Monday, March 15, 2010

Long Beach Housing Blog's 400th Post!

Actually, RE in the LBC's 400th post was last Thursday but I lost track amidst all of the travel. Either way, 400 posts is a massive milestone, an achievement I'm very proud of. That big, solid number provides some perspective as far as the time, effort, discipline, and commitment put into this blog over the last two years.

And the insight, humor, and loyalty my dear readers -- the reason I comb through the MLS each week looking for gems (rare), examples of greed run amok (quite common), and sheer delusion (absolutely everywhere) -- have shown me as well. For me it's been a great creative outlet and educational as well -- I hope you feel the same. Thank you for stopping by, and especially thank you for commenting and sending in new finds.

But I have to be perfectly honest and say I seriously doubt this blog will make it to 500 posts. It's a time constraint thing, and it's also a real-life-getting-in-the-way thing. As I'm sure you've noticed, things have been steadily slowing down. It's a combination of dwindling passion for the topic, competing writing projects, and just plain frustration.

I mean, in some ways getting so worked up about the concerted efforts to prevent house prices from returning to affordable levels for hardworking families and individuals is like pissing in the wind. It's funny to highlight and castigate the rampant avarice and utter disdain for critical thinking out there, but ultimately, if you really think about it, the whole situation is just sad.

I mean, nothing has changed. Name one new regulation or law (or evidence of current laws even being enforced) that will prevent another financial crisis just like the one we've suffered through the last few years.


So what am I railing against then? Pervasive greed? It's never going anywhere. Widespread fraud, lies, and criminality of the elite and well-connected? Besides Madoff, I haven't seen any perp-walks. Shitty, insanely overpriced houses that require families to stretch unrealistically and spend 40, 50, or 60% of their take-home income? People are out there buying these properties every single day.

With that said, I'm not shutting down the blog anytime soon. I still want to be a source of good information, perspective, and, of course, humor. It's just that I can see ending credits just over the horizon and this a good opportunity to acknowledge everyone who has made this such a great ride so far.

So, here is RE in the LBC's 404th post featuring The Jackass of Month, possibly of the year. I hope you enjoy it. Thanks to Dfret for sending this one in.

Wishing Price: $999,000
Beds: 2
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 777
$/Sq. Ft.: $1,286
Lot Size: 2,000 Sq. Ft.
Year Built: 1946
Community: Belmont Shore/Park/Naples/Marina Pacific/Bay Harbor
MLS#: R1001219
On Redfin: 21 days
Down Payment: $200,000
Income Requirement: $285,000
Monthly Nut: $5,700 (6% Jumbo)
Descritpion: LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION 2 BEDROOM DOLL HOUSE RIGHT ON THE CORNER OF THE COLONNADE AND THE TOLEDO. FANTASTIC VIEW OF THE BAY AND THE COLONNADE FOUNTAIN OFF THE QUAINT FRONT PORCH. Custom amenities include, custom Plantation Shutters(living room and master Bdr. ) Remodled Bathroom (Marble and Travertine. Custom hardwood floors. Antique Brass Bartop off custom kitchen, with transparent stained oak cabinetry, Jenn-air built in range, new sharp microwave, new built-in U-line refrig. Custom stained glass front door. Garage multi-purpose room, drywalled, insulation, paint, carpet, new laundry & storage. Self contained for office or multi-purpose use. New lighting and door opener. STANDARD SALE

"Remodled"? In a million dollar listing? Good lord.

Here we have an old-timer, stuffed to the gills with long-time-owner equity, taking his shot at the American Dream(tm) of avarice, ignorance, and all-out, unbridled, greed-faced dumbfuckery.

This shitheel actually believes he's entitled to $1,286 per dilapidated, woefully outdated square foot.


How are the summers on planet Freebase?

It appears as if the "LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION" has gotten to this misguided seller's (empty) head. A million clams for this dust bin?! I mean, just look at this kitchen:

And is this location, on the corner of a busy traffic circle, really that prime?

This seller clearly has their medical marijuana card (Glaucoma, you see), because despite bragging about the "remodled" bathroom in the description, they neglected to include a photo of what I imagine would be the only thing keeping the house from being a complete tear-down. If that bathroom was so impressive, it seems to me you would have included a photo in place of one of those six shots of the porch.

Instead we get these beauties:

Can't you just smell the Werther's Originals?

I have a hard time believing this is what people in the market for $1,000,000 homes had in mind.

The property taxes for 2009 were a paltry $1,697, based on a valuation of $157,345. Which makes me wonder: Why sell and eliminate your Prop 13 golden goose? Why not just pass it on to family and keep that massive taxpayer-subsidized pony in the stable?

This doesn't appear to be a probate sale (although the pricing sure is indicative of scumbag next of kin trying to get rich off of Grandma's demise), so it really doesn't make sense. The land value alone makes this a multi-generational keeper.

But the reason for selling doesn't matter because this place will never fucking sell for this ridiculous, fundamentally greedtarded asking price. It will never happen.

Where does this pricing strategy (namely, the decision to be the second most expensive listing on a price-per-square-foot basis in the entire city of Long Beach) even come from?

The most expensive rentals in Naples and Belmont Shore are in the $2,500 - $2,700 range -- half the monthly nut of owning this dump. Fundamentals, anyone?

Furthermore, the biggest sale in Naples during the last six months was for $650,000 and it was nicer, more spacious, on a bigger lot, and about 200 feet from the water.

Oh, it gets even more nonsensical.

Because apparently their genius realtor is the only one in the business without access to the MLS. If he had it, he would know there is a competing house literally 60 yards away that's twice as big, and twenty times as nice, asking $995,000:

Absolutely everything has been re-done or upgraded. Just check out this second-story deck:

Now that's a million dollar listing!

So, uh, yeah...good luck with that $1,286 per square foot, dipshit. In the meantime we'll be waiting with bated breath for that massive price reduction.


  1. El Bee, really grateful for all your blogs here, but at the same time very sad at the prospect of this not continuing.

    I'd like to make a request...

    First off, I definitely understand real life issues. That should definitely come first!

    At the same time though, I'd like to request even if you were to slow things down greatly, for you not to totally close the blogspot. I'd hate to lose all contact with you. You're basically my teacher in this real estate arena. I've asked a few times before, and I'd ask it again, if you make yourself available as an agent, because as a buyer, I'd greatly desire that.

    Another thing I was wondering, if there was a way for us, your followers/fans, to make blogs and comments of our own, to each other...

    That way, we could help each other, and not only that, but you could just chime in from time to time, here or there, as you had the time or interest.

    I have found that the fellow readers of your blog here, have really good insights as well, and I think it's like when you have a good class, because of a good teacher, that the class begins to help each other.

    Well anyways, thanks.

  2. Good stuff as always, LB... you catch 60 minutes last night? Great stuff and we'll see if there is a second leg down in the inflated dow as housing continues downslide and govt support exits... as much as I love that spanish redo, it's still a bit over priced... another property across the circle sits at 899k after a price drop, no takers... rossmoor, seal beach, and naples/belmont area good indicator of the market as houses sit without buyers at 750k and above...

  3. Hey El Bee. I don't always comment but I've read every entry on your blog. I would be sad and lost if you closed down your blog.

    Last year, I was actively looking in the LB area and put an offer on a loft which you later featured on this blog. I felt like such a moron for letting someone persuade me to put an offer in at such a high price. That was my very first offer ever and I clearly did not know what I was doing! Thankfully, the owner turned it down b/c she thought it was too low. Saving me from a costly mistake!
    FYI - The loft is now foreclosed.

    After I discovered your blog, the price analysis started to make more sense to me. So, I just wanted to say that I very much appreciate all the time you take out of your day to write these relevant and humorous posts!

    Thank you!!

  4. On a side note, does anyone know what rate current mortgages here are being lent at?

    Last year I was offered around 5 or 6%.


  5. El Bee, Thanks so much for all of your great insight and commentary humor. You most definitely provide a great service to the many that may have doubts or questions about this insane market. I completely understand your dilemma and wonder if you would consider just posting once a week to help out with your time constraints. Any of us could even help with digging up these "clueless wonder" gems so that your time is better spent with your excellent commentary and humor. My comment on this latest cluster listing is that if it sells for anywhere close to listing, Naples Island must be renamed "Napalm Island". I will personally send a card to the new owner congratulating them on their complete and utter stupidity. This countrie's sheer financila ignorance will be(is) it's ultimate downfall. No Terrorism required as the fall of the empire is from within.

  6. Props to you, El Bee! As long as you keep it going, we will continue to read and post.

  7. I'm sure it didn't escape you attention that the realtors here are the same illiterate blithering idiots responsible for your recent "Shingled Shithole" posting.

  8. Jason,

    It did escape my attention! What an eagle eye!

    It allllllllllllllllll makes sense now, doesn't it?

  9. El Bee,
    Reading your blog for the past year, I hope you continue as it is possible we are heading into the second (or is it the third or fourth) leg down and I really need both your and your readers input.

  10. El Bee~

    Please don't disappear.

    If you must change things up please leave bread crumbs so we can follow you.

    Shame on this $1286 seller and shame on the Agent for taking the listing!

  11. Hey also wanted to ask if any of y'all recommend any other real estate forums that you think are valuable or have good feedback?

    What bout you El Bee? Do you peruse any other sites that you find valuable?

  12. damn, that competing house is off the chain!