841 Webster Returns
As a tipster notes, 841 Webster (which failed to sell at $989,000 despite four months on the market, a total of $310,000 in reductions, and advertising “Priced to Sell!”) has returned to the market as a rental. And according to craigslist, they’re looking for $4,950 a month. We’ll just let you run the numbers (and debate that little note of NOPA).
$4950 / 3br – Remodeled Victorian Flat…(alamo square / nopa) [craigslist]
What’s Moving (Or Not) And For How Much (Or Little): Withdrawn [SocketSite]
Betting On A Bidding War? (Once Again) [SocketSite]
To Rent Or To Buy, That Is The Question (That Only You Can Answer) [SocketSite]
And Like There’s Any Chance We Could Resist (700 Broderick) [SocketSite]

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Stu

    Yeah, that’s pretty close to the mortgage payment for that place. No thanks.
    I’ll wear my kevlar vest for $3000, though.

  2. Posted by Trip

    I went through this place. It could be very nice with a bit of work. But it is just too close to too many housing projects, and with the boom times gone and people now actually considering things like that, it is still priced too high. The owner paid $650k for it in early 2005, and it should be priced at about that level or a little less. With only a single full bath, this would only work for a small family or unmarried couple, but you can rent (or buy) a nicer place in a much nicer area for far less. I can’t imagine anyone paying nearly $5000/mo. to rent in this area.

  3. Posted by MattP

    The rental/purchase pricing is actually reasonably inline (a 16.6x multiple), and the Times calculator evidences that. Now whether they can actually get someone to pay $4950/month for it…

  4. Posted by sb

    “lease for 1-2 years max”
    The owner seems to think that housing bubble appreciation will return in 1 to two years? He sure is optimistic!

  5. Posted by Adam

    Hi MattP,
    I’m wondering how you have this rental rate formula, 16.6 x what number? What is the “Times calculator”?
    Just curious, as rental rates here are sort of a mystery to me.

  6. Posted by tipster

    The stories about skyrocketing rental rates all seem to have one element in common: they focus on the lower end of the market.
    Just to see if the upper end was having the same level of activity, I posted on Craigslist an ad for a nonexistent flat (2 bedrooms, 2 high end baths, living room, separate dining room, gourmet kitchen, parking, laundry, Pacific Heights) that would have run about $3600 last year. I listed it for $3900, about 8% higher than last year, and let the ad run for 48 hours. I got zero responses.
    Zero.

  7. Posted by curmudgeon

    We love tipster. And Craigslist. And not just for the sex ads.

  8. Posted by sleepiguy

    Just to counter that… I have a real apartment available in Pac Heights with pano views two bedrooms, one bath, no laundry and no parking that I posted on craigslist for 3000k. I got dozens of responses over one week and rented to the first person that saw it. Quite a bit more than the $2500 I was getting this spring.

  9. Posted by anono

    I assume your fake CL post had no photos and no address indicators like a street or corner. If so, no responses is no surprise. Any CL listing with no photos and no address indicators at all is sketchy and to be avoided.

  10. Posted by Spencer

    Below are the crime stats in the past 90 days within 1000 ft. of this rental property. This is right in the middle of one of the msot violent neighborhoods in SF.
    I honestly think they will have to bring this down to the $3000 level, at least, in order to rent it. I ahve some friends who live on the corner of Webster and Hayes, which is a little better, but still definitely crime and bullet ridden, and they pay $22000 for a 3bdroom victorian that is very similar to this one. They have been in it for a year. while the rent has gone up, i don’t think that much.
    Summary Report
    Offense Category Total Chart
    ASSAULT 18
    BURGLARY 9
    DRUG/NARCOTIC 10
    HOMICIDE 1
    LARCENY/THEFT 54
    ROBBERY 4
    VANDALISM 19
    VEHICLE THEFT 12
    Grand Total 127

  11. Posted by Trip

    I think we’re all basically on the same page here. You can get a 2BR 1 bath place in Pacific Heights with panoramic views for $3000 (I don’t think sleepiguy really is getting $3,000k). That is a desirable place in a high-demand location. And the owner of this 3 BR, 1 bath place surrounded by projects is asking $4950? Not gonna happen.
    The owner obviously thinks the market is going to leap up after the next year or two and he will get his $1M price. That’s not going to happen either. The smart move would be to drop the price another $300k-$350k and sell now. Otherwise, he’s just going to dump in about $4000/month in loan and property tax costs — $100k over two years — and at the end of all that this place will still not be a penny higher in value — and it may be down another 10-20%. Sometimes you just have to cut your losses.

  12. Posted by KK

    “We love tipster. And Craigslist. And not just for the sex ads.”
    And I’m sure Craig appreciates the bogus ads. Quit wasting people’s time to try and prove a point.

  13. Posted by Spencer

    Once again, I ahve a 2bdr 2ba apt in Pac Heights one block off Fillmore with parking and laundry. I got this place in apr 06 and am paying 2100/month.
    I can’t imagine going to the center of [Western Addition] and paying more than double for one more bedroom. This is really a ridiculous price.

  14. Posted by Dan

    $3000 is a bargain for a 2 bd 1 bath with a panoramic view in Pacific Heights. A friend paid $2500 for 1 1 bedroom view apt in Pac Heights last year. No wonder sleepiguy got dozens of responses and rented to the first person who saw the place.
    $4950 for the 3 bd 1 bath flat on Webster seems high, but the rent also includes a 650 sq foot cottage with a separate entrance. If someone ran their business there rather than paying to rent a separate 650 sq foot space, then the total rent would be (somewhat) more justifiable.

  15. Posted by ds

    google maps shows that location as about 2 blocks from the painted ladies of alamo square. wow…is that immediate vicinity that dangerous? only lived in SF for 2 years, so don’t know every neighborhood yet. then again, i live in the castro area and a car was broken into right outside my garage door over the weekend (not mine thankfully).

  16. Posted by pica1986

    I have a major gripe with these remodeled homes (looks like they did a nice job)- why on earth don’t they add another full bath during the upgrade? I would think that would make a big difference to a potential buyer who has a family or is planning on having a 3rd person living there.
    The rent they’re asking is about as unrealistic as their selling price. This area can be dodgy, but not on par with the certain parts of the Tenderloin or Hunters Point by any means. I’m also starting to wonder if there is any neighborhood left in this city where your car is safe when parked on the street overnight.
    I hope rents will stabilize soon, I feel very lucky to have found a nice apartment in 2005 at a reasonable rent. I think of all of the people who have been not only been priced out of buying in the city, now they’re getting priced out of renting here. It’s really a shame.

  17. Posted by MattP

    I’m wondering how you have this rental rate formula, 16.6 x what number? What is the “Times calculator”?
    One good way of looking at the price of a piece of real estate relative to its “value” is to compare the cost to purchase said real estate to the cost to rent said real estate (or something comparable). The idea is that because there’s no appreciation upside built into the rental cost (no equity being built), rental costs are closer to the “real” costs.
    A common way to compare these two costs is to take the ratio of the purchase cost compared to a year of renting the property. Typically, when things are inline, you’ll see something in the 15x range. Below that, the house is “undervalued”, and above that, the house is “overvalued” (of course this is all a bit fuzzy).
    You can think of this as being roughly analogous to the P/E ratio of a stock.
    re: the Times calculator, follow the “run the numbers” link in the original article — the Times put together a very useful calculator that lets you compare rent vs. buy options (taking into account a large number of factors).

  18. Posted by jummy

    where do you get the Times calculator?

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