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Baking Soda Is All 4/26/23

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9 minutes ago, fxfox said:

What is this? A 1952 built house in the desert? Who wants to live there? Absolutely sick and insane.

So... you've hit the nail on the head. Having lived out there, I can assure you that from May through October, you probably don't want to live out there. So, it's traditionally been a community of second-homes for snowbirds or spring/fall. There is a Marine Base nearby, and a community college, but that's it apart from tourism associated with Joshua Tree National Park.

Which begs the question: where should that $749K listing actually clear in an environment with real economics and real financing costs? I'm not sure... but the price history is relevant for that question.

Decent article on the mania/bubble that erupted there:


If I win the lottery, I'm buying this place which I've always coveted:



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Have you always wanted to host your own Airbnb? Here is your opportunity to purchase an extraordinary property for your residence while also using the extra home as a cabin for your mother-in-law, or utilize the space to generate income. The cabin has proven to be a consistent income producer as a short-term Airbnb rental due to an active social media account.


Asking: $900K


09/2018: $550K

09/2014: $280K

Do you see the trend?

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There are many....


This FULLY TRANSFERRABLE PERMITTED AirBNB/VRBO, Spacious, Absolutely Beautiful, and Fully Remodeled Chateau-Style Home in Upper Sky Harbor is seated on 1.5 acres and surrounded by gorgeous views of the desert and surrounding landscape. 



Asking today: $749K.

Transacted: 11/2021 for $485K


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15 hours ago, Jimi said:

If it's potfarms to the north of me, it's now VRBOs to my beloved desert-south. I think both were symptomatic of loose money & circumstance.  

Let me provide a recent example for the latter. Look at this listing:


The price history here is instructive.

Asking: $749K

Prior Transactions:

12/2020 = $525K

01/2015 = $274K

08/2003 = $56K

04/2000 = $33.5K

I've seen this sort of thing repeatedly. Consider that seller wants $225K for the privilege of a 28-month holding period. The pitch is that it's a great VRBO... but you better be careful with modeling that forward, since it benefitted from an extended period of work-from-home alternatives (within 2-hour drive of downtown LA/10 million inhabitants) and the GMTFO-COVID cooped-up period when travel-by-car was easier, and travel abroad unavailable.

Meanwhile, anyone want to doubt that the 12/2020 purchase was done with something other than a floating rate, to keep that part of the cost-structure down? And that it has subsequently turned on them? Because I ask myself, "If I had such a successful, professionally-managed cash-flow positive VRBO, why would I be looking to unload it?"

Because they don't: the VRBO empires were built on cheap financing and unusual circumstances, both tied to the pandemic. And it's getting unwound.

I'll post more of these in the days/weeks ahead.



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