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Rather Than Rolling In Profits, They’re Going To Sell At A Sacrifice

Two reports from CNBC. “Your home may be many things. But one thing it is not is a great investment, according to Jonathan Clements, editor of HumbleDollar.com and author of ‘How to Think About Money.’ That’s because the price appreciation of a house is ‘pretty modest’ — about 1% a year faster than inflation, historically speaking, he said. ‘You put it all together and most people are not keeping up with inflation after costs, and they may even be underwater.'”

“It’s something Ryan Guina knows about. He and his wife lost $50,000 on their first home in Dayton, Ohio, in 2010, after the collapse of the housing market. In 2019, they sold their home in the Chicago area for $3,000 less than they paid. However, Guina said their losses were actually closer to $25,000, when upgrades and the cost of the real estate transaction were factored in.”

“‘An investment provides you a return on your cash,’ said Guina, founder and editor of the website Cash Money Life. ‘Unless you are renting out rooms or otherwise earning cash flow from your home, it is a liability.'”

“Clements agrees. ‘People are completely delusional when it comes to real estate,’ he said. ‘They boast about the type of price appreciation they have and they ignore the cost.'”

“When celebrity plastic surgeon Raj Kanodia started building his 34,000-square-foot mansion to flip for a profit, his real estate friends gave him a warning. ‘They said, ‘You’re way out of your league,’ Kanodia recalled. ‘They told me, ‘You’ll run out of money and you’ll be forced to sell it to service your debts.'”

“Four years and well over $70 million later, Kanodia is feeling the weight of their advice. The modern glass palace he built in Los Angeles’ Bel Air neighborhood has been sitting on the market for more than a year. Rather than rolling in profits, Kanodia is now performing as many plastic surgeries as possible to fund millions of dollars in loans and the high costs of maintaining the empty house and grounds.”

“After failing to find a buyer, he’s now offering it for rent at $1.5 million a month and says he would consider offers of more than $120 million — marking a $60 million price cut. ‘In Las Vegas, terms it’s called ‘all in,’ he said. ‘I’m all in times a million.'”

“Kanodia has plenty of company. The high-end real estate market is suffering, with a glut of overbuilt and overpriced mansions in many of the country’s most affluent ZIP codes. After the boom years of 2014 and 2015, developers and investors went on a massive building spree to create ever-larger and ever-more expensive homes.”

“But now, with foreign buyers fading and tax changes making it more expensive to live in high-tax states, the legions of modern white spec-mansions are becoming the white elephants of the housing market.”

“Manhattan has seen six straight quarters of sales declines — the longest downturn in three decades, according to a report from Douglas Elliman and Miller Samuel. In posh Greenwich, Connecticut, prices for luxury homes fell 24% in the first quarter, while the number of listings surged 68%. Sales in the Hamptons in the first quarter were down 19%, with prices sliding and the number of listings almost doubling.”

“Kanodia listed the house in 2018 for $180 million. While he had plenty of interested buyers, none was willing to pay his expected price. Los Angeles brokers say many local spec builders have little real estate experience but were drawn by the quick-and-easy profits of 2014 and 2015.”

“Now, with so many newly built spec homes on the market — many with nearly identical white-box designs by architect Paul McClean — buyers feel no urgency to make deals. Spec builders like Kanodia are sitting on massive properties with large loans and maintenance costs. A house next door, built by fashion magnate Bruce Makowsky, had been listed in 2017 for $250 million, but he’s cut the price to $150 million.”

“‘A lot of developers got caught up in the groundswell, the gold-rush mentality,’ said Ernie Carswell, a leading real estate broker in LA with Douglas Elliman. ‘They thought: Build the biggest, sell the biggest. Unfortunately they’re going to sell at a sacrifice.'”

“‘Whenever you take risks and chances in life, you have to ask, ‘Am I making the right calculations?’ said Kanodia. ‘I don’t know. I just go day to day. If the bubble bursts, … I will accept whatever is there. For me to even live in this house for a day, it’s a success.'”

The Sacramento Bee in California. “The owner of an historic Queen Anne home built in the 1870s at the city limits of Sacramento is accepting bids submitted in writing by 5 p.m. Tuesday, according to a Coldwell Banker representative. The Victorian-style house at 8910 Folsom Boulevard, just outside the city limits, is listed at $999,000. That’s a $151,000 price cut from April, when the selling price was $1.15 million.”

“‘When the owner restored the property the goal was to reinvigorate a piece of California history so that it could be enjoyed for many years to come,’ said Leah Wright, public relations manager for Coldwell Banker NRT. ‘To that end, the owner will be entertaining all offers submitted in writing by the end of the day on Tuesday.'”

This Post Has 30 Comments
  1. ‘A lot of developers got caught up in the groundswell, the gold-rush mentality,’ said Ernie Carswell, a leading real estate broker in LA with Douglas Elliman. ‘They thought: Build the biggest, sell the biggest. Unfortunately they’re going to sell at a sacrifice.’

    But Chris “prices aren’t gonna fall” Thornberg said this couldn’t happen!

    ‘Whenever you take risks and chances in life, you have to ask, ‘Am I making the right calculations?’ said Kanodia. ‘I don’t know. I just go day to day. If the bubble bursts, … I will accept whatever is there. For me to even live in this house for a day, it’s a success’

    That’s good Raj, cuz you can probably stay just a few days. Don’t take the dishwasher with you dammit! This nose tweaker was caught up in the whoop-la. You have to put your mind into the time. It was a no-brainer back then. A new asset class. And anyone who questioned it, then, was a knuckle-dragging, jealous-bitter renter. Now it seems obvious that these are “white elephants”, which is what a lot of people around here said at the time.

    And CNBC just published the B word…

    1. Ben, it’s called a “Shift”! Don’t use that ‘B’ word again.
      Get with the Propaganda… I mean Program!

    2. “But Chris “price$ aren’t gonna fall” Thornberg said this couldn’t happen!”

      Thorn.in.yer.$ide.berg also said: “No unemployment, no $helter.$hack hou$ing bubble ll!”

  2. ‘Los Angeles brokers say many local spec builders have little real estate experience but were drawn by the quick-and-easy profits of 2014 and 2015’

    Yep, this was also the era of safe deposit boxes in the sky. Funny how the quick-and-easy profits turn to tears.

    1. So another myth of the bubble deniers has gone poof: nobody is building spec homes so it can’t be a bubble.

  3. I just got this in an email:

    $34,500,000

    Major price reduction $5.49M

    “Located in the most prime section of Beverly Hills surrounded by the most valuable properties in the city. The Hanover House is one of the most anticipated brand new moderns to ever hit the market in Beverly Hills.”

    New!

    https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1029-Hanover-Dr-Beverly-Hills-CA-90210/20522338_zpid/

    Date Event Price
    5/21/2019 Price change $34,500,000(-13.7%)
    2/6/2019 Price change $39,995,000(-11.1%)
    7/16/2018 Listed for sale $45,000,000

    1. Anticipatated…

      But on the market for almost a year now.

      “I do not think you understand the meaning of that word…”

  4. Kanodia is now performing as many plastic surgeries as possible to fund millions of dollars in loans and the high costs of maintaining the empty house and grounds.

    Not sure I would want a guy with that much financial pressure weighing on him to muck around with my face.. yikes!

      1. Elective cosmetic surgery is one of the first things to fall once a recession sets in.

          1. Given his experti$e in “high maintenance”, he should $elf.reflect: “heal thy$elf!” + 1$t do no harm$!

    1. Hmm… what are the odds he’ll die in a tragic boating accident because he was drinking his sorrows away, and his body will never be found…

      …Meanwhile, the drifter, with his brand new face, hits the highway…

      1. He doesn’t even need to do that. California is a non-recourse state. Why not just jingle mail the thing and let the banks take the hit? Unless he borrowed this money in some weird non-mortgage way. Then, yeah, he can pack up and do plastic surgery in Bollywood.

  5. OT: Kinda late, but I feel like (TSLA) is an easy short. Who will buy a car that needs dealer only service, but filing BK? Meanwhile, the competition caught up. Even Hyundai makes a nice e-car.

  6. Spec builders like Kanodia are sitting on massive properties with large loans and maintenance costs.

    You’re never too far from a drug dealer in LA, Kanodia, if you need to self-medicate as your “investment” sinks like a Saber Tooth Tiger in the La Brea Tar Pits.

  7. “They boast about the type of price appreciation they have and they ignore the cost”

    “They boast about the type of price appreciation they have and they ignore the cost”

    “They boast about the type of price appreciation they have and they ignore the cost”

    Three times, so it sinks into your empty REALTOR skull.

    I rent, therefore I am rich (conservatively rich: 50% S&P index, 25% U.S. Treasuries, 25% money market cash).

    Please explain how paying property taxes, insurance, HOA, many itemized utilities I don’t pay for, and the 800 pound gorilla nobody talks about, maintenance and depreciation.

    Buildings depreciate, they decay, they rot.

    But loanowners are not a business. They can’t expense the depreciation, the decay and the rot, of their collapsing shack.

    Loanowners, you rolled the dice, and you lost.

    “You gotta roll with it” — Caitlin Vestal, Millennial, Portland, OR

  8. If you were a successful plastic surgeon to the stars, why would you even want to get into real estate? Just suck in cash and throw it into your brokerage until you retire at 50. But the thing is its a certain TYPE of person that gets caught in the bubble, that will beg borrow and steal to get into the best med school, that always has to win at the newest game in town. Its a certain fraction of humanity, and its existence ensures we will never be rid of bubbles of one sort or the other.

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