Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Chatting with KCRW/NPR Radio About The New Metro Line & Home Values in Leimert Park...

Hi Guys...

Who would have thought that NPR Radio (KCRW) would come out to my house in Leimert to interview me! I was truly honored!!!

We talked about how the construction of the Metro Line would effect the home values in Leimert Park and the surrounding areas.  My new found friend Saul Gonzalez, reporter for KCRW, really wanted to hear my opinion - and why I don't like the term gentrification.  

Here's what we said, Click Here:

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Great Idea for Small Yards in Leimert Park....

Hey Guys...
Here's a great gardening idea!! 
Got a small yard?  No problem, a vertical garden is a wonderful option--click here to read more:

Turn a Small Space Into a Big Harvest With These Awesome Vertical Gardens | True Activist

Leimert Park Metro Station...It's REALLY Happening!!

Hi Folks...

Just keeping you informed.  See below--construction for the Leimert Park Station if finally underway! 

It will take 4 years to complete and there will be more traffic than ever on Crenshaw Blvd., but it will all be worth it.

My prediction is that we are going to see more of the amenities that we want and need because of this new transportation system.  I think I speak for most Leimert Park Residents when I say that we want and need a Coffee Shop, a Trader Joe's and superb Charter School.  If you're with me Residents, let me hear you say, "Amen!".

For those of you who have been thinking about buying a home in Leimert, you better get in while the prices are still affordable!  Contact me now to schedule your buyer's consultation.


Hello Community Stakeholder,
Construction for the Leimert Park underground station and an underground tunnel is anticipated to begin soon in the late summer of 2014.  Long term traffic reconfiguration will be implemented on Crenshaw Bl to support the construction of the station and tunnel, where two lanes of traffic will be maintained in each direction.   During the first phase of construction, a construction work zone will be established on the west side of the street between 43rd St and Vernon Av for approximately five weeks.  See attachment for details.
Construction for the Leimert Park underground station and tunnel is anticipated to last approximately four years, and will entail various phases of construction.   More detailed information regarding the construction of the Leimert Park station will be made available on the project website.  Construction activities for the Leimert Park Station and tunnel will entail the following:
·         Long-term lane reductions on Crenshaw Bl between 43rd St and 48th St throughout construction.  Two lanes of traffic in each direction will be maintained during the majority of time throughout construction.
·         Construction of this underground station is anticipated to last 4 years.
·         An area on the east side of Crenshaw Bl near 43rd Pl will be used as a construction yard and staging area throughout the duration of construction.
·         After the completion of the early and initial phases of work activities, most of the construction of the underground station and tunnel will be conducted below the street of Crenshaw Bl.
Feel free to contact Metro Construction Relations for more information regarding this construction work activity.
Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project

Friday, July 11, 2014

Recently Sold Listings in Leimert Park, View Park, Baldwin Hills & Baldwin Vista

So, we mentioned before that summer is here, which means that buyers are on the prowl!  

Remember, new listings are on the market everyday. As the summer pushes on, lots of buyers are visiting open houses and submitting offers.  Additionally, lots of buyers are starting to come from other areas, as Leimert Park is now the hotbed of development. 

Clink on the link below for the recently sold buyer's tour for 90008, which includes Leimert Park, View Park, and Baldwin Hills, and Baldwin Vista..  Hopefully the tour will give you a good idea of price points for recently sold homes, or if you're a homeowner in the area it will help you get a better idea of comparable prices for your own property.

Buyer's Tour link:

Listen to My Interview on NPR about changes coming to the Crenshaw Community:

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

BUYERS...Beware and Prepare!

School's out, and summer's here, which means that buyers are going to be hitting the market hard.  There will be lots of competition out there and if you want to buy a house you'll need to be ready.  

Buyers love to browse the web for homes and then call agents asking about the properties--thinking this is the way to get started.  Remember, Buyers, you're buying a HOUSE: the most important financial decision of your life--gotta get your ducks in a row.  Lots of times, because buyers aren't really prepared to buy when they call an agent about a property, the conversation ends quickly - but it doesn't have to! Here's a tip - being ready is better than having to get ready and ultimately it protects you from missing out on the perfect opportunity!

So, before you start your home search, there a few things you'll need to do first.  In making an offer to purchase a home you'll need what I call "PEP-C"... or Pepsi, if that helps you remember it better:



Your financing is the foundation for the whole transaction. Simply put--NO MONEY; NO HOUSE.  You must get pre-approved first if you want Realtors to take you seriously and to get them to agree to actually show you homes. Your pre-approval is a verification of your employment, income and your credit history, which will determine how much you will qualify for.  Once you're done, you'll get a pre-approval letter which tells realtors how much house you can afford.

You can get  pre-approved directly with a Bank, like Wells Fargo or from a Loan Broker, who has  access to a bunch of different lenders and can help you shop for the best interest rate.  Choosing the right loan officer is crucial to a smooth, successful purchase. So, chose wisely! I recommend meeting face to face with your loan officer to get a detailed explanation of the loan process and to see if he or she is the right person to get the job done for you. This stuff is complicated, so make sure that you're loan officer is patient and willing to address all your concerns.  Here is what the pre-approval letter looks like:

Earnest Money Deposit

This is a copy of a personal check that serves as a "Dummy Check" for your Earnest Money Deposit (EMD)--it shows the sellers that you're committed to the deal--or as I like to say--"now you've got skin in the game".  Your EMD is usually in the amount of 3% of your purchase price.  No one will actually cash this check, it's simply a place holder and a show of good faith.  Once your offer is accepted, then you will have 3 business days to actually put this money into an escrow account and this is done by wire transfer.  Sounds more complicated than it is.   Don't worry, I will walk you though all of this when the time comes! Here's an example EMD check:

Purchase price is $166,000 for a condo.  3% of that is about $5000.

Proof Of Funds

"Proof of Funds" put simply, it's proof you have enough money to cover your down payment and your closing costs.  Bank statements, investment accounts, or gift letters are examples of acceptable proof that you have enough money to actually close the transaction.  Don't worry, account numbers can be blacked out for your security, but you'll need something with your name/institution's name on it and your full balance.

Handing over the money is always a source of anxiety for buyers, so best to plan ahead and have a $2,000 cushion just in case there are some unforeseen expenses along the way.  If you don't use it then you'll have a little extra after you close to get those curtains or new dishes you wanted!

Credit Scores

Credit scores reflect your financial responsibility and whether or not you pay your bills on time.  If you have low credit scores due to collections, late payments or  judgements, you may not be ready to purchase a home right now...BUT you should still meet with a loan officer to advise you on how to correct these issues and help you come up with a game plan to purchase in the future.  One way or another, you gotta deal with the elephant in the room if you want to make progress on your dream.

Credit scores are also a big source of anxiety for first timers, but the truth is that you gotta stop dipping your toe in the pool and just jump in!  You can't change your credit unless you know what it is!  And you can't get a loan unless you have at least a 580 score.  Either way, you still can get in the game, now or in the future---it's up to you!! 

Free credit reports can be obtained HERE

After you have all these things in place, then I'd love to see you in my home office to review the "Buyer's To Do List"--38 minutes of what to expect before, during and after the purchase of your home.  Snacks and cold drinks are provided.  :  )

THEN you'll be ready to go shopping for a home with complete confidence!

Call me if you need a referral for a loan officer, or if you're already approved, call me for a Buyer's Consultation. Or if you just have any questions about this or anything related to real estate--call me---I'm always here to help!


Monday, June 9, 2014

Buy an Income Property and get in the game!!!

Written by Miles Presha
(Heather's husband and humble assistant)

Lately clients have been having a hard time finding their place in the market now that inventory is low. Hot neighborhoods like Leimert Park, Baldwin Hills, and Jefferson Park are seeing fewer for sale signs on the front lawns as lots of  investors and buyers from the west side and east side  have swooped in and grabbed whatever homes were available.  Additionally, homes for sale in these neighborhoods have gone up in price due to their high demand.  So what's a buyer to do who's looking to get in the game somehow?  Go get yourself an income property.

Income properties provide the benefits of home ownership not to mention financial contribution towards your mortgage.  You may want to buy a property that already has tenants in it, or you might want to live in one of the units and rent out the other. Either way, there's still a decent inventory of income properties in South L.A.  Don't let the fact that they're sitting discourage you.  Most buyers don't want the headache of being a landlord and the possibilities of having to evict a tenant.  Management companies can be used to handle those day to day headaches you might be reluctant to face for a reasonable fee, and there are home warranties available in case something needs fixing; allowing  you to live in your property peacefully.

 Check out some options  and view more benefits of income property ownership.

CLICK HERE for a snapshot look at active and sold properties in Leimert Park and South Los Angeles.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

CASTING CALL...First Time Home Buyers!!

for Southern CA!

We're searching for 
REALTOR.com Users
Searching for 1st time homebuyers; families, couples, singles who are working with, or have recently worked with, a realtor and has utilized the Realtor.com website and/or mobile application within the past 6 months.
If this is you or anyone you know please send the following information to newhousecasting@gmail.com 

1. Name/Age 
2. City/State
3. Contact Info (phone & email)
4. Tell us about your recent Realtor.com experience
5. Recent Snapshot

Project Details:
PAID Non-Union Commercial
Audition: May 29th through June 2nd 2014
Shoot Date: June 12th & 13th 2014


Friday, May 23, 2014

Wow Power!!!...All White Kitchens and Bathrooms are the HOT TREND.

Written by Miles Presha
(Heather's husband and humble assistant)
photos from houzz.com


One of the benefits of being able to view lots of homes on the market is to notice design trends that improve the look of a home - but more importantly what helps to boost the value.  Lots of investors  like to save money, and it shows in the overall outlook of the house.  Lots of flips feature dark wood cabinets, granite counter tops, and travertine tiles in the bathrooms and kitchens.  These design choices definitely help to give homes a polished look, but it's been overdone and have been dubbed "Home Depot Specials."  My buyers have been turning their noses up at these designs and style choices.  What they're looking for are crisp, clean, blank canvasses.

I've recently come across lots of homes that feature white kitchens, complimented with a dark gray  floor tile, and the instant reaction is usually, "Wow!"  White kitchens make the room pop, seem to be a lot more aesthetically pleasing, and make the home feel more upscale.


Talk about timeless.  You might be lucky enough to purchase one of the few Los Angeles homes that still have their original art-deco tiles from the 20s, but most of those still need updating and again, are rare.  Subway tiles seem to be making a comeback, and the effect, like white kitchens, not only brighten a bathroom, but also give it an historic look, while still being able to compliment it with other modern fixtures. 

Make your bathroom or kitchen look fantastic and still leave room for you to add your own personal touches and different color variations.  Subway tiles are durable, stain resistant, and easy to clean.  Not to mention - they just look CLASSY and will set your home apart form the rest of the crop.  

What are your thoughts?  Which one of these would you like to see in your new home?  Send us your feedback!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

What's FOR SALE and SOLD in Leimert Park...

Hey Folks!

Here's your Market Update.  Click here to to see what's recently SOLD and 
ACTIVELY FOR SALE in Leimert Park:     http://goo.gl/ShpZBO

Another great listing in Leimert.  Actively on the market!!!