Sunday, January 16, 2011

Wooden Teeth: UPDATE III

Since there is no new inventory to speak of, out of "Where Are They Now?" curiosity I've been revisiting past Long Beach Housing Blog properties. Although most RE in the LBC victims--ERRR...featured sellers have since pulled their properties after unsuccessfully pursuing insane wishing prices ("Well, I'm not going to just give it away!"), a few deluded soldiers continue marching on.

Like this idiot:
732 North WASHINGTON Pl, Long Beach, CA 90813
This dreadful piece of doodie is now entering its FOURTH YEAR on the market. The good news is that after more than 1,100 days of wholly ridiculous prices and slack-jawed market chasing, this dolt seems to be finally waking up to reality. To wit:

Jan 05, 2011 Relisted - $223,000 ($210 per square foot)

But take another look at the photos and ask yourself if $223,000 is even that great of a price for this shit hole. Even if it was asking $50,000 -- the 1981 sales price -- I still don't think it's worth it. In addition to the property taxes and insurance, you have to factor in the significant (and mandatory) teardown and rebuilding costs. But look at the shitty lot and horrible neighborhood -- is that really where you want to build your dream home?


Still overpriced.

At this point I'm beginning to wonder if any price would garner a sale.

But, thanks to foreclosure moratoriums and can-kicking HAMP HAFA HARP BARF FART programs, properties like these are about all we've got. Right now in Long Beach we literally have the cream of the crop as far as wildly delusional sellers. The chaff has already been separated from the market and now we're left with the real kooks.

It's like if you took a stadium full of Raiders fans and systematically began whittling them down:

"All fans who have completed high school or college, please leave the stadium."

"Okay, now everyone with a job please head home."

"Anyone with a credit score above 500 please head for the exits."

"All of those without criminal records, please disperse."

Imagine what you'd be left with! That stadium would be the scariest goddamn place on earth. And sometimes I feel like most of the current Long Beach sellers are those scary, unstable nutjobs.

Think about it:

Longtime owners with assets, equity and/or stable, fixed-rate loans (like this guy) don't need to sell, and so they won't. They pull their properties off the market and we never see them again (it may seem like a good thing to get fair-weather sellers off the MLS, but they are sometimes the most willing to deal because they have equity and will still clear a huge profit if they decide to get real).

Most ticking time-bomb mortgages already blew up and went back to the banks, but the few remaining with resetting and recasting mortgages are busy playing the loan-mod, extend-and-pretend lottery. They (like
this moron) are most definitely distressed sellers, but they are not really on the market because they will game the system for as long as they can before their loans explode and they moonwalk away (or a miracle buyer bails them out of their foolishness).

As we all know, short sales are not actually for sale -- that inventory is technically on the MLS, but given the length of time it takes for banks to approve short sales (not an accident), you might as well check the "Exclude Short Sales" box on your Redfin searches (I sure as hell do). Short sales are just a way for banks to delay recognizing losses associated with foreclosure and prevent the property from falling apart (keeping a deadbeat in the place is better than letting it sit abandoned) in the meantime. Short sales (like
this fool, at 481 days) may technically be on the market, but in reality they have left the stadium.

You can also disregard listings of those who overpaid during the peak but are gainfully employed. They are severely underwater but can still make their mortgage payment if they really stretch themselves. The tell is they ask peak pricing plus exactly enough to cover sales commissions (like
this guy or this dummy), or they are juuuuust below their peak purchase price but after a few reductions have been stuck at the same price for months because further cuts would mean writing a big check at closing or becoming a short sale (like this dreamer). These house-poor suckers won't get anywhere near peak pricing, but they have no choice but to hope for a miracle because they're stretched too thin and have absolutely no room to negotiate. They are technically on the MLS, but they, too, have left the stadium.

So really we're left with only a handful buyers who actually intend to, and can (financially speaking) sell, who don't budge on price because they know they're in the power position, and a mob of delusional die hards at 500+ days on market (like this asshole), populating the MLS with their insane wishing prices and demands for nothing short of jackpot-sized prices.

It's a sad state of affairs out there. Realtors I've spoken to believe inventory will start coming back on the market in March (the "seasonal" thing never really made sense to me in SoCal -- sure, in Des Moines I get that people don't want to go house shopping in January, but it's 75 degrees in Long Beach! I would love nothing more than to check out houses on a day like today!). Sure, inventory might pick up in Spring, but the real question is: What types of sellers will they be?
Long Beach number of homes for sale graph

I guess we'll find out.

What are you seeing out there?

The price was "$299,000" and changed to "$269,000"

Days on Market: 911



Well, this is a fun way to start the new year:

The price was "$344,000" and changed to "$299,000"

By the way, this marks the THIRD YEAR on the MLS for this property. There are a lot of notable delusional greedtards in the LBC, but I think this guy, given that he paid $50,000 ages ago yet is still too dumb fucking stupid to price realistically ("I'm not going to just give it away!") and take the money and run, earns the Official RE in the LBC Eternal Shitbird Award:

I think it's especially appropriate given this photo:


732 N Washington Pl, CA 90813
Price: $344,000
Beds: 2
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 1,064
$/Sq. Ft.: $323
Lot Size: 3,850 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Single Family Residence
Year Built: 1905
MLS#: S514617
On Redfin: 630 days
Down Payment: $67,000
Income Requirement: $95,000
Monthly PITI: $2,100
Description: HUGE PRICE REDUCTION!!!Historical Craftsman w/loads of charm.Huge Formal LR,original features:hardwood floors,doors & hardware glass & brass doorknobs,kit with 'ice box' cabinetry,mosaic tile counter,coved ceilings,wrap around porch has been enclosed,orig sash windows,light fixtures,french doors.Oversized lot w/alley and street access.'Potters area off kit with washer and dryer hook-ups. Formal Dining room. 1 BR w/original built ins above closet, 2nd BR has double walk in closet. Bath has built in linen cabinet above tub. Tandem gar divided



Sweet mural. GONE!

Sweet kitchen. GONE!

No pics of the one bathroom, so you know what that means...GONE!

This realtor must have graduated from the Shaky McParkinson's School of Photography:

Really? 628 days to fix that shit and your potential buyers still get vertigo from viewing your listing? Clever.

The listing says "No Laundry in Unit" but that there are hook-ups in a "'Potters" area (a euphemism for "out-the-fuck-side"). That must be some kind of mistake.

Because there's no way someone is dumb fucking stupid enough to ask $344,000--nearly TEN TIMES the median income--in this awful neighborhood with no freaking laundry hook-ups in the house.

There's just no way.

Plus, the owners don't have a washer and dryer?! Just the hook-ups? Seriously, who the fuck lives here? The Swiss Family Slobinson?

But hey, at least it's got a "sleeping porch!" After viewing those interior photos, I think I'll take my chances sleeping outside.

This thing doesn't need fixing up, it needs a bulldozer.

This is a perfect candidate for Real Estate Intervention. The owner purchased this 104-year-old lean-to in 1981 for a paltry $50,000 ($47 per square foot, y'all!). In other words, with a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, this dump should be paid off in a year and a half.

Considering the interest rate was 17.5% in '81, I'm sure this owner refinanced during the last 28 years. But the point is, there have only been three price reductions in nearly two years. Even with refinances they still must have a truckload of equity--why not just cut the price and walk away with stacks of bubble cash?

Nah, forget that. Just keep doing what you're doing. And by "doing what you're doing" I mean napping on your sleeping porch, washing your loincloth in the bird bath, and making drinking water from your pee.


  1. Not much, but then I don't look in those areas. We have a nice place across the street that's for sale, and we went to see the open house they had the other day. The place was a HELOC ATM, and the young couple that owned it walked away and *disappeared* according to the realtor that was showing it. She's also the realtor who sold it to them, and it was her parent's house before that. She bought it from the bank pretty cheap, put a bunch of improvements into it, and it looks very nice now.
    Whether she sells or not is moot at this point, but I'm not holding my breath for the sale!

  2. Here's a pretty good one

    $779,000. last sale $700,000 in 2005.

    granted, it's a very tasteful remodel. but $708/sq ft? pbffffffft

    here's why there is no chance in hell this will sell for $779,000:
    - short lot
    - small ass house, small ass bedrooms, small ass bathroom
    - baby #2 is going to have to live in the garage

    this house should be $550,000 max, but here's why some dumbass might pay $650,000:
    - ooh honey, this is that CaesarStone I was telling you about
    - i heard they're going to get rid of that breakwater in long beach, this cute outdoor shower will really come in handy after walking uphill a mile and a half home from the beach
    - the yellow door gives me a good feeling

    here's my favorite part -
    the owner is a VP Banker who focuses on "$3MM+" loans and his dad is the listing "ajent" Realtor (thanks propertyshark, linkedin, and redfin). they are still living the deluded dream

    countdown to short sale or strategic default ... it's ok for bankers to strategically default right? after all banks do it all the time ...

  3. LBCee,

    What a sweet freakin' house. But, uh, yeah...this overpriced turkey ain't goin' anywhere.

    The most expensive nearby home currently for sale is a mere $615,000. HAHAHA.

    The most expensive nearby 2-bedroom sold comp went for $595,000 -- nearly $200,000 less!

    If this shoe box sold for anywhere near $780,000 the nearby sellers and recent buyers would be PUMPED!

    Thanks for sending this property in. I needed a good laugh.

  4. Hey El Bee, just in case you missed it, I sent a return thank you email. No response required, but just fyi. I sent this a week ago or so.

    I will continue to keep you updated.

    I wonder, is it too late to cancel my offer and bid on THIS instead?!

    This place is SWEEET!

  5. OK, call me ignorant, but how is the seller of this place:

    ...a "moron"? Am I missing something obvious? It looks like that building has 8 units and that over $130k per year flows in from rent. So the $1.6M selling price, which looks outrageous if you just look at the one photo and not at all the apartments, is right around the traditional 150-to-200-months-of-rent figure even when you account for vacancies.

    Is there something about this property that I'm not seeing? I'm not from California and I own but a single ordinary condo (and know little about managing multi-unit properties), so what am I missing?

  6. "Am I missing something obvious?"

    212 days on market, peak price, no price reductions.

  7. Man how I've missed this place. So, I am guessing that 2011 we will see the rebound!!!! Right???? Right???? Hahaha.. Here's to a great year.

    Btw, i have completely stopped looking. Maybe when we get grandbabies we'll look. Should be 2021 or so, maybe things will be normal then.

  8. Carl, I found a couple RARE deals when I was recently looking. I'd suggest keeping my eye open, and checking periodically. It also helps if you have a good realtor. My mom was my realtor, so of course I received very good assistance. Wishing you the best!

  9. LOL. There are so many overpriced properties listed. That's what you get for having an economy that's down and seemingly still on the rocks. What people don't realize is that it'll take longer to sell their garbage and in turn will make them even harder up for cash.

  10. ok el bee, this one is just begging for you to come out of retirement