Brio New World

Another home falls by the wayside

A few old cushions stuffed with pride

A hand is shaking from the rubble

This spirit is still alive

A servant bares his occupation

Breaks his back just growing old

Never mind his views were taken

Just saw by the rules of old

Less Cities More Moving People — The Fixx

Link to Music Video

Happiness and self-esteem are bi-products of self-discipline and the formation of character; character is forged from habits; habits develop through conscious repetition; conscious repetition only happens through self-discipline; self-discipline emanates from motivation and commitment; motivation and commitment comes from an understanding and appreciation of the benefits of character: happiness and self-esteem. The formula for happiness — life’s virtuous circle — is not difficult to understand, it is just difficult to implement.

Smiley FacePrevious generations had a formula for a “normal,” happy life. You used to save your money until you had a 20% downpayment, then you bought a house, and if you had increases in income, you could move up to a nicer place. Home ownership was a symbol of success. It proved you could save to reach a goal; it proved you were responsible; it made you happy. It was also a ticket to financial security as your home equity would become a savings account you could use to fund your retirement when you downsized to smaller accommodations. These were the rules of old.

The lending industry changed all of that. They eliminated all measures of responsibility including honesty with “liar loans,” integrity with low FICO scores, and accountability with 100% financing. When homes can be purchased by people who lie, cheat and steal, the prestige of home ownership is diminished — no make that eliminated. Home ownership no longer symbolizes sacrifice and success, instead it now is synonymous with greed and gambling in the commodities market. Welcome to our Brave New World.

Enough of my sermonizing…

Today’s properties are all from the Brio community in Westpark. The village of Westpark has held up better than some of the other neighborhoods in Irvine. We have not featured many distressed properties there; however, with the continued deterioration of the low end of the market, even Westpark is showing signs of distress.

2204 Ladrillo Aisle Front 2204 Ladrillo Aisle Kitchen

Asking Price: $469,900IrvineRenter

Purchase Price: $473,500

Purchase Date: 2/22/2005

Address: 2204 Ladrillo Aisle #72, Irvine, CA 92606

1st Loan $378,640

2nd Mtg. $47,330

Downpayment $47,530

Beds: 2

Baths: 2

Sq. Ft.: 1,200

$/Sq. Ft.: $392

Lot Size: –

Year Built: 1994

Stories: 2

Type: CondominiumRollback

County: Orange

Neighborhood: Westpark

MLS#: S498744

Status: Active

On Redfin: 16 days

From Redfin, “Quiet & Private Corner Location. Centrally Located. Upstairs Unit. Gre at Room Open Floorplan. Highly Upgraded with Designer Wall-to Wall Carpet, Tile Kitchen Counters, White Cabinets & White Appliances, Microwave, Dishwasher & Oven Included, Wood Window Blinds, Mirrored Wardrobes, Ceiling Fans, Central Air Conditioning, Custom Interior Paint, Vaulted Ceilings, Recessed Lighting, Fireplace in the Living Room, Cozy Balcony, Rollup Garage Door and Central Fire Sprinklers.”



This is the only seller with any skin in the game. If they get their asking price, they will lose $31,994 after a 6% commission. In all likelihood, they will lose their entire downpayment, and this might even become a short sale.

2301 Ladrillo Aisle #54

Asking Price: $386,900IrvineRenter

Purchase Price: $319,850

Purchase Date: 7/13/2007

Address: 2301 Ladrillo Aisle #54, Irvine, CA 92606

Beds: 1

Baths: 1

Sq. Ft.: 784

$/Sq. Ft.: $493

Lot Size: –

Year Built: 1995

Stories: 1

Type: Condominium

County: Orange

Neighborhood: Westpark

MLS#: P589581

Status: Active

On Redfin: 33 days





This is an interesting property. The previous owner bought in 2001 for $207,500 and HELOCed himself into oblivion. On the way out the door, the previous owner trashed the place. Based on the $/SF, I would estimate Wells Fargo will be lucky to get their foreclosure price. We will see.

These next two properties were recently pulled from the market, but here is the old data…

2401 Landrillo Aisle Fron 2401 Landrillo Aisle Kitchen

Asking Price: $470,000IrvineRenter

Purchase Price: $515,000

Purchase Date: 1/19/2006

Address: 2401 Ladrillo Aisle, Irvine, CA 92606

1st Loan $412,000

2nd Mtg. $103,000

Downpayment $0

Beds: 2

Baths: 2

Sq. Ft.: 1,186

$/Sq. Ft.: $396

Lot Size: –

Year Built: 1996

Stories: 1

Type: CondominiumRollback

View: Trees/Woods

County: Orange

Neighborhood: Westpark

MLS#: S483934

Status: Active

On Redfin: 115 days

Unsold in 90+ days

From Redfin, “Immaculate move in condition property located in the heart of Irvine. Spacious living room with vaulted ceilings. Granite kitchen counter with new stainless steel appliances. Private location with a two car direct access garage. Great association with pools, spa and tennis. Formal dining and living room with a cozy fireplace. Just a short walk to the Plaza vista elementary school and shopping and entertainment.”



At over 100 days on the market, this property is clearly overpriced, but if this seller manages to get their asking price, minus a 6% commission, they (or the bank) stand to lose $73,200. In reality, they will lose closer to $100,000. Do you think they will just walk away? I do.

1504 Solvay Aisle Front1504 Solvay Aisle Kitchen

Asking Price: $399,999IrvineRenter

Purchase Price: $390,000

Purchase Date: 7/30/2004

Address: 1504 Solvay Aisle, Irvine, CA 92606

1st Loan $400,000

Downpayment $-10,000

Beds: 1

Baths: 1

Sq. Ft.: 800

$/Sq. Ft.: $500

Lot Size: –

Year Built: 1995

Stories: 1

Type: CondominiumRollback

County: Orange

Neighborhood: Westpark

MLS#: S498790

Status: Active

On Redfin: 16 days

From Redfin, “Motivated Seller-Great location for UCI Student or Executive. Very cle an and ready for you to move in. Large Kitchen over looking the Dining and Living Rooms. Enjoy this great floor plan with it’s large Master Bedroom with a walkin closet and Private Bath. All on one level Plus Attached Garage Directly into your home.”

With the deterioration in the financing picture, I imagine this seller is even more motivated…

I have to laugh at these asking prices with $999. I guess the seller still wants to squeeze every last dollar out of this sale. Maybe we will have houses priced like gasoline soon with the 9/10 of a cent added on.

Not technically a rollback, but we are looking at a summer 2004 price, and after a 6% commission, this seller still stands to lose $14,000.94. The property records show a $400,000 first mortgage. I don’t know how this came to be as generally a 100% financing deal is an 80/20. Perhaps it reflects the outstanding value on their negative amortization loan, or perhaps they financed through a private party. If they actually got $10,000 back at closing, I don’t see them hanging on and weathering the storm. As Steve Miller would say, “Take the Money and Run.

The low end of the market is being decimated. Everywhere we look we see rollback after rollback. Some neighborhoods hold out longer than others, but all are showing signs of stress. With the further tightening of credit, look for this deterioration to continue, and most likely get much, much worse.

43 thoughts on “Brio New World

  1. Mr Vincent

    “Motivated Seller-Great location for UCI Student or Executive.”

    What does an executive have in common with a student?

    The listing descriptions are getting crazier and more desperate.

    I would love to see pics of the inside for 2301 Ladrillo Aisle #54. Wells Fargo is asking 386k for 783 sq ft, fixer upper.

    Are there still any suckers left who will pay that kind of money for these apartments?

  2. NanoWest

    One of the ironic twists of this housing bubble is that the people that were willing to purchase with no idea of how to pay, will just as easily walk away. When they walk, they will blame everyone in the world and take no personal responsibility. What is really amazing, is the next time a stupid ponzi scheme gets started, these same people will be the first to jump in.

  3. Live And Work In Irvine

    Wow. You really have depth and understanding.

    That sermon was exceptional. I printed it for my wife and she wants to tape it to the wall.

  4. lendingmaestro

    These people are already taking losses and these properties are going for almost $400 per sq ft or more???


  5. SMF

    I bought my first house with little down in 1994 in Sacramento. Of course it was ‘only’ $115K and 3X income. It was a 3/2 house with 1297 sq.ft.

    Funny thing, ended up finding comparables sales in Zillow this year, and the RE agent allowed me to overpay by at least $15K.

    There WAS a time when little down could allow a qualified person to start on the road. But with the current prices, not right now.

  6. caliguy2699

    Wouldn’t be the first place in Irvine with a parking problem. I remember going to this neighborhood a number of months back, and thinking it seemed kind of nice. Still too expensive right now for what you get, in my opinion.

    Not sure if this is the case with Brio, but I always shudder when I see complexes where there clearly isn’t enough parking considering the parking spaces some units get for the amount of bedrooms they have (e.g. 2 bedrooms, 1-car garage with no second space). How can that not lead to a parking crunch, since it’s hard to imagine there are too many single people who can realistically afford payments on a 1-bedroom with these price tags? Other than these so-called “executives,” of course. And it’s not uncommon to see 4 students in 2 bedrooms, so why not 2 in 1 bedroom?

    It reminds me of a listing I saw a few months back that had a photo showing some guest parking spaces with the caption: “plenty of guest parking.” You guessed it: all the parking spaces in the picture were full.

  7. covered

    Funny, I didn’t view IR’s comments as a sermon at all. No fire& brimstone, proselytizing or guilt trips. Just a very astute, reality based commentary on who and where we are and how we got here on our respective journeys. I do have a feeling he IS sharpening up his keyboard for some well placed eulogies, though:)

  8. jwbrown77

    “I have to laugh at these asking prices with $999. I guess the seller still wants to squeeze every last dollar out of this sale. Maybe we will have houses priced like gasoline soon with the 9/10 of a cent added on.”


  9. covered

    Behind every great fortune there is a crime.
    Honore de Balzac
    French realist novelist (1799 – 1850)

  10. $10,000 Tax Free

    Was that $10,000 cash back taxable? Are there any more deals like this left? I want someone to pay me 10k to live in a house rent free while I slowly strip away all of the valuable pieces and ship them to Mexico. Would this be against the law?

    There was an interesting article in the Northcounty Times about a real estate group that gutted an entire neighborhood in Murietta.

  11. Idaho_Spud

    LOL Irvine renter. You are right on. Clearly you have touched on a sore subject for a lot of people.

    I’ve read the bible and was *forced* to read several self-improvement books at work.

    None of these tomes of wisdom mentioned granite countertops, german-import cars, silicone boobs, or outdoor kitchens. Happiness comes from within.

  12. Joe

    I never understand why stupid condo developers only include a 1 car garage for 2 bedroom units. It’s not like we live in a high density area with decent public trans where having 1 car per household is practical.

    My in laws live a block away from a relatively large condo complex, and the people end up parking their POS junk cars all over the surrounding streets because there isn’t enough parking in the complex. So the street is full of eyesore cars that don’t even belong to the homeowners who live on the street. Ridiculous.

  13. Stupid

    What does that mean for CDO’s 🙂 ?

    You may charge a foreigner interest, but not a brother Israelite, so that the LORD your God may bless you in everything you put your hand to in the land you are entering to possess.
    Deuteronomy 23:19-21 (in Context) Deuteronomy 23 (Whole Chapter)

  14. Idaho_Spud

    Mark, do you get your happiness from having electricity, phones (an iphone perhaps to show off to your co-workers), cars, and etc (whatever that is)?

    If those are the source of your happiness and self-worth I pity you. A lot.

  15. Mark

    I guess, my point would be, that happiness is very personal. Discover what makes you happy and pursue it. I don’t fault others for finding happiness in places I wouldn’t venture.

    And try not to worry about others’ sources of happiness. Why would you pity anyone? It’s unnecessary…

  16. Mark F.

    After checking in to on a regular basis faithfully over the past few months, a tremor of self-aggrandizement came over me when I realized the IR had focused his daily diatribe on Brio, the development that I’ve called home for the past three years. My ego’s a bit crushed that our two-bedroom, one-bath, single-car garage carriage unit, currently on the marked for three months now, didn’t get profiled; at $415 – 429k for 917 sqare feet with a greenbelt view and plenty of sunshine, it’s the best deal going in the whole complex. Perhaps I should be thankful that it didn’t get mentioned, otherwise I’d have no cause for the plug. And yes, as a 2-car family with my wife’s car getting garage privileges, I’ve had to rely on a bizzare combination of subterfuge and luck to get to park close to my unit. But when I actually get the coveted space over my neighbors who struggle for the same location, it makes me overcome with glee every time.

  17. IrvineRenter


    I’m sorry I missed your unit. If you are reasonably priced and not underwater, you passed under the IHB radar.

    Good luck, 😉

  18. Idaho_Spud


    Please read this and see if you consider it healthy (or even marginal) behavior. Do you feel that such behavior is in the best interest of greater society and our financial system? If it only affected those involved (like herpes) I would have no issue with it.

    As one who is not partaking in this recent glut of a credit orgy and bankruptcy (I am not a “bitter renter” having been a homeowner for decades), such behavior seems not only irrational, but harmful – even to those not directly involved. At that point I draw the line on what is acceptable to acheive “personal happiness”.

  19. Stupid

    I read somewhere that Neanderthal man would only travel a few miles for a slightly better piece of flint, but Homo Sapiens would travel hundreds of miles for a slightly better piece of flint.

    And Homo Sapiens, with his technological advantage due to craving the latest and greatest things, wiped Neanderthal man out.

    And that drive for the slightly better piece of flint (or cellphone, to make a modern analogy) remains.

  20. OscarDeLaJolla

    Umm…nobody in all of SoCal is reasonably priced. Just thought I would point that out.

  21. effenbrio

    I lived in Brio. De Nile flows straight through there on its way to Egypt.

    2401 (1186sq ft) has been off and on the market for at least 12 months. It first hit the market at $589k.

    Yes. Read that again. $589k.

    It’s on its 5th listing.

    The parking situation has been cleaned up due to new rules from the HOA. Check these rules VERY carefully before considering this tract — They went from anarchy straight to parking dictatorship. If you have frequent overnight guests, forget about living here unless you want to pay a couple hundred to assign them a *non-transferable* pass.

    Singles, hope your relationship is stable.

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