Monday, August 31, 2009

How Did that "1" Get in There?

**UPDATE: The always-observant KatyinLBC noted:

Hey el bee...did you notice this statement under the listing?

"The seller of this home has requested that home value estimates not be shown. Per MLS rules, Redfin and other public MLS-powered sites may not display any automated valuation for this home."

Hahahahahaha! Gee...I wonder why the seller doesn't want the value estimates to be shown!??!!



Reader LB1 sent in today's stunning example of greed, ignorance and drool-tinged wishful thinking. LB1 says:

Great Blog, hopefully you'll save a few sellers from their own delusions.

Speaking of delusions, you've gotta check out this ridiculous listing from the bixby knolls area:

Is that price a typo??

3962 Cedar, 90807
Price: $1,700,000
Beds: 3
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 2,233
$/Sq. Ft.: $761
Lot Size: 7,150 Sq. Ft.
Year Built: 1953
MLS#: P696067
On Redfin: 41 days
Down Payment: $340,000
Income Requirement: $486,000
Monthly Nut: $10,200 (that's right--for this place)
Description: Very nice home in a very nice area of Long Beach. Double pane windows with plantation shutters, new crown molding and baseboard, hardwood floors in all rooms, gas & wood fireplace with marble & wood mantle, ceiling fans, mirrored closet doors,security system, central heat & air, kitchen has 4 skylites and builtins, tile flooring, pantry and sliding drawers in cupboards, laundry room with laundry port from master BR and tile floor, 2 master bedrroms with double sinks, master bath has a jacuzzi with a view of the pool, waterfall fixtures and seperate shower with tile flooring, serving bar from the kitchen to a sunken den, with a view of a beatutiful patio and a sparkling pool, the pool has a shower, half bath and a changing room, fios ready, timed sprinkler system, fruit trees,maid and gardners side entrance, walking distance to the train and close to the Long Beach Airport.







Seriously, pal. This is an intervention. It's time to repeat the 4th grade.

The overwhelming number of typos is straight up pathetic. For a $1.7 million dollar house? You're demanding a six-fucking-figure commission for that?


As if asking nearly $2 million clams wasn't insulting enough, Carl pointed this out this typo-riddled gem buried in the listing information:

Listing Price Excludes: washe, dryer, refrig, garage lighting, antena

Wow, $1.7 million AND I have to go out and buy all new appliances? And freaking garage lighting?!

You can keep your "antena" Bro Satriani, because for $1,700,000 buyers expect motherfuckin' HD all up in that bitch.

Anyhow, even an appraiser with his coat pockets stuffed with wink-wink money would conclude this house isn't worth anything close to $1,700,000.

Even if you took the "1" off the front of that absurd asking price, it still wouldn't be a good deal. You see, if this joint was priced at $700,000, the resulting price per square foot price of $315 would still be ~$25 higher than the going ppsft. of recent sales.

How's that for some perspective?

Take a look at the nearby sold comps and tell me this seller is of sound mind:

$663,000 3935 Cedar Ave Sold on Jul 14, 2009
0.04 miles 4 bd / 3 ba 2,060 Sq. Ft.

$575,000 3918 Cedar Ave Sold on Aug 04, 2009
0.05 miles 3 bd / 3 ba 2,264 Sq. Ft.

$850,000 4212 Pacific Ave Sold on Jun 05, 2009
0.16 miles 4 bd / 3 ba 2,683 Sq. Ft.

$610,000 3825 Chestnut Ave Sold on Aug 07, 2009
0.19 miles 2 bd / 2 ba 1,988 Sq. Ft.

$146,363 4015 Locust Ave Sold on Apr 16, 2009
0.21 miles 2 bd / 3 ba 1,945 Sq. Ft.

$610,000 3820 Country Club Dr Sold on May 29, 2009
0.21 miles 4 bd / 2 ba 2,131 Sq. Ft.

$427,000 3834 Pine Ave Sold on Jul 20, 2009
0.23 miles 3 bd / 3 ba 2,304 Sq. Ft.

$735,000 4225 Locust Ave Sold on Jul 09, 2009
0.26 miles 3 bd / 3 ba 2,194 Sq. Ft.

$850,000 8 La Linda Dr Sold on Aug 14, 2009
0.4 miles 4 bd / 2 ba 2,327 Sq. Ft.

$640,000 4029 Elm Ave Sold on Mar 16, 2009
0.46 miles 4 bd / 3 ba 2,643 Sq. Ft.

What the fuck?

Where on earth did this numbskull get the idea that his incredibly average, woefully outdated house was worth $1,700,000. Was he looking at comps from 2006?

The current asking price per square of $761 [INSERT SPIT TAKE] is abysmally greedtarded, sure, but more than that it's depressing.

It's just really really sad.

This poor, lonely fool, with no friends or family to give him the truth and a realtor flaunting his lack of fiduciary duty by agreeing to this offensive asking price. Tsk tsk.

Considering this place hasn't been updated in ages, how could they possibly justify TRIPLING their initial investment in just six years? It's obvious this seller didn't put a dime into fixing it up and as Carl pointed out, "...this house hadn't had any permitted work since 1997."

I didn't realize crack cocaine was so popular in Bixby Knolls.

But maybe we're jumping to conclusions. Given the mangled, error-filled listing description, I'm hoping it's a simple typo and the price will be lowered to $700,000 very soon.

Because even though Long Beach is full of money-hungry delusionals, nobody could be this out of touch, could they?

Friday, August 28, 2009

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

The last time we were updated about this overpriced train car we were informed:
The status was "Active" and changed to "Contingent"

The list price was "$426,000" and changed to "$414,000"
The status was "Contingent" and changed to "Active"

This dummy's been wasting everyone's time since February of 2008. And after dicking around and jacking up the price in anticipation of the Spring Bounce and Super Summer Selling Season, he's quickly finding out how foolish that greed-faced approach was.

One more price cut and he'll be back to his May asking price. What a waste.

To be fair, this might not entirely be the short seller's fault. The bank might be dragging its heels on accepting market value (which, as is obvious by now, is not anything above $399,000).

As you have probably figured out, this house is technically on the MLS but is not actually for sale--the bank has no interest in selling for anything less than a WTF price. This qualifies as shadow inventory.

It will eventually become REO, but thus far the lender has done a fantastic job of keeping this thing in limbo and avoiding realizing a loss on its books.

We're talking 550+ days on the market here, folks. And this is happening all over. Those expecting a tidal wave of REO to hit the market all at once have to ask themselves: Given the eternity this distressed property has been (essentially) kept off the market and kept off the bank's books, what government or regulatory entity will suddenly step in to ensure another 550 days don't transpire?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Wooden Teeth

732 N Washington Pl, CA 90813
Price: $344,000
Beds: 2
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 1,064
$/Sq. Ft.: $323
Lot Size: 3,850 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Single Family Residence
Year Built: 1905
MLS#: S514617
On Redfin: 630 days
Down Payment: $67,000
Income Requirement: $95,000
Monthly PITI: $2,100
Description: HUGE PRICE REDUCTION!!!Historical Craftsman w/loads of charm.Huge Formal LR,original features:hardwood floors,doors & hardware glass & brass doorknobs,kit with 'ice box' cabinetry,mosaic tile counter,coved ceilings,wrap around porch has been enclosed,orig sash windows,light fixtures,french doors.Oversized lot w/alley and street access.'Potters area off kit with washer and dryer hook-ups. Formal Dining room. 1 BR w/original built ins above closet, 2nd BR has double walk in closet. Bath has built in linen cabinet above tub. Tandem gar divided



Sweet mural. GONE!

Sweet kitchen. GONE!

No pics of the one bathroom, so you know what that means...GONE!

This realtor must have graduated from the Shaky McParkinson's School of Photography:

Really? 628 days to fix that shit and your potential buyers still get vertigo from viewing your listing? Clever.

The listing says "No Laundry in Unit" but that there are hook-ups in a "'Potters" area (a euphemism for "out-the-fuck-side"). That must be some kind of mistake.

Because there's no way someone is dumb fucking stupid enough to ask $344,000--nearly TEN TIMES the median income--in this awful neighborhood with no freaking laundry hook-ups in the house.

There's just no way.

Plus, the owners don't have a washer and dryer?! Just the hook-ups? Seriously, who the fuck lives here? The Swiss Family Slobinson?

But hey, at least it's got a "sleeping porch!" After viewing those interior photos, I think I'll take my chances sleeping outside.

This thing doesn't need fixing up, it needs a bulldozer.

This is a perfect candidate for Real Estate Intervention. The owner purchased this 104-year-old lean-to in 1981 for a paltry $50,000 ($47 per square foot, y'all!). In other words, with a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, this dump should be paid off in a year and a half.

Considering the interest rate was 17.5% in '81, I'm sure this owner refinanced during the last 28 years. But the point is, there have only been three price reductions in nearly two years. Even with refinances they still must have a truckload of equity--why not just cut the price and walk away with stacks of bubble cash?

Nah, forget that. Just keep doing what you're doing. And by "doing what you're doing" I mean napping on your sleeping porch, washing your loincloth in the bird bath, and making drinking water from your pee.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Utopia That Wasn't

847 Pine [Unit# ???], 90813
Price: $249,000
Beds: 1
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 980
$/Sq. Ft.: $254
HOA: $226
Year Built: 2003
MLS#: P659710
On Redfin: 316 days
Down Payment: $50,000
Income Requirement: $71,000
Monthly Payment: $1,500
Description: Check out what a live/work loft space can be. Use this very hip/chic space as your living and work space, or one or the other. It's up to you! The Courtyard Lofts are 16 spaces adapted from 2 retail spaces by the esteemed firm Interstices. This project won the coveted AIA design award and is an oasis in the city. The 16 units surround a tranquil courtyard beautifully landscaped, with a fountain soon to be completed. Inside you will find a very functional living space sharing the owner's photography business. Appliances include the stove dishwasher and microwave. There is a laundry area with hookups for your convenience. This is an end unit with a nice patio in the front for socializing with your neighbors. A short few steps will take you to your 1 car garage. There has been an added sleeping loft to create more storage space. Come and check out this very unique space today!

Market-Chasing 101:

Jun 19, 2009 - Price Changed $249,000
Jun 10, 2009 - Price Changed $299,000
May 07, 2009 - Price Changed $375,000
Mar 07, 2009 - Price Changed $395,000
Oct 08, 2008 - Listed $455,000

-$206,000 in price reductions and no action. That tells us a few things:

1) This short seller is a complete tool. The sheer idiocy (and ego) involved in asking $455,000 for a one-bedroom in this 'hood is simply astounding,
2) More price reductions are on the way, and
3) The only people who give a shit about "AIA design awards" are the AIA.

Maybe I have a different idea of what a live/work property means, but this makes no sense to me:

"Inside you will find a very functional living space sharing the owner's photography business."

I have to share my living space with someone else's photography business? Or someone else owns the "work" part of my "live" section? You might want to clarify that, son.

Worse yet, there aren't any friggin' windows! I've seen more inviting mausoleums!

And a ground-floor patio "for socializing" with neighbors? What about privacy?

Just what were developers thinking when they overbuilt all of this overpriced, overdesigned stuff in downtown?

It's like these developers convinced themselves that if they just build enough overpriced units in shady areas, societal wants, needs, and priorities would somehow shift tremendously. It's as if they believed they could create a focus-grouped utoptia where an endless supply of trust fund hipsters would eschew privacy ("high-density urban living at its finest!"), disregard personal and property safety (because it's "cool" to live in gritty downtown), sell their cars and happily share public transportation with derelicts and mental patients. Really?

That's some ballsy social-engineering you tried there, gang. Hats off!

Seriously! Isn't that the world they were essentially betting would be created? That paying beucoup bucks for "city living" and suffering through the frustratingly awful aspects of downtown life would suddenly become an overwhelming trend? It's not as if they were meeting some huge demand--it seems more like a case of "If You Build it, They Will Come."

It's obvious that attempts to gentrify downtown Long Beach have failed miserably. It's just not going to happen the way they imagined. Now we're left with these monsterpieces sitting smack dab in the middle of substandard neighborhoods, complete with the arrogant expectation that people should somehow appreciate (and be happy to pay top-dollar for) all this pompous horseshit.

This ain't Brooklyn, fools.

But don't take my word for it. As it turns out, massive price cuts still aren't enough to prevent these live/work ground-floor "lofts," built way too far inland, from spending an eternity on the market, waiting in vain for a major societal shift in attitude toward piss-stained bus seats and paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for the joy of walking out your front door and seeing a homeless lady take a dump on the sidewalk.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Has Anybody Seen Real Estate Intervention?

This HGTV show takes place in Baltimore, Maryland, and I can tell you from my own on-the-ground observations that the city has been absolutely pounded by the fallout from the Great Housing Bubble. And the Baltimore crash is being made much worse because in a declining market, the city’s warts can no longer be ignored for promises of rising property values and the resultant gentrification of so-so neighborhoods.

No, in this it-turns-out-$350,000-is-a-lot-of-dough market, buyers pay very close attention to the crime rate (two summers ago in Baltimore, there were two murders a night. I don’t mean a body found in an alley and cops and coroners try to figure out the cause of death—I mean murder, where the gunshot wounds in the back of the dome take out all the guesswork), how far you need to walk to certain amenities, and proximity to undesirable aspect of city life—these things matter now to sellers, whereas they used to be overlooked just get in the game. And not just in Baltimore. Long Beach, with its own set of (similar) problems, will get absolutely crushed in less desirable neighborhoods.

Anyhow, the show features homeowners who bought at or near the peak, and for whatever reason (job relocation, ticking time bomb Option Arm loans, baby on the way, etc.) need to sell in a rapidly deteriorating market. Typically, the homes have been rotting on the market for up to a year at inflated prices, and the sellers strongly believe they are priced perfectly, it’s just that the right buyer hasn’t come along yet. Sound familiar?

It’s the job of the hosts to show the sellers a recent sale and a nearby listing—usually much nicer, and, importantly, priced considerably lower—to gauge reactions and get the sellers to justify their greedy asking prices in the face of undeniable evidence. It’s a very compelling show for a few reasons.

First, the denial and aversion to reality is astounding. At first I was convinced the show was completely staged. There is no way sellers are this delusional, I thought. But, it’s what we see in Long Beach every single day. Maybe it was just shocking to see it play out on camera?

The way the sellers criticized the comps’ amenities to make their house look better and justify their asking price was simply astounding. There was so much twisting it's like watching a contortionist making Wetzel’s Pretzels. One young woman who owned a dumpy, all-original cottage believed that a comp’s brand new kitchen with tile floors, stainless steel appliances and gorgeous new cabinets, “Bastardized the cottage feel.” The house was now ruined in her mind.

She said that buyers would prefer her (piece of shit) house because it was original and they could “put their own personal touch on it.” The host pointed out that this home was completely upgraded, needed zero work and was priced $20,000 less—did she really think buyers would pay 20 grand MORE for the honor of giving up months of their lives and tens of thousands of dollars to “put their personal touch” on her dilapidated home?

Owners claim the comps were supposedly in “dangerous” neighborhoods or far from transit—despite being within blocks of their property. Brand new hardwood floors “aren’t as cozy as carpet.” A seller with no backyard badmouthed a huge, spacious yard because the fence is “too low.” A row house with an extra bed, bath and about 900 square feet “needs interior painting,” so it should have sold for less and actually justified their inflated asking price. It was simply amazing.

In addition to the denial, the victim mentality was alive and kicking. The woman with the dilapidated cottage claimed she was duped into a “predatory” Negative Amortizing Option ARM that was set to explode in her face. It doesn’t take a CPA to figure out there’s something strange about a detached home in a nice neighborhood requiring a lower monthly payment than a one-bedroom apartment. But she never questioned it. She just wanted to prove to her family that she could “achieve” homeownership, so it’s best not to ask too many questions about how a mortgage is so cheap. Denial on the way out, denial on the way in.

I get it. People are angry. They don’t want to own up to their bad investments. They don’t want to admit they were too dumb to read the contract on the single most expensive investment of their lifetimes. They don’t want to accept that their house isn’t as special as they are convinced it is. But the inability to accept reality—even when it’s planted in front of their faces—is incredible to watch.

We now have an inside look at exactly what’s going on in Long Beach: The sellers who “don’t want to give it away,” the sellers who would rather rent it out and bleed $400 a month for the next five years than cut their losses and admit they aren’t perfect, the sellers who believe their place is “special,” the sellers who have utter contempt for “low ball offers” (that happen to end up being very close to what the house eventually sells for)…it’s all there.

Which brings me to another interesting facet of the show: it’s cathartic. As a potential buyer watching from the sidelines as already-low inventory is taken off the market in anticipation of a rebound, it’s nice to see (most of) these people finally accept reality. Whether it’s a short sale, bringing cash to the table, accepting that a $7,000 bathroom addition no longer equates to a $10,000 price increase, or breaking even and giving up their grandiose dreams of massive bubble profits…these are good things for me personally, and for American families in general.

Sure, there’s some schadenfreude in there—it’s great to see cocksure, oblivious greed-heads, deep in denial, get a frying pan to the face—but the majority did things right and got normal loans. It’s just that their timing was off. You’re telling me you never bought a stock when it was too high?

It’s not really about that.

It’s more about closure, and seeing these people living in new cities and starting new lives (and in most cases renting!) without this massive ball of stress orbiting their head. Now they’re free, they’ve learned valuable lessons, and someone who has been priced out for years can finally swoop up an affordable house to live in—so affordable that if they need to sell they won’t be financially destroyed.

It’s how it should be, and in this post-Property Ladder and Flip This House world, it’s good to see that a little more reality is finally making its way into “Reality Television.”

Saturday, August 22, 2009


What do you think will happen with the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit?

A) It will expire as scheduled on November 30
B) It will be extended well into 2010
C) It will be expanded to include more than just first-time buyers
D) It will be increased to $15,000 at the behest of the NAR

I'm betting on a combination of B, C, and D.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Roll Over. Sit. Stay. Stay. Staaaaay...

Boarding my flight from Atlanta to Fort Walton Beach, I noticed an impressively optimistic travel time estimation:

11 minutes? Uh, I'm pretty sure teleporting to Florida would take longer.

Anyway, on with the madness:

922 Magnolia Ave, 90813
Price: $242,000
Beds: 3
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 995
$/Sq. Ft.: $243
Year Built: 1908
Community: Downtown Area, Alamitos Beach
MLS#: P694541
On Redfin: 41 days
Down Payment: $48,400
Income Requirement: $69,000
Monthly Payment: $1,400
Description: Great Downtown area REO opportunity MUST SEE Don't Miss Out!!! 3 Bed 1 Bath Classic Home.

Wait. "Community: Downtown Area, Alamitos Beach"?

Are you serious?

You're probably closer to Redondo Beach than Alamitos Beach, guy.

Nice try, though.

I really wish the listing agent wasn't such a lazy sack of dumb because I'm dying to see photos of how three bedrooms, a bathroom, a kitchen, and (presumably) a living room fit into 955 square feet. I bet that's impressive as hell.

But not nearly as impressive as the sales history:

Aug 18, 2009 - Price Changed $242,000
Jul 09, 2009 - Listed $254,900
Jun 26, 2009 - Sold $448,247
Mar 20, 2008 - Listed
Jun 16, 2004 - Sold $360,000 50.2%/yr
Dec 17, 2003 - Sold $294,000 85.0%/yr
Jan 08, 2003 - Sold $165,000

Wow. Look at those 2003 transactions. Between January and December '03, that house supposedly appreciated by $129,000.

The December buyer then flipped it six months later, enjoying $66,000 in bubble appreciation.

The sucker who bought in 2004 must have had a boozed-up HELOC and cash-out refi panty party because the bank took it back this July for $448,247. It appears the loanowner took out nearly $100,000 in additional debt against the house! Incredible.

And whether any of that money made it back into the house via upgrades (doubtful, if that photo is any indication) is irrelevant, because the bank is still going to eat a loss of at least $215,000.

And that's assuming they find someone who:

1) Considers this dilapidated Century Club member their dream home,
2) Is bold enough to live in this 'hood, and
3) Thinks $242,000 is a smoking deal.

Um, yeah. About that.

But for a few anomalies (most of which were much earlier this year) in the Recent Sales list, it doesn't look good for the bank:

$250,000 832 Daisy Ave Sold on Apr 30, 2009
0.1 miles 2 bd / 1 ba 985 Sq. Ft.

$275,000 625 W 10th St Sold on Feb 23, 2009
0.15 miles 3 bd / 1 ba 1,040 Sq. Ft.

$150,500 226 W 6th St Sold on Apr 28, 2009
0.35 miles 2 bd / 1 ba 772 Sq. Ft.

$205,000 337 W 4th St Sold on Jun 30, 2009
0.44 miles 2 bd / 1 ba 1,114 Sq. Ft.

$99,000 303 E 9th St Sold on May 12, 2009
0.5 miles 2 bd / 1 ba 780 Sq. Ft.

$463,336 1487 Elm Ave Sold on Jul 16, 2009
0.74 miles 2 bd / 1 ba 1,234 Sq. Ft.

$220,000 634 E 10th St Sold on Jul 31, 2009
0.79 miles 2 bd / 1 ba 884 Sq. Ft.

$95,000 620 Lime Ave Sold on May 22, 2009
0.86 miles 2 bd / 1 ba 836 Sq. Ft.

$165,000 817 E 10th St Sold on Mar 25, 2009
0.88 miles 2 bd / 1 ba 1,128 Sq. Ft.

It would be one thing if this REO was nice, but the house is such a dog it needs a leash.

And a flea bath.

And speaking of things that "stay," this nearby three bed/TWO bath has been rotting for 72 days asking an astounding $160,000 less!


I think the bank finding a buyer for $243 per square foot (when the average going price per square seems to be $150) has about the same odds as Favre's shoulder lasting the season.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Heavy, HEAVY travel this week (right into Hurricane Central, too) so probably not a lot of posting. But comments are open as always, so please feel free to share whatever's on your mind.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Intravenous Wine Intake

Off to Napa with The Lady. You kids have a good weekend.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

"Green Shoots"? More Like Poop Chutes

Retail sales dip unexpectedly, jobless claims rise

U.S. mortgage rates rise, may curb demand: survey

U.S. home foreclosures set another record in July

Pretty grim stuff, my friends.

Made in the Shade

16 12Th Pl, 90802
Price: $995,000
Beds: 2
Baths: 3
Sq. Ft.: 2,056
$/Sq. Ft.: $484
Lot Size: 2,915 Sq. Ft. (yikes!)
Year Built: 1904
MLS#: P666834
On Redfin: 254 days
Down Payment: $200,000
Monthly Payment: $6,100 (@ 6.5% jumbo)
Income Requirement: $285,000
Description: $200,000. PRICE ADJUSTMENT!!! This one of a kind Alamitos Beach Bluff home has the location and views you've been wanting! It has an updated kitchen and breakfast bar with top-o-line Starmark European maple cabinets,bamboo flooring,recessed lites and S/S appliances.The large formal dining room and open living room lead to the patio overlooking the beach for your morning coffee or brunch. The large family room with recessed lites and crown moulding leads to your own private rear yard with new hardscape and landscape.The inside laundry room with premium washer, dryer and sink off the kitchen also has a upgraded 1/2 bath. The upper level off the foyer has two large master suites with walk in closets,berber carpet, ocean views, top-o-line Hans Grohe fixtures in the upgraded baths and a sun porch. This home has too many upgrades to mention.... a must see for your fussy clients! CLICK ON MEDIA 21 OR MAIN PICTURE TO ACCESS VIRTUAL TOUR AND PICS.

Boy, for a house "at the water's edge," you would think the realtor would be smart enough to include shots of that glorious ocean view.

Wanna know why she didn't? Because there isn't one.

Weren't you beginning to wonder why the exterior shots looked a bit, um, shady?

Well, it's because this house, with only two bedrooms on a cramped lot, is completely surrounded by enormous apartment buildings and a parking structure. Engulfed might be a better word to describe how deep in the shadows this house is.

Do yourself a favor and click on the Redfin listing and check out the Aerial View. DOH!

And is it just me, or does it seem like every "Cape Cod" homeowner has a graduate degree in Application of Clutter as Home Decoration?

To give you an idea of just how greedy and delusional this seller is, the original listing price in December 2008 was a laughable $1,400,000. After four months with no interest, they relisted in April 2009 (presumably with a different realtor who promised vastly more bubble profits) with an unbelievable $1,700,000 price tag.



They are obviously convinced the proximity to the water is worth big bucks. But I have news for them: With no actual view of the ocean, that's like Rachel Bilson being your online girlfriend.

Or living near the most scenic point of the Grand Canyon--in a windowless mansion.

Great in theory, but about as useless as braille on a Harley Davidson owner's manual.

So, the current asking price of $995,000 represents a $705,000 fall from grace--ERRR, wake up call--ERRR, reality check--ERRR, discount from the highest asking price.

Jul 17, 2009 - Price Changed $995,000
Apr 07, 2009 - Price Changed $1,200,000
Apr 07, 2009 - Relisted ($1,700,000)
Dec 18, 2008 - Delisted
Dec 02, 2008 - Listed $1,400,000
Sep 06, 2002 - Sold $459,000
Oct 20, 1998 - Sold $300,000
Nov 22, 1996 - Sold $255,000

Dang, can you believe this place sold for $255,000 during the last housing downturn? Sheesh.

The crazy thing is, the 2002 purchase price of $459,000 means if this seller just priced realistically, he would walk away with a pallet full of cold, hard cash. Assuming he didn't HELOC himself into the stratosphere, that is.

But given the costs associated with "too many upgrades to mention," all bets are off.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The House of Fraud

1071 Newport Ave, 90804
Price: $378,000
Beds: 3
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 753
$/Sq. Ft.: $502
Year Built: 1905
MLS#: S584658
On Redfin: 6 days
Down Payment: $76,000
Monthly Payment: $2,100
Income Requirement: $108,000


And speaking of huh?, the property is listed as a 3-bedroom, 1-bath. But in the listing description the realtard says it's been "REMODALED" into a large 1-bed/1-bath.

Who the fuck would remodale into a smaller, less desirable configuration?!

"Honey, I just customized our 3-series BMW. Yeah, I took out all of the passenger seats. Wanna drive to Big Bear?"

What an idiot.

And that useless 1-bed/1-bath layout makes the asking price of $378,000 that much more deliciously imbecilic.

But I think the pièce de résistance is this gloriously remodaled bathroom.

It looks like they couldn't be bothered to replace the 50s aqua tiles behind the shower knobs (that would require cutting new white tiles to fit around the hardware) so they just tiled around them and painted the wall blue to make it look intentional. How retro!

Overall, though, the inside looks pretty tidy. The fake wood floors are standard flipper fare, but the plantation shutters sure are a nice touch.

Although, what's up with this one?

Doesn't it look like it's sticking out from the wall a good three inches?

Anyhow, the sales history tells a sordid, slimy tale of straw buyers, flipping frenzies, and outright fraud:

Aug 06, 2009 - Listed $378,000
Feb 14, 2009 - Delisted
Feb 14, 2009 - Relisted
Jan 31, 2009 - Delisted
Oct 27, 2008 - Listed
May 18, 2004 - Sold $450,000 (561.4%/yr)
Mar 10, 2004 - Sold $315,000 (21.0%/yr)
Jun 21, 2001 - Sold $187,500 (48.1%/yr)
Apr 20, 2000 - Sold $118,500 (-21.6%/yr)
Apr 15, 1999 - Sold $151,689 (7.1%/yr)
Feb 12, 1998 - Sold $140,000 (531.0%/yr)
Jul 02, 1997 - Sold $45,000

Come on, a $95,000 gain in seven months? A $135,000 gain in 68 days? This thing changed hands seven times in seven years, and you're out of your mind if you think those transactions were all on the up-and-up.

I wouldn't be surprised if this place just changed hands among family members, each transaction showering them with ill-gotten bubble profits.

Anyhow, it's the lender's problem now. And their main problem is that they are going to have a helluva time trying to find a buyer for the current asking price of $378,000. That's a lot of money!

Think about it: Now that the extra bedrooms have been removed, this place has essentially been rendered worthless but to a very narrow demographic of potential buyers: Rich singles or (very compact) couples willing to shoehorn themselves into 753 square feet. Either way, the household income required to realistically keep up with the payments is $108,000 per year!

That's nearly THREE TIMES the median income for 90804! I somehow doubt someone pulling down that kind of coin will appriciate shelling out $2,100 per month to live in this shaky neighborhood.

Hopefully the lender realizes that very soon and gives up on this $502 per square foot asking price.

If not, I wish them luck. They're going to need it.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Dumbest. Seller. Ever.: UPDATE II

Remember this dingbat in the Diplomat? Well he finally sold!

Just kidding. He's still a greedtarded moron.


Check out this ingenious pricing strategy:

Mar 06, 2007 - Listed $510,000
May 08, 2007 - Price Changed $508,000
Nov 16, 2008 - Price Changed $490,000
Dec 23, 2008 - Price Changed $480,000

Easy there, broseph! We can barely keep up with all those aggressive price cuts!

Hell, at this rate he'll have it sold in no time! And by "no time" I mean 2056.

I mean, maybe he simply forgot his apartment was for sale? Is that possible? Kind of like leaving the iron on or locking your keys in the car?

And do you remember this nearby condo I highlighted in the original post:

Or, would you rather buy this nearby condo with upgraded bathrooms and floors (our mental midget at 1401 only has carpet) for $319,000:

If you bought this tidy little place, with a price unchanged since April and 393 total DOM, you'd have enough left over to buy a car commensurate with your six-figure income ($112,000 is four times the local median income, you big baller!) like a Beluga black Bentley Continental GT with a turbocharged 6.0L W12 under the hood:

Yeah, well that dude sold in May for $225,000. Ouch. Doesn't portend well for Crazy McKookiepants asking $480,000.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


Better call the Crazy Police because we might have a 5150 on our hands.

1919 E Beverly Way #212, 90802
Price: $365,000
Beds: 2
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 1,151
$/Sq. Ft.: $317
HOA: $250
Year Built: 1982
MLS#: P697312
On Redfin: 12 days
Down Payment: $73,000
Monthly Payment: $2,300
Income Requirement: $104,000
Description: Turnkey! Top Floor, End Unit 2 bedrooms/2 full baths PLUS ARTISTS STUDIO LOFT, Inviting Open Floor Plan with Abundant Natural Light, and Vaulted Ceilings. This unique condo has both a Balcony with a South Facing View and your Own Private Deck with City Lights View. Pass through Kitchen with a Bar Counter plus a Separate Dining Area. Spiral Staircase leads to spacious loft that has a separate entry and dircect access to private deck. There is also a Wood-burning Fireplace in living room, in-unit Washer and Dryer, and Ceramic Tile in kitchen and baths. Ample Closet and Storage Space. Comes with Two Parking Spaces in underground parking with storage space. Other amenities include Community laundry and a large Exercise Room. Minutes to Downtown, Belmont Shore, shopping, freeways, and just blocks to the Beach!


"Yeah, man, it was creepy as hell. After I paid for my chili dog the cashier at Der Wienerschnitzel asked me if I wanted to be in his cult."

Get it?

Get it?!

Uh, no.

So, what we have here is the most expensive condo in the area by a long shot. I guess this seller doesn't quite grasp the concept of short sales needing to substantially undercut nearby sellers because of the hassles, frustrations, and delays inherent in getting banks' approval.

Their fax machine must have been out of paper the day Reality HQ sent that memo.

And speaking of pure, unadulterated idiocy, since when is community laundry an "amenity"?

Yeah, maybe to someone who washes their clothes in a river delta. But a couple earning the required household income of $104,000, having your five-minutes-too-long-in-the-dryer socks and undies dumped on the washroom floor complete with a passive aggressive note exclaiming, "OTHEr pEEpLE LIVE HEAR TO!!" consider that shit to be a big ol' deal breaker.

And then we have the Pepto-Bismal walls--actually, you know what? I want to go back to this community laundry thing. Seriously, this could be the dumbest fucking thing I've ever seen in a listing.

Look, if we're talking about a shithole $15,000 studio apartment next to the train tracks in poverty-stricken Detroit, I could understand how laundry facilities in the building would be a big deal. BUT YOU'RE ASKING THREE HUNDRED SIXTY FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS! YOU'RE GOD DAMN RIGHT IT HAS LAUNDRY MACHINES ON THE PREMISES!


Back to the awful color palate that nobody bothered to paint over before trying to sell. I mean, lady, figure it out. The first thing a potential buyer is going to think is, "Wait, you're telling me this place costs $200,000 more than the last sale in this building AND I have to spend two weeks repainting practically every surface?"

Come on, DO WORK!

However, I do have to give her credit for the old-school TV.
I'm dead serious. How many distressed listings have we seen where people have massive HELOC flat-screens that they probably couldn't afford?

It doesn't take a financial genuis to tell you that this place has no shot finding a buyer at this price. And that's assuming a bank would ever getting around to approving this outrageous price tag.

I mean, just check out the Street View. Yikes! That's a scary street/alley to live on. It kind of reminds me of that cul-de-sac scene in Training Day.

You can go in, but you might not make it back out.