Sunday, December 21, 2008

Rip Van Winkle Fell the Hell Asleep

Some co-workers and I are participating in a beard-growing contest during winter break. When we come back to the office in a few weeks, our beards will be rated on three criteria: 1) Placement, 2) Creativity, and 3) Overall Toughness.

Frankly, I have no idea how we came up with those categories, but there it is.

Now, I'm not a hairy guy to begin with and my beards tend to look patchier than a hobo's trousers, but today as I admired my five days of stubble I wondered what kind of mountain man masterpiece I could create with months to spare instead of weeks.

And as I pondered the benefits of having that kind of leisure time, I stumbled (stubbled?) upon the famously-bearded Rip Van Winkle trying to sell his condo.

Address: 800 E Ocean #805, 90802
Asking Price: $478,900
Year Built: 1928
Size: 1 bed, 1 bath, 839 sq. ft.
$/Sq. Ft.: $571
HOA Fine: $973 (WTF?!)
MLS#: P571509
On Redfin: 617 days
Description: This beautifully appointed condo home features Ocean Views from every room. It has a large living room, dining area, kitchen, foyer, dressing area / home office, and lots of closet space. Floor to ceiling mirrors in the living and dining rooms reflect the exceptional ocean views. The glamorous kitchen includes a gas range and all appliances. The bathroom includes a full tub with shower, pedestal sink, black and white checkerboard square flooring and lots of built-in storage.

Imagine the beard you could grow during 617 days. And imagine how delusional you'd have to be to reduce your WTF asking price only once during that time!

I mean, you have to be awfully deep into REM to believe a pathetic 2.5% price cut in 617 days is reasonable. Seriously, dude, why bother even listing your place? I'm genuinely curious. You obviously have no intention of selling, so what's the point? Unless the realtor slept with your wife, I don't see why you'd put him through this.

It's as if Rip here put it up for sale in April 2007 when the bubble still seemed intact, and fell the hell asleep for the next 20 months. Now he's woken up in 2008 and sees that home values have dropped by nearly 50% in a year, unemployment is at 8.4% and climbing, credit has seized up, lending standards have constricted, we've entered one of the worst economic eras in our country's history...and promptly rolled over and went back to bed.

I really hope he can hear this up on the 8th floor:


In addition to being helmed by a greedtarded seller, the most significant challenge to nabbing a sale is the astounding HOA fine. 973 bones a month?! For a one-bedroom?! In a building perpetually covered in scaffolding? Sweet jumpin' Jesus!

That amount would bring your monthly payment to $3,700. To realistically afford that monthly nut, a buyer's annual income would need to be $137,000. Not to mention the $96,000 down payment (that I'm sure plenty of people have just laying about). Mind you, this is FOR A ONE FREAKIN' BEDROOM APARTMENT!

In addition to nearly $1,000 in HOA fines, it's worth noting this mirrored-mongrel comes with zero kitchen or bathroom upgrades, dreadful community laundry, perpetual building renovation/repair, and two common walls.

Really guy? Only one price reduction? You really need to lower your Ambien dosage.

You readers don't need me to tell you that this apartment is incredibly overpriced. The days on market speak for themselves. Hell, even the Zillow estimate (which are usually wildly optimistic) only values this place at $310,000.

Then you throw in the neighbors asking nearly $100,000 less (or this two-bedroom asking $10,000 less), and it doesn't look good for RVW.

This place is a relic of the insanity, greed, and woefully misguided conventional wisdom of the Great Housing Bubble. Someday we'll all joke about the stragglers left behind who could never quite let go of the fantasy that "real estate always goes up."

Believe me, even years from now as condos are selling at 2001-2002 prices, these true believers will still be out there. Kind of like those Japanese soldiers stuck on remote islands, not realizing (or refusing to believe) that World War II had ended, continuing to fight the war decades after Japan's surrender. To some, denial is more addictive than the best heroin or crack that money can buy.

1 comment:

  1. This building gives me the creeps!! It looks like a place I would walk into and walk right back out of but live in....never!!! And when we have the 'big one', an earthquake over 6.0 near the LB area - look out below......Great post (Ambien -LOL)