Today’s Brokers’ Open had the predictable properties with familiar floor plans. But one property in particular stood out for its charm and character. 1560 10th Street came on the market this week and is listed for $1,389,000. It’s a 4/3 with 2400 sq feet on a corner lot. The downstairs has a nice, airy open feel. The kitchen is not updated, but everything shows well and is clean. The upstairs, however, offers a nice surprise. The vaulted ceilings and exposed rafters give a cottage feel that is further accentuated by many details. Two of the bedrooms have lofts, offering delightful playrooms for children. The master bedroom is the ultimate in charm with large windows, letting in a lot of light. And French doors that lead to the master bathroom add to the rooms quaintness and allow additional light to stream in. The space is well utilized in this home, and the price allows an affordable price point for a lovely home in Manhattan Beach.
723 N Paulina in South Redondo Beach is still on the market after two months. It was originally priced high in the $3.2 ballpark, but was reduced to under $3 million and will be reduced again shortly. This property offers a rare opportunity in this crazy market to get a deal. The home is beautifully appointed; the details are exquisite. The layout uses the 4,200 sq. feet exceptionally well. But what makes this home special are the views from both the first and second levels. And it gets even better from the rooftop deck. Because of the incline on the 700 block of North Paulina, these homes are a walk to the beach, but still enjoy views that would make Malibu residents jealous. This is a not-to-be missed home.
Here are home sales for North Redondo Beach, Area 151 (located north of Artesia Blvd and south of Manhattan Beach Blvd.
|Address||Sq Ft.||Lot Size||Year||B/B||DOM||Sold||Original List||Variance|
|2120 Dufour Ave, #18 *||1,368||45,019||1975||3/2.5||45||$499,000||$520,000||-4%|
|2224 Bataan Rd, #2 * (S)||1,350||7,508||1980||2/2.5||7||$501,500||$465,000||+8%|
|2000 Mathews Ave, #2 *||1,238||11,256||1977||2/2.5||8||$505,000||$479,000||+5%|
|2105 Mathews Ave, #7 *||1,972||22,498||1978||3/4||28||$620,000||$625,000||-1%|
|3506 Rindge Ln||1,082||4,095||1952||3/2||38||$630,000||$599,000||+5%|
|2000 Voorhees Ave, #9 *||1,758||15,017||1952||3/3||75||$633,500||$639,000||-1%|
|3506 McBain Ave||1,318||6,092||1950||3/2||9||$685,000||$669,000||+2%|
|2516 Gates Ave, #A *||1,818||7,511||2006||3/2.5||42||$715,000||$720,000||-.5%|
|2020 Nelson Ave||1,349||3,331||1961||2/2||15||$725,000||$689,000||+5%|
|2006 Bataan Rd||1,503||7,503||1948||2/1||46||$725,000||$750,000||-3%|
|1910 Ernest Ave, #B *||2,113||7,505||1988||4/2.5||58||$740,000||$769,000||-4%|
|2301 Nelson Ave, #A *||2,212||6,295||1992||4/2.5||28||$820,000||$779,000||+5%|
|2418 Gates Ave, #A *||2,316||7,485||2003||4/2.5||23||$835,000||$834,995||0%|
|2204 Phelan Ln *||2,621||7,322||1990||4/4.5||5||$845,000||$799,000||+6%|
|1924 Nelson Ave, #B *||2,480||7,500||2008||4/2.5||8||$900,000||$899,900||0%|
|2015 Graham Ave||2,795||5,177||2006||5/3||8||$1,195,000||$1,149,000||-4%|
|1906 Gates Ave||3,380||5,399||2013||4/4.5||5||$1,250,000||$1,250,000||0|
Homes are moving quickly. 75 Days on Market is the longest any one of these properties sat on the market before the seller accepted an offer. Many of these listings sold within a week. And there were some that sold in 2-6 weeks. More often than not buyers are seeing homes come on the market only to disappear in days. There is still high demand with little inventory. If you’re a buyer, I advise you to put your best foot forward. This is not a market in which you can come in low and negotiate with the seller. You have to compete with other aggressive buyers. You may not even get a chance for a counter offer.
Tips On Making A Stronger Offer
1. If you are financing the purchase, making as a large a down payment as possible is important.
2. Making a 3% good faith deposit always shows that you’re a serious buyer. You can increase this deposit. (The good news is that the contract limits your liquidated damages to the 3% so anything over would come back to you if you were in breach of contract.) If you really want to make an impression, you can release the deposit to the seller immediately. But keep in mind that if you cancel, you are walking away from this money.
3. Waiving the appraisal contingency. If you love the property and you don’t mind paying a premium, then agree to waive the appraisal contingency. If the appraisal comes in lower and the bank will only lend a certain amount, then you will be responsible for coming out of pocket for the balance. This is a great tactic in a seller’s market, because the seller doesn’t have to be concerned with taking a high offer that might not appraise.
4. Paying for seller’s costs. You can offer to pay some or all of the seller’s closing costs such as escrow fees, county and city transfer taxes, termite work, title insurance, etc.
You may see some of these cute electric cars around Hermosa Beach this weekend (June 7-9). It’s part of a pilot program that the city of Hermosa Beach has agreed to for the weekend. A new company called Swoopkar wants to offer a clean energy alternative for short distance public transportation. This weekend Swoopkar will be servicing the guests of The Beach House.
Pricing for a trip is based on zones. From the Hermosa Pier to the Manhattan Beach Pier is $7.75 for as many people who fit in the car, I was told by one of the reps.
Swoopkar’s mission is to “provide a clean energy, community focused, public transportation service to communities nationwide; offering exceptional, reliable, and responsible service while supporting local environmental initiatives.” And not only will it help the environment, the company thinks their electric carts will help foster a fun, upscale feel in the beach communities… kinda like Weekend at Bernie’s!
If you want to see more of these car’s around town, please visit www.swoopkar.com and sign the petition.
Redondo Beach Home Sales
To follow up on my blog post on May 16th, the market is continuing to go crazy. All the listings that I earmarked 2 weeks ago: 2500 Ruhland, 2204 Plant, #A and 1933 Gates Ave, #B have all gone into escrow. 2500 Ruhland was on the market for a total of 7 days before it went into escrow. High tension wires not a deterrent; this home will sell for full price or over asking. 2204 Plant Ave, #A is in escrow after 24 days and 1933 Gates Ave, #B sold for $968,000 ($19,000 over asking). More and more 4 bedroom town homes in North Redondo are hitting the $900,000 and higher mark. We’re experiencing a quick and steep increase in prices. Hopefully, it will encourage more people to put their homes on the market in order to meet this pent up demand.
New Listing in Redondo Beach
1909 Morgan Lane, #A is another test of the market. This is a 4 bedroom detached town home (front unit) that came on the market today. It’s a clean 1992 build with some updates. It doesn’t have the beautiful detailing that some of the newer town homes have. And the bathrooms are not redone; they have the original tile counters. The sellers are asking $811,000. Are buyers so desperate that this second tier (in quality) town home will be bumped into the $800s? Or is there a limit to their madness?! We shall see.
Home Buyers’ Frustrations
What I can tell you is that many buyers are frustrated because they feel themselves being priced out of the market. I tell my clients who have missed out on a number of properties (and they have been aggressive in their offers) that they just need to stick with it. Everyone is feeling the pain; it’s not just them. It just takes time. The good news is that even though prices are going up, interest rates are still extremely low. And increase in price has less impact on your monthly payment, then an increase in price does. There is also the option to look for properties that may need some more work. You can buy something less expensive and then remodel it to your tastes. And these properties may have fewer people bidding on them since they are not turnkey.
We had Brokers’ Open today in Redondo Beach. There were a decent amount of things to see! Such good news when we have so many buyers competing for properties. My favorite listing of the day was 2018 Voorhees Avenue in North Redondo. It’s a 2006 built 4 bed/3.5 bath detached town home. It has beautiful details throughout. There is a family room at the top of the stairs (which makes all the bedrooms slightly smaller, but with the 2400 sq. feet the rooms still feel spacious). There are also 2 bathrooms in the hall at the top of the stairs which is unusual for this floor plan. The master bathroom is well laid out. There is a fireplace in the master and in the living room. And the backyard has a lovely patio with a pergola that creates an intimate, inviting space for entertaining. This property is listed at $899,000 and should move pretty quickly.
We’ve had a small uptick in rates as of late which makes sense since the Federal Reserve has been flirting with the idea of pulling back on buying mortgage backed securities. Currently, the Fed purchases $85 billion per month in mortgage backed securities. If they don’t buy them then the rates will have to go up in order to be more attractive to other investors. Private investors don’t want the risk for such a low return of 3%, etc. So we could see rates start their way up to 4.5 and 5%. The one factor that can help keep rates down right now is unemployment. The expectation is that there were 177,000 jobs created for the month of May. Tomorrow the jobs number will be released. If it’s at 177,000 or significantly higher, then we can expect rates to continue to climb. But if the numbers come in lower than expected, we will probably see rates come back down again.
I will be holding open 1026 1st Street in Manhattan Beach on Saturday, May 25th from 2-5 pm. Come see this fabulous new construction in the Hill Section with a spectacular ocean view and open floor plan. It’s a 4 bedroom, 4.5 bath home for $3,495,122.
Don’t miss the festivities in the South Bay this weekend:
First and foremost is the Hermosa Fiesta from 10 am to 6 pm Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Come browse tons of vendors’ booths with trendy clothing, fine jewelry, col art, fun knick knacks, yummy food and more! There is a food court, beer garden and music. For more information go to www.fiestahermosa.net.
Hermosa Beach Firemen’s 17th Annual Pancake Breakfast
This is one of my favorite events. Pancakes and Firemen!!! Come join the Hermosa Fire Department for a pancake breakfast on Sunday, May 26th from 7 am – 12 pm at the Hermosa Beach Fire Department on Pier Avenue just below Valley. The cost is $10 for 13 yrs and older, $5 for 5-12 yrs, and free for children 4 yrs and younger. All proceeds from the breakfast go to local charities. Enjoy some good food with our local heroes and get a chance to see the inside of a firehouse!
Rancho Palos Verdes’ Terranea Resort’s Summer Concert Series
Memorial Day weekend is the kickoff of Terranea’s Summer Concert Series. This weekend’s performances are:
Friday (Tonight) – Steel Rod
Saturday – Wise 100 Doors
Sunday – Lindsay Harper Duo
For more info go to www.terranea.com.
I’ll be honest, it’s challenging in this market to compete with other buyers when you have VA or FHA financing. The reason being is there are so many buyers making offers on properties that sellers naturally gravitate to offers that are all cash or have heavy down payments, and those offers that remove certain contingencies such as appraisal or loan up front. There are two major issues that you are up against with a VA loan.First, the appraisal process can be sticky. If there are issues with the property, the appraiser will red flag these items which will need to be addressed prior to the close of escrow. In most cases, the seller knows that this responsibility will fall on them because someone who isn’t making a down payment, won’t be able to afford the cost of repairs either. Second, sellers equate (whether accurate or not) the size of the down payment to the strength of the buyer.It’s going to be crucial for you to work with an agent who can effectively educate the listing agent to why your offer is a strong offer. And there are things you can consider to make your offer stronger. For instance, you might not be making a down payment, but you can pay your own closing costs. Or if there are problems with the property, you may want to put in the offer that you will take care of these costs for repairs. You also may want to refrain from asking for a home warranty paid for by the seller. Doing things like this will help you structure a stronger offer.You may also want to make sure that you pick a lender with the shortest turnaround times. The time it takes to process a VA loan can be longer than conventional financing which is definitely a down side. With my VA clients, I also like to emphasize the patriotic angle of a VA offer. Veterans are being rewarded for their dedication to this country. They shouldn’t be penalized for not making a down payment. As long as the lender is giving the preapproval, there is no reason why the loan should not come through. I always want to encourage positive feelings with the seller if they decide to accept a VA offer.. it’s like they’re saying thank you for your service.It’s going to be challenging, but it’ s not impossible. You just have to be patient and keep trying.