Beverly Hills, CA Real Estate News

By Matt Sweeney, Rich Kids Real Estate
(Rich Kids Real Estate: The Brokerage)
Since many of my clients are first time home buyers, I like to provide as much education as possible about the whole buying experience. I think there are some misconceptions about how working with an agent works. Here's the skinny: Agents are independent contractors and essentially business owners. We are paid solely on commission and do not receive a salary from our brokerage (ex: Keller Williams). Agents are responsible for all marketing materials, signs, gas, business cards, food at open houses, etc. When an agent represents you in the purchase of the home, it is the seller who pays our commission. The buyer's (or leasing) agent has to write the contract in order to receive payment for their services. On occasion buyer's will have an agent help them to find the property, but then go ...
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By Matt Sweeney, Rich Kids Real Estate
(Rich Kids Real Estate: The Brokerage)
I love a beautiful day like today! The sun is shining, the weather is warm, and people are out doing the things they do on a Saturday! All and all, it's a perfect day to hold an Open House! Although open houses are typically held on Sundays, sometimes I like to shake things up a bit and hold them on a Saturday! I've noticed that occasionally you get better foot traffic and better moods on Saturdays! Maybe it's because it's the start of the weekend, but everything about Saturday opens just feels more relaxed! Some agents love sitting open houses, while others would rather outsource to rookie agents. I actually quite enjoy holding a property open! It's a great way to meet neighbors and gauge the market! To make this a successful venture for both of us, here are some quick tips to preparin...
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By Matt Sweeney, Rich Kids Real Estate
(Rich Kids Real Estate: The Brokerage)
When I first became an agent and the market was white hot, if you were to submit an uber low ball offer to a seller, the agent would curtly tell you, "That's insulting to the seller. Please don't waste either of our time submitting that". Oh how the times have changed! The way I see it, most people are not selling because they want to test the market or just to see what they can get like back in the good old days. I suppose there are those that will sell if they get the price they want, but overall I think a large portion are selling because they have to (whatever that reason my be). This leaves the buyer in a fortunate situation. From my experience just this past week, it appears that sellers are considering offers that they never would have in the past and buyer's agents certainly do ...
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By Associate Broker Falmouth MA Cape Cod Heath Coker, Heath Coker Berkshire Hathaway HS Robert Paul Prop
(https://teamcoker.robertpaul.com)
What makes Hollywood East a better place to film movies and produce TV shows?  Well maybe it is the state of the art facilities.  Or it could be the fresh attitudes of the people and businesses in New England.  Or it could be the tax incentives that can transform a one million dollar budget into a one million two hundred fifty thousand dollar budget. Whether it is the tax incentives, the self contained facilities, or the fresh faces of the people, the Plymouth Rock Studios is building the future at Hollywood East.  With over 200 Colleges and Universities in the Boston area alone, new talent and creativity abounds.  With fresh ideas, and with the opportunity to construct a "made to order" production facility that will be the central location for movie and tv production in the Northeast. ...
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By Darlene E. Johnson
(J. Johnson Investments Group)
It look like we will be getting more activity on our short sales now. Please read the article about BofA changing their policy to make it easier for borrowers to sell their homes. All I have to say is, "it's about time". http://www.financial-planning.com/news/-2661597-1.html  
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By James Engel, KW Beverly Hills
(Keller Williams Realty Beverly Hills)
It is after the dreaded April 15th and everyone now is going to be looking at a market with low interest rates and some astounding prices, pretty carefully. Those who have sat on the fences and have waited for the storm of the century are going to start getting restless, seeing the clouds spreading thin and the sunshine coming through.   We can all expect our business to pick up during the next couple of months due to various reasons, but one thing is for certain, this is a seasonal wind and you need to be sitting on the lake with the sails up to catch it. Otherwise by the time you rig others will be miles away. So be prepared and get prepared to turn onlookers into buyers, indecisives into listings and doing some business. This might be the best wind we will catching in the near future...
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By Valerie Fitzgerald, Luxury Real Estate in Beverly Hills & West LA
(Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage)
http://losangelesrealestatetalk.com/2009/04/14/five-rules-for-buyingabroad/   The local real estate market may be picking up, but what about Prague or Pamplona? The Times (of London, that is) gives you five great rules of thumb for buying property abroad. Whether you’re considering a second home, a vacation rental or an investment property, there’s a lot to be taken into consideration. That amazing little villa two hours outside of Dijon might not be a great rental if no one can get to it…and is that condo in Frankfurt such a steal because it’s adjacent to the worst neighborhood in town? Do plenty of research, and definitely work with a seasoned local real estate professional…you might just end up with the vacation home of your dreams!   PS: If you’re interested in international real es...
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By James Engel, KW Beverly Hills
(Keller Williams Realty Beverly Hills)
Doing my 2008 Taxes, I realized one thing and one thing only, the amount of money I have wasted on conventional print advertising. For the X amount of dollars I have spent on print advertising my return in 2008 has been 0 (zero). The dominant figures of our markets print advertising LA Times and some magazines have yielded 0 (zero) leads. It is a good time to sit down and plan for 2009 and analyze new media and see what may work into our business model. The problem with Digital Media vs print is, Print cost money but less time and Digital Media (blogging, videos, websites,etc) they take a lot of time. So you need to be quite sure of the results before you jump into any one of these websites, blogs, tweets or whatever else is out there, as you are taking from your most prescious commodit...
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By Valerie Fitzgerald, Luxury Real Estate in Beverly Hills & West LA
(Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage)
http://losangelesrealestatetalk.com/2009/04/09/real-estate-price-declines-how-does-la-compare/ We’re finally seeing local home prices level off, and we’re also seeing an increase in listing and sales activity — both great news for the Los Angeles real estate market. But the last year or so has been a pretty wild ride…and not just for us. This great interactive chart from the New York Times compares how prices in major U.S. cities have risen and fallen (and risen, and fallen, and risen, and…) over the last few years. We’re looking forward to seeing those bars go back up again!   http://losangelesrealestatetalk.com/2009/04/09/real-estate-price-declines-how-does-la-compare/
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By Valerie Fitzgerald, Luxury Real Estate in Beverly Hills & West LA
(Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage)
http://losangelesrealestatetalk.com/2009/04/07/cooking-demonstrations-at-two-rodeo-drive/ Every Saturday in April from 11am to 4pm, Two Rodeo Drive will host cooking demonstrations on Via Rodeo. Come watch as culinary masterpieces are prepared by the executive chefs of some of the city’s most celebrated restaurants! Wine pairings will be offered for each prepared dish by a sommelier and will offer a 10% discount on all purchases. Live entertainment too! Fun and all for a good cause: Provide a donation to the LA Foodbank in the form of canned goods, non-perishables or a donation of $5 or more and get $7 off your all-day parking at Two Rodeo on the day of the show. Click here if you need more info — we hope to see you there! http://losangelesrealestatetalk.com/2009/04/07/cooking-demonstra...
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By Valerie Fitzgerald, Luxury Real Estate in Beverly Hills & West LA
(Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage)
What Does a Trillion Dollars Look Like?   With all the news about financial crises, stock market volumes and bailout plans lately, we’ve been hearing some pretty big numbers thrown around. It’s one thing seeing them written out (that’s a LOT of zeroes), but seeing a physical representation of that much cash is a lot different. Pagetutor.com decided to show us exactly what a trillion dollars looks like in bundles of hundred dollar bills…and it’s absolutely mind-blowing! To read the original article, click here:  What Does a Trillion Dollars Look Like?  
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By Valerie Fitzgerald, Luxury Real Estate in Beverly Hills & West LA
(Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage)
Mortgage Rates are at Historical Lows!   Mortgage rates are at historical lows. This article from U.S. News & World Report clearly explains all the moving parts and how it impacts borrowers. To read the original article, click here: Mortgage Rates are at Historical Lows!    
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By Valerie Fitzgerald, Luxury Real Estate in Beverly Hills & West LA
(Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage)
For new home builders…or window shoppers! Many of us love looking at houses...even if we aren't going to buy any time soon. And some of us like to take that one step further, ooh-ing and ah-ing over homes that only exist on paper. That makes Houseplans.com both a great resource for those who want to build their own home, AND a fun way to spend a couple of hours. With plans for nearly 30,000 different homes online, surely your own dream home is up there somewhere. Plus, many of the plans come in a variety of sizes and configurations, and they've even got a module to let you "draw" your own changes and edits onscreen. Styles run the whole gamut from quaint cottages to Greek revival to Spanish to architectural (like this one we love -- sleek design, and a clever way to work with steeply sl...
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By Endre Barath, Jr., Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002
(Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices)
In case you did not know this, I would like to share this with you. I just found out last night. UNICEF is having what is called the Tap Project. Many local restaurants are participating in this event. This has started on March 22nd and it is continuing until March 28th 2009.  Customarily when you go to a restaurant, they bring a glass of Tap Water to your table, usually this water in free. The UNICEF's Tap Project is asking every patron to give $1 or more for the tap water. For every dollar raised, a child without access to safe water will have clean, drinkable water for 40 days. All funds raised support UNICEF's efforts to bring clean and potable water to millions of children around the world.  These Restaurants are participating in this worth while cause in Beverly Hills.   Gyu-Kaku ...
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By JB Brookman, High School Senior Portrait Photographer
(JB Brookman Photography)
Question: How many afternoons do you get to exercise, hang out with Hollywood Stars on Rodeo Drive and have a cupcake at Crumb's??? Answer: You get to do them all when you call Off 'N Running Tours and take their running tour of Beverly Hills on the "Running From The Paparazzi" 4 mile run! As a former runner and 7-time Marathon finisher, this unique tour caught my eye! From Wilshire Boulevard to Rodeo Drive and through Hollywood, this tour takes you through Beverly Hills and allows you to see celebrities, window shop and burn some calories at the same time!  For 60 bucks a person, you get a Running From the Paparazzi TShirt, bottled water, fresh fruit and a frosted cupcake from the famous Crumb's on Santa Monica Boulevard.  Be sure to call in advance to make reservations. Off 'N Running...
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By Endre Barath, Jr., Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002
(Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices)
The first annual "Woofstock 90210" is in the history books. Here it was on a perfect sunny 70+ degree weather on Sunday, Bill Crowe of "Pets 90210" and Cindy Brynan & Barbara Rosenman from the Beverly Hills Community Service Department organized a very successful event. The place Roxbury Park's Wiggly Field at 471 South Roxbury Dr. and Olympic Blvd.,Beverly Hills, CA 90212.The time was from 11:00am to 4:00pm.  This event was organized for the dogs, by these three wonderful people for ' your dogs'. Dogs and their "parents" were at the first annual dog event. There was a dog parade. For a small sign up fee the dogs were judged for best costume, cutes, "looks-most-like its-owner" and many other categories.  It would not be Beverly Hills and land of the movie industry, if a talent agency w...
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By Valerie Fitzgerald, Luxury Real Estate in Beverly Hills & West LA
(Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage)
Before You Decide To Lease Your Home… The Washington Post takes a look at the pros (and cons) of leasing out your property in today’s market, rather than selling. The article makes a number of good points about how to find and screen tenants, whether to use a leasing management company, and tax advantages you can gain from an investment property. One thing we’ll take exception to, though, is the idea that you should shelve your plans to sell your existing home and buy something larger (or that otherwise better fits your needs) until prices rise again. For one thing, you can’t know exactly how long it’s going to take for the value of your home to rise above what it was when you purchased it — and why put your life and needs on hold indefinitely? Second, and equally important, is the fact...
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By Valerie Fitzgerald, Luxury Real Estate in Beverly Hills & West LA
(Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage)
Tax Credits for Homeowners Understanding housing tax credits.  It’s that time of year again - tax season.  Here is a useful article that breaks down the details of the housing tax credits .  Please feel free to call me at 310-433-2890 or email me with any further questions. To read the original article, click here  Tax Credits for Homeowners
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By Valerie Fitzgerald, Luxury Real Estate in Beverly Hills & West LA
(Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage)
Design Walk | May 7-9, 2009 Legends of La Cienega Design Walk, a three day celebration of the galleries and shops of Los Angeles’ legendary design district.  Explore and get inspired!  Take in seminars, book signings, and guided tours.  For details about this special event visit click here. If you go, be sure to email me your review of the event! To read the original article, click here Design Walk | May 7-9, 2009
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By Valerie Fitzgerald, Luxury Real Estate in Beverly Hills & West LA
(Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage)
And You Thought Skylights Were Neat… British actuary Ross Russell and his wife Sally decided to leave behind their hectic London lives and move to the countryside. They wanted to build a home that was a little unconventional, but the local planning council was apparently more traditionally-minded. The end result — an interesting fusion contrived by Russell and a childhood friend who grew up to be a successful architect — is a fairly rustic-looking timber-clad shell that slides all the way back to reveal a modern glass and steel structure completely open to the land and the sky above. (The sliding shell, by the way, does have skylights cut out.) We always talk about “bringing the outdoors in,” but a wall of French doors just can’t compete with this. Read the whole story here. To read the...
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