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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 planning he...r next trip to Paris. More

Have you eaten at Halong Bay, yet?

We enjoyed a delicious meal at Halong Bay in Eagle Rock tonight - have you tried it yet?  Great atmosphere, delicious food (I recommend the grilled pork chop), attentive service, good selection of beer and wine, what else could you need!  Check it out next time you want to dine out in Eagle Rock.


 

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Why you Should Short Sell Your House Now

If you’ve been sitting on the fence about whether to proceed with selling your house as a short sale, you should read the column by Lew Sichelman printed in the Los Angeles Times last week.

A short sale is a transaction in which the homeowner owes more on the home than they can sell it for on the open market. What is owed includes the mortgage debt owed to the lender as well as the closing costs they will incur when they sell, such as commissions, title and escrow fees, taxes, etc. The property can’t be transferred unless the lender agrees to take less than they are owed.

As the article points out, the 2007 tax relief law expires at the end of 2012, but short sales and foreclosures can take several months to complete. If you have been hanging on to your house, hoping for the market to return to 2007 levels so you can sell it, you may want to reconsider your strategy. In our market area of Northeast Los Angeles, Pasadena and surrounding communities, the average sales prices are mostly still down 20% to 30% from 2007 levels.

There are buyers looking for properties to buy now.  Mortgage interest rates are still very low. Inventory is very low. These conditions make it a perfect time to put your house on the market--if you can sell it for what the market will bring you.

Did you know that many buyers look at Super Bowl Sunday as the beginning of the Spring buying season? Now is the time to make it happen!
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Back at Echo.


Taken at Echo Mountain Hiking Trails

Posted via email from Tracy's LA Real Estate

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Preview of a Fixer turned Swan

$799k, 2600 square feet, views. 5 bedrooms, 3 baths. Two fireplaces, high ceilings, formal dining room, and more!  Call us if you would like to view. 323.243.1234.
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Tracy King
Teles Properties
DRE #01048877
Interesting homes for Interesting people
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Sent from my iPhone

Posted via email from Tracy's LA Real Estate


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1237 Hits

Is Cash Always King?

Cash buyers are exerting downward pressure on prices, according to a report in DSNews.com, quoting a study from HousingPulse Survey. This article points out that with distressed properties, the investors with cash dominate the market and that sellers often take lower cash offers because the deal can be closed faster with fewer problems. As a result, the first-time and FHA buyers are shut out of the entry-level distressed property market. This is a funny kind of capitalism in action. Free market means that the seller does not have to take the highest offer, they are free to choose a lower offer with cleaner terms.

But if you are a cash buyer and you want a really nice home, you don’t necessarily have the same influence on price. You may still get the deal, but only if you do offer the highest price. I could quote several stories over the last several years in which the winning bid in multiple offers was cash for homes that were not at the low end of the price range. I represented a buyer last year who purchased a couple of homes in La Canada and Pasadena by either paying cash or agreeing to no loan or appraisal contingencies. One of the highest sales in Eagle Rock last year was all cash, and this year I have seen cash buyers competing with each other on good properties, driving up the price as a result.

Where is all this cash coming from? Lots of places: investments that have been earning a fraction of a percent interest in CDs, sales of businesses, inheritances, divorces, lawsuits, and retirement accounts, even savings. Another source is the Bank of Mom and Dad, which sometimes is a gift and sometimes is a gift that is expected to be returned at some future time.

What does all this mean?


  1. Don’t make the assumption that if you have cash you will always win at a bargain price.

  2. Don’t believe everything you read about how bad the market is. There are a lot of people who are serious buyers today because they have faith in the value of real estate over the long term.  And a lot of them have cash.
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Funny Real Estate Cartoon

I think it's funny, do you?

 

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Tracy King
Teles Properties
DRE #01048877
Interesting homes for Interesting people
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Sent from my iPhone

Posted via email from Tracy's LA Real Estate

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The Latest Real Estate Scam

When hard times arise, so does crime.

The latest real estate scam strikes at people who are struggling to find a home they can afford in a nice neighborhood.  The fraudulent “owners” find a house for sale that appears to be vacant, look up the owner's name, then advertise it on Craigslist or Hotpads or other free websites as being for rent for a really great price. The ad has an email/phone that goes to them, not the real owner. The “victim,” a.k.a. prospective tenant, is told to go look through the windows and see if they want to rent the property. Then they are advised that they can secure the property by sending a money order to a particular address.

If you think about it, this is almost as lame as the prince of some distant African kingdom needing your help to obtain his inheritance.  The prospective tenant goes to the property, sees the Realtor’s for sale sign, calls the Realtor and finds out that the deal is a scam, and does not send the money to the fraudulent owner.

One woman told us that she lead the scammer on for a little why and he told her to just peek in the windows of the house "since he is in Washington and his wife the "minister" is in Texas so they wouldn't be able to meet her.  He told her he would send her the keys and rental documents via overnight mail if she wired him $2400 through Western Union.

Here's the basic response that people get when they inquire on what looks like an amazing rental deal (click to view larger):

RentalScamPicture


Lame, but it must work once in a while or why else would they do it?  And people do it all the time. I’ve had calls like this for several years on properties I’ve sold. The people looking to rent a home are understandably upset when they discover that the 3-bedroom, 2-bath home above Hill Drive in Eagle Rock is for sale for $500,000 and will not be rented for $1200 per month. They want the police to track down this criminal and put them in jail. So far, the people I have talked to who have tried to report this to the police have been told that unless they have actually sent in the money and lost it, no crime has been committed that can be investigated. They think I should do something about it.


What can I do? I have reported the ad as a scam and the website has not removed the ad. I am not a detective or a law enforcement officer.  All I’ve thought of so far is to courteously tell every person who  calls me that it is for sale not for lease and to congratulate them that they are smart enough to check on a story that sounded too good to be true. And to write this blog to let you know what goes on out there.

The only thing that really can be done is to spread the word about these scams so people can recognize them when they happen.  Please forward this on!

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1076 Hits

Happy New Year!

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Tracy King
Teles Properties
DRE #01048877
Interesting homes for Interesting people
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Sent from my iPhone

Posted via email from Tracy's LA Real Estate

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868 Hits

Just Sold! 4032 Hampstead Road, La Canada

4032 Hampstead Road, La Canada

Our buyers just closed escrow on this Spanish Revival-style home at 4032 Hampstead Road, La Canada. Featuring a formal living with fireplace, formal dining room, sunroom, library, breakfast nook, and panoramic views, this home is located in the La Canada school district. The lower level of this home provides room for recreation room, gym, and plenty of storage. The terraced back yard has a pool and spa, patio, and views. Congratulations to our buyers!

4032 Hampstead Living Room

4032 Hampstead Kitchen

4032 Hampstead Road Yard

4032 Hampstead Road Exterior

Property details:
Listed for $1,290,000
Sold for $1,315,000
4 bedrooms, 4 baths
2,956 sq. ft. on a 0.43 acre lot
Built in 1938

Listing Courtesy of Janice McGlashan, Coldwell Banker

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1563 Hits

Merry Christmas from Sunny Los Angeles!

My kind of winter day! Hope your Christmas is just the way you like it, too.

 

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Tracy King
Teles Properties
DRE #01048877
Interesting homes for Interesting people
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Sent from my iPhone

Posted via email from Tracy's LA Real Estate

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December Newsletter Available Now

Click here to download a PDF of our December newsletter.  In it you will find:


  • Local causes that need our help this holiday season

  • Why now is actually a good time to buy

  • What to consider when deciding when to sell

  • What shadow inventory is and how it's affecting our real estate market


Enjoy, and please forward on if you find it useful!  If you would like to receive a hard copy via snail mail, send us an email (keely.myres(at)telesproperties(d0t)com) and we will add you to our list.  If you would like to receive updates via email click here to sign up for our weekly email with all the latest real estate and community news.

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1023 Hits

Three Tips for Staging Your Home to Sell

3 tips for staging your home to sell Source: lowes.inman.com Today's buyers are looking for turnkey homes. That is, they want to move right in without having to do a lot of work. Buyers with busy lifestyles pay a premium for listings that are in prime condition. Staging can make the difference between a listing selling or not, the time it takes to sell, and the ultimate sale price.
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1005 Hits

An Overlooked Home Staging Tip

Here is an interesting home staging tip from Barb Schwarz, www.stagedhomes.com:

Notwithstanding that all personal items should be removed, sometimes sellers overlook the obvious and leave diplomas on the wall. People form biases and can carry a bias too far. For example, the seller might be a lawyer, and there are buyers who might not feel comfortable buying a home from a lawyer. For whatever reason. Diplomas also give away a seller's age or a close estimate. If a buyer sees a recent medical diploma, for example, the buyer might assume the seller is saddled with student loans and needs to sell to pay them off.


We had never really though about this one before, but have observed that potential home buyers do pay attention to these things.

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1094 Hits

Echo mountain ocean view

Why do I never get tired of this view?
1. It's awesome!
2. It's always different. 3. It feels so good to make it up here. 4. I get to eat anything I want for breakfast.

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Tracy King
Teles Properties
DRE #01048877
Interesting homes for Interesting people
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Sent from my iPhone

Posted via email from Tracy's LA Real Estate

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1176 Hits

Lunar eclipse

Watching the eclipse from our balcony.

 

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Tracy King
Teles Properties
DRE #01048877
Interesting homes for Interesting people
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Sent from my iPhone

Posted via email from Tracy's LA Real Estate

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1209 Hits

Will the Real Estate Market be Better in the Spring?

This is the hot question for Sellers as we head into the intense heavy holiday season post Halloween, pre-Valentine's Day.  Common wisdom says that people aren't interested in shopping for houses when they have toy firetrucks and the latest video game to buy for the kiddies and spouses.

But we here at the Tracy King Team at Teles Properties do not believe in the "common wisdom" theories of real estate sales because we are not common and neither are our sellers and buyers. We are exceptional! And we believe in doing business all twelve months of the year.

Two weeks before Thanksgiving week we brought a new La Canada listing on the market and sold it in 7 seven days. We also brought a Pasadena listing on the market the week before the holiday and had 100 people at the broker's open house on Thursday and 50 people at the Sunday open house in the pouring rain! We also put an Eagle Rock listing back into a new escrow and finalized opening a new escrow in Highland Park.  Buyers are not halting their home shopping!

On the national front, DSNews.com, a distress property servicer news organization said:



Existing-Home Sales Rise Unexpectedly in October


Sales of previously owned homes got an unexpected boost last month while the number of homes on the market continued to decline, according to data released Monday by the National Association of Realtors. The trade group recorded a 1.4 percent month-over-month increase in existing-home sales in October.


Since our corner of the Los Angeles metro area is generally doing better than the national averages, this is especially positive news.

I know you're still thinking to yourself, "But will the market be even better in the Spring?" - well, that is almost 4 months away and my crystal ball is currently in the shop.  The way we're working, we could be listed, marketed, sold and closed escrow by then - and you could be onto the next part of your life!

So what are you waiting for?  Home buyers sure aren't waiting!

 

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What a wind storm!

Hill Drive is not a good route out of Eagle Rock today.

 

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Tracy King
Teles Properties
DRE #01048877
Interesting homes for Interesting people
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Sent from my iPhone

Posted via email from Tracy's LA Real Estate

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1079 Hits

The Emotional Home Sale

Q: How can I get as much for my property as you got for my neighbor?

A: As I told one neighbor recently, I know that sometimes it looks like I pulled a rabbit out of the hat to have sold the house for more than others of a similar size, but I am really not a magician! The magic comes from a perfect combination of style, amenities, location and price - as far as the house itself is concerned. But there is more: it also takes a team made up of the seller and the agent.

The seller has to have a certain sense of style to either create or maintain such a special environment (or hire someone who does! Here is some information on staging that could get you started). S/he also has to be open to strategizing with the agent regarding the pricing and marketing and showing the property. We want to create or emphasize the best atmosphere to encourage a buyer to fall in love with the home. We want to create an urgency as well, to result in an I-have-to-have-this-house attitude. This means the house must look its best for every showing and open house.

The agent has to understand the current real estate market and how to use price, staging, photography and marketing to position a property to look its best.

The houses I've sold for the highest prices this past year were all very special houses on, for the most part, very special lots. Seclusion, space, great landscaping, privacy, and a California-lifestyle indoor/outdoor entertaining space are all elements that bring out the swoony feelings in buyers who are willing to pay a premium for a special place to call home.

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Echo Mountain

You really can see the ocean from here today!

 

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Tracy King
Teles Properties
DRE #01048877
Interesting homes for Interesting people
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Sent from my iPhone

Posted via email from Tracy's LA Real Estate

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1208 Hits

My recovered couch!

Thank you, Jesus the Upholsterer! Great job on my couch's new look.

 

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Tracy King
Teles Properties
DRE #01048877
Interesting homes for Interesting people
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Sent from my iPhone

Posted via email from Tracy's LA Real Estate

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1105 Hits