First Your Equity, Then Your Credit ** Update 1**

The price of this property was just reduced to $550,000. That puts it 34% off its peak asking price.

Double Trouble — Otis Rush

Lay awake at night,
Oh so low, just so troubled.
Can’t get a job,
Laid off and I’m having double trouble.

Financial markets have no mercy. They take no prisoners, except maybe those that are now imprisoned in their homes. The financial markets do not care what the prices mean to you or to anyone else for that matter. If falling house prices costs people money, ruins their credit, and forces them into bankruptcy, well, that is what can happen when people speculate in financial markets. There are likely many people losing sleep over their losses in real estate and the stock market while simultaneously worrying about their job. These are not carefree times.

This too shall pass. Despite all the turmoil, the sun will rise tomorrow, and it will be another beautiful day in Southern California. People will meet, fall in love, get married, start families, and look to buy a house. Hopefully, they will chose to rent for a while instead.

Enjoy the new Suzanne Researched This video, now with subtitles.

Asking Price: $629,000IrvineRenter

Income Requirement: $157,250

Downpayment Needed: $125,800

Monthly Equity Burn: $5,241

Purchase Price: $830,000

Purchase Date: 2/27/2006

Address: 3562 Myrtle St., Irvine, CA 92606

Beds: 4
Baths: 3
Sq. Ft.: 2,277
$/Sq. Ft.: $276
Lot Size: 5,200

Sq. Ft.

Property Type: Single Family Residence
Style: Contemporary/Modern
Year Built: 1973
Stories: 2 Levels
Area: Walnut
County: Orange
MLS#: S547000
Source: SoCalMLS
Status: Active
On Redfin: 51 days

Single Family Home located in a desirable neighborhood!!! Home features
desirable floor plan, four bedrooms, three baths. Master bedroom with
walk-in closet and balcony. Main floor bedroom and bath. Cathedral
ceiling. Granite counter tops in kithen and bathrooms. Cabinets
throughout. Custom shutters, built-ins and much more.


Wow! A desirable neighborhood and a desirable floorplan…

Today’s featured property is interesting to me because of the asking price history.

Date Price
Sep 09, 2008 $725,000
Oct 30, 2008 $629,000

The house was purchased on 2/27/2006 for $830,000. The owner used a $663,920 first mortgage, a $82,990 second mortgage and a $83,090 downpayment. The total debt on the property is $746,910. When they listed the property for $725,000, they knew their equity was gone, but they might have been able to pay off the second mortgage and salvage their credit, and the first mortgage would have been made whole. The short sale might have been easier with only the second mortgage involved. However, they were unable to find a buyer at that price, so they lowered the price again to a price that was going to cost them their equity and their credit score. If this property sells for its asking price, and if a 6% commission is paid, the total loss on the property will be $238,740. A sale at this price represents a 24% discount from the peak.

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



Lay awake at night,
Oh so low, just so troubled.
Can’t get a job,
Laid off and I’m having double trouble.

Hey hey, to make you’ve got to try.
Baby, that’s no lie.
Some of this generation is millionaires;
I can’t even keep decent clothes to wear.

Laugh at me walking,
And I have no place to go.
Bad luck and trouble has taken me;
I have no money to show.

Double Trouble
— Otis Rush

40 thoughts on “First Your Equity, Then Your Credit ** Update 1**

  1. granite

    Love the new video. It was only a matter of time until someone skewered it.

    Fortunately my wife didn’t pressure me when I told her the consequences (ie. she couldn’t go shopping).

    1. Forbear

      Thanks for the shopping reference, I could have used that one last night when my wife was trying to convince me it’s time too buy. All the charts and statistics were going in one ear and out the next.

      1. Xina

        It’s strange – I’m in the opposite position. I have been trying to hold off my husband from buying a house in the current market! We just had a baby last month, too, and could really use extra space, but I want to make sure we’re in a better financial state before we consider buying.

        I’m not a friend of Suzanne.

    2. camsavem

      Personally I think women today love to bury their husbands in debt because it keeps them at work all day and they can do spin classes, mani-pedi’s and lunches.

      It has been like a competition…..which wife (and kids) get to live the most pampered lifestyle while the husband/dad/idiot kills himself to keep everyone “oufitted”.

      1. Mel

        Please. Maybe some women behave this way, but certainly not all, and probably not even most, even in Orange County. I, and plenty of the women I know, work extremely hard making more than, or equal to, our husbands. I can’t stand this kind of generalization. If these are the kinds of women you know, then you are probably choosing to associate with them. Quit being a martyr and go meet women of substance.

      2. GinINdiana

        If we followed my husband’s thoughts, we’d have moved to So Cal, bought a big house and have already lost it. As it is I put over $1000 extra dollars per month to the mortgage on our farm in Indiana, keep the house cooler in winter or warmer in summer to save $, buy no name brand foods unless they are heavily couponed or discounted, grow our own veggies and fruit, and I made him quit his stupid country club (which saves us even more to go towards the mortgage.)
        I also instilled in my 19 year old DAUGHTER a severe sense of thrift and miserliness necessary to rein in a spendthrift husband.

      3. brea

        Here is the flip side. If you asked the wife, she would say that she would rather have the husband/father around and participating, but if all he wants to be is the breadwinner, then she may as well go shopping.

        Maybe they are just all victims of the imbalance of housing cost to income.

  2. NoWowway

    That is one of the largest floor plans in the College Park neighborhood. My, how the mighty have fallen.

    I wonder if that 2006 buyer was actually making $250k+ a year to have qualified for that property in the first place!


  3. NoWowway

    That pricing history is pretty drastic, too.

    Nearly $100K lopped off the price in just a month.
    Is that monopoly money?

    1. Shevy

      :coolsmile: I’ve been referring to the money people thought they had in their homes for the past 5 years as “funny money”

  4. winstongator

    Have you already used U2’s ‘Desire’? Using the same adjective repetitively doesn’t make it apply more strongly.

    From the point of view of a non-Californian with family in south Florida, I see this house as worth in the 300k-400k range, taking 50% off peak. Are there really that many jobs in OC that pay twice as much as comparable jobs in the rest of the country?

    1. IrvineRenter

      I have used “desire.” Great song.

      We do make a little more money in in Southern California, but mostly Californians are twice as foolish when it comes to real estate. There is no price that is too high when you believe prices will go up forever. No matter the price, if a lender will make money available, someone in California will buy a house.

      1. Alan

        Ohhh, for the good old days. I do remember a realtor telling me in all seriousness that it didn’t really matter how much I had to pay, “since prices just keep going up”. She didn’t actually add “forever”, but certainly didn’t acknowledge that it could ever stop.

        Of course, if I had bought and then sold at the proper moment, I would be much richer now. Even if I had lost 40% in the current stock market crash. Then again, I am quite satisfied with where I am (100% debt-free), and have no trouble sleeping at night. Bank of America just offered me a new credit card with an (up to?) $25k limit, but I’m going to pass on that as well. Until Congress decided to bail out credit card debt that is.

        1. nefron

          Can you believe that that conversation is actually happening? It does not pay to play by the rules in this country. That must be the real definition of capitalism.

  5. Robert

    IR, How about The Smith’s “How soon is now?” when we finally get to the are-we-at-the-bottom discussions?

    1. Matt

      Well, if this is going to turn into a song suggestion thread…..

      Led Zeppelin (just looking at what’s in my iTunes folder)
      -Communication Breakdown
      -Your Time is Going to Come
      -When the Levee Breaks
      -Dazed and Confused
      -What is and What Should Never Be
      -Bring it on Home
      -That’s the Way
      -Houses of the Holy
      -Stairway to Heaven
      and, in case IR ever profiles a place in Corona…..
      -Over the Hills and Far Away

      If the house has an odd color scheme:
      Pink Floyd, Any Colour You Like

      Really, any profiled house applies:
      Pink Floyd, Brain Damage

      And, if we’re looking at a precipitous drop:
      Audioslave, Like a Stone

      1. Alan

        And perhaps when someone is foolish and desperate enough (I expect a few cases of this eventually):

        Burning down the house

      2. Schadendude

        There’s some Pantera songs that work also:

        (The market is:) Fucking Hostile

        I’m Broken


        The Great Southern (California Real Estate) Trendkill


        lol… this is fun

  6. Allison C.

    If the property’s so great, how come no pictures except for the two long shots of the house? There’s always something fishy when the property is sold as is and there are none showing the

    “Cathedral ceiling. Granite counter tops in kithen and bathrooms. Cabinets throughout. Custom shutters, built-ins and much more.”

    1. cara

      What’s “Cabinets throughout” supposed to mean anyway?

      Maybe they mean in contrast to the most frustating aspect of my current rental apartment which has only one drawer in each bathroom and NO medicine cabinets at all. It’s frickin wierd I have to say.

  7. Captain Obvious

    What an ugly neighborhood, looks like someplace in Riverside. Oh, no wonder… it was built when Barack Obama was about 12 yrs old.

    1. brea

      Now you can trash Riverside if you want, but this does not look like Riverside. This is a clasic 1970’s two story, and Riverside is mostly one stories (cheap land costs) and most of the growth was in the 80’s and later. In the 70’s, if you wanted to move farther from the jobs to get a bigger house. Irvine was the place.

    2. phooey

      I prefer this style to the typical faux mediterranean, faux stone, faux tuscan stucco coated styrofoam detailed crapola that has passed for ‘architecture’ in parts of the OC. I object to neighborhoods where you can’t see over the house in front of you and you need a map to navigate around the neighborhoods.

  8. Perspective

    “…There are likely many people losing sleep over their losses in real estate and the stock market while simultaneously worrying about their job…”

    Surprisingly, I’ve accepted that my house has lost 20% of its value and could fall 20% further. I’ve been able to rationalize my stock losses quite well too (3 decades til retirement).

    But I am worried about a job loss and think about it constantly. It’s not that finding another job would be difficult in my situation; it’s that it could result in a 30%+ salary difference (to the downside). That worries me more than anything else by far.

    Good thing we didn’t reach when we bought – Bless the maxim “Spend less than 2.5x your income on a home.” A cushion is a necessity.

  9. mopar77

    Great post IR! Why don’t the captions come through when I download it? I’ve tried on two different PCs and neither one will do it. Liability reasons?

    I heard a wise man say that many women today look for a fool like the one shown in the vid to marry and then dominate. I personally know of more than a few couples that fit this description. What usually happens as a result is financial hardship when the guy just doesn’t bring home enough bacon to satisfy her lifestyle fantasies. She either cheats or gets some business going on her own. Either way the sex isn’t very good

  10. @TheEndoftheDay

    “A sale at this price represents a 24% discount from the peak.”

    Yet, but isn’t that the psuedo-inflated discount?

    Is it really a discount if the price peak of 05/06 was caused by all the factors IR says in his book and the analysis on this blog? I have a hard time with understanding the prices of homes here in California being a transplant. It’s almost like everyone here lives on another planet thinking their 3bd/2ba home is worth $400-600K. There’s such absurdity that still exists even post-bubble, I can’t digest it.

    When will Sellers start to wake-up from this ludicrous dream?

  11. Major Schadenfreude

    “When will Sellers start to wake-up from this ludicrous dream?”

    When they are forced to.

  12. Mooser

    Personally I think women today love to bury their husbands in debt because it keeps them at work all day

    My wife does not want me to work, too much, just a little, part time. Otherwise my hands get rough and my charming disposition degrades.
    But then again, my MIL is in the Guiness Book as “worlds tightest woman”- she is still pinching pennies while we’re all stretching dollars. Her daughter, my wife, wants to slip right into Mom’s spot when she retires. She’s really a sweet girl- nothing makes her mad except paying interest.

  13. Mooser

    Either way the sex isn’t very good

    Guessing who will initiate the murder-suicide is much more fun. It’s usually the man. Traditionally, it’s his job.
    And oh,boy, will we see “emacipated minors”. Guess you guys don’t remember the -ties huh?

    Thank God Obama will be, God Willing, elected on Tuesday. We may start to clean up the mess.

    Just wait till we get a good financial and legal accounting for the last eight years. You will be amazed at how thoroughly the US was looted.

  14. dafox

    34% off huh? Only 16% more to go! Considering prices basically doubled, we’ll only need a 50% reduction to get to normal.

    Then we start watching the ‘undershoot’…

  15. Dick Chaney

    :coolgrin: I took a huge dump on all your houses and mortgages you stupid buttwipes… :snake: :snake: :snake:

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