Life on the island is so casual and laid-back that it's easy to forget the million-dollar-plus prices. Waterfront homes start at about $3 million and offer views of Newport Harbor that might include the Balboa Pavilion Ferris wheel, docked sailboats or sunsets on the water. Most lots are about 30-by-85 feet and are valued at an average of $1.1 million.
Good news, bad news
Balboa Island's charm is at times its biggest drawback. Summer tourists can make parking difficult.
Holiday decorating is competitive on Balboa Island. Some homeowners spend thousands of dollars sprucing up their exteriors for Christmas and even Halloween, attracting plenty of spectators.
Students attend Lincoln Elementary until seventh grade, after which they go to Corona del Mar High School, both part of the Newport-Mesa Unified School District. Lincoln's Academic Performance Index score for 2010 was 927 out of 1,000. Corona del Mar's score of 888 ranks it fifth in Orange County.
Which neighborhood is most desirable is subject to debate. Little Balboa Island residents say their part of town is best because it's neighborly and unsightly utility lines are buried underground. Those on the big island who live nearest to Marine Avenue claim they have the most convenient location. Residents on the waterfront street called South Bayfront boast that they have the best views of the harbor. Residents on the opposite side of the island on North Bayfront say they enjoy more peace and quiet.
In the last week of April, only 27 single-family houses were listed for sale. They ranged from a small three-bedroom home on a half-lot for $800,000 to a four-bedroom waterfront home for $10.6 million. There were no condos on the market.
Single-family detached resales:
*year to date
Sources: DataQuick Information Services, Abrams Coastal Properties, Realtor.com, School Wise Press.