Real estate agents spend a lot of time thinking about pricing properties. In any office, “Do you have a second?” is usually followed up with a pricing opinion question. Agents discuss, debate and defend the merits of pricing based on their favorite methods, be it average sold price per square foot, sales price to list price ratio, or days on market compared to… “Hey, did you catch ‘The Americans’ last night?”
All of that said, where one prices a property is a function of two things: market forces and ego.
Let me explain. Continue reading
Flight 2016 is beginning its final descent and as the flight attendants ready the cabin and do their “cross check” I figured it was a good time not inly to stow my bag under the seat in front of me, but to review this trip.
And truthfully, though I had every intention of writing how different segments of the market reacted throughout the year to the “in-flight entertainment” I found one article that made me laugh, smile, and shake my head in bewilderment — so I’ve decided to share that here. I hope you enjoy this article from Realtor.com:
Ho, Ho, Huh?! The 7 Most Bizarre Real Estate Stories of 2016
(Makes a holiday fruit cake not seem so bad, right?)
Kim Kardashian’s recent robbery in Paris at gunpoint (in which she was relieved of $9 million of jewelry) brought to mind an article in The Hollywood Reporter about safe rooms being the newest trend in luxury real estate. Knowing that no harm came to Ms. Kardashian, I found this a bit amusing as: a) I personally never travel with more than $5 million in jewelry ($9 million is just ostentatious), and b) the “Safe” or “Panic” room is the latest name for a feature that’s been around for at least one century (if not many more).
I’m not 100% behind the plastic bag ban (see why in this Wired.com article), but I do have to admit not having to choose between “paper or plastic” has freed up enough brain cells so I can tackle the important question of “Where should I eat?”
This is a question (more of a conundrum) that I deal with a few times a week as I try to schedule meals with friends, clients and colleagues. On the days I work out of my Brentwood office, dinner I prefer to stay west of the 405 (this is a function of traffic and not an indictment of areas further east), but this has become a harder and harder task as many of my usual haunts have gone out of business. Continue reading
As you’ve probably heard, Petra Stunt has put her mansion on the market for $195 million.
There are a few things that caught my attention about this listing, and not one of them was the price ― and this lack of surprise is the main thing that caught my attention.
First off, this is just one of the several mega-million dollar listings that have come on the market of late. And where a few years ago a price tag like this would have made heads spin like Linda Blair’s in the “The Exorcist
,” among my clients and colleagues this listing is eliciting yawns. Sure, we’ve spoken about it, but usually just in passing:
What’s all this stuff I keep reading about bowling alleys?
I’m talking about all the bowling alleys I see included as amenities in a bunch of high-end listings of late. For example, Petra Stunt’s $195 million dollar estate has a bowling alley. (It also has a beauty salon, a gym, a wine tasting room, and massage and tanning rooms. My question is: are all of these rooms within walking distance to each other, or does one drive to them in the Formula One cars I like to imagine the racing heiress keeps on hand?)
Many other high-end listings, as well as historic buildings, list bowling alleys as amenities. This begs the question: Who the heck is doing all of this bowling? Continue reading
An article in the NY Times about the vociferous opposition to Disney’s rejiggering of a theme park ride got me thinking about mental health — mainly, my own.
Los Angeles is a town of contradictions: The same people who insist on eating only natural organic foods also happily inject non-organic silicone into their laughs lines (to the point that they look quite unnatural). This behavior largely goes without comment, which is really not surprising when you consider that as “the city of dreams,” people come to LA to become someone else: Cary Grant arrived in town as Archibald Leach; Michale Caine was Maurice Micklewhite; and Angelyne was… Well, let’s just move on. Continue reading
Though the original title of this piece was “Real Estate Trumps Taxes,” I want to make it very clear that this is an article about real estate investing.
True, it is inspired by reporting that Donald Trump may not have paid taxes for the past eighteen years due to close to a billion dollars of real estate losses. That said, this is about how even small investors can avoid or minimize taxes and is not meant in any way as a political piece to suggest that Trump may be slightly disingenuous when it comes to his comments on people who don’t pay any taxes…
No, this is an article specifically about the way real estate is treated by tax regulations which allow well advised investors to put money in the bank by offsetting gains with losses (some of which only exist on paper). And I want to share with you some real estate investment secrets that don’t require you to attend Krull University. Continue reading
Posted in Investment, Real Estate, Real Estate 101
Tagged 1031 exchange, deductions, depreciation, donald, humor, investing, Investment, mortgage interest, property, real estate, taxes, trump
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
Posted in Los Angeles, Uncategorized
Tagged Beverly Hills, cars, driving, humor, los angeles, red car, Spencer Krull, traffic, west LA, Westside
When hiring a real estate agent, make sure that you are getting a grand master (at least in something).