Packing It Up: Tips and Tricks for a Stress-Free Move

Moving is a double-edged sword. While you probably can’t wait to get settled in your dream place and start a new chapter in your life, you also likely have a lot of stress and anxiety heading into the process.

With some tips for a stress-free move, you don’t have to worry about losing your head. The tips in this article will show you how you can guarantee a stress-free move.

1. Hire Some Professional Help

Hiring a professional can help get rid of the stress of a move. By leaving it to some pros, it is a lot easier to relax, since you won’t have to worry about putting together all of the pieces yourself.

Since this is what they do for a living, you also get more of a guarantee that the job will be done properly. This means not having to worry about items breaking or being mishandled during the move.

While it will cost you a bit of money, you can’t put a price tag on the peace and stress-relief that you get by hiring movers.

2. Get Your Move Started Early

Procrastination kills the dream!

Of course, it’s difficult to get excited about your move if you stress yourself out by waiting too long to get started. You will bring back the stresses of school all-nighters — and unnecessarily so.

You have plenty of time to plan out every part of your move. So start early and make it fun instead of anxiety-inducing.

3. Find the Right Supplies for the Move

If you’re going to plan a move, you also need to be sure you have the right supplies.

Start by finding boxes and other containers that will store all of the items you are moving. Choose boxes that are sturdy and not likely to crumble or allow your belongings to break. You can purchase quality moving boxes from your local hardware store.

You can also look into specialty containers, such as hard plastic containers. Buy boxes and containers that fit together like a puzzle, so it’s easy to arrange them in your truck.

4. Pack With Rhyme and Reason

Handling your move becomes easy and stress-free when you learn how to pack.

If you have a uniform way of packing things, it’s easier for you to get them on and off the truck. You will remember where things are, and this will make it easier for you to get set up at your new place.

Go room by room and get organized about the way you pack things up. By having a strategy, the move will be as stress-free as possible.

5. Organize and Schedule Your Move

It’s best to have a schedule for every part of your move. Set the dates on your calendar and give yourself plenty of time leading up to the move to pack things up, turn your utilities on in your new place, talk to some movers, and other parts of the move.

Scope out your new home as well to see if there are any traffic patterns you should know about. Get to know the neighborhood so you can figure out the best place to park so you can unload.

6. Make Use of Storage if You Need It

Having some rental storage space is also an excellent way to make your move easier. When you have storage, it gives you some time so that you don’t feel rushed with the move.

You can rent a storage unit while you are packing up your current home so that you can move into your new home little by little. Find a storage rental company that has affordable monthly rates, along with the best storage space for your needs.

7. Manage the Costs of Your Move

You need to handle the financial part of your move as well. A price tag that you have trouble affording is one of the biggest areas of stress when you’re moving.

The easiest way to manage your costs is to first figure out what you can do on your own, and what you need professional help with. If you are hiring any kind of professional help, you should get some price estimates from three different movers.

You should also shop for the most affordable moving equipment and supplies so the price doesn’t become too inflated.

8. Take off the Time That You Need

Don’t make the mistake of trying to do too much. Working a full work week right before or after a move can also make the move more stressful than it has to be.

Take some time off from work so you can plan out your move, go room by room, and check and double-check every part of it. You will thank yourself that you took time off when you can get a good night’s sleep before the move and have clear thoughts and low anxiety.

9. Get Help From Friends and Family

Don’t hesitate to lean on the help that friends and family members can provide. It would surprise you to see how much work you can get done when you have people by your side.

If you have kids, getting family members to watch them at certain parts of the move can also decrease stress because you’re only focusing on the task at hand — not the temperament of your little ones.

10. Breathe and Relax

Breathe! It’s easier to relax when you have your mind made up that you aren’t going to let stress get the best of you.

Control what you can control, and give yourself permission to just live in the moment and let the move play out how it’s supposed to.

Put Together a Stress-Free Move

You can enjoy a stress-free move when you follow these tips. Since moves can be one of the more stressful things that you do, you will be glad that you had these tips at your disposal.

We are happy to hear from you. Take time to connect with us when you need some real estate help.

OK Millennials! The New Generation of Homebuyers

millennial

 

As the largest adult population group in the US, millennials wield $1.4 trillion in purchasing power, and more of them are aging and earning their way into the real estate market.

 


 

If you explored Twitter recently, you’d get the feeling that intergenerational squabbling has reached new heights. In a flurry of contentious posts, the trending “OK boomer” meme has highlighted the divide between millennials and baby boomers. Even cultural icons like William Shatner have joined the fray.

 

However, despite the often-strained, less-than-cordial relations relations between the two age groups, it is increasingly apparent that both sides agree on at least one thing: Just like their elders, millennials see home ownership as an essential part of the American experience.

 

Millennials Want to Buy Homes

Like any market, real estate is driven by supply and demand, and demand is strong among millennials. One 2018 study found that a whopping 9 out of 10 millennials are interested in purchasing a home. The same study showed that those millennials intend to act on that interest, albeit with some variance in their expected timelines. 

 

Of millennials who plan to buy a home, just 4% expect to buy in the next year, while a whopping 85% want to buy at some point in the next 2 or more years. If economic conditions allow, we can expect to see many more homeowning millennials in the years to come.

 

The important question is whether millennials will be able to afford to buy the homes they so desperately desire. Despite 2019 seeing slower growth in real estate markets nationwide, making a competitive offer to buy a home is still out of reach for many younger buyers.

 

Recession: A Coming of Age Story

The Pew Research Center defines millennials as the population born between 1981 and 1996 (ages 23 to 38 in 2019). When the global financial crisis hit in 2007, younger millennials were in middle school, high school and college, and the older half were young professionals just beginning to build their careers. The difficult economic conditions in which millennials came of age have had lasting effects on their long-term earning potential and their overall economic outlook.

 

Millennials had a front row seat to the havoc wreaked by subprime loans, unscrupulous lenders, overextended borrowers and unchecked debt markets. Many parents of millennials struggled financially in the years that followed, and some lost their homes. With firsthand experience of the dangers of debt, it seems that millennials have vowed not to suffer a similar fate.

 

For example, credit card debt among millennials is significantly lower than that of previous generations. Millennials average $3,403 of credit card debt, baby boomers average $5,603, and gen-Xers average $6,752. Millennials also hold less mortgages and car loans. What millennials do have, though, are student loans—and boy do they ever: millennials hold an average of 182% more student debt than their college graduate counterparts in 1995.

 

In short, millennials are cautious. But while they remain wary of overextending themselves, that won’t stop them from buying their slice of the American dream. In fact, millennials already make up the largest proportion of the home-buying market.

 

How I Met Your Realtor®

Spending habits aren’t the only way in which millennials differ from their predecessors. In the same way that dating apps have digitized the world of romance, the internet and real estate apps are poised to revamp the traditional home buying experience.

 

The days of the Yellow Pages and lookie-loo buyers are fading into obscurity, replaced by a savvy and well-researched consumer base. According to the National Association of Realtors®, at least 81% of millennials who already own a home found their property through a mobile app. Millennial buyers tend to know what they want, and that includes fast and attentive service.

 

Millennials also want different types of homes than previous generations. They are trending away from 20th century McMansions, instead preferring smaller, more manageable properties. They are seeking features and amenities that suit their lifestyles, from pet-friendly yards to space for organic gardens. Millennials may prefer cozy locations within walking distance of local shops and nightlife, in lieu of a sprawling estate on the edge of town. From the way that millennials meet their agent, to the way they choose their home, technology and the internet age are pressuring the industry to adapt. 

 

A Guiding Hand

At the end of the day, partnering with a veteran agent for expert guidance and tailored service is still key to buyer success. The home buying and selling process is sure to change further as young blood enters the market and new technologies arise. Those real estate agents who do not provide sufficient value to their clients will fall by the wayside. On the other hand, agents who leverage their market insight, their local connections, and their dedicated role as trusted advisers, will find continued success.

 

Whether you’re a first-time buyer looking to start building equity instead of throwing away rent each month, or if you’re a seasoned homeowner looking to make a move, we have the experience to help you succeed and the track record to back it up.

 

At the Stavros Group, we always aim to provide value to our clients buying and selling real estate in Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Corona del Mar and beyond. To get our clients to best terms, the best offers, and the best opportunities. We dedicate our waking hours to help guide you through one of the biggest decisions of your life, because it’s what we love to do. Don’t hesitate to reach out and let us know how we can help!

 

The Art and Science of a Listing Price

 

Selling real estate is a unique career. Agents come in all shapes and sizes, with diverse backgrounds ranging from business management to entertainment to homemaking to everything else under the sun. Given these vast differences in abilities and past experience, your process working with a real estate agent can vary dramatically from one to the next. And yet among every single agent, there’s one skill that matters more than all the others. One skill which can make or break your sale. One skill which is truly the heart and soul of an agent’s work.

 

“So, what is it?” you say. “Spit it out! What’s the most important skill that every agent needs?”

 

Well, since you asked so nicely: It’s setting the listing price.

 

 

Buy Low, Sell High

 

We all know that negotiations are the name of the game when buying or selling a home. You want an agent who will apply force to every lever of a deal, fighting at every opportunity to save you money or boost your closing price. What you may not know is that a properly priced listing can earn you more money right from the outset. Conversely, an agent who can spot an improperly priced home might just snag you a deal.

 

In nautical terms, setting your listing price means choosing where to drop anchor. Once you’ve settled on a location, you throw out your bait to see what house-hunting fish swim in for a nibble. Yet no matter how tasty the bait or how shiny your lure, if you price too high, you simply won’t get any bites.

 

This metaphor is particularly apt when you consider broader business strategies. An “anchor price” is a widely used tactic that companies use to establish a psychological baseline for their products. If the shoe store says some boots are worth $200, then you’re getting a great deal when they’re on sale for just $100, right? (Even if they cost the store just $5.) While it’s exceedingly rare to see a home listing’s price drop anywhere near 50%, real estate is still affected by this psychology—with very real effects.

 

 

Bigger Might Not Be Better

 

Those effects are most clear in an overpriced listing. If you list too high, you’ll be subject to lowball bids, upturned noses, and open houses as empty as a ghost town. New listings tend to see the most activity and buyer interest within their first few weeks on the market. When your listing is overpriced, you’ve essentially wasted the most crucial days of your home’s marketing period.

 

After a few lonely weeks with too few or too poor of offers, you’ll likely consider a price reduction. Mind you that price reductions are a completely valid tactic in many cases, as markets can shift during the listing period for a myriad of reasons which may be impossible to foresee. However, it’s not a fun thing to do, if the lack of interest stems from simply pricing too high for the current market at the time of listing.

 

Ultimately, an overpriced listing is one of the great tragedies of real estate. The reverse, however, is not so dire. Let’s look at underpriced listings next.

 

 

How Low Can You Go?

 

An under-priced listing is not nearly the same catastrophe as an overpriced listing. In fact, setting your home’s listing price below its current market value can be a compelling strategy. Like a Black Friday sale, a low listing price can draw folks out of the woodwork to take a look at your home. Remember that the first few weeks of a new listing are the most important—a low listing price can pack those weeks with open house visitors, agent showing requests, and “saves” on sites like Zillow and Trulia.

 

That’s not to say that pricing low doesn’t come with risks. If your home still garners less than the critical mass of interest needed to boost offers and counters above market value, you’ll wind up in another sad state of affairs. In a worst case scenario, the market may shift under your listing and (like current interest rates) you’ll have little room to maneuver the lows any lower amidst an economic downturn.

 

The safest bet for most sellers and agents, especially those with less experience under their belts, remains to price a listing right around market value.

 

 

Finding the Sweet Spot

 

So how does an agent find exactly the right price to drum up the most interest and highest offers on a listing? The best tools at an agent’s disposal are the recent sales around your home.

 

When you first meet with an agent, they’ll likely provide you with a CMA, or Comparative Market Analysis, detailing the price and statistics of recent listings in your area. Much like an official appraisal, CMAs compare the sold homes in your area, their features, amenities, and the dates they sold, against your own. They’ll also compare the homes that are active and pending right now, more indicators of your current local market conditions.

 

By comparing and contrasting your home with other listings in your neighborhood, your agent can triangulate a ballpark figure for your home’s value. That’s the science of setting a listing price. Popular home search tools like Zillow have grown that science into complex algorithms which claim to output estimates within a few percentage points of error.

 

Then there’s the art of pricing a home. Like painting a masterpiece, it takes years of experience and a profound professional insight to obtain an organic sense for pricing. Through dozens of transactions and persistent study of the local market, consumer tastes, national trends and lender criteria, a seasoned agent has the acumen to see beyond the comparables. Even in a subdivision with identical floor plans, every home is unique. To assess every variable and produce a strategic, targeted price is a talent which not every agent possesses.

 

 

Your Local Experts

 

At Stavros Group, we’ve been working in your neighborhood for years. We know what works, what sells and how much it sells for. If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home in Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, and greater Orange County, let us know. We’d be happy to discuss your options during a free, no-pressure consultation. Real estate is our passion. We’re excited to share that passion with you, to match you with the great results that you deserve!

The Importance of Interest or: How I Learned to Love the Fed

The year is 1984, and despite Orwellian predictions to the contrary, nothing seems to be going poorly at all as you amble down your tree-lined street. A neighbor cheerfully hollers across the road, but with Purple Rain cranking through your Walkman, you can’t quite make out what he said. Nudging the headset off one ear, you hear him repeat, “Howdy neighbor!” Well, howdy, yourself!

 

You’ve rented here for quite a while. It’s a sleepy little suburb with friendly folks and good schools. For years, you’ve saved diligently with the goal of making an offer on one of the charming homes for sale that you see every day on your walks. Browsing the Yellow Pages and consulting with friends, you finally found a real estate agent who you can trust. Now all that’s left is to get approved for a mortgage! Considering your outstanding credit, the lender is willing to make a deal—thirty years fixed at a low rate of just fourteen percent!

 

 

Today’s Rates are Hard to Beat

It may seem crazy to young homeowners and aspiring buyers, but throughout the 1980s the national average mortgage interest rate was well into the double digits. Recession and inflation starting in the late 70s prompted drastic measures from the Federal Reserve who cranked up interest rates to even as high as twenty percent. Since then, and especially after the financial crisis of 2008, the average rate has seen a precipitous decline. After years of wavering around four percent, the notion of a thirteen or fourteen percent mortgage is unthinkable to most new and would-be homeowners.

 

Let’s compare an average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage in August 1984 with August 2019:

  • Loan of $200,000, 30-yr fixed
    • August 1984 avg rate: 14.47%
      • Total cost over lifetime of mortgage: $879,962
    • August 2019 avg rate:  3.62%
      • Total cost over lifetime of mortgage: $328,154

 

In 1984, your mortgage would cost over four times the amount borrowed over the course of the loan. Whether you’re bearish or bullish on the economy as a whole, with a little perspective it’s abundantly clear that home buyers have it very, very good these days. As an extreme example, the stark contrast illuminates how important  interest rates are in a home purchase.

 

Using more recent and normal examples, the current average still beats recent rates including just last year. In August 2018, an average fixed-rate loan of $500,000 would cost you $917,389 over 30 years. One year later in August 2019, you would save nearly $100,000, at $820,386 over 30 years. That’s a huge difference and huge savings after a rate drop of less than one percent (4.55 to 3.62%).

 

 

Use Low Interest Rates to Your Advantage

So what does this all mean? First off, it’s clear that buying a home when rates are low is the most effective strategy to ensure that you’re getting a good deal. Both buyers and sellers benefit when rates are low, as buyers can afford to borrow more money for less overall cost. When buyers can afford bigger and better homes, competition is increased across the market, listings garner wider interest, and ultimately sellers receive higher offers and closing prices. All at essentially no extra cost to the buyer, because their money simply went further at a lower interest rate.

 

This also means that homeowners who purchased recently could be eligible to save big by refinancing an existing mortgage above current rates. According to analytics firm Black Knight, four out of five mortgages originating in 2018 are at least 0.75% higher than today’s rates. Additionally, they found that most mortgages from before 2004 could have rates lowered by about 1.75%, leading to massive savings.

 

 

We’re Happy to Help

Inevitably, the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates and the market will retract to some degree. Of course, nothing about the economy happens in a vacuum, and there are always countless extenuating factors. So we’ll skip making bold predictions. Instead, we will simply recommend this sage old advice: “Get while the gettin’s good.” Rates are nearly as low as they can be, and real estate is entering its most active time of year. If you’ve been thinking of buying or selling, now is an excellent time to do so! Give us a call to find out how we can help.

The Best Newport Beach Neighborhoods: A Look at Balboa Island

 

You’ve decided to make the move to Orange County and you’ve even started browsing some houses for sale in Newport Beach. If you’re new to the area, the next step in your house hunting journey may be, “What is the best neighborhood for me?” We’re here to help!

 

 

Welcome to the second edition of our Neighborhood Spotlight Series, where we provide a little insight into some of the best neighborhoods Newport Beach, Laguna Beach and Corona del Mar have to offer. This way you can feel more comfortable in the purchase of your new home in Orange County.

 

 

This month we will be featuring Balboa Island, a charming little island community in Newport Beach. This harborside neighborhood may be small, running only 2.6 miles in circumference, but what it lacks in size it more than makes up for in charm. An iconic Newport Beach destination, this man-made island is densely-packed with a unique mix of charming cottages and modern, newly-renovated homes. This quaint yet vibrant community has a small-town feel with still being only minutes from the excitement that Newport Beach has to offer. After setting one foot on this island, you’ll be looking at Balboa Island homes for sale!

 

 

We have created an infographic to provide a quick glimpse into some of the housing and residential statistics that a potential homebuyer may be interested in for this community. We hope you find this information helpful!

 

houses for sale newport beach, balboa island homes for sale

 

One of the charming, highly sought after homes in the Balboa Island neighborhood is this one of a kind property at 1305 Park AveThis charming coastal cottage is one of the most attainably priced homes for sale on Balboa Island. Just one block from the beach, mere steps from the classic Village Inn, and a quick stroll to Hersheyâs Market, you have tons of wonderful amenities within reach!

 

homes for sale in orange county, balboa island homes for sale, newport beach neighborhoods

 

We know that trying to settle on the right Newport Beach neighborhood as you’re looking at homes for sale in Orange County can be tricky, but here at The Stavros Group we’re here to provide a helping hand and make the process of buying the Newport Beach home of your dreams as easy as possible. Please do not hesitate to give us a call!

The Best Newport Beach Neighborhoods: A Look at Newport Canyon

 

 

 

You’ve decided to make the move to Orange County and you’ve even started browsing some houses for sale in Newport Beach. If you’re new to the area, the next step in your house hunting journey may be, “What is the best neighborhood for me?” Well, we’re here to help out, as we introduce our Neighborhood Spotlight Series, where we will provide a little insight into some of the best neighborhoods Newport Beach, Laguna Beach and Corona del Mar have to offer, so you can feel more comfortable in the purchase of your new home in Orange County.

 

The first up in our Newport Beach neighborhoods feature is Newport Canyon. Newport Canyon is a well-established community located near the 73 Freeway, cornered by University Dr. and Jamboree Rd. and sits right next to Bonita Creek Park. A popular neighborhood in Newport Beach, this peaceful gated community is a prime example of why homebuyers are attracted to this area. Located at the bottom of a hillside, residents of this neighborhood enjoy a secluded, resort-style lifestyle, complete with around-the-clock guard patrol, a beautiful community pool and spa.

 

We have created an infographic to provide a quick glimpse into some of the housing and residential statistics that a potential homebuyer may be interested in. We hope you find this information helpful!

 

 

 

One of the beautiful, highly sought after homes in the Newport Canyon neighborhood is this one of a kind property at 3137 Corte Marin. The gorgeous Mediterranean-style architecture combined with modern granite and marble touches on the interior are something you don’t want to miss.

 

 

We know that trying to settle on the right Newport Beach neighborhoods as you’re looking at homes for sale in Orange County can be tricky, but here at The Stavros Group we’re here to provide a helping hand and make the process of buying the Newport Beach home of your dreams as easy as possible. Please do not hesitate to give us a call!

The Interesting History of Balboa Island You May Not Have Known

Close to Newport California, Balboa Island is part of the interesting and dynamic history of the region. During the later decades of the 19th century, Newport Bay was a hub for exports, and the area soon developed a reputation for its thriving commercial trade and shipping businesses.

 

By the early 1900s, some of the small waterfront communities that sprung up in the area were divided up, and real estate promoters traveled around to tout the sports in the area.

 

Many plots were sold to residents in Pasadena, and as a result, many longtime residents of Balboa Island have considerable connections with people in Pasadena today.

 

At this point, Balboa Island was still just a sandbar, but William Collins gave birth to the modern-day Balboa Island after using his dredge to cut up a channel and piling the sand on a mud flat between 1908-1909.

 

Another man, Joe Beek, spent much of his lifetime dedicated to the island, and secured a ferry contract in 1919 to shuttle cars between the island and Balboa Peninsula. Beek later served as Secretary of the Senate of California.

 

Here are a few interesting historical facts about Balboa Island as is grew into what it’s known as today.

 

The First Lots Sold for Cheap: Collins originally sold lots on the island for just $25.00. A sale came with a promise that utilities and ferry services would soon start up on the island. At this point, the island was just a summer vacation spot since there was no gasoline or electricity.

 

Development Grew in the 1910s: Balboa Island became part of the City of Newport Beach in 1916, while the Balboa Island Improvement Association started up in 1918. The Association was a powerful tool in the process to get utilities and other amenities, like streetlights and paved roads, on the island.

 

Many Movies Were Filmed on the island: During the 1920s and 1930s, a number of films were shot on the island, and the Coast Guard even used the spot during World War Two.

 

A Number of Bridges Have Served Residents: One of the original bridges to the island, during the 1920s, was two lanes of wood. In 1929, a concrete bridge was constructed that served residents for a little more than 50 years. By 1981, the concrete bridge was replaced with a modern structure that also had walkways.

 

The Boy Scouts Had an International Event in the Area: In 1953, the Boy Scout’s International Jamboree was conducted where Newport Center and Fashion Island rest today. A number of tents were pitched near Palisades Road, which was later changed to Jamboree Road in homage to the Boy Scouts.

 

Balboa Island is Thriving Today: Jamboree Road is now a major road that runs through Newport Beach and finishes on the Island. Over the past few decades, Balboa Island has rapidly grown into a destination spot that’s also home to families, retirees, students, and even a few celebrities.

 

Now, some of the lots on the island sell for millions of dollars. Big City Feel…Small Town Charm: Despite the massive growth, Balboa Island still has a small town feel despite the massive changes in the island’s infrastructure. Many visitors come to the Island to enjoy the scenery and weather, while also taking in the sights and sounds of a tranquil beachside community.

 

Are you thinking of buying a home near Balboa Island? Click here to contact the Stavros Group today!

 

Courtesy of Cuselleration

4 Outdoor Activities in Corona Del Mar

Corona del Mar, also known as CDM, is the perfect spot for your next family adventure. This neighborhood that’s located in the city of Newport Beach is famous for its fine beaches, tidepools, cliffside views and quaint village shops. Fun fact: Corona del Mar is Spanish for “Crown of the Sea.”

This neighborhood also consists of many activities and adventures that are a must-do. Here are some favorites from locals and tourists who have left their heart in Corona del Mar.

 

1. Beach volleyball.

Beach volleyball is one of the crowd favorites at the Corona del Mar Beach. Corona del Mar Beach has the reputation for family games. There are ten volleyball courts that are perfectly spaced out around the beach and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Don’t worry if you’re afraid you won’t get a chance on the courts because this beach has a relaxed atmosphere that always welcomes players into games.

 

2. Water activities: Surfing, Kayaking, Diving.

Corona del Mar Beach has the perfect atmosphere for all water activities. At this beach, you can go surfing, kayaking, and diving

  • Surfing – The main beach area only sees tiny ways, but once in awhile, a huge swell from the south or southeast brings in massive, challenging waves. The best waves now break off the end of the jetty and roll in toward the beach close to the jetty rocks. The best times to surf are from spring through mid-autumn
  • Kayaking – Many tourists and locals enjoying kayaking around the waters of Corona del Mar beach. The coves and beaches just inside the harbor mouth in Corona del Mar are perfect for a kayaking adventure. Experienced kayakers like to explore the interesting rock formations down the coast from the state beach, such as “Small Arch Rock” and “Big Arch Rock”. Contact nearby Kayak rentals to get their rates for tours and equipment rental.
  • Diving Areas at the state beach are roped off for swimmers, so divers have to move down to more suitable spots to enter. Diving allows you to spot all the octopus, crabs, calico bass, and surfperch down in the water. If you want more information on diving in CDM, visit the local dive shop, “Beach Cities Scuba”  located on 4537 W. Coast Highway in Newport Beach.

 

3. Sandcastle Contests.

Corona del Mar holds their annual sandcastle contest on the first Sunday in October. This event is sponsored by the Commodores Club of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce with entry fees of $30 for families. The contest begins at 9am, the teams begin building at 11am, and the judging begins at 2:30pm. Winners receive awards for a wide variety of categories that include most unique, most humorous, and best display of theme.

 

4. Hiking.

There are many trails located in Crystal Cove State Park in Corona del Mar with both long and short distances thats are perfect for a hike or stroll if you are up to a challenge.

  • Deer Canyon Loop Trail – a 6.9 mile lightly trafficked loop trail that features beautiful wild flowers and has a moderate to hard difficulty level. This trail also takes you to an amazing view point of the Pacific Ocean.
  • El Moro Canyon Loop Trail – a 5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail that features a waterfall and has a moderate difficulty level. This loop trail gives you a tour of the El Moro Canyon, where you’ll enjoy some of the best coastline views in the park. You may even be  able to spot some horses walking past you at this trail.
  • Crystal Cove Perimeter Loop – a 9.4 mile moderately trafficked loop trail that features beautiful wild flowers and has a difficult difficulty level. This trail follows the perimeter of the park and provides beautiful views over the Pacific and East.

The adventures don’t stop here, so don’t worry if you run out of time to explore! Many homes are waiting for you to help you continue your adventures. So what are you waiting for?

5 Activities for Family Fun in Newport Beach

Newport Beach is the perfect spot for your next family adventure. This city famous for its lavish lifestyle and beautiful surroundings and known for its beachy vibes and water sports. You can either make it a fun-filled day trip or a relaxing vacation by staying at the nearby hotels that allow you to see the gorgeous views that Newport Beach has to offer.

Newport Beach Civic Center and Park

The cool architecture at this location perfectly matches the beachy vibe that Newport Beach is known for, where the blue bridges match the color of the blue skies and the blue Pacific. This park also includes sculptures of white bunnies that many tourists and locals see as an instagram-worthy spot. So relax and have a picnic at the Newport Beach Civic Center and Park! There are many perfect spots to sit and eat on a picnic table or on the grass. After a picnic, this spot also offers great trails and a great space for a walk in the park. This is located at 100 Civic Center Dr in Newport Beach.

Balboa Water Sports

Come catch the cool waves and experience the beachy vibes that Newport Beach has to offer with Balboa Water Sports! The water sports that are available include paddle boarding and riding a sea doo. Many locals and tourists often say that these activities allow them to feel the freedom of the big blue ocean and highly recommend Balboa Water Sports as your next adventure in Newport Beach. This is located at 204 Washington St #B in Newport Beach.

Fashion Island

Fashion Island is a mall that is located right by the beach at 401 Newport Center Dr. in the heart of Newport Beach. This mall is known as an Orange County classic as a venerable, upscale outdoor mall that’s a perfect spot to spend the afternoon whether you’re shopping or just hanging out. This mall is also a great place to walk around to relax and settle down after a long and eventful day of other festivities in Newport Beach.

 

The Best Beaches in Laguna Beach

Take off your flip flops and dig your toes in the sand. Laguna Beach and Newport Beach have some of the most majestic, awe-inspiring scenery and beaches anywhere in the United States. If you are thinking of moving here, or just coming for a visit, we wanted to give you some insider tips to the prettiest beaches in our area.

 

Laguna Beach

 

Thousand Steps Beach

9th Ave & Pacific Coast Hwy

Laguna Beach

 

No, it is not 1000 steps to get up from the beach to the road, but after a long day of sun-worshipping, it may feel like it! Actually, there are only 230 steps from top to bottom. Thousand Steps Beach is a gorgeous spot right along the Pacific Coast Highway. When you are going down the steps, at the bottom you can hang a left and find a cave with a beautiful ocean view. If you are really feeling adventurous, you can try climbing through the cave on the south end of the beach and explore some tide pools. Of course, if it is high tide, you can’t explore the caves but the beauty is right in front of you nonetheless, with Pacific Coast waves hitting the rocks.

 

Pearl Street Beach

Pearl Street & Ocean Way

Laguna Beach

 

If you are in Laguna Beach and walking down Pearl Street heading west and get to Ocean Way, you are just a few steps from something pretty special.  Pearl Street Beach can be found just below a stairway. You are standing a block off Highway 1. Pearl Street Beach is a gorgeous, sandy west-facing beach with several homes built right down to the beach level. When you are walking the beach, turn left, heading south, and you will see a natural arch in the rock wall called the “Keyhole” that gives this beach the nickname Arch Cove or Arch Beach. If you are at low tide you can walk through the arch to a rocky shelf which leads over to Woods Cove. It’s good to get expert advice on high and low tides, because this is a terrific place to explore tide pools when the tide is out and the waves are not strong.

 

Crystal Cove

8471 N. Coast Highway

Laguna Beach

 

Crystal Cove is a large California state beach and park, with more than three miles of waterfront. It connects Laguna Beach and Newport Beach, with several different beach access points, and each point has its own identity. When the tide is low, you can enjoy the tide pools, and the individual beaches can seamlessly be tied together, which creates a long walking route, but when the tide is high, they need to be taken individually. You can walk on the paved pathways on the bluff above the beaches to enjoy the beauty of each spot. Crystal Cove’s beaches include:

 

  • Moro Beach–southern beach between Laguna Beach and Corona del Mar area
  • Reef Point Beach–large state park with 3.5 miles of beaches and day-use parking
  • Los Trancos Beach–in the historic district of Crystal Cove State Park
  • Pelican Point Beach–near Los Trancos with a gentle slope
  • Treasure Cove Beach–can be accessed from hiking trails that lead from a steep bluff inside the Pelican Point entrance
  • Little Treasure cove–on the northside of Crystal cove between Laguna Beach and Newport Beach

Victoria Beach

If you head south in your car from Victoria Drive, you’ll find a long white sandy beach. Victoria beach is a public beach but isn’t easy to see, but put in 2713 Victoria Drive in your GPS device and you’ll be right there. A long stairway will get you to the far north end of the beach. If you are a hiker, you can walk onto the rocks and around the point to see the Victorian La Tour Tower that was built nearly 100 years ago. Front that vantage point you will also be able to see a circular concrete pool that fills with salt water and sand depending on the tide.

 

So are you packing your hat and sunscreen? Let us show you around this gorgeous area. The Stavros Group has many listings that can make Laguna Beach (and its beaches) your home!