October 27, 2006
888 Seventh Street: BMR Deadline (11/17/06)
While the sales office for market rate condominiums at 888 Seventh Street is not scheduled to open its doors until spring 2007, applications for the Below Market Rate (BMR) units are due by November 17, 2006.
First Published: October 27, 2006 7:59 AM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
There will be 174 BMR units at 888 7th. One wonders if all the developers pooled their BMRs into this one project.
The whole BMR thing in SF seems under-reported. There's little information about available units. The Mayor's office website has minimal information. This is the largest project I've heard of.
There was an interesting discussion on Craigslist about the demographics of BMR lottery winners.
Posted by: cynner at October 29, 2006 8:53 PM
Are there resale restrictions on all BMR's now? I knew several young, upwardly mobile friends who purchased BMR's in the Valencia Street Salvation Army conversion several years back. They were able to sell at full market something like five years after buying...and they made out like bandits. That seemed to me like the most ineffective subsidy possible. If the BMR's are permanently affordable through resale restrictions it's a different story, but I do wonder who's "winning" with these units.
Posted by: curmudgeon at October 30, 2006 8:34 AM
BMR's are the same sort of politically correct disaster as rent control.
Well-intentioned politicos (along with lunatics like Chris Daly) harbor the delusional belief that this approach actually solves something. Of course it doesn't. It merely passes the burden of expense onto people who can't really afford it, either.
I have friends with household incomes well over $200K paying $800 a month for a 3 bedroom apartment in Dolores Hts. That's rent control at work for you.
BMR is a travesty.
Posted by: amused at October 30, 2006 9:05 AM
How can that be? I thought you had to earn below a certain amount to qualify, for example $63,500 (moderate in my opinion) for an individual. I also thought you could only resell at BMR. At least that's what the rules say now. How are these people with high incomes getting in and how are people re-selling at market rate? Please tell me.
Posted by: Anonymous at October 30, 2006 9:54 AM
As I said, I hope that they all have permanent resale restrictions now. I was simply wondering.
I was citing just one project from several years ago, in which the resale restrictions sunsetted after a certain point, resulting in windfalls to the lucky lottery winners. And the people who got in weren't high income...but they weren't the sort of working class folks that one imagines these program are designed for. My friends were late 20's early 30ish well educated single folks who were working in moderately paying fields near the beginning of their careers, but they had a lot of income growth potential in front of them. They were smart enough to get on the list, and were able to sell and parlay their small investment into much nicer places.
That's my one first hand experience with BMR for sale units, and I've always wondered if it was isolated, or if the whole system has these kind of flaws. It sounds like it might have been fixed.
Posted by: curmudgeon at October 30, 2006 3:47 PM
BMR units should have restrictions on title so that you can only sell it to another BMR buyer (unless its different in parts of SF). You can still profit from selling a BMR unit but not anything near market rate. I know of someone who was trying to sell her house in SF and found out that her home was a BMR home. It got really ugly because there was no restrictions on the title when she bought (at market rate) but is now forced to sell it at a BMR price. I don't really know the details other than that but I think she tried to sue as many people as possible for good reason.
Curmudgeon, your friend may have been selling at a time when title companies were not doing a good job of putting these restrictions on the title. Who knows...
Posted by: Anonymous at October 30, 2006 9:34 PM
The fact remains that you cannot ignore the will of the market. Sunsetting BMRs results in completely unfair gains. Sustaining BMRs results in a ghettoized homeowning experience. It's a sloppy mess, because it's trying to contain forces beyond sustainable political control.
Political correctness makes for good copy, but it doesn't work. The market tends to be Darwinian, but it functions beautifully. Requiring loads of BMRs of developers doesn't result in a magical inventory of low-income housing. It comes out of the hides of the market rate buyers (cost, quality, finishes, public space, design all suffer). Very SF, though: punish those who strive and achieve for the sake of those who know how to work the system.
I hope we eliminate Chris Daly on November 7 in favor of someone who's still a committed progressive, but not a shrieking freakshow to the political left of Che Guevara.
Posted by: amused at October 31, 2006 8:28 AM
I just purchased a BMR unit at 888 Seventh Street. The unit is restricted for 50 years, meaning that if I want to resell the unit before 50 years, I have to sell it through the Mayor's Office of Housing to someone who qualifies under the BMR program. Even if I want to rent the unit, I have rent it to someone who qualifies as low income.
I don't expect to make much of a profit once I sell the unit. However, it's better than renting.
Posted by: Miss Koryo at July 16, 2007 10:10 PM
how can i get a bmr application
Posted by: Renata waller at September 10, 2007 4:26 PM
The potential resale value of your BMR unit is secondary to the significant tax benefits you'll receive as a home owner. Plus, your house payment, which may be a stretch at first for BMR owners, will slowly but surely become very reasonable. It's well worth the short term sacrifice, so congratulations!
Posted by: Dakota at November 13, 2007 9:32 AM