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Encino, Sherman Oaks & hood living

News and events in Valley+Los Angeles. Housing. Style. Encino & Beyond

By Inna Ivchenko | Agent in Encino, CA
  • NEW! Smoking Law Affects All Santa Monica Apartments And Condos

    Posted Under: Property Q&A in Santa Monica, Rentals in Santa Monica  |  April 19, 2013 1:16 AM  |  1,160 views  |  No comments

    Santa Monica yesterday adopted a law with new smoking rules that affect all multi-unit housing in the City. The law includes the following:

    -        All new occupancies after 11/22/12 are non-smoking:  Starting November 22, 2012, all newly occupied units in multi-unit residential properties in Santa Monica are declared non-smoking. This includes all apartments and condominiums. So, anyone moving into an apartment or condo in Santa Monica after November 22 can't smoke in the unit.

    -        Owners must start smoking survey by 1/21/13:  Before January 21, 2013, all landlords and condo homeowners' associations are required to begin a survey of current occupants, who must then designate their units either "smoking" or "non-smoking." For other deadlines and details about this process, see the attached “designation process” sheet or go to smconsumer.org.

    -        Current occupants grandfathered:  Existing occupants can continue to smoke inside their units if they designate the units as "smoking."

    -        Results distributed:  Once the survey is done, landlords and HOAs must give out the updated list of all units' smoking status to all occupants. In the future it must be kept updated, and given to all prospective renters and buyers along with a copy of the attached information sheet. (Also available at smconsumer.org)

    -        Common areas too:  Existing Santa Monica law already bans smoking in residential outdoor and indoor common areas, including balconies and patios and any area within 25 feet of any door, window or vent.

     

    Questions and Answers

    Q: Are there exceptions to the law?  If a property is already 100% smoke-free, the designation process is not required. The law also does not apply to temporary special needs housing for people with disabling conditions.

    Q: How is the law enforced?  Most compliance is achieved through communication. If that fails, and a person persists in smoking inside a non-smoking unit after getting a written notice, the person may be taken to small claims court and is liable to pay damages starting at $100. Any person can enforce the law.

    Q: Are property owners required to enforce the law?  No. They are only required to conduct the survey and keep updated lists available. They are not required to enforce violations of the no-smoking rules.

    Q: What happens if a property owner refuses to conduct the initial survey and give out the required information? The owner can be prosecuted for violating the Municipal Code.

    Q: Can a tenant be evicted for violating this law?  No. But a tenant can still be evicted if the lease prohibits smoking.

    Q: What about medical marijuana?  If a unit is non-smoking, then medical marijuana can't be smoked inside. If a doctor specifically requests that a disabled occupant may smoke marijuana indoors, and the occupant can't take marijuana in non-smoked form, then the smoking might be permissible under the "reasonable accommodation" standard for disabilities. For more information call the City Attorney's Office, 310-458-8336.

    Q: Where can I get help with quitting?  Go to nobutts.org, or call 1-800-NO-BUTTS.

    Q: Where can I get more information?  Go to smconsumer.org, or call the City Attorney's Office, 310-458-8336.

    Source: BHGLAAR

  • Must Read: Pocket Listings. How Handle Pocket Listings

    Posted Under: Home Buying in California, Home Selling in California, Property Q&A in California  |  April 5, 2013 12:01 PM  |  1,083 views  |  No comments
    REALTORS® Must Properly Handle Pocket Listings( via C.A.R)

    C.A.R. has heard numerous reports about properties being sold as pocket listings without cooperating with buyers' agents. This practice, if not handled properly, may expose the listing office and agent to unnecessary liability and other serious consequences.
    An off-MLS or pocket listing is generally a listing agreement that the listing broker does not disseminate in the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) to which he or she is a broker participant. This practice may run afoul of the MLS Rules which generally requires a broker participant to submit to the MLS all listings for one-to-four residential units and vacant lots located in the MLS service area (Model Rule 7.5).

    For a listing agent to arrange for a pocket listing to bolster the listing office's own compensation and disregard the typical seller's interest to procure the highest and best offer is very likely to be, among other things, a breach of the listing broker's fiduciary duty to that seller.
    If, on the other hand, a listing agent fully discloses the consequences of not disseminating a listing in the MLS, a seller may voluntarily opt to forego the market exposure afforded by the MLS. In that instance, the listing agent should obtain the seller’s informed consent to exclude the listing from the MLS (C.A.R. Form SEL), and timely submit it to the MLS to avoid potential liability, including legal, ethical, MLS, and licensing violations.

    C.A.R.'s Legal Department provides the following resources for REALT0RS® dealing with pocket listings:

    Pocket Listings Q&A: New legal article addressing the legal and practical issues involving pocket listings including breach of fiduciary duty, ethics violations, and fair housing and antitrust issues.
    “Demand That Offer Be Presented to Seller” (DPO) letter in the C.A.R. Sample Letter Library through zipForm® 6: A buyer's agent may use this letter to encourage a listing agent to present the buyer's offer to the seller.
    For more information, you may consult one-on-one with a C.A.R. attorney through our Member Legal Hotline at (213) 739-8282, Mondays to Fridays, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays (transactional questions only) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Is it Time To Hire a Property Manager?

    Posted Under: Rental Basics in California, Property Q&A in California, Rentals in California  |  February 1, 2013 1:18 PM  |  968 views  |  No comments

    Is it Time To Hire a Property Manager? [Infographic]



    Source: AppFolio.com

    Did your property manager pass this quiz?


    If you would like to purchase an investment property in Los Angeles or Valley area, call me today.
    I will work hard to assist you with the most important purchase of your life. Put my experience to your benefit. Call me today to get started on your home buying search!
    /Click the Leal link below to see all multifamily properties in California/

    Inna Ivchenko

    Leal Real Estate Group, Inc.

    Los Angeles/Valley Realtor, PSC, GRI. Specialization: Short Sales. # 01828994

    (310) 867-0698



  • New homeowner protections go into effect Jan. 1

    Posted Under: Foreclosure in California, Property Q&A in California, Investment Properties in California  |  January 4, 2013 2:13 AM  |  1,019 views  |  No comments
    The start of the new year brings more protections to California homeowners, mainly those who are trying to save their properties from being repossessed.
    California was a hard-hit area in the foreclosure crisis.
    More than 900,000 were recorded between 2007 and 2011.

    What is changing:

    • The Homeowner Bill of Rights, signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2012, is a set of new laws that puts the onus on banks to help consumers through the foreclosure process.  The legislation, which went into effect Jan. 1, forces banks to stop dual tracking and robo-signing, and assign one point of contact to borrowers who are trying to obtain a loan modification.

    • Dual tracking is the process of starting the foreclosure process while a loan modification has been submitted or is being reviewed by the bank.  Borrowers in the past have lost their homes to foreclosure as a result of this situation.

    • Under the new law, banks must give loan-modification applicants a response before starting the foreclosure process.  Banks now also have to inform consumers who don’t apply for a loan modification that they have the right to do so.

    • Robo-signing, the process of approving foreclosure documents without proper review, also is prohibited.

    • One of the laws also allows borrowers to sue loan servicers for violating any foreclosure laws.
    Read the full story
  • Energy and Money Saving Tips

    Posted Under: Going Green in California, How To... in California, Property Q&A in California  |  January 2, 2013 12:22 PM  |  909 views  |  No comments

    Here are a few surprising and simple ways to cut your energy bill this season.

    Put lamps in the corners: Did you know you can switch to a lower wattage bulb in a lamp or lower its dimmer switch and not lose a noticeable amount of light? It’s all about placement. When a lamp is placed in a corner, the light reflects off the adjoining walls, which makes the room lighter and brighter.

    Switch to a laptop, Ipad or any tablet: If you’re reading this article on a laptop, you’re using 1/3 less energy than if you’re reading this on a desktop.

    Choose an LCD TV:
    If you’re among those considering a flat-screen upgrade from your conventional, CRT TV, choose an LCD screen for the biggest energy save.

    Give your water heater a blanket: Just like you pile on extra layers in the winter, your hot water heater can use some extra insulation too. A fiberglass insulation blanket is a simple addition that can cut heat loss and save 4% to 9% on the average water-heating bill.

    Turn off the burner before you’re done cooking:
    When you turn off an electric burner, it doesn’t cool off immediately. Use that to your advantage by turning it off early and using the residual heat to finish up your dish.

    Add motion sensors: Love them! You might be diligent about shutting off unnecessary lights, but your kids? Not so much. Adding motion sensors to playrooms and bedrooms cost only $15 to $50 per light, and ensures you don’t pay for energy that you’re not using.

    Spin laundry faster: The faster your washing machine can spin excess water out of your laundry, the less you’ll need to use your dryer. Many newer washers spin clothes so effectively, they cut drying time and energy consumption in half—which results in an equal drop in your dryer’s energy bill.

    Use an ice tray: Stop using your automatic icemaker. It increases your fridge’s energy consumption by 14% to 20%. Ice trays, on the other hand, don’t increase your energy costs one iota.

    Use the dishwasher: If you think doing your dishes by hand is greener than powering up the dishwasher, you’re wrong. Dishwashers use about 1/3 as much hot water and relieve that much strain from your energy-taxing water heater. Added bonus::) you don’t have to wash any dishes.

    There are more ideas, feel welcome to share your tips of energy and money saving! You'll help someone to save a lot of money.

    Sharing= Caring!

    Call/text or email me Today for all your real estate needs!

    Yours truly,

    Inna Ivchenko

    GRI, PSC, CHS #01828994
    Leal Real Estate Group, Inc.
    310 867 0698
    www.innaivchenko.com

    The best compliment you can offer is a referral!

  • What do Modern Homebuyers desire? Does bigger mean better?

    Posted Under: Home Buying in California, Home Selling in California, Property Q&A in California  |  January 1, 2013 4:19 PM  |  645 views  |  No comments

    So, smaller house or a bigger one?

    I believe,  modern homebuyers want 'the right house' that fits their needs.

    Think about it:
    1. Small homes cost less!
    2. Small homes save time and money( bills, maintaining, taxes, cleaning, etc.)
    3. Smaller homes makes life simple( ex.: how many tv-sets one needs!?:)
    4. Small homes may be easier and quicker to sell.

    So.....Does a bigger house mean a better house?
  • The social benefits of homeownership

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Van Nuys, Rental Basics in Van Nuys, Property Q&A in Van Nuys  |  December 18, 2012 9:50 AM  |  868 views  |  No comments
    the social benefits of homeownership


    What does that mean to you as a SELLER of a home in Los Angeles area?  If your home is well cared for, staged property and price appropriately, it's likely to sell and sell more quickly than it would have in previous years.   If you are thinking of selling, now is a great time!
     As a listing agent, my goal is your goal - to get the best price for your home in the least amount of time. I will help you stage your home right and price is right. 

    Are you considering selling your home in 2013 and looking for a Valley Realtor that knows the market and can provide maximum online exposure?
    Contact us right away for a no obligation consultation to get your house SOLD!

    If you are a BUYER in Los Angeles, CA real estate market, it means that you need to be prepared.   Get pre-qualified so you can make your strongest offer.  Don't hesitate when a property comes on the market if you think it may work for you, it may get an offer quickly and you will lose your opportunity if you don't act.  While prices are trending upwards in many neighborhoods and price points, some home market( higher end areas) is fairly stable.  And, when we represent you as a buyer, we are going to do a market analysis before you make an offer so you know the property's value.
    If you have been waiting for proof of the increase in Los Angeles housing market, wait no more.  You might be sorry if you wait too long!
    Contact me know to get inside uptodate information for the area i work and private tours in: Encino, Lake Balboa, Sherman Oaks, Tarzana, West Hills, Woodland Hills, others.
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