Friday, June 24, 2016

Redondo Beach Closing Costs: How Much Money Do I Need?

I work with many first time home buyers in Redondo Beach CA and somewhere along the way, usually as we are getting ready to make an offer I get the closing costs question. It is not easily answered because there are a lot of moving parts as you will see below. As a ballpark guess it can be 1-2% although I have seen final settlement statements for buyers both higher and lower.

It's really a very good idea to cover this topic sooner rather than later because some homebuyers are shocked when they discover that buying a home is much more than purchase price and down payment. In plain English that means that in addition to your downpayment of 20% (or however much you are putting down) there are additional fees and expenses that you have to pay at closing before you get the keys.

While a buyer doesn't pay sales tax per se (you do pay property tax) on a single-family residence or condo as on other things we buy including cars etc, a buyer does incur additional fees to get the loan and for processing the paperwork to buy a home. 

Here's a general breakdown of recurring and non-recurring fees. Comments below are relative to LA County in general. Don't worry if you don't understand everything below because I can explain everything in detail if need be. Please note that in Southern CA we usually use escrow companies while in Northern CA it is more common for the Title Co to also be the escrow holder.

Non-Recurring Closing Costs. Fees that are paid one time only as an expense of closing a transaction.

Title Policy: Sellers typically will pay for the buyer title insurance but the buyer pays for the lender insurance.

Escrow  Fees: Escrow companies charge $$2-3 per thousand as a line item. Some also charge a base fee.
Appraisal: Typically the lender will charge the buyer's credit card for an appraisal. Often this appears on a closing statement as "POC" meaning paid outside of closing.

Credit Report: lenders may charge around $35 or nothing.

Notary: if you need a mobile notary at closing that can run $150 or more but if it is a regular notarization less than $50.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Teles Properties New Listing North Redondo Beach CA

Rarely does a property as expansive as 2209 Blossom become available in North Redondo. The resume of this fantastic, 5 bed, 3.5 bath, 3,046 sq ft, completely detached home is vast, even including air conditioning and solar panels! Beautiful crown moulding and cherry stained oak hardwood floors sweep through the entire downstairs and all common areas of the home. On the ground floor lies a formal dining room perfect for 5-course gourmet dinners and formal living room including the first of three fireplaces. Eat-in kitchen with pantry, dual ovens, dual sinks, and open great room floor plan lead to a huge family room with the 2nd of three fireplaces and french doors that open to a large, grassy, and lush private backyard and patio. Upstairs awaits five large bedrooms all with vaulted ceilings and a separate laundry. Space abounds in the huge master suite with en-suite master bath, jetted tub, dual sinks, standing shower and large walk-in closet. Four more large bedrooms await including one bedroom with en-suite bath. Two car attached garage with two additional storage areas leave nothing wanting in this tremendous home. Located in the award winning Redondo Beach school district just minutes from beaches, shopping, restaurants and more.

Five Bedrooms, 4 bathrooms and over 3000 SqFt with no shared driveway! $1,199,000. 2209 Blossom Ln Unit 2, Redondo Beach CA 90278.

Photo Gallery:

Saturday, June 18, 2016

New Construction Homes for Sale Redondo Beach CA

There's nothing quite like being the first owner of a new home. If you are thinking of buying new construction in Redondo Beach CA you are in luck because there's a lot of great properties to choose from. You will find attached and detached 2 on a lot townhomes and SFRs in both North and South Redondo Beach CA.

Expect to spend at least $1M for a townhome and up to $3M for an ocean view mansion with detached 2 on a lots coming out at around $1.4M in N Redondo and $1.5-$1.7M in South Redondo Beach.

Trends are:
  • Contemporary Exteriors
  • Farmhouse Modern
  • Open Interiors
  • Lighter Finishes
  • Higher End Appliances
Check out the Gallery to get an idea of what I am referring to:

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Remodeled Investor Flip in Redondo Beach CA

I just put this great remodeled North Redondo Beach Single Family Residence into escrow for my buyer clients. Listed at $1.2M this was a fierce multiple offer situation and yes, the final price was substantially over the asking price. In fact, there was so much interest in this property that the listing agent had to call for reinforcements from his office when he held it open! My clients loved the large west facing back yard which will just be great for entertaining and their kids.

Four bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 2160 SqFt with a west facing backyard on a 5416 SqFt lot.

Here's the MLS description:

"With an extensively re-imagined new open floor plan, this updated home is the epitome of South Bay living at its best. It?s newly finished kitchen and baths feature wide plank flooring, top of the line appliances and finishes, and a sense of calm that can only be achieved within a balanced design done by a true professional. The home flows seamlessly into the spacious backyard making indoor/outdoor living and entertaining a complete breeze. Further upgrades during the recent renovation include a new roof, upgraded engineering, bolted foundation, and increase to 200-amp electrical wiring. The home is located just 4 blocks from Lincoln Elementary School and Anderson Park giving you access to top rated schools and safe play spaces."

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Redondo Beach Housing: More Homes on the Market

Not unexpectedly, as prices have gone up we are now starting to see the inevitable rise in inventory as sellers see more potential equity when they cash out. Not enough so as to tilt things in favor of buyers, but just enough to offer a few options and possibly relieve some pricing pressure.

Meanwhile hot listings continue to get multiple offers over the asking price while properties that aren't desirable or overpriced will sit on the market.

Last week there were actually over 50 listings in North Redondo Beach for  few days. As of this writing we are back in the mid 40's which is still higher than the 30 odd we have been seeing.

The new normal for 3 on a lot townhomes is around $800K with newer ones, end units, 4 bedroom units, further west locations all being listed for higher prices.

For nicer detached 2 on a lots expect to be around $1.1M plus or minus with new construction (pictured above) at $1.3M and higher. If you are in the market for the new units you most likely will have to tie one up before completion as they often do not hit the MLS until they go in as sold or in pending with zero days on market.

Older units and attached units can still be picked up for around $1M. An example would be 2203 Harriman lane which sold off market for $1,010,000 or 2120 Clark Ln which sold for $955K.

If you are looking in the Redondo Beach Golden Hills, the starting price for newer Tall and Skinny SFRs is $1M and then up from there. A good example would be 1753 Axenty Way (pictured below). It is the prototypical 1881 SqFt reverse floorplan built in 1999, listed for $1,070,000 and described in the MLS as:

Saturday, June 4, 2016

North Redondo Beach May 2016: Sales Remain Strong

May came in as another very strong month for North Redondo Beach Real Estate Sales with 51 closed escrows remaining on about the same pace as April which was the best month with 53 sales. So after a rather slow start to the year we are back on a very strong pace right now.

But a word of caution for sellers: inventory is increasing and we are seeing both price stabilization and even reductions. In fact, as I write this I see that there are 51 active listings (quite a coincidence) of which 36 are "new" in that they have been on the market for less than 30 days. So, if you've been waiting to sell, so have some of your neighbors and you may be in a less competitive, albeit more balanced, market.

I'm also seeing 55 homes in escrow. So all in all things are balanced and if you are a buyer, there is some light at the end of the tunnel.

Here's a few things that jump out at me looking at May sales.
  • Median Price is $880,000 but the average sold price is 952,716 indicating that.....
  • Prices are stabilizing.
  • 15 homes sold were built 2000+ and 4 new construction.
  • Prices ranged from a low of $555K all the up to $1.65M.
  • 19 homes sold for over $1M (37.2%).
  • 29 listings sold in 30 days or less.
  • 39 properties sold at or over the list price which means that.....
  • 12 homes sold at a discount to asking.
  • The longer the listing was on the market, the more likely it sold for less than asking price.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Redondo Beach CA Real Estate for Sale: New Listings

New Listings Redondo Beach CA

If you are a Buyer looking for homes for sale in Redondo Beach CA there may be long stretches during your house hunt that you feel as if there just isn't enough to look at. Or you get involved in bidding wars on the ones you like.

So while it is still a "Seller's Market" in Redondo Beach CA, we have seen a nice flow of new listings the last few weeks. The best ones go into escrow relatively fast with multiple offers over the asking prices. Others will linger and if they are on the market 30 days later most likely the reason is they were overpriced to begin with.

A lot of this is driven by the fact that Redondo Beach offers about 85% of the same amenities as living in Hermosa Beach or Manhattan Beach at less than 50% of the cost. And a lot closer to the Freeways.

Because 90277 and 90278 are so different in many aspects, I sometimes think of Redondo Beach as two cities with one name.

In both zips you will find a mix of Single Family Residences, townhomes, and flat condominiums. South Redondo has a few large condo communities, The Village and Brookside Village but in general the density in North Redondo may be greater.

When you are looking at townhomes remember that from the lender perspective these are condominiums and may carry a higher interest rate than SFRs. Some may be attached to the other units while others are detached and free standing.

Speaking of SFRs, we have traditional single level tract homes on 5000 SqFt lots, Tall & Skinny SFRs, and MacMansions. If you are looking in the Redondo Beach Golden Hills or at attached 3 on a lots, it is very common to find “Reverse Floorplans” meaning the living room and dining room are upstairs with a few bedrooms located downstairs.

Here's the newest listings.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Open Floor Plans: A Fad or the Future

If it seems like more and more new construction you've been visiting has fewer walls, you are not imagining things. If had the opportunity to visit my listing at 628 Elvira Ave in South Redondo Beach you experienced a perfect example of what I'm referring to.

In fact, open-plan living hasn’t merely risen in popularity in recent years, it seems to be the mainstay of what many people look for in a home. At the time of this writing, there were more than 600,000 photos of open-plan spaces on, so it’s clearly a popular lifestyle choice with a strong fan base including millennials and empty nesters.

Before I delve further into this, let's establish what I'm referring to. An open-plan space has no or few dividing walls between areas. Generally, this refers to the main living areas of the home; the kitchen, living room and dining room and creates an open, flowing layout with fewer traditional individual rooms in favor of a communal living space. Bedrooms and bathrooms can, of course, be open-plan as well, but for the purposes of this discussion, open plan refers to the main living areas.


As a design style, open-plan has an impact on the way residents of a home use the space and interact with one another.
  • Social Living: Let's face it with fewer walls you will have more interaction. Whether it is parents who want to have a sight line to their parents or roommates just doing what roomies do, you will have a great family feel. Or think of it as a collaborative work space.
  • Enhance Natural Light: increasing light and the connection to the outdoors. Remember "re-lights" from the old office layouts? That was a way to allow natural light through perimeter offices to flow to the "bull pen". Well in a house with fewer interior walls any natural light will penetrate deeper.
  • Maximize Livable Space: Knocking down walls to open up small homes is a popular way of creating greater space because let's face it, walls do take up usable SqFt. If you've ever been in a 1950's tract house that has been opened up you know exactly what I'm talking about here.

Monday, May 23, 2016

How to Get that Modern Look in Your Redondo Beach Home

We're seeing more new construction homes in Redondo Beach being built with a contemporary or modern look which is my preferred style in most instances. A question I frequently get, whether it relates to staging listings or just refreshing the home you live in, is how can you "modernize" the look and feel of your home.
  • Minimize and keep the essentials only
  • Clean lines, neutral palettes and  pared down decorating
  • Use strong shapes like squares and rectangles create an effect count
  • Keep it simple. Minimalism and Modernism complement each other
  • For high style use high contrast, ie blacks and whites in the same space
  • Glass and stainless steel are must haves as are wood tones
I often write about the value of decluttering when it is time to put your home on the market. For living in the house and creating a modern effect you are going further than simply removing the clutter.

A good rule of thumb to get a modern look is to remove everything from a room you think you don't need and them find something else to take out.

Remember that modernism is a thing. There is no "contemporary-ism".

Here's some examples of modern.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Redondo Beach Real Estate Market Update

Redondo Beach Golden Hills SFR

If you've been thinking of buying, selling, or investing in Redondo Beach Real Estate and trying to figure out where things are going, hopefully these few random thoughts from yours truly will help you sort things out.
  • We've seen a nice flow of new listings hit the market over the last few weeks. Probably not enough to meet pent up buyer demand and the flood of new listings buyers were expecting to see as we got further into the selling season is not likely to materialize.
  • Even with the low persistent low inventory more than half the Redondo Beach listings linger on the market for over 30 days. This holds true whether we look at active, in escrow or recently closed sales. Something closer to 40 days on market (DOM) is a more accurate reflection of reality. 
  • About half the listings will sell at or above the most recent list price and half below. Buyers are armed with a ton of data, much of which they misinterpret, and are only going to bid up properties priced extremely competitively or those that offer an unusually desirable amenity or benefit.
  • Interest rates are very much in the news again with talk of a rate hike. While short term that may not immediately affect mortgage rates, it will over time tend to drive rates up. As I have written about previously, present price acceleration most likely can not be sustained if rates go up more than 50 basis points. 
  • As Redondo Beach prices have continued to climb we are seeing substitution becoming a more prevalent factor. Specifically, those priced out of Redondo Beach SFRs are more actively looking in Torrance now - as opposed to just buying a townhouse. With 3 on a lots around $800K and nicer 2 on a lots over $1M, those price points still buy a lot more elsewhere in the South Bay.
Here's some numbers for those of us who are data driven.