Towse: views from the hill

July 9, 2007

Now that is just unimaginable.

Filed under: real estate,San Francisco — Towse @ 6:05 pm

Regarding my real estate lust for 1417 15th St and my lack of $3.25m to spare, Christine commented: Monthly payments of $21,600. Now that is just unimaginable.

The monthly payments include mortgage (after a $650K down payment), insurance AND taxes. What a bargain.

But say you don’t have $650K for a down payment and you want a really nice place, good location (even though it’s near impossible to walk to any place that serves dinner and parking is extra).

You could lease the commander’s house at the Presidio: 7 bedrooms, 4.5 baths. Nice large public rooms with space for HUGE parties for all your friends. A large basement. Restored. 4100 sq ft. “Only” $15K/month.


For your $15K/month you get a space to set your worldly goods. You have no equity. You earn no equity out of your monthly payment. You get no property tax write-off. You get no nothing, except for a lovely place to stay.

In fact, the Presidio leases its prime buildings like this at whatever the traffic will bear, so $15K/month is just the base rate. If two people want the place, they can bid up the lease price even higher.

Ah, the American Way.

July 2, 2007

1417 15th St.

Filed under: real estate,San Francisco — Towse @ 5:09 pm

1417 15th St. (Zephyr Realty listing)

If only I had $3.25m to spare.

June 29, 2007

21 Napier Lane. Eight DOM

Filed under: life,real estate,San Francisco — Towse @ 9:31 pm

Bumped into one of our local Realtors last night at the annual Best of the Bay Area fundraiser/party/see-and-be-seen.

We’d last seen Jeffrey at an open house down the way on Sunday. We’d poked through the place. Three units. Top unit is vacant and has been rehabbed. We introduced ourselves to a new tenant/neighbor who moved in less than a month ago into the middle unit. Tenant/neighbor works at Linden Labs and can walk to work. His unit is in a more original state than the vacant upper unit. We didn’t see the bottom unit.

Last night Jeffrey told us the place we’d been through was in escrow.

Eight days on the market before getting a signed offer.

Downturn anyone?

June 26, 2007

Will not rent (really!) to people from Belgium

Filed under: life,news,real estate — Towse @ 1:17 am

From Craigslist via Curbed SF

Room for a Woman in a No Guests Place

… and please if you decide to rent this furnished bedroom from this piano teacher, don’t come to me a month down the road, crying and twisting your hanky.

S.F. condo rules snarl FBI agent’s plans

Filed under: news,real estate,San Francisco — Towse @ 1:03 am

S.F. condo rules snarl FBI agent’s plans
by Adam Martin, The Examiner

The buyer is suing everyone involved, it seems. Who do you think is at fault here?

  • The brother of the deceased owner, who sold the place at market price when it was a restricted Below Market unit? [maybe he didn't know]
  • The buyer (an attorney) for not checking the title report that showed the restriction? [maybe she lets her "people" deal with the details when it's not a court case]
  • The real estate folks on both the seller and buyer side who didn’t check into whether the unit was a Below Market unit? [anything to do with the commission being based on sale price?]
  • The appraiser who didn’t check whether there were Below Market restrictions and appraised it at market price?
  • The butcher?
  • The baker?
  • The candlestick maker?

The comments tail is a doozie.

[via Curbed SF]

June 25, 2007

For sale: 366 Lovell, Mill Valley

Filed under: architecture,real estate — Towse @ 8:51 pm

Have $4.395m to spare? Check out 366 Lovell

I especially like the open doors onto the deck, and the view.

Ah, well.

June 14, 2007

Dashiell Hammett’s old studio apartment is up for sale

Filed under: books,real estate,San Francisco,writing — Towse @ 11:58 pm

Dashiell Hammett’s old studio apartment is up for sale.

(That would be me that refers to as their “plugged-in reader.”)

307 sq ft. *only* $249K

June 1, 2007

Mount Madonna School Dream House Raffle

Filed under: California,life,real estate — Towse @ 8:02 pm

Tomorrow’s the big day: the drawing for the Mount Madonna School Dream House Raffle.

If all 32K tickets had been sold (or even if 26,500 tickets had been sold), the Grand Prize winner would have had to make the choice of either a home (appraised value $1.8m) in Santa Cruz, CA, or $1.5m cash.

TPTB just got back to me to say that the school sold over 19K tickets (at $150 a pop) and so, didn’t meet the minimum for the house prize. Instead the lesser cash prizes will be awarded tomorrow, starting at 2 p.m., and at 4 p.m. the Grand Prize winner will be awarded half the net proceeds. My correspondent estimated that, after expenses and lesser prizes, the Grand Prize winner will walk away with approximately $1 million (before taxes).

Which means, of course, that the school gets the other half — $1 million — to help pay off the debt owed on their new campus and to use for expanding the “educational opportunities for students.”

Sure beats a bake sale.

April 27, 2007

2901 Broadway, SF

Filed under: architecture,real estate,San Francisco — Towse @ 7:29 pm

The folks selling 2901 Broadway (Broadway at Baker) have finally come up with a price. (They originally said the place was priceless and anyone wanting to buy it would have to come up with an offer that reflected what it was worth.)

Price? $55m

SFNewsletter has an entertaining take (Comparison Shopping) on the price. Puts the price in perspective, doesn’t it?

Reminds me of those descriptions of a trillion dollars and how many times a trillion dollar bills laid end to end would wrap around the Earth. (four thousand times)

Some history on 2901 Broadway.

Real estate porn from the listing agents.

March 5, 2007

TICs and Andy Sirkin, Attorney

Filed under: real estate,San Francisco,URL — Towse @ 12:21 am

I’m not a huge TIC fan. I can’t imagine ever buying a TIC unit. Sure, I know. TICs are usually a chunk of change cheaper than a similar condominium, but the legal squirreliness involved with TIC agreements and the funding behind them just shiver me timbers.

And yet. … There are those who buy TICs and there are those with questions about TICs who need the straight scoop about what they’re getting into.

Anyone with questions about TICs (apartment units sold to buyers who own the entire building as Tenants In Common) should not ask the agent who was showing two TICs that we went through today.

Potential buyers who didn’t even know the difference between a condominium and a TIC were peppering her with questions. That agent was glossing over the drawbacks of TICs, giving misleading information about the ease of converting to condominiums, and other forked-tongue exercises. She claimed that the City limited the number of TICs that could convert to condominiums each year because the City wanted to keep rental units available and not have the City fill up with condominiums.


Well. No, I can’t even say, “kinda.” There is no law against renting out a condominium. A TIC doesn’t have to be owner-occupied. Neither does a condominium. I don’t know where the agent was getting her information, but she was blowing smoke on this and on other TIC/condo conversion matters too.

The rules about TICs and TIC conversions go far beyond what the agent was telling the naifs who were taking her word as gospel. There’s a history behind the rules and regulations governing TICs and condo conversions in this fair ville and it’s nothing like the gloss-over she was giving her potential buyers.

Read up on the issues swirling around TICs and then if you have questions (and you should), head over to Andy Sirkin, Attorney‘s site. Sirkin is the guy who wrote the book (and the agreements) and is the go-to guy for TICs.

Don’t rely on the word-of-mouth not-legally-binding schmooze from a real estate agent trying to sell a TIC. Get your information straight from Sirkin, no frills, no trussssssssst me, no BS.

… and before you make an offer on that TIC you have an eye on, find yourself a real estate agent other than the one selling the property to represent you in the transaction. Both real estate agents are paid by the seller, but the one representing you will have more of your interests at heart than the one representing the seller.

« Newer PostsOlder Posts »

Powered by WordPress