The Beast

I left alone my mind was blank

I needed time to think to get the memories from my mind

What did I see can I believe that what I saw

that night was real and not just fantasy

Just what I saw in my old dreams were they

reflections of my warped mind staring back at me

‘Cos in my dream it’s always there the evil face that twists my mind

and brings me to despair

The night was black was no use holding back

‘Cos I just had to see was someone watching me

In the mist dark figures move and twist

Was this all for real or some kind of hell

The Number of the Beast — Iron Maiden

Are the low prices of yesteryear an old dream? Is selling at the peak prices of yesteryear just a fantasy? Is this all for real, or some kind of hell?



Iron Maiden 2The love of money is the root of all evil (The Bible Timothy 6:10.) There is a deep truth to that statement. Have you ever wondered why financial markets fail to respond to prayer, wishful thinking, the Secret, divination, or any form of intervention from Higher Powers? It is simple: financial markets are totally created by man, and the movement of prices is totally dependent upon human behavior. As you may have have surmised, I am a big fan of behavioral economics and Robert Shiller. Watch any financial market long enough, and you can learn to read the emotions of the participants in the fluctuations in price. Financial markets are a unique expression of human behavior. Any creation of man, particularly one driven completely by fear and greed, is going to have a sharp edge. There is no room for kindness, compassion or mercy or any advanced spiritual trait in financial markets. As Pink Floyd noted in Dogs of War, ” They will take and you will give, And you must die so that they may live.”

Iron Maiden 4The current downturn in our real estate market has real costs not just in money but in people’s lives. Some people are getting what they deserve. The pathologically stupid who tapped all their equity to fuel consumer spending or those who bought much more house than they can possibly afford are going to lose their homes, and they should. However, some people are getting crushed who probably don’t deserve it at all. Many were simply foolishly ignorant believing the professional realtors and mortgage originators self-serving assessment of the situation. Financial markets make no distinctions. As the old adage goes, “Kill them all, let God sort them out.” Our housing market is going to kill them all. So be it.

Today we are going to see how short sales and REOs obliterate the neighborhood comps. Our featured property is a short sale priced to move. Our comparison property is a WTF nutcase. The contrast between these two nearby and very similar properties is remarkable.

49 Lakeshore Front49 Lakeshore Kitchen

Asking Price: $524,900IrvineRenter

Income Requirement: $131,225

Downpayment Needed: $104,980

Purchase Price: $615,000

Purchase Date: 5/6/2003

Address: 49 Lakeshore #21, Irvine, CA 92604

Cash-out refinance $600,000Short Sale

Beds: 2
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 1,673
$/Sq. Ft.: $314
Lot Size:
Type: Condominium
Style: Contemporary
Year Built: 1978
Stories: Two Levels
Area: Woodbridge
County: Orange
MLS#: L25120
Status: Active
On Redfin: 12 days

Upper unit a short walk away from the lake. Private Tropical Courtyard Entry with Large Patio area. Vaulted Cilings, Upgraded Carpeting, Neutral Colors, Huge Master Bedroom, Plantation Shutters, , Walk in Closet, Newer Air Conditioner & Heat System, Huge Size Balcony, Lots of Windows, Backs to Greenbelt Breezeway that leads to North Lake & Community Pool & Spa.

Title Case? I Guess Every Word Is Important.

From the property records, this appears to be a 2003 rollback, but the price seems pretty high for 2003, so this may be an error.



If this seller gets their asking price, their lender stands to lose $106,594 assuming a 6% commission. This selling price won’t be pleasing to the neighbors…

32 Lakeshore Front32 Lakeshore Kitchen

Asking Price: $869,900IrvineRenter

Income Requirement: $217,475

Downpayment Needed: $173,980

Address: 32 Woodgrove, Irvine, CA 92604

Beds: 2
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 1,500
$/Sq. Ft.: $580
Lot Size:
Type: Condominium
Style: Townhouse
Year Built: 1979
Stories: One Level
View(s): Lake, Mountain
Area: Woodbridge
County: Orange
MLS#: S513812
Status: Active
On Redfin: 49 days

THE PERFECT SINGLE STORY PLAN IN THE PERFECT LAKEFRONT LOCATION Beautiful TURNKEY SINGLE STORY NO INTERIOR STEPS (only 1 Entry Step) Freshly Painted, Smooth Vaulted Ceilings, New travertine surround and mantle above the fireplace, Large family Kitchen, Private Garden Atrium, New Berber Carpet, New Light Fixtures, New Bath Accessories, New Shower Doors, Den can be enclosed as a 3rd BDRM Stunning LAKE & MOUNTAIN VIEWS on a very quiet and private quiet cul de sac. X-tra Large 2 Car attached Garage. Gated Courtyard entry New fences and landscaping, Near Pools, Beach & Tennis Clubs, Shopping & Restaurants. May be purchased furnished. Golf Cart Included!All the furnishings are brand new and may be purchased with the home for $5000. (by the way the flat screen tv is a prop). Near all of Woodbridge’s major points of interst: the North lake Tennis and Beach Club Lagoon with water slides! Near Shopping, Restaurants, Medical Facilities. Short drive to John Wayne airport, Newport and Laguna Beaches.

Golf Cart Included! Oh, that seals the deal for me.

How many times does the word “new” appear in the above listing for a property built in 1979?

If Redfin’s mapping is correct, this property neither fronts on the water nor does it have a view of it.



Are these sellers kidding? WTF makes them think they can get an asking price $345,000 over a neighborhood comp? Can you just imagine the deluded thought process here…

Once the short sale is gone, buyers will have to pay “market” prices which are actually $345,000 higher than the short sale.

It is amazing the utterly stupid things people believe when they are filled with greed.

Iron Maiden had the coolest album covers, didn’t they? Album covers are a lost art. CDs made them impractical, and downloading made them unnecessary.

Iron Maiden 3

Thank you for joining us this week at the Irvine Housing Blog. Come back next week as we continue chronicling ‘the seventh circle of real estate hell.’ Have a great weekend.


72 thoughts on “The Beast

  1. surfing in newport

    Mapping software is as accurate as the spelling in the RE descriptions. I always check roof lines and driveway patterns to make sure. Based on that, the condo is just barely lake front (3rd building from the end of the street). It appears that even the photo of the lake is accurate…although I don’t think you’ll spend much time looking through binoculars from the garage to get that view 😉

  2. Hmmmm

    Even the short sale price is wayy high. What was the original sale price on the second unit? The asking price is so WTF.

    I love the note about the TV being a prop. Also, sky high price and almost 30 year old cabinets and appliances…Even the silly flippers run to Home Depot and get new “stainless steel appliances” before having the hutzpah to ask this price… someone looking to retire large?…..

  3. ice weasel

    And without assuming too much about these sellers in particular I think this is a problem we’re going to see more and more. As the boomers get older they’re ready to downsize. They’ll sell their “larger” properties and look to for smaller ones. I would opine that in many of those cases we’re going to be seeing some real WTF pricing. Those people are looking to fuel their retirement with the sale of their home and what’s going to be on the mind of those sellers? World cruises baby! Look to see more of that foolishness to add to the mix of peak buyers thinking they can still flip their investment…errr….home for a profit.

    Come on! $580 a square foot for a home on the beach…errr…lakeside, you know you want it!

  4. George8

    They are comparable in terms of general location and size and built. 32 Woodgrove is a notch more desirable because of no one above or below, and it does look nicer.

    Probable $30-50k better?

  5. NoWow!way

    I remember the early 90’s when neighbors would show up at at the front door of the low-seller of the neighborhood and shout at them! They are responsible for ruining the comps!

    I know a guy who spent $250k upgrading the downstairs part of his woodbridge home. His wife was a systems analyst for RE and has been out of work for 9 mos now. She was making tons of money for a few years. Her job ended just about the time the “work” on the home was complete. They are not planning on moving, but of course if they did, they would NEVER recoup all that custom work on a 3 bedroom home. You guys have got to remember this. Many people were dumping huge money into their homes to have things all custom. If a large income is lost, or someone dies, or they need to move…. you are going to see some really done-up homes on the market that were not meant for flips.

    I see that WTF price as being a ploy by the RE agent. You see by the staging type photos that the RE agent is clever – probably clever enough to secure the listing by playing along with the owners delusion that this property is going to sell for literally hundreds of thousands of dollars higher than the currently collapsing comps. A few artsy-fartsy photos in the MLS isn’t fooling anyone except the fantasy-headed sellers.

    You got to admit, if the WTF unit sells at the current price, then the 6% commission spent was WELL WORTH IT!


  6. IrvineHousewife

    While reading NoWow!way’s comment, a family from my kids’ school came to mind. They have been renting but decided to purchase in summer 06 because the rent is ‘just too high’ according to the dad. the mom and dad were so proud of their purchase, bragging to all renters in their path. Then they could not keep up with the payment and had to foreclose summer 07. I feel sorry for the kids, had no clue what’s going on, and now they have to move back with grandma….

  7. lawyerliz

    Isn’t even the less expensive on a bit too much?

    This looks like just a slightly better than average house, but you need $131,000 to qualify, and you guys say the typical income is $86,000.
    So methinks that it would have to come down another 20% to get a slightly over-average income buyer–to just a $105,000 income. How many there make 131? How many make 105?

  8. ipoplaya

    Their backyard backs against a greenbelt area and just on the other side of that greenbelt is a little beach area and lots o’ lake. Not sure why they didn’t shoot a picture of that view…

    Screw the damn lake for $580/sf on an old attached condo.

  9. FairEconomist

    It’s a fair price in terms of what’s selling at the moment. Yes, it’s still high relative to traditional affordability measures or even affordability measures typical of Irvine in the past. I’m working on some payment-based affordability measures and they would suggest this place should be in the 300’s

  10. caliguy2699

    I was this close to not only buying the place, but taking all the furniture as well for $5000. But then I saw the TV is a prop….what a $@#@ rip off.

  11. zaleriana

    That second one is being marketed to down-sizing boomers–emphasizing the single step, including a golf cart, etc. They’re hoping that someone who sold a big house they moved into in the 70s might pay an outrageous amount for a retirement house. Hence, not wasting $$ on stainless steel, etc. This looks like it’s fairly carefully marketed to a narrow set of potential buyers. “X-tra large garage”? For the Cadillacs (along with teh golf cart), of course. Same with all of the furniture–just screams recent, or near-future, retiree, to me.

  12. ochomehunter

    I think the seller who dropped the price is smart, trying to get out while he loses his downpayment on purchase he made in 2003 and cut loses. The WTF seller is probably a knife catcher and HELLOC and has no options. Both will get burned.

  13. irvinechild

    Truthfully, that looks like as nice a house as anything comparable in the older parts of Irvine. I grew up in University Park and it compares to homes in that area(except for yesterday’s post) , Culverdale, and older Woodbridge tracts. Decent space and you get a yard. I have a friend who lives on the other side of Edinger in that area and I think his house is great. However, you dont get some of the community ammenities that Irvine tracts will boast, like pools or tennis courts, but I dont think there are HOAs in these areas either. You are failry close to the 405/22/605 freeways. Nice if you work in north county or *gasp* Los Angeles. And not awful for having to get to south county as well.

    For me, I think it all depends on your “snob” level for desirability. Your neighbors are more likely to be working class folks. You will probably see more Ford and Chevy trucks than Mercedes. And there probably is a liquor store nearby (FYI, only two liquor stores exist in Irvine. I dont quite know what that says about the city, but I think its funny). I think it says to me “I am happy to be middle class” and not “I’m trying to be something I’m not”. Which is a good thing in my opinion, being a “happy to be middle class” guy myself.

  14. Alan

    Much older community, Irvine was fields and farmland back in 59. Note the assessed value $59k, thats not a misprint, that’s Prop 13.

    HB is well north of Irvine, a good 30 minutes to 1hr drive depending on traffic, schools are pretty good and does have a beach. Actually, the best surfing beach in OC. And you can see womens pro beach volleyball also.

  15. mopar77

    Gotta love the fake TV – the kind they use as props in furniture stores.
    And the bubble lighting in the bathroom, the single hanging light in the kitchen. Like they couldn’t drop a couple grand to put in some modern recessed lighting for the kind of money these jokers want.

    This place looks like it’s being marketed to downsizing boomers who just got a big inheritance payday. Best if the new owners are retirees because they’ll need to be around alot to coordinate all the modernizing work that this place needs.

  16. surfing in newport

    IMO, this is WTF pricing for the neighborhood, even the estimate based on comps thinks so. But if you can’t afford irvine, it’s not a bad choice (HB that is, not this house).

    With respect to school system:

    #1 Irvine
    #2 Newport (south of back bay)
    #3 Huntington Beach, rest of Newport, east side Costa Mesa (between 55 and back bay), most beach cities except for some areas of south of Dana Point.

    Haven’t look too closely at newer areas (Ladera Ranch, etc…)

    HB has above average schools, but Irvine is like going to private schools in comparison. Of course, the neighborhood kids might not play with yours if you be white (whities are considered a bad influence in some parts of irvine).

  17. Law_Student

    This is a nice area of Irvine – I lived there for a couple of years 20 years ago.

    But that is no lake. It is more like a POND.

    The ad should say:

    Nice apartment close to pond. Only half a million dollars!!
    Hurry Hurry!!

  18. buster

    Why would anyone pay the same for a condo / townhouse when they can get a SFR in the “El Camino” or “College Park” sections for the same price or less? We just moved from a larger condo to a small SFR and, while the condo amenities are nice, there’s nothing like watching your kid play in their own back yard while having a BBQ on the front courtyard.

    All the new stuff has zero property and a “park” and “resort-like pool setting” a few blocks away. Sorry, I just don’t think squeezing your BBQ onto 10 square feet of concrete is worth being close to a pond. Gimme the older stuff with only 1,300 sf but a decent sized yard in the back and a nice courtyard up front, which can be had for LESS than these clowns are asking for their zero lot line condo/townhomes.

    Or am I just living in the Ozzie and Harriett era?

  19. ipoplaya

    This place isn’t in the best of areas in HB, but it’s close to Huntington Harbor, which is quite nice. Agree in terms of amenities. No pools, tennis, no abundance of parks, no walking trails, etc. Schools are mediocre to good. The junior high that serves this place is low 800’s API. Same with the high school. The elementary school is good, not great, from an API perspective.

    In this part of HB, you’ll have 60-65% white families, mostly likely double income working class types IMHO. Maybe 10-20% hispanic and the rest a mix. Not much of an asian population in HB in terms of residents, so that takes the test scores down and makes the schools less competitive.

    My girlfriend lived in HB for a couple of years and I didn’t particularly care for it. To me, HB has an old and run down feeling, as many beach cities do, and it was a pain commuting anywhere. There are lights at every street corner in HB so going a few miles to pick up the 405 can sometimes take 10-15 minutes. I used to joke that I could get from San Diego, where I was living at the time, to HB in 50 minutes but it’d take me half that to get from the freeway exit in HB to her house. Used to seem like Adams was the only commute friendly road. Going north on Beach or Brookhurst or Bolsa to get to the 405 was always a pain…

  20. tenmagnet

    Big fan of women’s volleyball as well.
    Madly in love with Logan Tom.
    Met her briefly at the Manhattan Beach open last year.
    Super hot, very cool and personable.
    Unfortunately, I was unable to hook. Not to worry though, nice warm up for the day when I meet Irvine native Amanda Beard.

  21. PurpleHaze


    Iron Maiden is one of my personal favorites right behind AC/DC! What a rocking band and probably the mother of all rock and roll graffiti!

    Thank you much for putting up this great song!



  22. Alan

    You are absolutly right.

    That’s why condo’s totally tanked in the last downturn, they just can’t hold their value against SFRs. Anyone holding onto a condo will get slaughtered.

  23. Alan

    You were in the wong part of town IPOP, downtown and the Harbor area are fantastic.

    Who cares about driving anyway, the only time you need to leave is to visit relatives or golf.

    You have a fantastic bike and walking path, the beach, shops, resturants and parks. HB also has a great Central Park and library.

    Make people come to you.

  24. houseonlegs

    I would prefer the 92646 area of HB, this home is in NorthWest HB and a really high price for the area. 92646 has a lot of great neighborhoods and for the most part, a lot of pride of ownership is seen. Neighborhoods around Indianapolis/Newland/Adams area are quite nice and you are really close to the beach/downtown area, but not too close. The weather in HB is a lot nicer than Irvine in the summer time, Irvine can get really hot with no breeze and HB seems to always have a cool ocean breeze.

  25. ipoplaya

    LOL Al, some of us are still in our working years… How much time we have to spend in the car everyday matters. I have a five minute, freeway free and traffic free commute to my office. That wouldn’t be the case in HB unless you worked at a liquor store or were a beach lifeguard.

  26. American-Screamer

    Maybe someone can help me. I’m looking to save my marriage (again) with IHB’s help. My wife keeps asking me, “Who is buying homes right now?” I really don’t have a good answer. I assume that they are not the majority of first time buyers or people with our income (85K/yr gross, single income). But in actuality I don’t have any data. Who is buying using what type of loan, down payment percentages etc. This would save my marriage by saying, “Looks these are the fools who are buying and they aren’t like us!”

  27. ipoplaya

    I agree with you house. My wife taught at a school on Indianapolis near Brookhurst and that area seemed nicer than Bolsa/Edinger. More residentially, although I’m sure that’s not a word.

  28. Rob

    I agree that HB is a bit older and some neighborhoods could use some fresh paint, but who are you kidding about the driving around issue?

    Irvine is a signalled, median-filled NIGHTMARE where the U-Turn is extinct. Getting anywhere in Irvine is a hellish excursion where you’ll sit through at least two multi-directional signals to get anywhere. The neighborhoods all have carefully designed entry and exit points that are, in fact, choke points.

    Irvine is NOT what you should be holding up as an example of easy driving!

  29. ocrefugee

    I’d take a 5 mile drive on Culver vs 5 miles on Beach Blvd any day of the week. Less side streets, less left turns, right turns, cross streets with lights.

  30. jeremy


    Have you wife fill out an afforability calculator.

    Either that reality check will shut her up or file for divorce because you’ll be screwed either way…she’ll either resent you for not buying her a home or drive you into bankrupcy by living way beyond your means at which time she’ll leave you because you weren’t financially savy…but since this is socal it’s socially acceptable to live beyond your means and become a slave to your debt.

    Save your cash, make prudent investments and max out your 401k if you aren’t already doing so….people don’t put a high enough price on peace of mind and financial independence.

  31. mark

    Remind your wife that a divorce would cause much more financial pain than purhcasing a house today (that you can afford) and watching it decline 25%.

    People buying homes they can afford today are no greater “fools” than people buying expensive ($30K+) cars, having children, or getting divorced. It’s all relative.

    The value of a home is not the only factor people are using in their decision to purchase. There are many factors that must be weighed.

  32. tonye

    (1) Beach Blvd on a sunny saturday morning is worse than the South Bay Curve during a rainy Halloween evening commute.

    (2) The traffic lights in Irvine are flat out stupid. We have an incredible number of surplus left turn pockets that we ought to ship up to Torrance and West LA where they really needed. Ever driven on Santa Monica, Wilshire or Sepulveda Blvds?

    I think the idea behind Irvine’s lights is to ensure that we get to know our neighbors. Often everyone sits at red lights and the only green light ( on for like 5 minutes ) controls the traffic from some dinky side street that may carry 100 cars a day in five years when the new “planned” community is built out… but, of course, the traffic is ready for that gugomous traffic.

    A few years ago they pulled out a lot of those left turn pockets and put those funky free left lights -which helped quite a bit. But since we have a large population of drivers who’s past experience was a bicycle and who likely got into trouble, the City Planners removed that.

    Today, I avoid Culver like the plague. I take Harvard or University/Jeffery to get across town. And even then they are getting very busy too. Too many damn lights and too many clueless drivers… specially around UCI and Walnut.

    But, bottom line, Beach Blvd is best avoided too. If I got to go to HB, I’ll get off at Harbor, go down to Adams and come up that way.

  33. tonye

    The summer weather in TR is better than HB. We get a breeze all day long and the June Gloom only hits us after 6:00PM. In HB they are socked a lot longer than we.

    Of course, all bits are off on the other side of the 405. The weather out there is much hotter. It’s really amazing what a couple of miles can mean weather wise.

  34. tonye

    Never much cared about Iron Maiden myself. Too much of a Spandex and Hair band for me.

    If I wanted my rock really LOUD I’d play Ted Nugent and set the volume knob at 11 o’clock. Or AC/DC.

    Judging by the prices of these two condos, I must say that the Kool Aid in that part of town must be laced with Ken Kesey’s private stock. Most excellent stuff. Timothy Leary would also approve. This is way above anything Jim Jones or Tommy Chong every got a hold of.

    Therefore, I think that a post about these mini estates should use The Grateful Dead or the Jefferson Airplane instead because these sellers are definitely in a heavily psychedelic trip.

    One pill makes you larger
    And one pill makes you small
    And the ones that mother gives you
    Don’t do anything at all
    Go ask Alice, when she’s ten feet tall

    And if you go chasing rabbits
    And you know you’re going to fall
    Tell ’em a hookah-smoking caterpillar
    Has given you the call
    Call Alice when she was just small

    When the men on the chessboard
    Get up and tell you where to go
    And you’ve just had some kind of mushroom
    And your mind is moving low
    Go ask Alice, I think she’ll know

    When logic and proportion
    Have fallen sloppy dead
    And the White Knight is talking backwards
    And the Red Queen’s off with her head
    Remember what the dormouse said
    Feed your head, feed your head

    Of course, most of the posters on this blog are too young….. 🙂

  35. ex-Tangelo

    Dunno if George8 is familiar with California — anyway, for those who are from out of state: Supermarkets sell liquor. Saying there are very few liquor stores isn’t to say Irvine is “dry” by any means…

    I lived in HB (off Adams Ave and a 7/11), I have to say the commute to Irvine was the least appreciated part. #1, the sun was in my eyes driving both ways on 405; #2, the 405 suck suck SUCKS; #3, the 405; #4, the 405; #5, did I mention how much world of fresh suck is contained in the hell that is the 405?

    I sometimes bicycled to work, it took the same amount of time. Looking back I *so* should have got my athsma under control and bought a better bicycle. I miss the easy bicycling in Irvine.

    I also lived closer to the HB pier than this home, AFAIK that just means you’re closer to the 405 but have to be on it longer.

  36. springmom

    Not us. We have been IAC renters for over 5 years now – just patiently waiting for something we can afford and that is not absurdly overpriced. We are not 1st time buyers ( I owned a house in Texas before we got married and we owned a house in Texas for a year before moving to Calif.) We make $122k gross. We just signed our lease for 1 more year so we can wait it out.

    Our former downstairs neighbors bought last year $600k, 80/20 loan, said they were going to be paying $3000 a month! A big jump from $2250 a month in rent for a 3 br. apt. to a 3 br. townhouse.

  37. Chuck

    Cal’s Caddy – I have posted a few questions in the past about how people view the different communites in Irvine so I was glad to see your comments. I live in Woodbridge as well and I have been curious how people value “new” houses and more up-to-date floor plans vs. some of the mature landscaping, parks and amenities of Woodbridge.

    Our family is expanding so we have been researching neighborhoods so that in 2009 or 2010 when prices bottom out (!!!) we can make our move up, and I must admit that so far I don’t like most of the newer communites I’ve seen as much as Turtle Rock or Woodbridge. Everyone’s taste is different, though, so who knows! The newer communities just seem more artificial or manufactured to me in some way, and there doesn’t seem to be enough open space or parks. And even though many people think the North and South Lakes are really just “ponds” I like being able to take walks and runs around them, and in the summer the lagoons are great for the kids. We also enjoy the 4th of July parade and fireworks and the community feel here, and our street actually has a lot of kids! We can walk to breakfast at Ruby’s or lunch at Pho Baky (great noodle soup!!), etc.

    If anyone wants to sugegst another area in Irvine that I maybe haven’t seen yet please let me know!

  38. Stupid

    I like the Irvine traffic. In fact, often avoid the I5 or I405 to take Irvine Center Drive and such. Lights, but many lanes and wide roads in a logical grid pattern. Sure, you can’t shortcut though the housing developments, but there is good access roads in a square all around them. Speed limits pretty high on those.

    It’s pretty quick gettting around, as long as you don’t have to get on or off the highway.

  39. OCNativeInIA

    I would tend to say that a home in this area is considerably more desirable than in Irvine, but then I’ve always found the stucco-towns SE of the 55 creepy. 10 minute walk to the beach or the wetlands (if they’re still there). Commutes along PCH aren’t quick, but nor are they particularly stressful.

  40. ipoplaya

    Going up and down Jamboree is WAY easier than getting up and down Beach, Brookhurst, etc. in HB. Jamboree is a big wide super highway comparatively. I’d bet one could get from the top of Jamboree (5) all the way down to PCH, probably what 8-10 miles, quicker than the 4-55 or so miles on Beach from the 405 to PCH.

    Culver does move slow sometimes, but Harvard and Jamboree are nice alternatives for going north/south in Irvine. Not any good north/south alternatives in HB IMHO…

  41. BruceD

    I love “Run to the Hills”. Maybe next time you profile another house in the hills you can use that song.

    Speaking of Iron Maiden, has anyone seen the movie “Persepolis”? I was laughing out loud when the girl bought an Iron Maiden tape on the black market streets of Tehran.

  42. ex-Tangelo

    I’m missing something from your question.

    Does she want to buy a home, not want to buy a home, want to sell your home, or not sell your home?

    And I’m guessing the “save my marriage” comment has to be an exaggeration, because if it isn’t, I recommend couple’s therapy. Whatever is wrong isn’t going to be solved by making a major financial decision.

  43. American-Screamer

    Some what an exaggeration. We narrowly avoided a toxic loan a few years ago, thanks to my suspicion about the ability to refi. Using the time tested “If it’s too good to be true then…” After the market went up more, she was clearly exasperated. Not any more. She doesn’t stay as connected as I do to the reality of the market. Now though things are looking more affordable, like finding gas at 2.99/gal and saying that’s a great deal better than 3.19/gal. It’s all relative and preception. So now, it’s, “It may not go lower, we’d better get in.” But my gut tells me (and a lot of other things), that we still have a lot of false equity to burn off. So, my attempt to see who is using what to buy what, is an attempt to know the market better.

  44. Stupid

    Seen two from relo’s who came to OC and bought small place or rented, then got around to selling their home from another state where the RE cycle lags the OC (ie. sold near the peak).
    Then, after looking around for quite awhile, buy an OC place with the money from the last place.

    Also seen people buy place they can’t afford, and rent out some rooms to make their payment.

  45. ex-Tangelo

    In “Into Thin Air”, author Jon Krakauer describes that while mountain climbing you have to listen to your inner voice warning of danger. However, on a particular part of the Mt Everest climb called the Khumbu Icefall, surrounded on all sides by tons of shifting ice that could at any moment squish him, his inner voice screamed for so loud and so long it was meaningless.

    I guess what I’m saying is it’s all up to your tolerance of risk. Being afraid of any potential loss of value all the time can be counterproductive.

    If you can afford a certain place at the price you can negotiate, and feel like you’ll be there for the long term and have job security, then why not get a home. If you stay in the home for ten years or so, it may not matter that you bought above the bottom. (A truism of a free market is that timing the market is next to impossible. If everyone *knows* the price will be X in a week, month or year; it will be X today)

    If the idea that you bought a house that loses 10% of it’s value after you bought it, even though you’re not selling and that loss is just on paper, don’t buy. If you’re young and building a career, and changing jobs or cities is likely, don’t buy. And absolutely do not commit yourself to a loan you can’t afford. Jeremy’s link to an affordability calculator below is a good one.

    Given your income, I looked up Irvine data at
    Median price asked for vacant for-sale houses and condos in 2005: $683,400 (lower quartile is $529,200, upper quartile is $886,300). Median contract rent in 2005: $1,476 (lower quartile is $1,211, upper quartile is $1,830)

    Just based on that quick snapshot, renting in Irvine sounds like a much better deal (all things being equal, which they never are). Better for your daily stress level, better emotional stability, happier… Well, that’s up to you and your wife.

  46. Genius

    “The Prisoner” works wonderfully when applied to FBs ditching their debt trap and letting the bank (and possibly taxpayers) eat it.

    Not a prisoner
    I’m a free man
    and my blood is my owwwwn nowwww
    Don’t care
    where the past was
    I know where I’m going… out!

    There’s even a song on that album with a street name in it’s title. The context doesn’t really work out so well with the current topic though.


  47. mark

    Great advice. I would add, that you need to educate your wife on owning v. renting. Ask her what she thinks is so valuable about owning. Make her think about it. Make her organize those thoughts using reason and logic.

    Once she outlines her thoughts on the value of owning, you can outline the difference in renting the equivalent. It may be more than $1,000 monthly. Is the benefit of owning worth the additional cost? She may still think so, but it’s worth the effort.

  48. NoWow!way

    Babyboom and bust by the Economist.


    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.

    More at the link……………………~~~~

  49. tonye

    KNAC 105.5. Give’m The Knack!

    Google that.

    Now that was a LOUD rock station. KLOS is simply too lame and too programatic. They remind me of the typical FM station that Dan Aykroyd so well lampooned in SNL back in ’79.

    Even KROC is nowhere and adventurous as they used to be.

  50. ex-Tangelo

    This was posted yesterday, I tried to respond but I think WordPress eated it.

    The Economist is a great magazine, btw, always worth reading, but you know the joke about ‘ask 3 economists, get 5 answers’…

    The census bureau estimates that the California population will grow 37.1% from 33.8 million in 2000 to 46.4m in 2030.

    The Boomer generation is a demographic bulge, not a peak. There will be more people and more demand for housing. There will be market oscillations but over the long term there will be more people needing homes.

  51. Genius

    KNAC was unfkngblvbl. It was only around for a year or so after I moved out here before it turned into a spanish station, which ironically pissed off a lot of my Mexican friends. Their internet radio station is still around, no?

    KLOS was much better 10 years ago.

    103.1 is pretty good, and at least you aren’t subjected to the same set of songs every hour or so. I love Community Service with Crystal Method – very, very tasty breakbeats. I also heard ‘Orgasm Addict’ the other day, which I’m not sure was ever meant to be played on the radio.

  52. tonye

    Driven PCH lately?

    The drive from Laguna to Newport is hosed with traffic lights, McMansions and cops.

    The drive around Huntington is also hosed up with yet more lights, more stucco and more cops.

    The only place you can relax is Bolsa Chica, and only for a bit.

    I miss the old days (not so long ago) when you could drive from Emerald Bay to Corona del Mar with no lights, with the ocean on and no Triumphal Arch to deal with. Yuck. It sucks….

    The Wetlands in the Upper Bay are still there and thank God they’re going nowhere. In fact, that’s one nice walk. The clowns in Newport Beach have tried to encroach with their aparments up on Jamboree and the high rises stick like sore thumbs. The good thing is all that development is getting financially blasted so we can expect that the development in that area will slow down for quite a while.


  53. skek

    I suspect most realtors know that nothing is selling today for the listing price. So they bump the price 10% above what they expect to get in the hopes that a buyer thinks he’s getting a deal when he makes a 90% offer. One problem: 90% is still too much and there’s enough information available to buyers (such as IHB) that they know this.

  54. skek

    I forget the call sign, but does anyone remember Pirate Radio? “Broadcasting from a barge in an undisclosed location in international waters”? Something like that. Oh well.

  55. tonye

    If you google KNAC into Wikipedia you will get info about that station too.

    KQLZ “Pirate Radio 100.3FM”. “Pirate Radio”

    Yes, I remember it, but it didn’t last that long in a hard rock format. It did have a strong signal, though.

  56. Lost Cause

    Interesting, that the one neighborhood — Shady Canyon — that is nothing like Irvine, would be the most popular in Irvine. Kind of like voting for a politician who is running against the government.

  57. Lost Cause

    That house is very overpriced — there are many similar that are about $600k. It is in an area with single story, entry level type houses, but a nice neighborhood undergoing Mc Mansionisation. Not sure how you would like HB, if you are looking at Irvine. HB has many wrough edges — deteriorating parking lots, beach goers and traffic, a certain type of “cool” that includes multiple tatoos — but the weather near the beach is what I like.

  58. tonye

    Not all of Shady Canyon is that expansive. While the greenbelt and golf course is nice and give the impression of space, most of the place is made up of very packed SFHs and condos in small lots.

    The custom homes on the ridge are the ones you can see from the outside and those lots are mostly 10000 feet or so. In reality they are packed too when you think of the price.

    But then, so is Newport Coast, Laguna and Newport too.

    If you want a big lot you just have to go to Montana or Idaho nowadays.

  59. Lost Cause

    Beach Blvd, btw, is a “smart street” and very often the lights are syched so that you can make very good time — especially compared to other streets in the area.

    Freeway access in HB is generally poor, but the house near Edinger & Bolsa has an excellent commute — Bolsa Chica is very fast, and Westminster is also fast into Long Beach.

    I had a classmate at UCI who lived in Irvine, and my commute to the campus took 10 minutes longer than his. I had no idea that the streets were so bad in Irvine.

  60. Lost Cause

    The furniture must have come from Levitz, or one of the many others going out of biz. I bet they are making a profit, at $5k.

  61. SD

    I’m in San Diego and occasionally visit my sister who lives in Irvine. I’ve griped a number of times to my sister at how horrible the traffic lights are in Irvine…in particular how much time of my life I’ve wasted sitting at Irvine traffic lights with no cross traffic in sight. I thought it was just me, but apparently it’s quite apparent it’s a major issue many people notice. Why doesn’t the city do something about it?

  62. tonye

    (1) I don’t know what’s so smart about Beach Blvd. Around the 405 and 22 that street is a parking lot. It may work fine once you get away from the freeways, but around the freeways it’s a parking lot.

    (2) Irvine planners actually removed quite a number of left turn lights about ten years ago. But we still have way too many. They did introduce those “smart” free left lights but too many of our drivers are completely clueless and the went back to the old style of left turn lights. It’s a shame because that really help.

    (3) If you drive in Irvine before 6:00AM you can get across town really fast. Also, one time, before six AM, I had to be a John Wayne so I crawled through a number of flashing reds ( lights then turned to flashing ) and I got from TR to John Wayne in record time.

    You make a good point. Maybe I ought to call City Hall and find out who’s in charge of lights They tend to respond to the local residents.

Comments are closed.