Well alright, you gave it all up for a dream

Fate proved unkind,

to lock the door and leave no key

You’re unsure,

Well baby I’m scared too

When the world crushes you

Let me be your shelter, shelter

From the storm outside

Let me be your shelter, shelter

From the endless night

Disillusion has an edge so sharp

It tears at your soul and leaves a stain upon your heart

I need you, to wash mine clean

You’ve felt it too, and you need me

Shelter — Lone Justice

Buyers late to the rally gave it all up for a dream, and fate proved very unkind. It is time to lock the doors and mail back the keys. Their world is crushed; they are disillusioned, and this will leave lasting scars in their memories…




House Price RatingsThere is another neighborhood in Quail Hill experiencing a race to the bottom. Anyone remember Stepping Down? This is not a bad neighborhood. It is everything Irvine has come to stand for. There are greenspaces on two sides, a great park nearby, and the elementary school is walking distance. The houses are attractive, alley-loaded homes averaging about 2000 SF. There are no negatives preventing this neighborhood from selling well — other than the predicted credit crunch. To see distress in this segment of the market is to see it everywhere…

The three homes we are comparing today are nearly identical, and of course, they all have gourmet kitchens. These are presented in order to match our house price ratings graphic to the left. First, we have a LOL price (which is today’s market). Second, we have an OMG wishing price, and third, to complete the trifecta, a WTF fantasy price.

36 Canopy Front36 Canopy Kitchen

Asking Price: $789,000IrvineRenter

Income Requirement: $197,250

Downpayment Needed: $157,800

Purchase Price: $594,000

Purchase Date: 9/30/2003

Address: 36 Canopy, Irvine, CA 92603

First Mortgage $616,000

Second Mortgage $115,500

Total Debt $731,500

Beds: 4
Baths: 2.5
Sq. Ft.: 2,100
$/Sq. Ft.: $376
Lot Size:
Type: Condominium
Style: French
Year Built: 2003
Stories: Two Levels
View(s): Canyon, Hills
Area: Quail Hill
County: Orange
MLS#: S508410
Status: Active
On Redfin: 99 days

Unsold in 90+ days



Notice the kool aid advertising at $175,000 less than last sale. I think this is supposed to imply this is a bargain. It tells me prices are in free fall.



Typical story here: The seller bought the rally, refinanced to get some pocket change, and now they are hoping to get out before the market drops past their breakeven point. This listing started at $895,000 and has now seen $105,000 in price reductions over the last 100 days. They are still chasing the market down. Perhaps if they had not started at a WTF price, they might have found a knife catcher. I suspect the asking price might start to get sticky soon because they need to get near their current asking price not to go underwater.

48 Canopy Front48 Canopy Kitchen

Asking Price: $859,000IrvineRenter

Income Requirement: $214,750

Downpayment Needed: $171,800

Address: 48 Canopy, Irvine, CA 92603

Beds: 4
Baths: 2.5
Sq. Ft.: 2,100
$/Sq. Ft.: $409
Lot Size:
Type: Condominium
Style: Mediterranean
Year Built: 2004
Stories: Two Levels
View(s): Hills, Mountain, Park or Green Belt
Area: Quail Hill
County: Orange
MLS#: S512470
Status: Active
On Redfin: 64 days

Gourmet Kitchen Award Acres of OPEN SPACE in your own backyard! This 3BR+LOFT, 2.5BA DETACHED HOME w/ 2-car direct acc. gar. across from nature preserve & walking trails!Formal Liv/Dining areas; Sep. FamRm w/ Freplce & media niche; extensive hrdwd flring thruout!Plantation shutters, french doors gourmet kitchen w/ stainless steel appliances, opulent master suite, tranquil bkyd patio w/ KOI POND & lush vegetation!Award-winning Alderwood Basics+ & Uni HS!REDUCED $1,000’S!!!

The schizophrenic use of abbreviations, CAPS, slashes and unusual punctuation make this description very difficult to read.



This property is now $70,000 behind our low price leader. I imagine if you ask the seller, they could give you a litany of reasons why their property is worth the extra $70,000. At 64 days on the market, it appears the market thinks it is overpriced.

45 CanopyWTF

Asking Price: $943,900IrvineRenter

Income Requirement: $235,975

Downpayment Needed: $188,780

Address: 45 Canopy, Irvine, CA 92603

Beds: 3
Baths: 2.5
Sq. Ft.: 2,073
$/Sq. Ft.: $455
Lot Size:
Property Type: Condominium, Attached
Year Built: 2003
Stories: Two Levels
View: Yes, Hills, Park/Green Belt
Area: Out Of Area
County: Orange
MLS#: K07103117
Status: Active
On Redfin: 185 days

Unsold in 90+ days

Gourmet Kitchen Award This the best 3 bedroom home in Quail Hill. Gourmet Kitchen With Slab Granite counters with Stainless steel Appliances. Formal living, Dinning, and a family room. This 2 Story includes Recessed lighting thru out, large shutters, large crown and baseboard molding thru out home. you will love the flooring, carpet, tile, marble, spa tub and master shower are up graded. a plus is study and or office. an enclosed back yard with covered patio, stainless steel BBQ, Custom Decking, lighting, fountain, flowers, grass, and this is a great place to entertain. a gated court yard up front with wonderful views. Included is a attached 2 car garage, sealed flooring, White detailed walls, custom lighting and auto door opener. This has many more option that you have to see for yourself. Location, location, location, Shopping, schools, movies, fwys, and the pacific ocean beaches.

Kool Aid Man

“This the best 3 bedroom home in Quail Hill.” Bullshit.

This place has the “pacific ocean beaches?”

This author must have something against capital letters… Or perhaps they used up their quota in the first three sentences and couldn’t use any more?



You have to wonder what goes through this seller’s mind. They are $150,000 over comps, and these comps are aggressively lowering their price and they still haven’t found the market. What is this seller waiting for? Perhaps they need this post to embarrass them into doing something — something like — lower the price! If they lowered the price today $200,000, they might find a buyer; otherwise, this property is going to sit on the market forever (it has already been there half a year.) Also, they need to get the realtor to take some pictures. The tiny picture on the web is not helping matters any.


These price drops are breathtaking. Real estate markets usually do not decline so quickly. So how bad is it getting? From DataQuick:

All Home Sales… Median Dec-06. Median Dec-07 .Percent Change

Los Angeles………. $525,000………. $470,000………. -10.5%

Orange……………….$630,000………. $565,000………. -10.3%

Riverside………….. $432,000………. $355,000………. -17.8%

San Bernardino… $370,000………. $315,000………. -14.9%

San Diego…………. $495,000………. $430,000………. -13.1%

Ventura……………. $590,000………. $525,250………. -11.0%

SoCal………………….$490,000………. $425,000………. -13.3%


Since I went country today, I thought I would share with you a song selection from a reader. Thank you.



I saw Star Wars at least eight times,

Had the Pacman pattern memorized

And I’ve seen the stuff they put inside Stretch Armstrong

Well I was Roger Stauback in my backyard,

Had a shoebox full of baseball cards,

And a couple of Evil Knievil scars on my right arm

Well I was a kid when Elvis died,

And my mama cried.

It was 1970 somethin’, in the world that I grew up in.

Farrah Fawcett hair-do days, bellbottoms and 8-track tapes.

Looking back now, I can see me.

Oh man, did I look cheesy.

I wouldn’t trade those days for nothin’,

Oh it was 1970 somethin’.

It was the dawning of a new decade,

When we got our first microwave.

Dad broke down and finally shaved them old sideburns off.

I took the stickers off my Rubiks cube,

Watched MTV all afternoon.

My first love was Daisy Duke in them cutoff jeans.

Space shuttle fell out of the sky,

And the whole world cried.

It was 1980 somethin’, in the world that I grew up in.

Skating rinks and black Trans-Ams, big hair and parachute pants.

And looking back now, I can see me.

And oh man, did I look cheesy.

I wouldn’t trade those days for nothin’,

Oh it was 1980 somethin’.

Now Ive got a mortgage and an SUV

But all this responsibility

Makes me wish sometimes –

It was 1980 something, in the world that I grew up in.

Skating rinks and black Trans-Ams, big hair and parachute pants.

And looking back now, I can see me.

Oh man, did I look cheesy.

I wouldn’t trade those days for nothin’,

Oh it was 1980 somethin’.

19 Seventy Somethin’

Oh it was 19 somethin’.

100 thoughts on “Shelter

  1. ice weasel

    Mmmmm, Maria McKee.

    Anyway…three more reasons never to live in Irvine. Not that I have anything against Irvine but if this is the elite versus riff-raff sorting mechanism, being forced to grossly overpay for well upholstered apartments, I’ll live with the hoi polloi elsewhere.

  2. NanoWest

    These homes are for people that are too clueless to understand that they are in, and alway will be the middle class.

  3. George8

    I am still way priced out of even the LOL price. If most owners in Irvine do not have to sell, then they will continue to list at WTF prices.

    I like all three, but I can afford none.

  4. George8

    Well, my wife just told me that we could get some lender to take no doc loan, then we may be able to afford 36 Canopy without selling our existing home now.

    However, we think we’d wait a little longer so that we can sleep better at night.

  5. SawItComing

    Great posts as usual.

    I do take issue with your assertion that either one of those songs is country, urban country maybe. Fake southern accents that no linguist could identify don’t cut it. If there is no steel guitar then it’s not country. Real country music should sound like pulling nails out of 100 year old hardwood. 🙂

  6. AZDavidPhx

    I toast a WTF to all 3 of these sellers.

    Forget Kool Aid –

    They were obviously watching way too much “Flip This House” and “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” while smoking some extraordinarily good weed in order to sign the loan agreement on these time bombs.

    Good lord, the human stupidity never ceases to amaze me.

    It’s like that Twilight Zone feeling you get when you are driving down the street and everyone around you is driving like an idiot – speeding, tail gating, cutting each other off, merging into people in their blindspots, drifting into other lanes of traffic, jockying to be #1 at the red light, etc and you say to yourself “Am I seriously surrounded by this many stupid morons or am I the nutty one?”

  7. ipoplaya

    Mark Wills was born and raised in Georgia. This was the pretty Deep South last time I checked SawIT. The guy has had something like 18 top 10 country hits as determined by Billboard. I think that particular song was Billboard’s country hit of the year when it came out.

    I love the steel guitar and fiddle too, but they have become classic country. Most aren’t using them any longer…

  8. mark

    Aren’t you supposed to follow a comment like this with, “Not that there’s anything wrong with that”?

  9. John

    36 Canopy
    Perhaps it would help sell the place if the realtor who can’t spell put the huge walking closet to use by having it serve cocktails during the open house?
    Don’t the people who hire these stupid realtors read their own listings? Or can’t they read or spell either? Embarrassing!

  10. zaleriana

    The default in MS spellcheckers is to ignore words in ALLCAPS. The insanity of using ALLCAPS generally means that spelling errors get missed. And Realtors are virtually incapable of embarrassment–it’s practically a job requirement.

  11. tenmagnet

    I’m very interested in buying in Northpark.
    Thanks for the link, it’s nice to see that prices are coming down

  12. Mel

    I think it’s hilarious that they shoved a koi pond in that miniscule back yard. What do you do with that other than maintain it? I’d much prefer some grass for my dogs to pee on.

    Also, those tv niches in the quail hill homes are almost reason enough not to buy them. Every picture I’ve seen of those living rooms is awkward.

    Surprisingly, I agree with AZ – these are all WTF to me.

  13. CK

    Of course we love Northpark. Those manned gates are just one more mechanism to further the elite vs. riff raff sorting that ice weasel points out above. So there is reason #4 to never live in Irvine, ice weasel — guard shacks in the safest city in the US!!

  14. Land of Delusion

    I wonder if the realtors figured out the worse their listing description is, the more likely IR is to discuss their property.

    Maybe it won’t be discussed in the most positive light, but hey, free publicity.

  15. ipoplaya

    The sales history on this one is interesting. The March 2007 seems a little low give what some other places were going for at the time… Nice to see a 2004 rollback in NP though.

  16. tenmagnet

    Yeah, I was thinking the same thing.
    The ’04 roll back on this one is promising.
    Hope to see more of the downward momentum continue on some of the higher end homes in NP

  17. mark

    That might be in interesting idea for an IR post – Profile the OC middle class range. e.g. household income, size of family, typical expenses, and the monthly housing cost range they can reasonably afford. Then compare that to current asking prices of “middle-tier” homes.

    Defining “middle class” is not simple, but maybe household incomes ranging from the 25th percentile to the 75th percentile is a good start.

  18. NoWow!way

    The table is worth clicking the link:

    December was a tough month for struggling O.C. homeowners, according to the latest figures from DataQuick.

    Lenders foreclosed on 644 homes in December, the second highest monthly total in DataQuick’s database, which goes back to 1988, and the highest since the record 674 foreclosures in October 1996. December’s total was up 432% from a year ago and 77% from November.

    To be sure, foreclosures account for a small percentage of total housing stock in O.C., which has increased by tens of thousands of homes since the last downturn of the 1990s. But foreclosures and other distressed properties, such as when banks agree to allow an owner to sell for less than the mortgage owed, accounted for 26% of homes on the market last week, according to Steve Thomas at Re/Max Real Estate Services in Aliso Viejo.

    And, DataQuick figures show, banks sent out 1,895 notices of default last month, up 175% from a year ago and 103% from November. Banks typically send out a notice of default after a borrower misses three or more monthly payments.

    And now we can compare all of ‘07 to ‘06.

    For 2007, there were 4,160 foreclosures, a more than six fold increase from ‘06. And there were 13,786 NODs in ‘07, more than double the total in ‘06. Here’s a table with both years side-by-side:

  19. AZDavidPhx

    The guards are armed with beer bellies, tight shorts, old tennis shoes, pillows, Maxim magazines, and a phone for your protection.

    I feel safer already.

  20. Gray

    “I’ll live with the hoi polloi elsewhere.”

    You’d rather live with the hoi polloi than with the koi polloi (2nd example)?`What a disappointment for the seller!

  21. ipoplaya

    I just want those guard shacks so they can call over to my house when friend comes to visit, “Mr. Ipoplaya, Mr. So-and-So is here to see you”. I will feel so powerful and important when I respond “Okay, please let them through George”. That’s gotta be worth a couple of hundred per month in extra mortgage!

    Of course, Mr. So-and-So can be just like me, drive up to the gate, and say “Open House”. The guard jumps all over himself to hand you a flyer with all the open house listings and you can roll on through.

  22. AZDavidPhx

    You pull in wearing a blood stained shirt with a big giant bloody axe in the passenger seat.

    “Open house”

    “OH why didn’t you say so sooner, sir!”

    “Right this way, sir!”

    “May I carry your axe for you, sir!”

  23. CK

    After you say “open house”, the guard would find that bloody ax in the passenger seat completely plausible….He would be thinking, “yep, just another knife catcher”.

  24. tenmagnet

    Thanks for the link.
    There’s one on page 3, 27 Oroville, starting bid is 449K
    This one’s located in Northpark (guard shack).
    Can’t tell if it’s detached or not.

  25. mmg

    Ipoplaya, these are great bargains, esp the third one, a cool one mil for a condo, all 2000 sf of Irvine living.

    these things will be going down to conforming limit soon :mrgreen:

  26. zornundo

    Out here in the rural part of TN, we have dogs for that sort of stuff. That is, when they’re not sleeping the day away on a couch.

  27. Quail-over-the-Hill

    Re: The WTF example at 45 Canopy: One theory as to why the owner lets the place sit for six months at $150,000 above asking-price comps and doesn’t have the Realtor post some photos could be that the owner is a long way away. Like, Taiwan. Just a thought

  28. Hmmmm

    Question on the community amenities. Since everyone is showing pictures of them, is use of the facilities included as part of your HOA dues? Where I am it is always seperate, but maybe it is different in Irvine.

    No one seems to be using them anyway in the pictures. Are those shots taken from the marketing info for Irvine?

  29. SawItComing

    “I love the steel guitar and fiddle too, but they have become classic country. Most aren’t using them any longer…”

    Sad but true.

    They also don’t have as much creative talent. Old country songs have better lyrics. This is what I would consider good country, maybe IR can use it for some future loan fraud analysis:

    Hard to imagine I know, but I listened to this stuff when I lived in Woodbridge.

  30. skek

    What’s the old Alabama song? “If you want to play in Texas, you got to have a fiddle in the band.”

    What does it say about me that my iTunes playlist includes both Alabama and Tupac?

  31. Alan

    Same column as Slate.

    What I don’t get is what Mr. Gross is smoking. Where is all the Bush bashing and anti-consumerism. I’ll bet half of the posters here drive beamers and eat out four times per week.

    Heck, IPOP probably only wares his underware once before donating it to goodwill.

  32. tonye

    Watching the DC politicos you’d think that middle class is someone who doesn’t qualify for welfare but gets food stamps.

    In my neighborhood, middle class is 200K per household -not counting the retirees.

    I think there are a few lower middle class ones, but they got in a long time ago and drive older cars.

  33. CK

    With the New Year’s diet resolution, I’ve cut back the eating out to 3 nights a week. I figure with the money I save there, I can pick my wife up a couple more Gucci or Prada handbags.

  34. tonye

    I voted for Bush. Three times. Reagan too. Clinton? Not in your worse dreams, bud!

    But I don’t have a Beemer, just Hondas and Acura. That way I can afford my Audio Research and Acoustic Reality audio amplifiers.

    A man has to have his priorities.

    And my TL has a stereo far better than the crap in those Bimmers and all that Bose caca elsewhere.

  35. Susan

    I find the description of the “huge walking closet” terrifying. What if it snaps its tether and leaves the bedroom?

    The photo for #3 makes me think the Realtor has a restraining order out against him and can’t get within 60 yards of the property.

  36. Purplehaze

    Or maybe they are just panic sellers who own most of the equity and have a lot of appreciation on their property. They therefore do not have mcuh of a cash outflow challenge as much as losing out on the appreciation that had been boasting about to their neighbors, friends and to themselves over the years. These might be the kind of people who do not care if their homes are not selling as fast and who are willing to share the kool aid with the real estate agent/realtard!

  37. ex-Tangelo

    Some media from today:

    Shelter magazine publishers adjust to changing housing market
    “The publishing industry’s once white-hot “shelter” segment – those magazines covering home design and living – also felt the reverberations of contractions in the economy, with Condé Nast’s venerable House & Garden ceasing publication after 106 years.”

    Tax Break Aimed at New Mortgages
    “Homeowners with a new mortgage that is covered by insurance can claim a tax break on the insurance for the first time this year.”

    Lenders Rethink Home-Equity Loans
    “As home values continue to sink, mortgage companies are increasingly walking away from delinquent home-equity loans rather than pushing borrowers into foreclosure.”

    If You Don’t Know Your Math,You’ll End Up Taking a Bath
    “In a recent study, marketing professors Eric Eisenstein and Stephen Hoch found that most folks underestimated how much savings would grow and how much debt would end up costing.”

  38. 25w100k+

    See, I’m a little suprised Northpark is so popular. This is comparable size to what i’m looking for, just a wee bit over my price range, but i’d take something in quail hill, portola springs, or woodbury over northpark.

    At least Quail hill can justify the premium with its views. Northpark, while nice, is just a newer irvine village, nothing else special about it.

  39. mark

    Charley Rangel referred to households earning more than $200,000 as “billionaires” in a current Money Mag article. Nice, huh?

  40. Rob

    I have not read every comment, but one thing struck me as really, seriously infuriating. If this home sells for the $943k price – which it won’t – the commission will be around $55,000. The realtor – or whichever complete idiot typed this listing – CANNOT SPELL, IS CLUELESS ABOUT PROPER CAPITALIZATION, CANNOT OPERATE A CAMERA AND SIMPLY DOES NOT HAVE A CLUE!

    For $55,000, the seller deserves a realtor with a remote grasp of the English language, quality photographs, a dedicated website with virtual home tour, aggressive adverstising in every possible outlet and more.

    How in the hell are such idiot realtors getting these listings? Why would anyone pay a commission for such lackluster, juvenile, dumbshit presentations of their million-dollar homes?!?

    IHB has laughable listings DAILY, yet these moron realtors are still getting listings!

  41. tenmagnet


    Thanks again for the link.
    It’s listed at 959K, on the auction site the starting bid is 459K.
    820K will put this back to ’03 pricing.
    Where do you think it will end up?
    As of today, my perception of auctions has changed.
    I thought mainly homes in crappy areas were sold at auction.
    Surprised to see one in the Irvine area that isn’t old and dated. This one is newer (’02) and in Northpark no less.

  42. tonye

    “House porn” industry… how appropriate in some ways.

    It’s like the “food porn” industry. You know, where they tell you how to grind your own corn, make the muffins, grow your own chickens and green beans and make a meal from scratch.

    Yeah right.

    I was at Pacific Sales yesterday. It was pretty much empty. I didn’t have to wait to get my parts.

  43. Alan

    If you go to this auction, and I bought realestate at auction in 94, my advice is to set a limit on what your willing to pay before you go. It’s still early in the downturn so the best deals are yet to come. The thing is not to get emotional, so don’t get upset if it goes above what your willing to pay, just keep looking and go to the next auction. There will be plenty more to come.

    Good Luck!

  44. Genius

    Remember, there are reserve prices on those auctions. Even if you are the only bidder at $500k doesn’t mean you will get the house at that price.

  45. zaleriana

    Um, Gross was listing 3 groups who might be experiencing schadenfreude. IHB was one of them. No allegation of bush bashing or anti-consumerism was made (nor was there an allegation that no bush bashers nor anti-consumerists post on IHB).

    Between this and Ms. Hilton as the pinnacle of desire, I want some of whatever Alan smokes.

  46. tenmagnet


    I appreciate your feedback and insight on the RE auction process.
    Wholeheartedly agree with your comments about it being early in the downturn.
    At some point though, I may decide to attend one of these auctions and will keep your words in mind.
    As one of the younger people here, I’m thankful to you and others who contribute, sharing both their knowledge and experiences. It’s helped me immensely.

  47. tenmagnet


    Unfortunately, I’m completely unfamiliar with how RE auctions work. What is a reserve price?
    The auction site says opening bid is 459K, if I’m the only bidder at 500K doesn’t the house get sold to me at that price?
    That’s how I’ve seen it done watching the Barrett-Jackson car auction.

  48. CapitalismWorks

    Irvine Hierarchy goes like this:

    1) Shady Canyon
    2) Turtle Ridge
    3) Quail Hill
    4) Turtle Rock (sorry Tonye, still good though)

    The first four are west of the 405 and have hills (views).

    5) Northpark (Gated new and older)
    6) Oak Creek
    7) Woodbury
    8) Woodbridge
    9) Portola Springs
    10) Northpark (older non-gated)
    11) Wespark (sorry Shiny)
    12) University Town Center (west of the 405 but pretty dumpy)
    13) Deerfield
    14) Walnut
    15) El Camino
    16) Those ludicrous high rise towers!

  49. lawyerliz

    To me that monkey bears a strong resemblence to Bernake. Volker was slightly critical of B recently.

  50. Alan

    Same as on Ebay…

    Selers reserve price is a price which must be reached in order for the sale to be effective. Bidding starts below the reserve. They don’t have to disclose the reserve price before the sale. Once the reserve is reached your bid to buy is considered a valid contract or you forfeit your deposit if you back out and the contract goes to the next highest bidder.

  51. Alan

    OK, add surfing and skiing on weekends.

    I definately wouldn’t stoop to Britney, that girl is screwed up.

  52. buster

    yu insult me aSian brother. He good man and woork hard. He deserv listing and make money from oter asian brother invester; yu must be rasist too deni me asian broter good comishon. we all spel goodly. yuo lasy white peple just cant reed good. go to skool and lern to reed rite. tHen listing make goodly cents to yu.

    and yu buy now. good deel so yu buy now.

  53. ipoplaya

    Views in Quail Hill of what, the 405?! The new hospital?

    I’d rather be in NP, up against the hills, with guards at the gate, and a good ways from any major freeway.

  54. ex-Tangelo
    Price: $943,900
    45 Canopy
    Irvine, CA 92603

    Listing Agent

    This is where the party ends
    I can’t stand here listening to you
    And your racist friend
    I know politics bore you
    But I feel like a hypocrite talking to you
    And your racist friend

    It was the loveliest party that I’ve ever attended
    If anything was broken I’m sure it could be mended
    My head can’t tolerate this bobbing and pretending
    Listen to some bullet-head and the madness that he’s saying

  55. mark

    I don’t really understand commenters’ anger toward bubble buyers, but I do understand the irritation toward realtors. The 6% commission-based system of selling homes is completely corrupt and unnecessary, and watching these minimally-educated realtors pile-up the cash over the last few years musters some anger.

  56. Mr Vincent

    “…while smoking some extraordinarily good weed …”

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that!

  57. ipoplaya

    Ten – This same auction house sold a property in my West Irvine neighborhood. Address was 71 Avondale. It was a 1622sf 3/2.5. Recorded at $588K, sale date 9/27/07. I’m not sure if this price was before or after the 5% buyers premium the auction house charges.

    If they truly got it for $588K, they saved approximately $25K compared to market price at the time. A similarly thrashed REO the same floorplan closed for $630K in August. Figure between July (when the $630K REO got into escrow) and September prices cooled a smidge, so going rate by the time the auction property sold on these plans in thrashed state was $615-620K.

    If the $588K was before the buyers premium, they actually ended up paying more than market price for the auction home.

    Going after a place you like at auction would be fun. Factor in the 5% buyers premium, check the house out in serious detail (these are sold as-is, so an inspection would be good if you could work that out – I have a great guy I could recommend), arrive at a value and stick to it. Assuming this NP home has nothing severely wrong with it, a price of $800K would be a nice bargain. Detached 1600-1700sf condo units in the area are moving in the mid to high $600K range right now. There is s a fairly recent sale of a 4/3 2400sf place for $944K.

  58. Alan

    6% commision to me seemed appropriate when houses were selling for $150k and the real estate agents actually had to work to sell houses, hold open houses, network w other agents, etc.

    Once housing prices passed 500K 6% started to seem excessive, and a 1M like highway robery for what they bring to the table, especially as they seem to be doing less and less work.

    Now that the bubble has burst, I fully expect 1/2 of them to leave the business and the rest will have to settle back to less pay for more work again. It will be interesting to see how the internet and companies that facilitate FSBO pay out.

    Maybe they will end up like travel agents, a vanishing species.

  59. Alan


    If your going to the trouble of going to an auction, you don’t want a “nice bargin” you want a steal!!!!

    If IPOP says 800k is a nice bargin, take at least 10% off that and try for $720k or 20% off for $640k

    These auctions will be happening again and again so go for blood!

  60. Alan

    I remember when I bought at auction I didn’t actually have to be there, actually I was at work, I put up my deposit in advance of the auction and was called by representative from the auction house if I wanted to raise my bid. It was very nerve racking but by that time there weren’t any other qualified buyers and I got a hell of deal.

  61. tenmagnet

    I totally agree about Quail Hill, aside from their one shopping center the area feels very industrial to me.

  62. ex-Tangelo

    Daniel Gross, from the link: But for some (congenital Bush-bashers, the Irvine Housing Blog, critics of rampant consumerism), the parade of bad news is an occasion for schadenfreude.

    He wasn’t saying this blog has congenital Bush-bashers and critics of rampant consumerism. He was lumping this blog together with those that “enjoy seeing inhabitants of the formerly high-flying sectors that got us into the mess—real estate and Wall Street—being laid low.”

  63. mark

    An MSN-Money article today reminds me of IR’s characterization of bubble buyers making “colossal” mistakes for possibly losing $100-$200K in equity (so far). The article discusses major life choices and their costs.

    “According to the latest figures from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it now costs between $145,000 and $290,000 just to raise a child through high school. (Higher-income families tend to spend more.) Add anywhere from $60,000 to $130,000 more for a four-year college education.”

    How do you characterize the financial decision to have a child which is a sunk cost of $145-$290k, if losing $100-$200K in home equity is a “colossal” mistake?

  64. ipoplaya

    Not for larger Northpark SFRs they won’t… Not that many go to auction. The preferred methods appear to be foreclose and kick to an REO specialist.

    If it had 4 bedrooms, I’d go and bid on that puppy and be happy to get $800K. Anything lower and I’d do backflips. Not quite big enough for me though…

  65. CapitalismWorks

    NorthPark is nice, don’t get me wrong. Its just east of the 5. That is a long drive to the beach… And flat. Generally speaking homes on hills cost more than homes on the plains.

    BTW, I can think of too many views in Irvine that don’t have a freeway in them. Irvine is valley split by both the 5 and the 405. Oh, and the 55, 133, 241. Point is, if you have a view, you can see a hospital.

  66. ipoplaya

    I don’t get to the beach much, so proximity to it isn’t particularly useful to me. I have friends that own a place on the sand at 44th in NB. Go there on occassion but the 15-20 minute drive is no biggy…

  67. mav

    I thought the resemblance to Bernanke made it really humorous.

    The OC Rally Monkey could be replaced with any siliconed or cheap suit wearing realtor….. and a sign.

  68. 25w100k+

    Quail Hill has nice city light views in some places, but I suppose those would be the houses closer to the 133.

    TRidge has ocean views too, but a little further from the 405.

    See, I like being a stone’s throw from the freeway. Makes life convenient.

    Guess we’re both lucky that no ‘one place’ is where everyone wants to be.

  69. doug r

    I believe median income for the US is just above $50,000. Not too many places around for less than $150,000 that aren’t total sh*tholes.

  70. Priced_Out_IT_Guy


    I love how people assume they’re safer because a security guard with a laundry list of misdemeanors getting paid $12 an hour sits behind a foggy window all day picking bling bling spinner Dayton 100 spoke rims out of Hotrod magazine.

    I call protection my Remmington Wingmaster.

  71. ipoplaya

    Hey, I’ve got to save for a house. I wear my underwear one day, flip ’em inside and out, wear ’em again the next day. Figure what I save on laundry costs will get me an extra 1-2 sf by the time I buy…

    We own our vehicles outright. No leases here. I don’t pay interest unless I can deduct it. Almost bought a loaded QX but figured the Armada was mostly the same truck for $20K less. Flew to Vegas to get a sweet deal on it, $3K less than any dealer I could find it at in SoCal. Stopped at State Line on the way home, made $600 in two hours to pay for the airfare, gas home, and a couple of hundred profit. The kicker, I wrote the dealer a couple of checks to pay for the purchase and they were nice enough to never cash one for $5K. Viva Las Vegas!

  72. tonye

    Nope… TR is nicer than Quail Hill.

    TR is much larger, has more and larger parks and the lots are bigger. Plus our location is geographically nicer.

    Quail Hill is isolated from the rest of residential Irvine by the gates of Shady Canyon, the 405 and the industrial/medical parks across the freeway. Indeed its only benefit is the proximity to the hospitals which might come in handy when all those heart attacks and abnormal palpitations start to hit as the mortgages get reset.

    IMHO it’s a small village that is grossly overpriced and very crowded. I think Prince Albert in a can lives in Quail Hill.

    Give that place five years for the shoddy construction to come through and you will see it’s “desirability factor” drop.

  73. tonye

    There are homes in TR that have views of the ocean. Also many homes in TR have views of the mountains north and east of us. I can see Mt. Wilson and Mt Baldy (is that the one by Big Bear ) from my second story.

    Some of the homes just up from me have fantastic views.

    Then you got the homes on the other side of the hill that have views of the reservoir, Saddleback Mtn and the valleys.

    Indeed, most of TR has some kind of view.

  74. Simon

    Gross wasn’t saying that IHB posters are Bush-bashing and anti-consumerist–he was saying that these three separate groups represent examples of those who believe there are positive effects to the real estate bubble bursting. You’ve misread the article if you understood Gross as claiming the groups were one and the same.

  75. AndrewIrvine

    What in the world are people going to do with those stupid TV niches now that everyone is switching to flat-screens, most of which won’t even fit in the TV niches? Talk about unplanned obsolescence…

  76. Stupid

    Don’t think there is enough of a view in any of those places to justify the oversupply upper end housing…looking in Redfin this morning at zip code 92603 (which is where #1-4 are located)

    29 listings of 3500+ sq. ft in Quail Hill/Turtle Rock/Turtle Ridge, plus another 23 listings of big places (3500+ sq. ft and up) in Shady Canyon.

    8 listings over 3500 sq. ft in Quail Hill

    5 listings in Turtle Rock 3500 sq. ft.+

    16 listings in Turtle Ridge 3500 sq. ft. +

    23 listings in Shady Canyon 3500 sq. ft. +

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