Friday, April 18, 2014

Redondo Beach Pocket Listings, Off Market Sales and other Urban Myths

Sometimes I have to really laugh when I hear what other Real Estate Agents say to buyers to try to get them as clients. The latest nonsensical come on is the myth of the "Pocket Listing" and Off Market Sale. So, while writing about this may not win me any fans in the agent community, here we go. Let's try to keep the "real" in Realtor!

While there's no doubt that there are more properties being sold off market than normal, there's also no doubt that most of the Redondo Beach property listings make their way to the MLS eventually and are available to the general public. for sale. Why is that? Because the way for a home seller to get the highest price is to have the most exposure, not the least. I can tell you from experience that what Sellers want is multiple offers and bidding wars. Pretty much the exact opposite of what Buyers want.

As agents we often know of properties that will be listed before they hit the market. Those could be future listings that we have interviewed for or are waiting for the Sellers to be prepare to be placed on the market. Or they could be properties that we find out about through our networking groups, fellow agents or company. And you know there are instances where those same properties might be sold before they hit the market and then put in the MLS "for comp purposes" which is really agent speak for "I want to boost my stats" and bragging rights.

For example, right now in North Redondo Beach I know of 4 Townhomes that may be listed (with me I hope) in the next 30 days or so. And a SFR in Mar Vista. And an ocean view SFR in Rancho Palos Verdes. And a townhome in Long Beach. Are those truly "Pocket Listings"? Not really. They are potential opportunities I am aware of. (But call me anyway if you are interested, lol).

Off market sales are hard to come by unless a) the agent you are working with just happens to get a listing that is exactly what you want or b) the agent you are working with is well connected to other agents in the area and tends to hear about listings before the general public. Can that work to your advantage as a buyer.? Sure. Is it a sound strategy? Not so sure. Are those "Pocket Listings" or just agents smoke and mirrors? You decide.

I don't want to imply that there aren't valid off market sales and/or pocket listings which may not be the same thing. Or that there aren't valid reasons to list a home in the MLS (or that every agent is doing this).

In fact, last year about 20% of my sales were "off market". But these were not properties that you, the general public would have gotten a shot at either. Let me explain.

In one instance I sold a rental condo owned by a client of mine to his tenant "off market" and later put it in the MLS to record the sale. Why wasn't it listed in the MLS first? When my seller weighed all the facts it just made the most sense to sell to the tenant who was already in place.

Another private off market sale involved the seller's family situation that was way too personal and involved to get into in this format but suffice it to say that it was best handled by having the buyer in place and one Realtor handling both sides. As a fully arm's length public transaction it may have been a disaster.

In both those instances the Seller actually may have gotten a higher price with more public exposure. Which brings me to my point about why selling without 7-10 days on the market and being in the MLS and all the public websites is not in the seller's best interest.

In fact, the revised C.A.R. listing contract actually advises sellers of such and has them initial a separate paragraph acknowledging this. What you need to know as a buyer is that a true "Pocket Listing" will have a signed listing contract as well as an MLS waiver form.

So the next time you are at an open house and the agent tells you there are "Pocket Listings" the best response should be "Great, let's go see some now." Or, here's my agent's contact info. Let her know and we'll look at it.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Multiple Offers: What Are the Best Strategies for Buyers and Sellers

I Represented the Buyers - there were over a dozen offers.
If you are a home buyer this year in North Redondo Beach and have made an offer on a property you most likely are very familiar with the concept of "multiple offers". As a Realtor who represents Buyers (and Sellers), I know how absolutely frustrating and confusing it can be to get involved in what is often perceived as a blind bidding war with no clear guidance as to how to get the home you want. A lot of this is further confounded by the fact that often the listing agent has priced the property substantially below what they expect it to sell for in the hopes of eliciting multiple offers from buyers and in the process boosting their own "stats" (more on that later).

C.A.R Home Seller Multiple Offer Survey
The California Association of Realtors (C.A.R) recently published this graphic (to the left) of a home seller survey they did and the results are, as I like to say, quite illustrative.

As would be expected 77% took the highest offer. Not surprising, money talks and every seller wants to sell for the highest price. About 50% of the time, the Buyers with the best (strongest) mortgage qualifications were selected. Also not surprising and as a listing agent I've often advised my sellers to select a slightly lower price if the financing was demonstrably better. The offer without contingencies was selected 39% of the time and "all cash" secured the house in 23% of the multiple offer situations. Sometimes time really is money and in 14% of multiple offer situations, the buyer who could close the fastest was selected.

C.A.R did not share what I would have found to be interesting such as did cash and a shorter close time trump the highest offer. Or did the person with the highest offer also offer all cash. What I've found is that rarely is it ever just one factor. Literally everything comes into play.

So whether you are buying or selling a home in Redondo Beach CA, here's some suggestions that you may find useful in dealing with the multiple offer real estate transaction. Let me preface everything with a simple fact that is often overlooked: in a multiple offer situation the Seller does NOT have to take the highest offer. It's not quite eBay (yet). So be strategic and make an offer that if you were the seller you would be likely to accept.

BUYERS

Before you put in your initial offer it is extremely important for your agent to contact the listing agent and find out whatever they can about what's going on. Questions to ask are:
  • When are offers being reviewed?
  • When will the Seller respond?
  • Do they have any offers already?
  • Are there terms that are important to the Seller (ie long or short escrow, lease back, etc.)
  • Are there any Seller contingencies such as finding a replacement property?
  • If there will be multiple counters will they all be responded to?
  • Is the listing agent representing a buyer also?
I could go on but don't want to advise other agents as to how to do their jobs or give all my strategies away (lol). For that I'll have to represent you! FYI, the pictures of homes you see on this post are ALL Redondo Beach properties I sold either representing the Seller or Buyer. Sometimes my buyer clients won out in multiple offer situations and we were not even the highest price!

My Listing on Harkness Lane - Sold with Mutilple Offers
Other than having a strong agent who is well connected in the local market, the next most important thing a Buyer can do to prepare themselves to be competitive in a multiple offer situation is to have extremely strong financing. That means being pre-approved, not pre-qualified, by a direct lender (one who can fund your loan and perform). You also want to make sure that the loan officer will be available to speak with the listing agent and will promptly return their call.

Whether there are multiple offers or not, most experienced listing agents will place a call to the loan officer and find out if the assets, employment, source of funds, DTI, etc have all been verified and whether an underwriter has looked at the file or if they only have DU approval. On my listings when I hear that all the lender has done is run the buyer's credit and taken their word for the income, well I'm not too impressed or comfortable.

Its also important to put your best foot forward initially. If you can put down more, write it into the offer. If you can close quicker (I have lenders who can do 21 days), write it into the offer. If you are flexible about closing, indicate that as well. And, corny as it may seem, include a cover letter and picture about you and your family to personalize things. Write what you like about the property. Sometimes if all things are about equal, the little touches can make a difference.

A common question I often get is why does anyone care how much the Buyer puts down. Hold that thought and read below in the Seller advice.

I represented the Buyer of this 3 on a lot Townhouse
As Buyer you may be asked to respond to a multiple offer with your "Best and Final" purchase price. In other words, bidding against yourself. You may also be asked to remove certain contingencies such as the inspection or appraisal contingency up front. There are specific ways to handle the former and as to the latter, it is a case by case situation how you respond.

The only hard and fast advice I can offer is that if the feedback you get from your agent is that the multiple offers are already at or above the list price, it's probably not a good idea to "see if they'll take less". That is, unless you are offering all cash, no contingencies and can close in an extraordinarily short time or offer some other amenity to the Seller that the seller finds attractive.

A common question I often get is "How do we know that they really have multiple offers?" Good question. I'm sure it has happened but I have never received a multiple counter when the seller really didn't have multiple offers. Recently the counter offer forms were changed and for a listing agent to use the multiple counter offer form without actually having multiple offers, I imagine  would be some kind of serious violation.

Here's the ironic part of all this. After a Buyer's multiple counter is accepted, the next emotion is often Buyer's Remorse expressed as "Did we overpay?" Don't worry, the appraiser will figure that one out for you.

SELLERS

I represented the Buyers of this detached rear unit 2 on a lot
Congratulations, you have multiple offers. Now what? While the natural response is to try to push the price up as high as possible, you also need to focus on the terms the Buyer is offering and most important, what do you need. For example, how you already identified a property to move to or do you need a leaseback? How much time will you need, long or short escrow? Can you sell your house "as-is" and not have to do any repairs? Terms can have financial implications as well. For example, I was able to get a FREE 30 day leaseback on one of my listings for the sellers.

Other than financing, the most important thing you can look at is what terms are the buyers offering, what do you know about the buyers, and who are they represented by? Your agent will have to guide you on those topics. In other words, you really can not consider the price apart from the terms. As I mentioned, selling Real Estate is not quite eBay yet (even with multiple offers).

Here's an extreme example of terms you would not want to agree to. I recently received a full price offer on one of my listings. That was good. Problem is the buyers would not agree to remove loan contingencies or agree to liquidated damages if they defaulted. In other words, the buyers could cancel at anytime up to the date of close of escrow with no penalty even if my seller moved out and rented or bought a new home! Not really something anyone in their right mind would agree to, Especially in a Seller's market. But the price was good.

Golden Hills Tall & Skinny SFR
So it is important that your agent carefully review with all all the terms and conditions of the offer and not just the price.

The big questions, which I alluded to above, is why do sellers care how much the buyer is putting down? What I am specifically referring to is not the earnest money deposit (EMD) but the down payment and how much is being financed.

Here's an example of why that matters.

In a rapidly increasing market the appraisal might very well be an issue. Particularly if you want to sell for more than any of your neighbors did. Most loan programs will only require the buyer to have 80% loan to value. So, if a buyer is putting down 30% or more you have that much more room for the appraisal to fall short and the loan to go through. Here's an example. The purchase amount is $750,000 and the buyer is putting down 30% ($225,000) with a loan amount of $525,000. Let's say the appraisal comes in really low at $700,000. There would still be more than 20% LTV and most lenders would most likely fund the loan.

The Buyer could very well say, however, that the property did not appraise for the purchase price and cancel even if the lender will do the loan. That's why if you think that your appraisal may not come in and the buyer is putting down 25% or more and you have multiple offers, you can and should ask the buyer to remove the appraisal contingency at the outset. It's also why we ask to see proof of funds to close and why a stringer buyer may often be chosen.

The one thing I can say with certainty is that as long as inventory remains low, multiple offers are here to stay.

Friday, April 11, 2014

New Redondo Beach CA MLS Listings

Exquisite Spanish Style Detached Townhouse for Sale
A number of really nice listings came on the market this week in North Redondo Beach 90278. And, if things go as they have been the past few weeks, these may be gone shortly after the weekend. I saw some of these properties at the Broker's Open House tour on Thursday and most will also be open this weekend. So, in no particular order, here we go.

1701 Clark Lane Unit B Redondo Beach 90278 (pictured) I was really prepared to think this one was over priced. Why pay the same for a resale when you can get new construction. But after previewing it I now think it is a great price. It is in a great location, you can easily bike and quite possibly walk to downtown Hermosa Beach. Well walk if like me you are committed to 10,000 steps a day (or more). The floorplan is quite unique. ANd if you are a fan o Spanish style townhomes, this unit has exquisite finish work throughout. It was built in 2006 but feels almost brand new and shows really well. Travertine floored entry, Living room with fireplace and doors to the private patio and grassy back yard, Formal sized dining room with ceiling chandelier and patio views, Culinary inspiring kitchen with stainless appliances, Magnificent master suite with fireplace and breezy balcony, Skylit spa-like master bath. A total of four bedrooms and 3.5 baths. The versatile second floor family room has hardwood floors and a beautiful staircase leading to the unique city view roof top deck. Listed by South Bay Brokers and priced at $995,000. 2441 sq ft, 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths. MLS SB14071823. Open Sat-Sun April 12th-13th 1-4 PM. Warning. If you see it you may fall in love and buy it!

Contemporary Remodel in the Golden Hills
1736 Haynes Ln, Redondo Beach Golden Hills. I found this property to be very unique for the neighborhood with a 2 story living room downstairs and all 3 bedrooms upstairs. I really liked the extra windows in the living room and the extra high 20 foot ceilings. So, even though it is a little smaller than other homes in the same price range, the unique floor plan and layout make it a winner for me. It doesn't really have any curb appeal but it's definitely not a drive by, you have to see it and come to your own conclusion. It is open this weekend as well and considering how quickly Golden Hills homes have been selling, blink and you'll miss it. This home was built on 1973 and has been extensively remodeled with espresso-stained cabinetry, quartz counters, glass tile backsplash and stainless appliances. Dramatic, dark hardwood floors extend throughout the living area downstairs. And, easy walking distance to Jefferson Elementary School in North Redondo Beach. Listed by RE/MAX Estate Properties for $829,000. MLS SB14070723. 1538 sq ft, 2502 sq ft lot. Did I mention all 3 bedrooms upstairs and walk to Jefferson Elementary?

INVESTOR FLIP

Investor Flip on Flagler
Wow. Talk about a quick flip job. After 2 days on the market 1506 Flagler Ln sold for $540K (with an additional $10K for repairs) and closed escrow on March 7th, 2014. Now it is back on the market as of April 10th for $799,900 all cleaned up and ready to go. Or as the listing agent advertises in the MLS:

"Fully remodeled inside and out this true turnkey, contemporary styled home will be something you'll love coming home to for years to come. Featuring exotic coastal maple hardwood floors throughout the open beamed living room and fully remodeled kitchen. Entertaining your family and guests will be a delight in the open kitchen with professional series gas range, quartz island top, pendant lighting, white subway backsplash, undercabinet lighting, freestanding range hood and chrome fixtures throughout. The bathrooms feature custom tile work, designer cabinetry, high efficiency fixtures, with a fabulous skylight shower upstairs with frameless glass. All new baseboards, casings, doors, light fixtures, door hardware, with beautiful new carpet featuring ½” thick padding. You will have plenty of room to enjoy with 4 Bedrooms and 2 Bathrooms combining for a total of 1,432 living sq ft. Awesome side yard with gorgeous new redwood fence, sod, sprinklers and landscaping. The attached and direct access 2 car garage with an extra off-street parking spot make parking here an ease!"  



At $799K with a 2500 sq ft lot you are at Golden Hills pricing in MLS Area 152 and most likely a slightly smaller house. But it is a SFR not a townhomes. Most likely this one goes quickly.

THREE ON A LOT TOWNHOUSE LISTINGS

Probably the hottest segment right now with the most turnover are 3 on a lot Redondo Beach townhomes in all ages, shapes varieties and configurations. It seems that every time I turn around prices on these units are up. Here's what hit the market this week:

3 on a lot Redondo Beach CA townhomes are in high demand
For the most part, newer ie post 2000 3 on a lots are selling in excess of $700K. The unit on Rockefeller is right next to, and I mean literally right next to, a huge power tower and is apparently listed at a discount as a result. The Vanderbilt property does not back up to the commercial buildings on Artesia, which is a good thing. I like the properties on Mathews and Grant. Mathews, like Vanderbilt can back up to commercial and some buyers think Grant is too busy. The nature of these 3 on a lots is that they are on either one way streets, busy streets, or streets backing up to commercial properties. Be that as it may, 3 on a lot Redondo Beach townhomes represent excellent value and turn over frequently.

NORTH REDONDO BEACH OPEN HOUSES APR 12-13 2014


If you have any questions about any of these homes, do not hesitate to call. I'm offering a number of "Home Buyer Special Incentives" right now that will help pay for your closing costs. So, if you see anything that catches your attention, just remember I represent buyers too!


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Home Prices in North Redondo Beach CA: Buyers are Facing "Sticker Shock" in 90278 this Spring

I was doing an open house in Redondo Beach at my listing at 2114 Huntington Lane Unit A (now in escrow) a few weeks ago when a buyer said to me "I thought I really could find what I wanted if I went up to $800K but now I realize I have to go higher". The comment was not in reference to that particular property just the trend of less to look at and what is available is priced higher than it was last year. Sometimes a lot higher. Welcome to this year's Seller's Market in Redondo Beach where many Buyers are facing "sticker shock" as housing prices continue to rise.

I sell a lot of Redondo Beach properties and traditionally I've said that 90278 is a $600K-$800K market and there were good choices in that price range. I'm not so sure about that anymore and have to believe the feedback I heard from that buyer that most likely you will have to be above $800K, if not now in the near future, or at a minimum spend more than you expected to. (FYI, Huntington in escrow, 16 days on market.)

Months of Housing Inventory in Redondo Beach 90278
I am seeing more buyers electing to go with 5/1 and 7/1 ARMS in order to keep their payments down (as compared to 30 year fixed rates) but that can only last so long in terms of giving the market some legs.

So, if you are a buyer looking for a home in 90278 and have been following prices on the internet for a while, expect to pay upwards of 10% more than if you bought 9 months ago. That is if you find a property considering how low the inventory is. We've been running at about 1 month of inventory, 50 some homes for sale and an almost equal amount selling, for quite a while now. So even if more listings come on the market, there are still far more buyers than likely listings we'll see. For all those stories of 10 plus multiple offers (over the asking price) the buyers who missed out aren't going away. They'll just offer to pay more on the next property stoking the price escalation.

2419 Grant Av Unit A Redondo Beach CA
I usually track 4 North Redondo Beach housing "types": 3 on a lot townhomes, 2 on a lot townhomes, new construction and  "Tall & Skinnies". That kind of covers most of the market.

I've seen rapid escalation in 3 on a lot properties. Here's an example. I represented the Buyers of 2419 Grant Ave Unit A a little over a year ago. That property is a front unit of a 3 on a lot built by Powers Development in 2003 with your standard reverse floorplan and 3 bedrooms. It sold for $629,000. Now I see 2518 Grant Unit A just listed for $759,000. It is one year newer and about 100 sq ft larger. Also one block further east and facing north so that you see the power pole towers right in front of you when you look out your front window.

Townhouse Listing at 2518 Grant Ave 90278
All that considered, the price is an increase of just over 20% in one year. Sticker shock if you've been saving to buy a home in North Redondo Beach and are chasing the market up.

But is 2518 Grant Av over priced? Not really by current standards. Unit C just sold for $726,800 about a month ago.  2014 Grant Ave Unit C sold for an even $750K, 2617 Grant sold for $710K, well you get the idea. With brand new construction selling for well over $800K, mid $7's is the going rate for any 3-4 bedroom 3 on a lots about 10 years old, drop down to mid to high $6's for 1990's, etc.

Going back to sticker shock for a second, YTD there have been 114 closed escrows in North Redondo Beach per the MLS. The median price is $700K right on the nose. The average selling price is $725,718 for a 1779 3 bedroom (kind of sounds like a 3 on a lot to me).

Casner built detached N Redondo Townhome
So, if the cost of an attached 3 on a lot is now upwards of $700K for anything built after 2000, where does that leave 2 on lots? If you are looking for a newer detached  4 bedroom expect, well expect sticker shock because you could easily spend $900K or more.

For example 2212 Marshallfield Ln Unit A just closed escrow for $900,000. 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 2350 sq ft built in 2003 by Casner. 2007 Marshallfield, one year newer closed for $936K and that one was REO! Move up to $999K and you can buy brand new Amir Amiri detached 2 on a lot townhomes. So now we're talking about million dollar North Redondo Beach Townhouses which has to have some buyers heads spinning even if they are really, really nice properties.

For Sale vs Sold Trend in n Redondo Beach
The price acceleration may play out in a few different ways.

One, as prices continue to rise more and more home owners who were previously underwater decide to sell (assuming they can find somewhere to move to). If that trend picks up, supply and demand become more in balance and instead of this lopsided Seller's market we've been in for a while, things even out.

Or, if prices and interest rates continue to increase then at some point buyers just say "forget about it, I'll rent". We're not there yet, but Zillow considers that 57% of the homes in the LA market are overpriced by historical historical standards. That's scary.

Or, as has happened previously, buyers substitute loan products and location in order to buy.

Let's look at one last category, maybe the most shocking to me, and I'm in the Real Estate business.

Golden Hills "Tall & Skinny" SFR
Recently, my Buyer clients closed on a traditional Tall and Skinny in the Golden Hills neighborhood just adjacent to Manhattan Beach. The purchase price was $788K which we felt was pretty good for a 1900 (approx) sq ft mostly original home built in 1984 (needing a new roof). But just last week properties on Carver and Ford listed for $889K and $899K went into escrow in less than a week. They were newer, built in 1992 and had some nicer features but we're not only talking about a $100K bump, that's about a 14% jump since mid March.  Right now it seems as if Buyers have an insatiable demand for anything Golden Hills. I'm seeing some homes go into escrow at very surprising prices. Surprising on the high side that it.

Let's circle back to the original topic: buyer sticker shock at Redondo beach home prices. As of the date of this post there are 61 active North Redondo Beach listings. The median price is $725K. There are 12 homes listed between the median price and $799K. That's almost 20% of the market. There's another 12 listed between $800K-$900K. More telling, of the new listings this week, they are all above the median price. So, if you are planning to buy in North Redondo Beach, be prepared to budget more than you had anticipated.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Homes for Sale Redondo Beach Golden Hills

I probably receive more inquiries about properties in the Golden Hills than any other neighborhood in North Redondo Beach 90278. This unique neighborhood exudes a certain charm not found elsewhere in the Beach Cities and homes in the Golden Hills are highly desirable if you can get one.

The Golden Hills neighborhood of North Redondo Beach CA (MLS area 154) is located south of the Artesia Blvd Manhattan Beach border and east of Hermosa Beach. It extends south of Aviation Blvd to 190th St (Anita) on the North and South Redondo Beach border. The area north of Aviation Blvd is also sometimes referred to as the Golden Triangle.

Buyers seem to have an almost insatiable demand for homes in the Redondo Beach Golden Hills with many properties selling almost as soon as they hit the market.

This is the current inventory as of April 4, 2014:


Most of the housing in the Golden Hills are various generations of what are affectionately referred to as "tall and skinny" multi-level single family homes built on 2500 sq ft lots. The typical floor plan of the newer tall and skinny homes feature 2 bedrooms downstairs, one of which has a double sliding door leading to a very small backyard, and a great room, dining room, and master bedroom located upstairs. Vaulted cathedral ceilings are very common. The great room typically has a fireplace. Some Golden Hills homes also feature fireplaces in the master bedroom. Many of these homes are very similar in floor plan to 3 on a lot attached townhouses found in MLS area 151-152.

Other variations buyers may find are "standard" floor plans with the living room and dining room downstairs and 3 bedrooms upstairs. I have seen a few variations of this floorplan with an additional upstairs bonus area.

Of the 5 properties currently for sale, 4 hit the MLS over the last 3 days. Over the past 7 days 3 homes closed escrow and two went into backup status in the MLS. So clearly homes are being absorbed at about the same rate as they are hitting the market.


Expect to Buy or Sell your standard 3 bedroom 2.5 bath "Tall and Skinny" built between 1980 and 1995 for about $850,000 +/- if it has some decent upgrades and amenities. Newer properties are selling for more and older smaller homes for less as would be expected. As we press further ahead into the peak selling season I expect prices above $900,000 to be fairly typical.

Year to date, there have been 22 sales that have closed escrow in MLS Area 154, Redondo Beach Golden Hills. Currently there are 8 homes in escrow. This is a very healthy rate of turnover.



Friday, March 28, 2014

Open Houses for Sale North Redondo Beach CA 90278


There's at least 37 Open Houses scheduled over this coming weekend March 29-30th in North Redondo Beach CA. I say "at least" because many agents fail to enter the Open House in the MLS and just opt to put some signs the street or an ad in Digs for the Beach Report. Makes no sense to me because once the OH is in the MLS it is syndicated out to all the public facing websites such as Zillow, Trulia, and others. 

Speaking of Open Houses, I'll be at my listing at 2114 Huntington Lane Unit A on Sat-Sun from 1-4. If you are in the market for a 4 bedroom townhouse in the mid $800's, come on by. Or come by anyway if you want to talk Beach Cities Real Estate. Here's what you can see March 29-30:


If it seems to you that the price point for North Redondo Beach Real Estate has moved up, you are absolutely correct. Under $500K almost doesn't exist anymore (for the most part) and what was once a $600-800K market is now more like a $750-950K price point. At the open house I did last week, I was not entirely surprised to hear a number of buyers express the sentiment that while they thought they could find what they wanted for up to $800K, that they now realize they have to go higher.

Even so, most of these homes make more sense to own than to rent. While interest rates have certainly gone up from the absolute low point, they are still historically extremely low in the mid 4's for most people on most products. I'm also seeing more buyers doing 5, 7, and10 year ARMs which seem to make a lot of sense in many instances depending on how long you plan to be in the house.

Different topic, using my IDX to search for Open Houses. Go to tinyurl.com/socal-idx and the search map will pop up. Type in whatever city or zip code you want, and then open up the Open House tab and choose "this weekend". You'll see the properties that are open. Works best Thursday and after most weeks.

If you see any homes you need more information on, call me. And if you really want to write an offer call about my special buyer programs to save on escrow fees, closing costs, inspections, and more only available when I am your agent.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Detached Townhouse Prices Are On the Rise Again

You can blame me. Quite possibly I'm the culprit behind the recent and continued run up in home prices in North Redondo Beach. I've been posting on this site and others for quite a while that I think some of the best housing deals in any coastal community right now are detached 2 on a lot North Redondo Beach townhomes. Particularly the newer post 2000 properties. basically, as long as you don't mind sharing a driveway with your neighbor, you have an almost brand new home, make that a 4 bedroom 2000 sq ft plus mansion for the price of a Westside condo. Really.

Here's some of the latest examples of what has hit the market this week and what's in escrow (MLS status pending or backup).

2402 Rindge Lane, Redondo Beach CA 90278, (pictured above) MLS Area 151 (North of Artesia Blvd). This is a Mediterranean 4 bedroom 2.5 bath, 2260 sq ft 2 on a lot with no common driveway and totally freestanding (still the gold standard) listed by Coldwell Banker for $969,000. MLS 14746325. Open Sat-Sun Mar 29030th 2014 from 2PM to 5PM. (Hey, it's a Westside Agent, not out hours.)

"This home features open floor plan w/only the highest level of finishes. Upon entering, you will find an inviting living room, dining room and designer powder room w/gleaming, brand new hardwood floors, custom paint, upgraded lighting and crown molding and Ralph Lauren window treatments. The gourmet kitchen boasts stainless appliances, granite counters and custom cabinets, The kitchen/family room spills out onto a lush side yard - perfect for kids and entertaining. On the second floor you will find 4 bedrooms and full size laundry room. The master suite features a walk in closet, fireplace and luxurious Carrera marble spa bathroom w/an oversized shower and soaking tub. The three additional bedrooms feature custom closets, vaulted ceilings and decorator paint and share a bathroom with custom tile and paint." Wow.

Also new on the market this week in North Redondo Beach and at a slightly lower price point is 2003 Dufour Unit A. Also in the highly desirable MLS Area 151 this traditional detached 2 on a lot (one behind the other, common driveway) was built in 2004 and features 4 bedroom 2.5 baths and is 2293 sq ft. It is priced at $920,000. and will be open this weekend from 1 - 4 PM our usual open house hours.

"This Mediterranean beauty is move in ready. Escape to the master suite complete with fireplace, walk-in closet, extra sitting area and ensuite bath that includes dual sinks and a oversized tub. Kitchen features stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops and alder cabinetry. Dining area leads to the lush back yard and family room. All bedrooms are upstairs and feature generous sized closets. Skylight, window shutters, upstairs laundry room and two car garage to name a few more amazing features this home offers. Walking distance to Traders Joes, Redondo Performing Arts Center, and Polliwog Park. Approx. 5 minute drive to the beach, the 405 freeway and the Manhattan Village Shopping center and all within the Amazing Redondo Unified School District." MLS SB14059885. Listing Broker RE/MAX Estate Properties. Based on some recent activity this one may even sell for higher.

So, are these selling at these prices? Simply put, yes. 1718 Harriman Lane Unit A was listed for $969,000 and is in escrow. 2007 Marshallfield Lane Unit A (REO) listed for $899K and in escrow (I believe for higher). 2517 Huntington Ln Unit A listed for $899K, in escrow (with multiple offers and higher). I think you can get the drift for now.

With new construction 3 on a lot townhomes selling in the $800's, and Golden Hills Tall & Skinnies doing the same, these trends will only serve to raise the selling price point of any 4 bedroom in 90278. Great time to be a seller. For buyers, fortunately interest rates are still low.