Thursday, January 08, 2009

Stage 51, Clarendon Heights (5h)

Has it really been four months since the last stage of the Tour? Wow! Well then...on with things.

Every time I drive around these nano-markets and really take a close look at the homes and all the different streets, properties, and people living in these tiny little areas that make up the larger city we call San Francisco, I'm reminded just how great this city is, and how unbelievably unique each and every home is. Clarendon Heights is certainly no exception.

Clarendon Heights is nestled into the northeastern slope of Twin Peaks and as a result many of the homes have absolutely amazing views of downtown San Francisco. Some homes have Golden Gate and Bay Bridge views and I'd bet that on a clear day these lucky owners could even see the Richmond Bridge way up north. One downside to living on this hill with these amazing views...fog and WIND! Yes CAPS is necessary. In the spring and summer the wind absolutely whips over the mountain and funnels down into the Cole Valley banana belt that enjoys more sun because of the mountain that blocks all that fog and wind...Clarendon Heights is that mountain. The fog hangs up and creeps over this hill like an army marching in. Some people ask why I focus so much on the fog. That's a simple answer, every single client I've ever worked with has discussed either not wanting to live in the fog, or not minding it. Weather is an important part of "location, location, location". To me the wind is more of an issue, but what do I know.

The architecture you'll find in this area covers the entire spectrum from Tudors, to Italianesque Villas, to Mid-Century boxes, to the ultra sleek modern homes you might see in a magazine. For the most part homes in this area are very well cared for, especially on the more western edge of this district (St. Germain, Mountain Spring, Glenbrook streets). When you head to the east there is a little pocket of nice homes, but there just doesn't seem to be that same pride of ownership (Racoon comes to mind). Generally, homes in this area (like most in the city) sell well. But as the market has changed, so too has the desire for high end big viewed homes with a very small pool of buyers.

So what about traffic? Clarendon and Twin Peaks are pretty heavily traveled and there is a good amount of road noise and accelerations going on, as many people use this route to get from areas like Forest Hill, and West Portal to Haight-Ashbury, Downtown, and other points in the northern part of the city.

Recreation? Hill climbs. Lots of them. Stairs, and possibly hang-gliding if you're so inclined. Joking aside, there are some walking trails near Mt Sutro, there are great views to be had from Tank Hill, and you could certainly build your quads for a cramp-free ski season, otherwise, I'd consider major recreation a bike or car ride away.

All in all, Clarendon Heights is yet another gem of a district. The views (as stated) are amazing, the homes are mostly awesome, and the location (in my opinion) is top-notch. If you don't mind a bit of fog, and a lot of wind, you might just consider Clarendon Heights in your home search.

Enough chatter...on to the photos:
You know all those homes you see up there nestled under that massive Sutro Tower?  That's Clarendon Heights. 

This shot taken from 17th St. looking up the hill.  This is the north side of the district. 

These are the hills and homes on the east side of the hill and district looking up towards Twin Peaks road that winds up the hill.  Streets nestled up here are Villa, Greystone, Pemberton Place, Racoon, Crown Terrace.
Villa looking up to Twin Peaks.

That home up there on the right of the pink home has got to be the highest (elevation) home in SF.
Home on Clarendon close to where Twin Peaks intersects.
Somehow this photo reminds me of something you'd see clinging to the Cinque Terre, although not as nice. 
Crown Terrace homes have a lot of color.
and character
Sucker for the modern ones...Crown Terrace
The last home on the block.  DO NOT drive a large car down this street! Crown Terrace that is. 
Crown Terrace looking back to Twin Peaks
The forgotten soul...Racoon.
Twin Peaks and Mountain Spring
Glenbrook and St. Germain.  Green grass and great views!
Saint Germain ends at Mt Sutro
A closer look at 130 Palo Alto (on the left in the photo),  the highest home in San Francisco. They should have some sort of plaque out front or something. Palo Alto
When you get near the end of Palo Alto, park, and walk down a bit further.  Very cool homes and area to see. 
Fly fishing anyone?  This shot taken on Palo Alto looking towards the Twin Peaks lookout area.    
Not bad views...
Palo Alto and Glenbrook corner home
Saint Germain

A favorite on Mountain Spring and Glenbrook

Diamond in the rough mid-century on Mountain Spring.
Spanish Mediterranean? 
70's and 80's?  These might actually even be Mid-Century...I'm just guessing on these. 
Mountain Spring has it all!

A Villa?

Mountain Spring continues to bring the different types and styles.

If Sutro Tower ever fell, assuming the prevailing North Westerly winds, Clarendon might actually be spared, because this thing would fall towards Midtown Terrace and Twin Peaks.
Mountain Spring views and a roof (shitty photo I know), but check that view...and the Mid-Century home that's hiding beneath.
Under that roof, you get these views. 
Ahhhh, so nice!  Clarendon gem. 
And that's gonna do it for another stage of the Tour de San Francisco (real estate).  Thanks for reading to the end, and I hope to see you back here again soon.  Don't forget...need help with real estate, you know who to call.