Friday, May 30, 2008

The Undaunted

My friend sent me this article today from the venerable NYT. It's basically two letters. One is from a prospective buyer saying: "get real." The other is from the "undaunted" seller saying: "I'll take my chances." Well, I suppose if you have the luxury of taking your chances in this market you aren't a real seller anyway and indeed your home will not sell. So, rather than write that response, why not just take your house off the market? Stop wasting everybody's time.

If you're shopping in Sherman Oaks and really feel the need to send correspondence to a seller, why not just email them a link to Tim Hebb's post today on Redfin? It's faster. It's more compelling.

I'm still waiting it out folks. This isn't the bottom. It's not even close. If anybody is undaunted here, it's me.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Mr. Big bought my house!

Remember when I told y'all I found the perfect house?

Well, Chris Noth bought it. You can read all the juicy details at the supercrazyfantastic Real Estalker.

Add him to the list of our actor neighbors. And this is important. REALLY important. Do not go over there. Do not even drive by. That is called stalking and that is against the law. Okay, that's all. Carry on.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

What is "corporate owned" exactly?

11437 DECENTE DRIVE, Studio City, CA 91604
MLS #: F1768009

(photo not yet available)

Beds: 3
Baths: 3
Sq. Ft.: 2,329
Lot Size: 5,180 Sq. Ft.
Built: 1964
List Date: 05/20/08
List Price: $749,900
$/Sq.Ft.: $322

Last Sale: 08/24/06
Sales Price: $1,400,000

Zestimate™ $1,171,500

" Corporate owned special!!! South of the blvd, nice tuscany villa in studio city hills*located on a quiet street* home feautures wood & tile floors throughout* 3 fireplaces* balcony with views* huge outdoor wood deck* large dining area* lots of character but this home needs tlc* priced to sell fast* "

So, according to Property Shark (god bless that site!), this home was purchased by Neda Baghbanmanesh for $485k in 2002. Then it looks like in 2005 Neda borrowed another $120k from Blueview Corporation in La Jolla. Then somebody sued Neda and filed notice of a possible lien. Then Neda sold it to Lillian Sedaghat-Pour for $1.12M in April 2006(that's a tidy profit). And good ole Lilian was able to sell it to Lorena Bendinskas for $1.4M in August 2006 (not too shabby for only holding the property for 4 months). Then an NOD was filed and then it looks like a Notice of Trustees Sale in August 2007. But there are no further transactions recorded. I guess it's possible that the reconveyance took place and that's the "coporation" that owns this property.

Anyhoodle, call me jaded but I suspect that Old Neda, Lillian and Lorena were not total strangers and something is rotten in Denmark.

But anyway this home is priced at $322/sq.ft. and that seems about right these days.

I have to sign off now and get on over to see Harrison Ford's new flick. Ciao.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Valley is wild! Seriously.

Sure people have horses in the Valley. But they aren't wild. And I'm not talking about coyotes. So what is it? What could be so wild in the Valley? Monkeys! Yup. In the Valley. And wild parrots too. Mmm-hmmm. No kidding.

Yeah, some guy put a whole bunch of monkeys in the Valley. Read all about this long gone Valley spectacular here.

EEEP! No wonder it's gone.

And, if you want to know why sometimes you see parrots in your palm tree, it's because when Busch Gardens closed they basically just let the birds go -- but some people say the birds "escaped". Read about it here.

(The old boat ride at the long gone Van Nuys Busch Gardens).

Gather 'round, Darlings. It's time for a stoning.

Honestly, I am beside myself. When this listing hit my radar this morning I just shook my head. I mulled over what to do. And finally, after careful consideration, I determined that nothing less than a public (cyber) stoning will do. Ready?

14702 HESBY ST, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
(MLS #: 08_281791)

Beds: 2
Bath: 1.5
Sq. Ft.: 1,268
Lost: 6,751


"A jewel in the valley."

A jewel? Really? I'm not seeing it. I'm seeing a small tract house with ugly faux stone facade.

"Wonderfully redone home, kitchen w/ granite counter tops, s/s appliances and slate floor, mster bathroom w/ mosaic tiled floor and shower. The back yard feels like a park with it's fully landscaped yard. A great condo alternative."


Yeah. That's right. Eight hundred and fifty thousand dollars for this. Cyberhomes estimates it at $556,813. Which is a generous $439/sq. ft.

But now, I have to do something I generally don't take on: edumacate the listing agent. Rachel Maslan, of Hilton & Hyland, please pay close attention to the map below. It shows all the other homes for sale in your client's neighborhood.

Not a clear enough picture for you? Let me pan out a bit.

This is what we call a buyer's market in every sense of the word. And you've priced this Van Nuys adjacent, two bedroom, tract home at nearly $700 a square foot. OMFG. Good luck with that. It wouldn't have sold for that at the peak of the market.

Here are some comps:

One word: Rookie.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

2538 Sundown Drive - $799k

I can't believe this house is really available at $799k. But, whatever, here's a link to the flier and here's the stats:

MLS Number 07-236455
Living Area: 1,812 Sq. Ft.
Lot Size: 10,869 Sq. Ft.

Thanks to Phaser21, you can see all the coolio photos here.

Whatever Happened To ...

Today we follow up on a few old listings to see what happened. This post is made possible by the excellent people at Property Shark. Thanks Property Shark!

10748 Aqua Vista Street
(Prior Posts)

Price Reduced: 07/02/07 -- $780k to $769k
Price Reduced: 07/17/07 -- $769k to $764k
Price Reduced: 07/18/07 -- $764k to $759k
Price Reduced: 07/23/07 -- $759k to $754k
Price Reduced: 07/27/07 -- $754kto $749k
Price Reduced: 08/25/07 -- $749k to $699k
Price Reduced: 10/02/07 -- $699k to $679k
Price Reduced: 11/28/07 -- $679k to $649k

Sold: 4/25/08 -- $451,000 ($442/sq.ft.)
Bank Of America Na 4161 Piedmont Pkwy Greensboro, Nc 27410

4702 Halbrent Ave.
(Prior Posts)

Price Reduced: 10/05/07 -- $959k to $899k
Price Reduced: 10/30/07 -- $899k to $875k
Price Reduced: 11/26/07 -- $875k to $849k
Price Reduced: 01/03/08 -- $849k to $799k
Price Reduced: 02/16/08 -- $799k to $775k

Sold: 4/28/2008 -- $728k ($370/sq.ft.)
Buyers:Daniel & Teresa

4421 Noble Ave
(Prior Posts)

Price Reduced: 07/10/07 -- $849k to $824k
Price Reduced: 07/17/07 -- $824k to $799k
Price Reduced: 07/28/07 -- $799k to $769k
Price Reduced: 09/06/07 -- $749k to $699k

Sold 4/24/2008 -- $697k ($514/sq.ft.)
Charlene & Jaqueline

13480 Contour Drive
(Prior Posts)

Listed 3/20/08 -- $1.54M

Went inactive without a sale.

Monday, May 12, 2008

30-Day Change that'll make you choke.

The dark blue line is for the 10 bedroom, 12 bathroom, 21,523 sq.ft. house palace at 750 Bel Air Road. The light blue line is for zip code 90077. Umm. Yeah. They lost nearly $2.5M last month. But whatever. I mean, you could've bought this place for that much back in 2003. And you gotta love that the Zestimate has a $10M spread. That just cracks me up. Because, you know, I work for a living.
Check out the photos. I'm pretty sure that structure on the right side of the gate is the gaurd's house. You have a live-in guard, right? And he needs a 2,000 sq. ft. house, right?

Check out the purple bedroom. It certainly is .... purple. Why do super rich people decorate like this? Do they all have the same decorator who can't think of any new ideas? Also, I think all those dressers are silver leafed. I don't get the "bed on a stage" look myself. But you know. I guess somebody does.

More stats for you Stats Hounds! (From Zillow!)

Hi Kate,

Zillow just published Q1 home value reports. I thought May 5th readers may be interested in this information. According to our analysis, home values in the US experienced another historic drop, falling 7.7% over the past year (ending March 31st). One of two homeowners who purchased during the national market peak in 2006 are currently "underwater" on their mortgage.

A few links to this data …

1. Detailed quarterly reports for 160 MSA’s.


3. Overview of Q1 home value trends.

David Gibbons

P.S. In case you’re interested in how Zillow’s Zindex compares to the CSI.

Property Shark's latest foreclosure graph

(click to enlarge)

I love me some MLS photos!

This house is a wee bit overpriced so look for reductions soon. But I've featured it not because of the price. I've featured it because of the MLS photos. They're awesome! You'll see.

5512 BEVIS AVENUE, Sherman Oaks, CA 91411
(MLS #: F1766426)

*Yawn* Tract house. Well maintained. Garage in front. *Yawn*

What the? Mr. Kitty? What are you doing to that ottoman? Bad kitty!

Well, I better put ANOTHER photo up that shows the ottoman is unharmed. So people know.

Kitty! Get off the table! Off! It'll squick people out to see your butt right where they eat. We're trying to sell a house here kitty! You are not helping.

Seriously kitty. Just jump down. I'm going to take this photo one more time.

Just keep your little kitty head down. Keep it down ... keep it down. Just one more photo.

Kitty! What did we just talk about? About keeping your head down? Dammit kitty!

Bedrooms: 2
Baths: 2
Square Feet: 1,300
Lot Size: 7,425 Sq. Ft.
Year Built: 1951
Listing Date: 05/06/08
List Price: $649k

Price per Square Foot
Based on List Price: $499
Based on Zestimate™: $448 ($582k)
Sold Homes: $335 ($435k)

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

It's the two year anniversary of May 5. And being the devoted and talented blogger I am, I failed to click "PUBLISH POST" on this newsflash and it sat in draft form all night. Bummer.

But fear not! We are alive and well and the MLS commentary that you have come to expect from Cinco de Mayo de Blogspot will carry on for another year. Because, really, that's exactly what the Mexicans had in mind when the defeated the French at the Battle of Pueblo: a bitchy blog about houses in the Valley.

Love you! Mean it!

Friday, May 02, 2008

MLS Porn (Encino)

5266 AMESTOY AVE, Encino, CA 91316
(MLS 08_255457)

Bedrooms: 7
Full Baths: 8.5
(you could use a different bathroom every day of the week and still not see them all!)
Square Feet: 9,010
Lot Size: 37,096 Sq. Ft.
Year Built: 2008
List Price: $7.5M

"Simply one of the finest homes ever built in all of the san fernando valley. This italian farmhouse is a one story masterpiece. Boasting 9,000 square feet, 7 bedrooms and 8 3/4 baths on nearly 1 flat acre. This unrivaled compound offers cutting edge smart home technology w/ most every conceivable amenity yet still capturing the old world charm that makes this grand retreat an unparalleled estate. No expense spared.* This uncompromising magnificent estate is a must see for the most discriminating "

*Actually, it seems like they weren't willing to pay for all the required capitalization in the MLS description.

You can buy Samuel L. Jackson's old shack (in Encino).

5128 ENCINO AVENUE, Encino, CA 91316
(MLS #: F1744018)

Bedrooms: 4
Full Baths: 4.5
Square Feet: 4,771
Lot Size: 38,640 Sq. Ft.
Year Built: 1981

Listing Date: 11/20/07
List Price: $3.8M

More proof that things have changed. A lot.

UPDATE: Check out Tim Hebb's post on this property. Click here.

Check out this South of the Boulevard home in Studio City. It's priced to move. Let's wait and see.

(MLS #: F1757191)

Bedrooms: 3
Full Baths: 3
Square Feet: 2,003
Lot Size: 6,750 Sq. Ft.
Year Built: 1978

Price Reduced: 03/10/08 -- $1,300,000 to $995,000
Price Reduced: 04/29/08 -- $995,000 to $699,000