The 4th of July weekend is finally here

The neighborhood is a buzz with the kids out of school, beach days all around, and the Valmonte gardens all in bloom. But almost as great as the anticipation for Christmas is the joys of freedom as the 4th of July weekend draws near. On my evening walk lately I passed neighbors decorating their house with bunting for the holiday, flags were flying in the afternoon sun, and I must have passed nearly a dozen fellow evening strollers out enjoying the warm summer evening. Nothing quiet beats the sounds of kids playing outside until the last bits of light are gone or the smell of a backyard grill firing up. This independence day be sure to take a minute to relish in the fact that we live in a great neighborhood in a free country. But don’t take it for granted – we enjoy this spirit of freedom as the result of all the men and women, many of them our neighbors, who have risked their own personal freedom so that we may enjoy it safely here at home. God bless America and the people that keep it free! See you in the neighborhood!

Valmonte Remains a HOT Market

G06-086_F_Palos-Verdes-photoThings aren’t showing any signs of slowing down here in the Valmonte real estate market. In just the last few weeks we’ve seen most new listings go into escrow with multiple offers.  The sweet spot seems to be move-in ready homes under $1.6 million. Houses in need of significant repairs or updates seem to be lingering around longer until there is a notable price drop. In the last week we saw 3908 Via Picaposte show up with a for sale sign in front and it was quickly in escrow at a price indicated as “over asking” by listing agent Ginni Lee of RE/MAX. Meanwhile, 4109 Via Picaposte was under contract again after a $100k price drop. Considering it closed in January 2013 at $1,060k, a new price of $1.299m isn’t a bad return for a hold and flip. Lastly a nicely upgraded family home, 4304 Via Nivel, had multiple offers and is reportedly on its way to closing over asking.  So far, our micro market is on pace with the general market in Southern California, albeit at a higher priced entry point to move in.

2014 So Far   Since the new year, 5 homes have closed at prices between $1.296m and $2.15m at a price per square foot of $547.  2 of those sold homes have closed over the asking suggesting that competition for homes in Valmonte is tough.  Currently there are 6 homes available in Valmonte priced from $1.13m on the low end to $2.48m on the high end going into the selling season.  What’s on the horizon?  While time will certainly tell, for now, if you are a buyer, I would find a solid rate with a good mortgage banker and be ready to write a strong offer when your dream house is on the market.  If you are considering selling?  Well, of course, I would suggest you call me to get your home sold while the market is hot!

For more tips on buying or selling a home, please go to my website at or feel free to email directly at

Fall Has Arrived

It’s hard not to notice that Fall is upon us, despite the summerlike weather that keeps teasing us. Even a walk through this West Coast neighborhood will tell you leaves are changing color in their decent from their branches. The shorter days give us more time to enjoy the interior comforts of home like cooking and reading by the fire. For me its time to get the winter crops planted. This year I’m going with Kale, Beets, Lettuce, and I added to my strawberries in hope that I have a more robust Spring harvest. If you haven’t tried Kale, now is as a good a time as any as inspiration for using it is off the charts. In fact, if a vegetable can be trendy, Kale is arguably giving those Kardashian clowns a run for their money. We like to use it in everything from dinners sides after a quick blanching to adding to fruit smoothies. It’s up to you to enjoy this great time a year, and don’t forget to keep your ears open for the calls of our local owls.

Beat the heat and fog!


So where do you go when it’s cooking inland and the beach is blanketed in fog? The Mall? Yep, the mall! I never thought I’d be heading away from the beach on a hot summer weekend such as this, but with a two year old in tow, we headed up the hill to the Promenade on the Peninsula for (pause), stay with me, the Fountain! And we weren’t alone. At least a dozen other parents had the same great idea and not only did the little guy have a blast, we ran into several neighbors while we ate lunch and kept on eye on the water fun. Yes, you do catch an occasional whiff of the obnoxious perfume odor billowing out of Abercrombie, but the screams of joy and laughter of the wet little ones makes up for it. And as we headed back home, the view of the fog creeping inland with the ocean breeze was all we needed to assure us we made the right call. Now, if only we had a pool in our backyard….

Happy Summer: Great guide to building raised garden beds

Why recreate the wheel when there’s great stuff already out there.  I’ll add photos from my own experience but so as not to waste anytime, here’s a great article from a website I’m addicted to –  Happy Summer

Fun Weekend Ahead! Saturday March 2, 2013

ImageWhat a day!  I tried to take advantage of this summer tease but taking the Little Grom down to RAT Beach today and we had a blast.  The water is a little on the cold side but with a light breeze and light crowds, it was worth giving him a shoulder ride up the hill at the end of our session.  I hope you too can take advantage of this great weather this weekend – there’s a lot to enjoy.  Besides the beach, here is what is happening:

Whale Of A Day! (Saturday 10-4) festival celebrates the annual migration of the Pacific Gray Whale off the coast of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Fun, food, entertainment, whale watching, education, children’s activities (face painting, games, storytelling, inflatable jumpers), Interpretive Center museum tours, Coast Guard exhibits and lighthouse tours (close at 3pm).  Free shuttle to and from the event at Rancho Palos Verdes City Hall, 30949 Hawthore Blvd, RPV. or

PV Little League Opening Day Parade and Games.  The Parade will start in Malaga Cove and make its way to the Valmonte Little League fields at Valmonte Elementary School.  There will be games and fun throughout the day.

St. Patrick’s Day 5K Run/Community Walk & Leprechaun Dash (Sunday, March 3) beginning at 8 a.m. The race starts and ends at the Village Runner store located at 1811 Catalina Ave. in Riviera Village in Redondo Beach. The course takes participants along the Esplanade to Knob Hill and back. All participants will receive a St. Patrick’s Day Run t-shirt. There will also be chip timing, age division awards and cash prizes to the top three overall male and female runners in the 5K. Late registration begins at 6:30 a.m. with the 5K getting underway at 8 a.m. and the Leprechaun Dash starting at 9:30 a.m.

I’m hoping to get to at least one if not all of these events and maybe even get started on that veggie garden in the back yard.  Have a great weekend!

Finally, New Valmonte Listings!

I don’t know about you but I love anticipation.  As someone in the real estate business I guess I get easily excited about what the market will bring next (cheap thrills, right?).  Since the listings have been limited lately, I’m constantly wondering what will be next.  Well, market watchers like me don’t have to wait any longer.  Steve Watts of Re/Max PV just listed 2 Valmonte homes.  The first is in the “Valmonte grove” at 2517 Via Anita.  It’s a nicely appointed 4 bedroom/3 bath “California Ranch cottage” at nearly 2,200 square feet on a 7,100 foot lot.  Listed at $1.295m it’s sure to see some lookers in the coming days.  The second home is 3819 Via la Selva and Via Picaposte.  This California Ranch is 3 bedrooms/2 baths in 1,900 feet and is listed at $1.495m.  Why the premium price?  The best reason I can find is the 12,744′ corner lot.  The pricing of both properties represent a new found optimism in the local real estate market that hasn’t been seen in several years.  Now the next thing I’m looking for is to see how long it takes for these to sell and at what price.  I’m not much of a gambler, but I’m willing to bet that if these sell close to asking, we’re going to continue to see many more hit the market this year as we watch scared sellers awake from a long hibernation.