Friday, October 30, 2009

It's a Wonderfyl Life

3833 East 2ND St #301, 90803
Price: $594,500
Beds: 2
Baths: 1.75
Sq. Ft.: 1,489
$/Sq. Ft.: $399
Year Built: 1986
MLS#: P704353
On Redfin: 37 days
HOA: $291
Down Payment: $119,000
Income Requirement: $170,000
Monthly Nut: $3,500
Description: This Plaza Mira Mar penthouse is stunning. This top floor corner unit with ocean and city view condo is just steps to the Ocean, Pier and the wonderful Shops and Dining in Belmont Shore. Marble floors through out with newer carpet in both bedrooms. Newer kitchen with cherry wood cabinets, granite counter tops with built-ins, including a lazy Susan. Gas fireplace in the living room with a marble manttle and hearth. Custom see through shades in living and dining rooms, plus custom drapes. New double paned windows and doors. Forced air heat and central air conditioning. Both bathrooms are highly upgraded, master bath has a seperate shower and a jacuzzi tub. Recessed lighting and skylights. Inside laundry, washer and dryer are included. There is a large balcony for you to enjoy your wonderful views. 2 parking spaces are also included. There is no need to preview this wonderfyl home.

"Through out"



"Wonderfyl"? WTF? You just spelled "wonderful" correctly TWO SENTENCES AGO!

Come on, lady! Have a little pride in your work. For a $600,000 listing (and the commission you're demanding "for all of your hard work") you should really be providing better service to your client.

Every time I roll by this building, I'm impressed with the exterior. Most Long Beach buildings this old very much look their age, but this one is quite nice with vinyl windows and doors, a decent paint job, and updated balconies and railings. For a building built in 1986, it's commendable.

The interior isn't too bad, either. For instance, the bathroom looks really nice:

As does the kitchen (that's an impressive collection of refrigerator magnets!):
But I have to say, the tile floors are killing me.
Yikes. I want a living room, not a mausoleum. Those would have to go STAT.

And for an apartment sporting 1,500 square feet, this master bedroom seems awfully cramped:

Come to think of it, so do the hallways:

Whatever, I'm picking nits--overall this apartment is pretty sweet. And with the right furniture and wood flooring, it would be amazing.

Anyhow, the pricing history tells an interesting tale:

Oct 05, 2009 - Price Changed $594,500
Sep 23, 2009 - Listed $619,900
Apr 27, 2005 - Sold $660,000 (+15.8%/yr)
Apr 05, 2004 - Sold $565,000 (+50.4%/yr)
May 09, 2003 - Sold $390,000

Our featured seller purchased this apartment in 2005 for $660,000 , just two years after it was appraised and sold for a mere $390,000.

That's a 70% increase in "value" in just 25 months. No red flags went up? Really?

Anyhow, after adorning the 2004 buyer with $105,000 in pure, unfettered bubble cash, our featured seller settled in to enjoy his wonderful new apartment for years and years.

And by "years and years" I mean four.

Because this September he put it on the market for $619,900--a grim acknowledgment that by this time the party was long over and a loss would incur.

And that grim acknowledgment quickly morphed into abject horror as the market continued to drop like a porpoise thrown off the Empire State building. Consequently, the seller cautiously reduced the price by $25,400, hoping to attract a buyer.


And assuming a cash-flush savior shows up tomorrow and agrees to pay full asking, the loss including commissions will be approximately $106,000. But I have a feeling Real Estate Jesus will be turned off by the $3,500 monthly payment considering his carpenter's salary.

Not to mention the fact that nothing in this (awesome) neighborhood has sold for anywhere close to $594,500 during the last six months:

$447,500 110 Termino Ave Unit 201 Sold on Jun 26, 2009
0.13 miles 2 bd / 2 ba 1,408 Sq. Ft.

$440,413 3600 E 4th St Unit 202 Sold on May 14, 2009
0.62 miles 2 bd / 2 ba 1,320 Sq. Ft.

$530,000 2999 E Ocean Blvd Unit 840 Sold on Jun 26, 2009
0.63 miles 2 bd / 2 ba 1,510 Sq. Ft.

$569,000 2999 E Ocean Blvd Unit 1820 Sold on Sep 04, 2009
0.63 miles 2 bd / 2 ba 1,510 Sq. Ft.

$385,000 2538 E 2nd St Unit 107 Sold on Jul 09, 2009
0.84 miles 2 bd / 2 ba 1,347 Sq. Ft.

$400,000 2538 E 2nd St Unit 307 Sold on Jun 10, 2009
0.84 miles 2 bd / 2 ba 1,347 Sq. Ft.

$380,000 2131 E 1st St Unit 304 Sold on May 19, 2009
1.05 miles 2 bd / 2 ba 1,451 Sq. Ft.

Keep in mind, the ONLY nearby comps to sell for more than $500,000 were in the Towering Inferno at 2999 Ocean--which as we all know is an OCEAN-FRONT building.

Here's the view from 2999 Ocean:

And here's our seller's "view":

Sorry holmes, those aren't even close to comparable.

And don't try to tell me a premium is justified because of the "penthouse" location. Saying, "I live in the penthouse" sounds really impressive until you discover this building only has three freaking floors.

So how does he justify asking this kind of money?

Easy: Because he's trying to minimize losses. So he tools around with little 3% cuts in the hopes that some sucker with severe brain damage (caused, incidentally, by a porpoise flung from the Empire State building) strolls along and makes his dreams of getting out with some semblance of a financial future come true. The market may prove me wrong, but I think this place is way overpriced.

I have a feeling he can't afford to cut the price any further, meaning an attempted short sale can't be far away.


  1. Man, looks like a nice week or so here!! I go off to London, and WHAM!! El Bee comes out guns a blazin!!!

    London was AWESOME!!! All the lady and I did was hang out in pubs in and around Covent Garden. It was an amazing trip.

    It is good to know that the recession is over!!! Home prices should be starting to rocket up ANY DAY NOW!!! BUY BUY BUY!!!!

    I mean, we should be back to 50% appreciation YoY any day now!!! Those days were normal.

    So, we have tile throughout except the bedrooms? Really? Does it get that cold where you need carpet in the bedrooms?

  2. Carl,

    That sounds like a great week! I've always wanted to go to London--or any place where drinking in pubs is a central theme, really.

    I'm going to Tokyo for 10 days pretty soon, so I'll be sure to put some photos on the blog.

  3. Carl, 3.5 percent. That's a HUGE growth in the economy!! Stop hating!!!!

    I mean, just because ALL the 3.5 is from government spending, and NONE of it was from investment or job growth, doesn't mean that the economy isn't growing, and the recession isn't over.

    Damn you right-wing conspiratists!

    Always ruining it, when it COULD be so nice!!!

  4. El Bee,

    I just got back from Tokyo a couple of weeks ago. It is awesome. It is very cool to check out the Harajuko and Shinjuko areas. Tokyo tower and Roppongi Hills are good for ANY kind of clubbing you are into. I would skip Ginza~~ all department stores and you can get that anywhere in Tokyo. Get a good metro map. For $10 US you can ride all day and most/some of night. Try some noodle soup it is nothing like top ramen. Awesome high end leather goods. Anyway good luck and be safe.

  5. Anon,

    Thanks for the great tips!

  6. Another brilliant post. I look forward to reading your blog. Too funny!

  7. El Bee
    If you've never been to Japan you are in for a treat. I've been twice and now know what it feels like to be illiterate in another country. Hey, maybe that's the problem with these listings; they are being outsourced to some third world country!
    Japan is really safe and we could all learn from the people over there. Enjoy your trip.

    On another note I was thinking about how stupid the people in our legislative branch are. I remembered hearing about Laura Richardson. She's a poster child for the housing bubble and one of the people making decisions related to it. (like the extension of the tax credit).
    Anyway, here's an interesting link. Scroll down to where it says real estate controversies: