Wurtzel during her “More, Now, Again” phase.

  14. Posted by sfbeachboy

    This is the listing Agents own home.

  15. Posted by anon

    Nice decoration for a crappy house, but it’s still a crappy house — small and feels even smaller in the pictures, dark, what’s with the exposed beams in the bedroom?. Was this adequately remodeled (e.g. structural, foundations, etc.)? Don’t know that I’d trust the bones of a house only meant to exist as temporary housing, even if some people see that as a reason to deem it historic.

  16. Posted by stucco-sux

    I think the decor is a hoot. Very plush. But that sq. ft price is a wee bit high, me thinks…

  17. Posted by Amen Corner

    Walked past in on my way home this evening. It’s a great little street off Hyde in a prime “real SF” location. So of course its value “will always go up” ™. But, I don’t know, that seems like an amzing amount of money for a pretty crappy looking place.

  18. Posted by bgelldawg

    1908 doesn’t seem like the right year for an earthquake cottage, and the e.q. cottages I have seen are much, much smaller than this.
    How much did the owner pay for this place?

  19. Posted by giddyupsf

    Oh dear…..so many bitter souls out there.
    “If you cant say anything nice-don’t say anything at all”. I would wish you Happy New Year-but I know yours wont be happy-because that’s not in your heart-and not what you will attract. Sorry-it had to be said.
    What happened to this wonderful city- where beautiful things were once revered and people were applauded for taking a creative risk? So much easier to hate.So piss on the artists and creatives in this town and applaud the crappy, boring new condos everywhere.
    Guess those “gentle people” the song refers to have died or gone away-time to move to Ohio.

  20. Posted by JimBobJones

    I would love for someone to explain how this place is a “creative risk.” There are plenty of good “artists and creatives,” and there are plenty of bad artists and creatives. And people often disagree on which are which. I don’t see why we need to call people bitter or say they’re pissing on others when reasonable people disagree.

  21. Posted by Jon

    Who are you people? And what rock do you live under?
    Fine in a recession to hope a home is less then asking. But what does one think one would pay for 1300 or 1600 sq ft home on top of Russian Hill that has been totally remodeled?
    When you take out the furniture you have plumbing, roofs, surfaces and more.
    And to insult the designer? Assuming because he/she lives in SoMa that they are not professional and educated enough to work on a home that is not a loft or modern?
    I have not visited this home. But I have seen it published. It is absoutely a jewel in a no holds bared Modern Parisian style that is beyond refreshing in the often beige interiors of old S.F.
    One of the travisties of social networking sites like this is that people can post their uninformed ramblings and defame a persons career or much loved investment with abandon.
    No I am not the designer, or the owner. Just someone who thinks that people should think before they speak or publish.
    And as someone who has worked internationally with a high degree of success by anyones measure I have to say hats off to anyone who makes a personl statment and works out of the box, especially in provincial San Francisco Bay Area.
    If you dont like it or don’t want to pay the price, move on, but keep your defamatory opinions to your self.
    I have found personally on the whole that no one ever went broke betting the the poor taste of the American general public…and the comments on this home are exhibit A.

  22. Posted by diemos

    “And what rock do you live under?”
    Are you kidding? I wish I could afford a rock to live under in SF. I have to be satisfied with renting a pile of gravel.
    “But what does one think one would pay for 1300 or 1600 sq ft home on top of Russian Hill that has been totally remodeled?”
    Well, $500/sqft is what it should sell for but we still have a ways to go before we reach there.
    “It is absoutely a jewel in a no holds bared Modern Parisian style that is beyond refreshing in the often beige interiors of old S.F.”
    Well call me old-school but I prefer the greco-roman Modern Parisian style. I guess there’s no accounting for taste.
    “but keep your defamatory opinions to your self.”
    No. I will feel free to like or dislike any particular interior decorating style as I please and to express said same opinion.
    Thanks for dropping by.

  23. Posted by [kid char]

    ah diemos, all big talk and no big action. a mere spectator on the sidelines of life..

  24. Posted by tipster

    yes, watching people lose their life’s savings can’t be half as fun as losing your life’s savings!

  25. Posted by diemos

    “all big talk and no big action”
    Go to work, do a good job, get paid, live below one’s means and save. A simple plan and here 10 years later I’m a half-mil richer.
    That diemos and his crazy get rich slow schemes.
    P.S. Pick a name anon. I like to know who my stalkers are. 😉

  26. Posted by [kid char]

    gee diemos, that’s apropos of what exactly?
    what i find insupportable on this site is that you monday morning quarterbacks (from the editor to tipster,fronzi, lrim and diemos on down) are so certain of your vision of the bubble, and so happy to drink your self-satisfied-socketsite-schadenfreude-soup. its clear that your need to do so is an attempt to assuage your bitterness at having missed out on the big run up. evidently you cannot stand the thought that alot of normal joes out there did see the fed fueled bubble in real time AND WERE ABLE TO CAPITALIZE ON IT.
    so diemos, while you were quietly plugging away and saving your $50k/yr many others seized the opportunity and made real money.
    i’m not denying that the music stopped. i’m just telling you the once-in-a-lifetime chance to make easy money lasted over a decade and gave lotsa folks time to cash out repeatedly. where were you guys?
    if you all are so sure of yourselves now, why were you so blind to the huge opportunities in front of you during the last 15 years???

  27. Posted by Fishchum

    [kid char] – wow, it must be awesome to post from your mega-millionaire’s yacht somewhere in the Caribbean – congrats on being someone who rode the bubble wave like a pro surfer at Maverick’s.
    You’re part of a privileged few.
    Then there are the majority of us, who turn to SS to read, contribute, and hopefully educate one and other in order to better educate and prepare ourselves.
    There’s more than enough schadenfreude to go around. jump in, man, the water’s warm.

  28. Posted by [kid char]

    “You’re part of a privileged few.”
    hardly. as mentioned, this run up started in the 90’s and lasted over a decade. the editor loves to highlight failures of the latecomers and over reachers. there are plenty of those to highlight-
    but the real story is that many more folks quietly (and loudly) made and held onto serious coin.
    a great example of this bias on ss is the lembi story. the lembis went bust- but hundreds of people sold their buildings to the lembis and are sitting very pretty indeed.

  29. Posted by wow

    [kid char],
    Some of the bears you cite didn’t miss out on the bubble, to the contrary. lmrir did pretty well in hedge funds per his own account, while fronzzi said he cashed out his RE in 2006.
    I think the reason they spilled their rant over and over again is they thought they could catch some good deals in SF. That’s probably not going to happen. I think this is why they moved on. To greener pastures?

  30. Posted by nnona

    “alot (sic) of normal joes out there did see the fed fueled bubble in real time AND WERE ABLE TO CAPITALIZE ON IT.”
    I’ve read a lot of rock stupid statements on SS, but this one just may take the cake.
    No doubt, there were a few people out there who “rode the wave” and bailed out at the right time through prescience, luck, or life circumstance.
    But, the assertion that “lotsa” or “many more” people “seized the opportunity and made real money” is patently absurd. Most people stayed on the wave (or traded up to a “bigger wave”) until it crashed.
    Generally speaking, people are greedy. For every person who timed the real estate or stock market bubble correctly and then got out of the game at the peak, how many do you think didn’t?
    How many do you think plowed their r.e. profits into more r.e? Remember, r.e was going up, up, up.
    How many “normal joes” took cash out and invested it wisely (CAPITALIZED ON IT, in your words) rather than blow it trying to live a lifestyle beyond their true “normal joe” means?
    For sure, plenty of “normal joes” lived it up with the easy money. But when the music stopped, don’t you think the great majority of “normal joes” woke up with one hell of a hangover?
    From my experience, two small groups of people really made AND HELD ON to serious coin due to the real estate bubble. Those very few who truly did see the bubble and sold their house in order to rent. And those long-term owners of retirement age that had no need to replace their sold house with anything remotely comparable size, price, and location wise.
    Of course, the second group weren’t timing shit. They were just lucky in the lottery of life.

  31. Posted by SocketSite

    The list price for 64 Russell has been reduced $50,000 (3%) to $1,525,000.

  32. Posted by SocketSite

    The listing for the agent owned 64 Russell has been withdrawn from the MLS after 173 days on the market without a sale.

  33. Posted by SocketSite

    The listing for 64 Russell is once again active on the MLS but with an asking price that’s been reduced to $1,195,000 (now 24% under original list).

  34. Posted by curmudgeon

    Wow, this thread is worth a re-read….given the recent relist price.

  35. Posted by anon

    So what do people think this will go for?

  36. Posted by sfrenegade

    Looks like a classic SS thread. What do people think their profit would be here? And is this effectively a short sale now? That’s a drastic price reduction.

  37. Posted by lol

    My Guesstimate:
    1350sf X $750/sf = $1,012,500
    But in 2 years it will probably be worth less than a Mil. SF is slowly adjusting itself in terms of rent vs. own. No view, even in RH, won’t rent for more than 5K. I’d sit that one out.
    Also, how can it be a Short Sale? Sold in 7/03 for 725K per PS. Has the seller pigged out in refis in the golden naughts?
    People who know how the sausage is made should stay clear of it. But I guessed all that positive thinking will get to your head and can easily cloud your judgment.

  38. Posted by sfrenegade

    “Also, how can it be a Short Sale?”
    That’s why I said *effectively*. Maybe someone can help out with the refi history, but when I say “effectively,” I’m referring to how much money they spent gutting/renovating this place. A $380K cut is huge, and sometimes people make cuts that large from their original wishing price when it’s a short sale or effectively a short sale or they are otherwise desperate.

  39. Posted by lol

    Thanks for the comment. I was reflecting on the MLS field “Known Short Sale” which says “Yes”.
    Knowing the extensive redo, it was probably financed with OP’sM (Other People’s Money) instead of real hard cash. Very wise in retrospect. Why gamble your own money when a bank will take the risk while you reap the potential profits?
    The smart buyer might be able to stick part of the redo to the reckless lender.

  40. Posted by sfrenegade

    Sorry, lol, I missed that field. Heck of a home equity loan on this one, and as you said, it was incredibly smart for them to gamble that way.
    I thought people in Real SF don’t do short sales?

  41. Posted by lol

    I have seen quite a few short sales these past few months though a bit on the fringes of “real SF”. They usually don’t sit long. There’s still a lot of speculative demand in SF. Contractors, people with cash burning their pockets. Let’s see what the fall season has to give. Looking at inventory, I see some red ink in the next 6 months.

  42. Posted by DanRH

    Agree with curmudgeon that this new price makes it worth a strong look. 1,350sqft in prime RH (although no views, but on a quiet alley / side street). And parking.
    Wish the listing showed more pics of what the garage / outside (patio?) looks like.
    A SFH (no HOA fees), w/parking, in prime RH, not on a busy (ie, Polk, Bay, etc) street..if you could get it at $1.1M I think that would be a great price.

  43. Posted by SocketSite

    The sale of 64 Russell closed escrow yesterday with a reported contract price $1,195,000.

  44. Posted by sfrenegade

    That’s a 24% drop from asking. Does anyone know how much the bank budged here on their loans? Do you think they made money on from the $725K 2003 sale nonetheless (i.e. on the cash-out)?

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