Category Archives: Market Conditions

Update of recent listing and sales activity, with analysis

Lake Forest 2 Market Update 12/02/2008

I decided to update all the neighborhoods in one post today so you can see all the year-to-date activity for each neighborhood.  I am trying out a new report format, so let me know if you like it or not. 

I like this new report because it includes all the photos for each property, and will update itself if the price or status changes.  A new field called “Special Conditions” is under the property description and will tell you if the property is a short sale, or REO listing.  It also shows the $/square foot price of each property which I think may be valuable to the analytical types.  These links will all expire in 30 days, but I will provide all the new reports before then. 

Serrano Woods Condos

The Oaks

Forest Creek

Indian Hills

Lake Park West

Lakeside Park

Park Place

Parkwood Estates

Parkwood Estates 2

Prairie Ridge

Ranchwood Homes

Serrano Ridge

Lake Forest Keys

The Woods

Neighborhood Real Estate Reports 11-11-2008

Several Lake Forest II neighborhoods have had recent real estate activity, but, like the rest of Lake Forest, most of the sales have involved “distressed” properties – either short sales or foreclosed homes.

Needs some work!

Even though the national election is behind us, real estate activity is still being slowed by questions of what the economy will do, as well as concerns about the lending environment.  In California, the foreclosures have slowed noticeably, but it’s not clear whether that is because lenders are waiting to see what the $700 billion bailout will offer them, or because of California’s new law that requires lenders to document their attempts to work with borrowers before foreclosing.

It is still extremely frustrating for both buyers and sellers to complete short sales, and many times, the buyers give up and buy another property before getting a final answer.  Also, the lenders are taking so long to reach decisions regarding short sales, that the values are declining below the “approved” price, and the properties no longer appraise for value needed for the buyer’s loan!

There are currently foreclosed homes in almost every neighborhood in Lake Forest II, and the banks are pricing them to attract multiple offers.  Last month, out of 81 homes sold in Lake Forest, 40 of them were foreclosures, and 30 of those sold for over list price, and were on the market an average of only 15 days.  In reality, the 15-day average was inflated by the lender refusing to respond to any offers for the first 7 days, then giving all of those potential buyers another 5 days to re-write their offers with their “highest and best” terms.  I have represented several buyers in this type of “blind auction” bidding.  Since you don’t know how many, or how qualified the other buyers really are, the only way to respond is to think about what value would make you feel satisfied that you “won” without feeling that you were tricked into it.  It’s very difficult!

There are 12 foreclosed homes on the market in Lake Forest II neighborhoods today.  If you have a good imagination and don’t mind spending time, energy and money to update or repair a home to your own taste, one of them may be a good investment for you!  Contact me if you would like further information!

Here are the year-to-date activity reports for several Lake Forest II neighborhoods.  I will be adding the rest of them in the next few days.

Serrano Woods Condos 11-11-08

Forest Creek in Lake Forest YTD 11-11-2008

Park Place YTD 11-11-2008

Lakeside Park YTD 11-11-2008

Parkwood Estates II YTD 11-11-08

Real Estate Report for Ranchwood Homes in Lake Forest

Ranchwood Park in the Ranchwood Neighborhood
Sales in the Ranchwood neighborhood in Lake Forest this year have been dominated by distressed (short sales or bank-owned) homes so far, but these sales don’t show the “pride of ownership” that the rest of the homes reflect. Since the homes in Ranchwood are among the smallest of the Lake Forest II Association, they have always been attractive to the younger first-time buyers as an entry point to single family home ownership. As our market improves over the next few years, I expect this neighborhood to be an attractive target for both first time buyers, and first move-ups (from condos), although being mostly single story, they will also attract older move-down buyers who want to give up their larger 2 story homes to save on the maintenance as well as eliminating stairs as they age.

With city-owned streets, and the city-maintained park within the tract, Ranchwood has the lowest association dues (currently only $58.53 per month) in the Lake Forest II Association, paying only the basic amount for recreation facilities and CC&R services.

There is currently only one home available in the MLS in this neighborhood and it is another short sale, so it will probably take a long time to sell. Click on the link below to view all real estate activity* in the Ranchwood neighborhood this year.  

Ranchwood Homes in Lake Forest 11-02-08

If you are thinking about either buying or selling in this neighborhood, please give me a call to find out how I can help you!

Homes in the Woods of Lake Forest II

There are currently 5 active listings in The Woods neighborhood.  Two of them are bank-owned, 2 are short sales, and 1 is a traditional owner occupied listing.  The 2 bank-owned homes are priced at $519,900 and $630,000.  The one at $519,900 was in escrow, but fell out yesterday.  The other bank-owned home appeared to be aggressively priced for the large size (2912 square feet) and good cul-d-sac location when it first came on, but when I went through it, I saw that there has been some (probably water) damage to the hardwood floors, so the expense involved to repair it may be substantial. 

Real Estate Activity in The Woods of Lake Forest II in California

Other Posts about The Woods

Do you want to search for other homes?  Click here to view all 14,000+ homes in the MLS!

Indian Hills Homes in Lake Forest II California


The homes in the Indian Hills neighborhood are currently priced from $559,900 for a 4 bedroom + loft bank-owned REO, up to $729,000 for the same model, not owned by a bank.  They each have a 3 car garage, and are in fairly good locations.  The bank-owned home, not surprisingly, needs some work, but the price @ $218 per square foot makes it one of the better values on the market today.

Here is the Year to Date report for Indian Hills

Bank Owned Homes in Lake Forest II

Lake Forest II homes are not immune to the conditions of the real estate market.  So far this year, 35 (1% of the total HOA) bank owned (REO) properties have been offered for sale in Lake Forest II.  Today, we have 6 homes available in the active status, 8 in escrow, 1 on hold, and 20 that have closed this year.  (There may be a few more that I missed, because listing agents didn’t check the right box that they are bank owned.)

The pricing has ranged from a low of $240,000 for a 3 bedroom condo in Lakeside Park, to $724,900 for a lake front attached home in the “Villas” neighborhood of Lake Forest Keys. 

Here is the year-to-date Lake Forest II REO Activity

The Oaks Homes in Lake Forest

It looks like the first closing in the Oaks neighborhood this year will be a bank-owned home.  It is one of the 4 bedroom single story homes that came on the market on August 22, priced at $474,900, and went in to escrow on September 15.   Since it was on the market more than a week, I will bet that the sale price will be somewhat less than asking.

When this closes, it will not help the comps for the other 5 listings that are on the market, but that is the state of our real estate market today.  Bank-owned homes have made up over 41% of all closings in Lake Forest for the most recent 90 days!

 Year to Date Activity for The Oaks

Here is a link to other posts about The Oaks