Thursday, April 26, 2007

Grand Sea Cliff Gate Edwardian

KB and I happened to be out on the Avenues a few days ago and we stopped by this open house on 31st Avenue. I wanted to see what a $1.158 million TIC looked like. First, the good news. The top floor unit is wonderfully spacious with 4 bedrooms and three baths. The layout flows nicely. One can easily imagine having the retired in-laws come and stay for extended periods of time without too much crush or fuss. Or visualize hosting a festive sit down dinner for numerous friends and relations. You know - living the way people live who have those things called houses.
Speaking of which, the bad news. I'm afraid living just outside the gates of Seacliff would make me feel somewhat barbaric by comparison. I pictured myself trudging to the California 1 bus stop each morning, crossing paths with members of the leisure class out walking their fluffy pedigrees before retiring back to their manses. And from 31st Avenue that bus ride would be an awfully long grumpy haul downtown and back every day.
More practically speaking, not a one of those many bathrooms has a Jacuzzi or soaker tub, which means after spending over a million bucks we'd need to invest another several thousand in renovations. I don't know about you, but for that much money I want a bathtub that I can fill up and have the water go higher than tops of my knees.
And somewhat oddly, there are still four front doors for the three units. The fourth door opens to a stairwell to nowhere, which is deeded to the top floor and could be, said the realtor "your wine cellar."
I asked the realtor if all gas, electrical and plumbing systems had been upgraded during the renovation. Having lived in a 1910 building for the past seven years I am no stranger to the mishaps that inevitably occur as a result of a hodgepodge of old, new and in-between infrastructure systems. (My favorite involved a gas leak that orginated from a ceiling lighting fixture. The gas line for the old pre-electricity lamp was still up there and live; some contractor had years back simply stuffed it with a wine cork.)
"No," he answered. In other words, if you buy into this building you get new granite counter tops but 1920s wiring and pipes.
That topped it. KB and I happily jaunted back to our little center city flat, where the voltage is low, the fittings are frail, the commuting is easy and our mortgage is circa 2000.


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