Strike One, But We Are In The Game

October 14, 2009

photoshop-silhouette-1Today I took a walk through the first “not listed, but for sale at the right price” home to come our way since the launch of this blog.

It sounded promising, and I was excited to see it.  Enough bedrooms, enough bathrooms, great location.

Upon inspection, however, I realized that some of my dealbreakers were lurking within.  I stipulated my desire for a “real master bedroom” meaning one well-located bedroom of ample size for a king-sized bed and other typical furnishings, with a connected bathroom suitable for 2 people to brush their teeth at the same moment.  Today’s house did not have such a master suite.  I also stipulated that the 1/2 bath not be of the “behind the laundry room, suitable for the gardener to wash-up” variety.  Today’s house had a 3/4 bath of EXACTLY that variety.   Either of those would have been tough to get over, but perhaps I could have, if the house hadn’t been recently redone in early 21st century apartment-grade Home Depot. But, alas, it had.

Though it was a bit of a letdown, the silver lining is that within one week of launching this website, I’ve confirmed that there is shadow inventory out there to be bought.  With a couple lucky breaks, and your help, the Shadow Buyer family will be in our new home before you know it.

Remember, if you or someone you know has a house that you think we might be interested in, drop me a line at shadowbuyer {at} gmail {dot} com.


No More $3.5 Million Typos, Please

October 12, 2009

Our friends at took a break from building their book swapping service to take Realtors to task for their questionable use of language and syntax.  It’s worth a read.  Here’s an excerpt:

“But there is a special class of typo that has really been bugging me lately. Call it the $3.5 million typo. Here in Los Angeles, real estate is expensive. Houses for sale are listed on the Multiple Listing Service. This is an online repository of information on properties available for purchase in the city.”

“So, here’s my issue…if you are a realtor, and someone entrusts you to sell what is most likely their most valuable asset – in many cases a home worth several MILLION dollars – could you please, please, please pay a little bit of attention to the 40-word blurb you publish to describe this house.”

Nimrod! And, introducing Mrs. Shadow Buyer

October 10, 2009

Nimrod. Beckwith. Brinkley. Oceano. Saltair. Centinela. Carmelina. Franklin.

These are not pet names that my wife calls me, but rather the names of some of the streets that she would love to live on.  If you live on one of these streets, or if you know someone who does, and you or they are considering selling a home, whether the home is currently listed for sale or not, please drop me an email.

From time to time, Mrs. Shadow Buyer and Baby Shadow Buyer’s wants and likes will be detailed here.  As we often say in the Shadow Buyer household, “say what you want.”

Enough said.

Cheers, Arthur Frobisher

October 9, 2009

loch nessie082Only in L.A. and New York do you run into this particular home buying problem.

You hear about an interesting home for sale.  You stack your chips, check your gut, and fling in an offer.  Then, you hear that the too-good-to-be-true price level was just that.  Some other bidder has elevated the price war out of your comfort zone.  So, you walk away, slightly relieved, and tell yourself that, “it wasn’t meant to be,” and “we’ll get ’em next time.”

Then, further details emerge.  It’s not just that this other buyer outbid you by $100K.  Rather, this other buyer parachuted in to the bidding, and like dynamite on a burning oil well, threw down slightly more than $3 million in CASH, with no contingencies.

Well, it’s no wonder that he won the bidding war.  The guy who goes nuclear generally wins the war.

Helping to put the situation in perspective, I learned a few days after this happened that the winning bidder was none other than Ted Danson, who played Sam Malone in Cheers, and more recently has won acclaim as the evil Arthur Frobisher on FX’s excellent DAMAGES.

What can I say?  I love his work AND his house.  My search continues.

Do me a favor and be sure to read the first post on this site.  If you think I might want to buy your home, or your friend’s home, whether or not it is currently listed for sale, please shoot me an e-mail and let me know.

Welcome to Westside Shadow Buyer

October 6, 2009

This website is for home owners in the Santa Monica and Brentwood neighborhoods of Los Angeles, CA, particularly those who have a  home for sale, or who have been considering selling a home before the end of 2009.

I created this site because I want to buy a home before 2010, and I believe that,, and the whole traditional residential real estate transaction process often does more to prevent the sale of a home than to enable it.

As a seller, or a potential seller, don’t you want a direct line to a ready buyer?  And if you were me – a ready buyer, with a ticking clock and cash burning a hole in your pocket – wouldn’t you want to make yourself known to all of the people who might want to sell what you want to buy (whether or not they’ve listed it)?

I may be  a little early on my timing.  In fact, I think prices are still settling down, and I sense that there is a bunch of shadow inventory out there.  But, I have a unique set of personal circumstances that make this the right time.  If you knew me, you would find that almost unbelievable, because I have been a life-long renter in Santa Monica and Brentwood.

So, with no further ado, I’ll tell you what I am looking for after the jump: Read the rest of this entry »