All posts by SavedbyGrace

Holy Freeway Noise Batman

612 N. 1st Ave.


Asking Price $599,000 ::: Sq-ft 1,688
Purchased Price $586,000 ::: Lot Size 7,410 sq-ft
Purchased Date 12/24/2007 ::: Beds 3
Days on Redfin 41 ::: Baths 2.5
$/Sq-ft $355 ::: Year Built 1941
20% Downpayment $119,800 ::: Area 210 fwy
Income Required $149,750/yr ::: Type SFR
Est. Payment* $3,029/month ::: MLS# A08044213

*Estimated monthly payment assume 20% down, 30-yr fixed @ 6.50%

Price Reduced !! Priced for quick sale. one story single family residence with swimming pool, located in a nice neighborhood, north of Colorado. 3 Bedroom plus a den. Property has been completely renvoated in 2007, including newer kitchen with granite counter tops, newer appliances, newer bathrooms, double pane windows, newer garage door with remote. Formal dining room , Separate family room with marble flooring and access to the big covered patio. large size pool. spacious storage room next to the 2 car detached garage. gated driveway. property is zoned for R-3. property to be sold in ‘AS IS’ condition.

I hate reading the descriptions most realtors put on the Redfin sales page. A $29,000 price reduction is hardly anything to get excited about and I never understand real estate talk on “newer” this and newer that. Newer than what? The 1970s hardware that was there before it? How new is newer? Also, it’s amazing what realtors are willing to say to get a sale. This property is literally right next to the 210 freeway and within a stone’s throw of all the noise and smog that will drive anyone batty. It’s obviously not “in a nice neighborhood.” Oh and by the way, it’s another REO.

Undesirable properties like this are often the first to show signs of weakness in a tough real estate market. Although we’ve documented some other REOs in more desirable locations, most of the pressure so far has been on condos, townhomes, SFRs by the freeway and those along the city’s border. While homes in the premier locations are experiencing softness with some price reductions and sitting longer time on the market, they have yet to see the heavy pressure I’m anticipating for later this year.


What’s taking so long? The system. We are currently on number 17 of the famed Credit Suisse ARM Reset chart below, but are barely experiencing the price pressures of re-listed REOs that defaulted 9 months to a year ago. Consider this – notice of defaults from loans that reseted on number 5 through 8 on the chart are just beginning to show up on the market. It takes a while for these homes to work itself through the system so I’m not surprised there aren’t more REOs at this point in time. It’s going to be an ugly Fall and Winter season this year. Unfortunately (or fortunately – depending on how you look at it), 2009 won’t be any better.

As for today’s profile, $599k for this real-estate-owned dump next to the freeway is a complete joke. Holy freeway noise Batman, you’d have to pay me to live there. Thanks, but no thanks.

$1,075/sq-ft on Norman Ave – Update

152 W. Norman Ave.


Asking Price $1,480,000 ::: Sq-ft 1,757
Purchased Price $1,400,000 ::: Lot Size 0.58 acres
Purchased Date 03/31/2008 ::: Beds 3
Days on Redfin 34 ::: Baths 2
$/Sq-ft $842 ::: Year Built 1949
20% Downpayment $296,000 ::: Area Santa Anita
Income Required $370,0 00/yr ::: Type SFR
Est. Payment* $7,484/month ::: MLS# A08047321

*Estimated monthly payment assume 20% down, 30-yr fixed @ 6.50%

I profiled this house a month ago when it was asking for an even more ridiculous $1,888,888. At the time, the lame realtor had posted a picture of the house across the street and after a month or so, it’s finally be corrected. I wonder if she changed the picture after being mocked on this site? I also wonder how many realtors and their cronies know about Arcadia Housing Blog. They probably hate us, but I could care less.

From the recent sales history information listed on Redfin, it looks like the sellers did the unthinkable. When I looked at this property last month, the public records haven’t been updated with the transaction on March 31st, 2008. That appears to be a $50,000 HELOC just 3 months after the January purchase at $1,350,000. The property was listed the day after the heloc was registered for a whopping $1,888,888 or $538,888 profit. Then came a wave of weird price adjustments from the confused seller.

Asking Price History
04/01/2008 $1,888,888
04/18/2008 $1,680,000 -$208,888
04/22/2008 $1,380,000 -$300,000
04/23,2008 $1,888,000 +$508,000
05/01/2008 $1,480,000 -$408,000

Can you say bipolar? Crikeys the sellers and their realtor were high on something. They started out fully intoxicated with kool-aid, but went into rehab a few weeks later with significant price reductions and appear to be going in the right direction. Then all of a sudden, they were back on the crack pipe and wiped out all the reductions except for a measly $888 from the original listing price. Then about a week after that, they came to realization (again) about the market state and dropped the price by $408,000.

That’s $408,888 or 22% off the original listing price. Sounds like a lot, and it is a big number, but it’s still way overpriced. It was purchased back in January of 2008 for $1.35MM and apparently was suppose to make some flipper’s wild dream come true. It’s 2008 and there are still people trying to flip homes – amazing. The sellers did put some downpayment on the house and I expect them to take a 100% loss on that. It may sell for the amount owed to the bank if they drop the price quickly, but if the sellers let it sit, it will fall below $1.1MM and the bank will end up taking a loss.

It sits on a big lot, but the house appears old and dated. There aren’t any pictures of the inside so I assume it’s in bad shape. It’s also right next to the lovely drainage ditch. I must sound like a housing grinch that’s out of her mind, but it’s probably worth about half it’s current asking price. Unfortunately, some knife-catcher might pick it up for around $1million in the next few months. Ridiculous!

Under $750k in Peacock Village

812 Victoria Dr.


Asking Price $748,000 ::: Sq-ft 1,256
Purchased Price $27,500 ::: Lot Size 7,675 sq-ft
Purchased Date 07/11/1969 ::: Beds 2
Days on Redfin 2 ::: Baths 1
$/Sq-ft $596 ::: Year Built 1941
20% Downpayment $149,600 ::: Area Peacock Village
Income Required $187,000/yr ::: Type SFR
Est. Payment* $3,782/month ::: MLS# 22109279

*Estimated monthly payment assume 20% down, 30-yr fixed @ 6.50%

This listing caught my eye because it’s a new price point in the beautiful Lower Rancho area also known as Peacock Village. This is the first decent looking single-family residence that I’ve seen under $750,000 in a long time. It’s a nice house and has better curb appeal than the slightly bigger, but more expensive listing on 716 Joaquin Road.

Technically this is still very expensive. At $596 per square foot, it’s more expensive than many other homes, but a SFR in a desirable community at sub-$750k will drag down other higher priced listings. It may or may not have much effect on the surrounding community since it’s smaller than most other homes in Peacock Village, but it will definitely affect the many newer detached condos and PUDs that are listed at or above $750k.

I don’t know about you, but I would rather buy a smaller SFR in a nice neighborhood than a newer, larger condo or townhome near Monrovia or on a large busy street. Listings like the cluster of condos across the way on Huntington (this, this, this & this), the two on 42 Genoa St (A & B), the three on El Dorado (139 #A, 141 A & B), and the set on 2nd Ave & 523 Third Ave A & B would feel increased pressure to lower their asking prices. Single family homes typically fare better than condos and attached townhomes in most markets, but probably more so in a down one such as this when buyers are looking for killer deals.

It may not be happening as quickly as many of you would like, but the market is moving. This new price point in Peacock Village will not only set a new comp in the neighborhood, but put a psychological barrier in the mind of buyers. This will most likely have a larger impact on the local market in the short term than the pending NODs, short sales and upcoming foreclosures.

More Bank Owned Foreclosures

307 E. Duarte Rd. #B


Asking Price $579,900 ::: Sq-ft ?
Purchased Price ? ::: Lot Size ?
Purchased Date ? ::: Beds 3
Days on Redfin 199 ::: Baths 3.5
$/Sq-ft ? ::: Year Built 1963 2007?
20% Downpayment $115,980 ::: Area Near Monrovia
Income Required $144,975/yr ::: Type Attached Condo
Est. Payment* $2,932/month ::: MLS# W07149970

*Estimated monthly payment assume 20% down, 30-yr fixed @ 6.50%

Bank owned foreclosure. Beautiful 3bed +3.5bath townhouse! Spacious LR w/ hardwood floors & frpl. Kitchen w/ granite counters, dishwasher & stove. Upstairs has a loft perfect for a small study area or office area. Spacious rooms. Master w/ walk in closet, his & hers sink +hot tub! WOW!

There isn’t a whole lot of information on this property, but it’s another foreclosure so I thought I’d bring it to your attention. Last year there weren’t too many REOs in Arcadia, but now it’s fairly easy to find them on any given day. Although the economy is slowing and a recession is likely (if not already here), this housing downturn will be led by foreclosures. The combination of increasing inventory and homedebtors walking away from their mortgages will put immense pressure on the market.

This obviously wasn’t built in 1963 and looks like brand new construction to me. My fat thumb guess puts it as a new construction in 2006 or 2007. Let’s look as the listing price history.

10/13/2007 $769,900
10/27/2007 $679,900
11/14/2007 $599,900
12/19/2007 $589,900
01/25/2008 $579,900

In 6 months there were 4 price reductions totaling to $170,000 or 22% off the original listing price. These reductions will drag the rest of the neighborhood comps down with it. Banks don’t have any emotional tie with the property and are much more willing to work with any interested buyers, even if it means lowering the price. Many homedebtors are still hung over from the kool-aid overdose and have yet to see the light. It’s listing like these that force them to come to realization about today’s market conditions.

Rodeo Casualty

905 Rodeo Rd.


Asking Price $575,000 ::: Sq-ft 1,631
Purchased Price $628,000 ::: Lot Size 0.26 acres
Purchased Date 09/01/2004 ::: Beds 2
Days on Redfin 11 ::: Baths 2
$/Sq-ft $353 ::: Year Built 1950
20% Downpayment $115,000 ::: Area North Arcadia
Income Required $143,750/yr ::: Type SFR
Est. Payment* $2,907/month ::: MLS# H08056514

*Estimated monthly payment assume 20% down, 30-yr fixed @ 6.50%

This 3 bedroom 2 bathroom home has Hardwood Floors and Fireplace. Dinning room has a great view with an elegant touch for hosting. This home has a huge front and backyard excellent for gardening of enjoying the outdoors. Convenient to shopping center. Great school district. Short Sale subject to lenders approval.

I wonder if “enjoying the outdoors” includes listening to the freeway noise and breathing in all that toxic air from the exhaust of the nearby cars. Today’s profile shows the current listing price of a house under that of the 2004 purchase price. This is yet another short sale in Arcadia and may or may not be approved by the lender.

Sales History
09/01/2004 $628,000
08/03/2001 $348,000
09/20/1995 $222,500

This propery sold for just above $200k near the bottom of the previous cycle and almost tripled in price in 9 years. Now it’s falling back to somewhere in between 2001 and 2004 prices. Just eyeballing it, the current asking price is around 2003 levels. In my opinion, it’s still overpriced.

It’s not something I’m seeing across the board in Arcadia as of yet, but we’ll probably start to see more 2004 rollbacks as we continue with the housing correction. Something like this will become the norm as we round out 2008 and move into 2009. This is sign of good progress, but don’t expect to find bottom anytime soon. Real estate cycles take years and it’s still early in the game.

Say What?

I’ve kept a close eye on the rise and fall of the housing boom for the past few years. During that time I’ve heard all sorts of opinions and stories from renters, homeowners, coworkers, relatives, realtors, brokers and even random strangers. For the past many years it was mostly the usual “buy now before you get priced out forever” and how “real estate is the best and safest investment you can make” crap. I’ll never understand how anyone can believe that load of bull, but that’s another discussion.

Even after the initial subprime and credit crunch blowout last year, I was still coming across fairly optimistic outlooks from most people. For a while I was starting to wonder if I’m over-reacting. No one I spoke to seem to understand where I was coming from, what I was talking about and looked at me like I’m from the Looney Tunes whenever I mentioned anything about a major housing crash. I asked myself, how can this be?

It can’t be…at least not for long. As the dull winter gave way to the spring real estate kick-off season, people are starting to turn the corner and realize US housing isn’t going to make a summer come-back. Sure the media spread news of foreclosure numbers, slowing economy and volatile stock market reactions, but nothing hits home more than watching your neighbors’ house sit on the market for months on end. Once people start seeing For-Sale signs going up (and not coming down) in their own community, the ever-popular argument of “not in my area” gets thrown out the window. They can lie to themselves and others all they want, but that doesn’t change the fact that prices are falling all across the country.

The psychology of the market can be very powerful. It takes a long time for people to accept what is happening, but once they have accepted and understood the market conditions, it takes a strong hold on them and their money. All of a sudden real estate goes from one end of the spectrum to the other. People who were on the fence are now on the sidelines and people who have their hand caught in the cookie jar are trying to get out as fast as possible.

In my opinion, we’re at the tipping point in terms of a psychological shift in the SGV market. The conversations have changed regardless of whether you’re at the office water cooler or in line at the drugstore. People are finally realizing the magnitude and depth of the mess we’re in. Is that consistent with the encounters in your daily life? I’d appreciate it if you share with us what you’ve heard and how the people around you feel about the housing market in your particular neighborhood and area.

Arcadia Properties in Distress

It’s the weekend and you’re bound to see a lot of open house signs everywhere. If you have nothing else to do, check out one of these distressed properties and get a good hard look at the market landscape. Heck, if it strikes you to do so, throw in a few ultra lowball offers while you’re at it just for laughs and giggles.

REO – 615 E. Sandra Ave. 4bed/2.5bath $893,000
Short Sale – 11240 Daneswood Dr. 3bed/1bath $550,000
Short Sale – 11248 Daneswood Dr. 3bed/1bath $499,000
Short Sale – 725 Tiffany TE. 4bed/3bath $968,000
REO – 307 E. Duarte Rd. #B 3bed/3.5bath $579,900
Short Sale – 37 Alice St. #C 3bed/2.5bath $598,000
Short Sale – 905 Rodeo Rd. 2bed/2bath $575,000
REO – 930 Panorama Dr. 3bed/2bath $998,000
Short Sale – 140 W. Foothill Blvd. 3bed, 1.75bath $770,000
REO – 1233 S. 6th Ave. 5bed/4bath $1,169,000
Up for Auction – 38 W. Forest Ave. 3bed/2bath starting bid at $100,000

There are others as well, but these are a few I came across while quickly scanning through Redfin before calling it a night. There were also plenty of sellers who were all “MOTIVATED” and supposedly “PRICED [IT] FOR QUICK SALE!!!” Let’s see who’s really motivated to sell.

Have a great weekend! 🙂