August 11, 2008

Cubix Yerba Buena (766 Harrison): Reader Perspective And Pricing

A plugged-in reader takes a tour of Cubix Yerba Buena (766 Harrison) and reports back:

Toured Cubix this weekend. Like the architecture a lot, feels solid, natural light is great, finishes are so-so, bathroom doors look nice but are less than soundproof which is a mistake in such a small space. Roof deck A+.
First release of 12 units on lower floors but got the feeling you could write on an upper floor unit if you asked. Occupancy in 45-60 days. HOA’s around $300. Value B-/C+.

Current pricing on the twelve studio condos in the first release:

∙ 766 Harrison #202 (0/1) - $279,000
∙ 766 Harrison #206 (0/1) - $279,000
∙ 766 Harrison #212 (0/1) - $289,000
∙ 766 Harrison #305 (0/1) - $305,000
∙ 766 Harrison #308 (0/1) - $305,000
∙ 766 Harrison #314 (0/1) - $309,000
∙ 766 Harrison #404 (0/1) - $309,000
∙ 766 Harrison #410 (0/1) - $314,000
∙ 766 Harrison #413 (0/1) - $319,000
∙ 766 Harrison #503 (0/1) - $333,000
∙ 766 Harrison #509 (0/1) - $328,000
∙ 766 Harrison #511 (0/1) - $323,000

SocketSite Readers Report: The Square Footage Scoop On Cubix [SocketSite]
766 Harrison: Condos Indeed And A Brand New Brand (“Cubix YB”) [SocketSite]
Goodbye Placeholder, Hello Floor Plans For Cubix YB (766 Harrison) [SocketSite]

First Published: August 11, 2008 10:30 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

HOAs seem kinda expensive on a square footage basis. Not sure what you get from that besides the deck (which sounds pretty nice).

Posted by: Foolio at August 11, 2008 11:10 AM

A siginificant part of HOA expenses are unrelated to unit size: utilities (water, hot water, elevators), maintenance (elevator maintenance, fire alarm system), security...

Posted by: flaneur at August 11, 2008 11:16 AM

Yeah, I get that, although from re-reading my post it wasn't clear.

What I meant to say was that, for $3-something HOAs in a studio, I'd expect something more than the usual, like 24-hour doorperson, pool, gym, etc. From the website it, doesn't seem like any (much less all) of those are offered.

Posted by: Foolio at August 11, 2008 11:27 AM

Priced too high, and HOA is too high.

If the lower floor units are 250K, upper ones 275K, HOA at $150, they will fly.

Posted by: John at August 11, 2008 11:50 AM

I looked at these this weekend too and everyone on my tour pretty much said the same thing - way too small, way too expensive. Lack of closets is ridiculous and the bathroom isn't even private - forget using it while you have a guest over.

The roof deck is okay - it has some glass "rooms" to block the wind, a common grill, and a bunch of planter boxes.

Posted by: Anonymous at August 11, 2008 12:17 PM

I forgot to mention that all the small decks look into at least one other unit. Not sure I'd want my neighbor right outside my window.

Posted by: Anonymous at August 11, 2008 12:55 PM

I also stopped by at the weekend, enroute to Whole Foods, the concept is interesting but like most other posters it really is small.

But if you accept that and this works for you then it does have potential would have loved to get into something like this 5/6 years ago.

The one option that I feel the building would benefit from; is a custom design option to allow owners work with a designer to design and build in closet/murphy bed etc. I say this because my gut reaction to the kitchen and wardrobe I saw was rip them out and start again, the appliances are super cute in a Euro way.

Bathroom door comment has already been made, a simpler solution here might have worked better.

Net/Net: If you can make the $$ work and have a lifestyle where you meet your friends at social venues and want a own a place in SF this really is an option.

It is something different in the city and is a welcome addition in my books.

Posted by: Observer at August 11, 2008 12:56 PM

The academy kids from Tokyo will eat this up. In case you haven't been paying attention the dollar is worth less than toilet paper now, these will sell to international students easily.

Posted by: sf at August 11, 2008 1:04 PM

Why? Why? Why?

These new Soma highrises are a dime a dozen. And they will continue to fill the sky-line for decades to come as people are willing to push the frontier out (by then, 6th street will be 'up and coming'). I can even see a day, twenty years from now, when yuppie condo skyscrapers are all the rage in District 10. Supplies will keep surging. Next to a highway? No problem!

Meanwhile, back in Districts 2/3, there will never be any new highrises. The only thing vertical is the supply curve, which remains fixed at about however many units there were in the 1920's.

The place I am getting on the edge of Russian Hill/Marina cost me about twice as much as what Cubix studios sell for. It has 3.5x the sqft, two bedrooms, a parking space, tons of storage, and it's not next door to a highway. Nor will it be considered an eyesore when fashions change each decade.

Why would ANYONE buy in this "trendy" location and live like a sardine with faux-elegance? Those "Kohler faucets" they are so smug about can be bought online for a couple hundred bucks. Big deal. Don't people know when they are being swindled?

Posted by: NewBuyer at August 11, 2008 1:10 PM

What I meant to say was that, for $3-something HOAs in a studio, I'd expect something more than the usual, like 24-hour doorperson, pool, gym, etc. From the website it, doesn't seem like any (much less all) of those are offered.

You're kidding, right? There's NO WAY a 98 unit building can support that level of amenities unless you raise the HOAs to 2 or 3 times that. The doorman alone would cost at least $150 per unit per month.

Posted by: anon at August 11, 2008 1:19 PM

@anon:

For $300+ HOA at this supposedly "cheap" option, I'd expect at least one of these things (not all, if that's what your question was). $300+ for the barest minimum of tower maintenance/services seems expensive to me.

Posted by: Foolio at August 11, 2008 1:26 PM

If everybody had the same taste we wouldn't be an eclectic city. Get over yourself, your "Russian Hill/ Marina 3.5x sq. ft. 2 bedrooms and parking space" that you are so smug about is not desirable for everybody, namely those that want an urban experience and not a suburban soccer mom experience.

Posted by: sf at August 11, 2008 1:28 PM

I actually don't think $300+ HOAs in SF is that expensive. These new buildings have all these life and safety systems, elevators, maintenance people, fire inspections, etc, that have to be paid for. I used to live in a building about this size and after you pay for all the inspections and maintenance, and put away money for reserves, it's still very tight. I'd actually be willing to be the HOAs rise from here.

Of course, in relation to the size of the unit it's a bit shocking, but I don't think you can get much cheaper HOAs for a new building.

Posted by: anon at August 11, 2008 1:36 PM

"The place I am getting on the edge of Russian Hill/Marina cost me about twice as much as what Cubix studios sell for."

If you are getting a 2 bedroom with parking near Russian Hill/Marina for $600,000, that seems like a good deal. However, many people can afford $300,000 but not $600,000.

Posted by: Dan at August 11, 2008 1:56 PM

his 600K condo is a TIC

Posted by: spencer at August 11, 2008 3:44 PM

"...I don't think you can get much cheaper HOAs for a new building."

Actually, shouldn't HOAs be at their *cheapest* when the building first opens? Everything is in tip-top shape, no deferred maintenance, etc.

Posted by: Foolio at August 11, 2008 4:14 PM

Soma = urban experience??

I chose to put my company's office in Soma because it's great for commuting and attracts a lot of young engineering talent. It has upside to be sure.

But as an "urban experience", it is nowhere near the same league as Nob/LowerNob, and a much less distinct urban experience than, say, North Beach.

You can only go to the ball park and Metreon so many times... and good luck getting good, quick food late at night.

Posted by: NewBuyer at August 11, 2008 8:50 PM

Spencer's right, it's only a TIC. Guess I can't live in it or anything like that. It's great for storage, though. I think that I'm also technically allowed to remove the marble from the counters for use as scrap. The floorboards may have some salvage value too. Useless, good-for-nothing TIC's...

Posted by: NewBuyer at August 12, 2008 1:13 AM

If one is comparing prices with condos, whether or not one's purchase is a TIC or a condo is relevant-- TICs have additional expenses (e.g., for fractional loans)and some additional risk, which lowers the value of a unit versus an identical condo.

So Spencer pointing out that it is a TIC is relevant, when the comparison was made with a condo.

Posted by: Dan at August 12, 2008 8:31 AM

The homeowners fee also goes to profit of the property management firm. It is not run by a charity.

Posted by: fred at August 12, 2008 2:10 PM

The HOA fees that go toward property management are $1600 for our 60 unit building. That's about $26 bucks a unit. Maybe Cubix cubed that...

Posted by: livinintheloin at August 12, 2008 4:14 PM

who staged this. it looks like an IKEA exploded in there!

Posted by: SFStager at August 15, 2008 9:26 AM

Who cares if YOU want to live here...get over yourselves! SF needs diverse housing at different price points and this meets an unfilled niche.

What's laughable is the pricing. Prices in SOMA have been dropping like a rock this summer. >$1K/sf is untenable for this development. For something in this compromised location with middling quality fittings think $650-$750/sf. When the price drops $100K these will be priced right and sell like hotcakes.

Posted by: sunnyvalesteve at August 24, 2008 1:16 PM

Imagine making $80k a year. Imagine that it will take you until you are 40 years old to save up $80k (20% of 400k)4 because your rent is $2k a month. You can not afford to pay more that $2k rent or mortgage no matter what you do. So you can't really afford to finance more than $220k without eating ramen every day. No matter what if you aren't trading up in property, owning a home in SF seems impossible.

The largest units in Cubix are 334 sq ft. Tiny right? Well look at what has sold in SF in the last 6 months that are 400 sq ft or less. The prices are all 300 - 400 k and the spaces aren't nearly as nice or well planned as Cubix.

Now go on craigslist and see what you can rent. Wouldn't you be better off in a studio you own vs a studio you don't own? I think so. You will get your equity from paying down the mortgage and appreciation and maybe one day with your savings and equity you will be able to finally trade up. Maybe even before you are 40.

At Cubix you can own your studio for the same monthly expense as renting one in Nob Hill. Seems like a no brainer to me.

Posted by: Ian at February 17, 2010 10:45 AM

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