Tag Archives: orange county

OC real estate forecast suggests smaller gains in 2018

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

As I said a couple posts back, the median sales price for homes in Orange County rose above $700K in September. But a recent forecast for the OC real estate market suggests that home prices might rise more slowly in the months ahead, around 1% through summer 2018.

Here are the home-price forecasts for the three largest cities in Orange County:

  • Anaheim: The housing analysts at Zillow expect home prices in Anaheim, California to rise by 1.4%. House values in Anaheim rose by 6.5% over the previous year.
  • Irvine: An even more modest forecast for the Irvine housing market, with an expectation for a 0.8% price increase over the next year.
  • Santa Ana: Economists predicted that home values in Santa Anna would rise by 2.1% between now and the summer of 2018. That was one of the highest forecasts they issued for cities within the broader Orange County real estate market. Santa Ana also had the highest increase in home prices over the last year, with values rising by 11%.

Is There a Price Bubble?
The Orange County real estate market is still constrained with limited supply available. According to local housing professionals, the county had about a 2-month supply of homes in May of this year. A “balanced” real estate market is considered to have about six months worth of supply. So from an inventory standpoint, Orange County is still a seller’s market due to limited supply. But homes aren’t selling as quickly as you might imagine, given the limited inventory. In May, the median number of days on market for listed properties was 40. That means houses in the area are selling a bit faster than the national average, but they’re not going like “hotcakes.” This reinforces the idea that the local housing market is becoming unaffordable to the majority of buyers.

Which brings us to the million-dollar question. Is the Orange County real estate market in a bubble, or will it enter one in 2018? Jim Doti, an economics professor at Chapman University recently told the Orange County Register that home prices in the area have reached an “irrational level.” This is because the median value is now eight times higher than the median family income. Doti went on to say: “We are in a balloon. No question.”

Source: Home Buying Institute

Listing of the week: 33541 Avenida Calita

My pick this week is a great family home in San Juan Capistrano.

33541 Avenida Calita
4 bed, 3 bath
3,266 square feet
$999,000 (price just reduced!)

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

  • A property like this, nestled high in the hills of Meredith Canyon, doesn’t come on the market often
  • Excellent location–right in the middle of Dana Point and San Juan Capistrano, 5-minute drive to downtown San Clemente
  • Great ocean views
  • Peaceful, quiet neighborhood–ideal for a family
  • Low HOA dues ($98) and no Mello Roos

Want to check it out? Contact me today.

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.

Listing of the week: 31252 Via Cordova

A South OC house just under $700K? No wonder it’s already in backup offers…

31252 Via Cordova
3 bed, 2 bath
1,478 square feet total
$699,950

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

  • It’s on a big lot–6,250 square feet
  • Quiet location at the end of the street
  • Great backyard for entertaining (or room for adding on)
  • Access to San Juan Capistrano hiking and biking trails

Want to check it out? Contact me today.

 

Listing of the week: 30967 Steeplechase Drive

Before you balk at the price of this property in San Juan Capistrano, look at the square footage!

30967 Steeplechase Drive
5 bed, 6 bath
6,220 square feet total
$1,599,000

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

  • It’s in the exclusive gated community of Hunt Club Estates in San Juan Capistrano
  • It’s HUGE!
  • A kitchen Martha Stewart would love
  • Dream backyard: Pool, built-in BBQ, basketball court
  • Custom finishes and appointments throughout,including Palladian windows, hardwood flooring, leathered granite countertops in the laundry room and remodeled baths, plantation shutters, a 3-car garage and extensive attic storage

Want to check it out? Contact me today.

 

Listing of the week: 31281 Paseo Sereno

This week’s property is right near the historic Mission in San Juan Capistrano!

31281 Paseo Sereno
3 bed, 2 bath
2,025 square feet total
$1,199,999

 

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

  • Beautiful interior, complete with Mission-style touches (Spanish flooring, ornate iron light fixtures, tile flooring, old-world style chandelier, exposed wood beamed ceiling)
  • Historic location, very close to the Mission in San Juan Capistrano
  • Close to downtown San Juan Capistrano, which continues to add great restaurants and bars
  • Privacy! The house is surrounded by 8-10 ft walls
  • Chef’s kitchen with white marble counters, custom cabinetry, and top-of-the-line appliances

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.