Where Do You Want To Live?

Where Do You Want To Live?

It’s a great big spread out city we live in and while it definitely has its foibles and bad government, it’s one of the best places to live in United States. Just ask the east coasters who have to dig themselves out of their homes and haven’t seen the sun in 4 months. Weather aside, we have access to everything and everything you could ever want here and you should always get out of your bubble, but in reality, where we live is usually where we love. It’s wonderful to live in a community or neighborhood that you love. But because we live in such an eclectic city, there’s always another one you might love too. I live Mid-Wilshire/Hancock Park and I love it. It’s got beautiful areas, not so beautiful areas. It’s centrally located. Most importantly, all the best restaurants surround me. So what’s your favorite neighborhood in LA? Is it where you’re living now or is it somewhere you would like to be living or is it just a place you like to admire from a far. Wherever it is, we would love to know and...

On Tuesdays We Tour LA – Sheltr Group Caravan

For a majority of the city, Tuesday is the day for brokers and agents to tour homes for sale so we can see what’s new and learn about the inventory in order to be able to intelligently communicate the market to buyers and sellers. Some days you see some good stuff, some days not so good, but today we saw a variety of homes ranging from 16 mill to 949k and they all presented some interesting opportunities. 1. Dr. Phil’s Home in Beverly Hills for $16,5000. I was pleasantly surprised by this home, particularly how quiet it was considering it was on a busy street in Beverly Hills. As you would imagine, there was quite a bit of detail and finishing work that stood out here. But what I found most unique, interesting, odd (?!) was Dr. Phil’s shower in the closet. I guess it makes it convenient to get showered and dressed! 2. A Nine Million Dollar Deal. Does that sounds like a possibility? With a few caveats, it is. Particularly if you are looking for a house and views that look like this. 3. One for the Architecture Buffs. Looking for a project? Want to update a mid-century classic built by Ed Fickett? We saw a great opportunity today on a cul-de-sac for $899. 4. One for Who Wants to Be Above the Strip, but can’t Afford the Usual Pricetag. Another true fixer, I mean, probably needs to be taken down to the studs,  but just reduced to $949 – you just can’t beat that price. 5. Sunset Strip Piece de Resistance -If you’re looking for home...

A Bright Idea Just Bit the Dust in California

We are the first state to enact a ban on the use of cheap, 100 watt-sucking incandescent light bulbs.   You would think Solar powered everything should be part of  a mass movement in California where the sun only shines 360 days a year.  Our debt-ridden state could be making loads of cash if they made mandatory solar grids on the rooftops of every Starbucks in Los Angeles alone. Okay, I got it. I will give up my $5 Vente vanilla latte (which only fuels my caffeinated self) and upgrade to an energy  efficient florescent bulb to help reverse global warming.  I guess you have to start small to make a difference, but it needs to be...

365 Things To Do In Los Angeles – dineLA

If it’s not obvious yet, food tends to be a passion of mine – that is, aside from Real Estate. For this reason one of my most favorite things on our list of 365 Things to do in LA is eat.  And there are many, many places to eat. I’m proud to say I’ve gotten to quite a few – its a badge of honor for me. Each year, a method I use to sample multiple restaurants in a short period of time is to take advantage of dineLA. dineLA offers three-course lunches and dinners at three different Budgets (Deluxe, Premiere, and Fine Dining). It’s not like it’s so inexpensive, but there’s still some allure to it. In any case it’s great to try restaurants you haven’t or go back to some of your favorites you miss. Tonight dineLA begins its one week appearance (Jan. 23-28 & Jan. 30-Feb. 4) only to reappear, in October, I think. Take a look at the breadth of restaurants offered – from mundane to mouth-watering.  Take a look at the menus and see what appeals to you. Cleo, First & Hope and The Bazzar are on my list. What’s going to be on yours? Want to hear about more things to do? Like our page on Facebook – 365 Things to Do In Los Angeles. Learn about something new almost every...

Interest Rate Increases – Do You Know How They Will Affect You?

Interest rates are pretty much still at their all-time lows. Today, money is cheap! But, they won’t remain this low forever, that’s for sure. This year, they’ll slowly begin creeping upward. If you are looking to buy and are sitting on the sidelines wondering if you should wait or go for it – it’s probably a good time to at least begin looking. Finding the right house can sometimes take between 3-6 months and you don’t want to lose purchasing power as rates go up. Take a look at this graph that illustrates the topic. So, you could wait, but it’s still going to be a bitter pill to swallow when you end up with a 6.5% interest rate and you neighbor has a...

Love Food? Looking to Move? Consider Culver City and its Surroundings

Have you been to Culver City lately? During the last few years, the very centrally located city  has dramatically changed from a once desolate wasteland to vibrant dining and entertainment scene. In the late 90s, Sony expanded its studio lots and that seemed to set in motion a series of changes that have brought a lot of life and more importantly, great food into the picture. Here’s a round-up up reasons you may want to move yourself a little closer to a city whose culinary culture seems to be growing by leaps and bounds. 1.K-Zo – It can be easy to miss this place, in fact my first time I drove by it three times. It’s in the Trader Joes building – a good thing since it’s easy parking AND you get two hours free – a big deal in LA! That’s one great thing about this place, but honestly, what’s more important is if the food is good. And here, raw or cooked, it is. Not to mention the look and service as well. But to me, my favorite sushi is yellowtail -I always judge a sushi joint by its yellowtail and I’ll tell you it was impeccable here – buttery, fresh and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. It’s pricey, but good sushi usually is. 2. Fraiche – What I like about Fraiche is the nice patio. Now, I haven’t eaten here since the new chef and new menu has arrived, which is apparently rustic French. They seem to be getting good reviews since the change, so I’m looking forward to trying it out again. 3. Akasha – I have had...

Want to Buy A New Flip With An FHA Loan – You Still Can & Other FHA Questions Answered

Good news! If you’re an FHA buyer you can still buy a newly flipped home. 1) What’s an FHA buyer? To be an FHA (Federal Housing Administration) buyer, you would have the ability to put down a significantly lower amount (typically 3-3.5% as opposed to the conventional 20%) in order to purchase a home. Additionally, FHA loans use more flexible credit scoring so it’s easier to get a loan if your FICOs aren’t as perfect as you may like. It’s a great option for many people who want to own a home, but don’t have 20% or more liquid cash or optimal credit scores. 2) Is the loan process different when getting an FHA loan? Not too much. It still goes through a loan officer who handles FHA loans. There are a few more quidelines that have to be met by the FHA during approval and escrow, but they aren’t dauntin. If you’re interested, it’s definitely worth checking into and we have a gal who can help. 2) Why wouldn’t I be able to buy a newly flipped home as an FHA buyer? For years the federal government prohibited the use of Federal Housing Administration mortgage financing by buyers purchasing homes from sellers who had owned the property for less than 90 days. The idea was to prevent speculators from defrauding the government through quick flips of houses — often involving straw buyers and corrupt appraisers — at wildly inflated prices. Today, investors are a big part of who is going to help us quickly move crappy or outdated inventory that was in foreclosure. They buy it, spruce it...

What Should Be Good In Your Hood – The Melrose District

As a San Fernando valley native, I remember how exciting it was to venture to Melrose for a day of shopping. In it’s heyday, the main drag between Fairfax and La Brea was always packed with tons of eclectic people and unique shops and restaurants. There was an electric vibe, but during recent years that electricity has gone dead. Aside from a few standouts on the street, it’s mostly filled with vacant shop windows and so-so stores that always seem to be empty. It’s a sad sight for the once world-renowned street that was once a premier shopping and people watching destination. That’s why it’s such good news to hear that the LA City Council has approved $40,000 in city funds, which will be matched by Melrose property owners, to form the Melrose Avenue Business Improvement District. This will allow the organization to focus on improvements such as security, graffiti control, improved lighting, sidewalk maintenance, better parking options as well as marketing and advertising. Property owners even have plans to rename the neighborhood, “Melrose Village.” It would be great for the city for Melrose to be restored to it’s previous personality. We all miss...

Make Your Real Estate Work For You in 2011

It might sound contrary to our times, but now is a moment for foresight. If you can, today is the time to trade up to a nicer neighborhood, a better school district or a better view. Of course selling your home today will get you less money then it did in the boom years, but it also means you should be able to purchase homes in better neighborhoods for a comparable discount. By making this significant step, you will position yourself for a greater increase in value once the real estate market eventually recovers. Meanwhile you’ll be enjoying a lower interest rate and a better...

Elements of Homes – Grande Shower

As Real Estate Agents, we see quite a few homes.  Some times things strike us and sometime they don’t. But today we looked at a very sophisticated home on 300 Stone Canyon Road. The owner was Jon Douglas, a major real estate player since the 1970s. Sadly he passed away in August. There were many lovely parts of the house, but the one I liked the most was the massive shower in the ladies side of the master suite. It’s like a Grecian bath. Though it might get a little cold hanging out with no enclosures, but hey, I think I could get over...