Open House Obsession: Clutter-Resistant Condos for the Relentless Minimalists
What: An alleged 2-bed, 1-bath unit asking $685K with HOAs of $389 a month.
What We Like: You won't need much furniture for this compact space, and what you do have will be highly edited. Along with the open and well-equipped kitchen, we like the frosted glass partition. There's an elevator– since the unit's on the 5th floor, definitely a plus, and it's a quick walk to Mid-Market.
Downside: The "2nd Bedroom" is actually the narrow space behind the frosted glass wall, better used as a home office. No parking.
Mark-Up: The current owner paid $645K in 2010.
631 Folsom Street 9A, SOMA (above)
What: A 2-bed, 2-bath 1-parking unit asking $998K with HOAs of $692 a month.
What We Like: On a high floor with decent, open views of downtown, there's a sleek open kitchen for hanging out with friends along with a sexy master bath and corner master bedroom. The immediate neighborhood is not especially interesting, but it's quick walk to the Financial District and Yerba Buena plus the Wharton and Stanford biz schools.
Downside: Stacked, automated parking scares us.
Mark-Up: Purchased new in 2009 for $825K.
What: A 2-bed, 2-bath, 1-parking unit asking $845K with HOAs of $735 a month.
What We Like: In the Watermark building at the foot of Bryant Street near The Embaracdero, the compact units in this building are well-detailed, and the public spaces– the lobby and hallways– are very nice as well. This unit faces the Post Modern low-rise Bay Village, but the pool deck and patio have a great view of the Bay Bridge. For now. Perfect for rabid basketball and baseball fans, it could also be a championship season moneymaker via AirBnB.
Downside, Maybe: By 2017, the Warriors waterfront stadium complex will open directly next door and across The Embarcadero on Pier 30. Designed by the Norwegian architectural firm Snôhetta and the global engineering firm AECOM, it will probably be glorious, but residents are looking at three years of construction around them. The new 14-story office/hotel complex serving the stadium will also block the view from the pool deck (below) currently overlooking a well-landscaped parking lot serving AT&T Park a few blocks away.
Mark-Up: Reduced in 11/2012 from $895K; purchased new in 2006 for $795K.