Gimme Shelter ** UPDATE 5 **

Update 5 — I received word that this property finally closed escrow at $1,300,000. The total loss was $529,000 after a 6% commission. They avoided a short sale, but they lost every penny of their equity. Go tell these owners that real estate always goes up…

Update 4 — The saga continues… This house was relisted again for $1,359,000. The total loss stands at $473,540. After putting $525,400 down, I imagine this seller did not think they would be risking a short sale. Their equity is all but gone…

Update 3 — The price is down to $1,499,000 and still no takers. Total loss stands at $341,940 after commissions.

Update 2 — This house was pulled from the MLS and relisted at $1,549,000. This seller must realize they are a bagholder and they are getting really motivated to save whatever they can of their equity. Right now, if they get their new asking price, they stand to lose $294,940 after a 6% commission.

Update 1 — The asking price on this house just dropped from $1,700,000 to $1,650,000. That is a motivated seller. If today’s seller gets their asking price, they stand to lose $203,000.

Oh, a storm is threat’ning
My very life today
If I don’t get some shelter
Oh yeah, I’m gonna fade away

Gimme Shelter — The Rolling Stones

Link to Video

Exhausted buyers, tightening credit, excessive inventory, foreclosures: Is the perfect storm threatening our real estate market? As far as finding shelter goes, you could do far worse than today’s property. It is a high-end house in Woodbury. So far the more expensive stuff in Woodbury has maintained its denial, but lately there have been a few properties showing a true desire for a transaction. Today’s seller has been on the market over 90 days, and they are lowering their price to try to move it.

33 Triple Leaf Front 33 Triple Leaf Kitchen

Old Asking Price: $1,700,000IrvineRenter

New Asking Price: $1,650,000

Purchase Price: $1,751,000

Purchase Date: 12/30/2005

Address: 33 Triple Leaf, Irvine, CA 92620

1st Loan $1,225,600
Downpayment $525,400

Beds: 4
Baths: 4.5
Sq. Ft.: 3,750
$/Sq. Ft.: $453
Lot Size: 6,348 sq. ft.
Year Built: 2005
Stories: 2
Type: Single Family Residence
View: Park or Green BeltRollback
County: Orange
Neighborhood: Woodbury
MLS#: S472319
Status: Active
On Redfin: 215 days
Unsold in 90+ days

From Redfin, “The Jewel of Woodbury! Ready to deal. Rich woods on floor, ceilings, p aneling etc. Gorgeous paint schemes, tile designs. All Viking Kitchen, open bright floor plan typical of Juliet’s Balcony homes. Surround sound, huge master bath, all bedrooms are suites. Designer window treatments. Across from a private park. Walk to parks and 6 pools, elementary school, shopping center. Woodbury’s amenities are incredible and the lifestyle resort like.”



If today’s seller gets their asking price, they stand to lose $153,000 in less than two years. They have the equity to absorb the blow, but it must still be quite disheartening.

I like Woodbury. It is at the cutting edge of master plan community design. The amenities are first rate, the architecture and landscaping is attractive, and the community center is inviting. It would be a great place to call home — at much lower prices.

134 thoughts on “Gimme Shelter ** UPDATE 5 **

  1. NanoWest

    Perfect storm is correct…………..maybe these “homeowners” should put some plywood over the windows and ride the storm out……in about 15 years this house should be worth about $1,700,000.

  2. cadaigo

    I know this is a bit off subject but 2 things:

    1. Jim Rogers ( the commodity guru) made a good point the other day. He said that when bubbles unwind you see some of the larger players go bankrupt. ie. mortgage bubble=new century, AHM, etc. He pointed out that not one large homebuilder has imploded yet. Anyone like to take a poll on which one or two it will be? If it’s Lennar that will cause some serious problems for the great park. Maybe there will be an airport there after all.

    2. A friend of mine said he heard a house in Newport Coast’s Costa Azul area was forclosed on and went for under 2 mil. These homes previously sold for the high 3s and low 4s. I know this is not Irvine but can someone who has access to this info confirm?

  3. mino2126

    They should of moved to N.C. Could have purchased a 4500sqft home, on atleast a one acre wooded lot, and been debt free….but then again that would of made sense.

  4. Mr Vincent

    Pay 1.7m and then have to walk to some community pool to go swimming? No thanks!

    For 1.7, it should have its own private pool and be lakefront.

    The inside is pretty nice and 800k sounds about right.

    “The Jewel of Woodbury! Ready to deal.” Two conflicting statements. If it really was a Jewel, then why do they have to deal?

  5. mark

    Take anything Jim Rogers says with a grain of salt. He’s been bearish on US stocks for 20 years, and still is. Listening to him is dangerous (that’s true for most TV talking heads, but especially for Jim Rogers).

  6. Beach Renter


    Another great post. According to Woodbury’s and TIC’s web sites, they will be opening up another neighborhood in the Southeast corner of Woodbury this month. It’s going to be called Andalucia (by California Pacific Homes), and the homes look similar to those in the Portisol neighborhood. Single family homes in the $800k – $900k range.

    You profiled the 3 br Portisol home in your “Land of the Rising Sun” post in March:

    They started asking $918k for 1708 sqft, and now they’re asking $865k. It’s been on the market since March and still hasn’t sold. My wife and I toured the home, which is immaculate, but it’s really not worth that much. Seriously, $865k for 1708 sqft?

    The similar homes coming in Andalucia is bad news for the Portisol prices, since the homebuilders seem to be more willing to lower their prices to what the market will bear. Does anyone else have info about Andalucia?

  7. patience2007

    I read another website where somebody claims to have been purchasing foreclosures since January and has made no less than $90k on each of his flips since then.

  8. wisewithmoney

    just looking at satellite map, it looks more like detached condo. inside is nice though but not for 1.7M.
    the builder must have made lots of profit

  9. Beinformed

    Love your website. If anyone is interested. I did a little calculating, regarding historical home appreciation and came up with this.

    Starting in the year 2001 (good year for homes)
    I calculated the annual percentage rate of appreciation for homes (I went with 4.5 w/inflation) and came up with the average median home today in CALIFORNIA should not be over $250,000. These sellers should take a good hard look at historical prices, historical appreciation and get off the river of denial and start dealing with reality. It is time to get off the roller coaster of craziness!!!! Who can afford a home that costs over 1 million??? Not many.

  10. Jim Jones aka Angry Renter

    A little off topic:,1,5479823.story?coll=la-headlines-california&ctrack=1&cset=true

    I have a real problem with these efforts to bail out people who were never qualified to become homeowners in the first place and also the folks who purchased pre bubble and then refi’d all their equity out. I have come to agree that the first group played a huge role in driving up home prices. Just let them return to renting.

  11. buster`

    Saw this one about six months ago when they wanted $1,850,000. Great upgrades inside, great location on cul-de-sac across from a small park. According to the agent, owners lived in it two months then moved to San Diego. Problem is, there are two identical properties for sale. They are in a race to the bottom with 36 Twiggs and 34 Shepard, both priced at $1,599,000 (for some reason, Twiggs shows as 400 sq. larger, but they really are identical.) Oops, Tripple Leaf, looks like you just ate another $101,000 in equity.

    Oh, 36 Twiggs did a “refresh” on the listing. Don’t be fooled, it’s been on the market since at least February and is vacant. I wonder how long before all of Triple Leaf’s equity evaporates into the mortgage meltdown ether?

  12. lendingmaestro


    Is Woodbury on Jeffery or Sand Canyon? I don’t venture up towards the 5 that often.

  13. Sue

    Bernanke’s Strategy of Increasing Liquidity Survives (Update2)

    Some financial markets offer encouraging signs to policy makers. The Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index has held the gains posted on Aug. 17, when the benchmark had its biggest one-day jump in four years. Lenders are also starting to write more “jumbo” mortgages as the market for loans above $417,000 improves, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said yesterday.

    “When we look at the markets over the last couple of days, I’ve been encouraged to see signs that there’s more liquidity in the jumbo” mortgage market, Paulson said in an interview with CNBC. “We’re looking at all the markets, and you know, obviously, the equity markets, the sovereign-debt markets, the high quality credit markets, are all fully operational.”

  14. lendingmaestro

    Thanks! I may cruise up there and check it out. I hear more positives about the actual area itself then negatives.

    Now prices are a totally different story

  15. CalGal

    Woodbury has become the new Asian community of Irvine. I have a friend who lives there and she feels bad for her neighbor – he’s the only caucasian in the entire neighborhood.

  16. carl

    I sold out of Irvine and moved to NC. Got a 4000 sq ft home on 2/3 acre lot. Not quite debt free, but almost there! When I’m coming back to Cali I’ll have bags of cash.

  17. ocrebel

    can anybody tell us that in current market condition how much income is needed to qualify for 1.7M loan. and how many actually earn that much money in Irvine. thanks

  18. Don from the Tanning Salon

    Gimme Shelter, of course, details in part the horrible events of the Altamont Free Concert of December 1969. A volatile combination of willfull ingnorance, misguided hippie idealism, polypharmacy, overcrowded conditions, and Hell’s Angels providing security at a concert headlined by the Rolling Stones led to the front and center stabbing of a young man named Meredith Hunter. The song being played was “Under my thumb,” and the moment of Mr. Hunter’s murder is widely considered the symbolic end of the era of the 60’s. Readers of this blog are welcome to draw their own parallels to the Real Estate Market….,

  19. awgee

    I would speculate that not too many buyers of homes over $1 mil take out loans for alot more than $1 mil. To do so shows a bit of desperation for status. Only the interest on the first $1 mil of loan amount qualifies for the mortgage interest deduction. And most taxpayers who have the income to pay on a $1 mil loan are limited on the amount of mortgage interest deduction by high income pahse outs and AMT.

  20. CapitalismWorks

    I had a guy cleaning my carpets the other day who provided some insight into the local real estate market. He stated that construction on Orchard Hills has completely halted. Can anyone verify this statement? He also said that his business was down considerably.

  21. lendingmaestro

    Accredited just cut 62% of the workforce. The remaining employees are being sent home with one month’s paid vacation. All loans have been halted.

    BNC just closed shop and will be laying off 1,200 people today alone.

  22. CapitalismWorks

    OK, the lending side is a total disaster. No surprise there. Bloomberg had it that 100 home mortgage lenders have gone under since the beginning of 2006. My question is how is the impact being felt in other parts of the home market (ahem the builders, painters, appliances, etc.)

    I heard that the installed price of granite counters has gone through the floor.

    I mentioned Orchard Hills previously, because this is a IC development that was supposed to be along the line of Shady Canyon, though not quite as exclusive. If they have stopped developing in the area, which was due to start selling in late 2008, then Irvine Company is implicitly telling us that they too expect a protracted downturn in the market. However, I only have the word of a carpet cleaner.

    On the other hand is appears work on the Laguna Crossing development is continuing apace.

  23. rkp

    I go there on business one week a month. I would never want to live there. There are some beautiful old neighborhoods in Charlotte and Raleigh and some awesome small towns but the summers are really hot and most of the areas I have been to look run down.

  24. Rocker

    Well, Bloomber is full of “shorts” and “bulls”, so very hard to know who is telling the truth.

    I saw in CNBC a hedge fund manager that was 100% up YTD in his fund because shorting stocks related with the subprime mess.

    The right moment to short everything: builders, lenders, even Harley Davidson was 02/07/07 when HSBC UK reported the increase in his loss prevention fund, nothing was the same after that.

  25. granite

    OK, the “owners” live in this house for 2 months and leave for San Diego. I’m willing to bet they didn’t turn one knob on their 10 knob kitchen stove!

  26. Sue

    Steps eyed to prevent foreclosure
    Lenders says they’re trying to help shaky buyers, but activists want more action.

    Often, said Ed Delgado, a senior vice president at San Francisco-based Wells Fargo, troubled borrowers are reluctant to give up cell phones and satellite TV to work out financial solutions.

  27. AudioPete

    So anyone brave enough to buy some Countrywide stock? IF CWide survives it might be a risk that pays off. Since the announcement CWide stock jumped 20% in after-hours trading.

  28. Erin

    I live in a suburb of Raleigh. Gorgeous community. Yeah-it’s hot here and we are looking to move back to San Diego to be closer to family. BUT, we have some of the top schools in the nation, low crime, traffic is NOTHING like california, clean city, brand new large homes everywhere that you can buy without having to take out ARM loans, or older historic homes if that’s more your style etc… It’s a great place to raise a family if you can’t afford socal home prices.

    Run down is not how I would describe my area at all. Lots of green grass, trees, new homes… There are still large, beautiful farms with cows out to pasture. Sure there are older places in the Raleigh area, just like there are old, run down places in So Cal.

    My MIL lives in LA and it gets hotter there than it does here. The only difference is the humidity we have here in NC.

    With that said we’ll be moving back soon and might actually be able to buy a home this time!

  29. k.o.

    Actually, Woodbury is off of both. You could say that the “front” side of Woodbury (the main park and clubhouse), is closer towards Jeffrey. But the “back” side of Woodbury does go along Sand Canyon, where Woodbury Court apartments are located. The perpendicular streets to Jeffrey and Sand Canyon are Trabuco and Irvine Blvd (meaning that all of Woodbury is located in this square of streets).

  30. Lost Cause

    I know this is an Irvine blog, but why the idea that brand new everywhere is better? And those homes in NC don’t appreciate — so much for the bags of money. Living in the Bible Belt has its own unique culture. And really look carefully at the schools, especially compared to Irvine. Can I have my grain of salt now?

  31. BLT Bill

    Several years ago my business was involved with some of the
    board members at Countrywide. When the CFO and the Bank President just walked away about a year ago it was the writing
    on the wall. From that point forward the insider trading on this
    equity has been beyond anything I have ever seen before.
    Then last week. They burn thru 11 Billion. Then this week.
    Another 2 Billion from BA at 7+%. And now we are looking at next week. The stock is at 21 for the weekend. But I smell the same
    smell that was around when New Century imploded. This is just a whole bigger dog when it goes paws up. Unless the Fed drops rates or BAC does something dumb. The dog has had his day.
    When the CEO goes on CNBC and says the crud that he did
    about his own company after he has dumped about 400 Million
    in insider options should be all you need know. Next week.
    Low teens.

  32. Laura Louzader

    Dear SoCal buds and all others-

    Here is the linke to the Petition Taxpayers Against Wall street and Mortgage bailout, if you have not already signed it,

    We have to stave this off. Here’s to restoring affordability to the SoCal and other overpriced housing markets.

    Here’s to restoring personal responsibility and recognition of the risk/reward tradeoff.

  33. Sue

    Inland homeowners on foreclosure tightrope

    Herrera said when one of her clients started house hunting in February, he pre-qualified for financing with nothing down and a rate fixed for 50 years in the mid 7 percent range, even though he had a recent bankruptcy and could not easily document his income because he is a self-employed carpenter.

    A few weeks ago when that client had picked his dream house in Riverside, Herrera said, the best mortgage he could get had an interest rate in the high 8 percent range and could adjust even higher in five years. It also required a 5 percent down payment.

    But Herrera said that mortgage product also was discontinued before her client could secure it and so he now is considering a mortgage that will require him to make a 10 percent down payment. To qualify, he will also have to improve his credit by waiting until October to apply, when his bankruptcy will be two years behind him.

    By then, Herrera said, she fears that mortgage program also could be history.

  34. Major Schadenfreude

    “…a mortgage that will require him to make a 10 percent down payment.”

    Oh no! The horror!

  35. arraya

    They probably got that down payment from their last house, relized where the market was going and now want out. Must be stressfull…

  36. IrvineRenter

    When people like this are eliminated from the market as competing bidders, the rest of us will be able to buy a house we can truly afford.

  37. Fofa Fofod

    The North Carolina idea is a great one! Do you people have any friends you can lure to NC and get them off the Cali freeways?

  38. ph7balanced

    The mere mention of bailout sickens me. I will only support the bailout if the government is ready to give me a bonus of 2 times the amount of bailout for me being financially responsible.

  39. Sue

    Foreclosures Force Britons to Ponder Shift to Fixed Rates

    Facing foreclosure, and determined to avoid moving in with her mother, Ms. Whittaker found a way out in an increasingly popular arrangement here known as a “sale and rent back.”

    A private company bought her home, allowing her to avoid foreclosure; then the company rented the house back to Ms. Whittaker and her partner and they did not even have to move.

    The catch is that the company paid the couple less than the value of their apartment.

  40. Laura Louzader

    Why oh WHY are all the politicians both on the local and national level pushing bailouts for failing homeowners and secuflippers when every poll taken nationwide indicates that the majority of voters in almost every locale are vehemently opposed to a bailout for reasons related to the bad economics and intrinsic injustice of it?

    From what I’m seeing and hearing and reading, 80% of the electorate is passionately opposed to bailouts for greedy, delusional, self indulgent buyers.

    Certain presidential candidates, especially, need to take the temperature of the electorate before they promote bailouts. Do they listen to people out here at all?

  41. Laura Louzader

    If the proposed bailout passes, can I get bailed out of my CC debt and then go buy a $500K condo and get bailed out of my oversized debt on that?

    Will casino gamblers also get bailed out of their debts and losses as well?


    Then the bailout shouldn’t happen.

    We have to be pretty far gone morally and in the matter of a basic grasp of economics also, for the bailout proposal to get as far as it has.

  42. Stupid

    I used to be 100% opposed to a bailout.

    But then, after reading about various govt. help for homeowners programs in the past (ex. FHA formed to help fight off the Great Depression – – and persuade investors it was ok to lend to homeowners) that actually worked to help the economy as intended … I’m not as sure now.

  43. Sue

    Jack Haynes, executive vice president with Countrywide Home Loans, said lenders are having a hard time interesting investors in purchasing the mortgages they make.

    “Things are stacking up on everybody’s shelf,” Mr. Haynes told builders at the show. “At a certain point that will strangle the mortgage industry if it doesn’t get some relief.”

  44. tonye

    As I noted elsewhere. Woodbury as a whole is woefully overpriced. It’s on the flats, far from the ocean. As a neighborhood, it has absolutely no geographical interest and nothing to anchor it.

    At least Portola is on a hillside, even if its like in a different county.

    TR has the hill, TRidge has views and even Quail Hill sits on rolling hill elevated above the freeway. There are homes in TR selling for less per square foot, and even TRidge and Quail Hill are on a race to the bottom.

    There never was a “High End” east of the 405 in Irvine. These people were fools to buy there and now they are suffering.

  45. Larrygg

    It looks like a nice house but $1.65 Mil? Even if it was priced at half of that price there would be very few that could swing the financing with todays tight lending standards.

  46. rocksyan99

    I’m sure many folks who live east of the 405 would and can argue that you are full of it. Not everyone wants to live near the ocean. I for one fail to see the allure of the ocean with it’s overcast and fog most of the year. Then there is the traffic and the constant partying and drug culture along the coast. No thanks. To say people were fool to buy east of the 405 could be the stupidest quote I’ve read on this board, ever.

  47. ice weasel

    The part of North San Diego County I would like to relocate to is loaded with fluff such as this listing. (putting on my gramps Simpson hat) There was a time when the phrase “million dollar home” meant something. This house is the perfect example of something that isn’t “worth” a million dollars to anyone unless that million dollars cheap money. Being able to spit on your neighbor from your bedroom window is not an attribute of a million dollar home. At least not where this home is located. Hence the appropriateness of Tonye’s comment on the 405. You may not like the ocean but it does add something to the value of a property for most people. Drop a nice home in a clustered neighborhood inland and you have a fiasco.

  48. Charles Wilson

    What stuck out at me about this house is the tiny size of the lot. Here you’ve got a 3,700 sq ft house on a 6,300 sq ft lot. Good God, that’s an exercise in claustrophobia!

    Back in the mid-’90s I had a 3,400 sq ft place on 3/4-acre (32,600 sq. ft., about 5 times the land under this overgrown shack) in a part of the Boston area (onthe Scituate-Cohasset line, right neat the ocean) that makes Irvine, California look like a Wal-Mart parking lot. (Well, actually, Irvine looks like a Wal-Mart parking lot anyway, but that’s a different discussion.)

    I paid $390,000 for the place and had to put another $15,000 into it for a few things, i.e., a deck, pave the driveway, an in-ground sprinkler system. Yeah, I know prices have gone up (Zillow says my old place is worth $940K now), but $1.65 million for the Irvine place? What drugs are people on?

    Oh, and don’t tell me about a park across the street or in back. I had that along with my 3/4-acre.

  49. doug r

    There’s a reason they shoot stuff like The Crow and Mario Brothers in Carolina-the labor laws. How often does a major hurricane blow through, anyway?

  50. Gray

    NYT reports about Countrywide customers facing foreclosure:

    Looks like Countrywide’s support for customers isn’t really impressive. Especially when compared to other lenders. But avoiding foreclosure, whenever possible, should be in the interest of all lenders:
    “A 2003 Federal Reserve study found that estimated losses on foreclosures range from 30 percent to 60 percent of the outstanding loan balance, as a result of legal fees, lost interest payments and property costs. Countrywide said it incurred $600 million in losses on loans it holds in the first six months of 2007.”

    On the other hand, for avoiding foreclosure, someone has to come up with the difference between mortgage interest rates houseowners can afford and the interest rates on the market now. And Countrywide seems to be financially too hard pressed to do that.

  51. Gray

    “By Marlene Bridges, REALTOR® Representing Buyers and Sellers in homes purchases and sales in South Orange County, California”

    Hmm, when she urges potential homewoners to buy now, and does so as a professional, isn’t she liable if this advice will turn out to be desastrous for all the buyers acting on it?

  52. Gray

    Refinance, short sale or foreclosure. Great. I guess most here know that without your story.
    But wait, isn’t there are fourth choice? Giving back the house to the lender (I forgot that latin name for that) and walk away? Afaik this at least saves your credit rate.

  53. lawyerliz

    I just went back to the archives, and read Irvine Renter’s first post.

    One response opined that the sub prime foreclosure rate would go up only a few points and so what?

    Sardonic laughter here, and also a few tears.

    The conclusion is that things will be far, far worse than the most
    gloomy prediction in Feb, 2007.

  54. Gray

    I also have to ask if refinancing is a good idea, when the core of the problem is that the buyer paid a frivolously inflated price at the height of the bubble. Refinancing simply comes down to throwing good money after the bad. It would only result in the buyer paying much more than the property is even remotely worth. Wouldn’t it be better to call it quits, move away, and wait for prices to level out before trying it again?

    Of course, this isn’t advice a mortgage broker like you likes to hear.

  55. Gray

    Sry for double posting, comments didn’t show on my browser. I suspected it was because of a WordPress spam filter, prohibiting comments with more than one link. Would be nice if one of the IHBers would simply delete the ‘surplus’ posting. Thx!

  56. Gray

    Am I right that this guy was talking about tax foreclosures (link, pls!)? That’s a totally different kind of business than foreclosures by mortgage lenders, that only result in the sale of bank-owned property. In tax foreclosures, the property is sold in an auction, starting at low prices. You might really make a good deal there sometimes.

  57. No_Such_Reality

    It depends on where. Some States, like Minnesota, have enacted a fair market value law. Basically, if the State takes the property via tax default, they get it appaised and have to sell it for the appraised value.

    Other States do tax certificates. Florida is one of these States and they do a fairly good job of putting their information on the web.

    And other places, like Orange County, have system designed to favor the old boys of the game or automatically go to the State.

  58. lawyerliz

    This guy is right on, in the first part of his analysis. It’s just what I have been thinking, but expressed far better than I could say it.

    The last part, the Rooseveltian bail out. There’s no use discussing the philosophy of it, because the problem is too big to be solved without excruciating pain. The problem makes the S&L crisis and the RTC look like a walk in the park.

    If we stopped the war, and slashed the defense dept’s budget in half, you might get close to having enough money. Maybe.

    Neither of those things are gonna happen.

    The problem is somewhere above a Trillion dollar problem, and maybe many trillions.

  59. lawyerliz

    Re: Florida tax sales:

    Yep you can make a bunch of money but—

    I am presently doing a quiet title on a tax sale.

    The courts are making it harder for the tax buyers to keep the property.

    My defendant is saying he didn’t know, so he should keep the property. He’s getting 5 times his purchase price, bidding was so vigorous. There’s no mtg.

    He didn’t pay taxes from 2001 thru 2005, except he did pay 2003. Claims that was a mistake, should have been 01.

    He didn’t bother to notify the tax authorities of his address. His name is spelled wrongly on the deed.

    And get this–his real estate/mtg broker buddy was supposed to pay the taxes, and didn’t, exept for 2003 (maybe) The owner never checked even once to see if this was happening. The buddy says he tried to pay the taxes, in 06, but has no proof except a copy of a check. The broker buddy claims he didn’t know that the check (for more than $16,000) didn’t clear his bank, because he never balanced his acct!!!

    And the judge feels sorry for the owner and tried to persuade me we should settle this by my guy getting all his money back (but no profits) and just deeding the property over. I’m planning on an appeal, tho we haven’t had a final hearing.

    My client and I honestly thought the owner was dead. Frankly, I would have advised to wait a couple of years to quiet title had I known this would have happened. My client wanted to start building a house on this property, and strangely enough, still does. It’s for his brother to live in.

    Talk about people not taking the consequences of stupidity.

  60. westparker

    1) It’s wishful thinking (and I’m still wishing) they turn El Torro into an Airport. OC is so underserved that an airport would make tremendous sence. Too bad the NIMBY types don’t see it that way… (and yes, I live in Irvine)

    2) To the reply about Jim Rodgers being Anti-US: Considering what the foreign markets have returned in US dollar terms, I’m sure his investments are up 300 to 500% more than the US market. His calls on Gold and the Dollar have been right on this year. I’m not a fan of his politics either, but he is a good investor.

  61. ipoplaya

    I agree, Woodbury is overpriced, and will come down. It came online at the peak of the market (or just past) so it got bid up grossly. The geography is nothing to speak of, but I disagree that it has no anchor. It’s built around a large and very nice commons area and brand new elementary school. Not many places in Irvine where you can buy a new/newer house and get to walk a short distance to an elementary school in IUSD.

    The recreational amenities are great there and it has more of a “community” feel that other newers area in Irvine IMHO. If the new elementary school was traditional vs. year-round, we’d consider Woodbury… The hills of TR are nice, but I’d rather be closer to the office and Irvine’s core. I see TR as somewhere to buy in when the kids go off to college and there is time to appreciate those views.

  62. tonye

    My kids walked to TR Elementary and now Uni. They did take the bus to rancho.

    As far as the partying west of the 405… You gotta be kidding, right? Last time I checked, there were no homes rented to college students anywhere in my neighborhood.

    Also, while it’s plenty hot and cold out there, the weather is significantly milder towards the coast.

    As far as proximity to the core of Irvine… let me see.. TR is closer to City Hall than all of those homes way out by Jeffrey, out there by the ISUD bus depot. That used to be the end of the world when we go to get breakfast at the “old town”.

    And offices… well that depends, eh? I work off the 405 so that pretty much solves my proximity to work issue.

  63. tonye

    Wait.. that’s insulting. There are no K-Mart or Walmarts in Irvine.

    Now if you had said a Costco parking lot, well that would be somehow more appropriate. ( Bulk quality at a discount ).

  64. mike mechanic

    Yes. Move to NC. It has everything that SoCal has, except crime, expensive housing, and anything bad. It’s all good in the NC!

  65. lawyerliz

    This is still a very pretty house, and still way beyond the means of all but say the upper 1%. Who would want something much more fabulous.

  66. lawyerliz

    You mean deed in lieu of foreclosure, and no it doesn’t save your credit, altho it is marginally better than a foreclosure.

  67. woodbury house renter

    re: ethnic demographics of Woodbury: yes there are more people of Asian decent then in a typical American community – however there is actually a good mix of all backgrounds with some underrepresentation. Stop by the beautiful Woodbury elementary campus if you want to get a feel for it, amazing how kids don’t seem to notice the differences. If only we could learn from them.

  68. woodbury house renter

    absolutely agree, however with the center of gravity now being the town center I am starting to feel like the Sand Canyon side is the “front” and Jeffrey is the “back”, especially since the land between the Jeffrey open space trail and the houses on Vintage remains undeveloped.

  69. woodbury house renter

    irvine vs. boston: comes down to incomparable weather and people that understand the letter ‘r’.

  70. not_foolish

    I know bit more about 33 triple leaf. Because I have met the broker and I have seen the house. This house was first listed at 1,899,000 in March. There was another house in next street 34 shepard and that was also listed by same broker for 1,850,000. So I have seen both houses. The 34 Shepard kept reducing the price from 1,850,000 upto 1,499,000; but didn’t sell and I think finally he took it off the market. The 33 triple leaf is a sad story it was bought buy a young vietanames couple with small two children. The was model from the builder John laing homes.The guy was young lawyer, but sadly he died of heart attack in his office. So the lady with kids is living in San Dieago with family. I asked the broker why she is selling and broker needs to disclose any death or anything that happened in the house. So it is a sad story that this house has.

  71. not_foolish

    Besides this is a south facing house. Many asians don’t like south facing house. They prefer east or north but west is ok not south. Don’t bash me for this information.

  72. hmmmm

    I also know about the ethnicity of the owners. I just didn’t know the details. That is sad if it’s true about the young couple.

  73. not_foolish

    Yes, it is true. You feel sadness when you enter that house. I have been there inside that home with broker. You could see lot of toys and children pictures and Wedding picture etc. Home looked like somebody left in a hurry
    When I saw a big picture of the guy kept like memorium and also saw the same guy in the wedding picture, I asked the broker whats going on? Then only he told me the guy died with 7 months of buying the house. I told him he should have disclosed that before I come to see the house. Broker says he is required to disclose only if I’m ready to make an offer

  74. GrewUpInIrvine

    I’d probably bite if it got down to 1.1m. But then again, that’s just about my limit. Love the floors. Surprised that they didn’t go with marble/granit counters however.

  75. Judicious1

    “Will consider lease” in the Redfin ad – might be a better way to go for the next few years.

  76. Judicious1

    Regardless of what happened, and I agree it is a very sad story, the neighbors won’t like what it does to the value of their homes when it eventually sells at a drastically reduced price.

  77. Doofus

    Homeownership for me, but not for thee! I guess that would be the exclusive, country club version of the American Dream?

  78. Mooser

    “Ready to Deal” means, methinks, that they will sell you the place for almost nothing, as long as you don’t tell what it was and allow them to pretend they got their asking price.

  79. Mooser

    Many asians don’t like south facing house.

    I’m real fussy about which way the windows are oriented myself. Windows not oriented with at least some regard to the suns track in the different seasons can just about ruin a house up here in Warshington. It may not be as critical down there, come to think of it. If the windows are right it’s cooler in the summer, warmer and brighter through the dark months. If they’re wrong the house is a dark hole all year, ‘cept when it bakes in the summer.

  80. nainam

    Yep, we downsized a couple of years ago into a condo-villa in Florida and are now wondering how long we can afford it. (I’m not talking about a posh place, it’s 20 years old and we paid under $300,000. Most of the people here are in their 80’s, ready for assisted living, but they can’t get their villas sold.)

    We are hanging in there but every year the condo fees go up as does the real estate tax. And we are in our 60’s so I would guess our “fixed income” is better than those 80-year-olds.

    There is a massive exit of senior citizens from Florida and a massive inventory of $1 million-plus condos that no one can sell and no one dares to buy. It’s a scary mess, even at the high end. And it’s pretty scary down at our low end, too.

    Still, just speaking for my husband and myself, we find that our “little” villa more than meets our needs. We don’t even use our living and dining rooms—our kitchen/family room and our bedroom are the only places we use (besides our two baths, which are nothing to write home about.)

    The trouble with the maga-mansions and the mega-condos is that it takes a LOT of work to keep them clean! My husband and I, once a week, can scrub our small space from top to bottom. So, we are for the moment very happy, unless the cost of living goes up so high that we can’t even afford our little villa. I kind of think that is going to happen.

    Thank God we have children in Canada who are residents and ready, willing and able to bring us up there. Hate to leave Florida but you just watch, the American elderly won’t be able to afford Florida anymore so it will become a German/British/Canadian resort.

    It’s at times like this that I’m so glad I travelled all over the world when it was a safe and easy thing to do. Nice memories and sure, I wish I had ended up being mega-rich. On the other hand…living in Florida in a l villa is delightful for the time being, and then there’s always Canada.

  81. Mark Andresen

    Hasn’t every civilization walked away from their homes and communities when things got bad? And have we hit the worst yet?….

  82. Major Schadenfreude


    A suggestion: If you put the date right next to the word “Update”, we will see at a glance the progression of price drops over time.

    Keep up the great work!

  83. vernonlee

    Couldn’t reach the article you reference – link broken.

    I don’t know what the solution is. And I agree with the sentiment behind what you say about letting people pay the consequences of bad actions.

    Trouble is, the more this spirals down, the more homeowners who didn’t do anything wrong are drawn into the funnel. If I had done the smart thing, gradually building up equity in a home I could actually afford, only to see my neighbors’ bad decisions wreck the value of my house such that I was stuck as much as they were, I wouldn’t think a hard landing was fair – because it would mean a hard landing for me too.

    So who knows what should be done.
    But the rationale for action* is to stanch the bleeding that will kill the whole patient, not just let a limb go.

    *actually, the rationale for intervention probably includes a very strong interest in protecting financial systems and lenders.

  84. George8

    I guess not. The message is out there even Irvine is crashing – the higher the worse. This one was built and bought almost at the exact peak – buyers are waiting 40-50% from the top – that is $900k- $1.1 M on this one.

  85. lawyerliz

    Nainam–haven’t you applied for homestead? If you did, your property taxes are capped at 3% a year, which is affordable. Now your taxes will be going down a bit due to the change in law. You can apply for 08 before the beginning of March. If you didn’t apply for previous years it is too late. But you can contest your valuation if you apply before the deadline. You will get a document in Sept which says “This is not a bill.”
    At the bottom it will give the deadlines. Cost $15.00. You need to bring some proof.

    Also, if you pay your own insurance, you can get an inspection and maybe lower your insurance. If it’s in the HOA fees, maybe you can get the association to have it done and lower everybody’s fees.

  86. MacInTheBox

    Actually, it’s the reverse. Most Asians don’t like north-facing houses, because during Winter, wind blows from the north while the sun is on the south side, and vice versa. That tends to make the house colder during winter and hotter during summer. I think that part of Feng Shui makes sense.

  87. JustLooking

    I was in the neighborhood so I dropped by the open house today. Agent says that there’s 5 offers on the house. About time… although I’d bet there all major $ below the reduced asking price. I’m thinking somewhere in the $1.2M range.

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