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LA Westside Sales Highlights - November 2017

by Craig Whitlock

This report will provide a quick overview as to how the Westside micro-markets are currently performing and then compares that data to the same period a year ago. 

Low inventory, limited choices and bidding wars persist which continue to push pricing upwards in all market segments except Brentwood and Santa Monica Condos while reducing sales activity across the Westside.  The Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and Westwood SFR segments had the biggest bump in pricing averaging 27%.  Terrific opportunities for those thinking about selling - especially in the lower price ranges!   

The key market indicators are:

Pending Sales Activity - sometimes referred to as the 'Number of Properties Under Contract'. This is a forward-looking indicator of current sales activity where there has been an accepted offer and escrow has opened.

Median Sales Price - that point at which half of the properties have sold for a greater amount and half have sold for a lesser amount. This indicator pinpoints where in the price spectrum homes have sold rather than reflecting home value. There is a common misperception that a drop in the MSP directly indicates a drop in home value. It is far more likely that the drop indicates either smaller, older and/or homes in lower-priced areas have sold during the period.

Months Supply of Inventory (MSI) - a leading indicator of market supply, which directly impacts pricing. Generally, a five to six month supply indicates market equilibrium while anything less signals a 'seller's market' and anything above a 'buyer's market'.

LA Westside Sales Highlights - November 2017 © 2010–2017 10K Research and Marketing®

To view a portfolio of three additional reports trended over the past 12 months: Properties For Sale, Days On Market and New Properties For Sale, visit the Market Sales Data section. If you have any questions or would like to discuss this data at greater length, just drop me a note or give me a call.

LA Westside Sales Highlights - October 2017

by Craig Whitlock

This report will provide a quick overview as to how the Westside micro-markets are currently performing and then compares that data to the same period a year ago. 

Low inventory, limited choices and bidding wars continue to frustrate buyers in the $2M and below price ranges which drove up pricing in most areas while reducing sales activity across the Westside.  The $2M+ market however has softened relatively speaking where buyers have come to expect more for their dollar and want to see more amenities.  The Beverly Hills, Brentwood and Santa Monica SFR segments had the biggest bump in pricing averaging 108% indicating that more homes in the higher price brackets are selling compared to last year.  Amazing opportunities for those thinking about selling - especially in the lower price ranges!   

The key market indicators are:

Pending Sales Activity - sometimes referred to as the 'Number of Properties Under Contract'. This is a forward-looking indicator of current sales activity where there has been an accepted offer and escrow has opened.

Median Sales Price - that point at which half of the properties have sold for a greater amount and half have sold for a lesser amount. This indicator pinpoints where in the price spectrum homes have sold rather than reflecting home value. There is a common misperception that a drop in the MSP directly indicates a drop in home value. It is far more likely that the drop indicates either smaller, older and/or homes in lower-priced areas have sold during the period.

Months Supply of Inventory (MSI) - a leading indicator of market supply, which directly impacts pricing. Generally, a five to six month supply indicates market equilibrium while anything less signals a 'seller's market' and anything above a 'buyer's market'.

LA Westside Sales Highlights - October 2017 © 2010–2017 10K Research and Marketing®

To view a portfolio of three additional reports trended over the past 12 months: Properties For Sale, Days On Market and New Properties For Sale, visit the Market Sales Data section. If you have any questions or would like to discuss this data at greater length, just drop me a note or give me a call.

Hackers Are After Your Down Payment. How NOT to Get Scammed

by Craig Whitlock

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You finally found it: the two-story bungalow in the trendy part of town you’ve been eyeing for years – the one with the best coffee shop (hello, foamy latte) and favorite farmer’s market. You made your best offer (they accepted!) and now you’re about to close on your dream home.

Then just before closing, an email from your real estate agent pops up, claiming a last-minute change to the money-wiring instructions. You wire the funds. But the money never makes it to the bank. Turns out that email wasn’t from your agent – but a hacker. You got spoofed.

Unfortunately these days, enterprising hackers are busy tricking homeowners into sending them their hard-won down payment.

How? They access email accounts by snagging passwords through public Wi-Fi and via email solicitations that appear to be from senders you know.

The bad guys comb through the email accounts, searching for any information about home sales and upcoming closings. Once they’ve found what they need, they send consumers an email posing as their real estate pro, attorney, or escrow officer. The email includes wiring instructions linked to a fraudulent account.

Here’s how to prevent a hacker from running away with your home before you even have a chance to buy it:

1. Never, ever send personal info over email.
Personal info includes a bank account number and a Social Security number. Your agent shouldn’t be sending this stuff by email either.

2. Pick up the phone.
If you ever receive wiring instructions by email, call your agent or lender to confirm one of them sent it. Call the phone number you have on record for your agent, not the one listed in the suspect email.

3. Discuss the funds wiring process with your agent.
Early on in your relationship with your agent, ask about what you should expect, when, and from whom.

4. Change your passwords often.
Create a reminder on your phone or computer to update passwords monthly. Make them strong, something even your friends and family members wouldn’t be able to guess right away – you know, something other than password1 or your dog’s name.

5. Set up two-factor authentication.
Two-factor verification, which requires both a password and a code that’s sent to your phone or other device in order to log in, is more challenging to hackers than a single layer login. Make sure you set it up on your email and bank accounts.

6. Read up.
Get even more email security best practices.

Got spoofed? If you ever receive a suspicious email, report it to the FTC by forwarding it to spam@uce.gov.

7 Reasons To List Your Home During The Holidays

by Craig Whitlock

Every year at this time, many homeowners decide to wait until after the holidays to put their homes on the market for the first time, while others who already have their homes on the market decide to take them off until after the holidays.

Here are seven great reasons not to wait:

  1. Relocation buyers are out there. Many companies are still hiring throughout the holidays and need their employees in their new positions as soon as possible.
  2. Purchasers who are looking for homes during the holidays are serious buyers and are ready to buy now.
  3. You can restrict the showings on your home to the times you want it shown. You will remain in control.
  4. Homes show better when decorated for the holidays.
  5. There is less competition for you as a seller right now. Let’s take a look at listing inventory as compared to the same time last year:

7 Reasons to List Your Home This Holiday Season | Simplifying The Market

  1. The desire to own a home doesn’t stop when the holidays come. Buyers who were unable to find their dream home during the busy spring and summer months are still searching!
  2. The supply of listings increases substantially after the holidays. Also, in many parts of the country, new construction will continue to surge reaching new heights in 2018, which will lessen the demand for your house.

The bottom line is that waiting until after the Holidays probably doesn't make sense.

Looking At A Home Like A House Inspector

by Jill Hamilton

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Although you should hire a qualified professional home inspector when buying a home, it's useful to learn the basics of home inspection yourself. Being able to see a house though an inspector's eyes allows you to get a general assessment of a home in a short amount of time, helps you know how to prepare for an inspection and provides guidelines for giving your home an occasional checkup. Although this list isn't a substitute for a professional home inspection, here are some things to look for when assessing a house.

Assess the outside
Look at the house as a whole and make sure it's not leaning and the roof is unbowed. Walk around the house, checking for large cracks in the foundation (small cracks are ok.) Look at the roof for broken, missing, or curling shingles. Check the gutters and downspouts to make sure they aren't clogged, broken or detached. Make sure the chimney looks straight and doesn't have cracks or loose bricks or mortar. Look to see if the exterior surface of the house is in good condition, checking for peeling paint, missing siding, exposed wood, or cracked stucco. Check for an acceptable clearance between the ground and siding material—there should be at least six inches. The yard should be sloped away from the house allowing for proper drainage. Look for standing water or evidence of flooding. Check for termite tunnels and other evidence of infestation.

Check the hardscape
Look at driveways, sidewalks, and steps to make sure they are properly sealed and don't present tripping hazards. Check that hand railings are securely attached. Look at decks and porches to make sure they're structurally sound and in good condition. Check wood fences and decks for rot or termite damage and make sure gates open and lock properly. Check the outdoor lights and outlets to make sure they're working. Make sure the automatic garage door functions properly and that it will stop for an obstacle.

Start at the top of the house                                                                   Go into the attic, if there is one, and make sure that there is enough insulation and that it's in good shape. Look for proper venting and no water damage. Check ceilings and walls throughout the house for water marks, soft spots, or other signs of leaking. Don't forget to check around skylights for evidence of leaks.

Check windows, doors and floors
Inspect windows and doors looking for gaps, improper sealing, and dry rot. Check to see that they sit square in their frames (misaligned frames can indicate a shifting foundation.) Open and close doors and windows to make sure they fit properly and don't stick. Check that locks and latches work, sliding doors slide smoothly, and that windows aren't painted shut. Look for broken windows or missing or damaged screens. Check to see that floors appear level and are in good condition without missing tiles, bowed wood or torn carpeting.

Assess the bathrooms
Turn on the water and let it run for a few minutes to make sure the drains are working properly in sinks, showers and tubs. Flush toilets to see if the water pressure changes or there are unusual noises. Make sure toilet and sinks are securely fastened. Open the cabinetry under sinks, checking for water damage and making sure doors work properly. Check the condition of the grout and caulking. Turn on the fan, making sure it works and vents outside. Check for signs of a poor ventilation like mildew, mold, peeling paint or wallpaper or a musty smell.

Look at the electrical system
Check the electrical system for obvious problems like frayed wires, overloaded outlets, and exposed wiring. Take the cover plate off the service panel and check for burned wiring, wiring that is too large or too small, improperly connected or spliced wires, or wiring that was not professionally installed. Make sure Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI) are installed near wet or damp locations. Check to make sure that outlets are working and updated, they have coverplates and that there are enough of them in each room. Make sure lights and fans work.

Check the kitchen and laundry areas
Make sure the cabinet doors and drawers work and that they're in good condition. Run water in the sink for a few minutes to make sure it drains properly. Look under the sink for evidence of leaky pipes. Run all the appliances, including garbage disposals, trash compactors, built-in ovens, ice makers and microwaves, to make sure they work. Make sure the kitchen exhaust fan works and vents to the outside. Run the dishwasher, clothes washer and dryer for a cycle, checking to see that they work, that doors seal properly and there are no leaks or strange noises. Check to make sure that dryer vents outside and that the vent isn't blocked.

Look at the heating and cooling system
Turn on the units to make sure they're working properly and that there's good airflow. Check for dirty or missing filters and whether the ducts are in good shape. Check for problems like odd noises, rusty parts, a gas odor, worn wiring or blocked coils.

Give the house a final walkthrough
Check stairs to make sure they're level and safe and that railings are securely attached. Look inside the fireplace for cracks and make sure the damper is working. Check the water heater to make sure it's functioning properly, anchored and free of rusted or broken parts. Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they're working and not painted over.

What Not To Do As A New Homeowner

by Craig Whitlock

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You’ve finally settled into your new home.  You’re hanging pictures and pinning ideas for your favorite bath.

But in all your excitement, are you missing something? Now that you’re a bonafide homeowner are there things you should know that you don’t?

Probably so. Here are six mistakes new homeowners often make, and why they’re critically important to avoid.

#1 Not Knowing Where the Main Water Shutoff Valve Is
Water from a burst or broken plumbing pipe can spew dozens of gallons into your home’s interior in a matter of minutes, soaking everything in sight — including drywall, flooring, and valuables. In fact, water damage is one of the most common of all household insurance claims.

Quick-twitch reaction is needed to stave off a major bummer. Before disaster hits, find your water shutoff valve, which will be located where a water main enters your house. Make sure everyone knows where it’s located and how to close the valve. A little penetrating oil on the valve stem makes sure it’ll work when you need it to.

Modern kitchen with wood floors Spend Oh-So-Wisely on a Kitchen Remodel 6 Materials to Never Use in Your Kitchen How to Shop for a Retro Kitchen — and Not Get Stuck with Junk Refacing Your Kitchen Cabinets: The Options and Costs

#2 Not Calling 811 Before Digging a Hole
Ah, spring! You’re so ready to dig into your new yard and plant bushes and build that fence. But don’t — not until you’ve dialed 811, the national dig-safely hotline. The hotline will contact all your local utilities who will then come to your property — often within a day — to mark the location of underground pipes, cables, and wires.

This free service keeps you safe and helps avoid costly repairs. In many states, calling 811 is the law, so you’ll also avoid fines.

#3 Not Checking the Slope of Foundation Soil
The ground around your foundation should slope away from your house at least 6 inches over 10 feet. Why? To make sure that water from rain and melting snow doesn’t soak the soil around your foundation walls, building up pressure that can cause leaks and crack your foundation, leading to mega-expensive repairs.

This kind of water damage doesn’t happen overnight — it’s accumulative — so the sooner you get after it, the better (and smarter) you’ll be. While you’re at it, make sure downspouts extend at least 5 feet away from your house.

#4 Not Knowing the Depth of Attic Insulation
This goes hand-in-hand with not knowing where your attic access is located, so let’s start there. Find the ceiling hatch, typically a square area framed with molding in a hallway or closet ceiling. Push the hatch cover straight up. Get a ladder and check out the depth of the insulation. If you can see the tops of joists, you definitely don’t have enough.

The recommended insulation for most attics is about R-38 or 10 to 14 inches deep, depending on the type of insulation you choose. BTW, is your hatch insulated, too? Use 4-inch-thick foam board glued to the top.

#5 Carelessly Drilling into Walls
Hanging shelves, closet systems, and artwork means drilling into your walls — but do you know what’s back there? Hidden inside your walls are plumbing pipes, ductwork, wires, and cables.

You can check for some stuff with a stud sensor — a $25 battery-operated tool that detects changes in density to sniff out studs, cables, and ducts.

But stud sensors aren’t foolproof. Protect yourself by drilling only 1¼ inches deep max — enough to clear drywall and plaster but not deep enough to reach most wires and pipes.

Household wiring runs horizontally from outlet to outlet about 8 inches to 2 feet from the floor, so that’s a no-drill zone. Stay clear of vertical locations above and below wall switches — wiring runs along studs to reach switches.

#6 Cutting Down a Tree
The risk isn’t worth it. Even small trees can fall awkwardly, damaging your house, property, or your neighbor’s property. In some locales, you have to obtain a permit first. Cutting down a tree is an art that’s best left to a professional tree service.

Plus, trees help preserve property values and provide shade that cuts energy bills. So think twice before chopping them down.

Are We Headed Towards Another Bubble? Industry Experts Say NO!

by Craig Whitlock

A Housing Bubble? Industry Experts Say NO! | Simplifying The Market

With residential home prices continuing to appreciate at levels above historic norms, some are questioning if we are heading toward another housing bubble (and subsequent burst) like the one we experienced in 2006-2008.

Recently, five housing experts weighed in on the question.

Rick Sharga, Executive VP at Ten-X:

“We’re definitely not in a bubble.”

“We have a handful of markets that are frothy and probably have hit an affordability wall of sorts but…while prices nominally have surpassed the 2006 peak, we’re not talking about 2006 dollars.”

Christopher Thornberg, Partner at Beacon Economics:

“There is no direct or indirect sign of any kind of bubble.”

“Steady as she goes. Prices continue to rise. Sales roughly flat.…Overall this market is in an almost boring place.”

Bill McBride, Calculated Risk:

“I wouldn’t call house prices a bubble.”

“So prices may be a little overvalued, but there is little speculation and I don’t expect house prices to decline nationally like during the bust.”

David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices:

“Housing is not repeating the bubble period of 2000-2006.”

“…price increases vary unlike the earlier period when rising prices were almost universal; the number of homes sold annually is 20% less today than in the earlier period and the months’ supply is declining, not surging.”

Bing Bai & Edward Golding, Urban Institute:

“We are not in a bubble and nowhere near the situation preceding the 2008 housing crisis.”

“Despite recent increases, house prices remain affordable by historical standards, suggesting that home prices are tracking a broader economic expansion.”

The 5 Best Things To Do Once You've Moved In

by Craig Whitlock

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Moving into your dream home can be a daunting task. Between unpacking, cleaning, and trying to find that stray roll of toilet paper, it may feel like you’ve lost your mind in a sea of Bubble Wrap.

Here are five simple things that you should do during the first month in your new home. These may feel like back-burner tasks, but really, they’ll help you sleep better at night and make your new place feel less like a house and more like your home.

After cleaning and unpacking, what‘s next?

This handful of to-dos walks you through each of those tasks and why you should tackle them first and foremost:

#1 Lock It Up

Security is the No. 1 concern for most people in a new environment. You can easily switch out your locks and deadbolts to your new home to protect your valuables and your family.

Now’s the time to consider the lockset finish and the options are endless. When it comes to exterior locks, make sure you choose something that looks timeless and can be cleaned easily.

A new security system is also a good idea. The options for this are endless as well. Systems with online monitoring, smartphone compatibility, thermostat control, and even video monitors for the interior including the baby nursery are super helpful. Even if that room is empty now, it might not be in the future – so go ahead and secure it!

#2 Remove Toilet Seats

Some folks may think it’s unnecessary to replace toilet seats, but my point here is to simply remove them. By removing your toilet seats, you can really deep clean under the bolts and hinges. Your goal is to make sure your royal throne is YOU-worthy.

You can reinstall your existing seat or opt to shop for a new one. New versions with night-lights, padding, or even child-sized attachments are available. Either way, you’ll know your favorite seat in the house is ready for your entire family.

#3 Improve Your Home's Air

Changing an air filter is a three-minute task, and it should be done right after moving into a new home – even if the previous owners swear the chore was just done. Changing out a filter can help improve the performance of your air conditioning and furnace and help with any allergens in the home.

This inexpensive fix can also save you money! The U.S. Department of Energy says that replacing your dirty air filter with a new one can lower your A/C’s energy consumption by 5 percent to 10 percent.

It’s a good idea to write the replacement date directly on the filter when you put it in so you can be sure you know how long it’s been since the last change.

Also, take the time to test and change out batteries in all your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. These are often tested during inspections, but the batteries can die and tampered-with units aren’t uncommon, especially if a house was left vacant.

#4 Paint Your Front Door

Painting your front door (or freshening it up with a coat of oil if it’s wood) can show your new neighbors that you’ve arrived on the block and are investing in your home. This simple task is so easy!

After you do proper prep work, which includes sanding the surface, make sure you pick an exterior-grade paint and use a high-quality bristle brush to give it multiple thin coats for the best coverage. It’s a great time to show off your personal style, and these days any color goes!

Every day you walk in through your newly made-over door, you’ll feel welcomed into your new home and inspired to keep creating a space you love.

#5 Choose Your Signature Scent

Every house has a smell. You know what I’m talking about. It’s that “other people smell” that’s definitely not your own particular brand of aroma. Even if the smell isn’t bad, it just isn’t yours, and that makes you feel like an intruder in someone else’s space. Make your dream home even more dreamy by filling it with your signature scent.

Don’t have a signature scent? Check out a candle store or the air-freshener aisle to peruse the options, and then regularly use your favorite in your new home.

In homes that have particularly distressing odors, try getting the carpets cleaned before moving in the furniture. It can eliminate the smell as well as remove allergens, dirt, and stains.

8 Costly Mistakes Homeowners Make in their First Year

by Craig Whitlock

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The negotiations are over. Your mortgage is settled. The keys to your first home are in hand.

Finally, you can install your dream patio.

You can paint the walls without losing your security deposit.

You could even knock out a wall. You’re soooo ready to be a homeowner.

So ready in fact, you’re about to make some costly mistakes.

“You have to rein it in and be smart,” says Daniel Kanter, a homeowner with five years under his belt. Especially in your first year, when your happiness, eagerness (and sometimes ignorance) might convince you to make one of these eight mistakes:

#1 Going With the Lowest Bid
The sounds your HVAC system is making clearly require the knowledge of a professional (or perhaps an exorcist?).

But you’ve been smart and gotten three contractor bids, so why not go with the lowest price?

You might want to check out this story from a Michigan couple. Rather than going with a remodeler who’d delivered good work in the past, they hired a contractor offering to complete the work for less than half the cost, in less time.

A year later, their house was still a construction zone. You don’t want to be in the same spot.

What to do: Double-check that all bids include the same project scope — sometimes one is cheaper because it doesn’t include all the actual costs and details of the project. The contractor may lack the experience to know of additional steps and costs.

#2 Submitting Small Insurance Claims
Insurance is there to cover damage to your property, so why not use it?

Because the maddening reality is that filing a claim or two, especially in a relatively short period, can trigger an increase in your premium. “As a consumer advocate, I hate telling people not to use something they paid for,” says Amy Bach, executive director of nonprofit United Policyholders, which works to empower consumers. But, it’s better to pay out of pocket than submit claims that are less than your deductible.

Save your insurance for the catastrophic stuff. “You want the cleanest record possible,” Bach says. “You want to be seen as the lowest risk. It’s like a driving record — the more tickets you have, the more your insurance.”

Some insurance groups, like the Insurance Information Institute and National Association of Insurance Commissioners, say it’s hard to generalize about premium increases because states’ and providers’ rules differ. But this stat from a report by UP and the Rutgers Center for Risk and Responsibility at Rutgers Law School is pretty sobering: Only two states — Rhode Island and Texas — got top marks for protecting consumers “from improper rate increases and non-renewals” just for making:

• An inquiry about a claim
• A claim that isn’t paid because it was less than the deductible
• A single claim

Your best protection? Maintaining your home so small claims don’t even materialize.

#3 Making Improvements Without Checking the ROI
Brandon Hedges, a REALTOR® in Minneapolis-St. Paul, recalls a couple who, though only planning to stay in their home for a few years, quickly replaced all their windows. When the time came to sell, he had to deliver the crushing news that they wouldn’t get back their full investment — more than $30,000.

New windows can be a great investment if you’re sticking around for awhile, especially if windows are beyond repair, and you want to save on energy bills.

Just because you might personally value an upgrade doesn’t mean the market will. “It’s easy to build yourself out of your neighborhood” and invest more than you can recoup at resale, says Linda Sowell, a REALTOR® in Memphis, Tenn.

What to do: Before you pick up a sledgehammer, check with an agent or appraiser, who usually are happy to share their knowledge about how much moola an improvement will eventually deliver.

#4 Going on a Furnishing Spree
When you enter homeownership with an apartment’s worth of furnishings, entire rooms in your new home are depressingly sparse. You want to feel settled. You want guests at your housewarming party to be able to sit on real furniture.

But try to exercise some retailing willpower. Investing in high-quality furniture over time is just smarter than blowing your budget on a whole house worth of particleboard discount items all at once.

What to do: Live in your home for a while, and you’ll get to know your space. Your living room may really need two full couches, not the love seat and a recliner you pictured there.

#5 Throwing Away Receipts and Paperwork
Shortly after moving in, your sump pump dies. You begrudgingly pay for a new one and try to forget about the cash you just dropped. But don’t! When it comes time to sell, improvements as small as this are like a resume-builder for your home that can boost its price. And, if problems arise down the road, warranty information for something like a new furnace could save you hundreds.

What to do: Stow paperwork like receipts, contracts, and manuals in a three-ring binder with clear plastic sleeves, or photograph your documents and upload them to cloud storage.

#6 Ignoring Small Items on Your Inspection Report
Use your inspection report as your very first home to-do list — even before you start perusing paint colors. Minor issues that helped take a chunk of change off the sale price can cause cumulative (and sometimes hazardous) damage. Over time, loose gutters could yield thousands in foundation damage. Uninsulated pipes? You could pay hundreds to a plumber when they crack in freezing temperatures. And a single faulty electric outlet could indicate dangerous ungrounded electricity.

What to do: Get the opinion and estimate of a contractor (usually at no charge), and then you can make an informed decision. But remember #1 above.

#7 Remodeling Without Doing the Research
No one wants to be a Negative Nancy, but there’s a benefit to knowing the worst-case scenario.

Homeowner Kanter tells the time he hired roofers to remove box gutters from his 1880s home. Little did he know, more often than not aged box gutters come with more extensive rot damage, which his roofers weren’t qualified to handle.

“We had to have four different contractors come in and close stuff up for the winter,” he says. Had he researched the problem, he could have saved money and anxiety by hiring a specialist from the start, he says.

What to do: Before beginning a project, thoroughly research it. Ask neighbors. Ask detailed questions of contractors so you can get your timing, budget, and expectations in line.

#8 Buying Cheap Tools
You need some basic tools for your first home — a hammer, screwdriver set, a ladder, maybe a mower.

But if you pick up a “novelty” kit (like those cute pink ones) or inexpensive off-brand items, don’t be surprised if they break right away, or if components like batteries have to be replaced frequently.

What to do: For a budget-friendly start, buy used tools from known quality brands (check online auctions or local estate sales) that the pros themselves use.

Is Your Pet Prepared for an Emergency?

by Craig Whitlock

As recent natural disasters have shown us, anything can happen anywhere, anytime. And while the impact can be devastating to life and property, there are also our furry family members to consider. Would you be ready to properly care for your pet should a hurricane, tornado, earthquake or other emergency occur? 

In his recent blog for the Pet Health Network, Dr. Mike Paul, DVM, offers some great strategies for keeping your pet safe during a natural disaster:

Microchipping – The best way to make sure you're reunited with your pet should you get separated during an emergency is a microchip.

According to Paul, animals instinctively flee from terror or you could be forced to evacuate and leave your pet behind. These pets are often rescued and end up in an overwhelmed animal shelter post-event. Without the proper identification—at the very least a collar and ID tag—the odds of reuniting with your pet are slim. A permanent microchip implant is the best option, of course, as it can't be lost.

Proper transport – In the event of an evacuation, make the process easier by having the right-sized carrier or cage for cats and small dogs, or a sturdy leash and harness for larger dogs.

Food and water – Just like you have a food and water supply available for you and your human family, make sure you're prepared for your pets, as well. Be prepared with a few sealed gallons of water and a sealed container of food, says Paul.

Make sure vaccinations are current and keep a record with you – Keep a small card or folded document in your wallet so that it's with you at all times. According to Paul, your pet's exposure risk may be much greater after a disaster.

Pet meds – Just like people, many pets rely on daily medications. Have a five-day supply at the ready should you need to leave your home.

Nerve busters – Understandably, an emergency situation can cause great anxiety for pets, so be sure to grab their favorite blanket or toy to help soothe them during the disruption.  

Of course, the best step you could take to prepare is to check with your vet. He or she will have more specific advice based on the particular needs of your pet.  

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Craig Whitlock
COLDWELL BANKER BRENTWOOD
11661 San Vicente Blvd., 10th Floor
Los Angeles CA 90049
Mobile: (310) 488-4399
Fax: (310) 820-1457

Broker/Agent does not guarantee the accuracy of the square footage, lot size or other information concerning the conditions or features of properties provided by the seller or obtained from Public Records or other sources as presented in this website.  Interested parties are advised to independently verify the accuracy of all information through personal inspection and with appropriate professionals.  Information herein deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

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