Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Real Estate | Back to the Future Edition

Today is a big day with Marty and Doc Brown travelling to the future or for us to today in the iconic 80's film, Back to the Future II.

Like many of you, I'm a huge fan of the Back to the Future trilogy. I loved the idea of time travel via a DeLorean. Like Doc Brown said "The way I see it, if you're gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?"

I was always curious over the years about the story behind the homes used for the filming of Back to the Future. So lets take a look at 3 of them.

Marty McFly's real-life house is located at 9303 Roslyndale Ave Los Angeles, CA 91331 in Pacoima in the San Fernando Valley. The exterior of the home is exactly the same as the movie -- a modest 1950s style ranch house. With the unusual amount of power lines behind it, the view isn't exactly the best. But the home has its stucco charm -- Spoiler Alert, the interior did get an upgrade with the new reality when Marty returned from 1955.
Marty Mcfly's House, Credit: Ian Fish/Flickr

In movie, Marty travels back to the 1950s only to encounter his parents as teenagers. And to Marty's embarrassment, finding out the 'true story' to how his dad was hit by his father in law's "to be" car. The exterior house shots of Lorraine's (Marty's Mother) childhood home were filmed at 1807 Bushnell Ave in South Pasadena, Ca. Today, just as the other home, the house looks the same as it did in the movie. The lawn might be smaller in size, but the landscaping around the home makes up for it. Side note: The exterior shot houses of bully Biff are also on the street as well. 

Credit: Tony Hoffarth/Flickr

Marty's friend and time travelling inventor Doc Brown house is fascinating.

Doc Brown's house has a lot of history to it, as the 3-story building is a National Historic Landmark & a California Historical Landmark. Designed by architects Charles Sumner Greene and Henry Mather Greene in 1909, the house was constructed for David and Mary Gamble (a second generation family member of the Gambles of Procter & Gamble) in Pasadena, California.

"The Gamble House is considered by many to be one of the crowning achievements of the American Arts and Crafts movement, it combines Japanese design aesthetics with a variety of natural resources. There are several types of wood used throughout the house, including teak, maple, oak, cedar and mahogany all juxtaposed to contrast the differences between the material. In 1956, the Gamble house was given to the city of Pasadena and the University of Southern California School of Architecture."

Credit: Tony Hoffarth/Flickr

The interior shots were filmed at The Blacker House, which was also designed by Greene and Greene in the same style as the Gamble House. The Gamble House was unavailable for interior filming at the time.

The Gamble House was only featured in the 1950s scenes, as told by the Film, it burnt down at some point in the 1960s. On the property, there is also a garage built in the same style as the house. To show the garage in 1985, a facade was built next to a Burger King. When comparing the movie garage and the real one, they look pretty much the same. The only difference is the movie facade looks dingier.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

El Niño Is Coming - 5 Ways to Get Your House Ready

A lot of us know that El Niño means little boy in Spanish, for long time European soccer fans like me we know him as Fernando Torres, some may know him as Chris Farley from a SNL skit.
Its now a virtual consensus by the meteorologist/climatologist that El Niño has the potential to become one of the most powerful on record. So what is El Niño and how does it affect those living Southern California (including the Southwest, Southern U.S.)

Relative to California, El Nino is weather phenomenon that occurs every few years where there's warmer than average waters in the Eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean off the coast of Central and South America. When this occurs, like in some of the bigger occurrences in 1982-83 and 1997-98, it brings a lot of rain to California. 

While this is great news for California's drought, it also means mudslides, flooding and more. 

Now is the best time to start preparing your home for potential record breaking rainy season. So here are some tips to get your home ready.
  1. Check Your Roof
    Its recommended that you check your roof twice a year and this time its no
    question it should be done. Best to hire a professional roofer to inspect the roof properly, last thing you need is to call the roofer as your home is being flooded and your belongings being damaged. Who knows when the roofing company can make it to your home during the rain storm.
    Also check rain gutters, make sure the pipes from the rain gutters are clear.
  2. Check your Trees\Vegetation around the Home
    Trim the trees around your house. Thin out the branches and remove all dead limbs. Weight from it could bring limbs or the tree down with heavy
    winds/rain. Especially if the tree is over or adjacent to your home. This process can be dangerous so be sure to hire a landscaper or tree professional. If you have a slope behind your property, good idea to hire a professional to assess and take preventative measures from any type of landslide or mud flows. Also clear out vegetation that could clog drainage.
  3. Clear Drainage
    Speaking of drainage, check all drainage from your backyard, you can simply pour some water into it and see if it comes out to the street. Or hire a plumber to inspect the drain pipe, make sure its clear. Important as to prevent flooding, not only water entering your home, but could also damage the home's foundation.
  4. Sandbags
    I know sounds crazy to think about this now, however if your neighborhood has a history of flooding, it doesn't hurt to be prepared by having sandbags at your disposal. Once a storm is headed your way, you're not out with the masses and waiting who knows how long to get your sandbags filled.
  5. Check Your Insurance
    Last on my list, but very important. Check your Homeowners Insurance. Make sure there's adequate coverage, like floor insurance. Take pictures of all your valuables and big items of your home. Take stock of approximate cost of them. I would suggest you upload all that info into the cloud like dropboxgoogle drive or any other cloud service of your choice.
Hope this helps, never too early to get prepared, based on previous El Niño, it tends to start raining around November with the peak around January/February.

Feel free to share other tips to get ready for the season.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

LeBron vs. Klay | Who has the better home?

What better way with game 3 tonight of the NBA Finals, to compare Lebron's Miami home to Klay Thompson's home in Orange County off the coast in California. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Anaheim Hills Condo For Sale | 1028 S Rossano WY, Anaheim Hills 92808

Gorgeous 3 Bedroom 2 Bath Condo, End Unit With Private Balcony Patio And Lower Level 2 Car Garage Ideally Located In The Highly Sought After Anaheim Hills Summit Renaissance Gated Community, Nestled In The Hills. 

This Charming Turn Key Home Features An Open Floor Plan That Has Been Beautifully Updated With Neutral Paint Colors, Baseboards, And Rich Laminate Flooring. Main Living Area Features A Living Room With Fireplace And Media Niche, Dining Room, And Updated Kitchen With Granite Countertops, Stainless Steel Appliances And Breakfast Bar. The Spacious Master Suite Boasts Dual Granite Vanities, A Spacious, Designer Walk-in Shower And Recessed Lights. The Property's Many Other Wonderful Features Include Ceiling Fans, Inside Laundry Room With Storage, Tall Ceilings, Good Storage And Recessed Lighting. 

Views Of Anaheim Hills And Peek-a-boo Views Of The Mountains! The Summit Renaissance Features An Italian Inspired Architectural Style And Lush Landscaping. 

Enjoy Resort Style Living With Pool, Spa, Gym, And Convenient Guest Parking. Minutes From Dining, Shopping, Theaters, Canyon Rim Elementary School, 91 Freeway And The 241 Toll Road

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Is SOLAR really a four letter word?

The following brought to you by ProGroup Escrow

So many homes nowadays have SOLAR panels. That’s wonderful for the environment but it may not be ideal if you decide to sale your home. 

Are you aware there are different types of Solar Financing Options? Do you know that a Buyer’s Lender may not allow a simple takeover of the existing Solar lease or loan? Did you know this could eat away the net proceeds of the sale if the seller is forced to payoff the solar panels in order to close escrow?
Let's go over some scenarios and I'll explain how this will affect your sale of your home if you have solar panels installed. 

PLEASE NOTE: This also applies not just to solar panels, but to other energy efficient upgrades to the home via the HERO program.

Four (4) Types of Solar Financing

Lease – On a simple straight out lease a buyer can assume the existing lease or simply do a Lease buy-out, much like a car lease. Payoff the remaining lease term and then buy the solar panels based on their current value. However, in many cases, the existing leasing company, may require the buyer to qualify for assuming the loan. This of course may cause issue with the ability to get approved for a loan to purchase the home as well. Or the lender may approve your loan, however the leasing company will not. 

HERO Program – Very little lenders, mostly under FHA guidelines, will allow this type of solar financing to remain on the property and normally requires to be paid off and removed from the property tax bill. The HERO program allows for the monthly payments to be attached to the property taxes of the subject property and paid through the yearly tax bill. Additionally, the buyer must be made aware, upfront and probably during contract negotiations,(disclosure, disclosure, disclosure people), of the existence of HERO on the property and the increased property taxes due to same and, the buyer’s lender must also agree to allow the HERO to remain through their Lender’s Instructions to title, assuming of course, you can find a lender that allows this option to remain on the property taxes. | Please note buyers working with us will know before an offer is submitted :-) |

Lease paid in full by HERO Program - Under this option, a contractor selling solar panels would have convinced the seller/homeowner that it was best to completely payoff the lease and take a loan from HERO to do so. So now the homeowner doesn't have a lease payment but rather paying back the HERO loan through their property taxes. The issue and misconception here is that the homeowner now believes that they are actually paying for the purchase of the solar panels. There have been multiple sellers/homeowners who believe they own the panels out right because they paid off the lease and are paying off the solar panels. This option is a combination of 1-2 above, therefore the aforementioned may apply here as well. This option presents the biggest challenge and it’s the more popular of the three options.

Remember that if seller was expecting $100k net proceeds after the sale and the lease is for example $25k, then you may be forced to pay off the solar panels, your net will be reduced to $75k. Imagine if you net was only $25k, then you may get nothing out of the sale.

Free and Clear – Of course there is always the chance that the solar panels are truly paid off in full. If so, congrats no issue with the transaction. A win win for the both the homeowner and buyer as the home shall sale for a premium and buyer will save $$ on their electric bill.

What if I am a Buyer?
The first 3 options have a potential to hamper and prevent the sale of the home from closing. If you're a buyer working with my team, no worries as we will make sure this issue is addressed before an offer is made. If you're in another market, make sure when you become aware of solar panels on a home your are looking to buy, ask your Realtor® to examine your options and potential ramifications.

What if I am a Homeowner/Potential Seller?
Just contact me and we will coordinate with the title company to assess what type Solar Financing you may have if the they are not paid off. Then figure out what works best when putting the house for sale. 

Reminder: This also applies not just to solar panels, but to other energy efficient upgrades to the home via the HERO program.

Bottomline:  If you are thinking of getting solar panels or other energy efficient upgrades via the HERO program, its best to know what your intentions are going to be in terms of how long you plan to own your home before you decide to sale. 

Hope you find this information helpful, let me know if you have questions.