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.

-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:


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.


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


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]

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!


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.


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.


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


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]

Stunner: 4356 25th Street Sold Within 15 Days*

This little Noe Valley gem (3 bed, 3 bath, “Mid-Century Modern”, single family home asking $2,579,000) had been burning the candle off the market for quite some time (we showed it to some clients well before it hit MLS), and we thought it was quite a nice house (especially the graduated ceiling).


Maybe it’s not a complete stunner since the sales price comes with an asterisk (means sales price not disclosed), but it is a little bit of a silver lining to this incredibly dark cloud we’re under. (Something tells us we’re going to see more and more of that little asterisk.)

[Editor's Note: Our little "*" in the title means it was on MLS 15 days, but certainly quietly marketed for much more than that.]

-4356 25th Street [listing details]

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:

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.

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.


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:


The courtyard:


The back:


The living room:


The Kitchen:


The Hallway:


The Master Bedroom:


The Master Bath (great views from that tub!)


One Guest room:


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?


[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.




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.


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).


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.

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. ;-)


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.


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


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.


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?


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]