Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Losing Half a Mil on Signal Hill

I was up in Signal Hill last week for a group walk. Not only was it great exercise, but the views were absolutely astounding. I haven't been up there for a really long time and it reminded me how beautiful Long Beach at night can be.

On our route up, down, and around the hill, I realized just how out of control the development of SH was during the bubble. Good Lord! Practically every square inch of land was covered by a hulking McMansion!

However, there were some GORGEOUS houses up there in the gated areas. It kind of reminded me of areas in South OC like Aliso Viejo or San Juan Capistrano, actually. The nice aspects of suburbia like the little parks and playgrounds for the kiddies, newly paved streets, and clean-looking new construction. And the negative aspects like houses so close to each other that you can flush your neighbor's toilet from your bedroom (one development sported "houses" with shared driveways and a common wall running from the garages through the entire length of both houses), an utter absence of charm and character, and cookie cutter design.

Anyhow, it was strange to think of heavily-urbanized LBC having such striking similarity to South Orange County. I guess it's good for people who want the look and feel of suburbia (i.e. feeling "away" from the bad elements of the city, more square footage), yet still want proximity to city life and an easier commute to LA.

Address: 2155 RIDGEVIEW TERRACE Dr, Signal Hill, 90755
Asking Price: $895,000
Seller Paid: $1,350,000
Beds: 4
Baths: 3.5
Sq. Ft.: 3,322
$/Sq. Ft.: $269
Lot Size: 6,381 Sq. Ft.
MLS#: P711017
On Redfin: Since January 2009
Down Payment: $179,000
Income Requirement: $223,000
Monthly Nut: $5,300
Description: * * * NOT A SHORT SALE * * * Absolutely stunning executive home that shows and sells itself. Forever views to the mountains and Disneyland fireworks at night. .. even peek-a-boo views of the ocean! Kitchen upgrades include stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, large walk-in pantry, 2 sinks, wine rack, ample storage, and beautiful hardwood floors. Living areas and master bedroom are located on the top story of the home to enjoy the best views the home offers. Downstairs features the secondary bedrooms and a second family room. The very private backyard has impeccable hardscape with a bbq area featuring Viking appliances and a fire pit. The garage has epoxy flooring throughout and built-in cabinets. Truly a MUST SEE home in a beautiful gated community.

He purchased for $1,350,000 right at the peak and is asking $895,000. How the hell is this "* * * NOT A SHORT SALE * * *"?!

After commissions, this guy will lose FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS. And unlike the dickhead from yesterday's post, this guy will be losing his own money. Half a million bucks?! How do you absorb that? I'm amazed he hasn't just walked away.

But maybe this guy was a CEO and his corporation will take the massive loss on the chin. After all, this is an "executive home," as evidenced by the "executive" wardrobe:

I thought I was excessive for having three white dress shirts, but get a load of this dude! Yowza! (For some reason I'm picturing one of those guys who wears tiny loafers with leather tassels on them. Maybe that's your thing, but they give me the creeps.)

And that $500,000 loss, of course, assumes he can find a buyer at the current asking price. Considering he just made it into the 365 Club (AKA, a year on the market) and has been stuck at the same asking price since November, it doesn't look good.

And that $14,797 annual property tax bill probably isn't helping matters either.

Nor is this mural confronting you in the entryway.


But hey, some buyers may look at the artwork as a bonus! Some say investing in art is a good inflation hedge. Speaking of buyer bonuses, maybe if he throws in the classic 'Stang it'll help his chances:

Not sure what that Shelby GT350 hood scoop is all about (or the half-inch layer of dust) but at least it's not buried under laundry baskets and boxes of old receipts.

The only bummer with these houses--as with most McMansions--is the small back yards. Peep the Aerial View. This lot, just feet away from the noise and heavy activity of the security gate, is listed as 6,381 sq. ft., but as you can see it looks much, much smaller.

However, this guy did a nice job upgrading what little he had to work with:

And the kitchen, although captured in a picture so small it requires the assistance of the Hubble Telescope to make anything out of it, looks pretty good:

So, here we have plenty of upgraded, newly constructed square footage. The question I'm trying to answer is whether this price is approaching a decent deal.

Sales prices of Signal Hill comps are all over the map (like any area with a view, precise location is everything), so I have no idea what a good deal would be on this house. But obviously, as the heretofore lack of interest in this property demonstrates, $895,000 is not it.

This comp, also referred to as an "executive home," (what's with that?) sporting 2,945 square feet, an 8,000 square foot lot (1,600 more square feet!), new construction, and about 10 times more curb appeal, sold for $790,000 ($60,000 off the asking price) in July.

Unless market conditions have secretly improved since then, I don't see how our featured seller can realistically compete by asking $100,000 more than this comp.

I dunno. For ~$900,000 you could get a really sweet house in Bluff Heights. Not as new, not as big, but, uh, not in Signal Hill either. To each his own, I suppose, but when we're discussing the $750,000-$1,000,000 range, I shouldn't have to worry about assorted exercisers walking behind my house having elevated, unobstructed views of the inside of my house (and my sweet ass mural).

For this kind of dough I expect just a wee bit more privacy. I mean, isn't that the point of buying a house "away" from the crowded masses below?

1 comment:

  1. at least you're not leaving the Hill onto Cherry.