Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Classic Mistake on Blix.

11301 BLIX, Toluca Lake, CA 91602
(MLS # FR2061729)

UPDATE: People! Check out the comment section! Zillow's very own Dave G. was here and he advises us that, not only is this homeowner bad at pricing, this homeowner is potentially bad at taxes because their failure to update the county assessor of the one-bedroom status of this home probably cost them. That is all. Carry on.

This cute little house has been on the market for 302 days and counting. What could be wrong with it? Could it be the price?

Price Reduced:
03/28/07 -- $925k to $899k

Price Reduced: 04/29/07 -- $899k to $875k
Price Reduced: 07/18/07 -- $875k to $850k
Price Reduced: 07/31/07 -- $850k to $825k
Price Reduced: 08/18/07 -- $825k to $799k (down 13.62%)
Zestimate $898,269

Well, according to Zillow the price looks not bad. Oh, hold up. Zillow thinks this is a three bedroom house. And, indeed, these days the listing description says it's a three bedroom house (it didn't always say that, trust me). So guess what? I've been there. It's a one-bedroom house. Yup.

So here you have two of the biggest mistakes in real estate history:

(1) Asking a million dollars for your house that has never on its best shiniest day been worth a million dollars; and

(2) Removing two of the three bedrooms that your house was originally equipped with.

Let's take a gander at the listing description:

"Sure it's been on the market forever but give this beauty another chance! Nothing wrong with this house, we're just giving it away!"

Yeah. They're giving it away. It's that big vase out front that costs $800k. The house is free (with purchase of big vase).

"Perfect for a single or a couple who love to entertain."

Yeah. Guess why it's perfect for a single or couple? ONE BEDROOM. That's why. Well, good luck with this one Mr. or Ms. Blix. I don't see your chances improving any in the coming months.


Anonymous #01 said...

It sure does look like a nice place from the outside and it's pretty close to where I work here in Burbank.

I was once told that in order for a bedroom to be considered a bedroom it must have a closet (if anyone has a more accurate description of what makes a bedroom a bedroom according to CA real estate law please share). Anyhow, when I was house shopping in Camarillo last weekend I was in a home that was labeled as a 4 bedroom but 2 of the 4 bedrooms had the sliding doors on the closets removed and cabinets where put into those areas. I suggested to the real estate agent that 2 of the 4 bedrooms should be catagorized as extra family rooms or dens and she said I was technically correct but the seller would remove the cabinets and put the doors back in if my offer was contingent on that house actually having 4 bedrooms as advertised.

How can a realtor, knowing the house only had 2 bedrooms, advertise the property as having 4 bedrooms? Isn't that false advertising? Kate, let's make a class action lawsuit against Coldwell Banker and get some extra money for a downpayment.

LC said...

Hmmm...Is this a new marketing tactic? Over the weekend I saw 4 homes, all supposedly 3bdr. But after touring them, 2 of them had been converted (illegaly) to 2bdr. What's up with that? I do believe it is false advertisement since I went out of my way to go see them, thinking they were 3 bedroom homes! That just makes me angry and I don't care how nice the place is, I just walk away.

tami said...

How did they remove the bedrooms? Are the closets or walls gone? I used to see that in Seattle, where a single person or couple would create a media room or office that would require construction to recreate a bedroom.

David Gibbons said...

Hi Kate, it's David G from Zillow,

It seems the LA County assessor thinks this is a 3 bedroom - that's where our data came from. Not only won't the house sell but the current owners may have been paying too much tax.

Love your blog.

Kate said...

Luckily, I have no time for class actions. However, I do have time to remind you of the fabulous Mitch Hedberg joke:

"I bought a house, it's a two-bedroom house. But I think it's up to me how many bedrooms there are, don't you? F*&%^ you, real estate lady, this bedroom has an oven in it. This bedroom has a lot of people sitting around watching TV. This bedroom is over in that guy's house. 'Sir, you've got one of my bedrooms, are you aware? Do not decorate it."

Kate said...


Basically they take out the closets to make the room bigger. Or they might even take out a wall to combine two bedrooms into one.

David G:

Wow! I love Zillow! I would like to make some comment about the tax issue you raise ... but I'm too excited right now about this celebrity guest appearance. Yay! Zillow!

Ace said...

There is no legal definition of a bedroom as far as I know. Cities usually only recognize rooms and do not define them as bedroom or office or den.

Buyers are usually the ones who decide what a bedroom is or isn't.

Some houses have closets big enough to be bedrooms... some have bedrooms too small to be closets.

Kate said...

Well, Ace, are you an attorney? Hmmm? Are you? (I kid, because I love.)

Anyhoo, according to this Special Order from the Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering:

"A bedroom is any room in excess of 90 sq. ft. that is not a living room, kitchen or bathroom."

Some city zoning codes include "attached closet" in the definition of bedroom but it looks like Los Angeles does not.

So, whether or not Ace is an attorney, he may be right. But if anyone has a citation to code, it would be greatly appreciated.

Anonymous #01 said...

According to the American National Standards:

1) A bedroom must have a closet.
2) The ceiling must be no less than 7 feet (which the exception of a vaulted ceiling which may be as low as 5 feet but more than half must be 7 feet).

However, it would appear the actual definition is determined by the County. For example, I found this definition for Sonoma County and it seems rather confusing since the County, at its discretion, has the right to determine that a room is not a bedroom if there is no closet plus one additional item listed. Here's that link if you think you should have been a contract lawyer:

I was unable to find the Los Angeles County definition. However, I did uncover the Los Angeles County zoning manual and on page 144 it states that the sale of pumpkins in "open air" is permitted by LAMC Section 12.22A4 and is only permitted between October 15 and 31, inclusive. Further, it allows you to use a single mobile trailer for a sales office and the use of a single commercial storage container to store the pumpkins.

Now if that isn't useful information, I don't know what is.

Kate said...

Anon #1:

Sweet Fancy Moses, I love me the Internet. And you can bet your bottom dollar that come October 1 that nugget of pumpkin Zoning Code will somehow be featured in a post.

Ace said...

Haha! Thanks for the pumpkin info. I am gonna have that pumpkin stand shut down if I see a single pumpkin after Halloween!

CaliforniaDreamin said...

I really like the look of that house, at least from the 1 photo available. But ... 1 bedroom? For me, even 2 bedrooms would be fine, but 1 is just crazy!

"Sweet Fancy Moses" cracks me up!