Thanks to my latest daily addiction the Skimm (along with coffee and Veronica Mars DVDs), I have gotten heavily into quotes. If all goes as planned I will be posting weekly quotes that have anything to do with houses, real estate, community, etc.
"The best investment on earth is earth." -Louis Glickman
While Mr. Glickman resided in New York City not La Canada Flintridge, his sentiment resonates in our market. In the era of serial house flipping, all the new cabinetry and quartz counters are transient fixtures on the real investment, the dirt that they are sitting on.
We have 38 active listings in La Canada, compared to 40 at the same time last year. New and notable:
4811 Vineta is a bit tired though great location north of Houseman. 1210 Descanso looks good. Great location and lot. 2001 Tondolea last sold 9/13 for $1,180,000. It has been reimagined with the help of local architect Dave DeAngelis and shows well. 3972 Alta Vista is amazing. It's one of those houses that I have walked by for years. It was a 1966 showcase house and still has remnants of that. Grand rooms. Beautiful property.
5233 La Canada Blvd. had multiple offers and sold $200,000 over the asking price. 1117 Sheraton last sold in 2009 for $1,080,000. It has a newer kitchen, but funky layout and almost no backyard. 4531 Alta Canyada was previously leased for $4700 per month. 1323 Green has a challenging floor plan and confusing drainage behind the house. 4352 Beulah had 12 offers. Truly a special house.
There are 32 active listings on the market in LCF. Based on sales the last 2 months of 2014, we have just under 6.5 weeks of inventory. Interest rates are crazy low and buyers are lining up in the hopes of being the winning bidder...heartbreaking really. If you are thinking about diving into the oh-so-crowded home buyer waters, here are a few things to consider:
I know it feels yucky. Being a buyer sort of stinks right now. If you lose one to another buyer hit refresh and head to the next open house. Good luck out there!
Happy 2015! While the market seems so bleak with itty-bitty inventory, we are level with this time last year. 2014 was not so bad for La Canada Flintridge with 259 sales. At the low end we had 2000 Ahlin, a tiny place near the freeway that sold for $625,000. at 1092 square feet, it closed for $572 per square foot. On the high side, we had 814 Berkshire closing for $7,700,000. At a comfortable 8308 square feet, this one closed for $927 per square foot. So much for my theory that smaller homes sell for a higher price per square foot! At the end of the day, location and lot size reign and weigh heavily on the price per square foot of the structure.
I clearly did not major in economics...yet I do think we will remain in a seller's market in the coming months. Inventory will stay low and it comes down to supply and demand. I think we will see a slow trickle of houses being listed, enough to give the growing buyer pool hope yet not enough love to go around. Stay strong! Your house is out there....roll up your sleeves and be ready to fight for what may be yours. Get pre-approved, as far as you can get without an appraisal and preliminary title report and gather as much cash as you possibly can. Compared with 2006 when a 20% down was strong, buyers are coming in with buckets of money, no loan or appraisal contingency. Yes, the market is inflated and risky but hind sight is 20/20. All of a sudden prices paid at the high of spring 2007 are looking like good deals. If you are in it for the long haul, don't worry so much. I can think of countless homes Greg and I passed on for the same reason. Now we laugh. A house on lower Commonwealth for $670,000? I know I am old when I think like this but it was like...15 years ago. Now what is it worth? Food for thought.
Hope to see you at 4352 Beulah on Sunday from 1:00-4:00. One of my favorite Flintridge houses and one of the last 1930's homes standing in LCF!
480 N. Arroyo Blvd, Pasadena - Starts at 10 am
This cute kid celebration mimics a grown-up New Year's Eve fete but counts down to a balloon drop at noon rather than midnight. Little ones can make party hats and noise makers together beforehand, dance to live music and sip on sparkling cider to welcome in the "noon" year.
New Years Eve in Grand Park
The whole family is welcome to ring in the New Year at LA’s Grand Park. Find 3D projections covering 22 stories of City Hall, art installations, live feed of the Times Square Ball Drop.
6 p.m.-midnight. 200 N. Grand Ave., downtown, 213.972.8080. grandparkla.org
Carnival at the Hall: New Years Eve with Sergio Mendes and Sheila E.
Celebrate the New Year with the tropical samba grooves of Sergio Mendes and the feisty percussion pop of Sheila E., plus Brazilian dancers. Performances at 7 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S Grand Ave., downtown. laphil.com
New Year's Toast to Live Music at New Moon Restaurant, Montrose
Shelby Beef and Chinese Chicken Salad servings start at 4 p.m. at New Moon Restaurant. Live music from 7 to 10 p.m. and the bar and lounge will stay open until the clock strikes midnight.
New Moon Restaurant is located at 2138 Verdugo Blvd., Montrose. To make a dinner reservation, call (818) 249-4393.
Or have an Indoor Picnic, Watch the Ball Drop at Midnight on TV ......enjoy a family favorite movie, then watch the Pasadena Rose Parada the next morning .........
For a new holiday lights experience head to the LA Zoo for Zoo Lights. Stroll though areas of the Zoo that are transformed into a wonderland populated by glowing light animals. Santa and real reindeer too!
Christmas Tree Lane in Altadena (Santa Rosa Avenue, between Woodbury Avenue and Altadena Drive) is the oldest large-scale Christmas lighting spectacle in the United States and just minutes from La Canada.
http://www.christmastreelane.net/ for more info.
Photo credits: lazoolights.com and christmastreelane.net
Wow! Only 31 active listings in La Canada this week. 3 of them are new:
5233 Bubbling Well last sold in late 2012 for $975,000. The current owners have renovated the kitchen and enclosed a breezeway (without permit) for additional square footage. They have also had plans drawn and approved for an expansion. While it is hard to look at the house in its current state and justify the price, it is a large piece of land in a great, quiet location. If you are looking for views 680 Wendover may be for you. Nice newer home with spectacular views. 742 Greenridge last sold in 2006 for $4,550,000. The current price seems very reasonable given that even our high end has recovered from the crash.
10 homes have closed in the last week in La Canada. 2 of my favorites are:
1925 Tondolea. The house last sold in 2009 for $2,600,000. At the time it seemed to everyone that it was a very high price (safe to say the buyer overpaid based on 2009 market conditions). The backyard was renovated and sport court was added. The current sale price reflects a mid-to-high average price for newer homes in the high end. 4323 Fairlawn also last sold in 2009, yet at a much lower price of $2,400,000 (this after selling brand new in 2007 for $3,100,000). The price increase of a little more than 20% from 2009 was expected.
The market is slowing in anticipation of the holidays. I was able to take a few days off and join my daughter's class in the Time Capsule field trip. PCY and PCR have their own versions of this trip. A bus ride to Mission San Juan Capistrano for a tour, followed by a couple of nights at the Lazy W Ranch learning about Native Americans and how to live off the land. The kids learned about reptiles, natural predators and even weather...how to take a moisture reading!
In spite of the rain and the change of plans that led us to sleeping on the floor at the Ocean Institute in Dana Point, I am left with even more gratitude that we live in such an amazing community. We are blessed.