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The Dirt on the Drought

Posted by John Hathorn on July 9, 2021
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California is facing yet another drought just two years after the last one ended. Our 1,500 reservoirs are at only 50% of their average levels and federal and local agencies have begun to issue water restrictions. “What we are seeing right now is very severe, dry conditions and in some cases and some parts of the west, the lowest in-flows to reservoirs on record,” says Roger Pulwarty, a senior scientist in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa) physical sciences laboratory.

The drought began to show in early Spring of last year when the annual winter rainy season failed to replenish the landscape, then followed up by a hot Summer which baked off even more moisture out of the environment. By March of 2021, conditions were dire enough for the US agriculture secretary to declare most of California as a primary disaster area. Earlier this month governor Gavin Newsom has declared a drought emergency in 41 of the state’s 58 counties and according to the US Drought Monitor, the entire state of California is in some level of drought.

How is this affecting us in LA county? So far groundwater is still being pumped with no statewide limits. Our neighbors in northern California however are reliving the last disaster as water restrictions kick in again. Down here in SoCal there is enough water stored to avoid them…for now.

Meanwhile we brace for what is expected to be another record-breaking fire season as temperatures continue to surge. In 2020, roughly 4.1m acres were consumed by the flames, tens of thousands of buildings burned, and 31 people lost their lives. According to the US National Centers for Environmental Information, drought disasters are among the most costly, running an average of $9.3B in damage and loss. Newsom has proposed a $5.1B investment over the next four years to respond to the disaster and improve infrastructure. Cal Fire, the state’s firefighting agency, has also added 1,400 new firefighters to its ranks, along with picking up new helicopters and fire engines.

The good news is that in urban areas, most of us haven’t lapsed back into our old water-wasting patterns. For now, we’re being asked to conserve our water where we can. The Santa Monica office of Sustainability and the Environment offers a “Cash for Grass” rebate program and other ways to help us conserve water at home. If you’d like more tips on how to conserve water at home, here’s a checklist of simple ways to reduce our water consumption.

Thankfully, I don’t see the trend of drought-tolerant landscaping going anywhere soon!

DID YOU KNOW It takes 15,415 liters of water to ‘create’ 2lbs of beef…..9,063 for 2lbs of nuts….and 4,325 liters for 2lbs of chicken

DID YOU KNOW U.S. home prices in May experienced their biggest annual increase in more than two decades, as a shortage of properties and low borrowing rates fueled demand. The median existing-home sales price in May topped $350,000 for the first time, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday. The figure was nearly 24% higher than a year ago (in the midst of massive lockdowns!), the biggest year-over-year price increase NAR has recorded in data going back to 1999.

In 90402 Real Estate News…

Nine new listings since my last update!

101 17th Street– Listed at $8,995,000. This 2009 Chateau style home is over 8500 sqft and feels like it! Set on a 14,400+ sqft lot with beautiful pool and impressive outdoor spaces. Last sold in 2016 for $7,350,000.

544 11th Street– Listed at $4,495,000. Clean and contemporary vibe in about 3,600 sqft. Livable and ready for some gentle updating.  Last sold in 2007 for $2,803,015.

222 14th Street– Listed at $4,995,000. A lesser version of my listing at 239 20th Street. This house is listed for the same price but is smaller, on a smaller lot in a less desirable location.

201 25th Street– Listed at 2,395,000. Little 1400 sqft, single-story traditional on a 5,400 sqft lot. The house is pretty 1950s original but clean and cute.

315 15th Street– Listed at $5,265,000. Contemporary 3,700+ sqft home with some updating on a 50ft wide lot. Last sold in 2019 for $4,225,000.

603 16th Street– Listed at $3,288,000. Charming interior, 2,700 sqft home on a 50ft wide lot.

416 25th Street– Listed at $6,150,000. Built in 1995 with just under 4,800 sqft of living space and pool in the backyard. Good floorplan but ready for a bit of a refresh.

441 Marguertia Avenue– Listed at $5,488,000. This is a 11,300 sqft lot value, west of 7th.

328 15th Street– Listed at $4,795,000. 4 bedrooms in 3,500 sqft of living space. Livable but ready for some updating.

Ten went into escrow-

239 20th Street– We had this listed for $4,995,000. Excellent space- 5,000+ sqft with generous room sizes and an ideal floorplan. A well-placed pool on the large 60ft wide, privacy hedged, lot is the cherry on top.

533 18th Street– Listed at 5,750,000 by us.

301 20th Street– Listed at $8,495,000 before being quickly reduced to $7,995,000. Pence Hathorn Silver brought the Buyer and it is in escrow after only 12 days on the market.

259 Mabery Road– Listed at $4,495,000. I listed this dramatic canyon house about two weeks ago. We are quickly in escrow after receiving multiple, highly competitive, offers.

515 24th Street– Listed at $7,295,000. Built in 2009 this Traditional style 3-level home has classic floorplan and design. 8,700 sqft lot with pool. Last sold in 2012 for $4,985,000.

322 14th Street– Listed at $6,249,000. Warm contemporary with pool. Over 6,000 sqft home with pool. Last sold in 2016 for $5,468,000.

1208 Georgina Avenue – Listed at $8,849,000. Said to be in escrow for way over the asking price.

621 15th Street– Listed at $4,699,000.

554 14th Street– Listed at $4,500,000.

414 Euclid Street– Listed at $3,700,000.

Seven Sold-

710 18th Street– Sold for $4,850,000. I listed this unique single-story home and wish I had another to sell! The demand for “done” single-story homes is always high.

1002 Alta Avenue– Sold way over asking for $6,402,725. Originally listed for $5,795,000.

538 16th Street– Sold for $4,160,000. Originally listed at $3,899,000.

440 25th Street– Sold for $8,950,000. Originally listed at $9,495,000.

702 14th Street– Sold for the asking price of $3,450,000.

457 24th Street– Sold for $4,060,000. Originally listed at $4,395,000.

615 25th Street– Sold for $8,150,000. Originally listed at $8,995,000.

Do you know anyone looking to sell?

We have well-qualified buyers looking in every price point.

Call me!


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