Short-Term vs. Long-Term Rentals: Pros and Cons

Short-Term Rental

Short-term rentals have become increasingly popular in recent years as a way to generate (mostly) passive income. However, there are pros and cons to both options of renting out your property for the short or long term. Below, we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each type of rental structure. We hope that this information will help you decide which is right for you.

Pros of Short-Term Rentals

By city ordinances, short-term rentals are typically defined as lasting less than 30 days. However, in practice, most short-term rental stays (like those with AirBnB and VRBO) last for maybe a week or less.

One of the main advantages of short-term rentals is that they offer flexible pricing. This means that you can charge more during peak times such as holidays and/or weekends and less during slower times to attract visitors. Additionally, you may use this property for personal vacations provided the property is not reserved.

Another advantage of short-term rentals is that they may be eligible for certain tax deductions for certain expenses. Speaking with your tax specialist will ensure the most accurate, current information to optimize your returns.

Cons of Short-Term Rentals

There are also some disadvantages to short-term rentals. One of the main drawbacks is that it can be difficult to screen tenants. This is because people who are only renting for a short period of time may not have the same level of commitment to taking care of your property as someone who is renting for a longer period of time.

Additionally, short-term rentals can sometimes be less stable in terms of income, as you may go through periods where there are no tenants. This can be especially challenging if you rely on the income from your rental property to cover your mortgage or other expenses.
Finally, short-term rentals generally require more work than their counterparts, as you will need to find new tenants on a more frequent basis leading to increased property marketing costs as well as maintenance/cleaning fees.

Pros of Long-Term Rentals

In a competitive market, you want your abode to stand out from the rest. Although coastal Orange County real estate has been a strong seller’s market for years, you can still maximize your sale price by making strategic updates and decor choices in your listing. When it comes to decoration, try exhibiting works of art that are unique and exciting—not just another carbon copy of what everyone else has on their walls. Choose pieces that complement the color scheme and overall ambience of the home.

Long-Term Rental

Cons of Long-Term Rentals

However, there are also some drawbacks to going the long-term route. One of the main downsides is that you will not be able to use your rental property as a vacation home, like you would in a short-term rental situation. Another issue to consider is the inability to enter the home often to assess for any damages or problems that need to be addressed. Though you may technically own the home, you do not possess the right to go inside as you please. There are important laws protecting renters from landlords, which includes your at-will access to the property. Finally, long-term rentals can sometimes result in more wear and tear, as tenants may treat the home as their own instead of like a short vacation house where they are generally more careful.

Maximizing Your Home Purchase and Investment

Which type of rental is right for you? Ultimately, the decision comes down to your personal preferences and needs. If you want more flexibility in terms of pricing and use of your property, and you are willing to put in more work for a potential higher income, then a short-term rental might be a good option for you. If you want a more stable income stream and less work, then a long-term rental might be the better choice.
Whichever way you go, make sure to do your research beforehand so that you know what to expect! As always, we are here to assist you with all of your real estate needs. To start the no-pressure conversation and discuss your options, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Thinking Of Selling? We’re Here To Help

If you are considering your options to sell your home in Orange County, CA, our top luxury real estate team is here to serve. At no obligation, please reach out for a consultation to discuss your options and see how we can help you plan and execute a strategy to reach the best possible sale price for your property. Contact us today.

Andy Stavros              

DRE #: 01408840

Phone: 949.290.0139

Email: andy.stavros@elliman.com

Address: The Stavros Group

12 Corporate Plaza #250,

Newport Beach, CA 92660

 

 

 

Sensory Gardens: An Immersive and Inspiring Luxury Home Amenity

What is a Sensory Garden?

Do you ever feel like you need to get away from it all? To take a break from the constant noise and stimulation of modern life? If so, a sensory garden may be just what you need. A sensory garden is an outdoor area designed to appeal to our primary senses of touch, sounds, sight, and smell. These gardens encourage immersive exploration, interaction, and engagement. In this blog post, we will explore the different elements to include in your own sensory garden.

Building Your Sensory Garden

Scent

One of the most important elements in a sensory garden is scent. There is something truly luxurious about soothing and simple aromas. They are the kind of scents that beckon you closer, inviting you to take a deep breath and savor their subtleties. These are not the overpowering fragrances that announce their presence from across the room; instead, they gently lure you in, whispering their secrets just for you. Whether it’s the lightest hint of jasmine or the barest trace of vanilla, delicate aromas have a way of making you feel special and cherished. And that is what makes them so alluring. Consider adding plants like lavender, rosemary, or jasmine to your garden. You can also add scented candles or essential oils to create a pleasing aroma.

Smell
Smell

Touch

In addition to incorporating fragrant flowers and colorful foliage, it is also important to include plants with different textures. The different textures will add another layer of interest for both sight and touch. Fuzzy leaves, prickly stems, and soft petals are all excellent choices. You can also use rocks, gravel, or mulch to create additional texture contrast. By carefully selecting plants with a variety of textures, you can create a truly unique and inviting garden that will be enjoyed for years to come.

Touch
Touch

Sound

The sound of rustling leaves, running water, buzzing insects, and the whispering of grasses in the wind can all be very soothing and calming. If you want to add a touch of elegance to your garden, consider adding a water feature or a wind chime. Water features can range from simple bird baths to elaborate fountains, and they can really help to create a relaxing ambiance. Wind chimes can also add a lovely musical element to your garden, and they come in a wide variety of styles to suit any taste. When looking to add a little bit of extra relaxation to your garden, keep the power of sound in mind.

Sound
Sound

Sight

The beauty of a garden is often in the eye of the beholder. But there are certain elements that can be used to create a garden that is pleasing to the senses. Adding pops of color is one way to add visual interest, and using plants with interesting shapes can add another dimension. Incorporating objects of different sizes and textures can also create a sense of visual indulgence and sophistication. By considering all of these elements, you can create a garden that is truly a feast for the eyes.

Sight
Sight

Improve Your Home and Work-From-Home Life

A sensory garden is a boon to any work-from-home creative. By appealing to our senses, these gardens encourage us to slow down and appreciate the world around us. The addition of a few scented blooms can boost productivity and foster innovation, while the sound of a babbling fountain can help to calm and focus the mind. So take some time to create your own sensory garden today. With a little planning, you can easily turn your outdoor space into an oasis of serenity and creativity. Add a few potted plants to start, then experiment with different fragrances, textures, and colors until you find the perfect combination for you. Soon you’ll be enjoying the benefits of your very own sensory garden.

Andy Stavros

DRE #: 01408840

 

Phone:   949.290.0139

Email:    andy.stavros@elliman.com

 

Address The Stavros Group

 

12 Corporate Plaza #250, Newport Beach, CA 92660


The Stavros Group (949) 290-0139 Newport Beach, CA 9266

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Scandinavian interior design: How to Bring Scandi Style to your Home

Deciding on an aesthetic for your home can be difficult for a variety of reasons. Considerations include choices in furniture and colors, function and accents, personal touches, cohesiveness, home size, and more! Design can be a challenge for any homeowner, so where does one begin? There are a huge variety of well-known design schemes inspired from all over the world – a quick google search can easily bring you a plethora of results! Our featured design for today comes from Scandinavia – one of the most popular interior design methods of our time. This nordic design is rooted in earthen tones, high-quality craftsmanship, and functionality, with significant nods to minimalism. For more information on how to incorporate this design in your home, read on! 

Scandi style has impacted the world of interior design through its focus on functionality and minimalistic detailing. Minimalism has been on the rise, but who wants a home that feels more boring than stylish? There is a fine line between the two. Used in homes around the world, Scandi style is ageless and highly elegant. Natural and neutral materials (pale woods, wools/linens, leather, glass), tactile fabrics, metal accents, and high-quality craftsmanship elevate minimalism. Scandi style is all about the details.

When capturing Scandinavian-inspired themes in your home, consider colors in muted tones or shades of white, beige, or brown. Scandi style pairs gorgeously with earth tones and natural pieces such as wooden accent tables, woolen fabrics, and other earthy designs. Older pieces passed down through generations can often be incorporated into a purposeful style in your home. Wooden furniture (bed frames, dining tables, etc.) in particular – regardless of their color – can be shown off when the colors and accents surrounding them are simple. 

Draw focus to what matters to you. Do you have lovely china you wish was featured? Or maybe curtains with bold colors that always cheer you up? Scandi design balances your home and creates a gorgeous canvas in which to showcase the decor that matters most to you. In no way does this design need to be devoid of color or life, in fact the exact opposite is true. Blues, reds, and other vibrant colors ‘pop’ when combined with wood, metal, and earth tones. 

The Scandinavian interior design movement began in Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Iceland in the 1900s, and became a worldwide phenomenon by the 1950s. Scandinavian designs you may recognize include Alvar Aalto’s stools in Apple stores, the PH lamp series, the Egg Chair, the Spanish Chair, and the Finlandia glassware series. Who knew elegance could be so simple and yet effective? 

Where to Start?

If you’re wondering where to find Scandinavian inspiration, we recommend these two sites in particular:

The Nordic Nest is a Scandinavian company inspired to bring nordic design to homes across the world. 250 Brands

My Scandinavian Home “Niki started My Scandinavian Home blog in 2011 with a simple vision: to inspire like-minded people with ethereal Scandinavian inspired homes often with a vintage touch.”

Hopefully you feel more comfortable diving into the process of design. Home buying can be daunting, but there are so many other considerations that come after! Will you turn your home into a Scandinavian oasis? If so, enjoy the serenity, style, and simplicity of this gorgeous design, and always remember – personalized twists are what make a house a home!

WANT MORE ADVICE ON HOW TO SELL AND STAGE YOUR HOME?

Are you looking to sell your Orange County home? If so, it’s helpful to know what to expect and how to maximize your investment. Even moreso, it also helps if you have the best real estate listing agent in Orange County. At the Stavros Group, we are expert marketers with a proven track record of preparing OC real estate to net the best return.

Visit our seller’s page to start the no-pressure conversation and tell us more about your situation. We can help expertly price your home and work with you throughout the entire home selling process. Questions about Orange County real estate? Contact us today and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Most Amazing Homes | 56 N La Senda

Andy is joined by Jennifer Farrell, host of Most Amazing Homes, to show off the breathtaking, bluff-top property at 56 N La Senda.

JENNIFER FARRELL: We’re in Laguna Beach, California in a newly constructed modern masterpiece, where you’re not just looking at the ocean you’re in it. Let’s take a look!

JENNIFER FARRELL: So we’re here in Laguna Beach and we are at an ‘in the ocean’ home – tell me about this home.

ANDY STAVROS: So the house sits in the Three Arch Bay private gated community of just under 500 homes of brand new construction. The architect was Mark Singer – very well known here in Laguna Beach. [This home] was his last design unfortunately before he passed, but again just a warm contemporary feel that you’ll see once we get inside. 

JENNIFER FARREL: This is a multi-level home overlooking/overhanging the ocean… How many bedrooms and bathrooms, and how big is this house?

ANDY STAVROS: The house is just over 5,000 square feet with five bedrooms and seven bathrooms, three levels, an elevator that takes you to all levels including the master… It really is one of those turnkey, lock and go homes.

JENNIFER FARRELL: Well I can feel the ocean breeze behind me, I’m dying to see the ocean view. Lead away! 

ANDY STAVROS: All right, let’s go.

JENNIFER FARREL: Wow, we’re not looking at the ocean we’re standing over the ocean. This is unbelievable, it’s a view that I think few people have ever seen. 

ANDY STAVROS: Yeah, it feels like you’re on a boat when you walk in… This is the time in a tour where I just stop talking, because everybody’s gravitated towards the view on the deck. I just allow people to take that all in, because it is breathtaking once you walk into this room.

JENNIFER FARREL: You know you’re right, it is like being on a yacht. Even the railings for the balconies are a horizontal metal, so it actually feels like we’re on an ocean liner. I love all of the contemporary beautiful lines here –  it’s a very clean color palette, very open space, without crazy high ceilings. Because the ceilings are not overwhelmingly high, you still get a feeling of coziness and intimacy in this house.

ANDY STAVROS: Right you do get the coziness. Because of height restrictions and view obstruction, you occasionally have to compromise high ceilings, but you still get a sense of openness to the house with the colors, the design and the finishes throughout. 

JENNIFER FARREL: I happen to love this portico that’s in the middle of the room. It’s such an interesting way to create an indoor veranda space, so you feel like you’re outside in an outdoor covered patio area, and yet you’re right in the middle of the house.

ANDY STAVROS: Right absolutely, and you’ll see a blend of the industrial look with the beams exposed but painted. I’m sure you can tell this house sits on bedrock, so much steel, it’s not going anywhere, and here’s just evidence to prove that it’s a solid house with a solid foundation that was just recently built.

JENNIFER FARREL: Well this home may not be going anywhere, but we are going somewhere – I’m dying to go in that kitchen.

ANDY STAVROS: All right, let’s go.

JENNIFER FARREL: Although I would love to say I’d be doing a lot of dishes here, I may just stand here staring out at the view.

ANDY STAVROS: There is a little bit of a distraction. You might burn your food as you’re cooking here, because you just want to gaze outside. 

JENNIFER FARREL: That is true, although there’s a lot to see in this kitchen itself. These counter tops are actually porcelain slabs, which means they’re as durable as a tile, but have the gorgeous look of marble. I also think that the surrounding caesar stone behind us makes a great counterbalance. The materials here are really nicely laid out.

ANDY STAVROS: Right, you’ll see the beautiful contrast with the wood grade finishes, the vertically opening white cabinetry, all the high-end appliances – gagging out melee, sub-zero refrigerators, etc. It’s a very functional chef’s kitchen.

JENNIFER FARREL: We have glass surrounding us. We have beautiful artistic touches, like that porcelain faux marble slab again and unique lighting which I’ve never seen.

ANDY STAVROS: Yeah, throughout the house the light fixtures are all unique, but complement each other. You can also see some of the same materials from the kitchen used here on the fireplace.

JENNIFER FARREL: Well this one’s definitely unique, because you have this frameless glass wet room that becomes part of the bedroom. It’s a very resort feel here.

ANDY STAVROS: Right, it gives you an open feel and who wouldn’t want to wake up every morning staring up the coast – from Thousand Steps Beach all the way down to Palos Verdes, Catalina Island, etc.

JENNIFER FARREL: The view here could not be more spectacular. I’d love to see the outdoor space.

ANDY STAVROS: You get 270 degree views in this home, with every room positioned differently. 

JENNIFER FARREL: I can’t believe we have a yard here!

ANDY STAVROS: Grass on the bluff front is rare to find! Today you can hear the waves crashing against the rocks. Out here there are multiple entertainment spaces, if you didn’t have enough upstairs; a spa, barbecue area, wet bar, more cooking space, etc. it’s a great level to be on.

ANDY STAVROS: In total the home is 5,041 square feet – five bedrooms, seven bathrooms, elevator, three-car garage, laundry on the ground level… It’s a really fantastic home for somebody that’s looking for a house that’s ready to go with no blood, sweat, or tears. Zero maintenance with a 15 year design and build process, priced just under 20 million.

JENNIFER FARREL: In this area that’s actually a deal.

ANDY STAVROS: We also dropped the price five million dollars, so it’s on discount.

JENNIFER FARREL: This is an amazing home and an unbelievable once in a lifetime property. Thank you so much, Andy.

If are considering buying or selling a home in the Orange County area, connect with us. See how our local, experienced and well-connected team can exceed your expectations. Let’s talk strategy! 

2022 Outlook + Feature in Most Amazing Homes ✨ Stavros Group

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Hi Friends,

What’s your favorite thing about living in Orange County? Is it the wide sandy beaches, the incredible mild climate, or just the coveted Southern California lifestyle in general? Whatever it is that draws you to this beautiful place, you aren’t alone! 

For the past 10 years, housing prices have been steadily rising in the OC. This is mainly due to the housing shortage and high demand for real estate. In September, the median sales price for a detached home was $1,101,508 which is more than 20% higher than the same time last year. However, we’re starting to see a dip in sale prices which is forecasted to continue through 2022. 

In addition to this, mortgage rates are also anticipated to increase in the coming months after a year of record low numbers.

What does this mean for you? 

Whether you’re a buyer searching for your dream home or a homeowner who’s considering selling, reach out to me. I’d be happy to get you started on the process and to help you determine what the best timing is for you to maximize your investment!

Warmly,
Andy Stavros

One of our listings was recently featured on an episode of Most Amazing Homes with Jennifer Farrell. Click above to watch as I walk her through this amazing blufftop Laguna Beach estate.

Is real estate a
hedge against inflation?


View Article

Forbes

See why buyers are willing to pay a premium for fully furnished homes


View Article

Mansion Global

56 N La Senda Dr

Laguna Beach


5 BD | 7 BA | 5,042 SQ FT
Offered at $19,995,000

Co-listed with The Altman Brothers


600 Powell Pl

Newport Beach


3 BD | 2 BA | 1,705 SQ FT
Offered at $2,250,000


25151 Rockridge Rd

Laguna Hills


6 BD | 7 BA | 6,420 SQ FT
Sold for $4,025,000

Copyright © 2021 Stavros Group, All rights reserved.
12 Corporate Plaza #250, Newport Beach, CA 92660
Douglas Elliman Real Estate


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Halloweekend in Newport Beach & Corona Del Mar

Halloween is in full effect in Newport Beach & Corona Del Mar this October. Enjoy a variety of events perfect for every crowd. Celebrate with the community by attending “Creatures of the Night” at Sherman Library & Gardens, ‘Spooktacular’ at Mariners Park, or trick or treat with the Newport Beach Public Library!

Creatures of the Night

Sherman Library & Gardens of Corona Del Mar is hosting its “Creatures of the Night” event October 29th and 30th. This family friendly event is lively and engaging, featuring an eerie garden walk and presentations on the habitats of birds of prey and nocturnal animals. The OC Birds of Prey, Santa Ana Zoo, and Adventures in Living Science will be attending. Receive a passport to explore the Gardens interactively and get close to a variety of flora and fauna. Tickets are only sold in advance. Purchase here!

Halloween Spooktacular

Mariners Park & the VJ Community Center in Newport Beach are hosting their fourth annual halloween ‘Spooktacular’ this October 30th. The event runs from 3-6pm, and is free for the public. Bring along friends and family and enjoy a variety of holiday themed activities including costume prizes, the haunted maze, and ‘Trunk or Treat.’ Grab a bite at one of the various food trucks, or enjoy a less scary activity with the bounce houses – perfect for kids. This evening of live music and holiday fear is an event fit for all. Find more info here.

Children’s Halloween Extravaganza

Enjoy the sweetness of all-day Trick or Treating with the Newport Beach Public Library. Saturday, October 30th the library is hosting their Children’s Halloween Extravaganza. Enjoy crafts and don’t forget to wear your costume! The funding of this event is generously provided by the Friends of the Library. Commemorate the evening in our photo booth and be added to the social media Halloween parade. For more information visit the library’s website here!

Wishing you a wonderful spooky holiday season filled with community and entertainment!

If you are buying, selling or making an investment, you know who to call to make it happen! Please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions. We’re always happy to help you and anyone you send our way.

A Month to Remember: Stavros Group September 2021 Newsletter

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Hi Friends, 

We’ve been busy!

In August, we closed three amazing home sales and opened escrow on another to reach nearly $30 million in monthly volume.

Each is a success story all its own — from closing ABOVE the list price on our seller client’s eight-figure estate, to precisely crafting the winning offer for our buyers on a highly competitive listing in Newport Coast.

Of course, we wanted to share these amazing results with you! Check out our August Sales Recap video to see the details and these beautiful homes.

If you are interested in making a move, there are two things you should know:

  1. Despite cooling slightly this summer, the market is still red hot by historical standards. More Orange County luxury homes ($3M+) sold in August than in any month prior to 2021, and supply is at its lowest point since at least 2008 for listings priced $3M+, $5M+ and $10M+.
     
  2. Whether you are buying, selling or making an investment, you know who to call to make it happen!

Please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions. We’re always happy to help you and anyone you send our way.


Warmly,
Andy Stavros

SALES HIGHLIGHTS
HOME PREPARATION IS KEY!

A little paint, new carpet, and staging goes a long way!

Check out this amazing transformation of
25151 Rockridge Rd – Now in Escrow!

Let us be your guide in home preparation!

IN THE NEWS
Never lose money: how to follow the #1 rule in real estate investing
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Despite fears around Chinese real estate, U.S. real estate is attracting attention
View Article
Forbes
ON THE BLOG
Early fall fun in Corona Del Mar
View Post
Stavros Group Blog
Home battery backup systems: what to know before retrofitting your home
View Post
Stavros Group Blog
FEATURED LISTINGS

56 N La Senda
Laguna Beach
5 BD | 7 BA | 5,042 SQ FT
Offered at $19,995,000

Co-listed with The Altman Brothers

25151 Rockridge Rd
Laguna Hills
6 BD | 7 BA | 6,420 SQ FT
Offered at $4,295,000
RECENT SUCCESS


19 South Sur
Newport Coast

6 BD | 6.5 BA | 7,028 SQ FT
Sold for $13,550,000


24 Tideline Blf
Newport Coast

4 BD | 5 BA | 3,948 SQ FT
Sold for $8,010,000
Rep. Buyer


1631 Louise St
Laguna Beach

3 BD | 2.5 BA | 2,269 SQ FT
Sold for $2,600,000
YOURS COULD BE NEXT!

Early Fall Fun in Corona Del Mar

Now that fall has arrived in coastal Orange County, get outside and have some fun at these upcoming events in Corona del Mar!

Located in the coastal city of Newport Beach, and famous for its fine beaches, Corona del Mar is a village for creating memories. From its tidepools and cliffside views, to quaint village shops, Corona del Mar will be a hit with the whole family. 

If you are looking for fall fun in the Newport Beach area, here are two great ways to celebrate the cooler weather with your family and friends. You can participate in or spectate the newly reignited community sandcastle competition hosted this Sunday, September 26th on Corona del Mar State Beach, and register to race in the 39th Annual Corona del Mar Scenic 5K on Saturday, October 2nd. 

59th Annual Sandcastle Competition at Corona del Mar

After a year-long hiatus, the Annual Sandcastle Competition at Corona del Mar is back! On Sunday, September 26th, join fellow sculptors in this sandy architectural showdown. An ode to art and creativity, this event is fit for all ages and a ton of fun to join or just watch! This year’s theme is “Explore the World” — a poignant contrast to the seclusion that communities and individuals have faced throughout the past year.

If you’re feeling artistic, gather your team and sign up on the chamber’s website or by calling (949) 729-4400. Families and architecture firms are welcome to compete, with entry fees based on category. This event is open to the public with attractions including castle viewing, food stands, sponsor competitions, and other beach-bound activities. Get together with those you love, and enjoy this commemorative day! 

39th Annual Corona del Mar Scenic 5K

On Saturday, October 2nd, a scenic 5K run and 2-mile walk will take place in the village of Corona del Mar! This is the 39th anniversary of this highly anticipated event. Beginning at 3001 Ocean Boulevard, participants will enjoy beautiful ocean views from atop soaring bluffs, while engaging with their friends, family, and their own competitive spirits. Park for free in the Corona del Mar State Beach parking lot, opening at 6am for event-day registration. Enjoy a brief warm-up leading into the start of the Men’s 5K followed closely by the Women’s 5K Race. A pleasant, inclusive 2-Mile Fun Walk/Youth Run begins at 8:45am, for those looking to enjoy a relaxing afternoon in the sun with or without the kids. Later, the 1K Children’s Dolphin Dash is a wholesome way to end a fantastic day of racing and scenery.

To join, you can register online or walk-in on event day. Note that there is a small fee to register, which varies by event. Teams of 10 or more will receive discounts. To commemorate your experience, registration includes a Corona del Mar 5K anniversary t-shirt, race bib, swag bag, and access to the awards ceremony. Still not convinced? All registered participants will have access to the complementary Restaurant Row feast of local eateries (subject to COVID-19 restrictions), and an awesome post-event party — complete with live music, sponsors and vendors, and more. This historic occasion is one for the whole family. We look forward to seeing you there!

Corona del Mar Real Estate Agents

As your go-to resource for Corona del Mar, we love to share our knowledge of community events, neighborhoods, and of course Corona del Mar real estate. When it comes time to buy or sell a home in Corona del Mar, or if you just have questions about the Corona del Mar real estate market, please reach out for a free consultation at no obligation to you.

Contact us any time — we’re always happy to help!

Easy Ways to Make Your Corona Del Mar Home Green

Say you have an Corona Del Mar home for sale and would like to attract an eco-conscious buyer. Even if you live outside of the Orange County real estate market, there are myriad benefits to “greenifying” your home.

As you’ll soon find out, adding green updates to your home can save you thousands of dollars over time. Not only that, but you’ll be doing your part to reduce environmental pollution that harms the atmosphere.

Whatever your reasons for going green — whether you’re in the Orange County real estate market or elsewhere — you’re looking for updates that won’t take a toll on your bank account.

This precludes solar panels for the simple reason that they cost tens of thousands of dollars to install on your roof. And although solar energy is the endgame of going green — not to mention it’ll make your Encinitas home for sale look uber-attractive to prospective buyers — solar panels aren’t exactly affordable.

But no worries. There are other ways to make your home greener as you work towards the prospect of solar energy down the road. In the meantime, below is our list of five inexpensive ways to make your home green. These steps will add value to your home in the Corona Del Mar and Orange County real estate market, or anywhere else for that matter!

Conserve Water

One of the most inexpensive ways to make your home green is to start with your ceramic friend in the bathroom. Today’s standard toilet is guilty of consuming 1.6 gallons of water per flush. Granted, this figure is less damaging than the older toilet’s whopping 3.6 gallons of water per flush! But you can do even better. To conserve water and come up with an inexpensive way to make your home green, consider installing an affordable, high-efficiency toilet like this one.

This bad boy will save you more than 3,000 gallons of water each year. And here’s another bathroom upgrade for you: a low-flow showerhead that conserves roughly 160,000 liters of water each year, enough to fill a swimming pool that’s forty feet wide, twenty feet long and five feet deep. And now that you’re done with the bathroom, head on over to the kitchen where an energy-efficient dishwasher starting at around $399 will save approximately 4,000 gallons of water over its lifetime.

Conserve Energy

CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) and LEDs (light-emitting diodes) are a tad costlier than your traditional incandescent or halogen light bulb. But CFLs and LEDs possess a greater value over time. This is because they last up to 25 times longer and use up to 80% less energy than incandescent bulbs. When you look at it this way, CFLs and LEDs are actually inexpensive ways to make your home green. And if you’re feeling ambitious, throw in motion-sensor lighting while investing in energy-efficient bulbs. This way, your light bulbs can switch off automatically when you’re not at home.

Additionally, there’s an upgrade in the energy side of things that’s also an inexpensive way to make your home green. We mean, of course, a SMART thermostat that will optimize your heating and cooling system at home. With this nifty gadget, you can control your HVAC remotely from an app on your phone, which comes in handy when you head out of town and forget to switch off the AC. Oh, and if you’re curious to know how smart home technology can affect the sale of your home (in a good way), click here to read one of our previous blog posts.

Consider Insulation

Another way to conserve energy and gas at home is to insulate your walls, ceilings and attic spaces. Besides soundproofing against airborne sounds, insulation can also improve your home’s resistance to heat flow. The more R-value imbued in your insulation of choice (eg. fiberglass, Rockwool, foam, etc.), the cooler your home will be. This is particularly useful in the summertime when air conditioners propped on windowsills nationwide thrum collectively while blasting frigid air for hours on end. Then comes the astronomical bill from the electric company, much to your dismay.

So, to avoid this tragedy and find an inexpensive way to make your home green, you can insulate the walls and attic spaces in your home with eco-friendly insulation called “blown-in cellulose.” The latter is composed of 85% recycled material and is one of the least intrusive ways of insulating your home. Check it out and see if it’s the right fit for you. If not, there are plenty of insulation types out there to choose from.

Install An Electric Car Charger

If you own an electric vehicle or are considering getting one, you can make your home greener by installing an electric car charger in your garage or near your parking space. But, wait… this consumes energy, you think to yourself. And so far we’ve been admonishing you against this wasteful practice.

But consider the alternative: carbon emissions from transportation alone account for 15% of the global warming pie. In light of this information, consider your electric vehicle a “hall pass” in the energy conservation department. For less than $200, you can purchase a portable Level 2 charger to install in a jiffy. And if you need any further incentives to own an electric vehicle — or looking for other inexpensive ways to make your home green — there are plenty of government programs and rebates to make this a lucrative opportunity for you.

Revamp Your Landscaping

Another way to make your home greener is to strategically improve its landscaping. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends planting trees around your home that’ll capture the sun’s scorching UV rays and absorb carbon dioxide in the air. If you have south-facing windows (where sunlight is abundant throughout the day), some tall greenery in between these windows and the sun’s path can keep your home cooler in the summertime. Conversely, if your tree loses foliage in the winter, direct sunlight can keep your home warmer on those chilly days.

You can make your home greener on the inside, too. To find out how, check out our blog post on “7 Easy Houseplants To Liven Your Living Space,” no green thumb required! Finally, let us know if you have any real estate questions or needs as we are here to help.

Home Battery Backup Systems: What To Know Before Retrofitting Your Home

Coastal living in Orange County can be a dream come true. Yet, Mother Nature also enjoys the location.

Whether it’s a heat wave brownout or an earthquake interrupting service, you may not be able to control power outages. Thankfully, the tech world hears your concerns and has solutions for providing comfortable living during these occurrences. 

If you are a current homeowner or looking to purchase a home in sunny Laguna Beach, Newport Shore, or another great part of Orange County, it’s worth some research to improve your home’s efficiency and resilience.

Maybe a home battery backup is right for you! Read our guide about home battery backup systems and how they are changing the way homeowners think about sustainable power.

What Are Home Battery Backup Systems?

If you have ever endured a lengthy power outage, you know the mess it can create with food spoilage and humidity levels that can damage furnishings and cabinetry.

You may also be part of the growing population of remote workers who require reliable power to do your job. 

Worse yet, you may have a family member with medical equipment that can cause a life-threatening situation if power is lost.

In any of these scenarios, a home battery backup system may be worth the investment that brings peace of mind. So, what are they and how do they work?

Reserved Power

Just like many of the batteries we use to operate children’s toys or even the car, a home battery backup system stores power for later use. Units come in various sizes depending on your power source and energy needs.

A home battery can be lithium-ion such as those used in smartphones, or lithium ferro phosphate as used in solar systems. Another type of battery is lead acid, like typical car batteries. In terms of the amount of energy storage and lifespan, lithium-ion outperforms lead acid batteries for home use.

Many home battery backup systems can be installed inside or outside. For large homes, installation outside can be a great benefit if multiple batteries are desired.

How Do Home Batteries Work?

One of the attractions to home battery units is the power of a generator without the messiness and fumes of fuel. A home battery backup system gets energy from two different sources.

Solar Powered Battery Backup

This type of home battery backup gets its energy from solar panels. The battery unit is connected to your solar panel array and is provided with a consistent charge throughout the day.

Homeowners can reserve use of the battery for power outages, or use stored power to operate the home at night for further energy savings.

Grid Powered Battery Backup

This energy source comes from your utility company.

The home battery backup system is directly connected to the main house electrical panel. Should power be lost due to an electrical line falling or peak overload, the backup battery system will switch on to continue powering your home and devices.

Will a Backup Home Battery System Increase My Home’s Value?

There are many factors in today’s real estate market that suggest home battery backup systems do increase the value and marketability of your home.

In states like California, clean and sustainable energy resources are almost always a consideration for homebuyers. Here are a few reasons.

Reach Codes

California has adopted energy codes that affect home improvements, new construction, and home sales. Included in these efforts are requirements for solar panel installation for high-dollar renovations and increases in roof size.

To improve the reliability of consistent energy from solar sources, battery backup systems are highly desirable. 

Millennial Homebuyers

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) completed a study for 2021 that demonstrates Millenials are the largest percentage of homebuyers now. This is a trend that has continued since 2014.

Millennial homebuyers have different expectations from their homes than previous generations. The top requirements for Millennials are energy efficiency, environmental friendliness, and automated technology. 

Home battery backup systems fulfill these requirements and may be a selling point that encourages higher bids for real estate that is already in high demand througout Orange County.

Natural Disasters

Wildfires, tsunamis, earthquakes, floods… they are a possibility in many parts of California. Understandably, they are a top concern for potential homebuyers. Any home feature that makes life a little easier when nature strikes is a selling point.

Things to Consider Before Retrofitting a Home for a Battery Backup System

If you are considering installing a home battery backup system, there are some factors you need to consider before making a purchase and hiring an installer.

Energy Source

Will you be using grid power or solar to charge the battery units? Each source has advantages and disadvantages for capacity (how much energy is stored) and discharge (how much power is released). 

Some manufacturers such as Tesla require the purchase of their own brand of solar panels for use with their home battery backup systems. 

When using grid power for charging your home battery, check with your area’s building codes for compliance.

Amount of Power Needed

Most people use home battery backup systems to power limited areas of the home such as HVAC, and a few outlets for small appliances and computers.

If you want to power the entire house, multiple units will be needed. Compare pricing based on amps and lifespan of the battery unit.

Space for Battery Units

The amount of space you are willing to dedicate to your battery installation is a very important factor before considering how to retrofit your home for backup power.

Decide if you have ample space in a utility room or garage. If not, you will want to shop for home battery backup systems that can be installed outside. Fortunately, the weather in Southern California is suitable for most outside units.

Homes With Battery Backup Systems in Orange County

The digital age offers many technological advancements to help us live comfortably and sustainably, even when things go wrong. If you want to make your home more efficient and more resilient to potential problems, a battery backup system might be part of your solution! 

Are you looking to buy a home, thinking of selling, or just want professional real estate advice on the advantages of energy-efficient home upgrades like home battery backup systems? Contact us to discuss how we can help you reach your goals.