Friday, November 30, 2012

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Closed Sales from 11/22/2012 to 11/28/2012

Posted: 30 Nov 2012 04:00 AM PST

Date Sold Address Zip Tract Sold Price Beds Sq Ft
Airport Area          
11/22/12 2324 Scholarship 92612 Avenue One $390,000 2 1034
11/26/12 1236 Scholarship 92612 Avenue One $274,900 2 1037
11/28/12 2233 Martin 106 92612 Metropolitan $240,000 1 934
Columbus Grove          
11/27/12 1229 Abelia 92606 Savannah $290,000 1 1310
El Camino Real          
11/26/12 77 Heritage 50 92604 Heritage Park $485,000 3 1608
11/28/12 14902 Laurelgrove Cir 92604 Willows $545,000 4 1156
11/28/12 432 Monroe 103 92620 Timberline $465,000 3 1491
Oak Creek            
11/26/12 511 Birch Grv 92618 Oak Park $295,000 1 900
Portola Springs          
11/26/12 40 Cienega 92618 Other $322,000 1 1200
11/26/12 168 Pathway 92618 Primrose $564,812 3 1739
11/27/12 207 Mayfair 92620 Santa Maria $525,000 2 1483
Turtle Ridge          
11/28/12 31 Crimson Rose 92603 Ledges $1,775,000 5 3091
Turtle Rock          
11/26/12 28 Valley Vw 22 92612 Vista (Turtle Rock) $580,000 4 3000
11/26/12 2 Charity 92612 Concordia $1,180,000 4 2500
University Town Center          
11/22/12 26 Oxford 24 92612 Cambridge Court $400,000 2 1020
11/27/12 14 Nevada 92606 Cambridge $869,900 5 2900
West Irvine          
11/26/12 18 Red Coat Pl 92602 Heritage $755,000 5 2300
11/27/12 1 La Ronda 92606 Brindisi $550,000 3 1085
11/26/12 41 Woodleaf 92614 Alders $330,000 2 1140
11/27/12 4 Greenfield 19 92614 Alders $329,000 2 1269
11/27/12 121 Eastshore 16 92604 Estates $664,000 4 2156
11/28/12 12 Briarwood 67 92604 Glen (WB) $350,000 3 1200
11/28/12 31 Firwood 92604 Villager $260,000 2 1000
11/28/12 14 Springwater 68 92604 Townhomes $501,000 3 1500

Thursday, November 29, 2012

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Open House Review: 51 Carver

Posted: 29 Nov 2012 04:00 AM PST

When I hear “original owner,” I usually expect a home that looks and feels its age.  In 51 Carver, I was pleasantly surprised to find a house in very good condition.

The basics:
Asking Price: $700,000
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 3
Square Footage: 2,077
Lot Size: 4,750
$/Sq Ft: $337
Days on Market: 9 
Property Type: Single Family Residence
Year Built: 1979
Community: Northwood – Shadow Run

There are no HOA dues or Mello Roos taxes.

I entered in the living room, where I was greeted with new laminate floors, cathedral ceilings and a large picture window that made the room surprisingly bright and airy (sadly, my photo doesn’t do it justice – it really was bright).  The living room flows into the dining room, though the stairway in the middle provides a distinctly separate space.  The dining room is also bright and offers enough space for a large table.

The kitchen is the part of the house that feels the oldest.  It has original tile counters and dark brown cabinets, along with a tile floor and panel lighting in the ceiling.  There are newer, white appliances.  Everything is clean and well-maintained.  While a remodel of the kitchen would certainly give it a more modern look and potentially open it up more to the family room, it is functional the way it is now.

The kitchen has a breakfast bar that overlooks the family room.  With just a sliding door to the backyard and no other windows, I thought the room was pretty dark.  It has a small wetbar and the same laminate flooring in the front rooms.

The last room downstairs is a bedroom.  It has a small sliding closet and a fairly large window.  It is adjacent to a bathroom with a small stall shower (no tub) and a single sink.

The backyard is a pretty average size for Northwood and is completely hardscaped.  It has a storage shed in one corner that looks like a small house, so could possibly be cleaned out and used for another purpose.

Upstairs, there are three bedrooms.  The master is at the top of the stairs.  It isn’t a very large room, so it took me a minute to realize that it was the master.  It has a huge window and slightly elevated ceilings.  The bathroom is original, with two sinks and a separate tub and shower.  More than anywhere else in the house, I felt that the master bathroom looked old and tired.  The tub, which is just a standard bathtub, looked dingy and the shower is tucked into a small corner.  This would be the first thing I remodeled if I bought this home.  The master has a good-sized walk-in closet but needs some organizers installed.

The other two bedrooms upstairs share a bathroom which has a single sink and a shower/tub combo.  One room is bigger than the other, with a large window and a small closet.  The other room has two windows and a larger closet.

Downstairs, the ceilings have been scraped in all rooms except the living room; upstairs, none have been scraped.  The laminate floors downstairs and carpet upstairs are new, and there are new six-panel internal doors throughout the house.  All of the windows are original.  While there is a lot to be done in this house to make it as nice and as modern as a brand new home, it is in remarkably good condition for a 1979 house.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

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Are Rents Rising in Orange County and Irvine?

Posted: 28 Nov 2012 04:00 AM PST

“The problem with sales volume is that most homeowners just don’t want to sell. And why would they? Most sellers believe prices will only get better over the next two years.”—Glenn Kelman, CEO

“Foreclosed houses—which once made up almost half of all Orange County homes sales—made up just a tenth of such sales last month.

“And even fewer foreclosures are likely in the coming years…

“The result is a greater portion of pricier homes selling at the height end, coupled with hefty price hikes at the low- and mid-ranges of the market.”— Jeff Collins and Jonathan Lansner 

”First-time homebuyers are being squeezed out of the market by falling inventory and the rapid influx of investors looking to buy basic homes to rent out to the growing population of people who are recently been foreclosed upon.”—Stan Humphries, Zillow chief economist

All the reasons listed above are leading to a lack of home buying options in Orange County, at least for those who want to buy a home to live in instead of as an investment. And this lack of options explains, at least partially, why rents are climbing in Orange County. Laura Khouri, president of Western National Property Management, states that improved employment and a drop in construction of multifamily buildings are additional factors.

Limited homebuying options, decreased construction of multifamily buildings, and increased employment numbers are all factors that would push rents up; however, many of those who are working are not making as much money as they did in the recent past. So how are potential Orange County renters able to afford increasing rents? Khouri provides some insight. She states that many “families have also had to add other family members to their overall composition.” She also states that there is “an increased rise in one-bedroom units being rented again by young single professionals.”

What is the rent situation in Irvine? According to Khouri, this “landlord’s market” is not a universal situation in Orange County. “With the addition of 2,883 new units in Irvine spread over eight projects in 2012, there certainly could be some fluctuation in the overall rental rates and occupancy rates in the fourth quarter of 2012 in the Irvine sub-market.”

Note: In October, Real Facts reported that among the top 26 California metro areas, Orange County had the fifth-highest average rents. In addition, Orange County and Los Angeles County shared ninth place when it came to rent increases. The average rent for a one-bedroom in the Orange County was $1,403; a one-bedroom/one bath was $1,486; a two-bedroom/two bath was $1,870.

Marilyn Kafus, “Hot Market, For Sellers,” The Orange County Register

Jonathan Lansner, “Demand for one-bedroom units on the rise,” The Orange County Register

Jeff Collins and Jonathan Lansner, “O.C. home sales, prices up 5th straight month” Orange County Register

Jeff Collins, “Apartment rents hit all-time high,” The Orange County Register

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

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Open House Review: 38 Lakeshore

Posted: 27 Nov 2012 04:00 AM PST

Comparing 3 Woodbridge Condos      
38 Lakeshore $709,000

Woodbridge condominiums come in many flavors.  Recently, I sampled three: at 35 Waterway, 26 Summerwind, and most recently, 38 Lakeshore.

The condo at 35 Waterway cost the most and offered a plush lagoon setting with an equally sleek interior.  The condos on Summerwind and Lakeshore were closer to each other in price. But they offered two different flavors.

The condo at 26 Summerwind could pass for a single family home if you half closed your eyes. But 38 Lakeshore was a traditional condo, close to North Lake, and defined on several levels with greenbelt/park views. The Summerwind condo covered all of the bases for family living, while 38 Lakeshore sketched in a little more dreaming room in a thoughtful floor plan with a view.

Significant numbers  

  Price Sq Ft $/sq ft HOA Mello Roos?
35 Waterway $959,500 2700 $355 $292 No
26 Summerwind $749,900 2092 $358 $308 No
38 Lakeshore $709,000 2042 $347 $372 No

CloseUp at 38 Lakeshore:  Built in 1977, this three bedroom, 2.5 bath home has a prime location and an impressive street presence. Inside, the entry presents a variety of levels and spaces with most of them pulling you toward the glassed end of the home and sweeping view.

This condo just seems to be a natural for parties, with a formal dining room to the right, comfortable family room, kitchen with granite counters, breakfast nook and bar on the left. Below, there is an ample living room and music/family room with sliding doors leading to the patio.  It is easy to see a New Year’s celebration or a family gift exchange with a festive dinner here with lots of leisure time on the patio.

A remodeled kitchen and bath, recessed lights, crown moldings, new paint and hardwood floors throughout the house work to create a feeling of function and ease.

All bedrooms are upstairs with a good sized master and master bath, and balcony with a greenbelt view and sliding glass doors. There is a double garage and inside laundry.

Bedrooms, 3
Baths, 2.5
Sq.Ft., 2042 sq. ft.
$/sq.ft. $347
HOA, $372 per month
1 common wall attached
Association pool and spa
Forced air heating, central air
Inside laundry
Double garage, 2 parking spaces
Community, Woodbridge
Irvine Unified School System

What should be considered here?  Prime location near North Lake, greenbelt view, and square footage will all be factored in with the price. Top flight recreational facilities and schools will be added in. Finally condo versus single family home might be evaluated. 

Who will be the next party planners here?  A busy couple who love the location and all that Woodbridge offers might make this their Southern California base.  An active family attracted to the schools and the lake’s recreational facilities could easily settle in here.

Recent sales:  97 Lakeshore #50, sold for $650,000 in May; 5 Woodgrove #10 sold for $625,000 in July.   

Recent listings: 34 Willowgrove, $749,000; 5 Pinewood #3, $629,900.

Monday, November 26, 2012

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Priced to Sell?

Posted: 26 Nov 2012 04:00 AM PST

This West Irvine property is ready to be sold at $878,800 thirteen years after being bought at $402,500. The property is well maintained going by the MLS pictures, and the location is good. The schools – Myford Elementary School, Pioneer Middle School and Beckman High School all have excellent parent ratings and test scores, and a perfect 10 API.  The listing price is $283/SF at a time when rest of the Irvine is crossing the $350/SF mark and heading towards $400/SF.

2 Ivy Lane, Irvine CA 92602

Listing Price: $878,800
Beds/Bath: 4 Beds/ 3 Baths
Area: 3,100 SF
Price/ SF: $283/SF
Lot Size: 5,135SF
Builders Tract Name: Briarwood
Builders Tract Code: BRIW
Builders Model Code: 3

Is it a good deal, or is the property just keeping with rest of the West Irvine neighborhood prices?

Here are similar properties listed for sale:

3 Freedom Place $300/SF
7 Parma  $362/SF
12 Proclamation Way $352/SF

Here is the sales history for similar properties in the past two years:

45 Elizabeth $290/SF
38 Elizabeth Ln $271/SF
98 Briar  $270/SF
15 Elizabeth Ln $278/SF

As of today, there are exactly 250 properties on sale in the Irvine market. 92602 has 24 properties listed for sale, and it’s dropped 72% from last year. Median list price is $894,000, and it’s up 79% from last year. Median listing price/SF is $348, and it’s up 17% from last year. Irvine real estate, and the 92602 area statistics have improved.

Here is a chart from Zillow that shows the increase in value per square feet in Irvine, and in West Irvine:

We are not close to the bubble numbers, but we didn’t follow the graphs and charts at the onset of the Great Housing Depression and head deep south.  Many walked away, but many found an opportunity to invest, and now that things appear stabilized, many more are buying. For those who bought at the peak of the real estate bubble, it might be a long road to recovery. For those who bought before 2003, there is hope that things might turn around.

What do you think?
Is this house priced right, or is it priced to sell?
Have you bought or sold recently?
Share your views. Comment below, or discuss at Talk Irvine.

Closed Sales from 11/15/2012 to 11/21/2012

Posted: 25 Nov 2012 03:40 PM PST

Date Sold Address Zip Tract Sold Price Beds Sq Ft
El Camino Real          
11/15/12 1 Snowberry 10 92604 Deerfield Townhomes $345,000 3 1252
11/21/12 15301 Seine Cir 92604 Ranch $695,000 4 2018
11/15/12 64 Chula Vis 95 92602 Monterey $397,700 3 1510
11/16/12 28 Bonsall 124 92602 Monterey $436,000 3 1510
11/15/12 171 Kingswood 86 92620 Arden Square $630,000 3 1800
11/16/12 22 ATHERTON 92620 Sheffield Manor $400,000 3 1668
11/16/12 13781 Solitaire Way 92620   $646,000 3 2257
11/16/12 21 Blossom 92620 Bella Rosa $835,000 4 2630
11/19/12 6 W Campanero 92620 Park Paseo $725,000 3 1910
11/19/12 18 Glenhaven 92620 Mayfield $1,338,000 6 3700
11/21/12 4022 Escudero Drive 92620 Racquet Club $576,500 4 2344
Oak Creek            
11/21/12 16 Alevera Street 92618 Aldea $605,000 4 1500
Portola Springs          
11/15/12 38 Seedling 92618 Las Ventas $680,000 4 2075
11/16/12 36 Cienega 92618 San Carlos $292,500 1 1126
11/19/12 58 Cienega 92618 San Carlos COURT $390,000 2 1621
Quail Hill            
11/15/12 36 DUET 92603 Sage $596,000 4 1500
Rancho San Joaquin          
11/16/12 17 Cerrito 9 92612 RSJ Townhomes $485,000 2 1507
11/17/12 5 Lago Sud 92612 RSJ Townhomes $462,000 2 1507
Stonegate East          
11/20/12 28 Deergrass 92618 Capistrano $608,500 3 1823
Turtle Ridge          
11/19/12 123 Canyoncrest 92603 Chantory $700,000 3 1495
Turtle Rock          
11/16/12 5 Morning Glory 92603 Ridge Townhomes Peters $1,000,000 3 2036
11/16/12 1 Mira 92603 Crest - Akins $1,028,000 3 2630
11/19/12 10 Baristo 92612 Pointe - Turtle Rock $842,800 3 2104
11/20/12 12 Morning View 92612 Ridge Townhomes Peters $820,000 3 2412
University Park          
11/15/12 7 Redwood Tree Ln 92612 Village III (Village Park) $635,000 4 2194
11/15/12 4641 Green Tree Ln 92612 Village III (Village Park) $685,500 4 2190
11/17/12 11 Hawthorn 92612 Terrace $565,000 3 1553
11/19/12 51 Oak Tree Ln 92612 Village III (Village Park) $612,000 3 2050
11/19/12 4055 Germainder Way 92612 Village I $530,000 3 1550
West Irvine          
11/19/12 37 Langford 92602 Sheridan Square $780,000 4 2698
11/19/12 10 Alcamo 92614 Vista West Park $740,000 4 1950
11/20/12 11 Festivo 92606 Cortina $665,000 3 2000
11/21/12 22 Marbella Aisle 12 92614 Tiempo $325,000 2 890
11/15/12 34 Claret 92614 Other $405,590 2 1230
11/16/12 61 Summerstone 92614 UNKNOWN $385,000 3 1511
11/16/12 13 Springwater 61 92604 Townhomes $500,000 2 1296
11/16/12 3 Woodland Dr 92604 Park Homes $540,000 3 1681
11/18/12 49 Meadowgrass 92604 Villager $300,000 3 1220
11/20/12 10 Bluejay 92604 Patio Homes (WB) $740,000 4 2300
11/20/12 9 Rockwood 92614 -- $425,000 2 1000
11/21/12 30 Springacre 92614 Chateaux $399,000 2 1236
11/16/12 72 Canal 92620 Cachette $575,000 3 1580

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