SOLD: Second all-time highest sales price in Valmonte

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The pool at 2921 Via la Selva

I’m not sure if it’s just the weather, but things have been heating up in the Valmonte real estate market, and elsewhere for that matter.  In the last week, we have seen several good signs that will hopefully continue into the spring.  First, 2921 Via la Selva sold for $3,050,000 ($909/foot down from from $3,295,000 on February 9th).  This was the second highest sales price in Valmonte, ever.  The home is a Santa Barbara style Spanish ranch home on one level on nearly a half-acre.  The home was built in 2007 and features 4 bedrooms, 6 baths with entertaining space that opens to a stone patio and outdoor dining area, guest house, pool (you actually walk on stepping stones across the pool to get to the guest house and rest of the yard), and a rare 3 car garage.  All of this backs up to the Valmonte trail and is on one of the best streets in all of Palos Verdes Estates.  Pretty much a one of a kind Valmonte dream house.

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2544 Via Anita – 4 bedrooms/3 baths – $1,795,000

As for the rest of the recent activity, across the street from the dream house, 2928 Via la Selva, priced at $2,899,000 ($610/foot) is in escrow, and further east near the school, 3728 Via la Selva closed at $1,403,000 ($737/foot) on February 1.  If you are a buyer, inventory is still lean with only 6 homes on the market (3108 Via la Selva fell out of escrow and is back on), and 2544 Via Anita is the only new home to see.  As for 2544 Via Anita, it’s a nicely finished two story home with the living space and two bedrooms upstairs, with two more bedrooms and a family room downstairs that opens to a deck and nice yard.  It’s priced slightly below last year’s average price/foot at $1.795m ($650/foot) which is fair considering the recent updates and spacious living spaces.

I anticipate an improvement in inventory as we move closer to Spring, but for now, it’s slim pickin’s for the buyers out there and prime time to be a seller in Valmonte.

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The tree lined streets of the grove in Valmonte – a nice place to be when the sun is shining and the wind isn’t blowing!

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“40% of Crimes are Preventable”

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Chief of Police, Jeff Kepley, addresses over 100 PVE residents on crime and safety in Palos Verdes Estates

Thank you to our great Neighborhood Watch organizers who put together a very organized and informative meeting with Police Chief Jeff Kepley at the Valmonte School on Thursday evening.  For those who were there, I’m sure you agree that while it was a bit unnerving to learn about the recent burglary crime spree in Palos Verdes Estates, it was also a great opportunity to learn how we can help keep these scumbags out of our homes and beloved neighborhoods.  I will highlight some of the key points discussed during the meeting below, but in general the Chief shared facts about who has been committing these burglaries, how they are finding their targets, and what can be done to help deter crime at your house and in your neighborhood.  Chief Kepley was also very clear about one thing “if you are a burglar, we will hunt you down like a dog and put you in jail.”  Apparently the message has gotten out, as burglaries have declined significantly since the spike in December.  Kudos to the PVE Police Department!

Summary of the topics discussed:

  • Recent wind storms – use this as a reminder to get prepared for the next natural disaster.  Have a plan in place, with emergency food and water so the next time you are ready.
  • Bay Boys – the Chief made it clear that illegal activity will not be tolerated along our coastline and in the surf
  • Helicopter manhunt – RPV incident – helicopter was useful in helping locate 3 burglars using infrared heat sensing detectors
  • Communication – the PVE Police department is trying to quickly communicate useful information to residents using Nixle and Nextdoor (join now)
  • Burglaries increased from an average of 35-50 each year to over 80 in 2015, but it’s already on the decline for 2016
  • The criminals are operating like an organized cartel with 3-4 burglars to a team, being dispatched from a central crime boss.  They are driving nice cars and doing quite well stealing from our hardworking neighbors.  They must and will be stopped.
  • 40% of burglaries are preventable – lock your doors, keep valuables out of sight in your vehicles, and see more of the tips below.

How to prevent burglaries and crime at your home and in your neighborhood

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Mrs. Kravitz – we all need one!

Larry Manth, PVE Neighborhood Watch President, shared a great acronym to help us remember what we can do to keep our neighborhoods safe: LOCKLook, Observe, Call, and we all need a Mrs. Kravitz in our neighborhoods to keep an eye on things.  Chief Kepley reminded us that all these criminals have a map to your home on their cell phones – they will come to our neighborhoods, our job is to make it hard for them to succeed.  He suggested the following tips to keep burglars out of your home

Prevention Tips

  • Call 310-378-4211 to report crimes or suspicious behavior
  • Fortify your home – lock side gates, install better deadbolts, install exterior lighting with motion sensors
  • If you are away, make your home look occupied with lights on timers, leave a TV on, turn on a radio, have a neighbor check on your home
  • Close your garage doors and lock your doors
  • Install alarm systems with glass break sensors and infrared night vision cameras (if you have a camera system, you can register it will the PVEPD for help in providing information in the event there is a break-in in your neighborhood)
  • If you are on vacation, fill out a vacation alert with the PVEPD
  • Perform a home security assessment to see where your home is vulnerable
  • Hide your jewelry before the crooks steal it and melt it down never to be recovered (most break-ins only take 3 minutes)
  • Don’t leave packages on your front porch, make other arrangements
  • Install anti-theft dots (a personal microscopic id tag for your belongings) on your valuables
  • Cars: keep them locked and keep valuables out of sight, including your garage door opener

Audience Questions

  • Do we have sufficient staffing for the increase in crime?  Chief Kepley – the department relies on mutual aid from surrounding agencies and officers are on overtime for burglary suppression and surf spot checks
  • Are safes a good thing to have? CK – burglars have been known to steal 300 pound gun safes or rip wall safes out of the wall.  Good hiding spots are better than safes.
  • How can I get more involved? Join neighborhood watch, become a block captain; you can become a volunteer police officer; or volunteer in many other ways through the city.

In general, it’s important to appreciate that we live in a very safe neighborhood.  But don’t take our security for granted.  Take the necessary steps to ensure the safety of your family and your home.  Be prepared.  And if you have some extra time or energy, help a neighbor out, especially our older Valmonte neighbors who live alone and don’t have family nearby to look after them.

See you in the neighborhood!

 

 

Valmonte inventory at a 2 year low

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4033 Via Valmonte – sold for a very low $1.12m (or about $180/foot under market) in January 2016

 

If you want excitement, watch the stock market

With the first month of 2016 in the books, I want to give a brief market update for those of you keeping an eye on things.  In general, after 6 closed sales in December, January was a slow month.  2 homes closed escrow; 2 homes came on the market, both on the same street; 3 more accepted offers; and now a lonely 5 remain for sale.  So what?  Good question.  Certainly the stock market has been more exciting, but what all of these numbers point to is that it is high time to be a home seller in Valmonte.  I personally know of at least 3 people seriously looking to move into Valmonte, and I’m 100% sure those aren’t the only 3 people either.  Add to the mix interest rates under 4% and you end up with some stiff competition for well priced homes when they hit the market.

The low inventory coupled with pent up demand for move-in ready homes is a clear indicator that the local housing market in Valmonte is far from balanced.  The current absorption rate, also known as months supply, is down to a little over one month.  When you apply a 12 month rolling average, it gets a little better with 2 months of supply.  However, in comparison to a year ago, there was a 4 month supply, and in 2010, the recent market bottom, there was an 8 month supply.  This isn’t good news if you are looking for a home in Valmonte, especially considering the median home price is $2 million.  But if you are a seller, it doesn’t get much better than this.  With lower than normal competition, and low interest rates, the seller is in the driver’s seat.  Price your house reasonably, and I can promise you that buyers will come, probably in droves; especially if your target price is around $1.5m or less.

January by the numbers

  • Closed Sales (2): 4033 Via Valmonte – $1.12m ($474/foot); 4021 Via Nivel $1.425m ($642/foot)
  • In Escrow (5): 2737 Via la Selva ($1.495m); 2815 Via la Selva ($2,495m); 2921 Via la Selva ($3.295m); 300 Via Alcance ($1.689m); 3025 PV Drive N ($1.987m)
  • On the market: 5 listings – call for the current list.

 

 

Say what? This one sold grossly under market!

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4033 Via Valmonte sold for $1.12m in January

You’ve heard me say it before, 2015 was a great year in real estate in Valmonte.  Prices were up and the number of sales was the best in nearly 20 years.  So with all this great news, how did a move-in ready home with views sell for $1850/foot under the average price?  The story gets even more interesting when I add the fact that when I contacted the agent on behalf of my client, he informed me there were multiple offers within the first two weeks of being on the market.  Yes it was over the holidays, but how do you sell for $1.12m a 2,367 square foot 4 bedroom, 3 bath  home with mountain views and a nicely landscaped backyard, when a similar sized, albeit more updated, home sold less than 3 weeks prior for $1.625m?  This just smells fishy.  I know I sound like I’m whining, but I have a point.  The agent was not a local agent, and the sales price reflects this.  I hate to see good people get ripped off.  This house should have sold over asking and a lot closer to $1.4 million.  So if you are thinking of selling, please, I beg you, interview a local expert before you fall victim to an agent that doesn’t have his/her client’s best interests in mind.  Okay, I’m off my soapbox.

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View from the second floor balcony looking towards the Hollywood Hills

Neighborhood Watch Meeting

PVE Neighborhood Watch

Friends and neighbors,

With all the recent burglaries and break-ins over the last 6 months, it’s time to take action.  PVE Neighborhood Watch will be hosting a meeting on Thursday, February 4th, from 6:30-7:30 pm in the Valmonte Elementary School multi-purpose room.

I hope to see you all there.

Here’s the information from the invitation:

Please join us for a Neighborhood Watch Meeting with Guest Speaker PVE Chief of Police, Jeff Kepley.

Learn about:

  • Increase of Burglaries in our Community
  • Crime Prevention
  • Community & Law Enforcement Coordination to Stop Crime

For more information:  Contact Karen Logan PVE Neighborhood Watch Coordinator for Valmonte:  kklogan1@mac.com

PS:  Help us update our address list!  If you are no longer in Valmonte or we have an outdated email, let us know.  Thank you!!

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The best Valmonte buys of 2015

 

2015 went down as one of the better seller’s markets in the last 20 years, and despite conditions being more favorable to sellers, there were still some great buys for some savvy home buyers this year.  Let’s take a look at 3 homes that represent the best buys of the year.  To establish a baseline,  here are some of the averages for Valmonte homes sold in 2015.

  • Average Sales Price: $1,536,483
  • Average Price/Foot: $657/foot
  • Average square footage/lot size: 2,374’/ 9,218′
  • Homes sold: 56 in 2015

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3353 Via La Selva – $1,300,000  This one was a personal favorite.  In general, this home is pretty average, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1900 square feet on over a 10,000′ lot.  But what makes this one special is the A plus location on one of the best streets in Valmonte, the large backyard with a pool and entertaining space, trail access out the back gate, and the utility line easement.  In other words, this large lot has location and privacy and a house with options.  The house itself needs some updating, and the new owners look like they are busy making interior improvements, but overall, this house sold at a great price compared to comps.  If it were on the market it today, $1,450,000 would be a reasonable place to start, and I have no doubt that it would see lots of activity.

 

4112 Via Larga Vista – $1,495,000  Purchased by SUMTER PROPERTIES LLC for $1.495m in October, this was a great buy when you consider price per square foot.  Anyone that’s tried to remodel a house in PV Estates knows that it’s no easy feat, having to get Art Jury, Neighborhood, and Planning approval. Since the sale closed escrow, there’s lots of work going on over there.  Given that it was purchased and set up as an LLC, my guess is we’ll see this on the market again later in 2016, Probably at a price closer to $2 million, and maybe more.

4309 Via Valmonte – $799,000  This house certainly had limited appeal based on it’s size and condition, but anytime you can pay $799,000 for a house in Palos Verdes Estates, it’s pretty hard to lose.  This little steal has only 2 bedrooms and 1 bath in just under 1,200, and the lot is just a bit over 7,000, but it’s a great entry point into Valmonte, and with a little work, this one is sure to build equity in no time.  With a little love, this can easily be a $1,000,000 plus home.

What’s on the horizon?  2016 should be interesting.  So far inventory is starting off pretty low; currently there are only 6 homes on the market compared to 13 last January.  The homes on the market are priced between $1.495 and $2.999m, which certainly doesn’t appeal to all buyers.  As far as the economy goes, interest rates and how home buyers react will be the wildcard that we’ll need keep an eye on.  And supply will continue to be the other significant factor to consider.  Prices can be the great motivator, and as prices continue to rise, typically more folks will consider selling in 2016.  My prediction is that if the greater US economy can continue to hold steady, we will continue to see modest gains in home values, probably in the 5% range.  However, if supply remains tight, then we may see values grow in the 7-10% range with multiple offer and overbids being more of the norm until supply balances with demand.

Cheers to a prosperous 2016!

 

Burglaries in Valmonte Last Night

PVE Neighborhood WatchFor those that did not receive this email from Sandy Marchese, Community Relations Assistant, Palos Verdes Estates Police Department, here is the update from PVE PD about 5 burglaries that occurred last night in Valmonte. . . .

PVE Residents:

While our community continues to be safe and your Police Department is continually working to prevent and respond to crimes, you may be interested to know that last night, November 9, 2015, five homes in our city were burglarized.   We want to keep you informed.  In nearly every case the suspects entered the rear yard and smashed out a rear window (one had the front windows smashed).  The suspect(s) made entry at a few homes, with alarms being activated in all but one.  PVEPD officers responded with lights & sirens, and used the LASD helicopter, so if our residents saw or heard this police activity and wondered what was going on – the police department was responding to in-progress residential burglary calls.  No suspects were located at any of the locations, so these burglars were either scared away by the alarms or made very quick entries before fleeing prior to police arrival.  In one case, the residents were in the home at the time of the window smash burglary attempt.  No one was injured and there were no items ultimately reported stolen.  Anyone with further information, video camera surveillance, etc. is urged to contact PVEPD.

We must all exercise Crime Prevention techniques such as locking side gates, using alarm systems, motion sensor lights, trimming back shrubbery away from windows, etc.  Deterrents work.  I also encourage residents to join Neighborhood Watch to work with neighbors to observe and report suspicious persons or activity.   Please know that your police department has been combating property crime increasing by dedicating extra patrol officers to residential areas, both uniformed and plain clothed officers.  We will also be introducing Anti-Theft Dots, a property identification and recovery product to be announced soon on our website.