Record Price in Aviara!

Our listing on Aviara Drive closed escrow yesterday, setting a new record for highest price ever in Aviara (an area of 2,025 homes in SW Carlsbad). It was one of those sales that needed everything to go right, because we were thrown a real knuckleball right in the middle.

A couple of weeks into our listing period, I got a phone call from a fellow Compass agent. She had just listed a home across the street on behalf of out-of-town owners who weren’t using the home enough to justify keeping it. She was wondering about the activity on my listing, and I told her we had quite a few showings and a lower cash offer.

My next question was obvious – what is your price?

“They want to blow it out, so we listed for $2,698,000”.

The price gap between us was Grand Canyon-esque!

Thankfully, the real estate gods are looking down favorably on me. Out-of-country cash buyers looking for a second home descended upon her listing first,  because let’s face it – it looked like a bargain. They made an offer to purchase it, but for some reason “it didn’t come together”.

Instead, they came over to my listing and paid $4,294,000 to get the ocean view. They plan to invest another $1,000,000+ to make it exactly what they want.

Two other fortuitous things happened.

A. Their agent was a past client of ours! She had purchased a home with us early in the covid days, and has since got her license and become an agent. She knew she could count on us to help make the deal.

B. At the first showing, I casually mentioned to the buyers that the Chilean burglary gangs have been active throughout Southern California, and there were a couple of cases in this neighborhood. He shrugged it off and said, “We’re from Mexico City!”

Did we have to spend the $80,000 in repairs and improvements? Absolutely, and it’s what brought us to a neutral space so buyers could easily see what they could do with it. Everyone will put their own touches on a home, but they neeed a neutral palatte to start with!

For a bonus, we did a photography shoot of the team at the house before it was over:

I’m a lucky guy!

(Not pictured is Natalie Klinge who was on tour. We need to photoshop her in!)

More Apartments in Carlsbad

The Carlsbad city council approved more apartments to be built at the entry to the downtown village area. Between the three projects mentioned here, there will be a total of 480 apartments….and none for sale! Excerpts:

A four-story building with 156 apartments has been approved for construction on a site occupied by a hotel and three single-family homes on the eastern side of Carlsbad’s downtown Village neighborhood.

The developer, Wermers Companies, built the adjacent Lofts apartments, a four-story, mixed-use building with 106 apartments and ground-floor retail that opened about a year ago at the northwest corner of Carlsbad Village Drive and Interstate 5. The two buildings will share a driveway with access to both Grand Avenue and Carlsbad Village Drive.

The Carlsbad City Council unanimously approved a site map and development plan for the project Tuesday, and council members praised the company for working with the community. No one at the meeting opposed the project, and the city received a number of letters in support of it.

“It looks good,” said Mayor Keith Blackburn, adding that he likes the way the building is set back from Carlsbad Village Drive so that it doesn’t make “a continuous wall” with The Lofts building.

“It doesn’t surprise me that we don’t have anybody here to speak out against the project,” Blackburn said.

The 2.95-acre site consolidates five lots between Carlsbad Village Drive and Grand Avenue, just east of the Hope Avenue alley. The 109-room hotel called the Carlsbad Village Inn and single-family homes on the property will be demolished, but a Carl’s Jr. restaurant there will remain.

The location is directly across Carlsbad Village Drive from the Carlsbad Village Plaza anchored by a Smart & Final grocery, where another San Diego developer has proposed a mixed-use project with 218 apartments and 13,800 square feet of shops and restaurants.

That project will include retail businesses in two single-story buildings facing Carlsbad Village Drive. The apartments, including 22 reserved for very low-income tenants, will be in two five-story buildings behind the shops. The proposal is expected to go to the Carlsbad City Council for approval as soon as July 2024.


Carlsbad Objective Design Standards

Hat tip to ‘just some guy’ for sending this in!

To transition away from subjective housing regulations in compliance with state law, the City Council introduced new objective development design standards during its Aug. 29 meeting.

In 2021, the city of Carlsbad used $185,000 in state grant funding to pay RRM Design Group to create the Objective Design Standards Manual for multifamily and mixed-use developments citywide, replacing the city’s existing subjective design guidelines. Also, city also received $160,000 in state grant funding to pay AVRP Studios to develop the Village and Barrio objective design standards.

The manual establishes objective standards citywide and an appendix addressing the Village and Barrio standards. These standards include site design, such as pedestrian and vehicle access, open space and landscaping; building design, including window treatment, roof structures, and exterior materials; mixed-use design, including window and door locations, awnings, and services areas, and utilitarian design, such as trash enclosures, outdoor light fixtures and bicycle parking.

“The (manual) will help strengthen local design regulations since the city currently cannot enforce subjective design guidelines with projects,” said Shelley Glennon, the city’s associate planner. “It will ensure project compatibility with existing community character. It will encourage residential construction for both affordable and market-rate units by creating standards that are appropriate in meeting the city’s affordable housing needs.”

For example, in the Village and Barrio, an appointed review committee approved seven architectural styles: Spanish revival, craftsman, American mercantile, Victorian, Colonial revival/Cape Cod, traditional modern and California contemporary (However, not all seven styles are allowed in each of the subdistricts regulated by the Village and Barrio Master Plan).

SB 330 limits municipal agencies’ ability to impose regulations that delay or impede eligible housing projects. While these projects don’t receive ministerial approval under this law, the city’s Planning Commission and City Council could not deny projects that adhere to objective design standards unless they pose a clear threat to health and safety.

According to City Planner Eric Lardy, the city currently has four projects under SB 330, including the 4K Apartments project, Hope Apartments (Carl’s Jr. in the Village), Carlsbad Village Drive Mixed Use (Smart and Final) and the FPC Residential project (Ponto).

Councilwoman Teresa Acosta asked how the city would enforce projects that alter their designs after approval, citing concerns from residents who told her projects don’t always align with pre-construction renderings.

“If it’s not consistent, we ask them to change it,” Lardy said. “One process has 10 findings that need to be made and compared to what has been applied. We think these objective design standards will help … so it will be clear.”

If the city does not make these certain changes, the California Department of Housing and Community Development could decertify the city’s housing element and limit the city’s ability to regulate new housing built in Carlsbad.


Summer 2023 Pricing

The local home pricing is still off the highs of early-2022, but not by much.

The smaller sample sizes (fewer sales) will make it harder to accurately identify the trends and cause more frustration/indecision for both buyers and sellers. Have we recovered, or just briefly paused the softness?

Most of all, it will expose the skill sets of realtors.

Get Good Help!

Survey results from our friends at 1000Watt:

Our New Listing In NE Carlsbad

3710 Bergen Peak Place, Carlsbad 92010

5 br/4.5 ba, 3,150sf

YB: 2013

Lot size = 5,226sf

HOA + MR = $268 per month

LP = $1,950,000

Gorgeous, move-in ready home located at the end of the culdesac and close (but not too close) to the pickleball courts and Olympic-sized pool!  Upgrades include custom built-ins in the family room, wide-plank wood flooring, shutters, custom cabinetry and countertops throughout, wrought iron staircase, surround sound, custom light fixtures, and TWO walk-in closets in the primary suite.  The downstairs bedroom suite is secluded in the front of the home, plus it has its own entry-door too, making it ideal for guests!  Walk to Sage Creek High School too.  This is a traditional floor plan with four bedrooms and three bathrooms upstairs, and the guest suite down. Recent sales nearby include $2,250,000 in April and $2,200,000 in May – wow! Priced at $1,950,000.

Open house 12-3pm Saturday and Sunday July 8&9!


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