Saturday, February 16, 2008

What is the fascination with cabinet hardware?

We went out this afternoon looking at a few more homes in the Norco Hills area. We stopped in at a few open houses and looked at some of the REO properties. 2 of the 4 REO properties we looked at had the knobs removed from all the cabinets. We noticed the same thing last week. What is the freaking fascination with cabinet hardware. If you are going to go through the trouble of removing the door knobs why would you leave the dishwasher, stove, microwave etc? I just don't get whey anyone would take cabinet hardware.

A couple of the homes we looked at actually priced well for the area. Still too much in my cheap-assed opinion though. One of the homes was priced at $525k. It was purchased in March 2006 for $898k. That is a 42% drop in value in less than 2 years. For the mathematically challenged that's a $373k loss (plus fees). The house is 3142 Vandermolen in Norco Hills. It's a 3 bedroom, 3 bath. The listing says it's a 4 bedroom but it's not. One bedroom is actually an office and is open to the main living area. Dirt yard, faux finish on the ceiling, walls and everywhere else. No knobs! Still at $525k this one has to have the neighbors just fuming. There are about 8 homes for sale on this one street. Most of them are listed near a million with a few well over that mark.

One thing I have noticed the last few times I've been out at open houses is the demeanor of the realtors. They seem like shell-shocked soldiers. The excited, happy over the top exuberance that they used to spew is gone. Replaced by a look of broken desperation like the defendants in the Nuremberg war crime trials. The more overpriced the home the worse the look is. This was certainly the case with 2 today trying to peddle a $709k home just down the hill from the $525k REO (and the REO was nicer). Anothers semi-cheery attitude changed when I asked "hasn't this house been on the market for ever?". Of course I knew the house had been listed as an REO since last July.

Amazingly enough there were actually quite a few people looking at these better priced homes. There is obviously interest when a lower priced home hits the market or a price falls enough to get some attention.

But then there was this article in the Press Enterprise about the Norco Hills. This is not going to help sell those homes!

Norco is sharing in the nationwide problem of home foreclosures, with about 9 percent of homes in one development there believed to be abandoned.

An informal survey by Norco Fire Chief Jack Frye found that 53 of the 588 homes in Norco Ridge Ranch, a newer development, appeared to be vacant, City Manager Jeff Allred said. Norco Ridge Ranch is on the city's east side, north of Hidden Valley Golf Club.

But abandoned homes can be an annoyance because it is hard to find out who owns them and should be taking care of them, Allred said....


Buttermonkey said...

I find that most places have another $200k to shave off before I'll be interested, your REO included.

Weird about the cabinet hardware. The REO I looked at yesterday had the stove removed, but a high end SS refrig. still there. I thought "WTF?"

golfer_X said...

One of the ones we looked at had the dishwasher removed but they left all the other stuff. Another thing I've noticed them taking is the shower heads? I've seen that now in at least a half dozen houses.

I'm with ya on the price. Another 200k would be great.

Rob Dawg said...

Those freaky knobs go for $5 apiece. A screwdriver and 10 minutes nets more than trying to wrestle a Sub-Zero into the Corolla.

Let these people buy for now, we need to clear them out of the way so they don't screw up our plans in a year or two.

ice weasel said...

I agree with Rob here. Let the folks who want to buy now, buy now. The people who have to buy now, well, they have to. Nothing they can do to wait if they're being transferred or whatever. But for the most part buying now seems like an invitation to, in the matter of a dozen months or so, cut 20% off your equity. To me, it just makes no sense.

Anonymous said...

Whats wrong with renting for awhile until things settle down, even if you are being transfered for a job. I really cannot see any reason where someone is "forced" to buy. Just my opinion.

CodeViolation said...

If an item (knob or appliance) was rolled into your original mortgage and you were forclosed, then those items properly belong to the loan company because you are unable to pay them for any of those items. A person in that circumstance should be charged with theft, or even grand theft depending on the level. However, if the items were out-of-pocket, paid by the person living there, then the loan company should have no quarrel, providing that the items were replaced with whatever came with the house when they took out the loan.
Of course we all know that ethics take a back seat to passion brought on by foreclosure. A sledge hammer becomes a therapeutic device for the woeful upside-downer.
I'm just happy that it has only been screwdrivers and hammers being used so far. In most depressions we also hear of people going postal and suicidal.

golfer_X said...

Buying now is out of the question, unless I can find something selling for 2001 prices that I really really want. Houses that size around there were selling for around $400k in 2001. That first house at $525k is still 100k away. But, it's getting close. If that were a 4 bedroom and they would take $425k I would take that house. That's well within my comfort zone as far as price goes, the area is awesome and the house was damn near new. Why wait 2 years if you can find a deal now. Finding the deals is hard but they are out there. I've seen a few sell for way below current comps. In 2 years the prices will probably be right where those guys bought. So they get two additional years of living in their home plus they bought when rates are around 5.5%. Who knows what the rates will be in 2 years.

MLS #F1745343
This house is in the same area and was purchased new in 2000 for $380k. It's bigger and they have added a pool, and lots of nice landscaping. They think it's worth $900k which is insane. There are a couple of short sales in this tract for $600k. Or even this one which is beautiful at $699k MLS K08023160
Does anyone think these will go back to 2000 prices? I don't, I'd take either of these at $500k if I could get them at it today.

Anonymous said...

So I went to some open houses today just for shits and giggles. OMG these realtors are full of crap. "It's a great time to buy" and "rates are down" and "prices are at historical lows". My favorite quotes of the day are

1."Right now many homes are listed 100-150K below what they are really worth"......really worth???hahahahah.

2. As I'm touring a garbage filled repo realtor says "you know I always say it's better to have them leave stuff than to have them take stuff"

3. Oh and the usual..."Write down your name and number. I would love to help you out. You know I specialize in repo properties"....ya you and every other blood sucking 6%er...

I swear this one agent was like 19 years old. He was so nervous when he was talking to me that his voice was shaking. Almost like he couldn't stand listening to the lies coming out of his own mouth. I must admit that I am getting a little jumpy though....anyone notice the increase of traffic at open houses lately or is it just in my area?

Rob in Highland

golfer_X said...

There is for sure more traffic at the open houses. I went to a few more today and also stopped in at some new developments. There was quite a lot of traffic at both. I'm not worried about prices going back up anytime soon though. Like RobDawg said, let the knife catchers buy so we can weed them out of the buyer pool. I didn't see anyone buying or even talking to a sales rep. Prices are still high at most of the new homes in Riverside. I just don't know who they expect to buy all these $700k homes in Riverside

Anonymous said...

In terms of abandoned houses, I went to the McMansion farms in Jurupa and while the neighborhoods were mostly sold out, they looked pretty empty. I suspect lots of foreclosures/absentee floppers. There was respectable traffic at the model houses but I just couldn't see how the IE could absorb an entire city of 2400-plus sq. ft. houses. Often very plus!