214 Arguello: Living
As we wrote about 214 Arguello Boulevard a year ago and almost to the day:

Purchased for $1,600,000 [in December 2007] when they were asking $1,675,000, 214 Arguello Boulevard returned to the market nine months later (September 2008) asking $1,595,000. The list price was lowered to $1,495,000 six weeks later. And for the past three they’ve been asking $1,395,000.

A sale at the current asking for this four bedroom, two and one-half bath, completely renovated and District 7 (albeit on a busy block, as it was before) condo would represent depreciation of 12.8% over the past year.

From the listing: “This price is [absolutely] unbelievable…” Only if you’re not plugged-in.

As a plugged-in reader notes early this morning, 214 Arguello was taken back by Wells Fargo on December 10 with no bidders at $1,259,306, the balance on the first of two mortgages owed.
Perhaps It’s The Market That’s More Unbelievable To Some… [SocketSite]
Latest San Francisco Listing Euphemism: “Unfinished” Versus Stripped [SocketSite]

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by justnobodyatall

    212 Arguello (is it the same building?) is asking 1.245 down from 1.295. It has been on the market for 100+ days.
    [Editor’s Note: It is. Purchased for $1,195,000 in June 2005 but then "complete[ly]” remodeled.]

  2. Posted by tipster

    Good for the former owners. They can move on with their lives and buy another place in 3 years, without struggling to throw good money after bad.
    And the “seller” of the other unit in this building can get a more realistic idea of what his unit is worth, and decide whether to pay *his* mortgage with that knowledge.
    So it’s a good thing for everyone but the holder of the second mortgage. Very pretty place and the neighborhood (if not the street) is fantastic

  3. Posted by NoeValleyJim

    This is a mighty drop, a bit over 20%. Any guesses as to what the bank will get for it when they resell? I don’t really follow D7, so I don’t have a clue.

  4. Posted by sfrenegade

    tipster — according to EBGuy on the prior post, Wells Fargo had both the $1.2M first and the $160K second (that’s a 75/10 loan) on 214.
    212 seems is looking at a decent-size loss too, considering the remodel. It’s apparently 200 sqft bigger, and the agent lists it as a 3/2, but is trying to market its office and den as a potential 4th and 5th bedroom.

  5. Posted by tipster

    From last year’s post:
    “If I didn’t think it would be 1.1M next year, I’d go look myself.
    Posted by: tipster at December 20, 2008 12:35 PM”
    Amazing how accurate that was! If it sells for 1.1, it dropped from 1.6M to around 1.1M in the course of two years! Who would have thunk?!

  6. Posted by anonn

    You’re off by 160K right now. That’s not very accurate at all for a condo guess.

  7. Posted by J

    There were NO buyers at $1.26M! So he can’t be off a full $160k…

  8. Posted by wow

    ^^^very true.

  9. Posted by NoeValleyJim

    Correct me if I am wrong here, but the bank actually bought it for 1,259,306 plus 160,000, right? If someone else has bid more, they would still have been on the hook for the outstanding second, right? So it actually sold for $1.41M for a smidgen under a 12% drop.

  10. Posted by anon

    NVJ, the second disappears upon the foreclosure sale. That is why second liens demand higher interest rates.

  11. Posted by justme

    Also, I hardly think you can say that the bank “bought it” just now. They bought it two years ago. That the “owner” decided to stop paying them doesn’t really constitute a new decision to buy based on the current market. I suspect that given the chance, they’d pass on it today.
    I could be wrong, but it strikes me that “gets stuck with” =/= “bought”, at least as far as determining markets goes.

  12. Posted by "Dave"

    There were NO buyers at $1.26M! So he can’t be off a full $160k…
    Technically, nobody showed up on courthouse steps with $1.26M cash…

  13. Posted by Roxxie

    I actually looked at this in 2007 and really liked it, but for the location next to a gas station (the lack of a real yard would not have been a deal breaker to me, since many condos [and even some SFHs] under $2 million in D7 will have less than ideal yard situations, unless it is shared space). Just googled it and found this old photo gallery still on-line:
    http://www.residentphotography.com/214arguello/media/shell/shell_big.html
    Of course, wouldn’t touch it now as I am scared of places with bad fiancial karma (ergo most places that make it to Socketsite; for instance, the recent listing on Lake, etc.)

  14. Posted by tipster

    Correct me if I am wrong here, but the bank actually bought it for 1,259,306 plus 160,000, right? If someone else has bid more, they would still have been on the hook for the outstanding second, right? So it actually sold for $1.41M for a smidgen under a 12% drop.
    Seeing you struggle to try to convince yourself that the drop was only 12% really made my day. This very pretty home will sell for around 1.1, and when that happens, you’ll have to eat the fact that homes two years ago were selling for 45% more than they are today. The interior of this home looks like a lot of the really nice places in Noe, wouldn’t you say NVJ? High ceilings, great woodwork, leaded glass.
    It’s very sad for the seller, but fantastic for the buyers. Especially for buyers who were looking two years ago and decided that prices would fall, and wisely moved to the sidelines.
    The homeowners of SF fought the good fight. But circumstances overcame the best of them: divorce, etc. And this was LAST year’s story hitting the courthouse steps now. What happens when all the job losses from March through October hit next year? The problems will be greater than 45%, I’m afraid. Look out below!

  15. Posted by NoeValleyJim

    If homes drop 50% in a neighborhood that I wanted to live in that would be great for me too, especially if rents don’t drop. Then I would rent out my duplex, which already cash flows at current rents and buy a bigger place.
    Keep up the dream tipster, it won’t happen that fast, but eventually home prices will come down more in line with incomes.

  16. Posted by anonn

    Yeah, everybone was confusing the condos, myself included. Tipster isn’t content to merely obviate the 300K and talk about the 1.1 sale as if it’s already a wrap. Nope. He’s got bigger imaginary fish to fry, talking about the homeowners of SF en masse and all that good stuff. Merry LOL.

  17. Posted by anon

    Here is another 1/3 off (so far) REO condo.
    http://www.redfin.com/CA/San-Francisco/1207-Indiana-St-94107/unit-9/home/12397980
    The real estate crash is movin’ on up, and 2010 is going to bring more and worse of what we’ve seen in 2009. Recasts, lost jobs, people just needing to move from their underwater place but won’t or can’t bring a check to the closing. What will be really fun is when some of the RE porn that was featured here in 2006 and 2007 starts turning up as REO porn.

  18. Posted by tipster

    I’m sorry. I missed *your* prediction, annon. I’m sticking with the one I made a year ago.
    What do you figure a “family” sized home on a modestly busy street next to a gas station will sell for now that the world is awash in houses, in a city in which the number of jobs is shrinking, and the population of working people is shrinking even faster? Would you put down $330K for your own little slice of heaven next to the filling station? Think you could work hard to make $300K to qualify for that? I know what it sold for when homes were valuable and money and jobs were easy to get, but that situation appears to have changed.
    Just so you can see what families might be looking at in comparison, here’s a place in Walnut Creek you can get for around $1.1M on a cul de sac that backs up to a golf course, and has way better schools. 62 DOM, I’m betting you can wait for a short sale and pick this up for right around $900K. Of course, it would be a longer drive — to the gas station, which is not right next door.
    http://www.redfin.com/CA/Walnut-Creek/559-Club-View-Ter-94598/home/12124552
    Go ahead, make a prediction. I’ll go on record as saying that anyone who buys this place for more than $750K is a complete fool, but I think it will sell right around 1.1.

  19. Posted by Rillion

    Nice one tipster. I love your manipulation of numbers to make it seem like prices are down 45%. And to do it in a post calling out someone else for “struggl[ing] to try to convince yourself that the drop was only 12%”.
    Yet somehow you manage to throw out this gem to wrap up your post: “The problems will be greater than 45%, I’m afraid. Look out below!”
    Those two lines clearly are intending to imply that prices are FALLING (look out below!), and they have a number in there 45%, so did this place fall by 45%? Not yet. It would need to sell for $880,000 to have fallen 45%. Yet you predicting it sells for $1.1mil.
    So how was this percentage slight of hand performed? Ah, its this place would need to increase by 45% from the $1.1 to get back to $1.6. Yet some how by the end of your post this 45% figure you conjurered up gets equated to being a “problem” and then followed by the comment “look out below!”. Bravo, way to make up a number for an increase that is bigger then the decrease then conflate it with decreasing future values. Well played.

  20. Posted by anonn

    Heck. I can show you myriad places nearly nationwide that are veritable mansions for half that amount of money. You’re approaching all of this with a very defined outlook that I totally disagree with, top to bottom. It’s not even worthwhile to get into. Family this, set amount of income that, city in decline this, the list goes on. It’s pointless for us to debate. Expect to be called out on nonsense when you skip over several links in even your own chain of events, jus the same. As for this one, I would not be surprised if the property sells for 1.2 or so.

  21. Posted by R

    “Nice one tipster. I love your manipulation of numbers to make it seem like prices are down 45%.”
    Yes, this site is littered with Tipster’s equations that are based on bad calculations and questionable numbers and obfuscation.
    Now for real math (using predictions from above):
    If it sells for 1,100,000 it’s a 31% drop
    If it sells for 1,200,000 it’s a 25% drop
    If it sells for 1,259,306 it’s a 21% drop

  22. Posted by tipster

    I didn’t say prices were down by 45%, I said that if it sells for 1.1, then it cost 45% more to buy two years ago than it does now.
    You guys flunked reading comprehension, didn’t you.
    How exactly is that bad calculations: 1.1 x 1.45=1.595.

  23. Posted by R

    Nobody said your post wasn’t factually accurate.. We used terms like “intending to imply” and “obfuscation” and “manipulation”.
    But you use calculations that nobody in the world uses to make the situation look worse than it is. Why not use normal calculations, like if this place sells for 1.1 then it would be a 31% drop? Where have you ever seen anyone ever talk about a price drop percentage by using the percentage it would have to gain to get back to where it was? Nowhere, because it’s ridiculous.
    Oh that’s right, I forgot, you are trying to prove your belief that the sky is falling.

  24. Posted by tipster

    I don’t *need* to make it look worse. It’s doing that all by itself.
    Look around you, even with the bank backstopping their losses, these people just lost about a quarter of a million dollars. The next buyer will likely experience a similar loss.
    Whether it’s 31% and counting, or 45%, now that you have 30% downpayments for jumbo loans, it doesn’t make any difference. You get to lose it all in both cases. The difference is what the bank loses. So 45% and 31% are the same thing, really.

  25. Posted by R

    You got me.
    Apparently 45% and 31% are the same thing.
    I don’t know why I didn’t see that.

  26. Posted by anonn

    Look around you, even with the bank backstopping their losses, these people just lost about a quarter of a million dollars. The next buyer will likely experience a similar loss.
    Whether it’s 31% and counting, or 45%, now that you have 30% downpayments for jumbo loans, it doesn’t make any difference. You get to lose it all in both cases. The difference is what the bank loses. So 45% and 31% are the same thing, really

    None of that made any sense at all.

  27. Posted by tipster

    Let it go.
    It’s bad enough that real estate throughout the city is dropping by 45% without having to read all of these tortured posts.

  28. Posted by Bombero

    Isn’t this the place that flujbot tried to dismiss because there is a gas station on the corner?
    A bubble purchase in December 2007 met its predictable denouement – total loss of the sizable (240k) downpayment, credit ding from foreclosure, massive unjustifiable carrying costs.. . Such a shame – Merry Christmas!

  29. Posted by anonn

    I find it continually amusing how so many of you read my qualifying comments as outright dismissals. In this case, Bombero, forget about location mattering. I guess? It’s all good in internet “house = numbers” world. Merry, happy to even a hate!

  30. Posted by NoeValleyJim

    It’s bad enough that real estate throughout the city is dropping by 45% without having to read all of these tortured posts.
    You should just put on your flight suit and cod piece and declare “Mission Accomplished” tipster.

  31. Posted by john

    Great math here.
    I always suspected tipster is a bull in bear’s clothing, purposely posting bad math to make the bears look bad.

  32. Posted by roxxie

    214 was just listed on MLS at $1.2m. Ouch.

  33. Posted by anon

    This is Presidio Heights. Yawn. Wake me up when we see 25% price reductions in Real SF instead of Subprimeland.

  34. Posted by anon

    fact: its a bad market to sell into.
    fact: a very very small percentage of real sf is being sold into this market-and the good stuff does not need to take this kind of haircut.

  35. Posted by anonm

    This is Presidio Heights. Yawn. Wake me up when we see 25% price reductions in Real SF instead of Subprimeland.
    I love posts like this because it’s impossible to tell whether they are serious or sarcastic. On the one hand, the message itself is rather absurd (calling Presidio Heights subprime land). On the other hand, equally absurd but apparently serious statements have been made in the past about the continually shrinking “Real SF” or justifications for why nice properties have fallen on value (eg, “it had some stairs”). You just can’t tell!

  36. Posted by Jeff

    “fact: a very very small percentage of real sf is being sold into this market-and the good stuff does not need to take this kind of haircut.”
    Reminds me of living in AusTex ~1990. Very little good-quality inventory, as nobody WANTS to sell at the bottom (unless moving up).
    When the “good stuff” did come on the market back then, it was not immune to the market reality. So maybe a “[...] so far” suffix is in order – time will tell…

  37. Posted by Jimmy (No Longer Bitter)

    A little off topic but the market on the Peninsula (Belmont Hills south to Palo Alto) is absolutely scorching hot. As a perma-bear I never imagined saying this but try and buy a respectable 3br sfr for under 850k and you will be in for a rude awakening.

  38. Posted by tipster

    This could be very different from 1990. In 1990, selling at the bottom meant losing your downpayment, as very few sellers were underwater. In addition, there are real estate commissions you had to pay when you sold. Almost anyone in 2009 would have had to pay that commission.
    In 2010, no one needs to actually “sell” at the bottom. They can just walk away from their zero down loan and let the bank sell. The real estate commission for walking away is zero. So it’s much cheaper to “sell” in 2010 than it was in 1990 making it a much more desirable and much less costly solution. And there isn’t much tying the owner to the home when it’s underwater even before the realtor commission.
    That’s what the former owners of this place did. They listed it for lower and lower amounts, until it was 200K under what they paid, with 240K down. The realtor commission would have been $70K. So they valued their credit rating at around $30K. When it failed to sell at that price, they bailed. Although they “lost” their downpayment, it was already gone. What they didn’t have to pay was a realtor commission, so it made it that much easier to do. They got $30K more by walking away than they would have gotten if it had sold at asking!
    This was an mid 2008 personal problem that turned into a mid-to-late 2008 attempt to sell, which turned into a late 2009 foreclosure. The job losses of late 2008 and 2009 won’t hit for a while. of course, in 1990, there were plenty of job losses to go around, but the other factors weren’t there.
    Finally, in 2010, the stigma of a foreclosure is much, much less than it was in 1990. You’ll have plenty of company with a foreclosure on your credit report in 2010. Not that it matters, in no longer than 3 years, you’ll qualify for another mortgage. It’s just no big deal now, like it was on 1990.
    All those things will make 2010 very different from 1990.

  39. Posted by eddy

    212 priced increased to $1.295
    [Editor’s Note: Originally listed for $1,295,000 in September of 2009, the price was reduced to $1,245,000 a month later. And once again, purchased for $1,195,000 in June of 2005 but then renovated.]

  40. Posted by SocketSite

    Having increased its list price last week, the listing for 212 Arguello has now been withdrawn from the MLS without a sale.

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