Sunday, March 9, 2014
Unit 8 at 2720 Gramercy Av in Old Torrance. Their final purchase price was $438,000 and more on that in a bit.
This 1204 sq ft unit was rather unique in that it started out as a 2 bedroom but is now a 3 bedroom. The original floorplan had one bedroom with a full bath downstairs and one bedroom with a full bath and loft upstairs. The upstairs loft was nicely finished off, with a closet to create a third bedroom.
The end unit property is located in the back of the complex, overlooks the pool and I belieev was a great deal at $438,000. The price point throughout Torrance seems to be moving up as inventory of all kinds of properties remains light.
A little bit about pricing.
We're seeing two startegies from listing agents right now. One is to price properties right at or slightly below the market in order to get multiple offers above the asking price in the first 10 days. I think that's a great strategy and have successfully used in on a number of recent listings.
I also see agents pricing on what I see as the "appreciation" or "supply and demand" model. At least that's what I call it. Other people call it "OP" or overpriced, lol. There's been a number of new listings coming out that have no support, and I mean none for the list price.
Here's my point.
In an appreciationg market, sellers and listing agents are better served letting the market determine the sell price rather than arbitrarily increasing prices the public won't support.
Gramercy was initially listed ahead of the curve (in my humble opinion) and as a result a perectly good property sat on the market for too long and my clients were able to secure it at a great price. I have a similar situation evolving in North Redondo Beach on a Golden Hills property that I am also representing the buyers on. More on that at another time on another website!
Listing Broker RE/MAX. Selling Broker Shorewood Realtors. MLS PV13241618.
Friday, March 7, 2014
This may be a very good sign of things to come: 14 homes closed escrow in a short 28 day month. Sales activity was strong in all price ranges from $405K for a 1 bedroom, 1 bath at 1600 Ardmore up to a high of $2.75M for a SFR house at 339 28th St. Nine of the 14 sales took place at or above the list price.
As usual, a lot of the activity was in the Hermosa Beach Sand Section with 5 homes changing hands there. A surprising 5 homes were sold in the Hermosa Valley neighborhood which typically does not have a lot of tunrover. The Hermosa Hills or East Hermosa had 4 sales recorded. That neighborhood was particularly hot last year.
Five townhomes were sold, of which 4 were detached, 1 condo, and 8 SFRs. The median was about $1.344. Nine properties sold between $1m and $2M. No doubt there is a lot more to choose from in that price range in Hermosa than in Manhattan Beach. Now on to my favorite part of all this: my favorites (in no particular order).
1627 Golden, Hermosa Beach: if you've been reading my blogs you know I'm going to like this. It's new and modern and very much reminds me of my sale last year at 123 Bayview. This detached ocean view townhouse is in the East Hermosa Hills north of Aviation Blvd and just east of Prospect. It was completed in 2013. Great kitchen, massive outdoor deck, high end featurs such as sanded and polished concrete floors (downstairs), French Oak in the great room, 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, 2900 sq ft. Listed for $1.79M. Closed escrow at $1.7M exactly. Listing Broker Shorewood Realtors. Selling Agent Keller Williams Beach Cities. MLS SB13231150.
I think that the buyer got a reasonable deal on 1225 Corona, also north of Aviation in East Hermosa Beach. At $880K, basically that's North Redondo Beach "Tall & Skinny" pricing in Hermosa. Nice. FYI, this property was initially listed at $829K. It sold above list price in 8 days.
Listed and sold for $1,950,000. Listing Broker NWRE. Selling agent Shorewood Realtors.
I've skipped some other I like such as the townhouse at the Moorings and the single family home at 1050 1st St because I've written about those previously on www.90254realestate.com.
Saturday, March 1, 2014
Two Million, Two Hundred and Twenty Five Thousand Dollars. Yes, that's a tongue twister. $2,225,000. At least for me. Here's what I can tell you about this 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath SFR built in 2006.
"Location, location, location PLUS amazing unobstructed panoramic ocean views from Catalina to Malibu and almost as good as new. Located in the heart of Hermosa Beach, this amazing beach house is just steps from the Sand, Strand, Pier Plaza, jogging, fun, surfing, biking, volleyball, and all the restaurants. Light maple floors, 3 natural stone decks, granite & marble counter tops throughout, 2 fireplaces, home entertainment system wired for flat screen TVs, surround sound, lightening fast fiber optics, central vacuum, telephone intercom, and a tankless water heater. Gourmet kitchen w/top of the line stainless steel appliances. Kitchen opens to a great room built for entertaining w/high ceiling and an amazing ocean view plus rooftop deck. Master bedroom and bath w/ocean view, private deck, fireplace, walk in closet, oversize shower, and Jacuzzi tub. List price includes the home automation system, heaters on roof deck, sound system, washer dryer, all kitchen appliances and more. This is the house for the beach lifestyle you want. Views, views, and more views. Don't let the location fool you - the house is quiet and peaceful inside but once you step out you are in the heart of Downtown Hermosa Beach! This is the one you have been waiting for - don't miss out."
We're not planning any public open houses so if you want to see this one, contact me.
Sunday, February 23, 2014
How much do homes sell for in Redondo Beach CA? Well that depends on whether you are thinking of buying in North or South Redondo Beach, what you are thinking of buying, how old the property is and in what condition and a variety of other factors. In general, consider $400K the entry point and $650,000-$850,000 the "sweet spot" with the greatest value and number of choices. While you can spend over $1M for a home in some Redondo Beach neighborhoods, for the most part there is a lot to choose from under $1 million. And if you go over $1M in Redondo Beach, you'll love what you can buy. (Mouse over any of the house icons above to view prices. Click to go to Socalistings.)
Therefore, most homes in Redondo Beach are less expensive than what you will find in Hermosa Beach and definitely more affordable than Manhattan Beach CA. Historically, Redondo Beach has been the least expensive of the Beach Cities. In the opinion of this writer, Redondo Beach offers some of the best coastal home values in LA County. In my Real Estate practice, I often work with buyers relocating either from the Westside or other parts of the country to Redondo Beach for the affordability, lifestyle, schools, and proximity to freeways, beaches, restaurants and other amenities.
Inventory of available housing for sale in Redondo Beach CA 90277-90278 has been low over the past 18 months and prices have increased, often substantially. Whether you are buying or selling Redondo Beach real estate it is imperative to work with a well connected local real estate agent who can best advise you as to the local market.
The least expensive homes in Redondo Beach are either relatively small condos or properties at the borders, ie Redondo Beach mailing address but in actuality Torrance (which isn't necessarily a bad thing either).
If you are looking to buy a small condo on a budget, you will most likely look at either Brookside Village or "The Village" in South Redondo Beach 90277. These are two entirely different complexes with "The Village" located just north of the Redondo Beach Pier at the ocean and Brookside Village further inland at the intersection of Prospect and Camino Real. Most of these units are flat "condo" style properties although both complexes do feature townhome style units as well.
These are great first time buyer properties and many have been retained as rental units after the owners move on to other homes. That not only makes these two complexes great affordable housing today, they are also great investment properties for the future.
Brookside Village (map right) is a massive sprawling complex with 385 units spread over 32 buildings. There are 2 tennis courts and 2 pools and the grounds have lush landscaping, fountains, and winding brooks, hence the name.
You can most likely find a 1 bedroom 1 bath unit, approximately 700 sq ft in the low to mid $300's. For a 2 bedroom units you are are more likely to pay over $400K. Add in HOA dues to that of about $400 month.
At "The Village" (pictured top) aka "The Village Condominiums and Townhomes" you can also find one bedroom condos in the $400K range and you will most likely have some ocean view or at least an ocean peak. Two bedroom units have recently sold for mid $500's and new listings of remodeled units are closer to $600K. Depending on which building you may be buying a condo in, HOA dues can be as high as $500 in some instances.
In North Redondo Beach 90278 you can still find 2 bedroom townhouse style condo units 900-1400 sq ft around $500K +/-. If you move to the mid $5's there are some smaller 3 bedrooms available. Many of these might back up to the power lines that run throughout MLS Area 151-152 or be on busier streets such as Grant or in the 2700 block and closer to Inglewood Ave. (Please note - there are also some 55+ age restricted building that may show up in lower price ranges.)
What you will almost certainly find is that many of the smaller units in North Redondo Beach are in larger complexes and they may have higher HOA dues (approximately $350 in some instances) than some of the larger and more expensive units we'll discuss below.At today's currently low interest rates, you can buy a lot more home for an extra $350 per month payment if you qualify.
South Redondo Beach but there are far fewer.)
Three on a lot townhomes come in both 3 and 4 bedroom floorplans and can be anywhere from about 1500 sq ft up to slightly over 2000 sq ft for the newest 4 bedroom units. Expect to pay between $650-$750K for newer (post 1999) "A" or "C" units (front or rear) and slightly less for the middle or "B" units. The middle units tend to sell for a little bit less because they have 2 common walls and no yard.
Most of the newer projects have "exclusive use" front and rear yards. I have seen some older 3 on a lots where the rear yard is not designated as exclusive use. FYI, if you are buying a rear unit property please note that the "extra" parking space typically found near the rear unit is designated as a "guest" spot and is not meant for the exclusive use of the rear unit. Depending on the neighbors that rule may or may not be enforced.
Many of these 3 on a lots have "inactive" HOAs. That means that there are no formal meetings or monthly dues. What many homeowners do is simply split the bills as they come in (insurance, gardening, maintenance, etc.) If you are buying, my advice is to make sure that your lender understands and can accommodate this. Inactive HOAs are great as long as you have good neighbors and you do not need to make any major repairs (roof, common area). Some of the older units may not have water metered separately. Most will have individual trash cans but some will have the older "dumpster" style. Those are other considerations to take into account.
What I am hearing from my builder associates is that there are very few R-3 lots left to develop. For my money, that makes most of these townhomes excellent investments because we probably will not be seeing many more new projects. As it currently stands, 3 on a lots are already some of the best deals in the Beach Cities.
I mentioned that 3 on a lot townhomes are available in 3 or 4 bedroom configurations. Probably over 90% of these units are "reverse flooplan" with the living room, dining, room, kitchen and master bedroom upstairs and 2 bedrooms downstairs. The 4 bedroom foorplan places a second bedroom upstairs and may or may not have a full second bathroom as well. There are a few "standard" floorplan 3 on a lot townhomes mostly found in MLS Area 152 and right around Perry Park. these were built by AGAR and have great upstairs space in the 'A" and "B" units but most buyers tend to find the downstairs somewhat cramped.
The other variation in 3 on a lot townhomes is whether the driveway is shared or there is direct access to the garage. The units on the East-West Streets have shared driveways (most common) while the North-South streets such as Felton, Phelan, Perkins, have direct access driveways. Two of these are pictured below (the Perkins Ln properties I sold).
We're just getting started in this series which will continue with further posts covering North vs South price comparisons and amenities, 2 on a lot attached and detached townhomes, the neighborhoods of Golden Hills and Hollywood Riviera, and Single Family Homes for Sale.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
MARKET HEADED TOWARD MORE BALANCE
There have only been 4 new listings the week of February 10th and 2 of those went into escrow virtually immediately: 1608 Herrin in the Golden Hills and 2706 Carnegie Lane Unit C. That leaves only 2502 Vanderbilt Lane and 1719 Goodman Ave as the only new listings. Its kind of a curious coincidence that all the activity was in the east end of MLS Area 152 and The Golden Hills (Area 154). Go figure.
So, right now we are sitting at available inventory of 54 homes for sale in North Redondo Beach, 64 in escrow (MLS status Pending or Backup), but only 33 homes sold so far this year (29 in January and 4 in February). View current active MLS listings on the search map below (updates in real time).
Hopefully this is the lull before the storm. While it is somewhat beneficial to see more balance in the market, ie inventory approaching 2 months on hand rather than just one, we are well behind last year's pace of 500 sales. If sellers do not believe that they can sell for the price they want, most will not list their homes unless they are "have to sell" (divorce, death, relocation, illness, job loss, foreclosure, etc.) In fact, of the 4 new sales, the listing on Carnegie is a probate sale so at least 25% of the new listings have fallen into this category.
If there is a silver lining in this for sellers, it is that 13 properties went into escrow over the past 5 days indicating that buyers are plentiful and there is still strong demand. Of the 13 new pendings, 8 of the homes were on the market for less than 30 days and 7 for less than 15 DOM. Please note, the prices you see below are the last list price in the MLS and not the contract price. We will not know the final sales price until the escrows close.
There were the two sales that closed the week of February the 10th. I think they both are a good indication of where the market is at right now.
The "sweet spot" for buyers is still between about $675-$875K. If you have a 3 bedroom home to sell for under $650K, you will get a ton of activity if it is priced right. Two bedrooms under $500K are also in high demand. Townhomes, particularly 4 bedroom 3 on a lots are in high demand as are 3 bedroom rear "C" units. Anything built after 2000 that is in good condition is also finding a market rather quickly. It also feels as if there is an insatiable demand for Golden Hills properties.
If you've been reading my Buyer's Frequently Asked Questions series, here's part 2 of the video version.
OPEN HOUSES FOR SUNDAY FEBRUARY 16th
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