Landscape Architect & Specifier News

JAN 2016

LASN is a photographically oriented, professional journal featuring topics of concern and state-of-the-art projects designed or influenced by registered Landscape Architects.

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90 Landscape Architect and Specifier News Calif. Continues to Lead in Overinfated Home Prices LASN Editor Steve Kelly The average price for a five bedroom, five-and-a-half bathroom home in Newport Beach, Calif., is $2,291,764, making it the most expensive U.S. city to purchase a single-family home, according to the 2015 Caldwell Banker Home Listing Report. Waterfront homes can easily be in the $14 million range. Pictured is the Newport Channel in "June gloom," i.e., early in the morning before the coastal fog has burned off. While living on the water in Newport Beach costs dearly, the pelican and seagull poop is free. PHOTO: STEVE KELLY I was born in Baltimore, home to such notables as Edgar Allan Poe, Frederick Douglass, Babe Ruth, Billie Holiday and H.L. Mencken. Today, however, the city apparently has a bit of a stigma, if you go by the reactions of law partners in a popular TV show. When the partners learn that a young black female lawyer seeking a position is from Baltimore, each reacts with a kind of "Oh, you poor thing." She doesn't get hired. My family lived on the edge of the Chesapeake Bay, whose waters, tree-lined borders and snapping turtles were only a short walk from our brick row house. Many adventures ensued in those woods. In the winter we skated on the bay. By the time I was six years old, however, my family headed west to the mountains of Colorado, then, six years later, to Palo Alto, Calif. I related this because when I read the city rankings released by Coldwell Banker of the average price of four-bedroom, two-bathroom home across the U.S. (excluded NYC, because of its "volume of single-family homes"), I realized I had lived in or spent considerable time in many of those "top cities," yet could now not afford to buy a home in any of them. The list ranks communities from #1 (Newport Beach, Calif. $2,291,764) through #2,722 (Cleveland $75,402). 1. Newport Beach, Calif. $2,291,764 (Lived there for 4 years.) 2. Palo Alto, Calif. $2,066,600 (Lived there for 12 years…parents bought our Palo Alto home for $20,000 in 1962.) 3. Saratoga, Calif. $1,979,218 4. Cupertino, Calif. $1,659,297 5. Los Gatos, Calif. $1,569,615 6. Arcadia, Calif. $1,541,406 7. San Mateo, Calif. $1,463,455 8. Sunnyvale, Calif. $1,447,411 (Worked there.) 9. Orono, Minn. $1,384,270 10. Redwood, City, Calif. $1,367,350 (Worked there; sister lived there.) 11. San Francisco, Calif. $1,360,189 (Frequently visited; another sister lived there.) 12. Santa Barbara, Calif. $1,328,700 (Attended college there.) You'll notice that 12 of the top 13 are in California. The price of my home in Westminster, Calif., places me on the list in the 220s.

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