What You Get for Your Money


With Home Prices increasing due to record-low mortgage rates and an inventory shortage, it’s currently a seller’s market.

By Dante Amodeo

Drone view of Luxury houses at the coast of Laguna Beach, California, USA Ph: Tom Ha/Shutterstock.com

Because of a supply and demand imbalance, if you’re looking to purchase a new home in coastal Orange County, according to experts, here’s what’s possibly at stake when you’re trying to close the deal: a large cash down payment, an offer at least 10% above asking price and a willingness to waive the appraisal contingency. However, buyers can take solace in 15-year mortgage rates hovering around 2%, and despite an economic recession, with 44% fewer listed homes for sale in Orange County than one year ago, it’s a hot market. If you’re looking to buy, here are some of the homes currently available.

Under $1.5 million 

31712 Florence Ave., Laguna Beach

This pristine beach cottage with gorgeous ocean and Catalina Island views has open wood ceilings, hardwood floors, a romantic fireplace, an updated bathroom and Andersen Windows that allow you to capture the breathtaking seascape. The home includes a two-car garage with a laundry area and shower—perfect for rinsing off after a day at the beach. A wraparound, fenced side yard and backyard compliment this charming residence, a great getaway or year-round home with exceptional lifestyle amenities close by, like the Montage Laguna Beach, Dana Point Harbor and the nine-hole golf course at The Ranch resort.

2 beds, 1.5 baths
633 square feet
Contact: Todd Davis; 949-447-4444

31511 Summit Road, Laguna Beach

This charming, updated and remodeled cottage in south Laguna Village has wood floors throughout. The updated kitchen is open to the living room with open wood-beamed ceilings and recessed lights. From the living room you have access to the spacious and private outdoor deck, a perfect place for outdoor entertaining and dining year-round.The bedrooms have built-in custom closets for extra storage with an abundance of natural light. The bathroom has a newly tiled tub and shower with a skylight above. This home has both the rear deck patio and front and side bricked patios enclosed with gated and fenced yards. Included is a stackable washer/dryer. The beautiful beaches of Tablerock and West Street are a few blocks away.   (RECENTLY SOLD)

2 beds, 1 bath
681 square feet
Contact: Ken Hanzlik; 949-338-1666, Diane Cannon; 949-230-1200
ken.hanzlik@compass.com; diane@lbhomebuying.com

Under $3 million

274 Upland Road, Laguna Beach

This private and immaculate Cape Cod-style cottage in Woods Cove is at the end of a long drive, a gated property that is the perfect place to welcome summer. Unplug with endless glistening sunsets, ocean views spanning Catalina Island up to Palos Verdes, and an open yet intimate living space. This smart home is well appointed with speakers, lighting controls and security options. The living room is complete with an automated fireplace and expansive dining counter with bar seating. Sink into any of the multiple dining nooks, inside or out, for a comforting drink or meal. A spacious deck brings the outdoors in, while capturing the views and the generous property that surrounds the home. The primary suite with spa-inspired bath allows a serene view of the garden. Guests won’t want to leave—whether they stake claim to the main level room with picturesque views, or the guest suite with a private entrance. Enjoy the gentle chorus of local birds throughout the expertly landscaped areas, including a beautiful fountain, hot tub and SnapSports basketball half court.

3 beds, 3 baths
1,307 square feet
Contact: Melissa Moore; 949-464-1063

332 L St., Newport Beach

This fabulous Balboa Peninsula home nestled in the heart of Balboa’s Peninsula Point is located on the very quiet L Street park. Just steps to the beach or bay, this immaculate home is a perfect primary residence or a second beach home getaway. A spacious master suite, two generously sized secondary bedrooms and a rooftop deck that acts as an outdoor room with views in every direction makes this a perfect home for entertaining. (RECENTLY SOLD)

3 beds, 2.5  baths
1,753 square feet
Contact: Kim Bibb; 714-396-0185

605 Agate St., Laguna Beach

Sitting on a quiet and private corner lot in the coveted Woods Cove neighborhood, this completely updated and relandscaped home is a dream. The incredible Chris Abel “treehouse” design with vaulted open-beam ceilings enhances the ocean views and the beautiful tree canopy. Included in this enchanting home is the original Chris Abel-designed front door. Natural light beams through the large glass windows and skylights throughout the house. The kitchen boasts Italian cabinets and countertops, a Viking six-burner range and imported glass tile. The main bedroom has a sitting area, balcony and two large closets. Just blocks from the best beaches, restaurants and local shops. (RECENTLY SOLD)

2 beds, 2.5 baths
1,690 square feet
Contact: Penny & Don Pattillo; 949-632-2252

1060 Glenneyre St., Laguna Beach

Brand-new in 2015, this custom-built home sits in the heart of the Laguna Beach Village and has been meticulously maintained by its original owners. The Craftsman-style home offers an attached oversized two-car garage with built-in storage and a 240-volt outlet to charge an electric car. Oak floors are throughout the home, with tile flooring in bathrooms. The open concept kitchen has a five-burner cooktop island with stainless hood, stainless energy-efficient Thermador appliances, limestone countertops, glass tile back splash and a walk-in pantry. The kitchen opens up to the great room with a fireplace, recessed lighting and French doors out to a fountain and cozy, relaxing patio. The large master suite includes an en suite bath with a double limestone vanity, glass enclosed shower and a freestanding porcelain bathtub and walk-in closet. Other features include dual-glazed Sierra Pacific metal clad windows, imported stones, custom cabinetry and a split air-conditioning system.

4 beds, 3.5 baths
2,200 square feet
Contact: Marcus Skendarian;

Under $5 million

215 Goldenrod Ave., Corona del Mar

This timeless contemporary-style home by renowned architect Richard H. Dodd is located in one of the most coveted locations of Corona del Mar Village, just steps away from Big Corona and China Cove Beaches, Inspiration Point and the iconic Goldenrod bridge—gateway to the upscale shops, fine dining and fun of the village. The lower level features a glass foyer, a dramatic living room with a black marble fireplace, an elevated dining room flanked by a garden wall, a main floor bedroom and bath, an island kitchen with European cabinetry, professional-grade appliances, refrigerated wine storage and marble countertops, eating nook and a beautiful balcony with a harbor view. The sloping lot allows for additional square footage in a rare lower level with a gym, laundry, quarter bath and oversized two-car garage. An open stairway leads to the upper floor highlighted by the uber-cool entertainment room with a fireplace, art lighting and wood floors; a stylish master suite has a sitting area, balcony, built-ins and elegant bath; and there is also an additional bedroom and bath, currently used as a music room. The rooftop deck provides amazing views of Newport Harbor, the world-famous Wedge surfing spot, the ocean, Catalina Island and endless panoramic sunsets.

3 beds, 5 baths
3,414 square feet
Contact: Evan Corkett or Steve High; 949-717-6000

77 Ritz Cove Drive, Dana Point

Situated in the guard-gated, oceanfront community of Ritz Cove,
this Mediterranean custom estate enjoys white water coastline views. The home features five oversized bedrooms each with en suite bath, 5,821 square feet. Perfect for entertaining with a 9,000-square-foot lot and large backyard. The light and bright spacious open floor plan includes soaring ceilings and an elegant entry with white marble floors, a dramatic staircase and chandeliers. The sprawling master suite and retreat showcases the beautiful coastline views with waves crashing on the beach. The Ritz Cove community is located nearby the prestigious Ritz-Carlton, Salt Creek Beach and Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach. It’s the perfect property for casual beach and elegant lifestyle along
the coast.

5 beds, 5.5 baths
5,821 square feet
Contact: Shauna Covington; 949-412-8088

$7 million and under

1 Searidge, Laguna Niguel

This timeless Bear Brand Ranch estate is situated on the meticulously manicured grounds of a sprawling, three-quarter-acre corner lot. From the elegance of form to the ease of function, this home promises days spent relaxing by the pool, hosting summer soirees, or enjoying the best of both. The gourmet kitchen features a generous island, dual sinks, dual ovens, butler’s pantry and custom cabinet-front refrigerator with freezer. Adjacent to the dining area, a warm fireplace serves as the focal point of the living room, which also features a wet bar with wine and beverage refrigerators. Down the hall and nearer to the main entry, the formal dining room stands ready to serve. Rightfully reserving a spacious section of the upper level, the master retreat spans several rooms including a sitting room, an office area and a lavish master bathroom with a therapeutic soaking tub, oversized double shower, dual vanities and a separate makeup vanity. Within the lush rear grounds stands a pool, a pergola-covered spa and plenty of space for seating all around. A rich wood-paneled study equipped with a fireplace, a full-service double-set laundry room with storage and a sink, a billiards game room with a fireplace, two oversized garages and a detached guest suite all come together to top off the amenities of this incredible Bear Brand Ranch estate.

6 beds, 7 baths
8,100 square feet
Contact: John Stanaland; 949-689-9047

700 Thalia St., Laguna Beach

There are only a handful of casual “beach estates” along this treasured part of the California coastline—not grand or opulent, but properties that reflect the laid-back California lifestyle while still providing the true luxuries of space, quality and gracious living. The gates of the arcing drive open to a magnificently sprawling property—with rolling lawns, a glistening pool, terraces and decks—overlooking ocean and coastline views. While the property is very private, it feels connected to all that makes Laguna Beach so wonderful, just blocks to the beach, the village with shops and restaurants and local parks. This is a property without compromise, and a rare opportunity to own a true “beach estate.” (RECENTLY SOLD)

4 beds, 5 baths
3,800 square feet
Contact: Mike Johnson; 949-207-3735

5211 Seashore Drive, Newport Beach

Let your dream of oceanfront living come true at this on-the-sand home in West Newport Beach’s most desirable beachside location. On the market for the first time, the spacious and bright residence presents a rare and coveted corner homesite that offers panoramic ocean views as well as increased privacy from neighboring properties. An abundance of natural light bathes the open-concept interior, which promotes seamless indoor/outdoor living with an oversized seaside patio that steps directly onto the beach. Signature panoramic vistas are enjoyed throughout the entire residence, creating the ultimate backdrop for entertaining in style. An extraordinary fireplace-warmed rooftop deck that welcomes unending views of breaking waves, city lights that sparkle up and down the coastline, and dramatic sunsets over Catalina Island offer an ideal setting for hosting dinner parties or simply relaxing in peace and tranquility. Three en suite bedrooms ensure comfort for everyone and include a master suite with Pacific Ocean vistas, a private ocean view balcony, a fireplace and walk-in closet; and a versatile bonus room that may be used as a den, office and more. For added convenience, a large two-car garage is featured.

3 beds, 4 baths
2,212 square feet
Contact: Meital Taub, 949-497-5454

2020 Donna Dr., Laguna Beach

The Barn House, created by Fred Briggs, one of the world’s top residential architects, is a masterpiece that offers one of the most dramatic views in Laguna Beach. The original Bauhaus-style with oak barn exterior has been perfectly refined by employing three materials for renovation: steel, wood and glass allowing this home to blend into the canyon beyond. Expansive walls of windows welcome light and views inside, while the two-story fireplace forms a warm heart for the home, ensuring comfort from inside to out. Enchanting from first sight with the soaring ceilings and exposed beams overhead, and hardwood floors underfoot. The four-sided, infinity–edge pool is the centerpiece of the outdoor entertainment areas. Enjoy the outdoors in private luxury on any of the four balconies, from the pool with oceanfront views, along endless walking paths, or within the private orchard. The Boffi kitchen and living areas make entertaining indoors as easy as out.

3 beds, 3 baths
3,000 square feet
Contact: Sean Stanfield; 949-244-9057

Over $10 million

31531 Peppertree Bend, San Juan Capistrano

This custom, new construction residence is in a class of its own resulting from its panoramic Newport Harbor, ocean, city lights and Catalina Island views from every level and seven decks. A state-of-the-art Darwin Home Wellness Intelligence system by Delos works 24 hours per day to enhance well-being with circadian integrated lighting and air and water purification systems that are continuously monitored and automatically calibrated to minimize pollutants. A glass elevator serves all four interior levels of this highly optimized home, fit with video surveillance, built-in audio, Lutron shades and lighting, EV charging, and approximately 1,100 square feet of pristine outdoor living across the home’s decks, accessed through zero-transition Fleetwood doors and warmed by nine built-in heaters. Inside, luxurious appointments include Porcelanosa tile and Warren Christopher wood floors, custom walnut and cedar millwork, marble countertops and designer light fixtures that produce an aesthetic as striking as the views beyond. The home also encompasses a subterranean entertainment hub with bar, 12-person spa, theater and game rooms, main level common areas, a separate family room and four bedrooms including a sumptuous master wing with dual-sided fireplace, Mr. Steam Shower and radiant heated floors—all topped by a 360-degree-view rooftop deck.

4 beds, 7 baths
5,046 square feet
Contact: Tim Smith; 949-478-2295

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