Equity Inferno

Disco Inferno — The Trammps

The twin towers known as the Marquee at Park Place is a lasting symbol of everything wrong with the housing bubble (Two mass fires, yes! One hundred stories high.) These urban units were 30 years ahead of their time, and perhaps in 30 years, the buyers in these towers will be able to sell their units for what they paid for them. The obscenity of the prices there will be laid bare in today’s post. I will run through the cost of ownership numbers as compared to the cost of a rental and demonstrate what these units are really worth to an owner occupant.

I must confess, I have been holding off profiling these towers. There is limited information available on these units in the data services I use, so my picture is somewhat incomplete; however, the main reason I have waited to post on these units is because in the very first post done on this unit back in early 2007, I lost it in the comments section. It is pretty rare that I lose my cool, but I did there. The exchange went as follows:

Comment from a resident:

2007-01-03 04:56 PM

is entitled to their opinion, and sometimes its good to keep it to
yourself. It is very simple, for those of you that don’t like Luxury
living in a place like Marquee, hey, no one is forcing you to buy here.
stay where you are and be happy, what is with all the bitterness. Your
bitterness is in result of ENVY. Chill out. Those who buy or bought at
the Marquee made a choice and obviously like their investment.

Comment by me:

2007-01-03 09:10 PM


“Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and sometimes its good to keep it to yourself.”

You should have followed your own advice.

“what is with all the bitterness. Your bitterness is in result of ENVY.”

You people don’t seem to get what we are saying, so I will try to spell it out for you:








You have made the worst possible purchase in all of Orange County. When
the flippers can’t make the payments and are forced to sell, the value
of your units is going to plummet: more so than others because your
fees are so high. Every time we on this board drive by, we look up with
amazement at the monumental folly of buyer greed. Your dark tower is
going to stand as the symbol for the height of hubris of the housing

We don’t envy you, we are very thankful we are not you.

P.S. Please ignore my previous post where I tried to make nice, reinforce your delusions, and leave you with a shred of dignity.


The comments section on that original post was invaded by residents and Marquee staff members. I hope we get so lucky this time around 😉

3141 Michelson Kitchen

Asking Price: $1,080,000IrvineRenter

Income Requirement: $270,000

Downpayment Needed: $216,000

Monthly Equity Burn: $9,000 at least

Purchase Price: $1,035,000

Purchase Date: 3/16/2006

Address: 3141 Michelson #808, Irvine, CA 92612WTF

Beds: 2
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 1,520
$/Sq. Ft.: $711
Lot Size:
Property Type: Condominium
Style: Other
Year Built: 2006
Stories: 1 Level
View: Panoramic
Area: Airport Area
County: Orange
MLS#: P597004
Source: SoCalMLS
Status: Active
On Redfin: 258 days

Unsold in 90+ days

Enjoy the most uniquely designed condo in Orange County. This highly
upgraded home has custom painted walls, recessed lighting, and hardwood
floors. You will enjoy a panoramic view of city lights from Irvine to
Newport Beach. Spoil yourself in the lap of luxury at the Marquee
Towers. This stylishly designed modern high rise was built in 2006
offering such amenities as 24 hour gated security, pool, health center,
garaged parking, business center, pool table, and concierge service.

BTW, the listing realtor is the owner. Do you feel the schadenfreude?

Notice he isn’t talking up the wonderful Santa Ana School District. This isn’t a place for families.

I wonder if he has a view of that beautiful new office building?



What is this guy’s plan? Since he is the listing broker, he will only pay a 3% commission, so he has left himself a bit of negotiating room to get out at breakeven. After 258 days on the market, I don’t think his plan is going to work, particularly when the seller across the hall (3141 Michelson #804, Irvine, CA 92612) is selling a larger unit for $351,000 less.

What are these units really worth? Let’s revisit the calculations from the post Rent vs. Own:

$321,893 Purchase Price

$64,379 Downpayment @20%
$257,515 Mortgage @ 80%

$1,627.67 Mortgage Payment @ 6.5%
$268.24 Property Taxes @ 1%
$67.06 Homeowners Insurance @ 0.25%
$67.06 Special Taxes and Levies @ 0.25%
$1,100.00 Homeowners Associate Dues or Fees @ $1100
$67.06 Maintenance and Replacement Reserves @.25%
$3,197.10 Monthly Cash Cost

$1,394.87 Interest on First Payment
$(365.48) Tax Savings @ 25% of mortgage interest and property taxes
$(232.80) Equity hidden in payment
$201.18 Lost Downpayment Income @ 5% of Downpayment

$2,800 Total Cost of Ownership

We have to make some adjustments to the original calculation due to the unique circumstances of these properties:

  1. The assumed breakeven rent is $2,800. Some units have gone as low as $2,300. $2,800 is a likely median rent.
  2. The HOA dues are an outrageous $1,100 a month
  3. The property taxes are actually a bit lower as I believe there are no Mello Roos taxes here.
  4. The maintenance and replacement reserves are only for minor interior items so they are much less than a SFD home.

As you can see, the HOA dues are a value killer. The breakeven value for an owner-occupant is only $321,893 which is nearly 70% off the asking price for this unit. The monthly cashflow drain the owners of these units are experiencing is remarkable, particularly for the plethora of empty boxes.

Maybe this property should be renamed the Marquee at North Korea?

North Korea at NightMarquee at Park Place at Night

North Korea at night and Marquee at Park Place at night.


Disco InfernoBurn baby burn! Burn baby burn! Burn baby burn! Burn baby burn!

Two mass fires, yes! One hundred stories high
People gettin’ loose y’all gettin’ down on the roof – Do you hear?
(the folks are flaming) Folks were screamin’ – out of control
It was so entertainin’ – when the boogie started to explode
I heard somebody say

Burn baby burn! – Disco inferno!
Burn baby burn! – Burn that mama down
Burn baby burn! – Disco inferno!
Burn baby burn! – Burn that mama down

Satisfaction (uhu hu hu) came in the chain reaction
(burnin’) I couldn’t get enough, (till I had to self-destroy) so I had to
self destruct, (uhu hu hu)
The heat was on (burnin’), rising to the top, huh!
Everybody’s goin’ strong (uhu hu hu)
And that is when my spark got hot
I heard somebody say

Burn baby burn! – Disco inferno!
Burn baby burn! – Burn that mama down, yoh!
Burn baby burn! – Disco inferno!
Burn baby burn! – Burn that mama down

Disco Inferno — The Trammp


P.S. I almost went with a different theme today. Owning in the Marquee Towers is also similar to riding on Disney’s Tower of Terror, complete with the huge, sudden drop…

145 thoughts on “Equity Inferno

  1. Jill

    This is nothing short of breathtaking. $2,800 for break even (which is of course fictional for these unit owners)? I wonder what they get for $1,100 in HOA dues – somebody had better be cooking my dinner and walking my dog for those fees.
    You’ve outdone yourself today Irvine Renter!

          1. Back to the Future Part III

            Irvine Renter-we are too (thank you rental living.com).

            If you want to get published, you have to go to the next step-which bank gave the developer financing to build this wonderful project, and how many of the original presales (if any) have closed, and what is the status of the construction loan.

            Hint: most likely based in New York, or had a name that began with an F. No local FDIC insured bank out here would touch it.

            When the construction lender forecloses and dumps the inventory to a vulture fund, then we will see the bottom. It will be UGLY.

          2. REassetmanager

            I’m pretty sure the construction loans were paid off. There were enough closings in the first few months that it paid off the loan. Now its just a drain on preferred return and return of capital.

        1. cara

          That’s awesome!!!!

          Mr. T moved to my town when I was in elementary school (his daughter was a year behind my sister in high school). He cut down all the trees in his front yard and put up an ugly 8-foot wooden fence and everyone got mad at him because it was a “Tree City USA”. He came by all the schools with autographed photos so we forgave him (well the kids did).

          1. cara


            In my defense I would like to point out that we lived in the one and only attached townhouse development (all of 16 units) in the town, on a major 4 lane highway across from the second set of tracks. The other options in our price point were totally run down fixer uppers and there was no long term rental property (other than our own neighbors). Granted it didn’t appreciate at more than 2.5% per year either, but we went to some of the very best public schools in the country (less so now). I mean for $120k crappy townhouse, I took calculus from my own high school sophomore year.

          2. Laura Louzader

            Cara, have you seen what has happened to highrise condos in downtown Chicago, lately?

            Sales in new condos downtown has dropped 83% since last year. Yes, eighty-three percent, that was not a typo.

            But Lake Forest seems to be holding up really well.

          3. dcn

            I lived in “The Ponds” for 5 years during grade school (88-93′) off of Westleigh Rd- my dad called it the low rent district of Lake Forest, IL. (ha,ha) I remember seeing Lisa T driving around town in her BMW convertible…my brother graduated from LFHS and I was enrolled to go there, but then my dad got transferred back to sunny CA 🙂

  2. Cara

    But they’re so pretty!! Can you really put a price on pretty???

    Okay, so, um, yes, yes you can.

    But renting is not the same as owning. It’s not yours then, its just not the same…

    These are the “I have money to burn” condos. It’s an important statement to be able to make. Too bad you’ll never be able to sell it given that not a single one has sold (just going by the comparable listings at the bottom of Redfin). Too bad a bunch of them are chasing each other to the bottom around $750k now.

    For some people renting is just not an option. It’s just not socially acceptable, no matter how pretty of a place you manage to rent.

    1. jhill

      There is a 2BR 2BA at this address, somewhat more than 1200 sq. ft., on Redfin at 579K!!! Is 300 sq ft worth 200 thousand dollars to anyone?

  3. awgee

    For awhile I was getting bored with all the, “this one will sell for $_____.__”, or “this one will bottom at __%”, or “this one will go back to _____ year prices.” But I think we all ought to make a bottom call at what we think will be the lowest price a Marquee apartment will sell for. What is your guess?

    1. Cara

      I think that the people who want to rent there will rent there, but that the people who want to own there will disregard the exhorbinant HOA fee as the cost of owning such a beautiful place, and thus that it will bottom out at $500k for the low-water mark.
      If you want to be a landlord, this is not where you’d be looking to buy.

      1. r€nato

        is one permitted to rent out these units? I would think the HOA would have some pretty severe restrictions in that regard, but I really don’t know what the norm is for such luxury high-rise condos.

        I agree; owning one of these places is more of a statement of one’s wealth (or pretention to wealth) rather than a practical purchase decision.

        I suspect that these prices will be very sticky; barring distress, sellers will be very hesitant to lower the price to something reasonable, probably figuring some rich sucker is bound to come along sooner or later and pay what they think it is worth.

        1. r€nato

          …afterthought: people don’t buy a Ferrari because it’s a sound purchase decision; it’s a fun car to drive, there’s nothing like it, it turns heads and it says something about you.

          Same thing with these condos. I have to say that I sort of see the point of Marquee residents defending their purchase decision. However at these prices, it’s like paying $500K for a Ferrari which really ought to go for $300K. I guess if you have more money than you know what to do with, you don’t mind foolishly pissing it away. I suppose that in itself says something about such a person…

          Personally, I would hope that no matter how rich I get (should I be so lucky), I would have enough self-esteem that I wouldn’t feel the need for the shallow ego gratification which comes from carelessly flaunting wealth through egregiously wasteful conspicuous consumption…

          1. NoWow!way

            I remember reading an article about a wealthy person buying a notebook computer for over a million dollars – just to say that they had the most expensive laptop.

            Ego can be a big driving factor for some people.

            BTW: I have been trying to nest comments to other posters, like george, earlier and I am not able to do it. Will see if this one posts, nested. If not, if someone can tell me what I am doing wrong, I’d appreciate it!

          2. George8

            The towers were started near the peak of the bubble. If many buyers have bought to speculate with bubbly equity and easy money/loans, the whole towers could soon turn into a financial disaster like what happened to many towers in Manhattan and NJ Gold Coast in the 1980s’ bubble, and Miami condo towers of today.

          3. Mercutio.Mont

            First of all, Ferraris tend to hold their values very well. Production is limited, the waiting list is legendary, and used Ferraris frequently sell at or near full MSRP. Take a look at eBay for proof.

            Secondly, market prices are not determined by the few whom do not care how much they pay. Market prices are determined by the marginal buyers and the marginal properties.

            And finally, richer people tend to be cheaper people. They know everyone is trying to take advantage of them by chipping away at their wealth, so they tend to be very aggressive in negotiation good deals for everything they buy. Look at Harry’s Bar (Venice) discounting meals 25% for Americans.

          4. Soapboxpolitico

            Excellent point. One does not buy a Ferrari because it’s a terrific value as a means of transportation; one buys a Ferrari because it’s a symbol of a station in life reached. That said, some Ferrari’s are decent investments if for no other reason that they are deliberately kept to low production or limited production. Rarity as always is the key.

            That said, there is clearly nothing rare about these places. They may be something of a novelty here in OC but they’re not rare. There may be a few obscenely monied folks (fools) who’d pay asking price for the penthouse or very top floors of these towers but not nearly enough to save the entire joint. Some trust-fund babies are fools but the few truly wealthy people I know are very savvy and not stupid enough to chuck their money done the black hole.

            To those who bought one of these places you might as well have made a pile of cash in the BBQ and set it aflame. Good luck on the ride down … Oh, and remember that the feet you trammelled in your rush to the top may well be connected to the butts you’ll have to kiss on the way down.

          5. Hormiguero

            “First of all, Ferraris tend to hold their values very well.”


            Sorry, but it is hard to think of an asset which depreciates faster than a ferrari. Every mile driven is at least a dollar in depreciation. Try cracking one of those inches-from-the-ground bumper skirts in a parking lot and seeing what the repair bill is…

            Maybe this is a bit off-topic, but maybe it isn’t – the truly rich probably laugh at the strivers who would be caught dead in a tower down the street from “John Wayne Airport”… much like no one thinks it is cool to roll up in the Gallardo of five years ago, and no one wants all of the mechanical issues that come with one with a big 20,000 miles on it.

          6. Mercutio.Mont

            If every mile driven were only $1 in depreciation, then Ferraris would be incredibly slowly depreciating. Fact is, these vehicles sell for close to MSRP for one to two years after production – of course they all have low miles, but no one’s using these as daily drivers. Point being, Ferraris have excellent resale values.

            Now Mercedes on the other hand have been known to depreciate 40% in one year. That’s a bit more like these condos.

          7. LC

            They make jewel encrusted cell phones for the same reason. When you got it, you flaunt it.

      2. OhhNinjaPuhlease

        $500k may be a good call, but with such a flop a developer will come in and force conversion to offices and charge more like $3,400 per month in rent to business.

        Doctors, lawyers, brokers, executive consultants, software developers, insurance sales, agencies.

        1. uptown

          Offices – that’s what these look like. Bet you’re right, being so close to the airport the zoning was probably C in the first place.

  4. NoWow!way

    This type of housing would be fun to rent. You’d be getting a very unique experience for the money, imo. And at a deep discount compared to the “owners” of similar units. You’d be able to relax and enjoy all the amenities – not stressing over where you’re going to get the $$ for a big mortgage and the huge HOA fees each month-leave that to the owner/debtor. You’d be able to truly enjoy everything the HOA has to offer there!

    However, it is NOT for a family with school aged children. It’s an unpleasant realization for some buyers that their children are assigned to Santa Ana Schools. The worst performing schools in the county. The most inefficient and irresponsible school district leadership in place today (as Capo has already started the housecleaning process of ousting corrupt administrators, but SAUSD is slow to reform). The school district is attempting to raise property taxes again this June and again in November, so buyer also beware.

    I was wondering why Bren recently gave $10 million dollars for “tutoring” in the SAUSD. Now it kind of makes sense. The guy fought hard against his own children for child support, yet all of sudden this year he’s being charitable.

    Follow the money.

    1. Emma Anne

      I was thinking the same thing. For a young professional couple with no kids, it would be a blast to live there. But definitely as a rental, because it would just be for a few years until you got on with real life.

  5. George8

    Are the towers sold out? If not, what is the sales status if available? So far, is there any unit in any stage of foreclosure?

    1. houseonlegs

      Like IR stated, the data on these units is not very accessable, from what I have found, a lot of the units are owned by Irvine Residential? I don’t know if that is an investor that purchased many of the units, or if that is the assumed builder name. There has been at least one foreclosure in these towers. But the public data in these towers lag quite a long time, so there could be more? From the public data that is accessable, these units were purchased when a cartoon character could qualify for a million dollar loan, so there are a lot of no/low money down and a lot of option arms. These units will fall hard.

      1. graphrix

        Irvine Residential was the DBA for Bosa, the builder of the project. The county is really slow with new home projects getting recorded. They get dumped in chunks at the county, and until they “have” to record a new deed, as in trustee’s deed, will the title get updated. This project was sold out long ago, and it is most likely the county being uber slow. Oh, and there are more foreclosures coming soon to this project, so more updates on the title will have to come soon too.

    2. Perspective

      I drive by them regularly, and at night it seems like just 20% of the lights are on.

    3. LC

      There is nothing around there. You cannot walk to anything. Those buildings are in an industrial area — next to the freeway. Nice idea, poor execution. Crazy prices.

      But that new office building next door is the coolest building in SoCal. A post-modern version of steel and glass.

  6. NoWow!way

    Those are great questions, George. I bet that information is closely guarded and hard to obtain.

    1. George8

      Many high rise condo towers in Miami are in various stages of foreclosure. The risk of going bk on these Irvine towers is rising if the builders have sold less than 50%.

  7. VanMorrisonFan

    Manhattan Living – minus the Manhattan wages and amenities!

    What I hate about “urban living” in the OC is that the OC is not set up for urban living. With true urban living you can WALK out your front door and all of the amenities of daily life are within a short WALK of your front door. New York, Chicago, Seattle (parts of it), etc. have true “urban living.” OC continues to build everything around the car, which makes true urban living impossible.

    1. Priced_Out_IT_Guy

      Rubbish! You can always take the OCTA bus. Of course, then you have to sit in dirty sticky vinyl seats next to smelly hobos, breath unfiltered diesel, and spend fifteen times longer being chauffeured by a disgruntled foreigner driving the bus to get anywhere than by car…

    2. Formerbanker

      I agree entirely with you! I never understood who thought these condos would be desirable and would deserve a premium price…for a great view of the freeway ? Or a few office buildings ? Ask any of us who’ve lived in a real city, not an offramp in suburbia, this ain’t no Manhattan in your backyard. Crazy!

    3. LC

      I am always amazed at the pay parking lots at the Irvine Spectrum office towers. Nothing but nothing as far as the eye can see, yet they still charge like you are downtown!

  8. caloshua

    Hi, Could you explain your break-even calulation using the purchase price of this condo. Someone stated 2800 break even, 2800 sounds like you’d be about 6000 in the hole every month. Thanks

    1. IrvineRenter

      You would be $6,000 in the hole every month if you paid $1,080,000. If you paid $321,893, then you would break even per the calculations in the post.

      1. AZDavidPhx

        300K sounds about right. Condos are the worst kind of real-estate an “investor” can get involved with.

        These units were built to be flipped; not lived in.

        1. lendingmaestro

          At the right price, Condos are the best investment. They are the easiest to rent out. Easiest to find tenants.

      2. shiny

        I guess the Marquee condo-debtors are resigned to their woeful fate. Whereas a year ago this blog was spammed with angry posts from various “owners” there, they are silent this go-round. What a location: adjacent to bubble-Central Park West and right next to the giant new Maguire office building that was supposed to house New Century. Such idle dreams! The Maguire building is an aviation hazard, you look right through it because it is virtually empty: a ghost of a building right next to flight paths. They should at least put newspaper on the windows so some hapless pilot doesn’t plow into the joint.

        I wonder how much vacant square feet there is when you combine Marquee, the Maguire building, and bubble-Central Park West all together. It boggles the mind, so much debt will go bad. Only fools march into this real estate market. And to think that Lennar mothballed Central Park West to wait for the market to return: Hey Lennar: the year 2005 called to say so long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, good night!

        But the future will be good for BK lawyers, that much is certain.

        1. Perspective

          Lennar’s decision on CPW is puzzling. Maybe if no units are sold, there’s more flexibility to sell the whole in some fashion?

          1. IrvineRenter

            I suspect their decision was made for them by virtue of running out of money. I don’t think they are in a position to complete the project.

          2. REassetmanager

            CPW isn’t all Lennar. The towers are being developed by Interstate Equities and Barclays Capital. Lennar just has the low-rise sticks and bricks. Their rational is that they weren’t able to sell at the the minimum release price on the loan, so there was no way they could continue to market at their asking prices without breaking that price floor. They must have big enough interest reserves on the construction loan that they can hold out. It’ll only last so long before the reserves run out and the banks will force them to come out of pocket with additional equity to cover interest or it’ll go back to the bank.

            My colleagues say the same thing is going to happen to Skyline at MacArthur Place. That deal is pretty much going to go back to iStar and they’ll sell it off to an opportunity fund that has a low enough basis that they can sell it as condos because that thing isn’t going to work as apartments.

          3. REassetmanager

            Sorry it’s Intergulf as developer and ING Real Estate as the lender on the CPW tower

          4. IrvineRenter

            Thank you for the information. Do you know if the other partners have considered finishing off the project before the interest eats them alive?

          5. REassetmanager

            Not too sure about the low rise buildings at CPW. I haven’t worked in Irvine in about 3 months. Have they stopped all construction on them? One of my friends manages the senior loan on the property and I haven’t asked him what their MO is on the remainder of the deal. I’d be surprised if the city didn’t force Lennar to finish construction given that they should be bonded. As for the Skyline deal, that one is finishing up construction, I think in August or September. The local OC market is not close to bottoming out.

  9. cara

    Cutting and pasting from a spread sheet may not be the way to go, but from the redfin search page the applicable data tells me that $630k has already happened. Granted that was a low-storey, but given that less the $450k can’t be too far in the future. Look for the ones with a date and price for past sales.

    3141 Michelson Dr #406 750000 2 2 1583 21 2/15/2006 777500 S529765 Coldwell Banker
    3141 Michelson #1804 1683000 2 2 2062 26 S529069 Coldwell Banker
    3141 Michelson Dr #808 1080000 2 2 1520 259 P597004 Universal Estates
    3141 Michelson #1506 699000 2 2 1347 236 S505915 Condos etc
    3141 Michelson #1706 1599990 3 2 1980 87 S521915 Pacific One Residential
    3141 MICHELSON #1501 799000 2 2 1293 64 S524667 High Rise Home Sales
    3141 Michelson Dr #601 579000 2 2 1292 63 U8001198 COLDWELL BANKER PREVIEWS INTERNATIONAL
    3141 Michelson Dr #1605 1300000 2 3 2063 115 U8000318 COLDWELL BANKER PREVIEWS INTERNATIONAL
    3141 Michelson Dr #1304 1560000 2 2.5 2063 97 S520752 Re/Max Real Estate Services
    3141 Michelson Dr #807 1000000 2 2 1367 155 S514938 Coldwell Banker
    3141 Michelson Dr #804 729000 2 2 1583 146 S515695 First Capital Realty
    3141 Michelson Dr #704-D 769000 2 2 1585 137 S516203 First Capital Realty
    3141 michelson Dr #1305 1380000 2 2.5 2063 126 P616489 Universal Estates
    3141 Michelson Dr #1505 1799000 3 3 2068 10 S531142 Kingsamerica Mtg & Rlty
    3141 MICHELSON DR #E805 0 0 10/2/2007 650000
    3141 MICHELSON DR UNIT 1203 0 0 1/31/2007 800000
    3141 MICHELSON DR UNIT 405 0 0 4/12/2007 630000
    3131 Michelson #404 759000 2 2 1492 144 C07178800 REALTY WORLD – DIAMOND REALTY
    3131 Michelson Dr #607 W 799990 3 2 1500 743 U6601071 GRACE PAK
    3131 Michelson #1603 1790000 2 2.5 2063 228 S507148 Surterre Properties, Inc.
    3131 Michelson Dr 1055000 2 2 1520 76 P624525 Golden State Funding & Realty
    3131 Michelson Dr 1049000 2 2 1520 111 S518957 Tarbell, Realtors Irv
    3131 Michelson #405 599000 2 2 1367 75 S523353 Condos etc
    3131 Michelson Dr #1103 1145000 2 2 1583 72 2/20/2007 1025000 L25672 Surterre Properties Inc.
    3131 Michelson Dr #1304 1250000 2 3 2063 214 P604682 ReMax Orange County East
    3131 Michelson Dr #1108 825000 2 2 1275 120 S517844 Tri-Star Realty
    3131 Michelson #1206 1075000 3 2 1367 101 S520293 Coldwell Banker
    3131 MICHELSON #1302 659000 2 2 1347 100 S520353 High Rise Home Sales
    3131 Michelson #1802 1999000 2 2 1980 137 S516188 Condos etc
    3131 Michelson #1303 1549000 2 2.5 2063 130 U8000022 SURTERRE PROPERTIES INC.
    3131 MICHELSON DR UNIT 1101 0 0 9/6/2006 1025000
    3131 MICHELSON DR UNIT 807 0 0 6/29/2007 925000
    3131 MICHELSON DR UNIT 901 0 0 7/11/2007 979000
    3131 MICHELSON DR UNIT 1103 0 0 2/20/2007 1025000
    3131 MICHELSON DR UNIT 1605 0 0 11/27/2007 925000
    3131 MICHELSON DR UNIT 703 0 0 1/5/2007 1000000

    1. cara

      That came out terrible, but notice there’s one listed at $599k for 75 days no sale, and a higher up unit at $659k no sale 100 days. Last summer’s prices are not enough incentive to buy into this airport condo.

      1. George8

        It feels like a disaster looming….and pressure is mounting as clock is ticking.

      2. George8

        Real estate is an illiquid asset, the tower of this status just does not attract any bid at any price….

  10. TheNumbersNeverLie

    Great post IR. The numbers never lie. Wealthy people didn’t get rich being stupid. These places are heading for the high 300’s.

    Anyone see the funny video with the “foreclosure bus” that showed up at the million dollar REO with the kids playing on the roof? Great comedy.

    1. Genius

      Some of them got wealthy courtesy of a trust fund.

      I have a friend like that. Very rich. Total moron.

  11. AcuteEnigma

    I can’t imagine living in such an ugly tower. Looks like a prison.

    Where’s the yard for my dogs and rose garden?

    Might make a good hotel, but I wouldn’t want to live there no matter how cheap. Too ugly.

    I hope this is not the direction Irvine is headed for. Why do we need to pack more and more people in when the freeways are already unbearably packed?

    Julie, Irvine resident since 1974

    1. tenmagnet

      I think these units were built with younger buyers in mind.
      Ranging from college students to young professionals.
      Can’t really see a lot of older folks residing here.
      On the flip side, a lot of younger, wealthy professionals would never consider nor lower themselves to purchase an older home period.
      To each their own.

      1. Rocker

        Executive staff from companies with head quarters in Orange County could be a good market, you know, since is surrounded by office buidlings is a good hiding spot for the mistress, nobody notice what really is going on.

      2. Acuteenigma

        Thousands of homes have been built in Irvine in the last 5 years and also thousands of very attractive condo units such as the ones at Main and Jamboree.

        One need not restrict their choice to Ugly Tower or “older home.”

      3. Soapboxpolitico

        TenMagnet — true, true. But how many young buyers and college students have got $3500/month burning a hole in their Diesel jeans OR the $1100/mo. in HOA’s?

        None that I know but I could be mistaken. My point is you are spot-on, the developer undoubtedly had that in mind when marketing these places but like everything here in OC, greed took hold and sanity took a leap off the penthouse deck. So now these towers stand as a monument to greed, insanity and bad marketing strategy. As the post intended, a microcosm of OC itself these past few years.

  12. Laura Louzader

    Dear Irvine Renter,

    I went back to the post on this building that you linked, and read some reader’s comments.

    I couldn’t help but laugh my head off at the post of one Marquee resident, who said that living in the building made her feel “like I live in the Bob Newhart show”.

    REALLY!!! Well, it just so happens that the Bob Newhart show, which takes place here in Chicago, was also filmed here in Chicago, at a highrise in my own Edgewater neighborhood, the Malibu condo at 6007 N. Sheridan Road, where large, 2-bed apts sold at just over $300K at the peak.

    Here’s a current listing, a large 2-bed for $225K:


    The Malibu complex has 2 towers, on the shore of Lake Micihagan,and always has been a fairly moderate priced complex. The apartment are large and attractive. It was built in the late 60s. Edgewater is a diverse north lakefront neighborhood with a great variety of all types of housing, from very expensive to very modest, and from old mansions and courtyards, to modern highrises.

  13. Rocker

    …the Marquee at North Korea?


    At night looks like a military facility, they shut off lights at 9pm, no exceptions!

  14. U.R. Jealous

    I definitely would pay 4 million for this one because it is celebrity owned which makes it worth a lot more. I would be the envy of my friends and coworkers. Even my enemies would be jealous if I bought it.

    8157 Scholarship #1204 IRVINE, CA 92612
    Price: $3,900,000
    Beds: 3
    Baths: 3.5
    Sq. Ft.: 4,290
    $/Sq. Ft.: $909

    Luxury defined, this Celebrity owned two story penthouse features 3 bed/3.5 baths, 19′ high ceilings, Snaidero cabinetry, Kohler fixtures, Viking appliance, granite and marble slab counters and a private balcony. Enjoy resort style living with concierge services, Jr. Olympic size pool, spa, fitness center, 24 hour staffed lobbies, conference room and a residents Club Room for entertaining.

    1. tonye

      Hmm, my private chateau at TR has infinite ceilings in the atrium, Kohler, Viking, marble, quartz counters, 5b/3ba.

      We have a porch, a second story private balcony/deck….

      My kids complain 24 hours a day, there’s a Club room in the atrium to smoke cigars.

      AND.. direct access from an oversize garage where my wife’s Civic takes the place of our Maybach 61.

      Maybe my chateau would be worth 1200 per square foot? After all I got autographed posters of the CART drivers.. and Zanardi is a celebrity.

      Time to sell…..

    2. SacBoomer

      Wow, Celebrity provenance! judging by the furniture, or lack there of it could be Michael Jackson, or maybe Jose Conseco!

  15. Blueberry Pie

    “highly upgraded”

    One of my favorite parts of making fun of realtard listings is the use of the English language.

    I believe that words have purposes, and when people try and twist their meanings to make their product seem more interesting, it annoys me.

    I am also annoyed by the lack of effort in spell-checking, abbreviations and capitalization in so many realtard listings.

    1. Blueberry Pie

      Oops. I missed “most uniquely” in the previous sentence. How can something be more than unique?

    2. Blueberry Pie

      OK, this is the last one. “Custom painted”

      How can paint NOT be custom? Is there a way you can go to Home Depot and buy some “off the shelf” paint that just sticks on your wall without the hassle of using a brush or roller?

      1. Priced_Out_IT_Guy

        LOL sounds like you are probably a George Carlin fan.

        “That’s another complaint of mine, too much use of this prefix pre…. It’s all over the language now. pre this, pre that….. place the turkey in a preheated oven…. it’s ridiculous… there are only two states an oven can possibly exist in, heated or unheated…. preheated is a meaningless term… that’s like pre-recorded, this program was pre-recorded, well of course it was pre-recorded, when else you gonna record it, afterwards? That’s the whole purpose of recording, to do it beforehand! Otherwise it doesn’t really work does it? Pre-existing, pre-planning, pre-screening…” -George Carlin

    1. IrvineRenter

      Equity burn is an evaluation of the monthly loss of equity due to declining property values. It is based on the assumption that properties are going to decline 10% a year for the next two years. I take 10% of the asking price and divide by 12 to calculate equity burn.

  16. ConsiderAgain

    [i]Listing Price History
    Date Price
    Aug 28, 2007 $1,100,000
    Jan 08, 2008 $1,080,000
    Source: SoCalMLS[/i]

    Yea, that $20k wishing price reduction is gonna do the trick. hahaha

  17. Laura Louzader

    I could add that it makes just about as much sense to build a overpriced highrise by the airport in Irvine, CA, as it would to build Mediterranean style tract houses on two-acre lots with 3 car garages in Edgewater, Chicago.

    And you couldn’t get away with monthly assessments like that on medium-sized condos here or anyplace else.

    Did the developer of this white elephant consider what was appropriate for the locality here? We have gone nuts in this country, and have been building stuff in styles and out of materials that don’t take into account local markets, climates, or other conditions.

    I always did think it looks strange to see a glass-and-steel high-rise condo sitting in a suburban location where everyone else is living in expansive houses on large lots.

    1. tonye

      Well, actually it doesn’t look out too much out of place. The stretch of 405 and 55 freeways around John Wayne airport has a number of towers already. There are quite a few, very nice features: Philharmonic center, South Coast Plaza, etc, etc… so a Tower for Grownups makes some sense for location.

      But putting the residential towers South of the airport, away from Bristol St. and the more urban areas around South Coast (think near South Coast Performing Arts Center area) is a bust.

      If these towers were on the quadrant of the 55/405 towards South Coast plaza, then it would be a nice walk to great restaurants, entertainment and shopping.

      If they had been place in the Costa Mesa side, right north of the 55, around Baker/Paularino/Bristol (the triangle formed by the 405, 55 and 73) then the towers would have offered reasonable shopping and dining and a very short drive to South Coast (can you say shuttle?).

      In Costa Mesa, the residents would have gone to the Newport/Costa Mesa schools (OK), on the other side of the freeway it’s Santa Ana…. at least the rich kids would learn mexican spanish fast so they could talk to the nanny…

      So, as you can see, the area is not that suburban anymore. For true suburbia you gotta go a few miles away.

  18. Chris from Concord

    I see what the problem is here – there are two types of Marquee owners – the first type are the people who wanted the high-rise, urban lifestyle and were able and willing to pay a premium price for it. They are happy with their purchase, and why shouldn’t they be? Right?

    Well, they *won’t* be happy for long, because of the second type of Marquee owner – the speculators, who undoubtedly made a deal with the devil to buy into Marquee with the expectation of selling quickly at a high profit. (The “devil” being 100% financing, interest-only mortgages, or other financial shenanigans.)

    This puts our “happy” Marquee owners into debtor’s prison. They are the proverbial birds in fabulously gilded cages. Luxurious, urban, hip – but cages nonetheless.

  19. buster

    Yeah, height of luxury UNTIL homedebtors (condodebtors?) begin defaulting on not only their payments but the massive HOA as well. Who’s going to keep the “beautiful” place up when only half the HOA dues is coming in? Are they going to jack it to $2,200 / mo and effectively drop the resale value to zero? Or just not clean the windows, trim the landscaping or clean the pool?

  20. haha

    Just found this snippet from IR. Sums up his bitterness nicely no matter how hard he denies it.

    “There are plenty of people like myself who have saved up money to buy a house and might be willing to do so if the prices were not so high”

    B O O
    H O O

    Go back to Florida. Or maybe somewhere in AZ where you can get a nice piece of useless desert “dirt cheap”.

      1. CapitalismWorks

        Mine dropped 27% from peak, and its about half way to the bottom. Anyone who thinks their place in Irvine has dropped less is kidding themselves. I just like to remind everyone that reality is at the front door waiting, even if they refuse to answer.

        FWIW, I didn’t quite catch the bitter element of the quote…

        1. IrvineRenter

          I reread the comments several times myself just in case maybe the commenter was right. I don’t see it either. Perhaps, as someone below has suggested, it is a projection of their own feelings on to me.

        2. Genius

          The fact that CapWorks is bearish somewhat terrifies me, or it would if I had any real estate holdings. It’s crazy how fast times are changing.

          1. Joseph

            Yeah, I know what you mean. I remember back in the day when CapWorks and IrvineRenter went ’round and ’round about how to measure inflation, and CapWorks was predicting maybe a 10% decline in Irvine home values, at most.

            It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

          2. IrvineRenter

            I admire that he has the courage to analyze the situation and change his mind based on the facts. Many people once they have taken a position in a financial market, interpret every piece of information as confirming their position. Most never see the light until the freight train flattens them.

    1. enthdigry

      That comment goes to show he was waiting for the right time, unlike those who bought into the Marquee. The ones who will be bitter are the owners of the Marquee.

    2. buster

      Haha – I too would cry, “Boo Hoo” if I were in your place. Watching your equity evaporate into the real estate ether can not be easy, and I feel sorry for you.
      — Or is that a “Boo Hoo” of frustration that the pool of Greater Fools has dried up and there is no one to throw you a financial lifeline. Certainly “Glub Glub” will be the sound you make when you finally go under financially next month.
      — Or is that “Boo Hoo” the sound you made at your bankruptcy attorney’s office last week as you finally faced reality and decided to put an end to your two year long financial beating?
      — Or is that “Boo Hoo” the sound you made when they repossessed your leased Mercedes (or is that MerSentra for the lower series) and the neighbors you were trying to impress found out you were nothing but a poser?

    3. AZDavidPhx

      Or maybe somewhere in AZ where you can get a nice piece of useless desert “dirt cheap”

      OH SNAP!

      1. tonye

        How many cactus per square foot can you get over there?

        I think the desert on the I10 is sort of boring, but the high country on the I40 is very nice. Flagstaff is outstanding, IMHO.

        1. Soapboxpolitico

          Interesting observation tonye, I tend to agree but I also see beauty in the desert. Ever been thru the New Mexico desert, sometimes referred to as the “painted desert”? Very beautiful indeed. But to each his own.

          For what it’s worth … Flagstaff is sub-alpine, not desert … there is a difference. Also, nearly all of OC and southern California is classified as desert. We simply irrigate the crap out of it so it resembles and oasis not the coastal desert it actually is. If we turned off the sprinklers I think you’d be stunned to find the place would resemble much of Phoenix. No kidding.

  21. Doofus

    I simply dont understand what $13 large/PER YEAR is supposed to pay for. That’s beyond ridiculous or outrageous. There really isn’t a word for it. Clearly they’re just soaking those who are too rich to care.

    Wow, and I thought $100 a month for an HOA was obscene. Obviously, I dont live in CA….

  22. Jim Jones

    I’m wondering what happens when a large number of units get foreclosed. Is the bank required to pay the HOA’s? If not then there could be a real time bomb facing the owners in the form of increased HOA’s, special assessments and insufficient reserves.

    I drive past these towers every day and at night it seems that less than 25% of the units have any lights on. Thus I assume that 75% of these units are owned by investors and are unoccupied. How\why would they hange on to an asset who’s valule is rapidly declining. And why not at least rent them out for whatever they can get to minimize their losses?

    1. CK

      I saw a story the other day about a new gated community in Las Vegas where all but a few of the homes were vacant — either foreclosed or never sold. HOA had gone BK, and obviously provided no more services.

      In a futile attempt to maintain the neighborhood (and whatever value they still have) the remaining homeowners were actually going around the neighborhood on weekends doing the landscape upkeep themselves! The last line of the story was that it was estimated their $800k homes (when new) had lost 50% of their value.

      Imagine that, not only are you $400k underwater, but your thanks for sticking it out is having to maintain the whole community. I’m scratching my head on why they just wouldn’t walk. Sounds like that is a community which should be plowed under and returned to the buzzards.

        1. Soapboxpolitico

          Hmm. I wonder if they feel like “millionaires” now?
          I don’t know many wealthy people pulling weeds and picking up trash in the ‘hood they live in.

          That’s gotta be the salt in the wound when they lay awake at night wondering where it all jumped the tracks. I sympathize … there but for the grace of God go I.

          1. denial

            Wow, her house is DOWN over $300k already?
            Geesh, got news for her… This time next year, her house will be DOWN an ADDITIONAL $100 – $200k

            Game over.

        2. denial

          Denial!!!! That lady is STUPID! She doesnt realize that she, and the rest of the “owners” that are left, are are the REAL BAGHOLDERS!

      1. Major Schadenfreude

        “the remaining homeowners were actually going around the neighborhood on weekends doing the landscape upkeep themselves!”

        …which may not be a big deal if the remaining “homeowners” do gardening for a living. You know, they may be some of those “independent small business owners” who were making 250K per year – at least according to their loan apps!

  23. Chris from Concord

    haha writes:

    Just found this snippet from IR. Sums up his bitterness nicely no matter how hard he denies it.

    There’s no bitterness in noting that there are many people who are not wanting to commit financial suicide. Is it possible that “haha” is projecting?

  24. Major Schadenfreude

    “This stylishly designed modern high rise was built in 2006 offering such amenities as 24 hour gated security, pool, health center, garaged parking, business center, pool table, and concierge service.”


    1. madhaus

      LOL, Major Schade!

      – No waiting for facilities!
      – Hundreds of parking spaces for your guests!
      – Got some friends who need a place to crash? Plenty of extra room everywhere! Just bring your lockpicks!

      1. kilo

        LOL…especially the lockpick part!

        It’s really safe now, because no one would want to rob empty rooms..

        It’s gotta be a death trap if you’re sick or dying though..

  25. Major Schadenfreude

    “BTW, the listing realtor is the owner. Do you feel the schadenfreude?”

    YES I DO!!!


  26. Westparker

    On the high rise topic, (but not technically in Irvine) who would want to live in those “skyline” towers off the 55 at Macarthur. Those things really are in Santa Ana and have no amenities around them. At least with Marquee, you have the Houstons/CPK/Mother’s center right there. There’s nothing but offices and a Starbucks around the “Skyline”

      1. Westparker

        And that’s a good thing? I lived at “The Lakes” 8 years ago. It’s not Irvine. 3 cars were stolen from the “secure garages” while I was there. It’s much closer to the Santa Ana ghetto and it’s much more congested than Irvine.
        Even though Skyline is closer, it’s still not walking distance to either and it’s in the middle of an office complex. I see rough times for that developer.

    1. tonye

      Hmm…. all it will take now will be for China to decouple their Yuan from the dollar next year. Let it float UP and then they can buy California with their Wallmart earnings.

      The Twainese buyers lost their shirts in our market too… so this kills two birds with one shot: The Hegemonist Running Dogs (us) and The Renegade Province.

      Time to move to an honest country. Mexico?

      1. Chris

        ‘Twainese’? I didn’t know we were related to Mark.

        With that 7.9 earthquake, China needs to unload those Treasurys to avoid a people’s revolt for ineffective rescue effort.

      2. Soapboxpolitico

        Exactly!!! I keep talking about the “what if’s” when it comes to China and the Yuan. I just can’t be clear about whether or not that could be the “other shoe”.

        I know that they’re tied to the hip with us for now because the Chinese economy is currently no more diverse than many smaller Asian countries though they are gaining FAST! But without the cheap global labor pool in China, they haven’t got much else. If they let the Yuan float on the open markets it’s nearly certain it would surpass the dollar and they’d lose their cheap labor/goods advantage. The balance of trade would likely shift radically.

        For better or worse I think China’s future is linked to ours … cold comfort indeed for them and us.

  27. TurtleRidgeRenter

    For many years, my husband and I lived on the 49th floor of a building at Wabash and Huron in Chicago. The Magnificent Mile of Michigan Avenue was our neighborhood. Water Tower Place and all that. Fabulous views on 3 sides of Lake Michigan, the Loop skyline with all its famous skyscrapers, and as far as the eye could see to the west and north: an airplane view, an infinite grid of twinkling lights at night. The view was exciting, reflecting the pulse of the city. We walked to work, restaurants, theaters, museums, the beach, and shopping. We took taxis if we were in a hurry. We ordered dinner up to the apartment from any restaurant we wanted on the evenings that we stayed in. Everything was delivered to us. We didn’t even own a car. THAT’S luxe urban living.

    When we first came to Irvine and saw these airport Marquee “highrise” condo buildings, we thought they were nice, but surely must have been financed by some guys from NY or Chicago who didn’t quite understand that everyone in California wants a little outdoor living: a yard, a garden, or a short walk to the beach. The buildings are too short to give you a real panoramic view. In Chicago, we would call these buildings “midrise.” The views from these units are unremarkable: the local freeways and bland office buildings by the airport.

    Beautiful buildings, wonderful apartments, but just the totally wrong location.

  28. cosmo kramer

    I wonder if the guy in #808 ($1,080,000) is on speaking terms with #804 ($729,000). I’d have to think there’s some bad blood there :snake: That elevator ride could be pretty tense lol. Ah, the rich. Ya gotta love ’em.

    On the other hand 804 does have a window that looks right out onto one of those giant industrial air conditioning units (nice design work there architect geniuses!) which either drowns out the noise of the airplanes, or perhaps can make one think he’s hearing the ocean. All a matter of perspective I suppose.

    I’m guessing $450,000 at the bottom. Chump change for waaaay too many people in the US who crave the security of being 80 feet above the riffraff on the street.

  29. Chris

    I’m sorry but 1 freaking mill for THAT? I love OC (particularly Irvine) but NOT THAT MUCH!

    I’ll consider when it hits $400k but, with child(ren possibly soon) and SANTA ANA DISTRICT????, the phrase is an emphatic HELLLLLLLLL NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

    (I should be an agent for all the caps written above :-))

  30. anela

    i really think IrvineRenter summed it up best: These urban units were 30 years ahead of their time.

    for the money they’re charging for these places i would rather purchase in the yet-to-be-completed W-Hotel and Residences at hollywood and vine or in one of the conversions caddy corner to it (either in the old broadway or equitable building). at least there you’re across from the metro, a hop skip and jump from the pantages, the arc light, kodak theatre, all kinds of good restaurants/bars, a whole foods and trader joes are scheduled to be built within a block of these buildings, and you can walk to the farmers market every sunday morning.

  31. pothead

    ” Good luck on the ride down … Oh, and remember that the feet you trammelled in your rush to the top may well be connected to the butts you’ll have to kiss on the way down. ”

    Couldnt help it, but THAT WAS FUNNY !!!!

    I laughed so hard, I farted at the same time.

    poetic justice ? 😉

  32. itcomesinwaves

    Typical flipper- his photography is stolen.

    I should know; I shot some of it.

      1. itcomesinwaves

        Thank you.

        The hardest part was coming up with a compelling view.

        I had to avoid a lot of parking lots, under-construction areas, and the back-side of the Flour building with all of its massive swamp coolers.

        I shot a different unit, so don’t be surprised if this place looks entirely different from what’s shown.

  33. granite

    Since we’re onto the towers, what’s happening on all those other towers just south on Jamboree? Seems like just more overkill to me. I would be interested to see a profile from one of them too.

  34. GeorgeO

    Just for kicks, I checked out the website for these towers. Then I stumbled on the “Managers Message” page…and WOW.

    In case you are wondering what your $1200 a month HOA will get you, here is a quick sample.

    The hot water boilers have failed over 20 times in the last year. Some of the failures have lasted for over 48 hours!!! NO HOT WATER!!!


    Movin’ On Up!! ROFL!

    1. crucialtaunt

      I like this one in particular:

      “We are pleased to report that the boilers are again operating. The Boiler company was able to temporarily swap out the boiler for the pool and spa,thus, the pool and spa are temporarily out of service.” (posted 1/15/08)

  35. SacBoomer

    New term: “Marquee to Market”, referring to the price correction in any OC high rise.


  36. irvinerenter#988

    I’m sorry if I’m a little behind, but $1 million for a condo in Irvine?? Are you freakin’ kidding me?? I’m learning more and more everyday on the IrvineHousingBlog. It just blows my mind how ridiculous house/condo/townhome prices got in the last few years. I thought I’d seen it all until I saw this post and yesterday’s about HELOC abuse. I have a feeling I’ll be seeing more great stuff in the future.

    I read some of the angry comments in the previous post about these high rises. I usually don’t find joy in reading angry exchanges, but I just had to laugh at some of them. But like some readers said, the value for what you get is all “perceived.” Maybe they just tell themselves those things to make themselves feel better. I wonder how they’re all doing now…they’ve been quiet this time around.

  37. EconE


    I was called a moron for questioning the value of a $600k (+500/mo property taxes & $500/mo HOA dues) 1BR here in Seattle.

    However, renting on the cheap is WONDERFUL. We have the Whole Foods in the complex and all the other goodies.

    I rent for $1667 and get to use the same gym, same screening room, the Hotel Concierges (the condos are above a hotel) will open the door for me just like they will the owners, package delivery etc.

    The best part is that my utilities are next to nothing as the gas for cooking, baking and heating(fireplace)is covered in the HOA (that I don’t pay). Water (including hot water), Sewer and Garbage are also in the HOA fees.

    So with Rent + Electricity + Renters Insurance I’m at less than $1700/mo

    I also have a 2 year lease.

    Had I bought with nothing down (a better comparison to rent as there isn’t any down payment for renting) I would have close to a $5000 monthly payment all inclusive using a 30 year fixed mortgage.

    Oh…and the rents that you see in CL are completely negotiable by about 10% IMO. You just have to remind the owner that he’ll lose even more if it sits vacant for just 2 more months.

    Finally…if you do rent one of these kinds of places…respect the fact that financially, the owner is taking a bath so PLEASE keep the unit in tip top condition. Take off your shoes etc.

  38. LC

    I am once again reminded of the difference between communism and capitalism. Communists lived in government owned mid-rise housing units. Capitalists pay $1 million to own mid-rise housing units.

  39. brownie

    it doesn’t matter how far the price drops on these units if the HOA’s at $1000 a month. that’s practically another mortgage. not a wise investment at all unless you’re a multi-millionaire with cash to burn. not to mention that shopping complex there is a joke.

  40. IrvinePerson

    This place has a lifestyle that is more expensive than the simple lifestyle I prefer, but I can see why some people are willing to shell out more for it.

    But if you wanted to live the high rise lifestyle in OC, it is a much better economical sense to rent these bad boys instead of buying them. You get the same benefits with 70% less money burn.

    I think the arguments on the last Marquee post was focused too much on whether IrvineRenter was trying to say living there was worth it or not. IMO, living there has a unique lifestyle that costs more than the simple lifestyle that IrvineRenter and myself prefer, but the real argument should be how much you can save living this lifestyle by just leasing instead of buying these things.

  41. Gray

    The NYT doesn’t envy condo owners, too:
    Collateral Foreclosure Damage for Condo Owners

    Four years ago, she bought her first condo in a glassy new Miami tower when the building was filling up. Now nearly one in six residents in the 43-story building is battling foreclosure and their contributions to the building association are shrinking. Each of the remaining owners has had to chip in an extra $1,000 assessment and $50 more a month for cable and Internet. That is on top of Ms. Sanz’s $450 monthly maintenance fee.”

  42. Ken

    Don’t forget the lower-priced but still ritzy “Urban Condominium Living Experiences” under construction in both downtown Anaheim and around whatever they call Anaheim Stadium these days.

    Lower and wider compared to the Marquee, but should be suffering much the same fate once finished.

    “I go chop you dollah;
    I make you money disappear;
    419 just a game —
    You be the Mugu,
    I be the Masta!”
    — “I go Chop you Dollah”, Nigerian pop song

  43. Austin Real Estate

    Damn.. Everyday that I read this blog, I’m more and more glad I don’t live in California.

Comments are closed.