4109 Via Picaposte – $1.035m – ALL CASH!

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What a way to ring in the new year!  Of my four readers, one of you may have noticed the real estate sign outside of 4109 Via Picaposte over the last couple of months.  Well, it closed last Friday for a sweet $1.035 M in cold hard cash.  Rumor has it and the cash usually shows it, that we may see this one on the market again soon – but not without a few construction trucks coming and going.  As long as the economy remains status quo, my guess is that we’re going to see some moderate price gains in our beloved Valmonte this year.  Given the fact that there are only 4 homes currently on the market here, and two of the four have offers, there certainly isn’t much supply for the demand.  And I’m sure all four of you know that that means one thing in economics – rising prices.  And in the biz, we like to call that a seller’s market.

Inspired by Del Aire Park

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I’m starting to notice a pretty awesome movement underway.  For lack of a better description, I’ll call it refarming our cities.  Yesterday, Del Aire Park in unincorporated LA County, just reopened after a $4 million renovation.  Sure, the gym, community center, and general park facilities were all updated and improved, which is great.  But two other great things took place during this renovation – California’s first public fruit orchard was opened and the park is being dedicated to the life of a fallen soldier, U.S. Army Specialist Daniel Patrick Cagle.

With the assistance of the community group Fallen Fruit (www.fallenfruit.org), the local community now has a public fruit orchard.  While Del Aire Park is a long bike ride from Valmonte, I am reminded of the joint efforts by Enrich LA and the PVUSD in creating the Valmonte Farm and Nature Garden at Valmonte Elementary.  These efforts to bring the farm back to the city, while certainly not a new concept, are much needed links to having a better appreciation of where our food comes from.  When you look around the entire LA Area, especially here on the Peninsula, you can trace our roots back to LA’s farming past, and find inspiration in the historic local food movement.  It’s about time we get back to supplementing our food sources with our own backyard gardens, fruit trees, and simply sharing with our neighbors.  

Finally, what a great way to celebrate the life of one of our fallen soldiers, by dedicating the very park that he grew up in to his honor.

(Special thanks to the Daily Breeze for reporting on the dedication of the Del Aire Park).

4312 Via Alondra – did this one sneak by?

It’s not too often that you can look through the MLS and find a 3 Bedroom/3 Bathroom Home in Valmonte on an 11,460 foot lot priced at $1.1 million (that’s $411/foot!) and see it around for more than a few days before it has an offer.  Well, somehow this one has slipped through the cracks.  This mid-century open and bright home listed by Heather Chamberlain of RE/MAX PV is still waiting for its new owners to find it, but when they do, they are going to score a great value in a market heading up-up-up.  I’m going to write this one off as a holiday sleeper, but just because this house is still available is not a reason to skip it over.  It’s on a very usable corner lot, with views of the surrounding hills, and is a stone’s throw away from some great trails.  Like much of Valmonte, traffic is limited to local homeowners, and you have plenty of elbow room for the kids.  Sure, I’d be lying if I didn’t note that it could use some updates, but it’s rare to find one that isn’t going to call for your personal touches to make it your own.  As for the numbers, this one makes sense.  Of the 41 homes that sold in Valmonte during 2012, the average house was on the market 89 days and sold for $520/foot.  Working backwards, this house, even if upgrades are factored in, is undervalued compared to the average 2012 sale.  Sure, each house is different, but you can’t go wrong with good value on a well kept house on an oversized lot in the greatest neighborhood in Southern California.

(please note, the author, while a realtor, is writing independently and has no financial ties to the listing identified in this post).

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Neighborly Neighbors of Valmonte

I can’t help starting this new year off filled with gratitude. Sure, we here in Valmonte get to live in beautiful homes, in a beautiful neighborhood, with good jobs, and cute kids – all things to be grateful for every day. But what I’m talking about is the gratitude for the people that make up the neighborhood of Valmonte in Palos Verdes Estates.  The story started like this . . .

As many in our neighborhood prepared themselves and meals for New Year’s Eve celebrations, we closed out 2012 in a bit of a panic as we searched the neighborhood for our little lost Puggle, Luca (Pug/Beagle mix just in case you’re not familiar with the latest in designer mutts). On a side note, Luca is named after Luca Brasi, the much feared enforcer of the Corleone family in the Godfather; our little Luca is a girl dog and not much of an enforcer and we were hoping desperately she wasn’t “swimming with the fishes” like her namesake. As the afternoon faded into evening, news spread through the tree lined streets of our search for the “enforcer.” It was in these moments that I learned how great our Valmonte neighbors are. As my wife and I posted signs around the neighborhood, our neighbors took to the streets looking for our little fugitive. Despite all the help, we went to bed wondering if our only signs of Luca would be the empty dog bed in the garage.  Sadly, we woke this morning to start the new year off without any leads. But once again, our neighbors’ support and efforts to find the Puggle resumed.  Again the day wore on without a sign of Luca. But just as we were heading out for a final neighborhood lap, our eyes heavy with tears and thoughts of losing our first addition to the family, we got a call from another great neighbor, saying “I think I have your Puggle.” Elated, we headed over to meet our hero and to take our vagabond dog into custody.

I cannot thank our great neighbors enough for the love and support they have shown to us new kids on the block.  The efforts made to help us in a time of need and stress were true signs of selfless giving.  Normally, I’d think of someone like myself as a poser for writing a blog about a neighborhood after living in it for only a month.  But when I decided to document my interactions in this great neighborhood and call it i-love-valmonte, I new it was more than just a blog about a pretty neighborhood with nice houses.  It’s a story of friendship, gratitude, and human spirit that makes our neighborhood what it is – the best place to live in Southern California. Happy 2013 everyone and thanks for your love and support!