Wednesday, January 6, 2010

"You Never Go Full Retard"

Address: 1318 East 2ND St #9, 90802
Asking Price: $289,000
Purchase Price (2004): $329,000
Beds: 2
Baths: 1.75
Sq. Ft.: 909
$/Sq. Ft.: $318
Year Built: 1964
MLS#: P701097
On Redfin: 131 days
HOA: $156
Down Payment: $10,000 (FHA)
Income Requirement (4x income): $72,000
Monthly Nut: $1,700 (FHA)
Description: Sunny & bright, this lovely condo has tons of storage space, a spacious dining room and living room, a separate master bathroom AND A PRIVATE GARAGE with storage that is big enough for an SUV! The home has large rooms that make the entire condo bright and roomy. Located just 2 blocks from the beach, this is perfect as a second home, vacation property or a retreat to enjoy every day!

"perfect as a second home, vacation property or a retreat to enjoy every day"? Looks like this bathroom took a vacation to the 1960s:


And when was the last time you saw a white refrigerator?

Maybe I've just become accustomed to stainless fridges, but for some reason that outdated clunker is really jarring!

Pssst! Wanna see the secret to selling a tiny, dumpy apartment with original bathrooms in a shaky economy? Here you go:

December 30: The price was "$239,000" and changed to "$289,000"


This short selling grifter has been priced below $270,000 for the last 75 days (50 of which were spent begging for $239,000) with no luck, but for some insane reason decided what this listing really needed was a price jack to $289,000. Because there's nothing buyers love more than a good ol' fashioned cornholing.

Dec 30, 2009 - Price INCREASED $289,000
Dec 30, 2009 - Relisted
Dec 03, 2009 - Delisted
Nov 12, 2009 - Price Reduced
Oct 30, 2009 - Relisted
Sep 23, 2009 - Delisted
Sep 18, 2009 - Price Reduced $249,000
Sep 14, 2009 - Price Reduced $270,000
Aug 28, 2009 - Listed $319,900
Aug 01, 2008 - Delisted
May 06, 2008 - Listed
May 06, 2008 - Delisted
Mar 30, 2008 - Listed
Mar 29, 2008 - Delisted
Feb 29, 2008 - Listed
May 25, 2004 - Sold $329,000 ($270,000 puts it firmly in 2002 pricing--the true market value, judging by the failure to sell for $249,000 is likely 2000/2001)

What kind of sales strategy is that? To paraphrase a line from Tropic Thunder, When trying to sell a house, "everyone knows you never go full retard."

Because that's the only explanation for the current price. All the loanowner has to do is click on their own Redfin link to see that nearby properties are selling for nowhere near this amount:

Downtown: $243,000; $271 psft
Alamitos Beach: $225,000; $262 psft
90802: $249,000; $276 psft
Long Beach: $229,900; $256 psft

And here she is, demanding $311 per square! Based on what, honey?

Anyhow, the point of this post isn't about greed or stupidity, or the living hell of two shared walls, or the difficulties involved with short sales, or the insanity of sellers having negative equity after FIVE FUCKING YEARS OF OWNERSHIP yet simultaneously driving $45,000 luxury SUVs...

No. Although all are at play here, this post is really about pent-up foreclosures.

You see, this property is just two months shy of its two year (!) anniversary on the MLS. It's technically not "shadow inventory" because its been out in the open on the MLS, right? But given the lender's failure to approve a sale in 22 months, it has never actually been "for sale." Meaning it's a bank-owned property in denial.

A monster loss is guaranteed, it just hasn't been booked yet.

And after it inevitably goes back to the bank, it will come back on the market at a greatly reduced price (it seems that most times, once the loss has been realized banks just try to unload). However, REOs dumped on the market crush values, putting everyone else in the area (further) underwater and perpetuating the cycle. It makes perfect sense why lenders are intent on keeping these phantoms in real estate limbo for as long as they can.

And without a mechanism to force lenders to actually approve short sales and process foreclosures (read: recognize losses) instead of extending and pretending for eternity, the market will be absolutely surrounded by these phantom properties for years and years, with no opportunity to actually buy them.

If this seller were smart (ha!) she would have stopped paying ages ago and lived rent-free this entire time. If her lender isn't interested in selling short after two years, they certainly aren't keen on foreclosing.


  1. FASB's change from "Mark to Market" to "Mark to Whatever the Software Developers Say" is sooo awesome. I think I need to learn how to develop software. I am sure I can help some of these banks in the models that I would create!!!

    This whole thing should have been blown up. I trust that we, as America, would have survived. Many people smarter than I could have created enough smaller banks to restart the economy in a much shorter time. But noooo, we have to ensure the America continues to be "of the corporation (banker), by the corporation (banker), and for the corporation (banker)".

    I am not anti-corporation, just anti-corporations that should be allowed to fail, and anti-corporations running this country.

  2. Can you feature this condo? Buyer truly delusional!
    MLS ID: S593014
    4735 E 4th St Long Beach, CA 90814
    3 Bed/2 Bath/1558 Sq Ft......$564,500!!!
    Yes, over $550K! Not a typo....for a condo!!! Built in the 80's!!!! LOL!!!!!

  3. Anon,

    You'd be surprised...these Bridgeport apartments are super popular. I featured a two-bedroom Bridgeport unit in July and laughed about the $379,485 asking price and 700+ days on market. Well, it looks like it sold in August for $380,000.

    You never know these days.

  4. El Bee don't know if you've ever sold a house before but sometimes the offers come in close to or above the asking price (believe it or not it does happen). In that case some sellers decide to raise the price rather than take the highest offer, to get higher offers still.

    It means that the last asking price was too low. $250K in that neighborhood is pretty good, even for 1000 ft2.

  5. Yyyyyyyyyyeah, I hear what you're saying but whether or not I've sold a house, I seriously doubt this place got bid up 20%, and THAT'S the reason for the price increase. But hey, maybe buyers are really into pink bathrooms these days.

  6. what does full retard have to do with anything? you sound more like full ignorant to have used the word retard.

  7. Uh, you just used the word "retard."

  8. Of the "super popular" Bridgeport apartments, well, if buyers are willing to pay $3K PLUS a month for an 80's apartment for mortgage, HOA ($390 per month) and property taxes, be my guest! You could rent a 2 bedroom for half the cost or buy a decent house for the same price. I don't understand the attraction. Look at some of the units.

  9. Anon,

    I can't explain why people pay WTF prices for these old ass Bridgeport condos--we are truly living in Bizarro World. I think there's a perception that these don't come up for sale that often?

    In the link you sent, the realtor described that shit condo as "Very Chic." LOL!

  10. Geez you granite counter top queens just don't get vintage 1960s construction. The pink bathroom is part of the charm. Then there's the solid construction, probably lathe and paster walls. Anyway it's too late to get it now for $250K, probably because if this website! El Bee keep saying good things about modern buildings pluzeee!