The (North) Hills Are Alive – with Short Sales and Bank-Owned Homes

Geographically, North Hills is just about dead center in the San Fernando Valley, straddling the 405 freeway from Roscoe Blvd. to Devonshire, as far west as Balboa and as far east as Van Nuys Blvd.   It also struggles at dead center in the mortgage mess and the aftermath of the real estate bubble. 

Of the hundreds of current listings in the area, at least a quarter of them are clearly distressed, either short sales or REO’s.  The numbers from DataQuick released so far this year show a median year-over-year SFR price plunge of 22-25%; too few condos have sold this year to be sure of the price hit, but it’s certainly at least as painful. 

15733 Lassen St.
North Hills, CA  91343
$359,900

Nine stingy price cuts in as many months have failed to unload this sad and seedy bank-owned foreclosure with a pool.  That’s the definition of  chasing the market down.  Lenders (and many other sellers) never seem to learn the lesson that buyers in a declining market are looking at value going forward, while they’re still fixated on the past.  My advice:  get over it.  At $309K this would probably move off the bankers’ bleeding books.

8539 Boeckman Ave.
North Hills, CA  91343
$410,000

This big, bright and attractive two-story Mediterranean home in a gated community was just built in 2006, and hit the market less than a month ago.  Buyers may be drawn to bid, but the property’s short sale status is a cue to keep their enthusiasm in check, as the lender will likely, and characteristically, drag its heels on making a deal.

10240 Montgomery Ave.
North Hills, CA  91343
$415,000

Adjacent to Cal State U. Northridge, this traditional 3 +2 bank-owned corner lot home looks like another case of too little, too late. Languishing since last July, the lender has chased the market down to try to recoup some of the $600,000 that it sold for the previous summer.  Get on with it!  $300K would move this puppy out of the doghouse. 10240-montgomery.jpg

Note to web warriors who browse for bargains online:  Google Maps has now virtually completed its Street View database of photos for the entire Los Angeles area, including the Valley.  Now you can see a pic of just about any property from street level with the Street View feature to check out the house, the condition of the yard, and the neighborhood.  Here’s Google Maps’ Street View of the REO house above, for example.