March 5, 2010

Details, Details, Details (And Another Adjustment In Expectations)

3878 Jackson (Image Source:

3878 Jackson offers lots of details to love or hate across its three floors (click to enlarge).

From the floor to ceiling walnut cabinets in the living room (look inside), to the wrought iron banister along its circular staircase, to its faux tortoise shell master bath.

3878 Jackson Master Bath

Purchased for $2,100,000 in 1999, asking $5,600,000 in September 2008 (to $4,600,000 with a not "serious" enough reduction that October), available for $3,875,000 today.

∙ Listing: 3878 Jackson (5/3.5) - $3,875,000 [Virtual Tour] [MLS] [Map]

First Published: March 5, 2010 3:00 PM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

I wouldn't change a thing!

Posted by: eddy at March 5, 2010 3:06 PM

Very pretty, and this could have garnered $1200 psft in a heartbeat in 2007 and sold for 5.6, but today, the small side yard and no back yard is probably not compensated by the fact that the building literally backs up to (and looks out over) a national park. I think most families around a $4M price point are looking for a back yard.

However, at just over $800 psft for a place in such good condition in that area, it does start to get tempting, and all you need is one buyer willing to make that compromise.

Posted by: tipster at March 5, 2010 3:19 PM

They appear to have used the same taxidermist as yesterday's place on Vallejo.

Posted by: BobN at March 5, 2010 3:22 PM

Leopard, marble, tortoise shell - friend or faux?

Posted by: jlasf at March 5, 2010 3:23 PM

Good grief, what a whore's dream of heaven some rooms (and bathrooms) are! I could not live with so many patterns, colors, etc. What happened to opulence with good taste?

Posted by: Tom at March 5, 2010 3:24 PM

I don't recall ever seeing a Victorian flipped around like that -- putting the entrance on the other side of (what was once) the double-parlor. Was the house already like that or did this renovator do that?

Posted by: BobN at March 5, 2010 3:26 PM

thats an ugly renovation, what a shame its a nice building

Posted by: mikey woodz at March 5, 2010 3:30 PM

It's all cosmetic, and a pretty easy fix. I probably would've moved out, repainted and staged the place. Faux tortoise shell can be beautiful, this looks more like someone went to an all-you-can-eat burrito bonanza at Chipotle..

Anyway.. great price and a great block. Though, if you're keeping track, the closer you get to Arguello, the foggier and windier Presidio Heights gets.

Posted by: sleepiguy at March 5, 2010 3:37 PM

That bathroom reminds me what my kitchen looked like after the '89 quake. A bottle of brown Chinese cooking sauce fell from a top shelf, shattered, and splattered onto every surface.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at March 5, 2010 3:43 PM

This seems like it'd be an awesome place if it weren't for the truly awful decorating. More anecdotal evidence that money does not buy taste. Just wow. Parts of it look like a cougar den, and for other parts who the hell knows what it looks like?

Nothing that doesn't look fixable, and in this price range, that's likely the assumption anyway. But it's just soooo distracting. We have discussed on SocketSite how people get bogged down with staging instead of focusing on the quality of the house itself, and I feel like this house takes that principle to the extreme (whether or not it's actually staged).

Posted by: JimBobJones at March 5, 2010 3:43 PM

Interesting decoration. I think it would actually look better if they did MORE of the exotic stuff.

But for the 2 bedrooms on the lower floor....there is only a half bath down there on the floor plan although the listing says it's a full bath. Perhaps they converted the closet, but the floor plan should have been corrected on a 3.9M house.

Posted by: FrankQ at March 5, 2010 3:47 PM

"there is only a half bath down there"

I believe the center of the stairwell at that level is a shower.

Posted by: BobN at March 5, 2010 4:06 PM

hate it.

Posted by: meep at March 5, 2010 4:25 PM

Safari chic?

Posted by: D at March 5, 2010 5:23 PM


Wealthy people burning money that the rest of the world desperately needs on crappy decor and ostentation. Seeing this sort of place in this economy makes me think our world is really f*d.

Posted by: Schlub at March 5, 2010 5:52 PM




Some rooms look perfectly fine.

In others, it's like somebody genetically spliced Liberace, Crocodile Dundee, and the vampire Lestat, and turned them into an interior decorator. I'm nearly speechless.

Somebody call the ASPCA - I'm pretty sure an Amur leopard exploded in that bathroom, and I believe they're endangered. But maybe call Van Helsing first.

Posted by: Legacy Dude at March 5, 2010 6:14 PM

On the upside, you can house your chimp in that bathroom and it will always look the same.

Posted by: EH at March 5, 2010 7:21 PM

why is this property priced a little stressful while 2849 Pacific in the 94115 zip code supposedly sold for an astronomical $12 million??

How does this make sense??

Posted by: john at March 5, 2010 8:06 PM

The two homes you mentioned aren't comps for each other. First of all, the 3800 block (of Pacific Ave) is clearly Presidio Heights and the 2800 block (of Jackson Ave) is clearly Pacific Heights. They are different neighborhoods and, Pac Heights has traditionally been the more sought out of the two...(more amenities--close to A LOT more cooler stuff)...

Posted by: Pumpkin at March 6, 2010 9:27 AM

Pumpkin, I think you got your streets mixed up, but I know what you mean.

94115 and 94118 may be different, but not that much different, and your opinion may not even be right about one zip being more sought after than the other.

I guess my point is that the idea that 2849 Pacific sold for anything close to $12 million seems unbelievable considering not only the price of comparable sales in the 94115 zip, but also the character of listings in equally elegant zips such as this one, 94118.

$12 million doesn't seem right, and I wonder what the truth is? That's all.

Posted by: john at March 6, 2010 9:59 AM

The most hideous bathroom I have ever seen. Check disclosures to see if a cesspit exploded underneath it.

Posted by: Smiling Millionaire at March 6, 2010 1:07 PM

John, are you going to post the same thing in every thread? What you're saying makes no sense. The houses are NOT comps for each other... It's apples and oranges. The home on Pacific is a much better block, was maybe 8k square feet, had recently been "remodeled," offers a much better floor plan and nice, but not desirable, south facing views. The Jackson St. home is totally average and could be found in any part of the city. If the Conte's and Fisher's on Jackson put their homes for sale, they'd be in the same price range as the house on Pacific. Just because two homes are in D7 doesn't make them comps. You seem to be implying that the Pacific sale is a fraudulent. I don't know the final sale, but the tax records are public. You'll find out soon enough what the final sale price was.

Posted by: sleepiguy at March 6, 2010 3:37 PM

Actually between 5000 and 6000 square feet, like most of these boxy houses, but it may have additions not counted.

Posted by: Conifer at March 6, 2010 6:01 PM

The Pacific home was really, really large. I toured it during the Junior League Home Tour and it was well over 6. I'm guessing the lower floor was developed, adding another 1500 or so to the place. The top three floors were probably the recorded 5400 and the lower floor additions pushed it over 7k. I don't think the home would've sold for over 2k per foot.

Posted by: sleepiguy at March 6, 2010 6:21 PM

In case I was forgetting, now I remember why I like DWELL.

Posted by: Jim at March 6, 2010 8:50 PM

I managed to swallow the faux skin rugs, got past the bathroom that had housed a chimp with intestinal problems, for six months, but when I got to the bedroom with the garish world map, in duplicate, I finally threw up my hands and said the realtor should have persuaded the seller to tone it down before showing it. Sheesh.

Posted by: Oceangoer at March 6, 2010 11:16 PM

Is that astro turf in the backyard? Heinous all around. I hope they didn't pay a decorator for the awfulness that is the interior.

Is this even a real Victorian?

Posted by: abc at March 7, 2010 7:33 AM

sleepiguy, no problem and no offense, it seems very unusual that 2849 Pacific would sell for $12 million in consideration of sales activity/listings all throughout D7(including this Jackson property)not supporting such a price.

If I had to bet, I would say 2849 Pacific did not sell for $12 million and probably not even close. If it did, it would probably show up more or be talked about more or be recorded somewhere by now(do you know if it has been recorded somewhere??). It also seems unusual that 2849 would sell @ $12 million right before "year end" when the confidential sale price thing expired.

Posted by: John at March 7, 2010 3:49 PM

I felt a little nauseated after looking at those house pics. The little details that could have given this house genuine charm and affect, were bogged down in over-doing everything. one walnut chest in the bathroom and a touch somewhere else would have looked beautiful. an entire room is both strange, tragic, and gauche. there's a reason walnut is by and large an accent wood.

if i met the builder and decorator of this place the first thing i would ask them is "what the * were you thinking?" Did a dot-comer himself decorate this house? Lord.

Posted by: style maven at March 7, 2010 10:59 PM

It's one too many leopard prints in this house. I think the ones on the dinning room chairs are fine. Those look like brunchwig et fils which can easily run over $1500/yard. The leopard carpets are probably from Stark. I say either/or but not both. The faux tortoise shell is just tacky. If you can't afford to do the real ones, don't do it. Frankly it's really more for accenting a room than have a full blown room look anyway. Way too busy. I know peggy bundy would have a ball in this house. But then again, most people are not peggy bundy.

Posted by: jaja at March 8, 2010 11:02 AM

That leopard bathroom definitely hurt my eyes. I would be afraid to go in for fear of it inducing an epileptic seizure.

I also can't determine who thought that the red toned granite on the kitchen counters complements the gold tones everywhere else.

Posted by: Lori at March 8, 2010 2:31 PM

As someone who was formerly in the market for a home in this price range, I can honestly say I looked right past all of these so called nauseating details.

Nothing anyone listed can't be changed, and buyers in this price range expect to change colors to suit their tastes. So I hate to say it but I didn't even NOTICE the bathroom colors because no matter what, they were going anyway.

I am only focused on the flow, and the problems (like no yard) that can't be changed. What I noticed were high ceilings, grand scale rooms, and a few minor things that need some work (the half glass thing on the bathtub) and some things that cannot be changed - the noise of cars chugging up somewhat nearby Arguello at night (double paned windows block heat, not noise), the lack of a back yard, the outdoor space not getting much sun, the lack of the bathrooms to bedrooms ratio at the price point, the two bedrooms two levels below the main sleeping floor, which become rec rooms, not bedrooms.

The rest of it I paid no attention. The world maps on the walls mean that these parents are attentive to their kids educations. The rest of it is in the taste of the people living there and I hope they maintain the place the way they want it while they are there. I can see past it.

They are losing a fortune every month by staying there, and if they like leopard prints, at least they are getting that out of the massive amount of money they are losing each month, and not living in someone else's version of their home.

Posted by: tipster at March 8, 2010 3:32 PM

"...double paned windows block heat, not noise..."

My experience is quite different and have found that double glazing can have a huge difference on noise, assuming that the rest of the exterior wall is also insulated.

As for the color of the walls being irrelevant, your right except that this applies to all price ranges. Even the buyer of a humble $100k house can budget for paint.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at March 8, 2010 3:51 PM

Wait, so someone that was in the market for a $4 million home considers these people to be losing "a fortune"/"massive amount of money" each month even though they are only paying expenses based on a $2 million purchase from 11 years ago? Okay...

Or are you referring to the fact that they have had to reduce their wishing price? So losing something they never had in the first place (the money from the wishing price) is now a real loss?

Posted by: Rillion at March 8, 2010 3:52 PM

My experience is quite different and have found that double glazing can have a huge difference on noise, assuming that the rest of the exterior wall is also insulated.

MSoD: your intuition serves you well. Double glazing indeed can (and should) be better for noise, but as with so many things in life, devils lurk in the details. Now, about those paint jobs...

Posted by: acoustician at March 8, 2010 5:48 PM

Acoustician - Are those details are air gaps that result in single slit diffraction sound transmission ?

Good thing caulk is cheaper by the 12 pack.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at March 8, 2010 10:10 PM

Good thing caulk is cheaper by the 12 pack. Your intuition is still spot-on. You should probably suspect that gaps and cracks control the performance before you look to the construction of the envelope.

Posted by: acoustician at March 9, 2010 9:28 AM

In Escrow.

Posted by: eddy at March 12, 2010 4:53 PM

It seems like every SFH in D7 has flown into contract over the last two weeks. Half of currently listed SFH inventory is in some stage of contract at a median asking of a little less than 3 million.

Posted by: sleepiguy at March 12, 2010 6:10 PM

in contract at what price? what price did 2849 Pacific sell for? how about 2935 Pacific? any news on 2901 Broadway?

Posted by: john at March 13, 2010 9:09 AM

@john, not to point out the obvious, but what is the point in asking "in contract at what price?"

Posted by: eddy at March 15, 2010 9:24 AM

is the property in contract above or below original listing?

Posted by: john at March 15, 2010 9:29 AM

The sale of 3878 Jackson closed escrow today with a reported contract price of $3,841,000.

Posted by: SocketSite at April 27, 2010 2:21 PM

@john, the answer to your question can now be answered. -1% below the listing price.

Posted by: eddy at April 27, 2010 2:24 PM

"Extensively remodeled" (but no permits) and back on at 4.2.

Purchased by a Latham and Watkins attorney - I doubt it was a flip. The hideous decor is gone.

[Editor's Note: Before, After, And Back On The Market At 3878 Jackson.]

Posted by: tipster at September 28, 2010 10:11 PM

I saw this too; although tipster posted it about 5 min after it hit the MLS. What the heck did they do to the outside of this place? Looked better before. Now this ought to be interesting. :) I guess I'll point out that the 6% + transfer tax on sale is going to cause this to be a bad investment.

Posted by: eddy at September 29, 2010 12:12 AM

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