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Rancho Ortega Blog discusses matters of public interest in South Orange County, including the communities of San Juan Capistrano, Ladera Ranch and Rancho Mission Viejo.

The writings of Don Juan Ortega on the Rancho Ortega Blog are the personal views of the author. This blog is not authored by nor does it have any affiliation whatsoever with any other person, place or entity using the name "Rancho Ortega" (or any similar name).

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Lyon Announces Fourteen New Homes in Covenant Hills

Residents of Covenant Hills are used to the pick up in construction activities going on in the custom home portion of the community. That activity accelerated further when homebuilder William Lyon Homes planted “coming soon” signs on 14 vacant Covenant Hills lots. The Lyon signs are located in and around the streets of Bell Pasture, [...]

Real Estate Value Watch in Ladera Ranch

There is no denying that Ladera Ranch real estate values have skyrocketed since we called a bottom in Ladera Ranch home prices. But are we really back to a point where a Covenant Hills custom home has appreciated a $1M profit in two years without any renovation?

Here’s the 2012 sale: $2,800,000 sales price. Note [...]

Sneak a Peak at a Secluded Ortega Highway Ranch Property

Off Ortega Highway, hidden among the secluded valleys of Rancho Mission Viejo, are some unique ranch properties. Of course, one of the most interesting examples is the infamous Rancho del Rio, about which we’ve written several times and recently sold to an undisclosed buyer at auction. Another Ortega Highway ranch property is for sale, this [...]

Legacy Collection Model Home for Sale

Are you a fan of the Legacy Collection tract by Warmington Homes in Ladera Ranch’s Covenant Hills neighborhood? Now nearly fully built out, there aren’t many chances to left to buy one of these properties. If you wanted one but thought you missed your chance, one of the models has been put on the MLS [...]

Reata Park and Event Center Grand Opening on May 31

Anyone who has driven by the Reata Park and Event Center on Ortega Highway on the east edge of San Juan Capistrano has noticed the progress. From a largely neglected space has emerged a beautiful, expansive and historic park that will be unique among all of San Juan’s open space. Purchased from Rancho Mission Viejo [...]

What Real Estate Recession? Article Summarizes Extensive South County New Home Development

What real estate recession? Based on the number of construction trucks rolling around town, that ancient history is out of sight and out of mind! If you are like us and are interested in all of the development going on in South Orange County currently (and there is a lot!) you may be interested to [...]

Largest Custom Lot in Covenant Hills Hits the Market

Described by the listing agent as the “largest lot in all of Covenant Hills,” 15 Coral Blue hit the market over the weekend. This one checks all the boxes for a would-be custom home owner: over half an acre of space, unobstructed views and plenty of privacy (the lot has no direct neighbors on any [...]

Rancho del Rio Sold at Auction

Rumor has it that Rancho del Rio, the 188 acre ranch off Ortega Highway that we’ve written about here and here, was sold yesterday at a private auction to anonymous buyers for an undisclosed sum. It looks like this mysterious property will remain that way.

Marblehead Sale Hits a Snag

Efforts by the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy estate to sell off the residential portion of the Marblehead development in San Clemente have hit a snag. The potential buyer is rumored to be Taylor Morrison, an Arizona-based homebuilder. According to the OC Register:

A Builder Magazine article published in January said Lehman got 11 bids, and Bloomberg [...]

A Property with a Past: Rancho del Rio is Back on the Market

Perhaps sensing that the market for remote, sprawling gentleman’s lodges in the Ortega foothills, the Rancho del Rio ranch property has been relisted at a higher price: now asking $12,995,000. We originally wrote about the property here. The new listing, courtesy of Redfin, is available here.

image source: Redfin/MLS

Since then, a Redfin agent [...]