SOLD: Second all-time highest sales price in Valmonte

2921 via la selva pool

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!

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!!

Valmonte Home Sales Keep Pace in October

Chugging Right Along     October 2015 sales of single family homes in Valmonte kept pace with September and is contributing to 2015 going down as one of the best years in recent memory.  In all 4 homes sold in October priced from $1.137m to 1.65m all in the eastern part of Valmonte “where the sun always shines.”  Three of the houses were listed on the MLS and took anywhere from 7 to 126 days to sell; the fourth, on Via Valmonte sold off-market for $1.55m.  The selling to asking price averaged 94% as all marketed homes required price reductions to sell.   As for active listings, there are 10 homes listed for sale in Valmonte, priced from $1.338m for a smaller home on PV Drive North to an updated one story on Via Palomino priced at $2.295m. For the year, the average sales price through October 31st is a record $1.539m – up about 14% from 2014.  On top of that, there have already been 49 sales through September 30th this year, compared to 34 homes sold in all of 2014.  Historically speaking, on a price/foot basic, prices have rallied 28% from market lows set in 2012 ($509/foot); however, the average price/foot is off 11% from market highs set in 2005 ($729/foot) and 2006 ($728/foot).

What is the take-away from all of this?     As the traditional summer selling season comes to an end, there are still plenty of opportunities to buy and sell a home in Valmonte.  The lending market is still favorable to well qualified buyers with rates hovering in the 4% range.  For those looking to buy, this may be your best chance.  Home prices are expected to continue to rise moderately in 2016 and interest rates are likely to see a moderate increase as well.  Inventory remains below the “balanced” level of 5 months supply with a current 2.3 months supply, indicating this is still a seller’s market.  However, as homes continue to sit empty or with sellers eager to move, this may be the chance to negotiate a good price for your next home.

See you in the neighborhood . . . .

208 Alcance

SOLD: 208 Via Alcance – $1.137 gets you this 1800′ fixer

300 Alcance

FOR SALE: 300 Alcance – $1.699 remodeled and across from the school

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!

4125 Via Largavista on the market

If you gage the real estate market by walking around a neighborhood, you would certainly call Valmonte sleepy based on the general absence of for sale signs in the front yards.  This reality can be seen a few ways.  Maybe you can call it the Holiday calm; who wants to have people touring your home while you’re trying to enjoy the special time that is the holiday season?  It could be that everyone loves Valmonte and no one wants to sell.  Or, it may just be that the market isn’t signaling that it’s ready to roll and sellers are hesitant to sell.  I like to think it’s a combination of all of these factors.  Valmonte is a popular place these days (you can argue that it has been for many decades), and there certainly are many families looking to move to this great neighborhood.  However, qualifying for a home is a challenge, and prices here aren’t exactly low.  And after 6 years of a bearish real estate market, sellers ARE slow to accept that the ball is back in their court.  But facts are facts, and in 2012, of the 40 homes that sold in the Valmonte area, the average home sold in approximately 3 months at 97% of the asking price.  Not bad when only a few years ago the sky was falling and chicken little was running around with his head in his hands.  

So seeing a new listing hit the market is a welcome sight and 4125 Via Largavista listed at roughly $1.649m by Raju Chhabria of Shorewood Realtors is one to watch.  Located on one of the best streets in Valmonte this 3 bed, 3 bath 2400′ home on a 9400′ lot was extensively updated in 2006.  The house last sold in 2004 for $1.425m and if you know the neighborhood, not too many come up for sale on this family friendly street.  My guess for 2013 is that we will continue to see demand outpace supply but prices are going to be challenged by buyer’s ability to qualify for loans at continued low rates.  It’s certainly getting better, but we’re not out of the woods just yet.

Happy Holidays!

 

 

An edible garden grows at a school in Palos Verdes Estates – Los Angeles Times

Here’s an article from the LA Times talking about a cool project going on at Valmonte Elementary school.

A Palos Verdes Estates garden aims to help kids dig veggies

Volunteers convert a hillside plot into the Valmonte Farm and Nature Garden, the latest project in nonprofit group’s effort to teach youngsters about healthful food.

September 16, 2012|By Martha Groves, Los Angeles Times

Teacher Lauren Citrowski, 28, center, and students Estefani Hernandez,… (Irfan Khan, Los Angeles…)

The temperature had soared to nearly 100 degrees by late morning in Palos Verdes Estates, making it a fine day to cool off at the beach or a water park.  Instead, Chloe Solandt, her face pink from heat and sun, was sanding boards and stomping through dirt as she and 150 or so other volunteers built an edible garden on a one-acre hillside plot at Valmonte School, an early learning center.  “I’m really interested in agriculture and food sustainability,” said Solandt, 17, a senior at Palos Verdes High School. “I’ll be going to each station.”  She had plenty of sweat-inducing tasks available to her. At the various stations, volunteers of all ages wielding paintbrushes and battery-powered tools could assemble redwood picnic tables, construct an arbor or a small-scale red barn, fill wheelbarrows with wood chips or plant fruit trees.

The occasion was a “community garden build day,” and a community indeed turned out to create the Valmonte Farm and Nature Garden. Dave’s Tree Service kicked in a mini-mountain of mulch. Kellogg Supply sent heaps of soil amendments and compost. The Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy donated native plants.

And Tomas O’Grady good-naturedly assumed the role of project foreman.  O’Grady, 45, who grew up working his family’s small farm in western Ireland, immigrated to the United States 20 years ago and retired about five years later after making a fortune in real estate. Last year, O’Grady unsuccessfully challenged incumbent Tom LaBonge for his Los Angeles City Council seat.

Fourteen months ago, in an effort to give back to the society that enriched him, he started Enrich LA. The nonprofit group’s mission is to establish school gardens, primarily in low-income areas. The aim is to help youngsters learn about where food comes from and about environmental stewardship, conservation and nutrition. Enrich LA gardens demonstrate that “home-grown” can be as tasty as burgers and fries.

“We’ve done gardens at schools along the 110 corridor where the chain-link fences are topped by barbed wire, an extra touch to get that prison vernacular,” O’Grady said. “In most cases, we’re ripping up asphalt to put in gardens.”

His first project was at Thomas Starr King Middle School, a Los Feliz magnet, which his daughters Eireann, 13, and Lauren, 11, attend. “After I built the garden, I saw the changes it brought,” he said. “It was a visual announcement that the school was mending itself.” O’Grady helped found an environmental studies magnet program at the school, where student activists two years ago kicked off an effort to ban plastic foam trays in the cafeteria. In August, the Los Angeles Unified School District switched to money-saving recyclable paper trays for all its schools.

Palos Verdes Estates is hardly an economically challenged area, O’Grady acknowledged, but Diana Heffernan-Schrader, a parent activist, “called us up and insisted.” Once O’Grady saw the site, which years ago had been a garden but had been long neglected, he was on board. Heffernan-Schrader, whose two daughters attend Valmonte, said she envisions edible gardens at every school in the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District.

martha.groves@latimes.com

via An edible garden grows at a school in Palos Verdes Estates – Los Angeles Times.