Purchased for $910,000 in 2003 having sat empty for 25 years, the St. Francis Wood home at 250 Santa Paula Avenue, which was originally designed by noted architect Angus McSweeney, returned to the market listed for $2,995,000 in 2008, following a major renovation and expansion to five floors connected by an elevator, with a total of over 3,000 square feet and a rather unexpected rear facade:

Having failed to find a buyer, the property was re-listed as a short sale for $2,399,000 in 2011 and then again for $2,100,000 in 2012. And while in and out of contract at least three times from 2012 to 2013, the short sale never closed.

Listed anew for $2,495,000 this past July, the sale is currently “pending” per the MLS. But as a plugged-in tipster notes, the race to (fore)close is on, as 250 Santa Paula Avenue is currently scheduled to hit the courthouse steps this afternoon with what would appear to be $2,552,000 now owed.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Notcom

    Maybe it’s just me, but this seems like a house that should be worth as much as – or more than – those faceless boxes we routinely see on here for twice as much (the inconvenience of living in what amounts to a giant staircase, notwithstanding). Is there something peculiar about this ?? is it at a bus turnaround…cursed by Gypsies (excuse me, Romani)…under a flight path ??

    • Posted by Tom

      So you recognize that that is a racial slur for the Romani and then use it anyway?

      As SS notes, the back facade is quite odd.

      • Posted by Chris

        Gypsy is a generic term that can include other people besides Romani people, and can even just mean a “free-spirited” person (hence, the musical and movie by the same name). The slur is not “Gypsy” (though Romani people do want to be referred to as “Romani”), rather the insulting term is “gyp,” which means to “cheat or swindle” and this is the word that has a connotation of an offensive ethnic slur.

        As for the house, it looks very charming, and I do not think the back facade is that much of an issue.

        • Posted by Tom

          Check your facts…. Not just, but especially in the context of notcoms comment.

          Back facade is terrible.

  2. Posted by bachman_erlich_overdrive

    $3mm plus is owed. $2.552 is the opening bid. The issue is likely that the sellers don’t really want to move and the bank doesn’t really want to take a loss on accrued interest after buying a modified a loan. So the short sale listing isn’t really good faith and these people have been farting around in default since ’09. Time to see what the market will bear. Original loan was only $2mm, so these borrowers have managed to accrue $1mm plus in interest and fees.

    My guess is that if it sells, will go for right around the opening bid and could be put back on the market for 2.6-2.7 once emptied. 50/50 whether it goes back to the bank or not. If it really opens at 2.5mm, that seems like a lot of cashier’s checks for anyplace this far south in the city for the professional auction buyers. And not huge upside.

  3. Posted by anon

    Is that the maid’s car in the driveway?

  4. Posted by Incline JJ

    Status: Foreclosure postponed from 01/10/2017 to 02/10/2017 by way of a Bankruptcy filing

  5. Posted by Bob

    Having toured this house before, the issue is the layout. The top street level is the master, I believe the 2nd floor down is the living kitchen, and then you keep going down to additional basements and so I. I believe the realtor mentioned the owner being a concrete contractor so all the floors are poured concrete. Feels a bit like a bomb shelter and unnerving having to go up and down so many floors.

    • Posted by 4th Generation SF'er

      Ugh. The concrete floor trend was horrible.

  6. Posted by Alai

    Seems funny to live in what is one of the most “suburban” parts of San Francisco, yet not really have a private backyard at all.

    • Posted by Dave

      Calling neighborhoods West of Twin Peaks suburban as many do is a misnomer. The lack of space – in this case backyard space – is one thing that makes these areas precisely not suburban.

      • Posted by Jwb

        Walking distance to west portal. Hardly suburban.

        • Posted by ess

          LIving within walking distance of West Portal is not that much different than living in downtown Pleasanton. More traffic here, but we get a movie theater. About the same number of bars, BofAs, and Thai restaurants.

      • Posted by AnonAnon

        Yeah these comments are always funny to me. Most of the neighborhoods in San Francisco are suburban by this definition – garage, small outdoor space. What are the “urban” neighborhoods? Tenderloin, Rincon Hill?

        • Posted by Bogie

          The ones that didn’t exist twenty years ago, and the ones that nobody above a certain income level lived in twenty years ago.

      • Posted by modernedwardian

        suburban seems an appropriate descriptor to me (and historically these neighborhoods were viewed as in the city but not of the city). much of SF IS suburban in that it requires a car to shop or get around and is NOT mixed use.

        our transportation infrastructure is wanting. jobs and entertainment and housing are segregated more than say NYC or Chicago or London.

        some use density measures to define urban. these areas are not very densely populated.
        some might vote for height. some walkability. they are neither tall or foot friendly.
        some would say any exclusively residential or commuter neighborhood is suburban by definition.

        for me neighborhoods of detached SFHs (front/back/sideyards) are suburban. Pacific Heights mansions are large structures in a city but don’t feel at all urban to me. the same buildings divided into multifamily living with a corner store = more urban.

        i’m in Noe, which feels pretty suburban also. still my block is side attached Victorian and Edwardian row housing which is more urban and we’re a block and a half from the J Church. if we had a few more stores/shops/services and a few more stories, (and a few less garages), we’d be urban.

        • Posted by Bogie

          Nowhere in SF requires a car to get around.

          • Posted by Jake

            yes, thankfully the mandate to provide adequate motorized self-transportation was relaxed by our Malthusian overlords. Yet, the right to own a car remains; which SF households with the means choose to exercise by overwhelming numbers. And moreso those in the sub-urban hoods in question.

          • Posted by modernedwardian

            my guess is we have a different definition of “requires”.

            so you never take uber? lyft? a taxi? those too are cars, used to get around. for some, time and convenience are in short supply.

            in manhattan i rarely took cabs. i walked or used the subway. here i still walk, but i drive to UCSF for my husband’s chemotherapy (his immune system is nonexistent and public transportation isn’t worth the viral risk. we don’t fly either).

            while most of my car time is spent on the 280 to/from work, my friends in cow hollow certainly don’t take public transit to visit me in noe. and i drive to geary to get to the russian grocery store (though i do walk to japantown for the asian grocery store and the ferry building for the farmers market, 3.5 miles one way on saturdays).

            all those people in sea cliff should walk to safeway? and all the edge and peak neighborhoods without corner store conveniences? i guess those residents all telecommute and count on goodeggs?

            you should check walking scores and how people actually live before you type.

  7. Posted by Mutal Kudi

    I am more curious about how a house in San Francisco remains vacant for 25 years…

    • Posted by Bogie

      There are lots of them – bought by Hong Kong investors, etc in the 80’s or 90’s. We’ve got at least one on our block, and at various times have had several.

      • Posted by ess

        Man, that would be a good way to find a quiet neighborhood.

  8. Posted by Jim

    SPUR has looked at the vacancy rate twice – once in a 2000 report and again in an October 21, 2014 study “Non-Primary Residences and San Francisco’s Housing Market.” In both cases, data indicate about 25,000 vacant units at any one time. Go to SPUR.org and do a search for that report to see the components of vacancy. Data is hard to find and no hard and fast conclusions can be made. However, of 1,954 condo units surveyed, only 4 were not occupied by an owner or renter.

    The report does not opine but I will. San Francisco has tens of thousands of duplexes and triplexes, many bought decades ago, and fully amortized. Individuals, particularly widows, often leave them vacant when they no longer need the income. My flat, for instance, was vacant from the 1930s until I purchased in 1990. One can only surmise the many reasons for this, and one could be the difficulty of getting rid of a non-performing tenant.

  9. Posted by InclineJJ

    Sale County: SAN FRANCISCO
    APN: Lot 009, Block 3076
    Sale Date: 03/24/2017
    Sale Time: 2:00 PM
    Property Address: 250 SANTA PAULA AVENUE, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94127
    Opening bid: $2,552,000.00

  10. Posted by InclineJJ

    Actually, I forgot to post above: the listing price was dropped to $2,499,000.

  11. Posted by InclineJJ

    Status: Postponed from 03/24/2017 to 04/24/2017 by Beneficiary’s request

  12. Posted by InclineJJ

    Opening bid $2,552,000. Scheduled for sale today 4-24-2017 at 2 pm.

  13. Posted by InclineJJ

    Status: Postponed from 04/24/2017 to 05/08/2017 by Bankruptcy

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