P!nk Selling Home in L.A.

Pop star P!nk is selling her former residence in the San Fernando Valley for $4 million. Lou Woolf of Rodeo Realty’s Sherman Oaks office is the listing agent.

Situated on a gated 30,000 square foot lot, the private park-like grounds include an Infinity pool, grotto cave/spa that’s hidden behind a waterfall, BBQ pavilion, and plenty of greenery.
The 4,435 square foot , four bedroom, 5 bath Spanish-style home has a double door entry, kitchen with SubZero(R), Viking(R), and Jenn-Air(R) appliances, wine storage, and more.
For more information contact Lou Woolf at (818) 692-9653, (866) 438-9653 or LAWoolf@aol.com. His Web site is http://www.louwoolf.com/

Family Picnic for a Good Cause

The UCLA Craniofacial Clinic and the Facing Forward Foundation are hosting an end-of-summer picnic this weekend! There will be food and games for the whole family. Here are the details:

Date: Sunday, August 14th, 2011

Time: 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Place: Sunset Canyon Recreation Center (UCLA Campus)

111 De Neve Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90024

Directions: Take Sunset Blvd. (going eastbound) to Bellagio and turn
right. At the 1st stop sign which is De Neve Dr., turn right
and you will have arrived at Lot 11. PARKING IS INCLUDED.

Please RSVP no later than AUGUST 12th, 2011 by calling (310) 866-0523 or email: gjones3939@aol.com / uclacfc@mednet.ucla.edu

Mortgage Rates Continue to Drop

This week has been a roller coaster ride for the stock market and economy. One positive for the week, for home buyers and sellers at least, is mortgage rates continue to decline

Yesterday, Freddie Mac released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing mortgage rates continuing to decline with the 30-year fixed averaging 4.32 percent marking a new low for 2011, and the 15-year fixed, 5-year ARM, and 1-year ARM averaging new all-time record lows this week.

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.32 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending August 11, 2011, down from last week when it averaged 4.39 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.44 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.50 percent with an average 0.7 point, down from last week when it also averaged 3.54 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.92 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.13 percent this week, with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.18 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.56 percent.
  • 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.89 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.02 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 3.53 percent.

Quotes from Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist of Freddie Mac.

“Renewed market concerns about the European debt markets led investors to shift funds into U.S. Treasuries, pushing long-term yields lower. Further, in its August 9th Federal Open Market Committee statement, the Federal Reserve noted that economic growth so far this year had been considerably slower than it expected and that overall labor market conditions had deteriorated in recent months, leading the Committee to conclude that an exceptionally low federal funds rate should be maintained at least through mid-2013. These developments helped to ease mortgage rates lower this week.

“Lower mortgage rates will help to maintain the high degree of home-buyer affordability in the market. The National Association of Realtors® reported that its affordability index over the past three quarters has indicated the highest affordability since the inception of the index in 1970.”

Jonathan Littman Buys 'Entourage' House

Jill Krutchik of Rodeo Realty’s Encino office recently represented “Amazing Race” producer Jonathan Littman in the purchase of a $4.2 million home. Littman is an executive at Jerry Bruckheimer Television who has also produced shows such as “CSI” and “Chase.”
The Los Angeles Times published the story yesterday. Here’s the link: http://www.latimes.com/business/realestate/la-hm-hotprop-jonathan-littman-20110803,0,1790227.story. The home was also the setting for Season 7 of the hit television series “Entourage.”

The  gated one-story Tuscan Villa boasts 9,010 sq.ft, 7 bedrooms, 10 baths, 7 fireplaces, media room, study and a casita for guests. Venetian plaster decorates many of the interior walls, and there are 22′ exposed truss beamed ceilings in the living room, kitchen and great room.
The master suite has richly tiled baths, large exercise room, closets, and French doors leading to a private patio and secluded outdoor whirlpool bath. All other bedrooms are en-suite and have their own lounges for TV, computers or playrooms.
Flooring in the home includes walnut, tumbled and polished marble, and limestone throughout the bathrooms. The large lot features an iridescent mosaic-tiled pool, spa and waterfall. There is an additional 1,975 sq. ft. of outdoor living including a chef’s gourmet kitchen, BBQ, granite counters, bar and fireplace.
Bob Hurwitz of Hurwitz James Co., Beverly Hills had the listing.

Rodeo Realty Voted Best Real Estate Company

The numbers are in, and Rodeo Realty was voted the “Best Real Estate Company” by readers of the Los Angeles Daily News! Here’s a snapshot of the the award we received at our corporate headquarters in Beverly Hills.

Syd Leibovitch founded Rodeo Realty in 1986. It’s now one of the largest independently owned residential real estate firms in California, with more than 1,000 agents and 11 offices in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. Affiliate companies include: L.A. Mortgage, Encore Escrow and Progressive Title.
Thank you to the Daily News, readers of the Daily News, our clients and our agents and brokers!

Save the Reefs Save the Oceans Gala 2011

Photo courtesy of Reef Check California
Stretching over 1,000 miles, California’s coastline is the gateway to a unique and often under-appreciated marine ecosystem, according to the international non-profit organization Reef Check. Offshore, just below the surface, kelp forests and rocky reefs play home to a vast array of marine life that supports a variety of human uses.
Unfortunately, like reefs around the world, the rapid growth of California’s population, coastal development, pollution, and overfishing have placed increasing demands on these nearshore resources. Many organisms that were previously common in high numbers, like abalone, are now almost gone.
What does this have to do with real estate? Well, these natural resources are one of the biggest reasons people choose to purchase homes, launch businesses and otherwise stake their claim on the Golden State’s coastal communities. Preserving the health of our reefs, coastline and ocean is critical for the future of California.

If this is an issue close to your heart, consider attending the Reef Check Foundation’s “Save the Reefs, Save the Oceans Gala 2011” on Friday, September 16. Sponsorship opportunities are available, and the organization is seeking donations for an auction.
Reef Check California -the local branch of the worldwide organization- aims to build a network of informed and involved citizens who support the sustainable use and conservation of our nearshore marine resources. To accomplish this, volunteers are trained to carry out surveys of nearshore reefs providing data on the status of key indicator species.

Photo courtesy of Reef Check California

Photo courtesy of Reef Check California


The benefit will take place at the Jonathan Beach Club in Santa Monica. It will be a casual “toes in the sand” evening featuring never-before-seen footage from the world’s leading underwater filmmakers. There will also be an opportunity to meet some of the thousands of volunteer divers who monitor these essential natural resources.
The evening will recognize the contributions of three “Heroes of the Reef,” each having demonstrated an exemplary commitment to ocean conservation.
For more information visit: http://reefcheck.org/events/gala2011/ or call Reef Check at: (310) 230-2371.

Marion Davies' Former Home in Beverly Hills

The former residence of Marion Davies in Beverly Hills has sold for $9.3 million. See it in L.A. Times Hot Properties at: http://www.latimes.com/features/home/la-hm-hotprop-marion-davies-20110728,0,7359696.story. The villa-style mansion north of Sunset Blvd. is said to have originally been purchased for Davies by William Randolph Hearst.

The home was once owned by Harry Cohn, early president and production director of Columbia Pictures. And it was owned by the late screenwriter, novelist and playwright Aleen Leslie and her husband Jacques Leslie, a prominent entertainment lawyer.

Built in 1923, the 6,100 square foot home is situated on approximately 1.5 acres of greenery close to the Beverly Hills Hotel. It has 5 bedrooms, 5-and-a-half baths, circular drive and a crafted two-story entry.

Upon entering the home, there is a step-down paneled living room with leaded windows, fireplace and detailed plaster ceiling. Across the back of the house is a grand salon with doors opening to a large portico, tree-rimmed garden and pool.

Rudolph Valentino and Charlie Chaplin are just a couple of the Old Hollywood film icons said to have once visited the estate. Peter Wendel of Coldwell Banker was the listing agent. Joe Babajian of Rodeo Realty in Beverly Hills represented the buyer.

Home of the Week: Secluded Spanish-style Estate

This Spanish-style home, located east of La Cienega and south of Santa Monica Blvd. on L.A.’s Westside, was originally built in 1928. The large compound consists of the main house, which has 3 bedrooms and 2.75 baths, and a detached second architectural house with 2 bedrooms and two baths.

The main house features a formal dining room, round breakfast room with rotunda, high-end kitchen, and living room with ornate fireplace. The second house has two stories, fireplace in one of the bedrooms, large terrace, gardens, fountains and exterior entertaining spaces.
The mini estate/compound is hedged, double gated and extremely private. It’s perfect for celebrity home buyers, according to listing agent Rob Johnson of Rodeo Realty’s Sunset Strip office. The property is priced at $3,295,000. Rob Johnson can be contacted at (310) 461-0400.

Rodeo Realty Moves Headquarters to Beverly Hills

Rodeo Realty is moving its headquarters office from 600 North Sepulveda Blvd. in Bel Air, Calif. to 266 N. Beverly Drive in prime Beverly Hills, Calif. 90210. The new location is in close proximity to the company’s Beverly Hills branch at 202 N. Canon.

266 North Beverly Drive – Beverly Hills, Calif. 90210

The headquarters office is home to Rodeo Realty’s administrative offices, advertising department, graphic design department, print and mail shops, information technology department and public relations department.
The main number, (310) 471-2600, and other headquarters office numbers will stay the same.

QR Codes and Real Estate

As most real estate agents, home buyers and home sellers know, technology plays a major role in marketing homes these days. Social networking, the Internet, smartphones, and other gizmos and gadgets, are all staples of the trade. Some agents estimate 80 percent or more of home buyers begin their property searches online.

Rodeo Realty has always been on the cutting-edge of marketing technology. So in an effort to take another step forward, we are beginning to use what’s known as QR codes. The bar codes, which kind of look like figures out of the 1980s video game “Space Invaders,” will soon be included on all of the company’s newspaper advertisements.

Consumers can download a mobile phone application that allows them to take a picture of the QR code. After taking the picture, the mobile phone automatically downloads a Web site with property listings.
Rodeo Realty’s QR code
If the consumer plugs in their geographic coordinates, the application will also allow them to view listings within a 10 mile radius from where they’re standing. In addition to including QR codes on newspaper advertisements, Rodeo Realty plans on placing them on For Sale signs. Our in-house information technology (IT) department can provide QR codes for agents creating property Web sites.

Is this just a fad or a legitimate and long-term tool for advertising? Data shows a significant increase in the use of QR codes. Scanning grew 1,200 percent from July to December 2010, according to the mobile payment and marketing company Mobio Identity Systems.
Scanning codes to receive information on a product or service makes up for 87 percent of usage. Payment scans only make up for 5 percent. This is good news for real estate agents, since Rodeo Realty’s codes will primarily be used for information about properties.
Sample of how QR code might look on Rodeo Realty sign.
The majority of QR scanning is coming from individuals in the 35-44 years of age bracket, according to Mobio. And steady adoption is being seen amongst all age brackets between 18 and 54 years of age.
Rodeo Realty’s IT department is constantly developing new ways to help agents and their clients effectively use technology to market their properties. Stay tuned for more information about the IT department, QR codes, and other technology tools of the real estate trade.