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By Seana Yates | Agent in Encino, CA
  • Sherman Oaks Fix-and-Flip or Buy-and-Hold: Which Are You?

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Sherman Oaks, Home Buying in Sherman Oaks, Investment Properties in Sherman Oaks  |  February 21, 2013 1:34 PM  |  372 views  |  No comments

    With the Fed having announced its intention to hold interest rates near 0% until at least mid-2015, even very cautious investors are recognizing that this provides a rare opening.  If ever there were a time to start a real estate portfolio, it’s hard to imagine a better one.

    Search Homes in Sherman Oaks Now

    For many, the first question is whether there is still an opportunity to buy foreclosed homes in Sherman Oaks. That answer is yes, for sure – but that is not always the only strategy that will get you to your goal.  It all depends on you.

    Before we can develop your strategy, you first need to decide which type of real estate investor you wish to be:

    The Fix-and-Flip Investor  – This type of investor is handy (or has a lot of contacts who are), and is familiar with remodels and improvement projects. Usually, at least part of the goal is to create an income stream from the investments.  This investor buys a property at the lowest price possible, improves it, and sells at a profit as quickly as possible.  This investor may have one or more projects going at a time — with or without loans on the properties. This is the more hands-on type of investor.

    The Buy-and-Hold Investor – This investor need not have a high degree of familiarity with real estate (as long as he or she has a source for accurate market advice), and plans to use the real estate portfolio for its long-term wealth-building potential.  This investor may or may not buy foreclosed homes – the goal is to buy property at a price that, when rented, will generate cash flow that makes financial sense. This investor often takes loans on properties. This can be the least-involved kind of investor after purchase – especially if a property management company handles the day-to-day details.

    Whether you are looking to buy foreclosed homes in Sherman Oaks, or to capitalize on one of the bargains now available in the traditional market, cool-headed, informed decision-making is at the core. If you are also looking for an agent to be by your side supplying up-to-the-minute market data, give me a call.  We can talk about your goals, and come up with a buying plan that matches your investing style.  Looking forward to working with you!!
  • Favorite L.A. Spots: Yoga Works Tarzana

    Posted Under: Quality of Life in Tarzana, Shopping & Local Amenities in Tarzana, In My Neighborhood in Tarzana  |  February 21, 2013 1:30 PM  |  341 views  |  No comments

    As I’m writing this, I’m still feeling the oxygen buzz from my last class at Yoga Works Tarzana.  I even find myself continuing to breathe deeply even after leaving the class.  I’ve only been going to this gym for two and half weeks, but I’m in love.  There are just so many great things about it and about having a regular yoga routine in your life.

    Search Homes for Sale near Yoga Works Tarzana now.

    As a fitness center, it has a lot of small, but necessary perks.  In the locker room, the lockers have programmable combinations, so each time you use a locker, it’s specific to your code.  No need to bring your own lock.  There is also a free towel service and showers.  The (free!) parking garage underground has an elevator that goes straight up to the studio, or you can take the stairs if you’re in the mood.

    yogaworks boutique and loungeyogaworks lockerroom

    Find out more about Tarzana here.


    Each class I’ve taken has been different, even when its the same time and same instructor.  Variety is the spice of life and I’m feeling mighty spicy (and a little sore).  I started with Kim Haegele’s Tuesday beginner’s yoga to get my couch thighs to wake up.  Her teaching method is so soothing and gentle, you are never embarrassed for doing a pose wrong.  She also seems effortlessly positive and connected to the class and each person there.  I’ve tried the BarWorks Friday morning with Alana Lee.  This class will make you strong.  For standing around, I sure did flex a lot of muscles for a good long time.  Alana is also fun and very energetic.  Some of these moves will work muscles you never knew you needed.  Colleen Garrity’s Yoga Blend 1 class was an hour and a half of glorious stretches and poses that were only as difficult as you wanted them to be.  I can’t wait to try out other different classes and continue to grow stronger and more flexible.  Not only does each class provide a workout, but there is also subtle injections of positivity, awareness, and mindfulness that allow you to gain a new perspective of yourself and your life.

    Yoga Works Tarzana is located in the new retail center Village Walk at Tarzana at the corner of Ventura Blvd. and Yolanda.  I just adore the Read More...
  • The Best Day for Listing Your Sherman Oaks Home is…

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Sherman Oaks  |  February 21, 2013 1:28 PM  |  247 views  |  No comments

    “Mansion” is the Wall Street Journal’s entry into the high-end real estate magazine world. Well, not quite a magazine — it’s an extra section they run on Fridays. It’s a nice diversion for those who want to read about really rich people selling their properties. More than that, it could actually be an important source of information if you decide to buy a vineyard in the middle of Los Angeles (Bel-Air, actually — that one was featured last week).

    Compare your home to the competition.  Search homes for sale now.

    It was another article that caught my eye on Friday, though; one that dealt with a topic we agents have long debated. The article was headlined “THE BEST DAY TO LIST A HOME IS…”.  It summarized an elaborately executed study by a national brokerage revealing hard statistics on which day of the week is best for launching your Sherman Oaks listing. The author, Sanette Tanaka, brought up several ways to look at the question. While her focus was, of course, national, the unspoken allure was to zero in on which day will maximize our Sherman Oaks listing results.

    I bet you want to know the answer, so here it is: …(drum roll, please) –

    Friday. Houses listed on Friday spent the fewest days on market (2 fewer than Thursday, 7 fewer than the most ho-hum day for listing, Sunday).

    But, reading further, there is a problem. Listing on Tuesday brought in the most requests for house tours — by 8 thousandths of one percent over Thursday. For drawing house tours, Friday faded into the pack…

    All of which points to something experienced agents already know: statistics are helpful, but not to the point where they detract from getting the job done.  The best day to publish a listing is as soon as it’s ready – the instant it’s ready! Buyers are constantly combing the listings, and the ideal prospect may be long gone if we hold off for any reason.

    If you are ready to sell your home, let’s get your Sherman Oaks listing ready to go now!

    Contact me for a complimentary home valuation.

  • The Bucket Trick - The easiest way to save water ever.

    Posted Under: Quality of Life, Going Green, How To...  |  December 12, 2012 8:18 AM  |  327 views  |  No comments


    Water in Los Angeles is expensive!  Especially when there’s a mandatory conservation in effect.  Here is a really fast way to save water easily without spending any money.

    Step 1: Get a bucket and put it in the shower.  Or, if you don’t have a bucket, you can use a big pot.

    Step 2: Next time you’re waiting for the shower to get hot, some water will fall into the bucket.

    Step 3: Use that water on your landscaping or to give your pets drinking water, or to wash your car, etc.

    Step 4: (Optional) Save the excess water that you can’t use immediately (like when it’s raining outside) in a spare garbage can like this one.  Put mosquito dunks in it to make sure no unauthorized breeding occurs.  Use this stored water to repeat step 3.

    I’ve always wanted a rain barrel, but those require gutters and I don’t have gutters on my rental house.  This is a good substitute for a rain barrel.

    To save even more water, get a shower head that automatically shuts off when the water reaches a hot temperature.  I believe you can get them for free from LADWP.  I would’ve included a link, but the site was down for maintenance when this post was published.

    So that’s it.  It literally saves gallons a month.  I really never use my hose anymore to water my plants, and I have A LOT of plants.  I still use the sprinklers though for the lawn.  I’m working on that one.

    Are you going to try the bucket trick?  You really have no reason not to.  What other cool ways do you save water?  Let me know, I’d love to try them!

    Visit my regular business blog AlongVentura.com for more eco-friendly tips!
  • Own a 2 bedroom apartment for only $1150 a month!

    Posted Under: Home Buying in North Hills, Rent vs Buy in North Hills, Rentals in North Hills  |  December 11, 2012 12:10 PM  |  388 views  |  1 comment
    When I was in college, I rented an apartment (with a room mate) for $954 a month.  It was a two bedroom, 1 bath, 1950s unit in a small building.  I loved it because it had hardwood floors and a big kitchen.  Now, it probably rents for a little over $1050, since it’s rent controlled, but a similar unit in Valley Village would run you about $1400 to $1600 per month.  I lived there for 5 years.  That’s $28,620 I spent on rent when I could’ve been building equity.  What if I told you that you could OWN your own apartment for only about $1150 a month!?  Roommate not included.  Here’s a fantastic example, 9620 Sepulveda Blvd, #22.  Search for condos and townhomes in other areas here.

    This townhouse was JUST LISTED TODAY!  9620 Sepulveda Blvd has 2 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, so no waiting in line or walking into a stink cloud from a newly “blown up” bathroom.  The main living area has this really great loft overlooking the living room.  There’s a fireplace, a patio, a balcony, hard floors AND carpet, tile bathrooms, and a really cute kitchen with granite countertops.  See other pictures and read more...

  • Know anyone who needs to sell their house because they've fallen behind on payments?

    Posted Under: Home Selling, Foreclosure  |  July 20, 2012 9:38 AM  |  327 views  |  No comments
    Know anyone who needs to sell their house because they've fallen behind on payments? Check out these amazingly creative cures for the common short sale.

    Educate yourself...

    This is not like hiring a regular old real estate agent that will either list or short sale your house. Scott and his team will open up a different world to you as a seller. First off, Scott may buy your house himself right now.

  • First Time Home Buyer Grants Now Available

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Los Angeles, Financing in Los Angeles  |  June 26, 2012 7:24 PM  |  546 views  |  No comments

    First- Time Home buyer Grant Program for San Fernando & Santa Clarita Valleys in California

    The Southland Regional Association of REALTORS® is currently offering grants to qualified homebuyers who purchase their first home within the San Fernando or Santa Clarita Valley and have a low to moderate income-level. The amount of each grant will be $2,000 and will only be paid to qualified applicants after the close of escrow while funding lasts. Repayment of grant is not required. SRAR staff will administer the applications and grants will only be awarded to the most deserving candidates, as decided by the 2012 HAF Grant Subcommittee. NOTE: THERE ARE A LIMITED NUMBER OF GRANTS. GRANTS WILL ONLY BE AWARDED TO  Read more...

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