365 Things To Do In Palos Verdes – American Youth Soccer Sign-Ups

Is your child interested in playing soccer in the summer or fall?  If the answer is yes, now is the time to think about registration.  The Palos Verdes (Region 10) of the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) offers year round recreational and competitive youth soccer programs.  This is a sport that can be enjoyed by four year olds (U5 division) all the way up to 19 year olds (U19). The registration for fall and summer soccer will start on Saturday, April 16, 2011,  from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the Hesse Park Community Center.  The cost for registration at this time will be only $130 for your first child, and $115 for each additional child. If you wait until Round Up #2 on Saturday, May 14, (also from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m.) the cost will be $140 and $125 for each additional child.  If you don’t make those dates, the last call will be on Saturday, June 4, from 1:30-4:00p.m. and the cost will be $150 or $135. On Monday, July 26th, U5-U6 ONLY will be held from 5:00-7:00 p.m., $130/115.

These registrations are on site walk in registrations. You are encouraged to pre-register your children at www.eAYSO.org . If you are interested in volunteering, you will find the paperwork required for you also.  Since AYSO is a 100% volunteer organization, they are always looking to fill coach and referee positions.  (There is a special line for volunteers.)   If your child has not played the previous year, you will be required to bring proof of your child’s age either by birth certificate or passport.

If you are interested in the 2011 Summer Soccer, you must bring a copy of your pre-registration form with a separate check.  Summer registration is only $55 if you played in the fall of 2010, and $70 for those who were not registered.  Hesse Park is located at 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard, Rancho Palos Verdes 90275.

Photos courtesy of AYSO Soccer

365 Things To Do In Palos Verdes – California’s Native Plant Society’s 17th Annual Spring Garden Tour

It’s finally looking like Spring and for many of us we can’t wait to get back to our gardens.  This Saturday, April 2nd, the California Native Plant Society’s 17th Annual Spring Garden Tour will be making its round in the Portuguese Bend area of Rancho Palos Verdes.  There will be two 2 1/2 hour tours of the gardens starting at 9:30 a.m. & again at 1:30 p.m.  This is a great opportunity to learn more about California’s native plants from the experts.  Plant lists will be provided to help recognize the various plants in their habitats.

On your tour you will see a Tricket/Horn Garden in the midst of mature Eucalyptus, California Peppers and  fruit trees.  The Plant Society will give great ideas for shade tolerant native and succulents.  You will also see a Major Garden, that has wonderful grasses and plants that can attract butterflies which are special to this area. Finally, the Strauss Garden, which is a Mediterranean style garden, will be prevalent with California natives, an olive tree alley and other low water plantings. While taking in the butterflies and birds of the area, you can enjoy a large sitting area with view of the coastline and Catalina Island.  This is one event where you will definitely want to bring your camera and note pad.

The price per ticket is $20 for CNPS members, and $25 for non-members. To order tickets call Loretta at (310) 629-0500. They will be put on will call at the departure location at the Point Vicente Interpretive Center, located at 31501 Palos Verdes Drive West, Rancho Palos Verdes 90275.  For more information about CNPS go to www.sccnps.org

Photo courtesy of California Native Plant Society

Top Tuesday Tour Tips

There were 27 homes on the March 29, 2011, Palos Verdes real estate Broker’s Tour.  We currently have 245 active single family Palos Verdes homes for sale ranging in price from $699,000 in Rancho Palos Verdes 90275 to $12,800,000 in Rolling Hills 90274 (the low in Eastview is $569,900).  There are 79 townhomes for sale priced between $185,000 and $2,495,000.  My favorite homes on tour today were:

4015 Montaigne Way, Palos Verdes Peninsula 90274 7227 Rue La Fleur, Rancho Palos Verdes 90275

Ken Conant and Pearl Kaperl’s (Remax Palos Verdes/Execs Realty) 4015 Montaigne Way, Palos Verdes Penisula 90275 (above left) is a 5 bedroom, 3 bath, 3,208 square foot home for $1,199,000.  This updated Academy Hill home features an amazing master suite w/double walk-in closet, cathedral ceilings and city lights views.   Joan Zirkel’s (Remax Palos Verdes Realty) 7227 Rue La Fleur, Rancho Palos Verdes 90275 (above right) is a 6 bedroom, 5 bath, 3,943 square foot home for $1,525,000.  This turnkey West Palos Verdes home features 3 master suites (1 downstairs), remodeled kitchen w/stainless steel appliances and ocean views.

1601 Cataluna Place, Palos Verdes Estates 90274 2140 Via Pacheco, Palos Verdes Estates 90274

Steve Simonetti’s (Remax Palos Verdes Realty) 1601 Cataluna Place, Palos Verdes Estates 90274 (above left) is a  bedroom, 3 bath, 2,279 square foot home for $1,500,000.  This Spanish style Monte Malaga home was rebuilt from studs and foundation in 2006 and is located on a cul-de-sec street across from a unique little park.  Rick and Kitty Edler’s (Peninsula Sotheby’s Int’l Realty) 2140 Via Pacheco, Palos Verdes Estates 90274 (above right) is a 3 bedroom, 3 bath, 2,o12 square foot home for $1,199,000.  This lower Lunada Bay home features updated kitchen and baths, and is located within walking distance of restaurants/shopping/ocean bluffs/schools.

Photos courtesy of CRMLS

365 Things To Do In Palos Verdes – Visit Founders Park

Sitting on the south side of the Trump National Golf Course Clubhouse, is Founders Park with it’s 5.5  tranquil acres with breath taking ocean views, picnic tables, a gazebo, coastal access and adjacent walking trails. In 2006, it was formally named in honor of the City’s founders who led the effort to incorporate the City of Rancho Palos Verdes more than 30 years ago.

This is a well-visited park because of its fabulous location and unbelievable ocean views.  This is one of the few parks which allow ceremonies to be held in its open area.  Planned events are limited to one event per day (3 hours max) between the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  The spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island make for a nice back drop along with the custom built gazebo. There are also optional packages such as chair rentals, and ceremony coordinators that can be arranged with the City’s Recreation and Parks staff. There are nearby restrooms and public parking is also available to visitors.

For more information about rental rates and availability, contact Marcella at (310) 544-5280.  Founders Park is located at One Ocean Trails Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes 90275.

Photo courtesy of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes

365 Things To Do In Palos Verdes – Every House Has a Story..What’s Yours?

Palos Verdes histrical photo

Palos Verdes homes have stories to tell.  On Wednesday, April 6th, from 7:30-9:00 p.m., the Peninsula Center Library will be hosting Tim Gregory, aka The Building Biographer, as their guest speaker.  His philosophy is that families have histories, and your Palos Verdes homes do also.  He has been compiling house histories in the Los Angeles area since 1992.  He feels that every building has its own unique story to tell to its owner or potential buyer.  This could be an interesting marketing technique for Palos Verdes real estate.

Tim has prepared over 2,000 histories to date for owners/interested clients.  On April 6th, he will tell you how he does his research through public agencies, libraries, historical societies and public archives.  He feels that knowing about the history of properties can have a marked economic and aesthetic impact not only on buyers and sellers, but also on remodeling and restoring a property and its grounds.  He is a certified archivist and historian and can help prepare applications for registering properties as local landmarks.  To see more about Tim Gregory go to www.buildingbiographer.com

The Peninsula Center Library is located at 701 Silver Spur, Rolling Hills Estates 90274, and this program will be presented in the Community Room.  For more information contact 310-377-9584 x 213.  There is no charge.

Photo courtesy of PVLD

Mid March Real Estate Sales

This has been a good month for Palos Verdes real estate sales and the month is not over yet.  30 Palos Verdes homes have been reported sold to date.  (It may take an additional week for some sales to post after the actual close of escrow.)  The average sales price for single family Palos Verdes homes for March to date is way up! It now stands at $1,790,000.  If this number holds, it will be the highest since December 2007.

We have had several large sales.  In March 2011 to date, the highest priced Palos Verdes home sold for $9,150,000 in the Monte Malaga area of Palos Verdes Estates; it was a 15,147 square foot single family home with 9 bedrooms and 12 baths on a 69,696 square foot lot.  The lowest priced Palos Verdes home sold for $550,000 in the Eastview area of Rancho Palos Verdes; it was a 1,236 square foot single family home with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths on a 6,900 square foot lot.  Two Palos Verdes homes sold in Rolling Hills for $4,90,000 and $3,000.000.

We currently have 229 active single family Palos Verdes homes for sale priced between $699,000 in Rancho Palos Verdes and $12,800,000 Rolling Hills (the low in Eastview is $569,900).  To view Palos Verdes real estate statistics from December 2009 through February 2011 click here or on the “Statistics” tab above.

What Are Buyers Looking For?

White cottage

When searching for Palos Verdes real estate, buyers are usually motivated by our excellent school district, beautiful location and moderate weather.  When it comes down to to choosing  specific Palos Verdes homes, what do buyers want?

Realtor Magazine had a recent article which answered that question in general.  I will give you their opinion with notes about Palos Verdes homes.

  1. Homes that are in good condition.  Palos Verdes buyers seem to prefer either homes in good condition or fixers; the market is slower for homes in between.
  2. A bargain with incentives– short sales/foreclosures in pristine condition or with incentives.  Palos Verdes real estate is not experiencing a high number of distressed properties and the few we have are selling “as is”.
  3. Outdoor living areas.  Palos Verdes home buyers are looking for the same – outdoor kitchens and fireplaces.
  4. Open kitchens.  This is also high on the list for Palos Verdes homes buyers.

Other items mentioned in a Bankrate.com article are: energy efficiency/green homes(I see only a mild interest in Palos Verdes home buyers), homes made of natural materialslike stone and wood (Palos Verdes home buyers would also agree), smaller homes(I have not seen this trend with Palos Verdes home buyers yet) and touches of luxuryan example was coffee bars/refrigerators in master bedrooms (Palos Verdes home buyers also enjoy these features).   The bottom line for buyers is still location and price – a well priced Palos Verdes home always sells.

365 Things To Do In Palos Verdes – Enjoy the Portuguese Bend Nature Reserve

Did you know that the Portuguese Bend Nature Reserve is comprised of ten ecological reserves on 399 acres of the Palos Verdes Peninsula?  The preserve is made up of the Vista del Norte Ecological Reserve, Aqua Amarga Ecological Reserve, Vicente Bluffs Ecological Reserve, Alta Vicente Ecological Reserve, Abalone Cove Ecological Reserve, Three Sisters Ecological Reserve, Canyons Ecological Reserve, Forrestal Ecological Reserve, San Ramon Ecological Reserve and Ocean Trails Ecological Reserve.  These ten were joined together into the Nature Reserve in 2005. The Portuguese Bend Nature Reserve consists of rolling hills, steep canyons, coastal sage scrub habitat and fragrant and dought resistant shrubs and flowering plants. 

In August of 2009, a wildfire burned approximately 165 acres within the Nature Reserve. The fire affected not only the vegetation but also the nesting sites of the coastal California gnatcher and the cactus wren.  The burn area is still being actively reforested/repaired .  This includes not only trail repairs, but selective weeding and planting of native species that were lost.

The main entrance to the Portuguese Bend Nature Reserve is near Del Cerro Park at the end of Crenshaw Boulevard in Rancho Palos Verdes. (Del Cerro Park, #2 Park Place, Rancho Palos Verdes 90275).

Photo courtesy of  PVPLC

365 Things To Do In Palos Verdes – 2011 Egg Hunt Eggstravaganza

Once again the City of Rancho Palos Verdes will be sponsoring the Egg Hunt Eggstravaganza at the Ladera Linda Community Center.  This is a fun event where children from 1-8 years can join Mr. Rabbit and find themselves a basket of Easter eggs. This event will be held on Saturday, April 23rd from 10:00-11:00 a.m. The fee is $10 per child and there will be a limited number of participants.  The pre-registration deadline is April 8th and the registration form needs to be mailed in.  This event usually sells out. Remember to bring your Easter basket, and of course your camera because I’m sure there will be lots of photo ops that you won’t want to miss.

 The Ladera Linda Community Center is located on 32201 Forrestal Drive, Rancho Palos  90275.

For your Egg Hunt Registration Form go to http://www.palosverdes.com/rpv/front-page-news-items/2011-Easter-Egg-Hunt-Registration.pdf.

Photo courtesy of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes

Should You Have Earthquake Insurance?

California Earthquake Authority shows earthquake damage

Owners of Palos Verdes real estate wonder if they should have earthquake insurance.  Most of my clients have researched the pros and cons of the only earthquake insurance offered in California by the California Earthquake Authority (as I have myself).  A huge factor is the price of the policy versus the high deductibility for damage.

Yesterday, Kathy M. Kristof, of the Los Angeles Times wrote an article, “Quake coverage worth the cost?” which included a link to an online calculator from the California Earthquake Authority (click here to view).  This helpful tool gives you an estimate of your policy premium after you enter some specific information about your property.  The premium for my home would be $1,033 per year with a 15% deductible but I don’t know if the Personal Property and Loss of Use are actual payouts or if the deductible must be met first.  And there is a long list of excluded items such as detached structures including garages, pools & spas, fences, landscaping, irrigation systems, patios, decks, walkways, driveways, stained glass, chandeliers, etc.  There is also a long list of exclusions for personal property.  This can be found under “Insurance Policy Information”.

According to Glenn Pomeroy, chief executive of the Californai Earthquake Authority, in the LA Times article “The purpose of most earthquake coverge is to get a roof over your head…It isn’t aimed at getting your home back to the same shape it was in before the disaster.”  Click here to read LA Times article.

Photo courtesy of California Earthquake Authority