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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Graduation season is here an Teuscher has the cutest chocolates.


Taken at Teuscher Chocolates & Cafe

Posted on: Beverly Hills Real Estate-Beverly Hills Homes For Sale

It will be a lovely 80 degree day in Beverly Hills today.


Taken at Streets of Beverly Hills

Posted on: Beverly Hills Real Estate-Beverly Hills Homes For Sale

It will be a lovely 80 degree day in Beverly Hills today.


Taken at Streets of Beverly Hills

Posted on: Beverly Hills Real Estate-Beverly Hills Homes For Sale

Why Celebrities Like Justin Bieber Are Flocking to L.A.'s Suburbia - The Hollywood Reporter

Why Celebrities Like Justin Bieber Are Flocking to L.A.'s Suburbia

Avalon Ranch: $24.99 million

Reality TV has helped turn the bedroom communities of Calabasas and Hidden Hills into bold-name hideaways.

This story originally appeared in the June 8 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

The enclaves of Calabasas and Hidden Hills -- located just beyond the Los Angeles border at the southwestern corner of the San Fernando Valley -- recently got even more star-studded. The newest kid in town is Justin Bieber, who made headlines in late March when he purchased a $6.5 million, five-bedroom pad that includes a movie theater with stadium seating. It's in a rarefied Calabasas enclave-within-an-enclave of less than 50 properties called the Estates at the Oaks, which is behind two sets of paparazzi-proof gates. Bieber, whose house was owned by Eddie Murphy's ex-wife Nicole, counts as his Oaks neighbors Tommy Lee, Gary Sinise and Community's Ken Jeong, plus Katherine Jackson, who is sheltering the late King of Pop's children there. Bieber lately has become something of a fixture in the city, which also counts the likes of Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O'Connell, Brandy and Kendra Wilkinson as residents. He regularly is seen tooling down Parkway Calabasas in his electric Fisker Karma sports car; on May 27, he scuffled with a photographer while on a date to see Men in Black 3 at The Commons, the chichi retail center that serves as Calabasas' town square, prompting a police investigation.

Why Celebrities Like Justin Bieber Are Flocking to L.A.'s Suburbia - The Hollywood Reporter

Posted on: Beverly Hills Real Estate-Beverly Hills Homes For Sale

Sales of existing homes climb 3%; prices spike - Economic Report - MarketWatch

Sales of existing homes climb 3%; prices spike

Median prices shoot up over 10%

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By Steve Goldstein, MarketWatch

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Sales of existing homes rose 3.4% in April and distressed activity tapered off as the slow housing market recovery took further root.

The National Association of Realtors said Tuesday that sales rose to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 4.62 million, from a downwardly revised 4.47 million in March. The NAR initially reported March sales at 4.48 million.

/conga/story/misc/charts/existinghomesales.html 208896

Economists polled by MarketWatch expected a 4.6 million annual rate.

All four regions saw improvement, and compared to April 2011, sales rose 10%, the tenth straight month of year-on-year gains.

U.S. stocks /quotes/zigman/3870025 SPX -0.88%   extended gains after the report, and home builders /quotes/zigman/1496092/quotes/nls/itb ITB -2.30%   were stronger. Read Market Snapshot.

“The level is still well below prerecession norms, but the recent pattern shows a bit of improvement,” said Michael Moran of Daiwa Capital Markets America.

From 2009 to 2011, home sales were trending around 4.41 million, but now there’s a breakout from that level, according to Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors.

A slowly improving jobs market, record-low mortgage rates and slightly better lending conditions have all contributed to the improving activity.

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The U.S. economy ran into a deeper soft patch in the first quarter than originally thought; the government lowers its economic growth estimate for the January-March period to 1.9% from 2.2%.
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Median prices shot up 10.1% to $177,400 on a year-on-year basis, the biggest percentage rise since January 2006. Yun said distressed sales are tapering off, so the mix of homes is weighted more toward larger, more expensive houses.

Most other price gauges have pointed more to stabilization than such large improvements. Yun anticipates prices will climb 1% to 3% for the year.

Inventories rose 9.5% to 2.54 million, representing 6.6 months of supply. CoreLogic estimates the so-called shadow inventory, which represents homes that aren’t on multiple listing services that are either seriously delinquent, in foreclosure or real-estate-owned, to be 1.6 million units as of January.

“Although the data seem to imply that there is a relative good balance between buyers and sellers, it is unlikely that home prices can recover on a sustained basis until the number of distressed properties is more significantly reduced,” said Steven Wood, chief economist at Insight Economics.

Yun said inventories typically rise by this magnitude in April. He said April usually is the peak or near the peak of inventories for the year.

Distressed sales represented 28% of all transactions, with foreclosures making up 17% and short sales at 11%. In April 2011, distressed sales accounted for 37% of all activity. Yun expects the distressed sale percentage to shrink through the year.

The declining distressed activitry showed up in other indictators: All-cash transactions were 29% in April, down from 32% in March. Investors accounted for 22% of all transactions, down from 21% in March.

First-time buyers represented 35% of all transactions, up from 33% in March.

/quotes/zigman/3870025

US : S&P Base CME
1,301.81
-11.51 -0.88%
Volume: 130.60m
May 31, 2012 10:57a

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/quotes/zigman/1496092/quotes/nls/itb

US : U.S.: NYSE Arca
$ 14.88
-0.35 -2.30%
Volume: 774,403
May 31, 2012 10:56a

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Steve Goldstein is MarketWatch's Washington bureau chief.

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Sales of existing homes climb 3%; prices spike - Economic Report - MarketWatch

Posted on: Beverly Hills Real Estate-Beverly Hills Homes For Sale

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Home Improvement Costs in the US Infographic | Coldwell Banker Blue Matter

Home Improvement Costs in the US Infographic

April 4, 2011
Posted by david_marine in General

Found this great infographic at Fixr.com that shows what home improvement projects and rooms that home owners are undertaking in the US today.

As a home owner who’s undertaking some home improvement projects this spring I found it particularly interesting that bathroom remodels almost beats out kitchen remodels as the most expensive interior improvement projects.

Take a look at the home improvement infographic below and you can get more details on it at Fixr.com.

Click the image to enlarge
Us home improvement industry at a glance


Source: Fixr Remodeling Cost Guides

Related posts:

  1. Home Prices in the US Infographic
  2. College Football Rankings By Home Price (INFOGRAPHIC)
  3. Determining if Your Home Needs New Windows

Home Improvement Costs in the US Infographic | Coldwell Banker Blue Matter

Posted on: Beverly Hills Real Estate-Beverly Hills Homes For Sale

Home Improvement Costs in the US Infographic | Coldwell Banker Blue Matter

Home Improvement Costs in the US Infographic

April 4, 2011
Posted by david_marine in General

Found this great infographic at Fixr.com that shows what home improvement projects and rooms that home owners are undertaking in the US today.

As a home owner who’s undertaking some home improvement projects this spring I found it particularly interesting that bathroom remodels almost beats out kitchen remodels as the most expensive interior improvement projects.

Take a look at the home improvement infographic below and you can get more details on it at Fixr.com.

Click the image to enlarge
Us home improvement industry at a glance


Source: Fixr Remodeling Cost Guides

Related posts:

  1. Home Prices in the US Infographic
  2. College Football Rankings By Home Price (INFOGRAPHIC)
  3. Determining if Your Home Needs New Windows

Home Improvement Costs in the US Infographic | Coldwell Banker Blue Matter

Posted on: Beverly Hills Real Estate-Beverly Hills Homes For Sale

Art Linkletter Estate Sale starts today at 1100 Bel Air Road in Bel Air.

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Art Linkletter Estate Sale starts today at 1100 Bel Air Road in Bel Air.

Posted on: Beverly Hills Real Estate-Beverly Hills Homes For Sale

I am so lucky and grateful to have this amazing fountain view in the courtyard right outside my office in Beverly Hills.


Taken at Coldwell Banker Previews International

Posted on: Beverly Hills Real Estate-Beverly Hills Homes For Sale

9 Awesome Pinterest Boards For Home Buyers.

9 Awesome Pinterest Boards For Home Buyers

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

We all know that Pinterest, the popular site for keeping track of and sharing links, is great for planning weddings, finding cute clothes, and showing everyone what good taste you have, but you may not think of it when you begin looking for a house. And you’d be missing out. Users have such a wide variety of boards, you’re sure to find some with useful pins for your home-buying adventure. Here are some to get you started, and you will likely find some real estate boards specific to your location if you do a quick search. Follow these boards to learn all about home buying, mortgages, and finding inspiration to start your own “Dream Home” Pinterest board.

  1. Homes.com: House Hunting Tips:

    If you’re just looking for pretty pictures, follow a different board. If you want a wealth of valuable advice and information about the home searching and buying process, this Homes.com board is perfect for you. With videos and links to articles chock full of tips for first-time buyers and veterans alike, you’ll be fully prepared for your next (or first!) home search.
  2. Gene Mundt: Mortgage and Credit:

    You’re about to have to start using that dreaded M-word a lot: mortgage. Since home loans and mortgages can be pretty confusing, you’ll want to learn as much as possible before you commit to one or before you try to get out from under one. As a mortgage lending professional, this pinner knows his stuff and pins relevant links he comes across, covering topics from credit scores to industry terminology. It may not be a fun board, but it’s definitely an important one.
  3. American Realty: Expert Advice on Selling Your Home:

    If this isn’t your first home-buying rodeo, you probably are up against the tough task of selling your current home before you can move on to your dream house. This board from American Realty gives tips and inspiration for getting your home in prime shape for the market. Organizational tips, entryway decorations, and other advice for boosting your home’s appeal will be right at your fingertips.
  4. SJ Lord: Real Estate Information:

    Who doesn’t love a good infographic? This board is a great place to look for quick, illustrated information on everything real estate. You’ll learn about all the hidden costs, ways to save on mortgages, and tips on buying and selling. If you don’t have a lot of time to read lengthy articles, this board will be a great go-to for easy-to-digest summaries of relevant facts.
  5. Home Depot: Curb Appeal:

    Whether you’re looking to dress up your house before selling or searching for inspiration for your new space, this board will give you great ideas. And since it’s by Home Depot, you already know where you can find a lot of the supplies to make these upgrades! Spruce up your home, old or new, with new hardware, a colored door, or interesting light fixtures, and see how drastically it changes your curb appeal.
  6. Jess Ica: Green Solutions:

    Does your new home need a thorough scrubbing before you move in? Are you having trouble seeing past dirty fixtures and grimy appliances when you look at potentially great houses? Follow this board for some green cleaning ideas that will put your mind at ease. The best part? Most of them will cost less and work better than what you would buy at the store. There are also all kinds of other quick, green fixes that will save you money that could be better used to pay off your mortgage!
  7. Better Homes and Gardens: Livable Living Rooms:

    Let your imagination run wild as you prepare to set up your new living spaces. This board and others from the people who give us Better Homes and Gardens magazine will have you drooling over bright paint colors, cozy nooks, and why-didn’t-I-think-of-that furniture arrangements. Each photo has a little tip for how you can take ideas from that particular room and use them in your own home. And once you get your living room sorted out with this board, there are other boards for awesome laundry rooms, bathrooms, patios, and more.
  8. HGTV: Clever Solutions:

    Of course no home buyer can go wrong with HGTV. While their TV channel covers all aspects of home-buying in 30-minute chunks, you can turn to their Pinterest boards during commercials or when you just want some quick space solutions. There’s a chance that you’ll fall in love with a house that has just a few things you don’t like: out-of-date kitchen cabinets, a lack of storage, a narrow room, etc. With these ideas in mind, you can buy the house you adore and fix up any problem areas. You might have to get a little creative, but these pins will get you started.
  9. Apartment Therapy: Design Tips:

    Don’t be confused by the name Apartment Therapy — these pins work for prospective home owners just as well. If you’re thinking of renovating your new place or just want to consider how you’ll fit in your furniture, this board has some great guides to scroll through. There are also ideas for how to make your house feel more like home (and a stylish one at that) when you finally get those keys.

9 Awesome Pinterest Boards For Home Buyers.

Posted on: Beverly Hills Real Estate-Beverly Hills Homes For Sale

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Real Estalker: Media Mogul Byron Allen Buys Big Beverly Hills Mansion for $17 million.

Media Mogul Byron Allen Buys Big Bev Hills Mansion

BUYER: Byron Allen and Jennifer Lucas
LOCATION: Beverly Hills, CA
PRICE: $17,000,000
SIZE: 12,717 square feet, 7 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Last week a little birdie chirped in our ear that under-the-radar media mogul Byron Allen dropped a mogul-sized wad on a big, new mansion in Beverly Hills, CA. We then went away for the weekend to see Sister Woman and Your Mama's momma Goose and, well, forgot all about the matter until yesterday when another little birdie goosed Your Mama's memory and reminded us that Mister Allen and his beautiful blond missus Jennifer Lucas dropped a noteworthy $17,000,000 on their new manse set behind driveway gates and hidden by a towering hedge on a narrow street in what is arguably one of the plumiest pockets of Beverly Hills.

Mister and Missus Allen's new neighbors include Hollywood honchos and hot shots like Tom, Katie and Suri Cruise, talent agent Kevin Huvane, one of bajillionaire Kirk Kerkorian's kids, hedge funder Mitchell Julis, and playboy producer Steve Bing. And that's just the people he can practically reach out and touch. Also nearby—withing walking distance iffin anyone besides the domestics actually walked in Beverly Hills—are the mega-mansion estates of Stewart and Lynda Resnick and tool and die tycoon Eric Smidt.

Mister Allen started up his ladder of fame (and fortune) as a stand up comedian but we remember him from the early 1980s when he co-hosted a boob-toob program called Real People. In the early-1990s he hosted an eponymous late-night chat show and in the mid-1990s he began producing interview, stand-up comedy and lifestyle shows. Press releases show he now owns, operates and finances Entertainment Studios, an under-the-radar but protean production company with more than 30 syndicated programs on the air, half a dozen online channels (and counting) and annual revenue that, according to a January 2012 profile in The Hollywood Reporter, exceeds $100,000,000. His workhorse programming has earned the company three Emmy nominations and the ballsy showbiz entrepreneur just ordered an unprecedented 104 episodes of two new shows, The First Family—which reunites Jackee (Harry) and Marla Gibbs in supporting roles—and Mr. Box Office with a star-studded cast that includes Bill Bellamy, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Gary Busey, Vivica A. Fox, and Jon Lovitz. That's right, he's ordered 104 episodes per show.

Listing information Your Mama dug up out of the internets shows Mister Allen's new digs were first listed in April 2010 with a $21,000,000 price tag that was quickly cut to $19,500,000. The conveniently located mini-estate languished for nearly two years before Mister and Missus Allen came along and snatched it up for, according to calculations on our bejeweled abacus, almost 20% less than the seller originally wanted. Property records show the seller was Dallas, TX-based billionaire banker Gerald J. Ford who acquired the property in August 2007 for $15,750,000.

Listing information shows the hulky-bulky two-story residence—originally built, we were told, in the late 1980s by Hollywood power player turned high-end house flipper Sandy Gallin—measures in at a massive but not mega 12,717 square feet and contains 6 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms (plus an additional staff room with bathroom), 6 or 7 fireplaces (one outdoors) and airy, 13-foot ceilings on the main floor.

A short, gated drive curves around to a circular (or maybe oval), tree-ringed motor court that balloons out in front of the front-facing garage and front door. A double-height entrance hall guaranteed to impress the guests and the FedEx delivery people has a soaring wall of glass panels and superstar-style staircase that starts off as a single, extra-wide flight before it splits in two and double backs to create a second level gallery with contemporary, wood and glass railing.

Gleaming, high-drama ebony wood floors in the entrance hall sweep into the public room that include a light-flooded, formal living room with fireplace, thickly layered moldings and a wide bank of floor-to-ceiling wood-framed glass panels that slide open and expose the room to the elements, backyard dining and lounging terrace and swimming pool.

The formal dining room, a rather thrilling, oval shaped space, seats 18 according to listing information and has wood-paneled walls coated in lush and lustrous, deep blue lacquer that somehow comes off for Your Mama as both admirably bold and tsk-tksy foul at the same time. Of course, we don't know the moon from a raccoon so we can't say with any authority whatsoever if Mister and Missus Allen plan to retain the deep blue glacé wall treatment in the dining room once their nice-gay or lady decorator gets finished doing up the day-core and installing a state-of-the-art home automation system.

Both the library and a home office connect to a quiet and private garden. Less formal family quarters center around the eat-in kitchen where the polished ebony wood floors go mano-a-mano with articulated, matte-finish ebony wood cabinetry topped with grey-veined white marble counter tops. The cooker comes equipped with all the top-grade stainless steel appliances one should expects to find in a $17 million dollar mansion in Beverly Hills. The kitchen adjoins a family room that, naturally, opens up in classic and casual southern California-style to the backyard.

Upstairs five family/guest bedrooms each have a private pooper and the spacious, south-facing master suite encompasses a separate sitting area with built-in window seat, direct terrace access with over-the-tree-top views of Beverly Hills, multiple closets, his and her bathing and terliting facilities and an attached gym area.

Outdoor areas include (but are not limited to) a patch of grass where Mister and Missus Allen could, if they wanted, install a really expensive jungle gym for their two tots, a covered patio space for escaping the scorching soCal sunshine, and an arched stone terrace that stretches out towards the  black-bottom swimming pool and spa. A fancy, modern metal and glass child-safety fence separate the terrace from the slender, infinity-edge swimming pool that arches gently over the hillside into the tree tops.

We seriously appreciate that real effort was made with the design and execution of the metal and glass child-safety fence. We recognize their necessity but most of those awful mesh or iron fences that tightly girdle so many small-child-gobbling swimming pools are abominations as far as we're concerned. We can't help but wonder, though, if Mister and Missus Allen will need a part-time, minimum wager worker whose sole responsibility will be to squeegee the glass panels every time some small child or topsy-turvy adult splashes a little pool water up on them.

As far as we know Mister Byron currently and still resides in a relatively modest—if hardly inexpensive—Richard Landry-designed contemporary above the Sunset Strip in what's known as The Bird Streets where all the streets are named after—you got it—birds. Speaking of birds, the same little birdie that goosed our memory about Mister Allen's recent real estate acquisition also snitched that Mister and Missus Allen's current crib has been quietly shown off-market but will soon hit the open market with an asking price somewhere around nine or $10,000,000.

The Real Estalker: Media Mogul Byron Allen Buys Big Beverly Hills Mansion for $17 million.

Posted on: Beverly Hills Real Estate-Beverly Hills Homes For Sale