Haunted Houses Don’t Make For A Great Real Estate Market

Haunted Houses Don’t Make For A Great Real Estate Market

Halloween
Trick-or-Treat! Americans don’t think haunted houses are all that sweet.
Recently an article on Trulia, written by Katie Gallagher and published on October 5, 2017, delivered some statistics about house hunting in hopes of finding a Haunted House. Turns out depending on the age of the person looking for a home some might not even mind these paranormal roommates. Read on to find what her findings came up with.

Although paint touch-ups and landscaping can boost the appeal of your home, it may be smarter to host a séance. That’s because a haunted house can spook away homebuyers. They found that most Americans consider both deaths and hauntings when finding their next home. Millennial men are the exception, with some possibly dying to live in a haunted home, according to Trulia’s September survey, conducted online by Harris Poll among 2,098 U.S. adults ages 18 and older.

With Halloween just around the corner, many Americans have fun celebrating this spooky time of year. But how many Americans really believe in the supernatural? Who is checking the basements and closets for ghosts and ghouls when they’re in an open house? Where do people draw the (chalk) line on how much horror they can handle at home?

Turns out, many Americans may fear the sinister in their homes. When asked if they would consider purchasing a haunted house, 43% of Americans say they would be less likely to buy a home if there was suspicion that something ghostly occurred there.

Additionally:

Bring on the Scare: Only three in 10 Americans (30%) answered yes when asked if they would live in a home where a death had occurred.
Macho Millennial Men: 28% of millennial men (ages 18-34) say they would be much or somewhat more likely to buy a home if there was suspicion that the property may be haunted.
Seniors Aren’t So Spooked: 61% of those ages 65 and above say they are no more or less likely to buy a haunted house, compared to 45% of those ages 18-54.
More Degrees, More at Ease: Only 33% of Americans with a graduate degree are somewhat or much less likely to buy a haunted house, lowest of any other education levels. This compares to 50% of those who completed some high school or less, 45% of those who completed high school/GED, 42% of college graduates/those who completed some graduate school, 41% who have associates degree or job-specific training.
Fear of Aging? Or Aging Away Fear?
Although many Americans may be spooked, there are some demographics that seem to be more afraid. Age and gender appear to have a strong influence on people’s feelings about the unnatural. What we found is when it comes to ghosts, the more gray, the more blasé.

Seniors were by far the age group most likely to be unfazed when it came to living in a haunted home. Compared to 45% of their younger counterparts (ages 18-55), 61% of seniors, aged 65 and older, say they are no or more less likely to buy a haunted house. When it came to living in a home where a death had taken place, older adults were also most likely to be unfazed, with 39% of those ages 55+ saying they would live there compared to only 24% of those ages 18-54.

Not So Afraid of Monsters Under Their Beds
While seniors are not disturbed by the prospect of hauntings, some millennial men appear to be not only unafraid but possibly eager to live in a haunted home. Of all male age groups, millennial men are the most likely to say they would purchase a home if there was suspicion it was haunted – 28% of millennial men would be more likely to purchase a home that may be haunted compared to just 7% of men ages 35+. Perhaps they are too busy looking at their phones to realize there is a ghost lurking.

Not in My House
Determining who’s most sensitive to hauntings came down to relationship status and education. It could be that having a partner around gives more peace of mind for the creatures that may be under the bed, because only 18% of singles said yes, they would live in a home where a death had taken place. This compares to 31% people who are married or living with a partner.

Levels of education also impact people’s likelihood to live in a haunted home. 50% of Americans without a high school degree are somewhat or much less likely to buy a haunted house, the highest proportion of all education levels to feel this way. Compare that to 45% of high school grads/GED’s, 42% of college grads/completed some graduate school, 41% with associates or vocational training and 33% of those with graduate degrees. So that’s what higher education is teaching these days.

Location, Location, Location
Regardless of whether you’re looking for a fright or avoiding the fear, it may be helpful to find out what lurks in listings. From streets with bad omens to live-in ghosts, we analyzed listings data to find the States with the Spookiest Homes. We looked at the most recent listing to find homes that included words like haunt, haunted and haunting. In addition, we checked our listings to find homes currently for-sale on streets named Elm, Fleet, Cemetery and Blood as well as homes that included some ghoulish terms in the listing descriptions.

The most sinister?
Texas has the spookiest listings in the U.S. with 198.
Looking for your own Nightmare on Elm Street? There are currently 46,680 homes for sale across the U.S. that are located on an Elm Street.
Which state has the most? California with 5,455.
If a demon barber is more your style, head to Maryland as there are 333 listings on a Fleet Street. But beware any bakeries or barbershops on your street.
Across the U.S. there are 1,536 listings on a Fleet Street.

Whether you’re a believer or a denier, stock up on plenty of sage, salt and garlic this October and have a Happy Halloween.

Palos Verdes 2017 Market Data Report 3rd Quarter YTD

Palos Verdes 2017 Market Data Report 3rd Quarter YTD

Marketing 3rd QtrPalos Verdes 2017 Market Data Report shows an increase in sales in all neighborhoods from 2016.

Currently, Mira Catalina has posted the largest gain in average sales price for Palos Verdes homes at 64%, followed by Monte Malaga at 37.5% and Lunada Bay at 15%. Lunada Bay posted the largest number of Palos Verdes homes sold to date in 2017 at 80, compared to 57 homes in 2016.

For more information on the Palos Verdes & Harbor Market Intelligence Report click here.

COME SEE MY NEW LISTING IN FULLERTON!

COME SEE MY NEW LISTING IN FULLERTON!

Randee front pic

This is my new real estate listing in Fullerton which is being offered at $548,800. This lovely home located at 3646 Randee Way, Fullerton, just went on the Multiple Listing Service this week, and is a 4 bedroom, 2 bath, 1,554 square foot home on a desirable cul de sac. 

Randee - Kitchen Randee Bedroom white Randee Bath)Check out this one story well maintained home in Fullerton. Nicely remodeled and upgraded kitchen and bathrooms.  Formal living room with fireplace.  Wood flooring. Freshly interior painting with smooth ceilings.  Large bonus room. Nice back yard with fruit trees. Great location to nearby 5 and 91 freeways.  This cul de sac gem can be the perfect place to call home.

To read more about my new listing go to www.3646Randee.com.               

Please stop by my Open House on Sunday, March 5, 2017, from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.        

 

 

Why choose me for all of your REAL ESTATE needs!!!

15 Reasons I’m the Rancho Palos Verdes, Palos Verdes Estates, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, Manhattan Beach, and Hermosa Beach Real Estate Agent for You!

 
  • I have a total commitment to providing excellent service throughout the real estate transaction.
  • I have exceptional knowledge of the local Rancho Palos Verdes, Palos Verdes Estates, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach and surrounding Los Angeles County, CA areas real estate market.
  • As a real estate professional, I will be committed to negotiating on your behalf to help meet your specific goals and objectives.
  • I will engage in a comprehensive networking strategy to assist in the purchase or sale of your home.
  • I will go the extra mile for you to make sure your next real estate transaction is a smooth one.
  • I take pride in providing personalized service which means that I will be highly involved in the actual purchase or sale or your home.
  • I will utilize technology to better meet your specific real estate needs, whether you are buying or selling.
  • I will take on the difficult tasks to make moving an easy process.
  • I will assist you in finding the related services that are necessary to buy or sell a home or other property.
  • I will keep you apprised of current local real estate market conditions that can impact the purchase or sale of your home.
  • I engage in a corporate level of marketing to make sure that your home gets as much exposure as possible if you are a seller and that you find the perfect home if you are a buyer.
  • I work as a full time real estate professional which means you will have the pinnacle of support throughout your real estate transaction.
  • I will utilize my experience both in and out of real estate to let you attend to your family while I do the work making sure your real estate transaction is processed in the most trouble free manner possible.
  • I will respect your time and work with you so your busy schedule is not interrupted.
  • I will uphold the highest moral and ethical standards throughout any real estate transaction I am involved in.
 

The Hermosa Beach real estate and homes for sale request form covering the areas of Rancho Palos Verdes, Palos Verdes Estates, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach and all other Los Angeles, CA areas.

 

Do you need professional real estate representation in order to find a home in Rancho Palos Verdes, Palos Verdes Estates, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach or in another CA area? Are you thinking about selling your home in Rancho Palos Verdes, Palos Verdes Estates, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, Manhattan Beach, or Hermosa Beach? If so, I can help meet all of your real estate needs. Whether you have residential real estate needs, commercial real estate needs, leasing needs, or income property needs, please fill out the following brief real estate quick request form describing how I can be of service. This form will help me provide you with outstanding real estate service. Thanks again.

If you do end up choosing me for any or all of your real etate needs feel free to contact me at (310)686-4688 or email me Tuba@remaxpv.com. Also dont forget visit my business and facbook page which are both linked above in my main menu!!! 

5 Errors Home Shoppers Should Avoid!!!

Real estate professionals say they keep seeing buyers make the same mistakes over and over again in a home purchase. Among some of the common errors they see:

  • Unrealistic time tables: With a regular sale, “assuming you’re preapproved and it’s straightforward, you can probably do it in 30 days, but 45 is more common,” says Ron Phipps, immediate past president of the National Association of REALTORS®. But he advises home buyers to prepare for 45 to 60 days. And if it’s a foreclosure property, they may encounter lien and title issues that could cause delays stretching that to 60 to 75 days, even up to 90 days. And for short sales, that timeframe will greatly depend on whether the lenders have already agreed to it and a preset price, but it could take anywhere from 45 days to even up to nine months, Phipps says.

 

  • Ignorance with financing: Home buyers should learn more about the mortgage process, learn the terminology, and know what questions to ask in shopping around for the best mortgage rate. For example, Carolyn Warren, author of “Homebuyers Beware,” cautions buyers to never tell a lender, “This is my first time, and I don’t know how it all works — and I need you to guide me through the process,” she says. “It’s like putting a sign on your forehead that says, ‘Charge me more.’”

 

  •  “Trash talking” when negotiating: If the home is painted pink and the buyer insists it needs to be repainted, he could risk jeopardizing negotiations. Instead, Phipps suggests that when making an offer, buyers should stress what they like about the home. “Don’t make it adversarial,” he says. A price reduction should be talked about in terms of what the home is worth to that buyer, he says.

 

  • Getting in over their heads: Buyers may be tempted to stretch their budget in order to get the house of their dreams. Phipps suggests buyers don’t stretch themselves so thin that they miss out on having a reserve fund in case they need to make any unexpected repairs once they move in. “In most homeownership situations, there are going to be some unforeseen circumstances,” Phipps says. “So you want to make sure you have some funds behind you.”

 

  • No Reserve Fund:  After finally finding that “dream home,” what buyer isn’t tempted to stretch as far as possible — and drain all available savings — just to make the numbers work? It’s one of the big homebuyer mistakes, Phipps says.Often, buyers fall in love with a property, and they try to rationalize the decision, he says. “You need to be disciplined about it.”Too often, buyers set a price range and then fall in love with something that costs more. So they figure they’ll borrow the difference, Phipps says.But you need a reserve fund — something you hold back to address unexpected problems, like the refrigerator that quits in mid-July, or the “like-new” water heater that dies the day after you move in. Or the realization — after seeing the neighbors sunbathing once too often — that you need a privacy fence, pronto.”In most homeownership situations, there are going to be some unforeseen circumstances,” Phipps says. “So you want to make sure you have some funds behind you.”

Article from http://realestate.glozal.com/profiles/blogs/5-errors-home-shoppers-should-avoid

If you do end up choosing me for any or all of your real etate needs feel free to contact me at (310)686-4688 or email me Tuba@remaxpv.com. Also dont forget visit my business and facbook page which are both linked above in my main menu!!! 

Movers Hold Home Owners’ Items Hostage?

It has been said that, next to divorce and the death of a family member, moving is among the most stressful experiences many people will have in their lifetime. Dealing with a bad moving company makes matters worse.

Federal lawmakers are cracking down on moving companies who try to hold home owners’ belongings hostage during a move — a scam that’s more common than many realize. Home owners will soon have more protection against this increasingly reported rip-off in the moving industry.

It usually involves a moving company providing a home owner with a lowball quote for a move. The mover then packs up the home owner’s belongings onto a truck and refuses to unload it until a higher fee is paid. Some unscrupulous moving companies are notorious for underestimating the weight of items they’ve been hired to transport and even resorting to extreme measures to squeeze a few extra dollars out of their customers — including holding everything a customer owns and cherishes essentially for ransom.

“Aside from being extorted for money, they may even damage your goods,” said Ada Vassilovski, vice president of online marketing and product management for Imagitas in Waltham, Mass., which operates MyMove.com, a resource offering advice for stress-free moves. “If you hire a mover to transport your goods across state lines and they hold your personal property hostage, you can appeal to the Department of Transportation and it now has the power to enforce fines,” she told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

President Barack Obama signed a law last month that will benefit people who think they have been scammed by a moving company. Beginning in October, movers who hold home owners’ items hostage can be fined by up to $10,000 a day, according to new rules imposed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, an agency of the Department of Transportation. Starting in October 2014, new moving company owners will be mandated to pass tests on consumer protection and moving-cost estimates, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. 

“We are finally seeing recognition that movers holding people’s possessions hostage is a problem,” Vassilovski says. “I don’t think many people are aware of this being a problem, so it’s great this legislation is shining a light on it.”

The Better Business Bureau reports that among the 4,790 industries it monitors, moving companies are No. 10 on the list of those receiving the most consumer complaints. In 2011, the bureau received 1.2 million inquires and complaints against movers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, on the other hand, received 2,851 complaints that year. The federal agency only counts interstate moves, whereas the BBB data includes both interstate and intrastate moves. Movers used to be regulated by the Interstate Commerce Commission, but in an effort to balance the federal budget, Congress eliminated that agency in 1995.

“This legislation will educate people that there is a problem,” Ms. Vassilovski said. “But if you are moving you need to do your homework to select a mover that is reputable and not chose one based on price alone.”

Article from http://realestate.glozal.com/profiles/blogs/movers-hold-home-owners-items-hostage?xg_source=msg_mes_network

Hello blog readers!!!

Hello fellow bloggers and blog readers,

I just want to take this time to tell you a little bit about my self, my name is Tuba and I am a Real Estate Consultant with RE/MAX Palos Verdes Realty. I have been an agent for over 25 years, I am also a member of the exclusive RE/MAX Hall of Fame, as well as the prestigious Platinum Club. I rank in the top 1% of agents in the business and my sales record will prove it. So if you are looking for a realtor you have found the right one. I am here to service all of your real estate needs so feel free to comment on this blog post if you are looking to buy or sell a home. :)

Enjoy this amazing pasta salad recipe and dont forget my service is almost as good as this salad!!!

1 12 tbsps white sugar
1 tsp salt (taste)
1 12 tsps black pepper (ground)
1 tsp onion powder
1 12 tsps dijon mustard
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 12 cups fresh basil (chopped)
12 cup fresh oregano (chopped)
14 cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
2 tsps hot pepper sauce (g tabasco)
13 cup red wine vinegar
12 cup olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice
4 ozs grated parmesan cheese
4 plum tomatoes (roma, chopped)
6 green onions (chopped)
4 ozs black olives (minced)
16 ozs bow tie pasta (farfalle)
12 cup pine nuts
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions: 1. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, salt, pepper, onion powder, mustard, garlic, basil, oregano, cilantro, hot pepper sauce, red wine vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, and Parmesan cheese. Add the tomatoes, green onions and olives to the bowl, and stir to coat. Refrigerate.

2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, and cook for 7 minutes, or until tender. Drain, and rinse with cold water to cool. Add pasta to the bowl of dressing, and mix well. Top with mozzarella cheese and pine nuts. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

The 10 ‘Emptiest’ Housing Markets

Empty homes still plague a lot of cities across the country. In fact, since 2000, vacant properties have risen by about 43 percent nationwide, according to Census Bureau data. (Homes are defined as vacant by “unoccupied rental inventory” or homes unoccupied that are for-sale.) 

Vacant properties can affect home values nearby. For example, a study earlier this year found that a vacant home has the potential to decrease the value of nearby homes by at least 1.3 percent, according to the Cleveland Federal Reserve. In higher income neighborhoods, the impact can be even more drastic—possibly lowering nearby home prices by 4.6 percent. In low poverty areas, each additional vacant or tax delinquent home was found to reduce values of surrounding properties by between 1.7 percent and 1.8 percent.

The following are the six cities with the largest home owner and rental vacancies based on the last 12 months: 

 

1. Orlando, Fla.
Home owner vacancy rate: 2.2%
Rental vacancy rate: 18.8% 

The emptiest city in the United States is Orlando, Fla. The 12-month average for rental vacancies stands at a staggering 18.8 percent, while in the first quarter of 2012 this number was 22 percent, highest in the nation. Florida’s third largest city also has an above-average homeowner vacancy rate, but this metric has been rising during the past two quarters, according to Census Bureau data. Despite its housing woes, Orlando has been able to avoid the financial woes of other cities, such as Harrisburg, Pa., and San Bernardino and Stockton, California.

 

2. Dayton, Ohio
Home owner vacancy rate: 5.4%
Rental vacancy rate: 11.3%

The good news is that Dayton’s homeowner vacancy rate has been trending downward since its peak in the third quarter of 2011, when it stood at 6.5 percent. However, even this improving number gives Dayton the distinction of having the highest average homeowner vacancy rate in the country, according to the Census Data. And Dayton’s average rental vacancy rate, at 11.3 percent, is higher than the 75 city average of 9.2 percent. The Census Bureau calculations put Dayton’s gross vacancy rate at 16.9 percent, more than 6 percent above the large city average, and the highest in the country.

 

3. Memphis, Tenn.
Home owner vacancy rate: 3.1%
Rental vacancy rate: 15%

Memphis’s proportion of vacant homes, both owned and rentals, puts it third overall, thanks to an average rental vacancy rate of 15 percent that is the fifth highest in the nation and the 3.1 percent homeowner vacancy rate that ranks 13th.

 

4. Detroit
Home owner vacancy rate: 1.7%
Rental vacancy rate: 16.9%

Detroit was one of the hardest hit cities in the recession, and with an unemployment rate of 9.9 percent as of May, it’s little wonder that its 16.9 percent rental vacancy rate is the second highest in the country. Surprisingly, though, the homeowner vacancy rate remains below the 75 largest metro area’s average of 2.18 percent. According to the Census Bureau, at the end of 2011, Detroit had a gross vacancy rate of 12.2 percent, a level the city has virtually maintained since 2006.

 

5. Richmond, Va.
Home owner vacancy rate: 2.4%
Rental vacancy rate: 15.1%

With a rental vacancy rate of 15.1 percent, Virginia’s capital ranks fourth among all major U.S. cities for empty rentals over the past year, with the first quarter of 2012 showing a 19 percent rental vacancy rate. However, Richmond’s homeowner vacancy rate ranks only 27th among the country’s 75 largest metro areas, and stands just 0.2 percent higher than the average for large metro areas.

 

6. Las Vegas
Home owner vacancy rate: 3.9%
Rental vacancy rate: 11.9% 

Over the past five years, the Las Vegas housing market has experienced one of the country’s most dramatic boom-and-bust cycles. The city continues to feel the pain. At the end of 2011, Las Vegas ranked second in the country for gross vacancy rates, at 16 percent, and currently has an unemployment rate of 11.8 percent. In the past 12 months, Las Vegas’ rental vacancy rates have dropped from a high of 13.2 percent in the third quarter of 2011 to a low of 11 percent in the first quarter of 2012, the most recent number available. Although Las Vegas remains one of the most vacant U.S. cities, homeowner vacancies are a bright spot, dropping from 5.5 percent over the past year to 2.3 percent in the most recent quarter.

 

7. Atlanta
Homeowner vacancy rate: 4.2 percent
Rental vacancy rate: 11.3 percent

Atlanta’s average homeowner vacancy rate is the third-highest among major U.S. cities, standing at 4.2 percent. Fortunately for Atlanta, the rate has been dropping since early 2011, when it stood at 5.4 percent. The trend for rental vacancies has been worse for Atlanta, however, rising from 9.4 percent in the third quarter of 2011 to 12.4 percent in the first quarter of 2012.

 

8. Houston
Homeowner vacancy rate: 1.9 percent
Rental vacancy rate: 15.5 percent

Houston is home to the nation’s third-highest rental vacancy rate over the past 12 months, standing at 15.5 percent. The city hit a three-year high for rental vacancies in 2009, when the rate rose to 18.4 percent in the third quarter of that year, according to Census Bureau data. However, Houston’s homeowner vacancy rate has been recovering, dropping below the average for the 75 largest cities for the past three quarters to as low as 1.1 percent at the end of 2011.

 

9. Tampa, Fla.
Homeowner vacancy rate: 3.2 percent
Rental vacancy rate: 12.8 percent

It’s no secret that the Florida real estate market has seen better times — and the situation in Tampa appears to be getting worse. In May, RealtyTrac reported that foreclosure activity in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area rose by nearly 111 percent from May 2011, with one home in every 304 in foreclosure. The rental vacancy market has been following this downward trend, with the rental vacancy rate going up or remaining flat every quarter since the beginning of 2011.

 

10. Toledo, Ohio
Homeowner vacancy rate: 3.8 percent
Rental vacancy rate: 11.5 percent

Of the 75 largest U.S. cities in the first quarter of 2012, Toledo recorded the highest rate for homeowner vacancies, at 5.6 percent. However, in three of the past four quarters listed by the Census Bureau, that rate has hovered between 3 and 3.6 percent, significantly bringing down the city’s 12 month average, and its overall ranking in this list. Regardless, the 3.8 percent 12 month average still ranks Toledo as the fifth highest in the country for homeowner vacancies alone.

Article fromhttp://realestate.glozal.com/profiles/blogs/the-10-emptiest-housing-markets?xg_source=msg_mes_network

For renters, buying a home pays off after three years on average!!!

Home buying versus renting

Real estate website Zillow has a provocative data point for every renter thinking about buying these days: That move pays off after just three years on average nationwide.

The company, which lists for-sale and for-rent information on its site, has released a new analysis of what it calls the “break-even horizon,” comparing what it would cost to buy or rent the same home in a number of U.S. markets over time.

The rent-or-buy calculus varies widely depending on where you live.

In the combined Los Angeles and Orange counties, the magic number is 4.3 years, assuming the buyer has made a 20% down payment. Buying wins out after only 1.6 year in the desert community of Banning. But Newport Beach residents must wait 14 years for buying to make more financial sense than renting.

The analysis takes into account a host of factors potential buyers should think about when considering the leap, including the down payment, mortgage and rental payments, buying and selling costs, property taxes, utilities, maintenance costs and tax deductions. The analysis adjusts for inflation and forecasts home value and rental price appreciation.

Zillow senior economist Svenja Gudell said the data should help homeowners get a rough and immediate sense of whether buying makes sense in a particular area in relation to their financial situation.

“For a home buyer out there, it is really tough to get a good grip on the buy-versus-rent decision,” Gudell said. Although buying a home is a deeply personal decision, she said, the analysis gives consumers “a sense for ‘Am I ready to make this decision?’”

The new take on the classic rent-versus-buy debate comes at a tenuous moment for the housing market. Many analysts believe that a housing bottom has been reached but don’t expect a return to the heady days of the real estate bubble. There is already some concern about the strength of the recovery, with home sales slowing in June as inventory remained tight and buyers paid higher prices.

At the same time, rents are rising, housing affordability is at record levels, and mortgage interest rates remain very low. These factors are prompting many renters to consider homeownership.

Stuart Gabriel, director of UCLA’s Ziman Center for Real Estate, noted that the main lesson from the subprime mortgage debacle and the housing bust was that homeownership shouldn’t be pushed at all costs. Federal policy has been adjusted to support this new point of view.

“One of the things we have learned in recent years is, obviously, house prices don’t always go up, and even over the very long term in certain markets homeownership may only offer a minimal return,” Gabriel said.

“What we have all learned is to treat homeownership as a bit of a dangerous animal. You know it’s not always good, and it’s not good for everyone.”

Things to consider when buying, particularly in an slowly appreciating market, include how mobile will you be, your financial situation, marital status, career goals and personality, Gabriel said.

Richard Green, director of the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate, added that in many regions buying has become increasingly attractive compared with renting. There are also non-financial reasons for buying.

“I can enjoy living in this house for the rest of my life, and nobody can throw me out of it,” he said. “You are consuming something, and you have control over it, and control has some value.”

Zillow’s analysis, which covered more than 200 metropolitan areas and 7,500 U.S. cities, found that buying is a better financial decision than renting in the Riverside-San Bernardino area if you live in the home for at least two years. That rises to 3.2 years in the area including Oxnard, Thousand Oaks and Ventura.

The San Francisco metropolitan area’s break-even score of 5.9 years encompasses a range from two years to 24.3 years.

Council seeks scaled-down plan for Lower Hesse Park

Basketball and tennis courts may be out and more picnic area in when it comes to planned improvements to the lower portion of Hesse Park in Rancho Palos Verdes.

On July 17, the city council instructed city staff to draft a scaled-down version of the park improvement plans after hearing testimony from residents opposed to the athletic courts.

However, the council also called for keeping the courts in an environmental review of the plan to give the city the option to construct them if it chooses to.

“We would be looking at a worst case environmentally,” said Eduardo Schonborn, a senior planner for the city. “It’s a lot easier to evaluate the most we might do and then reduce it later.”

The council authorized $63,628 for an environmental review called a mitigated negative declaration. A total of $56,882 of that amount has already been paid to the environmental consulting firm Willdan Engineering for technical studies, including a traffic impact analysis, noise assessment, gnatcatcher survey and a biological assessment of the planned improvements.

The plan is called the Pacific Plan to differentiate it from another option the council considered when it first directed city staff to develop a scenario for park improvements in November of 2010. In addition to the basketball and tennis courts, the Pacific Plan includes improvements to the existing trail system, landscaping, picnic benches, repair of a pedestrian bridge and the establishment of lawn spaces.

Council members voted to direct staff to develop a scaled-down version of the plan after hearing testimony from several residents, including Pacific View Homeowners Association President John Freeman, who has lived near the park for three decades.

“We have all along advocated for passive recreation improvements in the lower part of the park,” Freeman said this week. “That was how the park was originally designed more than 30 years ago, with active recreation in the upper park and passive in the lower.”

The upper section of Hesse Park includes a field used for both baseball and soccer, a playground, a community center (where the council meets), picnic benches and a looped walking path.

Freeman said that the homeowners association objected to the courts because fencing and trees would block ocean views and the pouring of so much concrete would spoil the park’s natural ambiance. Instead, the association would like to see an expanded grassy picnic area.

“There is an understanding that the park needs improvements,” he said. “It just doesn’t need to be done with overdevelopment.”

Freeman said the neighbors are not opposed to more people using the park, and in fact would like to see the area made more enjoyable for families looking to have a picnic, take a walk or enjoy the sunset.

Freeman also pointed out that construction of the project, which is currently unfunded, will be less expensive without the courts. The city staff report stated that the Pacific Plan would cost $2,770,041. Taking the courts out of the plan would save $120,000, according to the report.

To develop the scaled-down plan, Freeman and other members of the community will work with city staff, including Katie Howe, administrative analyst for the city’s Recreation and Parks department.

Howe said the city has heard from residents who want both active and passive recreational amenities at the park. She did not completely rule out the inclusion of the basketball and tennis courts.

“Nothing is really set in stone until we sit down and talk,” Howe said.

Two years ago, 866 residents responded to a city survey regarding proposed improvements at the park, which at that time included a possible dog park and more sports fields.

Fifty-eight percent of those responding voted for walking trails, while 77 and 75 percent opposed tennis and basketball courts, respectively. More than 68 percent were against a dog park.

Senior planner Schonborn said that as the Recreation and Parks staff works on the scaled-down plan, the consultant will finish the environmental report, which will then be posted for public comment for 30 days before being presented to the city council for review.

If the council were to approve the environmental report and the design plan, it would then have to identify funding for the park and prioritize it on the city’s list of unfunded projects.

Article from http://www.pvnews.com/articles/2012/08/03/local_news/news1.txt