Friday, April 2, 2010


March 31, 2010 - Price Changed $349,500

Including commissions, we're now looking at a $137,000 loss. That's a 30% drop from the peak. And this is still not a short sale, meaning this potato chip enthusiast will eat that loss IN CASH.

The good news is, I think he's finally (mercifully) competitive at this price. Especially given the small window for buyers to double-dip on the state and federal tax credits, a sale at this price (although still too high as far as I'm concerned) wouldn't surprise me.

Then again, this Spring could see an increase in the number of recently thawed hibernators coming out of their caves and also throwing their apartments on the market to take advantage of the "Spring Bounce."

That means tougher competition.

And with a kitchen this hideous, he better prepare to slash the price even further to get ahead of those soon-to-be sellers vying for the same shallow pool of qualified buyers.


Mar 13, 2010 - Price Changed $369,500

10 Grand here, 10 Grand there...pretty soon we're talkin' real money!

$465,000 purchase price, $395,000 original list , $25,500 in price reductions, and still not a short sale.

Given that this is still a standard sale, I have to assume the seller put down 20%, or $93,000. That means with this newest price reduction, they are officially in the hole.

Add $22,000 in commissions, 114 fruitless days on market, and the expiration of the first time homebuyer giveaway next month, and this seller is staring down the barrel of a really bad day.


Feb 28, 2010 - Price Changed $379,500
Jan 12, 2010 - Price Changed $389,500

In December I said due to the awesome location, I wouldn't be surprised by a sale at around $360,000. Our seller is fast approaching that figure, but I wonder if it's fast enough.

I'll remind you that despite a $465,000 purchase price, at $379,500 this is still not a short sale.

Effing brutal.


235 MIRA MAR Ave #4, 90803
Beds: 2
Baths: 1.5
Asking Price: $395,000
Sq. Ft.: 1,018
$/Sq. Ft.: $388
Year Built: 1958
HOA: $203
MLS#: P711997
Source: SoCalMLS
On Redfin: 11 days
Down Payment: $79,000
Income Requirement: $99,000
Monthly Nut: $2,300
Description: Bright top floor unit in very quaint neighborhood. Open living room with unique light fixtures. Gas stove, microwave, hardwood floor in kitchen. Large master with custom mirrored closet. Plenty of closet space & cabinets. Only 1 common wall. Private single car garage with storage and room for an add'l. car in front of garage. Walk to beach & enjoy the sunsets. Close to shopping and entertainment.

You know your apartment sucks when you mention a "mirrored closet" as a selling point.

And speaking of selling points, why not mention those sweet custom-painted kitchen cabinets?


Good lord. And the old-ass tiles just make it worse. At least finish the job like this idiot and put some granite on there!

Our featured seller is in deep, deep shit. He bought in the right location, but he got blatantly ripped off when he did so.

In November 2005, near the peak of the housing bubble, he decided to get into the real estate game and plunked down $465,000 (yes, you read that correctly) for this 2-bedroom/1.5-bath WITH NO LAUNDRY FACILITIES ON THE PREMISES.

I bet when he agreed to pay $465,000 he took a look at the 2001 sales price of $182,000 (assuming he even did that much research) and instead of thinking, "Hmm. That 22% annual appreciation during the last four years doesn't seem right," he imagined also holding it for four years then more than doubling his investment. Piece of cake, right?

Well, four years and one day after purchasing, he put it on the market for $395,000. So much for doubling your money. In fact, after commissions he's staring down the barrel of a $90,000 loss. And that's before negotiations even start.

But a quick look at the sold comps and it's clear that he's more underwater than he realizes. The average price per square foot of condos sold during the last six months is $369. Translation? This apartment at $369 per square should be priced at $375,886--20 Grand below his current wishing price.

Good thing he's got a life boat:

And you thought it was just a super classy coffee table.

Speaking of questionable decorating choices:

Disney's Jungle Cruise right in your own living room! There is plenty of weirdness to go around, but the giant Lay's bag on the wall takes the cake. He must REALLY be into potato chips.

What bothers me is the monthly $203 HOA fee. Curious about the wonderful perks you'll get to enjoy if you buy in this building? Well, here you go:

Amenities: Barbecue


With no on-site laundry, just what the hell is your HOA money going toward? Landscaping?

With a 51-year-old building, I would perform some serious due diligence regarding the HOA's finances before considering a purchase.

Overall, because the neighborhood is excellent a 10% discount will probably be enough to garner a sale. I'm not saying that it won't decline further in value, but with interest rates at record lows (again), a sale at around $360,000 wouldn't shock me.

But that's something like a $120,000 loss. Given that this is not (yet) a short sale, we have to assume he had a monster down payment in 2005.

Key word: had.


  1. El Bee,

    I think that is the kitchen you would find in the fortress of solitude... so kinda cool in a "woke up and the hangover isn't as bad as I thought it would be" kinda way...

  2. That kitchen works great if you're a G!!!!!

    But I think he'd be LUCKY to get 360K for this place.

    It's a condo, and while it's a good location and the HOA is low, 360K is a whole lotta money for a condo with nothing much special at all.

    I wouldn't spend more than 270K for this place.