260 King Street (The Beacon) #957
You’ll have to budget for a few kitchen appliances, and don’t forget about that southern sun (or rather its heat), but if you have your heart set on living at The Beacon you might want to take a look at 260 King #957. Corner unit, big windows, over 1,100 square feet, and now bank owned and listed at $584 per square foot ($644,900).
Tax records would suggest a previous sale of this very unit (and previous building comp) at around $782 a square foot ($860,000). And four other one-bedrooms at 260 King are currently on the market from $690 to $857 (a square).
∙ Listing: 260 King Street #957 (1/1.5) – $644,900 [MLS]
Quite Literally At The Beacon [SocketSite]

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by jaydawg

    NIce little pied a terre. Counterops/cabinets/bathroom suck, but if I was in the market for something like this I’d buy it.

  2. Posted by anon

    My gosh, what has the total market value of the 600 units in this place fallen? Has to be over $100 million just for this one complex. That hurts.

  3. Posted by JJ

    before you assume $100M in losses its probably best to see what it sells for. I think it will sell somewhere in the $700s.

  4. Posted by Mole Man

    In well taken photographs some of the units in this complex actually look quite livable. Given the design and build quality problems I can’t imagine living there even at half this price.

  5. Posted by Observer

    Mole Man, can understand the comments about the building design, but wasn’t aware of build quality problems aside from this issue about units sizes, can you share what you know?

  6. Posted by missionbayres

    Just 18 months ago, units here averaged $800/sqft to well over $1000/sqft. How the mighty have fallen.
    How’s the sound-proofing in this building? Unless you’re a fan of railways and trains, I imagine noise will be an issue…

  7. Posted by JJ

    Do you have any comp data showing $800-$1000/sqft? 800 maybe but 1000 seems extremely high.

  8. Posted by Spencer

    just spoke with an agent and am seriously thinking of making an offer of $515K or 20% less than what is being offerred for.

  9. Posted by Craig

    Whoah, Spencer. You are thinking of leaving your Pac Heights haven for this? Pigs may indeed fly soon.

  10. Posted by BBSmurf

    Mole Man & missionbayres, please share any knowledge you have. I’ve been eyeing this building due to its location, but have been gun shy due to market uncertainties.

  11. Posted by chuckie

    Depending on the rate and stuff, including parking fee and HOA, at the list price, it will set set you back $3000 to $3500 a month. Does anyone know what the rents are at Beacon for 1 bedrooms?

  12. Posted by JJ

    Spencer – let us know if you get this place for that price. I’d be shocked if you do but that would be a very telling sign of where the market is headed

  13. Posted by Miles

    The kitchen items do not seem like a big deal – looks like you just have to replace the appliances – a few days and $1-2K depending on how high end you go.

  14. Posted by Spencer

    I have a friend that just rented a 6th flr beacon 1 bdr for $1950.
    he got it off craigslist.

  15. Posted by missionbayres

    Here are some sample pricing from 06-07. These were listed prices. I don’t know what they sold for (i’m not an agent).
    Personally, I think any developments that sold the majority of their units between 03-05 will see their share of short sales and foreclosures. These are the primary years that buyers took out interest only 3 and 5 year arms. You have to assume a few of these buyers can’t afford their adjusted payments and thus will walk away.
    I’d say the Beacon, Met, Bridgeview could see increase amounts of short sales/foreclosures in the coming months…
    Address Price $/SqFT
    260 KING ST #1603 $1,395 $1,085
    260 KING ST #1419 $1,180 $1,074
    260 King St #959 $1,179 $1,068
    260 King St #787 $1,324 $985
    250 KING ST #1018 $955 $972
    250 KING ST #444 $1,095 $944
    250 King St #266 $1,065 $897
    260 King St #487 $1,199 $892
    250 King St #1116 $1,249 $892
    260 KING ST #1005 $1,239 $870
    260 King St #585 $849 $857
    260 KING ST #1005 $1,334 $833
    260 King St #535 $998 $830
    260 KING ST #571 $798 $809
    260 KING ST #685 $805 $805
    250 KING ST #1018 $935 $798
    207 KING ST #510 $959 $776
    260 KING ST #535 $928 $773
    260 KING ST #751 $815 $760
    250 KING ST #818 $879 $734

  16. Posted by missionbayres

    Crap, the layout didn’t come out right.
    The first price is the list price, the second is the $/SqFt.

  17. Posted by gh

    Nice view of the railyards…NOT!

  18. Posted by will

    Can someone explain to me why all the REO’s are missing all basic kitchen equipment? Soon-to-be foreclosed upon owners trying to make some quick cash? Banks recovering some of their loss up front? What gives?

  19. Posted by Spencer

    nevermind. HOA fees are $700 for this place. THey will need to get the price down a little further for me to offer. sub $500.

  20. Posted by Spencer

    nevermind. HOA fees are $700 for this place. THey will need to get the price down a little further for me to offer. sub $500K.

  21. Posted by Spencer

    nevermind. HOA fees are $700 for this place. THey will need to get the price down a little further for me to offer. sub $500K.

  22. Posted by JJ

    haha, you’re dreaming Spencer. I agree the HOA’s are high and you have pay for leased parking but still no way this is going to sell for sub $500k or even sub $600k. Unless of course their are some material flaws in the unit you can’t see from the pictures.

  23. Posted by Alexei

    I like the view of the railyards… You can watch the trains coming and going, always changing.

  24. Posted by Mole Man

    I don’t have good information, but instead have relied on heresay and rumours. I can’t find the reference for the repairs, but there were problems with leaks and such. How bad that was probably depends on what happened to your unit. I’m pretty sure the HOA fees are high because of repairs that have been done, and hopefully were successful. I would be certain to ask about the HOA and any repairs before buying here. As far as I know the build quality problems were resolved between owners, the HOA and the builder.

    There was a lawsuit about the unit sizes not being exactly as documented. Do an internet search for “beacon san+francisco lawsuit” and you will find what went public, which was not a lot.

    The location is excellent for South of Market, but it is right at the head of the rail yards there, so there is frequent noise from trains. Because of the turns and switches entering the yards there are loud mechanical squeals from early until late.

  25. Posted by Observer

    Thanks Mole Man

  26. Posted by killbotkondo

    I sold my 1 bedroom at the Beacon last June for $913 psf. It’s important to remember that any building (The Beacon included) will have a wide range in the quality of locations. Would I want to live on a lower floor on the King Street side ? Perhaps not. Change it to a high floor (10+) on the Townsend side and its a different world. The same holds true for Infinity, ORH, etc.

  27. Posted by Amen Corner

    I’ve always felt this place would be the poster child of an overpriced substandard building sold at the height of the boom. I expect to see a lot more REOs and short sales showing up here.
    As to flaws, for me the biggest was the lack of cooling and ventilation, particularly for south- and west-facing units.

  28. Posted by Dude

    Speaking of foreclosures in Soma, check out this 2/2.5 condo at the Glassworks (across the street from the Beacon) at $564 psf:
    Ironic to see Zephyr marketing a foreclosure. Guess their advice of “Buy, sell, repeat, retire!” doesn’t always pan out.

  29. Posted by huja

    Wife and I looked at the Beacon about 2 years ago. It was the straw that broke the camels back for her. After seeing the place in mid transition from a rental building to condos and seeing the shoddy work being done combined with the asking prices, we decided to sit on the sidelines for a while.
    One thing that seemed a little suspect that is not apparent from most info you find of the Beacon is that fact that the land beneath your condo does not belong to you or your HOA . . . IIRC, the lease was for 20 years. The salesman said something about how there was $10 mill in the kitty to either extend the lease or to buy the land outright. Chances are you won’t be there 20 years, but how much would it suck to get a “cash call” to lease/buy the land your condo sits upon? Bad mojo all around at the Beacon. It is in microcosm, all that was bad about the overheated real estate market . . .

  30. Posted by Observer

    Dude, good neighbourhood comp on Glassworks can you confirm parking?
    [Editor’s Note: Parking is leased at $295/mo (the MLS listing).]

  31. Posted by PabloEscobar

    Uh…is this supposed to be a desirable view? Maybe for those who like Hobo Watching.

  32. Posted by tipster

    Wow, unit 959 sold on the same floor with about the same size for about 40% more than the asking price. Maybe it has better this or that, and maybe this unit will sell for more, so on an apples to apples basis, the fall is “only” 20%, or about 200K, but what happens when the other owners catch on to the fact that they are 20% underwater around the time their interest only 100% loans reset?
    What’s likely to happen is some of them will stop paying their mortgages AND will stop paying the HOA dues. The HOA could slap a second lien on the place, but they’d just have to release that lien free and clear, without any back payments, just to get another paying customer back in there when there is no money left over from the sale.
    So now you begin to see why all the lenders want to make sure the HOA has plenty of reserves. If 20% of the place defaults, those reserves are going to get chewed up pretty fast just on normal expenses. If you run out of reserves to pay the expenses, the building starts to deteriorate and then that just makes the whole problem even worse.
    If you buy in a building like this, be prepared for a special assessment or two or twelve in a few years to try to build those reserves back up so that the repairs (new roof, etc.) for which the reserves really existed can be performed. The other owners will be only to willing to keep voting special assessments just so they can meet the reserve requirements to allow people to buy – otherwise financing for that building will get shut off and property values will plummet even more than 40%.
    Purchasing in a building like this could be a very risky bet.

  33. Posted by tipster

    When I said unit 959 sold for 40% more than the asking price,I didn’t mean it sold for 40% more than its own asking price, what I meant to say was unit 959 sold for 40% more than the asking price for THIS unit, meaning units in this building have fallen somewhere between 20-40% since unit 959 was sold.

  34. Posted by madnip

    in response to the dudes comment, “the land beneath your condo does not belong to you or your HOA.”
    Dude your information is about 16 months out of date. The owners of the beacon have owned the land since the beginning of 2007.
    One very good reason to live at the beacon:
    1) The pool in a warm day. You’ll see what $800 per sq ft buys you in T n A.

  35. Posted by tipster

    Madnip, I can see way better T n A on the Internet for free, and Beacon is $500+ psf nowadays: $800+ psf is so last month.

  36. Posted by dg

    The weakest/lowest quality properties always show weakness first and then the domino effect starts to happen. This is a perfect example, as others have said, as this is merely a substandard rental conversion with no real appeal other than location. Timberrrrrrrrr!
    Although this looks a like a reasonable deal, this is just the beginning folks. And this building it just too risky as several others have mentioned.

  37. Posted by John

    No, the weakness does not always show at the low end first. In the last downturn (1989), in LA, the better areas went down first, and recovered first.

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