April 05, 2007

Real Homes of Genius: Today We Salute you Artesia. 626 Square Feet of Barbie Love for $360,000.

Someone notify Ken and Barbie that their home was just foreclosed on. No more nights cruising the boulevard in the pink Corvette. And in other news, we have this home selling for $360,000 in the glorious city of Artesia. Now you may be looking at the picture and saying to yourself, “I’m over 6 feet tall, how can I fit here?” Don’t focus on the problems but think of the great things you’ll be able to do in this place. You can clean the roof with no ladder. You can literally raise the roof at parties. Ah yes, with all these perks don’t you just want to call your agent and be the first to bid on this place?

It was initially listed at $369,000 but was dropped $9,000 for each day a person had to lower their head to walk into the home. For perspective, notice the peewee basketball court to the right. Now you may be thinking, with 626 feet what am I going to do with all that extra space? Many of you may be shocked to see homes in Los Angeles County breaking the $400,000 barrier. Let us take a look at previous sales data on this home:

Sale History

06/19/2006: $302,000
10/11/1996: $65,000

$65,000!!! Now we’re talking. So this here looks like someone jumped in last year and is trying to flip this house. And looking at the size of this place I wouldn’t be surprised if you and your weightlifting buddy really couldn’t flip this house on its side. Assuming they got their asking price they would be up $36,400. Something in my belly tells me Ken isn’t signing any no-loan docs. This place is close to the 91 freeway and small but cozy according to the seller. I’ve heard Ford Pintos are nice and cozy as well.

Today we salute you Artesia with our Real Homes of Genius.


Chris said...

Like the old joke, you'd have to go outside just to change your mind (which is what the stupid would-be flipper/real estate guru probably SHOULD'VE done before paying that much, in 6/06).

Kevin said...

Notice the for sale sign in the front yard is almost as tall as this doll house....

IrvineRenter said...

At Christmas the builders construct fantasy play houses and put them on display at Fashion Island Mall. I wonder if this was this one of those somebody put on a lot?

BTW, I hate to complain, but the ad that takes over my browser each time I come here is really annoying, and the color scheme is hard on my eyes. I really like your site, so please get rid of the full-screen ad.

Anonymous said...

If we were in the Deep South, I'd say that looks like a home/shack/lean-to built for the slaves on a plantation.

Not a bad metaphor, though, as the current owner is destined to be a mortgage/debt slave for quite sometime.

rogersmith8080 said...

Serious question, you’re a marketer and need to write a column stressing the positives about this house, what the hell do you do? If I had to write a positive column only stressing the good points about this home it would be:

“Located in sunny Southern California”

That’s it. I’ve got nothing.

Dr Housing Bubble said...


The albatross of many home owners is their adjustable mortgages. Foreclosure is an answer to this housing slavery and many are opting for this freedom; by force of not being able to refinance, sell, or make the monthly nut.


"Hurry Now! $350,000+ in Southern California! Near Freeways. Need family values? Bring your family together by sleeping in the same room."

sed said...

Where's the garage?

Oh yeah, this WAS a garage!

Notice the overhang (front porch). It seems to have a different colored top than the rest of the "house". This was the same on another HOG you had up earlier. Looks like an addition. Take it away and what was this -- a storage shed, a guest house?, a garage?

I cannot imagine any homebuilder deciding to use the dimensions pictured with the idea of selling it as a home, especially in the saner markets when it was actually constructed.

I've lived in some smallish cabins in the past, but this is like a little kids playhouse.

Don't worry, the housing bubble burst won't affect other economic sectors, like consumer spending. Must have heard this from at least 3 talking head analysts on Bloomberg today. It's all roses from here, or should I say tulips.

sed said...

I'd recommend today's commentary from Steve Moyer, which can be found at SafeHaven.com (also a highly recommended website). Moyer's in the real estate business, so it gives his views an extra punch.


The commentary from Peter Shiff is similar with different concusions (hyperinflation vs. deflation).

IrvineRenter said...

Thanks for the new colors. Now about that ad...

Dr Housing Bubble said...


You can park your newly minted Mercedes in this place. And I agree, we have CNBC at work on all day and all we hear is parroting of how great the economy is, how housing is jumping back, and how everything is coming back online.

Look at this place. If you can tell me with a straight face that we are not in a housing bubble then I'm not sure what else anyone can say.

oc_fliptrack said...

Is it made of gingerbread?

sed said...

I just noticed something about this place which makes me think a Hollywood type is trying to flip the house.

First, the lawn is green.

Second, the most typical of cinema tricks -- wet down the set. Yes, notice the driveway is WET. It enhances the contrast and gives more texture to the photo.

Gotta admit, they painted the place, put some sod in and watered it down. Guess that's an incentive.

Anonymous said...

Link to another amazing home. I believe that this Hermosa Beach gem started out this selling season at $899, but it is now up to $995 for 878 square feet.


sed said...

Staggering in its foolishness! In January 1998 that house was valued at $170,000. Less than 10 years later, it's $1.1 million. Places like that will plunge, plunge, plunge. It's sad what this mania has done to California.

California is going to pay off its debt exactly how when these tax rolls collapse? Think the social structure in LA and OC is going to hold up?

Anonymous said...

Hi, I love your site, and thanks for your hard work.

I thought you might like this one.
1312 Allen Avenue, Glendale, CA 91201 $979,000

Listing provided courtesy of Advantage Realty Group - Michael Azoiani

Beds: 3 | Bath: 2 /1 | Sq Ft: 1,022
Price Per Square Foot: $958
Active Date: Apr 06, 2007

It's also five blocks from the railroad.

Don't know what is going on in Glendale.Price dropped a little bit during the winter, and now it's going back up.

Anonymous said...


Oh, I'm sorry.. I shouldn't laugh!

I'll give you $400k


Anonymous said...

keep adding wood to the fire: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/08/us/08housing.html?bl&ex=1176177600&en=af8e1a23dd23c51f&ei=5087%0A

BTW: I am renting a house in Thousand Oaks for $3,100. Landlord offered to sell for 1,050,000. gee, what I should I do?

Anonymous said...

You guys are retarded... Thats a close up of one of those monopoly houses... You can't fool me! Its that shitty house after Go.. the purple one...

Dr Housing Bubble said...

Baltic Avenue isn't for sale. Its owned by the thimble via a no-doc loan. No get out jail card on this one...

Fred said...

California is going to pay off its debt exactly how when these tax rolls collapse? Think the social structure in LA and OC is going to hold up?

Yeah, well that's another thing.

It's hard to imagine our leadership in California government weren't complicit in this massive consumer scam, if not paid off by REIC to look the other way during the 6 year run-up.

Are we to imagine that the state DIDN'T enjoy windfall taxes from the spiraling home appreciation over the past few years, and are we to think that they forgot to set aside some of the windwall revenue for the future when the inevitable market crash finally happened?

Has California forgotten the housing slump of the 1970's? The late 1980's/early 1990's? The tech dotcom bubble, led by California tech firms in Silicon Valley? And now THIS?

Huh, it's as if NO ONE in Federal or State government (from the Governator down to the State Attorney Generals Office) had a clue there was a problem in the works...

Anonymous said...

Sheesh, and I thought that real estate in western North Carolina was driven to ridiculous heights by the influx of Floridians....he!!, the old style mountain cabins that still exist around here aren't that small.

The Real Homes of Genius awards are hilarious. Keep it up! I need the laughs and to remind me to be thankful I am not in Southern Cal...

LOL, I cannot even imagine how building codes would allow a house that size to be built in the first place.

Anonymous said...

What is it about Artesia?

Compare the above with this 395 Square foot Palace listed at
MLS ID# R703171

I live in Pasadena and this is not even large enough to qualify as a Garage! Garage must be at lease 400 square feet.

The North Coast said...

The worst damage done by the nationwide housing bubble is that absolutely EVERYONE is confronting much higher housing costs as a result, mainly because local tax assessments have been elevated in tandem with the hallucinated value of overpriced properties.

People on stagnant incomes, who bought their houses 20 or 30 years ago to keep their costs in hand, are being blasted out of them by steeply escalating taxes. Chicago just had a massive tax increase last fall and will get hit with another of at least 40% this fall.
I'm sure SoCal municipalities are hiking taxes drastically, too.

The result is that people are being blasted out of their houses, and rentals are escalating rapidly since large rental properties (18 units or more)are taxed very unfairly, at 3X the rate of sf homes to begin with, and have to pass the increase on to their renters.

Elders and poor home owners are being hit very, very hard.

Meanwhile, poor wage earners have been effectively priced out of non-subsidized housing altogether.

And prudent, honest first-time home buyers are priced out of the market.

And socialistic props to the housing market, such as subsidized rents and city grants for moderate-income home buyers, only make the situation worse. I'm convinced the real reason for socialized housing is to prop up overinflated home values.

I wonder if we can score rollbacks in real estate taxes when the ludicrous housing market completely collapses and prices revert to normal levels?