Friday, May 15, 2009


Dear Dude Who Outbid Me On That House in North Hollywood:

I. Win.

Prior posts here, here, and here.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Oh you crazy Tolucans!

Yeh, yeh. I've been away. I know, I know. But a lot has been goin' down for ole Kate and, also, the prices aren't moving much there just hasn't been a whole lot to post about. BUT ENOUGH OF ME AND MY STINKING EXCUSES, RIGHT?

Some Jack Ass in Toluca Lake wants $810/sq ft for his house. Seriously. SERIOUSLY.

10444 BLOOMFIELD STREET, Toluca Lake, CA 91602
MLS#: F1792521

Beds: 2
Baths: 2/0
Sq. Ft.: 1,018
Lot Size: 6,000 Sq. Ft.
MLS #: F1792521
$/Sq.Ft.: $810
List Date: 12/08/08

What do they think this is? 2007?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Where o where can the bottom be? O where o where can it be-e-e-e?

No doubt you'll be hearing people say: "Now's a great time to buy! Prices have rolled back five years!" And they have rolled back about five years, at least in the flat parts of Sherman Oaks. Behold an average Zestimate graph for the area:

But does that mean it's a great time to buy? Well, I don't think so. Because check out the graph of that same house for the last ten years:

Yeah. Uh-oh! We've got another price dump coming up. The credit crunch and the DOW are strangling out even the most obstinate buyers and so I am pretty confident that another round of meaningful reductions will come. I'm recommending not buying for another 6 months minimum (but I suspect we've got another 12 to 18 months to get serious about buying).

Thursday, October 09, 2008


Okay, okay. Are you like sitting down? Seriously. This is one of the reasons the Valley is so coolio. Here it is:

13630 ADDISON ST, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
MLS #: 08_314527

Yeh, I know! It's like supercrazyfantastic right? Yeh, it's whackadoodle. But I still kind of want it. Because ... it could be super cool. And check out the stats:

Beds: 4 '
Baths: 3/0
Sq. Ft.: 3,388
Lot Size: 13,500 Sq. Ft. (Yeh! Not a typo!)
Built: 1977 (You know Rachel Zoe totally wants it now too!)
List Date: 09/18/08
List Price: $799k
$/Sq.Ft.: $236

And look at the fireplace:

And the bizarro 'Children of the Corn' wall mural!

They didn't even bother to paint over that. They were like: "What? That is totally some sweet mural! Keep it up!"


Remember this house on Blix? They listed it at $925k on March 28, 2007 then reduced down around $800k. Well it sold! Ayup. It sold last August. Guess how much? Go ahead. Guess. I'll wait.

Waiting ...
Waiting ...

Okay, I can't take it anymore. I'll just tell you! You, lazy reader, You. I bet you didn't even click on my link above. I can tell, you know. I can! I have that kind of tracking going on here. Anyhoodle. It sold for $635k. And the owner paid $725k in '04. Uh-huh, they did! And I suspect they did all those fancy upgrades. Oopsie! Some people shouldn't invest in real estate. Right?


*yawn* No, Virginia, your condo is NOT worth $800k.

4179 SUNNYSLOPE AVENUE #102, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
MLS #: F1785991

Beds: 3
Baths: 3/0
Sq. Ft.: 2,073
List Price: $799k (Baaaaaa! hahahahah!)
List Date: 10/08/08
$/Sq.Ft.: $385
Last Sale: 06/14/05
Sales Price: $745,000 (Yup! They want more than they paid in '05! HAHAHAHA!)
Zestimate™ $675,000


13131 MARGATE STREET, Sherman Oaks, CA 91401
MLS #: F1786032

Beds: 3
Baths: 3/0
Sq. Ft.: 1,819
Lot Size: 7,200 Sq. Ft.
List Date: 10/08/08
List Price: $839k (Hi Delusional! You are talking North of Magnolia here!)
$/Sq.Ft.: $461
Last Sale: 11/13/03
Sales Price: $580,000
Zestimate™ $675,000

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Getting a bit more realistic on Benedict Canyon

So a couple of days ago I wrote about this house and today it's reduced even further.

4224 BENEDICT CANYON DRIVE, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
MLS #: F1776216

Beds: 3
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 1,246
Lot Size: 5,449 Sq. Ft.
List Date: 07/22/08
Last Sale: 05/20/99
Sales Price: $319,000 (so it doesn't look like a short sale, but perhaps they pulled out "equity")

Price Reduced: 08/12/08 -- $749,000 to $685,000
Price Reduced: 09/05/08 -- $685,000 to $649,000
Price Reduced: 10/01/08 -- $649,000 to $599,000 ($480/sq.ft.)

"Big reduction!! Must go!!!, now seller is in default on the mortgage!!! & vacant go direct south of the boulevard, great open floor plane,fireplace in l.R. Hard wood floors, tile kithen and bathrooms, french doors, was remodeled about 7 years ago included roof and a/c, alarm system with camera,washer dryer and refrig. Are included, dixie canyon school district, walking distance to ventura blvd. But yet very quiet, back yard with spa, yard need some work."

I still think it's a bit high for this market. But they may accept $550k. Personally, I wouldn't pay that much for this house but it never ceases to surprise me that somebody else will.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Amestoy's competition...

5359 OAK PARK AVENUE, Encino, CA 91316
MLS #: F1782718

Beds: 6
Baths: 8
Sq. Ft.: 7,500
Lot Size: 17,250 Sq. Ft.
$/Sq.Ft.: $573
List Date: 09/11/08
List Price: $4,299,000

At $573/sq.ft., I'd say this listing will give the Amestoy listing (below) a good run for it's money. Who says the high end hasn't felt the pinch yet?

Why not chop a cool million off the list price?

Back in May, I posted about this pretty little number in Encino. At the time, it was listed at $7.9M. Well, hold on to your horses:

5266 AMESTOY AVENUE, Encino, CA 91316
MLS #: F1754357

Price Reduced: 04/17/08 -- $7,974,000 to $7,495,000
Beds: 7
Baths: 10
Sq. Ft.: 9,000
Lot Size: 37,100 Sq. Ft.
$/Sq.Ft.: $766
List Date: 02/14/08
Price Reduced: 07/03/08 -- $7,495,000 to $6,895,000

Uh huh. That's a $1.079M reduction over 5 months. But at $766/sq.ft., it's still mighty pricey. Donchya think?

Seriously. No shortage of good listings under $700k

3605 WILLOWCREST AVE, Studio City, CA 91604
MLS # 08_276885

Beds: 3
Baths: 3
Sq. Ft.: 1,934
Lot Size: 8,997 Sq. Ft.
$/Sq.Ft.: $361
List Date: 04/30/08

But beware: this home has "geologic" issues.

Another one that would've blown my mind back in '07

4731 BURNET AVE, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
MLS # 08_310299

Beds: 3
Baths: 3
Sq. Ft.: 2,033
Lot Size: 7,650 Sq. Ft.
$/Sq.Ft.: $344
List Date: 08/25/08
List Price: $700k
Last Sale: 12/29/06
Sales Price: $725k

At $344/sq.ft. this home is moderately priced. It's a lovely little neighborhood and if the market were more stable I'd be all over this. It's a nice big lot. Sure the house needs some updating but it's got good square footage. You never would've seen this type of listing in '07. Note that they've only held the property for less than two years and it's a short sale. I am seeing foreclosure all over this one. Look for it to be listed under $700k soon.

And so it begins...

I am suspecting that a lot of the overpriced listings I tracked last year are going to pop back up as foreclosed homes. Listings like this one that I blogged about last year (it was originally listed at $815k! HA! Click link for details).

3909 LONGVIEW VALLEY ROAD, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
MLS # B2103672

Beds: 3
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 1,256
Lot Size: 6,307 Sq. Ft.
$/Sq.Ft.: $490
List Date: 07/22/08
Sale History:
05/30/2008: $625,523
10/25/2005: $740,000
05/21/1986: $182,000

Price Reduced: 08/26/08 -- $669,900 to $646,905
Price Reduced: 09/25/08 -- $646,905 to $615,559

I'm thinking this would sell at $550k. You?

Under $700k SOB

4224 BENEDICT CANYON DR, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
MLS #: 08_298951

Beds: 3
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 1,246
Lot Size: 5,450 Sq. Ft.
$/Sq.Ft.: $521
List Date: 07/22/08
Last Sale: 05/20/99
Sales Price: $319,000

Price Reduced: 08/17/08 -- $749,000 to $685,000
Price Reduced: 09/06/08 -- $685,000 to $649,000

I wouldn't say this is a bargain. But when I was actively house hunting, this would've totally blown my mind. I don't think $521/sq.ft. is appropriate today -- at $450/sq.ft. this home would be closer to $560k. But look out because $350/sq.ft. is just around the corner. If this seller were smart they'd drop the price before it's too late.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Oh. I have a blog?

Sorry, Peeps. A lot has gone down here at May 5. Mr. Kate and I are going through some changes. Erm... that kind of sounds like he's having a sex change surgery, huh? Well, he's not. Sorry to disappoint. And I took a long trip to Italy that two words describe: "endurance contest."

And the market has just been limping along. I'm going to try to get back to posting real soon. That is, if y'all will forgive my absence.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

It's the end of the world as we know it (and I feel fine).

I should preface this by saying: there could be a typo here. That's how stunning this listing is.

13260 MAGNOLIA BOULEVARD, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
(MLS #: F1779010)

Beds: 4
Baths: 5/0
Sq. Ft.: 4,218
Lot Size: 9,956
List Price: $625,000
$/Sq.Ft.: $148
List Date: 08/13/08

Last Sale: 12/07/05
Sales Price: $1,050,000

The baths have that model homey thing going on. But you know, people like that. And there's FIVE of them. So...

Kitchen clearly redone. So...

Yeah. I'm not sure what the hell is going on here. I gotta think typo. I mean $148 a sq. ft.? Last sale $1.05M? And the description doesn't even mention in passing that it's "priced to sell." I mean, at this price, you'd think they'd mention it. Here's the description:

Beautifully done gated spacious home on approx. 10,000 sq ft lot in gorgeous magnolia estates! Stunning kitchen w/ top stainless steel applicances, center island, high ceilings and breakfast area! Large formal living, formal dining rm, and family room! Gorgeous gleaming dark wood floors, 3 fireplaces, french doors, built-ins! Gorgeous master suite with sauna!Lovely yard with delightful bbq area! Stylishly done in like new condition throughout! Tenant occupied, temporarily cannot be shown

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Zip Code Controversy!

At least one reader thinks that house on Margate (see comment in post below) really is in Sherman Oaks. The commenter says that Sherman Oaks cuts off at Burbank. Which would mean that 91401 is half in Sherman Oaks and half in Van Nuys. Which is silly, really. As far as I'm concerned there are two Sherman Oaks zip codes: 91423 and 91403. Check out their cutoffs below.

Nevertheless, apparently the post office will recognize a few homes in 91401 as Sherman Oaks (using their address look up tool). Any of you Valley politicos reading this who care to share the city council history on this naming convention -- please feel free to do so in the comments. Or if you just want to wax poetic about your thoughts on Valley neighborhoods: hey, it's a free country. Knock yourself out!

Error or Realtor trick?

It could be the case that there's a little trick that goes like this:

(1) If the house is in Van Nuys, list it in Sherman Oaks. Sherman Oaks is fancier and more people will look at a listing that would be ridiculously expensive for Van Nuys but is actually kind of cheap in Sherman Oaks.

(2) Put down the wrong zip code. That way no Zillow information will be available. ALSO! If you put in a super fancy zip code (like maybe Sunset Plaza) the sales comps will be way higher per square foot. BONUS!

Or it could be the case that the Realtor just made some typographical administrative errors. I report. You decide. Here's the listing:

13465 MARGATE, Sherman Oaks, CA 90069 ($649k)
Beds: 3
Sq. Ft.: 1,304
Lot Size: 7,810 Sq. Ft.
MLS #: F1777810

Real address: 13465 Margate, Van Nuys, 91401.
Last sale: 06/21/2006: $700,000

UPDATE: The listing has the right zip code now (but still says Sherman Oaks). And it has a new MLS # :08_301921. Just a coincidence?

Monday, August 04, 2008

Damn, I am good!

So, y'all might remember a little house I wrote about back in June. Here's the relevant part of the prior post (for those of you too damn lazy to click the link that I conveniently provided for you):

4343 AGNES AVENUE, Studio City, CA 91604

MLS #: F1761579
Beds: 2
Baths: 2
Sq.Ft. 1,499
Lot: 6700
List Date: 04/04/08
List Price: $799k
Per sq. ft.: $533

Seriously. For that? Not even at the peak of the market, Honey. So they reduced. Twice. Behold:

Price Reduced: 05/29/08 -- $799,900 to $699,000
Price Reduced: 06/12/08 -- $699,000 to $649,000

And now it's just a tiny bit shy of what it would have sold for at market peak ($675k). But we are down like 20% off peak, right? So that house is worth ... uh ... $540k? That seems right. There's no central air, original windows and doors. No photo of the kitchen or bath (and we all know what that means). Oh yeah... did I mention the apartment buildings on three sides? Yeah.
Well guess what? They reduced again. Uh-huh.

Price Reduced: 06/24/08 -- $649,000 to $619,000
Price Reduced: 08/01/08 -- $619,000 to $589,000

But I gotta say, I think they'll have to come down to about $500k at this point. The peak is pretty much behind us and this house is just not a hot property. Time will tell.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Recent Sales

UPDATE: Thanks to an anonymous commenter, we have down-payment details and sales vs. list price percentages on the recent sales below. Check out the comments, Peeps!

Here's a sample of June sales in 91423. Looks like we are averaging in the low $500's per sq. ft. south of the boulevard and hovering right around $400 per sq. ft. if you are north of the boulevard (but still south of, say, Magnolia).


3bed/2bath 1,804 sq.ft.
Sold 06/18/08 for $950k ($527/sq.ft.)

3bed/2bath 1,357 sq.ft.
Sold 06/13/08 $905k ($667/sq.ft.)

2 bed/1 bath 1,015sq.ft.
Sold 06/12/08 $523k ($515/sq/ft)

3bed/2bath 1,816 sq. ft.
Sold 06/06/08 $925k ($509/sq.ft.)

2bed/2bath 1,338sq.ft.
Sold 06/05/08 $749k ($560 /sq.ft.)

3bed/2bath 1,412 sq. ft.
Sold 06/06/08 0.7 $620k ($439 /sq.ft.)

4 bed/3 bath 2,264 sq. ft.
Sold 06/05/08 $805k ($356 sq. ft.)

Friday, July 11, 2008

It's summer. I'm travelling a lot. And the market is dull.

So, in a nutshell, that's why I've been a bit scarce lately. I'm sorry y'all! But the weather is amazing and you should get up away from your computer and visit the beach or something. Sellers are still in deep denial and I figure the real stories are coming in the fall anyway. So I've been filling up a bit of the hours that I normally while away on the MLS at this fabulous little blog: THE BRICK HOUSE (It's mighty mighty!) It's all about "fixing up a 1950's mid century cement brick house. Trying to make it awesome and do it on a tight budget."

Here's a sample DIY project (before is on the left and after is on the right):

Not too shabby for a thrift store find.

Monday, June 30, 2008

MLS Garbage

12754 SARAH ST, Studio City, CA 91604
MLS #: 08_291413

[server error -- photo available eventually]

Beds: 2
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 1,001
Lot Size: 4,373 Sq. Ft.
List Date: 06/24/08
List Price: $719k
Last Sale: 01/20/05
Sales Price: $575,000

"This is not a short sale!! Fantastic price for this drop dead gorgeous beeman park area home!!Fabulous curb appeal greets visitors to this charming french country home exequisitely remodeled and decorated throughout*picturesque tree lined street*absolutely pristine home located in much sought after beeman park*gleaming wood floors,tumbled italian tile floors,custom windown treatments,crown molding,designer fixtures,decorator paint*beautifully remodeled kitchen and baths"

Really? At $718/ sq. ft. this isn't a short sale? Whatever. Grossly overpriced is what this is.

5503 HALBRENT AVENUE, Sherman Oaks, CA 91411
MLS #: F1773073

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Beds: 3
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 1,440
Lot Size: 5,500 Sq. Ft.
List Date: 06/26/08
List Price: $6999k
Last Sale: 01/05/06
Sales Price: $670,000

"3 bedroom 2 bathroom house in prime sherman oaks. Remodeled. Priced for fast sale."

Priced for fast sale, eh? In what universe? You want $29k over what you paid at nearly the peak of market? I just spit Diet Coke out my nose. Good luck with that.

4237 BAKMAN AVENUE, Studio City, CA 91602
MLS #: F1772106

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Beds: 2
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 1,376
Lot Size: 5,850 Sq. Ft.
List Date: 06/21/08
List Price: $839.9k
Last Sale: 10/06/06
Sales Price: $790,000

On this one, not only do the want you to pay market peak prices, they want you to buy all their furniture too (Uh, yeah. I love used furniture!). Ridiculous.

4621 ALLOTT AVE, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
MLS #: 08_285759

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Sq. Ft.: 1,846
Lot Size: 7,280
Listing Date: 06/01/08
Price Reduced: 06/28/08 -- $789k to $779k
Last Sale: 09/27/00
Sales Price: $332k
Zestimate: $707,500
Based on List Price: $422
Based on Zestimate™: $383
Based on Cyberhomes estimate: $326

Friday, June 13, 2008

Reports of my death were grossly exaggerated. And now this:

4343 AGNES AVENUE, Studio City, CA 91604
MLS #: F1761579
Beds: 2
Baths: 2
Sq.Ft. 1,499
Lot: 6700
List Date: 04/04/08
List Price: $799k
Per sq. ft.: $533

Seriously. For that? Not even at the peak of the market, Honey. So they reduced. Twice. Behold:

Price Reduced: 05/29/08 -- $799,900 to $699,000
Price Reduced: 06/12/08 -- $699,000 to $649,000

And now it's just a tiny bit shy of what it would have sold for at market peak ($675k). But we are down like 20% off peak, right? So that house is worth ... uh ... $540k? That seems right. There's no central air, original windows and doors. No photo of the kitchen or bath (and we all know what that means). Oh yeah... did I mention the apartment buildings on three sides? Yeah.

Here's the satellite view (thanks Google maps! You're the best!). The little yellow dude is standing in front of the house.

Let's go down to street level and see the house head on (so you can get a good view of the alley and huge neighboring complex):

And what's across the street? Hmmm?

Oh good! More alley. More apartments. Highly desirable.