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Tracy King's Blog

With over 30 years experience in helping clients buy and sell homes in Northeast Los Angeles, Tracy King has a depth of real estate knowledge that makes her the go-to for both the first-time home buyer and the seasoned real estate investor. When she's not holding open houses or negotiating offers, Tracy enjoys wine tasting, cooking, and...

With over 30 years experience in helping clients buy and sell homes in Northeast Los Angeles, Tracy King has a depth of real estate knowledge that makes her the go-to for both the first-time home buyer and the seasoned real estate investor. When she's not holding open houses or negotiating offers, Tracy enjoys wine tasting, cooking, and planning her next trip to Paris.

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Featured Listing: 5312 Sierra Villa Drive, Eagle Rock

5312 Sierra Villa Drive
EAGLE ROCK, CA
Call for your private showing! For more pictures and info go to www.5312SierraVilla.com.

2BR/1BA Single Family House
$549,000
Year Built 1922
Sq Footage 1,188
Bedrooms 2
Bathrooms 1 full, 0 partial
Floors 1
Parking 2 Car garage
Lot Size 6,650 sqft
HOA/Maint $0 per month
Description

5312 Sierra Villa is a bright, clean Craftsman cottage with lots of windows, re-finished hardwood floors, spacious rooms, and updated kitchen and bath. Upgrades also include copper plumbing and fresh paint inside and out. The finished attic is full-length with built-in dresser drawers, providing lots of additional storage. The two-car garage adjoins the patio and the guest house. Landscaping includes sevarl fruit trees - lemon, lime, persimmon, pomegranate, fig and avocado. Separate guest house has one full bedroom, bath, kitchen and living area, permit status is unknown. It has been completely renovated by seller - new insulation, floors, walls, windows, doors, pipes, paint, bathroom, everything new! Main house has additional 1/2 bath in the second bedroom, permit status is unknown.
Property Features

Central A/C Central heat Hardwood floor
Tile floor Living room Attic
Laundry area - inside Balcony, Deck, or Patio
Other Special Features

New kitchen and bath
Repainted interior
Completely remodeled guest house - just finished!
Two bonus storage areas off the garage
2 bedrooms, 1.5 baths
1,188 SF on a 6,650 SF lot
Many fruit trees, including lemon, lime, pomegranate, fig.
See website for more information www.5312SierraVilla.com
Additional Photos

Front
Guest House
Living Room
Kitchen
Front Bedroom
Attic
Contact Info
Tracy King
Coldwell Banker
DRE Lic#01048877
(626) 844-2256
For sale by agent/broker

Equal Opportunity Housing
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Happy New Year!

Post Rose Parade trash on Colorado. If everyone would take care of their own garbage...

Sent from my iPhone

Posted via email from Tracy's LA Real Estate

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Doing a remodel right

Can u see where the addition is?

See my post on Facebook later for the answer. Sent from my iPhone

Posted via email from Tracy's LA Real Estate

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Last morning of 2010

Crescent moon over a crisp, crystal clear dawn. Life in LA is good!

But would the moon have been more sharply defined if I'd had an IPhone 4 to shoot it with? I think I have to find out.

Sent from my iPhone

Posted via email from Tracy's LA Real Estate

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I Feel Him Here

Sometimes knowing the story behind a building reveals the beauty:

"I Feel Him Here"

Nathaniel Kahn Returns to His Father's Restored Bath House

By Eric Wills | Online Only | Dec. 6, 2010

Eight years ago, Anne Tyng returned to the Bath House in Ewing, N.J., a modest concrete-block building that she had helped her lover and fellow architect, Louis Kahn, design nearly a half-century earlier. Built for the Trenton Jewish Community Center to give pool-going members a place to shower and change, the structure, at first glance, appears to be nothing more than a low-slung series of four square pavilions. But the commission marked a seminal moment in Kahn's career, launching him on a new trajectory that would win him acclaim as one of the finest architects of the second half of the 20th century.

As Tyng discovered, although the Bath House remained in use, it exuded an air of despair and loneliness, its front door boarded up, its walls mold-covered and crumbling. Tyng, then 82 years old, had come with Kahn's son, Nathaniel, who was making a documentary about his late father. As he filmed, Tyng wandered inside the men's locker room, crowded with stacks of plastic deck chairs. "It's terrible; it's just such a shame," she said, gazing upon the neglect.

The scene made for compelling filmmaking: Tyng's disappointment gradually gave way to remembrances of her partnership with Kahn, and his yearning to design a significant building that would speak to the potential of Modern architecture. But the footage also raised a question: How could such an important building in Kahn's career, and in the history of midcentury architecture, end up forgotten?

On a windswept Saturday afternoon several weeks ago, Nathaniel Kahn returned to the Bath House with his two half-sisters and a busload of architecture enthusiasts from a Philadelphia club. They had come to see the nearly finished $2.1 million restoration of the site, inspired in part by Kahn’s documentary, "My Architect," which was nominated for an Academy Award and helped popularize his father’s career. The gathering proved part family reunion, part architecture tour, part graduate seminar in historic preservation that explained just how, exactly, local officials had managed to save the Bath House from potential demolition.

Even though international architects have flocked to the Bath House over the years, to study how Kahn, on a modest budget and with ordinary materials, managed to create such an influential design, the building does not elicit universal praise. ("This is one of the biggest jokes pulled off on the public in years," an anonymous online commentator wrote in response to a recent NJ.com story about the restoration.) Which helps explain why Sue Ann Kahn, Louis' oldest daughter, said this as she studied the site from a distance: "I was thinking for so long it would never happen. I think it's a miracle the Bath House was restored."

The Bath House's Origins

Louis Kahn was just a few months removed from the first significant project of his career, the Yale Art Gallery, when he secured the commission from the Trenton Jewish Community Center in 1954. Because the center's members were increasingly leaving inner city Trenton, its board of directors decided to build a new complex on 47 acres in the suburbs of nearby Ewing. Kahn was retained to design the entire complex, including the main community building, but only the Bath House and a day camp site he designed were constructed. In part because of the uncertainty about what, exactly, the center's leaders wanted, the death of one of Kahn's most vocal supporters on the board, and his own innovative (and sometimes uncompromising) vision, he was replaced mid-project by a local architect.

But not before he managed to establish a confident new direction for his career—and for Modern architecture. Philip Johnson and Mies van der Rohe had recently designed Glass House and Farnsworth House, respectively; Gordon Bunshaft's Lever House had just risen on Park Avenue in New York. All were International Style-inspired tributes to steel and glass.

Between 1949 and 1951, Kahn had visited Italy, Greece, Israel, and Egypt during his stint as resident architect of the American Academy in Rome, and, inspired by the ancient ruins he had toured, he began work on the Bath House. He designed four pavilions in the shape of a Greek cross, with an open-air central atrium. The design evoked classical forms, and his choice of concrete block as the main building material stood in sharp contrast to the glassy machine aesthetic of the International Style. Kahn "showed it was possible to have flowing space and mass," writes Susan G. Solomon in Louis I. Kahn's Trenton Jewish Community Center.

In one of his most elegant strokes, Kahn designed floating pyramidal roofs that stopped short of the walls in the locker rooms, leaving a gap that offered views of the sky and trees and let in natural light, but that also obviated the need for an HVAC system because air moved freely through the building. The gap creates the wonderfully paradoxical sensation of being simultaneously inside and out: One feels secure within the concrete-block walls, yet also part of nature.

In essence, Solomon writes, the Bath House represented an amalgam of Kahn's classical training and his modern ideas. Many of the architect's later designs, including the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth and the Richards Medical Research Lab in Philadelphia, directly illustrate his philosophy that coalesced as he worked on the Trenton commission. As Kahn told The New York Times, "The world may have discovered me when I designed the Richards, but I discovered myself when I designed that little concrete Bath House in Trenton."

Despite Solomon's success in getting the Bath House listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984, the Jewish Community Center threatened to demolish Kahn's day camp site in 1996, prompting questions about the survival of the Bath House itself. The center's leaders eventually used grant money to create a preservation plan for the site, but with more and more of their members leaving Ewing, they finally decided to sell.

At the time, Ewing Township was looking to build a new community and senior center. And Mercer County officials were looking to make use of their Open Space Trust Fund. Voters, after a contentious debate, had just passed a referendum that allowed the fund to be used for historic preservation projects in conjunction with land conservation. And the Bath House appeared an ideal project. In 2006, the county purchased the property for $8.1 million, financed almost entirely by the trust fund, and transferred ownership to Ewing Township after protecting the site with historic preservation and conservation easements, to prevent demolition of the Bath House or new development on the site.

At first, some county officials were underwhelmed by the building. "It's a bunch of cinder blocks," Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes admits thinking when the Bath House project first crossed his desk. After he read Solomon's book, however, he began to understand the significance of the site, eventually becoming a leading advocate: "I'll be long gone from Mercer County, and people are still going to be coming to see this building."

Despite the political support from such figures as Ewing Mayor Jack Ball, who has lauded the site as "Ewing's national treasure," some county residents still disapprove of the project. Donna Lewis, Mercer County's planning director, tells people to rent Nathaniel Kahn's film, which brings to life the man behind the buildings. "Watch the movie, and you will get it," Lewis says.

A Son's Return

On the recent Saturday when Nathaniel Kahn returned to the site, the Bath House little resembled the decrepit near-ruin he had filmed eight years earlier. Kahn, dressed in khaki pants and a blue sweater, and the other attendees took in the newly restored structure. They admired the abstract mural featuring fish- and wave-shaped forms, reputedly painted by Louis Kahn and another architect, and long covered over by eight layers of paint, that once again decorated the wall next to the main entrance. They noted that the pyramidal roofs, redone years ago in a gray material, were returned to their original black. They studied the refurbished concrete block walls, the sections beyond repair rebuilt with new blocks made from the same Delaware River stone as the originals, the masons instructed to replicate the sloppy and uneven mortar joints that Kahn favored. And they toured the locker rooms, with their new shower dividers no longer tile but shiny granite, chosen for its durability.

Michael Mills, a partner at the Princeton-based architecture firm Farewell Mills Gatsch LLC, led the project, which included the restoration of the day camp site and the construction of a new snack bar. Kahn and his half-sisters gathered around the architect after the conclusion of the tour. "You have done a fantastic service to our father's legacy," Kahn told Mills, as tears welled in the architect's eyes.

The discussion turned to the wider significance of the project in the context of preserving the legacy of Kahn, who built relatively few buildings in the United States. A group of leading academics and architects was dismayed to hear over the summer about the demolition of Kahn's original entryway of the Temple Beth El in Chappaqua, N.Y. They criticized temple leaders for not engaging the wider community of Kahn scholars before starting demolition as part of a plan to build an addition onto the existing structure.

In contrast, before embarking on the Bath House project, Mills spoke to Anne Tyng about the intent behind the original design (one of the conveniences in preserving Midcentury buildings is that many of the original architects are still alive). One question Mills asked her: Why didn't the Bath House have gutters? Tyng spoke, he says, of the "ritualistic idea of the water washing over the walls," though the walls didn't hold up well over time to the moisture. Workers have now installed gutters in a few strategic spots, concealing them as much as possible under the roofline.

One topic especially loomed large: the landscape plan for the site. Workers installed two rows of trees in front of the Bath House and have done other landscaping work, but nothing approaching the master plan that Kahn designed. That plan was never executed, but Heritage Landscapes LLC, relying on Kahn's original drawings, has drafted new renderings that would help achieve a more complete realization of the architect's vision. But the county and township lack the funds—about $500,000—to implement those drawings, and to establish a public green space adjacent to the Bath House that would help create a formal passageway between it and the community center building. Fronted by a vast expanse of parking-lot blacktop, the Bath House now seems insignificant from afar, an accidental imposition on the landscape that lacks proper context.

But the prevailing sentiment was unabashed enthusiasm, for the enlightened local officials who had recognized the historic import of the building, for how the restoration of the Bath House might signal a growing appreciation for Modernist architecture, for the revival of a key work in Kahn's career. Said Nathaniel Kahn of the project: "It will stand as an extraordinarily important example of what can be done with limited resources and enormous attention and care."

By now the sun appeared low on the horizon, and Kahn stood in the central atrium of the Bath House, his back to the stairs leading to the pool. Shadows fell obliquely across the walls. The site exuded a surprising sense of timeless presence given its construction a mere half century ago from so simple a material as concrete block.

"I am in love with this building," Kahn said. "I so feel my father's assuredness here. You know, the Yale Gallery of Art is such a wonderful building, but it's several different things going on. There's uncertainty. There's no uncertainty here. Here he's absolutely convinced he's doing the right thing. I feel him here. I feel the aliveness of his mind, and his excitement at being able to figure something like this out."

Kahn lingered for a few minutes, then slowly walked to the parking lot with the other remaining day-trippers, leaving the Bath House behind once again, this time secure with the knowledge that the building will survive. Not as a museum piece, but as a living structure, where locals will flock come Memorial Day, and fill the walls with the sounds of summer.




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A Special Thank You from Tracy

These last three years have been some of the most economically challenging we’ve experienced not only in real estate, but in this country and even in the world. It’s commonly said that our economy is the worst since the Great Depression. The continued high unemployment figures have been holding back a housing recovery since unemployed people don’t commonly buy houses. Doom and gloom seem to fill the headlines. Short sales and foreclosures are common occurrences, even in the best of neighborhoods.

Every Realtor I talk to agrees that every transaction is harder to do than it used to be. Not only are we dealing with buyers fearful of overpaying and sellers unhappy with how prices have come down, we have extremely challenging lender and appraisal situations with an unending stream of new rules and regulations to implement. Real estate is a team effort, every transaction involves so many more people than you might think.

So I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the people I’ve worked with this year. From the sellers and buyers to the escrow officers, title officers, representatives, other Realtors, the staff at all the many kinds of companies, the termite inspectors and workers, the stagers, the marketing support from floor plan drawings to office supplies--I thank you for your business and for helping me do mine. I thank all the people who have visited my broker’s and public open houses and I want you to know you are always welcome to stop in when you see my open house sign out front whether you want to buy or sell a house or not. It’s good to have your presence and your response to our efforts.

They say that a home purchase results in at least $60,000 additional spent in the community as well, so when the real estate market is good, the economy is better. And talk about supporting your local businesses--what could be more local than the house for sale in your neighborhood? So thank you, all of you, for being such good citizens and helping to keep this economy going. May you have a wonderful holiday time and may we  all prosper in 2011!

Warm Regards,

Tracy
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Are you upside down in a Wells Fargo loan?

Merry Christmas from the State of California and Wells Fargo!


Wells Fargo Agrees to $2 Billion Worth of California Loan Modifications
By: Heather Hill Cernoch 12/22/2010

Wells Fargo reached an assurance agreement with California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr., to provide loan modifications worth more than $2 billion
to thousands of California homeowners with “pick-a-pay” loans originated by World Savings and Wachovia, banks Wells Fargo acquired. Wells Fargo will also pay an additional $32 million to thousands of borrowers who lost their homes through foreclosure.
Pick-a-pay, or pay option adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) loans give borrowers the option to make payments at various levels, such as monthly interest and principal or interest only. At the minimum level, payment was insufficient to cover the monthly interest owed, and the unpaid interest was added to the loan balance. When these loans reset, the monthly payments significantly increase.
“Customers were offered adjustable-rate loans with payments that mushroomed to amounts that ultimately thousands of borrowers could not afford,” Brown said. “Recognizing the harm caused by these loans, Wells Fargo
accepted responsibility and entered into this settlement with my office.”
Under the settlement, an estimated 14,900 California borrowers with pick-a-pay loans made by World Savings or Wachovia will receive affordable loan modifications from Wells Fargo using combinations of interest rate reductions, term extensions, and principal forgiveness. The value of the modifications, many of which will include significant principal forgiveness, is estimated at more than $2 billion.
“The majority of Wachovia’s Pick-a-Payment customers reside in California,” said Mike Heid, co-president of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. “We’re pleased that going forward the attorney general’s office will assist with outreach, so we can continue to work with as many customers as possible on the options available to them to prevent foreclosures.”
Wells Fargo will send notices to California borrowers eligible for loan modifications within the next two months. Borrowers with foreclosures will receive notification during the first six months of 2011.
The bank will also pay $32 million in restitution to more than 12,000 pick-a-pay borrowers in California who lost their homes through foreclosure and approximately $1.8 million in costs to the state.
Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Florida, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, Texas, and Washington have similar agreements with Wells Fargo.
Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, a division of Wells Fargo Bank, services one of every six mortgage loans in the nation. Wells Fargo acquired Wachovia in 2008, two years after Wachovia purchased World Savings Bank.
©2010 DS News. All Rights Reserved.

Forwarded to me by:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Raul Contreras
Sales Representative
Old Republic Title Company
101 North Brand Blvd
14th Floor
Glendale, CA 91203
W: 800 228-4853
M: 661 478-1508
http://www.ortc.com 
  

 

Posted via email from Tracy's LA Real Estate

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Market Update: End of 2010

It has been a volatile year in the real estate business in our little corner of Los Angeles—and the world. The good news is, every community from Glassell Park to Pasadena has had a net gain in average sales price from January to November, 2010. From as little as 1.3% in Eagle Rock to as much as 32.9% in Altadena, this is ok news.

Let’s be clear: this doesn’t mean that the value of your home has gone up by your respective community’s rate of increase. All these figures do is show that some progress has been made in the last year in terms of value. Let’s look at this in the darker terms of that fateful 15 months between the peak around the beginning of 2008 to the trough of March 2009 where several of our fair communities experienced over a 50% drop in average sales price. No! you say. My house didn’t lose half its value in 15 months! Correct.

But, looking at the graphs for these communities, there was a general peak in average sales price in May, 2010, right after the first time buyer tax credit expired, with a fair depression after that, and then a slight upturn recently. Check out my blog at www.LADigs.com for all the graphs and tables.

At last, the 50-year low in mortgage interest rates stimulated a little upturn in November. And now, December 8, interest rates have ticked up about ½ point. Thanks a lot, mortgage industry!

Over this year short sales started to be a bit easier to get through. We saw the number of foreclosures decline as the government tried to help homeowners work out their financial problems due to loss of jobs, loss of home value, loss of options. So, short sales happened more often amidst a lot of talk of loan modifications. I still only know one person who has accomplished a permanent loan modification and she doesn’t live in Southern California!

Here is my personal opinion based on a lot of subjective evidence: there is a lot of confusion about what the problem is and how to solve it because this problem is so complex, it’s like 10 blind men interpreting their touch of an elephant. Everyone feels a true part and it adds up to being wrong.

This problem is too complex to understand easily, and it’s too big to solve easily. I talk to homeowners who want to know my professional opinion of what the market will be for their home in the spring or next summer. No true professional can tell you what your home will be worth even next week! Remember the definition of market value: what a willing buyer and a willing seller agree upon, subject to a lender’s appraisal if a loan is involved. And buyers today are very nervous, they don’t want to overpay.

Our real estate values are closely related to the economic picture as a whole, and who do you know who can explain that? Just remember that if a person doesn’t have a job, they aren’t likely to be able to buy a house. The better the job outlook, the better the real estate market.
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Another beautiful morning in Paradise!

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Ask Tracy: What are Closing Costs?

Dear Tracy,

What are closing costs? How much will they cost a buyer?

A: Buyer’s closing costs can run 2-5% of the loan amount, depending on a number of variables. Since many costs are prorated over the month and year in which the property closes, there can be a wide range of costs.

More questions a buyer can ask are “What are Non-Recurring and Recurring closing costs? Can someone else besides the buyer pay them?" Now we are talking some complexities here.

Lenders will typically allow sellers and/or agents to pay a buyer’s non-recurring closing costs. The limits are up to 6% of the sales price if the buyer is putting down 10% or more, 3% if the down payment is less. Some lenders allow someone else to pay recurring or non-recurring costs, but this does not include prepaid interest.

Really important to know is that lenders will now only allow the credit to be the actual amount of the closing costs in the transaction. So even if 6% is allowed, if you only have 2%, that is what the seller can pay and no more. And credits relating to repairs or improvements are NOT allowed.

Here are typical recurring and non-recurring closing costs:

Non-Recurring:

  • Points (origination fee)
  • Appraisal
  • Credit report
  • Escrow fee
  • Sub escrow fee
  • Title insurance fee
  • Underwriting fee
  • Processing fee
  • Document prep fee
  • Tax service contract
  • Wire fees
  • Flood
  • Certification
  • Recording fees
  • Realtor client service fee

Recurring:

  • Prepaid interest
  • Taxes
  • Fire insurance
  • Private mortgage insurance.

What to do? The only solution to how to give more money back to the buyer is to reduce the price. Or forget about getting the credit.

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Last TracyTalk Newsletter of the Year!

Here it is, last TracyTalk of 2010! Featuring:

  • What are Closing Costs?

  • End of Year Market Update

  • First Step for Home Buyers

  • Winterizing Your Home

  • Mortgage Interest Rates

  • Putting Money into a Refinance

  • A Special Thank You

  • Recent Activity

  • December Newsletter



Forward on to anyone you might think would find it interesting, and let me know what you think!
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Morning on Chaney Trail

Sent from my iPhone

Posted via email from Tracy's LA Real Estate

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Is Putting Money into a Refinance a Good Investment?

Today’s interest rates are the lowest in just about forever. Yet a number of people are not refinancing to take advantage of these rates because the value of their homes is not quite enough to show that the equity is the 20 to 25% that the lender requires to do the loan. What am I talking about? Lenders today like for borrowers to have a healthy amount of equity in their homes before they lend them money at the incredibly more affordable interest rate than any of us have seen in any of our memories. That’s so in case we don’t make our payments and the lender has to foreclose, they will actually be able to sell our property for enough to pay them back for their investment, even if we don’t make our payments for many months and even if the value of our property goes down after they give us the money.

Interest rates are so low right now that even if you are a bit “upside down” with your loan, meaning that you owe, say, 90% of what it is worth today, you might want to consider investing in paying down your mortgage balance to complete the refinance. Jack Guttentag, The Mortgage Professor, wrote an article for Inman News that illustrates the scenario (http://www.inman.com/buyers-sellers/columnists/jackguttentag/reap-benefits-cash-in-refinance). Check out his calculator to see what return paying a lower interest rate yields on your money: http://www.mtgprofessor.com/Calculators/Calculator3f.html.

One important element to this idea depends on whether you can get an appraisal that reflects an acceptable value for your home. I blogged recently about my personal trials and tribulations regarding this, but in the end, I was offered a lower interest rate than I could have gotten earlier this year, and although I had to put money in to get the loan, I think it was totally worth it in the long run.
Another element is, of course, do you have the money to put into the payoff? This is obviously not a solution for those who are upside down and unable to pay down the mortgage or having trouble affording their payments.
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Winterizing Your Home

The change of seasons from fall to winter is a great time to check that your home is still in good shape.  Even in sunny Southern California, we need to think about “winterizing” our homes.

If you are a homeowner, the best single thing you can do is schedule a periodic inspection of the major areas that can affect how safe, warm and dry you will be this winter.

Here’s a list of points you can use to make sure your home is ready for winter (however mild it may be here!):

Safe:
1.       Are your doors and windows secure?  It’s easy enough to check all your locks, knobs and handles. Also, if you have recently moved into your home, have you had your locks re-keyed? It’s not expensive and can prevent someone else’s old friends from wandering in.
2.       Is your house safe from bugs? A termite inspection every year or two is such a smart thing to do. Take it from the person who waited nine years and had to go through a fumigation, wood repair, repainting…a whole lot of work that could have been easily prevented!
3.       Is your house safe from fire? Have your chimney cleaned and inspected.
4.       Are all your systems operating safely? A professional  general inspection will tell you if you have electrical or plumbing issues that you might not know about otherwise. I once listed a house in which the electrical system was so old and worn that the inspector warned them a fire could start at any moment. They re-wired the house immediately, but would not have known to do so otherwise.
Warm:
1.       Have your furnace inspected and serviced. Are you changing your filters as often as recommended? You will ensure safe and efficient operation, plus you can save on your heating bills—a clean filter lets more warm air through with less energy used.
2.       Have you checked your doors and windows for air leaks? You can apply weather-stripping yourself with inexpensive supplies from the home improvement store.
Dry:
1.       Have your roof inspected.
2.       Check your yard. Is the ground sloped away from the house so that moisture doesn’t flow or wick toward your foundation?
3.       Do you have rain gutters? Clean and inspect them often, especially if you have trees nearby. A clogged gutter can cause water to collect on your roof and drastically reduce its life.
If you don’t have gutters, you might want to investigate having them installed—they can help keep water away from your foundation.
4.       Back to plumbing—How often do you go under your house? It is very common in older homes to have a plumbing leak that is small enough that you don’t notice it, but it can do a lot of damage over time. Or it can provide a breeding ground for mold, dry rot, or pest infestation.

These inspections don’t have to be expensive. A reputable termite company might charge $75-$125 to inspect your home. Start with that and a chimney cleaning ($75-250) and go from there.
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Housing opportunity of a lifetime!

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Home Purchase Activity Up in November

Here’s a hopeful article from DSNews.com, a news source aimed at the mortgage servicing industry: Home Purchase Activity Hits Six Month High.

The meat of the article is that mortgage applications for home purchases in the third week of November reached their highest numbers since May. Michael Fratantoni, MBA’s (Mortgage Banker’s Association) VP of research and economics, said “The level of purchase applications on a seasonally adjusted basis is now at its highest level since the expiration of the home buyer tax credit.”

This is very encouraging news.

We are seeing similar results on a local level as well:

This is the November, 2010 pending and sold activity for Eagle Rock, 90041 zip code as of November 30, 2010:

Here are the active listings currently on the market in 90041:

This is the year to October information;

One item of interest is that the List Price/Sales Price ratio had been drifting down into the 90 percentiles in the last few months, but in November it was back over 100%. Also, active inventory is drifting down again as these properties are selling at a greater rate than they are coming on the market. Since I have a few new listings hitting the market this week, I am really glad to see these numbers!

What’s going on?

It looks like the combination of historically low interest rates and the slight uptick in consumer confidence is finally having some effect on our market. Also, prices have come down a bit as sellers decide that it might not get better for a long time and price their homes to get offers. But maybe it’s just that a lot of people have decided they want to be in their new home by the end of the year. That’s a goal that is still possible if you hurry!
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Invitation to view Tracy King's Picasa Web Album - Peru Trip Selections

You are invited to view Tracy King's photo album: Peru Trip Selections
Peru Trip Selections
Cusco to Machu Picchu, Peru -
Nov 13, 2010
by Tracy King
Selections from our trip November 13-24, 2010

Message from Tracy King:
If you're interested in my photos from Peru, here is the link.


These pictures were sent with Picasa, from Google.
Try it out here: http://picasa.google.com/
If you are having problems viewing this email, copy and paste the following into your browser:
http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/sredir?uname=tracyking23&target=ALBUM&id=5545964839197795041&authkey=Gv1sRgCIyN8vzngbrQew&feat=email
To share your photos or receive notification when your friends share photos, get your own free Picasa Web Albums account.

Posted via email from Tracy's LA Real Estate

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New Listing: 725 N Avenue 63, Highland Park

725 N Avenue 63
HIGHLAND PARK, CA
OPEN TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 30 10-2; THURSDAY, DECEMBER 2, 10-2; SUNDAY, DECEMBER 5, 1-4!

3BR/1+1BA Single Family House
$449,000
Year Built 1923
Sq Footage 1,024
Bedrooms 3
Bathrooms 1 full, 1 partial
Floors 1
Parking 1 car detached garage
Lot Size 5,445 sqft
HOA/Maint $0 per month
Description

Sweet Craftsman cottage has it all--even the white picket fence! Located in the newly designated Garvanza area of the Highland Park Historic Overlay Zone, this is one of the most desirable neighborhoods in Highland Park, adjacent to Pasadena. This adorable 1923-vintage home has an efficient floorplan that covers it all--3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, hardwood floors, a rebuilt 1-car garage with rooftop deck, a backyard designed for entertaining with a patio, garden, and play area. Updated with central air & heat, remodeled kitchen & baths, crown molding, and bead-board wainscoting. The lot is completely gated and fenced for added privacy.
Property Features

Tile floor Living room Laundry area - inside
Balcony, Deck, or Patio Yard
Other Special Features

Great location in Garvanza, near the Pasadena border
Updated kitchen and baths
Great outdoor space with patio above garage and patio in back
Additional Photos

Photo 1
Living Room
Kitchen
Bath
Back Yard
Contact Info
Tracy King
Coldwell Banker
DRE Lic#01048877
(626) 844-2256
For sale by agent/broker

For more pictures visit www.725Avenue63.com


Equal Opportunity Housing
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New Listing: 5284 Ellenwood Drive, Eagle Rock

5284 Ellenwood Drive
EAGLE ROCK, CA
OPEN TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 10-2; THURSDAY, DECEMBER 2, 10-2; SUNDAY, DECEMBER 5, 1-4

3BR/2BA Single Family House
$589,000
Year Built 1936
Sq Footage 1,530
Bedrooms 3
Bathrooms 2 full, 0 partial
Floors 1
Parking 2 car detached garage
Lot Size 7,238 sqft
Description

5284 Ellenwood Drive is a traditional-style home located in a desirable Eagle Rock location just below Hill Drive. Upon entry, the large living room greets you with a brick-faced fireplace, built-in bookcases, bay window, and entry to the side garden. Separate dining room leads to the light-filled kitchen, with new floor and tile. The home is complete with three bedrooms and two baths, one of which has the original 1930s tile in great condition. Hardwood floors throughout have recently been refinished. Other features include: basement for added storage, laundry room off the kitchen, central air and heat, flat enclosed yard, recently repaired chimney, new fence along south side of property and a two-car detached garage with bonus room perfect for office, art studio, or more storage! Located in the Blue-Ribbon Distinguished Eagle Rock Elementary School area - check with the school for attendance information.
Property Features

Central A/C Central heat Fireplace
Hardwood floor Living room Dining room
Dishwasher Refrigerator Stove/Oven
Microwave Basement Washer
Dryer Laundry area - inside Yard
Other Special Features

Award-winning elementary school district
Recently repaired chimney
Re-tiled kitchen
New paint inside and out
9 year old roof
Refinished hardwood floors
Additional Photos

Front
Living Room
Kitchen
Dining Room
Hall Bath
Back Yard
Contact Info
Tracy King
Coldwell Banker
DRE Lic#01048877
(626) 844-2256
For sale by agent/broker

For more pictures visit www.5284Ellenwood.com


Equal Opportunity Housing
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Another beautiful morning on Echo Mountain

Although I hoped it would be easier after hiking the Inca Trail.

Tracy King
Sent from my iPhone

Posted via email from Tracy's LA Real Estate

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