You can fool some of the people all of the time, you can fool all of the people some of the time, but you can’t possibly sell this problematic house to anyone fortunate enough to live in the Real Bay Area.
101 Belvedere Ave Belvedere, CA 94920
Sq. Ft.: 7,063
$/Sq. Ft.: $3,894
Lot Size: 0.69 Acres
Residential, Detached, Single Family
View: Bay, Bridges, City, Lights, Marina, Mountains, Water
Year Built: 1987
Status: Active This listing is for sale and the sellers are accepting offers.
On Redfin: 19 days
Sited on the western-most promontory of Belvedere Island w/ the Bay directly below & unobstructed views from Mount Tam through Sausalito, the GG Bridge & the entire SF skyline, this property truly exemplifies the belvedere. Warren Callister designed, west-side waterfront w/ 5 bedrooms, 4 full & 3 half-baths in the main residence & separate 1-bedroom, 1-bath guest apartment w/ kitchen & living room.
I don’t even know where to begin with this one, so let’s get the biggest problem out of the way first. This house is at least 45 miles from Silicon Valley. I’m sure you could handle a lot of your business via email, Skype and SMS, but. But. You’re still 45 miles, that’s an hour and half in traffic, from the people you need to see. There’s something to be said for “smart” communities, and Belvedere wasn’t anywhere on the list. Face it, with a density of 1856 people per square mile, you’re not going to find 1259 of them being college grads as you will in San Jose.
Next problem: Serious water hazard. I mean, would you LOOK at this?
And that isn’t a koi pond. That’s San Francisco Bay, and it’s 56 degrees in there. Brrrrrr. So don’t waste your money on koi. They’re freshwater.
Now, let’s look at one of those words the listing agent used. “Promontory,” No, not promissory, promontory, As in exposed, windswept cliff. As in “I sure hope you have a lot of liability insurance, because you are going to need it when your daughter’s best friend starts playing Wuthering Heights on that promontory.” As in, “Did you hire a geologist to see if the whole house is going down in the drink because a big chunk of promontory just collapsed?”
Promissory probably doesn’t pertain to this property. At an asking price of $27,500,000, your loan of $729,750 will leave you to come up with a 97.3% down payment. There is good news! With that much cash up front, there’s almost no chance of a low appraisal sinking the deal!
Next problem: Isn’t the entire point of buying rather than renting so you can water your own lawn? This property seems to have neglected the lawn. Big minus.
Another big lose for this property is the Golden Gate bridge toll. What is that up to now, six dollars? Five with FasTrak? Your only way around that is to take the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge and come down I-880. Well, that or put in a helipad on the roof.
Now, did you take a look at this interesting number? Price per square foot: $3,894. I’m going to say that again. Three thousand, eight hundred ninety four. Most of the properties on burbed are smaller than that in square feet, let alone cheaper per square foot. This might indeed be a record. What is this place made out of, unobtanium? And for this kind of money, are there any marble columns?
What a rip-off.
And speaking of rip-off, note how the listing gives and then takes away. It said 6 BR/6.5 BA, didn’t it? What you don’t find out until you read the fine print is that one bedroom and one bath are in the guest apartment. So you’re really only getting 5 BR/5.5 BA in the house, and that 5.5 BA is really 4 full and 3 half bathrooms. That’s right. 3 of the “bathrooms” don’t have a bath or a shower. If that isn’t false advertising, I don’t know what is.
It’s that kind of cheap fitting out that leads people to say rude things about contractors. And let’s just note one thing about the home’s designer, Warren Callister. He is responsible for Rossmoor. That’s a retirement community. In Walnut Creek. Walnut Creek is even less RBA than Belvedere, because the former is a suburb of Oakland.
Here’s another problem with this property: can you imagine having to wash all these windows? I can’t either. Keep looking at the pictures in the listing, because this isn’t the only room where one window would have been enough, so Callister put in six. Did he own stock in Andersen or something? I mean, if you’re going to spend so much on fixtures, why not throw in a few marble columns instead?
Yup. I’ll say it again. Custom home, not one marble column. It’s like they weren’t even trying. It “truly exemplifies the belvedere.” A belvedere is a structure built to take in a commanding view, usually above a building or city. So this house, in not having one, truly exemplifies it.