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Charles Esposito, REALTOR, (310) 745-3919's Blog


By Charles Esposito, REALTOR, (310) 745-3919 | Agent in Hollywood Hills, Los...
  • Mortgage Rates Up Again, Stronger Than Anticipated

    Posted Under: General Area, Home Buying, Financing  |  August 13, 2012 6:57 PM  |  142 views  |  1 comment

    As the economy slowly recovers, housing market factors are also improving, as home prices and sales have been up in recent months. While higher mortgage rates may not seem appealing to prospective buyers of real estate in Marina del Rey and other surrounding areas, a strong housing industry benefits both buyers and sellers.

    Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows the average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages was 3.59 percent for the week ending August 9. While this is up from the previous week's average of 3.55 percent, it remains considerably lower than this time last year when it was 4.32 percent.

    Data from the survey also shows the average rate for 15-year FRMs was 2.84 percent, up slightly from the week before when it averaged 2.83 percent. This type of mortgage is still more affordable than a year ago, when the average was 3.5 percent.

    This marks the second week of higher mortgage rates after several weeks of reaching new record lows. While low rates do make becoming a homeowner more affordable, especially for first-time buyers, higher mortgage rates indicate a stronger housing market.

  • British Pop Star Natasha Bedingfield Selling Los Angeles Home

    Posted Under: Celebrity Homes  |  August 13, 2012 6:54 PM  |  123 views  |  No comments

    Celebrity news sources report that singer-songwriter Natasha Bedingfield has not added her Los Feliz property to the list of celebrity homes for sale in Los Angeles County, but is instead renting it out. This suggests she may not be ready to part with her $2.3 million investment made in 2009, but fans and other musicians can rent it out for $18,000 a month.

    The private, gated home was built in 1953 and is located in the affluent neighborhood of Laughlin Park. With 4,792 square feet of living space, the property has five bedrooms, five-and-a-half bathrooms and plenty of upgrades to impress any Hollywood star. She purchased the home just after marrying her husband Matt Robinson, but it has not been reported where the couple will be moving to. They will likely stay in Southern California, as Robinson does business in Malibu.

    Other notable features that should have prospective tenants calling their agents include views of the Los Angeles skyline from the backyard, two kitchens, an in-home movie theater and a large swimming pool.

  • Mortgage Application Activity Falls During the First Week of August

    Posted Under: General Area, Home Buying  |  August 13, 2012 6:43 PM  |  131 views  |  1 comment

    Despite improving housing market factors, a new report shows mortgage application activity was down for the week ending August 3. While higher home prices may make prospective buyers of homes for sale in Los Angeles Country hesitant to purchase, mortgage rates remain near record-low levels and continue to provide high affordability.

    The Mortgage Bankers Association's most recent Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey reveals activity fell 1.8 percent from the week before. The Market Composite Index also fell 2 percent on an unadjusted basis while the Refinance Index was down 2 percent. Additionally, the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 1 percent from the week before.

    Current homeowners are still taking advantage of refinancing, as these applications accounted for 81 percent of all activity, matching the refinance share from a week ago.

    Despite a slow season for home sales, applications have been up in recent months as more prospective buyers are investing in becoming homeowners. The slight fall in activity will likely be offset in the fall, when the market is generally more busy.

  • Home Prices Continue to Increase, Industry Experts Optimistic

    Posted Under: General Area, Home Buying, Home Selling  |  August 13, 2012 6:41 PM  |  134 views  |  No comments

    As many prospective buyers of homes for sale in Los Angeles continue to become homeowners while affordability is high, they are helping to reduce the inventory of delinquent homes. Foreclosures and short sales have previously hindered home prices, but CoreLogic's Home Price Index for June shows home prices have increased on a month-over-month and year-over-year basis.

    Data shows home prices nationwide, when including distressed sales, increased by 2.5 percent in June compared to June last year. On a month-over-month basis, home prices rose 1.3 percent compared to the revised May. CoreLogic notes June marks the fourth consecutive month of increases in home prices on both standards.

    When excluding distressed sales, home prices were still up 3.2 percent on a year-over-year basis and increased 2 percent in June compared to May.

    "Home prices are responding positively to reductions in both visible and shadow inventory over the past year," said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic.

    While many prospective buyers may not be pleased to hear that prices are increasing along with mortgage rates, becoming a homeowner is still significantly more affordable compared to last year, but both housing market factors are expected to increase by 2013.

  • Actor Morris Chestnut Sells Home in Hidden Hills

    Posted Under: Celebrity Homes  |  August 13, 2012 6:37 PM  |  132 views  |  No comments

    News sources report that actor Morris Chestnut no longer has real estate for sale in Los Angeles County, as his home in Hidden Hills has sold. He purchased the property for $3.3 million in 2007, but it sold for nearly a million less just five years later.

    The Mediterranean-style home offers 5,522 square feet of living space and has a number of upgraded amenities including a tennis court, swimming pool, outdoor barbecue area and a stable. While it has not been reported who bought the home, which sits on 2.4 acres of land, a large celebrity family may be moving in as it boasts six bedrooms and seven bathrooms. Other notable features, like beamed ceilings and stone floors also likely attracted the buyers.

    Chestnut has starred in a number of television shows including American Horror Story and V, but may be best known for his 1991 role in Boyz N the Hood. His other film credits include G.I. Jane and The Perfect Holiday, while his new movie Identity Thief is set to be released in 2013.

  • Television Anchor Meredith Vieira Moving into Hollywood Hills House

    Posted Under: Celebrity Homes  |  August 13, 2012 6:34 PM  |  125 views  |  No comments

    Celebrity news sources report that the former Today show anchor Meredith Vieira and husband Richard Cohen will be moving into one of the many million-dollar homes for sale in Los Angeles County. Records show the Hollywood Hills home was recently purchased for $1.115 million, and awaits the couple's arrival back in the states after the 2012 Olympic Games in London wrap up.

    Vieira has been in the media business since the 1980s, starting her career on West 57th and 60 Minutes. In 1997, she became a member of The View's female lineup and in 2006 she began co-anchoring the Today Show with Matt Lauer. Cohen previously worked for CBS.

    The contemporary home offers a modest 1,800 square feet of living space including three bedrooms, two bathrooms and multiple celeb-status features including multiple fireplaces and vaulted ceilings. Photos of the home show dark wood floors contrasted by white details, stainless steel appliances in the kitchen and a large outdoor patio, perfect for entertaining Hollywood friends.

  • Eco-friendly Swaps for Every Room in the House

    Posted Under: Remodel & Renovate, Going Green, Design & Decor  |  August 13, 2012 6:24 PM  |  135 views  |  No comments

    While tenants may be limited to changes they can make to the home they are renting, there are many ways homeowners can make almost every room in their home more eco-friendly.

    In the bathroom, homeowners can exchange standard showerheads for low-flow options that reduce the amount of water used per minute. This not only helps lower the cost of water usage, but also energy, as water heaters won't have to work as hard. Homeowners looking for major savings can also swap out their toilet for a more modern and efficient model that uses less gallons of water per flush.

    There are many upgrades homeowners can make in the kitchen to make their home more eco-friendly. When investing in appliances, make sure they are energy-efficient to help reduce utility bills. Low-flow faucets can also replace standard ones to help waste less water when washing dishes and cleaning.

    In bedrooms, families can make investments in bedding that is organic while higher quality products also tend to last longer and are better for the environment.

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