Manhattan Beach, CA Real Estate News

By Justin Reese
(JRealty)
I recently got a call from a client/ developer who was upset because he spent $1.4 million on abeautiful house that is now worth about $1 million.  The property is currently rented and earning $4,500 per month.  This is a client with a lot of cash and generally doesn't require many loans.  He asked me for advice and I told him the following: "I don't recommend you even think about the costs that went into the property.  That is a completely sunk cost which should have no bearing on future decisions.  Instead, the ONLY question you should ask your self should be, 'can I get a better return on the $1 if I take it out of this property and put it into something else?"  I would argue that the answer is most definitely"YES"; you can get better returns by taking your money out of Westlawn and ...
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By Mary Thomas BH,MB,HB, PV, Estates LA+, Mary C. Thomas Your Agent around the Globe
( Remax Estates Properties)
According to a recent new Law by the Federal Reserve Board, the appraisal market has been hit with lower fees and new appraisal rulings.1.Appraisal Fees that the Banks are charged have been reduced from $400.00 to $200.00. Which means that the Quality Appraisers are leaving the market since they will not reduce their income by 50%. 2. If an appraisal comes in low by an appraiser the bank can only have 2 appraisals and they have to take the lower one.The result is that the banks do not have enough appraisers to process the current loans so we are being advised to Lengthen our contingency times to 25 days since no closings are happening prior to 45 days and if you have a low appraisal from an inexperienced appraiser you must go and apply with a new bank to get a new appraisal.Which since ...
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By Blake and Diana Roberts
(Shorewood Realtors)
We have buyers looking, maybe it's your home they're after   We are working with several buyers who are not finding the home they are looking for, but they are all extremely motivated, non the less. Because this blog is visited by as many real estate agents as it is by sellers and buyers, I thought I'd broadcast a few of our current client wants and needs. If you are a home owner or agent and have something coming to market that is a near fit to any of the following descriptions, please let me know asap. click here to send me an email <<--   Number One | The Smith's  Looking for something with a modern and/or architectual flair. An example home they liked is 560 36th in Manhattan Beach. The Smith's would prefer to buy something that doesn't require too much work, but they care more abo...
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By Blake and Diana Roberts
(Shorewood Realtors)
Just moving to Manhattan Beach or long time resident, the following link is provided by the city and should do a really good job of helping to answer most of your questions related to establish services such as: water  electricity  gas  cable TV  telephone  trash pick up city sewer service  Want to reach your Manhattan Beach utility, cable or other service provider, <<---click here 
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By Kaye Thomas, e-PRO, Manhattan Beach CA
(Real Estate West)
Manhattan Confidential, our local consumer blog, posted an article today about the decline in sales in Manhattan Beach and the Beach Cities. The post points out two things... the number of sales began to decline in 2002- 2003 ( higher prices mean fewer sales) and 2006 was when buyers started saying no and the market started cooling. Fast forward to 2009 and we have a real estate market that is trying to recover from a lousy economy and a tough lending market. Yet with all the chaos of the last few years prices, with a few exceptions, are still on the high side.The issue for many Beach Cities' buyers is that while prices have fallen a lot in Manhattan, Hermosa and Redondo; they don't seem to be down as much as many believe they should be. Every news source is telling potential buyers tha...
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By Keith Kyle, Top Producing Agent
(Vista Sotheby's International)
Gone are the days in which homes on The Strand would sell before ever hitting the market.  Even these oceanfront homes, the epitome of South Bay living, have been impacted by the real estate slowdown.  There are currently13 oceanfront homes on the market with another home currently in escrow and one new construction "off market" home located at 3516 in Manhattan Beach with over 5600 square feet and scheduled for completion this summer.  With inventories of prime oceanfront properties so high, there are opportunities in both Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach.  These homes are the very best in South Bay living.  To keep updated on the current inventory visit www.SouthBayOceanfront.com or contact us at oceanfront@KeithKyleHomes.com.  Keith Kyle is a licensed Realtor and e-Pro with South Ba...
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By Kaye Thomas, e-PRO, Manhattan Beach CA
(Real Estate West)
Wouldn't you know it.. just as the California real estate market starts to show a few signs of stabilizing... the Feds throw a wrench in the works. Fannie and Freddie, in their infinite wisdom, have made some major Mortgage loan changes for townhome/condominium buyers who are looking at properties with loans under $729,750. In the South Bay- Beach Cities that means entry level properties in Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach and El Segundo. It will hit buyers of 55+ units in Redondo, Torrance and Palos Verdes who are looking for a loan. It will affect people buying entry level ( $725,750 or less) townhomes/condominiums in all the South Bay. Want to buy a small unit as a vacation property along the Esplanade... it will cost you more. How much more depends on a number of facto...
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By Kaye Thomas, e-PRO, Manhattan Beach CA
(Real Estate West)
While the media argues about where the California real estate market is headed and rumors of massive foreclosures are whispered about on blogs; there are actually a few folks who are buying homes. Over the last few weeks in all the South Bay-Beach Cities escrows have been opened and sales have closed. Two factors are fueling the slight rise in sales... price and interest rates. In 2006 a lot of folks dropped out of the Beach Cities housing market and have been quietly sitting on the sidelines waiting for the market to turn. Others sold homes a year or two years ago and have been renting. Some are tired of renting and want a home of their own. Others got married, divorced or had a new addition to the family. Contrary to popular opinion they have excellent credit and they didn't lose a l...
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By Keith Kyle, Top Producing Agent
(Vista Sotheby's International)
With prices in the South Bay becoming more affordable and interest rates at historic lows, more buyers are deciding that the time is now to purchase a home.  In the current market many buyers are more focused on finding a "deal" than finding a great home.  They approach me hoping to find these  bargains that they've heard about and are concentrating solely on the foreclosure market.   It's understandable as the news and headlines (as well as some sales pitches from realtors, internet companies, etc) are all touting finding these homes as a simple process and a get rich quick scenario. They make it sound simple to find a home and buy a home that's way below market value.  So is this the best approach and is this the reality in the South Bay?    While searching for distressed homes can be...
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By Kaye Thomas, e-PRO, Manhattan Beach CA
(Real Estate West)
While the South Bay-Beach Cities have managed to stay above water better then other parts of the state there are a number of homeowners who are finding themselves in trouble and need some help with their home loan. Not all of us paid cash for an ocean view home in Manhattan, Hermosa or South Redondo. Many folks looking at the troubled California housing market feel as if they are jumping from the frying pan into the fire when considering their options. However there may just be a little help from the FEDS. There are a number of homeowners who bought with 10%-15% down in Redondo, El Segundo, Torrance and other South Bay communities who now find themselves owing more then the value of the property as prices have declined over the last 3 years. Job losses along with the normal problems fol...
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If you are thinking of buying a property or refinancing your South Bay-Beach Cities home there are 6 things you should know about the current financial market. While almost everyone knows that lenders have tightened their rules about making loans; most people really don't quite understand what that means when they are shopping a loan for a purchase or a refinance. If the only real estate loans you have obtained have been within the last 7 years... you may be in for a shock. The rules have changed drastically from a few years ago. The Beach Cities have seen conforming loan limits raised to $729,750 but these loans, known as conforming Jumbo loans, have a higher rate then loans under $417,000. If you want a jumbo loan (over $729,750) you will need a big down payment along with excellent ...
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By Mori Biener
(South Bay Brokers)
So I’m in this great big house with a termite inspector. You know you could fit five of my houses in this house, says the termite guy. I’m excited now! You have five houses? I could do a market analysis for you…No, no, no, five of my houses could fit in this space here, he explains pointing to the space. Why is it when people try to explain themselves, they say the same thing over again? But somehow I got it. Wait a minute, I say, you mean you could fit your house in this house five times, right? The brain’s ticking…yea that’s it; I got a tiny house. Termite guys! You know, he says as he completes his notes, there is no access to the attic. That’s because there is no attic, I answer confidently. But I can’t get up there to search for wood destroying pests, he answers. Right, I exclaim i...
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By Mori Biener
(South Bay Brokers)
So I’m running into my spinning class at the gym in order to get a bike next to Betsy, who sources tell me is thinking of putting her house on the market, but I find her surrounded by three other Realtors; so much for my networking prowess. I grab the bike behind her and already I’m hearing these Realtors hitting on my client. OK, she’s not my client…yet…but I was visualizing. Betsy’s real nice, in her mid 50’s and the best spinner in the class cause she spends half her life in the gym and she’s been a gym buddy over the years. I can get you a market analysis this afternoon, would 2 o’clock or 4 be good for you, says one agent while wiping sweat off her brow with a wet towel. Very original, I’m thinking. You can do it people!, yells Alice the torture instructor, as I call her, while the...
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By Mori Biener
(South Bay Brokers)
So I’m walking my dogs and I get a call. I’d like to ask you some questions about your Artesia listing, the realtor says. I answer, what would you like to know? She says, well, how many bedrooms does it have? I say, don’t you have the mls listing? I lost it and I’m in a hurry, she answers gruffly. OK…well I hate to say this but one of the dogs just pooped and I have to pick it up…can you hang on? This is ridiculous, she blurts out, I’m in a hurry! Just hang on, I plead. Moments later, I’m back and I tell her it has 2 bedrooms and 2 ½ baths. What color is the master bedroom, she asks with what I can only image is a straight face. What! Are you serious? My clients hate mauve, she responds. Well…I hate to say this but…my other dog pooped. But I need to ask you more questions, she says in a...
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By Kaye Thomas, e-PRO, Manhattan Beach CA
(Real Estate West)
Amid all the hoopla about the $7500..nope $15,00... make that an $8,000 tax credit... there was almost no mention about reinstating the hybrid conforming loan limits back to $729,750 from $625,000. This is good news for South Bay-Beach home buyers and owners who want to refinance existing loans.The final tax credit will have a limited impact on our market because of limits on income and local home prices. Increasing the conforming loan limits however will have an impact on our Beach Cities real estate markets. Last year in the short time frame these loans existed(July-Nov.), a number of buyers took advantage of them. While the rates on these loans are slightly higher then rates on loans under $417,000 they are usually considerably lower then those on Jumbo loans... and much easier to o...
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By Lisa Marie Flenoury, "Lisa The Broker" - Making Dreams Come True
("Lisa The Broker")
For the past month I have changed my exercise routine from 100% cardio to Hot Yoga.  It is yoga in a 105 degree room with 40% humidity.  The warmth of the room causes profuse sweating allowing the body to release toxins and increase its flexability.  There are 26 postures of deep stretching, 2 breathing exercises and the class is 90 minutes.  I am so addicted!  The Instructors at the Manhattan Beach Studio are "THE BEST". I have been going every other day and have immediately recognized a change.   I am a newbie, please share your experience. Are you familiar? have you tried it? What do you think?  
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By Keith Kyle, Top Producing Agent
(Vista Sotheby's International)
The number of short sales and bank owned homescontinue to rise in January with 12 homes now active on the MLS.  The homes are almost all single family with the townhome at 311 Aviation Place being the exception.  While Manhattan and Hermosa have been fairly immune to the foreclosure market in the past the difficulty of obtaining jumbo loans has made for a slow market and price reductions.  See below to view the current distressed properties in Manhattan Beach.   Keith Kyle is a licensed Realtor and e-Pro with South Bay Brokers in Manhattan Beach.  He serves his clients throughout the South Bay and his websites KeithKyleHomes.com and FindYourSouthBayHome.comoffer the most comprehensive real estate websites in the South Bay with free MLS access, current home listings, open houses, recent ...
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By Mary Thomas BH,MB,HB, PV, Estates LA+, Mary C. Thomas Your Agent around the Globe
( Remax Estates Properties)
My Clients are and how. My clients are leaving me much needed gratuity in this market and that makes the long days and grueling hours more bearable. Unfortunately, our personal life and families are suffering right now but this is the life if you want to make ends meet. I am finally seeing a light in the end of the tunnel. The trick is finding a niche in this market that my fellow realtors is just luck and law of persistence. How many times have you heard the saying lately that you have to work 5 times harder in this market to make the same money? I said it and then I was shocked to hear it this week 3 more times. So what do you do? Well, anyone who is a buyer/seller or Landlord/Tenant these days see how hard we are working for them. I have never had more thank you's and compliments abo...
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By Mori Biener
(South Bay Brokers)
So I'm on brokers open houses this past Friday and it's time to have a looksee at a $10 mil house in the ritzy Hill Section of Manhattan Beach...my favorite fantasy dream house...and this house was great!; large, modern indoor/outdoor living with panoramic views of the Pacific to dye for. I'm walking around in my socks (shouldn't streak that gorgeous expensive wood floor), stuffing my face with a gourmet sandwich, imagining my being the suave head of the house. That sandwich is melting in my mouth as I walk down the wooden steps, WHEN NEXT THING I KNOW I'm sliding down stair after wooden stair on my side and landing flat on my ass with the sandwich extending upright in my mouth. You OK?, everybody's asking. Wawawawa, I say because I'm in shock and just lying there frozen with that damne...
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By Kaye Thomas, e-PRO, Manhattan Beach CA
(Real Estate West)
Will $15K make a difference to home sales in the South Bay-Beach Cities of Los Angeles County? The U.S. Senate in an effort to customize their version of the Bailout Bill and add a few more perks the House missed, voted to give home buyers a credit of 10% of the sale price or a maximum of $15,000 on a home purchase. Of course the bill is not actually a done deal... It has to go back to The House and then be signed by The President before it takes effect. Right now I'm guessing the bill will be changed along the way and won't be ready for consumers anytime soon... if ever. Unlike the previous version of a $7500 tax credit that must be paid back..the new bill will not require buyers to reimburse the government...ie taxpayers... for the money. I understand the idea behind the bill but onc...
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