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Fading Frenzy

Summer's sizzle has been replaced by fall's fizzle. Two buyers and two sellers cope with the changing housing market.

SELLER: High-end owners are 'a little disappointed'

November 29, 1998|SUE McALLISTER

When Don and Kari Kazanjian put their four-bedroom Yorba Linda home on the market in September, they knew they were asking a little more for it than their real estate agent had recommended.

But their optimism was fueled by the memories of all the work they had put into their 10-year-old traditional-style house: the landscaped hillside in the backyard, the custom drapes and cabinets, the wet bar.

Also bolstering their confidence were the conversations they'd had with neighbors who had reported selling their nearby houses earlier in the year in the course of a week.

Unfortunately for the Kazanjians, though, the months began to slip by and they still had no offers.

"Our expectations were that we would probably sell it within two months," said Don Kazanjian, 39, an industrial real estate broker. "We're a little disappointed."

But not discouraged. The Kazanjians decided in early November to drop their asking price of close to $500,000 by $15,000.

"We went in with an open mind" about the possibility of having to reduce the asking price, Kazanjian said. Nonetheless, they realize that the house might not sell until after the holiday doldrums.

Kari Kazanjian, 34, is hoping a buyer will show up in January. "That's, I think, a pretty realistic expectation at this point," she said.

The couple's 3,250-square-foot home sits on a spacious lot surrounded by rolling hills and is close to a park and equestrian trails. They moved into the two-story house in 1989, when it was brand new.

Now, the Kazanjians and their three young daughters are planning to move to another new home nearby, this one a bit larger, at 4,500 square feet. Construction on their new home should be complete by next month.


Kazanjian said he thinks that uncertainty about the world economy has made some people wary about buying homes. His thought is echoed by real estate agents throughout Southern California, especially those dealing in high-end properties.

The Kazanjians' agent, Carla McKendry with ReMax in Yorba Linda, said sales of homes priced above $300,000 experienced "a major slowdown" in mid-October after the stock market plunge.

In addition to the reduced price, the Kazanjians are hopeful that a video of their home now posted on the Internet ( will help draw buyers.

"I don't think there's a lack of buyers," Kazanjian said. "It's just that the buyers haven't been able to make commitments."

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