Why You Want to Live in This Unique Neighborhood
Wood siding and dormer windows mark the New England influence of the famed “Port Streets” in Newport Beach. Distinguished in its unique variability of architectural styles, the homes situated within the Harbor View Homes neighborhood continue still, to rely heavily onto their development into an Eastern Seaboard town, fitting of their “Port Street” name, in the middle of Orange County. Though primarily suited to the Cape Cod style of architecture, the Harbor View Homes community has set itself apart from others in the region due to its departure from the traditional track home development. Its eclectic mélange of home styles range from Cape Cod to Mediterranean, all overlooking the rolling hills of Newport Beach.
Featuring community clubhouses, pools, parks, and a top ranked elementary school, Harbor View Homes has established itself as the premier family friendly neighborhood in Orange County. As one of the oldest housing developments in the region, having been built in the late 60s to early 70s, this quaint neighborhood has a longstanding reputation as one of the most prestigious and unique places to live in Newport Beach.
As a long time resident and agent in the area, Jim Kline of Surterre Properties has become our resident expert on the Harbor View Homes community. Citing Harbor View as the ideal place to raise his own family, he has a deep connection with the community and a passion to share its beauty with other home buyers.
Q: How long have you been working with properties in the Harbor View area? In your experience, what sets this neighborhood apart from others in the Orange County area?
Jim Kline: I have lived in the Port Streets for 34 years and I’ve been selling real estate in the neighborhood for the last 20 years. There are a number of reasons that set it apart. Number one its how the neighborhood was originally designed. The neighborhood was built in the late 60s, early 70s by Donald Bren, who is now the owner of the Irvine Company which is the largest land holder in Orange County. All of the streets are designed to take advantage of the green belt which runs the entire length of the of the community. The second reason is the amenities in the neighborhood, most importantly, Andersen Elementary School. Andersen Elementary is right in the middle of the neighborhood and is one of the top ranked elementary schools in the state of California. The kids who live in the Harbor View Homes neighborhood literally do not have to leave the neighborhood when they go to school. They can ride their bikes down to the greenbelt and access the school from there. The neighborhood amenities also include two community club houses and pools. As well as soccer and baseball fields, basketball courts, and playgrounds, so it really is well designed for the young family to raise their kids in a great family environment.
Q: As a resident of the Harbor View community, what first drew you to these homes? Being a resident for 33 years, what has kept you there?
JK: I had just gotten engaged and I was trying to figure out where I wanted to live. I was currently renting on Balboa Island. The very first time I drove into the Port Streets, I drove down to the end of one of the streets and I saw the greenbelt and the community school. I then realized that this would be the perfect environment to raise a family. Your kids are in a great family environment, they never have to leave the neighborhood, they can literally walk down their street and go to school. I just thought that was a perfect environment to raise my family.
Q: Harbor View homes has a wide range of architectural styles from Cape Cod to Mediterranean. Why do you think this neighborhood supports this range of styles? Does this speak to the vision of the neighborhood?
JK: It was originally a track neighborhood. There were six original models: three single-story and three two-story models. Since the neighborhood was basically developed in 1970, twenty years later, those homes were getting older and people wanted nicer homes, but the neighborhood had already developed this reputation for being a great family neighborhood. So these young families didn’t want to buy or live in a twenty-five to thirty year old track home. That’s when developers and even owners came in and started tearing down original homes and building new custom homes, and that’s been going on for the last twenty-five years.
Q: What are some of the marked features of these homes for their various architectural styles? Is there one that stands out?
JK: Most of the architectural styles are very traditional, very Cape Cod, let’s say Eastern Seaboard. You do have some Tuscan styles and some more contemporary styles but generally speaking, more buyers and homeowners (in this area) are leaning towards the Cape Cod style. These have wood siding, shingles, typically a lot of dormers and maybe some stone on the front.
Q: You refer to this neighborhood as the “Port Streets.” What does this mean and how would you describe the theme and identity of “Port Street” homes?
JK: I think the Port Streets would be considered the premier family neighborhood in Newport Beach, and it’s because of its amenities. The community club house, the school, the pools and the park area all work to draw young families to this family friendly environment. There is however, a community called Harbor View Hills that is located in the Corona Del Mar area. There was so much confusion between the two that people couldn’t figure out which was which. That’s why Harbor View Homes took on the name the “Port Streets.”
Q: Harbor View features two clubhouses with community pools, baseball and soccer fields, and children’s playgrounds. What are some of the other benefits of living in the Harbor View community?
JK: In the summer, each of the community pools has its own swim team so it’s a great activity for the neighborhood, the kids love getting involved with the swim team, the parents love getting involved, and it’s a great summertime event. We also do a lot of events, for the Fourth of July and so on. One of the other great things about the neighborhood is its location. It’s close to great neighborhood shopping as well as Fashion Island and the beaches. It’s also close to the freeway and the airport, without the airport and traffic noise. A lot of Newport Beach is affected by Orange County airport. We’re just far enough away that we don’t have any of the noise pollution. The other thing is that we have low homeowner’s association dues, which is very important. It’s probably a little over $100 a month. The main reason for that is the homeowner’s association in the 70s was wise enough to give the park land back to the city of Newport Beach, which means they have to maintain it. So even though they are in our neighborhood and we use them as our own personal parks, the city of Newport Beach maintains those parks which, in turn, keeps our association dues low.
Q: Can homeowners in Harbor View expect a good resale value from their purchased home?
JK: The Port Streets are so popular that if there is a change in the market, they seem to retain their value as well as any other neighborhood. The neighborhood also seems to be a leader in the real estate world when it comes to recoveries. So the Port Streets have an excellent reputation and always have a good resale.
Q: What is the average lot size for a Harbor View property?
JK: The average lot size is 6,500 square feet, but there are lots as small as 6,000 square feet and some as large as 10,000 square feet, maybe even some unique ones that are a bit higher. A lot of the newer developments are tightening down, getting smaller.
Q: When looking to purchase a home in Harbor View, are there specific regions that might be better suited to the needs of a particular client?
JK: There are approximately 1,000 homes in the neighborhood and there are certain locations that people might prefer. They might prefer to be closer to the park or have easy access to the school, other people might prefer to be a little further away because there’s not as much activity, not as much traffic. But generally speaking, on the outskirts of the neighborhood, where the homes back up to the larger streets, those are where the larger lots are. So some people prefer one of the bigger lots so they can build a larger home. It comes down to personal taste as to what they would like, so the nice thing is there’s lots of different choices. But the entire neighborhood would be considered good real estate.
Q: What can homebuyers expect from Harbor View as a community? Is it a close or tight-knit group of people?
JK: During the summer it seems every street has its own block parties and events, so it’s a really tight-knit community of people. It’s a great combination of young families, original homeowners and even people like myself who have children who are grown up.
Q: Are there any particular listings you have worked on in Harbor View that stand out to you?
JK: Over the last twenty years I’ve represented over 200 buyers and sellers. I have worked with everything from original homes that were about to be torn down, to custom homes in the 4 1/2 to the 5 million dollar range. There has just been a great amount of really beautiful homes that we’ve sold over the years, not just one stands out because there have been so many over the years that have been so wonderful.
If you’re looking to buy or sell property in the Harbor View Homes community, contact Jim Kline of Surterre Properties. You can visit his website here. To Learn more about Andersen Elementary, visit their website here.