“ACCESSORY DWELLING UNITS” (ADUs) COMING TO BURBANK! (Part II)

Back in June of this year, I wrote here about new state laws, which took effect January 1st, which are intended to increase the supply of “affordable housing” throughout the state, including the city of Burbank. Known as “Accessory Dwelling Units” or ADUs, these secondary structures can be built in R-1 neighborhoods (except for R-1H areas, known as the “Rancho” here in Burbank) and are defined as follows:

“An Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) is an attached or a detached residential dwelling unit which provides complete independent living facilities for one or more persons separate from the main house. An ADU includes permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking and sanitation and may be rented. A property with an ADU may not be subdivided and may not be sold as separate property and the property must be owner occupied” (occupying either the ADU or the primary residence, which will be verified by an annual inspection process conducted by the City of Burbank).

Along with the owner occupancy requirement, working under the auspices of an Interim Development Control Ordinance, or IDCO, the city is also attempting to refine the state laws to make them more compatible with and protect our beloved Burbank R-1 neighborhoods, while still providing much needed affordable housing stock. To that end, the Burbank City Council has already decided to limit the size of an ADU to only 500 sq. ft., thereby effectively reducing the number of potential occupants and increased parking demand in neighborhoods, along with somewhat capping potential rental rates by virtue of the ADU size. Also, the city has stipulated that ADUs cannot be rented for less than 30 days, so as to prevent the proliferation of Airbnb uses.

I’m only scratching the surface of the many aspects pertaining to this very important issue. Please feel free to call me or visit the City of Burbank website, burbankca.gov and search “accessory units” for more information.

BURBANK R.E. MARKET UPDATE – MIDWAY POINT, 2017

Now that we’re more than halfway through 2017, I thought it might be helpful to give you an overview of current Burbank housing inventory levels, median price points for the single family homes and condos, in addition to some insight into what to expect in terms of property price appreciation for the remainder of the year. First off, for the majority of the first half of 2017, inventory levels have been fairly consistent – fluctuating between 70 to 90 “active” SFRs listed for sale. Same story with condominiums – pretty steady, at about 20 to 35 units for sale. As of this writing, the numbers fall in line with those ranges: 81 SFRs listed for sale, with 22 condos offered. But as the Burbank market continues to go up, what’s interesting is the breakdown of prices and the associated growing lack of affordability for families wanting to call Burbank home!

As a lifelong resident and 30 year Burbank Realtor, it’s hard even for me to digest these facts: The median sales price thus far in 2017 is a mind boggling $813,700; up from $740,000 last year! And you see that reflected in the current inventory. Of the 81 SFRs currently for sale, only four (4) are priced under $600,000, with the vast majority, 51, priced at $800,000 and above! Same trend line for condos – current median price is $507,000, up from$479,000 in 2016. Current condo price range: $380,000 to $1,048,000, again, with only 22 units for sale! The cost of money is still relatively cheap; Buyer demand is still strong; and as discussed, inventory remains tight. Are these rates of appreciation sustainable? We’ll see, but I think the “train is starting to slow!”

What do you think? I’d love to hear from you and talk about it….

BURBANK GRAPPLES WITH NEW STATE LAW CREATING ACCESSORY DWELLING UNITS

New state laws, currently being reviewed and refined by the Burbank Planning Board and City Council may be bringing some big changes and some new types of residences to your Burbank neighborhood soon! Effective January 1, of this year, Assemby bill 2299 and Senate Bill 1069 went into effect governing Accessory Dwelling Unit regulations – more commonly known as rules governing detached guest houses or “granny flats,” pool houses and alike, garage conversions and “accessory dwelling unit” additions attached to existing single family structures. The regulations are an attempt by the state to “address a variety of housing needs and provide affordable housing options for family members, friends, students, the elderly, in-home health care providers, the disabled and others at below market prices within existing neighborhoods.”

As a 30-year Burbank real estate professional, property owner and life long Burbank resident, one of my biggest concerns with the new laws is the lack of control our local governing bodies have in imposing restrictions on these new accessory dwelling units or ADUs. Aside from addressing parking requirements, height, lot coverage and maximum unit size, the City  of Burbank really doesn’t have any discretionary authority to limit potential negative impacts to our beloved R-1 residential neighborhoods. However, one option the city does have, which I think is crucial, is to mandate that the property owner reside in either the main residence or the accessory structure. Recently the City of Burbank adopted an IDCO (Interim Development Control Ordinance) to study the issue and institute some initial guidelines and restrictions regarding these ADUs. To find updated information regarding this issue, go to the City of Burbank’s website: www.burbankca.gov, and search for “accessory units.” Or give me a call and I’d be happy to talk with you about this important change coming to Burbank’s residential neighborhoods.

BURBANK REAL ESTATE MARKET – WHERE WE’VE BEEN & WHERE WE’RE HEADED IN 2017!

(Posted Jan. 12, 2017)

As we look forward to the new year of 2017, I thought it might be helpful to look back a few years so as to give some perspective on where the Burbank real estate market has been in terms of values, where we are today and where we may be headed in the near term. First though, a quick inventory recap: For the majority of 2016, Burbank housing stock averaged less than a 3 month supply and bounced around between 80 and 100 single family homes listed and about the same spread for condos/townhomes, fluctuating between 25 to 50. Towards the end of the year, with news of rising interest rates, the rush was on and inventory levels were reduced sharply to where we are today: an incredibly low 61 SFRs and only 12 Cs & Ts listed for sale in Burbank! Now those levels will increase as we emerge from the Holiday/early New Year slow season, but will they increase substantially or will this inventory shortage – basic supply and demand – keep driving prices up? Which brings me to a quick recap of Burbank real estate appreciation…

In 2011, generally agreed to be the bottom of the market coming out of the financial meltdown in 2008, the median price (median being the mid point where half of sales are above and half below) for a SFR was $490,000 and $330,000 for Cs & Ts. As the economy and consumer confidence rebounded and rose, the market did as well! In the last 3 years, median SFR values have risen to $650,000 in 2014; $690,000 in 2015 and an incredible $739,000 to finish 2016! Same trend line for Cs & Ts: $415,000 in 2014; $450,000 in 2015 and rising to $489,555 in 2016! Does the party continue or are we in for a correction? Good time to sell or stay put? If you’re considering Buying or Selling in 2017, please give me a call and let’s have an honest conversation about the market what makes sense and is best for you!

“BURBANK HOME FINDER” My New, FREE App For Your Smartphone/Tablet!

Burbank Home Finder

 

 

Hard to believe, but 2016 is drawing to an end and the Holiday Season rapidly approaching. And so in the “spirit of giving” that the season represents, I’m excited to extend a real estate gift to you, your family and friends – it’s my new real estate app, called Burbank Home Finder! Designed for use on your smart phone of tablet, this completely free and state of the art app allows you to access real estate listings derived directly from the same Multiple Listing Service (MLS) that I as a real estate professional have access to. Most importantly, it features CURRENT MLS information/listings that is updated every 30 seconds, and as opposed to Zillow, doesn’t direct you to “preferred agents” that you don’t know or certainly trust, nor is it filled with dated information, ads and unhelpful features.

With Burbank Home Finder, all of your real estate needs are just one touch away! And by the way, you can use the app outside of Burbank as well, as the coverage area extends from the San Diego area all the way north to just below Santa Barbara and everywhere in between! Curious what the house next door is listed for? Ready to begin searching for your dream home, working of course, with me as your agent? Are you a Seller considering placing your home on the market and want to know its current value? Burbank Home Finder is a “must have” tool to help you in all of these scenarios! To get this invaluable and completely free app, simply go  to the Apple App Store, or for Android devices, Google Play and search for Burbank Home Finder. Or you can also download it from the homepage here, at dan4realest8.com. And please, once you begin using it, please let me know what you think or write a short review in the Apple and/or Google app stores.  Above all, please share and encourage your family and friends to download and use Burbank Home Finder as well! THANK YOU!

 

SELLERS BEWARE: DON’T LET AN AGENT “BUY YOUR LISTING!”

When I do listing presentations for potential Sellers, I cover many aspects of what goes into successfully selling a home. Along with explaining the myriad of things that go into marketing a home, I also discuss various aspects of both the Listing and Purchase contracts; disclosure issues and paperwork; advertising in both print and online platforms; a calendar of activities for the first two weeks the home goes on the market; showing protocols and Open Houses; a Sellers’ net sheet reflecting approximately what they can expect to net after deducting normal costs of sale; and of course, an in-depth discussion of comparable sales which is the basis for my pricing recommendation. As you might expect, the pricing/value discussion takes up the majority of the appointment. Accurate, and in some cases, strategic pricing is always the key to success in selling a home, period! With rare exceptions, no amount of fancy brochures, virtual tours, or countless open houses will sell a home if it’s overpriced, even in a low inventory/hot market like the one we’re currently experiencing.

But alas, there are a lot of “hungry Realtors” out there desperate for business and listings! Some, with no confidence in the abilities to compete and be a professional in representing realistic numbers to a Seller, have no compunction whatsoever in “buying a listing.” In fact, within the Burbank brokerage community, it is well known which unscrupulous Realtors are known for this tactic. Hint: their listings always involve longer market times due to having to reduce the price several times before it sells, often resulting in less of a “net” for the Seller, compared to if they had listed it accurately to begin with. The longer the market time, the more likely Buyers will feel emboldened to make “low ball” offer(s), thinking after so much elapsed time and price reductions, a Seller may now be desperate! DON’T FALL FOR IT! Interview at least two agents, compare their pricing recommendations carefully, and if a “weak” agent is advocating for a list price that no comparable closed sales substantiate, thank him or her for their time and show them the door – I assure you, you’ll be glad you did!

Depending on the market, the type and general price point of  a property, I usually give a Seller an approximate $20,000 high/low price range within which we both agree to price the property at. Of course, I tell them that it’s their prerogative to list it higher than my recommended range; but after about 3 weeks on the market, with no offers and activity slowing, I will remind them of the “pricing reality” we covered during my presentation.

MOVING TO BURBANK? GET THE “HOOK-UP”

Burbank Water & Power recently joined forces with Kandela, a company that provides free, one-stop moving referral services for residents looking for a variety of home services. While best suited for people moving into a new home, the free service can be used by anyone interested in getting the best pricing on television, internet, phone, home security and other services.

With just one phone call, this free service works to get Burbank residents “the best deals on home services with the VIP treatment you deserve!”

How does it work? Kandela partners with all major providers of cable, TV, phone and internet services, along with local providers of other home services. For example in Burbank, they partner with AT&T, Verizon, Time Warner and Charter to provide all entertainment and communication options to residents. With a single phone call, you can speak to a representative who will discuss pricing and service options, activate services you select, and schedule installation times – all at no cost to you. In addition to communication services, options include moving and storage, setting up utilities, cleaning services, home security and much more.

To learn more, visit kandela.com/bwp or call 1-877-698-8884.

WHERE WE’VE BEEN & WHERE WE’RE HEADED IN 2016

As we begin 2016, I wanted to offer you some “quick Burbank market facts” in order to summarize what’s happened last year and what may be in the offing for this new year. First up, some “frothy” facts concerning Burbank real estate values and appreciation: In 2015, largely driven by strong demand and low supply, SFR values rose very nicely, with the median price rising to an incredible $676,000, representing a 5.4% increase from 2014. Now even for me, a Burbank Realtor working this market for now 29 years, that figure both pleases me, yet concerns me. I’m happy, of course, because I own Burbank property and it’s value is worth more. But as a real estate professional, I’m very concerned that not enough young Buyers can afford Burbank, as well under 20% of would be first time Buyers can afford that current median price! The growing inventory attests to that, as out of 93 current SFRs currently on the market (much higher than at the start of 2015), a paltry 13 are priced between the least expensive – $475,000 (on Buena Vista) and $650,000! The rest of the inventory is more expensive, with a top price of $3,950,000 (very inflated.) As is always the case, a hot real estate market always starts to cool and inventory build when AFFORDABILITY enters the picture. Another clue that confirms this is the fact that condo inventory has decreased to a mere 26 units, obviously because of demand and the lower price point. Obviously, with the passage of time, the inventory figures cited here will change. Please call me for a update!

What to expect in 2016? I think Burbank property will still see growth, yet along the lines of a more modest 3%. Inventory will grow, but still predominately above $700,000. Plus, we’ve already seen a slight uptick in the cost of money, i.e. interest rates, given the Fed’s action in December.

Preparing For Your Summer Trips to Southern California

5660427930_77f81851b4_bBurbank, located in beautiful Southern California, is home to the world famous California sunshine and some of the best local attractions that you will find anywhere. It addition to beautiful weather and plenty of things to do, Burbank also boasts a great location in Los Angeles County. Located just 12 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles and even closer to Hollywood, it is no wonder why Burbank has become known as the “Media Capital of the World.” Each year, families from across the country come to Southern California to enjoy a wealth of recreational activities, great weather and excellent food!

With all that Burbank and Southern California has to offer, it should come as no surprise that the area is one of the top destinations for travel in the United States. If you are one of the many who are preparing for your summer trips to Southern California, then you have come to the right place. I am Dan Soderstrom, and I love nothing more than welcoming visitors to our area and I would love to help you when you are preparing for your summer trips to Southern California. As a local Realtor who lives, works and plays within the areas I service, it would be my pleasure to help you get to know our community.

What To Do With Your Family This Summer In Burbank

If you are wondering what to do with your family this summer in Burbank, then you are in luck. You will find a wide range of attractions and events to choose from, with something that is sure to appeal to everyone in your family.

Burbank and Southern California offers plenty of family friendly activities for you to choose from. Whether you are interested in history or outdoor activities — or anything in between — you are sure to find it here. When you come to California, the options are truly endless!

Below are some of our favorite things to do with our families in Burbank. We think you and your family will enjoy them, too!

  1. Take a tour at the Warner Brothers studio. Burbank isn’t known as the Media Capital of the World for nothing! You and your family definitely won’t want to miss out on this huge part of the Burbank culture, and what better way to experience it than by taking a stroll and exploring one of the most famous movie and television studios in all of the world.
  2. Take in the sights at the Burbank Farmers Market. Everyone delights in all that the farmers market has to offer. When visiting Burbank, head to the farmers market where you can pick up something local and fresh for a snack or for dinner.
  3. History lovers will enjoying learning about Burbank’s rich history at the Gordon R. Howard Museum. Be sure to plan accordingly — the museum is only open on Saturdays and Sundays, and tours are booked by appointment only.
  4. Be sure not to miss the summer concert series at the Starlight Bowl, one of Burbank’s most popular attractions. Boasting 90 years of parks and recreation in the Burbank area, the Starlight Bowl is sure to be one of your favorite highlights of your trip!

About Dan Soderstrom

If you are interested in learning more about Burbank real estate, or if you are searching for a Burbank California Realtor, I would love the opportunity to serve you as your Southern California real estate professional. I pride myself on offering the highest levels of service to my clients, and would love the chance to put my skills and enthusiasm to work for you.

Throughout my real estate career that has spanned nearly three decades, I have dedicated myself to personally representing my clients’ best interests from start to finish in their real estate transactions. I will work to make sure that you are comfortable throughout the entire process and I will take the time to explain everything to you in detail, so that there are no surprises along the way.

When you are ready to start your search of the available Burbank houses for sale, feel free to give us a call or connect with us online. In the meantime, spend some time exploring our website, which was designed with your user experience in mind, to provide you with pertinent information on life in Burbank and Southern California. Be sure to check out our blog, with topical posts about real estate and Southern California. Browse through our current listings and then give us a call to get started in finding your dream Burbank home today!

2014 Burbank Real Estate Sales

front22Burbank is a city in beautiful Los Angeles County, California. Located just 12 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles and only a few miles northeast of Hollywood, Burbank is known as the “Media Capital of the World.” The designation is well earned, too, with many of the world’s leading media and entertainment corporations headquartered or located here, including Warner Bros. Entertainment, Warner Music Group, The Walt Disney Company, Nickelodeon, Insomniac Games, and NBC.

The area that is presently Burbank boasts a rich history, dating back to the 18th century, when the land was part of two Spanish and Mexican – era colonial land grants, granted by the Spanish Bourbon government in 1784. Eventually, the land was purchased by Dr. David Burbank in 1867, where he built a home and grew wheat and raised sheep on the land. The area that became Burbank was settled in the 1870s and 1880s, and the city experienced steady growth, managing to weather the depression and drought that rocked Los Angeles in the late 19th century.

With a cost of living that is lower than the California state average, warm temperatures all year round, and a low unemployment rate coupled with plenty of job opportunities, it is easy to see why so many people choose to remain in or relocate to Burbank, California year over year. But how do 2014 Burbank real estate sales stack up again previous years? Are there any trends that emerged in the market over the past year? Let’s take a look at some facts about 2014 Burbank real estate sales.

Overall, the Burbank real estate market is still a strong seller’s market. Property in Burbank is in very high demand, and is also very likely to sell quickly, even if the listing is overpriced or the property is in less than ideal condition. Usually, what happens when a property is listed in Burbank is that a bidding war will ensue, which leads to the sale price typically being driven above the seller’s original asking price.

The average listing price in Burbank in 2014 was just over $540,000 – nearly 30 percent lower than the average Burbank home sale price of $736,000.

Burbank is also an excellent place for families, with a great school system that consists of public schools, as well as options for private school and alternative schools. Some of the most highly rated schools in Burbank include the following:

  • Ralph Emerson Elementary School
  • R. L. Stevenson Elementary School
  • Burbank High School
  • Concordia – Burbank School

Predictions for Real Estate in Burbank in 2015

While Burbank has experienced steady population growth and expansion over the years, it isn’t predicted to grow much through 2015 and beyond. This is because Burbank is essentially built out, using all of the available space for real estate. This has led to a very efficient use of space for Burbank real estate, but what does this mean for emerging trends in 2015? This means that can continue to see a revamping of current Burbank California real estate, making the most of what the city already has, and placing a premium on long standing and lasting home values. When you invest in Burbank real estate, you can rest assured that you are making a good investment – this is a community that is committed to maintaining the feel and features that have made Burbank such a great place to live in the first place.

If you are interested in searching for a Burbank house for sale, or if I can be of any other assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I am Dan Soderstrom, and I have been in real estate for nearly three decades. As a Realtor, it is my honor to get to know and personally understand my clients’ interests and wants in a new home – and then working to connect them with the property that is just right for them.

 

Whether you are a first time homebuyer or the most seasoned buyer, I will work to make your real estate transaction and comfortable and stress free as possible. I will work closely with you, making sure to keep you personally informed and educated throughout the process. Give me a call or connect with me online to get started today!