Friday, November 20, 2009

806 Harvard sold for all cash

This house is 806 Harvard, Burbank. It's a very pretty, nicely maintained two-bedroom that listed last week for $659k. It sold last night for full price, all cash, no contingencies. Wow, where is all this cash coming from?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Realtors, forget listing new buildings

If you're a Realtor, you've probably salivated at the prospect of listing an entire new condo project for sale. All those units...all those commissions...but in reality, it's all that work. And it doesn't stop after the units close.

My buyer recently closed on a condo in a brand new North Hollywood building. The building is listed by the stalwart Aaron Scott, and he and I have probably talked more since the unit closed than we did during escrow -- mostly all about newly discovered construction problems. See the previous post on this subject.

On behalf of my client, Aaron and I have discussed construction issues, parking issues, alarm removals, contractors, cabinets, refrigerator doors, stoves that smoked, non-working toilets, intercom info, etc. etc. The Realtors on these new buildings handle everything -- they set up appointments with contractors, track down info, and communicate with the buyers and the buyers' agents about it all. In theory, a Realtor's responsibility ends when a property closes. But obviously, there's no such "statute of limitations" on these new places.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tax credit for move-up -- or even move-down -- buyers

Yes, here's another article from the L.A. Times. This one is about the brand new tax credit -- up to $6,500 -- for home buyers that want to move up. Or even move down. The key word is "move." The article highlights some of the program details. For clarification, please check with your accounting professional (although this is so new that they may not know details, either).

Monday, November 16, 2009

LALand is defunct

My favorite real estate blog, The L.A. Times' real estate blog, LaLand, is no more. It is moving in with Money & Co., the Times' economic blog. I'm sorry to see it go, but I guess we all should have suspected this would happen -- everybody knows LAT is cutting itself down to the bone.

Peter Viles was the original editor of the blog, then Peter Hong, then Lauren Beale. They all had really good grasps on our local market and its various permutations. Yes, LALand's posters were infuriating more often than not, and I was occasionally a poster target for my perceived pro-real-estate market, anti-bubble posts. But it was stimulating, to say the least.

At least we still have L.A. Curbed.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Got rental income? Got extended family?

I've just listed this two-on-a-lot at 2400 W. Chandler in Burbank's Magnolia Park for $499k. The main house is a fixer with 800+ sf, living room with fireplace, spacious galley kitchen and separate laundry room. The side house is 500+sf with new kitchen cabinets, counter tops and appliances, a darling patio, plus other upgrades. The lot is 6865 sf and has lots of yard, greenery (the squirrels are hilarious) and a two-car garage. The neighborhood is superb and the property is opposite the Chandler bike and walking path. The schools and city services here are top-notch, too. More details and pictures can be found at

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Maybe this is why Glendalians are such bad drivers

Remember about a month ago when an informal poll showed that Glendale drivers are the worst in the county? Well, now we know why, thanks to the L.A. Times. Read about Glendale's drug problems here.

"According to the city's Quality of Life report, which was released Oct. 30 and uses 2005 data from the L.A. County Department of Public Health, Glendale had L.A. County's highest percentage of adults who reported using marijuana and cocaine." Considering, it's probably a good idea to avoid Glenoaks Boulevard whenever possible.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Another great thing about North Hollyw...uh, I mean Toluca Terrace the public dog park at Victory and Whitnall. I checked it out last night and was very amused by all the doggies getting their runs in and seeing their doggie friends. There's a spot for little dogs and one for big dogs, although yesterday seemed to be German Shepherd day there.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

TJ Maxx is coming to Burbank

Burbank and the east SFV are finally getting a TJ Maxx. It's going into Empire Center, in one of the (several) spaces that have been vacant there since last year. Now, we won't have to drive to La Canada (unless we want the real designer stuff) or Granada Hills to get our Maxx on.

Burbank still has lots and lots of empty large retail spaces. Is there anything else that can fill those besides Korean churches and fly-by-night schools? I think we pretty much have all the other retail chains.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

What's taking so long, not that we even care anymore

My clients made an offer a week ago Monday on the house above. It was a decent offer, a little less than full price. At the time we were told that there were 3 other offers. I was also told that the seller, who is flipping this, would look at the offers mid-week.

It's eight days later and we still haven't gotten a counter. I can only imagine how many offers there are in on this property now. I was told that the listing agent isn't in the office much because he spends his days at trustee sales and doesn't come in until after 4:30. And then I was told that the seller only reviews offers on weekends. And then I was told that we'd have a counter offer at full price yesterday after 5:30. It didn't arrive. What a way for a listing agent to service a listing!

But all is well. My clients have not only lost interest, but are already in escrow on another home.

Problems with new construction

My clients Briana and Michael closed yesterday on a unit here at 5227 Denny in North Hollywood. It's a brand new building and the escrow went very smoothly (the developer was smart and secured FHA financing before marketing any of the units). However, in spite of our inspections, walk throughs with the contractors, lists of repairs, etc., many items still remain to be fixed or done in the unit. At our walk-through the contractor indicated it all would be done before closing. Now, the story is that all the remaining work has to be arranged, scheduled, and coordinated with the other recently sold units in the building. Am I naive to think this should have been done before closing?

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Since I know you don't believe me, here's...

This is from non-client friend Joselle about her brand new purchase and what she had to go through to get it.

"It's a little 1950 house with some nice period details. Big lot (for L.A.) It's... in a lovely neighborhood in Sherman Oaks. We will be just the third owners! It was the 4th house we bid on. Each had many offers. We lost one even though we went $110,000.00 over asking price! Crazy market here!"

Her purchase price is in the high $400's.