Tag Archives: dana point realtor

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.

 

Finding a good home inspector

Is Your Home Inspector Legit? Why Buyers Should Inspect Their Inspectors

Of the roughly 30,000 U.S. home inspectors nationally, those in about 15 states don’t need to be licensed, according to the American Society of Home Inspectors. Among the non-licensure states—you guessed it includes California.

How to inspect the home inspectors—and find a winner

Good sources to finding a Home Inspector are professional trade associations. There are two quality associations available in California: the California Real Estate Inspection Association, CREIA and the American Society of Home Inspectors, ASHI. Both organizations require their members to pass an exam showing competence in the home inspection profession along with requiring that each member maintains continuing educational credits each year, CREIA requiring 30 hours per year and ASHI requiring 20 hours per year.

The client should interview all potential Inspectors they are considering and ask the following:

  • Is the inspector a member of CREIA and/or ASHI?
  • What does the inspection cover? Make sure the inspection and the inspection report meet all applicable requirements and comply with the CREIA and/or ASHI Standards of Practice. Both Standards of Practice are recognized by the California Legislature
  • How long has the inspector been practicing and how many inspections have they completed?
  • Does the inspector’s company offer to do repairs or improvements based on the inspection? This is against the CREIA and ASHI Code of Ethics as it is a defined conflict of interest
  • How long will the inspection take? The average for a single inspection is 2 to 3 hours for a typical single-family house; anything less may not be enough time to do a thorough inspection. Some inspection firms send a team of inspectors and the time frame may be shorter
  • Does the inspector prepare a written report? Ask to see samples and determine whether or not you can understand the inspector’s reporting style
  • Does the inspector encourage the client to attend the inspection? This is a valuable educational opportunity, and an inspector’s refusal to allow this should raise a red flag
  • Does the inspector participate in continuing education programs to keep his or her expertise up to date? One can never know it all, and the inspector’s commitment to continuing education is a good measure of his professionalism and service to the consumer

As for what to do if problems crop up that the inspector should have found, the first course of action should be to contact the inspector directly to discuss the issue. No corrective work should be undertaken before the inspector has an opportunity to review the report and be given the chance to revisit the property. Good inspectors will make good on their services if they missed something that should have been discovered during the course of the inspection. Keep in mind that the inspector is operating per an accepted Standards of Practice which states what is required to be inspected and what is not. Also many Inspectors carry professional liability, errors and omission insurance (although it is not required).

 

Dana Point harbor revitalization


Here’s an update on the Dana Point Harbor Revitalization Project :

We’re already seeing some improvements being made to our beloved Dana Point Harbor.
Check out this 3-minute video on the proposed future state of Dana Point Harbor.

According to an article published in the Orange County Register, 3 firms are being interviewed, design proposals have been submitted, and final design plans will be reviewed this month. Under the proposed public-private partnership, a developer would design, fund and build the proposed improvements, then operate those portions of the harbor over a 50-year lease, before returning the improved property back to the county.

County officials say reconstruction of the area’s main retail center will be completed first, and the harbor should be fully restored within a decade. In the meantime, the county has begun work along Dana Point Harbor Drive, which encircles most of the harbor’s land side, adding light signals and extra lanes in preparation for the larger project.

In January, OC Public Works will start putting new facades on buildings on the wharf to keep them solid until the actual project begins. For more information on the revitalization project, visit www.ocdph.com/revitalization.

Also, check out the most recent concepts around the Doheny Village Renovations here.

It’s getting harder to afford a house in Orange County

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

Source: Orange County Register

The California Association of Realtor’s measure of what it took to buy a local home in the fourth quarter shows three of four Southern California counties with falling affordability. This index tracks what share of households can afford a median-priced, single-family house.

  • Los Angeles County: It was the only local county with improving affordability, as 28% of households could afford to buy. At year’s end, an L.A. household must earn at least $99,230 to afford the typical monthly house payment of $2,480 on the $503,400 median-priced home.
  • Orange County: The least affordable county in the region with 22% Households must earn $146,880 to comfortably pay house payments of $3,670 on the $745,160 median-priced house.
  • Riverside County: Affordability fell to 41%. Households must earn $70,250 to comfortably pay the house payment of $1,760 on the $356,380 median-priced home.
  • San Bernardino County: This is the region’s affordability hotspot at 54%. Households must earn $49,500 to comfortably pay house payments of $1,240 on the $251,100 median-priced home.

Statewide affordability in the fourth quarter was 31%, the same as the previous quarter but up a notch from 30 percent in 2015’s fourth quarter.

Least affordable counties? San Francisco (13%), San Mateo (15%) and Santa Cruz (17%.)

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.

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.