CFAH

While not in the same league as the penthouses atop the St. Regis or Millennium (with which it shares an architect), it turns out the sale of 631 Folsom (BLU) #PHE quietly closed escrow in August with a reported contract price of $1,750,000.

Originally asking $2,527,358 but officially reduced to $1,862,358 earlier this year, we’ll call it 31% below original expectations, 6% under adjusted market expectations, and an auspicious $888 per square foot for the 1,972 square foot penthouse atop BLU.

Right around 50% of the 108 units are either closed or in contract according to our counts.

Full Disclosure: BLU currently advertises on SocketSite but provided no compensation for (nor had any prior knowledge of) this post.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Fred

    My Partner and I have been looking for a condo in the SOMA district for over a year. We are very close on deciding if Blu is the one for us. Our agent recently told us that we can get a great deal on one of these units. Since the purchase price is in the high 500’s/low 600’s we only have to put down 3.5% with a FHA loan. We are getting 18% off the list sales price.
    I would like to get a general opinion if you think this is a good purchase. The pros of this deal is the very low down and the price of the unit. We do have over $200k saved, but I’d like to leave that in the bank. Plus if we encounter another financial meltdown, we can still walk with our shirt on.
    The negative is, we do not love this building. We like the price/FHA but there are other buildings we prefer but we will need to use our cash for down. Blu is nice but I am turned off by the HOA and the parking situation.
    We’ve looked at resales at 170 Townsend, Arterra, Met etc and prefer some of their units. We made an offer for a resale at Infinity but our offer was too low.
    If you were in our shoes, would you go ahead with the purchase at BLU. Considering the cheap money factor? Should we hold out and wait for a better unit in a better building. I’ve read all the past discussions about BLU here on Socketsite and people generally think it’s ok. Nobody loves it and is that an indication on why there’s been no comments in this thread?
    Any help appreciated. LMRiM, what should we do? Where do you think BLU will stand with other condos in the next 5 years? My partner does not see this area becoming a real neighborhood like Mission Bay and South Beach.

  2. Posted by condo buyer

    Which unit were you going to purchase? I only liked the end units that overlooked the streets but I think it would be difficult to get those units into the 500’s. The finishing and design of the building is nice in my opinion.
    As far as the HoA is concerned it is quite expensive. However, at least the bright side is that it shouldn’t get more expensive. I hear the Infinity and Millenium will probably have to increase the HoA in the future.
    I am also quite surprised at the lack of conversation about Blu especially considering that it is now 50% sold. Any current Blu residents care to discuss their purchase?

  3. Posted by sunnyvalesteve

    Fred, I considered Blu and might have bought there if they’d been more flexible about price a year ago. Look at the price/sf. If that’s in line with or below your comps, you’re probably getting a good deal. It’s a high-quality new building with higher-end finishes. I think it will probably age fairly well. Also, the location is better than many SOMA bldgs, not so remote from downtown yet convenient to the Embarcadero, ballpark, etc. There are some decent restaurants and nightlife within walking distance. And it’s built on bedrock instead of landfill.
    Bottom line, if you can buy at rock bottom the price gains will accrue to you all the sooner. Many places in SF are still priced in a way that the seller is asking you to share some of your future appreciation. Also, if you have a meaningful strategy for investing your cash, you can realize gains in both asset classes.
    This is a good time to cherry pick some higher quality properties from the wreckage. You have to be careful, picky, and drive a hard bargain, but the BLU development is a decent place that has been going through tough times and it’s on my short list of sites where you might be able to make a purchase that will look wise a few years down the road.
    …my 2 cents. Now let all the professional naysayers, schadenfreude junkies, and psychotically envious folks who populate this site start raining down their styrofoam brickbats…

  4. Posted by sb

    Fred, a 2bd unit in that price range is hard to come by in the area. But I was turned off as well by the car stacker and the relatively high hoa when there were no amenities. Also remember that with an FHA loan, you’ll always have to pay mortgage insurance for the life of the loan.
    My thinking is why would you buy a building that you’re not too crazy about when it is a big financial commitment. If you love it, you buy it and you’ll usually be fine in the long run. But it seems like you don’t.
    In regards to the HOA fees, all buildings will increase their fees in the future. Stuff will just get more expensive and the staff want raises.
    I did end up buying a 2bd at the Infinity in the low 600k and I’m lovin it.

  5. Posted by Paul Hwang

    I think Blu is a pretty good location, walk to the Ball Park, Whole Foods, MoMa, and 2nd Street Restaurants. Good location, probably inferior to some other developments, and superior to many others.
    Superior finishes to most every other development.
    2nd Street is the dividng line between SoMa and South Beach, so I would consider it the best part of SoMa.
    The stackers provide extra security, but may not fit large SUVs.
    The kitchen islands may be too big for some. Lower floors do not provide much views. Some units have windows directly across looking in.
    “F” is my favorite floor plan. Haven’t really sold anything there yet.

  6. Posted by Rex

    Paul, your GMC Suburban must not fit at Blu then?

  7. Posted by Paul Hwang

    Never tried it, but it doesn’t look like it would fit, I think there may be a weight limit to those things too.
    Cadillac ESV; that’s how I roll.

  8. Posted by priced_out_with_envy

    Diamond in the back/sunroof top/Diggin’ the scene/With a gangsta lean.

  9. Posted by Troy Murphy

    I say…
    Yeah buddy
    Rolling like a big shot
    Chevy tuned up like a nascar pit stop
    Fresh paint job (check)
    Fresh inside (check)
    Is the outside frame in the trunk wide (yes)
    Are the rims big (what)
    Cream on the inside clean on the outside
    Ice cream paint job Ice cream paint job

  10. Posted by sfrenegade

    “Considering the cheap money factor?”
    Cheap money is all relative. As I’ve mentioned before, better to pay 8% interest on a $500K place than 5% interest on an $800K place, even though the yearly interest paid is the same.

  11. Posted by OneEyedMan

    Fred –
    We looked at Blu and everything else in the area about 8 months ago and ended up buying around the corner at 246 2nd St. We also used a reduced down FHA loan. I don’t think there’s any reason you can’t go FHA on another property. If you’ve been shopping for a year it appears you have some flexibility in timing. We really liked the Met also, but the prices on 2/2 were not yet down to the $600 / SF we needed to make the purchase work for us. Short sales and REOs at Met, Portside, 300 3rd, and Bridgeview are all around that level now. I’m not convinced Blu will hold up. We especially thought the mis-matched upper/lower kitchen cabinet thing would be a fast-fading fad.

  12. Posted by priced_out_with_envy

    Troy, this has to stop right here, right now.. but…

    We like them short
    And we like them tall
    We like them one
    And we like them all
    There always adding speakers when they find the room
    Cause they know we love the guys with the cars that go boom!
    And see my boyfriend really knows where its at
    He’s got 50 inch woofers all along the back
    He makes a comment on going to my room
    But Id rather stay out with his car that goes boom!

    We like the cars, the cars that go boom
    We’re Tigre and Bunny and we like the boom

  13. Posted by Mikey

    I wouldn’t buy a building with so few units and such high HOAs (with no amenities) and contrary to the other poster, ALL HOAs will see fee increases, at least at the cost of inflation.
    I can tell you that for resale, high HOAs with few amenities are a turn off for a lot of buyers.
    I lived in a smaller building and without dedicated staff it’s a hassle every time something happens (like the elevator breaks or someone graffitis a wall).

  14. Posted by Troy Murphy

    Who doesn’t like L’Trimm? Anyhow, here’s to a slow day.
    Wanna be a baller, shot caller
    Twenty inch blades – on the Impala.
    A caller gettin l**d tonight
    Swisher rolled tight, gotta sprayed by Ike
    I hit the highway, making money the fly way
    But there’s got to be a better way!
    A better way, better way, yeah- ahhh.
    ** Back to Blu. I wonder does a 69 Impala fit in the car stacker? Any plugged-in readers know? Paul?? **

  15. Posted by walkman

    Interesting….the level of interest in Blu (not!) on this thread!

  16. Posted by Stackers

    I checked out a building with stackers before. If I remember correctly the weight limit was fairly low. Around 3,500 lbs. So definitely no SUV’s.

  17. Posted by sfrenegade

    Wow, a 3500 lb weight limit probably isn’t even sufficient for a 2010 Ford Taurus these days (they’ve gotten much heavier since the 80s).

  18. Posted by Dan

    A 2010 Ford Taurus is around 4000 lbs. Thankfully, we’ve seen the end to super-sizing cars.

  19. Posted by Fred

    UPDATE: After debating about the purchase for over 5 days, my partner and I decided to ask for our deposit back from BLU. It was a tough decision to make but it was the right one.
    We just couldn’t get over the high HOA for the lack of amenities. The sales staff was great and they assured us our BMW X5 would fit.
    The unit we chose was a higher floor unit but faces into an office building that we disliked.
    Thanks for everyone’s opinion.

  20. Posted by chrissmith

    Anyone know if SF Blu is quietly going rental?

  21. Posted by josh

    As the sales and marketing company for Blu, we can confirm that the community is not going rental.

  22. Posted by J

    Well what’s going on over there? Have they sold 50% of the units yet???

  23. Posted by serenity now

    Blu is 70% sold.

  24. Posted by J

    Meaning 70% sold OR in contract???

  25. Posted by Serenity Now

    About five open escrows (in contract), the balance already haved closed.

  26. Posted by Jerry

    Guru’s, please advise if this is good time to buy at Blu. I waited for long time, now I’m seriously thinking about buying one of the Blu condo’s. But I do think $/S.F. and HOA at Blu is still too high. Please chime in…

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