Westpark Rollback

Said there ain’t no use in crying.

Cause it will only, only drive you mad

Does it hurt to hear them lying?

Was this the only world you had? Oh-oh

Houses of the Holy — Led Zepplin

Link to Music Video

Todays property is a large SFD in the heart of Westpark, and it is going to sell at a loss. The entire market spectrum is showing weakness now.

14 Posada Front14 Posada Kitchen

Asking Price: $819,000IrvineRenter

Income Requirement: $204,750

Downpayment Needed: $163,800

Purchase Price: $865,000

Purchase Date: 1/6/2006

Address: 14 Posada, Irvine, CA 92414

1st Loan $691,840

Downpayment $173,160

Beds: 4

Baths: 3

Sq. Ft.: 2,000

$/Sq. Ft.: $410

Lot Size: 3,800 sq. ft.

Type: Single Family Residence

Style: Contemporary/ModernRollback

Year Built: 1986

Stories: Two Levels

Area: Westpark

County: Orange

MLS#: U7004191

Status: Active

On Redfin: 5 days

From Redfin, “READY ! 4 BR (1 BR/BA DOWNSTAIRS)HOME ~ APPROX 2000 SQ FT ~ FRESHLY PAINTED / GLAZED TILE FLOORS / LIGHT BERBER CARPET ~ LIGHT AND BRIGHT KITCHEN W/ STAINLESS REFRIGERATOR INCL ~ ‘1’ LOW ASSOCIATION ($46/MO) ~ FRONT ATRIUM FULLY LANDSCAPED/REAR YARD W/ PATIO COVER ~ FRENCH DOORS AND SHUTTERED THROUGHOUT ~ GREAT NEIGHBORHOOD IN DESIRABLE ‘WESTPARK’ !”

I GUESS IT IS ALL CAPS WEEK.

READY ! Do I need to be prepped for a listing?

Slashes and tildes, / how ~ interesting!

Do you think the champagne and the candle distract someone from the 1986 tile kitchen?

.

.

This owner stands to lose $95,140 assuming a 6% commission.

Another week has gone by, and we have seen a bevy of rollbacks. They aren’t difficult to find these days. For those of you who are not members of our forums, you should check out the thread on Losses Outside of Irvine. All of Orange County is getting hit. We have one asking price 38% off the peak in Anaheim!

I hope you are enjoying our tour of the ‘the seventh circle of real estate hell.’ Have a great weekend.

Circles of Hell

79 thoughts on “Westpark Rollback

  1. Don from the Tanning Salon

    Is this a READY FOR GRANITE KITCHEN! ! 1!

    Why didn’t they go with the ‘absolute white’ tiles in the kitchen, instead of ‘mucousy beige’? And I think that’s not Champagne, or a even a decent Cali Sparkler…, no, that looks like a Chardonnay to me. If this person had a big fancy wine cellar to match the racquetball- gymnasium living room, then they’d have something.
    —–

  2. NanoWest

    …….I am glad that I am not trying to sell a home for $ 819,000 that is worth $ 400,000…………

  3. carl

    I personally know the seller that gave this backholder his reaming (he’s an analog designer like me, but he was with Skyworks in NB). WOW. I remember not being able to believe he got that price (I remember it as 850, but I’m sure it really was 865k for his place). He ended up in Austin and getting a place IIRC about 300k. I should send him a note to look at IHB because I’m sure he would like to see how fast a bullet he dodged.

    It’s actually a really nice place. I’ve been over like 3 times. Everything is for the most part well done, but I never did think the kitchen looked high end.

    I fell a little sorry for the current seller, but happy for my friend. I wonder if the house I sold in 06 will ever show up on this blog…

  4. rickhunter

    I think the entry way is ugly. It doesnt match the house. Just for that, we can take 300K off the asking price.

  5. IrvineRenter

    Wow! I wonder how much farther they will chase the market down until they finally catch it? I am guessing $765,000 if they lower their price quickly.

  6. effencaps

    “I GUESS IT IS ALL CAPS WEEK.”

    IR, the Caps Lock key is cruise-control for cool. Didn’t you know that?

  7. SawItComing

    I thought it might spice things up even more around here if we emailed the realtors congratulating them that their listing made IHB and advising them that the seller has also been notified via US mail.

    It might be fun to know that the seller can see some of the witty and constructive criticism posted here. Who knows, it might even help the agent and seller work together better when they read the often caring concern from the community!

    Too extreme? What do you all think?

  8. CapitalismWorks

    Westpark is the land of pink boxes. These desigs and color schemes were faddish (and hideous) in the eighties. Now they are anachronisms. I would expect Westpark to trade at a discount.

  9. Mr Vincent

    Price: $819,000
    Sq. Ft.: 2,000
    Lot Size: 3,800 sq. ft.

    LOL! Are there still people out there that are stupid enough to pay that kind of money for this?

  10. Irvinexpat

    Closed sfrs last 30 days: 42
    address area tgn sale prc bd/bt sqft
    29 Marsala Irvine/ Westpark 860C3 $540,000 3 2 1100
    12 Woodland Drive Irvine/ Woodbridge 860D4 $550,000 3 2.5 1655
    4 Terracima Irvine/ Northwood 830H7 $614,500 3 2.5 1549
    30 Le Vanto Irvine/ Westpark 860C3 $590,000 3 3 1300
    30 Appomattox Irvine/ Northwood 860H2 $613,600 3 2.5 1504
    14871 Larkspur Circle Irvine/ El Camino Real 860G3 $580,000 4 2 1400
    9 South Cherry Irvine/ University Park 860E7 $655,000 3 2 1550
    14592 Sweetan Street Irvine/ El Camino Real 860H3 $640,000 3 2 1482
    4052 Williwaw Drive Irvine/ Northwood 830G7 $687,000 4 2 1640
    19 Sweet Rain Irvine/ Woodbridge 860D5 $685,000 3 2.5 1571
    40 Finisterra Irvine/ Westpark 860B5 $685,000 3 2 1353
    1 Wintersweet Way Irvine/ University Park 860B7 $680,000 4 2.5 2500
    46 Willow Tree Lane Irvine/ University Park 860C7 $720,000 3 2.5 1708
    14 Flaxwood Irvine/ Woodbridge 860E6 $705,000 3 2.5 1786
    78 Summerstone Irvine/ Woodbridge 860c6 $745,900 4 2.5 1887
    16 Wakefield Irvine/ Northwood 860G1 $738,000 4 2.5 2148
    61 Finisterra Irvine/ Westpark 860B5 $747,000 3 2.5 1600
    3 Recinto Irvine/ Northwood 830J6 $760,000 4 2 2000
    11 Solstice Irvine/ Northpark 830G6 $775,000 3 2.5 2013
    104 Monticello Irvine/ Northwood 830H7 $830,000 4 2.75 2718
    8 Champlain Irvine/ Northwood 830H7 $855,900 4 3 2718
    7 Tory Corner Irvine/ Northwood 860H1 $870,000 4 2.5 2279
    16 Glen Ellen Irvine/ Northpark 830H5 $855,000 4 2.75 2250
    21 Valente Irvine/ West Irvine 830G4 $895,000 5 4 3200
    23 Decente Irvine/ Westpark 860C5 $900,000 4 2.5 2446
    22 Bamboo Irvine/ Northwood 860J2 $950,000 3 2.5 2460
    14 Carnelian Irvine/ Woodbridge 860E6 $975,000 4 3 2600
    48 Whitford Irvine/ Northpark 830F6 $1,050,000 3 3 2765
    31 FLORA SPGS Irvine/ Northpark 830G6 $1,100,000 3 2 2850 28 Vacaville Irvine/ Northpark 830J4 $1,150,000 3 2.5 2468
    6 Figaro Irvine/ Westpark 860D3 $1,265,000 5 4 3115
    21 Breezes Irvine/ Woodbury 861A3 $1,312,384 5 4 3531
    19151 Beckwith Terrace Irvine/ Turtle Rock 890C4 $1,320,000 5 3 3000
    24 Bayporte Irvine/ Woodbridge 860E6 $1,675,000 5 3 3472
    12 Dreamlight Irvine/ Quail Hill 890H3 $1,660,000 5 4.5 3700
    50 Cezanne Irvine/ Turtle Ridge 890C6 $1,600,000 5 4.5 3660
    37 View Terrace Irvine/ Turtle Ridge 890C6 $1,949,000 4 4.5 3700
    23 New Dawn Irvine/ Northwood 831A6 $1,875,000 5 5.5 5045
    51 Hidden Trail Irvine/ Turtle Ridge 890C6 $2,250,000 4 4.5 3690
    3 KENT Irvine/ Turtle Rock 890D2 $2,420,000 5 4.5 4894
    17 Taggert Irvine/ Turtle Rock 890D2 $2,350,000 6 5.5 4515
    22 Cactus Irvine/ Turtle Rock 890F4 $0 5 6 6250

  11. NanoWest

    Go for it………….I am sure that the Realtor professionals can take a little bit of harmless banter.

  12. Iblis

    Many of these “real estate professionals” were cutting hair and parking cars a couple of years ago, and will be again very soon. Save your wit for those who can appreciate it.

  13. Iblis

    Keep in mind that any market, including this one, has a certain percentage of buyers who are not sensitive to price. When volumes are low, they show up disproportionately. But those low volumes won’t support the market. You can’t support builders, agents, originators, etc on the purchases made by TV stars and basketball heroes. In order to have a functioning real estate market you need middle class participation, and that won’t resume until prices normalize.

  14. rd

    This house seems sort of nice and spacious to me (nice kitchen!). do you really think it’s just worth 400K? How do you figure? Do you think this could go for 400K in 3 years or so?

  15. IrvineRenter

    Thanks for the info. Sunday’s post takes this data and links it to past property profiles.

    The WTF award winner at 50 Cezanne lowered the price $300K to sell it.

  16. SawItComing

    I am skeptical of this data:

    14 Carnelian Irvine/ Woodbridge 860E6 $975,000 4 3 2600

    I don’t remember this even being listed. Most of the listings on this street seemed to have expired except #2

  17. Stupid

    Funny agent story:
    When I did a “For Sale by Owner” townhouse several years ago, I went to all the local real estate sites and compiled a list of agent emails and sent them a one page description of our house for sale. For offices without email, I went in person and put a 1 page flyer in their inboxes at work.

    The responses were interesting. Most were of the “I wish you the best of luck. If you decide in a few months time you might want to list it with an agent, please feel free to give me a call”. But a few were hilarious, asked me where I got their email from, don’t spam them, take them off the spam list. To which I replied that there was no spam list, this was a 1 time email that I had sent them as their real estate company website had asked me to contact them if I was interested in buying or selling a home (which I was) and therefore it was not spam.

    The realtors who complained about spam were the funniest – I mean how can an agent who spams everyone mailbox with flyers, magnets, calendard, etc. complain about 1 email or 1 flyer? 🙂

  18. rastaman

    just to clarify, not all Westpark homes are pink/salmon — my section of Westpark is tan/beige, but we have the same tile kitchen (albeit with better cabinets). it is kind of charming in a way in a time capsule way, takes me back to the late 80’s when big hair and TGIF’s were all the rage. The vaulted ceiling in the entry way is such a waste of space: vaulted drywall, painted stark white. you could have used that space for the upstairs bedrooms, which except for the master are rather small. But in 1987, that was chic.

    Trouble with Westpark is that it does not have automatic admission to the holy grail for all my (predominately immigrant) neighbors: Uni High. Instead, they are supposed to go to Woodbridge. But I know the gig: in making conversation with the neighbors, I always ask — your boy go to Woodbridge? and I know the retort: my boy go Uni! (said in a sacred tone). Poor neighbor just bought in early 2007 for over 900K — you catch a falling knife so your boy can (improperly) go to UNI and eat out of that godawful tile kitchen. but we do have spacious backyards as compared to most parts of Irvine.

    makes me wonder: do major parts of Asia know about Uni? if i go over there and tell them my boy goes to Uni, will I get that reverent look w/ eyes glazed???

  19. UNI

    Is Uni high really that much better than Woodbridge or Irvine High? If you have some stroke of bad luck and your child has to go to, God Forbid, Tustin High, would that be the end of the world as you know it? I can understand, maybe, not wanting your child to go some gang infested school in Los Angeles, but it really make that much of a difference in your child’s future if he ends up attending a high school that didn’t make the Newsweek’s list of top public high schools?

  20. priced_out_it_guy

    Haha, well said. Right now I’m thinking of the hair dresser I used to know who went into real estate in ’03. Oh, and there was her brother, the 2 blond bombshell employees at my local gym, the customer service rep at my work, ugh. The list goes on and on.

    I’m sure we can all remember at least one minimum-wage superstar studying for their real estate license during the boom.

    Of course, the lackies that studied were the stupid ones–the smart ones went online and paid “institutions of higher learning”, ie unethical dot coms, to receive their falsified real estate transcripts and immediately take and pass the play-school real estate exams and start cashing in on the frenzy of greed.

  21. CapitalismWorks

    I imagine the majority of any child’s academic success is the result of parenting. If you are relying on any state-run insitution to prepare you children for success in the world… Good Luck.

  22. ocrebel

    Thanks for the link.
    I think Case/Shiller index is more reflective of current market condition, since it looks at same home price variation. median price is more favorable for NAR.

  23. teacher

    “If you are relying on any state-run insitution to prepare you children for success in the world… Good Luck.”

    I’m sure you meant YOUR children. CapitalismWorks must be a product of public schooling. 🙂 or is it skooling?

  24. Jan

    At current market condition, the price tag should be around $700K if the owner really wanted to sell it.
    During 1998-2000 period, there are a couple of similiar houses for sell, the prices are around $380K-$400k.
    My guess is, at the end of next year, this house will worth only around $600K.

  25. Stupid

    I guess it depends on what exactly you want out of the school.

    For just academic achievement, as long as the school is quite good, it’s likely fine. As long as you’re smart and married well :), and turn the TV off and make them study, it’s all godo.

    For social connections (ex. if you have a child with a social upward climber personality, like Clinton in his autobiography, or Keith Ferrazi in his autobiography, or Greenspan in his biography), it might be worth it, just for the connections they can make that will help them later in their careers. For a kid that isn’t a social climber by nature though, likely won’t make that much of a difference.

  26. lendingmaestro

    Zovall or IR,

    Please do a profile on this property!!! It is right across the street from my apartment in Quail Hill. The address is 414 Quail Ridge. This is right across from the apartment complex.

    I was walking my dog last night and saw this property listed with a brochure. I was going to post what it said but, I forgot it at home.
    It is a 3 bd condo w/no back yard and no patio. This appears to be a new listing; I walk on this street everyday and I just noticed it last night.

    List price 739,000! WTF!!!

    Here is the zillow link, which estimates 600k.

    http://www.zillow.com/HomeDetails.htm?zprop=64796459

  27. Stupid

    Also, there is the genius exception. If you’re kid is really, really bright (ex. the kid with the top grades in the entire grade level kind of bright), the best school is more worth it.

    Teachers pretty much have to teach to the middle of the class so maximize the amount the kids in the class learn. So for the right bright kid, it’s worth going to the best school where the middle of the class is higher, so the instruction can target a higher point and you’re kid will learn more and be bored less of the time.

  28. Where is the granite?

    For 3/4 of a million I expect granite counter tops, not that I like granite. And that bathroom has to go – it looks like something I would find at a Holiday Inn or Howard Johnson.

    The listing says “nicely updated”, bu that has to be the most bland home I have ever seen

  29. Irvinexpat

    Saw it coming,
    I don’t trust what “USED HOUSE SALESMAN” say either, but these sales are all from the SoCal mls. Some may be reo, sorry Mr. Stupid, dont have the time to inspect all the listings! Probably 6-10 of them.
    I checked public record there and were 52 sfr transactions since sept 12th. 4 foreclosed upon (not bad compared to other areas). So 48 purchases of single family homes. New construction typically will not appear in the mls, seems like it is at a stand still.
    Does anyone have an idea how many new developments are trying sell homes??? I would guess quite a few. I have not lived there since 2005.
    I checked current pendings and contigent offers (sfrs)…24 pendings and 20 back-up offers.
    Irvine Renter: 2 years ago from 9/12/2005 to 10/12/2005, there 94 sfr sales in Irvine. Can send it if you want it.

  30. Major Schadenfreude

    While you’re talking to the seller, would you please ask him if he used a lawn mower to cut the front yard grass or a pair of scissors?

  31. CapitalismWorks

    I never include Rs when I try to type “yours”. I make up for it by never rereading my posts prior to posting.

  32. CapitalismWorks

    Nothing wrong with sending kids to a good school. Its just that so many parents spend so much time (and money) trying to get their children into some school as if it is a panacea (e.g. waiting lists for “pre-schools”).

    Parents interested in the education of their children, need but to take an active role. Anecdotally (my child is too young, and the other on-the-way), the “best” private schools know this, and necessitate parent involvement on-campus regularly.

    As for [skooling], did you know Ben Franklin pursued a phonetically based spelling system to replace the idosyncratic English spellings? (I am pretty sure phonetically is misspelled, but lack the ambition to verify).

  33. furious sugar

    Thanks for this info. I notice Beckwith Terrace on the list. I thought that property closed months ago. Did anyone follow that listing? Also- anyone know what happened with 19191 Croyden Terrace. That was a flip that seems to be off the market now- but Zillow didn’t reflect a sale.

  34. No_Such_Reality

    If you look at the comments, Lee In Irvine summed it up well for SFRs, that decrease in the last 90 days of 8.8% is annual run rate of 30% a year. Looks like they’re starting to come down as fast as they went up.

    Love the new title on the OC Register home page. “O.C. median home prices fall $45,000 in a year”.

  35. Beinformed

    When you say closed, do you mean sold, (to whom, bank?) or expired, meaning listing no more? Did you look up the tax records for these “Closed” SFR? To see if someone bought it other than the bank? Remember everything that you see on the MLS a realtor has put there.

  36. JoonB

    Can someone find out if 37 View Terrace was actually purchased by someone or did it go to the bank? That house had 4 loans totalling over $2 million, and they were in foreclosure.

    Thanks!

  37. Stupid

    The interesting thing about Ben Franklin is that in his autobiography he had all of 1 year of formal schooling, as his dad intended him to be his tithe to the church (ie. one son to become a priest). Everything else is self taught (he and some friends pooled to start the first subscription library in the US).

    I agree about parents and the schools. Expectations are worth a lot. Unplugging the TV until all the homework is complete and completed well is worth a lot too.

    Also, I don’t think private or public per say automatically make it a good or bad school – I’ve taught in both. It’s all about the individual school and how good a fit it is for your child.

  38. lawyerliz

    Hey guys, people are telling me that what’s his name, Mozilla, stepped down from Countrywide.

    And that he had made nearly $400,000,000 over the last 4 or 5 years.
    Don’t know if that includes stock sales.

    After the first hundred million, what do you do with the money?

    I guess you could spend huge chunks of you like Rembrandts and such.

    Or it is an ego thing, and he wants to be Bill Gates?

  39. Diana K

    new mls, too. #U7004191. says on for 9 days.

    do they really think the fact that it’s not selling has anything to do with the time it’s listed vs the ACTUAL PRICE?

    Really? the listing date is your biggest problem, crazy buyer?

  40. Irvinexpat

    This place nearly doubled in price since 02; closed sept 18th for $1,320,000…previous owners refinanced roughly 7 times! At least they put the money in the house. Thats a nice place, has much more character than other homes in that price range. Lot size is ok, I think all homes 3000-6000 should be on at least a 15000 sq ft lot.
    Also note the agent lists it as 3,000 sq ft; but it is actually 2,832. They are like gamblers, liars and losers.
    19191 Corydon: Another nice place, not $1.75 million nice. Taken off the market in sept. Doesn’t look like a flip, appears to be original owner. It may be seller financed, which is not available in pub rec.

  41. Stupid

    Hey reminder, if you want to catch the re-run of TLC’s first episode of “Please Buy My House” it’s on tomorrow night at 6pm.

    6:00pm – 7:00pm, TLC (54)

    Please Buy My House
    Following three families who are eager to sell their homes as they try a variety of desperate measures to make their property attractive to buyers.

  42. furious sugar

    Re: 19191 Croyden Terrace- definitely a flip. For those of you that missed the open house- they put in really rough textured sisal “carpet” thru out– then made you take off your shoes during the open house (Ouch!) A couple other people there tried to walk back to the bedrooms but gave up due to the foot pain. The sitting realtor commented that the owner spent over $10K on the flooring (but he confided that he thought it was awful as well). They also put floor tile on the countertops and edged it in wood. Nice appliances in the kitchen- but everything else was sugar coat (orig. moldings, closet doors, etc)

    Zillow has never shown the sale to the “flipper” (some blond gal from NB who flips full time- I think she is also a realtor/ broker). Perhaps orig. owners partnered with her and were going to split the profits?

  43. Irvinexpat

    I used to get paid for this. I did not cross reference the 42 mls closed sales with 52 pub rec closed sales.
    If it is on the mls then it was purchased in a supposed arms length transaction by a willing buyer. With respect to sale price and date, agents typically don’t mess with this. 48 of the 52 sfr sales last month in pub rec were not foreclosures. If the home is foreclosed by the bank it will not be in the mls as a closed sale, probably an expired listing and/or a current active listing being sold by the bank. The foreclosure proceedings started months ago, most likely the owner tried to frantically sell the place but failed, and the bank lists the place for a quick sale ASAP. Pub rec does not measure CURRENT foreclosure info, there could be many, many more occurring at the moment.
    Man, there are over 1,000 active sfrs and condos in Irvine!

  44. CapitalismWorks

    Actually a decent 200+ foot yacht will easily run you between $70 and $100 Million. That doesn’t include operating costs running well into 7 figures. Here is a link (BTW, these babies are truly awesome).

    http://www.feadship.nl/

  45. tonye

    This house was selling in the mid 100Ks in ’87. With their small lots they felt more like a condo.

    For reference, check this larger home near Barcelona St.

    [url]http://www.redfin.com/stingray/do/printable-listing?listing-id=1198070[/url]

    These homes went for $203K new back in January of 87, but you had to get into a lottery. My wife and I really thought about buying one but decided that we didn’t want to deal with the crap and found a fixer upper in Turtle Rock instead.

    Now, the second house wants 1.2MIL… of course they’re nuts. They’d be realistic listing it at 950K. Their neighborhood is not blighted by REOs and their lot is 6500 sq feet.

    So, imagine this. Back in 87 you put down 55K (40K, + closing costs + landscaping )… over 21 years you spent another 55K on maintenance and upgrades. So you got 110K down. You make a profit of (950-110 ) = $840K. Which is a return of 760%.

    OTOH, if you put $2K into an low risk IRA in 87, today that;s worth about $26K.. which is a return of 1300%. Even if you put that into a mutual fund and paid yearly taxes you’d still would have made more than 800%.

    If you had put that $2K into uSoft and then rolled it into Intel and Cisco in 94 and sold in Y2K… you’d be RICH.

    So… who says houses are a great investment?

    BTW- I loved that big hair in the 80s. My wife looked very cute, even though her hairstyling bills were huge. Worth every penny it was…. ;-D

  46. tonye

    Uni is a really very good school. IMHO it is better than Woodbridge and all other Irvine schools.

    It is tough and competitive but the school provides a lot of resources for parents, teachers and kids to work together.

    This is not to say that other schools don’t provide this, but remember that Uni draws kids from UCI and some of the most affluents area of Irvine, which are also the most highly educated areas. So the kids do reflect those “high levels of education” at home background and concomitant parental support and/or the best tutoring money can buy.

    I think it’s only real competition is the private High School up the hill by Newport Coast.

  47. Kim

    Irvinexpat: “Also note the agent lists it as 3,000 sq ft; but it is actually 2,832. They are like gamblers, liars and losers.”

    Agent = 8th circle of hell

  48. Irvinexpat

    1,115 homes & condos.
    693 condos…It can be deceiving because the detached condos get marketed in sfr and condo clasiffication by the agents. This skews the total # of listings, especially in Irvine. I guess agents think it helps their cause in some way.
    I just checked the multi family homes for sale, some jackass agents put sfrs in there too. What a joke.

  49. Irvinexpat

    property transferred 9/28, no sale price posted and it does not look like it went to the bank.

  50. Sue

    Why homes are lost studied
    Foreclosure panel cites refinancing

    http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/real_estate/article/0,1299,DRMN_414_5718584,00.html

    Data presented at the meeting showed that 81 percent of the foreclosures in Denver were for loans priced from about $100,000 to less than $200,000.

    Garcia said the figures indicate that the vast majority of foreclosures are the result of people refinancing the equity out of their homes, not from people who bought homes.

    “There are some $100,0000 homes for sale in Denver, but not 81 percent of them,” Garcia said after the meeting.

  51. Sue

    The fault lies with overextended homeowners

    http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=672185

    True as that may be, the problem, in my opinion, doesn’t lie with predatory lenders. The problem rests squarely on the shoulders of homeowners who bought homes beyond their means. It’s your job, not the bank’s, to make sure you can afford the house you buy. To check and recheck the numbers. To have a backup plan, just in case.

    When we bought our house – a four-bedroom, 1 1/2 -bath, 100-year-old Victorian on a corner lot, it cost us $145,000. Our monthly mortgage payment is just $670. That’s an affordable number, and it’s a major consideration for us.

    We’ve thought about moving closer to Milwaukee – after all, my husband works in Delafield – but the numbers just don’t add up. A four-bedroom, two-bath home in Waukesha County runs closer to $350,000. For $150,000 to $200,000, we can buy a two-bedroom, two-bath condo. Not exactly ideal lodging for a family of six.

    Economic reality isn’t always easy to swallow. By all rights, we should be able to buy a nice home in a new subdivision. My husband, a respected professional engineer, designs said subdivisions.

    But while we’re content to remain in the home we can afford, many people are not. They see nice homes and think they should have one, too. More often than not, home-buyers stretch to reach some unobtainable version of the American dream.

    As a nation, our expectations have changed tremendously over the years. We used to need a roof over our heads; now, we need a roof, a media room, a master suite and a three- or four-car garage. The average new home is now 2,459 square feet, up from 1,695 square feet in 1974. Families, meanwhile, have gotten smaller.

    Stretch if you want to for your dream home. Just don’t come crying to me when the mortgage turns out to be more than you can afford. I’ll be enjoying life in Mayville.

  52. lawyerliz

    Alas, my hub gets everything sick. He can ride in a car driven by
    himself, mostly. he can ride a horse or a bike. That’s it. No boats, airplanes, much less roller coasters, trains, subways etc, etc. So, since I don’t want to cruise by myself, no cruises for me.

    Much less yachts.

    And yes, he’s tried everything, and since space sickness is important and he works for NASA, he has his hand on the pulse.
    He used to work for NOAA, and really wanted to go with his instuments on the hurricane flights. Big macho thing. But he was trying the latest drug one more time, on a practice flight, and had to be carried off, and got banned

    I went on a hurricane flight once. It was less bumpy than you’d think. Hurricane Andrew destroyed my Hurricane Gert flight certificate. (I think there was a later Gert, Gert I not being all that impressive.)

  53. lawyerliz

    Altho everything you say is true, I also think that due to outsourcing and immigration, and perhaps other things, are keeping the middle of the middle class from enjoying the fruits of their labors, which are siphoned off by big govt, and powerlessness in the face of the wealthy and powerful. Of course, debt makes you even more powerless. That being said, poor people overseas are people too. But I don’t think that outsouring jobs to them is necessarily beneficial, because often their traditional way of life is destroyed, and the profits are retained exclusively by the wealthier class.

    Meanwhile, we are importing, well not everything, but it seems like everything, from China, which is unsustainably destroying its environment. I understand that mercury polution from China drifts over California, after crossing the entire Pacific Ocean.

    Anyway, bottom line, people have been trying to keep up and improve their style of living, by borrowing, and have not been able to do so by decent increases in salaries. This, now, is at an end.

    I heard on NPR, that the credit crunch is at an end. Because some big mergers went thru! Also, the local paper crowded that foreclosures were down for Sept, and therefore we had bottomed out. What is wrong with the media? NPR especially, should know better.

  54. ipoplaya

    Strangely enough, my wife doesn’t want our kids to go to Uni, and she is even a tenured teacher at that fine institution…

    Well-run school with some good administration and great teachers. Apparently the competition is fierce there though and the stress levels on the kids is considerable. There is the obvious heavy Korean academic super focus that turns things up a couple of notches as well.

    We are going to go for more of a balanced IUSD high school in terms of academics, sports, arts, social activities. Woodbridge and Irvine High seem a little less hardcore and for lack of a better term, more well-rounded. No TR for us…

  55. ipoplaya

    It was ranked IR. Fell out of the top 1300 schools on the 2007 list. Was down around 1150 in 2006. Guess Woodbridge is going into the crapper… Irvine High still made it though.

  56. Lost Cause

    Good Lord, you have to be kidding with such talk on an Irvine housing blog. It is the entire reason that people move to the boring flat vanilla stucco box industrial outskirts of office towers.

  57. Paul Hiller

    By now isn’t there a maven in every real estate office that who reads your blog and warns the more poorly educated agents that they are going to get publicly humiliated if do cap locks and other idiotic things. This is about the best example of a painfully, unreadable description that I have seen so far.

  58. Irvinexpat

    I agree Iblis.
    Just to reinforce your point, I looked at the million $ purchases, only 4 of 15 had a greater than 50% ltv ratio. And those 4 were at or just below 80% ltv.

  59. Sandy

    I was just curious. Who are you people?? Are you guys just so jeolous of other people’s gain? Do you guys have that much time in your hands to write negative things about others and others’ houses?? Those are not your houses! Therefore, those should not be your concern. Thank God that I don’t have a house to sell, but boy, mean and bitter people like you guys suck!!
    Those homeowners and agents owe you guys nothing! So what is it for you? Imagine if you owned a house in Irvine ( you may not have one, that’s why you guys are so bitter!!) and people bitchin about your house…
    Mind your own business please and just remember, what goes around comes around!

    Maybe you guys should have work harder so you can afford to live in Irvine and appreciate the quality of living that the city has to offer. Or, if you guys would rather live outside Irvine, then enjoy!! Irvine is not your city, so what the hell is your problem???

    Really, those who are bitchin about the houses are those who can not afford anything. So, shut up and mind your own business!
    Am I a resident of Irvine? You damn right I am!
    Can I afford the house in Irvine? No, it’s damn expensive, but I am not bitchin like you guys! It’s a fact of life. Location is everything. And since you all talked like you know everything about real estate, then you should have known that location is everything.

    You can bitch whatever you want, but what goes down, will go up!

    So, happy bitchin, but just remember, what goes around comes around!

Comments are closed.