Friday, February 28, 2014

Open Sunday 1-4 pm: 848 N. Avon St. in Burbank's Magnolia Park

Come visit us, rain or shine, at 848 N. Avon in Burbank! We'll be showing off this lovely 3 bedroom, 2 bath home, playing music, and talking up the terrific Magnolia Park neighborhood from 1 to 4 on Sunday.  The home is listed for $675,000; you can see more pictures on my site at under "Featured Properties." Yes, you'll have time to visit Porto's, do some shopping on Magnolia Blvd., view our house and still be home in time to watch the red carpet activity for the Oscars.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Ask me anything: I want to get pre-approved by a mortgage lender. What documents will my lender need from me?

If you wish to buy a home and need a loan, a mortgage lender's preapproval is pretty essential.  You'll need that preapproval in writing before you make a purchase offer.  Most lenders need the following:
- 2 most recent pay stubs
- Last 2 years' w-2s and/or 1099's
- Last 2 years' federal tax return with all pages and corporate returns
- 2 most recent consecutive months' bank statements for all asset bank accounts
- For borrowers with corporations, a "profit and loss" statement for the business
This seems like a lot, I know. But that's because a) you are borrowing hundreds of thousands of dollars, and b) you probably have this paperwork scattered all over your house.  So, if you're thinking of buying in the near future, now -- especially since it's tax time anyway -- is a good time to assemble your paperwork.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

I'm in the top 5% of Realtors for John Aaroe Group

Agent rankings just came out and I'm in the top 5% of all John Aaroe Group Realtors and in the top 10 for our office.  Those of you who get the L.A. Times will see my picture on Sunday.  Thanks to all of you clients that helped make this possible.

Friday, February 21, 2014

New Burbank home for sale at 848 N. Avon in Magnolia Park!

I'm thrilled about my new listing at 848 N. Avon, in the Magnolia Park area of Burbank.  It will list on Monday for $675,000.  The first open house is next Sunday, March 2, from 1 to 4.  Please call me for showings.

Interactive FloorPlan Presentation

This Tudor revival has been wonderfully expanded while maintaining beloved vintage details.  Right across from outstanding, award-winning (and public) Roosevelt Elementary and in the heart of Burbank’s hip Magnolia Park. 3 beds, 2 baths, 1774 sf, spacious kitchen is perfect for multiple cooks and lots of gear, character dining room, master suite with French doors to backyard deck plus updated bathroom with spa tub.  Transitional design includes newer light fixtures, breakfast bar, skylights, original plus newer windows, hardwood floors throughout, fireplace.  Tons of storage including attic space in house plus loft in garage.  Separate deck overlooks large, green backyard, refreshed landscaping, and a built-in barbecue.  House is super-close to all area attractions -- this area was recently flatteringly described by website Gawker as Burbank’s Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Gourmet in Studio City's Tujunga Village/Woodbridge Park area: Girasol

I met a friend here at Girasol, in my new neighborhood, for a glass of wine last night (they only have wine).  We met when the restaurant opened at 6:00.  By 6:15, it was full.  Did we eat? No, but with that kind of crowd, it has to be good.  It's really the only restaurant in the Tujunga Village area besides Vitello's that offers a high-end restaurant experience.  I'll report back once I actually eat there -- if we can even get a reservation.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Ask me anything: what do homeowners association dues cover?

If you buy a condo or townhome, you will likely pay dues to your homeowners' association.  What do your dues cover? The big items are hazard and liability insurance, and management company costs (if you have a management company -- somebody has to write the checks).  Dues also cover building maintenance, exterior power and gas, general swimming pool maintenance, gardening, any municipal fees, and garbage pickup.  I tell my clients that the amount you spend in dues usually equals the amount you spend on maintenance and upkeep for a single family home.

Coming next week! A home for sale RIGHT ACROSS the street from Burbank's award winning Roosevelt Elementary school

I published this a few weeks ago, but it's worth publishing again as the 3+2 home will be on the market next week.

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, February 15, 2014

More urban wildlife at my new Studio City home

This possum was just sitting on our back wall tonight.  I saw him/her last night as well. It was sitting in the glow of an outside floodlight.  I don't know much about possums -- is it unusual for wild animals to expose themselves in the light like this? Is this possum okay? Possum experts, please let me know.

Two weeks ago, I saw this guy/girl on the same wall:
I love our urban wildlife!

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Ask me anything! How much of a mortgage interest deduction can I actually expect? What will I save in taxes?

How much of a tax savings will you get when you finance your new home through a home loan? Only your tax preparer can tell you exactly what deductions you can take and what tax savings you'll receive, but here's a good rule of thumb: for every three dollars that you pay in interest on your mortgage loan, you'll get back one dollar in taxes.  One of three.  But again, only your tax preparer can give you the true amount.

Monday, February 10, 2014

4327 Greenbush Ave., Sherman Oaks and the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. What does one have to do with the other? Read on.

My latest house crush is on the new listing at 4327 Greenbush (click link for more pics) in Sherman Oaks.  This new construction, 5+6, 4500 sf is a knock-out.  You'd expect that for the asking price of $2,389,000, no? Sweeping entry with high ceilings, sunny exposure everywhere, huge kitchen with panty AND a butler's pantry, a wine room -- yes, room -- saltwater pool with fountains, a master bedroom with workstation and wine refrigerator, master closet bigger than my first apartment, balconies...and on and on.  Systems are electronic, and can be controlled from your device thingy.

Of course, the decorating details are all really glamorous.  It looks like like the stagers for the Architectural Digest cover photo shoot just left.  As you'll see from the pictures, this house is painted in shades of grey, sand, brown and white, with white marble kitchen countertops, arches, engineered hardwood, lots of glass, and crystal chandeliers.

Here's the dog part. In honor of Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, which airs tonight and tomorrow, I pick the dog that would most "go" with the decor:
Yes, a perfectly groomed, pure bred, white standard poodle.  This animal is as elegant as the house and is thematically matchy-matchy with the interior.  (But please adopt shelter dogs if you need a pet.)

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Ask me anything: can student loan debt affect your ability to get a home mortgage?

Can student loan debt affect your ability to get a home mortgage?  Yes, because it's part of your entire financial picture.  And it seems that most people's student loan debt is soaring.  However, only your lender can tell you for sure.  Other factors about your income and finances may outweigh your debt.  Remember, when you choose a lender, go local and go for a direct lender.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

984 Riverside #2, Burbank is open Saturday and Sunday. Please come visit!

I'll be helping listing agent Rose Osman with her open house this Saturday at 984 Riverside, #2 in the Burbank Rancho.  Here's the link for the virtual tour of this beautiful 3+3, 1635 sf, 3 story townhome.  Please watch; it's gorgeous. And, for horse lovers, horse stalls are available! The unit is listed at $559,950 and we'll be there from 1 to 4 on Saturday.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Ask me anything! First up: what size mortgage loan can I qualify for?

What can you qualify for? I don't know.  How's that? Only a local mortgage person can tell you that after looking at your income (and how you earn it), your credit score, and your debt-to-income ratios.  I highly recommend selecting a local, direct lender or credit union.  Many online-only lenders will promise the moon and then not deliver.  You'll want somebody that you can go "live" with, who will be responsive to your calls and answer all of your questions.  If you'd like some lender recommendations, please visit the "Local Partners" page on my website at  It's under the "Resources" tab.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

12626 Rye Street, Studio City - coolest house on Realtor caravan today

This is the interior of 12626 Rye Street in Studio City.  It's for sale and has been recently been redone by Better Shelter, the folks with all the cool flips on the Eastside. Described as a "coastal modern traditonal," it has 3 beds, 2 baths, 2 bonus rooms, 1700 sf and a pool.  Listing price is $1,199,000. If for no other reason, it's worth seeing for the great flea market/transitional interior design.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Another discovery in my new Studio City neighborhood - Stout Burgers and Beers

One of the things I love about my new Studio City neighborhood is its many dining choices.

My latest "find" is the Studio City location of Stout Burgers and Beers.  By now, you're probably thinking, "Please God not another gastropub" But this one is different.  First, the burger I had was terrific.  This place grinds their own beef every day and the superior quality is evident.  The burgers are better than Umami.  Really.  And not too pricey -- most of the burgers are $10 or $11.  Of course, there are more beer choices than you can shake a stick at and -- be still my heart -- they're only $4 during happy hour!!! The wine choices are very good for a gastropub and I had a very good Spanish red for only $8.  The husband had a veggie burger which was okay but a little crumbly.  Service was great, the room has a nice ambience, great place to watch a game, etc, etc. If all this isn't enough, they even have a parking lot. I'm not being snarky; parking lots for restaurants are rare in Studio City.  The lot is small, though, so get there early before the valet shows up.

Stay tuned for other local finds and please feel free to tell me about your favorite places in the east Valley.  Anybody know of a good drive-through car wash in SC?