Friday, June 01, 2007

Come and get it...

After living in our condo for nearly a year, I still peruse the San Francisco real estate listings from almost daily. For the past several weeks (seems like months), a 4-unit building at 200-204 Funston Avenue (at California Street) is still on the market.

The listings are posted in numerous variations: purchase of the entire building, purchase of the top 2 units for a single price ($649K), and of course, individually as TIC's (tenancy-in-common). Same pictures, different wording. Excellent neighborhood (Inner Richmond). Still not sold.

I haven't visited any of the open houses, but from the other pictures shown of the units from craigslist, it seems a nice enough place. But I also understand why none of the units have been yet sold. While these units are rather sizable (about 1000 square feet), none are more than 1 bedroom.

It's my guess that these units were previously rentals and the owner decided to renovate them hoping to make some money by selling them as TIC's (just like our last landlord). Problem is, fixing them up doesn't change the fact that these are units designed for no more than 2 occupants. Most who live in 1-bedroom places would rather rent than buy.

I admire the realtors for their creative attempts to sell the units. But it hasn't worked. My suggestion to the current owner(s) or prospective buyer(s) is to hire a property management company to rent the units under short-term leases. Lease them for 2-3 months or up to a year as corporate housing/hotel alternative for those staying in San Francisco for an extended period. Ideal for college/university professors, executives, caretakers. Public transporation is just outside the door, and access to Clement and Geary Streets is a short walk.

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