Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Whatwhatwhat? A house in Studio City for less than $800k?

4307 BABCOCK AVENUE, Studio City, CA 91604
MLS # F1742192

Price Reduced: 11/27/07 -- $799k to $775k

Zestimate™ $831,466

Bedrooms: 2
Baths: 2
Square Feet: 1,532
Lot Size: 6,385 Sq. Ft.
Year Built: 1939
Listing Date: 11/06/07

In fairness, this house is across the street from an apartment building, but it is in the highly desirable area south of Moorpark near Whitsett. I'm telling you, last summer this house would've been listed at $825k minimum and it would've been snatched up. The kitchen is high end and there's considerable curb appeal.

Even in this market, I wouldn't be surprised if this house sells at 95% of the list price. We'll see.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Random Oddities From Around The Valley

I finally got around to uploading some photos from my camera. I completely forgot that for a while I was taking pictures of odd things I saw while driving to work (at my previous job). So, at long last, here's a few things I used to see on a near daily basis.

This is in somebody's front yard in Chatsworth (click to enlarge). I'm pretty sure it's a life-size concrete woman sitting naked in a bird bath and staring up at a large boulder suspended over her head.

This is an old air-raid siren. They are actually all over the Valley. I suspect that they don't work anymore but it's actually pretty difficult to find any information at all on these relics.

A crafty garden enthusiast transformed some ivy climbing up a telephone pole and it's anchor wire into a rather cute hound. He's maybe 12 (?) feet high and he lives at the border of Northridge.

Feel free to send your photos of Valley Oddities to the email address at the bottom of the page. Once I get a few, I'll post them.

Things that make you go "hmmm"

Nothing like a reference to early 90's pop music to make a post intersting. N'est pas? So I found a house that has not one but three fantastic bathrooms. This first one is a powder room and it appears as though the top 1/3 of the walls are mirrored. Oh, and check out the nice swirly toilet seat lid:

Looks like somebody attended the tile workshop at Home Depot! And then came home with the cheapest tile available and applied every single technique they learned that day. Behold (and pay special attention to the sink counter):

Seriously, this last bathroom conjurs up images of the circus. With the checkerboard sink, harlequin floors, striped wallpaper, and show-biz mirror lights, all you need are some peanuts and a monkey to complete the scene.

With bathrooms like this, you'd think they'd have priced the home as a fixer. But nope! They want $70k over the already high Zestimate. Of course.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

It looks like an apartment.

4552 VAN NOORD AVE, Studio City, CA 91604
MLS #: 07_233409
List Price: $829,200

Bedrooms: 4
Baths: 3
Square Feet: 2,160
Lot Size: 5,600 Sq. Ft.
Year Built: 1964
Listing Date: 11/02/07
Last Sale: 08/16/06
Sales Price: $1.15M
Zestimate $1,384,777

Once upon a time, before the rampant loan and appraisal fraud was exposed for what it is, I considered buying the little house across the street from this monstrosity. As I stood on the front lawn of the little house I wondered if this hideous structure (pictured above) was an apartment building. But no, it's not. It's just the ugliest house in the neighborhood. And some fool paid $1.15M for this hideous hideous structure and now he (well, technically, the bank) is offering to sell it for the low low price of $830k. Nothing like a $320k haircut (and that doesn't take into account the carrying and transaction costs).

Speaking of appraisal fraud, I hope you saw the article in the Times today about the NY Attorney General suing First American Corp. and its appraisal management subsidiary, eAppraiseIT, for complying with Washington Mutual's demands for padded appraisals (some as high as $720k over market value). It's not like we didn't know appraisals were being padded, but somehow I didn't think the banks were actually strong-arming the appraisers and creating written records of their wrongful conduct. It'll be interesting to see how this shakes out.