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by Olga Grigoryants // LA Daily News
As stadiums and entertainment venues sit idle across Los Angeles amid the global pandemic, French developer Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield has moved closer to bringing a sports center to Warner Center.
The City Planning Commission unanimously approved on Thursday, May 28, the Promenade 2035 project, featuring a 7,500-seat sports and entertainment venue with a partial roof or an enclosed 10,000-seat arena.
The approval came with some conditions, including that the developer would need to come back if it decides to modify the proposed plan.
The $1.5 billion project would spread across a 34-acre site. It calls for the construction of an urban district with nearly 1,400 residential units, 280,000 square feet of shops and restaurants, 731,500 square feet of office space and 572 hotel rooms.
During a virtual meeting hosted by the City Planning Commission hearing on the Promenade 2035 mega-development, hundreds of participants dialed in to wave on the controversial development.
The hearing comes months after city planners recommended a fully enclosed 7,500-seat arena as part of the massive development proposed for Woodland Hills that was half the capacity of the originally proposed 15,000-seat stadium. The proposal triggered several appeals regarding the lack of affordable housing, the size of the stadium and air quality.
Developers said the project represents over $1 billion in long-term investment in Warner Center, creating more than 10,800 construction jobs and over 9,700 permanent jobs upon completion.
Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield agreed to modify their proposal, offering a smaller sports and entertainment center along with rent-restricted affordable housing.
The stadium, the developer said, will be a catalyst for economic growth, attracting further investment in the Warner Center area. It will include a dedicated space for cultural programming and also provide a gathering place for community events such as high school and college graduations and various cultural events.
“We’re tired of transporting over the hill” to see events,” said Larry Green, executive vice president-development at Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield.
In response to community feedback, the developer agreed to redesign the venue, reducing its square footage from 320,000 square feet to 181,550 square feet and its height from 155 feet to approximately 85 feet. The venue will be encircled with landscaping, trees, open space and pedestrian paths.
But opponents fear the venue will attract rowdy crowds and fill up the 101 Freeway with cars.
West Hills resident Christine Rowe said she was “absolutely” opposed to the stadium.
“I’m disgusted with the new arena,” she said.
Supporters said they approved the 10,000-people facility, smaller than downtown’s Staples Center, that they hope will bring construction jobs and attract entertainment events in years ahead.
The updated plan includes a commitment for a total of 15% of the project’s initial residential units to be affordable, workforce and stakeholder housing divided into:
Gina K. Thornburg, executive director of Coalition for Valley Neighborhoods criticized the plan for not proposing to build more affordable units, demanding that the developer build 7.5% of the 1,009 units, to be preserved in perpetuity for the very low-Income residents.
House hunting simultaneously can be an enjoyable and highly challenging undertaking. There are five specific things that you need to bear in mind when house hunting. By paying attention to these points you place yourself in the best position to have an ultimately productive house hunting endeavor.
Location is Paramount
One of the most worn out clichés associated with real estate is that three things matter when if comes to real estate:
In the final analysis, the location of the home you select will govern so much of your life going forward into the future. Thus, it is imperative that before you really dive into your hunt for a home, pinpoint the part of the community in which you want to reside. In other words, settle on the area in a city or town in which you really do want to live and build your house hunting efforts around that decision.
House Site is Crucial
Directly under the "location, location, location" mantra is the necessity of making a firm decision of what type of house site you truly desire. You need to make this decision in advance of heading off house hunting.
You cannot be overly narrow when it comes to narrowing down the type of house site you desire. However, you need to establish specific parameters.
One of the biggest flubs people make when looking to buy a home is that they really don't focus on the type of site they would really like to have for their home. As a result, they end up what they thought was an ideal home purchase only to come to a realization that the site on which the residence is located isn't quite right for one reason or another.
Don't Forget the Specifics of the Neighborhood
Delve into the specifics of the neighborhood when house hunting. Really digging into a neighborhood involves more than just driving or walking around and checking out. This is an area where you really must undertake thorough due diligence.
You will want to do research and obtain information about everything from the crime rate in the area to which school district serves the neighborhood. Don't just accept a statement by a real estate agent that a house is "within walking distance" to a particular, desired school. Walking distance does not mean that the house is in the district served by that school of choice.
Focus on Curb Appeal
Curb appeal certainly matters to a seller who wants to make the most of an initial presentation. Curb appeal should also matter to you as a buyer as well. The reality is you will want your home to make the best forward presentation possible. You probably don't want to purchase a residence that is going to require you to undertake a considerable amount of time and money to improve the curb appear of the property.
Weigh and Balance the Floorplan and Design
As with some other issues mentioned a moment ago, you will also want to weigh and balance what you desire or need in the way of a particular residential floor plan and design. You are best served undertaking this consideration before you begin the house hunting process. This preliminary decision making aids you in narrowing down the houses you end up looking at while house hunting. You avoid wasting time on properties that really don't meet your floorplan and design desires.
By taking a proactive stance to house hunting, by making preliminary decisions in advance of going to open houses, you develop an efficient means of searching for the best place to call home. You also avoid the risk of settling for a home that doesn't really meet your needs, specifications and desires.
Buying a home can be stressful. You have to find the perfect home to fit your needs in the perfect neighborhood where your family is going to be safe and happy. Selling a home?
Selling your home can be both stressful and confusing but it doesn't have to be. In all actuality if you ask the right questions it can be quite simple finding the right realtor and selling your home. When choosing the right realtor for you many thoughts come to mind: "Is this realtor and I going to get along? Is this realtor going to be available? Can I trust them?" These are all great questions - however we cannot always ask them. Instead ask the following questions and eliminate the realtors that are not a good fit. First you want to get acquainted with them then understand their capabilities, strengths and weaknesses; then find out if they are the right realtor for you.
The best questions to ask are:
1. Which neighborhoods do you specialize in?
It's very important to know which neighborhoods your realtor specializes in. You want someone who is experienced that really understands your neighborhood. If a realtor does not specialize in your neighborhood they most likely don't have an accurate understanding of it. The better their perception and knowledge of your neighborhood the easier it will be for them to sell your home to potential buyers by highlighting the positive attributes of the neighborhood. Many home buyers have families and they will ask about the school districts, neighborhood watch, crime rates etc. Chose a realtor that is familiar with your neighborhood that can answer such questions.
2. What is your marketing strategy?
This question can have an overwhelming answer sometimes. A realtor can start listing off many different ideas and processes to advertise your home - some of which you may not recognize or agree with. Now is the time to discuss marketing strategies that you prefer and ask how / why they chose such methods. You can also ask them to share their success rate with such steps that they plan on taking. Maybe their strategy is to sell your home as a pocket listing It's better to know ahead of time what their marketing strategy is and do your own research to see if it aligns with what you want.
3. How much support do you offer?
This question will allow you to identify how involved your realtor will be during the selling process. If their response is "I have multiple assistants who are always available," you have to decide if you are comfortable with that. Some prefer to have the realtor available instead of assistants or other team members. Some sellers are happy to work with a realtor that has a team who will always be available. When listening to the realtor answer this question you can identify your needs and what you prefer.
4. What is your availability / schedule?
Almost all realtors have multiple clients - good for them! But does this mean that you don't take priority? Will they have a dedicated time for which they are available for your questions? Do they have business hours? Maybe they only answer calls between 9 am to 1 pm and return other calls the next business day. Although there is no wrong answer for this question it is important to know the answer so that you can set appropriate expectations and appointments.
5. What is included in your fee?
This question is a step towards avoiding hidden fees. Yes hidden fees exist everywhere. You may end up meeting a real estate agent that is the absolute perfect fit for you but they don't included the advertising costs in their fee. Are you going to be financially responsible for advertising costs? Is there additional legal fees that you were not aware of? Don't hesitate to ask what services and fees are if you do not understand them. It is better to know before you hire them then to find out afterwards and be put in a tough spot.
6. Can you provide some references?
Asking this question will reveal if this realtor builds strong and memorable relationships. When working with someone compatibility, honesty and work ethic are crucial. Having references readily available reveals that the real estate agent you are interviewing has these qualities.
7. How much do you think we can sell this house for?
Answering this question will reveal the realtors sensibility and experience. An inexperienced realtor will respond with a high and hopeful number. An experienced realtor will be honest with you and take into consideration where the market is and the impact of your neighborhood on the price to list with.
8. How fast are houses selling in this neighborhood?
This question will continue to reveal the realtors experience, knowledge and effort. An experienced and motivated realtor would have known to check such statistics and updates before meeting with you.
9. How many listings do you have in this neighborhood?
This question is preferred by some and not so much but others. However it is important to know if this potential realtor has prior obligations that may affect their ability to sell your home quickly. For some realtors it is beneficial to have multiple listings in the same neighborhood. If the realtor says that he/she does have other listings in the same neighborhood ask them how this will impact the marketing strategy for your home.
10. How many homes have you sold in the past 12 months in this price range?
Asking how many homes the realtor has recently sold in your price range will reveal their experience also. For example maybe they sold 20 homes last year but they were all high - end multi million dollar homes where as your home is around 800K. You want to hire a realtor that has experience selling homes that are within the same price range as yours; such a realtor will have a larger network of buyers that will buy your home. If a realtor works only with multi million dollar homes may not understand the market of average homes, how to find the right buyers, how to advertise etc.
11. What are your thoughts on staging?
It's important to stage your home when selling. Staging helps buyers envision how they can fit into the space. Also take safety into consideration when staging. If your house is on the market unfortunately you will have strangers enter your home, you can't help but worry if that Vase from your last trip will get knocked over and break or what if some items go missing? When you have your home staged such things will not be a worry. Speaking about staging will also open the conversation to see what your realtor will advise.
12. Can you explain your open house strategy?
Understanding whether or not your home will host open houses or how frequently there will be open houses will help you plan adapt your schedule. It will motivate you to tidy up and get rid of that box of junk you've been putting off to make your home clean and pretty.
13. What will you be asking me to sign?
Make sure you understand what documents you are signing and what you are agreeing to. Are you going to be asked to work with a different realtor? Are you going to be asked to only work with this realtor? Are you signing away your rights to influence how your house will be advertised? Any reputable realtor will not ask anything outrageous of you and take the time to explain what they are asking you to agree to.
14. Why should I hire you as my realtor?
Realtors are sales people after all Ask them to sell themselves to you. If they do a good job, you just found your realtor.
Consider other questions you may want to ask a potential realtor and write it down before you sit down to interview them. You can't ask too many questions but make sure you're taking this time to ask important questions that will help you identify if this is the right realtor for you.
If you are a first time homebuyer, you likely find yourself with a myriad of questions. Understanding the newness of the process for you, amassing useful information about buying a home is crucial. We present you with six vital tips for consideration by a first time homebuyer.
Be Proactive in Saving for a Down Payment
If you have your sights on purchasing a home as first time buyer, you need to take a truly proactive stance when it comes to saving for a down payment. In this day and age, the standard down payment on a home across the United States is 20 percent. There are some home finance opportunities for different classifications of buyers that can permit a lower down payment. With that said, even if you qualify for financing that requires a lower down payment, you will then be left paying more each month for your mortgage.
You also need to bear in mind that even a smaller down payment can add up to a notable amount of money. For example, if you wrangle a mortgage that necessitates a 5 percent down payment, and the home price is $200,000, your down payment will still be $10,000.
Prepare Your Credit for a Mortgage Application
You must also be proactive when it comes to your credit as a first time homebuyer. That process begins by making certain that there are no errors on your credit reports. The reality is that a high percentage of credit reports contain erroneous information. You will want to make sure that you confirm the accuracy of the information on all three of your credit reports.
There are other steps that you will want to take to ensure that your credit reports and score are in the best position possible. You will want to reduce the overall debt load you are carrying. For example, if you are like many people, you likely have open credit card accounts. You will want to pay those down. You do not necessarily want to close them out, however. Your credit score may benefit from paying down credit card accounts and yet maintaining a couple of them open with low or no balances. You definitely want to make credit card and other account payments recorded on your credit report in a timely manner.
Shop Around for the Best Mortgage Option for You
At this juncture in the 21st century you've an array of different options available to you when it comes to home mortgages. Thus, you will want to take the time to "shop around" and find the mortgage loan that is most favorable to you and your situation. Keep in mind that even a slight difference in a mortgage rate can amount to what proves to be a considerable amount of money over the lifetime of a loan.
Let prospective mortgage lenders know that you are shopping around. Be up front about a prospective lender that appears to be committed to giving you a favorable mortgage rate. In the end, another mortgage lender may take the step of even offering an interest rate a bit lower in order to attract your business.
Obtain Mortgage Loan Pre-Approval
A very important step to take when it comes to buying a home for the first time is to obtain preapproval for a home mortgage loan. You can generally prequalify for a mortgage, a process that indicates you will be able to obtain some amount of financing.
You can also seek a preapproval letter. A preapproval letter sets forth specifically the amount of money you qualify for via a home mortgage loan. Having a home mortgage loan preapproval letter gives you an edge over other people looking to buy a home who may have not taken this step. With a preapproval letter, a home seller understands that there will not be an added delay while you seek final approval for a home mortgage loan.
Establish a Budget and Stick to It
When you are heading onto the market to find and buy your first home you must establish a budget and stick to it. In other words, you need to establish an absolute maximum amount of money you are able to spend on all aspects of buying a residence for the first time.
You don't want to make your budget ill-defined and flexible. Having a vague budget can have seriously negative consequences when you get onto the marketplace looking for a property to purchase. Without a well-defined budget, you very well may find yourself going beyond even the most detailed budget.
Get Suitable Homeowner's Insurance
Once you make the purchase of residence, you need to make absolutely certain that you obtain appropriate homeowner's insurance. A variety of considerations need to be contemplated when selecting homeowner's insurance for your new home, ensuring that you are absolutely certain you obtain an appropriate amount of coverage to provide you full protection.
By employing these strategies you will place yourself in the best possible position to make an educated, wise decision when it comes to purchasing your first ever residence. You will be able to find the ideal home for you and your family at a prices that fits appropriately within your budget.
You will also want to make certain you take advantage of those real estate professionals that can provide you the vital assistance you need on all fronts when you enter onto the real estate market in search of the perfect home.
The California Association of Realtors discovered how you can update your kitchen without having to update it again within a few years. Take a look at how carefully placements of appliances can save you from constant remodeling.
Although the suggestion of keeping your cabinets white is great advice, you can make your kitchen more homey buy installing high quality cabinets. Want to play it safe? No worries, consider adding some decor that makes you feel like you're at home.
This material was provided by the California Association of Realtors.
Curious about local real estate? So are we! Every month we review trends in our real estate market and consider the number of homes on the market in each price tier, the amount of time particular homes have been listed for sale, specific neighborhood trends, the median price and square footage of each home sold and so much more. We’d love to invite you to do the same!
You can sign up here to receive your own market report, delivered as often as you like! It contains current information on pending, active and just sold properties so you can see actual homes in your neighborhood. You can review your area on a larger scale, as well, by refining your search to include properties across the city or county. As you notice price and size trends, please contact us for clarification or to have any questions answered.
We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.