Category Archives: Price Rollback

Rent or Own? Fall 2009

Everyone wants a comfortable family home; a safe place to share family
love and memories. The question becomes should you create this
environment in a home you rent? or a home you own?

life in Irvine, California

Irvine Home Address … 8 Blue Ridge Rd Irvine, CA 92620
Resale Home Price …… $675,000


Such a feelins comin over me
There is wonder in most everything I see
Not a cloud in the sky
Got the sun in my eyes
And I wont be surprised if its a dream

Top of the World — The Carpenters

There is an excitement in the air. People believe the recession is over, there is not a cloud in the sky, and possibilities are endless. Now where is that HELOC money so we can get back to living?

The mainstream media is dominated by articles full of wishful thinking. The optimism is blinding people to the realities of the commercial real estate bust and the residential ARM resets yet to be written down. We still have two major deflationary events in front of us, and there is scarcely a mention of it in the MSM.

What is fueling optimism in the real estate market — other than residual kool-aid intoxication — is a host of government market props. These include (1) an $8,000 tax credit to qualified first-time home buyers purchasing a principal residence on or after January 1, 2009 and before December 1, 2009, (2) the Federal Reserve buying agency debt so the GSEs and the FHA can continue to underwrite loans no investors want in order to hold down mortgage interest rates, and (3) withholding of product inventory to create artificial shortages.

Buy? or Rent?

Buyers believe the government props will sustain the market long enough for free-market conditions to support current price levels. In short, buyers believe we are at the bottom. Renters believe the local market will fall off a cliff once the government market props have been removed. Who is right? Is the market “on ice” like buyers believe? or is it “on fire” like the renters believe?

Irvine Fire and Ice Scenarios

The Federal Reserve’s Dilemma

The Federal Reserve is not charged with re-inflating the housing bubble and returning our economy to HELOC borrowing for personal consumption. As Barney Frank put it, “It (expanding FHA) was
an effort to keep prices from falling too fast. That’s a policy.
” Do you understand the implication of his official policy statement? The US Government — and the FED — are charged with making sure prices do not fall too fast. Once prices stop falling in an uncontrolled death spiral, the props will be removed.

The FED does not want to be a market prop, but they do not feel like they have much choice in the matter. Each market that crashes deflated hundreds of billions of dollars of lender collateral, or as is more common now, lender property. Lenders would love to maintain the illusion of high prices in Coastal California.

Once prices start to fall sharply, cure rates fall off and people walk away from their properties. This tipping point is reached when the downward spiral takes over; foreclosures lower prices which creates more foreclosures. The lenders are desperate to prevent this.

The Federal Reserve is under pressure to wind down special programs and market supports and return the economy to a regulated free market (do you like that oxymoron?) If the Federal Reserve keeps these programs in props in place, it will be very inflationary, and it may even result in a big inflation spike in 2011. Eventually, the market props will need to be phased out.

With the Federal Reserve trying to balance its competing priorities, sustained appreciation in the real estate market is not very likely, particularly in markets like ours where the downward spiral has not crushed prices yet. The FED will attempt to hold mortgage interest rates low by buying agency paper until such time they don’t need to. They will do this until inflation forces their hand and makes them stop. If they are able to succeed, they may be able to flatten the market and ease interest rates back up while the market fundamentals catch up.

The Lost Decade

The chart above shows median home prices in Irvine stabilizing at
$450,000 in 2010 as interest rates bottom at 4.5%. The average interest rate since the early 1970s when the GSEs
started keeping records is 8% (7.99% actually). I further assumed
interest rates will rise once this economic crisis is over from an
unprecedented 4.5% to the long term average of 8%.

None of us knows what will happen next. The best we can do is take an objective look at the information and try to make a good decision. Right now, in the fall of 2009, the circumstances favor renting unless you are buying with a 7-10 year timeframe. There is too much potential downside risk and very limited upside potential. If you are buying today in Irvine because you expect appreciation, you will be disappointed in the short and medium term. In the long term, we are all dead.

life in Irvine, California

Irvine Home Address … 8 Blue Ridge Rd Irvine, CA 92620

Resale Home Price … $675,000

Income Requirement ……. $124,236
Downpayment Needed … $135,000

Home Purchase Price … $865,000
Home Purchase Date …. 7/18/2007

Net Gain (Loss) ………. $(230,500)
Percent Change ………. -22.0%
Annual Appreciation … -7.9%

Monthly Mortgage Payment … $2,899
Monthly Cash Outlays ………… $3,780
Monthly Cost of Ownership … $2,830

Redfin Property Details for 8 Blue Ridge Rd Irvine, CA 92620

Beds: 4
Baths: 2.5
Sq. Ft.: 2,509
$/Sq. Ft.: $269
Lot Size: 5,998 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached, Single Family Residence
Stories: 2
Year Built: 1979
Community: Northwood
County: Orange
MLS#: K09059907
Source: MRMLS
Status: Active
On Redfin: 137 days

Irvine home built in 1979 4 Bedroom 2 1/2 Bathroom boasting 2,495 sq ft in Living Space.


Check out this listing price history:

Date Event Price
Oct 14, 2009 Price Changed $675,000
Oct 13, 2009 Price Changed $600,000
Oct 13, 2009 Relisted
Jun 04, 2009 Delisted
Jun 01, 2009 Listed $550,000

This is an unforeclosed short sale from what I can tell in the property records. Either the lender is getting greedy to recover more of its lost loan money or this seller is delusional. It could be a bit of both.

This property was purchased on 7/18/2007 for $865,000. The owners used a $778,500 first mortgage and a $86,500 downpayment. It didn’t take them long to give up on the property.

Foreclosure Record
Recording Date: 12/15/2008
Document Type: Notice of Sale (aka Notice of Trustee’s Sale)
Document #: 2008000573928

Foreclosure Record
Recording Date: 08/20/2008
Document Type: Notice of Default
Document #: 2008000396611

There must be more to this story. A couple who put in a significant downpayment gave up paying about a year after move in? I doubt they felt they were so far underwater it was hopeless. This may be a job loss or other family issue.

I assume the people must still live there and they are handling this as a short sale. If so, they haven’t made a payment to anyone for their housing for the last year. Free housing during the Great Recession is this family’s compensation for losing their home.

Alternate Market Price Measurements

The median sales price is a reasonable measure of property values in a market; however, (1) the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index is superior for tracking relative price change and market price direction, and (2) cost per-square-foot is superior for determining what was obtained for the money spent.

99 Alberti Aisle 320 Irvine, CA 92614 kitchen

Irvine Home Address … 99 Alberti Aisle 320 Irvine, CA 92614
Resale Home Price …… $239,900

And the years rolled slowly past
And I found myself alone
Surrounded by strangers I thought were my friends
I found myself further and further from my home
And I guess I lost my way
There were oh so many roads
I was living to run and running to live
Never worried about paying or even how much I owed

Moving eight miles a minute for months at a time
Breaking all of the rules that would bend
I began to find myself searchin’
Searching for shelter again and again

Against the wind
A little something against the wind
I found myself seeking shelter
Against the wind

Against The Wind — Bob Seger

The median sales prices does not give any indication of what was obtained for the money spent. Median prices may be flat while people are either getting more for their money or settling for less. Also, the median sales price when charted over time occasionally gives false signals when prices appear to be moving on one direction when the prices of individual properties in the market are moving another. To deal with these problems with the median, alternate measures of pricing are used.

Cost Per-Square-Foot

Many data reporting services measure, record, and report the average
sales cost on a per-square-foot basis to address the problem of
evaluating what buyers are getting for their money. For instance, in a
declining market if people start buying much larger homes at the limit
of affordability, the generic median sales price would remain
unchanged, but since buyers are getting much larger homes for the same
money, the average cost per-square-foot would decline accordingly. This
makes the average cost per-square-foot a superior measure for capturing
qualitative changes in house prices; however, this method of
measurement does not capture the relative quality of the square footage
purchased, only the price paid for it. High quality finishes may
justify a higher price per square foot. There is no way to objectively
evaluate the impact finish quality has on home prices. The main
problems with using the average cost per-square-foot to measure price
is that it does not provide a number comparable to sales prices since
it has been divided by square feet, and it is not widely measured and

S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index

To address some of the weaknesses of the generic median sales price
as a measure of market value, Karl Case and Robert Shiller developed
the Case-Shiller indices for measuring market trends. This index
measures the change in price of repeat sales. It solves the dilemma of
pricing like-kind properties–almost. Although these indices capture the
price movements of individual properties far better than the generic
median sales price, it does not take into account value added through
renovation and improvement. To address this issue, the index gives less
weight to extreme price changes assuming the outlier is a significant
renovation. However, if there is a market-wide renovation of
properties, as was the case in many markets during the Great Housing
Bubble; this will cause a distortion in the index.

National S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, 1987-2007

National S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, 1987-2007

The other weaknesses
of the Case Shiller indices concern how and where it is reported. Since
it is an index of relative price change rather than a direct measure of
price, the index is reported as an arbitrary number based on a baseline
date; therefore, the numbers are not useful for evaluating current
pricing. The index is also confined to 20 large metropolitan areas
around the United States. The large geographical coverage areas are
required to obtain enough repeat sales to construct a smooth index. The
broad yet limited geographical coverage fails to capture price changes
in smaller markets. Also, since the Case-Shiller index is a measure of
changes in prices of sales of the same home, it does not include any
newly constructed homes. No measure is perfect, but the Case-Shiller
index is the best at measuring historic movements in pricing because
its methodology is focused on repeat sales of the same property.

Los Angeles S&P/Case-Shiller Index, 1987-2007

Los Angeles S&P/Case-Shiller Index, 1987-2007


The Great Housing Bubble was an asset bubble of unprecedented
proportions. Between 2000 and 2006, home prices increased 45%
nationally, and in California home prices increased 135%. [iv] Had this
amazing price increase coincided with a period of high inflation, it
may not have been indicative of a price bubble, merely the general
increase in prices of all goods and services; however, inflation was
low during this period. The inflation adjusted price increases
nationwide were 23% and in California it was 100%. There was no great
improvement in the quality of houses justifying the higher prices.
Although some homeowners made cosmetic improvements, the vast majority
of homes were unchanged during this period, and many deteriorated with
age. Resale homes did not undergo any form of manufacturing process
where value was added to the final product. There was little real
wealth created during the bubble, just a temporary exaggeration of

99 Alberti Aisle 320 Irvine, CA 92614 kitchen

Irvine Home Address … 99 Alberti Aisle 320 Irvine, CA 92614

Resale Home Price … $239,900

Income Requirement ……. $44,154
Downpayment Needed … $47,980

Home Purchase Price … $255,000
Home Purchase Date …. 10/29/2003

Net Gain (Loss) ………. $(29,494)
Percent Change ………. -5.9%
Annual Appreciation … -1.0%

Monthly Mortgage Payment … $1,030
Monthly Cash Outlays ………… $1,410
Monthly Cost of Ownership … $1,070

Redfin Property Details for 99 Alberti Aisle 320 Irvine, CA 92614

Beds 1
Baths 1 bath
Size 728 sq ft
($330 / sq ft)
Lot Size n/a
Year Built 1989
Days on Market 1
Listing Updated 10/8/2009
MLS Number P706322
Property Type Condominium, Residential
Community Westpark
Tract Ti

According to the listing agent, this listing is a bank owned (foreclosed) property.

Bright, one bedroom one bath, lower unit in great location. Kitchen has tile counters, wood/laminate cabinets and breakfast bar; spacious living room with window shutters; bedroom with walk-in closet; bathroom has tile flooring and fiberglass shower enclosure; washer/dryer connections located at front courtyard closet. Great for individual, new couple or investor. Close to schools and shopping centers.

Today’s featured property is a 2003 rollback. It was originally purchased with 100% financing on 10/29/2003. The owners later expanded their $51,000 second mortgage by opening a $271,200 HELOC and a $67,800 HELOC. Their total property debt was $543,000, and mortgage equity withdrawal was $339,000. The lender is actually losing about $350,000.

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.


Expensive Education

The people who bought in The Plaza are taking full advantage of their Scholarship to the School of Hard Knocks.

8089 Scholarship   Irvine, CA 92612  kitchen

Asking Price: $702,900
Address: 8089 Scholarship Irvine, CA 92612

Run and tell all of the angels
This could take all night
Think I need a devil to help me
Get things right

Hook me up a new revolution
Cos this one is a lie
We sat around laughing
And watch the last one die

Im looking to the sky to save me
Looking for a sign of life
Looking for something help me burn out bright

Learn To Fly — Foo Fighters

Looking to the sky to save the values in the towers on Jamboree? I don’t think there will be pennies from Heaven — dollars from Washington maybe — but the market for these units will continue to crumble. I first documented the problems in The Plaza in the post, School of Hard Knocks.

The owner of today’s featured property is learning a tough lesson as well. When the foreclosure went through, he lost his $295,600 downpayment. That must have hurt.

Just Say Nothing?

When I wrote last Friday’s post Good Karma, it was astutely pointed out that for every buyer I saved I made life more difficult for a seller. This is true. In my defence, I note that the seller already made their decision when they bought previously. The decision to sell is about mitigating consequences. It is the buyer who is agreeing to take on the consequences of the decision anew, and they deserve good information to make that decision.

Does educating buyers to consequences make it good and right to sellers? It works for me. I will let you decide for yourself. Isn’t choosing to say nothing and failing to help when you can an action for which you must answer to yourself?

The astute observation points to a deeper issue; what should the Cassandra’s of this world do? The School of Hard Knocks is expensive education. Would you dissuade buyers if you thought they were making a mistake?

I received the following from an anonymous reader:

Hello IHB,

I’m a renter in the Bay Area. One of my coworkers recently announced he was going to buy a condo. It’s a new building, just recently thrown up, and he announced he was purchasing a unit, 1300 sq ft, a one car garage and a patio big enough for 2 chairs and no bbq allowed (but it’s got granite and stainless!) for the low low price of $400K.

I lived in this neighborhood for 2 years until last May. It’s awful. the 7-11 across the street routinely has vagrants drinking and sleeping in the parking lot. There is a light rail track that constantly stops traffic. And, as it turns out, the condo building is across the street from a halfway house where the state of California releases mentally challenged inmates that cannot be reintroduced directly into the community. The police used my driveway twice to conduct searches of cars they pulled over because they knew that we were not violent criminals and felt safe about using our space. My neighbor was attacked in broad daylight and his truck was stolen. Someone pulled a gun on my other neighbor at 7:30 AM, but then ran away, and the police assured us it was a mistake and the gang bangers had the wrong house (Oh, you mean they could have accidentally come to my house?)

My point/ question is, that when someone announces that they’re going to be homeowners, and especially first time homeowners, everyone oohs and aahs and congratulates and smiles. I was the only one who did not. I asked a coworker if it’s proper for me to pull him aside and think long and hard and tell him my experiences in that neighborhood. Everyone, including my mother, told me that would be rude and that it’s absolutely not my place to do so.

Anyway, on the day they signed the papers, they discovered the halfway house for mental inmates, which was buried in flowery language somewhere in the CC&R’s, and their second night their garage was broken into and all of my coworker’s prized musical instruments and lots of personal effects like good winter jackets, etc. were stolen.

I have also had other friends buy pointless, horrible property in other places and one has chosen foreclosure and walked away to live with her parents, destroying her and her husband’s credit for years after the condo they bought for $450 was appraised in the low 200s. Another is having their marriage dissolve after the wife nagged the husband into buying a house in a highly overinflated area at the peak, where the house has lost 50% of its value.

When is it proper for someone to speak up and stop the madness? Had I had the balls to tell my coworker not to buy there, I might be an a-hole raining on his parade, but he wouldn’t have lost $10K in musical instruments and be living across from a minimum security psych ward. Was I wrong not to speak up, put a fake smile on and congratulate?

How would you deal with this situation?

8089 Scholarship   Irvine, CA 92612  kitchen

Asking Price: $702,900

Income Requirement: $133,078
Downpayment Needed: $140,580

Purchase Price: $1,182,000
Purchase Date: 2/28/2007

Gain (Loss) after 6% Commission: -$521,274
Percent Change: -40.5%
Annualized Return: -16%

Address: 8089 Scholarship Irvine, CA 92612

Beds: 2
Baths: 3
Sq. Ft.: 1,790
$/Sq. Ft.: $393
Lot Size: –
Property Type: Condominium
Style: Other
Stories: 1
Floor: 8
View: City Lights, Mountain, Panoramic
Year Built: 2007
Community: Airport Area
County: Orange
MLS#: S588594
Source: SoCalMLS
Status: Active
On Redfin: 3 day

Super mountain, city lights and horizon views! Corner unit featuring a grand foyer and gallery. The kitchen has granite countertops, Viking appliances and beautiful cabinets. Floor to ceiling windows and wrap around balcony. Wood flooring throughout most of the unit, carpeting in the bedrooms. Fireplace in the living room. The building has a lobby entrance, two pools, jacuzzi, conference room, gym and more. On-site management.

They didn’t waste much time foreclosing on this guy.

Foreclosure Record
Recording Date: 04/17/2009
Document Type: Notice of Sale (aka Notice of Trustee’s Sale)
Document #: 2009000189064

Foreclosure Record
Recording Date: 12/26/2008
Document Type: Notice of Default
Document #: 2008000590159

It looks like he gave up about a year ago. It must have been tough to accept that he lost almost $300,000 in 18 months.

Good Karma

Have you every done something good for no reason and watched the good flow back to you?

Today’s featured property is a Portola Springs homes struggling to find a bottom.

68 Bell Chime   Irvine, CA 92618  inside

Asking Price: $698,500
Address: 68 Bell Chime Irvine, CA 92618

Here comes the sun, here comes the sun,
and I say it’s all right

Little darling, it’s been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it’s been here
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
and I say it’s all right

Here Comes the Sun — The Beatles

In life there are periods of growth and expansion followed by periods of rest and consolidation.


Spiritually, I am in a phase of reflection as has spilled over into my writing for the blog. My style is to be open and creative and filter as little as possible; it is why my writing is authentic. Like any phase, this will pass, and I will live on — hopefully at a higher level with a greater quality of life. Until then, you will see the occasional Friday post like this one.

I had a friend from High School email me recently and tell me he was beginning chemotherapy. I think about him often, as does the rest of our circle of friends. News like that makes you ask if you are (1) spending enough time with your family, (2) doing enough good in the community and (3) living your life by your own standards.

There are many reasons for my reflective moods, not the least of which is the story I am going to tell you today.

Clarity of Purpose

When I started writing for the IHB, I wanted to get the word out about the impending collapse of home prices. I wanted to save people. I still do.

I had no other motivation for writing other than to convince people not to buy; prices were not going to rise forever, and if that is why they were buying, they were making a big mistake. Each person I convinced not to buy was a person I saved from a major financial disaster. With the conviction of a religious zealot, I set out to tell the Truth about The Great Housing Bubble.


Back in March, a long-time reader came to the IHB gathering and told me his IHB story. In early 2007, this reader was contemplating buying an expensive home in Portola Springs. A colleague of his had discovered the blog and told him to check it out before making any purchase. After reading the blog, he decided not to buy right at the peak in Portola Springs.

This reader is convinced he would be hundreds of thousands of dollars underwater right now if it were not for my writing, and he is very grateful. As it turns out, he has connections with people in the land development industry, and when he became aware of a large project, he made some introductions and got me involved. When the initial planning of this project goes forward the recession will be over for me. The sun is poking through the darkness.

This reader did not have to bring me in to that project. He saw an opportunity to send some good back to me, and he made it happen, not because he owed my anything, but because he wanted to. How cool is that?

It doesn’t matter if I benefit in any way from this, it was the gesture that was so great. This is my public thank you to my anonymous friend.

Thank You

While I am thanking anonymous do-gooders, I thought I might mention a gentleman I worked with about 6 years ago when I first arrived in Irvine. He is a local developer with deals over the Southwest. When we first met, he liked me, so he offered me a chance to work with him. As it turned out, he needed someone with greater expertise in land acquisition.

Rather than sending me packing, he told me it is easier to find work when you have work, so I had 60 days to search — on his dime — and he would make some calls to help me. How cool is that?

He was going to gain nothing from doing this for me, and I was going to cost him a fair amount of money. What motivates a man like that?

I found new work quickly, and I did not need to take him up on the full term of his generous offer. I always remembered what he did.

Last year I had occasion to visit his office, and at the conclusion of our meeting, I closed the door, retold the story and thanked him for his generosity. I also told him I feel he is an outstanding human being. He is.

Maybe I make too much of this. Perhaps this is not new to you. If you have been living a life of service to others and you have seen goodness come back to you, these events would be an everyday occurrence. I have not been so saintly.

I have never been in a position to do so much good for so many people — at least that I was aware of — and I have never acted on the opportunity before the IHB. The experience has changed my life for the better.

The Connection

One of the features of my writing has always been the connection between the macro and the micro. I often tie big issues and statistics to individual properties. The owner of today’s Portola Springs property did not discover the IHB in 2007, and now they are ruined. They did not lose much money as this was a 100% financing deal, but their credit is trashed, and they are losing their home.

These issues are important, and the decisions people make have long-term impact on their lives.

68 Bell Chime   Irvine, CA 92618  inside

Asking Price: $698,500

Income Requirement: $174,625
Downpayment Needed: $139,700

Purchase Price: $790,500
Purchase Date: 3/28/2007

Address: 68 Bell Chime Irvine, CA 92618

Beds: 4
Baths: 4
Sq. Ft.: 2,260
$/Sq. Ft.: $309
Lot Size: 3,000 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Condominium
Style: Contemporary/Modern
Stories: 3+
Floor: 2
Year Built: 2007
Community: Portola Springs
County: Orange
MLS#: S588030
Source: SoCalMLS
Status: Active
On Redfin: 1 day

Gorgeous Remodeled Detached End Unit in Portola Springs! Beautiful Open kitchen with Huge Island complete with Granite Counters, Travertine Floors & Back Splash. Both Bathrooms up have Travertine floors including Master bath. Third Floor loft has Brazilian Cherry wood floors with Slate flooring in bathroom. Great new community recreational facility, clubhouse with Olympic size pool, spa, toddler pool, basketball and tennis courts, Irvine Unified School District. Future retail center only blocks away. Pictured home is the exact property.

The future of Portola Springs is uncertain. The Irvine Company has stated it plans to build out Woodbury East before it returns to Portola Springs and Woodbury. When they start building again in the new neighborhoods, it will be interesting to see what price points they are getting. If they can maintain a $300/SF price, then these communities will not be severely disrupted by the new product. It will bring down prices on units like this one further, but it will be easier on the resale market than if they restart at $240/SF — which is where the market might be in 2011.

There is a risk when writing a post like this one that readers will think the worst of me. I can’t control the thoughts of others, nor would I care to try. I don’t wish to say or imply that anyone who reads the blog owes me anything; expectation and obligation are paths to the Dark Side. I have no expectation, and you have no obligation. I wanted to share this story because it is represents a major event in my life, and I thought the reason it occurred was fascinating.

I write for the joy of giving and the belief I am doing good in the world, and I will continue as long as that is true.

If you want to share your stories of goodness, I would be delighted to read them….


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

Have a great weekend.