Wednesday, April 30, 2008


"You know what's wild? Martin Luther King stood for nonviolence. Now what's Martin Luther King? A street. And I don't give a f**k where you live in America, if you on Martin Luther King Boulevard, there's some violence going down!" --Chris Rock, Stand Up

Address: 935 E Martin Luther King Jr, 90813
Asking Price: $375,000 (reduced from a cool $400,000)
Year Built: 2005
Size: 4 beds, 4 baths, 2092 sq. ft.
$/Sq. Ft.: $179
Purchase price: $620,000
Purchase date: 10/2005
MLS#: R712119
On Redfin: 180 days
Down Payment: $37,500
Monthly Payment: $2,400
Income Requirement: $94,000
Description: Beautiful SFR Close to Downtown Long Beach, it is a 4 beds/3.5 Baths, formal dining room, family room, 1/2 bath downstairs, all bedrooms on the 2nd level, Master & 1 Bedroom have full bathrooms, floors downstairs Tile/Ceramic, Carpet wall to wall upstairs, 2 cars garage, this home was built on 2005, imagine to buy an almost new home with only few minutes to the beach & with the moderm features of today's homes. AS 04/24/2008 the bank is working on the BPO for this property to get the approval for the Short Sale.

"Minutes to the beach"?? Really? Last time I checked this stinky pink here was nearly TWO MILES from the ocean. They must mean "minutes from the beach when driving 60 mph down Atlantic."

By the way, is there anything worse than tile floors in a living room? Maybe it’s just me, but I want some warmth in my primary living area. Tile is cold, uninviting, and reminds me of a bathroom.

Speaking of bathrooms...POOP CHECK!

Phew, we're in the clear. But thanks for the turd's-eye view of the toilets.

Just looking at these pictures, there is nothing “moderm” about this place. The construction and materials look cheap and tragically outdated (just three years later!). I see stucco, cheap windows, crappy bathroom fixtures, and bargain bin kitchen cabinets.

And is this place inhabited by drunken teenagers? What a bunch of filthy slobs! Do you want to sell this place or not? Good luck convincing a buyer that you took great care of this place. They almost seem proud of being slovenly. How else do you explain the failure to provide decent photos despite 180 days on market?

And get a load of that sweet dirt backyard. Yeef.

The pricing history, seemingly comprised of just numbers, actually tells a multi-layered, emotional story of delusion, greed, wishful thinking, despair, and eventually capitulation.

Nov 03, 2007 - $650,000
Nov 25, 2007 - $590,000
Dec 14, 2007 - $550,000
Jan 26, 2008 - $465,777
Feb 28, 2008 - $440,000
Apr 04, 2008 - $400,000
Apr 29, 2008 - $375,000

The new asking price represents a nearly 50% discount from the original asking price in just five months. Moreover, if the seller actually gets their dreamland $375,000 asking price, the total loss after commissions will be an astounding -$245,000.

Yep, you had better believe it.

Almost a quarter of a million dollars in just two and a half years.

This is one of the largest (if not the largest) financial losses ever featured on this site. But hey, it's the bank's money, right?

Now, I would never actively encourage people to walk away from their contractual obligations, but what the hell is this seller waiting for? I don’t see any other solution. Even if the bank agrees to a short sale and eats the $245,000 loss, the seller's credit score is still going to suffer. Is it worth going through the hassle of a short sale just to save a few FICO points? Apparently so.

My advice is to post some decent pictures, drop the price until it's 10% below the other delusional neighbors, and if it sits for another few months just walk. We already know banks aren't too quick on the uptake when it comes to short sales, and don't forget that short sales require someone TO SELL TO. This home is DOOMED.

There's a saying that goes, "A wise man doesn't need advice, and a fool won't take it. "

Judging by the past decisions involved with purchasing, constructing, decorating and maintaining this pig's trough so far, what are the odds that this seller will act wisely?

Fun Fact from Wikipedia:

Did you know that in 2006, Derek Alderman, a cultural geographer at East Carolina University, reported that more than 730 American cities had named a street after King. 70% of these streets were in seven Southern states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Texas. King's home state of Georgia had the most, with 105 streets. Only 11 states in the country did not have a street named after King.

The more you know!


  1. wow. lovely neighborhood!

    i like the old couch on the street in the first picture, and the neighbors falling down fence. and the auto shop one house away.

    i agree about the tiles (at least they are 18" not 12"). is that an asian thing, a tiled living room?

    what do you think, another 240 days? final selling price $200k?


  2. Too funny. Found your blog from Dr. Housing Bubble. Love your style.

    Been looking around the LB area for some time now and judging on the delusional asking prices, guess I'll be waiting a bit longer.

    Keep up the great work. Thanks

  3. FreedomCM,

    HA! Nice call on the fence. I went back through the listing photos again and, shit, about just a LITTLE effort?

    Check out the dining room table with the soda bottles strewn about.

    Or how about the stacks of pots and pans over the particle board kitchen cabinets? Clearly it's a poorly designed kitchen. I love playing Photo Detective. The internet has made it so that a buyer no longer has to see each house they are interested in--they can look at a few photos and decide whether they want to actually schedule a viewing appointment.

    Knowing that, why on God's green earth would these sellers include the worst possible first-impression photos?

    Boggles the mind.

    As far as selling price, yeah in another 240 days I could see $200k happening. Normally I would never guesstimate that low of a price for new(ish) construction on 2000 square feet, but the awful neighborhood makes it very likely.

    By the way, check out this nearby comp:

    They are looking at a $200,000 loss and they're still sitting. Hell, I think I found my next featured property!

  4. Anon,

    I love the Dr. Housing Bubble blog! I was honored to be added to their blogroll.

    Thanks for commenting.

    And as far as waiting for a while longer, the price reduction updates I receive from Redfin have been on a rampage lately. I had 8 price reductions hit my inbox this morning alone. The discounts have been picking up lately, indicating we have a looooooong way to go.

    Some places (in undesirable neighborhoods) are getting there, but reality on LB sellers have yet to make acquaintance.

    Keep checking you wait for the right time to pounce, I'll try my best to keep you entertained in the meantime.

  5. El Bee,
    Same crap is going on in the Lakewood area, where I live now. Absolutely delusional sellers. I know a local RE agent who handles REO stuff almost exclusively who tells me to just hold on. Very cool lady who says the bottom is going to drop out pretty soon. According to her the listing prices are fantasy ad currently any offer within -25% is seriously considered. Even then she said most fail to qualify for a loan. Sanity & CASH while reign within the next two or three years.
    Thanks again for your great site. It's a blast