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Irvine Housing Blog

Irvine Housing Blog

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Sheila Bair: The Home Mortgage Interest Deduction Inflates House Prices

Posted: 30 Jun 2010 03:30 AM PDT

Count Sheila Bair among the critics of generous U.S. housing subsidies. 


Irvine Home Address ... 12 SANTA RIDA Irvine, CA 92606
Resale Home Price ...... $959,000

I want to break free
I want to break free
I want to break free from your lies
You're so self-satisfied I don't need you
I got to to break free
God knows, God knows I want to break free

Queen -- I Want to Break Free 

FDIC's Bair questions housing tax breaks

Count Sheila Bair among the critics of generous U.S. housing subsidies.

Bair, the chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., said in a speech Monday that Congress should consider paring back federal tax deductions for homeowners. She said these subsidies helped inflate house prices, harming the very consumers that many of the programs aimed to help.

Bair took aim at federal tax deductions for mortgage interest, local property taxes, and capital gains on house sales (in certain circumstances). She said these taxpayer subsidies for homeowners, taken together, "are about three times the size of all rental subsidies and tax incentives combined."

Even that probably understates the case. Consider the hundreds of billions of dollars the feds are spending to support Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE) in the name of making mortgages available, and the limited-time-only tax credits that have helped to prop up house prices over the past year.

Whatever the tab, though, Bair said the problem is the same: Government subsidies for property owners push up the price of houses, undermining so-called affordable housing programs run by the likes of Fannie and Freddie.

Bair rejected the notion that laws like the Community Reinvestment Act, the 1977 law that encourages lending in low-income areas, fed the housing crisis.

Risky loans "were made in large volumes because for a time they were highly profitable and because Wall Street would buy them and securitize them," she said. "It's as simple as that."

But she said policymakers have a duty to better educate consumers and to reform securitization, the process that Wall Street uses to turn loans into bonds salable to pension funds and other risk-averse institutional investors.

Along the same lines, she said, the government should reconsider popular tax deductions that helped the U.S. homeownership rate hit an all-time high of 69% during the bubble in 2005. That number stayed in the mid-60s throughout the 1980s and 90s. It was recently 67%, the Census Bureau said.

"Sustainable homeownership is a worthy national goal," Bair said. "But it should not be pursued to excess when there are other, equally worthy solutions that help meet the needs of people for whom homeownership may NOT be the right answer."

Letting the bank deal with it

The owners of today's featured property now have a Newport Coast address. Since they couldn't sell this one and get their money back, they have decided to let the bank deal with the problem.

The property was purchased on 6/1/2004 for $978,000. The owners used a $782,400 first mortgage, a $100,000 second mortgage and a $95,600 down payment.

On 9/30/2005 they obtained a $176,100 HELOC which allowed them to extract most of their down payment. They quit paying in early 2009. 

Foreclosure Record
Recording Date: 03/23/2010 
Document Type: Notice of Sale  

Foreclosure Record
Recording Date: 06/24/2009 
Document Type: Notice of Default 


Irvine Home Address ... 12 SANTA RIDA Irvine, CA 92606

Resale Home Price ... $959,000

Home Purchase Price … $978,000
Home Purchase Date .... 6/1/2004

Net Gain (Loss) .......... $(76,540)
Percent Change .......... -7.8%
Annual Appreciation … -0.3%

Cost of Ownership
$959,000 .......... Asking Price
$191,800 .......... 20% Down Conventional
4.80% ............... Mortgage Interest Rate
$767,200 .......... 30-Year Mortgage
$194,074 .......... Income Requirement

$4,025 .......... Monthly Mortgage Payment

$831 .......... Property Tax
$0 .......... Special Taxes and Levies (Mello Roos)
$80 .......... Homeowners Insurance
$50 .......... Homeowners Association Fees
$4,986 .......... Monthly Cash Outlays

-$975 .......... Tax Savings (% of Interest and Property Tax)
-$956 .......... Equity Hidden in Payment
$352 .......... Lost Income to Down Payment (net of taxes)
$120 .......... Maintenance and Replacement Reserves
$3,526 .......... Monthly Cost of Ownership

Cash Acquisition Demands
$9,590 .......... Furnishing and Move In @1%
$9,590 .......... Closing Costs @1%
$7,672 ............ Interest Points @1% of Loan
$191,800 .......... Down Payment
$218,652 .......... Total Cash Costs
$54,000 ............ Emergency Cash Reserves
$272,652 .......... Total Savings Needed

Property Details for 12 SANTA RIDA Irvine, CA 92606
Beds: 4
Baths: 3 baths
Home size: 2,535 sq ft
($378 / sq ft)
Lot Size: 5,504 sq ft
Year Built: 1997
Days on Market: 43
Listing Updated: 40308
MLS Number: S616538
Property Type: Single Family, Residential
Community: Westpark
Tract: Othr
According to the listing agent, this listing may be a pre-foreclosure or short sale.

This property is in backup or contingent offer status.

Corner lot in newer area of Westpark. Highly upgraded home, with downstairs bed & bath, gourmet kitchen, laminate wood floors, granite countertops, cathedral ceilings, custom paint, mirrored wardrobes, and a spacious loft - library/office/media/play room. 3-car garage w/ built-ins for extra storage. Large, professionally landscaped yard is great for entertaining. Excellent full community amenities & close to to shops, dining, schools, and toll roads.

real estate home sales

Latest from Clearwater Real Estate Tampa Homes

Latest from Clearwater Real Estate Tampa Homes

Tarpon Springs FL Homes For Sale – Gulf Access Waterfront House

Posted: 29 Jun 2010 02:55 PM PDT

Tarpon Springs FL – Gulf access, waterfront 2004 custom house. Water ski, swim, canoe from your backyard. This home features a private dock and boat lift with remote. This fabulous 2712 sq ft home is very spacious with open floor plan, boasts 3-bedrooms and 2.5-bathrooms. Watch manatees and dolphins from the 34X19 huge covered lanai, perfect for entertainment or your personal enjoyment. Brick paved driveway and entrance. Step into the spacious foyer where you will be welcome by stunning Brazilian cherry hardwood floors, 19' soaring coffered ceiling in the great room with a wood burning fireplace. In wall pest control. Spacious kitchen custom cherry cabinets, stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, wine/beverage center in island, formal dinning room. Master suite on main level, large walk in close, double sinks w granite countertops and view to canal. Second floor features spacious loft, bonus/game room with lighted built in entertainment center and wet bar. You can view from great room, kitchen, dinette and master suite the bayou, access the gulf in no time for your favorite water sports or just to relax. This fantastic Tarpon Springs FL Homes For Sale awaits you.

For more info:

Tarpon Springs FL Homes For Sale

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Email us today if you are thinking of buying or selling your home or condo in Clearwater FL, or any of these other local cities: Dunedin FL, Safety Harbor FL, Palm Harbor FL, Largo, Seminole, Tarpon Springs, Clearwater Beach FL, Belleair Beach, Indian Rocks Beach, Indian Shores, Redington Shores, North Redington Beach, Redington Beach, Madeira Beach, Treasure Island or St Pete Beach.

If you're looking for a Realtor we'd like you to know that we are passionate about being your real estate advocate. We're committed to delivering Results based on Integrity, Knowledge & Experience – helping you find the perfect home or condo – just ask.

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Jack and Cyndee Haydon
Charles Rutenberg Realty
1545 S. Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33764
Jack's Cell: 727-710-8036
Cyndee's Cell: 727-710-8035
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Very Vintage Vegas

Very Vintage Vegas

Uncle Jack Says: (Finally, and I Hope You’ll Agree)

Posted: 30 Jun 2010 05:02 AM PDT

There’s all kinds of slumps. Batting Slumps, Pitching Slumps, Career Slumps, Income Slumps (if you’re in sales you know what I mean), Oil Clean-up Slumps and Political Capital Slumps (ask the President – he knows).

There’s also a new one. IT’S A BLOGGING SLUMP. There’s any number of things that can lead up to it. Just not enough hours in a day. Burn Out (the big one), Exhaustion. Depression. Arthritis. As I geared myself up to write this today, I got curious and googled “blogging slump” and lo and behold: I’m not the only one.

The Blog Herald describes it best as to what I’ve been thru recently:

When you start out blogging, you’re full of energy and ideas, and it’s hard to imagine that enthusiasm ever waning, but ask almost everyone who’s been blogging for a long time, and they’ll tell you that it does. Suddenly, where you once had seemingly endless articles waiting to be written, you feel like you have nothing to post about and not much interest in writing anyway. What do you do when you hit one of these blogging slumps?

I really screwed up by not knowing this piece of their advice was out there:

2. Take a break. Sometimes, when you’re burnt out on blogging, a break will help re-energize you. Tell your readers up front that you are taking a hiatus, and let them know how long you’ll be gone. For most readers, this will be no problem at all as long as you let them know before you stop posting for a period. It’s very important to make them aware up front. If you don’t, they will think you’ve just disappeared and may unsubscribe and stop visiting all together,

AND, it was just plain rude of me to drop off without even letting you know. I apologize.

THE GOOD NEWS: I’m back and anxious to blog again.

One reason I’m anxious to blog again, is so that all the KIND READERS who have emailed me, run into me at an event, or called me TO GET OFF OF MY BACK.  I yelled that in caps to have an excuse to use a smiley face, which I’d sworn I’d never do. I really appreciate all the concern, and even all the expressed anxiety that I was done blogging for good. NOT SO!

For 3 and half years, I was, I believe, one of the most prodigious real estate bloggers in the country. Don’t believe me? Try reading it backwards all the way to the beginning. There’s well over 1000 posts. It put me dead at the top of the any google search that contained any of following terms along with the words Las Vegas: mid century modern, MCM, historic, vintage, retro, urban etc etc. I may have lost some of my “google juice” during the slump, but I’ll get it back.

It’s worked wonders in establishing me in the minds of so many of you as “the” go-to guy on any of those subjects. It hasn’t lost it’s power, and I won’t/can’t let it, either. Thankfully, my past prodigiousness kept my phone ringing all thru the slump.

I still, amusingly get several calls or emails a week from people around the country who want to buy this pattern or that pattern of the Decorative Concrete Blocks. People call and email asking for contractors and handymen. New buyers are calling me all time. I work with some of them and not with others. I talk to buyers who HAVE to use their boss’s cousin’s girlfiend as an agent. Even the Boss’s Cousin’s Girlfriend calls me for advice because “she’s clueless” about old houses and historic neighborhoods. I talk 5 times a day with homeowners who are distressed about what to do about their “upside down” mortgage.  I can help some of them, but not all of them. But I give them all at least the time of day.

And I’m still in business!

I’m grateful to all of you. And I’ve heard it so often, that many of you are grateful for my past blogging.

So here’s the deal:

I’m geared up to get at it again. Mentally, physically, and time-wise. There’s even a new post below this one if you’ll scroll down. If you get my posts by email, or by RSS feed, you already know that.

If I remember correctly, the most number of comments I ever received to any one post is 21. That’s a lot if you’re not a political blog.

I’m thinking that a few or many or a lot of you might want to tell me what you’d like to see more of. Tell the other readers why this blog is an important one. Tell them why it’s important to you, or how how it helped you make a decision about where to live or something about your house, or why your neighborhood is so great. If you’re a past client, tell them about your experience working with me. Tell my what a scum I am for not posting for 2 months and how glad you are that I’m back again. Anything you want to say.

Let’s have at it. The more comments I get to THIS POST AND ALL FUTURE POSTS, the more I’ll blog. Deal??


Uncle Jack

The Huntridge Circle Park Veteran’s Memorial Project - The Heart Of An Historic Downtown Las Vegas Neighborhood

Posted: 29 Jun 2010 09:57 PM PDT

I’m starting a new series on the “historic” neighborhoods of Las Vegas. A few have Historic Status and get a capital H. But all of them are from the 40’s 50’s and 60’s. It’s my intention to do them as much in chronological order as possible, knowing that some of the neighborhoods developed simultaneously.

First up on the list is the historic Las Vegas neighborhood of Huntridge. In future posts I’ll discuss the area, the architecture, the charm and the history. Today though, we’re going to talk about the heart of Huntridge, The Huntridge Circle Park.

The Huntridge Circle Park sits in the middle of Maryland Parkway, just south of Charleston. It’s surrounded by 3 busy lanes of traffic in each direction. It’s also one of the smallest parks in the City of Las Vegas Parks System.

IMG_8205Unfortunately, the Park is CURRENTLY CLOSED. There’s lots of politics behind that decision. There’s plenty of coverage of it over at the Review J****nal. (aside: their name will never again darken the pages of my blog) but here’s a good story from 2006 in THE LAS VEGAS SUN on the politics. There’s lots of downtown neighbors who have very vocally expressed our desire to open it back up. The city says there’s no money to do it. There’s been plenty of meetings with councilman Gary Reese, plenty of letters sent, and plenty of whining from the neighbors.

Happily, it’s finally come down to this: A private group, the owner’s a gun store and shooting range called American Shooters has an idea to build a world class Veteran’s Memorial. They promised to raise the funds, select a design, and donate it to the city when done. So far, they haven’t let us down, and I don’t believe they will either. As you’ll see, the project has been moving forward for many months now.

There were numerous meetings held about this, and the leaders of many of the Neighborhood Associations prevailed at getting one of our own, Kasey Baker, to be on the committee to select. the final design from among more than 100 entrants. Kasey was the architect of the current iteration of the Park. I served on that committee for a long year 10 years ago as we rebuilt the Park and turned it into something beautiful and wonderful for the re-emerging Downtown Las Vegas Historic Neighborhoods.

IMG_8351Last week, the 4 top finalists got to show off their concepts and designs. The maquettes or scale model mock-ups were on display for a day for the City Council and mayor and invited neighborhood activists to see them. I was on my way there to see them, when I saw Gerard Ramalho of Channel 3 filming his report live in the Huntridge Park, so I got to see this being filmed. They did an excellent job covering not only the past, but the present and future of the Huntridge Circle Park and the Veteran’s Memorial.



Here’s a few of the pictures I took that day to help you get the feel for them. (they’re clickable to see at a larger size). The “marqettes” will be on display for public comment and recommendation as to which of the designs will ultimately be built. Below the pictures is the schedule where you can GO SEE THEM FOR YOURSELF (PLEASE), and give the committee your input.   

 Historic Huntridge Circle Park Veterans Memorial Finalist

Historic Huntridge Circle Park Veterans Memorial FinalistHistoric Huntridge Circle Park Veterans Memorial FinalistHistoric Huntridge Circle Park Veterans Memorial Finalist





Input from ALL of Las Vegas, and especially from the Downtown Neighborhoods is honestly being sought. You can see the maquettes at the following 2 locations.

Now Thru July 5:

American Shooters

3440 S. Arville Street

Las Vegas, NV 89102

Phone: (702) 362-1223

On display during store business hours


July 6 thru July 19:


East Las Vegas Community/Senior Center

250 North Eastern Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89101
Phone: (702) 229-1515

On display during center business hours: Monday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Tuesday on display after 10 AM) and Tuesday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m



The Real Estate Bloggers

The Real Estate Bloggers

Real Estate Agents Caught Up In Russian Spy Case

Posted: 29 Jun 2010 08:16 AM PDT

A Redfin agent, Tracey Foley, was arrested yesterday in a Russian spying case that included 10 others. Here is the report from Redfin’s corporate site.

A Boston-area Redfin field agent was arrested today by the FBI on charges of being a Russian spy. In her job application, she identified herself as Tracey Foley, but called herself Ann.

Before we hired Ms. Foley in February of this year, at least two Redfin employees interviewed her, using a template that focuses on character, specifically situations where the candidate has put customers’ interests ahead of her own, and where the candidate has worked on a team. She interviewed well.

According to her application, she had worked since 2007 for the real estate brokerages Weichert and Channing Real Estate. As with every agent we hire, Redfin validated her social security number, her deal history and that her real estate license was in good standing; as with every agent we hire, we ran a criminal background check, which came up clean.

Once hired, Ms. Foley was responsible for showing homes, not representing clients. In our customer-service model, experienced lead agents represent clients. Field agents work for the lead agents, handling property showings when the lead agent is unavailable. Lead agents are all full-time employees. Field agents are largely contractors, mostly part-time.

Another Russian spy, Anna Chapman, also had an online real estate business according to the New York Post. I will try to find out what the online real estate business she ran.

A ring of 11 Russian moles right out of a Cold War spy novel was smashed yesterday — and among those busted was a flame-haired, 007-worthy beauty who flitted from high-profile parties to top-secret meetings around Manhattan.
Russian national Anna Chapman — a 28-year-old divorcee with a masters in economics, an online real-estate business, a fancy Financial District apartment and a Victoria’s Secret body — had been passing information to a Russian government official every Wednesday since January, authorities charged.
In one particularly slick spy exchange on St. Patrick’s Day, Chapman pulled a laptop out of a tote bag in a bookstore at Warren and Greenwich streets in the West Village while her handler lurked outside, receiving her message on his own computer, the feds said. A similar exchange occurred at a Midtown coffee shop at 47th Street and 8th Ave.

It does make sense though. Real estate is one industry where you are already on the move constantly meeting with new people. It would be very hard to try to track a real estate agents moves and find illegal activity.

More on Tracey Foley from the Washington Post here.


Thanks for reading this post. If you would like to see more articles like this, please come visit The Real Estate Bloggers. where it was originally published.

Real Estate Agents Caught Up In Russian Spy Case

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Who Is Responsible For Losing My Home Buyer Tax Credit?

Posted: 29 Jun 2010 05:09 AM PDT

Money-house-ladyThe question I expect to see starting on June 1st from home buyers is “Who Is Responsible For Losing My Home Buyer Tax Credit?”

This is not a trivial amount of money and if a home buyer has lost the money because of incompetence odds are they will be coming after the people who promised them it would be no problem getting the home closed in time.

Agents, brokers, and mortgage brokers, have you inadvertently made yourself liable when trying to convince a client to take action? Did you put in the proper disclaimers in all your correspondence to protect yourself?

And conversely, are there attorneys out there that will start trolling for business?

I can easily see class action lawsuits arising from this home buyers tax credit.

The opportunity for small claims lawsuits filed locally against agents and mortgage brokers for the lost tax credit due to overstated expectations is also an option for an angry buyer who could not close in time.

From a homebuyers perspective, $8,000 is a great deal of money. If they can show that one person in the chain created the situation where they lost the tax credit because of incompetence while promising they would make the tax credit goal, we could see frustrated homeowners seeking compensation and taking this to court.

This could get very ugly folks.

Thanks for reading this post. If you would like to see more articles like this, please come visit The Real Estate Bloggers. where it was originally published.

Who Is Responsible For Losing My Home Buyer Tax Credit?

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180,000 Homes Might Lose $8,000 Tax Credit

Posted: 29 Jun 2010 04:58 AM PDT

Money-houseThe home buyer tax credit that moved up so many closings in the real estate world has 2 days left. If you do not close by Wednesday at midnight, the home you went to contract on just got between $6,500 and $8,000 more expense.


So the 180,000 families that the National Association of Realtors expect not to be able to close in time are going to save the government between $1,170,000,000 and $1,440,000,000 in tax credits.

But the reality is even worse. How many of these homes had people qualifying for the loans needing the $8,000 tax credit to qualify? Or how many will walk away from the contracts now that the tax credit is taken away?

The tax credit spurred people into action, that is for sure. However now the market is dead in the summer selling season and there are going to some very unhappy people out there.

Congress last fall extended a tax credit, worth as much as $8,000, to buyers that signed contracts by April 30 and closed on transactions by June 30. The real-estate industry stepped up calls for an extension of the closing deadline in recent weeks amid concerns that some buyers might miss the deadline after a last-minute home-buying rush led to bottlenecks at banks, appraisal firms and title insurers.

But a Senate bill that included the extension failed to secure enough votes last week and has been shelved.

The National Association of Realtors said that as many as 180,000 contracts that were signed by April 30 might miss the June 30 closing deadline. But it is unclear how many of those sales won’t happen as a result of missing the tax credit.

Thanks for reading this post. If you would like to see more articles like this, please come visit The Real Estate Bloggers. where it was originally published.

180,000 Homes Might Lose $8,000 Tax Credit

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