Classic Palm Springs Alexander Mid-Century

1050 N Rose Avenue, Palm Springs

Listed at $498,500.00 SOLD $542,500.00

3 bedroom - 2 bathroom, 1710 square foot home sits on a 13,064 sqft lot with a large pool and mature landscape

We’ve all heard the stories of a guy traveling through the Mid-West or some remote part of the country and coming across an original ’57 Chevy or perhaps a Woody Station Wagon under an old tarp in a barn. As we progress into the 21st century, the same goes for Modern Architecture, designed and built during the early to mid twentieth century.

Palm Springs is a hot bed for these properties and has entire sub-divisions consisting mostly of historical structures originally built in the ’50s and early ‘60s. Although a lot of them have been updated or butchered, there are still a few out there that are mostly original. Even in this market, demand for these house is heavy and typically garner multiple offers.

Original brochure for Las Palmas Estates circa 1960

Palm Springs has a rich Modern Architectural history dating back to the early 1920’s and includes infamous names like R. M. Schindler, Lloyd Wright (son of Frank Lloyd Wright) and Richard Neutra. In the mid 1950’s the Alexander Company and the architectural firm of William “Bill” Krisel and Dan Saxon Palmer teamed up and began to build housing tracts that are now considered landmark (see entire Modern Architectural time line at Palm Springs Modern Committee).

In these neighborhoods (like Vista Las Palms) even a home in haggard condition and in need of a face lift will usually bring more than 10-times the number scratched on the photo above (taken from an original brochure for Las Palmas Estates circa 1960).

North Rose Avenue is at the eastern extreme of central Palm Springs and provides for spectacular desert mountain views

1050 N. Rose (pictured above), a Krisel & Palmer designed Model B-3 fixer (built by the  Alexander Company in 1960) was purchased by the seller in 1985, used infrequently as a vacation home and almost entirely original. For a modern architectural collector this property is tantamount to the Holy Grail and a fantastic opportunity.

Spacious 13,064 sqft lot with a large pool, mature landscape and spectacular views

For more information regarding this post or other real estate information contact Robert Dixon at RE/MAX Palos Verdes Realty, Telephone (310) 703-1848 or email Content of this or any other post is presumed to be accurate but not guaranteed. DRE License #01828273

Serving the Palos Verdes Peninsula & South Bay Beach Cities, Hollywood and the Hollywood Hills, Silver Lake, Echo Park – Angelino Heights, Los Feliz, the Greater Los Angeles area and Palm Springs.


SoCal Sales and Median Price Fall in July

July sales traditionally fall from June however a nearly perfect storm of elements combined last month to produce one of the worst Julys on record. I say “nearly” because interest rates are still fantastic and we can only imagine how ugly it may have been if the cost of money had gone up as well. 

  Sales Volume Median Price
All homes Jul-09 Jul-10 %Chng Jul-09 Jul-10 %Chng
Los Angeles    8,082 6,515 -19.4% $321,000 $339,000 5.6%
Orange         3,128 2,527 -19.2% $420,000 $450,000 7.1%
Riverside      4,699 3,529 -24.9% $185,000 $200,000 8.1%
San Bernardino 3,549 2,556 -28.0% $140,000 $155,000 10.7%
San Diego      3,809 3,070 -19.4% $320,000 $338,000 5.6%
Ventura        837 749 -10.5% $375,000 $370,000 -1.3%
SoCal          24,104 18,946 -21.4% $268,000 $295,000 10.1%

With record low interest, falling prices and an increase in inventory there is great opportunity for well qualified buyers. Even with a potential double-dip in property value, the amount saved in interest should more than balance out.  As the saying goes, you make money when you purchase real estate and with the abundance of distressed properties out there and buyers’ market environment, there is plenty of opportunity.

Cash buyers are definitely is the best position to take advantage, whether changing a primary residence or considering income properties. There’s a lot of single, multi-family and vacation homes currently on the market that have the potential to cover some or all of the cost of ownership. In the best case scenarios owners will see positive cash flow. There some situations where financed income properties can produce a profit, however these are generally larger and much more complex investment s than say 3 to 10 unit properties.

Whether buying and especially if selling, know you market. Be patient and understand what constitutes the best value in your chosen area. The most important thing for a seller now is to be realistic and understand that their home may be worth much more to them than the market will bear.

My job as is to educated my clients so that they know the right deal when it comes along.

For more information regarding this post or other real estate information visit or contact Robert Dixon at RE/MAX Palos Verdes Realty, Telephone (310) 703-1848 or email Content of this or any other post is presumed to be accurate but not guaranteed. DRE License #01828273

Serving the Palos Verdes Peninsula & South Bay Beach Cities, Hollywood and the Hollywood Hills, Silver Lake, Echo Park – Angelino Heights, Los Feliz, the Greater Los Angeles area and Palm Springs.

Southern California Home Sales and Median Price Dip in July

August 17, 2010

La Jolla, CA—Southland home sales saw their biggest year-over-year drop in more than two years last month as the market lost most of the boost from the federal home buyer tax credits. The median sale price dipped for the second month in a row, the result of a shaky economic recovery, continued uncertainty about jobs, and the expiring tax breaks, a real estate information service reported.

A total of 18,946 new and resale homes were sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties in July. That was down 20.6 percent from 23,871 in June, and down 21.4 percent from 24,104 for July 2009, according to MDA DataQuick of San Diego.

This was the slowest July since 2007, when 17,867 homes were sold, and the second-slowest since July 1995, when 16,225 sold. Last month’s sales were 27.4 percent lower than the July average of 26,085 sales since 1988, when DataQuick’s statistics begin. The average change in sales between June and July is a 6.7 percent decline – about one-third the drop seen this year.

Last month’s 21.4 percent sales drop from a year ago marked the steepest year-over-year decline for Southland sales since March 2008, when sales fell 41.4 percent.

“It appears some of the sales that normally would have occurred in July were instead tugged into June or even May as buyers tried to take advantage of the expiring tax credits. Some of last month’s underlying technical numbers were largely flat, indicating that the market is treading water,” said John Walsh, MDA DataQuick president.

“We do expect some sideways buying and selling to kick in, especially among homeowners who have owned for more than seven years and didn’t take out equity during the frenzy. You may have to ‘discount’ your self-perceived home value, but if the person you’re buying from has to do the same thing, it doesn’t matter. And you may get a spectacularly low mortgage rate.”

The median price paid for a Southland home was $295,000 last month. That was down 1.7 percent from $300,000 in June, and up 10.1 percent from $268,000 for July 2009. The low point of the current cycle was $247,000 in April 2009, while the high point was $505,000 in mid 2007. The median’s peak-to-trough drop was due to a decline in home values as well as a shift in sales toward low-cost homes, especially foreclosures.

Foreclosure resales accounted for 34.2 percent of the resale market last month, up from 32.8 percent in June but down from 43.4 percent a year ago. The all-time high was February 2009 at 56.7 percent, DataQuick reported.

Government-insured FHA loans, a popular choice among first-time buyers, accounted for 36.0 percent of all mortgages used to purchase homes in July, down from 38.8 percent in June and 39.2 percent in July 2009.

Last month 21.9 percent of all sales were for $500,000 or more, compared with 21.6 percent in June and 19.2 percent a year ago. The low point for $500,000-plus sales was in February 2009, when 13.6 percent of sales crossed that threshold. Over the past decade, a monthly average of 25.4 percent of homes sold for $500,000 or more.

Viewed a different way, Southland zip codes in the top one-third of the housing market, based on historical prices, accounted for 30.8 percent of existing single-family house sales last month, up from 30.4 percent in June and 27.7 percent a year ago. Over the last decade those higher-end areas have contributed a monthly average of 33.3 percent of regional sales. Their contribution to overall sales hit a low of 21.0 percent in January 2009.

High-end sales would be stronger if adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) and “jumbo” loans were easier to obtain. Both have become much more difficult to get since the credit crunch hit three years ago.

Last month ARMs represented 6.1 percent of all purchase loans, down from 6.7 percent in June but up from 3.4 percent in July 2009. Over the past decade, a monthly average of nearly 40 percent of all home purchase loans have been ARMs.

Jumbo loans, mortgages above the old conforming limit of $417,000, accounted for 18.4 percent of last month’s purchase lending, up from 17.6 percent in June and from 15.2 percent in July 2009. Last month’s figure was the highest since January 2008, when it was 18.7 percent. Before the August 2007 credit crisis, jumbos accounted for 40 percent of the market.

Absentee buyers – mostly investors and some second-home purchasers – bought 21.9 percent of the homes sold in July, paying a median of $220,000. Buyers who appeared to have paid all cash – meaning there was no indication that a corresponding purchase loan was recorded – accounted for 26.7 percent of July sales, paying a median $218,250. In February this year cash sales peaked at 30.1 percent. The 22-year monthly average for Southland homes purchased with cash is 14.2 percent.

The “flipping” of homes has trended higher over the past year. Last month the percentage of Southland homes flipped – bought and re-sold – within a six-month period was 3.7 percent, while in June it was 3.4 percent and a year ago it was 2.0 percent. Last month flipping varied from as little as 2.8 percent in Orange County to as much as 4.4 percent in Los Angeles County.

MDA DataQuick, a subsidiary of Vancouver-based MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates, monitors real estate activity nationwide and provides information to consumers, educational institutions, public agencies, lending institutions, title companies and industry analysts.

The typical monthly mortgage payment that Southland buyers committed themselves to paying was $1,204 last month, down from $1,251 in June, and up from $1,180 in July 2009. Adjusted for inflation, current payments are 46.4 percent below typical payments in the spring of 1989, the peak of the prior real estate cycle. They were 56.1 percent below the current cycle’s peak in July 2007.

Indicators of market distress continue to move in different directions. Foreclosure activity remains high by historical standards but is lower than peak levels reached over the last two years. Financing with multiple mortgages is low, down payment sizes are stable, and non-owner occupied buying is above-average, MDA DataQuick reported.


SOLD June, Palos Verdes – South Bay Beach Cities

SOLD during the month of JUNE 2010

61 The number of residential properties sold on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, 90274 and 90275.

120 The number of residential properties sold in the South Bay Beach Cities, El Segundo, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo and Torrance Beach.

Residential properties SOLD during the month of MAY 2010
For more information regarding this post or other real estate information contact Robert Dixon at RE/MAX Palos Verdes Realty (310) 703-1848 or email Content of this or any other post is presumed to be accurate but not guaranteed.

South Bay Home Sales/Prices April 2009 to 2010

No doubt it is difficult to be too serious about the percentage of loss/gain when looking at such a limited number of sales (per city), as one high or low number can dramatically influence the overall. The devil, as they say is in the details…

Below are numbers (from DataQuick) on April 2010 home sales as compared to April 2009. Data includes homes sold and the percentage of change based on median price 2009 vs 2010. Unfortunately there were no numbers in the report for Palos Verdes Estates, Rolling Hills or Rolling Hills Estates.

Entire report at DQNews – California Home Sale Price Medians by County and City, Home Sales Recorded in April 2010

Los Angeles County  6,334  +9.00%

El Segundo  15  +12.46%
Gardena  31  +10.29%
Harbor City  18  +21.20%
Hawthorne  37  +15.24%
Hermosa Bch  18  -26.54%
Lomita  11  -3.87%
Manhattan Bch  40  +11.72%
Rancho PV  39  +4.38%
Redondo Bch  77  +1.98%
Torrance  106  +18.41%

For more information regarding this post or other real estate information contact Robert Dixon at RE/MAX Palos Verdes Realty (310) 703-1848 or email Content of this or any other post is presumed to be accurate but not guaranteed.

Interest rate lower still…

Among the list of reasons for buying a home now verses later are historically low interest rates. Even if the market remains somewhat flat or depreciates again, rising interest rates would help to equalize any loss/gain. 
LA Times May 27, 2010
By E. Scott Reckard
Anyone out there still have the old-fashioned notion to retire their mortgage sooner rather than later?
Homeowners able to refinance were finding lenders offering 15-year fixed-rate mortgages at an average of 4.21% this week, according to Freddie Mac — the lowest rate since the mortgage company started tracking the 15-year loan in 1991.
Heavy demand for 10-year U.S. Treasury bonds has pushed their yield to the lowest level of the year. That’s the typical benchmark for fixed mortgages — and boy have rates followed, with Freddie Mac reporting the average for a 30-year fixed home loan falling to 4.78%.

That’s down from 4.84% a week earlier and not far from the record low of 4.71% set back in December.

Since the Freddie Mac survey reflects what lenders are offering, not actual contracts for loans, the rates obtained by well-qualified borrowers are often slightly lower, experts say.

Freddie Mac gathers information about rates available to well-qualified borrowers who make a down payment of at least 20% or have equivalent equity in their homes if they are refinancing. The borrowers in this week’s survey would have paid 0.7% of the loan balance to the lenders in upfront fees and discount points, Freddie Mac said.

Last year, the experts expected residential mortgage rates would be rising by now, as federal housing and home-loan support programs expired, home prices stabilized and inflation became more of a concern.

Then the latest default scare reared its head — this time involving not U.S. home loans but the debt loads carried by Greece and other weaker European economies. And just like that, the flood of money began to the safe haven of debt issued by Uncle Sam.

“Just when we thought we were finally experiencing [the anticipated rate increase] we got the PIGS,” said Stew Larsen, head of mortgage banking operations for Bank of the West, referring to an acronym for the nations Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain.

For those hungry for lower rates, is this the last big chance to head to the trough?

SOLD in May, Palos Verdes – South Bay Beach Cities

During the month of May 2010
76  The number of residential properties sold on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, 90274 and 90275.
156  The number of residential properties sold in the South Bay Beach Cities, El Segundo, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo and Torrance Beach.

Must-do Home Cleaning & Maintenance

Spring is upon us, or so it would seem and with the fairer weather comes the urge to clean-up, air out and organize… Following is a list of Must-Do items to add to your regimen.

Whereas you may be comfortable doing some work yourself, other items require the expertise of a licensed professional (e.g. general contractor, plumber, electrician or HVAC contractor etc.). One great way to stay on top of home maintenance is to have regular inspections (minimum twice annually) by a licensed general contractor who offers home maintenance or handyman services. He or she will either be knowledgeable enough to address your issues or recommend that a specialist be brought in to evaluate the problem. Always be sure that every contractor is licensed and insured before any work begins.

If you need a good general contractor/handyman, I recommend South Bay Home Services. Jim Scira is clean, meticulous and conscientious.

Also, for more general room-by-room cleaning/spring cleaning pointers visit Spring Cleaning: A Complete Checklist (A Spring Cleaning Extravaganza) by Sarah Aguirre at Guide

Maintenance & Cleaning Tips for Your Home


  1. Replace your furnace filter
  2. Clean the kitchen exhaust hood and air filter
  3. Check your electrical system
  4. Always have a multi-purpose fire extinguisher accessible.
  5. Check light bulbs in all fixtures for correct wattage
  6. Review your fire escape plan with your family
  7. Consider installing a lightning protection system on your home
  8. Protect electrical appliances from power surges & lightning
  9. Have an HVAC contractor inspect & maintain your system
  10. Check for damage to your roof
  11. Run through a severe-weather drill with your family
  12. Repair all cracked, broken or uneven driveways and walks
  13. Protect your home from sewer or drain back-up losses
  14. Check all the fascia and trim for deterioration
  15. Check your water heater
  16. Check shutoff valve at each plumbing fixture
  17. Clean clothes dryer exhaust duct, damper & under dryer
  18. Replace extension cords that are brittle, worn or damaged
  19. Inspect & clean smoke & carbon monoxide alarms

Replace or clean your furnace filter

It should be checked once a month and replaced or cleaned as needed. Some filters are reusable and are supposed to be taken out, washed with a hose and re-inserted. A dirty filter can lower the efficiency of the heating/cooling system, increase heating costs and cause fires.

Clean the kitchen exhaust hood and air filter

Keeping this clean of cooking grease will help keep a stovetop fire from spreading.

Check your electrical system

Look for burn marks at the main electrical panel; they can be a sign of arcing inside the panel, which can easily lead to a fire. Loose connections or damaged insulation can cause the arcing. Note: Only a qualified electrician should remove the front panel cover.

Trip and reset the circuit breakers regularly.

Remove any combustible materials such as paper boxes or flammable liquids from the area near the main electrical panel. Sparks caused by arcing inside the panel can ignite material stored nearby.

Check all electrical outlets for loose-fitting plugs they are an indication of a worn out receptacle. Worn receptacles should be replaced as they cause overheating and fires. Also check electrical outlets and switches to be sure they work properly. If any switches, outlets or receptacles do not work, have a qualified electrician determine the problem and fix it to avoid fires inside the walls of your home.

Install safety covers to help protect children from electrical shock. Any appliance or tool that gives even the slightest shock should be unplugged and checked by an electrician or repair shop.

Always have a multi-purpose fire extinguisher accessible

Make sure it is Underwriters Laboratories (UL) listed or Factory Mutual (FM) approved. Check the gauges to make sure they are charged and ready to use.

Make sure the light bulbs in all your fixtures are the correct wattage

The light fixture manufacturer recommends the correct wattage. If too high a wattage bulb is used in a light fixture, heat produced inside the fixture can lead to fire inside the fixture, ceiling or wall.

Consider installing a lightning protection system on your home

Read more at Lightning protection systems.

Protect all your electrical appliances from power surges and lightning

Read more at How to choose surge protection for your home.

Have a professional air conditioning contractor (HVAC) inspect and maintain your system as recommended by the manufacturer

Maintenance should include:

– Cleaning the evaporator coil
– Lubricating fans and motors
– Tightening or changing the belts
– Checking electrical safeties
– Checking the drain pan for leaks
– Testing the capacitors
– Check the condensate drain
– Test the crankcase heater
– Calibrating the thermostat
– Visually checking the wiring for potential short circuits

These steps can help decrease the chance of fire, save money by making the system run more efficiently and help prevent breakdowns.

Things you can maintain:

– Check the condensate hose to be sure it is not blocked with algae.
– Clean the outside condensing unit screen of leaves.
– Listen for unusual noises.

Check for damage to your roof

Signs include missing, curling, cupping, broken or cracked shingles. Pooling or ponds of water that fail to drain from flat roofs may indicate low areas and inadequate drainage.

Repair all cracked, broken or uneven driveways and walks to help provide a level walking surface

This will help prevent guests and family members from slipping, tripping or falling.

Protect your home from sewer or drain back-up losses

Read more at Wet Basements.

Check all the fascia and trim for deterioration

These areas can become weathered and worn and may lead to potential water damage.

Check your water heater

If you have a gas-fired water heater, check to make sure it is venting properly. Light a match next to the vent and wave it out (don’t blow it out). See if the smoke is pulled up into the vent. If it isn’t, have a professional inspect and repair it. Otherwise, carbon monoxide and other combustibles can build up in the home.

Check around the base of your water heater for evidence of leaks. If your water heater is over 5 years old, it should be checked monthly for any leakage or rusting at the bottom. If water leakage or rust is found, the water heater should be replaced.

Check the shutoff valve at each plumbing fixture to make sure they function

Know the location of all valves and what equipment and water lines they serve. Teach all family members.

Clean the clothes dryer exhaust duct, damper and space under the dryer

Poor maintenance allows lint to build up in the exhaust duct and cause fire.

Replace all extension cords that have become brittle, worn or damaged

Exposed wires may cause arcing, which will produce heat and can start a fire. Care should also be taken to keep appliances and their power cords away from water or a heat source because this will damage the cord’s insulation.

Inspect and clean dust from the covers of your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms

Read more at Smoke alarms save lives.