Paved Paradise

They paved paradise and put up a parkin’ lot

With a pink hotel, a boutique, and a swingin’ hot spot

Don’t it always seem to go

That you don’t know what you got till it’s gone

They paved paradise and put up a parking lot

They took all the trees, and put em in a tree museum

And they charged the people a dollar and a half to see them

Don’t it always seem to go

That you don’t know what you got till it’s gone

They paved paradise, and put up a parking lot

Big Yellow Taxi — Counting Crows

Link to Music Video

Isn’t this the story of Irvine? Haven’t we planned, designed and paved over the whole valley?

Works for me, but then again, that is my job.

There is nothing special about today’s property. I just thought it had the ugliest picture I have seen on the MLS in a while, so I thought I would share it here.

Just a suggestion for the photographer: perhaps you could select the angle that shows the front door and some grass and foliage rather than the garage door, water stains, an antenna and power lines.

In case you are interested:

5052 Dutcher Ave, Irvine, CA 92604

Price: $625,000IrvineRenter

Beds: 4

Baths: 2

Sq. Ft.: 1,480

$/Sq. Ft.: $422

Lot Size: 5,543 sq. ft.

Type: Single Family Residence

Style: Other

Year Built: 1971

Stories: One Level

Area: El Camino Real

County: Orange

MLS#: P588169

Status: Active

On Redfin: 63 days

Lowest 4 bedroom house in Irvine!!! One level with large well maintained yard. 4th bedroom was converted from dining room with city permit. Brand new airconditioner/heater just installed, all windows replaced a year ago. Just need new carpet/paint per your taste.



Lowest 4 bedroom in Irvine? Is it below sea level? Oh, they mean the price is low… {smacks forehead}

Judging by the picture, I thought they were having some drainage problems.

55 thoughts on “Paved Paradise

  1. OCrefugee

    Great song titles for the articles, but… This was a big Joni Mitchell hit long before it was a Counting Crows tune.

    Irvinerenter – can you shorten the # of articles on the page – the page takes too long to load and freezes IE6. This has been consistent for about a week now.

  2. Mr Vincent

    Agree on that 250k price.

    “4th bedroom was converted from dining room with city permit.”

    What a stupid thing to do! This house was originally a three bedroom, which makes more sense given the small sq footage.

    Interior needs remodel and whoever buys it should demand fumigation by tenting.

  3. mark

    Most garage doors are unsightly and I don’t know why you’d choose to feature one. A lot of the new developments are hiding the garage doors in the back alley. The primary reason for doing this is probably to maximize lot space, but it also contributes to the appeal of the neighborhood from the street.

    Some developments in Portola Springs (Los Arboles) feature attractive garage doors, but that’s the exception, not the norm.

  4. doug r

    I never really got the idea of basically almost doubling paved over areas by having alleys. Especially in areas where not all alleys are paved yet, they add to airborne dust. You own a car, you gotta park somewhere on your property, get used to it. Don’t get me started on cities that let residents clog up parking on streets, leaving no room for visitors and business vehicles.

  5. Irvine Soul Brother

    Angling the picture would have minimized the garage door, but would have inevitably added the neighbor’s house in the picture. They did put the worst picture forth, no doubt. Those stains could have been cleared with a mixture of high pressure water and/or solution at home depot. The dead grass should have been replaced, no excuse for that. They would have gotten bonus for putting potted plants around, wetting the cleaned driveway, and taking the photo at dawn or dust. They must have really ran out of money.

  6. MoJo

    doug r, you seem to be the only person who has a problem uploading this website. Why should the administrators of this website change their system because you haven’t upgraded yours.

  7. IrvineHomeowner

    The pictures and the house are interesting, in they show how much market perception matters.

    In a rising or overheated market, even a house like that doesn’t look bad to a lot of people, at $600,000. Because they think that it will be $800,000 in two years. Everyone is excited and anything looks good through the “beer goggles” of bubble drunkeness.

    (Anyone remember the LA Times article from a couple of years ago, when some absurd percentage of people surveyed said they believed their house was going to appreciate at 20% per year, forever? That’s when I knew the end was near).

    But in the bright light of today’s sober market, that house looks just plain sad. That needs so much work, top to bottom, to make it suitable for civilized living, it makes me tired just thinking about it. That beauty from the night before is looking pretty pathetic the morning after. Can I call you a cab?

  8. lawyerliz

    Even in the worst excesses of the housing mkt in Miami, that house
    would have gone for no more than the $385 listed by ocrebel.

    Now? Who knows?

    Absolutely nothing is moving.

    I guess you could sell it here for 250-275.

    People like the weather here too, except for hurricanes. And
    we don’t have earthquakes. With hurricanes at least you know
    when they’re coming and know when they’ve left.

  9. OCrefugee

    IE6 has about 37% of all browser usage, IE7 is 20%, firefox is 35%, the 2 IEs together cover almost 60% of all users, any web site ( and I design and host them for a living ) should aim for as broad of coverage as possible, not just whats fashionable. You especially need to accomodate the most used browser. As much fun as it might be to ‘bash microsoft’, your site hast to work with most machines.

  10. Major Schadenfreude

    Who said those were water stains?

    Perhaps the photographer had a LOT to drink and expressed his thoughts about the house & price prior to taking the picture.


  11. Don From The Tanning Salon

    This post outraged me more than anything else in the past month, but not because of the real estate stuff. Big Yellow Taxi is all about Joni Mitchell. Joni Mitchell never lies. Giving whatever the heck a “Counting Crow” is credit for their tepid emotionless cover of this song is like like paying Six Bills and change for this dump : A SOUL CRUSHING MISTAKE.

  12. Don From The Tanning Salon

    I knew the market had reached an end out here in flyover country when my neighbor’s flighty wife decided on a whim 9 months ago to become a real estate agent. Two weekend classes et voila, she’s a real estate agent. I suddenly imagined a whole world of people like her, uncommitted, untalented, untrained, inexperienced propping this whole charade up. Nobody of course labels the “top,” until retrospect, but so far, this has been the best predictor ever. Now, the question is, when she loses interest (she loses interest in normal conversations after about 90 seconds) in her realtor career , will it be time to buy?

  13. SawItComing

    “Great song titles for the articles, but… This was a big Joni Mitchell hit long before it was a Counting Crows tune.”

    I always hated this song, should have never been redone. No matter how jazzy a new band makes it, it’s still a relic of the 70’s……much like this house would look after granite and travertine.

  14. covered


    Mr Vincent

    I was thinking the same price ’till I saw this thing is 36 years old!!! (TM) I might even even pass on it at that but it might get near cash flow, I think. Not even interested in running the numbers. You can bet repairs will be constant and costly.

    Besides having bought all they hype on the way up, I think this huge crush of inventory coupled with the exploding ARMs might finally be dawning on sellers still stuck in 2005.

    Major S.

    Too funny

  15. Flip Ninja

    I use Firefox, and whenever I go back to IE for whatever reason, it always allows popups on sites that mozilla blocks. IE sucks. Get with technology, and learn how to spell. ‘Hast” is from a time long before your precious IE6.

  16. Flip Ninja

    They could have wet down the whole driveway, too. That would have hidden the stains, at least. The walkway looked like it had been wet down. Not much care taken with this picture.

  17. ice weasel

    There are few things more fun than the “make your site match my browser” person. Well, the “IE is used by millions of people so it must great” person is a close second.

  18. Price_out_it_guy

    How do you fit 4 bedrooms into a 1400 square foot home? Converting the dining room as a 4th bedroom? Astonishing!

    I doubt I would fit in any of the 4 bedrooms as I’m over 6 feet tall. My bed would have to be half way in the closet or hallway.

  19. Price_out_it_guy

    And at least the photographer was honest this shot.

    Its amazing what crappy marketers realtors are. They spend all their time findng properties to list, and when they go to finally list them, they put up atrocious photos like this one and ad copy that would activate every spam filter created.

  20. ocrebel

    Deal of the Century:

    They claim that their webiste is now slow because of the huge demand for the deal. lol

    It would be informative to see how they did from Sep. 14 to 16.
    Is it more like:

    “Luxury home builder Hovnanian Enterprises (HOV) on Thursday reported its fourth consecutive quarterly loss, a 35% cancellation rate, fewer sales and contracts.

    The company also said it would slash prices on homes across the country beginning late next week to try to sell off excess inventory.”

  21. jaye

    It’s just a typical tract home. Houses like this one are all over the place, in every tract neighborhood. Maybe converting the dining room wasn’t such a bad idea. Families no longer sit down and dine together any more, so a dining room is really empty space that has been put to good use now. Everything is overpriced on the market and this house is one of them. I would cringe at the property tax bill. Garage doors are always bothersome to look at, no getting around it.

  22. tonye

    I suppose you could rent it out the two or three families. They’d be happy to send their kids to schools in Irvine. I figure they’d turn the garage into two more bedrooms ASAP, so now you got six bedrooms for three families.

    A Santa Ana Dream.

    The driveway is long enough, so you could have six cars around the house.

    The lot is big enough, so they could set up a BBQ and a taqueria in the backyard. Plus perhaps a couple of sheds and now you can get a couple of single guys.

    Figure that if the house sold for 500K, you’d break more than even.

    And if they didn’t pay the rent, you just call La Migra and -Bingo!- new tenants.

    That part of Irvine is a 3rd world country.

  23. Laura Louzader

    Agree with you on the matter of garage doors. The trend toward putting them in back is way too late, for throughout the 80s and 90s, most new suburban developments and city townhouses were designed with garage doors consuming most of the frontage, giving the neighborhood the aspect of a storage facility.

    Nothing looks worse, and they usually have their garbage dumpsters sitting out front, to boot.

    Yet we are expected to ante up $400K ++++++ for this ugly garbage.

  24. Laura Louzader

    I’m sorry to report that pieces of crapola substantially similar to this in suburban Chicago were going for comparable prices at the top of the mania.

    In the elite north shore suburbs, it was much worse. At least the houses there are old and beautiful, but people were paying $1,000,000 for 80 -year-old colonials with 65 year old kitchens, ancient wiring and elderly furnaces, one bath, and 2000 sq ft. They were buying them as “tear downs” and having mansions built on their sites.

    I think that now that hedge funds are collapsing to zero from the weight of the bad mortgages, there won’t be such a big market for $1 MM “tear downs” in the trendy nabes and burbs of Chicago or anyplace else.

  25. Kirk

    Firefox and Internet Explorer are both crap. Don’t even get me started on Safari. I don’t bother with any of this junk. I use Telnet and manually read the pages. It’s very straight forward:

    On Windows, simply follow these steps:
    1) Start – Run – telnet 80
    2) Copy and paste the following commands:
    GET / HTTP/1.1

    3) Be sure to hit return if the page doesn’t display.

  26. Irvine Soul Brother

    Oh boy, Tonye, your post just gets progressively more inappropriate! Good thing you stopped when you did, yikes!

  27. OCrefugee

    You Microsoft hating wieners just can’t sit still can you, I make a simple comment for the benefit of the host and you guys fly of the handle left and right with all of the childish nastiness you can summon up. Special award to ‘Flip Ninja’ that took my typo for some type of archaic spelling usage. Is that all you can say in addition to ‘IE sucks’

    Nevertheless, IE 6&7 are 60% of the browser usage out there. If you have a web site that you would like to be as widely used as possible, if someone is paying you good money to create a website for them, then when you’re deciding which browser to test your web site on, and which browser’s quirks to ignore or accommodate (and they all have them, Safari especially), you have to target towards IE whether you like it or not. If your site has problems with IE, fix them, that’s most of your audience.

  28. Sue

    I’d just like to say,

    Thank you for this wonderful site.

    The loading time is fine, even when I have to wait for my slow cell phone to sync it, it’s worth the wait.

    And thank you for not adding some giant popup ad before we can view the site.

  29. mark

    That’s pretty funny! I thought this reality would minimize foreclosures in Santa Ana, but it doesn’t appear to be working out that way. The OC Register did a story on a street in Santa Ana with foreclosed homes and how many converted the living rooms into bedrooms along with the garage.

  30. Kirk

    IrvineRenter, please limit the amount of HTML tags you use on your page as they obstruct the article when viewing through Telnet. Thank you.

  31. Sue

    From Aug 23rd, but still interesting

    Assurances on Buybacks Cost a Lender

    Expanding rapidly as the nation’s largest home mortgage company, Countrywide Home Loans quietly promised investors who bought its loans that it would repurchase some if homeowners got into financial difficulties.

    But now that Countrywide itself is struggling, it may not be able to do so, making it even harder for troubled borrowers to reduce their interest rates or make other changes to their loans to avoid foreclosure.

    Under the terms of the loan pools, the decision to modify a mortgage is left to the company that services it. Servicers deal directly with borrowers, taking in monthly mortgage payments and sending them out to the investors in the pools. Most of Countrywide’s loans are serviced by its Home Loan Servicing unit.

    But Countrywide’s servicing unit may have less incentive to help troubled borrowers who are interested in working out their loans, analysts said, because doing so could put the parent company on the hook to buy back a loan.

    “With the volume of adjustable-rate mortgages that Countrywide has originated, their liquidity crunch potentially eliminates a viable tool to keep mortgages affordable in the face of impending interest rate resets,” said Kevin Byers, a principal at Parkside Associates, a consulting firm in Atlanta and an authority on securitizations.

  32. Sue

    What’s behind the current hot San Francisco rental market?

    “The rational explanation is that as the real estate market softens, the rental market would take off,” says Wavro, founder of J. Wavro Associates, a company that specializes in high-end residential rentals and leasing. “But the rental market is more tied to the stock market than to real estate sales. When companies have disposable income they hire more people. As more jobs have come back, there’s been more pressure on rents.”

  33. Sue

    Cool tool, lets you look up number of homes sold for any zip code. History of sales by month gives a bigger picture then typical news article about x% sold this month compared to last month or this month last year.

    Home Sales by ZIP Code

    Enter a five digit ZIP Code for a list by month of the number of homes sold and the average price. This information comes from the local County Recorders office. The information is updated weekly. Data is not available for some ZIP codes in rural counties

  34. Rafael

    While I am in agreement with these homes being overpriced I can’t help but wonder how people came up with the 250K number? That might be the value of the construction itself, but a homes value does have other factors, some of which can be significant such as location and quality of schools.

    I think everyone agrees that 625K is a joke, but is this really only worth 250K? I doubt it will ever get that low given that the increase in value from it’s 1998 sale price would be less than the rise in inflation. Since 1998 was just 1-1.5 years from the market bottom I think your estimates are getting too pessimistic on the value of the home. Even with the work this home needs I doubt it would ever drop below 325K. That’s my random number.

  35. Pragmatic in Irvine

    While I am in agreement with these homes being overpriced I can’t help but wonder how people came up with the 250K number? That might be the value of the construction itself, but a homes value does have other factors, some of which can be significant such as location and quality of schools.

    I think everyone agrees that 625K is a joke, but is this really only worth 250K? I doubt it will ever get that low given that the increase in value from it’s 1998 sale price would be less than the rise in inflation. Since 1998 was just 1-1.5 years from the market bottom I think your estimates are getting too pessimistic on the value of the home. Even with the work this home needs I doubt it would ever drop below 325K. That’s my random number.

  36. Jim Jones

    Ya, but who knows for sure? If the majority of potential home buyers decide that they will not purchase until prices drop to a level they deem fair then would this not on its own drive prices down? It’s all about supply and demand. If buyers judge this house to be worth no more than 250k then why would it sell for more? Of course the true bottom would be when prices drop low enough for them to be profitable as a rental. But is every property out there a potential rental? Is the “if cash flow positive as a rental” measure applicable to all homes?

  37. tonye

    OK.. I was joking

    However, back in the 80s one of my coworkers came into some money via an inheritance. So he wanted to buy an income property.

    The realtor took him to some 4-plexes in North Long Beach and that’s exactly what she told him: “Rent illegals, if they don’t pay, call the Immigration Service and they’ll get rid of them for you”.

    No kidding! True story.

  38. tonye

    1450 feet X $200 per square foot to build = $390K to build
    Add $75K for the lot in that area.

    Total cost is $465K.

Comments are closed.