Get off that fence, Sellers!

2015 is shaping up for a great time for Sellers to sell their homes. There are a few factors driving this but here are the main 3 points:

1) Prices are still going up.  Houses have reached an all-time high & it doesn’t show signs of slowing. Prices are averaging 13% higher than their original purchase price in a lot of areas, resulting in the biggest gains since 2007. Foreclosures & distress sales are at only 8% of the market share so there are less investors scooping up and competing with the owner occupied buyer.

2) Buyers are out in full force. Interest rates on loans are still at historic lows but with the threat of rates going up, buyers are getting off the sidelines to start their house hunt. Also, rents are steadily increasing so renters are realizing that it makes more sense to buy real estate for the long term and potential tax advantages.

3) Inventory is still low, which means less competition for Sellers. There is about a 3.5 month inventory in the some areas of the Los Angeles marketplace right now. Tight inventory tends to prop up home prices and can result in multiple offers and spur bidding wars.

So, it is time to get off that fence and list your home!

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Copyright 2015 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

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I like the website Houz.com for great decorating ideas but they also have some excellent articles such as 14 Bathroom Trends Expected to Be Big in 2015.

san fransisco pet housing boxer

Renters struggling to find pet-friendly landlords in San Francisco

I have a significant amount of investors that I work with that purchase homes and keep them as rental units. In my conversations with them regarding tenant searches, the conversation about allowing pets always comes up. In the past, most landlords have insisted in a No Pet policy Lately, however, I’ve seen the tide turning, or at least in our Los Angeles area. Apparently, not in San Francisco where distraught renters, out priced and pushed out by more affluent silicon valley types, are being forced to surrender their pets because landlords refuse to rent to them. How sad.

Here in Woodland Hills, there is plenty of new construction including apartment buildings, especially around Warner Center.  On one of my many training runs around there, I noticed a few of the larger places like The Millennium and AMLI advertising “Pet Friendly”, “Onsite Dog Park” and “Pet Washing Stations”.   What a welcome site!

I believe this is our future and landlords should consider embracing this culture of renters with pets.  “Pet ownership is the key to increased growth in the industry. Ownership has been on the rise in the United States for the last two decades. The demand for pets, especially cats and dogs, is expected to continue to rise through 2018 and probably beyond. For the next five years, it is projected that the majority of new entrants into the pet-keeping hobby will be single-person households and the aging population.”

And yes, my investor/landlords all accept pets because they see the value in not just the tenant but what the tenant embraces – dedication, compassion & family values = great tenants!

zestimate

Margin of error nationwide at 8%

 

When it’s time to sell your home, is the first place you check Zillow Zestimates? If so, take a look at this article and maybe you will think twice about that now. Sellers need to be made more aware that the small percentage of “margin of error” that Zillow has as a disclaimer, has a potential price difference of tens of thousands of dollars, sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars of actual sale price.  An agent based in Alexandria, VA sums it up well in his blog. It’s a good explanation of why an “automated valuation model” (AVM), which is how Zillow arrives at its home values, is incapable of predicting home values with the accuracy needed for people to make smart real estate decisions.

I welcome feedback and your own experiences when using Zestimates.

Demolished homes give way to lot filling McMansions

Nothing gets a conversation more heated between neighbors like a discussion over development.  And in Los Angeles, it’s likely to heat up even more as desirable vacant lots become even more scarce and developers turn to older neighborhoods to tear down “cottages” so they can reap the benefits of additional square footage.  The LA City Council is trying to put in place tougher restrictions to slow down this most recent push but it takes time. In the meantime, neighborhoods are losing the battle to preserve what they see as the loss of community character.

How do you feel about this?

So maybe Los Angeles doesn’t exactly look like this

 

Wintertime scene by Thomas Kinkaide

Los Angeles? Nope!

 

during the winter, that doesn’t mean we can’t add some Wintertime touches for your home.  I come from New England (Boston) originally and this time of year makes me yearn for snow covered trees & to hear the crunch underfoot as I walk through the woods. Alas, I have to settle for sunny 60-70 degree days out here in Los Angeles now. 🙂  Luckily, when the temps do dip into the 30’s I can cuddle up by the fire, with candles flickering around the house & pretend that my yard is being blanketed by a layer of snow.