Merry and Bright: Upfront with Tim Smith


Newport Beach may not be the first place you’d envision for your holiday getaway—especially when winter vacation hot spots like Aspen, Hawaii and Key West seem to soak up all of the attention. But the sleepy Southern California seaside town, with its world-class hotels, shopping, dining, boat parades and ocean-view homes, is a great place to spend a few days (or weeks, if you’re lucky) with those you love. Just ask Tim Smith, a long-time Newport Beach resident and a member of one of the top-producing real estate teams for Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

“Orange County is a destination, no matter what time of year it is,” explains Smith, who has sold half a billion dollars worth of real estate in the last three years alone. “We attract a lot of the Wall Street and real estate all-stars here. It’s a family-oriented community with a great climate, great activities and amazing real estate.”

Smith, a first-time dad to Brixton (who turns one on December 7), embodies the Orange County lifestyle, right down to his holiday plans—which will mostly likely involve a trip to the beach and quite possibly a surf session. Feeling a draw to warmer climes this month, Previews® Inside Out reached out to Smith to ask him about the holidays, family and selling real estate in one of the nation’s most desirable (and expensive) neighborhoods.

Looking forward to: The first week in December. It’s my son’s first birthday. We’re planning a winter wonderland party. . . with fake snow.

Typical Southern California holiday moment: My wife, Amber, grew up in places where it snowed, but on Christmas morning, we can go for a surf. We like to watch movies with snow, but we prefer not to live in it!

Family is: Number one. They just accept you for who you are and give you the feeling of being home.

Greatest extravagance:  There is nothing extravagant about me.

Greatest necessity: My cell phone. I have a charger in every plug, everywhere. It doesn’t matter how many battery packs I have—my phone is always dead. Mophie can’t make a battery pack large enough for me.

Greatest achievement: A great wife and a little boy.

Greatest love: People. I’m genuinely interested in their past and what makes them tick. 

Best places to go for an Orange County holiday: As far as hotels go, you can’t beat The Montage in Laguna Beach. For the best surfing, go to Trestles. If you want a beach just for hanging out, head to Crescent Bay in North Laguna.

Favorite place to spend the holidays: Jackson Hole. I love all of the activities there . . . snowboarding, fly fishing, hiking the Tetons. It’s the greatest place on earth. I married my wife there, too.

Best gift I ever received: My brother bought me a Panerai watch when I graduated from college.

Motto: I have two: “Touch every life you can and leave them sublimely better by that touch” and “They always say ‘no’ until they say ‘yes.’

Luxury is: Doing whatever you want to do, whenever you want to do it . . . with amazing scenery.

Best piece of advice for selling or buying in the winter: If you’re selling, everyone takes their home off the market, so you’ll be the only game in town. And if you’re buying? Wait until there is more inventory.

Dream home: A ranch in Jackson Hole, where I can bring my family and host groups for amazing experiences.

My idea of the perfect holiday is: Having all of my family around. Life is about enjoying great food, great conversation and great activities with the people you love.

What’s on my wish list this year: I want to be No. 1 in Orange County!

Preview the Orange County lifestyle: A $29.5 million estate resting on the peninsula of Emerald Bay.

Tim Smith has more than 12 years of luxury real estate experience, specializing in coastal communities from San Clemente to Huntington Beach and inland to Shady Canyon. He is an elite member of Coldwell Banker® brand’s Presidential Premier group, which represents the top 1% of sales associates internationally. More information on Tim Smith can be found here.


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