Thursday, February 28, 2013

Irvine Housing Blog

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Open House Review: 22 Glenn

Posted: 28 Feb 2013 04:00 AM PST

This week, I visited 22 Glenn, an older (1980) home in Northwood.  It is located on a quiet cul-de-sac with a park at the end of the street and it backs to a greenbelt that divides it from the newer Northwood II neighborhood.

The basics:
Asking Price: $865,000
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 2.5
Square Footage: 2900
Lot Size: 5,820
$/Sq Ft: $298
Days on Market: 23
Property Type: Single Family Home
Year Built: 1980
Community: Northwood

There are no HOA dues or Mello Roos taxes.

The house is being sold “as is,” with obvious needs to paint and replace the carpet.  The sellers will give a credit back for both, giving the new buyers an opportunity to choose their own colors and styles.  The entryway, front hall, and kitchen have white tiles that, along with the dark grout, create an outdated look.  The house does have newer windows throughout.

The living room is just inside the entryway and one step down.  It has vaulted ceilings that make the large room feel even bigger.  Just past it, and on the same level as the hall, is the dining room.  It is an average size for the area and has a large window looking out to the yard.  Both rooms are currently carpeted and have older vertical blinds.

The kitchen and family room are at the back of the house.  The family room is a step down from the kitchen.  It has newer laminate flooring with a brick fireplace at one end and a wet bar in the back corner.  One wall still has wallpaper but the rest are painted.  The ceilings haven’t been scraped.  Several windows and a door look out to the backyard.

The kitchen has been updated with granite counters and stainless steel appliances.  There is ample counter and cabinet space, plus several pantry cupboards.  There is plenty of room for a casual dining table and many windows to make the room bright.  There is still an older style panel light, which has a rather strange floral design on it.

Off the family room, a small alcove leads to a half bath with a door to the outside.  This is a nice feature since there is a pool in the backyard.  Also in this alcove are a closet and the washer and dryer hookups, separated by a pocket-style door.  Garage access is off the laundry area.

The home is located on an inside corner, so the yard is bigger than average and wraps around the house.  A pool and spa sit in the corner.  On one side, there is a rock bed and, on the other side, a large patio.

Upstairs, there are four bedrooms.  The master sits by itself on one side and is a step up from the hallway.  It is a big room with vaulted ceilings and a huge retreat.  The retreat is one step down and separated by a railing.  Like the family room, it has a brick fireplace at the end and a wet bar in one corner.  Sliding doors from the retreat lead out to a balcony overlooking the yard.

The master bath has a large soaking tub and a big, separate shower.  These have both been remodeled with attractive tiles and sit next to large, frosted windows that give the room nicely filtered light.  In contrast, the vanity area – two sinks with a long counter in between – still boasts its original 1980s look from top to bottom.  Finally, there is a large, L-shaped walk-in closet.

The other three bedrooms are pretty standard.  They are all average-sized.  Two have sliding door closets and one has a walk-in.  Each room is carpeted and has one window with older-looking window treatments.  The bathroom they share has two sinks and a shower/tub combo.  The original fixtures and gold-trimmed shower doors, along with gray tile, definitely give the room a tired look.

Overall, you’re getting 2900 square feet of living space, with large rooms downstairs and a huge master bedroom for under $300 per square foot.  Plus, you get a backyard that is bigger than most others in the neighborhood.  Yes, the house needs some work, but the sellers will make up for some of it with a paint and carpet credit.  The bathrooms are old but in decent condition, so a remodel isn’t critical if it’s not in the budget right away.  I couldn’t find any other single family homes in Northwood for under $300/ft, so I think 22 Glenn is definitely worth checking out.

Discuss on Talk Irvine:,3582.0.html

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Irvine Housing Blog

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Irvine Housing Numbers by Neighborhood - 2013

Posted: 27 Feb 2013 04:00 AM PST

For a snapshot of the Irvine housing numbers by neighborhood in 2012, see my previous post. And for a look at what is happening this year, see the following:

Area List Price/# Homes Listed Sold Price/# Homes Sold List Per SF Sold Per SF % Chg Y-O-Y Sold Price/SF
13-Jan $694K/40 $440K/13 $398 $333 8.10%
Columbus Grove n/a        
El Camino Real          
13-Jan $535K/17 $555K/12 $366 $380 42.30%
13-Jan $722K/24 $466K/22 $351 $321 15.90%
13-Jan $750K/23 $750K/25 $373 $305 4.50%
Oak Creek          
13-Jan $362K/14 $331K/9 $362 $338 29.50%
Orange Tree          
13-Jan  $278K/8 $328K/4 $345 $332 33.30%
Portola Springs          
13-Jan $1,024K/8 $614K/8 $375 $329 12.30%
Quail Hill           
13-Jan $790K/10 $600K/7 $414 $341 4.60%
Rancho San Joaquin          
13-Jan $564K/2 na/0 $333 n/a n/a
Shady Canyon          
13-Jan $5,700K/15 $6,675K/1 $736 $668 25.10%
Turtle Ridge          
13-Jan $2,302 K/10 $1,295K/6 $605 $532 49.90%
Turtle Rock          
13-Jan $949K/13 $946K/8 $434 $466 58%
University Park           
13-Jan $625K/7 $570K/10 $330 $351 26.70%
University Town Center          
13-Jan $551K/1 $575K/1 $407 $377 19.70%
13-Jan $430K/3 $657K/4 $350 $275 6.20%
West Irvine n/a        
13-Jan $589K/4 $745K/6 $486 $340 -4.50%
13-Jan $694K/22 $500K/22 $363 $357 30.80%
13-Jan $635K/11 $645K/17 $382 $331 13.40%


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

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Open House Review: 20 Rainstar

Posted: 26 Feb 2013 04:00 AM PST

Woodbridge Entertainer Gem                
20 Rainstar    $1,100,000

Having just seen 5 Rainstar in Woodbridge, an upscale remodel that is now a sale pending, I wanted to see how this single family home at 20 Rainstar would compare.

Significant Numbers:  New to the market, this two level, 4 bedroom, 3 bath, single family home is now also a sale pending after 9 days with backup offers accepted.  I saw it last Saturday in a busy open house.  The square footage is 2,460 and the lot size is 5,000 square ft.  Built in 1981, it is $447/sq. ft.   There is no Mello Roos. HOA dues are $82.

CloseUp:   This home is an entertainer natural, from the professionally landscaped entry, on through one nicely defined space after another, finishing with the stunning windowed back wall of the home, the mood is expansive, elegant and immaculate.

A family room with fireplace and  a living room flank the double sided custom bar, overlooking the private patio with greenbelt beyond. French doors open to the patio which proves to be an inviting extension of the home with custom spa, built-in seating, barbecue and fire pit. 

Looping around from the family room on the left, there is a large gourmet kitchen with granite counters, top of the line appliances, a gas range, custom cabinetry, and a sunny casual dining area with window seat. Completing the loop is a formal dining room.

Vaulted ceilings, custom draperies, wall to wall carpet, hardwood floors, plantation shutters and recessed lighting make the most of this light filled open floor plan.  It is easy to see the party flowing through the house and onto the patio.

Upstairs, the master retreat with fireplace, has a huge remodeled bath and custom walk-in closet. There are two more good sized bedrooms and bath, and a loft area with built-in desk upstairs, and a bedroom, and full bath with antique mirror on the main floor.

Bedrooms, 4
Baths, 3
Association pool, Community Pool
Double Garage
Two parking spaces
Central furnace, central air
Detached/no common walls
Irvine Unified School  District

What should be considered here?  As a sale pending after 9 days, this single family home in the South Lake area of Woodbridge moved right through a brisk market.  I would compare its entertainment credentials with others in this price range in Turtle Rock, like 10 Morning Glory. Both houses are entertainment pros, and standouts in design and use of space.  

Who will be throwing the next party here?  Will it be an Irvine couple who entertain often and need a downstairs study/office/hobby room, or extra space for guests and grandkids?  Or will it be an active family seeking top schools and great recreational options? A top elementary school is just around the corner.

Recent nearby listings:  18 Meadowsweet Way, $795,000; 3 Foxchase, $799,000.   
Recent sales: 15 Daybreak, $880,000 in October; 26 Emerald, $980,000 in October.

The Real Estate Bloggers

The Real Estate Bloggers

California Government Tries To Hide Real Estate Deal Information AB 382

Posted: 25 Feb 2013 09:38 AM PST

calpersIf you work for the politically connected CalPERS or other California pension funds and investment vehicles, you would love for all your mistakes to be hidden from your investor’s view. And by having the elected officials in your hip pocket, your wish is now coming true.

But newly proposed legislation would make such real estate records confidential in the future, requiring public agencies to disclose gains or losses on a project but not documents that could show why a deal was made, risks involved, marketing strategy or partnership terms.

Assemblyman Kevin Mullin said his Assembly Bill 382 is designed to strike a balance between open government and the need to protect public investments from competitive disadvantage. via the Sacramento Bee

The newly proposed law is in response to Superior Court Judge Charlotte Woolard ruling that public scrutiny is needed for large investments of public funds. With the fear of crony capitalism, back scratching, and other nefarious concerns that have infected the California state pension system, the full disclosure of investments to the pension holders is paramount to protecting their investment.

Peter Scheer, director of the First Amendment Coalition, which sued CalPERS in the East Palo Alto case, said the pension agency has been involved in large real estate deals that went sour.

AB 382 would “increase the chances that mistakes will be made in real estate investments” because critics would be deprived of documents that could prompt them to raise red flags, Scheer said.

“I think public pensioners and the taxpayers generally benefit from as much transparency as possible,” he said

But the collusion between big pensions and big government in California will continue, and be given a hand going forward if Assembly Bill 382 is passed. Whatever risk of a more expensive deal for the pensions if the facts are disclosed ahead of time will be sure to be less than the risk of bad, unethical decisions being made in the future.


Monday, February 25, 2013

Irvine Housing Blog

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Posted: 25 Feb 2013 04:00 AM PST

Inventory as of 2/24/2013: 2-0-0.

As Irvine inventory drops and the nationwide housing statistics show signs of life, we have moved into a seller's market. Last year, around spring, I questioned if this is the worst Irvine saw, and in fall, I wondered if this is recovery. Within a year, we have gone from bottom to recovery to a bubble. Condominiums are being listed for a price that people paid to buy single family homes just a year ago. Here is my favorite village "West Irvine" which saw the worst last winter, and stabilized last summer, and now is booming.

59 Sapphire, Irvine CA 92602

Listing Price: $569,900
Beds/ bath: 3 Beds/ 2.25 Baths
Area: 1500 SF
Price/ SF: $380
Year Built: 2001
Builders Tract Code: Mandeville (MAND)
Elementary School: BECKMAN
Middle School: PIONEER
High School: MYFORD
School District: Tustin Unified School District

When I saw the listing price, my jaw dropped. I am watching these homes for almost 12-15 months now. Attached condominiums, space just enough for a small family, has huge potential as an investment property, better construction quality than some of the single family homes in the area, all good for a price tag below $450,000. But at 569,900, if this is not the beginning of another housing bubble, what is?

Here is the brief sales history for these condos. Market conditions have changed too, inventory is a third of what it was a year ago, but still, unless you are a rich person who is buying these properties by dozens, it is going to feel like a lot for a little home.

163 Topaz $274.34
97 Sapphire $244.00
109 Sapphire $290.00
103 Sapphire $255.28
161 Topaz 1 $260.00
65 Sapphire $258.67
92 Topaz $233.33
33 Moonstone $286.67
63 sapphire $260.38
56 Sapphire $303.33
149 Topaz 13 $270.73
19 Moonstone $252.67
9 Moonstone $317.33
1 Moonstone $316.67
78 Topaz $295.00
117 Sapphire $313/SF
19 Sagamore $329/SF
75 Sapphire $260/SF
22 Moonstone $325/SF

At $380/SF, it's a $100/SF jump from last year. When was the last time this happened? Oh, if I remember it right, around 2005-2007 (these homes were around $600-$650k then).

Here are a couple of other blogs I had written about these homes:
117 Sapphire and 97 Sapphire
117 Sapphire
97 Sapphire

Mortgage: $2,079Monthly
Property Tax: $6,036 Annually, $503 Monthly
Mello Roos: $772 Annually, $65 Monthly
HOA Dues: $230 Monthly
Total: $2,877 Monthly
(Fixed monthly expense to own a similar condo last August was $2105,and  September was $2,346)

What are your thoughts?
Are we in the bubble-central, or is it just the beginning?
If you are a buyer, what are your plans? Will you continue to rent for a while, or buy before it's too late?
Comment below or share your thoughts at Talk Irvine.

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