CFAH

25 Mercedes
As we wrote eighteen months ago when 25 Mercedes Way was listed for $1,895,000 but sold for $2,200,000:

This Joseph Leonard designed Arts and Crafts house is described as an “architectural work of art.” And we’re buying it (the description not the house). Although if we did buy it (the house not the description) we have a feeling some bathroom/kitchen updating would have to be factored into our budget.

As we note today: back on the market with what appear to be an updated kitchen (although not what we would have done) and bath, but no permits listed online.
Now asking $2,099,000 (and betting on another bidding war?).
∙ Listing: 25 Mercedes Way (5/3) – $2,099,000 [MLS]
We’re Buying It (The Description Not The House) [SocketSite]
Fun With Building Permits (And Complaints) [SocketSite]

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Foolio

    Nice place. $2M clearly goes a lot further here than in Noe.

  2. Posted by asad

    so this was just a pure investment opportunity that didn’t pan out in the slightest, considering the market these days they will be lucky to get 2M

  3. Posted by wolfee

    The kitchen and baths are just vanilla and bit boring. And is this staged or just sparse? Feels very we ran out of money…

  4. Posted by Parka

    I think this is a wonderful house. The first six or seven pictures were a bit boring, but once I saw the ketchen, and the pictures after, the house seem very nice. It’s very airy, with loads of space, and natural light.

  5. Posted by ex SF-er

    Great home. Too bad nobody buys homes anymore, just “investments”. yet another home owned for just a few months before being plopped back on the market.
    the bathrooms are vanilla, but they work with the overall style of the house.

  6. Posted by diemos

    What am I seeing along the edge of the ceiling in the living room? Is that water damage?

  7. Posted by sparky-the-bear

    I saw that too, I think it’s painted to look like water damage. It must look different in person.

  8. Posted by NoeValleyJim

    I saw this place first time it was on the market and it is one of the most beautiful examples of Arts and Crafts architecture I have ever seen. This is a “Berkeley Claremont” home in San Francisco, which is hard to find.
    One thing made me nervous though and that is that the seller, who is an architect, decided to hold onto the adjacent lot. The adjacent lot is smallish, about 3000 sq ft, but there is no reason that someone could not build something there, and if they did, it would dramatically change the feel of the house, which is currently set away from its neighbors.
    Does anyone know if the adjacent lot is also for sale or not?

  9. Posted by sf

    Is this the famed “Alameda” architecture? Or perhaps it is called “San Fernando” style.

  10. Posted by good luck

    doubtful this will sell at that price, in that neighborhood, and with the silly half attempt at updating- how soon until first price reduction ?

  11. Posted by spencer

    $1.95M predicted selling price

  12. Posted by Foolio

    @spencer: LOL, do you think everything will sell at $1.95M?? 😉

  13. Posted by spencer

    pychological belief that you are getting a much better deal at 1.95 than at 2M
    it doesn’t make sense but being above rather than below large round numbers make people feel better.
    for instance, people feel much better about negotiating from say 2.05M to 1.95M than they do about going from 2.2M to 2.1M

  14. Posted by EH

    The interior is a different world, but the outside (in the fisheyed pic above) makes it look straight out of the Pleasanton prefab zone. I agree that anything that isn’t nailed down seems to have been sourced from Target.

  15. Posted by Portalheights

    They decided they didn’t like the house?

  16. Posted by LMRiM

    After 133 DOM, 25 Mercedes Way has finally been reduced – to $1.979M.
    http://www.redfin.com/CA/San-Francisco/25-Mercedes-Way-94127/home/811773
    This is a really nice house (I’ve been in it) in a nice neighborhood. There are some terrifically beautiful houses in that neighborhood – my favorite in the area is 90 Cedro, which is 3 or 4 houses away from 25 Mercedes:
    http://www.outsidelands.org/90-Cedro.php
    Buying 25 Mercedes Way, however, was a real (and continuing) investment disaster. New kitchen added, and it’s now listed 10% below its 2007 purchase price. Assuming the kitchen was about $50K, and a low side estimate of transaction costs of 7% (closing costs on the way in, agent commission, staging and transfer tax costs on the way out), this is a more than $400K capital loss – and that’s before mortgage costs, property taxes, etc. It’s amazing the size of the losses that are coming for what has been (so far) relatively minor declines, and for this place it’s still not sold yet!!
    Fair value on this house should be around $1.1-1.25M, and that’s being generous because of the beauty of the neighborhood and significance of much of the architecture out there. There is potentially a very long way down from here IMO.

  17. Posted by Geo

    This is a wonderful house, in a nice location. Good views. A little more remote inefficent to public transport than easy access to West Portal, but not too far from the stops on Ocean. The kitchen redo was not well thought out, and should be remedied. The bathrooms are original and should stay that way if they work. They are wonderful.
    The house is not staged.
    The ceiling is original paint/relief design which is great that it still exists. It has been over-painted white in the other rooms unfortunately. The dining room sideboard built-in and original dark green border paper is still there too. The wood floors are beautiful.
    There is a ton of space, great light, decent storage and a decent layout (though only one bathroom up top), and the garage connection is poor. And it is only a one-car garage.
    The lot next door which was parceled off is leased to an indivudal who stores a couple antique cars there (and a pickup truck). and there is some goofy flagpole there.
    no wine cellar…
    As someone said a beautiful and interesting home. I would buy it in a heartbeat at $1.25..

  18. Posted by Geo

    LMRim-
    Who did you get to $1.25, there are so few comps for this house in this area…
    curious.
    thanks.

  19. Posted by anonn

    LMRIM’s “fair value” methodology is the following: 1997 values without any appreciation.

  20. Posted by Trip

    “1997 values without any appreciation”
    That would actually be a pretty reasonable shorthand for deriving a 2009 fair market value in SF.

  21. Posted by Geo

    …with what appear to be an updated kitchen (although not what we would have done) and bath, but no permits listed online.
    Baths have not been redone, and do you really need a permit for a new range, frig and countertop??

  22. Posted by Geo

    Now listed as contigent…I will be quite curious to see what she goes for. Wonderful home.

  23. Posted by anonn

    “That would actually be a pretty reasonable shorthand for deriving a 2009 fair market value in SF.”
    Sez you, LMRiM, some of these others, and precisely nobody with even the slightest inclination of being the market for a home.

  24. Posted by LMRiM

    This is a really nice place. I’ve got a morbid curiosity to see how much wealth the 2007 buyer sacrificed here to the Bubble. It’s looking in excess of 400K (after remodeling costs and transaction costs), and it could be well in excess of that loss figure. Anyway, the seller should count himself lucky IMO to get out at all near this price.
    Geo, I just saw your question/comment regarding fair value. A place like this is really nice, in a nice neighborhood, but it’s not a special “mansion” property or a unique “view” property that would mark it as outside the normal bounds of fair value/discounted value analysis. Nice family home, so it should command a premium to rental value, maybe 200-250x monthly attainable rent at the outside givenb the interest rate/inflation/credit outlook. You couldn’t get more than $5K rent for this place on any sustainable basis from a real renter, which puts fair value around $1M-1.25M. I’d err on the high side because i think Ingleside Terraces is a beautifully laid-out neighborhood, with a lot of curb appeal and beautiful houses.
    $1M+ is MUCH higher than 1997 prices for these places. As just one example, my favorite house in the neighborhood, 90 Cedro (http://www.outsidelands.org/90-Cedro.php), is a much nicer house and sold for $660K in 1993 (1997 would not have been too much higher – the real spike up was 98-2001/2).
    “Fair value” is not an attempt to predict selling prices; it’s just a gauge of risk (as it is in stock investments, e.g.). The current seller paid well above any reasonable fair value in 2007, and will now suffer a $400K+ blow to his balance sheet as the current quantification of the risk from that ill-considered purchase. I think the current purchaser is also paying well above fair value (assuming this went for $1.8-1.9, which is my guess for a range). I hope he intends to stay at last 10 years….

  25. Posted by Geo

    LM: Thanks for the insight to your methodology.

  26. Posted by Geo

    If you like arts & crafts…43 Terrace just hit the block asking a hefty $2.5mm or $891/ft²…but nicely done all around.

  27. Posted by NoeValleyJim

    I do like Arts and Crafts, but I can’t find the listing. Has it hit the MLS yet?

  28. Posted by unearthly

    It’s 43 Clifford Terrace on a small, funky lot.

  29. Posted by NoeValleyJim

    25 Mercedes is now listed as “contingent.” It will be interesting to see what it goes for.

  30. Posted by Geo

    Yep, clifford terrace, sorry for the confusion, looks sharp, (no garage I can see, and yes on a funky shaped lot). will be interesting to see where she sells.
    http://www.redfin.com/CA/San-Francisco/43-Clifford-Ter-94117/home/1174824
    25 Merecedes no longer shows as contingent, so looks like it closed. I too look forward to the price on that beauty.

  31. Posted by Geo

    43 clifford — correction — drove by yesterday and there is a small garage off the drive, and room to park another car without blocking the sidewalk.

  32. Posted by anonanon

    Yet another 20 percent price drop compared to 2007.

  33. Posted by NoeValleyJim

    Thanks Geo, I will try to take a look Sunday.

  34. Posted by Geo

    43 Clifford Terrace — went to the open house today. much more crowded than I expected. The rooms are much smaller than I expected as well. Layout is ok. The views are very wonderful from both sides. The loft space in the tower section is a bit odd. Garage could fit a mini, or something small. The kitchen is also a small square though nice cabinet color choice and the vintage stove is way cool. the “wine cellar” is really a closet one person can stand in. The dining room is very sharp, and the “master suite” with the fire place is nice. The bathrooms need to be redone to fit the house — not sure what they are trying to do there.
    whoever took the photos for the listing did a great job making the rooms look bigger than they are…
    nice place, but way over priced.

  35. Posted by SocketSite

    The post closing discussion for 25 Mercedes Way has been moved to: Two Years And Twenty Percent Down (Not Including The New Kitchen).

  36. Posted by Geo

    For arts & crafts fans: 53 clarendon hits, and the exterior looks very nice, but alas, the interior. ah well.
    http://www.redfin.com/CA/San-Francisco/53-Clarendon-Ave-94114/home/1652905
    and another steep ask…

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