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Open House Review: 1 La Ronda

Posted: 13 Nov 2012 04:00 AM PST

Petite Package in Westpark
1 La Ronda   $575,000

An inviting grassy lawn with small trees nicely frames this single family home at 1 La Ronda in Westpark.  Then when you step inside, the story has a new twist.  This time it is all about space, as this home makes the most of 1,085 square feet.

Significant Numbers:  This single family home in Westpark is a single level home with 1,085 sq. ft. on a 3,320 square foot lot.  Built in 1995, the home has been on the market 9 days.  HOA dues are $150.  The $/sq. ft. is  $530.

Close Up:  Effectively using an open floor plan with lots of light, this three bedroom, 2 bath single family home manages to handle everything without seeming crowded or close. 

Choosing furnishings to fit and using a custom entertainment center with fireplace in the living room works to make the home feel functional and comfortable.

It is easy to see a young family going through their day here, moving through the living room, dining area, kitchen and patio. From breakfast on through dinner, with a movie later, this home could make it all work.

New to the market, and nicely remodeled, the home has ceramic tile and gleaming hardwood floors with crown molding, and granite countertops and newer stainless appliances in the kitchen.

The patio is a private enclosed area that could be a  play spot for younger children with activities easily supervised from the kitchen.


There is the master and bath, plus two additional bedrooms, with one being used as an office.



Beds. 3
Baths, 2
Sq. ft., 1,085
Lot size, 3,320 sq. ft.
Type, Single Family
Year Built, 1995
Double Garage
Detached/No common walls
Forced Air Heating and Air Conditioning
Community: Westpark
Irvine Unified School System
Association: Barbecue, Sport Court, Tennis Courts

What will be considered here?   The compact size of the house and lot will be  factors to consider along with the price and a good location in Westpark.  Convenience, great schools and an appealing park system will weigh in as positives.  A young family looking to buy a first home in Irvine might find this to be a good choice.

Who will be the next residents of 1 La Ronda?  A young family seeking good schools and nearby parks  might be quick to settle in here.   The compact space would  be workable for a couple or a small family. This home might also appeal to a more mature couple seeking a single level home with space  for guests.

Recent sales:   25 La Ronda sold for $500,000;   10 Marsala sold for $450,500.                             

Recent listings: 17 Woodrush is listed for $550,000; 25 Laconia is listed for $675,000.

Premium, Not Yet!

Posted: 12 Nov 2012 03:22 PM PST

The inventory is dropping steadily and as of Sunday morning, it’s at 277.  The pundits are dishing out article after article on how it’s a seller and a buyer’s market thanks to low inventory and low interest rates. I get at least two calls a week from Realtors representing foreign buyers who are willing to pay more than the market price for my detached condominium. Does that mean anything and everything will be cleared off the market under reasonable greed?

34 Olivehurst, Irvine CA 92602
(Open House review by Karen on Irvine Housing Blog)

Listing price: $559,000
HOA Dues, monthly: $271
Mello Roos +Property Tax: $656 Monthly
Mortgage, 3.23%: $1,937
Monthly Fixed Expenses: $2,864

Property Details as per MLS:
Bedrooms/ Baths: 3 Bedrooms/ 2.5 Baths
Area: 1500 SF
Builders Tract Name: San Simeon
Builders Tract Code: SANS
Builders Name: California Pacific Homes
Builders Model Code: 1

This is a San Simeon detached condominium in the gated community of Northpark. The house doesn’t have granite countertops or steel appliances, but it has combination wood and carpet flooring. The location isn’t close to any major street. The floor plan allows for ample daylight and air circulation in the house. It’s walkable to Hicks Canyon Elementary, Orchard Hills Middle School and Beckman High School. The MLS listing says in bold that “no children or pets have ever lived in this home”. So I think there won’t be stinky carpet, abstract art on the walls, or even braced dressers in the closet leaving holes in the wall when removed.

But this property has been on the market for 77 days. The asking price is $373/SF.

Here is a list of San Simeon sales in the gated community, and their price/ SF for the year 2012:
02/21/2012 68 Meadow Valley $350/SF
03/20/2012 63 Meadow Valley $354/SF
03/22/2012 40 Arcata $333/SF
06/26/2012 43 Meadow Valley $337/SF

There are no more similar properties listed for sale in the gated community.

The asking price is clearly adding a premium for the low inventory, and the fact that it hasn’t sold yet shows that buyers aren’t that desperate yet. Also, the property does not have three bedrooms as listed, it has a loft that can be converted into a bedroom.

What about the San Simeons on Night Bloom, which is not a gated community, but has the same schools as North Park? Here is a sale history for those properties in 2012:
44 Night Bloom $354/SF
54 Night Bloom $362/SF
20 Night Bloom $343/SF
14 Night Bloom $362/SF

All these properties were true three bedroom detached condominiums, and also newer than the North Park gated community San Simeon properties.

Does that mean the Kool-aid isn’t being passed around yet? No matter what the inventory may look like, and how low the interest rates might be, buyers don’t seem to be ready to pay above the market price.  It is completely justified, given the new houses that are being built in Irvine.

What are your thoughts?
Would you be willing to pay a premium for a not-so-premium property?
Do you fear being priced out of the Irvine market?
Comment below, or share your thoughts at Talk Irvine.

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