It can be easy to forget, but while skimming through the news of the day, there are usually opportunities hidden within changing circumstances—even those presented as thoroughly unfavorable. Last week, the investment strategists at SeekingAlpha.com offered a view of the state of the U.S. housing market that wasn’t widely available elsewhere. If nothing else, it offered a positive note that Costa Mesa real estate watchers could appreciate.

A case in point was last Monday’s article that emphasized a different take on the soaring mortgage rates and falling home sales numbers that inspired gloomy commentaries elsewhere:

“Housing market becomes more balanced as falling home sales lead to higher inventory”

The upbeat headline was followed by a real…

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To many a Costa Mesa home loan applicant, the mortgage industry might seem to be as inscrutable as the mysterious monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey. It seems to act as an all-powerful gatekeeper, only granting passage into the world of homeownership based on formulations it alone determines—either by logic or whimsy (depending on which way the decision goes). The home loan industry appears to hold all the cards in a game where it never entirely shows its hand—or so it can seem (especially to first-time applicants).


The truth is that mortgage issuers are motivated by the same carrots and sticks that any financial entity has to juggle: profits are the goal, expenses are to be minimized, and evaluating risk is the key factor that rewards lenders who…

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It takes an unusually well-organized homeowner to keep on top of all the minor maintenance items that go awry from time to time in every house. So when it’s time to list our Costa Mesa house, many of us don’t even like to think about all the small fixes we’ve gotten used to—but ones we will no longer be able to ignore. Facing an extensive fix-it list doesn’t have to happen if you get in the habit of putting aside a few hours a month to cure individual household failures as they crop up—but it does take a firm commitment to do it!

A while back, the Washington Post’s Jura Koncius made exactly that point in an article that pointed out how most people tend to put off those little renovations until they’re about to list their home—when completing some…

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As we wade into the fall, area homeowners who are putting their properties on the market will be able to cash in on what is known as the “Autumn Advantage”—one of the principal reasons many home décor professionals find it the easiest season to exploit. You don’t have to be a staging expert to see how autumn in Costa Mesa lends itself to a myriad of eye-catching seasonal props that help make Costa Mesa homes warm and inviting—in fact, “homey” is a perfect description.

Some areas that illustrate the Autumn Advantage:

  • Seasonal Scents. Most professional stagers keep clear of scented candles because they run the risk of alienating some buyers who happen to have an aversion to any particular scent. But fall is an exception for scents that trigger…

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First-time homebuyers who have put their searches on hold are undoubtedly pleased to hear that increasing numbers of U.S. homes are going up for sale—an encouraging sign that could bring some Costa Mesa buyers back into the hunt. The gains in inventory aren’t the only reasons buyers are revisiting the Costa Mesa listings:

  • The consensus has it that mortgage interest rates are most likely to continue to rise, rewarding those who lock in home loans sooner rather than later.
  • As long as inflation levels continue to rise, home prices are expected to do the same. Per realtor.com, “The Fed is now hellbent on taming prices by hiking interest rates”—with a predictable effect on home loan offers.
  • This time of year traditionally sees a lull in…

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With so many 'if's' at large in the national arena, this year presents a tougher than usual job for the real estate experts whose annual predictions begin to surface around this time every year. If the direction of the economy were a bit clearer, the prognosticators' jobs would be tough enough—but in too many areas to count, they are TBD: recession (or not); inflation (or not); supply chains returning to normal (or not)…

Like it or not, September is when experts are expected to hazard their first predictions for the coming year in housing and real estate. This year, it should be more interesting than usual to see how they handle the current unsettled zeitgeist—especially where they find common ground. Here is a roundup of the early…

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A couple of Fridays ago, yahoo!finance presented a column certain to attract readers who have ever considered whether Costa Mesa real estate investing would be worth pursuing. The article promised to reveal investor Warren Buffet’s candid opinion on the matter. The billionaire Wall Street legend seemed to be bearish on Costa Mesa real estate investing. And if the headline was accurate, this GOAT was bearish on your prospects, too:

“Why Warren Buffett Doesn’t Buy Real Estate
And Most Other Investors Shouldn’t Either”

This seems to be a case of the headline-writing department being out of sync with the article-writing department (again). The text of Kevin Vandenboss’ article actually supported the opposite conclusion. It all came down to…

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Local homeowners who aren’t also Costa Mesa landlords probably don’t concern themselves much about how Costa Mesa rental prices fare from month to month. Although almost everyone has been a renter at some point in their lives, when you buy a home you call your own, your real estate attention tends to focus on the details you actively encounter.

True, it’s hard to totally ignore rental market activity completely—especially if headlines roar eye-catching phrases like “first time ever” or “highest level in history.” Last week, the Wall Street Journal blared one of those, including both “First Time in Two Years” and “Climbing to Records.” In fact, area homeowners who read on would have done so because of the surprise that headline constituted. It was a…

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