Even for homeowners who moved into a new Costa Mesa house as recently as a few years ago, the pace of technological advance is such that it’s easy to lose track of many fledgling household products that use technology in new and useful ways. Whereas earlier introductions often qualified as little more than nifty, fun-to-mess-with gadgets, many newer arrivals are well worth looking into:

  • More than just a cold storage unit, some smart refrigerators can sport touchscreens that put recipes right there where the ingredients are kept. They allow grocery list inputting—and make online grocery ordering quick and simple. Once Costa Mesa users get used to the convenience, it’s easy to see why running the household kitchen with a dumb ol’ fridge may one…

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The advantage that is tapped into when an owner decides to engage the services of a professional Costa Mesa staging firm has been demonstrated time and again, so you’d think that most sellers would choose to claim that resource. Although no one tracks the Costa Mesa statistics, you can bet that the majority of local sellers don’t even interview a professional stager, despite the proven value their service brings. That fact will come as good news for those who do—it creates an advantage that puts them ahead of the crowd.

The reasons may include reluctance to grant the power to make decisions about how the property is to be presented to the buying public. After all, it’s THEIR house, not the stagers’! But most owners will agree that the whole point…

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With Costa Mesa housing activity up and down, one impactful facet remains: there still aren’t enough properties to choose from. To many, this fact is a downer: a drag on home sales totals, an impediment to buyers who face stubborn seller's market asking prices, and a stubborn roadblock to many would-be homeowners whose incomes won’t quite stretch.

But (as the old saying goes) in adversity lurks opportunity. When it comes to how that might apply to Costa Mesa housing, The National Association of Realtors® spelled it out in last month’s Real Estate News article. The advice was intended for their readership—the nation’s brokers and agents—but “4 Property Investment Opportunities Created by the Downturn” can be equally enlightening for their clients.

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Buying a home in Costa Mesa is the longstanding goal for a good number of determined future homeowners—but for many who have delayed making a commitment to dive into the homebuying process, the timing just never seems to be right (or anything close to it). Worries intrude from a number of fronts: mortgage rate hikes, asking price creep, a steady stream of free-floating threats to the national economy, and monetary inflation are the leaders—and more seem likely to emerge at any time. It's enough to make anyone want to sit out major long-term commitments like buying a home, at least until the picture gets clearer.

Yet that was just as true last year (and the year before)…

So last Wednesday’s Forbes.com Advisor contribution—“…When Will Home Prices…

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The sudden introduction of “chatbots” and the data-based Artificial Intelligence they now offer the world has many unexplored applications, including residential real estate. One could be the ever-current debate about when is the most propitious time to list a house. The best Costa Mesa Realtors® traditionally differ on precisely when that is—but they would be unanimous in how they qualify their answers. Aside from the advantage gained by listing in the active spring-to-summer markets, the quality of a property and its asking price compared with neighborhood comparables are much more important. But “spring-to-summer” has always been a pretty vague answer. Wouldn’t more precision be possible, now that AI is coming of age?

One problem with nailing…

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Although May Day springtime festivals aren’t nearly as prominent as they once were, for many Costa Mesa residents, the first day of May is still a sentimental marker for the time of year when winter’s chill can be pretty much tossed in the memory bin. Cold waves may still dominate Costa Mesa weather reports, but they can now be treated as newsworthy anomalies. And Punxsutawney Phil’s dubious reliability scorecard can now be officially improved—this year, he was right: spring was slow in coming.

Outside of elementary schools, European folk customs (like dancing around the Maypole) have never been staples here in the U.S.—although more than one child may still be expected to gather flowers and surreptitiously hang a basket where Mom will find it.

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Getting a bead on how this spring’s housing market is faring can be less than reliable if the conclusion is based on national summaries. Last week offered a good example.

Take USA Today’s Friday report, which included a section promising “What is happening with home sales?” It seemed to merit one of those frowny-faced emojis since it highlighted the Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator. The PHS showed pending transactions were “down by 23%” from last year’s total. The explanation from NAR® Chief Economist Yun cited the stubborn persistence of an inventory shortfall. “The lack of housing inventory is a major constraint to rising sales,” said the economist.

But the following discussion included this fact: the national unsold…

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