Category Archives: Laguna Niguel

Preparing for an earthquake

Are you prepared for an Earthquake?  If you’re not sure, there’s a TON of good information online and I’ve selected my favorites below.

To start, this is the most comprehensive earthquake guide that I could find.  It contains lots of interesting info on Southern California’s history of earthquakes, what kinds of damage future earthquakes might do, and how you might be able to minimize the impact for your family.

Before an Earthquake

  1. Assemble an emergency preparedness kit .
  2. Create a household evacuation plan that includes your pets.
  3. Stay informed about your community’s risk and response plans.

Here is a concise, 1-page checklist for what to do before, during, and after an earthquake.

Here is a more thorough guide.

Protecting your home
Here is a great document on the various ways you can inspect your home and identify and fix potential problems before they happen.

Communicating with loved ones
Communication may be tough after an earthquake. Internet and cellular services may be unavailable, so it’s always a good idea to diversify and have a backup plan.  In the event that cell phones work, there are some really good apps for emergency preparedness.

I also thought this Google PersonFinder app was a really useful tool to use and get familiar with if you’re ever in a situation where you’re searching for a friend or family member.


28455 Rancho Grande

If you’re house-hunting in South Orange County this weekend, see this house!

28455 Rancho Grande
4 bed, 3 bath
2,609 square feet

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Here’s why I think this is a great buy:

  • Great floor plan with 4 bedrooms plus an office/study
  • You don’t need to do a thing–it’s move-in ready
  • Oversized 3 car garage
  • Community amenities including pool, tennis courts, racquetball courts, exercise classes (HOA dues are just $163/month)
  • Easy access to the 5 and 73 freeways
  • Just minutes from the beach

Want to check it out? Contact me today.


25295 Via Acapulco

This week’s listing is a condo in Laguna Niguel that would make a great starter home for a couple or small family, or a great income property.

25295 Via Acapulco
3 bed, 2 bath
1,702 square feet

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Here’s why I think this is a great buy:

  • The location is great–close to freeways, schools, shopping, entertainment
  • It’s one of the largest floor plans in the community–a good size for a couple or a small family
  • At $294/square foot, it’s priced well. Other units in this complex have sold for about $340/square foot in the past year. That means built-in equity for a savvy investor
  • No Mello Roos!

Want to check it out? Contact me today.

28571 Silverton Dr.

This week’s listing is a great house in the gated community of Rolling Hills in Laguna Niguel.

28571 Silverton Dr.
4 bed, 2.5 bath
2,809 square feet

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Here’s why I think this is a great buy:

  • At about $310/square foot, it’s well-priced. A similar home nearby sold a few months ago for $335/square foot
  • It’s centrally located, across the street from a shopping center and movie theater, with easy access to the freeways
  • The home has a paid-off solar system
  • It’s nicely remodeled, with a high-end kitchen and African teak flooring
  • The Rolling Hills community is well-manicured, with lots of peace and quiet, and HOAs are only $140/month

Want to check it out? Contact me today.

17 Son Bon

This week’s listing is in central Laguna Niguel. The current owners have it as a rental, so it’s a great property for an investor. It’s also a great property for a family looking to establish themselves in a solid, family-oriented community.

17 Son Bon
3 bed, 2 bath
1,737 square feet

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Here’s why I think this is a great buy:

  • It’s been on the market for 3 months, so the sellers are probably antsy to find a buyer
  • The price was just reduced YESTERDAY from $715,000 to $649,900
  • The price per square foot is under $400. Homes in this area have been selling in the  range of $425/square foot over the past year
  • I grew up down the street and can confirm that the local schools are top-notch: George White Elementary School, Niguel Hills Middle School, and Dana Hills High School are all rated 9
  • It’s close to lots of shopping, parks, and trails. The beach is only 15 minutes away

Want to check it out? Contact me today.

Spotlight on: Top 10 Underrated South Orange County Restaurants

You won’t find South of Nick’s or the world-famous Raya at the Ritz Carlton on this list. We all know those restaurants are great. This post is dedicated to the restaurants you may not have heard of. Consider them for your next evening out.

Iva Lee’s
555 N El Camino Real, San Clemente
(949) 361-2855
iva lee'sWe’ve dined here a few times now and it’s one of the best dining experiences I’ve had in Orange County–and it isn’t even because of the food. The food is good, but the ambiance and service are what make this place special.  There is kind of a dark, saloon vibe. The bar area is great. Live music is great (and not so loud that you can’t hear the person sitting next to you).

As for the food, we got the fried green tomatoes to start. The goat cheese made that dish. I got the red snapper with the cheesy grits and collard greens. It was nice to have something DIFFERENT for a change. They have great cocktails, several good beers on tap, and an extensive wine list.

Surfin’ Cowboy
34235 Doheny Park Rd, Capistrano Beach
(949) 272-5957
When we moved to Capo Beach, we were obsessed with finding “our place”–somewhere unpretentious where we could watch sports, drink good beer, and eat some acceptable food. I think this is the spot.

Don’t be fooled by the sort of odd location or the blacked out windows. It looks shady from the outside, but it’s fun inside. It definitely feels like a “local hangout.” Even though it’s a bar, lots of families come here. It’s a really chill, friendly atmosphere.

They have a great beer list–lots of craft selections. And the menu is surprisingly varied. I always get one of their huge burgers and I’m never disappointed.

24312 Del Prado Ave, Dana Point
(949) 661-6500
If you like good Italian food, Luciana’s is an excellent choice. The ambiance is great–dim mood lighting, cozy decor, laughter, wine flowing. It has a very homey, authentic Italian vibe. The food? Good, overall. Try the calimari fritti or the lasagna and you will not be disappointed. Prices are reasonable. It would be good for a date or for a family dinner–anything really. We’ll be back!

Tavern on the Coast
34212 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point
(949) 415-5888
We’ve been here for brunch and dinner and they’ve always impressed us with quality food and stellar customer service.  The short rib lasagna was very rich and delicious.  For brunch, I’d highly recommend the breakfast burger with one of their morning cocktails. The bar area is really nice. They have a TV and it’s a more laid-back vibe than the rest of the restaurant–though the whole place is pretty casual. We’ll be back… at the bar!

24582 Del Prado Ave # A, Dana Point
(949) 276-4990
Very cool outdoor seating, swanky couches and intimate tables inside, a big, central bar with a TV, and a dude playing a guitar. What could be better? They have a pretty good happy hour menu, with $3 domestic beers and $4 craft/international beers. Not bad. We got the flatbread toscana and the bruschetta sampler off their happy hour menu too. VERY GOOD. This is a perfect place for sharing lots of small plates. Their menu has a ton of options.

The Cellar
156 Avenida Del Mar, San Clemente
(949) 492-3663
The only negative thing I have to say is that it’s crowded. That’s not really their fault, though. They’re just that awesome. Our waitress got us beers while we waited, so that helped. It’s first come, first served–no reservations taken–so be prepared to wait a bit.

Everything we ordered was delicious: Black bean hummus, Crostino, Kale and black bean flatbread, Mac n’ cheese. But the best part about this place is the great wine and beer selection. Service is super friendly. Piano music starts at 7pm. What else can I say? We love it.

211 N El Camino Real, San Clemente, CA 92672
(949) 361-2079
We really, really loved this place. It’s charming, aka small. I’d recommend reservations. We sat on the patio, which was nice and mellow. The inside is more of a pub atmosphere. Everything we ate was great: english pea and garlic confit ravioli, Mediterranean sea bass, mac-and-cheese, chocolate souffle. You get the sense that real people run this place– not some distant company. We’ll be back.

Gen Kai
34143 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, CA 92629
(949) 240-2004
gen kai
This is the best sushi restaurant in South Orange County.  I feel like I have said enough.  End of review.

Angelina’s Pizzeria

32860 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, CA 92629
(949) 429-1102
Sometimes I think, “Pizza is just pizza.” Then there are places that totally impress me and superlatives like “best” come flying out of my mouth. This place has the BEST authentic, Italian pizza. We went on our honeymoon in Italy and realized what sets that pizza apart from American pizza–fresh, flavorful sauce + top notch cheese. The red sauce on Angelina’s pizzas is just like what we had in Italy. I would have enjoyed drinking a glass of it.  Try the Margharita or the Vesuvio, those are our favorites!

Sambuca Italian Bistro
31161 Niguel Rd, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677
(949) 429-7900
We had a wonderful experience here. The restaurant is small, with an open kitchen overlooking small tables clustered together. This wouldn’t be good for a big group (unless you arranged with them ahead of time to push together multiple tables). The service is superb. I think our waitress owns the place because she was very attentive and invested in explaining the menu and giving recommendations. The food was excellent. It reminded me of a little cafe in Florence we visited when we were in Italy. They’re known for their black linguini with shrimp and lobster.  I cannot comment on many other entrees on their menu because I haven’t been able to get off their black linguini yet!

24062 Nuthatch Lane

This week’s listing is in Laguna Niguel (Address: 24062 Nuthatch Lane).
5 beds, 3 baths, 3,163 square feet

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Here’s why I think this is a great buy:

  • It has a competitive price per square foot of $337.97
  • The house next door sold earlier this year for $70,000 more than this one, and this house has nicer finishings
  • Speaking of nice finishings, the kitchen and bathrooms are straight out of a magazine
  • Kit Hill is a very desirable neighborhood in Laguna Niguel
  • The house is in a cul de sac, with a neighbor on only one side–great privacy!
  • It backs up to the regional park, which offers lots of nature activities
  • The HOA fees are only $101/month
  • Nearby Aliso Viejo Middle School and Aliso Niguel High School are rated 9 and 10, respectively

Want to check it out? Contact me today.