Madison Realty- Jesse Madison, Broker

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4 Things Buyers should consider when Buying Real Estate in Orange County

Decisions, Decisions…

Buying Real Estate in Orange County, CA is full of choices. You need to be clear on criteria that is important to you to know what home best suits you.

Buyers with a clear understanding of what they want will eliminate uncertainty from their home buying experience and will be more satisfied with the overall experience.

How can you be sure you made the right choice. Find out what is important to you and you will be able to narrow it down and find the home that best fits your lifestyle.

Tips for Home Buying In Orange County, CA

4 Things to consider:

  1. Condo or Single Family Detached home. This is a question of lifestyle preference more than anything.
    1. Privacy is the main issue here. Nearly all condos will have 1 or more common walls with neighbors. If you value privacy consider looking for a Single Family Detached home rather than a condo
    2. The second issue is life lifestyle. Condo HOA’s will typically maintain the exterior of the home and common landscaping. This frees up the homeowner from these time consuming burdens so they can enjoy more free time to do what it is they enjoy most.
  2. Association FeesIf you want the lowest possible association fees or NO Association Fees then consider a single family detached home rather than a condo. But if you do not want to worry about hiring a gardener or maintaining your landscaping/ pool cleaning you may choose a condo where the Association will maintain these amenities.
  3. Consider the Age of the home The age of the home will have natural wear and tear that would enhance the need for a thorough home inspection to reveal the true condition of the property. Lets take a look at what you will have to deal with when buying an older home:
    1. Repair costs- The price of the home usually reflects the condition of the home. When a home ages the costs to maintain the home begin to reveal themselves. Additional costs when purchasing a home can include:
      1. New Air Conditioner
      2. New appliances
      3. New Heater
      4. Plumbing repairs
      5. New Roof
      6. New Water Heater
      7. Remodeling costs and more!
    2. No Mello Roos– The advantages of Orange County Homes that were built prior to 1986 is that they are sure to have no Mello Roos. Many Mello Roos fees in Orange County are set to expire soon and this is a relief to buyers who are paying higher taxes in newer communities. Some of the newest communities such as Foothill Ranch, Ladera Ranch , Aliso Viejo areas, Wagon Wheel and Rancho Santa Margarita Communities ( among other South Orange County Communities) will have higher taxes due to special assessments and Mello Roos that the builders applied to these communities when they contracted the city to install some of the sewers, sidewalks, common areas and lights in the communities they built. The city then taxed homeowners in this area for the investments they made into these communities. Older homes will not be subject to the Mello Roos taxes that newer communities bear.
  4. Location Location Location  The market is full of fabulous homes in “not- so-great “ locations. These homes take longer to sell and in most cases drop in value quicker than homes in great locations. Many factors go into location. But most importantly you must remember that you cannot just pick up a home and put it wherever you want. Location matters and many buyers will give a little with respect to other features to take advantage of a specific location. Location is the most important factor with regards to real estate value. Factors to consider are:
    1. Resale value- When you buy in a very desirable location you will ensure that the value of what you buy will remain strong and you will diminish the risk of your investment. Carefully consider your location when buying real estate.
    2. Schools Part of what may make a location valuable will be the location of the home. What schools are the home zoned for. School districts vary and a lot of people buy solely on school districts. Many will not consider a home that is not in the district they want their child to be in. To compare school test scores and districts in your area please visit
    3. Near shopping, parks and quick freeway access– Consider whether you can walk to shopping and entertainment
    4. No Negative external factor affecting the property– This can include easements, proximity to power lines, fire hazard severity zones, flood zones, earthquake zoning or other Natural Hazards that may affect the property.

Be clear on what you want and what is most important to you and you will feel very confident in the home that you choose. Homes are not one size fits all so prioritize based on your individual needs. But keep in mind that it is almost impossible to find absolutely every feature you want in a home. A good agent will listen to you, help you locate these homes and can successfully guide you through the negotiation process. By considering these 4 things you will be very clear on what you want and ready to find the home that is right for you.

Jesse Madison,

Orange County Real Estate Broker

Madison Realty

(949) 306-8416



1 Comment

  1. Great points, thanks for sharing. Buying a home is generally one of the largest financial decisions a person will ever make. Put a “buyer’s agent” to work and have the benefit of an experienced professional on your side. Your buyer’s agent is your advocate, your advisor, your negotiator, and your confidante throughout the buying process.


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