Tuesday, July 3, 2007

"Grate Location" on Ocean Park

Two adjacent houses are for sale at 1100 Ocean Park Blvd. (right), 3 bed / 2 bath, asking $1,149K (just reduced from $1,200K), and 1108 Ocean Park Blvd. (left), 2 bed / 1 bath + 1 / 1 second unit, asking $1,199K (just reduced from $1,250K).

The description for 1100 says it all: "GRATE LOCATION CORNER LOT CLOSE TO BEACH,GOOD SIZE BACK YARD,1108 NEXT DOOR ALSO FOR SALE ,GOOD FOR LARGE FAMILIES OR INVESTMENT,ZONE R3...."

For this they get paid big bucks?! "Close to beach", only about a mile. "Good for large families" because you won't hear them over the traffic noise? I wouldn't suggest they play in the street. "Good size back yard" on this 4,998 sq.ft. lot (Zillow)?

"Good for investment"? According to the County, 1100 sold 4/22/05 for $905K and 1108 sold 2/1/06 for $1,075K. After commissions, carrying costs, and more price reductions will this seller (presuming it's the same for both) get out whole?

9 comments:

war chest said...

Obscene...but what else would you expect from Santa Monica.

I have been following some of the great posts over at the Irvine housing bubble site and it is nice to see million dollar homes taking large hits. I just can't see how it doesn't happen to Santa Monica.

"the market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent"...I'm so glad that I'm really young and construction on my war chest is in its early days...Otherwise I think I would move out of LA.

Westside Bubble said...

I've been wondering the same about Santa Monica. Perhaps a stock market burst that makes buyers poorer will be the trigger?

See the South Bay Beach Bubble blog for the beginning of a recap on what it felt like last time in L.A. (1988-96).

Where would you move? It's like we have the weather ... and the weather. We've thought about leaving, but family and other connections make it harder. It's easiest to plant new roots somewhere else when you're young.

Lionel said...

Report from Seattle: It's strangely easy and beautiful here. Yes, I know the gray weather is imminent and life will alter when this occurs, but wow, right now, I adore this city. Bike path is a half block away, hop on to get to market, hardware store, gym; took it farther the other day and ended up on this bizarrely perfect beach setting, kids frolicking, popcycle stand, teens out on the diving platform. Will be hitting that today for the Fourth.

Westside bubble, I did, in fact, leave my family behind and that was very difficult, but my five-year-old has already adjusted well to being up here, and I suspect it will get even easier as school aproaches. Just a note to say that, yes, you can leave LA. It's a strange feeling to move from a feeling of being bogged down by the pressures of trying to make it in LA to having a life that I love completely. I love the house I'm renting here, a craftsman on a hill; it's absolutely impossible to imagine a life in LA that would match it without making substantially more money. This also affects the neighbors I live around. Seattle's not poor by any standard, yet it doesn't feel like LA, where wealth is so super-abundant. Obviously not for everyone, but, wow, what a wonderful change it's been so far.

war chest said...

I don't know if it necessarily has to be an exogenous shock to send Santa Monica down...but I haven't been around long enough to see previous cycles so I don't know. Is it possible for the market to just start melting down on its own accord?

I have often thought about moving...but again I have family here and I work for a large financial firm downtown...As I am young, I feel like it is best to get experience at a big firm first and then go off to something smaller later on (plus I love my company)...so basically I have to be in a big city and Los Angeles is the most easy place for me right now. (Again, there is always a good excuse for everyone). When I am looking at settling down and maybe starting a family I would have to really start asking the hard questions. I think moving with young kids (or kids in general) is tough.

As snotty as it sounds, I have always kinda thought that the quality of life in Los Angeles isn't that good unless you make a lot of money and are able to live somewhere on the westside (traffic isn't as bad, weather is better, less congested (well not by much))...

A downpayment in Santa Monica buys you a nice big house on a big plot of land in a lot of other areas...

Moving out of state seems to have so many appealing aspects that it is going to take a lot to keep me here as I get older.

Also, anyone have any views on the condo building going on downtown? Seems similar to what went on in downtown San Diego...which means that since we are in the early stages, maybe there will be some appreciation to come for early buyers? I haven't looked at stuff down there much but from what I have seen, things are still too expensive to make sense (and downtown still isn't really a place I would want to live). Bring the ballpark into it or make a central park and it could get interesting.

Lionel said...

Hey War Chest,

A few things --

1) I wouldn't sweat moving kids, especially when they're little. My little girl took all of a day to get acclimated to Seattle. You have to remember that they're entire worldview is forward-looking; present and future is everything to them. And change is a constant for them: changing schools, changing bodies, changing levels of cognition.

2) You're not snotty for preferring the westside, just discerning. Weather inland stinks as the summer wears on (at least for me), and as spotty as schools are on the westside, I think they become much more problematic as you move inland.

3) As to condos downtown, I'd avoid them completely unless you're amped to live down there. I would wager that during a downturn, those places are going to get hammered. Just a week ago I bumped into a commerical real estate guy up here and he had just returned from LA, looking into investing in condos. He thought they were a poor investment; and he's someone who's quite bullish about RE in general.

That's all. Happy Fourth.

Anonymous said...

"Yes, I know the gray weather is imminent and life will alter when this occurs, but wow, right now, I adore this city."

Famous last words! See you back in Cali (for good) in February or March.

war chest said...

Thanks Lionel. I have a friend who is in law school and he thinks he will be working at a firm in downtown in a few years and asked me about downtown condos. From looking on redfin, things downtown are barely cheaper than things in Santa Monica. Traffic isn't too bad if you live on the west and travel east so I don't know why you wouldn't just buy something in SM if it is basically the same price as downtown.

If LA could do what San Diego has done, then maybe I would be interested in looking at something downtown eventually.

Anonymous said...

"If LA could do what San Diego has done, then maybe I would be interested in looking at something downtown eventually."

Weren't you the snob who said LA isn't worth living in unless you're on the westside?

war chest said...

Yes Anon, I am that snob. However...since I am young and also work downtown, I would say that if things in downtown really seem to develop in a good way I would look at living there for a while.

I should have said that I would only consider living in LA if I could be on the westside once I have a family and am a bit older.

Aside from my short term negativity on pricing, it obviously isn't very realistic for a 22 year old to expect to buy anything on the westside any time soon. But from what I have seen, downtown is a rip anyways...so in the meantime I continue to build my war chest.