I sit and wait

does an angel contemplate my fate

and do they know

the places where we go

when we´re grey and old

´cos I´ve been told

that salvation lets their wings unfold

so when I’m lying in my bed

thoughts running through my head

and I feel that love is dead

I’m loving angels instead

and through it all she offers me protection

a lot of love and affection

whether I’m right or wrong

and down the waterfall

wherever it may take me

I know that life wont break me

when I come to call she wont forsake me

I’m loving angels instead

Angel — Robbie Williams

Today’s seller took a gray and old house and turned it into an angel. There is even a waterfall. Where will it take him…



The readership of the Irvine Housing Blog has been growing steadily. Currently we are seeing around 3,300 unique visitors a day. Most sellers probably hate us, but all publicity is good publicity, right?

Today’s listing is a beautifully remodeled home. When I first saw this house, I thought someone was crazy to sink money into an old house adjacent to a busy shopping center in University Park. I thought to myself, “I could see someone asking $1,000,000 for this thing when they are done — not that they will get it, but they might ask.” Little did I know they believed they were building the Taj Mahal

2 Angell Front 2 Angell Kitchen

IrvineRenterAsking Price: $1,469,000

Income Requirement: $367,250

Downpayment Needed: $293,800

Purchase Price: $640,000

Purchase Date: 2/15/2007

Address: 2 Angell, Irvine, CA 92612WTF

Beds: 5
Baths: 4.5
Sq. Ft.: 3,800
$/Sq. Ft.: $387
Lot Size: 5,800 sq. ft.
Type: Single Family Residence
Style: Contemporary/Modern
Year Built: 2008
Stories: Two Levels
View(s): City Lights
Area: University Park
County: Orange
MLS#: S517790
Status: Active
On Redfin: 3 days

This is a DREAM come TRUE. CUSTOM HOME. JEWEL of Irvine. The house was originally built in year 1965. New addition and total remodeling was completed in January 2008. Custom features include 10 feet high double entry metal(Copper)door, travertine flooring, granite counter tops, brandnew cabinetries, two double ovens, two dish washers, Main floor master suite. Breath taking kitchen with one piece granite counter top island. second floor hallway and master suite wood- flooring, two sky-lights, tankless water heater, two zoned A/C units, two fireplaces (One in Master B/d and one in Living room)and many more. .. .



$1,469,000 in University Park, WTF! Would you buy a house for 3 times the cost of most houses on the street — in a declining market? If this flopper simply took a look at the situation unfolding around them, they would set a price at breakeven to cover the purchase and renovations and pray they found a knife catcher. Instead, is looks as if they are trying to double their money. Good luck with that.

I suppose this house would appeal to someone really pretentious. It is located right at the exit of the University Park shopping center so everyone looks at it when they leave the facility, and it is by far the nicest house in the vicinity. If you go have lunch at Charo Chicken, you can stare at this house out the windows and watch the waterfall. If you feel the need to stand apart from your neighbors and put yourself above them, this is the house for you. Perhaps this kind of buyer is more concerned with bragging about how much they paid rather than reveling in what a deal they got. There is plenty to brag about here.

114 thoughts on “Angel

  1. Terry

    If they’d move this to Rancho Cucamonga, put a pool in the backyard, and drop the price $1.1 mil, I’d be right on it!

  2. Hmmmm

    I think they are not asking double what they have in it. They have added an addition and upgraded a 1965 home. Prob. $300k for the renovations. To break even they probably have to get $1 mill. That would still be double the asking price of the neighborhood.

    Someone should have watched Property Ladder and not put more in to the house than the neighborhood could support.

    I wonder, do the flippers ever give up and just live in the darn things? I mean it is a nice house.

  3. bill shoe

    Congrats on averaging 3300 readers a day. I started reading with the “ATM on Turtle Ridge” post.

    I’m moving to Irvine in February, and we’ll rent for a while. I appreciate the IHB perspective on the housing market. I never would have been able to buy an Irvine home at current prices, but thanks to IHB I can feel good about not buying a home at current prices.

  4. shhhhh

    When I look at the living room pic, I just shiver. What a cold, cold room.

    I do respect residential modern architecture but the exterior of this home looks more like an office building. Actually, Tustin Marketplace comes to mind.

  5. NoWow!way

    According to the RSS feeder I use, this blog has over 800 regular subscribers. That says a lot. Most of the other local blogs I follow are more likely to have 50 dedicated subscribers because subscribing to
    RSS feed is a bit more advanced that the average surfer is willing to look into. I’d guess this site attracts more information enthusiasts than the average blog.

    A while back I was in the Willows/Greentree/California Homes area of Irvine and there were two homes that were going thru extensive renovation. It struck me as pretty dumb to dump so much money into making these two stand out among the other homes.

    I like what they have done to this home in University Park. The price is pretty much a mismatch for the area, but the area does attract families who want their kids to go to Uni High. Might interest a foreigner with a ton of $$$ and a kid they want to go to medical school after high school.

    Anyone know if the “latin club” is one of the most popular clubs to join at Uni, still? We knew several families that bought condos in the Uni area so that their children would go to the University High School with the other kids of doctors, dentists, lawyers, professors etc….

  6. NoWow!way

    I am also hearing that the fixed interest rates are VERY attractive right now for anyone wanting to buy a home.

    How does the rate pencil out if you get a great rate, but your new home declines another 20% over the next couple of years?

  7. HaHaHa

    This house is a total architectural disaster. Grandiosely mismatching rounded door in the square peg. The handrail to the second floor is simply unbelievable. Bathroom with no door and a single sink facing the bedroom with no mirrors. Just think of the smell when your loved one ate a spoiled fish. This house must have been designed by Guido the pimp.

  8. George8

    If this house sell at or near asking price, it may start a trend to convince neighboring properties to do exact the same….

    Then, in 2012, the whole area will have all houses recently renovated averaging 3500-5000 sf with price tag of $1.5-3 cool million.

    This phenomenon has taken place in many NYC metro pockets. So, why not in the desirable Irvine CA?

  9. Back in OC in 2012

    I wonder if Redin has a spell check for words like “dish washer”, “brandnew”, etc. They must charge a hefty fee for spell check.

    I guess there is no prolem with presentation when asking for $1.469M.

    New reality show – “Are You Smarter than a Realtor?”

  10. ipoplaya

    Hey everyone, I started a form discussion where I’ll post transaction activity that I come across, i.e. places going into escrow, falling out, closing, etc.

    Discussion name is “What’s going into escrow – Irvine and maybe some Tustin too”.

    I found three properties that went to “accepting backup offers” yesterday:

    Two of those are on the same street in the Sheridan tract of West Irvine. The other is in NW II.

  11. Pianist

    I love and drool over contemporary architecture, but my first thought was Chick-fil-A at Tustin Marketplace. Then the second thought of inability to sell due to placing this unique house in an ocean of Irvine tract homes kicked in.

  12. CMY

    You hit it on the head. I can’t figure out what style this is, but it’s certainly not appealing to me in the least.

    I think they ran out of cash when it came time to do the stairs and went with something off the shelf instead. It pretty much ruins whatever they were going after.

  13. zornundo

    Who needs four f*cking ovens???

    Is that a triumphal arch in the living room? Are they planning on holding ovations in there?

    Holy overkill on the overhead pot lights, Batman!

    These people must have been smoking good ol homegrown. Then they grabbed some architecture student and paired him or her up with an interior design student and gave them the homegrown, too. Ugh.

  14. irvinechild

    I dont know if the Latin Club still is popular, but I can proudly declare I was a member. Semper ubi sub ubi.
    I grew up in this neighborhood and my folks still live there. I drove by this place the other day on my way to see them and muttered WTF. I didnt even have to see the price to get that reaction. This place looks like housing from communist Russia.

  15. mark

    The fact that homes aren’t selling right now even though you can get a conforming 30-year fixed for 5.5% and jumbo for 6.5% is indicative of over-priced homes.

    If you anticipate another 20% drop, yet you buy today using these very low rates, any rate increase over the next two years will only serve to worsen the value decline (e.g. 20%+). Higher rates adversely affect prices.

  16. Alan

    This reminds me of an ER doc I knew in 92 who decided to become a small developer and tried the same trick in PV, took an older house and completely upgraded it. Of course, he timed the market wrong and ended up having to declare BK, and that was long before the BK laws changed. He was very bitter about the experience, of course he was operating completely out of his area of expertise. I wonder if these would be redevelopers are headed for the same fate.

    This does at least look like it’s worth 1M, as opposed to some other tract homes posted on this blog.

  17. IrvineRenter

    Are many, or any, of these escrows you are seeing going to close? Most properties are still falling out of escrow, correct?

  18. zornundo

    Silly people, chasing fast money. It’s like watching those flipping shows with non-professionals. It kills me all the time.

    That ER doc can make a good living on salary. Why would he want to waste additional time to try to make an extra buck or two? Wouldn’t being an ER doc take up enough time that he wouldnt’ want to blow even more time?

    If I wanted to do something risky with my time and money, I would do something that I’m actually trained and educated for, like opening a single-man CPA shop. I don’t know the first fookin’ thing about developing property and would rather spend my time and money doing something that I enjoy and know.

    But hey, these ‘redevelopers’ may leave some decent stuff after they bk and bleed. Just leaves some good stuff for the rest of us.

  19. hb

    I was wondering if anyone would notice the complete style disconnect on that stairway handrail. A contemporary-stone and-right-angle house with a stairway handrail straight out of ‘Leave It To Beaver’ or ‘Father Knows Best’. Tacky!

  20. Ugly

    When I drove by, my first thought was rehab/halfway house. It’s so out of place in that neighborhood.

  21. Alan

    He did make a very good living..

    But in CA.. everyone wants something more..

    He had friends do it and it didn’t seem too hard…

    It’s so easy to fool yourself.

  22. Flyovercountry

    That property is so “unique” that I wouldn’t expect it to have been done by a flipper. My theory is that whoever did it was planning on living there… and got crushed by the debt, forcing them to sell.

  23. AndrewIrvine

    Ha! I was just going to say that I LOVED the modernist exterior of the house, but when I checked out the additional photos on Stingray I was appalled by the out-of-place ornate copper door and the handrail that looks like it belongs in a Country Living photo spread. Also, the kitchen is way too dark and depressing with the black countertop and dark wood. Overall, the interior is definitely not cohesive with the exterior.

    The biggest issue with a house like this is that most people with a taste for modernist style like this would not want to live in a neighborhood where their house sticks out like a sore thumb… so, yes, this is clearly designed for someone with a lot more money than taste.

  24. Graham

    IR, I can’t miss an opportunity to pass on some more kudos for the hard work and attention to detail that you display on this blog. Two small indicators that tell me you are doing things right are the size of the comments section and the RSS feed numbers. WTG. (Way to go)

    Your comment about the sellers hating you could include realtors, but it is a mis-directed hate. I see an interesting shift taking place for those that gain their income from real estate.

    This round of turmoil is going to replace or at the least significantly re-shape the process and cost of selling/buying real estate with the benefit going to the consumer. The single most important factor is the internet and how it levels all fields of commerce. The one trade sector that comes to mind as an example of change and that has been affected to its core is the selling of vehicles and new ones to be specific. There is not a car salesperson that has not seen a good percentage of his income disappear as a result of the educated consumer, educated primarily by the access to information.

    Readers are well armed with great information to go out and deal with the housing market in their specific area. Of course all this info is only as useful as people are willing to read it and apply it. Most people apply the one thing in their life that is least able to help in a house purchase situation and that is their emotion. The lyrics from The Who’s Magic Bus come to mind:

    But can I buy your Magic Bus? (Too much, the Magic Bus)

    I don’t care how much I pay (Too much, the Magic Bus)
    I wanna drive my bus to my baby each day

    I want it, I want it, I want it……..


  25. crucialtaunt

    I think this house is perfect for the owner of Wholesome Choice (I am sure he/she is a very rich man/woman, based on the traffic in that store).

    A pretentious house, walk to work (literally), just can’t beat this combination!

  26. No_Such_Reality

    Entering escrow means nothing, closing escrow, that means something.

    Irvine November sales were exceedingly anemic. December didn’t appear to be shaping up much better.

    That raises an interesting question. For a good, mobile, healthy and yet balanced housing market, for a city the size of Irvine, 176K+ people, 66K+ housing units, what is an appropriate monthly sales volume?

    I say mobile, because I consider Irvine’s population to be mobile and require mobility for career and lifestyle options. Unlike prior generations, current non-boomers, Gen-X, Gen-Y, the forgottens, our tenure at corporation is much shorter. The need to move is much more common.

    If I look at Irvine’s 35,000 owner occupied houses, and guesstimate a move on average of once every seven years, we’d need an average monthly sales volume of around 360 units.

    If for mobility reasons, the average move is shorter, then the volume goes up. If slower, or people buy and hold, it’s lower. Any other guesses as to what a healthy sustainable turnover rate would be?

  27. ice weasel

    One might wonder why, if this investor was so intent on making a big splash financially, that they didn’t simply raze the old house and put in a gas station rather than a home there. A gas station might actually be a good idea on that corner. A $1.5M home, not so much.

    As for the remodel, I see two aspects to this.

    First, at least whoever did this had the decency to actually add some value by making substantial improvements before flipping it. Kind of stands out in its own way.

    Second, and as many have mentioned, this is entirely subjective, I’m a huge fan of contemporary design but this is a dog’s breakfast of cliches. And, as someone mentioned above, the bannister was the crowning glory of the entire home. How could you have possibly missed that when doing all the other work? Or did they think it actually, in some bizarre way, went with the rest of the interior?

    And as I said, that interior is simply a pastiche of existing cliches. From the overdone kitchen to the sterile travertine nightmare that is the fireplace, it’s just terrible. It’s the kind of thing interior design students should use as an example of a trap NOT to fall into.

    They might have better served simply wallpapering the old place with the money it took to create this $1.5M jumble and call it a day.

    But maybe that’s just me.

  28. ipoplaya

    I haven’t seen any come back on the market for a while. We’ll see… I am going to start tracking them more closely. Watch these entrants for back on market and also for closing prices.

    Two things IMO will cause places to fall out of escrow, 1) can’t get a loan approved or funded or 2) steep decline during the escrow period on comparable properties. I assume that the realtors aren’t pulling these puppies off market for poorly qualified buyers, but maybe they are taking anything they can get.

  29. Alan

    For comparision, OC has 3M people and sales volume in the whole county last month per Lasner’s blog was only 1,700 units

  30. ipoplaya

    I disagree NSR. Entering escrow means quite a lot. Getting to escrow is by far more than half the battle in terms of getting a house sold… Getting to escrow means you are most likely 17-21 days from getting someone’s earnest money to keep as your own or likely culminating a sale.

    Do you actually think that there are hordes of people negotiating deals, completing purchase contracts, and funding escrows with earnest money payments with the intention of backing out? I think that’s a foolish notion. Why would they waste their time, money, and energy? What would be the point of that?

    People would not typically contract to buy a house, putting some of their cash on the line, unless they desired to and intended to complete a purchase. Mortgage rates aren’t likely to go anywhere but down in the short-term, so there will be little catalyst for someone who gets pre-qualed and signs up to buy something today to bail the transaction. Aggressive price dropping in neighboring properties maybe, but how much of that can occcur over a 30-45 day period?

  31. BubbleLee

    I actually think it is quite nice! A little too fancy for my taste, though. I would love to see the “before” pictures. Wonder what it looked like.

  32. ochomehunter

    Another flipper turned into community server upgrading homes and selling at discount. We are staring at deep deep depression and it wont be long. Forget housing, look to save jobs.

  33. Alan


    entering escrow does mean a lot..

    but I have seen a lot of escrow’s fall apart also..

    unless the buyer comes in pre-qualified getting a loan is not a sure thing and now there will be a concern about apraisals in a falling market not to mention inspections and releases on 2nd leins in the cases of short sales.

  34. houseonlegs

    Even if someone wanted to buy this house….good luck on finding a lender to lend on it. This is what they call a white elephant. On the appraisal, all comps would have to be adjusted way beyond acceptable levels. They would be lucky to get a lender to lend 65% LTV because the appraisal could not accurately define the value of their collateral, but the seller must not have thought about that. I would say a more accurate down payment would be $600,000 instead of $293,800.

  35. No_Such_Reality

    People want a lot, how many have adjusted to the reality of the current financing market?

    Getting an offer on a house doesn’t mean anything. Getting an offer from a buyer that has the means to actually close, that means something.

    During the bubble, people didn’t think about the quality of their the offers they received. If the buyer had a pulse, they got the loan.

    That changed when the credit crunch hit in August. Deals fell through regularly, if I remember correctly, over half of the deals fell apart. If that is still occuring, getting an offer means nothing.

  36. ipoplaya

    NSR, deals fell apart in August because jumbo rates shot up by more than half a point in a very short period of time and lenders changed standards. I agree with you that offers don’t mean squat but getting the point of escrow is much more meaningful than an offer. Lots of people toss out offers, only to disappear when the first counter comes back.

    Escrows, what few there have been, don’t appear to be falling apart with any regularity since credit markets began working again to some degree. Jumbo rates are back down to pre-August rates right now. Standards have tightened, but sellers and their realtors know that as well. They aren’t going to take their property off the market for some freak buyer with little earnest money and that hasn’t at least been pre-qualed. Losing 2-4 weeks of marketing time could mean a significant equity erosion for a seller. I highly doubt they’ll negotiate and accept an offer from someone that appears to be a low quality buyer. I wouldn’t in this market? Would you? The risk is too high…

  37. Dave in Alamitos Beach

    Well I couldn’t get past the white garage door. It looks so, um, out of place. Definitely the wrong color. The handrail makes me think that the flipper ran out of money and some sub-contractor or whomever decided to put in a stock handrail out of the stash in the back of his truck.

    I can’t comment on the location, but I think you could get 1.5 million if this was in the Malibu hills. You might not even require an ocean view.

    But the main reason I wanted to comment was to say yay, Robbie Williams!!

  38. Genius

    If that house had a head I would put a bag over it before sleeping with it. It’s fugly.

    I like how some of the listings try to justify their price now; “Same model sold for $xxx,xxx,xxx on xx/xx/xx.” When things get really bad I wonder if we’ll see something along the lines of “Fine, f*cking make your best offer and I’ll take it.”

    If this is still the beginning, it’s shaping up to be quite a show. I’m going to the midnight showing of Cloverfield, but I’m not sure it will be quite as entertaining.

  39. Pete

    Definitely designed by an amateur. Hand rail, kitchen wood work, round front door, etc..

    Alos, it looks like some of teh windows cannot be open?

    No taste, no skill, no clue …

  40. Pete

    Definitely designed by an amateur. Hand rail, kitchen wood work, round front door, etc..

    Alos, it looks like some of the windows cannot be open?

    No taste, no skill, no clue …

  41. corea

    Looks like the Getty museum was designed around the garage — nasty. This monstrosity might pass in West Hollywood but not Irvine. I say take out the garage door and replace it with a drive up fast food window. The grass blades look too green in the photo. Is this Astroturf?

  42. Major Schadenfreude

    The last 2 years of a president’s term are almost always positive years for the Dow. Continuing that trend could be a real challenge this time.

  43. Patience

    When the realtor slaps an In Escrow sign on top of the For Sale sign, does it really mean anything? Are there any ramifications for doing this when the property is not really in escrow? I don’t remember seeing many of these In Escrow signs before but there’s one in my neighborhood now and I don’t quite believe it.

  44. tonye

    If I owned this house, I’d have larger than life status of me and the wife standing by the Triumphal Arch. Sort of dress Like Caesars of Yore.

    Besides, the house has bad Feng Shui. You can see all the way through from the front door to the backyard. This house must be a Persian Palace.

  45. tonye

    My 401k is on bond funds.

    I’m taking a big chunk out today and putting it into CDs at the credit union.

    No CMOs or equity in my 401K anymore.

  46. Alan

    Attention Renters…. Now’s not the time to sign long term lease agreements!

    News from Lasner

    Apartment vacancies in OC at 12-year high

    “Apartment dwellers should enjoy the news that 6% of the units tracked were empty in the fourth quarter, up from 4.9% the year before and 4.3% from the third quarter of 2007. Last time it was worst? Third quarter of 1995”

    If this trend continues (no reason to expect it wouldn’t) rents will have to fall, putting more downward pressure on home prices.

  47. ipoplaya

    I expect a commission on your preserved capital tonye. I’ll add it to the down payment fund!

    The S&P is off almost 14% since I loaned out $50K from my 401k. $7K saved in seven months… Tack on another $1K for earnings in the money market and that makes me $8K better off in seven months via that 401k loan.

    Can’t believe people were pissing all over the idea when I tossed it out.

  48. Priced_Out_IT_Guy

    I don’t get it. If you just use Fire Fox 2 and above, it spell checks everything for you, even what I’m typing in this box right here. There’s absolutely no excuse for spelling mistakes in an MLS description.

    When it comes time for me to sell my first house I’m going to have my agent sign a contract that states “If you misspell more than three words on the MLS, you’re FIRED!”

  49. ex-Tangelo

    Comment by No_Such_Reality: During the bubble, people didn’t think about the quality of their the offers they received. If the buyer had a pulse, they got the loan.

    Conversation between my wife and an economist with one of the regional Federal Reserve branches (a total ‘reduce everyone and everything to dollar signs’ kind of guy) about how we got our home:

    Wife: We apparently weren’t the highest bid, but we got the house pretty much because of the letter we wrote to the sellers with our bid about the house would be great for our baby on the way, and how we love that their house has a nice area to garden in, where the owners obviously did a lot of work to turn the local clay into nice soil – and we lived in the city with only window boxes.

    Economist: What kind of people would consider anything like that over a better bid!

    Wife: A church minister and a schoolteacher.

    Economist: Oh. Yeah.

  50. zaleriana

    Isn’t that likely partly a result of a meaningful number of renters renting condos and homes rather than “apartments”?

  51. lagunalover

    I thought this house was in a neighborhood with a HOA? Does the HOA have to approve renovations so as to keep in character with the rest of the neighborhood? It’s weird to see this in Irvine.

  52. SoCalWatcher

    Looks like the gave Frank Ghery some a bag of cash, truckload of stucco, a T-square and some peyote.

    Then said “Redesign my house. Go wild!”

    Good god, that’s one ugly house….

  53. Laura Louzader

    The renovators could have done much, much better with this distinctive house.

    Why do people do traditional renos of shrill modernist spaces while stripping a fine, REALLY old vintage home of all the lovely details and “opening” it up and making it Bare & Spare & Lean & Clean?

    I recently saw a lovely old co-operative, built in 1924, here in Chicago given an absolutely hideous, screaming -yellow modernist kitchen and 1940s modern furniture, while other folks with big bucks and way less taste fill up a striking modern apartment with covings and chintz and brocade and crystal and Second Empire antiques. Go figure.

    I guess this is a part of people who hate vines on their houses and people who love vines, forever buying each others’ properties.

    The kitchen is beautiful but completely out of keeping with the striking, spatially interesting, architecture of the house. This dark, traditional kitchen is much more suitable to a 1920s vintage home with a really traditional style of architecture, like Georgian.The cabinets should have been built with pale wood with no traditional detailing. The countertops could be stainless or blue glass. The lighting should be much brighter, and it would have been a big enhancement to admit more natural light via large windows.

    Too bad they didn’t engage a really good architect who loves and understands this particular style to help them.

  54. John

    the house seems like it’s intentionally designed for Irvine’s Persian population. Noticed that the seller is Persian as well.

  55. JCaraway

    Good Lord, you lived on tangelo….the ghetto of Irvine. I like the response to your comment though. Is that your kid?

  56. Mr Vincent

    I have written several times about how I feel the baby boomers have driven the booms and busts in this economy for the last few decades. Here is an article that talks about one aspect of that – the housing market:

    The housing market has a new problem: ageing Americans

    IN THE first years of the 21st century, no area of the American economy has excited more emotion than the property market. First came the excitement of soaring prices. Then spirits came crashing down with the subprime crisis, and now homeowners are agonising over how far values could fall. An even bigger story, however, may be yet to come.

    America should be bracing itself for the end of the “generational housing bubble”, according to a new study by Dowell Myers and SungHo Ryu of the University of Southern California. As the country’s 78m baby-boomers retire, the report argues, the housing market will change dramatically.

    For three decades baby-boomers have helped push prices up: they settled down, then bought bigger houses and second homes. But as the first of them celebrate their 65th birthdays in 2011, this may change. The old sell more homes than they buy, according to data covering 1995-2000 (see chart). The ratio of old to working-age people is expected to grow by 67% over the next two decades. Will the younger generation be able to buy all the homes on the market?

    Young adults make up the bulk of new demand, with most purchasing homes when they reach their early 30s. The flood of elderly people selling their homes, Mr Myers suggests, may lead to a drawn-out buyers’ market. Prices may fall further as younger people, perceiving a downturn, delay purchasing.

    This phenomenon will unfold differently across the country. Some states will begin the sell-off later than others. In 15 southern and western states—including the retirement magnets of Florida and Arizona—the elderly do not become net sellers until their 70s. Expensive states such as California and the cold states of the midwest and north-east are likely to lose them more quickly. The mismatch between buyers and sellers may be most acute in the rustbelt, where numbers of young people and immigrants are rising slowly, if at all, says William Frey of the Brookings Institution, a think-tank.

    Of course, there may be other outcomes. Suburbs, which swelled with the baby-boomers, may begin to decline. If the building industry contracts, home prices may remain more stable. Or developers may switch to serving the old, building more compact housing near amenities. Towns may make new efforts to attract immigrants, who already accounted for 40% of the growth in homeownership between 2000 and 2006. Among these unknowns, one thing is more certain: the housing market is about to enter a long period of transition. The youngest baby-boomers will not turn 65 until 2029.

  57. Alan

    WOW, that’s what I call eating your own dogfood..

    Another example of an agent who bought into the whole real estate always goes up mantra. I wonder if he had a special “arrangment” with the bank that allowed him to get the 100% financing.

    On the San Diego blog a couple weeks ago they profiled 6 properties over 1M that turned into REOs and 50% were former real estate agent “speculator” owned properties.

    Viva la speculator!

  58. tonye

    Aaagh…. my only complain is that they only allow you take out $50K.

    The way I look at it, my 401K already had a very nice initial return when my employer put in the matching funds, so why should I reach for a high yield?

    I suppose if people only put in 4% then they need a high yield, but we maximize our pretax and indeed the total yearly contribution is almost 30% of our income. Every year.

    By the time I retire, my mortgage should be paid off and the kids on their own, long after college…. so that 30% will go a long way then. Plus other investments…..

    Yep… thanks for walking me through the eye opener.

    And let those other clowns keep reading the mantra that Wall Street and HR has drilled into them. After all, if everyone figured it out and started taking the money down in a recession, the Feds would make it harder. After all, it’s that clown money that is “frozen” into the stocks.


  59. ex-Tangelo

    In 2030, the US is projected to have 29.2% more people, and California will have 37.1% more. Over the long run, demand for homes will be rising. The post-war ‘boomer’ generation represents a demographic bubble, not a peak.

    (apologies if this double-posts, wordpress is acting up)

  60. Major Schadenfreude

    “The house is owned by the listing agent. 100% financed.”

    Well, then it is owned by the bank! And since they own it, they ought to turn it in to a bank branch. The building already has experience being run like an ATM!

  61. Genius

    I think we’ll experience famine before the population goes up much more unless we find a reasonable source of energy to suppliment fossil fuels.

  62. AndrewIrvine

    Actually, her commentary is very thoughtful and completely on the mark. I had almost the exact same thoughts, and I am something of a part-time design enthusiast. (Which means, I just had to renew my subscription to Dwell for a second year!)

    This house is being marketed – and priced – as an architectural work of art but it is really kind of a disaster, a mish-mash of conflicting styles, especially its interior. Like I said earlier, I was prepared to love it until I saw the entry and the interior photos. The editors of Dwell wouldn’t give it the time of day.

  63. alan

    Hey, he’s listing the Japanese resturant on Beach & Adams in HB.

    Did it close, haven’t been by in a while.

  64. Kirk

    It never ceases to amaze me how anti-housing extremists can be so myopic. Most of the commenters here are correct that this house won’t move at its current price of $1.4M. But, it is not because this house is priced too high. That is pure fantasy.

    There is an old saying we have in Texas, perhaps you have it in California: “If it’s too good to be true… then trueness is fooled, but we won’t that it is again usually too much.”

    Take for example this house in Lake Elsinore:

    For $100,000 at $45/sqft why isn’t a home built in 1997 selling? Simple: $100,000 is too cheap, so people think something must be horribly wrong with the house.

    This is been proven with other products:
    “At least seven years ago, I was told by a sommelier at a top restaurant in California that he couldn’t sell wine that was priced at under $100 at bottle,” she says. “He was able to sell the same wine when he raised the price to more than $100.”

    In addition, this intersite fails to take into account that once this house is occupied by its homosexual buyers that property values all throughout the neighborhood will soar. Now, I don’t like sexual deviants either, but the facts speak for themselves.

    “A wide body of studies has shown that artist and gay populations act as urban pioneers and that their location choices can have substantial upward effects on housing prices (Castells 1983;Ley 1994; Zukin 1995; Smith 1996).”

    The bottom line is that this house needs to be repriced at $2.5M to attract a buyer. Like it or not, facts are facts.

  65. zornundo

    Cuz the Lake Elsinore house’s kitchen is just f*cking atrocious! …and it’s got a pink bathroom.

    Are those sales histories on the Lake Elsinore house correct? Looks messed up to me.

  66. Joseph

    He will easily sell. The banks will loan the money to the buyer. The seller will split the money with the buyer.

    If the house sells at this price it will probably be due to mortgage fraud.

  67. ex-tangelo

    It sold for peanuts in 1997 because someone with a few too many Cosmopolitans failed to negotiate the T intersection off South Woodlake and drove their Ford Excursion through the living room wall.

    Right in front of the touring homebuying couple and their astonished realtor.

    “We’ll take the house,” the husband said to the dumbstruck real estate agent. Then he says to his wife, “Honey, the odds on another accident happening at this house are astronomical. It’s been pre-disastered. We’ll be safe here.”

    This year, squirrels rampaged through the place during the open house, injuring 3.

    /The World According to Garp
    //…sort of

  68. tonye

    It sold for 45 bucks because it’s Lake Elsinore. Jeez….. Look, you’re from Texas right? What does the cost of a home in Dallas have to do with an adobe in the panhandle?

  69. tonye

    There’s a bank across the street already.. Next to the Chevron station. I don’t know if Irvine would allow another bank so close.

    However, it would make a terrific California Nouveau Sushi bar.

  70. tonye

    Jeez, give it up.

    This style is called a PERSIAN PALACE. That is what’s it is called.

    It is not a racist comment.

    Do you ever read the Sunday LA Times. A few months ago they did an in depth analysis of Persian Palace and this home is precisely that.

    Just because some one invokes an ethnicity in a comment it doesn’t mean they are racist.

    Like Polish Sausage… French Fries… Spanish Rice… bad Chinese drivers…. dude… give it up. Seriously.

    Read this before you type off the mouth again:

    Grow up… eh?

  71. Genius

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a peak oil doomsayer, but there is some truth to what they’re ranting on about. When we run out of fossil water in about 80 years it should be interesting as well. I smoke, so I should be dead by then anyway.

    Most of our big problems (fuel shortages, climate change, crowded waves) are in some way attributed to overpopulation. There is only so much the poor earth can sustain. Contraception is a wonderful thing, even if babies are kinda cute.

  72. Laura Louzader

    I never heard of DWELL, I’m just an obsessive lover of architecture and buildings, and it always amazes me that people spend so much money and go to so much effort to redo a place in a manner completely out of keeping with the original architecture.

    I almost weep when I see a fine old apartment with beautiful millwork and well-proportioned rooms, “updated” into something malevolently “open” and “light” and “airy”, stripped and clean-walled to death, or, worse, made into something called a “soft loft” replete with 1980s-style Yuppie Gestunk like exposed brick walls and track or can lights.

    I mean, why not just buy something modern? It’s even cheaper.

    First thing I told a rental agent in Chicago 20 years ago: don’t show me anything with exposed brick or track lights or a “Euro” styled kitchen.

  73. IrvineHomeowner

    I see that house all the time. LOL. What a horrible location. Nobody is going to pay $1 million to live a pitching wedge shot away from the slow lane on the 405 on one side, and practically in the parking lot of the Charo’s Chicken/Whole Foods Market on the other.

    You really have to see in person how horrible the location of this house is to really appreciate it. I really can’t imagine anyone paying 1/2 the asking price. What a joke!

  74. Laura Louzader

    I don’t want to imagine this country with 29% more people demanding food, water, fuel, pavement, water and sewer mains, and medical care, at just the point (2030) when I really will be too old to work and fight for my share.

  75. ALEX

    This house is non conforming to the neighborhood. Its right next to a busy street and shopping center. I shop at this center at least 4 times a week and have seen the construction. I thought the owner was remodeling, I had no idea it was a flip. WTF was this dude thinking. This is not NB after all.

  76. Arclite

    Want a before and after pic? Go to CyberHomes Click on the Large Overhead View under the listing photo to see Virtual Earth’s bird’s eye view of this place. Compare the two shoeboxes on VE to the post-post-post modern monstrosity that belongs as part of a level in Unreal Tournament.

    Have flak cannon, will travel…

  77. slacker kate

    I’m guessing it was an architect in love with his own taste, looking for an excuse to go all-out somewhere. It looks so architecturally correct according to current arch fashion mags. Of course, the only place to find an affordable starting point would not support the price of the final product.

  78. tonye

    Nyet. They need to get those folks from San Diego to come back and use their UFO to levitate the entire place to Fullerton or Palm Springs.

    Then it will sell.

  79. skek

    I’ve seen a few properties go into perpetual contingent mode because the buyers can’t sell their place to fund the down payment on the new place.

    I also recall reading that 1 in 3 escrows in OC didn’t close, but that might have been pre-credit crisis.

  80. skek

    If you can read the private broker comments in the MLS listings, you already see that level of desperation — well, without the color. Sometimes, I think it borders on a betrayal of the client’s interests.

    My favorite was the one offering 5% commission to the selling broker. In other words, “here’s a bribe for you to screw your client into paying too much for my listing.” Wonder why these guys have bad reputations?

  81. jolie

    It is, and the HOA does have to approve renovations. My parents live in UP, and everyone there is wondering how the sam hill this remodel got passed.

  82. BD

    That’s complete nonsense. There is no such thing as too cheap. Someone (the market) will discover the value and buy if there is true value. True psychology can blow a market up or take it down but, all rational people have to do is ask what they can rent it for and there value question becomes clear.

    You must be trying to convince yourself of something.

  83. huxley

    So, why not in the desirable Irvine CA?

    Cause the market is tankin’ right now and Modernist/Pimpalicious is a housing style that does best on market upswings.

  84. Superjoe

    I have seen this flipper team around the town. Family member is an architect and brother is an agent. Look at multiple flips in Westpark and Woodbridge and this Funky McMansion. They seem to double their money every time. The improvements are all kinda the same. New layouts, +1000 square feet, gourmet kitchen, plus what ever is on sale at Lowe’s. Some weak subcontractor work and instant 100-300K profit. This family is doing well!

  85. wally

    I see that there are a lot of jealous people here with no life and no appreciation for good talent and great work…….Keep on putting out negative statements and maybe (just maybe), you can then vent out some frustration that way…….

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