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We talk to a lot of buyers looking for homes in the Back Bay, and one of the biggest decisions home shoppers have in this area is whether the Eastbluff neighborhood or Dover Shores is a better choice for their family. Eastbluff and Dover Shores are just across the bay from each other, with Eastbluff on the east side of the Bay and Dover Shores on the west side.

Which neighborhood is better is not an easy question to answer, as a lot of the decision comes down to personal taste, but let’s take a look at the positives and the negatives of each neighborhood relative to the questions and concerns home buyers have most often about these areas.

Eastbluff Home Prices Vs. Dover Shores Home Prices

Dover Shores homes cost a somewhat more than those in Eastbluff, but most of the difference is due to the fact that Dover Shores homes tend to be a little bit larger. The other difference between the two is that Eastbluff homes tend to have HOA fees of $300-$700 per month out which you get approximately nothing, while those homes in Dover Shores that have HOA tend to have dues under $75.

With the average HOA fee in Eastbluff being $500, over the course of 20 years you will spend an additional $120,000 (assuming the rates don’t rise…) which accounts for a certain percentage of the difference in pricing per square foot.

Another factor influencing the higher prices in Dover Shores is that many of the homes are closer to or on the bay, with some homes having private docks. Also, residents of Dover Shores have access to two private beaches, Larry’s Beach and North Star Beach, as well as Fisherman’s Beach, with Fisherman’s Beach being an area where you can store and access small sailing dinghies for $100 per year.

Back Bay Properties: What Should You Know About Airplane Noise Before Buying a Home in Newport?

Both Dover Shores and Eastbluff are under the flight path from planes coming out of John Wayne airport. The issue of airplane noise has gotten better over the years as pilots have started taking off at a 25 degree angle to have a higher altitude when over the area, and a recent proposal by Newport Beach Mayor Keith Curry is petitioning the FAA to try and compel pilots to take a “zig-zag” path to reduce noise further, but residents will still hear airplanes from time to time.

The noise issue is a little bit worse in Dover Shores than in Eastbluff, though it’s not a major nuisance and most residents have totally tuned it out after a few weeks in the area. It’s rare that you’ll hear planes when you are inside your home, but in your backyard or out and about you will definitely sense a jet from time to time.

While this many buyers don’t view this as a deal breaker, it’s something all Newport Beach Realtors should make their clients aware of, and if you are particularly sensitive to the noise Eastbluff may be more suitable to your liking.

What Other Things Should You Consider When Buying Back Bay Real Estate?

There is virtually no crime in either neighborhood. What about schools?

One bonus for families with teens for Eastbluff resdients is that homes are all within walking distance of Corona Del Mar Middle and High School.

While Dover Shores homes tend to be closer to the water, homes in Eastbluff tend to have better views, with some boasting views of the Bay, the Pacific Ocean, and Catalina Island. A big consideration in the two neighborhoods is lifestyle, with Eastbluff being closer to the glitzier shopping centers, such as Fashion Island, while Dover Shores residents have easy access to the more down-to-earth atmosphere being right on the border between Newport Beach and Costa Mesa.

Another difference between the two is that Dover Shores tends to have more “diversity” in terms of property type for neighborhoods – you may buy a 5,000 square foot palace and have a next door neighbor in a small three bedroom home. In contrast, homes in Eastbluff tend to be pretty homogenous, which, like most things real estate, can be considered a positive or a negative depending on what style you prefer.

So, Is Better to Buy a Home in Eastbluff or Dover Shores?

It really depends on which neighborhood you feel most at home in. If we were comparing Eastbluff to downtown Santa Ana, it would be no contest, but we have some buyers who like Eastbluff better and vice versa.

It is often we hear buyers comment that based on properties available, they are getting more “bang for their buck” in Dover Shores, primarily from buyers who prefer to be right on the water. Dover shores is also a much quicker drive to the beach areas, so for those who prefer that life style, it may be the better bet.

The bottom line is this: in either neighborhood, you’re probably going to be spending 7 figures on your home, so take some time to “hang out” in each area for a day and see which one feels more like home. If you prefer walking, check out the WalkScore on each neighborhood, but also take time to have lunch or dinner in each neighborhood and then just walk around and see if you like the place.

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