Zynga Co-Founder Mark Pincus Sells Presidio Heights Pad For $8,200,000

[Editor's note: I just realized I misspoke. The home is not in Pacific Heights, it is in Presidio Heights. Locals will know the difference, visitors might claim six of one half dozen of another. Regardless, the mistake has been acknowledged and changed.]

In other news to take us to the weekend, Mark Pincus, co-founder of Zynga, has sold his home at 3855 Washington. It just closed escrow for a mere $8,200,000 (originally asking $8,900,000).

Real estate haters will be quick to point out it spent a “long” time on the market (126 days), and was sold under asking, but I’d like to remind people that might be getting a little bit jaded…we’re talking eight million two hundred thousand dollars here folks! You think they’re trading that kind of property in Kansas!

Happy Aloha Friday. Enjoy the weekend. I’m out…and playing “Words With Friends”.

p.s. The buyer of this home, just like 2701 Broadway, came from a Zephyr Real Estate agent. Just sayin’….

Opportunity For Fence Sitting Sellers And Desperate Buyers

Are you somebody that lives in San Francisco, has a home that is either on one level or contains an elevator, and you’ve been on the fence about selling your home? PocketListings.net has a buyer for you, they aren’t picky about their neighborhood, and they have $2,000,000 to spend.

Maybe you are a resident living in Pacific Heights, Sea Cliff, Cow Hollow, or Presidio Heights and you don’t want all the hullabaloo of listing on MLS, but you’d love for a buyer to come take a look at your home. PocketListings.net has a couple of those multi-million dollar buyers too.

Are you a buyer looking for a two unit building in the Marina? PocketListings.net has that too!

The moral of this story is if you are a buyer or seller anywhere in the United States, and especially in San Francisco (our hottest market), you should not only be visiting the site yourselves, but telling your real estate agent to do the same. There are opportunities galore, and it’s getting better every day!

-Single Family Home Buyer Needing One Level Or Elevator Home
-Pacific Heights, Presidio Heights, Cow Hollow, Sea Cliff Buyer [PocketListings.net]
-Marina Two Unit Building “Not On MLS”, $2,800,000 [PocketListings.net]

From $2,500,000 To $10,000,000 In Presidio Heights At 3362 Jackson (No Joke)

Purchased for $2,500,000 in August of 2009, 3362 Jackson came back on the market April Fool’s Day 2011, and it is no joke. Currently six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, and roughly 5800 square feet of luxury, if you think this was a “quick flip”, think again.

Separate yourself for a moment from the marketing and spin to get this thing sold, watch the video, and contact me to get a look inside.

It is after all, “State of the Sexy!”

-3362 Jackson [MLS]

Another Reason to Love Living Here: The Heights

Seacliff in San Francisco

Fridays are for less serious real estate topic-age, so here is a meaningless poll and a tribute to another characteristic that makes SF unique.

Riding my bike through the Presidio last Saturday, I decided to cruise Presidio Heights. And oh my, the elevation-  in status, I mean. It’s dizzying. The homes are palatial, complete with giant grand pianos, harps, chandeliers,  all of which one can glimpse through elaborate stained glass windows. This got me wondering: why did I pick “teacher” as a career path?

But I digress. From a real estate standpoint, which Heights are really the highest (as in, highest class)? Where would you most desire to spend your halcyon days?

For my money, the top four are Presidio Heights, Pacific Heights, Telegraph Hill, and Sea Cliff.

No offense to any other Heights or Hills. Let’s be honest: SF is chock full of breath taking views from almost every corner (and I’d be thrilled to own a house in any of them), but if we include proximity to open space (like the Presidio or the ocean), the size of the homes and their lots, yards (front, back, side) and those cool carriage houses in back that are bigger than most people’s primary residences, then really, these four take the cake.

But I’m a sucker for parks and beaches, and if I have to pick from there, it’s sand and surf forever. My vote then is Sea Cliff.

Here are four ridiculously lush listings, one in each of my hypothetical contender’s neighborhoods. Study them, perhaps shedding a tear for your own career choice. From your own city explorer insight, which height is really the tops? Are certain areas more steady as investments? Are these places really worth all this dough? And are there really still enough buyers for places like this? After all, the four below are just four of myriad listings on the MLS for well over 3 million dollars, when the the San Francisco Census put the median income in our fair city at less than $70k.

2901 Broadway (Pacific Heights) (7 Bedroom mansion for $45 million.)

37 Presidio Ave (Presidio Heights)  (7 Bedroom single family for or $5, 395,000)

632 El Camino Del Mar (Sea Cliff) (5 Bedroom single family for $9,000,000)

 1454 Kearny St. (Telegraph Hill) (3 Bedroom single family for $3,500,000)


Sea Cliff shot via Panoramio

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]

A Done Deal at 3647 Washington ($910,000 over asking)

We’ve been through the over/under debate countless times, but when the big ones hit we have no choice other than high-light them, and 3647 Washington is no exception.


According to MLS, this five bedroom, four and one half bath single family home in Presidio Heights hit the market March 26th at $3,595,000, spent a staggering 12 days (or less) actually “on” the market, and just closed escrow for $4,505,000…or 25% ($910,000) above asking.

We again say, look past the over/under debate on whether it paints a picture of the market and think more about the desire of one person to have that property so much more than the others. Also think about the ones that lost.

3630 Jackson…a done deal? (Asking $18M)

Since we’ve recently been on the subject of high end ultra high end homes changing hands, we thought we’d bring your attention to 3630 Jackson, a home in Presidio Heights that was recently on the market and “withdrawn” at $18,000,000.


According to our reader, another reliable source, and Property Shark.com, it did indeed “resale” on 11/30/2007 with a recorded loan amount of $11,800,000. We’ll let you all guess as to the actual sales price, unless someone wants to comment on the matter. For now, our lips are sealed.

That would make three sales in as many months that get a total value sold up around $45,000,000:

2820 Pacific

3730 Washington

3630 Jackson


Done Deal in Presidio Heights: 327 Locust

We’re putting 327 Locust (3 bed, 2 bath SFR condo (oops!) asking $1,798,000 selling $2,025,000) up per reader request.


We acknowledge this sale closed 10/31/2007 and we are now in the beginning of 2008. The market has changed since then, but an eye-catching sale nonetheless. Or shall we say classic “competitive pricing” situation?

If you’d like to see the sales history, check out Redfin.

-327 Locust [mls]

-Property History [Redfin]

Chateau Beau or is that Bleu, and is it for sale?

A reader (Sean) asks:

“I saw what looks like a cool old home in Pac Heights (Jackson & Gough) named “Chateau Beau” (or something like that) that is for sale.

What’s the story with this place? Thanks.

sean (camera phone maybe?)

Well Sean…since you’re cool with us sharing the info we already told you (touched up to add a little editorial flare of course) with everyone else, here goes:

Address is 1901 Jackson

In 2001 “the mansion” underwent an extensive renovation and became two side-by-side 3-level townhouses. The restoration brought back a lot of the original features including the marble front steps.

Back in October of 2003:

-#1 was listed for $3.4M (5 bed, 5.5 bath and 5300 square feet)

-#2 was listed for $3.2M (5 bed, 5 bath, and 5500 square feet)

We were inside the building in 2003 when it was on the market and it never sold. If you like opulent, marble, gold/brass, it is the place for you.

It is #2 that is currently for sale. Asking $3.7M. Been “on the market” about 8 months, but never in MLS. They’ve apparently received 4 offers total over the life of this “listing”, all of which were under asking, and not acceptable to the seller. They’re in contract now (no idea what price), it has been in escrow for 6 months, but we’re thinking the deal could be going sour, so if you’re interested, we can get you in (showings by appointment only). The seller of unit #2 owns the whole building and is looking just to sell this one unit at this time, and they’re apparently very stuck on the price.

Hope that helps. Let’s not forget it is on the corner of Gough, one of the busiest streets in the city, and a very steep section to boot (think accelerating Harley Davidsons, and Ferraris that never get out of first gear).

And it’s Chateau Bleu…thanks for asking.

Damn those $14,000,000 homes, they keep messing with the median average

3730 Washington…barely a month on the market at a meager $14,500,000, needing some pretty serious remodeling, and now contingency free (pending), which means it is highly likely the sale with go through.


[Update: A reader quickly catches our late night mistake. Thanks. "I think you mean, 'messing with the average'. The median value is the the number that ends up in the middle of a sorted list of numbers (the average of the two middle numbers, if you have an even number of numbers).

If there are 1000 houses each priced at $1,000, the median price is $1,000. Adding a $14M home into the mix still yields a median price of $1000, but the average will go up to $14,985.-- Statistics Nazi."

And in case you need more ammo to laugh at our blunder, here's a nice lesson on the median from Bryan Flanagan at Twin Cities Property Buzz.

More knowledge on the matter: What the Hell is the Median and Why Should I Care? from Submedian.]

-Large and In Charge: 3730 Washington [theFrontSteps]

-For Non-Math Majors: Median Home Price vs. Average Home Price [Twin Cities Property Buzz]

Large and in Charge (3730 Washington)

On May 14th of this year, we alluded to a “very big, very expensive” home that will be coming on the market. Since I just drove by and saw the sign out front, we’re finally letting you all know. That was a tough secret to keep, let me tell you.


3730 Washington is coming on the market, and last we heard the price will be around $18,000,000 [Guess they changed their minds....$14.5M, 7 bedrooms, 5.5 baths.] As of this moment, MLS is still giving us troubles, so we can’t confirm whether it is listed or not, but there is certainly a sign out front and Richard Weil (Hill & Co.), did in fact beat out Barbara Callan (McGuire) for the listing.

We’ll post pictures, [correct price], and MLS link as soon as we have it.

[Pictures and MLS link as promised]

The neighbors are “aghast”! (3809 Clay)

“This property [3809 Clay, a 3 bed, 3 bath in Presidio Heights] sold about three years ago (neighborhood rumor) to an agent, who modernized it then flipped [it] for around 1.4… note what it is listed for now. What do you think? We are aghast.”


Well…I don’t like rumors, so I did a little digging, and I’m sure some readers will dig a little more. Especially, the growing number of readers I’m now referring to as the “traders”. They love working the numbers (even if the facts are not all there), and we love reading it.

From what I can tell, it sold in August 2003 for $1,450,000 from a $1.6M asking price. At that time, it was not yet modernized, but it did sell to an agent that is known to be a part of “flipping”. I won’t say anything of the quality of flipping, just that they flip. [Update: And the agents were not part of the remodel/flip...only the clients.]

It was indeed remodeled after that purchase and came back to market in February 2004 at $1,899,000, and sold in 15 days for $2,070,000. (In my humble opinion they could have done better on the remodel.)


It is now back on the market, and to me it looks like whoever lived there did some nice touching up to make the home look like it should. [Update: Going against my cardinal rule, I posted without actually knowing the facts. They did, in fact, not do anything to the property except landscape and put in new shutters. Good photography vs. poor photography is what it comes down to. I'm red with embarrassment.] It is now listed at $2,595,000, and we’ll have to watch and see what happens. It looks much better. Wouldn’t you agree? [Update: I still think it looks better now though.]


I am not aghast, but I am also not a neighbor. Anyone else?

[Last Update: A good comp for this property is 339 Walnut, but since MLS is down, I can't post it.]

-3809 Clay [MLS]

Just “Wondering”

A reader kindly asks about 2746 Gough #1 in Cow Hollow, and 120 Cherry in Presidio Heights, so I thought we’d give the answers.


120 Cherry is a home that hadn’t been on the market…ever, since it was built in 1923. (According to the “remarks”.) It is in Presidio Heights, is a trophy home, and it basically flew off the shelf. It most likely fetched multiple offers, and it sold for $3.7M which was $500,000 above asking, and $1243 per square foot. It closed last week, 8/18/07. Click here for details.


2746 Gough #1, was another property that practically flew off the shelf, was asking $1,295,000 and sold for $1,465,000. It closed escrow 7/17/07, and came out to be $776 per square foot. Click here for details.

As always, don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about San Francisco real estate. We’re glad to help.  And feel free to rip into that kitchen, cuz that’s what $3.7 mil buys you in Presidio Heights these days.

Investor Alley

by Greg Angilly

In every market there are properties that can be obtained for below market value – many that have a strong upside. Here are two we’ve been watching for a few weeks. Our sense is these are available at or below asking and are both strong investment opportunities.

3479 Sacramento St – List Price – $1,075,000


2 bed / 1.25 bath + bonus room down. Parking and outdoor space and on the market for 90 days. Good location – slightly busier than the typical Presidio Heights location – but surrounded by boutique shops and cafés. Well under the average price per sqft in Presidio Ht’s. I imagine there is a willingness to negotiate the price if other terms of the offer are strong. The unit doesn’t show well at all. It’s dark and could use some upgrades. That said, nothing needs to be done so you can owner occupy while you renovate. New kitchen and bath / upgrade lighting / repaint the façade / research the inclusion of bonus room via interior stairs. With basic upgrades this unit should sell for $1.15+ – if you can include the downstairs rooms you are looking at $1.35+.

2080 3rd St # 8 – List Price – $649,000


Property has seen several price reductions from original price of $689,000.  Top floor unit with walk out deck with expansive views in smaller building. If purchased for 635K the loft becomes a great investment. Can serve as a nice rental / income property – approximate rental rate is $2500/ month. There are several new projects going in on 3rd St which will bring additional owners and businesses. The Mission Bay campus continues to grow and several new businesses have recently opened along the 3rd St corridor. This area will continue to mature and a deeded top floor deck with views will be a commodity people are willing to pay money to obtain.

I will be tracking these properties for our readers, and I am open for any discussions regarding the two, and/or my opinion on their investment value.

-2080 3rd St # 8 – List Price – $649,000 [mls]

-3479 Sacramento St – List Price – $1,075,000 [mls]

3711 Clay…and Another Heart Broken: An Update and Done Deal in Presidio Heights

3711 Clay the 4 bed, 4 bath, 3700 (approx) square foot home in Presidio Heights that was built in 1891, listed at $1,950,000. They handed out 30 disclosure packages, set an offer date of May 1st. They received 10 offers. Turns out the parties involved have decided not to share the final sales price with us via MLS. Thankfully, you’re on the inside, and we can tell you it probably sold for at least $2,775,000, and it sold quickly…19 days on the market.

-3711 Clay…and Another Heart Broken [sfn BLOG]
-More fun with 4065 25th Street…and a Wager? [sfn BLOG]

3711 Clay…and Another Heart Broken

This just hurts, because anytime you have someone with $3MM cash burning a hole in their pocket that they’d like to dump into…well, a dump, you gotta shake your head in disbelief when the property is just not there for the taking.
But then the shining star, 3711 Clay (maybe not totally shining) comes along and you think you’re in there. This is a 4 bed, 4 bath, 3700 (approx) square foot home in Presidio Heights that was built in 1891.
Listed at $1,950,000, they handed out 30 disclosure packages (when someone takes a disclosure package they’re usually pretty interested in making an offer), set an offer date of May 1st. They received 10 offers. Now it gets good.
This buyer’s offer was $2,700,000 (already $750,000 above asking), no contingencies, close in two weeks. They were one of two offers countered by the sellers, and what this buyer saw in their counter was $2,750,000, seven day close. This buyer then went back to the seller even higher to $2,775,000, two day close…obviously all cash…and they didn’t get it!
Under-pricing aside, there are 9 or more buyers out there interested in properties like this “total fixer”. Got one?
[Update:Selling for $2,825,000...so we're told.]

-3711 Clay, Last Update…Since you Asked [sfn BLOG]
-How to Sell a Home in Today’s Market [sfn BLOG]
-“Good Bones” [sfn BLOG]
-20 on 40 [sfn BLOG]

Follow up to Reason we live here #1

On March 29th, we posted our very first reason we live herewith 3335 Clay, a 2bed, 2 bath condo in Presidio Heights asking $1,125,000, and a reader kindly commented there is “no way this property sells for over a million”. We’re not out to prove anyone wrong, or discount our readers (we love all of you!), but there is something to be said about the importance of getting the story. So here it is.
The place received six offers, four of them more than 10% over asking (remember asking is already over one million), and the agent gets calls every other day from three of the thwarted buyers hoping it will fall out of escrow.
We loved it, and obviously quite a few others did as well. Not to fear, those type of properties come around all the time…or not.  ;-)

We’re guessing it goes 15-20% over, which would mean it will indeed sell over a million…knock on wood. 

-Reasons we live here [sfn BLOG]
-3335 Clay [Hill & Co.]
-More Maximum Overbids [sfn BLOG]