More on 'Foreclosures' in MB, Pt. I

By Dave Fratello | August 26th, 2009
Some people complain about MBC's tone being a bit gloomy sometimes, despite all the neutral and positive news we run here. Well, those are the sorts of slings and arrows you get for being outside the system.

But what can we say, then, about these recent posts on the blogs of 2 local agents:
"When your home is worth less than you paid..." (Kaye Thomas)

"Foreclosure activity for Manhattan Beach, 90266" (Blake Roberts)
Kaye is talking through the merits of short sales versus "walking away." Blake posts a list of 81 properties in default or up for auction. What are these people trying to say about the local market?

OK, we kid. Of course we appreciate the willingness of both agents to dabble in the dark stuff. It's part of giving a broader, more honest picture.

Now, after more than a few inquiries about the Blake Roberts piece, we're going to run through some of what we know about some properties on that "foreclosure list." This will be Part I, with a second installment to come shortly.

We have to start with a warning – virtually any data you find online regarding the "foreclosure" status of a given property needs to be verified. Even the paid information services provide inadequate data, often out-of-date or overtaken by events, as you'll see below.

If you haven't yet, check out Blake Roberts' post from Tuesday of raw foreclosure-related data on MB homes. (From his story you can download a PDF file with the list.)

On this list of 81 properties, we immediately saw plenty of familiar entries – homes that have been on the market in recent months or years. (Properties west of Sepulveda seem to be concentrated in the listings from 1-50 out of 81.) Some of these properties may be coming back as bank-owned properties (REOs) soon.

Of course, a single NOD does not mean you'll see a short sale or foreclosure – often people find a way to make their loans well again, and the process stops after a bump in the road.

We're going to lay out what we know here, mainly from past MBC stories, and solicit your input and information to add to the knowledge base here.

Active Listings

629 36th (listed as "preforeclosure," i.e., a notice of default was filed in March) (pictured) is active as an "approved" short sale at $1.299m. Recently discussed in "Tough Deals."

649 29th (listed as "preforeclosure," NOD in May) is active as a short sale at $1.539m; purchased in 1994 but with lots of loans against it since then.

Already Gone

2900 Maple (listed as headed to "auction") (pictured) is a double-lot with an aging ranch house purchased by a local builder for $2.555m in Feb. 2007, but it's gone now. (See "Just Split 'Em" for our first reference, when the seller hoped for a rescue price of $2.699m.)

Maple actually sold in late June for one of the real deals of the year at $1.450m. Yes, that's a million bucks down, and it looks like about $750k short.

425 26th (listed as "preforeclosure," with a mortgage balance of $2.5m+) is new construction that sold earlier this month for $2.3m. See "A Selection of Sand Closings."

Saved by the Sale?

717 Poinsettia (listed as "preforeclosure," NOD in June) (pictured) is a beautiful corner-lot home in the Hills that's still in a long-running escrow, last at $3.449m. (Property can be viewed in its "backup offer" status.)

3210 N Ardmore (listed as "preforeclosure," NOD in June) is currently active on the MLS as a short sale at $1.425m, but we had heard that it had several offers. We take the "active" status with a grain of salt, as many shorties linger this way until they suddenly post as sold.

3607 Bayview (listed as headed to "auction" in July) is in a long-running escrow and can be viewed while in "backup offer" status. Purchased for $1.2m in Sept. 2005 before a big remodel, last at $1.395m.

501 4th (listed as "preforeclosure," NOD in July) (pictured) is in escrow. See "Trying to Unload" or "Weekend Opens (4/25-4/26)" for more.

757 30th (listed as "preforeclosure," NOD in February) is new construction that has been in a seemingly endless "backup offer" escrow as a short sale (can still be viewed while in this status). NOD shows $1.822m as the mortgage balance; last list price was $1.799m.

Next installment, we'll look at some homes that until recently were on the market, or, in some cases, not so recently. There are a few surprises.

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