ADUs and Rent Control

We had a call recently asking how California’s new statewide rent cap laws impact homeowners who are supplementing their income by renting out an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU). The primary concern was, “Is the owner forced to keep a tenant or pay relocation if they decide to quit renting?”

The question stems from what is called the “just cause requirements” of the new rent control law. Our client was concerned about a decision to evict the current tenant and allow a grandchild to occupy the ADU while attending school locally. If “just cause” applied, it would require they provide relocation assistance to their current tenant.

Renting a part of your home, whether a single room or an entire “guest cottage” may be excluded from the law.

To answer the question, we reviewed the rent cap legislation with an eye to what terms would control should a homeowner need to evict tenants from an ADU.

Applicability of “just cause” relocation assistance, and the rent cap of 5% plus the local Consumer Price Index (CPI) both rely on the same tests.

The first of those tests is the type of property. Multi-family dwellings, i.e., everything from apartment buildings down to duplexes are included in the scope of the law. SFRs though, are excluded, and most importantly, an SFR with an ADU qualifies as an SFR and may be excluded if the second test is also met.

The second test relates to the owner of the property. The following owner types are always included within the scope of the law:
A real estate investment trust, as defined in Section 856 of the Internal Revenue Code.
A corporation.
A limited liability company in which at least one member is a corporation.

The bottom line is that “mom and pop” operations do not fall under the rent cap or the just cause eviction sections of the new laws. There is a caveat! You must notify your tenants!

At the time the lease is signed, tenants should be provided written notice that the residential real property is exempt from this section using the following statement: “This property is not subject to the rent limits imposed by Section 1947.12 of the Civil Code and is not subject to the just cause requirements of Section 1946.2 of the Civil Code. This property meets the requirements of Sections 1947.12 (c)(5) and 1946.2 (e)(7) of the Civil Code and the owner is not any of the following: (1) a real estate investment trust, as defined by Section 856 of the Internal Revenue Code; (2) a corporation; or (3) a limited liability company in which at least one member is a corporation.”

Here is a link to the legislation in question:
https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billCompareClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200AB1482

Prices Soften in South Bay

Here we wrap up 2019 and prepare for 2020, with a tumultuous election at hand and threats of an economic slowdown rearing in the local news. Our first thought is to look for a baseline from which to measure all the changes. So we did some research and assembled actual sales data from the last few years here in LA’s South Bay. Let’s walk, quickly, past some history.

Through 2015 nearly all real estate only became more expensive. Regardless of where you were in the country, or what kind of property you were considering, prices were only going one direction–up. Then, in 2016 the real estate world started changing. Our little corner of the the west coast is no exception. While some areas stand out as successes, others are showing signs of stress.

Torrance prices in the selected zip codes were varied, ranging from a low of 0% in 90505 for 2018 up to a high of 10.2% in 90503 for 2017. You read that correctly–Torrance prices have not gone negative yet! North Redondo Beach has also run positive every year, though 2019 looks like it will end with a mere .7% increase for the current year.

Hermosa Beach dropped a bit of value last year and is projected to lose again this year.

Manhattan Beach is a star performer, with average sales prices consistently above $2,000,000. Surprisingly, the city with the largest average increases is Hermosa Beach, with a price increase of 27.6% in 2015 and another huge price jump 0f 14% in 2017. Both cities declined in 2018 and 2019. Manhattan Beach was down by -1.7% and -2.6%, respectively. Hermosa Beach dropped by -1.6% and -1.0%, respectively.

Manhattan Beach showed exceptionally strong sales only in 2017, with 7 sales on The Strand. In 2018, prices declined slightly, and are projected to decline slightly in 2019.

While Manhattan and Hermosa were making one or two big jumps, south Redondo plugged away with annual increases between 8% and 10% until 2019. Unless something big happens in the final quarter of the year, 90277 will drop by about -6% this year.

After 4 years of increases, south Redondo Beach is slated to lose ~6% this year.

San Pedro has turned in a solidly positive set of numbers, too. The 90731 zip code is poised to show a 2.0% increase for 2019, down from a high of 7.5% in 2015. The 90732 zip code has slipped into negative territory with a forecast drop of -1.5% this year. Prior years have been over 8% increases, demonstrating the desirability of those harbor and ocean views.

San Pedro‘s 90731 has remained in positive increases to date.

The Palos Verdes Peninsula has proven to be quite a “mixed bag” of ups and downs in average sales prices. Rancho Palos Verdes followed a predictable path of gradual increases up to 6.2% in 2018, with a projected decrease of -2.0% this year. The 90274 zip code was all over the map though. It started with an 8.4% increase in 2015, dropped into negative territory the following year with a -4.7%, then dropped another -.8% in 2017, only to jump up by 8.7% in 2018. We’re currently forecasting a 1.5% increase in those prices for 2019.

five_year_avg_price_movement_percent_90274.jpg
The ups and downs of 90274

If you live in the 90274 zip, and are interested in values, give us a call. We are working on a more detailed analysis of where and why distinct PV neighborhoods are seeing values shift on a differing pace. It’s very possible the age of homes in parts of the 90274 zip has pushed them into a “sweet spot” for upgrade or redevelopment. Alternatively, there could pockets not impacted by the economics of the greater community.

Check your city on the chart above. Are your property values still climbing? Or have they already hit the top and started back down?

Market Analysis – October

We’re here in the final quarter of 2019, looking back and comparing this year to 2018. It’s amazing how similar they have been so far in the year. Let’s take a look at the charts and numbers for the South Bay. Keep in mind these are very small movements, in a market that is about as normal and “middle of the road” as we’ve seen in a long time. I’ve shown the charts in large format, specifically so you can see the monthly movement.

Market trend chart for the year of  2018.

Here we see the movement in listings and sales for the year of 2018. Notice the year starts off just below the center line, showing that overall activity is just barely leaning toward favoring buyers. Activity bumps up once in May, again in July and again a bit higher in August.

Note the chart shows a big jump in activity in December. These numbers are not seasonally adjusted, so these properties did actually move off the market. However, they didn’t sell. At the end of nearly every year the local market drops a big piece of the inventory. Listings that have been sitting for months without selling, and similar year-end cleanups, inflate the number of homes leaving the inventory.

Market trend chart for first nine months of 2019.

Compared to last year, 2019 took off the same, running essentially flat until May, when there is a bump up that matches almost identically the May increase from 2018. Slowing down again in June and ramping up a bit for July then August repeats the activity from last year. As fall comes along, sales slow again for September, just like 2018.

It’s important to remember trend data is designed to point in a direction, as opposed to reporting history. I’ve removed the red trend line from these charts so you can more easily see the individual month changes. If you have questions, or would like to know specifics, don’t hesitate to call.

Remodels for Aging in Place

Every year the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) conducts a broad survey of professionals involved in the housing industry. The results of that survey are published as the Remodelling Market Index (RMI). Among other data collected are details about the improvements made by seniors who plan to live in their current home as long as possible.

The ‘Aging-In-Place’ data includes how many professional remodelers do it, how many of their customers are receptive to it and what kinds of projects are completed. Using data from NAHB’s RMI survey for the 4th quarter of 2018, we look now at some of the specific types of Aging-in-Place projects undertaken last year.

It probably comes as little surprise to most readers that bathroom projects dominated the top spots. Over 80 percent of remodelers who answered the question reported installing grab bars, higher toilets and curb-less showers. The next-most-common project on the list, widening doorways, followed at a considerable distance (59 percent).

Much like the relationship between bathtubs and showers in general, walk-in bathtubs are not nearly as desired as curb-less showers. Only 12 percent of remodelers reported installing walk-in tubs in 2018, and only two of the 14 projects on the Aging-in-Place list were less desirable: lowering kitchen cabinets and lowering countertops.

When NAHB began asking Aging-in-Place remodeling questions in 2004, curb-less showers were about as common as wider doorways. But over the years the share of NAHB remodelers installing curb-less showers has grown, from 54 to 82 percent. Requests for curb-less showers are now nearly as common as higher toilets—even though installing higher toilets also reached an all-time high of 85 percent in 2018, up from 68 percent in 2004.

When the RMI questionnaire expanded in 2006, it started asking remodelers about reasons their customers undertake Aging-in-Place projects. Since that time “planning ahead for future needs” has consistently ranked as the most common motivation, cited by 75 percent of remodelers in 2006, and up to a record 86 percent in 2018.

“Acute age related disabilities” and “non-age disabilities” were also higher than ever in 2018, at 51 and 27 percent, respectively. This is only a 1 to 2 percentage point gain over their previous peaks, however.

Meanwhile, the share of remodelers citing “living with older parents” as a motivation has tended to drift downward over time, from over 50 percent in 2006 and 2007, to under 45 percent in 2016 and 2018.

For further results and more detail on the Aging-in-Place questions in NAHB’s RMI survey, the complete report may be found at http://eyeonhousing.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/RMI-2018-Q4.pdf.

New Horizons

For this issue we visit a couple who live in one of the original 55+ communities in the South Bay. The 600 homes in New Horizons were built in the early sixties. Most units have seen some remodelling, while a few have been extensively redone.

The basic units come in three configurations. The two story structures comprising the two most common, with single level ‘A’ units on the ground floor, and single level ‘B’ units upstairs. There are 237 each of the ‘A’ and ‘B’ units in that configuration.

Here an owner has installed a lift chair on the external stair of a two story building.

The two story buildings have downstairs units with essentially no stairs, and a nice patio, frequently enclosed in a wooden fence. The upstairs units have a large balcony off the living room.

New Horizon’s single story, ground level bungalows are highly sought after.

The third style is the highly sought-after bungalow with a total of 126 units. Each ground level building has three units, most in a staggered pattern to minimize shared walls.

Approximately 400 of the 600 units are identified as occupied by the owners. In many cases the official ownership record reflects the names of future heirs. Some units are occupied by seniors, but owned by investors, and we’ve found that often neighboring seniors will purchase available units for their own investment portfolio.

For this visit to New Horizons we’re talking to DeeDee and Arlo (names have been changed) who live in an upper story unit in one of the two story buildings.

  • Q1: How long have you lived here?
  • DD:We bought here seven years ago. It was just what we were looking for. The owner had done a lot of upgrades, so we have dual pane windows & patio doors, and tile floors. A lot of things other units don’t have.
Dining area with custom tile adjacent to kitchen.
  • Q2: Is it your first time living in a condominium?
  • DD:We’ve both lived in an apartment before. This isn’t much different, except for involvement in the association. I was on a committee for a while, but it was too much. After I retire, I’ll get more involved … maybe.
Wide and deep balconies offer immediately accessible outdoor space in addition to large units.
  • Q3: Have you made new friends here?
  • DD:Lots of them! We’re friends with just about everyone in our building and the one facing us.
    AR:It’s like a little Mayberry here. Everyone knows everyone and everything that’s going on. It’s really nice because the neighbors are very watchful. We know when there’s a stranger around, or a wild animal comes visiting.
  • Q4: Have friends from your old neighborhood come to visit? What did they have to say about your new home?
  • DD:We’ve had old friends come by regularly. There’ve been many family birthdays, and even super bowl parties! Everyone likes it. It’s much bigger than most condos.”
The New Horizons golf course has a gorgeous water trap!
  • Q5: Obviously there are things you like and some you don’t care for. What is your favorite part of living here?
  • DD:I play Bunko every second Tuesday. It’s fun and I’ve met a lot of new people–mostly ladies–that way.
    AR:I love the green. Everywhere you look there’s grass, trees, planters, and things growing. The golf course is especially nice with the lake and fountains.
    DD:We’re not at the beach, but being upstairs we get a nice cross-breeze. We wanted to be upstairs because of the extra light coming in and the upstairs units all have attic storage.
Custom built barbeque for al fresco dining on the grounds.
  • Q6: 55+ communities vary considerably in the amenities provided. What does the association provide that you like most?
  • AR:We haven’t even tried everything. There’s a gym with showers, a wood shop with all kinds of tools, and a pottery shop with a kiln. There’s a pool and hot tub here, bocce ball, and a bigger pool over by the recreation center. The rec center has ping pong, pool tables, card rooms, a meeting room with a stage and audio/visual equipment. There’s even a library.
    DD:The association cares for the owners. One of our neighbors needed a lift chair to get upstairs to the second level. The HOA was totally cooperative.”
The grounds are among the most opulent in the South Bay.
  • Q7: How about the things you like least. What would those be?
  • AR:There are all the usual things about living with other people–the gossip, pettiness, and perpetual complainers.”
    DD:The garages are shared, and you can’t really store anything in them.”
    AR:Guests and delivery people have a hard time finding addresses. I usually have to go out to guide them in because there’s a combination of block numbers, building numbers, street addresses and unit numbers.
  • Q8: What are your plans for the future?
  • AR:For right now, we’re staying right here. We’ve talked about moving to Temecula, but haven’t looked into it.”
    DD:We could swap to an inexpensive house there, but we really like being close to the beach and near family and friends.

When Is Assisted Living “In-Home Health Care?”

Last year the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) expanded how it defines many of the “primarily health-related” benefits that insurers are allowed to include in their Medicare Advantage (MA) policies. Air conditioners for people with asthma, healthy groceries, rides to medical appointments and home-delivered meals are among the new benefits now being considered for coverage by insurers. More importantly, insurers are now allowed to cover non-skilled in-home care starting this year.

Assisted living providers often provide this type of care, such as helping residents with bathing and dressing. Thus, the CMS change opened up the possibility that insurance dollars could start flowing to senior housing and care companies. Analysts already envision major MA insurers buying into senior housing companies to maximize profits.

Technically, the Assisted Living facility is your home,
so “home health care” benefits should apply.

Only a handful of insurance companies are offering any new benefits in 2019. Among them, Long Beach, California-based SCAN, announced its “Returning to Home” and “Home Advantage” offerings in mid-November. SCAN was able to quickly add new supplemental home care benefits because it has covered similar services in the past

To provide these benefits, SCAN already has contracts in place with home care agencies. According to SCAN executives, it’s possible SCAN would contract directly with an independent living or assisted living company if it has caregivers on staff, and residents signed up for these new plan offerings.

It’s possible a retiree will have health care
provided by a medical organization
owned by the insurer. Would that be
considered a conflict of interest?

Both SCAN and Anthem, another major player in the MA arena, have indicated they are open to contracting with senior living providers or otherwise forging partnerships with them. We can expect a variety of differing relationships between insurers and providers as best practices are devised.

As insurance companies create their benefits packages and consider potential senior living moves, some senior living providers are looking at ways to add MA policies to the 55+ living packages they offer.

Sunrise Senior Living has a newly established plan called Sunrise Advantage which is currently offered in four states (California is not included). The Sunrise plan replaces the insurance company that normally comes in between the health provider and Medicare. Physician referrals to Sunrise are up 300% since Sunrise Advantage launched, per Sunrise executives.

Should we allow the health industry,
providers or insurers, to engage in monopoly?

Senior living providers like Sunrise, who create their own plans can tap into the new supplemental benefits as well as more well-established options. The changes promise to add bottom-line value for the senior living business, while enhancing residents’ outcomes and reducing some of their expenses.

Many Medicare Advantage plans already offer some health benefits not covered by traditional Medicare, such as eyeglasses, hearing aids, dental care and gym memberships. The new rules, developed with industry input, expands that significantly to items and services not directly considered medical treatment.

CMS said the insurers will be permitted to provide care and devices that prevent or treat illness or injuries, compensate for physical impairments, address the psychological effects of illness or injuries, or reduce emergency medical care.

The changes were adopted late in 2018, so many insurers are still designing their modifications, and many changes will come in 2020. Some health insurance experts said additional benefits could include modifications in beneficiaries’ homes, such as installing grab bars in the bathroom, or aides to help with daily activities, including dressing, eating and other personal care needs.

Even though a physician’s order or prescription is not necessary, the new benefits must be “medically appropriate” and recommended by a licensed health care provider, according to the new rules.

Recession Chatter

The New York Federal Reserve Bank shows a probability of 33% for a recession to strike in the next 12 months.

A recent Zillow survey of economists and other experts predicts a 52% chance of recession by the end of 2019 and a 73% chance of recession by the end of 2020.

Morgan Stanley economist Chetan Ahya estimates that the trade war with China and threatened increased tariffs, “could wind up in a global recession in about three quarters.”

Sounds very ominous. Of course, the fact it does sound ominous reinforces our tendency to talk about it. Then repeatedly hearing the conversation inflates the concern in our minds. Per Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat, the single biggest threat to the U.S. economy is, “Our ability to talk ourselves into the next recession.” (A Reuters article in April discussed ways in which those in the investment industry avoid using the ‘R word’ to minimize concerns on the part of investors.)

So what prompted this forecast of recession?

One of the key indicators used by many is the ‘inverted yield spread,’ also known as an “inverted yield curve.” Campbell Harvey, a Duke University finance professor first linked yield curve inversions to recessions in the mid-1980s. An inversion lasting three months has preceded the last seven recessions, per Harvey. “From the 1960s, this indicator has been reliable in terms of foretelling a recession, and also importantly, it has not given any false signals yet,” he said.

Without going into a lot of detail, a simple way to think of the inverted yield is this: Typically, a short term loan carries a lower interest rate than a long term loan. It’s logical, in that we are much better at forecasting events over a short term like three months, than we are over a long term, like 10 years. And that is exactly what changed late in March of 2019. It became cheaper to borrow for ten years, than for three months. It was the first time since mid-2007 that the yield curve had flipped.

Whether now or later, it is inevitable that a recession will come. That’s the way our economic system works. And preparing for the inevitable is simply wise. We recommend you evaluate your financial position in light of the possibilities and plan to protect your assets. If we can help with real estate information and valuation, don’t hesitate to call.

Ibuyers: Are they Worth the Cost?

iBuyers, instant Buyers, internet Buyers, investor Buyers …

Today, large online real estate service companies are repositioning themselves as investors. These services, like Opendoor, Offerpad, Zillow Offers and Redfin Now, have become known as iBuyers. With their own in-house brokerage services, they handle the entire transaction in an effort to appeal to sellers who want to sell their home with zero hassle. The process essentially eliminates agents who aren’t directly affiliated with the iBuyer companies, automatically reducing the ibuyer’s cost.

Strategically, ibuyers strive to make the initial offer somewhat close to market value. Some, like ZillowOffers, encourage sellers to request value estimates from real estate agents, to provide more assurance of the value. All will inspect the property and adjust the contract price, typically after a contract has been signed. This varies slightly from the normal sales process in that a conventional buyer will have viewed the home prior to making an offer, and incorporated the general condition of the home into the offer price.

“…an ibuyer is purely investment oriented and won’t negotiate.”

There is typically little negotiating room with ibuyers. There will be an inspection and the recommended repairs are priced out and subtracted from the initial offer on a “best and final” basis. Unlike a broker assisted sale where the buyer is emotionally involved, an ibuyer is purely investment oriented and won’t negotiate.

To the ibuyer, the ideal situation is to represent the seller and themselves. The seller is happy because it was quick and easy. The next step for the ibuyer is to make the repairs and list it for sale at an increase in price, once again trying to be the sole broker on the transaction. One could think of it as the real estate version of a vertical market. The ibuyer acts as the listing agent, the buyer, the buyers agent, the investor, and the ‘fix-n-flip’ contractor instead of having separate professionals for each step.

“It’s a sweet deal–for the ibuyer.”

It’s a sweet deal–for the ibuyer. Savings include sales commissions, much of the closing cost, and contractor profit margins. On the flip side of the ledger, the income includes “service fees” charged to the seller, usually in the 7% to 7.5% range, well above the highest real estate broker commissions. Some studies estimate that the final cost to the ibuyer is 15-20% below market value.

Clearly, sellers who use iBuyers end up netting less money, either through a below market purchase price or the higher fees compared to a traditional brokered sale. Is it worth the higher cost to avoid the hassle of making improvements, preparing the home to sell, and keeping it clean long enough to find a buyer who plans to live in the home?

“…it should not be the only option considered.”

When a home is severely outdated or dilapidated and the seller is unable to make improvements, an ibuyer may be the best option. Or, when the market is slow and it’s imperative that the home be sold promptly, an ibuyer may be a good solution. Under any circumstances, it’s certainly one more source to complete a sale. Given the size of the transaction and the cost involved, it should not be the only option considered.

Tuna Niçoise Salad

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more
  • 6 large eggs
  • ½ lb. green beans, trimmed
  • 1 lb. new potatoes, baby-size, or cut to approx. 1” chunks
  • 2 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 4 cups mixed salad greens
  • 3 cups chunk light tuna, flaked
  • Olives, capers, peperoncini, pickles, or other pickled-briny ingredients (for serving)
  • Flaky sea salt

Recipe Preparation

  • Whisk oil, lemon juice, mustard, honey, pepper, and 1 tsp. kosher salt in a medium bowl; set dressing aside.
  • Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Carefully add eggs and cook 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer eggs to a bowl of ice water (keep pot over high heat); chill until cold, about 5 minutes. Peel; set aside.
  • Meanwhile, add green beans and potatoes to the same pot of boiling water and cook until just tender, 2–4 minutes for green beans, 10–15 minutes for potatoes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to bowl of ice water; let sit until cold, about 3 minutes. Transfer to paper towels; pat dry.
  • To serve, slice eggs in half and arrange on a platter with cooked and raw vegetables and tuna. Top with pickled-briny ingredient(s), sprinkle with sea salt, and drizzle some reserved dressing over. Serve with remaining dressing alongside.
  • Do Ahead: Dressing can be made 5 days ahead; cover and chill. Eggs can be boiled and vegetables blanched 2 days ahead; cover and chill separately.

55+ Options: Torrance

The city of Torrance offers the bulk of opportunities for senior housing in the South Bay. We’ve identified 10 distinct locations with homes exclusively for those 55 years of age and older. They cover a wide variety of living styles, building ages, community sizes, purchase prices and monthly costs.

The available homes change constantly, much faster than this summary of 55+ facilities is updated.  If you have an interest, contact us.  We’re more than happy to go over the differences between different facilities, and the differences between living in a 55+ project and an SFR.  More importantly, we can provide you with up to the minute information about what specific properties are available, and how the cost parameters fit with your personal needs.

NEW HORIZONS
Nadine Circle – Maple Ave, Torrance, CA 90505

Built in 1963-64, New Horizons has ~600 units, some in two story apartment style buildings, with a handful of bungalow style in four unit groups. The recreational facilities include a club house with lounge, billiard room, ballroom with a large kitchen, 9 hole golf course, and pool. Additional amenities include the sports facility, with a modern gym, his & her saunas, Jacuzzi, a second pool, lighted tennis court, both ceramic & wood shops plus a ping pong room.

THE MERIDIAN
2742 Cabrillo, Torrance, CA 90501

Built in 2006 around a central courtyard, the Meridian features forty-four luxury condominiums. Ten are two bedroom / two bath units, with the remainder being one bed / one bath. The complex offers a gated subterranean garage with one parking space per bedroom. Other amenities include bubbling fountains, a community room with fireplace, kitchen, big screen TV and lots of room to relax. To keep your senior body in good shape there’s a modern, upscale fitness center. All levels of the building are accessible by elevator.

PARKVIEW COURT
2367 Jefferson, Torrance, CA 90501

Parkview Court is another of the newer senior condo communities. Located in Torrance adjacent to Wilson Park, it was built in 2007-2008. Fifty-nine tastefully appointed residences, with 29 being two bedroom / two bath and the balance being one bedroom / one bath. This gated community features a large courtyard with a recreation center and fitness center.

THE GABLES
3550 Torrance Blvd, Torrance, CA 90503

The Gables was built in 2006-2007 and offers 38 newer one bedroom units, and 22 studios. In-unit amenities include washer/dryer hookups, A/C and comtemporary styling. The complex also has a community room, with a large screen TV, free internet access, library facilities and more.

VILLAGE COURT
21345 Hawthorne Blvd, Torrance, CA 90503

Built in 2006, Village Court is five stories high, with parking on the first floor and residences on the top four floors.  There are a total of 112 units: 12 – 3 bed / 2 bath, 68 – 2 bed / 2 bath, and 32 – 1 bed / 1 bath.  Residents enjoy an inviting outside pool, spa and BBQ area. Amenities include an exercise room, large recreation room with kitchen, TV, pool table and reading area. Shopping, restaurants and movie theatres abound, or drive only 1.5 miles to the ocean.

So far this year one 2 bed / 2 bath unit has sold for $540K.  Two more units are currently in escrow.  One is a 2 bed / 2 bath unit, and the other a 1 bed / 1 bath with a den.  Purchase prices will be available after close of escrow.

At publication time, 2 bed / 2 bath units were renting for approximately $2600 per month.

TRADE WINDS
2605 Sepulveda Blvd, Torrance, CA 90505

Built in 2003, the Trade Winds community in Torrance is four stories high, with parking on the first floor and residences on the top three floors.  With a total of 91 units, Trade Winds has 75 – 2 bed / 2 bath units and 16 – 1 bed / 2 bath units.  The facility offers great amenities: pool, spa, fitness center, clubhouse with full kitchen, TV, library, and billiards table. Resort living close to dining, shopping, parks, freeways and of course the beach!

To date in 2018, 2 – 2 bed / 2 bath units have sold at $525K and $550K.  One 2 bed / 2 bath unit is currently in escrow.  The sold price will be available after close of escrow.  There are also 2 – 2 bed / 2 bath units currently available.  Please call for asking prices.

At publication time, 2 bed / 2 bath units were renting for approximately $2300 per month.

COURTYARD VILLA ESTATES
3970 Sepulveda, Torrance,  CA 90505


Built in 2007, The Courtyard Villa Estates is located just west of Hawthorne Blvd in southwest Torrance.  The complex features upscale comfort, secured entry, and is close to restaurants and shopping. Four stories high, with subterranean parking, the complex includes 42 units;  a central courtyard, lush landscaping, recreation facilities with a pool table, game table and kitchen as well as a gym/exercise room.

Each unit is located on one level with no stairs. There’s a private laundry room inside each unit. Most units have a two bedrooms, while a few are set up with a den as an alternative configuration.  All have two bathrooms, outfitted with natural travertine counters and flooring.  Kitchens are extra large with center islands, granite counters and travertine flooring.

Since the first of the year, one penthouse unit has sold at $720K.  No units are currently available.

SUNSET GARDENS
24410 Crenshaw Blvd, Torrance, CA 90505

Built in 1987, Sunset Gardens is located across from the Crossroads Shopping Center in South Torrance.  The complex includes 88 units; 2 – 3 bed / 2 bath, 29 – 2 bed / 2 bath; and 57 – 1 bed / 1 bath.  Amenities feature indoor heated pool, outdoor spa, large recreation room, putting green, shuffle board, elevator, exercise room, game room, community rooms, a roof top deck and BBQ grill area.

All units are single level, enjoy central A/C and heating, a laundry area inside unit, and subterranean secured parking.  (Two and three bedroom units have two spaces, while one bedroom units have one space.)

At publication time there were three units available, including 1 – 1 bed / 1 bath unit at $270K, and 2 – 2 bed / 2 bath units at $380K & $390K.  One 1 bed / 1 bath unit is currently in escrow.  The sold price will be available after close of escrow.  Since January 1, two units have sold: 1 – 1 bed / 1 bath unit at $300K, and 1 – 2 bed / 2 bath units at $400K.

PACIFIC VILLAGE
3120 Sepulveda Blvd, Torrance CA 90505

Built in 2002, Pacific Village is four stories of living space plus adjacent parking.  There are a total of 61 units: 23 – 1 bed / 1 bath and 38 – 2 bed / 2 bath units.  Located across from Madrona Marsh, the complex offers: free community laundry, pool & spa, secure access, a community room with kitchen, elevators and guest parking on site.

Each unit is on a single level with no stairs, has its own heating and cooling, granite, travertine and tile finishes, balcony/patio and breakfast bar.

At publication time there was one 2 bed / 2 bath unit available and one 2 bed / 2 bath unit in escrow.  Since the first of the year, there have been four units sold.  One was a 1 bed / 1 bath which closed escrow at $270K.  Also, 3 – 2 bed / 2 bath units sold, at prices ranging from $355K to $425K.

55+ Options: Palos Verdes

The four cities of the Palos Verdes Peninsula have two unique senior condominium communities.  Rolling Hills Villas, built circa 2008, has occasional resales.  The newest project on the hill, Sol y Mar in Rancho Palos Verdes, has sold out the first phase and is working on phase 2. If you’ve been considering a move to a 55+ community, give us a call.  We’d love to sit down with you and discuss the pros and cons of down-sizing, and buying versus leasing.  In either case, we show you what’s available to fit your needs in the south bay.


Rolling Hills Villas
901 Deep Valley Dr
Rolling Hills Estates, California 90274

Close to the “top of the hill,” Rolling Hills Villas has 40 condominium units for active seniors, 55 and older.  The association maintains a secure building, with subterranean parking, a rooftop patio lounge and bbq facilities.   Nearby are pharmacies, medical, the Post Office, library, restaurants, cafes, grocery shopping, Norris Theatre, banks & more.

Sales during the past six months totaled two units, ranging in price from $679,000 to $875,000.  At publication time, there were none available, however, that can change at any time.  If we know you’re looking, we can keep you updated on new and future listings.


Sol y Sol y Mar
5601 Crestridge Rd.
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275

In phase two of construction now, Sol y Mar, a 55+ luxury community of ultimately 60 new homes in Rancho Palos Verdes is perched atop the Palos Verdes hill. Spectacular coastal views, great weather throughout the year, an engaging lifestyle, and beautiful homes designed for quality and comfort make Sol y Mar an incomparable place to call home.  Amenities (complete or planned) include: Clubhouse, Fitness Center, Conference Room, Meeting Room, Catering Kitchen, Jacuzzi, Outdoor Patio, Fire Pit, Bocce Ball Courts, and a Dog Park.

Every two-story residence features an elevator; a one-story floor plan is also available.  Plans range from 1,550 to 2,352 square feet.  Each residence includes two bedrooms, up to three baths, a study or flex room and a two-car garage.  Prices vary considerably, based on size, floor plan, selected options, and the view.

MLS sales during the past six months totaled four units, ranging in price from $840,000 to $1,146,000.  At publication time, two units were in escrow in the $825,000-$850,000 price range.  Three units are currently available in the range between $975,000 and $1,700,000.

55+ Options: Redondo Beach

In each issue, we plan to highlight one 55+ housing complex. Because residents can speak most authoritatively about their own home, we’re interviewing owners, asking for their input on the best and worst of each location. (If you would like to talk about your senior housing complex, let us know.)

Now in their golden years, the baby boom generation continues to shape our environment. Until about 10 years ago, senior housing in Redondo Beach was limited to a couple of rental complexes. One in north Redondo and one in south Redondo, they are both operated by non-profit organizations, and both have long wait lists.

With Boomers asking for alternatives, developers soon constructed two condominium projects exclusively for senior citizens. Following is a brief introduction to each of those projects.

Both have been quite popular and sold quickly when available. As of this writing, no units are available in either complex.

Next issue … The four cities of the Palos Verdes Peninsula have another unique set of senior living accomodations. In addition, the newest project on the hill, Soli Mar in Rancho Palos Verdes (?), has sold out the first phase and is working on phase 2. If you’ve been considering a move to a 55+ community, give us a call. We’d love to show what’s available in the south bay.

Breakwater Village

2750 Artesia Blvd,
Redondo Beach, C
A 90278

Built in 2007. this senior community offers 191 units, ranging from one to three bedrooms.

Amenities include a recreation room with kitchen, big screen TV, game tables, pool table, and a conversation area with a fireplace.

The exercise room is equipped with state-of-the-art fitness machines.

A sparkling pool is located in the central courtyard, with a built-in barbeque island nearby and an inviting separate outdoor fireplace area. It’s a secure building with gated underground parking garage.

The Montecito

2001 Artesia Blvd,
Redondo Beach, CA 90278

Built in 2008, The Montecito comprises 48 senior condos and three retail units in a combined commercial and residential building.

The three commercial storefronts are located on the sidewalk level, while the residential units are above and behind.

Amenities include high ceilings, private laundry, air conditioning, floor to ceiling windows, granite counter tops, and stainless appliances.

The Montecito

In each issue, we plan to highlight one 55+ housing complex. Because residents can speak most authoritatively about their own home, we’re interviewing owners, asking for their input on the best and worst of each location. (If you would like to talk about your senior housing complex, let us know.)

For our Premiere issue, we spoke to an owner at The Montecito, located at 2001 Artesia Blvd. in Redondo Beach. Our owner, whom we’ll call Susan to protect her privacy, had this to say about her 55+ home.

Q1: How long have you lived here?
A1: Since 2010. I bought from the builder.

Q2: Is it your first time living in a condominium?
A2: Yes.

Downtown LA sparkles against the mountains.

Q3: Obviously there are things you like and some you don’t care for. What is your favorite part of living here?
A3: The views. On the North and West side of the building, the views are spectacular. The building sits up high, so I have views to downtown LA, the Hollywood sign, the Palisades, etc. It’s a glittery sight at night.

I like the fact that the building is newer and that, being on the top floor, I have high ceilings and large windows to capture the view.

I also like that the CC&R’s don’t prohibit big dogs. I would not have purchased the condo if they had a weight restriction for dogs. Lastly, I like how quiet it is here.

Q4: How about the thing you like least. What would that be?
A4: Not parking close to my door. I have to walk to the elevator and then down the walk way to my condo. It’s an easy walk but if I’m carrying a lot of stuff it might take multiple trips.

Inner Courtyard at The Montecito

Q5: You probably previously lived in a free-standing house on a private lot. Condominium living adds other people and “things” to your life. What have you found that stands out as a big difference in the way you live?
A5: Living in a condo is much easier. It’s a low maintenance style of living.

Q6: Downsizing can be traumatic. What challenged you the most about your move to a 55+ community.
A6:
Giving away rooms full of furniture. In the end, it’s freeing to let go of stuff. I like the stream-lined look.

Q7: If you had to do it again, what would you change.
A7: Nothing.

Q8: What are your plans for the future?
A8: Staying put.