7 Months Later, East Lakeview 3-Bedroom Coach House Still Available: 809 W. Oakdale

809 w oakdale

We last chattered about this 3-bedroom coach house in the Gaslight Village at 809 W. Oakdale in April 2013.

See our previous chatter here.

In April there was a lot of talk about the taxes being nearly $15,000 for a property in an attached building that is part of a condo association.

The coach house is still available and has been reduced another $70,000

As for the taxes, the listing now says: “Tax appeal won & reflects on 2nd installment. 8.5% reduction.”

If you recall, the previous listing for Coach House West said it “hasn’t been available for 40 years.”

It has a 2 story unique round living room.

It also has 2 fireplaces, skylights and a rooftop deck.

The coach house has other features buyers look for including central air, washer/dryer in the unit and a 2 car attached garage.

But the monthly assessment is $1450 a month (3 years ago Coach House East’s assessment was $1440 a month). This includes heat, gas and cable.

The current listing says “investors welcome to purchase and rent out the unit.”

Is this really a property that would appeal to a landlord?

What price will it take to finally sell this property?

Bill Doebel at Coldwell Banker now has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #CHW: 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, was 2000 square feet in April 2013 and now the listing says 2500 square feet, 2 car garage parking

  • Last sold 40 years ago
  • Originally listed in February 2013 for $599,000
  • Was listed in April 2013 for $499,000
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed for $429,000
  • Assessments of $1450 a month (includes gas, heat, cable)
  • Taxes now $15563 (they were $14860 in April 2013)
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Rooftop deck
  • Bedroom #1: 17×17 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 12×12 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 12×12 (main floor)
  • Family room: 12×10 (main floor)

82 Responses to “7 Months Later, East Lakeview 3-Bedroom Coach House Still Available: 809 W. Oakdale”

  1. for that price and the space not too bad. needs updating, but can do that overtime. the taxes and assesments make this a big fat NO

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  2. I really have to wonder why this great place hasn’t sold at this price. It has space, privacy, and, while it could use some updating, it really is still a great space with wonderful possibilities.

    The taxes are outrageous and they must be the major deal-killer. The taxes and HOA together, which total about $3300 a month, are deal-killers? Given a 30 year mortgage at 4.5% with 20% down, you’d have a monthly obligation of $5000 a month and very little of that would be paying down your principal.

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  3. Indeed, the pre-mortgage costs on this place are a tad nuts. It’s an interesting place, but I’m wondering who the ideal buyer is, given the costs and need of a little updating.

    Taking stock of job opportunities and the corresponding housing options in a couple of other areas of the country lately, I’m finding myself taking an extra long look at the lake when out there running, in an attempt to remind/convince myself that it’s all worth it.

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  4. “The taxes and HOA together, which total about $3300 a month”

    Excuse me as I only went to public school, but my math comes out to $2,750/month.

    Still not worth it IMO though.

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  5. I think a person looking in this price range is not going to expect the taxes to be so high. On the other hand, a person looking for a 1 million dollar house, is likely not going to look at this house.

    The taxes here are insane. The people I know who have bought taxes in the $500k price range have much lower taxes – maybe around $7500.

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  6. “The taxes here are insane. The people I know who have bought taxes in the $500k price range have much lower taxes – maybe around $7500.”

    Maybe we can reprise the TB-@fo prop tax debate. Good times.

    Don’t leave us nonny; we don’t have a replacement character for you.

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  7. If Laura is right, I’m LOL at the thought of someone paying $5,000 a month to live here. You could pay less and live in a lot of better places.

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  8. You’re right, William D., what was I thinking? I misread the taxes.

    Still, $2700 a month is quite a lot of pre-mortgage expense for the likely buyers of a place in this price range. As Jenny says, that would be OK for a place costing $1M, but if you were going to pay $1M, it wouldn’t be for this place.

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  9. “Taking stock of job opportunities and the corresponding housing options in a couple of other areas of the country lately”

    Where? Dallas? Houston? Atlanta? Phoenix? Most of the other places that a lad with your (presumed) experience might find remunerative employment would seem likely to either have either (1) comprable or better outdoor amenities, or (2) much, much worse Salary:House Price ratios comapred to here.

    Legitimately curious, just as I still am about the nonny-compliant mid-range city list. Actually, far, far more curious about that nonny-compliant mid-range city list–beyond the obvious places.

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  10. “Taking stock of job opportunities and the corresponding housing options in a couple of other areas of the country lately, I’m finding myself taking an extra long look at the lake when out there running, in an attempt to remind/convince myself that it’s all worth it.”

    Every city is a treadmill compared to the other cities. When you’re out hiking in San Francisco you think “I love it here” and then you go home to your crappy apartment or condo in a non-earthquake proof building and pay the rent/mortgage of $3500 a month and think, “there have to be other choices.”

    People in Nashville think we in Chicago are crazy for paying what we do. People in Wilmington North Carolina think that Nashville people are nuts for what they do. And down the line.

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  11. Good perspective, Sabrina. My original thought was the pre-mortgage costs on this place are outrageous, but if that’s the price one pays to stay out of Wilmington NC, then it seem pretty reasonable.

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  12. Sabrina, I agree completely. We travel frequently for work and honestly for the money Chicago is a no brainer.

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  13. Compared to other properties in the $400k price range, this one has significantly higher taxes. Someone with a homeowner’s deduction should pay less than half of what these taxes are…. This is compared to other Chicago properties.

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  14. The problem with the taxes is that even though they (allegedly) won an appeal, it’s still assessed at $815k and there is no homeowner exemption claimed. A buyer would definitely want to hire a better tax attorney and try to get that knocked down a lot farther.

    But then there’s still the assessment. $1450 for heat/water/gas/cable? Insane. That’s more like pool/doorman highrise territory, not low amenity midrise.

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  15. Probably a sale at or below the list price and a good (i.e. connected) assessment appeal lawyer will get than knocked down by about 50%. It’s still a leap of faith but can really pay off if you have the stones for it. With the prepays you might even come out ahead, even after taking into account the legal fees.

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  16. “Probably a sale at or below the list price and a good (i.e. connected) assessment appeal lawyer will get than knocked down by about 50%”

    The other coachhouse unit sold for half as much as this is asking, appealed, and previously got only a minor reduction. But for 2013, CHS got knocked down to 58,426 (or about $9500 in taxes).

    There is something seriously weird about the AVs for these places, especially considering that other units in the association seem to be ‘normally’ assessed.

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  17. front page of yahoo finance right now… homedelete where are you?

    http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/american-dream-moving-suburbs-could-leave-home-values-130105534.html

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  18. ‘Every city is a treadmill compared to the other cities’

    Ain’t that the truth. Over the last year or so, I can’t tell you the number of times that I’ve heard the same anonny sentiments from friends living in other cities. All make really decent money compared to the national average, but not enough for how they want to live or rather think they should live in their city.

    Just last week a friend from LA called and said she had enough with the lack of affordable RE, that on top of the horrific traffic and the abundance of shallow men (she’s looking to settle down), and was going to try her luck in Palm Desert. I was in Boston visiting family not long ago, and it was a constant loop about the expense on top of the horrible winter weather (just as bad if not worse than Chicago), and the fact that their small TH in Charlestown wouldn’t hold their two kids once they reached 5; I’m guessing they have a combined income of $300K, not enough to afford what they really want/need and still be able live a decent life. SF – a doctor who is tired of living like a frat boy in his 40’s because that’s all he can afford there, as people in CA have Kaiser Permanente insurance that pays less to MD’s than what Medicare does, and a far cry from the high paying Blue Cross model here in Chicago. Does he buy the 400 sq ft 1BR for $750K (seriously, that’s what it costs in an okay neighborhood), or move to somewhere like NE? Then again, you can always take a high paying financial job in AK like my neighbor did after being downsized here, and start off every business morning with a mandatory *prayer breakfast*. Think you and your family are going to make friends by not constantly displaying southern Christian values? They’re currently back in Chicago looking for employment. The grass is always greener anonny.

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  19. The problem is that if someone is approved for a $400k loan and the bank sees the property taxes are the equivalent of a million dollar home, are they still going to approve the mortgage?

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  20. “The other coachhouse unit sold for half as much as this is asking, appealed, and previously got only a minor reduction.”

    Then see who did the appeal and don’t use them! Don’t hate the playa, hate the game!

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  21. Here in the real world, a bank doesn’t care if the property taxes are the equivalent of anything or whatever, they’re going to run their front-end and back-end DTI calcs and all that and let that tell them whether it is cool with them or not.

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  22. “in AK ”

    That’s Alaska, which confused me; from context you meant AR.

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  23. “Then see who did the appeal and don’t use them!”

    I think these two places were self-reinforcing on the AV–once this one sells, if they both appeal at the same time, with the same counsel, might have better luck. As noted, the other one is finally down to ‘only’ 58,426.

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  24. “I think these two places were self-reinforcing on the AV–once this one sells, if they both appeal at the same time, with the same counsel, might have better luck.”

    Maybe, dunno. My understanding is that, with the right “guy” an appeal (usually up to the third level to get the full reduction) will get you down to a market value equal to your recent actual sale price, as long as you can actually demonstrate that the sale was arms’ length. A lot of the stuff was over-assessed hasn’t sold recently, and they don’t really care that you are trying unsuccessfully to sell it at half of what the county thinks it is worth, only when it actually sells.

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  25. ‘That’s Alaska, which confused me; from context you meant AR.’

    Sorry about that…

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  26. I figured out right away it was Arkansas despite the incorrect abbreviation. Only in the South would people be forced into such an activity. Makes me glad to live up here in the Midwest.

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  27. jay, I completely agree. SF is so outrageously expensive. It is NOT worth it either.

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  28. “My understanding is that, with the right “guy” an appeal (usually up to the third level to get the full reduction) will get you down to a market value equal to your recent actual sale price, as long as you can actually demonstrate that the sale was arms’ length”

    The other one–which sold post-f/c last year–was handled by one of the ‘guys’, and got the reduction to 55k.

    The big jump apparently came in the ’03 re-assessment, when the place went from 14,799 to 71,229 and the appeal was denied b/c of uniformity. That just doesn’t seem to have had a basis in reality–I wonder who the owners pissed off.

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  29. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are prayer breakfasts in AK as well. I know three different Alaskan’s who live in Chicago. While they love it, they would never live there again.

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  30. Also, this: “Think you and your family are going to make friends by not constantly displaying southern Christian values?”

    Heh. They’d cast aspersions in reciprocal fashion about making friends in the land of the ‘godless’ ‘libruls’.

    And: “SF is so outrageously expensive. It is NOT worth it either.”

    If my only two choices were “southern Christian values”, and the ‘godless libruls’ of EsEff, it would *absolutely* be worth it.

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  31. “The big jump apparently came in the ’03 re-assessment, when the place went from 14,799 to 71,229 and the appeal was denied b/c of uniformity. That just doesn’t seem to have had a basis in reality–I wonder who the owners pissed off.”

    Is this bc it’s being compared to non-CH places w similar SF? I dunno why there would have been a change in 2003, unless that is the point at which they started not distinguishing this place (or CHs generally–but then all CHs would be overassed) from non-CHs at that point?

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  32. “Is this bc it’s being compared to non-CH places w similar SF? ”

    No idea. They were and are listed as condo units, so dunno how they came up with that crazy increase.

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  33. “If my only two choices were “southern Christian values”, and the ‘godless libruls’ of EsEff, it would *absolutely* be worth it.”

    I agree, but I would never even consider living in a place that was dominated by “southern Christian values”.

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  34. Even the word “Christian” freaks me out.

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  35. I don’t know vlajos, SF is pretty nice but just crazy expensive, and there are no signs that will change anytime soon. But, there just seems to be this permanent sub-group of urbanites who think that their city sucks (usually for reasons of expense) and that they’ll just replicate their life as is, but even better, in another spot. Like my doc friend in SF, missed out when RE was just expensive as he thought it would go down with the bust, but it actually never did drop to the levels he wanted/expected. Great, take the offer in Lincoln NE for more money and buy a big house, but all the quirkiness that attracted him to SF in the first place… stays in SF. I’m sure Lincoln is lovely, but it ain’t SF. He’d kill for a position here at NW, yeah, you and every Ivy League educated candidate feels the same way. Nobody can live in a major city and have it all, that’s why they invented the suburbs.

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  36. SF is nice, just not worth the price.

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  37. There’s no doubt that smaller markets can lead to a better quality of life for a professional. I can speak with authority only for my profession but a large number of attorneys I went to school with have moved to smaller markets for work. It’s easier to find employment and the salaries lead to a better quality of life. For the average suburbanite who commutes from Arlington heights to downtown, its better to be in a smaller market and get more house for the money with better commute times. Undoubtedly the culture is different, Chicago is a happening place and living in shore wood or white fish bay outside mileaukee doesn’t compare. I briefly considered moving north of the cheddar curtain in 2010-2011 as I explored housing opportunities in Chicago, but ultimately I decided to remain here for professional and family reasons. If I didn’t have family here or ifi was a transplant I would have strongly considered It. Nearly all of my college roommates were from out of state and returned home or for other smaller markets within 10 years of graduating college in search of work and a better quality of life. It’s easy to dismiss people who leave for smaller markets but having Chicago experience and then moving to a smaller market gives a job candidates a leg up on the competition. I can’t say its for me but I do understand that there are distinct advantages, especially given how competitive and saturated the big cities are. I’m come to realize that a lot of professional life – from making partner to getting clients – is sort of a crapshoot, some do well while others do only OK, and its just a matter of where the odds might be better. And it’s easier to get better paying work in elsewhere where the markets aren’t so competitive.

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  38. I briefly considered Madison given my wife’s and my family connection there (my cousin works for the city, and my wife has aunts, uncles and a brother there) but Madison is such a small town. There’s really only a handful of upper middle class areas and there’s not the same abudence of wealth (or poverty) that Chicago has to offer. The handful of restauransts on the Monroe st corridor in wisconsin can’t compare to the sheer number of establishments off and on Randolph in Chicago. Ultimately I’m just a small time hustling Chicago attorney hustling for cases in the big city. It pays decently and I can live comfortably. It’s all I know and I do OK here so at the end of the day I decided it wasn’t worth uprooting my life for a bigger house or a more expensive car. I’ve become acutely aware in 2013 that money doesn’t solve all of life’s problems. I’ve had a significant boost in income this year but the other stuff called ‘life’ interferes and and the mere fact that my bank statements are larger doesn’t make me happier. Spending money and having a fancier car won’t make me happier when everything else around you begins its slow but inevitable collapse.

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  39. I actually went apartment shopping with my daughter and her future room mate about a month ago in San Francisco and documented my findings here: http://www.chicagonow.com/getting-real/2013/07/san-francisco-vs-chicago-apartment-rentals/

    In general rents are at least twice what they are here on an apples to apples basis. She and her room mate are paying $4100/ month for 1200 sq ft (2 beds, 1 bath) and that was one of the better deals. So you get a nicer city but you certainly don’t get twice the salary out there. Just about everyone works in tech about an hour away – the company shuttles pick them up and take them home. So demand is artificially elevated. And don’t forget that SF housing prices have risen about 24% in the last year.

    But I have always maintained that Chicago is damn expensive compared to smaller cities, which most people here turn their noses up at. But the fact of the matter is that housing in Dallas is probably 1/2 the cost of housing here and you certainly make more than 1/2 as much.

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  40. Property taxes…they are so screwed up. First of all they don’t care about the market value of the property. It’s all relative to other properties in the neighborhood. So if the whole neighborhood is screwed up…. It’s like 340 On The Park. All the units were valued at half their market value…until 2012. Then it got fixed.

    And they don’t care about the condition of the property either. The place I bought was pretty beat up yet they had it valued like 50% above it’s market value.

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  41. “So you get a nicer city but you certainly don’t get twice the salary out there.”

    Why is it a nicer city? Because you are literally stepping over homeless people as you walk into the Starbucks?

    There is rent control in SF. The apartments are awful. One of my friends had a place that literally had a stove from 1935 in it (which DID work) but come on! No incentive for the landlords to fix anything. And when rents are tight as they are right now- no incentive to do anything whatsoever at all.

    But it’s a fun place to be in your 20s when you don’t have a family and are young and carefree. I’m sure your daughter will have a good time for a few years.

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  42. “Nobody can live in a major city and have it all, that’s why they invented the suburbs.”

    No. They invented the suburbs because of crime and disease. The rich all had the money to get out. The poor had to stay behind. And so it stayed until the late 1980s or so- when cities started turning around. Go see the musical Rent again. That was the early 1990s. That neighborhood sucked! Slum landlords. Tent cities. Homeless. That’s how it really was. The loft they squat in in the musical would sell for like $10 million today.

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  43. “Why is it a nicer city? Because you are literally stepping over homeless people as you walk into the Starbucks?”

    Depends on the neighborhood. Didn’t see any more of that in SF than I see in Chicago.

    “There is rent control in SF. The apartments are awful. One of my friends had a place that literally had a stove from 1935 in it (which DID work) but come on! No incentive for the landlords to fix anything. And when rents are tight as they are right now- no incentive to do anything whatsoever at all.”

    I link to the rent control rules in my post so you can check them out yourself. It affects a fraction of the apartments. I’m vehemently opposed to rent control in principle but when housing prices go up 25% in one year some sort of rent control is probably a good idea to prevent 10s of thousands from being displaced over night – over the course of a year or two would be OK in my opinion. And if you don’t like your landlord you move out to a more expensive place. Your friends lived there because they preferred a crappy apartment to an expensive apartment.

    “But it’s a fun place to be in your 20s when you don’t have a family and are young and carefree. I’m sure your daughter will have a good time for a few years.”

    I’m jealous of my daughter.

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  44. I forgot the main points about why SF is better than Chicago: 1) weather 2) just a prettier city in general 3) weather. But the taxes really suck. Then again…just wait until Illinois reckons with the pension liabilities.

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  45. “1) weather 2) just a prettier city in general 3) weather.’

    You clearly never lived there. But I hated it. Within the city limits- it sucks. What’s the temps there all this week? Probably about 63 degrees. Cold. Foggy. Fog may burn off in the financial district by the late morning but not if you live anywhere west. You’re in the fog zone all day long in the Sunset or the Richmond or even in Pac Heights. I hated having to wear winter coats (yes- winter coats) in the summer time and not being able to see the Fourth of July fireworks due to the fog (and watching them in a blanket and sleeping bag.) If you’re outside of the city limits, the weather is much nicer. Silicon Valley or Marin County or Oakland. 10 to 20 degrees warmer in the summer time. Not as much (or sometimes little) fog. But IN the city of San Francisco, it sucks.

    I wasn’t a fan of winter either. Sure, no snow or negative temperatures. But they act like it doesn’t get cold there. It’s routinely in the 30s and 40s at night there in the winter and some apartments don’t even have heat. Many of the buildings are old as well and they have single pane windows. I had to buy a down comforter in the winter there and slept with socks on. So- no- not a fan of the cold rain you get there all winter. But spring and fall are lovely.

    It’s a prettier city because of the hills and such. But if you, again, actually live in the middle class parts of it- it sucks. Did your daughter look for places in the Sunset where there isn’t a tree for 3 blocks? Middle class housing out there was built after World War II. No Victorians there. Brutal. And ugly as all heck. But, again, if you’re living Noe or the Marina or some of those very expensive areas, then it’s prettier.

    Lots of the city infrastructure is run down. Lots of retailers just board up and then nothing happens, even in trendy areas. I also couldn’t take the filth. I often wanted to tell the mayor- can’t you please plant some flowers? Or hang flowers like they do all over Chicago’s downtown all summer in Union Square. Why is it so ugly there? That’s the main tourist destination.

    But Sausalito and Tiburon are beautiful. Wine country is beautiful.

    If you see the new Woody Allen movie Blue Jasmine, it depicts the working class elements of it pretty well. They show the main characters in the outer neighborhoods which, frankly, aren’t that pretty. They show the fog (but not at its worst) when it’s just kind of cloudy/dreary all day. I did get a kick out of the characters walking around Chinatown though.

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  46. “Didn’t see any more of that in SF than I see in Chicago.”

    Did you go down market and literally have to walk OVER the bodies to go into the Starbucks near the cable car line? Good times. When I was there a few months ago, a guy was shouting at full force at no one just two blocks from Union Square in the middle of the day and I thought to myself, “ah- yes- I forgot how bad it was here.”

    I once was on the Muni down market in the middle of the day and looked out and a guy was relieving himself against a building. But that’s nothing. The retailers on Union Square have to hire private street cleaners because the bodily fluids (and not #1) are so bad on those streets. Ugh. It’s just gross. But the city doesn’t do anything so the retailers have to do it themselves.

    Chicago is SO MUCH cleaner and nicer. It’s like night and day. I once had a homeless encampment move in across from my apartment building. About 30 people living in tents. They only lasted about 4 weeks before the city moved them. That was in the SOMA neighborhood. No running water or electricity but they were all living there. That was during the dot-com boom when everyone was rich. Good times.

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  47. “I link to the rent control rules in my post so you can check them out yourself. It affects a fraction of the apartments.”

    You don’t really get it Gary. Rent control applies to all of the older apartments- not new construction. So if you look at the overall # in the city- you get a completely screwed up look at what goes on there. There are entire neighborhoods that are rent controlled. Those would be: Pac Heights, Cow Hollow, Marina, North Beach, Russian Hill, Nob Hill, Telegraph Hill, Noe Valley, Inner and Outer Richmond, Inner and Outer Sunset. I could go on and on.

    The only areas that really aren’t are new construction areas- like SOMA, parts of the Mission, all the new construction high rises down by the water front or on Market Street.

    I never knew anyone who didn’t live in a rent controlled apartment while living there. There was no granite, stainless steel in those kitchens! Nasty places but you had no choice. Landlords didn’t care because they could only raise the rent the inflation rate. My friends paid a lot of money for their 1935 stove but that’s because the place was on Lake Street overlooking the Presidio which is considered a great area. It DID have lovely views of the woods of the Presidio and was quiet.

    I knew someone who moved into a 3-bedroom in the inner sunset in 1985. He had been there like 15 years by the time I met him. Was only paying $850 a month for that place. It was a dream come true. He was NEVER moving. That’s the thing. People end up staying in the apartment until they die (literally sometimes.) The housing stock in SF sucks because of it. It’s a city of renters too. Many more people rent there than own- because of the cost.

    You really have to live there to get it. It’s unlike anything (except NYC which also has rent control that messes things up.) Without rent control, the city wouldn’t be so dumpy. The landlords would have incentives to actually take care of their properties. But as it is, they don’t.

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  48. Oh- and before the rental market got tight (this was AFTER the dot-com boom when everyone left town)- I had friends who literally searched for new apartments for a year or more because the rental market there is so awful. And no- they don’t want to spend $4000 a month. Why would you? Only right now- with no availability- are rents skyrocketing there. An average studio is now over $2000 a month. Absurd.

    But they are building another 5,000 or 6,000 units (like Chicago is) so that should help alleviate some of the rental pressures.

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  49. Oh- one other thing- can you imagine taking that Google shuttle every day down the peninsula to your job? That is probably about 55 miles one way. That’s over an hour or more on that darn shuttle. Sure- google is paying for it and you’re not driving it yourself. But that would get old real fast. Who wants to do that for the next 5 years of your life? Ugh. No thanks. That would be like getting on a shuttle to go out to a job in Naperville (which is what Mountain View basically is.) About the same distance too.

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  50. Got to get to bed but I’ll respond to one of your posts real quick regarding the homeless and the cleanliness and the weather. I thought it was NO worse than Chicago. Everything you describe about SF I see in Chicago all the time. I believe I see many more homeless here in Chicago in fact, along with all the screaming and pissing. No we didn’t go to Tenderloin though and I hear that’s pretty bad.

    And Chicago has garbage everywhere. Trash cans are overflowing half the time and flies buzzing around and I see rats here all the time. People here just throw large pieces of garbage out their car windows or throw them on the street as they walk down the street. I’ve called them on it too. I have to pick up garbage outside my house every couple of days. Didn’t see any of that in SF, though I was only there for 5 days.

    In my post I mapped the areas we checked out. The weather was fine though I hear further north it gets pretty foggy. And I did need a coat at night. But I absolutely hate the winters here.

    Look, I wouldn’t live there simply because I don’t think it’s worth the cost. But if I was starting out and had to choose between a city like Dallas and Chicago I’d take Dallas any day. I don’t think Chicago is worth the cost.

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  51. “Oh- one other thing- can you imagine taking that Google shuttle every day down the peninsula to your job? That is probably about 55 miles one way.”

    38 miles from the Marina. Which is about the same as from LP to Naperville.

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  52. “The weather was fine.”

    So, you didn’t see the sun at all, did you? Not too foggy in the Mission, most of the summer, but persistent overcast.

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  53. I discussed the commute with my daughter because there’s been some research to suggest that a short commute is a major driver of overall happiness. She’s going to Facebook and her room mate is going to Google. From her perspective 1) She doesn’t need to own a car, though they will probably use Zipcars 2) As long as she’s not driving to work she can read and go online (the shuttle has wi-fi of course).

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  54. “So, you didn’t see the sun at all, did you? Not too foggy in the Mission, most of the summer, but persistent overcast.”

    Maybe I hit it in a really good week but it was sunny the whole time.

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  55. “You don’t really get it Gary. Rent control applies to all of the older apartments- not new construction. So if you look at the overall # in the city- you get a completely screwed up look at what goes on there. ”

    Oh…I totally get it. I read the rules and parts of the ordinance. First of all, understand that I totally abhor rent control on the basic premise of government interference is bad. However, it’s not quite as bad as you make it out to be:

    1) If a landlord rehabs a place it’s no longer covered by rent control
    2) A landlord can pass on a rent increase for certain improvements made
    3) When a tenant moves out the landlord can raise the rent and will logically rehab a place in decline

    The funny thing is that people living in declining housing covered by rent control want it both ways. They want low rent AND a nice place. Guess what? You can’t have that! They are free to move out and pay a higher rent but they CHOOSE to stay in the crappy place because they prefer the crappy place to a higher rent. The fundamental problem is that SF is an expensive place and if you CHOOSE to live there then either you live in a crappy place or you pay the price. If you want a nice place but can’t afford it then move.

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  56. 1) If a landlord rehabs a place it’s no longer covered by rent control
    2) A landlord can pass on a rent increase for certain improvements made
    3) When a tenant moves out the landlord can raise the rent and will logically rehab a place in decline

    OMG. This NEVER happens. I never once live in a rehabbed apartment and that includes one time I lived in a condo. The refrigerator was 15 years old! Same with the baths. It had windows that didn’t even close all the way. Because once that tenant moves in, they can only raise the rent the rate of inflation. So they have no incentive to fix anything. (And even worse for the tenants right now- the market is so tight they can rent it with roaches, no stove etc.)

    That is not the reality in SF. But I don’t have time to argue with someone who has never lived there and dealt with it. I’m glad I live in Chicago where it is 60% cheaper to live with all the same amenities and NO rent control. Rentals can be crappy in Chicago too- but nothing even close to what I saw and dealt with in SF. At least we have stoves built within the last 10 years.

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  57. “She’s going to Facebook and her room mate is going to Google. From her perspective 1) She doesn’t need to own a car, though they will probably use Zipcars 2) As long as she’s not driving to work she can read and go online (the shuttle has wi-fi of course).”

    It will get old but she can do it for awhile. At least she’s not driving which is good. But it is FAR. In actual mileage- isn’t the Google headquarters like 55 actual miles? And then with traffic etc. you are looking at an hour and fifteen or an hour and a half. What time does she leave work then? Even if you left at 5:00 on the dot you wouldn’t get home until like 6:30. I used to live in SF and work in Palo Alto. I didn’t have a shuttle though. I did it for about 8 months before I had to quit that job. You just have no life. I was eating dinner at 8:00 pm every night. But in your 20s- you don’t care so much until you care. You can do it for a few years and then move on.

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  58. the major cities, particularly ny, sf, la and to some extent chicago, are expensive cities. I don’t blame people for leaving. it’s a common theme. there’s some degrees of skill, and some luck too, that requires ‘making it’ In a big city. without the right pedigree, connections, networking or skill set, and a fair amount of luck,it’s tough to land a good job and make it. if I were some college grad from st Louis and no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t make more than $60k a year with some crappy apt in lakeview, I too would leave for greener pastures in st loius. especially if there is no significant other keeping you in town. there’s a strong element of luck too. and pedigree too. it’s hard to be from some crappy state school and make good money in the big city where in a smaller market your degree carries more weight.

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  59. “38 miles from the Marina. Which is about the same as from LP to Naperville.”

    No way anon (tfo). I used to drive every day to Palo Alto (just south of Stanford) from North Beach. The Marina is even farther (not necessarily by miles but by commute because it is FOREVER to get to the expressway from there.) I had to take the Embarcadero around to North Beach which some days is okay and others it’s not. Not ideal. That’s why most people live in the Mission, SOMA, Noe Valley or Portrero Hill who are doing that commute otherwise it adds on another 15 to 20 minutes.

    It was 46 miles to my office from North Beach. I just did a google map on Google’s headquarters from my old North Beach address and it is 47.5 miles. It is telling me that in current traffic that is 1 hour and 10 minutes. Yeah- that’s about right. As long as there was no rain I could make it down there in about an hour and five minutes.

    I take back what I said earlier. It is much further than Naperville, actually. More like St. Charles.

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  60. Everytime I’m in SF (which is usually once a year as my sister in law lives there) I’m amazed at how dirty it is. Filthy really. Homeless everywhere, public parks are filled with homeless people. And they are gross and aggressive. The city has very little greenery, which makes it feel dirtier to me.

    The rents are stupid and so are the housing prices. The weather is not all that great either. You are close to nice areas though. Napa and Sonoma and Russian River all are very nice. Though the wine stupid expensive for what you get.

    Here are CA’s income tax rates:
    $0+ 1.00%
    $7,124+ 2.00%
    $16,890+ 4.00%
    $26,657+ 6.00%
    $37,005+ 8.00%
    $46,766+ 9.30%
    $1,000,000+ 10.30%

    Not worth it.

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  61. Wow. It sounds like San Francisco apartments are on par with the apartments I saw Moscow. Of course, if you had money there to pay under the table, you could get what you want.

    I haven’t been to San Francisco in a very long time and maybe it is(was) just in the tourist areas, but the homeless put on little shows for the tourists (rabbits jumping through hoops, etc). That certainly beats our homeless. Just the other day, I saw a bum throwing trash everywhere. He was walking in front of me and I muttered about how the world was his garbage can. Then, he turned around and had the nerve to ask me for money. Ugh.

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  62. Sf is worth it if you win the job lottery and score some valuable stock options at a start up, or land a job making $200k+, or own some small business. But for everybody else, like the mid level programmers, IT or sales guys, its a revolving door and those without any strong connections to the are end up leaving. My cousin landed a great job at apple 20 years ago and he’s still there, and more importantly, hes from the silicon valley. But Sabrina admitted she went there, and her income and her lifestyle didn’t make it worth it. That’s pretty typical. I don’t judge

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  63. My daughter’s commute will be one hour each way but she doesn’t care as long as she’s not driving and can do other things. Yeah, you can live closer to work but it’s not as much fun.

    I simply said I thought SF was a nicer place. I also said it wasn’t worth it. But I also don’t think Chicago is worth it vs. cheaper cities. It’s a hierarchy and I’ll always go cheaper.

    As for rent control, Sabrina,…what you seem to be complaining about is the overall cost level for the quality you get – agreed but that’s not a rent control problem. That’s a market condition thing. Rent control effectively lowers the quality of what someone gets within a place they already live in, not the choices available to them when looking for the first time. And in exchange for that lower quality the tenants get a lower price. And clearly the tenants LIKE it because they don’t move. They like it relative to paying a higher rent.

    I totally agree that rent control screws up the market. But the market adjusts to those rules. Landlords provide lower quality and tenants accept it. In the absence of rent control lower paid people would move out and that’s actually what should happen in a real market.

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  64. My daughter just told me I got lucky with the weather when I was there.

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  65. I’d say SF has better weather for my tastes, but dirtier. No way jenny would truly prefer the homeless/hobo situation there (I don’t actually understand what her problem is here–maybe she got herself on a blacklist or soemthing).

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  66. “No way anon (tfo).”

    What does google maps get wrong? Location of googleplex? Location of the Marina? Distance between them?

    That 38 miles via 101 is certainly going take longer than via 280 most days, but even via 280, it’s under 50 miles.

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  67. “My daughter just told me I got lucky with the weather when I was there.”

    Yeah, I wouldn’t describe sunny summer days in the Mission as merely “fine”, regardless of air temperature.

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  68. “maybe it is(was) just in the tourist areas, but the homeless put on little shows for the tourists (rabbits jumping through hoops, etc). ”

    Those aren’t the homeless dudes. Those guys (mostly) have apartments.

    Last time I was there, enjoyed the (presumably–she has a cart full of crap) checking her smartphone.

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  69. What I want to know is how Sabrina *really* feels about San Francisco….

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  70. “I haven’t been to San Francisco in a very long time and maybe it is(was) just in the tourist areas, but the homeless put on little shows for the tourists (rabbits jumping through hoops, etc). That certainly beats our homeless.”

    I despise the use of animals or children in begging acts.

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  71. “I despise the use of animals or children in begging acts.”

    I do too, i find it insanely repulsive, just so awful that words can’t describe how I feel about it

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  72. If the animal isn’t in danger and seems healthy, I’m OK with it.

    Kids begging can be OK if the kid is clever. My dad used to hustle at pool when he was 12. The old guys couldn’t believe a kid could play pool that well. Another friend of mine used to go out with his brother and they’d play the trumpet and tuba to make spending money.

    My friend and I once came up with our own door-to-door raffle scheme because if the charities could do it, why not us? We really did give out prizes to the winners. My parents were displeased when they found out.

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  73. I’m talking about beggars who use animals or children as props to gain sympathy and mo’ money.
    There are female gypsy beggars on the NY subways who make the rounds through the cars with a canned story, their palm extended and a baby on their hip.
    The next day you’ll see a different woman with the same baby.
    Or the kids with facial tats sitting in the burning sun with a dog and a “homeless and hungry” sign.
    Then there’s the guy who’s often at 50th Street with a whole bunch of cats, dogs and guinea pigs right at evening rush hour for prime pickins, subjecting the poor animals to the stifling heat and shoving crowds.

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  74. don’t even get me started

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  75. Milkster, that’s all deplorable and those people should be arrested.

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  76. You think thats bad go to Mumbai were children have hands and feet amputated because they can collect more money on the street. Believe it or not these gangs drug the children and can find doctors that will perform the procedure at the right price.

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  77. I’ve heard this before. It makes me physically ill every time I hear about that. Thanks for reminding me.

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  78. Sorry Gary,
    I have seen it first hand and that image will not leave me for the rest of my life. This was my first thought based on the conversation above…. sorry again.

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  79. gringozecarioca on August 9th, 2013 at 7:06 am

    ahhh.. nothing like reading an anti-SF thread.. Always hate that I have to hesitate when i tell people I don’t really like SF. gray that just rolls onto gray… and surprisingly grimy. Had a couple of opportunities to live out there and it just never excited me, Worst, if like I did, and you have to work on EST time, that sucks! Dealbreaker right there…

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  80. Hotels in SF suck too. Many buildings are being retrofit for earthquakes, making already expensive buildings more expensive.

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  81. funny how we tlk about SF but the vast majority of the metro area lives in the suburbs…all the way down beyond San Jose…. out to Fremont and beyond…

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  82. ” out to Fremont and beyond…”

    Fremont isn’t an out of the way place, in any reasonable sense, given that there are three cities in the metro and its on the direct route bt two of them. And it’s also directly across a bridge from the center of the Sili Valley.

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