Month: June 2015

My Guide to Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach is currently one of the hottest spots in LA right now. From its award winning restaurants, pristine beaches, friendly locals and all-around good atmosphere, it is a perfect place to live, work and play.

Where to Eat:

MB Post – Small plate style restaurant with an ever-changing menu of delicious bites. Make sure you try their famous bacon cheddar biscuits!

Simmzys – Great spot for a beer, burger and people watching.

The Strand House – Great restaurant for a night out with your special someone or to grab a cocktail with some friends. The restaurant has beautiful ocean views from almost every seat and a great selection of cocktails and seafood!

The Kettle – One of the few places open 24 hours in Manhattan Beach… The Kettle has it ALL. From their great breakfast selection to delicious dinner entrees, you can never go wrong with The Kettle.

The Rockefeller – One of my personal favorite places for weekend brunch, and us Angelenos love to brunch! They have an awesome selection of brunch choices, flavored mimosas and all around fun atmosphere, with locations in both Hermosa and Manhattan Beach. They also have 99 cent burgers on Tuesday night… Yes, 99 cents.

Where to Go:

The Beach – One of the best beaches in LA County and even the sand was once imported from Waikiki Beach! The Manhattan Beach strand and beach is always a happening place, from people walking, biking, rollerblading, socializing, playing beach volleyball, surfing, swimming… you name it! If you’re looking to surf, try a little north in ‘El Porto’ to catch some great waves.

Manhattan Beach Boulevard – the artery of Manhattan Beach where locals and visitors can enjoy great food, shopping for all ages and budgets, fun bars, people watching, etc. Parking can sometime be tricky (especially during the summer) so plan ahead!

Manhattan Beach Pier & Roundhouse –  The MB Pier is the possibly most iconic landmark in the South Bay. The pier extends from Manhattan Beach Boulevard and breaks off from the bike and walking path to give beach-goers a stroll over the ocean. This clean (MB is a non-smoking city) and spacious pier has great lookout points, concrete benches and a friendly aquarium and cafe at the end!

Where to Play

Shellback Tavern – Simply put, this place is your all-American beach town dive bar.

The Strand House – Perfect for drinks after work or grabbing a well-crafted cocktail on a Saturday night.

Events to Note:

6-Man Beach Volleyball Tournament

AVP Tournament

Manhattan Beach Farmer’s Market 

Manhattan Beach as Special Olympics Host Town

Concerts in the Park 

Manhattan Beach Open Tennis Tournament

International Surf Festival (ISF)

 

*Interested in calling Manhattan Beach home? Contact me today to learn more about the beautiful South Bay area and Manhattan Beach housing market. I would love to provide you with a free no-obligation consultation and show you how great living here truly is!

 

10 REASONS TO BUY vs. RENT

by Stephanie Ronca

The choice between buying a home and renting one, is among the biggest financial decisions you make. Everyone’s financial and living situations are different, but here are the reasons why buying a home may be a better opportunity than renting. 

  1. You can build equity:

Rising home prices will allow you to gain equity simply because your home with be worth more when you sell it. When you have a mortgage, you increase your degree of ownership in your home with every payment. A general rule is that if you intend to stay in your property for at least five to seven years, the costs of purchasing the home are more likely to be offset by accrued equity and increased housing value. In the event the equity in the home grows more than a 20-to-80 percent loan-to-value ration, then you will be able to borrow against your equity in the home.

  1. You can customize your space:

You can paint the walls the color you’ve always dreamed of, take on a DIY kitchen project or update appliances, without worrying about losing your security deposit! By doing so you are able to make the space your own, and if you update or remodel, these upgrades can potentially increase the value of your home when you sell.

  1. Owning a home forces you to save: 

Since most homeowners have to pay a monthly mortgage, they are routinely putting money away into the house they own, instead of spending the money on overpriced rents that go into a landlord’s pocket. Then, if you sell your home after the mortgage is paid off, there is a good chance that you can walk away with a profit once selling the home.

  1. Homeownership allows you to build a 2nd income stream: 

From renting out a bedroom, to renting out a detached garage or garden space, owning a home can provide you opportunities to put extra cash in your pocket. Ex: You purchase a 3 bedroom home, but only need the master bedroom and guest bedroom for yourself, so you decide to rent out the 3rd bedroom to a friend and co-worker – you could bring in extra monthly cash and help cover utility costs!

  1. Homeowners can take tax deductions: 

Many homeowners who have taken out a mortgage in order to buy do so in anticipation of the tax breaks that come with homeownership. Depending on your tax bracket, a first-time homebuyer’s 1040 tax deductions can heavily subsidize many of the expenses you have poured into your new home. Also, you can deduct mortgage interest as well as your property taxes and those who work from home may be eligible to take deductions for their home office and portions of utilities.

 

  1. Can take advantage of low interest rates: 

Interest rates a currently very low, making it ideal for buyers looking to get home loans.

  1. Unlike rent, a fixed mortgage can’t go up (even if inflation does): 

Fixed mortgage rates don’t go up, even if the cost of everything else does. To protect yourself, you could make a 20% down payment and take out a 30-year fixed mortgage to lock in today’s low interest rates.

  1. Ramp up energy efficiency: 

You can save money and get tax breaks just for making your home more energy efficient. Even buying new windows or other materials for your home can be written off at the end of the year.

  1. No landlords, ever:

You’ll no longer have to worry about unexpected eviction notices, poorly maintained properties, security deposits or Fido being banned from the premises! Homeownership allows you to be your own landlord and decide what goes and what doesn’t.

  1. You can settle in a community: 

Once you commit to owning a home, you’re more likely to become more involved in your community because you know you’ll be there for years. You can get to know your neighbors, perhaps join a homeowners’ association, volunteer for local projects and meet other neighboring homeowners.

 

*Interested in buying your first home, or wanting to learn more about different first time homebuyer options? I can provide you with current market insights, different financing options, mortgage broker contacts, and help guide you through the transaction process with ease. Contact me today to set up a no-obligation consultation!

 

Sources:

http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2012/04/24/10-reasons-to-buy-instead-of-rent?page=2

http://www.zillow.com/home-buying-guide/rent-vs-buy/

http://www.rfrlmtg.com/loanOptions/Overview/10%20Reasons%20to%20Buy%20vs%20Rent/

http://www.moneycrashers.com/rent-or-buy-a-house/