San Francisco Foreclosure Activity: 12-11-07
A plugged-in reader notes that Trulia has started mapping foreclosure activity in San Francisco as reported by RealtyTrac (which not only includes bank-owned properties but notices of default and scheduled sales as well). And while we are suckers for a good map (or graphic), we will note that the depth of Trulia’s property specific information suffers from the same weaknesses as the Yahoo Foreclosure Center.
That being said, Trulia currently maps 215 properties in San Francisco in some stage of foreclosure (mostly notices of default). The majority are concentrated in District 10 (which shouldn’t catch anybody by surprise). And we will be tracking how that number (and concentration) changes over time.
[Full Disclosure: Trulia currently advertises in the SocketSite Marketplace (but played no part in prompting this post).]
Bay Area “Notices Of Default” Heading North? (So To Speak) [SocketSite]
Yahoo Unveils Underwhelming Foreclosure Center [SocketSite]

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by [RT]

    Is this correct? Is there not one forclosure in District 7 (Marina/Cow Hollow) area? 5 north of fulton?
    Does anybody know how we can get the inside scoop on getting foreclosures first dibs? I heard a couple brokers buying several foreclosures for 500K vs. 700K market, and just flipping them for 100K more.

  2. Posted by kathleen

    Since we use deeds of Trust, not mortgages, NOD’s go out very quickly. It would be a better map if it did not include NOD’s.
    I have looked at NOD lists every month for years, and most do not evolve into foreclosure.

  3. Posted by tipster

    The funny loans that were made in district 7 to fuel its bubble won’t start causing problems for another year.
    Most were 5/1 arms or neg am loans that won’t hit their limits until 2008, and so you aren’t going to see problems popping up in a big way until next year and then for years beyond.

  4. Posted by Michael L.

    You may find that diamond in the rough but to think your going to buy 500K vs 700K and sell it at 600K – you’ll need a bit more of a plan then that simple business model….

  5. Posted by Jimmy (Bitter Renter)

    Trying to buy foreclosures in SF is going to be a complete waste of time. First off, there are almost none that actually go to the auction, and secondly, those that do usually have no equity in them. Just my opinion from standing around a couple of foreclosure auctions (very boring) and watching the listings on for months(expensive and boring).
    San Bruno, however, is seeing a few houses offered for sale at less than the prior purchase price (464 Cypress Ave. for example). There might be pockets of weakness in marginally acceptable areas on the Peninsula.
    And there are a few bank-owned houses in East PA that are going cheap….
    Good parts of SF will be the absolute last areas in the country to see any substantial foreclosure activity IMHO.

  6. Posted by movingback

    Jimmy, you are absolutely correct and I, for one, couldn’t agree with you more.

  7. Posted by Lori

    Another vote for the difficulty in buying foreclosures in SF. I’ve gone to several on the courthouse steps (in the hopes that no one would bid and I could go back to the bank to negotiate). One thing to remember is that you’ll be bidding against investors and contractors, who by profession have a leg up on you. The other crippling fact is that if you want to buy a foreclosure at the courthouse, you need to bring CASH. Cashier’s checks, actually, for the full amount that you’ll be bidding. Because of that fact, it really narrows the pool of people who would love to buy a foreclosure but don’t have easy access to $500K+ in cash lying around.

  8. Posted by TrailerTrash

    Adding to Lori’s comment above, another profound risk is not knowing what kind of liens, tax liabilities etc. are attached to the foreclosed property. These can come back to bite a successful bidder quite painfully.

  9. Posted by RT

    Just to clarify, the only way to buy foreclosure is via CASH?? No, not many have 500-1mil in cash. I can’t imagine.
    Tipster, otehrs, when do you think SF will finally go down? B/c every month it goes up, requires more for prices to go down to buy.

  10. Posted by Dude

    The east bay is seeing some serious value drops already because of foreclosures:
    “Homes in his neighborhood that once sold between $700,000 and $800,000 are now selling for $500,000, he noted, as neighbors begin foreclosure proceedings.”
    This is not an article about Manteca or Stockton, it’s about Oakland.
    And it’s not just Alameda. From what I can tell, 3/2 prices in Walnut Creek and Lafayette are down about 5/6% YOY.
    San Francisco seems to have peaked a few months behind the east bay, so I would suspect drops of this magnitude get more common here in 2008. I’ve already seen them in Excelsior, Sunnyside, and Parkside. Do they spread to the Marina and Pac Heights? We’ll see.

  11. Posted by Dan

    Dude: The quote you posted refers to El Sobrante, not Oakland.

  12. Posted by Trip

    RT, you say “every month it goes up” in SF? What are you basing that on? Median prices of past sales? I ask because just about ever other indicator (CSI, volume, DOM, median listing price, $/sf) indicates that prices have been heading down in SF since at least early this year. Have they plummeted? Not at all. But the downward trend sure seems clear (and I won’t take the time to discuss the near-irrelevance of median sales prices).
    My 2 cents (and I admit that’s all it’s worth) is that we will see an increase in the pace of the downturn by spring ’08 when all the new units start coming on line, resets really start to hit, and those with any equity planning to sell realize that there won’t be any advantage to waiting.

  13. Posted by Dude

    Isn’t El Sobrante a part of Oakland? Not trying to be sarcastic or anything, I’m seriously asking. I thought everything up until the Orinda/Lafayette/Walnut Creek area was generally considered greater Oakland? What about Alameda?
    “In Alameda County, 9,454 homeowners are in some stage of foreclosure this year.”

  14. Posted by Chuckles
  15. Posted by Dan

    El Sobrante is in Contra Costa County, not Alameda County. It’s just east of Richmond.

  16. Posted by james

    this is the only foreclosure on the san francisco county docket this month that looks interesting. he had a first for $675,680 so the rest must be a 2nd. i think he paid $1,099,000 back in 06.
    San Francisco County
    200 Brannan St #212
    94107 12/27/2007
    2:00 PM At The Van Ness Street Entrance To The City Hall, 400 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA
    John Campos
    Quality Loan Service Corp.

  17. Posted by D Gordon

    Trip, your prediction/assessment is spot-on IMO.
    Regarding the quote on El Sobrante prices, keep in mind those numbers were simply thrown out in the air anecdotally, and as drastic as they appear, probably are getting close to reality.

  18. Posted by John

    The SFO SFR sales Nov data is out. District 10 are seeing both volume drop and price drop. District 2 and 3 are seeing volume drop, but price stable. District 4 are seeing volume drop but price increase. All other districts are doing quite well.

  19. Posted by Garrett

    thanks for the recognition john, more specifically, the post can be found at: Family 11/06 vs 11/07

  20. Posted by Nick

    This is the first I’ve heard of Trulia mapping foreclosures, but that’s a great development on their part. I’ve used them for a lot of research and I’m always amazed that they aren’t as well known as other sites like Zillow or Yahoo’s real estate section. Trulia is far more user-friendly and just plain useful, I’ve found.
    Can’t wait to start going through the new foreclosure data.

  21. Posted by james

    hey nick, i was a little disappointed in the trulia mapping of these. you need an account on realty trac, or a least a tria, to see anything worthwhile. you might as well go direct to them instead of wasting your time on trulia. someone needs to buy one of these companies or merge to give us all that data on the same spot. property shark, zillow, etc. there are too many now anyway. i’d put my money on long term. they own the data anyway.

  22. Posted by Anon Agent

    The Trulia data is a RealtyTrac feed.
    I joined RealtyTrac for a split second to research a property on 7th Avenue they had listed as being in default (they have a trial membership available). Once unmasked, I learned that the property had already been listed and sold some months before as a short sale.
    My experience is not unique. RealtyTrac is known for providing stale, unreliable data. That doesn’t mean everything they post is untrue– but you have to dig a bit to verify.

  23. Posted by joe shmoe

    How to get the quantities of cash to be able to buy a foreclosure? My understanding, and I’ve looked at some of these situations, is that contractors/real estate investors who do this type of thing will create a llc and sell shares in it to generate the cash. As an investor with no real estate experience beyond my home, I did not feel it was the situation for me (I also didn’t trust the guy who was putting the investment pool together). As with all investments, there seems to be a great deal of risk to this, but some do well.
    From what I’ve seen of the Trulia map markers for my neighborhood, the data is very, very bad and there are probably better ways to go about looking for these situations.

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