Still no sign of a housing slump in rarified Mill Valley. When we showed up at 445 Throckmorton Avenue for the brokers' open house—and free lunch—the place was a madhouse, with enough real estate agents' BMWs hogging the on-street parking spaces to persuade us that we're the only ones who think the $3,489,000 asking price is kind of ballsy.
The first thing we noticed: A piano player had been hired to entertain the brokers. The second thing we noticed: The shrimp platter had already been decimated.
This one-of-a-kind vintage house falls into the same category as such recent listings as 255 Hillside (an old Tudor with commanding views of San Francisco that sold for $3,450,000 in November) and 35 Sycamore (a sprawling Craftsman in Mill Valley's most kid-friendly neighborhood that sold for $3,100,000 last summer).
Pros: Location, location, location. It doesn't get any better than this sunny corner lot if you want the full-on Mayberry experience of daily walks to town, school, the park and the library. Also, the house has five real bedrooms (and by real, we mean we saw an honest-to-God closet with a door and everything in every single one of them).
Cons: This is a matter of taste. The traditional center hall colonial layout and the floral wallpaper in the foyer scream Connecticut and may not appeal to the knock-down-the-walls-so-we-can-live-in-one-room-with-toddlers crowd. A kitchen renovation is in this house's near future.
Due diligence: The Victorian painted lady half a block away at 418 Throckmorton—with a legal second unit—sold for $3,250,000 in April 2007 after an extensive upscale renovation.