Friday, July 21, 2017

Think it would be cool to own commercial property in L.A.'s arts district? You will need deep pockets.

Wouldn't it be cool to own a warehouse in L.A.'s arts district? Close to funky restaurants, art experiences, and hipsters?  Think of the businesses you could start! Be warned: what was once really cheap -- that's the reason the artists moved there in the first place -- is now super expensive.  Warehouse property is now selling for $600-$700 a square foot.  If you want to lease a warehouse there, it will cost you about $1.75 per square foot per month.  I think we all need to find a new, cheap arts district.

Monday, July 10, 2017

10962 Kittridge is live on the mls




Here’s the property you’ve been waiting for – stunning 3+3, 1600+sf stand-alone townhome in newer Noho development with low, low association fees. This beauty features a huge designer kitchen with a long bar and lots of cabinet space, newer appliances, wood flooring and newer, plush carpet, big secluded patio, attached two car garage, den/retreat upstairs, big master and tons of closet space.  Other features include gorgeous shutters, wiring for surround sound and two built-in ceiling speakers, Nest thermostat and Wink home monitoring system. Since the units stand alone with no common walls, the association fee is only $38! (No, that’s not a misprint.)  The location is close to all that Noho has to offer, including restaurants, a bike path, and the subway.  Here’s your opportunity to have the place of your dreams before Noho prices explode. Listed for $530,000. Call me for a showing or visit from 2-5 pm at the Sunday, 7/16 open house.

Monday, June 26, 2017

This is the house that I ALMOST closed on in Kansas City


Here's the Kansas City house that I was in contract to purchase for $125,000.  Isn't it cute? And in a nice neighborhood too! It had been (well, maybe not so much) totally rehabbed.  I was planning to rent it for $1250/month and have it managed by a local company.

I had it inspected and -- alas -- it didn't do so well.  There were minor issues that I could have either over-looked or had inexpensively repaired.  But the roof that I thought was brand new was really just patched, and there was a serious (and expensive to repair) water intrusion issue in the back of the house and the basement.  With a heavy heart, I cancelled the escrow.  I guess the takeaway is "buyer beware, even if you're a Realtor." I haven't given up on Kansas City, although this week I am looking in Memphis.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Never mind the Federal Reserve rate raise. Mortgage interest rates are WAY down today.

Interest rates for conforming loans (under $425k) just hit freakishly low rates.  You can get a 30-year fixed rate for about 3.875% interest today.  If you are brave enough for an ARM (ask me), they are even lower -- in the high 2%'s.

And jumbo mortgage interest rates -- up to $725k -- are even lower still.  You can get a 30-year fixed today for 3.75%.

Yes, I know it seems like there is nothing to buy, and lots of competition for what is out there.  But don't give up while the rates are this low...



Sunday, May 21, 2017

Need an ocean view? Consider San Pedro

Image result for San Pedro Los angeles
If you are like me, you probably think the port city of San Pedro is nothing but an industrial port with huge cranes, shipping containers, cruise ship docks and the like.  But no.  The residential neighborhoods are really nice and so is the housing stock.  Best of all, 3 bedroom 1600+ sf homes with ocean views are selling for under $700,000.  That’s not a typo.

I learned about San Pedro when I helped my clients JB and Kristie buy a home there – we closed last week.  The residential neighborhoods grew up in the 1920’s on the hill above the harbor.  Most of the homes were built for port workers.  The port is still quite active and there are lots of attractions around it, including a sailing marina, Ports Of Call (several good restaurants), a huge brewery, and the U.S.S. Indiana.  Ports Of Call is being gentrified to the tune of many millions of dollars – check it out in a year or two.


Back to the housing stock.  Most of the homes seem very well maintained.  The few we saw all had basements, which were still being built in the 1920’s, and had layouts typical of the pre-war time period.  Didn’t see any mid-century homes.  With a couple exceptions, we also didn’t see a lot of mansionization.  The most surprising thing for me was the ocean view at that (relatively) low price.  It took about 25 minutes to get there from downtown L.A. – not a bad commute if you work on the west side of town.  This area is certainly some place to consider for home buyers for the price, the view, and the housing stock.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

It's not the Avocado Toast

Here's a great article from today's L.A. Times.  It is titled "Why you can't afford a house (Hint: it's not the avocado toast)." The title should link.  The premise: some experts say that you can't afford a home because you are spending too much on life's little luxuries, such as lattes and avocado toast, and you're not saving enough.  

Not true, say the three experts interviewed for the article.  First time home buyers are as financially cautious as any other generation, and to say otherwise is, well, kinda moralizing.

And by the way, the article also cites a statistic that shows that California is the least affordable state for first time home buyers.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

This is my new house. It is in Milwaukee. I am not moving

My husband and I just bought this darling rental property in Milwaukee.  Sight unseen, sort of, which I tell home buyers never to do.  How in hell did it happen?

This home has just been rehabbed.  Here's the video. https://vimeo.com/200290702/6dffd05f79 The tenant has a year lease, and there is positive cash flow at the end of each month, even after paying the mortgage, taxes, etc. Perhaps most importantly, it is professionally managed by the same company that did the rehab. Management is key when an investor is so far away.

Yes, I did the research on the neighborhood (I researched several other similar properties as well, in Milwaukee and other cities).  And, I researched the appreciation trend in Milwaukee -- the city r.e. is rising in value.

Why didn't I buy rental property in L.A.? Because it's too damn expensive.  Other parts of the country are so much less expensive than other areas.  Shockingly so.  This home cost $112,000. That's not a typo.

Still, isn't this risky? Yes, but it depends on what your investment goals are.  IMO, it is only slightly riskier than managed funds, and less risky than hiding money in a mattress.  I intend to purchase more properties like this in the coming months.  If you would like me to find a property like this for you -- with positive cash flow each month and increasing in value -- please don't hesitate to contact me.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

8 ways buying real estate in other places is different than buying in L.A.



I am about to close escrow on a residential income property in Milwaukee, of all places. I am also brokering some other residential properties in other states. I will do a tell-all post about this another time.  Sure, some things are the same; but some things are really different. Here goes:

Disclosures: here, we have about 100 disclosures for every single property sold.  Some are just boilerplate; some are specific.  Half the work here is getting disclosures to each party, getting them signed, and returning them.  In other places, not so much.  As a matter of fact, there were none in Milwaukee outside of the normal contractual ones. None.

Contract: here, we have four pages of mandated stuff to sign before we even get to the ten-page contract.  There, it's just the ten pages or less.

Doing business: here, most Realtors return your calls or texts or emails promptly; if not within the hour, at least within half a day.  In other parts of the country, they (ahem) take a little longer.  For example, in the south, you are lucky to get a call returned within 24 hours, even if it is time-sensitive.  I guess "time sensitive" really is a fluid concept, no? But they seem to do as much business, which leads me to wonder if we are all needlessly killing ourselves working here.

Termites: are bad, they're nationwide.

Septic tanks: far more common than we think, even if we don't want to think about them at all.

Loan charges and closing costs: are about the same across the country, with a few exceptions.  Appraisals cost about the same, as do title policies.  However, in most cases there are no escrow companies, so you do save some money there.  A title company and/or closing attorney (we don't have CAs here) does everything.

Biggest difference: properties in other parts of the country can be super-cheap.  Really cheap. Very, very cheap. Terrific cheap. So much cheap that you will get tired of cheap. Okay, I will knock off the presidential impersonation.  But try this on for size -- 50 houses in Georgia for a total of $1.3 million.  Here, that amount would get you about two dirt lots in the San Fernando Valley.

If you'd like more details on anything here, feel free to email me at jgraff100@gmail.com.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

I know you are tired of hearing about the run up in So.Cal. home prices, but...

CANOGA PARK, CALIF. - APRIL 2, 2017. Realtor Houman Zahedi holds an open house at a three-bedroom,Here's another L.A.Times article which confirms your fears about low inventory and high prices.  I think I showed the home in Burbank that the article references.  I couldn't believe it was listed that high.  What to do? If you are a seller, sell (call me first).  If you are a buyer...no easy answers here.
Photo courtesy of Luis Sinco/L.A. Times

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Home shopping? Please get your financial info together. Like, now.

As we all know, one of the biggest mistakes home buyers make is not working with their lender before they make an offer on a house.  I know, I know; you were planning to do this.  But you went home shopping on a lark over the weekend and found the perfect place.  And now you are scrambling to become pre-approved for a loan before somebody else buys the house.

Not a  problem, you say.  You looked at an online service and they say you are qualified for a purchase of up to a zillion dollars.  But online lenders are not the same as local lenders who really delve into what you actually can and cannot afford.  Most listing agents will not look at loan pre-approvals that are not from a local, verifiably qualified lender (yes, we are pretty good at spotting who is a bona fide lender and who is really your cousin).

Here is another reason to get this done in advance:  so your lender can look, really look, at your whole financial picture.  And your lender needs time to do that.  It is not an instant process.  The worst time to have your lender start working on your pre-approval is the Monday morning after you have found the house of your dreams on Sunday.  Your lender is probably getting the same request for other people, too, or trying to help an already-pre-approved client get an offer accepted.

Another reason to begin working with a lender in advance of making an offer is that you will find out how much you really qualify for – it may be more than you think, or not.  And your lender will give you a pretty good idea of what your monthly payment will be including property taxes, insurance, etc.  And what your closing costs will probably be.  There may also be V.A. programs or local first-time buyer programs that can help you with your transaction.  It takes time to work through the qualifications for these, though.

If all this were not enough, you can also shop lender rates when time is not of the essence.

So, let us review what you need to dig out of the garage what you will need to submit to your mortgage broker:
-          Your filed federal taxes for the last two years (state is not needed)
-          Most recent pay stubs for the last 30 days
-          Most recent statements for all of your assets, including savings, checking, stocks, bonds and retirement.  Submit all pages, please.
-          2015 and 2016 W2’s and/or 1099s.

The best thing to do is gather these materials up while you are initially thinking about making a home purchase.  (I know you have been intending to do this, but….) You will have more time then, and will not be scrambling to find everything at the last minute.  Scan your documents to a pdf file or two that you can keep on your laptop or computer.  (Fun fact: a lot of lenders can’t accept Google Docs or Dropbox stuff.)  Then, shoot them over to your preferred lender (or two) for review.  Congratulations! You will be ready to rock as soon as the perfect place comes along.

Photo licensed under Creative Commons.org

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Are small-lot homes the solution to L.A.'s so-called housing crisis?

You may have seen these in Van Nuys, North Hollywood, Silverlake, Venice and elsewhere: small-lot homes.  L.A. City passed an ordinance allowing these kind of buildings about 10 or so years ago. These aren't "tiny" homes. Instead, they are a condo/single family home hybrid.  The unit is separate from its neighbors (but not by much), has a two-car garage, and usually a small yard.  There are no HOAs although there is usually a fee for common area upkeep (such as a shared driveway or trash pickup.) There are two to six on a regular residential lot, and there can be developments of 30 or more in outlying areas. Are these the solution to L.A.'s "need" for density?

Not everybody is a fan of these.  Personally, I think these are great ideas.  Now that Measure S has been defeated, what would you rather have -- four units on one lot on your residential street, or a three-story, 18 unit condo complex on the corner? If we must shoe-horn more and more people into residential areas (I'm not sure we do, but everybody else says we do), this can be a great option that preserves neighborhood character.  Just like the old-fashioned bungalow court apartment units.  Fun fact: none of my buyers want one of these, but I expect that may change as homes get more and more expensive.
Photo above: 2872 Allesandro, L.A., courtesy of TheMLS.com

Saturday, March 25, 2017

From the New York Times - Home inspectors and their weirdest discoveries

Here's some Sunday newspaper reading, one day early.  The article from the New York Times is titled, "Home inspectors on their weirdest discoveries."   The title should link.  The photo above is just one of many from the sometimes bizarro world of real estate.  Enjoy and let's hope that none of this is present during your next inspection.

Friday, March 10, 2017

5544 Ventura Canyon in Sherman Oaks finally closed last week

5544 Ventura Canyon is a beautiful flip done by colleagues/friends of mine.  It closed last week at $888,000.  That was the third time it had been in escrow.  Yes, it fell out of escrow twice, which is a record for me.

Why? The house attracted very well-educated buyers who expected the home to be structurally pretty. They wanted the bones and guts of the house to be as top-notch as the finishes and top-off.  Alas, there were items that were just not up to that standard.  The flippers wound up fixing and redoing a lot of the structural stuff.  Finally, we got just the right buyers and the house closed last week.  The obvious moral of the story is that flipping houses can be very un-lucrative.  If you are considering flipping a house, make sure that you inspect, inspect, inspect beforehand.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Yes on S

If you live in L.A., you probably know about Measure S. It’s the proposition that limits development in the city for two years. Obviously, as a Realtor, I stand to gain everything from this measure going down in flames.  There will be lots of new properties to sell – yay! However, perhaps surprisingly, I support passage of Measure S.

Before I get into why I support this, here is a quote from a column in yesterday’s L.A. Times from none other than Richard Riordan. Mr. Riordan was the L.A. Mayor for two terms.  He says, “The current political environment is rife with corruption and backroom deals servicing land speculatiors and luxury housing developers over the needs of citizens.  If passed, Measure S. will give the decision-making process back to the people.  It will make City Hall work for us, not for the developers, special interests and lobbyists.” Remember, Mr. Riordan has already served his term with the city, seen this up close, and has no dog in this hunt.

Tracy Jeanne Rosenthal is a member of the L.A. Tenants Union and she wrote a column for yesterday’s L.A. Times opinion page as well. Here’s a quote from Ms. Rosenthal: “The housing market doesn’t produce homes; it produces opportunities for investment.  The goals of maximizing profit and making the city livable are at odds.”

I support Measure S for the following reasons.  In my work, I have seen L.A.'s development up close in many neighborhoods.

First, “affordable housing” is anything but.  Builders aren’t building it.  Instead, they are building either McMansions in expensive private neighborhoods or luxury apartments close to transit stops. Developers are not in business out of the goodness of their hearts.  As Ms. Rosenthal indicates, developers need to make a profit.  And they make it by putting maximum-saleable square footage in the most expensive neighborhoods possible.  If the city truly wants affordable housing, it will need to subsidize it in the neighborhoods where people need it. At the risk of stating the obvious, the so-called “housing crisis” is not helped by luxury units or McMansions.

Second, I think high-density proponents need to rethink their support for density, and their opposition to Measure S.  Again, small units in high rises in expensive neighborhoods are a developer’s dream, but not necessarily anybody else’s. There are several other ways to achieve more density in existing L.A. neighborhoods.  Look at the P.U.D.s in Van Nuys, for example. These are single family houses that are next to each other but have limited yard space.  And allowing more granny flats or guest houses in single family neighborhoods with ample lots increases density and helps solve needs of multi-generational families.

Let’s not even get started on traffic.

Finally, developers are running amok. See my blog post from November about my client’s wall being knocked down without their permission. By developers. The clients complained to the city inspector who issued the permit; he never called back.  Let’s keep developers and city officials accountable for their actions.


Whew! That’s it. If you have read this far, thank you.  And please don’t forget to vote on March 7.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Eagle Rock is no longer affordable, as if you didn't know

This A-frame in Eagle Rock just sold for $969k in a bidding war.  Almost a million dollars...in Eagle Rock.  Let that sink in for a minute.  Yes, it's pretty, but this is just another nail in the coffin of affordable L.A. areas.
Photo courtesy of Deasy/Penner & Partners.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

What a Realtor conference is like and predictions for 2017

I just came back from the National Association of Realtors Broker Summit in San Diego.  Everybody has been to at least one convention in their lives, right? If not, and in case you are wondering what these are like, here's the skinny.

It was held at the Grand Del Mar Fairmont in northern San Diego.  This is a triple luxury hotel that looks like an Italian palace.  Miles from anything and super-expensive, so I didn't stay there.  Nice cocktail parties, though.  The pic above is the lobby centerpiece.

As with all conventions, there is music over the public address system between speakers.  I always expect hits of the '80s but this time it was hits of the late '60s and early '70s -- Doors, Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane, Creedence...seemed a little weird to me, to be honest.  But then the average age of  the Realtors there was about 55. Perhaps the convention organizers thought it was age-appropriate, but there is something incongruous about hearing "Bad Moon Rising" just before an economist takes the stage.

The speakers were excellent and I learned a a lot.  Here are my take-aways for you.
- 2017 is going to be about the same as 2016 for real estate.
- However, prices will show a slight rise.  So will interest rates, but we knew that.
- Shortness of inventory is a major problem all over the country. (You knew that.)
- Affordability is a major issue, too. (You knew that too.)
- Student debt is stopping many millenials from buying homes.
- Home ownership is down across the country, and expected to go lower.  We may soon become a nation of renters.
- Our recent election and its aftermath has caused uncertainty in all sectors, but not enough to hurt the economy in the long run.

Here's the deal on crystal ball predictions -- they are just predictions.  We won't know what's really happening until it happens. In the meantime, I will continue to give my own predictions and also real stats to keep you engaged and aware.

Monday, February 06, 2017

Glamorous downtown Burbank condo listing tomorrow

Wanna live close to all the action in downtown Burbank? I have a gorgeous, redone, top-floor condo coming on the market tomorrow.  The address is 427 E. Orange Grove, #308.  It features 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, redone kitchen and bathrooms, high ceilings, balcony/patio, 2 side-by-side parking spaces, and a view of the mountains.  Even better: it will list for $490,000 and the HOA is only $325/month.  It is walking distance to restaurants, movies, the public library, shopping, gyms and more.  On Saturdays, the Burbank Farmers Market is right across the street.  It will be open for brokers on Thursday and open for the public from 1:00 to 4:00 on Sunday. Check out more pics and details at www.427orange308.com.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Local home prices jump and sales fall. Yes, again. Or still.

L.A. Times sez: the shortage of available homes for sale here in Los Angeles has caused housing prices to jump.  See the article here.  The same number of buyers chasing limited choices tends to bid up prices, of course.  When will there be more inventory and when will the rise in prices end? According to the article, it won't be this year.  Home prices are expected to rise about 4% by year's end. Photo credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

FHA loans will be a little more expensive on Monday than they were on Friday

In case you didn't know, you can get a fixed-rate mortgage with less than 20% down. You can even get a conventional, 30-year loan up to about $636,000 for as little as 5% down.  Most of these loans are guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration, or FHA, which we also refer to as Fannie Mae.  The catch is, and always has been, that you need mortgage insurance if you are putting down less than 20% -- and that can add a lot of money to your monthly payment.

The good news was that the mortgage insurance rate was reduced recently, which means a significant savings for home buyers.  But that was last week.  The bad news is that the new administration's Housing and Urban Development Department raised the insurance rate back up to where it was yesterday.😭This erases a savings of about $1500 annually for FHA buyers in L.A.  Read about it here from today's L.A. Times.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

And if that wasn't enough...a new price for the new year

5544 Ventura Canyon in Sherman Oaks is now listed at $888,000! This splendid re-do features four beds, 3 baths, all the bells and whistles, and is in a fab neighborhood.  I will be holding it open Friday from 11 to 2 and again on Sunday, the 8th, from 1 to 4 pm.  More details can be found in my previous post and at JudyGraff.com.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Open Friday and Sunday - 5544 Ventura Canyon, Sherman Oaks

Happy New Year! Need a redone, sexy 4 bedroom, 3 bath home in a fab neighborhood? For $909,000? Come visit me on Friday the 6th from 11 to 2 or Sunday the 8th from 1 to 4 at 5544 Ventura Canyon in S.O. With inspired finishes throughout, the home features an open plan with European Oak engineered wood floors, dining room, and a gourmet kitchen with quartz countertops, custom cabinets and Viking stainless steel appliances.  Rebuilt for today's living with upgrades including LED lighting, dual paned windows, new HVAC, new electric 200 amp panel, and a new roof. The spacious master suite has a customized walk in closet, and a luxurious bathroom with marble counter, double sinks, & an over sized shower.  Each bedroom has exquisite sliding glass doors.  Pretty, green backyard is a canvas for future projects or even a pool. I look forward to seeing you.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Debbie Reynolds was from Burbank

This week has marked the sad and sudden passing of Carrie Fisher and her mother, Debbie Reynolds.  Debbie grew up in our little Burbank and above is a picture of her in front of her childhood home.  It is located at 1034 N. Evergreen.  I have sold it twice in the last 14 years -- first to a buyer (not related to the Fisher or Reynolds family) and then sold it for the same person 10 years later. It still has that little touch of mid-century glamour.  As you see from comparing the picture above and below, the outside has barely changed, which is a charming hallmark of many Magnolia Park and Burbank homes.  Although the house has been remodeled over the decades, the inside still has many of the same features that it did when Debbie grew up there, too.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Holiday gift: 5544 Ventura Canyon in Sherman Oaks, 4+3 and $909,000

Does your Santa list contain a sexy, turnkey home in Sherman Oaks? With four bedrooms, three baths and 1840 sf? Well, Santa has delivered a bit early to you this year with 5544 Ventura Canyon in Sherman Oaks.  This gorgeous home features an open plan with European Oak engineered wood floors, dining room, and a gourmet kitchen with quartz countertops, custom cabinets and Viking stainless steel appliances. Rebuilt for today's living with upgrades including LED lighting, dual paned windows, new HVAC, new electric 200 amp panel, and a new roof. The spacious master suite has a customized walk in closet, and a luxurious bathroom with marble counter, double sinks, & an over sized shower. Beautiful green backyard and terrific neighborhood too.  Santa says, "You're welcome." Oh, and happy new year, too!

Monday, December 12, 2016

I am now contributing posts to The Lighter Side of Real Estate

For all of you that have enjoyed my writing here (or not), I am now contributing educational real estate articles to The Lighter Side of Real Estate.  It's a really fun site with lots of tips and tricks for both home owners, buyers and real estate agents.  I am one of Lighter Side's content providers -- much of what I contribute will be for Realtors only to cut and paste for their own blogs or newsletters.

You can still keep coming back to this blog for hyper-local real estate posts and for my usual snark, of course.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

L.A. City Council votes against mansionization

Today's L.A. Times has an article titled "L.A. backs measures to "roll back" mansionization in single family neighborhoods."  (The title should link.) The city council will be rewriting a couple of codes so huge, boxy homes will be a little less huge and boxy.  Sounds good, but they will be reducing sizes from 50% to 45% of a lot size.  That doesn't sound like much, does it? Apparently, garages don't count.

One quote in the article from a developer startled me. “To cram four or five people into an 1,100-square-foot house, one of these old bungalows, it’s a joke really,” he said.  Wow. Lots of Californians -- and people all over the world --  have been born and raised in homes even smaller than that.  These people turned out okay. And nobody's laughing.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Holiday real estate activity

What does our housing market look like around holiday time?  If you are a buyer, inventory probably seems lower than ever.  It is.  And if you are a seller, it may seem as if buyer activity has dried up.  It has.  This is par for the course, folks.  Sellers usually do not want to list in December because most buyers are too distracted by holiday activity to shop for real estate, and visa versa.  That doesn't mean that the perfect house or perfect buyer are not out there, it just means that the new year will likely bring much more activity.  So curl up by the fire, watch HGtv, and make your real estate plans for 2017.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! Here's hoping that you have lots in your life to be thankful for.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

13506 Hartland in Valley Village just closed, no thanks to a particular developer

My listing at 13506 Hartland just closed. Although we received an offer on the house right away, a property developer almost ruined the sale.  Backstory: As most folks in L.A. know, there are condo and apartment projects going up all over.  An 8-unit building is being constructed behind and to the west of the Hartland house.

Early one morning after the house listed, I received a call from my seller.  “The contractors behind us just tore down my back wall.” Yep, without notice or permission.  Mercifully, it was not the entire back wall.  The next door neighbor had it worse – they tore down his entire back wall without obtaining permission or giving him advance notice.

The developer told my client that his survey showed a six-inch difference in the lot line, to his advantage of course, and this is why he tore down the fences. It’s highly unlikely that there is a true boundary dispute -- the entire suburban tract neighborhood was laid out, and built, in the 1950’s by the same people. The lot sizes are all very similar and there has never been a lot line dispute in the neighborhood.

But anyway, the back walls were already gone at this point, so it was late in the game to have a new survey done.  An attorney we consulted said a boundary dispute would take 2 years and cost over $1000.  The neighbor called the city building inspector who had approved the permit.  He never heard back.  (To my knowledge, he tried the same person several times and never heard back.) 

The neighbor and my client spoke to the developer and contractor (who is also a dentist) and they worked out this: the developer would put up a new cinderblock wall where the old ones had been.  They would also use the old fence to create a boundary for my clients’ safety while the project was completed.  They would not tear out a tree on the disputed boundary.

So where’s/what’s the problem with the sale? We already had a buyer for the property, and now the sellers and I had to disclose that there may or may not be a lot line dispute. No buyer wants to buy property where contractors can claim portions of it don’t belong to the property.  No buyer wants to know that their new neighborhood is going to be overrun by rogue developers. Our buyers were quite concerned and worried about this issue, and the escrow teetered. They attempted to do their own due diligence, but it takes time to get a full survey. They asked for some of the negotiated sales price back.  We gave it back rather than have to go through this again with another buyer.  And the cinderblock wall is completed.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

How will the election affect local real estate?

Here's my hyper-local take on what's going to happen with real estate inventory, prices and interest rates in the wake of the presidential election: I don't know.  And neither does anybody else.

Many questions will be answered over the next several months. Will interest rates go up? Will Los Angeles homes for sale inventory rise? Will lending tighten up or loosen up? Will foreign money leave the luxury and ultra-luxury market here? What about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? All this stuff impacts all this other stuff.

So the word here is uncertain.  Hopefully everything will shake out for the better sooner or later.  Yes, I will soon have a post on what buyers and sellers can do in the meantime.