My Window

A modest HELOC “user” claims to be an equity seller. Let’s see what he offers for sale.

14292 Matisse Ave   Irvine, CA 92606  kitchen

Asking Price: $739,900
Address: 14292 Matisse Ave Irvine, CA 92606

Come to my window
Crawl inside, wait by the light
Of the moon
Come to my window
Ill be home soon

I would dial the numbers
Just to listen to your breath
I would stand inside my hell
And hold the hand of death
You dont know how far Id go
To ease this precious ache
You dont know how much Id give
Or how much I can take

Come to My Window — Melissa Etheridge

14292 Matisse Ave   Irvine, CA 92606  kitchen

Asking Price: $739,900

Income Requirement: $140,083
Downpayment Needed: $147,980

Purchase Price: $340,000
Purchase Date: 3/8/2002

Net Gain (Loss): $355,506
Percent Change: 117.6%
Annual Appreciation: 15.6%

Address: 14292 Matisse Ave Irvine, CA 92606

Beds 6
Baths 3 baths
Size 2,700 sq ft
($274 / sq ft)
Lot Size 5,000 sq ft
Year Built 1974
Days on Market 29
Listing Updated 9/17/2009
MLS Number R905432
Property Type Single Family, Residential
Community Walnut
Tract Cc


PRICE REDUCED, PRICE REDUCED, EQUITY SELLER, Beautiful, Turnkey, Irvine Home with 6 bedrooms, 3baths, Large Study upstairs w/ skylights, 4 bedrooms on main floor, 2 bedrooms upstairs. Recent remodel includes granite countertops in kitchen, new copper plumbing throughout, wood flooring / travertine combination. Spacious backyard with in ground Spa. Wonderful neighborhood, close to shopping and award winning schools. Community pool, tennis courts, volleyball and much much more. All remodel done with City Permits and approvals. This home will not last. Open house to be held Saturdays and Sundays until property is sold. All offers will be reviewed immediately by owner and agent. Multiple Offers will be reviewed and a decision made to highest and best qualified buyer. Fast response, ready to close escrow.

Nice to know what they plan to do with those multiple offers.

14292 Matisse Ave   Irvine, CA 92606  window 1 14292 Matisse Ave   Irvine, CA 92606  window 2

  • This property was purchased on 3/8/2002 for $340,000. The owner used a $255,000 first mortgage and an $85,000 downpayment.
  • A month later, he opened a HELOC for $66,000, just in case.
  • On 7/9/2003 he refinanced with a $379,200 first mortgage.
  • On 8/28/2003 he opened a HELOC for $47,400.
  • On 1/30/2004 he opened a HELOC for $97,800.
  • On 5/4/2005 WAMU gave him a HELOC for $500,000!

This property must have appraised for around $880,000 for WAMU to have given out such a large HELOC. For this owner to be an equity seller, he must not have tapped the $500,000 equity line heavily. Do you believe it?


And so concludes another week at the Irvine Housing Blog, chronicling the Irvine home market since September of 2006.

Have a great weekend.


44 thoughts on “My Window

  1. MalibuRenter

    He might be an equity seller. He stopped getting new helocs in 2005. I’m guess some pressing need stopped. Maybe he/she finally got the kids through school, or the small business was successful.

    1. Alternative Theory

      Maybe he/she finally got the kids through school, or the small business was successful.

      No, I think it was becaue he got caught up on his medical bills.

  2. Freetrader

    Yes, the big share bets he took on AIG and Citigroup really work out well, so he paid back the $500,000 HELOC. Seriously, though, I suppose anything is possible…maybe Mom passed away and left him a fortune.

    It’s conceivable that he got smart/cold feet and never used the HELOC. With the initial round of HELOCs, he must have had about $340,000 in debt. Is it possible that the HELOC was at such a great teaser rate that he used the money to pay off the mortgage, so he only has $500,000 or so in total mortgage debt? I don’t know how easy it is to get information about mortgage liens, etc. I don’t think this is very likely, but just to give him the benefit of the doubt…

  3. SanJoseRenter

    According to my calculator …

    739,900 – 340,000 = 399,900 gain, not a Net Gain of $355,506.

    1. IrvineRenter

      You need to subtract 6% of the purchase price for commissions to accurately calculate the net. I have it set up in a formula in excel so I don’t make any mistakes.

  4. IrvineRenter

    For those who expressed concerns about the readability of the colors on the Ideal Home Brokers site, we have changed the scheme. Let me know what you think.

  5. IrvineRenter

    Banks Have Us Flying Blind on Depth of Losses:

    Oct. 1 (Bloomberg) — There was a stunning omission from the government’s latest list of “problem” banks, which ran to 416 lenders, a 15-year high, as of June 30. One outfit not on the list was Georgian Bank, the second-largest Atlanta-based bank, which supposedly had plenty of capital.

    It failed last week.

    Georgian’s clean-up will be unusually costly. The book value of Georgian’s assets was $2 billion as of July 24, about the same as the bank’s deposit liabilities, according to a Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. press release. The FDIC estimates the collapse will cost its insurance fund $892 million, or 45 percent of the bank’s assets. That percentage was almost double the average for this year’s 95 U.S. bank failures, and it was the highest among the 10 largest ones.

    How many other seemingly healthy multibillion-dollar community banks are out there waiting to implode? That’s impossible to know, which is what’s so unsettling about Georgian’s sudden downfall. Just when the conventional wisdom suggests the banking crisis might be under control, along comes a reality check that tells us we’re still flying blind.

    1. Art Student in Atlanta

      I am not surprised by this.

      My local politicians seem to think that the housing bubble and its consequences are confined to the sand states. Fulton Commisioner Edwards estimates that property values will return to their 2006 levels by 2011. My own local council has set millage rates in anticipaction of a quick 2 year recovery. I have seen several banks in georgia that have severe problems just like the bank mentioned in this story.

      MSNBC has a great map and link to a group that did their own survey of banks.

      IrvineRenter, Georgia and particularly the Atlanta area will not be far behind Irvine and the rest of California in this mess. I know we will be among the most named bust states soon.

  6. IrvineRenter

    I never thought I would find myself defending urban planners and our role in the housing bubble. This article is silly.

    Did Urban Planners Cause The Housing Crisis?

    Cato Institute scholar Randal O’Toole has a new paper with the provocative title, “How Urban Planners Caused The Housing Bubble.” The paper sets out to explain a quandary: California and Florida, on the one hand, and Georgia and Texas, on the other, each experienced massive run-ups in prices as the housing bubble inflated. But when the market tanked, the crash wasn’t felt nearly as hard in Georgia and Texas, but obviously California and Florida have become notorious. This is strange–especially when you consider that many cities in Georgia and Texas are some of the country’s fastest-growing.

    O’Toole’s explanation for the difference is that California and Florida had strict land regulations that curtailed growth, while Georgia and Texas had mostly laissez-faire land policies. Focusing on two cities–San Francisco, with its notoriously expensive housing, and Houston, notoriously cheap–O’Toole explains the connection between regulations and large swings in prices. It all has to do with how inflexible the housing market is in San Francisco, relative to Houston:

    “Given that both demand and supply in regulated regions are inelastic, small changes in either one can result in large changes in price. If lower interest rates increase demand for housing, Houston-area homebuilders respond by building more homes; San Francisco-area builders respond by filing more applications, which may wait several years for approval. If government purchase of a large block of land for a park or open space restricts supply, Houston-area builders can simply go somewhere else nearby; in the San Francisco area, the nearest alternative building location is more than 50 miles away.

    Notice that inelastic supply not only makes housing prices rapidly increase with small increases in demand; it also makes housing prices rapidly fall with small decreases in demand. This is exacerbated by lengthy permitting periods that can put homebuilders out of phase with the market. Thus, land-use restrictions create conditions ripe for housing bubbles.”

    Restrictive regulations can serve to create an initial price movement that ignites a speculative rally, so regulations can serve as a precipitating factor, but planning and zoning do not determine long-term pricing; that is a function of financing and wages.

    1. DirkDigler

      At the very least, you gotta think that zoning constrains land from its highest and best use. And that has implications on home affordability, since you’ve got 6 bedroom homes on land that could be used to fit 3 townhomes (a la Irvine moderne).

      So planning hasn’t been all that good in Irvine afterall, since it’s left you and me, and anyone else who’s worked hard and playbed by the rules, without an opportunity to buy. It has also left Irvine off the WSJ’s list of The Next Youth-Magnet Cities:

      1. Alan

        “At the very least, you gotta think that zoning constrains land from its highest and best use. ”

        I don’t, unless you mean by that only highest return and best use solely from the short-term perspective of the developer. He/she can and will take the profit and go live somewhere else, leaving the problems behind.

        Florida, at least as a whole, is hardly an example of highly regulated careful planning. Or maybe I’ve only seen the crappy parts.

        1. DirkDigler

          “Florida, at least as a whole, is hardly an example of highly regulated careful planning. Or maybe I’ve only seen the crappy parts.”

          Maybe the Republicans/Libertarians in Florida are less willing to give up individual liberties and property rights for the sake of central planning and community harmony.

      2. OC_Boston_Bay

        That is a very interesting list – a mix of big job centers and affordable towns close to big universities. Portland is the one exception as it has a handful of really big employers (Nike, Intel) but generally wouldn’t be considered a big job center. If it didn’t rain so da*n much up there I would consider it.

    2. winstongator

      WOW – could they go back and look at some of TX’s housing bubbles in the 80’s & 90’s, often tied to the boom-bust of oil? I grew up near some of the sprawlingest sections of south FL, and they have been massacred by the bubble. Prices 50% off peak and from 2006/7 new prices. Condos >75% off peak prices, often the first sale when apts got converted.

      Demand in SoFL was hugely elastic, mostly because of specuvestors. When you go from people owning 1 home, to taking equity out to double, triple or quadruple down their bet, demand can skyrocket, fueled by cheap, non-underwritten credit. You could not blame the bubble prices in FL on lack of construction.

      Land use regulations didn’t change just prior to the bubble, and they can explain high prices, but not boom/bust cycles.

      Isn’t your comment just above a bank based in…GA?

    3. Art Student in Atlanta

      As a Georgia resident, I can say that blaming this on planning is a total farce. The areas of georgia hit worst are in areas with minimal planning.

      Gwinnett County, Georgia has one of the worst retail and home vacancy rates in the area. It is littered with endless (now vacant) strip malls, cul-de-sac subdivisions with rapidly deteriorating houses, and traffic problems that make the average daily commute take almost 2 to 4 hours. The rush hours in this area is from 6:00 to 11:00 AM and 2:15 to 7:00.

      As I mentioned previously, Georgia has a number of banks in trouble. Inactive link already listed.

        1. Art Student in Atlanta


          Jimmy Carter Boulevard, Buford Highway, and the cities of Lawrenceville, Snellville, Lithonia, Duluth(Southern Portion) all fit this description accurately.

          Junkyards, cul-de-sac spirals that leave you lost, white trash, meth-labs and everything. Meth is really popular here along with abusing prescription drugs.

          My brother is already preparing to send my niece to Private School.

    4. Billy D

      This is kind of an exercise in cherry picking…

      Several cities that blow his theory:

      Las Vegas

      They had massive bubbles not because of regulations or a shortage of land…

      Just too much irrational speculation… probably made easier because there is a lot of cheap land and minimal regulation.

  7. cara

    Oooo, a price reduction of $10k on an over $700k purchase. Yeah, big whoop-de-doo. That’s going to make all the difference. How does this one check out comps-wise?

    He may have taken out that whopper of a HELOC as an alternative to an emergency savings account. People did view them that way, too. He may have dipped his toe in it for the renovations and then found he didn’t like the new higher monthly payments and thought better of using any more. Who knows?

    1. IrvineRenter

      Yes, I can imagine the scenarios as you describe. I rather doubt this owner was a big spender; he didn’t show the consistent pattern.

    1. WaitingForRealisticPrices

      From plugging in that zip code into Redfin it shows the area of Turtle Rock, Turtle Ridge, Shady Canyon and Quail Hill.

      1. cara

        Wow!! Wasn’t that supposed to be the immuno-zone? Maybe only the hardest hit area within it is selling??

        1. ocresident73

          Sure, everyone there thinks it still is. Keep in mind that 40% off of a $2 million property is still too unaffordable for average folks. The few homes that have sold over the last few months in Turtle Rock, for example, have mostly been selling right around $1 million (there was even one sale over the summer at $1.5).

          1. tonye

            The real crash is not Turtle Rock. The real crash is the new developments, Turtle Ridge, Quail Hill and Shady Canyon.

            Those villages were built and sold at the peak. The folks there are ALL underwater from the sale price and likely underwater in their mortgage unless they paid a very large downpayment.

    1. Amazing Architecture

      Can anyone explain WTF kind of room this is?

      A combination of attic, hallway, dining room, living room, and the top of the St. Louis Arch?

      Random couches in the corner facing walls – WTF?

      No windows – just creepy ass sky lights letting in just enough sun-splotch to make the house straight out of a horror movie.

      I am picturing ghosts and stuff eating dinner at that table up in the attic.

      This house needs to be torn down and be re-architected.

      Too bad the HELOC was spent on granite counter tops – Lipstick on a pig.

      1. IrvineRenter

        I could see making that into a great game room. You even have room for one of those cool shuffleboard tables.

        You could have your own private arcade.

        You could be the President and have your own private bowling alley.×272.jpg

        1. Amazing Architecture

          That’s a good idea. You wouldn’t even need a gutter on one side of the bowling lane because if your shot goes too far wide, the ball will just get caught between the ceiling and the floor.

  8. tonye

    (1) The listing shows a “fee” land. Does this house sit on a “leased lot” instead of a deed?

    (2) It looks like the upstairs bedrooms were carved from the attic. Not a bad idea but small rooms and no shot of the stair case… Remember that the steps must be at least 7 by 11, anything steeper and they are not very comfortable to use.

    (3) The maps feature in the new IHB site is not working for me. As I recall the Colony is an old place.

    (4) If this place went for $340K on ’02, then at most it’s worth $440K today. I mean, in reality this is an 1800 sq foot, 4b/2ba home on a 5000 sq foot lot. The attic space is nice (windows and closets on the bedrooms) but it can not be considered a “full” space as designed.

    1. Confusion

      I guess this room is designated as the mirror and chair room. Everyone has one of those, mmmmhmmm.

      This playhomeowner has way too much space on his hands. Either that or the realtor just thought that the random chair really brings out the essence of this awesome room.

  9. tonye

    Actually, that space is perfect for two kids. They each get their own room and a shared space in the middle for the TV, couch, PS3, etc… and the entire space is away from the rest of the house.

    It looks like the kids get their own 800 sq feet of space to play with.

    Unfortunately, the space is not being shown correctly. Imagine one bed, one desk, one computer, one dresser in each room. One flat panel, one PS3, one stereo, shelves and a couple of couches in the middle room.

    It also seems like there’s a bathroom upstairs, but the pictures neither show how it sits in relation to the space nor does it show the stairs.

    Bad pictures.

    1. Sue in Irvine

      I think it was a one story and they added the second story.Is building out the attic considered adding on? The first floor has 4 bedrooms. Too bad the upstairs has those strange rooms. My 6’3 son would never fit in there.

    1. Sue in Irvine

      I saw the 1-800-got-junk founder on TV recently. He was profiled on some show. He’s very,very rich.

  10. wheresthebeef

    The multiple offer reference in the listing is absolutely hilarious…I’ve never seen that before.

    When things get irrational (i.e. multiple offers in this environment), the next leg down will be brutal. I have all the patience in the world to wait this market out!

  11. newbie2008

    Banks With 20% Unpaid Loans at 18-Year High Amid Recovery Doubt

    By James Sterngold, Linda Shen and Dakin Campbell

    Oct. 2 (Bloomberg) — The number of U.S. lenders that can’t collect on at least 20 percent of their loans hit an 18-year high, signaling that more bank failures and losses could slow an economic recovery.

    Only 20% bank loans in default. Welcome to the jobless recovery. Buy now before you’re price out of the market.

    Just because a HELOC is open doesn’t mean one actually took money our. I got monthly offers to draw a HELOC on a property that I didn’t own. I know people that took the money a invested it on their business or deposit in the bank at a higher rate.

  12. newbie2008

    “This home will not last.”

    Does this mean that the upstairs will collapse into the first floor. Is the house about to be red tagged? The upstairs rooms will be an oven during the summer.

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