2531 Washington
Listed as a “historically significant Victorian Double House” of 4,372 square feet built in 1887 and with “original Victorian Era details” that abounded, the two-unit building at 2527-2531 Washington sold for $1,850,000 in January 2010.
2531 Washington Kitchen
Taken down to the studs and rebuilt “piece by piece…from the foundation to the roof,” 2531 Washington is back on the market as a 5,480 square foot single-family home “created to cater to the 21st-century family” (and pocketbook) listed for $5,500,000.
UPDATE: A peek inside the property beore it was rebuilt:
2531 Washington Before
∙ Listing: 2531 Washington (6/4.5) 5,480 sqft – $5,500,000 [MLS]

82 thoughts on “Catering To the 21st Century Family (And Pocketbook)”
  1. What hoops must be jumped through in SF to legally combine two units into a SFR? My limited understanding is that this isn’t an easy endeavor or sure thing to accomplish in SF.

  2. For some reason this whole thing discusts me.
    Perhaps because the facade with its double stairs and entrances is begging for this to be two units.

  3. I saw this house in 2010 and I vaguely remember it being listed for much more than $1.8m. Oh my gosh, what a deal!!!!! The home needed lots of love but it was soooo authentically Victorian! The pictures look lovely but, gosh, darn…it was so much fun touring a Vic that felt so darn original…I remember the gorgeous wallpaper…
    I am interesting in understanding how a two family unit was turned into this, too…seems unfair!
    Wish we bought it…this was a brilliant purchase in Prime Pac Heights…

  4. How did this one get by planning?? Anyone know the story?
    It is a butcher job of an otherwise beautiful facade to close off one stair with a planter…

  5. This looks nice…for a condo in Noe Valley maybe… Doesn’t anyone appreciate period detail anymore? I feel like I’ve seen this same house 1000x now. Why buy a Victorian if you don’t actually want to live in a Victorian?
    Also, I’m sure there’s a second unit in there somewhere. No way was this merged into a true SFR.

  6. There’s no law that says you can’t have a modern interior in a Victorian. However, blocking off one entrance with a planter is horrible

  7. Wow, talk about an ‘unvictorian’.
    This feels like one of those MTV cribs McMansion on the inside that just happens to be have been picked up from it’s flyover state multi acre lot and plopped down in SF.
    Why you wouldn’t just spend the money for a similar place in North Bay with more of yard, tress, better schools, warmer weather, etc. I am not sure.

  8. This place is beautiful, IMO.
    You guys are delusional, lol… If you really think this looks like MTV Cribs, well, you haven’t watched Cribs. Or been to a real McMansion. People don’t want Victorian interiors because the room dimensions are choppy and compartmentalized. They want the external facade though, so I think this nails it.
    Also, I’m sure it’s still a legal 2 unit.

  9. “Why not just spend the money for a similar place in North Bay?”…
    Oh wow… Yeah, ok. Why not just spend one tenth of the money for a similar place in Provo, Utah? You would think somebody who’s been posting on this site for about 5 years now would know we have different pricing levels.
    This is prime, prime SF. Second only to Pac Hts west of Divis and Presidio Hts. It’s done totally redone to a high level, and as we’ve seen on this site over and over and over, these homes sell at or close to asking. This will likely get it’s list price, and then you can all act surprised and angry and talk about how you simply can’t believe it.

  10. I don’t think anyone said this wouldn’t sell… It will, and probably at asking. It’s a good price for a really large home. I also quite like that block.
    I have an older home and I kept as much period detailing as possible. Rooms that were chopped up or too small to be usable, I opened up without compromising the integrity of the original structure. It sounds like this place had a lot of intact detail, which was trashed to turn it into an SF McMansion (sorry, but that’s what it is). I hate being an arm-chair critic here, but I’m bored seeing this same damn house over and over again. Yes, I know it’s a flip and is designed simply to sell… but still. Yawn.
    That said, sometimes this type of transformation is perfectly acceptable, 3362 Jackson for example. Nothing in that place was remotely salvageable. It wasn’t even safe to walk on the upper floors, some of which had rotted away. That doesn’t sound like the case with this place.

  11. I think my comment was a little misunderstood.
    I don’t have anything personal against the interior, except that I think you can find that kind of vaguely craftsman interior in lots of homes especially in this price range.
    This home isn’t ‘victorian’ anymore it’s just another high end gut rehab. Not that it’s a bad thing just that it’s pretty easy to find, where as a restored Victorian that kept the victorian details is hard to find.
    I made the comment about checking out places in North Bay A) because I assumed the buyer looking at this place would likely be employed in SF proper, have a family, and wanted a short commute B)the remodel and photos emphasize the outdoors.
    Spending 5.5 Mil in Tiburon will still get you a short commute, a similar interior, and a lot more outdoors.
    It’s a lovely home, it just doesn’t feel especially ‘special’ to me and at 5.5 million I would expect a pretty high level of specialness.

  12. The old listing photos are still up on Redfin.
    I have to say, the 2010 seller didn’t do the house any favors — that kind of Victorian-fetish style cries out for fresh white paint, hardwood floors, and big, clear panes of glass. And now it has them.
    I can only judge from the photos, but my guess is that the ‘stained glass’ windows of the 2010 house were added later, as was some of the fretwork. There are definitely some replacement stairs, and lets not speculate about what might have been under the carpets.
    The cornices, baseboards, and door surrounds seem to have been original, but the flipper appears to have at least replicated the baseboards, and kept a lot of the trim in the upstairs bedrooms. The cornices in the main downstairs rooms are a horror, but anybody who really cares can rip them out and have proper ones put in — its not that expensive, it just takes a bit of care.
    The key thing for the buyer of this place is to make sure that the 3.5M uptick in price comes with an entirely new re-enforced concrete foundation and that the house was re-engineered top-to-bottom for seismic shear loads, and that this includes new structural framing in the basement. If you’re going to rip an old lady up with nips, tucks, lifts, and house-botox, you’d do well to give her new hips and knees while she’s under the knife.

  13. Denis… we all know if this was Malin’s listing, you would be raving about how great it is and how she can do no wrong – because you work for her. But anyway.. I did see the place prior, salvagable is a stretch.

  14. This is how suburban culture takes over the city, room by room. Repulsive. Welcome, rich Atlanta matrons, you will feel right at home.

  15. you can see from the floorplans that the lower level has it’s own entrance and a small kitchen. There’s your second unit.
    I don’t know what everyone on here is talking about. I think this is beautiful. And if I could buy any house on the market in the city right now, it might be this one. That is if I had 5.5mil to spend. To me it is a great combination of Victorian charm and modern sensibilities. But that’s just my opinion.

  16. I do like this place but man that planter box and closed off stairway just look plain stupid, should have just kept the stairway/doors….but I suppose 2 doors doesnt =5.5m Is it drywalled off on the inside? I assume so

  17. Agent415 stop trolling please and looking for a rise.
    As for this place, I too saw the original home and it was a very shoddy place that needed massive help. But the purchase price was stellar. Should have easily gone for $2.2+ as the potential for this was high.
    It seems they did an amazing job with this conversion and this block of PH is great. There was a remodel on Clay on this same block a little closer to Stiener that sold for a wicked premium and this homes looks much much nicer.
    Pic 28 of the listing photos looks like the ‘kitchen’ for the second unit masked as a bar / serving / entertaining area. I’ll have to get inside of this place but sight unseen I’d say this has a very very good chance of selling at asking and maybe with some competition over. This would be $1300+/psf easy if it had a bay view. Surprised there aren’t better city scape views off the back of the house?
    My guess is the city wouldn’t let them touch the facade but I bet plans exist to quietly demolish it once its owner occupied. Could be a fun “trick” for the kids on halloween! It would have been nice if they could have build a deck out over the garage connecting the two staircases.

  18. “Why buy a Victorian if you don’t actually want to live in a Victorian?”
    Because Victorians are very pretty on the outside, but poorly laid out on the inside, and the interior detailing usually feels like a stuffy museum rather than a home. I live in one, and I’m glad not to have to stare at all that ol’ ugly busyness. I’m not a Pac Heights fan, but this place looks like a big improvement on the interior over your typical Victorian.

  19. Lol.. I’m never going to live my Malin comments down… Obviously, I don’t work for Malin. If I did, I’d be sharing in the major commission from selling Dodie’s house, and wouldn’t be posting here… or at the very least I’d be posting from a beach on St. Barts. Her team did sell it, right?
    Neal has sold some fantastically high-end homes in D7… and I have no doubt this will sell almost instantly. I just feel frustrated that so many remodels in D7 are clones… I suppose flippers HAVE to make identical copies of the same house to meet market demand just as the original builders of Victorian homes did at the turn of the century. I shouldn’t judge it without seeing it, but there’s a certain blandness to these properties that is starting to bore me. I’m hoping the buyer puts their own personal stamp on the place so that it doesn’t seem so anonymous.

  20. boggle wrote:

    What hoops must be jumped through in SF to legally combine two units into a SFR? My limited understanding is that this isn’t an easy endeavor or sure thing to accomplish in SF.

    Seems like it isn’t, just going by what I’ve read. Especially if a unit is a rental, which doesn’t seem to apply here. But here’s a ss article which has a fairly succinct breakdown:San Francisco’s DUM (dwelling unit merger) Policy In Principle.

  21. It is a butcher job
    Generally, it’s very difficult to put a cow back together after its visit to the butcher. In the case of this stairway, I’m pretty sure all you’d have to do to return it to its previous state is remove the planter.

  22. This remodel has drained the charm from the building. Yes, it looks well done, no scrimping, but it’s too bad the perpetrators couldn’t figure out how to leave or recreate at least some of the period details. The result is sterile.

  23. “this place is located right next door to an animal hospital and adoption center (Pets Unlimited”
    Finally someone “gets it.” The property is immediately to west of the PU parking lot.

  24. Ohhhh, couple thoughts here, as this is a fun one:
    – I think more people talk about the importance of retaining period details and space than actually want period details and space. Victorian dimensions kinda suck. People want the modern, open space. The “great room” thing, and this place has it.
    – The potted plant on the left staircase… FAIL. Looks almost accidentally, like it wasn’t moved in time for the shoot. Obviously the 2-unit facade must be maintained, but better ways to do it. Or just leave it, it’s cool.
    – Place checks pretty much all boxes, well done renovation. Just about has it all, and I expect it to sell. The Pac Hts buyers want done, they want modern, they want big.

  25. Thank you for featuring this property, Socketsite. Always fun to see our listings featured on here, and see the feedback as well. You can see the property on our site at: http://www.2531Washington.com
    In regards to the questions regarding the level of renovation that took place – it’s very extensive. I’ll just lay out the whole list, in case people are interested in reading. (Sorry if it’s overkill Socketsite):
    Structural –
    •Full seismic upgrade to the entire property to the most recent San Francisco code.
    •Addition of steel beams, moment frames, sheer walls, foundation bolting and tie-downs throughout.
    •Entirely new steel reinforced foundation with new cement slabs on the lower level.
    •Only the façade, side walls and the main and top level floor plate remained of the original home. The home is re-constructed with all new interior framing, along with re-framing and sheer of the entire roof.
    Mechanical/Electrical –
    •The home is equipped with 240 amps of power, new circuit breaker panels and all new wiring throughout the property.
    •Each of the 3 levels has its own new high efficient energy saving furnaces with separate thermostats on each level.
    Plumbing –
    •New water and sewer main lines from the street into the house.
    •All new copper plumbing top to bottom. All new plumbing fixtures of the best quality.
    •2 brand new energy efficient water heaters, one 100 gallon and one 50 gallon.
    •The main and top level has re-circulating hot water for instant hot water at each faucet.
    Security, Data/Communication, and Audio Visual –
    •Fully alarmed with new security system, heat and smoke sensors throughout. Keypads conveniently located on all levels.
    •All rooms throughout the home have multiple data-communication outlets, which provide connection for telephone, data and television. All of the data-communication lines home run to a panel in the garage for convenient service.
    •7 point surround sound in the great room and lower level family room.
    •New 62” and 42” flat screen televisions.
    •Speakers throughout all major rooms with individual control pads for volume and music selection.
    Specialty Materials, Processes, and Mechanics –
    •All new double pane windows and doors.
    •Entire property full insulated.
    •“Quite rock” wallboard on ceiling of the main level for additional sound proofing.
    •Copper gutters, downspouts, atrium roof and header flashing above windows/doors.
    •Wide plank quarter sawn oak floors throughout all levels.
    •Solid core 1 ¾” doors.
    •Bituthene applied to entire back side of property, not just around the windows and doors, to provide additional waterproofing.
    •New roof systems, approximately 80% of the roof is a 25 year touch down application, with the remaining portion is a 35 year composition shingle.
    •Radiant floor heat in the master bath.
    •Gas fireplaces in the living room, great room, and master bedroom.
    Landscaping –
    •Professional landscaping, with automatic irrigation.
    •Firepit in rear garden.
    •Accent lighting in front and rear gardens.
    •Custom built planters on all terraces with irrigation.
    •3-story living green wall with irrigation.
    Hope this helps. We’re really excited about the listing…

  26. Of course we would like to see some of the old Victorians keep their character intact, for history and nostalgia’s sake, but let’s face it – I wouldn’t like to want live with an authentic, claustrophobic Victorian interior day in and day out myself, no matter how pretty and well done.
    The ideal situation is when they keep original Victorian details in the formal rooms, but then open up an informal kitchen/family room open space as well – you know, mullet concept for the interior. And the great room here is actually pretty nice. The rest isn’t exactly to my taste, but I’m not in this market and it certainly looks livable, which it didn’t before.
    Good luck Sam – but you probably won’t need it. 🙂

  27. Speaking to the comments that the plenty of people who would love an original Victorian interior, our Chicago 1895 Queen Anne Victorian was on the market for over year because we chose to retain the original Victorian lay-out on the first floor: small parlor, small living room, and large foyer. The kitchen was large and modern, but almost everyone who saw the house said it wasn’t suitable for modern living. We finally sold it to someone who plans on completely opening up the downstairs, in the process tearing out the William Morris wallpaper, wainscoting and plate rail in the dining room and parlor. We loved the house just as it was, and I thought other people would share our love but apparently we are a rare breed!
    So in that respect, altho’ I agree with the comments that 2531 Washington is bland, I can’t blame the builder! Hopefully whoever buys the place will have a dog, and can avail themselves of the doggie astro-turf potty yard next door in front of Pets Unlimited!

  28. I agree with kthnxbye… I don’t think anyone is suggesting that we shouldn’t update Victorians. I already said, I’m a big proponent of opening up rooms to create a more family-friendly, usable floor plan. I have done so myself.
    My argument is that there can be a middle-ground. Just once, I’d like to see a developer attempt a harmonious fusion between past and present. However, given that this bland uniformity of design is what sells, I’m not going to hold my breath. For me, there’s just a huge disconnect between the facade and the interior with this place.
    I’ve no doubt this place was remodeled to an extremely high standard and will make someone with new money very, very happy.

  29. Looks like the only thing missing from Sam’s list is Soul.
    By the way, there are no “questions regarding the level of renovation that took place”. You might want to read the comments before blabbing on and on.

  30. Denis, I agree – it’s too bad we don’t see that harmonious balance between historical and practical more often.
    I think we have seen some of these gut remodels where where period details, such as fireplaces or cornices, were taken out and restored and reinstalled, but that has to be much more costly and difficult than starting from scratch.

  31. inmycountry… lame.
    Sam was responding to this comment above, “The key thing for the buyer of this place is to make sure that the 3.5M uptick in price comes with an entirely new re-enforced concrete foundation and that the house was re-engineered top-to-bottom for seismic shear loads, and that this includes new structural framing in the basement.”
    He did a pretty solid job at addressing that. Maybe you should read comments before coming at others.

  32. Could somebody please pass me some Haterade? lol
    Good lord, the agent guy (or his assistant, or whatever) gave pretty much the most benign post possible. That was pure info, which apparently is supposed to be what the site’s about. And some shmuck bags on it for it?
    Geez, lighten up.

  33. Longtime,
    Around 1905 made a comment, and a wise one, but did not ask a question. The question on everybodys mind, is how did they manage to merge the two units, entitlement wise, which Sam did not address.
    For the record, the renovation it self doesn’t bother me, though I find it dull. Merging units doesn’t bother me either. What does bother me, is this particular case of merging units where the existing building is begging, with the double stairs and entry to remain two units…and I mean substantial units…not a granny in the basement. This block is a mixed bag of apartments, condos, relatively modest single family houses, mixed use buildings, Pets Unlimited and so on. This would have been much better as a two unit renovation with possible expansion down or to the rear.

  34. Dude, whatever…
    It’s still 2 units. It wasn’t merged – I can guarantee it (with my valuable Socketsite handle). A few people answered this for you. Looked in records too. Maybe Sam can come on here to confirm.
    Regardless of your opinion of the outside, there is a *much* higher premium placed upon done, SFRs in prime areas. I’m sure the developer, who probably dropped like $3.5-$4 into this, considered his net and found the highest possible resale.
    Be nicer, crankypants.

  35. @Sam, congrats on the listing and thanks for the updates. Noticed that Neal represented the buyers for 3512 Clay. Any idea if that is coming back on the market. Seems they are getting close to finishing up the renovation. Sorry for the thead hi-jack.

  36. Thanks, Sam, for the updates. It’s very helpful to have the info without the spin.
    This will obviously sell quick, since there are plenty of people who will like the style, but not a big fan myself, largely for the reasons Denis said.

  37. This is really sad. While I’m not generally on the side of more government intervention in development, it is projects like this that inspire people to change the laws in favor of more historic review.
    This really is no better than when SF Redevelopment bulldozed whole city blocks of Victorians in the Western Addition.
    Our Victorian buildings are a precious resource, and there really, really ought to be some laws that prevent ignorant people from just throwing away our past.
    Yes, I am the first to agree, the floor plans don’t necessarily meet some people’s ideal. If that is the case, then don’t buy the place!!! Build yourself a modern house, but you don’t have to ruin history. There are PLENTY of people who would actually appreciate the place in the more-or-less original configuration, with some updating to the kitchens and baths.
    It is an absolute crime to tear these places down and just save the facade.

  38. Neighbor – the problem lies in trying to just “build yourself a modern house”. Attempt a modern design and you’ll have half a dozen NIMBY’s filing a DR because your plans don’t fit “within the context of the neighborhood”.

  39. I’m wondering if you can really get $5.5 mil to be next to a commercial parking lot and Fillmore’s commercial section. Doesn’t that vet have 24 emergency service? I swear I once took the dog there in the middle of the night. Plus isn’t the shelter on the top floor? I bet those decks are pleasant when the dogs start barking especially if you have a barker yourself!
    They should have left the other front door intact to allow more light into the living room and the den directly behind the second door. As it is, it’s a pretty dark room thanks to the narrow bays.
    I think they blocked it off with a planter to prevent the homeless from sleeping on the second front porch (they are only one block off Fillmore after all). But a railing across the front that matched the stair rail would have been less visually jarring. A very creative landscape designer could turn that second staircase into a gorgeous “staircase” of planter boxes with a garden sculpture or fountain that would make that remnant staircase a feature, not a hindrance. The question is what you can by the historic review committee.

  40. Leaving these kinds of houses alone is not usually a responsible option. Folks who believe that their old houses are fine because they survived the 1906 and 1989 earthquakes are delusional. Their houses are now substantially older — wood has shrunk from the nails, beetles have been boring through the basement beams, and the sills are usually half crumbled into the sketchily-concreted-over brick foundations.
    Mandating that the facades remain undisturbed, but allowing owners to do as they please with the style of the interiors, is a sensible compromise between maintaining the historical character of the neighborhood, and ensuring that the homes inside remain habitable.
    My heart sinks when I see an old place gutted, and rages when I see an elegant facade desecrated, but there is no escaping that too many years of neglect have made that outcome all but inevitable. This is something that faces a lot of hard-to-maintain contemporary buildings, too.
    Those folks who want to foster the preservation of Victorian homes would do well to take care of their own houses rather than peer into those of their neighbors. Next time you need six feet of baseboard to restore part of your dining room wall, pay for custom knives at a local millwork shop to match it exactly to the old, and then hire a trained carpenter to scribe it to your wall, and pay them appropriately for their skills. These small business and artisans are the real ‘precious resources’ in San Francisco, and they are really struggling.

  41. Hey sam, you guys need to hire a proofreader for your listing…..Spread across an usually wide, 27.5-foot lot, home has exceptional volume and depth ”
    and furthermore 25′ is a typical lot and actually most prime pac heights lots are far wider

  42. “This really is no better than when SF Redevelopment bulldozed whole city blocks of Victorians in the Western Addition.”
    That is quite an exaggeration. I’d take this over what replaced the Western Addition’s Vics any day.

  43. Prediction: If this sells close to or above asking, it is the real SF. If it doesnt, then it is not the real SF . . . .

  44. That is quite an exaggeration. I’d take this over what replaced the Western Addition’s Vics any day.
    Agree with Milkshake on this because it’s a huge exaggeration. This is far better, but again, as I mentioned is not my taste.
    Neighbor – the problem lies in trying to just “build yourself a modern house”. Attempt a modern design and you’ll have half a dozen NIMBY’s filing a DR because your plans don’t fit “within the context of the neighborhood”.
    Yes, if SF wasn’t full of busy body NIMBYs, what the so-called “neighbor in PH” says would be doable. It’s simply not possible in the current environment with the current NIMBYs and the current planning process.
    I fully support the owner’s right to take out all the Victorian details inside the house (and outside, actually), but I wouldn’t personally take out every detail and would seek an appropriate middle ground as Denis said. Not every house is historic just because it’s old or of a particular style. Victorians in SF are a quarter a dozen (upgraded from a dime a dozen since housing prices are so high here), and much of the hysterical preservation process is to entrench NIMBYism and not to protect any sense of history.

  45. Longtime-Lurker says: “It’s still 2 units. It wasn’t merged – I can guarantee it”
    Socketsite says: Single Family Residence
    McGuire says: Single Family Residence
    MLS says: Single Family Residence
    Redfin says: Single Family Residence (floor plans)
    DBI Permit says:
    Application Number: 201003188469
    Form Number: 3
    Address(es): 0611 / 029 / 0 2527 WASHINGTON ST
    0611 / 029 / 0 2531 WASHINGTON ST
    Description: Remodel of 2-unit res. to include removal of rear exterior stairs & decks & removal of int. walls. remodel will result in reduction of the bldg. envelope @ rear to create conforming open area @ rear yard & relocatiion of 2nd. unit to ground flr. remodel of entire bldg. to incl. 2-kit. & 4-1/2 bath.
    Cost: $559,000.00
    Occupancy Code: R-3
    Building Use: 28 – 2 FAMILY DWELLING

  46. It may still be 2 units, but it is considered a DUM according to the City if: “the enlargement of one or more existing units while substantially reducing the size of others by more than 25% of their original floor area, even if the number of units is not reduced.”
    Does anyone know the original size of the units?
    My back of the envelope: Orig. sf 4,000. 2 equal units = 2,000 sf per unit. From the floorplans it appears the 2nd unit that was moved to the lower level is

  47. That was supposed to read:
    “Orig. sf 4,000. 2 equal units = 2,000 sf per unit. From the floorplans it appears the 2nd unit that was moved to the lower level is

  48. Was there tonight – the place is beautiful. Tremendous volume.
    In regards to the DUM, and the 2nd unit, actually looked into the floor plans. That lower level (2nd unit) does exceed 25% (around 28%). So should be all good.

  49. There is no second unit in this building. This is a SNOW JOB if there ever was one. The lower floor plan clearly shows this level as part of the house proper and the rooms are labeled as such. Although one could fairly easily make this a unit with minor modifications (close off the stair, make an entry through one of the bedrooms etc.) that’s not what’s intended here. This is marketed as a single family residence.
    San Francisco needs to prevent this from happening. Realtors who accept listings for newly and knowingly created illegal construction should be punished just like those who sell illegal goods. You need to due your own dudilagance prior to listing the property.
    In looking at the floor plan, there is also no accommodation (tradesman passage) for the gardener to get to the rear yard. That means he’s going to be schlepping all his tools and plant cuttings through the house. That should go over well at 5.5 mil. in PH.

  50. ^^^^ Spare us your melodramatic prose and false claims of this being illegal construction when in fact this is perfectly legal and it happens all the time; and with the blessing of the city. The tradesman passage is hardly an issue and certainly not one that a buyer of this place is going to fret much. It is a good observation though, but I don’t think its a major concern.

  51. How much of a lack of a tradesman entrance to the back yard an issue considering the size of that yard? Never mind that most people will use the ground floor as staff quarters and/or home office space and the second family room would probably only be used for video games and TV the rest of the house doesn’t want to hear. In a similar situation, we just had the door to the downstairs always locked with a keypad and alarm. It gave everyone their privacy and security.
    The maintain two unit rule is ridiculous, especially when the house was originally a single family but was carved up later on. It may qualify under DUM but one neighbor can sink you and take an extra year to resolve before renovations can start. Three houses have sold and gone through this conundrum since 2000 on our block and no one has maintained a real second unit. The one that did that was renovated around 1995 regrets it as they need more living and garage space for their growing family and the rental unit is used by the teenage children in the blended family.
    Why would anyone want to deal with renting a unit to a tenant in a block or neighborhood dominated by single family homes if you spent upwards of one or two million? The rent isn’t worth the hassle and it’s never an economic necessity for the buyer. If you do, your neighbors blame you for the tenants’ behavior and taking up street parking. It causes additional liability and risk for someone wealthy enough to afford those properties. And at that price point, almost everyone has some form of staff (nanny, au pair, babysister, housecleaner, housekeeper, etc). Another common use is boomerang kids who are in college, graduate school, or just starting out. Instead of subsidizing rent, we have heard so many stories of the phantom second unit returning from my parents’ contemporaries and the kids acting as caretakers when they travel or weekend of the city.

  52. Toured the house and it’s beautifully done inside. The ceiling height is very impressively used both on the main floor and bedroom floor. As someone else mentioned it gives the living space a huge sense of volume. It also helped that the staging was very well done. The city view was surprisingly good and the ipe decks and nanawall incorporated the outdoor space to interior off the family room as well as master. I loved the bright airy eating nook.
    On quick glance the overall workmanship looked very good.
    My two small quibbles were no radiant heat and no wood burning fireplace.
    My two big problems with this house was parking lot next door and dumb look of the 2nd staircase leading to nothing. I knew it would bother me everytime I see it.

  53. @94123Native, I generally agree with everything you said; except in this case its not clear that this was a SFH converted to a 2 unit. It looks like it was a legitimate 2 unit building from the get go, IMO. Nevertheless, it was destined to become a SFH. Hoping to go see it tomorrow on OH.
    I would be very very surprised if that second staircase doesn’t magically disappear in 12 months. It certainly would if I owned it.

  54. Interior design should be up to the owner. I also live in a Victorian home…well, the outside is truly Victorian. I love the outside appearance. The inside has greatly been renovated over the years. One of the biggest changes we’ve made is to create a “great room” in place of the living room, dining room and kitchen.

  55. I’m also inclined to agree with 94123native. Planning needs to reevaluate the DUM controversy. My thought, if it’s a 100 year old SFR that’s was carved up into units post WWII, I see no reason why they shouldn’t be returned to their original use. It’s ridiculous for owners to retain these quasi-apartments that won’t ever be rented to tenants. I’ve see so many renovations in D7 that squeeze in basement units for no purpose other than to satisfy Planning’s paranoia about loss of “affordable housing.” Meanwhile, many of the wartime SFR to apartment conversions in 94123 are dumps. Longtime landlord/owners absolutely refuse to spend a dime maintaining them, so they’re often a blight on a block. I’ve seen section 8 housing in the Western Addition better maintained and painted more often that some apartments in Pacific Heights. Ultimately, these properties are unsellable because no one in their right mind would buy a place full of tenants.
    On the other hand, this place looks like it was originally built as two units, so the faux-conversion to a SFR looks a little odd. It makes Planning seem schizophrenic…

  56. I agree this house has always been two units and to maintain the historic fabric of SF, it should have maintained as is. But isn’t this a conversion to a SFH with a phantom second unit caused the difficulty of converting a two unit building into condos? Considering the cost of conversion, I’d bet that if creating legal condos was guaranteed and easy, this building would have been maintained as a real two unit building. These kind of idiotic distortions hurt our historic buildings instead of maintaining rental housing. The one remaining rental building on our block is disintegrating in place after a post-war conversion to four plus units. The landlord hasn’t done any maintenance in over 15 to 20 years in the hope that a condemnation will get rid of his tenants. It’s a very cute Edwardian with much of the original details left on the facade which are rotting away.
    The renovation is gorgeous, but I think this is a poor value long term. The location and lot size are not worthy of $5.5 million. You are on the not-nice side of Alta Plaza (which looks worse and worse every year due to poor maintenance by the city), on a Muni bus line, and next to Fillmore which guarantees your driveway will be constantly blocked by delivery trucks and people too lazy to find a legal parking space. Oh and I forgot that CPMC is only two blocks away to add to the amount of traffic and competition for parking. Yes, they have a garage with side by side parking, but if that garage really fits two luxury sedan/SUV/wagon/minivan side by side, I’ll be shocked.
    Just looking in Pac Heights, for less you can buy
    2434 Broadway or 2666 Broadway for 4.95 million or be just north of Union Street within walking distance to Hamlin, Convent, & Stuart Hall for around $3 million.
    I really don’t understand the comps which make them think this is worth 5.5 million – especially since many don’t even consider this Pacific Heights. Traditionally this was considered Fillmore or Western Addition. My parents bought their first home a few blocks away in the late 1960s as part of a HUD urban renewal project where they were the first heterosexual white couple in the neighborhood. You can see that legacy in the SF Housing Authority development two blocks away from this house at 2451 Sacramento Street. This entire neighborhood around Fillmore was considered unsafe by their family at the time as it was poor, majority African American with some Japanese who had returned and reclaimed their property post-WWII.

  57. Okay, ralph’s post that it was sold over asking shows that there’s a sucker born every minute. Once the construction shininess has worn off and no longer has all of the latest and greatest, this house is going to be tough to sell.
    Why do people always forget location, location, location?

  58. I’d be shocked if this is sold. Not so say that it wont sell or be sold for over asking; but 96 hours would be a record short of a malin special.
    The rant by 94123 about this not being PH or not understanding the comps, or this being a parking nightmare; you are just trolling and making things up. This is PH, no question this could fetch 1000/psf and you have a big curb cut and a large garage.
    The only knock on this place IMO is the parking lot next door and the commercial property. But the trade-off is that you’re 1 block away from 5 coffee shops, and all that Fillmore had to offer. This would be 6M if it were closer to the park and $7.2 if it had a view.
    I’m starting to think the potential buyers are trolling to keep out competition and knock price down. LOL. Maybe this place is sold and over asking after all!

  59. Sold over asking, with multiple offers, within 48 hours. Just as anybody who actually knows local real estate knew it would.
    All the haters on this thread got so owned, lol…
    There was so much fail in this thread it was just awesome. “You could buy a way nicer house in Novato” – ” why didn’t they maintain a crap box, mishmash, chopped up Victorian interior???”, “SF is turning into Atlanta” – “This is not even Pac Heights!”…
    It’s like a bunch of jealous people from an entirely different county just descended upon this thread to say crappy, uniformed things – again.
    Awesome, lol

  60. Agent415, I think you need to reread the posts is this thread. Most people said this place was well priced and it would sell quickly. Likewise, most of us enthusiastically support opening up claustrophobic Victorian interiors, just not at the expense of the historical nature of the homes themselves.
    The reality is this sort of generic McMansion sells well in San Francisco. It has no character or historical references other than the facade and it could be in literally any city. For many of us, it’s just a reminder that many buyers have no interest in SF’s architectural heritage. It’s big and shiny and new, and for most people that’s enough. But like a brand new luxury car, this place is going to depreciate the second they move in… Please see 2542 Fillmore as a cautionary tale.

  61. Denis, amen! Location, location, location… And this location is marginal (although definitely not as bad as 2542 Fillmore – I remember that beat up pair of flats when we used to walk to Jackson Fillmore for dinner every week when I was a kid.) Living next to a restaurant has to be an experience in terms of traffic/parking, odor, garbage, and noise (although a 24 hour vet clinic and animal rescue shelter can’t be far behind)!
    After looking at the sales record for 2542 Fillmore, I can’t believe what a bath the 2008 purchasers took! Wow… But if I were the buyer, I would take a very long look at that sale and think twice about buying this house at $5.5. Yes, the seller can probably get multiple offers at $5.5 but that’s just a factor of the naivete of the current buyer pool swayed by a shiny renovation.
    Would the smart money pay that? Would a bank loan you that based on the comps even if you can pay cash?
    Sorry, Agent415, I’m definitely not a potential buyer – my family owns within walking distance and in the wine country. I live out of state by choice and spend a week a month with them (virtual office).

  62. 1) I’m hammered
    2) This thread has gone on way too long, lol
    3) Denis – seriously, and I’m not playing here – I think you’re full of sh*t. The fact that you bag on virtually every listing and/or agent on here, yet routinely talk about how spectacular Malin’s properties are or how great her team is… just beyond transparent. You sh*t the bed when you had some bizarre announcement about how “Malin’s team can do no wrong!”… since then, I really can’t take you seriously. I’m sure Neal and Sam are bummed they didn’t hire you for your creepy subtle online PR, but they seemed to do just fine anyway.
    4) 94123 Native – owned. OWNED, dude. And nobody cares if you or your trust fund are a buyer for this or not, not sure why you had to announce that, lol. Basically, you failed on this thread about three times in one day. Love how you’re calling others naive – while changing your tone in this thread a few times to match the reality of the situation (“..the seller can probably get multiple offers at $5.5..” – funny, you weren’t saying that prior to them getting multiple offers).
    5) Whatever… love you guys. Hope you had a great weekend. But there was a ton of hate going on here – and this was a creepy, chopped up, crapbox about 18 months ago. Things progress, times move forward, this house is built for now, and that’s ok.

  63. 94123 native – I am with you on most of your posts but have to correct you on 2542 Fillmore. There is no noise…it isn’t next to Jackson Fillmore, but rather sandwiched between a quiet, high end apt on one side and an empty nested family on the other side There is no parking problem (two car garage plus 2 spots in the driveway), no noise even from the bus since the house is high and set back, no garbage problem and no stink. Trust me, I know what I’m talking about.

  64. Sorry, my mistake – that’s what the location looked like on one of the real estate sites.
    Convenient location for Troop 14 though…

  65. Lost in the bloodbath of the 2542 transaction is the fact that the most recent sale occurred at roughly $1000+/psf. This is still an eye popping premium and it’s right around what Washington St. is getting today assuming it doesn’t go much over asking. Can’t wait till this closes.

  66. Meanwhile, 2699 Filbert comes on the market 5 days ago at @ $4.995 and goes directly to “In Escrow-Firm”. Another Malin special. Congrat. Maybe one of the losers who lost on this Washington St home scooped up 2699 Filbert.

  67. FYI, I always like 2542 despite its location challenges. Where was the 4610 sqft reported? And it was an OK purchase even if that was the price per square footage. If Washington closes at 1000/psf and you asked me if 2542 was 180/pfs cheaper I wouldn’t argue that point too much.

  68. The funny thing here is the buyer knew exactly what he was buying with all of its supposed ‘issues’. And it still when over asking. Rumor I hear was that the developers left money on the table as well and walked away from a few other buyers that were prepared to pay more. Congrat’s to all. This was a well managed project from start to finish. Good “buy”, nicely redeveloped and a good “sell”. New owners should be happy. And there are still a few people out there with all cash 5.5M out there.

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