Real Estate

Homespotlight: Elegant Modern Contemporary

Address: 14631 Bestor Blvd, Pacific Palisades, CA

Price: $3,895,000

Realtors: Ryan Jancula

Phone: 310-729-6852

Contact: Ryan.jancula@compass.com

Tucked in one of the most desired neighborhoods, the Alphabet streets. This 3,776 sq. ft. house has 5 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms and sits on a 7,541~sq. ft. lot. This home allows the utmost privacy, still in walking distance to the Palisades Village and upcoming Caruso Project. Enter to stunning design and beautiful natural light, which pours into every room throughout the house. Open formal room shows high ceilings, which connects to the dining room and family room. Kitchen features new Carrera tops along with refinished cabinets throughout. The updated basement is renovated and is ideal for a movie room or entertainment center, completely isolated from the rest of the home. Beautiful master bedroom features nice views along with a large private patio deck perfect for watching sunsets. This home’s distinct design is exemplified by its finishes and spacious floorplan.

14631 Bestor Blvd | $3,895,000

 

14631 Bestor Blvd | $3,895,000

 

14631 Bestor Blvd | $3,895,000

 

14631 Bestor Blvd | $3,895,000

 

 

 

 

Deal Breakers in Real Estate Transactions

By MICHAEL EDLEN | Special to the Palisadian-Post

One of every four escrows falls out due to buyer difficulties in obtaining a loan or because of the many challenging things that come up during transactions that can result in an escrow falling apart.

Real estate agents must work with a great many varied issues to help keep escrows intact. Agents who are most effective in this role are those who have developed a long-term perspective and are able to assist the various parties involved to also take a long-term view of situations and problems.

The skills agents must have to really accomplish this consistently and successfully include being clear and honest thinkers, resourceful problem solvers, emotional buffers, and supportive therapists. Communication skills required include being detailed, focused on all issues, patient and keeping a healthy sense of humor.

Any experienced agent knows that marketing or locating properties is probably less than 25 percent of the work. The majority of effort during the transaction is making sure it closes, and the agent is responsible for coordinating a complex series of events in order to succeed. This involves working with many service providers: escrow officers, title company people, pest control inspectors, retrofitters, building inspectors, supplemental inspectors of sewer lines or chimneys and so forth.

Of course, the agent also handles federal, state, county and city disclosures, plus many other required documents. There are more than 30 pages of contract and disclosure forms.

Incorrect or inept handling of any aspect of the transaction can cost the client tens of thousands of dollars in the negotiation process, or far worse, in any later court action.

Agents who use detailed checklists of all the steps required to close the escrow are best able to prevent problems or to assist more effectively in resolving any that arise.

Here are some examples of the variety of issues I have seen arise unexpectedly in escrow:

  • Non-disclosed, non-permitted additions to a home.
  • Boundary lines not being where seller claimed (it is far too easy to assume that a fence or wall is on the property line).
  • Seller’s decision to remove window treatments or chandeliers without previous disclosure.
  • Buyer’s expectation that certain items would be included with the property (one escrow nearly fell apart over an English dart board).
  • Seller “forgot” to mention periodic underground water below the house.
  • Seller’s insurance claim a few years ago for water damage (such as from an overflowing toilet) is revealed.
  • Seller not disclosing that they knew someone died in the home (as required by law).
  • Seller camouflaged musty smell with candles and air fresheners, and buyer subsequently discovered mold.
  • Seller not mentioning that the house next door is soon-to-be a new home construction site.
  • Buyer begins to notice the outdated appliances and fixtures.
  • Seller reacts defensively to some opinions of the buyer’s inspector.
  • Buyer becomes aware that street or park lights shine in the windows.
  • Seller reacts negatively to requests for supplemental inspections of roof or sewer line and denies access.
  • Buyer’s resentment after seller’s denial of access to the property during requested times.
  • Buyer or seller reactions to incomplete or inaccurately communicated information by one of the agents.
  • Unanticipated situation where seller discovers they need several weeks more time before they move and buyer is not willing to agree to the change in schedule.
  • Inaccurate assumption by buyer that termite work is seller’s responsibility, or that seller must correct defects, alter unsafe conditions, replace missing or broken fixtures, etc.
  • Seller unwilling to allow any access for family members, friends or decorators to view the property.
  • Buyer expecting ready access for several hours at a time with advance notice.
  • Agent does not explain existence and potential significance of CC&Rs, which may prevent an addition to the house that buyer intended.
  • Discovery that a deceased spouse is still on title.
  • A change of marital status during escrow, which can create title transfer problems.
  • Buyer’s children fight over who gets which bedroom.
  • Well-meaning relatives cannot believe the price tag.

The list of possible reasons for an escrow falling apart is endless. The loss of an escrow after two or more weeks may be very disappointing to a seller. There is also a significant loss of marketing momentum during the escrow period. And even if the issue or situation does not become a “deal breaker,” the result almost always includes an increase in stress levels for all concerned.

Michael Edlen and his team have successfully helped their clients keep escrows intact by anticipating challenges ahead of time and offering appropriate solutions when issues arise. Their escrow fall-out ratio is one of the lowest of any agent in the area. For complimentary counseling or to find out your home’s value, they can be reached at 310-230-7373 or at michael@michaeledlen.com.

Inventory Continues to Remain Low

By MICHAEL EDLEN | Special to the Palisadian-Post

As of April 30, there were 72 single-family Palisades residences listed in the Multiple Listing Service, which is 15 percent lower than at the start of April 2016. So far this year, 75 Palisades homes have sold, which is three percent more than this time last year, and there are now 45 homes in escrow in the Palisades.

Although the average price per square foot is up by two percent over this time last year, the median sale price is nine percent higher now. One reason for this is the significantly lower inventory level today.

Over a year ago, we noticed the disappearance of the Palisades $1 million starter home. Now we see almost no homes below $1.5 million. The lowest-priced available home is a three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath on Donna Ynez Lane at $1.895 million. The highest-priced property is a seven-bedroom, 13-bath on San Remo, asking $38 million.

The lowest sale price so far this year was a two-bedroom, one-bath on Radcliffe, which sold for $1.5 million. The highest sale so far this year was an exquisite new home on Casale in the Riviera, which sold privately for $32.5 million.

There are now 10 condominiums/townhouses on the market. They range from a one-bedroom, one-bath on Sunset, offered at $629,000, to a three-bedroom, three-bath condo on Sunset for $3.295 million. Eight condos are currently in escrow.

There have been 19 condo sales so far this year. The lowest was a one-bedroom, one-bath on Sunset, which sold for $589,000, and the highest was a three-bedroom, three-bath townhome in Sea Ridge on Palisades Drive, which sold for $1.65 million. The median condo sales price is $1.201 million, which is up 36 percent from this time last year.

There are currently 13 pieces of raw land available, ranging from a 3,700-square-foot lot on Posetano, offered at $175,000, to $5.95 million for several acres on Via Santa Ynez. There is one lot in escrow and none have sold so far this year.

There are currently 62 available leases in the Palisades. They range from a one-bedroom, one-bath condo on Sunset, asking $3,250 per month, to a five-bedroom, six-bath home on Posteano, asking $155,000 per month.

There have been 76 leases so far this year. The highest lease so far this year was a seven-bedroom, nine-bath on Paseo Miramar for $35,000 per month and the lowest was $2,850 per month for a one-bedroom, one-bath on Sunset. The median was $7,900 per month.

Michael Edlen, an agent with Coldwell Banker, has been keeping statistics on Pacific Palisades housing prices for the last 31 years.

And That’s Not All, Folks!

The Night “Bugs Bunny” Crashed Driving to the Palisades—and How it Improved Road Safety for Everyone

By JOHN HARLOW | Editor-in-Chief

There are several claims to be the original “Dead Man’s Curve” on Sunset, most recently, according to an overexcited foreign newspaper, the location of the terrible crash between Ruthless Ryderz motorcycle club riders and a carload of teens at the Chautauqua intersection.

A stronger contender to be the original fatality hot spot celebrated in urban myth and song is the big curve between the Bel Air estates and UCLA that nearly cut short the career of Palisadian “man of a thousand voices” Mel Blanc.

Had Blanc perished in his Austin Martin on January 24, 1961, the world would have been shortchanged characters from the immortal Bugs Bunny and Woody Woodpecker to Yosemite Sam and Mr. Spacely on “The Jetsons.”

They might have been, let’s say, less animated.

Melvin Jerome Blanc, born Blank, whose extraordinary array of voices culled from a childhood of watching the crazy parade of nature in his Oregon backyard, was already a famous talent when he moved to Pacific Palisades in 1953. He was the first voice actor to receive an on-screen credit, such was his popularity—or, as the kids say now, his brand.

The “man of a thousand voices”
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Blanc and his wife Estelle had enough money to move from a Playa Del Rey bungalow and build a then-gigantic 4,000-square-foot ranch style home in The Huntington. It was to their own design, largely so that Estelle could carry on her raucous and popular Ping-Pong nights.

Blanc would still find the three-bedroom home on Toyopa largely familiar, although the fate of the Bugs Bunny mosaic in the floor of the spa, close to the maid’s room, is unknown.

He was a youthful prodigy, leading a full orchestra at the age of 19 at the same time appearing on local radio stations playing multiple characters on his own show “Cobwebs and Nuts”—he was the Orson Welles of crazy.

He came to Los Angeles in the early 1930s, cheering up the dusty city by playing an array of “sad sack” characters in frenetic disorder on the Jack Benny radio program.

His first Hollywood break, after begging an interview with Walt Disney, was to voice Gideon the Cat for “Pinocchio”—which he did, being paid a fabulous $50 per day for 16 days.

He voiced Gideon as a series of hiccups.

But, as Blanc found out at the premiere, only one single lone hiccup made it into 1940 ‘toon—Uncle Walt feared audiences might think the frisky feline was sozzled.

After crashing a Christmas party at the Warner’s lot (Don’t try that today, kids!), Blanc impressed the inkiest cartoonists, with his impromptu impersonation of a drunken bull. His breakthrough was Bugs Bunny, for which he had to chew carrots—an abhorred vegetable that he would spit out immediately, filling many baskets—followed by Daffy Duck, Porky Pig and Tweety Bird.

An iconic character
Photo courtesy of Leon Schlesinger Prod.

At one point, he was working for 18 different studios and radio stations, simultaneously zig-zagging across town in an ever-changing parade of stylish sports cars while dreaming of a quiet refuge—which would turn out to be the Palisades.

That hectic two-decade schedule came to an abrupt halt on Dead Man’s Curve, where Blanc’s Aston Martin collided with an 18-year-old driver who had lost control and crossed the center divider. Blanc was pinned in his car and had to be freed by emergency services. The college student escaped with minor knee injuries.

Blanc went into a coma, so deep a newspaper printed his obituary, but was brought back, only after more than two weeks when doctors addressed him as Bugs Bunny, asking how he was doing.

From the depth of his coma came the only possible response: “Myeaah. What’s up, Doc?”

He had broken dozens of bones but that did not slow him down.

For months, while he was trapped inside a full body cast, he turned his bedroom on Toyopa into a radio studio where he recorded 40 episodes of “The Flintstones.”

He would voice Barney Rubble as his fellow cast members Alan Reed, Jean Vander Pyl and Bea Benadaret played out the Stone Age antics into giant microphones suspended above his bed.

At the same time, he campaigned for road improvements at the north bend where he had nearly died. Today it’s still a pretty steep curve, but, thanks to Blanc’s family, it has at least been smoothed out with improved sightlines.

It is a terrible truism that it often takes blood to make change, an issue facing the city of Los Angeles as it “rushes” its review into the motorcycle death.

Blanc was a true-blue Palisadian, becoming honorary mayor in 1959—in between Vivian Vance, best known as Lucile Ball’s sidekick Ethel, and cowboy actor Doug McClure—and leading an early Fourth of July parade in full voice.

He recorded two hit albums of his own songs, recorded as demos in Toyopa, with such multi-million selling ditties such as “I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat” and the “Woody Woodpecker Song.”

Woody Woodpecker
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

In a nasty twist, Blanc, having smoked since nine, lost some of his range in later years to emphysema.

He had been aware of the danger for years: In the 1960s, he produced a terrifying advert for the American Cancer Society where a man was tortured to death by being forced to smoke cigarette after cigarette.

He also recorded 10 radio advertisements for the state of California, advising how to prepare for and then survive earthquakes.

He said he would rather go in a quake than cancer, but it was cancer that caught up with him.

Blanc died aged 81 in Cedars-Sinai and is interred in Hollywood Forever cemetery with a tombstone reading: “That’s All Folks.”

His widow, Estelle, lived on Toyopa for another three years. But in 1992 she moved closer to the Beverly Hills home of their son, Noel, who still carries on the family business of voiceovers.

The house on Toyopa was sold in April 1993 for $1.1 million and is valued today at around $4.4 million.

The property, on one-third of an acre, has been lovingly restored and updated more than once, but for Huntington neighbors who remember Mel, Estelle and young Noel, it’s still the home Bugs built.

BID to Beautify

By JOHN HARLOW | Editor-in-Chief

If the Village streets look a little brighter, if the trees a little sprucer, you can thank the latest community organization in town: the Pacific Palisades Business Improvement District.

BIDs were born to tidy up business districts in Canada in 1970 and there are now around 1,200 across North America.

The Palisades’ own BID only arrived in January 2016, but it’s already made its mark.

It is run by volunteers and Laurie Sale, who not only had more than 20 years of retail experience behind her but also the right DNA: Her father helped set up the first BID in Los Angeles, tackling the awful issues facing downtown. That is still a work in progress.

The BID mandate for the Palisades does not include other BID mission statements such as safety or homelessness.

It is about filling in areas where the city of Los Angeles may not be as focused as it has been in the past, such as pressure-washing sidewalks in the Village business district and taming errant shrubbery.

“It’s about making the Village area as welcoming as possible, especially when there is so much dust in the area from construction,” Sale said.

It has a $142,000 budget, levied on the Village businesses and collected by the county, and works alongside sibling organizations, such as the Pacific Palisades Chamber of Commerce and PRIDE.

They work with Chrysalis, the agency that helps the homeless and the poor get back into regular work. From three nights following May 18, for instance, Chrysalis members will be working from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., pressure removing gum and other gunk from the streets.

Members of the BID board include some familiar faces: Elliot Zorensky of UDO Real Estate, Shaun Malek of Triwell Properties, Asvina Narain of TOPA Properties, Susan Carroll of Gift Garden Antiques, Joyce Brunelle, representing the chamber, Don Scott of PRIDE, Lynn Boreland, representing the church, and Rick Lemmo of Caruso.

It even has a new home for its first Wednesday of the month breakfasts: the Community United Methodist Church of Pacific Palisades at 801 Via De La Paz. They should be beautiful.

Being a Palisadian Builder

By REZA AKEF | Special to the Palisadian-Post

The Palisadian developer wonders how he became a victim of fake news as he seeks to build three homes on Fordham Street.

Construction is not for the faint of heart. The job site is a dangerous place. Like the conductor of a symphony, a general contractor must orchestrate 100 moving parts to work together in a timely fashion to create the final product: a Palisadian home.

My name is Reza Akef and I am a Palisadian developer. I build single-family spec homes from the ground up. My projects are each architecturally unique, functional and smart. I pride myself on solid craftsmanship.

I love my job and even more so when I build in Pacific Palisades. I am creating spaces for families to live, breathe and relish the joy that comes from living in the Palisades. I build for our lives. I always aim for the “wow” or the “that’s so cool” reaction.

And yes, I built the house with windows into the pool.

Further, my goal is to raise the bar. I spend hours researching and learning new techniques in building. Each house is better because of it. I contact manufacturers directly and learn about their new product lines. As a result, suppliers support and give my homes the best they have because they know that my reputation is going to be their reputation.

However, some residents have tried to stereotype me as a bad builder who comes into your neighborhood, tears down a beloved home and builds a monster. I am not that builder.

Online and elsewhere, my reputation is under assault. We now live in a world of alternative facts and assumptions.

I have spent countless hours trying to do right by the community by sharing information and addressing neighbors’ concerns in Earlham Street. My projects are by-right, meaning I am building to code and not asking for any variances but I like to reach out to the community on each project because it is the right thing to do.

Last year, I door knocked on 24 homes around Earlham and introduced myself. I held three neighborhood meetings in front of the project, shared the plans for the project and took into consideration the neighbors’ main concerns.

Then I met neighbors in their living rooms to share plans. I even installed story poles to show the future project’s corners. I made myself always available to discuss the project. I think I am the first developer to actually volunteer my project to be heard and discussed by the Pacific Palisades Community Council.

In November 2016, the most-adjacent neighbors and I agreed to design changes that resulted in $50,000 in architectural changes. One of those neighbors also asked me what I could do because her son has bad asthma. I told her I would go beyond what I was required to do by the city of Los Angeles and take measures to minimize the dust in the air. She was very grateful.

Then, one neighbor hired a geologist that disputed my soil report. The geologist admits that he did not review all my plans and reports, and that his report is based on only the material that the neighbor gave him. I called and asked him if he would like to review all my reports and plans to write a more conclusory report. He responded that that was not what he was hired to do.

I welcome an open and honest discussion. I hired John Byer of Byer Geotechnical for my project. He is highly regarded as the gold standard of geologists in the city of LA. He is always ready to discuss the science of the project, not just assumptions. This commitment adheres to my goal of doing right by the community.

The location of the potential homes
Photo courtesy of Reza Akef

I care about my community just as much as the next person. Since I was 25 years old, I have, one way or the other, volunteered my time to the PPCC. I was on the original campaign team to elect Bill Rosendahl. From there, my inspiration led to a career in government and then graduating law school.

I am a first-generation Iranian-American, the first child of immigrants in this country—born and raised in Los Angeles. I am a Palisades Charter High School alum and a Palisades resident. Everything I have is because of hard work and perseverance. It is that strong ambition of 14-hour work days that drives me to grow in my career as a developer.

I made a green commitment last year. Many residents know about the LADWP debacle in the Palisades. I am doing my part by building solar panels on every home I build.

It is difficult for me to understand why my current neighbors won’t genuinely try to work with me. I am a good person. I am a caring person.

I aspire to be a great builder. Building is not easy, it is extremely stressful, yet at the end of the day, the idea of creating a place where a Palisadian family calls home is truly something special. It makes all the hard work and patience worth it.

For more information, my company is called Metro Capital Builders. Our website is metrocapital.build. My email is reza@metrocapital.build.

Newscaster’s Home Makes Headlines

By GABRIELLA BOCK | Reporter

Former Los Angeles newscaster Lisa Breckenridge and her husband, industry talent agent Andy Cohen, are seeking to sell their 4,100-square-foot Pacific Palisades home.

Built in 2008, the five bedroom, four-and-a-quarter bathroom traditional is listed on the market for a cool $4.2 million.

Like a snapshot from a crate and barrel catalog, this family abode offers up all the aesthetics of a classic Hamptons hideaway. With crown molding, wainscoting and polished hardwood floors, the house is an ideal dwelling for a growing California family.

Get cozy indoors with a living room fireplace, chef’s eat-in-kitchen and a family media room.

Perfect for entertaining, the home’s key outdoor features include a pool and spa, a fire pit and a spectacular rooftop deck that will wow guests with stunning ocean views.

A white picket fence adds a final touch of American charm.

The couple purchased the home nearly two years ago from Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige.

The sale comes months after Breckenridge resigned from KTTV FOX 11. The reporter known for her trademark blond bob haircut was the entertainment and lifestyle correspondent for Morning News and occasionally co-presented “Good Day LA.” On Jan. 23, 2017, Breckenridge announced that she would be leaving the station after 17 years on air.

The listing agent is David Offer of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties.

Q&A: Ali Rassekhi

Ali Rassekhi
Photo courtesy of Ali Rassekhi

By SARAH SHMERLING | Managing Editor

Palisadian Ali Rassekhi, a top producing sales associate Realtor with Coldwell Banker, shares about his over 20 years of experience in the field.

Sarah Shmerling: Tell me about your childhood. Where were you born and where did you grow up? What were some of your hobbies and interests as a child and teenager?

Rassekhi: I was born in Germany and lived there till I was about 10 years old. It was great living in Europe; my family and I got to travel to many different countries while there. Growing up my hobbies consisted of making model airplanes, playing a lot of chess and reading Tin Tin comics, which were very popular internationally.

Shmerling: Where did you go to college and what did you study?

Rassekhi: I went to California Lutheran University and graduated in 1992 with a degree in business administration.

Shmerling: What was your first job out of college? What led you to choose a career in real estate?

Rassekhi: My first job out of college was a marketing coordinator for a top producing real estate team in Santa Monica. Shortly after, as a couple of years went by, the more I became familiar with real estate marketing, services and sales, the more I realized this was the career I wanted to have. So in 1995, I started my business in Pacific Palisades.

Shmerling: How does your background help you when working with clients to buy or sell a home?

Rassekhi: I am educated and very in tune with our economic markets, and have a good understanding of our treasury, bond and stock markets. This knowledge is valuable as the performance of these markets directly affects our local real estate market activity, therefore allows me to give a more educated guidance to my clients. I have also held a contractor’s license for over 20 years, I have a good understanding of building standards and construction costs, which is helpful to clients who are considering building or remodeling.

Shmerling: Do you represent homes in all neighborhoods of the Palisades?

Rassekhi: Yes I do. I have listed and sold properties in The Riviera, The Huntington, Alphabet Streets, The Bluffs and, of course, a lot of view properties in the Upper Marquez Knolls.

Shmerling: Tell me about how you approach new clients who are aiming to buy or sell a home.

Rassekhi: I am in this business to provide a service, the best real estate service possible to people who are in need of this service. Therefore I have been conscious to be very sensitive to my clients’ lifestyles and  needs and to educate them and guide them the best that I can but also to allow for them to exercise their expectations in the market.

Shmerling: What are some of the most memorable homes you have sold or helped a client purchase?

Rassekhi: I was a teenager during the ’80s Showtime Lakers and a huge fan of theirs. I played basketball through all of high school during that time. So when I had the opportunity to represent Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in purchasing his personal residence, that one was definitely fun!

Shmerling: What are some current trends in real estate?

Rassekhi: Specific to our market place, what I have personally been experiencing is a lot of local homeowners investing in condominiums in town. This is for two reasons. One is that the rental market is very strong and loans are still relatively inexpensive, therefore it makes for a good solid investment. The second reason is that these investors are speculating that as the Caruso project completes, there will be a higher demand for these units. The other trend I have been seeing is the demand for view properties, specifically in The Upper Marquez Knolls neighborhood, where this intense demand is at its highest ever.

Shmerling: Have you lived in the Palisades? If so, for how long and in which neighborhoods? What brought you here and why do you stay?

Rassekhi: I moved to Pacific Palisades in 1995. In 1998 I was blessed to be able to purchase my home on Charmel Lane in the Marquez Knolls. So I have been a resident for over 22 years. What attracted me to the Palisades was the neighborhood feel and the panoramic city and ocean views from the hills. That inspired me to purchase my home where I did.

Shmerling: Thoughts on Caruso’s Palisades Village project?

Rassekhi: Excited! I think its wonderful for the community and especially for our kids—it will allow them local options for entertainment.

Shmerling: What do you and your family like to do for fun?

Rassekhi: We love movies! My fiancée Amanda is a writer and my son and I are big movie fans, so we love going to the movies together. We enjoy travelling to the East Coast during the year and experiencing the different climate and social events. I love playing basketball and my son—Aleksander plays on a team, so we enjoy watching his games and also playing pick up games at the rec center.

Your Palisadian Home, 2030 A.D.—Apps Are Just so 2017

By CRISTIAN DAVID | Special to the Palisadian-Post

What will your house look like in 2030? The possibilities of futuristic features may seem endless.

Some of the gadgets may come in handy, such as waterless washing machines or waterless dishwashers that you could program from your phone as you’re driving—who knows, maybe even flying by then—back home in your Tesla. Others may seem irrelevant to you, like “ultrasonic” dishwashers.

I personally grew up just fine with hand-washing our dishes, and boy, did we get really spoiled when we got our first dishwasher. The ultrasonic feature of some of your appliances, however, may increase the value to your overall appraisal of your house.

Based on a report from the UK nonprofit Forum for the Future, which teamed up with a consumer insight firm and used a detailed historical analysis of consumer trends from the mid-1950s to the present to model the products we might be seeing down the road, our houses will look very different in less than 15 years.

We have already seen the introduction of the “smart homes” as prominent selling features. By 2030, technology will be so advanced that these smart homes as we know them will be a thing of the past. The burden sits on the new digital technology that will enhance the safety of our homes and the quality of our lives in meaningful ways.

We have seen a lot of the “push-button living” over the past few years. Thanks to the rise of smartphones and sensory innovations, pretty much any household appliance can be “smart” and “connected.”

Photos courtesy of Cristian David

According to Internet of Things, by 2019, companies are expected to ship 1.9 billion connected home devices, bringing in about $490 billion in revenue. Google and Samsung are already ahead of the pack. Google bought smart thermostat maker Nest Labs a couple of years ago for $3.2 billion and Samsung purchased connected home company SmartThings for $200 million.

More than two-thirds of consumers plan to buy connected technology for their homes by 2019 and smart thermostats, for instance, are expected to have 43-percent adoption in the next few years.

However, limiting the reliance on smart technology requires that the sensors must be integrated rather than controllable through a separate device. In the case of lighting, for instance, adding a motion sensor makes control via a phone app obsolete

By 2030, the light will turn on when someone walks in and turn off when no one is there. The light bulb itself will become an actor and will only perform “on cue.”

In terms of the safety of accessing your home, the new homes require new interfaces. Right now, people enter their homes we have seen in the Palisades—as I am impressed to see that many of the Palisadians are up to speed with the technology—via smart lock that can be accessed through a phone app.

In 2030, biometrical technology will enable people to get in. The surface of the door will recognize members of your family through the retina or skin structures. Residents will be able to communicate directly with a digitized “device-thingy” without any intermediaries.

Artificial Intelligence has paved its way into our homes via the robotic vacuums and smart thermostats. Over the next 13 years, AI will continue to make inroads in nearly every aspect of our lives.

A panel of academics and industry thinkers has looked ahead to 2030 to forecast how advances in AI might affect life in a typical North American city and spark discussion about how to ensure the safe, fair and beneficial development of these rapidly developing technologies.

The study, which is part of the ongoing project hosted by Stanford University to provide guidance on the ethical development of smart software, sensors and machines, reported that, “despite the slow growth to date of robots in the home, there are signs that this will change in the next 13 years. Corporations such as Amazon Robotics and Uber are developing large economies of scale using various aggregation technologies. Cloud computing is going to enable more rapid release of new software on home robots, and more sharing of data sets gathered in many different homes, which will in turn feed cloud-based machine learning, and then power improvements to already deployed robots.”

The great advances in speech understanding and image labeling enabled by deep learning will enhance robots’ interactions with people in their homes. Low cost 3-D sensors, driven by gaming platforms, have fueled work on 3-D perception algorithms by thousands of researchers worldwide, which will speed the development and adoption of home and service robots.

In the past four years, low-cost and safe robot arms have been introduced to hundreds of research labs around the world, sparking a new class of research on manipulation that will eventually be applicable in the home, perhaps around 2025. More than half a dozen startups around the world are developing AI-based robots for the home, for now concentrating mainly on social interaction.

New ethics and privacy issues may surface as a result. Is Artificial Intelligence integration going to invade the privacy of our homes or protect our
identities? I welcome your comments and questions by emailing me at cristian.david@sothebyshomes.com.

Palisades Real Estate Inventory Remains Low

By MICHAEL EDLEN | Special to the Palisadian-Post

As of March 31, 2017, 75 single-family Pacific Palisades residences were listed in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). The current level of inventory is 11 percent lower than last year’s March 31 available inventory.

A total of 57 homes were sold in the Palisades during the first quarter of 2017, which is the same as 2016. Median sale prices were up six percent from 2016’s first quarter, but the price per square foot was only one percent higher. The median list price is currently $3.995 million, which is a five percent increase over the same period last year. There are currently 36 escrows open in the Palisades, which is the same as last year.

The lowest-priced residence available is a two-bedroom, one-bath home on Goucher, which is being offered at $1.699 million. The highest-priced available property is a seven-bedroom, 13-bathroom on San Remo, listed at $38 million.

The most affordable areas so far in 2017 are the El Medio and upper Marquez neighborhoods, as well as Castellammare. The Riviera had the highest median average sales price. The El Medio, upper Bienveneda/Marquez and Highlands areas currently have the largest number of homes for sale in the Palisades.

The lowest sale price for the first quarter of 2017 was on Via Santa Ynez ($1.675 million). The highest sale ($22 million) so far this year was on San Onofre in the Riviera.

There are nine condominiums/townhouses on the market, which is 44 percent fewer than what was available at the end of the first quarter in 2016. They range from a one-bedroom, one-bath on Sunset, being offered at $629,000, to a three-bedroom, three-bath on Sunset for $3.295 million.

Eleven condominiums were sold in the Palisades since the start of the year, ranging from a one-bedroom, one-bath on Sunset, which sold for $589,000, to a three-bedroom, three-bath on Palisades Drive, which sold for $1.65 million. The median sales price for condos at the end of the first quarter was $1.15 million, which is up 30 percent over 2016 first quarter median sales prices.

There are currently 11 pieces of raw land available, ranging from $175,000 for a 3,700-foot lot on Posetano to $5.95 million for six acres on Via Santa Ynez. There have been no land sales yet this year.

There are currently 56 leases in the Palisades, starting at $3,250 per month for a one-bedroom, one-bath on Sunset and asking as high as $155,000 per month for a five-bedroom, six-bath house on Posetano.
There were 55 Palisades leases done in the first quarter of 2017 (the exact same number as last year), ranging from a one-bedroom, one-bath on Sunset, which leased for $2,850 per month, to a five-bedroom, six-bath, ocean-view home on Via Cresta, which leased for $25,000 per month.

Michael Edlen, an agent with Coldwell Banker, has been keeping statistics of Pacific Palisades housing prices for the last 31 years.

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