CFAH

Two months after its initial sale for $1,250,000 in October of 2006 Watermark (501 Beale) Penthouse #2B was flipped for $1,375,000. (Ah, the good old days.) It’s now a little over two years later and the top floor condo is back on the market and asking $1,094,500.
The listing notes both short sale and bank owned (we believe it’s the former) and the condo failed to sell earlier this year when seeking $1,195,000. Keep in mind that the identical “penthouse” unit a floor below (#PH1B) sold for $1,300,000 in October of 2006 and was likley a supporting comp for the flip of #PH2B. And so on. And so forth.
∙ Listing: 501 Beale Street #PH2B (2/2) – $1,094,500 [MLS]

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by diemos

    So annon, are these some of the people who are going to be, “fine, just fine.” because they put 20% down?

  2. Posted by 94114

    It’s only 7:30 in the morning and you’re already beating up on annon. What a way to start off a Monday morning.

  3. Posted by LMRiM

    Not too bad. Assuming normal transaction and selling costs and that it sells at the current price, the sellers only blew up about $350K. I’m looking at sports cars lately, and that would buy you a Nissan GT-R, Porsche 911 Turbo, and a Corvette Z06, and would still leave you enough left over to buy a nice German sedan of Japanese SUV for the family. Wow.
    For the sellers’ sakes, I sincerely hope this was a zero- or low-down payment sort of deal. These guys clearly have not gotten the memo that prices are down only “5 to 10%”.

  4. Posted by anonn

    I regard the initial two months 125K flip with the same curiousity that I regard this latest development. You know, I think, actually YOU Diemos know that I came on this site saying that SOMA was vulnerable. So if you want to take a bank owned SOMA property and utilize it as some sort of exemplar, feel free. Calling me out tho? : “Oh, here’s an item displaying loss. Let’s call out anonn because he’s Mr. Buy Buy Buy or some other brand of socketnonsense TM.” Naah. Not really having it. Too many of your buddies have been too rude in this forum for the preceding.
    But I gotta say it. How do you know they put 20% down? And what on god’s green planet does it have to do with ARM resets?

  5. Posted by anon

    The current owner overpaid. It happens.
    The current owner must have put 20% down (or more) because otherwise the original seller would not have sold it to him. He would have turned down this highest offer in order to sell to someone putting 20% down even with a lower offer. That is unassailable logic.
    Even if this current owner did not put 20% down when he bought, this is the exception not the rule. And the proof of that is because I say so.
    And you can’t use an “apple” of a sale from a few years ago to gauge the market because a place will always sell for a lower price if you sell within three or four years. Because, well, just because.

  6. Posted by anonnn

    “He would have turned down this highest offer in order to sell to someone putting 20% down even with a lower offer. That is unassailable logic.”
    Why “anon” ? Seriously. If you’re going to take the trouble to be sardonic, why be anonymous? It’s a little humorous.
    Whatever, “anon.” What bothers you about the SF real estate market? Why don’t you put your cards on the table? Because you’re sort of nothing in my estimation. You aren’t even willing to take a screen name in an anonymous format to begin with, and you think you can take someone who actually is accountable to task?
    Well, no, you can’t. 8:05 on a Monday and the peanut gallery is already salty as hell.

  7. Posted by flat to slightly down in real sf

    ha ha…I know flippy…who’s floppy?
    I have to accuse the editor of selection bias… There are 7 units going flippy in this building. At least 3 of them are listed at higher than their 2006 sale price and the editor picks this one to highlight. Obviously, they overpaid and did not have competent RE Professional (TM) representing them.
    http://www.redfin.com/search#lat=37.7862255&long=-122.389667&market=sanfrancisco&sf=1,2&status=1&v=4&zoomLevel=19
    I, for one, favor more balance and less snark.
    PS: I usually post as chuckie, but for this thread I am

  8. Posted by resp

    love the pics

  9. Posted by another anon

    Hey, it’s on the “23nd” floor. That makes it really special.

  10. Posted by Legacy Dude

    I’ve actually seen the place, and for a penthouse, it disappoints, IMO. From what I remember, the only things differentiating this unit from others in the building are (a) it’s on a higher floor, and (b) ceilings are higher than other units.
    Other than that, same fixtures, finishes, etc. In fact, when I walked through it, the place wasn’t even that polished. I’m not talking about staging, I’m talking about basic maintenance: there were holes in the drywall, patches of missing hardwood on the floor, tape marking other cosmetic fixes, etc. Looked like no one had ever even lived there – was bought as a flip, and not even finished completely. But I could be wrong on that.
    I’ll open myself to attack here, but I’ve been generally unimpressed by the Watermark so far, and find it to be a poor value vs. other Soma highrises when one considers overall quality and location vs. price. Consider what a mil buys you at the Infinity, BLU, or ORH.
    That’s not to say somebody won’t pay the new ask, since it only takes one. But I just don’t see this building faring as well as its neighbors over the long haul. Just personal opinion, though.

  11. Posted by Jimmy (No Longer Bitter)

    Someone please explain the term “it only takes one” in this context?
    To complete a transaction you need:
    A Willing and Able Buyer,
    An appraiser who will issue an appraisal at or above the sales price,
    AND A banker willing to lend.
    So it actually takes at least three to make a transaction happen …

  12. Posted by ex SF-er

    At least 3 of them are listed at higher than their 2006 sale price and the editor picks this one to highlight.
    First, I don’t know all these intimately. however, does it make sense to pick the most expensive listing in a condo complex? you’d think that all things equal the buyers will go towards the cheaper units first.
    this unit discussed is the PENTHOUSE. I’m assuming that it is more desireable than the properties lower down??????
    there’s this 2/2 penthouse with water views for approx 1.1M, or you can buy the 2/2 on 10th floor (10H) for 1.3M. or 14D for $1.4M. 21F is on 21st floor, for 1.2M
    why would a buyer buy a 2/2 lower down for more money? (unless the views are better in the lower units?).
    my thought would be that we should ignore 10H and 14D, unless 10H and 14D have killer views that the penthouse doesn’t have.
    by the pics, it appears that 10H has the same views as the penthouse (I could be wrong) and 21F seems to be city views. (are those worth more than water views)
    14A is a 3/2, so not quite comparable.
    so should we use 10H or 14D’s prices, when they appear to be higher priced than a more desireable unit in the same building?
    again, though, I haven’t been in these, so perhaps I am mistaken. this is just based on what the MLS listings look like online.

  13. Posted by Trip

    Jimmy (btw, why no longer bitter?), in this case you actually need yet another party to sign on — the current lender — because it’s a short sale.

  14. Posted by Renter

    Speaking of SOMA, does anybody know whats going on at SF Blu? I went there 7 months ago before the crash and they would not negotiate any pricing. Very arrogant at the time. Now that they have reduced some prices, does anybody know if they are moving any units yet. They said they would be ready for move ins in March. To date, I don’t see any activity in the building at all. Unfortunately, I don’t understand the high dues considering no real amenities besides a doorman.
    [Editor’s Note: See BLU Cuts Pre-Sale Required Green To $575,000 (And Up To 26%).]

  15. Posted by Jimmy (No Longer Bitter)

    Trip — I am “no longer bitter” as I got married recently and moved into my wife’s house which is of course rapidly depreciating in value etc. BUT IT’S BETTER THAN PAYING RENT, right?! (just as my mother in law whose townhouse in Novato is dropping something like 40% a year).
    (actually our situation is cheaper than renting since her dad, my father in law, gave her about $150k downpayment on the place).
    Well due to community property laws in CA none of the house value is mine anyway, so I’m just happy to live there for less than the cost of renting elsewhere.
    We were doing some cosmetic renovations with an eye to putting the house on the market but now the place looks too nice compared to doggie-friendly rentals out there… one more reason to stay put.
    I predict breakeven by 2020-2021 (based on a late 2003 purchase), just in time for our daughter to go to high school. Yeah!

  16. Posted by Can't think of cool name

    In regards to the views – I was in this unit a long time ago, when the floors were just concrete and lots of appliances were not installed.
    If you have no problem with Vertigo, standing in the corner of the balcony gives you a view of the bay from north of the Bay Bridge all the way around, past downtown, Twin Peaks, and AT&T Park to the south bay and the San Mateo bridge. Very panoramic. Not sure how, if at all, that figures into things…

  17. Posted by Jimmy (Bitter Quasi-Homeowner)

    so anyway, that’s why I’m no longer a Bitter Renter.
    I’m now a Bitter Quasi-Homeowner.

  18. Posted by gowiththeflow

    What I don’t understand is that re: Watermark not one person barks about $1000+ psf but when people of late talk about Millenium or Infinity they do?
    Would you not rather be in a newer building for a sim price point, or some what close price point in coser proximity to downtown?

  19. Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

    it actually takes at least three to make a transaction happen …

    I think what folks mean when they trot out the “since it only takes one” cliche in this context is the possibility that some buyer with a lot of high-liquidity wealth will arrive on the scene, fall in love with this particular place and pay $1.1M for it, all cash. Thus dispensing with the appraiser, banker and consent of the current lender.

  20. Posted by Legacy Dude

    “not one person barks about $1000+ psf”
    I’ll bark, then: the wishing price is absurd. I’ve anedcotally heard that new units at Infinity are going into contract in the $700 psf range, and they still have the new condo smell. Soma resale prices are in the same general area (or lower) in the buildings I track.
    So even if this place gets a premium for being on a high floor or being a penthouse, it’s worth about $900K in today’s market; my own guess at “fair market value,” having seen the unit.
    A sale at the current ask already represents a 20% decline from peak. Let’s see what happens.

  21. Posted by Trip

    Jimmy, congrats on your nuptials! One word of advice re the community property point: “commingle” (unless your wife is underwater and you want to keep it all purely hers — then “don’t commingle”).

  22. Posted by Mole Man

    The listing itself speaks of the changes in the market. The agents who took the price up to the peak marketed this unit with pro pics and decently written descriptions that hit all the right hot buttons. This listing doesn’t seem to have any pics on MLS and there is cat-like typing in the description. Fabulous marketing for fabulous properties has given way to the squalor of a logjam in the trough.

  23. Posted by Jimmy (Bitter Quasi-Homeowner)

    Hi Trip,
    Thanks. Every month I send my wife a check that says “rent” which covers my share of housing expenses — in my opinion, that should be enough to avoid commingling … our assets, at least. 🙂

  24. Posted by David

    Nice views, which won’t be blocked by new 50-story buildings on all sides. Not good news for the neighbors (One Ionic Breeze) but if anyone is looking for a penthouse (or even just a two bedroom) at other buildings, it should sell quickly.

  25. Posted by Jimmy (Bitter Quasi-Homeowner)

    David,
    Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t a short sale take months-to-years for approval?
    What makes you think it will sell quickly?

  26. Posted by 45yo hipster

    I was going to say 9:51 jimmy- man that sounds pretty bitter to me! Maybe your wife is the optimist??

  27. Posted by unearthly

    1019 sqft is absurdly small for a 2+2; personally I feel cramped in a 1163 sqft unit in the Infinity.
    So even if this place gets a premium for being on a high floor or being a penthouse, it’s worth about $900K in today’s market; my own guess at “fair market value,” having seen the unit.
    And that’s at a generous $883/sqft.

  28. Posted by David

    @Jimmy: Difference in definitions at this point. By “sell”, I mean having a contract on the table. Ratified and closed would be a different story, potentially. But I’ve seen plenty of short sales closing in “normal” time frames. Depends on the lender.

  29. Posted by Jimmy (Bitter Quasi-Homeowner)

    I think my father-in-law is the real optimist here. He gave my wife $150k way back in 2003 and figures we’ll be able to pay him back with “6 or 7% interest — you know, the usual rate of return” when we sell sometime in the future.
    The other day I said that I thought the housing situation would take 10 years to resolve itself. He replied that “well, I’ve seen this kind of thing before, like in ’81-’82 and it always jumps right back up in a couple of years. Don’t worry about it.” Um, ok.
    Now, THAT is optimism. The next time 800 sq. ft. San Bruno 2/1 houses are selling for $525k, our daughter will be in high school.
    Hopefully not in San Bruno … (or SF for that matter).

  30. Posted by flat to slightly down in real sf

    “But I’ve seen plenty of short sales closing in “normal” time frames.”
    Know of any in sf? Address??

  31. Posted by lolcat_94123

    G needs to jump on this!

  32. Posted by huh?

    “What I don’t understand is that re: Watermark not one person barks about $1000+ psf but when people of late talk about Millenium or Infinity they do?”
    GWTF – I think the difference is that people such as yourself consider units above the 20th floor at Infinity priced at over $1200psf (not $1000psf) to be “worth it”. Given that they are “worth it”, I’m wondering which unit you bought?
    “I’ve anedcotally heard that new units at Infinity are going into contract in the $700 psf range, and they still have the new condo smell.”
    LD – Can you give specifics about where in the building these units are located?

  33. Posted by Jeffrey W. Baker

    This “penthouse” has similar quality finishes and approximately the same floor plan as the 2br apartment I rented in Oklahoma City for $250/month. What a joke. You’d be CRAZY to pay a million bucks to own this hovel. Even in SF, you can shop your million bucks into a top-architect-designed mid-century SFH in a great neighborhood, with $100k left over.

  34. Posted by anon

    Wow, even fluj didn’t have the nerve to directly solicit a customer on SS.
    [Editor’s Note: Really?]

  35. Posted by David

    🙂
    Yes, they’re big (in case you were wondering)…
    [Editor’s Note: And now back to Watermark (or over to BLU)…]

  36. Posted by Trip

    Open and express buyer solicitations on SS? Of course! In the bubble years everyone trolled for sellers since that was the easy way to get your commission — stage it, list it, and take the highest offer. Representing buyers was a pain — make bid after bid with no sale. But now a listing is not worth much as it takes months of marketing with a fair chance of not selling at all as nobody bids (or bids far below what is owed so the sellers refuse). Thus active and interested buyers are once again the prize. Make a serious bid and you got the place — little or no competition.
    I’ve told this before — I used to get 3-4 unsolicited offers to sell my place a week. Now I get 2-3 unsolicited offers every week to sell me a place, any place. Does anybody ever select a realtor based on a junk mailing? Hard to imagine, but I suppose it’s possible.

  37. Posted by gowiththeflow

    huh? As mentioned before by contract I can’t and won’t disclose my unit or what I paid.. However I just spent a handful of hours at the assessors office scouring almost all sold prop comps to see about putting in a request for tax deduct..once I resolve (they estimated by May) I will let you know 1) if I was successful and 2) more about the price points I found. Work for you? I will say this… I have no idea who is mentioning they are getting $700psf prices on high floors at the Infinity. Of the units I looked at all on floors 5-12 in all 3 phase 1 buildings.. Ranges ran from only 2 units close to $700 (a hair under)psf, up to almost $1200psf and all the rest (I checked 40+ units) were a handful at high $775 and up psf with most running $800-$900 psf on average; again these are lower floors. Per my comps (picking the lowest of the low $ psf) I doubt I will get much reduction if any but am crossing my fingers. Phase 2 obviously may price out less?
    BTW I said I think $1200+ is worth it for the higher floors but never would I pay that.. I prefer to buy lower and hopefully ride the coat tails of the other prop values by hanging on for 10 year min. I was willing to do this as I got the exact unit I wanted.
    Regardless I would rather buy at the MP or the Infinity than pay the same price for the older but still great Watermark.

  38. Posted by anon

    Sorry, meant “nerve” = “lack of class”

  39. Posted by anonn

    “Wow, even fluj didn’t have the nerve to directly solicit a customer on SS.
    [Editor’s Note: Really?]”
    Well in that instance I would have been remiss not to. But be clear. Once, and only once has this occurred. Thank you so much for helping me shed the “fluj” moniker, however. Your balanced approach is appreciated as always.

  40. Posted by gowiththeflow

    Ok good can we ditch the fluj issues now, it is getting boring.

  41. Posted by huh?

    “BTW I said I think $1200+ is worth it for the higher floors but never would I pay that.. I prefer to buy lower and hopefully ride the coat tails of the other prop values by hanging on for 10 year min.”
    GWTF – I appreciate your candor (and the assessor’s data) and think it’s not a bad strategy, relatively speaking of course. However the fact that you think $1200psf for units above the 20th floor is “worth it” but “never would I pay that” pretty much says it all about the actual worth of these units 🙂

  42. Posted by Legacy Dude

    @huh? and gowiththeflow: The $700 number I threw out for Infinity came from a realtor who’s negotiated a few places there. I don’t know which units they were, but likely middling condos and not crown jewels. The number is squishy as well, since I hear they’re negotiating HOAs, upgrades, basically everything. One may even be able to get something under $700 psf net if you’re willing to buy one of the runts out of their litter.
    Regarding the Watermark, the most recent sale here seems to be 16B, which sold for $1,028,500 last November ($1,010 psf). Will be interesting to see what this place goes for….I’m guessing REO in the 8s or low 9s.

  43. Posted by gowiththeflow

    “However the fact that you think $1200psf for units above the 20th floor is “worth it” but “never would I pay that” pretty much says it all about the actual worth of these units :-)”
    Uh no 🙂
    1) I did not want a high floor, many do.
    2) I don’t value a pano view to a degree most do.
    3) I am frugal, even if I was told I could afford something three times what I paid I never would buy something for three times what I paid – I would invest it otherwise.
    I have seen the units and they are worth it for those that value views, high floors, etc. etc.
    All I was saying is I am confused as to why one would pay sim rates for something old vs. something new when HOA are fairly sim.

  44. Posted by Trip

    Jimmy (NLB), you know I was kidding about that community property point. My real advice (unless either of you are bringing massive assets into the marriage) is to just treat everything as a community whether it is legally so or not. Why add stress and the concept that you are even considering the notion of a dissolution if the stakes really aren’t all that significant anyway? OTOH, you should now make a will.
    On to more important points — GO Michigan State (OK — can’t a man dream?)

  45. Posted by Outsider

    I have lived in a highrise unit with gorgeous view for 10 years and I can offer this personal opinion. “View” is for suckers… 1) One is at work during daylight hours and that fabulous water view is mostly pitch black at night. So dollar for dollar, city view gets more bang. 2. The brain has this curious tendency to water down sensory inputs that at one time make your heart skip a beat – once you get a dose of it everyday. A car you lust for and bought; a girl you lust for and married, a lovely view you lust for and spent a mint on…That view became something to vow a friend or relative who visits for the first time. After a while, even they stopped commenting on that lovely bridge and East Bay sight. After the love is gone, you are still paying that $1200 per sq ft for the rest of your meaningful life unless you find some other lustful individual to pony up for it.

  46. Posted by Jimmy (No Longer Bitter)

    Trip — thanks for the advice. I’ll definitely consider a will if I ever acquire enough assets to be worth bothering with … cheers
    However, everyone (wife included) does a trust these days. I never did understand the difference, exactly.

  47. Posted by Mavo

    so much for the $900 psft for SOMA/South Beach.. there is a nice 5th floor 2/2 in the Towers listed now for 648k.. and it is over 1,000 sq ft. Better readjust those estimates of price per square foot!

  48. Posted by huh?

    “so much for the $900 psft for SOMA/South Beach.. there is a nice 5th floor 2/2 in the Towers listed now for 648k..”
    Mavo – Which “Towers” are you referring to? If you mean the Infinity it’s not too far off from GWTF observation of a few units, without views, that are below 700psf. I’m guessing this 5th floor unit falls into that category? However, I do concur that the ‘spread’ between the no view units (around 700psf) at the Infinity and those with unobstructed views, currently priced north of $1200psf, are unrealistic and destined to colapse. This is particularly the case given the number of units in nearby buildings (such as the Watermark) some with superior views, at lower psf costs.

  49. Posted by will

    Did anyone check out the unit? How is the size of the room? There are no pics of the room.
    I checked out a few units at watermark last year, those corner units are nice but pricey, but some of the other had a really small 2nd bedroom, is this the case?
    Thanks

  50. Posted by Jim

    All – I am in the process of looking for a 2/2 condo in SOMA to purchase by October 2009. I looked at this unit and some at the Infinity. Based on your “gut”, what PSF is reasonable (competitive) in this market? Infinity tower two with views is $1200 sq ft. This is way out of my league. I am looking for sub $900k. Thanks for your help.

  51. Posted by Suggestion

    Jim:
    You should check out 1603 at Bridgview. Nice unit, with a good view, for $790 PSF. The view is protected since it looks over BayCrest. There is another unit (1203) that is priced cheaper, but has some issues. The previous owner undertook a very ill conceived remodel that cut the master bedroom in half (tried to make a walk in closet) and turned the second bedroom into a media room (removed clost). It would probably cost about $25k – $40k to to fix these errors. Adding in the view premium, 1603 looks fairly priced.

  52. Posted by anonsf

    Mavo – Which “Towers” are you referring to?
    He probably means the ones across from the ballpark. Those were originally built as rentals and were sold as condos during the boom. I’ve seen a number of units there–the construction is really cheap and some of the layouts are terrible. That building has always had “good” deals.

  53. Posted by Grubber

    “”The brain has this curious tendency to water down sensory inputs that at one time make your heart skip a beat – once you get a dose of it everyday. A car you lust for and bought; a girl you lust for and married, a lovely view you lust for and spent a mint on…That view became something to vow a friend or relative who visits for the first time. After a while, even they stopped commenting on that lovely bridge and East Bay sight.””
    That’s why I married a dog, drive a piece of junk and live in a cardboard box. It feels like my penthouse, my hot wife and my italian sportscar.

  54. Posted by Outsider

    Congratulations Grubber ! Isn’t life grand ?

  55. Posted by Outsider

    Jim: I think it is possible to get a 2/2 with good view at the Infinity for well under 900K. You, unfortunately, will not know until you start serious negotiation including getting preliminary loan approval and putting down the deposit required. If you are serious, there is nothing to lose. You can start at low ball number and work your way up. You don’t get the unit or price you want, get the check back and walk away. Remember the following: 1- Not using an agent will save you $15-30K depending on the unit; 2- Forgoing parking will net you another $100K. 3- At the Infinity, go for the signature curve 2/2.

  56. Posted by gowiththeflow

    Jim and Outsider:
    1) Infinity with “good view” for under 900k – depends what you classify as good view but once you visit the sales office I would love to see if it is possible with T2. At $850k and an est. 1200sf that would put you around $700psf which would be a steal. You may have the best luck with low floor no view units of course or perhaps phase 1 midrise large sf 2 beds or 3 beds that may still be lingering around?
    2) I can confirm. No need to use an agent. I did not and all went well. Disc: Not advising, not an agent or lawyer so ultimately per your discretion.
    3) I would not forgo parking. It used to be 75k and now 100k which = value went up. To my understanding this is one of the last residential buildings to get a 1:1 parking ratio approved no stacked parking etc. Value will only go up and is a huge deal for shoppers. If anything include the parking and rent it out. I heard going rate is around $350-$375 per month.
    4) Sig curve 2/2 personal preference.

  57. Posted by gowiththeflow

    To clarify I meant 4) Sig curve 2/2 is personal preference, some don’t like the curved units.
    Anyone know of any banks still doing 80%LTV (don’t laugh)…vs. 70% or 75% typ?

  58. Posted by huh?

    “4) Sig curve 2/2 personal preference”
    GWTF – I will grant you that the curve of the building does make the Infinity look more interesting than most taller buildings. However, I’ve pounded the table about how little living space there is in these units, including barely enough space for a tiny round dining table … albeit one that is almost entirely in the kitchen. Check out the pics to the attached listing and tell me I’m wrong. Pictures 5,6,7 & 8 give new meaning to the term the kitchen table. Note, the table only has two chairs – add another two and the person sitting down will have to watch his head from someone opening the fridge.
    http://sfarmls.rapmls.com/scripts/mgrqispi.dll?APPNAME=Sanfrancisco&PRGNAME=MLSPropertyDetail&ARGUMENTS=-N814780603,-N232540,-N,-A,-N17865260
    Although this Watermark listing probably has one of those tiny second bedrooms that is a joke, at least they have space for a couple of couches and a legitimate dining table.

  59. Posted by gowiththeflow

    huh? I knew you would rant about the dining table thing as always.. makes me laugh every time hence exactly why I re-posted, specifically for you:
    “To clarify I meant 4) Sig curve 2/2 is personal preference, some don’t like the curved units.”
    Remember in past we covered this and I noted I like the flat facade units at the Infinity better myself for layout reasons but can see the benefit if one has a view, to the curved units.

  60. Posted by jessep

    gowiththeflow,
    I live in the financial district and am renting my space for 600/month cash, all upfront too for 2 years.

  61. Posted by gowiththeflow

    jessep that is awesome. Perhaps I try for a higher number. I have a car now (paid off) but am considering ditching it to rent the space, plus I maybe put 1k miles on it a year if that so insurance etc. is really a waste. I noticed you were asking about requesting a reduction in prop taxes, did you ever do it; was it for your base year, just a one year reduction request or both?

  62. Posted by flaneur

    “I have lived in a highrise unit with gorgeous view for 10 years and I can offer this personal opinion. “View” is for suckers… 1) One is at work during daylight hours and that fabulous water view is mostly pitch black at night. So dollar for dollar, city view gets more bang. 2. The brain has this curious tendency to water down sensory inputs that at one time make your heart skip a beat – once you get a dose of it everyday. A car you lust for and bought; a girl you lust for and married, a lovely view you lust for and spent a mint on…That view became something to vow a friend or relative who visits for the first time. After a while, even they stopped commenting on that lovely bridge and East Bay sight. After the love is gone, you are still paying that $1200 per sq ft for the rest of your meaningful life unless you find some other lustful individual to pony up for it.”
    Outsider – I am sorry to hear of your personal experience- especially “the love is gone” part. Does the pattern extend to your relatiohships? I have lived for three years in my current place with a view, and 11 years before in another place with a view as well. I enjoy it in the morning, in the evening, and on weekends – just as much as the first day.

  63. Posted by flaneur

    huh? Thanks for the link. I never understand why people don’t stage properties. At this price point, it is a small expense compared to the sums at stake. This unit layout is not great, but the furniture layout only emphasizes the problem.

  64. Posted by salarywoman

    Infinity view units at $1,200 per sf? Not the ones I saw recently. Asking prices were more like $1,600 per sf (Tower 2). It really put me off. Plus the door hardware is super cheap, the bathrooms are not great and the units have lots of wasted space and no closets. And there is no additional storage in the garage.
    @ gowiththeflow,
    What do you do with your stuff?

  65. Posted by Outsider

    Salarywoman: The developer can ask for $1600 and you can counter $600 and hopefully will meet somewhere in between. Developer knows if he asks for a more realistic $900, someone will counter $300. That’s buyers’ market…Yes, the bathroom is sub par but a new mirror, frameless glass tub enclosure, new lights and color on the wall will do wonders. I will replace bathroom and bedroom doors with French doors with opaque Raindrop center glass plus crown molding in all rooms. All for well under $10K. Closet space is indeed at a premium. The closet systems you can buy at Home Depot really helps. Or you can own a Suburban and use the truck as storage space you can occasionally transport yourself around…:)

  66. Posted by Jim

    Thanks all for your input. I really like the corner 2/2 w/office area floorplans at Infinity. Unless the prices come down at Millennium, I think I will submit an offer at the Infinity for $850k and see what happens.

  67. Posted by anonn

    “The developer can ask for $1600 and you can counter $600 and hopefully will meet somewhere in between. Developer knows if he asks for a more realistic $900, someone will counter $300.”
    The old 1000 less per foot ploy, eh? I think we’ve a long way to go before developers “know” that’s coming.

  68. Posted by huh?

    “This unit layout is not great, but the furniture layout only emphasizes the problem.”
    Flaneur – I’m not sure I agree. While this place could have been staged with less clutter, the inescapable fact is that these units make 1317 sf feel really small. And no matter how you stage it, there is simply no room for any type of dining table that isn’t firmly in the kitchen. At $1200psf asking that’s $1.58m for a pig with no living space. Moreover, half the units in the Infinity Tower have this configuration.
    The other thing to note about this listing is that it is asking $1.095m or 831psf. Salarywoman may want to give this quote to the Sales Office when they next throw around $1600psf … perhaps even laugh out loud. This unit is on the 19th floor. Remember 20B who paid $1.77m, or 1345psf, for this exact floorplan just one floor up, albeit with views towards the Ferry Building? I fully expected the $1200-1300psf price points at the Infinity to colapse and it looks like its already happening.
    The floorplan of the Watermark #2B, although it includes a living room, does have a tiny second bedroom. However, with a slightly larger floorplan, even the Watermark resales are looking more appealing than their neighbors up the street.

  69. Posted by salarywoman

    @ Outsider,
    Crown molding? In an Infinity unit? Please say you are not serious. As an architect I seriously urge you to reconsider. The rest of what you are doing sounds nice. And yes, I know I can rip everything out and replace it but the at the price they are asking I was expecting more.
    As for offering $600 psf when they are asking $1600, I don’t mind bottom fishing but my husband would be terminally embarassed.
    Besides I can’t believe Infinity would be so stupid. Most Americans, like my husband, are totally stressed out making an offer that is more than 5 to 8 per-cent lower than the asking. If they are really willing to sell at 56% off the asking they are probably losing lots of sales. They certainly lost us.

  70. Posted by salarywoman

    @ huh?
    I suppose we should look at the Watermark. Why is everyone so down on this building? I do like the Infinity location better.

  71. Posted by jessep

    gowiththeflow,
    Asking for both. But I’m afraid my building won’t justify the reductions, but hey what can you do but try?
    Relative to my immediate comps, my unit is not overpriced, but relative to what’s available now in other markets, it should warrant some reduction.

  72. Posted by jessep

    Just to confirm what gowiththeflow said:
    My developer offered 100k off the purchase price of all units at my building if you’d forgo parking.
    13 units, 10 parking spots. No one gave up parking, even with the promise of a reduction.
    It’s too hard to sell a 1M+ condo w/ no parking.

  73. Posted by flaneur

    huh? I am not a stager, but if I staged this place, I would remove the table behind the couch, remove the TV and place the couch along this wall with the armchairs facing it. I would remove the buffet next to the island and put bar stools. I would remove the floor lamp next to the kitchen table, move it a bit, and add a third chair. I bet it would look more spacious.
    If I owned this place, I would still move the couch to within 6 inches of the wall where the TV is, and cleverly hide the TV above it with a sliding diptych. If I really had to have a dining table, then I would remove the island, replace it with some screen, and put the dining table along it, and removing the screen just before dinner on those rare occasions when I entertain.
    Yes, I am a frustrated interior designer…but I hear it’s a tough profession.

  74. Posted by Outsider

    To salarywoman
    $600 for a super view unit at The Infinity is unrealistic but I fail to see why you can’t counter $800 and work from there. The worst is they will say NO. There is no shame to it and you may be pleasantly surprised by what they may do. Builders / developers in this market have to keep moving these units as they are otherwise saddled with high carrying cost including HOA. I truly like the location, the proximity to the water, the easy street parking for guests even on weekdays and easy access to the freeways. I have seen nicer finishes, especially the lobby but the total package and final price is virtually unbeatable. BTW, I will take your advice and re-think the crown molding ( I had some sleek ones in mind ). The doors are gorgeous. The new Sony 9.9mm LED TV also fits nicely on the wall.

  75. Posted by huh?

    “If I really had to have a dining table, then I would remove the island, replace it with some screen, and put the dining table along it, and removing the screen just before dinner on those rare occasions when I entertain.”
    Flaneur – your ability to come up with inventive solutions is admirable. However, I just figured that if one dishes out $1200psf for a unit it wouldn’t be too much to expect it to be impeccable. And these units are far from it. Nice idea about removing the island, except that if you do so, there is almost no kitchen storage or prep space. So, you may have an unobstructed dining table, but no room to cook anything. Quite frankly it’s the fault of the architect who needs to be severely flogged. Despite all the hype there is egregious misuse of space in all of the tower units, particularly the ‘curved window’ ones.
    Salarywoman – it’s hard to trust the credibility of the Mark Group that tosses out $1600 psf with a straight face, while a 19th floor Tower 1 resale unit with unobstructed views is asking $831 psf … and may not even get that. Watermark looks a bit like an office building from the outside and has an underwhelming lobby area (hence the bad rap) but some of the units are pretty nice. I would include the Metropolitan and One Rincon in your assessment before commiting.

  76. Posted by anon

    Frederick Allardyce has just posted this on the BCNA website:
    Recorded real estate sales in the northern half of the City reflect a different story. For single family homes and condominiums, located north of California Street, the number of sales has fallen by 55 percent. But the average selling price has actually increased by 10 percent!
    Is this a complete lie?

  77. Posted by hello

    huh?, are you related to Recent_ORH_Buyer?
    I miss him but it looks like you’ll be taking over the PR for ORH. It must be lonely…
    I’m going to live like the Japanese and people in India and eat/sit on the floor for dinner 🙂

  78. Posted by huh?

    Hello – No, but I do admire your Zen/Buddhist like commitment to eat/sit on the floor although I don’t quite get the reference.

  79. Posted by gowiththeflow

    “$1600 psf with a straight face, while a 19th floor Tower 1 resale unit with unobstructed views is asking $831 psf”
    Totally different unit, view, etc. etc. Huh? you have no idea what you are comparing. Have you even been in these units?
    “Watermark looks a bit like an office building from the outside and has an underwhelming lobby area (hence the bad rap) but some of the units are pretty nice.”
    Other than your complaint re: the dining table not fitting of which you have brought up a million times in the past few months the Watermark units are no different. As a matter of fact dining space at the watermark is sim to the Infinity just that the corners are 90 degress vs. the curve of the Infinity which softens the space actually and creates opportunity for a better view.
    Met be careful, I recall seeing a lot of forclosures and the street in front is jammed with traffic every night, noisy, etc. Rincon not even in the same league as far as location, maybe in the future but not now.

  80. Posted by salarywoman

    Thanks everyone. Most helpful. I think I will stay put for a while. By the way, they all look like office buildings to me. And I don’t really see that as a negative. You might say it goes with the terratory.

  81. Posted by EBGuy

    For those of you in the market for a penthouse, Unit #PH1E at the Watermark (501 Beale) was taken back by the lender for $1,349,628 on Sept. 15. Talk about bad timing, the former owner bought for $1.523 million in January, 2007. This three bedroom 1,362 sq.ft. foreclosure was brought to you courtesy of WaMu.

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