Monday, September 18, 2006

Flip This

So you still don't believe that there are flippers in Marin or that housing won't always make you a gazillionaire even in Marin where everyone wants to live? Well, here's another one:

I first blogged this Mill Valley POS back in December of 2005. Back then they were asking $745,000 for this tiny (699 sq ft, 2 br 1 ba, built 1923) house right on Shoreline Hwy. and across the street from the 7-11. After lingering on the market for months they reduced the asking price to $675,000 and after lingering some more they (apparently) took it off the market. It's too bad I didn't record the days on market statistic as it's been wiped out along with the price reduction history. Anyway, it has recently been relisted at the same reduced asking price of $675,000.

The current owners purchased the property for $480,000 on July 1, 2005. That's a "fair" price as it's assessed value at that time was $486,500 according to the loan history summaries that I've seen. The $480,000 purchase price also happens to be exactly how much their variable rate loan was for. (Can anyone say "no money down loan"?) They took out an additional $200,000 (it says "refi" but how can that be unless they were able to get a much better appraisal?) presumably to do some improvements which the listing description describes to some extent. So they are on the hook for a total of $680,000. After "owning" it for just 4 to 5 months they hoped to flip it for a quick profit. Now, however, they are trying to sell it again at the same reduced asking price of $675,000 and are basically trying to break even (actually a small loss, relatively speaking).

I don't know why they think they can get their asking price when they failed to get it before and they haven't done anything new to the property as far as I can tell; the market certainly hasn't improved since then.

Update 10-10-2006: Thanks to the sharp eyes of an attentive reader I can report that the current "owners" of this house are now asking $638,995 which is a 14% price reduction from the original asking price of $745,000. The sellers are trying their hardest not to bring a check to closing.

32 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wouldn't pay even 500K for this place. It'll never sell at the price they're asking. My guess is that we'll see a "for rent" sign on this one in late 06/early 07, or that it'll be bank-owned by then...

And what about the agents who take these listings and list at whatever price the seller desires? Where's the professionalism there?! If they had any guts at all they'd take the listing only at a reasonable price. But instead, they just go along to tie down the listing and then perhaps suggest a price reduction later if they can't find a sucker moving from out of town. Whose interests are really being served here?...

Sep 18, 2006, 3:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like "chicken little satan", our resident realtor troll, says: only the seller's interests are served. The buyer is left to themeselves.

Sep 18, 2006, 3:52:00 PM  
Blogger Marinite said...

And what about the agents who take these listings and list at whatever price the seller desires?

We don't know if that is what happened.

Sep 18, 2006, 4:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did anyone else notice 160 Prospect Ave in San Anselmo? If I'm reading things correctly, it sold in February 2006 for $1,550,000 and is now back on the market 8 months later for $2,400,000 and I don't think they've done anything to it. Big selling point is the historical value - property was originally built for the son of a former Central American president and was the former home of a "world famous" movie star... I can only think that by starting high when they drop the price $400,000 they're hoping someone will think they are getting a bargain.

BTW, www.zillow.com lists the house at $1,177,000!!!

Sep 18, 2006, 5:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doesn't marin county suppy a active sewage system? or do all your GHETTO DUMPS come with there own private yellow crapper in the rear yard?
kdgcgwxq

Sep 18, 2006, 5:38:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

We just need these stories to show up in the MSM! Sooner or later houses will go back to being a place to call home instead of a road to riches.

I am noticing that more of the Flipper TV episodes are ending with the house unsold and the owner's "profit" going up in smoke.

Sep 18, 2006, 6:44:00 PM  
Anonymous tom stone said...

there are a lot of realtors who have never seen a down market,and do not know how to price a home.i know an old timer in santa rosa who has been listing at $20k less than the most recent comps for 6 months,or he won't take the listing.those listings are expiring,the homes unsold,and yes he knows how to market them.he has done several short sales this summer,but told me "there just arent any buyers right now"

Sep 18, 2006, 6:53:00 PM  
Blogger Ali, in Cali said...

Now, however, they are trying to sell it again at the same reduced asking price of $675,000 and are basically trying to break even (actually a small loss, relatively speaking).

You forgot to factor in the 15 months of mortgage payments, making their small loss much more significant.

On a no money down, $480,000 loan, I shudder to think how much they are spending each month playing the waiting game. And I'm not even beginning to imagine where the other $200,000 in refi money came from, but let's assume, short of a meth lab in the basement, that it too must be paid back with interest.

Oh, wait. There are no basements in Marin. And since they only have 699 sq. ft. of dwelling space and one bath tub (if that), I guess we can rule out criminal drug activity altogether.

And the potential profit just keeps on slipping', slippin'...

Sep 18, 2006, 7:30:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Nusbaum said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Sep 18, 2006, 7:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, Larry - I didn't know that this blog had switched to shameless self-promotion by out of state "experts." Come on, pal. Give us a break and pay for advertising like the rest of us.

Sep 18, 2006, 8:24:00 PM  
Anonymous pothead said...

Ali, you're wrong on two counts. 699 sq feet of indooor space for 15 months equals 6 harvests of indoor agriculture. Those mortgage payments are cheap at that rate. Theoretically they could have used some of the refi cash to front some of the start up costs. Cash flow positive in 70 days..

course that is only one way a savy investor would make use of that property.

Sep 18, 2006, 8:39:00 PM  
Blogger Ali, in Cali said...

pothead--

I stand corrected. ;-)

In fact, as I took a second look at that little shed in the back, I realized there could be another 50-75 sq. ft. of farmland in there... Why are they moving away from their prime location across the from the 7-11?? It seems unreasonable to add so much extra travel time to their daily commute...

Sep 18, 2006, 8:58:00 PM  
Blogger Ali, in Cali said...

Wait, did anyone else actually check out Larry's blog?

HAHAHAHAHAA! I can't believe he actually thinks that the downturn is over, AND is using our favorite off-the-charts chart as PROOF!?!?!

Oh, and why do people that have no discernable skill with word play and sentence fluency start blogs??? Hey Larry, if you're going to try to sell your ideals using blogs and books, it might help if you actually knew how to write...

Sep 18, 2006, 9:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

phuck these people... let them burn

Sep 18, 2006, 9:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My sentiments exactly.

Sep 18, 2006, 11:56:00 PM  
Anonymous bht said...

A technical question......

What is the story with a no money down loan?

My logic tells me this can't be a good thing, but I'm wondering how it works.

Sep 18, 2006, 11:59:00 PM  
Blogger Marinite said...

You forgot to factor in the 15 months of mortgage payments, making their small loss much more significant.

I chose not to mention it in any detail because it's always a point of contention and furthermore these owners are clearly already in a bad situation. Further, we don't know how much of that $200K was actually spent.

Sep 19, 2006, 9:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So these scumbag owners originally expected to make $265K after owning for four or five months? Sheesh. Anyone who claims there is no bubble in Marin is clueless.

Sep 19, 2006, 10:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know the specifics about this place but I don't really consider people who buy a place and invest to make significant improvements, "flippers." These people add value to the market and shouldn't be just lumped together with outright speculators.

Sep 19, 2006, 12:33:00 PM  
Blogger Chip said...

"Now, however, they are trying to sell it again at the same reduced asking price of $675,000 and are basically trying to break even (actually a small loss, relatively speaking)."

"Break-even" requires some defining in this case. It appears to mean just walking away from closing with no check. But where did the $200,000 go? No way they put any meaningful part of it into this house. Looks to me like they are desperately trying to recoup the planned profit that they've already borrowed against and spent.

Sep 19, 2006, 12:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Die Flipper Scum.

Sep 19, 2006, 4:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow Marinite, looks like you are rolling in it. Glory that is. Good find, great post, as usual. I started back to school so I don't have as much time to follow the blog since I am reading and writing a few thousand pages a day. Just thought I'd drop by and say "hey" and thanks again for the great public service you are offering, FOR FREE. I hope all is well.
~J~

Sep 19, 2006, 7:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my god! I couldn't believe my eyes. I have been watching this house for quite some time and regularly discuss it with people in the business (R.E./Mortgages) as yet another example of just how crazy this market has become.

Check out the gravel in front of the house. That is really where you have to park the car. The only way to access the garage is to swing wide. Good luck doing that on Shoreline Hwy. (Head on collision?)

Also, the house next door (partially seen in this photo) has been undergoing an excruciatingly painful remodel for well over a year. Their fence is comprised of various materials that have been haphazardly strung together.

An old delivery van is regularly parked out front and (blue) tarped in winter due to leaks.

Due to ongoing construction, they've yet to design a drainage system. During the rainy season large pools of water form in front of the house, settle on Shoreline, and even drain next door at the little yellow house - in front of the garage you can't use.

Recently the owners of the brown house spray painted a sign in large white letters that said, "Bring Our Daughter Home. F*ck Iraq." I kid you not. This sign appeared to be a section of wall that had been removed from the house. It was propped up against the front of the home for all to see.

I could go on. Suffice it to say, how would you like to spend $ 645,000 to live next door to the perpetually-remodeling crazies.

Sep 20, 2006, 10:19:00 AM  
Anonymous lbc said...

I think this house should be the "poster child" for how f***ed up Marin's housing market is.

But you know that some idiot will buy this crap and will then be on the re only goes up bandwagon.

Sep 20, 2006, 12:08:00 PM  
Anonymous ross valley local said...

Ah, another fine property offered by Melissa Bradley RE, who is also handling this Pos, and this one. Both of which, I might add, are still on the market as of today.

Sep 20, 2006, 5:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ross valley local -

Melissa Bradley is the POS Queen? "

Need a POS, come on down and let me show you what I've got for you"

Sep 21, 2006, 9:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Melissa Bradley is a RE HO.

She and her org are encouraging this mess.
Why? For the dough... the Ho needs the dough.
She does not care about you or your community.
She wants the dough and that is the bottom line.

To quote another poster...
"I'm mad as hell and I won't take this anymore!
People we have to say no to this sh*t!
The greed and arrogance and BS have come to a head.
Is anybody else angry about this?
Are we a bunch of idiots?
Lambs to the slaughter?
HELLO? "

This is a bit extreme, but I think it rings true.

Sep 23, 2006, 2:43:00 AM  
Blogger Marinite said...

Is anybody else angry about this?

You already know my answer to that.

Sep 23, 2006, 11:38:00 AM  
Anonymous No Brainer said...

I can't believe y'all don't understand the value of this property.

It is right across the street from the 7/11!

Duh!
This means you can get slurpies and 7/11 hot dogs when ever you are hungry.

The money you save by eating there (instead of at hole foods) will help you make those mortgage payments.

Plus, the bright lights of the 7/11 will light your home and you will spend less on electricity.

Plus, the excitement of living right on Shoreline will make your heart skip a beat.
Those motorcycles really get you going on a Saturday morning.

This is the ultimate no brainer.
Let go of your brain and buy in to this dream!

Hey Melissa Bradley (luxury division), I should write your brochures.

I could buy this luxurious POS and convert the lovely back shed to a writer's cottage.
I could write beautiful descriptions of all of your POSs.

Where do I sign?

Sep 24, 2006, 1:09:00 AM  
Anonymous kendall apologist said...

I used to drive by this place on my way to work every morning for almost two years. Most places on my drive were unremarkable nice homes but this losing mix of funkiness (not in a good way) and horrible location is vividly remembered from my stops at 7-11. Speaking as someone who is educating themselves on buying a first home (can't afford marin), my impression is that the seller is utterly screwed. My naive logic tells me that in a market with a surplus of sellers a buyer is not going to purchase or even consider a runt like this when there are more desirable options available in the same price range. As far as MV dumps go, this place scrapes bottom and will need to be seriously discounted.

Sep 25, 2006, 10:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a really sad property. I remember seeing it when it first listed at $480. In fact, we inquired about it, assuming that it would be a major fixer, but given the lot size, it might have suited our needs with fixing, love, and vision... It had been in the same family for years and years and had, in the past decade or so at a minimum, been a pure rental property, so we knew it would need work and would not be a job for the faint at heart... We inquired anyway. After reviewing the disclosure package, we lost interest - it was RIDDLED with core problems...

If I recall correctly, it didn't have a foundation AT ALL... It literally sits on the land there with the wooden framing on the ground.

Also, because the wooden framing was on the ground and the land was not graded (the place was built ages ago as a cheap vacation home back in the day... intended to be a rustic cottage of sorts), there was rot all around the perimeter of the building.

I know there were many, many other problems, but to truly "fix" this house, one would have had to elevate the building, regrade (or really, probably "grade" for the first time)the land, put in a foundation, and THEN begin putting lipstick on the pig.

The $480 price, I believe, was really intended to cover the cost of the land. The actual building on the property is, if anything, a detriment...

Also, besides the convenience of being across the street from 7-11, this property ALSO boasts having a bus stop immediately in front of it.

---
So, the place eventually sold back in '05 and, seriously, within perhaps 60 days it was back on the market after extremely superficial flip fixes had happened... I drove past this place EVERY day and NEVER saw serious equipment out there... They laid in some new stepwork on the ground... I think they did a few things indoors, but.... nothing serious. There's simply no way that the core issues were dealt with.

Here we are now, over a year later after the place was picked up for $480, and they STILL can't get a bite - even now that they've dropped their price to $638. It's sad, really. I don't know how stupid the buyers could have been, but they clearly are reaping what they sew as far as trying to do a cheap flip on a POS property.

Oct 21, 2006, 11:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a really sad property. I remember seeing it when it first listed at $480. In fact, we inquired about it, assuming that it would be a major fixer, but given the lot size, it might have suited our needs with fixing, love, and vision... It had been in the same family for years and years and had, in the past decade or so at a minimum, been a pure rental property, so we knew it would need work and would not be a job for the faint at heart... We inquired anyway. After reviewing the disclosure package, we lost interest - it was RIDDLED with core problems...

If I recall correctly, it didn't have a foundation AT ALL... It literally sits on the land there with the wooden framing on the ground.

Also, because the wooden framing was on the ground and the land was not graded (the place was built ages ago as a cheap vacation home back in the day... intended to be a rustic cottage of sorts), there was rot all around the perimeter of the building.

I know there were many, many other problems, but to truly "fix" this house, one would have had to elevate the building, regrade (or really, probably "grade" for the first time)the land, put in a foundation, and THEN begin putting lipstick on the pig.

The $480 price, I believe, was really intended to cover the cost of the land. The actual building on the property is, if anything, a detriment...

Also, besides the convenience of being across the street from 7-11, this property ALSO boasts having a bus stop immediately in front of it.

---
So, the place eventually sold back in '05 and, seriously, within perhaps 60 days it was back on the market after extremely superficial flip fixes had happened... I drove past this place EVERY day and NEVER saw serious equipment out there... They laid in some new stepwork on the ground... I think they did a few things indoors, but.... nothing serious. There's simply no way that the core issues were dealt with.

Here we are now, over a year later after the place was picked up for $480, and they STILL can't get a bite - even now that they've dropped their price to $638. It's sad, really. I don't know how stupid the buyers could have been, but they clearly are reaping what they sew as far as trying to do a cheap flip on a POS property.

Oct 21, 2006, 11:57:00 PM  

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