Torrey Pines – The McMansion of McMansions

388 Torrey Pines Dr.


Asking Price $4,698,000 ::: Sq-ft 8,616
Purchased Price ::: Lot Size 24,638
Purchased Date ::: Beds 6
Days on Redfin 27 (56 Zillow) ::: Baths 9.25
$/Sq-ft $545 ::: Year Built 2006
20% Downpayment $939,600 ::: Area Highlands
Income Required $1,174,500/yr ::: Type SFR
Est. Payment* $23,753/month ::: MLS# A08011954

*Estimated monthly payment assume 20% down, 30-yr fixed @ 6.50%

Torrey Pines – it’s back.

I saw the other Torrey Pines monstrosity last year (386 Torrey Pines – the neighbor) and almost puked. According to Zillow, 386 Torrey Pines was on sale for almost a whole year before it found a sucker in September of 2007 who bought it for a whopping $4.25MM. And now, this seller wants to make a killing too – listing 388 Torrey Pines Dr. for a mere $4,698,000.

I can’t seem to find any lender/loan and previous sale information for this property, but the mailing address is in Nevada so this may have been purchased as a flip by a specuvestor. I can’t imagine someone buying property in Arcadia as vacation property, but who knows.


Over 8600 square feet of indoor space, 6 bedrooms, 9.25 bathrooms and more Pergraniteel than you’ll ever want. I don’t hide my disdain for gaudy mcmansions, but this is the mcmansion of mcmansions. The builder/architect had over half an acre of land and they still stuck the ugly 3 car garage in the front of the house. The outside of the house looks absolutely hideous and to think that the monthly carrying costs for this house is on the order of some people’s annual salary is mind-boggling.

I profiled this house not only because it’s the most expensive listing in Arcadia today, but because it captures the frenzy of this housing bubble in the SGV area. Specuvestor buys a property at inflated prices, tears it down to build a mcmansion, fill it with granite counters, pergo floors, designer colors, stainless steel and turn around to sell the flip at some insane wishing price to a knife-catcher. Yeah, that just above sums it up.

The neighbor got lucky and got out last September. Do you think this seller will be just as lucky?

11 thoughts on “Torrey Pines – The McMansion of McMansions”

  1. it’s up in the whispering pine estate (gated community). i went to school at the junior high right below it and actually had a friend who lived up there. you’re talking about bigger than mcmansion sizes for some of the houses up there.

    just to be fair..i couldn’t really think of it as a mcmansion since all the houses in that neighborhood are the same size or even bigger.

    but there are plenty of mcmansions in arcadia for sure. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    i think i’ve seen this one in the LA times section for awhile now. didn’t know someone picked it up recently.

  2. As a former arcadia homeowner, I feel that the city has a lot to offer….convenience to shopping, freeways, parks, etc. Unfortunately, the city has very loose building codes/standards, and that is probably the reason why there are a ton of (ugly in my personal opinion) mansions throughout the city. I’ve seen other cities where mansions are built with much better curb appeal and with much compliments to the neighborhood. Don’t get me wrong, there are a few mansions in arcadia that are very nice, but they are in the minority. On top of that, all the power lines, especially south of the 210 fwy, does not add to the overall appeal of the city.

  3. i think they passed a law awhile back where you can’t be building those mcmansions anymore.

    i wish they could find a way to move those power lines underground. with the santa ana winds and even rain/wind my block loses electricity most of the time for a few hours.

  4. I would have to agree to disagree with you on this one. It’s bigger than most homes in the general area (not just the Whispering Pine estates) so to me, it qualifies as a McMansion.

  5. I agree. Cities like San Marino do a MUCH better job at regulating the codes/standards to prevent exactly what’s happened to other SGV cities during the boom.

    Most mansions I see are indeed ugly. I drove by one on Longden this morning that looks pretty good. It seems like a colonial and doesn’t look over-built so it’s much better than the flood of spanish homes that are built all the way out to the curb. I think I’m going to drive by for a better look after work ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. If possible, could you send me a link or article about not being able to build mcmansions in Arcadia? I hope that’s true, but I still see a lot of mcmansions in construction right now. It’ll be awesome if the city finally put a stop to that, but I doubt it. Bigger homes mean more tax revenues.

    Do you live in the Santa Anita Oaks or Highlands area? The winds kick up there from time to time.

  7. i think they called it “Mansionization” laws or something. i thought i read awhile ago that they were going to put a stop to it. but right now i can’t find any concrete information about it being 100% true (just stuff about how it’s in progress). must be wishful thinking on my part then. heh.

    i’m north of foothills/baldwin area.

  8. This property is for sale by the original developer/builder of the neighborhood whose cost is much lower than the listing price. The reason it does not sell is because of 2 large watertanks next to the lot, towering over the house.

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