From The Front You Might Consider It A Duck…369 Upper Terrace

My golden rule in real estate sales and searching for the right home…unless the front of the home is actually drop dead fantastic and the best selling feature, take a “drive by” with a grain of salt.

Case in point, 369 Upper Terrace:

From the front, it’s a bit of a duck, but on the inside there are 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, and 3462 square feet of mid-century (1973 is close enough) modern goodness with decks, 15 foot ceilings, Terrazzo floors, a spa style bath that “oozes tranquility”, a “vinyl lair for music listening”, and big views to get you through the slow days.





You gotta love the “lair”.

Look for more posts from me featuring the finest homes with the best views in San Francisco, starting with this one. I’d give these views an 8 out of 10.

-369 Upper Terrace, San Francisco, CA, 3 bed, 3 bath, $2,995,000 [MLS]

Just Say Eichler…

Following on the heals heels (thanks for catching the spelling fail “word bitch“) of a post I did earlier today about some homes I know are available for sale, but not yet “on the market”, I present to you 76 Amber Drive, an original Eichler, in the Eichler rich zone of San Francisco’s Diamond Heights neighborhood, that had been “quietly” marketed for a good couple of weeks before finally hitting MLS today.







Sexy it is not. Eichler it is, and sometimes that all you have to say…

-76 Amber Drive, 4 bed, 2.5 bath, $819,000 [MLS]
-Ditch Your Realtor, Get Ahead Of The Pack By Working With Me [theFrontSteps]
-Mid Century Modern With An Emphasis On Modern [theFrontSteps]
-More Off Market Real Estate [PocketListings.net]

Ditch Your Realtor, Get Ahead Of The Pack By Working With Me

Are you, or any of your friends, looking for a single family home in Noe or Cole Valleys (or anywhere in San Francisco for that matter)? Are you getting beat out by multiple offers in the over million dollar price range ($1.5M+), and showing up late to the party? Is your Realtor telling you they’re doing all they can (simply checking MLS everyday, which you can do too), but really not delivering? If so, you’re not alone, and I can help.

Within the past couple of months my buyers and readers have known about dozens of properties prior to them going to MLS. To think I share all of them online with everyone is simply silly. For example, my circle of clients knew about 707 Cole, 1027 Cole, 313 Parnassus, 785 Cole, 1340 Cole, 121 Beulah, 471 Duncan, 2975 Lake, and many more. There are also a dozen or so homes that never even made it to MLS and were shown without a hint of market activity, such as a mid-century home in Noe Valley, a grand, modern home on Sanchez, an AIA tour home in Golden Gate Heights, a penthouse stunner in SOMA, and a few others that I can’t recall the address off the top of my head.

Today, I present to you two more opportunities in Cole Valley, one in Nob Hill, and another on Lake Street not on MLS. Nowhere near MLS in fact. Not on PocketListings.net, not in my pocket, and not even on anybody’s radar. They are all single family homes, and they are all at least 2 bedrooms, and close to or over $1,500,000. They are not fixers, they are done, done, done…or turnkey as we like to say.

If you are interested, or know somebody that might be, you gotta contact me directly (alexclark@gmail.com), you gotta be unrepresented, and I’m going to ask you to work with me going forward and sign a written agreement confirming exactly that. No co-agents, no “I’ll work with you if you find me the property”, no “let’s try it out on this deal”…none of that. You either marry me as your agent or you don’t. Not sure if you should? Have a look at some recent testimonials I’ve been gathering and come take the plunge.

Like I’ve said, working with and finding a Realtor you like is like dating. If it’s not working out with one, you are free to leave to find another.

I’m also beginning to dabble in Lake Tahoe real estate, so if you’re interested in a second home, ski pad, lake front property, my finger is finding the pulse of that market too (and I know where all the good powder is).

So feel free to give me a shout, and let’s work on getting you ahead of the pack and into the home of your dreams. I’m also happy to help any of you sellers out there sitting on the fence in these markets. It’s a good time to sell in certain areas and certain price-points. I am at your service and available for consultation.

-Prior off market opportunities I presented [theFrontSteps]
-Testimonials
-Lake Tahoe Ski Cabin [theFrontSteps]

Mid Century Modern With An Emphasis On Modern

Are you a lover of Modern (particularly Mid-Century) like me? Are you looking for a home that you just can’t seem to find anywhere else? Do you have a budget up to $2,200,000? If so, I have found the home for you. I have been asked not to share any photos of this particular home online, because it is not listed on the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and is a pocket listing, but it is on par with something like these:





The home is 3 beds, 2 baths, 2 car side by side parking, in an A+ Noe/Castro/Liberty Heights area. It is up on the hill, has tremendous views, is totally open, bright, minimal, and amazing. Re-designed by Ogrydziak Prillinger Architects, it also has custom designer wall finishes throughout, SubZero, 6-burner Thermador range, Limestone, Calacatta marble & Thassos stone finishes, integrated sound with built in speakers, outdoor built-in Viking grill with granite counter, and did I mention views, views, views!

It’s one of a kind, and it could be yours.

I do not hold the listing, but can definitely bring a buyer. Principals Only Please. Contact me for details.

-PocketListings.net
-Completely remodeled Noe Valley Home with High Definition Views (More on this one later) [theFrontSteps.com]
-Contact For Details

Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian Home In Forest Hill (One San Marcos)

We were fans at Usonian, but if you must…the whip cream on top:

onesanmarcosside1

Polished concrete floors; radiant heating; chef’s kitchen; custom walnut cabinetry; multiroom sound system; remodeled bath with handcrafted Heath tile; Sub-Zero refrigerator with glass front; Viking convection oven; Miele range; 2,344 sqare feet all on one level; two car side-by-side garage.

onesanmarcoslr1

Some history on Usonian, and what you need to know from Wikipedia:

‘Usonian’ is a term usually referring to a group of approximately fifty middle-income family homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright beginning in 1936 with the Jacobs House.[2] The “Usonian Homes” were typically small, single-story dwellings without a garage or much storage, L-shaped to fit around a garden terrace on odd (and cheap) lots, and environmentally conscious with native materials, flat roofs and large cantilevered overhangs for passive solar heating and natural cooling, natural lighting with clerestory windows, and radiant-floor heating. A strong visual connection between the interior and exterior spaces is an important characteristic of all Usonian homes. The word carport was coined by Wright to describe an overhang for a vehicle to park under. Variants of the Jacobs House design are still in existence today and do not look overly dated. The Usonian design is considered among the aesthetic origins of the popular “ranch” tract home popular in the American west of the 1950s

onesanmarcosbath1

Let’s not forget the price and link to more Usonian property picture porn: One San Marcos, $1,590,000.

We look forward to your first fireside chat (we promise to wear our best mid-century ski sweater, and mix some tasty margaritas!)

-OneSanMarcos.com [property website]

Claude Oakland Designed Mid Century Eichler In Marin

Oh if we had time to publish these things when they’re hot off the presses. Oh well, we’re still fans of all things architecture, especially when Eichler is involved, so we’ll throw them up for your delight. Coming soon to the Lucas Valley (Marin) real estate market (and what we’d almost consider an epicenter of Eichlers), 26 Oak Mountain Court.

26oakmountainmarinpatio1

It’s a rare gallery model Eichler designed by architect Claude Oakland, which has been extensively remodeled and expanded to reach 2,400 sq ft, 4 bedrooms, and 3 full baths. This home was featured on the American Institute of Architects home tour and is truly spectacular inside and out (and the cycling down the road is nothing short of world class).

26oakmountainmarinlr1

26oakmountainmarin1

The home will be priced at $1,550,000, is not yet on the MLS, and of course, we can always get you in early.

-26 Oak Mountain Court [Renee Adelmann]

Glen Park, Charles Warren Callister Designed Mid-Century Drooler

ooh la la!

You know we often get stuck on the mid-century homes in and around the San Francisco Bay Area, and if you’re gonna spam us, it better be good (or at least mention mid-century or modern.) This home at 66 Everson surely fits the bill of good & mid-century. A little bit heavy on the dark wood side of the scale than what we desire (makes us feel like we’re in a Sauna with the Squirrel and Silvia from the movie “Hot Dog”), but an awesome home nonetheless, and someplace we’d love to come party, so let’s get you in it!

66eversonkit1

Designed by renowned Bay Area architect, Charles Warren Callister, and built in 1963, the home is detached, and situated on a wide lot with unobstructed views of downtown. The home is 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, plus a large office. Landscape design by Casey Kawamoto, asking $1,849,000, and not yet on MLS. But of course you’re connected (as are we), so you’ll be happy to know there is a “pre-MLS tour” this week on May 21 from 4-6pm.

66eversonbed1

Go ahead. Crash the party, suck back some beverages, and sample some hors d’oeuvres. Just don’t forget to take a look at the home while you’re there, and please don’t get lost in the garden.

66eversonyard

Or the shed. (Yes…too many good photos to just pick one. Deal with it!.)

66eversonshed1

Don’t forget our invitation to the housewarming. We make a mean fresh lime margarita that would go well with that kitchen.

-66 Everson [Property Details: 3 bed, 2.5 bath, $1,849,000]

Suckers For Eichler

We (courtesy of Renee) gladly give you a preview to a new Eichler coming to the market. Now, of course, when we say “new” Eichler we don’t mean they’re building more, we mean, it’s a new listing. Here is your chance to take a peek before the masses:
bolanos615

The deets:
-25 Bolanos Drive, Marin County
-4 bedroom / 2 Bath home (1716 square feet)
-Large atrium with beautiful Japaneese Maple tree and wisteria
-Very private large back yard with solar heated pool
-Working radiant heated floors (copper pipes)
-2 car garage with workshop area
-Located in the Dixie School District
-Move in condition
-$749,000! (Where do we sign up?)

We are truly suckers for Eichlers and all things Mid-Century Modern, so don’t be shy sending us those tips, because you know we’d do the same.

East Bay: Mid-Mod Classic with Eyes on SF Buyers

By Home Girl (aka real-estate blogger Tracey Taylor, former Redfin Sweet Digs maven, making her first guest appearance on The Front Steps. Thank you Alex!):

It doesn’t surprise me that this 3bed/3bath, 1946 house (pictured above), which comes with the distinguished Bay Area architect Walter Ratcliff‘s moniker attached, should be listed on the San Francisco MLS as well as on its East Bay equivalent.

This is the type of home that might just tempt a city dweller to cross the pond and put urban living on the back burner for a while. Set on 36,000 sq ft of wooded land, it features a great room/kitchen that opens to a patio and hot tub and a dramatic fireplace. And, of course, spectacular views of San Francisco to assuage any homesickness for those that made the leap.

But — and there is a but — the interiors look like they need some serious attention. And the big question, and possibly the reason the house hasn’t had any takers after more than 40 days on the market, is why it hasn’t been better presented. This is a house crying out for some sleek retro staging  — as you will, I’m sure, agree when you check out the listing photos.

A rash of Walter Ratcliffs hit the Berkeley market at the tail-end of last year: 2 Somerset Place, a 1920s beauty near John Hinkel Park saw its price slashed from $3.2m to $2.6m before disappearing from the MLS, and 2957 Avalon Avenue and 22 Tanglewood Road sold for $3.1m and $2.3m respectively, near asking price and no quibbling involved. But that was then.

From Mid-Century to Modern, 3577 Pacific Returns (Almost)

The last recorded sale of 3577 Pacific (2 bed, 1.5 baths, on the Presidio wall right across from Julias Kahn Playground) was August 31, 2005 for $2,225,000 and she was definitely a mid-century diamond in the rough. Well…she’s back and she’s looking sweet. She did get a bit bigger, and more modern though.

She’s been developed by Mitch Menaged, designed by John Maniscalco Architecture, and Huang Iboshi Architecture and now has six bedrooms, four bathrooms, roof deck, waterfall, chef’s kitchen with Miele Double Ovens, Steam Oven, Espresso Machine, Dacor Microwave Drawer, Gaggenau Ceramic Cooktop, Liebherr Wine Cooler, an 800 bottle temperature controlled display wine cellar, Phase Four Home Automation System, Philippe Starck designed Duravit tub with ceiling water fill, custom cabinets, walnut flooring, Cat 5 wiring, Carrera Marble Fireplace, sculptural stone, iron & glass cantilevered staircase…(deep breath)…and of course a few “green” features like energy efficient radiant in-floor heating, wiring in place for photovoltaic panels, made with fly ash concrete, and a drought tolerant landscape, but we’ll stop there.

Pics, you ask?
You’ll have to settle for the old ones for now, the new ones are coming soon. This home should be on the market within the week, and don’t expect the price to be anywhere near what it sold for in 2005.



There is an invitation only preview on Thursday, so if this is the type of home you’d like to buy, we’d be happy to take you as our guest.

(For those that sometimes ask, the answer is yes. As is the case with most properties we feature on theFrontSteps, we have already been inside this one as well. So agents, keep those invites and tips coming.)

[Update: Price $7,700,000, still no pics.]
[Update: Price already reduced (one week on the market) to $6,950,000, still no pics.]
[Update: Brochure with pictures and floorplans now online.]

-3577 Pacific Avenue (before) [MLS]

Hop, skip, and jump to the Mid-Century (Fremont)

Every now and then we’ve been known to skip across the pond or even ferry to the north to get our fix of real estate porn, and a good way to get us to bite has always been with a tip to some Mid-Century Modern gems and today is no exception.

Built in 1962 and designed by architect John Canavan, 4992 Valpey Park Avenue (Fremont) is 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, asking $668,000 (God bless East Bay prices) and has been “extremely well preserved (and tastefully upgraded) by its design-savvy owners.”

Unfortunately, we left our passport in Mexico and weren’t able to travel over to Fremont this weekend to check it out, but must admit, the home (and front yard) is right up our alley.

[Update: "Just wanted to note that the FIRST open houses are being held this week, not last week. Brokers open on Thursday, June 26; first public open house on Sunday, June 29. Thanks!"-Renee]

-4992 Valpey Park Avenue [Virtual Tour]

Fridays = sfnewsletter

…and a big reason why posts on theFrontSteps are always light on Friday. To see the latest issue of sfnewsletter, click here, especially if you’re an Eichler fan, like us.

eichlers.jpg

Real estate agents and mortgage brokers! To send sfnewsletter to your sphere of influence? Click Here (sfnewsletter.com)

Feel like touring some San Francisco neighborhoods, Click Here

Any questions, email sfnewsletter@gmail.com

That ought to keep you “realporn” satisfied for one day.

Have a great weekend!

Your First Look inside 1575 20th Ave

Not your typical Central Sunset home to say the least. Enjoy being the first to get a look inside this 3 bed, 3 bath, custom built, view home at 1575 20th Ave (website and more pics will be up soon). Asking $1,285,000. This house is SWEET! (yes caps)

The front:

1575front.jpg

The courtyard:

1575court.jpg

The back:

1575back.jpg

The living room:

1575insideliv.jpg

The Kitchen:

1575kit.jpg

The Hallway:

1575hall.jpg

The Master Bedroom:

1575master.jpg

The Master Bath (great views from that tub!)

1575masterbath.jpg

One Guest room:

1575guest.jpg

Our contact info: should you like to go take a look.

[Update: Website is now up, www.1575-20thave.com.]

Walkabout: Nowhere but everywhere at the same time

The weather is so dodgy outside, and sometimes we just get plain tired of talking real estate (not that you should), so what better to do than go wandering?

commonpond.jpg

[image source: sellmodern.com]

-Amazing green roof art school in Singapore [Inhabitat]

-Wine selling and storytelling [Springwise]

-You gotta be f’in kidding me! [Deacon Brews]

-Mid-Century Modern in Chicago [Mid-Century Modern Interiors (dailypundit)]

-Dot-com bellwether’s lease heralds comeback in SoMa [San Francisco Business Times]

-Common Pond Modern in Georgia for $240,000 [sellmodern.com]

-Whoever sent us that great link to Mexico Real Estate, please resend. It vaporized.

-Dad will make it all better [perezhilton.com]

-Pete Sampras’ Home Court up for grabs [RealEstalker]

-Hoffbrau House Catastrophe [via growabrain]

With that, we leave you to sook in the rain (yes, we LOVE that video).

Mid-Century Movement (56 Clarendon)

Originally listed September 19, 2007 for $2,495,000, reduced to $2,300,000 two months later, and now sold for $2,250,000, 56 Clarendon, in Clarendon Heights, is a done deal.

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56clarendon1.jpg

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Is this a significant “anecdote” of market information/fluctuation. We’ll let you decide that, we just wanted to highlight another gem of the mid-century.

-56 Clarendon [mls]

-more mid-century posts [theFrontSteps]

Marin gets More Modern (as in a new office)

From the press release:

Marin Modern Real Estate, an independent residential real estate brokerage and leading authority on modern and mid-century modern homes in Marin and San Francisco County, announced the opening of a new office in San Rafael, California.

marinmodernnewoffice.jpg

Since we’re spreading the love about them, maybe they’ll spread the love and keep us informed (before going to market) of a lot of those mid-century modern homes we know and love.

On a different note, it again came to our attention that we “should be doing more Marin and East Bay postings”. Truth be told, unless you’re sending us the information, we really can’t speak for the areas…yet. So start sending anything and everything “Bay Area”.

-Suckers for Mid-Century Modern [theFrontSteps...and this price is reduced from $925k to $895k]

-Marin Modern Real Estate

West Portal Mid Century (130 Granville)

We spotted this listing at 130 Granville in West Portal while doing the tour de San Francisco (real estate) for sfnewsletter, and thought we’d dedicate a post to it here (being that we’re fans of mid-century modern).

130granvilletfs.jpg

A mid-century home (built in 1955), and the only active listing in West Portal at the moment, it must have been butchered by a poor remodel given the amount of time it is spending on the market…+/- 70 days. The fact there are no pictures of the interior, and they’re claiming “custom built”, could be the giveaway. Sign of the times, or just bad pricing?

West Portal is an extremely desirable part of town. What gives?

Don’t forget to check out the last recorded sale at $350,000 in 2006. Ahhh…maybe it’s the other sure killer of a sale…greed! As a wise man once said, “In markets, bulls make money, bears make money. Pigs get slaughtered.

-130 Granville [Redfin listing detail]

-mid-century modern [theFrontSteps]

Suckers for Mid-Century Modern

If you want to guarantee your spot on our front page, you need only include two words (or is that three?)…Mid-Century Modern.

marinmodern
Our reader notes that it “looks like prices might finally be coming down a bit in Marin”, but we have no way of knowing for sure as we generally don’t have our finger on the pulse up there (yet).

And the agent notes: “This (non-Eichler) mid-century home will be hitting the market later this week ($925,000), however I thought I would let you know about the property in advance just in case you, or someone you may know, might be interested.”

Our reader obviously knows someone interested, and our sweet spot, so this agent now enjoys a bit of free promo of that sweet pad. Dibs on those chairs.

[Update 1/14/2008: Price reduced to $895,000]

-Agent site/listing

-Our Mid-Century Posts to date [theFrontSteps]

It’s a cold market indeed…(130 Retiro Way: an Update)

130retiro.jpgNot too long ago, we featured a friendly wager on 130 Retiro Way in the Marina district, what it will sell for (asking $1,725,000) and what kind of remodel we’ll see.

RentsUP” nailed the sales price at $1,850,000, or $125,000 above asking (7.25%). It closed yesterday. Now about the remodel? And did you buy it too? If so, that’s just plain cheating. ;-)

-Mid Century Betting, 130 Retiro Way [theFrontSteps]

Find your way to the Mid-Century…modern (429 Burnett)

Sometimes you just have to show some pictures, and dream. Five bedrooms, 4.5 baths, 3 parking spaces, 3600 square feet, listed for $2,790,000 about a month ago, into contract about 10 days ago, and “very nice” (say that like Borat). It is indeed an “Entertainer’s Dream”, so don’t forget we make a great fresh lime margarita, oh Mr./Mrs. buyer. ;-)

MLS

We’re working on a place to stash some surfboards, maybe at Burnett we could stash our telescopes.

-429 Burnett [MLS]

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

A rectangle on end on the Great Highway

Sometimes it doesn’t have to be on the market to catch our eye. We’ve known about this beach house designed in 1950 by Ernest Born for quite some time (we have a surfer in the house), and also known about its pending publicity in Dwell Magazine, and NY Times, but we kept our lips sealed.  But now, the cat is out of the bag, so Duggo, here you go, this post is for you.

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The present owner, Tom Lloyd-Butler, first spotted the place after a day riding 20-foot waves on the far side of that road, called the Great Highway. “I was changing, and I looked up and saw this tiny ‘For Sale’ sign,” he recalls. “It was totally different from any other house at the beach…

Like Cosimo in Italo Calvino’s The Baron in the Trees, the [local] architects perched in the branches of the cypresses and pines, observing where the canopy was dense and where it was porous, noting various perspectives and view corridors to the ocean. Then they came down again and, removing only one tree in the process, planted a three-story, 24-by-24-foot steel-sheathed glass pavilion next to the house, tethering it by means of a translucent bridge connected at the second stories.

We were sold even before this article ran…now we get a look inside, and we’re wondering when it will sell again, so one of our readers can buy it and throw a huge Indian Summer beach party for all of us…we’ll bring the limes. 

(More photos in the magazine.  You might want to pick one up.)

-Highway Hideaway [Dwell]

-Aidlin Darling Design [website]

-(Photos: Aidlin Darling Design and Dwell Magazine)

463 Nevada in Bernal on $950,000 out $775,000 (yes that’s under asking)

A reader asks about 463 Nevada, a “mid-century modern home completely remodeled in 2001 with great light and views. Perfect home for people who appreciate design and architecture from Dwell Magazine and Design Within Reach.”-agent remarks

“Hi,

i’ve always believed that you can’t lose in SF RE, especially if you wait out the lows because let’s be honest, the lows here, if they even happen, don’t happen for too long, right? Well, my view was challenged recently after seeing a beautiful house for sale at 463 Nevada St in Bernal Heights.

463nevada.jpg

It was completely gutted and remodeled in 2001. While the colors were too bright for my taste (and i think probably most people’s taste) the house itself is a gem with the only work needed to it is to tame those bright colors with a nice coat of paint. Nice hardwood floors, top of the line appliances, 3bd/2ba and a garage..a rarity in SF! :-)

Listed at 950K , I thought the price was steep but then learned that it just sold for 775K. How is that possible?

463nevadakit.jpg

It gets better. It was listed as 900 something sq feet per tax record [Editor's note: Indeed, 980] but agent claimed it as 1250 which is a somewhat substantial discrepancy.”

We won’t even get into the agent square footage discrepancy as we have absolutely no idea about the property, we’re assuming some remodeling done without permit, and/or tax records are not updated. Who knows. As for the home not selling for $950,000…over-priced. Important to remember, regardless of where properties are priced, the market will always make the comp. Even if the home was listed at $599,000 and it sold for $775,000, the market would set that price. Sounds like a fair price for that home. The price could also have been set by the seller. We really don’t know, unless the agent cares to share some knowledge.  Or our readers and Stammtisch care to chime in.

-Reduced [theFrontSteps]

-463 Nevada St [MLS]