April 27, 2013
Hollywood Riviera Real Estate Market Update – April 27, 2013 –
There are currently 19 homes for sale here in the Hollywood Riviera. They range in price from $720,000 to $4,200,000 (but I am going to take this outlier from the equation to keep things on an even playing field) So the next highest priced home is $1,989,000. Keeping these numbers in mind, the average price for a home here in the Hollywood Riviera today is $1,271,206. Which means the average dollars per square foot are $538. The average days on market of these 19 homes is 48 days. (This time last year there were 12 homes for sale with an average days on market of 72.)
There are 13 single family properties that are currently under contract or in escrow here in the Riviera. They had an average days on market of only 33 days. The average price of the pending properties is $1,020,077, or $524 a square foot. (Notice that the average price and average dollars per square foot goes down from the ‘active’ homes to the ‘pending’ properties. And it will go down further for the’ solds.’)
There have been 32 homes sold since January 1st, 2013. The average price of those 32 homes was $1,058,622. And the average days on market of those homes was 44 days. The average dollars per square foot is $514. Let’s compare this to last year (same time period: Jan 1 – April 26th.)
Jan 1 – Apr 26 – 2012
Number of homes sold = 26
Avg price = $997,750
Avg dollar/sq ft = $460
That means we’ve sold 19% more homes this year over last year with a 2.2% average price increase. 13 of the 32 homes that sold this year so far sold at or over the asking price. 9 sold over the asking price – that is 28% of the homes sold in 2013 selling above their list price. This is an exciting time for sellers and still a great time for buyers to enter the market. The inventory has increased over the last few weeks which means there are a few more homes to choose from. Interest rates are still being offered at historic rates (thanks to the Feds who are still looking to stimulate our economy. Thank you, Uncle Sam.)
April 16, 2013
Hollywood Riviera real estate – Least and Most Expensive Homes for Sale – April 2013
It’s April 2013 – Spring selling season is here, yet we have low inventory compared to years gone by. What can someone looking to live in this picturesque neighborhood expect to find?
The least expensive home currently for sale here in the Hollywood Riviera was just listed one day ago for $680,000. It’s a fixer upper one home in from Calle Mayor, one of our micro-main drag-streets. This quaint (aka – small) home of 1225 sq ft has ‘Riviera Fixer in need of TLC” as its main description. Need I say more?
For those buyers wanting to get something a bit more spectacular here in the Hollywood Riviera, you might want to take a look at the home for sale on Calle de Aragon for $1,998,000 (also written up by the Redondo Beach Patch as one of Redondo Beach’s priciest homes for sale recently.) It’s a lovely home with an incredible view of the ocean, city lights and mountains, not to mention it’s been extensively remodeled throughout – including the impeccable garage. The backyard is all-pool and one that just doesn’t match with the rest of the home’s new style. No idea why they didn’t dress that area up as well? It’s been on the market now for 50 days (which as of today the average days on market of the homes currently for sale here in the Hollywood Riviera is down to a mere 45 days (although if I had to average out the days on market of the ‘high end’ homes for sale here – of which we have a bit of a glut – you’d find the days on market number increases to 82 days.)
This leads me to a whole other story the one about pricing your home properly in today’s market. Stay tuned….
March 10, 2013
Monte Malaga, Palos Verdes Estates - Looking down to Torrance Beach and Redondo Beach...what a day to live here! Taken February 27, 2013!
February 20, 2013
10 Hollywood Riviera Homes have sold so far this year (January 1st – February 20, 2013) The average price of those 10 homes is $1,008,420 with the least expensive sale being $850,000 and the most expensive single family home to sell is $1,334,000. The average days on market of those 10 sold homes was 60 days. Let’s compare this to the same time period last year (Jan 1st – Feb 20, 2012.) 10 homes also sold in the same time frame last year, but their average days on market was 92 which represents a 30% decrease in the time on market year over year. The average price of the 10 homes sold last year was $938,850 – which represents a 7% increase in average price year over year. All this good news makes 2013 a good year to sell your home. Let’s see what the Hollywood Riviera real estate market is doing so far this year…
There are currently 10 homes actively being marketed on the MLS as of today. Of those 10, 8 are over $1 million dollars. In my professional opinion, there are really on a couple that are priced properly. One of the homes has been on the market for 317 days now – clearly the price is too high or it would be sold by now. Another one has been on the market for 203 days now – I’ve been inside this particular home and it’s a nice home on a nice street with lots of great curb appeal, but it’s not sort of overpriced, it’s grossly overpriced, by maybe $300K. It’s a real shame. Sellers need to be aware that today’s buyers are very savvy and have typically done lots of research on the internet before they even come into a realtor’s hands. And if the realtor they choose has any fiduciary duty to their buyer at all, they are providing that buyer with comps from the area of current sales which would lead them to the fact that a home is either priced right or not. But honestly in today’s market, a home that is priced right doesn’t last very long and typically receives multiple offers.
If you are interested in finding out the value of your home in today’s market, please feel free to contact us.
Thanks so much, Kelly & Laura
August 29, 2012
In low-inventory markets, some buyers are having a hard time finding a home to buy. There are steps you can take to improve your odds of finding a home at a time when interest rates are at record lows and affordability is high.
One approach is to broaden your search. You should be clear about what it is you want to buy. But, homebuying involves making compromises. Just make sure you don’t give in on the essentials. You need a home that will last you for the long term. Avoid listings with major defects that will be expensive or impossible to fix.
The sorts of features you should be willing to give up, if necessary, are house style, or a large yard, which can be a maintenance drain. If you’re having no luck buying in your first-choice neighborhood, check out the adjacent areas. These could be the next turn-around neighborhoods when the overall housing market improves.
You could also do an about-face and consider condos rather than single-family homes. This might have the advantage of shortening your commute to work.
Ask your agent to cull the inventory of expired, withdrawn, and canceled listings that didn’t sell in the last year or two. These may not have sold because they were priced too high. If the sellers are still interested in selling, and aren’t locked into a lease, you might be able to work out a mutually acceptable price.
Be open to making improvements rather than holding out for a home that’s in move-in condition. Major fixers will probably be snapped up by investors to rehab and resell at a profit. This is a competitive market and not one for novice homebuyers.
However, if a listing isn’t receiving attention because of its dated décor, this could work if you intend to live in the property and not try to flip it for a profit. Be sure to work with an agent who has experience with cosmetic renovations, or consult with a decorator.
You’d be surprised what updated plumbing and light fixtures, new paint, floor finishes, appliances and improving the outdoor living can do to turn a dowdy listing into a comfortable abode. Just make sure you don’t tackle too much. You don’t want to over-improve for the neighborhood, and structural issues are taboo.
Don’t exhaust yourself by bidding on a house you can’t get. A home was recently listed for $985,000. Seventeen buyers made offers. It sold for $1.2 million. Underpriced listings are often bid up in a low-inventory market. Wait to make an offer until you find a listing that’s priced within your affordability range.
Don’t be afraid of accepting a backup offer if your bid isn’t accepted. The transaction fallout rate is pretty high in this market. Keep looking for another listing while you’re waiting to see if the first deal goes through.
All-cash offers tend to win in multiple-offer competitions. To be competitive, try to put yourself in a position to pay all cash. If you have savings you can tap and you can secure a private temporary loan from parents or borrow from a 401(k), you might be able to make a cash offer.
If your parents are providing some of the financing, ask them to write a letter that you can provide to the sellers that confirms your source of funds. This should be accompanied with documentation of the parents’ funds. You can refinance into a conventional mortgage later.
THE CLOSING: If the market where you’re looking is too hot, you can take the watch-and-wait approach. The market is always changing. When inventories increase, there will be more opportunities for buyers.
November 8, 2011
I just ran across this new listing here in the South Bay that sounds like a really nice property. However, it is a short sale listed by an out of area broker who has only one photo of the property on the mls. Not only is there only one photo, but it is a super small, bad photo, that looks like it only shows the garage door.
March 1, 2011
Sellers, is your home on the market or are you preparing it now to go on the market soon? Here are 6 big-time homebuyer turn-offs that make buyers cringe at the thought of your home, and action steps you can take to prevent your home from being an offender:
1. Stalker-ish sellers. I know you think you’re being helpful, walking the buyer through your home and pointing out the wagon-wheel light fixture you made with your own two hands, the custom mural of a stingray you paid top dollar to have painted across your living room wall and the way the sounds of happy schoolchildren running across the front yard of your corner lot to get to the school in the next block lifts your spirits. However, the buyers might be trying really hard to ignore, minimize or figure out how to undo the very features of your home you hold dear. They also may want or need to have personal space and conversations with their mate or their agent while they’re viewing your home – you being there, especially walking right alongside them while they’re in your home, prevents them from being comfortable about doing this, or discussing all the things they would change if the home were theirs. In my experience, the more nitpicky a buyer gets about a house and the more detailed their list of things they would change, the more serious they are about considering making an offer on this place.
What’s a Seller to do? Back off. Let your home be shown vacant, or leave the house when people come to see it. If you need to be there, at least walk outside or go sit at the coffee shop down the way while prospective buyers view your home. If the buyers have questions, their people will contact your people.
2. Shabby, dirty, crowded and/or smelly houses. You already know this one. Yet, buyers constantly marvel. The buyers who come to see your home are making the decision whether to choose your home for the biggest purchase they’ve ever made during the worst economic conditions most of them have ever experienced. Your job is to get your home noticed – favorably – above the sea of other homes on the market, many of which are priced very, very low.
What’s a Seller to do? Other than listing your home at a competitive price, the only tool within your control for differentiating your home from all the foreclosures and short sales is to show it in tip-top shape. Pre-pack your place up, getting rid of as many of your personal effects as possible. Do not show it without it being completely cleaned up: no laundry or dishes piled up, countertops freshly washed, smelly dogs (I have a couple who smell on occasion – no judgment – but don’t show your house with pet odors) or litter boxes cleaned and/or out of the house.
3. Irrational seller expectations (i.e., overpricing). Buying a house on today’s market is hard work! On top of all the research and analysis about the market and situating their own lives to be sure they’ll be able to afford the place for 5, 7, 10 years – or longer, buyers have to work overtime to separate the real estate wheat from the chaff, get educated about short sales and foreclosures and often put in many, many offers before they get even a single one accepted. The last thing they want to add to their task lists is trying to argue a seller out of unreasonable expectations or pricing. And, in fact, there are so many other homes on the market, buyers don’t have to do this. When they see a home whose seller is clearly clueless about their home’s value and has priced it sky-high, most often they won’t bother even looking at it. If they love it, they’ll wait for it to sit on the market for awhile, hoping the market will “educate you” into desperation, priming the pump for a later, lowball offer.
What’s a Seller to do? Get real. Get out there and look at the other properties that are for sale in your area and price range. Get multiple agents’ take on what your home should be listed at, and don’t take it personally if their recommendation is low. If your home has much less curb appeal or space or is much less upgraded than the house across the way, don’t list it at the same price and expect it to sell. If you owe more than your home is realistically worth, you may need to reexamine whether you really want or need to sell, or consider a short sale, if you simply have to sell. Don’t be tempted into testing your market with an obviously too-high price, unless you’re prepared to have your home lag on the market and get lowball offers.
4. Feeling misled. Here’s the deal. You will never trick someone into buying your home. If the listing pics are photo-edited within an inch of their lives. If your neighborhood is described as funky and vibrant, as code for the fact that your house is under the train tracks and you live in between a wrecking yard and a biker bar, prospects will figure this out. If the detailed information about your home, neighborhood or even transactional position (e.g., short sale status, seller financing, etc.) is misrepresented, the sheer misrepresentation will turn otherwise interested buyers off. If you authorize your agent to “verbally approve” the buyer’s offer, don’t go back the next day demanding an extra $5,000. In cases where the buyer feels misled, whether or not that was your intention, running through the buyer’s mind is this question: If they can’t trust you to be honest about this, how can they trust you to be honest about everything else?
What’s a Seller to do? Buyers rely on sellers to be upfront and honest – so be both. If your home has features or aspects that are often perceived negatively, your home’s listing probably shouldn’t lead with them (like the ad I recently saw with the intro line: “this place is a mess!”), but neither should you go out of your way to slant or skew or spin the facts which will be obvious to anyone who visits your home. Make sure you know what the listing of your home reads like, before it’s published to the web, and that a prospective buyer will not feel misled by it.
5. New, ugly home improvements. Many a buyer has walked into a house that has clearly been remodeled and upgraded in anticipation of the sale, only to have their heart sink with the further realization that the brand-spanking-new kitchen features a countertop made, not of Carerra marble, but brand-new, pink tiles with a kitty cat in the middle of each one (I saw this once, people – no joke). Or the pristine, just-installed floors feature carpet in a creamy shade of blue – the buyer’s least favorite color. New home improvements that run totally counter to a buyer’s aesthetics are a big turn-off, because in today’s era of Conspicuous Frugality, buyers just can’t cotton to ripping out expensive, brand new, perfectly functioning things just on the basis of style – especially since they’ll feel like they paid for these things in the price of the home.
What’s a Seller to do? Check in with a local broker or agent before you make a big investment in a pre-sale remodel. They can give you a reality check about the likely return on your investment, and help you prioritize about which projects to do (or not). Instead of spending $40,000 on a new, less-than-attractive kitchen, they might encourage you to update appliances, have the cabinets painted and spend a few grand on your curb appeal. Many times, they will also help you do the work of selecting neutral finishes that will work for the largest possible range of buyer tastes.
6. CRAZY listing photos (or no photos at all). We’ve seen listing photos that have dumpsters parked in front of the house, piles of laundry all over the “hardwood” floors touted in the listing description, and once, even the family dog doing his or her business in the lovely green front yard. Listing pictures that have put your home in anything but its best, accurate light are a very quick way to ensure that you turn off a huge number of buyers from even coming to see your house! The only bigger buyer turn-off than these bizarre listing pics are listings that have no photos at all; most buyers on today’s market see a listing with no pictures and click right on past it, without giving the place a second glance.
What’s a Seller to do? Hire local area experts, like us and we will make sure all of these details are covered! Or, check your home’s listing and make sure that the pics represent your home well. If not, ask your agent to grab some new shots and get them online (and say pretty please, pretty please!).
Thanks to Trulia Real Estate
February 25, 2011
I went to a seminar this week that was given by a CA Realtor Association lobbyist who works in Sacramento and gave us some scary information about proposed leglislation that they are fighting against.
Here are some of the highlights of what he told us:
1. The CA state sales tax could soon include services from lawyers, doctors and realtors. For example, if a realtor charges and collects 5% of the purchase price of a million dollar home, that 50k would be taxed at 9.75% and that money would have to be collected and sent to the state like a normal sales tax. I personally think the chances of this passing are slim. The administration costs would be enormous. Who pays, who collects, who send to Sacramento?
2. Challenges to Prop 13. More power is being transferred to city governments vs. the state government and thus, cities want to challenge prop 13 to get more money to pay for services, debt etc.. This one could be interesting.
3. Mortgage interest deduction. This is more of a federal government proposition. I really doubt we will see this as a major sweeping change for tax purposes. But more likely possibilites include income property or second home deduction changes or elimination of those, elimination of the mortgage interest deduction for high income individuals (250K and up)? Who knows how this one will play out but I will be watching and happy to support this being killed.
4. Reduction of the jumbo conforming loan limits from 729k down to 625k or below. This could make a big impact in our area since the average sales price is over one million dollars. They will also raise down payment requirements and fees for Fannie and Freddie loans which means less people will qualify for those. These changes are the most likely of the items I have discussed to occur.
So my advice to potential home buyers is… BUY NOW!
I was reading a real estate magazine recently and noticed a tag line on the realtor’s ad that said, “Nobody has sold more homes in the____________ area since ____ . I wonder if this agent even checked to see if this is true? So I did a little checking, and guess what? It wasn’t true. Aside from the annoyance factor of that if you are indeed the realtor who HAS sold the most homes in that area, I asked myself, Does anyone even care about this? Isn’t what buyers and sellers are looking for is reputation, results, who they “click” with the most? I don’t think most people really want to hear an agent spout off about how they are #1 at this, and the best thing since sliced bread, etc… I think people want to know what the agent can do for them. When advertising, I like to focus on the wonderful aspects of the property I am advertising, and not about how wonderful I am (If you have to tell everybody about that.. maybe it isn’t true??)
February 17, 2011
California’s Million Dollar Home Sales UP in 2010 – 1st Time since ‘05: Being that the average sales price here in the Hollywood Riviera for 2010 was close to $1 million dollars – this is good news! DataQuick News reports the story here - Oneof our South Bay towns, Manhattan Beach is on top of the heap with greatest number of home sales over $1 million dollars last year – 326 homes vs 260 from the previous year (2009.) The most expensive sale in Manhattan Beach last year was $6.3 million. Rolling Hills Estates made the list as well with a total of 245 homes selling over $1 million dollars last year as well vs. 187 in 2009. Rancho Palos Verdes was on the list as well posting 163 homes over $1 million dollars last year vs 2009’s 140. To see the full article click here.