Thursday, December 17, 2009

Circle of Duh

2805 East 3RD St #14, 90814
WTF Price: $425,000
Beds: 2
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 1,000
$/Sq. Ft.: $425 (The highest ppsft in this zip is $314)
Year Built: 1974
MLS#: S596231
Source: SoCalMLS
On Redfin: 30 days
HOA Fine: $263
Down Payment: $15,000 (FHA)
Income Requirement (4x income): $106,000 (FHA would probably be more lenient here)
Monthly Nut: $2,900 (FHA)
Description: Fabulous opportunity! This Belmont Heights condo is completely re-done in the highest quality. This property is turn-key and immediate occupancy is available. Upgrades include: Spectacular walnut kitchen with cove ceiling with recessed lighting, tile flooring, stainless steel stove and dishwasher. Eating area. Crown mouldings and baseboards as well as new doors and casings throughout. Living room has an enclosed balcony, beautiful fireplace and is wired for a flat screen over the mantle. Both bathrooms highly upgraded including granite counter tops. The Master bedroom has new fan with lighting and balcony. A walk in closet and 2 additional closets--no storage issues here! This condo won the 2005 Belmont Beautification Award. This has to be the best value on the market today! Laundry Facilities are down the hall.

I was just going to post this property as a Shitty Realtor Photo of the Day, but I feel like the level of sheer delusion and stupidity warrants a further look.

First of all, shithead, thanks for the one photo of a condo that you claim won the highly prestigious "2005 Belmont Beautification Award" (whatever the holy fuck that is). Do you realize how unbelievably stupid that makes you look?

Not only that, but the photo you included has to be one of the most useless, out-of-focus, diarrhea-brained fuck ups I've ever seen. It looks like you took that shot with a Fothflex dipped in a vat of melted margarine while being tased in the corroded artery.

However, I was able to make out that big, gaping hole where the refrigerator should be. Newsflash, asshole: If I have to go out shopping for a new $1,000 fridge and sit around all Saturday waiting for two sweaty dudes to haul it up to my apartment--THIS PLACE AIN'T FUCKING "TURN-KEY."

And then there's the price.  Good lord, man. $425,000?!

For the love of Peter Venkman the tax basis on this thing is only $273,000!

How did you even come up with that number? "How can I convince my therapist that I really am out of my mind"?

The monthly nut on this place, assuming a buyer gets an FHA loan (the FHA's new motto should be: "FHA...where the fuck else you gonna go?") is roughly $2,900. Dude, for a 1,000 square foot apartment that's missing appliances? I'd rather rent on the beach, stay nimble, and save a grand per month while doing it.

Interestingly, the listing information reveals that at one point the price was $390,000 (which is still a crack-smokin' number).  Which begs the question, What bong-loaded economic green shoot prompted that $35,000 increase?

The comps certainly can't be what's fueling this greed-soaked idiocy. The only guy in the area asking for this kind of money is 188 Temple ($435,000) and he's too stupid to even include an interior photo.

Other than that moron, the next closest in price is the highly upgraded 315 Winnipeg ($395,000). And despite sporting an extra 200 square feet and a $30,000 discount, he's been rotting on the market since October with no love.

So what chance does our guy at 2805 3rd have?

But that dose of reality still won't deter him nor hundreds of other Long Beach sellers from enjoying their fool's paradise. To their dying breath they will defend their entitlement to massive bubble profits--market realities be damned.  And some buyers have been bluffed into believing these prices have some footing in reality!  Fools being fooled by fools fooling themselves.  Like one continuous circle of Duh.

Sometimes I get the feeling that the return to normalcy and reasonably affordable housing for hardworking people is nothing but a fata morgana, one that gets further away the closer we seem to get.


  1. That kitchen looks like it's about to make the jump to light speed.

  2. What a long, strange trip it has been in Long Beach real estate! My wife and I have been looking to buy since about 2007, and for the most part we felt locked out of anything decent, even though we both make a good living. We have been more actively looking since August of 2009, got pre-qualified for a loan, and we were completely demoralized as the few reasonable priced houses that came out got snatched up by cash-paying investors sight-unseen within 48 hours of listing. Yes, that actually happened to us on 3 separate occasions.

    We also kept up a regular salvo of low-ball bids on overpriced houses that looked like there might be pricing room, but invariably the retarded greedheads refused to play and kept the listing price high without selling.
    We just about gave up, until last week a listing that had already been agressively priced down came up, and we low-balled the seller's price by $50k, thinking full well that we would be denied as we had been accustomed.

    Much to our chagrin, the sellers were hurting and needed out, and accepted our offer. It's in a good school district in the Lakewood Village area, for about $250 per square foot, way below Long Beach average.

    This is my swan song, fellow Long Beach RE haters. I am out, I am officially an owner of an admittedly overpriced piece of real estate. I fully realize that there may be 10-20% (or more) downside in the value of this property in years to come. We don't intend to move for at least 10 years, and anyway after the tax savings we are breaking even with our current rental (OK, more or less... ;-). Our mortgage and taxes are about 33% of our combined income, which is more than I'd like to pay, but still somewhat reasonable for this day and age.

    This is both a sad farewell to this wonderful blog that El Bee has created, and a message of hope for all of those (like myself) who look for a day when LBC real estate is more reasonable, and people can't get rich by just flipping houses to each other and pricing the poor shmucks who work for a living (like me) out. We may not be at reasonable valuation yet, but we are getting there, and one day, maybe in 2013, we can all have the chance to look at Redfin and say "wow, these prices are not that bad anymore..." By that time I'll probably be 25% underwater, but we'll be OK (after taxes) I hope.

    Farewell, friends, may the shadow inventory soon be cleared, and may RE in the LBC be again in line with local incomes!!! Peace, OUT!!

  3. Qualified,

    That's excellent news! Congrats. And no need to be pensive about it--it sounds like you did things right and are happy with the deal you got.

    And plus, you lowballed $50k (which is freaking awesome, by the way) so you have a bit of a cushion when/if values decline a bit. I seriously doubt we're going to see 20% declines from here on out regarding normal houses (i.e., not the high end) but here's the big picture:

    Dude, you're a homeowner.

    And you will remain a homeowner because it sounds like you can afford it even if life throws you a curveball. You say it's "overpriced" but by what measure? If you love it and can comfortably afford it, the dollar value of surrounding homes matters very little.

    So fuck Rent vs. Own, fuck comps, fuck interest rates...fuck all of it. You bought for the right reasons (and I'm assuming a nice interest rate) and now you can just enjoy living in your own house. Remember, the entire point of this blog is that I too want to be a homeowner--I have zero interest in renting forever, even if it means the house I buy falls a bit in value. Everybody has their comfort level of when and why to jump in, and you found yours. I hope to find mine soon too.

    I just hope this doesn't mean you'll stop commenting on the site. Even though you're a homeowner now, you can still take shots at slack-jawed greedtards.

  4. OK, I'm going to keep posting. I just felt like being dramatic... Keep up the good work El Bee!

  5. Qualified, congrats!!!

    And don't go anywhere! You're feedback is appreciated!

    and LOL at Jason!!!!!!!! (warp speed hehe)