Friday, September 30, 2016

Buying a Home in Redondo Beach?



As a homebuyer, you are going to be working with a number of companies and different people as you go through the purchase process. Often there may be multiple people at the various companies that you have to interface with. Watch the video, it is very informative then continue reading to learn more about some of the players.

REAL ESTATE AGENTS

Most likely there will be at least two agents involved in the transaction, one for the Buyer and one for the Seller. And make no mistake about it, each party really needs their own representation.

I say at least two agents because sometimes agents work on a team. For example, a lead agent or team leader may have a Buyer's Agent to show homes.

Your agent may also have an assistant and most Real Estate Brokerages these days offer the services of a Transaction Coordinator (TC) to their agents as a service. The assistant may do things such as scheduling showings or inspections while the TC handles the Real Estate related paperwork (of which there is plenty).

LENDERS

Your loan officer, whether he or she is a Mortgage Broker, Banker or Direct Lender, may also have an assistant if they originate a lot of loans. In addition there will be loan processor and of course there is the dreaded underwriter, the person who ultimately has to sign off on the file.

The loan officer is the first person you speak with and is the one who can best advise you as to options re loan program, down payment, and how it all works. The LO's assistant may gather up your documentation (you will be asked for a lot) for the processor who organizes everything for submission to the underwriter.

INSPECTORS

Well the good news is that the inspector usually doesn't have an assistant. But you may have to utilize a few different inspectors before you get the complete picture of you new home's condition.

You will start with a General Inspection and  Termite Inspection.

Depending on what is uncovered out you may also need a sewer line video inspection, a mold inspection and evaluations of the roof, plumbing, HVAC, and electrical from licensed practitioners in those fields.

ESCROW & TTLE

Yes, the Escrow Officer has an assistant. Well almost always. In many escrow companies the assistant may know more about your file than the Escrow Officer. Just the way things work.

Sometimes the Title Company may also be the escrow company. Either way there will be a separate Title Rep and Title Officer. Usually the Title Rep can answer most questions regarding what you will see on the Title Prelim.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Teles Properties Redondo Beach | New Listings

Here's 2 new listings from Teles Properties in Redondo Beach.

Teles Properties is the fastest growing independent Real Estate Brokerage in California and Redondo Beach is one of the hottest markets in coastal LA County for home sales. Here's videos of 2 great new listings.


It’s rare to find a single family residence in North Redondo Beach—let alone one this beautiful and spacious! Bright, open and centrally located on a side walked street, close to great schools, this Mediterranean boasts 4 large upper level bedrooms, 2.5 baths, a lovely flow, and gorgeous finishes and upgrades. Built in 2004 by renowned builder Mark LaCharite, this welcoming home features amenities that are sure to please. The ground level is ideal for entertaining, with a spacious dining and living room area, and a gleaming chef’s kitchen with stainless appliances, granite counters and crisp white cabinets, which flows to the breakfast area and family room. Open the double french doors and expand your living and party space into the private, south-facing patio with a built-in bar and grill, fire pit and outdoor TV! Upstairs, the master suite spoils you with a walk-in closet, private balcony, vaulted ceilings, and large bathroom with custom tile, spa tub and double sinks. Enjoy vaulted ceilings in the other 3 extra-large bedrooms and the convenience of the full-sized laundry room. Gleaming cherry wood floors and stairs, crown molding, recessed lighting, new paint inside and out, CAT5 wiring, SmartGrass front yard with stamped concrete driveway and attached 2-car garage with plenty of storage and epoxy flooring are just a few additional features of this fine home.

Approximately 2700 SqFt, listed for $1,399,000.

How about a Single Family House in South Redondo Beach for Under $1M?



Immaculate South Redondo Beach 3 bedroom/1 bath with Guest Suite. Perched high above street level keeps this home private and quiet PLUS provides unobstructed hillside views. Travertine entryway lead you to a gorgeous kitchen with granite countertops and carrera marble backsplash. Hardwood floors, dual pane windows and plantation shutters throughout. Ocean breezes with ceiling fans in every room keep this home cool. Further upgrades include recessed lighting, automatic central heating, copper plumbing, tankless water heater, updated 200 amp electrical panel, built-in (hidden) stackable Maytag washer/dryer, custom bathroom with remote control skylight and crown molding throughout. Every inch of this extremely large lot has been touched with upgrades including professionally installed landscape and lighting, custom trellis’ and all vinyl fencing. Flagstone hardscape lead you to custom fire pit nestled under one beautiful mature olive tree. Finished two car garage also greet you at this level. A few more steps up and a professionally installed wildflower garden accompany amazing hillside/night light views. This is an entertainer's dream and priced to sell in this quiet up and coming neighborhood. Finished architectural plans for a 400 sq. ft expansion also included.

House is under 1,000 Sq Ft, lot is over 6,000. Listed for $899,000.


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

New Construction Sets New High Prices in Redondo Beach



I spend a lot of time a) driving around Redondo Beach and b) looking at Real Estate listings and can't help but come to the conclusion that there's a ton of new construction sitting on the market and some of these properties will sell at a discount. In fact some have already been reduced.

For me, the gamut runs from some of the nicest properties I have seen in Redondo Beach to "you've got to be kidding". Let's start with the you've got to be kidding category.

One of the trends I'm seeing is what is mistakenly called Modern but is really Contemporary. (I can cover the difference between Modern and Contemporary elsewhere.) Unfortunately a lot of what has been built in this vein is better described as "Nuevo Contempo". I made that up, that's really not a style. It's my phrase for the mismatch of seemingly edgy but to my judgement tasteless choices I see in some the recent buildings.

Also in the you've got to be kidding category are builders still coming out with the mid aughts style of dark wood, granite, dark walls, etc. Let's call it Pseudo Euro Nuveo. You know it when you see it.

Enough rant, let's get to some numbers.

As of this writing there are 127 active MLS listings in Redondo Beach. Of these, 31 are new construction built in 2016. That's a staggering 24% of the total of all properties currently offered for sale. There are another 16 properties in escrow out of a total of 117. That's "only" 13.6%.

Digging deeper of the 31 listings only 4 were under $1M and 3 of those were at $999K. The average price is $1,554, 548 and the median is $1,295,000. The average is distorted by a $5.5M listing that is currently being built.

If you are thinking of buying new construction in Redondo Beach best to have a budget of $1M+. The entry level price point will get you a 3 on a lot in North Redondo Beach. It will be a very nice 3 on a lot for sure.

Detached two on a lot Townhomes in North Redondo Beach are going for $1.250M to $1.350M. If you want a new SFR in 90278 Tall and Skinny houses are now $1.4M+ and traditional SFRs are $1.6M-$1.7M.

Moving south to 90277 Real Estate, new detached two on a lots are going for $1.5M and up and a SFR will start at over $2M.

With new construction at these price points, the net effect is that now the preponderance of Redondo Beach homes are in what is traditionally considered to be the "Luxury Market" which is generally throughout the US considered to be above $1M.

With 78 $1M plus listings in Redondo Beach that is now 61% of the market. Not quite Hermosa Beach or Manhattan Beach yet but certainly headed in that direction.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Redondo Beach Market Trends: Condos and Townhomes

Redondo Beach Townhouse and Condo Sales

Whether you are looking to buy or lease in North or South Redondo Beach, chances are that many of the properties you come across will be Townhomes or Condominium. For the record, both are "condos" on the legal description and from a lender perspective. 

When we are referring to flat, apartment style properties we usually use the term condo while Townhome is reserved for multi story dwellings often with their own direct entrance from the street. Some Realtors will refer to multi level units in large buildings as Townhomes as well.

So how have these properties been performing over the last year? In a nutshell. very well.

The graph above indicates that while available units for sale have gone up 37% but under contract (in escrow) properties have increased 43%. While the sold bar seems to not be keeping up with the new listings, that is a timing issue and looking at the under contract number we're still in a Seller's market.

The reason this is still considered a Seller's market is that the months of inventory is still well below 3. I prefer the calculation in the following graph which consider UC (under contract) compared to sold because as I said before, closed escrow is a timing issue as much as anything else. To be fair your could say that not everything under contract closes. Some properties do fall out of escrow. Yes, I know you are shocked to hear that.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Market Update North Redondo Beach Sales August 2016

North Redondo Beach Sales Remain Strong in August
August sales are in the books and 45 properties closed escrow in North Redondo Beach CA 90278 bring the year to date total to 326 properties sold. During the same period in 2015 we saw 369 sales. The falloff in closed transactions can most likely be attributed to the very low inventory we saw earlier in the year. If the current flood of new listings continues we should not be much behind where we finished last year by the time we get to December 31. The major difference will no doubt be sales prices which have spiked significantly. How much? I'm glad you asked.

Last year during August there were 42 sales. The average selling price was $809,970 and the median was $797,500. The most expensive sale was $1,449,000 and the least expensive $202,329.

This year during August as mentioned above there were 45 sales with the average selling price clocking in at $937,888. The median was $925,000. Lowest sale was $428,000 and the highest $1,499,000. While it may not seem as if the top end went up much, there were 17 sales over $1M this year compared to 6 last year. Looked at another way that means that 38% of the North Redondo Beach properties sold are now $1M plus compared to 14% last year.

By comparison in South Redondo Beach there were 47 sales ranging from $389,000 up to $2.295M. There were 28 listings sold over $1M (61%). The average selling price was $1,089,295 and the median was $1,080,000.

Let's take a deeper dive into North Redondo Beach August sales.

REDONDO BEACH GOLDEN HILLS

Ten homes sold in the Redondo Beach Golden Hills accounting for 22% of the total sales for the month. Surprised? I'm not. The Golden Hills remains one of the most in demand South Bay neighborhoods. As I've written about previously, considering that this neighborhood is further west than parts of East Manhattan Beach at a fraction of the price, many buyers are chasing these Tall & Skinny SFRs on 2500 SqFt lots. Out another way, you could pay around $1.4M for a brand new gorgeous 2000+ SqFt house in the Golden Hills or roughly the same price (or more likely more) for a 3/1 1100 SqFt tract home in Liberty Village in Manhattan Beach.

A few things jump out at me looking at these sales.
  • 9 out of 10 homes sold over the asking price and the one that sold below went for only $10K under.
  • Remodeling is rewarded. A mid 80's 3/2.5 that was totally done went for $1.2M.
  • There will be multiple offers!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Best Places to Live in CA? Try Redondo Beach


Is Redondo Beach one of the best places to live in California?

If you've been watching the rapid price appreciation in Redondo Beach over the last year or so and wondering what's going on, here's a tidbit for you. A few weeks ago I randomly clicked on one of those "sponsored" ads that show up in our apps and social media that was titled something like "The Ten Best Places to Live in CA". I thought the picture above looked kind of familiar and guess what? Surprise, surprise, Redondo Beach was #1. Really.

Here's what they had to say:

I guess that's the expanded version of my usual list of affordability, schools, beaches, quality of life, commute and did I mention great value for your investment dollar?

Newly empowered, I did some further research and found that while my little town (or rather city) doesn't always show up on Best Places to live lists, when it does, it rates very high.


That's some pretty nice nice company we're in above. Wow.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Redondo Beach Real Estate Market Shift


Well Redondo Beach, we've come a long way and I don't mean just since the city was founded in 1892.

Have you noticed all the "For Sale" signs and open houses recently? Yeah, me too. The market has shifted again and it happened quite abruptly.

Earlier in 2016, the inventory was extremely tight and it was not uncommon to see around 30 properties listed in North Redondo Beach at any given point. Because the market is driven by supply and demand this pushed prices up rather quickly. If you look back to some of the posts on this blog you'll see that starting in mid July we were noting increases in inventory. Then, in what seemed like the blink of an eye, inventory jumped from the 30-40 active listings at any given point up to 65-75 which is where we are at today. Actually as of this blog post, there are 79 active MLS listing in 90278 North Redondo Beach. While technically this is still a "Seller's Market", it doesn't necessarily feel like it. While the numbers are different, the same story has been unfolding in South Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, and Manhattan Beach CA. Here's why.

Year to date, there have been 311 closed sales in North Redondo Beach. That's an average of around 41 properties sold per month so far. So with 79 properties with "For Sale" signs in the yard, that's almost 2 months of inventory based on the closed sales calculation. Compared to less than 1 month of inventory earlier in the year, it is emboldening to many buyers. So, after a slow start we're now just under last year's pace of 44 properties sold per month on average.

North Redondo Beach Market Trends

Of the properties on the market, the average DOM is 37 and the median is 28 days. That means there are 38 properties on the market over 30 days which is more listings than we saw in total at various points Q1-2 2016. What should be of more concern to some sellers is that 33 properties currently listed have had price reductions. Totally coincidentally, there have been exactly 79 sales closed since July 1st and of those 22 sold under the asking price.

If you can decipher the trends in the chart (lagging current data through June), it is apparent that the median sales price is down while the list price is up and the list to sales is down.

So, what's going on and how does this all play out?

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Does the Presidential Election Affect Redondo Beach Real Estate?




Does the Presidential Election Affect Redondo Beach Real Estate? Well, yes and no depending on who you ask.

The question I've been getting more frequently over the past few weeks is what effect the coming US Presidential Election may have on Real Estate. This has almost supplanted "how long has it been on the market" as to the number one question at open houses these days. Really. So let's take a look at a few data points and what is going on. About the election that is.

Let me start off by saying that this blog post is not based on my political views and is not meant to support any party. There is no doubt that election years do have an impact on the housing market.  All you have to do is go back in history and you will see a very clear pattern during election years.  This year will be no different. While I am not saying that there is going to be a dramatic shift, I do feel that as we approach November, consumers that are considering buying or selling might wait until they know who has been elected.

More important though, are the underlying data points that drive Real Estate ups and downs.
  • Housing is fueled by demand– the demand for housing right now is so strong because we have never made up for the lack of new construction we have had over the past seven years. This will help to bolster the housing industry. 
  • People need a place to live – it doesn’t matter who is in office - everyone needs a home, a place to live and call their own. Homeownership rates have risen showing that people want to own again. There is much speculation that the only reason the homeownership rate is not even higher is due to the fact the people are still repairing the credit that was damaged during our housing crash.
  • Employment – both candidates have talked very openly about their plans to continue to improve the job market, jobs are what are needed to keep our housing industry strong.
  • New Home Construction – this is the area I watch the closest to answer many of my questions about the housing market. In the latest Census Bureau Report sales of newly constructed homes soared to its highest annual rate in eight years in June.  This clearly shows that the demand for homes is strong and the desire for these homes is at an all-time high. If you don't believe me just drive around Redondo, Hermosa or Manhattan Beach CA and take note of all the homes being built.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Redondo Beach First Time Home Buyer Tips


I do a lot of Open Houses in Redondo Beach and elsewhere. In fact, if you are visiting this website it may be because you met me at one of those opens. So I get to interact with a many buyers and not just my own Buyer clients. While many things haven't changed, there is no doubt that Buyer behavior is much different now that it was even 5 years ago.

Technology, mobile apps, and sites like Zillow and Trulia have massively impacted the house hunt. Some of the changes are for the better while others are not necessarily to the benefit of the home buying public.

Here's the most common mistakes I see Buyers making in the current market.
  • Poor choice of Lender
  • Only going to Open Houses
  • Not understanding Negotiation
  • Mistaking "Price" and "Pricing"
  • Over emphasis on New Listings
  • Making offers through Listing Agents
So, in no particular order, let me take a little more of a deep dive into these bullet points.

OPEN HOUSES

No doubt Open Houses are great and much more popular these days then just a few years ago. But if you are just limiting yourself to what is open on any given weekend, you may be missing out on your dream home or at a minimum some better options that you should consider.

To start with, not every Seller wants to have an Open House. Why is that? There may be any number of issues such as pets, young children, valuables, privacy or just that they don't want a parade of all the nosy neighbors coming through their home. Also, for properties that have been on the market for 30 days or more (yes I know many of you don't believe that is possible) the Sellers may have simply had enough disruptions to their weekends and prefer to stay at home and watch Football. Particularly now that we have a team in LA.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Staged Homes in Redondo Beach CA Sell for Higher Prices!

Staged Homes Sell for Higher Prices

We've all heard that a "picture is worth a thousand words" and nowhere does that ring truer than in marketing you home for sale. Most buyers will first view properties they are interested on the Internet or via some mobile device and after a few pictures they know if they are interested or not. And you have just a few seconds, maybe 6, before most buyers will decide to move on to the next listing or not.

I always use professional photographers on all my listings and am very surprised to still see other agents taking photos on the phones and posting those shots to the MLS. Even on multi million dollar properties. Really.

I'm also surprised by how many homes just aren't prepared or are vacant. I can share with you for a fact that staged homes sell for higher prices. And I'm not just talking about staging vacant properties. I currently have a few listings that are still being lived in but we've staged them anyway.

And with my current FREE STAGING OFFER for my Seller clients there simply isn't any valid reason not to show your home off to its best advantage. After all, if you were going on a job interview you probably wouldn't

So since a picture is worth a thousand words, here's some examples. Please note the "non staged" shots are from when the homes were listed with a different agent.