Westlake Village, located 38 miles from Downtown Los Angeles, is seeing a surge in home sales with many seeking larger homes as many more work from home — and/or have kids learning remotely. Per Zillow: "The typical home value... in Westlake Village is $1,121,229. Westlake Village home values have gone up 6.4% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 7.7% in the next year."
So when Heyler Realty's, Kate Kennedy, had first-time buyers looking in the highly sought-after area that boasts a good school system, larger homes, close proximity to Malibu, and beautiful hillside views, she knew that there might be some competition.
After escrow closed, we asked Kate to fill us in on her happy buyers and this beautiful home.
Ask Kate: Happy Clients
Kate, can you tell us a little bit about your clients?
My clients were first-time home buyers in the LA area. This was the first house we saw! (It happens more than you think that the 1st place you see ends up being the one!) When the place is right, you just know it!
What were they looking for?
My clients were wanting outdoor space and we found a true gem with a large yard for their dog AND a pool! After competing with multiple offers to be able to purchase this home, we then had to work through some very tough negotiations to get the deal done. There were some structural issues and things that needed to be addressed with the pool area. This one really put my negotiation tactics to the test! But in the end we got it done with mutual respect and civility reigning supreme throughout the process. (I will always fight for my clients!)
Did you run into any hiccups?
This transaction also got very tricky during the loan process. It is SO important to work with a lender you know and trust to get the job done, and done in time. Especially in this crazy market we have right now. So be sure to ask for referrals, and vet all possible candidates for this very important part of the home buying process.
It's the time of year when we'd normally be having our Heyler Harvest Festival, where we bring together our community with a BBQ, bounce house, costume contest and a fun-filled afternoon when we get to thank you, our community, for supporting us. We miss our neighbors and friends more than ever this year, so we wanted to connect with you all virtually — and still give out some pumpkins!
Join the fun on Instagram or Facebook, stop by for a pumpkin, win a prize
As you know, this is not a normal year, but we want to check in with our community with a Virtual Heyler Harvest! We're giving away pumpkins and prizes — just like at the festival — and having a costume contest and pumpkin carving contest on Instagram. There are three ways to win! Here are the details:
Free Pumpkin — If you'd like a free pumpkin, comment on our Facebook page by telling us what your favorite Halloween candy is or follow @HeylerRealty on Instagram.* Everyone who follows the steps will be entered into a giveaway to win a pair of Air Pod Pros**!
Costume Contest — Follow @HeylerRealty and post a picture of you (or your kids or your pet) in a costume and post on Instagram with the hashtag #HeylerHarvest and you'll be entered for a chance to win a $50 gift card to a neighborhood business.
Pumpkin Carving Contest — Follow @HeylerRealty and post a picture of your pumpkin on Instagram with hashtag #HeylerHarvest to be entered for a chance to win a $50 gift card to a neighborhood business.
*You must be able to pick up your pumpkin at the Heyler Realty office on the corner of Pelham and Pico on Sunday, October 25, between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. We are practicing social distancing guidelines, and we ask that you were a mask when picking up your pumpkin. Thank you!
**Winner of Air Pod Pros will be chosen at random. Costume and Pumpkin Carving winners will be chosen by the Heyler Realty panel. One prize winner per household. Gift certificates and prizes may not be redeemed for cash. Contest is not affiliated with Instagram.
The Heyler Realty Team has been so busy with clients this summer that it's been tough to catch up with Sean McMillan, co-owner and broker at Heyler Realty, but when we decided to relaunch our e-newsletter last month (and redesign it this month), we asked him to give us a perspective on the real estate market going into fall.
1. What was the summer like for the Heyler Realty Team? Wait, what?!? Umm there was a summer? Hahahaha — so, so interesting. I mean there are so many new protocols and procedures, in our industry, that need to be practiced each and every time, so that alone has added more work and better time-management skills... but as the audience knows, we here at Heyler, pride ourselves on being highly skilled and critically thinking leaders in both the industry and community... All of which is to say that we've been EXTRAORDINARILY productive and successful, and continue to be so, even in these dynamic and confusing times... I guess that hard work combined with a desire to rise to the occasion of any challenge has brought the best out in us.
2. What have you seen in home sales since the pandemic started? Hot Topic, Hot Properties, and a Hot Market. Contrary to a nearly instinctual anticipation of market retraction, we've experienced quite the opposite in the buy/sell side of Single Family Homes. It's so interesting that consumers go out and buy the most expensive investment of their lives in these kinda crazy, uncertain times. Perhaps the quarantine has helped people see that they needed or wanted different living spaces, or maybe it's the low, low, low cost of borrowing money, or maybe it's the perception that change is good, but it definitely has been an extraordinary time in market activity.
3. As we enter our 7th month of sheltering in place, are you seeing any shift in the market? Good question — yes, we have noted different markets doing different things, and NOT all the markets are moving inventory the same as other marketplaces. While the single family home market remains robust, the townhome/condo and rental markets have softened. There are likely several good reasons for the softening demand, again the low cost of money affords renters to buy as well as condo owners to move up into larger homes... there is a notable increase in condo inventory which is outpacing the sales of the condos which causes the prices to soften and lower values.
4. There have been some interesting moves in the city during this time, including a heightened desire for single family homes. Do you see that continuing into the fall and, if so, why? Hmmm, trickier question as my crystal ball cracked long ago and my Magic Eight Ball now says "unclear and try again". There are multiple factors that can influence the market, the general election really has a lot of people off balance and may distract from the productivity of the market, interest rates, fires, hurricanes, international diplomacy, civil unrest, etc... I mean there are a lot of really significant issues that can influence a market, but this general election may be the most significant as it has the attention of so many people.
5. Are buyers still actively viewing homes during COVID? Yes with safety protocols in place, there is steady buyer activity. Masks, gloves, antiseptics, non-touching, and signing a disclosure in advance have made the process more effective at screening away lookie-loos and have real buyers going through all the steps.
6. Do you think it is a buyers or sellers market? Or both? In my opinion, it depends on the marketplace as demand sets that mindset... however after it being a sellers market for a little over a decade, I think there's a stronger argument for the market moving towards a buyers market.
7. Any words of wisdom for people negotiating our new norm? Wash hands. wear masks, be kind, be humble and work on those quality friends and family bonds that will help us all navigate these strange times more safely and with less stress. Look to people that you trust to help those people that you love... this is our aspiration — to make our difference one person at a time, inch by inch we make a mile.
Heading into 2020, the real estate market remained steady and the industry was expecting a surge of business in the Spring. It was late February when news started to spread that what was happening in China might start to affect the rest of the world. By mid-March Californians were sheltering in place and the world stopped.
Seven months later we are still in the midst of a pandemic and even though we did see an unforeseen slowdown in real estate sales early in the Spring, Summer sales have exploded and the housing market in Los Angeles County is seeing record numbers. In fact:
California's median price reached $706,900 in August, which was the largest percentage increase since 2014 and the third consecutive month during of a new all-time high in prices. (Source: CAR)
Sales rose 2.4% from a year earlier. (Source: DQNews)
Sales closed at the highest level in a decade. (Source: CAR)
A Heyler Realty listing in Mt. Olympus recently sold for $551,000 over asking.
Not only are buyers eager to purchase a home, they are finding themselves often in bidding wars due to the scarce inventory of single family homes on the market. Jae Wu, co-owner and broker of Heyler Realty saw this first hand in a recent listing in Mt. Olympus, "We had multiple offers over asking, and our sellers closed their home with an offer that was $551,000 over asking. It's just so competitive out there."
Why so competitive? Simply put: there is no inventory. According to Zillow, there were 19% fewer homes in Los Angeles and Orange counties for sale in August than last year. As we move into the Fall and Winter with people still working from home and kids continuing to learn remotely, the desire to own a single family home is expected to increase. The current demand to have a larger living space along with older generations who aren't ready to move during a pandemic, we might see bidding wars and buyer competition through the end of 2020.
Remember the days when you could spend your Sunday afternoons stopping by different Open Houses? Some visitors would tour a home as serious buyers, others would be neighbors checking out what a home in their neighborhood goes for these days, and others would simply be looking for decorating ideas. As a Real Estate Agent, it was a time to talk to buyers, engage with the community, and a great way to enjoy the day, especially when you get to spend some time in a beautiful home for the afternoon.
Today is a little different. During the pandemic, before you can view a home in person, you have to have the proper paperwork filled out, such as a Coronavirus Property Entry Advisory and Declaration form, to be exact, which you can only obtain from a licensed Real Estate Agent.
But, you keep seeing these "Virtual Open Houses" online right? And what exactly does that mean? Some buyers also ask if they can only view a home virtually or can they still see it in person. How do "open houses" work today? There are several ways to view a home:
VirtualOpen Houses. Gone are the days of spending your Sunday afternoons driving through neighborhoods and visiting several properties at open houses. Now the majority of home listings offer virtual open houses, with drone footage or 3D viewing becoming the norm. If you want to see a home in person, you must sign an advisory form and have a Real Estate Agent set up an appointment for you (as mentioned above), as well as follow the listing agent's guidelines for viewing.
Appointments Only. "Browsing" is not the norm these days. If a buyer would like to see a property, the proper paperwork will need to be submitted and a viewing appointment will need to be scheduled by your agent with the listing agent. This is to ensure that showings are done in a safe matter for all parties involved.
Real Estate Agent Viewing. If a homebuyer is still not comfortable viewing a home in person, they should talk to their agent. They can work with the listing agent about options, such as having your agent view it for you.
Note: It is important that all parties should read and understand the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on how to protect yourself, as well as the state of California's shelter-in-place guidelines.
Tired of renting? Looking to buy a condo on the Westside? We have a few properties that might be just want you are looking for.
Two Bedroom in Santa Monica 1324 Harvard Street Asking price: $849,500
First time on the market since 1987, this is a fantastic opportunity to purchase a large, architectural style townhome in prime Santa Monica. Built when developers were focused on offering larger living spaces, these type of units rarely become available, with many of the residents having been there for years and years. This front corner unit is perfectly positioned to capture the natural light and yet offer privacy. Upon entering the living space one is greeted by open rooms, well designed for comfortable living and entertaining spaces. The retro-style kitchen offers a prime template for updating and remodeling. Located upstairs are the gracious and spacious bedrooms with the primary bedroom having vaulted ceilings, dressing area with two large closets, vanity and privacy. The 2nd bedroom is also large with a generous walk-in closet. There are two ample storage spaces within the unit in addition to the storage locker in the gated garage. Side by side parking, low HOA, Santa Monica-Malibu schools.
One bedroom in Culver City 4900 Overland Avenue Asking price: $495,000
Welcome to this gorgeous newly renovated unit at Windsor Fountains, one of the most highly sought-after resort-style complexes in the Heart of Culver City. Featuring new wood floors, crown molding, gourmet updated kitchen and open master bedroom with huge walk in closet. Enjoy the tree top views and peaceful courtyard from the spacious living room and large outdoor patio. Separate dining area opens to the kitchen & the breakfast bar. 2-car gated reserved tandem parking included. Unit has been recently painted, professionally cleaned and ready to move right in. Complex offers a large heated community pool, Jacuzzi, Clubhouse w/kitchen & recreation room, dry sauna, gazebo BBQ area, beautiful landscaping, tennis courts & convenient On-site Manager. Benefit from highly rated elementary schools, Culver City Middle/High Schools. Close proximity to Downtown Culver City, Westfield Shopping Center, eateries & freeways along with Sony Pictures, Amazon, and Apple and so much more!!
Three bedroom in Brentwood 750 S. Bundy Drive Asking price: $1,199,999
This spacious single-level condo in the heart of Brentwood is not to be missed! The front hall, with double door entry, leads to in-unit laundry and powder room, as well as two additional closets. The updated kitchen boasts a lovely eat-in area, ample storage and counter space, as well as updated appliances and gas cooktop. 3rd bedroom currently used for private office- perfect for working from home. The large patio off of the grand living room offers a private outdoor retreat. The second bedroom has an ensuite full bath and two closets. The master bedroom has multiple large closets, a fireplace, a balcony and an ensuite bathroom retreat with dual vanities, large tub and a separate shower. The building amenities include an indoor pool, spa and sauna, changing rooms and exercise equipment. Two side-by-side parking spaces, with additional room for storage, and multiple guest parking spots all in a gated garage. Located close to shops, weekly farmers market, restaurants and more.
Sold over asking with multiple offers: Two bedroom in Culver City
This gorgeous top floor condo located at 4900 Overland was completely renovated and had multiple offers. It was located in the heart of Culver City, adjacent to the Ballona Creek Bike Path, in a complex that offers multiple tennis courts, pool, spa, sauna, clubhouse and BBQ area. Original asking price: $599,000. Sold price: $675,000.
Looking to sell your property or have questions about purchasing a condo? Contact us. We can help.
In a recent poll conducted by the California Association of Realtors (CAR), both home buyers and sellers believed that the housing market will improve over the next 12 months. Here are some interesting takeaways from the poll:
Sellers think it is a good time to sell a home
Buyers think it will be harder to find a home in the next 12 months, even though more planned to buy
Both sellers and buyers think home prices will rise over the next 12 months and that the economy will improve
If you are still thinking about buying a home; now might be the time to call your Real Estate Agent to discuss a mortgage broker that can help you get a loan approval. Interest rates are at a historical low: The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage average hit 2.86% this week, according to Freddie Mac. Just one year ago, rates were considered low at 3.56%.
Purchase demand activity has been growing at double digit rates for four consecutive months.
In Freddie Mac’s data release notes this week, the company said, “These low rates have ignited robust purchase demand activity, which is up twenty-five percent from a year ago and has been growing at double digit rates for four consecutive months. However, heading into the fall it will be difficult to sustain the growth momentum in purchases because the lack of supply is already exhibiting a constraint on sales activity.” (Source: Movement Mortgage)
This week we covered the new way to purchase a home in today's environment; now we want to discuss what it's like for homeowners to sell their home during the pandemic. Gone are the days when would-be-buyers would visit your home during an open house with many others. The California Association of Realtors (CAR) has advised against in-person open houses and virtual open houses are the new norm.
And why should you sell your home during a pandemic? Because "the median price of a Southern California home... in July, [was] up 8.5% year over year and up almost $30,000 from June’s record high. That’s the biggest one-month price jump in CoreLogic’s 32-year-old database." (Source: OCR)
If you are thinking about selling your home, here are a few key differences during COVID:
Listing/Real Estate Agent.Your first step in looking for a home is to contact a Real Estate Agent. A licensed and experienced realtor will be by your side throughout your home selling process and he or she will be able to explain to you the new regulations, which includes additional paperwork related to COVID, as well as be the main point person in communications and negotiations.
VirtualOpen Houses. You cannot show your home without the proper COVID paperwork in place. CAR has strict guidelines and documents that must be signed by both sellers and buyers about home viewing that protects all parties involved. Your Real Estate Agent can review these with you.
All open houses are conducted virtually, per CAR, with drone footage or 3D viewing becoming the norm. An agent can discuss with you how this works and how to best market your home. In addition, if an interested party wants to view your home in person, they must sign an advisory form and have a Real Estate Agent set up the appointment. Your agent will work with you about guidelines to safely show your home, if you are comfortable allowing buyers to do so in person.
E-signing. Although DocuSign has been the most used source of signing documents for home purchasing for many years, it is now the preferred method for conducting business throughout the escrow process. This allows you to stay safe at home while going through the transaction. Your Real Estate Agent will guide you through the process step by step.
Thinking about selling your home? Heyler Realty is here to answer any questions you might have. You can contact us here.
Home buyers are still flocking to the market as stay-at-home ordinances remain unchanged in Southern California and many find that the definition of "home" has transitioned to home, school, work, and 24/7 entertainment.
In fact, "Homebuyers signed contracts for 3,770 properties in the week ending on Aug. 29, continuing a fourth month-long increase in buying activity, according to Los Angeles Daily News, citing Zillow data. Contracts were up 0.7 percent week-over-week, and 6 percent year-over-year, the data showed." (Source: TheRealDeal)
In today's virtual world of purchasing a home, your first step is to contact a Real Estate Agent. He or she can take you through the new home search process during COVID.
If you haven't purchased a home in the past several months, the process has changed a bit, as the California Association of Realtors (CAR) has created mandatory protocols that follow the CDC's recommendations. A few key elements that have changed when looking for and buying a home are listed below:
Real Estate Agent.Your first step in looking for a home is to contact a Real Estate Agent. He or she will be by your side throughout the process. It takes tenacity and experience to orchestrate appointment viewing and touring everything you may want to see as well as navigating through the communications, negotiations and representing your very best interests in buying a home.
During the pandemic, before you can even view a home in person, you have to have the proper paperwork filled out, such as a Coronavirus Property Entry Advisory and Declaration form, to be exact, which you can only obtain from a licensed Real Estate Agent. Your Real Estate Agent will also contact the listing agent to schedule a viewing for you, or if you feel more comfortable, he or she can view the property and share the tour with you virtually.
Open Houses. Gone are the days of spending your Sunday afternoons driving through neighborhoods and visiting several houses at open houses. Now all open houses are done virtually, with drone footage or 3D viewing becoming the norm. If you want to see a home in person, you must sign an advisory form and have a Real Estate Agent set up an appointment for you (as mentioned above), as well as follow the listing agent's guidelines for viewing.
E-signing. Although DocuSign has been the most used source of signing documents for home purchasing for many years, it is now the preferred method for signing and submitting an offer on a house, as well as conducting business throughout the escrow process. This allows you to stay safe at home while conducting the transaction. Your Real Estate Agent will guide you through the process step by step. Many escrow companies offer e-signing as well for closing docs.
Thinking about starting to look for a home or have questions about purchasing one? Heyler Realty is here to help. You can contact us here.