You can live in one side of a duplex and use the other side as a rental property, an office, or a guesthouse.
When most people think about buying their first home, three options typically come to mind: single-family home, townhouse, or condo. But there’s a fourth option to consider: a duplex home. Plus, if you rent out one side, renters can help pay that mortgage. Here are five reasons why duplexes may be the hot new home type.
You get tax benefits
You might already know that you get a tax write-off when you buy a home — you can deduct the mortgage interest you pay. If you buy a duplex and live in one side, you can write off only that side. But if you rent out the other side, there are additional write-offs.
There are mortgage advantages
Mortgage lenders typically classify properties into owner-occupied and non-owner occupied, and they tend to give more favorable interest rates to people buying a property they will live in. With a duplex, “A mortgage company considers the two units as one property, And you can qualify for a lower interest rate if you occupy one of the units. If you plan to rent out the other side, you might also qualify for a larger mortgage. “Many lenders will allow you to include part of the potential rent into your income when qualifying for a mortgage, This may allow you to qualify for more than you otherwise may have received.
You learn the landlord business
Being a landlord is a great side business and can provide a way to earn passive income. But there’s a lot to learn, such as how landlord-tenant laws work, how to customize a lease, how to make sure you actually collect rent, and how to screen potential tenants. An excellent way to get started is by buying a duplex, living on one side, and renting out the other. Why? You live close to your rental property. “You will see the place every day and see any repairs that need to be made. You can keep a close watch on your tenants to make sure they aren’t doing anything illegal or destroying your home — without invading their privacy. If anything goes wrong, you are just next door.
Before you wade into the duplex and landlord business, however, there are some numbers to consider, such as researching what rents are going for in your area. Make sure that when buying a duplex, if only one side is rented, the rent will be able to cover most or ALL the principal and interest payments as well as the insurance and taxes. And if it seems financially doable, there’s the undeniable advantage of OPM — other people’s money.💰💰💰
It has great potential as an Airbnb
You can potentially earn more money renting the other side of your duplex through Airbnb or other vacation rental sites than you could by renting it on a traditional one-year lease. Why? Vacation rentals are for short-term stays, so you can charge more. Vacation renters will also pay more for a full apartment than they would when renting a single room in your home. And with a duplex, you can offer the best of both worlds for renters: They get a full apartment with you available when needed, just as you would be when renting out a room in your home. But you need to make sure you can use your prospective duplex. Airbnb is case by case, Some areas, have a very strict set of rules, and some areas are more relaxed. You’ll need to get familiar with your local laws.
A duplex gives you more options
If you don’t need to go into the office every day, a duplex could serve as the perfect workspace … and you would beat all your friends when comparing commute times. You also could use the other side as a guesthouse when family or friends come to visit, which is a dream arrangement if you aren’t exactly the entertaining type. The other side of a duplex could also make a convenient place to house elderly parents who need someone checking on them daily — the parents get to remain independent, and everyone gets some privacy.
If you’re thinking about Selling, Buying or Investing in a single-family home, townhouse, or condo. I can HELP!
I cover Los Angeles and Riverside Counties
Don’t let a skimpy homebuying budget stop you from kicking your landlord to the curb. When even the most basic of starter homes soar in price, there’s always the trusty condo to fill the void.
If you’re opposed to even the thought of condo living, consider the purchase a stepping stone – a way to build equity to use for your forever home.
Read on to learn about more good reasons to consider buying a condo.
1. Cheaper than a house
Unless you lust after the penthouse unit in the city’s premier condo community, you’ll pay less for a condo than a single-family home. And, if you shop wisely, even that homeowner’s association fee tacked onto the mortgage payment won’t put you outside your comfort zone.
If you’re extremely low-budget, we can help you shop for a condo with low HOA dues. These are typically condos in low-amenity communities. In other words, you generally won’t find low HOA fees in a community that offers valet parking, private elevators, and high-end fitness facilities.
2. On-site amenities
On the flip side, if the private elevator, valet parking and high-end fitness center is on your wish list, you’ll find condo communities that offer these amenities (and more) with homes far less expensive than buying a single-family home with the same amenities.
Yes, the HOA fees will be higher, but, again, your final monthly payment as a homeowner will be less than it would be if you owned a single-family home with similar amenities.
3. Low maintenance living has its perks
While there are some condo communities that offer homes with private yards, most don’t. This means no lawn to mow, weeds to pull, leaves to rake and trees to prune.
Part of your HOA fees covers the cost of common area landscape care. If the community has a pool, the HOA takes care of its maintenance, too.
Think of all the free time you’ll have compared to your friends who own single-family homes. Your weekends will be maintenance-free.
4. Be social, or don’t
Ask any of your single-family-home-dwelling-friends how many of their neighbors they know. Sadly, the answer will most likely be anywhere from none to very few.
Sure, there are vibrant neighborhoods with connected neighbors, but by and large, most Americans tend to isolate themselves from those who live nearby.
In fact, a Pew Research study finds that only 28 percent of people living in a neighborhood know their neighbors by name.
Condo living puts you in closer proximity to your neighbors. Whether that’s a positive or negative depends on how sociable you are. If you like getting to know your neighbors you’ll love this aspect of condo life.
5. Building equity and more
We touched earlier on buying a condo as a stepping stone. Not only will you build equity to put toward a future purchase, but owning a home has tax advantages as well.
Yes, tax laws are in flux right now, but you will still receive homeownership benefits that you won’t have if you continue renting.
6. Feel Safer
Many condo developments offer security features. Whether it’s a gated community or one with a roving guard or even a community with camera surveillance, security is a feature lacking in many single-family homes.
This is especially important to people who live alone and may feel vulnerable. Even a community lacking robust security features will feel safer simply for the fact that you live in close proximity to others, so seeking help in an emergency is far easier.
If your aim is to live in the heart of the city or within walking distance to popular area amenities, you’ll find few single-family homes from which to choose. But, this is where the condo market shines the brightest.
Ditching the commute—or even the car—is a distinct possibility with urban condo living.
Do reach out to us if you’re considering purchasing a condo. We’re happy to walk you through the process and show you what’s available now.
January 2018 | John Aaroe Group becomes Pacific Union International
I have exciting news!
On January 1, my firm, John Aaroe Group, will become part of the dominant independent real estate brokerage in California, Pacific Union International.
We now have 47 locations throughout the state, giving me direct access to real estate professionals, active buyers and off-market properties in California’s most desirable markets. I’ll use them all to benefit you.
My tremendous new advantages include proprietary market data showing where buyers are coming from and how to target them, and access to real-time statistics, trends and market intel from our own in-house economist to help you make the most of current real estate conditions.
Pocket Listing-Palms Blvd, Venice – $4.495M
3 Bed | 2.5 Baths
2,600 SQ.FT | 5,299 SF Lot
Pocket Listing – North of Rose, Venice – $2.45M
3 Bed | 2 Bath designer done home
Pocket Listing – Culver City – $2.1M
4 Bed | 3.5 Bath
Available for pre-sale
Coming to market early 2018
Modern Farmhouse New Construction in Culver City – $3.335M
5 Bedroom | 5.5 Bath
Swimming Pool and Jacuzzi
If you’re curious about the real estate market, or if I may be of assistance in any way, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
John Aaroe Group
p: 310.652.6285 m: 323.359.6719
a: 3717 S. La Brea Ave #102 Los Angeles, CA 90016
Jobs like Lyft and other rideshare companies are a great way to earn additional income with the On Demand Economy. So is renting out your place or unused belongings on sites like Airbnb. But did you know there is now a “Uber” or “Airbnb” for just about everything? As an independent contractor, you can dog sit, make new friends through cooking, or care for children and the elderly. You can even find other driving jobs like Uber where you won’t have to worry about Uber partner reviews or whether your customer will tip.
Get $25 off your first Massage on Demand on Zeel.
Use my invite code 77A and get $25 off your first Zeel Massage on Demand
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To get up to $15 in ride credit, just download the Lyft app using my referral. (I’ll get credit, too.) Here’s my referral link: https://www.lyft.com/i/WILL470299 .
ARE YOU A GREAT DRIVER & DO YOU BELIEVE IN GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE: then drive for Lyft and make some extra cash. If you’re in the Los Angeles area, use my promo code and start making extra side money…start up that old hoopty and get yourself some extra cash…one love Will!!!
Lyft matches drivers with passengers who request rides (and pay for the trip) through a smartphone app. As a driver, you’ll earn money by driving your own car, on your own schedule.
If you apply using my referral link, you’ll also pocket an extra bonus. (For example, Los Angeles referrals get $850 after giving 500 rides in their first 60 days.) See the terms at https://lft.to/terms.
Here’s where to apply: https://www.lyft.com/drivers/WILL470299
On Airbnb you can book rooms, homes, and even private islands in over 190 countries. Just sign up to get $40 off your next vacation of $75 or more.
If you use an on-demand service and think it should be listed here…Send me an email with logo and any info needed to post in the FIRST EMAIL!
Being both woke and in need of escapism seems to be a recurring theme for 2017, making Halloween even more necessary than usual this year.
As the holiday falls on a Tuesday this year, the weekend preceding is absolutely JAM-PACKED with spookily-themed offerings. And that doesn’t even account for all the great Halloween-ish events leading up to the end of the month.
Listed below in chronological order from start date. Numbered for reference.
2. Boo at the LA Zoo (now through Oct. 31)
3. Knotts Scary Farm (now through Oct. 31)
4. Reign of Terror Haunted House in Thousand Oaks (now through Oct. 31)
5. Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor (now through Nov. 1)
6. Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios (now through Nov. 4)
Listed below in chronological order from start date. Numbered for reference.
8. CreepLA: Lore (through Nov. 12)
9. Paramount After Dark Tours: Tales from the Other Side with discount tickets available through Goldstar (through Nov. 18)
10. Classic Horror Tuesday Matinees at LACMA (Oct. 3, 10, 17, 24 & 31)
11. Silent Classic Horror Festival at Old Town Music Hall (Oct. 6-29)
12. Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch at Platform LA (Oct. 6-30)
14. All-Night Horror Show at New Beverly Cinema (Oct. 7)
16. Friday the 13th on Friday the 13th at Vista Theatre (Oct. 13)
17. 17th Annual Ghost Train in Griffith Park (Oct. 13-31)
18. Beware the Dark Realm: An award-winning haunted house in Santa Clarita. (Oct. 14, 20, 21, 27, & 28) FREE
19. Italo Horror Disco in Highland Park (Oct. 18)
21. 34th Annual Hollywood Forever Cemetery Walking Tour (Oct. 21)
22. Halloween & Mourning Movie Night at Heritage Square (Oct. 21)
23. Halloween Film Festival at Los Feliz 3 Cinema (Oct. 21) FREE
24. Night of 1000 Devils (Oct. 21)
25. Monster Tour at Descanso Gardens (Oct. 21, 22, 28, 29)
26. Lucha VaVOOM: The Smell of Fear — A Halloween Spectacle (Oct. 25-26)
27. Double Feature: Brides of Dracula & Hollywood Scares at Alex Theatre in Glendale (Oct. 26)
28. Scare-amount Ranch in Agoura Hills (Oct. 27) FREE
29. Halloween Party With Rolling Stones Tribute ‘The Ultimate Stones’ at The Rose in Pasadena with discount tickets available through Goldstar (Oct. 28)
31. Velveteeria’s Hollywood Halloween at Velveteeria: Museum of Velvet Paintings (Oct. 28)
32. All Night Horrorthon at Santa Monica’s Aero Theatre (Oct. 28)
33. L.A.’s Day of the Dead at Hollywood Forever Cemetery (Oct. 28)
34. Spanish-Language Screening of Dracula (1931) at Linwood Dunn Theatre (Oct. 28)
35. KCRW Masquerade Ball in DTLA (Oct. 28)
36. Angels & Demons: LA Halloween Costume Ball (Oct. 28)
37. Tales From the Crypt + Tribute to a Haunted Mansion at Bob Baker Marionette Theater (Oct. 28-29)
38. 14th Annual Halloween & Mourning Tours at Heritage Tour Museum (Oct. 28-29)
39. The Haunt with No Name in Tarzana (Oct. 28-31)
40. The House on Haunted Hill in Woodland Hills (Oct. 28-31)
41. The Haunted Shack 20th Year in Torrance (Oct. 28, 31) FREE
42. Part Time Punks Annual Goth Ball at The Echo (Oct. 29)
43. Halloween Seance in Echo Park (Oct. 29)
44. Ghostbusters (1984) Screening at Egyptian Theatre (Oct. 29)
45. Harry Houdini Halloween Vigil at Dearly Departed Tours (Oct. 31)
46. West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval (Oct. 31) FREE
48. Carnival of Souls at Aero Theatre (Oct. 31)
49. Halloween Screening: Dawn of the Dead at Armand Hammer Museum (Oct. 31) FREE
51. Haunted Hollywood Walk of Fame Tour (ongoing)
You’re ready to buy your first home, but you can’t seem to get far
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down payment assistance
In only three years, the number of Americans who claim to understand what a smart home is has jumped 53 percent, according to a Finn Futures survey. This doesn’t mean we’re all adopting the connected home technology, however. In fact, the survey finds that 59 percent of Americans don’t plan on doing so soon and cite cost as the main barrier.
Yes, it’s pricey, but some features may just be worth the money, while others may not.
The Finn survey finds that 55 percent of respondents want automated, or “smart” door locks. Interestingly, these locks don’t make your home any more secure than your deadbolt does because they work with the deadbolt, not instead of it. “You’re paying for convenience (not necessarily security), according to cnet.com’s Ry Crist.
Depending on the type you choose, from the key fob, password entry and fingerprint recognition to Bluetooth or Wi-Fi enabled, smart locks can be quite pricey so consider why you want one before purchasing. If it’s for the convenience factor, go for it. If you’re concerned about home security, forego the lock and invest in a smart home camera, an alarm system or motion-sensing doorbell instead.
One of the top smart home gadgets that the Finn survey respondents want is the smart thermostat (44 percent want one). What can a smart thermostat do that the trusty old programmable one can’t?
Make life more convenient is the obvious answer if you’ve ever tried to program a standard thermostat. Not only is it time-consuming but they are limited in how many different programs you can use.
Smart thermostats, on the other hand, are connected to the Internet and controlled by other devices, such as smartphones. The number of programs you can use is unlimited and programming them is simple. In fact, if you purchase a learning thermostat, such as Nest, you won’t need to program it at all. It promises that after only one week, it will have “learned” your routine and automatically adapted to it.
We think it’s worth the splurge (about $249) because it helps save money on utility bills. In fact, three studies of the Nest Learning Thermostat, based on a comparison of utility bills from before installation of Nest and after the installation, showed that users saved an average 10 to 12 percent on their heating bills and 15 percent on cooling. Impressive enough for the Nest thermostat to become ENERGY STAR certified by the EPA.
Coming in third as the most desirable smart home feature is smart lighting. This feature allows you to program the lights in your home to turn on, off and even dim via a remote device (such as your smartphone).
You may want to program the gadget to turn on the porch light at dusk, or as you ‘round the corner in your neighborhood on your way home from work, turn on random lights around the house when you’ll be out of town or, if you have a teenager that leaves a trail of lit rooms in his or her wake, turn off lights when someone leaves a room. In the latter case, smart lighting may save you money on your electric bills.
Smart smoke alarms
If a smoke alarm in a home is activated and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? It does if it’s smart and connected. Smart alarms send a warning to your phone, a handy feature if a fire breaks out while you’re at work.
We think they’re worth it mainly for the sense of security they provide but also because you may receive homeowner insurance discounts. Check with your insurance representative before purchasing a smart smoke alarm because some insurers have a list of those they consider “qualified.”
Homeowners aren’t yet jumping on the smart home bandwagon, but homebuilders are and don’t be surprised within the next few years to find newly constructed homes offering a full package of connected-home options.
For the first time since the Hawthorne Plaza mall was completely shuttered in the late 1990s, building plans have been submitted to City Hall calling for new construction to begin there early next year.
The significant step comes after a decade of standstill between city leaders and the mall’s owner over the decrepit site that once housed J.C. Penney, The Broadway, and Montgomery Ward department stores as well as a range of other retailers.
The plans envision a mega mixed-use development with more than 1 million square feet of commercial space that includes a movie theater, gym, restaurants, bowling alley and other entertainment options among large and small retailers. Offices and 600 housing units will be woven into the less trafficked portions of the project.
“As a council we’ve done, in a year, what hasn’t been done in the last 20 years. That’s the bottom-line truth,” Mayor Alex Vargas said. “Because we cut out the B.S. We cut out the petty politics and are just doing the people’s business.”
Three previous rough development plans floated by West Hollywood-based developer Charles Co. were turned down by City Council members who said they didn’t like the designs.
On Nov. 22, the City Council approved, on a 4-0 vote, a deal to provide financial support for the development by diverting some property tax revenue to the project in the future.
The Hawthorne Boulevard-facing mall stretches from 120th Street south past 126th Street. It’s apocalyptic look, with broken down elevators and hollowed-out stores covered in graffiti, has been used as a backdrop for many films and TV shows over the years.
The site’s massive $500 million transformation will begin by relocating Los Angeles County workers housed in temporary offices in the mall since 2001 to an adjacent office building that will be built at 126th Street within a year.
Once the new $25 million office building is finished and workers are moved, the mall will be demolished, City Manager Arnie Shadbehr said. An underground parking garage will be constructed, and the existing three-story parking garage will be retrofitted to allow for two levels of offices above.
“I can see some hope now,” said Shadbehr, who has worked feverishly to hasten the mall’s development this year. “We can break ground as soon as February.”
Shadbehr was appointed interim city manager last year after city officials revealed that former City Manager Michael Goodson lied about a growing budget deficit. With the support of former Mayor Chris Brown, Goodson and other top city leaders secretly spent tens of thousands of dollars on incidentals like meals and travel expenses.
Since taking over City Hall, Shadbehr has focused on closing a roughly $6 million structural budget deficit. He worked closely with City Attorney Russell Miyahira to renegotiate the city’s debt payments to save $2 million in annual fees.
“The renegotiation of our loan obligations, the hotel project across the street and the Hawthorne mall project are going to close the budget gap and, eventually, in a few years we’ll have a surplus,” Vargas said. “That’s our three-point economic recovery plan.”
Councilwoman Olivia Valentine praised Shadbehr for pursuing economic solvency so doggedly.
“If it weren’t for him, we would never have had the mall at this stage now,” Valentine said. “Arnie and his staff have pushed this thing and pushed it so that we really do owe him a debt of gratitude.”
With home prices in the Westside already very high, it seems counter-intuitive to purchase a property there. Indeed, some real estate writers in the media are predicting another real estate bubble is about ready to burst.
They are wrong – very wrong.
The Westside is in the midst of an explosive economic trajectory that is unprecedented but solid. Well-established social media, technology and other companies that originated in Seattle and California’s Silicon Valley have now established roots in Los Angeles that are very deep. Indeed, the Westside has been re-branded by locals as “Silicon Beach.” Councilman Mike Bonin has said about the community of Playa Vista he serves, where many of these companies are operating, that it is “. . . the tech and innovation capital of Los Angeles.”
Here are some of the astounding numbers that underscore the seismic shift in business for this area:
Google already leases 100,000 square feet in three buildings in Venice. But it has since purchased 12 acres for $120 million in Playa Vista that is zoned for up to 900,000 square feet of commercial space and it is expected to lease the old Hughes Hangar that is yet another 319,000 square feet. In all, up to 6,000 highly-skilled, highly-paid technology employees will be able to fill that space. They will all be looking for housing and will expect that housing to be high quality and reflect their financial success.
Google subsidiary YouTube also rents a 41,000 square-foot video production facility in a nearby former Hughes building in Playa Vista.
Facebook may be leasing 35,000 square feet at Playa Vista’s Playa Jefferson.
Yahoo and Microsoft also have large presences in Playa Vista. And that’s just the big names.
This new technological hub is attracting not only local but out-of-area talent as well. For now, however, the big news is that available housing is definitely lagging and unable to meet the demand for young people flush with money and plenty of purchasing power.
Here are the hard, cold numbers: in Playa Vista, there are currently just nine homes for sale, only four of which are single family residences (SFRs). The cheapest home is $1,549,000. That price gets the buyer a 3 bedroom, 2,314 square foot home with no back yard, just a very modest patio with a view of the neighbors’ wall. Prices per square foot start at $630 and easily reach over $900.
In the past 90 days, the least expensive 3 bedroom home in the same area recently sold for $725,000 – again, no yard. The highest priced one was $1,850,000.
Fourteen homes – mostly condos – are in escrow.
In other words, there is a dramatic shortage of available housing in the area to soak up the demand of well-heeled home buyers. Any economist will tell you that when demand far outpaces supply, prices can only keep climbing due to shortage and what we call the inelasticity of demand.
Does this scenario still look like a bubble to you?