The journey of OC2SV back to OC - with the aid of Martin

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OCtoSV

Active member
We decided early this year after 17 years in the Bay and 4 years prior in New England to return to South OC. We used Martin for the sale of our San Jose house and the purchase of our Laguna Niguel house. We did a mini-reno prior to sale - LVP throughout, new interior/exterior paint and some new lighting, which we got done in ~1 month. To be a non-contingent buyer I used the 60 day rollover rule to fund a large down payment from our IRA. We then replenished it in 57 days (a little close but helped by Martin getting the buyers to move up closing). Martin made both transactions relatively painless and since the buyer's agent was his mom she donated most of her commission. Our area is rife with Indian buyers as our old zip was known as "poor man's Saratoga" due to the highly competitve public schools, but unfortuantely we learned they shun south facing front doors, which ours was. One buyer even asked if they could relocate the front door which the HOA took a dim view of. That south facing issue cost us a likely bidding war but we ended up with a buyer (non-Indian) and still did very well and are back behind the orange curtain, and south of the 5, in what I feel is the most aesthetically pleasing city in all CA. The weather here is amazing and we rarely even need to leave the city limits. The fish taco selection is superb (Seasurf, Sancho's, Baja Fish Tacos so far), Jizake provides authentic Japanese food and sushi, Luciana's provides top tier Italian, Bourbon Steak is as good as it gets for meat, and as a bonus Salt Creek Grille just re-opened last Friday.

I advise any young professional to hit the Bay area for a certain part of their career as it is the highest paying job market in the US but living there is nowhere near as fun as living in South OC, and after over 2 decades we are back home.

Thanks Martin!
 
I did exactly that and can echo the sentiment. Settling down here in the OC is much better than being up in the Bay. Spent 8 years in the Bay and then shifted to working remotely which enabled me to come down to Irvine. Never looked back.
 
One of the things with South OC is no good KBBQ AYCE yet as far as I know. :)

Welcome back... Laguna Niguel was on our list of Irvine-substitutes.
 
Which is interesting, South County has quite a bit of Persian influence and there are probably more Indian restaurants than Korean ones south of Irvine.

There may not be many Asians south (although if I remember, Aliso Viejo and even RSM has a percentage) but some of the better Asian places (Japanese and Chinese) are south (but those are probably Americanized... which I prefer :) ).
 
We decided early this year after 17 years in the Bay and 4 years prior in New England to return to South OC. We used Martin for the sale of our San Jose house and the purchase of our Laguna Niguel house. We did a mini-reno prior to sale - LVP throughout, new interior/exterior paint and some new lighting, which we got done in ~1 month. To be a non-contingent buyer I used the 60 day rollover rule to fund a large down payment from our IRA. We then replenished it in 57 days (a little close but helped by Martin getting the buyers to move up closing). Martin made both transactions relatively painless and since the buyer's agent was his mom she donated most of her commission. Our area is rife with Indian buyers as our old zip was known as "poor man's Saratoga" due to the highly competitve public schools, but unfortuantely we learned they shun south facing front doors, which ours was. One buyer even asked if they could relocate the front door which the HOA took a dim view of. That south facing issue cost us a likely bidding war but we ended up with a buyer (non-Indian) and still did very well and are back behind the orange curtain, and south of the 5, in what I feel is the most aesthetically pleasing city in all CA. The weather here is amazing and we rarely even need to leave the city limits. The fish taco selection is superb (Seasurf, Sancho's, Baja Fish Tacos so far), Jizake provides authentic Japanese food and sushi, Luciana's provides top tier Italian, Bourbon Steak is as good as it gets for meat, and as a bonus Salt Creek Grille just re-opened last Friday.

I advise any young professional to hit the Bay area for a certain part of their career as it is the highest paying job market in the US but living there is nowhere near as fun as living in South OC, and after over 2 decades we are back home.

Thanks Martin!
Welcome, back. Good to know our resident realestate expert guided you through the process and landed a successful choice of your home and location. I can say once you have lived the good life of Socal, it is really hard to depart forever. Unless, one's financial would not allow a large financial commitment. In case you do reach prop 19 requirements, it is worth while to dig deep to save on you prop taxes if you qualify.

A lot of good dinning options is available in South County. Even, if not available, the commute is still close by for some good dinning.

Now, have beer and chill.
 
We decided early this year after 17 years in the Bay and 4 years prior in New England to return to South OC. We used Martin for the sale of our San Jose house and the purchase of our Laguna Niguel house. We did a mini-reno prior to sale - LVP throughout, new interior/exterior paint and some new lighting, which we got done in ~1 month. To be a non-contingent buyer I used the 60 day rollover rule to fund a large down payment from our IRA. We then replenished it in 57 days (a little close but helped by Martin getting the buyers to move up closing). Martin made both transactions relatively painless and since the buyer's agent was his mom she donated most of her commission. Our area is rife with Indian buyers as our old zip was known as "poor man's Saratoga" due to the highly competitve public schools, but unfortuantely we learned they shun south facing front doors, which ours was. One buyer even asked if they could relocate the front door which the HOA took a dim view of. That south facing issue cost us a likely bidding war but we ended up with a buyer (non-Indian) and still did very well and are back behind the orange curtain, and south of the 5, in what I feel is the most aesthetically pleasing city in all CA. The weather here is amazing and we rarely even need to leave the city limits. The fish taco selection is superb (Seasurf, Sancho's, Baja Fish Tacos so far), Jizake provides authentic Japanese food and sushi, Luciana's provides top tier Italian, Bourbon Steak is as good as it gets for meat, and as a bonus Salt Creek Grille just re-opened last Friday.

I advise any young professional to hit the Bay area for a certain part of their career as it is the highest paying job market in the US but living there is nowhere near as fun as living in South OC, and after over 2 decades we are back home.

Thanks Martin!

Try Chuponcito in Aliso Viejo. Check opening hours before you go.
 
Which is interesting, South County has quite a bit of Persian influence and there are probably more Indian restaurants than Korean ones south of Irvine.

There may not be many Asians south (although if I remember, Aliso Viejo and even RSM has a percentage) but some of the better Asian places (Japanese and Chinese) are south (but those are probably Americanized... which I prefer :) ).
We have a place called Asian Kitchen walking distance from the house - sort of a smaller PF Changs. Excellent Kung Pao and a bar with draft beers and sports and I do see some Asian people there, whereas Jizake is almost all Japanese staff but white clientele (even a little RHOC'ish on a Friday night - wife said she has to step up her game)
 
Welcome, back. Good to know our resident realestate expert guided you through the process and landed a successful choice of your home and location. I can say once you have lived the good life of Socal, it is really hard to depart forever. Unless, one's financial would not allow a large financial commitment. In case you do reach prop 19 requirements, it is worth while to dig deep to save on you prop taxes if you qualify.

A lot of good dinning options is available in South County. Even, if not available, the commute is still close by for some good dinning.

Now, have beer and chill.
Prop 19 ended up being a wash given tacking on the delta from SJC purchase price to LN purchase would be equivalent to the straight 1% prop 13 base of the LN pad, which in and of itself is saving me big $$ as all the bonds the idiot Dem voters pass up trhere had me at close to 1.5%.

Only thing we don't have down here is good Lebanese/middle eastern (plenty of Persian which is not the same) but need to go to Anaheim/Orange for that anyway
 
I saw it on Yelp and will check it out. Had a great dinner at El Ranchito Sunday night - excellemnt tampiquena. Really like white boy mexi place Amber's down Niguel.
If you're into good cold brew, Mameya coffee roasters next to El Ranchito is really good. It's a mom and pop Japanese owned coffee shop that sells/roasts their own beans.
 
Prop 19 ended up being a wash given tacking on the delta from SJC purchase price to LN purchase would be equivalent to the straight 1% prop 13 base of the LN pad, which in and of itself is saving me big $$ as all the bonds the idiot Dem voters pass up trhere had me at close to 1.5%.

Only thing we don't have down here is good Lebanese/middle eastern (plenty of Persian which is not the same) but need to go to Anaheim/Orange for that anyway
Sort of close, but Olives Branch in San Juan is pretty good Lebanese. They have a fast food version in Irvine.
 
We decided early this year after 17 years in the Bay and 4 years prior in New England to return to South OC. We used Martin for the sale of our San Jose house and the purchase of our Laguna Niguel house. We did a mini-reno prior to sale - LVP throughout, new interior/exterior paint and some new lighting, which we got done in ~1 month. To be a non-contingent buyer I used the 60 day rollover rule to fund a large down payment from our IRA. We then replenished it in 57 days (a little close but helped by Martin getting the buyers to move up closing). Martin made both transactions relatively painless and since the buyer's agent was his mom she donated most of her commission. Our area is rife with Indian buyers as our old zip was known as "poor man's Saratoga" due to the highly competitve public schools, but unfortuantely we learned they shun south facing front doors, which ours was. One buyer even asked if they could relocate the front door which the HOA took a dim view of. That south facing issue cost us a likely bidding war but we ended up with a buyer (non-Indian) and still did very well and are back behind the orange curtain, and south of the 5, in what I feel is the most aesthetically pleasing city in all CA. The weather here is amazing and we rarely even need to leave the city limits. The fish taco selection is superb (Seasurf, Sancho's, Baja Fish Tacos so far), Jizake provides authentic Japanese food and sushi, Luciana's provides top tier Italian, Bourbon Steak is as good as it gets for meat, and as a bonus Salt Creek Grille just re-opened last Friday.

I advise any young professional to hit the Bay area for a certain part of their career as it is the highest paying job market in the US but living there is nowhere near as fun as living in South OC, and after over 2 decades we are back home.

Thanks Martin!

It was an absolute pleasure with you both on both transactions. I'd be lying if I didn't say that I was a little nervous stepping outside of SoCal to list a NorCal home but my broker got me in contact with the broker up in the South San Jose office who helped me to list the home for sale and referred me the photographer and termite company. I'm glad that you guys are enjoying living in orange county, I'll have to drop by so we can grab lunch.
 
Sort of close, but Olives Branch in San Juan is pretty good Lebanese. They have a fast food version in Irvine.
OMFG Olives Branch is insane - high end authentic Lebanese - even some red wines from the Bekaa Valley. And with Sol Agave in the same strip mall too. SJC actually is popping with restaurants - had awesome mexi the other night at El Maguey and there are several high end spots in the downtown. Overall South County seems to have way more plentiful dining options than Irvine.
 
Welcome back. Did you do any Reno on the new place?
some plumbing work to relocate laundry to the garage and add a single valve faucet to the guest shower, using The Tailored Closet to build custom organizers, recessed lighting (Martin's contact does great work at a great price), had some electrical stuff done incl adding the 30amp outlet to charge my Tesla - but overrall it was fairly turnkey. Best part of liivng here though is the weather - we've barely used the AC.
 
It was an absolute pleasure with you both on both transactions. I'd be lying if I didn't say that I was a little nervous stepping outside of SoCal to list a NorCal home but my broker got me in contact with the broker up in the South San Jose office who helped me to list the home for sale and referred me the photographer and termite company. I'm glad that you guys are enjoying living in orange county, I'll have to drop by so we can grab lunch.
We'd like that. I have your signs and lockbox as well.
 
OMFG Olives Branch is insane - high end authentic Lebanese - even some red wines from the Bekaa Valley. And with Sol Agave in the same strip mall too. SJC actually is popping with restaurants - had awesome mexi the other night at El Maguey and there are several high end spots in the downtown. Overall South County seems to have way more plentiful dining options than Irvine.
I think this is the first time I've ever heard someone say South County has better dining than Irvine haha. I feel like there are some good specific restaurants in South County, but overall, I don't know...
 
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