195 Ney
After a month on the market, the asking price for 195 Ney Street was reduced by $96,000 (12.1%) and an offer date was set for two weeks later at noon. Unfortunately (for the sellers) that date was four months ago. And unfortunately (for the agent) the listing still notes the old offer date (which might not be sending exactly the right message).
Then again, it might be fortunate for an interested buyer as we’re getting the feeling that they might just be willing to negotiate.
UPDATE: And no, “willing to” and “happy to” are hardly synonymous: “…this place last sold in April of ’06 for $680K.”
∙ Listing: 195 Ney Street (3/2) – $699,000 [MLS]

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by james

    that is horrible. when did anyone ever think a house in that neighborhood was worth more than my annual salary? jesus!

  2. Posted by Craig

    I think the reason this place isn’t selling is the fact that bullet-proof jackets and a pair of man-eating wolverines are not included with the sale.
    What was this agent thinking?

  3. Posted by anom

    What would this dump rent for?

  4. Posted by Jimmy (Bitter Renter)

    Didn’t you read the Chronicle this morning? Prices are up 8.9% in SF. I’m thinking the sellers should wake up to the new reality and raise their asking price to $800k. That’ll be sure to re-invigorate the bidding wars. Or maybe they should hang on until spring and then relist it for even more.

  5. Posted by Dan

    Location is not that bad– just 6 blocks to Glen Park BART. And with enough effort and resources, it could be a nice house.
    However, from the description, the place is tenant occupied. If the owner could pay the tenants to leave, fix the place up, and get a more active realtor, this place would sell.

  6. Posted by Dude

    “when did anyone ever think a house in that neighborhood was worth more than my annual salary?”
    Well, quite obviously many people thought that for the past few years. That’s why this place last sold in April of ’06 for $680K.
    To answer anom @ 3:27PM, these places usually rent for $2,000 to $2,500 per month depending on location and how nice they are.

  7. Posted by Anna

    Might be rented to family. From the listing: “Property to be vacant at COE”
    Good size, doesn’t look like a dump and in-law down could provide some income. Too close to the freeway for me.

  8. Posted by anon

    Its right next to the freeway! Oh, but I forgot, you get a “world class” San Francisco address. Give me a break. I could take that $650,000 and buy a something truly amazing in almost any other city in America, but since this is San Francisco, I guess this is the price you have to pay to live in a bad hood, overlooking a freeway, in a fog belt. Whatever..

  9. Posted by Jimmy (Bitter Renter)

    @anon 4:09 Call the waaaambulance… then don’t buy it already! (Clearly the world agrees with you because its still sitting there on the market).

  10. Posted by ex SF-er

    I’ll take it… but only if I get the yellow truck with the topper… 🙂
    Seriously, I wonder why the people selling these places don’t take effort to get a great picture.
    How often do we see horrible pics?
    Like the other day with the mattress lying on the floor… classy. Go pick up the mattress for the bedroom picture!
    likewise, if there is an especially heinous vehicle in the way, come back later!

  11. Posted by anon

    Let me explain. For those of us, like myself, who bought before 2001, I just cannot but shake my head at this insanity. Even if this were $100,000 I would not be interested. We may all try to convince ourselves that living next to a freeway is desirable (Hello 1RH), but deep down you know it is not a good location. What is so San Francisco about fumes and car noise? What a place to invite your pals from Chicago, NYC, or Paris to come and spend time with you in your new San Francisco pad, as you know they will be truly jealous of your good fortune.

  12. Posted by Dan

    There have been other houses on Socketsite that were right on the freeway, but this one is a little farther away. From this house, it is one full block down Congdon to Trumbull, and then the freeway is on the other side of both Trumbull and Alemany. Not quite the same as the houses with the freeway right in the backyard.

  13. Posted by Spencer

    i agree with craig. Kevlar and a pitbull might be necessary here.

  14. Posted by Dan

    Here are the crime stats within 1000 yards of 195 Ney, in the last 90 days:
    Offense Category Total Chart
    Grand Total 24
    Here is the crime report within 1000 feet of Sacramento and Fillmore Sts, in Spencer’s ‘hood, Pac Heights:
    Grand Total 72
    As you can see, in the last 90 days, there were three times as many crimes, and far more violent crime, in Pac Heights than near this home in the Excelsior.
    Spencer, you might want to save that Kevlar vest for when you go *north* of California St.

  15. Posted by diamond

    Why the Snobbery? I don’t see anything wrong with this place.

  16. Posted by Dan

    Oh, in my post above, there was a typo– the crime stats are for within 1000 feet, for both locations.

  17. Posted by movingback

    Corner lots are not so great in a buyer’s market. Overlooking the freeway is never good in a buyer’s market. Questionable neighborhood is rarely good in a buyer’s market.
    Obviously, they need an agent with a pulse – someone that could at least take the offer date (past) out of the MLS comments.

  18. Posted by movingback

    Hello! The original offer date was in July! Is the agent even still alive?

  19. Posted by DerrySF

    Interesting crime stats, but it seems probable to me that people in an affluent neighborhood are much more likely to report crimes than are those who live in an area in which such occurrences are perhaps less of a surprise. Also, the population/traffic density of Sac @ Fillmore is probably what, 20 times that of this Ney Street area…?

  20. Posted by Jimmy

    Great starter home in the city for someone who is probably out working for a living right now and doesn’t have the time or interest in reading the comments on a website.
    Just like 99.9% of the homeowners in this city, they won’t read your comments and as a result will have zero influence on their decision.
    Let’s chalk the fact that it hasn’t moved to a bad agent. Not surprising when anyone who can fog a mirror can get a real estate licence in this state.

  21. Posted by rg

    anon at November 29, 2007 4:30 PM –
    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for your comment! I was starting to think that every homeowner “lucky” enough to buy before this insanity was standing around with their lips tightly sealed and a “What insanity?” look on their face. “Everything is fine here. I paid $300k 6 years ago. My house is now worth $1.3 million. That’s normal. Perfectly normal. Nothing to see here. UP, UP, UP! Hurray SF! My house is NOW worth… wait another 3 seconds… $1.4 million!”
    Anon also brings up a great point – THIS listing is not really San Francisco. Certainly not the SF envisioned when people dream of living in SF! I think that 80% of the listings out there are using a SF “address” to market/justify a high price. Go anywhere in the world and people will think of you as a rich-San Franciscan living in one of those big, fancy Victorians (like in Mrs. Doubtfire! on a steep hill!). Boy would everyone laugh to hear that all your hard-earned money from that big, fancy office job bought you THIS.
    WHY o’ WHY are sellers who bought at the CONFIRMED “height of the market” still trying to resell for more than they paid then??? Everyone now agrees that prices were, and still are, over-inflated. I know, I know, it’s a hard thing to accept – you made a mistake. But, “height of the market” and “over-priced” means that YOUR HOUSE IS NOW WORTH LESS THAN YOU PAID FOR IT IN ’06. Sorry to break it to you, now let me guide you to the light…

  22. Posted by Zig

    My brother grew up right down the street, my grandparents lived near by and I have a cousin in that hood too
    I am not sure if I should be offended at the comments here or just laugh at how some of you are truly elitists
    This comment is independent of the price, location etc.
    Its not a white area, yes. Apparently that is the end of the story for some of you. Its a fairly decent and solidly working class hood, and yes non white area

  23. Posted by Dan

    “THIS listing is not really San Francisco. Certainly not the SF envisioned when people dream of living in SF!”
    From the pic, this is a Victorian house in a row of Victorian houses, on a bit of a hill. That is real San Francisco. It is certainly closer to what people envision as San Francisco housing than the boxy condos of South Beach. And it is certainly closer to how most San Franciscans live than the mansions of Pacific Heights.

  24. Posted by movingback

    rg – in some areas of SF, houses are worth less than what some would have bought them for in ’06. But not all areas. The problem I see with sellers, agents in SF is there is a ‘state of denial’ that the market has slowed, and/or shifted over the past several months. It’s all about pricing now. If people would price property reasonably from the beginning, and not based on what it should have been priced at 6 months ago, not to mention over a year ago, then it might shock them to see it get sold rather quickly. It’s been happening in other parts of the country for some time now. Everyone here stands around scratching their heads going … ‘but the price per square foot is less than $700’ … just won’t fly in this market in many neighborhoods, on many properties.

  25. Posted by anonon

    I agree with R.G., it may have a San Francisco address, but this is NOT San Francisco. Try this test, your friends come from Boston (as mine did recently) and they want walk around some fun San Francisco neighborhoods, is THIS the part of town you are going to take them to? As far as I am concerned, this area has more in common with Daly City than San Francisco. People, we are going back to a market where things like location, safety, views and neighborhood are going to be taken into account by buyers. Who would have thought?!!!

  26. Posted by james

    what would you pay for this place back in 1997? that’s where i think the nationwide market is headed. incidentily, i think we only need as many realtors, brokers, mortgage brokers (if any) and appraisers as we had back then too. better dust off the resumes.

  27. Posted by Sabrina

    It’s houses (and prices) like this that made me move to Chicago. It became laughable.
    I won’t tell you what you can get in Chicago for that same price.
    The sad thing is – is that they’re STILL trying to get this same laughable price. And maybe someone will buy it for a bit less, say, $599,000, and think they got a “deal.”

  28. Posted by anon

    I won’t tell you what you can get in Chicago for that same price.
    And I won’t tell you what a job at my firm pays here compares to what it pays in Chicago…

  29. Posted by diemos

    “And I won’t tell you what a job at my firm pays here compares to what it pays in Chicago…”
    Oh please, do tell.

  30. Posted by Dan

    “Try this test, your friends come from Boston (as mine did recently)…”
    Where the tourists go is *not* my test of which neighborhood I want to live in.

  31. Posted by zig

    yes “real” San Francisco is based on what a transplant’s friend from Boston thinks

  32. Posted by anon

    diemos – starting salary for my firm here is 73.6% higher than Chicago, because we’ve had a difficult time finding talent here.

  33. Posted by anonandon

    My firm only pays 15% more here than Chicago. (Architecture) Sabrina, I think Chicago is an amazing city btw, and San Francisco could learn a lot from how that city is taken care of. It has America’s most interesting skyline, and perhaps the cleanest, most enjoyable downtown I have ever spent time in.

  34. Posted by anon

    One more quick thing to diemos and Sabrina – I will tell you one thing you won’t get from paying twice as much (or more) for housing here compared to Chicago – six months of freezing, miserable weather…different priorities for different people. For me, I would easily pay five times as much for a similar house here, just to not deal with Great Lakes weather.

  35. Posted by Craig

    Personally, I make app 80-100% more here than I would in a midwestern city such as Chicago. (Note: I work in a law firm and am originally from the midwest). It makes far more sense to live here (financially) than elsewhere. This also holds true if you work in either tech or biotech. These type of jobs exist primarily in clusters, of which SF is one and Chicago is not.

  36. Posted by movingback

    I love how Sabrina picked up and moved to Chicago because of the ‘laughable’ circumstance surrounding housing here in San Francisco – yet she obviously continues to read about San Francisco Real Estate on these local blogs. Hmmmm, I wonder who misses San Francisco?
    I agree with Anon – there is no amount of money that would entice me to move from San Francisco to Chicago – the heat and humidity in the summer, frigid cold and snow in the winter – yes, Chicago is a very nice city, but ‘it ain’t San Francisco’!
    To quote some dear friends that recently moved to Chicago from Miami – ‘this is a lovely city – but the weather sucks’!

  37. Posted by Julia

    I thought only Los Angelenos thought that urban life was based on “sunny days” and a mild climate. I wouldn’t mind a little snow now and then and some warm summer evenings as well. If I wanted nice weather, I would move to San Diego. San Francisco was not built because of a good climate, but because of gold and an amazing natural port. Do you think people choose Paris or NYC because of the weather? I woudn’t mind a weekend Christmas shopping on Michigan Avenue just about now.

  38. Posted by Sabrina

    In Chicago, for that price (if it sells for $699,000) you could buy a nice single family home in Lakeview (wouldn’t be the biggest home on the block, but it would be nice. And that’s a great neighborhood for restaurants and cafes.)
    Also could live in Bucktown and Wicker Park (both artist type neighborhoods.)
    You might be able to get a SFH in Lincoln Park for that price, but it would be small and need work. But it might be possible. That’s a “prime” area.
    I lived in San Francisco for 7 years and wore a winter coat in August (yes, my wool, long winter dress coat) three of those years. Love that weather!
    I also thought the winters were so much colder there. The single pane windows are a joke when it is 37 degrees out at night (yes- IN the city.) San Francisco was the first city in which I had to buy a down comforter and sleep with socks on (in the lovely neighborhood of Lake Street in the Inner Richmond. Which WAS lovely- just fogged in for three months continuously in the summer.)
    I continue to read the San Francisco housing blogs because I will buy there when prices fall 50% (not in the city- but in the nicer – and warmer- surrounding areas like wine country and parts of the east bay.)
    Heck, if you’re going to buy this house in this kind of condition and neighborhood, why not buy in Vallejo in the Vistas (a very nice neighborhood) for 60% less (and it will go cheaper there as the bust continues.)
    Oh- but you’re not in the city then. I know.
    And as far as salaries are concerned, in some professions I’m sure you do make more in the Bay Area. But in otheres, you don’t. I have lawyer friends who make $160k in SF, NY or Chicago. Same salary. Same bonuses. But Chicago housing prices are half as much as either of those cities (even to rent.) You’re far “richer” financially in Chicago.
    I’m able to save far more money in Chicago than I ever did in San Francisco. People in Chicago can save in their 401ks and for college for their kids because they don’t have the high mortgage payment.
    And yes- there are the gloomy winters. January and February stink.
    By the way- it’s not 6 months of miserable weather. October is lovely. Leaves turning colors. Crisp fall days.
    We turn colder in November. We occasionally get snow in November- but it’s not common. Even December isn’t usually that cold. We have a white Christmas only about 20% of the time- going back over 100 years.
    When people think of bad Chicago weather- they think of January and February. It’s just gray all the time. That is true.
    We have two to three months of “bad” weather (but usually March isn’t too bad.)

  39. Posted by sanfrantim

    You are most welcome here, or on any SF RE blog, as far as I am concerned. I enjoy reading the perspectives of those from other parts of the country. And you seem to be very informed about the Chicago RE market.
    Incidentally, are you the “Sabrina” that operates the Chicago RE blog, http://www.cribchatter.com ?
    There is no arguing with the fact that Chicago is damn cold in the winter, and parts of SF are foggy and chilly much of the year. Chicago has a great downtown, shopping, fine museums, and fine restaurants. San Francisco is, well, San Francisco. In my opinion, both are great cities and fine places to live for those who choose them.
    As for comparative real estate, sure, the median price for a home in the Chicago area is about 1/3 what it is in San Francisco. But this does not mean Chicago is less impacted by the ‘housing bubble’ than is SF. I note from ‘Sabrina’s’ Chicago real estate blog, that October sales volume in Chicago is way down (27%) YOY but median price is slightly up — just like San Francisco.
    So far, foreclosures appear to be a more severe problem in Chicago, than in SF. In Chicago, “Sabrina” writes, “foreclosures are rampant in the south side of Chicago,” “have taken off in several downtown high rises,” and are beginning to “creep” even into the more exclusive neighborhoods, such as “Lincoln Park and Lakeview.”
    It is not unreasonable to believe in the long run that SF homes will hold their value as well, or better, than Chicago homes will.

  40. Posted by diemos

    Chicago is on my shortlist for places to retire. Vibrant city, affordable prices, although I suspect I would be hibernating in January and February.

  41. Posted by sanfrantim

    “I continue to read the San Francisco housing blogs because I will buy there when prices fall 50% (not in the city- but in the nicer – and warmer- surrounding areas like wine country and parts of the east bay.)”
    Talk to me, Sabrina. I love Sonoma County, especially the Russian River area. Prices there really have come down, and will probably go down further – though unlikely to drop by 50%. Now, or in the near term, is a great time to buy in Sonoma. Lots of deals and desparate would-be sellers. I bought a second home there in early 2005 – probably near the top of the market (gulp) — but, you know what, I don’t really care because I love the area and plan on holding the house for a long time.

  42. Posted by anon

    Chicago is certainly a nice city, and when I referred to the weather here, it had nothing to do with “warm” weather. I like the moderate weather that we ALWAYS have. It’s never hot. It’s never cold. I haven’t ever had air conditioning here and have never wanted it. I haven’t used a heater in at least three years. I can walk outside in the morning any day of the year in my jacket and not feel hot or cold – just right. Chicago is a great city, but I’m just not a “freeze for two months, be cold for two months, be just right for two months, roast alive and be covered in sweat from humidity for two months, etc” kind of guy. Coastal Mediterranean climate – that’s where it’s at. Maybe I’ll retire to Barcelona.

  43. Posted by movingback

    I have spent a winter in Chicago – there is no way that 37 degrees socked in by fog in the Inner Richmond feels like a 22 degrees blinding snowstorm with 30 mph wind gusts and a wind chill of -30 degrees!
    I am not saying there is anything wrong with Chicago – it is a lovely city – but 6 years ago we moved from the Bay Area to the East Coast – built a big new house – saved money – sold that big new house and built a bigger one – but we were miserable. Hated the weather extremes, shoveling snow, etc. We make plenty of money to live wherever we want – we choose San Francisco, and were happy to get back a few months ago. It could not happen fast enough.
    Your dream of buying in Wine Country or the East Bay when prices have declined 50% could be just around the corner – as you well know those areas have been harder hit than most of the neighborhoods in San Francisco.
    Anyway, to each his own!

  44. Posted by kaya

    Dan and Zig, I can’t agree with you more. Some of the posters on here are what make me wonder if I should leave SF.
    Sabrina, the truth is that SF is much more expensive than Chicago because it’s more geographically limited, but also because people do make more money here. The price reflects the simple economic facts. So while you laugh at what people pay here, it’s what people are/were willing to pay. I love Chi, it’s a great city and there are indeed a lot of lessons I wish we’d take from there. However, I’d still rather live here than there and would stay here even if my paycheck was the same in both places (which I assure you it wouldn’t be).
    And about the weather: I think it’s our saving grace. If SF had the same weather as Mill Valley or Palo Alto, I can’t imagine what the prices would be like. I think us poor folk who don’t scoff at neighborhoods that aren’t Pacific Whites have to thank our lucky stars the weather helps us to afford to stay here.
    Jimmy @ 4:16PM, that really made me laugh.

  45. Posted by Spencer

    “This also holds true if you work in either tech or biotech. These type of jobs exist primarily in clusters, of which SF is one and Chicago is not.”
    Dan I work in biotech and don’t really agree with this. while there are more options here than in Chicago for people with my skillset, they are actually willing to pay me as much or more in palces like Chicago, RTP and San Diego because they don’t have the talent pool. A lot of us scientists and biotech professioonals could make as much or more elsewhere. But i do agree that most of the interesting work is here or boston.
    I personally live here for the outdoors and sporting activities.

  46. Posted by rg

    anonandon – I’m in architecture as well, and I know of NO difference between pay in Chicago firms and SF. People that I know working in LA, NYC, Boston, Seattle and SF all make within 5-8k of one another. The only downside that I see about less expensive cities like Chicago is that I often base my fees on a % of the total construction cost. In SF, contractors are outrageously more expensive than other places. In Chicago, a remodel may cost the homeowner $100k, my 15% fee = $15k. In SF, that same remodel will cost $300k, my 15% fee = $45k.
    Craig – please talk further about your law firm experience. My best friend is a lawyer in Chicago and I know how much she is paid. From what I have heard of starting pay, she got exactly what first year lawyers get in SF (actually $3k more). Especially now, she is the highest paid friend I have! When you put that into perspective with real estate prices in Chicago, she is raking in the dough, has a gorgeous condo for 1/4 what it would cost in SF, in a great neighborhood, and has plenty of $ to enjoy life. Come to think about it, her 2b/2b 1400s.f. condo cost her exactly 2X her annual salary! And she has a husband with an equal salary! She would never be complaining about real estate on a website. In fact, I don’t even think she knows that real estate is something you should spend time THINKING about. Sh*t, I’m moving to Chicago…
    james @ 9:03AM – I’m right there with you! 1997 prices are just about what I see when I judge the “value” of most real estate these days. Maybe 1998.

  47. Posted by anon

    I work at a law firm here, specializing in patent work with tech and biotech startups. We have offices in all of the cities you mentioned (LA, NYC, Boston, Seattle, and SF). Like MANY employers, our starting pay is primarily based on cost of living data provided by the government – and secondarily based on how hard it is for us to attract talent in a specific area. For 2007, the SF CSA COLA is the highest in the nation, roughly 55% higher than the Chicago CSA. Because we also have more positions to fill here and a tougher time filling them all, we currently offer 73.6% more to start here than Chicago.
    For me, this discrepancy means more than $100,000 more per year. It sure as hell doesn’t cost me $100,000 more to live here. Housing is significantly more, but other expenses are barely more, if at all. Even if I wanted to live in any of those other cities, the math just wouldn’t pencil out – with the possible exception of NYC. We only pay 6% more to live here than NYC.

  48. Posted by rg

    so does that mean that your starting salary was approximately $225k?

  49. Posted by anonandon

    r.g. You bring up a lot of good points. The salary difference I was quoting is because we CANNOT get people to move here to be honest. We were looking for a Project Architect (lic. with 7 yrs. exp.) and the Chicago positions seem to fill quickly while our San Francisco positions can take many months to fill. The fact is, everyone that comes to interview here does not think it is the “Best Place on Earth”. I agree with your point that to build both custom residential and large residential is a lot less expensive in Chicago. When you factor in that Chicago is still a very strong union town, and the difficulties with the weather there, it makes you question how building in S.F. became as exspensive as it has.
    I would also like to question the whole salary issue. Since people are bringing up Biotech, what if a Chicagoan were to bring up the Board of Trade? Are people trying to say there are not just as many high income earners in a city as huge as Chicago? With all of their banks, corporate headquarters including Boeing, I find it hard to believe that there aren’t just as many young buyers back there making well above $250,000 a year. I actually think it is the second most important city (along with L.A.) after N.Y.C. Watch CNBC in the morning and tell me the last time they had a live report from the Pacific Stock Exchange, while, they seem to show the Chicago markets every 5 mintues. I love San Francisco and bought back when prices were not sky high, but if I were starting out as an architectural apprentice today, San Francisco would be impossible.

  50. Posted by toaster

    I find it hard to believe that there aren’t just as many young buyers back there making well above $250,000 a year.
    It’s a quantifiable fact that the Bay Area has the second most millionaires in the nation after the New York area.

  51. Posted by toaster

    Watch CNBC in the morning and tell me the last time they had a live report from the Pacific Stock Exchange, while, they seem to show the Chicago markets every 5 mintues.
    San Francisco is not an internationally known financial city, Chicago is. When is the last time you saw a news story or read something about Chicago’s importance in the tech or biotech worlds? Read last months Fortune for a story of the PayPal Mafia – almost the entire story dwells on San Francisco.
    Each city has its own strengths and weaknesses – both are very strong in jobs and industries that pay a lot of money. SF just happens to be a lot smaller – probably much of the reason for the higher prices.

  52. Posted by anon2

    Toaster, I think the Los Angeles area has the second most millionaires in the country. Look it up.

  53. Posted by anon2

    Ooops. Actually COOK COUNTY, which is Chicago, is #1 in the country for millionaires, followed by Los Angeles County, followed by Orange County (!) California. Toaster , where are you getting your numbers? I just did a quick Google to find this out. I am actually shocked that Chicago is #1. So if that urban region is so “rich”, why is housing there so cheap?
    Info From TNS & U.S. Census Affluent Market Research Program, March 2006. (No Bay Area county was in the top 10 by the way)

  54. Posted by anon2 checker

    Where are you getting your numbers, toaster and anon2?

  55. Posted by anon2 checker

    Number of millionaires pretty much follows total population:
    LA County is far and away the largest county in the US, Cook County is by far the second largest county.

  56. Posted by anon2

    “It’s a quantifiable fact that the Bay Area has the second most millionaires in the nation after the New York area.” (Which as we now see is NOT true)
    Mr. Checker, I was just responding to this comment from Toaster. I looked at your links, and you back up my point. Sure L.A. has more people, and it also has a LOT more wealth. Santa Barbara is tiny, yet has more millionares per cap. than San Francisco. So What? My point is, the economic world does not revolve around our little city, and current Bay Area real estate prices were not driven up by our “high” incomes, or because they are not making any more land. As a side note, who knew Orange County had 5 million people!?

  57. Posted by toaster

    I certainly stand by my numbers.
    Cook County is 5 million people. No county in the Bay Area even comes close to that many people. Look at the link that Mr. checker provided – Santa Clara County has almost half as many millionaires as Cook County with one third the people – you don’t think that adding in SF, San Mateo, Marin, and Alameda would up the total to more than Chicago? What are you smoking? That list doesn’t have Manhattan either – so are you going to tell me that Manhattan prices are out of whack because salaries in Chicago must be higher? Give me a break.

  58. Posted by checker checker

    This whole argument going on here brings up one of my major points of frustration. Whenever San Francisco real estate boosters want to claim how “wealthy” the city is, they always start throwing around economic numbers from the Peninsula and Santa Clara County. Trust me, this city has more to do with tourism, education, and govt. services, than it has to do with what is going on 50 miles south of here.
    My question is, what is the driving force of today’s San Francisco economy? Not banking and financial services, not the port, not small manufacturing, ALL of these things have left the city. Sure there is Biotech and Technology jobs, but this is a very small percentage of the work force. The economy of San Francisco is driven by tourism, and that points to a city that is only a hollow shell of its former powerful self.
    Do you think Chicago needs tourism to keep it’s economy afloat?

  59. Posted by Sabrina

    Yes- I’m “sabrina” from CribChatter.
    Foreclosure activity is much higher in Chicago than it is in San Francisco. We are seeing foreclosures on 2/2 condos in highrises in River North and Streeterville nearly every week. That’s not happening in San Francisco.
    But look at the foreclosure activity in Vallejo. I liken Vallejo to Chicago’s south side (income levels, number of subprime mortgages, that it’s not a “prime” area). There are over 300 homes sitting empty and bank owned in Vallejo and the number is rising monthly.
    It’s interesting that there is always discussion of the Google millionaires in the Bay Area when the CME millionaires in Chicago aren’t even mentioned by our local media. It’s a smaller company with fewer employees but it must have generated at least 1,000 true millionaires from its IPO (went IPO a few years ago around $40 and is now trading over $600. Their return has been higher than Google’s since its IPO.)
    Maybe it’s just the sheer size of the city. What’s another 1,000 millionaires?
    Chicago has some tech work, but, of course, not nearly what the Bay Area has. But it’s growing. Feedblitz was founded in Chicago (since bought by Google.) It’s still headquartered here. Hopefully, success stories like that will influence other techies that they can start up a company in Chicago and still live cheaply while doing so.
    The weather is what the weather is. That’s why some people choose to live in Denmark and others in Italy, right?
    Chicago’s housing prices have gone up over the housing boom, just not what has happened in the coastal cities. That means we likely won’t fall as much as the coastal cities. In fact, in 25 years, Chicago hasn’t seen a year over year decline in prices (until now.) I expect our prices to fall, on average, 15-20% when all is said and done.
    The question for San Francisco and the Bay Area is- unless prices really come down in this bust (which, I believe they will in some areas)- how do you get new blood to move to the city and want to raise a family there? Who is moving to Marin and buying that million dollar 2 bedroom home?
    New York has the same problem. A recent issue of New York Magazine just talked about how artists, writers, dancers etc. are all completely priced out of Manhattan now- and even are priced out of Brooklyn and other secondary areas. What will become of Manhattan if the artists decide not to come?
    But San Francisco also had this problem during the dot-com boom. Remember when they were evicting artists from Mission lofts so they could put tech companies in there? I don’t think many of them returned. It’s too bad.
    Maybe the artists will all move to Vallejo!

  60. Posted by anon2

    Sabrina, I find your perspective very interesting since you have lived in both cities. I must say that I have noticed on my work related trips to Chicago how “young” that city feels. Maybe it was the parts of town I was going to with friends, but I remember sitting on El Train going to Armitage Station (Did I get the spelling right?) and remarking how everyone looked like they were about 25 years old!
    Sabrina, I looked at your site and I am in love with “340 on the Park”. Now THAT is a luxury tower. Your article about the Water Tower Place penthouse made my jaw drop. A two story penthouse for the price of an upper floor 1bd at One Rincon Hill! AND, you get to use the Ritz Carlton services and spa/pool/gym.
    I think the #1 issue facing San Francisco is who is really going to move here that is at all creative? This house in particular is a perfect example. It is miles from any part of town that anybody would want to go, not close to RAPID transit (like they have in Chicago), and they want a price which would mean that some young artist would have to have a trust fund earning over $200,000 a year. Many on this board say that this is complaining to live in a beautiful city, but what kind of city is San Francisco becoming? It may be beautiful in some parts of town, but in general, I find the whole place rather boring. At least in Chicago lofts are still cheap and actually have galleries in many of the spaces, and when they say a listing is in a “luxury” building, it means not just that the lobby has a rug and an elevator, but back there they have real doormen that open the door, park your car in your own deeded space, carry up your packages, and welcome you into a building about 1/3 the cost of our Soma stucco towers.

  61. Posted by Frank

    checker checker,
    Ah, another of the “all the jobs in the city are tourism” people. Look, SF is a PART of a region. Have you seen the Google, Ebay, Yahoo, and PayPal buses each morning? There are thousands of people living in the city and commuting 50 miles south – and vice versa. To claim that simply because many jobs in the city are tourism is ignoring reality. SF ceased being a standalone city 50 years ago. Think of it as a neighborhood of the Greater Bay Area. You might feel that that is a bad thing, but it’s what it is. Chicago (as a city proper) is several times larger than SF – but that doesn’t mean that wealth isn’t segregated in similar ways or commuting from one part of the city to another doesn’t happen. Please, please stop with this “all the jobs are south of us, so all of the money must be to.” It’s ridiculous.

  62. Posted by Frank

    It’s interesting that there is always discussion of the Google millionaires in the Bay Area when the CME millionaires in Chicago aren’t even mentioned by our local media. It’s a smaller company with fewer employees but it must have generated at least 1,000 true millionaires from its IPO (went IPO a few years ago around $40 and is now trading over $600. Their return has been higher than Google’s since its IPO.)
    The CME had been around for decades – many of the people who made money on the IPO were already rich, they just simply gained equity in a new public entity. Google didn’t even exist a decade ago, and is now the sixth largest company in the US by market cap. Bit of a difference in wealth generation, no?

  63. Posted by frank checker

    The entire bay area does not work for GOOGLE!
    Frank, are you claiming that the economy in the CITY of San Francisco is dynamic and growing at a healthy rate? Are you satisfied with the population growth-decline? Do you think the city has provided enough housing in the last 15 years?
    AND do you feel this home down next to Daly City overlooking a freeway is really worth over $600,000 , even with all of the Google millionaires going by on the freeway in their busses? (A real shame they do not have a transit system like Chicago with mutliple layers of subway, el, and rail transit so that their employer would not have to pay for busses)
    I see dynamic cities in my travels for work, and San Francisco ain’t no Singapore! Or Chicago for that matter. Chicago has built more housing in the last ten years in their downtown than we have in the last 50 years, and that is a real crime. I actually think a large part of our city should take a weekend trip to Chicago to see how change can be healthy, and how hi-rise architecture does not need to look like what we currently see going up in Soma.
    If this house were in any other large city it would be priced at what it is. A structure in need of work, not in a prime area next to a busy freeway far from any neighborhood shops or services. I think it is listings like this that get people thinking about other areas including Chicago. Not everyone works for GOOGLE!

  64. Posted by james

    we do have a handful of google’s every few years. apple and vmware are making millionaires now too. i don’t think this guy thought everyone worked for google but was making more of a statement about new wealth created in our local economy. add the big 3 i just mentioned to all the web 2.0 companies you’ve never heard of that got bought for millions and allowed the founders to cash out. you get my point.

  65. Posted by Dan

    “I think the #1 issue facing San Francisco is who is really going to move here that is at all creative? This house in particular is a perfect example. It is miles from any part of town that anybody would want to go, not close to RAPID transit (like they have in Chicago)…”
    The house is a 10-15 minute walk to the Glen Park BART station. The ride from Glen Park to downtown on BART is very fast– a few minutes. It is an easier and faster commute to the financial district than one would have commuting from most residential neighborhoods in Chicago.
    Creative people living in San Francisco have been moving to neighborhoods like the Excelsior for years now. A friend of mine, an artist/musician, lives there, and commutes to his day job by walking to BART. He rents; sadly he has no trust fund. But in the Excelsior he can afford to have room for his recording studio.
    This house may be “miles from any part of town that anybody would want to go” for the Marina/ Pac Heights crowd, but it is in one of the enclaves where creative folks still live.

  66. Posted by anon3

    Here is what is so strange about this thread. Everybody is going on and on about how superior San Francisco is and how wealthy the Bay Area is, but what about THIS HOUSE?
    Are you all saying this house is worth this price? This is my entire problem with real estate in locations such as this. Sure it has a San Francisco address, but is this really a classic San Francisco location? I think Sabrina’s point is that in many other wealthy urban regions, they are “not making any more land”, and yet buyers would laugh at a price such as this in a location similar to this one. Last year homes in Vallejo were selling for this much and look what is happening there now. I think neighborhoods such as this one will see a similar correction.

  67. Posted by Dan

    The neighborhoods southeast of 280 have lost value in recent months, though not nearly to the extent of the drop in Contra Costa and Solano counties. San Francisco homes don’t have to compete with an unsold inventory of new homes, as do homes for sale in Contra Costa and Solano. There are still relatively few foreclosures in San Francisco, compared to the distant suburbs. Plus many people prefer to live in the city, without the cost in time and money of a long commute.
    Last year this home sold for $680,000. How much is it worth now? Who knows? The listing has expired. Perhaps the owners are taking the home off the market because they are unwilling to sell the home at a loss.
    “…but is this really a classic San Francisco location?” For the tourist or the Marina yuppie transplant, perhaps not. For the many San Franciscans who live in the Excelsior (including, for example, my primary care physician), definitely yes.

  68. Posted by diemos

    Location. Location. Location.
    This thing would be 60K in upstate new york, 200K in chicago, and apparently 600K here.
    Any asset is worth whatever someone is willing and able to pay for it. I would argue that willingness was high due to bubble mania and ability was artificially boosted due to the collapse in lending standards and that when those things go away it will drop to 300K. But, at the end of the day, if some asshat is willing to pay a million dollars for it then that’s what it’s worth.
    As I once said while standing in front of Vincent van Gough’s sunflowers, “It’s a nice painting. I’d give you twenty bucks for it … if it came with the frame.” But apparently there is at least one other person on earth who is both willing and able to plunk down 20 million bucks for it so … that’s what its worth. At least until you put it back on the market and find out what the next guy is willing and able to pay.

  69. Posted by james

    hat’s off to diemos for finally getting this thread back on track. i’d offer 60k and hope they don’t take it.

  70. Posted by james

    ps from propertyshark.com back in 11/25/1992 it went for $244,100. that still seems kinda high to me but more reasonable for this working class neighborhood.

  71. Posted by Dan

    The median 3 bedroom single family home in San Francisco in 1992 cost $286k. Prices have risen a bit since then.

  72. Posted by sanfrantim

    I don’t know if this place is a good deal at $699k or not. Haven’t visited it, nor do I know that neighborhood or market at all. But, at $400 a square foot and being close to Glen Park, it very possibly could be a well-priced starter home for someone looking who is not a Google-millionaire. I doubt if anyone on this blog actually has visited the listing. If someone has, i’d be interested in his/her views.

  73. Posted by Dan

    The MLS listing is expired. It appears the home is not currently for sale. But it would be interesting to hear from anyone who saw the place while it was on the market.

  74. Posted by anom

    Well at least they did not photoshop out the old yellow truck, banged up fire hydrant, and weed patch. It is what it is, a starter home, and a very funky one at that. It will be interesting to see what a home like this will be selling for in late 2008. This is why “working class” people (as they are called here on this site, is this a realtor term? It stinks of classic class prejudice) bought out in Vallejo.

  75. Posted by emmett_brown

    I believe this house (which looks wonderful to me FWIW) is on the feeder street to the freeway onramp. Note skidmarks on street in picture. And next door neighbor looks to have fake muntins.

    But $244k in 1992 does sound rather high. Maybe they caught the “dead cat bounce” before prices flatlined. Or maybe location is just fine.

    And that weed patch. It seems to me anyone living on a street called ‘Ney’ should demand a shrubbery. Depending on how you pronounce it, of course.

  76. Posted by Frank

    Thanks James for seeing what I was trying to say. A company that did not exist ten years ago and is now worth $200 billion is a bit more of a wealth creator than a more than 100 year old institution that just happened to go public a few years ago and is now worth $35 billion. I’m not trying to disparage the CME, just saying that new companies that mint hundreds or thousands of millionaires have been a much more common phenomenom in this region over the past decade – Google just happens to be the most well-known, but there have been dozens.

  77. Posted by anon

    I have to agree. Who would ever think GOOGLE would be more valuable than the CME? It shows how much the world has changed, and what influence the Bay Area has had on it. Still, I think owning the CME, and the wealth that flows through that market are two different things. I am still a little censorious regarding the whole GOOGLE euphoria, and will be curious to see where their stock is in another 10 years.
    Now, tell me again, which Google millionaire is going to pick up this beautiful freeway adjacent residence?

  78. Posted by james

    forget google. i want to discuss what happened to bay area real estate in 1997 that caused most of the houses in the entire bay area to become unafforable to single income or working class folk. why is the same house from 97 worth 300% more today? i don’t get it. someone explain it to me. i know plenty about supply and demand, trust me, but this goes well beyond simple economics.

  79. Posted by Dan

    “why is the same house from 97 worth 300% more today? i don’t get it. someone explain it to me.”
    This house was worth 244k in 1992, 680k last year, and probably 650k now. So this house is worth 166% more now than it was worth in 1992.

  80. Posted by james

    i wasn’t talking about houses in the hood like this one per say, but other parts of town. look at the oriental lofts on delancy street in south beach. they were 350k back in 97. now they go for 1mil each. why? what’s changed other than the fact that they are 10 years old now.

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