The town of San Clemente is the southern most part of Orange County and like La Jolla is one of the most sought after and desired places to live in. Matt Cabrera is the managing broker of OC Residential, a boutique San Clemente Real Estate brokerage. We caught up with Matt to talk about the real estate market in north of Us in San Clemente. Here is what Matt had to say:
1. How long have you been associated with the Real Estate industry?
Matt: I began working in the Hawaii real estate industry in 2005 and, upon moving to Orange County in 2007, earned my California real estate license and began work as a Realtor. I joined OC Residential and 92101 Urban Living in March 2008, where I started out as a real estate consultant with San Clemente Coastal Living, a boutique San Clemente Real Estate brokrage. I received my California Broker’s License in 2011 and was named Managing Broker of OC Residential.
2. How has real estate in San Clemente and Orange County changed during this time?
Matt: I began working in the San Clemente/OC market at the beginning of the housing downturn, so obviously the resale market was tough for my first few years. Over the past year-and-a-half, the San Clemente and Orange County markets have shown significant improvement from the past few years, both in terms of the number of monthly home sales and the number of buyers entering the marketplace. The lending industry has grown much tighter since the housing bubble of the mid-2000s, which makes it a little more difficult to complete transactions as borrowers have to jump through a lot of hoops these days to obtain a home loan. This is not to say that obtaining a mortgage is impossible, but buyers have to be well-qualified, both from income and credit perspectives, to receive a home loan.
3. How does San Clemente compare to other cities in California when it comes to owning real estate?
Matt: Coastal cities like San Clemente are very unique, both in the real estate options available and the overall lifestyle. Due to being the southernmost city in Orange County, real estate tends to be more affordable in San Clemente than in nearby coastal cities such as Dana Point and Laguna Beach. What truly makes San Clemente a great city is the small-town feel that the community strives so hard to maintain. When you walk or drive through San Clemente, you are not inundated with large shopping centers and chain restaurants; the city is full of boutique shops and small restaurants that are locally owned. San Clemente residents enjoy their sleepy coastal city, and the City Council does a good job of maintaining this cozy atmosphere.
4. Is it a good time to buy real estate in San Clemente?
The past few years have been an incredible time to purchase San Clemente real estate due to lower prices and high housing inventory. The past year saw a heavy increase in home sales when compared to the previous few years, so many buyers were left scrounging for homes as the inventory dropped considerably in the first quarter of 2013. The market has stabilized over the past couple of months as more homes have come on the market and sales have slowed down a little. Potential buyers do not face the crazy bidding wars that crept up in 2012 and the beginning of 2013, so now is a better time to find a home in San Clemente than it has been for almost a year.
5. Do you have any predictions as to whether real estate pricing will continue to go up for the foreseeable future?
Matt: Since the beginning of 2012, San Clemente home prices have slowly been on the rise due to the huge influx of new buyers and the steady inventory decline. Even though inventory is on its way back up, I do not foresee prices dropping considerably again as the national economy and housing market continues to improve. If buying suddenly slowed to a crawl, you may see home prices decrease a little; however, the lack of short sales and foreclosures on the market means that you will not see the heavy price drops of 2008-2011. Coastal real estate in California commands higher prices than inland cities, so as long as people want to live near the Pacific Ocean, prices will continue to remain steady.
6. What are some hot markets in San Clemente right now?
Matt: Talega is typically the hottest market in San Clemente due to featuring the newest home options in the city as well as the biggest inventory. Central San Clemente is another hot market because it is the social hub of the city and contains the widest variety of home and condo options in the area. As this is a heavy investor marketplace, neighborhoods with good rental properties are very popular right now, another reason why Central San Clemente and nearby North San Clemente are seeing good increases in home sales.
7. Tell us a little more about OC Residential?
Matt: OC Residential is a team of real estate consultants dedicated to providing superior community knowledge and customer service to our clients. We employ a consultative approach to real estate where we seek to educate our clients on the buying and selling processes along with providing a deep array of knowledge specific to the communities we serve. Our website http://www.sanclementecoastalliving.com is a great resource for the general public offering detailed property listings, pictures and community information.
Whether our clients are interested in buying condos, townhomes or single family homes, our brokers provide all of the information they need to make an informed decision about buying or selling San Clemente real estate, and we work as a team rather than in competition to ensure that our clients are always more important than our commission checks.