Guess who can undercut the builder?

Address: 1428 Scholarship, Irvine, CA 92612

Plan: 2AL 1213 sq ft – 2+loft/2

MLS: P555577 DOM: 216

Sale History: none

Price Reduced: 04/16/2007 — $624,990 to $594,990

Current Price: $594,990

Although we’ve covered Avenue One before, I think this deserves another post. 1428 Scholarship is a brand new home (Plan 2AL) listed by K. Hovnanian (the builder). After a couple months on the market, the builder dropped the price by $30,000. Apparently, it wasn’t enough to get this place sold (even in the busy summer season). The property is still on the market 4 months after the price cut.

Before we get to who is undercutting the builder, let’s see who the builder is undercutting.

s497758a.jpg s497758.jpg

Address: 2475 Scholarship, Irvine, CA 92612

Plan: 2AL(?) 1253(?) sq ft – 2+loft/2

MLS: S497758 DOM: 30

Sale History: $687,469 (?) on 4/5/2006 (from Property Tax Records)

Current Price: $669,000

The builder is severely undercutting the investor that owns 2475 Scholarship. This investor (a RE agent) is currently renting out the unit. The price is significantly higher than what the builder is offering. But wait, it comes “Fully FURNISHED!!” It looks like it is the same floor plan as the unit above but I’m not 100% sure.

So the builder is making it hard for flippers and investors to make money. This is nothing new for Avenue One. Now, let’s look at a unit that is going to make it hard for the builder to move their product.

p593507b.jpg p593507f.jpg

Address: 1442 Scholarship, Irvine, CA 92612

Plan: 2AL 1253 sq ft – 2+loft/2

MLS: P593507 DOM: 10

Sale History: $692,595 (?) on 7/26/2006 (from Property Tax Records)

Current Price: $539,900

This looks to be the same exact floorplan as the two properties above. The price is $130,000 less than the investor flip and $55,000 less than what the builder is asking!

How is this possible? How can someone sell a property for less than the builder? Meet the bank 🙂 This is a Bank Owned property but I don’t have the details on the foreclosure. If someone has access to the info, please post it.

Perhaps this unit is priced low to generate interest. If it does sell near this price, it’s going to hurt the comps in a big way considering that it looks to have been purchased for almost $700k last year.

Any guesses which property (Builder, Flipper, or Bank) will sell first? And when?

31 thoughts on “Guess who can undercut the builder?

  1. Nude

    My guess: Whomever drops their price to $521k first, which just so happens to be the conforming loan limit with ~20% down.

  2. Mr Vincent

    These places are pretty nice if your into that apartment living type thing.

    Problem is, they are priced about twice as high as they should be.

    Now that ninja’s are gone, its going to be harder and harder to find those few remaining suckers that will pay these prices even if they qualified.

  3. Steve Lyon

    APN 930-30-715
    Purchased by Moises Escoto on 07/27/2006
    TS #20079125600112 on 07/11/2007
    No Lender on Record—First Am Loan Service was Trustee
    Sale Amount of $582,606
    Winning bid $545,000

  4. Flip Ninja

    This stuff is funny! And people still think that the market is going up. I’m guessing that’s the flipper in this case.

  5. mark

    The common areas are kind’ve steril, but the units are nice. The problem with Avenue One is they have a neighbor Villa Siena who offers nearly the exact units for rent. And Avenue One’s prices, even with the historically low rates of the last year or so, have meant that your monthly cost would be 60%+ more than your neighbor renting the same unit at Villa Siena.

  6. Geez

    I clearly remember back in 2005 when Ave. One was being built. The price sheet goes something like this:

    600 sq. ft = 600k
    700 sq. ft = 700k
    800 sq. ft = 800k
    on and on….

    Unbelieaveable. And no direct access parking. It has a parking structure.

  7. Law_Student

    This site is great. I love to see the flippers getting stuck.

    There is a flip down the street from my home in Dana Point that has been on the market for almost 9 months now – they paid $650k, put in the usual cheap cosmetic crap fixes, and have had it listed for $735k for at least the last six months. The place is empty, the lawn is turning brown, and you can almost see the bleeding money pouring down the driveway into the gutter.

    Another funny one: My first home (bought it in ’97 for $210k) was bought by one flipper/realtor in 2004. She paid me $590k and flipped it within 2 months for $650k after spending maybe $10k tops on cosmetics – definite pro. The sucker she sold it too wasn’t so lucky – looks like more of an amateur flipper to me. He thought he would sit on the place for six months or so and then try to sell it for $950k! Greedy bastard – hahaha. It never sold of course, so the price went from 950 to 875 to 799 to 750 and is now on the market for $700k, which he won’t get. My guess is that it could sell for about what I sold it for 3 years ago. Meanwhile the place has been mostly empty for 2 years. On top of that, the house design sucks, it has a shared driveway, and is on a very busy street – so much for curb appeal.

    Keep up the good work.

  8. Kirk

    This is the same trick car dealers use to lure customers to their lot. In this case, they list a property at a cut-rate price, but then as soon as you ask for something with a toilet you have to buy a property that costs 20% more. The low price homes are like a car without air-conditioning. No one is going to buy them. The people that go to look at these places will end up paying $720,000 after they add all the options they want. While it is a distasteful tactic, you have to admit that it is a brilliant sales move and a good way to keep real estate prices rising.

  9. Sue

    Interesting discussion going on about the decline in housing prices over the next year in light of recent credit market developments

    Comment by Atrain
    2007-08-18 09:45:54
    i have a friend of mine who is a residential real estate developer in Southern California. Talked to him last night and he said the Southern California market has already corrected 20% over the last couple of weeks because the marginal buyer cannot get a loan anymore…so they are having a really hard time selling their homes.

    He thinks its going to hit the news in about 2 – 3 weeks that this is the situation on the ground now.

  10. v

    Financing sure will be difficult though as price for jumbo loans have increased and will get worse…so good luck even in closing escrow.

  11. Major Schadenfreude

    “This is the same trick car dealers use to lure customers to their lot.”

    I don’t think there are any tricks here. You have multiple sellers competing against each other, so they will cut prices depending on how bad they want to move their inventory.

    If it was just one seller at the high-rise who was selling all the units, then it would be similar to the car dealership tactic.

  12. Bill Jones


    If you take the monthly rent in Villa Siena for a 2Bd. + Loft and multiply x 160 that should be close to the value of the Avenue One units. What is the rent in Villa Siena? Just curious.

  13. JoeCactus

    But if you buy you will
    – build equity
    – fulfill the dream of homeownership
    – save lots of money with tax deduction
    – make a nice profit when you sell in a year or two

    … NOT!!!! 😛


  14. Adam


    When I read such articles, I often have to remind myself of the MAP OF MISERY; otherwise I may incorrectly associate an article which is written regarding the U.S. in aggregate with what is happening here regionally.

    Big Wigs intentionally speak vaguely and/or quote stats from a national level which tend to paint a softer picture because many areas in the country will not experience the 20-, 30-, and 40% drops as many of us are hoping will happen here on the West Coast. 😉


  15. mark

    That runs around $2,500 at Villa Siena, so $400,000 would be a fair price assuming a flat market for the few years after your purchase.

  16. Jack in Bangkok

    I’m a So Cal boy a long way from So Cal.

    Maybe it gives perspective.

    Do you realize how f in high the above listed prices are (excuse the French)?

    I mean 6, 7, 8 whatever hundred thousand for a 1,200 sq. ft. condo?

    I’m thinking a 40% correction from top to bottom, same as Northridge Earthquake. You?

  17. Laura Louzader

    Such a beautiful complex from the curb and so ordinary and chintzy inside. The picture of the complex is exciting to look at , but the interiors look like those of any lower-middle-class rental apt in the suburbs of Chicago.

    The kitchen is small, standard, and in the living room. The bath pictured is pure developer-grade cheap garbage.

    I’d agree to $300K for one of the 1200 sq ft units only because it is in Irvine CA, and has a lot of curb appeal.

  18. Kirk

    Please don’t be so naïve Major. Let me ask you two questions:
    1) How is the builder able to raise capital to build homes?
    2) How do banks make money?

    Now you see…

    1) Banks provide the capital for the builders to build.
    2) Banks invest in a multitude of investments to make money. One of these investments is real estate in case you haven’t been watching the news lately.

    So, in this case, we have a builder, an investor, and a bank…

    All the same entity! The bank!

    Don’t feel bad though. I still have burn scars from the ’71 Pinto I bought last year. The salesman wasn’t kidding when he said it was a “hot classic”.

  19. Kirk

    Hmm… I replied to you, but my comment ended up somewhere else. I suspected this site was part of the liberal media. Now I know for sure.

  20. Major Schadenfreude

    “So, in this case, we have a builder, an investor, and a bank…
    All the same entity! The bank!”

    Are they all tied to the same bank? If so, then your point is valid.

    I’m thinking they are seperate entities. I imagine seperate banks would undercut each other to make a sale if they had to.

    However, that is a good observation: if they are all connected to the same bank, then we have a car dealership tactic here!

  21. Kirk

    “Are they tied to the same bank?”

    Are you serious? How many banks do you think there are? If you are serious then I suggest that you start reading some World Net Daily instead of absorbing the psychobabble being fed to you by the main stream media. The Rothchilds are the least of your concern. Once the SOG militarize the NAFTA superhighway you are going to be paying at least twice as much for real estate, because of all the homes that get demolished for the highway and buffer zone. It’s called supply and demand. The SOG is going to get rid of the supply. What do you think happens when there is an inventory shortage in the housing market?

    Read it for yourself:

  22. zoiks

    When I was in Florida I killed a few alligators to prepare them for being fried up. I was always amazed when I cut their heads off, for a while their bodies would still behave as if nothing was wrong. Alarmed, maybe, but their legs and such would still react as if everything was alright. If I poked it it would try to scurry away or defend itself with one of its legs. This would go on for a surprisingly long time.

    Anyhoo, my dad used to say “he’s dead, he just don’t know it yet – ha ha”. That’s kinda like the housing market here in OC. Its head has been cut off, (the subprimes and liar loans are essentially gone, and the jumbos cost quite a bit more than they used to) but it continues to respond as if all is well, NAR defending itself in the media, people placing grossly overpriced housing on the MLS, and REIC sending out the greasy windbags to get quoted on the MSM about how the market is fine and will turn around in a couple of months (“real soon now”), especially now that the Fed has lowered the discount rate by 50 bps.

    But the reality is, it’s dead, even though it hasn’t figured it out yet.

  23. carl

    What a horrible comment… you had me in tears. I don’t know what I am mourning for more… the poor Alligators you tortured, or the poor OC real estate market.

  24. Cayci

    I don’t doubt that at all. The August numbers (sales, new, used, whatever) are going to be interesting when they are finally released.

  25. Newport Renter

    What a truly disturbing story. I’m all for analogies, but you could have kept that one to yourself.

  26. Zeitgiest

    I ended up leasing a 2/2 condo in Ave 1 for $1750…I cant believe anyone would EVER pay more than $350K for that place…let alone the $550K asking..
    cheap finishes…no storage…hallway style with small patios…

    the free water bottles in the sales office are nice though 🙂

    im wondering whats gonna happen to Central Park West when its finished…

  27. zovall

    The price on the Bank Owned home has been reduced by $10k. It’s now at $529k. I’m sure they’d entertain a $521k offer 🙂

  28. Nick

    It is hilarious to read about 2475 scholarship…the guy trying to flip it because i am renting out that exact place next month….i wonder if i should show him the blog so he can laugh his ass off

Comments are closed.