Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Sunday, December 15, 2013
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Saturday, November 23, 2013
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Monday, November 4, 2013
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Monday, October 28, 2013
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Friday, October 25, 2013
Thursday, October 24, 2013
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Sunday, October 20, 2013
Friday, October 18, 2013
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Thursday, September 19, 2013
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Friday, September 13, 2013
Thursday, September 12, 2013
Monday, September 9, 2013
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Watch my video of my Radio Interview with Toni Patillo, kind of fun and campy. Thank you so much Toni for having me on your show!!!
Friday, June 28, 2013
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Sunday, May 26, 2013
Friday, May 24, 2013
Our great and wonderful friend Sue Wong's incredible and opulent Great Gatsby Event and Birthday Party was one of the most fabulous parties every in Hollywood. Oh what an evening and glamorous party that transported us back to the 1920's in Sue's Grand Mansion from that era long gone. Watch this awesome video and have some fun enjoying her amazing new collection and this spectacular estate and event of a lifetime. Love and kisses to you Sue!Sue
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Friday, May 17, 2013
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Thursday, May 9, 2013
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Thursday, May 2, 2013
Christophe Choo take a little tour of Sunset Boulevard on the famous Sunset Strip in West Hollywood.
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Posted on | April 30, 2013 | 0 Comments
Average home prices rose 9.3 percent in February from one year ago, the biggest gain in Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller 20-city index since may 2006.
Additionally, home prices showed solid increases in all 20 cities for two months in a row. “The last time that happened was in early 2005,” David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee, said.
Tuesday’s report said that Phoenix, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Detroit and Los Angeles posted the highest year-over-year price increases. For the Los Angeles metro market, which ranked No. 6 on the leader board, the year-over-year gain was 14.1 percent. Other cities moving into double-digit territory were Miami, Minneapolis, San Diego and Tampa.
Credit the big gains to:
1) Sparse inventory.
2) Hiatus on foreclosure activity as banks and service companies absorb provisions of the California Homeowner’s Bill of Rights that took effect Jan. 1, modify loans for some qualifying homeowners, and revert back to short-sale transactions for distressed homeowners.
3) The double-digit drop that occurred in fast-growing regions of California after the housing bubble burst.
Gary Painter, of the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate, said in a statement he sent this way on Tuesday that the latest report — the sixth of its kind that brings good news — signals a high level of stability and also shows pockets that can be considered “hot markets.”
“While the numbers and this anecdotal evidence suggest certain markets have rebounded,” Painter said prices have not shot up dramatically.
“‘Hot markets are often a result of lack of inventory rather than positive market growth, which may explain the steady prices,” he said. “As fundamentals continue to improve, however, you will begin to see more markets gaining momentum.”
REAL ESTATE: Los Angeles, hot market by Case-Shiller standards : Real Estate
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
What message is your new home going to send to would-be burglars? There are some tactics you may want to consider to help keep intruders out of your home, while there are other home features you may want to avoid, as they may actually provide cover for a thief.
In the hope of creating privacy, some homeowners choose tall hedges, thick shrubbery and long driveways. But in some cases, the characteristics that allow for privacy can also make the perfect screen to shield a burglar’s suspicious activities from your neighbors.
Of course, there’s a way to balance the need for privacy with home security. From hostile vegetation to motion-sensitive lighting, defensive landscaping strategies can offer a sense of privacy while still allowing you to see what’s going on in and around your property.
Using the principles of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED), a multi-disciplinary approach to deterring crime in communities, here are four landscaping must-haves to look for in your new home.
Protect with thorns. There’s more to rose bushes than lovely petals; they can also pack a punch. One look at the thorny rose bushes in front of your windows may make a would-be intruder think twice. Thorny plants like holly or bird’s nest spruces can also work as a deterrent. If you live in a warm, dry climate, other options might include needle bush, Spanish bayonet (a spine-tipped yucca) or prickly pear cacti. Talk to local landscapers to identify the right species. Keep in mind, though, any shrubs near the house should be trimmed low (CPTED principles suggest three feet or less) so the area remains in full view of neighbors and passers-by, eliminating hiding places for intruders.
Maintain privacy without being hidden. Thick shrubs and tall fencing may be great landscaping for privacy, but by obscuring your new house from the street, these landscaping choices can also invite burglars. CPTED principles suggest using the shortest, least sight-limiting fence appropriate for the situation. Fences should allow someone to see in (e.g., open, decorative ironwork), and hedges should be no higher than 3 feet; thorny specimens can help deter access. And consider trimming tree branches so the canopy begins at least 8 feet from the ground.
Scare with sound. Lay gravel or stones in beds and paths below windows so you will be able to hear a would-be burglar’s footsteps loud and clear. For instance, pea gravel comes in a light stone color and can blend nicely with existing landscaping. It makes a loud crunching sound to alert homeowners to someone’s presence. As an added bonus, decorative gravel or stones are a water-saving alternative to grass in dryer climates.
Light up the night. Keep your new property lit at night, but be considerate of “light pollution” that might annoy neighbors. A lighting system might include lighting at all entries, along pathways, and any other high-risk areas. A motion-based lighting system provides you with light when needed, and it also serves the double purpose of allowing you to see people approaching and letting someone know they’ve been detected. And because the lights are only activated when needed, they can be a cost-effective and environmentally friendly choice.
Landscaping is sometimes overlooked as an element of home security. Having these tips in mind as you look at potential properties can help ensure that your new home keeps you safe and secure.
This post comes from the editors of The Allstate Blog, which helps people prepare for the unpredictability of life.
4 Landscaping Tips to Deter Burglars | Coldwell Banker Blue Matter
Monday, April 29, 2013
adonna’s House – Beverly Hills
- Celebrity Home Photos
1 / 2Madonna’s Beverly Hills house features a tennis court, swimming pool, a British style pub and game room and a long, private driveway for extra security.Madonna’s hood is filled with famous neighbors like – Simon Cowell, Max Mutchnick and Guilford GlazerAddress: 9425 Sunset Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90210 (California)Bedrooms: 3 Bathrooms: 5 House Size: 5,800 sqft
Acerage: 1.14 Year built: 1912Similar Celebrity Homes
Madonna’s House – Beverly Hills | Celebrity Homes | Celebrity Houses | CelebHomes.net
10 Of America's Most Expensive Homes Worth Over $100 Million (PHOTOS)
10 Of America's Most Expensive Homes Worth Over $100 Million.
Sunday, April 28, 2013
The Best American Farmer’s Markets - In my opinion the Beverly Hills Farmers' Market is one of them.
Farmer’s markets have become popular with consumers who are growing more conscious of eating healthy and supporting local businesses. However, farmer’s markets aren’t just for local customers anymore. They have also become very popular with tourists and local restaurants. Here’s a look at some of the best in the country.
Windmill Farmer’s Market
This market has been around since 1987, and offers delicious options from over 200 vendors every Saturday. Not only can visitors pick up some of the best fresh food around, they can also check out lovely handmade crafts. In addition, there are activities like horse and buggy rides that make this a fun family outing for everyone.
You can visit this fun farmer’s market every Saturday morning from April until November. You may find some unusual items here that you won’t always find at other farmer’s markets. Try out such oddities as yellow watermelons or golden beets. Don’t forget to pick up some fresh herbs while you’re there. Along with the food, you can find crafts, potpourri, and lovely dried flowers to decorate your home. This market is also open on Wednesday evenings with a smaller crowd.
Davis Farmer’s Market
At this farmer’s market, besides a delectable choice in fresh food, visitors will find activities like face painting, music shows, and even a rock wall they can climb. A popular event with this market is the “Picnic in the Park” held on Wednesday evenings, where guests can enjoy local musicians while dining on Indian, Mexican, and American foods. This is truly a farmer’s market for all ages.
This market is located right on the Portland State University campus. It offers delicious ingredients for menus, as well as prepared treats. Kids will enjoy visiting the Saturday event where they get to try out their cooking skills and learn new ones they can practice at home. You can enjoy live music while you shop and pick up delicious baked goods, flowers and plants that are in season, and fresh produce.
Union Square Greenmarket
This farmers market is just like New York City in that it is a one-of-a-kind. You will find items here that you can’t find anywhere else. Imagine taking home a basket of ostrich eggs or biting off a square of gourmet breads. You and 50,000 of your closest friends can enjoy this market on Saturdays, and even come back on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for a smaller crowd. Those days are also when you can check out the cooking demonstrations.
No matter where in the U.S. you choose to travel, you can find an interesting farmer’s market to visit. However, for fun and variety, check out some of those listed above, and you will enjoy a memorable experience. You might even get to know some foods you never heard of before.
The Best American Farmer’s Markets - In my opinion the Beverly Hills Farmers' Market is one of them.
Saturday, April 27, 2013
Home prices: Biggest rise since housing bubbleBy Chris Isidore @CNNMoney March 26, 2013: 11:26 AM ET
Home prices posted their biggest gain since 2006 in January.NEW YORK (CNNMoney)
Home prices continued their recovery, rising 8.1% in January, although a separate report showed a slight slowdown in new-home sales.
The S&P Case-Shiller index, which tracks the 20 largest markets in the nation, showed the biggest year-over-year gain in prices since June 2006.
"This marks the highest increase since the housing bubble burst," said David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.
In a separate government report Tuesday, new homes sold at a 411,000 annual rate in February, down nearly 5% from the January sales pace but up 12% from year-earlier levels. The typical price of a new home sold in the month was $246,800, up about 3% from both the January and a year earlier.
Joseph LaVorgna, chief U.S. economist for Deutsche Bank, said that bad weather in February could be partly responsible for the slowdown in sales. But he said market fundamentals suggest that the market for new-home sales should remain strong.
"Despite the pullback in sales in February, the uptrend in housing remains clearly intact," he said. He is forecasting even stronger sales in the second half of this year.
The Case-Shiller report shows the recovery in home prices is widespread. All 20 markets posted a year-over-year gain, and the pace of increase picked up in every market except Detroit.
Some of the markets hurt the most by the bursting of the housing bubble have enjoyed the biggest gains, led by a 23% rise in Phoenix. Prices were also up more than 10% in San Francisco, Las Vegas, Detroit, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Los Angeles and Miami, all markets that had been hit hard by foreclosures.
New York posted the smallest rise, up only 0.7%.
Even with the recent rise in home prices, the overall index is down 28.4% from the 2006 peak.
But experts say they see a lot of strength in the current market.
"The market still has a long way to go nationally, but the healing process -- and a return to a normalized housing market -- is definitely well underway," said Jim Baird, chief investment officer for Plante Moran Financial Advisors.
Home prices have been helped in recent months by a number of factors, including tight inventory of homes available for sale, near record-low mortgage rates and a drop in homes in foreclosure. A decline in unemployment is also helping the housing recovery.
The housing recovery itself is helping support overall economic growth, as builders scramble to hire workers to meet the renewed demand. The lift goes beyond the impact of increased construction on the economy, as the rise in home prices lifts household wealth.
Rising home prices also reduce the number of people owing more on their mortgages than their homes are worth. That, in turn, can help them to refinance those loans at a lower rate, freeing up money to spend on other goods and services.
Biggest home price rise since the bubble is latest sign of housing recovery.
Friday, April 26, 2013
Kawela Bay on the North Shore of Oahu has so many wonderful memories and special meanings for me.
April 26th, 2013
Each month, Trulia’s Housing Barometer charts how quickly the housing market is moving back to “normal.” We summarize three key housing market indicators: construction starts (Census), existing home sales (NAR), and the delinquency-plus-foreclosure rate (LPS First Look). For each indicator, we compare this month’s data to (1) how bad the numbers got at their worst and (2) their pre-bubble “normal” levels.
In March 2013, construction starts and the delinquency + foreclosure rate improved:
- Construction starts rocketed to a new post-bubble high. Starts were at a 1,036,000 seasonally adjusted annualized rate – up 7% month-over-month and 47% year-over-year – which is the highest level since June 2008. In March, 38% of new starts were in multi-unit buildings, compared with the typical level of 20%. Construction starts are now 55% of the way back to the normal level of 1.5 million from their low during the bust.
- Existing home sales went down a bit. Sales fell 0.6% in March to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 4.92 million homes. That’s a 10% increase over one year ago. Excluding distressed sales, conventional home sales were up 23% year-over-year in March. Also, inventory rose even on a seasonally adjusted basis for the second month in a row. Overall, existing home sales are 66% back to normal.
- The delinquency + foreclosure rate dropped yet again. The share of mortgages in delinquency or foreclosure dropped to 9.96% in March, down from 10.18% in February and 10.98% in March 2012. The combined delinquency + foreclosure rate is 48% back to normal and at its lowest level since October 2008.
Averaging these three back-to-normal percentages together, the housing market is now 56% of the way back to normal, up from 54% in February and 43% six months ago in September. One year ago, the market was only 33% back to normal – so the last year has been a significant recovery. Furthermore, this month’s improvement is even better than it looks with the shift of sales from distressed to conventional and early signs that the inventory crunch may be easing, which will bring some relief to would-be homebuyers.
Housing Market Nears 60% Back to Normal | Trulia Pro Blog
Thursday, April 25, 2013
April 25th, 2013
Buying a home instead of an engagement ringby Michele Lerner
A new study from Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate revealed that one in four couples between the ages of 18 and 34 bought a home together before they got married, compared to 14 percent of married couples age 45 and older. Among all the married couples surveyed, 17 percent purchased a home together before their wedding day.
Even couples who don’t buy a home together are more likely to live together than in the past. A CDC study showed that between 2006 and 2010, 48 percent of American women ages 15 through 44 said they had lived with a romantic partner, compared to just 34 percent in 1995.
Home buying trend
Dr. Robi Ludwig, a psychotherapist and Coldwell Banker Real Estate lifestyle correspondent, teamed up with the Harris Interactive market research firm to look into the emotional side of home buying.
Ninety two percent who had bought a home after marriage said buying together was a “positive milestone in their relationship and life together.”
“What we’re seeing is that young couples are switching up the order and purchasing their first home regardless of whether or not they have set a wedding date,” Ludwig said in a press release. “This is a huge movement within the American culture. While younger generations may be focusing more on their career, and in turn waiting longer to get married and have children, they are not delaying their dream of homeownership.”
Thirty-five percent of married couples (including those who bought a home before marriage) purchased their first home together before their second wedding anniversary and another 20 percent purchased their home between their second and fourth anniversary.
“The homebuying process forces couples to deal with their competing feelings of money and how to spend it and that is why successfully purchasing a home with someone else is deemed a significant accomplishment in any relationship,” wrote Ludwig. “It means the couple has been able to overcome their differences in an effort to create a better future together.”
Tips for purchasing a home together
Dr. Ludwig offers five tips for couples who want to purchase a home:
- Be willing to compromise on your needs and wants. Each spouse should make a list of what you hope to find in a home and understand that you have to cooperate to overcome their differences.
- Set priorities together. As a couple, decide which features are the most important for your combined future.
- Be open and honest about your finances. Couples often fight about money, so if you can communicate effectively and openly about your finances you can strengthen your relationship.
- Plan for the future. A home purchase should be part of a long-term plan for your careers and perhaps a family.
- Be patient and have fun. Home buying can be stressful, but the experience can also help a couple learn more about each other and cement their bond.
The survey showed that 80 percent of couples said that buying a home did more to strengthen their relationship than any other purchase they made together, and 35 percent wished they had bought a home sooner.
Buying a home instead of an engagement ring, the new trend.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Christophe Choo - Why I am here at the AREAA Global Summit in Waikiki.
April 18, 2013
Americans' Optimism About Home Prices Surges This Year
For first time since 2007, majority say prices will increaseby Jeffrey M. Jones
PRINCETON, NJ -- Fifty-one percent of Americans expect average home prices in their local area to increase over the next year, a sharp increase from last year and the first time it has been above 50% since 2007.
These data are from Gallup's annual Economy and Personal Finance survey, conducted April 4-14, polling more than 2,000 Americans and 1,400 homeowners on the topic of housing. This is the first of several stories on housing and homeownership Gallup will run this week, as part of Gallup's ongoing series, "The New American Consumer."
Americans' views of the housing market became understandably more pessimistic during the housing crisis and its aftermath. But with the housing market picking up again, so has Americans' optimism about home prices. Gallup first asked about expectations for local home values in an Experian/Gallup Personal Credit Index survey in 2005, and at that point -- near the peak of the housing market -- 70% expected local home prices to rise.
Americans' optimism waned in subsequent updates on the question, with the percentages expecting home price increases hovering near 50% in late 2006 and 2007 before plummeting to 29% in January 2008. Expectations of an increase stayed low until this year's surge to 51%.Western Residents Optimistic About Home Value Increase
Residents of the Western part of the country are most optimistic about home values, with 62% expecting prices to increase. In other regions of the country, just under half expect home values to increase. Also, those who describe their residence as being in a city or suburban area are much more optimistic about home values than are those who say they live in a "town" or "rural area."
Homeowners are no more optimistic than renters about housing prices, but upper-income Americans are more likely to expect values to increase than are middle- and lower-income Americans.
Homeowners More Likely Now to Say Home Value Exceeds Purchase Price
For many Americans, a home is not just a place to live but also one of their biggest financial investments. But the housing crisis left many -- particularly those who bought near the top of the market -- with a house worth less than they paid for it. In fact, last year 53% of U.S. homeowners said their house was worth more than they paid for it, down from 80% in 2008 and more than 90% in 2006.
This year, 63% of homeowners say their house is worth more than when they bought it, providing evidence of a recovery in home values, although still not back to levels of five or more years ago.
Younger homeowners, many of whom probably bought homes fairly recently, appear to be more affected by the recent downturn in home prices. Fifty-two percent of homeowners younger than 50 say their home is worth more than when they bought it, compared with 71% of homeowners aged 50 and older.
In addition to age, there are modest differences by region and income. Homeowners living in the East are more likely than those residing in other parts of the country to say their home is worth more than when they bought it. And upper-income homeowners are more likely than lower-income homeowners to say the same.
Americans Continue to Say It Is a Good Time to Buy Homes
Even as Americans did not expect home prices to increase in recent years, they still generally believed it was a good time to buy a house, though the housing crisis clearly affected their views from 2006-2008. Currently, 73% say it is a good time to buy, the highest since 2003, albeit not much different from results since 2009. In 2003, a record 81% said it was a good time to buy a house.
Even during the depths of the housing crisis, the "good time" percentage never fell below 50%, indicating that Americans' opinions may take into account factors other than whether the housing market is strong. For example, when prices dropped, Americans may still have believed it was a good time to buy a home because lower home prices provided a favorable buying opportunity. Also, regardless of market conditions, Americans may generally just believe buying a home is a good thing to do.
Because there is presently a large consensus about the desirability of buying a home, there are few notable differences by subgroup. One exception is by income -- 87% of those whose annual income is $75,000 or more believe it is a good time to buy a house, compared with 55% of those whose income is less than $30,000. Middle-income respondents, at 76%, fall closer to the views of upper-income Americans.
Americans are as bullish on the housing market as they have been at any time since before the housing bubble burst several years ago. This surely reflects the stabilization of the housing market, and the fact that home prices are generally heading up in most parts of the country. Upper-income Americans are especially positive about the home buying market.
Still, the effects of the housing slump have not completely vanished. Although the percentage of Americans saying their home is worth more than when they bought it is up significantly from last year, it remains well below prior levels. Younger homeowners in particular are struggling to see a return on their initial investment.
Many economists expect the strong housing market to continue this year, as the conditions that led to last year's gains -- low interest rates and more demand than supply for houses -- remain in place.
Gallup will continue its series on housing this week, looking at the psychology behind owning versus renting, as well as homeowners' and renters' intentions for selling and buying in the near future.Survey Methods
Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted April 4-14, 2013, with a random sample of 2,017 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.
For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points.
For results based on the total sample of 1,426 homeowners, one can say with 95% confidence that the margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points.
Interviews are conducted with respondents on landline telephones and cellular phones, with interviews conducted in Spanish for respondents who are primarily Spanish-speaking. Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 50% cellphone respondents and 50% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by region. Landline telephone numbers are chosen at random among listed telephone numbers. Cellphone numbers are selected using random digit dial methods. Landline respondents are chosen at random within each household on the basis of which member had the most recent birthday.
Samples are weighted to correct for unequal selection probability, nonresponse, and double coverage of landline and cell users in the two sampling frames. They are also weighted to match the national demographics of gender, age, race, Hispanic ethnicity, education, region, population density, and phone status (cellphone only/landline only/both, cellphone mostly, and having an unlisted landline number). Demographic weighting targets are based on the March 2012 Current Population Survey figures for the aged 18 and older U.S. population. Phone status targets are based on the July-December 2011 National Health Interview Survey. Population density targets are based on the 2010 census. All reported margins of sampling error include the computed design effects for weighting.
In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.
Americans' Optimism About Home Prices Surges This Year- Gallup Economy.
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Monday, April 22, 2013
Friday, April 19, 2013
Enjoy the 83 degree LA afternoon from the Sunset Strip area of the Hollywood Hills.