West Hollywood, CA Real Estate News

By Robert Leighton
(Sotheby's International Realty)
News about West Hollywood , California real estate isn't so bad after all.  You can now find more housing inventory in West Hollywood , and this has been a long time coming.  The best news is for the buyers, as home prices continue to fall.  The falling home prices are allowing for some amazing properties to be purchased; properties that were once unaffordable.  Currently, West Hollywood has some great new Condominiums and Townhouses that have been reduced.  Many have open floor plans, top of the line fixtures, state of the art appliances, outdoor space and awesome architecture.  All these great features make these properties a good deal for anyone wanting to live in luxury while, also, making an excellent investment in their future.  Since there are more developments popping up, buyers...
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By COMPASS PALM SPRINGS | Stewart Penn, COMPASS Palm Springs - Broker Associate
(COMPASS)
A repeat client of mine wants to buy another property in Los Angeles. Since there are a number of Bank owned properties on the market we decided to specifically view these type of Listings. After viewing several houses we finally found one, that although was in a grossly neglected condition with all the appliance and bathroom fixtures having been ripped out, my client decided to offer on. Monday 7/28/08 - I called the "Listing Agent" (who is a prominent agent with a large national brokerage) in order to discuss the terms required by the Bank that owned the property. I was told I needed to speak to her assistant. When my call was transferred to the assistant's extension, I received her voice mail and left a message. Tuesday 7/29/08 - I hadn't heard back so I called again. Tthis time I wa...
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By COMPASS PALM SPRINGS | Stewart Penn, COMPASS Palm Springs - Broker Associate
(COMPASS)
JULY 2008 CONDOS: () Previous Month Figures Median Price: $421,000 ($585,000)  Average Selling Price: $508,928 ($657,400) Average List Price: $533,604 ($687,343) Therefore, Average Sales Price was  95.3% (95.6%) of List Price Lowest Price Condo Sold: $270,000 ($375,000) Highest Price Condo Sold: $905,000 ($1,150,000) Number of Listings Sold: 21 (30) MEDIAN SALES PRICES: July 2008: $421,000 June 2008: $585,000 May 2008 - $519,000 April 2008 - $516,500 March 2008 - $615,000 February 2008 - $618,250 January 2008 - $620,000 For further information, please contact:  Stewart Penn - Realtor/Broker - " West Hollywood Condo Specialist"
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By COMPASS PALM SPRINGS | Stewart Penn, COMPASS Palm Springs - Broker Associate
(COMPASS)
"Congress can force White House aides to testify under subpoena" a U.S. District Court ruled today - rejecting the Bush administration's claims of immunity. "Harriet Miers is not immune from compelled congressional process; she is legally required to testify pursuant to a duly issued congressional subpoena," Bates wrote. The Judge ruled that Harriet Miers (former white House Counsel) is not immune from congressional subpoenas. The White House has been resisting, claiming she cannot be compelled to appear. The White House position "is without any support in case law," Judge John D. Bates wrote in a 93-page opinion released today. He said the notion that "Miers is absolutely immune from compelled congressional process" is "unprecedented." Does this mean that Harriet Miers, Karl Rove, Josh...
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By COMPASS PALM SPRINGS | Stewart Penn, COMPASS Palm Springs - Broker Associate
(COMPASS)
Have you noticed how often (and with such ease) the Financial World refers to hundreds of Millions, Billions, and even Trillions of Dollars? The news is filled with stories of banks losing billions of dollars per quarter while oil companies make tens of billions in record profits. Companies are being bought for astronomical amounts and wealthy individuals' worth continues to grow. Forbes estimates there are 1125 Billionaires in the world with a total net worth of $4.4 trillion, up $900 billion from last year. This year Bill Gates was replaced as the richest man in the world (with an estimated worth of $58 Billion) by Warren Buffet (with an estimated worth of $62 Billion). In fact, Gates is now number three on the list, with Mexican telecom mogul Carlos Slim Helú earning second place (es...
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By COMPASS PALM SPRINGS | Stewart Penn, COMPASS Palm Springs - Broker Associate
(COMPASS)
On Monday this week, Merrill Lynch sold a $30.6 billion portfolio of mortgage debt for 22 cents on the dollar. The portfolio was sold to the Lone Star Funds, a Dallas-based investor. The deal will make you shake your head and wonder what Senior Management at Merrill is thinking: Lone Star paid $1.7 Billion and Merrill financed the rest of the deal. Effectively Merrill is still on the hook for for any losses in the portfolio beyond the downpayment made by Lone Star. Merrill is raising additional capital ($8.5 Billion) by issuing new stock which will further dilute existing owner's stakes.
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By COMPASS PALM SPRINGS | Stewart Penn, COMPASS Palm Springs - Broker Associate
(COMPASS)
West Hollywood - Tuesday 11: 50am Everything around me started swaying and the building was shaking. The was a rolling sensation, much like standing on deck of a ship in the middle of the ocean. The earthquake occurred 7.6 miles deep in the earth at 11:42am (PDT) and lasted for, what seemed like, about 20 seconds. Fortunately there appears to be no damage and noting fell over or fell of the walls. People are bracing for after-shocks. Stay tuned...........
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By COMPASS PALM SPRINGS | Stewart Penn, COMPASS Palm Springs - Broker Associate
(COMPASS)
As has been widely publicized, Starbucks is undergoing some big changes. This is all part of Howard Schulz's strategy to make starbucks the "Wall Street" winner it was in the past. For starters Starbucks is closing a few hundred of their less profitable stores and will cut about 1000 jobs. Then they're reworking their breakfast menu so that the smell that upset their morning customers no longer inteferres with the coffee aroma in the stores. Today I received a card in the mail telling me about the new drink/smoothie available at Stabucks: it's called the "Sorbetto". Apparently it's "Icy", "Italian" and "Cool".  I then checked their website and noticed they've also introduced a "nourishing blend" of smoothies called The "Vivanno". Starbucks' share price is around $15.00 - that's off it's...
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By COMPASS PALM SPRINGS | Stewart Penn, COMPASS Palm Springs - Broker Associate
(COMPASS)
"The Internet is getting bigger and more disorganized every day". "Cuil's goal is to solve the two great problems of search: how to index the whole Internet-not just part of it-and how to analyze and sort out its pages so you get relevant results". I read with interest about the new seach engine - Cuil (pronounced "Cool")- that is meant to rival Google. Deigned by ex-Google employees, the new search engine is meant to give a more comprehensive search while protecting users's privacy. So I tried it. I know it's just been launched, but my initial reaction was one of disappointment. I searched my own business - "Penn Properties" - and although it appeared on the first page of searches, it had unrelated images as part of the search. Unless there's a major revision of the layout and search r...
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By COMPASS PALM SPRINGS | Stewart Penn, COMPASS Palm Springs - Broker Associate
(COMPASS)
Jeff Lewis on Flipping Out ..... Like one who reluctantly watches an accident, I occassionaly watch "Flipping Out" on Bravo TV. "Flipping Out" features a mean spirited, obsessive-compulsive house-flipper, Jeff Lewis. With a depressed real estate market prevailing, Jeff Lewis is now handling large remodelling projects for clients. He does however, still have a Los Angeles property that he and his business partner - Ryan Brown - purchased in March 2007 for $1,710,000, remodeled, and are now trying to sell. This property on Valley Oak Drive in Los Feliz was originally listed in April 2008 for $3,195,000. In May it was reduced to $2,995,000, was further reduce to $2,795,000 in June and in July was finally reduced to $2,595,000. That's a reduction of almost 19% of the original Listing Price...
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By COMPASS PALM SPRINGS | Stewart Penn, COMPASS Palm Springs - Broker Associate
(COMPASS)
As more and more Buyers and Sellers use the interenet to research their decision to buy or sell property, online sites are claiming to provide useable statistics for consumers. My gripe is with Zillow which provides Zestimates for properties. The "Zestimate" is "Zillow's estimated market value computed using a propretary formula".  I have recently found that an increasing number of Zillow's estimates are way off the mark: I had one Seller show me the Zestimate for his property which was over 20% above the realistic market price for his home; and another property's Zestimate was 20% under the realistic market price of that house. So I checked my own home and found Zillow's Zestimate was a whopping 56% higher than a realistic selling price in the current market. I'm tempted to offer my ho...
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By COMPASS PALM SPRINGS | Stewart Penn, COMPASS Palm Springs - Broker Associate
(COMPASS)
Tesla - Now in production, the ultimate electric car is available for order. With the urgent focus on reducing our dependance on foreign oil, this technology is more relevant than ever before. 100% Electric / 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 125 mph / 220 miles per charge / and as little as 3.5 hours per complete charge. The vehicle is equipped with all the features of regular production luxury cars, including air conditioning and heater, heated sport seats with lumbar support, cruise control, and touch screen vehicle information display. The car also has sophisticated safety features like anti-lock braking systems (ABS), traction control, tire pressure monitoring system, and a rigid occupant safety cell. According to the Tesla website, Electric Cars don't have to be as comple...
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By COMPASS PALM SPRINGS | Stewart Penn, COMPASS Palm Springs - Broker Associate
(COMPASS)
Candy Spelling, widow of TV mogul Aaron Spelling, has purchased the top two floors of a new condo development in Century City, Los Angeles for an astounding $47 Million. The 16,500-sq.-ft. penthouse is on the top floor of a residential tower ("The Century") currently under construction and is the highest price ever paid for a condo unit in Los Angeles. She's paying $2,848 a square foot.  The previous record of $2,700 was set at the same Century City tower project in February 2008. It is being reported that the Master Bedroom Suite will measure 4000 sq ft. Mrs. Spelling is downsizing her lifestyle by moving from her 123-room, 56,500-square-foot mansion in Holmby Hills in Los Angeles (The largest home in LA County). The house is For Sale with an asking price of $150 Million.
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By COMPASS PALM SPRINGS | Stewart Penn, COMPASS Palm Springs - Broker Associate
(COMPASS)
Legendary oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens promoting his new cause - using American wind to alleviate the nation's energy crisis and wean itself from dependency on foreign oil. Pickens' plan calls for investing in enough wind turbines to provide 20% of the nation's energy and reducing oil imports by a third in 10 years. This initiative requires the immediate extension of federal production tax credits to encourage strategic long-term investments to bring large amounts of wind power from windy areas to population centers." According to the DOE technical report, achieving a 20% wind contribution to U.S. electricity supply by 20% would: - Reduce carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation by 25% in 2030; - Reduce natural gas use by 11%, which would in turn lower the pressure on natural...
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By COMPASS PALM SPRINGS | Stewart Penn, COMPASS Palm Springs - Broker Associate
(COMPASS)
Do you know what a "Wind Farm" is? A wind farm is a group of wind turbines in the same location used for production of electric power. Individual turbines are interconnected with a medium voltage power collection system and communications network - Wikipedia I was interested to read that New York based Blackstone Group LP - said Tuesday it has partnered with German wind energy developer Windland Energieerzeugungs GmbH to build a wind farm off Germany's northern coast at a cost of more than $1.6 billion. As far as I'm concerned that a sensible and logical investment in the future. "The project supports the German government's stated objective of fighting global warming by reduction of its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by the year 2020," Blackstone said in a statement. The 80-tur...
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By COMPASS PALM SPRINGS | Stewart Penn, COMPASS Palm Springs - Broker Associate
(COMPASS)
These are the 10 States with the highest levels of adult obesity, according to a 2007 survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 1.   Mississippi, 32.0 percent2.   Alabama, 30.33.   Tennessee, 30.14.   Louisiana, 29.85.   West Virginia, 29.56.   Arkansas, 28.77.   South Carolina, 28.48.   Georgia, 28.29.   Oklahoma, 28.110. Texas, 28.1 Source: Associated Press - CNN Online Fortunately, I live in California .......:)
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By COMPASS PALM SPRINGS | Stewart Penn, COMPASS Palm Springs - Broker Associate
(COMPASS)
"Oil prices fell steeply Thursday, extending this week's decline to more than $14 a barrel, as natural gas prices tumbled and a report suggested that the United States may be establishing a diplomatic presence in Iran" - CNN Business News It appears that the US Government is finally taking concrete steps to communicate with Iran, the second-largest producing member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Press Reports indicate that the U.S. may announce a diplomatic interest section in Tehran (which would mark the first step to a permanent embassy) in less than a month. Accordingly, if the belief is that there will not be a disruption in the oil supply from Iran, are current prices justified? Does this signal the artifical surge in oil prices is about to reverse? Is the "O...
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By COMPASS PALM SPRINGS | Stewart Penn, COMPASS Palm Springs - Broker Associate
(COMPASS)
"The California Supreme Court has cleared the way for Californians to vote in November on whether to ban same-sex marriages in the state." " The court on Wednesday denied a petition to remove the initiative from the state's general election ballots. The unanimous decision was handed down without elaboration. On June 2, opponents of same-sex marriage filed for a ballot initiative that would ban such marriages in the state's constitution. Such a ban would overturn the court's May ruling (permitting same sex marriages)." - CNN Online Will Californians proceed with unlawful discrimination by banning gay-marriage in the State's Constitution? Isn't the Constitution designed to protect, rather than remove, equal rights? Would someone please explain to me how same-sex marriages would effect het...
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By COMPASS PALM SPRINGS | Stewart Penn, COMPASS Palm Springs - Broker Associate
(COMPASS)
With the failure of Indymac Bank we should all be reminded to check that our money is adequately insured. The FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) insures bank deposits of up to $100,000 and up to $250,000 for funds in retirement accounts such as an IRA. Brokerage products are not FDIC insured. The SIPC (Securities Investors Protection Corporation) protects investors where a brokerage firm goes out of business and if that firm is a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), then your cash and securities held by the brokerage firm may be protected up to $500,000, including a $100,000 limit for cash. SIPC covers most types of securities, such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. But SIPC does not protect you against losses caused by a decline in the market val...
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By Robert Leighton
(Sotheby's International Realty)
West Hollywood is finally swinging into action for its city park's overhaul after deciding on an architect.  The new architects will be Pugh & Scarpa Architects, Inc. The architects were approved for phase I for the city's 25th Anniversary Capital Improvement Campaign by the city council.  The $2.32 million contract will completely renovate Plummer Park by redoing Fiesta Hall and turning it into a multi-use performance venue.  They will also create 179 subterranean parking spaces, add one acre of green space, add a water feature, and a new playground with a tiny-tot program building. Pugh & Scarpa Architects, Inc. will be responsible for Construction Phase, Design Development Phase, Site Planning Phase, Construction Document Phase, Schematic Design Phase, and Pre Design Programming. The...
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