Friday, February 18, 2011

Overdone, But Hasn't Done Enough

Thanks to LBCee for sending in today's property.
242 PROSPECT Ave, Long Beach, CA 90803

Address: 242 PROSPECT Ave, Long Beach, CA 90803
Wishing Price: $1,350,000
BATHS: 0.75
SQ. FT.: 1,476
$/SQ. FT.: $915
LOT SIZE: 6,347 Sq. Ft.
COMMUNITY: Belmont Heights/Alamitos Heights
MLS#: P769097
ON REDFIN: 10 days
DESCRIPTION: This lovely bungalow will captivate you from the moment you step inside with its warm character and special attention to detail. Enter the garden dolloped with colorful flowers and bushes. Don't miss the exterior walls which were painted with what looks like whipped cream. Walk up the Spanish tiled steps to the veranda and enter your dream home through the gorgeous custom wrought iron double doors. Step inside to see a large main living space with lots of sunlight. Don't miss the custom hand-cut 12' wood plank flooring. A separate dining area leads you to a beautifully remodeled chef's kitchen with granite countertops and backsplash and top of the line appliances. Crown molding and recessed lighting. Bathroom is covered with Carrera marble tiles from floor to ceiling. Lovely back garden with 2 patios. Main house 1000 sq ft, rental studio 476 sq ft is over garage, currently rented for $1000/mo.

242 PROSPECT Ave, Long Beach, CA 90803

This greed-faced dreamer plunked down $545,000 13 months ago, slapped on some paint and bullshit bling from the bygone bubble days like "custom hand-cut 12' wood plank flooring" (12-foot planks? Wow!) and "Carrera marble tiles" and now believes he is entitled to an $805,000 profit.





The only explanation for this brazen level of greed and stupidity is that when inventory looks like this:
Long Beach number of homes for sale graph

...your typical delusional, greedy Long Beach seller undergoes a violent transformation and becomes the Incredible Hulk of unbridled, greedtarded fury.

Look, this house is certainly nice (if a bit overdone) and nobody can deny that a decent amount of effort and money went into this flip:
242 PROSPECT Ave, Long Beach, CA 90803
242 PROSPECT Ave, Long Beach, CA 90803
But do you see anything in here -- anything -- that would justify the asking price of $1,350,000?

Or even half the asking price?

To me this tiny, 1,000-square-foot bungalow seems like a pretty standard Belmont Heights restoration (despite how obviously impressed the seller is with himself -- get a load of that flowery description: "Don't miss the exterior walls which were painted with what looks like whipped cream." Ugh, I'm gonna paint the walls with vomit). Peep:
242 PROSPECT Ave, Long Beach, CA 90803
242 PROSPECT Ave, Long Beach, CA 90803
242 PROSPECT Ave, Long Beach, CA 90803

Does that look like a $1.35 million house to you? Really?

And sorry, but I fucking hate those "12-foot" (never trust a realtor who doesn't know the difference between 12' and 12") plank floors. What, you going for that "hog barn" look?

And check out the stunning amount of effort spent on the back yard:
242 PROSPECT Ave, Long Beach, CA 90803
Again, the asking price is $1,350,000.

The upgrades are decent, but he hasn't done nearly enough to approach the rare air of this price range.

How far off is this delusional fool? Let's look at the sold comps:

4725 East SHAW St, Long Beach, CA$540,000
4725 East SHAW St
Sold on Nov 30, 20100.21 miles
3 bd / 1 ba
1,440 Sq. Ft.

285 ROSWELL Ave, Long Beach, CA$660,000
Sold on Nov 25, 20100.26 miles
3 bd / 2 ba
1,484 Sq. Ft.

308 SAINT JOSEPH Ave, Long Beach, CA$610,000
Sold on Aug 30, 20100.3 miles
3 bd / 1.75 ba
1,300 Sq. Ft.

222 SAINT JOSEPH Ave, Long Beach, CA$839,500
Sold on Sep 30, 20100.32 miles
2 bd / 2 ba
1,600 Sq. Ft.

305 ARGONNE Ave, Long Beach, CA$560,000
Sold on Sep 03, 20100.33 miles
2 bd / 1.5 ba
1,388 Sq. Ft.

242 Mira Mar Ave, Long Beach, CA$585,000
370 XIMENO Ave
Sold on Feb 11, 20110.34 miles
3 bd / 1.5 ba
1,706 Sq. Ft.

242 Mira Mar Ave, Long Beach, CA$414,000
242 Mira Mar Ave
Sold on Sep 10, 20100 miles
2 bd / 1 ba
1,533 Sq. Ft.

4324 East 4TH St, Long Beach, CA$360,000
4324 East 4TH St
Sold on Sep 30, 20100.4 miles
3 bd / 2 ba
1,352 Sq. Ft.

362 GRAND Ave, Long Beach, CA$595,000
362 GRAND Ave
Sold on Dec 15, 20100.54 miles
3 bd / 1.75 ba
1,272 Sq. Ft.

281 COVINA Ave, Long Beach, CA$714,000
281 COVINA Ave
Sold on Dec 15, 20100.57 miles
3 bd / 2 ba
1,472 Sq. Ft.

A transaction at this fantasyland price would instantly raise the value of comps by nearly 50%!

For a bit of perspective, the current price-per-square-foot of $915 can only be exceeded by properties ON THE SAND OR WATER IN NAPLES.

Really, dummy? You think you're in that league? Dude, you don't even have a full bath!

One of those sold comps stood out in particular. 285 Roswell sold in November sold for $660,000 -- less than half the price of this over-improved shrine to irrational exuberance. Sure, Roswell's upgrades aren't on par with our featured property's, but it's still pretty freaking nice:
285 ROSWELL Ave, Long Beach, CA 90803
285 ROSWELL Ave, Long Beach, CA 90803
285 ROSWELL Ave, Long Beach, CA 90803
I mean, fuck. At least he's got grass!

(Instead of just sitting around smoking it all day. ZING!)

And for those of you who think Roswell's not a good comp because the upgrades aren't up to snuff, I'd bet the keys to my car that for under $115,000, you could get it to look as good or better than the featured house. And you would have saved yourself nearly $600,000 in the process.

"But El Bee, that isn't a fair comparison. Not everybody wants the hassle of buying a place then fixing it up -- some prefer to pay a premium for a completely turn-key house."

Fair enough. So now I'll pick a fully upgraded, currently listed competitor and to make things interesting I'll highlight one in The Shore (which commands a premium and will make Prospect's ask seem more reasonable). 115 Covina is much bigger, fully upgraded, has 2.5 baths, and sits on the ocean-side of 2nd Street.
115 COVINA Ave, Long Beach, CA 90803
115 COVINA Ave, Long Beach, CA 90803
115 COVINA Ave, Long Beach, CA 90803
For all of those features in such a prime area he's gotta be asking somewhat close to 242 Prospect's price, right?


Covina's asking $950,000, or $544 per square.

So if you bought 115 Covina, which, like 242 Prospect, does not require one dime of upgrades, you would save yourself $400,000.

With that kind of math, do you suppose anyone will line up to pay $1.35 million for our featured property?

I just don't see it. But what I do see is a big, fat price reduction in this greedhead's future.


  1. Nice to have you back!

  2. Yes, nice to see you back.

    That $915/sq ft is understated. I mean, that's not even contiguous square footage. Delusional.

  3. I wonder if this is a prelude to some mortgage scam. They have a straw buyer that plunks down the money close to the asking price and they default within some specified time. They split the ill gotten gains and move onto the next host to feed from. This can be the only way to explain the completely detached from reality pricing. Complete and utter madness.

  4. YES!!!! He's back, if even for a day!!

    I, however, don't see a large price reduction at this point. I think it will be de-listed first. This homedebtor will get frustrated that no one else sees this place as special as he/she does.

    Also, can they provide a background check of the renters that are over the garage? I want to know how is pissing on my stuff from the rafters.

    Is it a lease or month to month? (btw, subtract the rental sq. ft. and we're looking at $1350 sq.ft. of livable space)

    ahhhh, the joys of sellers!!!

  5. Carl,

    You're probably right about the de-listing. The fact is, he doesn't have much money into this thing (besides the kitchen, I don't see a lot of high-dollar improvements) so he can probably swing the mortgage. Plus, if that gushing listing description is any indication of the seller's self-image, he's not the type to take the ego hit involved with (gasp!) lowering the price.

  6. Dave in Alamitos BeachWednesday, February 23, 2011

    This description actually makes me want to go by and look at this place. What are whipped cream walls? I'm thinking kind of drippy and turning moldy? Does anyone know if $1350 or even $915 a square foot was reached in LB during the height of the bubble?

  7. Hope this guy is not serious about selling this place, because at this price, he might expect to get a buyer... in 2020 or so.