October 1, 2008
You’ve Seen One, But You Haven’t Seen Them All: 300 Beale #613
Penthouse, private corner patio, wood-burning fireplace, two beds, two baths, a decidedly modern kitchen with pear wood cabinetry, and all around 1,800 square feet.
∙ Listing: 300 Beale #613 - $1,649,500 [meredithmartin.com]
∙ Loft By Nature, Luxury By Design: Embarcadero Lofts (300 Beale) [SocketSite]
First Published: October 1, 2008 12:30 PM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
It's a very unique property... a great place to visit, but I woudn't want to live (or buy) there.
As for the bedroom, I've seen cozier looking jail cells.
Posted by: gmlight at October 1, 2008 1:00 PM
I like this place a lot. Very interesting and unique. Although the color enhancement seems a bit overdone in the pictures.
Posted by: Foolio at October 1, 2008 1:11 PM
This building is truly unique. A friend of mine has a 2/2 here. I will say that it isn't for everyone. He did a lot of upgrades to his unit, but it still has the sort of cold feel about it. Partially due to the exposed concrete. But hey if thats your thing this is the building for you. The Infinity sure did kill a lot of unit's views, but non the less its a great location.
Posted by: Ryan at October 1, 2008 1:12 PM
Love the unit. I also love #319. My problem with this building is that the exterior is painted such an unattractive color. Pinky-apricot, what were they thinking?
Perhaps they were trying to mimic brick? Who knows, but it is not a good match with the hard-edge, exposed-concrete sophistication of the units. People who like the units are apt to hate the exterior and people who like the exterior are apt to hate the units. The HOA needs to spring for a new paint job.
Posted by: Salarywoman at October 1, 2008 2:27 PM
I can definitely see MTV's Real World being shot in this loft!
I don't know if it's me, but it looks like the basins in the masterbath are at two different levels. Nice place though.
Posted by: SC at October 1, 2008 2:31 PM
I think laying down some appropriate flooring would clear the coldness right up, which is better than having to tear something out, I guess.
Posted by: dub dub at October 1, 2008 3:35 PM
Damnnnnn!!! Thats purdy!!!
Posted by: Ed at October 1, 2008 4:35 PM
Is that a wood surround around the bathtub? That makes lots of sense...
Otherwise pretty damned dramatic.
Posted by: curmudgeon at October 1, 2008 5:06 PM
Great unit on the attractive 6th floor of 300 Beale. This makes the current listing over at the Palms look even more ridiculous.
Posted by: pwb at October 1, 2008 6:08 PM
This looks like a trendy nightclub.
Posted by: NoeValeyJim at October 1, 2008 7:02 PM
Someone was living large in the 90s...and still is!
Posted by: Rex at October 1, 2008 10:27 PM
I love this building. The design of this home is exceptional. The price is in line with other units in the city that have been carefully remodeled to meet a taste - a discerning buyer will surely purchase this property.
Great for entertaining!
It is a must see for a real buyer.
Posted by: Katy Dinner at October 2, 2008 9:13 AM
Me thinks Katy is the listing agent. Could she be any more obvious?
Posted by: noname at October 2, 2008 11:03 AM
Nope. But she is associated with the agency listing this property.
Posted by: diemos at October 2, 2008 11:09 AM
No, says the listing agent is Meredith Martin. Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out.
Posted by: movingback at October 2, 2008 11:12 AM
noname & diemos,
Katy says: "It is a must see for a real buyer"
I guess none of us on SS are "Real" buyers. What's a fake buyer? A stroke? Mooch? Its comforting to hear that our agents think; since we are on a RE blog were fake buyers.
bad, bad, sad.
Posted by: Ryan at October 2, 2008 11:12 AM
"What's a fake buyer?"
Looky-loos and the "nose perennially pressed against the glass" set.
Posted by: diemos at October 2, 2008 11:15 AM
When people like Katy post they should state that they have a financial interest in blowing smoke up our butts. We cannot trust these people that have steered us so wrong the last few years.
And I say that as someone who likes this place. It looks nice.
But right now the last person in the world I want giving me unsolicited advice is someone from the real estate SALES profession--especially someone with a financial motive IN THIS PARTICULAR propery. I wouldn't trust Katy farther than I could throw her and she should disclose the fact she has a financial interest!
It's like seeking advice from President Bush on the state of the economy. One would have to be retarded to listen to people like Katy.
Real estate professional HACKS need to get a life. Buyer beware of these mindless cheerleaders.
Posted by: SFHawkguy at October 2, 2008 11:21 AM
I love laughing out loud in my office. It makes people look when my door is open!
Thanks for that! Well Said.
Posted by: Ryan at October 2, 2008 11:26 AM
What real estate salesmen angry at SS posters do not understand is that there are a lot of fence-sitters out there.
Fence-sitters are tomorrow's buyers. They're just waiting for prices to come down to reasonable levels which would be counter to the real estate salesmen's desires.
Which is I think, the reason behind the comments like "real buyer" or "nose perennially pressed against the glass".
Such arrogance makes me want to bypass salesmen altogether.
Posted by: San FronziScheme at October 2, 2008 11:26 AM
I can't stop laughing.
A real buyer is someone who can afford it and wants to live in it.
I don't know the demographics of the people who comment on SocketSite. I only know that a lot of people read and enjoy SocketSite.
SocketSite is a wealth of fabulous information and the commentary is educational and often funny - which makes for a great blog.
Thanks for commenting and keeping it fun.
PS> I love this building and #613! I am not afraid to shout it out loud. John Jacob Jinglehimer-Shmidt.
Posted by: Katy Dinner at October 2, 2008 11:39 AM
I think willingness to overpay has to fit somewhere in that definition too...
Posted by: Foolio at October 2, 2008 11:47 AM
here you go:
Posted by: Ryan at October 2, 2008 11:52 AM
I could afford this place. Sure, I'd be fine living there (even though it'd be a bit like living in a too-bright home decor store). So I guess I'm a real buyer by this definition. But no way would I pay the asking price, particularly in that neighborhood in this declining market. So I guess I'm a real(ly not interested) buyer.
Posted by: Trip at October 2, 2008 12:04 PM
Thanks Ryan, intreresting read.
Posted by: walsh92663 at October 2, 2008 12:08 PM
Awesome comments from SanFronzischeme and Ryan and SFHawkguy. My sentiments exactly. And thanks Socket Site for providing this educational forum! I enjoy the pros and cons and am getting really good at weeding out the crap that goes on in this market. Buyers beware!
Posted by: SHOPGIRL at October 2, 2008 12:32 PM
Thanks to SanFronzicheme and SFHawkguy for revealing Katy's sinister and clever mind-control plot. I was ready to overbid with a huge preemptive offer based on her post, but thankfully you brought me back to earth.
... three gallons of neutral paint would raise the selling price by $50K.
Posted by: amused at October 2, 2008 1:28 PM
Folks...this is my first post. I was drawn in, because I love modern design and lofts, and SF has some of the most amazing properties in the world....but stayed because of the discussion.
As a "disclosure" to the audience, I am a licensed CA RE Broker, but I live and work in Southern California - where by the way, the RE Market is DEAD. The fact that homes are being bought and sold in SF, is a positive thing for all home owners and residents of SF.
Whether you are a "real buyer" or a "fake buyer", the value of a property is determined by the price someone is willing to pay...as it is with all commodities. Real Estate Agents do not set the price of a listing, the OWNER does. A RE Agents job is to advertise the property and help to conduct the transaction. My understanding of this site is that this is not an advertising site where agents post their listings, but an independent blog that posts properties of interest. I could be wrong.
Agents that do not have the listing, only get paid if they represent a "buyer" who ultimately completes escrow. It seems like some people feel that "Agents" have some how contributed to this RE Bubble, but how can that be when the listing price is ultimately determined by the owner of the property? RE commissions have always been traditionally 6% - 3% to each side (although most commissions are now 5% -2.5% to each side. A savings to both the buyer and seller). So how has the function of an agent fundamentally changed?
What about the RE Appraisers who did the assessment of the property for the bank lending the money? What about the bank that provided a 100% loan to the buyer? What about the buyer who was willing to buy at the price they paid? Who's really to blame for the mess we are in? I blame the FED, who kept interest rates artificially low for too long and individual buyers who continued to "buy" without regard to the fact that the RE market is cyclical.
I'm also curious, what ARE the "sinister" motives of a RE Agent that says, "The price is in line with other units in the city that have been carefully remodeled to meet a taste"? Would SanFronzicheme and SFHawkguy agree that RE Agents who are constantly looking at properties in the market have a better idea of what similar properties are being offered at, than someone who is not? How does one determine the value of a property in a market - other than considering what other similar properties are being offered at, and what similar properties have sold for recently?
I feel like Katie is being unfairly treated by some of the people on the site, and felt like I should open my self up for some criticisms too...I mean "clever mind-control plot"...REALLY???
Posted by: reguy at October 2, 2008 2:24 PM
Boy, reguy you sure came to the right place if you want some criticism. It would help if you would give your real name, the company you work for, all known associates, and you entire life history including any and all mis-statement, exagerations, and standardized test scores. That should work for starters.
Posted by: sparky-the-bear at October 2, 2008 2:30 PM
Kathy, count me into your fantasy "real buyer" pool as well (just not "your" buyer, that's for sure), and no need to be condescending. This is not 2005 anymore, time to go back to earth.
BTW, a lot of posters here have experience and assets to back up their criticism of the industry.
I cashed out 70% of my rental properties in 05/06 and will be shopping for some more as soon as price/monthly rent goes under 100. 2010? 2012?
Posted by: San FronziScheme at October 2, 2008 3:05 PM
Yes, Real estate salesmen participated in this folly. They were at the front row seats of all these past excesses.
What brings bread on your table is a commission, which comes from volume and price. 2002-to-2006 saw high volumes and high prices and I am pretty sure no real estate salesman ever criticized this period.
Banks and mortgage brokers (sometimes MBs are RE salesmen too) did give you the fuel. But you were the spark and the wind that started and stoked the fire to the whole market.
What I remember from this now dying period are the call for "buy now or be priced out forever" that was chanted by all real estate salesmen.
You created this sense of "urgency" that every salesman needs to have to create a sale, just like a car salesman will tell you this Honda is the last one at this price.
The real estate business is structured to sell at a high price, and that's perfectly normal for the seller-side salesman. But paying the buyer-side salesman a percent of the sale is just wrong. There's little incentive to lower a price than the need to make a sale. Therefore buyer-side salesmen will do whatever is needed to close a sale with the buyer and lower the price as little as possible.
Change your commission structure (like an sizable incentive to obtain a lower price) and we will start believing salesmen are on the buyer's side.
Posted by: San FronziScheme at October 2, 2008 3:22 PM
I appreciate your thoughtful feedback...much more than those who think they were the victims of "clever mind control". I would love to hear more of your thoughts...
I can not argue with the excesses within the real estate market, or that RE Agents had a front row seat. However, I don't believe that RE Agents created or promoted the philosophy of buy now or be priced out...the market did - any one could see that homes were selling for much more than asking during the boom. In many ways, what happened to the RE market in the last few years is the same thing that happened to the stock market and the "dot-com bubble". People determined the value of an asset to be greater than it truly was, simply because there was a great demand. Price to value ratios were ridiculous before the crash, just like RE prices were ridiculous before the crash...
I have participated in numerous transactions where a listing received multiple offers, only weeks (and sometime even days) after a property was listed. A buyers agent represents the buyer (an individual who wishes to purchase) and only presents the offer to the seller with the appropriate forms, indicating what the buyer is willing to pay. Certainly, agents council buyers on what they "believe" the buyer should offer, but ultimately the individual must offer what they are willing and comfortable with paying (often what they were "comfortable" with, was how much the bank would lend to them). In many cases, I would council buyers to offer more than the listing if I thought that there would be multiple offers...however, my council was based on an understanding of the neighborhood, type of property, and the amount of demand. In some cases, buyers would offer less than I recommended and lose the house to another buyer who offered more. In other cases, they would offer less than I recommended and get their offer accepted. But in the rush to buy period of 2002/03 thru 2007, more deals were similar to the former as opposed the the latter.
Of course, RE Agents make more when the prices are higher and when there is more volume, but they only make money when escrow closes...they get paid if prices are high or prices are low. The only positive thing I can see with what's going on in the RE market and our economy, for that matter, is that we are going to have to return the reality...where people buy houses they can afford to buy, based on their income, not on speculation. Getting the speculators (another factor contributing to the increase in prices) out of the market will help stabilize the market.
RE Agents never criticized the fact that things were great, but I don't think they criticize the fact that things are bad either...maybe Kathy was criticizing buyers lack of willingness to buy, but I don't think that was the case...again I could be wrong.
Clearly, by cashing out your investments in 2005/06, you (and other on this site) were very level-headed and informed about the market. Not just another person who thought that the house prices would never go back down again...I know many RE Agents who thought this too and also bought properties during this period as well.
Posted by: reguy at October 2, 2008 4:20 PM
For the record, not only do we not think Katy did anything wrong (okay, the "real buyer" line did raise an eyebrow or two), but we do think she did something very right (commenting under her real name).
It’s the listing agents who post under a pseudonym and pose as unrelated (yet strangely omniscient) parties, or agents that swear they’ll never comment again (ahem...) and then do so under a different pseudonym, or agents that post under multiple pseudonyms on the same post and then hold conversations between themselves with which we really take exception (and have no problem calling out or simply deleting).
Oh, and while we might be wrong, we have a feeling amused’s "sinister and clever mind-control" comment was intended to be sarcastic. Think about it.
And now back to 300 Beale...
Posted by: SocketSite at October 2, 2008 4:45 PM
I agree that RE salesmen do their homework about their neighborhoods, that's the least we could expect for the commission.
I have seen how the sense of urgency is created in open homes, though. If you are shopping for a home and go to open houses, you have to do it at very limited times and hop from place to place. You are confronted with time constraints and sometimes space constraints: some agents will try and invite as many warm bodies as they can (neighbors). And you add staging. If you want to wander around and look at all the aspects of a property, the furniture can get in the way. You have more people in less space and those people all have the same time constraint as you do. That sometimes creates frenzy, competition and urgency.
Of course, you can check out a place outside of the open house events but you want to check a place during daytime, and I'd hate to be a salesman who sacrifices his whole Sundays. But many salesmen in other fields work Saturdays and often Sundays all day.
I agree that this crisis is eliminating speculators. My original strategy was to purchase what I thought would be a good complement for retirement 14 years ago. Things were OK until 2001-2002 when it didn't make sense anymore to buy to lease. And then starting in 2005 it didn't make sense at all to keep places that were paid for. Even 3% CDs would get more than the rent I collected minus taxes/expenses.
I think that people that got caught in the craze won't come back before a few years.
Posted by: San FronziScheme at October 2, 2008 5:38 PM
May I suggest we try the term RE salesperson. The word "salesmen" belongs in a script of Mad Men. Whether we are at 2005 prices or not..it's definitely not the 60's
Posted by: lydlyd at October 2, 2008 11:08 PM
It sounds like you're all basically saying that this whole RE bubble could have been avoided if agents were paid salary instead of commission. Someone tell Congress we found the responsible party in this whole economic meltdown.
Posted by: Boo at October 3, 2008 7:54 AM
The list price for 300 Beale #613 has just been reduced $149,600 (9%). Now asking $1,499,900.
Posted by: SocketSite at November 13, 2008 2:54 PM
...and the place is available for rent, either furnished ($5900) or not ($5400), with "flexible lease terms," whatever that means.
Good thing condos don't count as the Real SF, even $1M+ ones...
Posted by: Foolio at January 19, 2009 8:00 PM