Looking Something Fun to Eat on June 12? Head to Taste of the Nation LA

Looking Something Fun to Eat on June 12? Head to Taste of the Nation LA

There’s nothing better than eating for charity. As I’ve said before it’s a win/win. So join us June 12 for Share Your Strength’s annual eating and drinking extravaganza at Media Park in Culver City. Take a look at all the amazing food and drink partners involved in the cause to END HUNGER for CHILDREN in AMERICA. This event sells out every year so buy your tickets now. Everything goes towards the cause. You will not be...

Looking to Buy Property in LA? Buy it Near the Light Rail Expo Line….Today

LA Times just published an article about the development of the Light Rail in LA saying: Several areas near stops along the new transit line, which will extend from downtown L.A. to Santa Monica when completed in 2015, are ripe for building and renovation, urban planners say. Always buy near infrastructure and buy it while the getting is good. Because once it’s developed, the getting won’t be as...

Luxurious Touches That Make Your House Stand Out When You Sell

I recently read an blog on Trulia I think bares some repeating. It’s what makes a good house a great one. Little things that may not seem that important to you really stands out to buyers and can differentiate you from other similar listings they may be looking at. Bathrooms: It’s amazing how important bathrooms are considering it’s the place you blank, blank, shower and bathe. But change your mindset, think about your bathroom like you would a spa. Think about the type of counters, the type of sinks, the color of the walls and of course, the lighting. Don’t forget to add fluffy towels and spa-like candles. Paint & Wallpaper: These two elements can really make a difference. And you can really create luxurious looks with them. Two great sites to look for ideas are www.designsponge.com and www.apartmenttherapy.com Here are some great tips to choosing paint colors. Think about doing just one wall of paint or doing your powder room in a cool looking wallpaper. You won’t believe your difference when you’re done. Built-In Anything: Honestly just gotta copy Tulia’s post here because I really agree what she says about optimizing your space particularly with cool unexpected little touches. A wine refrigerator really doesn’t cost much, but you can’t imagine the buyer bang you would get for it. Here are some more ideas: Consider building in: Storage systems. From shelved nooks to closet organizers to garage grids for sports equipment, storage systems eliminate clutter and make sure there’s a place for everything, and that everything has a place. If you can afford a custom cabinet installation or custom...

Hollywood Development on the Rise

New York developers Millennium Partners and Argent Ventures are seeking approval to build 1 million square feet including two skyscrapers surrounding the Capitol Records building on Vine.  The proposal seeking approval for two mixed use skyscrapers will be primarily residential, but include a hotel, offices, restaurants, and stores at an estimated vaule of as much as $1 billion.  Both buldings would be built on the Capital Records parking lot, and another parking lot across Vine Street. After purchasing the 13-story Capital Records Tower in 2006, these developers postponed building plans when the economy took a downturn.  However, recently, the approval process was reinitiated and is expected to last 18 months or more. “Hollywood is right on the edge of being restored to the glamour, identity and charm it had in the 1930s and ’40s,” said Phillip Aarons, founding partner of Milleninium.  “It needs the power of a project that can make people think abut it differently.” The Millennium Hollywood project would take about three years to complete, and would preserve building and views of the Capitol Records Tower.  This historic tower built in 1956 houses the famous Capitol Studios where Nat King Cole, and Frank Sinatra recorded, and currently rents offices to EMI Group. Preliminary designs call for a hotel with up to 250 rooms, and up to 600 residences with a mixture of condos and apartments in addition to offices, restaurants, sports club and retail. For those in the market for urban glamour, sounds like Hollywood will be the place to...

What Happens If Fannie and Freddie Stop Backing Loans – Loan Limits Will Go Down

For the last three years, Fannie and Freddie have backed new mortgages as large as $729,750, but that could all change September 30th when regulators prepare to drop the level to $625,500, so that taxpayers are no longer expected to shoulder homes valued well above the pay level. But in California – buyers and sellers will be wondering why they should be punished for living in an expensive region. This unfortunately means buyers who will have to ante up more of their cash money. We’ll see what happens. But if you want to buy something in the 900s with 20% down – yes, this will impact...

Pricing Your Home Right for Today’s Market. Traditional, Market or Event – What’s Right For You?

Yesterday we were talking to an agent who was giving us his opinion on a home that we may be listing. He told us about an email he received with pricing strategies. Here they are: Traditional: This is the traditional method of pricing a home high and leaving a decent amount of wiggle room for negotiations.This is what most people have done in the past. Say your house is worth $500,000, but you want to list it somewhere round $650,000 – this would be considered traditional pricing. And is kind of a snore these days because right now, we’re really in a buyers market. Market: Pricing it at market rate would be the $500, 000. Here you definitely get a little more traction and more people seriously thinking you are ready to sell. This is a good strategy. Event: This is the kind of pricing that creates an event and builds excitement. Say you priced your house at $325,000. Wouldn’t that get people talking and making offers. In this market, you need to define yourself. So think about it… using an event price in this market gives a seller more control of what the outcome will be because you will probably receive multiple offers and you can choose which one is highest and best. This is the time to try something...

Hot Property for the Week

Looking for a great property in West Hollywood for a fabulous price. Yes, it’s located directly on Crescent Heights, but it’s hidden by a huge wall of shrubbery. Short Sale Approved! YES it is. Get into a 3B 2Ba – West Hollywood house for under $600,000. This doesn’t happen all the time so come and get it...

PowerSaver Finance for Green Improvements

The Federal Housing Authority and Fannie May have launched a pilot program to finance energy efficient systems for homeowners.  With available fixed rates between 5-7% for up to 20 years and a $25,000 maximum, borrowers can qualify for loans for high-efficiency improvements.  Windows and doors, heating and ventilation systems, solar panels, geothermal systems, insulation and duct sealing, among other retrofits are among approved PowerSaver items.  So far, only eighteen lenders around the country have signed on to participate in this program. To qualify, borrowers must meet the following guidelines: 1.  The property must be the principal residence – detached single family home. No rentals, no investor homes, no second homes. 2.  Borrowers must have a minimum FICO score of 660 with a debt-to-income ratio not to exceed 45%. 3.  Home equity including the PowerSaver second lien, cannot exceed 100% of the appraised value.  Fannie Mae borrowers are required to pay for an upfront audit by a Home Energy Rating System expert with the total cost of the improvements being folded into the existing borrower’s mortgage.  Homes with negative equity do not qualify. Such improvements will enable homeowners to enjoy such benefits as fewer drafts, consistent temperatures across rooms, better ventilation and humidity control, and lower utility bills. Housing and Urban Development estimates that within the next two years 30,000 such loans will have been...

Los Angeles Real Estate Agents -We are Your Friend, Not Foe

I was just reading a posts on another real estate forum which shall remain nameless and a lot of posters were making fun of real estate agents for our most common ” lines”.  You know, ones like, “Today’s a great time to buy”, ” Take advantage of the historically low interest rates” and comparing us to car salesmen. But, we don’t say those things just to hear ourselves talk, it’s because they are true statements. Yes, there has been a dramatic shift in the housing industry – but houses are still a good investment for your long-term portfolio and you life. In an earlier post I talked about one of the world’s richest men. Here’s what he said about home ownership….. “[h]ome ownership makes sense for most Americans, particularly at today’s lower prices and bargain interest rates.”  Buffett didn’t stop there – stating that “the third best investment I ever made was the purchase of my home.” So if not us, listen to him. Here’s what else he says: 1.  Ditch your “dream home” for a practical pad. Buy a home that you can afford and one that makes sense for your family. 2.  When you buy, plan to hold. Don’t think you’re going to flip your property in three years. Selling it in 5, 7 or even 10 is a better plan. 3.  Mortgages should have fixed, affordable payments. Don’t buy what you can’t afford. If you can, put down a significant amount down and then give yourself fixed monthly payments. Many Realtors are educated professionals and pride themselves on providing buyers and sellers the best and most...