Technology for a Smarter Home: 5 ways to make your home smart for under $1,000 bucks!

Nowadays all you hear about is new technology, from electric cars that park themselves to commercial flights bound for space. Well in real estate, Smart Homes are the “new thing”! Smart-home systems start at around $2,000 and top out at more than $1 million, offering homeowners remote-controlled lighting, window shades, swimming pools, door locks, thermostats and security cameras – not to mention cutting-edge sound systems and home theaters. I’ve even seen a system that turns a regular TV room into a nightclub with the touch of a button on your iPad. Innovation is the key to growth and from my experience as a Realtor; it pays to trick your house or business out with the latest gadgets.Don’t just do it to impress friends, family, and customers, but think of potential buyers, as well! In working with clients of all budgets, all over Los Angeles, and in both commercial and residential real estate, I’ve come across some interesting technology and trends. Some of these trends and gadgets are unimaginably expensive, others I find useless, while some are pretty impressive and tangible for home and business owners. Below are some of the smart home trends I’ve seen, which are useful and affordable, and will increase the value and “It Factor” of your property almost instantly!

1. NEST: The smart version of your everyday thermostat, designed to learn the temperatures you prefer while switching to energy efficient settings while you’re away. The more I look at homes, in all price ranges, but mainly those that have been recently updated, the more I see this Nest feature that sellers and agents are always bragging about or pointing out. Essentially it gives new life and sleekness to the boxy, outdated, boring old thermostats you see and throws in a feature that allows you to control the temperature of your home while you’re away, learns what you like, and helps you save a few bucks on your energy bill. Nest runs about $250 and seems to be worth every penny from what I hear.

Nest

2. Cyber Rain Sprinkler System: This is a sprinkler controller with a brain. It uses the internet to check the weather and automatically adjusts run times. This system is ideal for the homeowner who wants to conserve water and be alerted to problems with their landscape. The Cyber Rain Pro checks your controller status every time it waters and emails if it detects a problem. If an optional flow meter is attached, the Cyber Rain Pro will also email you if you have a broken sprinkler head or a leak in your irrigation pipes. The system can also be remotely accessed by your landscape professional. Considering the costs of water and the serious drought problems in CA, this sounds like a smart investment. I’m surprised more people aren’t using technology like this to conserve water and save cash! It’ll run you about $700 bucks, but I’ve seen some of my clients’ water bills and trust me…it’s worth it!

Cyber Rain

3. Phillip Hue: Combines brilliant LED light with intuitive technology. Puts both in the palm of your hand. According to the company site: “Together, the bulbs, the bridge, and the app will change the way you use light. Forever. Experiment with shades of white, from invigorating blue to soothing yellow. Or play with all the colors in the hue spectrum. Hue can wake you up. Help protect your home. Relive your favorite memories, and even improve your mood.” This is a smart LED lighting product that you control from you iOS device. Basically this system takes your home’s or business’ mood lighting to the 21st century. So when you’re putting your home on the market or planning a big restaurant opening, consider “setting the mood” and see what transpires! Costs $200 and you can buy it at the Apple Store.

Phillip Hue

4. Yale Smart Locks: Sleek Motorized Z-Wave Touchscreen Deadbolt for Remote and Automated Access Control. Runs about $250 and combines a highly secure lockset with an illuminated 12-button touchscreen keypad, which allows users to lock and unlock their home via manual control or Z-Wave compatible home controllers. The lock stores up to 25 custom entry codes for easy manual locking and unlocking, plus an automatic deadbolt lock function. It’s designed for seamless integration with any Z-Wave product or central home controller to allow for monitoring of the lock’s status and remote lock/unlocking of your doors. An upcoming Yale lock will feature NFC (near-field communication) tech that will allow you to open it by waving your smart phone over it Jedi-style. With devices like this, you’ll never get locked out again!

Yale

5. The iSmartAlarm System: The system is modular, letting you buy the pieces you need in order to put together the perfect system for your home. You’ll need a CubeOne, which is the brain of the system, and then you can add sensors for doors and windows, cameras, motion detectors and remote control keyfobs. If any alarms come up, you’ll get an alert on your phone, and you can see what’s happening through the app in order to respond appropriately. You can also use iSmartAlarm to see if your family is home — even when you’re working late — and check that all of the doors and windows are closed and locked before heading to bed. Starts at $199, while safety and peace of mind are definitely priceless!

ISMARTALARM-CAM

These days, you can automate just about everything, depending on your budget and needs. The smart home & business trend is something new today, but soon it’ll become the norm and be expected, so get ahead of the game and turn your home or business into a smart one! We may not be living quite like the Jetsons yet, but we’re getting there! If you’re looking for tips or recommendations for home automation, please contact me.

As always, if you or someone you know is in need of real estate assistance, commercial or residential, I am happy to help! Please contact me direct or pass my information along!

Julie Kryukova
Tel: 310.402.8181
Email: jkryukova@gmail.com

Majority of metro housing markets improving, trade group says…

Most of the nation’s metropolitan housing markets can be classified as improving, according to a trade group, pointing to a broad-based housing recovery.

The National Assn. of Home Builders said Monday that 255 metro housing markets are improving, a pullback from 263 in June, but the sixth consecutive month that at least 70% of metros tracked by the association earned the improving label.

The association lists a market as improving when it shows increases in housing permits, employment and home prices for at least six months running.  The home builder group dropped 14 markets from its list in July and added six. 

“The relative stability of the [index] is representative of the broad recovery underway, which is much more extensive than what we were looking at one year ago,” NAHB Chairman Rick Judson said in a statement.

The number of improving markets has more than tripled since July 2012, and 49 states and the District of Columbia now have an improving local market. 

 

If you’re looking for real estate assistance please feel free to contact me direct.

 

Julie Kryukova

(310)402-8181

Jkryukova@gmail.com

 

 

 

Source: LA Times

Prime Beverly Hills Penthouse – Private sale $1,349,000

Palm Penthouse

Elegant top floor 3 bedroom view penthouse in prime Beverly Hills! Impressive dimensions at 2,621 sq. ft, extra wide hallways, and tons of skylights make this space feel like a single family home.  Large eat in kitchen with breakfast nook, updated stainless appliances, and a large window allow for plenty of cooking and storage space.  How often do you see a top floor unit that shares no walls at all with its’ neighbors?  Asking price $1,349,000

  • 3 bedrooms
  • 2.5 bathrooms
  • 2,621 sq. ft
  • Skylights throughout
  • Wide hallways, high ceilings
  • Impressive master suite with fireplace, large windows, private patio, tons of closet space, vanity area, double sinks, separate tub and shower
  • Large updated kitchen stainless appliances and eat in nook
  • Oversize open concept living room with short windows
  • Washer and Dryer inside the unit
  • 3 assigned parking spaces side by side
  • Enormous private storage space
  • Secure entry, private elevator
  • Honey hardwood floors, brand new lush carpet in the bedrooms

Please contact me for details and private showings.  Property is located North of Burton Way, West of Doheny Drive in Prime Beverly Hills, CA 90210.

 

Palm1 Palm2 Palm3 Palm Penthouse Beverly Hills for sale

JUST LISTED: Elegant Penthouse in Prime Beverly Hills Location $1,045,000

441 N. Oakhurst Dr #702

441 N. Oakhurst Drive  Penthouse 702  Beverly Hills, CA 90210

3bedrooms, 2.5bath, 2126 sq. ft

Asking Price: $1,045,000

441 N. Oakhurst Dr #702 Beverly Hills CA 90210 002 005 006 008 010 011 012 013 014 014A 015 016 017 018 019 020 021 022 023 024 025 026 027 028 029 030 031 032

This elegant three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom Beverly Hills penthouse offers stunning above-it-all views and an unbeatable location. Lounge on the large outdoor patio and soak up the mountain to city views, or walk to all the area has to offer. A Regency-style set of double doors opens into an entry way to the 2,196 sq.ft. unit. The step-down living area is over-sized and has a travertine fireplace. A balcony with sweeping views is at the end of the living area. A dining area is bracketed by corner walls of window that allow for ample light in the day and a carpet of city lights at night.

The large galley-style kitchen (with built-in appliances) is “open-ended” and provides access to the dining and living areas. Under-the-counter laundry machines takes the functionality of the kitchen to new heights. Richly-toned granite counter tops, and plenty of storage augment the kitchen’s offerings.

Bonus alert! It is a rarity in condominium floor plans that a unit have a family room/den area. But this unit has a perfect one. Its den area (with a wet bar) provides space for watching screeners or having an evening cocktail. Rounding out the public rooms is a convenient powder room off of the main entry.

The large master suite has a walk-in closet and double sinks. The two other bedrooms share access to a bathroom.

Pool, residents-only meeting rooms, two parking spaces (tandem) and controlled access make this unit a great value.

Please visit www.441oakhurstdr.com for more details.   OPEN HOUSE SUNDAY 1-4PM

Home prices show biggest jump in 6 years in October!

Home prices increased 6.3% in October from a year earlier, the biggest year-over-year gain since 2006, according to Irvine research firm CoreLogic.

Prices dipped 0.2% in October from September, but such a drop was expected at the end of the home-selling season, the firm said Tuesday.

October marked the eighth straight month of year-over-year prices increases and added to recent evidence of growing strength in the housing market. CoreLogic reported Monday that foreclosures were down 17%
in October from a year earlier.

“The housing recovery that started earlier in 2012 continues to gain momentum,” said Mark Fleming, CoreLogic’s
chief economist. “The recovery is geographically broad-based with almost all markets experiencing some appreciation.”

Home prices increased 21.3% in Arizona, the most of any state. California saw a 9% increase. Prices increased
from October 2011 in all but five states — Alabama, Delaware, Illinois, New Jersey and Rhode Island.

The Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale area in Arizona had the largest year-over-year price increase of any metro area, at 24.5%. The Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario metro area was second at 7.3%. And the Los Angeles area was fourth at 6.4%.

Excluding foreclosures and other distressed sales, home prices nationally increased 5.8% in October from a year
earlier. Those prices were up 0.5% from September, the eighth straight monthly gain.

 

Source: LA Times

Top Reasons to Opt for Seller Financing!

Seller Financing

Top Reasons to Opt for Seller Financing

Seller Financing has benefits for both the buyer and the seller

A recent experience of mine reminded me of the importance of seller financing. The son of a longtime friend of mine recently caught me at a Friday night high-school game and informed me he and his wife had turned down an older home in the neighborhood they always wanted, for a new home in a subdivision.

They also declined the possibility of no-cost seller financing from the owner of the older home because the builder offered a slightly lower rate on the new home.

“We just felt like we wouldn’t have to do anything on the home for years,” Patrick said. “We couldn’t afford any expensive surprises.”

While I disagreed with him on both topics, I kept my opinions to myself because he had already made his decision and was looking forward to moving into his new home. Here’s why I would have chosen differently.

First and foremost, you can always repair or remodel a home, but you can never single-handedly fix a neighborhood. If you know the schools, churches and streets that are important to you, it’s usually best to buy where you have done your primary research. And, new homeowners often underestimate upkeep.

But just as important are the credit and cash needed to get a loan today. Lenders are being more cautious and are demanding more skin in the game.

Recently, Fair Isaac Co., the developer of FICO scores, revealed that 78.5 percent of all consumers have scores that fall between 300 and 749. The FICO score ranges from 300 to 850. So only about one in five American have a FICO score of 750 or higher.

Ellie Mae Inc., a provider of mortgage origination software to lenders, reports that borrowers approved for mortgages in September had an average FICO score of 750. What message does that send to prospective home buyers?

Besides high credit scores, borrowers are coming in with higher down payments to satisfy lender requirements. According to Ellie Mae, home buyers who used a Fannie or Freddie loan had, on average, a 21 percent down payment. Homeowners who refinanced had average equity in their homes of 30 percent.

Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist, recently said he thought that loan standards will eventually ease as banks reduce some extra risk-based fees that they have added to benchmark quotes since the mortgage meltdown.

But is there a viable plan B? What if you didn’t have to go to a lender for a home loan?

Seller financing is an underestimated benefit not only because of today’s increased lender scrutiny, but also because the buyer dodges most all the fees associated with the loan. For example, in Patrick’s case, he decided on a 3.5 percent loan from a lender rather than a 4 percent loan from the homeowner.

Let’s say the total costs of a $200,000 loan come to 2 percent of the loan amount, or $4,000. The monthly difference between a 3.5 percent loan and 4 percent loan is approximately $57 a month. Not only would Patrick have to borrow more or come out of pocket with the extra funds (in addition to the down payment needed on the house), but he would also need more than seven years to make up the monthly difference.

While many owners make “cash-out, conventional” financing a requirement when selling a home, others are more than willing to negotiate price and terms. Homes are selling quickly in many neighborhoods, but others continue to sit. It’s those owners who can be “all ears” if it means closing a deal and moving on with their lives.

And, some sellers, particularly seniors with no high-rate place to park their cash, are not opposed to accepting a healthy down payment and “carrying the paper” on their real estate as long as they are guaranteed 4 percent interest on their money. In most cases, it’s difficult to get that rate in non-risk accounts.

Buyers and sellers can build in safety features to make carrying the paper palatable for both sides. If you are a buyer, there’s no harm in asking. You could save time, anxiety and a lot of cash — an inexpensive surprise.

If you’re looking to buy, lease, or lease – please contact me at 310.402.8181 or jkryukova@gmail.com

Click here to visit my website

Source: Inman news

Adrienne Maloof Lists Beverly Hills Mansion Amid Divorce!

SELLERS: Adrienne Maloof and Paul Nassif
LOCATION: Beverly Hills, CA
ASKING PRICE: $26,000,000
SIZE: 8 bedrooms, 11 bathrooms

L.A.-based businesswoman Adrienne Maloof of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills fame and her Beverly Hills plastic surgeon husband Paul Nassif have listed their humongous, gilt-trimmed Richard Landry-designed faux-French chateau in the guard-gated Beverly Park community on the market with an asking price of $26,000,000.

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