Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Is Redondo Becoming the New Manhattan Beach?

Craftsman Style Redondo Beach Newer Construction
So is Redondo Beach becoming the new Manhattan Beach? Well if you are fortunate (and wealthy) enough to buy in Manhattan Beach, not really. For everyone else, pretty much.

But surprisingly what we are also seeing are buyers who can afford the Manhattan Beach price point gravitating to South Redondo Beach, Golden Hills in North Redondo Beach as well as other desirable comparable luxury properties. There's more to it than just having lower mortgage payments, property taxes, and investment dollars tied up in real estate. Some people prefer to be closer to the beach or even have a view at a more attractive price point. Or they just like the more relaxed laid back lifestyle and prefer Riviera Village to let's say Manhattan Village.

With the AES power plant scheduled to come down in its present configuration by 2020 (and who knows what it will be replaced with), a new Shade Hotel set to go up along the waterfront, a major Redondo Pier renovation slated and an increasingly wealthier demographic, Redondo Beach may be the place to be looking if you have been priced out of Manhattan Beach CA.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Manhattan Beach Homes for Sale: Real Estate Listings

Manhattan Beach CA 90266 is one of the most prestigious luxury beach communities in Southern CA. Homes in Manhattan Beach are highly desirable and many properties sell quickly with multiple offers. Because of the unsurpassable lifestyle, Manhattan Beach real estate is expensive even by Los Angeles standards with the average sales price right around $2.5M and almost nothing available under $1M. Manhattan Beach is home to many professional athletes, celebrities, entertainment industry people, doctors, lawyers and business owners.

For the newcomer, understanding the different neighborhoods, sub neighborhoods and local jargon is often half the battle. Here's a quick guide and intro.
The "Sand Section" refers to the westernmost land and includes both "The Strand" as well as the "Walkstreets". The Strand is the row of homes along the beach facing west. Walkstreets are the streets designed to have no cars drive on them  - hence the name. The Walkstreets "West of Highland" often are on an incline heading down to the beach and many newcomers liken it to San Francisco.  There is a sub neighborhood in the Sand Section known as the Gaslight area - again for fairly obvious reasons.

Going a little further east we hit the "Tree Section" and the "Hill Section".

The Tree Section is found between Valley Ardmore and Sepulveda and is bound on the North by Rosecrans Ave and the South by Manhattan Beach Blvd. Within the Tree Section there are other sub neighborhoods such as "American Martyrs" named after the church. The Hill Section is found west of Sepulveda, north of Hermosa Beach, south of Manhattan Beach Blvd and east of Valley Ardmore. Because the lots tend to be larger than other west of Sepulveda neighborhoods and because much of the land sits on a hill, many of these Beverly Hills style mansions also have ocean views.

Going further east (of Sepulveda) in East Manhattan Beach we find the neighborhoods of Libery Village, Manhattan Heights, Mira Costa (named after the high school) and Manhattan Village which is one of the few gated communities in the South Bay.

Search Manhattan Beach CA Real Estate listings for all property types: condos, townhouses, single family detached houses. View every MLS listing from Real Estate agents in the South Bay Beach Cities and every Broker selling at the beach.

To see the map below in full screen mode click on the "view all" tab on the lower right hand corner of the map below the Google logo. When the results display, use the scroll bar to the right of the homes snapshots to scroll down and see all the homes or click on the green icons.
Local Realtor Ellis Posner specializes in Beach Cities Real Estate and can help you buy or sell a home in the South Bay. Ellis is a Zillow Premier Five Star real estate agent with over 60 reviews.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Manhattan Beach Lots, Tear Downs, and Fixers Wanted

Investors, flippers, and builders are all paying new record high prices for lots, tear downs, and fixers in Manhattan Beach CA. Often the transaction is "all cash" and can close in as little as 10 days.

Sellers often wonder what the benefit of selling to an all cash investor or builder is. Whatever the financial vehicle is, financed or not, the seller gets their proceeds at the end of the transaction either way. While that is certainly true, there are other considerations.

First, there are properties that simply can not be financed (appraisal condition C6). This could be because they have structural issues, are not habitable, or won't appraise (although for the most part the last condition is not relevant to this discussion).

Structural issues can mean cracked foundations while habitable may refer to the presence of mold. Even in a city with a preponderance of multi million dollar properties, you do find some with substantial deferred maintenance.

Another reason that homes are sold to investors, flippers and builders is that the sellers need cash fast and the normal listing process and 30 day escrow may not afford enough time. Additionally, when real estate fees are factored in plus termite and other repair work, the cash buyer starts to become more attractive. (Often agents who represent investors, flippers, and builders waive their commission in order to get a "list back".)

If you are considering selling to an all cash commercial buyer here's some things to consider.

Builders typically look to acquire lots at 30-33% of the final project cost. So, if they will build a $3M property, they may want to pay no more than $1M (although there are many instances where they go higher.) If the lot is on a hill, expect something closer to 25% but if it has an ocean view or is on a Walk Street or The Strand, builders will pay more. Often a lot more (no pun intended). As prices are escalating, many builders are "banking" land and holding on for an even more opportune time to sell. So, if there is a habitable house, or better yet a tenant in place, and the property can be leased, that is attractive to a builder as well.

Flippers look for fixers that have "good bones" and need either extensive cosmetic updates or can be enhanced by the addition of more square feet, bedrooms, baths, etc.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Architectural Contemporary Beach House for Sale with Ocean Views

As I've written often on this blog and others, I am a huge fan of contemporary, modern, architectural homes and design and don't think that (until recently) we've seen enough glass and steel at the beach.

As such, I am very excited to be listing one of the largest and most unique homes in the Beach Cities that is designed and built on the style I love.

With 5320 square feet (plus an 827 sq ft 3 car garage), 6 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, over 500 sq ft of outdoor decks, one of the largest dining areas and kitchens you will ever find, this home is set up perfectly for either multi generational living or is the proverbial "entertainer's delight".

Other features include a 3 floor elevator with glass doors, strand bamboo floors in all common areas (carpet in the bedrooms), Fleetwood windows and multiple sliding barn and pocket doors that allow for indoor outdoor living, engineered bamboo doors and trims, stainless steel glass guardrails, LED downlights, Grohe and Hansgrohe faucets and fittings, Italian Porcelainosa tiling in kitchens and bathrooms, custom chandeleirs and pendants throughout, 17 foot quartz countertop, Subzero, Wolf, Bluestar Iron Chef in the kitchen and on and on.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Manhattan Beach CA Real Estate Home Prices and Trends Report

There's a ton of data available all over the internet for consumers to check home price, valuations, recent sales, market trends, and more. So I have to add mine too (of course) even though I am not, in general, a big fan of Automated Valuation Models  (AVM) such as Zillow. Or anyone else's for that matter. Here's why.

All of these AVMs use algorithms based on house size, lot size, square feet, age, bedrooms, bathrooms and other features available in the public (tax) records. The problem is that the computer crunching the numbers has not been in the house. So, there's just no way to know whether the roof needs replacing or the kitchen has been updated, or whether there is mold and extensive termite damage or brand new floors.

What these reports do provide is a good starting point for the discussion as to the value of any specific property and some over view of the market and trends based on actual sales and other activity.

To get my report for Manhattan Beach CA, visit ellisposner.hometrendsreport.com and follow the directions. For a more precise and detailed analysis as to the value of your Manhattan Beach house and how to increase the value to sell for the highest possible price, contact me directly for a FREE no obligation consultation.

Manhattan Beach CA Home Trends Report

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Modern New Construction Single Family House in East Manhattan Beach

Huge Master Suite with Fireplace and built - ins.
I previewed 1481 18th St in Manhattan Beach recently at a Broker's Open House. While it wasn't quite completed when I saw it, by the time you read this it should be ready to move in.

I was very impressed with this 5 bedroom, 4.5 bathroom East Manhattan Single Family House in MLS Area 146 (Heights/Liberty Village). Designed by renowned local Tomaro this 3 level 5277 sq ft house sits on a 7,000 sq ft lot and is priced at $3,999,000 which all things considered seems to be a very attractive price (these days) considering the quality of construction, attention to detail and other amenities.

The finishes are exquisite and include Italian limestone, French Oak hardwood floors, marble counters, a walnut breakfast bar, Thermador appliances, quartz, etc. The huge master suite has great views of the LA basin and mountains. plus a fireplace. All the upstairs bedrooms have their own walk in closets and bathrooms. There is a 3 car garage and downstairs another family room.

The list of features goes on and on but suffice it to say this is one you should see in person.

MLS Description 18th St House for Sale Manhattan Beach CA 90266

Listed by Shorewood Realtors. MLS SB15076723. Call for a private showing.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Should You Remodel Your Bathroom Before You List Your Manhattan Beach Home for Sale?

I've been sharing a number of home selling tips to help maximize your sales price. Most of my tips are relatively easy to do and inexpensive with high ROI. I'm also getting a lot of questions regarding bathroom remodels as in "is it worth remodeling my bathroom before I put my Manhattan Beach home on the market?"

My very general answer is that if a) any improvement helps you sell for a higher price, consider doing it, and b) if you can make a profit on your remodeling investment, consider it. But you also have to look at what your sales price as is will be and are you making your home that much more desirable.

So, as in most things real estate related, the answer is "it depends". But before we get to the "it depends" part of the answer, let's take a deeper dive into some of the considerations, questions, answers and design tips that you'll need to address in your bathroom remodel.

1) What dimensions are you working with? Take some measurements of what you have now and then look into what are the standard sizes for toilet bowls, bath tubs, vanities, etc. If your bathroom's size is not conventional, you costs may go up. If you are just updating the existing footprint with standard products, it can be a lot less expensive and a greater ROI.

2) Are there design elements you can keep (and keep your costs down)? For example, in older homes wall tiles may have several coats of concrete and wire lath. Removing these can be very labor intensive and cause costs to skyrocket. You may be better off retaining some features and updating others.

3) Buy some high end materials. Because bathrooms are usually smaller than let's say your kitchen, you can invest in some (but maybe not all) higher end materials.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Manhattan Beach CA Real Estate Market Trends

Months of Unsold Inventory
For all the talk about low inventory, there appears to be more homes available in Manhattan Beach than in the other Beach Cities. Buyer's frustrations may be more centered on the price points (high) or condition (either amazing or horrible with little in between).

Currently there are 53 active listings with 46 properties in escrow (MLS status either "backup" or "pending"). So far this year there have been 63 sales with 23 of those being logged in March and a rather paltry 21 in January and 19 in February. Seasonal softness most likely.

While there's no doubt that per the usual standard measurement - less than 90 days of inventory on hand, Manhattan Beach remains a "seller's market".  How much so depends in large part on whether you analyze the ratio of existing sales compared to sold properties or in escrow properties.

Absorption Rate
If we are looking at sold sales and for two months we averaged 20, then 53 appears to be 2 months plus of inventory which is very healthy compared to other local cities.

On the other hand if we are considering the 46 in escrow plus what we are seeing happening so far in March, a more reasonable measurement might be that we have about a month and a half of available inventory currently.

To digress a second, one of my favorite statements is that if you were doing a study on the relationship between tall people and income and only looked at NBA players your logical conclusion would be that you have to be tall to make any money. In other words, data, analysis, statistics is the map and not the territory in many instances.

In the case of inventory, what is going on now very broadly is that desirable properties that are priced right are selling quickly with multiple offers while others, for whatever reason, sit on the market and linger distorting the true data of availability.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Mid Century Modern House for Sale Manhattan Beach Tree Section

Mid Century Modern Ranch in the Tree Section
I like it. I like it a lot. And I'm not surprised by the new construction Mid Century Modern house that just hit the market at 2412 John St in the Manhattan Beach Tree Section (MLS Area 143) west of Sepulveda.

I've been predicting for a while that there would be a push back to the enormous MacMansions that were the de facto standard for new construction in Manhattan Beach for quite a while. And I've also been calling it that there will be more demand for Mid Century at the beach. This listing combines both of those thoughts. (And no I do not think I'm particularly clever.) Of course being only one level the living space will be less than the MacMansions. This house is 1890 sq ft per the builder with 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths on a 5060 sq ft lot. Currently listed for $2.799M.

This property has some great authentic features such as transom windows, radiant heat, solar power and more. Just take a look at the pictures, they really tell the story.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

How Accurate are Zillow Home Valuations in Manhattan Beach CA?

Read this Book
Let me start by saying that unlike many Realtors, I like Zillow. I'm a Five Star Premier Agent with 55 published reviews. They have some amazing data and analysis. I just read their new book. Really liked it. Whether you are an agent a homeowner, buyer, or just interested in the market, you should definitely read it too.

Now that that's out of the way, let's get to the little secret that even their Zillow acknowledges (sort of). The "Zestimates" just aren't very accurate. At least not in the Beach Cities and certianly not in Manhattan Beach. Zillow says that the Zestimates are a good "starting point". I'm not even sure I would agree with that. They're maybe an indication of price. As long as the wind isn't blowing.

In the LA area, Zillow admits that only 36.8% of the homes sell within 5% of Zillow's value. That's not a very good track record in my humble opinion. Would you get on an airplane if 6 times out of 10 it got within 5% of your destination? I think not.

Here's some real life examples of recent (this week) Manhattan Beach sales.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Manhattan Beach Hill Section Mansion

Wow. What can you say about this one? "Own your own block in this prestigious area of the Manhattan Beach Hill section. Enter a secure gate to a private courtyard with swimming pool, Jacuzzi, Bbq and outdoor fireplace. Dramatic 2 story entry with limestone floors and custom high ceilings throughout. Huge family kitchen with state of the art appliances, butler's pantry, granite counters and breakfast bar, formal dining room, living room with custom designed ceiling, laundry room and 3 car garage with 3 additional spots in your driveway. Large, yet comfortable great room offers a 74" screen and surround sound. Custom wood beam ceilings and Lutron lighting system throughout. Downstairs "basement" boasts your choice of a perfect playroom, gym or theatre complete with a wine cellar. All 5 bedrooms are upstairs. The master suite offers a huge walk-in closet, double fireplace, sitting area and master bath with heated marble floors. This is a terrific family home located close to Manhattan Beach's downtown area with terrific shopping, outside seating areas and sophisticated restaurants. Make this your home and take advantage of Manhattan Beach's award winning schools." Listed by Shorewood Realtors MLS SB15011430. $6,499,000.

If you are not familiar with the Manhattan Beach Hill Section, think Beverly Hills with ocean views and surfing.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Real Estate Market Stats

If you've been trying to buy a home in Manhattan Beach CA 90266 in any price range you know how competitive it is. It is a very hot Seller's market with prices having gone up over 16% in one year and more increases set to come (but not at quite the same pace).

The median home value in 90266 is $1,856,800. 90266 home values have gone up 16.7% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 5.0% within the next year. The median list price per square foot in 90266 is $908, which is the same as the Manhattan Beach average of $908. The median price of homes currently listed in 90266 is $1,899,000 while the median price of homes that sold is $1,967,500. The median rent price in 90266 is $4,950, which is the same as the Manhattan Beach median of $4,950.