Author Topic: Belvedere couple buys and demolishes $4.2M+ home for view  (Read 6134 times)

Will

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Belvedere couple buys and demolishes $4.2M+ home for view
« on: June 28, 2012, 08:52:12 AM »
Belvedere residents Clark and Sharon Winslow live in a $19 million, 11,200 square foot house with a 60-foot pool.  Like almost all Belvedere homes, they had bay views, but theirs were partially blocked by a neighboring house.  The 4,836 square foot house next door had 5 bedrooms and 5.5 baths and was sold for $7 million back in 2004.  The previous owners first listed the home for $12.9 million in early 2009.  The price eventually dropped to $7.5 million in middle of 2011, when it was pulled from the market.  With no luck finding a new owner, the home went into foreclosure and was sold to the Winslows at an auction for $4.2 million.

Though the house was built around 1910 and was thought to be one of the original homes on Belvedere Island, it was not deemed to have retained enough of its original integrity to be eligible for registration on the California Register of Historic Resources.  Belvedere planning commission gave the green light and the demo has been cheered on by surrounding neighbors.  As the MarinIJ writes:

The demolition, which has been underway for several weeks, appears to be popular with neighbors. Several residents voiced their support at a Planning Commission meeting to consider a demolition permit.

It looks like the Winslows will now have one heck of a view and a fabulous yard to go with it.

Here is a link to the whole article:  http://blog.sfgate.com/ontheblock/2012/06/27/belvedere-couple-buys-and-demolishes-4-2m-home-for-view/

arebelspy

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Re: Belvedere couple buys and demolishes $4.2M+ home for view
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2012, 11:12:05 AM »
That's a great use of 4MM.
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Mrs MM

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Re: Belvedere couple buys and demolishes $4.2M+ home for view
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2012, 01:26:26 PM »
Wow.  This makes me queasy.  Maybe if they turn it into a public park it will be worthwhile...

Daley

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Re: Belvedere couple buys and demolishes $4.2M+ home for view
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2012, 01:59:17 PM »
Maybe if they turn it into a public park it will be worthwhile...

In that neighborhood? Surely you jest! Why those despicable urchins would drive down property values and spoil the scenic view of the peaceful ocean with their moving around and dreadful noisy outbursts of boisterous play! That's MAD TALK, woman!

velocistar237

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Re: Belvedere couple buys and demolishes $4.2M+ home for view
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2012, 02:11:15 PM »
Insanely rich people problems.

keith

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Re: Belvedere couple buys and demolishes $4.2M+ home for view
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2012, 08:06:55 PM »

sideways8

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Re: Belvedere couple buys and demolishes $4.2M+ home for view
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2012, 11:06:00 AM »

Maybe if they turn it into a public park it will be worthwhile...

In that neighborhood? Surely you jest! Why those despicable urchins would drive down property values and spoil the scenic view of the peaceful ocean with their moving around and dreadful noisy outbursts of boisterous play! That's MAD TALK, woman!

Hahaha you took the words right out of my mouth!! Bah! Public park! We don't need any commoners blemishing our neighborhood!

kaeldra

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Re: Belvedere couple buys and demolishes $4.2M+ home for view
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2012, 12:26:22 AM »
Yeah, I grew up in Marin County, and Belvedere's pretty gross. Very few trees since no one can block anyone else's view. Fun to drive around and check out the palatial mansions though! I don't understand how people can live in such big houses.

Guitarist

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Re: Belvedere couple buys and demolishes $4.2M+ home for view
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2012, 11:00:48 AM »
I don't call what they do living.

kolorado

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Re: Belvedere couple buys and demolishes $4.2M+ home for view
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2012, 08:39:37 AM »
I wonder what the true economic impact is with something like this. I rarely try to criticize how the rich spend their money because as long as they keep spending it it will trickle down to our level somehow.
In this example, how many people did they employ in the real estate transaction, the demolition process, the salvage workers, the waste processing workers? Wouldn't the increased open space make all the neighboring home values go up?
It may not be feeding hungry children but is it a bad economic decision for anyone but themselves? And is anything really a bad economic decision for those who can afford to blow millions like that? Probably the same as any of us buying a fancy outfit and decorative pair of shoes for just one event. It doesn't really affect the whole of our finances.

arebelspy

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Re: Belvedere couple buys and demolishes $4.2M+ home for view
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2012, 11:55:51 AM »
I think most of us kolorado are looking at what they could have done with that money, rather than any economic sense it may make for them or others.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
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Gerard

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Re: Belvedere couple buys and demolishes $4.2M+ home for view
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2012, 04:36:03 PM »
Blame the Duchess of Devonshire for setting a precedent:

http://www.epinions.com/review/Chatsworth_House_and_Estate_Derbyshire_United_Kingdom_epi/content_463945436804?sb=1

"The Dukes also hired garden designer "Capability" Brown [...]
Brown had such a perfectionist eye he even shifted the course of the river and moved the village of Edensor out of sight from the main house to where it stands today."

kolorado

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Re: Belvedere couple buys and demolishes $4.2M+ home for view
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2012, 07:56:52 PM »
I think most of us kolorado are looking at what they could have done with that money, rather than any economic sense it may make for them or others.

Huh? Who said any such thing? Now you can say that the story makes you think of what you could have done with the money. Is that what you really mean?
Personally, I just thought it might be interesting to get some real thoughts on the possible local economic impacts of such a blatant display of frivolity. I don't know any rich people and I'd love to learn more about how and why they make their money decisions. It seems to me that the "improvements" should actually pay off on the other property owned.
Just because the numbers are in the millions doesn't mean that the money spent wasn't a reasonable amount to improve the first property. The fact that millionaires aren't afraid to spend like that is actually inspiring to me and makes me want to understand why. Simply writing an article to criticize the rich isn't productive. Finding out why they thought it was a good investment is productive.
Try comparing the numbers/percents to a more middle class home. Say you live in a home valued at $200K that has a partial view of somewhere amazing but the blockage is a not so attractive cottage that no one lives in. If it weren't for that stupid abandoned cottage blocking your view, you'd have the complete sanctuary in your home and yard that you've always aimed for. You've put a lot of time and love into making your home your forever dream home. You notice one day that the cottage lot is for sale. You become very concerned that someone could snatch up that lot with the fantastic view, demolish the cottage and build something that entirely blocks your view. With the time and money you've already invested in your dream home, you decide that buying the cottage lot for $40K is worth not running the risk of losing what you've already built. After all, with the view the lot has, the land value alone is recoverable if need be. It's only a small step from there to decide to remove the unused obstruction. You can do that for $5K. That doesn't sound crazy to me. Many folks would spend $45K on home additions and improvements on a $200K house and not be written up online for public scorn.

arebelspy

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Re: Belvedere couple buys and demolishes $4.2M+ home for view
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2012, 09:04:19 PM »
I think most of us kolorado are looking at what they could have done with that money, rather than any economic sense it may make for them or others.

Huh? Who said any such thing? Now you can say that the story makes you think of what you could have done with the money. Is that what you really mean?

No.  That's not what I really mean.  I mean what I said.

I think most people reading that article are looking at what that 4MM could have done instead.

Thus my first comment in the thread about it being a great use of 4MM (sarcastic) and Mrs. MM's comment about it making her queasy.

I don't think that was because Mrs. MM was so jealous over how much money they had it made her sick, I think it was the spending on something like that when it could have been put to other uses.  Thus, like I said, I think people look at what could be done with that money (charity-wise, FI-wise, etc.), rather than some positive economic impact tearing down a mansion may have.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

velocistar237

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Re: Belvedere couple buys and demolishes $4.2M+ home for view
« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2012, 06:49:58 AM »
That was a waste of money, no matter how you look at it. To see anything positive in this is to fall for the broken window fallacy.

grantmeaname

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Re: Belvedere couple buys and demolishes $4.2M+ home for view
« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2012, 09:23:47 AM »
Say you live in a home valued at $200K that has a partial view of somewhere amazing but the blockage is a not so attractive cottage that no one lives in.
Sure, I'll bite. The analogy is okay, except that the not-so-attractive cottage in this case is a beautiful and historically significant century-old building in incredible condition. Your numbers are also problematic because the $19 million figure is an optimistic one (Zillow suggests $12M may be more accurate, but the house was valued at $6.2M mere days before it was purchased by the Winslows) and the $4 million figure for the historic property a pessimistic one, given that it was sold at a foreclosure auction after being listed at $7.5-8.2M. Really, we should probably use $7M and $12M as middle ground, which means a $116k cottage purchase plus demolition costs.
Quote
If it weren't for that stupid abandoned cottage blocking your view, you'd have the complete sanctuary in your home and yard that you've always aimed for.
The Winslows moved into the house on 12/29/2008, according to the Marin County recorder. That means they had been living in the house, and the community, for less than 2.5 years when they decided to bulldoze a historically-significant mansion more than a century old. This home is not their life's sanctuary, it's the latest stop on a decades-long spending spree. Moreover, the attitude of not being satisfied with a half acre on the bay in one of the most expensive places on earth because there's not enough room to garden is truly disgusting. Not 'not for me', but actually morally repugnant.

tooqk4u22

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Re: Belvedere couple buys and demolishes $4.2M+ home for view
« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2012, 10:01:10 AM »
You'll see this time and again and I am sure there will be a number of Facebook people doing the same soon, if not already. 

Stupid people parting with money in stupid ways is the natural redistribution of wealth - I would rather them blow it than sit on it.  Are there better ways, absolutely.