The Carbuncle Castles at 319 and 321 Camillo Road have now seen their initial price offerings slashed. Why is that? Rather simple. Despite all the specious claims of cutting edge modernity and sustainable energy efficiency, nobody seems to want to buy the weird looking two story things. Money talks, the buyer balks, and Long Dragon walks.
Pictured above is 319 Camillo Road, and the price of this cutting edge wonder wickiup has now been hacked from $1,650,000 to $1,480,000. Its 'buncled brother next door at 321 Camillo Road has also plummeted in price, from $1,750,000 to $1,588,000.
When walking on Camillo Road, please wear your safety helmet. Certain things are falling very quickly there.
Nobody seems to want to buy the heavily plastic hogans. And considering that these houses went on sale in February, this is quite a rapid and radical decline in price for them. Especially when you consider how both had hit the market with so much fanfare.
Here are the "price modification" notices for these twin lulus.
The big question that remains unanswered at this point is can homes that remain unsold be considered sustainable? If not in the environmentally friendly sense, at least in a financial sort of way? Because that is certainly the kind of sustainability the individuals who built these things were interested in. Electric car plug-in stations and all.
You know, maybe if these two houses had gone before the Planning Commission, rather than being given an E-Z quick over the counter ole' by City employees who couldn't care less, the developer might have gotten some good advice and these places would have been sold by now.
Instead they didn't, and are today being roundly ridiculed on The Tattler.
The Realtor for these failed miseries, Robert Ho of Long Dragon Realty fame (or, as their competition calls them when they are not around, "Short Snake"), originally described the double 'buncle houses this way:
Featuring 2 energy-efficient contemporary homes in beautiful Sierra Madre in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. Adjacent to the coveted Arcadia Highlands Neighborhood, these sustainable homes are on a quiet neighborhood street surrounded by mature oak trees and have an amazing view of Angeles National Forest.
Both double story homes feature an open floor plan with large atrium spaces to maximize the flow between both levels. Additionally, large sliding doors, which connect indoor and outdoor living spaces. Carefully placed windows allow air circulation, let in optimal natural light, and frame the outstanding views.
Secluded backyards with native and drought tolerant landscape are maintainable, generous spaces for play and entertainment. Both homes are equipped with solar system, top of the line appliances, Scavolini Cabinet from Italy, security cameras, and delicate circuit for plug-in electric vehicle charging station.
Here are my observations about some of the claims made for the Carbuncle Castles:
1) They might have an amazing view of the Angeles National Forest, but some of the other homes on Camillo Road now only have an unappealing view of the backsides of a couple of weird looking space station buildings.
2) I have electric car charging stations in my house. They were installed by the late Ed Clare shortly before his passing. And I have never heard the term "delicate circuit" before. The whole thing, including the specially designed cables needed for my two 240 volt stations, cost me about $1,900. Relatively cheap when you consider what Short Snake is asking for the same kinds of so-called sustainability accouterments.
3) The reason why being adjacent to the Arcadia Highlands is so desirable is because it's a neighborhood that, up until now at least, has not yet succumbed to the cancer of mansionization. Apparently, and like Camillo Road itself, this may soon no longer be the case. And it is the same predatory developers that are responsible.
4) There were supposed to be people in this world stupid enough to swallow all of the above boutique blather and pay $1.7 million for these lulus. Guess what? No dice, dude. All sustainable meant in this case is that they have solar panels and a place to plug in a godforsaken Prius. That hardly makes them worth the additional money you would have had to pay for all this pretentious and common nonsense. They have houses like these down in Venice. You can sit in your atrium and watch as the garbage floats by on the canals. Move your stupid self there.
5) The security cameras discussed here are the kind you can hot wire into any smartphone. International buyers from certain cultures use this kind of technology to keep an eye on their young mistresses. Trust me, it's all the rage in Arcadia. In a town with as many handsome men as Sierra Madre, this would be considered a must.
6) "Secluded backyards with native and drought tolerant landscape are maintainable." That means you can plant cactus and aloe plants in your backyard. You can plant cactus and aloe plants in a maintainable trailer park, too. Or even a landfill.
7) I knew someone who had Scavolinis. The remedy for the itching is calamine lotion.
We'll be keeping an eye on this story. My advice to you is once the price falls below $500,000 per 'buncle, buy them. You can then demo these Carbuncle Castles and build single story, 1,700 square foot ranch homes. Be sure to include a white picket fence and a detached garage with a swinging barn door that squeaks when you open it.
Here is some Good News
The Henry A. Darling house has a buyer. Hopefully the primary Realtor explained to the persons purchasing the place that there are certain responsibilities that come with owning a Sierra Madre legacy home.
Barry Gold's Letter Thanking the Planning Commission
(Mod: This e-mail made the rounds yesterday and I thought I should reprint it here. The Planning Commission did a great job on the needed changes to the R-1 building codes, and this is a well-deserved shout out from Barry.)
Dear Planning Commissioners,
I am out-of-town and cannot be at the Planning Commission meeting tonight, so I write to you instead of speaking to you in person to thank you all for sending to the City Council the recommendations to change the R-1 codes concerning lower allowable floor area, lower CUP threshold, and second story CUP reviews.
These well thought out changes will be an enormous step forward in the preservation of the unique character of our precious town. You are all to be commended for you efforts on behalf of all who live in and love Sierra Madre.
I especially commend Chairman Desai and Commissioner Frierman-Hunt for their most courageous appearance at this week’s City Council meeting to urge the council members to approve your recommendations. I believe that their comments were instrumental in getting the council to narrowly pass the changes. I cannot tell you how proud I was of these two commissioners for speaking with conviction and an expert knowledge of the subject. They are truly both treasures of Sierra Madre.
Cities all over the country are waking up to the destruction uncaring developers are doing to their communities. Judy and I were at the Grand Canyon Tuesday. The residents in the small town just outside the Park were complaining about over development there. We are now in Sedona and here too the complaints are the same. We saw a 14,000 square foot house with bright green lawns, trees, indoor pool, and an observatory with a telescope that rivals most universities. All on the side of the most beautiful red rock mountains you will ever see. The residents just shake their heads and cannot tell you how this happened.
IT IS EVERYWHERE. Except Sierra Madre. Thanks to our Planning Commission, the Preserve Sierra Madre Coalition, three of our Council Members, and the many residents who support the preservation cause, Sierra Madre will not be destroyed like so many other cities.
Respectfully, Barry Gold