January 2009 Archives
6 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, 3,000 sqft, ~7,000-sqft lot, MLS(r) #351782, $1,795,000It's not exactly my cuppa architecturally speaking, and the commercial kitchen that's been advertised in various Craigslist posts would be overkill even for the occasional soufflé, but if you're into that sort of thing, it's certainly an interesting building.
Architecturally & historically significant WEBSTER HOUSE Bed & Breakfast Inn is offered for sale!!!!!!! This 1854 Gothic Revival house was designed by Andrew Jackson Downing, built in New York, shipped around Cape Horn and assembled in Alameda. [...] Six bedrooms, six baths, seven fireplaces, hundred-year-old trees on the property and great karma [...]
The owners have been trying to get rid of it for years, and I've counted no fewer than seven asking prices, without an obvious downward pattern--the price seems to go up and down randomly:
$2,750,000 google cache link (no date)
$2,195,000 househunter.com listing (no date)
The househunter.com listing included this notice about "four businesses" being sold, although I'm really only counting three--the "General Administrative uses" doesn't sound like much of a business (emphasis added for ease of counting):
Our asking price is $2,195,000. This includes four businesses - Bed & Breakfast Inn (Turnkey - including most furnishings and all commercial kitchen equipment), Food Facility to the general public, that serves weddings and receptions over 20 years and daily High Tea and dinners, by appointment only; Antiques, Gifts & Novelties and General Administrative uses;And my favorite part:
This is truely a wonderful business and great opportunity. Alameda real estate is also a great investment and this property is a unique tax shelter.... which in my book is code for "you'll probably make no money but you'll be able to deduct the losses from your taxable income."
"just under 2 million" Oakland Tribune article from March 2004 (emphasis added)
With close to five years' worth of tree houses in the back, I wonder how many square feet have been added to the property by now.
$2,350,000 Gallagher and Lindsey listing from December 2005
$1,975,000 Fizber.com listing from November 2007
Note it was being pitched as a SFR then with no mention of the "four businesses" sold with the property (otherwise what's the point of mentioning the "best school district" if you're going to run this place as a B&B).
$1,600,000 google cache link from September 2008 (looks like an old Yahoo! Real Estate page)
$1,795,000 current listing at 1238versailles.com
Note the perennial favorite "Offers Reviewed on" notice on the official site. What the heck do those mean, anyway? If someone comes in today with a solid, full price offer, will they have to wait 3 weeks for your "yes"? If someone comes in on Feb. 20 with a $2M all-cash offer, will you ignore them even if you have no offers by your deadline? The false sense of urgency really irritates me.
I'd also like to have heard the pricing-strategy conversation that must have taken place between the owners and the new agents. Maybe it went like this:
Agents: "Wow, this is a great historical property in this quaint little village of Almeria, it must be worth $1.8M, so let's entice buyers with a low, low price of $1,795,000."Or maybe the owners conveniently didn't mention the previous listings at various wishing prices, including less than the current price.
Owners: "We tried it at $1.6M just three months ago and it didn't sell."
Agents: "Well, September 2008 wasn't a Great Time To Buy. Now is a Great Time To Buy, and you'll have the full marketing power of Sotheby's behind your quaint historical property in the great little village of Almodovar."
Owners: "Ok, you're the pros, we'll just go out and build another tree house while you guys get busy."
Update 4/9/2009: Building treehouses must really be getting old, because we're now down to $1,395,000.
Update 4/24/09: Thanks to reader luczai who pointed out this gem from Marilyn Schumacher's blog (emphasis added):
Webster House Auction....continued from last week. Mr. Evan Schumacher wondered what happened with The Webster House auction (announced in last week's post). The bottom line on the auction of the Webster House (Bed and Breakfast Inn) at 1238 Versailles, is that there was no bottom line. No sale. There were far fewer people than I expected there would be and most were just curious, not bidders. There may have been 3 people interested in bidding but even they didn't seem too interested due to the lack of interest!There goes another treehouse.
But here is why there was no sale. Auction was set to start at 1pm. By 1:20pm one of the Real Estate Auction people had people move towards the sidewalk, gather round, and he announced that "This has never happened before to us. I won't give details but I just got off the phone with the Seller and she has decided not to sell it." Well, that is no surprise to those of us who have watched this over the years....One person who called me to find out what happened at the auction immediately said "There weren't enough people to give her the attention she wanted!" The agent had also verbally relayed some representations the owner had made regarding parking and in no uncertain terms 3 local licensed real estate brokers AND a former B&B owner in town said that info was bogus.
I think the auction company may be rethinking their interview process and doing some fact checking before they jump into a gig like this that 'includes' the biz, which is virtually impossible to substantiate a value for, as noted by a couple who had previously had contact with the owner and walked away from the 'deal'. They were also there as interested bystanders.
If this market, plus 23 years of working around Alameda, has taught me anything, a property that has been on the market for years usually has one big reason for not selling. And that is the seller. And that takes care of every possible reason the seller gives as to why the joint ain't sold.
Update 5/5/09: The pain continues.
Another relist this week is 1811 Sherman Street, a foreclosed Mediterranean duplex in a non-prime part of town we discussed last summer. It's now MLS(r) #40391865, listed at $484,900, down from $524,900 last time ($209 / sqft). The MLS sites have photos this time around (Redfin doesn't yet but I suspect they will soon) and it looks rather, um, undistinguished on the inside. Maybe that's why it still hasn't sold, although I wouldn't be surprised if bank inertia may have something to do with it as well.
Here are the specs of this large-ish, very brown home:
3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1,968 sqft, 4,551-sqft lot, MLS(r) #40391439, $825,000
What's not to love about this home?
Open Saturday & Sunday 1:30-4:00PM.
1532 Benton Street
Can you imagine living among the trees and gardens in a quiet retreat?
- Excellent Schools
- Original Craftsman character
- 3+ bedrooms, 1,969 sq ft
- Park-like setting of trees and garden
- Huge 2 car garage entered from side street
- First time on market in 35 years
- Excellent condition, move-in ready
This 3++ BR, 2 BR Cedar shingled home is set on a quiet street, and backs onto a cul de sac setting of trees and garden.
Traditionally in Franklin Elementary School (903 API), the home also has a huge 2 car garage with space for a shop or playroom with entry from the rear cul de sac.
But the market is littered with other long-held, massively overpriced properties with no chance of selling (including some of Kirk Knight's listings, by the way), so this one might just linger until the cows come home.
3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, 2,035 sqft, 3,024-sqft lot (!), MLS(r) #40390663, $695,000Note the tiny postage stamp lot for this big house, as seems to be the case almost everywhere in that area.
Classic Colonial in Bayport [...] Custom Shutters, Tile entry way,French doors [...] Office/Dining rm. Designer lights [...] Fireplace in Family Rm. with Additional llghting. Finshed patio [...] Upgrades & beautiful landscape yard & lots more. Great value!(not sure this is the exact address; development is a little too new for Google's Street View to be 100% accurate)
The neighbors who bought their homes at the peak must be overjoyed to have a new comp listed for $150,000 or more below what they likely paid themselves:
I'm wondering if this string of below-cost listings is going to cause a jingle-mail tsunami around the Bayport development.
Last sale and tax info
- Sold 10/02/2006: $830,500
- 2008 Property Tax: $11,290
Today's Vic is a sad, naked duplex that most likely wasn't born that way.
2x2 bedrooms + "bonus rooms", 1,597 sqft, ~6,000-sqft lot, MLS(r) #40389963, $479,900
Duplex [...] Each unit has 2 BD+ Bonus room. Lots of old details, E. G. antique fixtures, claw foot tub. Large yard for children to play. [...] Room in front yard for small garden.
This property was on the market for a long time last year, at considerably higher prices:
Neither site provides a date, so it's hard to say how old these listings are, but I remember seeing this property listed for sale last year.
The property had previously sold for $680,000 back in October, 2006, and it apparently went back to the bank recently:
Sale History & Tax Info Sale History 09/08/2008: $446,400 * 09/29/2006: $680,000 No other sale data is available * Transaction not included in Zestimate.
Anyone paying $680,000 for a smallish duplex outside of, say, a nice neighborhood in Manhattan is an imbecile who deserves to lose their "investment."
On to the specs.
2 units, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1,381 sqft, ~7,000-sqft lot, MLS(r) #40390078, $600,000(here's the "Neighboring 1885 fixer").
Classic Americana [...] Farmhouse. Legal duplex - convert back to single family? Excellent Otis Elementary (880 API) [...] Huge lot, park-like back yard, [...] sep office bldg + detached garage. [...] Neighboring 1885 fixer now transformed for inspiration.
You can see this property's slow price descent here:
I dug up my notes from my 2007 tour of the place. I haven't seen it since, so for all I know it's fabulous and all new inside now, but this is where it started from:
- Some hardwood floors, in bad shape
- Horrible old stinky carpet elsewhere
- Floors have noticeable tilt
- Downstairs bath: no sink, only a tub
- Upstairs kitchen looks like converted sun porch
- Tiny bedrooms
- Pronounced traffic noise
in front living room
- Foundation is old, brick-cement mix
- Legal little building in yard has 2 big rooms, but no bathroom or kitchen
- Huge detached garage for 2 normal cars (probably)
- Listed at $699,500 as of 12/16/2007.
The sale history certainly doesn't show anything that justifies a price above $250,000, which is about as much I'd be willing to pay:
Sale History 06/12/1998: $102,000 * No other sale data is available * Transaction not included in Zestimate. More info
$600,000 is obscene.
4 units (3x1BR 1BA, 1x2BR 1BA), 2,836 sqft, 7,810-sqft lot, MLS(r) #351187, $699,900The property has a long history of multiple sales in the past 20 years, courtesy of Redfin for a change:
Large 4 plex in the heart of Alameda. Victorian Home built in 1900 converted to 4 units. Garage parking in the rear. Separate Meters. Short Sale! Grab this great deal!
Whoever bought it last for $738,454 didn't appear to mind the 11% annual appreciation since the previous sale or the fact that the rental income doesn't come close to covering the costs:
Property History for 452 SANTA CLARA Ave
Date Event Price Appreciation Source Jan 15, 2009 Listed $699,900 -- San Francisco MLS #351187 Jan 15, 2009 Listed $699,900 -- MLSListings #80902277 Sep 09, 2004 Sold $738,454 11.1%/yr Public Records Dec 30, 1999 Sold $450,000 51.5%/yr Public Records Sep 15, 1994 Sold $50,000 -36.7%/yr Public Records Oct 26, 1993 Sold $75,000 -24.2%/yr Public Records Dec 18, 1992 Sold $95,000 -30.5%/yr Public Records Jan 31, 1989 Sold $390,000 -- Public Records
Financial Information(for reference, a 6.5%-interest, 80%-LTV loan for a $740,000 house comes out to about $3,700 a month exclusive of property tax).
- Tax Amount: $11,074.70
- Gross Rent Multiplier: 26.51
- Rental Income: $26,400
- Net Income: $6,381
- Gross Scheduled Income: $26,400
- Gross Annual Income: $26,400
Oh and by the way, $699,900 is still nowhere near cash-flow positive, either, so anyone buying at today's price is just as much of an idiot as the current owner. But I suppose they may have felt they were getting a great deal then too, since it was apparently listed at $895,000. Interestingly the agent's trophy page for the last sale mentions greater square footage, an owner's unit, and a sale price of $820,500.
It's not clear why the public records would show a considerably lower sale price, although it hardly makes a difference since this property doesn't begin to make sense until the price drops to about $450,000-$475,000 ($2,300 monthly mortgage payment with the same assumptions as above). Incidentally, that happens to be exactly the price at which the property sold back in 1999. Imagine that.
2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 1,236 sqft, 6,000-sqft lot, MLS(r) #40388929 , $649,9501808 Everett is already hardly a prime location, way up there near Clement, but this house also happens to be directly across the street from what looks like a school, which is perfect if you don't care for peace and quiet.
[...] this awesome updated alameda home will be at the top of your list. [...] oversized 6000sqft lot, (almost twice the size of most alameda homes), vinyl siding, [...] double car garage and shop and updated interior, all offered at a competitive price.
Have I mentioned this nondescript 1,236-sqft bungalow is priced well above $500 / sqft ($526, to be precise), and dares to present itself as priced competitively? It also essentially makes the claim that most Alameda homes are either 3,000 sqft themselves, or (if you interpret the ambiguous grammar the way it's probably meant to be read), located on 3,000-sqft lots, both of which are provably false, and might even constitute false advertising, unless you interpret "almost" very liberally.
It gets better: someone (the owner or agent) actually listed this property on Zillow for...
That's right. Not a Make Me Move(tm) million dollars like, say, that pretty Gold Coast Victorian that's over twice as big, on a bigger lot, in a prime Gold Coast location with lagoon access. Not that kind of million dollars--an actual for-sale million dollars.
Don't believe me? Check out the property's virtual tour:
Last sale and tax info
- Sold 09/03/1998: $154,000
- 2008 Property Tax: $3,238
Agent Gordon Goletto, from Re/Max Gold, you're a moron, on your better days, and mostly because I'm feeling generous this year. Isn't the market difficult enough as it is for you (anyone!) not to take idiotically priced listings with no chance in hell of selling? Or are you just chronically underemployed, and this just gets you out of the house?
By the way, if you're inclined to comment that it's not nice to call strangers names, don't bother. You're probably a moron too.
4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 2,563 sqft, 7,420-sqft lot, triplex, MLS(r) #40389387, $949,000
Gorgeous "turn of the century" victorian on lagoon on gold coast [...] Owners unit is 2 bedr/1 bath w/formal dr, sunporch,etc. All units have access to backyard, deck and lagoon. Updated triplex with original charm. [...] One of a kind! Must see
Whatever the case may be, though, I suspect the owners realized you can't make a $700,000 triplex cash-flow-positive no matter how you slice it, especially if you've added the mortgage by upgrading a bunch of things (emphasis added):
The owners also appear to have set a "Make me move" price on Zillow (a cool million, natch), and put it up as a FSBO on Zillow as well, which suggests they may have wanted to bail very shortly after they bought the house.
Triplex with 2 1 Bedroom units on the 1st floor and a 2 Bedroom on the upper floor. Located directly on the lagoon with its own pier and deck on the water. Great Views. New roof & double-pane windows, oak floors refinished, upgraded electrical, freshly repainted, insulated.Provided by the owner
At any rate, their expectations have dropped a hair, as evidenced by their sub-$1M list price. It'll be interesting to see what happens.
On to the data.
The pretty graph on AOL's real estate page for Alameda shows 460 sales in 2008 (I extrapolated December as a % of November's number based on 2007, i.e. 25 estimated sales for December).
The same graph shows an average sale price of $629,647 (estimating December to be the average of the previous 11 months). Trulia's market overview for Alameda says $590,000. I'll split the difference and call it $610,000.
This means approximately $290M changed hands between buyers and sellers in 2008.
Because I'm a nice person, I'll give agents the benefit of the doubt and assume they were able to keep all 6% of their commissions in most cases. This means a gross commission pool of about $17M.
What this all means is that the average transaction brings in a $37,778 commission, split between two agents and a broker. On the sale side, assuming the broker takes 30% and the agent takes 70%, we have the following gross income per transaction:
Buyer's agent $18,889 Seller's agent $13,222 Broker $5,666 Total $37,778
Now, how many real estate agents do we have in our fair city?
Take a wild guess. Heck, check Gallagher and Lindsey, Harbor Bay Realty, Kane and Associates, and even Alameda Realty's rosters and do a little math if you'd like. I'll wait.
Turns out the big three don't tell the whole story. A quick scan of the Alameda Association of Realtors(tm)'s site indicates we had 282 agents as of May, 2008. Here's the full list with phone numbers (PDF) if you'd like to say hi. Note this is a lower bound on the number of agents in Alameda, since not all of them are registered with the association (perhaps?).
For convenience, assuming an agent has an equal chance of being a seller's agent and a buyer's agent (i.e. $16,000 average commission), gross incomes come out to:
$16,000 commissionI don't know about you, but I'm not terribly impressed. I sure hope they squirreled away all their boom money, because they're going to need it.
x 460 transactions
/ 282 agents
x 2 agents per transaction
$52,000 gross income (before taxes, NAR dues, lock-box fees, marketing costs, lease on your Lexus SUV and three-digit cell phone bill).
Add into the mix overachievers like Pacita Dimacali and Keiko McDonah who seem to sell every other property on the island and you're left with a bunch of underemployed agents who make very little. In fact it doesn't take very many Pacitas and Keikos to cause a non-negligible number of real estate agents to be involved in exactly zero transactions in the whole year.
Of course my assumptions simplify the picture a bit, and lifer Realtors(tm) will tell you they're in it because they're people-persons (people-people?), or because they like architecture, or because they enjoy making their clients happy, or whatever--not for the money.
On the other hand, you might say that making $52,000 for selling 2 houses a year amounts to a pretty impressive hourly fee, and I can't say I disagree.
That said, I don't think anybody would complain if we lost as many as half of the agents on the island to retirement, career change, or other forms of attrition.
3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1,940 sqft, 7,452-sqft lotIt was purchased for $925,000 in April, 2006, and went back to the bank last year:Photo from Zillow, resized down, fair use; not EBRD-copyrighted as far as I know
Well, it's back, and not yet on the MLS. Better act fast, says the agent:
Sale History 10/14/2008: $652,500 * 04/06/2006: $925,000
$680000 / 3br - NOT YET ON MLS BANK OWNED WATERFRONT PROPERTY (alameda)
*Not yet on MLS* Alameda Foreclosed Dream Home AvailableLocation: South ShoreGET IT BEFORE A REALTOR DOES, STAY AHEAD OF THE GAME WITH THIS BANK OWNED PROPERTY near the water!Ready to move in with waterside access. Great for summer entertaining as well as winter fireside relaxation! A real steal and if you can get the financing then I highly recommend this property!
*Due to this bank owned property being so new, please call for most updated details as the pictures and information below may be out of date*
My favorite part is "if you can get the financing then I highly recommend this property!" It makes me wonder if the agent is consciously trying a new approach, the friendly-advice sales tactic (as opposed to the "buy now or be priced out forever" mouth-breather hard sell), or if he's just new.
I wouldn't mind if a Realtor(tm) did get this property. Chances are they would probably lose it pretty quick, since $680,000 isn't a walk-in-the-park mortgage payment and Realtor(tm) incomes haven't exactly been going up, That would in turn provide me with more material for the next couple of years. Everybody wins.
Update 1/13/09: There's a feeding frenzy of classless agents around this property.
You can't pass this house up, It is located on a corner lot in a court. The back yard has a patio and access to the water. Close to shopping and close to Alameda Beach. Your welcome to make an offer, You know what it's worth.I wonder what the house really looks like now--it was nice enough in the 2005 pictures, but foreclosures have a way of going to pot.
pictures are dated back 11/23/2005
Update 1/17/09: I don't know what's going on with this house--here's a third agent with his name on it.
Update 1/19/09: Yet another agent, and a different price ($745,000) and amusingly worded false advertising--"overlooking with the ocean!!!!!". Agents, do everyone a favor and check your facts, ok?
Another mind-bender is the claim that "Previous owners spent well over $120,000 in upgrades. The floors, the kitchen, the lights, the countertops, the bathrooms are all spanking new." That's over and above the $925,000 the owners paid, mind you. And this: "We are getting tons of calls on this one, even while it's being cleaned up." What exactly needs to be cleaned up? Did the owners go ballistic and blow the inside away?
Update 1/31/09: The
3221 Encinal is back on the market as an REO, known as MLS(r) #40388418, and listed at $429,500. The last time it was on the market a few months ago, it was listed at $650,000 and looked like hell from the outside (it probably still does). If it was...
[...] a great opportunity for first time home buyers and investors
at $650,000, then it truly is an...
[o]pportunity in coveted Alameda!!! Single family home with nearly full legal height basement [...] Needs work [...]... at $429,500.
I often wonder about how folks who came close to buying but decided against it must feel when they see the property they almost bought come back for over $200,000 less than they may have paid just a few months ago, had common sense not gotten the better of them. Survivor's guilt, maybe?
2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 966 sqft + bonus room, 3,838-sqft lot, MLS(r) #40388323, $499,000Let me quote the juicier bits in case you can't decipher the scaled-down print in the photo:
Hard to believe....but this delightful Spanish bungalow offers something unique: [...]The Gold Coast must have a really wide fringe:
[...] overlooking the backyard which is like one, big patio that requires minimal upkeep
[...] at the fringe of the famed Gold Coast.
But my favorite, by far, is the "one, big patio that requires minimal upkeep" euphemism for "small paved-over backyard":
The Zillow description is also delectable (emphasis added):
Aggressively priced to sell! Where else can you find a property at this price that offers three -- that's right, three garage spaces? The 2-car garage in the rear of the property can be used as a garage, workshop, artist studio, office. Large patio offers minimal upkeep. Home has had lots of upgrades, done with permits! Remodeled kitchen with granite countertops, stainless steel appliances. Gas-burning fireplace with remote-control. Spacious yard and patio. Seller is preparing home for sale.I agree it's quite the fantastic find to have THREE parking spaces for your 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom, sub-1000-sqft home, for all the car-driving kids and grandkids you have living with you. You can also rent them out to Gold Coast fringe hobos for a tidy profit. Or maybe Ms. Dimacali is just grasping at straws trying to find something positive about this big garage with a little house in front.
Speaking of renting out the garage, perhaps the current owners are doing just that to offset the loss they're apparently taking on their Gold Coast parking lot:
Sale History & Tax Info Sale History 09/26/2003: $514,000 04/03/2003: $280,000 *
- Transaction Not Included in Zestimate
- This transaction was not used in computing the Zestimate for this house due to anomalies we detected with this transaction. These anomalies can include unusual document or transaction types, sales between possibly related parties, unusually high or low transaction prices, or other data irregularities that might indicate the transaction is not a full-value, arms-length transaction.
3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1,798 sqft, 7,000-sqft lot, MLS(r) #TBD, $749,000
Description TBD as well--the MLS(r) sites or craigslist don't have it yet.
The interesting story here is that this property was on the market in 2007 or early 2008, if I remember correctly, for $839,000 ($466 / sqft) and failed to sell. It had sold not once but twice in the previous two years, once in December 2005, another in September, 2006 (Zillow page):
The newspaper description suggests someone went wild with "modern comforts" (granite everywhere, Terminator appliances, etc), which might account for the crazy $164,000 gain between those two sales.
Sale History 08/21/2006: $839,000 12/21/2005: $675,000 No other sale data is available
A third sale was attempted at some point in the past couple of years, perhaps as a short sale (my memory for details is fuzzy on this one), but I wasn't able to find any trace of that sale completing. I did find an old listing price ($849,000) and MLS(r) number (40281736) on an agent's site, but there's no date there other than the "Copyright 2007, Lucian Trif" at the bottom of the page.
It's going to be listed at $749,000, which is still way too much considering how close it is to some high school and miscellaneous ugly houses, but an interesting trajectory:
early 2006: $675,000
late 2006: $839,000
2007/2008: $879,000 (no sale)
early 2009: $749,000
Buy now or be priced out forever, because real estate is a great investment that always goes up.
The issue I have in mind is the protracted shortage of qualified buyers we're likely to have for several years in the future as a result of the foreclosure mess.
Let me explain.
We've all seen the mortgage reset graphs from the IMF and Credit Suisse, which indicate we're in for several years of distress. Here's one from Calculated Risk:
And one from the Irvine Housing Blog:
The graphs are normally discussed from two angles:
- The impact of defaults on the financial system (bank collapses, worthless mortgage-backed securities, etc)
- The impact of defaults on housing inventory (lots of foreclosures = lots of homes on the market = downward pressure on prices = more upside-down mortgages = fewer refinancings, wash, rinse, repeat)
You might argue a lot of those people probably shouldn't and wouldn't be in the buyer pool in the first place, ever; the fact they entered it is only an artifact of the mortgage market's insanity in the first few years of this decade. But one might counter that some of them would eventually have become eligible after a few years of employment and credit history, except they bought houses in 2002-2007 and screwed themselves up for five to ten years.
You might also point out the buyer pool shrinkage is independent of whether today's distressed owners stay in their homes or not, as they wouldn't buy a new house for the next 5 to 10 years anyway: either because their FICO score is shot, or because, well, they already own a house. That's fair enough, but again I don't recall seeing a discussion of the inevitability of a buyer pool shrinkage as a result of the high levels of home ownership we saw in the past few years.
I'm going to try to get in touch with various RE economy bloggers to see if they can help me quantify this.
Of course, this specific point might have been discussed all over the place and I might just be uninformed. If anyone has any articles you know about, I'd love to see them.
2 bedrooms, 2 1/2 bathrooms, 1,519 sqft, 2,688-sqft lot, 2 stories, 2-car garage, MLS(r) #40350870The MLS(r) listings is only slightly different, but obviously composed by the same person:
Sparkling 2 bedroom, 2.5 bath Bay Colony duet [...] near the Sshoreline, Ferry and recreation. [...] vaulted ceilings and lots of light [...] wood burning fireplace and babmboo floors make this a warm and inviting setting. The eat-in kitchen has access to the garden and rear deck ideal for entertaining. Upstairs has two master suites with tile baths and lots of closet and storeage space. [...] HOA fees are $342 mo.
New Price! Easy to show--bring an offer. [...] bamboo floors, cheery eat-in kitchen, deck and garden area ideal for entertaining. Master suite [...] tiled baths. Garage & washer/dryer. Cul-de-sac near ferry & shoreline
Now, I don't know about you, but the most I'd ever pay for a good-sized 2-story townhome on Bayfarm is probably about $350,000. If that. Especially with the $342 monthly HOA dues. But the sellers are asking a trifle more--$664,700 at last reckoning. It's less than they used to want, back when it was known as MLS(r) #343705 and listed at $679,000 (that's a whopping 2.1% price drop, in case you were wondering).
I was a bit curious about the weirdly shaped new price, so I did some math and found that it's tailored almost exactly so the owners will make back their exact purchase price if the agents split a 5% commission. Imagine that.
At least the listing suggests the owners had the decency not to
Last sale and tax info
- Sold 10/28/2005: $630,000
- 2008 Property Tax: $9,915
Sparkling or not, though, given the state of the condo market and the massive, massive premium the owners overpaid in 2005, I just don't see them getting out of this with money in the bank.
Update 4/2/09: Whopping $5,700 price drop. Yes, five thousand seven hundred, not fifty seven thousand. This one's so toast I can smell the butter melting.