Jun 012010
Buena Park Sign, Orange County, California, USA
Image via Wikipedia

A large city in the northwestern part of Orange County, Buena Park, California, is home to more than 72,000 residents and is just 12 miles northwest of Santa Ana. It is notable as being home to several amusement parks. The city’s residents are modest, with a median annual household income of just over $50,000, and Buena Park real estate is some of the county‘s more affordable. Even though the market isn’t one of the high-priced luxury markets, it nonetheless has suffered setbacks in the past couple of years, and prices ended last year down from a year earlier.

According to the Orange County Register‘s Annual Zip Code Chart, at the end of the year, the total median price for Buena Park homes for sale was $365,000 in one zip code, a 5% decline, and $330,000 in the city’s other zip code, a more than 15% decrease. Sales activity was up in both zip codes for the year, however, with 459 sales in one zip code, a 3% rise, and 238 sales in the other zip code, a 5% increase.

This year has shown some improvement in prices in Buena Park, suggesting maybe the worst of the down market is over for the city. The median price in March was $377,500 in one zip code, an 8% increase, with 28 homes sold, a fall of 32% according to the Orange County Register’s monthly sales chart. The city’s other zip code saw a median price of $395,000, a full 34% increase year-over-year in price. The area saw 27 homes sold in March, also an increase, of 29%.

More recently, in a three-week period that ended April 14, Buena Park again saw rises in median prices, suggesting it is a true trend and not just a one-month change due to luck. The price in the city’s first zip code was $377,500, up more than 10%, and in the second zip code it was $390,000, up 23.5% annually. In the latter zip code sales, too, showed vast improvement with 25 properties sold an improvement from the same period one year ago by 56%.

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Mar 162010
Kaufmann House, Palm Springs, CA
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The trends of the Palm Springs inland desert area’s real estate market mirror many of the trends in the larger national real estate market. The region’s home prices crashed with the onset of the U.S., and later world, recession, and have seen subsequent rises and falls in price throughout the period. Foreclosures rose and sales activity also has fallen.

Recent available statistics from the California Desert Association of Realtors showed the median price of single-family homes in December 2009 to be $172,320. That figure was up slightly from November’s price, and up 1.5% from a year earlier. The December median price of Palm Springs homes for sale was about $6,000 lower than the U.S. median price.

Palm Springs real estate still has much lower prices than the California average as well. The December median sales price for the state was almost $309,000, up from $304,500 in November.  There were 6,244 sales completed in January 2010, the most recent month for which figures are available. That figure was up 21% from December’s sales of 6,015 and it represented the highest monthly figure since June 2009.

Listings show that were were 469 homes for sale in December at or below the median price. In the association’s report, C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young said, “Home sales were unusually strong in December and were more consistent with peak season trends. Historically, the median price declines November through February and then rises in March. However, lean inventory, historically low interest rates, and incentives for home buyers have resulted in California’s housing market experiencing non-seasonal variations.”

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Jan 102010
Outside our Maui Hotel Room
Image by sradick via Flickr

Are you and your family interested in having a Hawaiian-themed family vacation? If you are, you will be pleased to know that you have an unlimited number of choices. One of those choices involves where you and your family would like to stay during your visit. If you would more information about the best places for Hawaii family vacation accommodations, then continue reading!

Vacation resorts are one of the best and popular choices for families looking to vacation in Hawaii. There are many reasons why vacation resorts are the top choice. One reason is that most of Hawaii’s vacation resorts already have onsite activities. These activities include golf, children’s game room, swimming and other recreational activities for families to do. Many of Hawaii’s vacation resorts are for parents traveling with their children of various ages. Another reason is the variety of onsite services that you may avail and gain access to during your stay. It is not uncommon for Hawaii resorts, especially the luxurious ones, to extend several services to their guests. These services include room service delivery of food, a laundry service and child care service, for those with young children.

With the number of enticing features that that vacation resorts offer, you must also take note that there are downsides to it. One downside to vacation resorts are the crowds, especially during the peak season. Still, the downside could be turned into an upside if you think about the socializing aspect; you may get to make new friends during your stay.

One aspect that you should also look into when deciding on the accommodations during your stay in Hawaii is freedom and accessibility. Hawaii’s vacation home rentals provide that kind of feature. When renting a Hawaii vacation home, you may have a backyard or easy access to a beach. This is convenient as you may enjoy a number of activities within the vicinity and not worry about the noise level or how the occupants in the next room are feeling. Moreover, if your vacation home rental location is near the beach, this would enable you and your family to go back and forth the beach as many times as you want. Being near the major recreational spots will enable your family to enjoy unlimited number of activities without having to worry about wasting too much time traveling. Moreover, you and your family will have the luxury of going back and forth to your chosen destination as you please. This alone gives you and your family major convenience in terms of travel and accessibility.

Like the Hawaii vacation resorts, you will find that the Hawaii vacation rentals have several downsides as well. One downside is the cost. Hawaii vacation rentals can be expensive because you will be renting a house complete with amenities. Still, you may want to examine if the cost is worth it depending on the vacation rental’s size and location. If you are looking to take a Hawaii family vacation on a tight budget, you may want to check out smaller vacation homes or those located inland because these are cheaper.

Aside from the vacation resorts and rental homes, you also have the option of staying at any of Hawaii’s hotels. Hawaii hotels almost resemble the resorts; however, they don’t always have as many onsite activities or services. Nevertheless, they are ideal for vacationers on a budget.

Hawaii condo rentals have become another popular choice for Hawaii’s tourists. Although you may want to take the time to check them out, you will find that the Hawaii resorts or vacation homes are better choices for families. This is because most condo complexes are designed for adults and not for vacationers with children. Still, if you’re traveling with family, don’t hesitate to consider condo rentals as you may find a place that would suite your family’s needs. Maybe you will decide to buy Maui real estate in Hawaii, there are many good site to search the Hawaii MLS.

In the end, the decision of where you’ll be staying during your vacation would be entirely up to you. Still, you may want to take note of the decision points said above. This will definitely help you in making the final decision when choosing the perfect Hawaii vacation lodging.

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Aug 222009
Lincoln Center, New York. June 7, 2007.
Image via Wikipedia

Everyone looks forward to having a vacation; after all, they mean rest, relaxation, and reconnections with your family and friends. If your vacation doesn’t go as planned, however, you may find some added stress. With a little planning, you’ll be able to minimize the chance of any problems occurring.

Preparing to travel with children

Traveling for children can be a joy because of their enthusiasm, but like anything, it has its stresses. It’s important you choose a vacation spot with your children in mind. It doesn’t mean you can only travel to family oriented destinations, as you can find a ton of things to do that children will definitely enjoy, such as Hawaii or New York City. Of course, these require more research and planning, as your children may not want to sit on the beach all day and may yearn for something more adventurous.

Preparing for overseas travel

From the galleries of Europe to the temples of Asia and the Australian outback, you’ll never run out of places to visit. Finding a new place to explore isn’t the problem, but getting there safely. Overseas vacations aren’t as easy as the movies, and require quite a bit of planning in order to be successful.

Traveling on a whim can be expensive, so be sure to look for tickets and other accommodations months before your planned vacation dates. This way, you’ll be able to find better rates on everything. It is also during this time that you make sure your passport is in order, as well as any visa issues.

Another component of travel is the vaccinations you may need, and the most common include Hepatitis A and B, Meningococcal, and rabies. These take 4-6 weeks to be fully active, so be sure to get them ahead of time. In fact, some destinations refuse entry to people who do not have a vaccination certificate.

Vacations can be expensive, so be sure your finances are in order before leaving. A good idea is to let your credit card company know you are traveling out of the country, or they may freeze your account due to out of character, and country, purchases, which can possibly leave you stranded far from home.

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