January 2008 Archives

Today's craigslist post makes me sad.

617 Pacific Ave Alameda Ca. MLS# 40296485

$439,000.00 2 bed 1 bath. Total remodel. Move in ready!

Last few days of listing. Becoming a rental if we dont get a offer by the 31st!

Stainless steel appliances included. New washer/dryer enclosure included. Looking at all reasonable offers!! Interest rates are great! Time to buy buy buy.

617-pacific.jpgSomeone? Anyone? Please? Buy this cozy, $529/sqft place or the puppy gets it. It's time to buy buy buy.

Looks like a flipper is trying to get their money back, what with the "total remodel" and the Terminator fridge.

Last sale and tax info

Sold 08/09/2007: $360,000
2007 Property Tax: $5,651
$439k - 6% = $412,660. $360K last summer for that unit was pretty low, so my guess is the remodel was extensive, though I didn't see it then and won't go look at it this time around.

For the life of me I can't understand why anyone would put themselves through the stress of a home purchase, remodel and sale for a net gain of zero.  I guess their time and energy are worth nothing, which is about right.

Today's fun craigslist post;

It's perfect. Perfect!

Digging around a bit, we find

Last sale and tax info

Sold 04/01/2005: $630,000
2007 Property Tax: $8,003
Let's see:

2.5 years' property tax = $20,000
3% commission (best-case scenario) = $20,370
HELOCed Ford T-bird in garage = $35,000
Sale price (bear with me here) = $679,000
Purchase price = $630,000
Net gain = -$26,370

Did I mention the county records show this house is 886 sqft? That's $766/sqft, on a somewhat less than desirable street. See for yourself!

This house has been on craigslist for a few days, priced at $629K, but only today did a full-blown listing with big pictures appear.

STUM12280721146P_11708100853A_ph121900P.jpgNothing spectacularly wrong with this lovely bungalow until you look at its recent sale history.

Last sale and tax info

Sold 12/27/2006: $557,000
2007 Property Tax: $7,078
Looks as though the seller may have priced it using the "my home appreciation is as good as a full-time job" method and added $6,000 per month to its original purchase price. Never mind that prices haven't exactly been appreciating over the past 12 months, and certainly not at a 13% y-o-y pace. The official site says nothing about recent improvements or maintenance, so you'd basically be paying a $72,000 premium for the privilege of buying a one-year-older house.

I want $72,000 a year for doing nothing too.

Update 2/6/2008: Price dropped to $599,000.

Update 2/27/2008: Funny how a purported $6,000 / month appreciation is turning into a $500 / month drop. This home just got dropped to $550,000, less than the purchase price 15 months ago. Some Christmas present they gave themselves.

Update 7/27/08: Hard to believe, but this sweet bungalow is still active, with an even lower price. The price drop history looks like this:

$629,000 to $599,000 in early February, 2008
$599,000 to $550,000 in late February, 2008
$550,000 to $525,000 at some point
Alameda is known for its past and high density of very old (mid-to-late 19th century) Victorian homes. It is also known for having a fair amount of underdeveloped space to its west, thanks to an abandoned army base.

For a little while now, developers have been building "luxury" residences in said west end, such as this property, now for sale for $1,050,000:


2438-coral-sea-front.jpg THIS MUST BE A HELLUVA HOME TO WARRANT THIS OCEAN OF CAPS. Of course it boasts all the pseudo-high-end features you'd expect from a new McMansion: berber carpets, "TOP LINE" appliances (though thankfully no stainless steel) and a whole quarry's worth of granite:

Though barely 18 months old, this property already has a blemished title, as it last sold when it was but a babe in mid-2006, but its owner is trying to get rid of it for (surprise) his/her purchase price + agent commission:

Last sale and tax info

Sold 07/12/2006: $980,000
2007 Property Tax: $4,904

I wonder who was able to justify the development of a large high-end McMansion development in a small town most Bay Area folks hardly know about at the top of what was already a very obvious bubble about to pop.

Update 12/3/08: Fun! This property just came back on the market as MLS(r) #40383727, listed at $799,000. That's an eye-popping $251,000 (24%) drop from the previous list price, and an almost equally eye-popping $181,000 (23%) "equity" drop. Zip Realty has the listing as a short sale, which won't surprise anybody.

Over $80,000 in original upgrades. [...] top of the line GE Profile appliances, bamboo [...] berber carpet [...] full house intercom/music, stamped concrete patios. Have converted loft to 4th bedroom.
Update 2/24/09: It's back! MLS(r) #40396836, essentially the same description, still $799,000.

Over $80,000 in original upgrades. Granite counters, additional cabinetry in kitchen, top of the line GE Profile appliances, [...] berber carpet upstairs (with 15 yr. warranty), full house intercom/music, [...] Have converted loft to 4th bedroom.
Update 8/30/09: Apparently sold for $750,000.

Update 1/10/10: Actually sold for $700,000.
This is a fun Craigslist sunday. Check out what you get for only $713,000:

2 bedrooms 2.5 bathrooms corner unit located along the lagoon, with an amazing view. Large living room with a brick, gas fireplace, wetbar, and high vaulted ceilings. 2 private decks with a stunning lagoon view. One deck in the master room and the other in the living room, an additional bedroom with private patio as well. Master bedroom w/ a modern shower system. Oversized 2 car garage w/ plenty of storage space, and washer/dryer hookup. The unit is near a park and beach. This is a must see unit, priced to sell in a gated community.

For more information or private showing, please contact Izabella at 510 522 9600.
The owner enjoys the finer things in life: a wet bar, not one but two decks to party on, a modern shower system to drain those hangovers, and an equally modem see-through basin sink with all plumbing showing that's somehow more important than what the house looks like, as it is pictured second, while the full frontal view of the house comes last.

That sink is definitely worth paying $133,000 $33,000 more than our owner paid just 2 1/2 years ago.

Last sale and tax info

Sold 08/23/2005: $680,000
2007 Property Tax: $8,430
Update: Price dropped to $699,999 at some point, and now down to $680,000 (MLS #40317461).

If $713,000 was "priced to sell" then $680,000 is a steal--the sink is free! This second drop also means this listing is inducted into the Loss Leaders category.

Update: I just realized the math in this post was off by $100,000 (now stricken out). Oops.

Update 8/31/08: Amusingly enough, this property is back/still on the market as MLS(r) #40358887, (re)listed on 7/28/08 at a shiny new price of $656,000. The Emme Elle Esse photos I'm probably not allowed to display show the place to be completely empty (although it doesn't say when those were taken). The Zillow page no longer shows this property as for sale. By my reckoning, this property has been for sale for close to 8 months, if not longer.
This trailer house has been listed before, and I vaguely remember it being a bit above today's fire-sale price of $804,000, but  I couldn't find the old listing:

Originally built in the 1890’s, this home was brought back to life in 2005. New roof, heating, electrical, dual pane windows and upgraded kitchen and baths to name a few!!

Don’t let her simple, clean exterior fool you! Inside you'll find 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, eat-in kitchen, living, room, family room and bonus room and, to top it off, half the large attic is finished off still leaving a huge unfinished attic for storage!

Add to that granite kitchen countertops, new cabinetry , custom window dressings and landscaped yard with
redwood deck!!
Gotta LOVE those "window dressings" on a Vic.
The "brought back to life in 2005" comment smells of flippage. Let's see...

Last sale and tax info

Sold 08/03/2005: $735,000
2007 Property Tax: $9,024
Well! Something tells me a roof, windows, electric, heating, kitchen, baths, landscaping and those gorgeous awnings cost a little more than, what, $804,000x0.97 - $735,000 - 2.5x$9024 = $22,320 (net sale with 1-way commission - purchase price - 2.5 years' property tax). Even if the FB owner flipper is a Realtor (r) with connections.

Anne Debardeleben - Realtor
For sale by individual owner

Will we see a short sale by spring?

Career-wise, this isn't Anne's best move. I can't fathom how anyone would want to be represented by an agent who got him/herself into a stupid flip like this. If the agent can't protect their own best interest in a transaction, how can they be trusted to protect their clients'? 

But of course no-one will know, and she'll be able to carry on as an agent after this storm is weathered (unless of course she's working at McDonald's, although I don't know if she should be allowed to flip burgers either). Maybe there should be a rule mandating full disclosure by agents of their own RE investment stats to protect clients from malpractice. I'm half-tempted to respond to that old favorite on Trulia Voices ("how do you select an agent?")  with a snarky "I ask them how many bad flips and foreclosures they've personally been involved in."

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This page is an archive of entries from January 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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