Friday, January 13, 2012

KnifeCatching 1235 Hawthorne St.

Read This:The following review is just my opinion and only my opinion I am not a professional house appraiser or inspector and I am not a structural engineer. The opinions expressed in this review are based on my own inspection of the property, the publicly available facts from aggregator sites such as Redfin and Zillow and the online permit database for the city of Alameda. I am not responsible for incorrect or missing data that appears in these sources. In fact, its probably best that you just ignore everything you read here as the lunatic ravings of an unbalanced mind.
KnifeCatching 1235 Hawthorne St.
Up for review today is 1235 Hawthorne St. which has the official specs of being a 3-3.5 of 3330sq ft on an ginormous 13,986sq ft lot built in 1950 on sale for $1.475M!?!?!? Last sold in 94 for $570k. The house has been on the market for 115 days with no price drops yet.
While I got some pics of the place, go to the Zillow or Redfin sites for the official pics/prose.
Front of the house
I have to say, this place looked pretty amazing. Its got location, location, location with it being a lagoon side house in the Gold Coast.
This review should be sub-titled 'Don Drapers after-he's-made-it house'.
From the big fancy automatic gate to the stainless steel fence the house fairly oozes money. It looks like a Bel-Air mansion to me. The house has a very large open floor plan on the main level that is just perfect for entertaining...need to impress some investors? Have a sunset cocktail party.

I am mildly impressed that the PO's are even having open houses...People who can honestly afford a $1.5M house now-a-days don't troll open houses....When I was touring the house there was a large steady stream of people who I would have to say were probably looky-loo's (like me). Probably the entire point of the open house was for the Realtor to drum up new clients. If this was my place (I wish I had that kind of money), I would not want the 99%ers tromping through the place. I'd only show it by appointment to pre-qualified buyers.
The Good
Location, Location, Location. Lagoon side home in the Gold Coast in Franklin School District.
Marble, Marble, Marble! I think every floor in the house is covered in marble.
Radiant heating!
Love all the Birdseye Maple cabinets and trim that is everywhere. Very 50's.
Its got a serious MadMen vibe.

Lots of windows and views!

The garage has a nice little office off the back of it with views.
Big master suite with views and a little private 'smoking balcony.'
Giant fancy display kitchen (with views).
Wet bar in the great room for entertaining.
The Bad
There were a couple of troubling things about the house that I saw. Trying to be objective and not be wowed by the pretty and the views.

Its really MadMen lite...since the house was redone with modern finishes its a little less authentic MadMen as compared to 1223 ST Charles St.

All that famous glass faces South!!! The house has no AC that I could is it not going to be a furnace in the summer time?

Check out this big double door that opens out into...

No where...

Zillion Dollar House and they couldn't even use a modern thermostat? huh?

Troubling Permit Record
I've read it, and read it and read it....I still don't understand exactly the story its telling...
There are tons of permits pulled over the past years but a lot of them were never finaled....this is curious to me...why, after paying the fee's would you not get your permits finaled? Laziness? Ineptness of the contractor? What worries me is that there was some reason why the contractors work could not pass inspection...and they gave up???

Work done with permits that were never finaled.
New windows and doors in the Sunroom.
200amp service upgrade and gas line for trellis and 2 gas logs.
The master bath remodel, interior stair replacement.
The fancy front fence and gate thing.

Work that I can not find any permits for.
Uh, the radiant heating? or is it original? Don't know, Realtor implied that is was all new.
The fabulous kitchen.
Maybe minor, but I saw a lot of electrical work that wasn't reflected in the permit record.

From the Realtors ad copy
Every aspect of this home has been upgraded and remodeled with meticulous attention to detail.
Hmmm...permit record doesn't really support that least it doesn't support the notion that the work was done legally...

Maybe one percenters don't care about those kinds of things because they will just come in and do a gut remodel anyways? At least I'd think they would care to use it as a bargaining chip in price negotiations.  

I don't think I've seen a house with so many expired permits....I would argue that, this is actually worse than doing it in secret. Now you are on the Building Dept's radar as having expired permits and here's what I know happens. You go down to the building dept to pull a permit for something and they check your record and they go...'OOohhh,..yea, we can't issue you any new permits till you close out all the old ones.' So, is the new owner buying all that liability also? What hidden conditions are going to be uncovered?

An amazing show place home in a fantastic location.
Price?? I don't know..this place is so far outta my league that I don't have an honest frame of reference that I can use.
Buuuut, if its open ever again y'all should tour through the place as it is pretty amazing.
This house, I think hits all the high marks for a wealthy persons residence, definitely a braggable house/location, big entertaining spaces, big master suite, big fancy kitchen...and on and on.

It's a one percenter palace.
And that's the way I see it.


Anonymous said...

The lot looks huge on paper but about half is under water in the lagoon. Nice house though, agree about the permits.

The MadScientist said...

I was wondering about that! The sat view with the lots super imposed shows the lot in the water...I thought it was just a glitch...guess not.

I wonder if this is typical of lagoon side homes?

The MadScientist said...

Just saw that this house is going to be open this weekend!!!!!

Nows your chance everybody! Go before they change their minds!

It really is a pretty amazing place.

Tell em Chez Neumansky sent you.

Tish said...

We used to have the same exact thermostat! The new one isn't much different. And our house was last remodeled aprrox. 1980. I bet if our house ever went on the market, it would be super scary. My parents had a horrible contractor in the 80's and were never happy with how things turned out. Us being poor, we haven't done anything to it yet, but someday we will.