The five bedroom Sea Cliff home at 845 El Camino Del Mar was purchased for $1,100,000 in 1993 with $350,000 down. In 1998, the property was refinanced with a $1,000,000 loan.
In 2001 the loan amount was increased to $1,400,000. In 2006 it was increased to $2,000,000. And in 2009, the loan was increased to $2,773,642.
In default since October of 2012, the 2,716 square foot Sea Cliff home on a 4,251 square foot triangular lot is scheduled to hit the courthouse steps this Thursday.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by eddy

    Looks like an irregular lot with no real yard. Certainly not going to command 1000/psf on the steps and the interior is probably not up to keep. Wonder if it has views. Just down the road from another famous twittererer. 🙂

  2. Posted by local

    What most people don’t see is that the huge tree in the neighbor’s backyard is sick and leaning just a bit too much. The neighbors have not lived up to agreements to take it down in the past, so that’s a challenge. Eventually, it will come down right on top of this house, not to mention the weekly pine needle sweeping on the roof deck in the meantime!

  3. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    Taking down a large tree wedged between buildings is a complex and expensive job. It would probably cost thousands. But not nearly as expensive as letting gravity and nature do the demolition.

  4. Posted by Dan

    I had a similarly sized, and wedged tree removed from my backyard. A good arborist with a couple of assistants can do it in a day. It will cost a few thousand dollars.

  5. Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

    But if the tree falls down on this house, and the buyers of this house sue the neighbor with control/ownership of the land the tree is on, then that neighbor’s homeowners insurance will cover them on the (inevitable) settlement.
    So the owners with the tree are taking a calculated risk that the amount they’d pay to have the tree removed now will be (substantially) more than the net present value of all the future increased insurance premiums they’ll have to pay following the settlement of the civil suit. If it weren’t, they’d just pay for the tree removal now.
    An exercise for the reader: is that correct?

  6. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    My guess is negligence rather than a calculated risk. Not everyone is that analytical 🙂
    Even a calculated risk can be extremely risky since such a large tree fall can damage more than just property. The actual damages could exceed the insurance coverage. If a neighbor’s large, sick, and weakened tree loomed over my house I’d formally request that they remove the tree because it is a dangerous safety hazard. If it fell and hurt someone then they could not deny that they knew about the hazard.
    (Actually a neighbor’s 25′ tree did blow down and hit my car a few years ago. Neither of us realized that the tree was sick though the disease was obvious once we looked at where the trunk snapped. It missed clobbering someone by seconds, missed the house by inches, and caused superficial damage to the car. We were really lucky.)

  7. Posted by darglac

    Mostly for my own benefit, I ran some numbers to see how this worked out for the owner.
    1) 30 year fixed loans for every loan
    2) Interest rates of 8.8%, 8%, 8%, 6.5% for the loans. I don’t have historical jumbo interest rates available so I just took the yearly average for conforming loans and added 1.5ppt to them.
    3) Owner has been in default since Oct 2012. I assume they stopped payments sometime in 2011. Zillow puts the property value at $3.0M in 2011. If the owner had sold in 2011, the owner would be lucky to get their original downpayment back.
    4) Since I don’t know the month the owners entered each of the transactions, I assume that the loan transactions were entered in Jan of every year.
    5) Figures out rounded off to thew nearest thousand.
    Money contributed by owner
    *Downpayment – $350,000
    *Interest paid (up to 2010) – $1,860,000
    *Total $2,210,000
    Money received/saved by owner
    *Cash out portion of refi’s – $2,023,000
    *”Free rent” for 2 years (2 years interest payments) – $357,000
    *Saved real agent costs (4%) – $120,000
    *Interest deductions (conservative 35% effective rate) –
    *Total 2,500,000
    By my simple calculation, the owner “made” ~$300k by defaulting.

  8. Posted by GetOffTheIvy

    Unless an Arborist author’s the letter or supporting documents, it ain’t notice.
    Btw the house has potential or better depending on the view, but at 2.8 it would have to be perfect.

  9. Posted by inclinejj

    Sale cancelled
    Btw we had one of our big pine trees fall and missed the neighbors house by inches. Our insurance company sent out an arborist to determine if the tree was neglected. The arborist determined that the sudden gust of wind plus saturated soil was the cause of the tree falling.
    The cash and dash option is lucrative!

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