February 20, 2009

Bank Owned Single-Family Fixer On The Border In Bernal (75 Bronte)

75 Bronte

The bank bought it back last September for $600,000. And with a tax assessed value of $27,691 at the time, we’re guessing a bit of "ghost equity" might have been withdrawn.

Now asking $384,900 for this single-family fixer (but not all that bad looking) home on the border in Bernal. No word on who was responsible for the previous lender's appraisal.

∙ Listing: 75 Bronte Street (0/1) - $384,900 [MLS]

First Published: February 20, 2009 7:00 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

I guess this is SocketSite's reaction to Mordecai's comment below the post about 2601 Lyon complaining about "so many articles about extremely high-priced properties."

Still...zero bedrooms? For $384,900? Is that a typo or something?

Posted by: Brahma (incensed renter) at February 20, 2009 7:32 AM

I am not familiar with the neighborhood. but judging by its location on the map, it is still not cheap.

Posted by: ester at February 20, 2009 7:55 AM

So, this owner took out $600K TAX FREE, and then just walked away. Checking the tax records, it looks like he didn't even have the decency to pay his $380.46 tax bill last year. What can I say? Another smart trader - one of my "heroes"!

It's too bad he couldn't hold on just a little longer. I bet there would have been some free gooberment cheese for him - a nice writedown of principal or reduction of his mortgage to 31% of income. That might just have allowed him to live for free some more and then default again. Of course, perhaps he just took the $600K tax free and bought a really nice house for cash somewhere, instead of this POS.

On that subject, I was on a short conference call yesterday with some people on the East Coast regarding the latest mortgage bailout hijinks. One of them was going to have his father call the lender (only the father is fluent in Spanish, but shares the same name as the son) and he is going to tell the lender that the only four words he knows in Engligh is "predatory lending" and "President Obama". Apparently (I was told), Rush Limbaugh is encouraging everybody to call up his lender and demand a bailout, and to keep mentioning "President Obama" and "predatory lending". The next year should be pretty funny to watch.

Posted by: LMRiM at February 20, 2009 7:59 AM

@ LMRIM. If this is true, "the next year should be pretty funny to watch" is not my way of describing it. Pretty sad, or pretty horrific, but not funny at all.

Posted by: Oceangoer at February 20, 2009 8:29 AM

Per LMRIM, I'm going to call my pharmacist and tell him the only english words I know are "Rush Limbaugh" and "oxycontin".

Posted by: njudah at February 20, 2009 8:42 AM

And the little Bush was so much better. Give me a break with your partisan comments, L.

So you are telling us that part of your 'laughing' moniker is cackling madly as the whole country goes down in flames, and somehow this is President Obama's fault. Riiiiiiiiight.

Posted by: mediated at February 20, 2009 9:00 AM

It is fascinating how blame shifters fail to acknowledge that the bankers were the responsible parties here. Once the money went into mortgages like this it was basically gone. The idea bankers had was that it really didn't matter who the loans went to or what they were for, but now it seems that it always did matter.

The borrower here was almost certainly just some fool who thought he was doing the trickle down on me dance just as well as anyone. It is quite possible the taxes went unpaid because the trap they fell into already broke them, yet somehow we should believe that the borrower was the trigger and entirely to blame. If bankers gave money with the same reckless abandon to, say, North Koreans would the blame shifting go in the same direction?

So far there are no examples of situations like this being saved by the bailout, and as noted in this case the banks took back the property well before the really big bailout action even started. It is a bad idea to ignore the politics here. Whole neighborhoods of poor people have been caught up in this. Does it really benefit society to clean out the slums and make those people move elsewhere? In the end it was all a stupid game, the money is gone, and the people and their pitiful housing is what remains. Allowing for some flexibility might just be what saves us from another round of urban rioting and migrations of the section 8 set into places that had in the past avoided them.

Posted by: Mole Man at February 20, 2009 9:10 AM

No, mediated, you misunderstood my reference. I was just referring to what Limbaugh was saying because he is such an influential personality with such a large following in the US. Similar anger is building in many areas of the US towards Obama's policies, in case you haven't noticed.

I try not to confuse correlation with causality, however, so I do not think what is happening in credit and other financial/investment markets since Obama's clinching the nomination (or, even worse in many ways, since his winning the election) is because of Obama. One person does not have that power, especially when that one person is just a puppet. However, I do believe that the election of someone like Obama with such little real accomplishment (in particular, the emphasis on "cult of personality" and "marketing") reflects some deeper issues with what has happened to the Great Experiment of the US. That's the source of what is coming our way as regards the economy, not the figurehead who smiles and reads the teleprompter.

Posted by: LMRiM at February 20, 2009 9:16 AM

The bushies jumped on the liferafts right on time. They are now watching Obama trying to keep this Titanic afloat. Good luck.

Posted by: San FronziScheme at February 20, 2009 9:22 AM

"migrations of the section 8 set into places that had in the past avoided them"

This melt down will create the largest stock of sec 8 housing we'll ever see.

Posted by: Sunny Jim at February 20, 2009 9:25 AM

LOL @ Rush Limbaugh references now from the guy.

Posted by: anonn at February 20, 2009 9:33 AM

Mole Man,

You haven't been reading my posts for the last year if you think I let the banksters off thehook as regards blame. But, with all respect, you refuse to acknowledge that the "government" is a wholly owned subsidiary of the criminal banking cartel. It's been that was since 1913, although it does ebb and flow.

The triumph of the banksters in this latest cycle occurred ime in the 1987-1992 time period, although many would argue the 1982-84 period (when Volcker was "forced" to inflate to bail out the banksters on their Latin America loans). Obama signifies no change whatsoever in this regard. He doesn't have the skills, fortitude or knowledge to oppose what he is told. Boy, could you imagine a discussion between Obama on the one hand and Summers/Geithner/Bernanke on the other. LOL.

I agree with Sunny Jim that Section 8 is going to explode with this crisis, as will all forms of welfare entitlement. "Obama"'s policies will fail, isofar as they are supposed to actually help the economy, and there will be an emphasis on creating new dependent classes in order to secure reelection. Smart investors will be trying to figure out how to grab some of this loot, and the Section 8 program is probably a good risk/reward bet in many areas.

Posted by: LMRiM at February 20, 2009 9:34 AM

In mid 2007, we were considering an offer on 33 Bronte, just up the street. My memory of the price is fuzzy, but I think it was around $550K. It was approx. the same size, although 33 Bronte actually had bedrooms. But, with foundation work, no parking, and a *protected* tenant, it was still $180K more than this listing.

My, how 18 months changes everything! I am thankful every day that we dodged that bullet.

Posted by: D at February 20, 2009 9:49 AM

Meanwhile, 532 Peralta hit the market 1/8 got into contract 1/15, went pending 1/27, and yesterday for 837K after listing for 825. It's like four blocks away from this Bronte property. But it's quite a different 'hood in a lot of ways. Definitely do take care saying "Bernal" this and "Bernal" that, tho.

Posted by: anonn at February 20, 2009 10:05 AM

Found my notes from 33 Bronte. Was asking $549K. Initial pest inspection (including foundation work for only half the house -- the other half couldn't be inspected) was $28.5K. No parking. Protected tenant that an attorney advised me would take between $50K and $80K to evict on an OMI. Needed a new roof, but I never got an estimate. All told between $627.5K and $657.5K, plus a new roof.

This place lists at $385K. Of course, it likely needs a lot of work as well, so it's hard to compare the two numbers. Regardless, this seems like a pretty significant drop in 18 months.

Posted by: D at February 20, 2009 10:19 AM

Who's comparing a no bedroom house south of Cortland to the 3/2 on the northside of Bernal?

532 Peralta

Posted by: unearthly at February 20, 2009 10:31 AM

pardon my ignorance, but how is it even possible to have a no-bedroom SFR? Who would ever build such a thing?

Posted by: sunnyvalesteve at February 20, 2009 10:45 AM

It is too late to cry about who is at fault for the economic mess we are in. On a going forward basis, however, no American financial or business institution should be permitted to grow to size such that they become "too big to fail." If the free market types don't like that, too bad.

Posted by: freakydeak at February 20, 2009 10:47 AM

"Who's comparing a no bedroom house south of Cortland to the 3/2 on the northside of Bernal?"

Northside? I don't know. It's south of Ripley, and viewless. I like that little 'hood up there, but it's sort of east side. It also looks like it's an apple with a paintjob. I heard it was looking like a multiple offer situation, but that somebody slid an above asking offer in quickly. I don't know for sure. The timing makes that seem possible.

With the new/old 729.5K limits, a place such as Bernal might continue to produce eyebrow raising sales over the next year or so. The limit works perfectly for the area. We'll see.

My take care with "Bernal" comment was more of a pre-emptive strike (and also in response to "18 months changes everything"). Because here we have a house very nearby that produced a 2007 type of market. Also, if this thread goes on long enough there are about a dozen posters who will with the "Bernal is tanking" route. Watch.

Posted by: anonn at February 20, 2009 10:48 AM

I don't know whether the comparison between 33 and 75 Bronte is indicative of any broader trend in Bernal. I was comparing two specific properties, on the same block of the same street.

More than anything, I'm relieved I didn't buy 33 Bronte, spend $100 - 150K, and then have a neighboring house list for 60% of the amount I poured into mine.

Posted by: D at February 20, 2009 11:12 AM

"More than anything, I'm relieved I didn't buy 33 Bronte, spend $100 - 150K, and then have a neighboring house list for 60% of the amount I poured into mine"

I understand that. But I mean, "zero" bedrooms? What sort of comp is that? I'd think that the house 75 will become would be the comp 33 -- had you bought -- would have become.

Posted by: anonn at February 20, 2009 11:18 AM

To me Bernal feels to tightly packed, all the lots are small (~1800 sqft), and the houses are usually smaller. Last spring I was seeing fixers getting snatched up over asking (103 Ellsworth - 2/1 Ask $800k purchased for $900k). BTW did 532 Peralta close?

Posted by: unearthly at February 20, 2009 11:39 AM

"BTW did 532 Peralta close?"

Yeah, I meant to say it did above but I left out the word "sold." Kind of an important word there. Listed for 825 and sold for 837. (This site really could use an edit/preview feature.)

Posted by: anonn at February 20, 2009 11:47 AM

532 Peralta last sold October 2003 for $550K.

The web site for the recent sale has the language:

"This updated mid-century home has been thoughtfully renovated. It offers three well proportioned bedrooms, including a spacious garden level suite. This flexible space is an ideal master or guest quarters which could also be used as a family room."

This, along with the pictures on the site, suggests to me that a bunch of work was done on the house, although I didn't find any permits on Property Shark.

Posted by: chuckie at February 20, 2009 12:06 PM

Permits for window and kitchen were done in 2002. So that Oct. 2003 was probably the actual remodel and the agent is still selling the old one. Plus probably some paint.

I do find it funny that agents are not to be believed no matter what. Unless they say something is recently remodeled, and then they are straight shooters 'cuase it rots some apples.

Posted by: sparky-C at February 20, 2009 12:15 PM

I'm sorry but what is peoples' fascination with Bernal Heights?

Posted by: SFer at February 20, 2009 3:10 PM

"I'm sorry but what is peoples' fascination with Bernal Heights? "

It's the last bit of relatively central high ground to completely gentrify. Therefore single family view homes can be had for under a million. Given the superconforming limits this is appealing. Plus the commercial corridor is OK. The greenspace has really terrific views. Proximity to freeways. North slope residents can walk to BART.

Posted by: anonn at February 20, 2009 4:40 PM

"I was just referring to what Limbaugh was saying because he is such an influential personality with such a large following in the US"

Rush, the king of White Trash. LoL

Posted by: anon at February 20, 2009 11:48 PM

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