South Coast Metro Condo for Sale – Ice Cream Truck Open House 9-13-15

Remodeled Costa Mesa Kitchen

Today is the perfect day to beat the heat and come see this lovely South Coast Metro Costa Mesa home and enjoy our ice cream truck open house. The home will be open from 12-2 today. It is located at 742 Wingate Bay.

Ice Cream Truck Open House


Remodeled Costa Mesa Kitchen

This Costa Mesa home has 2 bedrooms and 2 baths as well as a beautifully remodeled kitchen & updated bathrooms along with an open floor plan, vaulted ceilings.  Newer vinyl windows let in lots of light.

South Coast Metro Condo for Sale

It is offered at $495,000 and is located close to shopping & restaurants at South Coast Plaza, the Camp & the Lab. The 405, 55 and 73 are conveniently close. There is even a patio overlooking the streams on which to enjoy the So. Cal. weather.

Costa Mesa Cattle Drive – 2015 – Orange County Fair

Costa Mesa Cattle Drive – 2015 – Orange County Fair

It has been a few years since the OC Fair brought us a cattle drive down the streets of Costa Mesa.  This year’s cattle drive will be held on Saturday, August 8, 2015.

200 head of cattle will run through Costa Mesa accompanied by cowboys and cowgirls to make sure they arrive at the Orange County Fair.

The cattle will go from OCC down Adams to Mesa Verde to Harbor to Fair Drive and finally to the Fairgrounds.

We watched this a few years ago as the cattle proceeded down Placentia near Estancia High School.  It was quite an experience that both I and the kids enjoyed.

So, are you going to take the time to see the cattle run through the streets?


For more info, see Orange County Fair Cattle Drive.

Orange County Fair Discounts and Promotions 2015

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Orange County Fair Discounts and Promotions 2015

Looking forward to the Fair, and wondering how to save money.  Please check out all the promotions and discounts below.

OC Fair Butterflies


There are many ways to attend the Orange County Fair for free or for a reduced entry fee.


Military is free every day for the OC Fair for both active military and veterans.  Active military can present their military id, and vets should bring proof that they served, including DD214 or other proof.


Super Pass – For those who want to spend several days at the fair, a Super Pass can be a great choice.  The earlier you buy the pass, the cheaper it is.  At this time, they are $35 for general admission and $28 for youth (6-12) and seniors (60+).


We Care Wednesdays – Free admission with donations between noon and 3 as follows:


Food Drive – Wednesday 7/22/15 – 5 cans of food is the donation.

Children’s Book Drive – Wednesday 7/29/15 – 3 new or gently used children’s books.

Clothing Drive – Wednesday 8/5/15 – 5 new or gently used clothing items.

School Supply Drive – Wednesday – 8/12/15 – New school supplies valued at $5 or more – receipt required.

Thursday – Kids Free – Kids 12 and under are free Thursdays.

$30 Wristbands  – Wristbands for unlimited carnival rides are available on Wednesdays and Thursdays.



Senior Day – Seniors are $2 on Fridays, and they get free ferris wheel and merry go round rides.

$2 Rides and Games – Rides and games are $2 each from noon to 4 on Fridays.

Saturdays and Sundays

Early Admission – There is $3 admission on Saturdays and Sundays for tickets that are purchased by 11am and used for admission by noon.


For more details, see OC Fair Discounts.


See homes for sale in Costa Mesa below.  If you need to sell or buy a home in Costa Mesa, please contact Christine Donovan at 714-319-9751.


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Ice Cream Truck Irvine Open House 7-12-15

Ice Cream Truck Open House

Ice Cream Truck Irvine Open House 7-12-15


Irvine 3 Bedroom Condo for Sale


This lovely 3 bedroom Irvine home is a single story condo, connected only by the garage.

It has upgraded bathrooms, a cute fireplace and upgraded floorplan along with being cute as can be from the curb with a white picket fence and lots of color to delight the eye with plenty of flowers in the front yard.

Ice Cream Truck Open House

Come by and take a look at      this Irvine home listed at    $535,000 and enjoy a free ice  cream at our ice cream truck  between 12 and 2 pm this  Sunday, 7/12/15 at 10  Gladstone in Irvine.


Your new home is waiting for you.

For more details or a private showing, please call Christine Donovan at 714-319-9751.

Orange County Fair 2015

OC Fair Butterflies

Orange County Fair 2015

OC Fair Butterflies

This year’s Orange County Fair runs from July 17 to August 16.


Orange County Fair

As always, there will be much to enjoy at the  OC Fair including rides, fair food, and  more. We love to visit the animals which  includes a petting zoo, llamas, goats, cows,  rabbits, chickens, oxen and so much more.  Last year, there was even a butterfly exhibit.

In addition, there are concerts and other  shows. Some of the shows are free with fair  admission and some show tickets include  free admission to the fair.


Fair tickets are $12 for people 13-59, seniors 60+ are $7, children 6-12 are $7, and under 6 are free. Parking is $10.

For more information about the Fair and the fun to be had, please see other posts:

A 5 Year Old’s Pictorial Review of the Orange County Fair

A 4 Year Old and the Orange County Fair




Costa Mesa Concerts in the Park 2015

Costa Mesa Concerts in the Park 2015

Again this year, Costa Mesa Concerts in the Park will take place Tuesdays in July at Fairview Park.

Beginning on July 7, 2015 and continuing through July 28, 2015.


The shows start at 6pm with a pre show at 5pm. The pre show will feature community booths, gourmet food trucks, activities for kids and more.

Chain Reaction will perform classic dance hits on July 7.  So Cal Jazz All Stars will play on July 14. Undecided Future will have pop funk on July 21, and The Fenians will play Irish folk and rock on July 28.


Parking will be available at Goathill Junction, the miniature train station, across the street.


For more information, please see






Costa Mesa Newport Lions’ Club Fish Fry 2015

Fish Fry

Costa Mesa Newport Lions’ Club Fish Fry 2015

Fish Fry

Fish Fry


The 68th Annual Costa Mesa Newport Harbor Lions’ Club Fish Fry will take place on May 29 through May 31, 2014 at Fairview Park located on Placentia Avenue in Costa Mesa next to Estancia High School.


Dinner will be served starting at 5pm Friday night. Dinner starts at noon on Saturday and Sunday.


This has always been one of my favorite things to look forward to at the beginning of summer, and now my children feel the same way and can’t wait to go.  My first recollections of the event were at the Airplane Park also know as Lion’s Park.  It was there for many years, and then I believe it moved to OCC for a very brief period of time, and it has now been at Fairview Park for the past few years.  Each year has brought new memories first as a child with my family, then with my friends as a teenager, and now full circle with my own children.


There is of course a fish dinner available along with rides, games and the baby contest. The baby contest takes place on Sunday, May 31, 2015 beginning at 10:30 am.


For more information, please see Lions’ Club Fish Fry.


Can I Buy an Orange County, CA House before I Sell Mine?

Can I Buy an Orange County, CA House before I Sell Mine?



When it’s time to buy a new home because you need a bigger one or a smaller one, do you want to make sure you have a new one before you sell your old one?


Most people do!  They don’t like the idea of selling their home before knowing where they are going to go next, and I don’t blame them!


There is just one problem with this plan.


Depending on the current status of the housing market, a seller might not accept your offer on your new home until you have already sold your old home.


Are you starting to see the chicken and the egg problem?  You can’t buy your new home until you have sold your old home, and you don’t want to sell your old home until you have a new home to move into.


What can you do?


First talk to a real estate professional and find out what kind of a market it is.  Is it a buyer’s market or a seller’s market?

Buyer’s Market

If it is a buyer’s market, the seller for your new home is more likely to take an offer subject to you selling your old home though they may be concerned because they know it may take you awhile.


In this case, you may be able to get an offer accepted by the seller that will allow you to sell your own home.  To make your offer most acceptable, you should have already listed your property for sale so that you can show the seller your trying to sell.


If you’re not willing to put your home up for sale, why should they accept your offer?


Seller’s Market


This is when it becomes a little more fun (please note sarcasm) to buy your next house.  In a time when there is limited inventory and many buyers, why would a seller want to take their home off the market and wait to see if you can sell your home?  


This can be a very difficult proposition especially when the seller’s agent is likely telling them it would be smarter to take another offer.


So, what can you do in a seller’s market to buy your next home?


  1. See if you qualify to own two homes at the same time
    • Perhaps your income allows you to qualify for two mortgages at the same time, and you don’t have to sell in order to buy.  In this case, you may just buy the second home and then pay the first.
    • There is risk to this as you may end up paying two mortgages for an unknown period of time unless you plan to keep the first home and rent it out.
  2. Sell your house subject to locating your new home
    • This means that the buyer agrees to wait to close on their purchase until you find your new home.
    • This works best when the buyer is not in a hurry to have their new home.
    • This may make your potential seller more comfortable accepting your offer as your home is already in escrow.
    • The downside to this is that it may make your home less desirable to some buyers.
  3. Sell your house and rent it back from your buyer
    • This option allows you to buy your next home with no contingencies for the sale of your current home and makes you a much stronger buyer
    • It is optimal for you though it requires finding a buyer who is willing to be flexible on their move in date.  
    • A buyer is unlikely to allow you more than a month or two, if that.  So you do need to aggressively look for your next home.
  4. Be willing to move to an interim home between the sale of your current home and the purchase of your next
    • This is the option that most seller/buyer would prefer to avoid though it is definitely an option.
    • It requires the expense and hassle of moving twice though it will allow you to appeal to the most number of buyers as they don’t have to wait for anything, and it appeals to the most sellers because you have no contingencies.


What is your first step when you need/want to sell your current home and buy your next.  Meet with a real estate professional to find out the status of the current market and what she recommends to help you move in to your next home.  Your second step will likely be to meet with a lender unless the sale of your old home will allow you to purchase your new home in cash.


Would you like to know the status of the Orange County market and the best way to get in to your new home?  Please give Christine Donovan a call at 714-319-9751.



Battle of Costa Mesa Civil War Reenactment Fairview Park

Civil War Battle of Costa Mesa

Battle of Costa Mesa Civil War Reenactment Fairview Park

For the past several years each April or May, the American Civil War Society (ACWS) has performed the Battle of Costa Mesa at Fairview Park.  Approximately 150 Civil War buffs gather together each year to reenact a Civil War battle.


My children enjoying coming to the park each year to see the battle and watch and listen to the canons booming and the horses passing by. One year, they even had Abraham Lincoln stop to recite the Gettysburg Address.

Part of the fun of seeing the Battle of Costa Mesa is walking through both Confederate and Unions’ soldiers camps in Civilian Town. There is also Sutlers’ Row where you can purchase items reminiscent of the Civil War time period.

This is a great time to teach children about the Civil War and come enjoy a piece of history.

Admission to the Battle of Costa Mesa is free as is parking. Fairview Park is located at 2525 Placentia Avenue in Costa Mesa.

Please see a small preview of another battle below.

 Battle of Costa Mesa

If you have questions about buying or selling a home in Costa Mesa, please contact Christine Donovan at 714-319-9751.


Costa Mesa Real Estate News – Westside Costa Mesa Homes – January 2015

Westside Costa Mesa Homes

Costa Mesa Real Estate News – Westside Costa Mesa Homes – January 2015


Southwest Costa Mesa, better known as the Westside or Westside Costa Mesa, is a wonderful area of Costa Mesa which is bordered by Newport Beach and Huntington Beach. It is basically the area West of Newport Boulevard.

It encompasses both Fairview Park and the Talbert Nature Reserve.

Westside Costa Mesa has many different types of homes including single family homes, condos and apartment buildings.  Many of the homes are several decades old though more and more new homes are being built. Many of the homes overlooking the bluffs have beautiful views of the ocean and wildlife in the Santa Ana River.


The current real estate market report for Westside Costa Mesa is below:



Westside Costa Mesa is currently experiencing a sellers’ market with many well-priced homes experiencing multiple offer situations as buyers compete for a limited number of homes.  Even so, homes that are priced higher than the market or that don’t feel like a “deal” may sit on the market for some time before selling.

Please contact Christine Donovan at 714-319-9751 for a list of homes currently for sale in Westside Costa Mesa.


If you would like to buy or sell a home in Westside Costa Mesa, please contact Christine Donovan at 714-319-9751.

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Please click homes for sale in Westside Costa Mesa to see homes currently for sale or see above.