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2909 King St, Berkeley, CA 94703

By bdrasin follow bdrasin   2009 Aug 25, 3:24pm 5,585 views   12 comments   watch   nsfw   quote   share    


This seems like a really low price for what it is:http://www.redfin.com/CA/Berkeley/2909-King-St-94703/home/657545A duplex with 2 3/1 units and an extra 2/1 on the same property for $525k.  2 bedroom units in this neighborhood rent for 2k no problem (2 blocks from Ashby Bart).   Even assuming only 60k rental income thats well over 10% of the purchase price.   I ride by the house on my bike often and there is nothing obviously wrong with it...I wonder why so cheap?   It sound like a can't lose proposition at the price.

1   bdrasin   ignore (0)   2009 Aug 26, 1:51am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

2 doors down 2901 is a single family home that sold for 586k in december
http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/2901-King-St-Berkeley-CA-94703/24830304_zpid/

It seems surprising that a triplex with apparently good income potential would not be worth more :-/

2   pkowen   ignore (0)   2009 Aug 26, 2:17am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

A triplex? You mean a SFR that was chopped up and tacked onto to make 'income property'. In other words a ruined house. This has happened all over the bay area and it destroys the value of houses and neighborhoods. I'll never forget the 'realtor' who showed me a house near SJSU saying in broken English, "You cut house in half and rent room, then student pay rent". Idiot.

No surprise to me it's worth less than the neighbors.

As reference, I lived in a neighborhood back east that was being re-gentrified. In the 70's this beautiful old turn of the 19th century neighborhood fell on hard times and some houses got 'cut up' into apartments, while others had cheap little 'apartment buildings' added to the back yards as income property. It was those examples that had a hard time coming back as the area gentrified. The houses that were left more or less alone and intact were without exception more desireable when I bought mine in 2000. By the way, mine did have some rooms tacked on the back and that was why I got it cheap, and was also the biggest problem I had throughout my restoration efforts ...

3   bdrasin   ignore (0)   2009 Aug 26, 2:32am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

pkowen says

A triplex? You mean a SFR that was chopped up and tacked onto to make ‘income property’. In other words a ruined house. This has happened all over the bay area and it destroys the value of houses and neighborhoods. I’ll never forget the ‘realtor’ who showed me a house near SJSU saying in broken English, “You cut house in half and rent room, then student pay rent”. Idiot.

Heh, I know exactly what you are talking about; the same thing happened with a place I used to rent, just around the corner on Oregon St:
http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1708-Oregon-St-Berkeley-CA-94703/24831211_zpid/
I went to the open house (mostly out of curiosity) and it looked like it had been redone by someone who had been smoking crack while watching a 'Flip this House' Marathon. The REAL kicker is that someone STILL forked over 515k for the place in august 2008!!!

I'm not sure thats the case with the King St property though. There are two actual buildings on the property, and one of them looks like it was built as a duplex (I haven't been inside so I'm just going by street-view appearance). I'll give the agent a call later today and report back here.

4   EBGuy   ignore (1)   2009 Aug 26, 11:03am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

2 bedroom units in this neighborhood rent for 2k no problem
If you had said 3 bedroom units, I might be more inclined to agree.
I checked the Rent Board website and it shows two of the units as owner-occupied and one as "Occupied Rent Free". Let us know what you find out from the agent. I'm guessing it's pretty 'tight' in the 3 bedroom duplex units.

5   pkowen   ignore (0)   2009 Aug 27, 1:56am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

bdrasin says

pkowen says


A triplex? You mean a SFR that was chopped up and tacked onto to make ‘income property’. In other words a ruined house...

Heh, I know exactly what you are talking about; the same thing happened with a place I used to rent, just around the corner on Oregon St:
http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1708-Oregon-St-Berkeley-CA-94703/24831211_zpid/
I went to the open house (mostly out of curiosity) and it looked like it had been redone by someone who had been smoking crack while watching a ‘Flip this House’ Marathon. The REAL kicker is that someone STILL forked over 515k for the place in august 2008!!!
I’m not sure thats the case with the King St property though. There are two actual buildings on the property, and one of them looks like it was built as a duplex (I haven’t been inside so I’m just going by street-view appearance). I’ll give the agent a call later today and report back here.

Well I was just going by the house pictures, one of which looked exactly like what we are talking about - poor construction tacked on the back of better construction. It really does ruin n'hoods.

6   bdrasin   ignore (0)   2009 Aug 27, 2:14am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

EBGuy says

2 bedroom units in this neighborhood rent for 2k no problem
If you had said 3 bedroom units, I might be more inclined to agree.
I checked the Rent Board website and it shows two of the units as owner-occupied and one as “Occupied Rent Free”. Let us know what you find out from the agent. I’m guessing it’s pretty ‘tight’ in the 3 bedroom duplex units.

I left a message yesterday but haven't heard back. the overall square footage suggests that the duplex units are darn small. I rode my bike by last night and I noticed that the house across the street (2910) also has a for sale sign (although I can't find it on zillow, trulia, or redfin), as is 1662 tussell at the corner of King & russel (for 550k).
Thats 3 units for sale within half a block of each other!
I found 2910 on Craigslist, for some weird reason its listed as in North Berkeley: http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/reb/1344489273.html

7   EBGuy   ignore (1)   2009 Aug 27, 4:15am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

Craigslist seems to be averaging about 100 rental listings a day for Berkeley. UC started up yesterday; I don't have any historical data, but it seems a bit high to me (vacancies should generate some downward pressure on rental pricing, shaking out newer landlords who bought rentals based on "future appreciation"). One unit in our neighborhood just rented out this past weekend (central Berkeley); also seeing some For Rent signs on my way to work.

8   bdrasin   ignore (0)   2009 Aug 27, 7:43am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

Ok, just got off the phone with the agent - seemed like a nice guy (but don't they all). The SFR was built in the 1920s and is about 1400sft. The duplex was added in the 1970s and all of the work is warrented (for what that is worth), each of the apartments in it are about 1000 square feet, with 'large bedrooms and limited common area', maybe good for renting to students. I asked him why so cheap, he said it was a court ordered sale and he couldn't say anything more than that. I think he got the idea that I wasn't really interested in buying.

9   dont_getit   ignore (0)   2009 Aug 29, 2:11am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

Some Guy says

Doesn’t “court confirmation” mean you have to go to court and bid on it? Could that price be just the minimum bid?

Agree, its bidding war! You might go to court if you have time and see whats going on, but I would stay away even bidding min, because its hard to walk away from final $100 increment.

10   bdrasin   ignore (0)   2009 Sep 1, 1:41pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

http://www.2910king.com/ is across the street. It is 3x 1/1 units and 1 3/2 unit. According to the disclosures, the 3/2 is renting for 1750, two of the downstairs ones rented for 825 and 1100 respectively. If we assume 1k/month for the vacant unit that leaves a total income of 4675/month or 56k/yr. The asking price of 645000 means a 8.6% rent/asking price ratio, close to the 'safe' ratio on patrick.net front page.

It really looks to me like at least for multi-family homes in this particular neighborhood prices are falling to the levels dictated by rental income potential. A good sign.

11   JHHHousing   ignore (0)   2009 Oct 13, 12:42am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

It’s my dad's property that he owned with too many family members. He is ill and needs 24 hr care so the property is being sold with the assisance of the court system. The homes were respectably built with care. At one time the back unit housed UCB students so its excellent rental property. Go by and see it and plz bid high :)! As you know, healthcare costs are skyrocketing

12   someone else   ignore (0)   2009 Oct 13, 1:28am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

I'm sorry your dad is ill. Such things will happen to all of us, and that gives a lot of needed perspective.

I'm really glad that there's at least a glimmer of dialogue between potential buyers and sellers here though. It's great that there's no realtor in the way, filtering your remarks.


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