For much of the spring and summer, the real estate spotlight has been focused on the vexing situation landlords have experienced. The government-ordered rental relief measures designed to protect tenants made landlords scramble. So last week, single- and multi-family Costa Mesa landlords who happened across the Wall Street Journal headline, “It’s a Very Good Time to Own an Apartment Building,” would certainly have read further.

The author was Will Parker, a seasoned industry observer. It turned out that his opinion was backed up by last month’s nationwide statistics. If anything, they made the headline an understatement. The numbers showed national asking rents rising by 10.3% over a year earlier, making August a month that saw the first…

375 Views, 0 Comments

The often-quoted first principle of the physicians’ Hippocratic Oath, “first, do no harm,” constitutes a ‘safety first’ message meant to curb over-enthusiastic docs from prescribing a cure that’s worse than the disease.

For local homeowners who are preparing their Costa Mesa homes for sale, if there were a Homeowners’ Oath, the same proscription could apply. That was the essence of Ana Durrani’s essay on last week’s’s ‘Home Improvement’ page: “Avoid These 6 Common Mistakes That Make a Room Feel Smaller.”
Durrani’s rules are worth quoting:

  1. Color. Painting walls a dark color. Too often, the impulse to create a ‘cozy’ space can be more claustrophobic than cozy.
  2. Furniture. Bulky pieces may look stylish but, in truth, can seem to…

363 Views, 0 Comments

It’s probably fair to say that when a typical Costa Mesa resident hears some of the more strikingly novel details about what urban life will be like in the future, he or she is likely to take them with a grain or two of salt. One example that recently hit the CNN airwaves was a project for “Telosa”—a new kind of city in America.

The final vision is for a 5,000,000-resident city that would not only be completely eco-friendly and self-energized but one designed with a self-sustaining, drought-resistant water system (even if it winds up being built in the desert). Although its planners hope for the first phase to welcome 50,000 residents by 2030, the tentativeness of the missing geographical detail points out the speculative status of Telosa: its…

326 Views, 0 Comments

House-flipping has become a staple in the realm of reality TV entertainment—and why not? One of the deep pleasures of that actual Costa Mesa house-flippers experience is the feeling of accomplishment that goes with turning a fixer into an eager buyer’s dream house. Another is the financial accomplishment that accompanies the quick sale of a fixed-and-flipped property. Cable-tv shows like ‘Fixer Upper,’ ‘Flip or Flop,’ ‘Double Down’ (the “property brothers’” show), and ‘Flip this House’ invite legions of couch potatoes to share the fun without the risk (or the sometimes back-breaking work) that goes with the real thing.

Last week’s Wall Street Journal sounded a real-world note about how the current fixer-upper industry is viewed from the financiers’…

716 Views, 0 Comments

For readers tuned in to developments affecting Costa Mesa real estate, the month began with an Associated Press dispatch announcing federal plans to increase the stock of 2,000,000 “affordable” U.S. homes. The ambitious goal was set “in response to the volcanic rise in housing prices” over the past year. Details described federal initiatives to both build and restore the end product: homes more attainable by consumers currently priced out of the market.

According to the AP, the plan’s details were posted on the White House Council of Economic Advisers’ blog last Wednesday. Citing Freddie Mac’s research that estimates a current U.S. shortfall of 3.8 million homes, the plan outlines a variety of measures aimed at answering the affordability problems…

306 Views, 0 Comments


Last week, Fortune Magazine’s headline may have seemed overblown, but it did its job of capturing the attention of any Costa Mesa readers who happened to come across it:

“There’s a big shift happening in the housing market.”

It’s the kind of headline that seems to beg for a couple of exclamation points. At any rate, Costa Mesa house-hunters would have found it hard to ignore. Any “big shift happening” in the Costa Mesa housing market would be sure to rivet any prospective buyers currently combing the Costa Mesa listings.

The article did indicate that there could well be the underpinnings of a sea change in many a local market—but that’s subject to a wider context. As Fortune established, this fall will mark a transition from a 2021 U.S.…

369 Views, 0 Comments