October 15, 2009
While A Bird Tweets, A Shark Sings
Tweeting about the sale ("It’s a Steal!") of his Heublien Building Penthouse (which is still available), Twitter's CEO opened the door to the obvious question, so where did he move?
Purchased for $2,400,000 in April of 2009 (16% under its original asking of $2,850,000).
∙ Hitting For The Heublien Building Penthouse Cycle (#PH3) [SocketSite]
∙ Before, After, And All Its Insides Now "Online" [SocketSite]
∙ Coming Soon: Victorians Gone Modern! [SocketSite]
∙ A Modern Day Price Cut For A Modern Home [SocketSite]
First Published: October 15, 2009 11:15 AM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
He can afford his solvency taxes. Can you? :)
Posted by: dub dub at October 15, 2009 11:21 AM
Nice scoop. I looked at a bunch of PropertyShark records for $2M+ SFH in Noe and eventually gave up. I had not gone far enough back.
Posted by: NoeValleyJim at October 15, 2009 11:24 AM
No, this can't be true. One of the richest men in the bay area negotiated the asking price down by more than 15%? Not possible. I heard they pay whatever price the owner asks just because they can.
You can imagine what the mere mortals are doing.
[Editor’s Note: Keep in mind the list price had been reduced a number of times and the property was last listed at $2,495,000 before it sold.]
Posted by: tipster at October 15, 2009 11:32 AM
still seems like a lot of money.
Posted by: kid char at October 15, 2009 11:50 AM
Plus it was re-remodeled after the purchase
Posted by: sparky-b at October 15, 2009 11:57 AM
You heard that rich folks pay whatever the owner asks because they can, eh?
You heard that where? Here? You seem to read this site pretty religiously. This site seems to almost exclusively present properties that go for under asking these days. So where did you "hear" that? Or was it just a particularly unfunny joke that would have been lame in 2007, but really sucks now?
The "mere mortals" who we are lucky enough to not have their addresses published on the internet? What are they doing? Those who are really in the market?
They're offering 15% under too. Often to less than effective results.
Tipster, how about you have an opinion that wasn't beamed in by aliens? It's either nut job theory or preach to the choir with you.
Question: This property still cost at least 800 a foot. Good deal?
Posted by: anonn at October 15, 2009 12:26 PM
I can't remember the square footage, but the price per square foot for a well done high end home in Noe sounded fair to me at the time.
I wonder if he will rent out the back cottage to me, that was my favorite part of the property.
[Editor's Note: The listed square feet was 3,200.]
Posted by: auden at October 15, 2009 12:29 PM
is he rich from a previous venture or he is just spending his investor's money? Twitter hasn't turned a dime.
Posted by: wanker at October 15, 2009 12:36 PM
I am glad it was re-remodeled. For all the talk of how much time was put into the design, there were some functionality issues with the place. I have to say Sparky, I felt the house you built on 25th flowed much better.
Posted by: auden at October 15, 2009 12:37 PM
[Editor's Note: The listed square feet was 3,200.]
Oh yeah. The back cottage was probably 500+ or so.
Posted by: anonn at October 15, 2009 12:43 PM
"I am glad it was re-remodeled."
Is that actually true? If that is in fact the case what a waste of time and valuable resources. So much for green housing...
Posted by: Willow at October 15, 2009 1:09 PM
"is he rich from a previous venture or he is just spending his investor's money?"
Made his money selling Blogger to Google.
Posted by: Michael at October 15, 2009 1:16 PM
anonn said: "You heard that rich folks pay whatever the owner asks because they can, eh?"
I don't know, in defense of tipster, maybe it hasn't been said directly, but various people seem to imply that here:
If you use the income stats of the SF residents (existing owners and renters), yes, the fundamentals are off. However, why haven't the price dropped? Because the buyers are a different group from the existing residents. There seems to be a new found interest in city living from those Google millionaires, who don't see a big problem paying 1.5M for a condo or house which would rent for $6000/month. And no, they are NOT paying higher percentage of THEIR income on mortgages than other folks. They just have higher income.
Posted by: John at October 30, 2007 11:03 AM
fluj said gentrification meant that people could afford these properties:
I posted a long post to answer Timkell's question what has changed in SF in the past 10 years, but it got flagged somehow. It didn't contain anything offensive?
Anyway, in a nutshell, what hasn't changed in the last 10 years in SF?
We've seen at least four new highrises greenlighted for the first time in decades, high volume desirable real estate in former industrial wastelands anchored by the prettiest ballpark in America, a new north south line to facilitate research facility infrastructure and a world famous medical school extension, tech as American's top product, Web has come and gone and is back and profitable, Noe Valley has emerged as Pac Heights South (not really, but quite expensive), Bernal Heights has gone from dangerous to desirable, ditto Potrero Hill, Ocean Beach has gained a foothold as a desirable location, etc. etc.
Posted by: fluj at October 30, 2007 2:51 PM
Of course, when all those highrises didn't quite work out, fluj wanted to exclude them from consideration in favor of SFRs, even though those condos were a reason for why SF is different now:
And again, the MLS is the only database that matters to me, and I have continually shown price remaining static ... sometimes a bit higher, sometimes lesser. You guys like to seize on condos. I prefer SFRs as indicator. It's a bit of a broken record really. Condos are taking a hit. That's because there are a lot of them.
Posted by: fluj at April 8, 2008 3:30 PM
And then fluj pointed out it was about boomer money making sure that people could afford SF real estate:
My chief criticism of the theory is this. The Bank of Mom and Dad, a k a Baby Boomer Union, has had a whole lot to do with liquidity at every step of your various bubbles imploding and/or being supplanted by other "bubbles." I just witnessed it firsthand again, selling a ~3M property that is pending. It was almost all Baby Boomer money. (anecdotal, of course. But it's still happening and it is an unmeasurable liquidity resource.)
Posted by: fluj at April 9, 2008 10:57 AM
Can't forget the trustafarians:
It is not the "internet"! San Francisco price stability is based on a buyers community which has the largest concentration of people with income sources that are "unearned" in the U.S. As Forbes noted last year, San Francisco is the Trustafarian capitol of America. I am most familiar with the northside of the city, and with single family homeowners, most don't work at all. Daddy or Grandmother made a fortune in Kansas or Salt Lake City, and they moved here to eat arugula and walk to coffee.
Posted by: jeff2 at January 8, 2009 5:12 PM
And don't forget the tech millionaires:
I wonder if top and bottom will ultimately get hit harder than middle? Middle (think largely gentrified southern parts of town that were not what they are today 10 years ago) has white collar south commuting tech incomes. These folks are able to afford $1 to 2M, arguably, for say Noe, along with perhaps useful 625K superconforming loans and the like for say, the Sunset.
Posted by: fluj at January 8, 2009 5:30 PM
It seems like there have been plenty of indirect insinuations that rich folks (whether they're Google millionaires, trustafarians, kids of boomers, gentrified folks, or white collar tech people) can afford to pay whatever they want for SF real estate, i.e. that the demand in SF is based on these people and that such demand is sufficient to keep prices up. That's sufficient for tipster's claim as far as I'm concerned.
Posted by: whatFlujAndOthersSaid at October 15, 2009 1:17 PM
Huh? Nothing I said there contradicts anything I've ever said, or continue to say.
Tipster said "Rich folks pay whatever."
Hello? Rich folks don't stay rich by wasting money.
The fact that people are STILL routinely paying 800 a foot for Noe, and that Tipster seemed to indicate 15% under and ~800 a foot was a good deal, is proof positive that SF has changed.
Posted by: anonn at October 15, 2009 1:25 PM
ouch, that's a pretty complete history.
Posted by: asad at October 15, 2009 1:26 PM
Your attempts to go back in time to show examples of people writing contemporaneously about a different market than the market of today is duly noted, however.
Posted by: anonn at October 15, 2009 1:27 PM
Great! I guess we're all in agreement:
1. Just because some people still have money doesn't mean they are idiots. They are going to pay the lowest price they can. If they have money but they know that others are unlikely to pay more than X for a product, they will not likely pay much more than X for that product, even though they clearly can.
2. Just because some companies are still hiring does not mean they are idiots. They are going to pay the lowest wage they can. If they have job openings but they know that others are unlikely to pay more than X for a person, they will not likely pay much more than X for that person, even though they clearly can.
Like if Twitter just got VC funding, but they can hire programmers more cheaply in India, they will unless they can find people locally who will work for a lower total cost (which will be higher than just the salary, but not infinitely so). In fact, the VCs will of course, *demand* that they do. And they will pay local hires less than they did last year.
Anyone hiring right now is paying WAYYYY lower than they were last year. We have all of our new hires in and started, and we are paying about 20% under last year. All our new college hires report that not a *single one* of their close friends is employed, not even part time. So the 20% off salaries we are paying this year were probably too high. Next year, we'll probably cut more.
All of our new hires are living at home. Last year, all of our new hires rented apartments.
That's going to ripple through to older applicants. Friends of mine who are unemployed are reporting offers at less than 80% of their former salaries for similar positions. In some cases, the offers are nearly 50%. Couple that with more conservative financing, and that tells me prices will continue to fall for the foreseeable future. Salaries down: funding down ==> lower prices. No way around that.
Posted by: tipster at October 15, 2009 2:15 PM
"people writing contemporaneously a different market than the market of today"
Yes, anonn, quite clearly you were talking about Iowa in the 1950s when you made those quotes instead of SF in the last 2 years (or even this year). Since we're in such a different market now, does that mean we're also not in the Internet era any more, even though it was a trend that could never reverse?:
SF didn't double, tho. Only the southeast areas now being hardest hit doubled. And granted, they saw runups that were unlike almost anything else. Meanwhile the local economy completely underwent a sea change. Lots of money was made in 2000, sure. Tons. How much of that left in 2001/2002? It wasn't even until 2003 or 2004 that the Internet was somewhat mature as a viable revenue source. One that is never going to reverse.
I don't know man. I'd put 2004 as the critical year. The year which, if it is all truly to be given back, is ground zero. It's amazing when you look at it in the SFARMLS, going back. That's when the SF r.e. really broke north. Sure the credit bubble was unpopped. But it also squarely marked a new SF workforce era, IMO.
Posted by: fluj at January 7, 2009 9:03 PM
Posted by: whatFlujSaid at October 15, 2009 3:03 PM
Hah--I also chimed in on 313 Duncan back in May:
Not surprised this is the house the Twitter founder purchased.
Posted by: insidesfre at October 15, 2009 3:24 PM
Naturally, this has been picked up by valleywag, which confuses mission and SOMA, but which suggests this is an interim mansion until the real one is built (In Noe too?) -- is that true?
You even got some link love!
I suppose a handful of google industrial complex folks could buy up all the Noe properties, as a kind of QE to support the real SF, lol :)
Posted by: dub dub at October 15, 2009 3:26 PM
So much for green housing...
Green housing doesn't work that way.
A good comparison is using up precious materials, energy, and labor to build and deliver a new car for improved efficiency and reliability. How well that works out depends on how much the car is used, how well it serves, and how long it is kept in operation. Keeping cars longer can help, but inefficient operation, increased pollution, and lower suitability including higher risk of injury in collisions adds up over time.
Using sustainable sources when possible reduces the impact of any construction, and buildings that are more efficient save huge amounts of energy over the operational lifetime of the structure. Longer times between remodels and maximum adaptation may seem desirable, but these compete with getting the maximum utility out of the property and not using so much labor that costs get out of hand.
Posted by: Mole Man at October 15, 2009 4:20 PM
It's a different market now. The times have changed. That said, where's the smoking gun? Not to belittle your hobby -- you do a fine job all by lonesome -- but what did I say there that contradicts anything?
Hey, search the archives. Search away. But simply finding old things people said and laying them out there, without purpose, is just you and your hobby wasting time.
Nobody said "Rich folks can pay whatever." Not once.
Great job sticking up for Tipster with something that doesn't make sense tho. Fitting.
Posted by: anonn at October 15, 2009 4:25 PM
"The 'mere mortals' who we are lucky enough to not have their addresses published on the internet?"
I consider myself to be a mere mortal and my address is published on the internet, along with how much I paid for my condo. Most mere mortals in SF have their home purchasing information published on the internet. Seems you are advocating that rich people should be excluded or that we just not talk about them. Public records are a b*tch.
Posted by: Rillion at October 15, 2009 4:27 PM
Was your NAME + ADDRESS published on a blog full of half-informed haters?
Posted by: anonn at October 15, 2009 4:43 PM
"WhatFlujSaid"'s link posted above really is a SS classic. It makes for a good laugh of nostalgic reading with familiar names, some of which have not been seen for a while. It contains many SS favorites including the familiar "world class" battles, Chicago envy posts, and numerous attempts by some to claim San Francisco is "immune" because of its various unique qualities. The justifications that are presented are desperate and hysterical.
Posted by: nostalgic at October 15, 2009 5:27 PM
There is no indication times have changed and that it's a different market, anonn. You can give us the platitudes all you want, but we're still dealing with the same bubble, and the same consequences of that bubble, as when fluj made those quotes. You're just splitting hairs here -- fluj definitely said that rich folks were propping up the market because they can afford to pay more and because they had outsized amounts of money compared to what demographics said ("unmeasurable liquidity resource"), and that's enough here for supporting tipster's proposition. John referred to people "who don't see a big problem paying 1.5M for a condo or house which would rent for $6000/month," and that's directly applicable to tipster's proposition. I'm sure I can find more, but that was an extremely quick search. You doth protest too much.
Posted by: whatFlujSaid at October 15, 2009 6:38 PM
So there aren't people out there with "unmeasurable liquid resource" who pay $2.4M for Noe houses and then re-remodel them while building their even bigger place? Or, was that already happpening in Noe pre-2004? I don't think there was even a Google Lazy Indicator pre-bubble.
Posted by: sparky-b at October 15, 2009 6:57 PM
Welcome to the neighborhood Evan! best to ignore all the haters and jealous types...they're just a (small) part of Noe Valley...hope you and your family enjoy your new home.
Posted by: noearch at October 15, 2009 7:31 PM
You are right nostalgic, that post is nice. Turns out fluj was pretty much right on every point, don't you agree?
Where is the 50% drop in prices you keep predicting? Prices in my neighborhood have actually started to go back up. When are we going back to 1997 prices? Wasn't it supposed to be by 2011? Are we going to see a 50% drop in home prices next year?
Posted by: NoeValleyJim at October 15, 2009 9:25 PM
> And then fluj pointed out it was about boomer money making
> sure that people could afford SF real estate:
> My chief criticism of the theory is this. The Bank of Mom and Dad,
> a k a Baby Boomer Union, has had a whole lot to do with liquidity
> at every step of your various bubbles imploding and/or being
> supplanted by other "bubbles." I just witnessed it firsthand again,
> selling a ~3M property that is pending. It was almost all Baby
> Boomer money. (anecdotal, of course. But it's still happening
> and it is an unmeasurable liquidity resource.)
As a kid that grew up in Hillsborough married to a woman that grew up in Portola Valley I can tell you that the Peninsula Parents dba “Bank of Mom & Dad” have come close to a completely stopping all Bay Area real estate lending. My wife was recently at a baby shower at the Circus Club and one Mom told another that they wanted to loan the kids money to buy a house in West Menlo, but were waiting for prices to drop more. She said that all the Mom’s (mostly from Atherton, Woodside and Portola Valley) and most of the kids (half still in SF and half that have moved back to the Peninsula) thought that values were going to keep falling for a few years with more than half of the Mom’s thinking that we would see values under 50% of the 2005 peak prices.
P.S. I just heard that 200 Manzanita in Woodside that sold for $13.8mm in 2000 sold for $8mm (after three years of price reductions) last month (and that the place next door is still on the market after a year of price reductions)…
P.P.S. As much as I may disagree with fluj/anon I want him to know that I can relate since I was an apartment broker trying to make a living back in the early 90’s when the market was tanking. I couldn’t stay in denial as long as he has so I left brokerage for business school, but reading his posts always give me a laugh and keep me coming back to Socket Site…
Posted by: FormerAptBroker at October 15, 2009 10:05 PM
Nice scoop. I looked at a bunch of PropertyShark records for $2M+ SFH in Noe and eventually gave up. I had not gone far enough back.
Hi, this is Calin from PropertyShark
You can always use for these type of searches our Advanced Criteria (Seller & Buyer) in the Comparables tool (which is free in San Francisco).
In this particular case, a comparable search by buyer's name Williams Evan, would do the trick. For better results, always enter last name before first name when you search by buyer or seller.
[Editor’s Note: Thanks for the tip. And as always, thank you for plugging in.]
Posted by: PropertyShark at October 16, 2009 1:34 AM
Where on the previous thread linked above did ANYONE predict 50% price drops NoeValleyJim? One comment mentioned that "we can debate whether it's 5% or 15% or 25%", but really, irrational car hatred is one thing, but throwing out false flames is not up to your usual standard.
I can also confirm what FormerAptBroker reports that not only are those who grew up in better peninsula neighborhoods finding the Parental Loan Dept. closed. The same is happening with my younger brother's newly married friends who grew up in Mill Valley, Ross and Tiburon.
Posted by: Nostalgic at October 16, 2009 4:10 AM
"Where on the previous thread linked above did ANYONE predict 50% price drops NoeValleyJim?"
No one on the last thread but there's a group of vocal bears who have predicted these size drops from peak over the years.
"Case-schiller below 110 and 50% off peak prices by 2011." was a prediction that I made a couple of years ago.
Posted by: diemos at October 16, 2009 7:56 AM
anecdotally would agree with this: "Peninsula Parents dba “Bank of Mom & Dad” have come close to a completely stopping all Bay Area real estate lending" that FormerAptBroker said. I've seen the same on my front -- the boomer parents are concerned that their investments are down, and some of them are cutting back on their own consumption, as well as their kids'.
Posted by: sfrenegade at October 16, 2009 9:01 AM
my recent experience is just the opposite. The BofM&D is open. Although, this was not on the peninsula.
Posted by: sparky-b at October 16, 2009 9:22 AM
This is old news.
Posted by: Mystery Realtor at October 16, 2009 9:57 AM
"Was your NAME + ADDRESS published on a blog full of half-informed haters?"
No, but I also do not go around giving interviews and promoting myself and my latest venture. You can not have it both ways, putting yourself in the public eye, then being concerned that people might look up your public information.
Public information is public information. Famous people's public information will be discussed publicly. Whinning that famous people's public information shouldn't be talked about publicly is silly.
Posted by: Rillion at October 16, 2009 10:14 AM
That's your opinion. This is quite a different milieu than that norm. At least we agree about the half-informed hater part.
Posted by: anonn at October 16, 2009 10:20 AM
It seems that none of you has much experience with either market research or the working definition of a public figure.
First -- extrapolating your class of new hires or the rich mommies at a baby shower to the market at large is not a particularly stable methodology. They are both extremely small samples, highly suspect ones at that, and prone toward reporting bias.
Second -- being an executive does not automatically qualify you as a "public figure", which is a person that actively seeks public office and/or fame. Your rights as a citizen and your rights to privacy are preserved until it appears reasonably certain that you are, again, seeking either public office or "fame". Twitter is a private company, albeit one that seeks promotion.
Third -- Whatever the specific rules defining a public figure ("reasonable judgment" comes into play), it is in bad taste to publish the name and address of someone here on this site. Having worked with a couple of known billionaires, you cannot imagine either the level of zeal nor the sheer numbers of creepy people seeking your money. The usual approach is a sob story followed by an appeal for "just" $1 million, since "that amount can't possibly matter to you."
So -- while these facts are public and therefore can be found, it would be good and right for SS not add fuel to a fire.
This property should be discussed based on its relative merits, not the personal details of the owner.
Posted by: amused at October 16, 2009 10:31 AM
This property should be discussed based on its relative merits, not the personal details of the owner.
To wit, the editor could have slugged an update into the existing thread on the property as an endnote. Instead, he created a brand new headline and thread. I found it irresponsible. Your mileage may vary.
Posted by: anonn at October 16, 2009 11:00 AM
amused -- That's not really the definition of a "public figure." You are right that typically a "general" public figure is someone who is deeply involved in public affairs, but that involvement need not be voluntary.
The other way to be a public figure is to be a "limited" public figure -- i.e. a public figure within a particular area because that person has put themselves into the middle of a controversy.
What sometimes separates a public figure (both limited and general) from someone who is not is the distinct ability to counter any information said about that person in the media.
I don't know where a judge would come out on all of this, but we already know that the buyer in question here tweets about his house being for sale, and that gets recognized by a sufficiently large media org:
Posted by: corntrollio at October 16, 2009 11:04 AM
" At least we agree about the half-informed hater part."
No we don't agree that this site is full of half-informed haters, but I felt it was irrelavent to the discussion so ignored your insult. Be it half-informed haters or delusional fanboys the people discussing the individuals public information are beside the point.
Posted by: Rillion at October 16, 2009 11:14 AM
what happened with the place he wrote about in the nytimes?
"We’re building a modern house that we hope will be done by 2010."
Posted by: nonanon at October 16, 2009 11:24 AM
You can always use for these type of searches our Advanced Criteria (Seller & Buyer)
Wow, PropertyShark, that's quite a useful tool. Lets see, within the past 36 months the brothers Muhawieh have bought 8 properties (3 SFHs, 1 apartment, and the rest flats & duplexes) with an average price around $1+million each. Some recent foreclosures from that list (not already mentioned on other threads):
33 Prosper - foreclosed July 8, 2009
527 Oak - foreclosed June 9, 2009
640 Hayes - foreclosed July 22, 2009
764 Clayton (SFH, 3,350 sq.ft.) - NOTS filed on July 31)
Feel free to discuss the relative merits of these properties.
Posted by: EBGuy at October 16, 2009 11:42 AM
Do you have to pay a fee for the advanced criteria on Property Shark?
Posted by: 94114 at October 16, 2009 11:54 AM
P.P.S. As much as I may disagree with fluj/anon I want him to know that I can relate since I was an apartment broker trying to make a living back in the early 90’s when the market was tanking. I couldn’t stay in denial as long as he has so I left brokerage for business school, but reading his posts always give me a laugh and keep me coming back to Socket Site
Your posts make me laugh too. Especially the rambling ones with all the misspellings late at night. What a life you must lead.
Posted by: anonn at October 16, 2009 12:04 PM
Anyone who tries to hawk their house (as Williams did) in the Chronicle should expect their next residence to be public knowledge.
Why whine for other people?
Posted by: JayDawg at October 16, 2009 1:27 PM
Any word if the founders of pets.com, webvan, flooz, etoys and geocities are living on the same block.
Posted by: Jimmy C at October 16, 2009 9:50 PM
Regardless of whether Evan Williams is a public figure, his children deserve to live in a safe environment. Ask any personal security expert and they will tell you a prominent person is typically most vulnerable at home, and most vulnerable through other family members living in the home. There are many documented cases of such home invasions, some which ended well and some that did not.
Posted by: Joshua at October 17, 2009 2:49 PM
Come on! Like this is really going to be the way bad people find the address...
Posted by: J at October 17, 2009 4:35 PM
now even less sophisticated stalkers who aren't particularily adept at researching public records can simply type "evan williams" 'noe valley' and 'address' into their google search engine and guess which web page is the first to come up...
Posted by: auden at October 18, 2009 10:22 AM
Regardless though, the story was going to break anyway at some point. A number of news outlets have picked up the story now as a result of this post. Maybe Evan should try buying with an LLC next time to make it at least a little more difficult to confirm the rumors.
I, for one, am happy his family has moved to Noe Valley and I wish them all the best. I hope they like Incanto.
Posted by: auden at October 18, 2009 11:42 AM
You are right. Google should be ashamed of itself.
Posted by: Anna at October 18, 2009 12:13 PM
My only point was that any time you post information on the Internet, it can easily be picked up by anyone. I was refuting J's claim that this post isn't going to contribute to the "bad people('s)" ability to find William's house. Its just the opposite, it makes it incredibly easy.
Search engine technology is amazing, and it is only getting better and better.
People are foolish to think that personal information posted on here is only going to be read by the eyes of loyal Socketsite readers or real estate aficionados.
Posted by: auden at October 18, 2009 12:32 PM
While this SS post may the origination point that led to William's address being commonly known and spread throughout media outlets, thereby allowing all sorts of people to figure out his home address with ease--- I'm not actually defending Williams.
I don't think he cares about the safety issues associated with making your address widespread knowledge. He tweeted about his apartment for sale, stated in an interview that he was moving to Noe Valley, and then purchased the house under his and his spouse's name instead of an LLC. If anything, he doesn't mind the publicity, and possibly wanted it. I don't know the answer though, I never asked him.
Joshua did make a good point though that William's may want to consider in the future.
Posted by: auden at October 18, 2009 1:34 PM
For sale now at $2,995,000
Posted by: formerly%whatever at July 14, 2013 9:04 PM