My House Is Worth More

Luxurious — Gwen Stefani

Some people still have not figured out there is an epic price crash taking place. When you look at the asking prices in Irvine, people are still of the opinion their houses are worth at or above peak prices. The fact is that prices have dropped more than 20% and they continue their downward descent. Even when confronted with neighboring properties selling for less, people lapse into denial and believe “my house is worth more.” I guess $15,000 in pergraniteel can add $150,000 in luxury value to a property. Who knew?

206 Tuberose Inside

Asking Price: $800,000IrvineRenter

Income Requirement: $200,000

Downpayment Needed: $160,000

Monthly Equity Burn: $6,666

Purchase Price: $556,000

Purchase Date: 7/24/2003

Address: 206 Tuberose, Irvine, CA 92603

Kool Aid Man

Beds: 3
Baths: 3
Sq. Ft.: 1,500
$/Sq. Ft.: $533
Lot Size: 999

Sq. Ft.

Property Type: Condominium
Style: Other
Year Built: 2003
Stories: 2 Levels
Area: Quail Hill
County: Orange
MLS#: P639605
Source: SoCalMLS
Status: Active
On Redfin: 5 days

Gourmet Kitchen Award Fabulous home at corner lot. Catheral elegant living room, formal
dining room with beautiful columns. Cozy family room with gold package
surround sound. Gourmet kitchen with walk-in pantry. Maple cabinets
with stainless steels. Double Oven, Top of The Line Granite Countertops
with Full Back Flash. Beautiful Custom Designed Draperies, Wood Blinds,
& Shutters. Two Tone Paint with Designer Touch Travertine on 1st
Floor & all Baths. French doors to private courtyard. Master suite
with walk-in closet. All Baths are Beautifully Upgraded W/Granite
Countertops, Maple Cabinets, Hardware Fixtures and Designed Travertine

What is that picture supposed to show me? The flash of the photographer? The adjacent house through the window? Are they that proud of the cabinets and window treatments? Perhaps its the plants?

Catheral elegant living room? Do you go there for a catheter? Maybe it will cure your Tuberose?

gold package
surround sound? Now I see where the value comes from. They have gold buried in the speaker system.

Full Back Flash?

Title Case, or Random capital Letters?

Notice the pergraniteel is mentioned several times.

Does that description scream “pretentious bull$hit?”

Here is the bullet-point recap:


  • The property was purchased in 2003, and the owner put 20% down.
  • On 10/20/2004 they refinanced with a 1% Option ARM for $650,000 taking out their downpayment money plus an additional $96,000.
  • On 4/29/2005 they refinanced with another 1% Option ARM for $650,000 and took out a stand-alone second for $90,000.
  • On 6/30/2006 they refinanced for $750,000 and opened a HELOC for $137,000.
  • On 10/31/2006 they refinanced again for $749,000 and opened a HELOC for $142,200.
  • On 2/26/2007 they refinanced one last time for $750,000 and opened a HELOC for $100,000.

It isn’t clear whether or not this last HELOC has been tapped. It is clear that with the $750,000 first mortgage that these people have taken out their initial equity plus an additional $196,000. If they have tapped the HELOC, then their total mortgage equity withdrawal is closer to $296,000. If this property sells for its WTF asking price, the first mortgage will be paid off which is why this asking price is what it is.

I had to laugh at the listing price history. This property was listed for $750,000 and then raised to $800,000 a few days later. I guess they didn’t want to give it away with all this frantic spring buying activity. This price is ridiculous at $533/SF in a neighborhood plummeting under the $400/SF mark. So what would this place successfully sell for in today’s market? The neighbor at 210 Tuberose recently sold for $715,000. Another neighbor at 224 Tuberose just went into escrow for $649,900. This is a major comp killer. It is an identical floorplan about 100′ away. For today’s seller to get their asking price, they must find a buyer stupid enough to pay $150,000 over recent comps, and do it with a large amount of cash. Lenders will only loan 80% of the recent $649,900 comp price, so the remainder will need to be cash. I hope their place is very luxurious.


Gwen StefaniWorking so hard every night and day
And now we get the pay back
Trying so hard saving up the paper
Now we get to lay back

Champagne kisses hold me in your lap of luxury
I only want to fly first class desires, you’re my limousine
So elegant the way we ride, our passion it just multiplies
There’s platinum lightning in the sky
Look I’m livin’ like a queen

This kind of love is getting expensive
We know how to live baby
We’re luxurious like Egyptian cotton
We’re so rich in love we’re rollin’ in cashmere
Got it in fifth gear baby
Diamond in the rough is looking so sparkly

Working so hard every night and day
And now we get the pay back
Trying so hard saving up the paper
Now we get to lay back

Sugar, honey, sexy baby
When we touch it turns to gold
Sensitive and delicate kinda like a tuberose
You know you are my treasure chest
It’s pure perfection when we kiss and
You’re my Mr.. I’m your Miss
Gonna be until we’re old

This kind of love is getting expensive
We know how to live baby
We’re luxurious like Egyptian cotton

Working so hard every night and day
And now we get the pay back
Trying so hard saving up the paper
Now we get to lay back

Luxurious — Gwen Stefani

51 thoughts on “My House Is Worth More

    1. mmg

      have to agree with Marian above, this should not sell for no more than 350k tops (all 1500 sf of it 😆 )

      but ofcourse I expect many to say IRVINE IS DIFFERENT, minimum wage here is 100 per hour 😆

  1. George8

    Only if the RE bubble had continued to inflate, the asking price would have been $1.1 million for 14% increase a year. And it would have been sold in a day with multiple offers over asking. The owners would have walked away with additional $250k from the closing table after paying off $850k in mortgage and HELOC. The price would have been $740/sf.

    At least, that was plan A.

    Well, plan B is not too bad either. The owner walks away with $196k-$296k already consumed in luxury. The lenders and other tax payers hold the bag.

    1. IrvineRenter

      I remember thinking in 2004 when prices were totally WTF, “Can you imagine what prices would be if this continued? People would be selling for $500/SF and tract homes would be going for over $1,000,000.” Then 2006 rolled around, and people were paying the laughably stupid prices I thought were impossible in 2004.

    2. Perspective

      “…owners would have walked away with additional $250k…”

      Still, what was the plan beyond that? If you believed (prior to 2006) that housing would appreciate in the double-digits indefinitely, then sure, you could get out with a cool $250k, but then what?

      Assuming an option ARM was used to make the payments affordable, then this borrower would be priced-out forever.

      1. George8

        The way the “free money” was printed back then without any documentation, the owner could have rolled the $250k into $2.5 millions real estate holding and become a small RE guru.. Soon, he would have refinanced for a $3.5 millions 1st and another cool 0.5 million HELOC…

        And, life is good and easy forever and ever.

  2. dave

    The market in Quail Hill must be better than I thought–it looks like they actually increased the price by $50K 😉

  3. NoWow!way

    I think it is pretty obvious that they parked renters in the unit. Absolutely no pictures that show the interior that would have all those pride of ownership upgrades on display.

    I remember going thru the models in Quail Hill and being astounded at the amount of activity and the high prices that people were willing to pay. Many shared the idea that this was entry housing and they’d sell it in a couple of years for a whole lot more and move up or cash out when their kid finished up in college.

    Some of those condos had three levels in them and the RE estate agent told me that grannies were buying those up. If that is not some kind of short term $$$ scheme cooking, then I’d like to meet those grannies and see how spry they are and how many years exactly did they plan on being a little mountain goat in their own homes.

    There are elevators that can be placed in older homes with staircases, but these units are not designed with that in mind.

    The three level thing did attract UCI students and beginning professionals because they could jointly purchase the unit and live on their own level for an illusion of privacy.

    Quail Hill didn’t do much in the way of negotiating with buyers back then and all those people who overpaid because they just wanted a piece of the action are in for some nasty travails ahead.

  4. Idrinkyourmilkshake

    I’ve been following Quail Hill for some time. Although I love the location, that area has some of the most WTF prices in all of Irvine. There must be oil sitting under that development or something. Reality will hit them eventually, but it is going to hurt a lot more the longer that community stays in denial.

    Don’t underestimate the power of Denial and ego. :coolgrin: Especially in a city that prides itself on image and perception.

    1. Priced_Out_IT_Guy

      I’m in the same boat. I always viewed quail hill as a good place for a starter home. The location is great and the layout and style reminds me of aliso viejo (when starter homes were going for 250K in ’94-’95).

      1. Priced_Out_IT_Guy

        So when I finally looked at prices in Quail Hill my jaw dropped. 650K for crappy 3 story condos? Pshhhhff. 300+ for association dues? That whole community is going to sink and stink.

        1. chuckle

          then you need to look somewhere else.. anaheim seems like the place for you PIG – PricedoutItGuy

          1. r€nato

            Indeed, all the hip people know that it’s smart to overpay for a ‘lifestyle’.

        2. zoiks

          Oh yeah Quail Hill is going down like the Titanic. The Shady Canyon people are going to be real glad they put those manned gates at the entrance at Shady Canyon Road – it’s only a matter of time before the foreclosure zombies of Quail Hill make it up the few blocks to where the high falutin’ types hang out.

          The gate guards should remember to aim for the heads of the zombies.

  5. fredsambo

    Even Ed McMahon drank the HELOC Kool-Aid!!!

    “ReconTrust, a unit of mortgage lender Countrywide Financial, on Feb. 28 filed a notice of default on a $4.8 million Countrywide loan backed by Mr. McMahon’s home. The notice was filed with the Los Angeles County Recorder’s Office but hasn’t previously come to light. According to the filing, Mr. McMahon was then about $644,000 in arrears on the loan. It isn’t clear whether Countrywide still owns the loan or is acting on behalf of investors who acquired it. Public records also show that Mr. McMahon had a separate home-equity line of credit from Countrywide of up to $300,000 secured by the same house…”

  6. Condor

    As our local Grand Dragon Cal has so slyly tried to point out, QH is a magnet for Asian buyers. A lot of them are from outside the U.S. With the weakness of the peso, uh, I mean dollar, QH must look absolutely dirt cheap for them. But eventually even FOBs must figure out that they can be living in Beverly Hill vs. Quail Hill for the price. Make no mistake, QH is going down, and the longer the slump is, the harder will be the fall.

    1. Genius

      Beverly Hills is way more expensive than Quail Hill, WAY more. If you can buy in BH proper for under $600/sqft I suggest you do it and flip immediately. The west side of LA county has leveled off, but not crashed (yet). You folks down there in Irvine don’t know how good you have it 😉

      1. idrinkyourmilkshake

        BH and the (West side) of LA is only holding up because there are so many people constantly moving there to follow pipe-dreams. While 90% of LA is going to shit and the gangs, everyone else is trying to live in the last live-able areas.

        It’s like rats running aways from a fire in a sewer. LA is BROKE. The city is falling apart. If
        God forbid, but Hollywood leaves, LA will officially become a 3rd world city like, New Orleans, and my favorite Detroit.

        I wonder if the OC is looking good to Hollywood now?
        We’ve got those giant airbases just waiting to become soundstages and studios!

  7. Jeffxandra

    The fact is that prices have dropped more than 20% and they continue their downward decent

    Uh… I think that’d be descent.

  8. No_Such_Reality

    $800,000. Probably $48,000 in commissions if it would sell for that.

    For the possible $48,000 commission. We get a photo of the outside. A picture of a valance. A cheap valance at that which they probably paid $200 for at Z Gallery that has $5 of cloth and workmanship in it. And a second picture of an outside which looks to be a completely different unit.

    Either way, $800,000 and the best they have to show is a picture of a valance.

  9. Jack Dawson

    This is just me but I always feel a little twinge for the realtor on these things.

    They have to pay the MLS listing fee, print the fliers and buy chicken wings at Ralphs for the broker open and all that.

    And then it expires.

    Like it had never been……….

    1. lawyerliz

      The realtor could certainly decline the listing at a price they deemed too high.

      Why aren’t they?

    1. Surfing in Newport

      I heard from my Great Aunt, who lived on the peninsula from the 1950’s, that they ended up doing a 2 for 1 sale on the lots on the newly built Lido Island. So it’s happened before in the OC 😉

      1. Chuck Ponzi

        Lido Island is one minor temblor away from liquifaction heaven.

        Good thing everything there is “leased land”. YOu can stop paying once it disappears.

        Chuck Ponzi

  10. minou

    I think they moved on from kool aid to crack. Note to idiot homeowners, your house is not an ATM.

  11. picflight

    [b]My Offer[/b]
    After giving this property a thorough look, my offer today is [b]$170,900.00[/b]. I believe this is what this property is worth.

  12. buster

    Kal – Now me offended two. Me asian peopel and bring many money to USOFA. By house from yu round eyes, save you buts so you can pay credit kard and by more aisan crap.

    Actually, I am Asian but find Cal’s humor funny. Hey, if you are a foreigner and want to hold yourself out to the public as a “professional” then you have an obligation to learn to speak and write correctly. In English. And the whole “PC” police stuff is way over done. People need to just get over themselves.

  13. Headless Unicorn Guy

    Nothing above $250,000.

    Or, since the owner still keeps INCREASING his asking price, he could rent it out. He’ll only need $8000 a month rent to break even; with 3BR, 3BA, and separate Family room, there shouldn’t be a problem with turning it into a Mexiflopper and putting four or more full Mexican FAMILIES in it to make that rent. That big pergraniteel kitchen could keep several five-gallon pots of menudo going at all times…

    1. camsavem

      Ha ha ha, that killed me.

      We live in Tustin and have a Mexican family(s) living in the SFR accross the street. I cant tell you who actually lives there because there are so many people, cars etc. coming and going.

      It seems like every other weekend its a birthday party complete with pinata, bouncer and 12 oz cans of bud.

      A couple of months ago they started cleaning out the garage (full of junk, no cars) and I thought for sure they were going to start hanging some sheetrock to make room for more!!!


  14. fensterlips

    Hey, wait a minute!

    Don’t we have highly paid real estate professionals on the case here?

    Don’t they use finely tuned tools to determine a realistic price that’s expected to result in a successful sale in a reasonable time at the best possible price?


    Does Holly just need a bunch of busy work to keep her off the street? without making any real money?

    If so, I think she should take a listing for everyone posting here starting at $2M…

    We can help with some lovely pictures too.

    On a serious note, this is one great reason why the bubble will take so long to deflate.

    Any agent valuing their time should honestly tell the owner what’s it’s worth and walk if the number doesn’t fit into the plans.

    This “vanity” listing is wasting 0’s and 1’s — and lots of everyones time.

    Some used car salesperson, I mean real estate professional she’s turning out to be.

  15. Major Schadenfreude

    OFF TOPIC: My friend recently had his HELOC reduced from 100K to 30K. He was shocked. Not that he was using it, but he likes to have it around just in case.

    1. IrvineRenter

      That “just in case” is usually the precursor to bankruptcy which is one of the reasons lenders are reducing them even on properties with plenty of equity.

      1. Formerbanker

        I can relate. Several weeks ago I posted that my HELOC was cut from $715K to $0… E-Trade ‘suspended all additional extensions of credit’ and since I had no balance outstanding the line was frozen at… yes, Zero. The letter informing me of the suspension said that E-Trade took this action based on its estimate of my home’s value using an AVM (Automatic Valuation Model). I called E-Trade to complain, because while the loan docs do allow them suspend or reduce additional advances if the value of the home declines significantly, the value is to be evidenced by an appraisal obtained by the lender (per the docs)… and an AVM is NOT an appraisal. I am familiar with the regulatory requirements so when the rep tried to give me the ‘Reg Z gives us the right to do this’ speech, I described why E-Trade was not compliant with its docs, and requested reinstatement. They refused my request to reinstate it unless I obtained an appraisal at my cost (which they reserved the right to dispute anyway, so it was no guarantee that any portion of the credit would be reinstated). Their compliance department was to call me back…but has not yet…and I called again today because I’d just forgotten about it until I read your post ! Now I’m riled up again. E-Trade won’t give out a phone # for the compliance department, and will not put you through to even leave a message after 5 pm EST. While I am not disputing that it’s likely my home’s value dropped since the date of the appraisal used for the loan, I am ticked that banks are so blatantly not complying with their own docs. For example, AVM’s work well for cookie cutter mass developments (no slight to Irvine) and not well in places like Laguna Beach where every house is different and attributes like ocean views impact value significantly. But more importantly, you’d think lenders struggling to survive would try to preserve the core, quality earnings they might derive from prudent users of HELOCS in a time when they need income more than ever to stay afloat. They could have run credit reports on borrowers that have good payment histories, relatively low usage of credit lines, etc. and reduced the line availability instead of putting a blanket freeze for credit worthy borrowers. At least your friend’s lender didn’t prohibit all additional advances, but instead reduced the available credit line based probably on recalculating an LTV. My lender was too lame to do even that (because if I cut 30% off the last appraised value, and limit the total LTV to 80%, I should still have more than $300K on a HELOC). For these banks that were so creative in offering financing, you’d think they could figure this out. Sorry for the ranting!

        1. zoiks

          Dude chill. Just get a HELOC somewhere else. And have a heart for those finance companies that are circling the drain (E-trade, Countryfried, etc.). 🙂

    2. whaaa

      “OFF TOPIC: My friend recently had his HELOC reduced from 100K to 30K”

      And this time next year, that $30k HELOC will be reduced to $2k or maybe $500.

  16. ET

    I am not sure that realtor knows what they are doing (or is this something that the owner listed). Who takes picture of a window treatment to sell a house? And while I am on the subject of window treatments, that is not a good one for the kitchen. That is one for the living room, dining room, or master bedroom.

  17. alan


    Maybe you should add the Zillow estimate to your listings for comparison.

    Zillow estimate is $577k and the other service was $615 so these owners are asking $300k over zillow. In the past Zillow was estimating on the high side but since their update last month they seem to be tracking much better with current sales.

    Don’t you think people look a zillow before they list?

  18. Greg

    Full Back Flash?

    I think they mean back splash:) Am I now entitled to a 6% comission?

  19. Homeseeker

    I feel bad for Holly (if she is the listing agent). I think someone should pay her the asking price of $800k plus another $100k on top of that for just gracing us with her presence, their first-born child and a promise to wash her car every Saturday. Priceless gems like her are getting rarer by the day…..appreciate them people…before they go extinct!

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