Home Buying in Laguna Beach>Question Details

Sean Carter, Home Buyer in Laguna Beach, CA

After buying a home in Laguna Beach what are some of the key aspects in remodeling the home

Asked by Sean Carter, Laguna Beach, CA Fri Jan 14, 2011

Windows for ocean & beach views
Master bedroom (closet, bathroom)
Installing an elevator for the 3 story home
Make a bigger garage
Adding a pool/spa
How much is too much in Laguna Beach in remodeling a home

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi Sean,

Are you planning to remodel to flip? or live? First the cost.....get several estimates from contractors, and I would suggest looking for some that are based in lower cost cities like Orange/Anaheim/ Corona. Lower overhead, lower bid. Make sure and check their licenses and referrals. I would definitely go to see some of the remodels as well and talk to clients.

Then...Laguna is a unique place. I've lived there myself at different times and love it. I'd be interested in where you are that might require an elevator? Are you in Arch Beach Heights? I think the cost of an elevator is probably too high for that neighborhood....for resale purposes, but if you are in Emerald Bay...it might make sense. Never over-model for the neighborhood, you won't recover the cost.

Windows for views....absolutely, the more the merrier!

I would also suggest that you speak to someone about Coastal Commission restrictions as well as Laguna Beach restrictions, if you haven't already. Go to City Hall and start there.

Good luck with the remodel.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 16, 2011
The first thing you will want to consider is: do you have a Home owners Association? They do have some limits to what you can do to your property. If you do, check with the home owners association, if you do not-then check with the city planning as you will need to pull permits for many of the improvements you have listed.

Good luck,
Heather Paul
Coldwell Banker
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 17, 2011
If you have the money, do it. You didn't buy in Laguna because it was cheap. Laguna is very tough on building permits. Your first step is City Hall. .... Happy funding, Rudi
Web Reference: http://www.umboc.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 17, 2011
As a general contractor who has purchased many homes for resale, NEVER go over what the value of home would be.

You need create a budget stick to that .

Windows for ocean view probably be a plus. Adding pool or spa if you that close to beach would truly need to have this expense? Larger garage - might require city permit this could be costly.

Kitchen updates add value

Elevator - does the space all ready there in home OR do you need to gut for a shaft.

Master - closest , bathroom add value

Where is your buyers agent assist you with all this?

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 15, 2011
Your questions all depend on how much money you have to invest in any form of remodel.

If the home has an ocean view, likely there are already sufficient windows that show of THE VIEW, however if the home hasn't been remodeled since 1977, you may want to put in newer more energy efficient dual pane - low E windows.

I would only suggest investing in an elevator if the property value exceeds $2M as anything less than that, you're probably going to be 'over upgrading'.

Next in order of importance is to remodel kitchen & bathrooms.

If you plan on keeping the house short term, or want to resell soon, DO NOT ADD A POOL.
Only add a Pool/Spa if YOU are going to live there & personally enjoy it. Not everyone wants a pool, but having a lot size that will fit a pool in the future is nice for a new owner.

If you feel you must have some kind of water feature, put in a Koi Pond or Waterfall, or Just an inground spa, but Place it in a way where, if someone were going to add a pool in the future, it will fit nicely.

How much does this cost? If you like to talk to a contractor about pricing & such, call Paul Kalish at TKR construction at 562-493-0429 or check out their website at http://www.TKRConstruction.com He's my neighbor & a popular custom home builder / re-modeler in Orange County.

***Buying at auction: Beware,,,the pros that are at the auctions all the time work with a cash pool of between $5-25M and so if they get a couple of 'bad apples' (properties with an extra lien or in horrible shape) it's ok because out of the 30 other properties they bought, they'll make their money back. One guy taking his life savings to buy 1 property, could lose it if he doesn't have a full time staff researching liens or trying to check property condition before the auction bell is rung.

You can email me directly if you'd like some more information or talk about what exactly you're looking for in Laguna Beach. Do NOT rule out short sales, they're the next best deal in my opinion, 1 step up from the auctions.

562-430-3053 cell
Realtor Since 1996
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 15, 2011
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