July 15, 2011

Missing a Few Zeros, or a Lot of Rent Checks

Here’s a find from Burbed reader z2amiller, opportunity lost, but caught forever in screenshots!  This is was your chance to buy at 1940s pricing, for a house that wouldn’t be built for another thirty years!

1236 Thorpe Ct, Los Alto, CA 94024


BATHS: 4.5
SQ. FT.: 4,723
$/SQ. FT.: $2
LOT SIZE: 0.36 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Cottage/Bungalow
YEAR COMMUNITY: South of El Monte
COUNTY: Santa Clara County
MLS#: 81128442
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 1 day

Stunning 5 bedroom estate offers multiple master bedroom suites. Your idyllic country retreat displays elevated ceilings, glistening hardwood floors featuring original elements complimented with recent updates- a tasteful display of modernity. Living Room and Kitchen overlooking the wonderfully landscaped backyard. Escape into your own private retreat every single day/Fully furninshed!A must have!

Two dollars a foot.  Two dollars a foot?  At this price I’d buy every house on the block.  For cash.

Okay, how’s this.  Zillow has the same offer at the same price.  Kind of.


Oh, you want to purchase the house?  Zillow has a different recollection of how that went down:



Um, two million?  Well, that’s very different from the asking price when z2amiller found this listing, isn’t it?

Two million?  As in 200 times more than the original asking price?

Two million?

Never mind.

Comments (9) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am

July 14, 2011

Million Dollar Property, A Must to See

At least the seller thinks this is a million dollar property.  Maybe it was, in 2006.

19381 W Grant Line Rd, Tracy, CA 95391


SQ. FT.: 3,165
$/SQ. FT.: $379
LOT SIZE: 1.63 Acres
TYPE: Detached
STYLE: Contemporary
COUNTY: San Joaquin
MLS#: 40506238
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 166 days

Gorgeous custom home with country feel surrounded by 1.6+ acres. Completely updated with Brazilian Cherry wood flooring throughout, crown moulding, custom paint, solid granite in kitchen, all new appliances, stunning cabinets throughout, custom entertainment center in family room. A must to see. .. .

imageIt definitely is a must to see, because the nine pictures above are all you get on the virtual tour, too.  But the virtual tour has the added benefit of loud music appropriate to a seven-digit asking price for a home over an hour’s drive from the Googleplex. 

Speaking of commutes and sitting in traffic, let’s talk about its location, location, location?  Look at this!


Ahh, country life!

Don’t believe that “166 days” on Redfin figure above, either.  This house has been listed since March.  March, 2010.  The listing was canceled in January and they listed it anew.  And if you ever had any concern about how good those Zestimates are, you can put those silly little worries to rest.  Zillow says it’s worth every penny, see?  Okay, 5 out of 6 pennies!


Rent Zestimate: $2,250 a month!  That’s a rent ratio of 44!  Hope that Brazilian Cherrywood was worth it.

Comments (15) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am

July 10, 2011

Bay Area Price Drops: Dude, Where’s My Equity?

Mapping Home-Value Drops by Zip Code

By Matthew Strozier, Wall Street Journal
Published June 28th, 2011

imageThe housing bust could be described as a tale of two collapses: Pain was widespread but it wasn’t always evenly felt.

Stan Humphries, chief economist for the real-estate website Zillow, mapped the price decline from the peak for zip codes in six major metro markets – Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., New York and Chicago (see maps). The data provide a detailed look inside the anatomy of the downturn: Green dots show declines from the peak that are above the metro average; reds are below the metro average.

Zillow’s maps show that poorer center-city neighborhoods and far-flung suburbs tended to fare worse even as trendy urban neighborhoods or established suburbs managed to either weather the storm with limited damage or see losses half that of other zip codes with 50% or 60% declines.

Using useless aggregate data from Zillow, the Wall Street Journal creates some maps by zip code for six different regions, including the Bay Area.  Everywhere, every single zip code, showed a decline from 2006, but some places were hit even more than that 60% figure mentioned above.

imageTake a look at the key for the Bay Area map.  60% is not the worst of it.  Oh no.  One zip code comes within kissing distance of down 80%.  Yes, property value down 4/5ths, across an entire zip code.

What’s also amazing is not a single zip in the entire region managed to hold onto its value since 2006.  While one zip in New York City (10128, Upper East Side) actually gained value, two zips here were notable in keeping their losses under ten percent.  And these two are a couple of old friends to Burbed that we’ve visited many times before.

Holding losses to 9.1% were West San Jose 95129 and South Mountain View 94040.  Right behind them, at exactly a ten percent loss, was Cupertino 95014.  No zip codes managed better than that and all the others were over the ten percent loss mark.  Other “winners” that managed not to lose too much are in SF (94105, SoMA), San Jose (95113, downtown!) South Palo Alto, and South Sunnyvale. Both Los Altos/Los Altos Hills zips are right behind this group.

Now, for the zips that were clobbered beyond belief; these are the ones that lost 75% or more of their value since 2006.

  • In 4th place, losing 75.1% of its Zillow Home Value Index that they swear they weren’t making up, is 95215, in beautiful Stockton.
  • In 3rd place, shedding an embarrassing 75.2% of its made-up number, is 95351, in Modesto.
  • In 2nd place, misplacing an astounding 76.3% of a number Zillow made up to drive eyeballs to its site, is 93620, two cheers for Dos Palos!
  • And the Champion in Value Erosion, tipping the scales at an eye-popping 79.1% of value gone, gone, gone is 95205.  You know where that is.  Give it up for Stockton!

Not only are none of these in the Real Bay Area, none of them are even in the Bay Area.  So let’s find what got eviscerated the most within real commuting distance from the Googleplex, and then let’s see what’s left of the RBA.  That means we can leave out all the places south of Santa Cruz that were pummeled with declines over 60%.

  • Worst Zip in all of San Mateo County, a Burbed favorite: 94063, or the crap part of Redwood City!  Down 42.1%!
  • Worst Zip in all of San Francisco: 94158, down 44.9%.  Google maps calls this area Mission Bay, just a bit north of beautiful Hunters Point.
  • Worst Zip in Santa Clara County, excluding San Jose: 95020, Gilroy, down 48.1%.  What a surprise!
  • Worst Zip in San Jose, handily beating out its Gilroy challenger, 95122, down an amazing 55.5%. Of course this is another favorite Burbed neighborhood in East San Jose.
  • And the Worst Bay Area Zip, Overall Award for Sucking the Most value out of its real estate is 94621, and that’s in Oakland.  This zip is down 74.4%, meaning a Bay Area zip managed to lose three quarters of its value. Not just one property or a block, this is an entire zip code!  Wow! Congratulations to Oakland on showing Stockton a thing or two!

But don’t worry too much about any of these numbers.  Zillow recently changed their Zestimate formula, so feel free to throw out what you don’t agree with.  Just assume in adding up all those Zestimates, the zip-wide index must have have all erred in the same direction!

Comments (6) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:36 am

May 13, 2011

Too late, Blinked and we missed it! Huge opportunity GONE

Here’s an interesting listing sent in by Burbed reader Tracy.  Unfortunately the listing was canceled last week after almost constant price reductions over an entire year.  That can only mean one thing: Rising prices are back, baby!

618 Genine Ct, San Jose, CA 95127


Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 1
Sqft: 1,182
Lot size: 11,000 sq ft / 0.25 acres
Property type: Single Family
Year built: 1940
Parking type: —
Cooling system: —
Heating system: —
Fireplace: —
Last sold: November 20 2003

Priced Right For A Deal! Country Ranch-Style 4 Bedroom Home on Huge/Massive Lot in Cul-de-Sac Location-Room to EXPAND & GROW. QUIET NEIGHBORHOOD. Tremendous Value. Mostly Hardwood floors under carpets. Detached 2 car garage with extra workshop. Great backyard for entertaining, bbqs, room for expansion and huge garden. Ready for your finishing touches. Come by and feel the love. GREAT DEAL!

First, here’s what Tracy had to say about this house (before the listing was canceled):

This is a weird one with monthly "huge" price reductions, a HUGE
lot with "nice" neighbors... 

Guess we missed the love, and that’s a shame, because Redfin agent Keith Wong toured the place twice!  Here’s what Keith had to say about this house.


Keith Wong – Field Agent on Redfin’s Southern East Bay Team

"Property has potential to be converted to a bigger property. Current property out of date but with the right buyer who is looking to do a possible tare down or a complete make over, this is the lot to do it"


Possible tare down?  We better have an actual look at this place.


Wow, has that shade of green been used by an auto manufacturer since 1958?  Oh, it’s the tarp!  Never mind, then.  I figured if they threw in the car this deal might actually cash flow.

Speaking of cash, here’s the listing history from Zillow (Redfin helpfully deletes the prices when a listing is canceled, the spoilsports).  Quite a tare down:


See, that’s the kind of can-do initiative the Bay Area is famous for!  Here’s someone selling a place they picked up for only $50,000 at the beginning of the bubble and trying to convince everyone it’s actually worth an order of magnitude more, when almost everything else in that part of town is selling for 1999 prices!  And that’s why the listing got canceled.  Someone will give it a tare down, or maybe just a complete make over, and it’s going to sell for $800K.  Alum Rock’s gonna be hot, hot, hot!

Comments (4) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:14 am

May 11, 2011

Lots of Instant Equity, or Instant Submarining, in Pleasanton

Thanks very much to Burbed reader Shocked East Coaster for today’s find, which, alas, doesn’t have any marble columns.  It does have some other interesting features, like digits.  Lots and lots of digits.

1630 Laguna Hills Ln, Pleasanton, CA  94566


Bedrooms: 6
Bathrooms: 4
Sqft: 4,000
Lot size: 12,444 sq ft / 0.29 acres
Property type: Single Family
Year built: 2003
Parking type: —
Cooling system: —
Heating system: —
Fireplace: —
Days on Zillow: 7
MLS number: 40513130
Listing website: Keller Williams – Pl…

An Absolute Masterpiece with Upgrades Galore! This Exquisite Single-Story Residence Offers: 4 bedrooms plus office and 4 full baths, 3 car garage.Exceptional architectural design and quality craftsmanship is evident throughout this 4000 sq ft Former Model. Must see!

Well, no wonder Burbed’s newest contributor calls him/her/itself Shocked East Coaster.  And at these prices, I’m not surprised!  Here’s what SEC has to say about this listing:

a super affordable $828,477/month

Must be something in the water

By the way, love your site. I am new to the bay area real estate craziness( market) and I truly can’t believe the prices out here.

imageWell, if you use Zillow instead of Redfin, I guess that’s what happens.  The latter site also has 9 photos instead of just 1, and the sky is much much much more dramatic.

They didn’t magic up any marble columns, though, just this sky that matches Princess Eugenie’s hat.

Comments (36) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:15 am

April 23, 2011

What’s Your Home’s Walk Score?

imageZillow has added Walk Scores to homes on their site.  You can look up your house on Zillow or on Walk Score and see how walkable your neighborhood is, according to their formula.  The score is by the maps are on your house’s page.  Do you agree with your home’s walk score?

My neighborhood has a Walk Score of 65, or “moderately walkable.” However, there’s a new beta feature on Walk Score called Street Smart, which adds in number of intersections per square mile and block length in calculating the score, and on that measure my neighborhood goes down to 54, or only “Somewhat Walkable.”  What it doesn’t measure is how pleasant or unpleasant the walk is, based on number of shade trees or how well the sidewalk is maintained.

imageOh, it’s got some bugs, like calling a catering company run out of someone’s house a restaurant, but the idea makes sense.  I just don’t see being within 100 feet of a commercial zone as a good thing.  When I ran the same scores on a house across the street from some commercial zones near Fremont and Mary in Sunnyvale, the scores went up to 80 (Very Walkable, Walk Score) and 65 (Somewhat Walkable, Street Smart).  But another house behind a different big batch of retail centers at the corner of Hollenbeck and Homestead got scores of 66 and 69.


Feel free to report your Walk Score, or vehemently disagree with the algorithm, or bring up any topic you wish.  This is an Open Thread.  Remember, tomorrow is Easter, so late start to Spring Bounce this year!

Comments (12) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am

April 21, 2011

Party House in Los Gatos

Here’s a find from Burbed reader nomadic, who keeps unearthing all sorts of delights in Los Gatos.  Thanks very much!

15681 KENNEDY Rd, Los Gatos, CA 95032


BATHS: 12.5
SQ. FT.: 12,405
$/SQ. FT.: $604
LOT SIZE: 3.58 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: French
VIEW: Mountains
COMMUNITY: Los Gatos/Monte Sereno
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81037550
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 263 days

Everything you ever dreamed of is right here in this magnificent French Chateau Estate. Main house 9,000sf, 6 complete suites, gold leafed fireplace, music room, library, wine cellar. Guest house is 3,500sf with guest suite, caterer’s kitchen, ballroom, theater, game room, onyx bar. Infinity pool, impressive portico, band and dance area many more special features. Incredible estate.

Here’s what nomadic had to say about this house:

imageDo you suppose this house comes with the band, and requires you to board all of the guests seated around the table? I guess for $7.5M you should get live-in entertainment included.

We already had a house ready for a party back at the beginning of the year, but this may be the first time the photos featured a party actually in progress.  Do you think the guests will sue or are they Facebooking their friends to say “Did you see I made Redfin?”  Actually from the age of this crowd I should ask if they’re telexing their friends, that is if they can’t get the houseboy to run down to Western Union.


Another thing to ask is just what this agent was trying to accomplish with this particular selection of photos.  It’s not so much that they’re bad photo, they aren’t.  But there’s a sameness about them that seems curious in trying to sell a home of this type.


Also I refrained from breaking out the little red arrows, but we have some mawbul kawlums going on here, or at least kawnkrete.


Okay, I’ll say it.  Seven and a half megageorges for this house, and they can’t be bothered to photograph the inside?  Maybe they’re trying the exclusivity angle by restricting the view to qualified buyers only.  But I’ve seen enough people pretending they have money when the whole financial structure is cantilevered atop playing cards and toothpicks, or in the real estate world, Different Piles of Other Peoples’ Money.  The upside of leverage is the profit when home prices go up, and the downside, well, if you aren’t smart enough to work that out then you get what you deserve.

Maybe they didn’t show the inside because the FBs can’t afford to furnish the place.

Okay, that was a cheap shot, but Redfin didn’t have a link to any other pictures.  I did go over to Zillow, intending to get the missing listing prices, and they had inside pictures plus they link to the virtual tour.  In a way, I’m kind of sorry I found it.  Not only is this place overdecorated like a simulacrum of “rich people’s furnishings,” the audio track is pseudo-wealthy music, too: the goddamned Pachelbel’s Canon in D.


I hate Pachelbel’s Canon with a passion.  Maybe that’s why the house hasn’t sold in more than two years. (253 days on Redfin, my sackbutt.)


This house may not be on VH1’s I Love the 1680s, but it sure loves 2006.  I say it’s going to party like it’s 1999.

Comments (13) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:11 am

April 4, 2011

Make Me Move, Please, Please, Please Make Me Move

Here’s someone who tried setting a Make Me Move price on Zillow and is now chasing the market down.  Or rather, meandering after the market which is chasing after a bunch of expired tax breaks.

765 DEVONSHIRE Way Sunnyvale, CA 94087


SQ. FT.: 1,816
$/SQ. FT.: $523
LOT SIZE: 6,976 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Attached Single Family
COMMUNITY: Sunnyvale
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81110309
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 21 days

Great Location * Excellent Cupertino schools * Energy efficient * Spacious 4bd/3ba contemporarily remodeled * Bright * Low-VOC paints inside out * EnergyStar IB Roof System * Radiant heating * Double pane windows * Well insulated walls * maple cabinets * granite countertop * Stainless steel appliances * Huge beautiful backyard w/ fruit trees * Open house 3/26, 3/27 (1:30 ~ 4:30)

Stop me if I have this wrong, but isn’t this seller asking for almost a million bucks for a glorified box?  Face it, every child’s drawing of a house has something that this house is lacking in.  Maybe you can look at the listing image above and figure it out.

imageHere, I’ll even give you one more chance.  One of these things is not like the other things.

Anyway, I headed over to Zillow to find out the asking price from 2009, and discovered that there was a Make Me Move price on the house.  And it was $970,000. Now, Make Me Move can be complete utter Wishing Price, as there’s no obligation to sell it just because you entered it into Zillow.


Only this seller decided that the Make Me Move Wishing Price was a perfectly good place to start as an actual Asking Price.  We can see just how well that worked.

So after such drastic price cuts as 2% followed by 1%, the seller takes the listing off the market completely… and then it’s back two years later.  It’s back at its first price reduction, which shows the seller really hasn’t learned a danged thing in two years.

Somebody buy this and Make Them Move, because they aren’t going to do it on their own.

Comments (8) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:01 am

March 21, 2011

Zrent vs. Zbuy

Zillow, the website that brought you the Zestimate, now has a brand-new feature to make fun of.  We’ve all chuckled over how surprisingly off the Zestimate of a home’s value could be.  Well, in the words of Mr. Family Guy, “You think that’s bad?”

Zillow has just introduced the Rent Zestimate.  Yes, now we can compute the Zrent Zratio, using two estimates that may or may not have anything to do with reality!  Let’s try it with a few houses previously featured on Burbed!


Here’s Friday’s house, the Tangrams Set with the High-Tech name.  Once more, the Zestimate has no relation to real life, because if it did this place wouldn’t be sitting unclaimed for 113 days at $200K less than Zillow’s amazing valuation model’s prediction.  To compute the Zrent Zratio, divide the Zestimate by the annual Rent Zestimate.  For this house, $762,000 divided by ($3081 * 12) is 20.6, a number that says rent, don’t buy this house.  (A number above 15 says rent, a number below 15 says buy.)

Although I think the answer is really don’t rent or buy this house, so let’s try again with something a little more desirable.  So let’s stop and smell the roses.


Well, here’s a Zestimate a little more down to earth, as this Beautiful Specious Home is listed for $239,000.  The Zrent Zratio is $217,500 / (1345 * 12) or 13.5.  Buy!  Buy!  BUY!

And here’s our most recent run-in with MAWBUL CAWLUMS, it’s the Shrek House.


Ready?  Oh oh, this place has a Zestimate about 30% of the asking price.  I didn’t say 30% lower, I said it’s 30% of the asking price.  I’m sure the FBs will be happy to set Zillow straight on this.  And the Zrent Zratio is… $1,427,000 / (5587 * 12) = 21.3.  Rent.  Definitely rent.

Okay, now for grins, we’re going to compute the rent ratio using the wishing prices of all three homes, and Zillow’s Rent Zestimate.

  • Poinsettia: $575,000 / (2979 * 12) = 16.1 (weak rent, buy it if you love it)
  • Gibraltar: $217,500 / (1345 * 12) = 14.8 (buy or rent, it’s a wash)
  • Butch: $4,999,000 / (5587 * 12) = 74.6 (rent rent rent rent rent rent are you kidding me?)

So, what do you think of Zillow’s new made up numbers?  Do any of these rents have anything to do with reality?  And if you divide one invented number by another, does the nonsense cancel itself out?

Comments (80) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:11 am

January 9, 2011

We Wuz Robbed Again

Zillow Blog recently had a post covering “Some of 2010’s Top Real Estate Sales.”  Yet not one of them was in the Bay Area, let alone the Real Bay Area.  The ten featured home sales were mostly in Southern California, with one at Pebble Beach, one in Manhattan, and three in Florida.

Something has got to be wrong with those statistics.  The most expensive home in the article was a Bel Air beast, and another Bel Air battlement checked in at #5.  There were also two from Malibu, the aforementioned Pebble Beach, plus Santa Barbara.  Florida had disasters in Delray Beach, Naples, and Highland Beach.  (No wonder Florida real estate is hurting even more than California, at least we know how to spell del Rey over here.)

I was able to find several properties that sold in 2010 over $10 million in the Real Bay Area, and we’ll talk about those places another time.  Instead, there’s something more of interest about this Zillow piece:  How bad were the haircuts on each of these houses?  When the seller thought they could get $20 million, how much did they actually get?  Are we talking five percent?  Ten?  Fifteen?  Zillow didn’t feel this information was all that important, but we at Burbed know that watching the sellers chase the market down is the biggest part of the fun.


#1. Le Belvedere – Bel Air, CA

Original Price: $85 Million (February 2009)

Reduced Price: $72 Million (November 2009)

Sale Price: $50 Million (June 2010)

Haircut: -43%

This house leads to all kind of speculation since nobody is sure exactly who owns it.  It has since been sold to 2 limited liability corporations.  The 11 BR/14 BA 48,000 sf home (yes, 48,000 square feet) requires a staff of 15 and is on a 2.2 acre lot.  You can pick up this Bel Air listing for $53 million (9 BR/21 BA) if looking at this picture is making you think, “You know what?  I really want an insanely large and expensive home in Southern California.”

Redfin had this listing for a 7 BA/15 BA 35,000 sf house on 2+ acres, which Zillow says is the same one, but key details differ.  A 10/15 did sell for $18 million last January, but it was less than half the size of La Belvedere.


#2. Carbon Beach Gem – Malibu, CA

Original Price: $57 Million (March 2010)

Reduced Price: $47 Million (June 2010)

Sale Price: $36,969,000 (October 2010)

Haircut: -35%

This 8 BR/12 BA is 12,785 sf and has a mere 3/4 acre lot.  However, that lot includes 180 feet of Malibu beachfront.  Plenty of instant equity, this place has a Zestimate of $39,733,000!  While the first house write-up above freely speculated over who the owner is, not a peep as to who bought or sold a home on “Billionaire’s Beach,” where “you could run into celebrities such as Jennifer Aniston and David Geffen.” Or in this case, older ladies who go to lots of fundraisers.  Property Shark didn’t indicate who the new owner was.

image#3. Malibu Colony Beach House – Malibu, CA

Original Price: $23,950,000 (April 2010)

Sale Price: $21,475,000 (September 2010)

Haircut: -10.3%

Zillow points out that this house is only 5,000 sf, so we’re talking $4,295 a foot.  A half acre lot but only 60 feet of beachfront, and that’s 60 more feet than any house in Silicon Valley will have until the Pacific and the Bay rise a couple dozen feet.  The property has not one but two guest suites and a gym, separate from the main building.  Given that exterior has all the charm of a Santa Cruz 8-plex motel, that’s an improvement.  Plus, you might run into Tom Hanks, Bill Murray, and other celebrities even older than I am.

Property Shark doesn’t have the most recent sale record, but the seller lived in Tiburon.

image#4. Pebble Beach Jewel – Pebble Beach, CA

Original Price: $25 Million (March 2010)

Sale Price: $18.75 Million (May 2010)

Haircut: -25%

Almost twice as large as the last beach house, this 6 BR/4.5 bath on 1.3 acres has all the charm of a Presidential library, minus the historical documents or the gravitas.  Unlike Malibu Beach, here you have “Out one set of windows is the surf crashing along Pebble Beach’s craggy coast where harbor seals come to visit.”  Evidently out the back windows is some golf club or something.  Guess any celebrities worth running into would be out there clubbing the seals.

Seriously, does Zillow think nothing in the RBA has sold for more than $10 million last year?  Or just that they weren’t trying very hard?  I found this place in San Francisco that went for $15.5 million, and this one in Woodside.  Someday we’ll talk about those…

image#5. Bel Air Mediterranean – Bel Air, CA

Original Price: $24,500,000 (February 2009)

Reduced Price: $19,750,000 (July 2009), $18,950,000 (February 2010)

Sale Price: $16,250,000 (May 2010)

Haircut: -34%

Want it?  It’s for sale again, showing that flipping houses hasn’t gone out of style in some places.  Listed for $19.5M this October, only 5 months after it sold for $16.25M, the price was cut a whopping 3.8% to $18.75M a month later.  This is a 13,000 sf 7 BR/11 BA behemoth on 0.85 acre, plus the listing agent is married to a Real Housewife of Beverly Hills.  I swear I am not making this up.

Given that the listing doesn’t mention a speck of improvement that the new owner put in, anyone want to predict their exit price point?

Bonus feature: The property was foreclosed on during bubblicious 2004 for $700,000, before the current structure was put in.

image#6. Dramatic Delray – Delray Beach, FL

Original Price: $24,900,000 (July 2008)

Reduced Prices: $21,900,000 (November 2008), $18,950,000 (June 2009), $21,500,000 (July 2009), $18,950,000 (September 2009), $18,975,000 (February 2010)

Sale Price: $12,650,000 (April 2010)

Haircut: -49%

Nothing says dramatic real estate crash like Florida real estate, and here’s a spectacular example.  Best of all, it’s up for sale again at $19.5M with the exact same agent, showing some people are very slow learners.  At least they have over 14,500 sf of house to learn slowly in, with 6 bedrooms and a WTF 7.3 bathrooms on 2.13 acres.  Florida real estate is definitely different than anywhere in the US.  Where else would a 16 foot elevation be described as “commanding”?  Features 160 feet of “frontage” but onto what isn’t clear.  Perhaps the 16 foot towering precipice above the Atlantic.

image#7. Upper East Side – New York, NY

Original Price: $17,000,000 (September 2009)

Reduced Price: $15,900,000 (January 2010)

Sale Price: $13,150,000 (September 2010)

Haircut: -23%

Gordon Gekko might have said that “Greed is good,” but in New York City, stock market traders have another slogan about making money: “Bulls make money, bears make money, pigs get slaughtered.”  And this “grand 20-foot wide mansion” sold for $10.5M in March, 2008.  Yes, you too can pay eight digits for a five story house that literally has the breadth of a double garage, and it doesn’t even come with one!  Boasting 6 bedrooms, 6 baths, 8000 square feet and a lot size of (get ready) 2000 sf (0.05 acres), and around the corner from an actual Park Avenue address.

The current owner is now a floplord, looking for a tenant for 109 E 69th St.  The rent?  $48,000 a month.  Hope they don’t expect three months’ security up front.

In case you’re interested, that makes this property have a rent ratio of 22.8.  Typical rent ratio for Manhattan is well over 30, which suggests some pig is about to get slaughtered again.

image#8. Santa Barbara Villa – Santa Barbara, CA

Original Price: $19.5 million (August 2008)

Reduced Price: $16 million (March 2009)

Sale Price: $13 million (September 2010)

Haircut: -33%

Whew!  That was too long outside of California.  Between the old people of Florida and the New York cabbies who enjoy speeding up to love-tap pedestrians in crosswalks, that was a definite dollop of cognitive dissonance.  Face it, high prices should stay in California where they belong.  Why would anyone pay lots of money to live in a city where 16 inches of snow shuts the whole place down?

No doubt the Zillow blogger who put this piece together was so relieved to cover a California property that s/he neglected to notice the original (and much higher) list price for this house.  Maybe this one item was farmed out to Tech Gal, the Peninsula real estate agent notorious for her sales to listing price ratios based on reduced asking prices.

Speaking of the house… This 8592 sf home thinks of itself as a Tuscan villa, but it’s got a modern tax bill to greet you.  A 5 BR/6.5 BA main house plus a 1 BR/1 BA guest home on the 3.4 acre grounds guarantee you’ll keep a gardening staff busy all year.

image#9 Gulf Coast Grace – Naples, FL

Original Price: $16.5 million (May 2009)

Reduced Price: $15.9 million (July 2009)

Sale Price: $13 million (January 2010)

Haircut: -21%

This over 9000 sf house on Naples Bay is situated on 3/4 of an acre but is still in the sinkhole of Florida real estate.  Even Zillow looks at last year�
��s sales figure and comes up with a Zestimate of $11,013,000, suggesting that this palatial estate lost another 15% of its value merely by spending all of 2010 in Florida.  Once more, the Zillow blogger missed the original price, misunderestimating the amount a Florida property can plummet.

image#10. Living the High Life – Highland Beach, FL

Original Price: $18,900,000 (May 2009)

Reduced Price: $15,950,000 (July 2009)

Sale Price: $12,650,000 (January 2010)

Haircut: -33%

If a second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience, then buying a 12,000 sf house on 0.95 acres of Florida real estate for 67% of the original asking price is the knifecatcher’s exhilaration.  This brain-damaged fool has put the place back on the market for $14,950,000, just six months after taking delivery.  Given that Zillow has depreciated the previous property by 15%, I would calculate that this Adventure in Real Estate is going to lead to another 28% trip down Equity Burn Esplanade.

Comments (49) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:06 am