Archives for posts with tag: Los Angeles

Thank you to everyone that came out to enjoy the free pumpkins, refreshments and photos at our pumpkin patch this past Sunday. We had such a wonderful time meeting some of our neighbors here in the Santa Monica area and were glad to see everyone enjoying themselves.

We hope to see many of you soon at one of our events. Please bring the kids and grandkids to the Montana Ave. Halloween walk from 4-7pm on Halloween afternoon. WSA will be hosting a costume contest, so make sure the kids are dressed to impress!


Over the summer WSA had the distinct pleasure of participating in Santa Monica’s annual Walk to Africa. Proceeds from the walk go to Lighthouse Medical Missions to help fund medical missions to other countries. This year they are organizing a trip to Kyrgyzstan with the funds from the walk. 

Our team looks forward to working with Dr. Bob and his team again next year to continue making the event a success. 


If you have an event in Santa Monica or another local Los Angeles area that you would like to share with WSA, please feel free to contact us at 310.899.3510

By Alejandro Lazo Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

An index of home prices in the nation’s largest American cities plumbed new depths in March, pushing past a low set during the worst of the Great Recession.

The ominous new drop for the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index of 20 cities, a key measure that is closely watched by economists, casts further doubt about the future of the housing market’s recovery. The index pushed below its previous bottom hit in April 2009, confirming a much-feared double-dip in home prices.

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Actress-producer Jodie Foster has listed her Beverly Hills estate for sale at $9,975,000, the Multiple Listing Service shows.

Climbing vines and red brick accents give the seven-bedroom, eight-bathroom compound an East Coast vibe. Encompassing nearly an acre of land, the compound includes a 1949 main house, a tennis court, a swimming pool and a guesthouse.

Foster, 48, won her Oscars for roles in “The Accused” (1988) and “The Silence of the Lambs” (1991). She stars in and directs “The Beaver,” released Friday, and will star in the upcoming “God of Carnage.”

The property previously sold in 2005. It was listed then for $10.5 million.

Foster was not available for comment.

‘Glee’ creator sells in Sunset Strip area

“Glee” mastermind Ryan Murphy has sold a Sunset Strip-area home for $2,775,000.

The Carl Maston-designed Midcentury Modern was built in 1947 and restored. Wood-framed glass walls open to a swimming pool, lawn and outdoor entertaining space, which includes a barbecue and fire pit. The 3,210-square-foot gated house has a library-office, an eat-in kitchen, three bedrooms and three bathrooms.

Murphy, 45, is the creator of such hit shows as “Glee” (2009-present) and “Nip/Tuck” (2003-10). He wrote and directed the movie “Eat Pray Love” (2010).

Public records show he purchased the property in 2001 for $2.5 million.

Neutra, elbow room in Beverly Hills

The Richard Neutra-designed Kronish house in Beverly Hills has come on the market for the first time in more than 30 years at $13,995,000.

Named for its original owner, Herbert Kronish, and built in 1954, the one-story house sits at the end of a 250-foot-long driveway on a 2-acre, flag-shaped lot with mature trees and a swimming pool. With 6,891 square feet of living space, six bedrooms and 51/2 bathrooms, the contemporary home is the Modernist architect’s largest in Southern California, according to his son, Dion Neutra. Walls of glass open to a terrace that steps down to the pool.

Neutra, considered one of the most influential Midcentury architects, died in 1970 at 78.

Making tracks out of Bel-Air?

Singer and record producer John Feldmann has listed his Bel-Air-area house for sale for close to $2.8 million.

(LA TImes)

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The numbers report for the home-building industry couldn’t have been more grim in February: New-home construction in the U.S. fell to a pace that would translate to about 250,000 homes for all of 2011, which would be the fewest built since the Commerce Department began keeping track in 1963.

If home building isn’t dead, there’s certainly time to think about what it would look like when it revives, perhaps from 2013 to 2015. That’s according to John McIlwain, a senior fellow at the Urban Land Institute in Washington, which studies trends in housing and development.

McIlwain regularly talks with builders and developers across the country. He expects that when home building once again is flourishing, the big master-planned subdivision that was the face of residential construction for so long won’t have disappeared, but it will look different and be restyled to appeal to a broader array of buyers, especially those who have little in common with the old notion of “a family equals two parents with two kids.”

He talked about what he sees ahead:

Is the big master-planned community dead?

It’s not dead, but it depends on where you are in this country. There are very, very few subdivisions being started, because, by and large, there’s no financing for land development. Prices have come down, but it’s pretty hard for developers to go out and borrow to buy land.

Some developers are taking new approaches to building out their existing communities. They’re selling sections of land to builders in smaller chunks. Instead of saying, “Why don’t you take 500 lots?” as they once did, they’re saying, “Take 50 lots and target them for one particular market, such as empty-nesters.”

To whom are they marketing these chunks?

These builders and developers are beginning to think more in terms of life cycle than in terms of first-time buyer or move-up buyer, etc.

One group is empty-nesters in their late 50s and early 60s who are going to continue to work. They don’t want a big home, but one that’s open and wired and has high ceilings, which helps to visually compensate for the smaller spaces.

Older baby boomers, 56 to 65, haven’t really started to come to grips with aging, but they will in the next five years. They’re going to want a one-story home or an elevator for a two-story.

And home buyers today are more diverse than they have been. Builders should consider marketing to single women, some with kids and some without. Or to two women, offering them two equal master bedrooms.

There’s going to be a need for multigenerational spaces that can accommodate grandparents, adult children and young grandchildren. This is going to be particularly in demand where there is heavy Latino and Asian buying.

What about the houses themselves? Do you buy into the notion that we’re over the McMansion phase and desirous of something compact?

I think you’re right to be skeptical of some kind of fundamental cultural shift for Americans. For post-World War II Americans, it was decades of “I want to express my success with bigger cars, bigger TVs and bigger homes.”

But the median size of new homes already is steady or dropping. Smaller lots already have become acceptable because people don’t have time to take care of them.

With younger adults who may be buying in a few years, longer-term, this generation isn’t going to be able to afford bigger, bigger, bigger. Financial conservatism is replacing the go-for-broke house. These buyers will be willing to trade the over-the-top features that used to be put in just for resale value in exchange for flexible, open spaces that are energy-efficient. And they do want to be able to work at home, with wired and wireless connectivity. (LA Times)

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Home sales are starting to tick up after the worst year in more than a decade!

But the momentum is coming from cash-rich investors who are scooping up foreclosed properties at bargain prices, not first-time homebuyers who are critical for a housing recovery.

The number of first-time buyers fell last month to the lowest percentage in nearly two years, while all-cash deals have doubled and now account for one-third of sales.

A record number of foreclosures have forced home prices down in most markets. The median sales price for a home fell last month to its lowest level in nearly nine years, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Lower prices would normally be good for first-time home buyers. But tighter lending standards have kept many from taking advantage of them. With fewer new buyers shopping, potential repeat buyers are hesitant to put their homes on the market and upgrade.

Cash-only investors are most interested in properties at risk of foreclosure. They can get those at bargain-basement prices.

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Wynn, Sawaii and Aston

From Beverly Hills to Malibu and beyond, Ron Wynn, Steve Sawaii and Fiora Aston have individually built a reputation for real estate excellence. Their names are well known throughout the areas they serve and among the brokerage community, their market knowledge is unparalleled, and each has earned the coveted status of top producer many times over. Through the years, their paths have frequently crossed as they’ve sat on opposite sides of transactions and collaborated to successfully overcome challenging obstacles.

Earlier this year, when the opportunity presented itself to take over a former Coldwell Banker team space, these three power players immediately rose to the occasion to join forces with the vision of what their combined efforts could ultimately create for themselves and the clients they represent.

Though each was successful in their own right despite the challenging market, they believed this was a chance to offer their clients something more. That ‘something more’ is summed up in their new message: Solutions by Collaboration.

For Ron, Steve and Fiora, that’s what this new venture boils down to – the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. “Great outcomes are the product of collaboration,” says Ron. Endorsing the element of team work through the implementation of technology, social networking, and talent specialization, these three mavericks are continually focused on achieving their clients’ goals.

Together, their combined mindset, their drive, and their forward thinking propels them to solve problems in the best, most effective way possible, often finding opportunity that others fail to notice.

For these three, it is all about what is best for the client. As a result, they are very attentive to their clients’ needs. “If the sale or purchase does not make sense for them, we give them good, sound advice,” Steve explains. It is this practice that truly separates them from typical real estate agents, not to mention their contagious energy, genuine enthusiasm, and dynamic passion for the business.

Setting themselves apart long ago, these three have earned the designation of “trusted advisors,” as clients look respectfully to them for guidance and professional advice. And, as Ron points out, though their counsel may not always be beneficial to the team’s bottom line, it is always in the best interest of their client.

“Real estate is really a people business,” says Ron, who bonded with the first couple he met at his first open house, opening an escrow four days later. “Although we share a love of houses, we put our love for people first.” For these partners, who share 91 years in the business and over $1 billion in closed real estate transactions, this sentiment extends beyond their careers as they each make a concerted effort to show humility and express thanks. From giving to the American Cancer Society, the homeless, and returning war veterans, to holding book drives and buying computers for area schools, to participating in triathlons for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, these partners are not only motivated to succeed in business but also to become involved in their
surrounding community as a whole.

Although they like to remain modest about their accomplishments, Ron, Steve, and Fiora are in the top one percent of agents worldwide, and in the first six weeks of their new partnership, they completed 17 transactions. Amazingly, this happened eight weeks before Christmas, when agents across the nation were claiming that the market was dead and deals had come to a halt.

There are many threads that run similar between Ron, Steve and Fiora, themost common ofwhich is their ability to be creative. They each have a war chest of unique stories illustrating how they created opportunity where none existed and others had long before given up. For instance, Ron fondly remembers one holiday weekend when everyone else had left town. With his young sons in tow, he registered at a resort near an ocean-front home he had just listed. He created a descriptive, color flyer describing the home, which he placed under the doors of over 90 rooms at the hotel. Sure enough, a buyer showed up the following day for the open house, and ultimately purchased the $2million-plus home. The seller was blown away by the classic idea, comparing Ron’s innovative
techniques to the previous two agents who had failed to produce a single offer within a period of nearly a year.

Steve and Fiora also have many similar examples of how they created unique solutions for their clients through unconventional methods. By collaborating with each other and bringing the experience gained from their encounters to the table, there is no limit to the positive outcomes these partners will create for their clients as a team.

Ron, Steve and Fiora’s goal is not to focus on the number of transactions they conclude or to outsell their competition, but rather to ensure that every client they represent feels as though they are their only client, receiving their personal attention and dedication, exceeding their expectations, and knowing their reputation is supported by their strong commitment to trust, confidentiality, and respect.