In Response to the SFGate.com article today, 1/7/14: “Why Won’t This Marvel Sell?”

So glad the writer asked!  I had wanted to say something about this property, but I just couldn’t find my starting point on the subject.  The mentioned property,  a really unusual find, is located at 395 Oak Ave in San Anselmo.  I was excited when I went to see it in person, but I think I know one reason why it hasn’t sold.

First things first though.  You can find the article HERE.  And below please find a few photos from the BAREIS MLS (property is listed by Jean Pral of Pacific Union).

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My opinion of the parts of the house documented in these photos is that the place is great!  Amazing.  The home’s architectural integrity is intact, and it is quite striking.  A wide-angle lens might have helped to really show the fabulous shape and design of the interior.   I think it probably has the standard issues that a house made of stucco or wood, and/or a home with a lot of wood decking can have, (though I have not looked at the disclosures or reports).

What you can’t see in the photo is the addition.   My first description  of the addition was, “barnacle,” and I amused myself with that for a while.  It is a dark, oddly shaped thing, that has a much different style and feel than the original, especially when inside, and it seems to be placed on the side of the original house .  For instance, I think there was a lot of carpet, and also a jacuzzi-style tub with slanted glass windows that looked out to…?  I can’t remember.  Also, some of these details may be wrong, because my memory is horrible and it was a long time ago.  I’m trying to share my impression.

I had struggled for a while with how to write about it, and then just put it aside.  I guess the best comparison might be the New Jewish Contemporary Museum in the Yerba Buena District of San Francisco.  The museum occupies an old, charming, brick PG&E building (defunct), plus it has a geometric, very modern attachment that houses their music-related exhibits.  It’s a really great space inside, and it makes sense, in that it feels purposefully juxtaposition of the old with the new.  I think it’s striking, but I’m winging it here in terms of description.  I have no formal education in design, in fact, I need help to get dressed in the morning.

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New Meets Old The New Jewish Contemporary Museum

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Back to the Art Deco property that has not sold.  I don’t think it’s very common for a real estate agent to be publicly stating that there is something negative about a property.  But when I saw it, it did occur to me it might be a challenge to sell because of the mixed-era construction.  The barnacle addition is not super-modern, and feels dated, but not in a glamorous, historic way.  For the life of me, I could not come up with a way to market the addition to the house, so I probably would have also omitted it from the listing.  Anyway, I was trying to think about who the buyer is for this place.  I think it’s possibly a philanthropist-type person, willing to restore it and make it a glorious showpiece.  It seems like the place could be used for events once restored.  The area is stunning, beautiful, fresh-feeling, quiet and private-seeming.

I hope the person who buys it loves Art Deco and has a vision.  This house makes me feel all happy inside.

PS, this is an opinion piece and is meant for entertainment puposes only.  The article, in fact, may not contain any actual facts.

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