Things always find a way of working themselves out no matter the circumstances. Even if you think you’ve found the perfect home, but things don’t work out, just know that there’s something even better just around the corner! I’m committed to being an advocate for my clients, and helping you throughout the entire process. It’s what I’m here for!
Los Angeles is a seemingly eternal expanse of concrete and asphalt. This urban environment retains a rich, diverse culture that stretches back hundreds of eventful years. It’s beauty in the form of beaches, bricks, colors, and people combines to create a spectacular mosaic.
It is undoubtedly a city, but LA’s sheer openness differentiates itself from places like Seattle, Chicago, and New York. Those places are built tall and centralized, while LA is vast and largely open. The many neighborhoods that make up LA all have their own personality, here is a guide to the best of them:
Find Everything You Need Downtown
Although LA is not known for its skyline, skyscrapers can be found in the downtown area. But the real beauty of Los Angeles is the expansive nature of the city.
However, while you’re in the area, you have to see Walt Disney Concert Hall in the heart of downtown. Spanning over three and a half acres, the stainless steel exterior speaks to the creative spirit that is so evident in this city. The venue is an iconic Los Angeles landmark and a dream to play in for musicians all over the world.
If you prefer to sip cocktails while reliving your childhood, head on over to EightyTwo. This massive arcade bar has over 50 rotating classic games and offers quality drinks at a reasonable price. Sushi lovers should be sure to swing through Little Tokyo just around the block for rotary sushi on the way home.
Find Out the Local’s Version of Hollywood in WeHo and NoHo
Hollywood is normally depicted as the haven for the world’s stars and a place where paparazzi prey. However, the reality is that it’s a tourist trap and entirely underwhelming. Get away from the crowds and experience Los Angeles’ true Hollywood in WeHo (West Hollywood) and NoHo (North Hollywood).
The trimmed palms and well manicured lawns of WeHo reflect the polished nature that the area embraces so well. It is the home luxury shopping, high-end clubs, and the largest LGBTQ community in LA. It is almost impossible to not have a good time here, the atmosphere is entirely friendly and constantly upbeat. While in the area, try to control your laughter at the Comedy Store, both Jim Carrey and Robin Williams got their start performing here.
NoHo is the artistic hub of LA. It’s here that you’ll find writers, actors, directors, and dancers all congregated around indie theaters talking about their last performance or audition. The night scene here is also fun and diverse. The Federal Bar, a gourmet gastro pub converted from an old bank, is a must see. Tasting the Latino flavors of street vendors around the neighborhood is also a great idea.
Experience the Radiating Energy of Venice Beach
Venice Beach is home to the world famous Muscle Beach and possibly the most exciting boardwalk on the West Coast. It also has canals designed to mimic the Italian waterways from where it derives its name. Loud and vibrant, Venice Beach is capable of broadcasting its energy across the city.
The walk-up beach bars, hundreds of murals, and surf shops are emblematic of the carefree SoCal attitude that so many visitors wish to immerse themselves. The area’s energy is unique and extremely infective. It’s one of those places that leaves a lasting impression on every visitor.
Fall in Love With the Santa Monica Pier
Just up the beach you’ll find Santa Monica. It stands in fairly stark contrast to Venice, boasting a quieter lifestyle and a picturesque California beach. But how could we forget about the world famous Santa Monica Pier?
The pier is the thing to see while visiting. You’ll want to get here with an empty stomach as it has restaurants offering everything from seafood that was caught that day and authentic Italian food. You’ll forget all about the gorgeous beach below as you continue to indulge in the succulent samples of fresh, buttery lobster and the refreshing tastes of tequila margaritas offered at the pier. There’s even an amusement park located right above the crashing surf.
As you can see, this city is comprised of many different neighborhoods all with their own unique personality. Whether you’re looking for a gut busting laugh, delicious seafood, or beautiful beaches, Los Angeles has all you could ask for. The only question left to ask is, when are you coming out to experience everything the City of Angels has to offer?
Home prices in Los Angeles are quickly getting out of reach for many residents, according to a new report from the California Association of Realtors. It finds that just one in four residents of LA County make enough to afford a median-priced home in the area.
The association’s Housing Affordability Index shows that a typical LA County home cost $553,330 in the fourth quarter of 2017. With property taxes and insurance factored in, that comes out to a monthly payment of $2,790 for buyers (assuming they put down a 20 percent down payment).
Given those figures, prospective homebuyers need a salary of $111,730 (based on household income) to make those payments without becoming cost-burdened—meaning that more than 30 percent of income goes toward housing. Unfortunately for most people, 75 percent of LA County residents don’t earn that much.
Historic data shows it’s gotten much harder to afford an LA home in recent years. As recently as the first quarter of 2012, more than half of residents took home the required income to purchase a home in the area. Since then, though, prices have risen dramatically and incomes haven’t quite caught up.
In the wider Los Angeles metropolitan area, a salary of $53,780 was required to buy a median-priced home in 2012—compared to $100,210 today.
The outlook is a little better if you’re a first time buyer looking for a starter house. With a median price of $470,330, starter homes in LA County are affordable to 43 percent of residents. Of course, they’ll first have to save up for a hefty $94,066 down payment (after that, payments are $2,400 per month).
Not surprisingly, the report finds that homes in LA are far less affordable than they are nationwide. Across the country, buyers need a yearly income of $50,040 to purchase a typical home (median price: $247,800). That means that buying is still within reach for 56 percent of Americans.
If only more of those affordable homes were in LA.
But what about apartments for rent in LA and the rest of the country? If you can’t afford in LA, should you look at other options in smaller cities, maybe even the Midwest? According to ABODO, a city like Minneapolis shows apartments that are renting for almost $1,200. So, how is that any better than LA, when the same company shows rents are for just a few hundred dollars more.
Renting or owning, it’s all expensive, especially in the City of Angels.
Some the features that increase property values are obvious-like a remodeled bathroom, a modern kitchen, or a sought-after neighborhood. But here are a few features and circumstances you have not have realized can affect property values.
- The neighbors: Not every neighborhood or community has an HOA that can keep the neighbors from going overboard with decorations or neglecting to care for their home. Homes adjacent to crazy neighbors can potentially be undervalued.
- Trendy groceries and coffee: Recent statistics suggest that if your home is a short walk from popular grocery stores like Whole Foods or coffee chains like Starbucks, it can actually appreciate faster than the national average.
- Mature trees: A big beautiful tree in the front yard is enviable, and it's not something that can be easily added to any home. Homes with mature trees tend to get a little boost in value.
- Parking: This isn't too much of an issue if you live in the suburbs or in a rural area, but residents in dense cities can have real problems with parking, and homeowners might need to rent a spot just to guarantee a place to park each night. That's why having guaranteed parking in urban areas will raise property values.
- The front entrance: First impressions matter to buyers-many will cross a home off their list within 10 seconds of stepping through the front door. An appealing front door, a friendly entryway, and a functioning doorbell are all necessities for getting top dollar.
Painting Your Own Home: Tips to Make the Process Painless
While it’s might seem easier to hire professionals to paint the house, but with a little research you can find the job is not as intimidating as it seems. With a few free days set aside and some preparation, painting one room (or multiple) is easily doable for anyone. Here are a few things to consider before you start.
Apply a Primer Coat
Preparation entails most of the painting process. It’s easy to become frustrated during the preparation stage, because prepping to paint can take longer than the actual painting component of the project.
Interior walls aren’t always perfect, and painting the walls is a perfect opportunity to fix those imperfections. If you’re using a putty or a filler to patch holes, the paint will react differently to those substances than it will the wall itself. The solution here is to prime your walls, so the new paint color has a uniform surface to adhere to. It’s one simple step that doesn’t seem like much, but could end up saving you a whole lot of work at the end of the process.
Factor in taping time
Taping up the room is tedious work, but will be worth it when you don’t have to waste time being ultra-careful or nervous when getting close to edges. Instead of trying to take the tape off while the paint is still dry, wait at least 24 hours for the paint to dry, and use a knife to slice the tape off at the edge. If the paint is still even a little wet or gummy, don’t continue. Make sure the knife is sharp enough and pull the tape away at a 45-degree angle, making sure not to rip the paint.
Set up with clean-up in mind
To protect floors, a drop cloth is a necessity. In some cases, cotton or canvas drop clothes can work better than plastic. Plastic drop cloths can be slippery and don’t easily stay in place, especially when ladders are involved. Any splatters or drips of paint that fall onto a plastic drop cloth won’t dry or absorb right away and can be easily tracked throughout the rest of your house. A canvas or cotton drop cloth will be more stable and will protect the floors better. Tape the edges of the drop cloth to the tops of the trim to protect both the floor and the trims from any splattering or dripping paint.
Work top down
Not only does it prevent drips from ruining anything you’ve already painted, but it keeps the walls and baseboards free of any dust or debris from sticking to wet trim. Paint the ceiling first, move to the walls and possible crown moldings. Only then should you move to any trims around windows or doors and finish with the baseboards. Not only will this keep a system in place to ensure there’s no questioning what’s been painted and what hasn’t, but it’ll keep things clean.
Check thickness of previous paint layers
Cracks on an exterior paint job don’t reflect the owner’s best intentions and should be fixed before the damage is too much to fix. Too thick of a layer of paint means that the paint might just be too heavy to stay, and will start to crack and to peel off. It loses its grip and can’t attach to the other layers of paint. In older homes, it’s likely that some of those layers of paint have lead in them, in which case you’ll need to look into how to remove it safely. The EPA has guidelines here. This could be the one step that requires you to outsource, if the layer of paint is extremely thick, because removing it completely (and correctly) will ensure the next coat of paint will attach correctly. Hiring a home washing company can help you identify these cracks in exterior paint as well. If anything, have the exterior of your home professionally power washed, so the paint will have a clean surface to adhere to.
Using these tips, ideally the house-painting process will be doable for anyone. Prepare yourself to set aside time for set-up, knowing that it will help when you’re done painting and ready to clean up. Instead of hiring painting professionals, save some money for decorating and tackle the job yourself.
Curious to know how much your Southern California home is worth! Get an instant report now! www.CaliOnTheMove.com
Bio: Matt Lawler is an Internet marketing specialist from Tempe, Arizona where he attended Arizona State University. Whenever he can step away from the computer, Matt enjoys playing sports, traveling and exploring the great outdoors. Follow him on Twitter.
Laura Key, REALTOR® Cal BRE 01908085 310-866-8422 Laura.A.Key@gmail.com www.KeyCaliforniaHomes.com
When you are purchasing a home you will come across many different "types" of sales. Short-Sales, Stand, HUD, Trust, REO...it can be confusing. This broadcast will look into the terms and untangle the mystery.
If you are in the Los Angeles area, I would love the opportunity to earn your business.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hf7vgVU_IGs&w=420&h=315] Did you know most people choose a Realtor by spinning the wheel of fortune? When you are buying a home, you really should take the time to interview agents to help your buying experience the most enjoyable as it can be.
Did you know not all agents work the same? Some don't work weekends, some don't want to work with buyers, some only work certain hours of the day, some are part time, etc. But how will this benefit you when you are working hard to find the home of your dreams.
Interviewing agents is a extremely important part of successfully buying a home.
Enjoy the above Periscope broadcast to learn a few things when choosing a Realtor! (recorded March 19, 2016)
Please note I have a correction: If an agent tells you they will not let you out of a buyer's agency, please think long and hard before signing.
The “KEY” to your real estate dreams!
Lots of Los Angeles Real Estate Agents want to be stars as big as the celebrities they cater to. Me? I just want to help people find the homes that make them happy and help them to create a sanctuary for future dreams and lasting memories.
Laura Key 310-866-8422 Laura.A.Key@gmail.com Cal BRE #01908085
The recovery in home prices this year is prompting banks to sell off their REO inventory at a brisker pace. Sales of bank-owned homes made up 10 percent of residential sales in November, the third consecutive month for increases in REO sales, RealtyTrac reports.
"Lenders are taking advantage of this environment to unload more of their bank-owned inventory and in-foreclosure inventory at the foreclosure auction," says RealtyTrac's Daren Blomquist. "But as the backlog of distressed inventory available dries up in many of the markets with the most efficient foreclosure processes — namely California, Arizona, and Nevada, with Georgia not far behind — overall sales volume is declining and will continue to do so until more nondistressed sellers enter the market."
Rick Sharga, executive vice president at Auction.com, says his company is “seeing more properties sold at trustee sales, and we are seeing more properties that are coming from servicers priced to sell at trustee sales.”
Previously, mortgage servicers would put foreclosed homes up for sale at the full value of the loan, CNBC reports. However, those homes would often land back at the bank as investors sought larger discounts. “Ironically, as prices are rising, servicers are discounting the homes more,” CNBC reports.
Start your home search out RIGHT! Access homes from a direct source! Text LKHOMES to 87778 today or go to http://87778.mobi/LKHOMES Available on iPad/Tablet/Smartphones
Source: “Sales of bank-owned homes surge,” CNBC (Dec. 20, 2013)
Laura Key - the Ultimate Answer to All Real Estate Needs
In the world of cut throat competition and greed where every penny is considered precious, Laura Key uses her heart while doing business. The real estate specialist has decided to donate $100 in her client’s name after the closing of every deal.
Los Angeles, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/13/2013 -- Everybody has heard of real estate agents who brag about finding homes for celebrities, later using that as a tool to promote themselves and increase business. But, Laura Key is a REALTOR® with a difference, she is not only one of the most competent realtors that one can find around the Los Angeles and Beverly Hills area, but one of the very few realtors who has an inclination towards social service.
She has decided to donate $100 to one of the five non profitable organizations in the area, every time she closes an escrow- that too in the client’s name! Inspired by the popular quote- “Charity begins at home, but should not end there.” By Thomas Fuller, she makes sure that she is fulfilling her social responsibilities and returning a percentage of what she takes from it.
Making a business deal with Laura Key is one of the most convenient things to do. Unlike her competition, she is a professional who will provide her personal touch to understand every requirement that her client has. Her mobile application enables the users to find homes without having to compromise much on their busy lifestyles. They can find new homes or homes for sale from wherever at any given point in time. Her objective is to make sure that her clients have found their dream home where they can make memories at an affordable price. Her prices are genuine and the services that she provides are worth much more.
About Laura Key A prominent name in business for over seven years, Laura Key is a prominent name in the real estate business. She is a compassionate, enthusiastic and dedicated woman who will happily go the extra mile to make sure that her clients are satisfied with the outcomes of the deal that they strike with her. She understands that a home has a lot of sentimental value to the inhabitants and look at it as a place for solace, peace and comfort.
Find your next home with me! Instant and free access to the MLS! Text LKHOMES to 87778 or visit http://87778.mobi/LKHOMES! Available on Smartphones and Tablets!
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Working from home can be beneficial! Hope these tips help! Need a home checkup? Call me Laura Key 310.866.8422
The number of home owners who work from home at least one day a week increased nearly 10 percent — from 9.5 million to 13.4 million — between 1999 and 2010, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. However, only 3.4 million home owners claimed deductions for business use of a home in 2010, according to the IRS.
The IRS recently announced a new safe harbor provision for home office deductions for the 2013 tax year.
“This allows at-home workers the option to simply take a deduction capped at $1,500 per year based on $5 a square foot for up to 300 square feet,” FOX Business reported. “The requirement that home office space be exclusively used for business and limitations on income earned from that business still applies, and direct business expenses unrelated to the home (advertising, supplies and wages paid to employees, etc.) are fully deductible.”
"The home office deduction is one of the most misunderstood and abused deductions out there," says Margaret Munro, a tax consultant, about the changes. "If you have a valid home office, you take the deduction because you shouldn't be paying tax on money that you're using for your business."
For more information on the deduction, visit the IRS Web site.
Source: “IRS' Simpler Home Tax Deduction Cuts Through the Clutter,” FOX Business (July 24, 2013)