August 31, 2010

Less Great Expectations For Ex-Mayor's Mid-Century Modern Home

100 Palo Alto Living

As we wrote in June:

In March 2008 the Mid-Century Modern Clarendon Heights home at 100 Palo Alto Avenue built for former San Francisco Mayor Elmer E. Robinson in 1953 hit the market asking $4,000,000. It ended up closing escrow with a recorded contract price of $5,625,000.
And while we don’t believe it’s been remodeled much since (2008 not 1953), 100 Palo Alto is back on the market two years later and listed for $6,400,000.
Big views for certain, but even greater expectations for sure.

The list price for 100 Palo Alto has just been reduced $900,000 (14%), now asking $5,500,000 (2% under its 2008 sale).

∙ Listing: 100 Palo Alto (4/4.5) - $5,500,000 [100paloalto.com] [MLS]
An Ex-Mayor’s Mid-Century Clarendon Heights View Manse Returns [SocketSite]
Forget The Rock Star Lifestyle, Anybody Want To Live Like A Mayor? [SocketSite]

First Published: August 31, 2010 1:00 PM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

2 percent down? Hardly the drops the perma-bears have been crowing about. I know, peak this, peak that. Cue the boo-birds.

Posted by: anon at August 31, 2010 1:17 PM

This place reminds me of my old office. Every room in here looks like one of our conference rooms, our lobby, or our offices, and the kitchen looks like our kitchen. And half the rooms look like they should be on unhappyhipsters.com, especially that mirrored area next to the bathroom.

Interesting to see a view property having this much trouble.

Posted by: sfrenegade at August 31, 2010 1:18 PM

anon, you seem to have missed the very obvious fact it has not sold yet. duh.

Posted by: mike at August 31, 2010 1:51 PM

Nice house, annoying website.

Posted by: Schlub at August 31, 2010 1:51 PM

Also, I'm waiting for anon, possibly flujio, to point out that it was overbid at 41% at the last sale and therefore the prior price is not a comp.

Posted by: sfrenegade at August 31, 2010 1:53 PM

Nobody said overbids weren't comps.

Posted by: anonsf at August 31, 2010 1:56 PM

Well as they say "it only takes one" so it seems worthwhile to go fish for the "one" willing to pay an extra million.

My guess is that this new price is above the highest lowball received over the last few months.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at August 31, 2010 2:25 PM

Oh! You mean the house is worth 2.4 and the machine to keep the fog at bay is the balance 4m, right?
Dog of a house if you ask me!

Posted by: AR at August 31, 2010 2:30 PM

"Also, I'm waiting for anon, possibly flujio, to point out that it was overbid at 41% at the last sale and therefore the prior price is not a comp."

No one ever said that, but does that stop your negative bile? Stop spewing for just one moment and you might learn something. Listen to the people who know the market, for a change? Of course you won't. Just keep hating away.

Posted by: anon at August 31, 2010 2:47 PM

"Listen to the people who know the market"

Please tell us in your infinite wisdom about the market. I have not seen it yet on this thread and have seen it in very few others.

As I mentioned in the 1364 Union St. #C thread, I do believe someone will pay another inflated price for this because of views.

Anyone know why there's such a low holding period on this? It seems like the previous buyer definitely believed "buy now, or be priced out forever," but didn't think about it critically. The timing seems like it's to take advantage of a 24-month tax exemption, but someone didn't pay much attention to the market.

Posted by: sfrenegade at August 31, 2010 2:53 PM

"It seems like the previous buyer definitely believed "buy now, or be priced out forever," but didn't think about it critically."

It's almost lol that you think that's an apt way to view a 5.625 buy on a 4M list, "buy now or be priced forever," because the person could necessarily have afforded just about anything, and in any market.

Who knows why they didn't stay very long. It could be any one of a million things, but not staying for long is something that San Francisco sees a lot of across all economic strata

Posted by: anonsf at August 31, 2010 3:02 PM

Educate you on the market, why should I? You and your partners-in-lies have already driven any actual content providers off this site for good. Instead, it's the same amateur armchair analysts every time with their snide remarks. fine, enjoy the sandbox all to yourselves.

[Editor’s Note: Of course you could always lead by example rather than simply playing the part of your perceived disparaging stereotype.]

Posted by: anon at August 31, 2010 3:15 PM

The point is not that a $5.625M buyer would get priced out, but that he/she believed that others would get priced out such that this property's value would skyrocket. The 2 year stay suggests either 1) harvesting for tax losses, which doesn't make sense unless you believed values would continue going up sufficient to overwhelm the significant transaction costs of a short holding period, or 2) some sort of distress causing the sale, whether divorce, death, job change, whatever.

Posted by: sfrenegade at August 31, 2010 3:32 PM

No tax deduction is allowed on a loss from a sale on your primary residence.

Posted by: tipster at August 31, 2010 4:47 PM

Sorry, that was a mistype. Harvesting *gains* tax-free is what I meant to say. If you read in context, I'm saying that the prior buyer clearly expected a gain.

Posted by: sfrenegade at August 31, 2010 4:57 PM

"The point is not that a $5.625M buyer would get priced out, but that he/she believed that others would get priced out such that this property's value would skyrocket."

That's not what ""buy now, or be priced out forever," means, and you know it. It seems like you like your real estate maxim parody routine a little too much. So much that you overdo it to the point of nonsense.

Posted by: anonsf at August 31, 2010 8:25 PM

anonsf, again possibly fluj, if you are hoping on a profit after a 2 year hold, then you are clearly expecting undue appreciation. "buy now, or be priced out forever" is exactly the mentality that the buyer would have hoped for if they planned a 2 year hold. The only other good reason for a two-year hold is some sort of distress.

Posted by: sfrenegade at September 1, 2010 11:25 AM

I think there could be some of that "priced out forever" vibe for this kind of property. This place has a story, a location, and many many attractive points. Sure it looks too corporate to many, but to each his own.

Maybe the previous overbidder had the idea that he was missing out on a place he really coveted, and that this was going to be inaccessible, not by price, but by the mere fact that someone else would make it his home.

There are many places I see myself living in in SF, start inquiring by pure curiosity and discover it has been in the same family for generations and is not going to be on the market anytime soon.

What we see now is that this seller probably overpaid and by the look of the holding period, might have pulled the trigger a bit too fast.

Probably an emotional buy, but aren't most of SF's buys already emotional? Otherwise why would there be so many people willing to pay 2X to 3X rent for the privilege of an aging wooden box in a major earthquake zone?

Posted by: lol at September 1, 2010 11:42 AM

Ahh, March 2008. The Dow was still at 12,600. Bankers and lawyers were still figuring out how to spend their massive 2007 year-end bonuses. Something called "subprime loans" in areas at which one turned one's nose up was starting to hit the news, but SF realtors were uniformly and confidently crowing things like "Scare tactics are dead. San Francisco never really took a price hit and it won't, either." And SF real estate, like the Dow, did not seem to be doing too badly, if you ignored rougher neighborhoods and condos/TICs. No-down loans had disappeared among that subprime group but were still available for those with high net worth and incomes. WaMu, IndyMac, Bear Stearns, and Merrill Lynch were all still household names.

I can see how the March 2008 buyer had not yet recognized Jim Jones as the source of all that kool-aid he'd been provided. The conventional wisdom then was "bidding wars," "not building any more land," "superstar cities," "priced out forever," etc. I'm guessing (but really have no idea) that this guy will be able to weather what I suspect will turn out to be a very expensive mistake. But his actions were consistent with the zeitgeist, which has now turned 180 degrees.

Posted by: A.T. at September 1, 2010 12:16 PM

Mid 3's at best, but more comfortable at 3.2. And could some one sum up what is going on in the comments above. I got bored with the shrillness of it all.

Posted by: GetOffTheIvy at September 1, 2010 10:37 PM

Ok, speaking as someone who has been in this house, the view is INSANE. I mean, sure there are a lot of great views in this town. But this one truly stands alone. Probably a full 220 degrees - from Hayward on your right to Bonita Cove on your left and everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) in between. All of both bridges, the headlands, Sausalito, Tiburon, Angel Island, north bay, russian hill, golden gate park, the haight, downtown, coit tower, potrero hill, bernal hieghts, the castro...ALL of it. You feel "mayoral" when taking it all in.

If you like views, and can drop this much cash, I'd say it's worth it.

Posted by: anon6nK at September 8, 2010 1:00 PM

for 5.5 I would definitely insist that the ping pong table is included

Posted by: fancy rental at September 9, 2010 5:49 AM

The list price for 100 Palo Alto has just been reduced another $550,000 (10%), now asking $4,950,000 (12% under its 2008 sale price).

Posted by: SocketSite at September 20, 2010 6:32 PM

2 percent down? Hardly the drops the perma-bears have been crowing about. I know, peak this, peak that. Cue the boo-birds.

Not sold yet, and 12% under. Are we going to see a total 15-20% haircut?

Bubbletoppers really overdid it in SF!

Posted by: lol at September 21, 2010 7:06 AM

I think there could be some of that "priced out forever" vibe for this kind of property.

Maybe, but as for "this kind of property," it seems like half of the Mountain Spring neighborhood is for sale these days. Which, y'know, "unpaints" the corner you describe.

Posted by: EH at September 21, 2010 9:58 AM

2008 - what a time it was for realtors. Reading through the ss comments from back in 2008 on this house is a hoot. One of the realtor posters really hit the nail on the head with this comment, albeit inadvertently:

"why, i believe that's 40% over, mb! impossible in this market. must be a mistake or a deluded buyer who has not been reading socketsite.

Posted by: sanfrantim at April 5, 2008 8:41 AM"

The buyer sure was deluded and probably wasn't reading socketsite. Well, I'm sure that the reality of a quick $900K+ loss (after commission and taxes - and after 100* dom likely to be much higher) is quickly bringing that lucky buyer down to earth. Magnificent.

Posted by: El Bombero at September 21, 2010 12:07 PM

I wonder if there were lots of overbids in the 2008 transaction or just one big dumb one.

Posted by: luvhousehateprice at September 21, 2010 7:46 PM

The listing for 100 Palo Alto has been withdrawn from the MLS after 341 days on the market without a reported sale, last asking $4,950,000 (12 percent under its purchase price of $5,625,000 in 2008).

Posted by: SocketSite at May 4, 2011 11:49 AM

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