Tag Archives: dana point

Listing of the week: 34731 Calle Loma

My pick this week is this remodeled tri-level in Capistrano Beach.

34731 Calle Loma
4 bed, 3 bath
3,100 square feet
$1,350,000

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

  • So many great features–picturesque ocean views from multiple floors, enormous great room, fireplace, gourmet kitchen, well-manicured backyard
  • Great square footage (3,100!)
  • More than $200k in improvements
  • Great in-law or guest suite downstairs (includes kitchenette and separate entry)
  • Close to the beach and Pines Park

Want to check it out? Contact me today.

Understanding building codes and zoning laws

Home for sale in Dana Point. Click photo for details.

Source

When buying (or selling) a home, it’s important to be cognizant of a property’s local zoning and code violations. If you’re thinking about adding onto a property, doing a remodel, maybe subdividing to generate some supplemental income, knowing where your property stands in terms of its code compliance as well as its zoning restrictions can yield lots of crucial information on your house hunt.

What Are Code Violations?

If your home falls short of a county or municipal building code, it has a code violation. Many homes have some form of code violation. This is because building codes change all the time, and a house that was code-compliant when you bought it may now lag behind current standards. These innocent violations are “grandfathered” in, which means they are not regarded as violations if the home was up to code when it was built.

How do you know when a property was built, when any upgrades were completed and whether it’s in violation of codes or zoning ordinances?

See what the OC Property Assessor shows. Call your City’s Building and Code Enforcement Department and ask them for any permits pulled on the property. Ask them about any non-conforming use.  Ask when and how a non-conforming use has to become conforming. Ask if the property is a “legal non-conforming use.” Further, your Realtor should have access to tools that shed a lot more light on the current status of your prospective home from a code and zoning perspective.

Most serious code violations happen because the homeowner adds more living space without the proper permission. Other examples include water heaters or electrical points installed without a permit, failure to use non-flame retardant roofing material and the absence of smoke detectors: the list is endless.

Why are Zoning Laws Important?

Is my home legal? Can I get a loan on my home? Can I rebuild my home if destroyed? These questions can be answered if you know whether your property is in compliance with local zoning codes or not. A property’s zoning status is classified as legal, legal nonconforming (“grandfathered”) or illegal.  Legal compliance means that a property conforms to current code and can be rebuilt if destroyed, and qualifies for a FNMA loan.  Legal non-conforming means that at one time the property complied with zoning code but does not currently comply, but the nonconforming use may continue; generally these homes can be rebuilt and qualify for a FNMA loan.   Illegal indicates that the property does not conform to the zoning code and must be restored or removed, and cannot be rebuilt if destroyed and do not qualify for a FNMA loan.

What about remodeling and illegal uses?  Adding an addition to a home without permits does not automatically make the property illegal; being non-permitted is not the same as being an illegal use in the zoning.  If the addition would normally be allowed by zoning, the issue of non-permitted areas can often be resolved by working with your building department and obtaining letter of compliance or a permit as long as the addition meets code.  However, if the building addition would not be allowed by zoning, the addition will most often need to be removed or significantly modified so that the addition complies with current zoning.

 

Mortgage rate projections for 2017

According to the Orange County Register,  median home prices eclipsed $935,000 at the end of 2016, which begs the question, “Is now a good time to buy?”

Home for sale in Dana Point. Click photo for details.

Of course, there are so many factors that will ultimately have an impact on the decision to buy now or hold out for better market conditions.  I would suggest that mortgage interest rates play an important factor in that decision.

In late 2016, mortgage interest rates on a 30-year fixed loan bottomed out at 3.46% according to Bankrate.com.  A home with a purchase price of $500,000 @ 3.46% would equate to a $1,787.26 monthly mortgage payment.  Today, that same $500,000 house equates to a $1,991.25 monthly payment at 4.35%, which represents a 12% increase in your monthly mortgage expenses.

The Mortgage Bankers Association predicts that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage will rise gradually over 2017, averaging 4.7% in the fourth quarter. The National Association of Realtors expects the 30-year fixed to be around 4.6 percent at the end of this year. This means that the same $500,000 home purchased at the end of this year may cost around $2,074.55 a month.

Look at it a different way: A buyer that pulled the trigger on a home purchase in late 2016 could have afforded a home valued at $580,000 ($2,073.22/mo @ 3.46%) versus only a $500,000 home if that buyer had waited until the end of 2017 ($2,074.55/mo @ 4.7%).  That $80,000 of buying power lost could represent an extra bedroom, that 3-car garage you always wanted, or a variety of other things.

If Orange County real estate prices rise 1% in 2017, a home you’re interested in now that has a sell price of $500,000 might be $505,000 at the end of the year.  That change in value is negligible compared to the forecasted rise in interest rates, at least as far as your monthly payment is concerned. As mentioned above, there are so many things to consider when purchasing a home and I would never tell anyone to run out and buy a house just because mortgage rates are still pretty low. However, it might be something to consider!

Listing of the week: 34346 Calle Naranja

This week’s property is a great remodeled home in Capistrano Beach.

34346 Calle Naranja
4 bed, 2.5 bath
2,352 square feet total
$875,000

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

  • Great curb appeal and right across the street from a beautiful park
  • Quiet neighborhood, close to the beach
  • Great space for a family–4 large bedrooms, large family room, large dining room (could be converted into a 5th bedroom, office, or den)
  • New roof, fresh paint, 80% new plumbing, large garage and loft (for storage or workspace)
  • Located on a 1-way street with plenty of parking
  • Local schools are rated 8 or 9
  • No HOA or Mella Roos fees

Want to check it out? Contact me today.

33692 Blue Lantern St. #9

I chose this condo as my property of the week because of its location, its view, and its upgraded interior. It’s fairly simple to find a property with 1 or 2 out of those 3, but finding a property with all of these attributes isn’t easy.

33692 Blue Lantern St., #9
2 bed, 2 bath
1,138 square feet total
$889,995

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

  • It’s located in the heart of the Dana Point Lantern District, with great access to shops and restaurants
  • As you can see from the balcony view, the beach isn’t too far away either
  • The interior upgrades are spectacular–no shortcuts taken with building materials or finishings
  • The HOA dues are reasonable ($235/month)
  • Would be great as a rental unit, a vacation home, or a primary residence

Want to check it out? Contact me today.

Solar panels: Yes or no?

If you’re like me, you’ve probably looked into installing solar panels on your roof once or twice before. There’s a 30% Federal Tax Credit on the table to incentivize us to seriously consider solar and I’m here to say that I’m intrigued!

solar-panels

By How Much Does Solar Increase Your Property’s Value?

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory offers a useful guide when determining how much your property’s value will go up. According to its research, each additional $1 in energy bill savings (from your solar installation) adds $20 to your home’s total value.

It’s important to note that these statistics only apply to today’s housing prices and utility rates. As electricity prices go up (as they most certainly will), the advantages of solar energy rise proportionally as well.  In fact, an article on NowGoSolar.com states SDG&E rates have increased 500% over the pas 15 years!

In addition, installing solar panels not only helps you fetch a higher asking price, but it can also help your home sell 20% faster vs properties without solar installations. For homeowners who want to reduce exposure, paperwork, and wait times, this can be a huge advantage – especially in today’s sluggish housing market.

To substantiate the claim that solar panels improve property values, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory produced an interesting report that provides hard numbers from calculations that were made after examining real estate transactions across the country in eight states from 2002–2013.

On the other hand, can we count on realtors to educate prospective buyers on why paying a premium for a solar-powered house is justified?  I suppose that remains to be seen.  Truth be told, there are very few home improvements that will affect a homeowner’s bottom line like having it equipped with solar power. I haven’t seen a dramatic improvement in cost for these systems, nor have I seen any significant improvements in the technology of late, but I expect (and hope) solar to stay around for the long haul, which to me makes it one home improvement you may want to consider.

26151 Via California

This week’s listing is a great income property in Capistrano Beach. You have to come in with a substantial down payment in order to make a profit each month, BUT the appreciation potential in this area is huge.

26151 Via California
Unit 1: 3 bed, 2.5 bath
Unit 2: 2 bed, 2.5 bath
3,600 square feet total
$1,299,000

house-1 house-2
Unit 1:

house-3 house-4

Unit 2:
house-5 house-6

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

  • Like I said, the appreciation potential is huge. With the revival of the nearby Dana Point Harbor and Lantern District, along with planned upgrades to Capo Beach, property values should rise in the future
  • Both units are spacious and clean. There is an opportunity for some nice renovations, but the properties could rent as is for now
  • Highly-rated schools: Palisades Elementary is an 8, Shorecliffs Middle School is an 8, and San Juan Hills High is a 9

Want to check it out? Contact me today.