Wednesday, September 20, 2017

5 Ways You Can Help Protect Yourself From Fraud

  I'm sure by now you've heard about the breach of Equifax.  Millions of people have potentially had their personal information leaked which can include everything from your name, address and social security number. You can check to see if you may have been effected here Equifax

In real estate, there is a lot of personal information needed to get a loan, sell your home, and even rent. So it's always a good idea to proactively protect yourself as much as possible even if you weren't effected by the Equifax breach. Here are some ways you can do that.

1. Create an online account with the Social Security Administration. 
Most people don't think to do this until you near the age of retirement but with all your information possibly out there in someone else's hands, it's best to go ahead and do this before someone else does it in your name. Here is the website or you can google it on your own. Social Security Administration

2. Run a yearly credit check
It's always good to check your credit once a year.  Not only for knowing if any fraud has happened with your credit but also just for any mistakes that might be on there. There are many credit card, banks and other companies that provide this service for their customers to check your score. There are also services online that can run your credit score for free but it's best to get the full credit report when looking for potential errors.

3. Freeze your credit
When you freeze your credit it prevents anyone from being able to check your credit which also prevents anyone from opening up any accounts such a, credit card, in your name.  You have to freeze it with all three and then unfreeze it when you need to use your credit for things applications to rent or getting loans. Here are the websites for each credit bureau.
Equifax Security Freeze 
Transunion Credit Lock

4. Freeze your children's credit too
People often forget their babies can be at risk for social security fraud too.  And no one would be the wiser if anyone was using your children's social security number until they apply for their first line of credit or move out of home around 18 years old. So don't forget to monitor and/or freeze their's as well.

5. Monitor your taxes online
CPA's and tax accountants legally have to check your ID now when you go to have your taxes done because this is such a large problem these days.  Having someone file a tax return in your name is more common than you think. You can monitor payouts and your tax history at this website IRS

Monday, September 18, 2017

Just Sold In Stevenson's Ranch

I know what you’re thinking. Why would someone who knows this area call it “Stevenson’s”?

That’s what I thought too when the appraiser called me asking for an appointment to come and give his expert opinion on the value of my listing.  And I wasn’t having it.  See, I live in the neighborhood and know which streets are more desirable for buyers.  And what a view can add to the value.  Also, why having a pool plus yard space can be harder to find and therefore add even more value to a home. 
Not only do I live in the neighborhood,  I do a lot of work in the San Fernando Valley…and guess where most of your buyers are coming from?

Call me today to set up an appointment to see what I can do for you when you are ready to sell your home.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Are All Lenders Equal?

Now, if you want to know why, keep reading.

I'm closing on a property this week.  And the buyer (who is my client and using one of my preferred lenders) had a challenging loan.  What is a challenging loan, you ask? Well, let's look at the list of what makes a loan "Not too Challenging" below and we will compare that to the list of ones that are challenging:

Not Challenging Loan Types
1. You work a 9-5 type job you've been at for years, have 20% down, bring in quadruple what your mortgage would be, have no other debts or loans, credit score is above 700 and don't need to sell/rent a current home.

Challenging Loan Types
1. You owe money on a student loan
2. You owe money for a car or credit card
3. You work a 9-5 but don't make quadruple what your mortgage will be
4. You work for yourself
5. You work multiple jobs
6. You don't work even though you have a lot of money
7. You're retired
8. You currently own a home and will rent it or sell it when you buy another
9. You're getting a "gift" of money to help with the down payment
.....and on and on and on

Most people fall into the second category.

And just about every lender out there will tell you they can get your loan done for you and the sad, and stressful thing of this is....what if they can't?  Just because they tell you they can, doesn't make it so.  And who has the most to loose if they don't get your loan done?  The home we are closing this week wasn't super complicated but every loan has it's hurdles. The lender I worked with is someone I've worked with for years and he is extremely good at what he does.  And I know,  if any fly-by-night lender was working on this, my buyer would have lost a lot.  So please, when you are going to buy a home, ask your agent for some recommendations of someone they've worked with before and know are going to get the job done. It's for your protection and sanity that you do:)


Monday, July 10, 2017

How Much Does Your Agent's Reputation Really Matter?

The reason I'm writing this post today is because I just closed 2 escrows where the agent's reputation got them the deal.  One was on a listing I had.  I called someone I already knew who worked in the office of the agent that wrote the offer and asked for some insight on him.  I got good feedback, accepted his offer and the deal went smooth.  While working for some buyers of mine, I submitted an offer where the listing agent called someone in my office to ask about me.  The person they asked gave good feedback, our offer was accepted and again, the deal went smooth.  Two back-to-back cases where an agent's reputation got them their clients a home.
So you're thinking about working with an agent and you don't know them personally?  You've seen their flyers or their photo on your local bus bench.  Maybe they do a lot of local business so you think they are good to work with based on these things, right?  Don't be so quick to act on that.  Who you are working with is who is representing you in any given transaction.  And there are things about that agent you may not see or know.  Maybe they are known for being unprofessional and not returning messages and phone calls. Or maybe they have a reputation of being difficult to work with (and you can be a great negotiator without being a difficult agent, in case you were wondering).  Be warned, if you have an agent like this, it can hurt your chances of selling or buying a home.  And if you get in to escrow with a difficult agent, you may feel a lot of unnecessary drama and stress.
Of course you're wondering "How do I know if this agent has a bad reputation?"  You most likely wouldn't.  But use your instincts.  Are they professional with you?  Do you get a good feeling from them that they are going to work for you and not for themselves? Maybe stop by an open house they are at and see how they are interacting with people and other agents that come in.
Call me if you are thinking of buying or selling.  I'm always here to help

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Where to See Fireworks In LA 2017

July 3rd- Firework shows in 2 harbors at sundown.
Annual 4th of July Parade, Fireworks Display, Dinner at the Casino
Gold cart parade down Crescent Ave starts at 1PM.
Fireworks start at 9PM over Avalon Bay
1 Casino Way
Avalon, CA 90704
(310) 510-1520 

Starlight Bowl - July 4th An American Celebration
1249 Lockheed View Dr.
Burbank, CA 91505
Gates open at 4:30 p.m.
Concert includes The Company Men And Groveline
Purchase tickets online or at the Community Services Building, located at 150 North Third Street. 

Cabrillo Beach
Cabrillo Beach 3720 Stephen M. White Drive, San Pedro, CA 90731
For the 67th Annual 4th of July Spectacular
Cabrillo Beach will host a free 4th of July Celebration and Fireworks show.

Calabasas High School
Gates open at 5 p.m., with fireworks at 9 p.m.
Celebration includes live music, rides, crafts and games
2855 W. Mulholland Highway
Calabasas, CA 91302
$10 admission price includes parking, entertainment and all activities
Tickets must be purchased in advance 

StubHub Center
Soccer game and fireworks 
LA Galaxy vs. Real Salt Lake
Game starts at 7:30 p.m., fireworks to follow
18400 S Avalon Blvd
Carson, CA 90746

Let Freedom Ring Celebration
Begins at 4 p.m., with fireworks at 9 p.m.
Cerritos Civic Center
18125 Bloomfield Ave.
Cerritos, CA 90703
(562) 916-1254

4th of July Festival & Contests
Memorial Park
840 N. Indian Hill Blvd.
Claremont, CA 91711
The day will be filled with a festival of games, concert, food, fun, parade and fireworks

Culver City
West LA College
9000 Overland Ave
Culver City, CA 90230
(310) 287-4200
Date: July 4, 2017 at 4pm

Diamond Bar
 Diamond Bar High School
21400 Pathfinder Road
Diamond Bar, California 91765

Downtown Los Angeles
4rth of July Block Party in Grand Park
200 North Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(323) 887-4427
Attendance is free, event begins at 2 p.m.

Rowley Park (Baseball Field)
13220 S. Van Ness Ave.
(310) 217-9537
Fireworks begin at 9 p.m.

Hansen Dam
11770 Foothill Blvd.
Lake View Terrace, CA 91342
featuring music and other live entertainment, food, and fireworks.
10 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.;
Event is free to the public
(818) 891-9399

Hollywood Bowl
2301 North Highland Ave
July 2, 2017, 7:30 p.m.
July 3, 2017, 7:30 p.m
JULY 4th 2017 with Pentatonix

(323) 850-2000

Irwindale Park
4th of July Fiesta and Fireworks Spectacular
Fiesta begins at noon, Firewroks at 9 p.m.
(626) 430-2224

La Crescenta
Tickets are $7 pre-sale and $10 at the gate. It is recommended to buy them early
Food, rides and music by Stinky Felix. Gates open, 4 p.m.; fireworks, after 9 p.m. Admission $7 until July 3; $10; free for ages 7 and younger (first come, first served at the gate on July 4). Check website for advance ticket sale locations (recommended). Crescenta Valley High School, 2900 Community Ave.
(818) 248-2271

4-7:00 p.m.   Entertainment and food outside of Grandstand area
7:00 p.m.      Professional Bull Riders Touring Pro Division
7-8:30 p.m.   Entertainment in grass area outside grandstands
9:30 p.m.      Free Fireworks Show*

Long Beach 
Fireworks cruise:
Tickets are about $45 dollars ages 3 and up; Boarding approximately 7:30 pm. Cruise approximately 2-2 1/2 hrs. in length. To purchase tickets please:
Call (562) 983-6880,

The Queen Mary All-american July 4th                                                                                                   A day of entertainment for the whole family ends with a giant fireworks extravaganza. Event begins at 2PM. General Admission $44.

Marina del Rey
Fireworks begin at 9 p.m. and are launched from barge across the Marina's main channel
9:15 p.m.
Burton Chace Park (13650 Mindanao Way) and Fisherman's Village (13755 Fiji Way) are premier viewing locations
Parking fees range from $7 - $15
(310) 305-9545

Pacific Palisades
Begin your day with a 5k/10k cross-country run.
At 2 PM, our world-famous community parade is consistently one of the best places to show your patriotism in our big city.
To finish the day, join us for evening concerts, food trucks, and world famous fireworks.

"Americafest 2016" at Rose Bowl Stadium
1001 Rose Bowl Dr.
Pasadena, CA 91103
10:00 AM – Military Spouse Day of Pampering
12:00 PM – Parking Lots Open
2:00 PM – Family Fun Zone- Area H Opens
5:00PM – VIP Reception Doors Open
5:30 PM – Doors Open
7:00 PM – Performances Begin
9:00 PM – Fireworks BeginTickets: $15 - General (5 and under free), $30 - Reserved
(626) 577-3100

Pomona Fairplex
1101 W. McKinley
It's the 31st annual fireworks spectacular at Fairplex.
Monster Truck and Big Air Freestyle Motocross 8 p.m.
The Human Cannonball will soar 150 feet through the air to keep the crowd on its feet! Parking is $10 at Gate 17 on Fairplex Dr. (gates open at 5 p.m.)
Combine your fireworks with a buffet - priced $28 to $58
Porter Ranch
Shepherd of the Hills Church
19700 Rinaldi Street
Porter Ranch
The Free festival and fireworks show at Shepherd of the Hills Church in Porter Ranch includes moon bounces and face painting for the children, an outdoor stage show as well as optional food purchases from over a dozen local food vendors; all capped off with a twenty-one-minute aerial fireworks display.
July 4, 4:00 p.m. – 10 p.m., Gates open at 4:00

Redondo Beach
100 Fisherman’s Wharf
Redondo Beach 90277

The City's 4th of July Parade begins at 10:00 am -12 pm 
Located on Valley Boulevard and Muscatel Avenue. It will feature cars, characters, floats, horses, and bands, so don't miss it!
Rosemead Park's Carnival & Food Vendors begins at 12 pm - 10:00 pm 
Live entertainment will begin at 4:00pm, and the day will end with a spectacular fireworks show at dusk.

San Pedro -
7-10 p.m. Celebrate the Fourth of July on the water! Tickets are $75 for adults, $25 for children. For more information, visit

Santa Clarita
festivities kick off with the Independence Day 5K and 10K
After the race and pancakes, residents can enjoy the annual Santa Clarita 4th of July Parade beginning at 9:00 a.m. in Old Town Newhall
Santa Clarita Fourth of July Fireworks Show at Westfield Valencia Town Center, starting at 9:15 p.m

Santa Monica
Am unable to find updated information on this event. Please visit website for updates

South Gate
4900 Southern Avenue
South Gate, CA 90280
Dazzling Fireworks Display starts at 9 pm on Baseball Diamond #1. For more information please call 323.563.5479

Stevenson Ranch
Dr. Richard Rioux Memorial Park
26233 W Faulkner Dr.
Stevenson Ranch, CA 91381
Festivities begin at 6 p.m., fireworks at 9 p.m.

Studio City
CBS Studio Center
4024 Radford Ave., Studio City, CA 91604
This is a fun-filled family festival featuring exhibits, music, food, fireworks, a children’s fun zone, and a business exposition in a back lot at CBS Studios.

Sunland Tujunga
Verdugo Hills High School Football Field
Tickets are just $8 – children 30″ and under get in free. Advance tickets can be purchased now for $6 each by clicking the button on the right. Advance tickets will be available until Monday, July 3.
(818) 352-3420

West Covina
1625 W Durness Street, West Covina, CA 91790
A Pancake Breakfast at 8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. at Hurst Ranch at 1227 S Orange Ave 
Family Fun Zone is from 1:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Beer Garden is from 1:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Woodland Hills
July 4th Fireworks Extravaganza
Warner Ranch Park
21820 Califa St.
Woodland Hills, 91367
PARKING: $20 – Park in any of the Warner Center structures between Topanga and Canoga or Califa and Oxnard. Over 20 food vendors, arts and crafts booths and a children’s play area for your enjoyment. COME EARLY!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Seller's Net Sheet

A net sheet is a breakdown of the costs associated with selling a home.   

What’s Good in the Hood? Six Ways to Check Your Neighborhood’s Vibe

I'm in another article regarding real estate. Check it Out

A Look Behind The Curtain As To How The Process of Multiple Offers Go From A Seller's Point Of View

We just accepted an offer on my listing on Enadia Way and I will give you a little insight as to how this process goes from our side when I get multiple offers.  This should be a very interesting read for the buyers out there wondering how this process looks from the seller's point of view. 

Every transaction is different as every seller and buyer's needs are different.  I really try to tailor each transaction to each clients' particular needs while staying in-tune with what is going on with the market.  I knew when we put this house up on the market that there was a deep shortage of homes that were move-in ready in the price range.  The sellers and I agreed on a price to list it at that would most likely draw in multiple offers. Along with pricing the home I did a lot of pre-market advertising including paid Facebook ads, a "coming soon" sign in the yard, Newsletter emails and going to office meetings to pitch the upcoming listing. This type of advertising gets the attention of buyers and their agents who have been out looking for a home just like this and allows them to plan to come see the home as soon as it hits the market.  The sellers have small children so I knew that showing appointments throughout the day and evening would be challenging.  We decided on 3 back-to-back open houses to try to consolidate the showings and make cleaning up and vacating the home a little easier on the family.  We had a huge crowd of people for each open house.  It's not always possible for buyer's agents to join them for open houses however, if a buyer is interested, it is always a good idea for the agent to reach out and ask what they seller is looking for and what to expect when submitting an offer.  I had a number of agents speak to me about this.  While it is still a strong seller's market and buyers are putting a strong effort into getting a home, it benefits no one to try and "wheel and deal" with prospective buyers.  I've seen strong buyers walking away from putting in offers or countering offers when it is perceived that they are being toyed with.  For this reason, I asked the buyer's agents to submit their best offer and we would just choose one.  It is very common these days for multiple buyers to submit offers and then receive a Multiple Counter Offer back that says "Best and Final".  This means you are blindly bidding against yourself and/or other buyers.  This can irritate many buyers and leaving them feeling at the mercy of the sellers.  It is my personal opinion to try to start off a transaction on a positive note and so that's why we did it this way instead.  We received at least 6 offers, some great, some good.  I don't just read offers for what they say the price will be, but also, how well the offer was put together.  I personally find it Very important that buyers work with agents that really know what they are doing because when they don't, it can show up right away in things such as how the offer is written. And the way in which a buyer's agent engages with me also makes a huge difference.  Best case scenario is to try to get a buyer with a good offer and an agent who seems to be professional and knowledgable.  I also prefer that buyers work with direct lenders.  They have more control over how the loan will go and although the loan process is a very behind-the-scenes thing, it can be very tricky and a seasoned direct lender will know how to navigate foreseeable problems the best.  In my experience, if you have a good agent and a good lender, that can speak volumes and sometimes go further than the price of an offer.  So we choose the offer we felt was most appropriate and from here on out, we hope for the best.  I hope this gives some good insight to buyers out there on what to do, or how things work from the other side when you are in a seller's market.
 If you or anyone you know is looking to buy or sell a home, please give me a call. I'm always here to help.  

Friday, April 7, 2017

Congratulations to my sellers Barbara And Craig on the sale of their first home

Congratulations to Barbara and Craig for the sale of their first home.  They got 8 offers and well over asking! Thanks for letting me help you on selling your home! 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

What A Million Dollars Buys You In LA in 2017

I've done this article before and I'm doing it again this year for homes in 2017.  Here are homes that sold for around $1 Million here in LA

This area has been growing in price year after year.  Surrounded by other well-to-do neighborhoods such as Playa Del Rey, Culver City, and Venice it is a great location for those who are working in the area or want to get to the beach quickly. 
This home is 1,400sqft with 3 bedrooms and 2 bath

West Adams
Before there was Beverly Hills, there was West Adams.  The homes were mostly built in the late 1800's to early 1900's and they are an architecturally historical place to see.  The area declined quite a bit for many years with other areas being being around Los Angeles that people turned to for living.  Thankfully people have been coming back here to live and bringing a revitalization to the neighborhood with the knowledge that it is close to Downtown LA, which also is being transformed, and the USC campus as well as it being a beautiful place for an amazing piece of LA's history. 
This home is almost 3,500 sqft with 5 Bedrooms and 4 Bathrooms

Eagle Rock
This neighborhood has been a sought-after place for many years for the creative types.  And there is a good reason why.  It has a wide variety of home styles, people, economic statuses, restaurants and other entertainment.  Sandwiched between Glendale and Pasadena and not too far from DTLA. 
This home has 1,700 Sqft with 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms

Burbank is it's own city within LA.  This means it has it's own school system separate from LA's.  Many people find this to be an appealing draw, especially when they are thinking about kids.  Other than the schools, it is very close to a number of different Studio lots where they film shows and movies. It also has an equestrian area where most of the homes have stables and owners can ride their horses to Griffith Park which is adjacent to the area.
This home has 1,690 sqft with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms

Sherman Oaks
Sherman Oaks is a neighborhood in the Valley. (technically the San Fernando Valley but the locals just say the Valley)  It includes homes in the hills and homes in more flat areas.  Sherman Oaks and surrounding neighborhoods have long been home to many celebrity types who wanted to get away from the "city" feel of LA.  With a lot of great restaurants, hiking areas and shopping, many choose to come here when other parts of LA seem too pricey.  That's not to say this area isn't pricey by any means.  But compared to others, you can get more for your money here. 
This home has 1,748 sqft with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms

West Hollywood
If you live in West Hollywood, there is a good chance you moved there to have fun.  You can live pretty much anywhere here and easily walk to a local hot spot.  And there are a lot of hot spots.  I too lived here in my 20's and I loved the mix of people and proximity to everything.  Although West Hollywood has rent control for those who lease, if you were to buy something here today,  this is what you might find for about a million dollars. 
This condo has 1,137 sqft with 2 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms

Westlake Village
If you like open spaces, nature, golf, wine tasting and being a short drive to Malibu, then this is where you may want to live.  This area of the valley is home to some A listers (as Hollywood calls them).  Out here you fill find gated neighborhoods with extravagant homes with a lot of land which isn't easy to come by in LA.  Those homes go for well over our Million dollar price we are looking at today but what you can buy for $1 million is still very lovely! 
This home has 2,246 sqft with 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms

If you or someone you know is looking to buy or sell a home here in Los Angeles, please consider me.  I'm a local expert and always here to help

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Valley Glen 4 Bedroom Townhome with 2 Car Attached Garage-Coming Next Week

Don't Miss This Great Townhome in Valley Glen!
Four Bedrooms
Three Bathrooms
Bonus Room
Two Car Attached Private Garage
Washer/Dryer Hookups Inside
Beautiful New Floors
Low HOA's
Asking $445,000
Call Me Now Before It's Gone! 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

LA Schools And Real Estate: What You Need To Know.

                                                     Attention Parents!

Attention Parents To-be!

   Attention People Who Know People With Children! 

I work with so many people who would like to buy a home in a "Good School District".  And, I work with people who don't have young children, however, they are curious about the future resale value of their home based on the district it is in.  So, if you would like to know about about the Los Angeles Schools, this is for you. I've personally worked with this organization before for my own family needs. I've also held events where I invited them to come speak about how to get into the school of your choosing. And most of of their seminars are FREE.  They cover a wide variety of topics regarding school and here are just a few:

1. How to navigate Public elementary schools and admissions
2. How to navigate Private elementary schools and admissions
3. Understanding typical language development in preschool and elementary school ages
4. LAUSD gifted/talented programs
5. Summer is Coming! What do I do with my kids now? (okay, I made up the title but the event is real) 

Parent's Education League is a non-profit organization that helps parents in LA understand our schools and what they have to offer.  For a list of calendar events they offer click HERE 

Friday, January 20, 2017

Best Time To Buy A Home Is When It Is Raining

Yes, that's right.  The best time to buy a home is when it's raining.  And here's why...if you haven't heard, most people in LA melt in the rain. So there typically aren't a lot of people looking at homes when it's rainy.  So if you happen to see a home on a weekend when it's been raining and put an offer on it, you are likely to be up to less competition from other buyer.  Another great reason to buy a home during a rainy time is that is the best time to see what an inspector has to say about the home when it's been through some wetter weather.  Can he see any leaks from the roof? Are there any areas of the home where water intrusion is happening? Does the landscaping or slope of the property puddle or hold water? And if you are in the hills, what does the street the home is on look like during a down pour?  Do you see any structures you would worry about because of the rain? So, while we love our sunny warm weather here in LA, our city and homes weren't always designed with a lot of rain in mind and therefore something as simple as rain can tell us a lot about whether or not a home will be a good buy.  So, while it's raining, get out there and see some houses. I have my rain boots and jacket ready to go so call me when you are ready to buy or sell. 

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Rebates and Credits For Your Home

I have put together a list of where you can look for possible rebates and credits for your home.  From A/C units to a new roof and even pool pumps, you may find great value here in one of these.

1. Home upgrade package up to $3,000 or Advanced Home Upgrade Package up to $6,500 toward energy saving upgrades Click Here or Click Here

2. Turf Replacement Programs Click Here

3. Clothes Washer Rebate Click Here

4. Premium High Efficiency toilets rebates Click Here

5. Rain Barrels Click Here

6. Electrical Vehicle Charger Click Here

7. Get Free Trees For Your Yard Click Here

8. Refrigerator Exchange Click Here

9. Pool Pumps Click Here

10. Solar Rebates Click Here

11. A/C Unit Click Here

13. Smart Thermostats Click Here

12.  You can also try the HERO program which is Not a Rebate but an alternative for making your house more energy efficient and may not have you use any money out-of-pocket Click Here