Monday, December 31, 2012

Irvine Housing Blog

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193 and Sliding!

Posted: 31 Dec 2012 04:00 AM PST

While the world is busy counting down to the New Year, we, the residents of Unicornville did a countdown of our own. Lo and behold, the inventory is below 200. 193 properties on the market as of December 31st,2012. Good news for the home owners, and not so bad news for the buyers because the mortgage rates are at their lowest. Fiscal Cliff decisions tomorrow could drive the market either way for 2013 – if we dip into another recession, the projected legendary housing depression of 2012 might happen in 2013, or in 2014 when people start losing jobs again, and run out of benefits thereby stopping the mortgage payments, and foreclosing their properties. But, today, the post is about 2012.

Here is a report card for one my favorite Irvine villages, West Irvine:

Inventory is down by 72.8% Vs 2011.
Median Sold Price is up 37.2% Vs 2011.
Median Sold Price/ SF is up 3.3%.
All properties currently on the market in this village are above $300/SF, and one of them is $401/SF.
There are no condominiums (detached or attached) for sale.

33 Halifax Place, Irvine CA 92602

Listing Price: $619,800
Price/SF: $401/SF
Beds/ Baths: 3 Beds/ 2.5 Bath
Area: 1,545 SF
Lot Size: 3,446 SF

Year Built: 1998

(There are only two pictures of the property on MLS- this is another trend I am observing as the market recovers. Realtors Some Realtors are putting very low quality pictures, and writing substandard descriptions of the property. Those who know the area and have kept a tab on related information will have no problem making a decision, but the Realtors are losing out on the clients who scan the pictures before visiting the property. For a $600,000 listing, the least you can do is spend 60 minutes preparing a detailed listing)

Monthly Expenses:
Mortgage @ 3.193% : $2,142
Property Tax @ 1.0593%: $548
Mello Roos: $89
Home Owner’s Association: $0.0
Total Fixed Monthly Expenses:  $2,779

Here is a sales history for the “Liberty” homes in 2012:
26 Bowie Place  $347/SF
34 Halifax Place $312/SF
84 Legacy Way  $363/SF
87 Legacy Way  $337/SF
31 Halifax Place $321/SF
11 Red Coat Place $344/SF
5 Bowie Place  $333/SF
165 Church Place $353/SF

If this property sells for $401/SF, it will set a new sales trend and move the range of similar properties up. The first owner who bought in 1998 tripled his money in six years, but the next owner who held the property for eight years will take a loss of $60,000 if it sells at the list price. Timing is everything in real estate. 2006 and 2007 was the time to sell and go away, but once you are used to a life in Irvine, it’s hard to “go away”.  And there aren’t many places to go away if you want wide roads, safety and good schools – all that comes with a price tag of $400/SF+.

What are your Real estate plans for 2012?
Are you joining we-the-sheeple of Irvine?
Are you running away from us and settling some place where the grass is greener?
What are your resolutions?

Please comment below, or share your views at Talk Irvine.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Irvine Housing Blog

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Closed Sales from 12/20/2012 to 12/26/2012

Posted: 28 Dec 2012 08:10 AM PST

Date Sold Address Zip Tract Sold Price Beds Sq Ft
Airport Area          
12/20/12 3141 Michelson 311 92612 Marquee at Park Place $455,000 2 1467
12/21/12 1372 Scholarship Way 92612 Avenue One $275,000 2 1037
12/21/12 5151 Scholarship 92612 The Plaza (5000 and 8000) $2,225,000 2 2680
El Camino Real          
12/20/12 33 Kazan St 50 92604 Walnut Square $315,000 3 1099
12/21/12 14881 GENEVA St 92604 UNKNOWN $504,900 3 1700
12/21/12 17 Riveroaks 92602 Rutherford $780,000 4 2850
12/21/12 33 Harmony 92602 Brentwood $1,159,150 4 3250
12/24/12 77 Modesto 94 92602 San Simeon $558,000 3 1650
12/20/12 239 Huntington 92620 Horizon $257,250 2 1018
12/20/12 12 Crosskey 92620 Imperial Homes $862,000 5 3100
12/21/12 99 Remington 92620 Horizon $295,000 2 1000
12/24/12 44 Turnbury Ln 92620 Carlyle at Lanes End $565,000 3 2165
12/24/12 9 Hibiscus 92620 Somerton $1,275,000 6 3720
12/24/12 34 Stratford 92620 Glen (NW) $549,000 3 1273
12/24/12 318 Streamwood 92620 Irvine Springs $260,000 2 853
Oak Creek            
12/21/12 5 Birchwood 92618 Ashford Place $785,000 4 2907
Portola Springs          
12/20/12 182 Pathway 92618 Primrose $600,000 3 1873
12/21/12 60 Autumn Sage 92618 Other $697,213 4 2330
Quail Hill            
12/20/12 302 Quail Rdg 92603 Ambridge $445,000 2 1468
12/20/12 114 Stepping Stone 92603 Casalon $582,500 3 1702
Rancho San Joaquin          
12/21/12 47 Morena 41 92612 RSJ Villas $330,000 1 1077
Turtle Ridge          
12/21/12 107 Jadestone 92603 Ashton Green $400,000 2 1181
Turtle Rock          
12/20/12 14 Daystar 92612 Concordia $1,275,000 5 3200
12/21/12 38 Rainbow Rdg 44 92603 Ridge Townhomes Akins $515,000 2 1527
12/26/12 9 Stardust 5 92603 Ridge Townhomes Bren $492,500 2 1749
University Park          
12/22/12 18 Broadleaf 92612 Parkside - Standard Pacific $1,010,000 4 2450
12/24/12 11 Goldenglow St 92612 Village II $475,000 2 1279
12/24/12 3602 Carmel Ave 92606 other $621,000 4 1900
12/20/12 125 Costero Aisle 275 92614 Tiempo $350,000 2 900
12/21/12 3 Medici Aisle 92606 Corte Bella Villas $520,000 4 1600
12/26/12 19 Terraza 92614 Meridien $785,000 3 2237
12/20/12 19 Buckthorn 92604 Gables $1,200,000 5 3000
12/21/12 25 Racing Wind 92614 Cottage Homes $535,000 3 1571
12/21/12 1 Cresthaven 40 92604 Parkside $365,000 2 1101
12/21/12 7 Woodland Dr 92604 Park Homes $462,500 3 1321
12/21/12 4 Orangegrove 92604 Grove $625,000 3 1840
12/20/12 20 Bungalow 92620 Rosemoor $742,005 4 2700

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The Real Estate Bloggers

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PulteGroup and Lennar Home Builders Top Stocks in 2012

Posted: 28 Dec 2012 02:03 PM PST

PulteGroupIf you had told me in January that owning PulteGroup and Lennar was a smart move I probably would have scoffed at you. But now at the end of the year, these two companies are considered a couple of the best investments of the year, and still worthy to hold on to.

Boosted by the beginnings of a housing recovery, PulteGroup and Lennar ranked among the 10 largest gainers in the S&P 500. Pultegroup nearly quadrupled—shares rose 182% to $17.61. Lennar, meanwhile, increased 94% to $37.80.

For sure, some of these gains came because of better industry-wide conditions. Confidence among home-builders is quite elevated. Housing starts and prices considerably improved, and the inventory of foreclosed property continues to slowly dwindle. Both Pulte and Lennar managed this period well. via Forbes

11589159-lennar-logoThese two companies got lean in time to survive the downturn and then created true value as the market starts to recover. Let’s hope that the success of these two companies is an indicator for the future.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Irvine Housing Blog

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Open House Review: 63 Stowe

Posted: 27 Dec 2012 04:00 AM PST

As of December 14, 63 Stowe is back on the market following a failed attempt at a short sale earlier this year.  This home is now going to be a standard sale and has already dropped $11,000 since going on the market on December 14.

The basics:
Asking Price: $1,388,000
Bedrooms: 4 + loft
Bathrooms: 3.5
Square Footage: 2600
Lot Size: 3,411
$/Sq Ft: $407
Days on Market: 13
Property Type: Single Family Home
Year Built: 2005
Community: Woodbury – Milles Fleurs

HOA dues are $105 per month and there are Mello Roos taxes.

This home is elegant, featuring designer touches throughout.  The front room would work well as a formal living room, a den, or an office.  With French doors leading out to the front yard, it could be converted into a more private office with its own entrance.

Down the hall is a large, formal dining room with space for a huge table.  It’s a great space, with numerous arched doorways leading to the kitchen and family room.  Because the kitchen has a good-sized casual dining area, this formal dining room could be used for something else if desired.  There is a good-sized courtyard off the dining room as well.

The kitchen features white cabinets and drawers, granite countertops, stainless steel Kitchenaid appliances, and a large center island.  It has a big pantry by the breakfast nook, bookshelves in the island, and a few glass-fronted cabinets to create an attractive display area.  The white cabinets are a nice contrast to the dark, hardwood floors found throughout the house, making the room feel much brighter.  There is a built-in side-by-side refrigerator, double ovens, and a six-burner stove.  The adjacent breakfast nook is spacious and has French doors leading out to the backyard.

It flows directly into the family room, which has windows on three sides and a fireplace at one end.  It’s a good-sized room, though it lacks a space for a larger, wall-mounted TV due to all the windows.

A half bath with a pedestal sink completes the downstairs.  The garage has three spots, two of them tandem, and a storage area in front of the single spot.  There are actually two separate doors leading into the house.

The backyard is bigger than I expected it to be, though still not huge.  It has grass in the front and, at the back, are two raised, stone patios.  One has a fire pit and the other has a built in barbecue and is covered by a trellis.  Between these areas is a large fountain.

Upstairs, there are four bedrooms and a loft.  The loft is at the top of the stairs and has a door leading out to a tiny balcony that no one could actually stand on.  The master is alone on one side of the loft, so it is nicely separated from the other bedrooms.  Like the rooms downstairs, it has many windows with plantation shutters, including some with curtains as well.  It is a big room with a small built-in cabinet/shelving area in one corner.  The bathroom has a huge tub and a separate shower with a big bench seat.  There are two separate sinks and a huge walk-in closet.

The other three bedrooms each have features to differentiate them from the others.  One is significantly bigger than the others, with several windows and a big walk-in closet.  The next room is actually very small, and a door in the middle of the back wall really limits where you can put the furniture.  The door leads out to a big balcony overlooking the street.  These two rooms are connected by a jack and jill bathroom that has two sinks and a shower/tub combo.

The last bedroom is in between the other two in terms of size (leaning towards the small side), but has a better layout than the tiny one.  Like the small room, it has a standard closet that is also somewhat small.  This room also has a private, en suite bathroom. The vanity area is through an open doorway, but then a physical door separates the rest of the bathroom, which includes a shower/tub combo.  The laundry room is also upstairs and includes a sink and many cabinets.

This house is already vacant and is basically move-in ready.  Most of the rooms are spacious and they all are bright, as many have windows on at least two walls.   There was an almost immediate price reduction and there have been numerous open houses already.  Following the attempted short sale in April of this year, the buyers must be eager to unload this house quickly.  Down the street, 27 Stowe closed on December 13 (the day before this one went on the market) at $1,218,000.  It has a smaller lot and is a different model, but the homes are comparable in size and number of beds and baths.

Open House Review: 110 Coral Rose

Posted: 26 Dec 2012 09:24 AM PST

Turtle Ridge Condo Challenge      
110 Coral Rose, $509,000

Either this condo will fit the buyer like a glove, or not at all.   That was my first impression when I drove up Coral Rose, a short distance from Newport Drive. The street is quiet, lined with three story condos, each carefully framed with well tended greenery.

Inside, the condo was humming with a steady stream of open house traffic. When I saw it the home had just been placed on the market, and 6 days later it is listed as a pending sale. Evidently it fit someone perfectly.

Significant Numbers: This 2 bedroom, 2.5 bath Ashton Green model is 1,354 sq. ft. arranged on three levels. Built in 2004, HOA dues are $238 a month and the $/sq. ft. is $376.  There are Mello Roos taxes.

CloseUp: 110 Coral Rose is the end unit with a nice band of green space along the walkway leading to the patio entrance.  The overall space has been nicely staged  with high ceilings, wood floors,  built ins and crown moldings giving the home a crisp put-together image.

On the flip side, the three levels and flights of stairs may present some challenges and will certainly shape daily living routines.

As you step inside, there are double doors straight ahead that open into one of the home’s two bedrooms with ensuite bath. The master is many steps away on the third level.

Depending on the buyer, as an individual,  couple, or perhaps two roommates, this could work.  The main floor bedroom could also function as a guest room, or become a study/office.

To the left of the entry a flight of steps takes you to the main living area with a living room/family room, built in desk corner, and nearby dining area.  Around the corner there is a powder room, and a slim slice of a kitchen with granite counters, stainless appliances, double sinks and a tiled backsplash. Opposite the kitchen there is a small covered deck.

Then up the final flight there is the master bedroom with large walk-in closet, and bath with double vanity, tile counters, and shower backsplash.

Baths, 2.5
Sq. ft., 1,354
$/sq. ft. $376
HOA dues, $238
1 common wall attached
Double garage, epoxy floor
Two parking spaces.
Association pool and spa

Throughout the home there is a lot of light with well placed windows. But the views are limited, with duplicate units sitting across the way. The unit has double paned windows and a stacked washer and dryer in a laundry area on the ground floor.

What is to be considered here?  The three levels, open floor plan, overall square footage and price will all be evaluated, perhaps as an investment, or a first home in Irvine. 

Who will be moving in? Since it is a pending sale we may soon know. But it could be an individual who works in the area and wants easy access to the airport and nearby beach communities, or a busy couple who travel but need a sleek local operating base.  

Recent listing: 5 Moondust #30, $580.000.   Recent sales: 211 Lonetree sold for $580,000 in June; 231 Coral Rose sold for $450,000 in October.

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