Posted: 09 Aug 2012 05:00 AM PDT
In stark contrast to the overpriced house I saw last week at 71 Festivo in Westpark, I found a house today that is by far the lowest price per square foot I have seen. 18 Deerwood East comes in at a surprising $251 per square foot. This remodeled home is 3300 square feet (700 more than 71 Festivo) and priced at only $829,777. While it isn’t as nicely upgraded as the Westpark home, this Deerfield house has some improvements and is in move-in condition.
HOA dues are $225 per month and there are no Mello Roos taxes.
I think this house is a steal and can’t understand why it has been on the market for 67 days (per redfin). At this price, buyers can afford to do additional upgrades and still come in below the asking price of other comparably-sized homes. Upgrades already done to the house include a solar energy system and new windows in 2008, granite countertops in the kitchen, wood floors in some rooms, and the addition of a huge bonus room, loft and full bathroom upstairs (it was originally a one story house).
While I don’t find the front of the house too attractive, I really liked the giant tree (perfect for climbing) and large patio. I entered the house and immediately noticed the large windows in the living and dining rooms which, along with the vaulted ceilings, made the room feel very bright and open. The entryway and dining room have tile floors, while the living room is carpeted. I loved the large window seat in the living room.
Just to the left of the front door is an office that could easily be converted into a bedroom, though it is a tad small. It doesn’t have a closet, but has a cutout designed for one, so it really only requires buying doors.
Beyond the dining room is a kitchen, which was expanded by several feet a few years ago. The room is long, with u-shaped granite counters and black, Kenmore Elite appliances. The layout is a bit awkward, with the fridge and double oven at the entryway to the kitchen and the sink at the far end, but it wouldn’t take long to get used to it. There is one full wall of pantry-height cupboards, plus plenty of additional storage space. The cupboards have not been updated, but there is a newer hardwood floor.
A breakfast bar in the kitchen overlooks the family room and space for a casual dining table. These rooms have the same wood floors and matching crown molding, as well as access to the large backyard. They were also expanded by several feet.
For me, the backyard is the highlight of the house. With wraparound patios, a large grassy area, and a built in bbq, it really is a great space for entertaining, relaxing, and playing. The whole yard is beautifully landscaped and has several kinds of fruit trees. A semi-private patio to one side can also be accessed from the master bedroom.
The master bedroom and two additional bedrooms are downstairs. The master has vaulted ceilings and newer-looking carpet, but definitely looks a little dated. It has two somewhat small standard closets with gold-rimmed sliding doors, flowered wallpaper on one wall and a sky scene painted on the ceiling. The master bath is also fairly small, with two sinks (not upgraded) and a shower/tub combo.
The other two bedrooms downstairs also have standard closets and are average sized. One has a window seat looking out to the backyard and a nice set of built in cabinets and shelves. These rooms share a full bathroom (the only downstairs bath aside from the master). There is also a small laundry room downstairs as well as two storage closets and row of linen cupboards.
Upstairs, the owners added a huge bonus room – the biggest I’ve ever seen – with stained glass windows and a double window seat in one corner. Beyond that is a loft overlooking the living room, complete with multiple skylights and a couple of other small windows. The loft is only accessible by going through the bonus room. A full bath with a shower/tub combo and one sink complete the upstairs addition to the home. They really did a wonderful job with this addition and it adds a lot of versatility to the house. The realtor mentioned that there is an extra four feet of storage space behind the bathroom, though currently there isn’t a door to access it.
I am surprised this house is still on the market. At $829,777 I would certainly make an offer. I would want to remodel the bathrooms and replace the gold fixtures and closet doors with something more modern, but none of this has to be done. New cabinets in the kitchen would also be nice, but again aren’t necessary. The original owners have kept their home in great condition and clearly are looking to sell at a very reasonable price. The realtor said that they are already in escrow on another home, so they are probably eager to sell. A motivated buyer can get in quickly and be settled just in time for the new school year.
Posted: 08 Aug 2012 01:32 PM PDT
According to an article in The Orange County Register, Irvine has a higher total assessed real estate value (this includes commercial and residential) than any other O.C. city. Newport Beach and Anaheim follow right behind with $40.2 billion and $35.9 billion, respectively.
However, when it comes to the city with the biggest gain in total assessed value over the previous year, a different story exists. With a year-over-year increase of 4.8%, Huntington Beach gets the top spot. And with a year-over-year gain of 3.6%, Newport Beach also surpasses Irvine in this category.
Orange County had a 2.1% year-over-year increase in combined assessed property value. And 33 of Orange County’s 34 cities had gains in taxable value. But it’s not all good news: “[T]he market continued to be a mixed bag last year, with more real estate parcels having value drops last year than increases, the assessor’s office said.” Of the 340,000 real estate parcel appraised by the assessor’s office, 101,000 had reduced taxable values, and 82,000 had increased values. New construction and property sales at increased prices are the reasons that the assessor sees as the root of increased property taxes.
Irvine has had increased construction. And when it comes to residential real estate, Redfin stats show that the overall median selling price of Irvine homes in June 2012 is down 7.8% from the previous year. But Irvine’s median sold price per square foot for the same period is up 1.2%. However, the assessor’s numbers are comparing 2011 numbers to 2010 numbers. Redfin’s numbers are comparing 2012 numbers to 2011 numbers.
So what do you think? Is Orange County limping along to an improved economy? And when it comes to the highest total assessed property values, what are the factors that give Irvine the top spot over cities like Newport Beach and Anaheim? And the last question: What factors are contributing to Huntington Beach and Anaheim’s higher percentage gains?
But a counter reason was also given. Gary Burtless of the Brookings Institute stated that we were overbuilding in our recent past, and these construction jobs are not coming back. “At the moment, our shortfall is not a technology-driven, productivity-driven phenomenon. It is a shortfall in the demand for what American workers can produce.” If either of these is true, where will the new jobs come from?
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