Category Archives: Uncategorized

Giant Developers Do Battle In Beverly Hills

Beverly Hills

Coming to a Real Estate Deal Near You

There was a movie out a few years ago that had giant robots battling each other for… well, I have no idea because I didn’t see the movie. 

That said, the imagery of giant robots came to mind when I read this piece about one giant developer (Alegem) taking on an even “gianter” developer (Wanda Group) over the rights to build huge residential towers in Beverly Hills. Though no buildings have been knocked down in in this fierce struggle, millions of lobbying and political advertising dollars have been spent on the next battlefield — a ballot measure that can make or break either project, which will be voted on by the residents of Beverly Hills. Continue reading

Technology Leads To More Transparent International Property Investments

Money-PostProperty advisor firm JLL has issued a report stating 75% of international real estate investments are made in transparent marketplaces.  It took me a re-read of the headline to realize that they were not saying that 75% of real estate markets are transparent, but rather that 75% of real estate investment was in those markets.

On it’s face, it’s not much to report — of course investors prefer markets in which the fundamentals are clear, rather than risking funds in obfuscating markets that feel like the 3-card monte table on the corner of 39th and Eighth. [And why is it that I can never find the queen “and take home the green?” Does anyone actually win at that game?] Continue reading

The Election Cycle vs. The Housing Cycle

Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 11.48.24 AMThere’s a conversation that real estate agents and their clients have every four years, usually starting in July (sometimes August, and in some cases, even September) based on the question, “So, how do you think the election is going to effect the real estate market?” My stock broker tells me his clients ask him the same thing about the stock market. That said, since you may be interested in asking the question, I’ll reply with the same ever hedging answer I get from him whenever I ask about the market: “it depends.” Continue reading

Beverly Hills Courts Self-Driving Cars (Which Will Ruin Everything)

Beverly Hills Sign

A recent article in the Hollywood Reporter reported that Beverly Hills is courting the manufacturers of self-driving autonomous vehicles as a way to reduce traffic congestion and to be a beacon of modernity to the nation… And I just don’t trust it. I don’t trust it at all.

Here’s the thing: People in LA are called “Angelenos,” those residing in Santa Monica are “Santa Monicans,” but people living in Beverly Hills are… “people living in Beverly Hills” which makes me wary of this whole “self-driving car” thing. Continue reading

“Dear Rams, Please Go Home!”

Dear Rams,Print

I know we’ve been talking about moving in together for the past 20 years or so, and we were really flattered when you said you would, but truthfully, we didn’t really think you’d be doing it. And now that you’ve given your thirty day notice and loaded up the U-Haul, there are a few things we need to get off our chests. Continue reading

Jaded, Or Just Living In L.A.?


Un-retouched Photo of Beverly Hills

Living in Los Angeles does things to a person… and selling real estate on the Westside of Los Angeles does even more. Please remember that I live and work in a city where restaurant valets begrudgingly park a BMW because they’re used to “driving” Buggatis, Aston Martins, Lamborghinis and MacLarens (albeit for only a few feet). Many women carry handbags with price tags that could have otherwise provided food and water to several underdeveloped nations. When those sort of things become your reference point for normal (or, at least “accessible”), the actual normal world can take you by surprise. Continue reading

“Pay Much Attention To The Man Behind the Curtain” – All Cash Purchases to Reveal Names Behind LLCs.

As a result of several recent investigations of money laundering through the use of shell companies buying real estate, the Treasury Department is implementing a pilot program in Los Angeles that requires the the controlling members of an LLC or other corporate entity to be identified by name, when making an all cash purchase in excess of $2 million.

The majority of people that buy real estate and hold title in what I’ll refer to as a business entity do so for openly legitimate reasons. For instance, the owner of a rental property might want to shield him or herself from liability buy holding the property in an LLC, and getting the legal protections such ownership offers. Celebrities, wealthy individuals and anyone else might also buy property in the name of a corporation or other entity because they value their privacy. Continue reading