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Catching the Top of the Wave

Many of you know I am a faithful reader of the oodles of real estate bear blogs out there. Many of the blogs are “shutting down” because the main stream media is now reporting more often the real story about one of the greatest asset bubbles in history.

Still, some neighborhoods are holding strong with prices. In fact, I saw some sales in the last few months in my town that were staggering. Mainly they were staggering because I can’t imagine anyone being foolish enough to pay a mortage 3-4 times the possible rent you could get for a house.

Get this – a 2 bedroom, 1 bath home, 676 square feet, sold just a couple of months ago for 646,000. That’s almost $1000 a square foot for what is really, let’s face it, a glorified shack.

The weirdest part is the big jump in value in the last year – a year that has not seen this kind of appreciation.
Here’s the sale history

Sale History
04/06/2007: $640,000
04/24/2006: $590,000
03/03/1998: $153,000

Does this seem odd to anyone? Almost 10% appreciation on a little shack in Culver City in the last year? Hmmm…

Don’t you love that appreciation from 1998 – in 9 years this house became $487000 more valuable. That means this house “earned” over 50K a year! I want to come back as a house. I would be a house and earn 50K a year and I could have skipped the Ivy League education, the graduate degree, years of learning my job skills. I could live in myself and just sit there, watching the cash roll in. I’d get a side job too. It wouldn’t have to be a great job. Just making maybe 50K a year – average salary – but I’d be sitting pretty.

I’m going to try to find a moment to drive by and photograph this amazing house that is so productive in our society, earning an average Los Angeles annual salary by sitting on its butt staring at the street. I’ll post it here once I do!

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