Orange County Housing Market: Ripe for the Picking with the John Aust Real Estate Company

Photography by Lana Farfan, Caught in the Moment Photography

Photography by Lana Farfan, Caught in the Moment Photography

In 1801, Orange County’s first real estate deal took place. The Spanish colonial government permitted Juan Pablo Grijalva, a retired Spanish soldier, to ranch the area surrounding Arroyo Santiago. The landholding stretched from the hills in Villa Park to the shores in Newport Beach, and was later expanded to include the foothills up to Riverside. In 1848, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hildalgo ceded the territory of California to the United States. Following the rails into Orange County, Southern California experienced the “boom of the 80’s” (1880’s, of course), as visitors from the East purchased tracts of land and established hotels, libraries and schools.

Today, Old Towne Orange retains its original settler’s charm. Historical homes, darling shops and quaint eateries surround the center of town – the Plaza. Like much of the rest of Orange County, the real estate market is at its strongest since the last recession.

John Aust has worked in the Orange County real estate market and particularly the town of Orange since 1986 — almost 100 years after the fountain in the Old Towne Plaza was constructed. As John notes, “I live in Orange, I grew up in Orange and much of our business comes from referrals from Orange residents.” And John’s real estate / appraisal office is located on Chapman Avenue just off of the Plaza.

John has the unique distinction of specializing in residential and commercial property as both a real estate broker and an expert appraiser. He founded the John Aust Real Estate Co. and C P Appraisers within a few years of each other. Now John owns and operates three separate real estate platforms that serve not just Old Towne but all of Orange County and most of Southern California.

Just as the Plaza circle seamlessly feeds traffic through the Chapman and Glassell intersection, so too does John’s appraisal experience complement his real estate work – particularly in helping his clients with property values and price points when selling and buying properties. Likewise, John’s day-to-day experiences in the real estate sales market gives him a real-world perspective when appraising property or testifying about it as an expert witness in the courtroom.

What should a property seller or buyer look for when hiring an agent right for them? According to John, integrity and good ethics are musts, then “experience, knowledge and an agent’s ability to advocate for the client should be at the top of the list. A realtor needs to know California real estate law and be able to close – and in many instances, save – a deal. Passing a real estate exam alone does not necessarily include those things.”

John is involved in the real estate community as a member of the Professional Standards Committee for the Local Board of Realtors doing mediations and arbitrations. He also chairs the Education Committee, and is a member of the Board of Governors for the National Association of Appraisers. Education is also a priority for John, which is not surprising given his Ph.D. in business administration and Master’s degree in philosophy.

The first school in Orange was established in 1897 as a one-room schoolhouse at the corner of Sycamore and Lemon. Teaching has come a long way since then: no longer simply one room of a small house in a fledgling community. Education, in fact, is one of the factors that John feels sets his businesses apart.  “I attend seminars and read journals,” he says. “I take continuing education courses regarding real estate and appraisal frequently.” And beyond that? John has taught nearly all of the real estate classes at Santiago Canyon College, and he is also currently teaching the real estate appraisal licensing class at SCC for the California Bureau of Real Estate and the Bureau of Real Estate Appraisers. This forces him to stay abreast of real estate trends and regulations and in constant contact with other professionals in his fields.

Over the years, John has learned that his education engenders trust, and trust is what folks are looking for when buying or selling a home. “Everything else in a real estate transaction is the second step to helping my clients.”

What can you expect when you work with John to buy or sell your home? A local expert, deeply entrenched in the local community with a singular goal to “always try my best to satisfy the needs of my clients.”

So what can you expect when you work with John to sell your home or investment property? First — a local expert, deeply entrenched in the local community with a singular goal to “always try my best to satisfy my clients’ needs.” John is currently on the board of the Orange Chamber of Commerce, has been a member of the Orange Rotary Club for the past 28 years and attends Holy Family Cathedral. He also was on the founding board in 1989 and serves on the board of the Orange Housing Development Corporation, which to date has built or rehabilitated over $450 million of affordable housing in and around Orange County.

A great realtor has to be an advocate for their client to get them the deal they want. It isn’t a simple agreement between the Spanish government and a retired soldier anymore: it’s finding the right price point, in the right neighborhood, with the right schools, and the right access to stores and our transportation system. It is understanding the market and maximizing the impact of one’s endeavors. “I am proud to be a strong advocate for my clients,” John states. “If my client wins, I win.”

Connect with John directly by calling (714) 639-7990, stop by the John Aust Real Estate Company located at 219 E. Chapman Avenue in Orange or visit

Speak Your Mind