Home » Lifestyles


Kobe Bryant’s Childhood Home Hits the Market for $900K—Basketball Hoop Included!

 | Sep 7, 2020

The hoop that helped make the late Kobe Bryant a basketball legend can be yours—if you buy the home it’s attached to, where the star-to-be spent his teenage years.

The cost of the home is $899,900. Read more…

Historic Castle With Old-World Charm Is Just as Ideal for New-World Living
 | Aug 28, 2020

Castle Ohio

Castle Ohiorealtor.com

It is possible to live in a historic castle for less than a million dollars.

A 7,500-square-foot, European-style castle on Fairway Lane is available for $950,000 in Alliance, OH. Completed in 1930, the 26-room castle is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Read more…

Southern California’s Luxury Market Rebounded in May Due to Pent-up Demand

But new contracts and listings priced above $2 million were still well below the level reported a year ago

Luxury property market in Southern California saw an uptick in activity in May.
Luxury property markets across Southern California saw an uptick in activity in May, as a result of the pent-up demand from the coronavirus pandemic. But both the number of new contracts signed and new listings coming on the market were still sharply down from a year ago, according to a Douglas Elliman report released Thursday.

Across Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego counties, there was a small-to-significant rebound in activities for luxury homes valued at or above $2 million, said Jonathan Miller, chief executive of real estate appraisal firm Miller Samuel and author of the Douglas Elliman report.  Read more…

Leonardo DiCaprio’s former Silver Lake residence flips, fetches $3.4M

Now featuring an antiseptic makeover

Here’s how California’s rent control law will work

It’s designed to guard tenants against the most “egregious” rent hikes

What the Fed’s Rate Cut Means for Your Buyers

July 31, 2019
Realtor Magazine

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday cut interest rates for the first time since the Great Recession took hold in 2008, though the move is not likely to deliver significant juice to an already favorable borrowing environment for home buyers. The federal funds rate, which is what banks charge one another for short-term borrowing, will now hover between 2% and 2.25%, according to news reports.  Read More….

Realtor.com® Reports How Much More Home Buying Power There Is Today Thanks to Lower Mortgage Rates,” Forbes.com (July 30, 2019); “The Fed Just Cut Interest Rates. Here’s What That Means for You,” The New York Times (July 31, 2019); National Association of REALTORS®

The 14 best things to do in Malibu

While some associate Malibu with mansions perching on the cliffs and surfers bobbing on the breaks, we tie the city to L.A.’s most stunning natural wonders. Forget the tarnished glitz of Hollywood and the posh landmarks of Beverly Hills; these things to do in Malibu make us question why we don’t spend every single weekend in the waterfront city. From some of the best beaches around to hiking trails with waterfalls—and a little bit of wine tasting to wind down—we’ve rounded up our favorite things to do in Malibu.  Read more…

Redondo Beach approves South Bay Galleria, adding skate park and open space


The biggest project in the history of Redondo Beach, as Mayor Bill Brand called it, hit a major milestone Tuesday night, Jan. 15 – the approval of city council.

During a meeting that once again stretched into the wee hours of the morning, project developer Queensland Investment Corp. (QIC) presented a reworked site plan to address key concerns raised by residents.

Some major refinements include adding a 8,000-square-foot skate park, moving several buildings to increase the total central outdoor space by one acre and making it easier to get in and out of the without too much negative impacts to traffic.

Council accepted the new plan but with modifications.  Read More…

Nine Surprising Real Estate Opportunities That Will Grow In 2019

Dec 10,2018

Expert Panel Forbes Council
Forbes Real Estate Council

Anyone who hopes to succeed in the real estate industry needs to stay up to date on the latest market trends. Whether you’re an investor or a broker, you’ll have to keep an eye on which areas have properties with high growth potential and which ones are stagnant or declining.

If you’re looking for a promising real estate market to invest in, look no further than these recommendations from Forbes Real Estate Council. Although some of these sectors or markets have underperformed in the past, our expert panelists predict big growth here over the next 12 months. Read More…

Mood Boards | Trending Bedroom Colors
Posted on September 20, 2018 by sothebysrealty

When it comes to refreshing bedrooms this fall, the latest hues for walls and décor are sunny, moody, and saturated. Pantone’s Color of the Year—Ultra Violet—has been influencing bedroom tones from plummy purple to aubergine, while marigold yellow is bringing whimsy and cheer to even the most traditional of spaces.

Take your cues from these three mood boards when starting down the path of your next bedroom overhaul, and let the trending colors of fall 2018 infuse your home.

Read more…

Buying Property in Portugal as a Non-Resident
From taxes to average prices and down payments., here’s what you need to know

Recently, the sun has been shining brightly on Portugal’s property market. Since prices started to recover in 2014 from the housing market collapse, the country has experienced a slow but steady rise.

Prices rose by almost 5% year over year to November 2017, with an average price of $1,373 per square meter, according to the Global Property Guide. In the country’s capital city of Lisbon, prices were also up around 5%, to an average of $1,664 per square meter.

“The market is growing mainly because of economic growth and consumer confidence,” said Miguel Poisson, managing director, Portugal Sotheby’s International Realty. “Real estate is a safe and high return sector,” he added.

Read More….

Redondo Beach’s shuttered Palos Verdes Inn would become new-look Hotel LegadoDavid

Rosenfield June 12,2018 The Beach Reporter

After sitting vacant for three years, the Palos Verdes Inn in Redondo Beach may finally be getting a remodel along with a new name – Hotel Legado.

The City Council will hear plans for the project on Tuesday night.

Planned renovations involve a complete makeover with a whole new look – while retaining the original structure. And the number of rooms would stay the same at 110. Read More…

Is the rent finally too damn high? Rent households fall again, homeownership holds steady

Median asking rent continues climbing

Is a combination of high rents and shifting demographics driving a move from renting to buying?The latest data from the Census Bureau shows that may be exactly what’s happening.

On Thursday, the Census released its quarterly report on residential vacancies and homeownership. And the report had some good news and bad news, depending on which industry you’re in. Read More…

Asking Prices Reach 11-Year High in Great Britain in March

The price for new-to-the-market homes in England, Scotland and Wales rose 1.5% to an average of £304,504



How Driverless Cars Could Disrupt The Real Estate Industry

Ely Razin , CONTRIBUTOR MAR 11, 2018
I cover finance and technology related to commercial real estate
Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

Driverless cars could become a regular feature of the roads as early as April – at least in California, which has decided to allow fully autonomous vehicles to be tested on the roads (none of those pesky humans who have been present in test drives so far). Arizona has already become a fair-weather center for testing driverless vehicles, thanks in large part to the governor’s support, and Uber announced last week that it has finished testing its self-driving trucks in Arizona and is now beginning to use them to move goods across the state. …..”Perhaps somewhat less obviously, a future filled with autonomous vehicles could also spur some big changes in where we live and work, thus affecting the real estate market in addition to the transportation and tech industries.”… Read more…

Data dig: Are foreign investors driving up real estate in your California neighborhood?

Scott and Erica Rothenberg thought the years of scrimping and saving had finally paid off.

The three-bedroom house outside of Elk Grove—an upper-middle-class suburb of Sacramento—checked all of the boxes: quiet neighborhood, quality school district, ample space to start a family.

But the couple knew competition for the house—like most houses in desirable California neighborhoods—would be cut-throat. Their agent warned they’d be bidding against not only a glut of young Sacramento-area families vying for a starter home, but also wealthier Bay Area residents fleeing astronomical prices. Even wealthy foreign investors from China, sensing an opportunity to park their cash and make steady returns, were getting in on the action. Read more…

According to data from ATTOM Data Solutions, Manhattan Beach cash sales from 2005 to 2017 amounted to 21% of the homes sales.

Bloomberg: Housing Market is Ready for Rising Mortgage Rates (Podcast)

February 19, 2018 — 9:43 AM PST

Doug Duncan, chief economist at Fannie Mae, tells Bloomberg Radio’s Denise Pellegrini that the housing market won’t be rocked if the rise in mortgage rates is gradual.

Click here to listen to Pod Cast…running time 1 min.

Top 50 Most Expensive Neighborhoods in LA County


There seems to be no shortage of news related to California’s high housing prices and tight real estate market, where bidding wars are the norm for homebuyers. Our latest national ranking of priciest zip codes for homebuyers was no exception, as it revealed that California crushed the other states, snatching 72 out of the 100 spots. Though Atherton still holds the title of California’s priciest zip code, L.A. County’s notoriously expensive Santa Monica and Beverly Hills markets ranked fifth and seventh, respectively.  Read more…

Downtown L.A.’s development boom heads west with a big new housing and retail complex

A large-scale residential and hotel complex will be proposed for the former headquarters campus of the Metropolitan Water District on Sunset Boulevard as Los Angeles’ development boom expands into blocks just northwest of downtown.

The $600-million project, called 1111 Sunset, would include high-rise condominium and apartment towers, town houses, shops, restaurants and two acres of public open space designed by James Corner Field Operations, the landscape architect behind New York’s High Line elevated park.  Read more…

How the Tax Bill Will Affect Eight American Families

From multimillionaires to struggling renters, most everyone will get more money initially. But there is bad news on the horizon.

If you’re confused by how the Republican tax bill will affect you, you’re not alone.

The final version rewrites the tax code in dozens of ways, eliminating deductions, changing rates, and creating brand-new benefits for certain taxpayers, such as business owners. The bottom line, though, is that next year a majority of Americans will get a tax cut. Four out of every five taxpayers can expect a reduction, according to the Tax Policy Center. Overall, the average taxpayer should see their after-tax income rise by 2.2 percent.  Read more….

Los Angeles prefab company Cover shows off its first completed and installed unit.


We’ve written about Cover before — it’s the wild new Los Angeles-based tech company that uses exotic design tools and prefabricated structures to kick out complete home designs in three days for $250. But it’s always nice to see someone’s dream come to fruition and co-founders and architects Alexis Rivas and Jemuel Joseph should be patting themselves on the back after Cover unveiled the completion and installation of its first housing unit designed and manufactured in its Los Angeles factory.

It’s a small step but an important one for the fledgling company, which aims to make living and working in a sharply designed and well-built space a reality for everyone. The first commercial unit by the company is a small but elegant marvel — a 320-square-foot space that will be used as a music studio and office by an Oscar-nominated sound editor. Read more…

Study: FSBOs Net ‘Significantly’ Lower Profits


For-sale-by-owners tend to sell their homes for lower prices than homes sold through traditional agents via the MLS, and in many cases below the average differential represented by the prevailing commission rate, according to a new study by Collateral Analytics.

The study examined the price differences between homes sold through traditional agents versus those sold by FSBOs from 2016 to the first half of 2017.

Some homeowners may be tempted to try to avoid commission costs to a broker and try to sell the home on their own. But that can backfire and turn into a much lower sales price, the study found.

Even successful FSBO sellers achieve prices “significantly below” those from similar properties sold more traditionally via REALTORS®, the study found.

The authors found that the differential in selling prices for FSBOs when compared to MLS sales is “remarkably close to average commission rates.” A FSBO sale, on average, nets nearly a 6 percent lower price than an MLS sale for a similar property.

“Assuming that both buyers and sellers pay the commission, one might have expected something less than this average,” the researchers note. “It appears that many sellers are avoiding commissions while netting home prices less than they would with an agent-represented MLS sale. They are avoiding commissions at any price, even one that exceeds a commission rate.”

Source: “Saving Real Estate Commissions at Any Price,” Collateral Analytics Research (Aug. 16, 2017)

Who’s making all-cash offers on houses in LA?

Last month, cash purchases made up 20 percent of all real estate transactions
By Bianca Barragan July 12, 2017

As sales prices for Los Angeles homes continue their solid recovery from the recession, the profile of all-cash homebuyers has changed.

In the wake of the recession, foreign and domestic investors made up a good chunk of cash-only buyers in LA. All-cash sales are still happening fairly frequently—last month, 20 percent of all real estate transactions in Southern California were all-cash, Geoff McIntosh, president of the California Association of Realtors, tells KPCC—but the days of investors snapping up homes passed four or five years ago, says McIntosh.Read more…

Home Sales Expected to Soar Through 2018: What Buyers Need to Know

By Clare Trapasso  May 18, 2017

By now just about every would-be buyer out there knows there simply aren’t enough homes for sale these days to appease the hordes of competition. But despite the shortages, rising prices, and bidding wars, more homes are expected to be sold this year than in more than a decade… Read more…

You can weave details from the era into a home built today

Colin Flavin January 16, 2017
Houzz Contributor. Principal at Flavin Architects, a New England-based design firm…

America’s love affair with midcentury modern design continues unabated. Today’s architects have helped foster the love affair by renovating homes from that era to fit today’s lifestyles. Midcentury modern homes feature great design moves that can be applied in other homes today: celebrating the home’s structure, transitioning seamlessly between indoors and outdoors, and embracing an open-plan layout for informal living in a compact space. Midcentury modern homes were designed with a relaxed aesthetic, which was a welcome departure from the stricter styles of earlier modern homes. Here’s how to bring some of that midcentury modern magic into your new-house design.  Read more…

Houzz TV: Amazing Indoor-Outdoor Architecture Near Venice Beach

Africa-inspired courtyards, exterior shades and an impressive art collection combine in a dynamic L.A. home

January 17, 2017

Using moves he picked up while living in Africa, architect Steven Ehrlich designed his home to fit the skinny lots and sunny climate of his neighborhood near Venice Beach. The house is just a few blocks from lively Abbot Kinney Boulevard and the ocean. “It’s so much fun to be part of a walking community in L.A.,” he says. “We can pop out for coffee, shopping or a bite to eat, and all of the activity of the boardwalk and beach is only [a half-mile] away.”

10 Anti-Burglary Tips for Your Sellers

When your clients are opening their doors to the public for showings, they need to take extra precautions. Share these suggestions to help them keep their belongings safe.

After Christmas, many people put the empty boxes their expensive gifts came in out on the curb. What do you think that says to potential burglars? It screams, “I just got a brand-new TV! Come and rob me!”

That’s just one example of some unwise habits homeowners have. If those owners are sellers opening their doors to the public for showings, habits such as these put them in even greater danger. The above example is a good warning to give to your clients now, since we’re in the holiday season. But use it as a jumping-off point to have a deeper conversation about safety — and to show that your safety knowledge is an asset to sellers. Read More….

Higher Wages, Seasonal Price Declines Hold California Housing Affordability in Check

February 9, 2017

Higher wages and seasonal price declines hold California housing affordability in check

• Thirty-one percent of California households could afford to purchase the $511,360 median-priced home in the fourth quarter, unchanged from third-quarter 2016 and up from 30 percent in fourth-quarter 2015.

• A minimum annual income of $100,800 was needed to make monthly payments of $2,520, including principal, interest, and taxes on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at a 3.91 percent interest rate.

• Forty percent of home buyers were able to purchase the $413,700 median-priced condo or townhome. An annual income of $81,550 was required to make a monthly payment of $2,040.

LOS ANGELES (Feb. 9) – Rising wages and seasonal price declines held California’s housing affordability steady in fourth-quarter 2016, even while interest rates rose moderately, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said today. Read More….

Santa Monica has been named the most expensive place to rent in the whole country

Time Out Magazine; 

It’s a good thing that relatively-affordable rent is just one of the many things that Angelenos have to hold over the residents of New York and San Francisco, because that advantage might be slipping away. According to new research, Santa Monica might be the single most expensive place to rent an apartment in the whole country.  Read more….

The Best New Year’s Eve Parties in Every Time Zone

Robb Report
DECEMBER 14, 2016
Whether 2016 was your best year ever or one you’d rather forget, there’s no better way to end it than with an over-the-top party. No matter where you are this New Year’s Eve—from New York City to Tokyo and everywhere in between—we’ve got the ultimate extravaganza for a fitting start to the new year. Read on for 24 time zones’ worth of celebrations—and let the countdown begin!  Read more….

Los Angeles Experiences

New Team Highlights Impeccable Service and Memorable Dishes

Written By: Alana Aronson  The Ritz Prime Seafood

The Ritz Prime Seafood has been through a lot of changes over the past few years—but their most recent are sure to stick. Shortly after moving to their waterfront location in 2015 on Mariner’s Mile, it was decided that a few more changes were on the way. Open Bar Hospitality, a new team led by Ben Sabouri and Managing Partner Young Lee has taken the reigns at The Ritz Prime Seafood. Before opening Open Bar Hospitality, Lee and Sabouri were apart of The Light Group, a leader in hospitality, where they contributed to the successful day and nightlife of locations such as the MGM Aria Resort & Casino and The Mirage Hotel & Casino. Sabouri and Lee appointed George Neyra as Executive Chef (you may remember him as Executive sous chef at Michael Mina’s Stonehill Tavern at St. Regis Monarch Beach); his menu items, which debuted on Nov. 1 are a shakeup to the former Ritz, but have been met with much success. Read more….

November 2016 Existing-Home Sales

Posted in Economist Commentaries, by on December 22, 2016

  • NAR released a summary of existing-home sales data showing that housing market activity rose for the third straight month. November’s existing-home sales reached the 5.61 million seasonally adjusted annual rate and existing-home sales are up 15.4 percent from a year ago. Read more….

Southbay Magazine:

Made in the Shade
The popular boutique hotel finds a long-awaited encore in Redondo Beach.

If you’re reading this piece, there are several things that I know about you already. One is that you likely have Havaiana tan lines permanently tattooed on your feet. Another is that you respectfully decline to eat “tacos” outside California. A third is that you’ve likely enjoyed more than a few cocktails on the patio at Shade in Manhattan Beach.

My intuition therefore leads me to lead you south—down to the new Shade in Redondo Beach, which opened in November. Mike Zislis’ second boutique hotel is the crown jewel of the Redondo Beach Waterfront Revitalization Project, and while it’s been a rocky road from inception to completion, this gorgeous property is finally ready to rock.  Read More…

Et Cetera Launch Party Hosted by Rusnak Maserati of South Bay

To celebrate the launch of the premiere issue of Et Cetera, the fashion publication of Southbay Magazine, locals gathered at the Rusnak Maserati of South Bay.

Laura Chavers

Realtor®, Vista Sotheby’s International Realty

608 Silver Spur Road, Suite 103, Palos Verdes  |  310-760-6997  |  LauraChavers.com  |  Laura.Chavers@VistaSIR.com

Laura Chavers worked as a licensed pharmacist and managed a real estate development company before she became a licensed Realtor in 2015. She and her husband, James, met in Monaco and love to travel with their golden retriever, SkyRocket.

Tell us something unique about your business.

“I love working with my clients, handling every detail of the home buying process from beginning to end. Communication and really getting to know my clients and what they are looking for is very important to me. I may be new to the business, but the personal touch I give to each client and my integrity will make any transaction seamless.”  Read More….