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Encino, CA Real Estate News

By Carol Wolfe
(Rodeo Realty)
While this Chinese method of organizing or balancing energy has been around for at least 3,000 years, it remains misunderstood or dismissed by many as a mystic or metaphysical belief that holds little to no value whatsoever. But it's hard to believe that a wisdom that's been practiced for so long and has so many avid followers could be completely without merit, which is why a brief explanation might illuminate some of its benefits. At its root, feng means "wind" and shui means "water" (pronounced fung-shway) and is symbolic of its close ties with nature.  Good "wind" and "water" meant a good harvest, or in today's terms, good fortune. Practitioners use scientific calculations, a special compass, astronomy, and the Five Elements (wood, fire, earth, metal, and water) to determine how best...
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By Carol Wolfe
(Rodeo Realty)
We've all seen the Money Pit with Tom Hanks and Shelley Long. Remember the one where they find their dream home, only to discover that after they've moved in, everything that could be wrong, is. In real life, this is a rarity because of one word - INSPECTIONS. These days, a home rarely changes hands without them, and the haunting images from that movie are easily avoided. No one wants to move into their dream home only to discover muddy water, exploding electrical systems and rotting wood. A home inspector will look beyond the surface, top and bottom, from the roof to the plumbing, to uncover anything and everything that might affect a buyer's decision. Real estate contracts allow for an inspection period where the buyer can opt out if any big surprises are discovered.  It is wise to ha...
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According to www.merriam-webster.com, escrow is defined as: a deed, a bond, money, or a piece of property held in trust by a third party to be turned over to the grantee only upon fulfillment of a condition. In real estate transactions, there are so many parties obligated to fulfill so many responsibilities, it is easy to see why a neutral party like an escrow company is essential to a smooth process.  In any given transaction, you have the buyer and seller, their agents, the inspectors, the appraiser, the mortgage broker, the lender, the lien holders, the IRS and and handful of other variables. It is during the escrow process that the money gets divvied up and everyone's proceeds and fees are accounted for according to the conditions of the contract. The escrow company also ensures suc...
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By Carol Wolfe
(Rodeo Realty)
I have been in the real estate business for more than 30 years and let me tell you, I have seen my fair share of economic ups and downs. What has made me fortunate enough to weather these difficult times is my unfaltering dedication to customer service. Real estate agents may come and go, and during economic booms like the most recent one we experienced, it may seem like everyone has their hand in the pot. To stay a step ahead of the rest, you must develop a relationship with your clients that provides them with the best experience possible. This comes from tireless attention, paired with the most up-to-date knowledge. Top it off with a generous helping of experience and you will have true staying power, the kind for which I have strived my entire career.   It is my network of valuable ...
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By Carol Wolfe
(Rodeo Realty)
Not only is Encino at the heart of the southern California dream, we are also just a short trip to some of the country's best skiing and snowboarding. Just a little more than two hours in your car (expect longer for weekend or holiday traffic), brings you to the gorgeous mountain lifestyle of Big Bear Lake.  There are two distinct mountain resorts - Bear Mountain and Snow Summit. Bear Mountain is described "as one of the most progressive terrain parks in the world," featuring over 150 jumps, a halfpipe and California's only Superpipe. Snow Summit offers a more wide open terrain with a special Family Park section for slower and beginner enthusiasts. The resorts are owned by Big Bear Mountain Resorts, which means lift tickets are interchangeable, and both mountains have 100 percent snowma...
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By Carol Wolfe
(Rodeo Realty)
New Year's resolutions - whether you actually make them or not, they always start to creep into our consciousness. Often it's about losing weight thanks to all the delicious holiday treats that we've been snacking on for the past month, but one that makes the list quite often is cleaning out the clutter in our lives. Sometimes it's your office, but more often than not, it's our home. And if you have wonderful children living with you, clutter becomes even more painfully obvious when they try to put away a new batch of Christmas presents. OK, OK, we can't blame it all on them. Nevertheless, getting rid of things you don't use or need, and organizing what you do, is a task that doesn't resolve itself. It takes planning, and let's face it, lots of work. Some tips from the experts suggest s...
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By Carol Wolfe
(Rodeo Realty)
As an architectural specialist, I am privileged to work with some of the most inspiring and innovative homes this side of the Rockies, but it has also given me the gift of seeing a home's potential. Frequently I will list home with great potential with a great price and it will sell almost immediately. One of the realities of the current market is a good deal won't stay on the market long.   The Gaynor home was exactly that kind of property, 2 bedrooms, 1.75 bath traditional with 1,571 square feet of space, located on a huge lot (nearly 10,000 square feet), with an impressive oak standing sentry in front. It featured beamed ceilings and brick fireplaces in the living room and den and endless possibilities for expansion. With a great location close to Ventura Boulevard in the Hesby schoo...
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By Carol Wolfe
(Rodeo Realty)
This gorgeous golf oasis in the middle of Los Angeles is a municipal course that rivals most. The Woodley Lakes Golf Course is an 18-hole, par 72 beauty located just off the 405 freeway and Victory Boulevard in Van Nuys.   Golf fanatics will love its wide fairways and large greens, with water hazards and a couple of truly challenging holes thrown into its 6,805 yards. And for those who are simply golf enthusiasts, the lush terrain and random ponds create for a beautiful backdrop and a safe refuge for a multitude of wild life. Either way, a stroll along this course is sure to be a great way to spend a gorgeous day outdoors, of which we have many here in Southern California. Woodley Lakes also features a driving range with 30 tees, pro shop, lessons, practice greens, cart and club rental,...
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By Carol Wolfe
(Rodeo Realty)
This traditional home is situated on a half-acre, walled, gated, tree-studded, corner lot. Its park-like grounds make it the perfect place to have your own little paradise, whether that includes animals, children, or just you and your serenity.   The home features 5 bedrooms, 5.5 baths, with a total living area of 4,445 square feet. Wood floors, vaulted and beamed ceilings, three fireplaces, a library with built-in bookcases, a separate study with more built-ins, a chef's dream kitchen with stainless appliances and six-burner range, three-car garage, security system and speakers throughout, are just a few of the amenities this home has to offer.  The most charming feature of the home is it's co-existence with the outdoors. Here in Encino, the weather is perfect so much of the year that ...
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By Carol Wolfe
(Rodeo Realty)
If money is no object and the ultimate in luxury your only standard, I have just listed a home that is sure to exceed your wildest dreams. Completely renovated in 2008, not a single detail or upgrade was missed and has culminated into the most prestigious address within the Royal Oaks neighborhood of Encino. It's sleek, it's modern, it's lush, and it frames breathtaking views of the San Fernando Valley. As for the details, the home is offered at $4,695,000, 4 bedrooms. 6.5 baths, 5,700 sq. feet of living space, situated on a 33,000 sq. foot lot. The home itself is accessorized with the best of the best: custom Madrone woodwork in the showcase kitchen and living room, Fleetwood doors and windows that seamlessly meld the inside with the outdoors, Viking appliances, Miele dishwashers, Hans...
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By Carol Wolfe
(Rodeo Realty)
We all work hard to enjoy quality time with our family and friends, and there is nothing better than spending that time with your little ones, especially when it's from the sidelines. Here in our neck of the woods, we have the Encino Little League, which is in its 53rd season of providing kids age 5-14 with the fun, skills, and teamwork building lessons that will stay with them for life.    As a parent who has had her child in this program, I can say first hand, not only is the Encino Little League an exceptional organization with the experience to make youth sports a thrilling adventure, but it's a great way to meet your neighbors and share in the community spirit that makes Encino so special. It is located off Havenhurst Avenue, just south of the 101 freeway. They boast a gorgeous bas...
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By Carol Wolfe
(Rodeo Realty)
These days it's hard to stop for a moment to catch your breath, let alone catch up on the laundry. But every once in a while, you feel the urge to find some quality "you" time. Or perhaps your kids are interested in trying out something new and you're not sure where to start. For residents of Encino, the first place to look is the Encino Community Center. Located just off Balboa Boulevard, there are classes for everyone. From Mad Science for kids, to belly dancing for mom, tennis, piano, painting and tai chi, with everything in between, there is sure to be something for everyone. Most classes run for 10 weeks and are surprisingly affordable. Take a look at their schedule online -www.laparks.org/dos/ereg/facility/encino.htm#camps. They may have just the cure for your curiosity.  They are...
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By Carol Wolfe
(Rodeo Realty)
Theater companies see more audience members during this season than any other time of year. Between The Nutcracker and Swan Lake alone, people who usually never go, make a tradition of it in the month of December.  Being in such close proximity to Hollywood and all the dreams and aspirations of the silver screen that come with it, there are plenty of seasonal offerings outside of the norm that are sure to enchant and entertain people from every walk of life, young and old. Living in the San Fernando Valley makes it the perfect place to see quality performances in your own backyard.  A seasonal favorite, Santasia, A Holiday Comedy, has been entertaining adult crowds for almost a decade with its hilarious holiday sketches. This year runs from December 5 - 25, at the Whitefire Theatre, 135...
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By Carol Wolfe
(Rodeo Realty)
On this blog, I typically discuss the beautiful homes I offer for sale, or about what a great place Encino is to live. But today I would like to talk about the multitude of people who have recently lost their homes in the devastating fires that ravaged California last month.  There are so many families in need this year due to economic conditions, but no one more than those who lost not only their homes, but their lives' possessions. People were literally awoken from sleep to find a police officer standing over their bed, telling them to evacuate immediately, leaving everything but loved ones behind.   For all of you who find yourself reading this, look into your heart and rediscover the meaning of the holidays that we try to impart to our children. Find a way to spread the best part of...
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By Carol Wolfe
(Rodeo Realty)
Living in Encino is more than just the city you write down on your return address. It is a community that prides itself on providing its residents a standard of living of which they can be proud. It is not just the shopping centers and material conveniences that are abundant (although they are nice too!); it is the sense that you are part of something bigger. That sense comes through clear as day at the Encino Community Center. The Encino Community Center offers numerous activities for people looking to connect with others or to reconnect with a long lost passion.   Self-help meetings are held daily if you are in need of some extra support. There is the Encino Parent Co-op Nursery and various clubs like the Audubon Society, Valley Artist Guild, the Women's Club and Camera Club just to n...
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By Carol Wolfe
(Rodeo Realty)
While shopping isn't exactly the first thing on people's mind during these tough economic times, when looking for a new home, it's nice to know with whom you could be neighbors. Encino is lucky enough to have the Westfield Topanga Plaza within close proximity - located just north of the 101 freeway on Topanga Canyon Boulevard in Canoga Park.   Its history is rich. In 1964 it was billed as the first enclosed mall west of the Mississippi and local news outlets boasted the year-round spring-time shopping conditions. Although the ice arena no longer exists, numerous renovations have kept the space modern and relevant. An ownership change in 1993 meant more changes, and with a grand re-opening in 2006 the Westfield Topanga Plaza became an even more essential retail destination. There truly i...
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By Carol Wolfe
(Rodeo Realty)
Balmy weather is a year-round luxury that Southern California residents take advantage of daily by enjoying the outdoors probably more than any other region in the country. For all you golfers out there, it doesn't get any better than this and Encino is home to one of the most gorgeous public golf facilities around at the Sepulveda Golf complex.  Located at 16821 Burbank Blvd., residents of Encino have easy access to two courses at Sepulveda, the first being the par 72 Encino course. With 18 holes and wide fairways, it is definitely a place to practice your long ball. It is the longer of the two, at  6,863 yards, and is absent any water hazards or rough lies, aside from the mature trees that line the fairway, which makes it a great course for letting it all out on the ball. The second c...
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By Carol Wolfe
(Rodeo Realty)
The gated Gloria Estate is truly the ultimate in luxurious living. This magnificent home, offered at $2,499,000, was built in 2001 as the private residence of the builder himself. Among its numerous amenities, it features 6700 square feet under two stories on a half-acre lot, 5 bedrooms, 5.5 baths, which includes a completely separate guest wing, with kitchenette and living area.  Attention to detail was not spared, with wrought iron chandeliers and grand-entry staircase, coffered ceilings, travertine, granite and maple floors, a hand carved fireplace, crown molding throughout, central vacuum, security system, theatre room and master suite complete with sitting area, balcony, fireplace and adjacent study. The master bath is the epitome of elegance with a raised spa tub, steam shower, se...
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By Carol Wolfe
(Rodeo Realty)
Just a stone's throw from Encino, is the Sherman Oaks Galleria, a premiere shopping and entertainment venue. Recently awarded the Toby award for building of the year, the Galleria is home to 700,000 square feet of office space and 300,000 square feet of open-air retail and entertaining space.  It includes an extensive restaurant lineup sure to satisfy anyone's hunger, from PF Changs China Bistro to The Cheesecake Factory, El Torito to Fuddruckers. And then top it all off with a scoop of Americone Dream at Ben & Jerry's. If an evening at the movies is your thing, they have that too, at the Arclight Cinemas, where you can catch the latest blockbuster in the lap of luxury. No attention to detail is overlooked, with reserved seating, wider seats, more leg room, the ultimate in movie going t...
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By Carol Wolfe
(Rodeo Realty)
Encino is home to one of the oldest, most revered art house movie theatre chains in the country. Located at 17200 Ventura Blvd., the family-owned, Laemmle Theatres has been bringing the finest in foreign and independent films to the movie buffs since 1938. What better way to see a future classic, than in the heart of silver-screen central, with the continued respect and reverence they have given to movies for more than three generations. From Bogart to Depp, Hepburn to Streep, Bergman to the Coen brothers, all the legends have been, and continue to be, a part of the Laemmle history. It is this commitment to providing the best that makes them a premier destination for anyone who considers filmmaking more than just mindless entertainment. Residents of the area are encouraged to sign up fo...
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