Home Tips: Emergency Preparedness 

The recent earthquake left some of us feeling extremely grateful we are prepared for a natural disaster, but also had some of us feeling uneasy and under-prepared. No matter the case, it may be time to check in on your emergency kit. That is, to get it started, check the expiration on items in the kit, and/or add some more items to your kit. We have included a few tips on how to build and maintain a kit below, check them out! 

GATHER BASIC SUPPLIES

A basic emergency supply kit should include the following recommended items: water (one gallon per person per day for at least 3 days), food (3-day supply of nonperishable food), battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible), flashlight, first aid kit, extra batteries, whistle, dust mask, emergency blankets, moist towelettes, sanitation, and personal hygiene items, multipurpose tool, cell phone with chargers, emergency contact information, extra cash, and a battery supply (solar-powered, if possible). 

ADDITIONAL EMERGENCY SUPPLIES

Consider adding the following items to your kit based on the needs of your household: medication (7-day supply), pet supplies (reflective collar and leash, food and water, etc), copies of important family documents (identification, insurance policies, etc) in a waterproof container, prescription eyeglasses, contact solution, antacids, non-prescription pain medicine, infant formula, diapers, wipes, puzzles or other activities for the children, etc. 

MAINTAINING YOUR KIT 

After assembling your kit remember to maintain it so it’s ready when needed: Keep canned food in a cool, dry place, store boxed food in a tightly closed plastic or metal containers, replace expired items as needed, re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family’s needs change.

STORING YOUR KIT 

Since you do not know where you will be when an emergency occurs, prepare supplies for home, work, and cars. Home: Keep this kit in a designated place and have it ready in case you have to leave your home quickly. Make sure all family members know where the kit is kept, and have close-toed shoes ready for the entire family. Car: In case you are stranded, keep a smaller kit of emergency supplies in your car. 

DON’T HAVE TIME TO BUILD A KIT? 

There are many emergency kits available online for purchase. If you choose to purchase a kit from online, you should have your basics, but make sure to add anything you need for pets, children, and you! Make sure your kit is fitted to help YOU survive! (Pictured above is a local favorite, “Judy Kit”). 

Economic update for the month ending July 31, 2020

Stock markets saw significant gains in July – Stock markets closed higher for the fourth straight month in July,  reversing almost all of the losses since the start of the pandemic. It has not been all good news, as July marked a resurgence in COVID-19 cases which caused many local and state leaders to pull back on their reopening. Experts believe this may stall the job gains we have seen over the past few months, and are awaiting the July jobs report which will be released next Friday, August 7. The second-quarter GDP recorded a 32.6% quarterly loss, its largest ever, but that was in line with the number expected by analysts following the first-ever government economic shutdown. On the positive side, tech companies are recording much higher than expected second-quarter earnings. For example, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple reported earnings that crushed expectations. Overseas economies are also recovering quickly. Retail sales have seen record month over month increases from the levels at the start of the pandemic.  Experts, while still cautious, believe the worst of the economic devastation is behind us. Investors also feel that vaccine trials worldwide indicate that there will be vaccines available by years end. Although disappointed that a fourth stimulus bill has not been approved, investors feel that it is just a matter of time before one is. The lowest plan pumps one trillion dollars into the economy, and the highest proposal pumps three trillion dollars into the economy. The final bill will be somewhere in the middle of those numbers.  Lastly, the Federal Reserve announced that its key interest rate will remain near zero percent for the foreseeable future. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the month at 26,428.32, up 2.4% from 25,812.88 last month. It’s down 7.4% year to date. The S&P 500 closed the month at 3,271.12, up 5.5% from 3,100.29 last month. It’s up 1.3% year to date. The NASDAQ closed the week at 10,725.57, up 6.6% from 10,058.87 last month. It’s up 19.8% year to date.

U.S. Treasury bond yields – The 10-year treasury bond closed the month yielding 0.55%, down from 0.66% last month. The 30-year treasury bond yield ended the month at 1.20%, down from 1.41% last month.

Mortgage rates continued to drop in July – 30-year fixed rate under 3%! – The Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey released on July 30, 2020, reported mortgage rates for the most popular loan products as follows: The 30-year fixed mortgage rate average was 2.99%, down from 3.13% last month. The 15-year fixed was 2.51%, down from 2.59% last week. The 5-year ARM was 2.94%, down from 3.08% last month.

Employers added 4.8 million jobs in June – The Department of Labor and Statistics reported that 4.8 million new jobs were added in June. That eclipsed analysts’ expectations of 2.9 million new jobs. The unemployment rate dropped to 11.1% from 13.3% in May. It was 14.7% in April, the highest reading since the Great Depression, so the last two months have shown a very positive trend. July numbers will be released next Friday.

Home sales data is released in the third week of the month for the previous month. July’s results will be included in the weekly update on the third week of August and on the August month-end report. Judging by pending sales of July’s figures will exceed June sales and price increases. 

Existing home sales rebound in June – The California Association of Realtors announced that existing home sales surged 42.4% in June from May‘s sales totals. Existing home sales totaled 339,910 on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate in June. That was down 12.8% from June 2019. Fortunately, pending sales have also increased dramatically. The California Association of Realtors expects sales to be back to pre-pandemic levels by July or August. Prices also surged in June. The state-wide median price paid for a home in June was $626,170. That represented a 6.5% increase from May and a 2.5% increase from last June. Inventory levels declined to a 2.7 month supply of homes for sale which explains the number of homes selling with multiple offers. On a regional basis, Los Angeles County had a 1.8% year over year increase in the median price. Ventura County had an 8.2% year over year increase in the median price. Orange County had a 3.3% year over year increase in the median price.

U.S. existing home sales rebounded at a record pace in June – The National Association of Realtors announced that total existing-home sales, which include single-family, condominium, townhomes, and co-ops, increased 20.7% in June from the number of sales in May. This reversed three months of sales declines caused by the pandemic. Real estate sales in all regions of the country reported record month over month increases in sales. The number of sales was still down 11.4% from the number of sales last June, but pending sales have increased and the N.A.R. and associations around the country expect sales to be back up to last year’s levels in the next two months. The median price paid for a home was up 3.5% of the price paid last June. Inventory levels dropped to a 4 month supply, down from 4.3 months, one year ago.

Economic update for the week ending July 31, 2020

Stocks overcame the largest quarterly drop of the nation’s Gross National Product in history and closed higher for the week –  The nation’s GDP dropped 32.9% in the second quarter of 2020, its largest quarterly drop ever recorded.  Fortunately, analysts expected to see a drop in that range and markets closed higher, with the exception of the Dow which was just slightly lower. Technology stocks rallied across the board after Facebook, Amazon, and Apple reported earnings that crushed expectations. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 26,428.32, down 0.2% from 26,469.89 last week. It’s down 7.4% year to date. The S&P 500 closed the week at 3,271.12, up 1.7% from 3,215.63 last week. It’s up 1.3% year to date. The NASDAQ closed the week at 10,725.57, up 3.7% from 10,363.18 last week. It’s up 19.8% year to date.

U.S. Treasury bond yields – The 10-year treasury bond closed the week yielding 0.55%, down from 0.59% last week. The 30-year treasury bond yield ended the week at 1.20%, down from 1.23% last week.

Mortgage rates – The July 30, 2020, Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey reported mortgage rates for the most popular loan products as follows: The 30-year fixed mortgage rate average was 2.99%, down from 3.01% last week. The 15-year fixed was 2.51%, down from 2.54% last week. The 5-year ARM was 2.94%, down from 3.09% last week.

 

Rodeo Welcomes Tatone Group

The Tatone Group has relocated to Rodeo Realty, and we are thrilled to welcome such a purpose-driven group of individuals. Learn more about them below!

About the Tatone Group

Integrity, passion, community — these are the core principles that guide Nick Tatone and Samara Saffian. Now they have formed their own prestige team to deliver the same signature experience for their clients at Rodeo Realty. With over 30+ years of combined real estate experience in the Los Angeles Area, and over $1.5 billion in lifetime sales, they have established themselves as leaders in the industry, possessing the knowledge and ability to navigate through many uncertain and stressful fiscal events.

Their ultimate goal is to provide a seamless, smooth and stress-free experience for their clients, while prioritizing their needs to help them prosper and achieve their real estate goals and dreams. This commitment to providing unwavering, steadfast excellence and personalized service has made them among the most sought-after realtors in the Southern California Luxury arena. Formerly the top-producing agents at Dilbeck Estates/Christies International, Nick and Samara bring with them decades of negotiating expertise as well as a steady command of the business.

For the Tatone Group, real estate isn’t just about buying and selling properties, it’s about fulfilling dreams. Because of this unique commitment to the investments and dreams of their clients, it’s no wonder the vast majority of the Tatone Groups business comes from referrals from past clients who feel loyal to them. For investors and developers, the Tatone Group never fails to exceed rate-of-return expectations in record-breaking time.

Beyond their dedication to their clients, the Tatone Group shares a passion for philanthropy. When an individual refers a client who successfully closes an escrow with them, the Tatone Group Charity Division will donate a percentage of their commission to a cause of that person’s choice. Organizations that have benefited include St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and such animal welfare groups as The Rescue Train. As a lifelong animal lover, Samara devotes time and energy to rescuing animals from city shelters as well as fostering them. An energetic advocate for his community, Nick also believes in giving back, whether by volunteering to assist youth-based activities or supporting other causes where he can make a difference.

With an undeniable track record of achieving results, the Tatone Group will not stop working until the expectations of their clients are met – and surpassed.

Summer Vacation By Car: San Diego

San Diego is that part of Southern California you think of when thinking about that quintessential beach summer day. Even Los Angeles and Orange County natives will find themselves heading south past Camp Pendleton on the 5 freeway for a weekend getaway to the beaches in San Diego and surrounding areas. We have gathered a list of our favorite hotels down south!

Cal-a-Vie

At Cal-a-Vie, you could mistakenly believe you were somewhere in the bucolic French countryside. Suites are simple and rustic and feature washed-out wooden floors, fresh flowers, and comfy, bounce-worthy beds. This is a place that offers much to do—you can wake to a sunrise hike and follow it up with any combination of spinning, or water volleyball. After a day out, head over for a massage at their world-class spa. Pair these deliciously pampering treatments with an on-site nutritionist, and you’ll leave feeling like a million bucks.

Fairmont Grand Del Mar

Fairmont Grand Del Mar is grand, indeed; the majestic 400-acre property, operated by the team behind The Plaza in New York City, and The Savoy, has a luxurious Mediterranean vibe thanks to a rose-colored facade, intricate ironwork, roof tiles, copper accents, and towering cypress and palm trees. The property feels a little like a palace in Spain or France —with California burritos and great surf just a few miles away.

Omni La Costa Resort & Spa

What used to be a celebrity retreat in the ‘60s has morphed into an expansive Mission-style resort spread out across 400 hilly acres in Carlsbad, an upscale coastal city with a surfer vibe 30 miles north of the airport. This place is all about the activities, and you can go as sweaty or as serene as you choose. The landscaping is immaculate, with palm trees, bougainvillea, and fountains. With 17 clay and hard tennis courts, a championship golf course, restaurants, and its own shopping complex, Omni La Costa feels more like a little city than a resort.

Hotel Del Coronado

The beachfront Victorian-style hotel is grand, a San Diego icon featured in the Marilyn Monroe flick Some Like It Hot. It feels less like a traditional resort and more like a retail complex open to the public, with shops, restaurants, walking paths, and an ice skating rink during the holidays (in addition to its guest rooms). The hotel offers old-school vibes with new-school luxury—and dogs are welcome, too.

Pendry

When Montage decided to open a line of trendy, design-centric hotels geared toward the millennial traveler, the company looked to San Diego for its inaugural outpost. This bright, 12-story hotel opened in early 2017 and brought some much-needed modernity to the Gaslamp Quarter, a downtown neighborhood that veers on the kitschy, touristy side. The lobby is spacious and sophisticated with hip twists, like staffers in plaid outfits—a nod to the hotel brand’s signature print.

Valley Eats: Sushi

We have reached the point of quarantine where we are missing the restaurants to eat that aren’t as easily made at home. Sushi, being the top contender of these restaurant categories. We have gathered a list of some of the best sushi spots for takeout! 

Banzai Sushi 

Location: 23508 Calabasas Rd, Calabasas, CA 91302

Located in Old Town Calabasas is this locally owned sushi shop with some of the freshest fish in the valley. Bright and beautiful take-out done by some of the best chefs in Southern California!

Kazunori

Locations: All throughout Los Angeles and the Valleys

The cousin to Sugarfish, is Kazunori. Offering only cut rolls in an on-brand bento box as well. With a focus on fresh fish, sweet rice, and crispy seaweed, this takeaway will not disappoint.

Sushi Iki 

Location: 18663 Ventura Blvd, Tarzana, CA 91356

Long considered the place to ball out on sushi in the Valley, this highly regarded, if a bit difficult to get into, omakase establishment features a savant chef and plenty of luxury ingredients. Because it has always been hard to get into, their takeout is the perfect excuse to indulge.

Sugarfish

Locations: All throughout Los Angeles, the Valleys, and the Westside.

A cult classic to locals and tourists alike is the takeaway sushi from Sugarfish. They have bento boxes with fresh Nigiri, Sashimi, and Cut Rolls. There is no fuss or frill on these rolls as the chefs at Sugarfish like to focus on the fresh fish with their sweet rice.

Sushi Note

Location: 13447 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

One of the Valley’s best new sushi entrants, Sushi Note takes the mastery of chef Kiminobu Saito’s excellent omakase and combines it with a fantastic wine pairing menu. They have a very good reasonably priced sushi takeaway experience with pristine fish, moderately seasoned rice, and great service.

LA Eats: Sushi

We have reached the point of quarantine where we are missing the restaurants to eat that aren’t as easily made at home. Sushi, being the top contender of these restaurant categories. We have gathered a list of some of the best sushi spots for takeout!

Sushi Ginza Onodera

609 La Cienega Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069

Head here for the ultimate high-end sushi experience not named Urasawa. This Tokyo import serves one ultra-expensive omakase menu featuring imported wares that are flown in daily. Their take out is surrounded by beautiful banana leaves in a beautiful bento box that compliment the bright colors of the fresh fish.

Sugarfish

Locations: All throughout Los Angeles, the Valleys, and the Westside.

A cult classic to locals and tourists alike is the takeaway sushi from Sugarfish. They have bento boxes with fresh Nigiri, Sashimi, and Cut Rolls. There is no fuss or frill on these rolls as the chefs at Sugarfish like to focus on the fresh fish with their sweet rice.

Sushi Gen

Location: 422 E 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Located in Downtown Los Angeles since 1980, this long-standing sushi restaurant has not skipped a beat during this quarantine. Locals love this authentic sushi experience, and they have made sure to deliver on their take out orders.

Sushi Enya

Location: 123 Washington Blvd, Venice CA 90292

One of the highest-rated sushi places on the westside that is not Nobu, you will find this gem that is steps away from the beach. Sourcing some of the freshest fish, this place will not disappoint.

Kazunori

Locations: All throughout Los Angeles and the Valleys

The cousin to Sugarfish, is Kazunori. Offering only cut rolls in an on-brand bento box as well. With a focus on fresh fish, sweet rice, and crispy seaweed, this takeaway will not disappoint.

Streaming: Lighthearted Netflix Series

Sometimes when you turn on the TV, you are not in the mood to watch something intense or nail-biting. When watching TV, you invest in these stories, and join the TV-verse— some would say it is an escape from the realities of the world. When you are in the mood for something that is easy to follow and filled with laughs, we have gathered a few series that are light and bright to watch!

Schitt’s Creek

This Canadian import took a season to find its rhythm, but it’s basically brilliant from season two on. Created by Daniel Levy and his father, Eugene Levy, it tells the story of a rich family forced to relocate to a small town after losing their fortune. Both Levys are hysterical, and the show really became something special when it started sketching in the eccentric characters who make up the small town that gives it a title. It’s one of the funniest shows of the decade.

Never Have I Ever

Mindy Kaling wrote this clever coming-of-age comedy that sounds totally generic on paper – a 15-year-old, played by the incredibly likable Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, navigates the treacherous world of being a teen girl. However, a show like this elevated by two things: a great cast and funny writing. This one has both.

Dead To Me

Christina Applegate does the best work of her career and Linda Cardellini nearly matches her in this mystery-comedy about grief, forgiveness, and murder. Applegate plays Jen, a Californian whose husband was recently killed in a hit-and-run. Jen meets Cardellini’s Judy in a grief support group and comes to learn that Judy has a connection to her husband’s murder. Funny, moving, and clever, this is one of Netflix’s best new shows in a long time.

The Good Place

The best comedy currently on network TV is this existential laugher about a woman who dies and goes to the titular location, but not everything is exactly as it seems. This is a show that works better in binge format than it does week to week as it’s incredibly difficult to watch just one and it’s really structured like one long film with the end of one episode often opening on the same scene in the next. The less you know about this great show’s twists and turns, the better. Just trust us.

New Girl

Doesn’t it feel like if New Girl had aired a decade or two earlier, it would have been a massive hit? It was still popular enough to produce 146 episodes, and this is some of the best sitcom comfort food you can find on Netflix. Zooey Deschanel is great, but this show really became better when it developed into a true ensemble piece, including great supporting work by Max Greenfield, Lamorne Morris, Hannah Simone, and, especially, Jake Johnson.

Santa Clarita Diet

Victor Fresco’s pitch-black comedy just launched its third season, and the show’s increasingly vocal and loyal fans were flabbergasted to learn it would be the last. Drew Barrymore stars as a California Realtor who, well, dies. She wakes up, though, and finds out that she has a craving for human flesh. Timothy Olyphant nearly steals the show as her put-upon-but-supportive husband. Somebody better pick this show up while Barrymore and Olyphant still have room in their schedules to do it.

Economic update for the week ending July 25, 2020

Stock markets dropped slightly this week – Following three straight weeks of gains, stocks retreated at the end of the week. The drop for the week was not significant, but stocks were up all week before retreating more sharply on Thursday and Friday. Key developments that caused investors to pull back were: U.S. China tensions are increasing over the accusations of China’s start, disclosure and response of the coronavirus. Chinese hacking and theft of intellectual property, including technology, business data, and coronavirus vaccine research. This led to an arrest of two Chinese Hackers and the U.S. ordering the Houston Chinese Consulate to shut down, which was followed by China closing a U.S. consulate in Chendgu.  Jobless claims rose reversing eight weeks of steady employment gains gains. The senate failed to get a stimulus package passed. It is feared that a package may not pass before many provisions, including pandemic unemployment benefits expire next week.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 26,469.89, down 0.8% from 26,671.95 last week. It’s down 7.3% year to date. The S&P 500 closed the week at 3,215.63 0.3% from 3,224.73 last week. It’s down 0.5%  year to date. The NASDAQ closed the week at 10,363.18, down 1.3% from 10,503.19 last week. It’s up 15.5% year to date.

U.S. Treasury bond yields – The 10-year treasury bond closed the week yielding 0.59%, down from 0.64% last week. The 30-year treasury bond yield ended the week at 1.23%, down from 1.33% last week.

Mortgage rates – The July 23, 2020 Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey reported mortgage rates for the most popular loan products as follows: The 30-year fixed mortgage rate average was 3.01%, almost unchanged from 2.98%  last week. The 15-year fixed was 2.54%, up from 2.48% last week. The 5-year ARM was 3.09%, up from 3.06% last week.

U.S. existing home sales rebounded at a record pace in June – The National Association of Realtors announced that total existing home sales, which include single family, condominium, townhomes, and co-ops, increased 20.7% in June from the number of sales in May. This reversed three months of sales declines caused by the pandemic. Real estate sales in all regions of the country reported record month over month increases in sales. The number of sales were still down 11.4% from the number of sales last June, but pending sales have increased and the N.A.R. and associations around the country expect sales to be back up to last years levels in the next two months. The median price paid for a home was up 3.5% from the price paid last June. Inventory levels dropped to a 4 month supply, down from 4.3 months one year ago.

Home Tips: Easy Tips to Lower Your Electric Bill

Unplug Unused Devices

Did you know that 23% of all household electricity usage can be saved if you eliminate what is referred to as a “vampire load” — A vampire load applies to something that is plugged in while not in use. If you notice the device may be warm, buzz, or exhibit signs of use even when not in use, that is a vampire load. Unplugging devices while not in use will create big savings on energy and money. If you have trouble with that, plugging multiple devices into a power strip and turning off the strip while not in use may be simpler than having to unplug and plugin multiple devices. Even a phone charger uses electricity when not in use!

Change Your Lightbulbs

LED lightbulbs to save energy, yet many people have not switched from traditional bulbs. LED bulbs cost about the same upfront, but last 10-20 times longer. They generate less heat than traditional bulbs which can save as much as 20% of air conditioning costs. LED bulbs are also more efficient and use 5-10% less electricity. All in all, replacing all your bulbs with LEDs can save you up to 10% of your yearly electrical costs.

Smart Thermostats

Using heating or cooling when you don’t need it can cost a significant amount. Do you ever turn down the temperature and forget to turn it back up when you leave the home in the summer, or the opposite in the winter? A smart thermostat is not only programmable to revert back automatically, but it can also be accessed by you remotely if you want to change the temperature from outside the home. If you went on vacation and don’t need to cool or heat your home, but forgot these smart thermostats can be reprogrammed from your phone. A programmable thermostat can save you 10-20% of your AC costs, and a smart thermostat can save you an additional 10-12% according to Nest, a manufacturer of smart thermostats.

Timing Your Energy Use

Did you know that utility companies often charge different rates at different times of the day? Basically, costs are higher during peak times. Your electrical bill should detail rates and times, if not it’s readily available from your utility company. Try to do laundry and other tasks when the costs are lower.

Do Full Loads

When washing clothes or dishes, do full loads. It doesn’t cost any more to run a cycle with a full load of dishes or clothes than a small load. If you wait for a full load you can cut down the number of loads you do. Doing 25% fewer loads will save you 25%! Just waiting for a full load can do that.