Friday, January 31, 2014

Holding 11175 Valley Spring in Studio City open tomorrow, Saturday, Feb. 1

This gorgeous reconstruction features 5 beds, 5.5 baths, almost 4,000 sf on a private 12000+ sf lot, and stunning high-end layout.  It's almost impossible to overstate how lovely this $2,459,000 home is.  Gary Steinberg and I will be holding this open tomorrow, Saturday the 1st -- yes, Saturday -- from 1 to 4. See you there!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Our new Studio City neighbor

Just spotted this guy/gal behind the back of our new Studio City home. S/he is a beauty -- and huge.  I know you're not supposed to speak with racoons as they will "imprint" on you, but I just couldn't resist asking him/her to pose for a couple shots. I know this feeling isn't universally shared, but I love Southern California's urban wildlife.

Friday, January 24, 2014

I can finally recommend movers - Delancey Street

I've never recommended a moving company before.  So many are so flaky, and I've heard horror stories from my clients. But after our move to Studio City, I can give Delancey Street an unqualified recommendation.

Kerri Wong, former client and friend, had told me about this bunch.  She has used them four times.  Delancey isn't just a moving company, they are a non-profit rehab foundation that helps ex-convicts and former addicts turn their lives around.  Four guys showed up early with a can-do attitude.

They were incredibly professional and pleasant.  They ran up and down two sets of stairs with heavy boxes to save us time (movers charge by the hour).  Not a single thing was broken, left behind or chipped.  They also were very observant about placement -- my clothes were rehung the correct way (I know; #firstworldproblems), the right pictures got into the right rooms, and some small appliances were plugged in to the approximate places they'd been plugged into in the move-from house.  All in all, it took five hours and cost us less than comparable movers.

The movers were great ambassadors for Delancey Street Foundation, which has several locations across the country (see below for a pic of the NY headquarters) and engages in several business enterprises.  The local chapter is located in Montebello and the number is 323-890-2300. I so wish the people the best of luck in their future lives -- Delancey is obviously helping them make great progress.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

New stats article from the L.A. Times! Lots of good info for home buyers and sellers! Really!

This appeared in the L.A. Times yesterday. The bold text is my own emphasis.

 LOS ANGELES (AP) - Southern California home prices reached a 70-month high in December as sales fell and buyers competed for scant inventories, a research firm said Tuesday. The median price for new and existing houses and condominiums reached $395,000 in the six-county region, up 22.3 percent from $323,000 a year earlier. It was the highest median since it stood at $408,000 February 2008 and the 21st straight month of annual gains.

Sales dropped 9.2 percent from a year earlier to 18,415 homes, the lowest December sales tally in six years. DataQuick said investors are showing less interest, contributing to the sales decline. Absentee buyers - mostly investors and some second-home purchasers - bought 26.2 percent of homes last month, down from 30.4 percent a year earlier and the lowest level since November 2011.

Absentee buying has fallen nearly every month since peaking at 32.4 percent in January 2013. Buyers paying cash followed a similar trend, accounting for 27.7 percent of sales last month, down from 35.8 percent a year earlier and a peak of 36.9 percent in February. "Sales have fallen short of the same period a year earlier for three consecutive months now, and the pitifully low inventory is the main culprit," said John Walsh, president of San Diego-based DataQuick. The jump in prices over the last year suggests that more homeowners will eventually put their properties up for sale, Walsh said.

Home building has remained low, limiting inventories, he said. The Los Angeles metropolitan area had a 3.9-month supply of unsold homes in November, an improvement from a 3.2-month supply a year earlier but still much lower than a normal market of five to seven months, according to the latest figures from the California Association of Realtors.

San Diego had a 4.1-month supply of homes in November. Sales plummeted 17.5 percent in San Diego County from a year earlier, followed by Los Angeles County with a 13.3 percent drop. Declines were more modest in Ventura and Riverside counties, and Orange and San Bernardino counties eked out small gains. San Bernardino, the least expensive of the counties surveyed and an area hard-hit by foreclosures several years ago, posted the sharpest price gains, a 28.9 increase to $232,000. All counties posted annual price gains above 20 percent except San Diego, which rose 14.8 percent to $420,000.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

2014 is one-half month old now. What's the real estate market like?

Many people say that "calling" the real estate market this early in a new year isn't a good gauge of what's really happening. Personally, I usually see an uptick in activity by the end of the second week. Not this year. Not so far. I'm still seeing very short inventory in all price categories. I'm also not seeing lots and lots of new buyers, not yet anyway. And I'm also seeing buyers getting discouraged and dropping out. I think the perception of higher interest rates is to blame plus the no-inventory situation. However, interest rates haven't gone up that much. And yes, there is low inventory, but inventory has been low for the past several years. Because of last year's price rebounds, more people can afford to sell their homes this year. So stay tuned -- in real estate, the only thing constant is change.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Spin the Bottle Wine Studio in Toluca Lake

Spin the Bottle Wine Studio in Toluca Lake is open! And is a really fun place for a wine lover.  I've been there two nights in a row (meeting friends, people, not just drinking) and I love the vibe, the wine, the did get a little busy in there on Friday evening, but what the heck. I regret not buying the Zinfandel I liked so much, though. Now, will Luna Vine, a new wine bar in Burbank, ever open?

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Get your kid into Burbank's award-winning Roosevelt Elementary School

Looking for a fabulous public elementary school in a wonderful location? Roosevelt Elementary School in Burbank may fit the bill.  It has high APIs and score of 8. It's very close to the newest, coolest attractions of Burbank's Magnolia Park, including restaurants, vintage shops, services, etc.  And best of all, I will soon have an adorable 3+2 for sale right across the street. Private message me for details. If you've dreamed for decent public schools for your children in a cool affordable neighborhood, this might be your chance to make that dream come true.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

In v. Out – Judy’s annual totally subjective L.A. real estate list

Okay, this list is totally subjective and these are entirely my own observations.  And it runs the sort-of-real-estate gamut from decorating to Los Angeles neighborhoods to area attractions. Please feel free to contact me with your own in v. out observations. And if you know how to make columns line up in Blogger, please contact me about that too.

In                                                      Out
quartz                                                granite
charter public schools                        private schools
white cabinets                                   dark cabinets
credit union home loans                     large bank home loans
nickel finish                                       bronze finish
Terrazzo tile                                     Travertine tile
white tile                                          subway tile
linoleum flooring                               laminate flooring                                                            
East Valley                                      West Valley
Hollywood Walk of Fame                Universal City Walk
Backyard chickens                           swimming pools
Ranch style homes                           Spanish style homes

North Hollywood                            Valley Glen
Wine bars                                        Starbucks

Friday, January 03, 2014

Glendale is Curbed LA's neighborhood of the year

Our little Glendale is Curbed LA's neighborhood of the year.  Really.  Okay, good.  Apparently, there are 1000's of new apartments/lofts/condos being built there, which kind of scares me but whatever.