1554 19th Avenue

Purchased for $765,000 in 2005, the 1,500 square-foot single-family home at 1554 19th Avenue returned to the market in mid-2008 listed for $799,000 but failed to sell.

Three years later, the property was listed as a “short sale” with prices ranging from $560,000 to $465,000.  But once again, it failed to sell.

And then five months ago, the property was foreclosed upon by the bank what would appear to have been an opening bid of $670,129 and no bidders on the courthouse steps.  Four months later, the home was listed by the bank’s agent for $1,017,500, a price which was just reduced to $949,900 or roughly $627 per square foot.

Something to keep in mind if you’re interested in the home: the tenants are currently “not cooperating” with the agent and “do not want to provide interior access at this time.”

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Christopher Corbett

    19th Ave. is an awful location w/heavy traffic 24/7, not to mention uncooperative tenants. No wonder the house doesn’t sell.

  2. Posted by go-sf

    One of those unique homes where freeway access and curb appeal are one in the same.

  3. Posted by mas

    Single family home is not under rent control. Couldn’t the bank just jack up the rent and force the tenants to leave?

    • Posted by anon

      That is not correct. Please make sure you know what you are talking about before posting.

    • Posted by JR "Bob" Dobbs

      That is true. Single family homes and condos are not covered by the rent control ordinance. It would be pretty easy to get these tenants out once their current lease is up. If the bank is willing to go through that process, the selling price will be discounted as the buyer will then take that on.

    • Posted by San Francisco

      You are wrong. If the tenants moved in before 1996 they have rent control in a SFR

      • Posted by Anon

        Single family homes and condos are indeed covered by the rent control ordinance. The manner in which they are covered is what differs. Do SFRs have rent control? yes. Are they potentially subject to greater rent increases? yes. Are they immune from OMI evictions? no.

      • Posted by Bill

        Wrong. I just went through this. I rented my single family home in the Sunset for the past three years. Not under rent control but under eviction without cause. Meaning, I would have had to pay my tenant 5k to get out. Since not under rent control, I jacked up the rent thirty percent and they did not want to pay. So bye bye. Rent control cover two or more U its. Single family houses are not under rent control .

        • Posted by anon

          Good for you. Long-term, $5K would not be much in 2-3 years. You got the better end of the deal. 2015 will be an excellent year for you (and me.)

        • Posted by San FronziScheme

          Forwarded to Campos who will respond with another half-baked proposition to fix whatever ungodly capitalist thing you have done. j/k

        • Posted by Marin County

          According to the san Francisco rent board “some sfr may be exempt” but in general “dwellings” built before 1979 are covered by rent control. Did your tenants bother taking it to court? Seems like there is enough arcana in the rental ordinances to be able to dispute this.

    • Posted by BetterSF

      The bank can increase rent to market for a single family house. If the tenant is willing to pay market rent, just collect rent and become a landlord. If the tenant does not want to pay rent, tenants need to move out so the owner can move in.

      I think rent control should be repealed by California lawmakers for multi-family buildings to avoid all the problems.

  4. Posted by B

    SFH under foreclosure are subject to eviction controls. Not allowing the unit to be shown for potential sale is a just cause for eviction. The bank won’t spend the money to evict, they would rather pass that cost on to the buyer. Who is going to buy a house they can’t inspect? We looked at several properties where tenants would not allow access to portions of the house. Just walked away.

    • Posted by anon

      That is correct. It would be a long and expensive legal battle, eventually ending with eviction.
      Seeing as how these tenants are reducing the property value by hundreds of thousands, it might be worth it in the end, but the bank doesn’t want to get its hands dirty (and neither would most other buyers for that matter).

      • Posted by San FronziScheme

        One issue with doing a legal action is that the tenant can invoke whatever hardship and involve the Higher Court of the Public Opinion aka the San Francisco Chronicle. If you’re a regular Joe with a day job you do not want your name to show that way in a Google search. This is an asymmetric battle where the “weaker” always has the upper hand morally, and the main reason I have never done a Buy/Ellis/TIC myself. I still love my day job.

    • Posted by Jimmy The House Flipper

      I’ve bought 3 houses sight-unseen. Of course, I was paying 50-60% of market value, so I didn’t much care what was inside as I was going to tear it all out anyway.

  5. Posted by Confier

    It does appear that not every house in SF is worth $1,000,000, and here is a very good example. On the 19th Avenue freeway, months of legal expenses to come, and the risk that there is a problem when you finally do get possession. Mom & Pop would be well advised to stay away.

  6. Posted by Beatrice Plotter

    Terrible location. Suitable for SF State students (rental demographics.) As for Bank, why not get their in-house counsel to sue the tenants for Intentional Interference of Economic Advantage? Amount of damages sought would be current asking price of house. One, you have identified “problem tenants” publicly on record which any future landlords could easily access. Second, you can amend the complaint to include property damage if the “problem tenants” damages the property when they leave.

    • Posted by shza

      What would the point of those legal expenses be, exactly? These tenants are living in this horrible place for a reason — they don’t have, and will never have, the kind of money to pay a seven-figure judgment. In any event, no court is going to allow you to pursue “the current asking price of the house” as your damages; it is not as if the tenants burned the house down and made the lot disappear. Cost of eviction and property damage are all you could reasonably prove (and there’s no evidence that the asking price has any relation to the value of the house anyway).

      • Posted by Beatrice Plotter

        Recovery of damages isn’t the point of the lawsuit — behavior modification is. It is a strategic move. Tenants are not letting seller show the house because they think they are entitled to living there. Two can play the game. Wait till the tenants get a ton discovery served on them and endure a 16 hour deposition (or longer) where their character and everything about their lives are taken apart piece by piece. Good luck with getting free legal aid help.

        Or simply cooperate and let the Bank show and sell the house while tenants focus on finding alternative living arrangements. Why risk having the taint follow you around in one form or another for the rest of your life?

        • Posted by Joshua

          “Effective January 1, 2013, a deposition of a witness by all counsel, other than the witness’ counsel of record, will be limited to 7 hours of total testimony. CCP §2025.290(a)”

          • Posted by Beatrice Plotter

            Eh, did I cause the change in time limits? I rather enjoyed the process.

        • Posted by shza

          And by the time you plan out and propound all of your abusive and irrelevant discovery (and engage in the motion practice it spawns), the lease is likely just about up anyway and you can cause “behavior modification” just by raising the (non-rent-controlled) rent to something unaffordable, or just ending the lease, as someone suggested above. If you have to take the thing all the way to judgment or even just summary adjudication, you’ve waited even longer and are in the red six figures on attorney fees (unless you think banks are paying the same $10/hour for their lawyers as you apparently pay your subcontractors).

          Either way, a big (or bigger) waste of money for nothing.

          • Posted by Ezra

            There may be no rent control on the property, but there is eviction control. If the bank (or the buyer) were to jack the rent up to extreme levels it is called “constructive eviction” and the court will not allow it.

  7. Posted by alberto rossi

    It’s become so ubiquitous that no one even notices that all the yards are paved over with cars parked in them.

    • Posted by shza

      I’m sure the people who are in the market to spend ~$1M notice.

  8. Posted by JR "Bob" Dobbs

    Simply astonishing that someone paid $765,000 for this in 2005, about $900,000 in today’s dollars. Good example of bubble madness. At today’s mortgage rates, the $670,000 foreclosure price appears to be in the ballpark of SF reasonableness, assuming the place is in decent condition.

    • Posted by soccermom

      I was going to call shenanigans on the “=900K in today’s dollars” but I did the math and the subgenius is right, even 2% inflation compounded for 9 years gets to be about 900K from 750K.

      This should sell for:
      $850K (if prettyish) market value flipped
      -$10K legal + 6 mos
      -$40K new Chinese cabinet kitchen and bath, paint
      -$125K spread for financing, profit
      =675K fair value at REO purchase.

      If no one bought it at the trustee auction for 670K, and the bank hasn’t taken possession, it’s not really worth much more than that… Overpriced.

      • Posted by Beatrice Plotter

        $40K for new Chinese cabinet kitchen and bath and paint is high. Materials cost are fixed, labor costs are flexible. With the right contractor, you can get the entire house re-wired and plumbed + new kitchen and bath to code for that amount.

        Your “profit” on a flip is the purchase price. So make an all cash offer, quick close, to the listing agent for $400K.

        • Posted by soccermom

          “With the right contractor, you can get the entire house re-wired and plumbed + new kitchen and bath to code for that amount.”

          LOL. Sure you can, Beatrice. If it’s 1975.

          • Posted by Beatrice Plotter

            Just did it this year 2014, soccermom. Will do it again next year, 2015. Ever check out wholesale prices at supply houses near Alemany Blvd. for marble/granite slabs, grohe fixtures, high-end Spanish tiles, etc.? Or wholesale flooring? Or the Scavollini kitchen cabs.? Of course not. Unless you look like a contractor, I’ve not seen you there.

          • Posted by soccermom

            Of course. You gutted an entire house, replaced all of the electrical, plumbing, put the sheetrock back up, put in a new kitchen and bath with a licensed contractor and building permits for $40K.

            Please tell us what the address was of your flip so we can see the work.

            And yes, I have shopped a range of different stores in the general Alemany area, though my favorite Chinese importers are not located there.

            Maybe you can go buy this house for your $400K price while you’re at it.

          • Posted by shza

            Agree, this is completely absurd. Granted this place is small, but $40k for even what soccermom allocated it to seems low to me. In a 3500 sq ft home, that gets you a nice interior paint job and good window treatments.

          • Posted by BobN

            “Just did it this year 2014, soccermom. Will do it again next year, 2015.”

            To be filed under “unintentionally funny”.

  9. Posted by Wai Yip Tung

    How can the owner hang on for 9 long years, see the real estate market go through peak and trough, only to have the house foreclosed when the market is hitting a peak again? If it sells for $950k, that means they have $200k equity in it. Why do they give their equity to the bank?

  10. Posted by Beatrice Plotter

    The owner of ACE/Standard Plumbing Hardware store and his family lived on 19th Avenue (closer to Taraval), their starter home decades ago. He began his career as a plumber doing jobs for my family. Eventually through hard work and investments, he bought his first Porsche and moved out of the 19th Avenue house. I still see him around his hardware store (new one on Clement and another on Geary Blvd.) as recently as two years ago.

  11. Posted by Beatrice Plotter

    S.S. – I don’t flip homes. I own them. I sense some latent hostility perhaps because I resemble Nancy Travis, pleasant but slightly ditzy looking actress. I am a force to be reckoned with. Stick with your Chinese importers and I’ll stick with mine. My workers are happy, live modest lifestyles, and are generally busy on much bigger projects (much bigger than mine.)

    I don’t plan on buying any more properties. Eventually I plan on selling the ones I have and enjoy life.

    • Posted by Fishchum

      No, you’re sensing latent hostility because you’re posting claims that seem dubious at best. No one here has a clue as to what you like, despite your insistence that you resemble Ms. Travis.

  12. Posted by Jimmy The House Flipper

    The reason they’re not cooperating with an interior inspection is probably far more mundane than we expect — likely they are growing marijuana or doing some other illegal activity inside. I saw an appraisal report recently in which a tenant had filled the entire living room with a hydroponic marijuana grow … and had some sort of card that allowed him to do this! Its a big source of structural damage from moisture and heat from the lamps.

    • Posted by anon

      That is a nightmare and not mundane at all. If we know who is living in the house, it is an easy guess whether there is a grow. Who’s mini-van with the license plate obscured is parked in the front? I presume the van’s owners are living there and it doesn’t take too much work to drive by and have a look w/o disturbing anyone.

  13. Posted by BetterSF

    The owner should have the right to inspect the property and should have the right to show the property to buyers. The non-cooperating tenants should be evicted by supervisor Campos.

  14. Posted by SocketSite

    UPDATE: The list price for 1554 19th Avenue has just been reduced $50,000 (5 percent), now asking $899,900. The occupants remain uncooperative.

  15. Posted by SocketSite

    UPDATE: The list price for 1554 19th Avenue has just been reduced another $50,000 (6 percent), now asking $849,900.

  16. Posted by SocketSite

    UPDATE: The list price for 1554 19th Avenue has just been reduced another $50,000 (6 percent), now asking $799,900.

  17. Posted by SocketSite

    UPDATE: The list price for 1554 19th Avenue has just been reduced another $50,000 (6 percent), now asking $749,900.

  18. Posted by BayviewSF

    “not cooperating” tenants, what a lovely phenomenon in SF! These “not cooperating” tenants would have been evicted years ago if the property is outside SF border, say in Daly City.

  19. Posted by SocketSite

    UPDATE: The list price for 1554 19th Avenue has just been reduced another $50,000 (7 percent), now asking $699,900.

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