Wednesday, December 14, 2016

New Earthquake Retrofit Requirements May Have You Paying Out Some Hefty Fees Soon

Earthquakes are an inevitable part of living in LA.  And our city is always trying to stay on the safer side of things when it comes to a major earthquake.  There are a lot of buildings, most of which are in the valley, that are going to need upgrades in order to comply with the city's new standards for earthquake retrofitting.  
Owners of condo units that will need these earthquake retrofits will have to cover the costs needed to make the building comply with the city.  Renters may also be asked to cover the costs as well.  
According to the LA Times "The law requires owners to front the retrofit costs, which can range from $60,000 to $130,000 — possibly even more for larger buildings. The city recently agreed to allow owners to pass on half the costs to tenants through a rent increase of up to $38 more per month."

Is your building on this list? Find out here
And you can read the full article from the LA Times Here

Friday, November 18, 2016

Free Hiking On Black Friday

Are you one of many who will NOT be going to a mall on Black Friday?  Well, then go for a hike. Literally.  116 California State parks are offering free parking and admission on that day.  Here is a link where you can book your visit http://www.greenfriday.org/

                                                                           

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Loans Specifically For Doctors

I know most people think doctors must be doing quite well in terms of livelihood but fact is, most doctors can be strained by high student loans.  And those can take a very long time to repay.  Unfortunately for them, student loans are one of those forms of debt that can make getting a loan difficult.  But there is a new program out there that can help.  Here are some of the guidelines.

DOCTOR LOAN PROGRAM FEATURES:
-95% Financing up to $1,000,000 with no mortgage insurance
-89.90% Financing up to $1,500,000 with no mortgage insurance
-85% Financing to $2,000,000 with no mortgage insurance on 2 Units
-Close on your home up to 60 days prior to new employment start date (with an executed contract)
-Eligible professions include Residents, MS, DDS, DO, DS, and Veterinarians
-Student loans may be excluded from the DTI with proof of 12 months deferment/forbearance
– 700 + FICO score required for 89.90% financing, 720+ FICO for 95% financing
– Eligible Properties Types: One Unit Single Family, PUDs, 2 Unit Attached, Condos
– Eligible Products: 5/1, 7/1, and 10/1 ARM with fully amortized payment.
So, if you are a doctor and looking to buy a home, give me a call

Monday, October 24, 2016

How To Find A Home That Is Not Listed To The Public


Shhhhh!! It's a secret.  
I have been very successful at helping both buyers and sellers with pocket listings.  Over the years, I have been able to get a great deal of buyers into homes that were not listed to the public.  In fact, I have another one at this very moment that I found for my buyer.  So, what is a "pocket listing" you ask?  They are homes for sale that aren't listed to the public.  And why would someone want to sell their home and not list it publicly?  Well, there are a lot of reasons.  Such as: Someone may have a small baby or sick family member and they don't want a lot of people in and out of their home.  They may be strategizing the sale of their home in hopes that if they find a buyer who is getting a home that no one else knows about, the buyer will put their best-foot-foward to make the deal happen.  The sellers may be asking to put the home on the MLS but, through word of mouth and close-working relationships, an agent could get a buyer into a home before it becomes listed on the MLS. 

And I have a wide reach of people I know that help me find homes not listed on the MLS.  And it's not just about finding a home that isn't listed...but also getting the other agent to accept my offer rather than putting it out for the public and hoping to get multiple offers.  It's not an easy task.  So, call me if you are ready to find that home that no one knows is out there.  



Sunday, October 9, 2016

Did you hear me on NPR?

Ben Bergman from NPR called me the other day to ask me about sales in Porter Ranch after the gas leak.  He read my name in an article from the LA Times when they called me to ask about the same subject a few months back.  I had a number of people reach out to me telling me they heard me on the segment on the radio.  I've been very lucky to be the go-to realtor in the valley for many media sources like the LA Times, Trulia, Realtor Magazine and more.  Adding NPR to that list makes me very proud and I am blessed that I keep getting the opportunities.  But more so, I work hard to stay on top of what is going on the market in my area.  And when you are looking for a realtor, they should know all the things about the local market and what may be causing a change or any foreseeable changes that may come.  All these media sources trust that I am in-the-know of real estate here in the valley.  So if you are looking to buy or sell your home, give me a call. Listen here (corrected link if you read this before) http://www.scpr.org/news/2016/10/07/65419/home-prices-in-porter-ranch-not-effected-by-gas-le/

                                                                               

Monday, October 3, 2016

Something To Keep In Mind While Trick or Treating This Year

We live in LA where there are a gazillion people.  So, with that many people, there are bound to be some you'd like to avoid especially if they pose a potential threat.  When going out trick-or-treating with kids, please be aware of any neighbors you may have that are on the sexual offenders list.  You can search by radius around an address or using someone's name.  Here is the website https://www.nsopw.gov/en/Search

Friday, September 30, 2016

Loan Approvals For Condos May Be About To Change

For years, there have been restrictions on buyers being able to get a loan on certain condos.   One of the big obstacles for buyers and sellers has been that if the building had more than 50% of the units being occupied by renters, then loans could be denied for prospective buyers on a unit in that building.  This is a harsh restriction for many reasons.  If the building was small, such as a 6 unit building, then if 3 were rented, that would be 50%.  Plus, if you need to sell your unit and these restrictions are in place, then you may be stuck having to rent your unit yourself which could be a domino effect on the entire building causing a building to have more and more renters over time.   But the FHA has proposed a change in the rules and this is what the US Department of Urban Housing and Development said on the issue:

"FHA currently requires that approved condominium developments have a minimum of 50 percent of the units occupied by owners. While having too few owner-occupants can detract from the viability of a project, requiring too many can harm its marketability. Through this proposed rule, FHA is specifically inviting comment on this issue and is proposing to establish an allowable range between 25 and 75 percent. The range allows FHA to choose a specific percentage that is responsive to future market changes."

Another big change that may come is in the ability for a buyer to get an FHA loan on condos.  As the way things stand today, an entire building must be "FHA approved" in order for a buyer to use an FHA loan.  This process requires the building pay fees and pass an inspection before approval.  Most buildings have decided to not go through this process since the market has been on the rise and units are able to sell to buyers not using FHA loans.  But this leaves FHA buyers with very little to choose from. We may be seeing "spot" approvals for condos soon which means the whole building may not need to have the FHA approval in order for a buyer to purchase a unit.  The US Department of Urban Housing and Development posted this:

Under certain circumstances, FHA is proposing to insure mortgages for selected condominium units in developments that are not currently approved. An individual unit may be eligible for Single-Unit Approval if:
  • The Condominium Project is not on the list of FHA-approved Condominium Projects, or the unit is not in a project that has been subject to adverse determination for significant issues that affect the viability of the project;
  • The individual unit is located in a completed project that has not yet been approved;
  • The unit is not a manufactured housing condominium project or located in a two-to-four-unit project;
  • The condominium unit is not a manufactured home and is in a project that has at least five dwelling units; and
  • The unit is in a project in which the amount of Single-Unit Approvals is limited to a maximum of 20 percent of the total number of units in the project, which may be reduced to as low as zero percent via subsequent notice.

To read more about changes coming to loans on condos, read here http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/press/press_releases_media_advisories/2016/HUDNo_16-146



                                                                               



Friday, September 9, 2016

What Is Happening In The Market Today? - September 2016

We've been on a rising trend with home prices for quite some time now.  I remember in January of 2012 I wrote an offer for a home that was just over $2 million.  My buyers had all cash and they offered over asking price for the home.  There were several offers on that home and our offer was not the highest. In fact, the other offer that was higher than ours was also all cash.  That was my first sense that the market was making a turn.  From then on, it's pretty much been on the rise and we've been in a seller's market.  I'm now starting to see another change.  Sure, the season is slowing down as it naturally does around labor day and after the kids get back in school but I've seen this new wave in the market for a couple months now.  And here is what I'm seeing: Homes that are priced right at the price they will most likely sell for may get an offer or two or may sit for a few weeks.  Homes that are priced barely over where they would most likely sell are getting offers but the offers are lower than the asking price or the home sits for quite some time and either lowers the price eventually or the owners take it off the market.  This is a big change in where we've been for the past 4 years in real estate.  Up until now, most buyers knew that making an offer under the asking price would just leave them out on the curb, so-to-speak.  And sellers had a big upper hand for so long, that they could sell their homes and get the buyers to agree to many interesting terms that otherwise would seem over-the-top.  But there is a good chance that we may be getting into a market where buyers and sellers are on a more level playing field.  What does this mean for you? 

First, if you are buying a home, you still need to come in with a strong offer.  That doesn't mean offering up your first born either.  It just means that your offer needs to be attractive and fair.  You're most likely not going to be met with crazy expectations from the sellers either because sellers are learning that buyers are getting picky and walking away when sellers behave boastfully.  

Sellers...you need some great guidance as to what to do to make your home look appealing to buyers. Before now, sellers would look past a messy kitchen or shotty gardening job. That isn't the case right now.  They expect to see a clean home unless you are selling your home as a fixer.  You will also need to price it very well.  For the past couple of years, I've advised sellers to price the home just under where it should sell for.  I still say the same today.  If you price and advertise your home well, then you should hopefully get a few offers.  This will still give you the chance to pick from the most qualified buyer.  But if you are pricing your home too high, then you may see it sitting around for a while and possibly still get negotiated down quite a bit after it sits.  

But both buyers and sellers should really be working with an agent that is in tune with where the market is today so they know how to give the best advice possible.  And the market is different in the Westside than it is in the Valley so keep that in mind as well.  And if you need help finding or selling your home, call me.  I'm always happy to help.  

                                                                           

Friday, August 12, 2016

If Home Prices Fell, What Would That Mean To You?

What Would You Do If Prices Fell?
 Talking about real estate is always a hot topic. And everyone seems to have an opinion on where things will go.  I too have an opinion but fact is...these are all just opinions.  If anyone had the crystal ball, they would be rich. But let's talk about reality and "what-if".  I promise, you will find this VERY interesting. 
 
  • If prices fell at the end of this year by just a bit, say a home that is worth $500,000 fell to $475,000, then what does that mean to you?
  •  
  • If you own your home, then it means you just lost $25,000 worth of equity to buy that next home.
  •  
  • It may mean that you will have to wait to move.  If that is the case, are you okay staying where you are?
  •  
  • I know what you are thinking though...if prices fell then my next home's price would be relevant, right? (We will take a look at that below)
  •  
  • If you own an income property, then you just lost money.
  •  
  • If you don't own, but want to buy you may think this is great for you, right? (We will take a look at that below)
 
But there are two main factors people consider when buying a home.  One- how much will the monthly payment be? Two- how much down payment will I need?

Follow me here:  If that $500,000 house fell to $475,000 you would go from $100k down payment to $95k.  That's only $5,000.  And chances are you just lost roughly $25k in equity.

And if prices fell but interest rates went up only 1%...well, let's take a look at what that means. 


This first screen shot shows interest rates at 3.5% for a $500,000 home. 




This second screen shot shows interest rates at 4.5% for a $475,000 home. 


So, in my example of everything you've seen, if a $500,000 home fell to $475,000 and interest rates went up only 1% then you would be paying more per month for your mortgage and as for your down payment, you would only save $5,0000.

Let's talk more about real estate and the what-if's.  If you are wanting to buy or sell a home, then my job is to help you accomplish that.  And you need to be informed of all the possibilities that could affect you and your decisions.  So call me and I'll be happy to go over this with you

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Tips And Tricks For Your Home

Over the years selling real estate I've picked up a few simple tips and tricks that can really make a big difference and in some cases, save a lot of money.  Here are some of my favorites.  

Have a scratch on your wood floors?  Try taking a little bit of olive oil and vinegar and rubbing it in the scratch.  The magic potion is 1/4 cup vinegar and 3/4 cup olive oil. 

How about marks on your walls?  From hand prints, to crayon and scuff marks, try the Mr. Clean Magic eraser. One of my personal favorite products. 

A tear in the window screen?  Maybe you don't need to get a whole new screen. After all, that can be expensive.  Try buying a screen patch. You can find them in most hardware stores. And if your tear is too large to fix or it's just time for a new screen, see if you have a local Mobile Screen Maker. I have found the prices and convenience of the mobile screen makers to be much better than that of a hardware store when it comes to windows and door sizes that aren't the most common ones.  

Troubles Hanging that picture frame straight? Take a piece of tape such as painters tape and tape it across the back of the picture frame covering the area used to hold onto the nails.  Now take a pen and poke a hole where the nails on either side would hang.  Take that piece of tape off the back of the picture frame and put it on the wall where you want to hang it.  Viola! Instant marker for where to put your nails. 

Tired Looking Brass Hardware Not your Thing?  Take apart your door handles and separate them into pieces on a large piece of cardboard. You'll need the handle, the flat plate/ring that is on the main part of the handle attached to the door and the striker plates.  You can buy spray paints that mimic the look of most metals from rubbed brass, satin nickel and antique iron.  Figure out the best way to position your hardware and spray it down.  You will be amazed how you can look as if you have all new hardware just from spray paint.  (be sure to google how to remove your hardware if you don't already know how. It's not always as easy as it looks)

Need to Keep Your Bathroom Drains Running Smooth?  Pull up the stoppers on the drain and run hot water in the tub or sink.  Pour bleach into the water and then let the water drain slowly. Doing this once a month is a great way to prevent clogs.

                                                                         




When you are ready to start thinking about buying or selling, call me. I'm always here to help

Monday, August 1, 2016

All Cash Buyers Using An LLC

The Federal Government starting doing some looking around and found that there is a possibility that people have been using LLC's to purchase property and launder money from the transaction.  So as of recently, a couple of major cities in the US have made it so that when an LLC wants to purchase a property using all cash, the individual behind the LLC must identify themselves and show proof of their identity by means of a passport, driver's license and so forth.  Recently here in Los Angeles, it was reported that there was an LLC that purchased a large property using cash and that the cash that was used, may have been "stolen" or "laundered" (I'm not too clear on the specifics of what happened) But the point is that the Federal Government is now cracking down and will require anyone using an LLC to purchase a property with all cash over the amount of $2 million to show proof of identity to the title company.  So, if you fall into this category, just take note that this is how things are going to be done from here on out.  And if you have any other questions, feel free to call me anytime.
                                                                             

Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016

Well, that is a mouth full..."The Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016" But what does this mean?  There are a lot of new things about this Act that have to do with rental units, public housing and assistance programs.  And these things are important and good but there is another thing in this that is eye catching.  For many many years, if you wanted to purchase a condo using an FHA loan, the entire building had to go through an application process that involved time, money and meeting certain requirements.  When the economy recovered, most buildings felt they could sell to people who weren't using FHA loans and subsequently they decided to not have their buildings certified to be "FHA approved" since it was a hassle with the time and money to do so.  But that left people who were using FHA loans very limited choices on what they could buy.  If a house was not an option to purchase, and condo buildings weren't allowing people with FHA loans, then they were not able to make a purchase.  But this new Act could possibly loosen those tight strings and red tape and have it be that the entire building doesn't need to go through an application to have someone buy a unit using an FHA loan. But instead, the loan would be solely based on the unit the person is interested in purchasing.  This is quite a big deal and would allow people who need to use an FHA loan to purchase many more options.  Call your loan officer for more information if you would like to use an FHA loan on a condo.  Also, you can read more about it here https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/3700

And when you are ready to buy or sell, please call me.  I'm always here to help


Friday, July 1, 2016

Studio City Shuttle

Free Studio City Shuttle

Have you heard about the shuttle that will be running in Studio City starting this coming week?  What a great way to keep you from having to drive.  Check out the details below
--There will be an opening ceremony on Saturday, July 2 @ 9AM - to hear Councilman Paul Krekorian's opening comments on the FREE SUMMER SHUTTLE program in Studio City.

--It will be operating on Saturday and Sunday, starting at 9am to 8pm looping from Radford Ave to Coldwater Canyon.

--Come out and enjoy this new service provided for your convenience and working is association with the Mayor and his clean Streets Initiative to get cars off the roads.




Wednesday, June 29, 2016

4th Of July 2016 Event Details In Los Angeles

Here is a great list for a ton of different firework shows and events across LA this 4th Of July 2016
brought to you by Amber Dolle the San Fernando Valley Real Estate Expert


Avalon/Catalina
July 3rd- Firework shows in 2 habors at sundown. 
Annual 4th of July Parade, Fireworks Display, Dinner at the Casino
Gold cart parade down Crescent Ave starts at 1PM.
Annual 4th of July dinner in the Casino Ballroom starts 6:15PM
1 Casino Way 
Avalon, CA 90704 
(310) 510-1520 
http://www.catalinachamber.com

Burbank
Starlight Bowl - July 4th An American Celebration
1249 Lockheed View Dr.
Burbank, CA 91505
Gates open at 4:30 p.m. 
Concert includes Stones Soul and The Kings of 88 
Purchase tickets online or at the Community Services Building, located at 150 North Third Street. http://www.starlightbowl.com

Calabasas
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
http://www.cityofcalabasas.com

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 
http://www.cerritos.us/_pdfs/lfr_flyer.pdf

Claremont
4th of July Festival & Contests
Memorial Park
840 N. Indian Hill Blvd.
Claremont, CA 91711
Pancake Breakfast from 7 a.m. - 10 a.m.

The day will be filled with a festival of games, concert, food, fun, parade and fireworks
http://www.thevillageclaremont.com/vilcal.html

Culver City
West LA College
9000 Overland Ave
Culver City, CA 90230
(310) 287-4200
www.culvercityfireworksshow.com
Date: July 4, 2015 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 3 p.m.
http://www.grandparkla.org
Gardena
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
Celebration includes gourmet food trucks, music, raffles and live entertainment
4 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.; 
Event is free to the public
(818) 891-9399 
http://lafestivalguide.org/events/4th-of-july-celebration-at-hansen-dam/ 

Hollywood
Hollywood Bowl
2301 North Highland Ave
July 2, 2013, 7:30 p.m.
July 3, 2013, 7:30 p.m

JULY 4TH FIREWORKS SPECTACULAR WITH CHICAGO

(323) 850-2000
http://www.hollywoodbowl.com 

Irwindale
Irwindale Park
4th of July Fiesta and Fireworks Spectacular
Fiesta begins at noon, Firewroks at 9 p.m.
(626) 430-2224 
http://www.irwindaleca.gov/documentcenter/view/861

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
http://www.cvfireworks.com/event.htm

Lancaster
Gates Open: 4pm
PBR: 7pm
Fireworks: 9:30pm tentatively 
TICKET PRICES (Reserved Grandstand seats):
Adult (12+):  $10/$15/$20/$25*
Children 2 yrs & under: FREE w/paid adult

https://www.avfair.com/index.php/calendar/80-city-of-lancaster-4th-of-july-fireworks

Long Beach 

Fireworks cruise:

Tickets $35 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,

Email: Harborbreezecruises@gmail.com

Visit tickets.harbor-cruises.com
and

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.  http://www.queenmary.com/events/july-fourth/ 


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
http://www.visitmarinadelrey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/July-4th-Flyer-2016-V.2.pdf

Pacific Palisades
Palisades Rocks The Fourth
Food trucks and upper stage performances in Pali High parking lot starting at 4pm.
Gates Open at 5:00pm
 Fireworks at 9:00pm
http://palisadesparade.org/Fireworks.php

Pasadena
"Americafest 2016" at Rose Bowl Stadium 
1001 Rose Bowl Dr.
Pasadena, CA 91103 
2 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. 
Festival begins outside the stadium at 2 p.m.
Opening Ceremonies begin at 7PM
Americafest fireworks show begins at 9 p.m.
Tickets: $13 - General (5 and under free), $25 - Reserved (2 and under free)
(626) 577-3100
http://www.rosebowlstadium.com/events/detail/america-fest

Pico Rivera
El Rancho High School
6501 S. Passons Blvd.
Pico Rivera, CA 90660
Gates open at 6 p.m., live entertainment begins at 7 p.m., fireworks at 9 p.m.
Parking and admission are free
(562) 801-4430
http://www.ci.pico-rivera.ca.us 

Pomona 
Pomona Fairplex
1101 W. McKinley

It's the 30th annual fireworks spectacular at Fairplex.
 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
FOR TICKET PRICING & TICKETS, visit:

 http://www.fairplex.com/events/kaboom 

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
http://www.theshepherd.org 



Redondo Beach
Seaside Lagoon
200 Portofino Way
Redondo Beach
The event will be alcohol free
http://redondofireworks.com

Rosemead
Rosemead Park 4343 Encinita Ave. 
Rosemead, CA 91770
(626) 569-2100 
http://www.cityofrosemead.org

San Pedro - Cabrillo Beach
3800 Stephen M White Dr, San Pedro
For the 66th Annual 4th of July Spectacular
Cabrillo Beach will host a free 4th of July Celebration and Fireworks show.
http://www.lawaterfront.org/events.php

Santa Clarita
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
http://www.santa-clarita.com/city-hall/departments/parks-recreation-and-community-services/events/fourth-of-july

Santa Monica
2016 4th of July Parade
Begins at 9:30 a.m. 
Parade route travels down Main Street, starting at Pico Boulevard, turns right on Marine Street, then right on Barnard Way
Parking available at Civic Center garage, Santa Monica Place and parking meters west of Main St.
http://www.opa-sm.org


South Gate
South Gate Park
9615 Pinehurst Avenue
South Gate, CA 90280
Carnival begins at 5 p.m. at Tweedy Blvd. and Hildreth Ave. and runs through entire weekend
Fireworks display at 9 p.m. 
(323) 563-5479 
http://www.sogate.org/

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. 

StubHub Center
Soccer game and fireworks
Game starts at 7:30 p.m., fireworks to follow
18400 S Avalon Blvd
Carson, CA 90746
http://www.stubhubcenter.com/events/detail/la-galaxy-vs-vancouver-whitecaps-fc-3

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.
July 4, 5:00 – 9:30 p.m., gates open at 4:30 p.m. (2016 details to be confirmed)
Adults $20, Children 6-12 $10, add $20 for rooftop viewing access or pay $100 for VIP tickets.
Free parking
www.studiocitychamber.com

Sunland Tujunga
Parade on Foothill Boulevard at 10 a.m. 
Starts at Mt. Gleason and proceeds down Foothill Boulevard to the Sunland Park
Festivities begin at 5 p.m. at Verdugo Hills High School
Fireworks display at 9 p.m.
10625 Plainview Ave.
Tujunga, CA 91042 
(818) 352-3420 
http://stnc.org/news_details.php?news_id=288

Van Ness
Van Ness Recreational Park
5720 2nd Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90043
(323) 296-1559
947thewave.cbslocal.com

West Covina
11:00 AM - 11:00 PM Hurst Ranch & Edgewood Middle/High School
1625 W. Durness Street
West CovinaCalifornia 91790
http://www.westcovina.org/Home/Components/Calendar/Event/1122/404?curm=7&cury=2015

Woodland Hills
July 4th Fireworks Extravaganza
Warner Ranch Park
21820 Califa St.
Woodland Hills, 91367
Concert begins at 6 p.m., fireworks around 9 p.m.
http://valleycultural.org

Where Is The Market Headed With Everything Going On In The World?

In a matter of a couple weeks we've seen a lot of news making stories.  And you're not alone in this feeling of being unsettled by it.  And as an expert in real estate here in the Valley, I get asked all the time where things are headed.  I hear "my friends say the market is going to stabilize" or "my co-workers say we are headed for another crash".  But let me be very clear on something...if your friend or co-workers knew these things to be true, then they would be buying, selling or what-have-you to back up their predictions.  Fact is, no one knows where things are going.  And anyone who says they do is giving you lip service.  But we can talk about what we know and what that means.  We know interest rates are incredibly low.  We've all been waiting for them to rise and that hasn't happened YET.  And of course I put that in caps because it will...that is one thing that is for sure.  We also know that here in LA we are still in a seller's market.  But things are starting to shift a little.  And here's what we are seeing.  If seller's price their home just barely too high, the house will sit.  If the house is priced very well, their will be multiple offers but seller's aren't in a position to play high-and-mighty with buyers because buyers are willing to walk away and wait.

So, if you are looking to buy...get out there and find your home.  Interest rates are superb and that won't last.  Also, the horror stories of the past couple years with insane multiple offers and requests from sellers are slowing down.

If you are looking to sell.  We don't know what the future holds.  Or how the election or any other major event may play a roll in the real estate market.  So if you would like to walk away from your home with a good price and get into something you're hoping to stay in for a while, this may be the right time for you.  If you are more of a gambler and want to wait, or this just isn't the right time, then there is the chance you may not sell your house for what it is worth today.  Or you may have to stick with living in your home for a bit longer than you thought if the market does dip.

Again, no one knows where things are headed.  But I would love to talk with you about what we can do now and what your house would be worth today.  Give me a call and let's set up an appointment.  I'm always here to help.
                                                                           

Thursday, June 23, 2016

8 Reasons Your House Isn't Selling

You've seen my name in the LA Times, you've seen me on HGTV and this time I was lucky to be contacted by a writer from Trulia to talk about reasons your house isn't selling.  Check out the article here http://www.trulia.com/blog/how-to-sell-a-house-8-reasons/

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

7 Best Tips For Navigating the School Systems In LA

Selling Real Estate is my career.  But when I'm not in the office, or at my open houses, I'm a Mom. And I work with many families who are looking to sell their home or buy a first home and move into an area where they think the schools will be best for their children. So naturally, the subject of buying a home close to a good school is a topic I work with a lot.  But frankly, it's not for me to answer that question. And the reason is, that what is a good school for one, may not be best for another.  So last week I hosted an event for parents in the Valley who wanted to learn more about the schools here in LA.  We have neighborhood schools, charter schools, magnet schools, public schools with magnet programs, and private schools.  And in LA, we aren't pushed into only having our local neighborhood schools to send our kids.  This is a great thing. But at the same time, it leaves our choices being confusing for most.  So here 7 of the best tips I learned from the speaker at my workshop Amy Walia-Fazio who is the director of P.E.L , Parent's Education League.

1. Don't assume your neighborhood school is not good or, at the other end, the best for you.  
Looking schools up online and going by a ranking of 1 to 10 is not the way to solely judge a school.  Call the school and schedule a tour.  Go to their website and read about what the school's mission statement is and see if that seems like it fits with what you want.
2. Make sure you have an idea of a few things that you think will be important for your child and keep them in mind when looking for a school.  
Does your son need a strict curriculum? Is your daughter a very shy and smart girl who needs someone to work a little extra with her? Do you want your kids to have a lot of diversity in their school?
3.  Just because private schools cost a lot of money doesn't automatically exclude you from keeping it as an option for your child. 
There are financial aid plans available and, from what I understand, you should really look into whether you can qualify for one rather than assume you might not qualify within the income range necessary.
4.  A magnet school can be a whole school or just a program (maybe a few classes) that are within a public school.  
Magnet schools, or programs, are more focused on a certain area such as math/science.  Here is a website where you can see more about Magnet Schools
5.  There are certain areas that may allow your child to attend a school based on your work location and not just your home address.
Check into whether that applies to you.
6.  A Charter school is a public school and requires a lot of the same things that a LAUSD school does but there may be more leniency as to how the teachers and school work to help their students reach their goals. 
7.  There is a method to the madness when it comes to the points, how you get them, who is eligible for more, and how they are used. 
While there are resources out there to help, Parents Education League is a non-profit one-stop-shop for learning all about our LAUSD school system.  I will continue to hold workshops that will be paid for by me but free to parents that are interested in learning about entering their children into the first few years of school here in LA.  If you are interested in attending one of these workshops, please email me directly and I will let you know when the next one I will be hosting will be.  You can also join P.E.L and attend any of their workshops or receive one-on-one consultation for your family's needs.  See their website for more information.