Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Glass House

There's a scene in Die Hard when Hans Gruber, after noticing during his first encounter with John McClane that our erstwhile hero was barefoot, orders his henchmen to "Shoot zee glass." Hans knew if the bullets couldn't stop the gruff New York cop then the glass certainly couldn't, but he was fully aware that at the very least, it would make Officer McClane's life miserable should he manage to avoid being riddled with hot lead.

John makes it out alive, but as Hans calculatingly predicted, McClane's feet became so plugged with jagged shards of glass that he was unable to walk on his profusely bleeding feet. He drags himself into a Nakatomi Towers bathroom and, much to the audience's gut-wrenching horror, begins slowly pulling out huge chunks of glass as he winces from the incredible pain. Brutal.

I bring this up because pulling postage stamp-sized shards of glass out of your flesh reminds me of what it must be like trying to sell this house:

Jul 07, 2008 - Listed $3,875,000
Aug 27, 2008 - Price Changed $3,699,999
Sep 05, 2008 - Price Changed $3,499,999
Dec 10, 2008 - Price Changed $3,199,999
Dec 29, 2008 - Price Changed $3,100,000
Jan 06, 2009 - Price Changed $2,999,000
Jan 17, 2009 - Price Changed $999,000

Says Eddie of Long Beach (by the way, RE in the LBC readers are on fire lately with the good tips!):

Have you seen this?


My wife and I walk our dog by this place and we've watched it go from a construction site, to an open house with 2 signs out front, then an open house with 12! signs out front, to this, a major haircut.

Of course, its not likely to be approved as a short sale but talk about a desperate seller.

I too, used to drive, walk, and ride by this house frequently last summer and once the construction was finally finished, I was always tempted to pop into the open house to ascertain why nobody was interested. When I looked it up online, it didn't take me long to figure it out: A certifiably-WTF price of $3,700,000.

Well, after slowly, excruciatingly pulling out a shard of glass every few months, the pain became overwhelming and just this month the seller decided on amputation rather than the gradual bloodletting of the last five months.

Here's a quick look at the numbers:

Address: 2401 E Ocean Blvd, 90803
Asking Price: $999,000
Size: 6 beds, 6 baths, 5,000 sq. ft. (built in 2008)
$/Sq. Ft.: $200
MLS#: P670402
On Redfin: 197 days
Down Payment: $199,800
Monthly Payment: $5,400
Income Requirement: $285,000
Description: SUBJECT TO BANK APPROVAL - ALL BIDS DUE BY 2-22-09 - All Bidders will receive 'best and final counter'. Custom built home w/Guest House just finished in 2008, W/Certificate of Occupancy; Spectacular Ocean Views located in Belmont Shore across from the Long Beach Museum of Art. butlers pantry, formal dining room & formal living room w/Ocean Views, master suite w/private terrace & Ocean Views. Guest House too! Wrapping up the circular Turret is a dramatic long spiral staircase leading to the second level. Finest Marble & Brazilian Cherry Wood floors, spectacular foyer, Marble fireplace in the living room, Marble through out the Great Room, Spanish Terracotta back patio & front entrance, all open up to large oversized French doors, ELEVATOR & 4 CAR GARAGE. If this home is in your price range, you do not want to miss it! PS: VIKING STAINLESS APPLIANCES not in sale, buy frm SELLER. + extra Dishwasher Drawer, SUB ZERO Refrigerator.

What a disaster. This flipper probably thought he was pretty clever buying this ocean-front property at the peak and constructing a luxury villa. Blinded by dollar signs.

He tore down the existing house, used primo materials, included luxury touches like Viking appliances, a home theater, and a FREAKING ELEVATOR...and then got stuck on the wrong side of the worst housing implosion in the history of the world.

And as he runs for the door of this shattered glass house, the shards are pushed deeper and deeper into his sole.

And hence the Hail Mary asking price of $999,000. Now, whether that price is a ruse to create a bidding war (which is likely, and even more likely to work), it still reeks of panic and fear.

By the way, that "Ocean View" is partially obstructed by the Long Beach Museum of Art across the street. If you see the property in person you'll truly appreciate the masterful crop job on this photo:

Well, I wish them luck with the short sale. For no other reason than I will no longer have to look at those hideous realtor signs and Open House banners when I drive by.

And if the bank doesn't approve this price, just tell 'em: [NSFW video]


  1. I always thought Hans Gruber was the best of all the Die Hard villains.

  2. See, this story proves you don’t understand the intoxicating allure of SoCal RE.

    I have it on good authority that the bogus $990K price has sent rich, overseas "investors" into a frenzy. As we speak, the private jets of fabulously wealthy asian industrialists and Russian oil tsars are converging on da LBC. Imagine the Louvre deciding to auction the Mona Lisa. That’s the kind of bidding war we will witness.

    Just wait...

  3. Isn't the other argument against these new home remodels that the workmanship is not the highest quality? Thus, why would you pay a premium.

    One more thing, Ocean is a heavy traffic street. In the mornings people are doing 50+.

    For this kind of money, supposing you get a bidding war, why wouldn't you go for Venice or Sunset Park in Santa Monica. True, the house won't be as nice, but you will be in a more happening area.

  4. Eddie of Long BeachThursday, January 29, 2009

    Hey El Bee,

    got 6.5M?



  5. http://losangeles.craigslist.org/lgb/reb/1010744088.html

  6. Back to 1.8 mil. That lasted long...NOT!!

  7. Eddie of Long BeachThursday, February 12, 2009

    There's some listing price tinkering going on:

    Feb 11, 2009 Price Changed $1,950,000
    Jan 31, 2009 Price Changed $1,850,000
    Jan 17, 2009 Price Changed $999,000
    Jan 06, 2009 Price Changed $2,999,000

    I wonder if the bids they're getting in auction are way lower than they like..thus they're bumping up the "minimum". But, its a bit odd to bother with a 100k increment...

  8. Especially with a 100k INCREASE!

    Clearly we're dealing with nutters. They are going to get crushed.