Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Ready To Rumble?

Ahhh, late autumn 2005. All is right with the world. Single family homes are selling like hotcakes all over Orange County, California. 15 to 25% home price appreciation seemingly everywhere you look. OC realtors cashing those commission checks, buying H3 Hummers and brand new Lexuses, or just putting in their own little "cement pond" to celebrate the ongoing gravy train of success. Real estate house flippers are, well, flippin' out.

Good times. Good times.

One fine day, a nice little 5 bedroom, 2 bath single family home on Rumble Drive in Lake Forest comes up for sale for $725,000. Rumble Drive is located within earshot of the excruciatingly loud Amtrak train line between Irvine and San Diego, and the busiest and most treacherous roadway in Lake Forest: Six-lane El Toro Road.

This home last sold for $398K (little over half the original buy price) just 2 years before ($398K in 2003). But it's 2005 and dammit if prices for single family homes weren't hitting the stratosphere all over Lake Forest and all surrounding OC communities! I've gotta fix it and flip it, dudes! I gotta make some moves and be somebody. They all said it could be and should be done. Besides, Gary Watts and Connie de Groot are the smartest people in the whole wide world.

A year after the November 2005 purchase, the home is listed on the MLS in December 2006. Over a series of 2 1/2 years the home is listed, delisted and then relisted again with perfectly neurotic pricing changes. One can almost sense the frustration and disbelief. This can't be really happening. Or can it be?

Today the home is up for sale again on Redfin, his time for a brutal sale price of $499K as of March 29th. More price declines may be in the offing.

Bought for $725K shortly after market peak. Today the home is for sale for $499K at over $225K less than that 2005 purchase price.

22901 Rumble Drive, Lake Forest, CA 92630

No comments: