Realtor of the month: Get to Know Sharon Hales

As you know, we are passionate about providing the best possible advice to our real estate community. In light of this, we have launched a new segment, which features different Realtors across the America, this month features the beautiful area of Califonia and no other than the most trusted Realtor for the Foothills, La Canda, and La Crescenta – Sharon Hales. 

Introducing Sharon Hales 

Dedication to her clients, Sharon Hales strives to go the extra mile for each of her clients. Whether it be a multi million dollar sale across some of the most beautiful cities in the valley, or helping a young family buy their first home, Sharon is passionate about finding the best deal for families and their loved ones to begin their new life. 

Working mainly as the primary La Canada Realtor , also focusing on La Crescenta, Glendale and of course the Foothills of Los Angeles. Sharon is part of the multi-talented team and well-known real estate firm Dilbeck with our superior reputation of premium service and proven track record. 

What Skills Does Sharon Provide to her Field 

As a relocation specialist, Sharon has is always looking for better ways to engage her clients. By using cutting-edge technology to help families sell and purchase homes for maximum return on their investment.  Sharon’s unique knowledge is enhanced by decades of experience in my family’s real estate development business, and she provides quality information so you can make the best decisions for your family. 

Here are some life skills that Sharon recommends: 

Attention to detail: 

Attention to detail is crucial in real estate. To Sharon, her attention to detail for each client means that they feel reassured throughout the entire real estate transaction.

Keep it Personal – Every Transaction is Important:

Excellence is the standard and a good real estate agent must remain committed to treating each transaction as if it were their own. This is a very key factor for Sharon, particularly in such a vibrant community like Los Angeles which is full of many walks of life. 

We would like to thank Sharon Hales for submitting an article and we wish you and everyone in the real estate game the best of success in their future endeavors. 

 

 

 

Realtor of the month: Get to Know Sharon Hales

https://youtube.com/watch?v=pXIimVQsKm0

As you know, we are passionate about providing the best possible advice to our real estate community. In light of this, we have launched a new segment, which features different Realtors across the America, this month features the beautiful area of Califonia and no other than the most trusted Realtor for the Foothills, La Canda, and La Crescenta – Sharon Hales. 

Introducing Sharon Hales 

Dedication to her clients, Sharon Hales strives to go the extra mile for each of her clients. Whether it be a multi million dollar sale across some of the most beautiful cities in the valley, or helping a young family buy their first home, Sharon is passionate about finding the best deal for families and their loved ones to begin their new life. 

Working mainly as the primary La Canada Realtor , also focusing on La Crescenta, Glendale and of course the Foothills of Los Angeles. Sharon is part of the multi-talented team and well-known real estate firm Dilbeck with our superior reputation of premium service and proven track record. 

What Skills Does Sharon Provide to her Field 

As a relocation specialist, Sharon has is always looking for better ways to engage her clients. By using cutting-edge technology to help families sell and purchase homes for maximum return on their investment.  Sharon’s unique knowledge is enhanced by decades of experience in my family’s real estate development business, and she provides quality information so you can make the best decisions for your family. 

Here are some life skills that Sharon recommends: 

Attention to detail: 

Attention to detail is crucial in real estate. To Sharon, her attention to detail for each client means that they feel reassured throughout the entire real estate transaction.

Keep it Personal – Every Transaction is Important:

Excellence is the standard and a good real estate agent must remain committed to treating each transaction as if it were their own. This is a very key factor for Sharon, particularly in such a vibrant community like Los Angeles which is full of many walks of life. 

We would like to thank Sharon Hales for submitting an article and we wish you and everyone in the real estate game the best of success in their future endeavors. 

 

 

 

La Canada – A slice of heaven for new home buyers in Los Angeles. 

The city of La Cañada Flintridge is nestled in the Crescenta valley between the San Gabriel Mountains on the North and the San Rafael Hills on the South, with easy access to the highways 210 and 2 that leads through Pasadena and Glendale to the South as you approach Downtown Los Angeles. With only 22 miles away from the coast, weekend getaways to the beach are easy and weekday commuting to neighboring cities such as Pasadena, Glendale, and Burbank are definitely feasible. Originally called Rancho La Cañada and owned by early Mexican settlers, later become developed by Westerners after California became the 31st state of America. The amazing culture, surroundings, and community make La Canada real estate some of the most sorts after in Los Angeles.  

Due to the city’s inland location, the summers are generally hotter and winters cooler than the coastal areas but occasionally strong offshore winds can cause hot air and further warming in the summer and fall. The population is currently 20,246 with around 7,000 housing units, of which 6,120 are owner-occupied. According to the 2010 United States Census, the median household income of La Cañada-Flintridge is $157,000. The typical home is Spanish style with hip and tile roofs, half round arches, doors and windows and stucco over exterior walls. But there are also series of mansions that share the Spanish style or incorporate their own unique contemporary style. Majority of homes have a large front and backyard with a long walkway in the front.

La Canada is most sought after for its Unified School District which serves majority of the city with a small western portion within the Glendale Unified School District boundaries. The La Cañada Unified School District is ranked as one of the top school districts in the state; the California Department of Education indicated that the California Standards Tests results for La Cañada School District earned the second highest Academic Performance Index score in the state. La Cañada also has three public middle schools, one public high school that also serves as a middle school with grades 7-8 and three private high schools.

Home of the Descanso Gardens, La Cañada hosts the annual Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival every March, this festival includes discovery stations such as origami, shakuhachi in the garden, nature walks and a lounge with food and special performances.  Other festivals and community events throughout the year consist of Fiesta Days over Memorial Day Weekend, the Turkey Trot for Thanksgiving and the farmer’s market every Saturday morning.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is located on the East side of La Cañada and it consists of the primary research and development center for the robotic exploration of the solar system in the United States. There is also a Frisbee golf course located in the Hahamongna Watershed Park and near by a large town center that opened in 2008 which includes a Taylor’s Steakhouse, Panera Bread, HomeGoods store, and other big retailers and restaurants.

About La Crescenta 

La Crescenta-Montrose was originally part of a region that belonged to the native Tongva people, it became part of the Rancho La Canada which was a land grant given to a Mexican school teacher in 1843. Although it may sounds like a native Spanish word, La Crescenta does not mean crescent but received this artificial name from Benjamin Briggs who could see “three crescent-shaped” formations in the valley; the second half of the name came as a result of a content for the subdivision established in 1913 on part of the La Crescenta development. The small unincorporated part of la Crescenta sits in the northwestern part of the San Rafael Hill and northeast of the Verdugo Mountains. 

The rest of the city resides within Glendale. Since the city resides inland between two mountainous hills, the climate remains warm throughout the most part of the year, with summers being a little warmer and winters a little cooler than the coastal side of Los Angeles. The current population of La Crescenta is 19,653 with 7,350 housing units, 4,568 of which are owner-occupied. The median household income is $89,375 and the typical architecture of the homes is Spanish style.

A few points of interest include the historic 1946 La Crescenta Motel that was formerly known as the May Lane Motel, this motel has been used as a location for several feature films and television shows such as Glee, Criminal Minds, Mad Men and True Blood. Another interesting site is the 1923 Rockhaven Sanitarium that was built entirely out of rock. This sanitarium is known for housing many early Hollywood celebrities such as Billie Burke and Gladys Baker. 

La Canada – A slice of heaven for new home buyers in Los Angeles. 

The city of La Cañada Flintridge is nestled in the Crescenta valley between the San Gabriel Mountains on the North and the San Rafael Hills on the South, with easy access to the highways 210 and 2 that leads through Pasadena and Glendale to the South as you approach Downtown Los Angeles. With only 22 miles away from the coast, weekend getaways to the beach are easy and weekday commuting to neighboring cities such as Pasadena, Glendale and Burbank are definitely feasible. Originally called Rancho La Cañada and owned by early Mexican settlers, later become developed by Westerners after California became the 31st state of America.  

Due to the city’s inland location, the summers are generally hotter and winters cooler than the coastal areas but occasionally strong offshore winds can cause hot air and further warming in the summer and fall. The population is currently 20,246 with around 7,000 housing units, of which 6,120 are owner-occupied. According to the 2010 United States Census, the median household income of La Cañada-Flintridge is $157,000. The typical home is Spanish style with hip and tile roofs, half round arches, doors and windows and stucco over exterior walls. But there are also series of mansions that share the Spanish style or incorporate their own unique contemporary style. Majority of homes have a large front and backyard with a long walkway in the front.

La Cañada is most sought after for its Unified School District which serves majority of the city with a small western portion within the Glendale Unified School District boundaries. The La Cañada Unified School District is ranked as one of the top school districts in the state; the California Department of Education indicated that the California Standards Tests results for La Cañada School District earned the second highest Academic Performance Index score in the state. La Cañada also has three public middle schools, one public high school that also serves as a middle school with grades 7-8 and three private high schools.

Home of the Descanso Gardens, La Cañada hosts the annual Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival every March, this festival includes discovery stations such as origami, shakuhachi in the garden, nature walks and a lounge with food and special performances.  Other festivals and community events throughout the year consist of Fiesta Days over Memorial Day Weekend, the Turkey Trot for Thanksgiving and the farmer’s market every Saturday morning.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is located on the East side of La Cañada and it consists of the primary research and development center for the robotic exploration of the solar system in the United States. There is also a Frisbee golf course located in the Hahamongna Watershed Park and near by a large town center that opened in 2008 which includes a Taylor’s Steakhouse, Panera Bread, HomeGoods store, and other big retailers and restaurants.

 

About La Crescenta 

La Crescenta-Montrose was originally part of a region that belonged to the native Tongva people, it became part of the Rancho La Canada which was a land grant given to a Mexican school teacher in 1843. Although it may sounds like a native Spanish word, La Crescenta does not mean crescent but received this artificial name from Benjamin Briggs who could see “three crescent-shaped” formations in the valley; the second half of the name came as a result of a content for the subdivision established in 1913 on part of the La Crescenta development. The small unincorporated part of la Crescenta sits in the northwestern part of the San Rafael Hill and northeast of the Verdugo Mountains. 

The rest of the city resides within Glendale. Since the city resides inland between two mountainous hills, the climate remains warm throughout the most part of the year, with summers being a little warmer and winters a little cooler than the coastal side of Los Angeles. The current population of La Crescenta is 19,653 with 7,350 housing units, 4,568 of which are owner-occupied. The median household income is $89,375 and the typical architecture of the homes is Spanish style.

A few points of interest include the historic 1946 La Crescenta Motel that was formerly known as the May Lane Motel, this motel has been used as a location for several feature films and television shows such as Glee, Criminal Minds, Mad Men and True Blood. Another interesting site is the 1923 Rockhaven Sanitarium that was built entirely out of rock. This sanitarium is known for housing many early Hollywood celebrities such as Billie Burke and Gladys Baker. 

Renting Vs. Buying, Does It Make Sense?

The age-old question is whether or not to buy a house or continue renting. Every potential home buyer situation is uniquely different. To discover what truly makes the most financial sense is looking at all possibilities.

Renting: provides the level of flexibility because you’re not nailed down any one location. You can move and relocate easier. Most the time, property upkeep is on the landlord to maintain. Renting in some markets could also fluctuate. For example after your lease is up, you’re on a month-to-month contract, rent could increase anytime or worse the landlord could evict you. Granted, landlords must provide a 30 day written notice, but they do have that right as the owner of the property.Unless you own your business and run the business out of the house, you don’t get any tax benefits renting as its not required to be reported on your income tax return. Renting also provides no impact on your credit score rating.

On The Flip Side:

As a homeowner: you have the ability to lock your house payment for the next 30 years thereby allowing you to plan your budget and monthly expenses around a fixed cost. Whether renting or owning, affordability is the number one factor in determining whether or not buying a house makes sense. As a homeowner, you also have the ability to write off all of your mortgage interest including your property taxes and in some cases mortgage insurance. Any additions to property any potential upgrades you have the ability to control. Buying a house using mortgage loan financing has a positive effect on your credit score, make your mortgage payment, watch your credit scores rise dramatically.

Renting versus buying, the factors involved:

Most people would agree having the ability to pursue the American dream is the best possible scenario, but not everybody has those types of choices.

Interestingly enough, the three factors required to purchase a house with a mortgage loan financing are also the three factors that people consider in deciding to upgrade into a buying a house.

The following characteristics are no coincidence.

Credit/Debt – many times a bad credit situation such as medical collections or previous past due accounts cause someone to think they can’t get a mortgage to buy a house. Debt is another consideration. Lots of people rent because of the amount of debt they have affects their ability to qualify for financing, increasing their debt to income ratio. That is the amount of debt on a monthly basis (including all minimum payments payment on other loans, credit cards etc.) added to the new house payment divided by the gross monthly income.

Sometimes when you’re just starting out you don’t have credit. You need to have credit in order to get credit, strange as that may sound. Credit and debt are two factors looked at closely when needing mortgage financing for buying a house. This can often be a setback to taking the plunge and having a conversation with a loan officer. Many times a good mortgage company can make recommendations to improving your credit score or reducing your debt, so maybe down the road, you could qualify for financing.

Income – no matter what down payment you have, no matter what credit score you have, mortgage loan financing is predicated on the ability to repay. A mortgage loan is made against the borrower’s ability to repay. Income becomes the anchor characteristic of being able to buy a house. What does the job situation look like? Are you considering a possible career change? If yes continuing to rent is a smart choice. Is your employer going through layoffs? What does the future of your job look like? Is your income stable or is it declining? These are big considerations to look at when putting together the idea of buying a house versus continuing to rent. Are you self-employed and do you show enough income on your tax returns in order to take on a new housing expense? Make no mistake a house payment is looked at as a liability, not an asset.

If you are self-employed showing less income on your tax returns and you are thinking about buying a house down the road, consider adjusting your Schedule C. of your federal income tax return to show a profit. While you’ll likely pay more in taxes for doing so, you can in most cases, show the income needed to potentially qualify for mortgage payment. Talk to your tax professional.

Assets – mortgage lenders want to see that you have money saved up in the bank.Reserves is a fancy lender lingo term used to describe the amount of money you have saved up in the bank so in case you lost your job or your income source, you could still make your house payment. This varies from loan program to loan program, however, lenders usually want to see six months of mortgage payments in the bank.

If you can show more reserves, that is a compensating factor (if you’re short in one area, you can make up for it in another). If you don’t have the assets in a bank account or an asset account can you show reserves in the form of a gift from friend or family member? Saving up for 20% down to buy a house? It is not necessary because you don’t need 20% down.

Before buying a house, make sure your financial house is in order.

You will want to go over credit, income, and assets and make sure those are aligned with each other. Every circumstance is different, but lenders generally also want to see two years of history in the same field of work or at least the same field. If there is not a two-year history, are there job gaps what happened?

Let’s look at the math: let’s say you’re renting a three bedroom two bath house for $1700 per month. You can buy a house for $250,000 in some cases with no money down with a long-term fixed rate mortgage and have a monthly payment including property taxes and insurance of $1700. Makes sense right? Before buying a house, consider whether it makes more sense to rent vs. buy.

Manhattan Beach actor Andy Hoff goes rogue in play ‘A Steady Rain’

Manhattan Beach actor Andy Hoff goes rogue in play ‘A Steady Rain’

“Producing theater can be really heartbreaking work,” Hoff said. “It’s definitely a grind. There’s not a lot of money in it for anybody. You’re doing seven, eight shows a week and everybody leaves the show at 10 o’clock and shows up at their night job and work until 5 in the morning.”

Hoff moved to Los Angeles to pursue film and television, but with the play “A Steady Rain,” he is back on stage, acting and producing. “A Steady Rain,” after a successful and sold-out run at the Hollywood Fringe Festival, opens for a three-week run at the John Kirby Studio in Los Angeles Friday, July 14.

 Written by Keith Huff (“Mad Men,” “House of Cards”) and directed by John Kirby, a renowned acting coach, “A Steady Rain” tells the story of Chicago cops, played by Hoff and RJ DeBard, whose life-long friendship is put on the line when they answer a routine domestic disturbance call that takes a very wrong turn.

Hoff says “A Steady Rain” is brilliant and incredibly current.

“Even though it was written 10 years ago, it’s still very relevant with everything going on in the media today with police and community relations and the difficulties they are having, particularly in Chicago,” Hoff said.

Hoff also called the play the most challenging he’s ever worked on. It’s only him and DeBard on stage for nearly two hours in a 40-seat black box theater. Movie rights to the story are currently owned by Steven Spielberg.

“The journey that both characters take is all encompassing … it takes everything I have every single time that we go up and perform it,” he said. “It starts off, you think you might be in for a comedy. It requires comedic chops, which it does throughout the entire play … but by the end it requires the breadth of all human emotion and ability. The turns are quick and sharp and you have to be present and available at all times.”

Hoff has been in the local service industry for a number of years. He currently is a bartender at The Arthur J in Manhattan Beach.

“You have to pay for your theater habit and your TV and film efforts,” he said.

 Hoff hopes “A Steady Rain” has a life past July 30.

“We would love to land it somewhere and run it for a little while,” Hoff said. “It’s the type of piece that definitely could have some legs.”