Hell in a Bucket

Well I was drinkin last night with a biker

And I showed him a picture of you

I said, pal get to know her, youll like her

Seemed like the least I could do.

Cause when hes chargin his chopper

Up and down your carpeted halls

You will think I am dressed up quite proper

Never mind how I stumble and fall.

You imagine me sipping champagne from your boot

For taste of your elegant pride

I may be going to hell in a bucket, babe

But at least Im enjoying the ride, at least Ill enjoy the ride.

Hell in a Bucket — Grateful Dead



I have to wonder if today’s flipper decided to buy after a night of drinking. He certainly had more kool aid than common sense. Today’s property was purchased for peak pricing a year after the peak in May 2007. This property was purchased despite the news of the subprime blow up 3 months earlier. Perhaps this flipper really believed the “subprime containment” meme? It is easy to ridicule a bad investment after the fact, but we at the IHB would have ridiculed it before the fact, and we would have been right. Enjoy the schadenfreude at this flipper’s expense, with the damage to his credit this fiasco will entail, he won’t be doing it again any time soon.

53 Legacy Way Front 53 Legacy Way Kitchen

Asking Price: $849,995IrvineRenter

Income Requirement: $212,498

Downpayment Needed: $169,999

Monthly Equity Burn: $7,083

Purchase Price: $1,050,000

Purchase Date: 5/9/2007

Address: 53 Legacy Way, Irvine, CA 92602 Rollback

1st Loan $787,500

2nd Mtg. $262,500

Downpayment $0

Beds: 5
Baths: 4
Sq. Ft.: 3,683
$/Sq. Ft.: $231
Lot Size: 7,426 Sq. Ft.
Type: Single Family Residence
Style: Contemporary
Year Built: 1998
Stories: Two Levels
View(s): Park or Green Belt
Area: West Irvine
County: Orange
MLS#: S521032
Status: Active
On Redfin: 2 days

Gourmet Kitchen Award Rarely on the market, Largest floorplan in The Legacy Tract. Spacious West Irvine Home features a Gourmet Cook’s Kitchen with Granite Counter tops. Large Family Room With Fireplace. Beautiful tile floors throughout family room. Extra large Loft. Guest Bedroom on First Floor with full Bath. Three car garage with large driveway. Top Award winning schools: MYFORD Elementary, PIONEER Jr High and BECKMAN HIGH. Wonderful neighborhood with no association dues. Views of the Park and trees.



This large, single-family detached property is selling in Irvine for $231 / SF. This is not a bad property in a bad neighborhood, it is a beautifully updated property with a large yard backing onto a park. It is selling at such a low price for a couple of reasons. First, the market is declining precipitously, and there are few buyers around. Second, this seller used 100% financing (I guess you could still get that in May 2007,) so he doesn’t have any reason to keep up payments. This was purchased as a speculative flip, and the lender was taking all the risk. It didn’t work out, so the flipper gets bad credit, and the lender gets a huge loss. If this property sells for asking price, the lender (JP Morgan) stands to lose $251,005 after a 6% commission. That is a sizable loss considering this loan was made about 9 months ago. I wonder if the flipper has even made any payments? This could be fraud, but the owner is a real person and not some fictitious business entity, so I think this was a real flip attempt — a very foolish one.

That concludes another week at the Irvine Housing Blog. I hope you have enjoyed the Grateful Dead. Come back next week as we continue chronicling ‘the seventh circle of real estate hell.’ Have a great weekend.


110 thoughts on “Hell in a Bucket

  1. AZDavidPhx

    Peanuts, popcorn, Million dollar loans!

    Get yer million dollar loans!

    No down payment! Step right up!

    Million dollar loans!

    Get yer free million dollar loans!

  2. Kiran

    No comment on the “Rarely on the market”?

    It was on the market less than a year ago!

    Were houses being flipped so often in Irvine that someone owning a property for more than six months is considered a ‘long time’?

  3. AZDavidPhx

    This place looks like a dumbass McMansion to me.

    Not a whole lot of character. If it really is a beautiful property – the pictures don’t convey that. Maybe it’s just the greenish vomit colored paint that is turning me off.

    Nice staging in the bedroom with the moving boxes and the defunct television on the floor. Only thing missing is a UHaul in driveway of the three car garage photo.

  4. Hmmmm

    I also like the back yard photos with a Kmart Special grill and Patio furniture. For this price you could at least move the junk out of the photo.

    BTW…I love the green! It ‘s my favorite part. Make the house look fresh.

    This should realistlcally be in the $650 range. Honestly, the bank deserves to eat the whole loan on this. I hope they choke on it.

  5. AZDavidPhx

    IR –

    You only mentioned the seller’s drinking problem.

    You forgot to include all of the around-the-clock “Flip This House”, “Who Wants To Be a Millionaire”, “Cribs”, and “Realtors Gone Wild” this dumbass was taking in.

  6. AZDavidPhx

    The fountain in the backyard looks out of place. Reminds me of Jeff Foxworthy’s “That’s like hanging a brand new chandelier in a haunted house”.

    I’m guessing that the granite counters were put in 2-3 flips ago and the flippers after that had to take more desperate measures in order to play the “Upgrade” card on their victims.

    Mabe today’s seller should upgrade the fountain with a designer granite bird bath Slip N Slide with solar powered timed bird feed.

  7. NoWow!way

    Terrible shots of the neglected landscaping. Have they even bothered to water since last year’s purchase?

    At least the price/per square foot is getting to more sane levels.

  8. George8

    I’m actually surprised to see such low price per sf at this time. Is Valencia Park an athletic and sporting field? Do activities in the park make lots of excitement and noise?

  9. SacRenter

    Wow…these are badly staged photos. If the house is vacant then who parked the car in the driveway…the realtor? He drove up and took pictures of the house with his car parked in them?

    But some of the rooms looked lived in, sort of. They seem to have alot of junk in them so they look like a college kid is sleeping there.

    Am I the only one who looks at MLS pictures and creates back stories about the people who live there? This homes back story is NOT good.

  10. hb

    Am I the only one who looks at MLS pictures and creates back stories about the people who live there?

    Far from being the only one. This is the most fascinating part–imagining the human story behind the train wreck.

  11. AZDavidPhx

    Can anybody explain that 2 foot wide corridor of rooms? Seriously 2 tiles wide is all you get??

    Seriously? A million dollars and you have to hug the wall and suck in your gut to get around each other in the hallway?

    I don’t get it.

  12. Emma Anne

    It looks to me like the pictures were taken while the occupant was in the middle of moving out.

    And could they have taken a picture that made that hall look any narrower? Or that grill look any crappier?

  13. AZDavidPhx

    Million dollar house; no pool or spa. Just a Home-Depot fountain and some grass. I can totally see the premium that this property commands.

  14. NoWow!way

    Here’s a little IHB trivia.

    Readership has reportedly gone up from 2500 readers per month to 3500 readers per month in less than two months time.

    I just saw someone promoting this blog on a local SA blog, too.

  15. ipoplaya

    It was brought on at a very low list George. It’s a very nice park. No lights. Has only a single soccer field. Not excitement and very little noise.

  16. FairEconomist

    That was purchased for less than $300/sq ft in May. That’s not peak pricing; that might well have been the lowest price in Irvine at the time, by a big margin. If so, not a blatantly foolish flip – rather, perhaps the least foolish flip done at the time.

  17. ipoplaya

    This one in the same neighborhood just closed for $280 per sf:


    It’s 1,000sf smaller on a smaller lot in a worse location.

    At $850K, this house is going to be in escrow by this time next week I’d think. I suspect the bank won’t take $850K on a short though or it’ll take them forever to take it… If this puppy was already owned by the bank, and they had this price on it, it’d be gone in a week for sure.

    I’ve had 3-4 agents get in contact with me to make a run at this place. It’s the “hot deal” of the week around these parts.

  18. ipoplaya

    Then again, these places lease out for $3800-4000 so why buy it for $850K if one was already renting? It’s gonna fall to $700-750K…

  19. tenmagnet

    Ipop is right about this one being hustled by agents all over town.
    I received numerous calls on it as well, starting on Sunday.
    The location and low price per sq. foot hooked me initially. After viewing the pictures, I came away unimpressed. I asked about the long duration a short sale would take as well. The agent told me that this one would close quickly due to the fact that that both the first and second mortgages are held by the same bank.

  20. AZDavidPhx

    They were in over their head from the beginning.

    It finally dawned on them that the game was over and they were holding the bag.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they just stopped making the payments too.

    Too bad that the bank didn’t make them put some money down on this loan; it might have given the seller a reason to not head for the hills.

    The banks will wise up eventually (one would think).

  21. AZDavidPhx

    I am assuming that the next victim to buy this house will have to come up with a little more than 0$ to put down.

  22. ipoplaya

    Good point FE. The average sales price in this tract for 2007 was approximately $290 per sf. They at least did $5 per sf better than that. Not the overpaying kind of super speculative flip. They at least paid a fair price based on comps…

  23. ipoplaya

    They will have to AZ or not get underwritten. Wish I like this tract… My place, within a short walking distance of this house, is selling for $350 per sf. If I bought this one at $850K, I could add 2000sf for $300K more. Paying an incremental $150 per sf ain’t a bad deal…

  24. jhill

    As one of the people who has started reading the blog recently, I want to join others in congratulating IR for an incredible job of analysis, made real by these case studies. However, I’m an anthropologist, not an economist, and I have an ex cathedra remark on the absurdly careless descriptions and photographs of houses like this one. I mean, they hope to sell this house for EIGHT HUNDRED AND FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS. A nice hunk of cash. The marketing strategies (or lack thereof) suggest to me that these realtors or banks or whoever they are are still not marketing to actual human beings who might want to live in such a house, and who would be quite successful people who want to present a positive image of themselves. For that, you need to build a nice story, about a successful family who made the place beautiful and enjoyed living there. The old “clean out the closets, bake cookies before the open house and put a pot of geraniums on the front porch” strategy. But in Southern California there is no point in doing this because in fact almost nobody can afford such a house. In 2005-06 “affordability” in Southern California ( number of people who could afford to buy a median priced house) was running 9-15 %. And, while house prices are dropping, incomes are emphatically not rising, and the two-income strategy has just about played itself out. So there is a very small market of actual families who want to be homeowners for such a place. And it is apparent that realtors are still marketing, not to potential homeowners, but to investors. Otherwise, they would bleeding well take 5 minutes to clear the trash out of the back yard before they took the pictures.

  25. awgee

    For months I have been reading, “The fed will lower the fed funds rate and mortgage rates will fall.”
    The fed has lowered the fed funds rate from 5.25% a year ago to 3% and 30 yr. mortgage rates have gone from 5.82% to 5.68% in that same time; a drop of 0.14%. Hmmm-m-m-m-m.

  26. Chuck

    I completely agree with this. It baffles me that many real estate agents don’t seem to have the basic work ethic or professionalism to clean a place up and take some GOOD pictures, let alone write a description of the property that makes sense and has been spell checked. Can you imagine how quickly we would get fired if you or I submitted this type of work to OUR clients? And what about the sellers – why do they put up with this type of crappy work? This case is different, because they seem to be essentially selling the house for the bank, but check out the following listing on the MLS and see if you can count the spelling errors. Why don’t the sellers call the agent and read him the riot act for this crap? $1.385 million for this house, and here is the description from the agent (and the lame explanation for why the house has gone unsold for 238 days:



  27. camsavem

    Dude you got to calm down on the bashing.

    It has been related to you previously that you cannot compare different markets. This is a nice home in a good location at a decent price per square foot. The realtor did a horrible job of displaying the home and took bad pictures.

    I guess with it being a short sale and a cheap price, they are assuming it will sell regardless. We all agree, price is everything right now.

    Personally my wife and I are looking for a home like this in that it is somewhat generic and can be individualized to your own personal taste with minimal investment.

    This is the best “deal” I have seen in Irvine to date…..

  28. former_irvine_resident

    Excellent observation jhill and for those of us who have followed IR’s blog longer we have certainly seen some doozies. I particularly liked the sideways pictures from just a few days ago – that was a classic!

    We have had a good time laughing at Realtards pathetic attempts to market these ‘special’ Irvine homes. Does anyone have some favorites they’d like to share?

    I know when I purchased in 2001 near the beginning of the run up, it was amazing to me the poor quality condition of many homes I toured. I think that many of todays newer Realtards simply don’t get it. During the bubble they literally did nothing to stage homes and they sold. Now it is obviously much more difficult and they either lack the skill or experience to take even the most basic steps in preparing a home.

  29. ipoplaya

    Wishful thinking by those who don’t understand mortgage markets. Short rates have fallen and will likely fall if the Fed keeps dropping. Long rates seem to be doing nothing but move up… I think 30-year conforming rates have moved up almost half a point since emergency Fed drop and stimulus package announcement.

    Jumbos 30-years are at a 4-month high right now. I think many would-be buyers are counting on the conforming loan limit increase. Another .50 to .75 move up in conforming rates, and whatever rate decrease as a result of the stimulus package for formerly jumbo borrowers that would have been will mostly be gone.

  30. camsavem

    The fed funds rate has NOTHING to do with morgage rates.

    Equity lines – yes
    Credit Cards – yes
    Auto loans – yes
    Mortgage – no

    Mortgage rates are set off of the 10 year treasury rate.

  31. 7

    As mentioned before, the fed funds rate is not tied with the mortgage rate. The fed’s rate can fall to ( negative 5.0%) and the 30 yrs rate can still be 5% or higher. The only one that helped by the fed fund rate is the adjustable rate like credit card, maybe car loan and such, I think. No bank going to lend you hundreds of thousand dollars at a commited rate for 30 yrs. if they need to figure in the inflation and future interest rate.

  32. IrvineResident

    Most Sellers are still in denial. the number of unsold homes will continue to surge simply because market participants can not bear sellers’ price.

    does anyone think this seller really wants a sell?


    20 North Torrey PNE
    Irvine, CA 92620
    Price: $8,000,000
    Buy with Redfin and Save $160,000*
    Beds: 3
    Baths: 2
    Sq. Ft.: 1,765
    $/Sq. Ft.: $4,533
    Lot Size: 5,000 Sq. Ft.
    Type: Single Family Residence
    Style: Other
    Year Built: 2006
    Stories: One Level
    Area: West Irvine
    County: Orange
    MLS#: P618797
    Status: Active
    On Redfin: 24 days

    This seller wants 364% appreciation in less than 9 years?

    31 ARBORWOOD, Irvine, CA 92620

    List Price: $2,100,000
    Last Sale: 07/28/99
    Sales Price: $576,500

    Bedrooms: 5
    Full Baths: 5
    Partial Baths: 0
    Square Feet: 3,700
    Lot Size: 17,000 Sq. Ft.
    Year Built: 1999
    Listing Date: 02/14/08
    On Market: 1 day
    Type: SFR
    Status: ACTIVE
    MLS #: S521726

    (sorry not listed on redfin yet)


  33. ipoplaya

    Not true cams. Shorter duration ARMs are not as tied to the 10-year. That is why you will see that 5/1 ARM rates dropped down in January and have stayed mostly down in spite of the recent moves in the 10-year which was pushed up rates on 30-year products… 1 and 3-year ARMs are definitely much more affected by Fed drops.

  34. Chuck

    The only thing I can think of is he meant to say 180 degree security cameras. But actually wouldn’t you want 360 degree coverage for the front and the back of the house? Who knows.

    And yes, this house is asbestos and radiation free! Where do I sign?

  35. IrvineResident

    I get daily update of newly listed homes from ziprealty. My observation of asking prices is that selles are still in denial. The number of unsold homes will continue to surge in a rapid pace. The market participants can not bear seller WTF price.

    Trust your eyes when you see this seller asking price, does anybody suspect the owner wants a sell?


    20 North Torrey PNE
    Irvine, CA 92620
    Price: $8,000,000
    Buy with Redfin and Save $160,000*
    Beds: 3
    Baths: 2
    Sq. Ft.: 1,765
    $/Sq. Ft.: $4,533
    Lot Size: 5,000 Sq. Ft.
    Type: Single Family Residence
    Style: Other
    Year Built: 2006
    Stories: One Level
    Area: West Irvine
    County: Orange
    MLS#: P618797
    Status: Active
    On Redfin: 24 days

    The next seller wants 364% appreciation in less than 9 years for an asset that barely beats inflation.

    31 ARBORWOOD, Irvine, CA 92620
    List Price: $2,100,000
    Last Sale: 07/28/99
    Sales Price: $576,500
    Bedrooms: 5
    Full Baths: 5
    Partial Baths: 0
    Square Feet: 3,700
    Lot Size: 17,000 Sq. Ft.
    Year Built: 1999
    Listing Date: 02/14/08
    On Market: 1 day
    Type: SFR
    Status: ACTIVE
    MLS #: S521726

  36. Chuck

    One word – TYPO. There are no $8 million houses for sale in West Irvine. It must be $800,000. The assessed value is $847,354.

  37. ipoplaya

    LOL. And the Torrey Pine property is not in West Irvine either… That’s one good realtor there. Torrey Pine is in Northwood II, where there is much on the market and sellers will be going under.

  38. MMG

    Ipo said:—>Then again, these places lease out for $3800-4000 so why buy it for $850K if one was already renting? It’s gonna fall to $700-750K…

    Ipo is becoming one mean bear 😆

  39. MMG

    to date being the key word :mrgreen:

    I have to agree with AZ, this is one McPOS place that will still go down in price due to the fact that >800k is alot of money to pay for a house even in Irvine,

    once the market finishs the fall off the cliff, people will think many many times about where to park 170k for down payment and pay 4-5 k per month. it’s all about psychology and mood of buyers. 🙄

  40. skek

    Outstanding find! I like the fact that the home simultaneously has a long term tenant (hence why it hasn’t sold in nearly a year) but it’s available for lease. In my industry, this type of work would get you fired — not a $30k commission. Amazing.

  41. ipoplaya

    Arborwood is an insane price. That is more expensive than anything on New Dawn, and the New Dawn tract is in a much better location and nicer IMO. A home not far from this Arborwood place, 5 Roselead also with 5 bedrooms and over 3000sf, went back to the bank in August for $1.15M and sold in November for $1.2M.

    Arborwood does have a crazy big and cool lot though. Sucks that it backs to Portola.

  42. 25w100k+

    Uh, didn’t you know? AZ lives in a really sweet apartment in the middle of the desert, duh! He would never want to move into a big place like this when he’s living the high life!

  43. ipoplaya

    I drove by Legacy today on the way to work… The house next to it has a large collection of jallopy (sp?) vehicles. IMO that neighborhood has a pretty high WT look-and-feel going on. The backyard fence, on the frontside of the house has collapsed, i.e. you can see right into the ole backyard. Nice. Little bit of a fixer upper. Appears that people are still living there and there is no realtor sign out front.

  44. tenmagnet


    As soon as I looked up Arborwood on the map, immediately knew you were going to mention that it backs up to Portola. Funny thing is I never cared about that before but its come up so frequently in your comments and in our discussions that I’m starting to view that as a negative as well. Looked at 46 Logan this morning in Woodbury, like the location and price but was thinking it seems awfully close to Irvine Blvd.

  45. Mr Vincent

    Regarding todays property: 5 beds and 4 baths. Would be a good home for a big or multi-gen family. Better put everyone to work to make the payment and pay the taxes etc.

    I would pay 550k for it, but its really not my type of place. I like the square footage, but too many beds.

    The lot size, location and curb appeal is very good.

    Look at the 1998 selling price if you want to see the lunacy that has taken over in America since then.

  46. Irvinewanabe

    I think the North Torrey price of $8,000,000 must be a typo. The original list price from the Redfin info below is $780,000. My guess is they meant to list for $800,000.

    That in itself is an issue. I guess if you can’t sell at the original asking price you should INCREASE the price not lower the price. What a concept! That should really pull those buyers in!!!!

    Listing Price Information
    List Price High: $8,000,000.00
    List Price Low: $8,000,000.00
    Original List Price: $780,000.00
    Search Price High: $8,000,000.00
    Search Price Low: $8,000,000.00

  47. ipoplaya

    What’s the three most important things in real estate? Location, location, location. Personally, if I am dropping big coin on a house, I don’t want to have a street that rivals highways in most states, just beyond my 6′ wall.

    Think about that Valente property. It is way nicer than Parma inside. Same plan I believe, definitely same size. Which one got into escrow? People love that Valente lot, well, at least until they look over the wall…

    I use Portola to get from West Irvine over to the Woodbury area more often than not. Drive is nice, green lights all the way usually. I fly by the backyard of Arborwood at 60-65mph. People will say, “oh, with the double-paned windows closed you can barely hear the cars”.

    Maybe I am old school, but I want to be able to keep my windows open! I sure as heck don’t want to have to put in a water feature in the backyard just to get some white noise… More often than not, if you see a listing with a fountain in the backyard, that probably means it’s got lots of road noise.

  48. AZDavidPhx

    camsavem –

    “It has been related to you previously that you cannot compare different markets.”

    Which post of mine are you referring to? I just said that I didn’t get what the deal was with the narrow hallway and you come at me with this “you can’t compare different markets” salvo.

  49. tenmagnet

    Yeah, I understand where you’re coming from. Since we’re both looking in to buy in the same market/area, and generally in the same price range, I pay close attention to your comments. Looking at the 46 Logan location today made me think of your location comments. Definitely a positive.

  50. AZDavidPhx

    People on ebay put more effort into describing a piece of toast shaped like Jesus than these people put into describing a million dollar house.

    Good call!

  51. 4walls4me

    If this is a flip/investment property, then the loan is a recourse one, right?

    Doesn’t that mean the bank can take whatever $$ this flipper has from previous flips? Don’t they get to go after his assets in this case?

  52. tenmagnet

    Personally, I prefer Rosegate over Somerton but at this point agree with you about the need for substantially price declines before we can all get in either one.

  53. former_irvine_resident

    I learned that lesson when I sold my first home… Or rather I should say, tried to sell my first home. I needed to find the best deal I could since I was still in college (grad school) so I ended up buying next to a cement plant and a landfill. Needless to say it took a while to sell the place.

    When I bought in Irvine I took my time to find a place that had a good location, location, and location. Close to schools, easy access to major roads but not right on one, and in a cul-de-sac. It was pretty easy to sell in Sep06 when I needed to leave. I priced a bit below market and it was out of my hands in less than a month.

    There is truly something to be said for location, location, location!

  54. tenmagnet

    OMG! Haven’t seen this one before, probably because of the hefty $$$ price tag.
    This will certainly not help me with the seller of 1 New Dawn.
    I’ve been trying to talk this guy down to no avail these past few months. No wonder, the koolaide must be flowing freely over there.

  55. rkp

    We always wonder what the owners were thinking. How about if IHB adds a new feature where they actually interview the owners. Imagine how much more interesting these posts will be if we knew what the owner was thinking!

    What do you say IR? A simple way to start would be an email based interview.

  56. momopi

    For whatever the reason, this house doesn’t really give me good vibes. It just feels “wrong” somehow. I would not want to buy or live there, and it has nothing to do with the price per sq ft.

  57. Rocker


    An acquaintance bought a similar property close to this house in fall of 2005 for $1M, this was their 3rd house in 3 years!, a serial upgrader case, their previous trades were successful because the bull market, but if they sell today (or are forced to sell) they will lose their down payment which probably included all equity gained in their previous trades, they had this big assumption about Irvine RE going up, up an up.

    The lesson here is, same as stocks, you need to diversify!, it was wrong to rollover all the previous equity gained into another house.

  58. NoWow!way

    People will say, “oh, with the double-paned windows closed you can barely hear the cars”.

    And no one should underestimate the grime and grit from a high traffic area. I’ve lived close to busy streets. You can tune out the noise, but that gross air quality from traffic lands in your home and you can feel and see it when you wipe and dust. And you’ll do that a lot more often, too

  59. ipoplaya

    Hey ten, you watch Northpark too right? Just saw the closing price on 8 Pacific Grove, which is 2830sf, just like the Sunnyvale place that closed a few months back. Sold for $1.025M and closed yesterday. It actually went for MORE than the previous comp of the same exact model…

    Pacific Grove did have quite a bit sunk in landscaping though, so the price in real terms was probably a bit less than the recent Sunnyvale close.

  60. tenmagnet

    Enjoyed reading your comments; you bring up some very good points. The fact that these sellers aren’t coming down is very discouraging. What do you think about the two on Woodhaven Lane?


    We sold our home last year after having it on the market for 13 months. I used an older gentleman realtor who was quite high up in the NAR organization. The main picture of our house on the MLS prominently displayed his steel yard (pounded into the front lawn). The pictures of the backyard were taken from inside the house through a window. Then, to further have potential buyers licking their chops he added verbage like “wall to wall” carpet, and “built in 1977” and “fresh paint”. The house had four bedrooms, however we used the forth bedroom as an office, but I had to fight him to list as a 4 bedroom house. He insisted it was only 3 because we had built-ins the office. He was a nice guy, and I didn’t want to dump him, so I rewrote the listing myself and took out 90% of his lines. I actually used language that would entice a buyer to want to look at the house, which was beautifully remodeled with granite and custom travertine floors etc. Who the hell would WANT to look at a house built in 1977??? I also had to force him to replace his pictures with better shots. I’m still kicking myself for paying a 5% commission when I did everything but draw up the escrow papers.

  62. tenmagnet

    Thanks for the info and the link. 8 Pacific Grove looks nice; personally I like it better than the two on Sunnyvale. 18 Sunnyvale, which is listed on your site (great site, btw) is already in escrow. It will be interesting to see where that one closes. Along with 8 Pacific Grove it will certainly impact the pricing of 16 Sunnyvale, which still remains on the market.
    Are you thinking of making a run at 16 Sunnyvale?

  63. CapitalismWorks

    The best bet would be to follow up on closed sales. I can’t imagine a home owner in the process of selling have much interest in tipping their hand.

  64. ipoplaya

    16 SV is the exact same home as 8 PG, just not as nice. I think 16 SV is probably worth around $975Kish based on the 8 PG comp.

    We made a run at 12 Sunnyvale, also this same model, but couldn’t get them to go under $1M. It closed in December for just a smidge above $1M.

    I like the interior layout of this plan. Big great room. Dining and small living are not contiguous. Big loft area at the top of the stairs. Bedrooms are decent sized as well. Downstairs bedroom is teeny tiny though. Can’t really double as an office and guest bedroom IMO. Perfect for an office if your guests will pull up a floatie in the loft…

  65. Genius

    “It has been related to you previously that you cannot compare different markets.”

    Because real estate is local, right? RIGHT?

    “Irvine is different.”

  66. rkp

    Well if its a short sale, there isn’t much to tip their hands. Though I agree it would be hard to convince a seller to share anything. There isn’t any benefit for them.

  67. Genius

    To paraphrase from something you wrote the other day, the whole state should be free. All of the transplants I know from Michigan are very happy to be out.

  68. tenmagnet

    Yeah, I agree 22 Malibu is completely un-realistic, not to mention 6 Malibu has more appeal and is priced significantly lower. Nonetheless, I wouldn’t mind seeing either of these breach the $1M mark.

  69. Kirk


    It makes sense that you would make such an ignorant comment since you are from the state with the most liberal senator in the United States. It is the Virgin Mary that chooses to signal blessings by appearing in silhouette on various food items. Not Christ. Don’t think that I didn’t pick up on the anti-Christian undertone of your statement. I think it shows cowardice when people choose to speak in code against the only people capable of love.

    What exactly is it that you have against Christian Americans anyway? I mean, I could understand that every so often a person might make an off color comment or two, but ever since I’ve visited this blog I’ve noticed that you have never once mentioned how great this country is nor have you ever condemned the actions of Islamofascist terrorists.

    I pray nightly for people like you. I pray that our Lord shows you that you are wrong to live such a resentful existence. I pray that He gently explains why you are going to burn for your sins just before you are licked by the flames of eternal damnation. Unlike you, I have compassion for my fellow man.

  70. Purplehaze

    Hey Kirk,

    Why the white supremacist christian dialogue? Why the claim on christians being the only religion in the world capable of love? Any exclusivist claim is pure BS. There were many religiions before christianity even came into the picture. If those religions are not claiming superiority, you should at least be humble enough and admit that there are other paths to god.

    Peace out!

  71. lendingmaestro

    Dude, WTF, is this a joke? That $8 mil price tag has to be a joke or misprint, It has to!

    If you told me that the moon was actually a secret alien space station which has been spying on us for a few millennia, I’d believe it before that home’s price.

  72. Kirk


    We have a word for the vitriol you have thrown my way: blasphemy.

    Love comes from God’s love and if you’d ever bother to read the Bible you would know that God only loves those who worship His Son. There’s no point in you reading it now though, because Jesus teaches that once a sin has been committed there can be no forgiveness. I’m sorry you weren’t taught this early enough.

  73. ex-tangelo

    Wait, the what? People put kids in separate bedrooms?

    I’ve got the kids piled up in one bedroom like cordwood. Get used to it, kiddos, and college dorms will feel spacious! Bwahahahaha

    (Don’t ask me about the Mini Cooper with two child seats in the back, either. And by the way, I’m six feet tall)

  74. ex-tangelo

    It’s also brake dust and rubber dust. At least they don’t use asbestos brake linings anymore. But that rubber is no good for your lungs.

    Our house is 250 feet from a 4-lane lightly-traveled expressway, and we get black dust on horizontal surfaces outside. And there isn’t nearly the traffic volume on that as you get from any of those big Irvine arterials like Barranca or Irvine Ctr Drive or whatever…

  75. ex-tangelo

    Silly’s Mom: At least it has NO ASBESTOS! Wow, that’s a real selling point for me.

    btw, California’s state rock is “Serpentinite”

    Serpentinite can contain chrysotile, the serpentine mineral that crystallizes in long, thin fibers. This is the mineral commonly known as asbestos.

    *California* contains asbestos…

  76. Lost Cause

    Of course, the best memories of Irvine come from the Grateful Dead at Irvine Meadows. Two alien worlds collide.

  77. Lost Cause

    There is also lead that persists along heavily travelled older roads, from the decades of leaded gasoline.

  78. AZDavidPhx

    That’s an awful lot to read into my post there, Kirk.

    Thanks for your prayers though. That gave me an idea –

    We should start a housing prayer group. With a little help from above, we might be able to pray house prices back down into normalcy.

  79. cyberpunk

    You’re not joking, I have two adjoining neighbors with five people in each two bedroom apartment! That’s two adults with three kids in each two bedroom apartment! They must hate me for taking up a whole two bed apartment by myself! LOL

  80. SoCalJD

    My wife and I drove by this neighborhood the other day to see this property and the one thing that stood out to me (in a negative way), was the fact that this whole neighborhood had no curbs. Anyone know why this is? In various West Irvine neighborhoods, we’ve noticed this. The “curbs” are more like water trenches, for lack of a better description. It really cheapens the whole feel of the neighborhood, which actually has some decent looking larger homes for the West Irvine area.

    Anyhow, if anyone knows why some West Irvine communities have this strange curb design, please enlighten me!!!

  81. lawyerliz

    Hey guys, calm down. That was satire!!!

    Kirk only pretends to be a troll, and if he was a troll, you should not feed him.

    He got’cha.

  82. tonye

    Hey Kirk… What’s up? Did you hook up the bell again? Are they waking you up in the middle of the night?

    BTW, I came back from Phoenix…. I did see a bunch of RE on the outskirts of the I10 that didn’t look like it will ever be built. There was this huge area with hundreds of home pads that I don’t think will get built for 10 years.

    At least it wasn’t as bad as the RE in LV last summer. Homes built out in the middle of nowhere!!!

  83. tonye

    Funny thing about asbestos… people think they used it all over. However, when we rebuilt our home, originally built in 69, we discovered we didn’t have any asbestos.

    Just some (not all) aluminum wiring. Which we pulled out….

  84. tonye

    It keeps the spinners in the SUVs from scratching. Those 22 inch spinners on Suburbans are very expensive… but since they were bought with 2nd mortgages, with deep discounts from GMAC financial, the owners may not care much for longer.

    Bling, bling…. nouveau rich. Easy come, easy go. Now go back to renting apartments and driving Novas.

  85. SoCalJD

    tonye: haha, thanks for the reply. Might just be a coicindence, but your style of writing (along with your SN) reminds me of a poster on a well-known automotive forum (Temple of V?) Same guy?

    Seriously though, does anyone know the deal about some of these West Irvine “curbs”? It looks terrible.

  86. AZDavidPhx

    Hi Tonye –

    Yup. The builders screwed the pooch down here. I’m guessing that you were driving on the outskirts going toward Los Angeles.

    If you stay on I10 about 70 miles south toward Tucson, they also put up a bunch of houses in Case Grande that look like a ghost town of homes. Pretty creepy.

    Enough supply for another 10 years!

  87. Kirk

    Tonye, I never disconnected my site bell. That would be going backwards. Instead, I shutdown the site past midnight so I can get some sleep. It never ceases to amaze me how rude people can be. People seem to get that going over to your neighbor’s at 2 am just for a chat is not right. Why do people think visiting a website at that hour is somehow different?

  88. tonye

    Maybe they’re RE investors in China and they’re checking your website when its’ a reasonable 2 o’clock in the afternoon over there?

    I wonder if you could put an IP filter that would do a reverse look up to see what the local time is for the host IP address that generated the request. Of course, someone who just wanted to wake you up could use a proxy and you’d have not way to filter them.

    Aaahh.. the problems of the Internet. I have my two sites hosted by a Telco for that very reason. 🙂

  89. tonye


    I did scratch the rims in my TL against the curb in front of my house. Normal curbs that is.

    Then I replaced the B/S Turanza EL42 for a set of B/S Potenza RE750s and not only did the handling go up a few notches but the Potenzas have a “rim protector” on them that sticks out a bit out from the rims.

  90. granite


    You beat me to the curb comment! I picked up my daughter at her friends house 3 years ago in this neighborhood. I will never forget the claustrophobic feeling driving through this neighborhood with these big boxes so close together. And then to top it off you could drive up on the sidewalk.

    The friend’s house was spacious inside though I will admit.

  91. Laura Louzader

    Your comments about making the place look decent are on target.

    In every locale I view, I see listings for $800,000 to $3,000,000 with photos of the property that are very unbecoming.

    To home sellers: If you really want to get $900K for the McMansion in Irvine or the squeezy condo in downtown Chicago or the Miami South Beach, please do the following:

    1. Get rid of all the crap sitting around. “Crap” includes refrigerator magnets, your kids’ artwork, the boxes of cereal on top of the frig, the spice bottles on top of the backplate of the bottom-end freestanding range, the silk flowers on the counter, the 19 small appliances cluttering up the counters,the ragged, uncoordinated dishtowels hanging on the frig handle, the kids’ toys in the living room, the crappy quilt and cheap curtains in the bedroom, the 10 remote control units on the coffee table, the mingy little throw rugs, the Franklin Mint figurine collection, the sports equipment, and a pile of dirty laundry anywhere.

    No kidding, I just viewed a photo of a $865,000 Miami South Beach condo that showed a pile of dirty clothes spilling out of a closet onto the marble floors.

    2. Landscape- get a professional. Good landscaping can add several thousand to a few tens of thousands of dollars of value to your place, depending on its price bracket.

    3. Repaint the house in soft, neutral colors.

    4. After you have packed away or gotten rid of obvious garbage as detailed above, see what ELSE you can remove from the room. Most people have rooms too cluttered up with crappy small furniture like side tables just big enough to set a glass on, little 2-shelve bookcases, TV stands, coat trees, and other small pieces of furniture that make it impossible to arrange the furniture so as to flatter the room.

    5. Get rid of bright colors like primary blue, red, or yellow. These colors are offensive in small spaces, especially bright yellow. Yellow signals CHEAP.

    6. Get rid of brightly-patterned floor tile. Nothing says CHEAPO like fake Mexican vinyl tile in loud patterns and too many colors.

    7. Cracked sidewalks and driveways signal poor maintenance. If ever there was a time to repave, this is it.

    I suppose this is all moot if you are already $200K underwater and nothing is selling anyway.

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