Trying to find “best” spot to see the shuttle land…

I was looking forward to seeing the shuttle land at LAX – but first I needed to know what side of LAX – north (In and Out Burger side) or south? A call on Thursday to LAX ops confirmed my suspicion – it would land on the new runway 25 L (left), built specifically for the new Airbus 380 jumbo jet.

Next, I studied my Google map carefully and noticed the Proud Bird restaurant (ooh – the comfort of a nice lunch, easy parking and fabulous location), but no, they were sold out long ago (plus, being a cheap kind of a guy, wasn’t sure I wanted to spend $35 a ticket for lunch).

But wait – look at that huge parking lot just under the approach end of 25L – perfect! Leslie said she’d go with me (that’s good when the boss wants to take time off from work also) so with plenty of time to spare, we head down to LAX.

Plan A. Hmmm – can’t get in. Parking lot  “E” is for employee parking only. No problem because I notice all the free shuttle buses going in and out of the parking lot.

Plan B. So I headed over to the terminals and park in parking lot P1.  But when we tried to get on the E shuttle bus, we couldn’t (no employee badges). So that didn’t work.

On to Plan C – walked back to the parking lot, went to the roof and looked way over to where 25L should be. Waited for a jet to land over there but realized it was much too far.

On to Plan D…

Drove back down La Cienega towards Lennox and realized if we drove into Inglewood a bit we could walk back (hopefully) and into the E parking lot.

Others had the same thought so we followed the crowd. But we soon discovered a security guard wouldn’t really let us in!

But Leslie sweet talked him into letting us sneak in a little bit – and the crowd followed.

Now it was time to wait.

Leslie had a little golf style folding chair, found some shade and checked emails (Realtors never stop working!).

Finally it came! The shuttle made the first low pass on the north side (west to east) of LAX, left us for JPL, came back on the south side for a low pass (east to west – very close and cool!), went down to Long Beach and then finally landed.

It was so awesome standing so close to the approaching 747 as it went over us! Everyone was taking pictures and yelling and screaming. Leslie and I shot videos (the still shot of the shuttle is courtesy of the LA Times nearby) and after a few seconds, it was all over. Kind of sad to see the shuttle program finally end…

Maybe Leslie will give me time off in a few weeks to watch them move the shuttle down Manchester Blvd!


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Don’s trip to New Orleans doing FEMA inspections after hurricane Isaac

In our September 2012 newsletter to clients and friends, Don wrote about his recent trip down to New Orleans to assist in doing inspections on behalf of FEMA for people hurt by hurricane Isaac.  But what he really enjoyed was an unannounced trip back to Pascagoula, Mississippi, to visit some people he had met after Katrina, and to hear their stories 6 years later.

See a different side of Don from his “day” job!

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Ventura, Camarillo & Oxnard MLS housing report for July and August

A busy summer has kept me from updating the July and August numbers but over the weekend I’ve gotten caught up!

Price points are up for July and August in both Oxnard and Camarillo, while Ventura is sitting on the trend line. In previous posts this summer I’ve talked about the strong competition for entry level homes and that numerous homes were bid up over asking price through multiple offers.  We now see that result in the numbers for those closed escrows. Investors are driving the market in the entry level sector, making it very difficult for the first time buyer to successfully compete.

For the first time I can remember since the crazy days of rapidly escalating home prices followed with the tumultuous “bubble burst”,  I’m starting to see average sold prices higher than the list price. For example in August, in the “up to 1,500 square foot” category for single family homes in Ventura, the average list price for the 30 sold homes was $344,186 but the average sold price was $345,397.  In Oxnard the average list price for all 116 homes sold was $313,118 and the average sold price was $314,178.  You can see the specific numbers in the stat sheets below.

Another trend I’m seeing is that the number of distressed sales to regular sales ratio in all cities is declining, while the number of home sales is increasing, with Oxnard showing a strong spike up.

Listed below are the July and August results for the sold prices of homes, the number of homes sold and number of homes in escrow – a future indicator of homes sold.

This data is taken from the Ventura, Oxnard and Camarillo MLS.

To see the detailed charts for Ventura, Oxnard and Camarillo, please see the links below.

The percentage of single family homes that were distressed sales in the months of  July and August are:

Ventura -40%  and  37%      Oxnard – 57%  and  51%     Camarillo – 34%  and  22%

Sold prices – Single family homes in Ventura, Oxnard, Camarillo:

Sold prices – Condos in Ventura, Oxnard, Camarillo:

Numbers sold – Single family homes in Ventura, Oxnard, Camarillo:

Detailed data for single family homes sold in:

Detailed data for condos sold in:

Detailed monthly data for pendings (in escrow) – single family homes and condos:

All data is taken from the Ventura, Oxnard and Camarillo MLS.

Filed under article topic: 2012 Pendings,2012 Solds,Homes sold,Housing Market,Market statistics/Trends,Pending home sales
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Ventura County foreclosure trends – July and August

There’s no doubt we’re seeing a slow down in foreclosures. New Notice of Default filings for both July and August were down and Notice of Trustee Sales (auction date set) were also down.

But once an auction was set, the trend was to see more of those properties actually go to sale.

Click here to see the July and August foreclosure stats graph.  This data provided with permission from Ventura County’s Foreclosure List Service.

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LA Times article warns about expiring Mortgage Debt Relief Act

Today’s Saturday, and having just come back from New Orleans, I’m catching up on stuff at the office.

Leslie saved all my Wall Street Journals and the LA Times (I love reading the papers) and the main article in the Business section of last Friday’s LA Times caught my eye. It said the tax exemption on principal reduction (such as on short sales) expires December 31st and “struggling homeowners who obtain reductions in their mortgage debt face a new obstacle starting next year – a bill for taxes on that aid”.

Many of us Realtors have known about this for quite a while and have been beating the drum in warning homeowners about this huge, potential “gotcha”.  Realtors are pushing hard to get this law extended, but with the election in November, gridlock in Congress, a potentially new President, etc, no one is sure what will happen.

If you are wondering about your own personal situation, don’t delay understanding these implications and determining your course of action. If the law expires, and you obtain mortgage debt relief in 2013, you may be taxed on that debt relief as though it were cash income to you. As always, Realtors can not provide legal or tax advice so please consult with your own tax adviser.

Filed under article topic: Mortgages/Interest rates,Short Sales | HAFA program
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