DECIPHERING MARKET MOVES

For consumers who locked into refi’s or home loans upon news of the Fed’s .25% drop in the benchmark rate on July 31, it was a bit of a disappointing week. The smug confidence that their strategic timing locked in a rate at the lowest possible point turned to confusion as they watched rates continue to slide for the next week. How could this happen? What did they miss? While they could not possibly have planned for it, Trump’s announcement of the Chinese tariffs sent investors scrambling to move money out of the stock market to the safety of bonds. And as bond prices rose, interest rates declined. At the end of the day, it was this unexpected news that had a more significant impact on interest rate movement. Predicting interest rates moves is a tricky business as they depend on the expectations of investors driven by a wide range of economic news and reports. And just when you think you’ve got it all figured out a surprise announcement or an unanticipated event takes hold of the financial markets and away we go.   Click here to read more Continue reading

REAL ESTATE EYE CANDY

The “Bird Streets” located off Doheny just above Sunset have become one of the most coveted areas for luxury homebuyers in Southern California. Offering exceptional views, privacy and easy access (just down the hill) to West Hollywood, Beverly Hills and the entire westside this area is home to celebrities, entertainment industry executives and many of the top business and professional people in LA. The area is filled with incredible modern homes built to take advantage of the views and filled with the luxury amenities that define the art of living today. Click here to read more Continue reading

DESIGN TRENDS

If a little bit is good, is more always better? Today let’s have fun with design as I give you some of the campiest rooms you can ever imagine! Click here to read more Continue reading

CELEBRITY MOVES

Matthew Perry has come a long way from the apartment he shared with his “Friends” in New York.  Over the past decade he has proven himself to be an active and astute player in the Los Angeles real estate market.  This week he added another chapter to his real estate legacy when he listed his 9290 sq. ft condo in the swank Century Towers for $35million, making it the most expensive condominium currently on the market in Los Angeles.  If he gets his price his investment will show a pretty good rate of return given that he purchased the full-floor unit just over two years ago at $20million.  Click here to read more Continue reading

REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT STRATEGIES

While Los Angeles city government struggles to build housing for the homeless and cost estimates are as high as $500K per apartment in these projects, a Venice, CA couple, Heidi Roberts and John Betz, are proving that there may be another way to address the housing issue. By buying up dilapidated single family homes in South LA and replacing them with large duplexes they housed 98 homeless tenants last year. These duplexes can be built relatively quickly and at far less cost than the government projected costs…and the couple is even showing a modest profit from their first foray into homeless housing. With the success of their first efforts, they have now recruited investors to raise funds to build 480 more beds next year with the promise of a 5% annual return on their investment. Mayor Garcetti…take note! Click here to read more Continue reading

MORTGAGE MONDAY

Despite the continued growth in home prices in many markets, 30 year mortgage interest rates now in the 3% range are giving home buyers more buying power than they had a year ago. How much more? Realtor.com breaks the numbers down and shows just how much more home you can get today with year to year comps in several markets. Click here to read more Continue reading

DESIGN TRENDS

Home and Design identifies the “new normal” guiding designers and clients in renovations and cosmetic remodels both inside and out. Driven by cultural changes, the approach to design and planning has evolved with a new focus on environmental sustainability, the creation of transitional spaces that merge the outdoors with the indoors and easy, livable spaces for entertaining and family gathering. Click here to read more Continue reading

CELEBRITY MOVES

Although it is not a pretty tale (and not a very pretty house either) this move was so newsworthy I had to share! It appears that poor beleaguered Jussie Smollet has taken a loss on the sale of his Studio City hideaway. While the average 3 bedroom home value increased by 7%, the former “Empire” star took a $30K loss…NOT counting the cost of improvements. Can you say Karma??? Click here to read more Continue reading

IN THE NEWS: AMAZON AND REALOGY FORM A PARTNERSHIP

Realogy (parent company of Sotheby’s International Realty) and Amazon are offering a new program, Turnkey, that will connect potential homebuyers to agents through the Amazon portal. And once the buyer purchases a home they get up to $5000 of products and products from Amazon for free! Just one more reason to choose Sotheby’s to represent you when buying a home! Click here to read more Continue reading

THE LEGISLATIVE TRACK: VACANCY TAXES

Housing groups in cities up and down the state of CA are proposing a vacant property tax as one solution for the affordable housing crisis. But will this “empty homes” penalty prevent speculators from sitting on properties, leaving them vacant until they can demand a higher price? Will the penalties paid by these property owners actually make their way towards homeless services or to build new housing? In LA, there is a push for a referendum on the vacancy tax for the March or November 2020 ballot. How will you vote? Click here to read more Continue reading