Seron Aid

Did you see the lights

As they fell all around you

Did you hear the music

A serenade from the stars

Wake up, wake up

Wake up and look around you

We’re lost in space

And the time is our own

Did you feel the windSteve Miller

As it blew all around you

Did you feel the love

That was in the air

The sun comes up

And it shines all around you

You’re lost in space

And the earth is your own

Serenade — Steve Miller Band

Wake up, hear the music, open the wondows and blinds, see the sun, feel the winds of change hitting the housing market. It’s a new year, and sellers are still lost in space, but some have come down to earth, and they are bringing prices down with them.

.

.

Seron Front Seron Toilet

Asking Price: $524,900IrvineRenter

Income Requirement: $131,225

Downpayment Needed: $104,980

Purchase Price: $690,000

Purchase Date: 3/22/2007

Address: 14571 Seron Ave, Irvine, CA 92606

First Mortgage $552,000Short Sale

Second Mortgage $138,000

Downpayment $0

Beds: 3

Baths: 2

Sq. Ft.: 1,430

$/Sq. Ft.: $367

Lot Size: 5,000 sq. ft.

Type: Single Family Residence

Style: TraditionalKnife Catcher Award

Year Built: 1974

Stories: One Level

Area: Walnut

County: Orange

MLS#: S516510

Status: Active

On Redfin: 4 days

From Redfin, “Great College Park home. Fantastic Location. Newer furnace and A/C, recessed lighting, newer kitchen counter, sink and faucet. Scraped ceilings, upgraded baseboards, wood trim, berber carpeting, 16 inch tile floors, ceiling fan, Newer Milgard double paned windows/slider, newer roof, remodeled master bath, and MUCH MORE. A MUST SEE FOR THE PRICE.”

What does it mean that certain features are “newer?” Newer than what? Does that mean it is too old to call it new, but new enough that they want to get some credit for it?

Upgraded baseboards? Give me a break.

.

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Now before we all get too excited, this is a 100% financing deal gone bad — probably fraud, and the bank will not want to sell for less than the amount of the first mortgage of $552,000. I wish I knew more about the circumstances of this property. It may be a first-payment default fraud, or it may the dumbest flipper on the planet. This house was purchased as the implosion of subprime was front page news. If this was purchased as a flip, we can all feel the schadenfreude.

Knife Catcher

This price is 24% off its 2007 purchase price. If the seller gets their asking price and pays a 6% commission, the total loss will be $196,594. Wow! The second mortgage will be completely wiped out, and the first mortgage will lose $58,594.

Do you think this seller put up a very low price to catch the attention of the IHB and get some free publicity? If so, it was a good plan.

120 thoughts on “Seron Aid

  1. George8

    This location backing the busier Harvard Ave and sport field, 300 yards to 261 and 500 yards to I5 and the Marine Corps Air Station is merely one mile away – either you like it or you do not.

    I do not like it.
    —–

  2. ex-tangelo

    Tustin Marine Corps Air Station is closed, right? Has it become a civil aviation airfield, or is it just unused? Or is it an open question what is going to happen to the base, and that’s the reason for you to call the proximity of the base a negative.

    When I lived there, both Tustin and El Toro MCAS were active. It’s nice that El Toro is planned to be a park. Good job, Irviners.

  3. George8

    Not at all. I am actually in NYC metro, and not locally attuned as to what is goning on in Irvine.

    I was drawn into all the potential traffic noises when I looked at the gmap of this property.

    Thanks for bringing this up. I’d love to read more about what might be going on there.

  4. zornundo

    Hrm, 2.8% appreciation per year from 1988 to 1999. And talk about nice taxes on the home before it was sold in 2007. Then it’s 15% per year from 1999 to 2007, all according to redfin. See a problem with that?

    Smells like fraud to me. But $367/sq ft still seems high. .

  5. ex-tangelo

    zornudo: Hrm, 2.8% appreciation per year from 1988 to 1999.

    That’s the “Peace Dividend” for ya. I remember the real estate agents’ mantra, “Survive ’til ’95…”

    This era needs a newer real estate survival mantra.

  6. ex-tangelo

    Agree on the opinion that this is too close to *that* mega freeway, but I also think being too close to any high-capacity street/boulevard/arterial (Jamboree, etc) is just as bad. Rubber dust and carbon particulates do awful things to your lungs over the long term. The noise is just a nuisance.

    (Full disclosure, I also live next to a freeway… But a lightly-used baby sized 4-lane one. Not a … how many lanes does the 405 have there? 58? 94?)

  7. ochomehunter

    Another flipper here, but this time the community service was not done, no upgrades. I believe the price is real and will probably find another knife catcher/flipper soon. I hope that flipper will perform some community service by spending $50K in upgrades and take a hit of about another $100K. Thats when I would call it a deal.

  8. lee in irvine

    Something is going on at Countrywide (CFC), the stock started the death spiral about 20 mins ago. It’s down about 20%. No news released yet.

  9. AndrewIrvine

    This house is cool in a funky way? Wow, someone’s drinking the surburban kool-aid 🙂 I’m not seeing the cool or the funky…

    First-time poster here but have been reading this blog religiously for a few weeks. I moved to Irvine recently from Hollywood (which I loved) to take a new job. To try to take the sting off of moving to suburbia, I got a studio at the Village at Irvine Spectrum (an IAC complex) and am paying ridiculous rent for a faux-resort lifestyle, but I kind of love it. I was shocked that rents in Irvine could match or exceed those of some of the hottest L.A. neighborhoods and complexes.

    I have enjoyed reading the (mostly) thoughtful commentary here. I’m a young (27) professional who supposedly did all the right things (USC grad, no debt, work in a growing field, modest but continual raises/promotions) and can’t tell you how frustrating it has been to watch the real estate market boom beyond belief, thinking the whole time that I will NEVER own anything in SoCal.

    For years I have not been able to figure out where all these people were getting hundreds of thousands of dollars to be able to afford the homes they lived in (or ANY home, for that matter). Now, finally, things seem to be leveling off to something approaching reality. I look forward to more great analysis of the Irvine housing market in the coming year! It’s gonna be interesting, to say the least…

  10. lee in irvine

    They just said on CBNC that the NYT just reported that Countrywide fabricated info regarding a bankruptcy case. It’s down about 15% now.

  11. Law_Student

    This house actually looks like a reasonable deal.
    Still not good enough though.

    Why buy now?

  12. AndrewIrvine

    P.S. I see now that the cool/funky house you were referring to was linked in your comment; you weren’t talking about the house discussed in the main blog post. Got it now… yes, the house you linked to is kinda cool, different, weird in a good way.

  13. BubbleLee

    Irvinerenter, I am getting other people’s names and e-mail addresses popping up in my name/e-mail section. Not every day, just once in a while. It reverts back to mine after clicking the refresh button. Is this happening to anyone else? Don’t worry — I won’t post anyone’s e-mail address. 😉

  14. zornundo

    Just news that everybody knew was going on, that the originators were lying their a$$es off to make the loans. This will probably be the first of many such cases where allegations are made by BK households that the loan originators “knew” the household couldn’t afford their loan but then doctored up the applications to show they could afford it. Two words – moral hazard.

  15. SawItComing

    “I was shocked that rents in Irvine could match or exceed those of some of the hottest L.A. neighborhoods and complexes.”

    Really?

  16. houseonlegs

    I checked out the deed history on this property, the sellers in 3/07 purchased the property in 1999 for $245,000 with a loan amt of $232,000 and they never refinanced anything.

  17. FairEconomist

    The price per square foot is very reasonable in the current market – $284 for a single family home in Irvine. It was probably selling cheap in 2003. Maybe it was a fixer-upper, it was built in 1972.

  18. ipoplaya

    If you bought early bubble (2000-2001), you didn’t need that much cash because prices were fairly reaonable. I was fortunate enough to have cashed in on the IPO craze during the tech bubble and that funded the down for my purchase in 2001. If you bought mid to late bubble, you didn’t need any cash. Lenders were giving money away.

    Keep pluggin’ away man. If I was you, I’d live in a modest apartment, keep the rent down, and store away funds. There will be an excellent entry opportunity into real estate in a year or two provided inflation doesn’t go nuts and first time buyers should be managing to take advantage.

    27, early career, making decent money, those were good ole days. When I was 27 I had a great rent controlled apartment in Santa Monica. Old and ugly, but it was a big 2-bedroom for something like $700 per month and 30 blocks from the Promenade. Rent of only $350 per month to live in a great location made it easy to save…

  19. AndrewIrvine

    Really what? That rents can meet or exceed hot L.A. neighborhoods? (For the moment, at least.) Or that I was surprised by this fact?

  20. Alan

    That’s what redfin says, accessed value still just $288k, not the $690k one would expect if it had been bought for a flip. On the face, looks like the owners just took out equity.

    What’s the answer to this conondrum?

  21. lendingmaestro

    Bought for 245k in 99 and then for 690k in 07???

    OMG is the only thing that I can say right now.

  22. Alan

    Believe me, your parents were worried sick too, thinking how was it possible that their children; young, well educated professionals could be forever frozen out a middle class CA house.

    Turns out that housing prices were smoke and mirrors. Reality is reasserting.

    Keep watching.

  23. AndrewIrvine

    He’s not defending CFC. He’s saying that the charges CFC levied against the borrower might be fair, but the method they used to produce these “letters” which may or may not have every been created or mailed, were totally out of whack and misleading if not completely dishonest.

  24. lunatic fringe

    I don’t think I’m understanding all the comments about how this might be a decent price. What are you guys smoking? Haven’t you been paying attention?

    This house will eventually be “worth” less than $200 per SF. Count on it.

  25. lendingmaestro

    3% appreciation a year from 99 to 08 would yield a value of 320k.

    Even 5% a year would bring it to 380k.

  26. Alan

    Hey IPOP,

    boy I love yankn your chain…

    About 2 weeks ago I posted current loan rates from some real banks and you countered that those rates were tooooo high and you could get one percent lower from CFC right now.

    Looks like you better head over to CFC and get you loan today baby because tomorrow it will be back the Wells or BofA

  27. lendingmaestro

    The newest post on the Calculated Risk blog confirms what we’ve discussed about banks, and their fear of liquidity. Not only are they hoarding cash that they borrow from the FED, but they are keeping deposit rates high. The banks are neglecting their interest income in order to build up reserves. IMO, this confirms they are in survival mode.

  28. Shark

    Hey Andrew.. I would drink myself stupid thinking where is all the cash coming from they were using for down payments then after reading this blog, I come to find out they didn’t.. The bank did.. I still drink myself stupid but now its a good drunk that celebrates the bubblekaboom and my kid calls it.. heh..

  29. Purplehaze

    http://www.ci.irvine.ca.us/about/demographics.asp

    “Population growth as a yearly percentage has slowed considerably as the Irvine City has matured. Between 1970 and 1980, population increases averaged 20% per year. Between 1980 and 1990, the average increase dropped to 8% per year; and since 1990, the annual increase has averaged 2% per year.

    Because the City of Irvine is a relatively new City and started with a young population base, only 12.7% of Irvine’s population was in the over-55 category in 1990. By the year 2020, however, 28% of the City’s population is expected to be over 55. Where today there are about 21,000 residents over the age of 55, in 25 years that number is expected to grow to over 60,000. ”

    Comment: With an average annual population increase of just about 2 percent a year and with a lot of older people probably wanting to retire and move to cheaper destinations, I think the odds favor a price drop in Irvine at least from a demand perspective – keeping in mind the fact that inventories are building up and even out of the 2 percent annual increase, the people qualifying for loans would be much lower. What do you guys think? IR?

  30. 25w100k+

    I’m right there with you Andrew. 25, making good money, have a six figure down payment. Sure seems like I should be able to afford a really *nice* starter home. Nope.

    If I bought right now, I’d be forced to pick from either a rotting old sfr like this one, or an ‘upscale’ 2 bedroom apartment.

    It hurt to see so many people making more money per year off of appreciation then I made through all my hard work, but now i’m feeling better about not getting a place 🙂

    Lets both keep hoping for a quick slide to the bottom!

  31. reid

    Serenade, Seron Aid — just as long as there’s no Serin Aid. Although at the rate Paulson is going, a gov’t bailout for Casey might not be out of the question.

  32. BigD

    Paulson today talked on CNBC again about extending the freeze of the rates for prime and other borrowers. What effect do you think this will have or even if a larger bail out is proposed?

  33. Chuck Ponzi

    I worked in Beverly Hills in ’05 and can say that Irvine is overpriced when doing comparative analysis. In BH, you could get a great plot of land with a 2500sq ft house in the 90211 for 1.1M. Irvine was 1.2-1.3 for similar cachet.

    Yes, OC is far overpriced in my opinion. And for what? I honestly do not know.

    Chuck Ponzi

  34. Chuck Ponzi

    Forget priced out of middle class. Most were priced out of lower and working class neighborhoods.

  35. ipoplaya

    You post has quarantined by IPO’s worthless and irrevelant filtering software.

    Have a nice day…

  36. CapitalismWorks

    Jobs drive population growth, not the other way around. As these individuals retire they may keep their current digs, downsize in the area, or move away. Regardless, the job they were performing previously will have to be filled by someone else.

  37. Purplehaze

    Oh, I never said that population drives job growth now, did I? 🙂 All I am trying to say is that with a growth rate of 2 percent, it is probably not enough to absorb the additional number of unsold homes piling up in Irvine.

    I can understand if the point you are trying to make is that in the event of a recession, the population growth rate might go negative from its current growth rate of 2 percent.

  38. MMG

    CW–>Regardless, the job they were performing previously will have to be filled by someone else.

    I would add ” with houses at lower prices”. :mrgreen:

  39. ipoplaya

    I got an email indicating that a worthless and irrevelant post had been made on the IHB so I quickly logged in to check and see what Alan must have written…

    No reason for me to go to CFC Weird Al, I’ll go here:

    http://www.mtgcapital.com/ratesheet-fixed.html?state=ca&rs=fixed&p=1

    And get me a 30-year fixed jumbo at 6.625% or maybe ETrade, who is also offering a 30-year fixed jumbo, in CA, for 6.625% with zero points.

    I think in your posts a couple of weeks ago you claimed that jumbo rates were headed up. Looks like you were wrong, again, as they have in fact been headed DOWN:

    http://www.marketwatch.com/tools/pftools/rates/RateChart.asp?sid=159415

    They’ve been falling since you posted that prediction Carnac.

  40. OscarDeLaJolla

    Yeah, who needs useless facilities like pre-existing airfields that could be readily and cost-effectively developed into a commercial airport.

    Personally, by 2010 I would prefer to simply pay $1500 to fly from John Wayne to Phoenix. Or spend 6 hours on the 405 trying to get to LAX.

    Nobody ever wants to invest in transportation or infrastructure. We reap what we sow.

  41. ipoplaya

    Gold and bonds people, gold and bonds. GLD was up 2.5% today. Bond market didn’t get chance to react with the late sell-off, but should tomorrow… That cash is going to go somewhere.

    Woohoo, I love stock market crahses! Come on S&P 1200!

  42. zornundo

    5.25% with zero points for a 15-year fixed! Boom! I feel like smoking crack! ok, not really, but that’s a damn good rate!

  43. zornundo

    Now you’re talking about buying gold when it is at a really high level? Those markets crashing mean you get some assets on the cheap!

  44. 25w100k+

    I know this is a little off topic but you seem pretty knowledgable in terms of investments:

    My company offers a 401k match plan of 100% up to 4% of my salary, and the match vests immediatly.

    Retirement isn’t really on my mind right now, building my downpayment fund is though. Is it worth it to max the contributions, *knowing* for sure i’ll take them all out with the when I buy? (and taking the penalty or whatnot).

    Or am I better forgetting the 401k for now and keep putting my excess cash in a money market?

  45. zornundo

    How good are the choices offered? Good performance? Low costs? Take the match!! That’s a 100% return on your 4% right there. Taking the money out for a down payment is probably not the best idea. Can you scrimp and save elsewhere for the downpayment?

  46. ipoplaya

    Definitely defer enough to get the full match. That is a free raise you are passing up on if you don’t.

    If the 401k allows for loans on home purchase, which most do, I’d probably be deferring as much as possible on a monthly cashflow basis. Take the tax benny now, as I am assuming you have very few deductions and if you are single, and the standard deduction blows. Young, single, good wage earners with no owned home get routinely killed on taxes. You could always get the money out to use on a home purchase down the line without penalty, assuming your 401k plan provides for such a loan provision as is common, and pay yourself the interest… Many will argue with this, and I don’t even feel 100% about it, so take it with a grain of salt. I don’t think there is any right here on this topic.

    If you want to safeguard the capital you are adding to the 401k to use as a down via a loan, just park it in something low risk, i.e. a bond fund, prime fund, etc. If the 401k doesn’t offer those options and has age-appropriate or risk-appropriate fund options, go with the lowest concentration of equities. Lots of 401ks map you into an age-appropriate fund now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t rebalance into a lower risk one, e.g. a 2015 retirement target vs. 2050 and direct your contributions that way as well.

  47. CapitalismWorks

    ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS take the full match. You get free money from the match, while saving your contribution from the tax grinder.

  48. ipoplaya

    I’m just in love with GLD right now as its up over 10% since I poured a bunch of money into it three weeks ago. I got scared of the run-up and locked in some gains at 84 and its kept on going…

    I wouldn’t buy it today, but would on any pullbacks.

  49. CapitalismWorks

    My point was that population growth is increased demand. Stable population is stable demand. Jobs will remain relatively stable because of the local economic base, thus the population should also remain stable.

    Alos, the population growth rate is slowly partially in response to a larger base (compound growth is a geometric series). So it is less informative on the marginal supply and demand equation than the underlying number.

  50. ex-Tangelo

    My $.02:

    1. Fund the 401k at least up to the 4% match cap to get the full employer match. It’s free money. If nothing else, do this.

    2. Do NOT borrow your 401k funds for a down payment. It is extremely risky and you could get hit with having to repay it with very little notice and possibly very bad timing (loss of job), or you will owe tax + a 10% penalty. Don’t assume taking the penalty is some small thing. It’s not worth it. (*)

    3. Get some brokerage account, like with Charles Schwab or the like. Transfer some small amount into this account every paycheck. Make it a habit. Keep increasing your deposits. See how much you can keep depositing, you may surprise yourself.

    In my opinion, what you invest in isn’t important — well, stick to the obvious things, like mutual funds or companies that have been around a while, bond funds, etc. Read some financial magazines like Money, Kiplinger’s, Fortune, etc. You’ll get the hang of it. Things will go up and down. Don’t sweat it too much. You’ll learn your tolerance for risk and how much you really want to pay attention to your investments.

    When you are ready to start looking for a house, move enough for a downpayment from your investment account into cash or something equally stable and liquid (For example, Schwab automatically assumes any ‘cash’ in your account goes into a money market, it’s interest bearing and invisible to you. You just earn some % on any free cash in your account). But you don’t need to put any non-retirement funds into a money market. You don’t know how long it will be, and you may not need all of it anyway.

    (*) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roth_401(k)#The_Roth_401.28k.29_plan
    Companies may now offer a Roth 401k as a retirement plan option. Since contributions are after-tax, withdrawals of contributions (but not withdrawals of earnings) are not taxed or penalized. Those of you who advocate borrowing against your own 401k should see if you can get this plan.

  51. Alan

    Paid 659K in 03 and if escrow goes thru managed to squeze out 150K in profit in Jan 08.

    Impressive, probably will be one of the last 03 purchases to sell for a profit.

  52. reid

    Just remember if you put the money in your 401k and borrow against it later, you’re going to pay tax on it twice: once on the dollars you repay to your 401k and then again when you withdraw the funds during retirement. Everybody seems to agree that if you’re going to borrow money from someone it might as well be yourselft, but I’ve never gotten a good answer to your question about whether it’s best to put the money in your 401k in the first place if you know you’re going to want to spend it on a house in the next couple of years.

  53. tonye

    Hey… don’t worry.

    The 787 will be quiet enough and with very long ranges in a wide cabin aircraft that will also fit into the short runways at John Wayne.

    The end result is that under the current noise agreements they will be able to fly more flights with 787s and will have the range to go to Taipei, Osaka, Sydney, London, etc….

    Imagine flying from OC direct to those routes and not be stuck in a 737.

    Also, because of the larger cabin, the supply of seats will go up too.

    Bravo… its’ a 15 buck ride ( including 5 buck tip ) from my home to John Wayne. Who needs LAX once the 787 starts flying from John Wayne?

  54. ipoplaya

    If you put it in a money market vs. a 401k, you are paying tax on it twice as well. Once when you it gets taxed as wage earnings, and once when you earn interest on the money you have deposit somewhere.

    The question is a matter of when you want to be taxed twice, not whether you will be taxed twice. Now or later…

  55. tonye

    Well…. me, the wife and a coworker have looked into the loan from the 401K.

    It makes a hell of a lot of sense, a real TON of sense in a declining market.

    The rate is 7.5% for me to take out a big chunk of cash. The way I look at it, I’ll put that money into CDs at 4% or whatever and then I’ll pay it back in five years or longer. In reality, the longer the better so long as the market is going down. If the market turns then I’ll just repay the loan in full.

    I think this move makes a lot of sense as it will at the very least guarantee a POSITIVE return on my money. After tax it may end up being just 3% or so but, heck, that’s about as good or better than anything that our plans offer.

    The bottom line is that it make a TON of sense to maximize your 401K contribution all ALL times, taking the company match and the tax breaks and then borrowing as much as possible for income preservation when the markets offered by your 401K Plan start to take a dive.

    I’ve put the rest of my 401K into a bond fund. I don’t think it has CDOs, but I guess I can only borrow up to 50% of my current balance, so I can only hard shelter up to 50% of my retirement account.

    I suppose the wife and I will have to buy a bigger mattress now and put a big “pillow top” to cushion those Franklins.

  56. tonye

    Risky?

    You remind me of those Ada programmers that say that C is a risky language because it allows the use of pointers.

    Look, fools are everywhere. Fools will screw up their 401K anyhow… so don’t start saying that borrowing from your 401K is risky.

    Life is risky. Driving a car is risky. Programming good code in C is risky.

    But, if it were easy then Natural Evolution would be happening, the exchange students at UCI would be as safe driving as Mario Andretti and they would hire High School dropouts to do my job.

    Borrowing from a 401K is a very smart thing to do when done within a carefully crafted investment portfolio.

  57. tonye

    The question is:

    Is it better to pay tax on making money or watch your capital disappear as you try to avoid taxes?

    NEVER invest your money to avoid taxes.

    INVEST your money to MAKE MORE money and worry about the taxes later.

  58. tonye

    BTW- I agree that you should use the 401K as a conduit for your primary savings…. Not so much that you defer tax today, but the fact is you get the match from the employer!!!

    That makes a lot of money. If it weren’t for the match, I would not necessarily be so hot for the 401K as the investment rules suck. The Gov. is very restrictive on it and treats us like fools.

  59. tonye

    Oh, I thought about taking the money I borrow from my 401K and invest it into a Roth IRA too… sort of really having my cake and eating it.

    Unfortunately the Roth IRA seems to start to phase out when your income goes over $100K or so.

  60. Stupid

    Programming in C is risky?! That’s the only situation you list in which the individual has complete control. There’s no one to screw it up but yourself…

  61. NoWow!way

    This home is in the College Park tract. HOA is about 40 bucks. NO mello roos. Elementary school right in the middle of the tract w/ lots of play equipment for the kids. Homes are old but are made with sturdy Lathe & Plaster. Decent sized lots – NO zero lot lines. Only three entrances into tract, so vandalism is thought to be contained at fairly low levels.

    Downsides: problems with plumbing. Dumbest HOA board imaginable that keep raising the fees and ochestrating cost overruns on maintenance projects, & overseeing the destruction of one of the best swim teams in the city league. Parking issues during some of the tournaments at Harvard Park. Train noise from the Tustin station and at the Harvard crossing.

  62. ex-Tangelo

    IPOPlaya: If you put it in a money market vs. a 401k, you are paying tax on it twice as well. Once when you it gets taxed as wage earnings, and once when you earn interest on the money you have deposit somewhere.

    We agree on the benefits of saving with pre-tax income, but this statement is very misleading. Your non-401k investments are taxed on earnings, not worth.

    If out of your take-home pay, you invest $1 earn $.05, you only pay tax on that $.05 of earnings. That original dollar does not get taxed again. Paying more than once on the same dollar is being “taxed twice”. It’s not the case here.

    Furthermore, on investment gains you don’t pay FICA or SDI or any other wage-related tax. And if it’s a long-term capital gain, your marginal tax on that earning is lower as well.

  63. charlesH

    I have $17,000 in an etrade account I have been trying to close since the middle of October. I cannot get etrade to send me the money. Is anyone else having trouble getting money out of etrade?

  64. charlesH

    I have >$17,000 in an etrade account I have been trying to close since the middle of October. I cannot get etrade to send me the money. Is anyone else having trouble getting money out of etrade or any other bank?

    I have called 7-8 times and sent 4-5 secure emails but still no money.

    Does anyone have any ideas how I can put pressure on etrade to give me my money back? Can I get the FDIC to to something?

  65. George8

    If your money is in money market, you can wire transfer money out of ETrade easily. Have you tried it?

    Set it up with your regular bank account. It may take a few business days to do this for security purpose. Once set up, you can wire transfer any time you wish.

    If it is in CD (premature), then you probably need to download a form to do early withdraw. (penalty will be incurred)

  66. charlesH

    George8,

    Thank you for your thoughts.

    It’s a CD account that matured last October when I first asked to have the account closed and the money sent to me.

    I can’t do a wire transfer because the account is in my daughters name (custodial account) and etrade says the money has to be sent to the address on the accout (which is my own address).

    Fortunately, the account is supposed to be FDIC insured so I think I will eventually get the money but when? I kind of need it now. I’m retired and I can’t get other funds in other CDs without a premature withdrawal penalty.

    Anyone else have trouble with etrade>

  67. George8

    I’ve no problem moving accounts and funds out of ETrade at least so far. I still have more to go.

    So is $17k now in her ETrade money market account? If not, where is it?

    Is it possible that there might be some unclear issue because the fund is owned by your daughter and not you?

  68. tonye

    Lemme see…. I put after tax money into an account and I make some money. I pay tax on the money and ON the interest I make later.

    Or… I put money into a 401K before I pay tax. Then I borrow the money. I invested in a taxable account and get say, 5%. After tax that would be about 3%. So I have to pay back the money into my 401K at 7%. So somehow I gotta take 4% from somewhere. Now that 3% I already paid tax on I will pay tax on again 20 years from now.

    So, yes, of course, you will pay tax TWICE on the investment income but on the principal that you shelter from income tax in the beginning. That only gets taxed twice.

    So, maybe that 7% will be no more than 5% when it’s all said and done.

    Meanwhile, if you did nothing and kept your money invested in the crummy options that most 401K plans offer, you will lose 20% in a declining market.

    So the options are making 5% on my account after ALL taxes are calculated OR LOSING 20%.

    Dude… I don’t know what kind of KoolAid you are drinking, but I suggest you really start to think about what I’m saying. The rules that control investment within a 401K plan are NOT designed to deal with a declining equity market…..

    Just as you would not want ANY of your money to be in RE investments if you can help it ( we have it but then we have very long term investments that are income generating and with gobs of equity ) you do not want to be in equities or in most money market funds today. And that goes for your retirement accounts too!!!

  69. tonye

    Well. I happen to think that everything should be a (void**).

    Indeed I think that if you can not do it with (void*) or (UINT32) plus the ever never compiled right (volatile) then there’s no need to do it. Floating point and all that mumble jumbo are best kept for weenies that do not care about how a processor stores data.

    The ada folks are deathly afraid of it. Their “pointers”… “access types” require that you declare the object to be pointed to as “accessible”. What the hell is the point of that?

    I think of C as buying a house with 20% down and a 30 year fixed: You know exactly what you’re getting.

    Ada and stuff like that is more like them 100LTV toxic loans… you just never know what you got into.

    Of course, IMHO, C++ is a clever refinement in data inheritance based on C. Which is why many OOD folks don’t like it.

  70. awgee

    Attach, (ACH), the E*trade account to a checking or savings account at another institution, then transfer the funds yourself online.

  71. tonye

    Oh… I think you folks need to understand something. I what propose (plan) to do is to take the money OUT of my 401, invested in a CD and then pay it back.

    This is known as capital preservation.

    The money going back into the 401K is the same one that went out. The only taxable NEW money going is the money with which I pay interest to myself. So, that’s 7% a year.

    I’m not suggesting that I blow the money on depreciating assets like cars, houses!, clothes, Veuve Cliquot… etc…. Then I would have to repay with after tax money for sure.

    Is that clear to you all now?

  72. tonye

    Actually, I take the entire amount the IRS allows me which is greater than the company match. My employer only goes to 6% of my base salary but I contribute the full amount off my own pocket.

    The tax benefits are simply too good.

  73. tonye

    The train noise has to be pretty bad, no?

    It’s right next to them and those trains come barreling south.

    Did you know that that downhill straightaway coming from Santa Ana to the old Irvine depot is the longest one in California?

    Historically, trains went very fast on that run. On the way back they have to go slower as they are climbing.

    The Amtraks, though, go fast either way. And they are pretty noisy. The cargo trains are slower but as they are heavy they pound the ground with serious tremors. It must feel like a Richter 5.0 many times every day.

  74. charlesH

    I also have a savings account at etrade tied electronically to a local bank account. I have had no trouble moving funds back and forth between etrade and my local bank. In fact when I first started having problems with my daughters CD account and I also started reading about etrades liquidity problems I moved most of the $25k saving from etrade to my local bank just to be on the safe side.

    I can’t link and transfer to my daughters account because her name is different than mine.

    Since mid October I have been told that the money has to be mailed to the address on file (my daughter and I share the same address). But I never get a check and nobody can tell when the check was mailed etc. In my last communication via secure email after I threatened to complain to the FDIC I got an email back saying the account had been closed and the amount mailed to my address.

    My theory is that etrade management has instructed their backend processing department to drack their feet on sending checks out.

    Where is the money in the meantime? I have no idea. It doesn’t show up on any of my accounts.

  75. Trooper

    “what I propose (plan) to do is to take the money OUT of my 401, invested in a CD and then pay it back”.

    I did just this about 3 months ago, but I didn’t take have to take a “loan”, the CD was one of my investment choices within my plan. I just switched the balance out of funds and into a 1 yr CD. So far, so good.

  76. Deadbeat Renter

    Go ahead and write a letter to ETrade and cc: the FDIC. Re-summarize everything that has happened to date and request that you want to know exactly when they sent the check, the check information, and whether or note the check was cashed. Indicate that if their records indicate that the check was sent to you that you never received it and that they please send you an Affidavit of Lost/Stolen Check for you to complete. Don’t forget to emphasize that you initiated the request within the designated time frame after the CD matured so that you don’t get smacked for any early withdrawal penalties. Send it by certified mail, return receipt requested. All the FDIC ever does when it receives complaint letters is forward the complaint letter back to the bank with a cover letter demanding that it be responded to, but usually, these FDIC-forwarded letters get more attention that just an email or telephone complaint (there’s a deadline for the bank to respond). Good luck.

  77. Trooper

    Something doesn’t sound right here…. if it’s in your daughter’s name, why is it “your” CD ? I’m obviously missing something.

    Why don’t you have your daughter attach HER bank acct to the eTrade account also ? Then you can do the wire trasfer.

  78. ipoplaya

    I’ve been to a few open houses in College Park, and a couple of kid’s parties at houses there. Personally, I find the exteriors to be a little fugly, especially so for the houses that aren’t maintained particularly well. Interiors seem pretty nice though with some elevation changes, nice layouts, decent-sized rooms, etc.

    I have tried to convince myself to buy there as it seems like a solid middle class neighborhood (not a lot of Benz and Bimmer there) based around a solid but older elementary school. Practically everything is under $300 per sf there. Could probably pick up a 2600sf 4/2.5 for $675-700K right now.

    Here’s what I’d consider a classic College Park example:

    http://www.redfin.com/stingray/do/printable-listing?listing-id=1367293

  79. ipoplaya

    Some people live by the old adages tonye. They just assume everyone who pulls cash out of a 401k is going to blow it…

    When I loaned myself $50K in July, the S&P was trading around 1540. Today, it’s at 1390. A 10% decline so far = $5K of capital preserved right there plus another $1500 in after-tax earnings on the funds parked in the money market. $6500 better off in seven months with potential for that to become a five digit number very easily. Who cares if I lose my job, I’ll just pay it back immediately without penalty of any sort. After all, I have my HELOC to live off if I find myself unemployed!

    Using this tactic for a few down cycles in the equity market over the course of the next 25 years, I expect to be at least $75-100K better off when I retire. In and out once on $50K if one can preserve 20% that would have disappeared otherwise will make you $40-45K better off over a 25-year span given compounding effects. Hard to argue with those results with pretty much zip risk.

  80. 25w100k+

    5 bucks if anyone (tonye) here can *actually* explain the need for the volatile keyword without looking it up. 😉

  81. NoWow!way

    I replied to the two posts related to CP by email and not sure if they will post or not. Will try and repost later, if they don’t materialize.

  82. NoWow!way

    Ipoplaya,

    That is exactly a great example of what a college park home looks like. For years the HOA had a feature in their once-a-month newsletter featuring the “Home of the Month” and I believe that one was one of the “winners”. In the past, the HOA also had an aestetics-type committee that basically nixed any kind of paint color that wasn’t the traditional chocolates for trim, and assorted beiges for the main part of the home. People who wanted their homes to have mixed tile colors on the roof were not allowed to do that and you had to go to someplace like costa mesa to pick out your colors from a color palate. I think some of that has changed since we painted a few years back.

    We were drawn to college park because it was one of the cheapest places with the biggest homes for the money at the time. We also considered the Ranch, Greentree, Willows/California Homes (often referred to as the “Barrio” of Irvine) and the old Culverdale (known as Westpark I). Culverdale was always filthy from grit from the 405 and I just didn’t like it at all, as far as how the homes were set up and the basic neighborhood. I think they have a school inside the tract, but you’d have to confirm. I know they have a clubhouse.

    The board of directors for College Park is comprised of some of the most selfish, pig-headed and incompetent neighbors. They changed the association’s management and has been on a spree to fine “violators’ for some of the most stupid and contrived infractions. Many are the same that took over the association’s swim team and plunged it into 9th place in the league (never before had the team placed any lower than 3rd) by hiring the wrong staff, overcharging residents and cherry picking friends’ kids who didnt even live in the neighborhood to be on the team. I consider them cowardly thugs that can be challenged. Hopefully they will just serve their terms and get out of the way. 😉 The demographics have changed over the years and there seem to be a greater number of people of asian decent who reside in CP.

  83. NoWow!way

    Tonye,

    Seron backs to Harvard and is fairly close to Walnut, I believe. They’d be dealing with the noise and lights from the Harvard Park facilities more than the train noise. You can easily walk to the Tustin train station from College Park in less than 15 minutes.

    Anyone living on Nutmeg or Blackthorn cannot speak over the phone when the train is going thru, as they back directly up to the train tracks. If you live a few streets up further then it is just a personal preference. I don’t mind the train noise and those freight trains really do jiggle the windows when they tremble through – but I like it. Other people in my household don’t like it at all. It is a LOT better than when we had military helicopters taking off from the hangars/base that is now being converted to the “District”! Those were absolutely noisy and intrusive. There is an exceptionally long cargo train that passes thru early Sunday am – maybe at about 3? I just kind of incorporate the rumbles into my dreams 😉

    There was talk several times about creating an overpass/underpass at Harvard so that the train would not have to blast its whistles, but for whatever reason, nothing has come of it. They even discussed blocking Harvard from thru-traffic at the tracks, but there is a pedestrian and bike trail, so the whistles would still need to function to keep people safe. Jeffrey is currently undergoing the overpass/underpass thing like Culver did several years ago – that eliminates the need for the train to slow down and eliminates the need to use the horns to warn traffic/pedestrians. It is a pretty big project and will take a while to complete, but is worth it imo. Harvard might not have sufficient enough traffic to justify the expense of quieting down the train at this point.

    Thanks for the insight about the train route. I didn’t know about those things.

  84. tonye

    Glad to be of service.

    (Volatile) tells the compiler that the content of that address can be modified by something other than the software, hence it should NOT be optimized.

    This is used primarily for hardware addresses that can modified by hardware devices… ie: register, IO memory, etc…

    You owe me five bucks.

    The volatile construct was added by K&R (amen!) for the ANSII version of the book. I have the original K&R (dog eared) and once upon a time I had the hardcopy second version ( got it because it defines the standard C library ) but some jerk stole it from me at some job (TRW I think…).

    And, my code is simple, elegant, reliable, robust and maintainable. In fact, as an architect I mentor junior programmers like you all to write good code.

    Yep… in real time I have some stuff that uses (void***)… And unless I won’t mentor a programmer that doesn’t understand that. That’d be a waste of time.

  85. Michele Burnside

    1st time to this site, sorry to hear so many negatives. 1st all you young people, Irvine IS and will ALWAYS be a very desirable city to live in…USC, UCLA (etc.) grads you are in great company here in Irvine…..Don’t be afraid of a fixer upper. If you want to own a home, intend on having a family BELIEVE ME when I say you will not go wrong with an investment in Irvine…BUY!!I live in the College Park tract. No matter where you live some people take pride in the exterior of their homes and some do not sad, but true. Addressing The property on Seron. The previous homeowners put so much tender love and care into this home. New Roof, paint, windows, landscaping (it was wonderful with the brick front deck and the white picket fence everyone loved it) Interior upgrades, etc. Neglect is all I can say about last homeowners. Harvard behind Seron is only a 2 lane street. Even at evening traffic time is NOT loud, and it dead ends at Walnut.The althetic park lights are not bothersome either. The trains DO NOT run that often. They do not barrell through Harvard, even Amtrack goes slow. The older freight train has an old loud whistle it’s a second or two. Nothing deafening, and certainly doesn’t make this undesireable. If you have your windows and doors closed YOU DO NOT hear a thing. There is a beautiful edible garden right next to the train area that many of our local Philanthropies(which we have many), schools, Girl & Boy Scouts,and many other organizations come to to pick fresh vegetables&fruits for our local food banks. A beautiful area. The trains do not make it a noisy terrible place quite the opposite it is a beautiful for the most part peaceful area with a great walk and bike path through and all the way alongside the train track area through a greenbelt. The Marine base is all built up with as many as 10 new housing tracts and building more everyday. The District a huge new shopping mall is also there with more shops and restaurants everyday., and another going up furthur un on Jamboree. I have lived here for 23 yrs. Community pools and clubhouse, and playground(one of the best in the city, brand new) are well maintained. Assoc. Dues are minimal; in 23 yrs have been raised $10.00!!!! (People on the board, get involved if you don’t like it. It’s not a problem really.) Community school has some of the best teachers in the district, and Irvine has one of the best school districts in the state. We have open enrollment, you can send your child to any school you choose, and their isn’t a bad one. We are centrally located to everything, what else is there. Yes; many families approaching 55 like myself. Lots are downsizing if children are grown but certainly not leaving. There are more and more young families moving in EVERYDAY. It is one of the safest cities in the state. I certainly agree that prices have gotten way out of hand but that is for the entire state of California. I myself am waiting for prices to drop lower so my oldest daughter and new family can purchase a home here. I would love for it to be this one. It’s a great starter home and if it ever gets below $425 they may be able to get into it! I can tell you I know of 100’s of people who are just waiting for the prices to fall a little lower so they can all purchase a home in Irvine. Yes right here in Irvine. I just hope they all make it in. If you are single or a career couple living anywhere in LA may be great ( I did for years and personally couldn’t stand the congestion on the streets, crime, almost all the public schools are horrible, parks aren’t safe. If you ever intend on marrying or having a family Orange County is where you want to be and Irvine is the most fabulous cities to raise a family. We are extremely close to everything. You never have to leave. UCI one of the best Universities right here as well as Junior Colleges. For you young investors. Think of this. If you have trouble making your mortgage payment the university and JC have students who are always looking to rent a room and college park is one of the most desireable areas because of it’s location not only to the schools but to the major bus lines direct routes to everywhere which is a requirement. The rent is anywhere from $650.00 – $900.00 a month depending on the situation. All this particular house needs is a little bit of tender loving care. It is a great community, peaceful, quiet, wonderful neighbors. I love it.

  86. ipoplaya

    Someone bought in College Park Michele… A bank-owned 4/2.5 2350sf place on Sumac just closed for $590K on 2/25. $250 per sf, wow!

    The places on Yucca are the only homes with a chance of moving in this market. They are both down around $275 per sf and will probably have to drop to $260-265/sf to find a taker.

    College Park is unfortunately headed far down in terms of valuations. There are 2-3 already owned by lenders, 2 more scheduled for auction, and another 4 pre-foreclosures. 10 bank-owned properties will drive the comps in CP down to the $225 per sf level before the end of the year IMO.

    With lending standards tightening, it’s going to be hard to attract buyers to CP. The cash-rich, i.e. 20-25% down types, are likely looking to newer areas. Why buy a fixer-upper in CP when you could have neighbors all around with fixer-uppers that never get fixed? IMO the value buyer profile that would be attracted to CP because of pricing is going to have a very hard time getting a loan over the next few years… That’ll hurt prices there as well.

  87. tonye

    CP does have nice homes, not spectacular nor great geography but nice.

    The negatives are big, however, the train is a real problem. As they are building the overpasses ( Culver, Yale and Jamboree are done., Jeffry is next. It’s only a matter of time before Harvard between Irvine Ctr and Walnut gets bumped to four lanes and gets a train overpass….) you will see Amtrak speeds go up. This is after all one of the longest downhills ( north to south ) in the whole state. Indeed if they build the overpass in Sand Canyon then Amtrak will run with not grade crossings from Tustin to the train station way down in the Spectrum. How would you like it if you had Amtrak running trains at 65 mph an 1/8 of a mile away? The ground will tremble.. and a positive they won’t have to toot their horn any more, but you’ll feel the earthquake for sure.

    The Walnut areas have long been “entry level” into Irvine, just like University Park and “Westpark I”. So, I can’t see how they will attract people with money as more desirable places come down in price. These areas will compete against well maintained parts of Tustin and then only the IUSD will be their saving grace.

  88. Irvinelongtimer

    To clarify a few errors in reporting here. Harvard to limit lines of homes on both sides, and then small narrow parking lot at park end. and dead ends into a housing tract. Home just sold bank repo in CP bad condition around $310. per sq ft. Not bad…Tustin has great schools Beckman HS, Peters Canyon, etc… 2, 3, 4, million $$ homes.

  89. Irvinelongtimer

    Well this home was pending for a few weeks, and since was sold about 3 weeks ago. Not anywhere near the low prices you were quoting. Obviously you know as you haven’t posted anything here. Thank goodness it seems like all of a sudden things are selling in CP again. Where did you move your negative comments to you now? I’d love to see your comments on some other properties. Hopefully things are starting to turn up a little bit.

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