2801 Lake returns, new price, new look

In case you don’t get sfnewsletter:

All it takes is to remove the clutter (before shots)

adjust the price (sold in Dec ’07 for $2,580,000 after some massive price reductions) to get it sold, call in the contractors and voila…the after:

2801 Lake Street (after shots), a 5 bed, 4 bath remodeled home in Sea Cliff hits the market a mere seven months after last selling and this time they upped the price a hair to $4,995,000. (They also took out a few sunflowers and stuffed animals.) Any takers?

37 thoughts on “2801 Lake returns, new price, new look

  1. Looks like yet another generic remodel. Granted, the old interior was a disaster but that was a family’s home for decades and they probably didn’t care what other people thought. It just seems a shame that every remodel by a flipper turns everything into the same old, same old. For boring people with a lot of money but no time to do their own renovations…ho hum.

  2. Totally agree with Janet. From the pictures it looks plain, drab and boring. What a shame. They had the chance to turn it into something great, but they’re just turning a quick buck.

  3. I agree with the above as well. Also, I’m a little disturbed by the 7 month remodel. That’s an awfully quick turnaround.

  4. I don’t agree at all. This isn’t “dwell” modern that is the on-going trend. They certainly could have gone with more and larger molding, but it’s not what everyone else is doing, that kitchen is pretty nice.

    P.S. as a builder I can tell you people choose plain, drab, boring AND cheap for themselves all the time. Plus the ones that don’t choose the cookie cutter modern that is also always panned as a flipper only product.

  5. I don’t think I’m down with all this interiors critiquing any more. “Dwell” style? You know what? Sometimes Dwell magazine features the most spartan post-post industrial esthetics in like a Czech house in the middle of the country or something. Does “Dwell” style mean Southern California nouveau pre-fab style?

    Heck, what does it matter anyway. You got people critiquing staging on houses they’ll never even visit let alone contemplate buying.

  6. As to this house, I wish I had a group together to flip this bad boy at the time. This one was a screaming money making train of a quick flip the likes of which are seldom seen.

  7. fluj I’m with you on that one.

    yes it’s “plain” – but it’s a clean blank slate that shows off the property – that is, space, square footage, traffic flow, # of bedrooms # of bathrooms etc.

    For me, they did staging. And if they can be payd 2M for that – good for them. – and too bad for the buyer who couldnt see past the sunflowers and teddy bears 8 months ago.

    That’s the whole point of staging: making it clean, neat, plain, and ready for any wild idea from the buyer – including repainting eveything sunflower yellow and ribbon pink.

    As for the Dwell aspect. I disagree too. The Dwell insult is only for structural remodels which change the nature and the structure and the essence of the building to make it “fashion” regardless (or viciously against) the soul of the property. This is a QUICK 7month flip – that means over the counter permits “mostly” – so “pure staging” as I see it: keep the facade, keep the structure, keep the essence of the house, only clean it up with new (mostly much needed) plumbing and electricity and finishes.

    Until there is a train track rail hanging on the facade with pieces of wood dangling from it – and glass blocks as a bathroom floor looking down to the bonus room – it cannot be a true dwell remodel ;-) (or should I mention a windmill on the roof? BTW that one is still not sold!)

  8. Fluj tipped me to this and I didn’t get it together.

    I was the one who brought up the dwell, because that get’s bashed so much; this place isn’t that and is being bashed anyway. It doesn’t deserve it.

  9. [Editor’s note: July 18, 2008: THIS IS NOT ROBIN MAY.]

    Shut up about my house at 2801 Lake street all of you! My sister and I bought it for a song from an old couple who basically had lived there forever and were dying of legionnaires disease and cancer. Boo Hoo!! You didn’t get it and my sister and I did! Now we will sell it to someone who values quality Irish workmanship. My contractors quite frankly are the cheapest in the business and that’s why I will make money on this property. I guarantee that we will sell this for well over our asking price–just ask any high end real estate agent…if you even know any.

  10. I am with Fluj. Wish I knew about this house 8 months ago…….

    Alex does a good job at highlighting properties. keep coming on this blog. keep reading. You get the info AND some interesting/useless/valuable or plain fun comments.

    Robin – this is not the way to advertise the property. And you should certainly NOT use the word ‘cheap’.

    If you believe that it’s nice and good quality remodel, maybe you should talk to the agent into fluffing up the MLS listing. Like detail photos, more specific text etc.

    As I said, if you make 2M on this, good for you – and shame on anybody being plain jalous. But this has nothing to do with our preferences re colors and fixtures. If you get mad at a few comments here, brace yourself for the insult of getting one or more undersasking offer – which you WILL eventually.

  11. [Editor’s note: THIS IS NOT ROBIN MAY!!!]

    Dear Sophie,

    Thanks for the education–not. When I said I did it cheaply you obviously are so stupid you didn’t catch that I cut the type of corners that buyers don’t see–until they overbid and I make more money than you and your whole extended family. #1 – I bought from two old geezers with legionnaires disease and an underground tank seeping into the soil for 80 years–guess what San Francisco! I don’t have to disclose those little facts ;) and frankly I don’t have any sleepless nights about their problems because they have nothing to do with me; #2 – we installed dark stained laminate floors instead of actual hardwoods at 1/8 the cost. Some old bag tonight asked if they’re original floors and I said they sure look it! #3 – we put on one, count it, ONE layer of stucco. It looks good enough to sell and frankly I don’t give a crap after I sell. Let the buyer beware. We can call it a first class remodel and get away with it. Please don’t bother to come by my listing as I can tell by your syntax you can’t afford this neighborhood and you obviously send your kids to public school. Thank god you probably never heard of Hamlin and Town. The only underbid would come from your kind.

  12. Great return, better than all us renters saving and investing the difference in this stock market! lol

  13. Obviously the sellers pissed off one or more of the neighbors.

    The owner is also the listing agent.

  14. Sophie,

    Robin is obviously not the seller. Some troll (probably SS bear) trying to bash any kind of profit in the market.

    Regarding the remodeling – most people complain about a property being “plain” because of the lack of colors, which is the easiest thing to fix. You can paint your house whatever way for $100 and one afternoon of work, by yourself.

    Actually, it is smart to use neutral colors, because color is something that everyone has an opinion on. It is better to show off the property with plain colors and let the buyer decided how to paint it later.

  15. curious as to why so many people seem to be so anti-flipper.

    there are as many types of flippers as there are types of buyers and sellers.

  16. Agree paco,

    I am just back from the midwest where, because of open space, new developments are built and sold out. These thing are crap, but the typically home buyer will take this over a fixer that they have to hire a contractor to remodel and make decision about what they like. Where I was, there are about 40 victorians for sale, 150 years old, beautiful, and much less money than the new cookie cutter stock brick tree less houses; but the new ones sell and these don’t. $250K for the new, $100K for the vic w/ $75K to fix (my friend did this). The nice finished old houses are worth $350K+, but no one is doing it. San Francisco is lucky it has flippers, people may bash the aestetic (and in this thread for no good reason bash Irish workers) but buyers want this, and the alternative is way worse. Completely empty neighborhoods bought by big developers who put up cookie cutter condo/townhouses/neighborhood.

    As a side bar, this is the a big factor for the housing bust in lots of areas. The was plenty of house before but they were run down and people wanted new. So the new crap kept expanding and why would you buy a 3 year old house for $250K when the new nighborhood is $235K and half sold. Downtown is deap anyway because everyone is at the Walmart near develepmont #4. More flippers nationwide would have help out the housing market!

  17. It is really “sore grapes” instead of “anti-flipper”.

    I wish I had the guts and expertise to be a flipper.

  18. I don’t think the posts are really anti-flipper. I think it’s unfortunate that this house was featured for months on local RE blogs because of its fanciful (albeit hideous) interior and constant price reductions. You get the feeling that someone really loved living there. Now, the owner/agent basically stripped all personality and history out of the house in a few months to make the property as anonymous as possible. It’s a little disconcerting. I don’t think the property would be on anyone’s radar if the “before” images weren’t so unique and the “after” so impossibly bland.

  19. “so impossibly bland” really…the recessed panel cabinet, two tone, 3-piece crown, covered hood kitchen…or the wood paneled front tubs..or replacing the wall to wall carpet with hardwood? Which of these are bland. I suppose it’s the coffered ceiling dining room, which may have been there but now is the focal point.

  20. …is this Robin person for real? If so- you should be ashamed of yourself. If not- get a new hobby.

  21. A friend of mine who is more plugged in actually says that Robin May was the name of the contact person on the project. He didn’t know whether she was related to the realtor’s wife or not…but who knows if this is the real Robin May or not. If it is, she appears to be a somewhat reprehensible person to speak that way about other people…and with people like that, what comes around, goes around. If she isn’t, then whoever it is that is using her name is the reprehensible one, and the same thing applies. I just don’t know what is wrong with people…either way, there is a person out there who obviously has problems.

  22. the biggest wiinner are the the 10+ neighbors who are high 5ing themselves for receiving a HUGe upgrade to all their property values.

    Got to love America!

    40 Yr Old Renter

  23. If the agent is the owner, doesn’t that have to be disclosed upfront? I see nothing on his brochures or website.

    The renovation is beautiful, I love the colors and the kitchen is to die for. I would have put a nicer roof on the garage as that is what the master looks at through the Romeo and Juliet balcony. I love the house, but the price seems a bit steep. (particularly if the owner is agent)

  24. “Obviously the sellers pissed off one or more of the neighbors.”

    Why do you say this???

  25. I’m very impressed with the job he did on the place. It’s still a way ugly exterior by SF standards, but there wasn’t a lot to work with. Congrat’s on a sweet flip-to-be. Neighbors — I’m sure they are much happier to have a more pleasing home in the hood, and that the flipper got in and out w/o making a mess of the street for two years!

  26. I think they did a nice job with the renovation. But 5M seems like a lot of money for “impossibly bland” with no view and on the fringe of neighborhood… property taxes alone would make this place unreachable for families that this house seems to be built for.

  27. So if it sold in Dec ’07 for $2,580,000 and now is on the market for $4,995,000, that would be a pretty Hefty return. Any guesses what the remodel cost them? and how much should be expected for appreciation. Isn’t their asking price pretty steep?

  28. Dear people with nothing better to do then bash others when you dont know what you are talking about. I am in the construction business and I assure you that any profit made on a spec deal is well deserved. Do you people realize the effort and risk required to purchase then completely remodel a home of this size. Noone is making 2mil on this deal. The carry costs, 250-300 per square foot, real estate sales fees, Transfer taxes, Dealing with the city-Planning dept, Dept. of inspections, moronic neighbors, etc etc. The day to day vigilance required to pull this off is more then a full time job. Every inch of that home has been carefully thought out. It shows upon viewing. That property sat on the market for quite a while. someone had the guts and the vision to make a go of it when noone else could stomach the deal. Why didnt one of you bashers buy it? So shut up and get a life. K

  29. Ken,

    I count like 10 people liking this and 5 people not liking it in this thread. Others just question the costs, and the fake “Robin” person. Sure someone took a risk but they also stand to make some coin, and good for them.

  30. have any of you morons went to view this property.it is beautiful ,the kitchen is beautiful and the ceiling in the dining room is a work of art. maybe in the future you should remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.i look forward to meeting our new neighbor soon.

  31. Ari,

    As I said, above, sounds like you are talking about everyone who responded and most thought the work was nice. So when you call people “morons” please specify.

  32. Alex, you forgot to mention the price reduction “”REDUCED $800K!””.
    So the last asking price was 4.2M.

    I dont see why people would overbid back to the original price once it’s a stalefish. So let’s guess its +/-5% of the last asking price.
    (most likely “-” thus the undisclosed price)

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