Monday, September 22, 2008


This "realtor" has a "quotation mark" problem:

Address: 24 3rd Place, 90802
Asking Price: $289,000
Year Built: 1953
Size: 1 bed, 1 bath, 739 sq. ft.
$/Sq. Ft.: $391
HOA Fine: $200
Purchase price: $359,000 (!)
Purchase date: 9/2005
MLS#: S08134941
On Redfin: 3 days
Down Payment: $57,800
Monthly Payment: $2,000
Income Requirement: $72,250
Description: Rare opportunity to buy "on teh beach" condo via a Short Sale. One bedroom (easily fits king size bed) with one bathroom which includes corian counter top. The unit features 739 square feet of living space which feels much larger, entry way, separate dining room, kitchen "With a View", complex laundry room, complex storage room for bikes, blades, beach gear and all else to fit hyour lifestyle. Low monthly HOAs. This unit is not only located "on the beach" but it is also close to "Everything" in Long Beach including Convention Center and Shoreline Village. This is a must see home!

This “old ass” apartment is not in fact “on teh beach” as the description so boldly (falsely) claims. The building is technically “on teh beach,” but there is a considerable “difference” between an “ocean facing” unit and a “street facing” one.

I am actually “warming up” to the idea of living in a 1 bedroom—so long as it has “ocean views.” As far as “investments” go, looking at the sand is a pretty good bet—despite the “proximity premium.” However, this particular place is “severely overpriced” at $289,000. Mostly because it’s “on the street” and “totally unimpressive” with its "lack of upgrades," “horrendous kitchen" and “Tijuana Timber” bathroom cabinetry.

$391 per square foot is "a joke without a punchline" and is indicative of “mental instability.” Again, perhaps you can climb up “on your stove” and crane your neck out the window to enjoy the “kitchen With a View,” but without the ability to actually see the ocean without "scaling your ancient appliances" there is absolutely no way to “justify” this insane asking price.

The agent claims this place will fit “hyour lifestyle,” but my lifestyle doesn’t involve paying $2,000 a month for a place with a “complex laundry room.” I also could not rationalize “buying” this tiny apartment when I could “rent” for nearly “half” that. The “listing” doesn’t “mention” the “parking situation” but the information is conspicuously absent. For a place in a “parking-heavy” area of Long Beach, this seems like an “important” thing to ”mention.”

In addition to the “laundry and parking situations,” I cannot “fathom” paying $202 a month in HOA fines for a place with “no pool” or “gym.”

As you can see, this outdated shoebox was “purchased” for $359,000 near the “peak” of the “housing bubble”—making a sale of this lint trap a “losing proposition” to the tune of -$69,000 plus commissions in just “three years.” That “represents” a 25% "haircut" from the 2005 price. That’s “gotta hurt.”

And of course that is “assuming” the bank “approves” the short sale. As we know by now, short sales are a “complete waste of time” and I’m not “holding my breath.”

You will also “notice” that this dust bin was "purchased" for less than $100,000 just “eight years ago.” I nearly “shit myself” when I saw that 31.9% annual appreciation figure. “Housing bubble,” anyone?

Dec 20, 1996 - $50,000
Dec 28, 2000 - $98,500 (18.4%/yr appreciation)
Sep 01, 2005 - $359,000 (31.9%/yr appreciation)

If we are “extremely generous” and calculate a 4% “appreciation rate” since 2000, “present value” is $134,804. That “price” is consistent with “fundamentals” such as “local incomes” and “rental parity.”

The “good news” is that within the first three days on the market, the price has been “slashed” by -$20,000, indicating an acknowledgement that this place is “doomed” anywhere near its current asking price. Keep dropping this aggressively, idiots, and you "might" just snag a rube “flush with cash.”

But given the “recent economic woes" don’t “quote me on that.”


  1. El bee,

    What do you do in the real world? Your commentary is consistently some of the "funniest shit" I've seen.

  2. The secret is out: I'm a realtor.

    Ah, just kidding. The ability to spell and punctuate was a dead giveaway.

    Not to be coy, but I'd rather not say what I currently do for a living. It has nothing to do with buying and selling used houses. I spent years in the entertainment industry and always thought I'd be writing in some capacity, and here I am.

    However, if you would have told me a few years back that my creative writing outlet would be a real estate blog, I'd have told you you needed a psychiatric evaluation.

    Thanks for the compliments and thanks for reading!

  3. El Bee,

    I recently saw a link to your blog via the irvinehousingblog. I must say, your style of writing is very enjoyable.

    I've made it a habit to come to work, log on your page, and read the daily updates. Keep up the good work!

    -Anonymous in Cerritos.

  4. Anon in Cerritos,

    Well, I'm sure glad you found the blog! Irvine Housing Blog served as the primary inspiration for this blog, and FreedomCM was kind enough to give a shout out in the (excellent) IHB forums.

    Just knowing there are readers enjoying the posts (and hopefully gaining some perspective) keeps me going.

    Stick around...the crash is just getting warmed up.

  5. This post=brilliant. Seriously, this is, like, the best RE blog out there. And I used to live on Ocean Blvd. so it's extra fun for me to read about the old neighborhood. AND I have always had a disdain for Realtards--thanks for adding fuel to the fire, just for kicks and giggles.

  6. Now I'm blushing.

    Alright mom, you can stop posting anonymous compliments on my blog.

    I truly appreciate the kind words, and just know that it bothers me to no end that I can't put out posts every single day. Just no way to pull it off currently. My goal is to prioritize quality of analysis over quantity of posts.

    Thanks for visiting and please spread the word--there still are many who desperately need exposure to the truth.