Upcoming County Development and Via Marina Construction

We would like to keep you all informed on the upcoming construction that will be happening around the marina due to the Marina del Rey 18-Inch Waterline Replacement Phase IIIB project.

The project involves the construction of approximately 5,950 linear feet of new 18-inch diameter steel pipeline to replace the existing, aged, and undersized 10 and 14 inch-diameter water mains along Via Marina from Marquesas Way to Bora Bora Way, and along Fiji Way from Admiralty Way to the end of Fiji Way. All fire hydrants and customer service connections will be improved as well.

Marina-del-rey-project-2014

For Map Legend Please Visit: http://dpw.lacounty.gov/pdd/marinadelrey/

The purpose of the project is to improve the Marina del Rey Water System to meet domestic and fire protection water demands more effectively.  This project is the fourth and final part of a multi-phase plan to replace the existing Marina del Rey Water System.

Barring unforeseen circumstances, the construction dates will be as follows:

Construction Start:    December 15, 2014
Construction End:     August 2015
Construction Hours:  Monday – Friday, 8:00am – 5:00pm

A portion of the Fisherman’s Village parking lot will be used as a staging area for construction, but an overflow parking lot located directly across the street will be available for patron use throughout construction.

Also, please note that construction activities may cause traffic delays between the hours of 8:00am – 5:00pm, Monday through Friday.  One lane will be open at all times for motorists along Via Marina and Fiji Way for the duration of the project and flagmen will direct traffic when needed.  For the safety of everyone, please exercise caution while in the vicinity of all construction activities by observing all traffic controls and flagmen.

Along with traffic control, the Marvin Braude bike path located along Fiji Way will be rerouted throughout construction.  All cyclists will be directed to cross the intersection of Admiralty Way and Fiji Way to use temporary bike path lanes located along the outer northbound lane of Fiji Way, and the detour will end at the terminus of Fiji Way.  Please note tha the temporary bike lane detour will have two directions of bicycle traffic riding on the outer northbound lane.  Signage will be posted to indicate all closures and detours.

For more details, please click here for the project flyer or visit the Marina del Rey Infrastructure Program website at http://dpw.lacounty.gov/go/mdr

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Winter Real Estate: A Time For Hibernation or Not?

Everybody knows that winter is a dead time for real estate. Or is It?

At least that’s the widely held belief. But national statistical studies suggest it’s not necessarily the case. Winter can be a surprisingly advantageous time to list, shop, negotiate and/or buy.

According to real estate website Redfin and their two year study if you want to sell for more than your asking price, listing in December, January, February and March gives you a better chance on average than if you list any time from June through November. In 2012, December listings produced the highest percentage of above-asking sales for the entire year — 17%.

If your goal is to sell relatively quickly, February “is historically the best month to list, with an average of 66% of homes listed then selling within 90 days,” according to Redfin. In the two-year study completed last December, researchers found that in each of 19 major markets, including cold-weather cities such as Boston and Chicago, “home sellers were better off listing their homes in the winter than during any other season.”

Researchers are quick to note that the advantages of listing in winter compared with other seasons are not huge. But the fact that winter produces at least competitive or better results by some measures should encourage some potential sellers to get into the game sooner rather than later.

Nela Richardson, chief economist for Redfin, said “that shoppers who are active during the winter months are serious buyers. Most people are not window-shopping in December and January, as many do in the spring months.”

Quick Tip: Some sellers pull their unsold houses off the market during the winter, hoping for better results in the spring. By doing so, they leave a smaller inventory of active listings therefore lessening the competition among sellers who list in January and February.

Winter-season buyers may find some sellers more flexible about negotiations over prices and terms than they would be during the middle of the spring. Mary Bayat, a broker active in the Washington, D.C., market and chairwoman-elect of the Northern Virginia Assn. of Realtors, said that in the last few weeks she has participated in three deals involving sellers who were far more open to negotiations than they had been months ago.

Quick Tip #2: Real estate does not hibernate from December through March. More than 5 million homes are resold annually in the U.S., and many of them are listed and sold during the winter months.

In strong local housing markets such as Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, Seattle, Austin, Boston and Washington, D.C., the likelihood of selling your home within 180 days is highest when you list during the winter months compared with any other season, according to Redfin’s 2013 study.

Winter is warmer for real estate than you might think.

U.S. Home Sellers Return for Spring 2014

Last year we experienced an extremely low inventory for listings in our area. However, the properties that were up for sale had such high demand that the values of these few listings skyrocketed. Now, as the market’s busiest season approaches, those increasing values are spurring more listings as homeowners regain equity lost in the crash. The supply increase is poised to damp price gains while high mortgage rates cut into demand.

According to Jed Kolko of SF-Based Trulia, “prices won’t be rising as much as they were rising last spring. It will be a less frantic market with more inventory and fewer investors.”

Inventory rose most in some of the tightest areas, from Arizona and California and Georgia to Florida, where leaps in prices erased negative equity and encourage homeowners to lock in profits. (Realtor.com)

Paul Diggle of Capital Economics Ltd. has stated that prices nationwide will climb 4 percent this year compared to 2013’s expected 11 percent gain. Increasing mortgage rates also will weigh on prices because the higher costs will push some buyers out of the market, while forcing others to look for cheaper deals.

Capital Economics Ltd. projects 30-year fixed mortgage rates of 5 percent by the end of the year. (Compare that to 4.31%, which is this week’s national average.) Rates will climb as the Federal Reserve scales back bond purchases that have bolstered the housing recovering by holding borrowing costs down.

We saw an uncharacteristic increase in listings at the beginning of the year, due to the fact that homeowners are getting a jump on the spring selling season and listing their properties earlier than usual. According to an agent from Redfin, Paul Reid, sellers are “nervous about what the spring is going to bring. They don’t know if everybody will list this spring then you’ll have a big counterbalance toward too much inventory, or if there’ll be a crunch again.

First time buyers accounted for 27 percent of completed home purchases in December, down from 30 percent a year earlier. This may be due to the fact that adjustable-rate mortgages may not be an option because of stricter lending standards adopted after the housing crash.

 An increase in supply would indicate the housing market is moving toward more normal conditions as it rebounds from the five-year slump that started to turn around in 2012.

Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics Inc., states “inventories had been very, very low and still are despite this turnaround. It’s part of the process toward normalization, although the weakening in demand needs to be watched very carefully if demand does not pick up in the spring, that’s going to call into question the strength of any recovery.”

Buyers of existing homes will face less competition from investors, who have caused shortages in many areas. Bulk purchases will start to slow as the foreclosure crisis fades and bargains disappear.

 

Seven Most Popular Styles of Homes

While countless people know that a single family home with a yard will cost more than a studio apartment, many of those people don’t know that the style of the house also has a large affect on the price. 24/7 Wall Street received data from the real estate site Trulia.com that gave insight to the popularity of different home styles around the country. The following is a breakdown of the most popular home styles across the country and respective prices.

Due to the free market nature of our country, countless styles of houses have been created throughout history. The style of house also depends largely on what area of the country you live. Colonial and Federal Revival styles homes are found more in the Northeast, Victorian homes are popular on the West Coast, and Ranch-style homes are found throughout the U.S..

Most Popular Home Style Categorized By Average Price:

  1. Mediterranean | $1,315,177 | Most Popular Between 1920 and 1930
  2. Tudor | $588,327 | Most Popular in the 1930s
  3. Colonial | $457,026 | Most Popular in the Late 1800s
  4. Victorian | $431,009 | Most Popular Between 1860 and 1900
  5. Split Level | $295,529 | Most Popular in the 1950s
  6. Ranch | $228,140 | Most Popular Between 1945 and 1970
  7. Bungalow | $163,578 | Most Popular Between 1880 and 1930

Each home style has their own unique characteristics and features that led to them being popular in a certain eras.

Buying a Fixer-Upper for your first home. Is it right for you?

Are you a first time home buyer?

If you said yes, you may be considering purchasing a fixer upper. However, there may be some things that you don’t know. Here are the major ins and outs of buying a fixer upper.

Purchasing a fixer-upper can be a good option because the price will be lower. But you must keep in mind that fixer-upper homes come with flaws and some can be huge. Foreclosures and short sales can offer better prices if you can deal with potential maintenance needs.

Many first-time home buyers only calculate the mortgage, down-payment, homeowners’ association dues, property taxes, and other hard costs. However, being the inexperienced home buyers that they are they tend to neglect factoring in the everyday repairs and maintenance for the property. Things like a new water heater, stove, microwave, central heating/air conditioning systems, washer/dryer and dishwasher repairs and even plumbing and roof repairs. While some of these systems may be in decent condition when you move in, a year or so down the road they will need to be repaired. When they do, the added costs can put a strain on homeowners’ monthly budget.

With this in mind, buying a fixer-upper for your first home can be a great way to get into the real estate market at a good price. However, you must understand the repairs the home will need before you buy. Things to consider include how much you’ll save by buying a fixer-upper versus what you’ll need to spend to make it livable, how old the home is, who will do the repairs, and how much patience you have for this project.

Location, Location, Location! You must come to terms with the necessities of a first home. On one hand you can buy a brand new home that is done up to the nines but it is in a horrible location and then later nobody wants it. On the other hand you can buy an okay or fixer-upper home in an ideal location, and suddenly it’s worth millions. So, when shopping for a fixer-upper, be very careful to survey the neighborhood and make sure it’s in a location that is worth spending your time and money to fix.

You need to carefully study the cost and savings of buying a fixer-upper. Get a home inspection to ensure you understand the basic repairs and maintenance needs. If there are problems with the home, make sure you consult with experts to give you an idea about how much the repairs will likely cost. Very Important >> Be sure to consider the age of the home. If a home is very old, it may have some charm but it will most likely have a lot of nightmare issues that aren’t always easy to spot. This can be things like plumbing or electric wiring issues, lack of insulation, structural or foundation problems, etc. You don’t have to steer clear of an older home but you NEED to do your homework first.

Find a good, and trustworthy, handyman to help you go through the problems of an older home so they can help you understand the things that will need to be fixed.

Have patience! Remodeling and even just making minor repairs can take longer than you think. Remember you chose a fixer-upper to save money.

No go out and buy that first home!