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Monday
Nov122012

I'm thinking it's hard to buy a home

Inventory is down...death, divorce, job loss or job transfer are the only forces driving the market.  Very few listings, but lots of anxious buyers INCLUDING investors with LOTS of cash.

Friday
Sep072012

Watch out for Mini-Carmagedden

The 405 will be closed from the 101 south to Getty Center Drive at 11 pm on Saturday, September 8, 2012, to Sunday morning at 9 am.

STAY AWAY!!!

Tuesday
Jun122012

Skirball Off Ramp Closures on Father's Day Weekend and Beyond

Posted June 12, 2012

Roadway paving work on the west side of the reconstructed Skirball Bridge

ATTENTION COMMUTERS, RESIDENTS, AND BUSINESSES IN
THE VICINITY OF THE SAN DIEGO FREEWAY (I-405) AND
SKIRBALL CENTER DRIVE


The contractor will perform roadway paving work on the west side of the
reconstructed Skirball Bridge that will require the closure of the southbound
Skirball off-ramp over the next two weekends of June 15 - 18 and June 22 - 25.
The closure of the southbound Skirball off-ramp on both weekends will begin at
7:00 pm on Friday and end at 6:00 am on Monday.

What: Roadway paving work on the west side of the Skirball Bridge
requiring two weekend closures of the southbound Skirball off-ramp.

When: The closure will occur on June 15 - 18 and June 22 – 25 and will begin
at 7:00 pm on Friday and end at 6:00 am on Monday of both
weekends

Where: Skirball Center Dr Bridge

What to Expect: 

-Emergency access will be maintained at all times.

- Please note that the work is weather permitting and subject to change.

- For a listing of daily closures and latest updates visit our website at
www.metro.net/405 or follow us on twitter: twitter.com/I_405 and
Facebook at facebook.com/405project

 
Thursday
Mar152012

Does The Housing Market Feel Different Lately?

If you follow the real state market closely, you have probably noticed a subtle "shift" in the market.  Instead of seeing the foreclosed properties flood the market (as some predicted), we're seeing just the opposite.  Banks are working with home owners to help them keep their houses or cooperating with them in the short sale process. However, "standard sales" -- those not in foreclosure -- seem few and far between, and when good properties do become available with a price that reflects its reasonable current market value, it will sell with multiple offers.

Why is that?

There are a number of factors contributing to this phenomena.

First, if someone doesn't have to sell right now, they don't.  Their perception is that we are "at the bottom of the market or close to it" and no one wants to sell unless they have to.  The four major reasons that property owners make the decision to sell at this juncture are death, divorce, job loss or job transfer.  Three of the four are brought about by tragedy and the last is a necessary evil if one doesn't want to be an absentee landlord. Therefore, the inventory of homes for sale is relatively tight.  A "normal" market usually reflects 5 to 7 months of inventory (defined by the length of time it would take to sell all the listed houses on the market, if nothing new were to come available). In Sherman Oaks, the inventory is currently 2 1/2 months.

What happened to the trade up market?

For generations, Californians bought and sold homes every 7.2 years working their way to that "family residence" in a comfortable neighborhood. Now, we seem to be content to stay put and simply upgrade the kitchen or bathroom, replace the furnace or slather on a new coat of paint. Consumer confidence has hit a low point and that influences the amount of risk people are willing to take...and taking on a larger mortgage is more risk. This, combined with the stringent qualification measures required by the lenders, has reduced the demand in the upper end of the market.  We find ourselves in a rare low supply/low demand scenario which almost never occurs simultaneously.

Low inventory, high investor demand for low-end properties, historically low interest rates, highly restrictive loan qualifications, high unemployment and low consumer confidence all combine to produce a very unpredictable market.  That is a lot of highs and lows.

Tuesday
Jan102012

Let's go down to the MAC store.

My wife's MacBook died today.

She needs the machine to run her class and report to the LAUSD.

We called the MAC store at around 6pm and were told they didn't have any appointments left for the evening, so we decided to go and "fly standby."

Within moments of arrival, the greeter had us sitting at the Genius Bar waiting for an available tech.  Fifteen minutes later, a "Mac Genius" sidled up to the bar and resurrected the aging MacBook with the precision of a heart surgeon and the ego of Gandhi. "Let me run a couple more test to make sure this won't happen to you again," he whispered. 

When he was done, a simple smile crossed his face, "You're good, no charge." And my wife's enthusiasm nearly turned to passion. 

Nicely done "New Millennium Rock Star."