Arden Wood (Mostly) All Grown Up

 

 

 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.

Bring it.

Photo, of the estate still under construction, via nativesf. Current photos abound at Ardenwood’s website, already linked above.

The Scoop: Seven Arden Estates Have Risen from the Earth

Some time ago, I noted the construction in West Portal and asked around the Front Steps for the scoop. Those folks on the steps always know a lot, and more importantly, they like to argue. We had ideas that the construction would yield five- no, six- no, seven- no,  eight homes. They were to be made of the cheapest- no, the most luxuriant materials. They were to be a blessing to- no, a curse, on San Francisco housing.

 
One thing we all seemed to agree on was that a stand of less than ten single-family homes was not the way to maximize that open space in West Portal. A larger building  project, sized to maximize density, would have been a better call.
 
Still, the call was made; and without much of the NIMBY drama that normally plagues construction, Arden Estates are here.
 
Well, almost. The now live website’s photo gallery so far boasts one photo (seen above). Such dearth is logical since the homes aren’t done yet; however, the location is awesome for families, and the units back up onto a thick mass of trees that completely belie an urban setting. Plus,  their plans look pretty sweet (see below: Click to enlarge).

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

And to the Front Steppers who argued over units, there are to be seven stand alone homes here. Each will have three bed rooms + a bonus room, three baths, high end finishes, attics, 2-car garages, fireplaces…. and geez, more, more, and more. Frankly, I’m getting light headed. You can see the list yourself by visiting the amenities link on the website.  
 
Price is, unsurprisingly, not advertised on the website. However, rumor has it these homes will run in the $2 million range.
 
So that’s me out of the running for one of these beauties, unless you’ve all been fooling me and there really is a Santa. If so, Santa, if you’re reading, I’ve been a very good girl.

Getting the LEED out for the weekend

This tip comes to us all the way from Oregon, via telephone no less (what is that!), and is about “one of the country’s first LEED certified homes” (LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) that happens to be across the pond (Oakland). Rather than ramble on, we thought we’d just leave you with some nice photos and a link to details for the weekend.

That should make for some nice before and afters. Thanks for the tip, and phone call. It’s nice to hear a voice every now and then, isn’t it?

Bon Weekend!

-Margarido House [website]

-Margaritas!

Granite is out, CeasarStone is in…music to our ears!

We’ve been waiting for some proof in writing to support not only the trend we’ve been seeing in new home construction, but also an argument to hold up against clients’ wishes to install granite countertops. Yes, some granite is still good, but better is something like CeasarStone, and Alan Mark, of the Mark Company provides just what we need:

caesarstone

Beyond the green trend, the once “standard” granite countertops have been replaced with CaesarStone. With its stain, scratch and heat-resistant properties, this less expensive quartz-based material offers the perfect combination of form and function. We have also seen oak floors replaced with richer walnut product.

There you have it…if you have something that looks like this, you might swap it with something like this.

Good day.

Sunset Idea House a.k.a. 1303 Alabama

by Tiffany Elston:

sunset In the spirit of keeping tabs on San Francisco’s green housing inventory, it seems only logical to draw attention to a green 2 unit TIC in the Mission: 1303 Alabama. The main unit is being retained by the owners. The second unit is a 1,200 SqFt home. The project is the result of a collaboration between Sunset Magazine and Meridian Builders and Developers Inc. and was designed to “take the magazine’s Idea House Program into a dense urban area for the first time, and demonstrate how to maximize construction on a compact site.” Interesting.

I got to preview the 2 bedroom 2.5 bath two Sundays ago during the Build It Green San Francisco Home Tour.

In terms of green building features, the house gets a high score: solar PV, recycled glass tiles, reclaimed wood floors, double insulated windows, dual flush toilets, rooftop garden, and the first residential windmill in the city (On a 1-year variance to see how the birdies fair with spinning blades.)

The unit is on the market for $1,089,000.

How long will it be before someone swoops in on this green baby? Wagers, anyone?

[Editor's notes: It'd be fun to see what "A" and "M" think it will sell for. I know "A" is reading, but what about "M". And WTF is up with the MLS photos of this place! You'd think better quality would be demanded of the agent.]

-Info on the Sunset Idea House

-1303 Alabama [MLS]

Cyber real estate conversations: some “funny shit”

From a reader:

a true e-mail interaction between 2 SF real estate watchers on 1303 Alabama St:

A:

wanna hear some funny shit? no, not 306 Mullen, but that freaky-eco project on alabama and 25th. st. Be the first to see it this sunday 1-4 (and guess what, u don’t have to pay $25 to be on some pretentious architect tour!)

fyi- it’s north of $900 sq ft, for a tic in the mish!! woohoo!!

M:

$900 per sq. ft? thats fucking funny, really funny.

It was wrong of these assholes to sell tickets then put it on the market. I saw dozens of scared shitless visitors on Sunday filing through the place with nametags “Hi– Rob me”

A:

i agree, a tic [north of] $900 per sq ft. in the mish is funny; makes that silly lorax bldg on 22nd/valencia [3280 22nd St.] seem reasonable! btw, i think the whole bldg is a duplex, so 1 unit sells as a tic. i wonder how much dough they made from that architect-bend-over-take-it-up-the-ass-tour. actually, having a free open house 1 week later is fucking hilarious as well. funny shit!

M:

My partner thinks I’m nuts to have thought of construction and future sale price of 425$/sq. ft.

1 million for TIC of 1200 sq ft.in the fucking hood? This I MUST see.

1303 Alabama St:

1303alabama.jpg

306 Mullen:

302mullen.jpg

3280 22nd St. [look how quickly they sold, and it would be 3 units. ;-) ]:

328022nd.jpg

That is some good shit and a good taste of what goes on. I was hesitant to post as you sent the same “shit” to other sites, but I’m over it, and always down for a good laugh. Thanks for sending in, and feel free to send more.

Green prefab?

by Tiffany Elston

westcoastgreen.jpg

I know what you’re probably thinking: a “green” prefab? Aren’t prefabs generally characterized by their cheap (and toxic) materials with no real aesthetic appeal?

Well that was until now! West Coast Green has decided to bring in a whole, full size beautiful green prefab to sit in Civic Center Plaza for the remainder of the week.

The mkLotus is designed by noted architect, Michelle Kaufman and built by XtremeHomes. The off site modular technology results in 50-70% less waste than traditional site building and has all the bells and whistles. The mkLotus comes equipped with a green roof, 100% solar generated power, rain and groundwater catchment system, gray water system, on-demand hot water heater and much more. The house was also designed to maximize daylight and cross ventilation while protecting occupant health with the use of no-VOC paints and other non-toxic materials.

If you don’t have time to attend the whole conference, at least make time to check out the mkLotus. And if you’ve got some extra time, Saturday of West Coast Green is specifically designed for homeowners. In addition to 250 (+) exhibitors on the trade show floor, there will be presentations on topics such as healthy homes, green design 101, and marketing and investing green.

[Tiffany has informed me that she has some passes, one of which I'll take for sure, so if you're interested, email her at tiffany @ greenkeyrealestate .com and you might get in for free to the trade show.]

-West Coast Green

-mkLotus official site

-West Coast green mkLotus details

-XtremeHomes

-Saturday presenter schedule

Green Home Tour San Francisco

Continuing the green thoughts, we receive some information from our green experts about a green tour, which might save you some green, and ultimately help green this city. However, you might keep the Land Rover LR3 parked in your green garage for this tour. ;-)

by Tiffany Elston

San Francisco’s first green home tour

Build it Green (www.builditgreen.org), (BIG for short) an awesome non-profit based in Berkeley, will be hosting the first SF Green Home Tour on September 23. The tour is designed to coincide with West Coast Green, the country’s largest residential green building conference and expo from September 20-22.

The tour will showcase 7 green-built and remodeled homes featuring solar thermal and electric systems, green roofs and grey water systems, bamboo and cork flooring, and more.

This is a good opportunity to view the emergence of SF’s green housing stock first hand. Also worth checking out is the homeowner day at West Coast Green on the 22nd, where homeowners can come to learn about the various green building products available to them.

For more information on the Home Tour follow the links in this post.

I’ll be sure to post more details leading up to the events.

-First SF Green Home Tour [website]

-West Coast Green [website]

-www.builditgreen.org

comment du jour: 520 Clipper and being “green”

We get such a kick out of some of the comments that go un-noticed, we thought we’d grab a few from time to time. Today’s “quote du jour” comes from Joe Schmoe on “Go Green” regarding the Lorax Development Clipper House.

clipperhouse.jpg

Important to note before you see the quote, this home had features like “the first approved rainwater catchment system in San Francisco, new Ultra-Touch® Recycled “blue jean” insulation and hardwood flooring reclaimed from 100-year-old railroad ties, [s]olar panels power[ing] the entire house and then some, and hydronic radiant heating keep[ing] the home cozy in the winter months without incurring fuel costs.”.

Because we know you’ll ask, it sold 4/20/06 from an asking price of $1,899,000 to a selling price of $2,150,000. But it’s what’s apparently parked in the garage that caught our eye.

“The clipper owners have offset the green-ness of their house with a nice shiny new Land Rover LR3.

No doubt hybrid.”

Congrats on the “comment du jour”. True or not, we got a good laugh.

-520 Clipper [mls]

-Go Green [theFrontSteps]

-Lorax Development Clipper House [Lorax website]

Various Updates (Alhambra, Sea Cliff, 22nd, Sacramento, Douglass, 27th, and more)

untitled-11.jpg

Our readers have been asking in various places about some properties we featured as of late. Since so many have asked so nicely here you go:

3280 22nd St @ Valencia, the “green” building that all the blogs were all hot about and many claiming wouldn’t sell. Guess what? Last week, in the middle of all the mortgage market meltdown drama, all three condos had offer dates (very ambitious) and all are now in contract. The two bed, two bath units were priced at $849,000 and $899,000. The top floor, two-level, three bed, two bath condo was asking $1,399,000. Photos.

318 27th St featured in Greg’s “Sittin’ on the deck by the Bay” was indeed apparently a good find. From what we can tell, it went into contract within the first weeks of being on the market, fell out, then went right back in. (Unconfirmed and according to MLS.) Photos.

689 Douglass is still “pending”, but flew into contract. 2679 Sacramento is getting stale withdrawn (possibly to avoid staledom and thanks Pete and Eddy for the tip).

245 Alhambra…no tengo nada! Lo siento “Boomtime”!

In case you missed it, all the properties in this post are as follows: 1330 Chestnut (pending); 2255 Washington (active); 2249 Washington (pending); 2745 Laguna (pending); 3042 Jackson (in contract); 2865 Jackson (sold for $1.7M asking $1.59M); 2130 Beach (pending).

25 Sea Cliff sold $4,550,000, asking $4,095,000.

In summary: 13 of these 15 properties are on track to sell, and sell quickly, if they haven’t sold already.

If we missed any, or you have any questions about our market or real estate, just drop us a line.

Bamboo, mud, “green” and earthquakes?

from “Eddy” via Core 77.  

“Could be the new housing trend in SF greenhome building…”

dowlingpresentation11.jpg

“The benefits of mud construction aren’t just confined to the Third World, [Environmental engineer Dominic Dowling] says. “Look at the massive amount of energy required to build modern houses using steel and concrete. There’s the energy required to make those materials, and transport those materials. “If you can make something from the earth, it can be sourced very close to the location. And, at the end of the day, it can all just be returned to the earth. It’s got to be the way of the future.”

We’re thinking probably not the best idea for San Francisco, but it would be interesting to see a 40 story mud and bamboo highrise filled with bankers in suits. We can only imagine the elevator and muddied leather shoes.

-Green Houses that stand up to ‘quakes [Core 77 Design Blog]

-Design feat that’s down to earth [The Sydney Morning Herald]

-A rectangle on end on the Great Highway [theFrontSteps]

Go Green!

by Tiffany Elston

On 22nd Street, that is. Check out the specs on these green babies:

22ndvalencia.jpg

Solar system * Living Roof * Recycled glass tiles/slabs * Ultra-Touch® Recycled “blue jean” denim insulation * Radiant floor heating – hydronic heating * Wood floors made from reclaimed mine timbers * Wood floors made from Asian hardwood shipping pallets * High Efficiency water heaters * Double Insulated glass windows * Forest Stewardship Council certified Lumber * Forest Stewardship Council certified veneers and cabinets * Engineered structural lumber * Hardie® Fiber Cement siding * High volume (40%) fly ash concrete * Low VOC paints and caulks.

We at Green Key often lament the shortage of green homes on the San Francisco market. For such an “eco-conscious” city, we really are lagging behind in the residential green building sector. But thankfully there are some developers out there like Lorax Development who are building green.

Official estimated completion date was July 10, rumor has it we’re looking at the first week of August. And the price, you ask? I’ll keep you posted.

-22nd Street [Lorax Development]

-Low VOC paints and caulks [toolbase.org]

-Living Roof [greenroofs.org]

-Ultra-Touch® [bondedlogic.com]

-Forest Stewardship Council [fsc.org]

1771 North Point: A done deal…and no price! :-(

It’s another one of those damn “non-disclosure agreements” that is going to spoil our ability to accurately track sales around the city in real time for homes, and especially trophy properties. Yes indeed, 1771 North Point is scheduled to close escrow tomorrow (July 13th, 2007), and they’re not sharing the price. Oh well…it sold, and it sold pretty darn quick, if that’s any indication of life in the world of San Francisco real estate.

1771northpointkitchen2.jpg

-1771 North Point [mls]

The Time is Right for Solar

by Tiffany Elston

Everyone’s talking about climate change, carbon footprints, and that shade of “green” that seems to be increasingly infiltrating every major publication. Buildings are a huge proponent of climate change, consuming 36% of total energy use, 65% of electricity consumption, and contributing to 30% of greenhouse gas emissions.

Installing a solar photovoltaic (PV) system in your building is not only good for reducing environmental impact, but can save you money in utilities, and increase the resale value of your home. Continue reading