Laguna Beach Real Estate
Laguna Beach is a city of about 23,000 right in the center of the Orange County Coast with majestic views and multimillion dollar housing atop huge cliffs that overlook the Pacific Ocean, providing many city homeowners with some of the best views available in all of California.
The City of Laguna Beach lies along a 7-mile strip of coast nestled between Newport Beach to the North and Dana Point to the South. The city boundaries technically head eastward all the way to Laguna Woods going up Laguna Canyon via the 133 toll road, with the city limits lying between Crystal Cove State Park and Wood Canyons Regional Park.
Laguna Beach Home Prices
Laguna Beach real estate is the most expensive property in all of Orange County.
At the very bottom of the Laguna Beach real estate market, you can occasionally find a 700 square foot dump priced in the high $400,000’s, while 2 or 3 bedroom condos for sale in Laguna Beach will cost from $600,000 to $1,000,000 or so (usually under 1,000 square feet) – but these make up a very small minority of the available homes in Laguna Beach.
The vast majority of Laguna Beach home listings consists of single family homes ranging from $1.5 million to about $6 million. At the lower end of that range, buyers typically are looking at homes that range from about 1,500 to 2,500 square feet on smaller lots of 6,000 square feet or less, but these homes do tend to feature patios and rooms with panoramic ocean views.
As the price climbs, Laguna Beach properties become more substantive, and as you push into the $3 to $6 million range, often buying homes in Laguna Beach means a tri-level 4,000+ square foot home on good sized (relative to having views of the ocean) lots that can go up to 15,000 square feet or so.
If price isn’t an object, you can find absolutely stunning properties in Laguna Beach, with the upper echelons in the space ranging from $20 million all the way up to $50 million and above – the type of over-the-top homes that make the online drool lists like the 25 Most Expensive Homes in California. At this price range, you’ll get what you’re paying for, with 15,000 square foot mansions that afford an ocean view from almost every room and where listings will feature the name of some famous designer.
Things to do in Laguna Beach
Laguna Beach has a distinctively arty and bohemian culture that got its start in the 1900s from the ‘plein air impressionists’ (a snooty way to say that the artists who lived there liked to paint outside) and as such the city has several annual art festivals, and is littered with art galleries and well preserved cottages.
Above all, Laguna Beach is a fabulous place to live. It was ranked #6 in a list of America’s Happiest Seaside Towns by Coastal Living Magazine.
Laguna Beach is the type of neighborhood to live in if you’re looking for an area where you can hobnob with interesting people and always have something to do locally. The area is anything but sleepy – with over 3 million tourists visiting the area per year, something is always happening in town.
While most Orange County neighborhoods (even the beach areas) mostly consist of boring suburbs, there’s enough action in the city that web pages exist such as one that highlight 100 things to do in Laguna Beach.
While most cities might have a weekend art show, Laguna Beach’s Sawdust Art Festival runs during the summer from late June to early August as well as for several weekends during the winter.
As you might expect, living in Laguna is like being on a 365 day a year vacation. Aside from arts and the beautiful ocean, the downtown area is filled with unique restaurants with world class dining and a lively nightlife.
Pros and Cons of Living in Laguna Beach
While living within a postcard may sound like the perfect dream life, Laguna Beach real estate is not for everyone.
First off, once you’re in Laguna Beach, you’re in Laguna Beach, meaning anything that’s not in Laguna Beach is now “far.” While many consider the considerable benefits to living in Laguna Beach well worth that inconvenience, those that have to regularly be in places further away than Newport might find the travel time out of the area oppressive.
A consideration that makes Laguna Beach heaven on earth for some, but might be a negative to others (albeit mostly for those that were not brought up in California) is the considerable gay population – if you are still living in 1950 this may not be the best area to move to.
Another thing that may make buying a home in Laguna Beach a negative for you is if you prefer a quiet, laid-back atmosphere – with an estimated 3,000,000 tourists visiting per year, it’s likely that on any given day there can be as many, if not more, tourists in town than there are residents, which leads to congestion, traffic and parking problems.
On the plus side, any Laguna Beach REALTOR® will tell you that buying a home in the area means living in an eccentric, vastly interesting place with lots to do and a mix of people from around the world, including the rich and famous, that you could bump into in any given time. From the Festival of the Arts and the Pageant of the masters to all the different festivals that happen throughout the year, there’s always a reason to leave your house right around the corner.
With all the goings on, Laguna Beach is a fabulous area to raise a family in. The schools in Laguna Beach are top notch, with Laguna Beach High School ranked in the top 100 schools in California by US News and World Report. In fact, every single public school in Laguna Beach is ranked a 10 out of 10 on the school-ratings.com website.
If you’re looking for a great beach area with an arty, energetic vibe, and you can afford the cost of entry, Laguna Beach should be at the top of your list for areas to consider home.