Homes for Sale

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Save $250 a Month in Expenses and Buy a Bigger Home - No Lifestyle Change Required.

When you are considering buying a home, the first consideration is affordability. As the current real estate market continues to favor sellers, prices are going up, making your ideal home more difficult to afford. You can dramatically impact the affordability by lowering your monthly expenses. We all know that might mean things like downsizing our cars or eating out less.

However, here is an amazing list of ways to shave off $10 here, $50 there, and sometimes hundreds of dollars per month. With those savings, you can quickly pay down credit cards, thereby lower monthly expenses further and improving your credit score. Check out the list.

  1. Get rid of recurring charges you don’t need anymore – Go through every bank statement and every credit card statement. Look for recurring charges that you have forgotten about from online resources, magazine drives, newspaper subscriptions, and more. We’ll assume you find one of these at $10 a month. You might find way more.
  2. Call your cable TV provider. Tell them you are considering going off grid or switching to satellite. If you have satellite, call the provider and tell them you are thinking of switching to cable. Watch the dance begin. You are very likely to end up with at least $20 or more in savings. Now call the competition with your new rate and see what they will do. You are likely to end up with the same or better rate and some kind of promotional money or free stuff for switching.
  3. Go off the grid on cable. Between Apple TV, Hulu, NetFlicks, RedBox, Amazon Prime, and other TV offers, it is hard to justify any upgrades to basic service on cable or satellite. The savings for getting off of cable could easily be $50 or more.
  4. On to your cell phone, internet, and land line providers. This gets a bit more complicated, but the cost of all of this is dropping fast. By changing providers, bundling, unbundling, and just shopping, you are very likely to end up saving another $30 a month and improving MBPS. Recently I tried to end my land line service, but the bundle cost less with it that without. 
  5. Saving on your utilities. The water company (at least in California) will be happy to help you cut down your water use. Check with your supplier to find out how to get free or reduced costs products to reduce use in bathrooms and irrigation. Then check to see what the recommended water needs are for your yard. The electric company will help you with lighting and other ways to save on electricity. LED lights are fantastic and save a huge amount of money. Switch appliances to natural gas to save even more. Saving $25 or more per month for these changes should be a cinch.
  6. Budget. Keep a penny by penny ledger of all expenses for three months. There are many online tools that can help with this process. Once you see where the money is going, you will almost certainly be able to find ways to cut that won't hurt even a little bit. We’ll put this down as $25.
  7. Shop your car insurance. We have 4 drivers on the policy, so your results may vary. Don’t forget to check Costco or AAA. It is not unusual to save $100 or more. You should also review your other insurance policies annually to make sure you have the coverage you need, and to see about savings on rates. Life insurance is another very likely savings point.
  8. Speaking of Costco. The savings by purchasing your groceries and other items at Costco are real and significant. Costco marks up all items by 15%. What they buy for $10.00, you pay only $11.50.  Most discount department stores mark up 50% to $100.  So you would pay $15.00 - $20.00. I know you have to buy huge quantities. Find nooks all over the house for storing commodities. Buy and extra freezer. A one-time small cost for huge savings. Multiple online sources report Costco as cheaper than Walmart, Sam’s, and Amazon Prime. Imagine the savings compared to your local chain market. Potential savings of at least $25 per month per person.
  9. Amazon Prime. When it isn't a Costco item, why not buy on Amazon Prime?!? Pricey toothpaste, supplements, household items and more are almost always cheaper on Amazon than at Target or CVS. And there is no freight and no auto expense. When you need more, you have a record of what you bought. Savings of another $10 per person per month.
  10. Get rid of any high interest credit card. Use the savings from these other suggestions to first pay off all credit cards with interest rates higher than your mortgage interest rate. The only good use for a credit card is to build credit. Pay them off every month. Or get an interest free credit card and transfer all balances into the interest free card. If you owe $10,000 on credit cards that charge interest and you put this on an 18 month no interest card, you’ll pay 3% for the transfer ($300) and save at least $1800 if you pay the card off in the 18 months for a savings of $100 a month. Most families will save at least $25 per month. If you owe more than that, try a credit union for a low interest loan. If you owe a lot more, consider a HELOC.
  11. Take your lunch to work. Eating out a lunch is expensive and usually not great for your waistline. A normal lunch your make at home will cost under $2.50. Savings of $100 a month and maybe 10,000 calories.
  12. We promised not to suggest changes to lifestyle, but if you want to add another huge amount of savings, get rid of one expensive, useless or worse, habit. Smoking, buying booze in bars, daily Starbucks, fast food, gambling (including lotto.)  This could be the biggest savings of all. An expense of just $10 per day is $300 a month. 

If you are getting ready to buy or sell a home or other residential real estate, Whit Prouty is ready to help you. He is one of the top Realtors in the Los Angeles area and can help you get top dollar for your current home and/or help you find the perfect new residence. Call Whit at 310-777-6302

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Amazing Remodeled Duplex in South West Los Angeles - Live in One, Rent One, or Rent Both - Reduced to $620,000

Fantastic opportunity to own this newly completed conversion from a single family home to a DUPLEX. Taken down to the studs, reconfigured, remodeled, square footage added, Ready for your new "market rent" tenants, or live in one and rent one out.

This is a wonderful trophy property. One unit has 2 beds and 2 baths, and another unit has 1 bed and 1 bath. There is a detached garage with additional space, and an attached car port. Both the front and back yard have been completely landscaped and the property is fenced and gated. Each unit has beautiful laminate flooring, stone countertops, new stainless steel appliances, custom cabinetry, recessed lighting, new heating, new double pane windows, all new drywall and electric.

This property is Turn-Key. There is a beautiful deck for entertaining in the back with banana trees, a pond and waterfall, and lush grassy area.

All of this, and you are only blocks from USC, Exposition Park, California Science Center, The Coliseum, The Sports Arena, the 110 Freeway and all of Downtown LA is just minutes from this location. Plenty of Shopping and Public Transportation within walking distance.

Facts and Features
Type - Multi Family
Year Built - 1921
Parking - 4 spaces
MLS # - 18-349520
Price/sqft  - $483
Interior Features
Bedrooms - 3
Bathrooms - 3
Heating: Wall
Floor size: 1,284 sqft
Flooring: Laminate
Unit count: 2 Units
PropertyType: Residential Income Duplex
Roof: Asphalt
Dates - Built in 1921
Other Construction Features
Lot: 6,756 sqft
Parcel #: 5020007035
Community and Neighborhood
Carport, 4 spaces
ParkingGarage: Garage - 1 Car, Driveway Gate
May 2017 for $387,000
Equipment: Range/Oven, Alarm System
New Construction, Updated/Remodeled
Los Angeles Southwest
Laundry: Outside

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Will $120 per Month Stop the Purchase of a $1,000,000 Home?

We have finally come to the end of the amazing and historically unique time when mortgage interest rates on 30-year fixed mortgages hovered around 4%, even dropping to under 3.5% for a while. But we are now seeing interest rates headed up. Surprising, this aberration did not result In a massive influx of new home purchases or of new home building. The reasons for this are many and varied. But while the US enjoyed these rates, the main benefactors were existing homeowners who refinanced.

Simultaneously, the lack of new residential construction and the inclination for seniors to age-in-place, created shortages in available homes and apartments to buy or rent, driving prices and rents up rapidly.

Now the pundits and some in the real estate industry are panicking over the interest rate increases, with mortgage interest in the late Spring of 2018 reaching over 4.75%. In the historical context, these rates are still very low. To give a bit of context:

From 1900 – 1967 rates were narrowly confined between 5% and 6%, except for a brief time at the end of WWII.

From 1967 – 2007 Rates ran up starting in 1967 all the way through the housing bubble bust of 2007. During this period rates were well above 6%, climbing as high as 17% in the credit crisis of 1982.

2007 – 2018. The housing bust, bank debacle, great recession combination drove mortgage interest rates to unimagined lows for over a decade. With the economy getting stronger, the Fed has seen fit to increase Fed Funds Rates and is starting to sell off assets purchased to keep the economy from crashing. The net intended affect is to send all interest rates higher to stave off potential inflation above the Fed goal of 2% annually.

Thus far in the 2018, we’ve seen rates increases that the headlines have described as the fastest increases in history. There seems to be some panic around all this. However, there is every reason to believe that rates will eventually settle into the 5%-6% range that seems to “normal” outside of extenuating circumstances. 

Will we have extenuating circumstances? Who can know? The primary driver of mortgage interest rates is bond interest rates and Federal Reserve rates. Some would argue that we have a bond bubble caused by massive borrowing in the government and public spheres. If that were to bust, we could see bond rates go much higher. Very few are expecting that in the near term.

The economy could accelerate out of control, creating inflation, and Federal Reserve efforts to slow the economy down using higher interest rates. It is hard to find anyone predicting economic growth above 4%, and most seem to agree that the economy could grow quite a bit without serious inflation.

What does all this mean to the average citizen who owns a home or is contemplating purchasing a home?

The big worry is that higher interest rates means that the cost of ownership goes up. But while every decision about purchasing can be affected by small incremental changes, the increases here would seem unlikely to do much damage in the overheated real estate market.

As noted in the headline, each increase in the interest rate of 0.25%, from say 4.5% to 4.75% will increase the payment on a $1,000,000 home by $120 a month or about 0.025% of the payment of $2450 (including property tax, insurance, etc.) Another way to look at it is that the increase of an entire 1% will increase the payment by $480.
If this buyer was maxed out on their ability to pay, either by their own budgeting or by the mortgage underwriting, they would need to drop their expectations to a home of about $900,000. For the first time homebuyer this could be an issue and could drive down prices by some amount.

However, a huge part of the market right now is all cash deals, high-roller tech employees, and homeowners looking to move up or down. The first group has high incomes, the second group has flexibility regarding down payments. Having said this it would be pollyannaish to think that a 1% or more move will have no force in home pricing.

The mitigating forces that are likely to keep home prices moving up
  • Demand is high, increasing, and likely to continue to increase.
  • Supply is low, decreasing, and unlikely to increase compared to supply
  • Current home prices have not retaken 2007 levels when adjusting for inflation.

If you’d like to review the details of those three assertions, please go here.

Assuming those three statements to be true, the upward force on prices has been at the rate of about 7% per year. A ballpark guess might be that the interest rate increases might slow that in half for a couple of years. But there’s one more mitigating force that needs to be considered.

People tend to panic, and the panic in this case would cause folks to try and get the today rate at 4.75% before it goes to 5%, and under one theory of investing, they would be correct. This theory assumes that to the extent that you wish to own, and that you intend to own for many years into the future, even if you sell and buy one or more times in your life, what you pay to make your initial purchase will not be that consequential.

Moreover, if interest rates continue up and home prices, too, you’ll be thrilled at your decision. If interest rates drop in the future, you can refinance. If home prices drop, you only lose if you sell and don’t repurchase at an equally deflated price.

Final recommendation

If you want to own your own home, or if you want to buy a different residence, don’t fret the price or the interest rate. Make the wisest decision regarding your needs, the neighborhood, and your ability to pay. The rest will sort itself out over time.

If you are ready to buy your home, whether your first or a move to a new-to-you home, Whit can help you find the perfect place. If you are ready to sell your property, Whit wrote the book on how to sell your Los Angeles Home. 310-777-6302

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Beverly Hills West Flats Home for Sale - 517 N Bedford Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

517 N Bedford Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

3 beds 3 baths 2,451 sqft

For Sale
Listed by:

If you prefer walking to driving, everything you'll ever want or need is a short walk from your front door. The finest dining and most elegant shopping outlets in the world are just blocks away. The outstanding location is in the West Flats of Beverly Hills, near internationally acclaimed hotels and world-class shopping. Just a few of the shops you'll find in your new neighborhood:

  • Agent Provocateur, 242 North Rodeo Drive
  • Alfred Dunhill (in Saks Fifth Avenue), 9600 Wilshire Boulevard
  • Anthropologie, 211 South Beverly Drive
  • Armani, 436 North Rodeo Drive
  • Badgley Mischka, 477 North Rodeo Drive
  • Bally, 340 North Rodeo Drive
  • Banana Republic, 357 North Rodeo Drive
  • Bang & Olufsen, 479 North Rodeo Drive #104
  • BCBG Max Azria, 443 North Rodeo Drive
  • Bijan, 420 North Rodeo Drive
  • Brioni, 459 North Rodeo Drive
  • Brooks Brothers, 468 North Rodeo Drive
  • Bottega Veneta, 457 North Rodeo Drive
  • Bulgari, 401 North Rodeo Drive
  • Burberry, 301 North Rodeo Drive
  • Carroll & Co., 425 North Canon Drive
  • Cartier, 370 North Rodeo Drive
  • Chanel, 400 North Rodeo Drive
  • Christian Dior, 315 North Rodeo DriveChristofle, 9515 Brighton Way
For more like this go to the bottom of the page.

The home is outfitted with three bedrooms (A 3rd bedroom could be converted to a den, library, office or crafts room) and 2~ baths. You'll love how this home retains a traditional east coast style. The entry foyer leads to spacious rooms with abundant natural light, crown moldings, recessed lighting, and wood floors in much of the home.

The living room features a fireplace against a wainscoted wall with built-in bookcase and bay window looking out to a brick patio and grassy yard. Entertaining is a breeze in the generously-sized formal dining room with bay window, built-in cabinets, and china hutch alcove. The kitchen has travertine floors, wood cabinets with self-closing drawers, granite countertops, and sunny breakfast room. Two bedroom suites benefit from dual closets and private baths. The den is carpeted, with a brick fireplace, vaulted ceiling, and glass doors to the yard. 

Re-fresh this pied-a-terre, or create your dream home at this incredible location with a land-value price that is very competitive in this neighborhood. 

Full Property Details for 517 N Bedford Dr

Beverly Hills West Flats Home for Sale


  • Price: $5,999,000
  • Status: Active
  • Type: Single Family
  • MLS ID: 18-322082
  • Updated: 3/12/2018
  • Added: 3 day(s) ago

Property History

  • 517 N Bedford Dr, Beverly Hills, CA
  • Listed at $5,999,000 on 3/12/18


  • Rooms/Areas: Dining Room, Master Bedroom, Den, Formal Entry, Living Room
  • Number of Fireplaces: 2
  • Fireplace(s): Den, Living Room
  • Eating Areas: Breakfast Room, Formal Dining Room
  • Appliances: Dishwasher, Garbage Disposal, Refrigerator, Range
  • Flooring: Carpet, Ceramic Tile, Wood



  • Total Bathrooms: 3
  • Full Bathrooms: 2
  • Half Bathrooms: 1


  • Total Bedrooms: 3

Other Rooms

  • Laundry: Individual Room

Additional Information

  • Pool Description: No Pool
  • Spa Description: None


  • Deck/Patio: Open Patio


  • Parking Type: Garage Is Detached, Garage (Two Doors)
  • Parking: Driveway


  • County: Los Angeles
  • Driving Directions: North of Santa Monica Blvd in middle of block.

School Information

  • Elementary School: BHUSD
  • Middle School: BHUSD
  • High School: BHUSD

Heating & Cooling

  • Cooling Type: Central Air Conditioning
  • Heating Type: Forced Air

Structural Information

  • Architectural Style: Traditional
  • Structure Type: Single Family
  • Common Walls: Detached/No Common Walls
  • Square Feet: 2,451
  • Sq. Ft. Source: Public Records
  • Year Built: 1922

Lot Features

  • Property View: No View
  • Lot Size (Sq. Ft.): 11,787
  • Lot Size Source: Public Records
  • Zoning: BHR1*

Financial Considerations

  • Price Per Sq. Ft.: $2,447.57

Disclosures and Reports

  • Special Conditions: Standard Sale
  • Legal Disclosures: Trust/Conservatorship, Commission to Buyer Agent

 Continuation of the walkable shopping for this home
  • Christofle, 9515 Brighton Way
  • Coach, 327 North Rodeo Drive (flagship)
  • Crate & Barrel, 438 North Beverly Drive
  • David Orgell, 262 North Rodeo Drive
  • David Yurman, 371 North Rodeo Drive
  • Dolce & Gabbana, 342 North Rodeo Drive # 204
  • Ermenegildo Zegna, 337 North Rodeo Drive
  • Escada, 9502 Wilshire Boulevard
  • Eres, 9566 Dayton Way
  • Etro, 9501 Wilshire Boulevard
  • Fendi, 355 North Rodeo Drive
  • Ferragamo, 357 North Rodeo Drive
  • Frette Beverly Hills, 445 North Rodeo Drive
  • Gucci. 347 North Rodeo Drive
  • Guess?, 411 North Rodeo Drive
  • Harry Winston, 310 North Rodeo Drive
  • Hèrmes, 434 North Rodeo Drive
  • Hugo Boss, 414 North Rodeo Drive
  • Jimmy Choo, 240 Via Rodeo Drive
  • Lacoste, 447 North Rodeo Drive
  • La Perla, 433 North Rodeo Drive
  • Lladró Porcelain, 234 North Rodeo Drive
  • Loro Piana, 455 North Rodeo Drive
  • Louis Vuitton, 295 North Rodeo Drive
  • Marina Rinaldi, 9656 Wilshire Boulevard
  • Michael Kors, 360 North Rodeo Drive
  • Mikimoto, 9500 Wilshire Boulevard
  • Mont Blanc, 323 North Rodeo Drive
  • Neiman Marcus, 9700 Wilshire Boulevard
  • Niketown, 9560 Wilshire Boulevard
  • Oilily, 9520 Brighton Way
  • Patek Philippe, 360 North Rodeo Drive
  • Polo Ralph Lauren, 456 North Rodeo Drive
  • Porsche Design, 236 North Rodeo Drive
  • Pottery Barn, 300 North Rodeo Drive
  • Prada, 343 North Rodeo Drive
  • Roberto Cavalli, 362 North Rodeo Drive
  • Rolex, 360 North Rodeo Drive
  • Saks Fifth Avenue, 9600 Wilshire Boulevard
  • Scandia Down Shop, 332 North Beverly Drive
  • Stuart Weitzman, 437 North Rodeo Drive
  • Taschen Books, 354 North Beverly Drive
  • Tiffany & Co., 210 North Rodeo Drive
  • Tod's, 333 North Rodeo Drive
  • Tori Burch, 366 North Rodeo Drive
  • Tumi, 430 North Rodeo Drive
  • Valentino, 324 North Rodeo Drive
  • Van Cleef & Arpels, 300  North Rodeo Drive
  • Vera Wang, 428 North Rodeo Drive
  • Versace, 248 North Rodeo Drive
  • Vilebrequin, 9519 Wilshire Boulevard
  • Williams-Sonoma, 339 North Beverly Drive
  • Yves Saint Laurent, 469 North Rodeo Drive

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Santa Monica Townhouse Condo North of Wilshire for Sale. Price Dropped $1,125,000

Gorgeous and Modern, Tri-Level Townhouse with 2 Beds, 2.5 Baths, bright and airy Loft Space, and a Sun Deck for outdoor entertaining! Updated Kitchen with custom Italian DiNovo cabinetry and Fisher & Paykel stainless steel appliances. Highest Quality Wood floors in the Living, Dining, Entry, Powder Bath, Loft and Stairs. Carpet in bedrooms. Laundry is stackable in the hallway between bedrooms, and there is 2-car, side-by-side parking w/additional storage. This is a wonderful location, North of Wilshire Blvd. and blocks from the Beach and 3rd Street Promenade.

Full Property Details for 1127 12th St #305


  • Price: $1,195,000 dropped to $1,125,000
  • HOA FEE: $525/month
  • Status: Active
  • Type: Condo /Townhouse
  • MLS ID: 18-304154
  • Updated: 1/17/2018
  • Added: 17 day(s) ago

Property History

  • 1127 12th St #305, Santa Monica, CA
  • Listed at $1,195,000 on 1/17/18


  • Rooms/Areas: Master Bedroom, Loft, Entry, Living Room, Walk-In Closet
  • Interior Features: Elevator
  • Number of Fireplaces: 1
  • Fireplace(s): Living Room, Gas
  • Eating Areas: Dining Area
  • Appliances: Dishwasher, Garbage Disposal, Refrigerator, Stackable Washer/Dryer Hookup
  • Flooring: Carpet, Linoleum, Wood



  • Total Bathrooms: 3
  • Full Bathrooms: 1
  • 3/4 Bathrooms: 1
  • Half Bathrooms: 1


  • Total Bedrooms: 2

Other Rooms

  • Laundry: Laundry in Closet, Laundry Area In Unit

Additional Information

  • Shared Amenities: Association Maintains the Landscaping, Assoc Pet Rules, Controlled Access, Gated Parking, Passenger Elevator
  • Pool Description: No Pool
  • Security/Safety: Carbon Monoxide Detector(s), Gated Community, Smoke Detector


  • Deck/Patio: Open Patio


  • Parking Type: Assigned, Community Garage, Gated Underground Parking, Side-by-Side Parking
  • Parking: Built-In Storage


  • County: Los Angeles
  • Driving Directions: North of Wilshire Blvd.


  • Assoc. Name: The Village Association

Heating & Cooling

  • Cooling Type: None, Ceiling Fan(s)
  • Heating Type: Wall Electric


  • TV Service: TV Satellite Dish

Structural Information

  • Architectural Style: Contemporary
  • Structure Type: Condominium
  • Common Walls: Attached
  • Square Feet: 1,230
  • Sq. Ft. Source: Public Records
  • Year Built: 1980

Unit Information

  • Units in Complex: 8

Lot Features

  • Property View: No View
  • Lot Size (Sq. Ft.): 7,496
  • Lot Size Source: Vendor Enhanced
  • Zoning: SMR2*

Financial Considerations

  • Price Per Sq. Ft.: $971.54
  • Association Fee: $525
  • Assoc Fee Freq.: Monthly

Disclosures and Reports

  • Special Conditions: Standard Sale
  • Assoc. Rules: Pets Permitted
  • Legal Disclosures: Take Property As Is, CC and R, Homeowners Association, Owner Has R.E. License, Earthquake Insurance Available, Commission to Buyer Agent

Meet the listing agent

— 1127 12th St #305 —

Schools serving 1127 12th St #305

School District:
Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District
School Name
Roosevelt Elementary School, Santa Monica, CA
801 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90402

Lincoln Middle School, Santa Monica, CA
1501 California Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90403

Santa Monica High School
601 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90291

Disclaimer: School data provided by Pitney Bowes. School attendance boundaries are for reference only. Contact the school directly to verify enrollment eligibility.