Thursday, August 26, 2010

More news about the Burbank Collection

The Burbank Collection, the newer loft-condo development in downtown Burbank, is now offering a $15,000 credit that is no longer sale-date dependent (see post below).  At least at this point.  However, Burbank, California, a local blog (see my blogroll), has a few troubling posts about financing for this development.  I don't quite know what's happening as I'm not up to date on the backstory, but stay tuned for news on this.  In the meantime, immediate closings are available at Burbank Collection and the $15k will just about cover any buyer's closing costs.  Did I mention that prices start at $319,000? That's about half of what they started at when the building was newly completed.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The real estate news is bad...or IS it?

By now, everybody knows that the national housing stats released yesterday were pretty dreadful.  Slowest month since whenever, etc., etc.  And yes, I've seen that the market has slowed down this summer (although the end of August is almost always slow).  But wait! Today's Burbank Leader's headline is Local Housing Market Better than Most.  It goes on to detail how Burbank real estate and Glendale real estate sales have actually been pretty good, and how homprices have actually risen year over year.  Not by much, but still...

And then there's another AP article buried deep in today's L.A. Times Business section, titled More Mortgage Modifications Seem to be Sticking.  It goes on to say that this news possibly debunks predictions of a huge wave of defaults to come.

So maybe there is another side to the story.  And if you're thinking about real estate in Studio City, Burbank, Hollywood Hills or pretty much anywhere in greater L.A., keep in mind the other big housing statistic: interest rates are at historic lows.

Friday, August 20, 2010

LA Times is a little behind on their front page news re flippers

Today's L.A. Times headline (in the SFV print edition) is Professionals moving into house flipping.  The reporting is spot-on -- and about six months behind.  I reported in this blog some time ago that I'd observed that the pro's were buying up many/most foreclosures.  And what the article only briefly touches on is that many of these professionals are losing money now in a big way.  Prices aren't soaring, loans (especially on condo projects) aren't easy to get, and many of the flippers didn't research the properties they bought.  But I'm sure most professional flippers have calculated their risks/rewards.

If you're thinking of buying a distressed property, rehabbing it, and selling it for a profit, trust me: it's not as easy as it sounds (I've thought about it myself), and nowhere as "easy" as it looks on HGtv.  Leave it to the pros.

Green Alliance in Burbank will be screening the film "Crude"

Our friends at Burbank's Green Alliance have just sent me this notice:
Film:              Crude – The Real Price of Oil
Synopsis        CRUDE is an award-winning documentary film that chronicles the epic battle to hold oil giant Chevron (formerly Texaco) accountable for its systematic contamination of the Ecuadorian Amazon – an environmental tragedy experts call "the Rainforest Chernobyl.
Date:                     Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Time:                    7:00pm – 9:30pm
Location:            Ahmanson Space, Woodbury University 7500 N. Glenoaks Blvd. Burbank, CA
Speakers:            Stefanie Sekich Quinn, Surfrider Foundation HQ and Jack Eidt, Wild Heritage Planners
 Reservations:    $10 Suggested Donation (reservations and donations are not necessary but
always welcome)
RSVP Online: (or email
                For More Info:

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Burbank Collection is doing a big promotion

The Burbank Collection is the mega condo loft project in downtown Burbank, right across from the AMC theaters and above Barney's Beanery.  The sellers are running a promotion which involves a $15,000 rebate and they are cooperating with brokers again -- meaning that they will pay us commissions if we bring a buyer.  (The sellers didn't cooperate for a long time.  Then they did.  Then they didn't.  Not unusual for a new building that's cutting prices in order to sell 100% of the units.) If you're interested in living in downtown Burbank, please contact me.
Update: the Collection is offering a $15,000 credit, not a rebate.  And it's only good for sales on Saturday, August 21.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sunday reading from Gretchen Morgenson at the New York Times

Gretchen Morgenson, the NY Times business columnist, has written an article entitled "In this Play, One Role is Enough."  Link here in case the title above doesn't work.  It details a bill introduced in the U.S. Congress by Rep. Brad Miller (D-NC).  If passed, the bill will help unwind the second mortgage mess that's holding up so many short sales.  Go, Rep. Miller!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Everybody makes mistakes, even title companies and management companies

Long, boring story short and boring: my buyer client has an accepted offer on 1809 Peyton in Burbank, but the condo must "go" FHA in order for him to get a loan.  Fine.  Reams and reams of paperwork need to be submitted to FHA and the condo documents have to be examined in very close detail.  Fine.  But it's been about 60 days now, and the listing agent is really steaming over how long this is taking. Fine, but don't tell him that.

Just yesterday, the FHA folks noticed that the preliminary title report from the title company was wrong -- it had a map of a building down the street. Considering how much title insurance costs and how many people view the title company documents, this is pretty surprising.  And, the building's management company had certified that the complex had 46 units in it when it only has 42.  Nice to know they are collecting the HOA dues in that building.  Aberdeen has made several paperwork mistakes in this transaction, but you'd think they'd at least know how many units are in one project.

So these conditions have now been caught and remedied by the lender at Prospect Mortgage, Dana Dukelow, and his staff.  But the listing agent would still like to kick us out of escrow.  Stay tuned...

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Really nice house in Glendale

Colleagues Laureen and Doyle just listed this beauty at 3028 E. Chevy Chase in Glendale.  We saw it on our office caravan, and it is jaw-droppingly lovely.  It features 3698 square feet and is up against a lush, green hillside.  It is listed at $1,590,000.  Wish I could afford it. 

Btw, although Glendale is known for it's 1920's-1930's Spanish style and Monterey Colonials (not to mention it's 1990's columned palaces), I spotted two Lloyd Wright homes very close to this home -- what a welcome surprise!

Monday, August 02, 2010

Not about San Fernando Valley real estate, but about my two other favorite thing: my husband and cats

Check Wednesday's (we think) Burbank Leader for a Joyce Rudolph-bylined story about The World Is Still Your Litterbox.  This is the sequel to The World is Your Litterbox, the hilarious how-to book dictated to my husband, Steve Fisher, by his cat, Quasi.  And by the way, I'm not the only blogger in the house -- Quasi has his own blog, and probably has more readers than me, damn him.