Ask the Experts …

We sat down with a few of our favorite people in this industry and asked them the questions that you want answered. From deciding which neighborhood to live in, all the way to figuring out when it’s the best time to pay off that mortgage of yours, these experts are here to help answer those questions you’ve been wondering.


Dean Ledger
Dean Ledger
HOM Sotheby’s International

How do Emerald Bay & Crystal Cove compare?

Emerald Bay and Crystal Cove are two of the finest coastal communities in California, each with their own unique personality and panache. Emerald Bay is the ultimate “beach family” neighborhood where residents enjoy private access to a half-mile sandy beach which serves as the focal point for a plethora of family oriented activities. Crystal Cove, on the other hand, is one of the finest master planned communities in Orange County known for its unparalleled community amenities and infrastructure, spectacular ocean views, and the convenience of fine dining and upscale shopping in the adjacent Crystal Cove Shopping Center.



Celeste Gilles, Villa Real Estate
Celeste Gilles
Villa Real Estate

Why are the gated communities in OC in so much demand?

There is no other selling point more powerful than security, so it comes as no surprise that security is the number one reason a home buyer chooses a gated community. Living behind gates affords residents a better level of privacy, relief from the fear of crime, and protection from solicitors. Being in a gated community usually means reduced traffic and quieter streets for children to play, and most offer some social benefits in the way of a clubhouse or other amenities that promote group activities and a means of getting to know your neighbors. Lastly, and surely not to be overlooked, gated communities equal a certain amount of prestige and exclusivity, which never seems to lose its appeal here in “The OC”.


Megan Doonan RPM Mortgage, Inc.
Megan Doonan
RPM Mortgage, Inc.

If I’m able to pay off my mortgage early, should I?

The decision to pay down a mortgage will depend on your life stage and your financial goals. As you head toward retirement, paying off your mortgage will certainly provide peace of mind.  But, does eliminating the monthly payment actually improve your financial situation? When rates are as low as they are today, it’s worthwhile to carefully weigh the responsibility of a monthly payment against the rewards of having access to cash for investing and the pursuit of other goals. If you are dipping into your nest egg to pay off the mortgage, consider the earned interest you will give up when that money is no longer invested. It’s best to consult a tax advisor to help you evaluate any tax implications before making your final decision.

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