Thursday, April 25, 2013

Did You Know?... Some Little Known (or unknown) Things About LA's San Fernando Valley

I'm just going to write some bullet points here that include some fun facts about our valley...I will call this the "Did You Know?" blog

Did You Know?  Toluca Lake is really a community in North Hollywood

Did You Know?  That President Reagan married Nancy in 1952 in Studio City's Little Brown Church (it holds about 40 people)
Did You Know?  That the San Gabrielle Valley was once known as "Gabrielino"?

Did You Know?  That Burbank is it's own city...and Studio City is not a city?

Did You Know?  The house where "The Brady Bunch" was filmed is still looking great and located in a neighborhood in Studio City? (I don't think the people that live there would like me to advertise the address so I won't put it here...but if we are out looking at houses, ask me and we will take a drive past it)

Did You Know?  Valley Glen is really a community in Van Nuys?

Did You Know?  Bob's Big Boy in Toluca Lake/Burbank was built in 1949 and is considered an iconic symbol of modern design for the time that it was built? You can see some amazing classic cars there every Friday from 3-10PM at the car show.

Did You Know?  That Studio City was originally a part of North Hollywood? Maybe that explains why there is such a large distance between Hollywood and North Hollywood today....

Did You Know?  The valley made tract houses famous and a lot of that started in areas like Panorama City?                                                            
Did You Know?  The red clay roof tiles (called Terracotta) that are all over the roofs our Spanish-styled houses here in the valley, were believed to have been made, back in the day, with the workers placing clay over their thighs to give the tiles the arch shape.

Did You Know?  The El Portal Theatre was opened in 1926 and is still a working theater? Now the famous Academy of Television and Science is situated just across the street from this landmark.
Did You Know?  Encino is typically 10 degrees warmer than Hollywood, which is just 14 miles away?

Did You Know?  One of the world's most famous people, Michael Jackson, spent most of his childhood, along with his family, in their home...right in Encino?
Did You Know?  The price of single family homes in the valley can range anywhere from around $300,000 to well over $10,000,000?

Did You Know?  There is a sushi bar in North Hollywood where the waiters wildly sing and dance to today's hit music while serving you sushi? Tokyo Delve's is not the place for the early-bird-dinner-special-clients, if you get my drift.

Did you Know?  Mary Astor and Frank Sinatra were both once residents of Toluca Lake.  This famous estate, locate at 10051 Valley Spring Lane,  is still here and if the walls could speak, I bet they'd have a lot to say.
Did you Know?  And yet another world known musican lived here too. 4326 Forman Ave in Toluca Lake is where Bing Crosby once lived.  Seems like Tolcua Lake was the happening place to live (and still is)

For more fascinating information about parts of the valley, it's history, architects, and developement, check out this webiste.  It is a goldmine of information

If you have any more little known facts about our communities here in the valley, feel free to email me and I will add them on here.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Pinterest: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (photos of homes)

One of the things I've always enjoyed, even as a child, was going to open houses. I loved to see how other people's homes looked; how they decorated, how the kitchens were laid out, or how they missed the mark on design all together. So, I have decided to start a Pinterest page on the things I see in the homes around town. I hope some of the photos you will find inspiring for your own home. Others will just be lovely ideas or great architecture. The rest will just be for fun. So come follow me on Pinterest as I take you around Los Angeles to see some of our homes.

                       Pinterest: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly


Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Greener Home: Earth Day Tips On How You Can Make Your Home More Earth Friendly

I've reached out to my readers and clients on things that they do to make their homes greener and I have put those suggestions, along with other, here for you to read. Sometimes just doing the small things around your home can really go along way. Especially if a lot of people are doing them. So let's start with some of those simply tips:

*Turn off the lights in a room if you don't need them on
*Turn off your faucet when brushing your teeth
*Unplug the things that don't need to be plugged in. Even a phone charger that is plugged into the wall when your phone isn't attached to it, is wasting energy.
*Wait till you have a full load of laundry or dishes before doing a wash.

Now here are some tips my readers and clients use around their homes:

Dawn from North Carolina writes "Clean with vinegar. If you don't like the smell you can add orange peels to cover up the vinegar odor plus it adds an extra grease cutting ability."

Becky from North Hills admits "Before bed, my husband pees right after I pee, and then we only have to flush once! Haha! Saving water 1 pee at a time!"

My personal thought on Becky's suggestion is that this might not be for everyone...but if you do want to save the Earth one flush at a time, I would suggest adding this tip to making your home a greener place: Try waiting till your husband or wife is ready to take a shower and save some water by taking only one...together. 

I personally use vodka to clean and sterilize floors and counters. I use a steam mop on my floors and lightly sprinkle a cheap vodka while mopping. I also clean my counter tops with good old fashion soap and water. 

*When your dish sponge starts to get an odor, don't toss it out, just put it in the dishwasher with the dirty dishes and run a cycle. Good as new! 

*Solar panels aren't just for the fancy green home owners anymore. Did you know that you can rent them for your house now? And if you own a condo here in SoCal, you are allowed to put them on your roof there too. Now this is exciting! 

*How about a rainwater cathment systems? These are wonderful sources for watering your yard and plants. They even have an association where you can learn more about the systems at 

*Don't forget that even though you may not be using an appliance at the moment, if it is plugged in, even if it's off, it is using energy. So unplug everything that isn't necessary. 

*reuse your paper towels. When you wipe the counter, wash it in water and wipe the floors too. They can be reused time and time again. 
*And those reusable bags you use at the grocery store...can't we use these or other similar bags when we go to clothing stores or places like Target? Sure we can! I wouldn't use the exact same ones you use for food to put clothes in but just buy a few extra for these types of shopping trips! 

Do you have any great tips you use around your home that make you a greener person? I would love to hear and share them with others so please add your own comments on here and let's start working towards a greener, more Earth friendly, home. 



Monday, April 15, 2013

Just Sold!

A big congratulations to my clients Paul and Sana on their new beautiful home in Porter Ranch! We got them a lovely home and I can't wait to see it when they put their personal touches on it!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Casey Kasem's Home is For Sale- And Here Are The Top 40 Reasons You Should Buy It

That's right folks...Casey Kasem's home is for sale. He and his wife, Jean Kasem, have listed their sprawling Holmby Hills home (say that 3 times fast) and if you have a cool 40, well technically 42 million, you could be the next owner. And here are the top 40 reasons you should want to own it. This is quite funny!!! Check it out here Top 40 Reasons To Buy Casey Kasem's House


And they forgot to add the #1 best reason you should buy Casey Kasem's $42 million House....It is listed by my office and I'm sure our agents will be putting on the pressure for a lunch on the house when it is sold!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Things You Should Say And Things You Should Not Say To An Agent At An Open House

Have you ever wondered what may be good, or not good to say, to an agent at an open house? Do you think that just because they ask, that you should have to answer them? Oh no, be careful what you say. So here are some things you may hear an agent at an open house say or ask you while you are there and here is what is okay to let them know or perhaps not:

Do you have an agent?- You probably will hear this all the time. Go ahead and tell them and be honest. If you do, maybe even mention who it is since they may know each other or maybe the open house agent is expecting you since your agent said you would be stopping by. And if you don't have an agent, feel free to let them know as well. Especially if you get a good feeling from this agent. Maybe you can work together. But if you would rather not, simply tell them you don't have one and are not looking to work with one at the moment either.

Do you live in the neighborhood?- You may have just as many neighbors stopping into an open house as you have buyers. It's perfectly normal for them to want to see how someone has decorated or maybe upgraded some things. So go ahead and let the agent know you live across the street. It's always nice for us to meet the neighbors too.

What do you think about the house?- Don't be cruel if you think the house is a hot mess. After all, this is probably still someone's home and not everyone likes the same cup of tea. But you can be honest in a diplomatic way.

Is this home something that may interest you?- Sure...go ahead and tell them. And if you happened to walk into a million dollar house and your price range is more around $500k, you can tell them that too. I mean, looking at million dollar houses can just sometimes be fun and we are aware that there is no price tag out front that could have lead you to know the price before you walked in.

Will you sign in with your name and contact info?- Sure. Go ahead and leave it. Especially if you want to be contacted for things like future open houses, other houses that just came on the market or just so I can thank you for stopping by my open house and see if there were any unanswered questions you may have. 

What is your price range?- Now here's the one you may want to not answer. Don't forget, we are in the sales business and unless you hire us to help you purchase this home, our job is to work for the seller and get the highest price we can for them. So if this house is listed at $850K and you tell me your price goes up to $900k, I may go into the deal with a peak at the cards you are holding and that won't be the best move for you. So, if you are interested in this home, keep the numbers to yourself so that you don't reveal too much to the wrong person.