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A REAL ESTATE STORY – CSH 22

By:  Kelly Enciso, The Boutique Real Estate Group, Corona del Mar, Ca

With the announcement of the new TBREG office in LA, I thought it would be fun to talk about the most iconic residential house of Los Angeles. Arguably, this is the most photographed house in the world – Case Study House 22, or the Stahl House. And it’s right here in our own city! So, let’s get started…

What exactly is a Case Study House? 

After World War II, and with it the return of its soldiers, America found the need for innovative,
functional residential housing. Arts and Architecture magazine (which is no longer in existence) ran a 20 year long project commissioning prominent architects of the day to design homes, making the plans available to be reconstructed inexpensively. This type of program is unique to this day. 36 homes, which re-defined residential housing, were designed. Most of the Case Study Houses were built in Los Angeles and surrounding areas, although some never saw completion. The most photographed and famous is Case Study House 22, also known as The Stahl House, and is located in Hollywood.

Image (c) 2010 Stahl House, Inc. Photographer: Nickolas Loftus

 

Who lived in Case Study House 22, and how much did it cost to construct?

The Stahl family, who was neither famous or overly rich, lived in Case Study House #22. Buck Stahl and his wife, Carlotta, had three children.  The land at 1635 Woods Drive in Hollywood was purchased by Buck Stahl in 1954 for $13,500 dollars. This piece of real estate was considered undesirable, because although it had great views of Los Angeles, it is on the side of the cliff with a very steep grade. Buck designed many aspects of the home himself before seeking out an architect. The project was completed 13 months later for $37,500, complete with a swimming pool and 2,200 square feet of living space. The 2 bedroom/2 bath home was named a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 1999. The home today looks much the same as it did when Stahl family was residing there, and much effort is put into maintaining
this.

Who was the architect? 

Pierre Koenig was an American architect who received his degree from USC, where he also later taught while continuing his practice. Along with CSH 22, he designed many other modern residential structures, including one other Case Study House (number 21, which sold at auction for $3.1 million in 2007).
What role did the photography of Julius Shulman play in promoting the home? Julius Shulman is a celebrated post war modern architectural photographer. The list of awards and
honors presented to Shulman throughout the years is long, and includes the American Institute of Architecture Gold Medal for architectural photography in 1969. He lived from 1910 until 2009. A critically acclaimed movie gives much detail to his life (poster pictured below), and is a great way to learn more about his extraordinary career. (Visual Acoustics is available on Netflix).

Case Study Houses: The Complete CSH Program published by Tashen

 

 Visual Acousitcs: The Modernism of Julius Shulman: A Film by Eric Bricker poster – background photo by Julius Shulman

 

Why the obsession with The Stahl House? 

The Stahl House embodies the Californian, and inherently, the American Dream. Although this piece of real estate was far from ideal, a beautiful, functional home that re-defined single family dwellings was built on it. A typical family lived here, which could have been you or me. The Stahl family made the home their own, tying their own stories and memories into it. This makes the residence all the more relatable. The photography and artistry that is drawn to this dwelling creates a continual sense of wonder, fame, and nostalgia.

Can I visit CSH 22?
Yes! A visit to this remarkable, historical home is worth the trip (I’ve done done it myself and recommend it). Tours are available for purchase through www.stahlhouse.com, and start at $35 dollars per adult (using one 1 car). Keep in mind that the home is located in a residential neighborhood, and in a effort to not disturb the surrounding community, tours and limited, as well as the number of vehicles allowed at any given time. Tickets must be purchased in advance (no ‘walk-ins’). All information derived from stahlhouse.com, The Stahl House, Inc. and Julius Shulman: Architecture and it’s Photography, TASCHEN America LLC

 

To connect with Kelly please shoot her an email at Kelly.Enciso@TheBoutiqueRE.com or visit her here.

 

 

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The Boutique Real Estate Group Announces the Addition of Aaron Woodman as Operations Manager of their Los Angeles Expansion

The Boutique Real Estate Group Takes First Step to Expand to Los Angeles Luxury Real Estate Market.

Corona del Mar, Ca (PRWEB) September 17, 2014

The Boutique Real Estate Group is a boutique real estate brokerage founded in Orange County, CA, that focuses on brilliant design, creative marketing & luxury services and is headed by founder Raj Qsar and Chief Technology Officer Jeremy Lehman. Raj & Jeremy have created a culture that spurs collaboration, technology and social media with a unique marketing approach and have successfully penetrated into the luxury real estate market with their unique creativity, storytelling marketing and back end technology.

[caption id="attachment_1135" align="aligncenter" width="598"]Aaron Woodman, Los Angeles Operations Manager, The Boutique Real Estate Group. "I looked at my life and the people I love the most and they helped me realize selling is when I was happiest. So I set out to find the right fit." Aaron Woodman, Los Angeles Operations Manager, The Boutique Real Estate Group.
“I looked at my life and the people I love the most and they helped me realize selling is when I was happiest. So I set out to find the right fit.”[/caption]

The Boutique announced this past week the addition of Aaron Woodman who will lead their charge into the Los Angeles Luxury Real Estate Market. Aaron began his career in real estate over 14 years ago while still in high school working the summers for a large commercial and industrial brokerage and before graduation had his real estate license and was selling single-family homes. While attending Michigan State University, he continued being involved in the local real estate market. Aaron owned and managed a national franchise with over 180 agents and has personally sold over $200 million in real estate assets and oversaw a portfolio of 1,600 multi-family units. His innovative approach and understanding of Real Estate technology makes him highly sought after as a lecturer, writer, mentor, and coach and a perfect match for The Boutique’s expansion into Los Angeles Luxury Real Estate Market.

“The announcement last week that Aaron Woodman will be heading up our operations as we push into Los Angeles is a massive step in our history as a real estate company. We are small yet agile, purposeful with a strategy, and have immense passion for all things that push our industry forward and we are excited to have Aaron on board as he holds these values close at heart.” From Founder, Raj Qsar.

Most recently The Boutique Real Estate Group was nominated for an Innovator Award for Most Innovative Real Estate Agent in 2014. Also, Founder, Raj Qsar and CTO Jeremy Lehman have been recognized as Inman News Top 100 Most Influential Real Estate Leaders Worldwide. The Boutique was also selected as the 2014 Next Generation Real Estate Brokerage by Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate and 1000 Watt Consulting. Their 2013 video called #goodbyehello was selected as a Top 20 Real Estate Video in The United States. Their story continues to evolve with the addition of Aaron Woodman and their expansion into Los Angeles.

Aaron has written a series of three blog posts about his re-entry into real estate. Please read here for more information.
1. Why I am going back to selling.
2. Big questions cloud decision to start own brokerage or join existing one
3. How I chose which Real Estate Company & brokerage to join

Link back to PRweb Release.

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Now Hiring | Orange County Operations Manager | The Boutique Real Estate Group

Think you have what it takes?

For more information and to see what we are about please visit us HERE.

Now Hiring - Orange County Operations Manager

 

Think you have what it takes?

For more information and to see what we are about please visit us HERE.

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How I chose which real estate company and brokerage to join

I looked at my life and the people I love the most and they helped me realize selling is when I am happiest.

By: Aaron Woodman, Los Angeles Operations Manager, The Boutique Real Estate Group

This is the third post in a series by Aaron Woodman. Read why Aaron is returning to real estate here, and read about his re-entry process here.

Well, Nike never called Zach!

That said, I have made a decision on whether to start a brokerage or join an existing one. Follow me for a minute while I tell you how I came to my conclusion.

Taking reader advice, and consulting with my network

First I asked you, the readers, for advice about selecting a brokerage. Your comments ranged from “you are your own brand” to “think of all the headaches.” This feedback gave me a lot to think about — thank you for getting the wheels turning.

I then reached out to my inner circle of real estate “gurus” that I’m blessed to call friends. I think this is extremely important for an agent new or old to have a trusted sounding board of agents with whom they can openly (but confidentially) share ideas and plans with.

After talking with my network, I decided I should interview with a few brokerage companies. I set out to interview both national and local brands. I sent my resume in and waited for a response. I received calls almost right away.

Researching brokerages in advance 

Here’s what I did before interviewing brokerages:

  • I Googled the managing broker.
  • I checked the company website.
  • I picked random agents to check out on zillow, trulia and realtor-dot-com.
  • I attended an open house of that company’s, if possible.

 

This seems easy, but you wouldn’t believe what I found. Some places I canceled because of what I found and read. I know sellers and buyers are going to do the same, so why not me?

Once in the interview I let them ask questions, but I also interviewed them and observed the office environment. Would my clients come here, and find it easily? Are there agents in the office? What’s the culture? Most importantly, could I see myself here?

I have worked for big brands and smaller national companies as an agent and consultant for over 14 years. I have been in a lot of offices. As I was going through the process, I continued to be disappointed. These offices and companies do not portray the industry well. The message and the culture of these brands were not well represented on a local level. Why was there so much disconnect from corporate to the local office? (I have a few ideas, but that is another blog post.)

I went back to a handful of friends and talked more. I considered an executive-level job with a new brand that is launching, possibly a job with a number of syndicators. But those weren’t the right fit either.

I looked at my life and the people I love the most and they helped me realize selling is when I was happiest. So I set out to find the right fit.

Looking for the right brokerage and company for me

I follow several luxury real estate companies on social media and have interacted with several, but there weren’t any that were close to where I want to sell. I left a meeting in Orange County and remember seeing my “adopted dad,” Bob Watson, post pictures of a company I wanted to check out.

I had connected with the owner of this brokerage online several months before and talked back and forth via Twitter and met briefly at an Inman event. I sent him a quick private message, and he happened to be at the office. I stopped in casually and half joking told him he should head north to Los Angeles. He didn’t hesitate and that started the conversation of him wanting to expand. He doesn’t know this but I left so pumped that I headed home, Googled him, amd watch him speak at numerous events on his YouTube channel.

I saw his posts on social and began to understand that he defines luxury real estate in Southern California. Every time I talked to him, I crossed off everything on my list of needs and wants for my next move. I met a few of his agents because of social media and Inman events, and I messaged one to pick their brain. They confirmed what I was figuring out: that this was a great company, and the leader not only has a clear vision but has actually sold real estate.

Decision time

I will be the Los Angeles operations manager and opening an office for The Boutique Real Estate Group and Raj Qsar. As The Boutique Real Estate Group expands its borders from Orange County to Los Angeles, we will be working together to continually raise the bar in everything we do. This doesn’t end my journey now that I have chosen a company. I will continue to share how I build my personal business, what I’m looking for in agents as I build an office, and what products that I use to sell real estate in a changing world.

Now that you know where I’ll be, I still have more questions for you:

  • What apps do you love?
  • What technology do you like?
  • What are your follow-up methods?
  • If I were to ask you to join my office, what would you want from me and my team?

 

Aaron Woodman has over a decade of real estate sales experience as both an agent and a managing broker/owner, and most recently as a consultant for residential brokers, property management firms and real estate technology startups.

Link back to Inman News Article.

Aaron Woodman

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Soft Opening | Corona del Mar | The Boutique Real Estate Group

 

The Boutique Real Estate Group

 

Simply an amazing night with our Boutique Family. A soft opening to our new headquarters in Corona Del Mar. What started of as a whim many years ago has truly changed all our lives forever. Thank you. We are truly speechless.  www.TheBoutiqueRE.com

Posted in Corona Del Mar, Orange County Luxury Real Estate, Orange County Mortgage News, Orange County Real Estate, Orange County Social Media, Orange County Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
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206 N Madrona Ave #108, Brea, Ca 92821

206 N Madrona Ave #108, Brea, Ca 92821

 

206 N Madrona Ave #108 is a Gorgeous Model Perfect End-Unit Townhome in The Heart of Brea. Located On A Peaceful Cul-De-Sac This Home Boasts Approximately 1,400 sq. ft. of Living Space with 3 Bedrooms & 2.5 Bathrooms. Open Concept Kitchen with views to Family Room. The Home Lays Out Perfectly into an Open Floor Plan and is Anchored by a Cozy Fireplace In The Family Room.  Great Natural Light Beam Throughout This Home. Opulent Master Bedroom & Bathroom with Dual Vanities with Solid Surface Countertops, Custom Paint, Upgraded Floors and Walk-In Closet. Inside Laundry Room, Two Car Attached Garage with your own private Driveway.  Great Entertainers Backyard with  Plenty Of Room for Friends & Family to Enjoy.  Walk to Downtown Brea, Birch Street Promenade, Movies, Improv, Fabulous Restaurants, Nightlife and Award Winning Schools.  Low HOA and No Mello Roos.

Property Website

Video Tour

Brokerage Website

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Now Hiring | The Boutique Real Estate Group

Job Posting | TCLC

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A Day in the Life of Raj Qsar | www.Realtor.com

By: 

 Raj Qsar is the principal owner of The Boutique Real Estate Group, an independent real estate brokerage that integrates mobile technology, brilliant design & creative storyboarding into their real estate transactions. His Southern California offices specialize in luxury homes and has expanded into the coastal region of Newport Beach. In his words, here is a peek into a day in his life.
raj qsar

Walk us through a typical day in your life.

My day typically starts at 5 a.m., sometimes a bit earlier. I just get up out of bed. No alarm. I grab my phone and head downstairs. I am totally a morning person. I make a protein shake and jump on my laptop and scroll through emails, Twitter, Instagram and then Facebook. I usually check analytics on our website and social channels, and look at ad campaign results.

On Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, I am at the Crossfit gym by 6 a.m. After the gym, I am at home helping get the kiddos—Hannah, Emma, and Cooper—get ready for school. Breakfast, clothes, homework review, and they are off to school by 8:30 a.m., and I am off to one of our offices. At 8 p.m. or so, I start shutting down.

Phone / tablet / laptop / desktop of choice?

iPhone 5S, iPad Air, MacBook Pro with Retina Display, iMac 27″ on my desk. We are an Apple company.

Apps you can’t live without?

DocuSign, DocuSign Transaction Room, DropBox, Facebook, Instagram, and recently I have been using Refresh as I am meeting with so many people.

Emails sent per day? Received?

My Google app business account said I received 7,000 emails last month, and I sent out 1,400.

Tell us about your market.

We tend to market homes above $1 million. It was not intentional, but our services are considered luxury and tend to attract those types of buyers and sellers.

Real estate marketing has truly evolved over the last 10 years. We have developed a comprehensive strategy which showcases our client’s home through real-life video—actual movies—amazing photography, 360 HD V-tours, individual property websites for each home, staging and interior design, custom graphics and design, and a social media content strategy that reaches people on a global scale.

We have complete control over our designs, feel and strategy when marketing luxury real estate. When surfing the web for real estate, our listings stand out: they have a unique look and feel, and buyers recognize our listings as being “boutique-ivied”—and we believe every home has a story.

Total number of transactions you worked on last year? Expected this year?

I personally did about 40 transactions last year with an average sales price of about $2 million. I will do about the same this year, but our price point has moved up. Look for our new office in the beach city of Corona Del Mar in Newport Beach as we launch into the coastal Orange County real estate market.

What made you choose a career in real estate?

After watching an agent “sell” our first home, I knew there had to be a better way. I personally held the open houses, I printed the flyers, I wrote the content. That was all pre-social.

It was so massively complicated, and we were so in the dark the whole way through. I had an “Ah, ha!” moment back in 2008 as technology and social media found real estate. We knew there had to be a better way of not only marketing real estate but also of managing the mountain of paperwork and people involved in a real estate transaction.

So in a sense, our team has digitized the real estate experience. You will never find our clients running to a fax machine and most likely never even pick up a pen to sign anything. We are a paperless office, completely mobile and can run an entire real estate transaction from our iPads and phones. Our technology does not require our clients to be tech savvy—it only requires our agents to understand the benefits of technology and to implement that technology with our clients.

What’s the biggest challenge the real estate industry faces today?

One of the biggest challenges in real estate today is that everyone seems to be swimming in the same pool. There is no original creative. Nobody wants to tell a story. There is an old quote, “Those who tell the stories rule the world.”  What I love is when I meet someone, and they just instantly pick up with a story. We believe this type of mindset is so needed in our industry.

What advice would you give to new agents?

The advice I would give to a new agent entering into the world of real estate would be to join an amazing team. And I do not just mean a busy team, but an amazing, highly-respected team where you can learn, experience and absorb everything and anything that is real estate. That includes not only all the “beautiful and shiny” things that real estate offers, but also all the challenges that real estate brings each and everyday: from contracts, lender guidelines and appraisals to staging, photography, pre- and post-processing of photos, editing video, print campaigns and the entire social media and web content strategy.

Who inspires you the most?

Jesus Christ because he changed my heart.

Link to original article.

Previous “A Day In The Life” articles:

Sarah Schnell Jones

Carol Wolfe

Tiffany Kjellander

Geeky Girl Laurie Davis 

Sam DeBord

Bill Lublin

 

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Throw Back Thursday | The Boutique Real Estate Group | #TBT

Big Week: 4 Sales Combine for $26.5mGreat memories of a fabulous listing we actually sold twice within a 1 year time span.  #tbt

Visit the Website.

Watch The Movie.

Digitally Walk This Home.

The villas dotting the hilltops in Andalusia, Spain provided the stimulus for this custom built residence nestled into the Northeast Slope of this Southern California coastal foothill known as Shady Canyon in Irvine. A thoughtful compilation of simple horizontal white washed building forms, brick elements, pointed arches, and moorish tile accents are evocative of an unintended complex of buildings evolved over multiple generations. This private & gated 1.15 acre site is punctuated with several natural rock outcroppings that the floor plan layout playfully incorporates as focal design points.

49 Golden Eagle, Irvine, Ca

Designed by reknown local Orange County Architect, R. Douglas Mansfield, this Andalusian masterpiece sits on a private 1.15 Acre Flat Plot Tucked into the hillside of Shady Canyon at the end of a Cul-De-Sac and backing up to Bommer Canyon. Approximatley 6,300 sq ft of Living, Six Bedrooms, 7 Bathrooms, 4 Car Attached Garage, Dual Wine Cellars, Professional Grade Appliances & Whole Home Lutron Automation highlight this Private Retreat. The outdoor space capitalizes on the massive flat lot by incorporating a gated circular driveway, fruit orchard, perfectly manicured landscape, Salt-Water Pool & Spa, Fire-Pit & massive grassy area for entertaining family & friends.

Shady Canyon is Orange County’s premier, guard-gated golf course community located in beautiful Irvine. Surrounded by 16,000 acres of natural sanctuary, Shady Canyon has approximately 400 luxury homes and home sites that exhibit stunning architectural designs, luxurious landscapes, abundant space and natural attributes.

Search All Shady Canyon Homes Here.

Connect with a Boutique Agent Today.

49 Golden Eagle, Irvine, Ca

 

Posted in Central Orange County, Orange County Luxury Real Estate, Orange County Real Estate, Orange County Social Media, Orange County Technology, South Orange County | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
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Top 10 Orange County Beaches | The Boutique Real Estate Group

Written by Melissa Sims

I spend probably half of my year at the beach.  No joke.  We are a family of surfers, scuba divers, spear gun hunters and stand-up paddlers.  Squeezing the amazing beaches of Orange County into a ‘top 10’ is no easy task.  With over 40 named beaches (and I’m sure numerous unnamed), trying to pick the best is like trying to compare wine to beer.  You just can’t…each beach here in the OC has something unique and breathtaking about it. So let’s start south and head our way up.

1.  San Onofre State Beach (my personal favorite)

Located in the southernmost coastal part of Orange County, San Onofre state beach is an old-school surfer mecca.  You will not find any food stands or bike rentals here – this is strictly for the dedicated beach goer, as you have to be in line for parking no later than 6:00am on the weekend in order to find a spot.  They let a limited number of cars in, so if you show up late, you can count on waiting for someone to leave before you get your spot.  Why such a draw?  Well, for starters, you park DIRECTLY in front of the sand.  No sidewalks, no hauling your cart-o-crap.  Just open up the trunk and set up shop. Everyone that comes here respects the beach, and usually respects you (as long as you aren’t THAT guy).  The surfing at San Onofre, affectionately called ‘Old Man’s,’ is smooth, somewhat consistent and perfect for longboarders and beginners (on a small day).  You won’t find a lot of young groms here ripping arials.  It’s an awesome vibe and a clean beach – the San Onofre Surfing Club takes impeccable care of this beach, with hand-built showers and garden walks. Cost to park = $15 (or buy a state park annual pass for $195, good at any state beach).

2.  Doheny State Beach

Located in Dana Point, just south of the harbor, Doheny is notorious for it’s unhealthy water report.  It has gotten cleaner in past years, but still ranks among the ‘bad’ in Orange County.  So why is this beach on our list?  Doheny is the ultimate beach trip – with an awesome snack shack, volleyball courts, barbeques, camping, grassy lawn and promenade with rentals.  Doheny used to have one of the best breaks in Southern California, but once the jetty was built, the shape of the wave changed and it is now known as one of the best beginner spots in Orange County.  In addition, the city of Dana Point puts on some spectacular events at Doheny, including Doheny Days, the Blues Festival and the annual Outrigger Canoe Races.  Even if you don’t get in the water, Doheny is definitely worth a visit.

3.  Salt Creek

Buzzing up the coast, just north of Doheny in Laguna Niguel, is a gem called Salt Creek.  Not the easiest to get to from your car…you have to hike down a very steep hill to get to the beach, so pack lightly.  The trek is worth it – trust me.  With beautiful cliffs, crystal-clear waters, and a view of the Ritz-Carlton high above, you’ll feel like you’ve found a private paradise – except for the crowds.  It can get quite busy here, so head out early.  There is a snack shack and restrooms here, so you really just need the essentials.  Salt Creek is a popular spot for surfers and skim-boarders, and not always the best for swimming.  There is also a grassy park above the beach, for those that just want the view. Metered parking.

4.  Treasure Island, Laguna Beach

Arguably one of the MOST beautiful beaches in Southern California, Treasure Island Beach is located below the famous Montage Resort in Laguna Beach.  Meander along spectacular paths, peppered with California native plants and views of the posh resort.  Take the stairs down to the beach and you will understand why this beach is so special.  Not only is this beach spectacular in its own right, it is also known for it’s protected tidepools.  The Montage Resort offers docents to educate the public on busy weekends and holidays, during low tide.  Metered parking, very limited.

Treasure Island

5.  Crescent Bay, Laguna Beach

I like to pretend this is my little secret, I’ve just let everyone in on it!  Crescent Bay is a beach found in a residential area of Laguna Beach.  It is not easy to park, nor easy to walk to…but locals love this spot for it’s sheer beauty.  Surrounded by cliffs, with mega-mansions to gawk at, this crescent-shaped beach is absolutely stunning.  No sound of trains or traffic…just crashing waves and seagulls and pelicans.  You will spot the occasional dolphin or sea lion, but mostly just sparkling waters and easy-going people.  Beware – the waves can get quite powerful.  Limited metered street parking.

Crescent Beach Laguna

6.  Crystal Cove State Park, Newport Beach

Personally, I’m a state park kind of gal.  I love feeling like I am getting away from the crowds and enjoying the beauty of nature.  If you like that too, you’ll love Crystal Cove.  Surprisingly, this is right off of Coast Highway – but has a huge preserve between the water and the highway, so you’ll never hear any traffic noise.  The park is quite expansive, with 3.2 miles of coastline, offering mountain biking, scuba/skin diving, horseback riding, swimming and surfing.  There is also a campground across the street and primitive camping at Moro Ridge.  In addition, Crystal Cove is home to the famous Beachcomber Café and the Crystal Cove Beach Cottages, available for rent through ReserveAmerica.com. The history of Crystal Cove dates back to the early 1900s, as a favorite spot of the Irvine family and shooting spot for many classic movies.  This is definitely one of Orange County’s best treasures!

Crystal Cove State Beach

7.  Corona Del Mar

‘Big Corona’

A favorite spot for families, Corona del Mar is located just south of the Newport Bay jetty, off of Ocean Blvd. and Breakers Drive.  A huge parking lot and spectacular views bring lots of crowds, but this spot never feels touristy.  This is a great beach for kids because the waves are much calmer than other local spots because of the jetty.  But you’ve been warned – LOTS of kids.  If you aren’t in the mood for that, go to elsewhere.  Parking is $15, and even though this is a state beach, it is run by the City of Newport Beach – so you can’t use the annual parking pass here.

‘Little Corona’

Little Corona is just south of Big Corona, off of Poppy Street.  This is one of the only beaches where you don’t have to walk down stairs to get to the sand.  It is a path entry, making wheeling your equipment down very easy.  It has a public restroom and showers, and is a local favorite for diving and children.  It is flanked on both sides with rocky reefs, so waves are not an issue here.  Snorkeling is another favorite activity here.  Street parking only.

8.  The Wedge, Newport Beach

If you want to see some of the biggest, most mind-boggling waves, go to the Wedge.  On a big day, the surf can reach 30 feet…yes, that’s right.  30 feet!  Not known for swimming, this is mainly for bodyboarding and body surfing, and if the sets are optimal, surfing.  In the winter, this is a major spot for watching some serious talent.  During summer months, from May-October, boards of any type are not allowed so that others can enjoy the water.  Not only good for water-watching, the beach itself is great, and offers amazing sunset views.

9.  Newport Beach

Newport Beach is so spread out that it is hard to feel crowded in once you are on the sand.  With great restaurants and bars close by, you’ll never get bored here.  Rent a beach cruiser in town and experience Newport like the locals do.  All thirteen of Newport’s beaches have been ranked superbly high in cleanliness.  Just beware of major holidays, it can turn into a crowded party scene.  If you want to be closer to the ‘scene’, head over towards 24th street.  If you want to stay away from the crowds, head north, closer to 38th street or Superior.  Parking is a nightmare, and you’ll likely circle for some time trying to find a street spot.  But this is definitely not a beach you want to miss experiencing.  Quintessential Orange County.

Newport Beach

10.  Huntington City Beach

Infamous, or just famous?  With recent press, Huntington Beach is getting a bad rap.  90% of the time, this beach is just like every other beach.  But during major holidays and events, it has been known recently to have a rough crowd.  Located just off Main Street and PCH, Huntington is one of the most recognized beaches in America.  Regardless of some of the recent events here, people still visit in droves to experience Surf City at its finest.  You have the best of everything here – surf, sand, good food and great people watching.  Not only can you walk the pier, you can hop across the highway to some of the hottest party spots in town.  Visit in early August and watch the US Open of Surfing.  This year, promoters are banning alcohol sales and will not have live music – in an effort to bring the focus back to the sport of surfing, and away from partying.  I say, ignore the bad press and give Huntington Beach a chance.  You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Honorable mention:

Main Beach, Laguna

50% surfing, 50% people watching.  Main beach is located in the busiest part of Laguna, right in the heart of downtown.  There are volleyball and basketball courts right off the highway, and a boardwalk that snakes down the beach.  There are tons of easily accessible restaurants right across the street, so don’t be surprised to see people walking barefoot through downtown in nothing but a bathing suit.  This is probably the most crowded beach in Orange County…sometimes it is hard to see any sand because the beach is so full.  This beach is great for families, as there is a large play area for kids.  Regardless of the crowds, still one of the best beaches in OC.  Park on a side street and you’ll be fine.

So, where will you be heading?

Connect with Melissa Sims at http://TheBoutiqueRE.com/Melissa-Sims or Melissa.Sims@TheBoutiqueRE.com

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© The Boutique Real Estate Group, 2013 - All Rights Reserved | BRE# 01933510