Second only to, MarketWatch is the most often-visited financial and business news site—pulling in more than 38 million unique readers a year. That beats out more prominent names like the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and Reuters. Such popularity can be interpreted as “highly trusted”—but given today’s heightened level of free-floating skepticism, that remains to be seen.

Last week MarketWatch’s “Picks” page presented four predictions for the housing market that might interest Costa Mesa readers—including owners of Costa Mesa luxury homes and those interested in acquiring Costa Mesa high-end properties. It dealt with residential real estate as a whole, but the writers—economists and real estate pros—placed a luxury market prediction…

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It’s a tempting scenario: having accumulated a considerable amount of cash, you find your Costa Mesa dream house, agree that the asking price is within reason—and prepare to sit down to make an all-cash offer. By buying it outright with cash, the future looks like ultra-smooth sailing, financially speaking. No mortgage payment. No interest. No monthly insurance set-aside or property tax pre-payment impounded into some escrow account the mortgage company insists upon. And you really own the place yourself—with no strings attached!

Although there are undeniable plusses to buying your Costa Mesa dream house with cash, there are at least three opposing reasons why it would be prudent to at least think twice before writing that all-cash offer:

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Kudos to the editors at Forbes for this month’s thoughtful offering—a checklist that can clarify the advisability of buying Costa Mesa homes “in this hot real estate market.” The six questions combine to create a personal inventory that prospective Costa Mesa homebuyers can use to gauge the timeliness of a commitment to buy in this spring’s busy season.

While much of the rest of the real estate and financial press spent last week speculating over whether a U.S. residential “bubble” was either forming or about to burst (none of them thinks so), Forbes contributor David Rae’s questions were more valuable for homebuyers with legitimate concerns about the advantages of buying right now. Here are the questions—

  1. Will I be willing to live in this…

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Our Costa Mesa real estate market’s surges of activity are next to impossible to forecast with any degree of precision. Since intervening events can negate even the most well-grounded projections, it’s wise to keep in mind how tentative any reading of the underlying tea leaves can be. Even so, last week’s disclosures provided a high level of confidence that a market change could be on the way.

Two disparate pieces of the national real estate jigsaw puzzle from two trustworthy sources provided the clues. The two:

  • From the Wall Street Journal, a finding that “The mood among sellers…shifted in recent weeks from apathy…to urgency.” Financial advisers and real estate agents are reporting that their clients are showing a new sense of readiness to…

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When it comes to your own Costa Mesa real estate holdings, so long as a sense of proportion is retained, keeping up with fashion writers’ latest opinions is usually a harmless pursuit. So it was that the publication on March 31 of Betty Stefanova’s “5 Interior Design Trends that will Disappear this Year” seemed worth checking out. After all, the abrupt termination of a trend could be costly to any local homeowner who went all-in on one of the soon-to-be-axed design ideas—especially if their property was headed for the Costa Mesa market. Although Ms. Stefanova’s qualifications were not readily available, her strong opinions were undeniably thought-provoking:

  1. Open-Floor Plans. Now that “most of us” are working remotely, the need for silence in our…

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For the local homeowners with Costa Mesa homes for sale, last week’s real estate news was filled with encouraging details. Headlines like “Home-Price Growth Accelerated in January” (the Wall Street Journal), “Home prices skyrocket 19.2% in January” (CNBC), and “Condo prices hit all-time high: Redfin” ( were prominent across the media, with reportage emphasizing signs that for most of the country, this year’s busy season was already in full swing.

Even the most worrisome development—a stronger-than-expected uptick in mortgage interest rates—could be viewed as a plus for homeowners with Costa Mesa homes for sale. Although the week’s average home loan rates climbed to their highest level in more than three years, most outlets included…

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This spring, the marketplace for first-time homebuyers is similar to last year’s, only (as the saying goes) ‘more so.’ Earlier in the month, CNBC broadcast a number of statistics that made the case. In their phrase, for first-timers, buying a home is “tougher than ever.” Even so, for Costa Mesa house-hunters, it’s a half-empty glass that is also half-full.

The CNBC report concentrated on a major segment of first-time buyers: those born between 1981 and 1996 (the millennials). Given that the typical first-time homebuyer household has an income in the $75,000 - $100,000 range (approximately what mortgage lenders require), it’s possible to determine how many such households there are. In 2019, there was one listing for every 24 of those households.…

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