John Adams’ ferocious work ethic was legendary among the Founding Fathers, which makes it more than a little ironic that he could rightfully be called the foremost Party Planner of the Republic. 

When Costa Mesa celebrates Independence Day on Saturday, we’ll be carrying out the original vision of Mr. Adams, who wrote to wife Abigail the prediction that “…it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival with Pomp and Parade, with Shews Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.” Adams was known as one of the more no-nonsense types among the Founders, so his success as an event planner for generations to come would not have…

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Costa Mesa luxury homes can be categorized as ultra-modern or even exhilarating contemporary, incorporating the latest wifi- and Bluetooth-enabled smart home technology in with elegant design and craftsmanship. Or they can be the polar opposite—luxury homes that meticulously preserve the authentic antique artisanship of past eras.

Last week, a luxury home was listed in Billings, Montana, that arguably blends unique elements of both categories. “Luxury” may be an understatement, given the scale of the property—and that’s not the only understatement. The workmanship may not actually be “authentic” (the property was built six years ago)—but design elements from past eras are definitely incorporated. For instance, it has a turret and moat— “with an…

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As more and more local businesses cautiously reopen, it’s becoming apparent that some lifestyle changes that began as temporary adaptations may be around for a while. One of those could impact Costa Mesa real estate in ways that are only gradually becoming apparent—at least that’s one conclusion Costa Mesa readers of last week’s Wall Street Journal would have drawn. 

WSJ’s “Management and Careers” editors reported on a phenomenon that’s been developing for a while. It’s one of the dislocations caused by COVID-19, which sent large numbers of employers scrambling for ways to operate safely for clients and workers. In many cases, the solution was to ask employees to work from their homes. It was a move that may not have been entirely altruistic: The…

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Costa Mesa’s summer solstice arrives this Saturday, June 20th. Astrophysically speaking, the solstice marks the longest day of our year. The moment of the summer solstice prompts a lot of scientific explanations, some more confusing than others. For instance, since the Sun doesn’t revolve around the Earth, Vox.com’s definition (“Technically speaking, the summer solstice occurs when the sun is directly over the Tropic of Cancer”) is a little misleading. Vox probably really meant that the solstice is the moment when the tilt of Earth’s axis puts the Tropic of Cancer latitude nearest to the Sun (that “Tropic” is the one that’s north of the equator; “Capricorn” is the other one). 

The reason this is at all significant for those of us who live a lot…

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The unsettling events of the first half of 2020 have prompted some Costa Mesa residents to adopt a wait-and-see attitude—especially major decisions concerning Costa Mesa real estate. For most of the spring, it had looked as if June would be the month when more clarity would surface, starting with how soon Covid-19 restrictions would be relaxed. To some extent, that’s been the case—but many other momentous headline-grabbing events have intervened. Clarity about the future has been limited. Even so, throughout 2020’s roller-coaster ride, one key element of Costa Mesa’s real estate component has remained steadfast and encouraging: mortgage interest rates.   

Last week, CNBC headlined, “Mortgage demand from homebuyers amazes again.” The “amazement”…

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When the objective is selling your Costa Mesa home for the highest price (which it always is), establishing the asking price is the second of the two most crucial decisions you will make. Many homeowners reason that setting the original asking price “at the max” makes the most sense. They see that strategy as a way of controlling the process since it provides room for negotiations. Because this early decision is made before the Costa Mesa home has even entered the market, it doesn’t yet feel like there is any time pressure. If the high figure doesn’t attract buyers, lowering the asking price will solve the problem.

That may sound logical, but it’s highly inadvisable. When a seller decides to price above comparable properties, the predictable result…

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Last Friday morning, Costa Mesa residents who had braced themselves for the dismal details of an unprecedented surge in national unemployment heard some astounding news instead. The greatest surge in hiring for a single month left the commentators scrambling to explain how it was possible that all of them could be so far off (some by as much as 10 million jobs). For homeowners who had been watching from the sidelines, delaying the decision about whether the months-long cloud over U.S. businesses would hamper their own Costa Mesa real estate prospects, the news provided a totally unexpected burst of sunlight.

The ramifications for Costa Mesa’s real estate prospects weren’t hard to guess. Realtor.com immediately posted a news article headlining the…

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One consequence of the pandemic was the on-again/off-again nature of this year’s Costa Mesa real estate busy season. The restrictions resulted in what you’d expect: pent-up demand. The promise of loosening restrictions is widely expected to bolster the number of “For Sale” signs that we’ll soon be seeing—in any case, we should know before long.

For house hunters who will be looking to land their first starter home, most are prepared to be satisfied with a property that falls short of a “dream home” designation. That’s to be expected: since homeownership is by far the most important component for building family wealth, it’s encouraging to watch how the equity being built from a first home is fueling the progression into the next, superior one.…

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For Costa Mesa real estate buyers and sellers who occasionally track national trends and predictions, last week was a good one…to take the week off! In a week crammed with news that ranged from tragic (Minnesota) to triumphant (America’s superbly art-directed return to space), real estate received scant attention. It mattered little: with so many economic factors bouncing from all-time this to all-time that, expecting stable guidance would have been overly optimistic in any case. A snapshot:

On Friday, Realtor.com Senior Economist George Ratiu offered his analysis of the buying public’s mood, yielding the headline, “Economic Indicators Are Down, but Consumer Confidence is Up.” If that seems to lack consistency, it might be because the…

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