Home of the Week: Refined Russian Hill hideaway with rooftop views

Sequestered down a quaint alleyway in one of Russian Hill’s most appealing enclaves, 22 Moore Place is a rare masterpiece of modern family living designed by MacCracken Architects.

The three-story residence, constructed with steel moment frames, fuses contemporary style, fine craftsmanship, and the latest amenities. The open living/dining/kitchen space claims the top floor to maximize light and take advantage of the enchanting views.

A huge Carrara marble island with pull-up seating invites casual dining in the kitchen area, which opens to a view deck. Appointments include a Thermador refrigerator, Wolf gas range, custom cabinets and instant hot water.

A freestanding gas fireplace adds ambiance in the living room. Just off the dining area, a spiral stairway ascends to the crowning touch: a spacious roof deck with panoramic views of urban San Francisco, city lights, soaring towers, hills, and mountains.

The private master suite opens to a step-out deck. There are two more bedrooms, two baths and a bonus room. Radiant heat, a speaker system, media wiring, a laundry room, and a large one-car garage with EV charger and storage are more of the home’s advanced features.

This rare find is listed at $3,995,000 by Arrian Binnings and Payton Stiewe.

Real Estate Roundup: Record weekly mortgage rate drop

Here’s a look at recent news of interest to homebuyers, home sellers, and the home-curious.

30-YEAR MORTGAGES SEE BIGGEST ONE-WEEK DROP IN A DECADE

Fixed-rate mortgages last week saw their biggest one-week drop in a decade, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly rate survey.

Thirty-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.06 percent, down from 4.28 percent last week, and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.57 percent, down from 3.71 percent. Five-year adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 3.75 percent, down from 3.84 percent last week.

Last year at this time, 30-year mortgages averaged 4.40 percent, 15-year mortgages averaged 3.90 percent, and five-year ARMs averaged 3.66 percent.

“The Federal Reserve’s concern about the prospects for slowing economic growth caused investor jitters to drive down mortgage rates by the largest amount in over ten years,” Freddie Mac’s chief economist, Sam Khater, said in a statement accompanying the mortgage rate survey. “Despite negative outlooks by some, the economy continues to churn out jobs, which is great for housing demand. We have recently seen home sales start to recover, and with this week’s rate drop we expect a continued rise in purchase demand.”


SURVEY: 2019 IS A GOOD TIME TO BUY A HOME

Two out of three people say now is a good time to buy a home, and according to a survey by the National Association of Realtors conducted during the first quarter of 2019, and confidence in the U.S. economy remains strong.

The NAR’s quarterly Housing Opportunities and Market Experience survey found that 65 percent of respondent believe now is a good time to buy a home, with 37 percent saying they strongly believe now is a good time to buy — up from 34 percent in the last quarter of 2018 — and 28 percent expressing moderate confident.

The survey also found that 53 percent of those polled said that the economy is improving, down from 59 percent at the end of last year. Optimism in 2019 is the greatest among those who earn $100,000 or more and those who live in rural areas. Fifty percent of Generation X respondents said the economy is improving, while 42 percent of urban area residents reported the same.

Several factors are helping to improve the attitudes of potential homebuyers, said Lawrence Yun, the NAR’s chief economist. “First, inventory has been rising, so those buyers interested in making a purchase will not be limited in choices. Additionally, more stable home price trends are leading to more foot traffic at various open house gatherings.”

Mortgage affordability has also been more favorable for homebuyers than in recent quarters, Yun said.

“The Federal Reserve’s decision to refrain from any foreseeable rate hikes was beneficial to potential buyers,” he said. “That move directly contributed to mortgage rates declining in quarter one, which provided a second-chance opportunity to those looking to buy who were priced out last quarter.”


FHA SAYS IT WILL TIGHTENS MORTGAGE STANDARDS

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Federal Housing Administration is tightening its rules, amid a growing concern that mortgage lenders are increasingly making loans to borrowers who can’t repay them, leading to a spike in defaults.

The FHA, which insures mortgages for first-time buyers, told lenders in March that it would begin examining certain loans more closely, likely identifying more of them as high risk. Mortgages to borrowers with low credit scores and high loan payments relative to their incomes will now go through a more rigorous underwriting process, the agency said.

The Journal report noted that the FHA’s decision to tighten underwriting standards could mean fewer first-time home buyers are able to get mortgages.

(Photo: iStock/fizkes)

Home of the Week: Sweeping new Cape Cod made for entertaining

With over ten thousand feet of sophisticated space on two levels, this grand, just-finished Encino estate is designed for entertaining.

Set on a huge half-acre lot south of the Boulevard at 4519 Haskell Avenue, the home is lavished with exquisite designer touches, finishes and fixtures throughout.

The welcome begins off the circular drive in the open foyer with its soaring cathedral ceiling, then then moves seamlessly through expansive, light-filled living spaces that open to the outdoor setting.

There, a broad patio area encompasses a swimmer’s pool/spa, dining and relaxing areas, a shaded pergola and an outdoor kitchen. A fully equipped two-story guest house is nearby.

The home’s main level is equipped for intimate to large scale gatherings, with sumptuous home theater, climate-controlled glass-enclosed wine storage and tasting room, and inviting dining room.

The formal living area with fireplace and dramatic vaulted ceiling opens fully to the patio, blending the spaces. In the expansive chef’s kitchen, dual counters, high-end appliances, custom cabinetry, a breakfast nook, a family room and a bar create a vibrant place to come together.

When it’s time to escape and recharge, the master suite offers an expansive private world with its own access to the patio and yard. A dramatic fireplace, sitting area, lavish bath and extensive walk-in closets create the opulent ambience.

The upstairs level is home to a kids’ game space, three huge bedroom suites and a second laundry room.

This incomparable residence is listed at $7,395,000 by Angelo Fierro and Aaron Kirman.

Home of the Week: Expansive, just-remodeled family contemporary in Palo Alto

Set on a quiet cul-de-sac in Midtown Palo Alto, 2783 Randers Court is filled with this-minute style and cutting-edge amenities.

Beautiful materials and finishes enrich the ambiance: elegant tile and marble; warm natural wood and stone; and dramatic sculptural lighting, plumbing fixtures and hardware.

The main level flows from the high-end open kitchen with pull-up breakfast bar to a family room with fireplace, a formal dining area and a curve-ceilinged living room.

Great gatherings move easily to  the lush private yard with covered and open patios.  The three-story home features five bedrooms, five and a half bathrooms, two family rooms and an office.

A few of its many amenities include a master retreat with private deck, a steam room, and a 1,000+ bottle wine cellar.

Behind the scenes, a Control 4 Home Automation System orchestrates lighting, music, temperature, security and motorized shades on the main level (prewired on top two levels).

The attached garage includes an electric car charging station. The warmly elegant statement residence is listed by Rebecca Hoffman at $5,280,000.

Teháma: Carmel, California’s landmark sustainable community envisioned by Clint Eastwood


Only a few coveted homesites in Teháma are up for grabs, and they’re listed exclusively by Compass.

Teháma, the coveted private residential community secluded in the hills above the village of Carmel-by-the Sea and envisioned by Clint Eastwood as a model for sustainable development, is bringing to market its final collection of homesites.

Teháma has the same magical, bountiful quality today that it did when Eastwood first set foot atop one of Carmel Valley’s most splendid hillsides 40 years ago. By “lying gently on the land,” the majestic acreage has become a pioneering community for conscientious stewardship and sustainable living.

“People like me are looking for a place where they can have a quiet life and yet still be close to things. Me? I like elbow room. But it’s nice to know that if I want to go to the Carmel Bach Festival or listen to some jazz in Monterey or watch the Concours d’Elegance in Pebble Beach, it’s just minutes away.”

Clint Eastwood

“Teháma represents a true last-of-its-kind locale on the central coast of California,” said Compass agent Rick Ojeda, the exclusive sales partner for Teháma. “The natural beauty of the land here is unsurpassed, from the rolling hills and ocean vistas to the abundance of wildlife, and it is thoughtfully complemented with tireless attention to preserving and respecting the land. It’s a vision that began with an unwavering commitment to stewardship of the land.”

The ultra-low density community (85 percent of its nearly 2,000 acres preserved as open space) consists of only 90 homesites — 60 of which have already sold. Now, the first seven of Teháma’s final 30 homesites, ranging from 3.5 to 25 acres, are being released. These coveted properties offer a variety of living opportunities in either open meadows, elevated hillsides or wooded homesites with views of Point Lobos, Carmel Bay, Monterey Bay and the Santa Lucia Range.

A century ago, the seaside village of Carmel was founded as a haven for artists and writers who were drawn to the rugged natural beauty and pastoral calm of the Monterey Peninsula. And today, the same stands true. Replete with fairytale cottages and gnarled Cypress trees, nearby Carmel-by-the-Sea is beloved amongst Teháma residents for its art galleries, restaurants, shops and, of course, pristine beaches.

“Our goal with this land from the beginning was to do our best to keep it like it is,” said Eastwood, whose legacy of preservation in and around Carmel goes back more than 60 years.

“I have always said about this land, that it’s like a good movie script: it’s great; now let’s not screw it up. It’s been exciting to have others share in this vision over the years and join me in calling Teháma home.”

Clint Eastwood

Eastwood’s adoration of Carmel began in 1951 when he was drafted in the army and stationed at Fort Ord. He later filmed his directorial debut, Play Misty for Me, in the area, named his production company “Malpaso,” after a local creek and, from 1986 to 1988, served a term as mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea.

Eastwood has long
been a champion of preservation of environmentally sensitive locations. He
saved the historic Mission Ranch in Carmel from becoming condominiums in the
1980s. It was then that he first teamed up Alan Williams, of Carmel Development
Company, whose preservation, improvement and adaptive reuse of the 160-year-old
historic ranch gained international appreciation.  

Williams would go on
to design the Teháma Clubhouse and Fitness Center as well as all infrastructure
and sustainability initiatives for the Teháma community. From underground
utilities to inconspicuous parking garages and solar panels, every human
contribution at Teháma has been thoughtfully integrated to maintain the natural beauty
of the community.

“Our approach at
Teháma has always been about designing of the land, and not on it,” explained
Williams. “For example, we used indigenous Carmel stone to build the clubhouse
and fitness center, making it look like it’s always been a part of the land
here. It’s a spectacular setting  — overlooking the nearly 2,000 acres
preserved in open space at Tehama — for members to relax or dine on locally
sourced fare and enjoy the many fitness opportunities such as the pools or
tennis courts.”

Teháma has also been
a model for ecological preservation through its successful regeneration of a
variety of California native grasses and meadow flora. Additionally, an on-site
water source and state of the art filtration system affords Teháma residents a
reliable, long-term source of high-quality water. A state-of-the-art
reclamation plant treats the community’s wastewater to produce reclaimed water
which sustainably irrigates the Teháma Golf Club’s Jay
Morrish-designed golf course.

“At Teháma, we’ve
designed a self-sustaining community for generations to enjoy,” noted Williams.

Each just-released homesite was thoughtfully selected to integrate with the lay of the land and complement the incomparable character of the landscape. With multiple secured, gated entrances accessible from both Carmel and Monterey, peace of mind is ensured. The first seven of the final homesites at Teháma include:

The Hilltop – Homesite 10 | $2,500,000

24 Teháma |15.43-acres | 2.20-acre building envelope

The Promontory: Homesite 17 | $5,000,000

9 Alta Madera | 11-acres| 1.38-acre building envelope

The Summit: Homesite 25 | $6,250,000

38  Teháma |10.05-acre | 1.64-acre building envelope

The Rock: Homesite 29 | $3,200,000

34 Teháma | 5.01-acre homesite | 0.76-acre building envelope

The Rock: Homesite 29

The Forest: Homesite 38 | $1,800,000

20 Teháma |7-acre homesite | 1.56-acre building envelope

The Sanctuary: Homesite 39 |$1,500,000

21 Teháma | 13.16-acre Homesite | 1.04-acre building envelope

The Sanctuary: Homesite 39

The Reserve: Homesite 45 | $2,000,000

54 Marguerite |10.01-acre homesite | .68-acre building envelope

For more information about Teháma, visit tehamacarmel.com. Contact Rick Ojeda of Compass at 831.200.3756 to learn more about real estate, membership or to arrange a visit.

Compass SoCal February 2019 Real Estate Market Update

While
overall median home prices trended 5 percent lower in February year-over-year,
about half of communities saw increases and the other half saw declines. However,
most of the prices are still above January 2018 levels as pricing started
surging in February and posted a 13 percent jump compared to February 2017.
Malibu and surrounding areas continued to see the largest increases in median
prices, as the area saw a jump in sales of homes priced above $3 million.

Otherwise,
the number of homes sold in Los Angeles communities continued to trend lower
compared to last year with communities on the West Side posting the largest
declines. Current overall inventory levels are now at the lowest level in four
years. The number of homes available for sale also declined on an annual basis
after a short spike in inventory at the end of 2018. Again, larger declines in
for-sale inventory were seen in West Side communities, while communities in The
Valley and around the Greater Pasadena area generally had more availability
compared to last year.

After
a much slower pace of home sales during the winter months, days on market
improved again in February. Still, the pace of home sales generally slowed year-over-year
across Los Angeles communities, averaging about 57 days on market compared to
48 days last February.

As a result of some buyer resistance to purchase a home, more homes are selling below asking price compared to a year ago. Larger price reductions are seen in markets where buyers are more likely to be concerned with affordability, such as South LA, and areas where Chinese buyers were dominant in previous years, such as communities South of 210 and Eastern Cities.

Click here to see more Los Angeles region market statistics for February.

BEVERLY HILLS – HOLMBY HILLS


BRENTWOOD – SANTA MONICA – PACIFIC PALISADES


HOLLYWOOD HILLS


MALIBU BEACH COMMUNITIES


SILICON BEACH – MARINA AIRPORT


SUNSET EAST


WEST LA


WEST SIDE CENTRAL / MID-CITY


BALDWIN HILLS


SOUTH LA


EASTERN CITIES


FOOTHILL COMMUNITIES


GREATER PASADENA


SOUTH OF 210


EASTSIDE


NORTHEAST LA


DOWNTOWN LA


EAST VALLEY


NORTH VALLEY


WEST VALLEY


SOUTHBAY WEST

See more Los Angeles region statistics here.