Category: Home improvement.
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Century 21 Beachside
Long Beach and Lakewood have an abundance of condo complexes throughout the cities from low to high-rise projects, small to large in size. You can buy a condo that overlooks the Queen Mary and the harbor/beach, one that is located in the peaceful, tree-lined streets in Los Cerritos/Bixby Knolls, along the water in the Marina and many other areas of Long Beach and Lakewood.
Many of these projects are on the HUD Approved Condominium Project List, but many are not. When a property is in a complex that is not on the HUD Approved List there are possible problems with obtaining an FHA loan and this could affect the purchase of a condo. If a unit turns out to NOT be on the List, the lender would have to go through the process of getting a “Spot Approval” for the individual condo. After going through the process of applying for a “spot approval”, if a lender was not able to get approval from FHA it could kill the purchase of the condo.
However – Good News!! With the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 now taking affect, the “Spot Approval” process through FHA is eliminated. FHA will now allow the approved lenders, for example Bank of America, to determine eligibility of a condo and certify that the condo being purchased is in compliance with all the HUD regulations. Needless to say there are requirements, rules, etc. that still need to be adhered to, but this will greatly streamline the approval process. If you would like to read all the “if, and, buts and maybes” check out the full details www.docstoc.com/docs/…/MORTGAGEE-LETTER-2009-07
With this good news it’s time to take a look at the condo options in both Long Beach and Lakewood and I look forward to welcoming you to our area!!
Last year the City of Long Beach had implemented a program to increase home ownership opportunities for low to moderate-income individuals and families. One of the objectives was to help revitalize some of the areas earmarked by the LB Redevelopment Project through a pride of ownership. The program was referred to as a first-time buyer program, however it was actually for those who hadn’t owned a home in the previous three years or had lost title to property due to a divorce.
The program was so well subscribed that in only a matter of weeks the applications were flooding in and they had to stop accepting any new applications. The program was suspended until it could be seen how many of the escrows closed and how much of the funds allocated to this project were actually going to be used (or left).
Technically the Long Beach Housing Development Company (LBHDC) had developed a Second Mortgage Assistance Program. This Program provided a deferred payment second mortgage assistance loan up to $275,000 for the purchase of a qualified single-family or condominium home located within of the City’s Redevelopment Project Areas.
There are some requirements/conditions, as you would expect with such a great program, for example — income restrictions, you need to live or work in Long Beach, etc.
GOOD NEWS — it is rumored the program will start up again in the near future enabling more people to apply for this leg up to home ownership.
For more information check out the home buyers program.
This is such a win-win program anyone interested should contact me or one of the lenders shown to start the financing process and be ready to jump when the program is reinstated.
We look forward to welcoming you to Long Beach in the near future!!
As mentioned before Long Beach is known for its beaches, beautiful weather, varied activities and property of all shapes and sizes. However… I’m not sure it is thought of as a real estate investors dream spot. But stop and think…
Wherever you are in Long Beach you are not far from the beach, which is an advantage the low- priced, inland areas don’t have! They always say … Location, Location, Location! Would you rather cool down by taking a walk, biking or driving the short distance to the beach, especially in the hot weather we are currently having, or swelter in other, less fortunate locations? Long Beach is having HOT weather in the 80′s (with a nice breeze) whereas more inland areas are suffering with temperatures pushing 100 degrees!
With the recent decline in housing values, in all segments of the housing market, it is time for investors to consider Long Beach when shopping for rental property.
For example, a client wanted to invest in income property and asked me to check out what was currently on the market, and inexpensive. I looked and found studio condos downtown, near the beach for $40-50,000 and up. The next question was what are the rents like? It appears that for a studio condo they are running around $700+ per month. Not a bad return. You would have it paid for in no time AND if you pay cash you would have a nice monthly income!
Compare that to socking your money away in a savings account where you will be lucky to end up with anything. I spoke with some clients this week who mentioned they had put a couple thousand dollars in the bank and after 11 years have earned a total interest of $300!!! Yes it might be safe, but with inflation you are going backwards, not moving ahead!
Why not consider Long Beach for your next Real Estate Investment!
Dragsters and Classic Cars lined up for the Annual Expo
Last Saturday (July 11th) the 4th Annual Dragster Expo and Car Show hit the streets to the delight of the Bixby Knolls area residents of Long Beach. Atlantic Avenue (between Carson and San Antonio) was blocked off for the day and lined with pre 1975 cars, dragsters and for the first time power boats. There were over 150 cars, ranging from Model Ts to Dragsters, for everyone to check out and take pictures!
We had a heat wave in progress with temperatures in the high 80′s. So… for those who wanted a little break from the sun, the Richard Goad Theatre showed some great racing movies throughout the day.
The local restaurants provided all the food you could want, and a beer garden was set up to take care of your drinks. Two DJs had everyone in the mood with a variety of music and street vendors set up stalls with their wares! Everyone had a great time!
To give you a better idea — Bixby Knolls is approx. 8 miles from the beach and is generally accepted to encompass Bixby Knolls proper, New Bixby, Country Club, Los Cerritos, etc. Bixby Knolls adjoins North Long Beach, California Heights, and the Wrigley area. It is one of the older, affluent areas with lovely tree-lined streets where people still take an evening stroll, walk the dog or push the baby stroller and yes — people talk with their neighbors! There is always something going on in Bixby Knolls, whether it is the car show, free concerts in the park, free plays by the Long Beach Shakespeare Company in the Richard Goad Theatre just to mention a few things.
Real estate in Bixby Knolls is not your typical tract home, you will see individually designed properties, many dating from the 1930s. The smaller family homes sell for around $600,000 while the larger, higher end homes, a few of which are on gated streets, sell for as much as $4,000,000. It is the priciest and most affluent area of the city that is not on the oceanfront. The neighborhood includes the prestigious Virginia Country Club and the original Rancho Los Cerritos historic site.
We look forward to welcoming you, as a new neighbor, to one of our next events!
Long Beach and Lakewood, like most towns and cities across the country, were out celebrating the 4th of July in style with BBQs, picnics, beach parties, parades and much more. To top off the day you had a difficult time deciding whether to head to the Long Beach shoreline to watch the fabulous fireworks on the Queen Mary, or go to Veterans Stadium for the 52nd annual fireworks show — all quite spectacular this year! AND this was just the tip of the iceberg!
Veterans Stadium is on the boundary of Long Beach and Lakewood with a long tradition of everyone gathering in the afternoon to enjoy the music, games and fun – whether young ones or the young at heart! All this was capped off with a fireworks display in the evening.
One of the advantages of living along the beach area of Long Beach — is the easy access to all the July 4th festivities. Here is a sample of what I mean…
BLUFF HEIGHTS very much a neighborhood by the beach, as demonstrated by its annual Block Party on the 4th of July. The area has a variety of home styles — check out some of the award winning homes in this area! (http://www.bluffheights.org/bhna-home-beauty-info.html)
Here you see friends and neighbors during the Bluff Heights Annual 4th of July Block Party.
DOWNTOWN is a mixture of business and fun – you have the government and office buildings along side the Pike, a place historically known for fun by the beach. The modern, symbolic version of the Pike has brought restaurants, shops and beautiful condo complexes along both Ocean Avenue and the shoreline where the Pike once stood.
Downtown, at the water’s edge, you had everyone gathering to see the creative efforts put forth by the kids and their families in decorating their bikes. The colorful display was enjoyed before the little ones saddled up and joined in the Great American 4th of July Kids Bike Parade, riding along the bike path on the beach!
As you can see there was a lot going on in Long Beach and Lakewood, with a good time had by everyone
We hope to see you in one of our July 4th neighborhood events in 2010!!
We briefly touched on the general diversity that Long Beach has to offer in the areas of recreation, culture, etc. but what is also interesting is the city’s dedication to preserving its history.
In 1880, Englishman Erwin Will-More created the first township, called Willmore City. Unfortunately the township failed, but settlers continued to be drawn to the area because of its easy access to the ocean, wide beaches and business opportunities. By 1888 the City of Long Beach had a name, 59 buildings and a school and was incorporated in 1897. Want to know more about Long Beach’s rich history? Visit the Long Beach Historical Society, a dynamic, non-profit organization with a gallery and historical research center.
As a result of its long and diverse history you will find a variety of beautiful, old, historic homes throughout the city. To help preserve the many styles that have been part of its history, Long Beach has identified 17 historic neighborhoods, (Citywide Historical Districts Map), each with it’s own character and style. Click on the following link to see the districts and the style of housing you will find in each.
For example, Willmore City Historic District has more Craftsman, Prairie, Victorian, Mission and Spanish Colonial Style homes than any other Long Beach Historic District. In 2004 the Willmore City Historic District won the USA Best Neighborhood contest for social revitalization.
You can choose from the Craftsman Bungalow with its massive front porch timbers to the intricately detailed Victorian woodwork…there’s an historic-home style to suit everyone’s taste. The various districts maintain or re-create an atmosphere of old Long Beach, within which you’re sure to find the neighborhood and beautiful dream home you’ve always wanted!
Come Home to Long Beach!
Most cities are known for something – when people think of Long Beach they may think of the Queen Mary, lots of sunshine (over 340 days a year), miles of sandy beaches (over 5 miles), but it is so much more. You can say “I want…” and you will likely be able to find it.
In housing, say “I want a beach bungalow. I want to live in an exclusive area with a private golf course. I want a beach-front condo. I want a quiet neighborhood with tree-lined streets. I want a lively area with lots of shops, restaurants, and hot spots (Lois Hancock).”
I say – Not a Problem!!
In recreation, say ” I want to play golf, sail, row, beach volleyball, walk/bike ride on the beach, swim in the ocean, parks for baseball, soccer, picnics, etc. (www.lbparks.org).”
I say – Not a Problem!!
In culture, say “I want to see a top-class play or concert. I want to visit unique museums. I want to go to a festival (Jazz Festival, Gay Pride Festival, etc.) I want to go to a Convention Center and see what is new in home design, travel, sports, etc.”
I say – Not a Problem!!
Got the picture? It would be difficult to find somewhere else that has so much to offer, which is why I may have left at various times, but am always happy to come back!
LAKEWOOD – AMERICA’S SUBURB
Lakewood is Long Beach’s neighbor to the north and east. It is the pioneer of the modern suburban city, built primarily for World War II and Korean Veterans. Lakewood went from lima bean fields in 1950 to a fully developed city by 1960. With a population of around 80,000, as opposed to the approx. 500,000 in Long Beach, it is small city with wide, landscaped streets, lots of parks, good schools and single-family homes – a very desirable place to raise your family.
Don’t forget — it is the home of the first Denny’s Restaurant in 1953!
This is just a brief overview of Long Beach and Lakewood, to whet your appetite and start enticing you to make one of them your new home!