Twisted Towers

No big thinking today, just a humorous look at some twisted pictures of a jaw-dropping loss in the North Korea Towers.

3141 MICHELSON Dr 1307 Irvine, CA 92612 kitchen

Irvine Home Address … 3141 MICHELSON Dr 1307 Irvine, CA 92612
Resale Home Price …… $489,000


Oh come all ye faithful
Joyful and triumphant
Oh come ye, oh come ye to Bethlehem

Sing choirs of angels
Sing in exultation
Oh sing, all ye senders of the heaven above

Oh Come All Ye Faithful — Twisted Sister

I probably shouldn’t indulge is such great Schadenfreude on Christmas Eve, but this one is too good to pass up.

Net Gain (Loss) ………. $(482,840)
Percent Change ………. -48.1%
Annual Appreciation … -16.1%


Four years and half a million dollars later, I have to think this guy is not having a happy holiday.

3141 MICHELSON Dr 1307 Irvine, CA 92612 kitchen

Irvine Home Address … 3141 MICHELSON Dr 1307 Irvine, CA 92612

Resale Home Price … $489,000

Income Requirement ……. $102,176
Downpayment Needed … $97,800
20% Down Conventional

Home Purchase Price … $942,500
Home Purchase Date …. 3/17/2006

Net Gain (Loss) ………. $(482,840)
Percent Change ………. -48.1%
Annual Appreciation … -16.1%

Mortgage Interest Rate ………. 5.08%
Monthly Mortgage Payment … $2,119
Monthly Cash Outlays ………… $3,500
Monthly Cost of Ownership … $2,970

Property Details for 3141 MICHELSON Dr 1307 Irvine, CA 92612

Beds 2
Baths 2 baths
Size 1,517 sq ft
($322 / sq ft)
Lot Size n/a
Year Built 2006
Days on Market 3
Listing Updated 12/15/2009
MLS Number U9005224
Property Type Condominium, Residential
Community Airport Area
Tract Marq

According to the listing agent, this listing may be a pre-foreclosure or short sale.

Stylish urban high-rise living in a highly desired end-unit with rounded walls of glass. This very chic property is located on the 13th floor of the Marquee Park Place towers & offers one of the best views available. Floor-to-ceiling windows & balconies with fabulous panoramic city lights & mountain views. Home is showcased with sophisticated finishes & style including Ralph Lauren paint and artistic design and photography by Rich cherry hardwood flooring throughout the living, dining & kitchen areas. A cozy fireplace enhances the spacious living room. The modern gourmet kitchen is open to the living room and includes GE Mongram stainless steel appliances & gorgeous granite countertops. Designer furnishings are available for purchase. Marquee Park Place towers offer extensive amenities including 24 hour concierge, resort-style pool, spa, fitness center & entertainment rooms. Centrally located to world-class shopping, restaurants, the airport, freeways & beaches.

As an artistic shot, I really like the photo above. The radiating shadows and the way the sun brings out the tone of the wood, the rhythmic curve of the window lines, the distant view, there is much to like about this photo; however, it is not supposed to be an art shot, it is supposed to convey accurate information about the property. It fails.

Again, this is an intesting way to focus attention on the Buddha, but a horrible way to display a bathroom.

Notice the amount of distortion in these photographs. Do you think that room divider in the left photo really curves like that. The photo on the right is misleading, IMO. That is a straight counter, and it looks like it arcs nearly 90 degrees. The distortion is so bad it makes you think the room looks nothing like it really does.

What I get from these photos is (1) the sense that I need my eyesight checked, and (2) someone dropped acid before shooting these pictures and created some fantastic art that is an embarrassment for showing property.

How do you see it?

Here is wishing you a twisted Christmas.

26 thoughts on “Twisted Towers

  1. RogBoy

    I think the pictures are very artistic; the bent and curved walls and ceilings obviously represent the crushing weight of capital loss experienced by the seller of this property. The artist wishes to portray how the property should be viewed through the perspective of a mountain of bad debt being piled on top of it.

    Actually, though, I think I’d like the look of this property – shame that I can’t really tell, due to the excessively distorted perspective. Maybe its just me, but I like to see exactly what I buy.

  2. scott

    My first reaction was I felt I was looking at the lair of the Penguin, Joker or Catwoman from the old Batman TV shows…remember they way they used to show those ne’r do well’s hideouts in slanted views? Holy Kool Aid Intoxication, Batman!

    And if I recall these units have nearly $1000/month HOA’s. I’m thinking rental parity for these units is probaby is something that may start with a $2 handle not a $4 handle.

  3. E

    Those pictures are a nice representation of the beer goggles the buyer was wearing when he bought the place.

    Now he wakes up next to a fat chick every morning.

    1. Patience

      I am a fat chick and I take great exception to this obnoxious comparison. I and all the other fat chicks I know contribute quite a bit to society. This condo is much more like a supermodel – beautiful, small, expensive, but otherwise worthless.

      1. Freetrader


        I would suggest that both fat chicks and supermodels make contributions to society and that neither should be unnecessarily disparaged. Happy Holidays!

    2. RogBoy

      Just image the time the owner could’ve had if that grand a month HOA fees had been “invested” in cheap Vegas hookers!

      I wonder if that can be factored into the cost-benefit analysis of property ownership?

  4. jumpcut

    The Realtor used a fisheye lens on his camera to take these photos. Even for artistic applications, the use of such a lens is pretty obscure. It should never be used in MLS photos, when a realistic representation is required.

  5. Socalappraiser


    Fat Chick… are you kidding me? The realtard told him it was only LA 9 +’s that were going to come home with him once he owned that pad!

    @Irvine Renter

    Great service to help educate regular people! This coming W recession will set the prices on another downward spiral. Not sure all the foreign cash buyers will be able to keep the artificially high prices, even in Irvine! BTW, driving home from South Coast to the 55 on Macarthur, I saw another set of North Korean towers. Are these the NK towers east?

    Have a great Christmas!

    1. E

      The “fat chick” is the condo.

      Now the owner has a case of coyote love and needs to chew his arm off to escape the crushing debt.

    2. LC

      What kind of crazy people build these things? In the first place, people certainly will pay for the view — so why do you build TWO of them, ensuring that up to 50% of the views are destroyed? They are in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by 9-to-5 office parks, with little public transportation. All are served by Santa Ana schools. The monthly fees are also crazy high close to $1000. It is an ordeal to go anywhere, since the trip to the car is at least a five minute walk and elevator ride, one way. Perhaps they were built as corporate housing?

  6. IrvineMonkey

    Alright, alright, I will tell you a little about this property and the owner. His name is [deleted]. and he is a photographer. He shot the wedding of one of my close friends. He uses the fish eye lens for over 50% of his shots for their wedding. His shots were not that good and he charges an arm and a leg. I guess he has to to be able to afford a million dollar condo and a black Mercedes SL 500. Looks like this sub par photographer work has run out and people are not using him and now he is losing his house. Our friends actually have been inside because he uses the second bedroom, if you can call it that because it is so small, as his studio/office. He probably shot these photos himself for the listing. BURN BABY BURN!

    [edited by IR]

    1. OrangeRenter

      Most of us must get some entertainment value from reading these, or we wouldn’t be back day-after-day. The staggering loss on these in particular is a good read.

      However, this observation is too personal, imo. I don’t like to think about the person behind the post (and there always is one, or a family). So his business is failing and he’s losing his home Yippee .

      Maybe I just don’t like your “astute observation” today because I’m feeling Christmassey…

      1. ---

        i guess i will be a scrouge. i really dont feel sorry for anybody who took a risk to purchase somthing like this for 1 million.

  7. lowrydr310

    I think if the asking price was reduced by 50% and the association fees weren’t so high, I’d buy it myself. I’m not saying it’s not worth the asking price, it’s just way over my budget. That looks like a very nice place to live!

    The pictures aren’t too bad – sure there’s a lot of distortion but it’s a unique way of presenting a unique place.

    I’d rather look at artistic pictures from a very nice looking condo instead of proportionally-accurate pictures of an awful looking condo like the one featured yesterday.

  8. ME

    The place is zoo small the fish bowl lense is necessary. Kind of reminds me of the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland.

  9. newbie2008

    Merry Christmas.
    If the “owner” had nothing down or negative down, he might be having a very merry time. Free rent for a year or two.

    FC (trustee sale and short-sale with a full release) can remove great burdens from the borrower — emotional and debt load. I see many FC’s as great emotional release for the borrowers and a chance to get back on their feet (especially for the low money down loans).

    As for “I probably shouldn’t indulge is such great Schadenfreude on Christmas Eve, but this one is too good to pass up.” The debt (money loss) is likely being transfered to the taxpayer and less to the next buyer with the bailout plan. With the govt and housing, the most we can hope for is the return to true affordability and higher taxes over a few generations to pay for the bailout.

    Merry Christmas to all.

  10. Will

    Just when I thought I’d never have to say it again…this is NOT “urban living.” This is “suburban living” in a high-rise because if you need almost anything you’ll have to get in a car and DRIVE to get it, and you can pretty much forget about mass transit. New York, Chicago, London, etc. have true “urban living.” Orange County does NOT!

  11. LC

    Hehe. And I thought that you called them the “North Korea Towers” because they resemble the large apartment blocks that were so popular in the communist era.

    And if they want “urban” they should know that excellenct public transportation is required.

  12. Irvine5

    Merry Christmas to everyone on the IHB, especially to IR for all his amazing work this year.

    All I want for Christmas is for the price on the new homes being built in Woodbury (especially the Montecito) to be sold in Phase I for $400k. Is that too much to ask Santa?

    1. Chris

      I’m assuming $400k on a SFH right? What’s the house’s spec that you’re looking for?

      Be specific…and merry Xmas.

  13. lawyerliz

    Merry Christmas everybody.

    The last 3 Florida transactions I closed
    were under 100k.

    The one I closed on Wednesday has a p & i payment of tah, dah 272bucks a month. Plus taxes and
    maintenance–less than 600 bucks a month.

    In a lower middle class area.

    Hahahahahah :cheese:

  14. valerie

    shouldn’t the income requirement be higher for this property? I believe you usually base it off the mortage payment, but when HOA fees are 1k/ month, it really changes the D/I ratio. For this one it’s 41% (before tax?) based on cash outlays.

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