Lantern Village Real Estate
Lantern Village is the area of Dana Point that outsiders are most familiar with as it is the area right in the center of the city in which the southern tip constitutes Dana Point Harbor.
The Lantern Village area is bounded on the south by the Pacific Ocean, to the east by Del Obispo Street, to the north by Camino Del Avion, and to the west by Niguel Road. The area is the most populated and the most dense of Dana Point areas – though with 12,500 residents spread over 1.9 square miles the area is neither heavily populated or particularly dense.
The neighborhood is split up the middle by the major cross street of Golden Lantern. The names of many of the street have the word “lantern” in them, which comes from the story of a Laguna Beach realtor in the 1920’s who had acquired 900 acres in the area and started developing the neighborhoods, naming many of the streets after the different colored ships lanterns, such as ruby, green, blue, and so on.
Lantern Village Home Prices
There are some small condos in the Lantern Village neighborhood (2 bedroom/ 2 bathroom) that go from the high $300,000s to the low $400,000s, but they are the exception, not the rule.
Most properties in the area are single family, with the general range being from about $800,000 to $1.5 million – this affords the largest average home sizes of any neighborhood within the city limits of Dana Point, with most listings ranging from 2,000 to 3,500 square feet. Due to the placement of Lantern Village, you’ll find many of the properties available have ocean views from at least some of the vantage points of your property.
There are also a few single family homes at the lower end of the Lantern Village spectrum, typically ranging from $500,000 to $700,000 and under 1,500 square feet, but they are relatively rarer and there is usually a rather small selection of these on the market.
At the higher end of the Lantern Village price range are some truly magnificent homes ranging from $1.5 to $3 million, typically 3,500 to 5,000 square feet – these homes are typically right on the marina and as such afford spectacular views.
Living in Lantern Village
An interesting facet of Lantern Village is the Lantern Village Association. As opposed to most housing associations which are obligatory, this one is voluntary and is meant to foster community pride and togetherness as opposed to imposing rules on what color you can paint your house and so forth.
The Lantern Village Association has given out “Pride Awards” every year since 2000 to residents who most improve their homes within 5 different categories, thus adding to the community. While this may sound a little bit on the corny side, attributes such as these make for a very nice living environment and make for a nice, close-knit community feel that is somewhat rare in most places of Southern California that you might choose to live.
A central part of Lantern Village that is currently under renovation is the Dana Point Town Center, which the City is rebranding as the “Lantern District.” The $19 million project is scheduled for completion in September of 2015 and is meant to create a pedestrian-friendly downtown area where residents and tourists alike can enjoy – putting the area on a closer par in terms of having a walk able seaside area with more amenities that will be on a closer par with some the other beach cities of South Orange County.
(This revitalization will likely, as you can imagine, send prices soaring higher in the coming years, making this one of the best times ever to buy real estate in the neighborhood.)
The most notable part of the Lantern Village neighborhood, of course, is the Dana Point Harbor, which harbors on of the most popular marinas on the west coast. From the harbor residents can access fishing, boating, kayaking, trips to Catalina Island, shopping and dining, along with numerous activities throughout the year.
With all of this, the Lantern Village area is the center of most planned Dana Point activities throughout the year.
Pros and Cons of Lantern Village Real Estate
Dana Point is just about the quietest “beach city” in the entire Orange County area – which makes for a great family environment, but leads to little to do. With that being said, of all the Dana Point neighborhoods, Lantern Village residents are closest to what could be considered the cities “action center” although action is a pretty strong word.
While being closer to things to do on the weekend is a huge added benefit to living in the area, some residents will tell you there are definitely some drawbacks – depending on how close you live to the harbor, being close to things to do means being close to tourists, noise, and more traffic than you’ll generally see in other areas of Dana Point.
While being closer to the action means no noise and traffic, the Lantern Village area is nothing like living in any of the surrounding beach cities – visitors to your home will be able to find parking spots and you won’t be dealing with long lines of people waiting to get into a nightclub or bar – but there will be a small amount of congestion that is consistent with living in any tourist area, so if that sort of commotion would really bother you, you may find yourself more suited to live in Capistrano Beach or the Del Obispo neighborhoods.
With that being said, many of our clients find when shopping that buying real estate in Lantern Village is the perfect “in-the-middle” solution – the benefits of being in a lower populated and more quiet, family oriented area, but with the closeness of the wharf and the beaches and all of the activities that come with that package.