So, are miracles still happening out there? They are! A Van Nuys adjacent house can still sell at $400 sq. ft. and I think that's a bloody miracle.
Nevermind that the seller paid $772,500 back in January '05. (That's right, he sold for $2,500 less than he paid over three years ago, in case you failed to notice). And let's not forget the $46k in Realtor commissions. Oh, and the interest payments (approximately $48k per year times 3 years = $144k). Dang, when you add it all up ($190k), that was one expensive rental (about $5k/month). Oops! And that doesn't include three years of property tax & maintenance. And closing costs, twice. I'm pretty sure you could rent a 3+2 house in the area for less than half that. And, I dunno, maybe put the other $2,500 a month toward a 401k. Call me crazy.
But the seller still sold at a remarkably high price given market conditions. The Realtor Team who pulled this off? The Fred Meyer Team, on the web at http://www.fredmyer4u.com/. So if you want to sell your house for slightly below what you paid in 2005, you might want to give them a call.
Let's talk about the buyer for a second. Sure, shaving off the last three years of property value increases is sweet! But, umm, you realize that most of the bubble increase was pre-'05? Maybe I should draw you a picture of what I mean. Here's the Zillow graph of the property value for your house (your house is in dark blue and your zip code average is in light blue):
What I find really interesting is how much the gap between your home's value and the average home value in your zip code has shrunk. Back in '05, there was a $300k spread. Now there's just a $200k spread. See, that's interesting because it means that your house is losing value faster than the zip code as a whole. I bet that trend will continue. But, you know, I've been wrong before. Like when I thought nobody would pay list price for your house. I guess you showed me!