835 Foerster
In July of 2006 the renovated 835 Foerster was purchased with loans totaling $950,000 up in Miraloma Park. From the listing today:

Lender-approved short sale! An amazing value! After many months of negotiations, sale price has been set! Must be sold immediately! Property was marketed for $1,049,000 last year!

And while it’s good to know the seller and lender have come to terms (but perhaps not grips), we’re more interested in whether or not the market (i.e., a buyer) will agree.
∙ Listing: 835 Foerster (3/2.5) – $855,000 [Vanguard via Pacific Union]

55 thoughts on “While Those Two Agree, It’s A Third That Really Matters”
  1. Seriously pathetic. Reminds me of those mall jewelry store TV ads — “guaranteed to appraise for double the price!”

  2. the area is not real sf. that being said it still had tremendous appreciation.
    and re is holding onto its gains now much, much, much better than the stock or bond markets.

  3. This is another neighborhood that f**j used to tout as being really hot and having tremendous appreciation.
    This house has come up a number of times on SS. It was remodelled after 2006.
    They tried to rent it a number of times, starting at $5500, then $4500, and then $3500 (all wishing prices on craigs). I don’t think they ever rented it.
    It has an unusable cliff for a backyard, which mysteriously must have sprouted out of the ground since its last sale – that’s why this house is down while the rest of the neighborhood is up 🙂

  4. “After many months of negotiations, sale price has been set! Must be sold immediately!”
    Who sets the price? The market or the bank? If an offer came in at $830K, does that trigger many more months of negotiation? And the market would have moved even lower. I bet if someone really wanted the property and were willing to dance the dance with the bank, they could together chase it down to the bottom!!!!!

  5. “After many months of negotiations, sale price has been set! Must be sold immediately!”
    I understand why people mock this line, but it is significant.
    It can take MONTHS for a lender to approve a short sale (if at all). Thus, it makes sense for the real estate salesperson to note that this is a short sale with the lender’s approval.
    it’s like during the bubble where you had to write an offer, AND be pre-approved by the bank before the seller would accept your offer… but in reverse.

  6. Property *was marketed* for 1,049,000 last year?
    Not that it was sold for that price or had any offers, but was marketed?
    OK, that tells me nothing other than I have a VERY unrealistic seller, and so why exactly should I be wasting my time?
    What passes for marketing in that trade never ceases to amaze me.

  7. chuckie,
    Good point about the “sale price has been set”. They have all the sale paperwork done, and all they need is a name on the paper. As easy as that!

  8. Loffink Mon, I could point you to a lot of very recent sales in the area north of 50O a foot, show you what the $psf was three years ago, note, as you seemingly understand, that the south backing properies have usable yards and the north backing like this one do not, or point out that even now it’s STILL at 525 $psf. But why? You are only concerned with snidely paraphrasing me. High handed dismissals, etc. There is no honesty, you aren’t even engaging in the slightest. And again, “Laughing Millionaire”? Really? I truly find that offensive and beyond douchey.

  9. The Mall jewelry store analogy is right on the spot. “These diamond earrings retail for $2499 but they can be yours for – only – $1499”.
    They should put a big 1,049,000.00 on the sign, strike it with a red marker and hand-write the new price.

  10. “not real SF”? This is actually more real than the Marina, Paco. People who live in Mira Loma and Glen Park have jobs and ties to the area.
    Not just living here beacuse all their sorrity sisters from USC were coming here after college and they wanted to be close to the Matrix on Fillmore.
    Who is anyone to decide what is “real SF”?

  11. Agreed with jimmy c: this is a great area. Similar places are still selling close to this range from what I’ve seen. I wouldn’t be surprised if this goes for around $800K or at least in the high 7s.
    As for fluj, I bet he’s just crabby because his own failed flip is languishing less than a block away (219 Los Palmos).

  12. real sf according to paco:
    d4 5 6 7 and 8; only pristine, well located properties in those districts; only if they’re still appreciating.
    Or as fluj summed up more elegantly:
    It’s all very micro, bro.

  13. “and re is holding onto its gains now much, much, much better than the stock or bond markets. ”
    If you are a bank maybe.
    I don’t understand what is so hard to understand about the concept of leverage when values start going in reverse: if you put 5%, 10%, or 20% down on a home, and your home dips 20% in value, as this one apparently did, then you lost over 100% of your investment (you lose more then 100% due to commissions, transfer taxes, and other selling costs, etc.).
    My worst performing stock is down 25% right now. I’ll take a 25% loss over a 100%+ loss any day. Now losing 25% is not pleasant, but there are significant upsides as compared to investing in RE: I can get my money out anytime I want, and in the worst possible outcome there is zero chance that I will lose more then my initial investment.
    You can buy a house *right now* and put down hundreds of thousands of dollars, and conceivably find yourself in a position next year where 100% of your investment is gone and you have to spend even more money just to get out of the investment.
    I’ve been sitting on the fence for a while, and it looks like I’ll be sitting even longer. There’s no way I would buy a house right now in the face of our current economic situation. I could comfortably feed and house my family of four for over a year right now if our income compeltely dried up tomorrow. And if the situation got really rough and our already low rent started to be a drain, I could move *anytime I wanted to* to a cheaper locale.
    There’s a lot of value in having options when there is economic turmoil.

  14. Sure, Dude. Big failure.You know all about it, right? My indignance is nothing to do with being specifically adressed, continually and mockingly, by someone who is nearly always incorrect.

  15. I admit, fluj, “failed” was inappropriate. I regretted typing that after posting, so I apologize.
    That said, looks like you added about 1,000 square feet to that place, and the finishes seem pretty nice (I admittedly have not seen it, just going off of pics). So there seems to be serious money invested, although I won’t speculate as to how much.
    However, I do know this area well, and have been following it for a few years now. Given how quickly the economy is souring, I think anything sold before September is a stale comp at this point. Additionally, I don’t think Miraloma is a million+ dollar neighborhood anymore (or won’t be for long). My guess is that the folks shopping in that price range, who were previously looking at this neighborhood, are now waiting for weakness in Noe or West Portal proper.
    Long story short, I have no idea how much you have in that place, but would be surprised if it sells for more than a million +/-. But this market continues to surprise me, so best of luck to you. As we all know, it only takes one person to fall in love with it.

  16. Thanks for that measured followup, sincerely. And I can’t say I disagree with some of the things you say. But like I said above, there have been a surprising amount of ~550 psf October and November sales over there. That’s why the Bank valued this Foerster one the way it has. For IMO mundane properties too. How much more is another 1000 feet, a huge yard, great design, with views from everywhere worth? The challenge is not the ‘hood, it is doing fine. The challenge is the lending market. Of course, it is all linked!

  17. I’ll predict that 219 Los Palmos will go for $900K. Attached houses in that spot for over $1M? Didn’t the wholly redone (with nicer view I’d bet) 715 Foerster fail to sell at $990K after sitting for months and months? And that was pre-meltdown.
    No wonder why all the disinformation about Miraloma Park last fall 🙂
    The 835 Foerster place failed to attract a renter at $3500/mo last year, so keep that in mind if you have to rent out that place “until the market comes back”.

  18. I live in glen park and Foerster St is not within easy walking distance of glen park village. The 1 mile between this house and glen park bart is filled with multiple, steep hills. I wouldn’t be surprised if the surface area of the hills doubled the distance.
    And the alleged shopping within 2 blocks consists of a rundown Safeway on Monterey Blvd, a 7-11 and a mediocre Chinese restaurant.

  19. paco-
    Aside from missionite’s very valid point: housing prices are often a lagging indicator of the economy. The people so upside down on their houses and payments that it was almost absurd have been flushed out now, mostly. What’s left are the people that could barely afford their homes before, but now cannot due to a job loss, etc.
    And the illiquidity of homes means they are usually the last thing to sell when you need cash.
    On the other hand, the stock market is a leading indicator.

  20. Up until 2 weeks ago I lived 2 blocks from this house – there is nothing over there. It’s like suburban sprawl within SF, but with no shopping or easy transportation. The Safeway is terrible and it’s foggy 50% of the days.

  21. The challenge is the lending market.
    And the challenge for the lending market is that lenders do not know what the heck those $1M houses which used to be worth 400K not long ago are actually worth today. Maybe they’re worth 2005 prices, maybe 2000.
    In the mean time they’re pulling the rug under the whole market (and under themselves at the same time) and are precipitating events beyond what they precisely feared most. Price discovery ensues.
    My opinion:
    The reality is that a Million bucks is still a million bucks. Salaries have gone down in real terms. For many it takes a lifetime to save nowhere close to that, if the markets do not take it away! This house on Foerster is still overpriced.

  22. Monterey has a lot more than that over there. I think there are like three chinese spots, a sushi joint, a pizza joint, a diner, a coffee shop, like two or three salons, a funny looking bar and some other random stuff. Yeah, a safeway and a convenience store. Not the best, but not as bad as all that. And satch ole buddy 584 Teresita just sold for $1.045M after like five months on the market, is “most 1000 feet smaller, I saw it, sans views, with a smallish yard. Again thank you ever so much for thinking of others.

  23. I would like to chime in to keep the discourse civil and respect the pseudo-anonymity of Socketsite.
    sure, some of us know the identity of others on this blog, but no reason to highlight that fact, and certainly no reason to use that knowledge for personal attacks…
    argue the merits of your argument, and leave it at that.
    I for one am glad fluj is back since he adds to the discussion no matter how much we’ve disagreed, and no matter how often he’s been a prick to me in the past (usually lashing out because he confused me with another poster)
    as for the house:
    I really like this neighborhood except for the fog… it’s quiet and quaint… and you know what? that’s ok. we all don’t need to live on Market Street.
    the house itself looks like a prison from the front and has no yard, but when you really look at it the place is in good condition… you could really improve the look with a can of paint and by removing the bars on the windows/front door.
    The inside looks just fine. nothing special, but nothing offensive either.

  24. “And satch ole buddy 584 Teresita just sold for $1.045M after like five months on the market”
    Teresita is a much nicer street by far. It’s more a part of the cute area behind the old Tower Market (now Mollie’s). 219 Los Palmos is more a part of the Sunnyside neighborhood, and it is nestled among some of the uglier streetscapes there. I know that neighborhood like the back of my hand.
    584 Teresita is also a much nicer remodel than 219 Los Palmos, at least from the pictures (check the permits for the extensive work done there). It sold – unremodelled – in 2003 for $710K, while the unremodelled 219 Los Palmos sold in December 2007 for $699K. So, are prices the same as in 2003 apples to apples?
    Best of luck, and nice timing 🙂
    PS – that’s a really nice Safeway on Monterey. I’ve been in there easily 500 times. It might look run down a little, but they are the nicest people you’ll find who work there.

  25. missionite and rr,
    “There’s a lot of value in having options when there is economic turmoil.”
    “My worst performing stock is down 25% right now”..
    as i’ve mentioned on here many a time, re in good locations (primo california i think i called it) has now been a better investment than the stock market or bond market over the last 1,3,5,10,15,20+…years.
    talk about burning an entire generation, or two, with shibboliths like “you’ll be ok as a long term investor” or “do not try to time the markets”.
    granted, i’m not saying go out and buy a $1m condo in this market. but a good fixer in a good neighborhood is always an attractive way to get on the property ladder imo. and, a good investment/tax plan/retirement savings vehicle/living situation
    to boot…

  26. Teresita is a nicer street, sure. A nicer, busier street. Teresita was 1100 feet before. Los Palmos 1440, making the apples and timing comments irrelevant. Your pointed avoidance of other superior amenities — including a radically larger size — choosing to allign yourself with an example that itself easily countered what you had said earlier. Nice debating tactics there!

  27. I still respectfully disagree with you, paco. I think you overlook many costs of homeownership, and look at it from a landlord/income property point of view rather than a pure occupant point of view.
    More importantly, though, only a small percentage of the population can afford to buy in “primo” California. What’s your advice for the other 95% of Californians? What would you tell folks in Stockton that their best investment is? Or Detroit? I’m genuinely curious. As I mentioned before, Berkshire Hathaway stock has outperformed even primo California, but can the average person even afford 1 share? Moot point.
    Now, I totally agree that owning is preferable to renting in a balanced market, which I define as one where buying with 20% down and a traditional loan is equivalent to renting, on a tax-adjusted basis. But SF is not one of those markets. Yet. And without that, an owner is just betting on appreciation. Not a bet I’m willing to make right now, especially with 4x leverage on my life’s savings.

  28. This part of Miraloma is a middle class area with homes nicer than the Sunset. It is not st Francis/Westwood sherwwod etc. These places are worth 600k-750k max. Sunset should be 400k – 600k, Excelsior 250k -450k, Silver 195k-300k, Bayview 80k -200k. Who realy cares: the banks arent lending. Rents will come down as unemployment goes doble digit. De-leveraging of value has only just begun. The fools that pay these or higher prices are crazy. Hold on to your cash: dont be foolish. IF you can sell, then sell. Get out of investment real esate that draws cash from your pocket. If you own, ride it out, kiss your bosses ass and pray we dont become a chinese/indian dog eat dog capitalist society based on graft, pollution and overpoulation. It really is an Obamanation

  29. Dude,
    I agree partly with paco’s opinion. RE can be a good way to build retirement.
    But I think he confuses long-term landlording with medium-term investment (buy a place, put renters for a few years, evict then resale). If appreciation comes into play, it can be a great way to build capital.
    Long-term landlords can still make a buck because their are precisely long-term. Inflation and Prop 13 were their best friends if they were not stuck with a low-paying tenant.
    But SF is not a great environment for wannabe landlords in the current context. Prop 13 imposes insane property taxes, rent control makes sure you’ll be whip-lashed if maintenance costs increase, and some crazies are still out there paying close to a cool Mil for a 2/2.
    2 out of these 3 parameters are built in and will not change. The only thing that could change is prices. Time will tell.

  30. We’re saying the same thing, fronz. Owning real estate is but one component of any balanced, long-term wealth building program. But buy it when it makes financial sense. And I don’t think it does today, here in San Francisco, at current price levels. But again, I’m a regular guy comparing alternatives for shelter. I’m not a contractor or investor, nor am I running my own personal REIT.
    On the flipside, I could tell you that musical instruments are the best investment ever, because my uncle once bought a violin for X and it’s worth 5X today. That doesn’t mean you should run out and buy a bunch of trumpets. Nor could you find or afford a Strad, even if you did want to buy one. So my point could be correct, but it’s still not applicable to the majority of people.

  31. “On the flipside, I could tell you that musical instruments are the best investment ever”
    No question about that, and you get to play it! I’m not into real instruments like violins, but I play and love acoustic guitars, and I even did my own version of ORH pre-sale/flip.
    I ordered a Walker guitar (www.walkerguitars.com) in 2002 at a locked in price of $5200. The wait list was three years at that time. It actually took 4 years to be delivered. The current wait list is now 7-8 years and the smae guitar would cost upwards of $10,800 today and that price is not locked in! (you have to pay whatever the price is in 7-8 years when it is delivered). I’ve had an offer from a friend to buy it for $12.5K today (he doesn’t want to wait, but I ain’t selling). If you like looking at some of the most beautiful traditional guitars being made today (or ever), noodle around in the subdirectories under here:

  32. Really anon. If you’re gonig to be that much of a jackass then at least choose a handle.
    [Editor’s Note: While anon’s comment has been removed, obviously diemos’ has not.]

  33. Paco,
    Primo California, even if it’s a fixer (or rather particularly if it’s a fixer – since after purchasing I would have little spare income for maintenance, and even less spare time), is out of my price range. And I don’t share your confidence in primo California. Past performance not being an indicator future results and all. But even if it were, it’s not an option.
    So what’s your reccomendation then?
    In all likelihood, any house I could have afforded two years ago would now be uspide down to the tune of 20%+, which of course means my losses would be in the neighborhood of 200%+ (since at most I would have put down 10%), leaving me continuing to live in a declining and imperfect neighborhood (such as the Excelsior, where I was looking for a while) for many years to come (assuming I could survive whatever nastiness ARM resets threw at me in 3-7 years), or accepting my losses and going into foreclosure.
    BTW, if you’ll note I said my “worst performing” stock was down 25%. There are other stocks I sold while up, and I am actually down for the year only 8% or so.
    Also, the market, as you might have noticed, is rather mercurial lately, and that stock is currently up 10% today, leaving my net loss currently at 15%. Furthermore there are rumours of a pending buyout which, if the rumoured buyout price bears out, would represent a net gain of 30%, which would turn it into my best performing stock rather abrubtly. It’s hard to imagine any class of RE showing those kinds of returns in such a short period of time.
    At any rate, I’m confident that this particular stock will do far better then real estate over the next 3 years, and my portfolio’s performance over the past 12 months was far superior to any class of RE that was within my price range during that same time period.

  34. Yep, I just got the news flash too. I wonder if this new “lender appoved” short sale price is the real number the lender approved, or if this time it only take days of negotiation (when no one made an offer?) to reduce the short sale price even further, or if there is an even lower number the lender has approved, and we have yet to find out what that number is.
    Anyways, shaving 8% in a matter of days in a decent enighborhood is a sign of just how much and how fast things are changing.

  35. What’s the difference between a short sale price agreed upon over months of negotiation and a bluff ?

  36. What would be valuable would be to know the actual agreed minimum short sale price with the banker.
    I understand why they wouldn’t do that. This would implicitly say how much lower they’d be ready to go and all offers they would get would be made with this number in mind.
    The sales person is actually doing his job of defending the seller’s interest (and the bank’s). Kudos to him for fighting for this short sale in the first place.

  37. I’m the listing agent for this property. We received an offer several months for $855,000. It took months to negotiate this sale price with the lenders (both a 1st and a 2nd), not to mention other costs such as back taxes, expenses, commissions, etc..etc…The lenders unfortunately took too long to approve the payoff (and their losses), and the buyers just pulled out of the deal, citing personal and financing reasons. So yes, the lenders did approve the $855,000 price, but since the contract was submitted several months ago, we’ve experienced a big market shift. We lowered to asking price to $788,000 today and hope to take a new offer(s) to the lenders, and re-open negotiations.

  38. Being pro-active is a sensible position in this market. No one can tell where this market will be in 1 or 2 years. As they say “One bird in the hand is worth two in the bush…” I sold my places trying to extract as much as I could except for the last one last year. The market had frozen and it was not a good time to wait for that “special buyer”.

  39. This thread really brings us down memory lane.
    Rereading JP’s post on November 24, 2008 7:30 PM: clearly everyone tried their best to price to market ASAP. In hindsight, the bank should have approved a more drastic cut to a “just-in-case” price at the time, but who could have known?

  40. This thread really brings us down memory lane.
    It sure does. I’m guessing that this has been withdrawn in advance of foreclosure (just guessing – no inside knowledge). If that’s the case, it’s loooonnng overdue. Here’s an excerpt from an SS post a year ago (February 16, 2008):
    “My guess is that one [835 Foerster] is going into foreclosure, to join its brother right down the hill at 414 Foerster.
    Glad you didn’t put in an offer on 835 Foerster! I know this area very well. I’m a bear, as you can tell, but I bet if you are patient you will get properties like that in the high $500’s. Might take 2-3 years.”
    That’s when it was asking around $989K. Looks like this one is right on schedule, and high $500s (for a redone 3/2 in Miraloma) in 1-2 years from now still seems like a pretty reasonable forecast.

  41. 835 Foerster finally closed. Redfin shows it went for $750K. Last sold for $950K in July 2006, so down 21%. Not too bad.
    No need to feel bad for the sellers. It looks like it was a 100% no money down sort of deal, and property shark shows that Alliance Bancorp (the CA mortgage specialist, not the PA bank) ate it. Well, since Alliance liquidated Chapter 7 a while ago, who knows who really ate the loss. Probably the taxpayer somehow.
    I’m very surprised (not) about this b/c we have it on good authority that all SF purchasers put down large downpayments, except in Districts 10 and 3 of course.

  42. I’m very surprised (not) about this b/c we have it on good authority that all SF purchasers put down large downpayments, except in Districts 10 and 3 of course.
    Do we? “All SF purchasers” eh? What’s up with the constant baiting, dude? Seriously. You don’t even live in San Francisco, or care to ever buy anything here. It is such a weirdly negative space that you inhabit on the internets. But since you went there, and you know this area “so well,” I am compelled to once again point out how incredibly out of touch and wrong you were with your 900K prediction regarding a neighboring property you never laid eyes on in person.

  43. LOL, anonn. You always take the bait.
    I was actually in MP just yesterday and I saw your dad’s flip for the first time. I wanted to congratulate you on the sale. Seriously. What an ugly little place, on an ugly street. It was really high risk (and foolish) to waste $700K on it pre-flip in 12/2007, but I’ve got to hand it to you: you found someone even more foolish to take it off your hands (well, your dad’s hands I guess). “Shytzville” must be really happy – I bet the whole fluj clan got themselves some corn squeezins and are gonna git sick as hogs…
    (Just kidding – I’ve got nothing against Ohio. I don’t look down on “flyover” country, as so many seem to do in SF. It’s just that it’s too hard to resist poking the fluj. Apologies to all the “Shytzvilles” out there.)

  44. Wrong. I had so many people compliment that place. The perception was anything but “ugly.” So again, nice call with the 900K prediction. I agree it would have been risky if we were looking at 900K or so. But it wasn’t. Don’t let me stop you from commenting about things you don’t understand, and processes you’ve never been through.
    And I’ve gotta say it. I “always take the bait” ?
    Dude, aren’t you 47 years old or something? What’s your deal? Seriously. Why don’t you tell us all why you hate SF r.e. so much to always be on this blog playing the part of the arch crusty professor?

  45. No, I’m younger than that. I retired in my very early thirties almost 10 years ago, after working for around 8 years or so in financial markets, total. LOL at the idea that I’m a “permabear”. Just how would someone who was a “permabear” have been successful in the 1990s. (In fact, in the mid- to late-90s, some of the old timers used to call me a “bull market baby”.)
    I just love watching markets – that’s my deal. This is a very fun one to watch (in case you haven’t noticed, real estate is at the center of a worldwide crisis). I’m always bullish or bearish something. I’ve been bearish real estate in my posts on SS since 12/07 when I first posted. That was an excellent call (but an exceptionally easy one to make, of course), as we are now finding out as we see instance after instance of large losses. (That’s not to say it was impossible to make money – just like in stocks the last few years for a select few – but the average Bay Area purchaser has been on the wrong side of this market for the last 5 years or so at least now.)
    I’ll get bullish at some point, and I won’t be shy about giving my reasons when I do get bullish. For now, though, steady as she goes – this market is still declining and decimating balance sheets of anyone caught on the wrong side of it. It’s magnificent to behold how the best efforts of the miserable bureaucrats to manipulate the markets simply melt before the voluntary decisions of millions of individual economic decisionmakers being expressed through the miracle of declining prices. I feel like I’ve seen it happen so many times in so many markets in the almost 20 years I’ve been watching markets – tick by tick – and each time it’s as wondrous as the first.

  46. OK, thanks. Fair enough. Can we please keep it civil from here on out? I am really tired of all the negativity back and forth. There are a few people on here who follow your lead, and the incessant baiting by your acolytes, more than you yourself, is getting tiresome.

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