21 Buena Vista Avenue 2013
Asking $5,475,000 in 2006 and then relisted and reduced a number of times to $3,900,000 over the next year, the 8,229 square foot “Witches Hat” at 21 Buena Vista Avenue ended up selling for $3,875,000 in December of 2007.
Returned to the market as a rental in 2009 asking $17,500 a month, the six bedroom home with 4 floors, 22 rooms, 1700 square feet of gallery space and a 3000 bottle wine room is now back on the market and listed for $6,500,000 in 2013.
While the current listing doesn’t yet feature any interior photography and the property has been repainted, likely inside and out, a complete tour of how the Victorian mansion looked and was laid out back in 2006 remains available by way of the Wayback Machine.
UPDATE: Interior photos for 21 Buena Vista Avenue have been added to the listing.
∙ Listing: 21 Buena Vista Avenue (6/6) 8,229 sqft – $6,500,000 [21buenavista.com]
21 Buena Vista Returns With A Fifth (And Final?) Reduction [SocketSite]
21 Buena Vista Avenue (“The Witches Hat”) Returns…As A Rental [SocketSite]

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by eddy

    There appears to be an updated picture on the listing site. Hard to comment on this home without first seeing interior pics.

  2. Posted by justme

    Such a great house, but a wee bit optimistic about the asking price I think.

  3. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    If there were no substantial improvements then yes, expecting a 70% profit over six years is very optimistic, especially considering how the market fared in those years.
    I think that the seller is probably just fishing and will lower the price if they cannot find an appropriate fool quickly enough.

  4. Posted by Mark

    My question is, what is it REALLY worth? Seems like buyers will pay almost anything to own property in the Bay Area, yet default and cry they cannot afford their mortgages when the market drops. If you can afford $6.5m and feel it’s worth it then go for it.

  5. Posted by pvc

    Great house, at least from the outside. Having had to spend time there last weekend, I cannot fathom wanting to live in/near the Haight – especially for that price. It’s a beautiful part of the city, but who wants all those vagrants and sketchballs wandering around outside your house all day. Yes, there are less of them up the hill and it’s better than a year or two ago, but Haight St is pretty gross.

  6. Posted by wcesf

    One of my favorite homes – remember thinking someone got a steal in 2007 after the price drops to $3.8M range. $6.5M sounds high for the hood but then again 15 Buena Vista sold for $6.6M and 181 Buena Vista sold for $7.2M (granted w/ a 2nd lot) and this thing is massive. I live at Page & Central and, per comments, agree it is no baby carriage friendly Noe or zip of Pac Heights, but it is a much better ‘hood then when we both bought in 07-09. And a $6M house north of California won’t buy you much of a view, especially provide 8,200 sq ft. (Btw – I can’t think of a house in the west half of the city this big. I’m sure it exists but I don’t know what a family would even do w/ that much space. The neighborhood will evolve/gentrify w/ the prices these ashbury height homes are demanding (similar to what is going on in the liberty heights area west of Valencia). And don’t forget the developing Divis corridor is as close to this house as Haight. Interested to see what this sells for.

  7. Posted by Kurt Brown

    Saw this house when it was on the market in 2006.
    I have no idea how you utilize all that space — family of 10? And while the remodel was OK, it wasn’t all that creative or respectful of the original.
    But the panoramic view in the MBR shower was worth about $1M of the asking, IMHO.

  8. Posted by mrs L

    15 BV Ter is a double lot and 181 BVE is 5 lots. Both are comparable sq ft. There was another large 2 unit on BVE that failed to sell last year at just under $5M. This is way overpriced.

  9. Posted by curt

    I just typed in 21 Buena Vista and found the website , there are about 75 pictures of the place. Wow, it looks amazing. I live a couple blocks up the street and to watch it be brought back to life as the quintessential San Francisco Victorian with all of the period detail is amazing. The little bits of gold on accent pieces is fabulous. The views look to die for and there are big open art gallery like spaces and grand stair cases. Whoever buys this will be buying a piece of SF history. I think it’s a deal at that price, it makes a statement. Some CEO out there will probably grab this in a second.

  10. Posted by SocketSite

    UPDATE: Interior photos of 21 Buena Vista Avenue have been added to the listing links above.

  11. Posted by Joshua

    Screening room? Check.
    Flat panel in the bedroom? Check.
    Flat panel in the bathroom? Check.
    Flat panel over the fridge in the kitchen? Check.
    Flat panel in the dining room? Check.

  12. Posted by mrs L

    Flat panel over the fridge?!! WTF? I have to go see this at the open house on Sunday now.

  13. Posted by sparky*b

    4 faucets in the kitchen. That seems like a bit much.

  14. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    I like how the pot filler faucet isn’t even straight and level.
    That long galley shape of the kitchen seems awkward, but I’d imagine that they’re working with the original floorplan here.
    What is the vintage of this most recent update? Did it occur after the last sale?

  15. Posted by WW

    “Some CEO out there will probably grab this in a second.”
    Calling Willy Wonka…

  16. Posted by Michael

    “What is the vintage of this most recent update? Did it occur after the last sale?”
    Other than paint/decor, I don’t see any major differences between the listing/sale in 2006/2007 and today and I don’t see a sale at $6.5M.

  17. Posted by curt

    The place that sold for $7.2 million is not even liveable, it’s a complete gut, there are crews work there every day pulling dumpster after dumpster of the former interior.
    Ok if someone pay $7.2 up the street and still needs to spend $1 million or more to live in it.
    Then someone would pay $6 million for a place with better views and you don’t have to do a thing but run up and down the stairs.

  18. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    curt – Shill Shall you consider that the second buildable lot might be a factor? Or that being located two blocks up the hill could set the stooge stage for a more pleasant block?

  19. Posted by mrs L

    interesting that curt thinks the view from lower down on the hill would be better. i don’t know how that makes any sense? 181 BV and 15 BVT are at the top of the hill and most likely have way better views.
    anyway, i thought there was an open house today, but it seems to not be on the page anymore. i guess they decided not to throw open the doors to riff raff like us.

  20. Posted by lulu

    No remodel will suit all the bitter people out there, but however you slice it, the restoration that was completed by the previous owners totally transformed the property and brought back a jewel of architecture to SF. Did you know all the facade details are new? Every single piece of molding. It had been stuccoed in the 70s or something, then entirely redesigned and redone. I saw it unfold over a year or so. It was fascinating. I also saw the interior a few years ago and the same love was given to every single of the 20 something rooms, with great attention to adding period details in the midst of modern amenities. I especially liked the coffered ceiling they put in the entrance, which is probably one of the most complex in all of San Francisco. Take a look at it. It’s a true marvel. Pretty much the same thing for every room. From the photos, it seems the seller furnished it well too. I live nearby and seeing the transformation of this building over the years has been truly inspiring.

  21. Posted by SocketSite

    The list price for 21 Buena Vista Avenue has just been reduced $600,000 (9 percent), now asking $5,900,000.

  22. Posted by curmudgeon

    I guess they didn’t find the “appropriate fool”. Time for another shill comment. Every single piece of moulding!

  23. Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

    The comment from lulu may have very well been a shill comment, but if I had an extra $6.5M in seasoned funds, I’d buy this place in a heartbeat.
    I’d appreciate the work the previous owners did, including every single piece of moulding. Not everyone wants to live in a cold, teutonic Dwell-ified detail-less building.

  24. Posted by asiagoSF

    This is by far the best property website I’ve ever seen. The interactive floor plan feature is brilliant.

  25. Posted by SocketSite

    After three months on the market, a price reduction and a quickly retracted “tech incubator” sales pitch, the listing for 21 Buena Vista Avenue has been withdrawn from the MLS without a reported sale.

  26. Posted by SocketSite

    Having been relisted as new for $5,500,000 thirty-five days ago, the list price for 21 Buena Vista Avenue has just been reduced to $4,500,000.

  27. Posted by SocketSite

    The listing for 21 Buena Vista Avenue has just been withdrawn from the MLS without a reported sale once again.

  28. Posted by R

    Can some of you realtor folks explain the listing strategy here?
    Because to us laymen it just looks like the agent/owner have mental problems.

  29. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    I think that the owner realizes that they have a unique property and is fishing for that unique buyer who will pay a premium for a rare house. But even at the most recent reduced price they seem to be pretty far off from even outliers of the buyers market.
    Kind of reminds me of that house on El Camino del Mar that was listed on and off over a dozen times.

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