When I hear “original owner,” I usually expect a home that looks and feels its age. In 51 Carver, I was pleasantly surprised to find a house in very good condition.
The basics: Asking Price: $700,000 Bedrooms: 4 Bathrooms: 3 Square Footage: 2,077 Lot Size: 4,750 $/Sq Ft: $337 Days on Market: 9 Property Type: Single Family Residence Year Built: 1979 Community: Northwood – Shadow Run
There are no HOA dues or Mello Roos taxes.
I entered in the living room, where I was greeted with new laminate floors, cathedral ceilings and a large picture window that made the room surprisingly bright and airy (sadly, my photo doesn’t do it justice – it really was bright). The living room flows into the dining room, though the stairway in the middle provides a distinctly separate space. The dining room is also bright and offers enough space for a large table.
The kitchen is the part of the house that feels the oldest. It has original tile counters and dark brown cabinets, along with a tile floor and panel lighting in the ceiling. There are newer, white appliances. Everything is clean and well-maintained. While a remodel of the kitchen would certainly give it a more modern look and potentially open it up more to the family room, it is functional the way it is now.
The kitchen has a breakfast bar that overlooks the family room. With just a sliding door to the backyard and no other windows, I thought the room was pretty dark. It has a small wetbar and the same laminate flooring in the front rooms.
The last room downstairs is a bedroom. It has a small sliding closet and a fairly large window. It is adjacent to a bathroom with a small stall shower (no tub) and a single sink.
The backyard is a pretty average size for Northwood and is completely hardscaped. It has a storage shed in one corner that looks like a small house, so could possibly be cleaned out and used for another purpose.
Upstairs, there are three bedrooms. The master is at the top of the stairs. It isn’t a very large room, so it took me a minute to realize that it was the master. It has a huge window and slightly elevated ceilings. The bathroom is original, with two sinks and a separate tub and shower. More than anywhere else in the house, I felt that the master bathroom looked old and tired. The tub, which is just a standard bathtub, looked dingy and the shower is tucked into a small corner. This would be the first thing I remodeled if I bought this home. The master has a good-sized walk-in closet but needs some organizers installed.
The other two bedrooms upstairs share a bathroom which has a single sink and a shower/tub combo. One room is bigger than the other, with a large window and a small closet. The other room has two windows and a larger closet.
Downstairs, the ceilings have been scraped in all rooms except the living room; upstairs, none have been scraped. The laminate floors downstairs and carpet upstairs are new, and there are new six-panel internal doors throughout the house. All of the windows are original. While there is a lot to be done in this house to make it as nice and as modern as a brand new home, it is in remarkably good condition for a 1979 house.
“The problem with sales volume is that most homeowners just don’t want to sell. And why would they? Most sellers believe prices will only get better over the next two years.”—Glenn Kelman, CEO Redfin.com
“Foreclosed houses—which once made up almost half of all Orange County homes sales—made up just a tenth of such sales last month.
“And even fewer foreclosures are likely in the coming years…
“The result is a greater portion of pricier homes selling at the height end, coupled with hefty price hikes at the low- and mid-ranges of the market.”— Jeff Collins and Jonathan Lansner
”First-time homebuyers are being squeezed out of the market by falling inventory and the rapid influx of investors looking to buy basic homes to rent out to the growing population of people who are recently been foreclosed upon.”—Stan Humphries, Zillow chief economist
All the reasons listed above are leading to a lack of home buying options in Orange County, at least for those who want to buy a home to live in instead of as an investment. And this lack of options explains, at least partially, why rents are climbing in Orange County. Laura Khouri, president of Western National Property Management, states that improved employment and a drop in construction of multifamily buildings are additional factors.
Limited homebuying options, decreased construction of multifamily buildings, and increased employment numbers are all factors that would push rents up; however, many of those who are working are not making as much money as they did in the recent past. So how are potential Orange County renters able to afford increasing rents? Khouri provides some insight. She states that many “families have also had to add other family members to their overall composition.” She also states that there is “an increased rise in one-bedroom units being rented again by young single professionals.”
What is the rent situation in Irvine? According to Khouri, this “landlord’s market” is not a universal situation in Orange County. “With the addition of 2,883 new units in Irvine spread over eight projects in 2012, there certainly could be some fluctuation in the overall rental rates and occupancy rates in the fourth quarter of 2012 in the Irvine sub-market.”
Note: In October, Real Facts reported that among the top 26 California metro areas, Orange County had the fifth-highest average rents. In addition, Orange County and Los Angeles County shared ninth place when it came to rent increases. The average rent for a one-bedroom in the Orange County was $1,403; a one-bedroom/one bath was $1,486; a two-bedroom/two bath was $1,870.
Woodbridge condominiums come in many flavors. Recently, I sampled three: at 35 Waterway, 26 Summerwind, and most recently, 38 Lakeshore.
The condo at 35 Waterway cost the most and offered a plush lagoon setting with an equally sleek interior. The condos on Summerwind and Lakeshore were closer to each other in price. But they offered two different flavors.
The condo at 26 Summerwind could pass for a single family home if you half closed your eyes. But 38 Lakeshore was a traditional condo, close to North Lake, and defined on several levels with greenbelt/park views. The Summerwind condo covered all of the bases for family living, while 38 Lakeshore sketched in a little more dreaming room in a thoughtful floor plan with a view.
CloseUp at 38 Lakeshore: Built in 1977, this three bedroom, 2.5 bath home has a prime location and an impressive street presence. Inside, the entry presents a variety of levels and spaces with most of them pulling you toward the glassed end of the home and sweeping view.
This condo just seems to be a natural for parties, with a formal dining room to the right, comfortable family room, kitchen with granite counters, breakfast nook and bar on the left. Below, there is an ample living room and music/family room with sliding doors leading to the patio. It is easy to see a New Year’s celebration or a family gift exchange with a festive dinner here with lots of leisure time on the patio.
A remodeled kitchen and bath, recessed lights, crown moldings, new paint and hardwood floors throughout the house work to create a feeling of function and ease.
All bedrooms are upstairs with a good sized master and master bath, and balcony with a greenbelt view and sliding glass doors. There is a double garage and inside laundry.
Specifics: Bedrooms, 3 Baths, 2.5 Sq.Ft., 2042 sq. ft. $/sq.ft. $347 HOA, $372 per month 1 common wall attached Association pool and spa Forced air heating, central air Inside laundry Double garage, 2 parking spaces Community, Woodbridge Irvine Unified School System
What should be considered here? Prime location near North Lake, greenbelt view, and square footage will all be factored in with the price. Top flight recreational facilities and schools will be added in. Finally condo versus single family home might be evaluated.
Who will be the next party planners here? A busy couple who love the location and all that Woodbridge offers might make this their Southern California base. An active family attracted to the schools and the lake’s recreational facilities could easily settle in here.
Recent sales: 97 Lakeshore #50, sold for $650,000 in May; 5 Woodgrove #10 sold for $625,000 in July.