Friday, December 29, 2017

January To Do's in Orange County

That is right, 2018 is upon us and we are looking forward to a year full of adventure in Orange County.

Looking at this list of events scheduled throughout Orange County, it is starting off with a bang!

Whistling White House Wonderland   Through Jan. 7
The festive 24-foot wide, 10-foot tall snow-capped mountain of toy trains will feature classic model trains of Christmas past – plus Thomas the Tank Engine – whistling over bridges and chugging through tunnels carefully handcrafted by the Train Collectors Association. The six-track design, with more than 50 feet of rails, features an all-American 1950s Midwestern town, with billowing factories, quaint family homes and expansive farms.
Time/Place: 10am-5pm / Nixon Library, Yorba Linda
Contact: 714-993-5075 /

Muzeo Express: Holiday Model Trains   Through Jan. 7
Come celebrate the holiday season with model trains, miniature scenes and hands on activities. Complete with historical relics showcasing the history of trains in Southern California, Muzeo Express is sure to be a holiday favorite for children and enthusiasts alike.
Time/Place: 10am-5pm, Closed Mon. / 241 S. Anaheim Blvd. Anaheim
Contact: 714-956-8936 /

Winter Fest   Dec. 21-Jan. 7
Outdoor ice rink, 130-foot, six lane Snowflake Summit ice slide, a play park featuring real snow, photos on the world’s largest rocking horse, strolling carolers and personal visits in the cabin of Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Festival of Lights walk-through holiday light show featuring more than two million sparkling lights.
Time/Place: OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa
Contact: 714-855-1187 /

Surf City Splash   Jan. 1
Celebrate the New Year with a dip into the chilly Pacific Ocean. Be sure to wear your bathing suit.  No wetsuits - that’s cheating! Registration, a pancake breakfast, and a craft fair will begin at 8 am next to Zack’s Pier Plaza.  A costume contest will take place at 11:30 am, with prizes for funniest, best celebrity, most sparkly, best animal-themed, and group costume.  The big SPLASH into the ocean will take place at noon.  $20 registration benefits the Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum.
Time/Place: 9am-12pm / Huntington Beach Pier
Contact: 714-698-9837 /

Gary’s Classic Car Show with Buena Park Emblem Club #340 Bake Sale   Jan. 5, 12, 19 & 26
Every Friday. Elks serve dinner inside Lodge for $8.00 and Patio Car Show Menu is Hamburgers $5.00, Hot Dogs $4.00 includes Chips and drink. All proceeds from the Bake Sale go to Emblem Club’s Charities such as Breast Cancer Angels, Boys and Girls Clubs and Second Harvest. The desserts are homemade by Emblem Members and the Club offers over 10 different desserts each Friday, all for $1.00 a slice.
Time/Place: 4-8pm / Elks Lodge – Buena Park: 7212 Melrose Street
Contact: 714-522-2853 /

Bride World Expo   Jan. 6
OC’s Bridal Super Show with up to 150 florists, photographers, DJs, wedding venues, photo booths, invitations, decor ideas, honeymoon packages, fashion shows, gown sale and DIY seminars. Meet local experts and find amazing wedding planning values.
Time/Place: 10am-4pm / OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa
Contact: 800-600-7080 /

Santa Ana Art Walk   Jan. 6
The Santa Ana Artist Village Art Walk is held every first Saturday of the month, rain or shine. The event starts at 7pm and is free for all to attend and enjoy the atmosphere. Come, introduce yourself to a local artist, invite your friends, grab a bite, lots to do in Santa Ana Artist’s Village.
Time/Place: 6-10pm / Second Street
Contact: 714-647-5400 /

Pruning Fruit Trees Class   Jan. 6
Learn the art of pruning in this hands-on, how-to learning experience. This class will cover the basics of pruning, from why we prune to how to successfully begin pruning. Leave with the knowledge you need to begin pruning at home. $5 covers the cost of materials and/or handouts.
Time/Place: 9:30-11:30am / Centennial Farm, Silo Building
Contact: 714-708-1619 /

Meeting with Newport Beach Fire Chief, Chip Duncan   Jan. 11
Join the Corona del Mar Chamber of Commerce, along with community friends and neighbors for a very informative monthly discussion group on hot topic in the community pertinent to both business and residential interests.  “Good Morning CdM” is favored by many and is a great way to gain valuable information from our featured speakers and meet your local legislative and city representatives. Coffee and pastry served. Open to the community, bring a friend or colleague.
Time/Place: 7:30-9am / Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club, Corona del Mar
Contact: 949-673-4050 /

Annual Winter Pet & Vet Clinic   Jan. 13
Low-cost vaccinations and veterinarian services available as well as licensing and micro-chipping.
Time/Place: 9-11am / Aliso Viejo Center: 31 Santa Barbara
Contact: 949-425-2550 /

Cypress State of the City Luncheon   Jan. 17
Time/Place: 11am-1pm / Cypress Community Center: 5700 Orange Avenue
Contact: 714-229-6700 /

Beach Cleanup in Seal Beach   Jan. 20
Save Our Beach will be conducting a monthly beach clean-ups on the 3rd Saturday of each month. Rain or Shine.
Time/Place: 9am-12pm / beach parking lot at the end of 1st Street
Contact: 562-799-3339 /

Santa Ana Zoo Free Day   Jan. 21
On Resident Free Day, the third Sunday of each month, residents of Santa Ana may visit our Zoo for free. Proof of residency (driver’s license, utility bill) will be required upon arrival. Not valid to schools or business addresses.
Time/Place: 10am-4pm / Santa Ana Zoo: 1801 E. Chestnut Avenue
Contact: 714-836-4000 /

Tustin Restaurant Week   Jan. 22-28
7 days of great deals and the best restaurants of Tustin. Purchase a bracelet and go to a participating restaurant and get a great deal! $5.00 for one bracelet. After the week is over, turn in your receipts to be entered in the raffle. Two will be awarded at random. The prizes are 2 tickets to Sip Swirl & Stroll or 2 tickets to Totally Tustin.
Contact: 714-544-5341 /

Dana Point Chamber Annual Meeting & Installation   Jan. 25
Join the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce as we honor our outgoing chair, Kim Tilly, and welcome our incoming chair, Jay Styles. We will also be inducting our 2018 Board of Directors and presenting the awards for the 2017 Ambassador of the Year, Business of the Year and Citizen of the Year.
Time/Place: 6-9pm / Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point
Contact: 949-496-1555 /

Excellence in Placentia   Jan. 25
In addition to the Citizen of the Year Awards, we will be honoring businesses for outstanding contributions to the economic health and quality of life in Placentia.
Time/Place: 6-8pm / Alta Vista Country Club
Contact: 714-528-1873 /

Best of HB Awards Dinner   Jan. 25
The Best of HB Awards honors those in the Huntington Beach business community for their great work, talents, and effort in improving the business community as a whole.
Time/Place: 6-9pm / The Venue By 3 Petals: 18582 Beach Blvd #7, Huntington Beach
Contact: 714-500-6104 /

Seal Beach Chamber Appreciation Party   Jan. 26
Dinner, drinks and fun!
Time/Place: 6pm / Marina Center: 151 Marina Drive
Contact: 562-799-0179 /

Fullerton Snow Day   Jan. 27
Bring the kids out for a day of fun, playing and sledding in the snow at the Brea Dam. Three 75’ sled runs keeps the lines moving for the adventure seekers. Enjoy a toddler play area and sled run for those 5 and under or take a break and warm up with hot chocolate. Pre-registration is required. This event will sell out.
Time/Place: 11am-2pm / Brea Dam Park: 1600 N. Harbor Blvd.
Contact: 714-738-6545 /

A Night Among the Stars   Jan. 27
Just like last year, this will be a formal affair, red carpet event that will be held at The Youth Center. Expect to enjoy a variety of delicious savory appetizers, desserts, and drinks. The number of volunteers we are recognizing this year is 15. Three of them will be selected to receive $500 scholarships: one volunteer under the age or 12 and two ages 12-18. If approved, an additional Rotary sponsorship will be given out during that night.
Time/Place: 5-7pm / 10909 Oak Street, Los Alamitos
Contact: 562-493-4043 /

Garden Grove State of the City Luncheon   Jan. 31
The State of the City is the premier City sponsored event, showcasing the accomplishments and the vision for the City of Garden Grove. Mayor Steve Jones will provide an overview of the key challenges and opportunities facing our community in the coming year.
Time/Place: 11am-1:30pm / Embassy Suites Anaheim South, Garden Grove
Contact: 714-638-7950 /

Don't forget is a new home is on your goal list for 2018, we are here to help.  Planning makes perfect, so let's grab a cup of coffee, review your needs along with the current market and put a plan in place to meet your goals!   Don't hesitate to contact us directly with any questions. You can also download our FREE Home Buyer and Seller eGuides.  They are filled with helpful information!

Friday, December 22, 2017

Just Sold - 88 Via Contendo, Rancho Santa Margarita

Congratulations to our Home Seller's on the successful sale of their home.  The market in this price point is hot in South Orange County.  We received multiple offers and closed in 15 days, so the home buyers could enjoy the holiday in their new home!

sold 88 via contendo, rancho santa margarita by realtor chuck harper

Located in Tijeras Creek Villas in Rancho Santa Margarita this is a 908 sf, 2 bedroom/2 bath condo, with upgraded laminate wood flooring, new granite kitchen counter top (installed on 11/29/17), upgraded bathrooms, 2 patios (one off the master bedroom and one adjacent to entrance) and is an interior facing unit; Condo comes with one car attached garage and one public parking place. No Mello Roos. Low HOA fees includes: pool, spa and playground, plus access to Rancho Santa Margarita Lake. Rancho Santa Margarita is often ranked in the Top 5 places and safest cities in the US.  

What's Your Home Value?

If you are thinking of selling your home in 2017,  let's grab a cup of coffee, review the current market in your area and what your long term goals are.  Make sure to download our FREE Home Sellers Guide for tips on how to get your home ready and the overall market!  It is filled with helpful tips!

OC Winter Real Estate Recap! How will 2017 finish up?

Year in and year out December is notoriously the slowest month of the year in terms of demand and new sellers placing their homes on the market; yet housing is still hot.

Nobody can escape it. The holidays are here. Office gatherings, friend gatherings, and family gatherings fill everybody’s calendars. The mall parking lots are full, mailboxes are filled with season’s greetings, and the temperature is finally beginning to drop. Seemingly, one and all are dialed into the season; so, how can housing still be red hot?

Even though Orange County housing is leaning heavily in the seller’s favor, the Holiday Market has arrived and December is notoriously the slowest month of the year in terms of new pending sale activity. There are fewer and fewer homes on the market every single day. The active inventory has dropped 31% since September. As a result, demand has dropped considerably as well, 34%. This is the time of year where both the active inventory and demand (recent pending sales) hits yearly lows.

Yet, there are stories today of homes hitting the market and generating multiple offers within days. Ultimately, a bidding war ensues. It may be the holiday season, but homes that hit the market below $1 million will fly off the market as long as they are priced right and in excellent condition. 

For a complete report from Steven Thomas and Reports on  Housing, click here. Below is a summary by price point to give you some insight on those specifics.

· The active listing inventory decreased by 300 homes in the past couple of weeks and now totals 4,023. Expect the inventory to drop considerably for the last couple of weeks of the year. Last year, there were 4,789 homes on the market, 766 more than today. 

· There are 30% fewer homes on the market below $500,000 today compared to last year at this time and demand is down by 25%. Fewer and fewer homes and condominiums are now priced below $500,000. This price range is slowly disappearing. 

· Demand, the number of pending sales over the prior month, plunged by 218 in the past couple of weeks, down 10%, and now totals 1,864. The average pending price is $853,152. 

Search Orange County Available Homes

· The average list price for all of Orange County remained at $1.8 million. This number is high due to the mix of homes in the luxury ranges that sit on the market and do not move as quickly as the lower end. 

· For homes priced below $750,000, the market is HOT with an expected market time of just 39 days. This range represents 38% of the active inventory and 63% of demand. 

· For homes priced between $750,000 and $1 million, the expected market time is 58 days, a hot seller’s market (less than 60 days). This range represents 17% of the active inventory and 19% of demand. 

· For homes priced between $1 million to $1.25 million, the expected market time is 80 days, a slight seller’s market. 

· For luxury homes priced between $1.25 million and $1.5 million, the expected market time decreased from 129 days to 118. For homes priced between $1.5 million and $2 million, the expected market time increased from 169 to 207 days. For luxury homes priced between $2 million and $4 million, the expected market time decreased from 246 to 227 days. For luxury homes priced above $4 million, the expected market time increased from 437 to 521 days. 

· The luxury end, all homes above $1.25 million, accounts for 37% of the inventory and only 12% of demand. 

· The expected market time for all homes in Orange County increased from 62 days to 65, a tepid seller’s market (60 to 90 days). From here, we can expect the market time to rise slightly through the end of the year. 

· Distressed homes, both short sales and foreclosures combined, make up only 1.5% of all listings and 1.7% of demand. There are only 20 foreclosures and 40 short sales available to purchase today in all of Orange County, that’s 60 total distressed homes on the active market, dropping by 4 in the past two weeks. Last year there were 126 total distressed sales, 110% more than today. 

· There were 2,421 closed residential resales in November, down by 2% from November 2016’s 2,468 closed sales. November marked a 5% drop from October 2017, normal for the Autumn Market. The sales to list price ratio was 97.4% for all of Orange County. Foreclosures accounted for just 0.7% of all closed sales and short sales accounted for 0.8%. That means that 98.5% of all sales were good ol’ fashioned sellers with equity.

As you can see the Orange County real estate market continues to be very strong and we anticipate this carrying through in 2018.  However, finding the right home that meets your needs will continue to be a challenge with the low inventory, that is why it is crucial to be working with any agent that understands your goals, can react quickly, negotiate a strong offer to ensure your goals are met.  

Download your FREE Homebuyer's Guide!

We are a bit unique, we start with an in-depth buyer's consultation, where we review your goals, discuss market numbers, review lending details and finally develop a plan to find the home you are looking for.  If you need to sell before buying, we review the market in your area along with your purchasing goals and then target our marketing to bring you a buyer that provides  a smooth transaction to sell and buy at the same time.  Planning makes perfect, let's grab a cup of coffee and review your real estate goals! 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Orange County Holiday Events for December

Sugar Plum Festival   Nov. 29-Dec. 3
Home decorations, garden and yard d├ęcor, jewelry, ornaments, antiques and collectibles all themed to the Christmas season.
Buena Park Downtown Mall, Lower Level
714-828-7722 /

Laguna Beach Hospitality Night   Dec. 1
Downtown merchants, non-profit organizations and the Chamber provide a myriad of activities around downtown along with live musical entertainment, ice skating, strolling Victorian carolers, hot chocolate, tamale sales and more!
5-9pm / Downtown Laguna Beach
949-494-1018 /

Seal Beach Holiday Parade    Dec. 1
This ‘continuous motion’ parade highlights youth groups, sports groups, schools, businesses, first responders and other organizations from Seal Beach and the surrounding areas.
7-8:45pm / Main Street from Ocean Ave to PCH

Newport Beach Holiday Lights Cruises   Dec. 1-31
Newport Beach begins its holiday decorations after Thanksgiving and by the first of December Newport Bay is richly illuminated with millions of lights and hundreds of themed estates.
5:30pm, 7pm & 8:30pm / Newport Landing Whale Watching
949-675-0551 /

SJC Tree Lighting Ceremony & Festivities   Dec. 2
Pre-show entertainment, a live stage show and official lighting of the Christmas tree.
4:15-5:45pm / Historic Town Center Park
949-493-5911 /

Santa’s Village by the Sea   Dec. 2
Annual tree lighting ceremony to usher in the spirit of the season with Christmas at the Casa, Snow at the Community Center, and the Del Mar Glitz. Take a picture with Santa, carolers, cookie decorating, and activities for the whole family to enjoy!
5-8pm / See website for schedule.

Christmas at the Mission   Dec. 2
Real snow sledding and play area, Dickens Carolers, Children’s and School Choirs, “Merry-achi” Music, Chamber Orchestra, Nativity Scene, Cookie decorating, Tamales, chili, sweets, spiced cider and hot cocoa, Handcrafted gifts and more.
5:30-8pm / Mission San Juan Capistrano

Dana Point Winter Festival & Tree Lighting   Dec. 2
Santa visits, carnival games, craft fair, Dana Point Police Services Kid Print ID, face painting, cookie decorating, holiday crafts, Lego Santa’s Village Workshop, the Mini Express Train, petting zoo, pony rides and the Annual Tree Lighting!
12-5pm / La Plaza Park

Balboa Village Christmas Tree Lighting   Dec. 2
Home of the Fun Zone invites you to kick-off the holiday season at the beloved holiday event, Christmas at the Beach. Celebrate the season with the whole family with the Christmas tree lighting ceremony located in the OceanQuest courtyard.
5-8pm / 600 E Bay Avenue, Newport Beach

Laguna Niguel Christmas Tree Lighting   Dec. 2
Snag a cookie, don’t forget a hot drink, admire the beautiful tree and remember to blink. Santa will be there, although a little tardy, he’s never one to miss a good party!
5-7pm / City Hall

Los Alamitos Winter Wonderland at the Plaza   Dec. 2
An area to play in the snow, activities, Santa’s Village, tree lighting ceremony, refreshments, entertainment and canned food drive.
4-7:30pm / St. Isidore Historical Plaza
562-431-3538 /

Fountain Valley Tree Lighting Ceremony   Dec. 2
Will feature guests from the North Pole as well as performances by various community groups, delicious food available for purchase, games, a spectacular fireworks show, and much more!
4:30-8pm / Rec. Center & Sports Park

Yappy Howl-iday Celebration   Dec. 3
This festive gathering of canines and their companions provides Fido with the opportunity to be photographed with the “Big Dog” himself - Santa Claus. Guests are asked to bring unopened canned or dry dog food, treats or dog toys to be donated.
11am-2pm / The Ritz-Carlton, Dana Point

Orange Tree Lighting Ceremony & Candlelight Choir Procession   Dec. 3
Join us for an evening of holiday cheer and family fun as we sing traditional carols of the season with the Orange Community Master Chorale. Food and youth activities.
3:30-7pm / Old Towne Orange Plaza

Irvine Winter Wonderland   Dec. 3
Games, crafts, music, entertainment and food. Joyful Jingles holiday concert and visit from Santa Claus. Food trucks. Festive tree-lighting that includes “snow” falling over the piazza.
3-7pm / Irvine Civic Center

Corona del Mar Christmas Walk   Dec. 3
Live entertainment, food, prizes and games! Petting zoo, beer & wine garden, opportunity drawing and more.
11am / Village of Corona del Mar

Cypress Holiday Sing and Tree Lighting   Dec. 5
School Performances, Letters to Veterans & Santa, Holiday Crafts, Train Rides, Visits with Santa, Games, Refreshments, SPARK OF LOVE toy drive.
6pm / Civic Center Green

Garden Grove Christmas Tree Lighting   Dec. 5
This free event features live entertainment and holiday refreshments. The event culminates with the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus, tree lighting, and a flurry of winter snow.
6:30pm / 12732 Main Street  
714-741-5290 /

La Palma Holiday Tree Lighting   Dec. 6
Enjoy the musical talents from our local schools and join in during the Community Carol Sing Along. Take a picture with Santa and his elves in the activities area before the event.
4-8:30pm / Central Park Amphitheater

Brea Tree Lighting Ceremony   Dec. 7
Watch the holiday tree light up the evening and see children’s eyes sparkle when Mr. and Mrs. Santa drop in for a visit. Cookies and hot chocolate will be served.
6:30pm / Civic and Cultural Center

Stanton Christmas Tree Lighting   Dec. 7
Live music, arts & crafts, story time with the Stanton Library, and the lighting of the Stanton Central Park Christmas tree.
6-7:30pm / Stanton Central Park

Costa Mesa Home Tour   Dec. 7
Meet for a reception with food and music, and then jump aboard the train to visit some of Costa Mesa’s most festively decorated homes.
3-8pm / Pottery Barn South Coast Plaza

Tustin Tree Lighting   Dec. 8
6pm / Tustin Library Courtyard
714-573-3000 /

Dana Point Holiday Boat Parade   Dec. 8-9 & 15-16
“A Superhero Holiday” Decorated boats light up the harbor with holiday cheer and seasonal activities are offered throughout the harbor.
4:30-9pm / Dana Point Harbor

Laguna Niguel Holiday Parade   Dec. 9
View over 100 exciting entries including marching bands, floats, special guests, youth groups, equestrian units, exotic cars, military members, local heroes and fun attractions!
10am-Noon / Crown Valley Parkway
949-425-5100 /

Santa Tour on a Fire Truck   Dec. 9
As Santa rides his fire truck he makes frequent stops along the way to share candy canes, listen to children’s Christmas wishes and to pose for some family photo fun.
8am / Villa Park

Villa Park Dry Land Boat Parade   Dec. 10
An asphalt harbor tour where 50 + vessels travel through Villa Park. At the Towne Centre there are tree lighting and awards ceremonies with trophies.
4:30-8:30pm / Villa Park Towne Center

The Holly Jolly Light Tour   Dec. 8-9
Enjoy a VIP reception and then tour the Home Lighting Contest displays aboard a warm comfortable bus.
6pm & 8pm / Mission Viejo Civic Center

Breakfast with Santa   Dec. 9
Join us for a special celebration complete with a scrumptious breakfast, photos with Santa and holiday crafts.
9-11am / Laguna Hills Community Center
949-707-2680 /

Huntington Harbour Boat Parade   Dec. 9-10
Watch as beautifully decorated boats parade through the harbor to celebrate the holiday season.
5:15pm / 16370 PCH, Huntington Beach
714-840-7542 /

Balboa Island Holiday Home Walking Tour   Dec. 10
One of Orange County’s most loved Holiday Home Walking Tours returns this year with seven uniquely holiday decorated island homes and cottages.
11am-4pm / 331 Marine Avenue

Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade   Dec. 13-17
Beautiful multi-million dollar yachts, kayaks, canoes and other small boats will light up the harbor as a dazzling array of holiday lights and music fill the air.
6:30-9pm / Newport Beach Harbor, Bay Island

Cruise of Lights   Dec. 15-18 & 21-23
Both locals and visitors share the beauty of thousands of lights and animated displays on brightly decorated homes, docks, decks and boats.
16889 Algonquin Street, Huntington Beach
714-840-7542 /

Operation Santa   Dec. 16
Food and gift items collected for pre-qualified families in need are distributed. Kids and families can visit with Santa and play carnival-style games.
9am-Noon / La Habra Community Center
562-383-4217 /

Inaugural Charity Event 5K Walk/Run/Skip   Dec. 16
Bring an unwrapped toy. T-shirt, Medal, & Swag Bag Included to all that pre-register! 
9am / Lake Forest Sports Park

Chanukah Wonderland/Menorah Lighting   Dec. 17
Enjoy live entertainment, activities, and crafts, as well as your favorite Chanukah, treats – latkes, dreidels, and more! Bring your family, friends, and lots of holiday spirit!
5:30-7:30pm / Laguna Niguel City Hall 
949-831-7701 /

Fullerton Holiday Festival   Dec. 17
Live stage performances and an arts and crafts fair. Food vendors and exclusive craft beer selections! Free art workshops for kids, a children’s play area, and a special appearance by Santa Claus.
12-4pm / Muckenthaler Cultural Center

Int'l Christmas Nativity Play & Celebration   Dec. 17
A celebration that brings together a diverse group of churches, singers, dancers for a celebration that highlights the true meaning of the holiday season.
6-8pm / Old World Village, Huntington Beach
714-895-8020 /

Winter Fest   Dec. 21-Jan. 7
Outdoor ice rink, 130-foot, six lane Snowflake Summit ice slide, a play park featuring real snow, strolling carolers and personal visits in the cabin of Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Festival of Lights walk-through holiday light show featuring.

OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa

We hope you are out in the community enjoying these great events throughout Orange County...  Don't worry we will take care of your housing needs, don't hesitate to give us a call with any questions.