Friday, March 15, 2019

Is your personal info safe during a real estate transaction? Probably not.

As we all know, data collection and privacy issues are a real problem these days.  Data sales are a big, big business, and several national real estate brokerages now admit to being in the business of selling data.  The good news is there are lots of state and federal laws to protect your privacy.  See California's

But some of your info can still be sold.  How can your real estate company, escrow company, bank or title company protect you from having your data sold? First, review the company's privacy policy and ask questions.  The company may be able to furnish you with an opt-out form.  Second, ask if data and files are stored in an online platform.  Some online platforms are theoretically safe (such as your lender's), but some are furnished to third party companies.  If the company does store the info, again ask for an opt-out form or ask if it can be stored in another manner.  Finally, make sure that you are on the do-not-call registry, although this is no guarantee that you won't get annoying calls soliciting your business.  A client of mine recently got about six calls from every five minutes from Realtors who wanted her business.  And her phone number was unpublished.  Her mother got calls too, even though her number is also unpublished and she doesn't even live with her daughter!  (By the way, the info was furnished to Realtors by a company called -- steer clear!)

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Wonderful L.A. architecture -- the Stahl house

Are you interested in Los Angeles residential architecture? I was privileged enough yesterday to tour the iconic Stahl house.  You've likely seen tons of pics of this place, including the famous picture above.  It was built by Pierre Koenig in 1960 in the Hollywood Hills and featured a completely modern design of steel and glass.  It opens to a panoramic view of Los Angeles as well.  If you are interested in taking a Los Angeles architecture tour, you may want to sign up for Meetup's L.A. Architecture and Art tours.  No, these are not free, but these small group tours are lead by professional docents and expert educators.  You can see more pics on my Facebook page: Facebook/judygraffrealtor. In the picture below, I am sitting in the same spot as the woman in the picture above.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

2 communities to consider for midcentury modern homes

Is your heart set on a midcentury modern home? That's kind of affordable? Consider both Northridge and Granada Hills in the San Fernando Valley, among other places. C'mon, they are not that far away!  And both communities offer great public schools.  There are other communities that have many of these builds too -- look for So. Cal. areas that were developed in the 1950s and 1960s, when midcentury home building was in its heyday.  These houses don't come on the market everyday, tho. So if you are seriously looking to purchase, you'll need to jump.  Please call me if you need help.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Ugliest house of the year? You are kidding, right?

I'm printing this article from today's Inman almost in its entirety. This is the worst this company has seen? Ok, it looks like they cooked meth in the bathtub, but it in no way is the ugliest or worst condition house that I've ever seen.  Actually, the living room appears to have lots of character.  This flipper did do a nice job, though.  I always wondered who was behind the "We Buy Ugly Houses" flyers on telephone poles.

See the 'Ugliest House of the Year' and its glorious renovation

The 'We Buy Ugly Houses' company gave the award to a 1,700-square-foot Tudor-style home in Queens, New York City that underwent a serious makeover
The honor went to a property purchased last fall by HomeVestors’ franchisee Nyath Properties, as a run-down 1,700-square-foot Tudor-style home in Queens, New York.
HomeVestors reported that the home won the most votes from the American public out of thousands of home makeovers completed by HomeVestors franchisees.
The Queens home had a giant hole in the bedroom ceiling, “destroyed bathrooms, and less-than-habitable conditions throughout,” HomeVestors said.
Performing a resurrection of sorts, the HomeVestors franchisee gutted the house while salvaging the wood floors and exposed beams. It then replaced “everything else,” including sheetrock, windows, electrical wiring and panels, bathrooms, basement floors and the kitchen.
A bedroom of 2018’s The Ugliest Home of the Year when the property was first purchased by a HomeVestors franchisee.
The same bedroom after renovations.
The home’s living room after its purchase.
The living room after renovations.
“We purchased this house from a seller who had been struggling with a sick family member that had lived in it for years, and who was grateful to find a way ‘out’ of dealing with the property,” said Steve Papadakis, who runs Nyath Properties with Michael Gatzonis, in a statement.
“The seller didn’t have the time or resources to improve it to a condition that traditional sellers would consider. But, we were able to give her cash to get her out of her ugly situation, and were beyond thrilled with the chance to work our makeover magic.”
The home’s kitchen pre-rehab.
The home’s kitchen after renovations.
The pre-rehab bathroom.
The post-rehab bathroom.
More than 1,000 HomeVestors affiliates operate in 168 markets across the country, typically hawking all-cash offers with the come-on “We Buy Ugly Houses,” and vacuuming up thousands of properties every year.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

From Sunday's L.A. Times: a lot of potential home buyers are sitting on the sidelines

Sunday's L.A. Times had a really interesting article about how some home shoppers are calling it quits, believing that prices have peaked.  Read the entire article here.  Here are some of the more pertinent quotes:

"A belief that the price slowdown will lead to a price drop could become a self-fulfilling prophecy, experts said."

"Many who are struggling to afford a home in California would welcome a significant price drop, if it wasn’t accompanied by an economic collapse. But experts say such a prospect is unlikely, given that homes don’t appear to be in oversupply. The state has a well-documented housing shortage."

"Other factors argue against a crash. The California economy is still posting robust job growth,despite the shadow of a trade war with China, which has become a big market for goods produced in the state. Whereas last decade’s housing boom and bust were driven by questionable lending, loan standards are much tighter today. And as much as prices have risen, the jump hasn’t been as sharp as it was in the early to mid-2000s.

“We don’t have a debt problem. We don’t have an overbuilding problem. We don’t have an economic problem — prices are not going to fall,” said Christopher Thornberg, founding partner of Beacon Economics, who called last decade’s housing crash".

Friday, January 18, 2019

Watch us grow again! Reuben Pacheco has just joined Judy Graff Properties

I am thrilled to announce that ace agent Reuben Pacheco has just joined Judy Graff Properties.  I have known Reuben for years and he is more experienced than 95% of the agents working today.  He has forgotten more than I even know.  Reuben has a subspecialty in architecture and estates, and that knowledge will be a welcome addition to our toolbox here at JGP.  Reuben can be reached at 1-213-804-4245 (domestic/international) or Here's Reuben's bio:

Reuben Pacheco Bio
Thank you for taking a moment to hear my message. My first career choice was to become a Real Estate Professional and in 1986, at age 16;  I began working in a large Westside office as a Receptionist then 6 months later was promoted to Office Administrator. Being an eager and aggressive person, I quickly rose to Office Manager. By 1988 at 18 years of age, I took the leap of faith and became a licensed Realtor.

In my 32 plus years working as a real estate professional, I’ve only worked for a couple of brokerages which, in my line of profession, is unusual. Being self-motivated and self-sufficient at my work, I tend to hang my hat at a company for many years.

By 1993 and at the age of 23, I decided that I wanted to own my own brokerage and did so, by joint venture, with a mortgage company. For 17 years;  I was an independent Broker working with high-net-worth individuals and selling multi-million-dollar properties throughout the Hollywood Hills, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills & Miracle Mile areas.

In 2011; I was invited to join the esteemed John Aaroe Group as an Architectural Agent. Over the years John Aaroe Group became Pacific Union and finally Compass. Being an Architectural Agent means, I have sold a high-dollar volume of properties with a significant pedigree — which classifies me as a Top Producing Agent ranking in the Top 10 % company-wide and ranking within the Top 2% of real estate agents nationwide.

Over the years, I’ve broadened my talents with skills such as mortgage banking, buying and selling both domestic and internationally, rehabbing and flipping properties, commercial sales / leasing along with training and coaching new agents.

Recently, Judy Graff with Judy Graff Properties has recognized my successes and talents with an offer I couldn’t refuse.  As of January 2019, I will be an Architectural and Estates Director with the esteemed Judy Graff Properties, located in Studio City.  I couldn’t be more pleased to work with such a sophisticated and educated group of well-seasoned professionals and associate my name with the many talented at JGPs. I’m more excited and invigorated than I have ever been before knowing my association with JGP will grant me greater access to more Buyers and Sellers interested in the Architectural and Estates Homes arena and extend my reach as an agent with a more robust domestic and international marketplace.

My outlook is simple: I love my Real Estate career and all the wonderful opportunities it has offered me.  If you feel there is a match between us, I’d very much like to chat with you and see if I can be of assistance. I am here to help!

–Reuben Pacheco

Monday, January 07, 2019

Coming this week -- 12930 Valleyheart #3, Studio City

Ready for a quiet nest in a stellar location? This one bedroom, one bath condo has what you're looking for.  It features a large kitchen, dining area, fireplace, wet bar, sunny exposures, a European-style washer/dryer unit, extra storage, and a huge patio (we will all be barbecuing soon, I promise).  Plus, the building also has a large laundry room.  The proactive HOA has done lots of recent upgrades to the building, too.  This home is listed at $449,000.

This unit is not only quiet and private, but it's on one of the loveliest, greenest streets in the SFV -- Valleyheart.  The street runs right along the river trail.  But for those who desire a little more action, the building is one block from all of the attractions that Ventura Boulevard in Studio City has to offer, including restaurants, stores, shopping and recreational opportunities.

We will be open from 1:00 to 4:00 on Saturday, Jan. 12, and also open from 11:00 to 1:30 on Tuesday, the 15th.  Please call me if you'd like to schedule a showing at another time.