Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

May 17, 2018

Hot Summer Tips for Staging Outdoor Living Space

Summer Staging Tips  - Lakewood Homes for Sale

This summer, it’s all about outdoor living space – and if you’re selling your home in Lakewood or Long Beach, you’ll need to capitalize on that.

How to Make the Most of Backyard Living Space

If your home has outdoor living space – even if you don’t use it very often – you’re very fortunate. That’s what buyers are really looking for, and now, it’s your job to spruce it up and make it as appealing as possible.

How to Stage Your Outdoor Living Space

First things first. Your entire space needs to be spotlessly clean. Make sure:

·         Your grass is neatly trimmed

·         Kids’ toys are all stored and out of the yard

·         Walkways are swept and free from debris

·         There are no pet messes in the grass

·         Your lawn furniture is clean

After your outdoor space is clean, you can start staging it to sell.

If you don’t have a fire pit or a table, it may be a good idea to talk to your Realtor® about investing in either (or both). Buyers need a little help in the imagination department, which means you can help them visualize a space’s purpose by setting it up to entertain.

Think about lighting, too. Would tiki torches or hanging lanterns look good in your backyard? Candles on the table?

If you don’t have much color in the yard, it might be a good idea to place potted plants in strategic locations. You can talk to your Realtor about what’s best, but generally, something colorful near the back door and a few pops of color along walkways or paths can really create a sense of balance and fun.

Investing in these things now can help you sell your home faster when it’s time to go – and you can use them in your next home, too.

Do You Need to Talk to a Realtor About Selling Your Home in Long Beach or Lakewood?

If you’re thinking about selling your home in Long Beach or Lakewood, we can help. Call us at 561-882-1581 to tell us about your house and how quickly you’d like to sell it – we’ll start developing a winning marketing strategy that helps you sell it at just the right price. We’ll also tell you exactly how much your home is worth on today’s market so you know how to set your price.

If you’re also looking for a new home, we can help. Check out our:

Bellflower condos for sale

Bellflower homes for sale

Lakewood condos for sale

Lakewood homes for sale

Long Beach condos for sale

Long Beach homes for sale

Seal Beach condos for sale

Seal Beach homes for sale

 

 

 

Posted in Selling a Home, Tips
May 15, 2018

5 Summer Camps Your Kids Will Love

Just about every parent in California has experienced the struggle of getting their child ready for day camp. The whining, the slow eating, and the feet dragging likely aren’t news to you if you’ve had a kid who has been less than thrilled about a particular camp. But that’s why now is a great opportunity to get your kids signed up for summer programs they can’t wait to attend each day! We’ve rounded up four wonderful summer camps in Lakewood and Long Beach that your children will love.

 

YMCA Lakewood Day Camp:

5835 E Carson St, Lakewood

 

The YMCA’s all-ages camp is a great choice if you’re looking for a fun, full-day camp for your kids. Offering programs for kids from kindergarten to grade 9, these camps provide a wide range of summer adventures including field trips, beach days, and team-building activities to foster new friendships and life skills. If you have teenagers entering grades 10 and 11, they can sign up for YMCA’s Counselors in Training program to become future camp leaders. Learn more at
www.lbymca.org/lakewood/camps-lakewood.

 

Oodles Learning Center:

19101 Bloomfield Ave, Cerritos

 

Help your children avoid losing some of what they’ve learned over the past year this summer at Oodles’ camp. Designed for kids in preschool to grade 6, this camp’s innovative approach combines practical lessons in reading, vocabulary, and mathematics with fun summertime activities. As a reward for their academic work, campers are treated to exciting destinations like the LA Zoo, Adventure City, and local beaches. Oodles offers both full-day and half-day camps. Discover everything you need to know at www.oodlesusa.com/summer-camp.

 

AIM Summer Sports Camp:

1718 Apollo Ct, Seal Beach

 

Whether your child is a sports nut or whether you’d simply like them to stay active this summer, AIM Summer Sports Camp could be a great option for you. Kids enjoy a variety of sports and other activities, including basketball, soccer, kickball and more. Between the games they’ll get to play and the friends they’ll make, your child is sure to have a blast — and it’s a great way for them to get some exercise while on summer break. To learn more and register, visit www.aimsportsgroup.com/summer-camp.

 

The Southern California Dance Academy:

4410 Greenmeadow Rd, Lakewood Village

 

Let your kids steal the spotlight at The Southern California Dance Academy’s summer camp, where girls and boys learn the basics of dance and musical theater. At the end of each week, the campers put on a special performance for their parents, featuring costumes and scenery they have made themselves. This summer dance camp welcomes children as young as 5 years old, and they also allow single-day enrollment. Visit them online at www.scdt.com for more information.

 

Skatedogs:

2760 N Studebaker Rd, Long Beach

 

Skateboarding camps hosted by Skatedogs are designed to teach skating tricks to junior daredevils in a safe, supervised environment. The Lakewood/Long Beach edition of these half-day camps is hosted at El Dorado Skatepark, a state-of-the-art park for athletes of all levels. Here, campers learn to master the launch ramps, quarter pipes, and other fun obstacles. Find the details at
www.skatedogs.com/summer-camp.

May 14, 2018

3 Signs a Deck is Failing

What to Look for on a Deck  - Lakewood Homes for Sale

If you’re thinking about buying a home in Lakewood or Long Beach that has a deck, it’s a good idea to give it a once-over (or a twice-over) before you make an offer.

Here’s what to look for.

3 Signs a Deck is Failing

While a home with a deck is usually great for outdoor entertaining, you have to think about safety and functionality first. Take a walk around the deck and keep your eye out for:

·         Signs of rot, mold or pests

·         Splintering or cracked wood

·         Loose connections between the house and the deck or between the deck and its railings

When a Deck Has Rot, Mold or Pests

When a deck is rotting away, even if it’s just a small part, or when it’s growing mold or harboring pests, you may need to negotiate with the seller to remove it or pay for repairs.

Wood rot can spread quickly, and it’s especially prevalent where the deck touches the ground. Look for pieces of wood splintering off and discolored areas; those are two giveaways that the wood might not hold up much longer.

Mold on wood is dangerous. It can make the deck slippery, and it hurries the wood’s rate of decay. You can usually tell when wood is moldy; it has a fuzzy appearance. If you see mushrooms growing, that’s another sign that something’s fundamentally wrong with the deck.

Pests can burrow and bore their way through the wood and make the entire deck unusable. If there’s enough damage, the deck could even collapse.

When a Deck Has Splintering or Cracked Wood

A deck with splintering wood could be rotting, but if it doesn’t look rotted, things might be fine. However, look for cracks; most small cracks are okay, although they’ll grow over time. It’s the big cracks – and those around fasteners – that you need to watch for.

When wood cracks around fasteners, that means it’s weakened – and it could be dangerous.

When Decks Have Loose Connections

Decks are connected to houses through lanyards. If the fasteners aren’t strong enough and the deck pulls away from the house, you’ll notice it swaying when you step on it. The lanyard can be a portal for pests to enter the house, too; most home construction materials aren’t treated for pests like decking materials are, so bugs can get into the home through a loosened lanyard.

If a deck’s railing is loose – or it the stair railing leading to the deck is loose – you could be looking at a code violation that poses a huge safety hazard.

Ask your home inspector to take a close look at the deck if you decide to move forward with an offer on a home with a deck. That way, you’ll be able to get an accurate picture of the deck’s issues and use them to negotiate with the home’s seller.

Are You Buying a Home in Lakewood or Long Beach?

If you’re buying a home in Lakewood or Long Beach, we can help. Call us at 562-882-1581.

Tell us what you want from your next home and we’ll start searching for it right away.

You can also explore our real estate listings here:

Bellflower condos for sale

Bellflower homes for sale

Lakewood condos for sale

Lakewood homes for sale

Long Beach condos for sale

Long Beach homes for sale

Seal Beach condos for sale

Seal Beach homes for sale

Posted in Buying a Home, Tips
May 10, 2018

Lakewood Real Estate Edge: May 2018

The wait is over, here’s the next edition of the Lakewood Real Estate Edge! We've published a ton of great information about Lakewood, homeownership, finance, and more. So, grab a cup of coffee (or beverage of choice) and let's get to it.

On the cover, read about the Olympix Fitness Fundraiser and Tri at the Beach. This benefit is a wonderful opportunity to support a wonderful cause, The Challenged Athletes Foundation. Inside read about 5 fantastic summer camps that your children will love. In this edition, you'll also find some great travel and decorating articles, as well as a delicious recipe from Wolfgang Puck.

We hope you enjoy reading our paper as much as we've enjoyed publishing it. Let us know your thoughts, and don't forget to check out our listings on the back page! Thanks, Lakewood!

May 10, 2018

How to Stage Your Bathrooms to Sell Your Home in Lakewood or Long Beach

Bathroom Staging Tips - Sell a Home in Lakewood

When you’re selling your home in Lakewood or Long Beach, or any other community, you know that staging is incredibly important… but what about the bathrooms? You can’t very well leave them alone, so here’s exactly what you need to do to stage them.

How to Stage Your Bathrooms to Sell Your Home in Lakewood or Long Beach

Staging your home’s bathrooms is just as important as staging the kitchen – in fact, kitchens and bathrooms are often the two make-or-break rooms in any real estate transaction.

So where do you start?

Declutter, Depersonalize and Clean

As with any other room, your first step toward setting a perfect stage is to declutter. Go through the cabinets (medicine cabinets, too) and remove anything you haven’t used in a few months.

Pro tip: While you’re decluttering, put all the medications you need in one easy-to-carry bag. You’ll take it with you when you leave the house for showings.

Depersonalizing your bathroom means taking out anything that’s uniquely yours or your children’s. Put bath toys in a mesh bag and stash them out of sight, take down personal photos, and remove décor that might seem eccentric or eclectic.

Clean the bathroom from top to bottom. Pay special attention to hard-to-reach but noticeable areas, like behind the sink faucets and at the joints between countertops and walls. If you aren’t up for the task, there’s nothing wrong with hiring a professional cleaning company to tackle the job for you.

Don’t forget to clean:

·         Grout (and bleach it If necessary)

·         Beneath the faucets

·         Sink drain holes

·         Shower tile (including grout)

·         Ventilation fans

·         Windows and window sills

After the cleaning is done, it’s time to turn your bathroom into a beautiful, spa-like retreat that your potential buyers would love to use.

How to Stage Your Bathrooms

The key to staging a bathroom is to remember that less is more. Don’t clutter the counters in an effort to decorate; instead, keep things simple. Keep your countertops clear except a vase of fresh flowers or a simple tray to contain a few decorative items.

Hang new linens that you won’t use until you move into your new home, and take them down right after each showing so someone doesn’t accidentally use them.

Make sure the bathroom stays clean, and if it’s one you’re not using (many people choose to use only one bathroom in the home while it’s on the market, which makes cleanup a lot easier), go in and dust occasionally.

Do You Need to Talk to a Real Estate Agent About Selling Your Home in Long Beach?

We can help you sell your home quickly and at the right price. Call us to find out just how much your house is worth on today’s market and we’ll be happy to talk to you about how we can market it to all the right buyers.

If you’re also looking for a new home, check out our:

Bellflower condos for sale

Bellflower homes for sale

Lakewood condos for sale

Lakewood homes for sale

Long Beach condos for sale

Long Beach homes for sale

Seal Beach condos for sale

Seal Beach homes for sale

 

 

 

Posted in Selling a Home, Tips
May 7, 2018

Our Featured Home: 5912 GRAYWOOD Ave

Stunning west facing Lakewood home has everything a buyer could look for. Totally remodeled in 2008 and is the envy of the neighborhood with its very long driveway, perfect for RV parking which leads back to a 2-car garage, aka man-cave which includes a custom gated area for recreational vehicles and toys. Living room has a large picture window and an adjacent formal dining area. The refinished original hardwood floors, recessed lighting, crown molding and baseboards can be found throughout the home. The upgraded kitchen has it all, glossy white cabinetry, shiny stainless-steel appliances, a 36-inch, 6 burner gas stove with hood, granite counters and backsplash, a garden window and a floor-to-ceiling pantry. The remodeled bathroom has a granite vanity and custom tile jacuzzi type tub. The upgrades in this home include: Dual pane low energy windows, Trane central A/C and heat, tubular skylights, newer paneled interior doors, newer exterior and interior paint, copper plumbing and a tankless water heater. The electrical box has been upgraded and the wiring, light fixtures, switches and sockets have been replaced. Both roofs and the remote-controlled garage door are newer. Outside you will find lush landscaping in both the front and the backyard with automatic sprinklers all surrounded by a block wall giving added privacy to the large covered patio. This is a great neighborhood conveniently located near shopping, entertainment and proximity to freeways for commuting. 

 

To see this home, please give me a call at 562-882-1581

Posted in Buying a Home
May 6, 2018

Why Pricing Your Home Right Matters

Why Pricing Matters  - Lakewood Homes for Sale

When you’re selling your home in Lakewood, Long Beach or any of the surrounding communities, it’s incredibly important that you price it correctly right from the start.

Your Realtor® will be there to guide you during the entire process, and she’ll be able to tell you just what your home is worth on today’s market – but it’s up to you to listen to her pricing recommendation and follow it.

Why Take Your Realtor’s Pricing Advice?

Your real estate agent will tell you just how much your home is worth on the current market, but it’s not a guess. It’s not even an educated guess… it’s a science, and your agent has it down.

Your Realtor will compare your home to other, similar homes in similar areas. She’ll look at every detail, from the square footage and the size of the yard to the upgrades you’ve put in, as well as all the little details that make your home special.

Your agent will only use very similar homes to make the comparison, because that’s the only way to reach an accurate price. The homes your agent will choose to compare will be in similar neighborhoods, too – including similar locations and those with similar amenities.

What Goes Into Determining Price?

Pricing your home correctly depends on many factors, including:

·         Size

·         Lot size

·         Upgrades

·         Amenities

·         Proximity to local amenities, schools and more

·         Age

·         Maintenance

If you’ve put major cash into your home for any reason, let your Realtor know so she can account for it when she’s figuring out how much your home is worth. Remember, though, that not all upgrades and improvements will raise your home’s resale value – and some things, such as a new roof or new HVAC system, simply count as maintenance that’s expected as part of home ownership.

What if You Get the Pricing Wrong?

Many sellers mistakenly believe that they can price a home high at first, and if they don’t get any offers, they’ll simply lower the price later.

That’s a huge mistake!

The first 30 days your home is on the market are the hottest. That’s when it gets the most attention. However, if it’s priced too high, you’re locking out a huge segment of potential buyers – they won’t even come to see your home because it’s out of their price range. Another thing: When it’s priced too high and buyers can get more house elsewhere for the same amount of money, they’re not going to want yours.

If you price it too low, you may sell it quickly… but you’re leaving money on the table (and who wants to do that?!).

The bottom line is that your Realtor knows what she’s doing when she tells you how much your home is worth. That’s why you hired her to list your house in the first place! Do yourself a favor and listen to your agent’s pricing recommendation – she’s in it to sell your home as quickly as she can, and for the best possible price.

Do You Need to Sell a Home in Lakewood or Long Beach?

If you’re thinking about selling your home in Lakewood or Long Beach, find out exactly how much it’s worth by calling 562-882-1581 today. We can also explain our innovative marketing strategies that we use to get our clients’ homes in front of all the right buyers, so call us now.

Looking for a new home, too? Check out our:

Bellflower condos for sale

Bellflower homes for sale

Lakewood condos for sale

Lakewood homes for sale

Long Beach condos for sale

Long Beach homes for sale

Seal Beach condos for sale

Seal Beach homes for sale

 

 

 

Posted in Selling a Home, Tips
May 2, 2018

How to Stage Your Kitchen When Your Home is for Sale

When you’re selling a home in Lakewood or Long Beach, you know that it’s important to stage it – but what about your kitchen? Here’s what you need to know about how to stage a kitchen when your home is for sale.

But first, here’s why you can’t skip it.

Why Stage Your Kitchen?

The kitchen is often the “make-or-break” room in a real estate transaction. Even potential buyers who aren’t too big on cooking care about the kitchen; it’s often the hub of the home, where family and friends gather and chat. It’s the first place most people go in the morning, and the last light they turn off at night.

Staging your kitchen is incredibly important. It needs to be spotlessly clean, free from clutter and showcase how much space it has (even if it doesn’t have much).

How to Stage Your Kitchen When Your Home is for Sale

Before you can begin staging, clean and declutter your entire kitchen. Take everything off the counters, but don’t cram it all into the cupboards – potential buyers will open them, and the more stuff you have jammed in them, the less space your kitchen appears to have.

Look at everything in your cabinets. What haven’t you used in a year? If that old mixer is taking up an entire bottom shelf but you haven’t touched it in months, it’s time to pack it up (or donate or sell it). Likewise, if you have appliances, serving dishes and other kitchen accoutrements that you’re not going to use between now and the day you sell your home, pack them away until you move into your new home.

The idea is to create as much space as possible without making the cupboards bare. Take out everything you can live without.

As you remove clutter, empty out each cupboard individually and clean the shelves, the handles and the cabinet faces. Do a deep-clean all over the kitchen. Remember to:

·         Scour the sink

·         Scrub the backsplash

·         Clean all grout, bleaching if necessary

·         Deep-clean the floors

·         Scrub the baseboards

·         Clean under the stove and the dishwasher (it’s less you have to do later)

·         Clean the oven – buyers will look inside

·         Scrub your stovetop

·         Wipe down all appliances

·         Clean light switches and outlet plates

·         Polish all fixutres

·         Dust the corners and clean out the dust from light fixtures

For many people, it makes sense to hire a professional cleaning service to tackle the tough stuff. That frees you up for decluttering and staging, and typically, professional cleaners are a lot faster than the rest of us.

Do You Need to Talk to a Lakewood Realtor® About Selling Your Home?

If you’re thinking about selling your home in Lakewood, call us at 562-882-1581 to find out exactly how much it’s worth. We can help you sell your house quickly and at top dollar.

Looking for a new home, too? Check out our:

Bellflower condos for sale

Bellflower homes for sale

Lakewood condos for sale

Lakewood homes for sale

Long Beach condos for sale

Long Beach homes for sale

Seal Beach condos for sale

Seal Beach homes for sale

 

 

Posted in Selling a Home, Tips
April 30, 2018

Its Time to Get Lakewood Beautiful

Lakewood homeowners, get excited! Three long years have gone by, but the Lakewood Beautiful program has returned to our wonderful city. For those who might not remember, this program recognizes beautiful Lakewood homes and yards for their owners’ care and commitment to keeping the community looking great—which has been shown to help keep property values up and crime rates low. The judges are visiting local neighborhoods this spring to see the best and brightest homes and honor their homeowners with prestigious accolades. If you didn’t live in Lakewood, CA prior to the 3-year hiatus, don’t worry! We’re here to bring you up to speed on Lakewood Beautiful’s exciting awards and how you can nominate yourself (or a neighbor!) to win.
Awards for Lakewood Homeowners
Lakewood Beautiful doesn’t celebrate the biggest or most expensive homes in town. Instead, the judges are looking for houses where the homeowner has exceeded expectations in terms of care and upkeep. The home’s exterior should be clean, attractive, and properly maintained, surrounded by a well-manicured yard and an eco-friendly garden. A strong attention to detail is also important. After all, it’s the special little touches that show you care about your home!
This year, there is a trio of Lakewood
Beautiful awards up for grabs:
Jackie Rynerson Transformation Award — Named to honor one of Lakewood’s original founders and the creator of the Lakewood Beautiful program, the Jackie Rynerson Transformation Award is a new one for 2018. This award will be bestowed upon a homeowner who has renovated their front-facing home and its surrounding yard within the last 3 years, thereby improving the property’s overall appearance and functionality. The judges will request before and after pictures to confirm eligibility. Please note that homes currently on the market are ineligible.
Beautiful Home Award — As Lakewood Beautiful’s longest standing award, the Beautiful Home Award honors a home with an exceptional front-facing exterior and outdoor landscaping. It’s intended to celebrate a homeowner’s unparalleled standard of care and pride in maintaining their house’s beauty and upkeep.

 

Water-Wise Award — This award is dedicated to stunning lawns and gardens that are grown and maintained using eco-friendly, water-conserving practices. For instance, judges might look for a yard with a high concentration of native, drought-resistant plants arranged to maximize water dispersal from a water-saving irrigation system. These winners are chosen from among the nominees for the Beautiful Home Award and the Jackie Rynerson Transformation Award.
Nominating a Home for Lakewood Beautiful
Think your Lakewood home has what it takes? You have until May 8 to fill out a nomination form at www.lakewoodcity.org/LakewoodBeautifulForm or by calling City Hall at (562) 866-9771 ext. 3123. If you receive hard copies of your utility bills, a nomination form will be included during the months of March and April. Good luck, and may the best houses win!  
 
Posted in Lakewood Community
April 25, 2018

The 4 Basics of Spring Cleaning

by Allison Van Wig
The Washington Post calls spring cleaning “the annual guilt trip.” The tradition traces its history to the days when homes were lit and heated with kerosene, wood, coal, and oil. When the weather warmed and the sun shone, women would transfer the home’s entire contents to the outdoors and then attack the grime indoors.
Old habits die hard and the spring cleaning ritual is still very much alive. As with any process with multiple “moving parts,” this one is easiest when you break it down into its most basic components.
1. DUST
All those cozy, warm fires you enjoyed over the winter can leave fine dust and ash on most surfaces in the home, including the walls. Get out the duster and get to work, starting with the ceiling, and working your way down.
Don’t neglect the ceiling light and fan. Hardware stores typically carry either long-handled or extendable dusters which will keep you off the ladder and out from under the falling “gunk.” 
2. WINDOWS
The winter really takes its toll on our windows but a quick clean will allow all that glorious springtime sunshine to stream through.
Remove fabric window coverings and wash or dry-clean them. If you have blinds, give them a good dusting, then raise them to get at those windows and then remove the screens.
Use a solution of mild dishwashing soap and a strip applicator to wash the windows. Then, swipe a squeegee across them to remove the dirty water. The pros at This Old House offer a handy walkthrough of their easy and effective window-washing process online at thisoldhouse.com/
how-to/how-to-clean-windows-pro.
 
Once the windows are sparkling, all that’s left to do is to wipe down the sills, clean the tracks (give each a squirt of lubricant after cleaning) and attack those dirty screens. Use the same type of soap-and-water solution you did for the windows and a soft scrub brush on the latter.
3. BASEBOARDS
Even though they aren’t within our direct line of sight when we enter a room, clean baseboards can make the entire room feel fresh.
If there is still dust leftover from your dusting session, get rid of that first. A whiskbroom or even a paintbrush works well for this.
Home maintenance expert Bob Vila recommends using a solution of dishwashing soap and water on painted baseboards, but vinegar and water works as well. If your baseboards don’t require scrubbing, use a magic eraser product instead.
4. FLOORS
Carpets: The flooring experts recommend a thorough and professional cleaning of the carpets in the home to set the stage for a healthy, happy spring. 
Hardwood Floors: Avoid scratching your hardwood floors by getting rid of every last speck of dirt, dust and debris before cleaning them.
Then, use a cleaning solution recommended for the type of finish on your floor. If your hardwood flooring is relatively new, it’s most likely surface-sealed with poly-acrylic, polyurethane or urethane. Older floors are either not sealed, or finished with oil, lacquer, shellac or varnish.
Surface-sealed hardwood floors are the easiest to clean; just sweep or vacuum and then run a damp mop over them. Floors with other finishes take a bit more work to bring them up to epic spring-cleaning standards. Depending on the beating the floor took over the winter, this may include stripping the old wax and applying fresh wax and then buffing it. 
Laminate Floors: Popular for their easy-care requirements, laminate floors typically respond well to a damp cleaning with a commercial laminate-floor cleaning product. Experts  recommend using a microfiber, terrycloth or cotton mop and to avoid wet-mopping your laminate floor.
Use an acetone-based fingernail polish remover to carefully remove any stubborn stains. Wax or chewing gum will come up by rubbing them with an ice cube and then using (gently) a plastic-edged scraper.
Sure, there are a seemingly-endless number of things that will require a deep cleaning this spring, but focus on the basics first and the rest won’t seem so daunting.
Posted in Tips