Maximum Luxury: $6.8 Million Pac Heights Vic Returns After Just Nine Months

Welcome back to Maximum Luxury, the column where we gander at the most expensive homes for sale in San Francisco, simply because we can.

The offering at 2411 Washington Street in Pac Heights just opened very hot, listing on Black Friday for $6.8 million. This is a classic SF Victorian circa 1900–note that since that’s a placeholder date that the city uses for a lot of pre-1906 housing stock it’s possible that this four bed, 3.5 bath setup is even older (or just slightly younger) than that.

The listing is so new that actually other than a single exterior shot of the distinctive white interior and red double doors, no photos of the place are yet available; what you’re seeing here are actually images from the last time this house sold, just a scant nine months ago.

That was an off-MLS sale for more than $6.29 million; the last time it traded hands before that was in 2009 for a comparably scant $2.9 million. Now there’s a bracing perspective on the Great Recession: Even millionaire Pac Heights mansions had to settle for less, however briefly.

That 2009 sale was the most consequential, as it brought with it a redesign by Ken Fulk–notice that the red doors aren’t visible in older photos of the same building (in fact, they appear to have been painted black…), or compare the homey but slightly drab looking old kitchen to the more stylish one presented here.

In truth, this is actually not one of THE priciest homes in San Francisco: Of more than 800 active listings, this asking price barely cracks the top 50, sliding in at 46th place. There are much more ostentatious offerings even just in the same neighborhood.

But at the same time, it’s still a nearly $7 million home–more than five times the current citywide median asking price, and a sum so large that only a relative handful of people will ever be able to even reasonably contemplate such a purchase.

How then do we measure ideas like “luxury real estate?” Is luxury relative to our expectations, to communal or global benchmarks, or is it just a question of how high the prices can really get? Or should we be measuring luxury not in numbers at all, but instead in the qualities of the home in question?

Questions to ponder as we continue to unpack the extremes of SF housing–and keep an eye on this prospect to see how would-be buyers respond.

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