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Is This Excelsior Home the Best Bernal Heights Alternative?

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When we heard a real estate agent call the Excelsior the "new Bernal Heights," we were a bit dubious. True, the neighborhood is next to 2014's hottest district, but that doesn't make it a clone. However, looking at the listing for 715 Amazon St. has us thinking that there's a lot to be said for being Bernal adjacent—and foremost among those things is the price. This nicely remodeled, 2,146-square-foot house is asking for $995,000. If it were located a bit to the northeast, we are guessing there would be seven digits in that price.

Whoever did this remodel has taste, style, and a really interesting art collection. The warm neutrals are classy and varied enough (ranging from white to buff to paper-bag brown with shots of red and dark blue-green accents) to keep it from being boring. We are guessing that the nice molding was there pre-remodel, and someone had the sense to play it up using color. All this is a lovely backdrop for a nice collection of midcentury furniture (not included with the house, of course, but fun to look at).

The square footage is respectable for the area. The fact that it has three levels (the lowest story has a third bedroom, a bathroom, and a separate entrance) is a bonus for homeowners who have a lot of guests or who are looking at a property with an eye to short-term rental possibilities—and these days, who isn't?

The good taste extends out to the yard, where a cool trellis provides privacy and shade and large stone pavers have a sophisticated aesthetic. True, it's a long walk to the restaurants and shops on Bernal's Cortland Avenue, but this house is just a block and a half away from John McLaren Park. If there really is a Bernal alternative, this is it.


· 715 Amazon St. [Redfin]