A blog about the East Bay real estate scene, particularly in Piedmont, CA, of interest to buyers, sellers, and residents alike.
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Who's Going to Buy the Rare Edwardian with Killer View?
If It Were My Listing I'd Add "Oh-So-Rare"
I very rarely do this--plug someone else's listing--but my colleague Fritz Hochfellner has 157 Hagar Ave. on the market right now and it didn't get an offer this week. Here's why you should mention it (or forward this! See below) to friends and colleagues thinking about getting into Piedmont, because someone will smartly purchase this home during the holiday lull (I'm in town and working, by the way.....):
1. An arts-and-crafts home with a "killer" Bay view is really really hard to find in Piedmont. Think about it--many of the Edwardian homes downtown had relatively low Bay views when they were built, but the view was encroached upon as homes downhill were built out. And further up the hill were cow fields back in 1910. Just a few homes--my own included--are Edwardian and sport truly exceptional views. 157 Hagar is another such home.
2. Also relatively rare for homes of this age are two items: recently updated kitchen and baths (in this case, period-appropriate!), and inclusion of a family room--not may homes back in the day had family rooms!
3. As you know, Piedmont is a great place to live, and this home has all the wonderful lifestyle benefits of a central Piedmont home--from walkability to school, play dates and casual carpool to SF; to after-school care across the playground; to easy access the town pool, TaiKwonDo and ceramics classes at The Rec; to quick rides to OAK and SFO; to great meals on Piedmont Ave., College Ave., and Oakland's Uptown; to easy access to freeways in all directions.
You see from the photos at 157hagar.com that this home includes all the period details you might expect. It's three bedrooms/two baths on the main level, and has a gorgeously updated suite on the entry level as well.
About that main level--this home was artfully organized to take full advantage of the view. As a result, the main level, with all the public rooms and three of the four bedrooms, is upstairs--what we call a reverse floor plan. At the street are the spacious entry area, the family room and that great guest suite, office, or master suite.
Easy peasy--when guests arrive at the house, you let them in and "take them up" to the main level, including the enclosed room-sized space jutting out over the entry porch, where you can offer them drinks and a seat. The public rooms enjoy what is probably a four-bridge view with the master suite facing the South Bay and probably the fifth bridge (I admit I haven't counted). Needless to say, there is East Bay light drenching the entire home.
And finally--so you know I'm covering the pluses and the minuses--portions of the home are not currently bolted to the foundation, and it has an attractive asbestos-shingle exterior. I'd advocate bolting asap (as would your insurance company) but that's a very straightforward task. A Jamie Pearl estimate for seismic retrofit is pending, and I understand it's under $10,000. You could also remove the existing shingles and revert back to a traditional brown shingle exterior, or stay with the currently well-encapsulated shingles for several more years. In either case, the tasks and charges are straightforward, and do not involve cooking in the basement for three months! Note you're trading a large flat backyard for a killer Bay view--but there's just nothing like the view and there are plenty of places for kids to play downtown.
Given these items, I think the nearly 3500 sf house was well-priced to start with at $1.695M (a tad less than $500/sf, when the average for Piedmont was $550/sf this summer, without the killer view!). If one could get it for a bit less, any bolting and shingle costs could be covered, and you have a central Piedmont classic with the oh-so-rare "killer" view for well under the average price (/sf) for a Piedmont home. The smartest buyers buy during the holidays.....
This blog covers issues related to real estate and your home in Piedmont, California. We cover the local market, renovation ideas (particularly those of a green nature), some gardening material, local housing/taxation/development debates, what buyers and sellers want, and national trends.
Lots of good info and insight; no cattiness.
The blog includes my e-newsletter articles dating back to 2006, and blog posts while ActiveRain.Com was my blog platform. Feel free to subscribe to the blog here (go to the top of the page), or email me (Kennedy@MaureenKennedy.net) and I'll add you to my quarterly e-newsletter list. And don't forget to forward this link to your friends and colleagues thinking about moving to town, or ready to move on to the next stage of their lives. I always have time for your referrals!
I look forward to your comments, suggestions, and new information you think Piedmonters, and those thinking about moving to town, should know.
My job is to inform, listen, analyze, market, and above all close your transaction promptly and at a price with which you are comfortable. I grew up in the Washington, DC area and graduated from Mount Holyoke College and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. After working on housing and tax issues in Virginia, Alaska, and in the halls of Congress, I managed the nation's single-family and multi-family rural housing loan programs and advised HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros on housing and urban policy as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy. I’m a licensed broker, serve on the Advisory Board of the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing (based in Dallas), and have earned designations from e-Pro, EcoBroker, the National Trust's architectural program, and the NAR’s At Home with Diversity program. I'm a member of the Council of Residential Specialists, and of course the National, California and Oakland Associations of Realtors.
No other agent or broker practicing in Piedmont has such a strong professional background.