Category: Real Estate

Ronstadt Renovations

Ronstadt Renovations

Etched in Stone

When it comes to decorative concrete, owner Joe Ronstadt knows how to seriously lay it down.

There’s a major difference between the old asphalt and plain gray cement driveways of times past, in comparison to the newer schemes in decorative cement design. If you want to transform your driveway into a beautiful stone courtyard, creative companies like Ronstadt Renovations—in business over 28 years—can make all the difference.

You don’t necessarily need brick or stone ribbons, pavers or stamped concrete lining your driveway to enhance the beauty of your home. The effect is beautiful, and Ronstadt Renovations offers every option you could dream of, but those additions can cost up to $15,000 per driveway. Not everyone is ready to fund such a grandiose undertaking.

Alternatives at a fraction of the cost have been popularized the last few years, including: concrete staining (layered stains topped with clear coating that work with existing shades of concrete); concrete overlay (colored concrete coatings, stamped to achieve the texture of tile or stone); and concrete scoring/engraving (where grout lines are cut and filled to achieve the appearance of large stone tiles).

“One of the most cost effective methods of improving the aesthetics of your home is to work with the existing concrete, and apply various techniques such as staining, concrete coating overlays and scoring grout lines,” Ronstadt says. “The result can absolutely rival inlaid stones, at about a third of the cost.”

The techniques are even environmentally friendly, a result of quality research and years of trial and error in their workshop.

If you’ve wondered for years what to do about the cracks in your driveway, unsightly oil stains from inconsiderate cars or just the dull slate of gray staring back at you each day upon your return home, you should definitely call Ronstadt Renovations.

Ronstadt Renovations offers a wide array of techniques used in the decorative concrete industry:
  • Staining
  • Cement Overlay Coatings
  • Texturing and Stamping
  • Scoring and Etching
  • Stone and Tile Care
 (Acid Cleaning and Sealing)
  • Interlocking Pavers
  • Epoxy Garage Floors

For further information, please call: 949.751.7159
Visit us on the web: decorative-concrete-oc.com

Beach Style Real Estate

Beach Style Real Estate


The stunning views at Beach Road are rivaled only by the neighborliness of its affluent residents and the tranquility of the private-beach vacation homes you can rent whenever you fancy.

Written by ANNA CURTIS

Maybe people have their own idea of paradise, but sometimes you come across places on this earth that everyone agrees are magical. Beach Road is one such destination, with its lucky residents and frolicking vacationers breathing in the fresh sea air, mesmerized by the way the crystal blue water shimmers off the sedate afternoon sun. Sure, it’s a private little piece of heaven. The best part is, you can have a slice of it, too.

Nestled between San Clemente and Dana Point, the length of sand curving ‘round the Capistrano Bay coastline was aptly dubbed Beach Road by its early-times inhabitants. Its origins stretch clear back to the early 1900s, and with such a rich community legacy, it’s no wonder books have been written about the seafaring property. Joe Dunn, author of Pocket of Paradise (a complete historical background of Beach Road), is a retired commercial broker-turned-author who worked in the area 45 years and now manages his own coastal properties. His book is filled with interesting facts, distinct heritage and an unabashed adoration for the beauty of the land.

Whether you rent/own a luxurious home or cottage on your own private beach, there’s no end to the serenity awaiting you. The three-mile stretch of beach offers something special for everyone: commuter trains stop a little over a mile south of Beach Road, a bevy of restaurants at the Dana Point harbor satiate any appetite, and quaint shops line the streets of downtown San Clemente.

Capistrano Realty is the official steward for renting or buying property on Beach Road. “Typically, when homeowners drive through the gates to sit on their deck, they feel like they have truly left it all behind,” says Ken Ross, who ran the company for six years prior to its current owner, Chris Jones. “All you can see or hear is the ocean.” There are just shy of 200 lots and about 180 owners enjoying their individually developed properties at beach Road. Capistrano Realty has specialized in this particular part of the globe for nearly 50 years, and has approximately 40 homes available for weekly rentals in the summer, and weekly/monthly rentals for the off-season months. It offers everything from beach cottages to luxury homes, all perfectly placed on the warm sand.

“My favorite part of Beach Road is the spectacular weather—day in, day out—with glistening ocean and whitewater views,” Jones says. “And the people here are down-to-earth, and always appreciative of a beautiful Southern California lifestyle, without pretense. It really is California’s best kept secret.” It’s obvious to us that Jones has enabled the decades-long synergy between residents and realtors to shine on.

“Where else can you sit on your deck and witness the most amazing sunsets?” Ross asks, “While a school of dolphins swims nearby, and you sip a glass of your favorite Chardonnay?”

We started packing our bags after we heard that. Maybe you should, too.

Nestled between San Clemente and Dana Point, the length of sand curving ‘round the Capistrano Bay coastline was aptly dubbed Beach Road by its early-times inhabitants. From quaint little beach cottages to beautiful ocean front homes, they’ll find the perfect home for your vacation.

For further information, please call: 949.496.5353
Toll Free 800.397.6931

My House is at Risk…

Kevin MacGillivray

My House is at Risk…


Kevin MacGillivray

In today’s economy, many homeowners are facing tough challenges, choices and decisions when it comes to their home. Whether it’s loss of income, loss of equity, a bad loan or any other reason, many people find themselves in the stressful position of having to do something about their current situation because their house is at risk. If you are one of these people, it’s time to take action. But what should you do? Let’s review some options and see what works for you.


Refinancing is the process of paying off an existing loan by taking out a new loan and using the same property as security. Homeowners may refinance to reduce their mortgage expense if interest rates have dropped, to switch from an adjustable rate to a fixed rate loan if rates are rising, or to secure long-term financing if your loan is a short-term loan. There are two main drawbacks with refinancing. First, there is no certainty that an application for refinancing will be approved—loans are much harder to qualify for now and the guidelines are much stricter. Secondly, refinancing generally resets the repayment period, that is, if one refinances a 10-year loan into a 30-year loan, one would pay the new loan for 30 years instead of the 20 years left on the old loan.

Loan Modification

A loan modification is a permanent change in one or more of the terms of a mortgagor’s loan. This allows the loan to be reinstated and results in a payment the mortgagor can afford. There are many loan modification programs out there, as well as a lot of confusion. To date, very few loan modifications have been done, with some estimates as low as only 3% completed nationwide. Many companies promised results and very few have delivered. In order to qualify for most loan modifications, your home must already be at risk, meaning that you must already be behind on your mortgage payments and subject to foreclosure. Many people have entered into programs hoping for a loan modification, only to be turned down months later, while they were far behind on their payments and left with very few options. If this has happened, then a short sale is probably the best option. With the extremely low number of finished loan modifications, the chances of getting one done on your house is very small.

Short Sale

Short-pay transactions, or “short sales,” are transactions where the seller owes more on his or her home than the home is worth. Short sales are a way for homeowners to avoid foreclosure on their homes and still be able to pay off their loans by settling with the lenders. A lender may accept a short sale when the borrower is in severe financial straits and market conditions make a short sale the best choice to mitigate the lender’s damages. This saves the lender the costs of foreclosure and the borrower avoids having a foreclosure on their credit report. By entering into the short sale programs you can stop harassing calls from the bank, and stay in your property until it sells and closes. Also, your credit takes a lesser hit than with a foreclosure and in some instances you can receive up to $1,500 to relocate. In a typical short sale, the lender will pay all closing costs and any commissions due; the seller pays nothing. Every bank handles short sales differently and contacting a realtor is a good way to get started. First, you’ll need to get a market analysis to see what your property is worth and what makes sense for you. If a short sale is the right option, then you or your realtor need to contact the bank, ask for the short sale department and begin the process. Once started, short sales take anywhere from three-to-eight months to close, so have patience and in the meantime, you live in your house.

There are many types of short sales, and some can come with liability from the bank or the IRS, so make sure to look into the tax consequences as well. Many lenders have the incentive to negotiate a short sale with a distressed borrower. When a lender takes back a property pursuant to a foreclosure sale, the lender will be responsible for a variety of costs, such as property maintenance, HOA fees, utilities and taxes, and might risk destruction of property by vandalism. A short sale is often the more desirous, cheaper option for the bank.


Foreclosure is the legal process where a lending agency assumes ownership of a property from a defaulted mortgage borrower. When a homeowner has late payments that violate the terms of their mortgage agreement, a mortgage company has the right to begin foreclosure proceedings. During the period of foreclosure, the lender is generally obligated to provide 90 days for the borrower to bring their mortgage out of default. After that time, if the mortgage remains in default, the lender will post a notice of foreclosure auction. The auction will be held no sooner than thirty (30) days after the notice is published. Both short sale and foreclosure will have a negative effect on your credit. Foreclosure, however, is far more damaging than a short sale. In a foreclosure, it is estimated a homeowner will lose as much as 300 points from their FICO score, with the entry of “foreclosure” to describe the status. Damage estimates vary on short sales, but generally range between an 80-120-point FICO reduction. The short sale will be entered into your credit report, but will be less damaging than the foreclosure entry. A homeowner can also do a deed in lieu of foreclosure as a last resort before foreclosure, but a short sale is usually a better option.

There are other options available, and I would encourage everyone to do as much research as possible and to contact a professional Realtor to help you decide which option is right for you. Today’s economy is very challenging and navigating it successfully is very difficult—people need help and they need answers.

I have been in the real estate profession for over 20 years and am Co-Owner of San Clemente Realty; we are short sale experts and will gladly help you with the process and answer any questions you may have. To get a free market analysis for your property and a free professional consultation about your options contact me, Kevin MacGillivray, at (949) 466-0072, or email me at calshortsales@hotmail.com. The property analysis and consultation are completely free and with no obligations on your part. You have nothing to lose but your property, so before you do, call me and let’s review your options!

Kevin MacGillivray

San Clemente Realty
949.466.0072 | Email: calshortsales@hotmail.com

This does not constitute legal advice. If you are in need of legal advice please consult with an attorney.