". . . I'm Jim the Realtor"
February 27, 2009 10:40 PM   Subscribe

Jim the Realtor makes sardonic videos documenting his work . . .

my favorites . . .

Do Repairs, Then Sell
High on the Hill
Million Dollars Off!
Old La Costa REO 'Abomination'
Aviara Carlsbad REO
Vista, CA bank-owned house
Bank-owned house in North Oceanside
posted by troy (47 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
I was a little annoyed at the first clip, no background on the home owners or what they went through (I know that's a loaded phrase, there's a dozen sides to each story and then there's to truth.). It was a seemingly modest house that any investor (bank) could have spent a few grand on fixing up and making back on a new, responsible mortgage. This recession will end and forward thinking says invest in that shit now, rent it for a year or so and then sell it at a profit.

The "Million Dollars Off" clip garnered no sympathy. Those houses were gaudy and horribly laid out, atrocious. Over priced, poorly laid out, unfinished, unoriginal McMansions built overlooking high tension power lines and in a flight path for an airport? The banks and home owners set themselves up for absolute failure there. Millions of people around the nation live near each of those two problems, but logic dictates you don't build premium housing in those locations.

Mass market home designers need to learn a lot more about classic styles and more importantly not corrupting or bastardizing them to latch on to fads. A dude in a nice subtle suit from 1850 still looks classy (minus the necktie) today, and the tie could be changed. House design is the suit, the embellishments are the neckties. The occasional house and person can pull off really gaudy extravagant details and rock it the fuck out. The rest of us should take pleasure in building a really nice looking suit/house with one or two well thought out accessories/details that make it ours, but can be replaced by the next owner/wearer, if we don't want to be bit in the ass later.
posted by Science! at 11:40 PM on February 27, 2009 [4 favorites]


This is awesome. "Nothing money won't fix, huh?"
posted by lesChaps at 12:05 AM on February 28, 2009


My favorite dose of (ex-)realtor generated cynicism is Alameda, California's own knifecatchers.com
posted by zippy at 12:13 AM on February 28, 2009


High on the Hill is golden. Jim sounds like a young Charles Grodin.
posted by zippy at 12:34 AM on February 28, 2009


How to lose 40% in three months contains a wonderful, short soliloquy: "when I was growing up, my parents instilled in me ..."
posted by zippy at 1:02 AM on February 28, 2009


I think I'd be more amused by Jim the Realtor if I weren't so convinced he'd been "Jim, the property shill" prior to current real estate problems.

Whistleblowers or cautionary voices are crucial in business. While I am sure Jim had the same thoughts whilst showing similar properties with similar flaws prior to the current market conditions, I am disinclined to believe he was as candid with potential buyers then as he is with his camera now.

Were there to emerge a whole, as-yet-undiscovered cache of clips of Jim walking into places during the CA real estate boom, in which he enters a place, makes comments about its being overvalued, and leaves, I would apologize to Jim for mischaracterizing him. As it stands, I'm inclined to believe that Jim's just kicking his chosen industry while it's down.

In any event, I don't think I'd trust Jim to act as my agent.
posted by Graygorey at 2:21 AM on February 28, 2009


Totally agree with zippy, major Charles Grodin vibe. I love him. I want to marry him and have his houselets.
posted by taz at 2:24 AM on February 28, 2009


make that "bungalows". Much funnier. I want to marry him and have his bungalows.
posted by taz at 2:29 AM on February 28, 2009


"Yapper . . . " Hilarious.
posted by The Bellman at 6:13 AM on February 28, 2009


Yeah, be sure to get to 2:04 in "High on the Hill."

This is fascinating, thanks, troy. A look inside the mortgage mess from a perspective I wouldn't ordinarily get. And kinda funny, too.
posted by mediareport at 6:18 AM on February 28, 2009


For a light-hearted look at some strange real estate listings, It's lovely! I'll take it!
posted by needled at 6:35 AM on February 28, 2009 [3 favorites]


Really awesome find. Rarely does something like this work, but this does.
posted by odinsdream at 7:01 AM on February 28, 2009


Depressing as hell. I still can't fathom why some of these homes were even constructed. The architecture is grossly out of proportion to need or potential use.
posted by Kikkoman at 7:22 AM on February 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


Depressing as hell

Nice full stop there.
posted by odinsdream at 7:25 AM on February 28, 2009


Jim drives one helluva truck. I bet he knows where to get the best deal for scrap too.
posted by waxboy at 7:28 AM on February 28, 2009


The more I learn about foreclosed houses and the banks that own them the madder I get. These banks have tons of houses they are trying to offload, they won't put a dime into them most often (even when there is very obvious damage).

So, even when you are willing to buy an 'as is' foreclosure, the bank won't sell it to you. I have had an offer on one of these types of houses for 2 months and the bank could care less. Yet they claim poverty? They are freaking, stupid assholes that got the country into this mess and don't give a DAMN about getting out of it.

Think about it, a buyer, with cash in hand willing to buy an obviously damage house at the listing price (which was reduced several times due to the damage) and they won't even act on the offer.
posted by UseyurBrain at 7:37 AM on February 28, 2009


Random from Needled's link.
Random 2
posted by Lord_Pall at 7:41 AM on February 28, 2009


heh. Top random above is amazingly wonderful... I've seen that before. It's Lovely, I'll Take It is so good. Fixer!
posted by taz at 7:50 AM on February 28, 2009


UseyurBrain: So, I'm not sure I get it. What are the banks waiting for? Housing prices to go back up again to what they were two years ago? And they're just going to hang on to them until then?
posted by billysumday at 8:09 AM on February 28, 2009


Well, I learned something: The Old Running Pool Trick.
posted by googly at 8:32 AM on February 28, 2009 [3 favorites]


They're waiting for the government to buy the "trouble assets" they own at face value, instead of short selling the homes themselves, and taking the loss.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 8:39 AM on February 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


*troubled assets, naturally
posted by synaesthetichaze at 8:41 AM on February 28, 2009


Intriguing slice of life So Cal 2009 recession stuff. Even the palm trees look depressed.

I love his tour of downtown Carlsbad and how he does the typical rolling California stop (i.e. virtually no stop at all to speak of) at stop signs.
posted by blucevalo at 8:50 AM on February 28, 2009


There's just something creepy about empty houses, the echos of footsteps on all that endless tile.

The thing I don't get about the housing crisis is, people got to live somewhere, right? Whether they own or rent, X population requires X amount of housing. Are some areas entirely overbuilt? Was this crash preceded by an overabundance of empty apartments? Because the mind boggles at the amount of empty houses here.
posted by readery at 8:53 AM on February 28, 2009


"Listed at $899,000, and they turned down $875,000."

This requires the Nelson laugh.
posted by crapmatic at 8:56 AM on February 28, 2009


needle: Love that blog, and as a bonus it's by MetaFilter's own corpse in the library.
posted by The Bellman at 8:57 AM on February 28, 2009


I don't know if this was a flop house, a brothel, a retirement home, a prison, a fraternity house....

What's the difference.
posted by Muddler at 8:59 AM on February 28, 2009


it's like watching a train wreck in fast motion.

those mcmansions make me think its time for another flood. srsly, does NO ONE have any taste anymore? people seem to have completely forgotten what quality is. the "base tile" that he refers to doesnt just mean its on the floor...it means its the cheapest shit u can get at the home depot. all that crap is from the home depot....that one house with the with the marble inlay medallion by the front door ($50-100, home depot) just screams "hi, welcome to the fake reality show going on in my head that i actually moved into. check out all my cheap shit that u can get... ANYWHERE"
posted by sexyrobot at 10:15 AM on February 28, 2009


readery:Was this crash preceded by an overabundance of empty apartments?
I know my apartment building has recently had more and more empty units every year -- until this year.
posted by Western Infidels at 10:58 AM on February 28, 2009


"My favorite dose of (ex-)realtor generated cynicism is Alameda, California's own knifecatchers.com"

Wow. Are people still buying 2-3 bedroom houses for $3/4 million in the Bay Area? Alameda? Well, at any rate they are still listing them for that much. It seems we have a long way to go.
posted by krinklyfig at 11:10 AM on February 28, 2009


Wait, you mean most homes don't have a ganja closet? It's just me?

Funny, my sister is in real estate in the same area. Bet they know each other.
posted by miss lynnster at 11:16 AM on February 28, 2009


"I know my apartment building has recently had more and more empty units every year -- until this year."

Where I live the opposite is happening. Since this market has become a haven for 2nd or 3rd house buyers and retirees, the prices have shot up to ungodly amounts, like in many places. But now that the market has crashed as well as the economy, they are trying to rent these properties or unload them. So, there are some good rentals here for cheaper than normal, although I'm pretty wary of moving right now and not knowing if my landlord's going to pull through or sell out from under me. Land and housing prices are still too high, though. We haven't hit bottom. But since we depend on these people for tax income as well as tourists, we might be really screwed anyway. Good thing the land is fertile and small scale farming is still very much alive here, and the land I'm on has water rights and natural irrigation.
posted by krinklyfig at 11:19 AM on February 28, 2009


Very strange to see my hometown on the blue...though not surprised to see in the context of the real estate bubble.

Keep in mind that north San Diego County (Jim the Realtor's area of interest) isn't actually that bad, in comparison to say, San Bernardino or the rest of the Inland Empire.

See for example, this article on unemployment (as I couldn't find a good direct article on foreclosure rates in the always-crappy San Bernardino Sun that wasn't going to be fee-based) in the IE. To compare apples to apples, I looked at San Diego County's unemployment rates, which remain several percentage points lower than San Bernardino (SB is looking at over 13% while San Diego is still looking at around 9 to 10%).

In other words, the echoing tile house (Vista) is far better than the house where the tile is being ripped out (places I've heard of in Temecula, which is part of Riverside County and the IE).

Both San Diego County and the Inland Empire counties (along with the rest of Southern California) experienced a total fake money real estate boom. I have a friend whose parents' house is about a mile away to one of the ones linked above in the video series (they live in Birdland, if you're familiar with the area). Their house's value in 2003? About $200,000. Their house's value in 2006, when they tried to sell it and move? About $600,000.

That's nearly half a million dollars in equity in three years, how in hell could that be real? It wasn't, of course, but that's the situation in Southern California right now, where
everyone was relying on that extra couple hundred grand to actually be there.

My family is very connected to the real estate market in San Diego county (one is a real estate agent competing with Jim, another sells mortgages in greater San Diego), so I've been able to watch this happen from the beginning, when we started seeing the wave crest. Unfortunately, others were not so lucky, as Realtor Jim is happy to mock.
posted by librarylis at 12:16 PM on February 28, 2009


but that's the situation in Southern California right now, where everyone was relying on that extra couple hundred grand to actually be there

and spend, spend, spend.

My sister bought in Corona in late 2003 for $300K. This was a move-up from a condo buy a year earlier so actual loan was for $250K.

Prices were going up linearly 2000-2003, then went parabolic up to $500K over 2004-2005. 2006 was sitting on the knife edge, and the property now has gone to ~$200K, basically 2001-2002 prices, 30% below what my sister paid in 2003, and 60% off the peak.

Had I known the amount of fraud that went on 2003-2005 I would have understood the coming dynamics better; only the exposure of Casey Serin -- and who his lenders were -- opened my eyes to the possibility that bubble pricing was entirely unsustainable.
posted by troy at 12:37 PM on February 28, 2009


"UseyurBrain: So, I'm not sure I get it. What are the banks waiting for? Housing prices to go back up again to what they were two years ago? And they're just going to hang on to them until then?"

Well, aside from the earlier answer that they are waiting on the government, my realitor explained to me that no one 'internal' in the bank has any motivation to close these deals. They are taking a loss so there isn't any kind of positive for any individual. The bank as a whole wants to get rid of these houses, but there hasn't been any motivation created on local/individual level. Very frustrating.
posted by UseyurBrain at 12:55 PM on February 28, 2009


Great post. Love this one.
posted by fatllama at 2:48 PM on February 28, 2009


He charmed me when he started reminiscing about seeing X at the Roxy back in the day. And High on the Hill is very funny indeed.

On the theme of real estate crashes, Vancouver's own Condohype.
posted by jokeefe at 3:20 PM on February 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


Think about it, a buyer, with cash in hand willing to buy an obviously damage house at the listing price (which was reduced several times due to the damage) and they won't even act on the offer.

If they did that, then the cat would be out of the bag and everyone would know what the real price is for those pieces of shit. And make no mistake, every single solitary house in that venerable wasteland is a diseased pustule that begs popping. Christ, what incredible shit holes. I sorta figured the quality of home construction had tapered off as cost of raw materials has risen and the quality of labor equally plummeted... but fuck those are some Devil-ugly piles of toothpicks you have out there. I'm glad to see the prices are finally starting to reflect their quality.

Jim says it best in the McMansion piece: if you paid $1.5M for a house right next door to one now selling for $500K, what are you going to be thinking to yourself every month when you mail that mortgage payment in to the bank? The banks have to be scared shitless every time one of those places actually sell.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:25 PM on February 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


Also, anyone else get the feeling Jim is channeling Jack Burton?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:32 PM on February 28, 2009


Nothing money won't fix, huh?

You have no fucking idea, Jim. Your money and my money. We're all going to fix up Chula Vista.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:12 PM on February 28, 2009


I still have a habit of calling it Chula Juana just from growing up down there, so it's weird for me to imagine people trying to fill it with 1.5 million dollar homes. Never spent much quality time there 'cuz people always made it sound like such a border-convenient pit of a place.
posted by miss lynnster at 8:10 PM on February 28, 2009


Nice REO High in the Hills of Oceanside, CA @ 4m50

"So I came up with a great idea ... the toboggan stopper"
posted by zippy at 10:30 PM on February 28, 2009


People ask me, "where's the Chamber of Commerce in Oceanside?"

Sound of the year

Bubba's Freak Circus
posted by zippy at 11:27 PM on February 28, 2009


got the second bath here, maybe this is Grandma's house ... what in the world? That's (the scent of?) a methlab to me. They were cookin' something in here. I don't like that."
posted by zippy at 2:00 PM on March 2, 2009


"I really just want to show you the bathroom ... oh, look at these sinks. Mauve? Raspberry? Oh my god. Oh, there's more!"
posted by zippy at 2:03 PM on March 2, 2009


"I saw that one on the cover of Curb Appeal Magazine"
posted by zippy at 2:09 PM on March 2, 2009


"We were talking about the 80s and the LA punk scene ... "
posted by zippy at 2:16 PM on March 2, 2009


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