"Palos Verdes Resident since 1947"

November 2018 Newsletter

Dear Neighbor:

Did you know that Rancho Palos Verdes ranked #8 among the 50 safest cities in California according to SafeWise?  They calculate based upon the number of crimes (robberies, murders, etc) per 1000 inhabitants.  So not only do we have wonderful schools, climate, restaurants, scenery, and isolation from the rest of LA, but you’re extremely likely to enjoy it all in safety.

The real estate market continues to be rather flat price-wise.  Real estate cycles tend to last from 7 to 10 years, and this one is well into year 10.  Speaking anecdotally from out here in the trenches, housing prices have not gone up in over a year and as I mentioned last time, the market is showing signs to going into a “correction” which, in practical terms, means a price decline.  Even the normally optimistic California Association of Realtors can’t ignore the evidence and is predicting a “slowdown”.  They are saying it will happen in 2019, but such statistics-based analyses are always behind actual events since they deal with closed escrows 60-180 days after the actual sale.  Since I last wrote, this prediction has worked its way into the media (which will affect buyers), so I say again, if you’re planning to sell in the next couple of years and are not immediately buying another house in Southern California, you would do well to consider selling now rather than a year from now.  While the price you get today may not be what you expected, most people with their ear to the ground will tell you that it will look pretty good a year from now.  Bear in mind that prices had quite a run-up from 2015 thru Spring of 2017, and are still close to their all-time highs.  My parents, who built our first house in Valmonte in 1949 for $12,000 (including the lot) simply would not believe it.

I’m probably going to get into trouble for saying this, but I think the agent you hire to sell your house should be more than a messenger, especially for what they make on selling it.  The attorneys generally don’t agree with me, taking the position that if you demonstrate any expertise in construction, finance, the sales contract (!) or just about anything else, you are incurring potential liability in the event that something goes awry in one of these areas.  The attorneys, of course, are only looking at the downside risk, generally without balancing that against the benefits of the services a Realtor should provide.  Personally, I think an agent should know something about those things, as they are directly related to selling houses, which is what you’re paying the agent for.  As opposed to just putting houses in escrow and figuring some will actually close, I am personally involved in every aspect of every escrow.  As a specific example, I attend the inspections on all my listings.  I have a complete tool kit with me and have been known to fix items that the inspector finds, partly because I know how to do it, but also to demonstrate to the buyer that some of the “defects” he might think are serious, really aren’t.  As another example, I currently have a house in escrow on which I found the buyer (who is not my client) his loan not only on my listing, but also an equity line on his current house, which is allowing him to buy my listing.  This kind of knowledge and involvement can make a big difference not only in how smoothly your sale goes, but in getting it into escrow in the first place.

About the time you receive this, I will have a really nice 2711 square foot 6 bedroom 3 full bath home coming up at 4630 Browndeer Lane, near the Peninsula Center.  It is completely remodeled and has a kitchen to die for.  Give me a call at 310 613-1076 for this or anything else you want to discuss.  I look forward to hearing from you.

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