Jim the Realtor's Bad House Project, or, "I got an ice cream truck on every video."

Since the housing market began its long, long slide, the only green shoot worth mentioning has been Jim the Realtor's YouTube channel. But it's a witty and instructive one, as Jim, a San Diego County real estate man, takes viewers on sardonically narrated tours of one piece of shit house after another.

The effect is surprisingly dramatic. Walking through these dilapidated homes has an element of tragedy to it: No matter how run-down the property or delusional the aspirations of the owners (usually former owners, as these are almost all bank-owned properties), you can't escape the sense of loss, of somebody's evaporated dream, of a whole country (or at least a whole state) plummeting back to a state of nature.

But Jim's seen-it-all asides keep pulling you back to earth, reminding you of why pity and contempt go hand in hand, and showing why laughter is the proper response to these properties whose values have been halved, thirded (?), and quartered. Jim is admirably self-deprecating: Observe how he trash-talks this house even though he apparently has the listing. The only thing I can say against him is that if he had any respect for tradition he'd be calling himself Jim the Realtor®.

Jim's most recent find is a place that's actually really nice: A ludicrously pimped-out palace in San Marcos that looks like one of Saddam Hussein's minor hideaways. Jim keeps making fun of the features, but I'd give my left nut (or at least the listed $643,500) for this place:

Update: Thanks to commenter johnl for San Marcos details. Please note that the above offer was neither signed nor notarized, and anyway I rescind the offer and it's within one business day so you can't hold me to it!

Update 2: Wait, wait. My cousin knows this credit union that's getting state funds to do cramdown workouts. So the offer's still good: You get paid, I don't pay, the credit union takes the loss and we part as friends! Call me.

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  • ||

    Sorry Tim. Everybody's over at the abortion post.

  • johnl||

    San Marcos is East Carlsbad. It's 10 degrees hotter there than Carlsbad or Oceanside. $650k is just too much for that place.

  • ||

    I looked at taking a job in Santa Clara a few months ago. I was kind of excited when I found out that the real estate there was actually now cheaper than it is in Washington DC. But then I started looking at houses and they were all crappy ranches with no basements on tiny lots for 500K plus. Why do all the houses in California suck?

  • johnl||

    John all CA houses are paper mache over tounge depressor construction. You can't have brick or stone because of earthquakes. No basements or tristory neither. Maybe there were nice brick houses at sometime but they all fell down. If you want to build a substantial structure it has to be steel frame and that's money.

  • ||

    I didn't think of the earthquakes Johnl. Thanks. That makes sense. The big tudors and colonials I love so much back here would be deathtraps in an earthquake.

  • Mister DNA||

    How many porn movies have been filmed at that house?

  • Mike Laursen||

    Were you looking at houses in Santa Clara? If so, I know what you're talking about. Santa Clara is Santa Clara, though. Not especially representative of houses in other cities in the area.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Give this Jim the Realtor guy a production crew, and you could have a hit cult show on your hands. I have a feeling Americans are primed for some dark humor.

    Hmm, come to think of it, might have to replace Jim the Realtor with an actor, depending on what he looks like.

  • kinnath||

    replace Jim the Realtor with an actor

    No, you need to keep him off camera, like Carlton the doorman . . the voice is just right.

  • Mike Laursen||

    You may be right, but can we give him a busty assistant realtor who does appear on camera?

  • Hambone||

    "You may be right, but can we give him a busty assistant realtor who does appear on camera?"

    Make it three busty assistant realtors who do appear on camera and you could call it Joe the Realtor's Angels.

  • Hambone||

    Joe = Jim

  • jasno||

    San Marcos is East Carlsbad.

    You've also got to watch for pockets of gang activity out there. It's not just Oceanside and Escondido.

    I had a friend who lived in San Marcos - he called the cops when his garage was tagged. The cops advice - 'Leave it there. They can get you a lot faster than I can get here.'

  • kinnath||

    You may be right, but can we give him a busty assistant realtor who does appear on camera?

    Works for me.

  • Kyle Jordan||

    Nice house. A bit extravegant for my tastes but I got some ideas from it.

  • SKR||

    Damn that's one gaudy house. I'm looking in L.A. right now and 643k for a piece of land and house that big sounds like a dream. If he wants to show you bad, he needs to show sub 400k houses in L.A.. I saw one the had about 3 extra illegal units, an unpermitted accessory structure turned into an illegal unit, a former porch that had dry rot and was falling down that had been enclosed, and a cat walk to get around the house made out of scrap lumber. The lot size was even less than 1/8th acre and the asking price was around 300k. All that and it wasn't the worst house we looked at that day.

    And then there was the Victorian crack house boarding house in Pasadena.....

  • Paul||



    The house across the street from me is going for $500,000. And while yes, there are some overly opulent and somewhat fakey looking 'rrrroyal' features to this house in the video, it's eight times the size of the house across the street from me, and in a better location: not across the street from me.

  • robc||

    Give this Jim the Realtor guy a production crew, and you could have a hit cult show on your hands. I have a feeling Americans are primed for some dark humor.

    Why isnt Flip that House - Miami condo edition not running? How could the producers of FtH have missed out on the obvious opportunity of continuing to run the show thru the downtimes? Watching people lose 300k per flip would be much better than the old show.

    ...And then I filed bankruptcy...

  • Mike Laursen||

    Hmm, if I were making up the premise for a show from scratch I'd have three contestant families show their distressed houses, and then the judges decide which family gets their mortgage bailed out.

  • ||

    All that marble, the airy, pillar-supported first floor with glass-through viewlines to the outdoor gathering area in the back, the obviously cut corners - it's clearly a take on the "persian palace" SoCal style, popular among immigrants from asia minor.

  • ||

    So there is this term i am having a real hard time pinning down....it seems to change with moods, weather, star alignments....and i am in the business that should have an idea about it (land development)...yet it still eludes me.

    The term is McMansion.

    So to try to pin it down is the home shown in above video a McMansion? And what makes it one or does not make it one?


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