3271 Baker Street: Kitchen
While the list price for 3271 Baker Street has once again been reduced (now asking $2,195,000, 35% under its original list of $3,395,000 last July) another recently renovated single-family home on Baker (3212) has hit the market asking $4,250,000 (purchased for $2,306,000 in March of 2006 prior to its “no expense spared” renovation).
3212 Baker Street
And curiously enough, a bit down the block and directly across from the Palace of Fine Arts 3520 Baker Street has been listed for $3,500,000.
Purchased for $3,350,000 in January of 2001 but renovated before (1997), the sale of 3520 Baker Street will be “apples to apples” as far as we can tell. And as such, a sale at asking would represent average annual appreciation of 0.5% over the past eight years for this rather “prime” Marina (District 7-A) home.
∙ Listing: 3271 Baker Street (4/2.5) – $2,195,000 [3271bakerstreet.com]
∙ Listing: 3212 Baker Street (5/3) – $4,250,000 [MLS]
∙ Listing: 3520 Baker Street (4/3.5) – $3,500,000 [MLS]
Spanish/Mediterranean Flair From Traditional To Modern: 3271 Baker [SocketSite]

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Snowball

    Given today’s world, .5% from January 2001, wouldn’t be bad.

  2. Posted by kthnxybe

    Nice bathroom, though.

  3. Posted by anonm

    It’s 0.5% per year, so more like 4%. Still, as recently as a few weeks ago some commentators around here were claiming that it was wishful thinking to expect that prime SF neighborhoods could ever fall back to circa 2000 pricing. Doesn’t look so wishful now. In fact, I maintain that viewing 2000 prices as the floor to how low prices could go is itself wishful thinking.

  4. Posted by LMRiM

    So, let me get this straight about 3520 Baker.
    Eight years of holding this property, paying upwards of $40K+ per year in property taxes alone, maintaining a $2M+ mortgage (according to prop shark), and holding it through the largest asset bubble in world hisory, and now it looks like the “appreciation” can’t even cover the sales commission?
    There is only one conclusion to be drawn: they overpaid back in 2001. “Hey, it happens.”
    Any guesses out there from people who know the area really well as to what it will sell for?

  5. Posted by DanD

    3271 Baker bought for $1.7M in 2006
    3,017 square feet renovated in 2008
    Cheap renovation @ $250/sqft = $750K
    At least $2.45M invested and $250K+ lost

  6. Posted by SFer

    LMRiM: Happens way too often, but at least with this case the sellers are not trying to recoup all their losses by listing it above what they paid for plus what they think it should be worth. Too often people over pay and can’t come to terms with that, so they list way above market. Oh well.

  7. Posted by ex SF-er

    I’d guess this market segment is now struggling due to loan issues and “the market”.
    Despite what other people have claimed, most San Franciscans rely on lending in order to stretch for SF Real Estate. Most are NOT cash buyers.
    Current lending climate is not conducive to borrowing $2-4 Million on a house. thus, the demand curve has shifted leftwards. less demand= properties just sit there, or sell for less.
    Even people who DID have cash have probably lost much of it given job losses, RE depreciation, and stock losses.
    As an anecdote: 3 of my partners who were going to retire this year have now decided to stay, as they’ve lost over 7 figures in their retirement funds just over the last few months. Some of my other friends are realizing that stock options are only worth something once exercised and sold… and that there might not always be a better paying job over the horizon.
    These would typically be the “cash buyers”… but they aren’t in the mood at this point.
    sure, there will always be some people in this segment who will buy regardless of the economy, but it’s a small fraction of the population, even in the Bay Area.

  8. Posted by ex SF-er

    that said:
    I still think 3271 Baker is a very pretty house, but an odd layout. To sell you really need perfection in every way. they did a good job for what they had, but this place isn’t perfection.
    I’d love to see 3212 Baker re-decorated. It’s a very nice place, but it seems somewhat old-world stuffy and dark in the pictures. I’d like to see someone redecorate it a little air-ier and light. that said, it’s likely that the person who buys that place will be a little older and will like the current decorations better…
    For me, 3520 Baker is the crown of the three. It is (for me) so much nicer and has a great view of one of the best buildings in the world (even though the PFA is “fake” or whatever, I love the look of it). It also has a pretty sensible floor plan and the interior design seems more flexible to me than the other properties. My grandma would like living there with that kitchen and that den… and I could handle it (easily) too. It’s not for a modernist of course!
    pricing is clearly all over the place!

  9. Posted by 45yo hipster

    I agree with ex-sfr’s sentiments. When there is a modest recession high end RE often does not take a hit, as the wealthy still feel fine financially. But when the train goes off the rails, the high end can actually take a bigger hit than modest property.
    For instance in my SF market segment of interest, tic’s and condos in the mission ($400-800k), the price drops have not been as severe as the high end: av -10% off IMO.

  10. Posted by tjg

    Does that 0.5% per year include inflation?

  11. Posted by Jimmy (No Longer Bitter)

    I think we all get the point. SF real estate is a lousy investment unless you’re a builder (with good market-timing instincts) or you can hold onto your purchase for, say, 100 years. At these prices it should be viewed as a consumption item, like a nice car, not an investment.

  12. Posted by tjg

    You’re correct – especially if you live in the home that you “own”. That is pure consumption and should not be viewed as an investment.

  13. Posted by sparky-c

    Don’t you think that the hold would be 30years and not 100 years.

  14. Posted by unearthly

    Don’t you think that the hold would be 30 years and not 100 years.
    With interest only loans many folks don’t plan on actually paying principal.

  15. Posted by Oceangoer

    Gee what happened to the old fashioned idea of buying a house (or condo or whatever) as a home you want to live in? Yes its an investment, but its an investment in your life for many of us, not an investment in some future trade. *scratches head*

  16. Posted by Jimmy (No Longer Bitter)

    Ocean–I think that idea went out the window when the average condo ended up costing about 10x the average person’s income. If it’s not an investment then why bother (unless you’re really rich and don’t care).

  17. Posted by gh

    3520 is beautiful, what a house and what a view. Who cares if they made or lost money on it.

  18. Posted by sfrob

    Nasdaq at time of purchase of 3250 Baker was 2900, today it’s 1270 (I used Nasdaq because a lot of dot-com money bought real estate back then.) Let’s assume 20% down or $670,000. That’s a loss of $377,000 in cash if they kept it in stocks (using the Dow it’s a loss of $256,000).
    If the sellers cashed in their dot com stock options to fund down payment, I think they’re probably quite happy with the result. If they sold their options/stocks to buy with cash then they’re thrilled because the losses would have been $1.88 million. Chew on that for a while when dissing 4% appreciation from the height of one bubble market, to a period like today’s market.

  19. Posted by Grimwood

    SFRob –
    Excellent analysis – thanks for adding it to the dialogue.
    My one nit is that I’ll be ready to say that they “made” 4% on this if & when it sells at asking. Should it instead sell for 10-ish percent under asking, they’ll be at rough parity with the presumed stock market losses they’d have suffered if in fact they’d been 100% in the NASDAQ and stayed that way (rather than bailing on the market as so many did before it botomed).
    10% under asking is not unusual in this day in age – in fact it’s arguably pretty good. If they end up dropping their ask a couple of times before selling a bit under their final ask as so many others have done, they could well lose their whole presumed downpayment or more. So basically – while your analysis in fact really good, I think it’s quite premature to declare victory for these folks…

  20. Posted by Trip

    I thought this place was discussed in some thread — but it basically fits here — 2596 Chestnut in the Marina was just reduced again. Now at $1,525,000.

  21. Posted by Auden

    T- 2596 Chestnut does not belong on this thread. This is a thread about nice coveted (well, atleast two of them are coveted) homes in a premier location in the Marina. 2596 Chestnut’s front door is on lombard street/101. Also, its in need of serious updates. Different kind of product. Drive by that home, then drive by the other three and then tell us why you think they are in the same league.

  22. Posted by Trip

    Well, nowhere did I ever say they are in the same league, or even suggest it.
    This thread is about three (very nice) marina SFRs that don’t seem to be selling even at prevailing prices of several years ago. I added a fourth (not as nice but not a dump) marina SFR really nearby that also is not moving even at half the price of these three.

  23. Posted by tipster

    Trip, 2596 is in a seriously bad location. It’s really right ON Lombard (technically Richardson at this point). The noise is deafening. That kind of problem puts it into its own category.

  24. Posted by anonn

    Trip thinks five six blocks away is the same thing no matter what. We’ve seen it many times at this point.

  25. Posted by Fishchum

    Um, just for clarification – 3212 Baker is probably just as close to Richardson as 2596 Chestnut is. For that matter, 3271 Baker isn’t that much further. Have any of you guys arguing about 2596’s location been out there? Or even own a map?

  26. Posted by unearthly

    3212 Baker is probably just as close to Richardson as 2596 Chestnut
    That one block difference is huge; 2596 Chestnut is literally on Richardson (busy 2-lanes in both direction). 3212 and 3271 Baker are on much quieter streets with 4-way stops. Just walk around the neighborhood and you’ll know.

  27. Posted by Fishchum

    Unearthly – I live at Chestnut/Broderick, so I know the area well. 2596 is not “literally” on Richardson, it’s on Chestnut. Yes, the back yard area does suffer from the noise of Richardson (more so than the other two) but it also has a fantastic top floor “entertainment room” with stunning views, which is where I’d probably spend a lot of my time. I’d also have seismic safety concerns about any of the Baker Street properties.
    In any event, there’s little reason to exclude 2596 Chestnut from a discussion of SFR’s in the Marina that aren’t moving – particularly after a price cut from 2.7 to 2.5M.

  28. Posted by unearthly

    I’m looking at the plat map from the city which shows lot 19 (2596 Chestnut) on Richardson. Lot 18 is on the corner of Richardson and Chestnut. Lot 19 is has no access to Chestnut expect through lot 18.

  29. Posted by Fishchum

    Unearthly – my mistake; I thought 2596 Chestnut was 2646 Chestnut which is on the other side of Richardson.

  30. Posted by Trip

    Sheesh, let’s all criticize something I never said. I agree — 2596 Chestnut is not in the same league as these other places. It is on a busy street. I cite it only as yet another example (and there are many) of marina SFRs that is not selling despite price reductions. This is a big change from two years ago. Nothing more than that (except I’ll add “it’s all very micro, bro”).

  31. Posted by SocketSite

    The list price for 3271 Baker down in the Marina has been reduced once again. Now asking $2,125,000 or 37% under its original list price last July.

  32. Posted by Auden

    3271 Baker St is in contract. Any guesses as to the purchase price?

  33. Posted by jyk

    I was tempted to make an offer on 2596 Chestnut but refrained at the end because of the busy st and the lack of a back yard (albeit beautiful front yard). It need TLC but has potential, but when I think of the negatives which may impact the resale (can’t imagine having open houses every Sun for a year!)I gave up.
    Looked at 3271 Baker on April 3 and it wasn’t in contract. The layout is not perfect. My pet peeve is not having a master bathroom, and despite the renovation, it doesn’t (unless you count the downstairs big room with the fireplace in the middle as a master bedroom. Yes, we all know the economy sucks and the movement of houses (esp. high end ones) have slowed down, but i think 27 Rico and 2646 Chestnut moved in a reasonable time frame. I am still looking for “steals” in the Marina if anyone knows of any.

  34. Posted by Geo

    2596 Chestnut, knocked down a tad more to $1.495…yes I know it is on Richardson and noisy..

  35. Posted by LMRiM

    Down again on 2596 Chestnut – now down to $1.399M:
    That was fast. 2 cuts and $130K in a week!

  36. Posted by auden

    I wouldn’t want this for more than 800k. Its a white elephant.

  37. Posted by jyk

    Wow, incredible re 2596 Chestnut.
    What do people think about 1645 North Point for $1.799M? Needs lots of work and only has one bathroom, but basement could be developed quite nicely. It is quite similar to 3434 Broderick which has been updated for $1.99M, which I think is still pricey.

  38. Posted by LMRiM

    Following up on this thread, it looks like 3212 Baker Street has cut its ask $300K to $3.95M:
    3271 Baker looks to have been withdrawn, can anyone tell for sure?
    Last, it looks like 3520 Baker couldn’t sell either at just 4% more than its January 2001 sales price, and was withdrawn. Wow, buy a “good seats” SF property more than 8 years ago, and lose money if you want to sell – and probably a lot of money. Wow.

  39. Posted by auden

    3520 Baker sold. 2596 Chestnut is pending. 3271 has been withdrawn.

  40. Posted by LMRiM

    Thanks for the info. Do you have the price on 3520 Baker, auden? It would be good to do the post mortem analysis.

  41. Posted by auden

    The price was not recorded.

  42. Posted by LMRiM

    Thanks, auden. “Not recorded” doesn’t sound too good…. for the seller, that is. It’s a little early in the bubble unwind to expect that 2001 purchases would ordinarily produce capital losses, but it looks like a number of these high dollar type properties are already back to 2000-type prices. I guess we’ll know the price when the tax records get updated, but that takes a long time.

  43. Posted by auden

    The fact that it was not recorded does not mean that it is bad news for the seller; the majority of the time it is the buyer who requests that the purchase price not be published in the MLS for privacy reasons.

  44. Posted by unearthly

    That seems silly because the public records will have the sale price information since it’s used for taxation purposes. You just have to go through the records at the assessors office or let property shark dig it out for you.

  45. Posted by LMRiM

    In other cases I’ve seem where the sales price was not disclosed on the MLS (e.g., 190 San Pablo), when the tax records get updated it has turned out that the sale was under list.
    The privacy issue doesn’t seem like a material consideration, because (as unearthly wrote) it all becomes public record anyway. Perhaps there is some benefit to the delay in publishing, but I suspect that confidentiality of the sales price is more often done at the encouragement of realtors who don’t want the lower “comp” to show and influence pricing for their other clients. With no sales price published immediately, realtors can always tell the sellers that the price was way below the last list, while simultaneously telling the buyers that the price was at or even above list.
    Talk buyers up, talk sellers down – once they meet you get the commission. Whenever a realtor posts on SS, I find it is best to utilize this simple heuristic in trying to ascertain intentions. There’s no great mystery imo. It’s not like vague ideas of transparency or “ethics” are going to get in the way of commissions.

  46. Posted by Auden

    LMRiM— there are legal confidentiality agreements for high end sales prices. these buyers (generally older) and possibly their agents, are not unfamiliar with propertyshark.com and like minded products, which would make a trek to the tax assessors office the other option for nosy neighbors –in their mind. There is no better solution to keeping a recording price private. I’m sure some agents would like to keep a low recording price private on lower end properties for there own benefit, but I highly doubt that is the case for 3250 Baker, which is what I believe you are insinuating.

  47. Posted by Auden

    I reread my post, and it appears that I need to proof read before publishing hastily, but I would assume you understand the point.

  48. Posted by unearthly

    Wealthy people use trusts to hide their name and ensure confidentiality; they don’t care about the public sale price number. Hiding data from MLS is disingenuous; meant to make sure it doesn’t get used as a comp. Any potential purchaser will do a title search and find out all the pertinent data before making an offer. A good appraiser would sniff this out as well.

  49. Posted by Auden

    unearthly, you are wrong. I don’t know what else to say other than I have been involved in transactions such as these. If you have as well, please do share you experience(s).

  50. Posted by Auden

    What wealthy people don’t care about having their sales price disclosed to further ensure the accuracy of the mls! Please. What they do care about is attracting as little attention as they can to their sales price, and making it more difficult for others (such as neighbors) to ascertain how much they paid for their home.

  51. Posted by LMRiM

    Well, auden, my only real point about confidentiality of sales price is that it has limited time value, as the price will become public. And you don’t have to trek down to the collector’s or assessor’s office. A few key strokes will suffice. I’ll bookmark the property, and when the data become available, I’ll post.
    It took at least 60 days to get it sold, and the initial listing price was not even high enough to cover the commission on the January 2001 purchase basis. I’ll bet dollars to donuts that they “lost” money on the 2001 purchase, but it could have been much worse I’m sure.

  52. Posted by Auden

    sure, I’ll agree with you that they probably lost money. But I will bet dollars to doughnuts it was the buyer who requested that the sales price not be published. 🙂

  53. Posted by unearthly

    What’s the point if public records will disclose the sale price on the date the sale gets recorded; what’s that, closing + 3 days at best? If a neighbor is nosy they can get this info. Why would the buyer care if it’s in the MLS since the data is public anyways? Is it really the buyer or the Agent trying to make appearances?

  54. Posted by Auden

    unearthly, read LMRiM’s post from May 29, 2009 @ 2:35 PM for your answer.

  55. Posted by tipster

    Auden, While your point would be valid for a 10+MM home, this ain’t one of them. A wealthy person did not buy this home, and no one who values privacy buys a home on a highway.
    What this will do to comps is bad and so the realtor probably encouraged the buyer or seller to request to keep it confidential. If it had sold for $3M, every realtor in town would be blabbing the price, “confidential” or not.

  56. Posted by Auden

    tipster, and the last time you were involved in a confidential sales price transaction was….
    I’m done with this thread. Believe what you want.

  57. Posted by sanfrantim

    What’s the point of trying to keep sales price data confidential? Will not public property tax info effectively disclose the price anyway?

  58. Posted by SocketSite

    The list price for 3212 Baker has been reduced to $3,725,000. Once again, purchased for $2,306,000 in March of 2006 prior to its “no expense spared” renovation.

  59. Posted by SocketSite

    The listing for 3212 Baker has been withdrawn from the MLS without a sale.

  60. Posted by MarinaLocal

    3212 is back on the MLS

  61. Posted by SocketSite

    The list price for 3212 Baker has been reduced to $3,200,000 (asking $4,250,000 in March). Once again, purchased for $2,306,000 in March of 2006 prior to a “no expense spared” renovation.

  62. Posted by eddy

    3212 Sold for $2.95. I guess all that talk on confidential sales was for nothing. Wonder how long it will take for agents to figure out how to game the system.

  63. Posted by [kid char]

    still sounds like a whole lotta money to me. where are those 40-50% off bears now?
    oh, that’s right. they are still here posting everyday.

  64. Posted by anon

    Yeah, gee, 3212 only sold at 31% off its $4.25 million asking. You proved your point. That’s not even CLOSE to 40% off. Silly ol’ bears.

  65. Posted by diemos

    “still sounds like a whole lotta money to me.”
    It is many, many monies.
    “purchased for $2,306,000 in March of 2006 prior to a “no expense spared” renovation.”
    I guess we would have to know how many expenses were spared (or as they say in the movies, no expenses were harmed during the performance of this renovation) to know whether this result was good, bad or indifferent.

  66. Posted by tipster

    3520 Baker sold for it’s 2001 price – Wow!!! $3.350, and it’s directly across from the Palace of Fine Arts!!!

  67. Posted by astonished

    These sale prices are making San Francisco not look nearly as expensive as it wants to think it is. A similar located property in any other “world class” American city would cost at least this. So this begs the question, when a home across from the Palace of Fine Arts sells for less than properties not nearly so well situated in other similar cities, how “special” is the San Francisco market at this point?

  68. Posted by sfrenegade

    tipster, are you sure that 3520 Baker even sold? I still see a 2001 sale as the last one, and best I can tell it was de-listed in May.
    FWIW, I see over $300K in permits for 3212. Doesn’t sound like they made much after costs of carry.

  69. Posted by El Bombero

    “3520 Baker sold for it’s 2001 price – Wow!!! $3.350”
    Actually supplemental tax bills show it sold for $3.2mil on 5/11/2009, 4.5%
    under its 2001 price. No one should be worried, though, because 2001 was
    the “peak” for the Marina, errr, I mean the 2001 buyer paid a “peak-type”
    Silly bears! You can see how strong the Marina has been just from this
    thread on these three Baker Street properties. 3212 Baker sold for
    $2.99mil, only 31% under its original list, and 3520 Baker just went for a
    peak-type price that was only 4.5% under the peak-type price of 9 years ago.
    And 3271 Baker still hasn’t fallen into foreclosure — even if it can’t seem
    to get sold. Now all of you bears (you know who you are) go back into your
    rent controlled hovels and cry over the opportunity you missed.

  70. Posted by tipster

    Oh crap. I got misled by the redfin “we’ll use the last asking price as the sale when the sale price is confidential” scam.
    And no wonder the realtor put in an asterisk: to mislead potential buyers so that the price would appear higher than it was.
    Shame on me for falling for realtor scam number 1239847123947123890471238947123890471238904. There are so many, it’s hard to keep track.

  71. Posted by reporter

    3212 Baker is over 3100 square feet. There was no confidentiality agreement. There were no expenses spared in the remodel of this house. Rather than just speculating, you guys should try to see these homes in person so that just the price they ultimately sell for is not the whole story.

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