Orange County Estate News & Market Trends

Our Orange County real estate news blog covers everything from local market statistics, to home value trends, to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Oct. 11, 2019

The Best Pumpkin Patches in Orange County

 

Orange County fully embraces Halloween season with many pumpkin patches offering extra seasonal fun beyond finding "the great pumpkin." Our team at I Love OC Homes has rounded up a few of our favorites that are easily accessible no matter where you live. 

 

Tanaka Farms

 

Cultivate memories each weekend from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. this fall at Tanaka Farms in Irvine. Experience wagon rides, a barnyard educational exhibit, corn maze, and a u-pick vegetable patch. They also have games, ATV rides, face painting, arts and crafts, and the pumpkin cannon! Enjoy amazing food from the Tanaka Grill, including shaved ice, burgers, BBQ pork sandwiches, hot dogs, churros, and more. 

 

Pa's Pumpkin Patch

 

Though it’s technically located in LA County, Pa's Pumpkin Patch in Long Beach takes over a field on Pacific Coast Highway near Seal Beach-every year and has become a favorite with Coastal North Orange County residents, like those from Huntington Beach. Whether it's the welcoming banjo beats on the event or the prime location, Pa's keeps crowds returning year after year. There are various rides and games to entertain little ones, along with a petting zoo, pony rides, and a snack bar. Hours through October 16 are Monday through Friday, 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. From October 17 through October 30, hours are 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily. Halloween hours are 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

 

Irvine Park Railroad's Pumpkin Patch: Orange 

 

Located at the historic Irvine National Park, this pumpkin patch sprouts up behind the train station and wins for scenery and activities. Admission to the patch is free, and pre-picked pumpkins are priced by weight. Entertainment includes a free haunted house and hay maze, train, hay, and pony rides, pumpkin ring toss, John Deere tractor racers, Halloween bounce house, cookie decorating, carnival games, face painting, panning for gold, and of course lots of food. Hours are Monday through Friday, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

 

If you are new to the area or want more details about the communities we live, work, and play in download our free e-book or contact me (Tim De Shazer) at (562) 881-8252. We hope you enjoy this festive season with family and friends.

Oct. 4, 2019

Our Current Favorite Seal Beach Listings

 

 

Seal Beach is a small beachside community wedged between Long Beach and Huntington Beach. These unique homes all have easy walkability to Main Street, the Library, the beach, and surrounding shops and restaurants. Not to mention, they are located within the award-winning Los Alamitos and Seal Beach school districts.

 

 

507 OCEAN AVENUE, SEAL BEACH, CA 90740

 

 

This contemporary, coastal home is located steps from the sand with views from a large roof-top deck of Catalina Island & Pacific Ocean. This exquisite home was renovated from top to bottom. You are welcomed to a state-of-the-art family room, with La Cantina doors and tile flooring that flow out to a tranquil, perfectly manicured front patio. The downstairs living area also includes a walk-in wine cellar. A newly added kitchenette opens to a separate family area with a guest bedroom and a remodeled bath. This space is the perfect guest suite. This home is a mix of extraordinary design coupled with a warm, inviting ambiance, the perfect home for entertaining. 

 

 

12280 OLD HARBOR COURT, SEAL BEACH, CA 90740

 

 

The beautiful community of Old Ranch, with grand two-story homes, is neatly tucked away in Seal Beach. This is one of the best-kept secrets in the neighborhood. Once you leave Seal Beach Boulevard and turn on to Plymouth, you will have a sense of calm and quiet. Pass through the Old Ranch gates to find this entertainer's dream home! The formal dining room, kitchen, and family room all open for you to host friends and family. The master bedroom – just like vacationing at the Ritz. A large sleeping area with a trey ceiling and a sitting area with a second trey ceiling with 6” molding and romantic fireplace. The large bathroom separate shower, soaking tub, separate toilet room, dual sinks, and his and her closets. This home is the epitome of good taste.

 

 

400 CENTRAL AVENUE, SEAL BEACH, CA 90740

 

Four blocks from the sand and situated on a lot and a half, this charming property in Seal Beach is the ideal family home. This house showcases blooming curb appeal in a whimsical beachside house. Inside boasts warm wood floors and an open flow with authentic character blended with traditional design. The updated kitchen and spacious family room open out to the private enclosed pool and spa, creating a perfect indoor/outdoor entertaining space. Take the spiral staircase up to the rooftop deck and savor sunsets and cool ocean breezes from the quaint outdoor space.

 

If you are interested in viewing any of these, give me (Tim De Shazer) a call at 562-881-8252.

Sept. 27, 2019

The Rieglers’ Referral Story

 

In our business, referrals are the name of the game. I recently had the privilege to reconnect with an old childhood friend from grammar school to help sell her home. After doing so successfully, she referred her parents who were also relocating out of state, to work with our team at I Love OC Homes. 

 

Meet the Rieglers!

 

I Love OC Homes: Tell us about your first meeting with Tim of I Love OC Homes, and how did you hear of the team?


Cynthia Riegler: I knew Tim as a child. However, I was reintroduced to him when he sold my daughter's house. He and his team did an amazingly exceptional job for them working through several issues. Tim was always right there, knowing what to do for them, so we knew he would do the best for us.


I Love OC Homes: Tell us about your search for the right real-estate agent and how you came to the conclusion to work with Tim?


Cynthia Riegler: When we decided to sell our house, we knew who to go to. My husband Bob is a retired real estate agent and felt very comfortable with using Tim and his team.


I Love OC Homes: What was your overall experience working with the I Love OC Homes declutter specialist and handyman?


Cynthia Riegler: We had very little clutter, but she did give us some hints. We were very happy with the team's go-to handyman. He was able to address most of the issues BEFORE the house was even listed, and very few after it was was on the market. He was very timely and did excellent work.


I Love OC Homes: Did I Love OC Homes offer a certain level of advice, services, support, and market knowledge?


Cynthia Riegler: The I Love OC Homes team offered the whole package, making the process less stressful.


I Love OC Homes: Share your overall experience working with Tim and the I Love OC Homes team?


Cynthia Riegler: Tim and his team made it very easy to sell the house, and WOW did the staging process work. Bob was very skeptical at first, but once he saw the finished product, he knew it was the right thing to do. The house sold immediately.

I Love OC Homes: How likely are you to refer Tim and the team at I Love OC Homes to friends?

Cynthia Riegler: I would definitely recommend Tim and his team to anyone. They all went the extra mile!


I always feel lucky to work with someone I've known my entire life, but even if we just met, my team at I Love OC Homes will put your buying or selling needs first. If you or someone you know needs advice on where to start the process, give our team a call at (562) 881-8252.

 

Sept. 20, 2019

How To Prepare Your Home For An Emergency

 

While this may not be a fun topic to discuss, it’s very necessary. Our team at I Love OC Homes would like to share helpful home tips to prepare your house for an Earthquake - especially our Southern California clients, fires, or even floods. 

 

It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when- so you might as well be ready. 

 

Earthquakes

 

If you live in California, the phrase "the big one" should sound familiar. Our state sits on several faults, including the San Andreas Fault. The San Andreas fault is the sliding boundary between the Pacific Plate. 

 

First and foremost, you will want to consider earthquake insurance.  By law, if an insurance company offers homeowner's insurance in the state of California, it must also offer earthquake insurance.  Double-check your policy!

 

It's also crucial to make sure that your home has a strong foundation and to fix any cracks in your walls or the roof. Everything from the layout of your furniture in your home can be changed to protect your family when we have an Earthquake. While this may seem obvious, try not to hang paintings, glass lamps, chandeliers, and other decorative pieces directly above beds and sofas. Last but not least, put together an earthquake supply kit complete with water, nonperishable foods, flashlights, extra batteries, portable phone chargers, a blanket, and sturdy shoes. 

 

Fires

Unless you live in the mountains or our in a rural area, wildfires are not as big of a concern. However, house fires can happen. You should change the batteries in smoke and CO2 detectors twice a year. If a fire does start, the smoke alarm can detect it right away, especially if in the night while you are asleep. Sleeping with the doors shut, and having a fire extinguisher on each floor of your home will be beneficial. It's crucial to call the fire department right away, so if you have young children, make sure they know the home address and how to call 911. You should also create a fire exit plan that includes a place to meet outside of the home in the event of a fire. It's a scary conversation to have, but if they know what to do, it will help immensely. You can make this fun by having the kids draw up the plan to keep on the fridge. 

Floods

 

These tips help you prepare your home for a flood to limit structural and financial damage in the future. Electrical sockets, switches, and wiring should be elevated at least 12 inches above predicted flood levels. I look for these things when viewing homes with clients. Sockets situated in a safe place reduces the amount of damage a flood can cause to your home, and it prevents your home from becoming a safety hazard during the recovery period. If you live in a flood-prone region, a Flood Watch will be issued when the conditions are right for flooding. Once this occurs, move furniture, valuables, and important documents to a safe place. Copies of critical documents like birth certificates or insurance policies should be stored in a waterproof safety box. Keep in mind that this step should only be taken if you have time to evacuate your family safely. 

 

If you or someone you know is looking to purchase a home in the area or want more advice on how to prepare your home for natural disasters to give me (Tim De Shazer) a call at (562) 881-8252.

 

 

Sept. 13, 2019

The Power of Staging Your Home for Sale

 

Non Stage Prep

First off, sellers need to focus on getting their home ready to sell, not to live in. The best way is to clear everything out of the house if possible. Since you’re moving, you might as well pack it anyways. Then give the walls a fresh coat of white paint to make your space feel like it’s bigger. Do a full cleaning of the whole house. This goes from wiping down all of the spider webs on the ceiling, all dust on the ceiling fans, cleaning all windows inside and out, especially the seals of the windows to cleaning off every light switch.

 

      

Fully Staged

Stagers are up on the trends of what is selling and create scenes that make people walk in and say, “I can live in this home.” People are now accustomed to what they see on HGTV and to be honest, all new home builders put so much into staging their model homes that we work extra to make older homes just as desirable.

 

      

 

With technology taking over the world as we know it, most home buyers look online before ever stepping foot in the front door or even talking to a real estate agent. It is my job to make the photos online present the best light, are in an inviting order, and tell the story of the home that gets buyers to preview it in person.  This means sharing local attractions, school districts,  and other selling points of the neighborhood. We can even take it one step further and create a virtual tour of the house, so it’s bound to stand out from the rest across the internet.

Press play below and take the full tour of our latest masterpiece!

 

 

When buyers walk into a home, we want the wow factor that our efforts are even better than the pictures or video they saw online. If you are looking to live in the area, give me (Tim De Shazer) a call at (562) 881-8252. My team is ready for their next project!

Sept. 6, 2019

Our Current Favorite Huntington Beach Listings

When our team shares the market update each week, hands down Huntington Beach has the most bang to offer for your buck. This week, we have pulled three of our favorite listings that range from 850K to just under 2 million dollars. Each one of these homes stood out to us in their own way for families that are looking to move to Surf City USA.

8561 JUDY CIRCLE, HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA 92647

Welcome home! Walking through the Dutch-style front door of this single-story three-bedroom home, you’re immediately drawn to how it has been so thoughtfully and stylishly upgraded under the guidance of a professional interior designer. This magnificent property is completely remodeled, with a special emphasis given to the chef’s kitchen complete with high-end fixtures and stainless steel appliances. Once a four-bedroom home, it's been transformed and now sports an extra-large master suite with a private retreat and highly upgraded bathroom. With two large secondary bedrooms and a large shared bathroom, the home is perfect for the growing family.

9391 GATESHEAD DRIVE, HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA 92646

Live in the most desirable and exclusive South Huntington Beach neighborhood, The Strand! This immaculate five-bedroom, three-bathroom home offers the best of both indoor and outdoor living less than a block from the beach! Enter through the magnificent double doors to find the 3,196 sq ft showplace. As you enter the foyer, you will immediately begin to take in the stunning upgrades, soaring ceilings, gorgeous lighting, natural stone, and Brazilian cherry oak floors.

6672 SHIRE CIRCLE, HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA 92648

Welcome to the definition of luxury living. This contemporary Edwards Hill estate has been elegantly designed with the finest upgrades and has been flawlessly maintained. Offering countless custom features and showcasing stunning architecture and an incredible entertainer’s backyard, this rare property is quite simply one of Huntington Beach’s finest real estate offerings. It has four bedrooms and three baths offering an unbeatable location near award-winning schools, the beach, and equestrian trails.

Huntington Beach is truly the heart of Orange County and the epitome of beach life living to bring everything that is fun, hip, and beautiful together in one central place. If you are interested in viewing any of these, give me (Tim De Shazer) a call at 562-881-8252.

Aug. 30, 2019

Musical Theatre Orange County

 

This summer, I had the opportunity to break out my camera and do some local photography for the Musical Theatre Orange County and their most recent production - Mary Poppins. If you didn’t know, before I found my passion for real estate, I was a professional photographer

 

After shooting this local production, I was blown away by what this organization was doing right here in our community. Musical Theatre Orange County is a family-centered and family operated non-profit (501c3) theater company, located in Placentia, which has brought children and adults together on stage since 2004. MTOC is best known for its annual major musical theater productions such as Mary Poppins, Beauty & The Beast, Hairspray, and The Little Mermaid.

 

Musical Theatre Orange County was born out of a desire to give the youth of our community a chance to experience professional theatre and learn from working industry directors, choreographers, musical directors, and technicians. Their goal is to produce family-oriented musical theatre with superior production value. Let us be the first to tell you that’s exactly what they do. 

 

In the past year, MTOC expanded into an 8,000 square foot Studio which serves as rehearsal space and show production space, as well as a new “black box” theater for its smaller Studio Series productions. The trained staff also offers private voice, piano, and acting lessons in a high quality and intimate setting unique to MTOC.

 

MTOC is proud to serve homeschool and charter school families as a vendor with Inspire, iLEAD, Sage Oak, and River Springs Charter Schools. Kicking off their new Studio Series this

Fall will be Seussical Jr, MTOC’s first-ever youth only show. Audition and show information can be found on their website!

 

An exciting fundraiser, “A Night of Magic,” is coming to the MTOC Studio on Oct 19th, featuring magicians direct from The Magic Castle in Hollywood to entertain you for the evening. 

 

Musical Theatre Orange County strives to instill our passion for live theatre into our performers, and show them why this wonderful art form has been around for so long. To find out how you can help support theatre in your community, please visit http://www.mtoc.org for more information. 

 

To show our support of this incredible group, I Love OC Homes will be donating $1,000 after the close of escrow for any client that mentions MTOC when working with our team.  

 

Posted in Orange County
Aug. 23, 2019

How to Prepare Your Home For The Market

 

When you prepare to place your home on the market for sale, it becomes a product. Just like any product on the shelves at your local store, it has features and benefits, pluses and minuses, and there are other products to compare yours to. To gain an edge in your marketplace, you must be priced right and look better than the competition.

 

Four factors control the sale of any property. These include the price, terms, marketing, and condition.

 

This week our team at I Love OC Homes is helping you prepare your home for the market! 

It is most important to have price and condition perfected when your property first goes up for sale. If you have a “honey-do” list or know of items that need to be addressed at your home, do them upfront. Do not let the buyer wonder if you have cared for your home. Fix anything that needs addressed upfront to avoid headaches later.

 

Presence and Stature

 

Any agent will tell you that one of the worst things that happen to them in the course of showing the property to qualified buyers is to drive up to a home and have them say: “I don’t want to look at this house” - before you have even put the car in park. This impression is nearly impossible to overcome.

 

General Exterior 

 

Start by standing in front of your home with this checklist and pen. Jot down anything that leaps out at you. Then, walk around the outside of your home with this checklist in hand. This includes looking at the front, side, and backyard, along with your front door. 

 

Inside Appeal 

 

You see your home through your heart. To get the highest price, you have to appeal to potential buyers who will see your home through cold, calculating eyes. If buyers have a choice between two comparable properties that are similar in price, they will choose the one in the best condition. This is the time to look at the fireplace, kitchen, laundry room, garage, and bathrooms to make sure they are in tip-top shape. 

 

Preparing for Your Photography Appointment

 

To produce the best possible listing brochure and internet tour, the interior and exterior of your home should be photographed from multiple angles. Every room will be photographed, including bathrooms, laundry room, and the garage. This is your time to declutter and simplify. Small things will make a big difference, like putting the dog food dishes out of sight. 

 

Showtime

 

Your property looks great, and you have a scheduled showing appointment. Whenever you leave the house for the day, please leave it as if it is going to be shown and try to accommodate all showings. Buyers tend to look at multiple properties during each outing and may find another before you can reschedule. If your electric bill does not go up while your house is on the market- you are doing something wrong! While on the market, your house should have the lights left on in case of a showing and a comfortable temperature should be maintained. During a showing, keep pets out of the way and leave the premises as buyers are intimidated when sellers are present and tend to hurry through the house. Agents should also leave the home exactly as it was when they arrived in case of a following showing. 

 

If you need the name of a painter, house cleaner, handyman, roofer, electrician, etc. just give us a call at (562) 881-8252. We would be glad to refer you to vendors we have worked with and from whom we have received excellent service. We also provide an extensive checklist for all of the above in great detail to all of our clients. 

Aug. 16, 2019

The Benefits of Homebuying in the Fall

 

Believe it or not, we are just a couple of weeks away from pumpkin spice lattes, all schools back in session, and leaves starting to change colors. When most people think of the fall, they don’t think of peak real-estate season.  This week our team at I Love OC Homes is sharing why we’re just as sold on helping families find a new house in the fall. 

 

It’s no secret that spring is when the competition is at an all-time high for purchasing; that’s the first great thing about looking in the fall. All of the attention is on you! We even encourage our clients to make lower offers because most people looking to sell have had their homes on the market since the beginning of the year and are just plain worn out. After months of no action, any seller is ready to make a deal - especially if they have to move for personal matters. 

 

Do you know what else comes in the fall? Back to school sales, holiday discounts, and Black Friday deals. This is the perfect time to score big on new furniture, appliances, or upgrades that could potentially increase the value of your home down the road. It’s not always easy finding a home with every single box checked off your list, but with the end of year sales, you can make improvements to your new house on a better budget.

 

Fall is also a safer time of year. You might be wondering what safety has to do with buying a new home, but the neighborhood you live in is important. Peak burglary season is high in the summer months, buying a home in the fall gives you plenty of time to install that new alarm system, and get comfortable in your new home. 

 

Last but certainly not least, our favorite benefit of buying in the fall is being able to spend the upcoming holidays with your family and friends in your dream home. If you’re ready to break out the decorations and get into your new home, give me (Tim De Shazer) a call at (562) 881-8252.

Aug. 9, 2019

Our Current Favorite Los Alamitos Listings

 

Every week, our team loves to share a market update and our favorite listings in our local communities. This week we’re spotlighting Los Alamitos and our top three favorite listings that all fall under 2 million. If you see something you like, say something. Each home has something special to offer families who are looking to move to the area. 

11882 REAGAN STREET, LOS ALAMITOS, CA 90720

This elegant two-story Craftsman home (featured on the cover) is beautifully upgraded throughout the home. It’s located on an A+ lot location in the Rossmoor Highlands. This five-bedroom three-bathroom home features a light and bright open floor plan with a stunning kitchen that has stainless steel appliances, quartz countertops, a breakfast bar, and island; as well as separate living and family rooms with hardwood floors. If you are looking for your forever home - this could be it! 

11280 MAPLE STREET, LOS ALAMITOS, CA 90720

This spectacularly remodeled 2000 sq. ft. four bedrooms, three bath pool home has it all - including a pool to cool off in after long hot beach days. It features a massive kitchen with all new modern cabinets, over 20k Viking appliance package, a huge workstation sink with 2 faucets, custom Calcutta quartz slabs with waterfalls, and large Italian tile backsplash. Everything is quality thru-out the entire home. Don’t believe us? See for yourself!

11362 PINE STREET, LOS ALAMITOS, CA 90720

See this exquisite Los Alamitos home that was rebuilt in 2001 and designed for family living at its best! If you love to entertain, there are four spacious bedrooms which include a master bedroom on each floor, large closets, and three and a half baths. Both of the huge master suites have spacious walk-in-closets and matching bathrooms. This amazing home is close to schools, shopping, and parks and has easy freeway access. This is a must-see!

Los Alamitos is one of our favorite neighborhoods to recommend for young families. It’s quite close to the beach and has one of the best school districts in Orange County. If you are interested in viewing any of these, give me (Tim De Shazer) a call at 562-881-8252.