When I introduced WTF-Were-You-Thinking Prices, I said to qualify for this award, the price needs to be beyond market and beyond wishing prices. To obtain the WTF award, the price needs to be so high that I actually laughed to myself when I saw it.

To illustrate what I meant, this post will illustrate 3 properties: One is for sale at a realistic price in today’s market (a price which still makes me want to Laugh Out Loud); one is for sale at a wishing price that has no chance of happening (the Oh-My-God price), but at least it represents some tethering to the market; and the final one is so high, so far outside of the market that you have to scratch you head and ask, “WTF?” (you all know what it means…)




LOL Property:

15 Lakepine Front 15 Lakepine Inside

Asking Price: $439,000

Purchase Price: $392,000

Purchase Date: 3/10/2005

IrvineRenterAddress: 15 Lakepines, Irvine, CA 92620

Beds: 2

Baths: 1.5

Sq. Ft.: 1,204

Lot Sq. Ft.: 868

Year Built: 1977

Stories: 2

Type: CondominiumWTF

County: Orange

Neighborhood: Northwood

$/Sq. Ft.: $365

MLS#: P575387

Status: Active on market

On Redfin: 28 days

From Redfin, “Large Two Bedroom Townhome with Full Bath Upstairs and Seperate Sink in Master Bedroom, 1/2 bath Down. Fenced Patio. Fireplace in Livingroom. Smooth Ceiling. Ceiling Fan. Storage in Attic, Wood Floor, Community Offers Tennis Courts, Two Pools, Walking Distance to Schools, Northwood High School, No Mello Roos, Must See.”



I don’t think they will get $365 SF for this place, but it is still within the realm of possibility. There is a major lack of buyers, but those that are buying may be willing and able to pay that price.

OMG property:

123 Lakepine front 123 Lakepine Kitchen

Asking Price: $519,000

Purchase Price: $407,500

Purchase Date: 6/22/2005

IrvineRenterAddress: 123 Lakepines, Irvine, CA 92620

Beds: 2

Baths: 2.5

Sq. Ft.: 1,204

Lot Sq. Ft.: 828

Year Built: 1977

Stories: 2

Type: CondominiumWTF

View: Water

County: Orange

Neighborhood: Northwood

$/Sq. Ft.: $431

MLS#: S488096

Status: Active on market

On Redfin: 16 days

From Redfin, “UPGRADES EVERYWHERE! MUST SEE! Granite countertops, beautiful cabinetr y, stainless appliances, slate tile, fireplace, all new window coverings, all new baths & fixtures w/ jetted tubs! Fresh paint, slate floors, cathedral ceilings in master, walk-in closets w/ organizers, additional loft-great for office or storage. Canopy on patio provides a perfect retreat to enjoy the lake view! Too good to pass up!”



The only difference I can see between this unit and the one being offered for $80,000 less (almost 20%) is the upgraded kitchen. Do you think that is worth $80,000, or is this seller clinging to a wishing price? I might have even given this seller a WTF award, but he was outdone by his neighbor…

WTF Property:

224 Pineview Front 224 Pineview Kitchen

Asking Price: $570,000

Purchase Price: $365,000

Purchase Date: 12/1/2004

IrvineRenterAddress: 224 Pineview #266, Irvine, CA 92620

Beds: 2

Baths: 1.5

Sq. Ft.: 1,204

Lot Sq. Ft.: 804

Year Built: 1978

Stories: 2

Type: Single Family ResidenceWTF

View: Water

County: Orange

Neighborhood: Northwood

$/Sq. Ft.: $473

MLS#: P574560

Status: Active on market

On Redfin: 33 days


This guy must be smoking that CARPOT, or maybe he was sniffing the NEWPAINT. Whatever his malfunction, this price is ridiculous. Why would a realtor even take this listing? There are no upgrades here. The kitchen in the picture appears to have white tile from the 80’s. Here we have a unit being offered for sale for $131,000 (30%) more than an identical unit — an identical unit which is probably also overpriced. He even managed to price higher than another crazy neighbor. How would you even come up with that $570,000 number? I am dumbfounded. Maybe the new litmus test for the WTF award should be a complete sense of confusion on my part as to what the seller was thinking? WTF?

31 thoughts on “LOL, OMG, WTF?

  1. Live And Work In Irvine

    My stepdaughter leases a unit in that complex. It is pretty run down and neglected. The ponds are dirty, ducks poop is everywhere, in fact it might be the most neglected complex in Irvine.

    My brother almost bought their two years ago until I talked him out of it. He is so glad now.

    I love the Housing Price Ratings graphic. Maybe we could turn them into 4×6 postcards and all mail them to sellers congratulating them on their pricing strategy.

  2. NanoWest

    Your blog today made me laugh….wouldn’t it be fun to get these three “homeowners” on a TV show and see just how stupid they really are !!! I wonder if these three muskateers have ever taken the time to read a newspaper, let alone do a little research on the internet.

    My guess is that these 1200 sq ft apartments will sell for around $250,000 sometime in 2009.

  3. Live And Work In Irvine

    I think you might be onto something.
    We need to bring back shame, embarassment and flogging back to society 🙂

  4. Jwm in SD

    I’m certain that our Resident Super-Realtor, NIR, could get these gems sold right away. They just need to find some buyers with the right vision (Ignorance) and means (Cash Back Fraud).

  5. IrvineRenter

    I always laugh when sellers talk about insulting offers. Personally, I think some of these asking prices are insulting — insulting to the intelligence of buyers.

  6. No_Such_Reality

    I don’t think they’ll stick at $250K. They’re 2/1.5s. Not 2/2.5s. As a rental, a 2/1.5 is a hard rent because the tenants have to share a bathroom. That typically means single parent.

    As a side note, the OMG price isn’t that bad, from the pictures, it actually appears to be a 2/2.5, I saw two different bath photos.

  7. Kman

    I think all three properties deserver the “WFT” award. These units are totally trash. That complex is over 30 years old. 30 year old trash apartments that have no garage…ugly carports and trash neighbors..

  8. Kman

    I think all three properties deserve the “WTF” award. These units are totally trash. That complex is over 30 years old. 30 year old trash apartments that have no garage…ugly carports and trash neighbors..

  9. Irvine Soul Brother

    I went and toured Lakepines once. A real “WTF” moment for me there was finding out how high their HOAs are. It was like the highest I’d seen per sqft in all of Irvine. That old Lake structure is probably crumbling, I surmised, and that was not a sinking ship I wanted to get in. Besides that supposed amenity, really it is just an old, run down, place.

    I could see some major maintainance problem happening there, people not having enough money to cover their shares of a special assessment (or unable to pull more out of their leveraged piggy bank homes) and their leaving en masse. Maybe someone would buy out the whole complex and demolish and build some new apartments there. Not sure about how that process goes, from a legal or business standpoint. . . But you’d think something or someone would intervene when the whole place is going to pot.

    Those prices are pretty crazy though, maybe they think they can rope someone in whose not too familiar with Irvine? Someone dying to send little Johnny to Northwood High?

  10. NickStone

    Irvine Renter:

    Question: In your opinion, how would you valuate the difference between a condo and a SFR with the same floor plan? I actually don’t know….

    The only difference between the OMG property and the WTF property is that the first is a condo and the second is a SFR. Basic appraising pretty much only uses comps… so that tends to limit your choices to other “like” properties, which would tend to keep the prices of condos down. However, when looking at a Cost Basis appraisal, there really isn’t a way to correct for the condo/SFR difference, other than subtracting out the value of the raw land.

    I agree that the these prices are ridiculous… I am just curious of your opinion on how much more you, as a buyer, would be willing to spend on a SFR versus a condo if all other property details are the same.

  11. ockurt

    Nick, the second is actually a condo. The stupid r/e agent probably screwed that one up.

  12. oc-conservative

    I put a HUGE part of the inventory problem on the part of realtors.

    Realtors are the final ones who input the price on the MLS. They are the ones who post their signs on the front lawns.

    They are the supposed “professionals.” With access to data beyond that of the normal seller.

    To list at certain ridiculous prices is basically saying “my client smokes crack cocaine through all four orifices, and I like to join him.”

  13. ockurt

    Yeah, there are many a realtor and seller smoking crack these days.

    I live in a Westpark condo tract (Brio) and have kept tabs on the sales activity here for the past 5 years.

    It’s funny to see what some of these places are listed for. My neighbor is selling his 2bd/2ba around 1200 sq. ft. w/no upgrades for $519k. It was listed at $525k and I called him and told him it was overpriced especially when there’s some ding-dong flipper realtor selling his same model for $498k, that’s actually got upgrades. And you have to consider that a 3bd 1600 sq. ft. condo in the Corte Bella tract sold for $525k. My other neighbor has had her 2bd/1ba 850 sq. ft. condo for sale at $439k for 6 months.

    Still a lot of crack-smoking going on…I just don’t understand why some of these people list their properties at these exorbitant prices when comparables down the street are selling for much less.

    I think these sellers are retarded or are in serious debt, or both!

  14. Darin

    I hear carpot is really harsh on the lungs and tastes like oil. =|

    Loving the love…

    WTF awards past and present – keep ’em coming
    Postcards to the agent – brilliant
    As for shame and flogging – we’re doing it, but apparently we aren’t doing it hard enough or effectively

    Several of you have touched on something that I knew, but hadn’t really been thinking about. Condo assessments are going to be a bigger burden and happen less often while carrying costs remain high. SFR owners may have heard or seen neighborhood blight as the cost of home maintenance increases beyond budget. The same is true for condos. I’m curious which complexes will avoid blight and which will fall prey. In the falling cases, an ebbing tide sinks all boats.

  15. dude

    i realize this is wildly off topic but hear me out:
    i might get a job in huntington beach. where should i look for affordable housing in the commutable vicinity? i checked craigslist and rental rates are LOL OMG WTF, too.

  16. No_Such_Reality

    It depends on where you are working in HB. HB is a horrible town for commuting in. It’s large, stretched out and the only freeway runs on the long inland edge. Unlike Irvine where the thoroughfare arteries relatively flow and have timed lights, HB tends to be bottle neck central particularly as any road approaches the freeway.

    Rents in HB are OMG because it is the beginning of summer. Every college idiot without a job is coming to town with four buddies and renting a place for six months. Rent in September or October, the rents are much more negotiable.

  17. Live And Work In Irvine

    Maybe there is some filtering on.

    Here are the sites in the original message.

  18. ockurt

    dude, if you are looking for something affordable, try Garbage Grove or Westmonster. All kidding aside, there are some decent parts of those cities and they are more affordable on average than HB.

    If you have to live in HB, check the rentals further from the coast as they will generally be cheaper. HB has plenty of apartments, you should be able to find something reasonable.

  19. Sue


    That’s pretty interesting that the number of rental listings is so high compared to the listings. The other area ratios of rental listing/listings is much lower. Is there any significance to that? Or is it just that some agents in Irvine are more prone to list rentals on that site.

  20. Irvine Soul Brother

    There was no section for “West Irvine,” but on the topic of bad pricing, look at this. Proud realtor “Scott” used to claim that his fine listings in West Irvine would sell (underlined!) for between $590k and 620k. Look at his new quote:

    “Not on MLS. Priced to sell IMMEDIATELY. These will sell between $580K and $600K. Serious buyers only, please.”

    Aw, what’s wrong Scott? What happened to $590.

  21. Steve

    This comment is for Irvine Renter. I do enjoy reading your comments. However, I do dislike the fact that you often express yourself with profanity such as having WTF in many of your comments and postings. For someone as intelligent as yourself and who has well thought out comments, I would think it unnecessary to use profanity to express yourself. Of course, you have the freedom of speech. And I have the freedom to not go on this blog if I find your language offensive, but it’s unfortunate because I do enjoy the site. I am not trying to be self-righteous but I have a family, like many others and I do not want to set an example of going on sites where people need to use profanity to discuss ideas and opinions with others. That type of language is beneath you and the readers of this blog.

  22. No_Such_Reality

    Provide two other commonly know abbreviations to replace OM_ and W_ _ that will provide a comparable message of shock and outrage at the ludicris pricing.

  23. IrvineRenter


    I appreciate your comment, and I understand your concern. You may or may not have noticed that I have never actually used the term which this acronym stands for. If you reflect on this for a moment, I think you will see that the translation of the letter “F” is only occurring in your mind which is something I cannot control.

    The expression is a figure of speech which reflects the current culture, and it conveys the sense of irritation and confusion represented by the pricing of these properties, and I limit the use of this expression to the posts with the award.

    I will consider your suggestion, and I will make sure I only use it in the context of this award.

  24. Steve

    Irvine Renter,

    I will just state this and remain silent on this topic afterwards.
    Of course, you do not have to expressly state the words to say it.
    It is not just in my mind and you and I both realize that. If, on the off chance I am wrong, and it is not a term of profanity, then you probably could just state it directly and not use abbreviations.
    Let’s not play a linguistic, legalistic game. Thank you for considering my suggestion, it is appreciated. I only mention this to you because I enjoy your postings and the site in general.

  25. Live And Work In Irvine

    My plight in life is I see everyone’s point of view and generally can make a case for both sides.

    Yes, my wife rolls her eyes when I tell her about the current OMG and WTF awards, but in the spirit of the discussion I vote not to change anything, the acronyms are quite appropriate.

    I also would like to say the posts by Steve and Irvine Renter are so professional, I think I’m misting up, hand me a tissue 🙂

  26. Trooper

    Flogging ! Yes !!!! That’s it !!! How about some stocks in the center of town with bushels of rotten tomatoes to throw. Or making them walk around with sign boards around their necks reading “I lied on my loan app”.

  27. Trooper

    “I think you will see that the translation of the letter “F” is only occurring in your mind which is something I cannot control”.


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