Anecdote: This Place Again? Seriously?

Oh. My. Goodness.

Remember this?

13425 Avondale Rd NE, Woodinville
13425 Avondale Rd NE, WoodinvilleMay 2006: $1,625,000 (Asking)
August 2006: $1,495,000 (Asking)
October 2006: $1,275,000 (Asking)
November 2006: $1,275,000 (Asking – New Brokerage)
January 2007: $1,275,000 (Relisted)
February 2007: $1,275,000 (soldfinally)

You thought it was over, but oh no. It is not.
December 2007: $1,650,000 (Flipping?!?)

I kid you not. February’s buyers have now put this beast back on the market, at nearly 30% over what they paid for it just ten months ago, and $25,000 over the previous owner/builder’s original ridiculously high asking price last summer.

Just for laughs, here is the description in the MLS this time around:

Amazing NW Craftsman Lodge-style home. 3+private acres! Soaring high ceilings announce the entertainment size entry with Brazilian Cherry wood floors flowing into the formal dining room and beyond giving a spectacular entrance. A cozy library greets you, next to a living room/flex room. The Master Suite has a territorial view, fireplace,jetted-tub,and glass block shower. Seperate [sic] Nanny’s quarter’s and bedrooms +. This is a ‘must see’ and too wonderful for words. Come experience this grand home!

I can think of something to describe as “soaring high,” and it’s not the ceilings.

Good luck with this one, you’re going to need it. Badly.

Update [03.22.08]: Price reduced to $1,590,000.  Keep going…
Update [05.13.08]: Price reduced to $1,490,000.
Update [08.31.08]: Taken off the market.
Update [04.09.09]: Back on the market, priced at $1,500,000.
Update [06.08.09]: Price reduced to $1,200,000.
Update [07.01.09]: Price reduced to $1,000,000.

0.00 avg. rating (0% score) - 0 votes

About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.

47 comments:

  1. 1
    Scotsman says:

    Phfffft. Some nice features, but overall it looks like a cheap development home from the outside, with the exception of the entrance. People are going to want more for their money now, and not be so willing to compromise on location, appearance, etc. Good luck to the sellers.

  2. 2
    patient says:

    Funny that it’s a 2006 eastside home since that is what was in the previous post regarding sanity of prices. I would say this one might be worth $700k but not more.

  3. 3

    WAS IT REALLY SOLD?

    I’m sure it probably was, Tim uses valid websites, but the attorney in me considers the small percentage possibilities too. Imagine if its all a hoax, Seattle homes aren’t selling and there’s hardly anyone that qualifies with today’s tighter money, so the seller passes phony agreement papers and under the table money back and forth with a phony buyer; to make it look like it sold anyway?

    Then puts it back on the market like its legitimate real estate.

  4. 4
    redmondjp says:

    Wow! Just think of the RE commission on this place. Almost $50K for each agent!

  5. 5
    geon says:

    It’s a beast alright, kinda fugly from what I can see of the exterior. Appliances don’t look highend.

  6. 6
    dge says:

    I’ve heard of a scheme where the seller works out a deal with the buyer where the buyer rents out the property back to the seller. So, the seller gets his price, but pays a monthly rent to the buyer, who gets help with the mortgage payment.

    So, the comps are saved and all middle-people still get their expected cut.

    Is this legal? Kind of “fraud-y” to me…

  7. 7
    deejayoh says:

    woohoo. that glass block shower is sooo miami vice. go sonny and crockett.

  8. 8
    patient says:

    It’s a kitsch beast alright though I kind of like glass block showers (and Miami Vice)!

  9. 9
    AndySeattle says:

    If this house is so “wonderful for words” how come no one wants to live in it?!

  10. 10
    brettro says:

    it’s too wonderful for owners!

  11. 11
    alex says:

    My theory: someone bought it with subprime money, hoping to refinance soon and now they realized they won’t qualify for a refi.

  12. 12
    The Tim says:

    Subprime on a $1.3 million-dollar house? I wouldn’t think that would be possible… Then again, there was all sorts of insane lending going on before this all hit in March, so I am probably just ignorant on that account.

  13. 13
    Markor says:

    I suspect the property taxes will be a bit more than “$1,215”. There should be some kind of natural gas guzzler tax for these behemoths.

    If they really did buy it, maybe they’re just fishing now. You can get on the MLS for $500. At that price range I’d be tempted to try. People with money to burn do crazy stuff; someone might actually buy it for a premium.

  14. 14
    EconE says:

    It would be interesting to see what the absorption rate and MOS would be for 1M+ properties.

  15. 15
    WestSideBilly says:

    First, the 2006 taxes were $12156 per Redfin.

    Second, I think the owners took the ridiculous Zillow estimate and cut it by 5% to give the appearance of giving a deal.

    Third, when is Zillow going to go away?

  16. 16
    WestSideBilly says:

    dge said,

    on December 13th, 2007 at 3:51 pm

    I’ve heard of a scheme where the seller works out a deal with the buyer where the buyer rents out the property back to the seller. So, the seller gets his price, but pays a monthly rent to the buyer, who gets help with the mortgage payment.

    So, the comps are saved and all middle-people still get their expected cut.

    Is this legal? Kind of “fraud-y” to me…

    If you were going to do this, why would you leave the trail of price reductions, then try to move it 6 months later at a higher price?

    If you were trying to defraud a real buyer, it’d be better to “buy” the house at $1.7 mil, actually paying only $1.3, then “flip” it now for $1.65. Real buyer thinks he’s getting the property at a reduced price, real seller makes $450k profit, minus commissions and bribes.

  17. 17
    Lumpeninvestor says:

    (Just noticed this thing on RedFin. I’ve been checking for it, expecting it to show up again. So I see it listed and dash over here to tell about it, and lo, a post is already up).

    I drove by this thing for a long time during construction. It started as a 2-story house and a detached garage w/loft. Then work sorta stopped, and then stuff started happening between the 2 buildings. The grand entryway was an afterthought. You can look at the permit history to confirm that.

    And about it really being bought? I’m sure it was. The current sellers are the first owners, otherwise they’d being renting it from the builder.

    The property is loaded with Sensitive Area restrictions too, so pfft to that.

    If the builder had just stuck with Plan A, he coulda sold it into the housing boom as a modest home. Instead, it turned into a displaced alpine lodge that is becoming a poster child of excess stupidity.

  18. 18
    Grivetti says:

    Saweet!!! 1.2 Million to live in a giant REI Storefront in Woodinville!!!

  19. 19
    Angie says:

    Seperate [sic]

    Damn. You’d think a listing for a $1M+ property would at least merit a run through the spellcheck.

  20. 20
    Lumpeninvestor says:

    If you liked that listing, then there’s this listing:

    http://redfin.com/stingray/do/printable-listing?listing-id=1133701

    sold Feb 2007: 750,000
    selling now for: 739,500

    I found this one from an email alert from usa-foreclosure.com (i.e. yep, its going FC in only 10 months!) Its notable since it is one of the few I’ve seen that is listed for less than the last sale price.

  21. 21
    Roger says:

    “But honey we can flip it in 6 months and make $250,000”. And she said “No more watching Flip This House on tv”.

  22. 22
    AndyMiami says:

    As some may know, I moved from Miami Beach to Seattle a few months ago. In Miami, when a house goes into contract, the real estate agent can put an “under contract” sign on the house. I am now living on Mercer Island (renting), largely do to proximity to downtown, and the schools. So, houses on Mercer Island that go into contract have SOLD signs on them, and I am seeing houses with SOLD signs that are there for weeks at a time. The house across the street went into SOLD two months ago, and I have been waiting to see who our new neighbors will be, with a good bottle of Wa. syrah. The bottle has yet to be uncorked…So, the owners of the house, who moved two months ago to a house they bought further north, near Edmonds I think, were back this weekend working on the gutters. I went over and asked when are the new buyers moving in and did you sell your house. One of them (the wife) said yes it’s sold and they are moving in January. The husband, up on the ladder with leaves and pine needles in his hands said…WE HAVE NOT CLOSED, so it has not sold, yet the realtor’s here are allowed to put SOLD signs on their infamous signs…I asked them if they were concerned about what is going on with the market and the credit markets..she sheeplesly said that things will recover in the spring, whereas the man (and the roles could have been reversed – woman -man to man-woman) was a bit more cautions and I think looking at Mt Ranier for a prayer that after two months with a SOLD sign, they would finally stop carrying two mortgages…kind of interesting, and they are not speculators, they moved to be closer to Boeing were he has worked for many years and left Mercer Island after the kids finished high school…oh well, real life Seattle I guess…and the impact of the CREDIT IMPLOSION – WAMU hit $14.80 today, down from what $42 six months ago..so if you put $10K on a PUT, you would walk away with $200K…much better than being a real estate speculator…cheers to WAMU, maybe they should become a Wa winery, and we need more of those..

  23. 23
    Kime says:

    County records show the home as being built in 2004, although maybe that’s just when they started construction. They show two mortgages the same day from the same lender for the current owner; does that mean they might have 0 down? The records won’t let you actually look at the mortgage documents.

  24. 24
    Markor says:

    The husband, up on the ladder with leaves and pine needles in his hands said…WE HAVE NOT CLOSED, so it has not sold, yet the realtor’s here are allowed to put SOLD signs on their infamous signs…

    Interesting. I’ve been wondering why my neighbor’s house has been “sold” for two weeks (after a 1+ month escrow) while the owner hasn’t changed in the county records.

  25. 25
    AndyMiami says:

    #
    Markor said,

    on December 13th, 2007 at 10:14 pm

    The husband, up on the ladder with leaves and pine needles in his hands said…WE HAVE NOT CLOSED, so it has not sold, yet the realtor’s here are allowed to put SOLD signs on their infamous signs…

    Interesting. I’ve been wondering why my neighbor’s house has been “sold” for two weeks (after a 1+ month escrow) while the owner hasn’t changed in the county records.

    On the surface, pending sales are when a house is UNDER CONTRACT. That makes sense, and the contract is subject to all kinds of representations, including FINANCING. It appears, from my very limited experience in Seattle, that real estate agents are allowed to put SOLD sings, even though the house/title has not changed hands. When we sold our house in Miami Beach, it was after the sale that the real estate agent asked me first, if they could put the infamous SOLD sign. Now, I did rent the house that we sold for two weeks and paid rent until we moved/sold 13 years worth of stuff…quite the cleansing…But again, can someone with the proper experience explain the SOLD signs and does it mean that title has actually changed hands. In the BOOM, the SOLD sign made lots of sense for all involved, but in our WAMU (and others) induced credit implosion, it may no longer be applicable…JUST LIKE THE PENDING SALES numb ers…oh well..hope I am making some sense of this and if I am not, just let me know..cheers.

  26. 26
    S-Crow says:

    Kime,

    Yes, generally that would mean a borrower purchased zero down.

  27. 27
    Eastside Eric says:

    I saw Tim’s post on this house, and if I had been taking a swig of beer at the time, I would have spit it out in shock! My wife and I had this house under contract in February.

    Then we had the inspection. The whole house of cards fell after that.

    As noted in the comments, the house started on a much smaller footprint, with the intention of there being a detached garage. Another builder stepped in (obvious to the inspector looking at the crawl space), and joined the two structures, expanding living space by building the master suite atop of the garage.

    There was another buyer in the wings who just wouldn’t pull the trigger. Apparently, after we fell out, they (surprisingly) paid the asking price (we threw out a price $200K+ under asking).

    Adding to the drama was the fact that the property was developed as a flip by the parents of a friend of mine. Very awkward.

    Basically, the house was a frankenstein. Structurally, lots of non-standard framing and engineering. Contrary to how it appears, the fixtures were very nice..lots of room for a big family.

    Ardell was our agent on this. She was advising that the price was too high, and was concerned about the location right on Avondale (lots of noise). She was relieved when we bailed.

    I CANNOT believe it’s being sold so soon for so much. $1.6+ in this market? The listing agent should be shot.

    As for our plan we’re going to sell our house in March, move into a rental, then wait for the market to drop some more, with the goal of picking up a high end house for a nice discount.

    Cheers,

    Eastside Eric, formerly known as Seattle Eric :)

  28. 28
    Ray Pepper says:

    When is Zillow going away? Well last I heard Zillow and ZIP are going to combine forces at some point. Zillow has the high Web Traffic that ZIP needs. But, @ 5.00 PPS and an inferior model how long do you think ZIP will have cash? Red Fin? Only the best models will survive this time around.

    Ray Pepper
    Broker
    http://www.500Realty.net

  29. 29
    wreckingbull says:

    A cozy library greets you, next to a living room/flex room.

    Evidently, that statement is intended to be taken quite literally.

  30. 30
    Roger says:

    Interesting that the mortgages were made with Steward Financial out of Carlsbad, CA; Steward imploded in June. But of course the appraisal met the loan request didn’t it.

  31. 31
    Bellevue Ave says:

    Heard this last night;

    A national homebuilder in our area is taking it in the shorts. their sales are off 75% YoY. and theres been a 65% reduction in local workforce. In the shorts!

  32. 32
    Shawn says:

    Funny thing about Zillow, I have never seen a Zillow estimate that was below the asking price. Hmmm.

  33. 33
    Markor says:

    There was another buyer in the wings who just wouldn’t pull the trigger. Apparently, after we fell out, they (surprisingly) paid the asking price (we threw out a price $200K+ under asking).

    So you had it under contract for $1.075M? That makes the flip more interesting.

  34. 34
    deejayoh says:

    I smell an impending auction

  35. 35
    B&W NIkes says:

    Shawn – if you look there are examples….
    1.) zprop49013474
    2.) zprop48930662
    and they even have a neighbor toying with zillow’s ‘make me move’ feature (illustrating some inadequacies of the zestimate function) for the fun of it.

  36. 36
    Denny Retrograde says:

    How juicy!

  37. 37
    Jeff says:

    The first photo makes it look like someone put a rambler and two mid 70s split levels on a small lot…

  38. 38
    trccscott says:

    This sounds like an episode of The Wire tracing the fraud and scam, perhaps not “sub-prime” but surely a “house of cards financing”:

    County records show the home as being built in 2004, although maybe that’s just when they started construction. They show two mortgages the same day from the same lender for the current owner; does that mean they might have 0 down? The records won’t let you actually look at the mortgage documents.

    Yes, generally that would mean a borrower purchased zero down.

    Subprime on a $1.3 million-dollar house? I wouldn’t think that would be possible… Then again, there was all sorts of insane lending going on before this all hit in March, so I am probably just ignorant on that account.

  39. 39
    b says:

    Down here in California, $1.3 million on subprime was certainly available. Every week there are sob stories of fruit pickers or deli workers buying $800k houses on stated income/no doc loans (and immediately defaulting). If you look reasonably better off I am sure $1.3m is easy.

  40. 40
    Roger says:

    And of course they haven’t paid the 2nd half of their RE taxes. Now owing $6681.32 with interest and penalty. Very typical actions. Next will be the tax lien, then NOD, then foreclosure in 6 months and then it will become a REO. House will not sell for months until it goes below a million.

  41. 41
    deejayoh says:

    The lender (same one for both the first and second) showed up on the Mortgage Lender Implode-O-Meter as of June

  42. 42
    deejayoh says:

    EconE said,

    on December 13th, 2007 at 6:46 pm

    It would be interesting to see what the absorption rate and MOS would be for 1M+ properties.

    Since you asked… It’s 18 months. check this out

  43. 43
    c says:

    what’s a territorial view?

  44. 44
    lumpeninvestor says:

    Guess what! Listed again at 1.5mil

  45. 45
  46. 46

    […] second anecdotal update is much shorter. Just a quick note to point out that the sellers of my favorite million-dollar home over on Avondale have dropped the price twice now since listing in December at $1,650,000: once to $1,590,000 in […]

  47. 47

    […] 2007-12: Time to flip! Listed by buyer for $1,650,000 […]

Leave a Reply

Use your email address to sign up with Gravatar for a custom avatar.
Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Please read the rules before posting a comment.