Keeping It Real Estate!

Mortgages Now Easier to Get


With April almost here, and Spring time filling the air, your house hunting experience should be getting better and better on many fronts. According to front-line lender, It seems credit standards are easing for those looking for mortgages. The credit score for the average borrower for a closed loan dropped from 749 in January to 745 in February. These numbers are according to Ellie Mae Inc., a company that provides software to home lenders. As reported on Friday, March 22 these numbers are still steeper than in years past, but according to Jonathan Corr, Ellie Mae’s chief executive, they are still the lowest average score since last May. Also according to the report, the average down payment was exactly 20%, which is the first time it’s been at that low level since last July. The percentage of total income borrowers were able to devote to debt payments average 35%, which according to Jonathan Corr is also the highest since last […]

Read More

The Los Feliz Coffee Shop Guide


Need a pick-me-up? So you’re thinking about moving to Los Feliz, you crave the bitter beans, and you’re wondering what this little haven has to offer for Coffee Shops, because sometimes it’s the little things that matter. Los Feliz and the surrounding areas can bring you some awesome local Coffee Shop choices. Bru Coffee Bar – This self proclaimed ‘vibrant bohemian enclave’ inhabits the former site of Psychobabble, the first child of the current owner of Bru.  It has a minimalist industrial feeling, in which you will find tables to sit and work at, and the option to get your coffee “for here or to go”. Meaning, you can get an actual mug! They order their beans from Ritual Coffee Roasters, who work towards helping to create a sustainable way of life for the bean growers they buy from.  Bru’s average coffee price is slightly higher than average for that reason.  Bru also offers a range of teas to fill […]

Read More

LA Marathon Day!


Congratulations to all runners who ran the Marathon today, and congratulations to all those great supporters out there who cheered on their friends and family. Did you happen to notice some of the wonderful attributes over here on the east side? Echo Park, Silver Lake, and Los Feliz were all featured neighborhoods in the marathon, and we were proud to be host of the start of the Los Angeles Marathon. Runners, as you were trying to keep your mind off of the idea of running a very, very long way, did you happen to notice things like Sunset Junction, the views of Griffith Park, the boutique shops, the sidewalk eateries, the stunning homes up in the hills, and the cute houses within walking distance of everything? Hey spectators, did you grab a drink at some of the wonderful bars to celebrate both the LA Marathon and St. Patrick’s Day all at once? I bet you did, and I bet you […]

Read More

Time to Make Your Investment


Despite the recent fluctuations in the stock market, the mortgage rates are holding steady around 3.52% for a 30 year fixed loan, according to Freddie Mac. On the popular choice for borrowers refinancing mortgages, the 15 year fixed rate is hovering around 2.79%. However, these numbers are going to change. You will see an interest rate increase, and it will likely happen soon. Confidence in the market is returning, but the mortgage rates haven’t reflected that yet. What you need to realize as a buyer, is that now is the perfect time. Our economy is on the way up, therefore home prices will go up and interest rates will go up. There may be a leveling off on prices once more sellers hit the market as the mean prices rise, but those mean prices will continue to rise for the next few years as we continue on this path. Your investment will be just that…an investment. Not a gamble, not […]

Read More

Where to Watch Sports on the East Side


It’s March, arguably the beginning of the best stretch in sports. Baseball is starting, March Madness is right around the corner, the NBA season is nearing the playoffs, and the Masters is coming up in early April. So maybe you’re thinking about living on the east side of Los Angeles, maybe in a neighborhood like Los Feliz, Silver Lake, Atwater Village, Echo Park, or even over in Franklin Village and Hollywood Hills. Let’s be honest, the east side of Los Angeles is known for a lot of wonderful things, with amazing restaurants, art galleries, boutique shops, farmers’ markets, cool coffee shops, and lots of artsy attitude. What you don’t often think of is sports watching and sports fans on the east side. So once you find your dream house over here on the east side, with the help of the LA Home Girl, where do you go to watch sports? Believe or not, the east side has a lot of […]

Read More

Fun Outdoor Activities on the East Side


It’s a beautiful day over here in Los Feliz, so I felt like telling you about all the fun outdoor activities available to those folks who live around here in neighborhoods like Los Feliz, Silver Lake, Echo Park, Highland Park, Atwater Village, and the Hollywood Hills. If you read this, and wish you lived closer to some of these outdoor activities, contact the LA Home Girl and she’ll set you up.   Griffith Park You can’t begin anything about fun outdoor activities in Los Angeles without first talking about Griffith Park. Everyone knows about the hiking, and the great views from the Griffith Observatory, but what else can you do at Griffith Park? Here’s a list of some of the outdoor fun available at Griffith Park. Tennis (2 Locations for courts) Horseback Riding Bike Riding Baseball Fields Picnic Areas Swimming Pool Golf (Multiple Quality Courses) Merry Go-Round (Famous Los Angeles Landmark) Mini Train Rides Railroad Museum Los Angeles Zoo Elysian […]

Read More

Home Prices Low, Great for Buyers Right Now


Due to a number of factors not necessarily related to the current status of the housing market, the average home price in California is on the low side. It’s time to jump in buyers, this is your chance. Some buyers purchasing higher priced homes last year rushed to get their home sales finalized to avoid paying capital gains before the end of 2012, which explains a little why less homes were sold in January of 2013. So a slightly skewed number, but still good for buyers if it means the prices are a little low. There is also a natural seasonal slowdown that happens around January that reduces the amount of sales and therefore reduces the amount of prices. Basically home prices are down, and the amount of buyers are down…so get ON IT! This is a GREAT time to buy because we have already seen promising signs for a fully recovering housing market, which means prices will steadily rise […]

Read More

Foreclosures at Lowest Since 2006


Last month, notices including scheduled auctions, bank repossessions, and other related filings dropped 7% from the previous month, and 28% from the year before according to RealtyTrac. New foreclosure filings fell to the lowest levels recorded since all the way back in 2006! Ok, can we say it now? We’re past the foreclosure crisis I believe. Some regulations that took place in California helped the great decline in foreclosure filings. For a while, California was among the highest in foreclosure rates. More protections for California borrowers came into play when a Homeowner Bill of Rights became law on January 1st. New foreclosure filings then fell 62% in January, which is VERY significant. What this means for you as a buyer or seller is that the market is doing better, there’s a better chance to get the right price for your home, and a better chance for your investment to gain instead of lose. If you really want the best chance […]

Read More

Things to Do on Valentine’s Day Around Los Feliz and Silver Lake


If you think Valentine’s Day sucks in your neighborhood, maybe you’re not living in the right place. There are great things to do on Valentine’s Day in Los Feliz and Silver Lake — some are wonderfully traditional, and some are very, very not. After reading this, if you think you should be living around Los Feliz and Silver Lake to experience some of the awesome, contact the LA Home Girl and she’ll play house cupid for you. You want different, check out The Alcove on Hillhurst in Los Feliz. On Valentine’s Day, they celebrate with a Bollywood Prom. Yes, you read that right. “Prom photographers wander about to catch you in your awkward poses. Enjoy magical music mixes, custom gin & tonics, henna artists and much, much more!” Make sure you get gussied up because there’s going to be a vote for local king and queen. Want nothing to do with the sappy couples on their silly Valentine’s Day dates? […]

Read More

California with Fourth Best Statewide Home Price Rise


From December 2011 to December 2012, national home prices rose 8.3%, which is the largest increase in six years. Repeat: SIX YEARS. That’s since May 2006. Some of the top songs in May 2006 were Ne-Yo’s “When You’re Mad”, The Fray’s “Over My Head”, and Chris Brown’s “Gimme That”. You might not think that’s relevant, but as far as moving forward and progressing…let’s just say I’m glad we did that. California actually did even better than most of the nation. With a 12.6% raise in home prices from December 2011 to December 2012, Californians experienced the fourth best statewide housing price increase in the nation. Only Arizona, Nevada, and Idaho had better increases. But let’s be honest…Arizona may have the Grand Canyon, Nevada may have Las Vegas, and Idaho may have potatoes, but California has Los Angeles, and you don’t mess with that. In fact, the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale market experienced a 9.8 % increase in home prices, also beating […]

Read More