Thursday, May 31, 2007

Tear-down on 20th

Nice house, no? Built in 1941, this 3 bed/3 bath, 2,394 SF house on a 8,940 SF lot is was at 402 20th, the southwest corner of Carlyle. Listed for $2,450K last October, it closed 2/14/07 for $2,350K. Only downside is the #4 Big Blue Bus passing by every half hour (center of photo). Alas, 'twas not to last. Below are its remains earlier this month.The LA Times blog L.A. Land picked up Monday's post about the next block north, Sticker shock north of Montana. Feels like we made the bigtime!


dwr said...

The more I see what's going on north of Montana, the more I think that area will crash as hard or harder than anywhere else.

Craig said...


402 20th:

Recorded Date: 2/14/2007
Sale Price: $ 2,350,000 (Full Amount Computed From Transfer Tax)

Type of Mortgage: ADJUSTABLE RATE
Loan Amount: $ 1,880,000
Rate: 7.73 %

Upon digging a bit deeper, the same husband and wife bought


Recorded Date: 6/30/2006
Sale Price: $ 2,095,000

Again, using Wamu for a jumbo loan:


Loan Amount: $ 1,676,000
Rate: 7.02 %
Term: 7/1/2036

Both places seem to have 20% down payments. I looked deeper and it appears that this husband and wife team have been buyers and sellers in the north of Montana area since the mid to late 90s...I also found the following:

Property Address: 135 E HARMON AVE 2401, LAS VEGAS, NV 89109

Seller: TURNBERRY/MGM GRAND TOWER B LLC (Company/Corporation)
Sale Price: $ 895,000
Recording Date: 12/11/2006
Lender Type: BANK
Loan Amount: $ 626,500
Type of Financing: FIXED RATE
Interest Rate: 7.25 %

How about a little Las Vegas new construction to really juice those returns!!!

I think they may have gotten some funds from this house that they flipped. See below:

Purchased: 3/11/2005
Sold: 10/12/2006
Property Address: 633 24TH ST, SANTA MONICA, CA 90402

Don't have amounts (and zillow doesn't show) for this one though.

This is enought to make my head spin. Again, what I keep seeing is that speculators (often foreigners, which this couple are) are just going around and driving this market higher and higher...when there are only a handful of sales every few months and there are speculators who buy 2 or 3 properties at a time, it is no wonder there is such a strong long does this game go on? Where are the "real" buyers?? Real people don't buy $5 million dollar homes. Property taxes alone would be about $5,200 a month...that is double what a "normal" mortgage payment should be. Barf.

dwr said...

"Real people don't buy $5 million dollar homes."

Certainly not north of Montana.

Anonymous said...

I'd thought the Big Blue Bus running on Carlyle was a plus!

I know one relative kicking himself for selling his double lot up the street some years ago ...

But he does now have a single lot, north of Sunset to console himself with!

Anonymous said...

craig, where do you manage to get that kind of info about mortgages? Cassiopeia

Anonymous said...

I'd like to get the loan "story" on a property in the valley like the info you provide here. Is there any way I can find the info online?

Craig said...

I get the loan info from Nexis (as in Lexis/Nexis) which is a subscription based information service. Don't know how much a subscription is though because I get access through work. I have only been using this service for a month or two as I just stumbled upon it recently. I have found that zillow is not always accurate because I have found some legitimate sales in the Nexis records which aren't reflected in zillow...but generally zillow is good for seeing previous sales. So just a warning there.

post the address and I will see what I can find. I know that there are some other services which can be used to find mortgage info but I believe they all require paid subscriptions.

Also, as you may be able to tell, I am getting more and more horrified as I turn over more stones using this tool. Santa Monica seems to have 2 distinct trends going.

1. "low end" buyers are so desperate to just "get in" to the ownership game that they will do $0 down, 100% financing on $500K+ 1/1 condos. Same goes with larger condos and even some of the "low end" housing. For normal people who want to live (and own) in Santa Monica, there seems to be few other options than taking a suicide loan. Not saying this is the right thing to do...

2. At the "high end" we have people who buy up all the $2 million dollar tear downs and then build $4-5 million dollar 5,000 square foot monsters. Who are the actual end buyers? I don't know. Maybe it would be interesting to see if there is as much over extending or if there really are celebs, business owners and wealthy foreigners who buy these places.

When I see people paying crazy amounts for 1/1 condos and then defaulting or when I see "investment" companies buying and selling high end properties to each other then I feel like the whole market is out of whack. There are so many unanswered questions here...staring with "how can this be"? I guess my goal will be to provide loan info so we can see how this is all being made possible.

dwr said...

"Don't know how much a subscription is though because I get access through work. I have only been using this service for a month or two as I just stumbled upon it recently."

I hope for your sake your firm or company has an unlimited subscription, because many account are charged per search.

"Just stumbled upon it", good one.

Craig said...

Thanks dwr...definately thought about that one though and its unlimited.

Anonymous said...

The address I'd like to know about is 8137 Lurline in Winnetka 91306
Assessor's Id. Number 2108-007-007

Craig said...


5% down payment back in 01 when they bought it. Refinanced in 03. Don't know if the second then got paid off or if the first did also or if this was a "cash out" situation. Then the "subprime" credit line in 04. Enjoy

Recording Date: 10/26/2001
Loan Amount: $ 200,000
Additional Loan Amount(s): $ 37,500
Recording Date: 9/2/2003
Loan Amount: $ 198,000
Recording Date: 4/28/2004
Loan Amount: $ 87,000

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Craig!

Anonymous said...


What you are doing is what every home purchaser should be doing. Any real estate professional whether buying commercial or residential property knows all the facts on a property before even considering making an offer.

Anyone commiting there future to a property with a long term mortgage needs all the facts to make an intelligent buying decision. This includes getting information on market rents for the area you intend to buy.

Great job!!!

Craig said...

Thanks for the nice comments.

I would like to see what people think about the trend of selling empty lots/tear downs with permits and architectural plans that I have been seeing a lot of lately.

This blog featured the extra large lot at 1036 22nd which is either currently in escrow or has been sold.

I have commented before about 933 25th street which is now an empty lot. For a few weeks it had a FSBO sign on it...well now it looks like they threw in the towel and gave it to Coldwell Banker to list...asking $1.8 million FOR AN EMPTY LOT SOUTH OF MONTANA!! Permits and plans are probably worth about $50K and maybe another $10K of value there since they already demolished and cleared the old house off the lot...but still, this is outrageous. Rumor has it that the buyer bought the house across the street at 934 25th which was asking $2.9 million. Saw a moving truck in the hood lately...also, the "plans" that are included with the empty lot are for a 6,000 square foot house (that is so huge). So I see a problem with valuation here because the house across the street that they bought is nice and in great shape (went to the open house) and is 5,000 square feet. So if you bought the plans and lot for $1.8 and then spent say $300 per square foot on the new house it would cost you $3.6 million plus opportunity costs, etc...You can argue there may be a premium for new construction but since the house they bought across the street isn't that old and in great shape this is what we would call an "arbitrage opportunity" on wall street (i.e. empty lot price is much too high for this to pencil out)...on 25th street it is called "the delusions of crowds"...kinda ironic that if someone thinks the way that I do, it may deter them from buying the lot at this price due to the "comp" across the street that the seller just bought!! Irony is great...

One more house to mention is 2202 Marine which is asking $1.5 million. Here is the description:

"Ready to break ground! Plans and permits in place for a 3,600 square foot house with city and ocean views"

So maybe the place on 25h is just a situation where they guy couldn't be bothered to go through with the construction (as it looks like he will actually be living in the place he bought...I know, what a concept!). However, with these other two places it looks like the speculators are chickening out. Is this the start of a trend? Have building costs gotten too high? Is it getting harder to sell $3 and 4 and 5 million dollar homes? I don't know...what do you folks think?

Thoughts westside?

Westside Bubble said...

I've wondered the same, Craig, about seeing more lots selling with plans. Particularly the description of 933 25th, "The work has been started for you - the lot is cleared and fenced! Plans for a wonderful new 6,000 sq. ft. Tuscan home exist and are ready for the Buy..." Bailing out after starting work. Must be in trouble.

I finally added a photo to my post about 2202 Marine. The sign says, "Great house for sale". LOL!