Almost 2003

She’s a brick—-house

Mighty mighty, just lettin’ it all hang out

She’s a brick—-house

The lady’s stacked and that’s a fact,

ain’t holding nothing back.

She’s a brick—-house

She’s the one, the only one,

who’s built like a amazon

We’re together everybody knows,

and here’s how the story goes.

Brick House — The Commodores

You don’t see much brick in Irvine. This property has a brick facade on part of the structure, a brick wall and a brick walkway. I think the architecture is rather attractive… She’s a brick—-house…



Asking Price: $715,000IrvineRenter

Income Requirement: $178,750

Downpayment Needed: $143,000

Bank Purchase Price: $714,000

Bank Purchase Date: 12/14/2007

FB Purchase Price: $700,000

FB Purchase Date: 6/23/2003

Address: 2 New Meadows, Irvine, CA 92614


Beds: 3

Baths: 3.5

Sq. Ft.: 1,887

$/Sq. Ft.: $379

Lot Size: 4,848 sq. ft.

Type: Single Family Residence

Style: Contemporary

Year Built: 1983

Stories: Two Levels

Area: WoodbridgeRollback

County: Orange

MLS#: U7005149

Status: Active

On Redfin: 5 days






If the bank has to cut their price $15,000 to sell this property, it will be a summer 2003 rollback. Welcome to 2008 where 5 years of appreciation has now been wiped clean…

This is a nice property. It is in Woodbridge, on a corner adjacent to a park. It is not too small, and it has a yard large enough for its own swimming pool. I don’t see many negatives here, and I certainly don’t see any reason this should be a 2003 rollback, other than the conditions of the market. I can’t help thinking the original buyer overpaid in 2003, but real estate always goes up, right? We will keep an eye on this one and see if a knife catcher gets it below its 2003 price.

160 thoughts on “Almost 2003

  1. ice weasel


    Sorry, had to.

    And not that my opinion has any value but this seems like a decent candidate for a $475k home (without seeing the inside or knowing more that’s a real stab in the dark and a fairly generous one at that). I can easily see, in a world of $100+ oil an economy that would barely support that price.

    And yes, as IR pointed out, five years of “growth” wiped out in the blink of an eye. That said, I think we have to begin to ignore all of the ’00 years “growth”. It was artificial and unnatural if not unsustainable in real terms.

    I would guess that someone would jump on this for more than my estimate given what Irvine props sell for. And yes, the 2003 buyer grossly overpaid in my opinion as well.

  2. FairEconomist

    It’s a 2003 rollback even if they get the asking price – 2% over a midsummer price is still a 2003 price. But I agree $379/sq. ft. is a really high price for a 20 yo property in midsummer 2003. That’s 3 years before the peak. Were peak prices per square foot really $500?

  3. IrvineRenter

    There has been some name calling and negative personal characterizations in the comments lately. This must stop. We can all have differing opinions, and we can share them here without fear of denigration.

    Thank you,


  4. ice weasel

    Sorry about the additional post but one more personal pet peeve. Here we have someone trying to sell a home, a home priced at almost three quarters of a million dollars with one picture of the outside taken with a cell phone. Seriously, are these realtors that dumb? We all know that they’re not that busy these days (unless the realtor is selling REOs). Hilarious. This wouldn’t fly on ebay yet on MLS it’s standard operating procedure.

    I’ll never get over that.

  5. IrvineRenter

    If I were the bank, I would certainly be taking a look at the appraisal I based the loan on. There probably were comps in the $500/SF range. We have seen plenty of WTF asking prices over $600/SF.

  6. IrvineRenter

    Given that the home sold for $375,000 in 1998, and assuming the house would rent today for about $2,700, the $475,000 estimate of value is pretty close, IMO.

  7. lee in irvine

    It sure does make my day to see train wrecks like this one. I hope the family found a nice rental within their means, and I hope the bank losses a lot of money on this deal.

  8. George8

    What is the best strategy to negotiate with the bank on REO, besides waiting for lower asking prices?

  9. Kirk

    I often wonder if this blog has a connection to Al Qaeda. That is the only thing I can think of that would explain all the anti-free-market views espoused by the members of your special interest group. The government should not allow your continued attacks on the economy and should institute a minimum price of $500 per square foot for any sales transaction involving a single family home. People who break this law should face prison time for attempting to undermine the laissez-faire system that has served this country well for many generations. This particular home would sell for at least $944k if speculators like you people weren’t driving the market down.

  10. MalibuRenter

    I agree with Ice Weasel. We all know the NAR’s economists are delusional. However, if the NAR or MLS wanted some professional standards, they could specify minimum photo resolution, number of photos, and make their software use spellchek.

  11. former_irvine_resident

    Cool – I’ll take 5 square feet! That should be enough room for me to stand and enjoy the wonderful world of Irvine!

  12. Kirk

    I agree wholeheartedly. The problem really stems for the secularization of our society. People were much more civil when they were taught to fear the wrath of God or perish. But, what did you expect? You run a blog that denies that the invisible hand of God is involved in the market. Worse, you slap that hand when you subvert God’s will by driving the market down with your “bubble” rhetoric. I would be willing to bet that you would be against having the 10 Commandments printed on all loan documents and property titles. What a great irony that you complain about the problems that you, in fact, helped create.

  13. ipoplaya

    This realtor specializes in REOs ice w. He’s probably got all the biz he can handle right now…

  14. Kirk

    The idea of specifying minimums like you suggest smacks of socialism. People don’t need a nanny telling them how to list their properties. Let the market work and leave the tyrannical policies for France.

    Paul/Huckabee 2008!

  15. MalibuRenter

    BTW, misspelling of “spellchek” is intentional. It’s yet another one of those irritating errors I’ve seen repeatedly. The best was a personals ad from an “Englis teacher” who was looking for someone who was “intelligant”. And no, her photo was not high-res, brick house, smokin’ hot. It was a WTF personal.

  16. Mr Vincent

    About 9k in annual property taxes if someone buys it at the asking price. Thats $750 per month just for property taxes.

    That’s why 700k used to be a price that the upper crust would pay for their upscale homes.

    This is just a nice small, somewhat brady-bunch-looking house that a young middle income family should be able to afford. I agree with that 475k figure.

    I am sure it will sell for more than that because there are still some potential buyers that are not willing to wait a couple more years.

    BTW, whats up with the agent? Was he afraid to go inside and take some pics? It has a pool, why not take pics and show everyone?

  17. Alan

    Banks can’t afford to book to large of a loss because the negative effect on their books would make them insolvent. They will stall on the downside and hope for a soft landing in order to maintain their liquidity. Some, in particular WaMu, are postulated to be deep into subprime to survive.

  18. Alan

    The issue seems to be one of ego’s. Just like you predicted, people do have egos tied up with paying high rents for their spot in paradise or prices so high for their house in paradise. When others point out that these prices are unsustainable, or that rents nearby are lower, ego’s get bruised and comments get made that shouldn’t.

  19. buster

    Kirk, chill dude. Would it not be better for our capitalistic society for people to not to drive themselves into debt so deep they will never get out to purchase a depreciating piece of property?

    Let’s face it, cars depreciate fast, so people rent them (lease is a fancy name for rent). That’s smart. Housing is depreciating, so smart people will rent them. You wouldn’t stick your cash in a falling stock, so why put it in any other property that is plunging?

    Besides, if we don’t drive ourselves into debt for a quickly depreciating asset, we (as a country) will have more money to invest in productive assets. Maybe then we won’t have to sell our country’s iconic institutions to Middle East oil barrons and the communist Chinese government just to raise some cash.

  20. Alan

    NAR’s economists ARE NOT delusional. They are paid by the NAR to say what the NAR wants, just like any other marketer. If they didn’t say what the NAR wanted, they wouldn’t be hired. It may be unethical but it’s not illegal.

    Ideally, economists would be required to have some national standard association which could sanction members unethical behavior.

  21. rkp

    Alan – I don’t think they are tied with egos at all. You and a couple others keep insisting that IPO is unrealistic (some are even calling him the next truthy) but give no reasonable expectation why rents will fall.

    I have no ego tied to this city let alone this county. I grew up in a real LA city zipcode and would love to move back any day of the week. My wife grew up here on the other hand and doesn’t like LA much at all.

    In any case, I will be glad if my $1900 IAC rent for a 2b drops but I am not expecting it to with all the information we have presently. I certainly am expecting house prices to come down greatly. My calculations put it around $225-250 a sq ft depending on lot and upgrades. So at a certain point, I will have to decide if I want to continue renting my smallish apt for close to $2000 or buy a house.

    You, shiny, etc have constantly stated that incomes can’t support rents but people seem to keep renting in IAC communities. Hence, please describe the reasoning and don’t simply say the rent-to-income ratio is off the charts. IAC won’t rent to anyone that doesnt make at least 3 times the rent so the majority of households in IAC communities aren’t on any killer rent-to-income ratio.

  22. sunnyview

    If rent of this one is $ 2700. I will take market value around 575k after two years, 2010. By then, American are going to back old standard, 10% down payment, 20% just too hard for average joys.

  23. shiny

    Kirk: if want a healthy economy, then you will appreciate that overemphasizing a particular asset class is detrimental. Trade between nations creates wealth, combined with productivity increases. Worshiping at the House of Orange County only leads to the disaster blossoming around us: the religion of stucco-ism leads to defeatism.

    It is a classic example: you have apples and I have oranges. If we trade some apples for oranges and vice-versa, our wealth increases. Each party benefits and is better off than before. That is how OC will boom, through trade and productivity (each party increasing the number of apples/oranges they have available to trade with the other party).

    So the implosion of this real estate bubble is ultimately positive because we can get back to work in endeavors that will lead to wealth increases. It is not “wealth” to endlessly speculate in just apples. There is no future in such schemes.

  24. NanoWest

    It is hard to figure out what the banks actually think home prices are at this point. When you here of the investment houses and banks taking billions of dollars in write downs, they must be based on some logic and the value they think their assets are worth.

  25. Alan

    Yes people do seem to be overextending thenselves to rent IAC apartments for the present.

    Apartment rents are determined by supply and demand, not what the next door building is renting for.

    Long term, spending 40% of your income on rent is not sustainable, that’s indentured servitude. 28% of the median household income for Irvince is where sustainable rents are going to end up. My opinions are for the long term 5-10 years.

    Once the real-estate bubble ends and incomes drop, which I anticipate as real estate, lending and construction softens, then vacancies will start to rise and apartment owners will drop rents to keep units full.

    Private properties with WFT asking rents that are vacant for 6+ months without a tennat ARE NOT asking market rents and no amount or arguing can say they are. If they were asking for market rents, they would have been rented.

  26. NanoWest

    My logic tells me this place is worth about $360,000. Again, that is if the buyers are required to have a down payment to purchase the home. This is a median home……1900 sq ft. tract. For the consumer/dept economy of Irvine saving $72,000 or even $36,000 is a huge amount of money.

    The housing market valuations will depend more on down payment requirements than any other factor in the next 5 to 10 years. Interest rates are a secondary factor at this point.

  27. shiny

    OK Irvine Renter: how about this: gee, ipop/rkp, your bullish dreams of closets renting for 3K a month are unrealistic. But I appreciate that the good Lord was parsimonious with IQ distribution. These things happen. No harm, no foul. This is a democracy, we all get just one vote. I don’t mind wrongheadedness, it all part of a divine plan. So you see, everything is flowers and candy, peace, love, and happiness.

  28. ipoplaya


    My posts, at least up until shiny’s attacks, have nothing to do with ego. I do take some joy in a spirited debate, but won’t lower myself to his name-calling, etc. I told you a few days back that I would chill out on that and I will stick to it. I went after shiny because he blasted me for have the opinion that I think that Woodbury place could rent for $2900 today when 1) it has rented for that much according to Zovall and rents have gone up since then, 2) based off MLS leased prices and IAC rents, $2900 today for that particular unit was very possible and 3) he has a fallacy in his reasoning with regards to what he pays in Westpark vs. what others pay in other places.

    How in the world could my ego somehow be tied to rent values in Woodbury? I own in West Irvine. Have owned for years. I’m looking to buy-up so any property declines benefit me. I won’t be renting out my place as I think its silly to hold and rent if you can just buy back the same property later at a lower price for investment purposes. My mortgage, taxes, insurance, etc. are far lower than that $2900 rent in Woodbury or equivalent rental properties in my neighborhood. I have every motivation to agree with you that the sky is falling but I simply can’t ignore what transactions are saying about the market.

    Yesterday I posted 27 leased condos and townhomes from West Irvine with an average rent around $2600 for 1600sf. That tells me, and I suspect many others, around how much things rent for today. Absent other catalysts to drive those numbers down, which very well may occur, those are going to be the rent rates of tomorrow also. Again, I have no vested interest or stake in Irvine rental rates. Just simply trying to pass along some information to correct some misconceptions…

  29. ipoplaya

    I’m not particularly keen on bankruptcy law. If a bank is insolvent from a balance sheet perspective, i.e. liabilities exceed assets, do they need to file for bankruptcy? Can they stay in business if this is the case even if they can continue to meet all financial obligations?

  30. shiny

    your own position undermines what you say: your (deductible) mortgage payments are “far lower” than $2900.

    My point is that I live in a very different reality: I write a non-deductible check for 3K every month. And it is hard to do so even with an income north of 300K. I have direct experience with this, I live it.

    So when I see 1600 sq ft boxes touted as being worth 2900 a month, I know that is wrong/unsustainable. It is simply a reflection of what Irvinites came to believe as “normal.”

    That thinking, that 700K and up is normal for middle class dwellings in a godawful plasticky community of monotonous sameness and dullness replete with immigrants wearing welding helmets while driving (OK, the welding helmets are rather amusing and alleviate a bit of the dullness) is what lead us down the road to this unfolding disaster.

    Personally, I find a blog monotonous when everybody strokes each other with the same ideas, commenting on how “wonderful” the discussion went — what discussion, you were are striking the same notes. yes, name calling is ultimately childish but that is our way: look at the presidential campaign, mudslinging is a deeply rooted part of our culture.

  31. ipoplaya

    From my recent personal experience George, there is little room to negotiate with the banks. Those determining the property value are seriously disconnected from the properties, neighbhorhoods, etc. You just have to keep going back at them and maybe catch the bank’s deciding authority on a day when they feel like they need to move some inventory. Here’s an example:

    Owned by Wells Fargo. Once upon a time I thought I liked this three-story design (not any longer) in Northpark Square. Small lot but in a pretty good location very close to small park and the big common area in NP Square.

    They brought this on to MLS at $979K when the same floorplan had recently sold in West Irvine for $880K and others just like in NP Square were listed in the mid to low $900K range. I was thinking they might be willing to move it in the $800s but they wouldn’t budge out of the $950K territory. If they would have, I might have caught that knife and paid $850-875K for it. I think it will sell in the low $800s finally assuming they are now more realistic about accepting a market price. The price drops do suggest that is the case…

  32. Alan

    That’s when the fun starts.

    What was that saying “may you live in interesting times”

    08-09 is going to get very interesting

  33. No_Such_Reality

    “check for 3K every month. And it is hard to do so even with an income north of 300K. I have direct experience with this, I live it. ”

    Um north of $300K would put you at $25K+ per month gross. Even in California, that puts you near $15K take home. $3K of $15K is 20%.

    If you have difficulty making a housing payment based on 20% of take home pay you obviously have some other money issues going on.

    Living wage proponents use 33% of gross income for rent as their guideline. Housing advocate groups use the same.

    Properties over $2500 in OC tend to rent slower, but they do frequently rent. Irvine has higher rents than the rest of OC. $3000 places do rent. They rent. IMHO, some if not many in Irvine are literally living themselves into the poor house by choosing to live in Irvine. The blog has covered this SoCal cultural phenomenon before.

    Will Irvine rents drop? Maybe, maybe not. I suspect they will have increase pressure downward. However, if Irvine and the core South Coast Metro area continues to be the job hub and traffic congestion continues, for rentals, it place increased upward pressures.

  34. shiny

    having said all that about how boring it would be if all this blog comprised was like-headed bloggers spouting similar comments, I gotta hand it to my bro Alan: Hear, hear, he speaks the truth.

  35. ipoplaya

    What I pay as an owner has nothing at all to do with what others pay to rent my same home. What I pay is a function of how much I put down, my mortgage interest rate, when I bought etc. It’s a confluence (is that word?) of factors over an extended period of time that produce the economics of my housing expense. Rents are about supply and demand at a particular moment in time.

    I’m sure you don’t believe that MLS data I put up yesterday, with 1600sf condos in West Irvine with an average 2007 rent rate of $2600 or so, but I think that is a much better indicator of what the market TODAY is vs. your personal rental situation. How do you rationalize that almost 30 places were rented at $1.60 per sf while you pay $3K for 2400sf? Most of these places were attached, no yards, etc. and yet they seemingly pay only $400 less than you for 800 less sf. Is it possible that rent rates differ by area in Irvine for some reason? Is it possible people pay more for newer places? Of course it is, because that is how markets work. I know, I know, show you the leases. How about I go door to door this weekend and confirm with the renters that they are really paying these rates. Will you believe it then? Probably not I suspect…

    Is it unsustainable, I have no idea. People are paying the rents today somehow. Maybe they are living off credit cards, but I won’t even try to guess about that. When personal BKs start spiking seriously in OC, I’ll agree with you that these renters are living above their means and rents are likely to come down.

  36. Stupid

    Leasing the most quickly depreciating period (ex. first few years of a new car) over & over isn’t exactly smart. Obviously it’s better to buy a car outright after most of the depreciation has already take place (ex. a few years old – now just transportation, not status), and drive it for many, many years until it dies.

  37. BubbleLee

    What makes you think that God’s will is for prices to keep going up indefinitely? Do you think God’s thinking, “I wish that hadn’t happened?” If you think God isn’t in control of all things, then you don’t know the God of the Bible. Someone once said that God cares more about our character than our comfort. I hope that whatever RE loss you are experiencing, that you ask yourself what God is trying to teach you.

  38. shiny

    the money issue I have is this: you pick up a pen and write a non-deductible check for 3K every single month. you will see what I am talking about.

  39. Iblis

    What they said.

    The banks don’t negotiate. We bought our first home as an REO. Made an offer below asking which was rejected. Two weeks later the bank lowered the price and we submitted our identical offer, which was then accepted.

    They are playing to a script.

  40. SawItComing

    “Let’s face it, cars depreciate fast, so people rent them (lease is a fancy name for rent). That’s smart. ”

    Excuse me while I laugh.

    There is a big difference between Leasing a house and Leasing a car.

  41. Robert

    I was in this house in 2003. It is very unique for Woodbridge in that it has its own pool in a beautiful setting. Entry fountain, end unit. Very private (if there is such a thing in Woodbridge).
    The interior has a gut remodel with antique french finish on kitchen cabinets and espresso bar in FR. The remodel was 9 (out of 10) for homes in this bracket within Woodbridge. Other than being 4 bedrooms in about 1800 SF (which makes for small bedrooms), this is a very appealing home. It is also outside the loop and oriented near 405 so it has constant background freeway noise.

  42. Alan

    I don’t believe asking prices that havent’ changed in 6 months are valid market prices.

    I’m renting my condo now in HB

    I checked comparables last year, posted a price, had several people look at it, no takers after three months lowered the asking rent, lowered it again, eventually found a tennant.

  43. mark

    Please keep up the good work ipoplaya, don’t let some new reader wishing that he made $300k a year but can’t even comfortably pay $3k a month in rent bother you. I enjoy reading your comments, and agree with your thoughts about rent. In fact, I was about to ask IrvineRenter a question last week when he posted his updated charts, asking him to further explain why he felt the median rental price in Irvine was $2250 (lower than my gut feeling) when he answered the question for me out of the blue. The answer was that his median is a 3br condo, which explained a lot about the differences.

  44. lendingmaestro

    Banks are regulated by several different government agencies. If banks cannot continually take losses every quarter or they can be forced to shutdown. It’s scary, because when a bank buys the home back from itself, no loss has been applied to the balance sheet. The mortgage note appears to be paid satisfied and now they hold the home on its balance sheet as a non-performing asset. They do not take a loss until they sell the property.

    Do you know how much money is already tied up in bank owned properties? The amount is staggering. Countryfried has over 3200 properties in CA alone, and this is just what is disclosed on the website. If the avg home price is 425k, that means they have 1.36 BILLION in useless property value in California alone.

  45. SawItComing

    I used to live around the corner from this place 1993-1997. We knew the family that lived there, their daughter would babysit for us. I am almost certain that this place does not have a pool. The REALTARD(r) is probably referring to the adult only pool adjacent to the house, which BTW used to be 24 hour until the 1998 buyers complained to WVA enough to get it closed at 10pm.

    BTW; when we left that house on whistling isle we paid $1475/mo rent. It had 4 beds and 3 baths.

  46. shiny

    again, one thing that kills me about these blogs are the posters who become possessive about the comment section(!), as if they had some vested property right in it.

    I am not new, I have posted under a variety of names long before you Johnny-come-latelys showed up.

    oh, that shiny doesn’t belong here, he hasn’t drunk enough koolaid, why he says Irvine is dull and boring. that’s crazy, one billion Asians are dying to live here so we can all stop working and rent our stucco boxes for umpteen thousands. don’t mind him ipop, he is just wrong, wrong, wrong. we loves you, what flavor koolaid do you drinks?

  47. SawItComing

    Oh, and relating to yesterdays comments: We had to sue to LL to get our deposit back.

    We were paid up until the end of the month, moved on the 11th, found her new tenants that moved in on the 15 and also paid for that 2 weeks, and she would not produce any receipts substantiating her expenses. She paid once she got served.

  48. lendingmaestro

    ASSUMPTION: 375k price is accurate on a fundamental level.

    6% annual appreciation for 9 years puts the nominal value @ 633k.
    —-this is double the avg rate of inflation and greater than a 30 year treasury bond

    4% annual appreciation for 9 years puts the nominal value @ 533k.

    Historically, including that last 7 years of insane price inflation, the avg rate of apprecaition of SoCal homes for the last 50 years is less than 4%

  49. rkp

    Nice Shiny…

    Alan – I totally agree. WTF asking prices do not indicate true rent. My in-laws have owned a second house in the Orange hills area for over 10 years now. It is a 2500 sq ft house on a 5000sq ft lot and in great condition. My father-in-law isn’t a slum lord 🙂

    I will get all the rental rates from him tonight but I know that they were getting between $2700-2800 pretty much all this decade. After years of lucrative rent, my father-in-law had to drop the rent to $2600 and use a RE agent in December so I agree that rents are falling albeit very slightly and only on the larger properties.

  50. rkp

    Shiny- you think you make the comments section interesting but I disagree. You just make gross generalizations and contribute very little to the discussions. I am glad we have differing opinions or the blog would be a waste of time. But you simply say we are wrong or dumb or jaded but give no logical explanation. The comments section is normally interesting and full of intelligent debate.

    Also, whats the deal with the $3000 a month check being difficult. I make less than you and have no problem what so ever having to write that $2000 check. You stated earlier that your wife has health issues and I am sorry for that but you have to agree that without those expenses, the $3000 check would be a breeze.

  51. ipoplaya

    One thing that kills me about these blogs are people like you that bitch about them but continue to read and post on them at the same time.

    If you don’t like the show, change the channel. If you don’t like Irvine, move to CDM, Newport or Laguna if you love them so much. If you don’t like the blog, just forget the URL. It’s sad to see people like you with free will whine so much about things you don’t like and just keep on doing them…

  52. shiny

    gross generalizations? click on reuters or bloomberg if you want “gross generalizations” that this bubble is imploding. I am old enough to have been there down that before. I recall the same craze in the late 80’s, buy or forever be priced out.

    But this time it was much worse and became global. Debt has been leveraged like never before. No one knows where this will end but it is plain to see it ain’t gonna be somewhere good. Global competition ensures that wages must stay low yet we are assaulted with $100 barrel oil — cheap energy is our lifeblood in the USA, suburbs like Irvine were created because of it. So go ahead and stroke each other with your pipe dreams that we will soon have a bottom and go back to endless speculation.

    and yes, I do prefer Corona del Mar, any sane individual would. It is like saying I prefer BMW 335i over Chevy Malibu, it is a no-brainer. You cannot create a community in a Irvine Co. corporate boardroom, communities are organic. When you do “plan” a community to the extent that the Irvine Co. did, you get a sterile lifeless result. But because this bubble caused endless speculation, the moribund experiment that is Irvine became thought of as a bottomless well of appreciation and riches.

  53. no_vaseline

    I can’t make up my mind if Kirk is trolling, leveling (search the twoplustwo forums for definition), or serious.

    Either way – good times.

    I am about half way throught Greenspans’ book. On page 178 he describes how the fed tried to deflate the bubble one time in 1997 and then quit. But the real gold is on page 175 when he quotes Robert Ruben.

    ‘Bob thought that a federal financial official should never talk about the stock market in public. AN inverterate maker of lists, he offered three reasons noted subsequently in his memoirs. “First, there’s no way to know for certain when a market is overvalued or undervalued,” he said. “Second, you can’t fight market forcers, so talking about it won’t do any good. And third, anything you say is likely to backfire and hurt your credibility. People will realize you don’t know more than anybody else.”

    Wow, there’s humility there.

    In the end, fundamentals matter and the market sets the price. But just like when Enron was manupliating the energy markets in 2000 here in California, ‘outside influences’ (in this case, ez financing) can really mess with fundamentals.

    A personal note to Kirk:

    If you really think this blog is effecting the settling prices of houses that are currently moving (and there are a few) or violating the invisible hand of God (which I always believed to be unmanuliplateable), secularization isn’t the problem. You, sir, are truly in bad shape and need to seek professional help – or a basic sales course where they explain that market prices are set by a willing buyer and a willing seller.

  54. mmg

    I will have to agree with shiny, people have become accustomed to certain numbers in Irvine. 3000k in rent is alot of money regardless of how much you make. can you afford it on a 300k salary, yes. is it fun to make that payment, NO.

    like a poster mentioned above, part of what I read here is the cultural pathology IR mentioned in one of his earlier posts.

    just look at what people are paying to lease cars, 1000 per month is common, you would be shocked when you ask these people how much they make.

    I know Irvine commands higher rents due to location, safe, planned, etc but Irvine became one of the biggest bubbles. houses cost half less than 7 years ago. with local economy slowing down, prices going up(food, gas, health care, edu), WILL PEOPLE BE WILLING TO PAY CURRENT RENT PRICES, that is the 64,000$ question. 😆

  55. ex-Tangelo

    Robert — that’s an excellent point. It’s easy to assume houses are a commodity, that any one is like any other.

    Just because houses share similar statistics or a floor plan does not mean they are worth the same.

  56. zornundo

    While the bank may take possession of the house, the FMV of the house may not be the amount that was due on the mortgage. Then they’ll take a writedown on all their assets. They can play with these numbers and wait a bit of time before wirting them down, to manage earnings.

  57. ipoplaya

    Countrywide is listing more like 3750 foreclosure properties on their web site in CA right now. They blew past 3200 back in the late summer…

  58. shiny

    ipop: in the same vein, if you don’t like my comments, don’t read them. I happen to know I am witty whether you recognize it or not — many have said so before you. so there, I am a wordsmith and you are not. nyah nyah nyah.

  59. ipoplaya

    I don’t think they’re going to go much lower on price for a while. They are sitting right at loan/book value after commissions with a price of $839K.

    I think this place could be had for a smidge over $800K if someone got their buying agent to do a cooperating broker agreement at 1%. Almost $300 per sf at that price in a fairly new area of Irvine is a nice price decline, probably 20% off peak pricing I suspect.

  60. Mr Vincent

    “I was in this house in 2003.”

    Thanks for that info. Wow, its amazing that we have people here who not only know the area, but have been inside the house.

    I sure hope the place did not get trashed inside.

    Anyway, I have seen homes in certain areas get a couple of hundred grand in upgrades and it made no difference in sales price. Its all about location, incomes and the old supply/ demand equation.

  61. ex-Tangelo

    lendingmaestro: Countryfried has over 3200 properties in CA alone […] If the avg home price is 425k, that means they have 1.36 BILLION in useless property value in California

    The homes aren’t worth zero. It means Countrywide’s mortgagees have 1.36 billion in assets. That is not the same as the value of Countrywide’s loans, and it doesn’t say anything about the mortgage default rate, or the homes foreclosed on.

    And banks’ accounting rules are far different from what you think.

  62. zornundo

    Hey Shiny, I feel for ya. I think it would hurt, too, to write a $3,000 check, no matter how much you make. Wanna make it hurt more? Get that $3,000 in 20-dollar bills and pay your rent with it.

    How about all you renters and mortgagers go pay your next month’s payment in cash?!? Then you’ll really think WTF!! I’m giving out all this cash for what? Or better yet, calculate how much time it takes to earn your rent or mortgage payment and figure out how much time you actually consciously enjoy your home?

    On a different note…so we mostly agree that supply and demand help to set rental rates Why then is the equilibrium point set at such a level as it is in Irvine? That’s the better question.

  63. ex-Tangelo

    Some corporations don’t align their fiscal year with the calendar year. … So January 1 might not have any special meaning for their balance sheet. Just sayin’.

  64. ipoplaya

    I’m not whining about this blog or your comments. I don’t mind your posts much, except for the racist undertones or in some cases, overtones.

    I think your posts are entertaining in general, albeit childish on occassion. You are correct, you are damn witty…. I’m no wordsmith. Good accountants usually aren’t.

    There will always be people like you that are so self-centric or self-oriented that they can’t see the forest for the trees. e.g. because I pay X, no one can or will pay Y, but I expect the good many lurkers here take your posts for what they are worth. More conjecture and fiction vs. fact and analysis. Not that conjecture and fiction is bad, it adds color to the discussions.

  65. zornundo

    How is a private association that sets standards for its members to follow socialism?

    Lay off the go pills, dood.

  66. Alan

    $533k may be the expected support level in a normal 4% apprecating market.

    But bottoms in downturns overshoot support levels, and the amount of overshoot is not predictable in advance, it’s a function of how much oversupply is on the market and how desperate sellers are in clearing their inventory. It looks like the oversupply will be quite large so this property may pass below $400K at the bottom in order to sell.

  67. zornundo


    Socialism – a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.

    So get your f’n shiz straight! Setting rules is not even close to what socialism means, you twat!

  68. Alan

    I think we all post here because we all have ideas about what’s going to happen in the future, none of us has a crytal ball so look to others to find some common thinking so we can plan on what we need to do.

    Yesterday, IPOP was arguing that rents will stay stable or rise because OC has a large stable job base of 1.7M and posted a pdf to prove it.

    I look at those same numbers and see big trouble ahead 160k OC jobs (10% of OC’s jobs) are state or local gov jobs, now with 14 billion dollar deficit in the state for 07 and immeadiate 10% cutbacks and larger deficits need to be closed in 08 a number of those jobs will have to go away.

    100K jobs in construction where you can expect at least a 20% hit in the next 2 years.

    Real estate and finance jobs at risk.

    Thats why I think the party’s comming to an end, some people wouldn’t acknowledge it till it’s over.

  69. zornundo

    Yeah, when a willing buyer and seller consummate a transaction. That’s why I love it when people talk about how much they think something should be worth and really want to ignore how much they could actually sell it for.

  70. Jeff

    Hello, I’m a IHB lurker and now poster. My brother and his family live in Irvine so I keep up on property values and rents there. I currently live in San Francisco and rent an older house (1940s) in an OK neighborhood (Sunset) for $3200. It is not the Victorian style common in SF, but rather a drafty, overgrown cottage style w/about 1700 sf. The street is tightly packed and, while the adjoining properties do not technically share a wall it feels and sounds like they do. My rental property and neighborhood are nowhere near as nice as this house. So as overpriced as Irvine seems to many readers here (myself included), SF is worse. And quite frankly I suspect my landlords (who use a management service to collect rents and perform maintenance) are going to raise my rent when the lease is up. Talk about a tough check to write! But not as tough as the down payment check to buy the place. The nicer houses on the street sell (or at least list) for $1 million+.

  71. mark

    I’ll have to skip to those pages of Greenspan’s book. I’ve been reading it, but haven’t gotten that far… I spend entirely too much time watching college football!

  72. ipoplaya

    Re-read my posts Alan. Don’t credit me with arguements I did not make.

    I posted the pdf link to refute the notion that a bunch of jobs in OC have already gone away and that this is somehow a current driver to surpress rent prices. That notion is simply not true. It may indeed be so in the future, but with a 4% unemployment rate today it’s just not the case. It is true that we do have a diversified employment base, which does lend itself toward more stability. No local economy could handle the loss of tens of thousands of jobs without some adjustment…

    I make no real claim as to whether rents will increase or decrease in the future. I can see it playing out either way. All depends on the macro-economy IMO, not the real estate bubble deflation.

  73. ex-Tangelo

    Hi Jeff. I lived in an 1890’s Noe Valley victorian/edwardian/stick flat for ten years. “Drafty” homes are not limited to 1940’s Sunset houses, heh. Windows didn’t fit the frames, no insulation, and only one gas heating unit — in the living room.

    Check out

    It’s a beautiful way to compare rents in SF, or browse Craigslist listings.

    (Anyway, San Fran threadjack over. Let’s get back to Irvine.)

  74. ipoplaya

    Wow, Michigan is in the shitter. Over 10% of CW’s REOs in that state alone… I knew Detroit was cratering but it’s going to get so much worse for them.

  75. zornundo

    Can I whine about my $421/month apartment in good ol’ Hopkinsville, Kentucky?? I’ll whine! I’ve got base rent of $394 and then they tack on BS charges for trash, admin, and water. Those extras average about $27/month. Waaaa….it’s only got 576 square feet!

  76. 25w100k+

    (Deleted by blog administrator) You whine about a 3,000 dollar rent check, and claim to make 300k.

    Yet only a few days ago you were whining about the ‘indignity’ you suffered when all the RE people would make you feel inadaquet about your financial situation.

    Something doesn’t add up.

  77. zornundo

    At least I won’t have to pay rent any longer, cuz I’m moving back home to my slightly larger single-wide in Putnam County, Tennessee that I paid less than $15k for. And it’s property taxes are only $160/year! 😉

    What’s messed up is that my wife and I have nice government jobs (she’s a school teacher, I work for the feds) and our income is waaaay over the median for the county, but if we had the same jobs in Irvine, our incomes, adjusting for Irvine school pay and the increased locality for federal employees, would put us about average. I’ve got a few acres with nice forested land around and awesome views. Now I may not be near the ocean, but that’s ok. Cuz when you have turkey and deer run across your fron and back fields, life is good.

    Is the weather worth that much more?

    It seems like the rental rates and housing prices are tied more to income levels than anything else. Since the median income in Putnam County is lower than OC, so are rents. And it also helps to have a small state university in town. Those college kids love apartments. Makes for plentiful supply.

  78. Alan

    So it seems people are voting with their feet. Last census data (last months LA times, don’t have the link) did show an exodus of people out of CA with the population only stable because of births.

    Since baby’s don’t pay rent, this should put more downward pressure on rental properties.

  79. ex-Tangelo

    In 1991, the migration signal was that U-Haul had a hard time keeping trucks in the state.

  80. mmg

    550k at most. IRVINE WILL BOTTOM OUT AT 200 PER SQFT.

    this is not a home for a family making 300k, rather for a family making 150k.

    Easy on the Koolaid. you showing signs of intoxication :mrgreen:

  81. Purplehaze

    I see stupid people. I see people in this economy whose expectations are so out of whack that even education and economic fundamentals cannot forewarn these people about the economic turmoil that is going to set in this year. I see stupid people..

  82. ipoplaya

    Some recent escrow entries in Irvine and Tustin (since I watch both) for 2200+ sf SFRs:

    Kind of liked this one… Relo company owned. Was hoping it dipped into the $900s. Backed up to a nice greenbelt park area.

    Featured on this blog.

    Shark’s comment at the time – “Its not worth anywhere near 700k right now! Mark this post and check back in 18 months. 525k top, 450k maybe. I mean that’s a half million dollars for this.. c’mon.”

    My comment back to him – “They could move it for $750K right now if they wanted to. Hell, they could probably move it for $800K right now. Very recent comps, less some discounting for a falling market, indicate the current market value for a property. YOU may not think it’s worth $700K for YOU, I might not think it’s worth $700K to ME, but those are personal opinions not indicators of market value. Obviously people are buying houses in this area still and paying north of $350 per sf. MLS doesn’t lie.”

    Wonder how much it’s in escrow for right now?

  83. skek

    Wow. So I take some time off for the holidays and return to work this week. It takes me a couple days to catch up on my IHB posts and what do I find? I find some libertarian troll channeling a sorry imitation of the ghost of Ayn Rand. And I find some other guy who doesn’t understand that repeatedly telling people how much he makes in pseudo-anonymous comments on a blog is the epitome of insecurity (and in all likelihood, fabrication). Personally, I thought his nonsense was thoroughly discredited yesterday, but your mileage may vary.

    Just like the unplanned neighborhoods outside of Irvine that some of us live in, 1 or 2 nuisance properties can destroy the property values for the rest of us. Sadly, the “market” for IHB comments has recently corrected a bit since the peak pricing of mid-December 2007. Please folks, ignore the trolls and let’s get back to the good stuff.

  84. Carmichael

    The MLS does lie. There are recent examples in NPB and LB where brokers are putting the listing price as the sold price, although the sale price is quite a bit below what is shown in the MLS. My only way of knowing this was the shock exhibited by a friend of mine that paid 15% off of asking, and yet the list price was shown as final sales price.

    To any serious buyers, go to the OC Clerk Recorder for the real details.
    RE will do anything to keep the perception that sales prices are not going down.

  85. rainydays

    you are right, imagine the rental price of yesterdays post if it were in Manhattan and not irvine.

    It does not exist in Manhattan, but if it did you would be looking at somewhere between $5K to $10K a month in rent.

    Do you think the rich are getting richer?

  86. Mike

    “This particular home would sell for at least $944k if speculators like you people weren’t driving the market down.”

    For a million bucks, this house sucks.

  87. shiny

    Irvine Renter: I petition that you sanction this “25w100k+” He is guilty of a filthy mouth. Please banish him from this blog.

    with regard to your alleged contradiction, I hang with a well-heeled crowd. 300k ain’t much with those (former) movers and shakers.

    (Note from IrvineRenter:

    I edited the blog post. I am surprised you didn’t make fun of the misspelled word in the post…)

  88. shiny

    ipop: how is it racist to be rather amused when you spot somebody wearing a welders mask to drive around Irvine, with the mask-wearer doing so in the belief that it will keep their skin as white as possible.

    if any thing, such (very) foreign behavior is racist: it represents a “white is beautiful” mindset. On the contrary, I am very much a product of OC, I have visited the Bare Tan salon at Michelson/Jamboree many times: the (Aussie?) owner is very savvy, hires smoking hot chicks to work the counter so dirty old men like me can get their leer on. I believe a number of the customers must also be dancers or don’t mind being mistaken for such. And they are all uniformly tanned as well, good advertising. Remind me to save my coin to buy a tanning salon, beats the housing bubble by a mile.

  89. zoiks

    “…I find some libertarian troll channeling a sorry imitation of the ghost of Ayn Rand…”

    I don’t know about you guys but ipoplaya sounds a lot like CapitalismWorks.

    “And I find some other guy who doesn’t understand that repeatedly telling people how much he makes in pseudo-anonymous comments on a blog is the epitome of insecurity (and in all likelihood, fabrication).”

    Yeah, I think it’s in pretty bad taste. shiny has mentioned his alleged salary numerous times. It puts him in the surgeon/law partner category of salaries. And we know that surgeons and law partners have plenty of time on their hands to engage in petty arguments over average rents on the bubble blogs!

    There’s something comical about all that.

  90. shiny

    ipop: being 80’s Irvine is a plus for West Park. They still had plenty of the ranch to develop then so they built large homes on sizable lots. You don’t get that in the post-industrial Irvine (Columbus, Woodbury, ad nauseum).

  91. skek

    “I don’t know about you guys but ipoplaya sounds a lot like CapitalismWorks.”

    I was referring to Kirk while attempting not to feed him, but OK…

    “And we know that surgeons and law partners have plenty of time on their hands to engage in petty arguments over average rents on the bubble blogs!”

    Interesting observation, zoiks.

  92. ipoplaya

    Yeah, there’s the welders mask comment and the repeated references to immigrant this and immigrant that and immigrants don’t do yard work in your comments Something about a billion chinese too, etc. etc.

    Like I said, racist (or at least nationalistic) undertones… Loved the reference to people making $100K per year as “the unwashed” as well. Was surprised that didn’t get more run here. I don’t really even know what that is. Elitist?

    You’re looking like a real gem reverend, from your blog posts one could infer you are a racist, elitist, sexist materialist. Got the last one mostly from the “blinged” out lux SUV you are so proud of. You might get a chuckle out of this:

  93. ipoplaya

    At least the departures will help keep the unemployment rate down… Babies don’t rent, but they don’t work either.

  94. awgee

    It’s just a few subprime mortgages.
    It’s just a subprime problem. It is “contained” to subprime.
    It’s just a mortgage problem.
    It’s just a financial institution problem. The rest of the economy is strong.
    It’s limited to credit cards and mortgages. The credit market is stabilizing. Corporate balance sheets are strong and there will be no problem with corporate bonds. The credit squeeze is an overeaction and is fear based, not reality based.

  95. ipoplaya

    Alan, it appears that from 2006 to 2007 was the largest year-over-year growth (2.2%) in the CA labor force since the tech boom in ’99-00 (2.7%). Is that growth from homegrown / resident labor that is just entering the workforce for the first time? Unemployment appears to be trending up, but not from loss of jobs, but rather a large increase in labor force relative to job creation in the state.

    Year Period labor force employment unemployment unemployment rate
    1997 Jan 15615814 14533517 1082297 6.9
    1997 Feb 15644141 14589302 1054839 6.7
    1997 Mar 15681797 14645197 1036600 6.6
    1997 Apr 15729391 14704851 1024540 6.5
    1997 May 15739601 14735924 1003677 6.4
    1997 Jun 15765897 14760895 1005002 6.4
    1997 Jul 15798342 14803441 994901 6.3
    1997 Aug 15847437 14853834 993603 6.3
    1997 Sep 15871956 14878697 993259 6.3
    1997 Oct 15897117 14909247 987870 6.2
    1997 Nov 15921163 14944352 976811 6.1
    1997 Dec 15997782 15010240 987542 6.2
    1998 Jan 16024896 15045031 979865 6.1
    1998 Feb 16051144 15074180 976964 6.1
    1998 Mar 16078835 15106676 972159 6.0
    1998 Apr 16094570 15125534 969036 6.0
    1998 May 16122843 15159799 963044 6.0
    1998 Jun 16144376 15188152 956224 5.9
    1998 Jul 16192516 15239196 953320 5.9
    1998 Aug 16211407 15249857 961550 5.9
    1998 Sep 16261056 15293092 967964 6.0
    1998 Oct 16251042 15295580 955462 5.9
    1998 Nov 16281467 15332327 949140 5.8
    1998 Dec 16288794 15334894 953900 5.9
    1999 Jan 16279950 15347265 932685 5.7
    1999 Feb 16299401 15379777 919624 5.6
    1999 Mar 16333481 15426556 906925 5.6
    1999 Apr 16354285 15465595 888690 5.4
    1999 May 16360719 15507001 853718 5.2
    1999 Jun 16395887 15543311 852576 5.2
    1999 Jul 16447454 15604282 843172 5.1
    1999 Aug 16466811 15633333 833478 5.1
    1999 Sep 16503069 15673916 829153 5.0
    1999 Oct 16537730 15711110 826620 5.0
    1999 Nov 16557600 15728191 829409 5.0
    1999 Dec 16630580 15782468 848112 5.1
    2000 Jan 16657832 15820260 837572 5.0
    2000 Feb 16687343 15850703 836640 5.0
    2000 Mar 16713466 15867416 846050 5.1
    2000 Apr 16766338 15925516 840822 5.0
    2000 May 16816478 15963728 852750 5.1
    2000 Jun 16863412 16014376 849036 5.0
    2000 Jul 16867908 16026527 841381 5.0
    2000 Aug 16926413 16090114 836299 4.9
    2000 Sep 16958337 16137573 820764 4.8
    2000 Oct 16973782 16159434 814348 4.8
    2000 Nov 17006495 16193841 812654 4.8
    2000 Dec 17053133 16242603 810530 4.8
    2001 Jan 17062158 16255726 806432 4.7
    2001 Feb 17068945 16261779 807166 4.7
    2001 Mar 17108181 16277934 830247 4.9
    2001 Apr 17120753 16266678 854075 5.0
    2001 May 17123308 16246446 876862 5.1
    2001 Jun 17139906 16231552 908354 5.3
    2001 Jul 17138757 16210283 928474 5.4
    2001 Aug 17165106 16199791 965315 5.6
    2001 Sep 17180876 16189735 991141 5.8
    2001 Oct 17217616 16177982 1039634 6.0
    2001 Nov 17249726 16169549 1080177 6.3
    2001 Dec 17249940 16152946 1096994 6.4
    2002 Jan 17284520 16162020 1122500 6.5
    2002 Feb 17325568 16187645 1137923 6.6
    2002 Mar 17334797 16174604 1160193 6.7
    2002 Apr 17336071 16169203 1166868 6.7
    2002 May 17327523 16168936 1158587 6.7
    2002 Jun 17339876 16165429 1174447 6.8
    2002 Jul 17342717 16175268 1167449 6.7
    2002 Aug 17321630 16160641 1160989 6.7
    2002 Sep 17347198 16181280 1165918 6.7
    2002 Oct 17373671 16202399 1171272 6.7
    2002 Nov 17398847 16218353 1180494 6.8
    2002 Dec 17390537 16203813 1186724 6.8
    2003 Jan 17402030 16207627 1194403 6.9
    2003 Feb 17407541 16214190 1193351 6.9
    2003 Mar 17411915 16222858 1189057 6.8
    2003 Apr 17412330 16207896 1204434 6.9
    2003 May 17402280 16203976 1198304 6.9
    2003 Jun 17425043 16223159 1201884 6.9
    2003 Jul 17418021 16214772 1203249 6.9
    2003 Aug 17401174 16209302 1191872 6.8
    2003 Sep 17414337 16230320 1184017 6.8
    2003 Oct 17453388 16256355 1197033 6.9
    2003 Nov 17431083 16253453 1177630 6.8
    2003 Dec 17445635 16279937 1165698 6.7
    2004 Jan 17463567 16316506 1147061 6.6
    2004 Feb 17470202 16336453 1133749 6.5
    2004 Mar 17477583 16342137 1135446 6.5
    2004 Apr 17487775 16367408 1120367 6.4
    2004 May 17507296 16393167 1114129 6.4
    2004 Jun 17532270 16422484 1109786 6.3
    2004 Jul 17551366 16460690 1090676 6.2
    2004 Aug 17543814 16475308 1068506 6.1
    2004 Sep 17571962 16503108 1068854 6.1
    2004 Oct 17608532 16551701 1056831 6.0
    2004 Nov 17627655 16578953 1048702 5.9
    2004 Dec 17622786 16585565 1037221 5.9
    2005 Jan 17644181 16608355 1035826 5.9
    2005 Feb 17656974 16657098 999876 5.7
    2005 Mar 17658020 16678930 979090 5.5
    2005 Apr 17698440 16725806 972634 5.5
    2005 May 17716476 16746315 970161 5.5
    2005 Jun 17738078 16770959 967119 5.5
    2005 Jul 17747001 16802019 944982 5.3
    2005 Aug 17787588 16845457 942131 5.3
    2005 Sep 17789301 16857046 932255 5.2
    2005 Oct 17801343 16870232 931111 5.2
    2005 Nov 17805869 16892382 913487 5.1
    2005 Dec 17841283 16932526 908757 5.1
    2006 Jan 17824475 16923341 901134 5.1
    2006 Feb 17809834 16933763 876071 4.9
    2006 Mar 17841891 16968517 873374 4.9
    2006 Apr 17865102 16971744 893358 5.0
    2006 May 17885285 17006195 879090 4.9
    2006 Jun 17891060 17020673 870387 4.9
    2006 Jul 17905841 17044261 861580 4.8
    2006 Aug 17897786 17028146 869640 4.9
    2006 Sep 17942138 17074688 867450 4.8
    2006 Oct 17964891 17109383 855508 4.8
    2006 Nov 17982376 17129983 852393 4.7
    2006 Dec 18011807 17140986 870821 4.8
    2007 Jan 18084615 17207903 876712 4.8
    2007 Feb 18069232 17195121 874111 4.8
    2007 Mar 18134180 17258654 875526 4.8
    2007 Apr 18142650 17208731 933919 5.1
    2007 May 18170330 17226621 943709 5.2
    2007 Jun 18180399 17238299 942100 5.2
    2007 Jul 18198045 17237629 960416 5.3
    2007 Aug 18214226 17218100 996126 5.5
    2007 Sep 18309534 17280182 1029352 5.6
    2007 Oct 18240867 17218849 1022018 5.6
    2007 Nov 18377967 17339652 1038315 5.6

  96. 25w100k+

    Apparently racism and lying are tolerated here, yet a common but slightly crude colloquialism isn’t….

  97. Kirk

    IrvineRenter: I have. Repeatedly. I’ll try again after I figure out how to get around the restraining order.

    Shiny: Your comment is completely disingenuous. You know very well that oranges are too acidic for many people to consume, including myself, and exchanging my apples for your oranges would impoverish me while you reap with riches of apples. Just as apples are a more important commodity than oranges, houses are a more important commodity than all food products.

    Mike: Yes, but for $944k it would be fairly priced.

    Chris: Hello.

  98. Kirk

    2 Chronicles 1:1 – Solomon son of David established himself firmly over his kingdom, for the LORD his God was with him and made him exceedingly great.

    And how did God make him exceedingly great?

    2 Chronicles 9:22 – King Solomon was greater in riches than all the other kings of the earth.

    So, doesn’t it make sense that God wants markets to rise in the most Christian nation the world has ever known? God gave His children the freedom to choose right from wrong. He does not make that decision for us. As far as that “someone” you are talking about… is his name Beelzebub?

  99. Kirk

    I agree that leasing a car is a smart move since it is a depreciating asset as you say. That is why I also lease my furniture and appliances. However, a house is not really a depreciating asset as you say. This false perception is why I am trying to get the insurance company I work for to start offering a new SIC (Synthetic Investment Contract) product that would encapsulate a homeowner’s house and ensure that they can use book value in their accounting. This would allow distressed homeowners to refinance their house when they otherwise wouldn’t be able to. Perhaps rather than trying to destroy America, you people could follow my lead and actually try to help people.

  100. Kirk

    Zornundo: Is socialism not based on rules? You are playing with semantics.

    Liz: I’m married. It is inappropriate for you to flirt with me.

  101. lawyerliz

    Flirt with me all you want.

    Sometimes Kirk actually says something that might be a joke, or sarcasm or an actual point.

    I’m told Trolls just want to get a rise out of people. I fell for it when I was a Newbie.

    Since he does have an occasional idea in there, it is tempting to respond.

  102. lawyerliz

    I don’t know if all those people are the same people or different people, but after the first reading I found their comments to be extremely boring and repititious.

    Kirk is. . .Kirk. I am trying not to feed him, but he’s so weird that he’s not boring.

  103. IrvineRenter


    If I have to start interpreting what is racist, I will spend all day censuring posts. If someone is making racist remarks, their ignorance will shine a bright light on them. Plus, I don’t censure ideas. Even bad ones.

    As for lying, the comments are self-policing. A lie will be called out as such. Also, I don’t want to become the arbiter of truth.

    Telling someone they are full of shit adds nothing to the conversation. If you can demonstrate they are full of shit, please do so, but stating it without offering proof is just defamatory. I don’t tolerate name calling or negative characterizations. It serves no purpose.

  104. IrvineRenter

    I rather enjoy Kirk’s visits. He is a well-practiced blog troll and generally amusing. Sometimes he drops being a troll and really adds to the conversation.

  105. IrvineRenter

    After the market crash which facilitated the Great Depression, Congress created the SEC, and the securities industry has been heavily regulated in ever since. The Realtors make up their own rules, publish their own data, and answer to no one. I suspect the unwinding of the Great Housing Bubble will change all of that. Realtors may see their ability to lie severely curtailed.

  106. CapitalismWorks

    I assure you IPOPlaya is not me (I am smarter and better looking!). Though I do find IPOPlaya appears to share many of my views, and that those views tend to focus less on the blog mantra of total housing meltdown. IPO, also backs his claims with hard numbers and examples (I can see why he would be confused with me).

  107. CapitalismWorks

    Lawyerliz, I am offended that I am being lumped in with the boring and repititious [sic]! BTW, I thought lawyers knew how to spell…

  108. ipoplaya

    I run a daily search on so I see when the status of the listing has been updated. If it’s flipped to contingent / accepting backup offers, that’s how you can tell it went into escrow. Some homes that go into escrow don’t accept backups, but that is rare.

  109. ipoplaya

    Wonderfully written IR and very sensible. Personally I like to call people on it when they appear to be FOS. Sometimes in doing so, I learn something new and hopefully other people here do as well…

    Outside of the entertainment value, I find this blog to be a good learning tool and recommend it to people who are desirous of an education about the workings of real estate.

  110. No_Such_Reality

    Given that the Guberment appointed Joe Kennedy to establish the SEC, we expect them to appoint either Robert Kiyosaki or Donald Trump to head any Real Estate oversight.

  111. Laura Louzader


    Glad to see our pet troll back.

    Your humorous post highlights the irony of Republican Corporatist notions of what constitutes a “free” market.

    They mean “free” only as long as things are reliably up for them.

    The minute things go against them, they turn into flaming Marxists and ask for govm’t assistance in bailing them out so they can go on to the next greed-driven rampage.

  112. buster

    Kirk – If you don’t think that OC Real Estate (or any residential real estate) is a QUICKLY depreciating asset, you’re doomed. Well, I guess you could be right. For many, many, many millions of people who purchased in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 with toxic loans, real estate is NOT a depreciating asset. It is an accelerating liability, so technically you are right.

    But I guess I could be wrong (along with those other Commies, Bloomberg, MSNBC, CNN, Wall Street Journal, NY Times — OK, they are commies — and everybody else except those in dreamland.) That leaves you and the NAR as the only sane ones, I guess.

    Oh, by the way, I’m an Irvine owner, not a renter. But I’m a realist and haven’t drank the happy punch. I know the value of my home is dropping and dropping fast, and will continue to drop for at least two more years. But then, I view it as a home, not an “investment” or an “asset,” so I guess I just don’t really care that much since I’m not selling anytime in the foreseeable future. I also realize a rented place is just as much a “home” as is mine, except it’s not falling in value. Kind of wish I were a renter right now….

  113. Laura Louzader

    I think people see and feel what is coming, but are afraid to know and own the truth of the economic nightmare that is setting up.

    Best not to look down.

    It’s not easy to be middle-aged in an industry (financial) that has tens of thousands of redundant people in it, and is due for massive contraction, even if you aren’t upside down in some overpriced house.

    At times like these, you have to square with the reality of the situation but if you stare too hard at it, you are in danger of losing your nerve (and wits) completely, at the time you need them the most.

  114. Kirk

    Excuse me, but no one is talking about a bailout. We are, however, demanding that Ginnie Mae take action via open market transactions whereby they would purchase all mortgage backed securities or raw mortgages at book value. How this simple market transaction got translated into “bailout” is beyond me.

  115. Kirk

    Buster: They are only a depreciating asset if you look at speculator pricing rather than book value. This is why we need more innovation in the housing market and why it makes sense to apply the techniques of stable value investment funds to individual houses.

  116. Kirk

    Liz: Just because I support Mike Huckabee for vice president doesn’t mean that I support his liberal view that women should submit to their husbands’ will. Rather, I support God’s command that women should defer to all men. Therefore, I find it highly offensive that you have shown such contempt towards my religious beliefs by directing me to flirt with you.

  117. zoiks

    Hey IR, this is a repost from the Springflower thread. Any info?

    I’d understood previously that GRMs in Southern Cal have historically been in the 120-140 range (while in the country as a whole, in the 80-120 range). I’m pretty sure I’ve seen these figures in investment forums, but I can’t recall when or where.

    So, IR, where does your 160 GRM figure come from? Is this data available somewhere, for Irvine, Southern Cal, nationwide, etc?

  118. IrvineRenter

    The numbers you have mentioned above are GRMs for investors looking to get a return on their investment. A breakeven GRM for an owner occupant would be higher. The 160 GRM comes from doing the math on enough properties to see where the breakeven is given current financing conditions.

  119. lawyerliz

    Hmmm, I didn’t mention your handle. Have you given yourself away, like in a bad mystery novel/tv show?

  120. OCNativeInIA

    “All told, Harlem prices rose a whopping 56 percent this year, to a median of $610,000, according to Halstead.” Yikes.

  121. tonye

    Kirk, the Fed is doing your work.

    This home soon will be worth a million bucks for sure, but a gallong of gas will be $5, the Euro will be worth two bucks, a bottle of NV Veuve Cliquot will be $60 and the apartment complex you live in will be purchased by a frenchman.

    Good luck mon ami.

  122. tonye

    Generalisimo Franco for Presidente 2008.

    He will pocket veto ALL new tax increases.
    He will save us money because we can put the White House in monthballs.
    King Juan Carlos will make sure that someone dusts the sarcophagus weekly… at no cost to the US Taxpayer.

    The best politician is no politican. Next best thing is a long dead Roman Catholic politician with a strong anti communist and pro capitalist bias.

    Generalisimo Franco will not sign for the continuance of Commie China as preferred trading partner.

    Franco for El Presidente, 2008.

  123. Kirk

    For those unfamiliar with the metric system 1 Gallong = 6.28 U.S. Gallons.

    While I agree that President Bush’s economic policies will reduce the cost of living for middle class Americans, I’m a little bit more realistic than Tonye. Gas will be $6 a Gallong before our greatest president leaves office.

    Also, I don’t live in an apartment. I live in a van down by the river and I would never buy a Peugeot.

  124. Kirk

    Well, I hate the name, but love the policies. Is he running as an independent? I might have to change my vote. Maybe if he changes his name to just Frank he could garner more media attention.

  125. tonye

    Good to hear about the Peugeot. Pretty crappy things. Even our old Deux Chevaux was high maintenance even if it had few parts to break, but of course it was a Citroen which in many ways it’s ‘tres bon” than the Peugeot.

    Qu’est que c’est a gallong? Is that french bong?

    And how can you say that inflation will reduce the cost for the middle class? I personally wouldn’t mind inflation if I got 12% a year raises and my 401K grew at 17% a year, but what we got here is a wholesale devaluation of the dollar so the french can buy us out while our incomes are not going up….


  126. tonye

    He’s not running at all.

    The idea is that the Democrats will stage a Coup d’etat if Clinton IS NOT elected.

    My sources tell me that the GOP is seemingly planning to do the same if Giuliani IS NOT elected or if Clinton IS elected.

    No need for tanks. The US Central Command will simply detour the telephone switching board at the White House to an undisclosed exchange south of Santander. Henceforth all calls to the White House will answered with a friendly:

    “Hola, buenos dios, La Casa Blanca. May I help you?”

    Meanwhile the US Secret Service will move the “elected” president to an underground location in Nevada where they will be hooked up via a “Matrix” like connection to a virtual world. The elected presidente will live in a Clinton like world of pleasure and “what me worry”. After eight years that president will come out satisfied and happy that she/he did not have to deal with reality.

    Works for me.

  127. ex-tangelo

    I don’t think the convenience of a website that may or may not have incorrect data is as important as the value recorded on the deed and reported to the county.

    Hanlon’s razor and all that.

  128. IrvineHomeowner

    This house is close to where I live. It is in a good location, no neighbors to the right, and a park behind it. A bit of a negative is it is “outside the loop,” which isn’t quite as desirable.

    Also, the grainy picture may be intentional. It makes it look better than it does in person. The outside in person appears very “80s” and outdated. I wouldn’t be surprised if the new buyer completely redoes the landscaping.

    The price still seems a bit high to me. It is not very big house, 1800 or so sq feet. IMO, this one will go down into the 500,000s before this bubble burst is done.

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