February 25, 2010
Strike Up The Band, 610 Rhode Island ("Kronos House") Returns
On the market in 2007 asking $2,300,000, the Daniel Solomon designed 610 Rhode Island (a.k.a. Kronos House) garnered four offers and sold for $2,551,000 that August.
Quietly on the market for the past few months asking $2,500,000, the list price is being lowered to $2,400,000 and the house should officially hit the MLS next week.
As we wrote in 2007:
So here’s the inside scoop on 610 Rhode Island. Designed by Daniel Solomon, the home was built in 1989 for Kronos Quartet cellist Joan Jeanrenaud (one of the bedrooms was originally her rehearsal studio) and her husband, recording artist and producer Pat Gleeson (one of the bedrooms was originally his recording studio). The [then] current owners/sellers (no, not Joan and Pat) have moved next door.
Acoustical perfection (credit John Storyk) and natural light are central themes of the house with perforated galvanized steel (backed by wood) on the walls which absorbs sound (think big party with little din) and bounces light throughout the great room and loft. And while the zinc-clad kitchen and bathroom complement the design, we’d probably budget for replacing it with something a bit more user friendly.
It won’t be a perfectly apples to apples sale, however, as a few bedroom built-ins have been added, but it will be pretty close (assuming a few pieces of art are included as well).
And sorry, but it’s expected to be by appointment only (i.e., no Sunday open houses).
[Full Disclosure: The listing agent for 610 Rhode Island currently advertises on SocketSite but provided no consideration for this post. And yes, we would have featured it regardless.]
∙ Listing: 610 Rhode Island (3/1) - $2,400,000 (soon) [610rhodeisland.com]
∙ 610 Rhode Island From The Inside (Literally And Figuratively) [SocketSite]
∙ Not For Sale (But Some Mighty Tasty Modern Gawking) [SocketSite]
First Published: February 25, 2010 1:15 PM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
What I love most about this type of property is that even though I practically drool over them, coupled with shaming/kicking myself for not being at a place in life where I can afford them yet, there isn't the slightest bit of remorse, regret, or envy when they sell. Why? Because they'll just be on the market again a year or two later.
Posted by: FAA at February 25, 2010 2:26 PM
Remember kids: if you buy, no one can tell you to leave.
Except 2.5 years later, when you leave anyway and you have to pay a $125,000 move out fee, plus transfer taxes, staging fees, etc.
Posted by: tipster at February 25, 2010 2:35 PM
This place is gorgeous and I think it is an incredible value. Compared to 67 Ord, 465 Hoffman or 147 Laidley... out of this world great pricing. Personally I am a huge fun of 67 Ord. No backyard. 465 Hoffman - great upstairs. Weird lower two levels. 147 Laidley - maybe a toss up.
Posted by: Katy Dinner at February 25, 2010 4:21 PM
Every time the price is chopped a stager chops a pillow. Please, think of the pillows!
Posted by: Mole Man at February 25, 2010 4:32 PM
"Every time the price is chopped a stager chops a pillow. Please, think of the pillows!"
I LOL'd in my pants.
Posted by: Kurt Brown at February 25, 2010 4:59 PM
Good to get a fresh perspective from a realtor with this being "an incredible value" and "out of the world great pricing."
Posted by: lolcat_94123 at February 25, 2010 6:16 PM
Good to get a fresh perspective from a realtor with this being "an incredible value" and "out of the world great pricing."
Number one, have you seen it? Secondly, the realtor you slam compared it to other properties in a similar price range and actually offered an opinion.
What's going on with the realtor bashing around here? You guys are going overboard lately. Even opinions are getting dissed. Weird.
Posted by: anonn at February 26, 2010 8:45 AM
of course if the buyers lose money two years down the line, then it's "as real estate agents we don't offer advice on value or worth of a house as that is not our function".
Posted by: condoshopper at February 26, 2010 9:19 AM
In my opinion, this house can best be described as avant-garde, but not in that bat-shit crazy design sort of way. Practical use of open interior space with a loft-like feel. And who could argue about having a showcase rotunda and state of the art wine cellar in their house?
Posted by: Solis at February 26, 2010 9:24 AM
In my opinion, this house can best be described as avant-garde, but not in that bat-shit crazy design sort of way. Practical use of open interior space with a loft-like feel. And who could argue about having a rotunda and state of the art wine cellar in their house?
Posted by: Solis at February 26, 2010 9:25 AM
"as real estate agents we don't offer advice on value or worth of a house as that is not our function".
Ha. Right. Those of us who know what we're doing offer advice along those lines daily. Included in that advice is often: If you sell in a couple of years without improving you're likely to take a loss. Excellent use of sarcastic scare quotes, tho.
Posted by: anonn at February 26, 2010 9:28 AM
i think a lot of it comes down to, is the agent a salesperson, or an advocate looking out for the best interest of the client, or a combination of both? if there's a salesperson component in there, which i think there is, you have to take any comments regarding "value" with a grain of salt, as with any other salespersons. it is just the reality of the industry, nothing against any particular person.
Posted by: condoshopper at February 26, 2010 9:33 AM
"as real estate agents we don't offer advice on value or worth of a house as that is not our function"
Actually, it would be refreshing if they recognized their limitations, and just focused on what they know, not financial advice or economics.
Posted by: J at February 26, 2010 9:36 AM
How can this property be "out of this world great pricing" when the price has been dropped by 100K indicating the exact opposite? Hard to fathom really...
Katy: You obviously have some sense of the value of the property. Please do share it with us.
Posted by: Willow at February 26, 2010 9:39 AM
Fair enough. "Value" is tricky. But few would think a house such as the one in this thread would not command a premium after a longer hold. Let's face it, selling into a worse economy is generally not going to be good regardless of commodity. Salespeople are not soothsayers. The last buyer probably said nothing about selling within two years time. However, agents who say "appreciation this, appreciation that," suck. Agreed.
Posted by: anonn at February 26, 2010 9:40 AM
fair enough also. but this is also why i appreciate so much the thorough cost of ownership breakdowns provided by posters of this site. it is not to gloat or take pleasure in other people's loss of money, it serves as a good basis for measuring value, whatever it may mean for each person.
Posted by: condoshopper at February 26, 2010 10:15 AM
I realize people appreciate those breakdowns. But some of those guys ramp everything up, every single time. Be careful on both sides. Calhousingbear offered up a decent, thorough breakdown from a bearish perspective last time around and it wasn't drastic enough for the uber haters. And don't get me started on the crazy spec construction numbers they come up with.
Posted by: anonn at February 26, 2010 10:46 AM
hey anonn..I mean fluj......seems there's a number of people here who question the intelligence and value of a realtors opinions...sorry, dude, it' not just me.
You seem to have a pretty thin skin about this subject.
There are some good realtors out there..but many I've met simply don't undertand construction, materials, square foot info, etc. That information is very important to the buyer.
Posted by: noearch at February 26, 2010 11:15 AM
I don't tho. I really don't. Look at the things I say in response to the things said. It's always rather specific. Of course there are lots of crummy realtors. Why you yourself feel a particular need to insert realtor bashes into spaces where they don't even really fit at times I also can easily fathom. It doesn't make you any less of a grouch.
Posted by: anonn at February 26, 2010 11:26 AM
I saw this place last time it was on the market, while it is a beautiful single fam res the interior is designed in such a way that really only a couple could live here, anyone with children would move out to a more typical residence. Therefore I cannot see the price making any sense in this or any market especially seeing the dated finishes (see zinc kitchen). Also why would the architect not try to take advantage of the amazing city views from the home? you have to walk up to one of the portholes to view it! Id pay no more than 1.8
Posted by: rumble at February 26, 2010 11:47 AM
noearch - I think you overestimate the average buyer's ability to judge construction quality. Certainly there are some buyers who can tell the difference between good and bad construction but most are wowed by the initial impression. Some are even wowed by the staging furniture which isn't even part of the deal.
Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at February 26, 2010 12:27 PM
Also used in the film, "Joy Luck Club", right?
No picture of the kitchen to look at, but why is the zinc in the kitchen dated instead of a period detail? What's the difference?
Posted by: John at February 26, 2010 12:37 PM
@milkshake: I think you mis-understood me. In fact, I feel that most buyers can NOT judge, very effectively, the quality of construction, details, or even a plan layout of a particular property. These are, in fact, the very important things they SHOULD be looking at, as opposed to the staging, or room colors, for example.
As I've said before, staging often masks the defects or 'weaknesses" of a house, such as poor layout, bad lighting, stairs without handrails, decks made without pressure treated lumber, and on and on.
I feel that if buyers become more critical and ask a lot of tough questions to the realtor, they will become better at negotiating a good and fair price. Ignore staging, Ignore colors.
As for being "grouchy"..no, I'm not that. I am, however, critical when looking at a property for sale. I follow the Suze Orman school of thought..be tough, be critical, educate yourself. Become a savvy buyer.
Posted by: noearch at February 26, 2010 1:07 PM
my bad noearch, I didn't completely grok your statement up there. We're in agreement then.
BTW I have seen decks built without pressure treated framing though those were old decks that may have been built before code required PT wood. So old they need to be replaced anyways.
Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at February 26, 2010 1:47 PM
no prob, milkshake...thanks...we do tend to come to similar conclusions here.
Posted by: noearch at February 26, 2010 1:56 PM
610 Rhode Island is stunning, especially the core of the house with its oculus and the circular walls. It definitely has a " super wow!!" factor.
That said, it seems fairly impractical for modern living. 1.5 baths in a $2.4 Million house? And dated baths at that. You have to walk to the other side of the house from the loft master bedroom to the bathroom, which has a private toilet and a zinc-lined box of a shower, but the vanity and soaking tub (also somewhat dated) are out in the open.
The second bedroom (enclosed) is large and beautiful and could easily be a master bedroom with it's gorgeous built in bed.... but it has only a half bath and a small one at that. The third "bedroom" has been transformed into a pretty cool media room and it makes sense because no one who lives in this home is actually going to "need" a third bedroom, considering that the master not private and there aren't enough bathrooms for that many people--at least not in this socioeconomic class.
And the living area, while, like I said, having a huge wow factor, is really not that big considering that it is an open floorplan with kitchen, dining area and living area all in one room--so you really need a media room for a place to hang out and watch TV.
The kitchen is dated and doesn't have lots of counter space and all surfaces seem to be covered with zinc, which is famous for staining whenever water touches it. Still, it looks cool.
So this home, while good sized and amazing to look at, is really appropriate only for a single person or a couple who won't be having children. It's too impractical for anything else. Oh, and you'd better REALLY like gray and concrete, because everything that is not concrete and steel and zinc, looks to be Venetian plaster that is very gray tinged--and truly to paint over any of it would ruin the aesthetics of the house.
If this place didn't have the pizzaz, it would probably not sell for more than $1.5 million--maybe even less. So it'll take a special buyer to be willing to pay nearly a million for touches that bring nothing but asthetic pleasure, and give up on nice modern bathrooms and overall functionality.
So that's my critique. But I would feel remiss not to say that despite all of the challenges, this is truly a special house and I confess that I LOVE it...kind of like I love all those gorgeous guys in GQ. But just like those beautiful boys, I just don't think I could live with it.
Posted by: Betsy at March 4, 2010 3:05 PM
excellent analysis Betsy. This is really a unique property that seeks a unique (and small) market. I'd put it in the same class as many of the showy mega-lofts that have been featured here : great for a wealthy single or couple, but not for a family.
Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at March 4, 2010 5:41 PM