September 4, 2012
Here To Stay Today, But Likely To Be Gone Tomorrow
The two-unit building at 446-448 Missouri Street is on the market in Potrero and asking $1,199,000 for the whole shebang. According to the listing, however, while "both units enjoy classic details," it's only the upper unit that "enjoy[s] panoramic City views!"
Unfortunately, while the lower two-bedroom unit is vacant, the upper two-bedroom is currently tenant occupied at a rent of $2,119 per month. And as a plugged-in tipster captures, the tenants have recently made their intentions clear.
The sale of 446-448 Missouri Street, which is neither condos or a single-family home, closed escrow on Friday with a reported contract price of $1,290,000. No word on how the "Here to Stay" tenants are being handled or whether or not they're going to get paid.
First Published: September 4, 2012 4:00 PM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
So much for the usual selling price discount for a tenant-occupied unit in a building. The buyer must have really wanted this place.
Posted by: Brahma (incensed renter) at September 4, 2012 6:56 PM
The loudness of the signage is in inverse proportion to the silence that will meet their eventual departure.
What kind of person is interested in occupying the top floor of someone else's home and antagonizing them?
A sad person, that's who.
Posted by: Stucco_Sux at September 4, 2012 7:33 PM
Okay, so the editor linked (above) to the Carolyn Said piece that was published over the weekend, so I'd like to comment on part of that. Opening 'graph:
Dana-Lee Smirin has rented a house in San Francisco's Dolores Park neighborhood since 2008 and considered it "a haven of stability" as she battles Hodgkin's lymphoma and the aftermath of a car accident.
Doesn't say when Smirin came down with cancer or survived the auto collision, but it does say she's been renting this place for four years. Doesn't say she had some kind of unusually long-term lease, either, so why she built up some kind of expectation of "stability" in her heard is a mystery to me, unless she's talking about the neighborhood having lots of long term residents.
So she was distressed when her landlady informed her that she wants to sell the house and almost doubled Smirin's rent, from $3,100 to $6,000. Smirin viewed it as a tactic to get her out because it's easier to sell a vacant property.
…Smirin wants financial assistance with relocation, including the first year or two of higher monthly payments she is likely to face in a new dwelling. She also hopes that a new owner allows her to stay at a reasonable rent. Letters from her UCSF oncologists stress the importance of a stable, stress-free living environment as she undergoes chemotherapy and prepares for a possible bone-marrow transplant.
Emphasis mine. I'll let others get apoplectic with rage over a presumptuous tenant daring to challenge the absolute property rights of a landowner.
That's a reason right there that no one who can afford it should be renting into their fourties, no matter what "rent vs. buy" calculations say you should do if you are financially savvy. Also doesn't matter if, on a macro basis, landlords are "subsidizing tenants" in The City.
You just don't know what's going to happen to you, and when it does, you don't want to be at the mercy of a landlord. It's that simple. Owning allows you to enjoy the — yes — "haven of stability" offered by a known payment for housing that you are in control of.
As it happens, this woman's landlady is a presbyterian minister. If she isn't going to cut Smirin some slack, how can she expect any other landlord to? Did she think taking her story to the media was going to shame Rev. Kelsey into not raising the rent or offering her money to move?
The thrust of the piece was to try to get the reader to sympathize with Smirin as a disabled cancer victim subject to the whims of the real estate marketplace, but I came away even more convinced that renting isn't anywhere near as smart as it's portrayed in these comment threads, and I say that as a renter.
Posted by: Brahma (incensed renter) at September 4, 2012 7:49 PM
What kind of person is interested in occupying the top floor of someone else's home and antagonizing them?
So if you're renting you're in someone else's home. Meaning you must not have a home of your own.
You heard it here first: two thirds of San Franciscans are homeless.
Posted by: Alai at September 4, 2012 8:40 PM
my guess is two partners bought the building and one of them will be doing the OMI and giving the proverbial "peace out" to the loudmouth tenant with a crayon that was living upstairs. to get a flat in that location in the $650K range is a good buy...and a good-bye.
Posted by: anon$random at September 4, 2012 9:03 PM
I am sorry that the tenant has cancer and was in a car accident. I am sorry that she is being pressured to move out of her rental apt. Live can be very difficult for some people at times - and this story is a great example of that. Regardless, her demands are not even remotely reasonable.
SF is chock full of people who feel like life owes them something and the streets certainly do show it.
Neither SF or the landlord are benevolent caretakers who are expected to help all people at all times of need. Who is to say that Dana-Lee is the most needy in SF - her story is sad, but there are lots of sad stories in SF
Posted by: Bob at September 4, 2012 9:33 PM
But, aren't these two different buildings? The story in the Chronicle was about a woman living in a rented single family home, hence the ability of the landlord to raise the rent at will, in an apparent attempt to force her out. This story on SS is about a two unit building being sold with one unit occupied by "a loudmouth tenant with a crayon." What is the connection? I am confused.
Keenan Kelsey is a piece of work, btw, and will cut no one slack. When I saw the headline "Reverend doubles rent on cancer victim" I knew it would be her...and remember, this is the same woman who basically controls the parking lot in Noe that the neighbors want to turn into a community space. Good luck with that.
Posted by: neighbor at September 5, 2012 7:55 AM
neighbor, yes, they are two different buildings. I guess the reason the socketsite editor put in that link was because unlike the SFH that Dana-Lee Smirin is renting in Dolores Park, the owner of this place (446-448 Missouri St.) isn't going to be able to get away with what Rev. Kelsey is doing (because 446-448 Missouri St. "is neither condos nor a single-family home"), and so is going to possibly have to pay the tenant to move if indeed the new owner wants the upper unit vacant.
Posted by: Brahma (incensed renter) at September 5, 2012 9:56 AM
to anon$random's point, can you OMI on a 2 unit building if one unit is vacant? I think usually the answer is no. Does this change if two partners are the buyers?
Posted by: OMI? at September 5, 2012 10:46 AM
The new owners can always Ellis the place. This tenant's days are numbered in his below-market pad. He is not "here to stay" except for a short while longer.
Posted by: anon at September 5, 2012 11:00 AM
You definitely can OMI on a 2 unit bldg where one unit is vacant. All you have to do is offer the vacant unit to the current tenant at MARKET rent, not their current rent. Multiple landlord attorneys have told me this recently...
Posted by: anon$random at September 5, 2012 2:04 PM
The rental rules are RIDICULOUS in SF. Owners are hostages to crayon owning imbeciles. To those upstairs tenants 'Good luck in your upcoming endeavors to obtain a new rental space at double the cost for half the space'. ;-O
Posted by: Lily at September 5, 2012 3:37 PM
Yes, if you are renting it IS someone else's home and you are correct those individuals DO NOT have a home of their own, they have rental space.
Does that mean 2/3 of San Franciscans are homeless - SO BE IT!
Posted by: Lily at September 5, 2012 3:44 PM
It's not a home for the landlord, it's a flat or a house. It's a home to whoever lives in it.
They're living in their home, but in someone else's house.
Posted by: lol at September 5, 2012 4:05 PM
@lol: Maybe so, but not for long.
Posted by: TaxiDan at September 5, 2012 4:26 PM
Of course Lily is correct. Two thirds of San Franciscans ARE homeless, and they just don't realize it until something like Dana-Lee Smirin's story comes along to remind them or perhaps force them to realize it for the first time.
In fact, I'd let this slip out of my consciousness until I was reminded of it by the guy who sleeps in the outer doorway of my building on rainy nights with a can of Four Loko and another tall can of Steel City right beside his head so he has something to start drinking right away in the morning rather than have to hunt around for an open liquor store when he wakes up due to short-term withdrawal.
Once I was talking to him early in the morning when he was still relatively lucid and partially sober and he said "I'm not homeless, because my home is San Francisco. I just don't have a house or apartment. If I'm homeless, you're homeless, the only difference is that you're paying someone to keep yourself off the street."
Or words to that effect.
Posted by: Brahma (incensed renter) at September 5, 2012 4:36 PM
Hyperbole vs dictionary. Sigh. Silly me.
Posted by: lol at September 5, 2012 6:47 PM
Hey and don't forget by this same logic that since 'home is where the heart is' that means that only landlords have hearts and all renters in SF are heartless.
Posted by: Rillion at September 6, 2012 11:11 AM
I'm sure future landlords are lining up to rent to this woman.
Posted by: 48yo hipster at September 6, 2012 12:26 PM
I Google all my prospective renters as a first check. They're usually on LinkedIn for instance which helps me double-check they have the employment they claim they have, justified with their professional connections. Her woes now show up 4th, right after professional web sites.
The sad thing is that this person probably has a truckload of issues to deal with, as do all cancer patients, and the rent increase is a new layer of worries in her current sh!tstorm. Let's not forget most of us will get sick eventually.
Posted by: lol at September 6, 2012 12:59 PM
^ obamacare will take care of that. Yay.
Posted by: 48yo hipster at September 6, 2012 4:45 PM
Reminder to all "owners" that financed through a bank and still make monthly payments ... you don't "own" either.
Stop making payments and see what happens. It will take longer, but you'll be evicted as well.
Posted by: moz at September 10, 2012 1:08 PM
moz, that "'owners' are just like renters" line is all wrong. For example, "owners" pay a lot more than a renter would for the same place in SF. See, they are totally different.
Posted by: anon at September 10, 2012 1:16 PM
Even if you have $0 mortgage, you still pay a rent to the city for the use of its services.
Still, your kids can inherit a house you own, not a house you rent. Except in very abusive Estoppels I have seen (for a tenant there for 30+ years) where 3 generations were lined up and the landlord was going to be stuck with receiving $600 plus minor adjustments for another 60 years.
Posted by: lol at September 10, 2012 1:21 PM
This is true most of the time, but not all of the time.
For instance I pay around 60% of the rent value of my place in mortgage interest, property taxes, HOA dues. And I purchased in 2010. Increasing rents helped a lot, but a decent purchase price was key.
Posted by: lol at September 10, 2012 1:25 PM