CA Property Taxes Due Dec. 10th

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Your 1st installment of California property taxes is due on or before December 10, 2014. The State will apply penalties if payment is received after the 10th. If you have forgotten the amount of your property taxes, wonder if you have already paid, or want to pay online go to: http://tax.ocgov.com/tcweb/search_page.asp.

Make sure you read the fine print if you elect to pay online (additional credit card charges apply). If you mail, consider paying extra for Certified Mail to avoid penalties and get your postmark on or before December 10th guaranteed.

Lastly, if you think you may sell in 2015, now is the time to act. Careful planning and preparation prior to listing your home will get you the results you desire.  And if you’re hoping to get in the market next year, expect to see more inventory soon and continued low interest rates.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Newport Beach Area Average Sales Match 2007 Peak

Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 11.59.16 AMWell, it’s official. Our local Eastside Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Newport Coast, and Corona del Mar real estate prices have recovered. Completely. Quickly. Even shockingly. If you look at our high point in 2007, you’ll see an average sales price of $2,287,871. As of the end of September 2014, our average sales price is now $2,287,418. I apologize for being $453 off.

Also of note is the recovery in sales volume from the lows of 2010 of 772 back up to 1,149. A little below the rush of 2012 and 2013, but never-the-less healthy numbers. With interest rates still low and our economy still growing, albeit slowly, I expect pricing to remain relatively flat to slightly increasing in the low single digit percentages.

Whether you are in a condo, a traditional single family neighborhood, or a luxury waterfront or view property, the likelihood is high that you could sell for a near record high price.  If selling your home is at all a topic of conversation at the dinner table, these numbers bode well for you.  Now is the time to discuss how Bixby Residential can help with your listing.

Call me directly for an update on your neighborhood:  949.677.0111.

New Permit Center At City Hall

Improved service,technology, and waiting area
Improved service, technology, and waiting area.

 

For those used to the older permit desk a surprise awaits.  The comfortable waiting room is filled with light, and the service desk is much improved with multiple stations.  You’ll find the wait time is minimal.  Parking is free, ample, and close by in the structure across Civic Green, which is a nice change from the previous peninsula location.  If you don’t have the time or want to save yourself a trip, you can search permit and plan check status online at: http://www.newportbeachca.gov/index.aspx?page=1754.  Search by plan number or property street address.

Dover Shores And Castaways–Why The Sales Disparity?

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Castaways Lagging Behind Dover Shores in 2013

You may or may not have heard, but Orange County home prices are up 24% from a year ago this time. Interestingly, the vast majority of this gain took place within the past six months. Yet NO CASTAWAYS HOME can say it contributed to that increase this year. Why is that?

In 2012 there were nine sales in the Castaways, with an average sales price of $1,985,000. Two sales were over $2 Million, and both were Cape Andover addresses on the bluff. All interior properties traded under $2 Million. That level of trading represents a healthy market. This year, three listings hit the market and NONE OF THEM sold. One was withdrawn from the MLS and two others cancelled their listings. Yet in 2013 there have been ten sales in Dover Shores of over $2 Million, and most of those were non-view properties. By any measure, Dover Shores has been selling rapidly and posting some record sales prices. So why is Dover Shores moving and Castaways not, you ask?

I believe that agents have been properly selling the lifestyle of Dover Shores and emphasizing the larger lot sizes and yards, the variation in floor plans and architectural styles, and the freedom of expression you get with no HOA design rules. Also, there are well over 1,000 homes in the Dover Shores area compared with just 120 in Castaways. But Castaways homeowners know that their neighborhood and homes offer something unique as well–the added security of a 24-hour guard gate, great square footage homes with high volume ceilings and wonderfully functional layouts, and consistently attractive elevations with terrific curb appeal. Not to mention the views from the bluff and access to Bob Henry Park and the bike trail.

So what will it take to get some Castaways sales on the board for 2013 to keep pace with Dover Shores? The short of it comes down to pricing the home correctly, understanding what you are selling and communicating that effectively to prospective buyers, and making each interaction with buyer’s agents a positive one. Our market is changing rapidly toward one of greater equilibrium. Already average Days On Market (DOM) is increasing and interest rates have risen. Selling a home for top dollar will require sound decisions and hard work. This means your choice of real estate broker is more important than ever.

Call me if I can be of real estate assistance: 949.677.0111. Or email: grant@bixbyresidential.com

Historical Interest Rate Graph–Adjustable Mortgages vs. Fixed Rate

 

Interest rates have crept up in the past month, but still remain near all-time lows for many loan products. Lenders are becoming more aggressive in their variety of programs offered and credit requirements, so it remains an attractive time to be a buyer from a financing standpoint. That’s the easy part. Having the winning offer on a property with competition is the hard part. Choose an agent who has strong relationships with other listing agents, knows the local market, and can get you early access to available properties. –Grant Bixby

Interest-Rate-Graph

 

Bixby Residential Awards Three Scholarships at Newport Harbor Senior Awards Night

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L to R: Grant Bixby with winners Tyler Carlin, Taylor Anderson, and Dana Siegel

If you haven’t heard about our local Newport Harbor High School journalism and media programs, you will soon. Matt Johnson’s journalism class through the english department is one of the most popular classes. Cori Ciok and Lisa Cermak’s film and digital media classes are full of the latest and best technology for creative minded scholars. But the students, it turns out, are the real stars.

Three years ago I created these scholarships because I’m passionate about the importance of good journalism and the positive effects it has on our society. Thoughtful reporting, striking imagery, and moving film urge media consumers to become involved in their community. As a result, our lives improve through this civic engagement. Each June I award three seniors who submit the best in print journalism, still photography, and film journalism.

This first student demonstrates a superb command of language and fashions well-reasoned arguments. I’m told she has amazingly persuasive powers over University admissions offices. The winner for Print Journalism with her entry No ID? No Problem!, DANA SIEGEL.

The next scholar understands that photography is not just about skill, but also being in the right place at the right time. The winner for Still Photography with her artistic image of a Laguna Beach rock formation and bird in flight, TAYLOR ANDERSON.

Last but not least, a student who is clearly and casually comfortable in front of and behind the lens, as well as in the editing bay. The winner for Film Journalism with his short titled The Battle of Costa Mesa, TYLER CARLIN.

Congratulations to all the winners. Enjoy your prize winnings of $1,000, and keep writing, shooting, and filming! Thank you.

–Grant Bixby

2013 Bixby Residential NHHS Media Scholarship–WINNER for Still Photography

 

This scholar understands that photography is not just about skill, but also being in the right place at the right time. The winner for Still Photography with her artistic image of a Laguna Beach rock formation and bird in flight, TAYLOR ANDERSON. Congratulations, Taylor! –Grant Bixby

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“This photo was taken with a Canon 5d, Canon 50mm 1.4 EF Aperture 3.5, Shutter Speed 1/2500, ISO 640.

This photo was taken in the scenic city of Laguna Beach. As my photography teacher, cousin, and I walked along the beach, we followed a path that led to a stretch of extraordinary rocks each uniquely shaped by the waves themselves. In this particular photograph I captured a bird soaring over one of the rock structures, clearly enjoying his surroundings of land and sea. While reviewing my film from that day, this shot stopped me in my tracks. Something about the exact placement of the bird, rock formation, and overal. destination drew me in because of its once in a lifetime feeling. I decided to turn the photo black and white, adding texture to make it have more drama. What a fantastic day!” — Taylor Anderson