Posts Tagged ‘Santa Monica’

New plan to turn this market on its head

December 14, 2009

At Shadowbuyer HQ, we have hatched a new plan that has the potential to turn the stuck-in-the-mud, mid-high-end Santa Monica/Brentwood market on its head.  This will be the last you hear of it until after the first stage of the plan has been executed.  Wish us luck.


Frustrated, Incorporated!

November 8, 2009

This is Shangri-La, oh, oh!

Jumbo mortgage rates are down.  Lenders are opening up their vaults.  Loan to value requirements are loosening.  ShadowBuyer has liquidated all of his equity positions, and is ready to pull the trigger on a home purchase.  Whether you think prices in Santa Monica still have further to fall or not, you can’t disagree that now seems like a better time to buy than 1 or 2 years ago.  There’s no telling what the winter and first half of 2010 hold, but if we can find a place that we like, and that’s big enough for the next 5-7 years or more, then we would feel  good about getting a deal done.

So, what’s the problem?  My problem today is inventory.  5% of homes turn over each year.  We are halfway through the 1-year window in which we are really ready to buy.  That means that every 40th house, give or take, has come up over the last six months, and that another 1/40th of the inventory will come up for sale in the next six months.  Unless you want to live in a planned community where all of the homes are more or less identical, that scarcity of (more…)

The Doctor is in, and he is on fire.

October 31, 2009


A bubble. Frozen. For now.

There is a guy blogging under the handle Dr. Housing Bubble, over at the Dr. Housing Bubble Blog.

Dr. Housing Bubble is prolific, and does an extremely thorough job of researching and considering mortgage, banking, employment, and other industry stats, figures, and mechanics.  His most recent post highlights why we are in the eye of the mortgage default and foreclosure hurricane, and how 2010 and 2011 are shaping up to be absolute bloodbaths for banks and over-extended home “owners.”

Even so, a guy’s gotta live somewhere.  When I find the right place, at the right price, I’m still going to buy it.  If it happens that you have a home you’re considering selling that matches the parameters set out in my initial post, please drop me a line.

Why the housing badness must be coming from the sky

October 29, 2009

mountain_shadowIf you live in the flats of Santa Monica or Brentwood, it probably feels like home prices have started to level off.  There’s something to the adage that the one thing you can never change about a piece of property is its location, so choose wisely.  Certainly prices for low-end properties (tear downs and scraped lots) are down over the last 18 months.  But for whatever reason, they seem to have stabilized for a minute.

Not so, up in them thar hills.  Westridge.  Bayliss.  Queensferry.  Mandeville.  Kenter.  Tigertail.  Bonhill.  Norman.  Robinwood.  Bundy.  Lindenwood.  If you are trying to sell a home in Brentwood’s northern reaches, more than a 1 minute drive north of Sunset Blvd., (more…)

A Crystal Ball Into the 4th Quarter

October 24, 2009

In February of 2008, the following news about Q4 2008 home sales was released by an industry trade group:

Most metropolitan area median home prices, impacted by distressed sales, trended down in the fourth quarter from a year earlier.  At the same time, existing-home sales rose in only six states from the fourth quarter of 2007, according to the latest survey by the National Association of Realtors.

That median home price stat is somewhat irrelevant to the Shadow Buyer family.  If there existed such a thing as a median priced home in Brenwtood or Santa Monica, believe me, I would never have been inspired to create this blog.  I would be playing in my median backyard with my far above median kid.

For Q4 2009,  in the micromarket that I hope to call home, based on my reading of the market, I predict that (more…)

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.

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.

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: (more…)