Have Orange County Home Prices Bottomed?

Three months ago I finally dropped the hammer and bought a house in Orange County’s Huntington Harbor.  I proudly told my friends that the market in OC had bottomed.  Most of them laughed.  After all I called the peak in 2004 only missing it by two years.  I agree that we won’t know for another year or so if I was even close to being right but the signs are there.  The biggest problem for mid priced buyers in Orange County was the reduction of Federal Guarantees of nearly $100,000.

Stunning Water Front Views
Water Views From the Master Suite

Anyone shopping for a home in Orange County knows it is one of the most expensive area in the US, and for good reason I might add.  Perfect weather, great shopping, top schools and world famous entertainment all add up to one great place to live.  The Huntington Beach Little League Team from Ocean View winning the 2011 Little League World Series didn’t make living in Orange County look bad either.

On the surface, the reduction of federal guarantees looks like it should have been an instant drop of $100,000 to any home priced under $1 million down to about $500,000.  That didn’t happen to Orange County homes.  In fact so far this year inventory is down and year over year pricing is down only 2.78% according to Data Quick.  The short snapshot for August indicates a year over year pricing now down only .7%

So does that mean the deals are gone?  Not yet, but they are getting thinner.  Foreclosures are down, and inventory is slightly down.  What I really see is the quality of inventory is up.  Infomercial Real Estate King Dean Graziosi recently told me that the most important bellwether for him is the average Days On Market or DOM.   In Orange County many communities have been steady for several months, and several have been seeing a reduction in DOM.  I guess Dean would agree that we are near the bottom.

Just in case you aren’t sure, I looked at Lasner on Real Estates latest article, and they indicated that building permits are up 146% over last year.  It looks like at least a few people have decided Orange County Real Estate has approached the bottom.

So where are the deals?  Well that depends on your position.  I don’t mind a fixer upper, and there are a couple of those around but you have to dig.  Agents aren’t pushing them as hard because there are better deals that are move in ready.

For example, Jay Gaylen of First Team Real Estate took me on a tour of a Huntington Beach water front beauty in exclusive Huntington Harbor.  Jay tells me the waterfront home was owned by a NASA engineer and some of the toys back up the story.  The skylights have very commercial heavy duty switches to open and close them.  How cool is that?  Imagine living in a water front home and electric motors open the skylights to make your bedroom “Al Fresco” in the evenings.

During my tour of the home with Jay, he told me that the 40’ dock was replaced with new environmentally friendly materials which also offer low maintenance.  The rather large waterfront home in Huntington Harbor features three bedrooms, three bathrooms and an elevator.  Who doesn’t want an elevator in a two story home these days?  The master suite is over 1800 square feet with a library, craft area, walk in closets and stunning views of the Huntington Harbor and Davenport Beach.

You can also take in the views of the Huntington Harbor and Davenport Beach from either the main floor deck which is also a fantastic outdoor dining area or, from the balcony off the Master Suite.   Since all of the decks face west, you can enjoy your evenings on the deck year round and watch the sunset just over the homes on Davenport Island.

Typical of many homes for sale in the Huntington Harbor like this waterfront home hit the market because the aging owner passed away.  Even though all of the water front homes in Huntington Harbor are one of a kind custom homes, this water front home has a striking difference.  The large master bedroom layout is truly unique and offers a great writers corner or work from home center.  As a guy who works best right when I wake up, I really like this feature.  Additionally the quality and detail in the rest of the home, when compared to other waterfront homes at this price point, are noticeably better.

Just in case you think I forgot, the kitchen has newer granite countertops,  a subzero refrigerator and lots of storage in newer oak cabinets.  The house is offered at $1.64 Million making it among the lowest per square foot price on the water in years for a house of this quality.  So yes, you can still find a deal here and there and a move in ready one to boot.

One last thing, did I mention this house has a private courtyard pool out front.  All you need to do is bring a boat and your friends and you are ready to entertain in this house at 16841 Edgewater Ln, Huntington Beach, CA 92649.

Just in case you aren’t sure you can afford it, get the accurate home loan calculator for the iPhone, Quick Loan.

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