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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

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
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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
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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
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Posted via email from Tracy's LA Real Estate

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Should I Decorate for the Holidays If My House is on the Market?

The answer used to be yes, everyone loves a house dressed for Christmas. But especially in a large metropolis like Los Angeles, we now have some good reasons to tone it down.

First is the viral nature of marketing: once a photo is uploaded to the Internet, it quickly goes to hundreds of sites and it’s not so easy to get them off. What if your house is still on the market on January 2? Now those colorful stockings hung from your mantel look kind of sad. If you’ve had professional photography, who needs the added expense of re-shooting photos without the holiday decor? Many people don’t even think of doing that.

Second, whatever your own holiday or religious persuasion, do you have any idea what your prospective buyers' are? What if you have your house all ready for Hanukkah and your potential buyer is Muslim? Or Hindu? Or Quaker? Your decorations might look like nothing more than clutter to them. And we know that the biggest 'don’t' is clutter. We want the buyer to see the house, not your personal expression of holiday cheer.

So have the house photographed with no holiday decorations at all so the house can be seen as fresh on the market in any season. If you want to have some decorations, be minimal. Wait till closer to the holiday to put up anything. In some traditions, the Christmas tree was not put up until Christmas Eve and it was taken down before New Year’s.  Limit yourself to a wreath on the front door, a small table top tree, a nice centerpiece on the table. Say to yourself  'Less is More' whenever the urge to haul out every decoration you’ve saved for the last 5 years comes to your mind.

And remember, a nice plate of freshly baked cookies says a timeless Happy Holiday any time of the year.

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Just Sold! 4920 Floristan Avenue, Eagle Rock

We just closed escrow on 4920 Floristan Avenue in Eagle Rock today! If you didn't get a chance to see it that's because we sold it in two days, after just one open house. We listed it for $479,000 and accepted an all-cash offer of $500,000 (a credit for repairs brought the final sales price to $491,925). The buyers are newlyweds and now ready to settle in to this private 2 bedroom, 1 bath home.

4920 Floristan Just Sold

4920 Floristan Just Sold 2

4920 Floristan Just Sold 3

Listed for $479,000
Sold for $491,925
2 bedrooms, 1 bath
1,102 sq. ft. on an 11,300 sq. ft. lot
Built in 1950

For more pictures visit the 4920 Floristan Photo Album.

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Just Sold! 365 W Alameda Avenue #305, Burbank

We just closed escrow today on this 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo close to downtown Burbank.  Listed for $305,000, our buyer purchased the 1,050 sq. ft. unit for $299,000.  This condo features a large kitchen, newer flooring, cathedral ceilings, ample closet space, and a balcony.  The complex itself has a jacuzzi spa and recreation room.  Congratulations to our buyers!

365 W Alameda Avenue #305, Burbank

 

365 W Alameda Avenue #305, Burbank living room

 

365 W Alameda Avenue #305, Burbank spa


Listed for $305,000
Sold for $299,000 on November 8, 2011
2 bedroom, 2 baths
1,050 sq. ft. condo

Listing and photos courtesy of Raffi Vartanian, Silver Spoon Investments

 

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Hail on our front walk

Crazy.

 

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Tracy King
Teles Properties
DRE #01048877
Interesting homes for Interesting people
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Hail Los Angeles!

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Tracy King
Teles Properties
DRE #01048877
Interesting homes for Interesting people
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Another beautiful morning on Echo Mountain

I love LA!

 

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Tracy King
Teles Properties
DRE #01048877
Interesting homes for Interesting people
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Should You Sell Your House During the Holidays?

Now that we can almost smell those relentless reindeer about to land on the roof thanks to ambitious retailers, the question of "Should I try to sell my house during the holidays?" comes up.

You may have heard all the pat answers:

1. Houses look so pretty during the holidays, why not?
2. You won't see as many buyers, but the ones who are out there looking are really serious.
3. Some buyers have to close escrow by the end of the year for tax reasons.
4. Many buyers are on vacation during the holidays and have more time to look at homes.
5. Buyers are more emotional during the holidays, so they are more likely to pay more for a home.
6. There are fewer homes on the market, so less competition for your home.
7. You can close escrow on your home before the spring buying season, and so be in a better position to make a non-contingent offer on your next home.

All pretty good reasons, but the real question that sellers ask today is not really about "should I sell during the holidays" but  "Do you think my home might be worth more in the spring?"

That is the 64-dollar question, my friends. I was just asked it today. And prospective sellers don't want to take "I don't know" for an answer! "Come on, someone who has all the experience you do must have at least a feeling for what the market will do next!"

Yes I do. My feeling is that the market is volatile and will continue to be volatile and it could go up or it could go down based on many economic indicators that we don't have information on yet. Like, will the unemployment rate be down in the spring? Or, will the economy be better? Or will interest rates go up? Spring is several months away. Who do you know who is confident that they know what will happen then?

What if I said to you, "Wait until Spring, your house will be worth more," and then come next April the bottom has fallen out of the economy and your best chance of selling at a profit was lost? How would you feel? Do you really trust my expertise that much? If I told you that the best price you are going to get for your house for the next 5 years is right now, would you believe me? Let's all put it out for a vote: who thinks prices are going to go up in the Spring? Down? Oh, it's a 50-50 split. Now what? you really have to make your own decision about when to sell. It's kind of like deciding when to have a baby. What might be great timing for you is wrong for someone else, so how do you decide?

One of the hardest things about putting your home on the market is getting it ready for everyone to see. You have to pack up all your stuff, you have to clean, fix, paint, freshen, landscape...lots of stuff. The best time to put it on the market is when you have that stuff done. So when will that be? Does it help you to have a deadline? Good. Then get it ready now and go on the market when you are done. I don't care whether that is next week or next year. I will be here, ready to do my part when the time comes. My team is here to provide all the support possible to help you through this process.

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If You're into Infinitesimal Changes...

The annual rate of change in home prices continues to show improvement, according to Standard & Poor’s. Data just released by the agency shows the 20-city composite reading of the S&P/Case-Shiller index for August came in below its year-ago level by 3.8 percent. The previous month, S&P reported a 4.1 percent annual decline. The closely watched gauge posted a 0.2 percent increase in August versus July, marking the fifth consecutive monthly gain.

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From the outlook at Echo Mountain

Sunny Southern California, about 80 degrees at 8 am as the mist clears away from the LA Basin.

 

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Tracy King
Teles Properties
DRE #01048877
Interesting homes for Interesting people
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Midcentury with Exponential Potential

Listed for $599,000, this 3 bedroom, 2 bath pool home is ready for your creative touch. Ready to see now, open Sunday 2-5 pm. 5458 Mt. Helena, 90041.

 

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Tracy King
Teles Properties
DRE #01048877
Interesting homes for Interesting people
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Another Point of View on Pricing and the Market

Distress sales account for between 30-50% of the total housing sales both nationwide and in a number of local areas. In 2008 and 2009, there were a lot of foreclosures and now there are many more short sales. This has had a downward pressure on home prices in general. Also affecting prices has been the uncertain job market. If you are afraid you might lose your job, you don’t want to put your life savings into a down payment on a home you might not be able to afford in a few months. A number of homeowners have experienced job loss and this has resulted in many of the distress sales. You see the inter-woven relationship between the economy and the housing industry operating here.

But look at this graph of housing inventory for Eagle Rock 90041:



The number of homes on the market compared to the number of homes that go pending and sold has dropped significantly over the last couple of years. The monthly supply of inventory of homes available to sell was slightly over 2 months in September, 2011.

Typically, less than 4 months inventory indicates a seller’s market. So why are prices down? The common theory today is that “Shadow Inventory” (the number of potential foreclosures and short sales from people who are currently “upside down” on their loans) is causing prices to stay low. Why? Because if they all came on the market at once, prices would collapse. I have pooh-poohed this theory before because why would they all come on the market at the same time?

But here is another way to look at it:

With the inventory so low, this inventory of distress sales does take on a significant importance. Meaning, if over half the properties that sell are distress sales, those distressed prices affect the regular market. The common discount that a short or foreclosed property sells at has been computed as around 27%. But if you look at this year’s Eagle Rock prices, you only see a 5% discount. Why? Partly because with so many distressed sales, they have pulled the prices of “normal” sales down to a lower level in general.

Another aspect of the market is the “retail show ready” property vs. the “fixer poorly presented” property.  Look at 2030 Estes Rd, a midcentury home, almost entirely remodeled, staged and gorgeous - and compare it to 4842 Algoma, a short sale, not available to be shown, in need of a lot of repair. Guess which one sold for $925,000 (23% over the original list price) in multiple offers in 21 days (start to close of escrow) and which one sold for $470,000 (15% under list price) in 48 days? That is a huge difference in price for houses that were very similar in size. And they both sold for cash!

This is an extreme example of a distress property selling at over 50% less than the regular sale, but the condition, location and amenities of the properties were quite different as well. In other words, if these two properties were in the exact same condition and presented equally, Estes still would have sold for more because of its location, style and amenities. But how much more? That’s why pricing a home for sale and determining value with an appraisal is an art, not a science.

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The Lummis Home

A Highland Park historical treasure. Wonderful fundraiser Garden Party today till 4 pm.

 

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Tracy King
Teles Properties
DRE #01048877
Interesting homes for Interesting people
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Why Should I Buy Now?

The real estate market has hit the Pause button in the last few days. Why? Who knows? Waiting for another shoe to drop (such as even worse economic news?) It doesn’t make a lot of sense, really. Mortgage interest rates have dropped to the lowest in over 50 years. Lots of people have rushed to refinance their homes, but many have discovered that the rules are too tough for them to qualify now. Appraisals are extremely conservative, which means that if you refinanced back in the boom times a few years ago, you might owe too much to qualify for the required 20 to 30% equity that lenders want you to have now.

People who ask me about the real estate market assume that no one is buying because no one can qualify for a loan these days. Surprisingly, this is not true. Lots of people can qualify and are walking around today with pre-approval letters hanging out of their pockets. They even have 20% down payments sitting in their bank accounts ready to go to purchase that new home. Why don’t they make a move?

We’ve talked before about fear and how that has been holding the market back for quite awhile now. Fears such as: what if the prices drop more? What if I lose my job? What if a better buy pops up next week? What if my friends/relatives think I’m stupid for buying now?

Another obstacle is information overload. Every day we hear more economic news about things we really don’t understand, like, say, the Case-Shiller index or Standard and Poor’s credit rating of companies or countries. We hear about Europe’s economic woes, we see the stock market rocket up and down. What does it all really mean? How can we make a good decision in the face of all this information (so much of it bad news)?

How about trying this: turn off your radio, throw the newspaper in the recycling bin, and think about what you really want. Do you want a home to live in for several years? One that you can make your own with your unique designer touches? One that your kids can grow up in with a sense that they are loved and provided for? Want to try your hand at urban gardening? Raising a litter of puppies? What does any of that have to do with the Euro?

For most of us, not much.

The percentage of people in the United States who own their homes has varied between 65% and 70% over the last several years. “Experts” are saying that we probably won’t see 70% home ownership again. So what? So what if it is 65% forever more? Isn’t that still a large majority of the people in this country? Can we agree on this: most of the people in this country live in homes that they own?

Let’s go back to the basics for ourselves. A home is a big investment and the decision to purchase should be taken seriously, but life goes on day by day by day. Things do change, such as interest rates and loan guidelines. If you qualify for a good mortgage today, do you want to risk that you don’t qualify under some new guideline tomorrow? Do you want to wake up one day and see that your opportunity has passed you by?

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969 buckingham Pasadena

A nice little view. $4.7 million worth.

 

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Tracy King
Teles Properties
DRE #01048877
Interesting homes for Interesting people
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New listing! 4920 Floristan Avenue, Eagle Rock

Tracy King | Teles Properties | (626) 827-9795
4920 Floristan Ave, Eagle Rock, CA
New listing! Open Tuesday 10/11, 10-2pm; Thursday 10/13, 10-2pm; and Sunday 10/16, 2-5pm.
2BR/1BA Single Family House
offered at $479,000
Year Built 1950
Sq Footage 1,102
Bedrooms 2
Bathrooms 1 full, 0 partial
Floors 1
Parking 2 Car garage
Lot Size 11,300 sqft
HOA/Maint $0 per month
DESCRIPTION

Nestled on an 11,000 square foot lot in the heart of Eagle Rock, this midcentury traditional offers views, trees, patios and decks that expand this two bedroom one bath home into more. The kitchen has been updated with granite counters, a dishwasher, and a charming breakfast nook with built-in benches. Lined with windows on 2 sides with a door out to a patio with lots of space for dining and lounging, the outdoors come in with real California style. The sliding glass door off the master opens out to the front deck with spa, fenced for privacy. Freshly painted in and out, there is nothing you need to do but turn the key in the front door and move right in. The 2-car garage has been fitted out with all the ingredients of a workshop, an art studio, or even just a place to park the cars. The entire property is fenced and gated for complete privacy. Truly your own Shangri-La.
see additional photos below
PROPERTY FEATURES

- Fireplace - Hardwood floor - Balcony, Deck, or Patio
- Yard - Jacuzzi/Whirlpool
OTHER SPECIAL FEATURES

- Located in a quiet Eagle Rock neighborhood
- Large, private lot
- Move-in ready
- For open house information visit www.TracyKing.com
ADDITIONAL PHOTOS

Front
Living Room
Kitchen
Dining Room
Master
Bedroom
Bath
Spa
Patio
Yard
Garage
Contact info:
Tracy King
Teles Properties
DRE Lic#01048877
(626) 827-9795
For sale by agent/broker
Equal Opportunity Housing
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Posted: Oct 10, 2011, 11:40am PDT
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