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Balboa Island Home Trades for $9.5M

 A recently renovated home on Balboa Island has traded for $9.5 million, marking a rare deal as inventory continues to shrink for turnkey homes on the bay front.

“The most constrained inventory of any is bay-front homes in Orange County, especially turnkey homes on the bay,” said Coldwell Banker’s Tim Smith, who represented both sides of the transaction at 518 S. Bay Front.

“Most would rather not go through the process of remodeling and tearing down.”

The 2,686-square-foot home is about 10 doors down the street from the Balboa Bay Ferry.

It was rebuilt by Patterson Custom Homes in 2008 and went through a remodel last year by Blackband Design.

The Cape Cod-style home is on a sandy bay beach and has nearly 30 feet of frontage with a private dock that can fit three vessels.

“This is a solid price for a remodeled home, though new homes in the area are selling at a significant premium right now,” said Smith.

There are currently four active listings on Balboa Island, according to Zillow. Asking prices range from $3.1 million to $5.5 million. The island runs around 1.7 miles, and counts about 1,400 lots and a population around 1,300.

Moving to OC 

Though some buyers and builders are still investing in tear down opportunities on the bay front, demand trends continue to weigh heavily in favor of turnkey opportunities.

“The pandemic has put all eyes on Newport Beach and Orange County coastal homes. People want to move into their home right away,” Smith said.

Sources indicate the buyer of 518 S. Bay Front is a local businessman that will use the property as a second home; the prior owner sold the home after moving out of the state.

There has been talk of a larger trend of higher-end residents deciding to relocate to more tax-favorable states; Smith hasn’t noticed that to be the case.

“For every person that leaves California, there are five more buyers looking for their second, third, fourth home here,” Smith said. “It takes a lot for the more affluent residents to move out of Orange County.”

September Sales 

September proved to be a busy month for home sales above $10 million in Orange County.

Eight homes priced between $10.6 million and $33.9 million sold last month for a total sales volume of $139.5 million.

Expand that to include homes sold above the $8 million mark, and 18 homes traded for a sales volume of $226 million.

“Homes that are appropriately priced are selling at or above asking rate with multiple offers, while some homes aren’t priced right, which has made people think the market is slowing,” Smith said. “The market is definitely not slowing.”  

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