Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Benjamin Bratt Sells SF Investment Property

SELLER: Benjamin Bratt
LOCATION: 1832 Page Street, San Francisco, CA
PRICE: $1,858,000
SIZE: 4,618 square feet over 4 units (1 studio, 1 1-bedro0m, 2 2-bedroom)
DESCRIPTION: A grand Victorian mansion, vacant and ready for restoration. Currently designated at 4 units. The building has 12 rooms + lg at street level (folklore has it that this room was once used as a speak easy). The building is detatched on 3 sides, 2/ high ceilings and tall windows creating great light. Much of the Victorian detail is intact. The lot is 40 x 138 ft according to City records. There is off street parking for 4 cars plus an expansive garden with large mature Fig & Bay trees.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Benjamin Bratt is bi-coastal. We said bi-coastal children, and NOT bisexual, so don't go spreading any untruths about this impossibly good looking actor who would certainly be welcomed on either side of the sexual fence. Lawhd hunnies, Your Mama would go bi-coastal in a heartbeat if the Dr. Cooter were not tied down do his mentally unstable patients.

Anyhoo, a lifetime ago, when Your Mama fabricated and sold expensive products for the home to the rich and famous, we had the opportunity to meet and do business with Mister Bratt and his wife Talisa Soto. Based on our humble and admittedly slim experience with Mister Bratt and Miz Soto-Bratt, the children should know two things about Mister Bratt:

Number one, the actor and father of two, who comes from Peruvian Indian ancestry, is much better looking in person then he is on the big or the small screen. He is also much taller than you might imagine. To be honest, Your Mama had never been impressed with Mister Bratt until the tall and cool drink of water was standing right in front of us. We barely came up to his niples children.

Secondly, both Mister Bratt and his wifey are very nice people who did not ask for (or get, thank you very much) the star treatment.

Here's what Your Mama knows about Mister Bratt's bi-coastal living situations. He and wifey have a modest, but lovely 7th floor apartment on West 13th Street in Manhattan. It is our understanding they also maintain a residence in the Noe Valley section of San Francisco, although we could find no record of ownership. Additionally, we understand the couple also maintain a residence in Los Angeles, but again, we could not find any records of ownership. We will continue to look into this.

However, thanks to the SF Tattletale, Your Mama has come to learn that Mister Bratt recently sold an investment property in the Haight Ashbury section of San Francisco. Ownership of the property was easily confirmed with public records.

Now babies, in case you did not know, the Haight Ashbury is no longer the bastion of 1960s counter culture that it once was. Certainly there remain a smattering of head shops, Jerry Garcia lookalikes, and any number of barefoot gurls with vacant eyes and tie dye clad babies, but starting in the early 1990s, the dot com boom flooded the neighborhood with hordes of young and hip professionals with office jobs and stock options. So today, you are far more likely to see a tricked out BMW M3 parked on Haight Street than you are a decommissioned school bus painted by a bunch of long haired peace freaks on an acid trip. Oh, the sands of time.

It appears that Mister Bratt bought the 4-unit building at the the height of the dot com property frenzy in August of 1998 for an undisclosed amount of money. As the children can see from the photos, the units are classic, if unexceptional, San Francisco flats with wood floors, high ceilings, built in buffets, loads of elaborate plaster work on the parlor floor, and those awful gas heaters in front of the fireplaces.

One of the more unique features of this property is that it's detached on three sides, which not only allows for a modicum of privacy and light, but also means there is a long, narrow side yard that provides off street parking for 4 cars to park tandem (end to end). That tandem parking situation certainly sounds like a pain in the ass, but trust Your Mama when we tell you that dealing with your building mates' tandem parked automobiles is a hell of a lot better than trying to park in this tightly packed neighborhood where even the stoned can get uppity and irate about parking spaces.

The listing states that the building is currently configured as four units including a vast ground floor space that "folklore" says was a speak easy back in the days of prohibition. Prohibition? Now there was a stoopid idea. Please. Anyhoo, the building could easily be converted back to an elegant and private mansion as long as you've got half a million dollars or more on top of the purchase price.

Lest anyone think the sub-prime lending crisis and mortgage meltdown is having a huge affect on the real estate market in the urban yet genteel streets of San Francisco, listen up. Mister Bratt's investment property was listed in mid July, 2007 at $1,595,000. The property was sold and closed by the end of August for $1,858,000. So what does that tell the children about the still electric San Francisco marketplace?

Now babies, we know that it is standard practice in San Francisco to price a property low and sell it for higher than asking. This is widely considered "normal" in the City by the Bay. However, in this era of near fiscal implosion of the mortgage industry, one might think we'd see a slowing of the market and San Francisco properties would not be selling extremely quickly and for 10, 12 and 15 percent OVER the asking price. But they are children, they are. Ev-er-ee day.

Your Mama still has the private phone number of Mister Bratt from the days we did business together, but out of a sense of common decency, we've decided not to call him and ask what he's planning on doing with the considerable spoils of the sale of his San Francisco investment property. But if Mister Bratt happens to call Your Mama and let us know, we'd be happy to tell the children.


Anonymous said...

Markets are still up in the more popular metropolitan areas where demand exceeds supply but that is all and even they are starting to cool. San Fran def qualifies. Bratt was smart to sell sooner rather than later.

Anonymous said...

Agree.. ongoing stock market declines combined with the housing market crisis is making a recession look more and more likely. Also, the value of the dollar just reached a 15 year low giving the impression that prices are soaring more than they actually are in some areas. Demand will decrease and prices drop as more people get jittery and adopt wait and see investment attitudes.

Anonymous said...

This month's negative job growth numbers on top of all the rest is a glaring recession red flag.

Anonymous said...

Mama...You need to tell Dr. Cooter to leave those patients. There are unstable people everywhere!!!

Anonymous said...

San Francisco is still boiling hot, in the right neighborhoods. A friend of mine just had her house appraised for 1.75 million, and she bought it three years ago for a million.


Anonymous said...

Seems like a good deal for a 4 unit building. What are the rents in that area?

Anonymous said...

I think this place rocks, but I love all those old homes in the Haight Ashbury. San Francisco is such a popular and beautiful place to live, and such a small area of land, it makes total sense that property sells well there pretty much all the time. As soon as someone wants to sell or move out, there are many waiting to get there opportunity to move in. It's definitely one of the most beautiful and coolest cities I've ever had the pleasure of spending time in. I would love to get lucky and actually get a chance to live there someday.

Anonymous said...

Okay, this is weird. This lovely old thing is very near a close friend's house on Page street. I don't think they paid $1.8 mil for their place. I'd buy if I had that kind of money.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what the neighborhood is like there (mostly rentals, mostly single-family homes?), but I'd buy this charmer in a heartbeat and return it to its single-family glory.


Btw, prices haven't gone down much in my immediate neck of the woods, either. Houses are staying on the market longer here in Chicago but, as always, the good ones get snapped up fast.

Anonymous said...

I love this building! Look at those original details- and a back yard.

Anonymous said...

Two of my friends contemplated buying it, and it was listed, and i'm pretty sure sold, for the 1.8 million price....honestly, the neighborhood has become a little sketchy these last few years.

Anonymous said...

This is good sh*t! A reader just told me about your site. I'm linking to this article and quoting it tomorrow on my blog about san francisco real estate, theFrontSteps dot com. We tell it how it is, and it is fine. Your Mama is right Children! Real Estate in SF is doing just fine.