Desert Willow Did Not Fall?

When the market turned in the summer of 2006, Columbus Grove dropped precipitously. The owner of today’s featured property missed that memo.

14 Desert Willow kitchen

Asking Price: $1,249,000

Address: 14 Desert Willow, Irvine, CA 92606

BTW, the IHB is mentioned in Huntington Homes today. Surf City home-equity ‘abuse’: ‘So many you can’t believe it’

Go Your Own Way — Fleetwood Mac


You can go your own way
Go your own way
You can call it

In case you hadn’t noticed, sellers can set whatever asking price they want for their properties; the prices do not have to be reasonable, and here in Irvine, they often are not. Can you put yourself in the shoes of a listing agent for just a moment? You have just been contacted by a wouldbe seller, and you excitedly drive over to their property to take the listing. You know the property is worth about $800,000 in today’s market, but you have no idea how much the seller wants to ask. After a brief conversation, the seller tells you they want to list for $1,249,000. How do you feel then?

Think of the thoughts that would be going through your mind as a listing agent:

  1. If I burst out laughing, will they be really offended?
  2. Did the owners see me giggle when they said how much the wanted to ask?
  3. Can I regain my composure before speaking?
  4. Should I thank them for their time and leave?
  5. Do I bother to take this listing?
  6. Can I talk them down to reality in a couple of months? They are so far over the market, I don’t know if it is possible.
  7. If I take the listing, since it has no chance of selling, am I going to spend even one penny marketing it?
  8. Is there a competitor I do not like that I could refer them to?

How would you respond?

A government orchestrated spring rally seems to be upon us. The few people who are not impacted by the recession are picking over the limited inventory of REOs setting market pricing. The organic sellers continue to price in la-la land as evidenced by today’s featured property.

So is this asking price really that ridiculous? Well, the neighbor at 27 Desert Willow just listed for $799,000. Is this property really $450,000 better than that one? You could buy the property at 27 Desert Willow, raze it to the ground, and rebuild a house identical to 14 Desert Willow, and it would probably not cost a total of $1,249,000. Perhaps that puts things in perspective for you.

14 Desert Willow kitchen

Asking Price: $1,249,000

Income Requirement: $312,250

Downpayment Needed: $249,800

Monthly Equity Burn: $10,408

Purchase Price: $1,274,000

Purchase Date: 6/26/2006

Address: 14 Desert Willow, Irvine, CA 92606

Beds: 4
Baths: 3
Sq. Ft.: 2,826
$/Sq. Ft.: $442
Lot Size: 5,474

Sq. Ft.

Property Type: Single Family Residence
Style: Bungalow, Contemporary, Contemporary/Modern, Craftsman, Modern/Hi-Tech
Stories: 2
Year Built: 2006
Community: Columbus Grove
County: Orange
MLS#: S573639
Source: SoCalMLS
Status: Active
On Redfin: 1 day

Highly sought after Plan-Two Alexandria home in prestigious Columbus
Grove. This gorgeous home on a premium lot boasts a huge backyard and
$100K in upgrades. With 4 bedrooms plus loft, 3 full baths, living room
with fireplace & media niche, family room, and formal dining room,
this home has it all. Prepare your favorite meals in this beautifully
upgraded chef’s kitchen which boasts granite slab countertops with full
backsplash, European style Maple kitchen cabinetry w/ Hazelnut finish,
& stainless steel GE Monogram appliances. Relax in your romantic
master bedroom suite with gas burning fireplace, 8-Jet Whirlpool
jacuzzi tub, & spacious walk-in closet. Enjoy designer paint colors
throughout, upstairs laundry room with sink, fully landscaped front
& rear yards, charming front porch, private courtyard, 2 1/2 car
attahced garage & much more. This safe & family friendly
neighborhood shares a community clubhouse, pool, spa, & playground.
New neighborhood park opening soon. Hurry!!

Yes, Hurry!! This one will be on the market forever.


Did you notice the realtor did not call it a gourmet kitchen? The Swedish Chef from the Muppets would be proud.


This property was purchased for $1,274,000 on 6/26/2006. The owner used a $1,018,850 first mortgage and a $255,150 downpayment. Apparently, this owner has not emotionally accepted the loss of his quarter million dollar downpayment. I wonder how he will react when he comes to realize that not just has he lost his entire downpayment, but he will be a short sale if he really wants to sell. There is much pain ahead for this owner. Now, while he is still in denial, it is laughable, but later when he accepts the truth, it will just be sad.


You can go your own way
Go your own way
You can call it
Another lonely day
You can go your own way
Go your own way

Tell me why
Everything turned around
Packing up
Shacking up is all you wanna do

Go Your Own Way — Fleetwood Mac

84 thoughts on “Desert Willow Did Not Fall?

  1. george8

    Today’s featured property is simply WTF. 27 Deset Willow is not only $400+ k lower, but is more handsome looking. And, there are so many for sale in the development that are in the price range of $271 – $380 per sf.

    This ugly looking 14 (bad no. to attract Asian buyer) Desert Willow is at $442/sf.

  2. Agent#777

    Yeah, but if you tore down 27 Desert Willow and rebuilt, you would have a brand new house to show for it too – not an old, ratty one! šŸ˜‰

    Seriously, where I am at, some lots in developed neighborhoods are marked down 50%. Of course, according to a banner I saw this weekend, so are some new Hummer H3s.

  3. RSweetman

    For some reason I think its tacky to include pictures of the community amenities when trying to sell a $1.2 MM house. If I’m going to buy a property at this price I would want the feel of privacy not all of the communal living space… still a WTF listing either way.

    1. Lee in Irvine

      Ha .. Nice point.

      Just goes to show you how we’ve cheapened a (so-called) million dollar home here in Orange County.

      The very few home shoppers looking to spend this type of money, have now moved up the desirable scale, beyond choices like this.

  4. IrvineRenter

    The more I think about this owner–and the hundreds of others like him–I feel sad for them. This guy honestly believes he still has $250,000 worth of equity in this property. Each day when he thinks about what he has, he puts $250,000 in equity on the asset side of his balance sheet. The reality is that he is $200,000 underwater, and he doesn’t know it.

    Like most in his circumstances, once he accepts that he is underwater, he will view it as a temporary situation while prices are “depressed” due to the bad economy. Until his guy and all the owners like him accept that prices are not coming back and capitulate, we will not be at the bottom, and there will be a huge overhang of supply preventing prices from appreciating.

    1. buster

      IR – he knows it, he just doesn’t want to accept it. I mean, how many people want to acknowledge that they lost OVER 100% of their quarter million? And who wants tell the wife that?

      In reality, this clown lost 200% in real estate. Even my stock only did half that badly.

      1. Chris

        Well, if you think about it, even banks are not acknowledging that they’re losing more than what they report.

        So this guy has every right to mark his house to fantasy……..I meant market.

    2. Lee in Irvine

      These people do not want to accept the fact that the world has changed. Banks, insurance co’s & automobile co’s have been bailed-out … the markets have crashed, and we’re facing potential depressionairy forces in our economy. The very tool that was used to bolster their phony wealth (mortgage market), has now become their primary adversary and number one obstacle to selling their homes.

  5. Geotpf

    27 Desert Willow is a short sale, therefore the pricing is, by definition, fictional. I’m not saying this is worth it (it’s not), just that the chances of 27 selling at list (or at all, before it becomes an REO in a year or so) are extremely low.

    As for the listing-how can you have a half a car? Call it “an oversized 2 car attached garage”, not a “2 1/2 car attahced garage”. Spelling “attached” correctly is a help, as well.

    1. Walter

      The 1/2 part is where you put the Harley with an extra muffler so you don’t violate the sound rules.

    2. oc bear

      Typically these are owners checking the box that says “did you try to sell the house for what you owe?”. Followed by 1 year of negotiations, free rent and then foreclosure.

      1. Geotpf

        Exactly. They are (for the most part) entirely fictional listings, messing up everybody’s comps (although in this case $800k is probably about right), and cluttering up the MLS, but doing nothing else. They are not really for sale.

        There was a case here in Riverside where three houses in a row were for sale. The first two were short sales (with the same realtor, natch), priced at $80k. The third was an REO priced at $135k. They were the same damned house. The pricing on the first two were pure fiction, and they were removed from the market with no recorded sale. Next stop-foreclosure!

  6. SoOCOwner

    I did actually laugh out loud when I saw the price and square footage of this house. It’s a beautiful home, but the owner is in serious denial.

  7. Shannon

    It’s okay inside, but I hate that shingled look on a house in California, especially in SoCal, and especially that earthy green. It’s like something from Maine got together with something from San Diego and had an unholy love child.

    1. jimfromJaxFla

      thanks for making me laugh today… very good !!!!

      they all keep drinking the KOOL-AID !!!!

  8. Tim

    On the Price is Right that aired in my area today, one of the contestants, who guessed the price of a set of cosmetics to within seven dollars to get on stage but then vastly underestimated the price of a car, related that he was real estate agent in Irvine. The host, Drew Carey, asked him how business was and the guy said that it was great. Drew called him out on that…

  9. Chuck

    I especially like the description of the architectural style of the house: “Bungalow, Contemporary, Contemporary/Modern, Craftsman, Modern/Hi-Tech.” Huh?

    1. Bitter Renter

      That caught my eye too, but it’s actually kind of appropriate given the Frankensteinian nature of the house, as Shannon mentioned above. I think the kitchen is a particularly vomituous example of that, with the stainless steel stuff clashing with the woody craftsman stuff.

      IR, I loved your observation: “You could buy the property at 27 Desert Willow, raze it to the ground, and rebuild a house identical to 14 Desert Willow, and it would probably not cost a total of $1,249,000.”

  10. Soylent Green Is People.

    Honestly, the seller has gone mad, but has the ‘Tard as well?

    Suggest a rogues gallery of avoidable ‘Tards…the ones that always seem to have WTF pricing. Perhaps a 10 worster in OC would / could shame these people into waking up from their sugary sweet coma induced from the most toxic of liquors – kool-aid.

    Perhaps a better idea is to mail the seller a “Congratulatory Listing Price High” welcome pack of 10 or so K-A flavors as a housewarming gift.

    Ohhh Yeah!

  11. ockurt

    I’m in escrow on my Brio property in Westpark that’s next door to this development. Infill development ‘hoods like Columbus Grove and Tustin Field will continue to get hammered as they aren’t that desirable except for the newness of the properties. Once they age, it will get worse.

    Speaking of WTF prices, when I went into escrow 2 days after listing, one of the other agents trying to sell another smaller unit in the complex that was priced as much as my larger one called my agent and asked “how’d you sell it so fast?” Uh, duh, cause I priced it competitively!

    I don’t know if it’s seller denial or agent denial or both.

    1. zoiks

      Hey I think realtors are scum of the earth, but they seem to try to bring a dose of reality to some sellers, at least in my Costa Mesa neighborhood.

      Looney FSBO Example:

      This guy, a few months ago, was asking $800k and even then he was out of his noggin. He was complaining at the time that his previous real estate agents “wouldn’t get the job done.” It’s an old beat-up ~1000 sq ft 3/1. He thinks the 0.35 acre lot justifies the outrageous asking price. A property just like his (30% less lot size) went REO for $390k just down the street from him:

      Also, his neighbor is renting for $2500/month.

      FWIW, his ad states:
      “BUILD YOUR CUSTOM DREAM HOME AND TURN ALL THIS POTENTIAL INTO YOUR REALITY. There are also plenty of trails for outdoor enthusiasts with access right in the neighborhood. Bring us an offer! THE VALUE IS IN THE LAND, LOCATION AND VIEWS.”

      I got news for bubba: It’s hard to build the dream home when you’ve already broken the bank buying an overpriced home just to tear down the structure.

      1. freedomCM

        Shhh..! I”m hoping to pick up that lot in a few years for $125k!

        How am I going to do that if you tell people about it.

  12. tlc8386

    I don’t feel sad because this guy has choices he can not sell and wait out the thirty years of his loan and his house may go even higher with improvements like a pool/spa, better landscaping ect.

    He has a place to live and make it his home. Or he can rent it.

    Prices go up and down in RE I waited ten years in one home and it didn’t go up until year 12 and I sold at a loss. The people here just don’t remember this is commmon in RE it’s a not a given “when” your house will be worth more than you paid.

    And if you over paid just like in a stock that is your choice you can take that loss like many of us have in the past. NO one likes a loss but it is a part of life.

    I have lost in two homes and stocks and it’s the game of investing if you can’t take the losses you should not be playing. And I have equally have won in RE and stocks years later.

    Life is a game depends upon when you roll the dice!

  13. sorry

    I know it’s not nice to talk about other people’s decoration taste, but take a look at the bookshelf. It looks like it’s filled with “Dummy” books and there is one book with a prominent “SELL” title. I also like the wine bottles stacked on the kitchen table. I think the seller may be needing a few of those.

    1. sorry

      Actually, that seems like a very nice house minus the ugly exterior. It’s nice to see a decent sized yard for a change. The only think I would fault is the $21,000/year in property taxes.

      1. Sue in Irvine

        I think the property taxes include the ridiculous mello-roos (what a silly name). I’m sure someone can break it down. Aren’t Irvine property taxes 1% and then add in the mello-roos for the new developments?

      2. wherethebeef

        Holy smokes…that is a lot of property taxes.

        When you add in taxes, HOA and insurance, that’s about 2K per month. Then you need to still pay that huge mortgage.

        I will agree with everybody else about these places getting slaughtered. They still have a long way to go before hitting bottom.

  14. Hard_Numbers


    It seems HELOC withdrawl has struck the owner of my rented house. I must find another place to rent near Irvine, pronto.

    Any suggestions for good rental-search sites?

    I know about:

    Are there any others you would recommend?


  15. mike

    The longer he makes his mortgage payments the less he’ll be worth. Good.

    There’s a cost associated with being delusional.

  16. Hard Numbers


    The owner of my rented house has HELOC withdrawl… Time for me to move to another rented house, pronto.

    Do you have any suggestions for a good house-rental search site?

    I know about:
    Westsiderentals (useless in OC)
    Rentbits (realtor run)
    Apartmentsdotcom (few SFR)

    Any other places you recommend I look for staying in a rented Irvine SFR?

    Hard Numbers

      1. Hard Numbers


        Yes, the owner let me know they were underwater and that the house is likely going back to the bank later this year. The situation is unpleasant, but with enough advanced warning, it does not have to be mutually unfortunate. Good communication usually helps, too.

        Hard Numbers

    1. former_irvine_resident

      Yes, I did notice all the dummies books. And from the way they have the chairs and lamp arranged I bet one of them is “Interrogation Techniques for Dummies”.

      1. tonyE

        Interrogation Techniques for Dummies?


        You mean like Monty Python’s “The Spanish Inquisition”? You know, “the rack”, “the comfy chair”, “the pillow”..

        Oh no! The end of the writing box is coming.


      2. priced_out_it_guy

        Perhaps they’re preparing to interrogate their RE agent/broker?

        “Buy in 2006 or be priced out forever!!”

        1. former_irvine_resident

          Or perhaps they were trying to determine why their neighbor undercut their completely rational asking price?

  17. Mike7

    The property at 27 Desert Willow is a nice house. On zillow it says it was purchased for 1.1 mill in 2006. What do you guys this is a good price for this house? 650? 700? 750?

    1. camsavem

      Honestly? with the Mello-Roos, association fees etc, I think this house (and others like it) will be in the 400K range in a few years.

      The population still accepts prices for homes that cant possible be sustained. It wasnt long ago that a MILLION DOLLAR HOME was something with an ocean or city lights view from an exclusive neighborhood.

      Shortly that will be the case again.

      1-2 BR condos will be 100-200K depending on area.
      3-4 BR SFR will be 250-400K
      Beach cities and veiw lots will be 750K and up.

      These are the prices people can afford without haveing to transfer bubble equity which is evaporating every day.

      Just my opinion, but I think we still have six years to go before it has bottomed out and stabalized to a point to where prices might start going up.

    1. tonyE

      Given it’s square footage and that at think at the very bottom this area is gonna go for 200 (or less) per square foot, the bottom price for this home will be $500K.

      Look at it from this point of view. Turtle Rock homes with no view will likely bottom in the 250 per square foot. There’s no way in hell that anything East of University Blvd will go higher than TR.

      Columbus Grove et al are man made disasters.

      1. .

        …but the listing said the high school is Uni. That surely commands a $200k premium.

        …and everything is new.

        …and you can walk to the Diamond Jamboree Center and the District.

        Except for bank-owned properties, I think the lowest these will go is $850,000.

        1. ockurt

          You seem like a troll but I’ll respond anyway…

          Columbus Grove residents don’t have access to the Uni school district…I believe the youngsters go to the Woodbridge schools and then Irvine High when they’re older (still very good)

          These developments are new, but the drawbacks are many:

          1) high tax rate
          2) high HOA’s
          3) infill development (on poisoned land)
          4) near big power lines (220 kv I think)
          5) near major transportation corridors
          6) near industrial facilities
          7) strange architecture

          Tony E. is a little aggressive…I give this area $250/sq. ft. at the bottom.

          1. Perspective

            “5) near major transportation corridors”

            This is a negative? Do you prefer living remotely and driving 20 minutes before you get to a major street or freeway?

          2. Gindy

            I grew up in Covina, CA and lived within spitting distance of the 10 freeway. Now I live in IN after living in Houston, TX, El Toro and Irvine, CA, Virginia Beach, VA, and Villa Hills,, KY.
            All those other locations were very close to “major highways” and I will never again live near one of them.
            I enjoy the peace and quiet of my far from the madding crowd abode. I just make sure to bundle errands and only go into town once a week. Saves gas, time, and my peace of mind.

        2. Waterdog

          Why can’t it go down to $500k? When prices started moving in Socal in ’99, $400k was a lot of money for a house. $500k got you a dream home. My profession’s salaries have actually declined since ’99 as have a lot of others that I know. Add to this that crazy financing is gone and look at the facts. Even a $500k place needs $100k down and then you’ve got all the HOA, property tax and mello roos for what? I’ve been saving as much as I can and my downpayment fund is only at $50k. Where does one come up with $100k? Family? I doubt that many equity buyers will pay to move up to this property in todays declining market. I think that we will return to the days when $500k was a lot of money. (Although I’ve been claiming that for over a year.)

          1. tonyE

            If you got two workers, then coming up with the 100K from your 401K should not be hard.

            I walk the middle ground here. Columbus is an inflated price in the flatlands and surrounded by lots of commuter traffic.

            The only place in the flatlands that has any type of geographic interest in Woodbridge. Even then, Woodbridge is also besieged by commuter traffic on Alton and Barranca.

            My take is that Bonita Canyon, TR and TRidge will remain the most expensive places in Irvine once all the market distortions are taken out. This is due to their location.

            Insofar as I see TR dropping to 250 per square foot when this all said and done, there’s no way in hell that anywhere East of University Blvd and the 405 will go higher than that.

            Heck, as a homeowner (long term) in TR, I would love to see my house bottom at 300++…. if that were the case, the second my daughter graduates from Uni, the old chateau goes on the shopping block and I’m moving away… far away….

          2. ockurt

            I agree with you Tony, I see the greater TR area holding it’s value the best with areas such as Woodbridge & Westpark coming in a distant second.

            You will probably be OK…I don’t think TR homes will drop below $300 sq. ft. but who knows…

          3. Waterdog

            is that what I’m supposed to do…. raid my 401k? I’m kinda slow but you’re messing with me right?

          4. ockurt

            You can get a low-interest loan from your 401k that you can pay back over an extended period of time. I wouldn’t recommend the hardship withdrawal though, that’s a different story.

          5. Eat it in the OC

            You’d be borrowing against those funds. So do you gamble hoping that you’d be able to afford the mortgage, payback the 401K and still have equiyt left when you sell at some point in the future? Also, don’t discount the possibility that you’d probably lose half that down payment in a year if things continue going south at half the rate they are now.

          6. Waterdog

            If “borrowing” from myself is the only way to buy a home I think I’ll sit this one out. Mortgage payment, mello roos, property tax, maintenance costs, HOA and then repay my 401k on top of it? Hope I don’t ever need a new car or braces for the kids. Here’s an idea…. save your retirement fund for your retirement, save up for a down payment and try to keep your PITI under 30% after taxes and sleep well at night. How come no one ever thought of that before?

          7. tonyE

            Actually, my wife and I “borrowed” from ourselves last year. Put the money into CDs and moved the rest of the 401Ks into bond funds.

            The interest we “pay ourselves” is money forced savings. After tax we come out just fine.

            The money in CDs still there at 5.25%.

          8. Waterdog

            That seems like smart and safe investing of your retirement dollars. What I’m referring to above is tapping into your 401k to “buy” something and then have to budget a monthly payment to repay yourself- money that otherwise would have gone in to grow the fund. Your risks sound minimal so long as the market doesn’t outperform your bonds and CDs…. very unlikely.

          9. tonye

            It was a hedge position.

            If the market turns (right now we got a bear market rally and I don’t think it’s very safe to put money into equities.

            That said, I had a feeling that at 7000 or so the market was ready for a pop. Both of us missed it because we were in the middle of a refinance and wanted to make sure our accounts didn’t jump around.

            Oh well… at least everytime we’ve felt it was the time to go a given way we’ve been right. So, I got time for the next pop.

  18. Sue in Irvine

    In escrow, all in Tustin Field which is down Harvard from Columbus Grove….
    828 Polaris $810,000
    1035 Hudson $845,000
    1504 Voyager $739,900

  19. OrangeTimes

    This property has Tax dues for year 2007 ($12,053.76) and Year 2008 ($18,934.04). Buyers beware.

    1. Illuminatus

      Yup, that’s a real strong selling point – -“hey, and I only owe 17,000 in back taxes that I’ll try to saddle you with! Please, bail me out!” Bet the agent won’t mention that at the open house…

  20. Lee in Irvine


    Can you please share the name of the online service you use to investigate HELOC abuse.

  21. Chris

    Off-topic but perhaps someone can help me on this.

    I’ve been doing zip code search on perhaps once every couple of days or so since last month. Based on the rate of increase entries that I’m seeing which is about 1 new entry every week or so per zip code, I’m not sure whether this is a good indication on whether we’re gonna see a huge spike in foreclosures or not.

    I would expect to see a higher (way higher) increase in entries than just 1 new entry per week (sometimes even no increase in 1 full week). Perhaps if this is an anecdotal evidence, than we’re really not seeing a spike in foreclosures as some had suggested in their blogs.

    I dunno….perhaps is a lagging indicator.

    1. nefron

      I’m seeing the same thing, Chris. Well, actually, I saw two properties show up about three weeks ago, and then another one today. Not only that, but about 1/3 of the existing points on the map that I look at have already gone on the market and are either under contract or have long since closed. I don’t think FR tracks them once they turn bank-owned. But I totally agree – I read Dr. Housing Bubble’s column about 10 reasons not to buy now, and I religiously read this column, but I keep wondering if I’m making a mistake by waiting. That tidal wave of foreclosures that everyone keeps talking about isn’t foreshadowing itself in my neighborhood of choice. I see almost zero inventory now and next to no forced inventory six or nine months from now.

      1. IrvineRenter

        If it makes you feel any more at ease, I was at a presentation today where I heard speakers from the Federal Reserve, RealtyTrak, and Wells Fargo. All of them were saying the defaults and foreclosures are increasing rapidly, and the loan mod and workout efforts are going poorly. The tsunami is coming.

        1. Chris

          Problem is we’re not seeing it (at least I’m not seeing a large increase of entries in

          Unless I’m seeing anecdotal evidences on this, I’m not buying the large spike in foreclosure argument.

          Nevertheless, I still say that Irvine housing price is still too high based on unemployment figures and California’s overall budget trouble later this year if you like me to agree with you on this point.

        2. Chris

          BTW, preforclosure entries should show up at an increase rate in if what they’re saying is true since NOD=preforclosure (correct me if I’m wrong).

          1. nefron

            Right. And they’re not. I know, I see it exactly the same way you do.

            But I refuse to put myself in a situation where I could lose a significant chunk of savings because the market goes (way) south. All of the numbers, all of the evidence, to me points to housing prices going much further down. I feel like the market is teetering on the brink of steep, steep slope. So even though there are buyers out there in droves, buying up everything in sight, I’m not willing to risk a penny more than what I think I can afford to lose in downpayment. The environment feels too uncertain, too risky, to me to put important money into it. I will probably make offers this spring and summer that I can afford, and if I get outbid, so be it. If I have to rent for the rest of my life in California, so be it. And the minute I can leave California, I am gone.

          2. Chris

            Nefron, take it from me, I bought and sold several properties in Irvine and the Bay Area. Don’t bid on a property that you cannot afford when the worst case scenario happens to you and/or your family. Figure out what the worst case scenario would be (in my case, total unemployment lasting for 3+ years) and, if you cannot afford to buy a house, DON’T!

            If you do, here’s what I would suggest:

            1. Be prepare for a 50% haircut. If you’re ok with 50% haircut, then #1 should be fine.
            2. Be a long term holder of that house. You and your family have to LOVE that house and will hold it for 10+ years. Forget about moving up after several years….it ain’t gonna happen unless you hit the lottery or something.
            3. If unemployed, your saving should match your loan. Seriously, many Americans are hella FREAKING PATHETIC in this area. By paying off your loan with your saving, you can practically work at Mickey D for a living (well, I’m exaggerating since there’s property tax, insurance, etc that you have to worry about…but hopefully you get my point).

            Anyway, good luck if you decide to plunge.

      2. zoiks

        “but I keep wondering if Iā€™m making a mistake by waiting.”

        Oy vey. Indeed, “buy now or get priced out…”

        The fear of “not buying” real estate is an irrational one. It might be good to keep that in mind.

    2. zoiks

      Well, one thing I can tell you is foreclosure activity has picked up fairly dramatically in the last month in Costa Mesa, if RealtyTrac’s lists are to be believed. Somewhere’s around 10% increase in total NODs, NOTs, and REOs in the last month. Mostly new NODs.

      What’s more, many of the newest NODs are starting to happen on the East side (for those who don’t know, that’s supposed to be the “good” part of town).

      1. k.o.

        I agree, zoiks. My landlord in CM defaulted on one of his properties in Eastside. Not mine yet (also in Eastside), but with his prop taxes unpaid for the year, we are waiting for that shoe to drop. Luckily I am keeping an eye on it, have a plan of action, and the phone number of IR2.

  22. newbie2008

    As for back property taxes, isn’t the govt. the first to be paid, then lender, other leins and what’s left goes to the owner?

    RR was on the TV with possible bear trap in the market and unemployment going above 10% (national). If only we had it so easy in CA, Highest UE is in the non-costal CA agric. regions.

    1. HydroCabron

      Bear trap: A market move upward which proves a costly surprise to those who had shorted it in anticipation of declines.

      Bull trap: A market move downward which proves a costly surprise to those who were long in anticipation of gains.

      Further, a steep learning curve denotes rapid growth of knowledge over time, meaning that the learning involved is not that difficult. Flat learning curves, by contrast, indicate high learning difficulty.

    1. nefron

      Chris, unless I’m misunderstanding you, can’t they both be right? If you look at the FR map of OC, aren’t there tons of foreclosures in Anaheim, Santa Ana, up around that area, and fewer in Irvine, NB, etc…? I definitely see a big increase in houses going back to the bank and 3rd party sales on the courthouse steps – the moratorium is definitely off – but I don’t see a big increase in houses entering foreclosure in Irvine. I think the lenders are working out short sales in Irvine and in the hotter markets. The ones where no one wants to buy, those go into foreclosure because there aren’t buyers waiting in the wings. Just my take on it.

      1. Chris

        Nefron, you may be right on this. Perhaps Irvine is a more desirable area and thus banks are willing to work on short sales in that city instead of outright foreclosure.

        Sorry for this delay comment.

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