IHB News 4-24-2010

Is eight your lucky number? The seller of today's featured property certainly hopes so.

Irvine Home Address … 89 CANYON Crk Irvine, CA 92603

Resale Home Price …… $8,888,888


Look at the stars

Look how they shine for you

And everything you do

Yeah, they were all yellow

I came along

I wrote a song for you

And all the things you do

And it was called "Yellow"

So then I took my turn

Oh what a thing to have done

And it was all "Yellow"

Coldplay — Yellow

The Writer's Corner

The Cause Shoppe

Today, I want to introduce you to one of my heroes, Romney Snyder. I first met Romney five years ago with her first son (pictured right). Her generosity of heart is very special. I admire who she is and how she lives. She is an ordinary hero you might never hear about. I think that makes her extraordinary.

A single mom to two special needs boys – one with Down syndrome and the other with neurological and behavioral issues – Romney’s adventure in motherhood began with her first son’s 2004 adoption and only got more exciting with the second adoption in 2007. An open advocate for adoption (of both the child and canine varieties) she also plays mom to two rescued Pit Bulls and a Malti-poo mix. Earning a reputation as a “volunteeraholic,” Romney has been following her heart and involved with a variety of nonprofits since her high school days. Originally raising Guide Dog puppies in high school, Romney continued her charitable involvement beyond her college years, serving as a volunteer wish granter with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and an emergency disaster responder with the American Red Cross, which she is still involved with today. While she’ll admit that nothing compares to the adventure of being a parent to her two boys, her professional endeavors have come close. Working since she was 14, highlights include recurring extra work with Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (mentioned only at the insistence of Brooke) and nightclub management (where she started as a bouncer). A certified interpreter for the deaf with a strong background in Public Relations and communications, Romney believes these fields are the crux of where her talents lie and has achieved extensive local and national publicity for her clients, even taking one all the way to the White House where his accomplishments were recognized by the President. Today, Romney is the Program Director for ABILITY Awareness, a nonprofit organization dedicated to building a world of inclusion for people with disabilities, running her boutique brand management company Dilliant!, and loving the process of launching a company that is supporting amazing causes and providing an outlet for her entrepreneurial interests.

Romney's favorite charities are: ABILITY Awareness, the ASPCA, The Heart Gallery of America, The Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, and Neigh Savers

Romney and her business partner Brooke Fessler operate the online store, The Cause Shoppe:

The Cause Shoppe is a socially-conscious online shop that helps everyday consumers become philanthropists. We connect people with products and services that inspire awareness while supporting our local and global communities. In these trying economic times, buying PhilGoods™ offers opportunities for shoppers' purchases to have a greater purpose — supporting charities making vital change in our world. The site was officially launched December 2009 by founding partners Brooke Fessler and Romney Snyder with a few hundred favorite products and a promise to become the premier online site featuring PhilGoods™.

Go buy something from her store, The Cause Shoppe. You will pheel good about it.

Map presentation of income and housing data

I stumbled upon an interesting site, The H+T Affordability Index. They have custom, map-driven data analysis. Orange County is HERE. You can zoom in to Irvine.

The data shows income statistics and housing costs on a block-by-block basis. The data is very fine grained. For instance, the apartement complexes along Alton in Woodbridge show up as separate demographic neighborhoods where incomes and housing costs are quite low relative to the rest of town. The income desparity going across the loop is apparent too. The detail of the data is fantastic.

The areas still inflated to bubble price levels is apparent. The apartments on the Alton-Barranca corridor show the aggregate DTI renters are paying to live here. The numbers are quite high relative to national norms (look around the maps). The areas that have not deflated in value stand out too. The upper middle class is really getting a huge break by the banks refusing to foreclose. Plenty of squatting and sustained inflated values.

The disparity between renters and owners costs jumps out between these two graphics. Owners were putting 15% or more of their income toward housing than were renters in the same area. The owners DTIs are crushing. I wonder how many owners we are subsidizing with a loan modification?

There is so much to be learned from this information. I will talk to Zovall about exploring what we can do to work with this data at the IHB.

Check out your neighborhood.

Housing Bubble News from Patrick.net

Decline in FL property values will be steeper than expected (tampabay.com)

The Real State of the Housing Market (counterpunch.org)

Las Vegas property values at 2000 levels (lvrj.com)

The great property scam is back to rip us off again (independent.ie)

Shiller: "Mini-bubble" in Stock and Housing Markets (calculatedriskblog.com)

Hamptons House Prices Surge From Wall Street Bailouts (bloomberg.com)

The American people can't afford God's work anymore (theautomaticearth.blogspot.com)

Does Goldman Sachs case tarnish Cassandras of the crash? (app.com)

Lippmann, Mortgage Trader, Steps Down (dealbook.blogs.nytimes.com)

Bring Criminal Charges Against Originators of Stated-Income Mortgages (newobservations.net)

Yes, There Was a Housing Bubble (cjr.org)

Asking a Better Question About Who to Blame for the Financial Crisis (timiacono.com)

Mortgage Market Meltdown reprinted (greatdepression2006.blogspot.com)

Shifting mindset to one of non-payment revolt (mybudget360.com)

Japan Tries to Face Up to Growing Poverty Problem (nytimes.com)

Jon Stewart on Goldman Sachs (timiacono.com)

Obama to Nominate Jesus Christ to Supreme Court (readersupportednews.org)

Patrick speaking at Google (video – patrick.net)

Foreclosures moving to mid-to-high end (calculatedriskblog.com)

Bank of Canada Signals G-7s First Interest Rate Increases (bloomberg.com)

Fannie Mae Moving on Property in Mid-tier Markets (doctorhousingbubble.com)

City of Oakland placing liens for profit? (auditoaklandceda.com)

Los Angeles Among Forbes' Top 10 U.S Cities In Freefall (huffingtonpost.com)

California: The Beholden State (city-journal.org)

Anaheim businessman collects rent on Southern California houses (ocregister.com)

'Strategic Defaulters' Skip Mortgage Payments as House Values Tumble (pbs.org)

Former head of KB Home builder guilty on stock option backdating charges (latimes.com)

America's Economic Recovery Is a Rotten Sham (marketoracle.co.uk)

Geithner and NY Fed Accused of Willfully Ignoring Fraud (Mish)

AIG Said to Insure Goldman's Board Against Investor Suits (preview.bloomberg.com)

Hope rises for real financial reform (washingtonpost.com)

Why Government Regulation Fails (online.wsj.com)

401k Balances Remain 11% Lower Than in 2007 (bloomberg.com)

As Markets Fizzle, Buying May Cost Less Than Renting (also may not!) (nytimes.com)

NY luxury condos turn into halfway house for drug addicts run by paroled felon (nydailynews.com)

West Palm Beach condo unit sees 85% price cut (blogs.palmbeachpost.com)

23% unemployed at least a year (economy.freedomblogging.com)

A Fresh Approach To Measuring The Economy (npr.org)

Why Texas is doing so much better economically than the rest of the nation (slate.com)

Senior Goldman Executives Approved the Paulson Deal (Mish)

Abacus Deal: As Bad as They Come (online.wsj.com)

New York Lawmakers Rank Highest in Goldman Donations (bloomberg.com)

Goldman Fraud Is Not Goldman's Alone (citypaper.com)

Goldman Sachs toil, Chinese bubble stirring up double trouble? (vancouversun.com)

Fed's Secret Loans To Favored Banks (bloomberg.com)

How We Get Ahead Now: Gaming the System (Charles Hugh Smith)

Former L.A. firefighter pleads no contest in real-estate scheme (latimesblogs.latimes.com)

New Canadian mortgage rules take effect (cbc.ca)

10 Scariest Charts Of The Recession (huffingtonpost.com)

The Future of U.S. Housing (mybudget360.com)

Moody's fears social unrest as AAA states implement austerity plans (telegraph.co.uk)

Fannie: House Buying Credit Failed (theatlantic.com)

Fannie Mae owns patent on residential 'cap and trade' exchange (washingtonexaminer.com)

Recent CFTC Hearing and the Future of Precious Metals Markets (thedailybell.com)

U.S. property plunge – how low will it go? (theglobeandmail.com)

Selling O.C. mansion? Wait 3 years! (lansner.freedomblogging.com)

Extreme HELOC Abuse from Extreme Makeover House Owners (irvinehousingblog.com)

Wealth was not "lost". Sellers and banks took it. (snl.com)

Commercial Real Estate Prices Decline 2.6% in February (calculatedriskblog.com)

Patrick Needs Data (patrick.net)

Top Goldman Leaders Said to Have Overseen Mortgage Unit (finance.yahoo.com)

Goldman Sachs Fraud Roundup; The Story Has Just Begun (Mish)

SEC Charges against Goldman Sachs Send Shivers through Wall Street (rismedia.com)

Did the SEC plant a Goldman bomb? (theautomaticearth.blogspot.com)

How Goldman exploited the information gap (money.cnn.com)

Top Goldman Leaders Said to Have Overseen Mortgage Unit (nytimes.com)

Congress too weak and fearful to break up biggest banks (washingtontimes.com)

Financial Markets — Open Yale Courses (oyc.yale.edu)

5 Celebs Hit Hard By Foreclosure (thepittsburghchannel.com)

In Debt We Trust (long video – google.com)

Yuan Gains May Help China Vault Past Japan to Be No. 2 Economy (bloomberg.com)

China To Overtake U.S. As World's Biggest Asshole By 2020 (theonion.com)

Baja California luxury developments go from boom to bust (articles.latimes.com)

South Florida's condo crisis: Prices at seven-year lows (palmbeachpost.com)

Lure of easy real-estate money sinks couple (ajc.com)

Maui foreclosure outlook excellent (for frugal buyers) (honoluluadvertiser.com)

U.S. foreclosure filings up in first quarter (marketwatch.com)

National foreclosure rates rise to highest quarterly total ever (newjerseynewsroom.com)

Here Come The Foreclosures (housing-kaboom.blogspot.com)

Just in time for spring, next wave of foreclosure crisis gets rolling (boston.com)

Foreclosures will be the wrecking ball for the American economy (theautomaticearth)

Five Reasons House Prices May Slump For Years (politicallore.com)

U.S. Housing Market Crash Update: There's A World of Pain Ahead (marketoracle.co.uk)

Housing and the Collapse of Upward Mobility (Charles Hugh Smith)

The Renter's Manifesto (thelibertyguardian.com)

Our Pecora Moment: Fraud is the Heart of Wall Street (baselinescenario.com)

Goldman Sachs fraud case stunning in its indictment of Wall Street culture (blogs.ajc.com)

S.E.C. Sues Goldman Over Housing Market Deal (nytimes.com)

Pointless deals line Wall Street pockets, Goldman Sachs suit shows (latimes.com)

Banks have even greater control of government since bailouts (pbs.org)

Measuring Wall Street Apologetics – Regret-o-Meter (nytimes.com)

Treasury seeks public comments on reform for housing-finance system (washingtonpost.com)

Irvine Home Address … 89 CANYON Crk Irvine, CA 92603

Resale Home Price … $8,888,888

Home Purchase Price … $8,200,000

Home Purchase Date …. 12/11/2009

Net Gain (Loss) ………. $155,555

Percent Change ………. 8.4%

Annual Appreciation … 19.5%

Cost of Ownership


$8,888,888 ………. Asking Price

$1,777,778 ………. 20% Down Conventional

5.16% …………… Mortgage Interest Rate

$7,111,110 ………. 30-Year Mortgage

$1,874,203 ………. Income Requirement

$38,872 ………. Monthly Mortgage Payment

$7704 ………. Property Tax

$800 ………. Special Taxes and Levies (Mello Roos)

$741 ………. Homeowners Insurance

$500 ………. Homeowners Association Fees


$48,617 ………. Monthly Cash Outlays

-$3361 ………. Tax Savings (% of Interest and Property Tax)

-$8295 ………. Equity Hidden in Payment

$3615 ………. Lost Income to Down Payment (net of taxes)

$1111 ………. Maintenance and Replacement Reserves


$41,687 ………. Monthly Cost of Ownership

Cash Acquisition Demands


$88,889 ………. Furnishing and Move In @1%

$88,889 ………. Closing Costs @1%

$71,111 ………… Interest Points @1% of Loan

$1,777,778 ………. Down Payment


$2,026,666 ………. Total Cash Costs

$639,000 ………… Emergency Cash Reserves


$2,665,666 ………. Total Savings Needed

Property Details for 89 CANYON Crk Irvine, CA 92603


Beds: 9

Baths: 9 full 2 part baths

Home size: 13,500 sq ft

($658 / sq ft)

Lot Size: 27,852 sq ft

Year Built: 2008

Days on Market: 30

MLS Number: P727695

Property Type: Single Family, Residential

Community: Turtle Rock

Tract: Shdc


Fabulous Santa Barbara Estate located in the exclusive golf community of Shady Canyon! This is your perfect home for entertaining! This home is light, bright and has 9 bedroom suites, 11 bathrooms and the 9 car garage has its own dedicated kitchen and it can be used as a ballroom for 100 people! The home is built around a center courtyard atrium with a 3 story waterfall. There is a total of 3 full kitchens, 1 butler's kitchen, 2 kitchenettes and 1 outdoor kitchen all with top of the line Viking Professional appliances. Huge game room, multiple bars, karaoke stage, pool table, theater, exercise room (with its own spa-sauna, jacuzzi, steam room, shower), wine room, dedicated laundry room, elevator, security system (wired for indoor and outdoor surveillance cameras), surround sound (wired for multi-media and Ipod docking stations), whole house purified drinking water system and much more.

I don't know that I have every seen a pool or snooker table quite so long and narrow. What is that? And check out the garage:

26 thoughts on “IHB News 4-24-2010

  1. Peter

    For the commission that I would be paying on $8.8 million, I would expect the agent to know the difference between “story” and “storey”

  2. Tim

    I woke up much too early this morning and, after reading everything worthwhile on the internet, had to resort to an old fashioned book to pass the time waiting for everyone else to awaken.

    The book I chose was a long time favorite, Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck. I mention it in this forum because the book has many convoluted real estate arrangements driving its various episodes and because each scheme is usually driven ostensibly with the most high minded and yet truly simultaneously sinister intentions.

    I was particularly taken by this passage, reproduced below describing one character’s state of mind shortly after embarking on such a scheme and how we might often think of ourselves so:

    Pilon was a lover of beauty and a mystic. He raised his face into the sky and his soul arose out of him into the sun’s afterglow. That not too perfect Pilon, who plotted and fought, who drank and cursed, trudged slowly on; but a wistful and shining Pilon went up to the sea gulls where they bathed on sensitive wings in the evening. That Pilon was beautiful, and his thoughts were unstained with selfishness and lust. And his thoughts are good to know.

    The character then goes on to offer to essentially sublease the house he is renting for the exact amount of the rent that he owes his landlord friend, Danny.

    To quote from a few pages earlier in the book: “It is impossible to say whether Danny expected any rent, or whether Pilon expected to pay any. If they did both were disappointed.”

  3. mofa

    Holy crap! The area where I live (a block inland from the Redondo Beach Pier) is awash in people paying upwards of 70% of their income to pretend to be homeowners! Just two blocks inward (Torrance) it drops to a reasonable 50%! I’ve been a lowly renter in this quiet, safe neighborhood for 15 years, and for some reason they just don’t raise my rent. (It’s probably because I’m quiet and have my rent on auto-pay). My costs to live in this nice area (though in admittedly cramped quarters): 9%! I’M THROWING MY MONEY AWAY! I feel so empty inside…

    1. wheresthebeef

      I’m a few blocks south of you in Redondo. I rent also…this south bay market is beyond crazy, I think it even eclipses Irvine’s insanity. There is no need to do a rent vs buy equation here. You can rent nice places cheap (I’m at 15% of my income) and enjoy all the benefits of the area. Resale and rental prices will continue to drop for the near future.

      Do you ever plan on buying here? Good luck.

    2. IrvineRenter

      “Holy crap! The area where I live (a block inland from the Redondo Beach Pier) is awash in people paying upwards of 70% of their income to pretend to be homeowners!”

      Now you see why I believe the high end is going to get crushed. Those DTIs are not supportable.

      1. mofa

        Yes, I’ve been saving up for a downpayment on anything west of ~ Hawthorne Blvd for, well, 15 years. During the 2004-2007 frenzy, I could have become a future “seventy percenter,” but my brain would lock up and I’d think, “one half of one million dollars … for a condo???” Then I’d walk away and try to save money faster.

        At this point, I’ve saved enough to put 20% down on a condo in Brookside Village (clean, safe, and acceptable by my standards) or I could wait for things to fall a little more and start thinking about a small house, but I just can’t get excited about it. Until California starts living within its means, there’s a threat of either rampant (and capricous) tax increases or dramatically lowered services, and I don’t want to get married to a mortgage with those things hanging over my head.

        Sheesh … I’d be happy to pay higher taxes, but in the 32 years since I came to this state, I have not seen a single rational decision regarding taxes from Sacramento. So, from my perspective, the state is basically insane, and you’re not supposed to marry crazy.

      2. pasadenabee

        These maps are crazy. Thank you.

        There are parts of Pasadena coming in at over 100%. How is that even possible? One neighborhood in Pasadena is 118%.

        1. tonyE

          The data being compared is inconsistent.

          You can not match highly detailed RE neighborhood prices with regionally calculated household incomes and expect mathematically valid results.

        2. Laura Louzader

          The folks with housing costs 100% or more of their incomes simply aren’t paying, that’s all. They’re most likely in delinquency or default, and so are those whose housing costs are 70% of their income.

          Those who still have lines of credit might be still paying for their food and gas and dry cleaning with credit cards, but that ends after a while, when your CC bills take what’s left of your income after the housing costs.

          Many of these people are probably squatting in their upper bracket houses. And you and I are subsidizing them.

          1. Planet Reality

            It you believe that Pasadena residents have housing expenses greater than 100% of income you need another hit of the crack pipe. Go check out Beverly hills, Malibu, and Manhattan Beach for some extacy laced crack.

        3. IrvineRenter

          “There are parts of Pasadena coming in at over 100%. How is that even possible? One neighborhood in Pasadena is 118%.”

          The data is assuming a 20% downpayment. If every homeowner puts 50% down, the proper amount of income borrowing added in would push the statistics over 100%.

    3. PersainCAT

      u think 70% is bad about a mile from where i am its at 72% and the average income is 150k a year. anywhere that is even remotely nice is upwards of 60%, with average incomes all in the 140k range.

      you have to go 6+ miles to find something under 40% and this is the burbs. Fairfax county is crazy.

  4. nefron

    That affordability site is neat. Now I feel guilty for scolding you earlier this week on the whole morality thing, I’ve learned so much from this blog 🙂 I don’t know how you produce so much day after day but my hat’s off to you.

    1. IrvineRenter

      No worries. I didn’t feel scolded.

      Part of the purpose of the blog is for people to express their opinions and have them held up to the scrutiny of others. It is an excellent way to find faulty reasoning. I know I have changed my mind about things because of comments. The difference of opinions is part of the strength of the comments. It is also why I tend to leave others the last word.

      1. Walter

        Thank you for making your comment section one of the best on the Internet.

        I posted once on Redfin and not sure how else to describe it but nasty. Maybe it was a rare bad experience, but I have to admit I have not bothered going back.

  5. E

    Is there ever going to be another IHB meetup?

    I’m itching to get out of Hollywierd and come on down to the promised land for a day!

    I’d also pitch in for some sort of fund to help convince AZDavidPhx to show up.

  6. newbie2008

    Do you have map that breaks down DTI for above 30% DTI . I can believe that a 35% DTI can be substained, but the above 50% is unsubstainable. If lots of households are at 50% or more, they can only do it for 10 years before exhausting or a HEW infusion is needed to keep them hooked. Kind of like a junkie getting a fix to keep going.

  7. tonyE

    Aahh. statistics and lies….

    Mathematically I see a BIG problem with those charts. they are mixing data sets and the end result is not valid data. Reminds me of the time I used too many interpolation points in a FFT algorithm and I discovered negative gravity… the algorithm diverged when you wanted to do too many interpolations.

    This is the problem here:

    Those charts is that they use a wide area “regional income” number to compare very detailed RE prices. That, make them useless. If they are going to use regional income, then they must keep their “RE price” areas to the same level of granularity… Either compare all of OC, or figure out the household income for a given neighborhood.

    See? Allowing the income in Santa Ana to affect the charts in TR automatically disqualifies the chart data. Because someone looking to purchase in Santa Ana would not look into TR, and viceversa.

    These are independent data sets.

    But they allow to commingle them.

    Example: I was looking at the TR charts and they look awful, until you realize that they use a regional household income at XK.

    Now, I gotta tell you, if your household income is $58K you are not looking into TR.

    1. IrvineRenter

      I don’t think the problem you describe is the cause of the unusual numbers.

      If buyers bring in healthy down payments to go along with their extremely leveraged loans, the ratios can exceed 100%. The assumption in the home finance numbers is that people put 20% down. If they put 60% down, it looks like they have a loan at over 100% of their income when in reality is closer to 40%.

      1. tonyE

        I did a zip code search on 92603 a couple of weeks ago. Used Redfin.

        The median income per household was around $200K with a big bunch up over $500K.

        If you substitute those numbers by the ones that the maps use then suddenly the DTIs change tremendously. Instead of 70% you get 20%.

        1. Planet Reality

          Any SFR neighborhood in a good zip code of OC has a huge 6 figure median income. It’s time for people to recognize this fact and move on. Sure there are pretenders, but they are currently being replaced with the real deal incomes.

    2. .

      Does the data take into consideration retirees who no longer have a mortgage and are living in a $1,500,000 house on a $50,000 income?

  8. Anonymous

    More zipcode fun:
    1. Go to redfin.com
    2. In the search box, type in a zip code
    3. Click on any random house listing in that area to open it
    4. Scroll down to the bottom of the house listing and in the “Communities and Schools” section, click on the zip code’s demographics link

    Then you see a page with all the demographics for that zip code. Scroll to the bottom of the page and there is an income by dollar range (Median Income) that shows you exactly how many households make which income range. Pretty interesting.

    1. Planet Reality

      This data is unfortunate because it shows that people living in the best neighborhoods can afford their homes today. Of course most bought there home 10 years ago so they have plenty of disposable income.

      It’s more convenient to ignore and look on the aggregate since a third of people rent and a third of people don’t have a mortgage. That tells a more hopeful story for the top third of neighborhoods. Garbage in…. Garbage out.

      1. Chris

        Unfortunately what you’ve mentioned is in fact true.

        And I doubt the folks living in the better Irvine zip code areas are HELOC abusers.

Comments are closed.