Monday, August 18, 2014

LA May Be Handing Out Stiff Fines Soon If You Are Too Noisy

Wow...I don't know about you but I lived in LA for about 14 years and I've just gotten use to how noisy it can be around town. Not that I like it, mind you, but it just seems to be something I've put up with living here. Back when I lived in an apartment, it was common for someone to throw a party till all hours of the night, screaming and smoking and what-not.  Once, I called the police to come quite them down but the police couldn't even show up for hours after I called them know...they are busy with all the other problems LA has to offer on a Friday night.  So I just stopped calling.  But now there may be fines attached to a police visit if you happen to be a social host, or have a noisy dog or even if you are using one of those leaf blowers (don't start me on that topic...see previous rant of a blog from early this year).  Curbed LA wrote an article on these new fines that may be in the works if your neighbor is a noisy one.  What do you think?  To fine or not to fine? LA Going To Start Fining People For Fun Parties and Cute Dogs


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

My Own Home Buying Experience: Part 1

I've been working in real estate for years helping people buy and sell their homes.  And I really try to stand in their shoes when they have questions or have to make hard decisions and let them know I truly care for them and their outcome and work hard to be a great realtor.  I'm now about to start looking to buy a home again and I hope my experience can help me to continue to give great expertise advise to my clients.  So it is now August and I hope to buy something sometime from October to December.  But I'm already starting to prepare and here are 4 things I've done before I've started to go out and look at homes:

1. I reached out to my loan officer to get an idea of what we can afford. It is never a good idea to start looking at homes until you have your loan officer go over your financials to know what your price range is.  You will be shooting yourself in the foot if you look at homes in the $800k range only to find out you can afford $650k.  Then everything you look at will disappoint you from there on.  And no matter how much money you make, there are many factors that qualify you for a loan so don't assume that just because you are bringing in "x" amount of money per month, that you can spend it on a mortgage.   

2. I've already narrowed down the areas we will be looking. And don't think that just because I work in real estate that I should know the exact area I want to buy.  Like everyone else, I have a budget and I have a list of things I would like in a home and they don't necessarily work together in unison.  I will have to make sacrifices on somethings so I'm keeping an open mind regarding certain parts of town.

3. I've written down 2 lists of things that are important to me in a home.  One list includes "deal breakers" which are things that I can not compromise on.  The other is a list of things we would like, starting from most important to least. Below is what I've come up with:

Deal Breakers
1.  Must be in a good school district
2. Can not have a pool that takes up entire yard or is so close to the back of the house, there is little room to walk out the back door before falling in
3. Can not need major repair work if the home is close to our budget (i.e new roof or chimney is falling away from house.....)
4.  Can not be located on a major street with traffic
5.  Must be at least 1,600 sqft with 3-4 bedrooms and at least 2 full baths
6. Can not have crazy add on space or rooms that are nonfunctional or give the layout of the house a bad flow.  (being a realtor, not only are add-ons hard to work with if not done well, but they can make the resale of a home very bad)
Things we would like in our home (starting with most important)  
1.  Great location.  We are looking at a few neighborhoods in Encino that we really love, or Burbank would be nice and Woodland Hills as well.
2. Attached 2 car garage or at least a detached garage
3. Good yard space that is fenced in for the kiddos and dog
4. Open living/kitchen concept or the option to open it up (if budget allows)
5. Closets!!! I've lived in a home with little itty bitty closets...I don't need walk-ins but I need good space.
6. Good neighbors. I bet your asking "How would you know if they are good or not?" Well, you can ask questions like: Do you know if they smoke? Do you know them and can you tell me about them? You can also call the police station to find out if their have been any reports taken recently. And you can just look around and see how their home and yard are taken care of.  Listen for a loud dog in the yard.
6.  Don't want master bedroom to be adjacent to other bedrooms
7. Good laundry area not next to bedrooms
8. Some updating would be nice but if not, then the counters and floors need to look as if they've been well taken care of
9.  Would prefer no pool 
10. Would love trees in the back yard or shade coverage of a sort
11. Walkable to a park or some shops or restaurants

4.  And I've already got a automated reminder set up on my MLS that sends me new homes that come on the market so I can get an idea of what we will be looking at starting in October.

So I am still a few months away, and these are the things I've already done and if you are looking to buy a home, start doing these things as well! Keep reading my blog to find out how my home buying process is going and learn about things you should be doing when looking for a home yourself.  And call me....I can help you find a great home and we can swap home-buying stories while we are working together.