Wednesday, July 11, 2018

How To Get Free Maintenance For Your AC

Was it really just 115 degrees outside last week?  Even the dust was crying it was so hot.  And how about all those Air Conditioners that went out?  No fun for anyone who had to suffer through that heat. And while many people had to call on someone to fix, or replace their air conditioners because of that heat wave, I have some good news for those whose units made it.  You may be eligible to have your AC maintenance done for free! Here are some of the service provided by LADWP

  • Replacement or cleaning of standard air filters
  • Outdoor coil cleaning
  • System diagnostic test
  • Refrigerant charge adjustment (up to 2 lbs. of refrigerant will be provided, if applicable)
  • Installation of smart, Wi-Fi enabled thermostat (for compatible residential systems only, if customer does not already have a smart thermostat*)
    • Zoned systems only qualify for one thermostat
  • If the customer’s home is not Wi-Fi enabled, or would prefer not to have a smart thermostat installed, the following AC system or Heat Pump alternatives can be installed at no charge to the customer:
    • Western Cooling Control

Along with these great services, you can get rebates on new A/C units and much more.  Visit their website here: 



Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Five Signs The Market Is Changing Right Now

Number #1 question I get about real estate is "When Do You think the market is going to stop climbing, level out or go down?" I'm pretty sure the answer is "Now".  Every year since about 2011 the market has been on the rise.  Some years more than others and each year the seasons and holiday times would give way to the natural ebb and flow of the market but I'm starting to see a real change right now in, what would normally be, the high season for buying and selling.  I've worked with a number of sellers and buyers this year and just about a month ago a few things happened in my transactions that got me asking "Is this just my transactions this is happening in, or is this a trend that is showing signs of something else?"  So I started asking all the other realtors in my office and that I was working with.  At first, it seemed as if it were just my luck (or lack there of) that was witness to some interesting things going on in my sales.  Then my questions started reflecting back that other realtors were experiencing some abnormal set-backs as well.

Here are five things I'm seeing that may be signs the market is making a change. 

1.  A number of homes aren't flying off the market, even when priced and marketed very well.  In fact, many were staying on for a few weeks and months and even some were starting to drop their prices.

2. Buyers are starting to really ask for a lot of request for repairs that seemed more than I had experienced in years which made me believe they were okay if they lost this sale and confident that would find another and be just as happy. Whereas in years before, they felt lucky just to get their offer accepted and didn't want to rock the boat too much and lose out on a deal.

 3. We've seen rates being to climb a bit however, they are still low enough that they are considered very good rates by history's standards.  But when rates go up even just a bit, some people are pushed out of their price range and what they can afford leaving them to "hold off" and either wait to save more money, wait for prices to drop or wait to see if rates drop back again.

4. Well priced good homes are getting high interest right when they hit the market for the first week, but after that, interested parties are seeming fewer and further between.

5. Short sales are starting to show up more.


I've been interviewed by NPR, LA Times,  Realtor Magazine, Trulia, Real Estate Business Institute and many more regarding my expert opinion on the housing market.  While I can't make predictions, I have great insight into where the market is and what is happening.  If you have any questions or if you are considering buying or selling soon, call me today!

                                                                     

I also added some statistics on here about home sales year over year in 3 different areas for your reference as well. 































Friday, June 22, 2018

8 Tips To Help Keep You From Being a Victim of Real Estate Related Cyber Crime

If you are thinking about buying or selling a property, you need to be on high alert to this massive cyber crime targeting people like you.  The FBI is working overtime to stop this growing crime but the best defense is you knowing about it and being proactive in watching for some red flags. 

Here is what's going on:  Buyer and sellers get into contract for a property and when they do, money is exchanged.  Years ago, it was more common that when you were buying a home, you could send a check or money order to an escrow company for the deposit and down payment for the purchase of a home.  Today, it is more common that people wire money which is the term for electronically transferring it between two people or businesses.  Criminals have used this wiring of money as an opportunity to step in and steal it by falsifying their identify over an email as someone such as your real estate agent, escrow office or lender.  Once they have practically identically copied someone's email address, email signature and even business logos and photos on emails, they send this "copy cat" email to buyers and sellers giving them false wiring instructions.  Buyers and sellers are sometimes completely unaware this scam exists so when they receive an email that looks exactly like their agent's, lender's or escrow officer's they don't think twice about it's validity.  Here's an example of how this crime might go down....

Buyer finds the home of their dreams and gets an offer accepted. Once the offer is accepted, buyer is contacted by the escrow company and sent a packet of papers with information about their purchase as well as instructions on how to wire their initial deposit into escrow.  Buyer is now also in constant contact with lender and agent during the purchase and a lot of this is over email.  Cyber criminal has already looked up real estate agents, escrow officer and lenders and sets their sites on many of them by sending an email that is a scam where there is likely an attachment or link that, when it is opened, allows the criminal to take over the email address and criminal can read emails to find out who is about to buy and what their contact information is.  Criminal then sets up email that will look practically identical with the email address, email signature and more being replicated by the criminal. One of the ways they get the buyer's attention is by saying that funds must be transferred immediately and the criminal then attaches wiring instructions that actually go to their own bank.  They even change the email signature so that when the buyer thinks to call and question this, the buyer reads the phone number attached with the email and actually speaks to the criminal who is disguising themselves as the agent, lender or escrow officer.  Buyer then transfers money as directed which, for most people, is hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not more.  Money is sent to criminal's account.  Criminal immediately has money and money is gone.  FBI can sometimes stop the transfer only if they are notified immediately but sometimes this doesn't even help as the criminals have learned that if they do this crime near a holiday weekend such as the upcoming 4th of July, that may tie the hands of the banks who will be closed and also the buyer may not realize money didn't reach the right hands until the 3 day weekend is over and too much time has passed at that point.

Here are 8 tips to help keep you from being a victim of this crime:
1.  Tell each and every person you know who is thinking about buying or selling about this. Spread the word as much as you can!
2.  Have a conversation with your real estate agent, escrow officer, lawyer and lender about what they suggest you can do to avoid having this happen.
3.  Some people are choosing to go back to the old ways of using checks/money orders.  Talk to your agent and escrow officer and find out if this is possible and if so, what you need to do to make that work. (there may be time constraints on having the money released in check form that may conflict with contract deadlines)
4. Have a phone conversation with your agent and have them verbally give you the lender and escrow officer's contact information and store it in your phone and only use that, rather than referring to the email contact info when reaching out to them.
5. Be on alert for emails in which anyone is asking you to rush and send money.  This is the time to pick up the phone, or walk into the office of the person who sent you that email and verify it.
6.  Be on alert for any changes in wiring instructions sent to your email
7.  Visit the FBI's website to find out more information about this https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/international-bec-takedown-061118
8. Lastly, go back to #1 and spread the word about this as much as you can!

                                                                       







Wednesday, June 13, 2018

July 4th Fireworks 2018

Avalon/Catalina
July 4th- Firework shows 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

Burbank
Starlight Bowl - July 4th An American Celebration
1249 Lockheed View Dr.
Burbank, CA 91505
Gates open at 5:30 pm show begins at 6:30PM
Concert includes The High Street band
Purchase tickets online or at the Community Services Building, located at 150 North Third Street. http://www.starlightbowl.com 

Cabrillo Beach
Cabrillo Beach 3800 Stephen M. White Drive, San Pedro, CA 90731
For the 69th Annual 4th of July Spectacular
Cabrillo Beach will host a FREE 4th of July Celebration and Fireworks show.

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

Carson
StubHub Center
Soccer game and fireworks 
LA Galaxy VS DC United
Game starts at 7:30 p.m. Last year's event had fireworks after the game, however this year it is not clearly stated on the website that there will be fireworks. Please call to find out if you are interested in going. 
18400 S Avalon Blvd
Carson, CA 90746

Cerritos
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

Claremont
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, 2018 at 4pm

Diamond Bar
Music, food trucks and fireworks
 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 3 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
Hollywood Bowl
Go Go Go to the Bowl for the Go Go Girls and fireworks!
2301 North Highland Ave
(323) 850-2000

Hollywood (2)
Footloose and Fireworks! 
Hollwyood Forever Cemetery
6000 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles CA
Cost is $35. Doors at 7:15PM and Movie at 9PM
Irwindale Park
4th of July fiesta and fireworks spectacular
Fiesta begins at noon. Fireworks begin at 9PM

La Crescenta
tickets are just $9 each pre-sale until July 3rd. They will be $10 at the gate. Children 7 and under are free.
Check website for advance ticket sale locations (recommended). Crescenta Valley High School, 2900 Community Ave.
(818) 248-2271

Lancaster
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. Prices are $44.00 per adult (ages 12+) if tickets are purchased prior to July 4th.
On July 4th at the door the price is $59 per adult (ages 12+)Prices are $24.00 per child (ages 4-11) if tickets are purchased prior to July 4th.
On July 4th at the door the price is $39 per adult (ages 4-11)

Marina del Rey
Fireworks begin at 9 p.m. and are launched from barge across the Marina's main channel
Parking is limited and local street closures (see “Road Closures” below) are planned to commence as early as 1 p.m. in some areas. We recommend that you arrive no later than 1 p.m. and stay for the day. See “Getting Here” section on the website for alternative ways to get around the Marina once you have arrived in town; use these methods for transportation to kayak/paddleboard rentals and other water activities to enjoy while you wait for the show.
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 the 41st annual 5k/10k cross-country run. http://www.palisades10k.com/
4Pm: Food/Concert Gates OpenKid’s Activities & B Stage Concert Featuring:
  • Arielle Martinez Cohen
  • Trinity Rose
  • Phat Trick
  • Cohort  

6pm: Main Stage Concert Featuring:
  • HEADLINER: The 2018 Palisades' Uplifters
  • OPENER: Madi Rindge
  • Tom Farrell's Palisades’ All-Stars (Sound Roads Music School)
  • Palisades Charter High School Band (Alex Dale)

9PM: Fireworks

Pasadena
"Americafest 2016" at Rose Bowl Stadium
1001 Rose Bowl Dr.
Pasadena, CA 91103
12:00 PM – Parking Lots Open
2:00 PM – Family Fun Zone- Area H Opens5:00PM – Field Viewing Experience Reception Doors Open 5:30 PM – Doors Open7:00 PM – Performances Begin9:00 PM – Fireworks Begin

9:00 PM – Fireworks Begin
Tickets: $15 - General (5 and under free), $30 - Reserved
(626) 577-3100

Pomona 
Pomona Fairplex
1101 W. McKinley
It's the 32nd annual fireworks spectacular at Fairplex.
Motor cross, Monster trucks (with rides) and Quad wars! 
General Admission starts at $18.50. Kids under 2 are free. 

Porter Ranch
Shepherd of the Hills Church
19700 Rinaldi Street
Porter Ranch
A variety of free inflatable jumpers and obstacle courses until 8:30PM.
Free face painting until 8:30PM
Sprinkler zones to stay cool
Super Hercules military flyover by US Air Force 146th Airwing, Channel islands
Lots of food trucks! 
Event is FREE

Redondo Beach
100 Fisherman’s Wharf Redondo Beach 90277

Rosemead
I couldn't find information about fireworks this year however, it is possible that the information just isn't up at this point. Please check website or call for more information. 

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

Santa Clarita
festivities kick off with the Independence Day 5K and 10K 
Also enjoy the annual Santa Clarita "Grand Ole Flag" Parade beginning at 9:00 a.m. in Old Town Newhall
Firework show
Not only will the night’s sky display magnificent, luminous lights, the air will be filled with the sounds of KHTS AM 1220’s live soundtrack to compliment the ambience of the event.  Fireworks will be shot from the parking structure above Buca Di Beppo restaurant, so grab a grassy spot nearby and get ready to catch a show!

Santa Clarita (2)
Six Flags Magic Mountain 
Fireworks will be on display from June 30th-July 4th

Santa Monica
No firework shows are happening in Santa Monica however, there is a great parade starting at 9:30am. 

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
This year Studio City will not be having fireworks but check back next year as things may change.

Sunland Tujunga
The Family Fireworks Festival is held at Verdugo Hills High School’s Turner Stadium. The main entrance is off Hillrose Avenue at the athletic field. Gates open at 5pm and there will be live music, fun games, and  food. The gates close at 8:30pm and shortly after 9pm, the 20+ minute fireworks show lights up the sky. 

West Covina
Independence Day Celebration
& Fireworks Spectacular
Wednesday July 4th 2018
4:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

*NEW LOCATION*
Big League Dreams West Covina
2100 S Azusa Ave, West Covina, CA 91792

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!
General admission if FREE but there is a VIP treatment you can find our more about. 

Thursday, May 3, 2018

5 Most Common Options For People Who Need Money From Their Current Home To Buy Their Next One.

Buying and Selling a home comes with challenges that are unique to each individual.  I've worked with first-time home buyers that sail through the process like a breeze and others whose home buying is more challenging.  But one of the benefits of being a first-time home buyer is that you just need to give your landlord notice to move from your current home.  Homeowners looking to buy something else have another hurdle they have to get passed.  How do you get the money from your current home to use it to buy the next? Here are 5 of the most common ways you can go about doing this.

1. Sell your current home and take the proceeds from that sale then and move into a short term rental until you buy your next home with your proceeds ready to go.

2. Explore the options of having a family member help you with your next downpayment.

3. Ask a lender how much money you could take out of your current home to use for the next.  If you choose this option, your lender will likely tell you there is a waiting period from when you take that money out, until you can sell that home. 

4. Put your home on the market for sale and ask the buyer for a "Rent Back" which is when the buyer becomes the owner and you become their tenant for a short time.  There are some pros and cons to doing this so make sure to talk to your agent about what they may be.  Going this route may be gambling a bit since it leaves you a limited, finite amount of time to find and buy your next home.

5. Put your home for sale contingent on buying your next home. This means your agent will put something into the contract when the buyer makes an offer on your current home that states the home can not complete the sale until you have found your next home. However, this also means you need to put something in the contract on the home you intend to purchase that says you can't complete the sale of that home till your current home sells. A bit of a domino effect can be created doing it this way.  This is the trickiest way to go straight from one home to another but for most, it's their only option.

Any option you choose, make sure you have an agent that is very hands on.  For most people, there needs to be a lot of creative problem solving done between clients and agents and clients tend to need a lot more questions answered as situations get more convoluted in the selling/buying process.

                                                                         

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Valley: Coming Soon...Home with detached In-Law Suite, heated pool and completely remodeled

Are you looking for that home in the Valley that has it ALL? Well, it will be on the market soon. Here are some of the things this "Coming Soon" home has:


All windows replaced in 2006 and 2012
New Floors in 2012
Kitchen and Bathrooms remodeled in 2012
Kitchen Built-in Cabinets installed in 2012
HVAC replaced and moved to roof in 2013
Hot Water Heater Replaced in 2013
Pool remodeled 2013
Pool Deck new in 2013
Fence remodeled in 2006
Custom Closets installed in 2013
Home exterior painted in 2015
New Rain Gutters and grills installed in 2015
Ceiling smoothed in 2012
New Kitchen lighting in 2015
Cianti Verde Granite in Kitchen
Copper plumbing installed under house
Drip system installed in backyard
Solar lighting installed along back Fence
Pool has pebble finish, baja step, salt water and is heated by solar
Reverse Osmosis water filtration installed 


And can you believe all that is asking $700,000. Don't miss out! 

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Feds Raise Rates Again And Expect More Raises To Get Back To A More NORMAL Rate

Feds just raised the rates again by a small amount as they all agree the market is healthy and this is the best time to raise them.  They mentioned raising them 2 more times this year an they expect to raise them 3 times next year.  Does this mean the house prices will go down? The market will drop? What should you make of this news?  Here is the most important part of this article:

 ..."it expects to increase rates another two times this year as it pursues a return to more normal interest rate levels."

The reason I believe this part of the article is the most important is because I've been preaching about our very low interest rates for years. They've lasted this long but won't last forever and this is major.  If you are thinking about buying...don't wait! You may be out of luck by next year if/when rates are continuously raised.  

My professional experience leads me to believe that this will not cause house prices to drop. At least not this year. And for those of you that have been holding out on buying...stop. The rates are the biggest factor in home buying and I suggest you move on them before they rise back to normal

Read more about it Here

                                                                                





Monday, February 5, 2018

Is Your House Earthquake Ready?

The state of California has put together a program to help homeowners retrofit their homes in case of an earthquake.  Many homes here is Los Angeles were built well before the standards we now have that help keep homes safe during an earthquake.  Things such as cripple walls, water heater strapping, and anchor bolts are just some of the things we need for us and our home to stay safe in case of an earthquake. Here is some information below and you will find much more detailed information on the links provided at the bottom of this article. 

 Registration is open January 23, 2018 through February 23, 2018. Homeowners interested in participating in EBB must:
  • Own a house located in a designated ZIP Code
  • Create an online account and complete registration as a homeowner
  • Only one registration per house
  • Ensure your house is eligible by answering all qualification questions and reviewing the Program Rules.
    • Your house must have less than a four-foot cripple wall to use a prescriptive plan set
    • If your house has a cripple wall between 4-feet and 7-feet you must use an engineered solution.

https://www.earthquakebracebolt.com/homeownerregistration


http://www.insurance.ca.gov/0400-news/0100-press-releases/2018/release009-18.cfm



Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Museums This Sunday Are FREE

What are you doing on Sunday?  Here in Los Angeles, we are blessed to have an amazing selection of museums to experience.  I highly recommend taking advantage of this FREE opportunity to go see one of the following participant museums.  Have Fun! (please check dates, times and availability)

Annenberg Space for Photography
Autry Museum of the American West
The Broad
California African American Museum
California Science Center
General admission only. A timed reservation with a convenience fee is required for Space Shuttle Endeavour.
Columbia Memorial Space Center
Craft & Folk Art Museum
Descanso Gardens
Forest Lawn Museum
Fowler Museum at UCLA
Getty Center
Getty Villa
Free, timed tickets are required. Visit getty.edu.
GRAMMY Museum
Hammer Museum
Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Japanese American National Museum
Free tickets available at janm.org/freeforall.
Kidspace Children’s Museum
La Brea Tar Pits and Museum
General admission only; free tickets available at tarpits.org/freeforall.
LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA)
Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA)
Museum of Tolerance
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
*General admission only; free tickets available at nhm.org/freeforall.
Orange County Museum of Art
The Paley Center for Media
Palm Springs Art Museum
Pasadena Museum of California Art
Petersen Automotive Museum
Tickets must be reserved in advance at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/museum-free-for-all-day-tickets-41631960314#tickets
Pomona College Museum of Art
Riverside Art Museum
Santa Barbara Museum of Art
Skirball Cultural Center
Noah’s Ark timed-entry, one-hour tickets are limited and distributed first-come, first-served.
Sunnylands Center & Gardens
Excludes tours of the historic house and grounds.
University Art Museum, CSU Long Beach
Join us for opening reception of Robert Irwin: Site Determined 4-6 pm, January 28. Closed January 27.
USC Fisher Museum
Offering free admission on Saturday, January 27, instead of Sunday, January 28.
USC Pacific Asia Museum
Zimmer Children’s Museum