Monday, March 16, 2009


2220 Crawford Ave, Altadena, CA 91001 ( MLS#: 22122494)
Price: $519,000
Beds: 3
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 1,081
$/Sq. Ft.: $480
Lot Size: 6,017 Sq. Ft.

"This lovely English Period Revival was designed and built by Elisha P. Janes in 1924. Original architectural details abound; coved ceilings, a multitude of original arches, multi-light arched windows and doors. The large living room and formal dining room are perfect for entertaining. The updated kitchen offers a built-in breakfast nook and pretty backyard views. The backyard is walled for complete privacy, both front and sideyards have lovely porches. A must see!"

Price History
Mar 13, 2009 Listed $519,000
Mar 13, 2009 Off Redfin
Feb 15, 2009 Price Changed $519,000
Feb 14, 2009 Price Changed
Feb 09, 2009 Price Changed $529,000
Feb 08, 2009 Price Changed
Jan 31, 2009 Price Changed $539,000
Jan 30, 2009 Price Changed
Jan 06, 2009 Price Changed $549,000
Jan 05, 2009 Price Changed
Dec 14, 2008 Listed $559,000
Dec 13, 2008 Listed
May 16, 2008 Sold $525,000
Mar 31, 2008 Off Redfin
Feb 27, 2008 Listed
Jan 19, 2001 Sold $230,000
Aug 10, 1998 Sold $170,000

It's a cute house, but it is small, sits on a smallish lot, and most of all at a not very desireable location. It's a corner lot (car radio noise, trash), one short block from busy Lake street and right across from a strip mall. This is the aerial view:

What I find bewildering that someone paid over half a million dollar for it as recently as May 2008. What were they thinking? By last May you would have to have lived in a cave not to know that the housing market was crashing. Did they fall for the hype that the bottom has here? Or maybe believed that it didn't matter how much you payed as long as you could afford your mortgage, but then fell on hard times? I don't know, but the house hit the market just short 7 months later. The last realistic price for this property was the 2001 one, at $230,000.

469 Vista Ave Pasadena, CA 91107 (MLS#: A09030212)
Price: $358,800
Beds: 2
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 648
$/Sq. Ft.: $554
Lot Size: 4,300 Sq. Ft.

"This California Bungalow was originally built in 1922 and maintains its original charm and character. The property features many original features including built-ins that are mixed with modern conveniences like central air and heat and a newer kitchen and bathroom. Property is NOT an REO or short sale. Property has been well cared for and loved and is located in a great commuity. This home has so much to offer at an affordable price."

Price History
Mar 13, 2009 Listed
Mar 11, 2009 Off Redfin
Oct 10, 2008 Listed
Sep 26, 2008 Sold $310,000
May 31, 2008 Off Redfin
Apr 09, 2008 Price Changed
Feb 08, 2008 Price Changed
Jan 18, 2008 Listed
Aug 10, 2007 Sold $400,000
Jun 19, 2006 Sold $490,000
Jul 16, 2004 Sold $320,000
Jun 21, 1988 Sold $105,000

Looks like this tiny house on a tiny lot has been caught up in the real estate speculation. All the prices are completely unrealistic. The 2007 "sell" price is actually a foreclosure. However the 2008 price seems to be a real sale. Looking at the photos of the listing, new carpet, paint, etc., plus the fact that it was relisted just a month later, it's a pretty safe assumption that it is a flip. Right now the flipper likely to be desperate just to break even. It won't be easy, $554 $/Sq. Ft is ridiculously high.


Sven said...

We've been walking around the Altadena area recently (esp. east of Lake) and it's pretty telling that there are very few "For Sale" signs up.

Vanda said...

The subprime foreclosure wave have rolled through Altadena and is done with.

Vanda said...

There is another thing to consider: 60% of all sales are distressed sales. Because of the various foreclosure moratoriums they hit a low point, however those moratoriums are being lifted and we can expect a big wave of foreclosures. These however will not be driven by the subprime loans any more but the jumbos, Alt-As, Option ARMs.

The question is how much Altadena have been exposed to those loan types. I suspect far less than Pasadena, but exactly how much will become clear this summer.

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