Turtle Ridge Dreamers

There are so many overpriced properties in Turtle Ridge, it is difficult to establish where the market is and what is beyond a wishing price into the WTF-were-you-thinking price range. I have three candidates for you to consider today.

Sweet Bay Kitchen

IrvineRenterAsking Price: $1,420,000

Purchase Price: $904,500

Purchase Date: 8/30/2004

Address: 52 Sweet Bay, Irvine, CA 92603

Beds: 4

Baths: 2.5

Sq. Ft.: 2,460

Year Built: 2004

Stories: 2WTF

Type: Single Family Residence

County: Orange

Neighborhood: Turtle Ridge

$/Sq. Ft.: $577

MLS#: S479350

Status: Active on market

On Redfin: 95 days

Unsold in 90+ days

From Redfin, “PRICED TO SELL. LISTED BELOW COMPS! Popular Fiore Plan 1 ‘Tuscan Farmhouse’ w/ designer carpet, custom paint, and more. Located on quiet Cul-de-Sac St. w/ south facing Sunny & private back yard patio/grass area. Large Gourmet Kitchen has granite countertops w/ gourmet appliances, Butler’s Pantry & Large Pantry. Dramatic Cathedral ceiling in Entry Foyer & Formal Living Room. Large Master Suite w/ large walk-in Closet. Great School System, Exclusive Guard Gated ‘The Summit’ at Turtle Ridge.”



This is the first WTF award winner that actually claims to be below comps. We recently documented 2 low-end properties and 2 high-end properties about to sell below their 2004 and 2005 prices, but somehow this 2004 property has appreciated 50% and it is still below comps? Give me a break.

This would be good example of “cherry picking” your comps — if there truly are other comparable properties which establish higher selling prices. Given the other properties we know are on the market for less than purchase price, do you think someone is going to pay this asking price. Is this just a wishing price or is it in another category?

How about this property:

Cezanne Front Cezanne Kitchen

IrvineRenterAsking Price: $1,900,000

Purchase Price: $1,164,500

Purchase Date: 4/9/2004

Address: 50 Cezanne, Irvine, CA 92603

Beds: 5

Baths: 4.5

Sq. Ft.: 3,660

Lot Sq. Ft.: 9,200

Year Built: 2004

Stories: 2

Type: Single Family ResidenceWTF

View: Hills

County: Orange

Neighborhood: Turtle Ridge

$/Sq. Ft.: $519

MLS#: S469746

Status: Active on market

On Redfin: 168 days

Unsold in 90+ days

From Redfin, “Beautiful 3 yr old home in the prestigious Summit, guard gated comm of Turtle Ridge near the lovely Newport Coast. French Country style home features a gated, compound type entry w/ courtyard separating main house & two casitas. Deluxe gourmet kitchen w/ granite counters, SS appliances & lrg center island. Lots of upgrades incl custom paints, marble & hardwood floors. 4 Fireplaces. Huge back yrd. Resort style amenities incl family & adult pools, clubhouse, fitness ctr, tot lot & gorgeous views.”



Do you think this property appreciated 63% since 2004? at 168 days on the market, I don’t think the market does either…

And now, for our weekly dénouement, I give you (drum roll please…)

Grand Terrace Map

Can you identify the $3,195,000 tract home on this street?

25 Garden Terrace street

I guess they all are…

25 Garden TerraceIrvineRenter

Asking Price: $3,195,000

Purchase Price: $1,539,500

Purchase Date: 5/26/2004

Address: 25 Garden Terrace, Irvine, CA 92603

Beds: 5

Baths: 3.5

Sq. Ft.: 3,700

Year Built: 2003

Stories: 2

Type: Single Family Residence

View: Catalina Island, City Lights, Coastline, Hills, Ocean, Panoramic, Pool, OtherWTF

County: Orange

Neighborhood: Turtle Ridge

$/Sq. Ft.: $864

MLS#: S492404

Status: Active on market

On Redfin: 8 days

From Redfin, “This is just a beautiful home in the popular Botanica tract of Turtle Ridge. Perfect entertainment home with built in BBQ, outdoor fireplace, pool and spa. Oversized lot with sweeping views of the ocean and city lights. Master bedroom walk in closets have been expanded for maximum storage. Too many upgrades to mention in this gorgeous custom home.”

WTF!!! An Irvine tract home for over $3,000,000! This is no estate, this is not a one-of-a-kind property: this is an Irvine tract home. This is double what they paid 3 years ago. How can this seller possibly believe someone would pay this price, particularly when 26 Hedgerow — a nearly-identical, adjacent house on the next street — is selling for less than its purchase price? How can prices double every three years? Will someone pay $6,400,000 for this place in 2010? Do this seller and this realtor have no shame? Again, I am dumbfounded and speechless: this must be a WTF award winner.

House Price RatingsPardon my rant, but someone needs to say “enough is enough.” We have all become so accustomed to these ridiculous asking prices that our outrage is gone. There is no shame in it any more. These people deserve the public humiliation and ridicule this blog provides.

You know, when this is all over, and we look back at the ridiculous prices asked and paid during the bubble, the collective insanity will be apparent to all. Dr. Housing bubble has a great series of posts on “Real Homes of Genius” where he profiles decrepit shacks with asking prices that are truly WTF. Properties in Irvine come in different flavors, but some things are the same: the stupid greed of market participants during a bubble is laughable no matter the quality of the property involved.

I hope you have enjoyed our series of posts on Turtle Ridge. Have a good weekend…

31 thoughts on “Turtle Ridge Dreamers

  1. lowrydr310

    Does everyone in Turtle Ridge drive a BMW/Mercedes/Lexus?

    Leveraging, baby! The $3M+ seller probably needs to cover his HELOC.

  2. lee in irvine

    RE: Garden Terrace

    I just want to start by saying, I don’t really think any home in Irvine California is actually worth 3 million dollars, much less a tract home were the neighbors are 20 feet to each side. That includes all those massive battle ships they’ve built in Shady Canyon.

    If I were stupid enough to by this house at this price, I would at least expect a 3 car garage and a little more privacy.

    This house probably takes the cake in describing how utterly foolish this market has become. I guess this average home would be fairly priced if the average Joe in Irvine was filthy rich, but that’s not case.

  3. No_Such_Reality

    Are you sure it’s twenty feet? It looks closer to ten to me judging by the height of the woman and car standing there.

    Also, are they zero-lot line SFRs? The close-up on grand terrace has the landscaping wall and fence. Is that yours? Your neighbors? OR the community’s?

  4. oc-conservative

    No doubt, it’s all in the mentality. The “I want it, I deserve it, all anything I ever own does is go up in value because that’s how awesome I am, look neighbors my home is $3M+ because that’s what the piece of paper says outside my house” mentality.

    That Tarbell realtor is a one-of-a-kind fuck for listing it at that price. They continue to be part of the problem.

    I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again. Above all, the housing market has an inventory problem. Lower your prices, get those houses moving, and it will be step 1 to a housing recovery. One thing I am more confident with than other things is that the bottom will be reached about 1-2 years after the inventory bottoms. Previous cycles have shown this, and it makes sense.

    So yah, realtors, keep those listings high and add to the inventory problem so we never bottom. Keep making your own job difficult.

    …freaking idiots.

  5. Dr. Housing Bubble

    Great post IrvineRenter. This housing lunacy seems to run the gamut. From your 500 square foot shack in Compton to your 2,400 square foot McMansion in Irvine. I think Merrill Lynch saw this with Bear Sterns yesterday and thought, “we need to get out before it all hits the fan.” I’m sure this was their reasoning in pulling back $850 million in assets out of the hedge fund and gearing up to unload assets on the market.

    The market is not prime for sales right now so ML deciding to put inventory on the market should tell you something. Oh, and rental prices in 92603 go for:

    Median: $3,200
    High: $5,029

    They don’t call them rentals but leased homes. Either way, $1.4 million will easily run you over $10,000 a month. Totally makes sense doesn’t it?

    Dr. Housing Bubble

  6. Irvine Wanna Be

    Well, if the two previously posted homes by Irvine Renter in Turtle Ridge [(1) short sale and (2) loss of $435,000+carrying cost for a year] are any indication of the trend for that area, then the Turtle Ridge Dreamers are in for quite a nightmare.

  7. Darin

    I may be picky, but for anything over a million, I *never* want to see the garage door from the street. Seriously, am I just too cheap? Is that asking too much?

    And if these houses are so big, I’m sure they’re not using the garage for storage, right…? right? I have a crazy idea, how about you park your car in your garage. That feature is part of the 1Mil you paid for your tract home.

  8. SoCalwatcher

    That overhead pic makes these places look like one long stretch of townhomes.

    Could they jam them any closer? This is going to look ridiculous about 50 years from now.

  9. JoonB

    I have seen both of these homes- both floorplans are absolutely stupid. The first one has these steps, steps down, etc. It doesn’t feel like a house. The second one has 2 casitas, and only 3 bedrooms in the main house. I went there and the realtor asked what I thought and told her that 2 casitas were silly and we need 4 bedrooms. She goes on and on about how some people have connected the casita on top (the casitas are one on top of each other, sort of like a cheap Holiday Inn with the entrance going up a flight of stairs). I said no thanks.

  10. =-wes

    You are right about the shamelessness of the REA and this homeowner. I am considering offering 195,000 for this house for fun.

  11. Eurominds

    It blows my mind that people choose to ignore market data and still feel that their home must increase in value at 20+% a year. I know several homeowners that are holding on to their home for another year or 2 so they can make another few houdred thousand dollars… When I tell them that unless they plan on living in there for a very long time they should sell now, as prices will continue to decrease, they think I am just bitter because I am a renter and simply hope that prices will come down in the future so I can buy. I guess that at least they are smart enough and do not list their home at outrageous prices. I can’t believe that realtors even agree on listing such ridiculous prices. I mean, it is a total waste of their time.

    CNNMoney.com had an interesting piece yesterday titled “Out of touch with reality” which shows some amazing statistics on real estate sentiment…

  12. mino2126

    I think this RE agent and her seller added to many cups of sugar to their Kool-Aid. Holy Moly 3MM+ for a stucco box that looks like the same house just 4 houses down….ouch.

  13. Jason

    I’m with you on that. Have you seen some of the places over at Columbus Grove in Tustin/Irvine? When you can’t take a picture of a 4-bedroom house without having neighboring houses from BOTH sides in the picture, something is very wrong.

    Here’s that listing:

  14. MMG

    I think that people who are going to be buying in the next few years, bloggers on this site and others financially responsible should start some kind of movement where they lowball these places back to 2000 prices, if enough people keep doing this, it will start to sink into seller’s minds–>oh sh*t.

    I know from talking to a few realtors that sales are very slow, we have moved from total denial”sales are great” to some acceptance”homes are selling but very slow,you can get good deals i.e. 5%off”.

    Im starting to hear about many short sales, forclosures. why not just tell realors we will not pay more than 3 times income (whatever it may be) and lets see what happens in a year.

    just food for thought.

  15. Johnny

    In the property description, “View: Catalina Island, City Lights, Coastline, Hills, Ocean, Panoramic, Pool, Other” should read “View: 73 Freeway, Other”.

  16. Irvine Soul Brother

    Haha, very nice stuff, IR. I’ve enjoyed these articles about The Ridge (I actually liked the Masada reference) and it made me wonder about how what the difference will be in terms of depreciation % in the expensive neighborhoods vs the not so expensive ones. It seems like there is a greater absolute number and % that will come off of the 92603 type zips.

  17. Darin

    LOL, on my browser the pictures changed about every 2-3 seconds. Maybe if you don’t look close enough (or can’t), you won’t see the other houses. =)

  18. Incredulous

    My ex-boyfriend told me several years ago that his 2-bdrm Del Mar condo (which he bought in 1995 for $200K) was now worth $900K and although he hated it and the HOA, he would continue to own it since it was “going to appreciate another $500K in the next five years.”

    The delusions of these homeowners continue to astound me – just for fun, I emailed him the Zillow link which recently showed his condo comps at $530K.

  19. Major Schadenfreude

    I love the last line in that article regarding the NAR and AMB:

    “Their organizations also tend to be optimistic about most housing-market matters.”

    To say the least!

  20. Louisville Realtor

    Great post. I don’t know where you got those pictures but they are really a hoot.

  21. SoCalWatcher

    Wow…those are close. The pass through to the garage (don’t know what the term for that is) looks neat, but is a really dumb design with the other homes so close.

    All that money for some crammed in stucco boxes on zero-lot line property.

    So, who are the idiots that plan these developments in SoCal?? Looks like “design it for what’s hot today” rather than plan for the long term.

    Kinda like wearing Polo vs. Diesel.

  22. oc-conservative

    “Unravel me
    untie this chord
    the very center of our union
    is caving in
    I can’t endure
    I am the archive of our failure”

  23. Agent X

    I live in Turtle Ridge, and everyone drives BMW/Mercedes/Lexus, and don’t forget Porsche/Ferrari/Bentley. Turtle Ridge is not for the working class. Most neighbors are either professionals or business owners. You can’t afford this place living pay check to pay check.

    Turtle Ridge is the high end of Irvine. Don’t be envious if you didn’t have the vision to get in 3 years ago and have to wait for market correction now. Most of my neighbors have multiple residential and commercial real estate holdings. I even know several families with multiple homes in TR, one for Mom, one for Sis, etc.

    A home you live in is not an investment; it doesn’t produce any returns. But you need to live. And if I’m making half a mil a year for the last 10 years, I want to enjoy my life. After all, you can’t take it to the grave, can you?! If you really want to live in Irvine, raise your kids, enjoy the clean and manicured environment, feel safe, then pay the premium.

    There are other choices. Go to Corona and get a 50% discount. Smell the cow shit daily, deal with 91, and sufficate in the heat.

    By the way, can you folks even afford $400 monthly association fee? That’s montly payment on a BMW 530i, or Gucci bag for your girl friend each month! By year 2014, which most of you are waiting for the real estate to bottom out, will be more like $600.

  24. Scott

    I actually saw the house with the two casitas yesterday. Stooooooooopid! Who would want that? House in this development are way overpriced. It’s just downright insulting how stupid they think the home buyer is today.

  25. Jake

    Ever hear of posterity? Ever hear of charitable donations? You’re taking every last penny with you to the grave? Shame, shame. You’re a pathetic loser. I’m glad I don’t know you, or anyone like you.

    And BTW, I make mid to upper six figures myself, and I’m not a self-absorbed jackass like you. You really need to grow up.

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