Sunday, January 17, 2016

From today's L.A. Times: L.A.'s hottest zip codes

Today's LAT has published an article called L.A.'s hottest zip codes. It details the areas with the greatest home price appreciation in 2015.  No surprise: both the east side and the beach areas saw the greatest gains.  Also no surprise: a lot of the home sale price appreciation in these areas reflect prices for smaller homes.  Developers are buying these smaller homes at a premium, tearing them down and putting up much larger homes.  Anyway, re the east side, Lincoln Heights and Elysian Valley (which used to be called Frog Town) saw home sale prices rise 14.6% -- and the median price there is still a relatively low $458,500.  (And by the way, if you're looking for a house on the east side, I can help you.)  Of course, Marina Del Rey's and Manhattan Beach's price have much higher median prices.  Toluca Lake/Studio City was listed as well, with a median price appreciation of 3.2%.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Coolest, most affordable house on today's caravan: 10400 McCormick in Toluca Terrace

On today's caravan, I checked out several homes for sale in Studio City, Sherman Oaks, Valley Village and the Toluca Lake area.  The coolest house, and the most affordable one at $759,000, is 10400 McCormick, located in tiny Toluca Terrace.  This home has lots of original charm, top-notch maintenance and upgrades, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, plenty of closets, a nice backyard, two-car garage, PLUS a complete guest house with 3/4 bath and kitchen, pictured below.  (I don't know about permits.)

My other favorite features of McCormick include the kitchen table which folds into the wall (pictured below), outside fire pit, gorgeous quiet street and stellar location. Toluca Terrace is bordered by Magnolia, Chandler, Pass and Cahuenga.  If you're a home buyer looking for a combination of cool style, price, condition and location, McCormick might be for you.

Friday, January 08, 2016

Listing your home for sale? Here's an easy way to make it smell really g-o-o-d

Happy new year! If you're showing your home for sale, it always helps if it smells really nice.  You already know the tricks of baking cookies (save me some), lighting scented candles, sending Fido and Puff to daycare, etc. You may know about this too, but if not, here's something even easier -- homemade potpourri. (Thanks, Serafina Magnussen!)

In a medium pot, put a few cinnamon sticks (not the ground kind pictured above; I just didn't have any sticks today), some whole nutmeg pods, whole cloves, orange peel or lemon peel, cover with water and simmer.  After a few minutes, your home will smell really wonderful.  You don't have to keep it simmering for long as the scent will linger, and you can reuse the same mixture over and over -- just make sure to add more water before you simmer. You might even like to do this when you're not showing your house.

A couple of other hints: feel free to experiment with savory spices, bay leaves, rosemary twigs, apple peels, etc.  And cinnamon sticks in the Hispanic section of your grocery store are half the price of the ones on the spice aisle.  Happy home selling.