Month: August 2010

Duende Reduced to $1,329,000 and Open this Sunday

1341 Duende Lane.
List Price: $1,329,000… reduced from $1,365,000.

Just Reduced! This 3-bed, 2.5-bath upper Marquez house has all the features of a great starter home in the Palisades and includes impressive city and mountain views from the living room, all three bedrooms, and the expansive porches on both levels. It is located on a cul-de-sac, close to local schools and situated on a large and very private lot. The private yard is perfect for entertaining and relaxing, and the floor to ceiling windows provide ample natural light and a seamless indoor/outdoor flow. While minutes from Sunset, the village, and the beach, this home makes you feel like you’re living above it all. Easy to show. Link to virtual tour and more photos.

** Check out previous posts for other featured listings. **

Mortgage Rates and Home Values

Check out the graphs below to see the history of Mortgages Rates and Home Values:

Notes on a Realtor’s Scorecard

I hope you are enjoying the summer that has finally arrived in Southern California. This has to be one of the cloudiest and dreariest summers in the past quarter century. With the sun finally coming out, people are out taking advantage of it and the real estate news cycle is fairly slow but as you will see below, we have a few interesting items to alert you to.

Mortgage Delinquencies Up Nationally: One in 10 American households with a home loan was behind on payments by at least one month this summer, the Associated Press reported. Mortgage Bankers Assn. report on second-quarter delinquencies as saying that 9.9% of borrowers fell into that category as of June 30. In a worrisome sign, the number of homeowners starting to have problems paying their home loans rose after trending downward last year. But the number of homes in the actual foreclosure process fell slightly, the first drop in four years, according to the Mortgage Bankers Assn. quarterly report.

New Homes Sales Reach Record Low:
With the expiration this spring of federal tax credit, sales of new homes were at their lowest point since the government began keeping records in 1963…California even has a $10,000 tax credit in place for buying new construction but it doesn’t seem to be helping.

Sign of the Times:
Sales of previously occupied homes plunged last month to the lowest level in 15 years, despite the lowest mortgage rates in decades and bargain prices in many areas. July’s sales fell by more than 27 percent, the largest monthly drop on records dating back to 1968, and sharp declines were recorded in all regions of the country.

Another example of 2004 pricing… A look at the 90401 zip (Santa Monica): This area is bordered by 11th Street to the East, The Pacific Ocean to the West, Wilshire Boulevard to the North and Pico Boulevard to the South and considered a starter area for Santa Monica, is within walking distance to Downtown and the Santa Monica shopping center. A few notable sales show prices trending toward 2003 levels…

1252 11th Street
# 304 90401; 2+2, 1,142 sq. ft. YB:1973
Sold on 5/27/04 for $500,000
Sold on 5/6/10 for $450,000
Note: REO, Tenant Occupied

1239 9th Stree
t # 7 90401 1+1, 598 sq. ft. YB:1987
Sold on 10/28/05 for $440,000
Sold on 4/27/10 for $385,000

Recap of a Few Significant Recent Sales

11351 Albata Street in Brentwood Glen goes for over asking:
11351 Albata Street, a 3 bed/3 bath, 1,275 sq. ft. home on a 5,250 sq. ft. lot that was stylishly remodeled in the past 5 years was listed for $1,219,000 and sold for $1,240,000. The Glen is a great area that is currently dealing with traffic issues due to the 405 widening project, but once the work is done, the area will be even more desirable.

The Lemon of the Palisades sells… it’s amazing what poor construction can do to a sale price:
The much talked about 720 Almar in Pacific Palisades, created a frenzy when it was initially listed as banked owned a few months ago, reportedly sold for only $2,150,000, far less than what was anticipated. It was listed for $2,349,000 and in 2008 was listed for $3,800,000! We don’t know who bought the house but it looks like it was an all cash, non-contingent offer. The word on the street is the house has a major mold problem and construction defects throughout…despite that, a heck of a price for who go it. . .

821 Alma Real sells for $350K less than it did in 2006:
Not a bad drop considering recent housing news and a good sign the Palisades has not dropped like some other locales. This New England traditional in the Huntington Palisades is 5,621 sq. ft. on a 8,015 sq. ft. lot, 5 bed/5.5 bath home sold for $3,600,000 and was bought in late 2006 for $3,950,000…moral of the story: Location, Location, Location

My Market Thoughts

Unlike many of my fellow Realtors, I have always preached that you buy a home because you feel strongly that you are going to enjoy living in it, like the location, and it fits you and or your family’s needs. The “steroid” era of the home market caused a distorted picture of home ownership and the correction we are currently going through is strongly preaching that. Owning a home is a beautiful thing and over time a great, leveraged investment, but it should only be done if the fundamentals make sense and you can see yourself in the property at least for a 5 to 10 year period. We are just reaching the bottom of the avalanche of the Mt. St. Helen’s of real estate run-ups, which it reached its peak in late 2006.

The market will eventually rise again and I believe the next 18 months will provide great buying opportunities. However, in my opinion, the Westside market has at least another 10% left on the downside. As long as mortgage rates continue to decline at unprecedented levels, we may not see the drop right away but recent market activity has been very slow on the high end indicating the drop could be coming sooner rather than later.

Until the fundamentals of what people earn vs. what they can afford properly matches up and the economy picks up some sort of steam, the current housing prices in the jumbo loan market are still a bit high. I say this with one caveat. If you can afford to buy and have a great credit score, history will look back on this time as a great time to buy since it is extremely rare to have prices dropping along with mortgage rates that are trending toward 4%…in 1981, rates were above 18%.

Preservationists Fight Condo Project

This project concerned the Spanish-Colonial revival design of a proposed condominium project at the corner of Ocean Avenue and San Vicente Blvd. Though the development plan won approval from the planning commission last week, preservationists who claim the development would detract from the neighborhood’s character, are prepared to fight.

Article: Preservationists Fight Condo Project

Check out this Price Reduction in Brentwood

12679 Promontory Road.
List Price: $2,349,000… reduced from $2,425,000.

This Elegant and luxurious home (over 5,000 sq. ft.) with a completely remodeled interior is a family-friendly living space that is the gem of the Mountaingate community. At its newly reduced price ($465 dollars a square foot!), this home is truly worth a look.

Virtual Tour and Photos.

Featured Listings: 1341 Duende Lane Open This Sunday 2-5/ 756 North Bundy

1341 Duende Lane: Come by Duende on Sunday from 2-5pm to take a look at this great Palisades home.

This is an opportunity to purchase a great Palisades starter home with great city views and privacy you won’t get anywhere else. Details below…

List Price: $1,365,000. 3 bed, 2.5 baths, 1,867 sq. ft.
Upper Marquez home situated on a very large and private lot. Located on a cul-de-sac and very close to local schools. The home features dark hardwood floors and indoor/outdoor flow with tremendous views from the living room, all three bedrooms, and expansive porch on both levels. Click here for the virtual tour, photos and listing info.

756 North Bundy: If you’re looking for a 3-bedroom home in Brentwood, be sure to check out the virtual tour below. Listed at $1,585,000, this 3 bed/2 Bath, 1,993 sq. ft. home was rebuilt in 2004. A large chef’s kitchen opening to the living room highlights the property. Located 1 mile north of Sunset. Click here for the virtual tour, photos and listing info.

Have a great weekend!

Mortgage Rates Fall Again… and Again… and Again

Its no secret that falling interest rates on mortgages have led to an increase in home refinancing…this summer has seen record low rates continued to fall for the eighth time in the past 9 weeks – triggering the highest volume of home refinancing in the past 15 months.

Full Article: Mortgage Rates Sink Lower Still

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