21 Buena Vista Avenue

Purchased for $3,875,000 at the end of 2007, the nearly 8,000-square-foot Victorian at 21 Buena Vista Avenue East, which features 22 remodeled rooms, 1,700 square feet of private gallery space, and a cellar for 3,000 bottles of wine, returned to the market last year listed for $6,500,000, was reduced to $5,900,000 and briefly marketed as a potential “Tech Incubator” and company headquarters and then foreclosed upon three months ago with a winning bid of $1.2 million in cash on the courthouse steps.

The foreclosing party was the lender in the second position, however, which means the winning bidder also assumed the outstanding balance on the first mortgage which appeared to be around $3,000,000 but might have been as low as $2.2 million, if a plugged-in reader is correct.

Having been quickly refreshed and re-listed for $4,595,000 two weeks after having been foreclosed upon, the re-sale of 21 Buena Vista Avenue East (a.k.a. the Witches Hat) closed escrow last week with a reported contract price of $5,200,000.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Joshua

    Hmm, a Victorian which has not been “white-boxed”, banging on and off the market for years and years and years. I wonder why…

  2. Posted by soccermom


  3. Posted by eddy

    Don’t think we’ve seen the last of this place.

  4. Posted by Mark F.

    A very lovely home.

  5. Posted by Doug B

    North lot line abuts a halfway house for recovering addicts. That’s been the trouble with this property.

    • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

      If the halfway house is run well then it is not a big deal. I lived next to a halfway house for years and never had a problem though it is a shame you can’t ask em over for a beer. And man, do those recovering addicts smoke a lot. Thank you tobacco industry for keeping one dangerous addictive drug legal.


      A practical question: when a property with two or more lenders have a stake comes up for auction, how do you determine the balance on the non-foreclosing loan(s)? It is kind of an important fact to know when placing a bid.

      • Posted by intheknow

        a notice of default on the senior loan was published, which listed the total due under the note, which provides the basis for the estimate. there were also back taxes (@ $75K), uncured notice of violations and the IRS tax liens (right of redemption) that had to be dealt with

    • Posted by BobN

      I always thought the problem was the first-floor layout.

  6. Posted by Henderson Wallace

    My great grandfather was Dr Seely Long who owned the place and ran the Buena Vista Sanitarium with my grandfather Dr. Frederick Long . I have an album with a few pictures of the original house ( entrance on the uphill side) with carriage house on the lot next door . Also the entire family at Thanksgiving . If anyone is interested , contact me.

    • Posted by Alexandra Schaefer

      Hi, I currently live in the house. I would LOVE to see an archival photos you have of it.

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