Tag Archives: Aliso Viejo

Location, Location, Location!


I work with a lot of first time home buyers. They are probably some of my best clients. For the most part, they are willing to learn the tricks of the trade. They ask all the right questions and cover their boundaries. In a lot of ways, they are trusting and accept advice easily. However, whether you are a first time home buyer or purchasing your 3rd, 4th or 5th home one rule of real estate always stands firm.


Location, Location, Location!


Location is one of the first things I discuss with my first time home buyers. As an agent, it is always at the forefront of my mind when touring properties.

When determining a home, and more importantly its value, the location of the property will determine the long term value and stability of that property. This can be said for a large geographic region such as Orange County all the way down to the specific location in a particular neighborhood. Orange County has higher home values than San Antonio, Texas for a reason. The value is in the land, location and proximity to certain desires such as, the beach. The beach may be the obvious determining factor in driving home values in Orange County, but there are many other factors to consider that drive the cost of your home.


When buying a home in Orange County, consider these items:

-Proximity to freeways

-Ease of getting to the beach

-Lot size and location

-Proximity to shopping, restaurants and grocery stores


Cities such as Costa Mesa, Aliso Viejo and Irvine have all seen significant gains in home values over the last year. One of the common denominators with these cities is the relative ease to freeways or toll roads allowing for shorter commutes to beach cities and work. There is a high demand for spending less time in your car and more time in the sun. All of these cities offer great shopping and dining, as well. As you move further out to Foothill Ranch, Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita or San Juan Capistrano (all great cities in their own right) you will see slight drops in home values due to their geographic location. They are often associated with a little longer commute and fewer “Town Centers” where you can get all your shopping done. However, when picking a neighborhood regardless of city one thing stays consistent in determining price. Land! For example, think about a neighborhood in Aliso Viejo. The average home price for that neighborhood may be $600,000. If you have a corner lot in that neighborhood, your home may sell for $50,000-$75,000 more just because of the lot. If you can find a deal with a corner lot, snatch it up quickly. It will retain its value year after year. Many people don’t realize that the value of their home is in the land. If you currently own a home, take a look at your next tax statement. Say, your home is in the same neighborhood as the example above. You get your tax bill and your property was assessed for $600,000. Take a closer look at your bill. I would be willing to bet my own home that your tax bill reads “Land Value $425,000” and “Structure Value $175,000”.  The fact is, building a home doesn’t cost a great deal comparatively speaking. The value is in the land and location!

School’s Out Now What?

Source: Jason Tucker (https://www.flickr.com/x/t/0090009/photos/abstrakone/26091723/)
Source: Jason Tucker (https://www.flickr.com/x/t/0090009/photos/abstrakone/26091723/)

It seems that every family waits in anticipation for summer.  Exciting outdoor activities, pool parties, and beach days make for wonderful family memories in beautiful Orange County.  I can’t help, but notice the number of families that find the need to get creative around this time of the summer to keep their busy kiddos occupied with meaningful, safe, and inexpensive activities.  Below are some of my favorite summer pastimes:


Concerts in the Park – I have always been impressed with Orange County cities and their emphasis on community building activities.  One of my favorites is “Concert in the Park”.  On Sunday afternoons, we can be found packing up the stroller with a picnic blanket, beach chairs, and enough snacks to feed a small army.  Next, we head to Aliso Viejo’s Grand Park for a relaxing concert and picnic dinner.  Activities for the kids include face painting and various games in the large grass area at the top of the amphitheater.  Nothing says summer time like good music, fun, and laughter!


Camping – Another favorite summer activity is camping.  Whether you are looking for the real camping experience or are better suited as a GLAMper, Orange County offers it all.  From beach to wilderness, all you need for camping is a warm sleeping bag, tent, and an organized family member who can plan out the meals.


Outdoor Mall Entertainment – With our beautiful Orange County weather, it is sometimes hard to stay inside.  Why not hit up the outdoor malls in the area.  The Spectrum, Fashion Island, and Kaleidoscope, all offer restaurants, air conditioned shopping, and of course, water features!  Specifically, “Kaleido Kids” offers free activities for children at the Kaleidoscope in Mission Viejo from July 24th– August 26th.  Don’t forget about the OC Fair!  There is something for every member of the family.


There are countless opportunities for families to get involved in fun summer events.  It is no wonder Orange County is valued as one of the best places to raise a family.  What are your favorite summer pastimes?

One Stop Shop

source:  http://realestate.about.com
source: http://realestate.about.com

Ever feel like you are driving 

all over town to complete 

your list of errands?

You are likely to feel that way especially if you have braved the process of investing in residential real estate. Families are often seen racing from one Open House to the next instead of spending well-deserved weekend hours in the Orange Country sun. Then, escrow begins and you are expected to organize conference calls and document signings, schedule appraisers, inspectors, and contractors. The list goes on and on and on and on…

In 2009, while looking for a home to purchase, my husband and I spent many afternoons traveling around the quaint residential communities of Aliso Viejo. It had been a day of searching, hoping and tracking down Open House signs. Perhaps the signs for this particular house were not easily seen OR we were in deep conversation about our dreams of home ownership. Regardless, we were brought back to reality in a foyer when an agent (followed by a concerned couple) walked down the stairs and questioned us,

“What are you doing?

This isn’t an Open House!

It’s a private showing.”

After leaving the property (and the frightened couple who were no longer interested in living in an area where random couples walk through your home), we realized the sign displayed in the front yard did indeed read, “For Sale” NOT “Open House”. That was the last time we walked into an unknown house with an open door before carefully checking the signage!  With all the hustle and bustle surrounding the many tasks of buying a home, we (like so many other families) were likely to make many mistakes.

Buying/selling a home can be a stressful process especially when you are making many stops along the way both during your search for a property and during escrow. The team members at Iseley & Walsh Real Estate Group understand and are devoted to making your experience simple, successful and enjoyable.

Our team consists of:

  • Brokers
  • Agents
  • Transaction Coordinators
  • Lenders

Iseley & Walsh Real Estate Group has the resources that set us apart from other agencies and are focused on being your one stop shop for residential real estate!

Taking a self-guided tour of a home that was not an Open House was truly a surprise to us. What surprises have you encountered while searching for a home?