Way, way back, we looked at the then just starting Ardenwood luxury home project. We all speculated on price (around $2 mil, was the consensus) and rapidity with which they would sell. Many people also complained that a set of less than ten luxury homes was not the best use of the lot, given our housing scarcity, but that last complaint falls on deaf ears given that the homes are now for the most part complete.
And they’re all for sale. Still. As far as I can tell, and I beg you to set me straight (kindly though, please?) if I am incorrect, but these homes have yet to find their owners. There are seven of them, ranging at the “new” prices of $1,699,000 to $1,950,000, with two homes not yet priced. Looks then like the $2 mill estimate was not far off. (See prices, etc. at the Ardenwood website.)
Personally, that price seems steep to me. The homes are really lovely on the inside and I do love the West Portal village life, but the exteriors make me think of office buildings. They are also awfully close together and for that price, I would like the option of thinking I was all alone in the world. But what do I know? Surely someone is now dying to tell me how ignorant I am.
Photo, of the estate still under construction, via nativesf. Current photos abound at Ardenwood’s website, already linked above.
Today I got this email from a friendly neighborhood Realtor:
I wanted to send out a friendly reminder about the deadline to take advantage of the first time home buyer tax credit. The tax credit expires on Novemeber 30th, 2009. However, assuming a 45 day escrow period from the time you buy to the time you close and get the keys, you would need to find a house, negotiate a purchase price, and have mutual acceptance by October 15th to take advantage. There are some income restrictions, it must be for your primary residence, and you must not have owned a home in the last 3 years. If you or anyone you know would like more information about the tax credit, please email me and I will follow up.
Arg! Less than a month to find a house and close escrow?
On the other hand, I heard a rumor that this tax credit may be extended. Hard to imagine we have the money to do so in this country, but still, that’s the gossip from my broker. Nick Timiraos of the WSJ blog writes:
Not only are some legislators (and real-estate industry lobbyists) already pushing hard for an extension of the tax credit, which will expire Nov. 30, but they’re also arguing that it should be increased, to $15,000, and expanded to all buyers, and not just those who are first-timers. The current $8,000 tax credit emerged in the stimulus legislation that Congress passed in February, replacing an existing $7,500 credit that had to be repaid over 15 years.
The questions are not just whether the country has this money available, but whether other issues, such as health care, will push the homebuyer’s plight to the back burner.
In the meantime, we first-time buyers have about a week to buy our homes, people. No pressure.
Generous Uncle Sam, Via Coldwell Banker
So Alex is leaving town for awhile, chasing the big waves instead of the big buyers, and I’m standing, inadequately and ill fittingly, in his shoes. You may — or just as likely, may not– recall I used to guest write here on these Front Steps some time ago. Alex was nice enough to invite me back.
Future story ideas: the sad tale of coming within 3 centimeters of buying a home and the deal going awry. Oh, Realtors! Other blogs to explore new construction in Golden Gate Heights, which one can see out one’s very own window: yeah, right where the ocean used to be. I’ll also revisit Arden Wood, a West Portal set o’ luxury homes that sparked some “they’ll sell!” “They won’t sell!” debate when they first began to rise from the ground.
Indeed, this posting is meant to function as my trailer, like a preview you see before a film that makes you want to see more. Hopefully now you’ll remain glued to the machine so as not to miss a thrilling installment. Or if you have a scoop for me, you’ll suggest it, keeping in mind I am a buyer, not an agent, and write from that perspective. In the meantime, in the words of L.L. Cool J., “Don’t call it a comeback. I’ve been here for years.”
Your Editor is out of office (being a “drifter”), but Anna is in da house, and she’s not only a great person, but comes up with some great content! She’ll be moderating the site while I’m away.
Have fun, and we’ll see you soon!
The tip came in:
I thought your readers might find it interesting that poor Stephen Fowler’s house (4218 25th Street) of “Wife Swap” infamy is now on the market. I thought it would only be a matter of time before they moved on to less scrutinized pastures, and now is that time.
The home, situated in prime Noe Valley is 6 bedrooms, 4.5 baths, 4395 square feet and asking $2,925,000. Last sold in 1999 for $730,000 (asking $679,000….ahhh the good ol’ days), and on the market for a spell in 2003 for $2,095,000 with no record of it selling. The home certainly has a bit of “prestige” attached to it, but what home in San Francisco doesn’t!?
Perhaps the painting in the Kitchen/Dining area is an indication of where the owner sees himself moving:
Two million nine hundred twenty five thousand dollars could certainly buy a lot of home elsewhere. Hollywood? Not so sure. Missouri with all the “uneducated, overweight, dumb rednecks”? …uhhhhh yeah.
-4218 25th Street, $2,925,000 [MLS]