Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Coming next week - 4+3+den in Valley Village

This inviting home will be on the market next week.  It features 4 beds, 3 baths and a den -- more pics coming soon -- and exudes original charm.  It is in a fantastic Valley Village location close to the Whitsett/Oxnard area and is on a quiet cul-de-sac.  Best of all, it will be listed for $725,000.  Here's your chance to snag a big, mid-east-SFV home at a great price! Contact me for more details, showings, etc.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Upcoming Noho listing is having an estate sale tomorrow. Here's your chance to see it before it goes on the market.

A few days ago, I mentioned an upcoming listing in North Hollywood.  You have an opportunity to see it tomorrow, Saturday, before it even goes on the market! The address is 7720 Goodland in North Hollywood and it's a 3+2.  It used to be a 4+2, but one bedroom was converted to a dining room.  It needs decorating and/or remodeling, but it's a steal at $399,000.  Large vintage kitchen, big living room with fireplace, sizeable master suite, beamed ceilings, separate 2 car garage, green backyard and a a lovely, quiet pocket of North Hollywood.

You can preview the listing at tomorrow's estate sale, conducted by estate sale manager extraordinaire Lara Nethery.  That's one of Lara's pictures above, and here's Lara's blurb:
This quaint home is all about vintage and mid century! Mostly art, furniture, electronics and collectibles. Please see my craigslist ad for more info and pictures. 

Hope to see you!! 

7720 Goodland Avenue
North Hollywood, CA 91605

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Eight Studio City revelations

Exactly a year ago, I moved from Burbank to Studio City.  Although I was quite familiar with Studio City already, here are eight things that I've learned this past year about my new neighborhood.

1.  The L.A. River is really the L.A. Slot.  The only water in it is in the little narrow channel in the center unless it pours rain.

2.  Halloween is a really big deal here.  Some of the houses in the neighborhood are decorated like movie sets, and it's really fun to see.  No other holiday has quite the presence in the neighborhood as Halloween.

3. Jinky's Studio Cafe provides an essential service.  Perhaps not quite as essential as LADWP, but...

4.  IMO however, Aroma has the best French toast and Dupars has the best pancakes.

5.  If I live 100 years, I'll never make it to all the sushi restaurants here.

6.  Almost everybody here is nice, at least the people that I've met.  That's pretty important when you're a door-knocking Realtor.  And just about everybody in the single family homes here has at least one dog.

7.  The Trader Joe's parking lot is the most treacherous TJ's parking lot ever.  If you shop at any Trader Joes, you will know that the competition is very heavy.

8.  It is relatively easy to get people involved in community concerns such as (over)development and crime issues.  Good thing, that.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Coming next month but I can show it now: North Hollywood 4+2

Early next month, I will be listing a 4 bed, 2 bath home in a really nice residential section of North Hollywood.  It has been in the same family for years and needs updating and decorating, but the rooms are spacious and the house is ripe for a new family's vision.  It has a covered patio, family room, fireplace, and big back yard.  Here's the best part: it will list for about $400,000.  With the new 3% down payments and low interest rates, here's a wonderful opportunity for folks who otherwise thought they might not be able to buy a home this year.  No pictures yet, but I can show it to qualified buyers.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Another good Yelp review -- thanks, N&L!

I just helped N&L buy their first home.  We had a lot of challenges and a lot of laughs, too.  Here's their Yelp testimonial.  I am so grateful that they became my clients as they were wonderful to work with.

As I pick the obvious 5 stars Judy deserves Yelp is informing me that the meaning of this rating is 'Woohoo! As good as it gets!' and I couldn't agree more.

Buying a home can be an overwhelming and confusing undertaking at times, especially your first home. Having Judy on our team made all the difference in the world. She is a true professional, knowledgeable and has an incredibly creative approach that really helps her clients stand out from the myriad of other people bidding for that one property - especially in this competitive market. But more impressive than all of that is how much genuine care and importance she places on making sure her clients are educated during the process and that they get what they need. 

One of my favorite things about working with Judy is her sense of calm. She maintains a serenity that cuts through the challenges that are bound to pop up when buying a home. She is a source of protection and safety while at the same time being an incredibly forceful advocate for her clients. This is a very efficient mix! Judy is able to pull this off while keeping all interactions between the parties friendly and respectful. 

I guess the main thing I am taking from my experience with Judy is that she truly loves what she does and it really shows (in both how she treats her clients and the results she gets for them). I would not go with anyone else in any future real estate dealings because, as Yelp stated, Judy is 'as good as it gets'. Thanks for everything Judy. You're amazing!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Good news for buyers re low down payments and lower mortgage insurance! And a teeny bit of bad news.

As you may know, low down payment loans are back.  Yes, 3%-down conventional loans (not just FHA loans) are available to buyers.  Before anybody gets all "slippery slope" on me, think about this: in L.A. and the SFV, with average home prices hovering around $500,000 to $600,000 for modest homes, who has $100k to put down on one? Or even $50k? Not young buyers, who are usually saddled with debt from student loans, have been paying high rent, and are usually salaried a little lower than older buyers.  Not move-up buyers, who have been paying a good part of their salaries for their existing homes and haven't been able to save.  (Only one buyer has to be a first-time buyer.)  Here's an article from Forbes about the new program.  Also, it's almost impossible to get a condo complex FHA-approved -- there will be far fewer condo approval issues with the new lower conventional loans.

And if that weren't enough, mortgage insurance has been lowered, too!  As many of you know, this is the premium that you pay if your down payment and loan-to-value is lower than 20%.  Here's an article from the Chicago Tribune about it.  I've always thought this was a rip-off -- this insurance sure didn't help anybody that was in trouble with their mortgage during the 2008-2009 recession.  But anyway, it's lower now, and will help buyers.

Here's the teeny bit of bad news for those of you buyers that live here.  It will still be hard to get a low-down loan accepted by your seller if you're in a multiple offer situation.  That's because sellers perceive -- rightfully so -- that high-down loans have a better chance of closing.  There are other ways to make your offer stand out, though, and we'll discuss that in future posts.

Friday, January 02, 2015

The saga of poor little 11485 Moorpark #17 in Studio City

This semi-charming townhouse was listed by me back in early October and finally sold in December after three, yes, three escrows.  Although it is only a little over 1000 feet and needs some upgrades, it has two bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms, and two balconies.  Best of all, it's in Tujunga Village.  Because of the needed repairs, we listed it at $399k, which was $10,000 the most recent (and smaller) sale in the building.  You'd think it would fly off the shelves, right? Everybody wants to live in Studio City and that's an excellent price, right?

We had lots of activity the first few days and got three offers.  Two were over $400k, and we picked one.  Those buyers backed out after their inspection.  Too much work for them, even though the price was right.   Dang.  Three weeks later, we received another offer.  A brand-new Realtor was the buyer.  I should have had a hunch that she wasn't sincere when she seemed more interested in a lower price than the actual condo.  She danced us around for awhile and finally cancelled after almost three weeks. Ugh.

But -- one of the original of the three would-be buyers noticed that we were back on the market and reinstated her original offer! Her offer had been $390 and the sellers took it.  The escrow went relatively smoothly and she closed just before Xmas for $390.  I hope she'll be very happy in her new home.  I loved working with my sellers, too.  Takeaway: Surprise! Even properties in hot areas at low prices can languish on the market.