Orange County Real Estate Forecast for 2018

I think I can safely say, after reviewing the data and gauging by my own experience, 2018 is shaping up to be pretty much like 2017 in the Orange County Real Estate Market.

There are so few homes currently for sale right now, only about 3,500 active listings, that it seems unlikely that we will reach the historic average of about 8,000 homes for sale any time this year.  Demand is still quite strong due to an improving economy and still-historically low interest rates (but better hurry).  Most likely the inventory will reach a peak of only bout 6,500 homes for sale some time in July.

If you are looking to sell your home and want less competition, the earlier in the year the better.

The strongest demand usually begins in late spring, ending in late summer. That is when one can also expect the greatest price appreciation. I expect prices to appreciate between 4% and 5% for the whole year. Translation: try and purchase ASAP before summer hits.

Buyers will need to be patient and persistent if they want to be successful in making a home purchase in 2018. Sellers can expect to receive multiple offers, especially if their home is priced under $900,000. Contact me if you want more detailed info about what to expect in your specific area and in your specific instance.

Don’t Sweat the Big Stuff

Buyers these days DO expect to see a property in good shape, and better yet, in model shape. But if it’s not in your budget to update your home that may be slightly stuck in the 1970’s or 1980’s, don’t sweat it! There are lots of little things you can do to make your home put its best foot forward when you are on a budget.

I would say that most homes don’t feature all the latest in decorating and/or updating trends. So if you are selling your dated home, you are in good company! The key is to make your home’s best features and ANY updates stand out as much as possible, and perform a few affordable updates that can breathe new life into your living space.

In a dated kitchen, new appliances will go a long way in making it seem more modern. Plus it will add value in a buyer’s mind; perhaps more value than the cost of installing the appliances. Even new drawer and cabinet pulls are great affordable updates.

In bathrooms, consider installing new vanity lighting and/or new mirrors. New drawer and cabinet pulls are great, too. New faucets can also detract from dated vanities, older cabinets and maybe even wallpaper in that bathroom!

Paint! If you can’t afford to paint the whole house, pick a room or two and paint! Best choice would be to pick a room where new paint would have the most impact; maybe the room the buyer will see first or the kitchen.

Another general word of advice: go with the flow and feel of your home in its current state.

A home stuck in the 1970’s may feel more current if you decorate or at least use colors from the 1970’s.  Fortunately, those colors and the style is in right now. A home from the 1980’s may benefit with some toning down. There may be lots of gold trim and hardware throughout the home. Try and remove and replace as much of it as possible. If there are lots of 80’s pastel colors that can’t be replaced, try and decorate with neutrals and organic pieces.

Change out throw pillows and bedspreads to more neutral/organic ones. Implement classic styles and colors so they don’t clash with any decade. Pack away all the little collectibles that make your home look cluttered. Use just a few quality, larger pieces to decorate with.

And clean, clean, clean! Top to bottom, windows, baths, kitchen, floors; everything should shine like new even if it isn’t.

Have a home like this? I have so much experiencing transforming spaces on a budget! 949.525.5905.

Remodeled Bathrooms in Orange County

I am so lucky! I get to see so many homes and get ideas for remodels. I pass along these ideas to my clients so they can make good decisions. Whether they are looking to update a new home purchase or are looking to update to sell, I can always provide tips and information about trends for all types of bathrooms, large or small.

Below are photos of various sizes of Orange County bathrooms featuring lots of remodeling ideas PLUS storage ideas. Enjoy!

Buyers Are Taking Their Time Shopping

Buyers can now afford to take more time shopping for a home here in Orange County. Naturally there are some exceptions, but for the most part, due to the increased inventory and a more balanced real estate market, buyers can afford to slow down and shop.

There is a pretty good mix of home types currently on the market: from a beautifully remodeled turnkey view home in Laguna Niguel to a fixer in a transitional neighborhood and everything in between. I have noticed there are more and more of these “in between” types coming on the market from Fountain Valley to Mission Viejo. Many in decent shape with some updates or with key features buyers are looking for. It is important that these types of “in between” sellers price their home in line with fair market value and not think they can get the same price the more updated property around the corner got just a short time ago. Buyers are definitely taking their time to get the most for their money and know what they want and what its value is. A savvy seller should know this, too, if they want to sell for best price in a reasonable amount of time.