Dinesh, Home Buyer in Ladera Ranch, CA

I heard south Ladera Ranch has soil/slippage issues. Is that true and is that why Covenant Hills prices have come down faster than other areas of LR?

Asked by Dinesh, Ladera Ranch, CA Sun May 29, 2011

Or are there other reasons why Covenant Hills has come down more than other LR areas (assuming my understanding that Covenent Hills has come down the most in terms of percentage difference from the market high is correct). Looking to move to LR this year but am worried what these issues can mean for the community and long term property prices. Also seems like the downward trend in LR overall has increased in the last couple of weeks which is disturbing.

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I just became aware of soil/slipage issues. Some homeowners in CH are even having to fill in their pools.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 16, 2014
There is definitely soil slippage issues and major foundation issues here in Covenant Hills Ladera Ranch. Not to mention the great Cell tower that is hidden in a tot lot and the small sign at former peaker power plant site that shows they are steadily quietly moving forward. Prime view lots are falling down slopes and splitting in half. Shame on the developers, builders and the banks that turn the cheek to innocent home buyers.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 10, 2012
I have not heard of any soil/slippage in Ladera Ranch. In my opinion the main reason why properties in Ladera Ranch are three fold:

1) There is a high number of distressed properties in Ladera Ranch
2) Covenant Hills specifically has high HOA fees, around $400 monthly which equates to $5,000 annually
3) High Property tax rate. The mello roos for properties in Ladera Ranch are generally higher than other communities in the area such as Rancho Santa Margarita, Coto De Caza, Mission Viejo, etc...

Scott Aubin
LUXRE Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 6, 2011
Hi Dinesh,

I believe that Covenant Hills has had a larger decrease in price for a couple of reasons. First....they are higher priced, often custom, homes. That segment of the market has slowed considerably more over the past few years. Jumbo loans have been very hard to get for many without a large down payment. Also....there is very high Mello Roos and Association dues. I had one client say "I can buy in Laguna for that" and it's true.

I like CH and have had a few clients buy in there....and if you like that area, you might find some great prices right now. Something to think about....as far as slippage? I haven't heard about anything like that in there.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 6, 2011
I live here in Ladera Ranch and have focused my Brokerage in this region for nearly 8 years. To date, I have not heard of a soil/slippage issue; however, that is not to say one does not exist. During the home buying process, a Buyers due dilligence inspections (within the contingency period) if done properly will discover such an issue.

To address your overall issue concerning value, you have to understand Ladera as a whole while synthesizing general real estate market conditions. Understanding that most lots/homes were sold in Covenant at the ultimate top of the market, that region is seeing the largest decline. Other areas of Ladera were built prior to "top" and as such, there are fewer distressed sales which in turn renders a decreased likelihood of a "firesale" That is just one reason for the difference, I could likely write a book on the topic but will spare you the boredom.

The bottom line is that every geographic region has its "issues" - however, if you beleive in a community and see the forest from the trees, you will see that Ladera Ranch is a place that will be at the top of the appreciation list when the market begins to turn. People want to live here and always will. It is the Midwest Dream in Southern California. Other call it "Pleasantville" - either way, there will always be a demand in Ladera.

Though Supply and Demand prcinciples do not typically apply in Real Estate, they do in certain geographic regions where supply is limited. So Cal is one of those regions. Accordingly, supply is low, demand will always be high.

If you are looking in Ladera, you have already come to the conclusion that this is a place you want you and your family (if applicable) to live. The next step is to understand the community even more. Speak with professionals, residents and keep up on publications. With such an articulate question, you will seek out the proper answers and the right decision for YOU will be made.

Good luck in your search!!!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 29, 2011
There is no soil slippage issues here at all. Quite possibly Terry's answer about the drainage channel getting clogged up might be something you have heard but nothing else. I live here and if you have children, there is no other place to be. The amenities are through the roof. Yes, it is a bit more expensive to live here but so are most of the newer areas (Tustin Field, Talega) just to name a few. The down ward trend the last couple of weeks hasn't changed. In the last 2 weeks, 14 homes have sold representing a sold price per SQFT of $231.99. The previous month sold price per SQFT was $234.22. Hopefully you aren't calling this difference of $3 per SQFT disturbing:-) You can view previous month's past sales here: http://laderaranchlife.com/past-sales .

As far as Covenent Hills coming down faster than other areas of Ladera it was because it was the most expensive, so naturally this area would be the first to fall. Prices will continue to come down to some point as many many people here are upside down or heading in that direction. For every foreclosed home that comes on the market here, there are dozens of ready, willing and able buyers for them.

Come on down and let me show you around: http://www.LaderaRanchLife.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 29, 2011
Hello Dinesh, Haven't heard that and have been in covenant hilla and talked with some of the agents there. I can specifically if anyone has heard any rumors, and get back to you if you would like Also what you would do is get a geo done to satisfy your needs so you know about that particular property. We can always
ask if the owner has one done when've bought the property. When you put an offer on a home you will get a environmental hazard report. You will other teports as well about the property How else can I help you if you want more details Ingrid Ski Realtor
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 29, 2011
The community keeps a sharp eye on the hillside on the south side of O'Neil (not in Covenant Hills).
You will see markers on the hill for this purpose.
The only incident I am aware of is a minor bit of flooding from the hillside to the west of Oneil. A drainage channel was filled with debris, and a little water and dirt came down the hill into one or more backyards, as a result.
I am not aware of any soils problems in Covenant Hills.
Your analysis period is short enough that a sale or two can easily yield statistics that are fleeting.
Nevertheless, a significant number of the buyers in Ladera Ranch in general went a little overboard when they purchased (25% of the home value spend on builder upgrades was not that uncommon), and then the rapid price increases promoted more refi's than other areas. Additionally, the HOA and Mello-Roos can tally up to $1,450/mo. With our current economy, these kinds of things could cause a one-time drop.
I live in Ladera Ranch, and it is definitely a terrific place to live (the parks are full of 4 ft high 5 year olds and their families playing ball on the weekends).
It was an award-winning development when it was new, and I think it is safe to say that it will continue to be so.
The schools, of course, are top-ranked, and I think it has a bright future, once prices "settle back to earth".
BTW, you may be interested in finding out about homes that are not currently on line ("hidden homes", as I call them), and about the availability of significant Buyer Cash-Backs when you do buy.
You can find out more with a short video at http://www.PublicServiceRealEstate.com/custom1.shtml
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 29, 2011
I don't live in the area but I always advise my clients to go to the local building & safety to find out about expanded soil, permits, lot lines and all that good stuff. They should have a lot of info on any home you buy. Good Luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 29, 2011
I have friends who live in Ladera Ranch and they have not heard of soil issues (although I haven't asked since you've posted this), nor has it been mentioned in any of the papers I've found. Where have you heard this?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 29, 2011
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