orange county: Upper Price Points Still Stalled in Las Flores - 04/27/09 06:35 PM
Las Flores continues to suffer some of the same conditions we are seeing in the overall South Orange County market - very little activity in the upper price points, a large number of short sales, and very low bank owned activity.
As of today, there are 23 homes on the market in Las Flores and 10 of them are short sales, and presently there are no bank owned homes active. Unfortunately, I'm fully expecting the foreclosures to increase in the next 30 to 120 days (refer to my post on OC Real Estate Voice) and subsequently bank owned listings to increase.

orange county: Microscope on Mission Viejo - 03/13/09 03:37 PM
Today the microscope is on Mission Viejo. (BTW Dear Friends/Readers, if you find this number crunching downright boring - stay tuned. I always come back to the conversations that are much more fun than this! :)
So many of the media numbers focus on Orange County performance, but real estate performance can vary dramatically within our large county and particularly at various price points.
I'm going to spend the next several posts breaking down each of the South Orange County cities to give you an idea of local performance. Whether you are buying, selling, or just keeping an eye on your … (0 comments)

orange county: What Comes Out of 'The Black Hole' - 02/26/09 01:42 PM
After years in this business, my husband has learned a few realities about my business:
"I just have to return this one phone call." Translation: 30 minutes and several phone calls. "I just have to run down to my office and shoot out a quick email." Translation: 20 + minutes in the office. "I'll be in my office catching up for just a bit." Sadly the translation: I'll be in bed about an hour after you. Consequently, he has affectionately referred to my home office as, 'The Black Hole.' I have three children so he certainly appreciates the fact that I … (5 comments)

orange county: Stimulus Plan a Big Miss for California - 02/25/09 04:46 PM
The Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan was recently released. It attempts to address some of the issues that the current housing market is struggling with and I have been through some of the details and as it currently is written, I'm disappointed.
Near the end of December last year I posted the article about about the top 10 worst housing markets in the country, according to CNN. Unfortunately, 8 out of 10 were in the state of California. Now keep in mind, California is a massive factor in our national economy. Our Gross Domestic Product is larger than all but 8 … (1 comments)

orange county: Las Flores Market Update - Slow Sales - 02/24/09 10:43 AM
Las Flores is not unlike many communities these days in Orange County. We are plagued by low demand and a good deal of short sale inventory. Short sales are when the encumbrances/loans against the property are higher than today's market value plus costs of sale.
Currently we have 19 Active Listings in Las Flores. Of that inventory, we have no bank owned homes presently and 8 homes, or 42% of the inventory, are short sales.
Consumers that have actively been looking understand the challenges today with short sales and unless they are very attractively priced, they generally shy away from them. … (0 comments)

orange county: The Bottom - Are We There Yet? - 02/07/09 06:31 AM
Remember those long car rides that seemed to last forever? I used to pester my poor parents with the tired question, "Are we there yet?" As a mother to 3 kids, 10 and under, I'm now on the receiving end of that tired question.
This Orange County real estate market is one of those long car rides where we are all asking the same question about the bottom of this market - "Are we there yet?" I even have moments where I want to say in my whiniest voice, "How much longer, Mom?"
Did you ever notice that your parents were … (2 comments)

orange county: CNN Money's Predictions - 8 of 10 Worst Housing Markets in California - 12/22/08 08:17 AM
This morning I came across an article on  They predicted the top 10 worst housing market for 2009 across the country and California had the unfortunate distinction of having 8 out of 10 spots. 
Ranked as number 6 for the worst real estate markets in the country was the Santa Ana - Anaheim area.  The Median sales price for 2008 was stated at $532,140.  The prediction for '09 was a 23.7% decline.  The prediction for 2010 was a 3.5% decline.  If these predictions are accurate, that would leave us with the median sales price around $391,812 at the end … (4 comments)

orange county: It's a Buyer's Market - Or Is It? - 11/24/08 06:09 PM
My last post had quite a heated debate on Active Rain (which I dig BTW).  How do you educate clients about when to buy?
I did some research for a client tonight. The findings are important to share with readers here.  If you are a serious buyer or seller, this information is telling.  Please stick with the tedium of the stats because the story it tells is meaningful.
My particular buyer is looking in Mission Viejo between $450,000 and $550,000.  He wants a single family residence.  With that criteria, I hit the MLS looking for a picture of where we really … (4 comments)

orange county: Skip the Bailout; I Have a Better Idea - 10/29/08 09:26 AM
There has been much discussion about the big bailout.  But in case anyone with any influence is listening - I have an idea that could make a big contribution to our market recovery.  Just call anytime and I'll share my insight with you - from the trenches.  I'll be waiting for your call.
For the rest of you that might be curious about what I have in mind, I'll share with you some of what happened to me this week.  Brace yourself because I feel a rant coming on....
As I have said countless times on this blog, short sales are … (12 comments)

orange county: The Great Park's First Pumpkin Harvest - 10/24/08 04:49 PM
October 25th, from 2:00 to 5:00, the Orange County Great Park in Irvine will host their first Great Park Pumpkin Harvest.   Bring the whole family for all kinds of fun with a pumpkin patch,  pumpkin decorating, games, petting zoo, and mask making.  At 3:00 there will be a Monster Mash and at 4:00 there will be marching in the Great Halloween Costume Parade.  Click here for directions.
The event is sponsored by the Great Park Neighborhoods, the Second Harvest Food Bank and the Great Park Conservancy.
Second Harvest Food Bank recently opened its new Orange County headquarters at the Great Park.  … (3 comments)

orange county: Why Orange County Median Home Price May Fall another $75,000 - 09/08/08 11:36 AM
If you take a look at some of the neighboring counties in So. California, it's interesting to map their history.
Take a look at Riverside County (Light Blue) or San Diego County (Purple).  Both of these areas are back to early 2003 pricing.  Where is Orange County (Dark Green)?  We're still at May 2004 pricing. 
Suppose we found ourselves at early 2003 pricing in Orange County; that could put us under the $400,000 mark for a median home price.  Interesting...but is it possible?  Given the current housing and mortgage climate, I think so.  Stay tuned....
For the original post go … (4 comments)

orange county: Big Politics in Lake Forest Tonight - 08/16/08 05:06 PM
One week ago, I went to my mailbox to find the local Orange County celebrity and Saddleback Pastor, Rick Warren on the cover of my weekly Time Magazine discussing his international PEACE plan and church.
There is no questioning Warren's international influence.  He's sold 30 million copies worldwide of the Purpose Driven Life and has grown the Lake Forest Saddleback Church into the largest church in the country with 28,000 members.  If you've ever driven down the 241 Toll Road and seen this church, you know that it really resembles a campus more than a church, and the parking is reminisent of going … (2 comments)

orange county: Pristine Rental in Wagon Wheel - Ready Immediately - 08/03/08 10:53 AM

orange county: Want to Buy a Short Sale - Bucket Your Seat Belt, This May Take a While - 07/15/08 04:15 PM
With the extensive media coverage, I'm surprised that I'm having an issue with the level of patience I'm experiencing on my Mission Viejo Short Sale.  Both the agent and the buyers are disappointed that I can't give them a firm response time - really?!  Come now.
I listed the property and within 4 days, I had 4 offers.  I promptly put it in back up (I hate listings that sit collecting offers and still show 'Active' but that's another conversation).  We submitted with the bank.   
It's been 6 weeks - the appraisal was just completed.  It's likely another 30 days before we … (10 comments)

orange county: Another Band Aid on the California School Budgetary Crisis - 06/04/08 10:53 AM
Capo Unified School District in Orange County sharpened their pencils, utilized the $1 million dollars raised by parents and the govenor's revised budget numbers for the schools, and have reinstated the 265 teachers that had previously received termination notices.  But, it's not all good news.
It's another year with temporary solutions and band aids on long term educational funding problems that countless bake sales will not fix.

orange county: $19 Million Sale in Coto de Caza - Wonder what it looked like? Check it out! - 05/30/08 05:29 AM
Not all markets are hurting.  Coto de Caza has seen some tough times in the under $1.5 million price range but the higher price points seem to be hanging in there.
Ken Bowen with Remax recently sold this home in Coto de Caza for $19,500,000 - $4.5 million over the last highest sale ever recorded in Coto. 
I actually showed this home well over a year ago to a client.  It is a stunning property, but WOW.  On the market for 582 days.  Worth the wait I'd say.  Congrats to Ken. 


orange county: Market Conditions in Rancho Santa Margarita - 05/28/08 10:44 AM
The short sale condition in South Orange County continues to have a severe impact on our market and on prices.  Until some of the Bank Owned and Short Sale inventory diminishes - we will continue to have pressure on prices.
That being said, you can see from the following graphes that the # of escrows is on the rise.  Whether that is temporary seasonal buying, or an actual improvement in our market remains to be seen but I suspect the former.

If you break down the inventory by price, the number of distress sales is even more alarming in the … (0 comments)

Linsey Ehle (M Realty)

Linsey Ehle

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

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