Friday, February 20, 2015

Real Estate Listings in North Redondo Beach

Redondo Beach Golden Hills Tall & Skinny SFR
As we get into the traditional buying season I'm starting to see a steady flow of new listings. I was very pleasantly surprised by what has come on the market this week and want to share some thoughts on properties I viewed this week at the Broker's Open house tour on Thursday.

Before I do that, here's where I'm seeing deals really priced at right now. I'm emphasizing really priced at because many agents are still substantially under pricing new listings in order to get multiple offers over the list price. The new agent game seems to be how much over they can drive the final sales price which they then turn around and use to secure their next listing. The danger of this ploy is that in the 30 days or so it takes the sale to close the public becomes very confused as buyers new to the market don't get what's going on. So. as always, buyer beware.

Whether you are buying or selling right now, here's some broad pricing guidelines.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Are Home Prices in El Nido Poised to Take Off?

I've been thinking for a while now that home owners in the Redondo Beach "El Nido" neighborhood may start to see their home values appreciate faster than Redondo Beach in general. Before I get into "why" here's some background information for those not familiar with El Nido.

The area is name after El Nido Park located on the eastern side of Inglewood Ave past the railroad tracks. In Realtor speak, it is MLS Area 153. For everyone else here's the borders: south 190th St to where it intersects Ripley; follow Ripley to the Galleria Mall; eastern border Torrance. Some of the homes east of the railroad tracks are in the Torrance School system and have Torrance services although they have Redondo Beach mailing address. (More on that later.)

While there aren't as many homes in this neighborhood as in other 90278 neighborhoods, they are mostly Single Family Residences (SFRs) on good size lots and many are the 3 bedroom, 2 bath that everyone seems to be looking for. And surprisingly these 3/2/ houses have been priced lower, yes that's lower, not a misprint, than similar properties just south of 190th in Torrance. So that gets me to thinking, we have an inversion of pricing going on that will undergo a correction at some point. I think.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Zillow Home Values in Redondo Beach CA: The Map is not the Territory

Great read if you are in the business or interested in the market.
Let me start by saying I really like Zillow. I've been an advertiser since 2006, am a Premier Agent with 55 Five Star Reviews and just finished reading their book and really loved it. In fact, everyone in the business should read the book. And every home owner. Might as well throw in every first time buyer as well. Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's all admit their "Zestimates" are just plain wrong. Or at best highly inaccurate bordering on misleading.

Even their CEO, Spencer Rascoff has more or less admitted the same in a recent LA Times article.

In fact, here's what he said: Zestimates are a good "starting point" but nationwide they have a median error rate of about 8%.

Let's digest that a little bit and then maybe regurgitate.

The median price of the houses I sell is about $750,000. That means that half my sales are above that and half below. It is not an average of my sales. But let's take $750K with an error rate of 8%. Is Rascoff saying that Zillow can be off by $60,000? Yes, he is. More specifically, on the "How accurate is the Zestimate?" tab, while they give themselves 4 stars for accuracy in the LA area, that's based on 36.8% of the homes selling within 5% of the Zestimate. if you are selling $200K homes I guess that's ok. But for $2M properties, not quite sure that really works.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Redondo Beach Townhomes for Sale: New Listings from Ellis Posner

I just listed a 3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom in MLS Area 152 "Villas South". This is a middle unit of a 3 on a lot at 2417 Grant Ave and is very unique in that it is much brighter than you'll usually find in this type of construction. Here's why.

Some of the 50*150 foot lots have driveways facing each other - instead of at the opposite end of each lot. The project at 2417 was built concurrently with 2419 and the mirror image townhomes have almost a courtyard interior feeling the way the driveways are positioned. Plus 9 mature Palm trees running down the center of the driveway. Additionally, the lot to the west has a multi unit building that is positioned on the west side of that lot. So, lots of light and not a feeling of being closed in.

The floorplan is your standard North Redondo Beach "reverse" configuration with 2 bedrooms downstairs and the master bedroom on the upper level along with the living room, dining room, kitchen, and an outdoor terrace for entertaining.

On top of that, the current owners painted and updated the unit in very bright, soothing light colors. So, with the sun coming up in the east and setting in the west, this home is bathed in light all day long. Here's how I described this property in the MLS:

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Are You Going to Remodel Your Bathroom?

Improve your 2 on a lot bathroom with this remodel.
I've been sharing a number of home selling tips to help maximize your sales price. Most of my tips are relatively easy to do and inexpensive with high ROI. I'm also getting a lot of questions regarding bathroom remodels as in "is it worth remodeling my bathroom before I put my Redondo Beach home on the market?"

My very general answer is that if a) any improvement helps you sell for a higher price, consider doing it, and b) if you can make a profit on your remodeling investment, consider it. But you also have to look at what your sales price as is will be and are you making your home that much more desirable.

So, as in most things real estate related, the answer is "it depends". But before we get to the "it depends" part of the answer, let's take a deeper dive into some of the considerations, questions, answers and design tips that you'll need to address in your bathroom remodel.

1) What dimensions are you working with? Take some measurements of what you have now and then look into what are the standard sizes for toilet bowls, bath tubs, vanities, etc. If your bathroom's size is not conventional, you costs may go up. If you are just updating the existing footprint with standard products, it can be a lot less expensive and a greater ROI.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Staging and Preparing Your Home to Sell for Top Dollar

Well presented - no clutter.
I'll venture to say that if you are going on a job interview, most likely you would not show up in the same clothes you wore to hang out with your friends the night before (or to the gym). That's assuming you wanted to actually be hired. Or maybe a better example is a first date. Most likely you would want to make a great impression. Same principles are in play for selling your house. You are asking a stranger to a) pay a lot of money, and b) fall in love. No, not with you, with your house.

So, even though we are (here it comes again) in a seller's market, you just can't put a yard sign out, have an open house and expect to get top dollar. You home may sell but I'm assuming that if you are taking the  time to read this you want to sell for the highest price possible. That may require a little bit of work and preparation but it is well worth it.

Hopefully you've read my other posts and finally get it about clutter. Here's the brief recap: take everything you think you don't need to get by on a daily basis and store it in the garage. Then go through the house and look for more clutter and bring it to the garage. This includes extra furniture that's making rooms look small, the computers that should be in a museum, the luggage from your last trip, the stack of books and magazines, extra shoes you never wear at the front door, etc. If your garage gets too full, rent a storage space. Don't worry about the garage being too cluttered, buyers looking in the neighborhood will see lots of garages filled to the brim.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Teles Properties Real Estate Forecast 2015: The New Normal Brings New Opportunities

2015 is shaping up to be a great year for Redondo Beach Real Estate as arguably the entire nation gets back on the game and we see that reflected in our local market. What we'll most likely see is a unique alignment of economic and market forces with jobs and wage growth, low oil prices and low interest rates. This equates to more money in consumer's pockets, and higher confidence in spending. In other words, housing happiness.

In addition to traditional market demand, there are three key market forces at play. First, many "baby boomers" are nearing the age of retirement and may be selling their current homes and looking at other options. Second, first time buyers, many of whom were on the sidelines the past few years, most likely will beat their historic average of being 40% of the market. Third, homeowners who previously did short sales or were foreclosed on and now approaching the point where they have sat out the mandatory waiting period and can now buy again.

As we move out of the housing recovery mode into a more stable period, many economists are referring to these market conditions as "the new normal". Most likely while we'll still see prices increase it will not be at the pace of the past 18 months but will be more moderated in the 4-5% range. Of course, considering the price of homes in Redondo Beach, that still means some nice price gains. The economists are also predicting that prices will rise faster than overall incomes. So if you are thinking of buying, there's really no reason to wait.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Redondo Beach 3 on a lot Townhomes for Sale: Comps, Trends, Market Update

If you are reading this post and asking "What's a 3 on a lot?", welcome to Redondo Beach. If you already own one, congratulations, prices have gone up substantially over the past 18 months. And if you are looking to buy a 3 on a lot, you've come to the right place.

Three on a lot townhomes are one of the most common forms of housing found in North Redondo Beach, 90278. There are over 1000 of these units primarily found south of Artesia Blvd on Vanderbilt, Carnegie, Rockefeller and Grant. You'll also find a them east of Rindge north of Artesia Blvd and up and down Mathews. In North Redondo Beach that basically means MLS Areas 151-152. There aren't any 3 on a lots in Golden Hills but you will find a few in El Nido. South Redondo has them as well but they are not as abundant.

While most are 3 bedroom reverse floorplans, there are a number of 2 and 4 bedroom units as well as some standard floorplan properties. Reverse floorplan refers to the kitchen, living room, dining room and one or two bedrooms upstairs. Standard floorplan means that all the bedrooms are upstairs and the living room, dining and kitchen are downstairs.

As close to 75% of the properties conform to the 3 bedroom reverse floor plan layout and the balance are close variations of that theme, these townhomes are usually very marketable.

In 2014 there were 74 sales of 3 on a lots out of a total of 487 Redondo Beach closed escrows. That's about 15% of the market.  Prices ranged from lows of $450K for 2 bedroom units up to $849,000 for 4 bedroom new construction on MacKay.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Homes for Sale in North Redondo Beach: Inventory Low, Absorption Rate High

The North Redondo Beach Seller's market continues unabated with inventory extremely low (even considering seasonal adjustments) and the absorption rate very high. In plain English, what that means is that almost all the homes listed for sale do, in fact, sell and there aren't very many listed for sale. So, if you are thinking of selling your home in North Redondo Beach this year and have reasonable expectations you will be very pleased with the outcome. (And even more so if you hire me to sell it for you!)

Let's take a quick look at some numbers backing up what I am referencing here.

As the graph to the left indicates, over the past 15 months, there have been many times where the absorption rate has exceeded 100% based on closed sales. That means that more homes closed escrow than were placed on the market for sale. Now its not surprising that this metric topped 100% in December because many home owners don't list their home for sale during the holidays or more precisely from about the week before Thanksgiving until after the first of the year. In fact, as you can see on the chart below, the homes for sale rose steadily between April 2014 and September and then started declining through the end of the year.

Its no coincidence that as the homes listed for sale in the MLS steadily increased, the absorption rate decreased. Here's why.

Contrary to popular belief, there is not an infinite number of buyers in the market at any given time. Yes there may be more buyers during the traditional peak buying season in the Spring, but over the past few years with the inventory low the flow of buyers has been relatively steady. In fact, personally, I have sold more properties the last four months of the year for the last three years than I have during the first eight months. But that may be just me.

There's always a lot of discussion about when to place your home on the market with the conservative approach being during the Spring. Based on the data and trend reports, wrong.

Where I see the greatest opportunity is February and March. Probably some other people do also because inventory may peak in February and absorption rate drop. But then you see that reverse by March when inventory drops and the absorption rate hits over 100%.

This year, there may even be more reasons to list earlier in the year as once again all the economists are predicting that interest rates will rise. We've heard that fairly consistently for quite a while now and rates are still at near historic lows. But even a broken watch is right twice a day!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Selling a Home in Redondo Beach Part 1: Your Objectives

As I meet with Sellers prior to listing their home for sale, I go through a thorough checklist to get an in depth understanding of their objectives. Not surprisingly, the more specifically the home owner can articulate their goals, the better job I can do for them. So before the "For Sale" sign goes up, defining your goals is the first step in the home selling process.

Of course everyone wants to sell their home for the highest price and save on closing costs (call me I can help you). But beyond that, just like each property is unique, so is each selling situation.

After defining specific goals, the next step is defining expectations. I consistently hear from my Buyers and Sellers that I have exceeded their expectations. I'm able to do that for two reasons. First I ask what their expectations are and secondly I over deliver.

The third component of understanding your objectives is understanding what is most important to you. While everyone wants the highest price, there really is a lot more to selling your home than price. (Don't worry, I'll get you the highest price.)

So, let's take a look at each of these 3 points individually starting with the last: what is most important to you as a seller (other than the highest price). Here's some examples.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Ellis Posner Sells Redondo Beach Real Estate

Going right down to the wire, I had 2 sales close on NYE. Both were, of course, North Redondo beach 3 on a lot townhomes. Yes, readers, I know that is a huge surprise.

What was actually a surprise (well not really) is that my buyer clients both got very good deals. 2717 Grant is a 2 bedroom that sold for $450K. It was remodeled, move in ready, and very bright and open. I doubt we'll be seeing a many under $500K properties in 90278 in 2015.

The second sale on NYE, 2514 Vanderbilt Unit C, which required a "special recording", actually closed at about 5 PM. You can't be cutting it any closer than that for sure. I'll write more about special recordings on another post. The short version is that while the standard practice in LA County is to fund one day and record the next, there is an alternative solution in emergency situations. You can read more about these 2 sales at

During 2014 I actually closed 24 transactions, or as agents refer to it, "sides" (of business). Of those, 10 were in North Redondo Beach. Of the 10 90278 sales, 5 were listings and 5 were buyer deals. As I often mention, I try to keep my business about 50/50 by design. Not only do I truly enjoy working with buyers, doing so also helps provide great perspective for my seller clients because I can share with them how their listing will be viewed by buyers based on first hand experience. There's no substitute for walking into a home with buyer clients and seeing it through their eyes. Believe it or not, this helps me sell my listings for more because I know how to stage and present homes based on current market conditions.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Real Estate Market Stats

As I have been writing about on this site North Redondo Beach is a HOT Seller's market. For buyers, that often means that getting the deal IS the deal. With a median home value in 90278 of $781,000., many listings are still within the budget of buyers including first time buyers.

Inventory has been low for quite a while as affordable listings are scooped up. Whether you measure the absorption rate by properties that have closed or by those which have gone into escrow, we have had about a month or month and a half of available listings throughout most of 2014.

90278 home values have gone up 5.2% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 0.3% within the next year. The median list price per square foot in 90278 is $416, which is lower than the Redondo Beach average of $472 (includes South Redondo Beach). The median price of homes currently listed in 90278 is $752,300 while the median price of homes that sold is $789,500. The median rent price in 90278 is $2,595, which is lower than the overall Redondo Beach median of $2,800.  About half of the households are rentals. 

If you are a buyer looking for a distressed property in 90278, that train may have already left the station. There are 0.8 homes are foreclosed (per 10,000). That's not a whole lot, even though it is still just a few basis points higher than South Redondo Beach.

Additionally, the percent of delinquent mortgages in 90278 is 2.2%, which is lower than the national value of 6.9%. With U.S. home values having fallen by more than 20% nationally from their peak in 2007 until their trough in late 2011, many homeowners are now underwater on their mortgages, meaning they owe more than their home is worth. The percent of 90278 homeowners underwater on their mortgage is 4.3%, which just isn't very many in the overall scheme of things

Monday, December 1, 2014

Client Reviews in their Own Words

Zillow was kind enough to produce this video for me featuring testimonials from families I represented in Redondo Beach. If you are on Zillow's site and do a search in "90278" you may see this video displayed in the upper right hand corner along with a link to my over 50 Five Star Reviews. Or, you can just watch the video here.

If you have found this site looking for a Real Estate Agent in the Beach Cities*, you've come to the right place to buy or sell a home. I represent buyers and sellers and whether you are a first time buyer or selling a luxury million dollar plus property I can help you.

*South Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Socalistings on Facebook@ellisposner.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Selling Your Home? Here's Some Useful Tips

The absolute quickest and least expensive way to improve the selling price of your home is to "declutter". And I mean remove everything that is non essential for daily living, comfort, and enjoyment or that otherwise may (I'm sorry) turn off buyers. When you think you've taken everything you can possibly do without to the garage, start again and remove more. Here's why.

Buyers most likely are looking at a number of homes the day they come to see yours. After a while their heads are already cluttered. When they then come into a house that, as we say, "doesn't show well", nothing sticks. What we are really trying to achieve at viewings (other than getting an all cash offer over the MLS list price on the spot) is a second showing which will lead to an offer. 

As soon as your home is on the market, it is a "product" that you want to show off and display in the best possible light. You wouldn't go to a job interview dressed as you do going to the gym (unless you are interviewing to be a personal trainer). Treat your home, your greatest asset with at least the same respect.

For more ideas on some things you can do to maximize your selling potential get my free download at

For the balance of this year and 2015 I will be running some special promotions for new listings in Redondo Beach to help you save on closing costs. Contact me for more details and to see if your single family home, townhouse, or condo qualifies.