Luxury Real Estate Trends in Corona Del Mar

As a trusted real estate agent and advisor in Corona Del Mar, I wanted to share some insights on the latest luxury real estate trends. Whether you’re a homeowner or buyer, these trends are worth paying attention to. From new construction to record sales prices, here’s what’s happening in the world of luxury real estate.

The rise in popularity of oceanfront properties

The oceanfront lifestyle is highly sought-after, and for good reason – the views are unparalleled, the air is fresh and invigorating, and the luxury properties available on the coast speak to a lifestyle that many yearn for. With more people dreaming of experiencing life on the shoreline and taking advantage of interesting investment opportunities in these dynamic locations, property values have been steadily rising. I’m proud to offer clients valuable advice about the booming oceanfront market and deliver results that meet each individual’s unique needs. Whether you are looking to buy or sell, I can provide you with expert direction so that your journey along the shoreline is rewarding!


The rise in popularity of oceanfront properties
The rise in popularity of oceanfront properties

The increase in demand for luxury rentals

Luxury rentals are becoming increasingly popular, allowing people to enter the world of high-end living without having to commit to a long-term property purchase. With access to a host of amenities and top-notch services, these rentals offer lifestyle experiences unlike anything else. Having an in-depth knowledge of this market, I can help you find the perfect rental space that exceeds all your expectations. Whether it’s a stylish condo, an idyllic beachfront retreat, or an urban loft, I’ll guide you through the journey toward finding your dream rental home.


The increase in demand for luxury rentals
The increase in demand for luxury rentals

The trend of buyers purchasing property sight unseen

In today’s real estate climate, it is becoming increasingly popular for buyers to purchase a property without ever having set foot on the property itself. This can be an intimidating prospect, as some buyers are wary of not being able to aesthetically inspect their potential new home or potentially overlooking any signs of structural damage, but with the right tools and resources, this need not prevent anyone from finding dream properties. I will provide the advice and expertise necessary to make sure that you obtain all of the information needed so that you can make an informed decision regarding your purchase – no matter how far away you may be from the actual property.

The trend of buyers purchasing property sight unseen
The trend of buyers purchasing property sight unseen

The decrease in the number of available properties on the market

With fewer properties available on the market, many buyers are feeling overwhelmed and uncertain. My goal is to help ease that burden and make searching for a new home or investment property as painless as possible. I am experienced in assessing local markets and helping buyers find the best properties available under their desired budget. With my expertise, even buyers in today’s tight market can realize their dreams of finding their perfect property.


The decrease in the number of available properties on the market
The decrease in the number of available properties on the market

How to purchase a luxury home without overspending

Purchasing a luxury home can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it’s important to make sure you get the best value while avoiding overspending. The key is to do your research and shop around, even if you have specific expectations for your home. Start by exploring all of the options available to you, from homes that are ready to move into fixer-uppers. Weighing out the pros and cons of each and finding the right balance between what you want and need can help ensure you’re spending within your budget. It may also be helpful to use a trusted real estate agent who can help guide you in selecting a home and negotiating favorable terms. With their insight into the local market, they’ll be able to give you valuable advice on how to make an educated decision before buying a luxury home so that getting the most bang for your buck never has to mean sacrificing quality.

How to purchase a luxury home without overspending
How to purchase a luxury home without overspending

In conclusion, oceanfront properties have seen a dramatic increase in popularity in recent decades, leading to a surge in demand for luxury rentals. As such, more buyers are opting to purchase a property sight unseen, increasing competition and driving down the number of available oceanfront properties in certain locations. However, it is still possible to buy quality luxury homes without overspending. With research and knowledge of the local real estate market, you can find an oceanfront paradise of your own that is perfect for your lifestyle. If you need help navigating the process or if you just have any questions about what to do after buying a property, there are plenty of resources available online and many experienced professionals who are ready and willing to help. So don’t hesitate to take advantage of our expertise and seek advice if needed. If you have any other questions about things to do, restaurants, or real estate in general – feel free to contact us! We’re always here to help!

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

 

 

 

Top 5 Ice Cream/ Frozen Yogurt in Corona Del Mar

Explore 5 places to get Ice Cream in Corona Del Mar
Top Quality Treats

Do you have a sweet tooth, or a hankering for some frozen yogurt? If so, you’re in the right place. In this blog we will be exploring 5 Ice Cream and/or Frozen Yogurt spots in the Corona Del Mar and Newport Beach area.

#5 – Cowafornia Ice Cream

Featuring over 32 flavors of premium hand scooped California ice cream, Cowafornia Ice Cream opened in July 2017. They offer hand dipped waffle cones where they use only Ghirardelli chocolate and fresh baked cookies. They also make floats, handmade shakes, as well as iconic frozen bananas and balboa bars. They have a full line of specialty coffees, hot cocoa and hot tea. And if you are looking for something out of the ordinary, try one of their espresso shakes or affogato sundaes.


32 flavors of premium hand scooped California ice cream
California Ice Cream

#4 – Gelato Paradiso

Gelato and sorbetto is made daily by artisans at Gelato Paradiso to maximize freshness, taste, and authenticity, using traditional Italian recipes. There are artisan cakes that are individually handcrafted. They use the freshest and finest ingredients that are imported directly from Italy. The artisanal gelato is hand-made in small batches every morning. Each flavor is rendered using old recipes and traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation, improving each time. Their use of the word “artisanal,” is to convey hundreds of years of gelato history, knowledge, and expertise behind each bite.


The artisanal gelato is hand-made in small batches
Artisanal Gelato

#3 – Sugar ‘n Spice

The Original Frozen Banana and Balboa Bar on Balboa Island that was established in 1945. Along with the frozen bananas & balboa bars, here is a list of items that they also serve: 

– Hard Scoop Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches

– Cheesecake-On-A-Stick

– Tiramisu-On-A-Stick

The Original Frozen Banana and Balboa Bar
The Original Frozen Banana and Balboa Bar

#2 – Atomic Creamery

Atomic Creamery has a vision to be a throwback to a simpler time. A place for gathering, a destination for friends, families to enjoy ice cream. They are committed to serving the freshest and smoothest flavor packed scoops. From their thick dense ice cream to their house-made pink Himalayan salted caramel, you can tell that they strive to use only wholesome real food ingredients whenever possible.


A place for gathering
A place for gathering

#1 – Golden Spoon

Golden Spoon is a frozen yogurt retail chain and their frozen yogurt uses only the freshest ingredients to produce a flavor and experience that will sure have you coming back for more.

Golden Spoon
You’ll be coming back for more


These are just five of the great ice cream and frozen yogurt spots in the area. Contact us for more information on beaches, restaurants or real estate. We are experts in these fields and we know the area of Corona Del Mar well! We look forward to hearing from you.

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

 

 

 

4 Outdoor Activities in Corona del Mar

Aerial view of corona del mar and the jetty
There’s something for every outdoor lover in Corona del Mar.

In the quaint seaside neighborhood of Corona del Mar, there’s always something fun to do! And what could be better than a day outside in the beautiful California sunshine? If you’re looking for some fun in the sun, here are four of the best outdoor activities in Corona del Mar.

Hit the beach

The only thing more famous than the California sunshine is the beaches. There are tons of pristine beaches running all the way up the coast, and several of the best are located right in Corona del Mar.


The most popular beach in the area is Corona del Mar State Beach Park. There you’ll find 30 acres of white sandy shores and blue surf. Since it’s framed by rock jetties and cliffs, the surf is rather tame, which is great for swimmers and divers. As you head south down the coast, you’ll find spots with more waves for surfing.


One of the best parts of this beach (especially for those who know the greater Los Angeles area) is the parking. There’s tons of it! You can find the massive parking lot right off Ocean Boulevard in the northwest area of Corona del Mar.

Aerial view of a large beach and a city behind it
There’s plenty of beach to go around

Stroll the Sherman Gardens

One of the most visited places in Corona del Mar is the beautiful Sherman Library & Gardens. While the library itself is amazing for any book, history, or art lover, none of that is outside! However, the outside areas of the Sherman Library are just as amazing as the inside.


Just beyond the doors lies the Sherman Gardens. It’s a horticultural oasis filled with all sorts of plants, flowers, and trees for you to admire:


· Over 100 species of palms
· Tropical conservatory
· Koi pond
· Carnivorous plants
· Extensive orchid collection
· Artistic succulent garden
· And much, much more


The gardens are so amazing they’ve become nationally renowned for their variety and creativity. It’s definitely a must-see for anyone in the area and one of the best outdoor activities in Corona del Mar.

Walkway between rose bushes and pink roses
Catch the dazzling beauty of the Sherman Gardens in Corona del Mar.

Jump into the water at Arch Rock

The coastline of Corona del Mar isn’t all about the sandy beaches. There are also plenty of amazing cliffs, tidal pools, and rock formations to explore. One of the more amazing rock formations is Arch Rock.


Arch Rock is exactly like it sounds: it’s a massive rock arch! You can find Arch Rock at Little Corona del Mar beach just to the south of Corona del Mar State Beach Park.


Once you get to Little Corona del Mar beach, go down to the water and turn right toward Cliff Island. Make your way over the tidal pools until you see Arch Rock standing out in the water. It’s truly a sight to see!


You’re welcome to go out to the rock, climb on the cliffs, and play in the tidal pools, but remember, it’s all at your own risk — so be careful! Lots of outdoor enthusiasts like to climb the rocks and jump into the water below. It’s quite the rush! And it’s one of the more unique natural sights Corona del Mar has to offer.

A large rock arch with the ocean behind it
Arch Rock is truly a spectacle!

Walk the Goldenrod Footbridge

In 1928, a footbridge was built over the newly constructed Bayside Drive. The idea was to allow people on the inland side of Bayside to be able to reach the beach in just a few minutes without having to cross a major road. Almost 100 years later, the bridge is still standing!


The Goldenrod Footbridge is a reminder of Corona del Mar’s olden days. It still spans the gap over Bayside Drive, allowing pedestrians to walk safely from one side of Corona del Mar to the beach. Stroll across and think about all the millions of people who have used the bridge before you over the past century!

Closeup of handrails on a bridge
Walk over history at the Goldenrod Footbridge.

Corona del Mar: An outdoor lover’s paradise

There’s no shortage of fun things to do in Corona del Mar. And true to the California climate, most of the activities are best done outside! Whether you want to enjoy your time at the beach, stroll through the gardens, jump from cliffs, or experience history, you can always find some fun in the sun when you visit Corona del Mar.


Want to make this fun seaside community your home? There are plenty of Corona del Mar properties available. When you’re ready to make sunny California your home, trust the experts at the Stavros Group. We’ll help you find the perfect home to suit your lifestyle and goals. Contact us to start your search 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

 

 

 

Where To Find Arch Rock in Corona Del Mar

Arch Rock at Little Corona Del Mar Beach
Arch Rock at Little Corona Del Mar Beach

The name “Corona Del Mar” means “Crown of the Sea,” so it only makes sense that it’s home to some of the most picturesque, pristine, and unique beaches in the country. One of the more interesting beach sites in the city is Arch Rock. Here’s what you need to know about this popular rocky outcropping.

What’s so special about Arch Rock?

What’s Arch Rock? Well, the name pretty much says it all. It’s a big natural arch made of rock!
Sea arches are made from erosion from the ocean waves. Sometimes, the waves hit a section of the rock disproportionately to the rest, causing it to wear away faster. Over many, many years, that section wears away completely, leaving a hole in the middle of the rock. If the waves aren’t tall enough to erode the top of the rock, you’re left with an arch — just like Arch Rock in Corona Del Mar!

Person standing on top of a rock arch above the ocean
There’s nothing quite like a good rock arch!

Things to do at Arch Rock in Corona Del Mar

As if seeing what nature can do over millions of years isn’t exciting enough, Arch Rock in Corona Del Mar is much more than a geological formation. There’s plenty to see and do in the area.

First and foremost, Arch Rock is beautiful! It offers incredible views of the ocean all around, and there’s no better Instagram shot than you standing in the middle of the arch. Go to Arch Rock at sunset and watch the colors dance across the sky behind the picturesque rock formations.

Corona Del Mar locals know Arch Rock for its cliff diving. The rocks at Arch Rock stand about 20 feet above the water, making them an ideal spot for adrenaline seekers. Climb to the top and safely jump into the ocean below for quite the thrill!

If you’re not into extreme sports, Arch Rock is also surrounded by several tidal pools for wading and enjoying the water. It’s also home to some of the best snorkeling in the city.

Person jumping off a rock cliff into the ocean
An adrenaline junky’s dream

Directions to Little Del Mar Beach, Cliff Island, and Arch Rock

Arch Rock is one of the more secluded beaches in Corona Del Mar because it’s a bit off the beaten path, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth the trek!
The easiest way to Arch Rock is through Little Corona Del Mar Beach. You can find Little Corona Del Mar Beach just off the Pacific Coast Highway on a road called Poppy Avenue. Go down Poppy Avenue and turn left where the road ends. Down the pathway, you’ll find a restroom and a gradual entrance down to the beach.
From the beach, head to the right and make your way over the sand and rocks. Around the corner, you’ll find Cliff Island. Keep going over the tidal pools and rocks, then look out to sea to find Arch Rock, standing majestically out in the water. Check it out on Google Maps!
The tides do change, so make sure you’re prepared before making the voyage out to Arch Rock. Wear shoes with decent tread — and prepare to get wet!

People standing in a rocky tidal pool on the shore of the ocean
There’s lots to do at Cliff Island

Why not stay a little longer?

There’s no shortage of amazing natural wonders to see in Corona Del Mar. Why not become a local so you can see them all!? If you want to make your visit to beautiful Southern California a bit more permanent, trust the real estate experts at the Stavros Group. We’re always happy to answer your questions and help you find the perfect property to suit your lifestyle and goals. Contact us to start your search today!

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

 

 

 

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.

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.

Buyer Beware: Red Flags to Look Out for When House Hunting

If you are thinking of buying a home, you have probably already begun your search. It’s easy these days, with up-to-date listing information available on a wide variety of websites. And it’s fun!

House hunting is one of the most exciting parts of real estate, and it draws a lot of interest on TV shows and in-person open houses. Viewing and touring potential new homes means thinking of possibilities and dreaming about your future.

As fun as it is, though, it’s easy to get caught up in the thrill of house hunting — the perfectly staged rooms, the must-have features, the pool or kitchen you always wanted. Focusing too much on the aesthetics and amenities can lead you to miss some warning signs about a property, and a poor decision can lead to years of regrets.

We’re here to help you avoid making any costly mistakes in your home search. Read on for a quick guide on the red flags to spot when house hunting. 

No Photos in the Listing

The vast majority of homebuyers start their search online to get a feel for the market and their options. It’s a good way to get a glimpse of the types of homes available, their price, and which neighborhoods might suit you best. However, not all online listings are created equal. 

For example, if a listing has few photos (or zero photos), it’s probably not a good sign. Either the homeowner doesn’t want to show you what’s inside, or they don’t care enough to make an effort. Either way, chances are slim that it’s the right home for you.

Don’t just think about what’s shown in the pictures. Consider what’s not being shown.

Signs of Water Damage

Next, while touring homes, keep an eye out for signs of water damage. This can include cracking and bubbling paint, discolored walls and ceilings, pooling water, and moldy/mildewy smells.

Signs of water damage can be especially concerning because they can indicate damage to drywall, flooring, and structural components of the house, all of which may be very costly to remediate and repair. Worst of all, water damage can also mean the presence of toxic mold hidden throughout the house. 

Signs of Pests

Recent studies have shown that 84% of homes have some sort of pest presence. Typically, this means small, not-very-significant issues like the occasional bug or insect. However, if the home you visit while house hunting has obvious signs of a widespread infestation, you might want to think again.

Pest infestations can be tricky (and costly) to get rid of. Not to mention, most pests cause multiple forms of damage to a house. Termites chew through wood, rodents destroy materials and leave waste everywhere, etc.

As is the case with all these red flags, you might choose to simply move on and look at other homes. But if you really like some features of the home and think you can make it work, you can always negotiate a lower price, or ask the sellers to remedy the problem.

Obvious “DIY” Renovations

As you house hunt, work on your eye for spotting obvious DIY work. While there’s nothing wrong with a homeowner learning new skills and saving money by completing DIY repairs and updates, you can never be sure of the quality of their work. Additionally, the owners may have failed to follow the proper permitting process for a job. 

DIY repairs and renovations that violate the city coding laws could come back to haunt you, even if it was the previous owner who did them. More importantly, they may not be completely safe or sound.

Weird Odors

Weird smells are never a good sign while house hunting. Cleaning is an important part of the listing process, so if a home for sale still has lingering odors, they may be hard to fix or foretell deeper problems.

As noted previously, musty smells could be an indication of mold and mildew. Additionally, questionable smells could point to pests, pet accidents that weren’t properly cleaned up, rotting food lying somewhere and so on.

Similarly, if the home is covered in air fresheners, it might indicate lingering, foul smells. Of course, it could just be the seller and listing agent trying to make the home more inviting. But an excessive amount of scents could mean they’re trying to mask an unpleasant odor. 

Your Real Estate Agent is Also the Listing Agent

When looking for a house to buy, it’s always a good idea to hire a real estate agent. They can help you find the right house based on location, size, features, property size, etc. 

However, if your real estate agent is also the listing agent for the house you’re looking at, make sure that they have your best interests at heart. Agents are only people, after all. Most are good folks and they try to do right by their clients. But buying a home that’s also listed by your agent/agency can open things up to a conflict of interest. 

When you buy that listing, the agent makes double the commission since they represent both parties. If you have a good agent, this is not typically a problem. But an unscrupulous agent might be willing to withhold information or negative details about the home that might otherwise deter you from placing an offer.

The bigger lesson here is to work with an agent you trust!

Negative Drainage

When house hunting, it’s not just the interior of homes you should examine. You should also take a walk around the property to look for anything disconcerting. 

For example, take a look at the landscaping around the foundation of the house. Does the ground slope away from the house, toward the house, or is it flat? Ideally, the foundation should slope down away from the house to ensure positive drainage.

Negative drainage will drain water back toward the foundation, which can cause water leaks in the basement/crawl space, damages to the foundation, etc. All of these problems can be expensive and frustrating to deal with.

Questionable Roofing

The roof of a house is one of the most important components. It’s the primary defense for your home against the elements.

That means your roof is also the part of your home most susceptible to incurring damage. Inevitably over time, the wind, rain, hail, snow, ice and sun can break down a roof. 

If the roof needs to be replaced due to regular wear and tear, it won’t be covered by most insurance companies. This means the seller is less likely to invest in roof repairs or a replacement before selling. The last thing you want to do is buy a house that needs thousands (or tens of thousands) of dollars in roof repairs. 

An Insanely Low Price

We all know the importance of comparing house prices while house hunting. Comparable sales are the chief way that home values are determined by appraisers and other real estate pros.

When a sale price seems too good to be true, it probably is. In other words, a super cheap home is likely super cheap for a reason. 

If the home sounds too good to be true, there’s likely something fundamentally wrong. This is more common in homes that have been listed on the market for more than four or five months. 

If you run into this situation, ask your Realtor to find out why the listing price is so low. Alternatively, you could place a contingent offer on the home based on the results of a home inspection. It will cost you some money to get answers, but at least you’ll know what you’re dealing with.  

Ready to Start House Hunting?

It’s exciting to house hunt and think of the possibilities in your new home! Just make sure you keep an eye out for the red flags listed in this article while house hunting. A home is a huge investment, and the last thing you want is for an oversight to come back and haunt you.

Whether you’ve been searching real estate listings for a while, or you’re just getting started or mulling your options, we’re here to help. Connect with us today to start the conversation and discuss your options to buy, or sell and buy, a home! We would love to help you achieve your goals and find a home that’ll make you happy for years to come.

The 6 D’s: Why Orange County Homeowners Sell

Why People Buy and Sell Orange County Real Estate

We all know the reasons that people buy a home — more space, more freedom, swapping rent payments for equity — but the reasons why Orange County homeowners sell their homes can be more complicated… right? Not quite! In fact, the reasons an Orange County homeowner might sell their home boil down to six simple points: the six “D’s.”

 

You undoubtedly know some of the six D’s already, but first let’s test your real estate IQ, if you don’t mind. I bet you do know the three most important things in determining the price of real estate. Sure you do! Let me jog your memory and give you the first one: location. Yes, location is the first and most important thing to ask in real estate. Where is the property located?

 

How about the second and third most important factors involved in pricing a property? Give up? Number two is location, and — drum-roll please — number three is… location! Yes, the three most important factors in establishing the value of a property are location, location, location. Sound familiar? Of course, other factors certainly come into play, but the point of repeating the word “location” three times is to emphasize that the true value of a property — the real property, the land, not the house itself — is based on where it is located more than anything else. Structures are built, they age, they are repaired and replaced, but the land is forever. That’s price in a nutshell.

 

So how about selling? Do you think you know why real estate is put on the market? Can you pinpoint the “six D’s” of real estate? Let’s try to do this together. This time there’s no gimmick (the same word doesn’t repeat six times), but each word does start with the letter D. They are easy.

 

Reasons to Sell: The Six D’s

 

1. The first reason a property is put on the market is Death. When a death occurs, many times the house is sold, or at least the option of selling is considered. Death is unfortunately a very difficult time in life, but it’s one we all must face with our loved ones.

 

2. The second D is Divorce. Again, this is an emotionally stressful time. A divorcing couple will often choose to sell rather than negotiate for one party to stay in the property. 

 

3. The third D is Disability, yet another difficult situation. Homeowners facing disability are often met with the very challenging prospect of selling in order to find more suitable accommodations.

 

4. The fourth D is Decrease in Income. This can be due to many things, including the loss of a job, a cut in pay, one spouse quitting to stay at home with the kids, and so on. The inability to keep up with expenses is another major reason why homeowners might put their home on the market.

 

5. The fifth D is Distance. This can mean that there is too great of a distance between the homeowner and a new job, between the homeowner and a child or grandchild, or between the homeowner and sunshine! When a homeowner decides that there is too great a distance between their home and happiness, it’s time to put the home on the market.

 

6. The sixth and final reason for a property being listed for sale is Default. A default occurs when mortgage payments have become too difficult to handle. This can sometimes be related to any of the first five D’s, including loss of a job, a health crisis, death or divorce. Upon default, a property is typically sold on the market via a short sale, or even lost in foreclosure.

 

That’s all six D’s! How did you do? Did you guess them all? I’m sure you got at least a few.

 

Think about all your friends, family, and colleagues who have sold a home. Chances are, you can fit the motivating factors behind their home sale into one or more of these six categories. Who knew that the real estate business could be reduced to just nine letters! The three L’s (Location, Location, Location), and the six D’s (Death, Divorce, Disability, Decrease in Income, Distance, Default).

 

Choosing Your Orange County Real Estate Agent Matters. A Lot.

 

If you’re looking to buy or sell a home in Orange County, you may be wondering what difference this all makes. How can one real estate professional or another influence the outcome of your transaction? When it comes to the three L’s, a good or bad agent makes no difference at all — the property is located where it is located. In regards to the six D’s, however, an experienced and thoughtful real estate agent makes all the difference.

 

Whether you are in the midst of a death in the family, a lost job, a divorce, or any of the other six D’s, each of these situations can be incredibly taxing and stressful. It is of the utmost importance to work with a caring, knowledgeable, determined real estate agent to get the job done with the least amount of additional stress. You don’t need more fuel in the fire! The right real estate professional can make all of the difference between having a smooth transaction with minimal stress and a nightmare that drains more of your precious time, energy and money.

 

Managing stress in a real estate transaction comes down to experience, knowledge and care. You can pick a realtor for a variety of reasons, but the realtor can’t change the location of your property. It is more important to pick a realtor that has the wisdom and the character to help you get the results you need. 

 

Your agent needs the experience to know how to navigate the complicated trail of legal paperwork in real estate, how to call people back and to take responsibility as a professional in the business. You need an agent who tells you honestly how the system works and then holds your hand through the entire process. You need an agent who would prefer to see your dreams become reality, rather than make a quick buck. Through the difficult “D” moments in your life, you will absolutely need an agent with the wisdom to guide you and provide the tools to make the right decisions. Your co-workers and neighbors need that as well. Why should anyone settle for less?

 

We Help Orange County Buyers and Sellers

 

At The Stavros Group, that’s what we provide. We’ve sold hundreds of homes in Orange County, and helped as many buyers and sellers through some of the biggest decisions of their lives. After successfully closing so many deals, we know his business, and we’ve seen it all. We know how to delve through a contract with a fine-tooth comb to catch little things that other agents might easily miss. We know how to market your property and expose it locally and globally through multiple marketing platforms. We know how to negotiate contracts to get you the best deal possible. Most importantly, we know how stressful your life can be during these times, and how important this six- or seven- or eight-figure transaction is to you.

 

Right you, you or someone you know may be experiencing one of the six D’s of real estate. It is unfortunate if it is one of the stressful D’s, where the pain and sorrow of the situation necessitates a sale. Let us help you, your loved ones, or your friends through this difficult time. Please don’t hesitate to reach out and start a no-pressure conversation. Let’s get to know each other. We’re ready to listen.

Orange County Real Estate Newsletter: September 2020

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SEPTEMBER 2020

Hi friends,
 

Maybe more than anything else, your home determines your quality of life.

It’s what makes our job as real estate agents so rewarding: every closed sale marks the start of a bright, new chapter for our clients.

It’s also why, during these months of home-bound living, Google searches for “home improvement” have shot through the roof, and why Home Depot’s stock has risen 30% year-to-date.

With mortgage rates at historic lows, Orange County homebuyers are jumping at the chance to upgrade their living arrangements and improve their quality of life.

Coupled with a low supply of listing inventory, this increase in buyer demand has coaxed Orange County closing prices to new heights. We expect this trend to continue into a busy fall season.

Maybe you’re just looking for an incremental upgrade to your lifestyle. Given the smoky skies, we recommend investing in an air purifier and changing your HVAC filters.

If you feel it’s time for a bigger change, we’re happy to help! It’s a unique time with lots of opportunity for both home sellers and buyers. Let us know your real estate goals, and let’s talk strategy.


Talk soon,
Marilie Bunce
Stavros Group
FROM THE BLOG
Mortgage rates are at a record low — what this means for you 
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IN THE NEWS
11 tips to win a bidding war on a house
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The future of residential real real: a house in the suburbs
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RECENT SUCCESS
989 Cliff Dr
Laguna Beach
5 BD | 5 BA | 4,041 SQ FT
Offered at $13,995,000
4601 Tremont Ln
Corona Del Mar
5 BD | 7 BA | 8,401 SQ FT
Offered at $13,995,000
2430 Monaco Dr
Laguna Beach
4 BD | 5 BA | 4,158 SQ FT
Offered at $8,350,000
5 Entonar Rd
Rancho Mission Viejo
4 BD | 3.5 BA | 3,255 SQ FT
Sold for $1,325,000
FEATURED LISTINGS
2675 Riviera Dr
Laguna Beach
6 BD | 9 BA | 13,000 SQ FT
Offered at $60,000,000
616 Bolsana Dr
Laguna Beach
4 BD | 3 BA | 4,263 SQ FT
Offered at $2,895,000
1639 Eleanor Ln
Laguna Beach
Over 12,000 sq ft lot
Reduced to $3,495,000
32 N La Senda Dr
Laguna Beach
4 BD | 5.5 BA | 5,144 SQ FT
Offered at $17,995,000
2442 S Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach
16 BD | 14 BA | 8,991 SQ FT
Offered at $8,985,000
YOURS COULD BE NEXT!
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12 Corporate Plaza #250, Newport Beach, CA 92660
Douglas Elliman Real Estate


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