Purchased for $2.6 million in August of 2014 and then completely remodeled by Plath & Co, with an emphasis on preserving the home’s historic details and craftsmanship while adding luxury conveniences and finishes, the 2,400-square-foot, single-family home at 3020 Scott Street, “in the heart of Cow Hollow,” sold for $4.255 million in August of 2018.

The 3-bedroom home is outfitted with numerous built-ins, a high-end kitchen with access to the back yard, a lower-level family room and full bath (or fourth bedroom suite), and a one-car garage.

And having returned to the market priced at $3.98 million in June, reduced to $3.68 million in September and then dropped to “$3.38 million” two weeks ago, a sale at which would be considered to be “at asking” according to all industry stats, the Cow Hollow home is now in contract.

If you think you know the market for single-family homes and Cow Hollow, now’s the time to tell. The Case-Shiller index for Bay Area single-family home values is up 4.0 percent over the same period of time.  And yes, the “median sale price” is up as well.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Kevin

    Ouch. That’s a huge loss for the current seller. Timing is everything in RE. Hope the new owner doesn’t ended up loosing money on the purchase. I guess only time will tell. Plath & Co did a fantastic job on the remodel. However, feng shui wise, there is a huge miss. Master bath toilet is directly above main entrance. Basically every person who walks through that front door is getting “sh*t on” so to speak.

    • Posted by sd

      SF seems to be one of the only places losing value. Here in San Diego the average home price shot up about $50,000 since COVID hit.

  2. Posted by m2b112

    Did this sell for $2.6 million or $3.0 million in August 2014 pre-remodel? Maybe the sales history is wrong on Redfin and Realtor.com?

    • Posted by SocketSite

      Good catch, that was our mistake and since corrected above. The contract price was $2.6 million in 2014.

  3. Posted by soccermom

    Was $1,772 psf in 2018 a price supported by comparables? That sounds really high to me. 2400sf with no view? Doesn’t make sense.

  4. Posted by Cave Dweller

    I am really curious — how do these people think? what kind of comfort, knowledge or experience do they hope to attain spending this kind of money?

    • Posted by What A Town

      It’s all relative!

      • Posted by Cave Dweller

        True, but human body on average is about 60 cubic ft in volume and the brain itself is no more than 8 cu ft of that. So there are some absolute physical limits unless spending that kind of money opens quantum portals to realms unknown.

        On a serious note, I am curious to understand the motivations behind such hefty purchases (and losses). Selling it at a loss in some ways is acceptable if holding the property has enabled profits or financial advantages elsewhere. How does that work in Cow Hollow? Does it confer access to better social capital which can be used for leverage elsewhere? Or does it enable better business working relationships (living close to co-workers or the bosses resulting in hefty stock offerings + stock bonuses)? Or is there a secret cabal who share secret knowledge? How is this kind of financial loss justified or written off?

        I commented in a different thread about using corporate losses to offset taxes on corp. gains. But it can’t be that the whole lot of properties sold at a loss are in that bag!? What am I missing? Why are these people selling at such massive loss? A 10% haircut on the overall price is approx 50% loss on the underlying equity (assuming 20% down/5x leverage). Someone edumacate me in the virtue of this economic flagrance.

        • Posted by sparky-b

          “Check out the big brain on Brad”.
          Those cubic feet are way off

          • Posted by Cave Dweller

            60 cubic feet is generous space — 8′ length x 2.5′ height x 3′ width = 60 cubic ft or . But that is not the point.
            I am trying to get an insight into the thought process behind these kinds of deals. I don’t have have that kind of money. But if I did, I don’t want to be writing off or suffer that kind of loss.

        • Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

          $4.255 million implied a jumbo loan, right? Even in the Summer of 2018, at the height of the visibility of the so-called “financial crisis”, I recall that it wasn’t too difficult to get a jumbo mortgage with 10% down and no mortgage insurance.

          As far as the motivations behind such a hefty loss, well, it was a short-term hold. So I think the most likely explanation is that the seller purchased it thinking they’d be living there for a longer period and turned out to be wrong, so now they are selling it and moving on with their life. For the really wealthy, this will just be a “speed bump” and they’ll probably forget about it in a year.

  5. Posted by OnlyInSF

    $4 million dollars and not even the space to have a nice dinner?

    • Posted by wcsf

      And not to sound pedantic, but I’m guessing a lot folks who have $4M homes also have espresso machines… I don’t see where you’d put one in this kitchen as unless it was a little nespresso thing, it wouldn’t go on that small counter space w/ all the light switches. But you’ve got a couch in the kitchen, so that’s probably an equalizer!

      • Posted by AY

        I could be wrong, but I think couches can be moved. Might be room for an espresso machine in the cupboards behind the refrigerator/stove?

      • Posted by AY

        Or in the cabinet next to the couch?

      • Posted by Kunal

        Desire for Expresso machine is shortchanging yourself. A 4M house also often comes with a pool, beautiful backyard, a movie theater, a playroom, and 3 car garage.

        • Posted by Fishchum

          Not in San Francisco it doesn’t. I get so tired of people pointing out what some amount of $$ would get you “anywhere else”.

        • Posted by Conifer

          Comparison to suburban houses is not apt. But comparing to real cities, such as New York, Boston, London, Brussels and Paris, one would get a lot more than this, although usually an apartment not a whole house. This is one of many small houses in Pacific Heights and Cow Hollow which was intended for average people, but has become housing for the rich. The recent reductions may reflect a modification of the “irrational exuberance” of recent years.

          • Posted by Ohlone Californio

            Is that comparison fair? Compare a free standing home in an area of New York, London, Brussels, or Paris and a neighborhood comparable to Cow Hollow. Then what?

          • Posted by Conifer

            Ohlone: There are no neighborhoods in those cities comparable to Cow Hollow, central with mostly single family homes. You have to go further out, and if you do you get a great deal more for the money, but of course location counts. So the traditional Manhattan neighborhoods, and the first eight or nine arrondissements of Paris are the parallel neighborhoods.

          • Posted by SFRealist

            There’s also the fact that San Francisco is a very different city than New York, Boston, London, Brussels or Paris. Better in some ways, worse in others, but different.

          • Posted by Ohlone Californio

            OK. But I’d point out that there are indeed comparable neighborhoods in Central London. A detached 3 br 2400 sq ft home with similar finish levels and a garden in let’s say Fulham would cost a great deal more than in Cow Hollow. Maybe you could get a fixer for that price?

          • Posted by Conifer

            Ohlone: I will concede that London property is more expensive than San Francisco. But Fulham is not Cow Hollow, not in distance to the center and not in ambience.

            There is really no neighborhood in the center of London like Cow Hollow. Fulham is a relatively recently gentrified neighborhood. Until the last 20-25 years it was considered “a bit far out” and “not that nice” suitable for “first step on the property ladder.”

          • Posted by Ohlone Californio

            I picked it because of the relative commute, actually. Fulham to the City of London ~4 mi. Cow Hollow to FiDi ~3Mi. 25 years 20 years … not relevant. I’m talking about now. A house in Fulham is more expensive per foot than that house in Cow Hollow.

          • Posted by sockettome

            Interesting back and forth Conifer and OC – but so far you only have yours toes in the water.

            “If you think you know the market for single-family homes and Cow Hollow, now’s the time to tell”

          • Posted by Ohlone Californio

            I don’t know, 3.5? The last sale was really quite a lot for that location. Not saying it wasn’t a comp, not saying it wasn’t subsequently used as a comp, etc. But “Cow Hollow” encompasses some altogether different views, lots, amenities, etc.

  6. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    The counter space to stove top burners ratio is way off in this kitchen. There’s barely enough counter space to support 4 burners worth of cooking, let alone 6.

    • Posted by Kunal

      Yeah agree. This house overall is so cramped that its a joke at 4M. Kudos to the owners.

  7. Posted by jimbo

    $3.35M

  8. Posted by Betty

    Nice house but way too close to Lombard Street and the growing problems down there.

  9. Posted by civ-e

    what are the growing problems down there?

    • Posted by Cave Dweller

      Burglars switch to homes in S.F. as tourists, and their cars, stay away

      The highest number of break-ins has been in the San Francisco Police Department’s Northern District, with 1,018 burglaries since Jan 1.

      Northern District covers the Civic Center, Western Addition, Hayes Valley, Pacific Heights, Cow Hollow and the Marina — it has seen a 43% rise in burglaries.

      Supervisor Catherine Stefani, who represents the Marina and Cow Hollow, said the station captain told her that it’s up more like 90% in the area around Van Ness Avenue and Union Street.

      “The problem is real, and it is completely unacceptable,” Stefani said.

      • Posted by civ-e

        Thanks CD. What a sad state of affairs that is this city.

      • Posted by Chris

        The Northern District covers and large geographic area encompassing vastly different neighborhoods. For example, there is zero comparison between the Civic Center area and Cow Hollow. Unless you can get a detail of crime in Cow Hollow proper, mentioning an article that says crime is up in the whole Northern District tells you pretty much nothing about the crime would be around that house.

  10. Posted by sfo2020

    at asking price it is $1408/sq ft. lot of variability in the area with range between $1000-$2000/sq foot depending on exact location. 2958 scott sold on 3/27 at $3.5m or $1166/sq ft and looks like a larger unit, but more dated. hard to know what this house or any house in SF is worth and wont know for a couple years when we see where the market goes. however, 3020 is out of the liquefaction zone, nicely staged, and hilarious fengshui about the pooping on peoples head!!!

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