Sunday, September 27, 2009

RE in the LBC's 300th Post!

300! Can you believe it?

When I started this blog in January 2008, I never imagined this little hobby of mine would become so, well, prolific.

I also can't believe how much has changed since the Long Beach Housing Blog's inception. I remember all the hate mail I used to receive from real estate "experts" and others who simply refused to see what was so obvious: The housing bubble party was as dead as Elvis and things were about to get real ugly, real quick.

And obviously not everything I predicted came true, but a depressing amount of my prognostications did. But the point is I took the time to educate myself and see both sides of the coin even as the circumstances changed. There's no glory in being wedded to a certain outlook or position--especially when data and facts show that position to be woefully ignorant or contrary to an ever-changing reality. Having an open, nimble mind is a great quality--one I strive to maintain, and seek out in others.

Anyhow, as I've educated myself I hope you have also gotten something out of this as well. Even if it's just a few laughs at some ignorant clod's expense.

Site traffic has exploded during the last 18 months, and I'm still amazed at the interest people take in this blog from all over the world (we even have readers in the Middle East!). The comments are insightful, funny, and provide priceless on-the-street information and observations.

On a side note, work is incredibly busy (I wish I could pay the bills writing this blog, but alas, no dice). That means this week will not have much in the way of posts. But in light of the 300th Post milestone, do me a favor and drop into the comments section, even if it's just to say Hi anonymously. I think frequent readers would get a kick out of seeing just how many fellow readers are out there.

41 Coronado Ave, 90803
Price: $575,000
Beds: 2
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 1,060
$/Sq. Ft.: $542
Year Built: 1922
MLS#: P687008
On Redfin: 136 days
Income Requirement: $164,000
Down Payment: $115,000
Monthly Nut: $3,300
Description: NOT A SHORT SALE OR R.E.O. Located in the historical district 'Bluff Park' this unique French Normandy building is highly recongnized [SIC] in Long Beach as one of the cities [SIC] finest examples of French Normandy/English Tudor architecture. Restored with todays [SIC] modern ammenities [SIC] this beautiful condominium home features 2 bedrooms, 1 1/2 baths, modern kitchen, inside laundry, air conditioning, forced air heating, hardwood floors, alarm system, central vaccum [SIC], courtyard, private patio and a detached 1 car garage. Located just 1 home off the beach and walking distance to belmont shore [SIC] and pier, shopping, dining, and beach front [SIC] parks. Truly a 'rare opportunity' to own a condominium home in a highly sought after neighborhood.

I'm getting quite [SIC] of all these lazy ass realtors.

However, this functional illiterate is correct about one thing: This baby is rare--these units don't often pop up on the market.

But apparently, at least in this scary economy, once on the market they stay on the market. Check this out:

Jul 31, 2009 - Price Changed $575,000
Jul 17, 2009 - Relisted
Jun 25, 2009 - Price Changed $499,000
May 12, 2009 - Listed $599,000
Nov 01, 2007 - Delisted
Aug 20, 2007 - Listed

Almost 500 days on the market in some form, if you count that idiotic three-month trial balloon from '07.

The only smart thing this seller did was knock $100,000 off the (certifiably insane) $599,000 asking price, but just five weeks later this dummy jacked it up to $575,000.

Now that is some solid logic.

For the record, eclectic, yet tasteful buildings like this are what makes me love Long Beach so much.

But $542 per square foot?

By every single metric in the book this idiot is way overpriced.

Price vs. Rent?

You can rent any number of swanky two-bedrooms (with direct ocean views, mind you) for around $2,000. The monthly nut on this place? $3,300.

Dude, instead of "owning" this place, you could rent an ocean-facing unit in AQUA and lease a Maserati with the money you save.


What about median prices and price per square foot of nearby properties?

Alamitos Beach: $207,495; $265 per square
90803; $459,900; $376 per square
Long Beach: $232,115; $262 per square
Los Angeles County: $369,000; $319 per square

Faced with that data, asking $542 simply doesn't compute.


And during the last six months, nothing has sold for anything close to what this greedhead is asking:

$390,000 3609 E 2nd St Unit 407 Sold on Apr 03, 2009
0.28 miles 2 bd / 2 ba 1,190 Sq. Ft.

$329,500 3529 E Broadway Apt 1 Sold on Jun 09, 2009
0.3 miles 2 bd / 2 ba 810 Sq. Ft.

$330,000 3529 E Broadway Apt 3 Sold on Jul 30, 2009
0.3 miles 2 bd / 2 ba 880 Sq. Ft.

$329,500 3529 E Broadway Apt 8 Sold on Jul 15, 2009
0.3 miles 2 bd / 2 ba 880 Sq. Ft.

$339,500 3529 E Broadway Apt 10 Sold on Jul 01, 2009
0.3 miles 2 bd / 2 ba 850 Sq. Ft.

$339,000 3529 E Broadway Apt 6 Sold on Jul 07, 2009
0.3 miles 2 bd / 2 ba 810 Sq. Ft.

$334,500 3529 E Broadway Apt 9 Sold on Aug 11, 2009
0.3 miles 2 bd / 2 ba 880 Sq. Ft.

$329,500 3529 E Broadway Apt 7 Sold on May 26, 2009
0.3 miles 2 bd / 2 ba 880 Sq. Ft.

$319,000 3529 E Broadway Apt 4 Sold on May 22, 2009
0.3 miles 2 bd / 2 ba 880 Sq. Ft.

$329,500 3529 E Broadway Apt 5 Sold on Jun 03, 2009
0.3 miles 2 bd / 2 ba 850 Sq. Ft.

(Most of those are in the same building, which is odd, but it's still the competition and that building is obviously having no trouble offloading units)


Hell, even the moonbats at Zillow and Eppraisal aren't this optimistic:

Zillow: $342,800(Low) $428,500(Estimate) $458,495(High)
Eppraisal: $282,563(Low) $332,428(Estimate) $382,292(High)

I dare you to look at these interior photos and tell me this falls under the "High" estimate.


According to these metrics, this place is overpriced by HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS.

I must admit I'm smitten with this building's charm and location. But I'm not infatuated enough to stick my hands out and catch what is so obviously a falling knife.

After an eternity rotting on the MLS, I guess I'm not the only one.


  1. Props to you, El Bee for putting the irresponsible greedtards under the microscope week after week. Love your posts and your sense of humor. May you have many more hundred postings to continue to enlighten the fetid stinking mess that is RE in the LBC (I mean the profession, not the blog...)

    Many Thanks!!!

  2. Congrats! Been reading your blog for well over a year now, and it's just wonderful. You do a great job of pointing out the idiocy and delusion still in the market.
    Here's to the next 300!

  3. Hey ElBee,
    Congrats on such an impressive virtual milestone! I always enjoy your roasting of the 'greedtarded' and the way you mock so-called RE "professionals" who don't seem interested in spelling, fact checking or ensuring that there's some decent imagery available for their listings.

    "Keep on keepin' on" as the Brady's had once so eloquently said...


  4. Here's to a winter of falling prices -

  5. Congrats on your 300th post! My husband and I are loyal blog followers of yours - in addition to being in the same Long Beach boat. Wanting to buy a home for ourselves and our daughter in this area so often seems like a far off dream, but we are searching and waiting patiently to make this happen. And when it does, you're invited to our housewarming party, ha ha! Seriously though, we love your commentary on all the delusional sellers and buyers out there. Our only question is, WHY hasn't someone in Long Beach figured out a way to pay you to write this thing?
    Keep it up!!! :)

  6. El Bee, I live outside of Pittsburgh. I escaped Southern California in late 2004 with my equity intact. I don't remember how I found your blog, other than that it was a referral from another one, but you are far and away my favorite.

  7. El Bee. I'm a Realtor, enjoying your blog since I bought an investment early this year in 90802. It's been enlightening, and largely informative, polite, and balanced. I think I know how hard you work is to maintain the level of commitment and I applaud you you for sticking around for 300 posts.I've bookmarked it and lurk every day. A great service. Thank you!

  8. Congrats!
    I've enjoyed your writings and include this blog among others that have contributed my decision to sell this past uptick in July (bought in '99) and capture the bubble equity that remained. We got back in cash what our purchase price in '99 was and now we'll wait until the second leg down to get back in... good luck to all!

    THIS is Sparta!

  9. Congrats on your 300th post, keep 'em coming. You're one of my regular housing blog spots I check every weekday morning. Your splashes of Spanish in your post are hilarious too!

  10. Many thanks, El Bee. Keep going strong.

  11. Thanks for a great blog. You make me I wait and wait and wait for the market to level out around here. Keep up the important work!!! BTW, did you catch the recent listing on Molino for 725,000 - HA!!!!

  12. An anonymous "Hi and keep up the good work" from a CA native who escaped 10 years ago to Montana.

  13. I found this blog about 4 months or so ago, while doing research on Long Beach properties.... something about your blogs got my attention, and I think it was your real commentary.... you said things in a way that I really connected with. Kinda that common sense, no nonsense way of getting to the root of things, destroying all obstacles of bs.

    You've helped me enormously, in understanding so much more about the real estate game.

    If I were rich, I'd send you a check, but since I'm not, I'm willing to support in any other way.

    I think you are quite astute and thorough with your analysis, and your humor is equally as excellent.

    God bless

  14. I have this on my Google Reader. Keeps me entertained and reminds me about why I am not ready to buy!!
    Keep up the good work of keeping LB informed.

  15. ElBee,
    Amazing but true, this Condo on Coronado is actually owned by a RE agent! This is the one of the best areas of Long Beach, but the owner seems to be way out of touch with the pricing of this unit and obviously does not need to sell in any kind of hurry. For this price I would at least like to have a jacuzzi in the community to enjoy with an adult beverage now and then, but there are no amenities in this building.
    Thanks for my daily entertainment!

  16. Congrats El Bee, I read this blog every day and am bummed when there is not a new entry. I will see you here, at the IHB and probably around town. Thanks for all your entertaining and informative postings. Keep up the good work and we will both have a housewarming party in the LBC someday


  17. You can be an over the top drama queen some times LB but we know that's part of the schtick. And is it schtick or shtick? I know you know. Keep up the good work!

  18. Here's another "eccentric" home seller taking his pricing the wrong way after many months on the market. I dunno who the owner knows, but it appears he got the District Weekly to do a full story on this house, with the reporter lamenting about how this amazing home hasn't sold. The reporter seemed too flummoxed to figure out that the house MAY be overpriced:

  19. First time, long time . . I just wanted to drop a quick "Congrat's" to El Bee who makes the weird and wacky world of coastal So. Cal real estate a little more palatable to the 70% of us who aren't crazy (hat tip to Bill Maher). Let's make it 1,000!

  20. As my enormous hull rusts away in these sludgy, still waters on the other side of the bay, I see a beautiful little gem of a city that civic leaders wish for the whole world to see and marvel at...
    But you, my friend, El Bee, continue to show us the truth.
    I do love Long Beach, but there are those that live here that think it is something it is not.
    Thank you, El Bee, for prying eyes wide open for all to see!

  21. El Bee, second to none, your blog is the funniest and most entertaining. I'm already an alleged knife catcher, but still enjoying every drop of your vitriol. Happy 300th!


  22. Congrats, El Bee!!!!

    Let's all enjoy the next leg down!!!!

  23. I love to read your posts. My family and I are recent to the area and still cannot fathom this market.

    Keep up the good works and laughs for us!

  24. Congrats! LOVE the blog. Keep on truckin!