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149 Mangels, the $524,000 “dump” that slid away…no fault of the property.

The money Realtor quote, “We just sold this dump for $125,000 over asking price! Imagine what your property is worth!” That dump was “built in 1909 and completed in 1910 for $750”, came on the market for $400,000 (memory tells me it was actually $399k), and sold for $524,500.


In case you missed the article regarding 149 Mangels (that dump), the do-it-yourself foundation replacement that recently went a little…downhill, we thought we’d take this opportunity to again remind you of the importance of hiring qualified professionals to do your foundation work, but only you can make sure all the disclosures are read in detail.



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12 thoughts on “149 Mangels, the $524,000 “dump” that slid away…no fault of the property.”

  • jesus houston

    July 3, 2007 at 9:06 am

    Perhaps the buyer’s agent could have explained the disclosures to the buyer.

  • anon

    July 3, 2007 at 10:25 am

    I would hope the buyer’s agent did something along the lines of making the buyer sign a complete waiver releasing them from any and all liability.

  • thefrontsteps

    July 3, 2007 at 10:34 am

    It is not fair to point the finger at the buyer’s agent in this situation. Doing foundation work on your own, after the purchase was final, has nothing to do with the agent.

  • tipjar

    July 3, 2007 at 10:35 am

    Here’s your disclosure…probate sale,

  • sb

    July 3, 2007 at 11:18 am

    I’m sure it was abundantly clear that the buyer was in way over her head.

    Can you clarify your position Alex? It sounds like you’re happy that the buyer’s agent encouraged her client to bid $125,000 over asking on a dump that’s way beyond her means, then took the commission and disappeared. Er, why do we hire Realtors again?

  • thefrontsteps

    July 3, 2007 at 11:38 am

    No, no, no. That’s not what I’m saying at all. This is horrible what has happened here. I want to make that clear. I’m just pointing out the marketing that went out after the home sold, and now the house has fallen down. Not cool. That marketing, I believe, was actually from the selling agent.

    Again, defending the agent (don’t know why I’m doing this), there were many multiples of offers, so if these buyers hadn’t paid that, someone else probably would have. I don’t have time to check the records, but I believe that sale was “subject to court confirmation”, which means it was not necessarily the agent encouraging the price, rather the court…auction style.

  • eddy

    July 3, 2007 at 3:54 pm

    The lot is probably worth more vacant than with the $750 structure that previously occupied the lot. Just hope the guy either had taken some insurance out on the project or has the cash / finances to build something there. I’d be surprised if a developer hasn’t contacted them to co-finance a project there. Spend 3-350 psf and sell for 700+ psf

  • anone

    July 4, 2007 at 10:11 pm

    One can only hope the owners were smart enough, but assuming they tried to do their own foundation work, I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t have a plan “B” should the house fall down.

  • sb

    July 5, 2007 at 9:58 am

    Alex, how can you possibly claim that it’s not fair to point the finger at the buyer’s agent? (along with the buyer and her shade-tree foundation mechanic of course!) If Realtors really want to be worth their generous commissions, don’t you think you need to take more responsibility for your clients?

    I look at great swaths of the Central Valley dumping more than 50% of their income into neg-am loans and I’m just dismayed… If I walk into any doctor’s office and offer $50,000 to amputate my good arm, I’ll get shown the door every time. Doctors are required by law to ensure the good their patients and carry malpractice to help out in the event of a mistake. But if I go into a Realtor’s office and offer $10,000 commission to help me take on an absolutely unmaintainable debt load, I’ll have no trouble finding an agent to help me out. In fact, I’ll probably be encouraged to do it! The interest of the buyer’s agent are clearly NOT aligned with the interests of the buyer.

    Maybe I’m alone here… Isn’t this is a clear sign of a problem? Can something be done?

  • thefrontsteps

    July 5, 2007 at 10:24 am


    We do not know what the buyer’s agent may or may not have counseled these buyers on, so you can’t point the finger. Once the deal is done, the buyer becomes the owner, and the Realtor really is most often out of the equation.

    Using your same example, that’s like you walking into the doctor’s office, wanting your arm off, the doctor says no, you go cut it off yourself once you walk out the door, keep the $50,000 in your pocket, and go back and sue the doctor. The buyer’s agent may have told them “absolutely not, you can’t replace the foundation yourself.” We simply don’t know. So you cannot, under this circumtance point the finger at the agent. No way!

    But if the agent said, “Yes, you can replace the foundation yourself, with the help of shade-tree foundation, just get the house,” then by all means point the finger at the agent.

    The issue in this discussion is not the debt, or getting someone in a home over their heads. It’s that it appears the owners decided to do some work on their own without the help of a professional. And we don’t even know the facts.

    Can something be done? Yes…find a different agent. There are close to 4000 licensed agents in San Francisco, surely you can find one that will represent your best interests. I know many that would.

  • duggo

    July 16, 2007 at 3:14 pm

    Realtors would be smart to start adding this type of comment to their clients”

    “…NO, I would not advise you to repair/re-build the foundation (kitchen, bath, deck, etc.) yourself. Hire a qualified professional such as a licensed architect or licensed contractor…and just do it right.”

    “oh, and yea, ALWAYS get the proper building permits.

    The neighbors are much happier that way, and so is the city. When you try to cut corners, you will always lose.

  • kenny

    July 16, 2007 at 3:25 pm

    I was in that property with my business partner and a contractor. Wow. You want to talk about odd. The sub-space was very creepy and like something out of a movie. Shriveled up pictures of animal photos, an ancient Raggedy Ann doll or equivalent. This was accessed through a trap door, down to the dungeon like space behind the garage, and there was little light. I’ve been in some fixers, but man, this one was out of control.

    And I’m sorry, but anybody in their right mind would have hired a contractor. The whole back portion was falling down the hill. I actually advised a highly skilled carpenter client to pass on it …. too much work.


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