Thursday, July 2, 2015

Redondo Beach Luxury Real Estate | Is this the New "Manhattan"?

Redondo Beach Luxury Craftsman

So is Redondo Beach becoming the new Manhattan Beach? Well if you are fortunate (and wealthy) enough to buy in Manhattan Beach, not really. For everyone else, pretty much.

Surprisingly what we are seeing are buyers who can afford the Manhattan Beach price point gravitating to South Redondo Beach, Golden Hills in North Redondo Beach as well as other desirable comparable luxury properties. There's more to it than just having lower mortgage payments, property taxes, and investment dollars tied up in real estate. Some people prefer to be closer to the beach or even have a view at a more attractive price point. Or they just like the more relaxed laid back lifestyle and prefer Riviera Village to let's say Manhattan Village.

With the AES power plant scheduled to come down in its present configuration by 2020 (and who knows what it will be replaced with), a new Shade Hotel set to go up along the waterfront, a major Redondo Pier renovation slated and an increasingly wealthier demographic, Redondo Beach may be the place to be looking if you have been priced out of Manhattan Beach or Hermosa Beach CA.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

How Much Does it Cost to Buy a Condo or Townhome in Redondo Beach?

Large One Bedroom Condo for Sale Redondo Beach CA

As in all things Real Estate related the answer is "it depends". Right now if you are looking at the absolute entry level in North Redondo Beach (I'll discuss South Redondo separately), the entry level price point for 2 bedrooms is in the high $500's and the nice ones are going for over $600K. Assume that three bedrooms start at $650K and the nicer, newer ones are going for mid to high $700's.

But sometimes you can catch a break and still get in under $500K. A good example is my recent listing and sale at 1916 Clark Lane. This property is a large one bedroom that my seller client had been renting for quite a while and needed to sell as part of a 1031 Exchange. By large one bedroom what I'm referring to is over 700 SqFt. Because this unit has very high vaulted ceilings and an outdoor balcony the same size as would be found in a much larger 2 or 3 bedroom, it really felt larger than the stated SqFt.

There were just no comps in North Redondo Beach for a property like this. I had to use a lot of "gut instinct" in terms of setting the price. Fortunately we found an "all cash" buyer and this sale closed in 2 weeks start to finish.

Remodeled 2 Bedroom Condo-Townhouse Redondo Beach

A good example of a very nice 2 bedroom my buyer clients currently have in escrow is 1904 Voorhees Unit D (pictured above).

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Redondo Beach CA Townhomes for Sale | Great Deal on a 4 Bedroom

Redondo Beach 4 Bedroom Townhouse for Sale

While it seemed that we may have been on the cusp of more inventory hitting the market just a few weeks ago, it seems like now we've settled back into the low volume of new listings each week. Buyers remain fixated on whatever new listing pops up on their mobile real estate app of choice and are self selecting past many good and sometimes great opportunities. 
A prime example of this is my listing at 2502 Rockefeller Lane Unit C in North Redondo Beach. It's easy to pass this one by because a) it is right next to a power tower and b) it doesn't show well.

I'm not going to try to persuade anyone that the power tower is a selling point, not my style. But that has already been priced in along with the presentation. This 4 bedroom over 1800 SqFt rear unit is listed at $421 SqFt which for a property built in 2005 may be as good as it gets. Here's how I describe this one in the MLS and I'm just being candid:

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Homes for Sale North Redondo Beach CA | New Listings on Broker's Open

Very Cute SFR MLS Area 152 N Redondo Beach
If your impression is that housing inventory in North Redondo Beach CA may be improving slightly, you may be (slightly) correct. All this is, of course, somewhat relative. If by slightly improving we mean that there are 60 something homes for sale rather than 50, then yes inventory is getting better. But make no mistake, this is still a "seller's market" with less than 90 days of listings on hand.

A few things buyers should be aware of.

First, over 50% of MLS listings that sell the first 15 days on the market in most South Bay neighborhoods will close escrow at or above the asking price. You don't see many properties selling for less than the asking price until they are on the market for 30 days or more.

Second, don't conclude that the list price is what you can buy a similar home for. Many listing agents, including yours truly, price homes low in order to get the maximum number of offers above the list price as quickly as possible.

Here's some properties I saw on this weeks Broker's Open house tour that I really liked.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Can You Buy or Sell a House While You Are Out of the Country?

Compared to other brokerages, Teles Properties does a lot of "international" business so I am often asked if you can buy or sell a house while you are out of the country. The answer, as in most things Real Estate is "is depends".

I'm going through two transactions currently where my clients are abroad, at least for the time being.

Fortunately electronic signing programs such as Docusign make a lot of the transactions much more manageable and most of the paperwork including disclosures and some of the escrow documents can be handled in this manner. I've had clients sign on smart phones, tablets, and laptops in remote parts of Southeast Asia as well all over Europe and Africa.

Fortunately, for my buyer clients, who are somewhere in the South Pacific as I write this, they have reasonable internet access, cell phone connections, and are able to text. And everyone knows we can't live without texting.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Homes for Sale in North Redondo Beach CA 90278 | Search MLS Listings

Are you looking for a home to buy in North Redondo Beach CA 90278? You can use this map based MLS search to see currently active properties for sale in the Multiple Listing Service from all Brokerages, Realty Companies, Agents, and Realtors.

You will find attached and detached 2 and 3 on a lot Townhomes, Tall and Skinny Single Family Residences (SFR), starters, fixers, mansions, tear downs, flips, and anything else you can think of in 90278 including Golden Hills, TRW Tract, "Jefferson" and El Nido.

Scroll over any icon for more info and then click for details. You can also choose "view all" in the lower left of the screen.

Here's some "quick links to other homes for sale in the Beach Cities.


Don't see anything that interests you? Contact me for off market and pocket listings. I have them, really.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Townhomes for Sale in Redondo Beach CA | New Listings from Ellis Posner

Redondo Beach Townhouse for Sale 2419 Grant Ave Unit A

I just listed two 3 on a lot townhomes in North Redondo Beach CA and they are a good example of what I always advise my clients re price and presentation.

2419 Grant Ave Unit A (pictured above) shows well and is priced to sell, most likely above the asking price of $739,000. I sold the rear unit, 2419 Grant Unit C for $765K and 2417 Grant Ave B for $725K. Other "A" Units on Grant that are about the same age or remodeled have been listed for $749,000-$799,000 and are in escrow. I've shown it a few time and have had very positive feedback. First Open House Sat-Sun May 30-31 from 1-4 PM.

Here's the MLS description:

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Redondo Beach Teardowns, Lots, and Fixers Wanted

Investors, flippers, and builders are all paying new record high prices for lots, tear downs, and fixers in Redondo Beach CA. Often the transaction is "all cash" and can close in as little as 10 days.

Sellers often wonder what the benefit of selling to an all cash real estate investor or builder is. Whatever the financial vehicle is, financed or not, the seller gets their proceeds at the end of the transaction either way. While that is certainly true, there are other considerations.

First, there are properties that simply can not be financed (appraisal condition C6). This could be because they have structural issues, are not habitable, or won't appraise (although for the most part the last condition is not relevant to this discussion).

Structural issues can mean cracked foundations while habitable may refer to the presence of mold. Even in a city with a many luxury properties, you do find some real estate with substantial deferred maintenance.

Another reason that homes are sold to investors, flippers and builders is that the sellers need cash fast and the normal listing process and 30 day escrow may not afford enough time. Additionally, when real estate fees are factored in plus termite and other repair work, the cash buyer starts to become more attractive. (Often agents who represent investors, flippers, and builders waive their commission in order to get a "list back".)

If you are considering selling to an all cash commercial buyer here's some things to consider.

Builders typically look to acquire lots at 30-33% of the final project cost. So, if they will build a $3M property, they may want to pay no more than $1M (although there are many instances where they go higher.) If the lot is on a hill, expect something closer to 25% but if it has an ocean view or is on the Avenues or the Esplanade, builders will pay more. Often a lot more (no pun intended). As prices are escalating, many builders are "banking" land and holding on for an even more opportune time to sell. So, if there is a habitable house, or better yet a tenant in place, and the property can be leased, that is attractive to a builder as well.

Flippers look for fixers that have "good bones" and need either extensive cosmetic updates or can be enhanced by the addition of more square feet, bedrooms, baths, etc.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Highest Priced MLS Listings in North Redondo Beach

Contemporary Remodeled House North Redondo Beach CA
Recently I have been marveling at the fact that there are a number of $1M plus listings and sales in North Redondo Beach. My specific quote is something to the effect of "We never used to have one million and North Redondo in the same sentence".  Well as I'll discuss below, that's somewhat of a misstatement but you know what I mean. Historically when most buyers think of North Redondo Beach Real Estate their price point has been $600,000-$8,000,000. These days that range is more like $700,000-$900,000 meaning that at $900K I start to get the (psychological) pushback even if the buyers are approved for a higher amount.*

Last year I sold 2117 Huntington Lane Unit A for $1,079,000 and that was a new high for an attached front unit townhouse. Or at least a new high at the time because we are routinely seeing new and resale detached townhouse listed and selling anywhere between $1-1.2M. And these days in Golden Hills, $1M is almost a bargain. But all that may be about to change with prices ratcheting up yet again.

If the listing at 1913 Gates Avenue (above) sells at anywhere close to the asking price of $2,200,000 we may see an absolute explosion in home values in 90278. There has never been a SFR sold on 90278 over $2M. In fact the previous high was $1,670,000 in 2007 right at the height of the bubble preceding the collapse. This cycle, the highest closing was $1,576,475 at the end of April (pictured below).

SFR sold on Graham in North Redondo Beach CA
So why is Gates priced so much higher than Graham and is it worth it? The house on Graham has 4 bedrooms and is 3792 sq ft on a 5180 sq ft lot. Gates is 2891 sq ft on a 6745 sq ft lot and one block further west. Gates was built in 1994 and has been extensively remodeled. Graham built in 1990, updated and showed well.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Modern Architectural Redondo Beach House for Sale

Redondo Beach Modern Architectural 6 bedroom house for Sale with Ocean Views
If you follow my various blog sites, you know how much I love modern, contemporary, steel and glass architectural homes and basically anything in the Dwell Magazine design ethos. I often lament that we do not see enough homes of this in the South Bay so I'm very excited to be listing for sale one of the most unique and dramatic contemporary homes in the Beach Cities. And one of the largest (over 5000 sq ft) with ocean views from multiple decks and the master bedroom. The property is located just west of PCH in South Redondo Beach.

This amazing home will not be listed in the MLS (pocket listings) but you will see it featured in various publications and magazines. In addition to the five bedrooms you'll find multiple outdoor decks, including a huge roof top deck, a front and backyard, one of the largest dining rooms that you will ever see, an amazing restaurant quality gourmet cooks kitchen, a family room opening to an outdoor terrace, walls of glass pocket doors, a huge 3 car garage, loft style home office, a work out room and an elevator to traverse the 3 floors.

If you or anyone you know wants more information you can contact me directly. I'll be making a video available and there will be a single property website as well. For now you'll just have to feast your eyes on the pictures.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Homes for Sale in North Redondo Beach CA: Inventory Picking Up

Redondo Beach SFR for Sale
Finally! A "reasonable" number of homes listed for sale. And if not now, when? This is, after all, supposed to be the peak season for real estate activity (although I can honestly say I've been busy year round for quite a while.

As of this blog post there are 60 active MLS listings in North Redondo Beach (90278). There's been a number of months recently when we've been under 50 and sometimes in the low 40's. During April, there were 47 closed escrows so this represents slightly over 30 days of inventory. There are currently 66 homes in escrow (MLS status "backup" or "pending".) By any objective measurement, this is still a Seller's market but one with just a little more choice than 60 or 90 days ago.

If you are looking for a 3 bedroom in North Redondo right now and want more than 1000 sq ft and on a quieter side street, you'll have to pony up at least $600K. (There are some smaller 2 bedrooms in the $5's.) Whereas for many years the "sweet spot" may have been between $600-800K, now desirability is more in the $750-950K range. That's a trend that has been emerging over the past 18 months or so.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Homes for Sale in North Redondo Beach CA: Is $1M the "New Normal"?

New Construction Redondo Beach Golden Hills
No sooner had I typed the title of this blog post than I thought maybe I should reconsider and make that $1.2M. That's how fast prices are going up. And, all things considered, even at that price point these properties may still be good deals for the very simple reason that you get so much more for your money than in Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach or the Westside. Quality of life, proximity to freeways, shopping, beach, entertainment and out great laid back Beach Cities lifestyle!

But enough of that, back to housing prices.

Right now we're seeing the 3000+ sq ft SFRs with 4-5 bedrooms on 5000-7500 sq ft lots priced at around $1.5M. Move the same house to South Redondo and add at least $250K (and 20 minutes to your commute) or take it to Manhattan Beach and you are looking at $3M-$5M. And what's the difference between let's say the 1700 block of East Manhattan and MLS Area 151 in North Redondo Beach? The other side of aviation for a savings of 50%. Sign me up.

Many of these 3000+ sq ft houses are also found in the "El Nido" neighborhood which I have been forecasting will soon take off in price as it has been undervalued. Like the prior analogy, place the same house across 190th in 90277 and the price point is higher. Sometimes much higher.

Speaking of the "New Normal", prices in Golden Hills are continuing their upward spike with the new Casner construction on Reed poised to (justifiably) scale new highs. Pictured above is a new Tall and Skinny that just hit the market priced at $1,429,000 which (for those keeping score at home) is $567 a sq ft. While that might seem like a very high price for a tall and skinny, not really. I previewed the property last week and it is absolutely gorgeous with all the bells and whistles (and then some) you expect from Casner Construction. The house sits on one of my favorite stretches of Reed with an oversize (for Golden Hills) 2875 sq ft street to street lot meaning the back gate opens on the Ford with no houses behind and western exposure in the back yard. This house also boasts one of my favorite floor plans and other exceptional features.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Should You Accept a Contingent Offer?

North Redondo Beach drone shot
I was alternately considering calling this post "Buyer and Seller Contingencies" but more specifically wanted to answer the question of whether, in this unprecedented Seller's Market, a seller should consider a contingent offer. I'm not referring to the usual contingencies of appraisal, inspection, loan, etc. but more specifically to the sale of the Buyer's current property (in order to buy your houses).

The answer, as in most things real estate related, is "it depends".

I, or rather my seller, recently accepted a contingent offer on a very hot property. We did so primarily because it made very good business sense. First, the buyer was paying substantially over the asking price. Second, the contingency period for the sale was no longer than the normal contingency period for the loan would have been.

In fact, not only did we accept the contingent offer, the buyer of the contingent property was also selling a property so they were contingent. In other words, for the sale of my listing to go through, the buyer had to sell their house and their buyer was contingent also. 

As it turned out, everything went smoothly and we closed on time (more or less). Well about a day late which isn't out of the ordinary these days.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Ellis Posner Sells Redondo Beach Real Estate

I had two escrows close this week in North Redondo Beach: 1748 Dixon St in the Golden Hills neighborhood and 2419 Grant Ave Unit C. Dixon is a "Tall and Skinny" single family house in the "Triangle" near Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach and Grant is a rear unit 3 on a lot attached townhouse built by Powers Development in 2003. Both properties sold in less than 7 days on the market with multiple offers over the asking price. 

Tall and Skinny for Sale Redondo Beach Golden Hills
It is very interesting, at least to me, as to what is going on in both of these market segments right now as to price and availability. In large part, the 3 on a lot prices are reflective of the price point of Tall & Skinny SFRs which also tend to move in lock step with detached 2 on a lots.

Many Tall and Skinny SFRs have the exact same reverse floorplan as the attached townhomes with 2 bedrooms on the lower level and the living room, master bedroom, kitchen and dining room upstairs. Often the living room or great room features high vaulted ceilings. The Tall and Skinny houses most typically are between 1700-2000 sq ft with 2-2.5 bathrooms. The attached townhomes are usually 1600-1800 sq ft although some of the much newer ones, particularly if they were built after around 2007, may have 4 bedrooms and be slightly over 2000 sq ft.