Friday, July 31, 2009

That's a Helluva Sales Strategy You've Got There: UPDATE II

The status was "Active" and changed to "Contingent"

No View and No Clue

We're surrounded by idiots. I'm convinced.

1500 E Ocean Blvd #512, 90802
Price: $625,000
Beds: 3
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 1,455
$/Sq. Ft.: $430
HOA: $473
Year Built: 2000
Down Payment: $125,000
Monthly Payment: $3,800
Income Requirement: $180,000
On Redfin: 2 years, 4 months (listing says 52 days)
Description: The condo and the complex are instantly appealling... The condo is light and bright with wonderful ocean breezes coming from 2 balconies. Beautiful walnut wood floors and newer carpet in the bedrooms. The complex has direct beach access, 2 side by side parking spaces, pool, spa, clubhouse, gym plus incredible sundeck overlooking the Ocean and Queen Mary. Partial Ocean Views. Pet Friendly!!

"Appealling"? More like "failling."

Isn't it strange seeing cheap-ass white kitchen tiles in a place built so recently?

That's some bush league builder-grade shit right there. And to have the ovaries to ask $430 per square foot for that? Wow.

Want to see the anatomy of a bubble? I thought you might.

Jun 28, 2006 - Sold $845,000 (+10.4%/yr)
Jul 28, 2004 - Sold $699,000 (+27.5%/yr)
Mar 27, 2003 - Sold $505,000

Amazing. The 2003 seller is my hero, banking more than $150,000 in just 16 months!

And the 2004 buyer held for two years of pure bubble enjoyment then skipped town with $95,000 in profit and avoided the vicious devastation of the next few years.

Shrewd, my brotha. Shrewd.

Our seller wasn't so lucky. She paid uncomfortably close to a million dollars for this meh-partment right at the peak of the bubble. It only took her a year before she either tried to make her flipping dreams come true or saw the writing on the Excel sheet and put it on the market.

And its been sitting, collecting cobwebs ever since.

This apartment, with no ocean view (oh, it has a "partial" view? Prove it), has been for sale since Spring 2007! That's right, folks. As much as I love Redfin, it takes some digging to discover how long many Long Beach properties have TRULY been languishing on the MLS. If not for the little delist/relist game that realtors like to play, you might actually believe it's a somewhat healthy market out there.

It's not.

One look at this psilocybin-fueled song and dance reveals why:

Jul 28, 2009 - Price Changed $625,000
Jul 28, 2009 - Relisted
Jun 07, 2009 - Listed
Apr 20, 2009 - Delisted
Apr 19, 2009 - Relisted
Apr 18, 2009 - Delisted
Mar 12, 2009 - Listed
Jan 02, 2009 - Delisted
Dec 21, 2008 - Price Changed
Dec 12, 2008 - Relisted
Dec 11, 2008 - Delisted
Nov 04, 2008 - Price Changed
Sep 30, 2008 - Price Changed
Sep 03, 2008 - Listed
Aug 06, 2008 - Delisted
Jul 09, 2008 - Price Changed
Mar 27, 2008 - Price Changed
Feb 28, 2008 - Price Changed
Jan 29, 2008 - Price Changed
Oct 08, 2007 - Price Changed
Sep 05, 2007 - Listed
Aug 24, 2007 - Delisted
Aug 01, 2007 - Price Changed
Jul 08, 2007 - Price Changed
Jun 21, 2007 - Price Changed
Jun 18, 2007 - Price Changed
Jun 14, 2007 - Price Changed
May 13, 2007 - Price Changed
Apr 02, 2007 - Listed

For every seller who prices reasonably and finds a buyer within days, there must be 200 greedtarded a-holes like this out there gumming up the system.

The funniest part is just a few days ago the condo was "Contingent" at $557,750, but it suddenly became "Active" again--this time with a nearly 15% price increase! LOL! Let me get this straight: After years of begging on the MLS you finally find a miracle buyer--who promptly falls out of escrow. So to lure new Greater Fools you jack up the price? Yeah, now they'll really be ringing the buzzer nonstop trying to make an offer.

Outstanding, ma'am. Outstanding.

And part of the reason it's been hopelessly adrift for so long can surely be attributed to the short sale status. I have no idea how long it's been a SS (I'll bet you anything that in 2007 this dingbat listed for a WTF price to cover commissions and walk with some "much-deserved" bubble profits. Call it a hunch. Then the market chasing began, and with every price cut the gnawing fear that this would not only be a short sale, but a catastrophic squat sale, set in a little deeper), but it's reasonable to assume lender bungling has caused some significant delays.

And just how squat is this squat sale? Assuming the bank approves $625,000 (not likely, considering $557,750 didn't stick) and they find someone dumb fucking stupid enough to pay that and the $430 monthly HOA fine (about as likely as GM selling a flying station wagon this September), the loss will be in the neighborhood of -$257,500.

Um. Ouch.

And, boy, I hope that unicorn-riding buyer doesn't figure out that the last 3-bedroom to sell in this building went for $459,300 four months ago.

Anyhow, the point of this post is, lest you think logic and reasonable pricing is returning to Long Beach en mass, there is strong evidence that delusual (delusional + "the usual") thinking is alive and kicking. Let's hope its days are numbered.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

No Quit on Mariquita: UPDATE

The seller of this pestilent dust bunny sanctuary is still begrudgingly chasing the market down, wringing his sweaty, greedy hands in anticipation of some brain-damaged clod happening by with a wheelbarrow full of cash.

And today is the latest installment of Too Little Too Late:

The list price was "$519,999" and changed to "$495,000"

Allow me to put this recent price reduction into perspective:

Jul 29, 2009 - Price Changed $495,000
Jul 13, 2009 - Relisted
Jul 01, 2009 - Delisted
May 07, 2009 - Relisted
May 05, 2009 - Delisted
Apr 19, 2009 - Price Changed $519,999
Feb 02, 2009 - Price Changed $529,999
Jul 28, 2008 - Price Changed $575,000
May 19, 2008 - Price Changed $600,000
Feb 25, 2008 - Listed $625,000

For those keeping score at home, the most recent price reduction on this Fixer (and for the realtor to not call it one is incredibly misleading) brings the total to $130,000 in bottom-chasing asininity. Mind you, it took a year and a half to get to the price they should have started with in 2008.

And if the seller thinks $495,000 is going to move this double-lot disaster, take another Ambien because you're fucking dreaming.

See you in another year and a half, Gomer.

Bridgeport Bungle

4743 E 4th St, 90814
Price: $379,485
Beds: 2
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 1,206
$/Sq. Ft.: $315
HOA Fee: $390
Year Built: 1983
On Redfin: 748 days! (listing says 64)
Down Payment: $76,000
Monthly Payment: $2,400
Income Requirement: $108,000
Description: Fell Out Of Escrow Not REO Or Short Sale. This has it All. Located in Prime Highly Desirable and Rarely Available Belmont Heights Bridgeport Complex. Clean, Light & Private Condominium with Cathedral Ceilings in approx 1,206 Square feet. Beautiful 2 bedroom or 1 bedroom & Office, 2 bath condominium. Kitchen has new granite like counters, Comes with Refrigerator and Brand New Washer & Dryer in Full Size Laundry Room. Beautiful Hardwood Floor Entry. Gas/Wood Fireplace. Large Master Bedroom Lots of Closet Space. Bright & Airy Formal Dining Room and Breakfast Area. Delightful Treetop View Balcony Features Two Side x Side parking plus storage. Community Pool & Spa newly resurfaced. 3 Year New Roof, Guest Parking. Steps to the Lagoon and less then a mile to 2 Golf Courses, Starbucks and trendy 2nd Street, 1.1 mile to Ocean. Bridgeport Units have sold in 2008 for as high as $344.72 per square foot this unit is being offered for as low as $314.66 per square foot, a $36,252.00 Saving.

According to the realtor, "Bridgeport Units have sold in 2008 for as high as $344.72 per square foot."


Lady, you just cited sales from 2008! Are you out of your six-percenting mind? So much equity destruction has occurred since '08 you might as well have referenced prices in 2028 to make your case about what a "deal" this is. That comparison would have been just as relevant.

And if all that random Title Case didn't give your eyes a proper work out, it gets worse. To wit: "Granite like counters."

What the fuck are "granite like counters"? Makes about as much sense as a "Bentley-like Kia" or an "Air conditioning-like ceiling fan." Either it's granite or it's not, you fool.

And I love this oddly defensive line: "Fell Out Of Escrow Not REO Or Short Sale."

That's like a buddy saying to you, "Yeah, dudes, she technically broke up with me but I was totally going to do it anyway. Yep, I'm completely fine--no, better than fine! I can't wait to get out there, and, you know, bangbangbang! Right? All the time, man. I just, uh, I...*whimper*'s uh, *sob*'s totally...*sob*...her loss, man."

This apartment has been listed since July 2007(!) and the seller (and the not-doing-their-client-any-favors realtor) still don't get it. And neither does this knob a few doors down with the House of Horrors kitchen--also on the market since two summers ago.

And speaking of two summers ago, would you mind explaining how the fuck you remain on the market for so long yet fail to put up a single picture of the interior? That's some quality realtorin'!

Ugh, what a disgrace.

And the last few posts on the Long Beach Housing Blog were so positive! And all it took was one delusual idiot to ruin everything.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

LA TIMES: Study offers 5 options to reshape Long Beach’s breakwater

City leaders hope to persuade the Army Corps of Engineers to reconfigure the World War II-era structure. The result, they hope, will be cleaner water, bigger waves and more tourists.

By Louis Sahagun, July 24, 2009

Just off downtown Long Beach, where freighters queue up to unload much of the nation’s imported goods, a long wall of rock rises from the waves, encrusted with mussels and crawling with crabs.


Today, nearly two decades after the Navy and its ships pulled out of the area, critics contend that the stony barricade is the reason the city's now surf-less beaches are among the least popular and most polluted in the region.

Long Beach officials Thursday released the results of a study designed to attract congressional support for a controversial proposal to reconfigure the breakwater to create bigger waves, cleaner water and beaches, and more surf tourism.

The city could gain $52 million a year in local spending -- and $7 million annually in taxes and fees, the study found.

Officials said the project will be carried out only if it can overcome daunting challenges. Major concerns include how altering the breakwater would affect navigation into the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, and the offshore loading of weaponry onto Navy ships.


Supporters of the proposal said the change would revive the city’s historic seaside allure.

U.S. Rep. Laura Richardson (D-Long Beach) said it was her “hope and goal” to see the project completed within a decade.

“All the pieces are coming together,” she said. “We are excited about the prospect of returning waves to Long Beach, but also committed to ensuring that any such project protects homes and the economic vitality of the largest port complex in the United States.

“If it is determined that we can do those two things and return the waves,” she said, “then let the waters roll. We’re ready.”

Ed Hendricks, 84, vice chairman of Long Beach Surfrider, an environmental group, agreed.

“But in the meantime, we have a big dead sea out there behind the breakwater that’s so dirty I wouldn’t stick a toe in it,” he said.


Complete removal of the breakwater is not recommended in the study. Instead, it offers five options, including three that would reconfigure the breakwater. They range in cost from about $10 million to $310 million…


Given the numerous competing pros and cons, there's a reason this issue has been so hotly contested for so unbelievably long.

However, my viewpoint is that Long Beach becoming a "surf town" carries positives that more than outweigh the potential downsides. Thoughts?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

That's a Helluva Sales Strategy You've Got There: UPDATE

This Maersk shipping container with windows is all over the place:

Jul 26, 2009 - Price Increased $426,000
Jul 25, 2009 - Price Decreased $399,000
Jul 20, 2009 - Relisted
Jul 01, 2009 - Price Increased $426,000
Jul 01, 2009 - Relisted
May 14, 2009 - Relisted
May 13, 2009 - Delisted
May 11, 2009 - Listed $399,000
Jun 09, 2008 - Delisted
Jun 01, 2008 - Relisted
May 27, 2008 - Delisted
Apr 07, 2008 - Price Changed
Feb 12, 2008 - Listed

What a weirdo.

Psst. Here's a helpful hint: If you've dropped the price by $27,000 and still nobody's interested...keep dropping the price. This may sound strange, but buyers respond to good deals--not abject rip offs. I know! Sounds crazy! But it's no crazier than your current non-sensical, disturbingly erratic pricing strategy.

A poem from this seller:

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
I'm a schizophrenic,
And so am I.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Hands Off, Chief!

1187 E 3rd St #202, 90802
Price: $229,900
Beds: 2
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 1,056
$/Sq. Ft.: $218
HOA: $235
Year Built: 1969
MLS#: P694073
Status: Backup Offers Accepted
On Redfin: 21 days
Down Payment: $46,000
Monthly Payment: $1,500
Income Requirement: $66,000

Abysmal furniture, big flat-screen TV. That's the distressed seller's calling card.

According to the listing description, this swingin' sixties short sale just went pending. Assuming the bank lets it go for the current asking price of $229,900, the loss with commissions will be somewhere in the -$154,000 range.

How's about a paper cut from a manila envelope right across your eyeball? Yowch!

Can you believe that just two short years ago the bank valued this same apartment at $370,000? That is some serious equity destruction!

The good news is the new buyer got himself a pretty sweet little pad with two balconies for a song. And if the downsides of downtown (or community laundry, ugh) ever get to him, he can always turn it into a cashflow positive rental. Nice work, buddy!

And the incredibly low price is probably why the photo quality is so craptastic--the agent knew it would go quickly so why put in the time?

Here's something amusing: Listing Price Excludes MICROWAVE

You mean to tell me the seller took the time to specifically instruct their realtor to put that in the listing and make it ABSOLUTELY CLEAR to potential buyers that the clock that occassionally cooks shit is OFF FUCKING LIMITS.

Really? That must be one special microwave.

Anyhow, here is yet another two-bed, two-bath upgraded Long Beach apartment (allegedly) selling in the low-200s per square foot. And this one is just blocks from the beach!

Whatever the hell is going on in the LBC these days, I like what I'm seeing.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Too Good to be True?

3600 E 4th St #202, 90814
Price: $282,596
Beds: 2
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 1,320
$/Sq. Ft.: $214
Lot Size: 892 Sq. Ft.
HOA: $259
Year Built: 1985
Purchase Price: $440,413 (this is the bank taking it back--and taking it in the shorts assuming it sells at this price!)
Purchase Date: 5/2009
MLS#: P696443
On Redfin: 3 days
Down Payment: $57,000
Monthly Payment: $1,800
Income Requirement: $81,000
Description: Bank Owned. Prime Belmont Heights Location. This is a large, 1320 sq ft, 2 bed/2 bath remodeled unit with w/d hook-ups in unit. Perfectly located to shopping, dinning and the beach.


This REO will likely be gone by the time I post it, but it's worth highlighting because, well, I think it's a good buy at this price. If this was a somewhat stable market and I wasn't convinced this thing would get bid up to well over $300,000, I'd put an offer in TONIGHT.

First, this place is enormous. 1,300+ square feet is palatial compared to most Long Beach apartments.

Second, the building was constructed in the mid-80s--not an easy find in LB where houses from the 20s and apartment buildings from the 50s and 60s are commonplace.

Third, at $214 per square foot, the bank is asking a 2002-equivalent price--making this the cheapest condo in the area by a long shot.

Fourth, this pad, although not that impressive, sure looks a helluva lot nicer than most apartments I've peeped recently.

Fifth, the PITI would likely be within a few hundred bucks of the rental rate, meaning when you factor in the tax benefit it might actually be slightly cheaper to own than rent!

Sixth, this is a desirable neighborhood (location, as it relates to 4th Street and the gas station across the street, not so much, but the area is good and will retain value).

Question: Is this a one-time REO fluke that "doesn't count," or is this a glimpse into the future of Long Beach real estate, where spacious, top-floor, mildly-upgraded condos sell for the low-200s per square foot?

Friday, July 24, 2009


On the Irvine Housing Blog Forums our friend Morekaos pointed out that this Asian-inspired eyeball seizure has yet again dropped the price in its seemingly never-ending sales attempt.

The price was reduced $100,000 to $1,875,000.

By the way this marks the seventh post on RE in the LBC and the 709th day on the market.

This is getting to be regoddamndiculous.

However, it appears the realtor is finally getting serious. No, not because of that hilariously pointless 5% price reduction. You see, he added this sweet video website:

Given the eternity on the market, I think the website should be but I digress.

I wonder how much loot they blew on that useless exercise. To paraphrase Jim the Realtor, you can play grab ass all you want with these bullshit videos and expensive "outside the box" marketing ideas, but if you're TRULY interested in selling, there's nothing price can't fix.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Foolhardy Financing, Foreclosure, FAIL

1317 Ximeno Ave, CA 90804
Asking Price: $462,000
Beds: 3
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 2,017
$/Sq. Ft.: $229
Year Built: 1955
Purchase price: $698,000
Purchase date: 5/2005
MLS#: P650732
Down Payment: $92,400
Monthly Payment: $2,600
Income Requirement: $132,000
Days on Market: 349 days
Description: One of the nicest home in the neighborhood. Must see interior to appreciate. Conveniently located close to schools, shops, restaurants and freeways. Gourmet kitchen with granite counters, center island and newer appliances. Entire home is wired for Audio, TV and computer network with Cat 5. Audio system in Living room, kitchen, master suite and outside by family room in private yard. Private yard with fountain near the front of home. Walking distant to Wilson High School. Short Sale. All terms are subject to lender's approval. All information deemed reliable but buyers should verify all information. Please see agent's remarks for showing instructions.

Dang, a 2,000 square footer with tons of upgrade goodies for only $229 per square? Why so long on the market?

Answer: Sweet house, shitty location.

As discussed previously, when realtors exhort the importance of "Location, Location, Location" they're not being needlessly repetitive--in my opinion there are in fact three different "Locations" when it comes to buying property:

Location #1 - Neighborhood.

Location #2 - Positioning within the neighborhood (waterfront, cul-de-sac, interior location).

Location #3 - Proximity to external infrastructure elements (under a flight path or power lines, behind train tracks, a freeway, or NHRA drag strip).

Sadly, this seller failed on all three counts.

Location #1 - For what he paid, this is not a good neighborhood. One drive down this street and you'll quickly see what I mean. He committed the cardinal sin of real estate investing by overpaying for "one of the nicest home [SIC] in the neighborhood."

Location #2 - It's barely "within" the neighborhood--it offers no interior protection and is directly on top of a busy, fast-moving street. Gooooooooooooooooooooooood luck backing out of your driveway each morning.

Location #3 - It's right behind a Subway and some other dingy stores and across the street from a mechanic (to be fair, Tommy's is right around the corner. Effin' delicious).

Peep the overhead map and you'll quickly see why for 349 days this seller has been mewling, begging, pleading for a buyer despite a seemingly attractive price.

Assuming the current asking price of $462,000 has a remote chance of being accepted by the lender, the loss on this property will be -$263,000 including commissions. Man, after just four years of ownership.

Remeber that scene in The Bourne Identity when in the middle of a fight in a home office, Jason Bourne uses a ball-point pen as an improvised weapon and jams it into the assassin's fist?

Yeah. That's probably how -$263,000 feels.

Again, that's assuming the bank gets off its ass and approves the short sale at that price before the (already initiated) foreclosure process is complete.

But we all know that won't happen and the bank will end up taking this thing back at auction. And after more delays, stall tactics, and assorted dumbfuckery, it will eventually make its REO debut on the market for a much lower price. In a much worse market.

And it will STILL be in the same sub-par neighborhood, right on a busy street, surrounded by a mad plethora loud, dirty businesses.

I have a theory that some houses can ONLY sell in a bubble. But in a normal, or (especially a) declining market, these same properties possess little chance of selling for anything but a deeply discounted price (especially one like this that is highly unlikely to find another fool dumb enough to buy "one of the nicest home" in this 'hood. By the way, bragging about having the nicest house in this neighborhood is kind of like saying, "My grandpa had the biggest load in his diaper out of the WHOLE nursing home!" Really nothing to be proud of).

This "Three Ls of Real Estate" flunkard probably already mailed that key-filled envelope back to the bank, but don't count on the lender rushing to complete the foreclosure process and take these massive losses onto its books. It could be another year before it gets its shit together and finally unloads it--for a much, much lower price.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Address: 711 E 1st St., 90802
Asking Price: $155,000
Year Built: 1920
Size: 1 beds, 1 baths, 468 sq. ft.
$/Sq. Ft.: $331
Purchase price: $23,000
Purchase date: 8/1976
MLS#: A09042437
On Redfin: 98 days
Down Payment: $31,000
Monthly Payment: $900
Income Requirement: $44,000
Description: ??? Investor???s Delight! Lease or Built (Lots of room to build) ??? Square feet: 486 SF, Lot: 2,444 SF, 1 bdrm/1bath, Zoning: LBPD30, Use Code: Single Family Residential. ??? Beach Lovers Dream, 1st Time Buyers Dream. ??? Cozy, warm, family home. ??? Close to Pacific Ocean, Queen Mary, Grocery market. Library, and Food Courts. FRONT AND BACK PATIO. LARGE FRONT YARD 3 BLOCKS AWAY FROM THE PACIFIC OCEAN

"FRONT AND BACK PATIO"? Dude, with 468 square feet of living space--this property is all patio!

According to the listing description, this is an "Investor???s Delight," as well as a "Beach Lovers Dream" and a "1st Time Buyers Dream." All things to all people, eh?

However, the interior pictures tell a much different story. A story which eerily mirrors the general plotline of Leaving Las Vegas.

Yikes! This place is obviously--OBVIOUSLY--a tear down, which means you're essentially buying a 2,444 square foot lot three blocks from the beach for $155,000. Not too shabby. So, what kind of lot are we talking about?

Check out the Aerial View.

Go ahead, I'll wait.

Yep, just click there.

Uh huh.

Scroll down.

Aaaaaaaand there!

I know! Weird, right? I've seen horseshoe pits with wider dimensions!

All I want to know is how the fuck this wincing turd pile has a Notice of Default when the original mortgage was $23,000. How much of a loser do you have to be to fuck that one up? Just how many greased-up HELOC and Refi orgies do you have to attend before a low five-figure mortgage issued in the 70s becomes unmanageable?

And the sad part is I still don't think the lot will sell for the current asking price. To wit:

Whoa! That's quite a divergence. What happened between April and July? I thought real estate was supposed to be saved by the Super Summer Selling Season(tm).

Hell, even this guy believed it!

Jun 02, 2009 Price Changed $170,000
Jun 09, 2009 - Price Changed $200,000

LOL! Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight. How'd that work out for you, sparky?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Guess What Time it is...

Address: 420 Winslow Ave, 90814
Asking Price: $799,900
Year Built: 1959
Size: 2 beds, 2 baths, 1,721 sq. ft.
$/Sq. Ft.: $465
MLS#: P693035
On Redfin: 23 days
Down Payment: $160,000
Monthly Payment: $4,800
Income Requirement: $230,000
Description: This rare, custom home epitomizes the architecture of the mid-century. A vaulted ceiling showcases a wall of glass overlooking the kidney shaped pool. Trendy home in one of the finest of neighborhoods. The fireplace hearth is curved and cantilevered. The master bedroom is large with sliding glass doors allowing an unobstructed view of the pool and outdoor living area. The guest bedroom is large with ample closet space. The absolutely adorable original guest bathroom with the darling yellow tile is accessible from the pool. The galley style kitchen has the original rich wood cabinets. There is also a den/office adjacent to the dining area. Nearly new central air conditioning, new pool pump, new garage door and new water heater.

A pretty damn good description! Nice work!

I dig this house. I really do. The vibe is great, the layout is kind of funky and esoteric, and the retro furniture (save these nasty-ass pink chairs below) provides a glimpse of just how sweet this place could be with a consistent design plan, the right artwork, and a metric ton of elbow grease.

Check out this sales history for a sordid tale of winners and losers in the treacherous game of musical chairs known as Southern California real estate:

Dec 29, 1989 - Sold $410,000
Nov 06, 1998 - Sold $362,500
(after nine years of ownership--mostly during the last housing downturn--the 1989 buyer took a $70,000 hit. But I thought real estate always went up?)
Mar 04, 2005 - Sold $755,000 (how's about doubling your money in eight years? Thank you housing bubble!)
Jul 13, 2006 - Sold $891,000 (a quick $80,000 profit for one year of ownership! Boo-ya!)
Jun 26, 2009 - Listed $799,900

The most amazing thing about all of those transactions dating back to the 80s is outside of a "nearly new" AC unit and pool pump, nobody actually put a dime into this house. No improvements, no upgrades, no real money into it. In fact, during the bubble, two owners racked up lottery-worthy financial gains by just living here and leaving it as-is! Amazing.

Our featured buyer, who paid almost a million dollars ($891,000) near the peak of the Great Housing Bubble, clearly bit off more than he could chew (and before some knucklehead starts whining that this "victim" lost his job and therefore should bear no responsibility for his losses, paying so much for a house that mortgage payments can't be sustained after a temporary job loss is the very definition of "biting off more than you can chew") and after three years of ownership has decided to sell--even though it means shouldering a significant loss.

And with an initial asking price $91,100 less than what he paid three short years ago, he clearly sees the writing on the wall and is not in any denial about the coming financial pain.

What kind of pain are we talking?

Assuming this underwater seller finds a sucker--ERRR...buyer for the current asking price of $799,900, the loss including commissions will be roughly $140,000. That's nearly $50,000 depreciation per year of ownership! Ouch.

Mind you, this is not a short sale (yet) so that will be a straight cash loss.

Of course, those loss calculations are assuming this seller, with this kitchen:

...and this bathroom:

...and, uh, this bathroom: able to secure a buyer for 800 Large.

If the seller truly believes that's going to happen in this economic (and lending) environment, it's obvious what time it is at their house:

Straight up, this is a borderline fixer. That kitchen is a demolition permit with a fridge (ugh, sweet linoleum), I've seen nicer carpeting in downtown Vegas, the bathrooms are terrible (although to his credit, he's made the most out of them), and there must be an awfully (emphasis on awful) good reason for excluding shots of the bedrooms.

Sorry, holmes. Unless you find a chump with better weed than the stuff you're smoking (good luck), it's not going to happen.

This is a killer neighborhood and the home has a ton of potential given the architecture and the pool, but there's just too much three-bedroom competition in this neighborhood.

Do you think he'll get serious in time to catch whatever's left of the Super Summer Selling Season(tm)?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Hi y'all! Heavy travel this week, so probably no updates until the weekend.

Friday, July 10, 2009







"Yeah, uh, Police? You need to get down here now. Some crackhead just photoshopped flames into a fireplace."

Address: 400 W Ocean Blvd #3002, 90802
Asking Price: $2,149,000
Year Built: 2007
Size: 3 beds, 3 baths, 3,249 sq. ft.
$/Sq. Ft.: $661
HOA Fine: $994
MLS#: U9000979
Down Payment: $430,000
Monthly Payment: $13,000
Income Requirement: $614,000
Description: Try to find another that compares! Here is your chance to own the top 30th floor (tallest in Long Beach) Penthouse home in the newest high rise complex,'West Ocean'. This amazing home offers some of the best 270+ views of the ocean & city from Santa Monica to Newport Beach! These views also include Catalina Island & amazing sunrises & sunsets! This exclusive Penthouse offers a spacious & open floor plan w/views from every room & 3 oversized balconies for plenty of outside living! Interior upgrades include granite counter tops in the kitchen & all bathrooms,custom travertine flooring, extra high ceilings unique to the penthouses only, custom cabinetry w/european hinges & pulls,upgraded gas stainless appliances. Master bath walk-in marble shower & jacuzzi tub w/incredible views along w/marble floors w/mosaic inlay. 24hr guard,pool,spa,sauna,rec. room,bus. center,wine cellar,storage room,guest suite & more! Premier owner parking next to elevator. A must see!

Original Listing Date: Nov 23, 2007

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Dawson's Crock: UPDATE

This Diminutive Dump on Dawson had itself a little price reduction:

From Redfin: The list price was "$339,900" and changed to "$316,900"
Wow, a whopping 7%. Hell, they probably already lost that much equity in the first half of this year--now they're just playing catch up!

Regardless, we're now firmly in 2003 pricing for a detached home 4,000 feet from the ocean.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Will it be enough to nab a seller before we creep over into 2002 pricing?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Nutjob in Naples

Morekaos over on the Irvine Housing Blog Forums reminded me of this resilient (read: wholly delusional) Naples seller:

Dude, the front of this house looks like Clifford's dick.

Address: 169 Angelo Walk, 90803
Asking Price: $995,000
Year Built: 1984
Size: 3 beds, 3 baths, 2,103 sq. ft.
$/Sq. Ft.: $473
Purchase price: $997,000
Purchase date: 6/2004
MLS#: P593707
On Redfin: 900 days
Down Payment: $200,000
Monthly Payment: $6,000
Income Requirement: $285,000
Description: This custom built home has it all.Great open floorplan, w/spacious gourmet kitchen w/food preparation island,surrounded by French doors opening to a secluded brick courtyard,which is centrally located for great entertaining and dining.There is casual dining off the kitchen area, Formal Living room with fireplace and custom bookshelves. Oversized Master bedroom complete with fireplace, sitting area, balcony and spacious master bath adjacent with large tub.Excellent Naples location, close to Bay!

That description, although free of spelling errors, is riddled with idiotic capitalization and horrific punctuation. You would think after 900 days (yes, you read that correctly: two-and-a-half fucking years rotting on the market) the realtor would fix that. For the record, the listing says "696 days" but it's been begging on the MLS since January 2007.

The asking price of $995,000 (which has remained unchanged since February of this year--aggressive!) represents a $2,000 discount from the 2004 purchase price. But but but, I thought Naples was immune!

Uh, buddy? I think it might take just a little bit more of a price cut to sell. That's just a hunch.

This home has done the List/Delist/Relist mambo seven times. You can just picture each relisting representing an agent losing his job for suggesting a price reduction.

And speaking of greedtarded sellers and their incompetent and/or sycophantic realtors, the price was reduced once in the entire year of 2008. ONCE! Now that's some clever salesmanship!

I have no idea what this thing initially listed for in '07, but it doesn't take a Nobel Prize-winning economist to figure out it was way too much. And after that WTF price, this attempted transaction became a painful lesson about the perils of sticking to wishing prices during a horrific housing decline.

Just think: If this genius had been realistic about what his house "deserved" to get from the outset, he could be rid of this albatross and might have even squeezed out a profit after commissions!

Instead, 2.5 years later the bullheaded seller is looking at a -$61,000 loss. And that loss is assuming a seller, after six months of zero interest at this non-starter of an asking price, suddenly parachutes in from his Lear jet and decides $995,000 is a fair price for a narrow-ass house with a big brick dick hanging off the front.

And what's up with the kitchen? Not only does it look really cramped (no overhead microwave on a million dollar house?), but check out the oven:

Looks to me like that's the same one that was installed in the early 80s. Either that or Viking just released a super high-end retro line.

What a joke.

It's worth noting that during the last six months, only three homes have sold in this neighborhood, and only one went for more than a million bucks--and it had two more bedrooms, an extra bathroom, more square footage, and was only 200 feet from the water!

Some people will never learn. They clearly are in no hurry to move, so they might as well hang on to it and ride out the housing bust. Because unless they're willing to get realistic about their price and admit that a sale will mean a massive financial loss, they're just clogging up the MLS and wasting everyone's time.