Posts Tagged ‘Want’

The Quickening – Shadowbuyers in Escrow!

February 27, 2010
Thanks to

You miss 100% of the shots you don't take.

The Shadowbuyer family considered its rental home possibilities one evening a couple of weeks back, with the help of Westside Rentals.  It was truly depressing to see the available options in the single-family residence section in our price range.  Then, as determined as ever to get out of our current rental before Shadowbaby #2 makes his debut this summer, and accepting that a new rental was off the table, we broadened the list of neighborhoods in which we might buy.

That’s when it happened.  On a virtual flyover of the westside, from La Cienega to the sea, and from Mulholland to LAX, we spotted something interesting.  It was in a neighborhood that we both knew and liked, but hadn’t really considered previously.  It was an unspoiled example of an architectural style that at least one of us loves.  It checked almost all the boxes on our must list – bedrooms, bathrooms, parking, non-disgusting condition, sidewalks, largely single-level, kid-safe yard, caffeine proximity, and so on.

The following day, I gave it a drive by, fully expecting it NOT to live up to the online photos.  The door happened to be open, and a realtor waited inside.  (more…)


Shadowbuyer’s Residential Clock Is Ticking

February 9, 2010

Hello, Shadowbuyer fans.   The pace is quickening.  Since my last real post, we’ve made some progress on multiple fronts, but still have no transactions to report.

My residential clock is ticking.

As you may have read in the comments to my prior post, after the holidays we launched a 5-point attack on some long-listed homes in our target areas.  Some of those offers yielded no response, others earned us counters.  We countered on some of them, but didn’t hit the bid or close the deal in any of the situations.

So, it was back to the drawing board.

Now, I may not have mentioned this to the group, but if you saw her in person, there would be no question in your mind, so I’ll tell you – Mrs. Shadowbuyer is pregnant.  Like, very pregnant.  That means that we have a special kind of time pressure at hand.

Let’s call it the “residential clock,” a play on the biological clock.  The logic on the biological clock goes like this (single ladies out there, am I right?):  if I don’t meet THE guy by age 36, date him for a year, get engaged, then plan and have a wedding within a year of getting engaged, and get pregnant ON THE HONEYMOON, then I’m at risk of being 40 and childless, so I have to make this happen RIGHT NOW!

The residential clock works like this:  our baby is due on June 1 (he’s not, but let’s (more…)

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.

Gasping For Breath In the Salt Air

December 8, 2009

Under water, and feeling scared.

This whole home search has become bogged down.  I’ve got a life-savings-sized pile of loot ready to go, a wife and daughter who have taken to declaring that they’ll do this or that, “once we get into our new house,” and even I have just about had it with the indignities of our current rental situation, lovely, and even enviable, as it may be.

Why the bogginess, you ask?  It’s the sellers.  The over-leveraged, overambitious (circa 2006) home “owners” who went for the brass ring, and realize now that the free ride they were looking for was merely a mirage.

As an example, let me tell you about the perfect house we found.  It’s really nearly perfect for us.  (more…)

Whatchoo Talkin’ ’bout, A. Quincy Jones?

November 12, 2009

"It took Diff'rent strokes to buy this house, yes it did."

Regular readers will note that I’d prefer to live walking distance to stuff, in a kid-friendly area with sidewalks.  But all that might  be out the window, if Mr. Drummond‘s house falls into the mid $2s.

This is one A. Quincy Jones one-story sprawler that looks well worth the drive into the clouds (with oxygen tanks) that it might require of its inhabitants.

Curbed has the whole story, and Redfin has all the details.

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…)

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…)

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…)