Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A $440,000 Starter Home

I'm back from Park City, trying to regain my bearings. Have your Long Beach Housing Blog withdrawals subsided?

I'd like to thank Yikesboy for sending in today's property.

Address: 1384 QUINCY Ave, 90804
Asking Price: $439,900
Purchase Price: $540,000 (11/2005)
Beds: 2
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 672 (!)
$/Sq. Ft.: $655
Lot Size: 3,526 Sq. Ft.
Year Built: 1938
MLS#: S10019372
On Redfin: 2 days
Down Payment: $88,000 (20%)/$18,000 (FHA)
Income Requirement: $126,000
Monthly Nut: $2,400 (20%)/$2,800 (FHA)
Description: 1384 Quincy Ave offers the perfect opportunity to own a great starter home on a large 3500 sq ft lot in a quiet residential neighborhood. The large gated back yard affords plenty of room for dining al fresco as well as play space for family and pets. Inside you will find a nice, cozy 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom home with many of the original features of this 1938 bungalow. Guest quarters off of the garage offer extra space to expand your living (buyer to verify permit). .. use your imagination and enjoy this rare opportunity! There is still time for the Home Buyers Tax Credit so don't hesitate to make an appointment and call this home!

If this is what passes as a "great starter home" these days, then I'm not going to bother getting off the blocks. I'll rent forever before I slap down $440,000 for 672 dingy square feet in this neighborhood.

I mean, just how warped have things become that a matchbox home miles from the ocean, asking nearly half a million dollars, is considered a "starter home?" Does that make any kind of freaking sense?

To reasonably afford this dumpy "starter home," a family just starting out has to pull in at least $126,000 per year.

That's is more than three times the median income in this zip code.


Does this tiny, cramped 72-year-old shoebox really look like a property that the top 10% of Long Beach earners would be interested in?


Studio apartments have more square footage than this thing!

"But El Bee, the listing says 'Guest quarters off of the garage offer extra space to expand your living [whatever the fuck 'expand your living' is supposed to mean].'"

Uh, that's great (and judging by the interior of the main house, I'm sure the guest quarters are wildly impressive) but the seller--who I'll remind you is asking $440,000--can't even be bothered to verify the authenticity of the permits! What a joke!

As I'm sure you've already figured out, I think this property insanely overpriced. Just an insulting, open-handed slap to first-time buyers.

But the seller's idiotic wishing price isn't all that surprising when you consider what kind of person we're dealing with. Check out what our seller paid:

Nov 21, 2005 - Sold $540,000 (119.4%/yr)
Jun 21, 2005 - Sold $389,000

So, not only was he stupid enough to pay $540,000 ($804 per square foot!) in November 2005, but he did it just five months after someone paid $389,000.


You're telling me there was nothing fishy about a 119% annualized return? I don't see granite, I don't see nice tile...hell, I don't even see a matching fridge!

Anyhow, assuming he could get his ridiculous $440,000 asking price, and considering this is not (yet) a short sale, he stands to lose -$126,000 including commissions.

But that's assuming a brain-damaged buyer comes along and finds this to be an exceptional bargain. Don't worry, seller, I'm sure that mush-mouthed imbecile will come along soon.

Just hang in there, Tiger.


  1. A large 3,500 sq. ft lot? Really??? Since when is a 3500 sq. ft. lot "LARGE"

    "The large gated back yard affords plenty of room for dining al fresco as well as play space for family and pets"

    Sure, for a family of midgets and chihuahuas.

    btw, welcome back from Park City!!!

  2. The overhead map tells you all you need to know about that "large" backyard.

    But, you have to give the listing agent credit for the "al fresco" dining thing. That is a very creative way to deflect from the fact that there is absolutely no room in the actual house for a dining room table.

  3. If this wooden shipping container sells for asking(or even close to asking), this country is completely fucked! I will have lost any shred of hope that we recover at all. Simply and Truly void of any rhyme or reason.

  4. Is this a new category called "The walk-aways"?

  5. Out of all the listings I've seen on your site, this one has me shaking my head the most. The fact that this guy paid $540k for this thing shows the extreme magnitude of his buffoonery. He will need to find someone with some decent financial backing and of equal raging stupidity to unload this one, not an easy task. Great site by the way, el bee.

  6. El Bee, Just came across your blog.

    Do you ever mention the people who bought for $50K and sold for $500K?

    If some fool was buying, someone else was selling.

    If this whole scenario doesn't become apocalyptic, prices could fall 80%.

  7. I asked this before, and even you El Bee, weren't sure of the answer... I always see a square footage listed as the "lot size". And one would assume this is the size of the front and backyard (and any extra space on the side of the house), along with the size of the land the house is sitting on top of.


    Assuming there was a yard of 3500 square feet, that would be a pretty large yard no?

    But alas, no pictures of this yard. Hmmmm..

    And yeah, spending anything over 175K for this little shack, in THIS neighborhood, is quite insane.