This month, Money magazine offered advice for house hunters eager to get a jump on “the most active homebuying season of the year.” The busy season may still be weeks away, but it’s widely expected that landing a ‘good deal’ on one of the Costa Mesa houses that meet all requirements may take some doing. “How to Spot a Good Deal When Shopping for a Home” offered five pointers. Briefly summarizing (in reverse order):

The fifth one, “Buy during the offseason,” is the most timely. In addition to arming buyers with a valuable grounding in the local market in this less active period, it can lead to valuable offerings when it’s combined with the fourth pointer, “Look at homes that have been listed for a while.” Costa Mesa houses that are long unclaimed…

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Ask just about any Costa Mesa kid if they’d like to have a swimming pool in the backyard and you know what the answer will be. Costa Mesa swimming pools are neighborhood plusses when the weather is right, no doubt about it. But when it comes to the value Costa Mesa swimming pools add to a home’s resale bottom line, the calculation is complicated by a whole slew of associated factors.

Without rendering a universal verdict, for house hunters preparing their ‘gotta have’ features list, and for Costa Mesa homeowners deciding whether to contract to have one installed on their property, there are at least five issues worth taking into account:

  1. Maintenance. Costa Mesa swimming pools require regular upkeep that’s both time-consuming and expensive. In…

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The Costa Mesa real estate lexicon rarely expands to include new terms—but as in so many other areas, exceptions were made during the COVID-19 pandemic. One of them was the recognition of “zoom towns,” a term coined to designate smaller towns and rural areas that experienced an influx of remote workers and residents. Costa Mesa needn’t be considered a zoom town to market a possible “zoom room.” That’s a feature that remains appealing to many due to fallout from the pandemic—¬¬developments that include:

  • The rise of remote work. Powerful home computers and lightning-fast web speeds had already made remote work possible, but it took the pandemic-related health mandates to change ingrained workplace practices—by both workers and their employers.…

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Much of the media spent last week exploring the topic of Artificial Intelligence—with mixed opinions about whether it will turn out to be a boon or a curse to Mankind. Much of the discussion focused on AI-generated writing, which some students were already trying to pass off as the product of their own research.

One example was a robotic essay answering the question, “What are the chances that residential real estate will collapse?” The speedily-generated answer was an almost human-sounding regurgitation of what most experts thought: not likely. Local homeowners who were actually concerned about the future of Costa Mesa home values wouldn’t have been enlightened, since more convincing points had already been made by real financial analysts.…

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Even though the Costa Mesa housing market doesn’t precisely echo wider national moves, a connection between the two is only natural. There’s a psychological tendency to respect what authoritative sources avow—and most of the information about real estate that comes to our attention is national, not local. If the morning’s headlines include mention of the latest housing market leap or stumble, it registers. We may be perfectly aware that Costa Mesa’s residential results are apt to be their own thing, but we also know that our expectations (and our neighbors’) will tend to be colored by the zeitgeist as presented.

That’s why, despite its national nature, last week’s news about the U.S. housing market was positive for the Costa Mesa residential…

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Remember glass bricks? You seldom see them in newly constructed Costa Mesa residential settings, but in past eras, their unique properties made them popular with architects and interior designers. They were most prominent in structures built in the 1930s or ‘40s—as well as in later incarnations in the 80s by designers who sought to recapture their distinctive retro look.

Originally, glass bricks (the square ones are also called “blocks”) were favored for office building interiors where they were prized for their unique utility. When deployed in partitions or walls, you could see something through them, but couldn’t make out exactly what or who. They created a sort of public/private compromise that businesses found appropriate: there was…

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When the Forbes’ Advisor site posts a question in its top editorial slot, most Costa Mesa readers assume it will wind up being rhetorical. If an answer follows, it’s likely to be couched in ambiguities. But still, the question posed in the “Advisor” was intriguing: When Will Home Prices Become Affordable? The answer to that question has consequences for anyone looking to buy or sell Costa Mesa homes.

The opening paragraphs held no surprises (but also no answers). They reprised familiar observations about 2022’s skyrocketing interest rates and the pressure they put on the housing market. According to the authors, the pressure was “much-needed” because it acted to slow the rise in home prices, which had surpassed record highs. The reasons why the…

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A short article got Marketwatch.com’s month’s commentaries off to a fast start on February 1. It centered on a pair of numbers, and “What 2 Mortgage Numbers Say About Home Buying Right Now.

Here are the numbers—followed by “what they say” (or don’t say):

  1. The Mortgage Bankers Association’s composite index tracks the weekly volume of home loan applications. Last week it fell a seasonally adjusted 9%.
  2. The average 30-year home loan interest rate was 6.19%—the lowest since early September.

In a considerable understatement, MarketWatch observed that the first number—the drop in applications— “does not appear to have been driven by a rise in rates.” Since the rates had gone in the opposite direction, that would seem to be an unexpectedly…

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