250 King #430 Living
Having been “extensively upgraded” with hand milled woodwork, built-ins and flooring since purchased for $841,500 six years ago, the corner Beacon two-bedroom known as 250 King Street #430 is back on the market listed for “$599,000” as a short sale today.
No mention of being pre-approved, but a successful purchase at asking would represent a savings $242,500 versus 2005 (not accounting for the value of the upgrades) and a comp at $448 per square foot.
And yes, the seller is currently in default on a first mortgage for $630,918 being $29,721 past due as of last month. A second for $52,500 also exists.
∙ Listing: 250 King Street #430 (2/2) 1,338 sqft – $599,000 (short sale) [MLS]

65 thoughts on “Extensively Upgraded And…Then Discounted 29 Percent”
  1. Not my neck of the woods but this seems like a great deal. High fees though. Close to $1k/mo after you include parking.

  2. Yeah, what’s up with the ridiculous HOAs? Are they just replenishing after ligitation and will drop the fees at some point?

  3. Given where rents for comparable places at the Beacon are (see the craigslist posting asking $3900/mo. for a 2bd w/parking), is this close-ish to being a reasonable landlord-investor purchase?

  4. i’d probably buy it at 400k, which should be about 15-20x monthly rent (prob rent for about $3000, maybe $3500?)
    but even at 400k this is a tough one to project out given the 12k/yr cost of carry in HOAs alone…
    nah, maybe on 2nd thought at 350k…

  5. I hear that others hear the Caltran Rumble at this location…is it so?
    I hear that you have unrealistic expectations of what an appropriate level of noise is in a city. Try Danville.

  6. My friend just leased a 2-bd unit at the beacon for $3850 a few months ago and I believe his unit is smaller, so you can probably get at least $4k in rent for this place. Rents are quite high and vacancy quite low in the vicinity due to the tech boom.
    $4000 rent – $800 HOA = $3200.
    $600k/(3200*12) = 15.6
    so $600k seems reasonable. A similar unit was bought in foreclosure last year for 550k cash i think and then flipped quickly at over 600k.
    [Editor’s Note: A Beacon Of Distress (250 King #802).]

  7. I’ve spent the night at a unit near this location. The noise here is far, far in excess of what you hear in other parts of the city, even on other busy streets. King street is basically the 280 off ramp and on ramp, so you are right there. A lot of trucks use King Street to get into the city.
    But even worse is the Caltrain noise. They leave the train engines on overnight, all night long. That wouldn’t be so bad, except that the different engines go in and out of phase with one another, so you hear not only a rumble, but the noise pulsates, louder and softer, louder and softer, all night long. All but the heaviest sleepers won’t really sleep that well.
    The sound seems to carry better at night, so you should spend a few minutes in each bedroom and listen, but recognize it’s going to be much more noticeable when the background noise is removed.
    Beautiful place, but not for me because of the noise. If you like it, take some good photos and call a decent decorator. They can reproduce this place in a better location for way under $50K.

  8. surprised, but not shocked at $4k as a projected rent
    my guess then is that around 550k would be about the sales price, though agai, I wouldn’t, as an investor, go there for anything more than 450k…
    and as a primary owner, forget it

  9. @415415
    “I hear that you have unrealistic expectations of what an appropriate level of noise is in a city. Try Danville”.
    That line really gets to be tiring after a while. I was born and have lived 58 years right here in the City. I don’t plan to move anywhere. The really sad thing about that line is that the progressives use it for things they call “quality of life crime” where they deem drug dealing to be just a minor offense.
    Where do we as residents draw the line, surely not at Danville city limits.

  10. Tipster: Interesting to read your comment about Caltrain leaving engines running all night.
    This seems like a very legitimate complaint.
    When compared to the Port of SF installing expensive electrical connections for Cruise Ships to be able to turn off diesel electric generators, I am surprised a governmental pollution authority has not cracked down.

  11. “My friend just leased a 2-bd unit at the beacon for $3850 a few months ago and I believe his unit is smaller, so you can probably get at least $4k in rent for this place. Rents are quite high and vacancy quite low in the vicinity due to the tech boom.
    $4000 rent – $800 HOA = $3200.
    $600k/(3200*12) = 15.6
    so $600k seems reasonable. A similar unit was bought in foreclosure last year for 550k cash i think and then flipped quickly at over 600k.”
    Buying this place to rent is a terrible idea. Even if this unit can command 4K per month with property taxes, maintenance & vacancy this is barely going to break even with 20% down.
    The only reason to get into a transaction like this and adopt a “rent and hold” strategy is if you expect significant price appreciation. I just don’t see this happening for SOMA condos let along this building. (Fair or not, it has a terrible reputation. Right up there with The Palms!)
    As an investor I’d steer clear. The risk premium for The Beacon cannot be underestimated.

  12. This is on 3rd street. You can’t hear Cal Train from 3rd street.
    However, you can see that the windows on this unit are level with the stoplight for the intersection of 3rd and Townsend. So this is actually MUCH worse than Cal Train noise levels. You would hear dirtbags on harleys revving their motorcycles at ALL hours in this location, many trucks, drunken ballpark traffic(foot and otherwise), and even louder – fire engines, very often. Of course, this will be directly above the new bowling alley too…

  13. It’s also hard to get a loan on a condo in California that is under litigation. You’d need 25%+ down and probably have to pay a higher interest rate.

  14. uh… what? since when can you get a 1300 sq. ft. 2/2 in SF for 600k? Even if it’s a short sale, wouldn’t it still go for much more?

  15. Regarding previous comment: “However, you can see that the windows on this unit are level with the stoplight for the intersection of 3rd and Townsend. ”
    Now, does anyone know if the intersection right outside is fitted out with those audible bird calls for sight impaired pedestrians using the crosswalks?

  16. I rented at the Beacon for a couple of years, starting in 2006 (at that time the rent was $4500 per month for a two-bedroom plus “nook” on a high floor with parking included).
    As it occupies an entire large SoMa block, noise issues will depend upon which side the unit is on, whether it is interior or exterior, and what floor. It will vary tremendously.
    The interior units don’t have much problem with noise, except to a small degree for the ones near the pool, with the usual pool noises.
    The exterior ones facing south (Third Street) will have traffic noise.
    I lived on the exterior north side facing Townsend on a high floor. I had no noise issues with CalTrain. The only real noise issues would be with occasional drunk and loud fools at closing time coming from the bar on Townsend. There were also occasional outdoor parties with live, outdoor music at the lofts behind Limn, but that was only a few times a year.
    The only other noises were typical city noises like obnoxious motorcycles, sirens, etc.
    The real issue with The Beacon was not noise, but temperature. The units were always way too hot, especially in the summer. Only a few windows open, they only tilt out a small way, and there was no way to get any cross-ventilation for most units that are all on one side (there’s a hall down the center of the building, with units on each side, so most units except some corner units only have windows on one side). The building was just always too hot — that was my biggest complaint as a renter.
    Another minor complaint is that the fire alarms would go off with false alarms frequently enough to be annoying, and they are very loud alarms with a loud recorded voice. In that big of a place, every now and then there’s some idiot who thinks it is a good idea to smoke in an elevator or stairwell. More times than not when it happened in the middle of the night, it took the night security people a long time to figure out how to turn them off, usually with several false attempts where it would stop and then come back on again a couple of minutes later.

  17. Adding a couple of amendments to my prior post…
    I said “Third Street”, but meant to say “King Street”.
    Also, on the plus side, I should mention that the views from the high floors are fantastic, especially the ones that face north. You can see the entire skyline and vast expanses of SoMa, and you’re above it all. Fun to watch the goings on below.
    For anyone who commutes by CalTrain, you can’t beat that location.
    Don’t know that those make up for the other issues. Depends upon what is important to you I guess.

  18. The Caltran Rumble is the hip new dance that’s sweeping the nation!
    I guess you can hope that the state will get its act together and electrify Caltrain, which should greatly reduce the noise.
    Is it true they leave the engines on at night? Why in the world would you do that?

  19. $4k/mo rent at the beacon? Sounds like a stretch. This place has been a disaster from the start. At least some of the ones on King st have little outdoor spaces.

  20. “Is it true they leave the engines on at night? Why in the world would you do that?”
    The mechanics run diagnostics at night which accounts for the engines revving up and down. Also diesels require a lot of cranking to start up cold but don’t drink much fuel while idling. The last northbound train arrives at midnight and the first southbound the leaves at 5am so maybe they figure it is less strain on that engine to leave it idling for five hours? That doesn’t explain why the other engines are left running through the night though.
    The line will eventually be electrified and eliminate most of the diesels that Caltrain uses. But that is entangled with the HSR plans so who knows when electrification will occur.

  21. I’d be very surprised if the *all* the Caltrain engines are left running through the night. They certainly aren’t left that way during the day… When I catch a train during the day there seem to be maybe 1-2 running, and there are many more parked silent. TMoD’s reasoning on the maintenance makes sense to me; I’ve also noticed some night fueling done (they move the engines down near 7th/Townsend where fuel trucks can meet them).
    Anyway, give me a low rumble over honking, motorcycles, and drunk people screaming any day (or night).

  22. To all the silly people who are mentioning 400k or 350k with respect to this unit: what are you smoking, cause I want some of it. There is no way in hell this unit will get approved for 599k. This will go for at least mid 700s or will not get sold at all and go to foreclosure. Obviously this is just another one of those under-marked units to attract some attention.

  23. “Obviously this is just another one of those under-marked units to attract some attention. “
    You actually believe listing it as a short sale will help it get attention???
    If they could sell it for > $700k, they could have listed it as a regular sale, according to the loan figures that have been provided.

  24. I don’t think people are saying it WILL sell for 400k or 350k. They are saying it makes no sense to pay more than that because you’ll lose money vs. renting.
    This place won’t be affected by the reduction in the cap for conforming loans. With today’s ultra-low rates, it moves the rent v. own calculation, but one would be foolish to assume any appreciation in making this call since when rates rise (they will — but it will be several years) home prices will fall further to offset it. And they continue to fall even with these low rates.
    $841,500 for this mediocre place is a good illustration of the bubble madness. 599k at today’s rates still makes no sense, but it may sell for close to this.

  25. “Obviously this is just another one of those under-marked units to attract some attention”
    Is it working?

  26. For the record, I will reiterate: I rented at The Beacon for a couple of years, and whatever issues there may be with this place, noise from CalTrain was not one of them. I never, ever had any issue with any “rumbling” or other noise from CalTrain. Probably the only units that would have such an issue would be those towards the end across from CalTrain, and mostly the ones that actually overlook CalTrain. The majority of the units, especially the ones in 250 at the opposite end from CalTrain, would not have this issue.
    Not sayin’ there aren’t gonna be other issues, just sayin’ CalTrain is probably not going to be the issue to worry about for most units.

  27. I looked at the area last night after I got off the train and I would agree, noise from caltrain is not likely to be an issue with this unit. Low pitch noise permeates buildings, but it’s too far away and blocked by too many buildings in the rest of the complex to matter. Third street is much busier than I imagined, however, so I think there will be lots of noise, but not from Caltrain.
    I wondered why they leave the engines running all night a long time ago, and, though I never got a real answer, best I could tell, it takes a long time for them to warm up, like an hour. So they leave two or three of them running all night so that no one has to show up an hour before hand to turn them on.
    The first guy to show up probably turns on the 4th and 5th ones to be sent out for the day, giving them plenty of time to warm up, and then takes off in one of the two or three they left running all night.

  28. J —
    “when rates rise … home prices will fall further to offset it.”
    Sorry, but you’re wrong that home prices fall when rates rise. Historically, prices have shown to remain steady, if not rise under such conditions.
    Your other comments lead me to believe you have not considered the effects of inflation. Money will become cheaper in years to come, which means relative *value* of a home may drop, but the price tag will not. It also means the impact of increased rates will be felt less if prices remain where they’re at.
    Homes that do not appreciate are still good investment opportunities because you’re monthly mortgage is fixed at a dollar amount that becomes less expensive over time. At the same time, you’re even able to raise the rent (moderately).

  29. ^^^
    um, what? So hypothetical situation: if the government decided they no longer wanted to be the only mortgage lender in the country and closed FNM and FRE today, and mortgage rates went to 10% overnight, would home prices double?
    Homes that do not appreciate are only good investment opportunities if they require zero maintenance or upgrades and are never vacant. I’ve found that most real estate “investors” like to pretend that’s the case. The numbers usually don’t look so hot otherwise.

  30. kg,
    Indeed, prices tend to follow inflation more than interest rates.
    In a perfect world, interest rates would be pegged to the inflation rate as well as risk, expectations from banks of future depreciation of money, how much banks want to make and what the market can bear which is related to incomes. In a normal world all of this usually settles at 2-4% inflation, 7-8% interest rates. Incomes follow inflation and some of the productivity improvements.
    everything runs as it should. Risk is priced in. Banks make their bucks. Buyers get a decent interest rate. Prices go up a little every year but the debt burden goes down with time. A pretty much working system. Boring, but functional.
    But then everyone started to tweak with the levers in the 00s. Package over-rated mortgages to create attractive investment offerings which would in turn lower the interest rates. Relax lending rules to help increase demand for housing. This changed the equation and created local and regional bubbles where prices sometimes tripled in 7 years. Did incomes go up at the same time? Nope. Did core inflation go higher or lower than the target 1-2%? Nope. Nothing had changed fundamentally but the will to inflate house prices and create a new breed of profit centers at every level.
    Now let’s look at today’s situation. Lending is back to more or less where it should be in terms of buyer selection. Inflation is under control to say the least but interest rates are way lower than historical values. We’re still pushing air into the half-deflated balloon obviously even though prices are 35% under peak nationally.
    If rates went up, it would mean the rate side of the equation would go back to the pre-bubble days. Most importantly, if inflation (and incomes) did not follow interest rate increases, prices would have to follow suit. Solvency is the key.
    Of course locally it’s very different. SF has defied gravity for so long and for so many reasons.

  31. lol, “Inflation is under control to say the least” — where are you getting this? If anything I’ve consistently read it’s expected to hit hard in years to come.

  32. “If anything I’ve consistently read it’s expected to hit hard in years to come.”
    What specifically have you read? I’ve heard of people theorizing hyperinflation for the last 4 years, and that’s despite the fact that deflation has been far more likely. That’s still true because we still have to work off the credit bubble.
    What metrics are you saying indicate we will have significant inflation? Have you seen the Treasury yield curve?

  33. Here is the best source I’ve seen for expectations of future inflation — the Cleveland Fed’s assessment based on TIPS. The people who put their money on the line expect less than 2% inflation for the next two decades:
    kg, the inflationistas who spout off in the press have been wrong, wrong, wrong for several years now, yet the press still presents their views without laughing at them – I don’t understand it. Deflation is a real concern. Inflation – not.

  34. According to inflationistas we’re in Zimbabwe and Gold is the only currency.
    According to more serious economists we’re in Japan.
    All I can see today is inflationistas are still waiting for their own Rapture that cannot come soon enough to make them save face. No wonder they wanted the US to default on its own obligations. Nice try. Didn’t work.

  35. can you cite anybody who has said the U.S. is currently in the same situation as Zimbabwe?
    It’s been a common right wing talking point since Bush left office.
    Consider yourself lucky for having been shielded from this bit of stupidity.

  36. I asked for somebody who said “we’re in Zimbabwe” as lol put it, not people who said we could end up like Zimbabwe at some time in the future if we continue to make poor decisions, which is what was said articles you linked to.
    I get tired of people intentionally, or otherwise, taking statements and misconstruing them as something completely different than what was actually said. It’s the same as what fox news does.

  37. You didn’t read very carefully:
    “The U.S. economy will enter “hyperinflation” approaching the levels in Zimbabwe”.
    No matter what kind of timeline you use to make the comparison, it is preposterous. Notice the examples I gave were all from over 2 years ago – these clowns have been debunked.

  38. I read it just fine.
    That statement is a prediction of a future event. Not a statement of something currently being the case. Two very different things.
    It’s fine to disagree with somebody (those suggesting hyperinflation is coming). If you think they are wrong, then show how they are, but misrepresenting their statements is weak…

  39. I don’t believe we’ll have hyperinflation, but in fairness, the proponants seem to believe its cause will be the refusal by the fed to raise rates when the economy recovers, and two years or not, we haven’t reached that point yet.

  40. Inflation in Zimbabwe peaked near 11,000,000% – obviously no one is going to try to convince people that that is currently/was happening to the USD.
    Whether the USD experiences 0.1% or 10% inflation, even bringing up Zimbabwe as a point of comparison is demonstrably stupid, yet incredibly common. Saying similar levels will happen in the near future is no less asinine than saying it is already underway.

  41. You you ever look closely at the TP drivel, we’re in a catastrophic situation, a disaster, total chaos.
    These are the fear-mongers that have shaped the deficit debate. They were claiming we were in Zimbabwe and were about to be hit big time. So far, the main threat is actual serious people listening to them and veering the car over the cliff.
    But the US vs Zimbabwe comparison has a pretty obvious sub-message: the one that black men cannot or should not govern. For them Obama in power is like Mugabe doing an electoral coup d’etat in 1999. He stole the country and the economy went down the drain. Bachmann’s slip over black families better off under slavery is typical. This is pretty much like the UK NP or France’s Front National except they wear wigs and revolutionary tights.
    Yes, it still looks more and more like 1937 on all fronts.

  42. @lol
    I don’t take anything that comes out of the Tea Party seriously, yes they are a bunch of nuts being used by the Republican party as a stalking horse, but even that link does not say what you claimed is being said. Only a prediction of hyperinflation in the future.
    No, talking about Zimbabwe is not racist. It just happens to be the worst (but not the only) current example of what happens during hyperinflation.
    “Whether the USD experiences 0.1% or 10% inflation, even bringing up Zimbabwe as a point of comparison is demonstrably stupid, yet incredibly common.”
    Hyperbole perhaps, but “demonstrably stupid”? I don’t really see how, please demonstrate.
    “Saying similar levels will happen in the near future is no less asinine than saying it is already underway.”
    No, they are quite different. The first is making a prediction about what will happen based on observations of current trends. The second would be making false statements.

  43. No, talking about Zimbabwe is not racist
    Zimbabwe is so far away from our situation, I think paranoid inflationistas should use 1923 Weimar Germany hyperinflation instead. High debts, political bickering, industrialized nation. There’s a clear purpose of using Zimbabwe.

  44. @lol
    I don’t know who “paranoid inflationistas” are, but I don’t really care which specific example of hyperinflation is used when discussing the possibilities of hyperinflation.
    There is clear purpose of using Zimbabwe as an example: it’s happening right now, and it’s the most extreme example. Implying that anybody who refers to Zimbabwe as having racist motivations is ridiculous, and an insult to people who have actually been victims of racism.
    Again I’ll point out that your tactics are the same constantly used by fox news, and are the same tactics you complain about the tea party using.
    I’m more than happy to debate the idea on it’s merit’s, or lack thereof, but attacking those who disagree with you and accusing them of having nefarious motivations is pathetic and a waste of time.

  45. @lol
    “Zimbabwe is so far away from our situation…”
    I’d also like to point out that you are the one who brought up Zimbabwe.

  46. I guess you’ve avoided to see what is really disturbing about the Tea Party. You’ll get your bubble popped soon enough.

  47. The tea party is not new, it’s just a new name for the same thing that happens every decade or so, remember the moral majority? They are used to whip up conservatives and distract liberals from the important issues.
    I’m not sure what bubble is supposed to be popped, or what it has to do with anything we’ve been talking about.
    I suggest you stop worrying about the tea party. Sure they’re irritating, but they’ll fade away soon enough. There are real issues that you could better spend your time on.

  48. Well, they’re becoming the new mainstream of the GOP and the latest proof is that they single handedly managed to put Obama on his knees begging 2 weeks ago. They’ve had a huge victory and yet they’re not even close to happy, in pure totalitarian fashion. Yes I am worried and you should be worried too (looking further than the “they’ll go away” reassuring bubble).
    And no, this is not like the other times. Gingrich was the first wave, Bush the second, the TP the third. Each wave is even dumber than the previous one.

  49. So you think the tea party is going to take over the country and turn the U.S. into some sort of totalitarian dictatorship? If not, what exactly are you suggesting.

  50. Not saying they will. Just saying they’d love to and brushing it off like “yet another extremist movement that will never take over” is a bit short-sighted. This threat should not be underestimated nor its impact on our democracy.
    After all, we do currently have constitutional grey zones inherited from the previous rightward move. Enemy renditions, unchecked detention, Patriot Act. NeoCons have weakened our democracy thanks to the previous NeoCon wave. And Obama has accepted these new rules and not done much to reverse any of it. Partly because they’re pretty convenient to a president (the “easy” button) and also because he’s sh!t-scared about what Fox News will say…
    They’re now built into our country simply because we are too concerned with appeasing extremists…

  51. “Just saying they’d love to…”
    So what? There’s plenty of fools who would want to, on the liberal side as well. I’m not going to worry about the ones that don’t have any chance.
    Who said “yet another extremist movement that will never take over”?
    As far as I’m concerned they’re not even an extremist movement, just a new name for the same old segment of the republican party.
    “This threat should not be underestimated nor its impact on our democracy.”
    Exactly what is the threat that I’m supposed to be worried about? What is the impact?
    The tea party is nothing new, and it wasn’t new when Gingrich did it.
    They are a distraction.

  52. Pretty darn efficient distraction. When distractions manage to create actually policy they’re past the stage of “distraction”. This is a big notch higher from what we’re used to.
    Then again, even the frog in the slowly heating water ends up realizing what’s happening to him and eventually jumps to safety…

  53. Of course republicans are going to get some policy done, just like democrats are going to get some policy done. The moral majority got GW Bush elected, tea party hasn’t done anything even close.
    The tea party already lost 2 republican seats in Wisconsin recall elections. Doesn’t seem all that strong a movement to me.
    Still not clear what threat I’m supposed to be worried about. Why don’t you just state what the threat is.

  54. The moral majority took control of both houses of congress and kept them for 12 years straight (except for 2 years of the senate in the middle) after Clinton was elected.
    The tea party hasn’t come anywhere near the effectiveness of the old moral majority group.

  55. You want a real threat, here you go: the destruction of the middle class in America. It’s under way, and both the democrats and republicans are complicit. If you want something real to worry about, there it is. Forget about dems vs. republicans, it’s just a show being put on to distract you from noticing what’s going on.

  56. I agree about the destruction of the middle class. No question.
    About the TP. Have you been asleep these past 3 years?
    Hey there’s a crocodile in the pool. But no worries it has never eaten a human before. Keep swimming. Nothing to see there.

  57. As someone who has traded and invested in TIPS for a living, I can say that even those who are worried about inflation longer-term are generally calling for CPI-U to be lower this year YoY.
    Also, I find it genuninely interesting that a conversation about a short sale transformed into really poor and faulty basic economics and then into political diatribes. I almost waded into the economics portion of it, but . . . maybe later.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *