(i.e.- weekly neighborhood notes, school info, random real estate news, etc):

*In the ritzy 90402 Santa Monica zip code, the cost of buying a home (based on a 20% downpayment and 5.5% interest rate) is about double the cost of renting. . .

*The Santa Monica City Council unanimously approved St. Monica’s development plan which includes adding a new 27,500 sq. ft. community center, 7,700 sq. ft. of new classrooms, three levels of subterranean parking and renovating the auditorium and athletic facilities. They hope to begin the project sometime next year and should take three to four years to complete. Please read more at www.smdp.com . This will be great for the community and help St. Monica’s schools continue to improve their academic reputation. However, this project combined with the California Incline project means serious traffic issues for North of Wilshire residents.

*Manhattan Beach’s sand dune hill (extremely popular with fitness enthusiasts and sports teams) will finally re-open but with restrictions requiring people to reserve online and expected to pay a $3-5 usage fee. The fee will be used to help maintain the area and it will also cut down on usage by 70% to appease the neighbors…don’t be surprised if a similar fee is enacted at the Santa Monica stairs in the next few years…fitness enthusiasts beware.

*Prudential Southern California had 1700 transactions in March which is the best March the company has had since 2005. In fact, the company is already profitable for the year, two months earlier than last year.

* Foreclosure Radar reports that notices of default (NODs) recorded in California for February amounted to 31,004, a jump of 20% from the 25,904 in January. Notice of trustee’s sales (NOTS) filed in February increased by 4% to 28,195, from 27,220 in January. Both the increases in NODs and NOTS reverse the three-month trend of decreases seen since the November cyclical slowdown in foreclosures at the end of each year.

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