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Dena Land News A




Let’s Start With a Higher Price? Let’s Not

September 2007

Linda Lane-White “Singing” Realtor ® CA Lic #01091347 Notary Public In T un e W ith Y ou r N ee d s

445 S. Fair Oaks Avenue Pasadena, CA 91105 Phone: 626-786-1231 Fax: 626-296-1979

Inside this issue: Higher Price?


Basic Tool Box


Recipe of the Month


Backyard Fall Cleanup




Ceedub Construction


Christmas Tree Lane


Recent Area Sales


Mortgage Services (sponsor)


For Sale


Ask An Expert


Financial Services (sponsor)


September In Dena Land


It’s no secret that the real estate market is not exactly what it was last year. Things have slowed down; there are fewer buyers looking, but still quite a few homes for sale. So now may be a good time to revisit one of the ever-unpopular real estate subjects—how to set the listing price. Or rather, how not to do it. Why? Because the price is the number one determining factor of whether the home will sell in a timely fashion or even sell at all. Sellers don’t like to hear what I’m about to say, and some agents don’t like to bring it up. But, I’m all about being up front with my clients., so here goes: the market sets the price, not the seller. What I mean by this is that the seller can’t expect a buyer to show up and pay more than the home’s current value. ―I need to net X amount of money from this sale,‖ is not a good reason for the buyer to agree to a higher price. ―So-and-so’s home sold for this much last year, so mine is worth the same.‖ The buyer doesn’t care. ―I spent this much for all the upgrades, so that justifies my higher asking price.‖ Not really. Your house can’t sell for more than what the current market will bear, and

everything else is far less relevant. Ignore the market, and buyers will ignore your house. Is it denial or belief in miracles that makes some sellers think that, despite what the data shows, someone may still show up and pay the overblown price? I’m not sure, but I

frequently hear something like this: ―OK, let’s start with the higher price, and if we get no bites we’ll lower it later.‖ Oh, how bad this idea is. Any agent who’s been in the business for more than two weeks can tell you that the most activity a listing will get is when it first becomes available. All the buyers that are in the market right now will take a look at it, either in person or just on the MLS printout their agent gives them. If they determine that the seller’s price is unreasonable, they’ll move on and go look at other houses. The seller adjusts the price six weeks later? Too late. The buyers have already crossed this house off their list and they won’t look at it again. Why? Because they’ve forgotten why they crossed it off.

―Didn’t we look at this one already? I can’t remember, but we’ve already ruled it out for some reason. Plenty more to look at, so just forget it.‖ All the seller can hope for now is attracting new buyers that are just starting to look. And that’s a lot fewer people than number of people already looking. What ultimately happens in the ―let’s start high and adjust later scenario‖ is this...The seller eventually lowers the price to what it should have been all along, but still no one bites. The seller, starts to get nervous, and maybe offers an incentive or two. Still no bites. Now the seller has lost a lot of time, and starts to get desperate. Whatever event that prompted the sale (new job, family situation, etc.) is really putting the pressure on the seller. And the buyers start to sense this. And now low-ball offers start to come. What do you think happens next? Either the home sells for less than it should have, or the seller gives up in disgust and decides to wait for a better time. Neither outcome sounds particularly good as far as I’m concerned. So what’s the point I’m trying to make? If the price is right the home will sell. If it isn’t then it won’t. It’s that simple really. And with the market being the way it is, careful pricing is now more important than ever.

Adding To Your Basic Toolbox

“Plant flowers in others’ gardens and your life becomes a bouquet” -Unknown

If you are big on DIY home improvements, consider adding any one of these must have tools to your tool box.. Cordless Drill/Driver: Go cordless for ease of use. Higher voltage means more power and more life between charges. Square: Cutting materials square is the first step in making sure projects turn out right. This tool is a musthave. Level: From hanging pictures to building a deck, everyone needs a level. Consider a two-footer. Flat Bar or Pry Bar: Often starting a project means

tearing something out. A flat bar will help. Use claws on either end for removing nails. Diagonal Cutters: Not just for cutting wire, but a variety of other materials such as small nails and dowels as well. Adjustable Wrench: Flexibility makes this tool a must for turning nuts, bolts and plumbing fittings. Drill Bits: Get a kit that contains different sizes and varieties for drilling through different materials. Clamps: A set of bar clamps is always useful for holding things together while they are glued or fastened.

seed kernels 1/3 Cup light mayonnaise 1/4 Cup plain fat-free yogurt 3 tablespoons sugar or splenda 1 tablespoon white vinegar DIRECTIONS Combine the first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Combine mayonnaise and remaining ingredients,

(626)798-CDUB(2382) or (626) 786-1229 CA Lic #883002 stirring with a whisk. Pour dressing over broccoli mixture, and toss well. Chill for 1 hour. Makes 8—1 cup servings Calories: 175, Fat: 5.7g, Protein: 3.4g, Cholesterol: 4mg, Sodium: 148mg, Fiber: 3.5g, Carbohydrates: 31g

Time-Saving Tips For A Successful Backyard Fall Cleanup Tips to ensure a successful backyard fall clean-up effort—and to get a head start on next year’s growing season. • Rake those leaves. Once the rain (or snow) falls, an un-raked layer of leaves can get matted down over the turf and smother it all winter long. Raking helps avoid dead patches in the spring. • Feed the grass. Using a slow-release fertilizer allows the grass to soak up nutrients and—just as important—spend the cool days and nights of autumn recovering from summer Page 2

heat and stress. • Weed all about it. Weeding in the fall is probably the most valuable thing you can do to prepare for spring, and it’s one that many people overlook. • Aerate. Heavy use throughout the summer can cause soil to become compacted. Perforating your lawn with small holes helps reduce compaction and lets water, air and fertilizer get down to the soil, which strengthens the grass plant’s root structure. • Water trees and shrubs. Dehydration during the

Call Chris White of Ceedub Construction. Ceedub will either buy the property directly or will provide a free estimate for what the repairs will cost. Ceedub Construction

Broccoli Salad Rose Amesquita at the Fair Oaks Car Wash asked for a Broccoli Salad recipe. I found one from Cooking Light! INGREDIENTS: 4 Cups small broccoli florets 1 1/2 Cups greed grapes, halved 1 Cup chopped celery 1 Cup raisins 1/4 Cup salted sunflower

Do you or someone you know own a home that needs major repair work or the home is in disrepair altogether?

colder months is an all-toocommon cause of tree damage, but it’s easily preventable. After they go fully dormant—but before the ground freezes—use a soaker hose or root irrigator to water them thoroughly.

Free Comparative Market Analysis provided by Linda Lane-White (Yes, this is my hubby!)

Want to know what your home is worth in today’s market? Just give me a buzz or shoot me an E-mail. I’ll provide you with a market analysis based on the latest available data at absolutely no cost and no obligation. “Free with no obligation? What’s the catch? ”No catch. I’m your neighborhood Realtor, and that’s what I do! ☺

Dena Land News


To My Readers: Christmas Tree Lane is located on Santa Rosa Avenue in Altadena between Woodbury and Altadena Drive. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and designated as the California State Landmark No. 990. In 1885, there was a real estate developer named John P. Woodbury (part of the Woodbury Family who founded Altadena). John planted 134 deodar trees as a mile long entrance driveway to his mansion. Though his mansion was never built, the trees stayed and the "driveway" became Santa Rosa Avenue. On the 2nd Saturday of December, there is a Lighting Ceremony of over 10,000 lights and people come from all over to view the mile long spectacle. Since I was about 5 years old, I would sit near the same tree every year and wait for the lights to come on and then the bands to march down the street. The Christmas Tree Lane Association has a little over 500 members, but, so far, only the board members (about 12 of us) volunteer to get together to maintain the trees and put up the lights. Local service groups show up some times, but it’s not consistent. Most people think that the County of Los Angeles takes care of everything, but, no, it's just a few dedicated people who want to preserve this historical treasure. This year, we sadly lost a member of our association to cancer. Another member doesn’t have enough strength this year to help out and one other member will be gone for the 2 months preceding the ceremony. Last year we had so few volunteers that some of the trees still didn’t have lights on them for the ceremony. Now you see why we need your help! In addition, this year brought some other sad news. We lost 4 trees from Oak Root Fungus. Some of the factors are stress from lack of water or over-watering due to homeowners landscaping under the trees. The oak root fungus thrives in warm weather, 95 degrees and moisture. Put these two factors together and it spells disaster for deodars (and oak trees). How sad that this has happened. They will be replaced, but it will take decades to bring them up to the grandios of the other trees. In February, we take the lights and lines down. From March through June, we rebuild the lines, test and replace faulty bulbs, and clear the brush growing under the deodar trees. In October, we start putting the lights/lines up into the trees. Since The Lane is dependent upon community volunteers in order to function, please volunteer YOUR services. Scout troops and service groups are welcome! The weekend of October 13th marks the beginning of the Saturday/Sunday“Lights Up”. It starts at 9am and ends at 12pm and continues every weekend until the ceremony. Refreshments will be served for the volunteers. You can find us on the Lane. Call (626) 403-1123 for more information. Linda Lane-White, Director/Parliamentarian Christmas Tree Lane Association

Become a Member of the Christmas Tree Lane Association Student (18 years or younger)$10.00 Individual $25.00 Patron/Corporate $100.00

Senior (60 years or older) $10.00 Household $50.00 General Donation, any amount

Send donations to P O Box 11, Altadena, CA 91003. Can’t donate, but, can volunteer—call 626/403-1123

Recent Area Sales Address 2415 Catherine Rd 1372 El Corto Dr 2542 Tanoble Dr 586 Figueroa Dr 992 Norumbega Dr 121 Rose Ln 258 W Atara St 840 E Green St #318 385 S Oakland Ave #303 1472 Inverness Dr 2050 N Altadena Dr 1858 San Pasqual St 2118 Hanscom Dr 7024 Summitrose St

City Altadena Altadena Altadena Altadena Monrovia Monrovia Monrovia Pasadena Pasadena Pasadena Pasadena Pasadena So. Pasadena Tujunga

Sale Price

Bed/ S.F. S.F. Bath Home Land $950,000 3/2 2293 8052 $967,500 3/3 2750 13190 $660,000 2/1 1041 8484 $557,000 2/1 996 6912 $875,000 4/3 2439 15180 $1,899,000 3/4 4217 13690 $580,000 3/3 1650 6600 $750,000 2/2 1347 n/a $430,000 2/2 1130 1316 $1,525,000 3/3 2120 12020 $740,000 3/2 1593 8960 $3,280,000 4/5 5296 34996 $385,000 1/1 522 10140 $651,000 5/2 1672 11745

Date Sold 08/24/07 08/27/07 08/22/07 08/20/07 08/30/07 08/30/07 08/24/07 08/21/07 08/28/07 08/27/07 08/20/07 08/31/07 08/21/07 08/31/07

Average area prices for more than 40 zip code areas are now available via E-mail or direct mail. (i.e. Altadena average is $464/sf— a decrease of 8.7% since July 2006.) Give me a shout and I’ll get the report to you!

Who do you know right now who’s looking to buy, sell or invest in real estate? Give me a call or send me an E-mail. I’m never too busy for your referrals to friends or family. T h is p ub l i c at io n is fo r in fo rm at io n a l p u rp o se s only an d does not c o n st it ut e le g a l or fin an c i a l advice. All information was obtained from sources deemed reliable, and while I do not doubt its accuracy, I cannot guarantee it. Some items provided by Resulti and Fidelity National Home Warranty. If your property is listed with another broker, this is not intended as a solicitation.

September 2007

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$375,000 Freestanding 1 BR, 1 BA Residence Sits Atop A Retail Shop 2,997 Sq. Ft. Lot, 1,120 Sq. Ft. Building Live and Work or Rent Out Both Units

SELLER IS MOTIVATED—BRING ALL OFFERS! Call Linda Lane-White (626) 786-1231 for more details Page 4

Dena Land News

Q: As a seller, how can I be sure the buyer can really get the loan? A. Although there is no 100% guarantee, your best bet is to ask for a pre-approval letter. To issue a pre-approval, the lender will check the buyer’s full credit report, look for any discrepancies or potential red flags, verify his or her employment status and income, and then, if everything looks OK, pre-approve the buyer for a specific loan amount. Now, there is another piece of paper with a similarsounding name, called a “pre-qualification” letter. To get “pre-qualified” the buyer only verbally tells the lender what his/her income and debts are. The lender then checks a partially complete credit report and nothing else. Since nothing is verified, and the full credit report is not checked, the “prequalification” letter is pretty meaningless. Therefore, insist on getting a pre-approval letter. Sure, it’s not bulletproof, but it’s the next best thing to being offered cash.

Ask an Expert

Have a real estate question, feel free to contact me. Linda Lane-White (626) 786-1231

ESTATE PLANNING WORKSHOP September 11, 2007 7:00pm to 8:30pm Learn how to protect your family with a living trust and answer questions you may already have..       

What is a living trust and who should have one? Is a living will the same as a living trust? How does a living trust save on estate taxes? How can I avoid probate? Does a living trust maintain privacy? How can I reduce or eliminate estate taes? How can I protect my minor children from court imposed guardianships?  Will a living trust prevent a conservatorship or guardianship at physical or mental incapacity? Space is limited! To reserve a seat for this informative workshop, contact: David Rutherford Trilogy Financial Services (626)918-5670 x4210 1000 Lakes Drive #325, West Covina

Why Trilogy? I coordinate investment strategies with qualified professional advisors in all related financial fields to create a “one-stop” financial services experience. When you have a financial question, Trilogy and I will provide a financial answer. Financial Today’s financial world is becoming more complicated than ever. But, one thing remains clear: creating and implementing a plan based on professional management is now more important than ever. Taxes Tax laws change regularly. An experienced tax professional at Trilogy can find ways to reduce the amount of taxes you pay, helping you to keep more of your hard-earned dollars. Estate Planning Many Americans die today without a sufficient estate plan. Proper planning can give you increased control over your assets, privacy and distributions to heirs, while saving you money. Trilogy’s Commitment… Independent, Objective, and Unbiased Within the financial services industry, advice and recommendations can often carry hidden agendas and conflicts of interest. Trilogy does not manufacture its own investment products; therefore, you can rely on us to provide an unbiased assessment of your financial situation. I’m an experienced independent advisor whose knowledge and skills are matched by an ability to offer sound, objective advice.

Call today to schedule your complimentary financial review. David Rutherford, Senior Investment Executive 1000 Lakes Drive—Suite 325, West Covina, CA 91790 (626) 918-5670 Ext. 4210 CA Insurance Lic #0D05449 Be Confident About Your Financial Future! Securities offered through NATIONAL PLANNING CORP. (NPC), Member NASD, SIPC. Trilogy Financial Services and NPC are separate and unrelated entities.

September 2007

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Pasadena Market Center 445 S. Fair Oaks Avenue Pasadena, CA 91105 Cell: (626) 786-1231 Office: (626) 204-3436 Fax: (626) 296-1979 Each Office Is Independently Owned and Operated

Linda Lane-White “Singing” Realtor® CA Lic #01091347 (since 1990) Notary Public (since 1987)

If You Would Like To Receive This Newsletter on a Regular Basis for Guaranteed Delivery... Call 626/786-1231

In Tune With Your Needs

Search the MLS on my web site! Altadena Library District

“Let’s Read Altadena” Read For The Record September 20, 2007 Bob Lucas Library: 2659 N. Lincoln Ave,Altadena or Altadena Main Library: 600 E Mariposa St., Altadena If you would like to participate in the Let’s Read Altadena’s Read For the Record campaign, please contact 626-798-8338 or send an E-mail to Roberta Lauderdale at

September Happenings in Dena Land Christmas Tree Lane Association is in need of assistance with our website. One of our board members passed away unexpectedly earlier this year. Feel free to join us at our monthly meeting at the Altadena Public Library on 09/12/07 at 7pm or call Linda at 626-7861231. Sept 6—6-8pm. Investment Seminar at Keller Williams Realty, 445 S. Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena. FREE. Dinner served. RSVP to 626/786-1231 Sept 8 & 9—7pm Shakespeare Festival’s ―Henry V‖. Levitt Pavilion. 85 E Holly St., Pasadena. FREE Sept 9—7pm. Tumbling Tumbleweeds. Coffee Gallery Backstage. 2029 N Lake, Altadena. 626-398-7917. $15 (ok for kids) Sept 11– 7pm to 8:30pm Estate Planning Workshop @ Trilogy Financial Services Inc. 1000 Lakes Drive #325, West Covina, CA 91790 626-918-5670 to RSVP Sept 12—7pm. Christmas Tree Lane Association meeting. Public welcome. Altadena Library Sept 15—7pm Terry Lee Goffee—A Tribute to Johnny Cash. Farnsworth Park (top of Lake Ave) FREE Sept 22—9am. 7th Annual Madison Health Fair. Seminars, booths, screenings, raffles, food and more. Located on Madison Avenue between Orange Grove and Mountain, Pasadena. FREE. 626-683-9492 Sept 22—7pm. High Hills All Female Band. Bluegrass music & comedy. The Coffee Gallery. 2029 N. Lake, Altadena. 626-398-7917. $18 Sept 23 –1pm. Family Fun Day on Main Street. New exhibit at the Pasadena Museum of History. 470 W. Walnut St., Pasadena. FREE Explore Prosperous Pasadena Business in the Crown City and Beyond. Call 626/577-1660. Sept 25 –5:30pm. A Taste of Pasadena. Restaurants in Old Pasadena. $25. Obtain tickets at the Pasadena Foothills Association of Realtors 626/795-2455 or call Linda Lane-White. Sept 29 –10am. Children’s Health Fair.Kidspace Children’s Museum. 480 N Arroyo,Pasadena Sept 29 –7:30pm. Peace Through Music Memorial Concert. KNBC’s Furnell Chapman is Master of Ceremonies. Concert is in honor of Darfur, Sudan. First Church of Nazarene, 3700 E Sierra Madre Blvd., Pasadena. $15. Seniors/students: $10. 626/351-8680.

2007-09 Dena Land News  

Dena Land News September 2007