Thursday, October 31, 2013

Novo Cafe in Toluca Lake

Are you doing carbs this week? Tried out Novo Cafe in Toluca Lake with friend and former client Kerri last night and it was terrific.  It looks like an unassuming coffee place and yes, they have coffee, snacks and pastries that are ordered at the counter.  But they also make their own pasta, and offer many pasta dishes at lunch and dinner.  Although I had the beef ragu with papardelle (delicious) there are many entrees for vegans and vegetarians, too.   And, essential for my dining experience, they have wine and beer.  The entrees are ordered at the counter and brought by the enthusiastic wait staff.  Dishes are bare bones -- no salad or bread unless you order those on the side -- but with the low prices nobody should mind not eating even more carbs.  The address is 3900 W. Riverside.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

5703 Troost, North Hollywood is sold and I get taught a lesson

5703 Troost in North Hollywood, listed in September for $495,000, sold this week for $512,000.  It had been in escrow for $515,000 but that got 'walked back' during the inspection process.  My sellers were wonderful, savvy clients who moved to get a shorter commute.

I met the buyers at the open house and it was immediately evident that they liked the property.  The buyers told me they were going to use an agent from a popular online site that we'll call Greenscale.  I told them this would put their offer in a bad light -- Greenscale chunks its tasks down so much that you never know what agent you'll be dealing with that day, or who said what to whom, or who has the paperwork, etc.  Because of that, they are quite difficult to work with and that's a material fact I would have to tell my sellers as they considered the multiple offers we received.

So the buyers picked a regular Valley agent instead.  Hurray -- but not so fast.  This Realtor is completely untrained on the internet or any electronic communication devices.  I should have known I was in trouble when I received a hand-written offer on forms that were six generations old.  Anyway, we wound up double- and triple-doing and communicating everything over and over again, which is exactly what I wanted to avoid with a Greenscale agent.  And I got taught a lesson about trying to make transactions easier.  But the transaction closed, and I will miss my sellers and their baby.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

My House Hunters Renovation episode airs Sunday on HGtv

...That's what the producers tell us -- it could be another Sunday night soon as well. The couple with the house to find and renovate are clients Josh and MacKenzie, and colleague Amber is in it too. I signed paperwork saying I wouldn't spill the beans about the production, but I suppose it wouldn't hurt to say that it was kind of a hassle, and I'm glad Josh and Mac got something out of it.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Happy one year anniversary to Amy and Jorge on their Burbank home!

This is Amy, Jorge and baby Charlotte in front of their Burbank home.  They closed and moved in just at this time last year.  It was a horrible transaction, but these buyers hung in there, closed and are busy doing fix ups and enjoying their new baby.  What a difference a year makes -- congrats, guys!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Using Blockshopper for home research? You might want to think about using another source too.

I just checked out a particular street in Burbank on  The data was incorrect on at least two homes that I know of, because I sold them.  BS had not updated its info on these two houses in over a year and still had the old owner info.  It's an otherwise great site, but I just don't know where they're getting their data.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Would you buy a hoarder's home? Somebody will.

Yesterday's NY Times had a very interesting article about selling a hoarder's home.  Yes, it sold.  It was on Park Avenue in NYC and went for over a million dollars.  Click the link here for the article.

Over the years, I've had two hoarder listings.  In each, the hoarders were really lovely, intelligent people who were not distressed in any other way.

The first was in an apartment building for sale in North Hollywood, and the buyer-investor didn't care as long as the tenant-hoarder paid the rent on time.  The tenant had her stuff piled up very neatly and had made paths through it.  The "walls" on either side of the paths were so high that I could barely see over them.

The other place was owned by two very brilliant people who just couldn't see how much junk they had.  They were willing to work through it, though.  With the help of family, they actually threw stuff away.  They filled eight City of Glendale dumpsters from a 1200 ft. Glendale house.  It didn't hurt that they were moving out of state.