sandy beachSouth Bay News

The South Bay is a collection of 13 cities that offer a vibrant Southern California lifestyle along the coast.

There's always something to do that is fun, entertaining, healthy, and close by. We'll keep you updated on a variety of events going on in our community

 

Aug. 2, 2021

Cool off your Home, Save Money and Energy

Even here in our cooler-than-average community, summer has a way of bringing all the heat. Most South Bay homes do not have air conditioning and if they do, using it all day every day can be extremely expensive.

There are in fact, some low-cost ways to stay cool at home this summer – have a look.

Close curtains and blinds to block out heat, especially during peak hours.

Keeping curtains and blinds open to bring in the sunlight also brings in a lot of heat; much of unwanted heat comes in through windows.

A great way to keep a room’s cool air in through natural insulation, is to hang blackout curtains, even for just the summer months. They will also provide an effective (and affordable) way to fall asleep and stay sleeping.

Check doors and windows to ensure that no air is escaping.

Sealing cracks in windows and doors will increase insulation, keeping cool air in and hot air out. Locating air leaks around the home and repairing them saves money and increases both insulation and the value of the home. Look into possible financial assistance to insulate your home by following the link at the end of this story.

Use fans to circulate air and stay cool.

Ceiling and tower fans can be installed/placed in multiple rooms to keep cool air circulating. There are even whole house ventilating fans that are considered a good investment and less expensive than central air conditioning. They are energy efficient, quiet, and cool off a home quickly.

Use more energy-efficient LED bulbs.

In contrast to incandescent light bulbs which release 90 percent of their energy as heat, LED bulbs convert most of their energy to light. LEDs also last longer – 25,000 hours compared to 1,200 hours . The cost of an LED bulb is approximately 4 times less for daily use over the course of a year. It makes sense for both energy and wallet conservation, to switch out incandescent bulbs for LEDs.

Install a smart thermostat.

For an investment of $100-$200, a smart thermostat can save homeowners a lot of money in the long run. From about 15% savings on cooling costs to potential rebates from your electric company, it’s worth looking in to. There are also environmental and energy conservation benefits. It can even be adapted to your home and needs, as in turning itself to eco mode when it detects you’ve left the building.

Clean and replace air filters.

For those with air conditioning units, caring for its air filters as part of summer improvement tasking is imperative. Dusty air filters are harmful to breathing, and likely to block airflow throughout the home. Replacing filters is easy, affordable, and a key way to keep your home healthy and cool.

 

For more information and links to fantastic resources, click here.

Image by chatchawarn loetsupan from Pixabay 

July 29, 2021

South Bay Weekender, July 30 – August 1, 2021

What a weekend to enjoy our beach community! Volleyball, magic, music, art, and caring for our seaside are all going on under our blue skies.

Enjoy a great, safe, and happy weekend!

Charlie Saikley 6-Man Volleyball Tournament is Friday and Saturday, 9am-5pm, at the Manhattan Beach Pier. Over 40 years ago, Mr. Saikley – the “Godfather of Beach Volleyball” - brought this tournament to the South Bay to celebrate youth involvement within the sport. Spirited revelry and unique costumes are part of the fun and tradition. Learn more here.

Beer & Magic at Absolution Brewing in Torrance is Friday night from 7-10pm. Along with a large selection of craft beer, magicians from LA’s world-famous Magic Castle will amaze guests with awe-inspiring illusions and optical tricks and wonders, even making beer disappear. Learn more on their Facebook page, no reservations required.

2021 Summer Silent Concert Series at Rock&Brews PCH is on for Saturday night.These cutting-edge, hi-fidelity headphone concert events offer guests sanitized state-of-art headphones that tune into the featured cover band, for hours of rock&roll dancing to “explosively stunning, crystal clear sound”. Events on select Saturday nights through August at Rock&Brews in Redondo Beach. This Saturday night’s feature is Abbey Road, a Beatles Tribute Band.

Plastic Free July Beach Bash and Clean Up is hosted by the Waste Less Shop in Manhattan Beach, on Saturday from 11am-3pm. The day’s event begins at the store and continues to the beach. Beverages, music, and pop-up vendors add to this fun-in-the-sun, free event. Registration is free and required, more information here.

The Cypress Avenue Block Party - an afternoon-into-evening event -  is going on in Hermosa’s Industrial Arts District on Sunday from 1-9pm. 10 live music acts and an exhibit opening at Resin Gallery are all part of the fun, get there with free (required) registration. More information here.

Posted in South Bay Events
July 26, 2021

Not a Housing Bubble: 3 Charts Show Why

Home prices are continuing to deliver double-digit increases right now, so it’s understandable that many are concerned that we’re in a housing bubble like in 2006.

A closer look at current market data – and the following 3 illustrations – all indicate that history is in fact, not repeating itself.

1. Today’s housing market is not driven by risky mortgage loans.

These figures are quite interesting, and their story begins with nearly everyone qualifying for a loan in 2006. The Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI; from the Mortgage Bankers’ Association) indicates the availability of mortgage money; the higher the index, the easier money is obtained.  

This index more than doubled from 2004 (378) to 2006 (869), with many mortgages granted to buyers with less than a 620 credit score. Notice the example that tells a different story today – MCAI stands at 130 and Chief Economists state that today’s loans equal no high-risk features and prudent mortgage underwriting.

2. Homeowners are not using their homes as ATMs this time.

When prices skyrocketed during the housing bubble, people refinanced their homes and pulled out large sums of cash. Prices began to fall, which caused many homeowners to spiral into a negative equity situation where their mortgage was higher than the value of the home.

Today, homeowners are letting their equity build. Tappable equity is the amount available for homeowners to access before hitting a maximum 80% combined loan-to-value ratio (thus still leaving them with at least 20% equity). In 2006, that number was $4.6 billion. Today, that number stands at over $8 billion.

Cash-out refinances (where the homeowner takes out at least 5% more than their original mortgage amount) is half of what it was in 2006, as illustrated here.

 

3. This time, it’s simply a matter of supply and demand.

Fear of missing out (FOMO) dominated the housing market leading up to the 2006 bubble, driving up buyer demand. The housing supply at that time was 7 months’ supply; today that number is barely 2 months.

Builders also overbuilt during that bubble but pulled back significantly over the next decade, and Chief Economists say it is that long-term decline in the construction of family homes is the major factor in the lack of available inventory today.

There are simply not enough homes to keep up with current demand, which is believed to be high especially because Millennials need houses.

While today’s market is not a repeat of 2006’s housing bubble, experts forecast that prices will keep rising for a while because inventory is so low.

Data and Charts courtesy of Keeping Current Matters

Posted in Market Updates
July 22, 2021

South Bay Weekender, July 22-26, 2021

Art, Music, Dance, Cars, and even Monday Yoga are all on tap for this warm and sunny South Bay weekend. Have a look at all of the colorful fun going on right here close to home.

Enjoy a great, safe, and happy weekend!

Pull & Thread’s Night Bazaar in Torrance, is Thursday night from 6pm – 9pm. This monthly pop-up market celebrates local artists and creative spirits. Light refreshments and live music add to the festive vibe, while guests enjoy exploring stalls filled with handmade ceramics, candles, photography, mixed media art, and specially crafted foods and snacks. Free event, more information on Facebook.

The Summer of Music Concert Series has returned to the Redondo Beach Pier on Thursday and Saturday nights, from 6pm – 8pm. Guests are invited to bring beach chairs and gather loved ones who love music for a quintessential South Bay evening near the sea. Free event. This week’s performers:

THURSDAY, JULY 22, 2021: The Contenders (The Pretenders Tribute)
SATURDAY, JULY 24, 2021: iLocks Walker & Souls of Love (Reggae)

The Pontiac Car Show presented by the Automobile Driving Museum, is Saturday from 10am – 2pm. Classic, vintage, and custom cars start lining up at 8am; free for spectators. Collectors are invited to register and show off their autos; see website for more details.

Palos Verdes Art Center’s active artists groups present the reopening of their galleries with an Opening Reception on Saturday night at 7pm. Three exhibitions feature an eclectic selection of three artists and their work which will be on view at galleries through August 21. Visit website for more information about this free event in Rancho Palos Verdes.

Rock&Brews PCH in Redondo Beach and World of Sound Productions present the cutting-edge, collaborative 2021 Summer Silent Concert Series with So Petty (Tom Petty Tribute Band) this Saturday night, from 9pm – 12am. This headphone concert offers guests sanitized state-of-art headphones that tune into the night’s sounds, for hours of rock&roll dancing to “explosively stunning, crystal clear sound”. Tickets are limited, details and purchase here.

Your new week begins right with Summer Fitness: Yoga on the Beach in Manhattan Beach, this Monday at 6:30pm. On the sand just south of the Manhattan Beach Pier, everyone is welcome to participate and practice at their own pace for this free session. For more information, visit Beach Cities Health District’s website or call 310.374.3426.

Posted in South Bay Events
July 21, 2021

Summer Design Trends for Wanderlust

This is a lively, bright, and sunny summer with some traveling far and wide, as an antidote to nearly 18 months of off-and-on lockdown. Others will likely be enjoying shorter getaways closer to home.

Did you know that some new home interior trends are timed accordingly and actually have an “escape” theme of sorts? Have a look at these decorating ideas that strive to yield an exotic, faraway feeling.

The Global Traveler trend brings both culture and comfort to any space. Combining natural textures, woven finishes, and earthly color palettes allow us to embrace global influences and are growing in popularity. For instance, Aztec-woven patterns inspired by Peruvian landscapes can replicate the extraordinary textures of Macchu Picchu … while travelers perhaps wait a while longer to visit this iconic landmark in person.

Japandi celebrates the wonders, design, and gorgeous color schemes of Japan with a nod to Scandinavian minimalism. A typical scheme is opulent fabrics like jacquards combined with watercolor foliage and origami-inspired geometrics. This exotic trend offers calming neutrals and warm-spiced shades, for an interior space that evokes harmony and serenity.

Cottagecore has been at the forefront of 2021 interiors, as a direct result of arts-and-crafts’ serious revival in 2020. Whimsical and nostalgic, this cozy home décor mixes pieces like tapestries with sheer drapes, antiques, and contemporary color schemes. The idea is to create living spaces that feel comforting and nurturing, when the desire to escape from the outside world strikes.

Urban Jungle is said to be very much in at the moment. Think prowling tigers and vivid images of wildlife as part of deep, expressive rich color schemes with dense leaves and tropical vistas. When the home is connected with nature via the safari, striking statements and memorable talking points are inevitable.

Responsible fabrics continue as the go-to trend of those passionate about things green. Fabrics that are made with organic cotton and recycled polyester reduce chemicals in production and decrease the amount of trashed plastic. Many people are going green as a home theme in general, while still wanting to indulge in luxury. Kitchen, bath, and bedroom pieces that are stylish and on-trend are making that popular choice easier all the time.

Explore these trends further here. 

Urban Jungle photo courtesy of Luxury Lifestyle Magazine UK

July 16, 2021

July 2021 Market Update

It’s been a fantastic summer so far.

As vaccination rates rise, and the recovery strengthens, optimism is growing. I hope you have had the opportunity to gather with friends and family to enjoy a barbecue, celebrate Independence Day, plan a vacation or just sit in the backyard and enjoy these long sunny days.

There were 84 Redondo Beach home sales in June. The average number of June home sales during the five years preceding the pandemic is 87.

So sellers have really come back into the market. What is responsible for the rapid appreciation of Redondo Beach homes over the last year is that the number of buyers wanting to buy has increased substantially. This is driven by lower interest rates, and buyers' dissatisfaction with their current homes.

Affordability will eventually moderate price increases. But a decline in prices is unlikely unless a catastrophic, unforeseen event shakes the economy.

 

Contact me to find out more about Redondo Beach homes for sale and also in other South Bay cities. If you want to buy a home or sell a home, I’d love to go to work for you.

Posted in Market Updates
July 7, 2021

Homebuyers Hang in There

Understandably, with bidding wars and 4-5 offers made on each listed home at the moment, buyers can experience frustration and look to give up the search.

However, there are good reasons to persevere and continue the effort with a trusted professional by your side.

Considering that the long-term physical, financial, and emotional benefits of owning a home outweigh the current challenges, buyers are advised to hang in there.

June 30, 2021

Renting vs Owning

In today’s competitive housing market, many are serious about leaving life as a renter behind.

There are so many financial and intangible benefits of owning a home and, those benefits only increase in the long term, depicted by this graphic.

June 28, 2021

5 Must-Knows when Making an Offer Today

Those shopping for a home at the moment are acutely aware that there are not many homes on the market. Multi-offer scenarios are the name of the game. Buyers are wise to mind the following when ready to make an offer.

Know Your Numbers. Two key points that are incredibly important in this process are clearly understanding how much can be afforded in buying a home, and being pre-qualified for a mortgage loan early in the process. Sellers find those pre-qualified to be serious buyers, which may give a competitive edge on the bidding table.

Brace for a Fast Pace. Typically in today’s market, the average home is on the market for only 17 days (only about 2.5 weeks). A skilled agent will do everything they can to help you stay on top of every possible opportunity. And, as soon as you find the right home for your needs, that agent will help you draft and submit your best offer as quickly as possible.

Lean on a Real Estate Professional. Home buying can be new and overwhelming to most people and, a seasoned real estate professional does this every day and knows what works. This type of experienced expertise can surely help a buyer be competitive. A great agent can cleverly help buyers understand and propose seller considerations – that can help an offer stand out - such as:

  • Offering flexible rent-back options to give the seller more time to move out.
  • Ability to do a quick close or make an offer that’s not contingent on the sale of your ·  current home.

Make a Strong, but Fair Offer. The market’s climate today usually dictates that for every listing, there are at least 5 offers and half of those homes are being sold above list price. Emotions and prices are both running high, so it’s critical to trust an agent to make an equally strong and fair offer based on market value, recent sales, and demand – all things an experienced realtor is expert on.

Be a Flexible Negotiator. In some cases – even if you’ve offered generous seller considerations – the seller may still counter with changes of their own. Considerations like move-in dates, a higher price, or minimal requirements that the seller must meet before purchase, are all inclusions for which offers are best flexible on. Others like inspection contingencies – buying a home “as is” - are best not negotiated, as they could mean the seller won’t pay for repairs. This could lead to affordability problems for the buyer.

The bottom line is this - When it’s time to make an offer in this market, it is very important to consider both what buyer and seller need. The Dennis Hartley Team is here to help, so that buyers have the expert advice that they need and deserve on this step in process, in order to put their best offer on the table.

 

Photo by Breno Assis on Unsplash

June 24, 2021

South Bay Weekender, June 25-27, 2021

Summer has arrived, and a lot of activity is gearing up for a fantastic season ahead. Have a look at what’s going on this weekend in our own backyard.

Enjoy a great, safe, and happy weekend!

 

Summer Concerts in the Plaza at Manhattan Village

Thursdays and Saturday nights through August 28 welcomes live music fans to enjoy outdoor concerts during this special series. Shop and dine at the Center before, during, and after the event. Bring lawn chairs and blankets. The scheduled lineup is here. 

 

Fair Trade Rug Event

With the exception of summer 2020, this is an annual event presented by Ten Thousand Villages in Riviera Village. Quality rugs are hand-knotted by fairly paid adults – true artisans - in Pakistan, and last for generations. Various sizes and styles are offered; event runs from Friday through Wednesday (June 25 through June 30).  Learn more including how to prep for shopping here.

 

 

Anniversary Celebration at Absolution Brewing Company

All day long on Saturday, June 26 (noon – 10pm), this event will feature live music, a free raffle, food trucks, and a special anniversary beer release, to celebrate 7 years in business in Torrance. Visit the Facebook page for more information and last-minute updates.

 

 

Dog Walking at South Coast Botanic Garden

Dogs and their persons are welcome to take a beautiful stroll through this gorgeous venue, on Sunday June 27, from 9am to 5pm. Dogs must be on leash. Reserve and purchase tickets on their website.

 

Garden Concert Series at St Luke’s Presbyterian

Free outdoor concert, picnics are welcome, dessert and coffee are hosted by St Luke’s Presbyterian Church in Rolling Hills Estates. Future concert dates are July 25 and August 22. Seating is limited, please RSVP – call 310.377.2825 or email stlukespresbyterian@outlook.com.

 

 

Redondo Beach Library Friends Book Sale – all summer long

There’s nothing like a great beach read in the summertime! Every Tuesday from 11am-1pm and every Friday from 3pm-5pm, in the lobby of the Main Branch, books may be purchased and donated. Visit their website for more information.

 

Posted in South Bay Events