Balboa Island Real Estate

Purchasing Real Estate on Balboa Island is far more complex than you can possibly imagine.  It takes years of experience to have an in-depth understanding of all things to consider regarding real estate on Balboa Island. With 17 years of experience in this industry, I can attest that the community of Balboa Island is most unique when compared to other communities in Newport Beach. It’s not as black and white and there are many things that can simply go unnoticed until you purchase here and then slowly learn the pros and cons of each street, location and things you may have never considered that would have played a role in your purchase. Many of the main talking points and things to consider when purchasing real estate on Balboa Island are covered below. If you haven’t found the answer you are looking for, please contact me directly!

CELL: 949.375.4430 | EMAIL:

Better yet, stop by my office and say hi! My office is located at 208 Marine Ave, next to the Post Office.

Balboa Island Population – Residents vs. Vacation Homes and Investment Properties

LOTS of Information… How Many Lots and what is the Zoning?

There are 1414 Lots on Balboa Island. Almost all lots are zone R-1.5 which is residential-multifamily. There are commercial zoned properties in the 200 and 300 Blocks of Marine Ave and the 100 Block of Agate Ave.

According to the Island Post Office, there are 1756 mailing addresses. 1648 are considered residential and 108 considered business. On average, this would equate to about 1/3 of the 1414 lots having a second unit.

Short Term Vacation Rentals, Permits & Investment Properties

Balboa Island Property Taxes

Balboa Island Property Taxes are are about 1.05% of the immediate purchase price/newly assessed value. On a $2,000,000 purchase (current lot value/tear down pricing), you would pay an estimated $21,000 in annual property taxes.   If you bought new construction for about $4,000,000 you would be paying an estimated $42,000/year in property taxes for your Balboa Island home. As hefty as the current taxes can be for new buyers, there are great rewards for long term ownership due to Prop 13, which has been in play since 1978. Prop 13 keep the max increase in assessed property value capped at 2% per year. In, California where we see an 8% annual appreciation (based on 30 year average), your property values can see meteoric rises, while your property tax remains extremely low. It’s not uncommon to see original owners who are paying less than a couple thousand a year in property taxes.

What is the Feeling & Culture of Balboa Island?

It’s that “Happy Place”, that instant feeling of peace and enjoyment that you feel every time you cross the Marine Ave bridge or take the ferry over to the island from Balboa peninsula. You know you have arrived and everything feels content and safe.  For many, the island is a home away from home… the place they come for a weeklong vacation every year, for countless years. For others, it’s the perfect place to heal and find recovery from other hardships in life. As one of the largest and most valuable communities in terms of Luxury Real Estate on Southern California’s west coast, it sits in the center of Newport Beach’s active and truly magnificent harbor life. If you love water and all things nautical, it simply doesn’t get much better than this. More unique aspects of this community are the quaint, 2 blocks of charming dining and retail which draws foot traffic and fame from all over the world. It’s the largest island in Newport Harbor and the only one that has ferry access to the peninsula/oceanfront. It is full of amazing history. It has it’s own fire station and post office. It blossoms in spirit and love for the holidays and many long lasting community events. Each holiday there are decorating contests and community events/involvement like no other. As much net worth that exists on the island, there is nothing pretentious about it. Conversations are about you, your family, fun events and seldom begin with “What do you do”? There is an instant camaraderie amongst island residents, families that enjoy ruby beach, fans of USC or UCLA and never ending dinner invites and social gatherings from neighbors that love to enjoy life. An island full of smiles and good hearted people. You just have to come and feel it for yourself. Make a trip, stay in a vacation rental, submerse your self in the culture and experience it for yourself. I personally grew up in the midwest and for me, this is the one community in Newport Beach that feels closest to home.

Is Balboa Island Old Money or New Money?

Balboa Island Ferry

Parking and Traffic

Are Golf Carts Legal? Pros & Cons

Is Balboa Island on Leased Land or is it Fee Simple?

Does Balboa Island Have an HOA?

BIIA – Balboa Island Improvement Association

Balboa Island Merchant Association

Private Docks, Shore Moorings, Renting Dock Space and More!

Balboa Island Perimeter – Distance Around The Islands

Mostly 3 Blocks Wide – 100, 200, 300

Odd Addresses are West; Even Addresses are East

Telephone Poles & Under-Grounding

John Wayne (SNA) Orange County Airport Airplane Noise

Flood Zone and Flood Insurance on Balboa Island

Seawall History and Future on Balboa Island

North Bay Front vs. South Bay Front vs. East Bay Front

Proximity to The Action on Marine Ave and South Bay Front

Little Island Premium

Collins Island – No Longer Collins Castle

1031 Exchanges | Deferred Property Taxes

Balboa Island Garage Sale

One of the largest community events on Balboa Island is the island-wide community garage sale! This event has been going on for about 30 years. It’s a fun time to do a spring clean and simultaneously attracts thousands of shoppers to the island for a very fun day of garage sales and supporting local merchants. Luxury Real Estate is the host and main sponsor of the event. They also coordinate an extensive raffle/giveaway of big items like $1,000 VESL Paddleboard Packages and a range of other items donated from merchants. You can get all the details here!

Balboa Island Events

Balboa Island is likely the most “event-full” community in Newport Beach and attracts tourism from all over Orange County, Los Angeles and San Diego due to the nearby populations looking for exciting events. It’s a great dating and family destination as well. A few popular events are the Christmas Tree Lighting, Holiday Home Tour, Island Artwork, Community Garage Sale, Summer Parade, End of Summer Carnival, Halloween Trick or Treating, Christmas Boat Parade, and so on. We are always working with local residents, merchants and organizations to come up with more fun events! You can get all the event details here!

Things to Do – Endless Recreation

Balboa Island is ultimately a big playground offering so many fund things to do.  It’s a great dating and family destination for this very reason. From Duffy Boat Rentals to Paddleboarding, Whale Watching, getting Balboa Bars and Frozen Bananas to Riding the Ferry and hitting the beach or Fun Zone, the fun literally never ends. You can get all the activity details here!

Standard Lot Sizes for Interior and Bay Front

Lot Value | Tear Down Pricing on Lots

Most Magnificent Properties on Balboa Island

An Island of Precious Gemstones

Did you realize that the street names on Balboa Island are all named after Precious Gemstones? This is true with the exception of the following streets/addresses: Bay Front, Collins, Marine, Balboa, Park, and Grand Canal.

Here is a list of All Balboa Island Street Names

  • Abalone
  • Agate
  • Amethyst
  • Apolena
  • Balboa
  • Collins
  • Collins Is
  • Coral
  • Crystal
  • Diamond
  • E Bay Front
  • Emerald
  • Garnet
  • Grand Canal
  • Jade
  • Marine
  • N Bay Front
  • Onyx
  • Opal
  • Park
  • Pearl
  • Ruby
  • S Bay Front
  • Sapphire
  • Topaz
  • Turquoise

The Rodeo Drive of Newport Beach and Orange County

Balboa Island Realtors

Balboa Island Architects and Builders

Cost to Build on Balboa Island

California Housing Crisis

Steve Roose | Luxury Real Estate

Off-Market Discount Sales with Broker for Dual Representation Discount

Balboa Island Real Estate by Category

Off- Market Opportunities

In this competitive real estate market on Balboa Island, a lot of properties get sold prior to being listed on the MLS. Smart buyers are not waiting for a home to hit the market and then compete with all of the other home buyers. Instead, they are seeking out off-market opportunities. These are homeowners that have said they are interested in selling if they got a certain price or plan on bring the home on the market in the future (once a tenant moves out, divorce is finalized, or they locate their next property). It could be a number of things. Working with a local realtor that specializes in Balboa Island is critical, when it comes to off-market options. A realtor that is specifically focused on Balboa Island properties will have the inside scoop from owners, neighbors and the few other realtors that have a grasp on selling homes on Balboa Island.  If you have been struggling to find a home on the island, please contact me so I can make you aware of upcoming properties before they are listed for sale on the open market. Contact me at or 949-607-8122 to let me know what you are looking for.

View Balboa Island Real Estate for sale! Discover luxury bay front homes, cottages, investment properties, vacation rentals and more! Search now. Interested in purchasing property on beautiful Balboa Island? Let a qualified Balboa Island Realtor navigate you through purchasing the the right property, and maybe help add it to the rental market here!

Balboa Island Homes For Sale Listing Alerts

In this competitive real estate market, every second counts! If you are interested in buying a home on the island, you need to be alerted the second a new listing hits the market. You also need to know of price reductions properties already listed for sale. We have an alert system that will update you immediately when a home is listed for sale or has a price reduction. Sign up and be the first to know so you can secure your dream property before other buyers.  If you have been thinking about selling your home on Balboa Island in the near future, this is a great way to stay on top of the market.  When you get the email that a new home is for sale, you can check it out during the open house and get an idea of how your home compares.

Monthly Balboa Island Real Estate Market Report

Balboa Island Real Estate Market Report Homes For Sale New Listings Just Sold on Balboa Island Home Value EstimateOur monthly Balboa Island Real Estate report is a beautiful overview of what is going on specifically on the island. You will get one email per month with a easy to understand overview of transactions, pricing, and more. We will show you the median sales price over the last 6 months along with average days on market per listing. We also calculate a sale-to-list price ratio for all listings. For example, the current “Sale-to-List Price” for Feb 2018 is 89%, which means homes are selling 9% below their listing prices. We also report the number of homes that are active for Balboa Island along with the number of new listings and sold listings within the last 30 days.  This is the latest Balboa Island Market Report. If you would like to receive it monthly, click the Sign Up Button at the top left! And please, reach out to me anytime you would like to chat about the market or get an idea about buying or selling a home on Balboa Island. I would love to meet you and provide some insight.

Location! Location! Location!

This frequently mentioned “location, location, location” is hands-down the most critical component when buying a home and even more so when buying a home on Balboa Island. Obviously the location is critical in any community, but on Balboa Island there are numerous things to consider that most out of area buyers are not aware of. There is nothing worse than purchasing a home on the island, only to realize after you move in that there are some critical flaws with your location. Location is what you are buying as it is the one thing you cannot change. Everything else can be changed!

A realtor like myself, that knows Balboa Island from a resident’s perspective can give you the inside information on what you will experience based on location. What are some examples? Balboa Island is unique to every other community in Newport Beach. The island is a tourist destination. There are roughly 6,000 people on the island. Only 40% of the island is full time residents! This means 60% of the homes are vacation rentals or vacation homes for owners that have a primary residence out of the area. Vacation rentals are essentially motels. Depending on your use of the property, this type of ownership use might matter to you.

When it comes to location, tourists and residents flock to Marine Ave for dining and shopping. If you live on Grand Canal on the big island or the west side of Onyx, you should consider the alley traffic that delivers to all of the local businesses on Marine Ave.  Onyx Ave in general will have a lot of traffic, especially in the 200 block as residents use that to drive off the island quicker than being stuck on marine avenue. If you want to be close to the amenities of Marine Ave but not have issues with traffic and street parking, than you might consider paying a slight premium for a home on the little island.

On the big island, some streets are wider than others. Narrow streets can make it a bit more difficult to parallel park and drive safely.  At the end of the big island you can find parking with ease, but you are 1 mile from Marine Ave, so if you want to grab a Starbucks or visit the Village Inn, you’ll want to consider the time to walk, bike or purchase a golf cart. If you are buying in the 100 block of Agate, you or the 200 and 300 blocks of Marine, you will want to consider the exhaust that comes from cars waiting for the ferry of coming on and off the island.

If you wantBalboa Island Home For Sale Real Estate Waterfront Grand Canal Bayfront Water View Dock a water view or to buy for a boat location in the harbor, you will want to consider the big differences between properties on the North and South Bay Front. South Bay Front Sidewalks from Agate to Marine Avenue are going to have much more foot traffic than anywhere on the bay-front. At the same time, this South Bayfront is the most central location to the harbor and provides the most expansive water views and views of the Harbor Pavilion, Ferris Wheel, and Sunsets. North Bayfront is going to have much less vessel traffic. You will experience sunrises rather than sunsets and you have the wonderful Ruby beach…  There are so many things to consider when it comes to the location of a home on Balboa Island. Let me know what is important to you and I can make sure you end up where you want to be!

Current Values of Homes and Lots For Sale on Balboa Island

Balboa Island Tear Down For Sale Lot Value Real Estate on Balboa Island 2 UnitsHere are some current average prices on Balboa Island. Your average tear-down/lot value for an interior lot will sell for 1.9m-2m. It’s 3,800,000 for a tear-down on North Bay Front and closer to 4.5 million on South Bay Front. East Bay Front and Collins Island demand a premium. New construction, on interior lots, is selling for 3.8-4.2 million. Most 5-10 year old homes are selling for 3-3.5m at this time. Duplexes/Rental Properties that are not necessarily tear-downs, and have some value in the structure, are selling for 2.5-3m depending on the condition and location. If you would like to get a good understanding of the current value of your Balboa Island property, please contact me so I can tour it and show you the latest comparable sales. We may be able to sell it for a premium as an off-market opportunity or list it and market it to our massive traffic on and our social media following! This website gets twice as much real estate traffic as Zillow and we have over 15,000 followers on social media!

Nearby Communities in Newport Beach

Not sure if Balboa Island is the ideal place to call home? Learn more about the other nearby communities! From islands to coves and the peninsula, we can help you get a better understanding of what the lifestyle looks like in each community and how they compare to others.  We breakdown each community discussing the number of homes, HOA (if any), zoning for commercial businesses and vacation rentals, private access and many more things! Learn More