foreclosure

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It was 3 years ago now when we last mentioned 3613 Pine, a 2002-built Caliterranean, here on MBC.

Back then we noted the past listing's odd pricing approach in "Curious REO Strategy on Pine," back in mid-July 2010.

The home had last been purchased in early 2005 for $1.520M. But things went off track and it was foreclosed upon in late 2009.

The listing price in 2010 had bounced around over a period of several months, from $1.695M to $1.495M and back up, again (really?!?), to $1.549M.

Alas, even by raising the price, they were somehow unable to sell it. The listing quit, and the foreclosed home rented out instead of selling.

But it's all different these days, isn't it?

3613 Pine has just hit the market $54K higher than the highest list price of 2010, at

It was a years-long saga of strangeness, largely behind the scenes.

The big and peculiar home at 923 1st in the Hill Section was not fated to sell in the post-bubble or bust years.

Listings failed in 2008, 2009 and 2010, before the property rented out. (For $18,500/mo., we might note.)

This gigantic bachelor pad with ocean views, pool and a ton of entertaining space – not to mention guest bedrooms for the whole team – was purchased for $3.3M in 2003.

The would-be seller wanted $7.998M, $7.595M, $7.350M and the like in '08 and '09. The market said no.

A short-sale listing at "just" $4.0M in Summer 2010 also flopped. (Our last story on the property, from June 2010, was occasioned by that short-sale attempt.)

And then a 3-year slouch toward foreclosure…

For the past month or so, a newer (2002) East MB home has been on the market and making fairly steady cuts. It's an REO newly priced at $1.378m that will begin to look compelling for an ever-larger number of buyers, even if it does back up onto Marine.

But for anyone who gets closer, there are reasons to be wary and to do some extra due diligence.

The home is 1205 23rd St. (5br/5ba, 3500 sq. ft.), which – we kid you not – has not been lived in for 5 years.

5 years, no people. In a house. There's a yellow flag.

The short version of the answer to "why?" is that the property has been caught for years in a web of litigation over an investment fraud scheme. A former owner of the house was alleged to have lured people into bogus investments and frittered away their…

Homeowners west of Sepulveda need not worry, but there is a curious development among today's price reductions.

1311 MBB #5
A bank-owned TH east of the highway and on Manhattan Beach Blvd. just cut its asking price under $400k.

That's 1311 MBB #5 (2br/2ba, 850 sq. ft.), described in the listing as the rear unit (furthest off MBB) in an "intimate" 5-unit complex.

New asking price: $393,536. (Where do they get these oddly precise prices?)

This raised 2 obvious questions.

Since it's an REO, what did someone buy it for before losing it?

The answer there: $545k in June 2006. Today's price is -$151,464 (-27.792%) off that mark.

Also, when was the last time an MB residential property sold for less than $400k?

Three answers on that one:

1466 MBB #2 (1br/1ba, 685 sq. ft.)…