Largest Toy Give-Away in the San Fernando Valley

Keyes Automotive Group, Rodeo Realty, Bruce’s Gourmet Catering, Congressman Brad Sherman and Others Partner with Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission to put Smiles on Children’s Faces

On Saturday December 17th, starting at 11:00am, Sun Middle School (7330 Bakman Avenue Sun Valley) will be the epicenter of happy children in the San Fernando Valley at the 5th Annual, Keyes Automotive Group Sponsored Great Christmas Toy Give-Away.

Each child who attends will select the toy of their choosing from one of the over 5,000 toys in the school’s cafeteria that will be converted into Santa’s workshop. The majority of toys have been generously donated by Keyes Automotive Group. A delicious fajita lunch, provided by Bruce’s Catering, will be enjoyed by all guests.

Live music and entertainment will fill the air as children have their picture taken with Santa. Kids will also be able to build their own Ginger Bread House compliments of Syd and Linda Leibovitch and Rodeo Realty.

At last year’s event, nearly 6,000 toys were given away to kids in need. “for many of these children, the toy they receive at our event, is the only toy they will receive for Christmas.” says Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission Director Ken Craft.

If you would like to donate a toy or volunteer for the event contact the Mission at 818.392.0020 or

Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission is a non-profit agency committed to providing Hope, Hot Meals, Housing, Health Services and Healing to the Hungry, Homeless and Hurting in the San Fernando Valley.

Rodeo Realty Agents on Good Morning America

In late October, we announced that two of Rodeo Realty’s agents were interviewed by Good Morning America, and that the clip was supposed to run a couple days later. The interviews followed a story in the Los Angeles Times titled “Real estate agents are going all out to sell luxury homes.”

The Times story quoted three Rodeo agents including Lisa Sorrentino, Ben Salem and Ron Tanzman. Good Morning America then interviewed Joe Babajian and Ben Salem the next day. The clip didn’t run a couple days later -that’s how the media world works- but it did air on Good Morning America today.

The spot has some great shots of one of Joe Babajian’s listings, includes interviews with Babajian and Salem, and shows Salem taking clients on helicopter tours of high-end neighborhoods. Check it out:

Thank you to ABC and Good Morning America for putting together a really fun story. Thanks also to all of the agents who were involved in the media coverage.

Brian Bloom Buys Zen Home in Encino Area

Actor, writer and voice over artist Brian Bloom has purchased a home for $1,180,000 in the Encino area.Gary Krieger of Ewing & Associates – Sotheby’s International Realty was the listing agent. Pat Phillips of Rodeo Realty’s Encino office represented the buyer.
Among his credits, Bloom played character Brock Pike in “The A-Team” (2010); Agent Baker in “Smokin’ Aces” (2006); and Young Patsy in the 1984 movie “Once Upon a Time in America.” In addition to acting on screen, Bloom provides voice over work for numerous video games and animated television series.

The gated Zen-style retreat sits high on a private knoll. The one-story house, originally built in 1961, has 2,386 square feet of living space, 3 bedrooms, 4 baths, formal living, dining and breakfast rooms, and den. The remodeled kitchen has stone counters, breakfast bar, glass cabinets, garden window and many newer appliances.

A large master suite has a master bath with travertine tile floors, marble counters and shelf, jetted spa tub, frameless glass doors, and custom cabinetry. All of the bathrooms in the home have been remodeled.

The estate is designed for an indoor-outdoor lifestyle. The grounds were developed by a master Japanese landscape architect over a 30-year period. There are mature trees, waterfall, fountain, deck, and black-bottom pool.

David Schwimmer Selling Hancock Park Home

Actor and director David Schwimmer has placed his Los Angeles area home on the market for $10.7 million. The roughly 11,000 square foot gated and private Mediterranean-style house sits on a 44,540 sq. ft lot in prime Hancock Park.

Schwimmer, who starred on the hit television show “Friends,” recently directed the movie “Trust” with Clive Owen and Catherine Keener.
The home was originally built in 1926 by the architectural firm of Koerner & Gage. The firm also worked with John Austin and Frederick M. Ashley to build Beverly Hills City Hall. The Rindge family was the original owner of the estate. The Rindge family is well-known for owning thousands of acres of land in the Malibu area.
The home has been beautifully restored. The main house features 9 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, a wood paneled library, a den covered with a stone finish, a new state-of-the-art screening room, a formal dining room, 2 powder rooms, 5 fireplaces and a butler area.
The backyard includes a grand resort-style pool area with manicured grounds, mature landscaping, giant palm trees, spa, north/south tennis court and a pavilion. The detached guest house provides a modern loft experience that accommodates a bedroom, living room, bathroom and kitchen.
Magali Bergher of Westside Estate Agency and Arleen Ruby of Rodeo Realty in Beverly Hills are the listing agents.

Rodeo Realty Proudly Supports Walk of Ages XII

Rodeo Realty proudly supports the Los Angeles Jewish Home’s Walk of Ages XII. The 5K walk/run takes place this year on Sunday December 4th at the Jewish Home’s Eisenberg Village Campus at 18855 Victory Blvd. in Reseda.

Friends, family , co-workers, neighbors and even dogs are encouraged to participate. The Rodeo Realty office with the most participants will win a prize. The event will take place rain or shine.
The annual Walk of Ages event is one of the largest charitable walks in the San Fernando Valley. Proceeds support the Jewish Home’s efforts to provide compassionate care to seniors.
Registration is from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. on the day of the event, and the opening ceremony from 8:20 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. The 5K walk and run begins at 8: 30 a.m., followed by an awards ceremony from 9:30 a.m. to
10: 30 a.m. There will also be music, free refreshments and prizes for the top fundraisers and participants.
Individual adults need to collect of donate a minimum of $100 to walk or run in the event, seniors need to collect or donate a minimum of $50, families $250, and teams of 10 or more $1,000. People who cannot participate are welcome to make contributions directly to the  Los Angeles Jewish Home.
Visit register and for more information.

To join the Rodeo Realty team, click “Register” on the event home page, then click “I agree” to the event’s terms, click “Join a team,” scroll down to Rodeo Realty in the “Please select a team” box, click “Continue” and complete the registration form. 

Real Estate Upgrades for No Cash Up-Front

Lou Woolf of Rodeo Realty’s Sherman Oaks office recently launched a program to help home sellers upgrade their properties for no cash up-front. Woolf said he has provided this service to probate attorneys for years and is now opening it up to the public.

In a nutshell, Estate P.A.C.T. ( provides sellers with real estate services including: preliminary title reports; market evaluations; property profiles; transaction coordination; and more. The program also helps clients realize top dollar for their properties by offering repair and upgrade work that is billed from escrow disbursement funds.

A sample of upgrades includes:
Painting & drywall / stucco repair
Estate sale & furniture disposition
Shipping of personal items
House cleaning
Debris removal/ hauling
Landscape & garden maintenance
Handyman repairs
Locksmith & security

The program is free of charge to listing clients and the services provided are billed at the regular rate. Woolf said Estate P.A.C.T. has a track record of success in securing higher listing and selling prices after completing the upgrade and repair work.

Estate P.A.C.T. is currently looking for 8-12 home sellers for the program. Prospective clients will have to go through a qualification process. The program does not handle short sale properties and prospective clients need to have equity in their homes. For more information call Lou Woolf at: (866) 692-WOLF.

Rodeo Realty, Footloose and Skyy Vodka

What does the new movie “Footloose,” Skyy Vodka, and Rodeo Realty have in common? Normally nothing. But right now they are all running prominent billboards right next to each other on the Sunset Strip.

Check it out!

The large-scale billboards are located at one of the busiest sections of the Sunset Strip, just east of La Cienega. Rodeo Realty opened its Sunset Strip office back in January at the Luckman Plaza building (9200 Sunset Blvd). Since then, the company has been running a consistent billboard ad campaign at high-traffic spots up and down the iconic stretch of pavement.

Real Estate Agent Thinks 'Out of This World'

Real estate agents really need to “think outside of the box” to be successful in today’s market. But Lou Woolf of Rodeo Realty’s Sherman Oaks office has taken it a step further: He thinks “out of this world.” 
In addition to being a top-notch real estate agent, Woolf has spent a large part of his life collecting space toys from the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. Think: Buck Rogers!
He recently blended these passions at the 24th Annual Taste of Encino, an event presented by the Encino Chamber of Commerce. Woolf displayed 36 retro ray guns, a robot, and a space woman complete with helmet, shiny silver suit and ray gun. Oh yeah, he also displayed plenty of real estate info. 
Woolf said thousands of people attended the Taste of Encino and his booth put a lot of smiles on a lot of faces. Many older folks reminisced about how they had had one of those ray guns when they were younger.

September Home Sales Up Slightly from Last Year

Southern California home sales dropped last month from August, as they normally do, and eked out a tiny gain from a year earlier as bargain hunting below $300,000 remained relatively strong, according to a release from San Diego-based DataQuick.

To view the complete release visit:

Home prices continued their sideways-to-downward slide, with the region’s median sale price falling below the year-ago level for the seventh consecutive month, a real estate information service reported.

A total of 18,149 new and resale houses and condos sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties in September. That was down 7.7 percent from 19,654 in August and up 0.3 percent from 18,091 in September 2010, according to the release..

It’s normal for home sales to drop between August and September, partly because many home buyers try to close their deals before school starts in late summer. On average, sales have fallen 8.3 percent between August and September since 1988, when DataQuick’s statistics begin.

September sales have varied from a low of 12,455 in 2007 to a high of 37,771 in 2003. Last month’s sales were 25.3 percent below the September average of 24,310 transactions since 1988.

“Last month’s Southland sales weren’t great but, like some other economic indicators of late, they came in a bit higher than some might have expected. Holding steady with a year ago isn’t so bad when you consider the hits the housing market has taken in recent months, including a big psychological blow from a tanking stock market in early August. Part of what’s keeping demand afloat is improved affordability thanks to ultra-low mortgage rates and lower home prices. We’ll have to wait and see what impact the lower conforming loan limits, which took effect recently, will have in some of the higher-priced markets,” said John Walsh, DataQuick president.

The median price paid for all new and resale Southland houses and condos purchased last month was $280,000. That was up 0.4 percent from $279,000 in August but down 5.2 percent from $295,500 in September 2010.

The regional median has declined year-over-year for the past seven months – since March. The last time any one of the six Southland counties posted an annual gain in its median sale price was in January, when San Bernardino logged a 1.0 percent year-over-year increase.

Last month’s median was 13.4 percent higher than the median’s low point in the current real estate cycle – $247,000 in April 2009 – but was 44.6 percent lower than the peak $505,000 median in mid 2007. The peak-to-trough drop was due to a decline in home values and a shift in sales toward lower-cost homes, especially inland foreclosures.

Malibu Beach House Once Owned By Judy Garland

A Malibu beach house originally owned by actress Judy Garland when she was married to film and stage director Vincente Minnelli has sold for $1,475,000, according to the L.A. Times. To see the story visit:,0,3598872.story.

Built in 1947 and located on PCH, the three bedroom, two bath, 1,300 square foot Cape Cod-style home is on Las Tunas Beach. It has expansive decks overlooking the ocean, high ceilings, and hardwood floors throughout.

The Grant Deed shows that one Judy Garland Minnelli purchased the house in November of 1947. The kitchen has Viking appliances. There are two wood burning fireplaces, one in the master bedroom and one in the living room. The property also has a courtyard and direct beach access.

The buyers are Mitchell and Stacy Leib. Mitchell Leib is president of music and soundtracks at Disney Studios. The home is a fixer-upper, said the agent, and the couple plans to update it in the near future.

Kathleen Smith of Rodeo Realty’s Studio City office represented the buyer. Irene Dazzan-Palmer and Sandro Dazzan of Coldwell Banker Previews International were the listing agents.