As we outlined earlier this year:

Purchased out of foreclosure for $2.525 million in 2013, the “grandly proportioned circa 1898 Victorian mansion” at 1945 Franklin Street, on the eastern edge of Pacific Heights, has since been “stunningly re-imagined for a modern 21st century lifestyle.”

Now measuring nearly 7,000 square feet of finished space, versus closer to 5,000 square feet when previously acquired, or once owned by Nicolas Cage, the newly remodeled mansion now sports two new bedrooms and a family room across its upper level and a new lower level with a theater and adjoining wine cellar.

And having returned to the market priced at $12 million this past June, a list price which was reduced to $8.38 million in October and then $7.5 million in November, 1945 Franklin Street has just been listed anew with an official “1” day on the market and a $5.995 million price tag, a sale at which would now be considered to be “at asking” according to all industry stats and reports.

And the flip of 1945 Franklin Street has just closed escrow with a contract price of $5.405 million, which is 55 percent below its original list price nine months ago (but officially “within 10 percent of asking,” and with only “67 days on the market,” according to all industry stats and aggregate reports).

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by bachman_erlich_overdrive

    Not sure if I would make all of the same choices for use of space, but that’s a lot of house for $5.4mm*. Looks like the flippers perhaps overspent for the location.

    I like how they kept the stained glass in the otherwise super-modern kitchen. Nice color pop and appropriate counter to the sleek and white.

    What is the wood paneled room with the command-center barca lounger? I like the wood look, but is it a Dr. Evil chamber? Private massage lounge?

    Cantilevered indoor/outdoor living room with the accordion doors wasn’t cheap to build/engineer. Hope the doors get opened a couple times per year.

    You have to accept the traffic on Franklin, and your next buyer has to make the same trade. And you’re living between apartment buildings. But a pretty, and large house.

    *Insert joke about SF delusional RE values / social critique on “value for aristocracy” here.

    • Posted by Outoftown

      It’s hard to say if they overspent on the location – they purchased at $2.525 million and sold at $5.405 million. They did a significant amount of work and even with the historically low interest rates they had their millions tied up for several years.
      But for sure they overshot on the asking price – they reached for the sky and doubled it.

      • Posted by SFRealist

        Can’t blame them for trying. It’s a huge house on very a busy road that’s always in the shade, so not many easy comps. They might as well aim high and see what they could get for it.

        • Posted by Outoftown

          They were patient and got what they could for it and may have pocketed a profit as well.

    • Posted by Jack

      The wood paneled room was apparently Werner Erhard’s meditation room or something. He owned it before Cage bought the place.

  2. Posted by moose

    This article shouldn’t read “below 45%” of original price. it should read, “Delusional seller reduces crazy asking price 45% because that’s what the market comps are.”

    How is this a shock in any way…

    • Posted by SocketSite

      In terms of comps, the median sale price for single-family homes in Pacific Heights, including those which haven’t been recently remodeled, but also those on much better blocks, has been around $1,325 per square foot over the past year (down 6 percent from closer to $1,400 over the past two).

      The seller of 1945 Franklin just settled for $777 per foot, 55 percent below the original list price for the remodeled home last year.

      • Posted by bachman_erlich_overdrive

        Should the conclusion be that Pac Heights is down +/- 50% or that you’re suggesting some really inaccurate comps?

      • Posted by SFRealist

        The headline should be “Remodeled Pac Heights Mansion Fetches 45% of Original Asking Price”. That’s the actual story here.

        • Posted by curmudgeon

          and that that’s a really low price per square foot in Pac Heights, but as is obvious it’s also a less than desirable location IN Pac Heights (Franklin Street, stuffed in the shade between two apartment buildings, etc). So the asking price was maybe a little crazy, but better minds than (or more familiar with Pac Heights in any case), would know what a “reasonable” ask would have been. And in the end, the market’s invisible hand said “not as much as the seller initially thought!”

  3. Posted by Panhandle Pro

    What does one even do with 7,000 square feet of finished space these days? A seven person household between nuclear family, grandparents or possibly an au pair is exceedingly rare these days.

    Anything more than 5K feels like more of a negative than a positive. It becomes isolationist in its vastness.

  4. Posted by Miraloma Man

    Yet another sheetrock aircraft carrier…..when this boom is over and done with there won’t be an intact Victorian interior left in San Francisco.

    • Posted by bachman_erlich_overdrive

      Hard to find a good Model T for sale at a decent price too.

      • Posted by Brian M

        I am betting for every person who wants to live like Upstairs Downstairs there are ten people who prefer the modern, light filled, and simple interior in this example. I know I would.

        • Posted by Miraloma Man

          I know, I know, as as a Gen X’er who appreciates vintage culture I am a despised minority in Nü San Francisco. But, until I die, nunnayall can touch the untouched Art Deco interior of Chez Miraloma.

          • Posted by Panhandle Pro

            Miraloma Man, the other day in a related conversation I mentioned your comments from the Lucca’s Delicattessen closure post as an example of how widely tastes can vary. To you, the Good Ole Days of Valencia were when it featured junk stores. To others, stores selling *junk* couldn’t be less appealing, and gyms and coffee are far superior…

          • Posted by Miraloma Man

            I know, I am a sad and pathetic middle-aged man who just loves old things.

          • Posted by Miraloma Man

            Oh, but, it wasn’t just the junk stores I miss. It was also the old man bars, the Western store, the Indian ice cream parlor, and those cute nineties ladies in baby doll dresses. Well, I married one, so it isn’t all bad I guess. But, sigh, don’t ever get old.

  5. Posted by anon

    Is there any way to guesstimate the rough dollar amount spent on renovations in any given year in SF? I’m interested to know what appreciation numbers look like if you could ex out renovations. There is no other asset class where if you bought something for $100, put $35 into it and sold it for $150, you would be up 50%.

    • Posted by SFRealist

      You’re probably up even more, since you probably put up $20. Your spend was 20 + 35 + 5 (transaction) = 60 and you walked away with $110.

      • Posted by anon

        So, no answer or info to the actual question about the huge amount spent on renovations in SF that is embedded in appreciation numbers.

        • Posted by heynonnynonny

          I’ve wondered the same thing myself. The posts on median prices have a caveat about mix, but the amount invested is probably a bigger driver. On the other side there is also depreciation due to deferred maintenance.

          As far as exing out renovations, Case-Shiller does that by downweighting anomalous pairs.

          • Posted by denis

            Renovation costs are all over the place. It’s VERY difficult to gauge what people spend as prices change from neighborhood to neighborhood and who can buy what at cost and who can find inexpensive labor. There’s no standard price for renovations to include in a data point.

            Socketsite pointed out the Mercy housing cost per foot for new construction was over $600 per foot which, technically, didn’t include land cost (if I read correctly). This reno looks totally cosmetic, so clearly it was less, but what they spent is anyone’s guess.

  6. Posted by Philip

    Mediocre property vandalized by tasteless goons. No bargain.

  7. Posted by Steve Williams

    Werner Erhard lived there when I lived next door in the 1980s.

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