Traditional Thanks and a Badass RangeNovember 26, 2020
Purchased for $4.4 million in February of 2015, the kitchen of the rather spectacular Victorian home at 2187 California Street was subsequently remodeled and now sports a $52,000 (plus) La Cornue Château series range, along with new plumbing and electrical, porcelain countertops, a Gaggenau steam oven and warming drawers, Subzero refrigerators and two built-in banquettes.
The home’s main bathroom underwent an equally high-end remodel as well.
Having returned to the market priced at $4.7 million last month, the sale of the significantly upgraded home has closed escrow with a contact price of $4.9 million or roughly $1,167 per square foot.
And while we realize your Thanksgiving plans were likely disrupted, here’s to giving thanks for what we have and hope for next year.
Comments from Plugged-In Readers
Going on four years and still waiting for the editor to add the sorely-needed White Box Victorian tag for use in the Related section of posts like these.
Are you saying that because *checks notes* they painted the walls & wanted functional bathroom / kitchen spaces?
Everything else looks pretty original – are you implying everyone who buys a Victorian needs to treat it like the Haas House?
Five million to live across the street from the world’s third-busiest* fire station.
So what exactly does a $50,000+ range offer versus others? That costs more than most commercial ranges, no?
Well, for starters, it has a chalk board.
Also it has a lot of space to set down grub hub bags. Over those fire ring things.
The range looks like it is closer to a commercial appliance with 8 burners, two full double ovens, plus two warming drawers. Aside from that, you are just paying for the luxe design and the prestigious name.
Does $50,000 Rolex tell time any better than $1,200 iPhone Pro 12 or how about $50 Nokia from 20 years ago? Interesting allocation of capital, resources and effort. Is it a store of value? It it an attempt to elicit emotional response/fawing in a potential buyer so as to assist him or her dig deeper into their debt pocket?
But I suppose it also offers bragging rights, social capital, talking points and an insight into spending power of the owner/buyer.
Yes, a $50,000 Rolex does tell time better than a $1,200 iPhone Pro 12 in the long term. You must have never owned a Rolex or an iPhone for any meaningful length of time.
In a mere twenty-five percent of the time into said 20 year period, the iPhone will be technologically obsolete, Apple will stop putting out software updates for it and on that day it will become an instant data security risk for the owner unless they stop using it. And that’s assuming that the actual device keeps on working electronically.
In five years, the iPhone’s battery will be either shot or well on it’s way to the point where the owner has to charge it multiple times daily, to the point where the hassle of charging it outweighs the device’s usefulness. Part of this is by design (used to call this “planned obsolescence”), Apple wants you to keep upgrading to continue their revenue streams; a larger part of it is because of the physical limits of current battery technology. Same goes for the Nokia from 20 years ago if it even still works today, which is unlikely unless it was sitting in storage all that time.
The Rolex, of course, doesn’t need a battery and will keep on telling accurate time for the entire 20 years unless it’s substantially physically damaged. Sure, you’ll need to wind it periodically if you don’t store it in a watch winder case. And in 20 years, unless you’ve subjected it to that supposed physical damage, it will likely be worth more than $50,000.
In 20 years, the iPhone Pro 12 will likely be what Gen-X-ers call “a brick”, a software update that wasn’t intended for that device will get downloaded onto it, even though it wasn’t designed for that model, and it will stop working, period. Even if that doesn’t happen, it won’t tell time at all because it won’t start up unless it’s plugged in. It won’t be worth the same fraction of what the Rolex will be worth.
I think there’s folks on this site who know more about $50,000+ ranges than I do and whether or not they act as a store of value or more as a consumption good that acts a status symbol (your point about the spending power of the buyer is taken). I suspect the buyer of a $4.9M home can well afford, and desires, either one. And if it isn’t removed from the home by a flipper, it will likely still be working in 20 years.
But would that $50,000 invested else where get you better returns? $1,200 iPhone does get you a measure of bragging rights without requiring an upfront additional investment or debt load of $48.8K. $50,000 invested in San Francisco RE in 2000 would have netted near about $1.25M (approx.) using 5X leverage — but thats hindsight.
I don’t own a Rolex. And I probably never will. But I know anything mechanical is subject to friction and by extension erosion of materials and reduction in value. Certainly, there is value is preserving craftsmanship that is rare (the mind-ware / manufacturing process). But Rolex watches with similar craftsmanship/materials or better are still being manufactured by Rolex themselves.
Without discrediting the workmanship and quality of Rolex watches, the notion that the value of a jewelry would appreciate over a period of time (other than the fact of price of underlying materials increasing because of supply/demand) is in my opinion something suspect. The questions however remains, why do people harbor and partake in such behavior? Exactly how is the notion of art = value supported? And what part or percentage of ‘art’ in real estate contributes to its overall value? What motivates people to “purchase” art? How does supply and demand manifest in the world of subjective taste articles?
I find this behavior rather interesting since it seems similar behavior is what drives RE prices. It can’t be simply mass delusion. Or is it?
Sure, that $50,000 invested in some other asset will probably earn better returns, but you can rest assured that the buyer of this home will have adequate exposure to those other assets and then some. Having this asset will not deprive them of those returns.
Perhaps you earned an economics degree from the University of Chicago? No, it is not mass delusion, but the trouble you seem to be having is that you’re assuming that people are perfectly calculating, rational and self-interested maximizers of utility. Stop that, and join the rest of us in the real world.
Yeah an iphone was a bad example. So instead substitute a $10 plastic Casio wristwatch which will exceed the accuracy and reliability of anything mechanical.
But accuracy and reliability isn’t why a Rolex is so expensive. It is fine jewelry that just happens to also tell the time.
I know many people (all new money) with $5M+ in real estate. Some of them own nice watches eg Rolex, Breitling, Panerai (I have a non functioning Rolex in a safe and wear an Apple Watch). Some have spent $50K on nice appliances. But I don’t know anyone who would drop $50K on a range. Seems out of place on a $5M place unless it’s a second home and your overall net worth I’d closer to $50M than $5M
Precisely. Choosing a primary residence is more of an emotional decision than a financial one. At this price range (sorry)—this is for people that drive G Wagons, and that $50k piece of kitchen furniture might just save them a few rounds of price cuts.
A La Cornue won’t make you a better baker or cook, but they do offer advantages wrt control, durability and craftsmanship.
$52k stove! Let them eat cake.
A nice example that Modern Victorian is possible. Well done!
Wow! These remodels look so nice when they don’t gut them, smooth out the walls and add recessed lighting everywhere.
While I’m sure there are some who appreciate this kind of thing, I personally abhor this sort of “modern kitchen pretending to be old.” It’s ugly as sin and it isn’t fooling anyone. Putting aside the price of the range — I recently renovated my kitchen and spent $10K on a high-end range, which I thought was plenty — you get a decent range and two small ovens, neither of which could have cooked a decent-sized turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. And the range hood is atrocious too.
Like I said, some people love this stuff, but if I were in the market for a $5 million home, one look at that kitchen would have sent me to the next listing.
Now THAT is a well done, re-done Victorian!
And for the debate about whether a 50K stove is worth it not? For anyone buying a 5 million dollar home, 50k is like pocket change (as they likely have north of tens of millions of dollars).
The range: nouveau riche?
At least it is not as ugly as a G-Wagen.
I like the interior a lot more than the exterior. If I owned it I’d do something about the all-white look.
Comments are closed.