CFAH

161 San Pablo Avenue
Purchased for $1,825,000 in February 2006, the single-family 161 San Pablo Avenue underwent a “grand remodel” and returned to the market in September 2008 asking $2,650,000.
Over the course of the next ten months the property was listed and delisted three more times, the price reduced five times, and it ended up on craigslist as a rental before last being withdrawn from the market in December 2009.
As a plugged-in reader commented last April, “161 San Pablo is a beauty, with great ocean views, but unfortunately outside my price range.” As another added in September, “Stick around…they may start to get flexible on pricing. A Notice of Default was filed on July 24, 2009 for this property.”
Two weeks ago the Saint Francis Wood property was taken back by the bank with a first mortgage balance due of $1,748,904. And two days ago 161 San Pablo Avenue returned to the market asking $1,485,000.
∙ Listing: 161 San Pablo Avenue (4/3.5) – $1,485,000 [MLS]
Can You Be More Specific On The Kind Of Dream? (45 Rosewood Drive) [SocketSite]

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by resp

    oh socketsite, thank you so much for the great laugh today!
    a quick google search of the owner brings up his own website which makes for fun reading:
    “Curtis has partnered with Trump University on two educational courses, Bubble-Proof Real Estate Investing : Wealth-Building Strategies for Uncertain Times and Three Master Secrets of Real Estate Success : Take Three Powerful Steps – and Build Your Real Estate Fortune . He teaches the course “How to Build a Fortune in Real Estate” at The San Francisco Learning Annex.”

  2. Posted by Amir

    I wonder if Satchel could make a cameo to comment and prognosticate on this one.
    I think this was the hood he knew the best.
    Given the remodel and view, I’ll say it goes for around $1.4M, or about 20% below the 2006 unremodeled purchase price.

  3. Posted by resp

    hope he doesn’t teach a class in remodeling too.
    would that frosted glass screen between toilet and sink make any SS readers more inclined to take a #2 while their spouse is showering?

  4. Posted by wow

    The annex at Fort Mason has all sorts of seminars like the one this guy used to peddle. Just for fun, I was at one that boasted something like “how to make money on distressed property”. I didn’t learn much and the guy looked like he was covertly fishing for “partners”.

  5. Posted by 45yo hipster

    Why didn’t any of his ‘rich dads’ bail him out?
    Guess trump/kiyosaki won’t be having any of those real estate get rich quick symposiums any time soon…real estate is alot less entertaining w/o those bombastic brutes slogging their infomercials. Oh well, one can always look forward to bravo tv’s flipping out or million dollar listing!

  6. Posted by Ryan

    I don’t remember if it was 2006 or 2007, but a friend of mine went and took some $15k courses on getting rich on real estate. After he finished the courses, he proceeded to line up purchasing SFD’s in Sacramento as rentals. Lucky for him, he ran the numbers by me before actually going through with it. Simply put, all that “learning” and the investments he was looking at based on their advise simply did not pencil out, with or without a looming crash. On top of that his “mentor” from the classes probably would have made a cut on his purchases.

  7. Posted by 45yo hipster

    ^ so much of that stuff is such outright scams. Why on god’s earth would anyone pay $15k for those ridiculous ‘boot camps’ and mentors. Utter waste of money. You can buy numerous decent books on RE investing for $20-30 to study up. But ultimatly you need to gain your own experience. You can’t learn investing (of any kind) simply from books, seminars, mentors. Those things, applied correctly with active investing may help, but too many people rely on them as crutches and subsequently get burned.
    And don’t forget, most of those people make their living selling you books and seminars and NOT from active investing in RE. It’s a classic case of “those who can do; those who can’t teach.”

  8. Posted by anonn

    15K? Did you mean to say 1500 bucks? Wow, 15K? That’s a semester at a liberal arts college.

  9. Posted by Mole Man

    The bubble was caused by people thinking only in overly simplistic and unrelistic terms.
    Kiyosaki’s books are common enough now to be nearly free to acquire and they are available in public libraries. From them one can learn that no one wants to hold an “alligator” asset that needs to be constantly fed instead of generating income from its value. The whole point of Rich Dad is the lesson of distancing oneself from unproductive activities and assets that are associated with Poor Dad. Where exactly do you see the bailout in that?
    All I see in that attempted jab is yet more inexcusably simplistic thinking.

  10. Posted by Geo

    That is a good price for that block. The house is boring, large and incongrous. the interior was redone in a formal style that does not tie to the exterior. It has incredible views and a huge garage. should move quickly here.

  11. Posted by Buy High, Sell Low

    Why would I want or need to pay 15K to have someone tell me that I should focus on productive work? I bought Rich Dad, Poor Dad a few years back and all I learned from it is that he got lucky off of free and easy credit. I know lots of people like that, including one particularly screwed ex-gf in SF defiantly riding her “alligator asset” straight into the abyss, destroying 20 years of accumulated wealth in the process.
    But I’ll throw my own lesson for today’s economy in for absolutely free. If your only career skill is exclusively and entirely focused on moving piles of money around, skimming off your cut here and there, you are now the walking dead. Tick tock tick tock tick tock.
    And my dad wasn’t even rich.

  12. Posted by ricky

    is this st frances woods or monterey hts?

  13. Posted by Anon E. Mouse

    24% real drop here:
    $1.825M in 2006 = $1.942M in 2009
    But then you also have to include the cost of the remodel (anyone have any estimates?), which appears to be significant.
    Would certainly be nice to have Satchel/LMRiM back.

  14. Posted by Geo

    is this st frances woods or
    St. Francis Wood

  15. Posted by bornnraised

    price looks pretty reasonable.

  16. Posted by D

    Who wants two sinks in one kitchen? His and hers? Seriously, I have enough trouble keeping my one sink free of dirty dishes.

  17. Posted by Ryan

    Yes that was $15,000 and yes, I asked him why he didn’t just keep that money for a better down payment on something. But someone who just spent a lot of non-refundable money doesn’t really want to hear that it was stupid.
    On the book front: I find most books are mini-scams too. I can’t think of one flipper or investment type book I have read where it actually mentions broker’s/transaction fees in the sale of your property. But at least you are only spending $20 for the books.

  18. Posted by Rillion

    “Seriously, I have enough trouble keeping my one sink free of dirty dishes.”
    The second sink allows you pile up twice as many dishes between the weekly or biweekly maid visits.

  19. Posted by D

    @Rillion,
    Apparently my middle-class upbringing is showing…

  20. Posted by jlasf

    I’ve always thought that the people who create courses about
    “How to make money through real estate” are absolutely accurate.
    They HAVE created a way to make money – for themselves. They peddle courses and books for a nice profit.

  21. Posted by Bob

    All you people are morons. You just don’t get it.
    I guarantee you that Robert Kiyosaki didn’t buy this property under his name or under a large company. More than likely, a brand new LLC was formed just for this property.
    One of you said, “why didn’t any of his ‘rich dads’ bail him out?”
    Are you kidding me? Why would you throw money at a house that’s under water, especially if you aren’t personally liable for the loan? Let that ship sink! Keep your cash!
    Meanwhile, Robert probably bought a SHITLOAD of properties in the last 18 months at ridiculously low prices, using money that he DIDN’T spend paying back the bank.

  22. Posted by Daniel

    Bob, I agree with you 100%

  23. Posted by West Side Story

    Just have to chime in in defense of double sinks. I use my sink for much more than just dirty dishes: washing vegetables, thawing meat, rinsing poultry, draining pasta/potatoes, washing my hands, etc., etc., etc. Two good sized working sinks are incredibly useful, especially if you cook a lot and/or in large quantity.
    My annoyance is with a second tiny bar sink, just for the sake of saying you have a second sink. Make it functional or don’t bother….

  24. Posted by wayne

    Bob…You are so crude. Not to mention misinformed. Nobody said that Kiyosake bought that house. It was Curtis oakes.

  25. Posted by kathleen

    Those who do, do. Those who don’t, teach.

  26. Posted by Fishchum

    “………..and those who can’t teach, teach gym”
    – Woody Allen

  27. Posted by 45yo hipster

    Bob- One of you said, “why didn’t any of his ‘rich dads’ bail him out?”
    dude, I was being sarcastic!
    ^ Kathleen- yo, that’s my line 😉

  28. Posted by PUAgent

    The listing agent set an offer date for Wednesday the 17th at 5pm. I expect they had a handful of people talking about cash offers and simply set a date to see if they could collect a few more.
    My guess is that it will sell close to $1.8M and at that price, it will still be well-bought.

  29. Posted by Geo

    and it was held in an LLC…fwiw

  30. Posted by DZinerSf

    ought to take a course or two in design… that bath is hideous – IMPO

  31. Posted by someone

    11 offers, several all cash

  32. Posted by Geo

    11 offers, several all cash
    Then why did they not buy at the foreclosure??

  33. Posted by A.T.

    “Then why did they not buy at the foreclosure??”
    The first mortgage was $1,748,904, so the bank probably would not have taken less than that at the foreclosure. Don’t know the lien history, but it may be that the first lienholder also held a second, meaning they really were not going to accept less than the first note balance. My bet is that the “all cash” offers are less than $1,748,904 given the 1,485,000 listing price. Going to see lots more higher-end foreclosures and short sales in 2010 as the buyers of the 2005-2008 bubble purchases tire of dumping more — lots more — good money after bad.

  34. Posted by tipster

    “Then why did they not buy at the foreclosure?? ”
    Because a foreclosure requires you to bring real cash. An “all cash” offer can be the bank’s cash.
    An all cash offer just means that there is no financing contingency. A financing contingency kicks in if you don’t qualify for the loan, or the house doesn’t appraise for your offer price. Most people can prequalify, so the first one isn’t a problem.
    The second one, it doesn’t appraise, is usually the only real risk that an all cash offer eliminates. But if you understand what the typical offers are in this situation, you’ll realize that there was no real risk of that either.
    In most multiple offer situations, you are starting with property that has a “price” that is ridiculously low. Here, you have a property worth at least 20% more than its “price”. But stupid buyers, so easily manipulable by their real estate agents, will make offers around the price. Some will be under it!
    So you can count on at least 7 offers being at or below the so called price. One or two were somewhat over, but not seriously so, and two or three were anywhere near the actual market price.
    Of the 8 or 9 offers that were well under the market value of the property, could some of them make an all cash offer without any real risk? Of course. They know the home will appraise for more than their offer. So they make their offers all cash because they know they are absurdly low and hope the seller will select theirs as superior to a slightly higher offer that retains the financing contingency.
    So in the end, they got two or three serious offers and a bunch of jokers who put in low offers but made them all cash because there was no chance that if their low offer was accepted that the home would not appraise.
    Could some of the top two of three also make their offers “all cash”? Sure. If they know the market, they aren’t going to bid more than one or two percent above the market price. So worst case is the property only appraises for 98% of the offer price. What happens then is that the buyer has to add 2% to his downpayment. The bank will still make the loan, but they only loan 80% of the appraised value and the buyer has to come up with the rest.
    The real estate industry LOVES to say “11 offers, some all cash” to make it sound like people are dumping briefcases full of cash on the table in a mad frenzy to buy homes at any cost. The reality is they got 2 or 3 genuine offers, one of which may be all cash from someone who understands he may need to come up with an extra couple of a percent down.
    The other bids were jokes, forwarded on by realtors who understood that the offers would never be accepted, but that a frustrated buyer will bid higher the next time so it wasn’t really a waste of the realtor’s time, just the offeror, and he’s being played by the realtor for the stooge that he is anyways, so who cares.

  35. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    tipster – you’ve got an amazing knack for deconstructing marketing and PR gamesmanship and then explaining it clearly and in a fun way. thanks.

  36. Posted by anonee

    wow tipster, you live in such a bitter world populated by stooges and schemers. you sound more and more like satchel, that real estate expert (who never actually owned any real estate but ‘knew all about it’).

  37. Posted by PUAgent

    Tipster has an active imagination. As an agent, I can tell you that’s not how it is. It makes for a good story though.
    3 of my last 4 deals have involved all cash buyers and guess what? They buyers paid all cash. If my seller gets an offer that says or implies all cash because there is no finance contingency, I ask for proof of funds and expect a quick close.
    And all my buyers (even those with all cash) are hardly “stooges.” They are smart and successful folks who think that the current market represents a good opportunity to buy.

  38. Posted by anonn

    Tipster doesn’t know anything about anything he talks about other than a degree of tech industry trending, and if you don’t know that by now god bless.

  39. Posted by Geo

    A.T. — Sorry, but that makes no sense. If the bank is willing to list it at $1.48 AND pay the sales commission, they would have taken less than $1.7 at the foreclosure. The second it toast regardless. The only thing credit bidding at $1.7 at the foreclosure does is preserve the deficiency judgment in the event this is a recourse loan.
    Tipsters: Because a foreclosure requires you to bring real cash. An “all cash” offer can be the bank’s cash.
    Sorry, but again, there is no difference. I understand how a finance contingency works. All cash means bring real cash to closing. Just like a foreclosure. I will agree there is less date certainty to a regular closing relative to a foreclosure.
    certainly is an interesting situation here.

  40. Posted by A.T.

    But Geo, that’s not how a foreclosure works. At the court, there is nobody there from the lender who has a clue as to what the place will be listed at should it go REO. The lender rep has one instruction: if someone offers more than the lien, take it, and if not, take the property back. It has happened that a lender is on the ball and accepts less than the lien at the court, but that is not common (probably becoming more common in foreclosure mill areas).
    You are right that if the lender had thought everything through ahead of time, gotten an appraisal and determined a reasonable list price, and calculated all transaction costs, it would make more sense for lenders to accept the listing amount (or more) at the court and for buyers to come with cash to buy it. But that’s just not realistic.

  41. Posted by Geo

    AT, maybe some lenders operate that way, but I also know quite a few that do the math before going to court.

  42. Posted by EBGuy

    Here’s another one (but on the ‘wrong’ side of Monterey). The home at 240 San Fernando Way (4/3 2,475 sq.ft.) was taken back by the bank for $1,349,048 on Feb. 4. Originally bought for $489k in 1999, the home underwent many refies and at least $200k of renovations (circa 2002-3) before the final equity extraction in 2007 (via, surprise WaMu).

  43. Posted by Geo

    240 San Fernando, though the wrong side of the tracks, a nice quiet street. I would peg that to be $1.2mm sale price there, assuming the place is in decent shape and layout. 235 San Leandro has a bit of a tough layout, but comp on the location is trying to find a buyer at $483/ft².

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