A Groundhog’s Real Estate Predictions

With the dawn of February, comes the advent of a momentous tradition that dates back to 1887 – Groundhog Day.

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Featuring a rodent meterologist, this day was first celebrated in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania and has roots in roots in the ancient Christian tradition of Candlemas Day, when clergy would bless and distribute candles needed for winter. According to tradition, if a groundhog comes out of its hole on this day and sees its shadow, there will be six more weeks of cold winter weather. Tradition also states that an early spring is indicated if the groundhog does not see its shadow.

Here is to hoping that Phil the Punxsutawney groundhog, does NOT see his shadow tomorrow, when he emerges to predict the next few months of weather.


 

Like Phil, we have a few predictions about how the real estate market will behave over the next few months.

Unlike Phil, we have done research and are not scared of our own shadows.

Based on our research, here are a few things you can (most likely) expect over 2017:

  • While 2016 saw record-low rates, mortgage rates have begun to rise following the election. Experts predict that rates will climb by half a percent over 2017.
  • According to predictions by  Joe Kirchner, senior economist at Realtor.com, millennials and baby boomers will dominate demand in the housing market will millennials making up 33% of the buyer pool and baby boomers representing another 30%. This prediction is expected to hold true for the next decade.
  • However, as more “first-time buyers” (millennials) seek out their first homes, the available inventory is expected to continue to drop in 2017. Which inventory already down an 11 percent in the top 100 metros in 2016, this means that home buyers will have even fewer choices.
  • Kirchner further predicts that the West will outpace the rest of the country in real estate action, with home prices in Western cities increasing 5.8% and sales increasing 4.7%.
  • According to Zillow’s chief economist, Dr. Svenja Gudell, new construction projects will also be hit with higher costs. In Zillow’s 2017 Market Predictions, she argues,

“Buyers of new homes will have to spend more as builders cover the cost of rising construction wages, driven even higher in 2017 by continued labor shortages, which could be worsened by tougher immigration policies under President-elect Trump.” 

  • There are some positive expectations in place as well. Gudell predicts that as incomes rises and rent appreciation slows, rental affordability will improve. Her argument is supported by Urban Land Institute’s October 2016 Real Estate Consensus Forecast, which noted that apartment rental rate growth is expected to moderate to 3.0 percent in 2017,  but remain above the 20-year average growth rate of 2.8 percent.

 

 

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Los Angeles Rent Control

By: Lauren Weber

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We have been getting a lot of questions about rent control lately so we thought we’d share some information on the different areas that are effected by it and what it means to landlords/investors that need to abide by LA City’s rent control guidelines.

First, let’s start with the question: What is rent control?
Rent control, or the Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO), was designed to protect tenants from excessive rent increases and limits the reasons for evictions while allowing landlords a reasonable return on their investments. The RSO has been passed by the Los Angeles City Council on May 1, 1979 and has maintained it ever since. The RSO covers allowable rent increases, registration of rental units, legal reasons for evictions, and types of evictions requiring payment of tenant relocation assistance.

Subject rental units include: apartments, condominiums, town houses, duplexes, two or more dwelling units on a single lot, mobile homes, mobile home parks, and rooms in a hotel, motel, rooming house or board house occupied by the same tenant for 30 or more consecutive days.

What areas fall under rent control?
Predominately, any property within Los Angeles City is considered in a rent controlled area. These include areas such as Westchester, San Pedro, Torrance P.O., Hollywood, Northridge, Encino, Woodland Hills, Van Nuys, Sunland, Eagle Rock, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, etc. However, there are some exceptions that would exempt properties for falling under rent control. Some of these exceptions include buildings completed after 1978, one house on a lot, government funded units, and luxury units. To find out if your property or property of interest falls under rent control you can follow these instrutions HERE and look up the property address HERE.

What are the landlords rights?
-Increase rent every 12 months by the allowable increase. Every year this figure is subject to change, however it has been 3% for the last several years and is the allowable rent increase from the time period of July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016.
-Increase rent by an additional 1% for gas and/or 1% of electricity when landlord pays for either or both of these utilities.
-Increase security deposit and last month’s by the allowable percentage at the same time rent is increased.
-Increase rent by 10% for an additional tenant, except if landlord had previous notice of the additional tenant for more than 60 consecutive days and failed to notify the tenant of rent increase.
-Evict tenants for legal reasons as stated HERE.
-Apply for special rent increases base on an application for Primary Renovation, Capital Improvements, Rehabilitation, or a “Just and Reasonable” rent adjustment.
-Pass through current year Systematic Code Enforcement Program (SCEP) fees of $43.32 to the tenants at the rate of $3.6/month for 12 months, if the owner has paid them in full. Owner must give tenant 30 day written notice of increase prior to collection of fees and provide the tenant a copy of the Registration Certificate.

What are the tenants rights?
-Tenant may receive a copy of the Registration Certification of their rented units with Rent Stabilization Division from landlord.
-File a complaint with the Rent Stabilization Division, if the landlord:
-Imposes an illegal rent increase
-Is not registered in compliance with the Ordinance
-Provides a Notice to Quit that does not fall within the guidelines of legal reason           for eviction.
-Dose not pay relocation assistance as required by RSO.
-Fails to post an RSO notice on the property.
-Receive relocation assistance for certain no-fault evictions.
-File a complaint with Code Enforcement Division, if there are suspected code violations.

Are there any exceptions to rent control?
The major exceptions are buildings completed after 1978, single family residence, government funded units, and luxury units.

*For more information please contact your local city directly. You may also visit the City of Los Angeles’s website HERE for more rent control info or call The Los Angeles Housing and Community Investment Department at www.HCIDLA.LACITY.org or 866-557-7368

When to sell.. and when to buy?

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When is the best time to sell your home? Most homeowners stress over what season to list their home. There are all sorts of myths about when is the best time to sell, but every situation is truly unique. Luckily, here in the South Bay – each of the four seasons offers different perks of listing your home!

WINTER:

Historically, the winter months are considered to be the slowest season for the real estate market, but it is necessary to take the temperate weather of Southern California into consideration. Seasonal variations may play a more prominent role in other parts of the country, but we fortunately skirt a good portion of extreme winter weather. Warm, sunny winter days means that your home may have just as much curb appeal as it does during the spring months!

As Sam Heskel, president of Nadlan Valuation, an appraisal firm in Brooklyn, highlights, “Sellers typically find that off-season buyers may be more focused and ready to buy a home.” This means that while some home buyers take a break over the holidays, they return after New Year’s with renewed motivation and focus to purchase a home.

*Remember, the quality of the buyers is often times more important than the quantity! Buyers who are serious about finding a home (no matter the season) are more desirable than those who are casually looking.*

SPRING:

The spring season always comes out on top as the best time to sell. With the warm weather, more daylight and spring fever in full swing, buyers are more likely to shop during this time of year. With more competition comes bigger sale prices. Thus, home prices are highest during the prime season, when more homes are on the market.

SUMMER:

A lot of sellers hold off putting their home on the market during the summer, preferring to wait until the first of the year or the spring season. This results in reduced inventory during the summer months, meaning more buyers checking out your home, whether online or in person. “For Sale” signs and postings are much more visible and easier to install in the summer than they are in the winter. Also, in some tourist areas, traffic is heavier, ensuring additional exposure.

Lastly, listing your home in the summer positions you well to sell in the fall. Even if you do not secure a buyer over the summer, you have the opportunity to assess the buyers’ reactions and make necessary adjustments to make your home more appealing.

FALL:

According to a survey by ERA, 40% of respondents cite that with the end of the vacation season comes a renewed attention to real estate. The survey also highlighted emotional motivations that are strengthened during the fall – namely the desire to be “home for the holidays”.  ERA President and CEO Charlie Young states, “As vacations wind down after Labor Day and people become more focused, the desire to be in a new home for the holidays is a historically strong driver of fall home sales”.  As the season progresses, financial motivations also come into play. 10% of respondents cited the desire to purchase a home before the end of the year in order to gain tax benefits.

The point of this all being: There are clear perks to selling in each season! Make sure that you home is in the right condition to sell and go for it!

Now on the flip side of things, when is the best time to buy?

Do not obsess with trying to time the market and figure out when is the “best time to buy.” Real estate is cyclical and constantly changing. The ideal time to buy is when you find your dream home (or the house that has the potential to become it) and you can afford it. Trying to predict the housing market and wait for the so-called right time, may mean you miss out.

You have to remember that while buying a home is one of the most important decisions of your life, the rest of your life does not get put hold. We have had buyers who have been planning a wedding while house-hunting, as well as a couple who gave birth during escrow! It can be a stressful process, but one that is well worth the effort!

However, there are three things that we suggest having arranged before you purchase your home: be pre-approved, have enough for a down payment and make sure you are comfortable with the monthly mortgage payment.

Getting pre-approved means a lender has looked at all of your financial information and they’ve let you know how much you can afford and how much they will lend you. Being pre-approved will save you a lot of time and energy so you are not running around looking at houses you can’t afford.

As always, we are here to help so don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or to set up a consultation to discuss if right now is the right time for you to buy or sell your home. info@weberaccetta.com

6 Myths About Credit Scores

Hi Everyone! I hope you are enjoying your week so far. Rates are fluctuating and were up earlier this week and then went back down again by the end of yesterday. For a 30 year fixed loan, rates are around 3.9-4.0% today. As you may or may not know, your credit score has a direct effect on your rate. Therefore, it’s important that you know what your credit score is and how you can improve it as well as what dangers there are to lowing it. Today I’m sharing 6 myths about credit scores that may clarify some assumptions you’ve had. Enjoy! 6MythsaboutCreditScores

Three Tips on Pricing Your Home Correctly

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Pricing your home for sale is a calculated and strategic form of art. Using the average price per sq ft and multiplying it by your homes sq ft is no way to come to a price point. You need to think about all the qualities of your home that makes it different from the one next door (good or bad). Not only is every home different but every seller is different. Here are three tips to consider in pricing your home.

1. Identify what your top priority is for selling your home.
In today’s market, many seller’s are experiencing a multiple offer situation. While this may be an ideal position to be in, it can also feel overwhelming and in some cases it can be an emotional process. However, if you are clear about what your main goal is before you list your home for sale, you will be able to assess your options clearly and make a solid and quick decision.

2. Consider your best and worst case scenarios before, during, and after the sale of your home.
You can start by asking yourself some of these questions: Do I need to sell quickly? If yes, what is the absolute lowest price I am willing to sell my house for? What price will I be happy with if I only get one offer and it is for asking price? What is the amount of money I need in net profits to purchase my next home? Are there any issues with my house that will cost the buyer a significant amount of money to fix? If I price my house at the top of the market, am I willing to miss out on potential buyers that won’t consider anything in this price point? If I don’t receive any offer after a few weeks on the market, am I comfortable making a price reduction? How often am I willing to make a price reduction? How long am I willing to list my house if it doesn’t sell?

3. Learn about all the comparable homes in your neighborhood.
Keep in mind that although it is important to know the asking prices of current homes for sale, it is more important to know what most recent closed sale prices are in your area. Another thing that some people miss exploring are the homes that went on the market and never sold. These homes are called “expired listings” and they are your best indicators for over priced homes.

Having an experienced, knowledgeable, and honest agent help you through this process will be your key to pricing your home correctly. He or she should be able to recognize what is important to you and help you figure out a price that will deliver the results your are looking for. Of course, I am always here to help in any way possible and I offer free home evaluations to anyone that is interested in knowing their home value. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have a question or would like a consultation. 310.387.4693 or laurenw@hmsold.com

New Listing! 2616 W. 143rd Place, Gardena

Check out this beauty!

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3bed/3bath
Approximately 1,380 sq ft and 6,625 sq ft lot.
Asking $449,000

Beautiful turnkey home with pool! Like new with upgrades throughout including laminate wood floors, double pane windows, recessed dim-able lighting, and new paint inside and out. Kitchen features gorgeous porcelain tiled floor, quartz slab counter tops, stunning backsplash throughout, new stainless steel appliances, and an open concept to the dinning and living room areas. Huge backyard includes pool, large grass area left to the imagination for endless possibilities, and a separate gated area away from pool, perfect for pets or kids to play. Bonus room features an additional guest bathroom, den area, and large bedroom with attached bathroom. Bonus items include new garage door and water softener. Must see in person to truly appreciate!

Please pass this information to anyone you think would be interested! Contact me directly for questions or to schedule a showing: 310.387.4693 laurenw@hmsold.com

Open house Saturday 5/9/15 1-4pm!

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What’s Up Redondo!

I’m proud to introduce our new website and instagram page! I’ve partnered up with one of South Bay’s top producing agents, Michelle Accetta, and together we are having a blast connecting Redondo to What’s Up in Redondo. Check us out and be sure to follow us on instagram!

www.whatsupredondo.com

www.instagram/whatsupredondo.com

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It’s Here! New Listing in Tustin!

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15212 Wesley Way, Tustin CA 92782

First open house will be this weekend Saturday 4/18 and Sunday 4/19 1pm-4pm.

Beautiful & rare corner unit located on the green belt in Camden Place listed for the first time since it was built in 2007!  Situated away from busy streets and inner units, this condo has front-door access to the green belt park, views of Saddleback mountain, and is South-facing inviting in sunlight from three sides throughout the day.  First master suite is located on the lower level with full bathroom and easy access to laundry room and two-car garage.  Main level features a chef’s kitchen with expansive granite slab counter tops and stainless steel appliances including gas range.  The open concept is perfect for entertaining and helps the chef feel included in activities going on in the dining room and living room. Main level also features guest bedroom, second full bathroom, media nook, gas fireplace ,and spacious private balcony with views of the green belt – perfect for summer BBQs!  The entire top floor serves as a sanctuary, fully dedicated to an enormous master suite with walk in closet, master bathroom, double his/her sinks, jacuzzi tub, separate stand up shower, and linen closet.  Entire condo is pre-wired for the Internet and cable with convenient outlets in all three bedrooms and living room.  Home has been professionally cleaned, newly painted, and carpets have been professionally shampooed ready and waiting for it’s new home owners to move in right away!

Click here for the full listing with more photos and details
Virtual tour:
Contact me directly with any questions or to schedule an appointment.
310.387.4693
laurenw@hmsold.com

Video Tour- 395 W. 15th Street, San Pedro

Hi Everyone!

Here’s a video tour of my listing in San Pedro. It definitely gives you a better feel for all of the amazing upgrades this home features inside. From a new foundation, copper plumbing, laminate wood floors, granite counter tops, cabinets, AC and furnace, security alarm system, and much  much more, this home is gorgeous! Let me know if you or anyone you know would like to live in this charming home, I’d be happy to send over more detailed info and schedule an appointment to view it! 310.387.4693 laurenw@hmsold.com

396 W 15th Street, San Pedro from Lauren Weber on Vimeo.

Join us at our Home Buying Seminar!

When: Thursday, March 12, 2015 from 6:30PM – 7:30PM

Where: Kinecta Federal Credit Union at the Torrance Crossroads Shopping Center
24329 Crenshaw Blvd Suite F Torrance, Ca 90505

If you are thinking of buying, in the process of searching, or plan to buy in the future, then please join us in a couple of weeks for our home buying seminar. I have teamed up with Monica Fujiwara of RE/MAX Estate Properties and Adam Barreto of Kinecta Federal Credit Union to bring you the inside scoop on how to get your offer accepted in this competitive market and what to plan on during your search and home buying experience. Financing questions will be addressed and you will even have the chance to get prequalified on the spot! Don’t miss out on this opportunity to get your dreams and goals of becoming a homeowner in order. Please contact me at 310.387.4693 or laurenw@hmsold.com to RSVP today. Hope to see you there!

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