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Santa Monica Dirt: Slow First Quarter

Posted by John Hathorn on March 28, 2014
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It’s been a strange 1st quarter in the North of Montana Avenue real estate marketplace. With prices for land value and new construction breaking all previous records, far few properties are changing hands. Theories abound as to why few people are selling than ever before and the most popular explanations are that; North of Montana Santa Monica 315 24th St

  1. With the increase in capital gains and Obamacare tax, the taxes associated with selling are double what they were prior to Obamacare.
  2. People are living longer and staying in their homes longer than ever before.
  3. Of the few properties that do come to the market, cash offers are still very common, though most of the “all cash” turn out to be financed by the time escrow is closing.

Lender delays are still very common but agents are doing a  better job at educating sellers and buyers that delays can be minimized by approaching the lending process with eyes wide and having as much of their preparation completed long before the funds are needed to close an escrow.

Here are some things to do and not do:


  • Have a great credit score. Good credit is a must to insure the best interest rate.
  • Prior to applying for a loan, pay off large debts, but keep at least 6 months of living expenses in liquid reserve accounts.
  • Provide account information by accurately providing the source of all funds received in the last two years.
  • Thoroughly complete all documents and paperwork.
  • Only apply for what you can afford, avoid trying to borrow too much.
  • Explain in writing all money transfers and recent deposits to the lender.
  • Explain any financial changes to the lender, if any arise.


  • Do not change employment or become self-employed.
  • Do not apply for new credit cards or buy a new car.
  • Avoid closing existing credit cards.
  • Avoid any major lifestyle changes.
  • Do not have any overdraft accounts.
  • Do not make big purchases during the escrow.
  • Keep your credit “footprint” clean (each time you apply for a loan it shows up on your credit report).

Here is your up to the minute real estate market info:

By this time last year 21 properties had been listed for sale.  This year only 14 have come on the market.

This year there have been only 9 closed sales. Last year at this point there were 11.

There are fourteen homes available to buy North of Montana Ave with 315 24th St. and 754 23rd St. hitting the market in the last week.  There are ten homes in escrow with 530 17th St. opening escrow today.  Closed sales went up to nine homes year-to-date with 1201 San Vicente closing on March 21st.

New Listings this Week

315 24th St. –   3bd + 3ba.  $2,695,000.  Land value home on an 8,700+ sq ft lot.  Great location close to the Brentwood Country Mart.  Remodel or build new.  Last sold in October 1975 for $114,000.

754 23rd St. –   4d + 4ba.  $2,495,000.  Corner lot at Montana Ave., over 8,800+ sq ft.  Large 3,300+ of interior space. New hardwood floors. Last sold in July 2011 for $1,843,000.

New Sales this Week

530 17th St. –   5bd + 8ba.  $4,595,000.   Back in escrow after a false start 2 weeks ago.  Enormous 3 level Mediterranean.  Last sold in May 2007 for $3,869,000.

622 26th St. –   4bd + 2ba.  $1,795,000.  Traditional in the Franklin School District. Den could be converted to 4th bedroom. Large grassy backyard.  Last sold in May 2001.

Closed Deals this Week

1201 San Vicente –   4bd + 4ba.  $2,505,000.

Pence Hathorn Silver Active Properties:

2009 La Mesa – 6bd + 8ba – $18,900,000

502 16th St.  – 5bd + 7.5ba – $8,495,000

6415 Meadows Court – 6bd + 7ba – $5,995,000

728 25th St.  – 5bd + 6.5ba – $4,595,000

601 17th St. – 5bd + 6ba – $4,495,000

1014 Berkeley St. – 3bd + 1.75ba – $1,895,000

416 Entrada Dr. – 3bd + 1.75ba – $1,575,000

1330 Stanford St. #F – 2bd + 2.5ba – $1,189,000

Search for more homes, see real time analytics and learn about the North Santa Monica / North of Montana  Ave. community on our North of Montana blog.   Add your comments (scroll down to the “Add Your Comment” section) and read other blogs.  And please call my mobile phone (310) 924-4014 with any questions.

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