Saturday, March 22, 2008

Georgina! is back!

Peculiar recent sales back on the market aren't just next to the freeway.

We noted this 5 bed / 6.5 bath house at 1221 Georgina last June 18, asking a breathtaking $5.895M:

Is the name "Georgina" (named for the wife of Senator John P. Jones, founder of the city of Santa Monica) that magical? Is its back yard - one lot from the traffic noise of San Vicente Blvd. - that special? Is its typical north-of-Montana stucco-and-tile that lovely?

Listed 6/6/07, it sold 8/10/07 for $5.6M. But it's back on the market already, now asking (only) $5,275K. That's a $589K haircut in 7 months (if it sells for asking, with a 5% commission). Wonder what happened?


JBR said...

Well, the last sale was to "Axium 1221 LLC". Why would you form an LLC to buy a house? Spec?

JBR said...

Hmmm... I think I figured it out. It's seems like Axium 1221 LLC is part of Axium International, which filed bankruptcy recently.

Above is a link of all the affiliated co's that filed as a part of this bankruptcy, and Axium 1221 is on it.

Apparently the bankruptcy isn't a problem, since they plan to expand their building on Wilshire in LA.


Anonymous said...

one of the principals at axium must have bought the house.

axium fell into trouble due to a back tax issue with the federal government that came up last summer. the tax issue made their senior lender (who had a $100M note secured by the wilshire building) very nervous.

their senior lender was a HF from NYC, golden tree capital. the founder of golden tree flipped out about the tax lien when he heard about it. he fired the guy who originated the loan, then called the loan. after a few months of negotiations, goldentree finally got tired of dealing with the jokers at axium, so they pulled the plug on jan 1. under the terms of the loan, goldentree had the right to seize all their cash in the event of default.

so the first week of jan, goldentree seized all of axium's cash. axium had to file Ch 7. they now are fighting both their senior lender, the feds (who have a tax lien, and their former customers, all of whom want to get paid back.

axium, incidentally, isn't going to be doing anything with the wilshire building. goldentree & the feds effectively own that thing now.

and i'd guess that the georgina house has been foreclosed on by the bank who owns the mortgage.

i'd guess that an aggressive offer probably gets the house. it's essentially a foreclosure. (or, a sale under duress by a bankrupted former hollywood high-flier).

Anonymous said...

I agre with everyone who posted above

i am trying to figure out what a fair offer is for this house right now

what would the land cost? around 2.5 is my guess - and then what would the construction cost to replicate this - my thinking is 350 a square foot

if anyone that is more familiar with construction costs in 90402 can speak up please do so

Anonymous said...

Construction costs are $400-450/sq.ft. for high end figure 5K sq feet minimum, plus soft costs, landscaping....I would say 2-2.5 mil....minimum

Anonymous said...

450 a foot? Please. Care to explain where you come up with that number?

dlp said...

Los Angeles Times on Axium:,0,3405893.story

Anonymous said...

built a modern house on san vicente....custom modern home....middle to high end construction...came in around $500/sq ft.....which is what you would want to do with any custom home in NOMO in that high end market.

Anonymous said...

Good number to look at is price per square foot sales prices for 90402 zip....around 900-1K per square spending $500/sq ft is about right.


Anonymous said...

So you're basing on sales price, not the real cost of a job - you're builder/developer must LOVE you.

That's because you now think $500 a ft is about right. Basically, you just paid your Builder/Developer about 1 million ($200 a foot) to do a $125,000 job for you (10% of 250ft x 5000ft). Congrats. You want to buy my car? It's a 2005 BMW that was $40,000. I'll sell it to you for $80,000 and if history holds, you'll buy it!

Anonymous said...

But of course if we're going to keep our math correct, you'd pay me $320,000 for the car. Seems like a lot, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

oh and you're = your.

Anonymous said...

I am a licensed contractor and I am giving you current high end construction costs for a architect designed custom home in L.A. Ask someone else what they are paying in Santa Monica (more costly to do new construction in SM) to build a custom, not spec home with high end design and materials. Then look at what they got at different price ranges, $350/400/450,etc....

Most will lie to you, so try to get the real I am giving you . I have built in NOMO. And lose the attitude pal....friendly blog remember?

Anonymous said...

Well let me ask you a question, (and I apologize for the attitude). Let's say I have a lot in Sylmar that cost me $100,000 and want to build the same house. What will construction cost?

Anonymous said...

I haven't built in Nomo, but I have built several high end homes in Montecito, Newport Coast, and MB and i can tell you that with $400/ft and no real lot-based issues (like crazy slopes or real bad soil) you would end up with one of the nicest homes in town. You still would have overpaid because that's the game, but it's common to see those numbers. I know of a few people who have done nearly $1000/ft in Beverly Park. Realistically, a saavy homeowner can get a top-end custom home for about $300 while someone who pays less attention might pay $400 for 100% exactly the same thing. On the other hand, you would be amazed at how nice a $200/ft house can be. There are just so many factors. The key is to get many, many bids.

test12 said...

Agreed... I've seen VERY nice $200 a foot. (And keep in mind that the big builders at developments are doing it ~$50-$60 a foot.)

I've also seen perfect $350 a foot.

Never heard of $500 a foot + in NOMO or anywhere really except for the odd one or two that were doing crazy stuff and changing it a lot... like it was for fun or a hobby or entertainment.

But this all seems like part of a discussion of how the underlying bubble has created a construction bubble (which makes sense if you think building costs should figure in total costs.) Or how when people think it's just going to go up in value, they don't really care ... except they're starting to care a lot, now.

Westside Bubble said...

Thanks, JBR and Anon #1, for helping answer the Georgina mystery.

And other Anons for good info on construction costs.

rosebud said...

Honestly tough to get quotes of $200 per sf in Northern SM. I've been quoted over $120 per linear foot for a 6 foot tall masonry wall (by multiple contractors)!

Westside, did you notice 866 Stanford is looking for backup? Pretty fast mover... do you think it went for over $2MM? I know I'm one of the few still bullish on this area... so what's the take on why it moved so fast? I think I mentioned this one and another listing in the college streets as potentially good indicators for the area last week (apologies for changing the subject). What do you think?

Robbie Fields said...

I concur with Westside Bubble: some amazing comments here, particularly regarding Axium.

Considering that there is not a whole lot of difference in structural quality between a tract built stick house and a custom stick house in S.M., the variation in building costs per sqf is incredible at first sight.

However, I have a feeling that lumped into the proverbial $400+ for S.M. are teardown costs, permit fees, professional fees, etc.

Then with the actual construction,
S.M. mandates fire sprinkler systems and who knows what else that a tract home won't have.

As these homeowners are paying so much for lot value, they just don't skimp on finishes. I am sure one could source tile for 20% or less of the cost and on down the line.

As a comparison, note the screaming bargains homebuyers in late 1960's Los Angeles obtained by buying upscale houses built
pre 1929, even ones in now fashionable areas.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Robbie Fields.....I think if you pay $2 mil for a 9000 sq. ft are gonna want to trick out the house with all custom work and finishes....look at the house on the corner of SV and 7th....a horrible 'architectural' blue monster....thats what $200/sq. ft gets you. They were foreign buyers who cheaped out on construction and look what they got stuck with....ouch!

SM is known for being expensive and difficult to build, from the tougher building codes, to sprinklers in every room, to building expensive drainage pits so the water stays on your property....recycling bonds, even the permits are contractors don't like working here. Figure $400-450 for construction with arch. fees, permits, landscaping, all the extras.

Anonymous said...

Have the Santa Monica building costs dropped much with the overall drop in the construction market?