The Lambourne (725 Pine) Twenty-Two Hit The Market And The MLSSeptember 13, 2007
Four of the twenty-two studios and one bedroom condos in The Lambourne (725 Pine) hit the MLS last week with prices ranging from $355,000 to $579,000 (and monthly HOAs ranging from $250 to $300). We have yet to take a tour (readers?) and don’t have an official word on sales (although we have heard rumblings of over 50% “sold”).
Converted from a boutique Nob Hill hotel by Chip Conley of Joie de Vivre fame, the units feature “petite” Scavolini kitchenettes, “luxe” baths, and in-unit Asko washer/dryer combos. And no, no parking.
∙ Listing: 725 Pine Street #101 (1/1) – $569,000 [MLS]
∙ Listing: 725 Pine Street #104 (0/1) – $395,000 [MLS]
∙ Listing: 725 Pine Street #208 (1/1) – $579,000 [MLS]
∙ Listing: 725 Pine Street #305 (0/1) – $355,000 [MLS]
∙ New San Francisco Condo Developments: Citrino & The Lambourne [SocketSite]
Comments from Plugged-In Readers
Citrino’s sister building, looks neat but will be an interesting test of the market as units can be purchased without a jumbo loan, the real question is if folks looking to get on the real estate ladder will bite or if this will be an investor only building?
Expensive for really small places. I make decent money, I am young, I guess the typical first time buyer, but I am staying off this “property ladder” wich sounds more like a ponzi scheme to me, with me being the fool at the bottom of the pyramid.
Buying any of these units will cost much more than renting.
If you are going to live in one of those tiny apt. forever, and you want something yours, it is fine. But If you going to upgrade eventually, why not just rent, save much more money, and get a better property.
Wow…what a waste. So small…and that kitchen is insulting. I see these sitting on the market for a long, long time.
My prediction is these will return to the market as rentals. In the bubble years, I could see these units selling at these prices to those looking to sell at a profit in the near future. But I can’t imagine why anyone would pay these prices when you can rent much more house at a lower cost, and the chances are that it will be many years before you will see any significant appreciation in these units. Bad timing for the developer.
They are nicely done for the limited space. The kitchen looks like something you would see in a college kid’s apartment though. I don’t see how these could be seen as a positive investment unless maybe you were planning to hang onto it and rent it out in the future?
Could they use any less appealing pictures for these units? The washer/shower pic makes me sea sick.
Does anyone have a scoop on 901 Bush Street (corner of Taylor)? This building is similar in style to the Lambourne. It was an apartment building that had a tragic fire then sat gutted for years. More recently, developers redid the building and outfitted the units with what appear to be “better than rental” interiors. Yet, there have been several flurries of work, then periods of no activity at all. Even though the building has appeared ready for occupancy for well over a year, it remains vacant and boarded up at street level. Anyone have the inside story?
Seehee, this is the only article I could find, but it’s over a year old. http://www.beyondchron.org/news/index.php?itemid=2820
Maybe they are still tied up in legal matters?
can anyone guess the sq fotage on the 1 bd/ 1 ba condos?
I am thinking around 500Sq ft. It does look a lot like my college dorm room.
Considering the great location and size of the units, I think these will be sold as pied-a-terres or first time buyers (most likely couples.
Reselll studios in this neighborhood go for $300-400K+ right now so the pricing seems be on target.
There are a lot of couples sharing studio condos in this area, too.
FYI: My husband and I lived in a 430sf 2-bdrm apt in Hong Kong which had a small kitchen like these units and no oven. At first it seems daunting to cook in such a small space but you do learn to handle it better. We had a party in the apt and invited 50 people. A few days before the party, we panicked and asked people to stagger their time at the party. During the event, I turned around at one point and realized 5 people were standing in our tiny kitchen. We must of had 40 people at once in the space and it did not feel that crowded.
They are *Pied a Terres* people!
Thanks for the research and great find, pica1986. I’ll bet the building is still tied up in legal matters. Too bad. It would be a nice building to live in–and having it occupied would help the corner and nearby neighborhood..
A pied a terre without parking doesn’t sound like much fun in Nob Hill. At $4-5K a month why not just stay across the street at the Ritz?
That the sq. footage is glaringly missing from all listings and/or articles I’ve seen published on the internet, is not a good sign for those interested in a non-rental primary residence and for those of us who aren’t looking for a pied a terre. I’m more interested in the price/sq ft rather than the overall purchase price. If it’s in the $1000/sq ft range, that’s a little pricey for a vacation closet and would be a stretch to justify the rental income in the short run (and maybe the long run if it’s subject to rent control). I’d rather go w/ Anna’s idea and stay at the Ritz.
Our office previewed these units yesterday. They are itsy-bitsy– about the size of boutique hotel rooms (which is what they were in the building’s previous incarnation). Dare I say they are as small as 325 square feet?
Even so, we got totally sucked in by the model units and the finishings. What surprised me was the pricing– I actually liked the less expensive units more than the higher priced ones. They add a premium for an ‘outdoor space’ that’s not very attractive– I’d rather go down the street to a sidewalk cafe than sit down in an alley facing a brick wall.
The lack of counter space in the kitchens would make food preparation painful. There’s no place to chop an onion or even beat an egg. But I saw one floor plan that sort of dog-legged around the kitchen where you could set up a small table.
They have a couple of units under contract and tell me that the only serious buyers have been pied-a-terre buyers. You can turn up your nose at the size but if you’re in town to enjoy the sights and play and are only using the place to sleep and maybe make a cup of coffee in the morning it’s not a bad set-up.
I calculated the carrying costs– this kind of place would rent for $1500/month– (I looked at a studio apartment for rent in a comparable building a block away). Furnished it would rent for even more and could make a profitable corporate rental.
Odd that the listings for the studios don’t include photos of the kitchen. Do they have full size refrigerators? I could handle a tiny kitchen but not one of those dorm room iceboxes.
I have to say I like the price and appreciate the reasonable HOA fees. And I would have no problem living there without a car.
Is there any closet space?
At these prices, I would consider buying it for my home. I don’t need much space. But I wonder how it would feel to be one of the few residents in a building of weekenders/vacation rentals.
Thanks so much for the info Cece. I hadn’t thought about corporate rentals, which could indeed be profitable. But as small as 325 sq.ft.? That’s almost $1100/ sq.ft. for the lowest priced unit! It’s a great neighborhood and I guess if you have the disposable income for a pied a terre, go for it…
“. . . I hadn’t thought about corporate rentals, which could indeed be profitable.”
Pica, Cece, I beg to differ unless you show us some numbers. I’d say there is no way you are carrying that much PITI, paying HOA, cable, electricity, high-speed Internet, phone, misc. maintenance and cleaning services, etc. and coming out “profitable”. And don’t forget that most successful corp rentals come with parking.
I checked out lambourne a while back when I first heard about it here. I actually really liked the units that were finished. I was pretty close to snagging one. But I didn’t like the trends in the market, and as a first time buyer, if I actually got stuck in there for more than 2 or so years I be sad:( The layouts are nice and the location is cool, but it’d be embarising to tell people you bought a 350 sq foot house…
AnonN and others:
Egg is on my face– I did some number crunching on a furnished rental. You’re right– on closer examination it is a push. . . I admittedly get ahead of myself when I do a calculation in my head. Nevertheless, here’s what I come up with for a $345,000 unit:
Mortgage (financing between existing home equity line and new loan with no cash into it) at 7% is $2070.80 month (interest only). 7% is very conservative– the loan would be conforming.
HOA is $300/month
Utilities would run $150.00 (could be low, but I think the phone would be almost nil)
Nob Hill Suites next door start at $2800/month furnished studio with no parking. I have no idea what their square footage is. They say “spacious” on their website, but it’s hard to know for sure. . .
I also haven’t added in a vacancy factor or cleaning and maintenance. There’s also the cost of the headache involved if you manage it yourself. I know from personal experience how much of a drag this part is.
However, we are not factoring in tax benefits of depreciation. This is also kind of a sweet property to take a loss on if you want to offset gains from other income properties in your portfolio.
But. .. in thinking this through more thoroughly, I believe this kind of investment best serves as a cross between a pied-a-terre and something to rent out when you don’t need it. I also think there’s good possibilities for appreciation here– demographics indicate a larger and larger pool of pied-a-terre buyers coming down the pike and not everyone is going to insist on (or be able to afford!) some swanky place on the North Side with a view.
If you’re talking strictly pied-a-terre, a friend and I talked about The Lambourne units after we finished looking at them. We were utterly seduced by their charm, but then again Symphony Towers has units at a comparable price with parking. Rents for furnished on the Van Ness corridor, however, are much lower right now(at Opera Plaza they run $1600/month for bare bones furnishings). The Van Ness corridor promises good upside, but that is a conversation best served on another thread.
BTW, if memory serves, the closet space at The Lambourne sucks. If I were looking for a downtown unit in this price point for a principal residence (and could stomach a worse location) I’d head for 631 O’Farrell. Crummier block, but it’s an a-m-a-z-i-n-g building.
Thanks much for taking the time to respond in detail. Re your analysis, you need to include property taxes and insurance. Add in the cleaning and maintenance that you mention and management costs (even if you manage it yourself); the result is substantially negative cash flow — starting out. But I think you’re right about the potential for appreciation over time.
Am curious about your comment “demographics indicate a larger and larger pool of pied-a-terre buyers coming down the pike . . . .”
Can you cite your source(s). This seems spot on but would like to see underlying data. Thanks again!
Digging up data on the spot is not my strong point, but I’ve read numerous articles about the burgeoning second home market and aging baby boomers who are ready to tap the equity in their home to purchase second homes. We are only seeing the beginning of this as the population ages. I also know from personal experience that the condos I sold to young singles and couples years ago are now turning over to older buyers seeking a second home.
Thanks for reminding me about property taxes. How did I miss that??
Oh, insurance is covered in HOA.
I would think you would need additional liability insurance (and lots of it) if you were going to rent out your unit.
And as a resident, you would want your own condo-owners policy in addition to the building insurance covered by the HOA fees.
We now know what happened to the other 18 not on MLS. They are now listed on Craigslist for $3K. They are probably going to rent about as fast as they are selling.
Wow, 3K for the studios that are 350 sq ft? Rents have increased sharply in the past year, but not to that level. According to CraigStats, that’s almost double the median cost for studio apartments in that area. Given that there’s no parking, no mention of whether pets are allowed, what utilities are, it will be intersting to see how this property plays out over the next year.
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