CFAH

3636 Clay Street

Built in 1899 and having only traded hands a couple of times, the tax assessed value for the nearly 7,000 square foot home at 3636 Clay Street is currently $294,125.  And as such, the property tax bill totaled $3,744 last year.

Having just hit the market listed for $11 million, which doesn’t include a single existing parking spot but does include a permit to add a garage, the property tax bill for the Presidio Heights home will jump to nearly $130,000 a year if it sells for asking.  A situation we’ll categorize as a problem you like to have.

The carved oak front door of the home opens to the reception foyer and a staircase with four landings, the first of which has a bench which is apparently “a great spot to make toasts” (such as “Cheers to Proposition 13!”).

3636 Clay Entry

Sitting on a 55-foot-wide lot with manicured gardens and lawns, the listing notes, “a flat roof at the rear offers great opportunities to the next owner” (as do a lot of the other areas within the home).

3636 Clay Street Rear

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by eddy

    Amazing house with fantastic potential, but not sure what the Bartlett’s are thinking at pricing this at $1600/psf. The home would likely require a massive renovation not including the addition of a garage. All of this will surely ruin the lovely exterior gardens.

    An ideal renovation would lower the rear grade to fully, or more completely, expose the basement and significant interior renovations including a modification to the pitched roof. I’d say if all of this were done and to the quality of some of the high end remodels we’ve seen on here this would at best command $15-16m and you’re into this for quite a few $M to get this to that state.

    I’d put this home in its current condition closer to $8M and I think that’s optimistic. Maybe I’ll be proven wrong, but I guess we’ll see. Probably the nicest house to hit the market in a few months at this scale so on one level I get the optimism, but at the same time I’m not sure it makes sense. Good luck to all.

  2. Posted by Jay M

    man, did they not think through the internal combustion thing in this place
    magnificent pile

  3. Posted by BobN

    Did the previous owner blandify it?

  4. Posted by Kathleen

    Blandify! Great word.

  5. Posted by Matt

    Prop 13 is bullsh!t. How am I paying 10x their property tax dollars and I am 39 and barely cash flow positive. Unfair.

    • Posted by Tim Bracken

      Agreed. Recently-sold studio apartments in SF have far higher property taxes than this mansion.

      What’s also unfair is how this crazy property tax system denies our schools desperately-needed funding. Which is why we’re the world’s eighth-largest economy yet our school system is one of the lowest ranked in the country.

      • Posted by Andrew Bates

        I agree, it doesn’t make sense to deprive our young decent educations. Prop. 13 should be repealed.

  6. Posted by Sierrajeff

    My god, Prop 13 is criminal. We pay more property taxes on undeveloped acreage in Vermont than this manse was paying in San Francisco. That’s unconsionable.

  7. Posted by Jimmy The House Flipper

    My house is nowhere near the scale and size of this one, but we also don’t have a garage simply because we don’t want to devote that much of our outdoor space to our cars. They can live happily on the street where they belong.

    • Posted by emanon

      No thanks. My car belongs in my garage, easily accessible to me, out of the elements, and safe from thieves.

      • Posted by Jimmy The House Flipper

        Please. Your car is not that special, I can assure you.

      • Posted by JR "Bob" Dobbs

        Yeah, if you own a Bugatti, skip this house and buy one with a garage. For 99.9% of the cars out there, parking on the street in Presidio Heights will be just fine.

        I’m not even making this one up. Close friends have the exact same make/model/year car as ours – 14 years old now. Neither of us drives that much, about 4000 miles/yr. Ours has always been garaged. Theirs has always been on the street in SF. The cars are essentially indistinguishable today. Sure, theirs has lightened from the sun, but that is about the extent of it. It’d be silly to ruin the grounds of this place with a garage.

        • Posted by Jimmy The House Flipper

          Well…I park an E90 M3, a 996 GT3 and a 997 Carrera S on the street… and I don’t really care about any of it. They are just material things, to be used, enjoyed, and disposed of when done. I give it the same amount of thought as you would give to a throwing away a Kleenex tissue.

  8. Posted by JR "Bob" Dobbs

    Agree with Jimmy. I would not lessen this place with a garage. I come to this area a fair amount because all of our family doctors’ offices happen to be nearby as are a couple of our friends’ homes, and parking is easy. Park on the street. A lot of neighborhoods have pretty terrible parking (like mine at many times) and a garage is a necessity. Not this one.

  9. Posted by eddy

    This home lasted 115 years without a garage so it’s obviously not a necessity. Having to walk up a major flight and traverse a fairly long walkway to the front door, however, could certainly become an unreasonable burden for someone with a net worth approaching $100M. This home will most certainly end up with a garage and saying otherwise is just crazy. The condition of the home inside is fairly representative of how these homes evolved with the owners of the day. One hundred and fifteen years is a long time and this house needs many things. A garage is just the start.

  10. Posted by SFJ

    I looked at the pictures on the real estate site and here are some observations: the kitchen would require some updating (it looks small with no cabinet space); there are no pictures of the bathrooms (which probably means they are old and small); and the outside of the house would need a new paint job or a cleaning. So, whoever buys it will probably renovate the whole thing and turn it into some modern monstrosity with a garage and a destroyed front year.

  11. Posted by Joshua

    Looking at Street View, you know that parking is indeed difficult in this neighborhood, especially in the daytime when the streets are filled with vehicles of contractors, gardeners, etc.

    The solution is simple — look at the neighbors to the left and right for your two options. The house to the right btw underwent an extensive renovation, and IMO, is one of the nicest houses in the neighborhood — perhaps only rivaled by a certain private equity tycoon, or CRM entrepreneur.

  12. Posted by BobN

    The wall on the sidewalk is around eight feet. Behind it, the yard slopes up to the flat part. Building a garage and extended the flat lawn on top of it would IMPROVE the yard.

  13. Posted by Gur

    As BobN points out, there is a rock wall in front and you could put in a subterranean garage without impact the aesthetics.

    The video shows more rooms, including some of the baths (they are OK and give a hint to the fact that the place was not once all beige paint and white trim — perhaps the stagers painted everything out with 50 gallons of beige and white). The kitchen requires more than an update — your cook and caterers would not be happy with it nor the butler’s pantry. An elevator and that roof deck would be a good addition as well.

    • Posted by BobN

      If the stagers did that, they should be shot. Well, OK, maybe not shot. Handed the bill for restoring the woodwork.

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