Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Didn't Even Last Two Years

3101 East 2ND St Unit 4C, 90803
Asking Price: $447,000
Beds: 3
Baths: 1.75
Sq. Ft.: 1,481
$/Sq. Ft.: $302
Year Built: 1963
MLS#: P716383
On Redfin: 34 days
HOA: $175
Down Payment: $17,880 (FHA)
Income Requirement: $128,000
Monthly Nut: $2,900
Description: Spacious Bluff-Park-Condo in great location . .. This top floor light and bright unit features 3 bedrooms, private balcony with peek-a-boo ocean view, newer paint and carpet, attic access, storage areas, and stylish mid-century designer accents throughout. .. Walk to the beach, LB Art Museum, restaurants, and shops. .. Well maintained smaller complex. Must See!

Dang, this is a pretty sweet place. Three bedrooms, nearly 1,500 square feet, a balcony, cheap HOA fee, and in a killer neighborhood. The solo garage spot is a bummer, but hey, you can't have it all.

One thing I like is how the owner used those "stylish mid-century designer accents" to create an overall 50s/60s vibe. I mean, check out this door knob:

And the original stove knobs and old school overhead vent:

Yeah yeah, some might say that shit just looks old, not "designer" (and they'd be right) but you have to admit the seller did a good job incorporating those outdated elements into a cohesive design theme. In a day where pergraniteel is "standard," it's nice to see somebody work with what they have and pull it off reasonably well.

The only major drawback I can see (besides the price, duh) is the proximity to busy-ass, terribly noisy Broadway.

But the good news is you're right across the street from Taco Bell!

I love that particular T-Bell because it's the only one on the face of the planet without a freaking drive-thru.

In any event, this unit appears to be on the 2nd Street side so the traffic noise probably isn't that bad.

So now that we've covered what the seller did right, let's focus on what they did wrong and the reason this property is a topic of discussion.

The sales history reveals this seller mistakenly listened to the bottom callers of 2008 and took them at their word that "the worst is definitely over," and agreed to pay $475,000 for this bad boy. And now, just 22 months later, he or she is trying to sell for a substantial loss. Peep:

Jan 07, 2010 - Price Changed $447,000
Jan 06, 2010 - Listed $449,000
Mar 25, 2008 - Sold $475,000
Jan 11, 2008 - Price Changed $499,000
Oct 26, 2007 - Price Changed $529,000
Sep 14, 2007 - Price Changed $559,000
Jun 23, 2007 - Listed $579,000
Jun 18, 2007 - Delisted
Apr 04, 2007 - Price Changed
Jan 31, 2007 - Listed

The interesting thing is that the previous owner had it on the market for almost exactly a year before our dim-witted knife-catcher decided to step up and take on more than he could chew.

Which means during that year he watched as the price dropped $20,000, then $30,000, then another $30,000 before buying at yet another $25,000 discount AND SOMEHOW BELIEVED THE PROPERTY VALUE WOULD MAGICALLY STOP PLUMMETING.

WTF was he thinking?!

By stupidly jumping in long before the bottom and catching this rusty Ginsu, he just cost himself a minimum of $50,000. And that entry-level loss tragically depends on finding some burlap-head willing to part with nearly $450,000. Good luck with that!

I could understand if this throwback was fully updated, but for this kind of loot most buyers will be looking for detached homes or similarly sized condos on Ocean Blvd. with real ocean views.

But judging by the comps, and a price per square foot about to drop below the $300 mark, this seller might be able to find a greater fool for around $425,000. That still means a major loss, but at least he'll be free from his colossal error in judgment.

At any rate, I think this charming apartment, in a killer neighborhood, is quite desirable...just not $447,000 desirable. That seems woefully overpriced in this ever-competitive market.

Guess we'll just have to wait for Mr. Market to tell us who's right.


  1. Personally I think this place is NASTY, and as a pretty OG Long Beach person El Bee, you might know that "nasty" can mean really good, or really bad...

    The interior of that place makes me want to puke. I really don't like it.

    But the location is PRIME.

    That part over there, is the ONE spot in Long Beach where it's not overcrowded/overdeveloped.

    So at that square footage, and THAT location, it's got some real positives.

    The building looks just as ugly as the unit though, so it'd be a tough pill to swallow.

    Personally, I think this location merits a big price premium, if you compare it to the rest of Long Beach, outside the Naples area.

    I think a lot would depend on the inside of that horribly ugly building, and if they have a pool and/or jacuzzi, and what it looked like inside there.

    If I were going in with a wifey and a second income, I'd definitely consider this place, even at the price.

    I'd remodel though!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. No pool, no jacuzzi...that price is getting a little harder to justify.

  3. It's probably just me, but I've never seen the allure of a communal jacuzzi....unless we're talking about Sea Mountain Inn or Desire Cancun etc.

  4. SR,

    Agreed. Community jacuzzis kind of creep me out--they're like cauldrons of pestilence. A pool, on the other hand, would be great for someone like me who enjoys swimming.

    But given the ultra low HOA, Their absence here isn't surprising.

  5. el bee,

    I'm catching up with the past few postings of the blog. Wanted to add to part of the discussion started under 'Tardy for the Party'.

    Fellow readers, let us not paint with a broad brush when discussing public sector employees. I won't touch on California state employees, but just like all of you, the state economy, taxes, and waste are painfully maddening to me.

    I would like to note that when discussing Federal workers, there is a vast landscape as diverse as the private sector. Obviously, the current growth in the Federal sector as a whole is a worrisome thing, in and of itself. We are all taxpayers and we do not want waste carried on our taxpaying backs.
    At the same time, part of this workforce is comprised of true civil servants. These are Federal execs with advanced degrees whose job it may be to pick apart contracts and perform detailed cost analysis to try and save every penny for the taxpayer. Many of these people have been doing it for decades.
    Fiduciary duty to the taxpayer is a guiding principle literally discussed daily. Trust that there are many private for-profit companies that would like nothing more than to bleed the American taxpayer dry with inflated costs for contract work. As a Nation, we rely on contractors to perform a great deal of specialized work. There must be people (Federal employees), who are only beholden to the taxpayer who to try to spend tax dollars as wisely as possible. They must be compensated, just like any other professional.
    There are varying views on the size of Federal workforce needed. We ALL want to pay lower taxes. Let us also recognize that there is bloat (without value-added) in all sectors, including those we feel directly in our wallets. The health care complex and the banking industry are two prime examples.

    Best Wishes

  6. Well I guess the price depends on being relative to the other listings in the city, and then on true value.

    When I say relative to other listings, this one has what almost all other listings outside Naples don't, which is a nice and enjoyable location, not too overcrowded.

    1st and 2nd street, all the way down past Cherry, are streets with mostly houses, and aren't packed with ugly ghetto mini-housing project clones.

    So that's the only thing I'm talking about.

    All things considered, I'd probably only be willing to spend at max 400K, for this ugly and drab place.

    The low HOA is a definite plus, but the place depresses me.

    Also, interesting to note that not even ONE pic of the patio...

    And on a side note, regarding jacuzzis, is there something I should know? I mean, can you really catch something from them?

    I usually like a jacuzzi because after working out, it's very good and relaxing and healing.

    Best bet I go straight to the shower afterward, but you guys now have me thinking. haha

  7. You want to see another 2 year "wonder blunder", check out 309 Argonne. Unfortunately, Stop Loss orders do not work for real estate. I'd title this one: "Sweating it out on the Shore".

  8. Anon,

    OUCH! $691 per square?! Might need its own post.