Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Celebrate the 4th of July

Eager to watch fireworks on the fourth? Here’s a list of east San Fernando Valley displays and celebrations.

Annual San Fernando Valley Independence Day Celebration
A holiday celebration in the San Fernando Valley featuring music and other live entertainment, food, and fireworks. Take a swim(eww! or, uh, maybe not) in the 1.5-acre swim lake available for use during the day.
When: July 4, 10 am – 10:00 pm
Where: Hansen Dam Recreation Area, 11770 Foothill Blvd., Lake View Terrace
Cost: Free
Info: 1-888-LA PARKS (527-2757), www.laparks.org

Studio City - This is a fun-filled (and relatively expensive) family festival featuring exhibits, music, food, fireworks, a children’s fun zone, and a business exposition is held on the back lot at CBS Studios.
When: July 4, 5:00 – 9:30 pm, gates open at 4:30 pm
Where: CBS Studio Center, 4024 Radford Ave., Studio City, Los Angeles
Cost: Adults $15 advance, $20 at the gate, Children 6-12 $8 advance, $10 at the gate, add $20 for rooftop viewing access or pay $100 for VIP tickets.
Parking: Free
Info: 818-655-5916, www.studiocitychamber.com

Burbank, CA -  Burbank’s annual firework display and Starlight Bowl concert is one of the city’s favorite traditions. This concert kicks off the Starlight Bowl Summer Concert Series. On July 4, gates open at 6:00 pm, entertainment runs from 6:30 - 9:00 pm, and the fireworks show follows at 9:00 pm (weather permitting). This year, the Burbank Philharmonic Orchestra will kick off the concert, which always features crowd favorite music and sing alongs. You can purchase your tickets online. Tickets cost between $10 - $20 each, with discounts available for seniors and students.

Just want fireworks? Do as we do – just pull up a piece of curb anywhere on the residential streets of the Burbank Benmar hills.  Best viewing is around Cambridge and Sunset Canyon.  Get wherever you’re going early, though – thousands of people do this every year and parking along the city streets gets quite tight.

Toluca Lake – Every year, the Lakeside Golf Club (4500 Lakeside, Burbank) has a terrific fireworks display that you can enjoy without being a country club member.  Just pull up a piece of curb on a residential street around the lake.  As in Burbank, this is quite popular, so get to the neighborhood early for best position and viewing.

Monday, June 28, 2010

845 N. Frederic, Burbank just closed

This adorable house is 845 N. Frederic in Magnolia Park and it was just bought by my clients, the Jordan family.  Their picture can be found on my website on the Our New Home page.   The sale closed Friday for $629,000.  The escrow went smoothly all the way through.  Bank of America even closed the loan right on time!  The sellers purchased an out-of-area short sale.


Although the sellers' short sale purchase has received  verbal approval from the lien-holders, it still does not have that all-important written approval.  So the sellers are renting back from the buyers for two weeks while they wait for the bank to get its act together.  We are all hoping that they don't have to rent back for longer.  Cross your fingers.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Burbank Green Alliance is launching Burbank’s First-Ever Eco-Conscious film series

The Burbank Green Alliance is hosting a monthly environmental film series.  The first free screening is of  "The End Of The Line" on July 14, 2010 at 7:00.  The film's synopsis is: "Learn how responsible choices will save our oceans and seafood industry." How timely, eh?  The screening will be at Woodbury University, 7500 N. Glenoaks Blvd. Reservations: $10 suggested donation (reservations/donations aren’t necessary but always welcome). For more information please visit http://www.burbankgreenalliance.org/.  Here's a tiny url for the flyer/invite: http://bit.ly/aBiLT8.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mark your calendars for this Sunday open house

I'll be holding 4552 Morse, Studio City open this coming Sunday, June 27, from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm.  More info and pictures can be found on my website, but this gorgeous 2+1 features a remodeled kitchen and bath, gorgeous hardwoods, a/c, a walled front patio, big back yard with two entertaining areas, and lots more.  List price is $659,000. 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Interest rates are terrific

If you're searching for Studio City homes for sale (and if you are, please check out 4552 Morse), or Burbank real estate, or Toluca Lake real estate, or any other real estate, here's a news flash.  Interest rates have gone down again!  For 30-year fixed mortgages, they are now at 4.5% + 1pt for conforming, 4.625%+1 pt for conforming high limit, 5.5%+1 pt for jumbo (over $729k) and 4.0% + 1 pt. for 15 year mortgages.  We all thought we'd see higher interest rates by this time this year.  What a nice surprise.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Another reason to love the Valley

...It's free of Laker championship violence.  We only riot when our teams lose.  I know what you're thinking, "But Judy, it takes a certain city je ne sais quoi to rampage through an area when your team wins." Fair enough, but that's one less call we need to make to our insurance companies the next day.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Just saw a really pretty house

I don't usually gush, but: 537 E. Fairmount, in Burbank, just came on the market at $779k.  Here are the stats: 3 beds, 3 baths, 1800+ sf, 10,000 sf. lot, updated kitchen and baths, a/c, great neighborhood.  And it's absolutely lovely -- it's one of the nicest houses I've seen lately.  Feels much bigger than 1800+.  You can find more pics by going to my website (JudyGraff.com) and clicking on "search the mls."  Nice listing, Laureen and Doyle!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

LAT says home prices surge 22.5%

I was wondering when the stats would be out, so thanks, LA Times.  However, this week we're seeing a bit of a slow down in the areas where I work.  Hmm.

Southern California median home price surges 22.5%

The May increase to $305,000, compared with the year-earlier level, mostly reflects a rush by buyers to take advantage of federal and state tax incentives, MDA DataQuick reports. It's the first time in 20 months the figure has topped $300,000.

The Southland's housing market surged in May, with the median home price soaring 22.5% from its year-earlier level as federal and state tax incentives for buyers ignited sales, a real estate research firm reported Tuesday.

The median price hit $305,000, topping $300,000 for the first time in 20 months, according to MDA DataQuick of San Diego. That represented a 7% jump from April.

The increase in prices reflected less a jump in the actual valuation of homes than a continued shift in the region's sales mix, with fewer homes selling in the Inland Empire and an improvement in pricier markets in San Diego and Orange counties, DataQuick said.

The jump also reflected the steep decrease in the number of foreclosures, which tend to drag prices down because those homes often sell at a big discount.

A total of 22,270 homes sold in the Southland last month, a 7.2% jump from May 2009 and a 9.7% increase from April. Sales last month hit their highest level for a May since 2006.

MDA DataQuick reports its sales figures as contracts close, and the sales surge last month probably reflected a rush of buyers finalizing deals in anticipation of grabbing a federal tax credit for buyers.

The federal credit of up to $8,000 for first-time buyers and up to $6,500 for some current homeowners expired April 30, but those hoping to get the credit must close their deals by June 30. Experts worry that once the effects of the credits diminish, the sales pace will slow and prices could slump again, particularly if interest rates rise.

Also fueling the local market is a separate state tax credit for first-time buyers and those purchasing new homes. The California credit took effect May 1 and provides up to $10,000 over a three-year period for buyers who qualify.


Copyright © 2010, The Los Angeles Times

Monday, June 14, 2010

Elementary Schools in Studio City, Sherman Oaks, Valley Village

I just did a little research on GreatSchools.net regarding public elementary schools in Studio City, Sherman Oaks and Valley Village.  We all know that Carpenter is a fantastic elementary school, but my client and I are looking for other schools in areas outside the Carpenter boundaries.  GreatSchools.net isn't the be-all and end-all of school research, and some of the schools below have very high APIs even though they didn't rate as high as Carpenter.  But anyway, here's what I learned.
Carpenter has a "9" rating.
Rio Vista has a "7."
Dixie Canyon is "8."
Riverside Elementary is "7."
The biggest surprise: Colfax Charter is a "9."

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

How'd I miss this great blog about Burbank?

Burbank, California -- this is the title of a great new blog that I've just learned about.  I'm not sure who is writing this, but it has lots of great insider information on the workings of Burbank.  Scroll down to June 2009 and find out the real reason the former fire chief and police chiefs are no longer with us.  I don't mean to make this sound like Perez Hilton, Burbank style -- the blog has a very thoughtful, journalistic approach to reporting and stories that you won't read in the Burbank Leader.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Is Valley Village a state of mind?

Where's Valley Village? Is it really Studio City, Los Angeles, or good old North Hollywood? Thanks to the management of the MLS and Wikipedia, we now have a carved-in-stone answer.  Southern boundary: Ventura Fwy.  Northern boundary: Burbank Boulevard.  Eastern boundary: the 170.  Western boundary: the Tujunga wash.  Now, does anybody know the boundaries of Sherman Village?

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Wrapping up 724 University

724 University closed last week.  If you're a regular reader of this blog, you'll remember the story of the 17 offers, and the first buyers going away after two days in escrow.  Or you can read about it below. 

Anyway, the 2nd buyers closed on the house at $570,000.  They had offered $580,500, which was the highest purchase price offer.  (The first buyers made a lower offer, but without any contingencies.) And the house was sold "as is."  However, during the course of inspections, it turned out that the main line to the sewer was broken at the street.  And the chimney was broken in three places.  Uh-oh.  Those are expensive items, and they're also health and safety concerns.  The seller decided to work out credits in order to avoid 1) losing great buyers and 2) liability.  Hence, the price reduction.  From there on, the escrow was smooth sailing, it closed right on time, and the house is now owned by two nice young music teachers and their little boy.