Orange County Real Estate Insider (Blog)

Orange County Real Estate Blog - News, Statistics and Understanding Orange County Real Estate

We will cover a variety of topics including the current state of the Orange County Real Estate market, tips for buying and selling property, new developments and projects, investing in real estate, commercial property, and legal and financial considerations for real estate transactions.

Our goal is to be a useful resource and share Effective Real Estate Strategies.

If you have questions or concerns please reach out via email, text or phone, or leave a comment on a blog post.

March 21, 2023

Orange County Market Report Showing Strong Buyer Demand

Welcome to our weekly Orange County real estate market report! As always, we bring you the latest updates on the housing market in the area, based on real-time data gathered directly from the MLS.

This week, we have some interesting news to report. For the second time this year, homes in Orange County have sold for over the list price. This may be an indication of a strong seller's market in the area, and we will be keeping a close eye on this trend in the coming weeks.

However, we understand that many people are nervous about buying in a market that could crash at any moment. Despite the negative headlines that have been circulating for the past 10 months, we have not seen any indication in the data that there will be a flood of inventory and lower demand for housing. This means that the real estate market will continue to be steady in Orange County.

Other markets, like Austin, TX, are still recovering from an influx of people moving to the area and causing unprecedented appreciation. Inventory levels in Austin are currently at 2019 levels, and price reductions are nearly 50% of the total inventory. This has resulted in a somewhat stagnant real estate market in the area, as high-interest rates have impacted affordability in Austin more than in other markets.

In Orange County, however, we have a unique dynamic between buyers and sellers. Demand is still high, as evidenced by the days on market and the sold price versus the list price. While many reports measure demand by the under-contract and pending statistics, we have a low number of closings due to the restricted inventory in the area. If more homes were available for sale, there would likely be more sales because buyer demand is still strong.

Take a look at our market report video for all the latest data.

Posted in Market Report
March 14, 2023

Orange County Real Estate Inc was named a local expert of Orange on Redfin.

Orange County Real Estate Inc was named a local expert of Orange on Redfin. Check out the article we were featured in: Is Orange, CA a Good Place to Live? | Redfin

By Holly Hooper, Redfin

Is Orange, California a Good Place to Live? 14 Pros and Cons to Consider Before Moving to the City of Orange

The City of Orange, located in Orange County, California, is known for its picturesque neighborhoods, a strong educational system, cultural diversity, and a pleasant Mediterranean climate. This attractive city, surrounded by stunning beaches, top-rated entertainment venues, and world-renowned restaurants, has earned a reputation as one of Southern California’s most desirable places to live. Whether you’re just looking at Orange’s housing market, looking to move into a house, or rent a condo, just like any city, living in Orange comes with its share of pros and cons that you should consider before making it your home. By exploring what life is like in Orange, prospective residents can get a better understanding of what living in Orange, CA is like before making the big move.

Pros of living in Orange

1. Life there has more charm and convenience

“Orange is a beautiful city in Southern California with great weather year-round and the charm of a small town” mentions CaLee McManus, agent and founder of Monarch Real Estate. “The city center circle is regularly festively decorated, and the streets are lined with delicious restaurants and quaint specialty shops. Orange is centrally located in Orange County with a very short commute to the airport, world-famous shopping, and home to some of the best hospitals in the country. You can find a variety of neighborhoods, including mid-century modern single-story homes with sprawling yards to equestrian estates that transport you to another world. Orange is a great place to call home.”

2. Orange has yearly events that bring locals together

“Orange has a strong sense of community and a hometown feel,” mentions All Things Orange County. “There are so many yearly events OC locals look forward to. There are movies and concerts in parks during the Summer months. During the Fall the Orange International Street Fair closes down Old Town Orange and fills the streets with food and drinks from around the world, seven stages for entertainment, vendor booths, and an entire street dedicated filled crafts and games. In the Winter the annual tree lighting ceremony kicks off the holiday season for another anticipated event the community looks forward to every year.”

3. Orange’s community values heritage and celebrates diversity

“Orange CA is a vibrant community with an excellent school system that cherishes and protects its historical heritage, supports its museums and cultural arts programs,” says Lifetime Realty. “Local businesses thrive in a pedestrian-friendly town that supports countless annual food fairs, art shows and music festivals.”

4. The city prides itself in its educational opportunities

“Lot’s of families relocate to the City of Orange because of the award-winning schools. Orange Unified School District has piled up awards from the state of California, and they’ve also received National and International awards. Their track record reflects a strong commitment to education and community involvement,” suggests Orange County Real Estate, Inc.

The city of Orange has a rich history of promoting education and prioritizing academic excellence, with many of its schools and colleges known for their exceptional academic programs. The focus on education has become an integral part of the city’s identity, and many residents take pride in the educational opportunities that the city provides. Additionally, the city’s reputation for top-notch schools and universities has made it an attractive destination for many looking to settle in a community that values education and provides opportunities for intellectual growth. The City of Orange’s education ranges from high-quality schools and colleges, including Chapman University, which is located in Orange and recognized as one of the nation’s top private universities. Additionally, the Orange Unified School District provides access to quality public K-12 education. For higher education, Santiago Canyon College, part of the Rancho Santiago Community College District, offers a diverse range of programs to suit different student interests. The city’s robust and varied educational environment makes it a desirable destination for people seeking a well-rounded education.

5. Orange has timeless neighborhoods

“Another interesting feature of the City of Orange is the Joseph Eichler neighborhoods. These neighborhoods – Fairhills, Fairhaven, and Fairmeadows – have over 350 mid-century modern homes designed by Joseph Eichler. Homeowners in these areas take great pride in their ownership, as you can see by the well-maintained and stylish homes. The popularity of these neighborhoods has risen, courtesy of the enduring appeal of midcentury modern architecture. It’s fun just to drive through the neighborhoods. It feels like a movie based in the 1960s,” suggests Orange County Real Estate.

6. The location is incomparable

Orange County, California is considered one of the most desirable and affluent areas in Southern California due to its proximity to many attractions and amenities. The City of Orange, located in the heart of the county, is no exception. With just a short drive to Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, and some of the most beautiful beaches in California, Orange offers residents the convenience of being close to some of the top attractions in the state.

Additionally, Orange County is home to a thriving job market, with numerous tech and healthcare companies headquartered in the area. The county’s economy is also bolstered by the tourism industry, which generates billions of dollars annually. With a wide range of outdoor activities, beautiful parks, fine dining options, and high-end shopping centers, Orange County offers a luxurious lifestyle for its residents. Living in the City of Orange provides easy access to all of these amenities, making it a popular choice for both young professionals and families alike.

7. Orange offers a multicultural experience

Orange is a culturally diverse city that offers a wide range of experiences for its residents. The city’s diverse population includes people from a variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds, contributing to a unique blend of customs, beliefs, and traditions. As a result, the city offers a wide range of cultural experiences and events throughout the year, such as festivals, art shows, music concerts, and food fairs.

The Old Towne Historic District, a popular area in the city, showcases the city’s rich history and cultural diversity, with its charming buildings, antique shops, and restaurants. Additionally, the city is home to several museums and cultural centers, such as the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, the Heritage Museum of Orange County, and the Santiago Art District. The city’s diversity and cultural offerings create a rich and vibrant community that celebrates and embraces the many cultures that makeup Orange.

“The city of Orange is a fantastic example of the iconic Orange County community. Rich in history, its historic Old Town district boasts the largest grouping of historic homes in California. The Old Town Plaza still maintains its Victorian era charm all the while playing host to one of the most eclectic and diverse restaurants and quaint cafes in Orange County. And if you enjoy local flavor, and a fan of history, you’re going to love the Old Towne Orange Haunted History Ghost walk by Haunted OC,” suggests Haunted Orange County.

8. Enjoy Orange’s mild, Mediterranean climate

The climate in Orange, California is one of the city’s most attractive features, as it offers residents a mild and pleasant year-round climate that is often described as Mediterranean. With an average temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit and very little rainfall, Orange’s climate provides the perfect backdrop for an active outdoor lifestyle. Summers are warm and sunny, with average temperatures ranging from the mid-70s to low 80s, making it an ideal time to hit the beach or enjoy outdoor activities.

In the winter, temperatures rarely drop below 50 degrees, allowing residents to enjoy outdoor activities without the need for heavy winter gear. This mild climate also creates ideal growing conditions for many plants, particularly citrus trees, which are a significant part of Orange’s agricultural history. Overall, Orange’s climate is one of the city’s biggest selling points, offering residents the chance to enjoy the outdoors year-round without having to worry about extreme temperatures or harsh weather conditions.

9. Endless shopping and dining

Shopping and dining in Orange offer residents and visitors a diverse range of options. The city is home to a number of shopping centers, including The Outlets at Orange, a large open-air shopping destination that features designer outlet stores, restaurants, and entertainment venues. The city’s charming Old Towne Historic District is another popular shopping destination, featuring a variety of unique boutiques and antique stores, as well as cafes and restaurants.

When it comes to dining, Orange is a foodie’s paradise, offering a wide range of cuisines, from Mexican and Asian to Italian and Mediterranean. The city is home to a number of popular chain restaurants as well as a host of independently-owned restaurants and cafes that showcase the city’s diverse culinary scene.

Cons of living in Orange

1. There is traffic

“Like all of Orange County, the City has a lot of traffic, higher cost of living, and limited Public Transportation options,” mentions Cole Harvey at Lifetime Realty.

Traffic is a significant issue in Orange, with congestion often causing delays and adding time to commutes, particularly during peak hours. Due to the city’s location, many commuters travel through the area, leading to a significant volume of traffic on major highways, such as the 5 and 55 freeways. To alleviate traffic, the city has implemented various measures, such as expanding bike lanes, improving public transportation, and developing traffic flow models, but traffic remains a challenge in the city.

2. High cost of living

“The popularity of the city has become a challenge as demand for housing continues to rise,” advises Orange County Real Estate, Inc. “Even with interest rates hitting 7%, we are still seeing low days on market, with homes receiving multiple offers. Home builders have scaled back on new projects, resulting in low housing inventory.”

Compared to other cities in the United States, Orange has a high cost of living, with housing being a significant factor. In January 2023, the median sale price of homes in the area was $860,000 according to Redfin’s Orange Housing Market Trends. The city’s desirable location and quality of life contribute to higher property values, which translate to higher rents and home prices. According to recent estimates, the cost of living in Orange is around 30% higher than the national average. While this may be manageable for some residents, it can be challenging for others, particularly with U.S. inflation still impacting local prices.

3. It’s a big tourist destination

Orange is a popular tourist destination, which can lead to overcrowding and busy streets, particularly during peak tourist seasons. The city’s proximity to Disneyland and other major attractions can make it difficult for residents to navigate the city and can add to traffic and parking issues. Additionally, tourism can drive up prices in local businesses, making it more challenging for residents to find affordable goods and services.

4. Limited Public Transportation

While Orange has a public bus system, it may not be as extensive or convenient as in some other major cities. This can make it difficult for some residents to get around the city, particularly those without access to a car. While the city has taken steps to improve Orange’s public transportation system, such as adding bike lanes and expanding shuttle services, there is still a significant need for more efficient and accessible transportation options.

5. Natural disasters

Orange is located in an area that is prone to natural disasters such as earthquakes, wildfires, and droughts, which can pose a risk to residents. While the city has taken steps to mitigate the impact of these disasters, such as implementing fire safety regulations and building codes, residents must still be aware of potential risks and take necessary precautions. For example, residents may need to have earthquake kits, evacuate during wildfires, and conserve water during droughts to protect themselves and their property.

Posted in Real Estate News
March 13, 2023

The Market Continues To Show Strong Buyer Demand

By Eric Engelbert

Welcome to our weekly real estate market report, where we bring you the latest updates on the Orange County housing market.

Despite strong buyer demand and a fair number of closings, inventory has remained relatively unchanged over the past 7 days. However, we did see an increase in new listings with 511 added to the market. We hope this trend will continue as we head into the Spring Market.

Mortgage rates have dropped in the past week after a significant increase, which resulted in a low number of mortgage applications. We understand that many mortgage companies are offering programs such as permanent rate buydowns and temporary rate buydowns to combat affordability issues. If you're interested in learning more about these programs, feel free to reach out to us.

We believe that staying informed about real estate data is crucial when making decisions about buying or selling property. That's why we provide weekly updates on the latest data. To make this information easily accessible, we've created a dedicated webpage for real estate data in every city in Orange County, and we're working on specific areas too. Check out our market report page for more information.

Orange County Market Reports By City

Posted in Market Report
Feb. 27, 2023

Orange County Homes Sold For Over The List Price For The First Time This Year

By Eric Engelbert

Welcome to our weekly market report on Orange County's real estate scene. In this update, we'll cover the latest developments and trends in the local housing market.

One notable development this week is the occurrence of homes selling for prices higher than the asking price for the first time this year. While this trend is concerning, we hope it's just a one-time event and not indicative of a broader overbidding issue. We'll continue to monitor the situation closely.

A significant challenge in the Orange County housing market remains the low inventory levels, which are driving increased buyer competition and leading to the overbidding mentioned above. This trend is likely to persist in the coming months, so buyers need to be prepared to move quickly when they find the right property.

Despite the ongoing challenges in the market, Orange County's housing values remain robust, in line with the national trend. However, other housing markets, like San Francisco, are experiencing a downturn due to decreased demand for housing. This decline may be attributed to a growing number of companies transitioning to remote work, resulting in office vacancy rates nearing 40%. San Francisco's housing market is undoubtedly in a slump, and we'll keep a close eye on how this trend develops.

If you're considering selling your home, it's essential to stay up-to-date on the latest market trends in your area. At Orange County Real Estate, we provide critical data points such as days on the market and the list price vs. sold price to help you set realistic expectations for selling. With our assistance, you can maximize your property's value and make a successful sale.

If you're in the market for a home, it's equally important to know the latest stats for your target area. Our team can provide you with information that will help you successfully navigate the buying process and find your dream home.

The Orange County real estate market continues to face challenges, but housing values remain strong. Our team at Orange County Real Estate is here to help you navigate the ever-changing market and achieve your real estate goals. If you or someone you know is considering selling, please don't hesitate to contact us for more information.

Posted in Market Report
Feb. 23, 2023

California's Housing Element Faces Major Criticism And Huntington Beach Is Taking Legal Action

By Eric Engelbert

The State of California has required local governments to address the housing needs of their residents since 1969 through a Housing Element, which analyzes a community’s housing needs for all income levels and provides strategies to meet those needs. On June 30, 2020 California signed into law, SB 197, which is the 6th housing element update.

However, the addition of low-income housing has become a contentious issue in California, as many homeowners fear that it could decrease their property values. In the face of a recession and a high rate of homelessness, the Housing Element has become more important and equally divisive.

Huntington Beach, also known as Surf City, is taking legal action by implementing a citywide ban on builders' remedies and preparing to file a lawsuit. They see the Housing Element as a threat to their city's independence and have vowed to fight it.

However, California State Senator Dave Min has warned that no city is above the law and that the state will hold them accountable. The consequences of not complying with the state law include the loss of state funding, as well as lawsuits and fines.

Huntington Beach is in an uphill battle, and neighboring cities may even lend a helping hand. The Orange County coastline has already been developed, and open space for building is scarce. Therefore, the outcome of this legal battle will be closely monitored.

Posted in Real Estate News
Feb. 21, 2023

Southern California’s Retirement Communities provide everything you think they would!

By Eric Engelbert

Retirement living is a time to unwind and enjoy the fruits of your labor. You’ve earned the right to kick back, relax, and savor life. For those seeking an active, sunny retirement, Southern California is a top destination. With nearly 300 days of sunshine, the region offers the perfect climate for outdoor activities all year round.

The stunning coastline is a major attraction, providing a plethora of outdoor activities such as swimming, fishing, boating, and meditating on the sand. The region is dotted with world-famous beaches, making it an ideal location to soak up the sun or simply enjoy a peaceful walk along the shore. Despite its popularity, there are always plenty of spots to claim a little piece of the beach and enjoy some solitude.

Retirees seeking a vibrant social life will be delighted with Southern California’s diverse culture. It’s a melting pot of people from all walks of life, and the retirement communities reflect this diversity. With regular club meetings and daily events, there are plenty of opportunities to meet new people and socialize with neighbors.

For retirees who love to travel, Southern California’s proximity to airports makes it easy to hop on a plane and venture to other parts of the world. Whether it’s exploring Europe or visiting family across the country, Southern California’s accessibility makes traveling a breeze.

Southern California is a hub of art, food, and entertainment. With so many different cultures represented, there’s always something new and exciting to try. From food trucks to Michelin-star restaurants, you’ll find a culinary experience that suits your taste buds. Museums, galleries, and concert halls offer an endless supply of entertainment options.

Retirement communities in Southern California offer a range of options to suit any preference. With over 30 different communities in Orange County alone, (Search All Retirement Communities Here) you’ll find everything from upscale high-rise apartments to cozy cottage-style homes. Whether you’re looking for a place to spend your golden years or a seasonal retreat, Southern California has the retirement lifestyle you’re looking for. So why not start your search today and enjoy the beautiful weather, stunning coastline, and vibrant culture of Southern California.

Posted in Real Estate News
Feb. 13, 2023

Housing Inventory Dropped For The Fourth Consecutive Week!

Our housing market continues to see a drop in inventory for the fourth straight week. The pending sales have increased over the same time period. And, the days on market have also steadied.

The median list price for single-family homes in Orange County stays strong at $1,500,000, while the sold price has slightly lowered to 1.23% of the list price.

As we head into the spring selling season, we'll be keeping a close eye on inventory and new listings, as they play a key role in determining total sales and home values.

Mortgage rates are holding steady at around 6% for 30-year fixed jumbo loans. If you're in the market for a mortgage, don't miss out on the best portfolio mortgage product from US Bank. Their rates tend to be much lower compared to traditional mortgage companies and can save you a significant amount of money. Other banks offering portfolio loans are Bank of the West and Farmers and Merchants.

If you're thinking about selling your home, it's important to be aware of the latest market trends in your area. At OC Real Estate Inc, we're here to provide you with the most critical data points, such as days on market and the list price vs. sold price, to help you set realistic expectations for selling.

If you're thinking about buying a home, it's important to know the stats for your target area. We can provide you with information that will help you successfully purchase a property.

If you or someone you know is considering selling, don't hesitate to reach out to us for more information. Until next time, I'm Eric with OC Real Estate Inc.

Contact us today to access the most current data and learn how to make the most of the current market conditions.

For more information about buying or selling a house in Orange County call or text to 949-430-7500

Posted in Market Report
Feb. 9, 2023

10 Seller Wants When Selecting a Real Estate Agent

By Scott Alpi

Selling a home is a big decision and the right real estate agent can make all the difference in the outcome of the sale and the feelings you will walk away with. With so many agents to choose from, it can be difficult to determine which one is the right fit for you.

Here are 10 wants that sellers should keep in mind when selecting a real estate agent.

  1. Marketing expertise: The right real estate agent will have a proven track record of marketing homes successfully. They should have a deep understanding of the local market and know how to attract buyers.
  2. Strong communication skills: Communication is key when it comes to real estate. Your agent should keep you informed every step of the way, be responsive to your questions, and keep you updated on any developments.
  3. Negotiating skills: Your agent should be a skilled negotiator and know how to get you the best offer possible. They should be able to handle tough negotiations with ease and represent your interests throughout the transaction.
  4. Professionalism: The right real estate agent will be professional and have a strong reputation in the industry. They should have a thorough understanding of the laws and regulations related to real estate and be able to represent your interests in a professional manner.
  5. Local market knowledge: An agent with in-depth knowledge of the local market will be able to provide valuable insights and advice on the best course of action to take.
  6. Network: A strong network can be a valuable asset when it comes to selling a home. Your agent should have a vast network of real estate professionals and be able to use it to your advantage.
  7. Transparency: Your agent should be transparent in their dealings with you and provide regular updates on the status of the sale. They should be upfront about any issues that may arise and work to resolve them in a timely manner.
  8. Availability: Your agent should be available to answer your questions and address any concerns you may have. They should be flexible and accommodating to your schedule and be willing to work around your needs.
  9. Technology: A real estate agent who is up-to-date with the latest technology can provide a competitive advantage. They should be able to leverage technology to market your home effectively and efficiently.
  10. Personal connection: The right real estate agent should be someone you can trust and connect with on a personal level. They should have your best interests at heart and be invested in making the sale process as stress-free as possible for you.

In conclusion, selecting the right real estate agent is an important decision that should not be taken lightly. By keeping these 10 wants in mind, you can ensure that you find an agent who will work hard to get you the best offer possible and make the sale process smooth and stress-free.

Posted in Real Estate News
Feb. 8, 2023

Strong Home Buyer Demand Eases Concerns Of A Crash.

By Eric Engelbert

Welcome to our weekly market report. Today we'll be discussing the latest trends in the housing market and what they mean for buyers and sellers.

As we enter 2023, we're seeing strong demand for homes, with a continuous increase in pending home sales over the last 3 weeks. This is a positive sign that suggests a healthy housing market.

In the latter half of 2022 through January 2023, inventory was increasing, which led many to fear that real estate could experience a dramatic loss of value. However, despite the increase in mortgage rates, the recent buyer demand has eased concerns of a real estate crash. We still expect inventory to continue to increase this year, but the demand is providing a sense of stability to the market.

The median home price in the US currently stands at $415,000, and we're hearing that many properties are receiving multiple offers. While we're not seeing a lot of overbidding, homes are selling for an average of 3.2% less than the list price in Orange County. In addition, price reductions are at their lowest since last August, which means that home values have remained strong.

If you're thinking about selling your home, it's important to be aware of the latest market trends in your area. At OC Real Estate Inc, we're here to provide you with the most critical data points, such as days on market and the list price vs. sold price, to help you set realistic expectations for selling.

If you're thinking about buying a home, it's important to know the stats for your target area. We can provide you with information that will help you successfully purchase a property.

Thank you for tuning in to our weekly market report. If you or someone you know is considering selling, don't hesitate to reach out to us for more information. Until next time, I'm Eric with OC Real Estate.

Contact us today to access the most current data and learn how to make the most of the current market conditions.

For more information about buying or selling a house in Orange County call or text to 949-430-7500

Posted in Market Report
Jan. 31, 2023

An Experienced Real Estate Professional: A Success Story

By Eric Engelbert

As a seasoned real estate broker with two decades of experience, I understand the importance of being able to adapt to unique and pressing circumstances. This was especially true in a recent transaction that proved my experience in real estate sales, lending, and property valuation to be a crucial asset.casta del sol homes for sale

A 72-year-old woman named Carol reached out to me, in need of finding a single-level home in Casta Del Sol, a 55+ community in Mission Viejo with nearly 2,000 properties. Her husband was confined to a wheelchair and she had just been diagnosed with a neurological disease affecting the use of her legs, making it imperative for them to move from their two-story house to a single-level home.

On our first day of house hunting, we viewed four properties, with Carol ultimately choosing one that she liked. That day I went to their house to discuss the purchasing process. They wanted to pay for the house in full, without a mortgage, with a purchase price of nearly $650,000.

However, when Carol went to retrieve her proof of funds, she realized that $300,000 was missing from her bank account. We faced a dilemma: Should we move forward with the purchase despite the missing funds? Or was this realization going to make it impossible for them to make the necessary move?

The answer was “we have to move to a single-level home immediately”. We started to explore some options. She mentioned that she had some rental income, so we discussed the possibility of taking out a short-term loan on her rental property to purchase the new home, with the intention of paying off the loan after selling the two-story house. This became our best option and primary focus.

With time being of the essence, I quickly established open communication with the listing agent and reached out to a private lender, Americus Financial, for a loan on the rental property. The lender agreed but asked me to do the appraisal and inspect the property. I inspected the property and used both the cost and income approaches for the valuation, which satisfied the lender. I then wrote an offer to close on the single-level home in just 7 days, and it was accepted.

In a mere 24 hours, we closed on the loan, and after conducting due diligence on the single-level home, we were ready to close on the purchase just four days later. A couple of months later, the two-story house was sold, and the short-term loan was paid off.

This successful transaction was a testament to the power of experience and a well-established network in the industry which allowed me to find a solution. I was able to guide my client through the process and help them achieve their goal of finding a suitable new home under a set of stressful circumstances.

Posted in Real Estate News