Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Address: 630 Obispo Ave, 90814
Asking Price: $469,000
Year Built: 1912 (!)
Size: 2 beds, 1 baths, 1,078 sq. ft.
$/Sq. Ft.: $435
(Bank) Purchase price: $414,000
Purchase date: 1/2009
MLS#: S09040830/09-353985
On Redfin: 64 days
Down Payment: $94,000
Monthly Payment: $2,400
Income Requirement: $134,000
Description: Bank owned Detached single family resident with upgraded kitchen with granite counter tops, Maple cabinets and ceramic tile flooring, Sold as is without warranties. Show it any time seller welling to pay buyers closing cost see private remarks for more info.

"Bank owned Detached single family resident"? I knew banks were up to some shady stuff during the bubble, but taking aloof, orphaned housemates as slaves?
For shame!

And why on earth did the (apparently) non-English-speaking realtor decide to take photos on one of the five days it actually rains in Southern California?

Yes, very inviting. Mm hmm. Great thinking.

Question: Is this the filming location of The Ring?


Here is the sales/pricing history for this raggedy soon-to-be Century Club member:

Apr 22, 2003 - Sold $340,000
Apr 18, 2007 - Sold $620,000
Jan 16, 2009 - Sold $414,000
Mar 10, 2009 - Listed $509,000
Apr 09, 2009 - Listed $489,000
May 10, 2009 - Price Changed $469,000

Wow, the 2003 owner made out like a drunk sorority girl when this place sold in 2007. After four years of ownership, the '03 owner walked away with about $250,000 of pure, unadulterated housing bubble gravy. Well done, maestro!

According to property records, the 2007 buyer lasted exactly a year and three months before that $3,700 monthly payment finally put them in the poor house and they defaulted. The good news is they got to live rent-free for six months before they got kicked out. Score!

The bank took it back for $414,000 in January of this year and listed it two months later for a stunning $509,000. Wow, it magically appreciated $47,500 per month between foreclosure and re-list? I love this bank's math! I gotta get me a job there!

The bank has since reduced the price by $40,000, but honestly, what difference does it make? With a plywood front door, nobody's going to so much as look at this shit box until the price is closer to $250,000.

And they know it.

This is a perfect example of banks attempting to wait out the clock so they don't have to mark toxic assets to their true value. They know nobody will buy a foreclosure that looks like a band of vagrants took over and set up poop buckets in the dining room. And they know selling a 100-year-old house, looking the way this one does, "as is" will scare off every buyer who doesn't own a general contracting firm. And they sure as hell know that this home doesn't have an Otter Pop's chance in Hades of selling for $74,000 more than the market value established just four months ago.

And by keeping it "for sale" in perpetuity, they can mark it in the books as an "asset" and as long as it doesn't actually sell they will never have to take a loss (other than the $220,000 haircut booked when they bought the property back at auction). The bank stays solvent, home prices stay artificially inflated, and Long Beach homes remain unaffordable for responsible, hardworking folks.

I love it when a plan comes together!


  1. El Bee,

    Saw in the previous comments that you frequent Tracy's (love the place). Let's set up a El Bee night there for all your followers (and detached single family residents).
    You ARE a celeb, you know.

  2. The word yikes doesn't even sum this property up. My husband and I were in the neighborhood the other day and actually stopped by this house to look in the windows (before we knew what the list price was). You should really take the time to drive by there and see what spectacular photo ops are in there that DIDN'T make the cut with the other photos shown in this listing. There is a HUGE colorful mosaic Samurai above the fireplace. So bizarre, we have never seen anything like it. On the ceiling in the living room it is white, but there are several red asian looking tiles up there. I'm telling you, treat yourself to some "what the fuck" laughs.

    We love your blog by the way. ;)

  3. Anon,

    That was actually Carl that mentioned Tracy's, but I think an RE in the LBC night sounds fun. Then, of course, I would lose my anonymity. Hmmm...

  4. Red She Said,

    Thanks so much for the on-the-street info. I will definitely try to get over there and scope it out for myself.

    Maybe they hired the same decorator as the "Arigato" property in Belmont Shore!

  5. I curiously now have a desire to buy an ATV.

    Damn suggestive power of the blog.

  6. RE in the LBC night at Tracy's? DAMN IT PEOPLE!!! I need to stop going to Tracy's!!! Will there be a blog-signing?

    Ultimate Fries, Wings, French Dip, and 4x Sapphire and Tonics (the reason I won't buy that pad with the "loft") gets expensive!!!!

  7. RE in the LBC....OK, when and where? I'll even buy Carl one of those Sapphire thingies for bringing up Tracy's.
    El Bee, we could all just meet and try to guess which one of us really IS you. Keep your yap shut and anonymity is preserved.

  8. I'm just a new reader of this blog, but I'm already in! Please give a little notice, if we do the "meet and greet" thing!

    El Bee, bring a stun gun, just in case any of these looney realtors happens to show up, and attack you for exposing their ways.

    Otherwise, make sure I'm there first. I'll protect you. =+>

    You schooled me on what the banks are doing, by keeping some of these listings, and not trying to sell them.

    Question, it seems SOME bank-owned listings are motivated to sell, but many others are not. What is the difference between them??

    I have a GREAT rental apartment, on a street with mostly houses, and have been here almost 20 years. My rent and utilities are so low I can't list it, otherwise someone might try to track me down, and ruin it, just because it is so incredible.

    Nevertheless, I'm a potential buyer if I see a condo in a decent area, with a good amount of square footage, and a REAL bargain.

    Otherwise, I'll let this vicious circle continue to swirl and swirl, as it looks like we're headed for another round of the same thing.