2041 Sacramento Top: Living
As plugged-in people know, the MLS reported “sale” of 2041 Sacramento for $1,950,000 this past October wasn’t actually a sale but rather the bank foreclosing upon the remodeled top floor Pacific Heights condo back. And not even at that “price.”
2041 Sacramento Top: Roof Deck
Yesterday, however, a legitimate sale of 2041 Sacramento appears to have closed escrow with a reported contract price of $1,418,000. The sale represents a 38 percent ($868,500) drop in value for the property since its purchase for $2,286,500 in June 2007.
The “beautiful house-like top floor 2-level 3BR/3BA condo in prime location across from Lafayette Park” was last listed for $1,499,000 (“DRASTIC REDUCTION for quick sale!!!“).
While The MLS Reports A “Sale,” Public Records Report A Foreclosure [SocketSite]
A Year Later An Apple Falls In Pacific Heights (2041 Sacaramento) [SocketSite]
An Apples To Apples (And Rather Prime) Update For 2041 Sacramento [SocketSite]
North To South (And Apples To Apples) From Atop 2041 Sacramento [SocketSite]
2041 Sacramento Cuts Again But Gains Three Exclamation Points!!! [SocketSite]

58 thoughts on “2041 Sacramento Sells (For Reals This Time) At 38% Under 2007”
  1. That’s 15% UNDER its year 2000 price. Case shiller would put that at 1999.
    This is a long way from being over, and inventory at the end of last year was at a record high. 15-20% more puts us at 1996. And that’s right where this is headed.

  2. The seller obviously overpaid in 2007…
    Now I am asking you: where are the 40-50% drops that the doom peanut gallery were claiming would hit the real SF?
    Just kidding: this is a pretty incredible outcome.
    Money heaven probably welcomed 1.2M overall since the 2007 sale with the pure loss and holding/selling costs.
    Who said the wealthiest were smarter with money than the plebs?

  3. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: anyone who buys in SF right now is a complete idiot and will regret that decision.
    Posted by: tipster at July 23, 2009 12:22 PM
    Should be quite the bloodbath this winter.
    Posted by: tipster at November 28, 2010 11:00 AM
    Was I off? No.
    And now lets look forward: interest rates UP, unemployment UP SHARPLY and inventory is at a record high. Gosh, I can’t imagine where real estate prices are heading!
    Anyone holding real estate needs to get out now. The sooner the better. Anyone even THINKING of buying at anything above 1996 pricing needs to have his head examined and should expect to lose their entire downpayment within a few years.
    Those of you who thought that desires to live in an urban area or high incomes were going to save you should be reminded that this was an $850,000+ loss. If realtor fees were involved it would run over $925K. The location is superb. Everything about this place is superb.
    But there were TWO bubbles, back to back, and they are gone and their effects WILL unwind. Thinking this is “cheap” only in comparison to two-bubble pricing will be the biggest financial mistake you make.
    Get Out Now.

  4. I call dibs on my 1997 units, and my 1999 house. Should I just call the people I sold too and ask for that price or should I have them contact you first tipster.

  5. Yes, you were way off. “Bloodbath” is way, way off. Interest rates are up about .35% since late November per bankrate and http://mortgage-x.com/trends.htm . And 4.81 for a fixed 30 is still quite low. New unemployment ticked up due to seasonal factors http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2011/01/27/national/a061348S27.DTL, and January YoY sales look pretty flat slightly up so far. Meanwhile the Dow is once again blipped over 12000 and http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2011/01/26/national/w210926S89.DTL . Inventory is going to be your rallying cry. But it’s not as if people aren’t buying anything. See December’s sales totals. See January’s so far, 200 this year versus 197 last per MLS. Buyers still are buying. They’re just taking longer as the psychology and behavior has shifted. That will of course effect inventory.
    Your frequently very incorrect and often totally misrepresented spins of links and news stories nevers garner editorial comment.
    [Editor’s Note: Really? Of course that was all of two days ago which isn’t nearly as dramatic as “never.” That being said, might falling prices have anything to do with an uptick in activity?]

  6. @lol — While somewhat flawed, the “Millionaire Next Door” series does at least illustrate the difference between having high income and high wealth. And the how attempting to infer high wealth status from high observable consumption is fraught with peril.

  7. “What happens to that first false comp at 1.95mm? Does is just disappear?”
    No, it lives on, in the Oct ’10 $1.6M purchase price of the downstairs unit, now worth about 1.1.

  8. sub-par units in sub-par locations that overpaid will take a hit. interchangeable luxury condos will take a hit. stinky seats across from stinky parks will take a hit. short hold will take a hit. if you don’t actively add value, you will take a hit. if you try to sell in the teeth of down market, you will take a hit.
    every one else will be fine. just let some renter schlub pay your mortgage and build your equity for a couple of years.
    on the other hand, it’s a great time to buy. rents are going up and there are great deals available for good buildings in great nabes in es ef.
    clearly the uber bears have been more wrong that those of us “in the trenches”.
    the uber bears have already missed the bottom. call your friendly Realtor(tm) now or be priced out forevaar.

  9. every one else will be fine.
    except your list knocks out a lot of people!
    This unit is quite nice, and many people love living around “stinky parks”.
    There aren’t many units in the city that are nicer in this price range IMO.
    just let some renter schlub pay your mortgage and build your equity for a couple of years
    except rental income doesn’t cover PITI + HOA for many (most?) people buying now.
    how do you “build equity” when the market is moving sideways or maybe down, and your tenant is paying less than your outlay?
    this is why rent vs own statistics are important. SF RE did well for many investors because they had to pay holding costs but appreciation on the sale saved them.
    what happens when appreciation won’t save you? then as an investor you need to buy at a price well below comparable rental so that you can get a “sucka” to pay your mortgage.

  10. Tipster, you’ve predicted several times that we’re on the way back to 1996 levels. I just wanted a clarification – do you mean nominal prices or inflation-adjusted?

  11. This whole property is a disaster from a transaction history and transparency perspective; and the 2039 Buyers seem to have taken the major hit here. Clearly more to this story and I suspect we’ve not heard the last from 2039/2041. But @ 567/psf the buyer got a pretty amazing deal. A comp like this is going to hurt medium grade condos hard I think; and TICs are about in trouble as well. I really wouldn’t be surprised if this was an all cash buyer situation where financing wasn’t available. I’m sorry I never got over to this place to investigate.

  12. Jeremy, UNadjusted 1996 prices.
    Just to put this loss into perspective, someone who rented, instead of owned, a 3/2 condo could enjoy 1 ounce of imported Osetra caviar every week for 20 years, rent a limousine for weekly date nights every Saturday for 20 years, take a cruise for two every year for 20 years, put a 46″ LED HDTV in every room in your home, buy a BMW M3 and put a kid through Stanford instead of a state University.
    Or you could buy a 3/2 condo in San Francisco and live in it for 3 years. But you *would* get to paint the walls any color you wanted! Nice!

  13. Was the downstairs unit purchased after the false comp? I would be beyond pi$$ ed about this if I were them. How do things like this false comp even happen and how is it even legal? There are so many stories like this of what would be considered out and out fraud in any other industry but somehow real estate is different? This is ironic given that it is the single largest investment/purchase most people will ever make in their lifetimes . . .

  14. This is ironic given that it is the single largest investment/purchase most people will ever make in their lifetimes . . .
    Not ironic: logical. There’s a lot of money in mortgages and sales, which means very powerful lobbies that keep the status quo intact, chiefly “self-regulated” monopolies controlling every aspect of the business.

  15. Or, instead of all the “stuff” one could have had in lieu of this tremendous loss, they could have parked that sum in an annuity and had a very nice retirement income from the day they stopped working til the day they died.
    But at least they got to paint their walls for three years . . .

  16. Don’t overlook the benefits, guys. Like the tax deduction, or that “forced savings plan” we used to hear about during the bubble days. When most of your disposable income goes to finance depreciation, you don’t have to deal with the stress of planning vacations, choosing which restaurant to go to, etc.

  17. @lol — “This is ironic given that it is the single largest investment/purchase most people will ever make in their lifetimes . . ..”
    The ever trenchant Megan McArdle has a post regarding the idea of having Fannie/Freddie slowly reduce their market share by price increases.
    She brings up a point quite related to yours, that given the fact that for so many voters their house is their biggest investment, the government may not in fact want to “fix” the situation. Not to mention the lobbying that must go on due to large amount of money that you mention.

  18. That’s the first time I’ve heard McArdle say something that makes sense. Her blog entries are generally quite inane.
    There are plenty of ways for the government to ease out of the market. As long as we keep giving free money to banksters, they will take it. I do suspect the political will is against having housing prices go down. Lower prices would be good for everyone, and people who weren’t wannabe-investors during the bubble will still be just fine monetarily with lower prices.

  19. I’m quite the fan of Ms. McArdle’s commentary (and her annual kitchen guide!), but views may differ.
    Your last point is worth expanding on though. While some may paint a return to pre-bubble pricing as a doomsday scenario, it is worth noting that even people who are transaction based (builders, brokers, agents,…) were able to make a living pre-bubble.
    Even for purchasers, while painful, they are on average much less affected by a drop in housing prices then during The Depression where people had on average much more equity in their homes, balloon mortgages where a liquidity crunch could cause you to lose the house due to not being able to roll over the loan *even if you could continue to make previous payments*, and no responsibility for the banks to attempt to auction foreclosed property and remit excess proceeds.
    Recent borrowers, had much less skin in the game, less financial ability to make payments and are generally unlikely to be foreclosed out of an above water home.

  20. @tipster Wow. That’s a bold prediction.
    One of the reasons why we chose the condo we rent was because our accidental landlady painted the walls really awesome colors.

  21. ex SF-er, you don’t understand how it really works. those of us “in the trenches” know “it’s all very micro”.
    oh… now that I re-read your first post I see that I had my mind phaser set on “duh” and missed the snark.
    I hate being dumb!
    carry on then!

  22. “I’m quite the fan of Ms. McArdle’s commentary (and her annual kitchen guide!), but views may differ.”
    I stopped reading most things she wrote when I read a few ridiculously poorly argued posts on some stuff having to do with the financial crisisBanksters Cry Wolf to Get Bailed Out Incident — things like cramdowns, securitization, etc.

  23. The bottom line is this: the market is in a complete free fall right now.
    Not every seller will drop to a below 2001 price, but if you are smart and don’t get emotional about a purchase, you can get a below 2001 price on some very nice places. If the seller won’t deal with the new reality, a nicer place will come along with a seller who will.
    There are a thousand reasons the realtors will tell you none of the above is true. But the people who listened to realtors for the past 7 years are all broke, and the people who are completely ignoring them are paying under 2001 prices. They will lose their downpayments just the same, but their monthly payments will be much, much lower.
    Lowball everything to a shocking degree (NONE of us would have predicted this price on the subject property here), ignoore everythiing your realtor tells you, and don’t waste time dealing with anyone unreasonable, as inventory is at an all time high.

  24. You’re in a freefall, man. This is your time. You have no chance of anybody giving you the time of day if you blow this one. Make some better language use choices now and again and you might even enjoy it.

  25. The thing that still befuddles me from the lissting on this property was the call for Offers ONLY from NSP Buyers…. and what that means in terms of whether this was truly an open market deal. I don’t doubt that it was a fair deal but the fact that there were these terms confuses the transparency of this particular situation.
    Also, on one of these threads I openly questioned whether $1.7 was a fair price, but I didn’t think $1.4x was in the cards either. Congrat’s to the buyers!

  26. It looks like I need to update my earlier comment:
    “2039 Sacramento closed two months ago for $1.6. It’s the lower unit, and 250 square feet smaller. Back then, the realtors were no doubt touting the mls-reported but fraudulent sales price of $1.95 for 2041. Instant equity!!
    Now the lower unit is at least $100k underwater, probably a lot more. Nice Christmas present for the owner, courtesy of his friendly agent.
    Posted by: El Bombero at December 18, 2010 2:10 PM”
    It looks like the downstairs unit is at least $300k underwater, probably a lot more. That was quick.

  27. It would appear that reducing the buying pool to inmates from the Nevada State Penitentiary would not be a wise decision 😉

  28. I’m sure we did the same google search Tipster. If you’re so smart why don’t you explain it? Because I gave it the same microsecond review as you and it wasn’t much clearer to me; nor was it clear why NSP, Non-profits and other principals were given preferential treatment on submitting offers; as if it were some condition included in the short sale of this property? Looking forward to your brilliant insights. And although there is a certain level of sarcasm in that last statement, I would actually love some clarification because even after googling it again, and spending another second or two it still isn’t clear why this was explicitly given as a condition / term of offer submission.

  29. There’s a lot of wild speculation in the comments above. The buyers of 2039 would have known that 2041 hadn’t sold at 1.95m (despite what MLS erroneously stated). In fact, 2041 was still on the market at the lower price and listed on MLS as REO way before the buyers of 2039 closed escrow. So how can y’all claim that the buyers of 2039 believed the incorrect MLS information prior to that or were told by brokers that 2041 sold for 1.95m? Also, it may well be that the lower unit was in much better shape or had other qualities increasing its value over that of 2041. Wild reasoning doesn’t confirm your hypotheses. It just makes you look like a wild reasoner.

  30. Why all this discussion about the NSP thing?
    From the NEW listing:
    Offers ONLY from NSP buyers, Municipalities, Non-profit organizations and Owner-occupants will be reviewed starting 10/26. Investor and all offers after 11/1.
    Posted by: eddy at October 18, 2010 6:00 PM
    Basically they didn’t want offers from investors/speculators until 6 days after they got offers from non-speculators. It went pending well after 11/1: Dec 23, 2010 Pending (Contingent). How was this a restriction on the market?

  31. I’m personally far more concerned about the outright fraud by the crooked agent, but here are the available facts:
    2039 Sacramento
    Oct 27, 2010 Sold (MLS) (Sold) $1,600,000
    Oct 02, 2010 Pending
    2041 Sacramento
    Oct 18, 2010 Listed (Active) $1,695,000
    Oct 05, 2010 Sold (Public Records)This home was foreclosed $1,880,877
    Fraudulently posted sale by Michael Haywood at Keller Williams: Oct 04, 2010 Sold (MLS) (Sold) $1,950,000
    Jun 20, 2010 Pending (Pending With Release)
    2039 went pending 2 days before the realtor’s fraudulent MLS entry and 3 days before foreclosure. It is extremely strange that 2041 was already marked pending in June, but it makes it look like the agent was getting prepared to commit fraud — maybe the auction got postponed a few times. It’s possible that the 2039 buyer would know about the 2041 foreclosure before escrow closed and the relisting, but not certain. 25 days is a short escrow.
    Pictures of both houses are easy to find:
    2039 is staged: http://www.redfin.com/CA/San-Francisco/2039-Sacramento-St-94109/home/977651
    2041 was not because of the foreclosure: http://www.redfin.com/CA/San-Francisco/2041-Sacramento-St-94109/home/1536810

  32. The thing that still befuddles me from the lissting on this property was the call for Offers ONLY from NSP Buyers…
    No need to be befuddled nor reason to doubt an arms length transaction, the languge likely relates to Fannie Mae’s “First Look” program (or something similar) which gives public entities and potential owner-occupants (versus “investors”) an effective first right of refusal on Fannie Mae-owned properties during the first 15 days on the market in an attempt to help stabalize an unstable market.

  33. @Adam, thanks for the clarification. I wasn’t doubting the public sale, and didn’t understand the NSP thing, which makes sense now, but it did seem odd to me. No longer befuddled. Thanks.
    @sfrenegade, I 1000% agree. 2039 may have easily gotten snookered here. Not sure what a title report would show. As for the sellers of 2039, it is also not clear what disclosure they made, but I sincerely hope they are sleeping easy and with clear conscience.
    I truly do not think we’ve heard the last of these two properties.

  34. Yes, but this cannot possibly be a publicly (e.g. FHA.FM/FM funded loan with that foreclosed loan amount.
    All I can think of is that the loan was with Wells and maybe banks who took TARP money are required to, or maybe some banks have decided to, give non-investors first dibs at a home that is foreclosed. Non investors are basically the list that they offered this home to first.
    NSP refers to neighborhood stabilization program, a program where by government funds are given to low and moderate income buyers to “help them” buy homes that are foreclosed.
    To cut through the BS, the government gives low and moderate income people money that they can then hand to banks to allow banks to lose less money in a foreclosure, that’s what it really is. It sounds really nice but the net result is that the bank gets more of the public’s money and we all get to pretend we have helped some low income person buy a house when they could have bought the same house for less money.
    No one who would have qualified for that program would have been able to afford this home, but I think the banks just use that standard language.

  35. Assuming sfrenegade’s 5:02 post is correct in the dates it gives, this sequence clarifies that the offer on 2039 went pending 2 days BEFORE MLS erroneously listed 2041 as being sold for 1.95m. Uh…this sort of shoots holes in all the assertions above about the erroneous MLS listing for 2041 influencing the buyers of 2039 to inflate their offer unrealistically. The paranoid among you must be so disillusioned with this news!
    Moreover, the selling price of 2039 seems to be spot-on with the per square foot selling prices of condos in core Pacific Heights at the time it sold. Just because the new buyers of 2041 for 1.418m got a super good deal on this REO foreclosure doesn’t mean the buyers of 2039 did not get a good or at least a very reasonable deal on their unit.
    The point is that foreclosed properties are often going for under-market prices because they or their lenders are in various states of distress and because many ordinary buyers want to stay away from the vagaries of a foreclosure and possible auction process. Thus most ordinary buyers are still going to pay current market rates for their units (as the buyers of 2039 did) because they do not want to deal with the uncertainties of foreclosed properties.
    The moral of the story is to do your homework before you let your wild imaginations and smug attitudes run rampant over reality, folks.

  36. For all we know, the buyer of the unit below was probably informed that he’d need an offer in excess the foreclosure amount of 1.881 for the unit above or he shouldn’t bother.
    And what exactly is the difference between buying from a bank or buying from someone else? You get a clear title and someone to sue if it isn’t clear. The bank is probably an easier target to sue.
    Wells Fargo in distress? News to me. I doubt they needed the money from this one sale as badly as virtually every other seller, so I’m having a little trouble looking at this as distress. I think most every other sale is distressed because the people selling need the money. The decision makers at Wells were not going to lose any sleep if this one sold for more or less than it did: they put it on the market and it sold at the market price. I don’t see any distress. They listed it high and changed the price a couple of times until it sold. Doesn’t look like they were in any hurry to me.
    I can’t see anyone paying $500,000 for the “privilege” of buying from the last guy who lived there. But if they are stupid enough to do that, they should go ahead!

  37. “most ordinary buyers are still going to pay current market rates for their units (as the buyers of 2039 did) because they do not want to deal with the uncertainties of foreclosed properties.”
    Now we know what Ricky’s real motivation is, which is to assert that 2039 was market-priced instead of overpriced. It’s hard to argue that a smaller and more inferior, lower-floored unit is somehow worth almost $200K more in this case, but he’s trying.

  38. “The point is that foreclosed properties are often going for under-market prices because they or their lenders are in various states of distress”
    The only one that sounds distressed over this sale is Ricky. Sorry for your 38% loss Ricky, but there is some good news: I think you’ll look back at a 38% loss rather fondly by next year, so a 38% loss won’t seem that bad.

  39. Ricky: “the new buyers of 2041 for 1.418m got a super good deal”
    We have been seeing variations of this theme here recently. The market has not declined; it is just that the buyer of the specific place at issue “underpaid.” Between that and all the 2004-09 “overpaids,” the market has remained absolutely stable.

  40. Once again sfrenegade and tipster seem to think they have some special insight here, but there is no evidence to support their ideas. Clearly, 2041 got a better per square foot deal that 2039–that’s obvious from the square footage and selling prices of the two properties. Nobody is arguing with that conclusion. But calculating the average per square foot sold price of condos in Pac Hts shows that 2039 sold for average market value and that 2041 sold under average. That could have been because the REO status and length of time on the market scared buyers off from 2041 or made them feel they could get it at bargain rates, or because 2039 was superior in fit and finish or in other ways to 2041. There is no reason that both units “should” have sold for less than the average per square foot price (i.e., for the price that 2041 sold for) unless there was something wrong with both units. On the face of it, the only particular thing “wrong” with either of these units seems to be that 2041 was way overpriced when it first went on the market, and on that, we all can probably agree.

  41. @Ricky, no one has any idea here what the buyer of 2039 knew or didn’t know prior to making their offer and getting into contract. The issue here, just to be clear, is that they submitted their offer without clear information and ‘fact’ that 2041 had indeed been grossly misrepresented with misleading information on the MLS with regard to its foreclosure process and the “no-sale” 10/4 sale price.
    I’ve seen some odd things but this one is just downright confusing. The issue here is whether the buyer of 2039 based their offer in any way off the 2041 10/4 MLS listing; and who, if anyone, told them about this information. It would also be important to know whether the 2039 buyers knew that 2041 was in fact going through a foreclosure process. It’s entirely possible that 2039 had full disclosure and just got a bad break on having 2041 sell for a better price. Stuff happens. But the flow of information and who disclosed the information is very important here.
    The other issue is that the 2039 sale gave a market comp to 2041. Who knows where 2041 might have ended up had 2039 not sold when it did and for the price that it did.
    Oh man. I’m done with this whole thing until EBGuy updates us with the legal proceedings. Cheers.

  42. Someone doth protest too much. Hopefully EBGuy will have a good update at some point, but I’ll stick with:
    “It’s hard to argue that a smaller and more inferior, lower-floored unit is somehow worth almost $200K more in this case, but he’s trying.”

  43. Well now sfrenegade at 11:35 is resorting to quoting himself as the authority on the matter, and apparently referencing himself settles issues in his own mind. But I think this misses the underlying lesson of 2039/2041 for the rest of us, which I believe is a lesson about SALES STRATEGY more than anything else.
    2041 originally went on the market at a vastly inflated price, and the sellers lowered the price way too slowly over way too long a time. When a listed property is overpriced and sits for 3 months with no offers in this sick market, agents stop bringing buyers around to see it; buyers and their agents start thinking there’s something wrong with the property or wrong with the seller’s grasp on reality; buyers start to believe that they can get the property for a song if they wait; or buyers start to worry that the property will have resale problems since nobody else is interested in the property. The initial overpricing and the failure to reduce the price fast enough creates a vicious cycle that ends in a kind of sudden collapse.
    Anyone who follows the local real estate market has seen this exact same scenario over and over again this last year. Eventually, buyers get these properties at a huge discount after a year or so when the sellers have become exhausted emotionally and desperate financially due to the carrying costs of their overreaching folly.
    The history of 2039 is a kind of foil to 2041. It seems to have gone on the market at a very reasonable price–NOT at the average per square foot LISTING price of condos in Pacific Heights but at the average per square foot SOLD price of condos in Pacific Heights. Don’t take my word for it but see for youself the current per square foot listing and sold data in the graph (click on “CONDOS” at the upper right hand corner of the graph) for Pac Hts condos at http://www.redfin.com/neighborhood/2074/CA/San-Francisco/Pacific-Heights. Probably because it was fairly reasonably priced relative to other listed properties on the market at that time, it went pending in about two weeks and closed in about a month.
    Thus the difference in the sale prices between 2039 and 2041 seems to have been fundamentally about SALES strategy, not about the wayward MLS report of a sale of 2041 AFTER 2039 went pending. The problem with 2041 was due to the original sellers adopting a terribly misguided approach to SELLING REAL ESTATE.
    The learning here for socketsiters is that the ONLY reasonable sales strategy in this kind of down market is to list at a very reasonable price, which would usually be the average per square foot sold price for similar properties in the neighborhood in the last 3-6 months, and then be prepared to lower the price quickly and significantly if no buyers appear in the first month. If more sellers would operate on these principles in this down market, we’d have a lot more contented sellers and buyers around.

  44. @Ricky, why are you so dismissive of any possible shenanigans related to 2039/2041? Honestly, you are coming across as seemingly one-sided and biased towards this being just another story in a series of unusual stories related to real estate. The long winded and repetitive responses on this topic seem as if it is personal to you. Unless you factually know otherwise, the facts as known on this subject here have some suggestion of misguided intentions. The false sales listing itself is worthy of its own topic due to the egregious nature of the offense, IMO, but when joined with the predicament of 2039 it does create a very interesting story.
    That said, (and as I said before), it is entirely possible that it was just bad luck on the part of 2039.

  45. I’m happy that Ricky thinks DOM matters.
    Trying to pin this on sales strategy seems at least as speculative as any other method and doesn’t account for the facts on the ground very well. However, even if the supposed “strategy” that Ricky is giving as a hypothetical is what worked in this case, it doesn’t mean the buyers of 2039 didn’t get screwed for buying an inferior product for more money.

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