Monday, August 9, 2010

Tightfisted on Vista

3608 East VISTA St, Long Beach, CA 90803
Asking Price: $689,000
Beds: 2
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 1,038
$/Sq. Ft.: $664
Lot Size: 3,150 Sq. Ft.
Year Built: 1922
Community: Belmont Heights/Alamitos Heights
MLS#: S625650
On Redfin: 21 days
Down Payment: $137,800
Income Requirement: $157,000 (3.5x mortgage)
Monthly Nut: $3,600
Description: Absolutely Gorgeous Belmont Heights Home! Beautifully renovated throughout and includes a spacious sunlit living room with crackling fireplace, gourmet kitchen with custom cabinetry, Viking stove & inviting dining area, plus an adorable updated bathroom. Also features a private backyard retreat area, an oversized detached 1 car garage, updated electrical, copper plumbing & a tankless water heater. This home is stunning and truly a Must See!

In March of 2005, when the bubble was steadily inflating like Lindsay Lohan's lips, this property was picked up for $620,000.

And considering the bubble continued to inflate well into 2006, the owner was probably feeling pretty cocksure of his investment and was anticipating endless riches when he sold "in a few years."

Unfortunately for this guy, by the time "a few years" rolled around, the residential real estate market had shit the bed and his paper gains had been completely wiped out. And despite the fact that most Long Beach properties are selling for 2003 prices and lower, depending on area and condition, this owner -- now a desperate seller -- believes his property is unique like a fingerprint or a snowflake and deserves to sell for 10% above his 2005 purchase price.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Bonne chance with that, dummy.

Let's take a closer look and see why he believes this place should defy market realities:


This place looks alright I guess. It's kind of funky, obviously quite small, has decent hardwoods...but features nothing that knocks my socks off for this kind of loot. If I'm shelling out this kind of dough, I expect stone countertops at a minimum.

And for $664 per square foot, I expect the (one and only) bathroom to be super impressive.

Yeah, not so much. And check out how much the door impedes into the space! That bathroom is tiny! Me and my (future) wife getting ready at the same time would be a hoot!

And although it's kind of neat having the (incredibly cramped) bedroom open up into the backyard, it also makes this property seem more like a back-house rental than a real house.

To each his own, I suppose. But on the planet I inhabit, a small family (like, Smurf-small) paying nearly $700,000 for something this shoddy and slapdash -- especially considering it's right on the street and not tucked back into the neighborhood -- doesn't make any sense.

I simply don't see, given the presentation, how this thing is worth any more than $525,000.

First of all, it's no mystery that there is a lot of seller optimism out there right now. In fact, sellers' faith in their absurd wishing prices as the last gasps of the Super Summer Selling Season(tm) sputter out, is nicely illustrated by the following chart:

That wild divergence between sellers' expectations and sales reality says a lot. That's a nearly $100 per square foot difference! WTF?! Regardless of batshit sellers' expectations, the sold average price per square for this neighborhood is $450 -- meaning this seller is asking a $200+ per square premium.

Which begs the question, for what?! Has this guy even seen his listing photos?

Second, the sold comps simply don't support this asking price. The most expensive sale during the last six months was 3835 East 5th St. for $630,000 and it is larger, on a lot DOUBLE the size of our seller's, and actually has stone countertops.

Third, even the ever-optimistic can't support this wild-ass price:

Zillow: $382,875 (low); $510,500 (estimate); $576,865 (high)

You don't even want to know what the other auto-appraisers put this thing at. And it's notable that the hopium-smoking Zillow says the "high" is $576k. The "high" estimates, much like Kelly Blue Book, are reserved for truly pristine and highly upgraded properties. One look at the hodgepodge upgrades and you know this property doesn't approach that vaunted status.

So you really have to wonder what this guy is thinking with his sky-high $689,000 asking price (besides, "I absolutely deserve to get out for break-even.")

But after scouring the listing, I got a little more insight into what kind of seller we're dealing with:

"Exclusions: Fountain in backyard, pot rack and small plasma tv in kitchen"

Really, you cheap fuck? You're such penny pinching miser that you'd rather leave gaping holes in your kitchen drywall than part with a 13-inch TV?

And you're taking your pot rack? That's worth, what, $80?

You going to take the light fixtures with you too, you pathetic tightwad? How about the roof tiles over the guest bedroom?

Folks, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say this cheapskate won't be willing to negotiate on the price. Just a hunch.

Anybody acting like such a little bitch about meaningless shit is clearly delusional and believes he, and his house, are "special." Add to that a wishing price so far out of line with comps and obviously intended to get him to break-even, and we're dealing with someone who won't, and likely can't, take the ego hit required to sell this tiny house.


  1. I really like the kitchen. Looks like the "custom" design was influenced by Terrible Herbst off-road race shop. The Wiking stove fits nicely too, it sticks out only about nine inches. By the way, what the hell a Wiking stove doing in this little shit hole? Are they really cooking for a large crowd of guests?


  2. You are probably right- when people quibble over small things, they are not going to budge on the price. They "know" it is worth that.
    Seeing the same thing in the San Francisco area. Should be interesting to see how things are next spring, after another 7 months of recession and job losses.

  3. I wouldn't spend THREE eighty nine on this piece.

    This dude is trying to hide behind the surrounding homes, which are probably WAY nicer.

    This place sucks. It's tiny, it's tacky, and the listing confirms it, with the obvious over-pricing, and the audacity to not include very basic items.

    A tacky owner with a very tacky property and a very tacky price.

    Go F yourself seller.

  4. El Bee hits the tightwad idiot nail on the head! Kudos!

  5. Hey El Bee,

    219 Belmonet is STILL priced to sell but now under 700M and almost 2 years later. Bye Puppy


  6. Yup, overpriced, way overpriced. I saw a couple of new listings in my hood open up the last couple of months with delusional pricing. When nobody even showed up to look at the places, prices have been chopped by 20-30k without any luck, trying to chase a dying market down. Would love to be a potential homebuyer with 20% down starting now, with ultra-low interest rates and the tax credits gone the next year or two is going to be nothing but a buyers market for RE in the LBC.