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February 17, 2010

Lone Mountain Homes Worth a Look

Lone Mountain isn’t a neighborhood a lot of buyers consider when they start house hunting. The University of San Francisco is located there, and the area is surrounded by the Richmond, Panhandle, Laurel Heights and Anza Vista. For downtown commuters, the 31 and 28 buses run on Geary and Balboa. And for park lovers, Lone Mountain is perfect. It offers close proximity to the Presidio, Golden Gate Park and the Panhandle. Depending where you’re located, you can get a neighborhood membership to the USF Koret fitness facility. Your best bets for restaurants/retail areas are Clement Street in the Richmond, California Street in Laurel Heights, and, a bit further south, Haight Street.

I stopped in at three single-family homes currently on the market in Lone Mountain this week. I think the neighborhood definitely offers more bang for the buck, and the homes tend to be pretty spacious. Here’s a look at what’s out there:

190 Ewing Terrace
1978 sq ft
1-car parking
List Price: $1.2M
This spacious home just came on the market at the beginning of February. It needs updating, but is in otherwise clean and solid condition based on appearance. It’s located on a cute circular block and has sizeable bedrooms, including a master suite with Golden Gate Bridge outlooks. There’s the expected wet bar in the garage (typical for the area), a garden with a Koi pond (needs to be cleaned) and nice Japanese landscaping.

I liked this house because it has good bones. A buyer could come in and blow out the kitchen, create a nice master suite and connect to the hall bathroom, and update the bathrooms. But the average price for a 3BR home in Lone Mountain is $1.2M, so I’m thinking a more realistic selling price is more in the $1,050,000-$1.1M range.

25 Tamalpais Terrace
1565 sq ft
2-car parking
List Price: $995,000
I liked this house, and it’s also located on a very nice street, within what’s known as the University Terrace area. I love the Rousseau architecture, and the center patio feature within. The owners qualify for a USF Koret gym neighborhood membership, too. Only drawback is that the property is tenant occupied, and it’s a conservatorship sale—identical to a probate sale—that will require court confirmation. And keep your eye on the parking situation in the University Terrace area, as USF is contemplating adding new science labs that could attract more students (and drivers) to the neighborhood.

2539 Turk Blvd
1700 sq feet
List Price: $1.3M
The most remodeled and “done” house of the bunch, 2539 Turk is situated opposite USF and its lovely greenery. Turk is a busy street, but having that view outside your window is pretty sweet:

The home was sold in January 2008 for $1,250,000, and came on the market earlier this year for $1,395,000. It’s now down to $1.3M. The current owners spent about $175,000 renovating the property, but are now being transferred and would like to sell. They did a nice job, fabulously updating the kitchen and bath, and even incorporating a 650-bottle, acclimatized wine room on the garage level. The garage fits three cars, which is not a claim most houses in the city can make. A couple issues: The third bedroom is accessed through either of the other bedrooms (meaning it’s more of a sunroom), and the yard is covered by the third bedroom/sunroom overhang.

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