Single Family Homes by Area – SOLD in August 2017



Source:  iTech MLS

   Location # Homes Average Average Average  Avg.  Days
 SOLD Square Ft. Price/SF    List   Price   On Market SP % LP
La Canada 26 3359 $ 658 $ 2,206,742 42 100.56%
Montrose 4 1325  $ 531 $ 636,750 6 106.75%
La Crescenta 27 1700 $ 552 $ 874,030 39 103.15%
Tujunga  28 1516 $ 450 $ 618,352 39 101.49%
Sunland  24 1775 $ 406 $ 692.112 57 100.23%



Posted on September 5, 2017 at 8:01 pm
Jana Ace R Wunderlich | Posted in Market Stats |

Are Open Floor Plans Losing Appeal?



Open floor plans, which typically combine the kitchen, living room, and dining room in one large, open area, have dominated home design trends in recent years. But now, buyers may be starting to shun this type of layout, The Wall Street Journal reports.



“While the open floor plan was successful in allowing multiple generations to congregate, it also led to consolidated visual chaos,” New York-based designer Phillip Thomas told the Journal. Some designers say the “helicopter” parenting style—parents seeking to keep a more watchful eye over their children—may have led to the open floor plan’s popularity. But some parents may find they need more personal space.

Jen Altman, a child and family psychologist in Ho-Ho-Kus, N.J., says the pendulum is beginning to swing away from helicopter parenting, with many of her adult clients saying, “I just need 10 minutes to myself.” Such an attitude may be influencing a rise in the “broken floor plan,” which London architect Mary Duggan describes as large spaces with an element such as a three-quarter height wall to section off areas.

Some designers may also use barn doors or pocket doors (sliding doors that tuck inside walls) to close off an open floor plan when needed. Pivoting glass and curtains are other ways to section off space.

“It’s hard to get away from the open plan because of the way we live,” says Los Angeles-based designer Karen Vidal, who converted her family’s detached garage into a “mom cave.” “It’s the space where everyone congregates—meals are prepared, kids do their homework.” But she has found that cordoning off an area for her mom cave is critical for her peace of mind. “It’s a bit of separation from being on top of one another. It helps me focus.”



Source: “The Open-Floor-Plan Backlash: How Family Members Are Escaping Each Other,” The Wall Street Journal (Aug. 17, 2017)

Posted on August 30, 2017 at 6:47 pm
Jana Ace R Wunderlich | Posted in Home Design, Sellers |

Homebuyers Prefer Outdoor Space






Outdoor living is becoming just as important as the indoors. According to a consumer survey, recent and prospective homebuyers are craving green space. More than half (56 percent) of homebuyers surveyed said they would be willing to sacrifice a larger house to obtain a bigger yard.





The survey also found the most important exterior feature of a home is distance from neighboring homes. Both millennials (48 percent) and non-millennials (53 percent) believe this breathing room is key, beating other curb appeal elements such as siding, driveway styles, exterior paint color, and roofing finishes.

Features such as outdoor living rooms, floor-to-ceiling retractable glass walls that open to the backyard, and matching tile flooring that extends from a home’s interior to its exterior are helping to create a seamless flow in today’s outdoor-oriented homes.

Interest in more outdoor space is stronger among women than it is men, with roughly two in three women (62 percent) preferring less home square footage and larger yards, compared to a little more than half (51 percent) of men. Survey results suggest more yard is a consistent desire across parents and non-parents alike, as well as across generations.


California Association of Realtors’ Newsline –  Aug 15, 2017


Posted on August 24, 2017 at 1:23 am
Jana Ace R Wunderlich | Posted in Sellers |

‘Pub-Sheds’ Quickly Becoming Hot Trend in Backyard Entertainment

lighterside-staff-authorBy Lighter Side of Real Estate Staff

Backyard sheds are a dime a dozen. Most of them are useful for lawnmowers, tools, or perhaps your hubby’s smelly old high school sports paraphernalia. However, there’s a growing trend of pub-sheds that not only allow you to calm your nerves after a hard day’s work, but to do so in style from your very own back yard.

So even if your budget doesn’t allow for a hidden swimming pool or a $2 million backyard paradise, you can now have a fun backyard project to look forward to.


Have your guests relax on the swivel stools as you serve them in style.

This one has enough room for a hammock, just in case you need to crash after that extra glass of wine.

You’ll swear Marty McFly sapped you back to the 50’s.  Banjo player not included.

Who can resist a Superbowl party with this shed?

Watching the stars on a wintery night has never been so cozy.

Now THIS is a ‘dog house’ you’ll be begging to stay in.

Posted on August 22, 2017 at 9:33 pm
Jana Ace R Wunderlich | Posted in Home Design |

5 Simple Ways to Stage the Exterior of Your Home Before an Open House


powerwashIf you’re selling your home, chances are good you’re familiar with the concept of staging your home. Real estate agents recommend your home look its best to prospective buyers, and home staging is a great way to ensure you receive top dollar. But did you know you should stage the exterior of your home too? Failing to update the look of your home’s exterior can cause buyers to get a bad first impression when they initially arrive to view your home.  Whether your audiences are luxury home buyers, or you are selling your starter home, staging the exterior of your home will have a major impact in the sale of your home.  If you want to put exterior home staging to work, here are five elements you should consider tweaking.


Clean Your Exterior Windows and Screens

Nothing says poor maintenance like dirty windows and window screens. If your windows are caked with dust or muck from the last rainstorm, open house visitors are going to wonder what other maintenance jobs you haven’t attended to. Don’t give visitors the opportunity to question whether your home has been properly maintained or not; clean those windows and screens before authorizing an open house.


Refresh Your Gardens and Walkways

Just like dirty windows are a real estate faux pas, so are unkempt flower beds. Weeds and overgrown bushes tell visitors you can’t be bothered with the small stuff. Spend a day removing weeds and trimming flowers, or hire a professional landscaper to refresh your gardens.  It is amazing what a refreshed garden can do to your home’s curb appeal.


Refresh Your Home’s Siding

No, you don’t have to replace your home’s siding prior to an open house. A quick power wash could be all it takes to remove years of dust and grime. You can attempt this task yourself, but it might be worth your while to hire a professional. Some homeowners have been known to damage their home’s siding by using too forceful a water stream. This is one task that is often best left to experienced professionals.  The last thing you want to deal with is replacing siding before an open house.


Update/Clean Door Fixtures and House Address Signage

Something as simple as a new doorknob or address signage can give your home a refreshed look. You needn’t spring for a new door; just update the faceplate and/or doorknob. Purchase new address numbers from the local hardware store and you’ll have tweaked the look of your home’s exterior in just a few minutes.


Clean Patio Furniture

Whether you have chairs on your front veranda or a dining set on your back deck, tired patio furniture can cost you big dollars when it comes time to negotiate with a potential homebuyer. Dilapidated patio furniture instantly gives a bad impression and can cause potential homebuyers to request replacement furniture as part of their deal. Spruce up your existing furniture with a quick power wash, or replace it if it is beyond cleaning.


Simple tweaks to the exterior of your home can have a big impact on your home’s final selling price. By spending just a few days improving the look of the outside of your home, you can increase the amount buyers are willing to offer and make your home the cleanest real estate listing on the block. Will you be trying these exterior home staging tricks when you list your home for sale?


Charles Muotoh –  RISmedia’s Housecall   Aug 16, 2017


Posted on August 20, 2017 at 8:33 pm
Jana Ace R Wunderlich | Posted in Sellers |

Boomers Look To Real Estate To Afford Retirement



As many as 10,000 baby boomers retire daily. Members of this generation are increasingly looking to real estate to diversify their retirement portfolios and boost returns.


Many boomers have realized their retirement plans are not sufficient and have turned to alternative investments, such as real estate, to compensate. About 30% of baby boomers have no retirement savings and one-quarter have less than $50K saved, according to research by GoBankingRates

These boomers, who were born between 1945 and 1964, survived the Great Recession and were raised by parents who survived the Great Depression. They have been employed in a world where pension funds are growing less common and employer-led 401(k) retirement accounts are increasingly more common.



Retired couple 

Retired couple



Paying For Predictability

“The alternative investment world doesn’t become more popular until it’s time for people to retire,” The Entrust Group Director of Professional Development John Paul Ruiz said. Entrust provides services for self-directed individual retirement accounts (IRA), which, unlike typical IRAs, allow for alternative investments like real estate. 

Retirees typically want their investments to become more stable before making withdrawals. 

“Many of our clients think, ‘What other types of investments can I hold in my IRA that are outside the securities world because I can’t handle another crash?,’ Ruiz said.



Residential Versus Commercial Investment

Many turn to commercial real estate because the monthly rent they can collect does not undergo the highs and lows of stocks and bonds. Precious metals, notes and timber have also become more popular. Investors recognize residential real estate in core markets typically increases in value with proper maintenance, and owners can collect rent on the asset.

In the commercial world, leases run several years, allowing the stability of collecting rent to transcend smaller cycles, CBRE Managing Director of Global Industrial and Logistics Jack Fraker said. 

Within real estate, single-family homes remain the most popular asset for IRA holders to purchase, according to research from The Entrust Group. In 2016, more than half of the real estate purchases made by Entrust clients were for single-family homes. Last year, more than a quarter of clients purchased multifamily properties, and about one-fifth purchased raw land.

“Within the last 100 years, the best places to put money is in the marketplace and in real estate. One of main reasons [why] is familiarity. You may not ever talk to the money manager of your mutual fund. But with a real estate asset, you can see it; you can meet your tenant,” Ruiz said.




Institutional Versus Individual Investment 

Private, individual investors are not the only ones cashing in on real estate holdings. Institutional investors have increased the percentage of their real estate holdings recently, Fraker said.

“It used to be more like 5% of their assets were in real estate, but has certainly doubled over the last 10 years. That’s good for us [in real estate] because it means more of their money is going into our assets and less into stocks and bonds,” Fraker said. 

Hard assets’ ability to withstand economic cycles better than Wall Street makes real estate a more attractive and less risk-prone asset for investors. 



Looking To Future Generations

When Generation X, the generation following baby boomers (born between 1965 to 1979) begins to retire in greater numbers, The Entrust Group’s Ruiz said he is unsure what their investment patterns will look like. Many of the real estate assets bought by boomers will be inherited by Generation X, and there is not enough data yet to know what Generation X will do with those assets, Ruiz said.

But there is a new generation of people getting more familiar with self-directed IRAs,” Ruiz said. “Many have accumulated wealth through them, and those getting involved in self-directed IRAs are younger and younger.”




Julia Bunch – Bisnow – Forbes Business  June 20,2017



Posted on August 14, 2017 at 12:02 am
Jana Ace R Wunderlich | Posted in Buying and Selling |

Home Safety: Best Places to Put Security Cameras

low angle shot on security camera with office building background, monitor the whole city from a height,shanghai china.


If you’ve decided to put up security cameras for your home for the first time or are considering widening your safety net, knowing the proper way to place and angle your cameras is vital to keeping your home as safe as it can be. Not only can proper camera placement catch important details of possible crimes in your area, simply placing them properly can deter a crime from happening in the first place.


The most important factor in judging where to place a camera is simple: Your home is your home. You know what the layout is, you know where the most important rooms are, and you may be in the unfortunate position of knowing how someone entered your home without your permission in the past. Before you begin placing any equipment, consider some basic questions about your home’s surveillance needs. Some questions to consider include:

  • What parts of your home are you most concerned about?
  • If someone has broken into your home before, even before you owned it, where did that occur?
  • Are there any spots on my property that aren’t plainly visible to the street or my neighbors?
  • Do you need to keep any local camera placement laws in mind?


Though you may come to a variety of conclusions and potential diagrams for your home security systems and their needs, consider the usual entry points for potential burglars when casing a home. Knowing the most common routes of entry can take a large portion of the workload off of you simply by observing recorded statistics. With over 80 percent of burglars entering a home through the first floor, whether through door or window, it’s especially important to keep the entirety of your property’s entryways covered. At the same time, trying to cover low locales such as your doors and windows may leave cameras in easy reach of criminals, thus completely negating their usefulness.


If you find you have a lack of safe places to place a camera, consider looking into protective caging for your equipment to protect it from being knocked out of order while you aren’t looking. This is also a good time to contemplate what special tools you may need to complete your installation, so ensure you check your camera system to see it’s recommended outfitting requirements that might need special preparations.


While losing a camera can mean losing important evidence to help identify vandals or thieves, there are clever ways to keep yourself safe that might goad a criminal into making a misstep. Placing a dummy camera in obvious sight not only deters crime by showing you keep your home under tight watch, it also gives an easy target to a potential burglar that can distract them from hidden cameras that catch them in the act. As an added bonus, dummy cameras are far cheaper to replace than expensive professional models.


Most importantly, you must consider the needs of each camera when placing it. Cameras cannot focus on multiple ranges and angles at once, so if you want to catch a trespasser’s facial features, mounting your camera up too high can blur distinctive features, but a raised camera may have a better time picking up a car’s license plate when placed overlooking your driveway.


In the end, even poorly-placed cameras will offer better home security than not having any at all, but there’s no reason to leave proper home security to chance. Knowing how to place your first line of defense can keep you safe before and after any crime, and knowledge is always your best weapon.



By Cary Teller  –  RISMedia Housecall,  July 31, 2017  

Posted on August 7, 2017 at 6:59 pm
Jana Ace R Wunderlich | Posted in Home TIPS |

Single Family Homes by Area – SOLD in July 2017


Source:  iTech MLS

   Location # Homes Average Average Average  Avg.  Days
 SOLD Square Ft. Price/SF    List    Price   On Market SP % LP
La Canada 21 3011 $ 713 $ 2,033,714 64 102.20%
Montrose 3 1369  $ 594 $ 767,667 31 103.85%
La Crescenta 32 1862 $ 566 $ 962,896 36 101.83%
Tujunga  14 1509 $ 424 $ 590,829 17 100.62%
Sunland  20 2120 $ 361 $ 711,185 33 100.69%



Posted on August 1, 2017 at 9:08 pm
Jana Ace R Wunderlich | Posted in Market Stats |

5 Ways to Create an Energy Efficient Home for Under $500

Smart Home Concept Linear


Summer is a time filled with good times and warm weather. Unfortunately, it’s also a time for many homeowners when energy costs skyrocket as they attempt to keep their homes cool and comfortable. Thankfully, there are many things that can be done to help keep homes cool, while saving energy and money at the same time. These five tips will help make the most of energy efficient home situations this summer, and all cost less than $500.

Find and Fix Air Leaks
According to, air leaks are responsible for as much as 20 percent of the energy used to heat and cool the home. Stopping air leaks around doors and windows through weatherstripping is a fast and inexpensive way to help lower energy bills year round, while stopping drafts, and making the home more comfortable at the same time.

How Much Does It Save?
It’s common to see a drop in energy bills of about 20 percent after sealing up air leaks. The average cost of this project is around $168, and it will pay for itself over time with lower energy bills.

Thermostat Upgrade
Another way to lower energy bills is to invest in a programmable thermostat. Thermostats are responsible for controlling when the air conditioner goes on and off. However, many people forget to turn them off when they leave for the day, resulting in higher than necessary bills. A programmable version that can learn the habits of the residents in house will let the system use energy more efficiently, keeping bills down.

How Much Does It Save?
Programmable thermostats cost around $200 – $250 to have installed, and can often save roughly $180 a year on heating and cooling costs. Over time, this will help pay for the upgrade.

Update Light Fixtures
If the house still features incandescent light bulbs in the fixtures, then it’s likely using much more energy than it needs to be. Energy efficient LED and CFL bulbs use just 1/3 to 1/30 of the energy that a traditional bulb does. These bulbs also work in any traditional light fixture, although it is possible to install new lights made just for these types of bulbs to save even more if desired.

How Much Does It Save?
CFL bulbs cost around $10 to $12 while LED Bulbs cost around $15 to $25. While this may sound pricey, consider this; incandescent bulbs use about $15 worth of electricity a year per bulb, while LED and CFL use less than $5.  Added up, this can be a tremendous savings over time.

Change the Air Filters
HVAC systems need to be clean and free of dust and dirt in order to work properly. For that reason, it has a filter installed at its intake to keep out contaminates. Over time, that filter will become clogged with dust, dirt, and hair, causing the system to work harder to pull air through. Most filters should be changed once a season, but many people overlook this simple task, which in turn results in higher energy bills, and expensive HVAC and AC maintenance.

How Much Does It Save?
Replacement air filters typically cost around $15 to $60. Choose from reusable filters that only need regular cleaning. Changing the filter every 3 months will save roughly 15 percent on energy bills.

Air Vents
AC and HVAC units will also work harder if their air vents are dirty. The more debris and dirt inside the system, the harder it needs to work to pull air through, raising energy costs by as much as 5 – 15 percent over time, and causing the system to age faster, requiring more maintenance and repairs over time.

How Much Does It Save?
Having dirty vents cleaned costs between $300 and $500. However, this can save up to 15 percent on your energy bills, and save on expensive HVAC repairs as well.

Lower Energy Bills
Remember, most of the things done to lower energy bills this summer will be effective year round, keeping energy bills down in the winter months as well, and increasing the amount that is ultimately saved. The home will also be more comfortable, and current and future homeowners will be able to avoid unexpected maintenance and repair costs in some cases as well.


Yuka Kato –  RISmedia Housecall,  July 27, 2017  

Posted on August 1, 2017 at 4:36 pm
Jana Ace R Wunderlich | Posted in Home TIPS |

Homeownership Rate Rebounds from 50-Year Low

The U.S. homeownership rate may have finally bottomed out, as the share of Americans who own homes is steadily climbing. The ownership rate posted an increase in the second quarter, reversing a sharp downward trend that begun in the Great Recession.




The homeownership rate was 63.7 percent in the second quarter, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Thursday. That marks nearly a full percentage point increase from a year ago.

Last year, the homeownership rate had plunged to a 50-year low of 62.9 percent.

“The addition of 1.2 million households being homeowners is clearly good news, as more households are participating in housing equity gains,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS®. “But let’s keep it in perspective: There are fewer homeowners today compared to a decade ago, while renter households have risen by 8 million. So it is still the case that the massive $7 trillion in housing wealth gains from the cyclical low point has been accumulated by a fewer number of families in America. Further advances in homeownership are required to strengthen and broaden the middle class.”



Source:  The Wall Street Journal (July 27, 2017) and National Association of REALTORS


Posted on July 31, 2017 at 8:34 pm
Jana Ace R Wunderlich | Posted in Buyers, Market Stats |