February 24, 2010
Will Multiple Offers Magically Materialize On (42) Mars Once Again?
Listed for $1,199,000 last July, 42 Mars closed escrow for $1,240,000 six weeks later. It’s back on the market seven months later and asking $1,239,000.
Will multiple offers magically materialize on Mars once again?
∙ Listing: 42 Mars (3/2) - $1,239,000 [MLS]
First Published: February 24, 2010 2:15 PM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
what happened here ?was this a flip gone wrong? how can you have a successful flip when you pay over listing in a declining market?
Posted by: meep at February 24, 2010 2:30 PM
Probably someone liked the house, bought it, then found out owning a house means owning its problems, getting them handled somehow, paying for that, and knowing that prices are not going up like the used to.
Even people who thought they knew all about ownership sometimes encounter problems that they decide are outside their scope. Though the downturn has people looking for work, many of the skilled and reliable people in the trades have moved on or scaled back or retired with their bubble time earnings.
The historical record shows that people do no like holding onto homes when they are even a little bit under water. It is quite likely this house was purchased with a small down payment, so market moves quickly left the owners with more debt than house. Even the best house might not feel like home when it is mostly debt.
Many are having to move to stay employed, and renting out properties is especially tricky and expensive right now. Of all of the possibilities I'd say needing to move for work is the most likely, soured by underwater debt comes in a close second, and some combination of the factors that make up buyer's remorse could also be it.
Posted by: Mole Man at February 24, 2010 2:57 PM
I did a little assessments on condos in Corona Heights (42 Mars is in Corona Heights), Clarendon Heights and Twin Peaks. What I found is that since around 11/07 to around today, prices have dropped about 9.1%. Of course, this was specific to an analysis I was doing so you can cut it many different ways.
Posted by: Katy Dinner at February 24, 2010 3:08 PM
Another Corona Heights property you might be interested in - 350 Roosevelt Way. I follow the local neighborhood and my notes show:
Date Asking Received
4/01 $799k ?
6/08 1199k $1230k
10/09 1350k 1200k
2/10 1275k Quick flip or resale, Will the price hold? (numbers should be verified of course)
Posted by: Herb Pohlman at February 24, 2010 4:09 PM
Seems like a lot of house for just over $1.2m in a very desirable neighborhood though I'm sure someone will set me straight if my observation is off.
I really like everything about it with the exception of the overly dramatic mantles and the use of the same blue subway tile in both baths. Easy fix to replace it with another tile in the guest bath.
Again, to me, nice place, and if we hadn't bought our albatross of a condo in '07, this is something I could see us buying and living in for years.
Ah, the "shoulda, woulda, couldas". They suck.
Posted by: deshard at February 24, 2010 4:58 PM
Wow, that curbside photo has about the worst perspective correction job I've ever seen in SFRE. The whole house looks warped, especially the upper right.
meep - the difference between pay and ask is not necessarily relevant when deciding whether or not a flip will result in profit. The real factor is the difference between paid price and market value, especially if the flipper does something that has a positive effect on market value. Asking prices are all over the place. Some are too high, some are too low, hopefully most are about right.
Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at February 24, 2010 5:00 PM
Posted by: Ronald at February 24, 2010 6:07 PM
Here's a rental comp: http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/apa/1614170308.html
asking $4300 a month
The rental looks like a pretty close comp although the one for sale above is bit prettier.
Lots of cheaper stuff for rent in the neighborhood in the $3,000 to $3,700 range for 3 bedrooms. But they don't look as nice as the one for sale or the comp for rent above, from the ones I've checked.
Pretty funny to see some WTF asking rents/prices. Like this: http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/apa/1612542455.html
It's a 1600 sq/ft. 3 bed condo asking $1,575,000 to sell or $8,000 month in rent. Not bloody likely.
Seems like a lot of heavily remodeled little condo castles in that neighborhood (and the Castro in general). Like this: http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/apa/1612464685.html
I do like the clean look of the house above though. But not at the price.
Posted by: SFHawkguy at February 24, 2010 6:27 PM
One of the owners is a doctor and has been a homeowner for quite some time in Oakland. I can imagine he was going to retire here (given his age). Perhaps retirement was deferred due to financial matters, or there may have been a change in circumstances that prevented the move (ie. - health event, or falling out with his partner). I'm having a hard time believing this was a flip.
Posted by: EBGuy at February 24, 2010 6:43 PM
it's cute. is there a dining room?
Posted by: ex SF-er at February 24, 2010 7:32 PM
There are two living rooms -- one next to the kitchen (which is upstairs), and one downstairs on the first floor with the terrace out front, so the one next to the kitchen should really be the dining room. The organization of the layout is quite odd due to the way it's built into the hill, but it's cute.
Posted by: Scooter at February 24, 2010 10:03 PM
The stagers obviously thought a kitchen/family room combo would be more appealing than a full dining room. I'm wondering how many people that have a breakfast nook in their kitchen actually end up using the dining room for meals. I typically use my dining table only when I have guests, which is practically never... Do people throw sit down dinner parties still?
Posted by: sleepiguy at February 25, 2010 8:06 AM
This is a nice house. I agree that the mantels are horrendous - totally out of character with the Edwardian nature of the home and very nouveau. The floors have beautiful borders. Nice kitchen!
Posted by: abc at February 25, 2010 8:07 AM
Am I the only one who's noticed there is no central heat - one gas and one electric wall heater, and a fire place insert show up in the pix. Brrrr.
Posted by: Jim at February 25, 2010 8:07 AM
That rental you point out for $4,300 is not quite a comp -- it is a condo in a two unit building but it is large (I saw it).
But it is important to also say your comp has been for rent for more than 4 months with no takers and the price has gone from $4,600 to $4,300.
I doubt you could rent out the Mars house for much more than $5k a month. I've been closely tracking rentals and you can get a top of the line place with built in back yard BBQ, heat lamps and hot tub for a little over $5,500 in a much nicer hood than this. And nothing is moving in the rental market (and RE agents are still not budging on listing prices -- note to RE agents drop rents and you will rent it out and in a two to three year horizion that will mean much more $$ for your client than holding out for a hoping rent and foregoing four to five months of lost rent while you wait and hope)
SF is far far away from anything close to a market in which you can buy a place and rent it for a profit. One reason why I think prices will still fall. It will be interesting to see what happens on Mars but I'd be shocked if it were bought to flip or as an investor -- but if the Mars owner did buy it as an investment, I know who not to use as an investment advisor.
Posted by: Calhousingbear at February 25, 2010 8:23 AM
I think this place kicks ass. What do you folks think it should be priced at?
Posted by: lolcat_94123 at February 25, 2010 1:03 PM
Sleepiguy, we raise out glasses at our dinner parties and say haha .. dinner without sleepiguy, again! Dinner parties are back (at least for those wihtout rugrats.)
Posted by: kathleen at February 25, 2010 1:23 PM
Lol.. That sounds about right Kathleen! I'm pretty sure my neighbors do that!
Posted by: sleepiguy at February 25, 2010 10:05 PM