I am pleased to introduce you all to Suzanne Burns of The DeBlis Group in South Orange County. This amazing Mama of two boys has been living in South OC now since 2006, after moving from the central coast. She recently joined The DeBlis Real Estate Group after a fantastic home buying (and selling!) experience where they utilized a client-first approach. Suzanne was so impressed by them, that they inspired her to get her real estate license and join their group. When she isn’t selling homes or doing home renovations you can usually find her at the beach with her family, hiking with her labradoodle; or trying a new restaurant in the area with her husband. Read on to find out how crafting a unique marketing plan that highlights your home’s story is essential to selling your home, why prioritizing aspects like location, school district, home office or commuting needs is important when looking for your dream home and what Suzanne predicts for the real estate market in 2023.
How long have you lived in Orange County, and what brought you here?
I’ve called Orange County home since I was 10 years old, and I’m grateful my parents relocated here to be closer to our extended family. After studying at UC Santa Barbara and living on the central coast, my husband and I decided to head south to OC to be near our families. We’ve been living in Aliso Viejo since 2006 and couldn’t be happier!
Why did you choose to raise your family in South Orange County?
We were drawn to South OC for the small-town atmosphere and easy access to beautiful beaches and outdoor activities. We loved the views of the ocean and the Saddleback mountains and we appreciated the opportunity to enjoy hiking, off-roading, camping, and skiing within a day’s drive. The incredible community we’ve found with our neighbors, sports, Cub and Boy Scouts and school friends has made our lives here truly fulfilling. We love celebrating holidays with block parties and events at our local parks!
Tell us about your career before becoming a successful realtor.
I began my professional journey in pharmaceutical sales after college, gaining invaluable business experience and creating lifelong friendships and connections. When my boys were 3 and 1, my husband was often traveling for work, which was a logistical challenge. We decided to put my career on pause and focus on our boys, the best decision for our family. However, I could never sit still for too long, so I always kept busy with volunteering, side hustles and projects. These were all professional skills that would eventually lead me to excel in the real estate industry.
What inspired you to become a realtor in Orange County?
During my time as a stay-at-home mom, I developed a passion for interior design, DIY projects, and remodeling. I found myself constantly browsing Zillow and Pinterest, either redesigning spaces in my own home or helping friends with theirs. Realizing how well my skills aligned with real estate, I decided to take the plunge. Having lived in Orange County for most of my life, I’m a local expert on the area. My positive experience working with The DeBlis Group during our own home sale and purchase motivated me to join their team and adopt their client-first approach.
What sets you apart in the home buying/selling experience?
As someone who’s been through the process, I know how intimate and emotional buying or selling a home can be. I understand the deep connection you have with your current home and the memories it holds. My goal is to make your home selling experience as seamless as possible, crafting a unique marketing plan that highlights your home’s story while maximizing your profit. When it comes to buying, I know this is a monumental decision, and I’ll listen to your needs, provide guidance, and ensure your offer stands out.
Moreover, I possess extensive knowledge of investment properties outside of Orange County, providing valuable insights for clients seeking short or long-term rental opportunities.
What advice do you have for families searching for their dream home?
Recognize that everyone is at a different stage in life and adjust your expectations accordingly. Focus on getting into the real estate market first, even if your dream home isn’t immediately attainable. Be realistic and understand that the perfect home might not be available right now, but don’t settle for something that won’t meet your needs in the long term.
What’s your take on buying fixer-uppers versus waiting for the dream home?
I encourage my clients to envision the potential of a home, looking beyond cosmetic imperfections and prioritizing aspects like location, school district, and proximity to work. While some clients may not wish to live through renovations, I emphasize the financial advantages of purchasing a more affordable home and transforming it into their dream space.
Any 2023 real estate market predictions for Orange County?
Predicting the market is never an exact science, and we’ve seen unprecedented events over the past few years with record price increases and low interest rates. As interest rates have risen, we’ve witnessed a slight dip in demand and inventory. The real issue in Orange County and nationwide is the lack of homes on the market. Currently, inventory levels are about 41% of what they were pre-pandemic (2017-2020). Experts do predict a slight decrease in values for 2023, followed by an upswing in 2024 and beyond. Sadly, I’ve been seeing families wait 3 years now for the market crash, and we just aren’t seeing that happen.
What is your favorite family activity in South OC?
Without a doubt, it’s spending time at the beach! My husband and son are bodysurfers, and we love our beach days – summer and beyond. We prefer going in the late afternoon to avoid crowds, and we usually stay until sunset during the summer. Our favorite beaches include Strands, Laguna Beach (Crescent Bay), and Crystal Cove.
What is your go-to date night spot in South OC?
My husband and I love discovering new restaurants, but we’re also loyal to our favorites in Laguna Hills, San Juan Capistrano, Dana Point, and Laguna Beach. Our secret gem is the bar at the Surf and Sand Hotel, with its cliffside setting, open-air ocean views, and the best nachos in town.
Where’s your favorite SoCal staycation destination for your family?
Our favorite local spot is the Marriott Newport Coast Villas, where we like to take advantage of my husband’s travel points for a relaxing getaway. We’ve even stayed there during home renovations, making it feel like a true vacation just 15 minutes from home! It’s a fantastic spot for out-of-town guests, and we enjoy joining them to take advantage of the luxurious pools, Kids Club, BBQs and picnic areas.
How can South OC moms connect with you to find their perfect family home?
I’d be honored to help you find the ideal home for your family! You can reach me via email at [email protected] or connect with me on Instagram @my_Realtor_Suzanne. Let’s schedule a consultation to discuss your home buying or selling needs, and start your journey toward finding the perfect home together!
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