Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Reality of Bank Owned Properties in Long Beach

With the increase in foreclosures many people think tha the banks are just giving them away. I mean, really, where is that ocean view home in Long Beach or Palos Verdes for $200,000? The bank is hurting and needs to get rid of it...right?


For those who are bringing up fond memories of "helping" the bank back in the day times have certainly changed. Although I am sure the banks are not happy with their current inventory of homes, they are certainly not giving them away.

When the bank listens to the listing agents they hire, the properties are priced so aggressively they often get multiple offers. A bank owned condo here in Downtown Long Beach, actually received 25 offers! It was priced at about 60% of what similar properties were going for in the building and that resulted in quite a bit of activity. With that many offers, you can be assured that someone got a discount, but they weren't stealing the deal.


The reality is that the real estate market is an open, informed market, like that of eBay. With MLS systems easily available to the public, agents and consumers are able to spot the DEALS quickly and go after them. In the 1990's information didn't travel as quickly so deals often stayed on the market for some time.

Get Hunting

I am not saying any of this to discourage getting a great deal on a bank owned property, as we certainly have helped our clients to get some great deals. I am suggesting that you take some time to understand the market you are looking in, whether that be Long Beach real estate, or another city.

Know that for right now, here are some of the items to consider:

  • If it's a new listing from the bank it's unlikely they will give more than a 5% discount
  • The properties are sold "as-is" so don't expect repairs
  • Be patient - not every bank owned property is a great deal, understand how it compares to traditional re-sales in the area

Have fun shopping for your bank owned property here in Long Beach and please feel free to use our FREE Long Beach MLS to keep track of the market.

Related Posts:

Long Beach Bank Owned Multi-Units

Bank Owned Properties Hit Belmont Park

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

California Home Sale Price Medians By City For June 2008

Here is the latest and greatest on home sale activity for the entire state of California including comparisons from June of 2007. This is a great snapshot of how things are holding price wise and the amount of inventory that's actually moving.

Click Here To Get The Report

Reserve Your Condo at Blu with No Risk

Have you ever wanted to own a brand new condo in Long Beach but weren't sure if you could afford it? Well now is your time. The brand new condo development in downtown, blu, is presenting a wonderful opportunity for many buyers who were previously not able to afford a brand new condo.

So what exactly is blu doing to make it so easy on buyers? Well the are offering incentives to make sure that buyer not only gets the property they want but can also afford it.

They are offering incentives such as:

  • Credits for HOA
  • Credits for Upgrades to Your Unit that can be used to upgrade flooring or other items
  • Credits to be used toward the cost of your loan
  • Flexible financing

So how is all of this done with literally $0 of risk? Currently Blu does not have their white paper from the state of California so they can't sell you a unit at the moment and have you move in 30 days later. You can however reserve your unit with a deposit fee and be able to get the unit that you want.

How do you make sure you get the best deal possible when looking to purchase at Blu? Make sure that you go with your real estate professional so they can negotiate on your behalf. You want a representative on your site to make sure that you get every credit that you deserve.

If you don't have a real estate professional you are working with now we are happy to help you and you can fill out the contact form and we will be happy to assist you. If you need assistance immediately please call us at 562-989-7111 and we will be happy to help.

If you are looking for more information on brand new condos in Long Beach and in particular the blu condo development please visit our site at and we will be happy to assist you.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Is the Home Owners Relief Act to little too late?

There are many home owners, not just those with long beach real estate, that have been facing tough issues with their homes and their home loans. The government for the state of California has been working to pass a bill that would help the home owners and not hurt the banks at the same time. This is obviously a delicate balance act.

The act that was passed is called SB1137. So what does SB1137 mean to those who are facing foreclosure? Well it means that lenders now will be required to attempt a workout with you prior to being foreclosed upon.

The bill basically mandates that the lenders or servicing companies attempt to work out with the home owners their loan 60 days prior to issuing a notice of default. So is this really a new process? The vast majority of lenders and service company's were doing this anyway. This law puts the process as mandatory for those who weren't doing it on their own.

The bill also provides additional protection for tenants who are living in properties facing foreclosure and gives them 60 days to vacate a property instead of the traditional 30 days.

I hope that more lenders choose to work things out with home owners who want to stay and work hard with those who want to proceed with a short sale as having a city full of foreclosed properties isn't good for current home owners, future home owners, or the banks.

More information on the bill can be found at the California Progress Report website.

If you want to know how many short sales or foreclosures exist in your neighborhood check out our free mls or use the contact form provided and we will e-mail you right away with what is happening in your neighborhood.

Related Posts
  • Short Sales are 26.6% of the Long Beach Market
  • Mortgage Relief Act Becomes Law

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Floorplans of Cliff May Homes in Long Beach

Finding information on the Mid-Century modern homes here in Long Beach is not always an easy task. With the highest concentration of these homes existing in the Rancho neighborhood you can certainly drive around and see some great homes, but it helps if you know what is behind those doors!

As Long Beach real estate brokers we have been able to see quite a few, but we wanted to provide some insight into some of the floor plans that were created in the 1950's. Cliff May was the designer of this set of homes and Chris Choate was the architect. The original neighborhood name was known as the Lakewood Rancho Estates.

These homes were called the "Californian" and it came in 6 different floor plans.

  • 4 Bedroom - The 4 bedroom model was the largest that was built and it was built as 1,341 sq ft. This was known as Plan 4A. The elevation of the home was wonderful and had easy garage access. The 4 bedroom model came with 2 bathrooms and had a fireplace.

  • 3 Bedroom - The 3 bedroom plans are the most prevalent. They were identified simply as Plan A, Plan C, Plan D, Plan E, and Plan G. The 3 bedroom floor plan still came with 2 bathooms, but there were differences in elevations and layouts that were available. The 3 bedrooms were built as 1,108 sq ft.

These homes were built with the idea of truly embracing the southern California lifestyle. The large master bedrooms have a 16' opening that leads to the patio and also has an attached master bathroom.

Not only were these homes revolutionary due to their architecture but they were also constructed with copper plumbing. Most of the homes in Long Beach at that time were built with galvanized plumbing, so this has been even better for those who purchase today as they have been able to save costs in their renovations.

Subscribe to the blog today and keep up to date of the latest information relating to Mid-Century modern homes and Long Beach real estate.

Related Posts:

Finding your Cliff May Means Knowing Your Streets

Mid-Century Modern Homes Holding Strong

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Mid Century Modern Long Beach vs. Hancock Park

Mid-Century modern homes aren't just popular in Long Beach. As you may know within the Rancho tract of homes there is a popular mid-century modern series of homes that was designed by Cliff May.

On July 11th, the La Times featured a wonderful mid-century modern home that has recently been listed in Hancock park. Being listed at $2.6million it goes for a bit more than here in Long Beach but the same features exist none the less. The home, though large embodies some of what draws many people to these homes.

  • Light - With often floor to ceiling windows the homes feel bright and truly welcome in the out doors. You don't shield yourself from the southern california weather, you embrace it!

  • Indoor/Outdoor Living - The home in Hancock park, as well as the Cliff May homes here, are often centered around a pool or other outdoor space. It helps to blur the lines of inside and out.

  • Embracing History - You will find that many owners have gone to great lengths to find period fixtures and even period furniture. It's hard to find, but it truly makes the homes come to life.

Finding your mid-century modern home in Long Beach can be a fun experience. The Cliff May neighborhood in the Rancho area has limited inventory so keep a careful watch to find the home that is right for you.

Related Posts:

Mid Century Modern Homes in Long Beach

Find your Cliff May Home in Long Beach means Knowing the streets

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Long Beach Bank Owned Multi-Units - Get yours!

For awhile people had been calling and asking us "Hey, I so can I get a bank owned multi-unit in Long Beach?".

I would say no, because literally there wasn't anything available. The bank owned properties were condos and homes. Lending standards on the multi-units had been a bit tougher so we really had seen any bank owned Long Beach real estate in the form of duplexes, triplexes, or 4 units. Well...

Times HAVE changed!

Within the city of Long Beach there are 47 options for multi-units. Yes, that means, duplexes, triplexes, and even 4 units! These vary in neighborhood from Downtown Long Beach, Eastside/Circle Area, North Long Beach, Bixby Knolls, and even some in Belmont Heights.

Now, you will be saving on price, but here are some of the challenges you will face:
  • Condition - Many need some work to be in top rental shape so be prepared to invest some money in repairs.

  • Vacancy - Since the bank has taken over, they usually aren't fully occupied. Expect a high vacancy rate so you will need to be prepared to find some great new tenants.

So, keep a careful eye on what is out there and realize that there are some deals to be achieved in this market. With rates that are still competitive it can be a great time to build up your investment portfolio of muli-unit. Get our HOT List today of Bank Owned Multi-Units.

Related Posts:

Bank Ownd Homes under $500,000

Monday, July 21, 2008

WHY this is the best time for real estate investors!!!

So has anyone actually heard any GOOD news on the radio on real estate lately? Didn’t think so. Good news doesn’t sell and that’s why you won’t find it. In fact, let me add to the doom and gloom for a minute, but then tell you why this gets me very excited to be investing in the Southern California market!

The California Association of Realtors (CAR) has stated they expect over 280,000 Notice of Defaults (NOD’s) to be issued in 2008 in California. This means 280,000 people will be behind on their loan payments. Now what if only half of these properties go through foreclosure and get taken back by the bank? What is the bank going to do with 140,000 properties? What if the 4 major auction companies could auction even 200 each per weekend, for every weekend of the year (which would be quite a feat considering the planning that goes into them!) That’s 200 properties x 4 auction companies x 52 weeks = 41,600 properties to be auctioned. But wait – that’s nowhere close to the number of properties the banks need to unload!

Remember, the banks are not in the business of owning property. In fact, for every dollar of bad loans on their books, they have to hold approx. $7 of money. The way the banks can make money is by either collecting more money from their customers (and who has extra money laying around to put into a bank account, just to earn a ridiculously low interest rate these days?!?) OR they can unload some bad debt. The latter is the easier option for them.

So what you will see happen in the very near future is CAPITULATION – which means the banks will surrender to their own stupidity and realize that their ridiculous lending habits in years gone by has now put them in a very uncomfortable position. It will be at this moment that ABSOLUTE auctions will occur – which means that the banks HAVE to take whatever price is offered by the buyer at an auction – no matter how low!

The point is, there is going to be SO MUCH inventory that investors are going to have a field day for the next several years. Get educated NOW so you know how to take advantage of this market. Don’t miss the boat on this!

What are you NOT seeing in your Long Beach MLS Search?

If you have searched online using different MLS systems you have probably found that you often get some very different results. I mean why does one website show you there are 7 available homes in Belmont Heights, while another shows 12 (currently there are actually 65 single family homes in Belmont Heights if you search up to $2,500,000).

Here are a few reasons you might find different results

  • Different Statuses - Some websites display properties that are in escrow or allowing for back-up offers. If you want properties that are available as of now, you just want to search for "Active" properties.
  • Short Sales and Foreclosures - Some websites aren't dispalying short sale homes or homes in a process of foreclosure.

If you are working with a local Long Beach real estate agent make sure you ask them how they are definining your search so you get to see the properties that are right for you. As markets change you may want to change as well. Short Sales used to be much easier for buyers but now have been much more difficult so if you don't want to deal with them, ask your agent to omit them so you can focus on traditional re-sales and foreclosures.

Friday, July 18, 2008

New Crew Acquires Historic Queen Mary Cruise Ship

The Los Angeles County office of Old Republic Title Company closed the $43,000,000 sale of the historic Queen Mary cruise ship to a real estate development group known as Save the Queen, LLC. The Queen Mary is moored in Southern California's famous Long Beach Harbor and is owned by the City of Long Beach, along with certain contiguous properties totaling approximately 75 acres. The Queen Mary is subject to a long-term leasehold and had been under the jurisdiction of the United States Bankruptcy Court, pursuant to a Chapter 11 proceeding for more than a year. By virtue of the bankruptcy court's competitive bidding process and its court order, Save the Queen, LLC became the successful bidder. Thus, the course was set for The Queen Mary to "sail away" with its new owners when the escrow was closed by the very capable commercial team at Old Republic.

The nature of such a monumental transaction involved a complex set of circumstances, sophisticated financing and unexpected delays along the way. Not only did Old Republic perform the escrow and traditional title services, it also issued UCC policies as part of the closing. The recipe for success: a cooperative professional team effort by all involved, positive attitudes in the face of seemingly impossible demands, and several 36 hour days. The positive "we can do this" environment was the essential hallmark of this multi-tiered transaction closing within the strict mandates of the Bankruptcy Court.

Save the Queen, LLC will give The Queen Mary a $6 million face lift to bring her back to her former glory and begin a new chapter to the Los Angeles Old Republic Commercial Team for a job well done!

Save on Long Beach Real Estate with your own paintbrush!

The old real estate marketing saying was "bring your paint brush and save!". This usually referred to the ultimate goal of many people to buy the worst home on the best block.

The strange reality is that if you are looking for Long Beach home or Long Beach condo right now, you can actually achieve this goal.

The reason I say it is strange is that we are seeing many buyers avoid the traditional opportunities to fix and save on the purchase price. I know we are all busy, but there are some true opportunities that exist to get that right location, but in a condition that may not be optimal.
In the vein of shedding some light on home improvement tasks that may seem monumental, here are some ideas to fix up and some estimated costs :). So don't be afraid to make that offer on the Long Beach real estate that you really want, just know you have a few chores ahead.

  • The Yard is a WRECK! - Ok, so we would all like to put new sod down, but that can be expsensive. Mow the law and put down some new seed and manure to bring it back to life. You can do this for under $100 and some sweat equity.

  • This COLOR is awful - I am not the best painter so I always hire this out. You can get 2 colors of paint (1 for the walls and 1 for the ceiling for the interior) for a ~1,100 sq ft to be painted for about $1,800.

  • The kitchen is awful - Sometimes the kitchen needs to be torn out, but sometimes you can spruce it up. If the cabinets are good, think about sanding and restaining them instead of ripping them out. Then just put a new counter top on. You can get this done for $2,500-$4,000 instead of about $15,000 for a new kitchen.

  • Gross Flooring! - Wood is popular these days and in many Long Beach homes it is hiding under the carpet. If the floors are in good shape you can get them refinished for $4-$5 a foot (trust me we have contractors who will do it for this). This can give you a fresh new look for $2,000 or so.

So, maybe it isn't all that bad to get the home or condo that needs work. Finding a great condo complex or that perfect street an be a challenge, so don't let a little work get in the way of that right spot. A little bit of sweat equity will save on those monthly payments and you can create the vision you want for your Long Beach home or condo.

Happy hunting! As always, don't forget you can use our FREE Long Beach MLS to find those fixers you want today.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

3 Neighborhoods to have on your list if you are attending CSULB

If you are looking to attend CSULB in the fall, congratulations! CSULB is a great institution (my sister in law graduated this year) providing a wide base of learning and a wonderful location in the heart of Long Beach.

As you are deciding what classes you would like to take, you may also consider where you are going to live. CSULB does not have much on campus housing so many students and parents look in the local neighborhoods to find their piece of Long Beach real estate.

Finding the right neighborhood shouldn't be a challenge, so I thought we would outline some of them for you. Whether you are looking to purchase a Long Beach condo near CSULB as an investment for the upcoming years or rent here are some neighborhoods that should be on your list.

  1. Los Altos - This community which is located directly across from the street to the north is mainly composed of homes. There are a few condo developments in the area as well so keep your eye out for the right one. A popular complex is that of Park Ocean which is located on Pacific Coast Highway.
  2. Eastside/Circle Area - This neighborhood is most famously known for the traffic circle although there is much more to it. Here you will have many condos to choose from, from condo conversions.
  3. Belmont Heights - This neighborhood starts just to the south of CSULB and offers close beach access and still some affordable condos. StoneyBrook Villas is probably the most well known condo complex for those who attend CSULB as it offers 1 and 2 bedroom floor plans and has wonderful grounds to relax and study.

These 3 neighborhods will give you some wonderful options to choose from. Take time to digest the different condos and homes available in neighborhood as they are definitel different. If you want more help on deciding which is best, please call us today at 562-989-7111 or fill out our easy contact form to the right and we will happy to help.

No matter what neighborhood you decide on, enjoy your time at CSULB! Go Beach :)

Related Posts:

CSULB Condos

It's time to find a place to live near CSULB

Credit 101

The subject of credit and what is included on a consumer’s credit report can be a source of much debate, confusion and sometimes frustration. Outlined below are some of the more important facts relating to credit to gain better insight into a person’s credit report and history.

What is included in a credit report?

First and foremost the credit report will contain specific account information that is associated with the consumer, meaning an account that the individual has opened, cosigned, authorized or filed jointly with a spouse or relative. This information, commonly know as trade-lines, includes the date opened, original account balance, current balance, credit limit, monthly payment, and payment history. Additional things that may be included within a trade-line are account numbers (often times incomplete or scrambled for security) and contact information for the creditors.
In addition to creditor trade-lines, a report can include:

• Public records – Tax liens (state or county court records), judgments,
federal district bankruptcies

• Identification information – Current name, Social Security number, full
name, address, and possibly date of birth and employers past and present.

In addition, the report will show variations of name, social and address
based upon individual bureau’s creditor reporting and inquiries

• Inquiries – Individuals or companies that have “inquired” into an
individual’s credit history and obtained a copy of a credit report

• Statements -- Text that describes disputed information or possible
reported fraud. Statements are listed following a no-resolution dispute
between a borrower and creditor

• Additional Information – Many reports will also include fraud
statements from fraud detection products and/or OFAC (Office of Foreign
Assets Control) which searches a national terrorist data base
Active and “good standing” credit may last on a consumer’s credit report for an indefinite amount of time while the majority of derogatory or negative information remains for seven years. Following is a basic guideline for how long a trade-line will remain on the credit report:

• Late payment accounts/delinquencies – 7 years from the initial date of
missed payment

• Charge-Offs – 7 years from the initial date of missed payment regardless
of whether or not the account has since been paid. “Paid charge-off” will
be reflected if paid

• Collections – 7 years from the initial date of missed payment regardless of
whether or not the account has since been paid. “Paid collection” will be
reflected if paid

• Closed accounts – Accounts in good standing will remain for 10 years
while derogatory accounts will be removed after 7 years from the date of
closure. This applies to accounts that were closed by either the consumer
or creditor

• Bankruptcies – Chapter 13 remains for 7 years from the filing date.
Chapters 7, 11, and 12 remain for 10 years from the filing date. Accounts
included in bankruptcy will remain for 7 years from the date reported in

• Tax liens – 15 years from the date of filing. If lien is paid it will remain
for 7 years from the date of payment

• Judgments – 7 years from date of filing regardless of payment status

• Child support judgments – 7 years from date of filing regardless of
payment status

• Lost credit card – 2 years from date reported lost as long as there are no
delinquencies. In the case of delinquent accounts, 7 years from the date of

• Inquiries – The majority of inquiries will remain and be factored into the
overall credit history for 2 years, even though many credit reporting
companies will only display 3-6 months worth of inquiries

An individual is responsible for any account opened in his or her name, accounts that
have been cosigned by the individual, any joint accounts, and potentially any account that has been guaranteed by the individual, even if it is a business account. In the case of a divorce, a divorce decree does not impact any account that was contracted during the marriage. BOTH individuals are responsible for the account even if one person has been deemed responsible by decree. Only the creditor can change the status of an account. It is recommended that following a divorce, creditors be contacted immediately to change account status.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Bank Owned Properties Hit Belmont Park

Did anyone ever think that banks would be taking back properties within 2 blocks of the ocean? Even people who bought properties in the high end of the market have been hit with the adjusting of their mortgage or other issues that caused them to fall behind and now banks are listing properties in Belmont Shore.

Now let me be the first to tell everyone, OK maybe not the first, that the banks are not selling properties for 50 cents on the dollar. In other words properties located on the shore are not selling for $400,000 that used to sell for $800,000.

Properties that were in the $950,000 range a time ago are falling into the $800K range . Now with the price comes a certain condition. For example there is a current bank owned listing on Glendora in Long Beach (Check out our FREE MLS for details).

This property is located in the heart of Belmont Park. This property is currently being offered below $830,000 and once was offered by the bank over $966,000. What does this property have to offer?

  • 5 Bedrooms
  • 3 Bathrooms
  • Over 2,000 sqft of living space
  • Great curb appeal
  • Great location (located in Belmont Park)
  • Close to the beach

With all of that you would think it would be gone right? OK so the downsides of the property:

  • Inside needs updating (most rooms)
  • Lot is just over 2,200 sqft (so home takes up quite a bit of the lot
  • Street is tight and not much parking available for street

So is this a great opportunity? For the right person this is a fantastic opportunity. If you want a home to look just the way you want it this home offers that and it compensates for it in the price. Will the bank take less than this? They might but you have to be willing to ask.

There is always a give and take. Homes that are in superior condition are still commanding superior prices so keep in mind that if you are willing to put in a little hard work you just might get the home, location, and price that you desire!

For more information check out our FREE MLS and if you want to know what is going on in your area as a home owner fill in our market snapshot and keep track of what is going on in your neighborhood.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Short Sales in Long Beach are 26.6% of the market

How many short sales are there in Long Beach, CA? According to the MLS that serves the area 26.6% of properties are either attempting a short sale or are about to be one. By the way that is for those who are accurately reporting the situation (this is solely my opinion and more on that later in the post).

How Much Inventory is Available in Long Beach?

The answer may surprise some. There is actually less inventory today then there was just a few months back. The inventory level in Long Beach, for residential properties, is actually decreasing.

  • Total Available Properties: 1,683
  • Total Properties Facing Short Sale: 448

I define properties facing a short sale as defined as any property that has been identified by the listing agent in the MLS as:

  • Short Sale Subject to Lender Approval - The definition of a short sale.
  • Notice of Default - This means that the lender has issued a notice that the owner is behind on their mortgage and in danger of losing their home. I am making an educated guess that most people in this situation owe more than the property is worth or they would sell it and get out.
  • In Foreclosure Process - another phrase that means the property is still owned by the seller but they are having some financial hardship.

Is everything being reported?

I would say that not everything is being reported. Some homes start off as regular sales and as the market has adjusted they have turned into short sales and not all listings may have been updated. Some agents have said they don't report that their property is a short sale so that they get more showings. This is a violation of MLS rules but they are doing what they think is right for their client.

What does this all mean

It may mean that far more than 26.6% of properties in Long Beach are short sales or may eventually be owned by a bank. Does this mean the market is failing apart? I would say no. Properties are still being sold every day. It does mean that you need to price your property aggressively if you are a seller.

Properties that are in top condition still get multiple offers when priced aggressively.

Related Posts

  • Where have all the short sales gone
  • Mortgage Relief Act Becomes Law
  • 5 Ways to Protect Yourself in a Short Sale

Monday, July 14, 2008

How To Record A Quitclaim Deed In Los Angeles County (or any other document for that matter)

Like most things in life there are companies that provide these services. I like to use SPL Inc. because they're located right at the recorder's office. Here's the process:

1. Print out the quitclaim deed or other document you're going to record.
2. Don't forget to print out a copy of the PCOR (Preliminary Change Of Ownership)
3. Fill out the forms or have the appropriate professional help you.
4. Once your paperwork is complete contact SPL Inc. by phone and ask for their accommodation department.
5. They will email you their form to fill out and you'll be asked to mail that form along with the documents that escrow helped you fill out and two checks. One check will be made out to them for their services (usually under $15) and the other will be BLANK made out to the Los Angeles County Recorder (write "not to exceed $60 in the memo section of your check).
6. If you wish you can make copies of all the documents, put them in a self addressed envelope and request a receipt that the recording was done. Once it's been recorded SPL will mail this confirmation back to you. I recommend doing this.
7. Put everything in the mail and you're done.

As a Title professional we used to do accommodation recordings for our clients all the time. Because of huge lawsuits over the past 10 years many Title companies will not assume the liability of possible lost documents for these accomodations. I've used SPL for the past eight years and their really isn't an easier way to get your documents recorded.

SPL Inc. 1486 Colorado Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90041 | 323.344.5454 | Fax 323.344.5444 Fax 323.344.5444

5 New Questions to Ask Your Long Beach Real Estate Agent

Since you are here at the blog we hope you like digging in deeper to find some of the information we have put together so you can learn more about the Long Beach real estate market.

Often as we meet with buyers and sellers in this market I find that people aren't sure what questions to ask. I think it is because sometimes people feel that we are only driven by commission. Believe it or not, real estate agents are your fiduciaries in the process of buying or selling. That obligation is one that is of paramount importance.

Just as you would ask you CPA questions at tax time, or your lawyer questions concerning a lawsuit, we are here to answer the questions you have because we want you to be comfortable with the entire process. Here are some questions that you might want to consider when you are speaking with your Long Beach real estate agent:

  1. What is the average price homes/condos are selling for compared with the list price?
  2. What is the average days on market?
  3. What is your opinion of the market?
  4. How can I protect myself from downward movement in the market?
  5. What programs are now available to first time buyers?

As you can see these questions range from providing you with data to mere opinion. Your stock broker often gives you their opinion on the market so I would say it is OK to ask your real estate agent as well. Look for answers that show preparedness with both facts and opinion. I like to give my clients enough information so that they can draw their own conclusion.

If you are confident with their answers then you can have a great working relationship. If you aren't happy with the answers, then ask them to provide you with additional resources like MLS Data or hopefully they have been keeping their blog up to date :). As a consumer you need to feel confident in the process so it can be a rewarding experience.

If anyone has had some strange answers, we hope you share them here in the comments section!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Buyer's Market?..Apparently not in Bixby Village

Bixby Village is a townhome community that is just east of the Bixby Village Golf Course. With 374 units in the total development you would think it would feel like there are too many properties, but it was really created like an new neighborhood so really there are groupings of only about 6-8 townhomes near each other.

In this market with many saying there is plenty for buyers this community has had relatively little to view. As of this post there is actually only one townhome available for just under $700,000. You still get a few weeks (in general) to view what is available but they generally are in escrow prior to the current average of 84 Days.

Bxiby Village is attractive to people looking for Long Beach real estate for a variety of reasons. Here are some of the highlights of Bixy Village:
  • Floor Plans ranging from 1,400 sq ft to over 1,900 sq ft (in fact the Danbury Model is over 2,300 sq ft)

  • Private Patios - A hard to find for townhomes in Long Beach, you get some wonderful patio area to enjoy.

  • Direct Access Garage - Park your car and walk right in to your property.

  • Association Pool and Spa - I have always seen them well taken care of.

  • Good Floor Plans - Being built in 1987 quite a bit of thought was put into these floorplans to be usable so you get nice features like kitchens that are open to the family room.

If you are looking for a Bixby Village townhome then keep careful watch using the Long Beach MLS. You can always ask us to help by calling 562-989-7111 and we will be happy to help you get that Bixby Village townhome you have been waiting for.

More Information:

  • Bixby Village Townhomes

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Bixby Knolls Real Estate offers Buyers Options

For those who aren't familiar with bixby knolls there are multiple different communities within bixby knolls and you can find those over at Let's look at what is available in this area located just north of the 405 freeway via Long Beach Blvd.

What kind of home choices does a buyer have in Bixby Knolls?

It is always nice to have choices and in the case of someone looking to buy in Bixby Knolls a buyer has a choice of homes well over 1 million and even one above 2 million and a chance at a fixer upper below 300K.

Let's look at the facts to see what we have here.

  • 91 - Properties Available for Purchase
  • 42 - Properties in some stage of escrow (pending or backup)

Things are moving in Bixby Knolls. In fact if you look at what is being sold that is only a little more than 2 months supply of properties. Does this mean it is a sellers market in Bixby Knolls? It looks that way from the data but the average days on market is 96 days which is above the rest of the city average at 79 days.

What is happening though is properties are selling from motivated sellers and motivated buyers. If you want to see some of these 91 properties that are for sale check out our FREE MLS on the blog here and see what you can get.

In a future report we will talk about the condos that are available in Bixby Knolls so you can see there are properties for all levels of buyers and sellers.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Not many choices in El Dorado Park

El Dorado park is just to the east of the 605 Freeway in Long Beach. For those who haven't had a chance to visit the El Dorado park area you are truly missing out. Do you like to be near to golf, tennis, and the biggest park in the city of Long Beach? If you do then El Dorado park is the place for you to be.

This area of Long Beach is centrally located in the eastern portion of the city. The park has plenty of entertainment options for all.

So what do we have to choose from in El Dorado park real estate? Well let's see the options that are available right now.

El Dorado Park Real Estate Update for July of 2008
  • 12 Single Family Homes Available
  • 10 Properties currently in escrow
  • Average price of a home is just over $700,000
  • Average configuration of a property in the area that is listed for sale is 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms

So is it really your time to move into El Dorado park estates? It just might be. The key is to see what is available and to see how it meets your criteria. You can do that easily by checking out the FREE MLS on the blog. You can search by map to see what is available in El Dorado park or the surrounding areas.

With only 12 properties to choose from and 10 already in escrow properties in this area of town go quickly so make sure you are prepared before you purchase.

Make sure to visit the buying center over at our website at to make sure you have everything you need prior to your purchase. By the way if you own a home in El Dorado park and you want to track the value of it make sure you fill out our free market snap shot tool which will allow you to track the number of available properties, in escrow, and sold properties near your home.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

What can one get in University Park, Park Estates, or College Park Estates

For those who are new to Long Beach we have a couple of areas of homes near the CSULB campus that are home to some amazing homes (and condos). Students, professors, and those that just like being near the college campus call this area home.

The areas (as defined in the MLS) are listed as the following areas:

  • Unversity Park Estates
  • College Park Estates
  • Park Estates

So why would you want to live in these areas? Well for one the streets are quiet and are wonderfully lined with trees. You have easy access to shopping, the freeways, and are extremely close the the marina and the beach.

It has many options that people just love. So what is available these days in these wonderful areas? Well let's look at what we have.

  • 23 Single Family Homes are currently for sale
  • The average price of a home is just over $1,379,000
  • The most affordable home is $632,000
  • There is even a home for $8,400,000 if you so choose

There are some condos available in the area as well and they can be bought for less then $250,000. Some of these condos are home to CSULB students and others are just for those looking for a nice and affordable area to live.

How do you find out more about this area? Well you can check to see what properties are available by using our FREE MLS that we offer on this site and if you have a home in the area and want to keep an eye on inventory sign-up for our free market snapshot which allows you to track what is going on in your neighborhood.

Related Posts

  • It's time to move close to CSULB

Monday, July 07, 2008

Can investors make money in our current market?

One thing that continues to puzzle me is when I hear people say that real estate is a bad investment. Yes, we are in a downturn market (at least in Southern California where I live) but there are still investment strategies that can be done to make money! How fast we forget the old cliché – BUY LOW, SELL HIGH??!! Well aren’t we in an all time low?! All we hear on the news is how bad the real estate market is, but doesn’t history repeat itself? Investors should be so excited to be in this current market because we know in the long run real estate goes UP!

One strategy that investors should be looking at in this market is WHOLESALING. This is a “buy low, do nothing to the property, and sell low” strategy. The concept is to get a property under contract and “assign” the property to another person (usually another investor) for a finder’s fee. You do NOT need your own money or credit to do this strategy and it is an investing strategy with the least amount of risk in this market (in my opinion).

Watch for my next post on WHY this current Southern California market is the BEST time since the great depression to buy real estate and create wealth! More millionaires will be created over the next couple years – will you be one of them?

9 Guidlines on Setting the Price and Attracting Buyers

What is your home worth? Here are 9 guidelines to go by when setting your price:

  1. Don't base your price on what your neighbor is selling their home for or what you originally paid for your home.
  2. Make sure to examine all the home prices in your neighborhood that are currently for sale, along with all sales comps that have sold in the past six months.
  3. When interviewing agents make sure you don't pick an agent just because they said they will list it at a higher price than the others.
  4. If you're going to remodel don't go overboard. These costs are rarely recaptured. Keep it simple and cosmetic.
  5. Make sure your home is in better shape than it's competition and shows better.
  6. Don't get caught up in emotional memories or attachments when setting a price.
  7. Make sure your agent keeps an eye on the competition and rechecks the competitions prices every few weeks or sooner.
  8. Make sure you aren't being stubborn if your home isn't receiving any offers. If weeks go by without any offers than the price of the home isn't in line with it's perceived value and it's time to talk about a price reduction.
  9. In this market it's necessary to be more patient. Buyers are having a tougher time now trying to extract their money due to the tougher standards that lenders have now.

Tired of renting in Belmont Shore or Naples?

Belmont Shore and Naples are some of the more expensive areas within Long Beach. Although there aren't as many homes as the media would have you believe if you keep a careful eye out for homes and condos you can find the property that you thought you couldn't afford years ago.

So if you are tired of renting and just need to know that there are some deals out there, we are covering some of the most affordable homes and condos out there in this post.

I know you are probably thinking this is just realtor speak at this point, so let me give you some examples.

Belmont Shore and Belmont Park

  • Currently on La Verne in Belmont Park there is a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom home for $649,000. That is $90,000 cheaper than the next available home. For those worried that it is a mess...don't! It actually has a fixed up kitchen and a good looking bathroom.

Belmont Shore and Naples Condos

Condos in the shore are wonderful opportunities to enjoy the great life of the beach and save some money over a traditional home purchase. With a limited amount of condos available in Belmont Shore and Naples you are probably thinking they are pretty expensive. Well, if you look hard enough you can still spot some great deals. Here are a couple of properties to consider

  • 185 Quincy Ave - Here you can find a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom condo for under $400,000. Better yet, you get a balcony to enjoy the great weather and it has some nice upgrades throughout. With a mild HOA of $194 a month this can get you to the beach and keep your budget in line.
  • 203 Savona Walk - This Complex is known as the Savona Villa and rarely do you see properties available here. Located in Naples and being over 1,000 sq ft it's a great condo. You can get a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom condo here for just over $500,000.

It's possible to find the values, it just takes a little bit of time and understanding of the area. Use the Long Beach MLS so you can monitor what is available and spot those deals. If you would like some help with your search call us today [562-989-7111] as we are happy to learn more about your goals so we can help you spot the deal that is right for you.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Investment Properties in Long Beach

Have you been looking for an investment property in Long Beach? I am talking specifically about properties between 2-4 units. That means that the building has at least 2 separate living spaces and a maximum of 4 units. Anything above 4 units is considered commercial and if you need a great long beach commercial agent we are happy to refer one to you as we have worked with several great commercial agents.

So what about investment properties in Long Beach? Well for starters there are 86 investment properties that meet the following criteria:

  • At least 2 units
  • No more than 4 units
  • Under 650,000
  • Not in the process of foreclosure

Some might wonder why I didn't include properties that are in the process of foreclosure and the reason I didn't include them is they are unpredictable as far as what the bank is willing to take. I am not saying that one shouldn't pursue them but that is the subject of a different post.

The GSI (Gross Scheduled Rent) of the buildings in the sample ranges from $0 (no one bothered to fill it in) to as high as 68,000. Now all numbers need to be validated but one can see from the properties that there are buildings that are as small a 1,320 to as large as 3,300 square feet.

Investing in long beach rental property is about knowing your numbers and knowing your facts. You need to make sure that you have sufficient funds for a down payment and that you are prepared to be a landlord or higher a very good property manager.

Check out the FREE MLS to see what is available and if you would like to know about the value of your investment property use our market snap shot tool to keep track of your investments in Long Beach and the surrounding cities.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

blu Condos Update

We have spoken about blu Condos, a new development in downtown Long Beach, before but I have had another chance to get inside now that some of the common areas have been finished. With some of these fine touches done I wanted to share some additional feedback on this development.

I know that in general HOA amenities are just a side note, but I really thought they would be worth mentioning as they came out better than I anticipated.

Lobby/Internet Cafe - This entrance is on 4th St and provides a quiet entrance. The finishings are excellent and the room is outfitted with a plasma TV and a coffee bar. I was surprised to see it but they do have a wonderful coffee area so you could easily grab a cup on the way out to work. The coffee bar will be mainted with funds from the HOA. This level also allows you access to the mail boxes.

Sports Club/Lounge - Often when you hear of a "lounge" in an HOA it conjuers up imagery of a couple of chairs and a ping-pong table folded up in the corner, but that is NOT the case here. I have to admit, they really created a nice environment. The pool table is wonderful and they provide a plasma TV and a bar area for entertaining. There is also plenty of room to relax with additional seating of couches and chairs. The sports club is on the 2nd floor and has a large balcony with an area so people can rest their drinks and enjoy the great weather. This room has a great feel like you are downtown at the Rock Bottom :)

Gym/ Exercise Room - Again this is a room that often looks like an after thought by putting a jump rope with a dumbell together, but here they alotted some good space and equipment. They have a full set of free weights along with about a half a dozen treadmills. With excellent space and some great natural lighting coming in to the room you will enjoy your workout here.

Great amenities compliment this downtown Long Beach condo project that has done a good job of providing functional floor plans with good pricing. Call us today at 562-989-7111 and we will be happy to schedule a time to get you in to see the models. Each floor plan offers something unique so allow us to help you decide which one best meets your needs.

Get the Hot List of the latest Blue Condos
Related Posts/Websites:
blu Condos - My Experience
blu Long Beach Condos

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Can you really buy a piece of Long Beach Real Estate for under $150,000?

Have you ever said "If the prices were just more affordable I would buy a piece of long beach real estate?". If you have been waiting for the right price then there are some opportunities that you may want to take a look at.

Let's look at what you can get for $150,000 or less in the city of Long Beach, CA.

  • 35 current properties are available under $150,000
  • The average square footage of properties that are in this price range are 625 sqft
  • The average makeup of bedrooms and bathrooms 1 bedroom and 1.25 bathrooms
  • There are even a few 2 bedroom properties available at this price range.

They all must be in neighborhoods that people don't want to live in right?

While there are opportunities in neighborhoods that are maybe not as desirable as some there are opportunities in areas like Downtown Long Beach and even in Bluff Park in Long Beach. You can find great condos that you can get within 3 blocks of the ocean.

What is the condition are these properties in?

Not every property is in perfect condition or that would be reflected in the price of the property. If you don't mind putting in some new carpet and painting many of these properties would be great for you. In fact many of these condos are bought by family, friends, and even relatives of students attending CSULB and having a student live there while they attend college and then at the end of 4 years they sell the property or keep it as a rental.

How do you take advantage of this opportunity?

If you haven't already had a chance to look at our FREE MLS take a look (it is free after all) and see what is available. If you want your own custom website just let us know at long beach home blog request and we will get one set-up for you. You have nothing to lose by looking and maybe you just might find your next home.

Related Posts

  • It's time to move close to CSULB
  • 5 Items of Reality for Today's Buyer