Tag Archives: luxury real estate

Walking Distance to a “Wet Woody”

View from the Carnelian Bay Lakefront

If incredibly convenient access to Garwoods restaurant and bar and its iconic drink, the Wet Woody, is your cup of tea (or your cup of Wet Woody – and yes, that’s the last time I’ll use that phrase in this article), this lakefront property may be for you. Not only is this house right next door (stumbling distance) to Garwoods, but like the Carnelian Bay favorite, it is also right on the Lake.
A nice place to relax

The most amazing part of this story? You can own a prime piece of Tahoe north shore lakefront property for $1,325,000, or maybe less, $1.325 mil is the “asking” price.
Carnelian Bay Tahoe Lakefront

One million three hundred twenty five thousand dollars is a screaming deal for anything on the lake, let alone on the north shore in a protected and centrally located bay. While some may not appreciate having Garwoods as a next door neighbor, it doesn’t diminish the fact that the property sits on one of the most beautiful sections of one of the world’s most beautiful alpine lakes.

Carnelian Bay Lakefront Interior

Obviously its owners have come to the point where they are very, very serious about selling, but looking at its asking price history, that has not always been the case. The 4 bedroom, 2 bath home (with a 2 car garage) was originally listed at $2.5 million on March 6th, with the price coming down to $1,999,000 on July 28th. Its current price reflects a huge drop from the almost $2,000,000 asked in July, and a gargantuan drop from the original 2.5 million dollar original asking price! I asked Paul Smith, the listing agent, about these very substantial price drops, and his answer was simple: “They just want to get it sold!” If this price doesn’t do that, I don’t know what will.

Carnelian Bay Lakefront, Lake Tahoe, $1,325,000 [Lake Tahoe MLS]

[Chris Anderson is a Tahoe based writer and real estate professional. You can contact him at chris@tahoetruckeehomes.com or go to TahoeTruckeeHomes.com.]

When Thinking Real Estate, Think About Your Neighbors

It’s no wonder people want to live in the San Francisco Bay Area, because of our climate and general awesomeness, but did you ever stop for a second and take a look at some of your neighbors that also want to live here? Neighbors that just happen to be inventing products and services that are changing the world.

Haute Living has compiled their list of The 100 Most Influential People in the World’s Most Golden City…you know, the “most important entrepreneurs, thinkers, entertainers, creators, philanthropists, socialites, power couples, and, of course, billionaires” that just happen to be your neighbors. It’s some of these people that are buying our best slices of pie in the sky, creating jobs, and changing the world. Why wouldn’t you want to live where they live? Things are good here.

The list definitely worth a look and a consideration as to why real estate in the San Francisco Bay Area continues to outshine the rest of the nation and remains a very solid long term investment.

-<a href="The 100 Most Influential People in the World’s Most Golden City [Haute Living]

I Am A Top Producer! ~ B…F…D…!

topdog

It’s that time of year again…the time for the announcements and excitement amongst brokerages across the land of their “Top Producers”. Those two words send shudders down the spine of many Realtors as they conjure up thoughts of, “I’m good enough, I’m strong enough, and gosh darn it, people like me.” Given last year’s real estate environment, “Top Producer” status is being touted even more now as a reason to work with one Realtor over another, because if you made it in 2009, you must be a rock star.

We’ve always had a bit of an issue with the whole “Top Producer” thing. First of all, every real estate company has different thresholds that put their real estate agents on that pedestal. For example, a brokerage with two agents that each sell one property per year could call those agents “Top Producers”. Some brokerages determine “Top Producers” on the amount of commission earned (could be $50k, could be $150k). Still others determine their “Top Producers” on the dollar volume sold (could be $2 million, could be $20 million.) There is no industry standard, and the criteria change every year. Certainly a “Top Producer” in Kansas is selling less (or maybe more) real estate than a “Top Producer” in California. So you see, it’s a bit misleading if you ask us, and frankly we don’t think it carries much weight with buyers and sellers. We would be happy doing away with the whole thing altogether.

So why then is it such a big deal amongst agents and their brokerages? We tend to think it’s that old competitor in every agent that is striving to outdo their colleagues, and it’s just another way to say, “I kick more ass than you, because I sell more real estate than you.” Reality is, the buying and selling decisions aren’t up to the real estate agent, and if you’re being pushed into a deal in this environment by a “Top Producer”, especially if you’re buying, there might be some ulterior motives to “getting you in the home of your dreams”.

Bottom line, “Top Producer” in our eyes isn’t something that should carry as much weight as it does and you (the buyer and seller) certainly shouldn’t base your decision on working with an agent on whether they’re a “Top Producer” or not. You’re going to need to like the person first and foremost, because you just might be in that relationship for quite some time before you “close the deal”. ;-)

Just sayin’…..

[Editor's Note: I am a Top Producer.]

Metallica’s Kirk Hammett Finds Buyer For His Pacific Heights Monster Den

After what must seem like an eternity (we lost track of the days on market), we’re told the metal lair on top of Pacific Heights at 2505 Divisadero (originally asking $12,500,000 now just $8,995,000…it is on top of Pacific Heights and does include a sound studio and party room built for, and occupied by, Metallica for chrissakes!) has found a buyer.

Hammet

Was “The Black Album” conceived in this room…their worst album if you ask us, and all down hill from there. Give us “Master of Puppets” again!

hammetsound1

“Is that…Is that James? Is that James in the mixing room?”-Bonus points if you know which PUNK band has that quote. And no, it does not refer to James Hetfield (of Metallica).

hammetstudio1
Picture “Garage Days” and picture the parties…Metallica did party didn’t they? ;-)

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Who is the lucky buyer catapulting themselves into the home of one of the largest rock bands ever? Enquiring minds want to know….

If you want to see the party room pre staging and fancy photos, this is what we snapped back in 2007 upon first taking a look at the property.

Congrats to all involved in this one, especially Kirk Hammett.

[Update: We asked our source about the price and got this (no surprise) reply: “It’s a “confidential” sale… although we all know who sold it [Nina Hatvany], just no one is saying who bought. Word on the street is that Ronnie Garfield rep’d the buyer, but I don’t know for sure.”]

-2505 Divasadero [Property Website and Details]
-Fly On the Wall, 2505 Divisadero hits the market [sfn BLOG]

Who Is Tom Perkins And WTF Does He Have To Do With Us

Our recent scoop on the sale of both Grand Penthomes at the Millennium Tower (one that sold to mega millionaire venture capitalist Tom Perkins) has been getting quite a bit of press lately, and oddly enough we received this email today:

This is all great [referring to the sale of a ~$9,000,000 condo] I suppose, but who is Tom Perkins?

Apparently, theFrontSteps is more responsive and accurate than a quick and easy Google search on “who is Tom Perkins”, so, since you asked, we thought this video would give you some idea about the man, and his (former) yacht:

Don’t get us wrong, we love your emails and especially your tips (keep them coming to thefrontsteps@gmail.com), but sometimes we worry about some of you readers….in a good way, of course.

Both Millennium Tower’s Grand Penthomes Are Sold, Thanks To A Yacht

In news of the top of the world today, we’ve been told both Grand Penthouse Residents on top of Millennium Tower have now been sold (ink is dry, it’s a done deal).

gphagphb

Grand Penthouse A (GPHA), which is on the Northwest corner of the building with a nice big patio, closed escrow recently (somewhere around $10 Million), oddly coinciding with the recent rumored sale of the Maltese Falcon, so if you’re wondering who could potentially be living, or at least claiming their slice of pie in the sky up there, that’s a pretty darn good hint.

Grand Penthouse B (GPHB), which is on the South East corner and also has a large patio (better in our opinion because there is sun and less wind), was sold a bit before A (somewhere around $9 million…Update from reader “rich”: “Tax records show a $8,100,000 for GPHB!! What a steal”), and naturally there is a story here. It was told to us that the ultimate buyer of GPHA was actually in contract on GPHB and waiting for the first buyer of GPHA to fall out of escrow, and for a little teeny weeny yacht to sell, which all apparently happened (some guys have all the luck, eh?) And being swift like a Falcon, the buyer, and his agent (Katy Dinner) swooped in and landed themselves in the $10 million shell on top of the San Francisco Skyline. Furniture, walls, and appliances will cost extra, but for those who need to pump their ego, what better place to lay down a fist on the table and claim your dominance than the top of Millennium Tower.

So there you have it, both Grand Penthomes at the Millennium Tower have been sold (as a reminder, they are empty shells yet to be built out), and there were more than a handful of interested parties.

Life is pretty good at the top, isn’t it? Gotta wonder how that Penthouse at the St. Regis feels about that.

We’ll bring fresh lime margaritas to the house warming, and gladly launch a paper Falcon from the balcony and watch it drift down to the peasants below.

[Update: For a little profile on the buyer of GPHA that we can now share, since the cat is so far out of the bag, check our follow up post by clicking here.]

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]

St. Regis Residences San Francisco: A Sales Update & A Little Horn Tootin’

stregis1

Because I had a listing not too long ago at the St. Regis, I like to keep up on that building, and lucky for you, I like to share what I find. Although young, considerably younger than my colleagues (most of whom I completely respect and admire) selling in the building, I’m no dummy.

Here is a list of most recent activity at the St. Regis (188 Minna). What is important to note on all of the “active” listings, every single one of them has either been on the market before with another agent, or been reduced by a large enough margin to reset the DOM (Days On Market). So they are hardly “new” and hardly “active”. In fact, I’d go so far as to say every listing there is a Stalefish, which by no stretch of the imagination means it is a bad property, just getting a little long on the market, and a great opportunity for you buyers that have your eyes on the St. Regis.

Let’s take a look at the most recent sales: Unit 27D, which started in June of 2008 at $3,475,000, reduced countless times, eventually down to $2,995,000 in December 2008 and withdrawn from the market. Relisted in January 2009 at $2,550,000 and recently sold in March 2009 at $2,300,000. That is $1,175,000 (34%) less than original asking price and it took nine months to get there.

Unit 25D was the only other 2009 sale, and was originally listed in September 2008 for $3,995,000, withdrawn in December, relisted with a new agent in January 2009 at $3,200,000 and eventually sold April 2009 for $2,500,000 ($1,495,000 or 37% less than original asking price) or $1402 per square foot and eight months on the market.

For comparison, we sold unit 38B three months prior to unit 27D, and we sold it in seven days for a higher price per square foot than what 27D recently achieved, and many would argue 27D to be a nicer unit. At the time we advised our clients to take the offer we had on the table and run to the hills, even though it was below asking (asking $2,395,000), and we knew we’d be laughed at by some other agents selling in the building and rumors about our sale would quickly circle, which they did, and which is exactly why we kept the sales price confidential.

So that brings us to the facts, and good comparisons to see what has happened to high rise luxury real estate in San Francisco in just one year, and how a little foreshadowing saved our clients time and money. Unit 38B sold in March 2008 after seven days on the market (with us), for roughly $1350+ per square foot…cash. Unit 27D listed three months after our sale for $1940 per square foot, took nine months to sell for $1337 per square foot. Unit 25D listed six months after our sale, eventually sold eight months later for $1402 per square foot.

We’ll let you do the math and discuss. For us, the writing is on the wall, and if you’re interested in a unit at the St. Regis, or currently live there, we’d be happy to discuss all high rise luxury sales and listings with you (email alexclark@gmail.com).

Happy Friday!

Stolen Thunder: 2712 Broadway In Contract, What To Do?

You gotta love when you pick up some clients in the “price is not an issue” category (thanks to this blog mind you), a good opportunity like 2712 Broadway (7 bed, 5 bath, Gold Coast Single Family Home originally asking $9,495,000, immediately reduced to $7,750,000) comes along while your clients are on vacation and unreachable, and they come back and ask, “What happened?”

2712broadway

We know what we’re doing, what would you suggest?

Do you tell them:
( polls)

-2712 Broadway [sfnewsletter.com listing detail]