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

Sept. 25, 2020

In the Community – Ongoing and coming up - September 25

Even though South Bay life has not yet returned to enjoying total freedom at all times, there is still local fun to be had, indoors and out. Have a look at what’s coming up this weekend and beyond.

This Saturday (September 26) at 11am online, the Mammal Care Center of Los Angeles presents Sealapalooza. This virtual celebration of sea life has live music, animal feedings, contests, and an online auction. The event will raise funds for the continued care of injured/sick seals and sea lions throughout LA County. Watch on Facebook, Instagram, or via the website. RSVP here

Play at home is a virtual performance series presented by The Torrance Theatre Company, and their schedule begins this weekend (Sunday, 27 September) with Sunday programs through the end of the year. Staged readings and plays may be enjoyed from the comfort of home, for $20 per show. Visit the website for more details and schedule of performances. 

The South Bay Film Society and Laemmle Theatres are pleased to screen Art House Film Releases at the Roadium Drive-In, the next two Thursday nights (October 1 and October 8). Tickets are $25 per car and may be purchased online in advance. Visit this Eventbrite page to purchase tickets for all Roadium drive-in movie screenings this Fall. 

Terranea Spa and Resort in Palos Verdes is offering a buy-one-get-one (with promo code BOGO) special for anyone interested in seriously getting away during the week! Book at two-night stay (M-Th) in an OceanView Guestroom or Ocean View Suite for dates through Dec 24, for the price of one night. Enjoy exquisite outdoor dining, swimming and water sports, golf, bliss. Here’s all the details.

Posted in South Bay Events
Sept. 23, 2020

US Homes Selling Very Quickly

According to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 68% of US homes sold in July were on the market for less than a month.

There’s no time like the present to take advantage of how many buyers are searching for and purchasing homes. This is happening at record-breaking paces; buyers are scooping up homes faster than they’re coming to market.

Homes listed today can expect a pending sale in an average of just 22 days.

Posted in Market Updates
Sept. 22, 2020

Is Now a Good Time to Move?

Homeowners may be asking themselves this question right about now, especially if they have lived in their current home for close to 10 years; this is the average according to a profile just conducted by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Homebuyer needs have changed on a weekly or even daily basis, considering how the current health crisis has affected lives. Many are making clear choices about what type of space their family now requires for new shape-shifting at home.

There are a couple of key reasons why making a move at this time might just be a great idea.

Current homeowners have much more equity in their homes today than they’ve ever had. According to CoreLogic, the average homeowner in America has likely gained nearly $10,000 in equity in the first quarter of this year alone.

In the past (10 years ago to be exact), homeowners were able to lock in a mortgage rate hovering around 4%, which motivated them to stay in their homes longer than usual to keep their rate low. Just now, mortgage rates hit a historic low at 2.86%. This is said to be due to a late summer slowdown in the economic recovery.

Home loans that were locked in 10 years ago at 4% might want another look, at some new math. Making a move into a new home and locking in a significantly lower rate both saves money on a monthly basis and over the life of the loan, as shown in this chart:

This new - very optimistic - math offers a tremendous opportunity for homeowners to upgrade right now. Families with growing needs for more space and comfort have an unprecedented opportunity to both save money and get more home in this market.

Sept. 18, 2020

2020 Market is like Never Before

No one could have predicted that 2020 would be such an odd, jolting year of new realities and norms in American life. 

Nor did anyone imagine that historic highlights would continue to break records in the housing market.

To begin, since all of the economy was put on pause in March in response to the pandemic crisis, real estate took a hit along with everything else; transactions-in-progress were placed on hold.

In short order, technology, innovation, and brilliant creativity helped the industry power forward. Business was ramping up just in time for shelter-in-place orders to be lifted.

The result was total transformation of the market from rock-bottom lows to exceptional highs. The housing recovery is considered truly remarkable by real estate and economic experts alike, and continues to exceed expectations. At this hour, pending home sales and purchase applications find buyers out and about, and homes selling very quickly.

The Housing Market Recovery Index by realtor.com indicates that the market has surpassed pre-pandemic levels, and has regained the strength of Winter 2020, as seen in this graph.

Historically-low mortgage interest rates (hovering just at 3%) are another 2020 game-changer. This is one of the biggest motivating factors to bring surges of buyers, including first-time buyers, into the market. Since many spent so much more time at home this year than expected (which situation will inevitably continue), buyers are eager to find a new type of home that is suddenly more affordable. 

Low inventory has also dropped to unprecedented levels, and is one of the key factors of home price appreciation this year, as buyers scoop up homes faster than they are listed on the market. This case of low supply-high-demand has found bidding wars happening more often and the Sellers’ Market a big game in town.

Even though home prices appear to rise, affordability is still working in favor of today’s homebuyers. Now is a great time to buy or sell. 

Those with real estate dreams still pending in 2020 are invited to jump into this exciting game – it’s one that history has never quite seen before.

Posted in Market Updates
Sept. 16, 2020

Virtual Schooling is Changing Homebuyer Needs

 

Remote learning is sweeping the nation this academic year.

Organized spaces for effective learning are high on buyer wish lists. Multi-purpose rooms and dedicated work spaces are priorities for many as they consider their next home.

Children and parents alike deserve to feel confident and comfortable in their respective “working” environments.

Sept. 15, 2020

Fall is Looking Like Spring

A couple months ago, real estate experts were exclaiming that Summer is the new Spring, regarding the surge of market activity that came after the pandemic quarantine season.

Their autumn song sounds about the same, with new factors mixed in. Record-low mortgage interest rates; increased need for more spacious, more multifunctional homes; and timelines that no longer must sync with the start of the school year have all fueled homebuyer demand. Fall is looking like Spring, more than ever before.

First-time homebuyers are noteworthy new entrants into the market. Their confidence in the market combined with a desire than ever to settle in and enjoy a sense of security, is inspiring them to seriously look for homes.

Less people are likely to travel for the holidays this year as well, which will give those interested in buying or selling more time and energy to do so. Many professionals no longer commute to workplaces; their priority may be to relocate to be closer to relatives who can help care for children who are schooling at home.

Another interesting twist this autumn is the number of home price reductions that likely won’t take place. Typically if homes are on the market for an extended period, late summer is when price reductions begin. At this hour with demand exceeding supply of inventory, at least 10% less homes will be price-reduced. Homes are listed and selling quickly, often with multiple offers.

Even though experts believe that the number of single-family homes for sale will continue to drop through the end of the year, they also feel that when the pandemic is over, more homes will come up for sale which will lead to a more balanced market.

Looking ahead to next year, it is said that some repercussions of the pandemic may hit with economic scars, which will impact the housing market. Election outcomes will also have some influence on the tempo of the market next year.

In general, this so-called continuing late-spring market is expected to last for a while, even into this upcoming winter and spring (2021).

 

photo by Mark Tegethoff for unsplash.com

Posted in Market Updates
Sept. 11, 2020

Impact of Election on Real Estate

The year 2020 will surely go down in history as an era linked to some of the most challenging times of our lives. 

A global pandemic, historic unemployment, and unprecedented levels of civil unrest have changed American life as we’ve known it. In the midst of it all, the real estate market has actually fared very well, with projections that more homes may be purchased this year than in 2019.

Coming up is perhaps one of the most contentious presidential elections of the century, with many questions about what impact this will have on the housing market. 

Insights into this begin with looking at past history.

Research and analysis firm BTIG reported in their survey of new home sales from 1963 to 2019, that in non-presidential election years, there is a -9.8% decrease in November compared to October. This is actually typical of the seasonality of the market; a slowdown of activity that is usual for the fall and winter.

That drop, however, increases to -15% during election years. This is said to be mainly because potential buyers are more cautious in the face of national election uncertainty.

Those sales are not lost forever, however. The caution is temporary and ultimately results in deferred sales. The economy, jobs, interest rates, and consumer confidence are all more meaningful factors in the home buying decision.  

In fact, experts contend that history has shown that the year after a presidential election is the best of the four-year cycle! This simply suggests that demand for new housing is not lost, but instead just gets pushed out into the following year. 

Many of course wonder does the election result (elected candidate) matter to home sales? 

Again, history suggests yes to some degree, but not in the overall number of home sales. The factors named above play the most significant role in a family’s desire to buy a home.  

As for this election, BTIG says:

A change in administration might benefit trailing blue county housing dynamics.

The re-election of President Trump could continue to propel red county outperformance.  

It is strongly believed that overall home sales should not be impacted in a dramatic way. If everything remains equal re: interest rates, economic and unemployment recovery, the market should remain strong up to and past the election.

 

photo by Ralph Ravi Kayden, unsplash.com

Posted in Market Updates
Sept. 8, 2020

Fantastic Family Meals in Redondo Beach

Now that remote school and work may both be back in full swing, why not serve one of the South Bay’s best Family Takeout meals for dinner with your choice of global cuisines?

All have curbside pickup or delivery service with third-party services. 

 

Here are just a few of our favorite picks around town.

 

Chicken Dijon Rotisserie Grill - Torrance, El Segundo, PV, Redondo Beach

A casual Middle-Eastern style Family Value Chicken Meal offers 2 whole chickens and 4 sides, for $40.

@chickendijon on Instagram

 

Bollywood Zaika - Redondo Beach

Homestyle Indian (photo above), curbside or free delivery. 

Addi and Urvi's $45 Family Meal Deal is 2 mains, 2 sides, bread, appetizers.

Call 424.398.0666 to order Family Meal.

@bollywoodzaika on Instagram

 

Gabi James - Redondo Beach

Spanish and Coastal French.

Innovative Family Meals and Desserts, including Vegetarian.

Phone orders can also order beer and wine at discounted price.

310.540.4884

@gabijamesla on Instagram

 

Bettolino Kitchen - Redondo Beach

Family Bundle Meals, Nightly Italian Specialties.

@bettolinokitchen on Instagram

 

Loft Hawaiian  - South Torrance

Loft Beach Pack offers choice of 2 meats (chicken and pork), steamed rice, cabbage salad, and Aloha macaroni salad, for $34.95.

@the_loft_hawaiian_south on Instagram

 

Bonus picks - A la carte for family-style sharing:

Rabano, Hermosa Beach

Asian-Latin-fusion handcrafted selections that support local farmers, sustainable agriculture, and eco-friendly products. 

@rabanofoods on Instagram

 

Din Tai Fung, Torrance

Authentic Taiwanese dim sum and cuisine like none other in the South Bay. 

@dintaifungusa on Instagram

 

Urban Plates - Manhattan Beach and Torrance

Extraordinary ingredients go into well-priced meals, sides, and desserts. With plant-based bowls, kids' meals, and a $10 everyday menu, there are lots of healthy choices for everyone.

@urbanplates on Instagram

Sept. 4, 2020

Ongoing Home Renovation Trends through 2020

Quite possibly more than ever, this year has inspired homeowners to notice what needs improvement in their family’s living space. More comfortable, more functional, more updated … will continue to be renovation priorities for this autumn and beyond. 

Here are some of the most popular ways homeowners are improving, repairing, and replacing.

Floor to ceiling surfaces. Studies show that carpets, floors, paneling, and ceiling tiles account for the largest expenditures in home improvement. 

Home Wellness. Green, nontoxic, and enhanced water and air quality are all especially important to millennials. Circadian lighting to improve sleep is also a feature with rising popularity.

Saving Money is the Focus. An uptick in projects tied to cost savings is focused on energy-efficient lighting, home insulation, and improved roofing.

Upgrades will have a smaller focus, but bigger impact. A great example is the installation of sleek new sink features or kitchen pendant lighting. Cool and sophisticated will go a long way.

Pretty in Paint. Even though the task is tedious, freshly painted walls and doors adds so much value to the home, and yields joy as well. Even an accent wall in one room with bold paint or wallpaper makes a huge difference.

DIY = Empowerment. With YouTube and Pinterest taking social media by storm, homeowners love using technology to do research. Better-informed to take on projects, their completion yields a true sense of accomplishment.

Climate change means more climate-proofing. Millennials are especially anxious about how climate change will affect their children’s quality of life, so many will continue to invest in sustainable, disaster-resistant home improvements.

Emerging brands and custom features. Luxuries like soft-close drawers and custom sizing for cabinets are now more mainstream and affordable. More brands will be entering this market, especially for bath and kitchen remodels.

Things non-negotiable. The big ticket items – especially surprises - like plumbing issues or leaking roof, will still have need to call in “the guy” . Wise choices on these counts maintain a home’s integrity. 

Smarter and safer home tech. Things like Roomba, smart lighting, voice recognition devices, even unmonitored security systems, will all continue as rising trends.

Photo by Christian Mackie on Unsplash

Posted in Home Maintenance
Sept. 2, 2020

The Cost of Renting Vs. Buying

While the percentage of income needed to rent is on the rise in the US today, that which is required to afford a median-priced home is declining.

This makes buying a home an increasingly attractive option for many, especially with historically-low mortgage interest rates driving affordability and purchase power.

An experienced and trusted real estate professional is ready and willing to provide expert guidance on exploring home buying options at this hour.

Posted in Market Updates