710 Steiner Street

One of the six famously photographed painted ladies on San Francisco’s Postcard Row, 710 Steiner last changed hands in 1993 when it sold for $575,000. The 2,500 square foot Victorian is now back on the market and seeking a suitor at $2,295,000.

From the Full House opening credits to The Dead Pool, this lady gets around.

UPDATE: Speaking of painted ladies, a plugged-in reader adds: “The owner’s mother (woman in red dress in painting over the couch) was the first woman elected to the Connecticut State Legislature and a personal friend of George Gershwin.”

710 Steiner Living Room

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by anon94123

    The 1993 price reminds me of why I moved north from Los Angeles in 1988. San Francisco was a MUCH better value than Southern California back then. I sold my condo (gift from parents) I lived at in Westwood during my college years for about what this house sold for in 93. Noe Valley was a true bargain, with fixer-uppers in the high 200s, but the lowest jaw dropping prices were homes in the Marina after the 89 quake, which is where I ended up buying.
    San Francisco was not always as expensive relative to other cities as it is now.

  2. Posted by b

    Anyone else think it’s odd that such a prime property is being handled by Redfin?
    Are the carved dragons on the mantel original to the home?
    I was in this house as part of a SF Historical Society tour years ago. The owner’s mother (woman in red dress in painting over the couch) was the first woman elected to the Connecticut State Legislature and a personal friend of George Gershwin.
    Odd time to be selling this place as anyone who lives here will have to deal with years of demolition and construction next door. And this continues to be a sketchy neighborhood.
    [Editor’s Note: While our original link was to Redfin, the listing is with Zephyr.]

  3. Posted by soccermom

    Construction noise: Ongoing hassle
    Hordes of tourists & frequent hoboism at Alamo Square: Ongoing hassle
    Tangential relationship to an iconic 80’s American sitcom tableau featuring John Stamos, Bob Saget, the Olson twins, and that blonde guy?
    Priceless.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=sMqshan9wik#t=293s

  4. Posted by sparky-b

    “years of demolition and construction next door”, what is happening next door?

  5. Posted by sparky-b

    Is that what “b” was talking about. It is not next door, it is the next block down.

  6. Posted by Palms

    @sparky-b
    “next door”…as in a block away, but still, more traffic going through that area…more than usual.

  7. Posted by R

    To be fair, that’s not next door, that’s next block.

  8. Posted by eddy

    The construction at 800 Steiner is happening a full block away. This is on the 700 block. Unlike Lombard’s crooked street where you couldn’t subsidize me to live; I think it would be interesting to live in one of the painted ladies and would have no problem moving there. I think it will go quick but I am curious to see how the “fame” does or does not impact this house.

  9. Posted by futurist

    The construction that will take place is clearly not “next door”. let’s be clear on that.
    And so what? This is a City.

  10. Posted by badlydrawnbear

    @Eddy … as someone who lives nearby, just keep in mind there is an endless supply of tour buses driving in front of the building and stop all day long every day 365 days, steiner and hayes has become a big tech shuttle bus stops, not to mention the hordes of people constantly looking into your windows with zoom lens cameras from the hill.
    Not saying it’s a deal breaker but, you definitely need to okay constant activity in front of your building and a pretty decent amount of local and tourist traffic.

  11. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    “…hordes of people constantly looking into your windows with zoom lens cameras from the hill.”
    They may be using zoom lenses though I doubt those tourists are zooming in to get a close up of interiors. Most are taking wide shots of the “row”. It is a peculiar pastime of many photo enthusiasts that I like to call “collect them all”. In other words check off each of the iconic shots of your destination. Here the shot they’re looking for is the classic shot of the painted ladies with SF’s downtown skyline in the background. You have to climb up the hill for that. Try an image search for “postcard row” or “painted ladies” and you will see what I mean. It is one of the most imitated compositions in the world.
    Still I can see how having the constant tourist traffic could be a pain. My neighborhood gets it for a few weeks a year and people kvetch about that. Doesn’t bother me because I know it will end in a couple of weeks. I don’t know how I’d feel if it were 365 days a year though.

  12. Posted by Q

    I live on a different side of the park. My wife has been fantasizing about owning one of these houses for years, though we don’t earn nearly enough to afford it.

  13. Posted by sf builder

    All else aside, for $2.2 million couldn’t they have hired someone to stage that living room?
    Nothing in that photo goes with anything else — get rid of the small square table, the plaid chair, and the mustard ceilings to start with…;-)
    As for the neighborhood, my wife and I ALMOST bought the yellow place in the 800 block about 2 years ago. (It was bright yellow, with a tower, down the hill from the new construction — I don’t remember the street number.) It was a pretty good deal at the time — sold for about $1.5 or $1.6?
    We were tempted, but passed on if for two reasons. First, all the reasons mentioned above, and second, because we found a larger Victorian, with an immense yard, a few blocks away for about the same price.

  14. Posted by badlydrawnbear

    @MoD … hehe, yeah I was being a bit hyperbolic. Of course the picture the tourists are interested in is of the row of houses with the skyline in the background.
    But I do walk through the park regularly and I have, on a few occasions, overheard people talking about trying to see inside the homes through their cameras. They are not being malicious, they are just curious about what the homes are like inside and using the zoom to try and see in.
    again, just something to consider (or to forget about) if you plan on living there 😉

  15. Posted by DataDude

    I personally don’t understand why this part of town isn’t more sought after and developed, with the big beautiful Victorians and immense yards. Plus, central to almost everything. Even upper Haight commands higher price per sq ft.
    Is it really that dangerous? Any sense it’s up and coming?

  16. Posted by sf builder

    DataDude – I tend to agree with you. When we first started looking around, my wife wanted nothing to do with this part of town. But after we saw the size of the house and yard we could afford compared to the rest of SF, we were sold. We have a huge, original Victorian, on a double lot, with one of the biggest yards I’ve ever seen in SF. We have about 8,000 square feet (no, that isn’t a typo), and we paid about what we would have paid in Noe for 2,500 sq feet, or in Pac Heights for 2,000 sq ft.
    The neighborhood has been a non-issue. I’ve lived in a beautiful place in Noe, and on one of the best blocks in Pacific Heights, over the last 20 years in SF. Every area has pros and cons. Western Addition, surprisingly, is not automatically a lesser place to live than Pac Heights or Noe.
    Certainly in terms of “bang for the buck” we are way, way ahead. And, it was our way of having kids in the City rather than fleeing to the burbs — the big yard and big house makes it very easy for us to have 4 kids in SF.
    And, in case you didn’t follow the math above, we paid about $200 per square foot, plus about $50 per square foot to fix it up.

  17. Posted by R

    I’m no exhibitionist, but if some tourist from Iowa is super interested in seeing my boring life sitting on the couch, have at it. Knock yourself out.

  18. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    badlydrawnbear – Then maybe a great location for an exhibitionist to live? Oh who are we kidding? In a city where anyone can stroll the streets in the buff there’s no need to be subversive. 🙂
    I like how the Dutch deal with window peepers: a thin gauze over the ground floor windows adds privacy and lets the scarce sunlight in. But here across from the hill you’d have to cover every window in the house.

  19. Posted by curmudgeon

    There are individual blocks in the Alamo Square vicinity that are dicey (down towards Webster, primarily), but overall it has long since ceased to be a bad neighborhood. I lived there in the early 90’s, and even then never had an issue.
    Since then, both lower haight and divis are much improved for local retail/dining…and both of those are only short walks from this house.
    My problem with Alamo Square is that despite its centrality, it’s kind of a pain to rely on transit to get to other places you want to be. It’s not on muni rail, and the 5, the 21 and the 24 can all be relatively miserable ways to get around. Also, if you don’t have off-street parking much of the neighborhood is a royal pain because it’s pretty densely populated. For a biker though, it’s heaven….easy access to the panhandle and the park or anywhere around town.

  20. Posted by NoeLocal

    $2.2 with staged value of $1.2. Maybe. Can’t see how pretty outside is from inside. Too bad.

  21. Posted by NoeLocal

    Seriously, they need to spend money staging and clear out the clutter. Amateurs.

  22. Posted by Oceangoer

    As far as lookey-loos and tourists go, it can’t be any worse than living near the Marina. I’ll take them any day over bridge and tunnel, badly-behaved thirty-somethings on the weekend.

  23. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    The staging doesn’t bother me at all. Not my style but it isn’t the furniture for sale here, is it?
    What would help this listing would be for photos of the bathrooms. And not one photo of the kitchen? I guess the message here is either be comfortable with dated kitchen and baths or budget an added $150k+ for the upgrade.
    Impressive woodwork in this place, especially that mantle. Seems like a classic gem.

  24. Posted by lolcat_94123

    Awesome.
    I’m curious – how much does it cost to paint something like this?

  25. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    Locals annoyed by tour buses start a page to document their exploits: http://haighteration.com/2012/05/alamo-square-tour-buses-caught-behaving-badly.html

  26. Posted by Q

    I saw moving trucks carting out furniture from this house two days ago. Staging? Or did it sell?

  27. Posted by SocketSite

    The sale of 710 Steiner closed escrow today with a reported contract price of $2,400,000 ($960 per square foot).

  28. Posted by eddy

    Over Asking! I guess the buyers were not scared off by the potential on-lookers or the construction up the block.
    Congrats to both buyers and sellers. It’s pretty cool to see one of these homes change hands. This seems like a good outcome for all.

  29. Posted by Haakan

    Reading these comments to me is just plain bizarre. My family has owned one of these “7 sisters” for years. What is it like? Great views from the front and back. The houses have a lovely design… you never feel like you are in a fishbowl- so quiet and with a few front curtains -so sunny and private. The only downside – the occassional rude tourist who argues that they are only there for a few minutes for pics as they block the driveway, (not a consolation when you have an appointment). Other than that? Absolutely no crime… what are these people talking about here? Wish I could say the same for my other homes in much more swank neighborhoods. Living here is safe and lovely. All the chatter here feels like someone imagining from the outside- in. This is just not what it is like here. Sorry, architect/developer Mathew Kavenagh (sp?), got it right. After more than a decade of “living magically”… take it easy with the guesswork. It is just fine here.

  30. Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

    On May 4, 2012 9:47 AM, “b” asked:

    Are the carved dragons on the mantel original to the home?

    I guess it’s moot now, but yes. However, they’re griffins, the legendary creatures with the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle, not dragons.
    From the Wall Street Journal’s piece, Painted Lady for $2.295 Million, back on May 17, 2012 (you can google the headline if you run into the WSJ’s paywall):

    One of San Francisco’s “Painted Ladies,” so called because of the colorful paint jobs that highlight their ornate Victorian facades, this home is part of a row of well-known Queen Anne Victorians built in the 1890s overlooking Alamo Square Park.

    But it isn’t the original details like the fireplace mantel in the living room with its hand-carved griffins, the stained-glass windows or the inlaid wood floors that attracted the current owners…

    …Since moving in, he and Mr. Hardin say they have spent almost 20 years and more than $200,000 maintaining and restoring the home…

    Emphasis mine.
    Along with eddy I’m glad the sellers were able to earn a profit from their considerable capital outlay(s) over the years they owned it.
    The author of the piece closes with a quote from Trulia stating that “the median sales price for Alamo Square houses was $875,000 for the period from Feb. 12 to April 12, up 13.8% from the same time in 2011”.

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