Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A New, New Low

A while back I openly prayed for the hilarious staging-by-photoshop trend to catch on.

Well, it looks like it's gaining traction:

146 LA VERNE Ave, Long Beach, CA 90803146 LA VERNE Ave, Long Beach, CA 90803

This is my absolute favorite:
146 LA VERNE Ave, Long Beach, CA 90803

You're not even trying!

This is going to be a very entertaining spring.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Sold on 02/01/12 - $165,000

At $155 per square foot, that is less than half the original asking price. Way to hold out for top dollar!


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.