Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

April 9, 2018

Matt Leinart’s journey from finding open receivers to open houses

Matt Leinart Profile Pic

After leaving the NFL, Matt Leinart did what a lot of retired athletes do: He became a television sports analyst.

That's still his weekend job at Fox during football season, but now he's trying his hand at something a bit further afield. Last April, he passed his real estate exam on the first try and became a licensed agent.

"Every year, I make it my goal to learn something new, but I never end up sticking to it," said Leinart, 34, recalling failed attempts to learn the piano and perfect his golf swing. After his mother, Linda, died of leukemia in January last year, he vowed to break out of his comfort zone.

"Part of my healing process was accomplishing something that she'd be proud of," he said.

Leinart isn't the first athlete to dabble in real estate. Former MLB second baseman Adam Kennedy works as a real estate advisor in Newport Beach, and former NFL defensemen Monty Beisel and Morgan Trent are active agents in Beverly Hills.

The second career enables former athletes, comfortable with cutthroat deal-making and big monetary figures, to use their connections and flex their competitive spirit.

Leinart, the former USC star quarterback, is part of the four-person team of Schneider Properties in Manhattan Beach, where he has lived for nearly a decade.

"My ties to this city help," said Leinart, who has been longtime friends with Nick and Chelsea Schneider, the team's founders. "I'm active in this community. I coach my son's baseball team here."

That, combined with his celebrity status in L.A., has gotten his new venture off to a promising start. He's still chasing his first solo sale but has closed on a handful of homes alongside his team.

Leinart said he sees himself as someone who can use his experience as an athlete and a South Bay resident to better inform home buyers.

"Between the Rams, Chargers and the new soccer stadium coming in, I'd love to be an ambassador for athletes looking to buy a home, since I've been in the same shoes," Leinart said.

He added that the frenzied L.A. housing market provides plenty of opportunities. Now, instead of analyzing defenses and finding ways to score, he's analyzing homes and finding ways to sell.

"In both worlds, you get out what you put in," Leinart said. "In real estate, if you're hustling and maintaining a good work ethic, you'll get deals."

He admits that the learning curve is steep. He has spent days shadowing the team's other agents, figuring out the right lingo, questions to ask and people to know.

He equated the process to memorizing a playbook.

"To an outsider, understanding an NFL playbook is like trying to read Japanese. After spending so much time with it, though, I can read it like the back of my hand," Leinart said. "Learning the intricacies of the real estate industry is the same."

During open houses, Leinart pays careful attention to which questions are most common. That way, when a future buyer asks about the type of roof, or what tops the counters in the kitchen, he'll be prepared.

"I walk into the office like a sponge, absorbing knowledge and taking criticism," he said.

Unique challenges present themselves every day. The nuances of contracts and contingencies can be difficult to nail down. People show up to open houses more interested in grabbing a photo with him than exploring the home.

With the college football season concluded, he's had more time to get a grasp of things, scheduling time for meetings, open houses and private home showings.

"Every day is different in real estate, which is why I love it," Leinart said. "The job gives me flexibility, so I'm still trying to perfect the balance."

As of now, Leinart still loves his career at Fox and has no plans to abandon broadcasting. He's simply treating his foray into real estate as a chance to learn and grow.

Whether his future will find him one day selling homes full time, Leinart isn't sure. For the time being, he said, it's nice to not have a game plan.

To view the original article on LA Times, visit: http://www.latimes.com/business/realestate/hot-property/la-fi-hp-matt-leinart-20180407-story.html

Posted in Real Estate News
March 15, 2018

The Evolution of the Hermosa Beach Pier

A WALK THROUGH HISTORY:
THE EVOLUTION OF THE HERMOSA BEACH PIER

In 1904 the first version of the Hermosa pier was built. It was constructed entirely of wood even to the pilings and it extended five hundred feet out into the ocean. The pier was constructed by the Hermosa Beach Land and Water Company. In 1913 this old pier was partly washed away and later torn down and a new one built to replace it.

hermosa beach pier

The new pier was built of concrete one thousand feet long, and paved with asphalt its entire length. Small tiled pavilions were erected at intervals along the sides to afford shade for fishermen and picnic parties. A bait stand was built eventually out on the end. Soon after, about 1914, an auditorium building was constructed; it has housed various enterprises and at present the public rest rooms, the Los Angeles Life Guard Service, and the local branch of the Los Angeles County Library occupy rooms in the building.

Pier Avenue, originally known as Santa Fe Avenue, had long been the small beach city’s main commercial corridor, wending its way from Pacific Coast Highway to the Hermosa Beach pier. By 1996, new restaurants had begun to move into the area, including Brewski’s, Sangria, Club Sushi, Cafe Sabroso and Patrick Malloy’s Steakhouse. Longtime fixture Hennessey’s Tavern took over a neighboring building as part of a $1 million expansion.

hermosa beach pier historical pic

After some debate, the City Council decided to make Pier Plaza a pedestrians-only experience, closing it off from automobiles altogether and removing its 27 parking spaces. A grand opening ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new plaza was held on Saturday, Aug. 16, 1997.

hermosa beach pier present day

Today Pier Plaza is home to many restaurants and shops and is frequented by fun seekers, beachgoers, families, and tourist alike. It is just one of the special things that make our city so wonderful.

Sources:

Hermosa Beach Historical Society
http://www.hermosabeachhistoricalsociety.org/early-hermosa

Daily Breeze
http://blogs.dailybreeze.com/…/hermosa-beachs-pier-plaza-a…/

Posted in Real Estate News
Dec. 20, 2017

How The New Tax Bill Will Impact US Real Estate Markets

Los Angeles Skyline

The real estate market will be among the sectors most impacted by the $1.5 trillion tax bill passed in the U.S. Wednesday

The legislation calls for a significantly lowered corporate tax rate and reduced tax rates for individuals with higher standard deductions but institutes caps on mortgage interest deductions and the deduction of state and local taxes. The individual cuts expire in 2025, but the corporate cuts are permanent.

The Senate passed the bill 51-48 early Wednesday, with Sen. John McCain of Arizona absent. Also Wednesday, the House voted 224-201 for the overhaul. President Donald Trump is expected to sign it into law in the coming days.

How it will shake out in reality is still unknown, but many real estate experts have been up in arms about the changes, with the National Association of Realtors (NAR) initially warning that it could lower home prices by up to 10% in every state.

Weakened confidence in luxury sector

An oversupply in luxury housing, plus a limited pool of buyers, has already slowed sales in that sector. And tax woes have only increased hesitation from buyers.

“People are going to be trying to figure out what it means for them,” said Donna Olshan, president of New York City-based Olshan Realty. “It’s certainly not a positive for New York.”

She said she recently had clients—who were looking for a home around $4 million—decide to curtail their search until they figure out what their new tax bill is going to look like.

For her clients, Ms. Olshan is very concerned about the new $10,000 cap on how much local and state tax can be deducted from federal income taxes. Under the current law, the amount is unlimited.

“Almost all my clients pay six figures in New York state and New York City taxes,” said Ms. Olshan, who has clients in both Manhattan and suburban Westchester, New York. “What does that mean for them?”

This cap will mean a big difference for homeowners in regions with high local taxes, including New York, California and Connecticut. Of the 12 House Republicans who voted against the tax bill, 11 were from one of these states.

Buyers may roll back their budgets as a result, Ms. Olshan said, and certain would-be buyers may choose to continue renting. They may be more likely to stall until they can figure out how the changes will affect them.

“It definitely makes people pause,” Ms. Olshan said. “The benefits of homeownership are being slashed.”

Other New Yorkers are also nervous about how the bill will affect the city. Last week, a Moody’s analysis predicted the lower deductions could cause home prices in Manhattan to drop by up to 9.5%. It could cost New Yorkers up to $30 billion per year in higher taxes, Partnership for New York City CEO Kathryn Wylde told the Wall Street Journal.

New York does have a high percentage of foreign buyers, who won’t be affected by the changes by the U.S. tax law. Some say these buyers could help keep the market stable.

“If they see some give in the price, this may help fuel the market and serve as a counterbalance,” Ms. Olshan said.

Many brokers already have strong connections with overseas buyers, and they may look to strengthen their ties. But it’s too soon to tell if international customers will come out ahead, brokers said.

California is in a similar boat, said Selma Hepp, chief economist at California-based Pacific Union International, adding that the “impact could be devastating” for many in the San Francisco Bay Area and Major Cities like Los Angeles

“Just how much impact it will have is hard to tell. But taking the deductions away will be pretty substantial. It adds up quickly,” she said. “If you own a $3 million property, you could be paying almost $90,000 in state and local taxes,” she said. “With the $10,000 cap, that’s an $80,000 difference in your deductions.”

Less incentive to move

Another big change for individuals is the lowering of the mortgage deduction, which the National Association of Realtors said is “a direct threat to homeowners and consumers. Not only would millions of homeowners not benefit from the proposal, many would get a tax increase,” according to a statement from the organization in early December. “Additionally, homeowners could lose substantial equity from the more than 10% drop in home values likely to result.”

The association was somewhat appeased when the final bill raised the final deduction amount to the interest on the first $750,000 borrowed. That was increased from the House bill, which had the cap at $500,000, but not as much as the current $1 million allowance.

Many upper-middle class homeowners probably breathed a sigh of relief with that change. Ms. Hepp said most income groups stand to lose, but Bay Area households making between $100,000 and $200,000 would be the most severely impacted.

It isn’t as much of a worry for high-worth households. Most true luxury homes—over $3 million b Ms. Hepp’s measure —have always been beyond the deduction. Plus, luxury buyers are more likely to pay in cash, she added.

Existing mortgages will be grandfathered in, with the lower deduction applying to new loans. That might give people less incentive to move. In addition, Ms. Hepp said, the change in the rules regulating capital gains could slow the market even further. Currently, households can exclude up to $500,000 in capital gains from the sale of a home if they’ve lived there two out of the last five years. The new bill requires people to have lived at the home for five of the last eight years.

“This is going to add a lock-in effect,” Ms. Hepp said. With homeowners staying put instead of trading up, there could be an inventory issue in some markets.

Posted in Real Estate News
Nov. 22, 2017

Festive Fall Recipes - Quick, Easy and Delicious

Not sure what to serve at your Thanksgiving party? Here are a few of our favorite signature dishes that won't break the bank or have you spending all day in the kitchen:

Appetizers:

cranberry dessert

Cranberry Brie Bites

ingredients directions

MUFFIN TIN DEVILED EGGS:

deviled eggs deviled eggs recipe

For the full recipe, visit: http://bzfd.it/2tNJAzap

Posted in Miscellaneous
Nov. 21, 2017

Style Up Your Thanksgiving Holiday Party

thanksgiving recipe

As we prepare to eat well, share kindness, and give thanks- Be the hostess with the mostess this holiday season and host your Thanksgiving in style with these easy and creative tips that will leave your guests wondering how you pulled it off!

Evergreen Name Place Cards:

place cards

Use a sleek linen style paper and then add a touch of the outdoors, then you're good-to-go! All you have to do is a keep a few sprigs of Rosemary from your stuffing recipe to thread through your seating arrangement cards.

Corn Husk Wreath:

place cards

Who knew a wreath made of corn husk's could look so chic!

Faux Pumpkins:

pumpkins

An easy, affordable and stylish pumpkin that you never have to throw away at the end of the season.

All Natural, But Far From Ordinary:

herbs

For an all natural look, incorporate natural linens, woven string, a touch of green, and a cinnamon stick for a timeless rustic design.

Pumpkin-up your Platter

pumpkin platter

Want an easy way to add some fall flavor to your charcuterie spread? Use mini pumpkins as holders to help label your delicious spread.

Everyone Loves A Touch of Glitter

glitter

When the only thing prettier than color-changing fall leaves, are ones coated in glitter and hung with love.

Monochrome Masterpiece:

monochrome

Not sure how to style your Thanksgiving centerpiece? Go monochrome and bring out all the white pieces you can source. Another easy and affordable way to achieve this look is a trip to your local dollar store and some white spray paint. All-white never looked so good!

End Your Party With A Bang

party ender

Style your guest with a To-Go Box that never looked so good. Use mini-containers to assemble the perfect to-go meal for leftovers. This will surely leave a lasting impression on your guests!

Posted in Miscellaneous
Sept. 21, 2017

How Much Is My Home Worth in the South Bay Beach Cities

How Much is your home worth in the South Bay Beach Cities? If you are planning on selling your home, that is a question you need have answered. As your local South Bay Real Estate Expert, I can help you find the right answer to that question. Or you can find out instantly using our property valuation tool

We will personally do the research on your behalf and provide you with a detailed Free Market Analysis. Please feel free to take a few moments to complete the basic information below: Or, if you prefer, please feel free to give me a call directly at 310-809-4875.

Posted in Home Value
Sept. 20, 2017

4 Simple Things to Avoid When Remodeling your Kitchen

Your kitchen is the focal point of the home and where families spend most of their time. The kitchen is also one area of the home that sees the most wear and tear. Think about all the water, heat, and food spills that can add up quickly. Whether you are thinking about remodeling your kitchen or are in the market to purchase a new home, it’s important to focus on quality and lasting appeal. Here are a few things you should look out for and avoid at all cost:

kitchen remodel

Cheap Laminate Countertops: The bottom rung of laminate is extremely susceptible to wear and tear. It can melt easily if you forget to place a hot pad under a pan that’s fresh out of the oven and the edges can chip off from repeated exposure to moisture and heat. The longevity of laminate is not ideal, so in order to avoid redoing countertops every few years, we suggest avoiding laminate.

Flat Paint: A flat or matte finish is great in rooms with lower traffic, but it’s a bad idea in the kitchen where the walls are regularly exposed to splatters and spills. You need paint that can withstand an occasional heavy scrubbing, so opt for gloss or semi-gloss finishes.

Trendy Backsplash: If you watch any home remodeling show, you’ll certainly see kitchens with expensive, elaborate backsplash designs and materials. Those trends can be pricey to pursue and can look dated in a hurry. Subway tile is a cheaper, classic option that you’ll never regret, plus you’ll have more room in your budget to purchase quality materials to be used elsewhere.

new kitchen

Cheap Flooring: Just like the countertops, your kitchen floor needs to be strong enough to take on some tough wear and tear. Cheap flooring easily scuffs and peels (especially from moisture). Quality flooring is well worth the investment and will look 10x better.

Posted in Home Remodelling
Sept. 7, 2017

Have You Ever Considered Purchasing a Home in the South Bay Beach Cities

Have you ever considered moving to beautiful the South Bay Beach Cities? The South Bay is a is an extremely desirable Southern California area with close proximity to LAX, the ocean and all that Los Angeles has to offer. The South Bay boasts a variety of local landmarks, excellently rated schools, beaches, parks and much much more. Take a look at some of the most popular searches in the South Bay Beach Cities and the surrounding areas.

See: Homes for Sale in the South Bay Beach Cities

Not quite the location that you are looking for? That is okay. Through our website you can search for the exact home you are looking for in the exact city, county or community you are looking for. Search for your perfect home, in the perfect location by taking advantage of my Advanced Search tool built directly into this website.

Posted in Real Estate Advice
Aug. 17, 2017

Find Your Dream Home in the South Bay Beach Cities

There are so many different areas and homes out there for families to choose from. Do I want to live in the South Bay Beach Cities area? Or maybe you want to find a home in the South Bay Beach Cities area of Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach. How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need? Do you need a large back yard? A small backyard? Do I even need, or want, a yard at all? Don’t even get me started on the front yard and curb appeal. Hardwood floors, tile, carpet. There are so many things to consider when looking for your dream home. How, then, do you find the right home for you?

The answer is to put us to work for you. That is what I do for my clients. Completing my basic Dream Home Finder we can immediately go to work for you. Of course, you can take advantage of my Quick Search and my Advanced Search tools to surf through all the homes for sale in the South Bay Beach Cities or the surrounding areas. By completing the Dream Home Finder, we can use additional resources at our disposal to locate homes for sale that may not be available to the public or may be advertised off market. In addition you are a busy individual and our passion is to work for you to find that dream home and take the hassle out of the home buying process. By working together as a team with your dreams and our resources, finding that dream home is only one tour away.

Posted in Real Estate Search
July 31, 2017

Curious About Local Real Estate?

Receive the Latest Local Market Stats

Curious about local real estate? So are we! Every month we review trends in our real estate market and consider the number of homes on the market in each price tier, the amount of time particular homes have been listed for sale, specific neighborhood trends, the median price and square footage of each home sold and so much more. We’d love to invite you to do the same!

Get Local Market Reports Sent Directly to You

You can sign up here to receive your own market report, delivered as often as you like! It contains current information on pending, active and just sold properties so you can see actual homes in your neighborhood. You can review your area on a larger scale, as well, by refining your search to include properties across the city or county. As you notice price and size trends, please contact us for clarification or to have any questions answered.

We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.