Kids Go Colorful

February 27, 2015

Have you been dreaming of the perfect place to splash all of your favorite colors? But maybe yellow, green, red, navy blue, orange and pink aren’t the best fit for your living room? Yeah, they’re probably not! But we know a place that is great for designing with all your favorite colors: your kid’s room! Let them run wild with their list of desired colors and then design a space that adds the perfect pop of each. It will become a colorful space you’ll both love!

CoStar: “Will Condo Development Ripple Become the Next Wave In 2015?”

February 25, 2015




CoStar: “Will Condo Development Ripple Become the Next Wave In 2015?”

Higher Apartment Rents, Easier Lending Terms May Prompt a Second Look at Buying Attached Home Investments
February 25, 2015
With the spring home buying season at least on the horizon, all of the supply and demand dynamics are in place for a lift in the U.S. condominium market in 2015.

Early 2015 trends suggest home buying activity could gain some traction this spring after less-than stellar sales last year. glass tower

Existing condo sales dipped 2% in 2014 from the previous year as available supply inventory dipped to 4.5 months by the end of the year, falling another 2% in January. A six-month supply traditionally reflects a stable market. 

Reflecting the growing lack of available product, the median U.S. price of a condo was $204,300 in 2014, up a modest 5% from the previous year and 17.6% higher than 2012, the National Association of Realtors reported. January condo prices, not seasonally adjusted, ticked up 5.3% higher from the same time a year ago. 

With interest rates remaining low, however, residential mortgages are becoming more accessible, and the mediocre level of condo sales is expected to perk up in coming months. 

Some mortgage lenders are even considering lowering their down payment requirements, especially for first-time home buyers, which would help clear one of the key hurtles to homeownership since the recession – the inability to save. 

“For first time buyers, condos are usually the first option, especially as the economic recovery gains more strength,” said Luis Mejia, CoStar Group director of U.S. research, multifamily. 

Rising job growth and a shrinking backlog of available condo units, especially in primary U.S. markets, will also bring more condo buying and development activity through the end of the year. While the wave expected to roll into new submarkets of top metros, and some second-tier markets will see their first major condo developments, condo construction and conversion will remain largely a downtown urban core play. 

“Condo demand, and as result supply, are largely concentrated in the largest metros. Even as households age and lifestyles change, possibly requiring moving to the typical detached single family home, demand for condo units in the near term will probably be more dominant in the more central urban areas, rather than way out in the suburbs,” Mejia said. 

The inventory of condos for sale is very limited – just a 4.8 months’ supply nationally, according to the recent ULI/PwC Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2015 survey. 

“Such a tight market, coupled with continued low interest rates as expected, suggests a resumption of price escalation in the near future. Watch for that in 2015,” according to the ULI/PwC survey. 

An interviewee for the survey sees significant infill condo opportunities in 2015, with one private equity player saying that investors should give a serious look to condos where the markets haven’t yet taken off. 

In response, capital from private equity, REITs and foreign investors are jumping back into the condo development market. 

As of January 2015, for example, Toll Brothers had 421 luxury condo units in its City Living collection for sale in key U.S. urban areas, with a further 1,474 units going through entitlement. 

The builder is expected to accelerate condo project deliveries over the coming year as it looks to expand in the Boston, Miami and San Francisco markets, and deepen its presence in New York City. 

In land-constrained San Francisco, however, there’s only a 2 ½ month supply of condos and a 3-month supply in Los Angeles as the housing recovery deepens in the Golden State. 

Naturally, developers are stepping up. Late last month, Trumark Urban secured $77 million in construction financing for its planned 1050 S. Grand Ave. property, a 22-story condominium tower in downtown Los Angeles near the LA Live entertainment, dining, and retail complex. It’s the first new condo tower to be built in downtown L.A. in more than seven years. 

“There’s no product to buy. Owners are not putting their homes on the market because with prices rising, they have nowhere to go,” said Chris Foley, principal with Polaris Pacific, the largest sales and marketing company for new construction condos on the West Coast. 

“Land is in demand by both condo buyers and multifamily apartments investors,” Foley said. “I’m seeing buyers for entitled and unentitled land for both condos and apartments; even large publicly traded REITs are willing to buy unentitled land because they feel so strongly about the marketplace.” 

The decline in condo sales last year was consistent with the deceleration in the overall housing market, with more measured demand and slower price growth for detached single-family homes as well as condos, Mejia said. The decline followed a strong rebound in 2013 driven in part by hopes for a quick economic recovery and further home price appreciation off cyclical 2012 pricing lows. 

The 2013 recovery was supported by condo investors looking for bargain opportunities – either current home owners trying to downsize, investors in major markets buying units to rent out or foreign investors taking advantage of cheap prices in Florida and other overbuilt markets, Mejia said. 

Condo hunters and investors, however, faced a reality check last year as young households largely remained focused on home rental options and condo investors were less active, in part because bargains were not as commonplace as in the two previous years. 





LA Downtown News: “Downtown Development: The Latest Info on 96 Projects”

February 24, 2015

DTLA News logo

LA Downtown News: “Downtown Development: The Latest Info on 96 Projects”

Posted: Tuesday, February 24, 2015 5:00 am

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES – The development boom in Downtown Los Angeles is hitting a new level: Not only are projects being built, but they are going vertical. In other words, the Central City is literally on an upswing.

This is important because it speaks to increasing density in one of the few communities in Los Angeles that welcomes it. Whereas residents of Hollywood, the Westside and the Valley frequently protest when a new high-rise is proposed, in Downtown it is often embraced as a means to give the area a critical mass.

This is being seen on numerous fronts. The 73-story Wilshire Grand replacement is rising at Seventh and Figueroa streets and the 33-floor Onni Tower at 888 S. Olive St. is nearing completion. The multi-tower Metropolis near L.A. Live is under construction and the development firm Trumark Urban just broke ground on a 22-story condominium complex at 1050 S. Grand Ave. in South Park. That is literally just the start, as drawings have been made and entitlements are being sought for another batch of high-rises, some 40 or even 50 stories.


California Home Builders Can Help When You and Your Spouse Have Different Tastes

February 23, 2015

Shopping for a new home can bring a spark into a marriage, while renovating an older one often causes marital friction. Although it’s fun to visit new model homes and talk to different California home builders about your dreams, what do you do when your spouse doesn’t have the same tastes in homes? According to an article by the Boston Globe, buying a home together is often like walking in a mine field for some couples. Buying a new construction home rather than a resale home can actually eliminate much of the stress involved. With a new construction home, you don’t have to worry about whether the seller is hiding a home with mold. Also, being able to customize a home can often solve the problem of opposite design tastes as long as there is some willingness to compromise.


Indigo Is In!

February 20, 2015

Whether it’s pillows or rugs, indigo is everywhere! Indigo is the range of color from blue to dark violet that creates a patterned dyed look in fabric that is a perfect pop in home decor. It’s best used as highlights in a home, like in accessories or final touches, but this can be splashed anywhere!

Is It Time to Stop Renting and Buy That First Home?

February 16, 2015

If you’re thinking about buying your first home, chances are you’re renting now.  And you might be wondering whether you’re better off buying a home or continuing to rent.

The truth is that there are advantages and downsides to both buying and renting, depending on your circumstances.  For example, renting might be better if you have a fast track career and have to move every couple of years.  On the other hand, your landlord can raise your rent every year when your lease is up.  Buying has the advantage of building equity and improving your credit score, but it also means paying taxes and homeowner’s insurance, and of course you’re responsible for maintenance.


Macramé Wall Art

February 14, 2015

Hey hipsters, this wall hanging is the perfect fit for your abode! With a little throwback to the 70th, macramé accents are making a comeback in current home design. The geometric lines and organic texture make for a unique piece hanging on your wall. They can be used as a stand alone art piece or even hung over your bed acting as a headboard. You can buy your own unique macramé online on Etsy, as well as other retailers or even try your hand at making it yourself using guides on Pinterest!

How to Move Smoothly Into Your New Home

February 9, 2015

Moving to that new home you just bought from Trumark Homes can be an exciting but tiring experience. It can also be highly stressful if you just rush right into it. Slow down, especially if you have a family in tow, and make the transition as smooth as possible by using the following tips.

Start with a plan. When you’re still packing at your old house, label each box with its contents and the name of the room it goes into. Attach a room label to every piece of furniture as well. When you get to your new home but before the movers arrive, label each room with a letter-sized sheet of paper or bigger. When the movers finally arrive, they will know exactly where to take each item that they unload.


Trending Tree: Fiddle-Leaf Fig

February 6, 2015

Look around your room… Do you have an empty corner in your living room? An open spot by your staircase? A blank area in your bedroom? All these spots need something, right?! Indeed, they need the newest interior design trending tree! Fiddle-Leaf Fig! Also known as Ficus Lyrata (but Fliddle-Leaf is so much more fun to say!). These trees are one of the easiest, low-maintenence plants that have high visual impact! They just need a water every couple weeks and plenty of sunlight for growth!

4 Tips for First Time Home Buyers

February 2, 2015

When buying your first home, the whole process can seem stressful and scary. However, it doesn’t have to be, so long as you undestand these four tips for first time home buyers:

  1. Are You Ready?: Before you purchase your first home, you need to seriously ask yourself if you are ready for the responsibility. Remember that owning a home is expensive. It’s not just the cost of the home itself. You also have to consider the cost of homeowners insurance, extra utilities such as trash and water, taxes, and repairs. So, before the purchase a home, getting out of debt is a good idea, as well as setting up an emergency fund.