Thursday, February 28, 2008

Open House Carnage in Newport Coast

We decided to check out some open houses in Newport Coast a few Sundays ago. I witnessed a crazy situation, but more about that later.

One of our purposes was also to see how many kids are in the neighborhoods in the area. We want to get into a neighborhood that has a lot of kids so our kids have some playmates. Anyone have thoughts on Newport Coast for that?

In any event, we stopped at the house at 8 wayside. It turns out that it is a disappointingly small two story house given its $3.79M asking price. The view was nice.

But get this.

I come out of the house to get back into my car...and...

The owner of the house is out front with the garage door open and his Ferrari PINK SLIP out, trying to SELL his car to somebody. Sell Sell Sell, economic times must be tough at 8 Wayside. I think I'll just wait for this one to go REO before I even think about making an offer. (In my mind, it is a $2M house.)

We saw a few kids out and about in this neighborhood, but only a few. This did not inspire confidence.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Why I Can't Live in Irvine

In the last few months, my family has had considerable debate about where to live. Community, schools, location, etc.

There's one thing I can't stand. Homeowner Associations that get out of control. There's a well meaning kid in Northpark in Irvine who's been singled out by some people who clearly are deranged and have too much time on their hands.

I'd welcome his family as neighbors any time, with one blue van or even two.
I've always been reluctant for some reason to consider living in the over-regulated stripmall sameness of Irvine. Now I'm firmly decided - avoid Irvine!!!!!

Read about it here.

Monday, February 18, 2008

1283 Starlit Drive - Another Member of the Laguna Beach Desperate Flipper's Club

Bluebird Canyon is a nice part of Laguna Beach. 1283 Starlit Drive is located well inside the canyon and was just listed. Too bad that it is a just finished remodel that has hit the market waaaaay tooooo late.

Purchased for $1,100,000 in early 2007 before the bottom dropped out, the asking price is now a hefty $199,000 more, totaling out at $1,299,000.

The listing comes right out of the box with a desperate plea: "Seller will carry!! Beautiful home remodeled, 4bed 1 bed converted to family room /office. 2 full bath one story,shows very well,great for large family or roomates. Has seperate entrances. Wood floors, newer carpet and tile,ceiling have been scraped,formal dinning room, fireplace in living room. Many fruit trees in yard, very private. Open floor plan. Please call listing agent for special financing detail. "

So let me get this straight. I should pay $200,000 more in a DOWN market for some wood floors and scraped popcorn ceilings??????? The listing photos DO NOT show the kitchen, so I'm wondering if the old kitchen is in this minimal remodel. But sure, I'll pay the listing price anyway - because the "Seller will carry". Easy loans just like the good old days means I don't care what the purchase price is. Let the good times roll!!! Yeeee-haaaaah! Booooo YAAAAA!!!! Sign me up!!!!!!

Seriously. I'm wondering when the $900K offer comes in.............

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Bluemove Exclusive - "Sell my Rolex to make the house payment"

My family frequents Ruby's on PCH in south Laguna. Some nice local tidbits were heard there this weekend. One family was discussing home mortage issues. A man of the heretofor well-off family declared: "I think I'll sell my Rolex to make the next house payment." "I might be able to buy another one in five years." My, my, doesn't that inspire confidence in the local house market. Buying I will not do.

By the way, Ruby's is an awesome place for families with kids. They have big booths and the staff takes orders quickly, so that food is delivered before the little ones get bored. Also, the paper car models that are given to the kids are fun little diversions that preserve mommy and daddy's time to enjoy a meal outside of the house. Hats off to Ruby's.

This is yet further buzz that supports the grim picture that real estate values in Laguna Beach are sinking fast. Laguna Beach can't fight the market and swim upstream - just like Orange County home prices are sinking, so goes moneyed Laguna Beach.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Desperate Laguna House Flippers

Below are some 3 bedroom or larger homes that strike me as flips gone wrong or about to go wrong, especially since Laguna Beach home prices are spiraling downward:

2867 Terry Road - Asking $1,895,000, bought it for $1,850,000 in 2006. Listed for almost a year. This house is a small 3 bedroom, but it is nice. No yard though and really close to PCH noise.

954 Miramar St- Asking $1,099,000, bought for $1,000,000; listed in 2007 and recently relisted to make it look "new".

31371 Monterey St - Reduced to $2,050,000, bought for $1,400,000. I visited this one this weekend and they are eager to sell - further price reductions likely on this one. This house sits right above PCH - a very noisy location. The renovation stopped at the doors - there are some ocean decks that are in bad shape - a sign of financial distress.

1914 Upper Rim Rock - Asking $1,980,000, bought for $1,500,000 and about $200,000 spent on remodeling. Listed for over 100 days. The predictor for a price reduction.

454 Broadway - Asking $1,549,000, bought for $999,999. Listed for over 100 days. Ditto - price reduction soon. Broadway street is the 133 highway - this is a bad location.

645 Buena Vista Way - Asking $3,850,000, bought for only $200,000 less. Listed for 148 days. Can you say "watch for the repo man?"

Saturday, February 2, 2008

2616 Victoria Drive Update

Reality is setting in down on Victoria Drive - in over 100 days on the market it has not sold and the asking price has been reduced to just shy of $4,000,000. The price has a long way to go down, however, as this house doesn't compare well to other beach close homes in gated communities that are beach close, with community amenities and parking. This house, while nice, is small and has neither.
Looks like Laguna Beach home prices and Orange County home prices as well continue to slide.