The city council committee faced a standing room only crowd and heard testimony from between 35-40 residents on the issue of a tree/view ordinance at City Hall on Thursday, Jan. 14. Committee Chair Mike Griffiths acknowledged the interest and support for such an ordinance from the residents and asked the city staff members to research the Rolling Hills Estates tree ordinance as a possible model for Torrance.Griffiths and councilman Tim Goodrich stated that they thought there was a need for such an ordinance.
There will be a subsequent committee meeting, and then the issue will go before the city council. We do not have a date yet for those meetings, but we will keep you posted.
(Super Low Interest Rates – But Still No Inventory here in the South Bay Real Estate Market – Here in the South Bay Real Estate Market we are still experiencing very low levels of inventory. Combine that with some of the lowest mortgage interest rates in history and you’ve got a lot of pent up demand. It can be very frustrating to be a buyer in this market especially when you know that mortgage interest rates can really go only one direction now – and that’s up. The average 30 year mortgage creeped up the tiniest of amounts today for the first time in 2015, from 3.63% to 3.66% (not exactly a big difference, but still something to expect.) Rates are constantly fluctuating, but they are historically low.
Buyers and their agents are having to rely on old fashioned methods of finding available properties – agent networking and letters out to homeowners asking if they want to sell. Prices here in the South Bay real estate market have been steadily rising for the past two years due to the lack of inventory. As of right now, there are only 217 single family residences available for purchase between El Segundo heading south to the South Side and including all of Palos Verdes. That’s incredibly low – to get a bit more specific:
90266 has 30 single family homes currently for sale on the MLS and they range in price from $990,000 to $14 million dollars
90245 has 8 single family homes currently for sale on the MLS and they range from $795,000 to $1,890,000
90254 has 11 single family homes currently for sale on the MLS and they range from $799,000 to $16 million dollars
(Hermosa Beach homes for sale)
90278 has only 14 single family homes currently for sale on the MLS and they range from $565,000 to $1,335,000
(North Redondo Beach single family homes for sale)
90277 has only 16 single family homes currently for sale on the MLS and they range from $749,000 to $13 million dollars
(South Redondo Beach single family homes for sale)
The Hollywood Riviera (there are two zip codes included here – parts of 90277 and parts of 90505) has only 15 single family homes for sale that range from $849,000 to $16 million dollars (on the Paseo de la Playa bluff)
(Hollywood Riviera homes for sale)
90274 has 67 single family homes currently for sale on the MLS and they range in price from $839,000 to $53 million (a very large estate behind the gates in Rolling Hills)
Palos Verdes Estates & Rolling Hills & Rolling Hills Estates homes for sale)
90275 has 76 single family homes for sale on the MLS and they range in price from $725,000 to $12 million dollars
(Rancho Palos Verdes homes for sale)
90505 has only 21 single family homes for sale on the MLS and they range in price from $675,000 to $1.4 million dollars
(South Torrance homes for sale)
90503 has only 22 single family homes for sale on the MLS and they range in price from $634,00 to $1.2 million dollars
(West Torrance homes for sale)
The number of residential break-ins spike during the summer months. In 10 minutes, approximately 40 homes will be burglarized. That averages one burglary for every 15 seconds. So whether you will be jet setting around the world or going on a weekend getaway this summer, make your home less attractive to thieves with these 10 tips.
Lock All Points of Entry
According to security company ADT, 40 percent of all burglaries were no-forced entries meaning someone was able to walk, crawl, or climb inside the house. Before leaving make sure to lock all windows and doors, including the door leading into the garage.
Set Your Alarm
Homes without an alarm system are three times more likely to be burglarized. Your security company should wire all windows and doors to the alarm system, including the window over the sink and all points of entry on a second floor. Make sure to set your alarm before leaving your house, even if it is just for a quick errand.
Conceal Your Trash
After purchasing a pricey electronic or appliance, break down the empty box and conceal it in a trash can before placing it next to the curb for trash day. Leaving an empty box by the curb will let anyone canvassing the area know about your newest purchase and heighten their curiosity of valuables in the home.
Create an Illusion Someone is Home
Don’t leave signs of an empty house when going on vacation. Set the lights and radio or television on a timer to give the illusion someone is home. If you are worried about electricity, fluorescent light bulbs reduce electricity use and are environmental friendly.
Prune Back Shrubbery
Cut back any overgrown shrubs and trees around windows and doors. Overgrown foliage provides potential hideouts for burglars waiting to break into the home and a place to hide if something goes wrong. Houses with visible entry points to the street and open yards are less appealing to thieves.
Keeping Up With Appearances
Overflowing mailboxes and piled up newspapers are signs of being on vacation. Mail and newspapers can be stopped while on vacation or hire a house sitter to stop by daily to pick up any mail, newspapers, and any leaflets left on the door.
Bolt Safes Down
Often times, homeowners think valuables are protected if they’re in safes, even if it isn’t bolted down. Burglars will take the unbolted down safe with them and open it when they aren’t under pressure. If you are worried about valuables on vacation, keep them in a safety deposit box.
Check Your Check-Ins
Avoid announcing your vacation on social media and checking in on geo-tracking apps such as FourSquare. Websites like www.pleaserobme.com allow burglars to keep track of your whereabouts.
Put Away Outside Toys
Lock up anything lying around in plain sight. Leaving items like bikes or scooters in your yard can attract thieves to your property who will roll away with your possessions.
Consider hanging privacy curtains or thin curtains on any bare windows. Privacy curtains still allow light in, but make it difficult for peepers to see valuables in the room and if the alarm is set.
MY #1 burglary weapon!
Get yourself a dog! I have two yappers who notify me immediately if someone is on the property that shouldn’t be!
The mortgage delinquency rate (the rate of borrowers 60 days or more delinquent on their mortgages) declined for the ninth consecutive quarter to 3.61 percent at the end of Q1 2014, according to TransUnion’s latest mortgage report. The mortgage delinquency rate has declined more than 24 percent in the last year (down from 4.76 percent in Q1 2013), and it is now at the exact same level as it stood in Q2 2008.
Selling a home involves more than putting up a “For Sale” and waiting for the offers to roll in. But what, exactly, does it take to make the process as simple and successful as possible? The first step is knowing what NOT to do by avoiding the following most common mistakes home sellers make:
—Not choosing the right REALTOR®.
Common mistakes people make in choosing a REALTOR® include: picking someone based on personal relationships instead of professional credentials, choosing the agent that recommends the highest listing price or choosing the agent with the lowest commission. Does the agent you choose specialize in the area you are selling in?
–Over-improving the house.
Don’t improve the house above the general level of other neighborhood homes and make sure remodels don’t end up making the house much more pricey than the rest of the neighborhood. Avoid unusual improvements like adding second stories that don’t fit in with the neighborhood.
–Making staging mistakes.
Be ruthless in depersonalizing the house. Repaint atypically colored walls, put in neutral flooring, and put away collections, family photos and other mementos. Be equally ruthless in decluttering the whole house, including storage spaces. Clear out unnecessary furniture, pack away nonessentials, and put items in an off-site storage facility. Do a deep cleaning before showing—hire a cleaning service if necessary. And remember to keep up with maintenance cleaning while the house is being shown.
–Neglecting curb appeal.
Most people won’t even come inside to look it they get a negative impression from the street. Give as much attention to staging the outside of the house as you do the inside.
–Not removing evidence of a pet.
It’s tough, but keep your pet away during showings. Deep clean carpets, upholstery and wall treatments or replace them entirely. Remove all evidence of fur throughout the whole house. Patch up walls, screens and other spots pets have scratched up. Remove stains and marks from a bathroom or kitchen cat litter box. Clean and deodorize wood floors and, if pet smells persist, strip and revarnish, seal or paint. Getting the airducts cleaned can also help with odor issues. Have a non-pet owner stop by to assess your de-petting success.
Buyers need to be able to see the house so sellers have to be flexible to get the most potential buyers through the door. Some buyers do a sweep of house tours during a specific time period and if a home isn’t available, it won’t make the schedule.
–Going to showings
Owners who attend showings tend to hover; inhibiting buyers and making them feel uncomfortable. Owner also may find it difficult to hear people talking their homes without taking comments personally and can reject good buyers for emotional reasons.
–Trying to hide problems or failure to make required disclosures.
Be clear and honest in disclosing all problems. You can still be sued after the sale if problems are later uncovered.
–Not making repairs.
A house that needs more work becomes less appealing than its competition. If a home needs a major overhaul, it immediately reduces the pool of people willing to look at it. Offering a credit to buyers upon closing to make repairs tends to be less effective than just making the repair beforehand.
–Making mistakes with offers.
Don’t ignore early offers. If the house is priced correctly and gets an offer in line with what you’re asking, take it. Be ready to act immediately–a house get the most attention and highest offers in the first weeks after it’s listed. Also don’t blindly accept the highest offer. When all aspects of a contract are considered, the highest bid might not actually be the most advantageous. It all depends on your situation so discuss offer strategy’s with your agent before you list.
–Not trusting the REALTORS® advice.
You know your home, but a REALTOR® knows how to sell it. Take advantage of their experience and listen to their advice on things like staging, pricing, and repairs.
–Not paying attention to the legal and financial details.
Even with a REALTOR® onboard, you need to stay involved with the process. Make sure you read contracts, understand offers and know what you are and aren’t agreeing to.
–Expecting an unrealistic price.
Pricing mistakes include: pricing too high, not understanding the local market, not heeding a REALTOR®’s advice, setting the price according to money you want or need for another purchase, and not being willing to lower the price when necessary.
–Unwillingness to negotiate.
Like it or not, negotiation will be necessary throughout the entire process on things like what repairs will be made, what fixtures and appliances might stay with the house and the dates when things will happen. Being stubborn will slow the process and can cut into your profits. Failure to negotiate on price, for example, can mean losing a sale during the crucial first weeks when the best offers typically will come it.
Hollywood Riviera, Redondo Beach, Palos Verdes, Torrance and other South Bay Beach Cities – Low Inventory Still a Problem – It’s March 5th, 2014 and it’s been almost 2 years now that we’ve had a serious low-inventory problem here in the South Bay. May 2012 is noted as the date that inventory started shrinking and it’s been going on ever since. Our inventory levels here in the Hollywood Riviera are indicative of what’s happening pretty much all over the South Bay Beach Cities markets including Palos Verdes. Currently there are 5 single family homes actively for sale here in the Hollywood Riviera neighborhood listed on our CRMLS. There are 12 houses in escrow. This shows a relationship of how quickly homes are selling. The average days on market of the homes that are in escrow is approximately 40. There are a couple of homes that just recently went pending that really ruin that average because for instance one of the homes which sat on the market for 249 days was grossly overpriced from the beginning and they made 4 price adjustments from their initial price totaling approximately $120,000. With that said, this seller’s market is still finicky when homes are over-priced.
What to do as a Buyer in this voracious market that is moving quickly? BE READY! How do you get ready? Understand what a seller is going to want. The ball is in their court right now and if they have multiple offers what can you do to make YOUR offer stand out. One of the most important things you can do is get your finances in order and get pre-approved with a lender. This process actually can take time these days as lenders are requiring a lot of information from borrowers to make sure they can repay their loans. If you are pre-approved with a lender up front, going into the bidding process will make you feel much more comfortable with what price you are able to offer and what timelines you can work within. If a seller wants a quick close and you are already pre-approved, you can offer a seller that. You need to be the buyer who can meet the seller’s terms as well as what price that seller may be looking to get. It’s not an easy process and one that requires patience. Buyers need to be ready at all times to immediately go and see properties that meet their search criteria as soon as they come on the market. It is not unusual to see 5+ offers on one property right now. Call an experienced real estate agent who is familiar with the neighborhood in which you are looking. They may be privy to homes that are not on the market yet and maybe you can get a leg up on the competition this market is full of now. Good luck.
Andrew and Christina live near the corner of Monte D’Oro and Calle Mayor and as you can see did an amazing job transforming a very basic hillside view home into a gorgeous Mediterranean beauty. With new smooth stucco, windows, front door, lovely front porch and new paver driveway, pathway/stairs to the front porch and all new landscaping.
Here is what they said. “We used the Martinez Brothers Landscaping for both the hardscape and landscape. We worked with Jorge Martinez. The landscape architect was Ric Dykzeul. He designed and drew up the plans for both landscape and hardscape a few years back for us. Yes, we are extremely happy with the results :-)!
Thanks for making the Hollywood Riviera even more beautiful! Great job.
Hollywood Riviera Homes Sales – January 2014 :
There are currently only 8 single family homes and 1 condo for sale in the Hollywood Riviera neighborhood. The average price of the single family homes currently for sale is $1,347,187 with the lowest price home currently for sale being $899,000. That house has 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms but is located on a large hill and there is little to no backyard. There is a nice deck in the back and there are very pretty city lights views from most rooms of the home. The most expensive home for sale currently is listed for $1,875,499 (reduced from $1,950,00.) This is a 3 bedroom, 2 1/2 bathroom home with just over 2200 sq ft according to the MLS listing. While this home looks very charming and has a neat lap pool & spa in the backyard, it has not sold in 166 days and most likely could use another price adjustment (downward) to get it sold.
Properties that are sitting on the market are more than likely overpriced these days as there is very low inventory, and buyers are out early this year for properties that are competitively priced as evidenced by the fact that the average price of the 5 houses that have actually sold this year (since January 1st, 2014) have sold over their listing price!
There are 9 single family homes currently under contract or pending sale here in the Hollywood Riviera. The average price of those pending sales is $1,217,222. The highest listing price of those homes is $1,500,000 and the lowest listing price of those homes is $869,000. These homes had an average Days on Market of only 48 days. That is very low! More evidence – if you price it right, it will sell quickly!!
Preparing your home for sale is a key factor in ensuring a quick sale. People like to walk into homes that look like “Model Homes.” Thus the term – builders know how to sell homes and they always stage them and they coined the term, Model Home! I always know a house will sell quickly when I hear the buyers that are looking through say, “Does anyone live here? It looks like a model home!”
If you would like help preparing your home for sale, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. We’d love to help you prepare your home for sale this year!