Why I hope Sup. Farrell is wrong about condos

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So Sup. Mark Farrell thinks the Board of Supervisors is ready to turn its back on the tenants movement and vote for legislation that would increase evictions, eliminate rental housing and undermine one of the most important pieces of tenant legislation to come out of City Hall in decades?

Gawd, I hope he's wrong.

From the Examiner:

Similar proposals have gone nowhere at City Hall. Farrell acknowledged it has been a “third rail,” but he suggested the political climate has shifted. “This is a different Board of Supervisors and this is a different time,” Farrell said.

Yeah, it's a different Board of Supervisors. Five years ago, the 8 Washington project would never have been approved in its current form. Five years ago, Ed Lee wouldn't have been elected mayor.

But I don't think this board is ready to abandon the tenant vote.

Making condo conversions easier is a huge deal. When San Francisco put a limit on condo conversions more than 20 years ago, it was a landmark law that put the preservation of affordable, rent-controlled housing over the needs of speculators. Over the past decade, the single greatest threat to tenants in this city is Ellis-Act evictions done to create tenancies in common. And the only check on more of that happening is the disincentive posed by the limits on condo conversions.

If Farrell gets his way, and TIC owners can bypass the conversion lottery, tenant organizations will be furious. There are, at best, five reliable pro-landlord votes on the board, so It's not going to happen without either David Chiu, Christina Olague or Jane Kim siding with Farrell. A lot of things suprise me in local politics, but that would be a shocker.

 

Comments

When you TIC conmen try to wiggle out of your hair brained financing schemes with condo lotteries even you are admitting how stupid they are and how purely corrupt and pathetic the whole bankrupt dishonest concept.

A real estate agent calling a progressive dishonest. I've heard everything now.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 13, 2012 @ 11:16 am

Good luck convincing your desperate unfortunate TIC clients the real estate collapse has bottomed.

Even FOX News is calling your BS now.

http://www.foxbusiness.com/news/2012/05/15/renters-downsizing-are-us-hou...

(Renters, Downsizing Are US Housing's Future - Conference Board)

Posted by Guest on Jun. 13, 2012 @ 11:22 am

These real estate boosters are like Mr. Rourke on Fantasy Island, "Smiles, everyone, smiles!"

Tim Colen plays the role of Tattoo, who clambers up to the watch tower to catch the next batch of suckers: "The plane!, THE PLANE!"

Posted by marcos on Jun. 13, 2012 @ 12:20 pm

Let me suggest you stand for office on a platform of discouraging homeownership.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 13, 2012 @ 12:25 pm

Everyone in SF should just give up the idea of ever owning the place they live in. We should only aspire to rent forever and have nothing to leave to future generations but some furniture. We should learn to enjoy sending our rent checks to an increasing array of out-of-town corporate ownership.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 13, 2012 @ 12:47 pm

only then will the demographics of this city give hopeless liberals like Tim a chance of every being valid and vaiable.

Tim as good as admitted during the debate on 8Wash that he wants less successful people in SF and more losers for no reason other than that suits his political bias.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 13, 2012 @ 1:04 pm

The dumb home buyers have already been cleaned out. That's your problem, isn't it?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 14, 2012 @ 11:08 am

FaceBook IPO has led to swarms of newly-minted millionaires over-bidding on properties in many parts with good access south. One home in Noe Valley recently had 20 offers.

Even in the depths of the subprime mess, SF home prices were down by no more than 10% or so. The demand here is constant, which is what Tim is always whining about.

TIC's are tougher to shift, for sure, but then those are the poorest segment of SF's RE market and if we should be helping any homeowners, it should surely be them, especially as TIC's only exist as a rational response to restrictive city laws.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 14, 2012 @ 11:26 am

As opposed to all those newly minted Zynga millionaires? IPO'd and then delisted in less than a year. That has to be a record.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidthier/2012/06/13/zynga-stock-dips-below-5/

(Zynga Stock Dips Below $5)

Posted by Guest on Jun. 14, 2012 @ 11:46 am

While if you speculate on stocks and lose, you only have yourself to blame.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 14, 2012 @ 11:54 am

If it doesn't affect the RE market then why have a condo conversion?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 14, 2012 @ 12:29 pm

longer affected if your co-tenant loses his job. Separate mortgage; separate prop taxes.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 14, 2012 @ 12:43 pm

I don't see how transforming affordable rent controlled rentals to full market rate condos makes anyone's occupation more stable.

Oh wait. Are we still talking about the Facebook millionaires?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 14, 2012 @ 1:18 pm

Ba-Zynga!

Posted by marcos on Jun. 14, 2012 @ 12:05 pm

I realize your newspaper has chopped its staff to like four people and actual research may be just too much for you guys, but could you do maybe 15 minutes of fact checking? So I'm not going to do your job for you, but in short, the premise of your article is clueless bullshit.

"... legislation that would increase evictions and eliminate rental housing... "

First of all, moron, you **can't** convert buildings that have undergone an Ellis Act to condos. Any building that has been Ellised after April 4, 2005 is ineligible for condo conversion. So there's part 1... literally 3 minutes of Google could have taught you that.

Now, on to your claim that allowing TICs to convert to condo would eliminate rental housing. If a TIC owner wants to convert to condos, which the vast majority do, they need to establish owner occupancy. Having the TIC rented out to a tenant greatly disrupts and/or prohibits the conversion process entirely. As a result, TICs are very rarley rented out. If a unit is already a condo, on the other hand, there is no owner occupancy requirements. Hence, condo owners are much more willing and able to rent out, in turn increasing rental stock versus restricting it.

Try actually understanding the issues you write about beyond a basic tagline.

Posted by Lurker on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 12:10 pm

Dude, what part of Tim's thesis that "Rich people are boring" did you not understand?

Stop muddying up Tim's baseless claims with facts and reality!

Anyone who has 20k to spend to convert their TIC is rich and boring. All rich people are boring - except for Bruce Brugman who just made over 2 million dollars by selling the guardian building.

Posted by Coitthroat on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 12:46 pm

ouch, Tim.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 1:04 pm

Because you have no lives. Because you have nothing better to do than to read a writer you hate, and you can't resist the compulsion to compose a long internet flame message.

I could go trash nevus or that idiot Garcia, but then I'd actually have to read nevus and garcia. And I'm not the least bit interested in what those two clowns have to say, so I don't waste my time that way because unlike trolls, I have a life.

Ooh. Brutal. Ouch.

Posted by Greg on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 1:39 pm

Isnt it funny how you can tell the relative intelligence of the poster from a few line reply?

Posted by Coitthroat on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 1:53 pm

I mean, sure, the delivery was sophomoric...

But you can't deny the content. He brought up points which really should not be glossed over and/or flat out missed in a piece like this.

Either Tim doesn't understand the basics of condo conversion or he's purposely ommiting valuable information.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 2:21 pm

Oh I agree. I was referring to Greg, and not positively

Posted by Coitthroat on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 2:41 pm

True. Also, the trolls need new material. They've been using the same, old, tired material (one-liners) for years, such as when they whine, "anyone who disagrees with you is a troll?" There are many other examples I could give. They are predictable in what they will write. They have to be the loneliest of people to live on a website that they can't stand just so they can disagree constantly with the writers and whine about their craze with "progressives." The trolls' behavior is as dysfunctional and sick as one can get. I'm with you, I could go live on some right-wing site and "hate" and disagree and whine there all day, but what's the point in doing that? And the amount of time it takes to do that. Who has that much free time? Answer: Trolls = pathetic people and apparently nothing to do in their pathetic lives.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 10:24 pm

Well, that is a typical progressive position. But the simple fact is that you keep hearing the same points being made because they refute your position or, in this case, the facts being used as a premise.

City policies should benefit all SF'ers and not just tenants. So much pro-tenants stuff gets passed so how about, just for once, something that is pro-homeowner?

Or does that offend the class warrior in you?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 13, 2012 @ 6:05 am

At least toll commentary doesnt all follow the same script. Comments like the one above look like those form letters that neighborhood groups post online for people to oppose some development somewhere.

Posted by greg on Jun. 13, 2012 @ 7:02 am

Tim, here's the disconnect:

"So Sup. Mark Farrell thinks the Board of Supervisors is ready to turn its back on the tenants movement and vote for legislation that would increase evictions, eliminate rental housing and undermine one of the most important pieces of tenant legislation to come out of City Hall in decades?"

Is there a tenants movement or a tenants stasis? To what extent have tenant activists educated new arrivals (1/2 of all tenancies last for 5 years) over recent years as to the importance of rent control?

I don't think that this legislation will increase evictions, at least not necessarily and at least not immediately. My understanding is that this allows those in the pool at this time to convert for a fee. It would set a precedent for blowing the cap in the future and that makes it a bad idea. But the measure contains none of that explicitly. This legislation is crap, but from what I understand, it will not increase evictions in and of itself.

"Yeah, it's a different Board of Supervisors. Five years ago, the 8 Washington project would never have been approved in its current form. Five years ago, Ed Lee wouldn't have been elected mayor."

What has changed over the past five years and why?

"If Farrell gets his way, and TIC owners can bypass the conversion lottery, tenant organizations will be furious."

It is not Farrell getting his way. It is a plan laid out to fuck San Francisco for progressives by corporate power to the extent that furious tenants organizations will be able to do little more than bleed on Farrell and the downtown players who play for keeps.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 1:58 pm

It would be a very simple thing for a small landlord to convert a building to condos and be free of rent control.

Instead of owning one three-flat building, $60k would buy you three non-rent controlled condos.

Not a bad deal. With the average rent for a one-bedroom north of $2k, the conversion cost is recouped in less than a year.

Posted by Rick Galbreath on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 2:21 pm

This is a one-time bypass for individual TIC owners, provided they pony up a decent fee. If a landlord owns a three-flat building for example, he owns just that - three flats. Not three individual TICs. There is no TIC agreement in place, no fractional ownership, and no conversion lottery documentation.

So no, it would no simply allow multi-units owned by a single landlord to become condos.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 3:03 pm

I agree with 3:03 above. If you make it easy, real estate developers will start buying apartment buildings en masse and converting them into for-sale condos.

I am in a TIC, one of the first ones (building purchased in 1995). We are all friends, and bought the building together because it was the only way we could afford to buy.

Now, many TICs are originated by real estate developers intent on selling off the units, under the assumption that the buyers will pony up in the lottery line.

By the way, our TIC will be paid off in five years. And at that point, we are thinking of making it an informal co-op. You could sell your unit to somebody else, who would have to take out a loan for the sale. The property tax would never rise (beyond the 1% limit now imposed on homeowners) because it would still be a unit building, like in a TIC.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 3:24 pm

The city of San Francisco has made it a point for many years to limit the number of condo conversions -- for very good reason. Protecting existing rent-controlled housing is, and has to be, a major civic priority. Converting an apartment building into condos reduces the available rental housing stock.

You can't build new rent-controlled housing, because new construction is already exempt from rent control.

And converting apartments into condos is typically very lucrative.

After the city limited condo conversions, people discovered TICs, which can be a way for existing residents to buy their buildings (good for them, but again, turns rental into ownership housing) but has increasingly been a way for speculators and landlords to make money by getting rid of tenants.

The Ellis Act is one way, but often landlords who want to convert decide it's cheaper and easier to threaten Ellis then buy the tenants out; the tenants know they have to leave anyway, why not take some cash? That way the building is never Ellised legally -- but the effect is the same.

Less rent-controlled housing. Tenants forced to leave. Buildings turned into condos.

One of the few remaining checks on the less scrupulous types -- the ones who want to buy, clear out, and resell -- is the difficulty of getting TIC loans. You make it easier to convert to condos and you make it more attractive to eliminate rental housing.

That's why tenant groups have always opposed easing the condo conversion restrictions.

 

 

Posted by tim on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 4:17 pm

Once again, you make sort of a sweeping argument that doesn't address the important specifics.

Lurker's point still stands. Are individual TIC owners who are in the condo conversion lottery more likely to rent out their units than condo owners? Paeticularly when once takes into account the owner occupancy requirements that TIC owners need to meet in order to be eligible for condo conversion? Because the reality is those TIC units will almost never be rented out, where a condo is much more likely to be.

This is a one-time by pass for people already in the lottery. Either you don't understand that, don't understand the specifics around it, or are purposely omitting a key component of this proposal.

Posted by Guest@yahoo.com on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 5:13 pm

amount of rent-controlled housing because TIS'a are already owner occupied. whatever tenants once lived there have long gone, and we're simply telling tIC owners that they should not be trapped into a lousy form of ownership.

I really wish that you actually understood this issue, as your comments are completely misleading, as in your assertion that more condo's means more Ellis Act evictions - again, totally false.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 6:42 pm

Tim, the reason so many TIC owners are so desperate to convert to condos is because a TIC is such a problematic way to hold title to property.

It is not a bad argument to increase housing for middle income, but TICs are so bad they amount merely to a scheme to convert affordable rentals to condos.

TICs are merely a middle step on the way to convert rent control to market rate condo.

TICs don't create ownership opportunities for middle class buyers.

It is important to realize that this argument, that TICs create opportunities for middle income ownership, is false.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 14, 2012 @ 10:28 am

The hardest thing about buying homes in SF is getting started i..e. getting on the lowest rung of the ladder. After a few years, you're earning more, have paid down some of the mortgage and (usually) grown your equity. Then you buy a condo, then a house, then a mansion, well, that's the idea anyway.

There would be no threat to existing rentals if we allowed a decent amount of new construction but the NIMBY's prevent that.

TIC's are far from perfect, I'll agree, but they are better than renting, so we should support the gradual migration from rentals to owner-occupied. And we wouldn't need TIC's except for the bizarre array of lows we have around housing. Allowing an easier path from TIC to condo's won't evict a single tenant, will help thousands of city residents, and will boost city revenues.

It's a no-brainer, especially since Ellis'ed buildings cannot be condo'ed anyway.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 14, 2012 @ 10:53 am

"Then you buy a condo, then a house, then a mansion"

...then you lose it all when the crimes are uncovered.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 14, 2012 @ 12:12 pm

committed in connection with a SF'er buying a TIC and, if so, why haven't you contacted the DA?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 14, 2012 @ 12:21 pm

The tip of the iceberg.

http://moneymorning.com/2012/02/03/robo-signing-is-the-tip-of-the-iceber...

("It turns out the "robo-signing" of foreclosure affidavits is just the tip of the iceberg.")

Posted by Guest on Jun. 14, 2012 @ 12:36 pm
Posted by Guest on Jun. 14, 2012 @ 12:41 pm

Too late. The fix is in.

http://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/blog/bank_notes/2012/03/feds-confir...

(The results of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development investigation were filed Tuesday afternoon as part of a $25 billion mortgage industry settlement struck earlier this year.)

Posted by Guest on Jun. 14, 2012 @ 12:39 pm
Posted by Guest on Jun. 14, 2012 @ 12:48 pm

I thought you said "TIC to Condo to home to Mansion."

That would place TIC as the gateway drug, as it were.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 14, 2012 @ 1:22 pm

Rich people are boring. We do not want San Francisco to be boring. People who can afford to buy a TIC are rich.

Posted by Greg on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 6:51 pm

It must be nice to have a simplistic formula on which you can base your politics.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 13, 2012 @ 10:46 am

D:2 Supervisor Mark Farrell is a willing (corporatist) tool for the establishment, and just as five years ago Ed Lee would surely not have ascended to the Mayor's office, without R C V (which must be r e p e a l e d ! !! !!!), Mark Farrell would simply have remained another American Conservative douchebag walking down California's streets!

How many D:2 Voters know that Mark Farrell has a residence in D:2, which he never, ever resides in? I have numerous sources in the little "enclave" of Jordan Park that willingly report he's never seen, nor witnessed walking about, nor mingling in the neighborhood!

Supervisor Mark Farrell regularly cast votes indicating a hostile disposition toward the residents of D:2 that are not of his "class", and regularly (predominantly) supports anti neighborhood, anti "people" legislation!

How many D:2 voters know that Supervisor Mark Farrell voted to WAIVE the creation of the STANDARD "environmental impact" report in advance of the AT&T U-Verse boxes (Dark Green, various points in D:2) now installed in D:2?

et cetera

Janet Reilly, 2014!!!

\0.0/

Posted by Guestagainstestablishmentsockpuppets on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 7:28 pm

Hasn't really turned out that way now has it?

Interesting that you shill for Janey Reilly - wife of corporatist Clint Reilly and one of the biggest establishment figures around.

Posted by Troll II on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 7:40 pm

Did that ignorant sucker Mark Farrell just call a bottom to the real estate collapse?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 13, 2012 @ 10:22 am

All this really tells me is their TIC clients are finally beginning to wake up to how badly Farell's real estate friends have burned them.

If I were a tIC peddler I'd probably be thinking about leaving town and changing my name, not tryingto pass some hail mary condo lottory.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 13, 2012 @ 11:28 am

Nobody in their right mind would buy them if there were an alternative, but it is the only kind of affordable housing available if you want to buy. We should feel compsassion for those low-income residents who have bought these units and help them by allowing them a path to real ownership rather than fractional ownership.

But owning a TIC is still better than renting. Almost anything is.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 13, 2012 @ 11:39 am

Nobody in their right mind would buy them, PERIOD.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 13, 2012 @ 11:49 am

have gotten yourself a bargain. The problem is the city's restriction on condo conversion and not anything intinsically wrong with shared ownership. In NYSE, co-ops are the usual form of ownership and it's very similar to TIC's.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 13, 2012 @ 12:03 pm

So yay we don't need a condo lottery after all.

" not anything intinsically wrong with shared ownership. In NYSE, co-ops are the usual form of ownership and it's very similar to TIC's."

Posted by Guest on Jun. 13, 2012 @ 12:18 pm