Thursday, September 17, 2009

Shot in the Dark

1990 Chestnut Ave, 90806
Price: $439,000
Beds: 3
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 1,638
$/Sq. Ft.: $268
Lot Size: 4,233 Sq. Ft.
Year Built: 1931
MLS#: P678516
On Redfin: 195 days
Down Payment: $88,000
Income Requirement: $125,000
Monthly Nut: $2,400
Description: Discover Wrigley. This 1931 Spanish Charmer on a corner lot has classic period details throughout. Enter through hall into a living room with soaring coved ceiling, mock fireplace and hardwood floors. Step up to formal dining room with period windows, updated large kitchen with bright and airy breakfast nook. Vintage tile in both bathrooms. Each of the 3 bedrooms has large closets. Walled back yard has a long driveway and a 2 car garage. This is a very special home! From Wrigley area bike path to downtown New Pike, Marina, Restaurants, Aquarium.

"Bike path to downtown New Pike, Marina, Restaurants, Aquarium"?

Yo, that's like a two mile bike ride! I guess that's good if the Aquarium is low on water and can use the sweat generated during your trek to refill the shark exhibit.

Our seller purchased this Wrigley area (aka "The Other Long Beach") home in 1991 for $179,000. Now, 18 years later, the seller believes it is worth two-and-a-half times what he paid (according to the NAR, house values double every ten years--and we all know they are unbiased "experts" in these matters).

However, that belief is foolish and incredibly misguided--this house is painfully overpriced. But don't take my word for it--the market, the only voice that counts, has already spoken: 260+ days with no action.

Outside of a four-month sojourn, this thing has been on the MLS since August 2008. Keep up the good fight, pal!

It's pretty neat inside, but in this declining post-bubble market that's not enough to nab an interested buyer. There are more factors at play here.

It's not just that you can rent a nicer home in the Wrigley area for about $450 less per month.

But that's part of it.

And it's not just that the price per square foot of $268 is a $46 premium compared to the rest of the homes selling in this zip.

But that's part of it.

And it's not just this asking price is 11 TIMES the local median income.

Estimated median household income in 2007: $40,798

But that's part of it.

You see, lest you think those bars on the windows are there for beautification, they serve a very distinct, and disturbing purpose:

Long Beach Man Killed in Shooting

A 20-year-old Long Beach resident was gunned down and two other men were shot and injured in an attack Monday night, police said Tuesday.

Long Beach police were called to the 200 block of West 20th Street at about 9:30 p.m. and arrived to find the three gunshot victims, said Officer Jackie Bezart.

All three men where taken to local hospitals, and one of them died. He was identified as Robert Tripple.


The preliminary investigation found the three victims were standing in front of a residence when they were confronted by at least two suspects, Bezart said.

Words were exchanged between the two groups before the gunman or gunmen opened fire, the officer said.

Residents in the neighborhood Tuesday morning said the victims were linked to a local black gang and the shooters were believed to be members of a Hispanic gang.

People are willing to pay more for personal safety. But nobody of sound mind is willing to pay a premium to live in a shitty, dangerous neighborhood. And the days on market and lower listing prices of sellers within half a mile prove that beyond any doubt.

$220,000 2175 Cedar Ave
0.24 miles 3 bd / 3 ba 1,469 Sq. Ft.

$375,000 2000 Maine Ave
0.24 miles 3 bd / 2 ba 1,735 Sq. Ft.

$287,100 2324 Magnolia Ave
0.44 miles 4 bd / 2 ba 1,495 Sq. Ft.

$300,000 2246 GOLDEN Ave
0.47 miles 2 bd / 1 ba 1,393 Sq. Ft.

$225,000 1501 N Chestnut Ave
0.48 miles 3 bd / 1 ba 1,500 Sq. Ft.

$199,000 1593 Pine Ave
0.48 miles 3 bd / 2 ba 1,560 Sq. Ft

This seller needs to get with the program--and needs to do it quick. What, you think this area is going to improve with a rising unemployment rate?

I say drop the price and get out while the gettin' is good.

Or before you get gunned down in your driveway!


  1. Nice pad, too bad it's in DA HOOD! If it was in Belmont Heights some delusional idiot would be trying to get 1.5 million for the friggin' thing. Wifie and I are looking at homes now and it is depressing as all getout! Seems like 2/3 of the listings are zombie listings just sitting on the market at ridiculously inflated bubble prices for 100s of days with no price reductions. The other 1/3 have bidding wars. It's enough to make me go back in my cave for a couple of more years before even looking again...

  2. Qualified,

    You ready to get REALLY depressed? Type "Long Beach, CA" into and look at the LONG BEACH HOMES section in the upper right hand corner.

    Aug trends:
    inventory down 5% vs. July
    inventory down 35% vs. last year
    sale-to-list at 99%

  3. Wow, thanks for pointing that out El Bee. Now I can feel good about my nightly xanax with vodka chaser...

    Wake me up when it's 2012....

  4. Although there are some little pockets of very nice homes in Da Westside, my girlfriend who's lived in LB all her life, rapidly convinced me NOT to buy there. For every nice, clean, well-kept house there, you go a block or two and find decay, graffiti, and security bars *on the front windows*!

  5. When I first looked at the location, I shuddered, and rolled my eyes and laughed.

    Then I thought, maybe I was being too harsh, and maybe this old-timer is a little out of touch, and maybe some of these areas have improved.

    Nice article, to let me know that things are exactly the way I remember them.

    Good square footage, but pipe dreaming, for that location, to be charging that kind of money. If they knocked off 100K from the price, it'd still be overpriced.

  6. We looked at one not too far from there that was absolutely stunning. True "Pride of Ownership", it was impeccably maintained, had a huge picture window the guy's wife had scrounged from a Buffum's department store that was being torn down. It also had a equally nice little one-bedroom, one-bath "guest house" in the back, and a workshop that gave me a woody! And it was over $500k! Insane price for that neighborhood, but a wonderful piece of property. Too bad it was "Da Westside".

  7. drjim, that SOUNDS like a nice property!

    Weird though, that they put all that time into it, and now they wanna sell and move...

    I suspect that these people see all the details of this hood, from living there in day to day life, and probably have an even WORSE opinion/image of it than we do.....

    They're just tryna pull a fast one, when they sell at these prices, hoping to catch a sucker.

  8. Yeah, it was a really amazing property. We looked at it about a year and a half ago, when prices were still pretty nuts. They were retiring and moving to Arizona or New Mexico to be with their kids and grandkids. If we kept the gf's house and rented it, and cashed in our CD's and drew our savings down to a "scary" level, we could have afforded it. was on the westside, and as beautiful and "move-in-ready" as it was, she just wouldn't go for it. I can't (and sure wouldn't!) blame her for not wanting it, as she knows this area very well, and will NOT live on "Da Westside". Go two or three blocks away, and if it's at night, you'd better be wearing your Kevlar!