1944-48 Buchanan: Map
The listing for 1944-1948 Buchanan, a three-unit building in Lower Pacific Heights, notes “Nice building in good condition with good rents” (which add up to $6,425). The listing also notes “REO [bank owned], will entertain all offers” (apparently the good rents didn’t cover the good mortgage).
And it’s actually a tipster who’s responsible for a portion (at most $2,825) of those rents.

I’m one of the tenants there and sold my condo 2 years ago to wait for the pending crash before getting in the market again. Now I find myself potentially having to rent again for higher rent OR buy before I’m ready and before market hits bottom, BUT of more interest to your readers is WHERE this happened and is it a harbinger of many more to come in the hood?

And also, what should I do? Stick it out ‘til evicted under Ellis? Or get back in market again?

Questions, questions, questions.
∙ Listing: 1944-1948 Buchanan – $1,795,000 [MLS]

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by anon

    Why leave now if you have a good rent that you think is below market? Maybe they won’t even Ellis, and if so, wait until they do. The last thing in the world I would suggest is buying now. Prices have just begun what promises to be a long, and accelerating, descent. Inventory is climbing, sales are plummeting, and interest rates are going in the wrong direction. Wait it out, and if you’re Ellised, rent a new place and wait another couple years to buy (at least). You were very smart selling at the peak. Don’t change that good move into a bad one by jumping in with prices only beginning to fall.

  2. Posted by ex SF-er

    Sorry renter…
    this is the problem when we have bubbles, especially when it’s a human necessity (housing).
    it sounds like you were renting from an undercapitalized newbie “landlord” who got in over his/her head and was renting out the place for less than the mortgage payment…
    Nobody can tell you whether or not to buy, only you can answer that. No way I would, but you’re not me.
    what I would do:
    1) rent from a bigger entity. Larger apartment complexes are less likely to have this sort of problem
    2) screen your future landlord well. for instance, you can pull the records on the unit and find out how much is owed on the mortgage and see if it is way underwater… e.g. a person who’s had the place for 30 years and there is minimal mortgage is less risk to you than a person who bought the place in 2005 with a high LTV adjustable mortgage.
    times are changing… now it’s the renters who can/should screen the landlords!

  3. Posted by fluj

    Bank owned, asking $1.795M, under market rents, and the conclusion is that prices are falling? Interesting.

  4. Posted by anon1

    screen your future landlord well. for instance, you can pull the records on the unit and find out how much is owed on the mortgage and see if it is way underwater
    Where does a potential renter find these records? I can’t really think of any way to screen a landlord other than googling his/her name or phone number to see if there are any complaints…

  5. Posted by r

    I used to live just around the corner from this place. The building is very attractive from the street, and several of the surrounding homes have been well maintined. If you are able, maybe you should consider making an offer for the entire building. Rents in the area are pretty strong.
    I know that a lot of people on this site think that you can time real estate like stocks. However, this is far from true. Most people will not realize the bottom until 6 months after it happens. Furthermore, the quality of housing in the City is so varied that you may not find something that you like when things do bottom.
    As someone who is actively looking for a home, I can attest that properly priced properties in good neighborhoods are moving very quickly. My wife and I have submitted three offers on various properties, only to be outbid in each situation. I think that any signs of market weakness will only be an opportunity to buy something that is a little nicer and in a little better neighborhood than what was possible a year or two ago.
    I personally believe that anyone who is waiting for a return to 1998 pricing levels will probably be dissapointed.

  6. Posted by fluj

    I made another post that got deleted. I wondered whether the property has already been Ellis’d. It seems not from the MLS. I guess the poster felt he/she might get Ellis’d? I think the worry would be OMI instead. That top floor rent is very cheap for the area, especially if it has parking.

  7. Posted by ex SF-er

    Fluj:
    I don’t understand your point… (even though I don’t think it was directed at me)
    1) if it’s Bank Owned, it typically means that it couldn’t fetch the price the owner needed to come out “whole”(otherwise the owner would have sold, no?). Thus, the current value must be below the mortgage plus transaction costs.
    possibilities:
    -value of home fell
    -value of home stagnant, so can’t cover transaction costs
    -bank allowed >100% financing
    so, a REO does support that prices have at least stalled or fell.
    as for “under market rents”, we’d have to know the history of rents for this property to see if they’re “under market” or not. Although that said $1,000/mo for a 1BR seems pretty low to me. $2600/mo for a 2BR doesn’t seem that “below market” in that area for me, but I’m not an expert. $2850/mo for a 3BR… depends on the unit, which I can’t see.
    I wouldn’t necessarily use this as proof that values are falling, but it seems even less proof that values are rising!

  8. Posted by fluj

    Well, generally, REOs are gonna be on the lower end of the spectrum. This one doesn’t seem particularly cheap to me, but apparently it did to the first poster? I don’t know. These rents aren’t that high. Especially the top one and the bottom one.

  9. Posted by Sleepiguy

    I noticed on property shark the last owners bought the units in 1996 for about $723k before losing it to the bank this year..

  10. Posted by REpornaddict

    Price seems reasonable I guess (23 x rents)
    Not sure I really get the comment
    ‘BUT of more interest to your readers is WHERE this happened and is it a harbinger of many more to come’ though
    is LOWER Pac Heights really THAT special?

  11. Posted by REpornaddict

    Not sure how this one ended up bank owned then??
    Even if the full 723k was still owned on this, the rents would make this cash flow positive???

  12. Posted by Dude

    “I know that a lot of people on this site think that you can time real estate like stocks. However, this is far from true. Most people will not realize the bottom until 6 months after it happens.”
    First, I agree that it’s foolish to try and time the market for extremely volatile assets such as stocks or commodities. Those markets are full of large, institutional players who can move billions daily and shift prices in the process. Price swings over 10% A DAY are common, and it’s nearly impossible to predict supply and demand accurately, especially when assets tend to trade on momentum and technicals in the short-term.
    Real estate, on the other hand, moves in slow, semi-predictable cycles, and material price swings take months/years to play out. Furthermore, supply and demand are easily monitored if you follow new construction, MLS listings, local population and wage patterns, etc.
    More importantly, stocks are a discretionary investment – nobody needs to own them. But everyone has to live somewhere, and you can choose to buy or rent. The current numbers favor renting by a large margin, and for equilibrium to be restored, either rents need to go up or prices need to fall. Materially. On a monthly cash flow basis, you’re still better off renting in most cases.
    My point is that the real estate market is much more predictable than the stock market, and much less volatile. Even if I miss the bottom by 6 months, as you suggest, what have I really lost? Average annual appreciation in San Francisco has been like 3-5% a year historically (present bubble excluded). So I stand to lose a whopping 1.5% to 2.5% gain by jumping in 6 months late. That’s much more appealing than buying at/near the peak and losing 10-20% if a material correction does happen.
    While I agree prices will not go back to 1998 levels, they could very easily revert to 2003/2004 levels, which would be a 20% hit for many properties. And let’s not forget we haven’t even been through the worst of the loan adjustments yet.
    http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/rfs/581092166.html

  13. Posted by Trip

    Repornaddict, my suspicion is that the former owners refied and pulled all the equity out of the place over the last few years and couldn’t keep up with THOSE payments. Could have done quite nicely with the original investment.
    And Dude makes a good point. You don’t need to “time” the real estate market perfectly to avoid a big financial mistake. But the trend lines are plain as day right now, and prices are inflated and falling. So while one may take a very big hit by buying now, there is effectively no risk in waiting until further declines. I don’t think even the most unrealistic bull could seriously argue that prices are going up any time soon.

  14. Posted by oldtimer

    Zillow reports this property sold on 1/18/2008 for $1,393,652.

  15. Posted by Sleepiguy

    ^ yes, to the bank… lol

  16. Posted by Dude

    I don’t think it was sold, oldtimer. As Sleepiguy mentioned, PropertyShark reports the same stat but shows the new “owner” as Wachovia FSB. So 1/18/08 was the date it reverted to the lender, and the $1,393,652 is presumably the outstanding loan balance. Unfortunately, the current rent roll only covers about $1 million in mortgage at 6.25%.

  17. Posted by Miles

    I think fluj has it right, an Ellis Act is not your worry here, but an OMI is. If your unit is the largest and most desirable in the building and you are renting below market, you are a target for an OMI eviction and there is little you can do. That is the risk in renting a house, duplex, or the nicest unit in a small apartment building. Ellis Act evictions have slowed way down due to the condo conversion penalization so that would be unlikely. And good luck fighting either of those evictions – they are both legal and unless you are a senior or disabled you are SOL. And the rent control laws have little to do with who your landlord is or if they are being foreclosed upon, so it doesn’t really matter if your property is going through foreclosure unless you have some major immediate repair issues (which you are likely going to have to wait for a new owner to remedy). Another possibility here is that you will all be offered buyouts by a buyer to vacate the building so they can turn them into condos. The deal with that is that everyone in the building needs to accept the buyout or it doesn’t work. As for buying vs. continuing to rent, I fall on the moderately pessimistic side – I think prices are still at a peak and are going to be stable to slightly declining for quite a while.

  18. Posted by REpornaddict

    Maybe I am just being plain dumb, but I still fail to see how this ended up being bank owned.
    OK the loan increased to 1.4m which may have made cashflow unaffordable but the amount owned is still less than the value of the house.
    couldnt the owner have just sold up, paid back the increased loan and walked away with a 6 figure profit even after realtor fees etc???
    I agree OMI is more likely but what about an Ellis and re-sales as 3 separate TIC’s, is that possible?

  19. Posted by fluj

    But maybe they re-fi’d and just walked away, REp.
    Yes, Ellis and then selling as three TICs is possible. And common. Of course, an OMI followed by Ellis is also possible. The problem with Ellis is that it makes condo conversion nearly impossible. That said, as TICs become more palatable to banks the value difference between TIC and condo could probably become less pronounced.

  20. Posted by tipster

    The building is being sold as a rental, so it doesn’t look like the bank will try to Ellis the building. If they did, there would be all sorts of complications if the new owner wanted to rent any part of it out, so that plus the condo problems from any ellis will keep any ellis act evictions from occurring while the bank owns the property.
    As for OMI after the sale, check the permit history for the building. If the lower unit is an illegal unit, anyone kicked out can report that lower unit to the building inspector, and that unit will have to be removed or brought up to code (which is usually impossible). If there is other work that was done without permits (kitchens and baths, usually), that work will also have to be brought up to code, if an unhappy outgoing tenant reports it. Usually, the costs of redoing the electrical on the upper unit are prohibitively expensive.
    For this reason, any tenant occupied property purchased with the intent to kick out one or more of the tenants would usually start with an identification of the work that will need to be brought up to code should a tenant become unhappy about being asked to leave. If the entire downstairs had to be pulled out, that would represent a huge loss in value. As a result, those sorts of evictions are pretty rare, and the tenant would typically be bought out rather than evicted.
    If there are no permits for the downstairs, in all likelihood, the price will have to be dropped sufficiently to enable the new owner to obtain sufficient profits to allow the tenants to stay, or to proceed with the permit work when the tenant rats the new owner out. Even if you wouldn’t rat the new owner out, the new owner will never be sure of that and so they need to bid accordingly.
    Of course if everything was done with permits, then you have no real leverage, and the unit that is the combination of the nicest one and the most under market is the one most likely to be OMI’d, and that sounds like yours.

  21. Posted by anonm

    REp – They’d need to sell at around $1.6 million just to break even after: (a) paying back $1.4 million loan, (b) paying agent commissions, transfer fees and taxes, etc., (c) paying capital gains taxes on their greater-than-500k capital gains (assuming they’re married – if unmarried/single, then it’s even worse).
    It’s *listed* at $1.8 million. That doesn’t mean it’s *worth* $1.8 million.

  22. Posted by fluj

    Part C there doesn’t make sense. Where’s the gain?

  23. Posted by Trip

    They only paid 732k for it. Any sale amount over that would be a gain.
    Also, this is income property. So no 500k capital gains exclusion. There probably is also a ton of depreciation that would have to be recaptured upon any sale.

  24. Posted by ex SF-er

    wow…
    purchase price $723k in 1996
    Bank took over property this year at $1,393,652.
    So the owners pulled out $670,000 over 12 years or $56k/year.
    cash cow indeed.
    as for this:
    OK the loan increased to 1.4m which may have made cashflow unaffordable but the amount owned is still less than the value of the house.
    how do you know? we’ll know the value of the house when it sells
    couldnt the owner have just sold up, paid back the increased loan and walked away with a 6 figure profit even after realtor fees etc???
    they could have if the house was worth more than the amount owed and realtor’s fees
    I think this answers your first question!
    🙂

  25. Posted by Britt

    Im the “Bitter” Renter:
    “Repornaddict, my suspicion is that the former owners refied and pulled all the equity out of the place over the last few years and couldn’t keep up with THOSE payments. Could have done quite nicely with the original investment”
    That’s correct. They did and used it to buy 2 other places in Pac Heights. And have now lost ALL 3 of them to foreclosure.
    All units have permits according to last owners.

  26. Posted by Michael

    The recorded sale price of $1,393,652 was probably the outstanding balance on the first mortgage and not the total indebtedness at the time of foreclosure.

  27. Posted by Jimmy (Bitter Renter)

    Wow… foreclosures? In (lower) Pacific Heights? There’s got to be more to this story than we’re seeing here… perhaps a bitter divorce or devastating medical illness? Why else would someone give up their Pacific Heights RE empire that’s a guaranteed path to a lifetime of riches?

  28. Posted by BT

    It rarely pays to try to time the real estate market any more than it does to time the stock market. I can’t imagine selling my long-time home and going through the hastle of moving–twice–just to try to make a few bucks selling at a top and buying at the bottom, even if I thought I could get the timing right.

  29. Posted by Foolio

    Sounds like a terrific buying opportunity!
    I know a Frenchman who will be all over this…

  30. Posted by Someone

    Part (c) is actually a very interesting observation that never occurred to me, though I’m not sure the conclusion is correct from tax stand point.
    anonm is saying that if the original owner sold the property to avoid foreclosure he/she would need to pony up 25% (9.3+15) of their profit. So if the cost basis is 723K and the sell for 1.5-1.6 (net) and they aren’t married, they are looking at another 100K-150K of taxes.
    This assumes that the money they pulled as they refinanced is tax free, seems like an interesting loophole.

  31. Posted by REpornaddict

    Sounds like the owners got just more than a little bit greedy and overstreched with their property portfolio!
    They would have done extremely well if they had kept to just the one investment property methinks!
    So the bank lent an extra 700k at least (assuming none of the balance of the original purchase price was a downpayment/or repaid as capital – if it was ths extra loan wouldbe even bigger).
    A huge amount given that this represented the whole of their equity (and maybe more for luck) in the property, after allowing for capital gains, realtor fees etc (and assuming it is indeed worth the quoted 1.8).
    With that type of aggressive, high risk strategy, foreclosures are possible anywhere, but clearly it’s not evidence of a more widespread foreclosure risk for the average Pac Heights owner.

  32. Posted by britt ("bitter renter")

    BT: If you consider a couple profiting by $500K tax-free upon sale of prior condo “a few bucks” then I take my hat off to you. We wanted to get a bigger space anyway, so sold the place I had lived in for 12 years in the Avenues but didnt want to pay obscene prices, so we rented instead.

  33. Posted by Dave

    I’ve been around long enough to remember the last couple of times the real estate bubble burst, and prices plunged significantly throughout most of the bay area, after having risen dramatically over a runup of several years, and having reached price points that most people found incredibly high.
    Both times, as I recall, San Francisco’s market merely plateaued. Prices fell a bit from the absolute peak, but there was no year-over-year decline in the city. When the market recovered, SF prices started climbing again.
    I expect the same thing to happen this time. Those who expect a huge drop in San Francisco prices, across the board, may be sorely disappointed. That isn’t to say there won’t be some bargains out there, but I doubt we’ll see good properties in good neighborhoods going for a song.
    I’m skeptical that anyone could have sold their property “at the peak,” wait a while, and re-buy a similar property, and make any significant money in the process in SF. Any drop in prices is likely to be eaten up by the costs of selling and buying, and the effort and hassle of multiple moves, and everything that goes with it… not for me, thanks, I’ll hang on to what I’ve got.
    Time will tell which choices were the right ones.

  34. Posted by fluj

    Calling part C a pure gain is a big supposition. People often spend that money on the property itself, in upgrades.

  35. Posted by ex SF-er

    I’m skeptical that anyone could have sold their property “at the peak,” wait a while, and re-buy a similar property, and make any significant money in the process in SF.
    Dave:
    this time is truly different from previous busts due to the sheer magnitude of the rent/buy difference.
    SF RE has always been expensive. But in the past, the premium to own vs rent was never as high as it is today.
    the problem with today’s RE is that it can cost 50-100% more to buy compared to renting.
    (eg: renting in SOMA may cost you $2k-$3k for a 1-2BR place, but it’ll cost you $600k-1.2 million to buy)
    Thus, even if we have 6 years of “plateau”, that’s 6 years of a 50-100% higher monthly payment.
    this is the crux of SF’s problem… it is very expensive to rent, but astronomically expensive to buy.
    rents are going up, but can they go up 50-100%? I doubt it… because rent has to be paid with income, as opposed to buying which can be paid with a mortgage… that is to say: rents are limited by income, buying limited only by credit…
    for me, if I had stayed in SF, my plan wasn’t really to “time” anything. Instead, it was to look at the price of rent vs buy. As soon as the price to rent was near or higher than the monthly cost to buy, then I was going to buy and lock in my payments. but so long as the rent is way cheaper than buying, then I decided to rent and just invest/save the difference…
    FWIW: I’ve long said that SF’s downturn will be primarily through inflation, and that the overall nominal price numbers won’t look so bad…
    but tell that to the poor buyer IF we have 6 years of plateau’d RE prices and people are paying $5-10k/month after taxes on a 2 BR condo!
    $5k x 12 months x 6 years = $360,0000 in mortgage payments. if RE has “Plateaued” (sp?) then you still have little to no equity! after paying 1/3 of a MILLION dollars! Throwing money away indeed! and $5k/month is a very low mortgage for most San Franciscans, even after mortgage deduction etc is taken into account.

  36. Posted by chuck

    Hmm… how does the bank figure this is worth $1.785 million? That is a CAP rate of 2.7%, assuming property taxes of 1.25% and no other expenses. I guess properties are only valued based on TICs not rental incomes anymore. Depressing.

  37. Posted by fluj

    Meanwhile some areas are STILL seeing appreciation? Now, explain that.
    No. I’m sorry. This faux cynical world weary fake sympathy stuff is for the birds. Caged as it is now in its “we won’t see it due to inflation” disguise … a k a, I deflect my (previously rather vociferous) error. Please. Wake up and smell last month’s existing SFR median — ahem– GAIN. And yes, I have apples to apples if you want it. It’s micro, folks.

  38. Posted by fluj

    EXACTLY. The BANK has priced it thus? With those rents?
    And we have people on here talking steep decline?
    It boggles the mind.
    Somebody be real for a change.

  39. Posted by joe shmoe

    Who knows what the owner did to make it end up bank owned? Unless anybody knows the owner, we can only guess.
    In terms of your situation and how to play it? Well, first wait and see if there are buyers.
    When it does sell, you might consider getting bought out. Removing you has a cost in time and money so you may be able to get a nice payment to leave in a timely fashion.

  40. Posted by Miles

    Small income properties are typically priced between the investment market with 5-7% cap rates and the homeowner market which is more based on the price per unit and price per square foot metric, so the income characteristics of these rarely justify their prices alone. Oftentimes, these properties require sizable downpayments just to break even, with the buyer hoping to make most of their investment return upon the appreciation when they finally sell. Still a 23 GIM on rent that isn’t that far below market (it’s still over $2/SF if you believe the property is 2,960 SF) is a bit rich. One other thing – are any of the tenants protected in the building?

  41. Posted by PrimeTime

    Interesting to note that properties south of California are now being considered prime! Now that is the more important observation. When did this psychology shift?

  42. Posted by diemos

    “Caged as it is now in its “we won’t see it due to inflation” disguise … a k a, I deflect my (previously rather vociferous) error. ”
    Then let me stand forth, defend the deflationist viewpoint and respectfully disagree with ex-SFer.
    Rising commodity prices with stagnant wages reduces the cash flow available to sustain a mortgage. I stand by my prediction of 50% off peak prices by 2011 in nominal dollars. Case-schiller at 110.

  43. Posted by ex SF-er

    a k a, I deflect my (previously rather vociferous) error.
    I call BS on you fluj. I have NEVER “vociferously” claimed anything other than what I just said: that most of the RE losses will be due to inflation, and will come over a very long time line (YEARS). How many times have I said on this blog “watching this will be like watching the paint dry of a painting of grass growing”?
    Please show me where I have claimed anything otherwise.
    I think you have me confused with other posters.
    This faux cynical world weary fake sympathy stuff is for the birds
    I have no fake sympathy for anybody. I only showed an example to counter why plateauing RE values is NOT a benign event for the average homeowner. There is no sympathy period. Only an observation that a plateau in RE values can be VERY HARMFUL.
    I’m not sure where you are getting off with yourself today.
    In fact, I’ve defended you countless times on here.. This is why you raise ire. I bring up a NUMBERS example, and you counter with needless flames. Grow up. Nice arguing style.
    Guess other posters had you pegged correctly. I was in error when I thought you were a “professional”.

  44. Posted by ex SF-er

    EXACTLY. The BANK has priced it thus? With those rents?
    and
    Hmm… how does the bank figure this is worth $1.785 million?
    They don’t. It’s called a “wishing price”. Hopefully some fool will come along and pay it.
    Even if they DO think it’s worth that, who cares? Look at all the lending the banks have done across the country over the last few years… looks like they didn’t “value” things very well, did they? why are they suddenly good at valuing housing?
    If you want to see how good a company is at valuing foreclosures, look at Countrywide’s BILLIONS of dollars of foreclosures… and how often they reprice those FCs (lower)
    As we’ve all said, we’ll see what it’s “worth” when it sells. I personally will not be surprised if this place takes a big hit OR if it rises in value. foreclosures are like that.
    And yes, I have apples to apples if you want it. It’s micro, folks.
    Of course it is. But micro isn’t independent of macro. Look at what happened to the SF market when the Jumbo market died. Was that “micro”?
    as you yourself have said, we can ALL find “micro” examples scattered everywhere in the city supporting that SOME prices are going UP, and some prices going DOWN.
    You give us micro examples of increases, Satchel has done a very good job of giving excellent examples (witha addresses) of losses. and Socketsite has also done some of these for us. duh.
    Meanwhile some areas are STILL seeing appreciation? Now, explain that.
    oh, you mean: “there are a few homes in the most pristine of areas that are still rising” right?
    I’m not beating THAT dead horse again.

  45. Posted by Dude

    Dave at 6:48PM wrote:
    “Both times, as I recall, San Francisco’s market merely plateaued. Prices fell a bit from the absolute peak, but there was no year-over-year decline in the city.”
    Flat-out wrong. Check out this link:
    http://blackstone-sanfrancisco.com/198.html
    Please post evidence to the contrary if these numbers are incorrect.

  46. Posted by misterplow

    Dude, thanks for that link. Glad to see D4 up 5% in 2007 and up 40% since I bought. Now I don’t have to worry about diemos’ 50% drop quite so much. Phew. The *extremely high likelihood* of that happening was just too much for me.

  47. Posted by Dude

    You’re very welcome, misterplow. Interesting that you conveniently glossed over the fact that D4 prices fell over 18% from 1989 to 1993.
    Even I think diemos’ predictions are somewhat extreme. But given your 40% gain was, most likely, unsupported by any economic fundamentals aside from herd mentality and easy credit, don’t be shocked if that ’89-’93 cycle repeats itself. You know what they say: easy come, easy go.

  48. Posted by satchelfan

    Take it from someone who was here in the 80’s and 90’s, it was bad. Yes, I was young when it happened, but I remember following my parents to open houses and you could hear a pin drop.

  49. Posted by Trip

    Dude, those data are pretty interesting. I also was around in the early ’90s and prices certainly did decline through those years. Surprisingly, I see that sales volume did not fall all that much from the late ’80s boom through the early ’90s bust. As I’ve said many times, the recent bubble is off the charts — SF (and elsewhere) has never seen prices so inflated with respect to economic fundamentals (earnings, rents, etc.). And despite higher YOY supply, we’re now seeing sales volume declines that appear to dwarf those of the most recent previous downturn (thus distorting comparisons of medians, by the way). And as today’s CSI data indicate, prices are following accordingly.
    Higher supply + lower demand = well, you know.

  50. Posted by Jack

    Dude and Satchelfan: I’m fairly sure that something happened in the Bay Area since the 89-93 period that infused mucho dinero into the entire area. Hmmm. What could it be?

  51. Posted by satchelfan

    Gotta love that everyone is rich argument! Let’s take a look at some hard data. Has there really been a significant increase in median income from ’93?
    http://www.data360.org/dsg.aspx?Data_Set_Group_Id=1346
    According to data from the Chronicle, median income has only increased 29% from ’93 yet home prices have increased roughly 135%. Hmmm…..

  52. Posted by r

    That is a nice graph, but I am not sure that it is really that relevant. No one with a household income of $66k per year is buying a house in San Francisco unless they are trading a ton of equity out of another property.
    It would be much more interesting to look at median income for homeowners and first time buyers.

  53. Posted by satchelfan

    r – I would love to have that data as well, but I have not been able to find it on the web. I doubt that it would be available unless some real estate firm decided to do a survey.
    For those of you who are truly obsessed with detailed numbers, a while back I stumbled on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website. I believe files are in downloadable format. You can find all the info. you need on income for every job category ( engineers, financial analysts, mangers,etc.) in the Bay Area. We can then debate on how rich the Bay Area truly is.

  54. Posted by fluj

    Actually banks price REO holdings very low as a rule. I don’t really need to go into that. It’s a fact. The fact that this is priced at $1.8M, by a friggin bank, and several posters felt they could sally forth with depreciation cries is funny to me. That’s all. Hope everybody has been all right.

  55. Posted by plantguy

    So, Britter, if you have $500,000 sitting around in the bank, what are you whining about?
    Use that $$ for rent until it runs out. Then come back and cry on everyone’s shoulder. (I shouldn’t have sold! I shouldn’t have sold!)

  56. Posted by Britter

    Plant Guy: because that $500k represents 12 years of mortgage payments and appreciation from when I first moved here from Europe with only pocket change and is my life savings.
    Don’t preach from the sidelines and tell me you wouldnt maximise opportunity if you could.

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