Friday, March 26, 2010

Newport Beach Officer recognized for saving lives

Officer Keith Krallman of the Newport Beach police was recognized Tuesday for saving the life of a suicidal man as well as interceding while off-duty when a man punched and choked his girlfriend.

Krallman received two of the awards handed out at the 39th annual Police Appreciation Breakfast at the Newport Beach Balboa Bay Club.

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Among the honorees were volunteer of the year Lisa Murphy (left), supervisor of the year Sgt. John Freeman , interim Chief Robert Luman, officer of the year Tracy McKenzie, reserve officer of the year Jonathan Sunshine, and dispatcher of the year Anne Donnelly.

Krallman also received an Award of Merit for helping out the woman who had been assaulted by her boyfriend.

Some two dozen officers and support personnel in all received awards, including Officer of the year Tracy McKenzie.

Officer Sam Sa, an Iraq war veteran and taekwondo champion, was given an award of merit for his heads-up arrest of Jose Guillermo Hernandez Luna, now 24, of Santa Ana, after a routine car stop.

Sa noticed Hernandez was carrying an Orange County Register article about a shoot-out during an ATM robbery and suspected that Hernandez' interest in the article was other than literary.

Hernandez was charged with the robbery and several car thefts and pleaded not guilty earlier this month.

Six officers involved in the arrest and conviction of "dinnertime bandit" Paul Keesling were honored. Keesling was convicted last month of a third strike for a $250,000, and was the suspect in a string of burglaies with losses totaling more than $12 million.

Officers Jennifer Allen and Adam Gilbert were honored for performing CPR on a restaurant patron, as was Officer Jeff Perkins for using a belt as a tourniquet to keep a man from bleeding to death.

Posted via web from The Newport Beach Lifestyle

Racquetball court part of $12M OC home sale

Click photos to enlarge

A six-bedroom, 12-bath house just sold in Crystal Cove has many of the features included in most luxury homes, and one that isn’t — an indoor racquetball court.

No word on whether the new owner of 40 Deep Sea is an avid racquetball player. But if he is, his new hilltop house is ideal for tournaments.

A glass wall in the second-level game room of this four-story home overlooks the indoor racquetball court on the floor below, making a perfect observation area.

The 13,500-square-foot house wasn’t even built when it went on the market in April 2008.  After nearly two years, the Crystal Cove home sold last month for $11.8 million, according to Redfin.

An elevator connects the occupants to all four floors — including two subterranean levels. (Check out the hole they dug at right.)

Amenities include a gym, theater, wine cellar and tasting room, sauna, an eight-car garage and game/media room that includes  a juice bar.

Located near the top of the Crystal Cove development, the home features “unimpeded ocean and Catalina views with virtually no rooftops,” according to the MLS.

The “main floor has an unmatched open feel with covered loggias off the great room, family room, breakfast area and kitchen,” the MLS said.

There’s also a separate guest casita and an indoor courtyard.

Posted via web from The Newport Beach Lifestyle

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Businesses Promote Eco-Friendly Stance with RecycleBank

Companies have a way to market eco-friendly attitudes by teaming up with RecycleBank, a company that tries to get households to recycle by offering coupons from businesses like Starbucks, Bed, Bath & beyond, and Staples, Forbes reports (via Triple Pundit).

The goal is  to increase municipalities’ recycling rates – and lower their landfill costs – by enticing constituents with coupons. RecycleBank collects a facilitation fee less than the amount saved by the municipality; customers get aluable coupons; and businesses get an environmental campaign that’s visible to consumers.

RecycleBank tracks each household’s contribution by providing containers embedded with radio frequency identification tags that correspond to each household address. Scanners on sanitation trucks record the weights of each pickup in RecycleBank’s database. Each household gets an account more


Posted via web from eWaste Disposal and Recycling

O.C. surfers dominate event at Upper Trestles

Surfers from San Clemente, Costa Mesa, Santa Ana and Newport Beach powered their way to victory Sunday in a Surfing America Prime contest at Upper Trestles, just south of San Clemente.

Four of five divisions produced Orange County winners: Kulia Doherty of San Clemente for girls under 16; Colin Moran of Costa Mesa for boys under 16; Taylor Thorne of Newport Beach for boys under 18; and Courtney Conlogue of Santa Ana for girls under 18.

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Colin Moran of Costa Mesa is shown en route to victory Sunday in the boys under 16 division of the Surfing America Prime contest at Upper Trestles.
This was the fourth of six West Coast Surfing America Prime events helping to qualify surfers for the USA Nationals in June at Lower Trestles.

Some highlights:

Boys under 18: Three of four finalists were from O.C.: winner Taylor Thorne of Newport Beach, third-place Luke Davis of Capistrano Beach and fourth-place Tanner Rozunko of San Clemente.

Girls under 16: Three of four finalists were from O.C.: winner Kulia Doherty of San Clemente, third-place Shelby Detmers of Newport Beach and fourth-place Lulu Erkeneff of Dana Point.

Girls under 18:Two of four finalists were from O.C.: winner Courtney Conlogue of Santa Ana and runner-up Taylor Pitz of Laguna Beach .

Boys under 16: Two of four finalists were from O.C.: winter Colin Moran of Costa Mesa and third-place Scott Weinhardt of Dana Point.

Boys under 14:Two of four finalists were from O.C.: second-place Griffin Colapinto of San Clemente and third-place Jacob Davis of Capistrano Beach. The winner was Nic Hernandez of Santa Cruz.

On the West Coast, the remaining Surfing America Prime qualifying events are March 20-21 at Oceanside and April 17-18 at Malibu.

To learn more, visit See more photos at

Posted via web from The Newport Beach Lifestyle

$25 million Strand home hovers over ocean

The priciest home for sale in Dana Point, located at the Strand at Headlands, has ocean views that will make your jaw drop.

I would know, I was there myself.

And yes, my jaw dropped more than once.

(CLICK on photos above for larger images)

Just upon entering the home at 47 Strand Beach Drive from the front door, the ocean fills the back windows of the home and the sound of the surf is crashing outside.

This home is listed at $24,999,000, and I must admit, I was skeptical of the high price (and still am, given the nature of the wounded luxury market) from just looking at the photos. But after seeing the home in person, I didn’t even recognize it from the photos I saw beforehand.

This home is breathtaking and cohesive, down to the textures used throughout.

Once you step outside, you literally feel like the ocean is directly beneath you. An infinity pool gives way to the crashing white water just outside the house. Words cannot describe the enormity of the ocean view, since it engulfs you from the home’s patio.

Though the custom home has been on the market for 49 days now, listing agent Mo Dawn says that the home was just completed.

Featuring a Cape Cod theme, the home is light and airy. Architect Chris Light designed the home, and the details throughout reflect the desire to style the home for an artist.

This listing has nine pages of amenities listed, but I’ll just list the more notable ones.

  • 5 bedrooms, 6 baths, 2 powder rooms, 9,700-square-feet
  • Hickory floors
  • Verde Van Gogh granite fireplace
  • Disappearing doors in the family room to the outdoor terrace
  • Pool/spa
  • Elevator
  • 4-car garage
  • Capiz shell chandelier in stairwell
  • Art/yoga studio
  • Direct beach access
  • Laundry room on all 3 levels

More real estate news…

Posted via web from The Newport Beach Lifestyle

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

California Governor expected to sign state home buyer tax credit bill

The California legislature on Monday passed AB 183, providing $200 million for home buyer tax credits. The Governor is expected to sign the bill into law this week. C.A.R. supported this important legislation since its inception.  Part of a package of four bills passed at the request of the Governor, AB 183 is designed to help stimulate the economy and create jobs.  It allocates $100 million for qualified first-time home buyers who purchase existing homes and $100 million for purchasers of new, or previously unoccupied, homes.

The eligible taxpayer who closes escrow on a qualified principal residence between May 1, 2010 and December, 31, 2010, or who closes escrow on a qualified principal residence on and after December 31, 2010 and before August 1, 2011, pursuant to an enforceable contract executed on or before December 31, 2010, will be able to take the allowed tax credit.

This credit is equal to the lesser of 5 percent of the purchase price or $10,000, taken in equal installments over three consecutive years. Under AB 183 purchasers will be required to live in the home as their principal residence for at least two years or forfeit the credit (i.e. repay it to the state).

More info 

Posted via web from The Newport Beach Lifestyle

BofA to cut mortgage balances for some borrowers

Bank of America announced Wednesday that it will first look at reducing the loan balances of certain distressed homeowners with subprime or adjustable rate mortgages to make their payments more affordable.

The move makes Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500) one of the first major loan servicers to incorporate the controversial loan modification technique.

Financial institutions, as well as the Obama administration, have come under increasing pressure in recent months to add principal reduction to their foreclosure prevention efforts.

When modifying mortgages, Bank of America will initially consider reducing the balances of borrowers with qualifying subprime, Pay-Option ARMs and prime 2-year hybrid ARM loans to bring down the monthly payments to 31% of pre-tax income. Currently, banks first look to reduce interest rates or lengthen the term.

Homeowners who are at least 60 days late and whose mortgages total at more than 120% of their home's value can have their balances reduced over five years by a maximum of 30%.

Borrowers must first qualify for the servicer's National Homeownership Retention Program. The program was developed as part of a 2008 settlement with state attorneys general to assist Countrywide Financial Corp. borrowers with subprime and Pay-Option ARMs. Countrywide was acquired by Bank of America in July 2008.

Pay-Option ARMs allow borrowers to make tiny monthly payments, but the unpaid interest is tacked onto the mortgage balance.

The bank expects that 45,000 borrowers will qualify to have their loan balances reduced by a total of $3 billion. The program is set to begin in May. To top of page

Posted via web from The Newport Beach Lifestyle

Green Marketing: What Works; What Doesn’t - A Marketing Study of Practitioners


We took a critical look at green marketing and found that marketers who have actually experimented with green messages generally found them much more effective than their typical messaging fare. But there are areas where it proved more and less effective. We studied the media used, the types of companies, and the internal management and politics of those organizations. All showed interesting trend lines that showed influences of whether a marketing campaign would ultimately prove successful.

The study includes data on:

  • Green marketing effects on product pricing
  • Which companies are spending on green marketing
  • What media are most used
  • What media are most effective

Providing specific examples, we include four case studies of green marketing campaigns from USPS, Timberland, HSBC and Aveda.

Some Findings

  • 80% expect to spend more on green marketing
  • 4 times as many marketers said green marketing was more effective than those who said it was less effective
  • The internet was both the most popular medium employed, and also the one that marketers found the most effective
  • Nearly half said decision-makers hold green marketing in high regard


“In what may come as a surprise to marketers – a group sometimes defined by a level of skepticism – the results of the study indicated that, for the most part, marketers are engaging in green marketing because they perceive it has value. 33% of respondents said green marketing was more effective than their normal marketing efforts, with just 7% saying it was less effective. ...”

“Companies that view themselves as the most green spend the most on green marketing, while those that see themselves as least green spend just a fraction of their marketing budgets on such tactics. This indicates that marketers are backing up their beliefs of the company’s level of ‘greenness’ with marketing campaigns, rather than creating green campaigns to be part of the trend, or more cynically, to deliberately shore up a known weakness. ...”

“Interestingly, most firms indicated that they were in the ‘somewhat green’ to ‘very green’ categories, but they tended to believe their customer base thinks them less green than they really are (71% who think themselves ‘somewhat’ or ‘very’ green, compared to 67% who think their customers view them as green). This gap, while small, is persistent among the respondents, and may indicate why green marketing is on the rise. ...”

See our executive summary for more details.

Posted via web from eWaste Disposal and Recycling

Newport Beach Real Estate Market Update

This Market Update report is all real estate currently active for sale and properties sold in the recent past for Newport Beach.

. Currently there are 367 detached single family homes listed for sale, and these properties have median price of $1,990,000 and an average price per square foot of $618 . These properties range in price from a low of $269,000 for a 2 bedroom, 2 bath, 998 square foot home located subdivision called Cannery Village Mobile Park .

 The maximum price of homes currently listed for sale is $95,000,000 for a fine estate boasting of 8 bedrooms, 14 baths, with 29,000 square feet of living area, and is situated in the Back Bay Custom Homes area.

For condominiums, there are now 166 units active for sale in Newport Beach . The median price of these condos is $859,000 and the average price per square foot is $647 . These condominiums range in price from a low of $239,000 for a unit comprising of 1 bedroom, 1 bath, 502 square foot, that is found in the Versailles Tract. Up to a maximum price of $2,950,000 for a roomy condo consisting of 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, with 3,508 square feet found in the Harbor Ridge Estates.

For homes now pending in contract in Newport Beach there are 87 detached homes in escrow, which have a median price of $1,490,000 . These properties range in price from a low of $550,000 for a 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 1,600 square foot property located in the Back Bay Anniversary Homes. The maximum price is $9,950,000 for a fine property incorporating 5 bedrooms, 7 baths, with an expansive 6,150 square feet of living area, located in the Lido Island.

There are 57 Condo units now pending in escrow in Newport Beach , that have a median price of $474,500 . These units range in price from $295,000 for a 2 bedroom, 3 bath, 1,157 square foot condominium, situated in the Newport Terrace Subdivision. On up to a high price of $1,995,000 for a fine condo comprised of 3 bedrooms, and 3 baths, with 2,700 square feet, found in the Harbor Ridge Estates.

For Sold home in the past 3 months, there were 85 detached properties that closed escrow in Newport Beach . These sold homes had a median price of $1,275,000 with an average price per square foot of $572 . These sold homes ranged in value from a low price of $142,000 for a detached home with 2 bedrooms, and 1 baths, incorporating 1,000 square feet, located in the Lido Park Subdivision. And a maximum price of $5,550,000 for an estate property comprising of 5 bedrooms, 6 baths, and a spacious 2,979 square feet located in Balboa Island.

For attached Condos Sold in the past 3 Months, there were 52 such units that succesfully closed escrow in Newport Beach , California. The median price of these attached units was $550,000 with an average price per square foot of $455 . These sold condominiums ranged in price from a low of $260,000 for a 1 bedroom, 1 bath, 493 square foot unit found in the Versailles condo Tract. The maximum priced sold condo was $1,900,000 for a nice unit comprised of 2 bedrooms, 3 baths, and 1,864 square feet found in the Lido Building.

Orange County Real esrtate Blog.....

Posted via web from The Newport Beach Lifestyle

O.C. housing more affordable than you think

Although Orange County’s housing is less affordable than the Inland Empire’s, the gap isn’t as great when you take transportation costs into account, a new study released today shows.

The study, by the Chicago-based Center for Neighborhood Technology, says that the “drive until you qualify” mentality doesn’t taken into account the added transportation costs of living in far-flung areas, where commutes are longer.

For example:

  • Based on housing costs alone, 59% of O.C. neighborhoods are affordable. But when transportation costs are taken into account, just 48% of local neighborhoods are affordable — a 21% difference.
  • In the Inland Empire counties of Riverside and San Bernardino, the gap is much bigger. There, 62% of the neighborhoods are affordable based on housing costs alone. But when transportation costs are included, just 22% are — a 40% difference.
  • Nationwide, 69% of neighborhoods in 337 U.S. metro areas are considered affordable based on housing costs. This shrinks to 39% when housing and transportation costs are combined — a 30% difference.

According to the report’s authors, housing affordability in the United States is being drastically overestimated.

“There are a lot of things (to consider) besides the posted price of a house,” said Scott Bernstein, Center for Neighborhood Technology president. “It makes no sense to advertise the cost of a home without taking into account the cost of transportation.”
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted via web from The Newport Beach Lifestyle

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The luckiest man in pajamas

It's still early Friday night, but the party's already hopping.

The host, Frank Teixeira, 42, reclines in front of a wide-screen television, eating spaghetti.

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Michele Grace shares a moment with Frank Teixeira Friday night during a sleepover.
A blonde woman bursts through the front door.

"Frank T!" April Winner says. "What's happening!"

She gives him a hug.

Soon, more than a dozen people fill Teixeira's San Diego home with food, drink and laughter. Most of the partiers are from the class of 1986 at Western High School in Anaheim .

Scott VanSickle, Teixeira's best friend, arrives.

"How you been doing?" VanSickle asks.

Among the few remaining muscles Teixeira still can control are the ones around his mouth.

He curls his lips into a smile.•••

Over the years, some from the class of '86 have drifted apart.

Since last fall, however, they've been tight, holding monthly sleepovers at Teixeira's house, united in their love for the former strapping surfer who no longer can lift a hand to touch them — or even speak.

Teixeira was surfing one day in 2003 when he noticed something wasn't right with his right leg and foot. It wasn't doing what he wanted it to do.

Teixeira, who grew up in Buena Park, had been an avid board rider since his early teens – a fixture at Ninth Street in Newport Beach.

Could age be catching up with him? Could it be a lingering injury?

He consulted his wife of two years. They agreed he should see a doctor.

The diagnosis was ALS.

There is no known cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, popularly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, after the legendary baseball player who died of the disorder in 1941.

The disease attacks nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, eventually killing motor neurons that give a person voluntary control over muscle movement. Speech, swallowing and breathing are affected. Gradually, the body becomes paralyzed......READ MORE

Posted via web from The Newport Beach Lifestyle

hardest place to buy a home in OC?

The latest O.C. home inventory report says that as of March 18 …

HottestSupplyDealsMon.Yr. agoPrice
Dove Canyon 13 19 0.7 7.8 $872k
Aliso Viejo 123 112 1.1 2.9 $455k
Portola Hills 18 16 1.1 2.3 $498k
Rancho Santa Marg. 134 103 1.3 3.1 $392k
Foothill Ranch 43 27 1.6 3.4 $432k
CountySupplyDealsMon.Yr. agoPrice
All of O.C. 8,776 3,270 2.7 4.3 $1.1m
CoolestSupplyDealsMon.Yr. agoPrice
Laguna Beach 358 29 12.3 29.7 $3.6m
Corona Del Mar 169 17 9.9 30.4 $3.0m
Newport Beach 540 75 7.2 15.4 $2.5m
Newport Coast 149 25 6.0 11.7 $4.0m
Coto De Caza 119 21 5.7 8.4 $2.3m
  • The “hardest” O.C. town to find a home to buy in terms of “market time” (supply of homes for sale vs. new purchase deals inked in past month) is Dove Canyon at 0.7 months to theoretically sell all for-sale homes at the current buying pace. A year ago, this town was at 7.8 months.
  • The 5 “hardest to buy” markets combined have a market time of 1.2 months and comprised 4% of the supply of homes for sale and 8% of homes in escrow.
  • “Hardest” market to sell a home in, based on the same math, is Laguna Beach with market time at 12.3 months to theoretically sells all for-sale homes at the current buying pace. A year ago, this town was at 29.7 months.
  • The 5 “hardest to sell” markets have a combined market time of 8.0 months and were 15% of the supply of homes for sale and 5% of homes in escrow.
  • All told, countywide market time was 2.7 months last week.
  • All told, 23% of the communities tracked by Thomas had “market times” less than 2 months,a clear sellers’ market. Four weeks ago? 35% – and it was 0% a year ago.
  • Chart at right looks at the 5 hottest and 5 coldest markets in O.C. as of last Thursday (supply for sale; new deals made; market time in months vs. a year ago and average listing price) by Thomas’ market time math.

Posted via web from The Newport Beach Lifestyle

Monday, March 22, 2010

Taken, the dopiest Euro Movie of 2009, but lots of action!

Bryan: [after Jean Claude tries to shoot him] That is what happens when you sit behind a desk. You forget things, like the weight in the hand of a gun that's loaded and one that's not.

Bryan: [after shooting Jean Claude's wife in the arm] It's a flesh wound. But if you don't get me what I need, the last thing you'll see before I make your children orphans is the bullet I put between her eyes.

Posted via web from The Newport Beach Lifestyle

Yes, even clothes can be recycled

There are options besides throwing away that tattered sweater, wine-soaked blouse or out-of-fashion leisure suit. Charities, resale shops and even retailers can help.

Upcycling & recycling

Give + Take owner Dora Copperthite shows off some of her recycled wares. (Barbara Davidson, Los Angeles Times / March 6, 2010)


  • Call it the Forever 21 effect, or fast fashion. Americans are buying, and discarding, clothes more quickly than ever. The average American throws 54 pounds of clothes and shoes into the trash each year. That adds up to about 9 million tons of wearables that are sent into the waste stream, according to the Environmental Protection Agency — a 27% increase in a mere eight years.

    Although resale shops are a good option for clothes that still have some fashion value, and charities will take items that are well past their prime, there are still an awful lot of ink-stained dress shirts and moth-eaten sweaters that find their way to the dump.

    What to do with that favorite old shirt you ruined by inadvertently spilling a glass of red wine down its front, or that well-worn pair of slacks that finally split at the seams, or that dress you loved last year but now wouldn't wear to save your life?

    There are a wide variety of options that are better than the trash bag, including charities (such as Goodwill and the Salvation Army), resale shops (Buffalo Exchange, Give + Take) and the retailers that first sold them to you.

    Goodwill and the Salvation Army will not sell defective clothes or shoes, but they do offload them to textile recyclers, who either ship them to Third World countries where they may have a chance of a second life, or sort and resell them to textile "de-manufacturers" who can turn them into materials that can be worked into new materials, whether it's cleaning rags, carpet padding or rubberized playgrounds.

    Forty-five percent of recycled clothes are sold to other countries, 30% are turned into cleaning rags and 25% are turned into fibers for stuffing or insulation, according to the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textile Assn.

    Recycling awareness among clothing manufacturers seems to be on the rise. Goodwill, which in Southern California alone sold 14.6 million pounds of textiles to recyclers last year, recently joined with San Francisco-based Levi Strauss & Co. to educate jeans owners in how to care for their pants so they stand a better chance of reuse through the charity. READ MORE;,0,2856090.story

Posted via web from The Newport Beach Lifestyle

UN: Polluted water killing, sickening millions

High-End Owners Compete for Buyers and Dance with Asking Prices

Lenders work to inflate our flagging housing bubble to limit their losses. The lender of today's featured property is hoping for $275,000 extra in its loss recovery efforts. Are you willing to step forward and help them out? 

Irvine Home Address ... 101 LATTICE Irvine, CA 92603
Resale Home Price ...... $1,100,000


Oh dancing with myself
Oh dancing with myself
Well there's nothing to lose
And there's nothing to prove
I'll be dancing with myself

Dancing with Myself -- Billy Idol

High-end market pricing is a symbolic, mutually-shared illusion with sellers and lenders -- a group increasingly becoming sellers -- pretending that current pricing is stable and praying preying they find a patsy to pay the huge note. Some gyrate their asking prices in a do-si-do dancing up and down and ending where they started. Today's featured property shuffled two steps back and six steps forward:

Property History for 101 LATTICE

Mar 01, 2010 Price Changed $1,100,000
Mar 01, 2010 Price Changed $985,000
Mar 01, 2010 Relisted --
Feb 08, 2010 Price Changed $875,000
Jan 18, 2010 Price Changed $925,000
Jan 12, 2010 Price Changed $895,000
Nov 18, 2009 Delisted --
Nov 16, 2009 Price Changed $825,000
Oct 23, 2009 Delisted --
Oct 21, 2009 Listed $875,000
Feb 28, 2006 Sold (Public Records) $1,380,000

What would possess whoever is in control of this asking price to raise it $275,000 over the last five months? Is this a short sale where the lender keeps raising their approved short-sale price? Did the realtor have influence? I don't think the sellers care any more:

Foreclosure Record
Recording Date: 02/16/2010
Document Type: Notice of Sale (aka Notice of Trustee's Sale)

Foreclosure Record
Recording Date: 11/13/2009
Document Type: Notice of Default

Their $1,104,000 Option ARM blew up.

High-end inventory

According to recent reports, high-end house sellers lower their sights, and anyone selling mansion can expect to wait 3 years. I found these quotes from the first article interesting:

"The market moved, and so with it did the price," Eisenberg said. "The seller is a smart businessman and a reasonable guy -- he gets it -- and the best part is that he is under no real pressure to sell as the property is owned free and clear of any debt."

Therein lies one reason for more overpricing in the luxury home market, said Gary Painter, director of research at the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate.

"What's different about the high end, compared to the general population, is that people who have substantial resources are able to wait longer" to sell, Painter said. "In the bottom of the market you see negative-equity situations, loans going up, people must sell. Outside forces force them to price to sell. Those sorts of outside forces aren't as present [at the upper end]."

We all know this is not true for most properties between $1,000,000 and $3,000,000, and as I demonstrated in  $3,367,500 HELOC Abuse from Hollywood, $5,000,000 HELOC abuse from Laguna Beach, $7,000,000 HELOC abuse in Newport Coast and 18 different properties in Huntington Beach, high end markets are inflated beyond belief, not by cash buyers, but by highly leveraged pretenders who are dancing with their lenders in amend-extend-pretend. 

More so perhaps than in other parts of the nation, Southland sellers have another reason for overpricing at the onset: the magical belief that a star will happen upon their place and be willing to pay any price.

That statement -- complete with its ironic truth about wishful thinking -- is a setup for an even bigger delusion: 

"The story of celebrities knocking on doors and overpaying for a house they 'have to have' still floats around," Malibu agent Gardner said.

Reinforcing the popular myth, Cotton said, is that "every once in a while the real estate god looks down and someone will buy a place that's overpriced." 

In other words, stupid knife catchers are everywhere.

Occasionally, even industry shills have a valid observation (from the OC Register story):

At the current pace, the overall market is a seller’s market without much appreciation at all. The number of distressed homes within the Orange County housing market is keeping a lid on appreciation. On the other hand, the higher end price ranges are experiencing a deep buyer’s market, the higher the price range, the deeper the buyer’s market. The hottest price range is homes priced between $250,000 and $500,000, with an expected market time of 1.75 months. Contrast that with homes priced above $4 million with an expected market time of 33.89 months.

Remember O.C. has 13 months of unlisted foreclosures, so the market-time is quickly approaching infinity. Lenders are very concerned about the massive losses they will take as the high end deflates, and they are doing everything possible to prevent it, but moving back to sustainable lending standards means that people really must have the incomes to support the loans.

This is a nice house, but is it the property fitting to someone making $230,000 a year with over $220,000 in the bank? That is who will buy this. Are there enough of these high wage earners to support the number of homes that must wash through the system? That is really the question we are exploring. According to sales volumes, the number of listings and the total shadow inventory, the answer appears to be a resounding "no" -- unless you believe the cartel will hold together. I don't. 

Irvine Home Address ... 101 LATTICE Irvine, CA 92603

Resale Home Price ... $1,100,000

Home Purchase Price … $1,380,000
Home Purchase Date .... 2/28/2006

Net Gain (Loss) .......... $(346,000)
Percent Change .......... -20.3%
Annual Appreciation … -5.3%

Cost of Ownership
$1,100,000 .......... Asking Price
$220,000 .......... 20% Down Conventional
5.06% ............... Mortgage Interest Rate
$880,000 .......... 30-Year Mortgage
$229,324 .......... Income Requirement

$4,756 .......... Monthly Mortgage Payment

$953 .......... Property Tax
$242 .......... Special Taxes and Levies (Mello Roos)
$92 .......... Homeowners Insurance
$252 .......... Homeowners Association Fees
$6,295 .......... Monthly Cash Outlays

-$1306 .......... Tax Savings (% of Interest and Property Tax)
-$1046 .......... Equity Hidden in Payment
$435 .......... Lost Income to Down Payment (net of taxes)
$138 .......... Maintenance and Replacement Reserves
$4,516 .......... Monthly Cost of Ownership

Cash Acquisition Demands
$11,000 .......... Furnishing and Move In @1%
$11,000 .......... Closing Costs @1%
$8,800 ............ Interest Points
$220,000 .......... Down Payment
$250,800 .......... Total Cash Costs
$69,200 ............ Emergency Cash Reserves
$320,000 .......... Total Savings Needed

Property Details for 101 LATTICE Irvine, CA 92603
3 Beds
2 full 1 part baths Baths
2,460 sq ft Home Size
($447 / sq ft)
6,154 sq ft Lot Size
Year Built 2004
141 Days on Market
MLS Number S593530
Single Family, Residential Property Type
Quail Hill Community
Tract Othr

According to the listing agent, this listing may be a pre-foreclosure or short sale.

Nice home in Quail hill overlooking hospital, city area and local highways...Somewhat open spacious floor plan with vaulted ceilings, plantation shutters, canned lighting, newer carpet, hardwood flooring in some areas, partly travertine flooring, stainless steel appliances, granite countertop in kitchen, wood banister leading upstairs to smaller bedrooms and master has a small view balcony off the room....backyard has built in island bbq with room for entertaining with slight local freeway noise.

Did you read the honesty in that description? Somewhat open... slight local freeway noise... This description provides a balanced account of the property and mentions negatives, something quite rare. There is no puffing or realtorese in the description. I want to thank rkp for sharing this property in the astute observations.


Astute Observations

Astute Observation by AZDavidPhx
2010-03-03 05:28 AM


Astute Observation by Sue in Irvine
2010-03-03 07:51 AM

What a cute little dog. I hope he wasn’t abandoned during the foreclosure.

Astute Observation by AZDavidPhx
2010-03-03 08:45 AM

I think it’s a new realtor (little ‘r’) staging technique.

Posted via web from The Newport Beach Lifestyle

David de Rothschild's Plastiki Sets Sail! - Video

Just in time for World Water Day (today) and after nearly four years of development, eco-adventurer David de Rothschild has set out on his most ambitious expedition yet. The Plastiki, an innovative catamaran made from 12,000 post-consumer plastic bottles, set sail on Saturday for a 100-day voyage from San Francisco to Sydney. Their mission is to witness some of the most devastating waste accumulation on our planet, including the Eastern Pacific Garbage Patch. According to his twitter feed, David and the crew had eggs for breakfast on their first morning at sea. (Read our previous coverage and see the NG Plastiki site.)

Taking inspiration from Thor Heyerdal's 1947 Kon-tiki expedition, the Plastiki's crew includes of David de Rothschild, accomplished skipper Jo Royle, and Thor's grandson, Olav Heyerdahl. Check back for updates here, or go to

Photographs courtesy of Luca Babini


Posted via web from eWaste Disposal

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Surfing's newest trick: recycling

Take a junky surfboard that's been sitting in the back yard all winter. Grind it up. What can you do with it? Turn it into street pavement? You can. You even can turn it into a new surfboard.

The board won't win a beauty contest. But Joey Santley of San Clemente can tell you how it helped spawn, a foundation that's nudging the surf industry to go "green" and reinvent itself.

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Joey Santley, co-founder of Green Foam Blanks in San Clemente, lets polyurethane foam dust fall through his fingers in a shaping room at Lost Surfboards. Green Foam uses the dust generated in the shaping of boards and recycles it into new surfboards.

How it began: Santley, 44, grew up in south Orange County. His dad owned Surfglas, a renowned surfboard factory. "I grew up in that factory," Santley said.

Four years ago, while working outside the surf industry, Santley learned that his son Luke, 2, was autistic. Joey and Allison Santley stopped everything to focus on their son, deciding "that whatever we do with our lives is going to be something that's part of the solution rather than the problem," Joey Santley said.

Foundation: Santley, Cox, Matt Biolos and Ron Pringle started on the premise that for a supposedly pure sport, surfing has too much toxicity and waste in its industry and it's time to clean up. To set an example, they collected shaping-room and laminating waste and asked Escondido Asphalt to produce a sample of asphalt containing 10 percent recycled surfboard material. The result spurred them to try more.

Green Foam: "The first Green Foam boards were entire surfboards ground up," Santley said. The first one is on display at the Surfing Heritage Foundation in San Clemente. Santley asked premier shapers such as Biolos, Al Merrick, Rusty Priesendorfer, Timmy Patterson and Pat Rawson to shape the first ones. "Al Merrick goes, 'It just looks like a dirty blank, but it shapes great.' " Santley said.

Today's boards:Santley and Cox introduced refined Green Foam boards at the January 2009 Action Sports Retailer trade show in San Diego – boards produced by acclaimed shapers. Top surfers such as Cory Lopez, Chris Ward , Coco Ho, Pat O'Connell and Kolohe Andino have ridden them, Santley said, and Biolos' Lost Surfboards – also known as Mayhem – is Green Foam's biggest account.

Testimonial: "I've been riding one a lot lately," Biolos said. "Performance-wise you can't really tell any difference."

Industry vibe: Frank Scura, executive director of the Action Sports Environmental Coalition, said manufacturers are excited: "They were always told before that it was an impossible undertaking. Joey has resolved that."

New icon: The G brand is Green Foam's own. Boards shaped by Mayhem, Cole Simler, Patterson and others are co-branded. You can buy one at Lost's Catalyst surf shop in San Clemente. It's the same price as a normal board, Santley said, and it also uses low-emission polyester resin and recycled FCS fins. Musician/surfers Jason Mraz and Donavon Frankenreiter ride them, Santley said.

Frankenreiter's take: When he got his first one from his shaper, Jeff "Doc" Lausch, he saw little specks in the texture. "I called," Frankenreiter said, "and said, 'Is there any way you could put more of those into it ... make it even more recycled-looking?' It gives it kind of a flavor, kind of a twist on a normal light blank."

Kid Natural: Resurf's mascot, created by San Clemente surfer/artist Roy Gonzalez, is a cartoon character the foundation says will ask kids to buy green products from companies that care. Kid Natural will appear in cartoons and educational materials riding a G board. "He's here to educate and protect," Santley said.

Recycled wetsuits: The foundation is partnering with Yulex, an Arizona firm that makes organic rubber from the guyule plant. Ground-up neoprene can be mixed with organic rubber to produce recycled products. Santley has prototype material for a recycled wetsuit, a deck pad for surfboards, and knee pads and elbow pads with organic material touching the skin and the recycled material on the outside. With a prototype sandal, your foot touches organic rubber. The street touches recycled ground-up neoprene.

Possibilities: A recycled yoga mat, a recycled insole for a shoe, an organic surf leash, even a 100 percent organic, hypoallergenic wetsuit.

Luke Santley, now 6: "He is doing unbelievably well," Joey Santley said. "We think he is going to be mainstreamed in two years."

To recycle: Got an old board? Visit for drop-off locations.

Posted via web from eWaste Disposal

When the Salty Sea Breeze is Far from Shore

The smell of sea salt in the air is a romanticized feature of life along a seacoast. Wind and waves kick up spray, and bits of sodium chloride -- common table salt -- can permeate the air.

It is believed that as much as 10 billion metric tons of chloride enters the air mass through this process each year, but just a tiny fraction -- perhaps one-third of 1 percent -- does anything but fall back to the surface.

The bit of chloride lingering in the air can react with nitrogen oxides, formed when fuel is burned at high temperature, to form nitryl chloride, a forerunner of chlorine atoms, the most reactive form of chlorine. Those atoms can contribute to smog formation in coastal areas.

Now, in a surprise, researchers have found that this chemistry thought to be restricted to sea spray occurs at similar rates in air above Boulder, Colo., nearly 900 miles away from any ocean. What's more, local air quality measurements taken in a number of national parks across the United States imply similar conditions in or near other non-coastal metropolitan areas.

"It's there. We know it's there. But we don't have a good handle on where that chloride comes from," said Joel Thornton, a University of Washington associate professor of atmospheric sciences and lead author of a paper documenting the findings, published March 11 in Nature.

After sea spray, the largest global source of chlorides is coal burning, with biomass burning not far behind. Thornton said potential sources of chloride in the Boulder-Denver area include smoke from fireplaces, chemicals used on icy winter roads or even air drifting in from giant salt flats in Nevada and Utah, but there currently is no sure way to know the source.

In February 2007, a team including Thornton prepared to set out from Boulder for a research cruise from Long Island Sound to Iceland via Norway. The plan was to sample nitryl chloride levels in marine air, which computer models predicted would not exceed 50 parts per trillion.

Before leaving, the scientists decided to test the equipment they would use to detect airborne nitryl chloride on the cruise by sampling the air in Boulder, a mile above sea level.

"That night when we just nonchalantly stuck our tube out the window, we were getting readings of 500 parts per trillion in Boulder," Thornton recalled. Those levels turned out to be comparable to what the scientists later recorded on the research cruise, indicating the computer models greatly .....

Posted via web from eWaste Disposal

Scenes along the 2010 L.A. Marathon route

PHOTOS: Along the L.A. Marathon route

The diverse landscape of Los Angeles will unfold for runners along the 26.2-mile route. The "Stadium to the Sea" course starts in Los Angeles, passes through West Hollywood and Beverly Hills, and finishes in Santa Monica. The race will take place Sunday.
Photos by Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

A tattered poster of Dodgers outfielder Manny Ramirez hangs on a concrete support in Dodger Stadium, the starting line for the 2010 Los Angeles Marathon. Runners will descend to the city from Chavez Ravine, make a loop around downtown and then head northwest toward Hollywood.

Marathon participants will run past the dragons on the Chinatown Gateway Monument, north of City Hall at the intersection of Broadway and Cesar Chavez Avenue.

In downtown Los Angeles, the marathon route winds past the Walt Disney Concert Hall, which houses the L.A. Philharmonic, at 1st Street and Grand Avenue.

A structure along Glendale Boulevard in Echo Park is a hodgepodge of signs, bright paints and artwork.

A toy and candy vendor walks on the shore of Echo Park Lake, where runners will begin a winding path away from downtown and through the neighborhoods of Echo Park and Silver Lake.

Murals line the Los Angeles Marathon route through the artsy enclaves of East Hollywood.

A Buddhist shrine marks the boundary of Thai Town, a block-long stretch of Asian restaurants and markets on Hollywood Boulevard near Western Avenue.

The sun streams through a window filled with glass and ceramic ornaments at the Tsunami Cafe in Sunset Junction.

The Frolic Room, a Hollywood mainstay since the 1930s, is one of the Hollywood Boulevard landmarks along the course of the 2010 Los Angeles Marathon.

The marquee of the Hollywood Pantages Theatre glows in the late afternoon sun.

A toddler takes a stroller ride down the Walk of Fame in front of the Hollywood and Highland shopping complex.

Visitors to Grauman's Chinese Theatre look down at the handprints and footprints of Hollywood stars.

Car lights swirl through a bend on the glittery and glamorous Sunset Strip in West Hollywood.

The neon lights of The Roxy, a famed rock club, burn brightly along Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood.

Runners will pass upscale retailers along Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, home to some of the world's most expensive fashion houses, including Chanel, Armani and Dior.

A pooch gets a ride along the marathon route in West L.A.

Marathon participants should be happy to see the entrance to the Santa Monica Pier, which marks the end of their 26.2-mile run.

Interactive marathon map


LA Times

Posted via web from The Newport Beach Lifestyle

HVAC boot cleared of Asbestos in Los Angeles