Saturday, December 6, 2008

It was Nice Knowing You, $200 Per Square Foot

Address: 837 E. Ocean Unit #??, 90802
Asking Price: $234,500
Size: 2 beds, 1 baths, 1,206 sq. ft. (built in ??)
$/Sq. Ft.: $194
HOA Fee: ??
Purchase price: $389,534
Purchase date: 3/2008
MLS#: 08-333463
On Redfin: 1 day
Down Payment: $47,000
Monthly Payment: $1,500 (assuming $200 HOA)
Income Requirement: $67,000
Description: Bank-owned property in prime Long Beach location move-in condition 2 bdrm, 1 bth with great open floor plan. Kitchen opens to living room and dining area with nice front porch. In heart of downtown only 4 units in charming building.

This listing is utterly useless. We don’t know about the parking situation, air conditioning, HOA fee, how old the building is, the unit number, or whether there are laundry machines in the unit, let alone on the premises.

Thankfully, Redfin comes through with some information that speaks volumes.

Specifically, during the peak of the housing bubble, in late 2006, this condo sold for an astounding $525,000. Incredible. In March of 2008, it went back to the bank for $389,534. After months with no success attracting a buyer, today the bank is begging on the street, tin cup in hand, for a $234,500 miracle.

Thursday’s downtown property was asking $247 per square foot 1.5 miles from the ocean, but this seller is asking below $200 per square for a property 150 yards from the ocean.

Plus, this large condo features a (mildly) upgraded bathroom and kitchen. And after squinting at the pictures, it appears to have nice-looking hardwood floors and new windows (pertinent information you might want to include when trying to sell a property, dumbass).

Mind you, this place is street-level (vagrants and traffic noise, oh boy!), right next to a gas station, and likely doesn’t have parking--but it still must strike fear into the heart of fellow peak buyers. I mean, that’s a 55% price collapse from just two years ago!


Worse, the bank knows it still won’t sell at this price because there is ample evidence of Waving the White Flag. In addition to the piss-poor listing, just check out some of these photos:

Nice effort, dummy. Or do the toy cars you didn't bother to clean up represent being "freeway close"?


  1. Question: Why is your main photo so very different than that which is shown on REDFIN? They don't even look like the same bldg. The REDFIN pix shows it to be right across the street from Villa Rivera and The Pacific, directly next to a Shell Station...terrible location inaddition to a shabby piece of property.

  2. Anon,

    It's a good question, and one only the realtor can answer. Aerial photos confirm the staircase in the rear, so this building is in fact 837 E Ocean.

    But you are correct that the front of the building doesn't match up. My best guess is the realtor included the wrong photo. Shocking, considering how detailed and informative the rest of the listing is.

    I think the facade from the Redfin street view looks nicer--the photo mix up is to the detriment of the bank.

  3. Hi since I don't know how to directly email you thought I'd try this avenue. Anyway, would love to hear your views on the attached high rise condo listings. I've been following this particular site for more than 1 year and I don't see where any of the units have been reduced in price. Not to pick on this Realtor (I won't mention his name) but I know he's also trying to sell units at One 3rd Place, Ocean Blvd which have yet to be built(I believe he's the developer). Can't wait to hear your insightful comments...and please don't leave out the snark as I LOVE IT !

  4. Hi Anon,

    I'm heading out of town again, so I'll do a little research and try to make a full post out of it. An upcoming post features a few properties from one of the buildings.

  5. Anonymous, perhaps you SHOULD pick on him, because he seems to have his addresses mixed up. He refers to One 3rd Place on the site you linked, but I know people who actually LIVE at that address, which was just renovated. Then, his link is to And if you look at Google Maps, there definitely seems to be demolition/construction going on on 4th Place. Sooo, good luck to him if he's trying to sell on 3rd...

  6. Hey Rebecca. I sent an inquiry to Mr.4thPlacecondos re the discrepancy but haven't rec'd a reply... and I bet I never will.
    Meow, Lynn.

  7. Dude, it's morekaos. They just RAISED this ask Did I miss a bottoming in this market? What a set of nuts, huh?

  8. Morekaos,

    HA! It starts to feel like we live in a completely different universe than these sellers, no?

    Damn, and they raised it a lot! Best of luck on that one...

  9. Do you know by chance which bank this property belongs to?

  10. tanselyilmaz,

    I'm sorry, I don't have that information. Perhaps a reader has access to a public records search site?

  11. i actually put in my bit for this condo and they accepted. i feel like i have made a good deal on this one. next week i will proceed with the inspections and hope it will come out positive.

  12. Are you comfortable discussing the details? I hope you got a smokin' deal. We'd definitely like to hear about what it finally closed for.