Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Absurdity That Is Marin RE

Do you remember this POS in Forest Knolls (also blogged here)? It was first listed for $449,000 at least as far back as February, 2006 (when I first blogged it). It then dropped price to $399,000 in March, 2007. No surprise, it is still on the market. Here is some info from the current listing (click on the image for a larger view):

What I find amusing about this is:

A) The sellers raised the price to $425,000 hoping to reel in a last brain-dead Marin wannabe and finally had to lower the price back down to the mid-$300Ks and yet the "price reduction" still did not convince a buyer to pull the trigger;

B) the agent and/or seller decided "staging" it, in this case putting some cheap furniture in this shack, would somehow make it more appealing (here is the interior shot from back in February, 2006 for comparison).

Note to realtor: a turd is still a turd no matter how much you polish it (and even if it is in Marin).

* * *

And how do you like this price reduction? It sure made my day (thanks to a reader for sending this in):

Do you know of any humorous Marin RE listings that should be featured on this blog? Do you have any juicy Marin RE stories to tell? Send them in!


Blogger Matthew said...

Looks like your buying a huge liability with that POS shack... On the other hand, maybe the squirrels don't require feeding near that shack though?

Feb 24, 2008, 3:28:00 PM  
Blogger John said...

Check out MLS # 20738241 - 94 Cloudview in Sausalito - it was 4,995,000 three months ago now it's 4,395,000 - the betting among the neighbors is it will struggle to make 3,500,000.

Feb 25, 2008, 12:23:00 AM  
Blogger bob said...

WTF is up with that shack? It looks like it has... structural issues with the roof, porch supports and if I'm not mistaken, it looks like the floor inside isn't exactly level. Honestly, it looks like a playhouse rather than an actual house.

I'm not from Marin, but I have observations from Alameda, which is similar to Marin ( whitewashed, expensive, and full of NIMBY regulations)

There are roughly 10 houses for sale in the immediate vicinity that I live. The record holder so far is a small cottage built in a collection of similar cottages within a wrought iron fenced in area. They're all in good condition and yes- 'irresistibly' cute. Two of these were for sale at one time. One was 650k, the other around 620k. The 620k sold about a year ago pretty quick. The second one has been sitting ever since, with the sign taking a pronounced lean against the fence. So far- no reduced price. I drive by this every day.

A house fairly close to me is a miserably small unit with no yard, no garage, and what appears to be a pile of cement against one of the walls, which I assume must mean it has structural issues. The house had been bought for 620k in 2003 0r 2004. Apparently, they refinanced to an insanely high amount for 800k. Then wallah- they had to sell. The home had rather desperate language in the sales sheet. "Will consider all offers" it said. I looked at it. Even if this house was for free, there's no way in hell I'd live in it. The price was dropped to 420k. It went pending. I saw this cute hipster looking couple in a volvo looking around. Well... the sign went back up for sale again so the pending fell through. It has been for sale ever since, but recently the sign went down. This happened before only to go back up 30 days later, I assume to "reset" the listing. Either that or the bank foreclosed on it.

A large Victorian has been for sale since the fall. No lookers, no open houses. But a recent "Price reduced" sign appeared. Still no takers. Yet another has been for sale for almost 2 years yet the sign came down and it has been vacant for well over a year now. Some middle eastern guy shows up occasionally and weed-eats the lawn. He also painted it this hideous Smurf blue color. yuck!

There's a LOT of for rent signs now. Despite many who own telling me that " Golly- rent is suuuureee gonna' go up!"... I see little reason why as there's probably 10-15 places for rent around me.

There's a more recent trend of houses with homemade for sale signs, one of which is in the more upscale part of town with 3-4 of those black and fluorescent orange lettering "FOR SALE" signs out front. Strange.

A house that was clearly bought and flipped less than a year ago and bought by this rather wealthy looking couple appears to be getting some serious fixer-upper work. Either the crappy flipper renovation is rearing it's ugly head, ( the house was in horrid condition before) or as seems to be the case with anything that gets fixed up here is possibly be prepared for sale yet again.

Anyhow, that's my nosy observations.

Feb 25, 2008, 8:06:00 AM  
Blogger marinite2 said...

Despite many who own telling me that " Golly- rent is suuuureee gonna' go up!"...

Dude, one of the cardinal rules for proper failed investing is to always act as if it's all-part-of-the-plan, it's all-coming-together-now, and of course the back up plan(in this case trying to rent their lousy investments) is going sweetly, naturally.

Look, these people had no clue what was going on then, totally bought in to the real estate industry hype and BS because it is what they wanted to believe, and have no clue what is going on now. They are the proverbial lemmings.

Feb 25, 2008, 9:29:00 AM  
Blogger marine_explorer said...

That FK "staging" just needs a bong to be complete.

Feb 25, 2008, 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger see me said...

I think I use to drop acid in this flop house when I was sixteen...

Feb 25, 2008, 11:32:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

That shack is actually the entrance to a mineshaft. All mineral rights come with the property.

Feb 25, 2008, 3:12:00 PM  
Blogger brazos605 said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Marin County about to ban wood burning stoves? If so, this shack will be pretty cold in the winter.

Feb 25, 2008, 4:17:00 PM  
Blogger marinmaven said...

The shack does look better without the staging. I hope they didn't pay much for that staging, because I think The Dude in The Big Lebowski could have done a better job.

Feb 25, 2008, 5:42:00 PM  
Blogger mountainwatcher said...

Hey Marinite.....

Is there any way to enliven this site?
Your loyal folks are limited to reply to your latest insight.

That's fine, but could you offer any other method of input?

Is there any way to do a BBS for this site?


Feb 28, 2008, 1:56:00 AM  
Blogger marinite2 said...

That's fine, but could you offer any other method of input?

Open threads.

I could start looking into forum software providers.

Sorry this place is not lively enough. I know it isn't or at least not like it used to be. But the fact is we are in the "watch as the spectacle unfolds" part.

Also, I am working in a high profile unit of our company where the company's future direction to a large extent rests on our group's shoulders and so I am very busy and rather beat when I get home in the evenings.

Feb 28, 2008, 9:57:00 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

What about an open thread for each week? We could all check in and post what we're seeing on the ground here in Marin.

Out of curiosity, I've been watching a nicely remodeled 2 bedroom cottage in Dominican. Started off @ $669K, on the market now for about 3 months, price down to $589K and it's still sitting.

And The Marin Heat Index is stuck in the low 40's.

Feb 28, 2008, 12:59:00 PM  
Blogger Anonymous said...

There are too many to list! In San Rafael alone, there is a house in Santa Venetia that started at 725K and is now at 600K (it has been on the market for over 8 months now I think). There is a house on Woodland Avenue that started in the high 6's or low 7's, was taken off the market, and is now trying to sell in the high 5's. The house on Blackstone started in the mid 7's and is now going for 630K. The foreclosure on Las Gallinas started at 725 and is now at 650K. The 1 bedroom on Bungalow Ave started at 725 (ridiculous -- it's a ONE bedroom!) and is now at 675K. The Wisteria Way house that Marinite listed long ago on the flipper pages is now a short sale - it was once listed at 830ish and is now going for 679K. The foreclosure on Cermenho that started at 759 is now at 700K (and, by the way, it sold many years ago in the 900s!), the house on Tanbark Terrace that has been on the market for half a year or so started at 788ish and is now at 750 (they are "holding out" for their buyer -- it might be a while...) -- the list goes on and on and on and on, and that is only a small portion of San Rafael alone...

Feb 28, 2008, 3:46:00 PM  
Blogger susan said...

The Marin Heat Index is around .42 and it has been in the .30's, but aren't you all surprised it isn't lower? Why is anyone buying in this market? Sure, some prices are down a bit - but not significantly in southern Marin. I just don't understand why anyone is buying at anything higher than, say, a 2002 price level. And I don't see that we are there yet.

Feb 28, 2008, 6:52:00 PM  
Blogger mountainwatcher said...

Hey, Lisa...

I like the concept of an open thread each week.
At least this would give us a chance to check in about the state of Marin RE.

Marinite, I hope you know I was not slamming you.
If anything, this creation of yours is an inspiration and source of knowledge for me.

I'm always happy to see a new post from you, but I understand that you are a very busy guy.

Would Lisa's idea work?


Feb 29, 2008, 1:07:00 AM  

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