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Time to Trade Up ... Leverage Your Orange County Real Estate Profits

Laguna Beach Realtor Hillary Caston highlights the profit possibilities of selling a Laguna Beach home in today's marketplace.

One of my neighbors just happens to be a fellow Laguna Beach real estate agent. Back in 2005, when the market hit its peak, this savvy realtor snapped up a fixer-upper just as it fell out of escrow at $1,625,000. And he stole it for -- $1.4 million. Everyone who knew the agent, including myself, dubbed this the deal of the century!

Moving full steam ahead, the realtor began remodeling his diamond in the rough. Out went space-hogging walls. In came gorgeous hardwood floors. More space was annexed to the house. Added were a huge soaking tub and skylights that became windows to the stars above. Also new was a shower built for two, complete with two private stalls in one. Exquisite hand-picked granite, discovered after an intensive three-week hunt, was beautifully set into place. After ten weeks of deep makeovers, the restoration was complete. The once-shabby eyesore was now a gleaming treasure of incomparable beauty. Understandably, the realtor fell in love with the jewel.

After receiving notice of occupancy from the city, the beaming realtor told his dad about the new object of his affection. “Sell it,” advised Papa. The smitten agent, however, was now married to what no longer was a house but a ‘home’. So he took up residence in the little castle, which was bundled with a mortgage of $7,300 per month (including property taxes). No matter. He’d cover every penny with ease. This was 2006, and the real estate business was booming.

Had the agent listened to his Papa, he could have sold his gem for a cool $1.9 million, taking in an easy profit of $200,000. Instead, the realtor waited until things started turning sour. The first writing on the wall appeared in 2007, when the Orange County real estate market clearly was getting ugly. By the time 2008 rolled in, the marketplace had sunk into a deep, dank pit. As with most realtors, my neighbor’s livelihood took a beating. The once-manageable $7,300 mortgage suddenly became a snarling monster. He had to unload his dream home -- fast. The house was now a diminishing asset, which the agent knew would be worth $100,000 less in six months. And in six months after that, the home’s value would plummet by the same amount. And so forth on a distressingly downward spiral.

In 2008, my neighbor unloaded the precious home for $1.6 million, slammed by a total loss of over $425,000. Down the drain went every penny he invested in the remodeling project. Still, he was more than grateful for the price he did squeeze out of the sale in such a stormy market. As the agent predicted, the home’s value slipped even further south in very short order. By the time the market bottomed in ‘011, the house could fetch somewhere between $1.2-$1.3 million (maybe)

But, of course, we have now waltzed into 2013 -- well past the brutal bottom of ‘011. And the market has roared back resoundingly. That owner who snapped up my neighbor’s home at $1.6 already has made a robust $100,000 -- that same property currently is worth $1.7 million. And, mark my words; it will be worth $1.8 million in another 365 days.

If at any time during the downturn of ‘08-‘011 you bought a Laguna Beach home, a Dana Point home, or a Laguna Niguel home, you can sell it for a handsome profit right now. The closer to the low point of ‘011 the purchase, the greater your profit margin.

So why not transform those profits into your dreams? Right now you can leverage those healthy gains to move closer to the ocean, acquire more living space, or make that long-awaited move from Laguna Niguel to Laguna Beach. But be warned. Real estate prices are on the rise, with no end in sight. Waiting even a few months to grab your opportunity may well put your desired Laguna Beach home, Dana Point home, or Laguna Niguel home way out of reach.

Would you like to learn more about your opportunities in the Orange County real estate market. Contact the caring professionals at The Coastal Property Experts today to schedule your complimentary consultation. We promise you’ll get what you want in the Laguna Beach real estate and Orange County real estate market…much sooner than you think.

The Coastal Property Experts

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Charles January 05, 2013 at 02:25 AM
That's a myth: "Right now you can leverage those healthy gains to move closer to the ocean.." A rising tide raises all boats. It's pretty much a myth that quick real estate appreciation allows someone to move up. While his home appreciates, so does the home he wants to buy - and by more dollars too (if everything appreciates by the same percent.) Say he buys a home for $1M but wants a home worth $1.4M. If his home goes to $1.4M then the home he wants goes to $1.96M. The time to "move up" is after your home goes down in price that way the house you want to move into also went down and by a bigger dollar amount.

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