The Oakville Group Blog

San Francisco Luxury Home Sells for Large Sum

By: Aaron T. Wheeler

Posted: 10/6/2015 2:21:27 PM

Tags: Luxury Real Estate, , Belvedere, , Marin County, , John Mead Howells,

Fans of the San Francisco luxury real estate market have been watching the "Pink House" in Belvedere for years. When it first came to the San Francisco real estate market in 2012, it had an impressive $11.75 million price tag. However, after sitting on the market for years with a variety of price reductions and after having been removed from the market in 2013, the "Pink House" finally sold for $7.9 million.

Built in 1912 by renowned architect John Mead Howells, the seven-bedroom estate boasts some of the best, unobstructed views of the San Francisco skyline and the Golden Gate Bridge. The "Pink House" offers approximately 8,000 square feet of living space, which includes six bathrooms, a separate one-bedroom apartment and an au pair studio. The property also offers parking for six cars.

Other features include a ballroom with windows on three sides that is ideal for entertaining, a large terrace off the living room, and a gorgeous master suite that comprises the entire top floor. Four additional bedrooms are located on a dedicated "bedroom level," all of which connect to a sunroom that is flooded with light from all of the windows. A large stone fireplace is ideal for cool, San Francisco nights.

The "Pink House" is perched high atop the Belvedere peninsula in one of San Francisco's most sought-after neighborhoods. Exterior features include numerous patios and terraces off of the rear of the San Francisco luxury home, which offer sweeping views of Mt. Tamalpais and Sausalito Harbor, along with additional views of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco's beautiful skyline.

The Harvard-educated John Mead Howells was a master in the Art Deco style, but built the "Pink House" in the Mission Revival style. Features of the San Francisco luxury home include a variety of unique architectural details like a tile roof, quatrefoil windows and exposed redwood beams in both the living room and dining room. After building the "Pink House," Howells would go on to design the iconic Daily News Building in New York City and Chicago's neo-gothic Tribune Building.

Belvedere is a unique place to call home in San Francisco. Situated on two islands, no stores are restaurants are allowed in Belvedere proper; however, residents take advantage of Tiburon's shops, restaurants and services nearby. The extremely affluent community is also home to the San Francisco Yacht Club, as many of the area's residents are avid sailors.

After failing to find a buyer, the San Francisco luxury home rented for an impressive $17,500 a month. However, after being re-listed at $7.95 million, the "Pink House" sold in just a few weeks this past June.

There are so many reasons to consider purchasing a San Francisco luxury home. If you're interested in learning more about the San Francisco luxury real estate market, I would love to meet you.

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A Look at Offerings from Noteworthy San Francisco Bay Area Restaurants

By: Aaron T. Wheeler

Posted: 10/6/2015 1:50:39 PM

Tags: San Francisco, , Restaurants, , Capo, , Saison, , Calistoga Ranch, , Napa

There is such thing as a good problem to have. Case in point: the number of five-star restaurants that abound throughout San Francisco, making the age-old question of "Where should we go to dinner?" a difficult one for San Francisco luxury home owners.

Here's a look at some of the current offerings on-hand at noteworthy San Francisco Bay Area restaurants!

Capo: There's something special about a limited offering, and Capo is offering just that to San Francisco home owners with "The Long Con" pizza. Only eight orders will be available each night, so get there early if you want in on the action.

The skinny on this award-winning pizza? It was conceptualized by Matt Taylor, pizza chef at Capo, and features Vermont cheddar baked into the crust. The deep-dish Chicago-style pizza comes topped with whole milk mozzarella and provolone cheese, garlic, bell pepper and Calabrese sausage that's made in-house. But perhaps best of all, it's finished with a bacon-bourbon glaze and a sweet onion jam that will make your mouth water!

Saison: Looking for a truly remarkable dining experience? Head to Saison where celebrated chef Joshua Skenes is unveiling a variety of new menus. This includes a unique vegetable-focused tasting menu with the bounty coming from Saison's personal farm. Patrons are treated to dishes like beets cooked over a fire for three days, cured heirloom tomatoes and gooseberries, and much more.

Skenes has also teamed up with chef Jiro Lin at the Chef's Counter where diners can nosh on some of the area's best sashimi, unique nigiri and grilled fish. Just be sure to bring your pocketbook! Saison is the most expensive restaurant in San Francisco at $398 per person (that's before wine). But diners will delight in their 5,000-bottle wine list with a perfect pairing for any dish.

Calistoga Ranch in Napa Valley: For San Francisco luxury home owners who are looking to get away from it all, Calistoga Ranch in Napa Valley is always a solid choice. The Lakehouse restaurant welcomes new executive chef Bryan Moscatello, who brings with him a wealth of creativity and expertise from The Little Nell in Aspen.

When asked about his move out west, Moscatello said, "Napa is food and wine central. It's what is near and dear to my heart, and this environment is more conducive to my career goals and education, in terms of the amazing culinary gardens out here."

The new menu will be unveiled shortly, so plan a weekend getaway soon to be among the first to experience everything that Moscatello has to offer. He says the new menu will be mostly vegetable-focused, with dishes featuring a variety of layers of the same flavor. His plan is to source products from the bountiful Napa Valley area initially, and then to focus his menu on Calistoga Ranch's own garden and farm that he is planning to create.

If you are interested in learning more about San Francisco luxury real estate, please contact me. I'm a local real estate broker who loves assisting clients in finding San Francisco luxury homes that are a perfect fit.

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Property Values Increases for San Francisco Real Estate

By: Aaron T. Wheeler

Posted: 10/6/2015 1:22:41 PM

Tags: San Francisco, , Market Update

According to City Assessor-Recorder, Carmen Chu, "Leading the way is new construction activity and changes in property ownership. San Franciscans will directly benefit as the revenue generated from our work goes directly to funding critical services that citizens rely on."

The San Francisco real estate market has long been characterized by exceptionally high prices that continue to grow, but interested home buyers show no signs of slowing down as San Francisco homes continue to change hands. Perhaps the best news of all for San Francisco home owners is that property values increased by $11.7 billion year-over-year. That's a tremendous amount of growth in one of the most active real estate markets in the country.

Soon, San Francisco home owners will receive their 2015-2016 assessed property value. The assessor-recorder's office said that more than 200,000 real estate parcels were included as part of this assessment. That's an increase of more than 1,300 San Francisco homes versus the previous year.

Other real estate analysts echo just how important the San Francisco real estate market is to the larger national landscape as it relates to property valuation. Real estate data tracker Max Galka adds, "About half of the total value comes from the top five states: California, New York, Florida, Texas, and Pennsylvania, respectively." And, according to Galka, things don't show any signs of slowing down. In San Francisco alone, prices have shot up more than 30% in the last two years.

Galka has been studying real estate markets around the country, and based on his data, he concludes that California accounts for approximately 23% of the U.S. housing value. That's the most of any state, despite the fact that California only has roughly 4.3% of total land area in the U.S. In comparison, New York placed second with 7.1% of housing value, followed by Florida at 5.8%. Texas and Pennsylvania took the number four and five spots respectively.

According to real estate professionals, the reason why so much of the country's real estate property value is concentrated on the coasts is because these two areas are the most densely populated.

Galka says the background information for his data is derived from estimated property values from the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, along with the Census. That includes both land and home values. According to Galka, California's total value of housing stock is a whopping $7.5 trillion, much of which is attributed to San Francisco luxury real estate and homes throughout the Bay Area.

To learn more about San Francisco luxury homes that are currently for sale, please contact me. I would love to discuss your unique home buying objectives.

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Amazing Wine Storage Ideas For Your San Francisco Luxury Home

By: Aaron T. Wheeler

Posted: 6/5/2013 4:45:04 PM

Tags: Wine Storage, Glass Cellar, Tasting Table, Wine Closet, Wall Of Wine, Wine Under The Stairs

Most San Francisco luxury homes are built with constrained space, but that doesn't mean you have to live without a wine cellar. While you probably won't be able to squeeze in a cellar the size of some Napa homes, there are some creative ways you can add wine storage without having to tear down any walls. Here's a quick look!

1. Glass Cellar: If you have extra space in a corner of a room, consider putting in a floor-to-ceiling glass closet of sorts where you can add wine bottle storage. It will create a magnificent focal point and afford views of your wine collection from virtually anywhere in the room!

2. Tasting Table: If you're looking for a unique tasting table idea, run out to Napa and see if you can get your hands on an old wine barrel. You can use it as a tasting table where you can display a few bottles of wine, and pull up a few barstools to host your friends.

3. Wine Closet: Do you have an extra closet in your San Francisco luxury home that you're not using? If so, think about turning it into a wine closet. Most reds should be shielded from light anyway if you're trying to age it, and this is a great way to make use of extra space without breaking the bank.

4. Wall of Wine: If you're a dedicated oenophile, consider turning one of your walls into a giant wine display. You can buy mountable wine racks that attach to the walls in your home, allowing you to display hundreds of bottles of wine and have an assortment at your fingertips.

5. Under the Stairs: The space under your stairs is awkward and underutilized, so think about installing a wine storage system here. This is a fantastic and unique idea that will help you save valuable space and also satisfy your need for wine storage!

In San Francisco, luxury real estate abounds! If you are thinking about purchasing a new home, I would love to discuss your unique real estate objectives. I specialize in San Francisco luxury homes, so please contact me today if I can show you around.

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A Look at the Psychology of Real Estate

By: Aaron T. Wheeler

Posted: 6/4/2013 4:48:04 PM

Tags: Psychology Of Real Estate, Lifestyle, Cost, Superficiality

Searching for a San Francisco luxury home is a big decision, and the way your mind works with regard to preferences, like if you preferred one home over another, is an interesting thing that most people don't give a second thought to. Perhaps you visited the same house twice, and preferred it more on a day the sun was shining brightly versus a day when it was foggy and cold. The psychological implications of purchasing luxury real estate are alive and documented, so let's take a quick trip back to Psych 101 to see how it all works.

Lifestyle: One of the reasons why real estate purchases are so tied to psychology is because a home is a direct representation of your life.

Cost: Of course, the cost associated with something like a San Francisco luxury home will have an impact on your psyche. Depending on how the value changes, this could have a very real implication for the life you want to live.

Superficiality: There is proven research that says the more attractive the real estate agent is, the more a buyer is willing to pay. It may seem silly, but this obsession with superficial things also plays into home buying. For example, if you walk into a San Francisco luxury home and hate the color the room is painted, you're less likely to buy that house, despite the fact that you can remedy the issue with a cheap can of paint.

Perceived Value: The human mind is a powerful thing, and it's amazing how attached we get to the perceived value of a home. You may think your home is worth X, but given the economy, it might actually be worth Y. Still, humans aren't programmed to recalibrate their expectations so easily, and will often hold onto some perceived value. It's called "loss aversion," a mental aberration where humans are much more sensitive to losses than they are equivalent gains.

Thinking about purchasing a San Francisco luxury home? I would love to meet you! I'm a local real estate broker who specializes in San Francisco luxury real estate. Please contact me if you would like to discuss your individual needs. I'd love to help you find the home of your dreams!

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