Apartment and condo dwellers who aren't personally responsible for yard maintenance get to remain blissfully unconcerned about the extent of their LCI (Leaf Consciousness Index). Their LCIs top out in the lower 2s and 3s—the scores for those whose leaf awareness is confined to occasions when they happen to notice the autumnal color exhibition that some Costa Mesa landscapes provide in years when conditions are just right.

Costa Mesa homeowners whose properties include more than minimal populations of leaf-bearing plants are (depending on the homeowner's disposition) either irritated by—or happily engaged in—fall's mass leaf swan dives. To some, what happens when the leaves take leave is an annual near-cataclysm requiring backbreaking toil. To the…

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If you are currently offering a high-end Costa Mesa property for sale, you could safely ignore most of the otherwise incisive article that appeared in last week’s Realtor® Magazine. Top Costa Mesa properties are bought and sold by a select but tiny segment of the real estate market—a segment that conforms to its own rules. The rest of the market is different.

The article on RM—“How to Reinvigorate a Lingering Listing”—contained some strategic insights wisdom from experienced pros that bears repeating. Given the current brisk pact of the U.S. market (typical homes now take just 43 days to be sold), a listing that spends too long without attracting much activity is bound to stand out.

That’s not good.

Potential buyers often assume the lack of…

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Given the latest unsettling reports about everything from supply chain disruptions to the price of gasoline and groceries, almost anyone might hesitate before moving ahead with plans to buy a house in Costa Mesa or anywhere else. Mightn’t it be more prudent to wait until more stable conditions return?

One counter to that cautious stratagem is the example of recent history. A few years ago, would-be buyers who decided to hold off until the return of a more stable environment missed out on what, in retrospect, turns out to have been an opportune time to buy a house.

The fact is that residential real estate prices have risen steadily despite the unsettled public sphere. Buying a house in Costa Mesa has continued to reward buyers who ignored…

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Throughout the U.S., the average value of a single-family residence has grown by double digits for more than two years. Area homeowners have been rightly pleased to see how rapidly their own home’s market values have continued to appreciate. With increases at those levels, it’s only to be expected that sellers are delighted—but buyers, less so.

One of the inevitable fallouts is that buyers seeking home loans this fall need mortgages that are greater than ‘conforming’ loan limits. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guarantee to purchase loans from lenders when they qualify under the conforming loan guidelines. The quasi-federal behemoths enable loan originators to lower interest rates they offer Costa Mesa home buyers when they promise to purchase them,…

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Last week, U.S. News & World Report brought up an issue that today’s Costa Mesa home buyers should be aware of: the possibility of an appraisal gap. It can be a sticking point, even when everything else about a given Costa Mesa home’s sale seems to be falling into place.

The article opens with an understatement about today’s buyers: “many people are financing their home purchases.” That’s a considerable understatement. The percentages vary depending on who’s doing the measuring, but the U.S. Census Bureau tells us that just shy of 66% of all homeowners are currently making monthly payments on active mortgage accounts. Even that hefty percentage somewhat minimizes the ubiquity of home loans in today’s market: Census says that 87% of recent buyers…

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October may have just debuted, but for Costa Mesa mortgage interest rate watchers, Halloween-style chills were already in evidence last week. For Costa Mesa home buyers and sellers, the home loan outlook has been uniformly rosy for an unexpectedly long time. It's been a long, pleasant cruise. That was why, for many, the midweek news must have come as a shock. For those who have been long lulled into an uninterrupted expectation that area rates will remain mired in Low-LowLand territory, last Wednesday's headlines must have been jolting:

  • Current Mortgage Rates Jump – Money.com
  • Today's rising mortgage rates call buyers to action – Fox Business
  • Today's mortgage rates increase – c/net.com
  • Mortgage Rates Start to Climb – Forbes
  • Mortgage…

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Costa Mesa homeowners, real estate investors, and soon-to-be homeowners who keep an eye on the ups and downs of residential real estate do so at least partly to anticipate the future of our own residential market. This even though they are also aware that markets have a tendency to be stubbornly unpredictable. One example is currently demonstrated by a segment of the New York City real estate scene: the parking space segment.

Most Out-of-Towners would have thought that the problems that Gotham has been coping with would have rendered most of Manhattan real estate a disaster zone. After all, with neighborhood small business owners crying “foul!” because of COVID restrictions, labor shortages brought about by competition from extended government…

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