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Sean’s 1 Minute Update (May 2016)

Sean’s 1 minute Update <

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Laguna Friends of Architecture pays a special tribute to the groundbreaking architect Zaha Hadid who recently died at the age of 65

Professor Jackie Hahn, a LFA favorite, who has a special affinity for Dame Hadid, will be presenting the work and life of this special world citizen. Dame Zaha Mohammad Hadid, DBE was an Iraqi-born British architect whose soaring structures left a mark on skylines and imaginations around the world. She was the first Arab woman

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The Hangover House – An incredible Laguna Story

In the 1930’s Richard Haliburton was a ‘rock star’ – His partner built him a ‘Landmark of Modern Architecture’ for a place to escape his fans. It’s the inspiration for Ann Rand’s Heller house in Fountainhead   In the 1930s Richard Halliburton, a travel journalist, was a ‘rock star’ and as popular as Charles Lindberg

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The Presbyterian Church

The Laguna Presbyterian church totally remodeled to original architecture The Presbyterian church. Totally remodeled to replicated the original church The Presbyterian church’s original stain glass windows were kept and cleaned when remodeled The rose garden at the Presbyterian Church

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Why they called it Forest Ave: (1905)

During the Timber-Culture Act period of 1871, migration to the “Golden West” was encouraged and families who arrived were allowed to stake out a 160-acre homestead claim so long as they planted the “Ten acres of trees” required by Congress on the claim within the first two years.( in Laguna’s case a lotta Australian Eucalyptus)

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Sean’s 1 Minute Update

Listen to the Spring market update and if you’re considering buying, an analysis of why you should buy now versus a year from now Click here to read about buying now versus buying a year from now

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What happened to affordable, entry level housing? The simple answer is appreciation

Laguna Summary: Inventory increased to 212, which is the highest for March in the last three year. 11 are below a $1m and 65 are above $4m. However, the number is still historically low The demand (shown by new escrow openings) remained strong Still a strong sellers’ market for compelling homes in good locations. Click

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What does it mean to be “priced out of the market”?

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In a nutshell, it means that while a few months before, you could afford the type of house you wanted (more or less), but prices have risen so fast that now you feel that you cannot buy anything at all. You feel that it’s no longer worth it to buy – so you continue to

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What your cold feet to buy could be costing you?

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Almost every one of my clients says at one time or another – ‘I really blew it not buying that house years ago’.  The reason they didn’t buy was they thought the market or house couldn’t go up any higher and there has to be a correction. I remember when I first moved to Laguna

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What does it mean to be “priced out of the market”?

In a nutshell, it means that while a few months before, you could afford the type of house you wanted (more or less), but prices have risen so fast that now you feel that you cannot buy anything at all. You feel that it’s no longer worth it to buy – so you continue to

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What may your cold feet costing you?

Almost every one of my clients says at one time or another – ‘I really blew it not buying that house years ago’.  The reason they didn’t buy was they thought the market or house couldn’t go up any higher and there has to be a correction. I remember when I first moved to Laguna

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Interesting OC market information on the turnover rate of homes per city

Check out Laguna Beach turnover rate – With 4% turnover in 2015 (410 homes sold out of 9,300 homes in Laguna) It’s is taking 23 years to sell all the homes in Laguna Gone are the days of homeowners moving every 7 years. So, why aren’t homeowners moving like they did a decade ago? There

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Tick, Tick, Tick the Spring market is coming upon us

Just when the January ‘going into escrow’ numbers for Laguna showed a potential slowdown in demand it bounces back with a 50% increase in February. Homes going into escrow (a true sign of what is happening today sales wise) jumped from 30 homes to 47 homes by March 1. This is below other year levels

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1972 United California Bank Robbery

Local Bank Robbery is the U.S’ Largest Ever – An Incredible Story

That’s right, the largest bank heist in U.S history, of $30m (the equivalent of $100m today), happened in our own Monarch Beach in 1972, at the United California Bank located in the shopping center at the corner of Coast Hwy and Crown Valley. It is currently a vacant store next to Chase Bank. The story

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OC Housing Awakens: Inventory and demand improved dramatically in the past couple of weeks.

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The stock market was taking a beating, driven by low oil prices and worldwide economic turmoil. The start of 2016 had everybody, including the Orange County housing market, on pins and needles. It seemed that the Holiday Market slowdown was not going to thaw like it typically does starting in mid-January. Right after the Super

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The Miracle Baby of Laguna Beach

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By Amy Wilson The Orange County Register LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. – Sometime after midnight, a baby asleep on Donald Duck sheets was swept out of her house, out of her crib and into the night. That she was found at all is a miracle. That she was alive is whatever is better than a miracle. Nine-month-old

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One of my Favorite Stories – Laguna’s Native Flute Child Prodigy and Skate Board Speed Champion – Evren Ozan

I remember walking around the Oak St. area around 2000 and seeing this pre-teen kid skate boarding over homemade ramps like no one else before and I took note. Only a little later did I hear this great story and ended up watching him at local concerts and listening to his award winning CDs. Evren

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Who lived in Orange County before you?

500 BC: Indians (*8) – Coronne clan, later known as Tongva Indians, lived at Aliso Creek and Laguna Lakes.  They dubbed the area as “Lagonas,” the Indian word for lakes.  They depended upon the fresh water, game, and marine life for survival.  Remnants of these villages were seen by the early homesteaders. Acjachemen (Ah-HAWSH-eh-men) village. * Illustration by

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Orange County Housing Report: The Luxury End is Back, But Tread Carefully!

2015 marks the year that the high end fully recovered posting the highest number of $1 million plus home sales since 2005. The Luxury Market: one-third of all homes that are listed “for sale” are over $1 million. Today, there are only 205 total foreclosures and short sales on the active listing market in Orange

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November 20th meeting Laguna Friends of Architecture presents the architecture of Native California Indians

Come and join architecturally passionate friends for a presentation on the unique California native architecture on Friday, November 20th at 6 o’clock at Studio 12. When the Spanish first arrived in today’s California there were over sixty tribes throughout the West Coast.  Each had their own traditional cultures and different environmental and climatic factors to

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If you want some unique theater that will touch all your artistic senses this is it – Come join your LFA friends for some wine and entertainment

Sonatasia and Emmy-nominated producer-director Pamela Peak bring the spectacular On Impulse Acting Troupe to a stunning private home high in the hills of Laguna Beach. You will be transported back 100 years to the sleepy town of Spoon River, as the actors appear all around you, each unfolding their unique story. The home, a modern

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Mark Singer leaves a major modern/contemporary ‘thumbprint’ on how Laguna looks today, making it one of the most architecturally interesting communities in the world

All of us at Laguna Friends of Architecture are sadden by Mark’s succumbing to cancer and thank him for his indelible influence on all of us that live in Laguna.  In particular, he helped LFA become 1,400 friends strong by giving us instant credibility when we were just starting, as one our first speakers talking

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Some of my clients are asking about the possibility of a housing price correction

Some clients say the prices have gone up too fast and the median price is within 6% of the record established in June of 2007 and a price correction is near. The last time prices were this high it lead to a major housing price correction. Logically, prices are about to drop again, right? Not

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Welcome some new folks to Laguna. Keith and Jane.

They moved from Pleasanton to Laguna Beach. Great folks and great clients  

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The Laguna Friends of Architecture features three Laguna Architectural Landmarks

Join local architecturally passionate friends for a glass of wine and hear from former Laguna Beach Historical Society president Gene Felder. The program, with extensive historical and modern photographs, will be Three Laguna Beach Architectural Landmarks: Pyne Castle, Village Rockledge, and the Richard Halliburton Hangover House. Photographs courtesy of the Laguna Beach Historical Society, the

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Art from the psychedelic era

  Art from the psychedelic era The overlooked contribution of the Brothers of Eternal Love Until now – Come join us this Saturday for a curator’s tour of the art work from the late 60s in Laguna’s counter culture days.   If you haven’t heard about the Bother of Enteral Love days in Laguna get

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Laguna Home sales have month to month volatility

August sales are way down but homes going into escrow bounce back to summer average of 53 homes August Summary: Sales way down: 24 home were sold vs. 44 last month and 34 in Aug. a year ago But 53 homes are in escrow (which is the same as Aug. for the last 3 years)

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The story of the discovery of the oldest human remains in the Western Hemisphere, discovered by Howard Wilson in Laguna Beach California

It was a hot, sunny day in Laguna Beach California in 1933, when 17 year old Howard Wilson showed up at his pal Ed Marriner’s house to talk to him about something that he had been thinking about lately. Howard had plans for a great adventure that day. Howard and Ed often spent time together,

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Panama Escapade

I recently went to Panama exploring potential international living opportunities. My trip started in Panama City which is an international city where new architecture meets beautiful gentrified Spanish Colonial neighborhoods. Went to a cool jazz club in a 1600 building that is now an Ace hotel an international boutique hotel chain.

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Cool Stories and Pics of Early Movies Made in Laguna

  Laguna played a big part in the early development of Movie Making Since there was no verbal dialogue and no artificial lights for inside shots, the Laguna Beach coast line visuals were important for the original success of silent films. If you couldn’t ‘wow’ them with dialogue you ‘wowed’ them with Laguna’s dramatic cove

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Film Plays A Starring Role In Smithcliffs’ History

A rare early 1920s image showing the promontory now known as Smithcliffs and Seal Rocks, as seen from Emerald Bay. On the point is the Dobbins’ house, Dos Rocas, and behind it the Lowe house, later moved to McKnight Drive. Photo courtesy of First American Title Corporation. Barbara Isch, an 18-year old native daughter of

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San Juan Capistrano: 1910

A familiar scene for many of us looking towards the Mission and the scene of an almost riot by the locals when seeing the first film being made in OC by the then not-so-famous D.W.Griffith. In San Juan Capistrano it was 1910 and the rural locals, mostly Spanish Americans and Indians, barely knew what movies

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Cool Pics of Early Movies in Laguna

 Fisherman’s Cove w/ movie set. Errol Flynn, during filming of “Captain Blood”. *3 Arch Bay “Max Sennett: Bathing Beauties”. LB: 1936 1926 Press Photo- Shooting a Scene at Laguna Beach California -The Rough Riders How do you think Treasure Island got its name (Now the Montage) “Give Us This Night” Gladys Swarthout and Jan Kiepura

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Most of the Laguna sales activity in the $1m to $3m price range

What do you get for your money in Laguna in May: (Of course it depends where in Laguna you buy)   $1m to $1.5m 5 sales, Avg price:$1.35m, 2 -3 bdm, 1-2 bath, Avg sqsf 1,500,  price per sqft: $1,100 View the homes sold in May: $1.5m to $2m 7 sales, Avg price: $1.7m, 3

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Come join Laguna Friends of Architecture pot-luck celebration

Let’s have some fun at our LFA 3 year old ‘pot luck’ celebration LFA has had great fun and success through simplicity.  No money, no politics, no business entity – just growing friendships around the common passion of architecture, a good time and a little wine. We’ve 1,300 people who’ve joined the group and we

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Take a look at the 1920’s Laguna classic Mission style home not in the mls

I had to share this 2,000+ sqft beauty on lower Bluebird Canyon that is on a flat 8,000 sqft lot. It was one of the first homes built in the area (lots of photos to prove it) and has been expanded over the years but has kept its core with big think walls, a ‘Citizen

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‘Yours Truly’s’ Listing is the Featured Property in the Coastal Real Estate Guide

A Rare Triple Play: Luxury, Privacy and Views     Watch the waves break on the sand from this stunning oceanfront home. Situated in an exclusive gated enclave with just three other homes, this four bedroom, five bathroom masterpiece provides the best of the Laguna Beach lifestyle. The main level offers an open great room with

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Laguna Market Review as of April 2015

Summary: Laguna’s 2015 Sales Activity 10% higher ‘year to date’ vs. last year Properties in escrow 20% higher than a year ago – shows the most current pulse of real estate activity Multi offers for attractive properties that are priced to sell are starting to get more common Inventory has had its Spring’s jump –

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Hey LFAers, It’s tour time in San Diego. We’ve got 20 people signed up. Join your friends and make a weekend of it if you wish.

James Hubble House and Studio Tour Please join Laguna Friends of Architecture for a special LFA tour of this unique and artistic desert home.  Tour date is Saturday April 25, 2015 at 11:00AM near Julian (about a 2.5 hour drive from Laguna Beach).  Tour tickets are $50.00 per person at the door.  Carpooling is encouraged.

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A Hilarious Laguna Story – The Saga of Melvin Miller

A Peoria, Ill tractor foreman becomes a U.S. fascination in Laguna Beach ‘OK, who took my car?’ said a more than tipsy Marine Captain Joe Geston. Joe was finishing up his Friday night’s/early Saturday morning’s ‘end of the week fun time’ at the Marine pilot’s favorite hangout, the Sandpiper, aka The Dirty Bird. During the

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Panoramic views - Aliso Canyon and ocean view

150 People Enjoyed the ‘Get Together’ at the Top of the World Hexagon House

For Sale – Best deal in town – get a’ toe hold’ in Laguna Beach for $1.525m (less than $500 a sqft). Unbelievable views from an unbelievable house.

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House Sold – represented buyer – beautiful Chris Abel designed house on Alta Vista – $2.3m

Great folks, Keith and Jane Irwin, from Northern California, are joining the Laguna tribe

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Do you want me to set up a Property Search for you?

It’s not your typical property search.  I’ll vet the mls listings before I send them to you. I’ll make comments about its positives and negatives taking out much of the guess work. Just send me the area you’re looking, the house features and the price range. I currently perform this concierge service for about 40

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Laguna Market Review as of March 2015

Summary: March’s 42 closed transactions is the best month since April of last year Click here to see homes that sold in March It also was the best March we have had in more than ten years. Just as important, the 67 Pending Sales is the highest number of Pending Sales since September, 2012.  Pending

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Laguna Friends of Architecture – An Intriguing Architecturally Historical Story of a Quaint Prefab House in Laguna Beach

Laguna Friends of Architecture – An Intriguing Architecturally Historical Story of a Quaint Prefab House in Laguna Beach Bring your wine and goodies and join your friends at 1150 Temple Terrace (the one with the different colored garages) for an incredible story of history and architecture. Dave, the owner of the house says: “Six Degrees

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Laguna Market Update as of Febuary 2015

Market update for the first two months of 2015  Some interesting facts to think about:  The number of sales is up more than 15% from a year ago.  Given the lower inventory this is very impressive.  Inventory is still below what it was at same time last year but the number of Pending Sales (sales in

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Another Laguna Character turns the Village upside down

Tucson Daily Citizen: March 1961: “Thinking big: Cowboy actor Pat Hawley, 39, leaves the county recorder’s office at Santa Ana, Calif., yesterday after filing a claim to the entire city of nearby Laguna Beach, Hawley, who last month staked a claim to most of the Laguna Beach ocean frontage because he says “Nobody knows who

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Real Estate Articles

 (click on to read) Home Prices Reach a New Record CoreLogic: O.C. home prices up 3.8% in 2014 Montage LB Sells for $360M Home Renovations To Invest In And Avoid In 2015 5 Tips for Getting Your Home Ready for the Spring Real Estate Market What are all those houses being built in OC? Consumer

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Pocket Listings

  Woods Cove – 200 block in Woods Cove, 1,450 sq. ft., 7,500 sq. ft. flat lot,  Single Family Residence but zoned R2, Corner Lot, 2 Car Garage, House is clean, could be dramatically expanded -$1,995,000 Will come on market next month. Old Top of the World – 3,000 sqft home with huge panoramic views

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New Ocean Front Listing

  Watch the waves break on the sand from this stunning oceanfront home. Situated in an exclusive, gated enclave with just three homes, this 4 bedroom, 4.5 bath masterpiece provides the best of the Laguna Beach lifestyle. Offered at $5.995m http://mrmlsmatrix.com/DE.asp?k=2207051XXKW2&p=DE-249808437-815

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Laguna Market Review as of January 2015

 It’s still a seller’s market for homes less than $2m with less than 3 months on market. Summary: 26 Homes sold in January which vs. 16 last year The median price of homes sold in Laguna Beach last year neared $1.8 million, exceeding the previous peak median price of $1.7 million achieved in 2006. In

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WHY SELF-EMPLOYED BORRWERS GET TURNED DOWN?

First, let’s examine the facts………………… According to a recent survey by Zillow, self-employed borrowers generally have higher incomes than salaried workers but they have more difficulty qualifying for a mortgage. Judging by the number of people that contact me after being denied a loan elsewhere, I don’t dispute this fact. Zillow also reported that salaried

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Music and clientele

Folk[6] and Jazz music[7] emanated from the inside out onto the porch, with singers such as Judy Henske, Steve Gillette (who later wrote songs for the Stone Poneys) and Lee Mallory (later with Sagittarius, Millennium) performing here during the early ’60s. Dave Myers sang folk songs at Café Frankenstein before forming his Del-Fi surf band,

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Cafe’ Frankenstein

 “What I remember about the Frankenstein,” said artist Leonard Kaplan, who died in 2008, “was the taboo that the community of Laguna felt about it.” Kaplan, who lived behind Café Frankenstein during and after the coffeehouse’s existence, was no stranger to controversy. An intensely private man, Kaplan was a dealer in pre-Renaissance art and a

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Right Here in Laguna – Known as a ‘Landmark of Modern Architecture’ and the inspiration for Ann Rand’s Heller house in Fountain House – The Hangover House – An incredible Laguna Story

When you’re driving south on Coast Hwy and you go past the Montage and you dip down into Aliso Creek look up at the very top house on the steep hill on the left side and you can see the Hangover house. Called the ‘Hangover House’ since it hangs 400 ft. over a sheer cliff

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Laguna Ocean Front Pocket Listing

I’ve an Ocean/Bluff front pocket listing in South Laguna that overlooks the beautiful Tablerock beach. This house is 4 bdm, 4.5 bath, 3,853 sqft and an 8,165 sqft lot. If you have a friend looking for something on the water please let them know about this since it’s not in the mls. These are not

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Laguna’s Bluebird Canyon is Home to a 1932 ‘Olympic Village’

      If you like a canyon rural setting with curvy dead end streets and houses that have a unique history to them, the ‘Olympic Village’ section of Bluebird is for you. After the 1932 LA Olympics, the cheaply built two-room cottages that housed the athletes were bought by the Laguna Heights Land Co. and

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Come join the Laguna Friends of Architecture (LFA) sponsored architectural tour of the historical Rockledge House

Come join the Laguna Friends of Architecture (LFA) sponsored architectural tour of the historical Rockledge House   Saturday, July 19th 10:00 to 12:00(come any time you like) – Take a free tour of Laguna famous 12 bedroom, 11 bath Rockledge compound. It been totally redone and is on the market for $30 million.  Go to

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Sean McCracken: Helping to get people together

By SAMANTHA WASHER Photos by Mary Hurlbut If you have any interest in architecture, or you are simply looking for a group to mingle with, realtor Sean McCracken has one for you: Laguna Friends of Architecture.  In two years the group McCracken started has grown to over 1,000 members.  With meetings twice monthly that have

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Pocket Listing: Totally Rebuilt Woods Cove Cottage

Large Ocean Views and Walking Distance to the Village and Beach Will be completed the 3rd week of July     This rebuilt 1938 cottage has it all. Great Woods Cove neighborhood, walk to very popular beaches or swim in your backyard pool, indoor/outdoor living with large balcony, expansive Catalina and north facing ocean views (including

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The Miracle Baby of Laguna Beach

By Amy Wilson The Orange County Register LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. – Sometime after midnight, a baby asleep on Donald Duck sheets was swept out of her house, out of her crib and into the night. That she was found at all is a miracle. That she was alive is whatever is better than a miracle. Nine-month-old

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Lansner: Sky-high premium for O.C. homes

OC Register Published: May 27, 2014 Updated: May 29, 2014 12:00 p.m. While Orange County homes are selling at prices that have yet to exceed their pre-bubble-bursting peaks by most measurements, the relative cost of a local home has never been higher – according to one of my favorite affordability benchmarks. I’ve long tracked the

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Woods Cove – The Story

  Woods Cove – The Story Starting with the twin cities – Arch Beach and Laguna Beach In the late 1800s, the Woods Cove area was originally called Arch Beach and was a separate town from Laguna Beach. It even had its own post office. The reason for the twin city effect was that wagons

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Laguna Friends of Architecture (LFA) bus tour of the Historical Districts of Los Angeles

Laguna Friends of Architecture (LFA) bus tour of the Historical Districts of Los Angeles – Saturday, March 15th     Come and join your fellow friends that have a passion for architecture on a 50 seat bus tour of L.A.’s historic districts and architecture. Art Deco, Victorian, French Revival, Mid Century, you name it, will be

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The Laguna Lady Story

If You Love Laguna’s Historical Past You Can’t Miss This One Horst Noppenberger, the prolific local architect, is going to make a presentation at the site where the 9,000+ year old Laguna Lady was found. Besides telling the story of her discovery he’ll be showing his plans for a mini museum at the site, as

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The Story of Laguna’s Hippos – Bubbles and Herman

  Imagine Driving through Laguna Canyon and you see a huge hippo running down the hillside. No need to check yourself in – the hippo was real. It so happens hippos like Laguna as much as we do. Click here to read the rest of the story about Bubbles and Herman

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New ‘Pocket’ Listing – My clients get the first chance at this beauty

I’ve a single story 3 bedroom, 2 bath 2,000 sqft condo pocket listing with panoramic ocean views. It is actually 2 side by side condos with the wall taken down between them. The condo has been completely remodeled with a large kitchen with 3 sinks, 2 refrigerators, granite countertops and new high end cabinets. There

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Trends of OC Coastal neighborhoods over the last year

Laguna Beach Includes Laguna Beach, North Laguna, South Laguna, Laguna Village Condominium Single Family Residence Monarch Beach Includes Dana Point, Monarch Beach, San Clemente, Coast District (SFR only), Forster Ranch, Rancho San Clemente, SC Central, SC North, SC Southeast (SFR only), SC Southwest, Talega Condominium Single Family Residence Newport Beach Includes Newport Beach, Balboa Peninsula,

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Real Estate Stats for Laguna Beach for July 2013

There were 34 closings the lowest since February and 10 fewer homes than sold last July. Inventory has been slowly rising all year and for the first time in 2013 the number of Active Listings is higher than it was a year ago. The number of Pending Sales is holding firm in the mid-50s.

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Laguna Friends of Architecture’s ‘St. Clair Family’ Meetup was a Blast

Come to our July events and meet some great folks Over 100 people got together at Mary and Herb Rabe’s historical house for pot luck, great wine, stories about the St. Clair family, and tours and lectures on Aubrey St. Clair’s style of architecture. It was a blast and everyone enjoyed meeting people that liked

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A Hilarious Laguna Story – The Saga of Melvin Miller

A Peoria, Ill tractor foreman becomes a U.S. fascination in Laguna Beach ‘OK, who took my car?’ said a more than tipsy Marine Captain Joe Geston. Joe was finishing up his Friday night’s/early Saturday morning’s ‘end of the week fun time’ at the Marine pilot’s favorite hang out, the Sandpiper, aka The Dirty Bird. During

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245 Chiquita in North Laguna

New Income Property Pocket listing in North Laguna for $1.249m

The Lowest priced Income Property on the market today in Laguna. I’ve a new listing at 245 Chiquita in North Laguna. I won’t put in the mls until mid next week as we get the property ready to sell. It’s 2 cute houses on one lot and is neighboring two nice single family residences. They

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An incredible Laguna Beach pocket listing 2013

A from the studs rebuilt 4 bdm/4bth 3,000 sqft ocean view house on Camino Capistrano in Dana Point for $1.7m. Besides ocean views from most of the house it has a great roof patio with a 360 degree view of coastline and mountains. It was bought last year by the seller to live in. They

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Laguna Friends of Architecture’s Horst Noppenberger set to showcases Laguna’s famed architect Fred Briggs

  Horst Noppenberger, one of today’s top architects in Laguna and a former associate of Fred’s, will be holding a retrospective on Fred Briggs who was one of the early, pioneering, modern architects in Southern California. He was best known for completing a large body of contemporary projects that included single family homes, libraries and

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One of Laguna’s best kept secrets, Architect Fred Briggs

The more I do these Laguna human interest stories the more I’m interested in people and families that have shaped our blessed town by designing the most iconic buildings and landscapes that Laguna is known for. Fred Briggs is one of those people and is probably one to the best keep secrets in town. From

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Laguna Beach Water and Baseball

What did a pro baseball player and a Duck Hunting Club have to do with Laguna getting its water?

Laguna Beach gets all its water from somewhere else.  Scary when you think about it. But how we got the water from other places during Laguna’s start up years is quite a colorful story with colorful people. One such character is Gavy Cravath, who was such a good baseball player that it took Babe Ruth

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Midcentury Architecture in Palm Springs – A Retrospect by Historian Alan Hess

Laguna Friends of Architecture will be hosting an introduction on “Midcentury Architecture in Palm Springs” by the well known architectural historian Alan Hess, plus the screening of “Desert Utopia” a documentary film from Design OnScreen. This film features rarely seen interviews with notable architects and many examples of Post-WWII modernism in Palm Springs, displaying design

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Laguna Friends of Architecture has some new digs this month at LCAD (Laguna College of Art a Design)

Join us for a glass of wine, meet other people with the passion for architecture, and hear about famed architect John Lautner and his Sheats Goldstein house in L.A. Laguna Beach architect David Parker will give a slide presentation on a masterpiece of acclaimed architect John Lautner, the Sheats Goldstein house in Los Angeles. Parker

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UPDATE ON: The Oldest American Ever comes from Laguna Beach

The story of the discovery of the oldest human remains in the Western Hemisphere, discovered by Howard Wilson in Laguna Beach California This is one of my favorite Laguna stories and is the one that people I tell it too had not idea that Laguna Beach has one of the most important human remains in

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Laguna Friends of Architecture – Technologies for Home Automation

Technologies for Home Automation Please join us for a glass a wine and hear about the exciting new technologies for automating your home. Imagine coming home to a house that knows you’ve arrived…with a touch of your garage door opener or smart phone, your home comes alive preparing for your entry. The heating system adjusts

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Ocean View South Laguna Beach Cottage 31912 9th Ave Laguna Beach California 92651

Ocean View South Laguna Beach Cottage 31912 9th Ave Laguna Beach California 92651

Ocean View South Laguna Beach Cottage for Sale 31912 9th Ave Laguna Beach California 92651 Charming Laguna Beach Cottage with ocean view from kitchen, nook, and front porch. Across from 1000 steps beach in a quiet neighborhood. All original kitchen, small office or dining area that leads out to private yard. Hardwood floors throughout. Two

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A Potpourri of Local Laguna Beach Information

October Market Update and My Perspective on the lack of houses for sale: There are only 177 homes for sale in Laguna which is the lowest since 2004. There are only 39 homes for sale priced below $1.5m. Yet there were 41 sales in Oct. (30 below $2m Client Short Page, 11 above $2m Client

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Newly Remodeled House About to Come on The Laguna Real Estate Market

You’re seeing it first – A newly remodeled house about to come on the Laguna Market next week Located on Coast View in Laguna this 1600 sqft cottage has one of the best Northerly coastal/village views in Laguna.  See the pictures of the ‘work in process’.  It should be on the market next week after

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Auction – Villa Rockledge Laguna Beach Oceanfront Estate – Dec. 15th at Noon

Villa Rockledge Laguna Beach AUCTION – December 15th at 12pm. Opening Bid of just $10,500,000 (Originally listed at $34,900,000!) Please note: This property actually has a total of 12 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms! Villa Rockledge, originally known as Mariona, was built by Frank Miller, the famed developer of the Mission Inn in Riverside, CA. Begun

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2696 Solana Way Laguna Beach California 9265104

2696 Solana Way Laguna Beach, CA 92651

2696 Solana Way Laguna Beach It is a pocket listing and will be shown once from 11:30 to 12:30 tomorrow. The home is listed at $1,579,000. The beach /cottage style home is in excellent condition and located in Woods Cove, has panoramic ocean views, 3 bedrooms/2 baths, large view deck, fireplace, private fenced yard with

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Ocean View Victoria Beach Trust Sale 2629 Victoria Dr Laguna Beach CA 92651

A ‘Less Than a Million’ Pocket and a Video of a $2m Ocean-Side Fixer

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A Victoria Beach fixer with stunning white water and north facing coastal views This trust sale just fell out of escrow and is back on the market for $2m which is a $500k reduction.  It supposedly fell out since the city would not allow a pool. Client Short Page + Pictures A South Laguna Pocket

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Special Presentation

The Abels – A Father and Son Who Shaped The Architectural Style of Laguna Beach

A Laguna Friends of Architecture Special Meetup The Abels – A Father and Son who helped shape the architectural style of our fair city both past and present Come join us for a presentation by Gregg Abel on his and his famed father, Chris Abel’s, work in designing and building homes and commercial centers in

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Woods Cove Laguna Beach

The History of WOODS COVE IN LAGUNA BEACH

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Woods Cove has a very rich and eclectic past. Starting with the twin cities – Arch Beach and Laguna Beach In the late 1800s, the Woods Cove area was originally called Arch Beach and was a separate town from Laguna Beach. It even had its own post office. The reason for the twin city effect

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Laguna Friends of Real Estate – A Jumbo Loan Workshop

Laguna Friends of Real Estate – A Jumbo Loan Workshop

Jumbo Loan Workshop The current real estate purchasing ‘frenzy’ has moved up from the lower priced homes of less than $1m to the higher price ranges of $1m to $3m. If you don’t have the cash there is a good chance you’re going to need a jumbo loan of $800k or more, which is more

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Woodland Road today – former Dodge City in Laguna Beach

The Brothers of Eternal Love – In late 60’s they were the world’s center of LSD, Hashish, Leary, and Art

During the late 60’s and early 70’s there were so many police raids on Woodland Drive, in the Laguna Canyon, that it got the nickname ‘Dodge City’. What were the police after? The biggest LSD, hashish and marijuana distributors in the US. The Brothers of Eternal Love. One of these ‘raids’ resulted in the arrest

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Foreclosure Auction on the Orange County Court House Steps

Video of a Courthouse Steps Foreclosure Auction

Everyone is intrigued with buying foreclosed properties and getting that ‘great deal’. You’d think that the public auctions at the court house steps would offer the best opportunity for that awesome deal since it’s at the beginning of the ‘food chain’. Unfortunately, like the rest of the market, deals are becoming increasingly scarce for investors.

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32081 Coast Hwy Laguna Beach 2

A Beautiful Oceanfront FORECLOSED Property for Less Than $3m

This 16,000 sqft lot has a small house that can be either fixed up or replaced with a 4,000+ sqft. new house. I met Mark Singer there, who has been the architect on many oceanfront houses, and he gave me the run down on what you can do with this property. Call me if you’d

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Remodeled Ocean View Condo for Sale

1594 Via Capri 5 Laguna Beach California 92651 Remodeled Ocean View Condo for Sale

1594 Via Capri 5 Laguna Beach California 92651 Remodeled Ocean View Condo for Sale Ocean view, completely remodeled upper level condo, located in North Laguna on the ocean side of PCH. Light, bright and open corner unit, with plenty of parking and access to Crescent Bay Beach.

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Lamont Langworthy designed homes for sale

Lamont Langworthy Designed Homes For Sale – 607 Allview Pl, Laguna Beach

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Find Lamont Langworthy designed homes for sale in Laguna Beach, California.  Learn about Lamont Langworthy and search Lamont Langworthy Laguna Beach Homes for Sale. There is a landmark home that has been built at 607 Allview Place by a local couple deeply rooted in Laguna s custom home-building and arts traditions. Renowned architectural innovator, Lamont

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Contemporary Custom Ocean View Home

1279 Bluebird Canyon Drive Laguna Beach Contemporary Ocean View Home

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1279 Bluebird Canyon Drive Laguna Beach California 92651 New construction! Come home to one of Orange County’s most serene canyon areas. Be the first to own this 3 bedroom, 4 bath contemporary custom ocean view home. Over 2700 of living including state of the art kitchen, with center island and eating bar, rich hardwood flooring

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Pancho Barnes – One of Laguna’s Most Fascinating Character’s

Did you know there used to be an airfield where Laguna’s Emerald Bay bluff is today? That is until someone came up short and landed in Crescent Bay. And why was this landing strip built? To bring Hollywood folks in for ‘Pancho’ Barnes famous 3 day binge parties at her Smithcliff’s home. It was her

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Happy 4th of July 2012 (1)

Happy 4th of July 2012

Happy 4th of July!

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2049 Ocean Way Laguna Beach CA 92651 2

Press Articles on Orange County Real Estate

Surterre’s Weekly Financial and Market Update Week Ending 6/25/2012 “Glass Half Full” Perspective ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER REAL ESTATE SECTION 6/24/2012 Jonathan Lansner “HOMES SELLING AT PACE LAST SEEN IN FEBRUARY 2009” California’s housing rebound is picking up steam. Homes in May moved statewide at the fastest pace – and had the biggest year-over-year gain –

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31561 Table Rock Dr 418 Laguna Beach

Buyers – 1 way to speed up the loan approval process, 2 foreclosure videos, and a big ocean view single story TLC property

First, a big thanks to all of you forwarding the newsletters to your friends. It’s greatly appreciated Buyers – Loan Approvals: Know the Difference between Each Type Sellers are holding buyers to difficult 17 day loan approvals With the recent surge in home buying, I am discovering that many home buyers and Realtors are not

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31644 2nd Ave Laguna Beach

Videos of 2 New Laguna Foreclosures and 1 Well Priced South Laguna Property

A QUICK MARKET SUMMARY The Laguna market is still on fire with 37 homes already going into escrow  this month alone and its only the 19th of June.   And the inventory is still low at 232 properties. Lots of multiple offers.  Why? Prices are still at 2003 levels, 30% off the high of 2007 and

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No May Gray in Laguna’s sales figures plus Beach Close Properties for around $1m

Lots of Closed Sales and Low Inventory continue into Mid 2012 May Highlights: 40 closed sales in May, the highest monthly total since May 2005 Client Short Page 242 homes for sale is the lowest June 1st number since 2005 72 properties are in escrow which again is very high. 18 sales were $1 million

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April 2012 Laguna Sales Summary

Closed sales transactions remain High (31 properties) Property inventory remains relatively low (240 properties) Properties going into escrow remain high (78 properties) Properties below $1m are 50% of all sales transactions Properties between $1m and $2m are 35% of all sales transactions Properties over $2m are 15% of all sales transactions

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March’s Sizzling Stats for Laguna Beach

March’s Sizzling Stats for Laguna Beach Pretty impressive highlights: 86 Pending (in escrow) Sales, the highest EVER 241 Active Listings, the lowest number in more than four years and only a 3% increase since the first of the year (the average increase from January to April is more than 15%) 88 closed sales in the

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32013 Point Place, Laguna Beach CA

Modern/Contemporary Home Week in Laguna Beach

It’s Modern/Contemporary Home Week in Laguna Beach When people think of Laguna, most of the time they think of cottages, bungalows and craftsman style houses. Well, Laguna is also the home to many contemporary style homes, which gives Laguna a unique combination of traditional and leading edge architecture. Ever since the great fire in 1993,

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Mortgage Interest Rates March 15 2012

Should You Pay Points When Getting a Mortgage?

From my Rick Cirelli, President RTC Mortgage With interest rates at or near record lows and so many people buying or refinancing, the question always arises: “Is it worth it to pay points in return for a lower interest rate or to accept a lender credit to apply toward closing costs”? The answer isn’t the

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Review of 2 home purchases I put together this last month

31726 4th St, South Laguna Foreclosure – move in ready, with indoor/outdoor living, ocean views, on a swall and super private $595k ($524 sqft) – anything starting with a 5 is very good. Closed in 20 days Client Short Page   272 Beverly, North Laguna Income property Duplex with big ocean views $941k – very

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3 Interesting Developments in February

The less than a million market is ‘on fire’ 1. Multiple offers on homes less than $1m – I put offers this month on 4 places that had multiple offers. One foreclosure had 12 offers.  This requires a different mindset when going through the buying process. Let’s discuss. 2. There were 30 sales in February,

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Big Ocean View Dana Point/Laguna Niguel home for $630k

This single family house not only has gorgeous ocean views but its also single level. 3 bdm, 2 bth, 1650 sqft. – needs updating Indoor/outdoor living. Single loaded streets. Reasonable HOA dues for a well maintained, quiet and sought after Monarch Summit 10 minutes to Laguna and Dana Point – I drove from the house

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New ‘Almost on the Sand’ Victoria Beach Listing for $1.699m

I almost like having a beach house perched on a cliff above the beach versus being on the beach. Better panoramic views, not as much sand in the house and you still have great beach access. While I haven’t been in this house (no showings till this weekend hence no videos) I’ve been in houses

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The Laguna Village, Laguna Beach, California

The Laguna Village is made up of 3 areas – the area close to downtown Laguna downtown the Coastal Beachfront area the Oak Village area.  Oak Village is the 6 block radius around Oak St including Brooks St.  Its borders are Thalia, Temple Terrace, Calliope and the Coast Hwy. 
The Oak Village – “Aren’t we

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697 Mystic Way Laguna Beach CA 92651

4 Interesting Facts About This Year’s Laguna Market

But first check out my new listing in Arch Beach Heights – Everything my buyers want – open floor plan, indoor-outdoor living, big views, lots of amenities. Not much on privacy but Laguna is the land of compromise. Something’s got to give. Let me know if you’re interested. 4 interesting facts about the market in

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Are Underwriting Guidelines Too Strict? Or are Loan Originators Too Dumb?

It’s been estimated that an average one-third of all home sales fall out. Mortgages being declined or unreasonable conditions of approval are where most real estate agents and borrowers place the blame. Is that blame fairly placed or are the Loan Originators to blame for not knowing the guidelines of the loans for which they

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Free Dana Point Electronic Waste Recycling Drop off old TVs, Computers, Printers, Batteries, Shred Paper Files..

The eWaste drop-off (and paper shredding) Surterre Properties conducted last month was so popular I thought you all would like to hear about this weekend’s drop-off in Dana Point (a 15 minute drive). Our average car count over the last couple of years has been around 250 through each event.   At last month’s pickup we

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New Wood Cove Listing for Less Than a Million

410 Ruby Street Laguna Beach, CA 92651 it is available to see this weekend. Email me if your interested: sean@welcometothedream.com You will find the best of both worlds in this white water ocean view cottage, located in the highly desirable area of Woods Cove. This charming cottage offers sparkling ocean views with the convenience of

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A Snap Shot and Videos of Properties for Sale Under a Million in Laguna Beach

Before going into the detail of the properties under $1m, I’d like to put it in context of where the Laguna market ended up in 2011. Year End Highlights: 32 sales in the month of December, the highest month for all of 2011; 90 sales in the 4th quarter, best quarter of 2011; only 228

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Mortgage Rates Hit All Time Lows (Again)!

It’s all about rates this week as they have retreated back to their all-time low point that was also touched in September. Another strong Treasury auction and lack of any real solution to the European debt crisis helped, among other things. While mortgage rates are not based on US Treasuries, the Mortgage-Backed-Securities (MBS) that do

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What did the Laguna Foreclosed Beachfront go for?

Foreclosed Beach Front Property Boy, things surely got steamed up last week with the Laguna foreclosed beach front property offer for $2 million. The video was seen by over 150 people and I got lots of calls of interest. While the listing agent won’t give me the exact amount since it’s in escrow, he did

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Sign of the Times – Laguna Beach Oceanfront Foreclosure for Less than $2 Million

Many buyers have been waiting for this. A relatively affordable ‘on the beach’ oceanfront home for less than $2 million. Client Brief Report + Photos It’s got some serious neighbors Offers must be in by Dec. 11 and the seller will let you know the highest offer and everyone can make a ‘best and final’

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5 Ways to Course-Correct When Your House Hunt Takes Too Long

Some people have home-finding stories that are the real estate equivalent of the skywritten marriage proposal tales. They drove by their dream home, knocked on the front door and the elderly owner offered it to them for a song. However, most recent home buyers have tales on the other end of the charming-and-easy spectrum; tales

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Conforming Vs. Jumbo Loans as Sales Shift to Higher Priced Homes

Laguna Sales Activity remains strong and shifting to higher priced homes. Homes selling for over $1m typically require jumbo loans (or cash) versus the conforming loans. What is the difference? First the Shift of Sales to Higher Priced Homes October sales remain at a strong pace with 23 homes closing so far and 29 going

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Laguna’s ‘Coffee Nazi’, a $400k Village Condo, and record low rates

Interesting People in Laguna Beach – A Continuing Series If you’re at all familiar with Laguna you know it’s full of characters. Well one of the more well known infamous characters is Jean Paul aka ‘The Coffee Nazi’ the owner of Jean Paul Goodies located by Pavilions in North Laguna. For coffee aficionados, Jean Paul

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Mortgage Rate Update: Another All-Time Low!

Mortgage Rate Update Yesterday 30 year mortgages had one of its best days in over a year. The Fed at one of their pre-scheduled FOMC meetings did what markets were expecting, plus more. The view prior to the FOMC policy statement at 2:22 yesterday was that the Fed would institute “Operation Twist” as it has been

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‪Orange County Real Estate‬ Mortgage‪ Pre-qualification ‬vs‪ Pre-approval with RTC Mortgage‬

A “Pre-Approved Buyer” Has the Advantage! The Pre-Approval process is one of the most important but often neglected parts of the home buying process. A pre-approval should always be obtained before a buyer even begins to shop for a home, no matter how well-qualified he or she thinks they are. Today’s mortgage qualification guidelines are

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Mortgage Update: How Rate-Locks Work

HOW RATE-LOCKS WORK The volatility and improvement in the financial markets this week makes me want to talk about Rate Locks today. The Basics: First of all, understand that mortgage rates change every day and throughout the day. Lenders allow us to lock in our borrowers interest rates in order to protect them from potential

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Laguna Beach Real Estate from the Rooftop Lounge on The Hotel La Casa del Camino

The Roof Top bar and restaurant is the only place in Laguna that you can get a 360 degree view of Laguna Beach Real Estate along the coastline and hillsides. While I recommend you to visit the Roof Top, and see the view, as well as, the great bartenders and beautiful cliental, I’ll show you

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A 360 Degree View of Laguna Beach from the Rooftop Lounge on The Hotel La Casa del Camino

You’ve never seen Laguna Beach like this before. Check out this 3 minute video from The Rooftop Bar, which is on top of the Casa del Camino Hotel in Laguna Village.  You’ll get a 360 degree view of Laguna showing where the different communities. This was done with a local videographer Cory Sparkuhl, who did

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North Laguna Beach (Part II)

North Laguna Beach Communities Continued Last week’s newsletter covered the Tree Streets in North Laguna, which are at the most southern end of North Laguna. http://idx.diversesolutions.com/link/139354 This newsletter will look at some of the other areas of North Laguna. http://idx.diversesolutions.com/link/345 Folks like North Laguna and will pay a premium for living here since, not only

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Shopping for the Best Mortgage Rates

With all the changes since the mortgage crisis began about three years ago, how does a home buyer or homeowner shop for the best interest rates in today’s new world? My answer is that it’s nearly impossible for anyone to shop accurately.  Let me explain. Where Does Mortgage Money Come From? First of all, let’s

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How To Lower Your Laguna Beach Property Tax Bill

It’s common for the tax assessor’s office to continue charging the higher amount until the owner goes through the process of contesting the bill. Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to have your property tax assessment lowered…here’s how: To get your property taxes reduced on the basis of the recent decline in market value: 1. Click below

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Why Housing Isn’t Better – A Lender’s Perspective

I’m frustrated! I was thinking and reading about the real estate and mortgage markets over the long weekend. Ordinarily I would have worked all weekend but I didn’t have enough to do. Interests Rates are back to their near all-time lows yet housing sales are way down too. Why is that? There are a few

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The Power of Old Real Estate Information

If you’re a consistent reader of the OC Realtor newsletter you know I always make the point that you have to have the latest information before you make an opinion of the real estate market.  Just look at the media frenzy over the ‘Double Dip’ in prices based on 3 to 4 month old information.

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Your OC Realtor – Doing His Part For The Laguna Community

While the OC Realtor newsletter is usually chocked full of real estate information, every once in a while I like to show a Laguna community activity. Especially, if it’s a community activity I’m heading up. A few years ago I founded the Transition Laguna Food Group. The idea was to create community around growing, sharing

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Arch Beach Heights, Laguna Beach

For $50, an ocean view lot could have been yours Well not really, you’d have had to buy a year subscription to the LA Times as well. History: That’s right, there was a time that the developer of the area couldn’t sell the lots and gave them away for $50 as a promotion to selling

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ASSET DEPLETION: A New Way of Underwriting a $2m + Home Loan?

Finally, there’s some good news amid the tighter underwriting guidelines that we’ve been given over the past few years. There’s a new method of underwriting among at least two “portfolio” lenders that should open the door for buyers of some higher-priced properties. It’s called “Asset Depletion” or “Asset Utilization” and it can help homebuyers that

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Valuation: Price Per Square Foot is only Part of the Answer

As many of you know who have looked at houses with me, that I’m big on using ‘price per square foot’ as a valuation tool. Many times too much so, since if you’re not used to looking at valuations that way, the barrage of numbers can be overwhelming at times. But it gives me a

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Temple Hills, Laguna Beach Real Estate For Sale

Temple Hills, Laguna Beach Temple Hills Real Estate is the first ‘hill side’ development in Laguna Beach. It is located in the hills just south of Main Beach.  If you go inland on Thalia St. from the Coast Hwy, it dead ends into Temple Hills Rd. which winds up the hill side to the Top of the World

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North Laguna’s Tree Streets

One of the most coveted neighborhood’s in Laguna Why are they called the Tree Streets? The popular tree street section of Laguna is in the most southern section of North Laguna. It got its ‘tree street’ nick’ name from the street’s tree names such as Aster, Cypress, Cedar, Myrtle, Locust, Jasmine, Magnolia, Hawthorn and Cypress.

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Laguna Beach Real Estate Sales Activity Highlights

Laguna Beach Real Estate Sales Activity Highlights This Weekend’s Laguna Open Houses: Client Public Open House Report For the first time in a while there are some consistent month to month trends With the exception of one month, the closed sales since April 2010 have been trending an average of 28 sales a month. This

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Laguna Beach Summary of 2010 Real Estate Activity

Laguna Beach Summary of 2010 Real Estate Activity The market ‘closed’ sale activity has been consistent for the last 5 – 6 months, even through the holiday/winter months, and is at 2006 levels. The vast majority of the sales are less than $2m. While the jumbo loans are becoming more available the difficulty qualifying are

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Green Homes: Factors That Matter in Assessing Eco-Friendliness

There has been a surge of demand for green homes of late. More and more people are becoming concerned about the environment. Many homebuyers nowadays consider eco-friendliness as a major determinant in choosing their new homes. Aside from minimizing the residents’ impact on the environment, a green home can also prove to be more cost

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Sellers Services

Sellers Services Laguna Beach home sellers often start with all the wrong ideas about the home selling process. Many would claim it’s not as complicated as buying, but there’s more to selling Laguna Beach real estate than just marketing and open houses. With more and more homes going on the market, the competition is stiff-and

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Laguna Beach MLS Property Listings & Search

Someone new to Laguna Beach real estate can easily get overwhelmed by the range of properties on the market. The economy has seen a steady rise in Laguna Beach homes for sale, and buyers now have more options than ever. But how do you sort through these properties and find the right one? It all

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Woods Cove in Laguna Beach

Woods Cove in Laguna Beach This Popular Neighborhood is at the Center of Laguna Besides Woods Cove having spectacular coves and a eclectic rural feel, it is the last enclave south of Laguna Village that has a comfortable and beautiful walk to town. Bordered by: The Pacific Ocean on the west, Lower Bluebird Canyon (by

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733 Pelican Laguna Beach Real Estate Flash Dance

The reception of 733 Pelican Drive, Laguna Beach has been awesome. There’s not a person that goes through the house that doesn’t admire what has been done. To help people make their decision easier, the price has been reduced by $100k to $2,395,000. Now it goes from a great deal to an even better deal.

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Remodeling a house is a great time to go green

Reduce your utility bills by 50% and make your house a lot healthier with less toxics Oh yea – don’t miss the Sonatasia this Saturday at 773 Pelican – check more info on the right of this newsletter – we’ve 70 people already coming and its going to be spectacular The following video takes place

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Sonatasia Concert: “If These Walls Could Speak”

Sonatasia is a performance experience in an intimate space, in this case a private home. Musicians, singers, and dancers are at various times performing all around and among the audience. There is no stage…the entire house is the stage. A Sonatasia concert is a thrilling experience you will always remember. Please visit our website at

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733 Pelican Dr, Laguna Beach Sunset Party

Open House Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm Recently and completely remodeled from top to bottom, this Laguna Beach stunner offers an eco-friendly, energy-efficient place to call home along with mesmerizing views of the ocean, which are enjoyed from nearly every one of its rooms. Abundant natural light spills in from more than 200 square feet of

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Side by Side Comparisons of Two Remodeled Cottages

This week we are continuing are series of looking at different architecture in Laguna. David Parker, a well known architect in town, and I  look at two side by side cottages that have been remodeled. One is a cottage that is kept the original integrity of the house and has been upgraded. The other cottage

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Mortgage Rates Hit Low of 4.36 Percent

Average rates for 30-year fixed mortgages drop to low of 4.36 percent on economy concerns Mortgage rates fell to the lowest level in decades for the ninth time in 10 weeks, as concerns grow that the economy is weakening. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate for a 30-year fixed loan was

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August Update – Lots of activity in August and September starts off strong with 5 sales already (4 over $3m)

It’s Sept 10th and 13 places already went into escrow and 14 sold – High end luxury homes starting to sell more 28 sales – Sales of higher end homes over $2m going up – 9 sales (5 over $3m) 35 homes went into escrow which is strong (let’s see how many turn into sales

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August Laguna real estate sales activity comes back with a vengeance

32 homes already went into escrow this month – and there still 5 days left in the month. For comparison, last month there were only 15 homes that went into escrow. Closed sales in August will probably end up in the 17 to 20 range which is low but these don’t represent what is happening

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Mortgage Rate Update August 2010

The Fed held rates steady at their regularly scheduled meeting this week and basically admitted that the economy is weakening. Unemployment is worse, the stock market declines and money flowed into bonds, including Mortgage-Backed Securities. What’s bad for the economy is good for rates and so mortgage rates remain at record low rates. Conforming rates

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All about Real Estate Property Taxes

Tax Dates to Remember: January 1 – Lien Date – Taxes attach as lien on property. February 1 – Second Installment Due – secured property tax bill April 10 – Last day to pay second installment of secured property tax bill before penalties are added July – Assessor delivers property tax roll to auditor-controller Assessor mails value notices July 2 – First day

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July Laguna Beach Real Estate Sales drop 40% from June

As mentioned last week, Laguna real estate sales volume has been pretty strong in ’10 with 34 sales in June, which almost equals the boom time sales volume of June ’05 with 38 sales. But this month, we’ve dropped to 20 closed home sales and 16 homes going into escrow. A 40% drop from last month.

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1st half of ’10 Surterre Properties dominates Laguna Beach and Newport Sales

In Laguna Beach Surterre sales exceed the combined sales of the #2 and #3 offices combined?  And for the month of June, Surterre sales exceed that of the next four offices combined.

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Speaking of Jumbo’s..

The Exception is Jumbo loans that don’t meet the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac criteria due to loan size. For the past couple of years Jumbo Lenders, if you could find any, had to keep their loans because there were no buyers of Jumbo MBS’s. Now, suddenly, we are seeing a huge return to jumbo lending and

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There is a Chill in the Air – July Real Estate Update

Important information about July Real Estate Sales Laguna real estate sales volume has been pretty strong in ’10 with 34 sales in June, which is almost equaling the boom times sales volume of June ’05 with 38 sales. But here we are 2/3 through July 23rd and we’ve only 14 closed sales and 14 new homes

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Mortgage Rate Update: July 8, 2010

Mortgage rates continue their trend this week. We’ve reached new low points with Jumbo’s leading the way to their lowest rates ever. I call your attention to the Jumbo Fixed Rates to $1.0 Million and $1.5 Million. And, we have other jumbo programs available up to $4M. Mortgage Interest Rates for Fixed and Variable Rate

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The Beginning of the Recovery

Great article from a well respected building consultant, John Burns http://ht.ly/29jUm

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Week Ending 6/14/2010 “Glass Half Full” Perspective

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER BUSINESS SECTION 6/13/2010 Jonathan Lansner “BEACH-CLOSE HOMEBUYING HAS RISEN THIS YEAR” Beach-close homebuying is up 32 percent from a year ago. Laguna Beach sale activity is up 109 percent in a year….selling is better than a year ago, but it comes by serious discounting. LOS ANGELES TIMES BUSINESS SECTION 6/13/2010 Lew Sichelman

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Happy 4th of July!

Abrahan Lincoln: “Democracy is the government of the people, by the people, for the people” Benjamin Franklin: “Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.” John Fitzgerald Kennedy: “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, we shall pay

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Garden Box Built The Weekend Before

Garden Box Built The Weekend Before

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Mortgage Rate Update: June 2010

Mortgage Rate Update: Mortgage Bonds are trading higher (rates lower) after the release of tame consumer inflation data reported today, as well as a weak Initial Jobless Claims report.  Overall, rates are better in the past couple of days and still ridiculously low. Mortgage Interest Rates for Fixed and Variable Rate Mortgages* Rates as of

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The Postive News on OC Coastal Real Estate

Week Ending 6/7/2010 “Glass Half Full” Perspective ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER BUSINESS SECTION 6/6/2010 Jonathan Lansner “OCEAN BREEZES ARE IN DEMAND” Homebuying tracking shows surprising momentum in beach-close areas. The market’s momentum seems to be at the beach with nine of the top 25 performers on the momentum rankings. The increased volume and momentum points to

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OC Real Estate – The Glass is half full prespective

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER BUSINESS SECTION 5/30/2010 Jonathan Lansner “TRENDS…APRIL O.C. HOME PRICES AND SALES COMPARED TO APRIL 2009” Prices 14.8 % Home resale sales rose 39.9 % New homes rose 16.6% Condo resale rose Sales Volume 10.1 % Home resale sales rose 76.1 % New homes rose 29.1% Condo resale rose Sales volume rose from

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A Very Warm (not hot) May – Real Estate Sales Activity in Laguna Beach

Sales are up – 38 Sales – Up 8 over April and almost at 2007 levels. Client Short Page Only 5 were distressed properties (2 short and 3 foreclosed) Client Short Page Most active price range is less than a million – 20 sales. Almost all of them are in the hills. They’ve been on

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Mortgage Rates Dip Following Disappointing Employment Report

Mortgage Rates Dip Following Disappointing Employment Report The journey downward has begun again. After remaining relatively steady last week, mortgage rates this week hit new lows, as indicated by industry reports released Thursday. Freddie Mac says 30-year fixed-rate mortgages are now averaging 4.72 percent. The GSE’s chief economist, Frank Nothaft, explained that bond yields headed

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Orange County Residential Real Estate Numbers Begin to Favor Buyers—Biweekly Report

Rank Prev. Town ZIP Price Pricing rank Sales rank FC rank 1 19 Newport Beach 92660 $1,126,500 7 2 6 2 42 Newport Beach 92663 $962,500 4 7 15 3 17 Irvine 92614 $495,000 19 4 5 4 51 Irvine 92618 $540,000 12 1 22 5 28 Laguna Beach 92651 $1,250,000 11 10 17 6

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North Laguna Beach Real Estate Pristine Cottage for Less then $1 Million

http://welcometothedream.com Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/seanmccracken Connect with me on facebook: http://facebook.com/welcometothedream Contact me at: 949-290-5317 Sean McCracken The Orange County Realtor showing a North Laguna Beach Real Estate Pristine Cottage for Less then $1 Million Sean McCracken The OC Realtor – Eco, Fun & Sun Laguna Beach Realtor

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3 Blocks from Beach, Woods Cove, Laguna Beach Charmer with Great Backyard, $1.1 Million

http://welcometothedream.com Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/seanmccracken Connect with me on facebook: http://facebook.com/welcometothedream Contact me at: 949-290-5317 Sean McCracken The Orange County Realtor showing 3 Blocks from Beach, Woods Cove, Laguna Beach Charmer with Great Backyard, $1.1 Million Sean McCracken The OC Realtor – Eco, Fun & Sun Laguna Beach Realtor

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Top 10 Myths About Buying a Foreclosure

Top 10 Myths About Buying a Foreclosure Trulia.com and RealtyTrac recently surveyed US adults to get some insight into what people *think* is involved with buying a foreclosure. Here are the Top 10 Myths that came up, and the facts to set the record straight: 1. Foreclosures need a huge amount of work. 92 percent

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Where is the Status of OC Real Estate – Glass Half Empty

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER BUSINESS SECTION 5/26/2010 Sara Murray “HOUSING PRICES REMAIN WEAK” Home prices have pulled out of their recession free-fall but remain weak as concerns linger about the strength of the economic recovery. But another report Tuesday showed consumer confidence strengthened in May as the improving labor market buoyed Americans’ hopes for further economic

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Mortgage Rate Update May 2010

Rates have drifted up a little this week after a nice improvement over the previous two weeks. As stocks spiraled lower following concerns about the global economy and the financial issues overseas, investors moved money into U.S. Treasuries and bonds, including Mortgage-Backed Securities as a safe-haven from the stock selling. That led to lower mortgage

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Orange County residential real estate

Orange County Real Estate Demand Surges—Supply Doesn’t Keep Pace—Distressed Properties Creep

Dolores Barr, Editor and Publisher, OC180NEWS.com Published 05/03/2010 – 6:00 a.m. Pacific Time In our last biweekly report on Orange County residential real estate, we reported the first decrease in distressed homes on the market since last fall. As it turns out, that was not the beginning of a trend. As the federal first time

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Appraisals – Green Housing Causes Confusion

The green housing projects are rising fast, but developers would like to see them mushroom faster. While they are moving forward very quickly, appraisals are not keeping in line with this quick growing industry. Envision you are going to build a standard $500,000 home. You decide that you want the house to be more environmentally

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May Flowers in Laguna Beach

April 2010 Laguna Beach Real Estate Activity

Spring has Sprung on Laguna Real Estate With 30 closed sales (back to April 2006 levels). 30 Homes Sold (6 were distressed), up from the 20 homes sold per month average this year 25 Listings Went into Escrow for a total of 75 properties (31 are distressed properties) in escrow. We have not had 75

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Can I just “walk away” from a house on which I cannot pay the mortgage?

Walking away from a home mortgage has consequences You are free to move if you cannot make the payments on the house in which you live. There will likely be consequences, the seriousness of which will vary. If you do not make payments, there will likely be a foreclosure sale of the property. Unless the

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More Jumbo Money!

I am seeing more lenders offering Jumbo loans – above the maximum Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac limit of $729,750. Some lenders will go to $2 Million and some even offer loans to $4 Million and higher. This is great news for the higher priced markets that have been left out of the government’s stimulus packages that

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Laguna Foreclosures Jump 66.7% Over Year

April 28th, 2010, 11:18 am · 6 Comments · posted by KELLI HART, THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER The number of homes lost to foreclosure in Laguna Beach increased 66.7% over last year – the 10th highest increase in the county –  recent MDA DataQuick foreclosure activity statistics show. Though quarter-over-quarter foreclosures dropped slightly by two

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Green Homes – How to Make One

Green homes are gaining popularity these days. In fact, modern and recently built homes are made greener than ever. A lot of people have been realizing its benefits. And it would not be a wonder why they will push for a green home since it can improve the quality of life they have. But wait!

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Laguna Beach Realtor - Sean McCracken

I’d say about 80% of the people I sell homes to in Laguna want to be able to walk to the village

Homes in “walkable” communities are becoming more and more popular, according to an August 2009 study released by CEOs for Cities. Not only are they more popular, homes located in these urban areas are showing a marked increase in value. The study, entitled, “Walk the Walk,” concludes, “More than just a pleasant amenity, the walkability

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How to buy a house – Actually, how to think about buying a house

by Seth You don’t see a lot of ads trying to sell you on spending too much money on a house. It’s more subtle than that. The marketing is all around us, and has been for years. The enormous social pressure and the expectations that come with it lead to misunderstandings and confusion. Here’s my

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Orange County Real Estate Demand Expands—Supply Doesn’t Keep Up

Coming on top of the best national jobs report in ages, the first back to back monthly job growth in Orange County in two years (see related article), and a rising stock market, demand for Orange County residential real estate moved higher. The demand increase is consistent with expected seasonal patterns, but the magnitude of

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Sustainable Home Building – Your Choice For Going Green

Sustainable home building features the conservation of resources to a large degree. In a finite environment using resources efficiently is the hallmark of a new method of building your home. Using recycled products is part of this process. In building a home with a view to conserving energy, your house will be architecturally designed to

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Not so good news articles on Orange County Coastal Real Estate

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER BUSINESS SECTION  4/11/2010 Jonathan Lansner “SOUTH COUNTY STRENGTH ISN’T UNIVERSAL” The “hardest” markets to sell a home are Corona Del Mar, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Newport Coast and Seal Beach. They have a combined market time of 7.5 months and were 17 percent of the Orange County homes for sale and 5

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laguna beach house

Great Dana Point House – Ocean View Home 800k

Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/seanmccracken Connect with me on facebook: http://facebook.com/welcometothedream Contact me at: 949-290-5317 Sean McCracken The Orange County Realtor showing a Great Dana Point House – Ocean View Home 800k Sean McCracken The OC Realtor – Eco, Fun & Sun Laguna Beach Realtor

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Laguna Beach

Super Cool Laguna Beach Real Estate Rockledge – Moss Point Condos for $900k

Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/seanmccracken Connect with me on facebook: http://facebook.com/welcometothedream Contact me at: 949-290-5317 Sean McCracken The Orange County Realtor showing Super Cool Laguna Beach Real Estate Rockledge – Moss Point Condos for $900k Sean McCracken The OC Realtor – Eco, Fun & Sun Laguna Beach Realtor

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Orange County Distressed Property

Orange County Distressed Property Report

As the total inventory has been going up since the beginning of the year, so have the number of distressed homes on the market. They have been increasing at a slower rate then the total inventory, so the percentage of distressed homes in inventory has been declining. The supply of distressed homes which continue to

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Postive articles on Orange County Coastal Real Estate

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER BUSINESS SECTION  4/11/2010 Kelli Hart “BUT THERE ARE STILL BUYERS…” For the 22 business days ending March 15th, 165 homes in deep South County beach towns sold, up 34 percent vs. a year ago; while Laguna Beach, homebuying runs up 62 percent in a year. Purchases in the rest of the county

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New Employment Data Ranks Orange County Second Best in State—Los Angeles is the Worst

Dolores Barr, Editor and Publisher , OC180NEWS.com Published 03/17/2010 – 6:00 a.m. Pacific Time The state of California, Employment Development Department, EDD, has provided www.OC180NEWS.com with a special analysis of employment data for January. In this analysis, Orange County is the second best in the state for jobs. Los Angeles is the worst. Perhaps the

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Demand for Orange County Residential Real Estate Picks Up

Dolores Barr, Editor and Publisher , OC180NEWS.com Published 03/22/2010 – 6:00 a.m. Pacific Time Spring may be awakening in demand for Orange County residential real estate. Supply also increased, but at a slower rate than the expanding demand. At www.OC180NEWS.com, we run the numbers for the two weeks ended March 18, 2010. After a disappointing

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Come Join Transition Laguna Tomorrow, Saturday, Install 2 Vegi Gardens

Please join me and the Transition Laguna Food Group as we install 2 gardens at the Oak Village Community Gardens. Unlike the traditional one plot community garden we educate, install, maintain and share food through a network of home yard gardens. So if you’d like a vegi garden or have a vegi garden at your

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March 2010 – The Best New Laguna Beach Listings

It’s Video Week With Some of the Best New Laguna Beach Listings My track record is pretty good with about 70% of the homes videoed being sold within a month if not sooner. With spring here more quality houses are coming on the market at very attractive prices Check this one out. I didn’t even

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JUMBO LOAN UPDATE: 3/18/10

Yes! JUMBO Financing is available. Judging by the inquires I receive; there is confusion regarding the availability of Jumbo financing. Hopefully I can answer some of your basic questions. Definition: A jumbo loan is one that is larger than the “conforming” loans offered through various lenders by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In Orange &

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What is the value of your house?

I provide a no cost, no obligation expert price opinion. Are you thinking about selling? Refinancing? Looking at options? Major Tip – Don’t use Zillow. The OC Coast has so many unique homes that you have to use an experienced OC coastal realtor to determine your home value. If you want your home valued please

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February 2010 Laguna Beach Real Estate Activity

Still Evidence of a Healthy Market – 25 Listings Went into Escrow and 20 Sold Prices range for sold homes moving up – spread evenly throughout all ranges up to $7m – only 2 sold homes were below $1m Highlights – 20 closed sales in Feb. vs. 15 sales in January and 39 in Dec.

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Ocean View 1.9

New Laguna Listing with Big Ocean Views for $1.9 Million – It’s A Good Value

Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/seanmccracken Connect with me on facebook: http://facebook.com/welcometothedream Contact me at: 949-290-5317 Sean McCracken The Orange County Realtor showing a New Laguna Beach Real Estate Listing with Big Ocean Views for $1.9m – It’s a Good Value Sean McCracken The OC Realtor – Eco, Fun & Sun Laguna Beach Realtor

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Orange County Real Estate Week Ending 3/2/2010 “Glass Half Empty” Perspective

Week Ending 3/2/2010 “Glass Half Empty” Perspective LA TIMES BUSINESS SECTION 2/27/2010 Alejandro Lazo “HOME SALES FALL SECOND MONTH IN ROW” “In January, 7.2 percent fewer previously owned homes sold than in December. January sales were the lowest since June, but 11.5% higher than in January 2009. ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER BUSINESS SECTION 2/25/2010 AP “NEW-HOME

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Green Your House in Laguna Beach, Max Isles Will Do An Energy Audit and Reduce Your Bills

Green Your House in Laguna Beach, Max Isles Will Do An Energy Audit and Reduce Your Bills

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What’s Up With Mortgage Rates?

What’s Up With Rates? All the talk right now in mortgage circles is not “if” the mortgages rates will rise but “when” – and the rise has already begun. While we were enjoying the Holidays, rates crept up by about .250%. Remember, it’s the Fed’s program of buying Mortgage-Backed Securities (MBS’s) that has kept mortgage

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2009 Laguna Beach Real Estate Closed With a Bang

December is The Best Month of 2009 Major Trends – • 39 sales in December – 17 went into escrow – 7 sales already in January • Buyers are moving up the price ladder and the higher end homes are starting to sell • Sellers on the low end are pricing to sell, and do,

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Laguna Beach Realtor Sean McCracken Interviews a Laguna Green Landscaper – Susan Tenison

Laguna Beach Realtor Sean McCracken Interviews a Laguna Green Landscaper – Susan Tenison

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New Port Beach - Sean McCracken - Laguna Beach Realtor

Videos of Laguna Beach Real Estate Best New Deals December 2009

It’s Laguna Beach video newsletter week. And there’s something for everybody. Houses of different shapes, sizes, locations, conditions and prices. 70% of the properties I’ve previously videoed have gone into escrow within 30 days. But first, since the coastal market momentum is so important to follow, I want to comment that Laguna Beach and the

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Laguna Beach November 2009 Real Estate Update

November Sales were good. Minimal seasonal correction. It looks like the sales activity has legs There were 24 closed sales in Nov. 2009 in Laguna Beach. This is good for an end of year holiday month. There were 27 sales in Oct. It is the highest number of sales in November since 2005, at the

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Government is Promoting Short Sales

This provide incentives to the lender to do short sales and to help stream line the process Could make this a very attractive market The following is an article from DS News: Amidst the high-profile news Monday about the administration’s actions to coax servicers into making more mortgage modifications permanent, the Treasury Department also laid

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The Orange County Coastal Real Estate Update – City by City From Newport Beach to San Clemente, 11/20/09

Buy and Sell along the Orange County Coast with each city’s up to date local information: Along the OC Coast,  real estate is more local then ever. Each city is going through its own phases.  Some are affected deeply by distressed properties, and others haven’t figured out how to price their homes yet and are

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Laguna Beach Realtor Sean McCracken Showing a Contemporary House on Skyline, Mystic Hills

http://welcometothedream.com Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/seanmccracken Connect with me on facebook: http://facebook.com/welcometothedream Contact me at: 949-290-5317 Sean McCracken The OC Realtor Showing a Contemporary House on Skyline, Mystic Hills Sean McCracken The OC Realtor – Eco, Fun & Sun Laguna Beach Realtor

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733 Pelican – Best deal between $1.5m and $2m

Check out the video or the web site www.733pelican.com Some people are asking me why is it priced so aggressively. Heck, am I missing something. We want to sell it now, not 6 months from now. I don’t know why people have to go through so much pain for hundreds of days to only decrease

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Watch this video in 2 minutes – Your Property Search Engine

On the right hand side of this newsletter I give you the ability to see a cross section of the properties for sale along the Orange County coastal and south county areas. Foreclosures, less then $700k ….. However, don’t stop there. Search on your own. It’s incredibly easy and powerful. Watch the video. Build and save

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Laguna Beach – Real Estate Activity in October 2009

Sales were good. No seasonal correction. There were 29 closed sales in Oct. 2009 in Laguna Beach. That’s about the same amount as 2005 and 2006 during the same month. All the sales were less then $2m but it appears that more people are buying in the $1.5m to $2m with 6 sales in this

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Laguna Beach Has Momentum

Laguna Beach has Momentum. Yes we do!! No seasonal slump. 28 homes sold in October 74 in escrow – the highest Nov 1st number in 7 years Momentum is the biggest factor in sales activity of any type. Ask Shiller of Case/Shiller fame – the folks that are the bible of real estate tracking. In

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Sean McCracken: New Panoramic Ocean View Listing

My New Panoramic Ocean View Listing Aggressively Priced to Sell – $500 a sq.ft. 3 Bedroom, 3 Bathroom, 3,642 sq.ft. Offered at $1.818m 733 Pelican in Portifina, Laguna Beach Open house this Saturday and Sunday, 1 to 5 pm This home has 180 degree ocean views from Palos Verdes to Catalina to San Clemente Island

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California – Are we passé? Hell no!!

I know everyone is in the dumps and we think very myopically about our future. However, being a realtor and active in the eco/art community I come in touch with lots SoCal people, as well as people moving here from all over the place. And I come away inspired and uplifted. California is awesome. It’s

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Banks Are Forcing Homeowners to Keep Paying After Short Sales

I heard recently from a reader who said the bank she had a mortgage with wanted her to continue to pay off part of the loan even after she sold her house for less than what she owed—a process known as a short sale. Banks have always been able to pursue deficiency judgments against borrowers

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Housing Tax Credit Details….Housing News You Were Waiting For!

The Great Housing Hand-Out Details: 1.) The tax credit would be $8,000 for first-time home buyers and $6,500 for move-up buyers (from December 1, 2009 to April 30, 2010). 2.) Move-up buyers will be eligible, so long as the home they are leaving has been used as their principal residence for 5 years or more.

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Investment opportunities in the Inland Empire

You can buy a like-new property for $125k to $225k in the Inland Empire and rent it our for a significant return. Rents are strong in the Inland Empire since so many people lost their homes but still need a place to live. I’ve been representing West Coast Renovations which buys distressed properties and do

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The foreclosures are coming! The foreclosures are coming! But then again who really knows.

It’s no secret that banks are holding foreclosed properties in their hip pocket rather then taking a loss on their books. Last quarter alone there was a record of new foreclosures. Hey – no jobs – no house. Now its also – have job – house underwater – no house by choice. But the banks

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Sean McCracken The OC Realtor showing the lifestyle in Laguna Beach

Sean McCracken The OC Realtor showing the lifestyle in Laguna Beach

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The Low Rates are Driving the Market

Tips for Getting the Lowest Mortgage Rate If you are in the market for a mortgage, getting the best mortgage rate is essential to your financial security and well-being. You absolutely must do your research before settling on a mortgage, as there may be a lower rate out there. If you do not research the

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Laguna Beach Real Estate Update – Sept. ‘09

Real Estate is Local The Summer Seasonal Sales Bump Continues into September!! 33 closed sales in September…the highest since June of 2007 60 properties in escrow for the 2nd straight month See attachments for month to month breakdown since 2004 One open house this last weekend had 36 parties through the house in three hours

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Green Homes are the Future

Green homes are expected to make up to ten percent of new home construction over the next several years, according to a study done by McGraw-Hill Construction. Homeowners are interested in purchasing green homes because of the benefits they offer — from healthier indoor air to energy savings. What are some of the primary benefits

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Laguna Beach Foreclosures

The Foreclosures are Coming! The Foreclosures are coming!

THE FORECLOSURES ARE COMING!!! THE FORECLOSURES ARE COMING!!! But then again who really knows. Over the past 4 to 6 months I’ve been representing different investors that have been buying distressed properties – foreclosure and short sales. They range from major construction companies doing significant rehab and selling to people who are buying to live

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