Jul122010

How to Lose $1,100,000 in Irvine Real Estate

The Marquee at Park Place: The North Korea Towers: The Beautiful Loser. Every original owner has lost a fortune. Some have realized their losses and given up, and some are still holding on waiting for 20 years when prices come back. Today’s featured property transacted for 63% off the peak. That is quite a fall.

Was the housing bubble foreseeable? Did buyers like those profiled below simply get caught up in an unusual event, or was their foolishness obvious to anyone willing to examine the costs and benefits to make a rational decision?worst_investor

I take you back to the prime of the housing bubble. In June of 2004 the kool aid was free flowing, people believed prices could only go up, and everyone who bought real estate was going to make a fortune. How wrong they were….

Penthouse Living at Marquee Park Place Offers Luxury, Panoramic Views

Publication: Orange County Business Journal
Date: Monday, June 7 2004

The luxurious penthouse condominiums atop the 17th and 18th floors of the Marquee Park Place residential towers in Irvine offer distinctive floorplans with up to 2,088 square feet of living space and panoramic views of city lights, distant mountains and the coastal horizon.

Orange County’s first high-rise residential community, Marquee Park Place is being built by Bosa Development in ‘ the Park Place commercial and residential district. Nearly 95 percent of Marquee’s 232 luxury condominiums are sold or reserved to date.

Marquee Park Place is Orange County’s first high-rise residential community.

With the first move-ins scheduled for late 2005, Marquee Park Place consists of two gleaming concrete and glass 18-story towers. Each of Marquee’s distinctive towers will house two-bedroom, two-bath luxury homes, as well as two-bedroom plans with den, ranging from approximately 1,275 to 2,088 square feet. Complementing the towers are four unique two-story townhomes that will be built as part of the Marquee community.

“The Marquee penthouses are elegantly designed and luxuriously appointed,” said Ingrid Siikov, sales executive for Marquee Park Place. “The views from every penthouse are spectacular. When you’re on the penthouse floors of Marquee Park Place, you’re in your own world.”

The marketing copy sounds very exciting, doesn’t it? Living there seems like the American dream. And the prices will go sky high after the rich Asians come over to buy them later on.realtor_nonsense

Spectacular views

The Penthouse Plan F encompasses approximately 2,088 square feet and features a master bedroom suite with master bath and large walk-in closet. The bedroom suite has direct access to the home’s expansive view deck with up to 700 square feet that commands a spectacular view of the surrounding city lights, mountains and coastal horizon.

The stylish home also has a large second bedroom with walk-in closet, spacious living room with an exterior view balcony, formal dining room and contemporary kitchen.

The Penthouse Plan H floorplan features 1,908 square feet with a view deck off the dining room and covered deck off the master bedroom.

When Pat Burkhart read about Marquee Park Place last year, she knew immediately that she wanted Marquee to be her new home. Currently living in Newport Beach’s Big Canyon golf course community, Burkhart was the first person to buy a Marquee penthouse, and she says she can’t wait to move in. “I’m very excited about living at the Marquee,” she exclaims.

I wonder how excited she is now?

 

Stylish, safe living

Burkhart is not new to living in a high-rise community. When she lived in Singapore in the late 1990s, she lived in a high-rise and she says, “I loved it. I could walk to stores, movie theaters, just about everyplace I wanted to go. I think living in the Marquee will be the same.”

That is part of the problem with these towers: it isn’t the same as living in an urban area. It has all the inconveniences of suburban, car-dependant living and all the inconveniences of urban living — no yard, plenty of noise, and so on.

A world traveler, Burkhart says she also likes the idea of being able to lock her door and leave on a trip without concern for maintenance or security. And when she’s home, she can savor the view from her penthouse vantage point. “I’ve wanted to live in a high-rise community ever since Singapore, and the Marquee will be perfect for me and my lifestyle.”

Another penthouse buyer who can’t wait to move into the Marquee is Jenny Szell, who is planning to sell her larger single-family detached home in Irvine to downsize and simplify her life. An interior designer, Szell says she lived in a high-rise apartment in Marina del Rey and was enamored with the lifestyle and the view.

“I really look forward to moving into Marquee Park Place,” she says. “The convenience of high-rise living is very attractive to me. It’s all very exciting.”

Szell points out that she was first introduced to Bosa Development and its high-rise communities when she visited Vancouver, where Bosa is headquartered, and immediately decided that she wanted to live in a high-rise. “I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered that Bosa was building the Marquee in Irvine. It took only 15 minutes for me to complete the sale.”

It took this woman only15 minutes to complete a sale on a nearly $2M condo? Brilliant!

New trend in condo sales

Burkhart and Szell are among several single professional women who’ve purchased Marquee homes, and they also represent a national trend in condominium sales, according to the National Association of Home Builders. About a third of condo buyers today are single women, compared to those who purchase single-family homes, where single women makeup 20 percent of buyers.

Given how bad the condo markets have already been crushed nationwide, single professional women must not be too happy about the housing bubble.

In addition to the Marquee penthouses, Siikov says buyers can still choose from a selection of the Marquee Plan E signature residences, 2,063 square-foot homes on the 13th through 16th floors. Along with panoramic views, the Plan E encompasses special amenities such as a breakfast nook, a den, powder room, and spacious living and dining room areas contiguous to the contemporary kitchen.

Beautiful amenities

All of the striking Marquee homes are appointed with the finest materials and fixtures, including quality wood cabinetry of cherry, walnut or zebrawood, and professional quality stainless steel appliances, and a state-of-the-art home-office communications/ Internet panel. Other amenities include rich carpeting and flooring selections in hardwood, limestone and marble, granite countertops, high ceilings, seven-foot interior doors, and a convenient storage locker.

Reflective of a five-star resort, the Marquee community will be served by a gated circular driveway with classic porte codiere and secured entrance leading to the elegant lobby with 24-hour concierge. Additionally, a 24-hour entry attendant will monitor access to the complex and closed-circuit cameras are stationed throughout the high-rise community. Residents and guests will park in a fourlevel, gated garage; each residence will have two reserved parking spaces in the garage.

The landscaped Marquee complex also features a business center, social room, billiards room, and an inviting outdoor plaza with a pool, barbecue area, lush gardens, and fitness facility with changing and locker rooms.

For $998 a month in HOA dues, the amenities need to be outstanding. The cashflow drain on these properties is enormous, particularly for those still paying on the ridiculous mortgages.

The Marquee Park Place sales gallery and model homes are open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday through Thursday, and are closed Fridays.

To visit the Marquee sales gallery, from Jamboree Road take Michelson Drive east and turn left at Carlson Drive into Park Place. Drive through two stop signs going past the Edwards Cinemas, and take the first right after the second stop sign, at the six-story office building (3121 Michelson Drive) where the sales gallery is in Suite 150. Park in the parking structure adjacent to the office building (tickets will be validated). From Culver, take Michelson Drive west to Carlson Drive, turn right into Park Place.

For more information on Marquee Park Place contact the Marquee sales gallery, at 949-474-7703 or visit www.marqueeparkplace.com. For more information about Bosa Development, visit www.bosadev.com.

For more happy owners, please see Jan. 22, 2006: Orange County’s high-rise era is under way.

The biggest loser

It is a policy of the IHB not to reveal the names of owners of properties. I am not out to embarrass any particular kool aid intoxicated fool but rather the mindset and thought process that produced their bad decision. Unfortunately, the name of the owner is in today’s post because it is listed in the article above. I won’t tell you which one because it doesn’t really matter. Everyone who bought here was been wiped out.

The owner of this property paid $1,752,500 on 2/17/2006. She may have put down a deposit in 2004, but the sale is listed as occurring in 2006. She used a $1,226,600 one-year ARM and a $525,900 down payment. Ouch!

The property went up for auction on 7/2/2010 with an opening bid of $630,000: the bank was ready to lose half its stake on the courthouse steps. The bidders drove the price up to $653,100 leaving a total property loss of $1,099,400.

Let me repeat that: closed sale to closed sale, the loss was $1,099,400. The price of speculating in real estate can be quite high or those who have no idea what they are doing. Do you think the flipper will fare any better?