Wednesday, October 31, 2007

We've come a long way, Baby.

14035 HARTSOOK STREET, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
(MLS # F1741182)
Zestimate™ $769,852

Bedrooms: 3
Baths: 2
Square Feet: 1,682
Lot Size: 8,995 Sq. Ft.
Year Built: 1952
Listing Date: 10/30/07

At the begining of the year, this house would've been staged and listed at $825k. Back then, the only listings at $675k were 2 bed/1baths that were approximately 1,000 sq. ft. sitting on 5,000 sq. ft. lots. This listing represents a landslide change in Fashion Square.

You can read more about Fashion Square by clicking the "Fashion Square" and the "Kate in the Valley" links in the FAQ section to the right.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

There's a Neutra on the block!

3847 OAKFIELD DRIVE, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

(MLS # F1740241)


Photo pending but here's the (error-filled) MLS description:

"Designed by richard j. Neutra, this two bedroom two bath home, floating high above beverly glen, still retains the footprint, bones and feel of the original design. Huge expanses of glass frame spectacular views, adding light and drama to the interior spaces. Revising finishes and fixtures will allow you to bring this home back to the purity of the original design or take it to the next level. "

So, clearly it's been sullied but maybe it can be restored. At $591/sq.ft. I think we'll see it come down a bit before it sells. Well, unless the pictures reveal something unexpected.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Going BK to stop foreclosures....

The WSJ reports that some California homeowners are attempting to fend off foreclosure by going BK.

"In recent months ... an increasing number of homeowners have filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 13, which staves off foreclosure proceedings while the homeowner works out a plan to pay off mortgage debt and other obligations over time -- usually three to five years. To qualify, debtors must have a regular income and must stay current on their new bills. About four in 10 filers today are filing under Chapter 13 -- up from three in 10 two years ago. The 2005 change in bankruptcy laws was designed in part to shift more filers to Chapter 13, which forgives less debt than Chapter 7."

How does this effect us potential buyers? My guess is: not at all. For one thing the people who have what it takes to undertake this course of action to save their homes are few and far between. Even assuming you could successfully undertake this endeavor, why would you want to retain a rapicly depreciating asset (an asset for which you dramatically overpaid)?

Friday, October 19, 2007

Are you effing kidding me? ARE YOU?!

4016 WOODMAN CANYON, Sherman Oaks
MLS #F1734470


Price Reduced: 12/06/07 -- $799k to $759k ( down 10.60 from original list)

Bedrooms: 2
Baths: 1
Square Feet: 864
Lot Size: 4,950 Sq. Ft.
Year Built: 1942
Listing Date: 09/13/07

The listing description is, well, how many ways can you say "ridiculous"? Here it is:

"At last an affordable house in a highly desirable area."

So, what is "affordable"? "At last"? I hope you are sitting down. $982 per square foot! Uh-huh. That's right. Oh sure, they've reduced.

Price reduced: 10/10/07 -- $849kto $829k
Price Reduced: 10/19/07 -- $829kto $799k (5.89% down)

Now it's a low low $924/sq.ft. And what does Zillow have to say about this? $582,711 Which is still $674 a sq. ft. but it would probably sell at that price.

I really want to fill the rest of this entry with expletives. But, you know, this is a family blog.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Ugly (Hideous, really) Los Angelenos

I love L.A. and blah blah blah. But sometimes, even I have to admit that there is something fundamentally wrong with a large percentage of my people. So, without further ado, let me share with you a conversation that illuminates my point:

Me: Hey, that's actually my driveway, it's private property. Please don't park there in the future.

Girl: It's not blocking the driveway. You can get around.

Me: It's not a parking place. And you weren't even coming here -- you went next door.

Girl: What about that car parked right there?

Me: That car is in an actual parking place and it belongs to somebody who lives here. Just don't park there. Next time I'll have you towed. There's a sign right there that says you'll be towed.

Girl: I was only here for 30 minutes.

Me: Just don't park there again.

Girl: You know, you could've asked me more nicely.

Me: What?! You know what was nice? Not having you towed!

Girl: You still could've asked me nicely as well. You obviously have a miserable life!

Yes. It must be that my life is so miserable. Why else would anybody dare criticize a perfectly charming creature such as yourself? It couldn't possibly be the case that you are so self-important and self-absorbed that you feel you are entitled to park in what is very obviously the driveway of somebody you don't know and are not visiting just so that you don't have to walk fifty yards. And, despite your bold decision to trespass, you feel further entitled to defend your actions, refrain from apologizing, and express your discontent for not being treated like the Queen of England.

What was I thinking? It is my privilege and honor to accommodate your every need. Please, park your Nissan wherever you see fit! Handicap spot? No problem! Fire hydrant? You are more important than any public emergency! You are indeed the very center of this universe.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

The "Auction" House...

UPDATE: Check out the comments. Apparently this whole "auction" gimmick is going on in Manhattan Beach too.

I'm just back from visiting the "auction" house on Valleyheart. I have quoted the word auction because, as it turns out, it's not really an auction. Yeah. It's a cheap gimmick.

Despite the fact that it says: "Will be sold to bidder with best reasonable offer" they are reserving the right to pull it back if they don't think any offers are "reasonable." I say: if you are opening up the bidding at $589k, anything over that is "reasonable." They disagree and say they will pull back. But! Let's not forget they took out an ad that was phrased much less conservatively. It said in the paper that the home WILL BE SOLD to the highest bidder. And, this being Los Angeles and all, I wouldn't be too surprised if somebody sued.

Anyhoo, so far, their highest bid is $605k (recall that the last sale was at $600k). I doubt it will go higher than that because why bother bidding if they aren't necessarily selling. Ridiculous.

Also, I love that they printed out all these "comps" that are not comparable in any sense of the word. This is a two bedroom house, yet every other sale they present to you as comparable is a three bedroom house.

The house itself is right across the street from the 101. It is very loud despite a large and obvious sound wall. The neighborhood itself is confused. It's a mix of older not very well maintained tract houses with 1970's model RVs parked out front and McMansions. Basically, this aging freeway adjacent neighborhood got hit by gold diggers during the boom and they've all packed up and left the neighborhood with one foot in each world.

14749 VALLEYHEART DRIVE, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

Friday, October 05, 2007

Hi, Sugar!

So how've you been? Gosh, seems like it's been forever since we talked. But, you know... I mentioned the whole new job thing? Yeah, well, it turns out that there is actual working involved. Which really really cuts into my whole blogging gig. Like bad. I guess what I'm trying to say here is: we need to talk.

I know that every single day you want to know what houses have been reduced and which Realtors are calling me to conspire about crime and I really want to tell you. I do! But I just can't keep meeting you here everyday. I'm really sad about this but I hope you believe me when I say: it's not you, it's me.

Don't leave angry. Hey! Don't act like you've played no part in this. I know you've been reading other blogs. I didn't want to say anything but how could you think I wouldn't notice all those comments you leave around for me to find? Do you think I'm blind? That I can't read? When you cut me do I not bleed?!

Dammit. I promised myself it wouldn't come to this. Let's not place blame. Okay? I still hope we can see each other on weekends and maybe a couple of times a week. We just need to take a little bit of space. I think it'll be good for us. And when we are together, it won't be like before, it'll be Quality Time.

Come here. Let's hug it out.