Ron Denhaan, Realtor (949) 290-3263.
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Condos for sale in OC

Condos for sale in Orange County, CA

If you are interested in Orange County condos for sale, there are many search links below to help you find the right home. Condos and town homes consist of multiple units in the same building or complex. There are common areas and amenities that are shared by all of the homeowners. Many attached homes are also within gate guarded communities. This increases security and the value of the homes. Condominiums and town homes are very popular with first time home buyers, retirees, investors looking for rental properties. Also, with home owners who are interested in a low maintenance, easy to care for home. The advantages of condos are the lower cost to purchase and common area maintenance. Condos are always part of a home owners association, commonly known as an HOA. The association is responsible for all of the maintenance to the common areas, the exteriors of the buildings (including the roofs). The HOA is also responsible for the amenities in the complex such as the community pool, spa, tennis courts, etc. Some of the utilities like trash and water may also be paid through the HOA. Because of this, all condo and town home owners pay monthly association dues. Since all condominiums have common walls, fire insurance for all units in the complex is also paid through the association. This means that home owners insurance is usually lower for condo owners since fire coverage is the most expensive insurance component. NewSingle family homes for sale

Are you an FHA approved buyer? Would you like a list of FHA approved condos? click here and I will e-mail you a list!

Search for Condos by city

Condo listings for sale by area or city. Links are included for most of the cities in north and south OC, as well as the beach areas. If you are looking for a beach town home or best priced condos in Orange County, check the links below. 

Is a condominium complex FHA approved? you can find out here:  All you need to do is enter state and city, and the subsequent page will list the FHA approval status of all of the city's condo complexes. I can help you find an FHA approved condo in any of the approved complexes 


Search for condos by price

Many buyers prefer to search for homes by price range. I have included links by price in three separate areas of OC. If you would like to receive listings for condominiums within a particular city and price range, just contact me. I will be happy to e-mail you with a list of homes tailored specifically to your needs. If you are searching for low condo prices in OC, use the links below to find your home. 

Which city in Orange County has the least expensive condos? The most expensive? Check home prices by city on my price statistics page.

ocean front location

Specialty Searches

I have included links for several types of specialty searches. These include bank owned or REO homes for sale in OC, short sales, houses on lakes or with no Mello Roos assessments. Also, homes with water front or ocean views. These are sorted by South and North Orange County, and OC beach and coastal area cities. Bank owned homes are usually priced better than comparable standard sales. Short sales are also priced below market, but they may take an extended time to get lender approval and close. Condos with no Mello Roos may be more affordable than units in areas with higher taxes and assessments. My latest search is for condos in gate guarded communities and also for town homes where the listing agent has tagged the home as having a yard or large patio.

High rise home

  High-Rise condos in Orange County

High-rise condos and lofts are one of the newest residential development trends in Orange County, CA. These complexes offer metropolitan style living in a community that is close to areas of employment, shopping, transportation, and entertainment. They also offer the conveniences of a large community within a compact, residential complex. The amenities in many of the buildings include concierge services, a fitness center, swimming pool and spa, tennis courts, indoor basketball, etc. 

Lofts and high-rise units can be found in Irvine, close to John Wayne airport and in Anaheim not far from Disneyland. Irvine's high-rise communities include 3000 Plaza, Marquee Park Place, The Plaza (5000 and 8000), Lennox, Astoria, Avenue One, Belvedere, Metropolitan, and Watermarke. Use the links below to find active listings of high-rise units for sale in Irvine. 

Town home

What is the difference between a Condo and a Town Home?

In real estate terminology, all homes that are attached (i.e., attached wallsare considered Condos. A Town Home is merely a style of condo. In common terminology however, a Condo is a home with one or more attached side walls. It also has one or more attached upper or lower floors. It may be a main floor unit, or an upper level unit. It may also have more than one floor. Someone will always live above or below you. On the other hand, a Town Home is a home with one or more attached side walls, but no attached or common upper or lower floors. They are typically multi-level, but may also be one level. They always include the property on the ground floor and include an outside yard or patio. No one lives above or below you.

For investors, there is a major difference: A Condominium is considered 100% space. You do not own the land beneath the structure (the land below is considered common space and is owned by all of the homeowners through the association.). A Town Home includes housing plus land. You always own the land beneath the structure. What this means to investors is that, all things being equal, the depreciation allowance will be greater for a Condo than a Town Home. Why? because you cannot depreciate land. When you receive your tax assessment, it will typically state the percentage of land to structure for a town home (e.g., it may read 60% structure, 40% land). You may only depreciate the structural component of your property. With a condo, it will be 100%, as there will be no land component. Again, price being equal, the depreciation allowance will be greater with a condo than with a town home, since it is 100% structure, 0% land. 

There are a few other condominium variations. One is the Carriage Unit style. The name stems from the design concept of living above the carriage storage area (aka, the garage). This home has all of the living space on the upper floor, with the entrance and garage on the ground floor. The upper living space is constructed above the unit's garage and perhaps over an adjoining lower level unit.  Another condo trend that has become very popular in Orange County is the High-Rise Condominium. These are very prevalent in cities like Irvine and Anaheim. A high-rise condo complex consists of a structure with hundreds of individual condos. These start at the ground level and may rise as high as18 stories or more.  The complex is largely self-contained and they typically incorporate recreational amenities like a pool, spa, gymnasium, and even shops, conference rooms, a theater, and restaurants. There are also Detached Condos; i.e., units with no common walls. These are very similar to single family homes with the exception that the exterior of the home, front landscaping, and common areas (including amenities) are taken care of by the association. Parking is only in the garage or on designated streets, as there are usually no driveways attached to the units.

Very contemporary town home

What type of condo is most desirable as an investment property? 

Units with at least two bedrooms and two baths are more desirable than one bed, one bath units. Homes with a patio or yard are in higher demand than units with only an upper deck. Spacious condos with at least 1,000 square feet are better than small, cramped condos. Obviously, condos in cities that are in ocean-close communities yield higher rents than those that are located more inland. Upper level units with vaulted ceilings, lots of light, and panoramic views are preferable to ground floor units, which tend to be darker inside. Also, there could be ceiling noise from your upper level neighbor as they walk through their unit. An end unit condo always has an advantage over a unit with adjoining walls on both sides. Stay away from condos that back to a busy street or have lots of road noise. Upgrades like granite counter tops or hardwood floors will always add more eye appeal. Newer is always better than older, as newer complexes are cleaner and more updated, plus they usually have nicer amenities than older complexes. Newer complexes will have far less deferred maintenance and that often translates to lower HOA dues or special assessments. Speaking of HOA dues, watch out for complexes with excessively high dues, as it may be indicative of costly maintenance issues. Finally, gated guarded communities (typical in many south Orange County complexes) are in greater demand by renters than their non-gated counterparts. 

Consider the total cost of ownership

When you purchase a condo as first home or an investment property, you must always factor in the total cost of ownership. This will include:

  • Mortgage payment, including principle and interest

  • Home owners association dues (Take note of complexes with multiple home owners associations)

  • Home owner's insurance

  • Property taxes and Mello Roos (if applicable)

  • Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI, if applicable)

  • Special HOA assessments

  • Home warranty

  • Renter vacancy (estimated)

  • Maintenance and repair (estimated)

  • Broker or property manager cost (one time or monthly)

condominium complex

What investigative steps should I take before purchasing a condo?

I can provide you with the association dues, property taxes, Mello Roos (if applicable), and home warranty amount to help you estimate your costs. After reviewing the total cost of ownership, I would request rental comps (comparables) for the complex if you are buying the property as a rental or investment property. The comps should include recent homes leased, average rents, and number of days that it took to find a tenant (days on market). My team will be happy to provide these, and the statistics, factored in with total cost of ownership, will help you calculate your profitability (or liability). 

I also recommend that you carefully study the HOA (Home Owners Association) documents that you will receive from escrow. It's important that you check into items such as lawsuits in the complex, as well as special assessments, as the presence of these items can potentially raise the cost of HOA dues. Make sure the complex has an adequate reserve fund (used to pay for maintenance and emergency repairs). The larger the reserve fund, the less chance of an assessment or one-time payment to pay for an unexpected expense. Check for escalating association dues. Make sure that the complex is not experiencing extraordinarily high maintenance costs or too many delinquent HOA payments. High rise units may have very high HOA dues. Conventional complexes should have reasonable monthly fees.

I would always recommend a physical property inspection. Condominiums usually have less problems than comparable single-family homes because the association maintains the common grounds and the exterior of the buildings (including the roof). Regardless, it's wise to have the interior of the home inspected. Check for things like plumbing leaks, faulty appliances, electrical issues, heating or air conditioning problems, flooring issues, etc. Termites are less of an issue than with single family homes because the association regularly checks for termites and pests. You will still ask the seller to order a termite inspection. However, they will generally use the vendor that has been approved by the association.

Analyze any features that would make the unit more desirable or less desirable to rent. More desirable may include a community pool, spa, tennis courts, security, generous parking, proximity to a local school, the ocean, etc). Less desirable may include proximity to freeways or major streets (street noise is a turn off), blocked or unpleasant views, schools with poor ratings, or lack of visitor parking. Also, are there a high number of units for sale or rent? If so, find out why.

If you are working with an FHA loan, check to see that the condo complex is FHA approved. Many condominium complexes that have had lawsuits, etc may not be approved for FHA financing.

Finally, if you are financing the purchase, you will want to have your lender check the ratio of owner-occupied units to rental units in the complex. If you are financing more than 80% of the purchase, a high percentage of rental units in the complex may exceed the threshold allowed by providers of Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). This would mean that your lender would be unable to acquire PMI and would then be unable to fund the purchase. Call me for more condo purchasing tips in orange county, CA.

After I purchase an investment condo, how will I find a tenant and what is the process?

My team are both sales and leasing experts. Our services do not end after we help you purchase the home -- we will also be happy to assist you in finding a tenant! You can read more about how we can help you, here

We handle the entire process for you including photographing the home, publishing the listing in the MLS, checking credit, verifying employment, and checking references. We focus on finding strong tenants with good to excellent credit, as we feel they will be the most reliable and responsible tenants.

Some landlords choose to use the services of a property manager to help find a tenant. This is sometimes desirable if you bought a condo in a location far from where you live. However, I recommend that you do not hire a property manager unless you absolutely have to (e.g., to help process an eviction). In addition to finding a tenant, property managers typically want you to sign a management contract. This means that they will be responsible for managing the rental on an on-going basis. This service will typically cost anywhere from 6% to 8% (or more) of the monthly rent. You will also be charged for any repairs, including the entire cost of parts and labor for outside service vendors (plumbers, etc). This adds considerably to your cost of ownership. Unless your tenant is problematic or there are major repair issues with the home, the main function of the property manager is to collect and distribute the rent to you each month. Barring issues, this is an expensive cost to collect the rent for you each month! 

My recommendation is to collect the rent yourself and get a home warranty to assist with maintenance and repairs. A home warranty is very cost effective and will cover many maintenance or repair issues such as plumbing, air conditioning, appliances, etc. If there is a problem in the home (a toilet won't flush or the air conditioning is out of order) you can simply contact the home warranty provider. They will arrange to send a plumber, AC specialist, or other repair technician to the home. There is a small fee per visit which can be paid by the tenant and deducted from the rent. In most cases, the entire repair including parts and labor will be covered in full.

Additional Links

If you want to buy a condo in Orange County, CA, who is the best realtor to use? I believe the answer is a realtor who has successfully helped many people buy a condominium or town home and one who will work hard for you, seven days per week. Please contact me if you are interested in Orange County condos for sale. Whether you are an investor, a first-time home buyer, FHA approved buyer, looking to down size, or seeking a low maintenance home, my team will be happy to assist you! There are condos for sale in Mission Viejo, Lake Forest, San Clemente, Newport Beach, Coto de Caza, Irvine, Laguna Niguel, Yorba Linda, Tustin, Dana Point, Aliso Viejo, Fullerton, Anaheim Hills, Orange, and many other OC cities.



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Ron Denhaan, Realtor

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