March 17, 2010
1817 California Street #2E: The Circle Of (Bubble) Life Continues
The circle of life for 1817 California Street #2E as plugged-in readers outlined in 2008:
9/23/05: Property purchased for $650,000
11/18/05: property listed at $750,000
1/11/06: listing expires
2/08/06: listing comes back on, now up to $799,000
7/08/06: listing expires
7/11/06: listing comes back on, still $799,000
9/05/06: price reduced (back) to $750,000
9/28/06: listing is withdrawn by agent (owner)
7/27/07: property listed at $710,000
8/27/07: price reduced to $699,950
1/01/08: property withdrawn by agent (owner)
2/13/08: property listed at $675,000
3/10/08: price reduced to $665,000
4/08/08: property withdrawn by agent (owner)
4/07/08: new listing! new agent! new price! $498,000.
The 2005 purchase was financed with $650,000 in loans (yes, 100% LTV in Lower Pacific Heights). In September 2008 the property was taken back by the bank.
Noted by a plugged-in reader a few days ago, the bank owned condo is back on the MLS and asking $454,900. Also noted, but which we can’t confirm, "potential buyers should be informed by their realtor that the property is encumbered by at least one significant lien."
∙ Listing: 1817 California #2E (2/1.5) 787 sqft - $454,900 [MLS]
∙ The Circle Of Life In Pacific Heights: 1817 California Street #2E [SocketSite]
First Published: March 17, 2010 12:45 PM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
Why would anyone pay that much money for a suburban style apartment right here in the city?
Posted by: DogFriedRice at March 17, 2010 1:45 PM
I can't believe no one snapped it up for $799K in 2006 - I mean, 787 sq. ft of pure luxury: a $300 electric range from Sears; a $49 microwave from Target; and don't get me started on those deluxe mirrored wardrobe doors and beige carpet. And only $533 a month HOA dues. It's a shame that only one lucky person is going to get to buy this gem.
Posted by: Jeff at March 17, 2010 1:59 PM
Take away the obligatory "granite" and that's the same place I rented for a year or so in Oregon during college at $150 a month.
But in Oregon I had an eat-in kitchen and a private patio.
Posted by: redseca2 at March 17, 2010 2:22 PM
Posted by: eddy at March 17, 2010 2:33 PM
Agreed, that kitchen is a hot mess. In a very bad way.
The pics are horrible as well. They look like they were taken with a phone.
Posted by: Lori at March 17, 2010 2:52 PM
I remember taking a look at this (online didn't visit) back in summer/fall '06 while I was condo shopping. My reaction at that time was pretty much summed up by Jeff's post.
Posted by: Rillion at March 17, 2010 3:07 PM
seems like some agent douche refused not to make a profit on this POS for years and now eventually needed to dump it
Posted by: mikey woodz at March 17, 2010 3:16 PM
Egads, allegedly hitting a city bus with your Benz while drunk, not good. I'm not seeing the lien (anybody?), but it may be related to the City seeking reimbursement for workers comp claims that it paid out. It looks like the Ess Eff is fielding more real estate professionals with first hand experience as Certified Distressed Property Experts.
Posted by: EBGuy at March 17, 2010 3:31 PM
"Take away the obligatory "granite" and that's the same place I rented for a year or so in Oregon during college at $150 a month.
But in Oregon I had an eat-in kitchen and a private patio."
So true. The quality of SF housing sucks.
Posted by: Gil at March 17, 2010 3:49 PM
EBGuy: I'm guessing it's in the settlement document from midyear, but SFTC's viewer seems to be broken for me.
Posted by: EH at March 17, 2010 3:51 PM
"So true. The quality of SF housing sucks."
Yes dense old cities are like that. Add in rent control and slow growth and this is what you end up with
Rent control keeps it slummy
Posted by: Zig at March 17, 2010 3:56 PM
Yep, rent control, which doesn't apply to condos, is why this condo is so slummy.
Posted by: Rillion at March 17, 2010 4:21 PM
It might be rectified by this point, but a few years ago I heard that the building has a history of significant problems, ongoing repairs due to shoddy construction, etc.
Posted by: anon at March 17, 2010 7:25 PM
This is not Lower Pac Heights as SS suggests
Posted by: SFRE at March 17, 2010 9:39 PM
PS: 30% drop from purchase price in 2005. No surprise. Broken record.
Posted by: SFRE at March 17, 2010 10:05 PM
"30% drop" -- did it sell already?!
Posted by: sanfrantim at March 17, 2010 11:38 PM
"not Lower Pacific Heights" -- did someone move it?
Posted by: tipster at March 18, 2010 7:31 AM
South side of Cal is considered Lower , north side is Pac. or atleast that is what i had always heard, as being Cal. is the border.
Posted by: Kazee at March 18, 2010 8:12 AM
while some people occasionally bag on socketsite for having a bearish bias, etc-- from a consumer standpoint, the internet in general and socketsite are great. Fifteen years ago, you'd walk into this open house and be told "Just on the market and I already have a lot of interest in it." Actually you could be told the same thing now-- the difference is that there are more and more sources of information to fill in the blanks.
It's nice to think that this will eventually lead to people buying r/e with more data points as opposed to being sold on story, a couple anecdotes from their broker, and maybe a carefully chosen comp or two.
Posted by: nanon at March 18, 2010 9:00 AM
It seems there is some money to be made by building an application that captures and stores (via atom, rss etc)the listing history of properties.
Maybe someone has already done it?
Posted by: dogboy at March 18, 2010 9:23 AM
dogboy, redfin has a lot of that info, but (perhaps it's required by the mls?) doesn't show the prices at which properties were listed after they are delisted. I'd doubt redfin omits that useful info intentionally.
See the redfin page for this property for an example:
Posted by: dch at March 18, 2010 10:01 AM
@dch: you are correct, Redfin used to show the complete price history but then MLS changed its rules so now they can no longer show prices after a property has been delisted. Clearly, they wouldn't want a potential buyer to be burdened by such extraneous information. ;)
That said, I can usually find past price information on trulia.com, sfhouseprices.net or nestcube.com.
Posted by: geekgrrl at March 18, 2010 10:39 AM
"It's nice to think that this will eventually lead to people buying r/e with more data points as opposed to being sold on story, a couple anecdotes from their broker, and maybe a carefully chosen comp or two."
I've certainly had a good broker before (back in the dark ages before blogging for sure and not in the state of California) who actually gave me comps in the neighborhood for the previous year when listing my property. She was very helpful and spent a lot of time with us and gave a lot of info.
But that's certainly not all agents. A large part of the business used to be based around hiding as much information as possible. You still see that instinct nowadays in order to make a sale, even though there's a lot more information publicly available. Some counties were at the forefront of putting tax data up on the internets, but sites like Redfin have helped greatly by aggregating a lot of that data.
SocketSite readers are certainly more "plugged-in" than most about the real estate market, but the average Joe Homebuyer probably doesn't do nearly as much research, just given the number of people who keep telling me "it's a good time to buy!"
Posted by: sfrenegade at March 18, 2010 11:27 AM
"...the average Joe Homebuyer probably doesn't do nearly as much research, just given the number of people who keep telling me "it's a good time to buy!"
and so long as the average Joe Homebuyer remains the majority, they ultimately set the market price. They frustrate informed buyers with their overbids.
Ultimately the average buyer will become more informed. Though I'm not so optimistic that this will happen soon. What might occur sooner is that a whole generation of buyers gets burned in the bust, changing the "RE always goes up" meme into "RE is risky and can wipe out your life savings". When/if that occurs the informed buyer will have the upper hand again.
Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at March 18, 2010 12:42 PM
What might occur sooner is that a whole generation of buyers gets burned in the bust, changing the "RE always goes up" meme into "RE is risky and can wipe out your life savings".
It be nice if informed buyers had the upper hand again. I had so many friends who almost stretched greatly to buy something during the boom and are rather happy they didn't. I think the problem now is that people have bad memories -- things might be cheap relative to peak, but are not cheap relative to income.
Posted by: sfrenegade at March 18, 2010 12:50 PM
Dogboy is looking for this:
Posted by: John at March 18, 2010 1:23 PM
"It be nice if informed buyers had the upper hand again."
I would argue informed buyers always have and will have the upper hand.
Posted by: R at March 18, 2010 3:23 PM
Yeah, on re-reading my comment it was a little confusing. I should have said : "It be nice if informed buyers could have the winning bid again."
I guess by not buying into bubble market prices, informed buyers have retained the upper hand through the boom, but the still haven't got what they ultimately want.
Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at March 18, 2010 3:31 PM
John, thanks for posting that link. I stopped checking it after it was down for a few weeks––I assumed it had been shut down by the MLS. I'm glad it's back!
Posted by: RenterAgain at March 18, 2010 10:07 PM
Redfin says it's delisted again (after another 10k price cut a week ago):
[Editor's Note: Be careful, "delisted" on Redfin can actually mean "in escrow" (which in this case it is).]
Posted by: dch at March 24, 2010 3:39 PM