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Balboa Fun Zone sold to Costa Mesa real estate firm



The Balboa Fun Zone is now under new ownership.

Discovery Cube, a nonprofit that oversees the children’s museum and science centers in Santa Ana and Sylmar, announced Tuesday that it intends to sell the Balboa Fun Zone property – where its ocean education facility Ocean Quest is located – to real estate company Costa Mesa Chartwell real estate development.

The museum first announced its intention to sell the property in December last year due to the financial impact of COVID-19. Henry Pyle, an operational partner at Chartwell, said the company made an offer almost immediately after announcing that Discovery Cube was looking for buyers.

Pyle, who led the acquisition on behalf of the Pyle family, said in an interview on Wednesday that the decision was personal.

“The [Balboa] The Fun Zone is definitely one of the most iconic landmarks in Newport Beach and, of course, Newport Harbor, ”said Pyle. “My father grew up on Balboa Island in the 1960s and went to the Fun Zone. Then I grew up on Balboa Island … in the 90s. “

“It has an incredibly special place in our hearts and incredible historical significance for the city of Newport Beach,” said Pyle.

Visitors to the Balboa Fun Zone in Newport Beach on Wednesday. The owners intend to sell the property.

(Kevin Chang / Employee Photographer)

“We really just took the opportunity to attend such an iconic landmark and we really look forward to being good stewards of the Balboa Fun Zone’s legacy,” he added.

The Balboa Fun Zone was built in 1936 by Al Anderson at an old shipyard and has since changed hands. Visit Newport Beach, the city’s tourism branch, and describe it as one of the oldest and “last great coastal amusement areas” in Southern California.

Anderson later sold the property in 1972. It was then sold to Jordan Wank in 1985 after the bank changed hands. Wank then bulldozed the old Balboa Fun Zone and converted it into what is currently on the Balboa Peninsula in 1986, according to the Balboa Fun Zone website.

In 1994 it moved back to Balboa Fun Zone Rides, Inc. before it was finally bought by the Newport Harbor Nautical Museum in 2005. The Discovery Cube acquired the property after merging with local nonprofit ExplorOcean in 2016.

“Selling the Fun Zone was a tough decision for the museum, but we were fortunate to work with Chartwell and the Pyle family, who appreciate the historical elements of the Fun Zone and are focused on breathing new life into this iconic area landmark.” said Discovery Cube CEO Joe Adams in a statement.

Visitors to the Balboa Fun Zone in Newport Beach on Wednesday.

(Kevin Chang / Employee Photographer)

The deal is expected to close later in the coming months and details of the final price for the property have not been confirmed as of Wednesday. However, officials from both organizations confirmed that the Balboa Fun Zone will continue operations this summer due to the change in ownership.

As part of the agreement, the real estate company allows the Discovery Cube’s oceanography ship, the Dylan Ayres, to continue to dock at the Balboa Fun Zone.

Pyle said future plans for the block-length waterfront property are still in the air for potential future improvements, but the family intends to preserve the Balboa Fun Zone while trying to renovate and breathe new life into the area if possible.

Pyle said he is honored that both Chartwell and the Pyle family have been entrusted with this next chapter in the history of the Fun Zone.

“When we look at real estate in our backyard and in the places we grew up in, they’re naturally very important to us, as are local, iconic landmarks … we really believe that.” It can be sustainable and great Be real estate, just be the fun zone, ”Pyle said on Wednesday.

Discovery Cube announced the sale of Discovery Cube's Ocean Quest property on Tuesday.

Discovery Cube announced Tuesday the sale of Discovery Cube’s Ocean Quest property, the legendary Balboa Fun Zone, to Chartwell Real Estate Development.

(Kevin Chang / Employee Photographer)

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Tight housing market causing skyrocketing prices in Manatee, Sarasota



Just over four years ago, the average retail price for a single family home in Sarasota County was just over $ 250,000. But given the ongoing real estate boom, buyers today might be happy to find more than a few properties in the market at this price point.

The average sales price for Sarasota County has surged to more than $ 380,000 as the number of homes in the market plummets into a dangerous area for buyers and real estate agents.

Manatee County saw an almost identical increase in the average home sales price amid a shrinking inventory of homes for sale.

The reasons for the increase are diverse, according to residential real estate experts: builders burned by the last economic crisis have drastically reduced speculative housing construction, the COVID-19 pandemic has created a reinterpretation of office work where Zoom calls have enabled employees Living far from the office and an unprecedented shortage of inventory has created an environment where homes stay in the market for days rather than months.

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Jessica Rodriguez came across this buzz saw of factors while searching for her first home. The 27-year-old works in manufacturing at Dentsply Sirona Products in North Sarasota. Over the past three years, Rodriguez has saved nearly $ 10,000 to use as a down payment to move out of her parents’ house.

She began looking for a home for less than $ 300,000 in January.

Your options are not promising.

In all counties of Sarasota and Manatee, there are fewer than 140 properties for sale for less than $ 300,000, according to the Multiple Listing Service. Many of the properties in their price range will not meet the requirements for a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan that they are trying to use to finance their purchase. And with a plethora of cash buyers poised to rush, sellers are unlikely to overcome the regulatory hurdles that come with government-subsidized credit.

“It was pretty frustrating,” she said. “If I want to make an offer, it’s already under contract.

“I hope for a miracle.”

Meanwhile, the luxury market has more options. According to data from the MLS, Sarasota has 158 properties at or above $ 1 million and Manatee County has 97 listings in that area.

Challenges for brokers too

Rodriguez was hoping to buy a three bedroom, two bath house near her work. As of Friday, there were only seven properties in Sarasota that met their requirements.

While bidding wars and soaring residential property prices may sound like a gold mine to realtors in the area, the reality of the shortage of supply is such that many will have a hard time selling bids.

The Sarasota and Manatee Brokerage Association has 7,758 members.

There are 1,392 active listings for all residential property types in Manatee and Sarasota Counties, according to data from the MLS on Friday morning. In 2016, Sarasota County had 2,941 active listings and Manatee County had 2,082 active listings, according to the year-end summary for that year compiled by RASM.

“If you toss a cracker and you have 700 pigeons, what happens?” Said Barbara Smith, a real estate agent with fine traits. “It’s tough out there and you better know what’s going on.”

Real estate agent Barbara Smith says the majority of her sales recently have been to outside of state buyers, which puts restrictions on people who might want to buy a new home in their own market.

Smith has sold two properties in the past 30 days. What she sees in the market is an onslaught of out-of-state buyers, often putting cash on the table.

All but one of their deals this year involved out-of-state buyers. She believes that a healthy residential real estate market should be driven by local buyers.

A local buyer looking to upgrade from a starter home to a slightly nicer home would take some pressure off inventory as people were selling homes in the community and moving to other neighborhoods.

Currently, many potential sellers who want to stay in the market are hesitant to sell their homes fearing that it would be difficult to find a new one at a reasonable price, she said.

Chris Gremley, broker owner at Banyan Tree Realty LLC, describes his residential real estate operation as a one-man band as he completes all marketing and show activities.

“The first question I ask people is, where are you going?” He said.

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If the answer is somewhere in the same market, he warns them of the challenges.

When a buyer comes in and rents at a reasonable price in the market, his advice is even more meaningful.

“I’m telling them to renew their lease,” he said.

He also said many buyers are moving from another state where they have just sold a previous home. Such buyers have significant advantages over those trying to finance a property.

When a buyer needs a bank mortgage, the property needs to be valued. If this appraisal report remains below the offer, the bank demands a higher deposit or the seller has to reduce the price to the appraised value.

“Appraisers are gods,” said Gremley. “It’s all ‘yes sir, no sir’ from me with them. You definitely don’t argue. ”

He listed a 1,000-square-foot, two-bedroom, one-bathroom house in Bradenton from 1947 for $ 250,000. The property has a long-term tenant and he is marketing it as an investment property.

Gremley says he could have sold the property more easily at that price if it weren’t for an investment property.

“I’ve had several people contact me about the occupation of this property,” he said.

A bubble market
but not like last time

Chris Jones, president of Florida Economic Advisors, holds a PhD in economics from the University of South Florida. He is also a full-time faculty member at USF in the economics department.

Jones described the housing market as a bubble, but not one that will burst anytime soon. In fact, he doesn’t expect it to pop at all. Instead, he expects deflation to slow as supply catches up with demand.

Many will hear the words housing bubble and fear the end of 2007 and the beginning of 2008. Jones said the market slump in the early 2000s was driven by demand artificially fueled by access to easy lending.

“Anyone who basically had a pulse could go way beyond their means and buy a house,” he said.

“Today’s bubble is not driven by the demand economy,” he said. “It’s supply-side driven.”

The economic downturn at the end of 2007 prompted many builders to limit the number of speculative housing projects. For those they do, the number of units is only a fraction of what they would have tried before the property crash.

In addition, the pandemic has squeezed the supply chains for many of the goods involved in new construction, such as plywood and lumber, which is driving up costs.

A third factor is the more flexible choice of location for working people. The pandemic forced many companies to allow their employees to work remotely.

Although the prices that Manatee and Sarasota are experiencing are not outside of what he expects from the current economy, he said the rate of growth is unsustainable.

“People’s incomes are not growing at this rate,” he said. “These price increases can only last so long. You won’t have enough people who can afford it. ”

He anticipates builders will come and build new homes at more affordable prices as supply chains correct and material costs decrease, which will lower the prices of existing homes.

However, this won’t be a quick process.

“I think you will see real estate markets keep rising for 12 to 18 months,” he said. “But more supply always leads to lower prices.”

Narrow inventory

detached house

Location: Total number of entries: Less than $ 300,000: More than or equal to $ 1 million:

Sarasota County: 495: 79: 158

Manati County: 418: 57: 97


Sarasota County: 221: 54: 81

Manati County: 114: 61: 4


Sarasota Ward: 30-0-1

Manati County: 18-3-0

Mobile accommodations

Sarasota County: 32: 11: 0

Manati County: 37: 36: 0

Prefabricated houses:

Sarasota County: 13: 11: 0

Manati County: 14-13-0

SOURCE: Data from the Multiple Listing Service (as of Friday morning).

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Construction costs, residents needing more space and investors impacting metro Denver housing prices



DENVER – What is happening in Colorado and in many places across the country is a story as old as time.

“Home buyers just went nuts,” says Dr. Eric Holt, Assistant Professor at the Burns School of Real Estate and Construction at Daniel’s College of Business at the University of Denver.

“Agents say, ‘Give me your best offer. Period. End of story, ‘”said Lori Abbey of The Abbey Collection at Compass Realty.

It is a classic economic question of supply and demand.

“You just have to be smarter and have an agent with you who knows their stuff,” says Joy Dysart of HomeSmart Realty.

Let’s start demolishing this 360-degree housing market with Matt Burks, the regional site manager for Oakwood Homes, which currently has a huge project in Green Valley Ranch East.

“The wood problem really started in September 2020,” said Burks.

This is one of the biggest problems for Oakwood and other home builders; a 75% increase in wood prices due to supply chain disruptions, mainly from Canada.

“When the borders closed there, we couldn’t bring anything to our facility or to the sites,” said Burks.

And it’s not just wood.

Builders are slowing production due to a perfect storm that includes skyrocketing commodity prices, a decline in available land, and a shortage of skilled labor.

“Pretty much every trading partner we have has a shortage somewhere,” said Burks. “Well, that was a real fight.”

“This is the most unprecedented time we have seen right now, in both real estate and construction,” said Holt.

Holt says the Texas winter storms also disrupted supply chains, particularly for the siding.

“One of the main companies that make a lot of vinyl products, the electricity company, just turned off its electricity,” Holt said. “It’s almost as if everyone is closed, including the factories.”

Holt says the shortage of dock workers in the ports is also holding back imported products such as many household appliances.

“Now there is a huge backlog of ships in ports trying to clear out,” said Holt. “Supply chains have just been hosed down the line.”

Then there is the buying frenzy.

“People just borrow money and think that buying a better house right now is a good idea,” said Dr. Kishore Kulkarni, distinguished economics professor and author at the Metropolitan State University of Denver.

Kulkarni says average Coloradans needed more outside of home during the pandemic.

“When your house is bigger, it’s a lot easier to work from home,” said Kulkarni. “More space for children to study and for adults to work.”

Kulkarni also said that low interest rates are having an impact on the market.

“With an interest rate of 2% or 3%, it’s like free money,” said Kulkarni. “And you should grab it.”

“That’s true,” said Dysart. “The good thing is – the interest rates are so low, historically low.”

But getting the perfect house is very difficult at the moment.

“If the price is right, it will go in two to three days and ask more,” said Dysart.

Dysart estimates that most homes are barely on the market for a day.

“We have about a 24-hour inventory window here,” said Dysart. “If the price is right, it’s gone. And that’s a sad situation for buyers here. “

Complicating matters even further – a flood of investors watching out for Metro Denver and the Front Range.

“Really, people see the appreciation that can happen in Denver,” said real estate investor David Williams. Williams has been investing in greater Denver real estate for years. He says more and more people are seeing the value here.

“The prices are inflated, but I think you can see the value if you buy this property and hold it for three, five, ten years,” said Williams.

His business model is simple: Rent within limits and keep real estate full.

“I like to price my renters a little lower than the market price, so I know I’ll have a long-term renter,” said Williams, who is a fan of the hot market.

“It shows what Denver has become,” said Williams. “If people live here, want to play here and benefit from everything – that is Denver’s advantage, because jobs are being added and the airport is now getting pretty big.”

Abbey recently met with a few Northern California investor clients who wanted to buy dozens of homes here as an investment.

“And they pay the retail value plus 10-15%,” Abbey said. “You pay 20% too much for the house, the way the market is going, you made up for it in four months. Nobody cares.”

Dysart confirms she sees it too. As an example, she uses a current $ 1.8 million quote.

“Every appearance for this listing was someone from elsewhere,” said Dysart. “They were from California, New Jersey, New York. You think it’s a bargain. “

The listing eventually went to a Kansas City executive who plans to work from Colorado while her job stays more than 600 miles away.

“And that happens in Colorado because we have a great lifestyle here,” said Dysart.

Abbey says there is another interesting trend in investing.

“I have customers who are using their 401ks,” said Abbey. “They invest in residential real estate because the percentage return is so much higher than on the stock market; and it’s much more stable. “

Investors and those with large wallets also forego valuations. They are willing to pay the difference in cash because they are confident that they will get the money back.

“These investors come in, they put cash,” Dysart said. “You are discarding the trump card.”

It certainly has an impact on the everyday coloradans.

“As predicted, it was sold in three days,” said salesman John David Hall.

Hall just sold his one bedroom apartment near Centennial Airport.

“I think it was in the market at 8:30 am and by 9:00 am I had these automated texts on my phone for the 9:30 am demonstrations that day,” Hall said. “It was non-stop. It was crazy. “

The buyers give him a month and a half free rent while he waits to close a larger upstairs apartment that wasn’t even listed.

“It’s almost like having to know someone who lives here to get in,” Hall said.

And that brings us back to Oakwood Homes.

“We can’t keep a house right now,” said Burks.

Both Burks and Holt say there’s a silver lining here.

Whether you are looking for a new job or decide to find a job as a young person – construction and craft professions such as electricians are in constant demand.

“People don’t know how great it is – where you can look up and down the street and say, ‘I built all these houses. I know all of these people. I know these families. We built a community, ‘”said Burks.

“We train students to either come and work in the field, not as craftsmen but as managers,” said Holt. “Many of them want to own their own company at some point. It’s great business. It’s a phenomenal career. “

Editor’s Note: Denver7 360 Stories cover multiple sides of the topics that matter most to Coloradans and bring in different perspectives for you to form your own opinion on the topics. To comment on these or any other 360 stories, email us at See more 360 ​​stories here.

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Palm Beach Real Estate: Planners Navigate Mansion Politics and Climate Floods



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It feels like an abyss for Palm Beach, a Florida city in the midst of a waterfront mania mania, just as the effects of climate change begin.

Explore dynamic updates of the most important data points on earth

At the city council’s regular meeting last week, officials discussed the need to increase the incline of a popular bike path – while also somehow increasing the privately owned sea walls. Raising the two together would help preserve views and accessibility.

But if individual sections of the public cycle path and the dikes in front of the villas are raised piece by piece and get out of step, this would weaken the defense against flooding and lead to uneven pedaling. “We don’t want our bike path to become a mountain bike trail,” says Paul Brazil, the city’s construction manager.

Billionaire construction boom in Florida

Taxable Value of New Home Construction in Palm Beach

Source: Palm Beach County

The next day, at another meeting in the same room at Palm Beach City Hall, some of the same characters recalled the uprising that happened years ago when the council was about to adopt building code reforms that would have regulated mega-villas. Some wealthy locals got together, formed a political group, and stopped efforts.

Any rule affecting waterfront properties on Palm Beach Island, especially in neighborhoods like the North End with more humble homes, risks backlash that can seem more intense than any high tide. “Code reform, it’s like touching the third rail – if you do that you get electrocuted,” said Lew Crampton, councilor.

And yet the message from this week’s two meetings was clear: Palm Beach planners and elected officials cannot stray from villa politics forever. The risk of flooding increases along with the island’s exceptional property prices – and the boom in turn generates ample tax revenue that can be spent on new coastal defenses to protect increasingly valuable mega-villas.

This dynamic is at the heart of the feature story I wrote with Prashant Gopal for Bloomberg Green. Some local millionaires and billionaires say they aren’t worried about protecting their homes from climate change, either because the worst comes too late (most people in Palm Beach are over 65) or because these are people who have lots of money pick up and move to a safer place. Still, there’s nothing like an overheated waterfront housing market to create heightened awareness that the coasts are less safe than they were before.

In March, contracts for single-family homes in Palm Beach priced at $ 10 million or more were up 306% year over year, according to a report by Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman Real Estate.

Photographer: Marco Bello / Bloomberg

The houses in this boom are not only getting bigger and more expensive, they are also being lifted higher above the flood zones of maximum risk and equipped with sluice gates, fragile walls and other bespoke protection against extreme weather. The city has a responsibility to do its part for homeowners, which means weighing new rules to enforce resilience while engaging in public works to protect the public good and quality of life.

As part of the efforts of the city staff to help prepare for the climate, Woods Hole Group consultants were hired to develop detailed proposals to address the island’s vulnerabilities. The report is almost complete, though debates over implementation will likely have to wait for seasonal homeowners to return later this year.

Here is a selection of the proposed directives:

  • Raising the sea walls. The lakefront defenses at Palm Beach, along the island’s more vulnerable coastal side, will only be as strong as the lowest sea wall or bulwark. But it will be difficult to get homeowners to raise them all at once. Woods Hole is proposing policy changes that will result in homeowners raising sea walls more often than current regulations. A sticking point could be the fact that homeowners on the less endangered ocean side of Palm Beach Island have been feeding their beach with local and state funds for decades. There may be opposition to the idea that coastal homeowners must pay in full for their own protection, while oceanfront homeowners don’t.
  • Construction of an overvoltage barrier. The idea is to build a movable barrier on a bay that will be an active harbor for both Steve Wynn’s yacht and smaller fishing boats. The city couldn’t cope with this on its own. The first step would be to partner with other communities to request an Army Corps of Engineers study, backed by a congressional grant. Any lockdown would take a long time and cost a lot of money.
  • Erecting the houses. Like the sea walls, homes on the island have continued to climb to stay above levels required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s flood maps. How exactly to build taller is the subject of potential debate. Builders are currently using Fill. But Palm Beach could eventually use techniques used in places like Charleston to leave an uninhabited, sacrificed first floor that can be flooded without harm. Building aesthetics and other neighborly considerations tend to hang over the top. You can easily spot the longtime Palm Beachers, whose homes haven’t been renovated or flooded, who live next to redeveloped and elevated mega-villas.

Palm Beach County Mansions discovered at the Hot Pandemic Market

Last year, the value of the new Palm Beach building rose 139% to $ 267 million, more than the three previous years combined.

Photographer: Bloomberg / Bloomberg

Paul Castro, a zone official, said the code was written so that anyone renovating or remodeling must go outside town to do something other than required – and almost everyone does (with lawyers given many billable hours) . ). Resistance may be encountered if homeowners can make changes to the land they own, such as: B. the specification of equally high dikes.

Palm Beach officials this week decided to seek out a code reform expert. They also discussed the urgency of managing homeowner relationships. Despite its deep pockets, the city does not currently have a public affairs officer. Turbulence is likely to occur.

For the rest of us who don’t live in a waterfront mansion, it’s worth seeing how this goes. Because Palm Beach is going through an adaptation process that will take place again and again along endangered coasts across the country in the near future.

– With the support of Prashant Gopal

Before it’s here, it’s at the Bloomberg Terminal.


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