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LA Digs - Northeast LA Real Estate Blog

Welcome to LA Digs, the real estate and Northeast Los Angeles community blog written by Realtors Tracy King and Keely Myres.

Here, we share tips, market updates, and local news bits to keep you informed on what's happening in Northeast Los Angeles and the surrounding neighborhoods. Read on to learn about the latest in your neighborhood!

What is it like to buy a home in Los Angeles?

What is it like to buy a home in Los Angeles?

We all have to live somewhere—even if it’s under a bridge. Most of us don’t live under bridges, though, and herein lies the story—it’s very hard to be a buyer in today’s market. I know this because I just sold my home (of 18 years), and now I need to buy a new one. Buyers today (me too) hope that the market is changing—in their favor of course. But, as a Realtor, I do understand all sides of this issue--Buyer, Seller, Realtor. 

It's painful to try to buy a house in the Los Angeles area today, unless you have unlimited funds and are willing to spend a lot of them. A surprising number  of folks do have a lot of money, and they all seem to like the same houses I do!

People are paying crazy amounts of money to live here. We have been in an increasing price sales cycle for ten years. People say “It can’t go on,” and yet it does. Even so, the market is very discriminating and the standard of quality or style has really been raised. Homes that you wouldn’t put on your Pinterest Dream Home board just sit there—they even have price reductions! 

Back when I first began my real estate career, people in the business jeered at sellers who felt that their house was worth more because they “used heavy-duty nails,” which was code meaning they had used quality materials in their maintenance and remodeling efforts. The only way to increase value then was to increase square footage. That has never been entirely true, but “style, design, and functionality” has now come into play like never before. High-end finishes do add value these days, and the more stylish, the better.  

Why is that? Because what house buying is about these days is “How does this house make me feel?” or “Does this house have the potential to make me feel the way I want to?” Yes, folks, buying a home today is all about the emotion, not price per square foot or recent comps. If you don’t believe me, fine, but you won’t buy a house in this market, or you are not interested in buying a home you love, or you can love a house because it fits into the average price per square foot.

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Tracy King is featured in Top Agent Magazine!

Tracy King Honored in Top Agent Magazine

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2150 Hits

My Search for an Electric Car

What is the Electric Car?

I’m a Green Realtor. That means I’ve taken the time and spent a bit of money to learn about energy efficient homes. I’ve taken the test and received the Green Realtor designation from the National Association of Realtors. I care about environmental issues on many levels, and our dependence on oil and petroleum products is disturbing. Let’s get it all out on the table: I do think we are experiencing Climate Change and that humans have a lot to do with it and we need to immediately reduce our dependence on petroleum and the emissions that come from burning it.

Since I’m “green,” when I saw a notice that the film “What Is the Electric Car?” was premiering at the Eagle Rock branch of the public library, I dragged my husband down there to see it. What a life-changing experience for us both! Every objection to the electric car was addressed in this film. In brief, the main reasons to own a plug-in vehicle are that it is not dependent on foreign oil, and it is cheaper and cleaner to run -- even with some electricity produced by coal-burning power plants and even with electric cars being more expensive than gasoline-powered cars. I left a believer, an advocate, and an eager purchaser of my electric car!

I went to the website www.pluginamerica.org and checked out their vehicle tracker, which they said had a list of all the new electric vehicles, when they would be available, and what their range, cost, and speed are. The vehicle that excited me most was the Toyota Rav-4, because it is a popular car having most of the features I want, and from what they said, it sounded like it would be affordable. There was no price listed on the website, so I went to the Toyota website and discovered that the Rav-4 is going to cost $49,000! Whoa! Even with the $7500 Federal tax rebate and $2500 State tax rebate, this is too rich for my blood.

So now what? I thought perhaps a journal of my search for the right plug-in car arrangement might make a good series of blog posts and help you and me figure out the best way to go. Stay tuned as we consider the pros and cons of a few plug-in cars.
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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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1213 Hits

Lunar eclipse

Watching the eclipse from our balcony.

 

Photo

 

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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1242 Hits

Echo Mountain

You really can see the ocean from here today!

 

Photo

 

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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1245 Hits

Wiggle Waggle Walk

Rex, the standard bearer for the Punk Rock Rovers. My guy!

 

Photo

 

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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899 Hits

Desert Drive

Still 111 here as we near Zzyzx.

 

Photo

 

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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933 Hits

Green Real Estate

I'm happy to announce that I've earned the NAR (National Association of Realtors) Green Designation. I now have access to the research and information from the Green Resource Council to share with you, like this essay on Why Go Green?

There is a variety of reasons to go green, but most come back to supply and demand. We have a limited amount of resources available and more and more people using them up. If we want our future generations to enjoy the same standard of living we've experienced, we need to take action.

Green building is a great place to start, as buildings consume 14% of potable water, 40% of raw materials, and 39% of energy in the United States alone (according to the US Green Building Council). That's 15 trillion gallons of water and 3 billion tons of raw materials each year! If that's not enough to convince you, here are some other reasons to go green:

FOR THE ENVIRONMENT


Want to make the world a better place? Implementing green practices into your home or office can help reduce waste, conserve natural resources, improve both air and water quality, and protect ecosystems and biodiversity.



FOR THE SAVINGS


Want to make your dollar go further? Green systems and materials reduce energy consumption, which in turn reduce your energy bills. They also increase asset value and profits and decrease marketing time; making your dollar go further for longer.



FOR YOUR HEALTH


Want to live healthier? Green building isn't just good for the environment; it's also good for YOU. Sustainable design and technology enhance a resident's overall quality of life by improving air and water quality and reducing noise pollution. According to a 2006 study by the Center of the Built Environment, University of California, green office buildings improve productivity and employee satisfaction in the workplace.

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Why I Joined a New Real Estate Office

In my 22 years practicing the profession of real estate, I have never left one company to go to another. I have worked in companies that were merged or sold, but I have never left by my own decision. Until now. What’s important to know is that I didn’t leave Coldwell Banker because I didn’t like it or was unhappy. CB is a great company and offers many opportunities to its agents to grow and prosper. It’s also safe to belong to a large national corporation. If you work at Coldwell Banker, its long history and good reputation cloak you in respectability. If you work for such a well-known and respected company there is a certain level of professionalism that is automatically conferred upon you in many consumers’ minds. To leave all that was a big step.

Real estate is a schizophrenic business: it’s very competitive and yet we have to cooperate with each other. A client naturally wants to work with the best professional they can, but how do they determine who that is? That’s why many of us have focused on being number one in our marketplace, working for a company that has the most market share, winning the most awards, etc., so we can assure our clients that we are good enough to earn their business. But there is much more to doing a good job than working in a big company, winning awards and doing a lot of deals.

I have worked with agents from other companies and seen what they do. I’ve gone to many professional training events with excellent teachers. I’ve networked with other Realtors all over the country as part of our various professional organizations. In the last several years, I’ve coached and trained with a group that has attained the level of a virtual office although we are scattered all over Southern California. We’ve often commented how great it would be to work with each other in a physical office—to work in an office of like-minded professionals. For me, Teles Properties offered the potential for this, plus it’s a small boutique company that is focused on what I care about: providing its agents with research, technology, and marketing. It’s small enough (so far) that I know all the owners, and they know me, but that’s just a nice extra.

What’s in this for my clients? A fresh approach. A simple, elegant look. A chance to work with a company that focuses on a deep understanding of the market, on the art and practice of real estate, and on where to position the client’s needs and desires to obtain the best result. A company that puts agents in a room together every week to learn more, to share ideas on how to price and market a property for sale and how to obtain and negotiate the best possible deal for the client. This is a company that shares its knowledge and encourages its agents to share theirs so we all get better—a truly cooperative and collegial environment. These are tumultuous times in the real estate world. Making a successful business in the shadow of one of the biggest economic downturns in US history is a real challenge. Teles Properties began in 2007 and has grown from 1 to 4 offices through these chaotic years. I think that’s quite an accomplishment. This company chose to strike out in a fresh, new direction and it is working. That’s what attracted me to it.
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1027 Hits

Everyone is flocking to Teles Pasadena

Including the ducks! Attracted by our garden and reflecting pool...
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Sent from my iPhone

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978 Hits

Adventure at Echo Mountain

Helicopter rescue of hiker who experienced serious health issue on the trail. It's a good idea to carry your cell phone: a passing hiker dialed 911 and possibly saved this man's life. We are fortunate to have fast responding sheriff's rescue team as well.

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Sent from my iPhone

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989 Hits

Echo Mountain Hike

It's not always about the view.

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925 Hits

The Power of Words

Check out this video on YouTube:

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899 Hits

Hike to Echo Mountain, Altadena

Another clear, beautful morning for our 5 1/2 mile hike.

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966 Hits

Echo Mountain

This gentleman is showing hikers a video of the Mt. Lowe railway from the 1920s on his IPad. How cool is that!

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998 Hits

Santa Monica Pier View

Scenery from our monthly RealEstate coaching meeting. Worth the commute just for the view, I say.

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1062 Hits

Google Party NYC!

Honoring Inman Connect Attendees. Fun!

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NYC

Let those girls skate. Hot drinks at the Algonquin Hotel in sight of the famous round table. My kind of City!

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NYC

A drink at the Algonquin Hotel. This is my kind of New York! History, style, fun. Sent from my iPhone

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865 Hits