Interested in taking an epic hike to Altadena’s Echo Mountain? If you do, you might want to take a preview here to get an idea of what to expect. We also cover some history, which includes the story of Thaddeus Lowe, visionary real estate developer who was the driving force behind The Mount Lowe Railway, and The White City, one of the premier vacation destinations during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Interested in how to sell your home for top dollar during a pandemic? In order to do so you have to understand a few things about the way that the concept of a “home” has changed as a result of the pandemic. Before the widespread shutdown of just about everything, you – like most Southern Californians – probably spent a great deal of time outside the house. Commuting to work, dropping off kids at school, going to the gym, going out to dinner, attending concerts…all of these things pulled us out and away from the few odd bedrooms and baths we returned to at the end of the day. And then Covid happened.
Overnight people needed their homes to stand in as a substitute for all those things that used to take place outside. From gym, to restaurant, from home office to playground here are a list of things you can highlight to make your home “HOT” in eyes of the new market.
Top Notch Media and Marketing – Unbelievable video and photos are the new curb appeal. Gone are the days of open houses. Instead, buyers are relying on how well your property is presented online. This means professional photographs with drone shots, and stabilizers, compelling story-based videos, floor plans, and high end 3D interactive tours of the home. Once these things are created, there is an entirely separate necessity: the know how to market these things online, so that anyone in the market to buy a home like yours will see them.
2. Home Gym – Remember the days of waking up before the sun, and taking a Zumba group class, or pumping iron at the corner gym. Those days are gone. 24 hour fitness just filed for bankruptcy, and countless small private gyms are struggling. The need to exercise didn’t disappear though. When selling your place, set up a space that is clearly delineated as a home gym. You don’t necessarily need a dedicated room, but defined space in the corner of a garage, or family room with a gym mat, or some weights and swiss ball will go a long way.
3. Home Office – Working from home is the new normal. If you have a guest bedroom you never use, consider putting the bed in storage, and bringing in a desk, and filing cabinet. A nice blank wall for a Zoom backdrop, and a printer with phone, and strong wifi. A room beyond the standard bedroom count can be a valuable asset, distinguishing your home from all the others on the market.
4. Kitchens – Although kitchens have always topped the average buyer’s list of wants/needs, now more than ever before they make a home more desirable. There are very few places in LA County where you can go out for a meal anymore. People are taking their sense of culinary adventure to YouTube, and Cooking Shows, and recreating those events at home. A kitchen that allows for multiple people to cook comfortably together, or has easy access to the rest of the family is the new Spago. Accentuate what you have, or make small changes that show off your kitchen’s “chef-factor.”
5. Outdoor Space – These days, the more yard you have the better. People are getting into gardening, working out under the sky, and if you want to entertain, a comfortable outdoor space is a must. Show off the possibility for socially distanced socializing by setting up things like fire pits, outdoor speakers, small decks, and patio furniture.
6. ADUs – The Accessory Dwelling Unit is one of the most desirable features a property can have today. A separate space on one’s property can serve as anything from the list above. A quiet, clean spot for working, exercising, meditating, or just about anything your imagination can come up with is in more demand than ever. Even prefabricated sheds with a finished interior, insulation and electricity are bringing multiple offers from buyers looking for more space, and the feeling of getting away, even if for a few hours during the day.
These are some things I keep hearing about from clients. And whereas in the past they considered them luxuries, today they are considered essential. Thinking about selling and want some advice on how to accentuate any of these things? Give me a call and I’ll be happy to take a look at your current layout and give you some advice.
This week in Altadena real estate there were 8 new listings that came to the market, bringing the total number of listings fr sale to 36. This is more in any given week than we’ve had in a while. The least expensive listing is $599,000 for a heavy fixer located at 476 Alvey. This one has been on the market a while and is probably overpriced. The most expensive active listing is $4,559M after a price reduction. Thhere were 5 properties that sold this week. The least expensive was $571,000 for a fixer on a large lot, and the most expensive was located in La Vina. A 3 bed, 2 bath home with some special features that made it stand out even in La Vina, such as a private lap pool made this property a pretty good value even at $1,265M.
New Listings – 8
Total Active – 36
Most Expensive For Sale – $4,559M
Least Expensive For Sale – $599,000
New Pending – 2
Expired – 0
Sold – 5
Most Expensive Sold – $1,265M
Least Expensive Sold – $571,000
There were 7 new listings that hit the market in Altadena this week, bringing the total number of active listings to 31. The least and most expensive were the same properties from last week. 1 property went pending, and no properties expired. 3 properties closed escrow this week. The least expensive was located at 2141Lake Ave, and sold for $790,000. This was an interesting home located in a commercial zone, which made it someplace you could live or work. The most expensive sale was located at 1270 Rubio. This was a 4 bed/4 bath 5500 sqft estate, on 1/2 an acre. This exquisite home was designed by architect Harold Bissner and went into escrow in only 4 days.
New Listings – 7
Total Actives – 31
Lowest Priced Listing. $595k
Highest Priced Listing. $4,675M
New Pending – 1
Expired – 0
Sales – 3
Least Expensive Sold – $790,000Most
There were 9 new listings that came to market this week, bringing the total number of active listings to 28. Between all 28 active listings, prices ranged from $595k on the low end, all the way up to $4.675M on the high end. Additionally, there is one more non-conforming listing that needs mentioning – a small cabin with a land lease located in Millard Canyon. At only $329k this might be interesting, even if you don’t own the land. 1 property expired this week, and 1 went pending. And regarding new closed sales, there were 3. The lowest priced sale was $705k for a 3 bed 2 bath home at roughly 1300 sqft., which was move in ready, but could use some updating. The highest priced sale was $1.737M and sold for almost $200k over list price. This again was an updated Spanish Revival home, proving once again that Altadenans are willing to pay for classic architecture.
New Listings. 9
Total Actives. 28
Lowest Priced Listing. $595k
Highest Priced Listing. $4,675M
Honorable Mention. $329K Cabin with Land Lease)
Least Expensive Sold. $705,000
Most Expensive Sold. $1,737,000
This is the first in a series of weekly video reports, detailing the real estate activity in the city of Altadena, CA. This week there were 3 listings that went pending, 1 that expired, and most importantly, 11 listings that closed. Sales prices ranged from $680,000 for a small, but charming 2 bedroom/1 bath, 960 square foot home all the way up to $1,368,000 for a beautifully restored Spanish Revival home. This 3 bedroom/2 bath,1672 square foot home went pending in escrow in only 7 days! This was partly due to the abundance of charm and character, as well as to the low interest rate environment and painfully low inventory.
OK, so this isn’t really real estate related, but because so many people have asked me about the recipe, I thought I would share it here. I got the recipe from Doctor Rhonda Patrick, who I learned of from listening to the Tim Ferriss Show. I drank this shake exclusively for about a year while recovering from cancer. It was the only thing I could tolerate, but more importantly, it’s loaded with vitamins, micro nutrients, antioxidants, fiber, and has a good caloric load. It’s all natural, real food, and and top of everything else, it tastes pretty good. I encourage everyone to try it out and let me know what you think.
1st time home buyers typically have a lot of questions. This video covers some of the top questions I get from 1st time home buyers hoping to purchase real estate. It’s a little silly, but hopefully informative. I fully believe that anyone who can own a home should own a home. Further, a lot of people have the ability to buy something RIGHT NOW, but don’t believe it’s actually possible to do so. Did you know that if you are a veteran it’s still possible to buy a home with Nothing Down? Conventional loans sometimes allow 1st time home buyers to purchase with as little as 3% down, and FHA Loans allow you to purchase with only 3.5% down. Did you know that it’s possible to repair your credit in a relatively short amount of time to prepare you to buy a home? This tongue in cheek video is just under 4 minutes and it covers these topics along with a few others having to do with the time frames involved in a typical escrow, and what the process of buying a home looks like. If you have questions holding you back from buying your first home, please watch and maybe this will answer a few. And if you still have still have questions…well call me!
Even in these unusual times, some people must still sell, or purchase a home. We in the real estate industry are making changes on an hour by hour basis to ensure that those who still need to do business will be safe while doing so. Virtual meetings, 3D open houses, video tours, and digital signatures are only some of things that we are now using. Here’s a little info to help, in case you need it.
Steve guided us through the whole process of getting my son’s house ready to put on the market. He answered all our questions promptly and thoroughly. We were amazed at how quickly he pulled together a marketing plan that resulted in 100 parties or individuals attending our two open houses. We were thrilled when we learned that we had received 25 offers. Steve presented the best offers for us to consider and he helped us choose the very best offer. We couldn’t be happier with the results that Steve helped us achieve.